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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion, Part 60 December 21, 2008

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

For recent pages from the blog go here

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.

To visit “Pathway To Presence”, the newly created web site for recruiting new members to the Fellowship; http://www.pathwaytopresence.org

For sites in Russian and Italian, click http://fofway.narod.ru/ and http://laliberastrada.blogspot.com/respectively.

To access the Online Petition: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/djindjin/petition.html

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.

At the Moderator’s discretion, 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).

To visit the site created by Unoanimo:http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/res-ipsa-loquitur/

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Comments

1. Jomo Piñata - December 21, 2008

“Pathway to Presence” “Practicing Presence–A Fourth Way Approach” — AVOID THIS GROUP — Don’t get snookered. A pseudo-religious confidence game and pyramid scheme run by a malignant narcissist. You will be exploited for large amounts of money, thousands of hours of free labor, and sexual favors before being ostracized after you refuse further exploitation!

2. No Quiet Zone - December 21, 2008

But other than that?

3. elena - December 21, 2008

Whalerider, After your post and mine I turned the T.V. on and they had Luc Besson’s version of Joan of Arc!

It is a poor version that makes people believe that fighting for a cause is fighting for their own selfishness because they cannot even trust themselves. Do you think it’ll take another five hundred years for people to trust themselves?

4. nigel harris price - December 21, 2008

2 elena

Try ‘Braveheart’ (not kidding!)…..Nigel.

5. lauralupa - December 21, 2008
6. lauralupa - December 21, 2008
7. lauralupa - December 21, 2008

Doomsday, the end of the century
In accord with prophecy
Are all your fears and fires and family
Written within the Book of Butchery?

My appetite is endless
The people defenseless
This land is big, this land is bigger
But never as big as the mouth of a singer-oh.

Every morning I listen to confessional
Couldn’t give a shit ’bout the bulk of it
Still I keep it professional
Then, as penance, I tell ’em to proselytize
Say: the sun is red, say that I am red
Say: all your bases belong to us

And of doomsday, the end of the century
In accord with prophecy
Put all your fears, your fires, your family
Into the mouth of Final Fantasy

All the bishops will kneel at their alters and sing
And remove their coils, their rings, their jewels
And lay them all down in sacrifice
What of things? What thing? What is this thing?
I’ve a temper as shiny as any bling!
And all this attention will gain you no favour in paradise

The crack
Where is the crack?
When did I
Crack?

Then I’ll stand alone on a planet with
Nothing left to remember it
I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try to prevent it
I’ll try, I’ll try, but I’ll never stop it, no

Muzzle me, muzzle muzzle me
Bind my will and break of me
You try, you try, you try to prevent it
You’ll try, you’ll try, but you’ll never stop it, no

The Butcher – Final Fantasy

8. veramente - December 22, 2008

Happy Winter Solstice everyone!
The light wins the dark.

9. elena - December 22, 2008
10. elena - December 22, 2008

I think you’ll enjoy this one Bruce, happy Christmas! And to you all!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Y453KxeKcgA&feature=related

11. elena - December 22, 2008

And for you Laura!
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mzNEgcqWDG4

And for you Steve L. with much gratitude for holding us together in silence! It would be very nice to hear you too.

And this one is for you Dragon, so that we keep dancing!
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MxdCWdaUv18&feature=related

This one Daily Cardiac, is for you and your teacher. Please tell him to learn some style, just be present and think of me while you give him this gift.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xdCrZfTkG1c&feature=related

And this one is for all of us!

As you can see, I just discovered youtube for the second time! I hadn’t seen most of these people ever and I’m de rumba this sunday evening!

12. elena - December 22, 2008

Daily Cardiac would you please give this one to Girard? And to each member? Remind them that they haven’t shown their teeth with that much joy since they joined!

And this one is for you and the Fellowship Daily Cardiac

13. Yesri Baba - December 22, 2008

Dragon 300 59

That must be where conscious Bob learned his magic tricks!

14. Yesri Baba - December 22, 2008

Lauralupa 5

But other than that?

15. dragon - December 22, 2008

Yeaaaaah Yesri!

16. elena - December 22, 2008

And this one is for all of us!

17. Crouching Tiger - December 22, 2008

For those of you still interested (like me) in disentangling the truth of the 4th Way from its fellowship deviations, there is an interesting book by Dorothy Philpotts called ‘Discovering Gurdjieff’….

I think RB, who based his original ‘method’ on Ouspensky’s writings – lacking any first-hand experience of Gurdjieff or his students – has missed out on something rather large and important which G. himself saw as essential to the teaching. You can actually still ‘feel’ it in his teaching today! As one reviewer of Philpotts’ book puts it,

“In the latter part of the book, when Bennett has seen Gurdjieff and returned to England, Bennett explains to the author, and her fellow searchers, that Gurdjieff is not teaching the methods of self remembering and observation which Ouspensky taught, but something else, which enables a student to maintain the action of self remembering much longer. By leaving Gurdjieff, Ouspensky had sacrificed his possibility of understanding something completely different from what he had reached, prior to leaving.

The overwhelming compassion, sympathy and concern for others radiating from Gurdjieff which she conveys is also a strong feature of the book, and I recommend it to anyone interested in these subjects. Like one or two other books which have been published over the last few years it gives impressions of Gurdjieff which his critics, all of whom never worked with him or even met him, knew nothing about.”

Happy Christmas to all, including DC!

18. elena - December 22, 2008

Daily Cardiac,

If your teacher were conscious don’t you think he’d at least trust himself enough to not bribe the boys with the member’s money?

What is dignity for you?

19. ton - December 22, 2008

so many cults… so little time…. dragon, here’s one for you….
all hail ‘sweetie’ —

20. No Quiet Zone - December 22, 2008

1. Jomo Piñata – December 21, 2008
“Pathway to Presence” “Practicing Presence–A Fourth Way Approach” — AVOID THIS GROUP — Don’t get snookered. A pseudo-religious confidence game and pyramid scheme run by a malignant narcissist. You will be exploited for large amounts of money, thousands of hours of free labor, and sexual favors before being ostracized after you refuse further exploitation!

——

What a great way to begin the page… very concise summary.

This would be a good one to pull out of your pocket in case anyone ever asks you in an elevator, “You know, I’m thinking about joining the Fellowship of Friends. What do you think?”

21. Jomo Piñata - December 22, 2008

And give it a few days. Betcha it comes up in a google search next to the ad in question.

22. brucelevy - December 22, 2008

10. elena

One of my favorites. Thanks.
This is how he sounded when I used to hear him live in NY in the 60’s with Booker T and the MG’s. He got funkier as he got older.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3UlQVhMAbwg

23. brucelevy - December 22, 2008
24. fofblogmoderator - December 22, 2008

11 & 12 are newly moderated

Thank you Elena. And I do contribute from time to time. I just do it under a different name

25. elena - December 22, 2008

Ton!!!!

Aline

Still having fun!

26. Daily Cardiac - December 22, 2008

Elena – 59-291:

“Have you now been instructed to play your last show card? The card of presence and love? Will you soon start calling us “My Darlings” like your teacher? And pretend you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

People are so easily deluded that some here might still buy that crap after three decades of believing in it. It’s a good thing that your hair is too long to hide the wolf inside other wise some would start patting you like a sheep dog.”

When I speak from a detached viewpoint Veramente accuses me of being “cold.”

When I shared a lighter moment with Tatyana (59 – 288) you accuse me of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. (we’ll ignore Nigel’s botched interpretation of 289.)

Being a current student/supporter I guess I won’t ever escape the double standard of the blog.

Perhaps Tatyana will sense I came from a good place.

27. elena - December 22, 2008

Daily Cardiac,

The only good place you people can come from is that most of you are so totally deluded that you no longer remember how deluded you got. Unwinding yourself from that mess is going to take a long time and you seem to be moving terribly slowly and winding yourself even deeper most of the time. I feel sorry for you but I feel more sorry for your victims who have not yet fallen into your trap so I will do my best to protect them.

No pretenses, there is no room for that, your kindness is another of your deception tricks so even that is not taken kindly. I am sorry that you’ve chosen that. When you begin to address the real issues with more common sense, you’ll see a difference.

28. lauralupa - December 22, 2008

DC
my best wishes for you to have some Aha moments of your own this coming year

really, I would love to catch a glimpse of the man behind the patina

“Perhaps Tatyana will sense I came from a good place.”

how would you define “good place”?

29. elena - December 22, 2008

Daily Cardiac,

Your kindness in relation to Tatyana had a touch of cynicism, that is why it was not taken as kindness.

DC: “Being a current student/supporter I guess I won’t ever escape the double standard of the blog.”

Being a current supporter, a pimp, sadly, I hope you escape your own double standards one day. Then your sincerity will shine through without effort.

30. lauralupa - December 22, 2008

Please enjoy this lovely footage of the Fellowship of Friends Boys Choir (aka the Bobettes) performing a Special Christmas Carol in honor of their Beloved Teacher aka Goddess-in-a-man’s-body

Goodness, I can feel the Festive spirit bubbling up inside my heart

http://stereogum.com/decomposed/performance/rivers_cuomo_dont_worry_baby.php

31. nigel harris price - December 22, 2008

25 Daily Cardiac

O.K. – so I left an ‘e’ out – maybe yours really is a school of LLUUUUURRV. But it does sound like a GH obscurity!?…..Nigel.

32. fofblogmoderator - December 23, 2008

25 is newly moderated

33. nigel harris price - December 23, 2008

Sorry, now 26 Daily Cardiac (newly moderated!)…..Nigel.

34. Daily Cardiac - December 23, 2008

Lauralupa – 28:

“how would you define “good place”?”

Sincere.

35. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

I recently watched the film Gandhi that I had not seen since its first theatre appearance in 1982. Here is a trailer:

Gandhi – His Triumph changed the World Forever 4:57:
http://uk.youtube.com/v/mVwCeGxTN-A

This Lord Richard Attenborough produced and co-directed movie with Ben Kingsley (born: Krishna Bhanji), Sir John Gielgud, Candice Bergen, Martin Sheen, Rohini Hattangady, Ian Charleson, Jane Myerson (to name a few), and a cast of hundreds of thousands, is worth seeing once and over again. I saw it in San Francisco with one of the early-to-die (from cancer) Fellowship members, in their waning days. We were both emotionally moved then; and I am again, now.

Here are some Mohandas Gandhi quotes:

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

We must become the change we want to see in the world.

Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

What you cannot do, is accept injustice from Hitler or anyone. Make the injustice visible.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall – think of it, always.

I want to document, boldly, rationally, what is being done here.

To gain independence we must prove worthy of it.

In true democracy every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself.

Those who know how to think need no teachers

Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep.

There is no reason to believe that there is one law for families and another for nations.

The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

Poverty is the worst form of violence.

There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. – the voice of conscience, even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more a separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all which you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being.

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.

Each one prays to God according to his own light.

Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.

Retaliation is counter-poison and poison breeds more poison. The nectar of Love alone can destroy the poison of hate.

Gandhi to Candice Bergen played character, Margaret Bourke-White, reporter/photojournalist:
‘You are a temptress.’

Candice Bergen character:
‘Just an admirer.’

Gandhi:
‘Nothing is more dangerous.’

Enjoy your winter solstice and festive season.

36. Daily Cardiac - December 23, 2008

Elena:

Your exchanges with Jomo about people’s rights and the government’s role in enforcing/protecting them has shed some light on your feelings in this area. My feelings are that you are not thinking things through all the way, and if you did see more of the bigger picture you might temper some of your more extreme attitudes about the FoF.

I understand I am the last person you want to hear these things from, but for my part I’ll just go on record and give my viewpoint to anyone who happens to be reading with an open mind; if that includes you all the better.

Also, I don’t harbor any ill will to you or anyone else on the blog. I just happen to believe that some of your more extreme positions about the FoF aren’t productive to anyone, least of all you.

I’m also not trying to dissuade you from your desire to picket, write, organize petitions, do whatever you want to do in protest against the FoF. It’s just that some of your proposed solutions/methods would actually be infringing on the rights of the FoF, which, if carried out, would put you in the same catagory as the category you have placed the FoF in, as an abuser of other’s rights.

When I read your complaints to Jomo I get the impression that you would seek to take away the FoF’s right to due process. On some level it would be fine with you if you could get some agency to shut down the FoF on the basis of yours or others unproven testimony alone. I also see that some of the things you feel are infringements on your rights, on closer inspection, don’t have anything to do with infringements, but are merely disagreements on how you felt things should have been done or handled in the FoF.

In a free country like the U S everyone has the right to freedom of speech. That means people can disagree with your point of view, or my point of view. This will naturally lead to disputes between parties but disagreements alone do not suggest that an infringement of someone’s rights has occurred.

The FoF is a private religious/spiritual organization recognized in the state of California. It has the right to set its own policy about what it teaches or how it teaches. Individual members do not have the right to force the FoF to alter any of its practices, as long as they are not breaking any state or federal laws. Individual members can make suggestions to the leadership and in the FoF’s case many do make suggestions and a good number of suggestions are incorporated into the fabric of the teachings. Ironically, schools are about change, so it’s only natural for the FoF to change the focus of its teachings from time to time.

Government laws are created for one reason – to implement order and to expel chaos, which is the opposite of order. A by product of order is the protection of people’s rights.

As I see it the FoF has every right to change the focus of its teachings from G & O to Sufism, or the Tarot, or Egyptian studies, or anything it believes conveys its spiritual aims. And this is in no way an infringement of members rights, no more than a university dropping a course or program from its curricula is an infringement to incoming or current students.

Members have the right to resign if not content with any of the changes. And you have fully exercised your rights when you left the FoF.

If you attempted to sue the FoF you could not sue it for most of the issues you stated to Jomo to be infringements to your rights. For instance; you cannot sue the FoF, or any other organization, for being a cult.

That’s because the designation of “cult” is not recognized by the US government. It is not against the law to be a cult because cults essentially do not exist in the eyes of the government. One reason governments don’t classify organizations as cults is there is no way to definitively “measure” a cult. The only individuals who call organizations cults are those who have never belonged to them or who no longer belong to them. Members of organizations considered cults by non members rarely call themselves cults. So, right off the bat there is a big problem of classifying.

You can however sue a person within an organization you consider a cult if you think that person broke a binding contract with you or broke a state or federal law that impacted you in some way. But you cannot sue any organization for being a “cult” in the US.

In the same sense you also cannot bring a claim against any organization for engaging in “thought control.” It also is not recognized as a category. Someone can be cited for jaywalking in the US but not for engaging in “thought control.”

The FoF has the same right to be who it is as you have to be who you are. And you don’t have to agree with each other in principle about anything.

Much of what you and other ex members speak about do not enter the realm of having your rights infringed upon. That’s why when you talk about victims, it is a totally subjective and speculative term. If an adult person is willingly involved with an organization or engages in activities that you feel are abuses that does not mean they are victims. It may only mean they have a different relationship to the activities than you do; that the activities are not offensive to them as they are to you.

You mention victims a lot in your posts; fighting for the rights of victims in the FoF. One common sense criteria for being a victim is to know it, to be aware of it. If an adult does not know they are a victim there is a good chance they are not a victim, but someone acting out of free will and receiving something they want in return.

There are real victims in the world who for some reason stay with the abuser; battered wives/mates is one such category.

I think it will be telling how you proceed with your cause against the FoF. So far I see mostly anger and loathing in your words. Personally I don’t think that will get you far in rectifying what you feel are injustices. You will need to filter your cause with compassion and forgivness to get any where close to your goals, whatever they are.

Gandhi was quoted above. “We must become the change we want to see in the world.”

I don’t see how you or anyone else could receive any better advise than that.

People like Gandhi want injustices to end as much as anyone, but they are not willing to take away the rights of the oppressors in order to do it. They work within the bounds of the law in order to change the law.

Their disobedience is civil, not in kind with their oppressors, of a violent nature. They bring about change without resorting to violent means. They themselves willingly become victims rather than oppressors of their enemies in order to bring about their change. And violence can mean being verbally violent or abusive as well. You will be taken more seriously if you can eradicate all forms violence, including verbal/written violence, from your cause.

If the government does not recognize the abuses you insist are prevalent in the FoF, i.e. “brainwashing” or “thought control” , where will you go with that argument? Will you be able to see these are cloudy areas that you are not capable of presiding over? Do you think enough about changing them to work within the law to do so?

Gandhi was fighting for people’s basic rights to be free of poverty, physical crimes/abuse, mainly government abuses of the people. He did not dabble is people’s rights to practice religion or spirituality in the way they saw fit. Most of the world’s visionaries, like MLK, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela did likewise. They did not dabble in people’s spiritual needs or rights. They let people find god in whatever way they choose to.

“Each one prays to God according to his own light.”

37. harryhindsight - December 23, 2008

Daily Bardlylack

“Being a current student/supporter I guess I won’t ever escape the double standard of the blog.

That’s right D.C. you’re never going to escape, you’re a lifetime inmate at Neverland. You’ll never awaken and you’ll never have the courage to leave.
Now repeat after me, “I’m never going to escape” then take four deep hopeless breaths and tell yourself……

38. nigel harris price - December 23, 2008

36 Daily Cardiac

As witnessed by the several settlements out of court, it is obvious REB does not want to be brought to trial. His false personality would crumble…..Nigel.

39. Draco - December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas Everyone.

Daily Cardiac,

OK, I’ll assume that you were sincere in your offer to Tatyana, but I’d like to explain why it’s a little weird.

You wrote,
‘“I’ll go to a few of the coming events; is there anyone you want me to say hello to?”
and Tatyana replied,
“This is funny. How are you going to do that? “Good evening, dear X, Tatyana from the blog wanted to send hello and her love to you.” Let me think about it. Maybe I can also give you a card?'”
DC again, “I’ll just give them a hug or a smile, be present and think of you at the same time.”

Now, Tatyana still lives in the general area. If she wants to say hello to anyone, she can do it in person. Phone them, hug them, invite them for dinner, The only reason that this wouldn’t work out is because current members are told to shun former members.

So you see why your offer to say hello to someone for her could be taken as a jibe?

40. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

CHARACTER:

Your character must be above suspicion, and you must be truthful and self-controlled.

The truest test of civilization, culture, and dignity is character, not clothing.

Men of stainless character will easily inspire confidence and automatically purify the atmosphere around them.

All your scholarship would be in vain if at the same time you do not build your character and attain mastery over your thoughts and your actions.

41. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE:

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless or, which is the same thing, corrupt.

Disobedience to be civil has to be open and nonviolent.

Disobedience to be civil implies discipline, thought, care, attention.

Disobedience that is wholly civil should never provoke retaliation.

Non-cooperation and civil disobedience are different but [are] branches of the same tree call Satyagraha (truth-force).

42. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

COERCION:

One who uses coercion is guilty of deliberate violence. Coercion is inhuman.

COOPERATION:

Nonviolent action without the cooperation of the heart and the head cannot produce the intended result.

43. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

DEMOCRACY:

Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side.

The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.

My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.

DISCIPLINE:

Conscience is the ripe fruit of strictest discipline.

44. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

FAITH:

Nonviolence succeeds only when we have a real living faith in God.

My effort should never be to undermine another’s faith but to make him a better follower of his own faith.

My faith is brightest in the midst of impenetrable darkness.

FEAR:

A fear-stricken person can never know God, and one who knows God will never fear a mortal man.

Where there is fear, there is not religion.

It is weakness which breeds fear, and fear breeds distrust.

There would be no one to frighten you if you refuse to be afraid.

The golden rule is to act fearlessly upon what one believes to be right.

Fearlessness presupposes calmness and peace of mind.

FORCE:

Love is the subtlest force in the world.

The force of nonviolence is infinitely more wonderful and subtle than the material force of nature, like electricity.

The truth is that God is the force. He is the essence of life. He is pure and undefiled consciousness. He is eternal.

The more efficient a force is the more silent and the more subtle it is.

FREEDOM:

No charter of freedom will be worth looking at which does not ensure the same measure of freedom for the minorities as for the majority.

No society can possibly be built on a denial of individual freedom.

True nonviolence should mean a complete freedom from ill-will and anger and hate and an overflowing love for all.

This freedom from all attachment is the realization of God as Truth.

Independence means voluntary restraints and discipline, voluntary acceptance of the rule of law.

Independence of my conception means nothing less than the realization of the ‘Kingdom of God’ within you and on this earth.

Complete independence does not mean arrogant isolation or a superior disdain for all help.

45. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

JUSTICE:

Justice will come when it is deserved by our being and feeling strong.

Justice does not help those who slumber but helps only those who are vigilant.

Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds.

NONCOOPERATION:

Noncooperation is intended to pave the way to real, honorable and voluntary cooperation based on mutual respect and trust.

My Non-cooperation is with methods and systems, never with men.

Nonviolence is the rock on which the whole structure of Non-cooperation is built.

46. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 23, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

SATYAGRAHA/SATYAGRAHI:

Satyagraha is a process of educating public opinion, such that it covers all the elements of the society and makes itself irresistible.

Satyagraha is a relentless search for truth and a determination to search truth.

Satyagraha is an attribute of the spirit within.

Satyagraha has been designed as an effective substitute for violence.

The fight of Satyagraha is for the strong in spirit, not the doubter or the timid. Satyagraha teaches us the art of living as well as dying.

Satyagraha, of which civil-resistance is but a part, is to me the universal law of life.

Satyagraha is a law of universal application. Beginning with the family, its use can be extended to every other circle.

Satyagraha can rid society of all evils, political, economic, and moral.

Satyagraha and civil disobedience and fasts have nothing in common with the use of force, veiled or open.

A genuine Satyagraha should never excite contempt in the opponent even when it fails to command regard or respect.

Satyagraha thrives on repression till at last the repressor is tired and the object of Satyagraha is gained.

Satyagraha does not depend on the outside [for] help; it derives all its strength from within.

The method of Satyagraha requires that the Satyagrahi should never lose hope, so long as there is the slightest ground left for it.

In the dictionary of Satyagraha, there is no enemy.

Since Satyagraha is a method of conversion and conviction, it seeks never to use the slightest coercion.

For a Satyagraha brigade, only those are eligible who believe in ahimsa – nonviolence and satya – truth.

Satyagraha is a force that has come to stay. No force in the world can kill it.

A clear victory of Satyagraha is impossible so long as there is ill-will.

Whatever may be true of other modes of warfare, in Satyagraha it has been held that the causes for failure are to be sought within.

A Satyagrahi turns the searchlight inward relentlessly to weed out all the defects that may be lying hidden there still.

A Satyagrahi has infinite patience, abundant faith in others, and ample hope.

A Satyagrahi has no other stay but God, and he who has any other stay or depends on any other help cannot offer Satyagraha.

A Satyagrahi loves his so called enemy even as he loves his friend. He owns no enemy.

A Satyagrahi exhausts all other means before he resorts to Satyagraha.

In the code of the Satyagrahi, there is no such thing as surrender to brute force.

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48. elena - December 23, 2008

Daily Cardiac, This was written last night before your last post.

Sincere?

Even if you were my husband all I could say is that you are almost sincerely deluded but it is that almost what makes you people so dangerous because at some point you allowed evil to enter and never turned your back on it again. That is, you were weak before Robert and you were unable to overcome your weakness after that allowing him to overpower your most sincere beliefs.

Instead you’re willing to turn your back on the truth, common sense, facts, dignity, beauty, harmony, well-being, pride, honour and love, every time it comes close to you.

I’ll grant you that my husband would not have spoken as much as you have without having to replace his destroyed computer too often. I very much doubt you are just one enabler, I think you change places so that you can bare the friction but if you don’t, just hang on there love, we’ll get you out of that sick trap before you know it. And if you’re a few, we’ll get three of you out! You’re already softer like Glob and Vinnie! Bravo for your softness! You’re much better off than if you had never fought!

I do wish you were Girard, even if he’s marrying somebody else. Deep, deep down, he knows very well what I’m saying and cannot deny that I loved him. Nor could I. He just loved pimping much more! Since you’ll also probably go back to pimping tomorrow, both our softnesses will disappear for a while!

Daily Cardiac,

Your post on laws might sound very reasonable to you but it is nothing but warm pads over a mortal wound. You can cover it with whatever cotton you like, get a gold alchemy silk cotton from India and the Fellowship of Friends Cult will still perish from those wounds.

You Teacher, Robert Burton, expresses himself cynically about Ghandi or Mother Teresa or any great leader of the world because as you well know, he claims to be the only conscious being on Planet Earth after the Forty Four that he tried to corrupt. Why do you, so hypocritically use them to defend your Cult?

I agree with you; it is not civil laws what moves people; it is the truth. In two years we have decimated by half the members of the Fellowship. We will see what we’ve accomplished in five.

Your underlying threats that the Fellowship cult can legally act against me only gives me more “brio” and brings out my blood like a pure blooded of any kind. I dare you put us on a Court again, I dare you sick pimps, because every move you take against me will turn doubly against your selves. You see, I have nothing to lose, I’ve already got my self and you can’t take that away from me even with death!

49. tatyana - December 23, 2008

39. Draco

Thank you, Draco for formulating this. I was a little confused. I don’t know DC, yet he is talking to me as if he is my friend in a mask.
The sentence that he will think of me while being present to my friend sounds intimate. I am not sure I am ready for any intimacy with a mask. And also this forbidden zone, makes one feel that either I or my friends are somewhere in prison where no visitation is possible. I am still here. My friends whom I do miss very much can call me or stop by for dinner – nothing have changed from my part.

50. another name - December 23, 2008

Happy days for all of you and thanks for sharing.

This year we have gone trough a lot and I was surprised and happy to see that we had so much funny entrees in the last week.

I have seen a big change and maybe the loss is taking place for a gain?

There is an incredible connection between us.
I was the happy participant of a meeting with 6 people / students/ex students where the real WORK came from the heart in a sharing of all that was deep and dear to us……

Susan I realized this is one aspect that I still have and with a depth that is unusual, resulting from after being in the fellowship.

Thanks all of you and happy dear, deep holidays and what is,
is
and
is part of you.

51. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - December 23, 2008

For anyone interested, here is the healing method of Ho’oponopono

The Process of Ho’oponopono:

1. Bring to mind anyone with whom you do not feel total alignment or support, etc.
2. In your mind’s eye, construct a small stage below you
3. Imagine an infinite source of love and healing flowing from a source above the top of your head (from your Higher Self), and open up the top of your head, and let the source of love and healing flow down inside your body, fill up the body, and overflow out your heart to heal up the person on the stage. Be sure it is all right for you to heal the person and that they accept the healing.
4. When the healing is complete, have a discussion with the person and forgive them, and have them forgive you.
5. Next, let go of the person, and see them floating away. As they do, cut the aka cord that connects the two of you (if appropriate). If you are healing in a current primary relationship, then assimilate the person inside you.
6. Do this with every person in your life with whom you are incomplete, or not aligned.
The final test is, can you see the person or think of them without feeling any negative emotions. If you do feel negative emotions when you do, then do the process again.

52. No Quiet Zone - December 23, 2008

51, wakeup, thanks for yet another beautiful post. you are big not little.

i spent an hour in a sauna some years ago, and during that time I did something similar to the above. The two of us are now very close friends.

53. No Quiet Zone - December 23, 2008

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” ~ Mother Teresa

54. Yesri Baba - December 23, 2008

Gee, I don’t know if it is the spirit of the season-
The lofty quotes from Ghandi-
or the H’opomopmonopmo excercise
but I feel a definite change, sooo….

To the motley band of lying propagandists aka DC-
May your holidays suck cock you lying sacks of shit and may the new year bring the harvest upon you of the lies you are sowing.

55. dragon - December 23, 2008

19. Thank you Ton,

for the link with Alan Moore, he is absolutely extraordinary.

Couldn’t his snake deity Glycon refresh the FOF?

44 cherubs and the little snake giving understanding to REB and friends.

56. dragon - December 23, 2008

ELENA,

great music!!!!

bisou

57. No Quiet Zone - December 23, 2008

LOL. the “Motley Band of Lying Propagandists” are playing at the fof New Year’s Eve bash.

58. Renald - December 23, 2008

Here is an excerpt from a Chief Joseph Holiday Season message about Peace on Earth:

Don’t you think Christmas truces are a rather strange, and contradictory, idea? Where’s the sense there?

We are not against declaring peace among your fellow humans. And, strangely enough, we are not against declaring war. War is, to many of you, a game. A rather silly game, it seems to us, since almost all of you say you want peace. But you want it on your terms.

You cannot create peace on earth by “fighting for” peace. You cannot create peace on earth by “fighting against” war. You cannot create anything you want — peace on earth, or anything else — when you are coming from a place of resistance. And when you are fighting — for or against — you are resisting the natural flow of well-being that is yours, individually and en masse.

Peace on earth begins with you, each of you individually. You cannot march out there to protest or fight when you are in a place of peace within yourselves. They are opposite vibrations.

When you have found peace in the only place you will ever find it — within your own hearts — then, and only then, will you be in a place of power. A place from which you are empowered to begin creating peace on earth.

One person, centered in her/his own still, quiet place within, is a million times more powerful than all the armies who ever marched across the centuries.

That is how powerful each of you is.

And so if you want to create peace on earth, know you absolutely must create it within yourselves first.

When you reach the point in your growth, as a human race, where your government leaders are truly peaceful — peaceful warriors, you might say — only then will you stand a chance of realizing this seemingly elusive goal of peace among all people on the planet.

Of course, when you reach that point, you won’t need government leaders. You won’t even need governments. And you won’t need boundaries and borders to separate yourselves from each other.

Then you will find true peace on earth.

An impossible dream? You may see it that way. We don’t.

Centuries upon centuries of war across your planet have not brought you peace. There must be a better way. And there is — YOU are the way.

Cheers to All !

59. Walter J. Tanner - December 23, 2008

The FOFion:

Nice story about Robert dodging hurled shoes, but for added realism you should have had Robert make a stupid pun on sole / sole:

“Soles are attracted to me,” said Burton, brushing off the incident.
Etcetera.

Or he would say that the whole thing was from C-Influence to create a higher state in those assembled.

Daily Cardiac:

“It’s entirely possible for someone to read a teacher’s book and know him better than a disciple who spent years at his side.”

This is absolutely right, and borne out by a passing familiarity with the history of religions. I’ve written about this myself (unpublished). A very interesting parallel is with the Dzog-Chen tradition within Tibetan Buddhism: current Dzog-Chen practitioners also have only a loose claim to the Mahayana lineage, but in the end they say that the teachings produce a state which is evidence enough of their authenticity. That’s definitely the case for a teaching, like the Fourth Way, that also intends to create states in its practitioners (interestingly, another former member suspects that it was a Dzog-Chen school that Gurdjieff made contact with – you can find all this on the Greater Fellowship discussion boards).

I like to make the following distinction: “orthodox” Gurdjieffian groups can trace their organization to an individual who was a student of G’s at the time of his death. These organizations (The Foundations, William Patrick Patterson’s groups) use the Movements and (generally) look down upon the second, “heterodox” group, that is those groups who accept the work of Ouspensky and his students as an accurate crystallization of the Gurdjieff Work in its pre-revolutionary Russian period. Note I said the “work” of Ouspensky, not Ouspensky himself. Robert claimed that all you need to know to awaken is in “The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution,” and that puts the Fellowship of Friends in the heterodox camp (Patterson calls the FOF the “Bookmark People”).

walter.tanner@gmail.com

60. lauralupa - December 23, 2008

cheers to all !

yes, humor helps. I kinda like to think of this crazy and yet promising End of the Roman Empire scenario is helping me in discovering evermore how strange and indeed difficult it is to be truly human, and what complex and deeply flawed and beautifully challenged beings we are (to become evermore human by opening up the eyes and heart to the neverending spectacle of one’s very human fears and desires, struggles and flaws and come to see the pointlessness of this constant internal war-with-the-machine and rather decide to go Against the Machine by simply choosing to FEEL and let go of their mind-constructed masks – are we ready for that – on some level don’t we all crave that – to just be?)

Even pain is good, it’s alive
A moment of presence
very simple and pure

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=CP3nZok0U0c

61. Opus 111 - December 23, 2008

#59

Dc’s statement:

“It’s entirely possible for someone to read a teacher’s book and know him better than a disciple who spent years at his side.”

and your answer:

This is absolutely right, and borne out by a passing familiarity with the history of religions.

I have no personal investment in the argument and I know we deal here with the “spiritual realm”, but I cringe at the “entirely possible” and “absolutely right” pronouncements. For someone who has academic training in the study of religions, I wish you were a bit more circumspect in your analysis. What is the gold standard you are using for your “measurements” that lead you to conclude what was said is “absolutely right”.

Do not tell me, please, that it is personal experience. DC was making his statement in reference to REB know-it-all status in FOF. Your reply could be interpreted as your seconding that view, despite your accounts of close encounters with REB, which often tell a different story.

62. lauralupa - December 23, 2008

60
sorry for the convoluted and grammatically flawed writing, I didn’t reread! guess I am getting too cocky…

63. elena - December 23, 2008

36. Daily Cardiac – December 23, 2008
Elena:
DC:When I read your complaints to Jomo I get the impression that you would seek to take away the FoF’s right to due process. On some level it would be fine with you if you could get some agency to shut down the FoF on the basis of yours or others unproven testimony alone.”

_______I imagine the USA agencies are professional enough to close down the Fellowship if they prove its corruption and illegality. The way the Fellowship deals with money alone, should be enough close it down, how much did you spend on pimping? without counting all the other corruptions to human integrity.
DC:I also see that some of the things you feel are infringements on your rights, on closer inspection, don’t have anything to do with infringements, but are merely disagreements on how you felt things should have been done or handled in the FoF.
________I paid the Fellowship of Friends Cult for seventeen years, convinced that it was a conscious School, with a Conscious teacher at its head who would lead us to a more dignified, conscious life. Instead it induced me to separate myself from my family, my children, friends and humanity at large. I will never forgive the Fellowship, I will never forgive the things we did to each other and many of you are responsible directly for supporting it. I have no hatred for any of you personally but for the things you’ve done and continue to do. I hope you get shut down before you destroy other people’s opportunities to a decent life. Every act of our life weighs heavily on its whole. You not only do not help people live more consciously, the little consciousness and decency we had was smothered in the dirt of having to bare the fact of our complicity with Robert’s abuses against each one of us and others. I will tell you one thing: for seventeen years, instead of strengthening the few beautiful things that life had given me, I invested everything I had on supporting the Fellowship and did not look after the people that had cared for me before. I am ashamed of my connections with the Fellowship and what it induced me to do. Ashamed of my ignorance and lack of understanding. Rebuilding my life after leaving, that is, healing the connections with people who I had abandoned, will be the work of the rest of my life and there is no promise of success. They feel betrayed and they were betrayed. I trusted Robert and his direction. I let go of the ties that he said did not help my evolution and he hurt us badly. I forgive him for every tie that I hurt influenced by him with the exception of that of my daughter. As I’ve said many times before, I will do my best to stop you from hurting other women and children like you hurt us. Boys, like you hurt them and people in general which you abuse without control.

DC: In a free country like the U S everyone has the right to freedom of speech. That means people can disagree with your point of view, or my point of view. This will naturally lead to disputes between parties but disagreements alone do not suggest that an infringement of someone’s rights has occurred.
________In the U S there is freedom of speech. The Fourth Way is the Way of Life, what makes you think that the Fellowship Cult had a right to separate us from life and forbid us to express our selves freely? On what right did Mr. Burton order me to not speak for two years at meetings? Why did I spend seventeen years in your cult without being able to hear my self because Robert thought that I did not have the being, the credit, the money or why don’t you tell me, what was his excuse to not allow me to be myself in the community I supported with entirely?
DC: The FoF is a private religious/spiritual organization recognized in the state of California. It has the right to set its own policy about what it teaches or how it teaches. Individual members do not have the right to force the FoF to alter any of its practices, as long as they are not breaking any state or federal laws. Individual members can make suggestions to the leadership and in the FoF’s case many do make suggestions and a good number of suggestions are incorporated into the fabric of the teachings. Ironically, schools are about change, so it’s only natural for the FoF to change the focus of its teachings from time to time.

_______Any reasonable human being in any court will recognize that I was not in the Fellowship of Friends as if I had joined a University. I was in the Fellowship of Friends as a member of a Conscious Community, working full time for its aims. I opened a center after three years of joining and worked with students for a form of life in a community, not a University. I did not go to lessons because Robert did not even teach lessons, he invited us to participate in a style of life proper of conscious beings deceiving us about his own agenda. Robert Burton asked members to put their lives at the service of the Fellowship and I DID. I DID EVERYTHING HE ASKED OF US AND IT HARMED US ENORMOUSLY AND I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU. Don’t you dare change the terms and conditions in your posts, you sick pimp, have enough dignity to stand up for what you want to belong to without changing its face with yet another mask.
DC: Government laws are created for one reason – to implement order and to expel chaos, which is the opposite of order. A by product of order is the protection of people’s rights.
_________That’s what you think, that’s all you tried to get away with in the Fellowship: keep people in order so that you could systematically rip them off without hearing them complain and throwing them out when they did. Your time is over, start counting your minutes.

DC: As I see it the FoF has every right to change the focus of its teachings from G & O to Sufism, or the Tarot, or Egyptian studies, or anything it believes conveys its spiritual aims. And this is in no way an infringement of members rights, no more than a university dropping a course or program from its curricula is an infringement to incoming or current students.
______Oh yes, if the Fellowship presents itself, as it did then, as a Fourth Way School it has to live up to that: if you say you are a University of Art you can’t practice rape or make it into a concentration camp where members are psychologically disabled and harmed drastically. If so many members were not so drastically harmed, do you think so many would be running away and trying to hide from the noise we make on the blog totally disempowered to respond with dignity to what happened to them so that it doesn’t continue to happen to the next generation that is already in place in the Fellowship?
DC: Members have the right to resign if not content with any of the changes. And you have fully exercised your rights when you left the FoF. If you attempted to sue the FoF you could not sue it for most of the issues you stated to Jomo to be infringements to your rights. For instance; you cannot sue the FoF, or any other organization, for being a cult.

________I can sue the Fellowship of Friends because it hurt us. It hurt our possibilities using our dreams. It hurt our integrity and our connections. It took advantage of our love and trust and destroyed the possibilities of seventeen years of beauty and caring and sharing and love and instead prompted us to live with shame and fear and neglect of each other and our children.

DC: You can however sue a person within an organization you consider a cult if you think that person broke a binding contract with you or broke a state or federal law that impacted you in some way. But you cannot sue any organization for being a “cult” in the US.
_________The Fellowship of Friends Cult is responsible. Robert Burton is responsible.
DC:In the same sense you also cannot bring a claim against any organization for engaging in “thought control.” It also is not recognized as a category. Someone can be cited for jaywalking in the US but not for engaging in “thought control.”
________We will spread out the knowledge of “Thought control” and its horrors and you will not survive the pressure of the people against you.
DC:The FoF has the same right to be who it is as you have to be who you are. And you don’t have to agree with each other in principle about anything.

______NO, NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO HURT OTHERS, YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO EXIST.
DC: Much of what you and other ex members speak about do not enter the realm of having your rights infringed upon. That’s why when you talk about victims, it is a totally subjective and speculative term. If an adult person is willingly involved with an organization or engages in activities that you feel are abuses that does not mean they are victims. It may only mean they have a different relationship to the activities than you do; that the activities are not offensive to them as they are to you.

__NO, WE WERE VICTIMS AND SOME OF US SUFFERED MORE THAN OTHERS AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE

DC: There are real victims in the world who for some reason stay with the abuser; battered wives/mates is one such category.

_________WE ARE REAL VICTIMS AND THE MECHANISM FOR YOUR ABUSES WAS THE SAME AS THE BATTERED WIFE OR THE ABUSED CHILD. WE WERE ADULTS WHO TRUSTED ROBERT WHO YOU STATED WAS A CONSCIOUS BEING, AN ENLIGHTENED BEING, THE ONLY CONSCIOUS BEING ON PLANET EARTH. TELL ME, HOW CAN AN ENLIGHTENED BEING HURT SO MANY PEOPLE SO MUCH? HOW MANY OTHER ENLIGHTENED BEINGS DO YOU KNOW THAT DID SO MUCH DAMAGE?

DC: I think it will be telling how you proceed with your cause against the FoF. So far I see mostly anger and loathing in your words.
________It’s been long since you lost the ability to see love. Your inability to see me does not surprise or offend me.
DC: Personally I don’t think that will get you far in rectifying what you feel are injustices. You will need to filter your cause with compassion and forgivness to get any where close to your goals, whatever they are.

I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU BUT PRAY THAT MY COMPASSION IS ENOUGH TO STOP YOU FROM HURTING OTHERS AND THAT I DON’T JUST STOP TRYING TO STOP YOU TOO BUSY TRYING TO MAKE A DECENT LIFE OF WHAT IS LEFT OF IT.

Gandhi was quoted above. “We must become the change we want to see in the world.”

_________Yes, I am the change I want to see in the world: stopping abusers like you is what I want. Enabling myself and others to realize that we don’t have to put up with those like you any more, ever, in no sphere of life. You are lucky that I am not violent against others and that when I cannot bare the pain, it turns against me, not others. It is good that I have been working with it for over twenty years, and survived it.

DC:I don’t see how you or anyone else could receive any better advise than that.
People like Gandhi want injustices to end as much as anyone, but they are not willing to take away the rights of the oppressors in order to do it. They work within the bounds of the law in order to change the law.
Their disobedience is civil, not in kind with their oppressors, of a violent nature. They bring about change without resorting to violent means. They themselves willingly become victims rather than oppressors of their enemies in order to bring about their change. And violence can mean being verbally violent or abusive as well. You will be taken more seriously if you can eradicate all forms violence, including verbal/written violence, from your cause.

________I have stopped people here from calling for revenge against the Fellowship. I have never done anything physically violent against you. Telling you that you are a pimp is the truth. Pimping is violent and I am not. It is your violence what is coming back to you.

DC: If the government does not recognize the abuses you insist are prevalent in the FoF, i.e. “brainwashing” or “thought control” , where will you go with that argument? Will you be able to see these are cloudy areas that you are not capable of presiding over? Do you think enough about changing them to work within the law to do so?
____The judges and the jury are not members of the Fellowship cult and they will recognize you before they even enter the court without the slightest fear of being hurt by you like most of the members have been.

DC: Gandhi was fighting for people’s basic rights to be free of poverty, physical crimes/abuse, mainly government abuses of the people.

_______Why don’t you study some history? You mention everything but the only real thing that he was fighting against which was the right to freedom from the abuses of the British people. The right of the Indian people to Be.

DC: He did not dabble is people’s rights to practice religion or spirituality in the way they saw fit. Most of the world’s visionaries, like MLK, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela did likewise. They did not dabble in people’s spiritual needs or rights. They let people find god in whatever way they choose to.

________As “Wouldn’t you like to know” has kindly offered us, you can see that Ghandi is who inspires me even if I had not read his beautiful quotes! You flatter me with your comparisons with such people. I do not pretend to be fighting for a Nation, I am fighting for the human being as an individual and as a community. I am fighting for my self, which includes you. When you understand that we are one, you will not allow yourself to hurt anyone because it would hurt you just as much.

“Each one prays to God according to his own light.”

_____Why are you still in the darkness of the Fellowship then? How long is it since you prayed?

64. Daily Cardiac - December 24, 2008

Opus 111 –

First of all, I’m probably one of the few here who actually has an aim not to use “absolutes”, judging by the rhetoric of many on the blog. I’m not sure “entirely” is a dimension of an absolute, but I’ll use your observation to be more aware of my speech patterns.

The main point I would make is if you single out this thread between Walter and I, what does that say about the many more blatant cases of lack of circumspection – one could almost pick out any post to find this degree or greater of “surety”? Are you only offended by it when you are not in agreement with the conclusions?

What I see is that some people will jump through hoops of fire rather than let something stand that might in some small way cast Robert in a good light.

Regarding the actual issue behind my post and Walter’s reply; I did cite examples of someone (Paul) that can learn the same and, in some cases, more from a teacher in an indirect way than some others can absorb directly. This addresses the fact that all disciples are not equally capable of absorbing a teaching.

This can be verified in many ordinary ways. For instance, some painters can get inside another painter’s style simply by viewing one of their paintings.(more than a student of that painter who has studied with them for years)

This also has a lot to do with the aptitude of the “direct” vs the “indirect” disciples, or students. Another element to consider is the level of dedication/effort of each. The “indirect” disciple might be the one who wants it more, takes it less for granted. As we see there are many factors involved.

But do you realize that when you say “Do not tell me, please, that it is personal experience” you take away the fabric of verification, which can (only) exist as a personal experience? My experience of trying to give someone my verifications is that often the more I say the less convinced they are.

65. fofblogmoderator - December 24, 2008

It was brought to my attention that the link posted at the top of this page for Pathway To Presence was not correct. It has now been corrected

66. Panorea - December 24, 2008

Wishing you all Happy Christmas.

Enjoy your friends and family.

Enjoy the Gift of Life!

67. Yesri Baba - December 24, 2008

Regarding the actual issue behind my post and Walter’s reply; I did cite examples of someone (Paul) that can learn the same and, in some cases, more from a teacher in an indirect way than some others can absorb directly. This addresses the fact that all disciples are not equally capable of absorbing a teaching.

This can be verified in many ordinary ways. For instance, some painters can get inside another painter’s style simply by viewing one of their paintings.(more than a student of that painter who has studied with them for years)

This also has a lot to do with the aptitude of the “direct” vs the “indirect” disciples, or students. Another element to consider is the level of dedication/effort of each. The “indirect” disciple might be the one who wants it more, takes it less for granted. As we see there are many factors involved.

——————-

GAWD!! You are soooooooo full of crap!

“My experience of trying to give someone my verifications is that often the more I say the less convinced they are.”

REEEEEEAAAAALY?

68. Crouching Tiger - December 24, 2008

Opus 111.

Thank you very much for introducing a measure of common sense into the rather scary conversation between DC and Walter!!…..

DC – “It’s entirely possible for someone to read a teacher’s book and know him better than a disciple who spent years at his side.”

Walter – “This is absolutely right, and borne out by a passing familiarity with the history of religions.”

To me, both of these statements are equally cringe-worthy, and equally ‘totalitarian’ in their certainty. Whatever is being said, it is definitely an attitude well worth avoiding! It’s the kind of sweeping generalization at which RB himself specialises.

For myself, having experienced both ‘versions’ of G&O teaching, I can feel a clear difference in the method of approach, and in the results experienced inside.

It’s very easy to read something and feel you have the measure of it, that somehow you understand it all – that’s what your mind tells you, after all… But as Gurdjieff once told Ouspensky, “If you understood even a fraction of what you write in your books, it would be I sitting at your feet seeking instruction!”.

A man with actual experience in any field is essential to instructing the little wrinkles, the small overlooked details which are in fact very important to an understanding of the whole subject. All I’ve tried to point out is that RB has no knowledge of how the system was taught by Gurdjieff. The problem is that he has tried to claim a direct connection through Alex Horn which does not exist! Again, the issue is one of transparency: of just saying, ‘This is Robert Burton’s version of the 4th Way, with no direct connection to Gurdjieff’. Nothing else.

For me the problem with DC is his underlying attitude : that RB ‘magically’ has the being to have understood Gurdjieff just by reading ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ and then moved beyond it with his new version of the teaching. From my own experience, RB never understood it except in part, and that part was not good enough by itself. It created dangerous schisms in the individual, as nearly everyone here has attested by their own experiences.

Walter – “…In the end they say that the teachings produce a state which is evidence enough of their authenticity. That’s definitely the case for a teaching, like the Fourth Way, that also intends to create states in its practitioners.”

This is the real point. The idea that the teaching is there to ‘create states’ is I believe one of the most subtly damaging messages of the fellowship. It’s very easy to ‘create states’. I would say that real teaching is designed to create states that can be productively included and used by the personality in which they occur. They are harmonious with the state of the man/woman at the time and they produce ‘fruit’ in that person’s subsequent actions in Life.

It’s the evolution of the whole person that’s important, not incidental ‘states’ he/she can attain – and that means the whole teaching has to be balanced and complete.

To me, both DC’s (obviously) and Walter’s statements about RB’s relationship to the 4th Way just don’t stack up.

69. Crouching Tiger - December 24, 2008

DC –

“…some painters can get inside another painter’s style simply by viewing one of their paintings – (more than a student of that painter who has studied with them for years)”

The first category are the ones that become excellent copiers, but nothing else. The second at least increase their chances of becoming the best artist of which they are capable (Rafael and MichelAngelo).

RB was one of the first category who claimed to be one of the second. Then he went on swiftly to proclaim himself several levels higher than Rembrandt himself!

70. elena - December 24, 2008

DC: There are real victims in the world who for some reason stay with the abuser; battered wives/mates is one such category.

_________WE ARE REAL VICTIMS AND THE MECHANISM FOR YOUR ABUSES WAS THE SAME AS THE BATTERED WIFE OR THE ABUSED CHILD. WE WERE ADULTS WHO TRUSTED ROBERT WHO YOU STATED WAS A CONSCIOUS BEING, AN ENLIGHTENED BEING, THE ONLY CONSCIOUS BEING ON PLANET EARTH.

The relationship that was prompted and expected of Fellowship members towards its leader was that of a student willing to give up his will to the Teacher’s will. We did that and it hurt us badly. The whole dog-ma from Girard Haven is based on this submission to Robert Burton. We did what you asked for and the result was drastic. That is why the Fellowship has to respond. Because if you had been conscious people, you would not have hurt so many of us and in so many different areas.

The submission to a teacher renders the student into a state of vulnerability that is analogous to that of a child, a wife (who is economically dependent usually in these cases) and interestingly enough, to someone who has been kidnapped or is in prison because in all cases the victim is convinced that the teacher, the father, the kidnapper or the guard, has a hold on his life.

It is one’s life what one is offering one’s teacher and it is his responsibility to respond for it with as much honor as he is being offered within the realm of that confidence.

Just like Catholic priests are being held responsible for abusing the trust of the boys they induce into sexual acts, all the abuses from Robert and the Fellowship on our lives have exactly the same nature: an abuse on the trust a student is required to place on the Teacher to belong to the School.

It does not matter if we were adults, the terms are the same. We did what the Fellowship asked of us which was trust it and submit our will to Robert’s will. It hurt us not because we complied naively, it hurt us because Robert Burton and his inner circle did not have the necessary integrity to respond for what they were standing for. They deceived us about who they were.

We were told that Robert was a homosexual and we all accepted it but we weren’t told that he was unable to have a stable relationship with any one of the men and that he hid to have sex with them and bribed them with luxuries to place them where he wanted to have them.

It is not his homosexaulity what is being questioned, it is his tactics for sexual satisfaction and the use of the Fellowship for his personal agenda.

If he hurts one by using one sexually, physically, economically, emotionally or intellectually he is abusing power and must be held responsible.

Robert used and abused us in every single one of these aspects. He did not do so because we were stupid, naive, idiots, mentally retarded people, he did so because we trusted him and acted on the good will that was expected and prompted from us by the Fellowship’s dictates.

Members who depend economically on the Fellowship are in a much more vulnerable relationship to Robert than members who are not but members who did what Robert asked of them which was to submit to his will were in an even deeper commitment based on their trust on him. If they were hurt because he did not live up to what he presented himself as, he is responsible.

I do not know today enough about law to call things by their legal name and hope the lawyers here will help us with them or the scope of the situation in relation to American procedure but the human implications of what we are dealing with are becoming clearer each day.

It is worth noting that positive emotions carry little weight in the practical spheres of life and we’ve tended to think that we cannot sue the Fellowship because it was our stupidity and credibility what set us up to be exploited by it without giving credit to our trust and confidence in human beings. The fact that the law today is supposed to stand by the abuser because you were supposed to check the School out in relation to other schools, is not valid in relation to so called esoteric schools because they are a one in a lifetime commitment of a spiritual nature and the laws that apply to it cannot be the same to those of buying a car.

We will dig the truth out of this mess.

Thank you all for helping out.

Crouching Tiger, thank you for the clarity of your posts and your solidness.

71. elena - December 24, 2008

The following is from animamrecro:

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/prosecute-george-w-bush-for-murder/#comments

“I’m currently listening to the audio book of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” by Vincent Bugliosi, an American attorney and author, best known for prosecuting Charles Manson. He lost only one of the 106 felony cases he tried as a prosecutor, which included winning 21 out of 21 murder cases.

He writes with great lucidity in his book, highlighting the tragedy of the Iraq War. Impeachment has been brought up on numerous occasions in the US, but after considering Vincent Bugliosi’s compilation of evidence and arguements, I firmly hold that various members of the US administration should be indeed tried for murder.

You can obtain the book via torrents or through the official website.”

72. elena - December 24, 2008

Here is something much to the points we’ve been practicing and discussing here:

“Personal” Democracy

[audio src="http://www.rushkoff.com/podcasts/rushkoffpdf2008.mp3" /]

73. brucelevy - December 24, 2008

64. Daily Cardiac

“This can be verified in many ordinary ways. For instance, some painters can get inside another painter’s style simply by viewing one of their paintings.(more than a student of that painter who has studied with them for years)”

Really, REALLY? You’re going to teach us about art now? Are you suddenly now an art scholar? You so clearly DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, but that doesn’t seem to ever stop you from just pulling this horse shit out of your ass, holding it up in front of your face and smelling it with a smile. Your vanity and absurd sense of self worth doesn’t allow you to feel any shame at your absurd pronouncements, not to mention your tenuous apprehension of reality. You are truly a prime product of all that’s wrong and worthless about RB and his circus.

Have a very merry, large, go fuck yourself, douchebag.

74. dragon - December 24, 2008

Renald:

“You cannot create peace on earth by “fighting for” peace. You cannot create peace on earth by “fighting against” war. You cannot create anything you want — peace on earth, or anything else — when you are coming from a place of resistance.”

Do you really come through understanding what you are writing here?

This link below is something special…..

Celebrated Flemish/Moroccan choreographer SIDI LARBI CHERKAOUI presents a brand new dance work inspired by the skill, strength and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin monks.

He has collaborated closely with Turner Prize winning artist ANTONY GORMLEY, who has created a design consisting of 21 wooden boxes which are repositioned to create a striking, ever changing onstage environment. Polish composer SZYMON BRZÓSKA has created a beautiful brand new score for piano, percussion and strings which is played live.

The 17 Monks performing in SUTRA are directly from the original Shaolin Temple, situated near Dengfeng City in the Henan Province of China and established in 495AD by monks originating from India. In 1983 the State Council defined the Shaolin Temple as the key national Buddhist Temple.

They follow a strict Buddhist doctrine, of which KungFu & Tai Chi martial arts are an integral part of their daily regime.

By visiting the Shaolin Temple in China, and working with the Shaolin Monks over several months, Sidi Larbi follows a lifelong interest of exploring the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition, its relationship with KungFu, and its position within a contemporary context.

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=iZXy9M1jKHI

in Spanish:

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=KvO5D0Kk5mE

75. dragon - December 24, 2008

To ALL FOFians:

A special Christmas!

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=4kkzgxlWWDY

76. brucelevy - December 24, 2008

Happy, happy joy joy

77. dragon - December 24, 2008

FROHE WEIHNACHTEN FÜR ALLE!

aus DEUTSCHLAND

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=07Soxt0pGKI

78. brucelevy - December 24, 2008

79. harryhindsight - December 24, 2008

Daily Smokincrack

“My experience of trying to give someone my verifications is that often the more I say the less convinced they are.”

That’s because you talk crap and feel superior to others.

80. Daily Cardiac - December 24, 2008

Crouching Tiger – 68, 69:

Just what are you saying; that anyone who studied directly with Gurdjieff or with someone else who studied with Gurdjieff had an automatic advantage with interpreting The Fourth Way over someone who did not? If that’s what you are saying I’m interested in knowing how you arrived at that conclusion.

81. Crouching Tiger - December 24, 2008

DC –

I’m saying that someone who studied with Gurdjieff, like Jeanne de Salzmann, understood from him HOW the ideas of the system connect with one another, and HOW the system is taught – what receives emphasis and when – much better than someone who didn’t….. It’s not a matter of interpreting Gurdjieff’s ideas – anyone can do that to their heart’s content, but of knowing where they were aimed. Mdme.de Salzmann obviously had an understanding that G. trusted with the system.

I doubt anyone just reading ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ really knows where to start, and where to finish, and how the stages in-between connect with one another. My feeling is that there are one or two ideas RB understands very well and has personal experience with. However, he does not know where to start in the system (which is why everyone becomes man 4 when they enter!), and he does not understand where it is aimed internally.

So you get this curious typical situation where students can become quite expert at say, attracting ‘higher experiences’ but nonetheless turn into devils in some area of their personal lives, or become very arrogant, or experience depression or turn to meds or alcohol etc… Not all the ideas of the teaching are fully and healthily connected with one another, so the ‘body’ can’t respond in a harmonious manner.

82. Jomo Piñata - December 24, 2008

“My experience of trying to give someone my verifications is that often the more I say the less convinced they are.”

In other words, when you show them the flimsy foundation on which your certainty is based, they are not only not convinced, they reject your conclusions.

Gradually you will only discuss such things with like-minded people, and the social reality-check on your bizarre beliefs will grow even less and less effective.

http://freedomfchs.com/

83. Daily Cardiac - December 24, 2008

Jomo Piñata – 80:

The meaning of my above comment was that verifications are first and foremost personal, internal. In general if someone has already rejected a position / idea / notion the more truth told them about it the less they will believe it. The truth will become a corrosive.

84. brucelevy - December 24, 2008

81. Daily Cardiac

“In general if someone has already rejected a position / idea / notion the more truth told them about it the less they will believe it. The truth will become a corrosive.”

Yes. And what’s particularly corrosive is your perverse and distorted presentation and interpretation of “truth”.

85. Walter J. Tanner - December 24, 2008

Opus 111:

I wish you were a bit more circumspect in your analysis. What is the gold standard you are using for your “measurements” that lead you to conclude what was said is “absolutely right”.

Do not tell me, please, that it is personal experience. DC was making his statement in reference to REB know-it-all status in FOF. Your reply could be interpreted as your seconding that view, despite your accounts of close encounters with REB, which often tell a different story.
———————————–

You’re right, I was a little flip in the last post — I treat this forum like a conversation, I spell check and try to write nice but I don’t spend 40 minutes planning and executing a post. So here’s some circumspection:

DC originally said: “It’s entirely possible for someone to read a teacher’s book and know him better than a disciple who spent years at his side.”

On a common sense level, I don’t find this assertion a problem. Example: Alan Greenspan has had lots of disciples, who spent years at his side. He has also had detractors, who from the beginning realized Greenspan’s theories were based on empirically false postulates and that he was a charlatan (mostly it was Marxist college professor economists, but also econos like Jaime Galbreath). Greenspan infamously was forced to admit to Congress a few months ago that central tenets to his theories were obviously false. So here is an example of people reading a teacher’s book and knowing the teacher (i.e., that he’s a charlatan) better then his own disciples.

Nearly everyone who reads Mein Kampf recognizes Hitler as a small-minded, vindictive and highly insecure man, and thereby understands the man better than the disciples who spent years at his side.

Since I’ve just given two examples, and all DC claimed was that it is “entirely possible,” his assertion is true.

Now the original context in which DC made this assertion is lost to me, but I seem to remember he was disputing with someone who claims that Robert Burton is not a legitimate Fourth Way teacher because he has no direct lineage to Gurdjieff. I find that a very weak argument. There are much bigger elephants sitting in the Galleria than pointing out that Robert only studied with Horn for a few weeks, who only saw Bennet at a few lectures, etc. But also deeply in my heart I feel that what Gurdjieff bequeathed to the world was so powerful and important that even in a hundred years time some seeker may come across his works and find her own key to enlightenment. Spirituality, awakening, does not belong to co-fraternities or lineages but is found everywhere (like in a pack of cards), and very highly rarefied in places like In Search of the Miraculous.

IMHO: walter.tanner@gmail.com

86. fofblogmoderator - December 24, 2008

74 & 78 are newly moderated

87. Crouching Tiger - December 24, 2008

Walter.

“Now the original context in which DC made this assertion is lost to me, but I seem to remember he was disputing with someone who claims that Robert Burton is not a legitimate Fourth Way teacher because he has no direct lineage to Gurdjieff. I find that a very weak argument.”

That’s just a paraphrase of the way you want to remember the debate, Walter.

The ‘lineage’ part of the debate is only really important because RB claimed that he had some through Horn, so that illusion needed to be punctured.

As far as understanding of the 4th Way goes… Most religious teachings are orally transmitted, and the 4th Way is no exception. That’s how a teaching remains most fully alive within human beings. Yes, you can be enriched by reading books about teachings, but ultimately if you want to take things further you’ll find someone who knows about the practice rather than the theory. Otherwise it’s a bit like saying you know how to drive a car because you’ve read the theory manual.

I’m pointing out that RB doesn’t know enough about the practice to help you pass your test, but he does know enough to maybe cause an accident with him in the passenger seat! My recent experience of Gurdjieff’s teaching is far more sane than anything I experienced in the fellowship. Anybody can come along and make sense of ‘In Search…’ in their own way, they just won’t be teaching it in the way G. intended it (many have), and that can be potentially dangerous….

88. elena - December 24, 2008

Dragon, Renald,

Renald’s position on fighting seems legitimate in some paths of awakening but it has nothing to do with the fourth way. Fortunately neither the fourth way nor the other paths are exclusive of each other. Some are just better for different kind of people and experiences.

89. Jomo Piñata - December 24, 2008

Lacuna Piñata/81:

The meaning of my above comment was that verifications are first and foremost personal, internal.

This is just a truism.

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

It’s like “thoughts cannot fly. They need human heads.” Of course what’s in your mind is in your mind. Duh.

In general if someone has already rejected a position / idea / notion the more truth told them about it the less they will believe it. The truth will become a corrosive.

Certainly that’s the type of behavior you’ve been demonstrating. The fact that you demonstrate this behavior doesn’t elevate it to normative status, however.

90. Crouching Tiger - December 24, 2008

Walter.

Your two examples aren’t relevant. In the first case, one ‘theory’ (Greenspan’s) is being exploded by fellow theoreticians with their own theory. In the second, you’re talking about the benefit of hindsight in relation to Hitler, a known super-criminal. Neither a theoretician’s approach nor that kind of historical hindsight has any use in relation to an understanding of Gurdjieff’s teaching.

91. brucelevy - December 24, 2008

90. Crouching Tiger

That raised red flags for me also. It’s “straw man syndrome”, which amazingly shows up frequently in the logic of people who think very highly of their own intellect, like DC. It’s incredibly pervasive in DC’s posts, and occasionally appears in WT’s also, a bit too often. IMHO.

92. Daily Cardiac - December 24, 2008

Jomo Piñata – 89:

“Certainly that’s the type of behavior you’ve been demonstrating. The fact that you demonstrate this behavior doesn’t elevate it to normative status, however.”

It does not demote it to less than normative status either.

One thing I’ve noticed about your findings (many quoted from published sources) is that they are structured to expose falsity but not truth, if the truth happens to be the exception and not the rule.

It’s the fallacy of the walks/quacks like a duck construct. It might be true nine out of ten times but one in ten times something very un-duck like will be misclassified as a duck because the sun happened to cause the evaluator to squint in an awkward way.

But this is the nature ordinary psychology.

The truth is often too ratified to fit into any schematic.

93. Daily Cardiac - December 24, 2008

Rarefied

94. a former student - December 24, 2008

The following veiws and opinions are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the voice of C influence on the planet Earth.

Legal action

There is one area that is a clear violation of both criminal and civil law which opens up the Fellowship of Friends to legal action. This is that until recently The FOF marketed itself as a 4th way school in the Gurdjieff Ouspensky tradition. New students were told that the religious title was only a legal convenience. New students and most older students never were given a copy of the FOF Canon’s. No one was told that only specific students selected by the teacher were voting members and that Robert had absolute power by virtue of these cannons.
It was after I initially wrote this that the FOF changed their web site to make their group a clearly religious organization. Any current or former member who entered believing that the Fellowship of Friends was a legitimate school by their own definition of what this means-can sue for a return of all moneys as having been obtained under fraudulent premises.
A class action is even better because The FOF will deny the deception and the more proof their is the better. ( It would have been good for someone to save both the Old FOF web pages as well as their very inventive Wikipedia article,)
The cost is relativly low if you are a home owner or can assemble a group it would probably cost a several thousand dollar retainer to begin the action. It does not require a lot to get the case accepted in court and once that is done one has supena power for records and taking dispositions.
A common tactic for organizations like this is to defend themselves by makong many motions. Each one involves court cost and legal fee’s
The fact that the FOF is rapidly distancing itself from its earlier marketing is one indication that their attorney understand the scope of this threat. If 20 individuals file suit the cost is reduced and many defences are weakened, such as claimimg it is just one disgruntled former member.
It is interesting that the many “co-conspiriters” those who traveled with R. or served as center directors and on the governing board do not seem to have much to say about the FOF or any apparant need to make amends for their part of the drama.
Perhaps it is an indication of the same kind of failure to develop conscience that is such a large aspect of the FOF’s membership and a direct result of R’s distorted teaching’s.
Even the blog which has gone on for a while now is a very small percentage of former and current students.

95. Opus 111 - December 24, 2008

92 DC

The truth is often too ratified to fit into any schematic.

Do not tell me you always think of this when you embark on your long dissertations on the ways things are in your personal world.

I would add that most of us here are not so much preoccupied with THE TRUTH, but with exposing everything that is false about REB and the FOF. I agree with you that when it comes to REB and FOF, falsity is the rule not the exception.

96. whalerider - December 24, 2008

Daily Challenge:
“The truth is often too ratified to fit into any schematic.”

Interesting Freudian slip…plus the need to correct your self speaks volumes.

You are obviously lying.

That’s the splintered part of your intellect masquerading as your “higher self”.

Yes, Burton’s “truth” has been ratified too often…”confirmed” over and over again every time he opens his mouth…so many times that his “truth” cannot fit into any recognizable schema of actual truth. He is lying too, and your deeply buried conscience recognizes this truth, hence the slip. The unconscious mind doesn’t lie.

Truth is self-evident. Speaking the truth is rare.

97. Miguel - December 25, 2008

All we need is just dance and sing.

98. Miguel - December 25, 2008

Para tí, Clara.

99. Old Fish in the Sea - December 25, 2008

DC:”It’s entirely possible for someone to read a teacher’s book and know him better than a disciple who spent years at his side.”

With that in mind, how do you justify Robert’s attitude that opportunities stop when someone leaves the Fellowship.

****

Would you trust someone that had attended a perspective student meeting and read Robert’s book to accurately convey Robert’s teaching?

Probably not – so why would you trust that Robert’s teaching does not contain many errors, particularly in light of the multitudes of statements from Robert that time has proven to be incorrect.

100. Jomo Piñata - December 25, 2008

Lacuna Piñata/92

It does not demote it to less than normative status either.

Now, if that’s not a blindfolded swing at an imaginary piñata, then I’m not a sarcastic parrot. Awk!

101. Jomo Piñata - December 25, 2008

Lacuna Piñata/92

One thing I’ve noticed about your findings (many quoted from published sources) is that they are structured to expose falsity but not truth, if the truth happens to be the exception and not the rule.

It’s the fallacy of the walks/quacks like a duck construct. It might be true nine out of ten times but one in ten times something very un-duck like will be misclassified as a duck because the sun happened to cause the evaluator to squint in an awkward way.

But this is the nature ordinary psychology.

Your posts give no indication that you have any idea what psychology is. You seem to believe that what you study is not “ordinary” psychology, it is some other kind of psychology which makes you “special.”

What fascinates me is how impoverished your discourse is. If you do not understand something, you don’t look it up and try to understand it. If you did, you could have real conversations with people instead of solipsistic dialogues with yourself. Instead, you just use the little information you have to make a crude caricature, and then you set yourself up as “above” that caricature.

“”But this is the nature of ordinary psychology.” [implied: “we are above such things, as they do not suit our “esoteric” purpose]

The fact is, you’ve never studied psychology. So how could you know what its “nature” is?

102. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 25, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

UNTOUCHABILITY:

God never made man that he may consider another man as an untouchable.

My fight against untouchability is a fight against the impure in humanity.

To say that a single human being, because of his birth, becomes an untouchable, unapproachable, or invisible, is to deny God.

Anger, lust, and such other evil passions raging in the heart are the real untouchables.

WOMEN:

Woman is more fitted than man to make exploration and take bolder action in nonviolence.

There is no occasion for women to consider themselves subordinate or inferior to men.

Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity.

If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior.

If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with women.

Woman, I hold, is the personification of self-sacrifice, but unfortunately today she does not realize what tremendous advantage she has over man.

103. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 25, 2008

More selected quotes from Mohandas Gandhi:

STRENGTH:

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

A person who has realized the principle of nonviolence has the God-given strength for his weapon, and the world has not yet known anything that can match it.

A definite forgiveness would mean a definite recognition of our strength.

The greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory.

The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law, to the strength of the spirit.

If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them.

SUFFERING:

Sorrow and suffering make for character if they are voluntarily borne, but not if they are imposed.

True suffering does not know itself and never calculates.

The only way love punishes is by suffering.

The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering, without anger and without malice.

TRUTH:

Truth is what the voice within tells you.

Truth is the right designation of God.

Truth and nonviolence will never be destroyed.

Truth is like a vast tree which yields more and more fruit the more you nurture it.

Truth alone will endure; all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time.

Truth and untruth often con-exist; good and evil often are found together.

Truth is self-evident; nonviolence is its maturest fruit, it is contained in Truth, but is not self-evident.

Every truth is self-acting and possesses inherent strength.

Truth, which is permanent, eludes the historian of events. Truth transcends history.

Truth and nonviolence demand that no human being may debar himself from serving any other human being, no matter how sinful he may be.

Truth is the first to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added unto you.

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

Truth without humility would be an arrogant caricature.

The quest of truth involves self-suffering, sometimes even unto death.

Use truth as your anvil, nonviolence as your hammer and anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with nonviolence, reject it.

[All of the above Mohandas Gandhi quotes on this page, contributed by me, are courtesy: Mrs. Sunanda Gandhi, co-founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. These quotations were painstakingly researched and categorized by Sunanda Gandhi from various sources, including some private Gandhi family documents. Others were selected by the FREE CUBA Foundation from Gandhi on Non-violence: A Selection from the Writings of Mahatma Gandhi – Edited by Thomas Merton and Mahatma Gandhi: Selected Political Writings – Edited by Dennis Dalton.]

104. Daily Cardiac - December 25, 2008

CT:

I stand by my comment that someone “reading Gurdjieff’s books” could have understood him/the system more than someone else who studied at his side, although we don’t have to be too literal about it; there are any number of ways to receive a master’s teaching in an indirect way.

You completely discard what role life itself plays in a disciple’s development or readiness; as if it were not possible for a dilettante to have made their way to Gurdjieff’s side, or a Fourth Way prodigy to not have a direct link.

Also, I think your main issue – that Robert claimed a direct link to Gurdjieff may not be accurate. Personally, I have not heard him make this claim about himself or Horn. It sounds very unRobert like to me.

With Robert it usually comes down to Influence C as the direct link. What you might be confusing is the fact that Robert said that Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Collin, and Horn also had this direct link to Influence C.

105. No Quiet Zone - December 25, 2008

The Fellowship of Friends is (as Jomo Piñata wrote above) “a pseudo-religious confidence game and pyramid scheme run by a malignant narcissist, where followers will be exploited for large amounts of money, thousands of hours of free labor, and sexual favors before being ostracized after they refuse further exploitation.”

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas one and all.

But beware.

106. whalerider - December 25, 2008

I have been reading a very interesting book by Stephan Wolinsky, PhD, called “Trances People Live” (1991). I had been aware of the book for many years, although I misremembered the title. Then at a spa retreat last week I spotted the book on sale and bought it…thinking of Susan’s post last page.

The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Milton H. Erickson, MD, and has a glowing review by Colin Wilson on the back cover.

In the prologue Wolinsky writes, “Throughout this book the phenomena of hypnotic trance is viewed as a self-generated, self-created reality that appears to happen to us. In fact, we discover that each self-created reality is comprised of specific Deep Trance Phenomenon that results in what we typically refer to symptoms or problems.

Acknowledging our observer-created trances-trances created by us- begins a deeper process of assuming responsibility for the part we all play in creating (however unknowingly or unconsciously) our own hypnotic phenomenological realities.

The task of the therapist becomes one of observing and identifying the self-generated problem state or hypnotic trance and de-hypnotizing the person out of the trance he or she is already in…For the most part, we go inside ourselves and construct our own meaning of events, quite independent of what “actually” occurs.”

Here are some characteristics of Deep Trance Phenomena that cause one of Wolinsky’s clients to synthesize the sensation of anxiety in an ‘anxiety trance”:

1) pseudo-orientation in time as they imagine a catastrophic outcome occurring in the future and thus experience fear,

2)age regression may bring up an association of a similar feeling in the past,

3) post-hypnotic suggestions which are generalizations that articulate the outcome they are imagining such as, “It will never work out or Nothing will help”

4)negative hallucinations (denial of facts) block their ability to see or acknowledge other resources,

5)positive hallucinations as they visualize themselves encountering anxiety-provoking stimulus that is not present in present time,

6)time distortion further exacerbates the anxiety when they have a breathless feeling that there is not enough time to find any kind of solution causing time to slow down.

This would help to explain why some followers of the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence stay in the cult for such long periods of time and act against their own self interest…they are mired in the “Cult Trance”.

Wolinsky goes on to say, “We actually go in and out of trance states all day long, far more often than is commonly recognized….it is impossible not to…What is exciting about recognizing and experiencing the multitude of trance states we create throughout the day is that it leads to a transcendent experience of oneself. Each trance state has a beginning point, a middlepoint and an end point.

As you begin to step outside of your trances by identifying these component parts, what you begin to see is that the only common factor is you. There is a “you”, or a self that is outside of or larger than the comings and goings of these trance states. In addition, this you or self is creating the trance states-the trance states are not autonomous at all. By experiencing the step-by-step process we go through to create our trances (and hence our symptomatology), we automatically take control over them, which in turn enables us to go beyond them.”

No where does Wolinsky suggest that it is impossible to be conscious within a trance state…as I said…the yin and yang of consciousness…in sleep there is an element of consciousness and in consciousness there is an element of sleep. They are not mutually exclusive like oil and water as DC suggests. And one does not have to be dependent upon a guru to learn this. Nor does Wolinsky indulge in magical thinking as Burton does, claiming to have an exclusive connection to angels hovering over the dinner table.

Wolinsky suggests that meditation is a “therapeutic trance” wherein in one enters into a trance consciously and thus gains more self control…it’s no wonder that meditation is not allowed in Burton’s cult, whatever the name may be. Burton is a control freak.

107. nigel harris price - December 25, 2008

Here’s one for the day….

A (mafia) Don…..the word ‘don’ comes from the word ‘dono’ (Latin) meaning ‘I give’ (not I take, Mr REB!)…..Nigel.

108. Crouching Tiger - December 25, 2008

DC.

I wouldn’t wish to deny that every spiritual student, or potential student, has their own speed of understanding, and hence development. I’m sure you know for example the old story about the Sufi who was introduced to Bahauddin and his son Rumi (still young, and not then the great poet and master he was to become) and said: “There goes a river, pulling a mighty ocean!”. RB might very well be one of those with a ‘fast understanding’. So the level of readiness could have been greater.

But the tradition is, with people of this higher/deeper level, that it is even more important for them to complete a course of instruction with someone with a thorough understanding of the teaching – even if that teacher ultimately lacks the spiritual scope of the student… If you’re a talented chef you go to work in a restaurant to learn the ropes exhaustively, to learn everything about cooking and life in a kitchen. You stay there for the full course, even if you suspect your talent level is greater than the chef teaching you.

So yes, someone (like RB) may have a very strong intuitive grasp of Gurdjieff, stronger even than someone who had been studying with G. for years. That makes the need for ‘completing his course’ much more urgent than usual, not less so…

Whatever the truth of those murky circumstances surrounding RB’s time with Horn, it is clear that Horn had no background in the Gurdjieff teaching himself (as he claimed), and also that RB didn’t stay very long – a year? eighteen months? So basically, Horn was no man 5 and RB was never ‘initiated’ into the teaching by anyone worth their salt. He had no-one to learn from.

So when he started trying to teach the system, he did not know its basic co-ordinates. He was a chef capable of the odd glorious dish, but also one who did not know basic taste combinations, or even ‘how to season’! The result is unevenness – some moments that seem inspiring, others that seem darkly inexplicable.

DC. “Also, I think your main issue – that Robert claimed a direct link to Gurdjieff may not be accurate. Personally, I have not heard him make this claim about himself or Horn. It sounds very unRobert like to me.”

He claimed/claims he is a teacher in the G&O tradition (look at the bookmarks), and draws a line through Horn back to Gurdjieff (mistakenly). Horn is important because he is credited with being a genuine student connected to people like J.G.Bennett. That is the ‘teaching tree’ and we all heard it at dinners and events. And of course he uses the 4th Way language to describe himself as a man 7 and Horn as a man 5.

109. Yesri Baba - December 25, 2008

“It’s the fallacy of the walks/quacks like a duck construct. It might be true nine out of ten times but one in ten times something very un-duck like will be misclassified as a duck because the sun happened to cause the evaluator to squint in an awkward way.”

———————-

It’s the truth of the walks/quacks like a duck construct. It is true ten out of ten times but one in ten times a duck will be misclassified as very un-duck because the sun happened to cause the evaluator to squint in an awkward way.

There, that’s better. Don’t you think you squinting prodigy?

(see above post on trance states)

110. Crouching Tiger - December 25, 2008

Excellent Yesri! Happy Christmas!

111. whalerider - December 25, 2008

HOLY SHIT

In the Wolinksy book I mentioned (a psychologist who studied meditation in India for six years) he speaks of meditation thus:

“Meditation is often discussed in terms of three stages: darana, which is the practice of concentrating on a fixed point (Hypnotherapists use the same eye fixation technique for trance induction, Burton asks his followers to focus only on his left eye); dhyana, which is the point at which the focus of attention becomes an unbroken flow of concentration (Burton demands full attention at dinners, nobody can eat while he talks); and samadhi which is the a total cessation of the subject-object relationship.

In samadhi there is a clear sense of non-identification (yogis call this “dispassion”); there is a sense of flow, a sense of perceptions coming and going, a sense of being and perceiving without judgment or identification. By contrast, in trance states of identification we constrict our focus of attention and fuse with each and every occurrence in the day: our sense of self and well-being fluctuate commensurately.

Samadhi occurs when the boundaries between the person who is concentrating and the object being concentrated upon disappear.” (…thus relaxing a person’s ego boundaries or defeating “self will”.)

In a western therapeutic trance fostered by a licensed therapist with ethics, “the mind and its contents are worked with-they are reframed, reassociated, utilized, reinterpreted, dissociated, and so on.”

“In mediation, the mind is simply observed without intervention. In therapeutic trance, a problem is being presented for change. In mediation, the only problem is one’s identification with one’s thoughts and experiences.”

“As samadhi continues, dispassion follows; the individual loses all tendencies to become identified with the contents of the mind.” (…and to common sense.)

At the samadhi stage in a Cult Trance unethical people like Burton can manipulate his followers into acting against their own self-interest, and thus continue to feed his sex, money and power addictions while hiding behind the guise of religion and spirituality. This is why it is so important to be intentional about using trance states, working only with people who could lose their license or be put in jail if they fuck with you. And believe me, if you are a young male in his cult, eventually Burton will try to fuck with you.

Burton is a danger to others, especially vulnerable young males in dire straits from other countries. BEWARE OF THE JOCKSTRAP WITH THE GREENCARD ATTACHED!!!

The Fellowship of Friends now also known as PathwaytoPresence.org…is more like a pathway to being shackled in hell. The more we link the two names on each page, the more internet search engines will do the same.

Many thanks to all who post, even those whom disagree with me.

112. nigel harris price - December 25, 2008

Does anyone know if the FOF membership has sunk below 1,000 this Christmas?…..Nigel.

113. elena - December 25, 2008

A former student, 94.

Thank you.

I thought that whether it was a church or a School was not too relevant in the eyes of the law but that if it deviated so much from the fourth way it presented itself to be it could be held liable because of the deception to members.

114. Daily Cardiac - December 25, 2008

a former student – 94:

“There is one area that is a clear violation of both criminal and civil law which opens up the Fellowship of Friends to legal action. This is that until recently The FOF marketed itself as a 4th way school in the Gurdjieff Ouspensky tradition.”

The fellowship started life as a school and continues as a school 4 decades later according to the definition of what constitutes a school, handed down from awakened men and women of the past.

“Any current or former member who entered believing that the Fellowship of Friends was a legitimate school by their own definition of what this means-can sue for a return of all moneys as having been obtained under fraudulent premises.”

What a tangled web to unweave!

What does “by their own definition” mean? Members definition or the FoF’s definition? People can sue others “by their own definition” of a law or contract being broken or defend themselves “by their own definition” of not breaking a law or contract, but either can only prevail “by the court’s definition.” That is, if one could get a court to hear such a case.

Private organizations in a democracy, spiritual or otherwise, can change the way they market themselves anytime they see the need to.

But that would be one case whose proceedings I’d like to be privy to. I’d like to see how the nuances of Self-Remembering /Presence are explained to a judge and how it was proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the FoF breached their duties and failed to promote those principles.

From one standpoint if the judge in such a case could understand what presence is he or she would likely dismiss the case and schedule a prospective student meeting with the FoF.

The FoF is officially registered as a church/religious organization because there is no specific category to register as a “4th Way School”. It all comes under the same heading.

In the true context religion / spirituality /awakening are one and the same. Schools begat religion. Schools came first. Religion is the diluted offspring of schools. Schools also supersede “4th Way systems of Knowledge.” A school is free to promote any form of presence; “4th Way”, Sufism, Esoteric Christianity, Buddhism, any form they wish to promote.

State and Federal government agencies, as a rule, steer clear of religious issues. Whenever the government acts against religious organizations it is because criminal laws have been broken. That was the case with the scandals of the catholic church regarding priests having sex with minors and more recently in Texas when several hundred children were taken from their mothers into custody because it was reported that under aged girls were having sex with adult men. That one didn’t go very well for the state however. With the Branch Davidians they were raided because they were amassing an arsenal of illegal arms.

But anyone is free to try to sue anyone else. Recently a person, a judge no less, sued a dry cleaning store for $54 million because they lost his favorite pair of pants. Eventually the case was dismissed.

115. dick moron - December 25, 2008

114. Daily Cardiac

Dear, shouldn’t you be at a paid FOF event right now, standing in the back, pretending to be present instead of indulging your lower self by writing knee-jerk, formatory retorts to comments on this blog???

116. Yesri Baba - December 25, 2008

“What a tangled web to unweave!”

—————-

Heh, heh, heh… waitalyasee what you got coming down the pipe spiderman.

117. Opus 111 - December 26, 2008

DC
Schools begat religion. Schools came first. Religion is the diluted offspring of schools. Schools also supersede “4th Way systems of Knowledge.”

As many have said before, where do you get that shit? From the prehistoric droppings of rhino? Do no tell me it comes from personal and internal verification. You too are plugged in C-influence, right? Or is it one more example in the long list of unproven, wacky but grandiose theories of the Burton tradition. I would not be surprise to hear that Burton has discovered, after a lot more kinky group sex and sedatives, that he is in fact the most enlightened being to ever walked planet earth, and that he begat, he the queen in a man’s body, all others amongst the 44. Perhaps you already have personally and internally verified that as well.

Take a break, you deserve it. Happy holidays!

118. elena - December 26, 2008

Political betrayal
Most adults living in democracies place trust in the state of which they are a citizen. If this trust is betrayed, at its worst, the individual can suffer psychological betrayal trauma. Betrayal trauma has symptoms similar to post traumatic stress disorder, although the element of amnesia and dissociation is likely to be greater.
The key difference between traditional post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and betrayal trauma is that the former is historically seen as being caused primarily by fear, whereas betrayal trauma is a response to extreme anger. Fear and anger are the two sides to the fight-flight response, and as such are our strongest and most basic psychological emotions.

Pure political betrayal trauma can be caused by situations such as wrongful arrest and/or conviction; or by discrimination, bullying or other serious mistreatment by a state institution or powerful figure within the state.
In practice, however, it is likely that most people with symptoms of psychological trauma have elements of both fear based PTSD and anger based betrayal trauma, not one or the other. Certainly in the most serious cases of PTSD there is an element of both. For instance, the fact that a soldier is sent to war by the state is an important element in the reasons for war being a major cause of PTSD. In cases where soldiers are horrified by the actions or orders of their commanding officers, or where they are victims of friendly fire, their PTSD is likely to be worse because of the element of betrayal will be that much greater. Similarly, one of the most psychologically traumatising events in history, the Holocaust, is almost certainly so serious a case because the element of state betrayal is as great as the element of fear trauma.

Betrayal trauma

Betrayal trauma occurs when people or institutions that are depended on for survival violate human trust. An example of betrayal trauma is childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. The term was first used by Professor J.J. Freyd in 1991, and today most mental health professionals accept betrayal trauma as a possible alternative diagnosis to traditional post traumatic stress disorder, particularly in cases of Complex post-traumatic stress disorder where the trauma consists of long term trauma rather than a single traumatic event.

“Pure political betrayal trauma can be caused by situations such as wrongful arrest and/or conviction; or by discrimination, bullying or other serious mistreatment by a state institution or powerful figure within the state.”

There’s a lot of this in the Fellowship phenomenon, especially for those who actually moved to Oregon House and tried to be a part of the Cult.

Discrimination is the most prevalent form of mistreatment in the Fellowship Cult and it is based on a discrimination on “BEING” which must be one of the most humiliating of any forms of discrimination. It is not something that you don’t have, it is something that you are not. Not that you don’t have the education, or the money or the colour, you just don’t have the BEING, you are not what is required to be legitimately taken into consideration. Also, some “Types” were particularly discriminated: mercurys, lunars.. kings of clubs, moving centred, “tramps”, “non-existent” …

The message was: you do not have the being to lead a meeting or to represent Robert Burton or to give angles. I guess those of us who were particularly discriminated didn’t kiss his ass or any of the other enabler’s, enough.

One of the reasons the Fellowship has lasted for so long is that although it is the most hierarchic society I’ve ever belonged to, it separates people not with uniforms or obvious “positions” but by equally disempowering every body leaving only very few in the proximity of Robert. Since everyone feels “valueless”, the majority are rendered into a frightful inaction and obedience while the exceptions acquire tremendous power: Girard, Asaf, Dorian… In each area someone is chosen as Robert’s connection and they are so afraid of loosing the position that they protect it with extreme jealousy.

It is difficult to state who is more pathetic: Whether the obedient ones or the little dictators. Everyone gives the impression that they are making so much effort to survive and the saddest thing about it all is that it circles around the imagination that Robert can give enlightenment by just looking at them, at us. The thirst for recognition, for acceptance, for valuation, the tremendous “inner considering” for not having the “being” to be acknowledged by the “Teacher” who consistently avoids most of the members knowing that the less they know him the more our imagination kept him in the throne based on the trust we placed on his and his enabler’s deceptions.

If Robert supported emotionally, the process would be very different: instead of rendering people more vulnerable it would strengthen them but that is not his aim. He needs people to get weaker so that they don’t leave. The more dependent they are the more abuses they allow him to perform on themselves and others.

I suppose that if the false guru is a stage of development what it is trying to teach is another level of false love in which people give themselves away to such illusions, as if we had to learn what love is not, before we can actually learn what it is.

The delicate aspect of love seems to be that in most forms of it in regular life, including cults, what people love is what they think they don’t have or are not. As if it were a form of surrender because we think the other person has something that is better than us. Instead of empowering us, such forms of love humiliate one and usually the person aimed at does not feel attracted. There is nothing humble about Fellowship students, what they shoy is simply self-deprecation: selling what ever talent we had like whores to our spiritual pimp who might in turn pay us some attention, give us some space. But he never did. He’s like a spoiled child who can’t bear anyone else having anything good that the himself hasn’t given him so that he can make them pay for it threefold.

119. elena - December 26, 2008

The first part of the previous post was taken from the internet. I think wikipedia. I’ll try to be more careful with that in the future.

120. elena - December 26, 2008

I’d like to keep these fresh and at hand so here they are.

from wikipedia:
Deception (also called beguilement or subterfuge) is the act of convincing another to believe information that is not true, or not the whole truth as in certain types of half-truths.
Deception involves concepts like propaganda, distraction and/or concealment. Fiction, while sometimes manipulative, is not a deception unless it is portrayed as partially truthful or as the whole truth.
In many cases it is difficult to distinguish deception from providing unintentionally wrong information. One of the reasons for this is that a person or an entire organization may be self-deceived.

Religious deception:
Some religions promote extremist viewpoints and behaviors that are not physically or psychologically healthy for their followers. [1] For example, some extremist muslim groups promote fear-mongering and terrorism as a means to attain spiritual divination. Many religions promote exclusivity to their faith, in which absolute adherence to the followers’ faith of choice is required, and adherence to other religious beliefs is cause for dismissal from the faith of choice. This type of deception can act to limit human thought and cognition with the use of punishment and reward of their respective flocks and followers for not thinking alike with other minds.[2] Religious deception has been utilized by religious groups for thousands of years to punish and reward their flocks for limiting their own minds relative to the beliefs of others, and has promoted humans to engage in self-deceptive behaviors.

Fraud: In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation. Many hoaxes are fraudulent, although those not made for personal gain are not technically frauds. Defrauding people of money is presumably the most common type of fraud, but there have also been many fraudulent “discoveries” in art, archaeology, and science.

In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly. [1] Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects. In the criminal law of common law jurisdictions it may be called “theft by deception,” “larceny by trick,” “larceny by fraud and deception,” or something similar.

Fraud, in addition to being a criminal act, is also a type of civil law violation known as a tort. A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. A civil fraud typically involves the act of intentionally making a false representation of a material fact, with the intent to deceive, which is reasonably relied upon by another person to that person’s detriment. A “false representation” can take many forms, such as:
A false statement of fact, known to be false at the time it was made;
A statement of fact with no reasonable basis to make that statement;
A promise of future performance made with an intent, at the time the promise was made, not to perform as promised;
A statement of opinion based on a false statement of fact;
A statement of opinion that the maker knows to be false; or
An expression of opinion that is false, made by one claiming or implying to have special knowledge of the subject matter of the opinion. “Special knowledge” in this case means knowledge or information superior to that possessed by the other party, and to which the other party did not have equal access.

277. Jomo Piñata – December 20, 2008
Elena: In another level you cannot hear what I am saying and will not address issues like the one I already mentioned that the Fellowship presented itself as a Fourth Way School in the tradition of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and it would be very easy to prove that it did not hold up to that image, ever.

Let’s assume that this is true. I don’t think it’s necessarily true, but let’s assume that it is, and let’s also assume that you feel defrauded by what we are assuming. There’s still a problem. Wikipedia gives a good summary of the elements:

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

Common law fraud has nine elements: (1) representation of an existing fact; (2) its materiality; (3) its falsity; (4) the speaker’s knowledge of its falsity; (5) the speaker’s intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff; (6) plaintiff’s ignorance of its falsity; (7) plaintiff’s reliance on the truth of the representation; (8) plaintiff’s right to rely upon it; and (9) consequent damages suffered by plaintiff. Most jurisdictions in the United States require that each element be proved with clear, cogent, and convincing evidence (very probable evidence) to establish a claim of fraud. The measure of damages in fraud cases is to be computed by the “benefit of bargain” rule, which is the difference between the value of the property had it been as represented, and its actual value. Special damages may be allowed if shown proximately caused by defendant’s fraud and the damage amounts are proved with specificity.

The one that’s troublesome is “plaintiff’s right to rely on the representation.” I.e., “the organization represented it was a fourth way school, and I relied on that representation.” No one can prove they had a right to rely on that representation.

Think about it. If a used car salesman tells you it’s a “great car,” you don’t rely on it; you take it to get checked out by a mechanic. If you’re buying a business, you hire financial professionals to go over the books and give you an opinion about the value. You don’t rely on the owner’s representation that it’s a going concern that will make you a lot of money. Somehow we understand that that’s “puffery.”

Same with the Fellowship. Somewhere we relied on representations that we were not entitled to rely on and that no one with his critical thinking skills intact would have relied on. “An esoteric school with direct connection to higher forces.” But rely we did.

However, IF, through specific and identifiable techniques, including deception, our ability to think critically was interfered with, so that we lacked the ability to critically evaluate the information, THAT may be a tort–a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. That’s the tort that Ford Greene’s “Molko and Leal” case created in California.

Personally, I think that deceptive techniques were utilized in recruitment of prospective students into the Fellowship, and I think that some people may have the right to sue for damages. Those who left the Fellowship within the last three years and want to find out whether they may have a remedy should talk to a California lawyer.

121. elena - December 26, 2008

“The one that’s troublesome is “plaintiff’s right to rely on the representation.” I.e., “the organization represented it was a fourth way school, and I relied on that representation.” No one can prove they had a right to rely on that representation.”

re⋅ly  -lied, -ly⋅ing.
to depend confidently; put trust in (usually fol. by on or upon): You can rely on her work.

1 : to be dependent
2 : to have confidence based on experience

If the Fellowship of Friends is a legal institution in the United States why would an individual be expected to not rely on it? Doesn’t the government itself grant it credibility in granting it the right to function?

I joined in London. Is it legal in London? Could I sue the Fellowship in England under English laws?

Could I sue it in Colombia where it is not even legal? It has never paid taxes? Would it still have to respond?

Just wondering. Again, I know I am not paying anyone here so I do not expect any answers but would be grateful if you know any or are willing to take a guess without the slightest responsibility and with the assumption that I would have to verify anything with a lawyer.

122. brucelevy - December 26, 2008

123. [An older student] - December 26, 2008

Dear DC,

I haven’t been here for quite a while.

Reading all this, it becomes evident that your posts are feeding this Blog and to a certain extent they are keeping it more alive than it would have been without your involvement.

The negative influence of this Blog on the FoF is practically non-existent and if part of the reason you are writing here is to create some sort of balance, I do not think that is necessary.

Let this Blog run as it is. It is quite harmless. You are wasting quite a lot of energy on other peoples’ lower-self instead of separating from your own.

This message for you personally and I will not respond to any forthcoming posts. I do not know who you are, otherwise I would have contacted you directly.

124. Yesri Baba - December 26, 2008

Judge: So, would you please explain the nuances of ‘self-remembering’ and presence your ‘school’ is on about.

DC: Well, it is quite esoteric and it takes many years to become prepared to understand these ideas.

Judge: Try me.

DC: OK. Usually people live in a kind of dream state. They are caught up in their surroundings or fantasizing about the past or imagining the future. In our ‘school’ we do certain techniques to bring us to presence in the present moment.

Judge: Don’t you still remember things from the past and think about the future?

DC: Yes, but when we catch ourselves doing that we return to our exercise and return to the present moment.

Judge: Hmmm. But you are always in the present moment right?

DC: Yes, but not in presence. You see, presence is a different state of consciousness.

Judge: This sounds like the idea of the natural state or ordinary mind of Buddhism of which I have practiced. Is this presence the same thing?

DC: Not exactly. The difference is that with presence you need to be in our school and there are 44 angels helping us to have presence and if we keep making this presence for a long time, sometimes many lifetimes, we make a soul and we become angels too……

Judge: WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!! Hold on there sparky. Who told you about this angel and soul and lifetimes stuff?

DC: Our Teacher, Robert Burton.

Judge: He’s the one doing all the cock sucking, butt fucking and misusing the excessive payments demanded by your group?

DC: Yes but… the angels…. cost a lot of money.. and uh…well sex is an identifica..uh people are hung up on..sex…so he..umm…PRESENCE.. that’s what we are about.

Judge: The court rules in favor of the plaintiffs. Court adjourned.

DC: Do you want to join our school judge?

Judge: Are you fucking retarded?

125. dragon - December 26, 2008

Yesri you must be blessed by the Christ child and the Glühwein! Your Christmas posts are so funny!

And DC,

Take those angels below and you will serve the 52 angels:

“Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!

US 52 is one of FIVE U.S. highways to cross the Mississippi River more than once. It crosses the river three times: at Minneapolis via the Dartmouth Bridge, at St. Paul by the Lafayette Bridge, and between Iowa and Illinois by the Savanna-Sabula Bridge

The southeastern terminus of US 52 is in Charleston, South Carolina, where it becomes E. Bay Street along the Charleston Harbor.

DC the terminus of the FOF is given by the terminus of the U.S. Route 52.

GO TO EBAY! PROMOTE THE FOF right on this great and worldwide marketplace and the GODS of the dollar sign will be with you and REB!

Howlin’ Wolf with EVIL:

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=fFZfx3r-AvE

126. dragon - December 26, 2008

WE NEVER WALK ALONE:

Recession colors Christmas in Bay Area churches
Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Religion Writer

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The troubled economy has had such a pronounced effect on the Excelsior district congregation that the pastor, the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, said it has come up in every single sermon over the past two months, giving a different dimension to this Christmas.

“The church is being tested in its usefulness,” said Reyes-Chow. “Is our faith real? Is it beyond a spiritual connection to God and each other, or does that connection manifest itself in acts as a faith community in the world?”

These questions are not limited to one church. Interviews with priests and pastors around the region – including Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians and nondenominational evangelicals – found that many churches are coping with issues resulting from the faltering economy.

Individual parishioners’ struggles are also impacting many churches, which are seeing SHARP DECLINES in DONATIONS.

127. elena - December 26, 2008

How the ‘only true Christian church’ operates

The London Church of Christ considers it has returned to a pure New Testament form of Christianity. A branch of a movement formed in Boston by Apostle Kip McKean in 1979, it considers itself the only true Christian church. The LCC, also known as the Uk or International Church of Christ, first started recruiting in a London suburb in 1982.

Although it was given charitable status in 1986, there has been so much concern about the LCC that 34 universities across the country have banned it from their campuses. The church in Britain is led by American Mark Templer and has a turnover of œ1.2 million. There are now branches in cities such as Brimingham, Leeds, Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester. Membership nationally is estimated to be between 1200 and 2000, and recruitment is carried out by the followers in regular, organised street evangelism.

Passers-by are targeted outside railway stations, on the Tube and on buses. They are asked for their telephone numbers to “follow up” and hundreds of people can be contacted in this way in the space of a few hours. New members find themselves part of a lifestyle which demands all their energies. Sexual relationships with boyfriends and girlfriends outside the LCC are not allowed. Members are told to dump their partners and choose new ones from within the church. Sex outside marriage is forbidden.

Organised in a pyramid selling structure, it has a strong authoritarian streak and its members ascend the ladder of authority in direct relation to their success in attracting new followers.

Each member is assigned a discipler, who is considered more mature in faith and who exercises considerable control over even intimate aspects of the member’s life. Many followers move into communes, with separate accommodation for men and women. All must recruit on the streets, attend church meetings almost every night and join numerous informal Bible-study groups.

Followers give at least 10 per cent of their gross salaries to the church. Most of the money goes towards paying ministry salaries and hiring halls for meetings, as the LCC does not own any of its own church buildings.

Cult experts estimate there are more than 500 mind-controlling cults in Britain today, 2500 in the US and about 800 in Canada. The London Church of Christ ranks alongside the Church of Scientology and the Moonies as the sects which cause the most concern in Britain. The Church of Scientology,with its British headquarters in East Grinstead, claims to have eight million members worldwide.

128. elena - December 26, 2008

From:TOLC: Triumphing Over London Cults
Education and Counselling on Cults http://www.tolc.org

129. Jomo Piñata - December 26, 2008

Elena/121

If the Fellowship of Friends is a legal institution in the United States why would an individual be expected to not rely on it?

Being a “legal institution” just means it’s a corporation. That means some people filled out some forms and signed them and wrote a check and sent it to the California Secretary of Corporations. And then the Secretary of Corporations prints a piece of paper saying “you are a corporation” and sends it to them.

Doesn’t the government itself grant it credibility in granting it the right to function?

No.

I joined in London. Is it legal in London? Could I sue the Fellowship in England under English laws?

Good question for an English lawyer specializing in cults.

Could I sue it in Colombia where it is not even legal? It has never paid taxes? Would it still have to respond?

Good question. If it does or did business in Colombia, I suspect it would have to respond.

Of course the possibility exists that persons deceptively recruited outside of the US could bring suits within California, but under the law of the place where they were recruited.

Just wondering. Again, I know I am not paying anyone here so I do not expect any answers but would be grateful if you know any or are willing to take a guess without the slightest responsibility and with the assumption that I would have to verify anything with a lawyer.

130. elena - December 26, 2008

Thank you Jomo, I much appreciate your willingness to share.

I have the impression that the problem is world wide and that the mentality that allows for Cults will have to mature like the mentality that allowed for slavery.

It is an honor to be on the slightly more evolved side of the equation. For those pathetic fellowship members who still swallow the Cult idea that man has never evolved, it would be good for you to meditate on slavery which your conscious being, Mr. Abraham Lincoln did so much to stop, unafraid of how many sacrifices it cost. The saddest aspect of your practices is, like in slavery, the many people you exploit to support your lifestyle. Your superficial and meaningless lifestyle that is convinced that a few silk ties and a golden plate makes you royal. It is no wonder that we were mostly members from a decadent middle class with ambitions who never had enough to understand that too many possesions do not give dignity and too little do not take it away.

Dignity is a quality of the self, the first quality of Real I. Dignity is the I AM of being.

Why should it not surprise us that Daily Cardiac and all the members behind the name haven’t yet been able to answer the question:

What is dignity for you?
Beauty?
Harmony?
Love?
Decency?
Pride?
Joy?
Gratitude?
Humility?
Humbleness?
Sincerity?
Equality?
Freedom?
Unity?

If you find the key to one of them, you’ll open the windows to all of them. You are the door.

131. elena - December 26, 2008

I do not wish to detract anyone from the Fellowship from posting their story while I ran along posting all these finds into which this is taking me, us. Please Susan Z., God Laughing or anyone else who wishes to continue in the intimate aspects of the Fellowship, know that I continue to support such posts. The fact that I already cried my tears does not mean others don’t need to cry theirs. We can co-exist, like in life!

Children found dead in Colombia
[November 25, 1998]

The grim discovery of the bound bodies of 23 children and youths, almost all skeletons, were recently recovered in the western city of Pereira in Colombia. With a population of approximately 700,000 people some 110 miles from the country’s capital, Bogota, Pereira is also home to a movement called “Satan’s Youth” that has become increasingly active.

While cult activity is suspected, police have not ruled out extreme right-wing paramilitary groups or even organ smugglers. Authorities have been unable to make any arrests in the cases involving some 250 families in Pereira who have filed reports of missing children over the past year.

Police are investigating potential motives, from possible “social cleansing” of suspected juvenile delinquents by vigilante squads to cult members abducting victims to fulfill deadly ritualistic rites. Pereira Mayor Luis Alberto Duque stated, “It’s a chilling thing. The big concern is we don’t know what it’s all about.” State prosecutor Elena Osorio added grimly, “It’s a city where Satanism is widely practiced, and there’s a lot of talk that children are used in rituals.”

Twelve victims were located this week in a riverbed by workers fixing electrical lines, who reported what they originally believed were animal bones in a nearby ravine. Other remains were discovered last week in underbrush by a child who stumbled on a skull. Liquor bottles were found beside many of the victims, two of whom had been tied to trees, having apparently been tortured. Experts estimate the oldest of the victims was 16, but many were 10 or younger.

Sources:
Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd., November 19, 1998; Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 19, 1998

132. Mick Danger - December 26, 2008

“The train halted in Albuquerque, New Mexico for thirty minutes at noon on December 17, 1934. Baba’s mood became serious and he spelled “INDIAN” on the palm of his hand. He suddenly left his compartment with Ruano Bogislav. The men mandali knew to follow. Baba walked two blocks away from the station, arm-in-arm with Ruano. Then he spotted a small side street. Abruptly, he turned down it and continued on as if he kew exactly where he was headed. Ruano’s only thought was that they were going to miss the train. Baba stopped when he noticed two Native American Indians standing on the corner. One was selling trinkets and he walked away as soon as Baba approached. The other Indian was a tall, fat man with a red bandana tied around his head. He stayed exactly where he was. He and Baba then stood facing one another. Their eyes met, but no word was spoken. Baba then walked quickly back to the station and boarded the train.
Once on the train, Ruano narrated the incident to the others and Baba commented about the Indian, “He is one of my agents. He is the direct agent in charge of America.” Baba later explained that he was an agent of the fourth plane – one of four in the world with miraculous powers.”

133. dragon - December 26, 2008

What is about stress and the duration of sleep in the FOF?

You may listen, please:

A Mysterious Link Between Sleeplessness and Heart Disease

THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: December 23, 2008

People who don’t get much sleep are more likely than those who do to develop calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, possibly raising their risk for heart disease, a new study has found.

The 495 participants in the study filled out sleep questionnaires and kept a log of their hours in bed. At night they also wore motion-sensing devices around their wrists that estimate the number of hours of actual sleep. At the beginning, none of the participants, who were ages 35 to 47, had evidence of coronary artery calcification.

Five years later, 27 percent of those who were sleeping less than five hours a night on average had developed coronary artery calcification for the first time, while only 6 percent of those who were sleeping seven hours or more had developed it. Among those who were sleeping between five and seven hours a night, 11 percent had developed coronary artery calcification, the study found.

After accounting for various other causes, the researchers concluded that one hour more of sleep per night was associated with a 33 percent decrease in the odds of calcification, comparable to the heart benefit gained by lowering one’s systolic blood pressure by 17 millimeters of mercury.

The study was published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The data were drawn from the ongoing Coronary Artery Risk Development In Young Adults study.

Senior author Diane S. Lauderdale cautioned that the new report does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between a lack of sleep and heart disease.

“It’s important to say that this is the first report and this does not yet prove the association is causal,” said Dr. Lauderdale, an associate professor of health studies at the University of Chicago Medical Center. “Until we know what the mechanism is — that it’s really a direct or a causal relationship — there is no point in making recommendations based on this.”

Although a number of studies have suggested that people who sleep less are at greater risk of heart disease and death, this is the first investigation to measure how much its subjects actually are sleeping, said Dr. Sanjay Patel, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and expert in sleep medicine. Patients’ own self-assessments can be very inaccurate, he added.

What isn’t clear is whether reduced sleep triggers physiological changes that increase heart disease risk, or whether a third, unrelated factor causes both changes, he said.

“It’s possible, for example, that people who are under more stress may be both sleeping less and at higher risk of heart disease,” Dr. Patel said.

If so, he added, “If we got those people to sleep more but they still were under a lot of stress, it wouldn’t change their risk of heart disease.”

Higher education levels are also associated with both a lower risk of heart disease and a tendency to get more sleep, said Dr. Lauderdale.

But it is also possible that lack of sleep leads to certain changes, like increasing blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can raise the risk of coronary artery disease over time, Dr. Lauderdale said.

Another possible mechanism could be through the effect that sleep has on average blood pressure levels over a 24-hour period. Blood pressure usually dips when people are asleep, which could provide health benefits for those who get more sleep, Dr. Lauderdale suggested.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/health/research/24sleep.html?_r=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/health/research/24sleep.html?_r=1

134. Mick Danger - December 26, 2008

“On April 20th, 1933, Baba took them to Harwan Village [Kashmir, Northern India] in two buses and a car. Dressed in disguise so as not to be recognized by the villagers, Baba showed them where he stayed in seclusion and fasted in 1929. Pointing to a hill, Baba indicated, “There is the place where two of Christ’s apostles, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, buried his body; they had accompanied him from Palestine.”

135. fofblogmoderator - December 26, 2008

123 & 133 are newly moderated

136. Jomo Piñata - December 26, 2008

123/An Older Student

The negative influence of this Blog on the FoF is practically non-existent

Wishful thinking is the downfall of scholarship.

137. dick moron - December 26, 2008

123. [A Colder Student]

Annotated version keying true meaning of post
——————————-

Dear DC,

I haven’t been here for quite a while.
(I am one of the draconian FOF watchdog stool pigeons who reads print-outs of the blog on a daily basis looking for rougue members like you)

Reading all this, it becomes evident that your posts are feeding this Blog and to a certain extent they are keeping it more alive than it would have been without your involvement.
(We don’t like the fact that your posts reveal yourself, Bob Burton and the Fellowship of Friends to be arrogant deluded frauds.)

The negative influence of this Blog on the FoF is practically non-existent and if part of the reason you are writing here is to create some sort of balance, I do not think that is necessary.
(I command you to shut-up)

Let this Blog run as it is. It is quite harmless. You are wasting quite a lot of energy on other peoples’ lower-self instead of separating from your own.
(Drag you lower-self over to the Galleria to wash pots)

This message for you personally and I will not respond to any forthcoming posts. I do not know who you are, otherwise I would have contacted you directly.
(I will find out who you are and you will be fined and punished)

138. dick moron - December 26, 2008

Daily Cardiac Wrote:

“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.”

139. brucelevy - December 26, 2008

123. [An older student] (Gerard)

snaaap.

Didn’t someone refer to DC several times as Ludwig? Whoever the hell that is.

140. brucelevy - December 26, 2008

136. Jomo Piñata

wishful thinking- that last refuge of the scoundrel (in this case).

141. brucelevy - December 26, 2008

137. dick moron

You mean “pay your money and keep your mouths shut, peons” )or pee-ons in this case.

142. William - December 26, 2008

Older Student (#123):

You are correct that DC keeps the blog alive. I, too, have noticed that the blog tends to descend into self-pity, blame, pointless invective, and worn-out rock lyrics when DC goes on holiday.

But you are also missing something very big: the blog was born because free communication does not exist in the FOF. Shippers come here because of the questions they cannot ask: Why was my fellow “student” asked to leave the FOF? Where does all the money go? Why are questions at meetings not allowed anymore – and what actually happened in St. Petersburg some years ago? Is it true that Robert began leading meetings again because funding agencies warned that there would be no loans if Robert were anywhere close to the money? Is it true he has made a bonfire of all his earlier “teachings”? What about group homosexual sex in teams of six, always including a man with tiny fists?

Of course, accuracy cannot be guaranteed on the blog, and “angles” are often severely distorted by the prejudices of the speakers—often shaped by the traumatic series of circumstances that usually propelled their exit. But the point is, you can’t get trusted info within the FOF, either, and there are penalties for asking.

The letter from GH to Shippers was typical. From Olympus, you get a lofty letter dismissing the blog. The author confessed (as I recall) to personal curiosity, but the pressing demands of his life (duties that consist of … what? Relentless angle-giving — an activity many engage in even without a salary? The occasional dinner, lunch, tea, reception, snack or other meal?) led him to see this curiosity as an indulgence, unlike gluttony or unnecessary talk. Many have detailed on the blog the actual extent of his private activities, which gives the lie to this pose of the duty-bound leader, working tirelessly for our evolution. But let’s leave that aside…

The letter continues: For others less disciplined, less focused than himself, the ever-vigilant Member Support Committee (which never tires of meddling into the private lives of members, and gossiping about them) has point-people who will address the concerns of members troubled by the blog. Information, as always in the FOF, will be given on a “need to know” basis.

In other words, these things cannot be discussed openly, at an Apollo d’Oro dinner or meeting – they are a private matter that indicates the weakness of the individual member. If you are questioning the blog, the absurdities of the Sequence, the vapidity of the “new teaching,” the unexpected dismissal of your friends – you can private discuss these issues with an authorized information provider, directly or indirectly mandated by Robert himself. And you will be known to them as someone to keep an eye on. If you were hoping to lead that next big meeting, or an appointment as center director … bye bye to that, till you get your issues sorted out!

These questions ARE, after all, a personal problem. An indication of failures in your own work. You are welcome to confess them to the FOF troupe of psychologists and drug-dispensing psychiatrists (maybe you need Prozac, after all), in the same way you might furtively confess to compulsive masturbation.

(And, in a long parenthetical aside, it is interesting to note that here the therapeutic model prevails. You may be given the customary bromides – for example, you may be told that if you were going to a psychiatrist, you would not be able to ask how he/she spends the fees you give him. But alas, the FOF does not consistently follow the therapeutic model – sometimes, if you are late with your payments, the business model prevails. Did you expect something for nothing? Gurdjieff said we have to be good businessmen. If FOF teaching or methods are questioned, the religious model prevails, and religious freedom invoked. These shell games with models are a vital way to avoid accountability.)

Is it any surprise, then, that people turn to the blog, where they can ask questions openly and freely, without getting stigmatized, and get a range of answers, though some admittedly cockeyed?

And no one needs to know you posted.

143. William - December 26, 2008

p.s. to Older Student, who isn’t reading this.

Here. I can prove my point. I suspect that the FOF would very much like DC to belt it. So why doesn’t the organization simply ask him? Nothing simpler. Another letter to members, asking Shippers not to participate on the blog, and DC in particular. I have no doubt DC would comply.

So why doesn’t the organization do it?

Because they would have to admit that the first dominance-in-the-drinking-water letter didn’t work.They would have to that they had failed.They would have to confess to concern about the blog. They would have to admit their vulnerability. They would have to admit this — so late in the game, after a year or so has passed since their last acknowledgment. They would have to be sincere, rather than faux-lofty.

It’s all part of the massively insincere and controlling communication style that you have come to view as “normal.”

That’s why the blog, for all its limitations and flaws, exists.

144. Jomo Piñata - December 26, 2008

William,
I like your voice.

145. ton - December 26, 2008

142 william…”Older Student (#123): You are correct that DC keeps the blog alive. I, too, have noticed that the blog tends to descend into self-pity, blame, pointless invective, and worn-out rock lyrics when DC goes on holiday…..” etc…

” So, you won’t take warning, eh? All the worse for you. I’ll take care of you now instead of later. When I gain those ruby slippers, my power will be the greatest in Oz. (She stirs the potion.) Now my beauties. Something with poi-son in it I think. With poison in it. But attractive to the eye and soothing to the smell. Ha-ha-ha-ha. Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sle-ee-p. Now they’ll sle-ee-p….”

i hope ya’ll enjoy this as much as i….. here’s more ‘worn out rock’ sans lyrics…..
a prayer…

146. elena - December 26, 2008

A Girard is one possibility for an old student but an old student could also be one of the Daily Cardiacs wishing to pretend they had to step out because they were told to do so and not because they simply failed. Good try though, you almost managed to fool a few with your good-householder act!

Perhaps we can add that one to the rest of the list: Being a good householder won’t take you to heaven either, particularly if you think being a good householder is ironing your shirt to go to the narcissistic sex maniacs events.

The blog is too wide a stream now to survive on Daily Cardiac but if he’s the source of your inspiritions here, it better drop short than prolong itself! It is not the voice of solidified dogma what inspired me ever but the deep longing for a fluid reality.

What a pleasure to be here, even with Daily Cardiacs on board!

147. elena - December 26, 2008

Fireflies
I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.
The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illumined freedom.

Love remains a secret even when spoken,
for only a lover truly knows that he is loved.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil
is no freedom for the tree.

In love I pay my endless debt to thee
for what thou art.

Rabindranath Tagore

Thanks D-

148. ton - December 27, 2008

william et al,
please forgive the ‘worn out rock lyics’

“So, when they tap our Sunday heads,
Two Zombie-walk in our stead,
This town seems hardly worth the time,
And we’ll no longer memorize or rhyme,
Too far along in our crime,
Stepping over, what now towers to the sky,
With no connection.”

149. ton - December 27, 2008

may be a day late not a dollar short…..

It was christmas eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, wont see another one
And then he sang a song
The rare old mountain dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
Ive got a feeling
This years for me and you
So happy christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

Theyve got cars big as bars
Theyve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
Its no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold christmas eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of new york city
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the nypd choir
Were singing galway bay
And the bells were ringing out
For christmas day

Youre a bum
Youre a punk
Youre an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy christmas your arse
I pray God its our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Cant make it all alone
Ive built my dreams around you”

languages +
genres +
links +

150. harryhindsight - December 27, 2008

” You are wasting quite a lot of energy on other peoples’ lower-self instead of separating from your own.” – older student.

Hey D.C. can you see how the control system functions now? Separate from your lower self and write back to let us know how you’re feeling.

151. brucelevy - December 27, 2008

150. harryhindsight

“You are wasting quite a lot of energy on other peoples’ lower-self instead of separating from your own.”

“This message for you personally and I will not respond to any forthcoming posts. I do not know who you are, otherwise I would have contacted you directly.”

Sort of like a dog that gets smacked on the snout with a rolled up newspaper for shitting on the rug.

Roll over DC and play dead like the rest of the crypt members.

152. brucelevy - December 27, 2008

I guess we now get to see if DC actually had his balls removed by the True School of “Presents”.

153. Jomo Piñata - December 27, 2008

Or, in technical language, a “bilateral orchiectomy.”

154. whalerider - December 27, 2008

Daily Cardiac:
An older, more fully indoctrinated cult follower says, “You are wasting quite a lot of energy on other peoples’ lower-self instead of separating from your own.”

So much for the second line of work.

Maybe you had better listen to your peers, grasshopper, you wouldn’t want to get the boot, now would you?

You’ve made your bed in the Fellowship of Friends, now you have to sleep in it.

Good luck and thank you for all your efforts.

155. William - December 27, 2008

I would stop goading Daily Cardiac. It is unseemly. It makes all of YOU look bad. It’s like a schoolyard bully taunting the kid whose mother has come to drag him home. Is that how you wish to appear (let alone be)? Should your intention be, as so many of you have stated, to close down the FOF– then you might consider that, to those still in the FOF, these kind of cheap shots make you look like the negative, twisted “descending octaves” Robert has always said you are. Even if you could bring one, single person out, saving possibly decades of his or her life, isn’t it worth a little of your self-control? I would do a great deal to save someone that kind of time, including trying to control my sarcasm and vindictiveness. Wouldn’t you do the same?

What is the aim here? To blow off steam? To get therapy? To close down the FOF? To be comforted and validated? To get attention? Is this a group counseling thing? A war room? A strip-tease club? What?

To say that you want to be all these things is a lie. It means that you continually pander to your lowest impulses under the cloak of anonymity – with the self-deceiving excuse that even your pandering might mean something to somebody. Hence, the most salient characteristic about the blog in recent months is the remarkable amount of self-indulgence, self-congratulation, and gang behavior that is tolerated. (Gang behavior: One person is attacked – usually DC – and everyone piles on, sometimes only with “me, too” posts.)

I have posted under a number of names over time, and I suspect this will be last post under this one. I expect what I am saying will piss people off enough so that it will be wise to let go of “William” and become someone else, or else return my energies to an area of my life that is more productive. By the way, I strongly invite those of you who are using your real names to reappear under a phony one: it allows you to drop your stuff and move on when attacked, because nobody knows who “you” are, anyway. When people use their own names, they haul a lot of baggage with them, and they also feel the need to defend themselves when they are questioned or attacked. And then there are all the enablers, who rush in to protect person X or Y when X or Y take a hit – because they know who X or Y is. If you can’t take a hit, you’re probably better off not posting on this blog. Use a fake name, and if IT acquires too much luggage, drop the name and take another. Moderator: is there a way you would allow this in real time? (And no playing peek-a-boo with your mask, dropping huge hints about who you “really” are so you can collect points when you’ve said something clever. Have a little integrity.)

People defending themselves use a huge amount of energy on this blog, and diverts it from whatever purpose and aim it may have. Exhibitionism takes a lot of space – i.e., people trying to show how caring they are, how passionate they are, how much more they have suffered compared to others. Drop it. Drop the strip-teases, where confession becomes a kind of lurid exhibitionism, and the readers become voyeurs. Personal stories are good to a point, but for pity sake be honest with yourself about what you are saying and why. If we want titillation, we can go to the porn sites.

I suggest you really get serious, instead of going into chest-beating protestations about how serious you are. No more fantasy lawsuits, in which you will be able to whine to the listening world about your grievances. No more fantasies about changing U.S. constitutional law, to make it conform to your own opinion about what government should be. Believe me, none of you have the deep pockets for what you are talking about. No one has the bucks for a constitutional amendment. A case like that could be challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court. Remember: Every time you talk about handing out a subpoena, it costs lots more money. For vague claims about “brainwashing” and “rights” and fuzzy notions of spiritual slavery, you are talking about tons of subpoenas, a lot of “expert witnesses,” and a gazillion billable hours. Anybody out there willing to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into this? I thought not. Always keep in mind that the FOF gets either free or heavily discounted legal services from AG & co. The ill-fated LA Times suit, as I recall, was appealed – the FOF will have the resources you do not to appeal such cases.

The sad truth is, when you were in the FOF — and your children, parents, friends and former Shippers tried to use the law and the press to pull you out and make you see the truth – you wrapped yourselves in the flag and protested freedom of religion, freedom of thought, etc., etc. And you were right, under U.S. law. Now that you’ve changed your mind you want to rearrange U.S. law to fit your new understanding. And this is again where DC is right: you have a double standard.

Fortunately, this blog has Jomo Pinata, who is offering free legal advice. This will help you to get serious. Find real violations of the law – some of you know some of them. Find real ways you can contribute, rather than daydreaming about imaginary vindication in fantasy courts. Maybe there’s a lot to do without resort to lawyers – letters to embassies, letters to governments, and so forth. What about respectful, but honest reviews on amazon.com, barnes&noble, etc., about the worth of FOF books. (Amazon has removed these in the past – make sure you follow amazon guidelines, and be persistent.) How about search engine work – can anyone contribute in that area? (And please, everyone’s contribution is welcome in this area – no self-serving protests about how one’s own contribution is more worthy or important. You don’t need to know what your fellow “ex” is doing to have a little trust in him or her.) Why not use this forum to pool ideas?

And of course one-on-one work with our friends. The most likely way this pageant will be brought to a halt is still the voluntary exodus of dues-paying members. Given this reality, it is odd that I rarely see a serious discussion of how to help current members exit of the FOF—that is, what works, what doesn’t, and so on. Tatyana’s posts are the few current ones that are seriously grappling with this issue.

What if we had one day where we asked everyone on the blog to speak to three current Shipper friends about the nasty reality of the FOF, and how we feel about it now, then shared online what worked, what didn’t? Since from what DC says, no one reads the blog anyway, they won’t even know what we’re doing. These are just a few ideas — I’m sure if we put our heads together we would have lots of others.

The reality is that the FOF has discipline and persistence – that “discipline” may be cult-induced, but nonetheless it won’t be overcome by the wimpy “free to be, you and me” nonsense. It won’t be overcome by the pity parties, therapy sessions, me-too posts, online lynch mobs, and the kind of mutual enabling I see here. It won’t be brought down by obscenities, cheap shots, and mean-spirited attacks. It won’t be brought down without a quantum amount of self-discipline, self-control, and a purpose of our own.

The blog creates a psychological “optical illusion.” It gives the appearance to current members that there is a constant squall of a few discontented former members, crystallized in their disgruntlement and discontent. But most of us come and go over the years. More importantly, I know most of you leave your computers and have very fulfilling lives outside the blog—lives that are invisible to us online. You do not “live in the I’s” you express here – you re-evoke them when you come onto this blog. (I hope you re-evoke them for a purpose, and not for the perverse thrill of reopening wounds.) One of the most persuasive pieces of evidence I found for leaving the FOF was when a former member showed me photos of his lovely “life wife,” kids, and beautiful home surrounded by gardens and flowers. Other than Ellen, few of you have shown that there is a spiritual life after the FOF, and one that is richer, deeper, and truer than anything you will find at the Galleria. Really, just not buffering and lying anymore can become a spiritual “high.”

If people need therapy, friendships, etc. – can some of that be moved offline? Can that be moved to the Greater Fellowship site, which is better suited to these aims? I know some of you feel you need professional help after leaving the FOF – this blog is a poor substitute for it. This blog can be read by anyone in the world, and is best suited to addressing the claims of the FOF, and better informing potential recruits and others about what the FOF is. When there is too much eliminative stuff to wade through on this site (including folks who review every post that has been made since their last one, or long, impulsive posts from people who really do need professional help), it discourages what is, presumably, a potential audience.

It also discourages a full range of contributors, who don’t want to participate in what appears to be, too often, a negative group of whiners getting together to kvetch. That has certainly dissuaded my own participation. The policy of “let a thousand flowers bloom” means that some flowers won’t be noticed in the profusion, and that the stench of the wilting ones might mask the fragrance of the lily. Can’t some of these flowers be taken to another room, where they will bloom more freely?

Signing off.

p.s. Thanks, Jomo. You have liked my voice before, under other names – for both of us.

156. brucelevy - December 27, 2008

155. William

Well “William” fuck you very much.

157. whalerider - December 27, 2008

william:

Why not stick around and be the changes you want to see on the blog?

Do you know three current followers in the cult trance with whom you could speak or confront?

Why not give your idea a go and report back how it goes? That would give us a chance to refine the “de-hypnotizing” process as we move along.

DC is good practice for what we are likely to encounter.

158. Jomo Piñata - December 27, 2008

155/”William”

I hear you. But I think that the blog is the Fellowship’s shadow, with all that this term implies. Accepting people as they are means accepting people as they are. Freedom consists of both freedomfrom and freedom to. Unseemly piling-on, hypocritical changes of position and far-flung fantasy belong to us as much as the constructive impulses for which you advocate. So, while I respect your opinion, I would not expect it to change the sprawling, free-for-all nature of the forum.

159. Daily Cardiac - December 27, 2008

An Older Student – 123:

Thank you for the message. The timing is interesting as the beginning of the New Year was my own target date to end my time on the blog.

I agree with much of what you said. Whether my involvement here is being driven by my lower self; possibly only Influence C knows for sure. I had an aim which, as I said, is drawing to a close.

Being here, as the only FoF supporter for the most part, has not been without its form of payment. Much of that payment has been in time away from other duties of the moment. But I felt (and do feel) it was necessary; not so much for balance but for the chronicling of at least one detailed voice from a current member’s point to view. I have no doubt that if my being here was in error I will be the first to know.

160. elena - December 27, 2008

Thank you for the suggestions William. Please go ahead and organize all the solutions you think are better. I’ll be happy to support a few if I can get out of the cheap passion and wasting energy on suits I can’t afford. Fortunately if one needed to be a millionaire to change the world nothing would have ever changed so I’ll take your suggestions with the necessary precautions because for someone who only sees the negative of everything she sees, you’ve got to have a great deal of nerve to even post.

If you think it’s so cheap and poor, why would you even bother to spend any time here? It’s so easy to start a blog these days, why don’t you start one of your own with all the like minded people like you who want to do something serious?

I imagine you won’t bother to respond because you are too “high” for that too, aren’t you?

I guess what I really enjoy about people like you is that you don’t agree about anything but you can’t even say what exactly it is that you don’t agree with. You just spit out the meat with the fish bones.

“The sad truth is, when you were in the FOF — and your children, parents, friends and former Shippers tried to use the law and the press to pull you out and make you see the truth – you wrapped yourselves in the flag and protested freedom of religion, freedom of thought, etc., etc. And you were right, under U.S. law. Now that you’ve changed your mind you want to rearrange U.S. law to fit your new understanding. And this is again where DC is right: you have a double standard.”

I don’t know who your sad truth applies to but it doesn’t apply to me: when I was in the Fellowship I did not need to justify to anyone why I was in. Did you? But you’re right: if you’re telling me that the laws of the world think cults are lawful I want to change not only U.S. laws but the laws of the world or do you think we have to put up with cults killing children and raping eighteen year olds because they are “legal”?

I may not have the credits you think I ought to have to piss on the laws if that is what they allow, but no is no in any language and it doesn’t take too many degrees to be able to say it as you’ve well proved with your post. Next time don’t be afraid to use my name when you’re talking to me, because I won’t be afraid to use my name to answer you.

What surprises me about your post is that all you think that is lacking is money in the pockets?

“By the way, I strongly invite those of you who are using your real names to reappear under a phony one: it allows you to drop your stuff and move on when attacked, because nobody knows who “you” are, anyway. When people use their own names, they haul a lot of baggage with them, and they also feel the need to defend themselves when they are questioned or attacked.”

Wonderful! Since none of us here is worth shit, we might as well all use phony names so that the shitfull things we say can just disappear in a new disguise without anyone knowing who they are talking to. Unfortunately, it sounds so much like Robert’s policy that no one was worth speaking or listening to that I’ll stick to my name which you don’t even dare pronounce.

Your idea of organizing real help for those who leave has been given here many times before including by me, twice, but I guess it only sounds good to you if you say it.

You write nicely though. Maybe I’ll learn english one day.

161. William - December 27, 2008

J.P., you could be right. It could be that I am impatient to see the sad saga of the FOF draw to a close, and want this discussion to be more targeted and focused than it can possibly be, in the very nature of the medium.

When you have participated in something – for years and years – that has caused such deep and lasting regret in your life, how could you not wish to save people time, money, and the bad effects they are going to have on their families, children and others (most of all, themselves)?

I think we forget that. The “normalness” of having the blog around everyday means that we forget what a powerful megaphone has been handed to us, and forget to use it to absolutely maximize our influence, and not just blah blah blah.

I don’t think we have fully exploited the possibilities of the blog. So I guess I fall into the “war room” camp.

Whalerider – OK. I’ll play. I find that, if anything, I am overly ginger with my Shipper friends. I compromise to keep a line of communication open. I feel that if I am too confrontational, they will pull away. I want to “be there” for them. But I’m not sure walking on eggshells is the solution. Tatyana has been more openly confrontational.

How do you measure results, in such circumstances? So I’m raising more questions than I’m answering, I know.

In terms of “being the change you want to see” I try to show them a life that is rich beyond my wildest dreams. Spiritually rich, most of all.

There were some huge balloon payments to make, however, and I think that scares them. Rightly so.

With the economic catastrophe on them, the payments to get out will become even bigger. Fewer jobs on the “outside” for those living in OH, and the propensity to hunker down in the compound for comfort and psychological validation.

When I got out I didn’t even know what people wore to their jobs, anymore. I was so used to FOF garments from the Agora.

Like you, Whalerider, I want to close down the victim pool. But some of the biggest victims are at the very top, who don’t realize it’s not just cream that floats to the top. Sometimes garbage, too.

HEY ALL OF YOU IN THERE: It will be tougher for some of you than you ever imagined, and the payments to get out are usually proportional to your participation in the spiritual fraud. You’ll get real bumps and real bruises in the outside world. But there’s a Big Mercy out there, too – and finding it has been one of the most profound experiences of my life!

162. dick moron - December 27, 2008

155 William

Maybe someone, like yourself, can start a new polite blog for ex-members out 2 years or less. It takes several years to shed the old FOF lizard skin one grows over decades in FOF. That skin is most comfortable in a certain environment and does not adjust well to extreme variations to temperature or lighting conditions. Seriously, in five years you will likely have a more tolerant understanding of some of the ” negative group of whiners getting together to kvetch”.
Start another blog, it’s pretty easy. Remember this one was started by someone who never was a member.
But you should try and realize that words on a computer screen are just thoughts composed and presented through the filters and lenses used by each author in any moment. Some are more spontaneous than others and we all know that impulsive or gut-reaction expression was taboo in FOF.

Lighten up, go watch “Fast Times at Ridgemont High ”
Connect with your inner Spicoli dude!

163. William - December 27, 2008

Farewell, Daily Cardiac, I sense you are really signing off. Truly, I wish you well – better than you wish for yourself!

Unfortunately, you served for many people to vent their frustrations. I suspect someday you will understand why. You have no idea how much you sound just like I did, only a few years ago – my wife says the resemblance is uncanny. But as you yourself noted, I cannot give you my understanding. If I could, I would try to save you the real suffering that awaits you. You will not be as glib then – and how can I blame you for your glibness when I had so much myself?

By attacking you, I suspect many of us were attacking that part of us that used to have the same Mobius-loops in our thinking that you do. And we know what we eventually paid for it.

I wish you clarity, conscience, and the consequences of your actions.

164. The FOFion - December 27, 2008

Bush Announces $900 Billion Bailout Package for the FOF

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — The Bush Administration has enacted a $900 billion aid package for the Fellowship of Friends.

“Not acting in this time of crisis would be irresponsible and the results devastating for the Fellowship of Friends,” Bush said during Friday’s press conference. “Plus, it’s the holidays. It’s the giving season.”

Numerous other religious organizations have objected to the bailout.

“We need to be careful not to put good money after bad,” said one cult industry spokesman, who asked to remain anonymous. “I’m concerned about the precedent. What if other religious organizations start lobbying for the same? We really need to let the free-market do its thing. If the FOF is not being run properly, and if it’ losing sales and losing its customers, we should let it fail.”

The aid package was pledged to the FOF with conditions: Robert Burton must cut his trips to Europe and Egypt in half, take a one-month break from his secret liaisons, and worst of all, he must drive a Ford Escort for one year.

“The FOF must show us they’re serious about restructuring before they get a dime of this money,” said another official. “This means they must come up with a new system of esoteric ideas soon, possibly add a new website, and change the name from Apollo to something else. Or maybe sell some old paintings — whatever it takes. Otherwise, they won’t get a dime of this money.”

165. harryhindsight - December 27, 2008

Daily Cardigan,

“I have no doubt that if my being here was in error I will be the first to know.”

You’re sooooooo full of shit!

166. Opus 111 - December 27, 2008

An older student #123
The negative influence of this Blog on the FoF is practically non-existent and if part of the reason you are writing here is to create some sort of balance, I do not think that is necessary.

Let this Blog run as it is. It is quite harmless.

Other ways to say what the oldie means might be:

-The blog does not affect those in the FOF, except when it does.
-Notwhistanding the fact that 600-700 members left since its inception, the blog has practically non-existent influence on FOF.
-The blog does not affect FOF members who stay, only those who leave.
-DC needed to come here to tell us that life in FOF is more vibrant than ever, and the oldie to profess that the blog is harmless to FOF. I would never have guessed.

Keep blogging guys and girls, methinks it is working alright.

167. peter - December 27, 2008

Goodbye Daily Cardiac,

You are doing fine.
You do what you believe that’s best, and that is great!

NOW

Just understand that what you call ‘presence’ is for free.

Just as much as the air is for free.

Just don’t trust people who said you need them to make contact
with presence and higher inner worlds.

Just a few little adjustments and you be free to.

And don’t worry. I know you value the presence.

It will still be there!!!

With or without, ‘The Burton Gang’

All good to you.

So long,

Peter

*
**
*

PS. Thank you Nigel for Desiderata.
Although it sound cheesy to say ‘that it
what truly appreciated’ – it was.

168. Ill Never Tell - December 27, 2008

60/47. Mick Danger:
‘Join FOF now! Before it’s too late.’

That’s right, soon the gate to @#%~! will be closed forever and no more gullible aspirants will be allowed to enter. Unless, of course, you have the $¢$¢$¢$¢$¢$¢ or a big p*n*s.

169. Ill Never Tell - December 27, 2008

Goodbye Caidrac (Pronounced: shă’id’ răk)

The story: Shadrach, Meshach (Me shack (up)), and Abednego (A bed no go), defy King Nebuchadnezzar’s order that they bow down and worship a golden idol, a cult image of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar, in a rage, orders the boys thrown into a furnace, but they are miraculously unharmed by the flames and survive the experience unscathed. Nebuchadnezzar sees them walking around in the furnace along with an unnamed angel. After the three youths emerge, Nebuchadnezzar orders everyone to worship their God instead of the golden idol. And everyone gets presents.

Shadrach was unscathed by the FoF blog experience that is equivalent to
a fiery furnace. But, shall not escape, unscathed, the fiery furnace of Fellowship of Friends.

170. brucelevy - December 27, 2008

162. dick moron

Yes. Thanks. I always look forward to the occasional genius who pops up and tells one how the blog should work and be and how one should relate to the sheep.

171. elena - December 27, 2008

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4032666,00.html
Church[sic] attacks new French anti-cult law
Jon Henley in Paris Friday June 23, 2000 The French parliament yesterday adopted Europe’s toughest anti-sect legislation yet, creating a controversial new crime of “mental manipulation” punishable by a maximum fine of £50,000 and five years imprisonment. The move was applauded by Alain Vivien, head of a government committee that has identified 173 dangerous quasi-religious groups in France, but was denounced by both the Church of Scientology and the Unification Church as fascist, anti-democratic and in breach of basic human rights laws. Current French law, described as “inadequate to deal with increasingly sophisticated and manipulative groups” by Catherine Picard, one of the MPs who proposed the bill, allows sect activities to be caught by prosecutions for traditional crimes such as incitement to murder, sexual assault, fraud and the abuse of a vulnerable individuals. The new law allows judges to order the dissolution of any sect whose members are convicted of a criminal offence. It also bans sects from advertising, and prohibits them from opening missions or touting for new members near schools, hospitals or retirement homes. But the law’s key weapon is the new crime of mental manipulation, defined as “exercising, within a group whose activities are aimed at creating or exploiting psychological dependence, heavy and repeated pressure on a person, or using techniques likely to alter his judgment, so as to induce him to behave in a way prejudicial to his interests”. A justice ministry spokeswoman said the legal definition had been prepared carefully to ensure that it could not be applied to legitimate churches. But some Catholic leaders have expressed reservations about the law, saying that may lead to “over-zealousness and judicial excess”, as well as discrimination against genuine religions. “This is a steep and slippery slope for democracy,” said Danièle Gounord, a spokeswoman for the Scientologists, which is not recognised as a religion in France. “In western Europe, the only regime so far to pass a law on mental manipulation was the fascist government of Mussolini, in an attempt to get rid of the communists.”

172. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - December 27, 2008

William 163: Attacking you, I suspect many of us were attacking that part of us that used to have the same Mobius-loops in our thinking that you do.”

DC: If you follow your passion you will eventually leave when you realize how limited your belief system is and that leaving is certainly a more profound experience than remaining.

173. whalerider - December 27, 2008

Elena:
“But the law’s key weapon is the new crime of mental manipulation, defined as “exercising, within a group whose activities are aimed at creating or exploiting psychological dependence, heavy and repeated pressure on a person, or using techniques likely to alter his judgment, so as to induce him to behave in a way prejudicial to his interests”

AWESOME.

174. The FOFion - December 27, 2008

Gozby Poll: Most Believe the Blog Does Some Good

NEW YORK (ARK) –The latest Gozby Poll shows that most Americans believe the Blog is doing some good. Based on a scientfic sampling of 3,200 participants, 76% believe there’s some value in talking about the Fellowship of Friends in a public forum, while 15% believe it’s not a good idea, and 9% don’t care.

“What we’re seeing is a decided trend toward posting on the blog, and toward not worrying too much whether anyone agrees with that or not,” said Harold Gozby of the Gozby Organization. “In the past, there was much concern about what people might think. People were afraid to say something about Burton because they might be seen as negative, identified, or just trying to call attention to themselves. But now, they believe the blog is helping, and that it’s healthy.”

Still, a small percentage contend that it’s much better to say absolutely nothing about the Fellowship of Friends.

“I cannot see how a large number of people telling the truth about this organization has any value whatsover,” one Blog opponent said. “I think it’s much better not to say anything at all and keep everything quiet. Why expose Burton? That won’t do any good at all. Better to be very careful about what you say, and to be polite. Ignorance is bliss. Discussion won’t do any good.”

175. Wondering - December 27, 2008

To whoever is writing the FOFion: I love it!! Sign me up for a year’s subscription.

176. harryhindsight - December 27, 2008

Hey William,

155 – “Signing off.”

This was the part of your post I enjoyed most of all.

177. dick moron - December 27, 2008

159. Daily Cardiac

Hey DC, if you get lonely and bored from only having standard sanctioned discussions with your fellow members, remember you can always come back to the blog under a new name. Change your style of writing (less rigid logic, maybe) and you might go undetected by the FOF STASI. You will always be welcome here as a sort of lovable punching bag.

178. lauralupa - December 27, 2008

FoFion

please keep ’em coming

for those in the mood for some more self indulgent almost-new rosk lyrics

And if the snow buries my,
my neighbourhood.
And if my parents are crying
then I’ll dig a tunnel
from my window to yours,
yeah a tunnel from my window to yours.
You climb out the chimney
and meet me in the middle,
the middle of the town.
And since there’s no one else around,
we let our hair grow long
and forget all we used to know,
then our skin gets thicker
from living out in the snow.

You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head,
as the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn.

Then we tried to name our babies,
but we forgot all the names that,
the names we used to know.
But sometimes, we remember our bedrooms,
and our parent’s bedrooms,
and the bedrooms of our friends.
Then we think of our parents,
well what the hell ever happened to them?!

You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head to gold,
as the day grows dim,
I hear you sing a golden hymn,
the song I’ve been trying to sing.

Purify the colours, purify my mind.
Purify the colours, purify my mind,
and spread the ashes of the colours
Over this heart of mine!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=t4aIblRt72g

179. lauralupa - December 27, 2008

rosk?

180. elena - December 27, 2008

What is a cult?

What is a cult? Sociologists tend to distinguish cults from more established religious organisations based on such factors as group size, membership characteristics and types of beliefs. While the term ‘sect’ classically refers to a breakaway movement from a mainstream church, the term ‘cult’ became a popular way of referring to new and different religious groups, particularly those groups surfacing in the 1960s and 1970s in America. The most prominent and well-known cults include, for example, The Unification Church (known as the ‘Moonies’ after their leader Sun Myung Moon), ISKCON (known as ‘Hare Krishna’),Scientology and the Children of God. Unlike sects, cults provide radical alternatives to western Judaeo-Christian traditions, for example in the form of groups influenced by eastern religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism. However because of the negative connotations associated with the term ‘cult’, researchers prefer to use the more neutral term ‘new religious movement’ (NRM) to refer to those groups in particular that emerged and came to prominence in the west after about 1960.

While it may seem pedantic to spend time arguing about how to define something that seems straightforward, this is not just an academic exercise. It is important to be clear about exactly which groups come under the definition of NRM and which do not, especially if governments consider introducing legislation to curb their activities. We also need to be clear about exactly what activities are considered to be acceptable and unacceptable in society and to be sure that there is sufficient evidence to justify curtailing what some may seem as their religious freedom guaranteed under the constitution.

181. elena - December 27, 2008

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/usa-00.html

This page on the United States of America also pays much attention to America’s human rights record. After all, the U.S. government frequently speaks out on what it considers to be human rights violations throughout the world – and often does so when commenting on the treatment of certain religious cults and sects, as well as movements it views as ”religions.”

But while a concern for human rights is to be commended, America’s approach is seen by many as ill-advised at best (such as when Washington defends religious cults like the Scientology organization), and hypocritical at worst (notably because America consistenly fails to acknowledge – let alone address – its own human rights violations).

Occasionally, we – the publishers of Apologetics Index – receive some flak from people who
refuse to seriously examine and address the information posted here,
begrudge the fact that, as citizens of The Netherlands, we enjoy and use our right to freedom of opinion and freedom of speech, and
accuse us of having hidden motives or secret agendas.
Often, these people somehow want us to believe that it is not right to examine, question, or (gasp!) disagree with America’s policies and actions.

We believe that kind of attitude is unhealthy at best. Unquestioning devotion is a key element of cultic behavior – something we help people to break free of.

With that in mind, we’d like to share the reasons why we address these issues:

Why Apologetics Index Addresses U.S. Human Rights Issues

Information about U.S. human rights violations and related issues is included in Apologetics Index for the following reasons:

Apologetics Index deals with cults, sects, and related issues – including religious freedom and other human rights.

America’s goverment frequently accuses countries (including, for example, France and Germany) that protect their citizens against destructive and/or fraudulent cults of violating ‘human rights.’ In addition, the USA even threathens those countries with economic boycotts should they not accept America’s views on these issues.

This makes the USA the only country in the world that attempts to strong-arm other countries into accepting its views on the cults it supports – a primary reason why this issue is addressed by the publishers of Apologetics Index.

Ironically, while America chides other countries for alleged human righs violations, Washington consistently and deliberately refuses to acknowledge – let alone address – America’s own dismal record of human rights violations. The Bible condemns the use of such differing measures

As Christians, the publishers of Apologetic Index believe that they (and other Christians) should address human rights issues.

The publishers of Apologetics Index agree with those who believe that America’s attitude toward international law – including its fight against the International Criminal Court, its use of torture, and its inconsistent application of the Geneva Conventions – presents a serious threat to the international community.

As members of Amnesty International, the publishers of Apologetics Index are outspoken critics of America’s manifold human rights violations. They encourage their fellow Christians to address these issues, keeping in mind the Bible’s two great commandments.

“When it suited the U.S. government’s aims in its buildup to the invasion of Iraq, the administration cited Amnesty International’s reports on torture in that country. When the alleged abuse involved U.S. agents, its response was denial and disregard for the organization’s concerns,” the report said.
Source: Human dignity denied: Torture and accountability in the ‘war on terror’ Amnesty International, Oct. 27, 2004

[D]ouble standards have greatly undermined the credibility of the USA’s global discourse on human rights.
Source: Human dignity denied: Torture and accountability in the ‘war on terror’ Amnesty International, Oct. 27, 2004

182. elena - December 27, 2008

The United States has long regarded itself as a beacon of human rights, as evidenced by an enlightened constitution, judicial independence, and a civil society grounded in strong traditions of free speech and press freedom. But the reality is more complex; for decades, civil rights and civil liberties groups have exposed constitutional violations and challenged abusive policies and practices. In recent years, as well, international human rights monitors have documented serious gaps in U.S. protections of the human rights of vulnerable groups. Both federal and state governments have nonetheless resisted applying to the U.S. the standards that, rightly, the U.S. applies elsewhere.

In the Clinton administration Americans have a leadership willing to recognize some core inequities-racial, gender and other types of discrimination, for example-but nonetheless unwilling to incorporate key international human rights principles fully into U.S. domestic policies and practices, as described below. At the same time, senior figures of the congressionally dominant Republican Party and many state-level governments-which are bound by U.S. obligations under human rights treaties-have denounced international standards as intrusive while advocating policies that effectively infringe upon the human rights of citizens and new arrivals.

In 1998, as in previous years, the U.S. failed to address human rights criticism absent sustained national and international attention-and sometimes even then. Conservative politicians and their allies, often using ugly rhetoric, led successful efforts to craft or maintain policies that excluded unpopular or controversial groups-convicted criminals, immigrants, and members of certain minorities, among others-from full protection of their human rights, despite the protests of U.S.-based rights groups and liberal members of Congress.
[…]

Three visits by special U.N. rapporteurs on various aspects of human rights took place during 1997 and 1998. The U.S. government’s poor treatment of the first visiting rapporteur-an expert on the death penalty and arbitrary killings by police, who issued a critical report in 1998-led to an outcry by human rights groups and others, prompting greater cooperation with the two rapporteurs who came subsequently to study religious intolerance and women’s rights, respectively. Among the problems highlighted by the rapporteurs’ visits was a pervasive official ignorance of the U.S.’s international human rights obligations.
[…]

In 1998, the United States continued to exempt itself from its international human rights obligations, particularly where international human rights law grants protections or redress not available under U.S. law. In ratifying international human rights treaties it has typically carved away added protections for those in the United States by adding reservations, declarations, and understandings. Even years after ratifying key human rights treaties, the U.S. still fails to acknowledge human rights law as U.S. law. Moreover, the U.S. is behind the rest of the developed world in failing to ratify the key international instrument on women’s rights and virtually alone in the world in failing to ratify the international children’s rights convention.

The United States’s disregard for international human rights standards has not been limited to domestic matters. During the year, it has also opposed human rights initiatives on issues of broad international interest, including landmines, child soldiers, and the creation of the International Criminal Court.
[…]

In many jails, prisons, immigration detention centers and juvenile detention facilities, confined individuals suffered from physical mistreatment, excessive disciplinary sanctions, barely tolerable physical conditions, and inadequate medical and mental health care. Unfortunately, there was little support from politicians or the public for reform.

Fifty-three percent of all state inmates were incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, while criminal justice policies increased the length of prison sentences and diminished the availability of parole. The U.S. incarcerated a greater proportion of its population than any country except Russia: more than 1.7 million people were either in prison or in jail in 1998, reflecting an incarceration rate of more than 645 per 100,000 residents, double the rate of a decade before. Approximately one in every 117 adult males was in prison.
[…]

Implementation of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) continued to violate international human rights standards that apply specifically to asylum seekers, as well as the human rights of other immigrants, through detention in often inhumane conditions.
[…]

During an eighteen-month investigation into conditions and treatment at the jails used by the INS, Human Rights Watch found that INS detainees in jails were subjected to physical mistreatment, were not provided with basic medical care, were often unable to communicate with jail staff due to language barriers, and were subjected to severe restrictions on contact with families, friends, and legal representatives-when, in the minority of cases, detainees were able to obtain legal counsel.
[…]

The mistreatment of migrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory in the North Pacific Ocean, received heightened scrutiny by Congress, the administration, and human rights organizations.
[…]

The United States continued to rely on the death penalty despite the international trend away from its use. Forty-five individuals were executed in 1998 as of September; the U.S. had broken its previous record in 1997, by executing a total of seventy-four persons. Among those executed were two women (the first women executed since 1984), individuals who may have been mentally ill or retarded, juvenile offenders, and foreign nationals.

In April 1998, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions released his report on the death penalty in the U.S. The special rapporteur found that the death penalty was applied in an unfair, arbitrary, and discriminatory manner. The report called for a suspension of executions until significant reforms were implemented to bring the U.S. into compliance with international human rights standards. The special rapporteur’s plea for a moratorium echoed the American Bar Association’s similar call in 1997. The special rapporteur criticized the U.S. practice of imposing the death penalty on juvenile offenders and on mentally retarded or mentally ill persons as ”a step backwards in the promotion and protection of the right to life” and in contravention of international human rights standards. From 1976 to 1997, seventy-four people were released from death row due to evidence of their innocence, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).
[…]

The U.S. continued to be one of only six countries to execute persons who were younger than eighteen when they committed their crime. The imposition of the death penalty on persons who were under eighteen years of age at the time of their offense violates the provisions of several international and regional human rights instruments. Despite nearly unanimous international condemnation of the use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders, six countries in the world-Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Yemen-were known to have executed juvenile offenders in the 1990s. The United States led the list with nine executions between 1990 and 1998, one-half of the known worldwide total for the period.
[…]

The U.S. continued to ignore its obligations under the Vienna Convention to notify non-national defendants of their right to contact their embassies. In April 1998, the International Court of Justice called on the U.S. to delay the execution in Virginia of a Paraguayan national, Angel Francisco Breard, until it could examine his case and decide whether the U.S.’s failure to notify the defendant of his consular rights had made a difference in his case. The U.S. decided that, with or without consular notification, Breard would have been convicted of a capital crime; the execution went ahead.
[…]

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which the U.S. has ratified under the Clinton Administration, defines discrimination more broadly than under U.S. law as any practice or policy that is discriminatory in ”purpose or effect.” Under this standard, policies that are race-neutral on their face but have a persistently adverse impact on a racial group may rise to the level of discrimination. In the U.S., areas of concern in this regard include, among others, the impact of criminal justice policies, such as the ”war on drugs,” application of the death penalty, and the widespread disenfranchisement of felons.

The onus of harsh criminal justice policies continued to fall disproportionately on black Americans, fueling persistent complaints of racial discrimination.
[…]

The low priority that the U.S. government gives to international human rights treaty compliance became increasingly apparent duringthe year. For example, the U.S. became a party to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and CERD in 1994. Both treaties require reports to the United Nations, describing the nation’s treaty compliance. The U.S. compliance reports on both treaties were due in November 1995, but as of October 1998, neither had been submitted. Other important human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, remained unratified. (Only two countries in the world have not ratified the children’s rights convention: Somalia, which has no internationally recognized government, and the United States.) In addition, the administration did not move toward signing or ratifying core International Labour Organisation conventions intended to protect basic labor rights.
[…]

After Special Rapporteur Ndiaye released a report in April 1998 that was highly critical of the application of the death penalty in the U.S.-and called for a moratorium on its use, echoing a similar call by the American Bar Association-U.S. officials dismissed the report as unnecessary and inaccurate. U.S. officials were forced to defend the use of the death penalty before the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. At that time, U.S. officials argued that the nation had such strict due process standards that the rights of all capital defendants were being protected. Meanwhile, the U.S. acknowledged it had not adhered to the Vienna Convention’s consular notification procedures in the case of a Paraguayan national, but the man was executed anyway, despite international and World Court protests.
[…more…]
Human Rights Developments in USA, Human Rights Watch, 1999

In light of these facts, why should any nation, any government, or any indidual put up with human rights lectures from the U.S. government?

Too, U.S. government opinion on what constitutes a human rights violation often is puzzling – to say the least. Take, for example, America’s badgering of Germany on behalf of the Church of Scientology – an extremist organization that masquerades as a religion, acts like a hate group, and has been involved in criminal behavior.

Germany, pointing to the cult’s record, teachings and practices, considers the organization to be a threat to society – a view shared by the publisher of Apologetics Index:

The German government considers the Scientology organization a commercial enterprise with a history of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals and an extreme dislike of any criticism. The government is also concerned that the organization’s totalitarian structure and methods may pose a risk to Germany’s democratic society. Several kinds of evidence have influenced this view of Scientology, including the organization’s activities in the United States.
[…more…]
Scientology and Germany, Germany Online

A German Embassy statement on Scientology said that ”because of its experiences during the Nazi regime, Germany has a special responsibility to monitor the development of any extreme group within its borders.”
U.S. Challenges Germany on Scientology, Washington Post, May 4, 2000

America, however, attempts to pressure Germany into accepting the cult as a legitimate religion.

An editiorial in a U.S. newspapers shows how indefensible the U.S. approach is:

As the Germans continually explain, because of their historical experience inthe 20th century, they are peculiarly sensitive to the presence of cults andextremist groups in their midst. This may seem shocking to Americans, for whomtolerance is a kind of religious doctrine, but it makes sense to Germans, whohave suffered greatly for past sins.For their part, the Scientologists have deployed all manner of crude propagandain recent years, threatening critics and drawing parallels between the Hitlerregime and legal restrictions on their cult. But the truth is that Germanregulations – which allow Scientologists to follow their leader, but bar themfrom government service – are designed to preserve German democracy, which cultslike Scientology are likely to weaken.Americans understand the value of freedom in the world, but they do notnecessarily appreciate cultural distinctions. The Germans are probably betterequipped to judge how best to nurture their free society than bureaucrats at theOffice of the U.S. Trade Representative. Everyone in the world wants to be free,but not everybody yearns to be American.
U.S., the Germans – and Scientology, San Francisco Examiner, May 13, 2000 (Editorial)

The U.S. government take a similar approach to France. But like Germany, France refuses to be bullied:

President Jacques Chirac has told Mr Clinton that religious freedom will no longer be a subject for bilateral presidential talks, in the light of what has been officially described as ”shocking” White House’ support for Scientologists and Moonies.
France to crack down on sects, The Guardian (England), June 14, 2000

Meanwhile, the USA is home to a huge and growing collection of hate groups who use America’s irresponsible approach to ”free speech” to spread hatred an intolerance around the world:

”The United States has developed into a safe haven for racists spreading their word worldwide by using the Internet,” Swiss-based information technology law expert David Rosenthal said in a paper submitted to the conference, which started Wednesday.
Source: Internet Racism Spurs Concern at UN, Excite/AP, Feb. 16, 2000

Thus far, America has failed to take appropriate action against these dangerous groups.

183. elena - December 28, 2008

It is good to know finally that I am not alone in my beliefs and understanding even if I’ve been alone on this blog.

In the following declaration you will find all the Human Rights violated by the Fellowship of Friends Cult which not only violate the American Constitution as it was conceived by its founders, it also violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

How much more serious do you want it William and the rest of you in the Fellowship of Friends and out? Of course, you can dismiss this declaration with the same numbness characteristic of the Fellowship but that will eventually make you a minority of this world and time.

___________________________________

NOTHING IN THIS DECLARATION MAY BE INTERPRETED AS IMPLYING FOR ANY STATE, GROUP OR PERSON ANY RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN ANY ACTIVITY OR TO PERFORM ANY ACT AIMED AT THE DESTRUCTION OF ANY OF THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS SET FORTH HEREIN.

Sources
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 14

Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 15

Everyone has the right to a nationality.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
Article 16

Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 17

Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21

Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Article 26

Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Article 27

Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

184. elena - December 28, 2008

Vienna – France’s leading anti-cult official on Thursday accused the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IMFHR) of having been infiltrated by the Church of Scientology – which has been listed as a cult in a number of French government reports.

The IHFHR, based in Vienna, denounced the charge, and repeated criticism of moves in France to introduce a law against cults.

Wednesday’s edition of France’s Le Figaro newspaper carried an interview with the anti-cult official, Alain Vivien, in which he suggested the IHFHR had been compromised by the Church of Scientology.

The IHFHR “seems today to have passed into the hands of Scientologists and perhaps other transnational organisations”, said Vivien, who heads up France’s Interministerial Committee for the Struggle against Cults.

“That explains the virulent criticism of France, (which is) accused of religious discrimination,” he added.

In a letter to Vivien on Thursday, IHFHR executive director Aaron Rhodes declared his “astonishment” at the charge.

He was, he wrote, “embarrassed for you and your fellow French citizens by your recourse to methods of denunciations and insinuations that remind us of those sometimes used by totalitarain and backward regimes”.

In his letter, Rhodes acknowledged its Moscow office had received funding from Scientology to print a leaflet on religious freedom, but said the group had never sought to hide the source of the funding.

The Moscow office would have been better advised to have refused the funding, “to avoid abusive and insinuating responses such as your own”, he added.

“We fear that the legislation that you are proposing could not easily be judged compatible with the notion of religious pluralism in a democratic society,” said Rhodes.

The proposed French law would give the courts – and not just the government – the power to break up cults which have at least two convictions.

In the letter, Rhodes described the proposals as repressive and said it went against the right of freedom, association, expression and of religion.

It also endangered the rights of minorities and embodied prejudices that were not compatible with respect for rights, he added.

The IHFHR is a non-governmental organisation uniting 39 Helsinki Committees.

Its mandate is to monitor compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Final Act on human rights, which was formed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In the United States on Wednesday, members of the Church of Scientology called on the US Congress to denounce alleged religious discrimination in several European countries.

Earlier this month, the president of the Church of Scientology International, Heber Jetzsch, condemned a raid by French police on the group’s Paris headquarters. – Sapa-AFP

185. elena - December 28, 2008

http://www.xenu.net/archive/infopack/7.htm

THOUGHT CONTROL AND SCIENTOLOGY

“The only way you can control people is to lie to them.”
– L. Ron Hubbard, “Off the Time Track,” lecture of June 1952, excerpted in JOURNAL OF SCIENTOLOGY, issue 18-G, reprinted in TECHNICAL VOLUMES OF DIANETICS & SCIENTOLOGY, vol. 1, p. 418.
____________________

One becomes a Scientologist by (to varying degrees) substituting L. Ron Hubbard�s perception of reality for one�s own. Scientology is not swallowed whole; it is accepted incrementally via a carefully constructed series of agreements into which the individual is led, bolstered by profoundly invasive hypnotic techniques, peer pressure, hard-sell tactics and “whipped up gung-ho.” (1) This is a subtle, effective process that inhibits evaluative thinking and entraps people “through deceptive manipulation of our best qualities: loyalty, courage, desire to help.” (2)

Scientology appeals to people by offering them a grand game; a unique and comprehensive self-improvement system; a solution for almost every problem (many people come to Scientology when their lives are in crisis); and a welcoming group focused on major societal issues such as drug abuse, mental health, education, spirituality and morality. After joining the Church of Scientology, one meets with increasing demands for money, time and recruiting others. Those who resist these demands bolt, usually quickly. Those who remain go step-by-step into agreement with indoctrination, all the while believing that they are becoming more aware and self determined.

How and why people surrender their critical thinking skills and succumb to “re-education” has been the subject of study and controversy since the 1950s, when researchers began to encounter forms of coercive persuasion, or ideological re-molding, that were developed in China and the Soviet Union and were used on prisoners of war and on civilians in a variety of milieus. The methods of thought reform identified by such groundbreaking investigators as Dr. Robert J. Lifton (3) and the late Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer (4) have been shown to be present in virtually all high-demand religions presently operating in the United States and the Western world. (5)

This current generation of thought reform practices, in the opinion of many researchers, poses a greater threat than did the politically oriented behavior control practices of the past because its primary attack is not just upon the individual�s political views but rather upon the sense of self. (6) “Basic consciousness, reality awareness, beliefs and world view, emotional control, and defense mechanisms” (7) are destabilized, with resultant loss of independent perspective and thus of the capacity for informed consent.

Some of the influence techniques that attract and hold people in a thought reform environment are:

• Creating a triad of “miracle, mystery, and authority…MIRACLE – ideology imputing miraculous powers to leaders and/or activities…to produce an atmosphere of awe…MYSTERY – secrecy obscuring actual beliefs and practices…[which] hides unattractive aspects of cult routine…AUTHORITY – claims on members� time, talents, bodies or property to meet group needs. A leader�s allegedly immense intellectual, spiritual, or even physical powers may rationalize whims and doctrines, [allowing him] to hold sway over followers. While leaders are intelligent and articulate, often their biographies and abilities are puffed up.” (8)

• Attributing “all individual suffering to misapplication, misunderstanding or even casual doubting of the group�s unfailing teaching.” (9)

• Inducing “sensory deprivation and sensory overload, guided imagery and visualization, trance induction through repetition of words or slogans…” (10)

• Controlling the environment, i.e., the group member “is deprived of the combination of external information and inner reflection which anyone requires to test the realities of his environment and to maintain a measure of identity separate from it.” (11)

• Creating a mystique of importance around the group and its leader, so that the group and its goals are seen as more important than anything else. (12)

• Requiring a level of perfection that is unattainable, with consequent guilt and shame serving as powerful control devices. (13)

• Demanding extraordinary levels of confession, including confession to crimes that one has not committed, making it “virtually impossible to maintain a reasonable balance between worth and humility.” (14)

• Claiming absolute infallibility of the group�s leader and doctrine. (15)

• Creating a unique language, often non-understandable to outsiders, the effect of which “can be summed up in one word: constriction…. [The group member] is, so to speak, linguistically deprived; and since language is so central to all human experience, his capacities for thinking and feeling are immensely narrowed.” (16)

• Giving the member a new identity by bringing his or her thinking into alignment with the group�s, prompting a redefinition of the self and a reinterpretation of the past in terms of the new present. The individual “switches worlds…and through socialization, discovers the �plausibility structures� that make the new world coherent, fully tangible and fully believable…The formula for reinterpretation of the past is, �Then I thought…now I know.� (17)

• Relegating outsiders to the status of reduced value or non-person. (18)

Reports of personal experiences from many ex-Scientologists in court testimony, books, articles, interviews, lectures and internet forums bear out that every one of the above mentioned influence techniques is used in Scientology. (19-26)

186. Ill Never Tell - December 28, 2008

177. dick moron:
‘You will always be welcome here as a sort of lovable punching bag.’

Kind of like the Pillsbury Doughboy:

187. whalerider - December 28, 2008

Elena:

Here’s what Aline provided from last page if you or anyone else you know reads and writes French an you care to contact them with a link to the petition. I have a friend of a friend who is going to write an email in French for me to find out how to get the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence on the list of banned cults in France. I’ll post the results.

“Concerning the French government, they have a new government department which is taking care of that.
the name is in French: La mission interministérielle de lutte contre les sectes (M.I.L.S) and the contact is:

miviludes@miviludes.pm.gouv.fr

France would be a smart place to exercise our collective being and apply some pressure since there are anti-cult laws are already in place…it is probably the least expensive way to blunt a portion of Burton’s victim stream for right now other than this blog, if we can get enough emails sent or what have you for the French government to take notice.

The pen is mightier than the sword. (People with non-metaphoric swords get shot at the front gate anyway.)

william:

Forget about “the garbage at the top” as you say or…persons behaving toward others in a garbage-like manner…it’s the rank and file that makes most of the leeching payments anyway.

The Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathways to Presence will undoubtedly falter from the bottom up, not from the top down…Burton is crystallized a man number -.0325 and probably has a moat of money around him…and I believe an escape hatch down below into the spidery crawl space built into the floor of his closet in his room. I am sure he has an exit plan, too.

I mean, how could Burton get any worse than he already is and yet they still swallow it?

Those faithful at the top (hoping for a slice of the pie) who have learned so well over the years to control their gag reflex may just have to go down with him or he may continue to go down on them as the case may be…in Bahrain or wherever.

Imagine what would happen with all the build-up of semen in his close followers if Burton didn’t dutifully relieve them of it?

Maybe they would start thinking with their heads instead of their penises.

Luckliy, blind people can still feel warmth even if they can’t see the light!

I am very interested in and applaud any efforts you or Tatyana make at reaching out to current rank and file followers.

Let the rest of the world and I know play by play how it goes. The more we talk about it, the stronger we get.

BTW, feel free to hit the scroll button if the reading gets too tedious with all the legalize. Jomo and Elena are doing a fine job informing the Fellowship of Friends their legal rights.

That’s the law.

We all have the right to be informed of our rights, don’t we, thanks to Miranda v. Arizona. I also believe any citizen has the right to make a citizen’s arrest too, don’t we?

OK, so maybe you and Tatyana might not be willing to place Burton and his cronies under a citizen’s arrest for crimes against humanity…I can understand that.

…but if you live in the OH area, would you at least be willing to do a bake sale at the OH General Store?…with a big sign for the “Fleeing Fellowship Follower’s Fund”? Maybe you can provide some literature about how to obtain legal advice regarding immigration and visa issues…just kidding! But why not at least slip a hard copy of the petition to the shipper kippers you know…who don’t know about it.

Let’s get creative. Humor is their weakness. Shakespeare knew this of his audience, too. Well-placed, thoughtful humor hits both positive and negative halves of centers simultaneously, defeating the intellect’s “Steward of Indoctrination” and denial mechanisms, directly reaches one’s essence-being (where conscience resides) without censorship.

Hats off to The FOFion!

A well-placed mirror reveals the truth by changing the frame.

188. Ill Never Tell - December 28, 2008

Sorry about bad link; here again:

177. dick moron:
‘You will always be welcome here as a sort of lovable punching bag.’

Kind of like the Pillsbury Doughboy:

189. dragon - December 28, 2008

The Future is not ours to see and most writers here on the blog are writing with their mind and their heart.

The daily discussions differ significantly from day to day but there is constantly the wish to inform, to warn and the wish to stay in contact with each other.

The Blog speaks:

To All ( FOF members etc.) We look forward to welcoming you on the Blog again soon.

Our governments and our laws differ from each other.

That’s no coincidence that religious groups/mind control groups/whatever are searching the shelter and the loophole in the US laws.

The German laws offer other loopholes and I will not discuss those possibilities here.

Will say:

If we are really world citizens, we should not be afraid!

We should influence our societies with our thoughts and our heart.

PASSIVITY and LOOKING AWAY from the beginnings was the POWER given to the NAZI REGIME and it is the POWER given to all groups that are on the way to hurt, to exploit and to destroy human beings.

The USA are a great nation with many cultures and many possibilities.

It is NOT the economic power that leaves a lasting impression.

It is our will to open our societies and to speak with each other and to avoid to speak in platitudes.

We have to face problems of vital significance on this planet and we should open our minds.

Peaceful coexistance requires also the wish to create a worth living world for our children but also for all the other children of this planet.

It is nothing more and nothing less but the wish to act towards live.

190. dragon - December 28, 2008

Sorry towards life!

191. elena - December 28, 2008

Dear All,

It’s interesting that Jomo Piñata’s and William’s position, together with the majority of the people on this blog who have consistently kept silent (for silence is complicity and ostracism in this case and your cruelty is as ripe as Robert’s and Company) or outwardly negative towards my posts, have the same attitude of powerlessness towards the American Absolutism to deny human rights in Nations and cults, prisons and everyday life (in which a woman can spend 24 hours in an emergency room and crawl on the floor for hours without attention) as they had in the Fellowship towards Robert Burton’s right to abuse everyone in his reach. Facts like that, are the expression of crystallized attitudes in the society and the expression of blind power without conscience or consciousness is what characterizes it.

Jomo’s explanation that American “Positive law” doesn’t even take into account human rights is shocking and the attitude that they are just old fashioned and outdated and no lawyer who takes himself seriously today takes them seriously, is appalling. No wonder Cults have flourished in America and gurus have absolute power to run over the members with the same abominable style with which Mr. Bush ran over Irak.

It is no coincidence that what characterizes Girard Haven and Robert Burton together with each one of the enablers and members while we were in the Fellowship of Friends, is complete disfunctionality between the emotional centre and the intellectual centre and that the life of the American people and the World under its influence, has been running a similar separation in its process between human rights and its practices of Law. Hopefully Mr. Obama and what inspired the American people to vote him, will turn that decadent wheel of misfortune and the lack of human rights in the womb of America’s spiritual life into a permanent check on its integrity all the way down to the Fellowship of Friends and other similar cults.

The only fortune related to having been in the Fellowship Cult, is to be able to understand today what needs to be promoted and what stopped, to not allow such practices to proliferate on this Earth. Not from Nations, institutions or individuals in no matter what position of power, for people who do not know how to handle power do not have the ethical authority to have any: Parents and teachers as much as priests or politicians, industrials, farmers or artists, men and women as much as old people and children. It is ethics what rules the spiritual life of the human being and people without conscience of other’s rights cannot be in positions of power. The marriage between the state and religion is necessary to the well being of humanity, just like the permanent connection between the heart and the mind is necessary for the well being of the individual. In their essence, all “religions” stand for the well being of humanity and Cults are not religions; just the aborted children of the separation between the state and its lack of consciousness, the individual and his or her lack of integrity.

The Human Rights in the Constitution of the United States, which also inspired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the link that can unite religion and the state in the respect of people’s rights no matter their political position or religious credo. Political positions without human rights are dictatorships as much as Cults without human rights are fanatical fundamentalism. If we understand and agree that we can respect each other’s humanity, it does not matter what our differences are, we will lead each other to a more balanced personal, national and international community.

192. elena - December 28, 2008

Have a happy New Year!

193. Another Name - December 28, 2008

“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.”

Dear DC

If you are being aroused, there is a desire? which is easy when you are a young male in your teens of twenties.

Please get your buttocks of the chair and go and ask young males ( maybe ask your son how easy it is to get aroused. Males have 6-8 spontaneous erections per night….is nothing to do with desires….just reflexes…..

If you do not have enough desire and your conscience asks up try some Viagra. Robert orders plenty and I am sure he has some for you although be careful it has side effects, especially with a Cardiac Issue like yours.

Worse case you can get an implant, get a trip to Russia, the implants are on sale and much cheaper to begin with.

Dear Daily Cardiac, one reason why Roberts sex partners will not go to court is that tehy get aroused so easy and feel …pay attention, guilty and are very confused about their part…they themselves questions: “But I got aroused, did I wanted it? Young men are very confused and several of the young men who were abruptly approached like this, have this question still.

Sadly it is MISSUSE of power and I wish it would have been an act of consciousness. It is just not………sadly enough. The teacher is not conscious I am sorry to say…it takes and has taken a long time of grieving to see this aspect for me.

Thanks for reading and a happy 2009

194. Jomo Piñata - December 28, 2008

Elena/191

Jomo’s explanation that American “Positive law” doesn’t even take into account human rights is shocking and the attitude that they are just old fashioned and outdated and no lawyer who takes himself seriously today takes them seriously, is appalling.

You misstate what I said. I said American courts enforce positive law, not natural law. That remains an accurate statement and has been the state of the law for generations.

I said nothing about human rights or attitudes of lawyers toward human rights. I wrote about “natural rights” and “natural law” which are concepts no longer enforced in U.S. courts. Human rights law has an entirely different history.

Regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it may express profound sentiments, but it is not a source of binding international law. The following text was taken from the site of the United Nations Association in Canada:

http://www.unac.org/rights/question.html

—BEGIN quoted material—

“Q: Is the Declaration upheld universally. How is the Declaration enforced?

A: Originally the Universal Declaration was conceived as a statement of objectives to be pursued by Governments, and therefore it is not part of binding international law. Nonetheless, it is still a potent instrument used to apply moral and diplomatic pressure on states that violate the Declaration’s principles. In fact, in 1968, the United Nations International Conference on Human Rights agreed that the Declaration “constitutes an obligation for the members of the international community” to protect and preserve the rights of its citizenry.

….

Q: Who are the signatories of the Declaration?

A: Since the Declaration is not legally binding technically, there are no signatories to the Declaration. Instead, the Declaration was ratified through a proclamation by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948 with a count of 48 votes to none with only 8 abstentions. This was considered a triumph as the vote unified very diverse, even conflicting political regimes. ”

—END quoted material—

A request for relief in the U.S. Courts which asks the Court to apply the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as law will be rebuffed. That is simply the message I convey and has nothing to do with my opinions about human rights and whether the Fellowship violates them. Don’t shoot the messenger.

195. nigel harris price - December 28, 2008

The ‘art and civilized behaviour’ of the FOF is the Personality which encloses the Corrupt Essence of REB’s behaviour towards his ‘disciples’. For myself, I am very glad I never came anywhere near Robert’s sexual shennanigans (due mainly to hardly being able to spend much time at Renaissance – working insane amounts of hours and still falling behind financially in California). I actually thought, as long as I was deriving something for my Essence from my USA experience, I should continue and therefore felt beholden to the FOF. The memories of the complexities of experiencing both the Fellowship (in a meagre form) and the growing of my art-form stayed with me for many years after coming out of the cult…..Nigel.

196. elena - December 28, 2008

Jomo, your attitudes are clear even if you don’t see them. I understand that the Declaration of Human Rights is not binding for you or American Law which does not take any power away from it. If you took it’s spirit seriously you would not have tried to mock me with your “liberals” post on natural laws.

I now understand where we stand and it is pitiful. There’s a great deal of work to do but at least now the path is clear.

You are not my enemy. At least you have enough conscience to help where you think you can. Hopefully that will grow in the future now that we understand a little better where the problems lie.

197. Jomo Piñata - December 28, 2008

Elena,
I suggest you look back at my post and see if you can read it without feeling mocked, since the post does not mock you. I control what I write, but I do not control what you interpret.

198. Vena - December 28, 2008

From Another Name:

“The teacher is not conscious..” This finally becomes clear after one really looks at him without the Fellowship indoctrination and buffers.

Robert Burton is not conscious.

199. Wondering - December 28, 2008

One of the reasons the fellowship of friends still seems like a viable institution to many who are still in is simply the “strength” of numbers.

The history of burton’s private idaho shows that there have been a few periods where a mass exodus occurred. The current one only separates the wheat from the chaff in the mind of those who remain. However, I know quite a few who remain, and I’m familiar with their cynical attitude towards burton. Whether they are mocking him by calling him “conscious bob” or referring to his meetings and dinners as “the show” there is a level of disdain that cannot be dismissed or hidden.

I’m not sure what the real intent of this blog is, but I do agree that if current members of the fof read the blog they might be attracted to the environment, but fear that the “negativity” is something they don’t want to be a apart of. As long as they stay in their protective bubble they feel they are doing their work, not understanding that it is their own responsibility to realize what their “work” might be and that the idea of evolution can only happen on an individual basis (that’s from Ouspensky). You don’t need a bob burton or a fellowship of friends to point out your flaws, weaknesses or the path to “enlightenment”. It is the lazy person’s way to allow some “teacher” to instruct you on how to put your inner life in order.

200. elena - December 28, 2008

Jomo Piñata,

I also cannot force you to interpret your own Constitution the way I interpret it or force you or anyone else here to agree with me or help me where help is needed. Your attitude in relation to my posts is not one of agreement and your disagreements have much helped me understand where I am standing.

“Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.” UDHR

The spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the spirit with which I’ve spoken without knowing and you have presented me with obstacles in a way in which it is clear to me that you and I do not agree. Your tone is not friendly although you try hard to cover the unfriendliness. If I am lucky the rest of you just keep silent or have had to keep silent after our many battles.

“175. Jomo Piñata – December 18, 2008
Elena,

Does the Fellowship not violate the right to freedom of speech?

What right to freedom of speech? Who told you you had the right to freedom of speech?”

The Natural Rights in the Constitution of the United States tell me that I have the right to freedom of Speech and all the other rights the Fellowship violated as much as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no matter how much the United States neglects to assume them. But more than those Constitutions and Declarations, I know for myself that any human being has the right to have those rights respected and protected by every other human being, institution and nation if we are to develop as human beings in our full capacity. The fact that this does not happen in the world today does not mean the world today is what some of us are fighting for it to become. We simply stand in different sides of the process no matter what the excuse is.

Your obstacles have nevertheless much taught me and allowed me to understand where the difficulties lie. For that, I thank you all.

201. whalerider - December 28, 2008

“Robert Burton is not conscious.”

I disagree.

Robert Burton is conscious.

I know him. He is conscious of the fact that he is no more conscious than anyone else, but consciously plays a role for his weak minded, entranced followers of someone who claims to be more conscious than them because it’s easy work pandering to the weakensses of others, it pays extremely well, and he can readily exercise his ability to sexually exploit the young men in his cult for his own personal pleasure and enjoyment.

That’s what makes him and his ardent supporters a danger to others.

202. nigel harris price - December 28, 2008

201 whalerider

I agree with you. REB knows exactly what he is doing. He is ‘scabbing’ off people who think by paying him vast sums of money and following some idea of ‘pretty presence’ (when it is entirely possible for a human being to be present to their ordinary life) they can enter into the realms of Eternal Salvation. Why should a vineyard, a collection of Meissen tableware and classical paintings make a group ‘conscious’? I believe that most of those who have any semblance of True Essence have left the FOF and all that are left are those who are being told that providing for REB’s lifestyle and recruiting more followers will earn them a place in Heaven. I think the entire situation is sick!…..Nigel.

203. nigel harris price - December 28, 2008

elena

I don’t think you need worry about constitutions with regard to REB and the FOF’s activities. It is very evident that REB does not want to stand accused of ANYTHING in court. I am just wondering whether Ford Greene of Hub Law Offices is gathering evidence for a lawsuit. I am sure we can ‘fire’ enough of a body of accusations that A—–m G—–n or any other lawyer for the FOF cannot refute…..Nigel.

204. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

Elena/200

Your tone is not friendly although you try hard to cover the unfriendliness.

One of the deficiencies of internet bulletin-board forums such as this is that they do not convey tone of voice. If you were to say, I do not pick up a warm feeling of friendliness from your posts to me, I would have no basis to disagree. I am not much given to the use of emoticons. But that is different than being unfriendly. And if you think I oppose you, or have mocked or belittled you, you are simply wrong.

205. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

William/155

I am reminded of a documentary I saw–it may have been a 60 Minutes segment–in which parents were briefly reunited with their son who had been in the garbage eaters cult for many years. As I recall, the son’s companion followers confronted the reporter, who was female and was wearing makeup. They condemned her as a “Jezebel” for her wearing of makeup. They weren’t just saying that. You could tell they considered her a harlot.

This detail has stuck with me because it exemplifies in a single image a value system and an aesthetic, both of which emerged out of the cult involvement of the followers. As Dick Moron pointed out, it takes some years after leaving to shed the value system and way of seeing the world promulgated by the Fellowship. The fact is, the tentacles of the mindfuck reach way, way out after we leave and still color our worldview for a substantial period.

So, with this vignette in mind, let me see if I can illustrate at least a part of my take on “William’s” posts. From William/155

you might consider that, to those still in the FOF, these kind of cheap shots make you look like the negative, twisted “descending octaves” Robert has always said you are.

Cult worldview: Those who have given up exercising the restraint on “lower” impulses are degenerating spiritually. You can feel it. [Just like the reaction of the Jezebel condemners feels like “common sense.”]

Another view (i.e., my view): teasing, banter, invective, rudeness, baiting, etc. are part of normal give and take in the continuum of human communication and self-expression and can serve constructive purposes both for the speaker and the listener.

In the cult worldview the range of permissible expression is narrow. (I.e., what Dick Moron calls the “lizard skin.”) Expressive acts falling outside that range feel “disturbing.” What falls inside the range feels “normal.” When you leave, the range that feels “normal” can change. And what we might condemn from within the range, what feels worthy of condemnation to us within the range, we may later find praiseworthy.

I have a clear and distinct memory of “Frederick August” standing up at a San Francisco meeting and attempting to discuss his own bisexuality as a prelude to talking about something else. This occurred in the mid-1980s and the subtext, where he was going in his discussion, clearly had to do with the Sanders lawsuit. His attempt was immediately suppressed by the center director, who stated that we were not going to discuss this, and Frederick indicated he would be across the street for anyone who wanted to talk about it with him. I know I experienced a “common sense” that Frederick’s behavior was out of line and in some sense outrageous. I look back now and can only admire his courage.

206. Yesri Baba - December 29, 2008

.

207. Yesri Baba - December 29, 2008

Right on Jomo.

Accusations of ‘negativity’ piss me off. How in the hell can anyone tell from words on a screen if the person writing them is ‘expressing’ negativity?

If someone is feeling offended it is because those words are falling in the shadows of the reader.

The refinement, the lofty properness, the high and mighty ‘spirituality’ of many of the fellowship of friends members and recently departed members is a bunch of phoney bullshit. If straight forward, rough talk is too much for you then keep your hollow crap.

It makes me want to puke. People like DC coming on like they are the next Shakespeare or Montaigne. All the while they are just deluded fools.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for expressing negativity, It’s just that I almost never have posting to the blog. Usually I am laughing my ass off at the insanity. I kind of miss Diaper Boy. The humor has fallen off a bit since he’s been gone.

208. William - December 29, 2008

JP #205: If the purpose of this blog is to help provide a medium for current members to see a different point of view and to work their way out of the FOF – certainly that is my purpose in writing here – it hurts the cause to run around screaming “Fuck you!” “Pimp!” and “Douchebag!” I don’t see how name-calling furthers any cause, frankly, and precisely because we cannot hear the tone of people’s voices, it is well to err on the side of civility. That is, if we wish to communicate and be understood. This isn’t the long tentacles of the FOF in my brain; it’s common sense. I don’t know any salesman who gets very far by calling his clients “gullible scum,” especially to their faces. And for people who have been trained – rightly or wrongly, whatever your and my current opinion of that training – not to express negativity, it conveys an impression that is difficult to overcome with any reasonable arguments that follow.

I am not talking about withholding negative information about the FOF to protect current members’ sensitivities, nor am I talking about what you term “banter,” I am talking about folks here delivering the message in such an offensive way that current members are almost guaranteed not to hear what they have to say.

Would you go to your boss and call him a douchebag? As you have pointed out, there is no “free speech” in an office. Daily Cardiac is undoubtedly someone I know – why would I not speak to him with at least the kindness I would to his face? I think he’s worth more than he’s getting in the FOF – why should I not speak to him in such a way to convey that my valuation for him is higher than his own?

What are we trying to do here? What is the aim? Who is the primary audience for all these pages and pages of words? Is the intention just to talk to each other in a sort of echo chamber – or is there an outside audience we are trying to reach?

#199 Wondering: I think we had many of the same friends in the FOF. My question is: how do we get them out of that cynicism, where the write out the checks for “teaching” payments, then go home and talk about “Conscious Bob” and make jokes about the meeting. What’s happening onstage has something to do with them. It’s not like they are watching television. “Conscious Bob” and the weird roadshows are something that they are enabling; it is an expression of their spiritual life, such as it is.

One of the wooziest buffers – we used to hear it from Daily Cardiac a lot – is the “designer” approach to truth. The belief that truth does not consist of irrefutable hard-rock facts, but is more a consumer product that you can shop for – as in, “This may not be your truth, but it’s my truth.” It’s the equivalent of going into a store and saying “On me, it looks good.”

“Jomo Pinata”: “Whalerider” (#187) made a suggestion about the new French laws and the Paris center. What is your opinion of that? I know the center there is tiny and insignificant, but they are dues-paying members and, legally or illegally, their money goes into FOF coffers.

209. William - December 29, 2008

#203 Nigel: Ford Greene is not gathering evidence. Someone would need to hire him and pay him before he would do that. There is no legal action pending. No one has filed suit.

If someone knows something different on that score, please say so.

210. Panorea - December 29, 2008

208-William

Thank you for your posts William. I understand what you want to convey when writing about polite interactions. However, I have to say that this did not stand in my way when I started reading this forum a year and a half ago (I left the fof about two months ago). I actually started understanding that many people had experienced abuse to an extreme degree in the Fellowship. It has been very refreshing reading some “sincere” stuff here. It has been an eye-opener sharing ones own perceptions instead of some adjusted form of reality. I was at the fof for almost two decades, actively pursuing “presence”. The disillusionment is enormous and for someone like me (lots of them in still) calling names is not such a big deal.

Many current members read this forum. Most of the ones who manage to escape admit that this playground is harsh but to the point.

Thank you for being here

211. nigel harris price - December 29, 2008

209 William

Thanks for that information. I am sure many (including myself) were suffering under the illusion that he WAS gathering evidence. In that case, where does he stand in the scheme of things? However, I was wondering where all the evidence and the (huge amount of?) money needed for his fees would come from. I am sure that Elena and some others are ‘busting for a showdown’ or is the blog the only ‘ammunition’ we have to fight the FOF sham?…..Nigel.

212. Crouching Tiger - December 29, 2008

William 208.

Although I’m not very rude by nature, I do feel that JP and Yesri are more right than you on this debate… I feel the Blog does represent everything ‘excluded’ by the fellowship, everything it finds distasteful, and as such it has an obligation to continue spitting fury whenever it sees that hollow caricature of a man thinking that DC often became…

At times this may mean ‘expressing negative emotions’ in a loud, rude, confrontational manner. I think that’s part of escaping the fellowship’s grip – maybe not for all, but certainly for some. It’s part of the process of at least feeling everything you can be, outside what the fellowship told you you were. The straitjacket was the FoF, with its artificially ‘pure’ idea of what a human being could be. Not real.

Someone like DC sounds reasonable a lot of the time, but ultimately he isn’t. Maybe without knowing it, he’s protecting interests that are deceitful in their intent. He spent a lot of time here trying to tell people to address him respectfully, and conduct a civilised argument, but if you agreed to his terms too readily, you would end up talking like him – in this painfully squeezed-out toothpaste talk. You’d take a step back to being the sort of human being that DC currently is.

So he got a shock, like someone calling him ‘douchebag’, quite frequently! I think that’s part of the Blog’s function. It must be, because it happens all the time.

213. nigel harris price - December 29, 2008

210 Panorea

I was one of those (lucky) ones who did not suffer abuse whilst in the FOF (many members were supportive of [what I now know to be] my mood disorder and in fact my life was saved by one when I came out of the FOF in June 1989) but I did wonder how ‘financially competent’ students and ‘pretty boys’ were given so much attention by REB and the ‘inner circle’. I am not political in groups by nature (I jokingly tell people I am a ‘free radical’ or a ‘social anomaly’) but I do see people’s plays heading towards possible disaster (feature traps, maybe?). However, who is likely to listen to a naieve Solar who cannot make piles of money or get into a stable relationship? I am glad, though, that you, Panorea, have found your release…..Nigel.

214. Crouching Tiger - December 29, 2008

William.

The other element is that there must be some respect shown to the forms of abuse experienced by people like WR and Bruce. Like Nigel, I was lucky I never found myself in that situation… But it can’t be right to tell people who have had those experiences, and endured that breach of the teacher-student trust, to shut up and bite down hard on their ‘negative emotions’. Their naked anger is the material of which the Blog is made.

215. aline - December 29, 2008

#208 William
“Jomo Pinata”: “Whalerider” (#187) made a suggestion about the new French laws and the Paris center. What is your opinion of that? I know the center there is tiny and insignificant, but they are dues-paying members and, legally or illegally, their money goes into FOF coffers.

William,
since 3 or 4 years now, the teaching payments in Paris are made in cash.
This happened because the bank where these teaching payments were deposited, was suspicious about the big amount of money which transited there.
The fof was supposed to be registered as non profit organization (“association loi 1901”) and not to deal with so much money.
So they closed the bank account.
This means it will be very difficult to prove anything concerning money at least during the 4 last year.

216. elena - December 29, 2008

Jomo Piñata, no one can be forced to be kind. Kindness is born within. Thank you for your posts.

William,

What you say is perfectly reasonable and beautiful and even if it were the influence of what the Fellowship demanded, in its essence it is valid. The point here is that in the Fellowship what is positive about respect and diplomacy is used to manipulate people into a definite behaviour that will not challenge Robert Burton’s status quo and here we are challenging that in every possible way we can. The fact that Fellowship members, like you, are blind to the positive things that are said here only reflects the degree to which you’re still permeated by the cult frame and by your own ambition to be the one that brings something new that you think of value. Our own ego is the main obstacle all too often. We mostly know how to say no to others and yes to ourselves. It is popularly known as vanity.

Calling members “pimps” is the side of reality that they are not willing to look at. The naïve ones think they are innocent sheep, good householders doing what a divine, conscious being asks them to do in his enlightenment and the other ones think setting up for rape young men in need of money and an American passport is not a crime. Obviously they are as much a part of the deal as the Fellowship otherwise they would have left two years ago. The problem is no one calls it by its name: a brothel disguised as a conscious school! Some people are truly audacious! They should get credit at least for that.

I think Bruce’s, others and mine insults help defrost that crystallized imaginary picture and remind people that you can’t give birth without contractions. Nothing like a good insult to get one back to the painful reality of what the person insulting you feels.
You seem to think that what is violent is the word pimp and not the pimping that goes on in the Fellowship disguised in gold alchemy.

I challenge you to tell us what in the Fellowship is not connected to pimping? What is not denigrating and violent towards the members? What is not disguised in the mask of consciousness to use and abuse each members money and energy? Just one thing, one!
The innocence of the prospective students perhaps?

When I call Daily Cardiac and the members, all of them inside, pimps, I am simply stating the reality on which they stand. The imaginations they have about what they are doing and their intentions need to be confronted with the actual reality of the Fellowship of Friends in which NOTHING is disconnected to the pimping: making money for Robert’s lifestyle and legitimizing that, as a conscious practice and they think THAT is not delusional!

217. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

William/208

JP #205: If the purpose of this blog is to help provide a medium for current members to see a different point of view and to work their way out of the FOF – certainly that is my purpose in writing here – it hurts the cause to run around screaming “Fuck you!” “Pimp!” and “Douchebag!” I don’t see how name-calling furthers any cause, frankly, and precisely because we cannot hear the tone of people’s voices, it is well to err on the side of civility. That is, if we wish to communicate and be understood. This isn’t the long tentacles of the FOF in my brain; it’s common sense. I don’t know any salesman who gets very far by calling his clients “gullible scum,” especially to their faces. And for people who have been trained – rightly or wrongly, whatever your and my current opinion of that training – not to express negativity, it conveys an impression that is difficult to overcome with any reasonable arguments that follow.

As I said earlier, I hear you. I second that emotion. But it is not the only emotion I second. I second some emotions that contradict it too.

The blog is not a person. The blog does not have an “aim.” We are not, so far as I know, engaged in some “coordinated action.”

I do not disagree that opprobious epithets convey an impression that the speaker is “negative.” But I do disagree that we should adopt a uniform standard of civil discourse.

Do I think we should engage in civil discourse? Yes.

Do I think your criticism is constructive and should be considered by the participants here? Yes.

Do I think a uniformly civil and polite forum would be a more effective instrument in helping readers who are on the fence leave the Fellowship? No.

Here’s why.

It seems to me current members fall into at least three categories.

(1) There are those who are aware of disturbing information and are, to varying degrees, willing to rationalize away its implications. This includes people who hear disturbing information and dismiss it as false, those who think it is true but overstated, and those who think it is true but deny that there is anything disturbing about it. This is the category I believe Lacuna Piñata occupies.

(2) There are those who are ignorant of disturbing information. I can’t say how large a category this is at this time.

(3) And there are those who are involved directly.

I suspect that the fence sitters who read the blog are primarily people in category 1. People in category 2 who hear disturbing information either become people in category 1, or they leave. (I will leave it to others to comment upon the people in category 3.)

People in category 1 are people who have developed circuitry and intellectual methods for reducing or minimizing the cognitive dissonance caused by disturbing information. This suggests to me that, in order for information to reach these people, the things that disturb them need to be “ramped up” to the point where they run out of effective strategies to reduce the dissonance. And I think the chances of this through civil discourse alone are small.

People in category 1 need to be disturbed out of their complacency. If the information alone doesn’t do it, perhaps the impact of communicative conduct outside of the “narrow range of acceptable” will. Opprobium can be a force for positive change.

I recall, in 1981, seeing a “Gurdjieff Ouspensky Centres” poster that had been put up neatly on a bulletin board with white thumbtacks. Someone had scrawled a skull and crossbones on it. It disturbed me. Who would do such a thing to something symbolic of the school I cherished? Looking back, it was a warning. It was outside the range of acceptable. It was opprobious. It was constructive. Its disturbing nature initiated an examination. It didn’t make me leave. It did make me examine what I knew. I just didn’t know much.

218. The FOFion - December 29, 2008

Blog Does Hurt Some Feelings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (ARK) — A recent scientific study conducted by Sacramento State University reveals that the blog does hurt some people’s feelings.

“There’s no doubt,” said Professor Wilhelm Wonka, “people do get their feelings hurt by reading the blog.”

Wonka said it’s important to consider whether it’s worth such enormous risk to society, even if the end result is an uncovering of the truth.

“I’m not sure we’ve done a sufficient cost-benefit analysis of this thing,” Wonka said. “My recommendation is that these bloggers stop and think about what they’re saying a bit more. Maybe the Fellowship of Friends is not actually a ‘pseudo-religious confidence game and pyramid scheme run by a malignant narcissist’ after all. Maybe he’s actually just your run-of-the-mill lying scumbag.”

219. Panorea - December 29, 2008

Also, remember that in the Fellowship we were brought up in a “King of hearts” culture. Whatever this meant to each of us, it mainly meant Madonna with Child, quiet, undisturbed moments and behavior. Look at the music we were encouraged to listen, to the art that was pushed upon our faces, the idyllic environments (no children’s toys around, right?) teaching houses were meant to be. Look at the structured meetings; we were all “aiming” at getting something for our higher centers. Disturbing information was considered the many I’s and an active lower self (and who wanted to have one?).

The most incredible contradiction is that a current member might have difficulties with words written here and not with the outrageous acts performed by whom they call their “Teacher” and his followers.

One needs to scream loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

220. Panorea - December 29, 2008

Oh yes, just yesterday I came across the following by E.M.Forster:

Think before you speak is criticism’s motto; speak before you think is creation’s.

221. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

William/208

I don’t know anything about the new French law. Someone with ties to France who wants to know about whether it provides them a remedy might take such a question to an avocat.

222. Mick Danger - December 29, 2008

Please God, stop forcing douchebags to read this blog.
When you’re done with that I could use a little financial help.
Thanking you in advance.
Your humble servant, etc.

223. The FOFion - December 29, 2008

Burton Followers Organize Protest Against the Blog

MARYSVILLE, Calif. (ARK) — Several hundred followers of Robert Burton gathered in front of Blog headquarters to protest the Blog on Sunday.

Protesters gathered near the sprawling Blog Complex, where strategies are planned by Blog Leaders. Fittingly, a new Denny’s restaurant is located at the headquarters, since all former members have lost their appreciation for finer impressions and fine food.

“Denny’s and Marysville in general represent pathetic life people to whom we are vastly superior,” said a PR spokesperson for the Fellowship of Friends. “We are intelligent and spiritually enlightened, and they are not. What more can you say? I’m sure many of the blog writers eat at this grungy restaurant every day. I bet they’re in there right now. And one more thing: I really don’t like the hostile, us-versus-them attitude of the blog.”

The Blog protest interrupted breakfast for several Marysvillians.

“Not sure what all the hub-bub is about on the blog,” said Mack, who was passing through Marysville on his cross-country truck route. “I support the protestors. Get off this man’s back. If he wants to have intimate relations with his followers, take their money, and throw a bunch of lies at them, that’s the American way. That’s what made this country great. Let him be.”

Several protesters held signs that read, “Let Us Be!” The slogan may be a play on words for the first step of the Sequence.

“Long, obsessive posts on the blog simply prove just how negative and identified those former students are,” said another FOF spokesperson. “The question is, who would you believe? I would much rather believe a man who gives blow jobs to his followers every day in exchange for spiritual salvation. Now that’s someone I would trust and listen to. Those bloggers though: They’re over the top.”

224. elena - December 29, 2008

FoFion,

I actually laughed with your last post. Thanks! Laughing hasn’t come easy for a long time but it’s getting there!

225. William - December 29, 2008

Talk about straw men arguments!

Please, all! I am not saying the discussion should be polite and pretty! I am not saying you should conceal raw nasties for the sake of keeping people’s feelings unwounded! I am not even saying you should belt up all negative emotions. Do I sound like a model of diplomacy to you?

I am simply saying when you gratuitously demean and insult others, when you express yourself through lazy sarcasm, it makes it harder for your potential audience to hear you. And I want them to hear you! I want to (again, as whalerider says) “drain the victim pool.”

Panorea #210, welcome out! I’m glad the blog helped you. I know lots who won’t read it because of the very qualities I am pointing out. I want everyone to leave.

Elena, #216, Do you have any idea how much easier it was to “hear” this post than many you have written?

#214, Crouching Tiger, how do you know that I haven’t suffered abuse to top most of the stories here?

I think the raw truth is quite bad enough. If we find “le mot juste”, it will hit its target. I, too, know the “painfully squeezed-out toothpaste talk” – I’m in favor of punchy, declarative sentences in active voice. I think sarcasm is pure laziness and a poor substitute for intelligence.

By the way, J.P., is there anything useful in Aline’s #215?

226. nigel harris price - December 29, 2008

224 elena

I think, when I read your last post, that ex-members experience (and must be allowed to experience) all manner of emotions, both positive and negative. It seems that all we were encouraged to feel whilst in the FOF was a numb, self-satisfied act of the King of Hearts. In actual fact, that card is the basis of ‘critical feeling’ and not an act…..Nigel.

227. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

William,

There might be. I don’t know anything about the French law applicable to nonprofit entities. I do not have any information on what was done with this cash. I do not have any information that it violates any law to deal in cash. However, people who deal in large amounts of cash generally do so because they are concealing what they do from government and want to avoid tax and other governmental attention.

If there were false representations made to French or US governmental entities about financial matters, people who know the truth can tell the truth to those governmental entities. What will ensue I can’t say.

228. Crouching Tiger - December 29, 2008

William – “Crouching Tiger, how do you know that I haven’t suffered abuse to top most of the stories here?”

I don’t, of course. But your tone of voice doesn’t imply that you have, otherwise the wound would be more in evidence.

Have you experienced this kind of abuse directly?

229. nigel harris price - December 29, 2008

To all who might be interested…………………

I often wonder what it is that compels me to post on this blogsite. At least one poster has plainly asked me why the f–k, after 19 years out of the FOF, do I still bother to think of it and why do I not just get on with my life? I think it is that the FOF was part of my early years (ages 21-32) and moulded part of my thinking. It actually took over three years from when I came out of the FOF to where I could have a positive attitude to ‘life’ and ‘life-people’. And then there was another 11 years with diverse attempts and failures at employment until I embarked on my teacher training and career as a precious metal tutor and facilitator. And still I have memories (especially at night in my dreams) of the FOF. Maybe I tried to use body-type information and centres of gravity knowledge (because we were told that these were tools). And my experiences were not all bad except the ‘grinding’ problems with money which finally ended my association with the FOF. So maybe posting is my kind of long-term regressive therapy – who knows?…..Nigel.

230. William - December 29, 2008

#228 — My tone of voice is because I am trying to exhibit a measure of self-control and say what can be heard, and not simply shoot off my mouth. I am trying to consider my audience – primarily, the audience of current students who need to hear another voice besides the constrained, smiling ones they hear at what passes for meetings nowadays. It’s not a picnic for me, and I’m not having fun here.

Especially so because after the FOF punch-up, I come here and have more insult directed at me, my motives questioned, and lazy invective directed at me by people who are not thinking, but evidently feel superior to me for no reason I can ascertain.

Do you honestly think I couldn’t dice a lightweight like Mick Danger (#222)? But what would be the point? Then he would have back at me, and we’d have a little round of tit-for-tat that would distract from real issues that need to be spoken here – spoken, restated, and their implications explored.

There is a point to my forbearance. “Jomo Pinata” may be right that the blog cannot have an aim, but I do.

And it’s this: The best way for the FOF to end is for the members to be persuaded to leave voluntarily, because they are doing absolutely no good to themselves by staying. There are no “success stories” in the FOF. There are people packaged and marketed as successes, in such a way that it conceals the long nasty degradation of spirit that marks their career paths. They are the biggest victims, and they are also the biggest victimizers.

I would be happy to see legal means brought to bear, but that road is paved with greenbacks. I don’t have the money, and I don’t see anyone here who does. It does seem like the blog is a place to explore potential illegalities that might be one of the the 10,000 pinpricks that brings down the elephant.

JP#227. Now that sounds interesting.

231. aline - December 29, 2008

#227 Jomo
” I do not have any information on what was done with this cash. I do not have any information that it violates any law to deal in cash.”

You’re right;
What is illegal is to use an non profit organization name (like the “association loi 1901”) to receive payments(enormous payment) from its members.
One will have to prove that in relation with all the money circulating before the last 4 years.(when people were still paying by checks)

232. brucelevy - December 29, 2008

230. William

The stink of pompous superiority runs through all your posts. Just a wild guess, but you give the feeling of someone who just found religion after being an aider and abettor, as well as feeding at the trough.

There’s nothing gratuitous about calling DC a douchbag, because he is. There’s nothing lazy about sarcasm because “you” don’t like it. And speaking just for myself, I don’t give a fuck what you think, about anything.

233. Crouching Tiger - December 29, 2008

William.

“My tone of voice is because I am trying to exhibit a measure of self-control and say what can be heard, and not simply shoot off my mouth. I am trying to consider my audience – primarily, the audience of current students who need to hear another voice besides the constrained, smiling ones they hear at what passes for meetings nowadays. It’s not a picnic for me, and I’m not having fun here.”

I take it the answer to my question about whether you suffered direct abuse in the FoF is ‘No’ then…

As for your last sentence, DC said something very similar recently. If you’re not volunteering whole-heartedly for being here, I really don’t know what you can contribute.

234. ton - December 29, 2008

‘lazy sarcasm’
with
‘tired rock lyrics’

235. The FOFion - December 29, 2008

FOF Corporation and Ananda Technologies Announce Merger

NORTH SAN JUAN, Calif. (ARK) — FOF Corporation and Ananda Technologies have agreed to merge. The deal will become effective early next year, pending government approval. The announcement follows another set of weak quarterly earnings reports for both companies.

“The global recession is beginning to have an impact,” said one cult industry analyst. “Both companies are struggling to find new customers, and both are losing customers. Poor sales may also have something to do with corrupt leadership, but that’s just a theory.”

The FOF Corporation sells “A Feeling of Spiritual Contentment” in exchange for money, sex, physical labor, and looking-the-other-way. Ananda Technologies offers a similar product and sells to a similar customer base, although most FOF employees and customers believe there is absolutely no similarity between the two.

“We’re different,” said one FOF employee and customer, who asked to remain anonymous.

FOF Corporation is already moving truckloads of palm trees to the North San Juan campus, and new fountains with naked cherub statues are also being installed.

“That was inevitable,” the industry analyst said.

The deal has some major hurdles before it becomes finalized. The Securities and Exchange Commission must give its stamp of approval, and numerous complaints are being filed on behalf of other cult companies.

“Frankly, I’m concerned that if FOF and Ananda join, we’ll have a new evil empire,” said a representative of Scient Ology Corporation. “This would be a monopoly, plain and simple. I personally believe anti-trust laws in the country won’t allow it, and I’m worried that too much power will end up in the hands of too few. We must protect the American consumer from this sort of blatant monopoly.”

236. peter - December 29, 2008

Nigel 229

My time in the Fellowship of Friend was also quite nice. But that was not the point. I joint because I want to know the truth. And everybody there was in deep illusions including that nasty piece of work called the teacher.

Thank God I left before it was to late.

After leaving I found that the best way to heal from Fellowship of Friend indoctrination was to make a slow and careful study of Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s book ‘the seven habits of highly effective people’.

Great enlightening books I found in ‘the hidden teaching beyond Yoga’ from Paul Brunton an ‘I am That’ from Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Looking back I see the Fellowship of Friends at its best as an kindergarden for nice people with little real understanding who need a father figure and at its worst as something that misuses that what is best in people.

I also still have these dreams about the fof, and I experience again all the small mind attitudes and all the difficult things these people invent for themselves to feel special and in that way locked out for themselves all possibility too experience the oneness of all creation.

Legal action? For what. Burton will die soon. And than there will be some dogs fighting to dominate the left over meat. Just like happens in 10.000 other silly cults.

237. whalerider - December 29, 2008

william:
Hang in there.

I suspect Gurdjieff would roll over in his grave if he witnessed the lop-sided and disharmonious development in the negative halves of centers in the followers of the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence.

The present isn’t always a positive experience as in the PR photos.

In the military, subordinates are indoctrinated in boot camp not to express negative emotions to their “superiors” in rank, turning them into sheep willing to put themselves in the line of fire because of the “Patriot Trance” they are in.

Take the negative emotion of anger, for instance. One of the useful benefits of anger is that it can motivate a person to take action to make a change in something that isn’t working for them. But if you turn anger against yourself in order to avoid confronting what doesn’t work in your life, you will eventually be overwhelmed by depression…which is undoubtedly why the use of anti-depressants in the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence is so rampant. If a follower confronts the bullshit in the FOF, they simply get the boot. That fear keeps the rank and file in line.

Something someone told me a couple of months ago that has been very useful is this:

If you just be yourself, then eventually you will run into people who for reasons beyond your control will not like you and you will never be able to please them. But that’s the price you pay for being yourself and not a frickin’ smiley face doormat for people to wipe their feet on.

You will need brucelevy’s bullshit detector in your head to function in the world and not be taken advantage of ever again. He is doing you a service. I say: if the shoe fits, wear it…until you can wear it out.

Forget about defending yourself on the blog, it’s a waste of energy. Just be yourself and keep blogging. If bruce doesn’t give a fuck about what you think of him, why care what he thinks about you?

Let’s get down to business. Your shipper kipper friends are in the “Cult Trance.” The trick is not to attempt to block their trance but to discover the “Aikido” move that uses the trance they are already in to wake them up. I am going to work on that and get back to you about it, and I need boots on the ground to help me.

I am interested in the actual responses to what your shipper kipper friends say to you when you attempt to speak about how they overcome the gag reflex at one of Burton’s freak shows? Give me some of their language to work with…actual quotes to the best of your memory. Have you talked to anyone lately?

238. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

William,

I would be happy to see legal means brought to bear, but that road is paved with greenbacks.

Most American lawyers who represent persons suffering damage as a result of tortious conduct will take such cases “on contingency.” That means that if they think there is a reasonable chance the person will prevail in a jury trial and be awarded substantial money, they will share the risk by agreeing to get paid out of the proceeds.

Persons who feel that they were induced to join the Fellowship by the use of deception, who feel they have been damaged by their participation in the Fellowship, and who left within the last few years, may have legal remedies and may want to consult a lawyer.

239. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

The trick is not to attempt to block their trance but to discover the “Aikido” move that uses the trance they are already in to wake them up.

Awesome.

240. dick moron - December 29, 2008

230. William

This is written without any intentional sarcasm.
_________________
William: My tone of voice is because I am trying to exhibit a measure of self-control and say what can be heard, and not simply shoot off my mouth.
_________________
You are shooting off your mouth, only you are speaking in a FOF center director mode of language. Your anger and wish to control the expression of others comes through loud and clear.
—————
William: I am trying to consider my audience – primarily, the audience of current students who need to hear another voice besides the constrained, smiling ones they hear at what passes for meetings nowadays. It’s not a picnic for me, and I’m not having fun here.
_______________________
If you feel that you have an audience of current FOF members, continue to speak to them here. If you want your own pulpit free of competing voices, start your own FOF rescue mission blog.
Remember, this was never a blog for current members. As I recall the first poster was a former Mrs. Jihad Haven who simply stated that the Fellowship of Friends had destroyed her life. This was meant to be a warning for those considering joining.
——————–
William: And it’s this: The best way for the FOF to end is for the members to be persuaded to leave voluntarily, because they are doing absolutely no good to themselves by staying.
______________________
I believe that many stay in FOF because they ARE doing good FOR themselves. They are the lazy ones who live off the FOF welfare system, as meager as it is, because they have no real aspirations in life except to feel holier than the masses and probably would wind up working at a gas station should they go off salary.
Then there are those who profit financially from being senior members, happy to bend over and take it up the ass, in order to get a grove of olive trees or access to the expensive winemaking gear, or a free house. To hell with them, it’s the innocents that need to be warned before joining. I believe the blog as is a good a deterrent as is, so let it be.

241. Opus 111 - December 29, 2008

William

Are you one to believe that in order to communicate effectively to young children, you need to use baby talk?

You seem to argue that to communicate effectively to current FOF members, one needs to use the tired, wooden-tongue FOF speak.

I think that, to communicate effectively (to that place inside people that matters), one simply needs to be sincere, genuine.

Listen carefully and you will hear that on this blog.

242. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

217. Jomo Piñata:

‘opprobious’
and
‘opprobium’

should be:

‘opprobrious’
and
‘opprobrium’

Look it up in dictionary.

243. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

223. The FOFion:

Plus

224. elena:

‘FoFion,

I actually laughed with your last post.’

Here is an example of the use of the word ‘opprobrious’:

In the Fellowship of Friends, laughter is considered opprobrious.

244. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

225. William:

‘le mot juste’ = ‘the word right’

‘By the way, J.P., is there anything useful in Aline’s #215?’

Yes, ALL Fellowship of Friends members in French territory must be scrutinized for attempts at carrying or transferring unusual amounts of money, or other valuables, to other jurisdictions. What!?! You say this single bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafite-Rothchild (worth possibly up to £21,000) cannot leave France? What about this diamond ring?

245. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

236. peter:

‘Legal action? For what. Burton will die soon.’

He already is dead.

246. dick moron - December 29, 2008

244. Wouldnt You Like To Know

Yes, ALL Fellowship of Friends members in French territory must be scrutinized for attempts at carrying or transferring unusual amounts of money, or other valuables, to other jurisdictions. What!?! You say this single bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafite-Rothchild (worth possibly up to £21,000) cannot leave France? What about this diamond ring?
——————
Cash teaching payments in France also can become fun money for Horny Burton during his sex tours of Europe.

247. lauralupa - December 29, 2008

205. Jomo Piñata – December 29, 2008
“I am reminded of a documentary I saw–it may have been a 60 Minutes segment–in which parents were briefly reunited with their son who had been in the garbage eaters cult for many years. As I recall, the son’s companion followers confronted the reporter, who was female and was wearing makeup. They condemned her as a “Jezebel” for her wearing of makeup. They weren’t just saying that. You could tell they considered her a harlot.”

When I read this I wondered who the “garbage eaters” were. Funnily enough, tonight I bumped into a TV program about cults, fear and mind control (on E! channel!) and there they were, together with a few other cults I wasn’t yet familiar with (will they ever end? I’ll post about some of them later.) Quite different in style from the FoF, but uses the same technique of enforcing members’ estrangement from family and friends.

“Many of the estranged parents and friends of the Brethren are justifiably distressed, for two reasons:

Most of the members were above average in intelligence and had been attending university when they joined the group. Their parents probably had high expectations that their sons and daughters would become financially and socially successful later in life.
Some parents must live with the minimal or no contact, with their loved ones – some not even knowing if they are still alive.
“The Roberts Parents Group” has posted a series of letters on their web site, addressed to their adult children. They talk of the incredible sadness, anger, and frustration caused by losing contact with their adult child.

We believe that the Brethren only accept adults as members – not children or adults with children. This has allegedly led to some adults leaving their spouses and children and severing all contact with their spouses and/or children in order to join the group.” (from religioustolerance.org)

Anyway, as I was researching this, I came upon the very tasty Xenu Tv, maybe someone has already mentioned it, lots of interesting videos there! There’s a whole section on “Mind Control & Thought Reform”. just in case you’ve got some spare time for exploring insanity during these holy days…

http://www.xenutv.com/cults/index.htm

248. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

242/Wouldn’t you like to know

Opprobrious. Opprobrium. Thank you. I humbly stand corrected!

249. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

I must have learned those words studying at the Libary back in Febuary.

250. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

Thanks Lauralupa for the xenutv link. The following links to the documentary on the garbage eaters to which I referred:

http://www.xenutv.com/cults/brethren.htm

251. elena - December 29, 2008

I am obviously pissing out of the bowl if all I evoke in this blog is being called Mrs. Jihad Haven by Dick and get a William say that the first thing that has been easy for her to read after two years is that post. It’s not that my tongue is any sweeter, it is that your ears are less waxed after only a day or two. You come with your preconceptions with complete disregard. But I suppose I can’t expect any better after exposing so many dark sides. What’s truly funny is that I think it is so beautiful to hold all the darkness with light but you only see the darkness.

The rest of your post is rather good. At least I can read in between lines and understand what you’re trying to say while at the same time totally agree with Bruce’s perception. There are all those gammas in the spectrum. What surprises is not that we are experts at detecting the bullshit but that no one recognizes the beauty or if they do they are too afraid to acknowledge it. Just like you who avoid 99% of the posts so that you can pick on the one little aspect with which to justify your neglect.

Too bad, another skin to peal off and move on.

252. nigel harris price - December 29, 2008

247 lauralupa

I was lucky in that my parents maintained contact with me the whole time I was in the FOF. In fact my dad would ‘slip me’ the odd $1,000 every year or so to help me while I was doing my training in precious metal craft. However, when I came home to the UK and we were going through my financial papers to work out how much I owed the IRS, he screamed at me “You couldn’t afford what you were giving to the FOF!” I suppose you could jokingly say that ‘self-remembering starts with a salary of $30,000 a year’…..Nigel.

253. Jomo Piñata - December 29, 2008

First post in the blog after the Sheik’s, stating Fellowship ruined her life, is attributed to “Barbara.”

254. Ill Never Tell - December 29, 2008

More Pillsbury Doughboy:

‘Nothing says lovin’
Like something from the oven!’™:

255. dick moron - December 29, 2008

251. elena

Sorry if you thought I was referring to you. It was my understanding that one of the several other earlier Mrs. Havens made the post I referenced.
“Jihad” was an affectionate name for Mr. H given by former house mates of his in London long ago.

256. nigel harris price - December 29, 2008

255 dick moron

Best to drop this Mrs Haven tack. I got into trouble with mentioning them. Why don’t we just accept what they have to offer?………Nigel

257. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

249. Jomo Piñata:

‘I must have learned those words studying at the Libary back in Febuary.’

Just a Freudian slip how you leave out those ‘r’s,’ as in Robert, I guess.
Or, is it ‘arse,’ as in Robert?

258. lauralupa - December 29, 2008

William
IMO, on one level, the current member can indeed temporarily reject and “buffer” these dissonant “impressions”, yet on another, more unconscious level, they do shock and rock, and didn’t we use to value unpleasant shocks for their power in creating memory? Many dissonant aspects of “the School” that I deeply “buffered” at first, have since reemerged and been integrated into my consciousness, since in spite of myself, my conscience had indeed registered them quite clearly.

In my personal experience, rediscovering the bad girl in me was a big part of the vital impetus that saved me from the Fellowship rut. Without having planned to, I found myself breaking all sorts of exercises and the more I did so, the less I was afraid, and gradually I became freer and wilder, until I was loose and out and never looked back.( I did have recurring FoF dreams for years, but eventually that also worked itself out)
One of the strange things that happened during that final intense period of temporary insanity-rebirth, I very temporarily fell in and out of love like a teenage girl with a guy that seemed slightly more badass than the average member (and to my dismay is still a member!) It was a most weird and refreshing experience, and one of the first memories I have of him, is him saying how he missed his city with its “smell of urine in the streets”. I suppose that was the most memorable thing I had heard in ages at Renaissance! My point being that, strange as it may seem, I am sure that a big part of what fascinated me about this person, was his strong, seemingly still spontaneous “life” personality (a “younger student”, of course), the unusual raw stimuli…

I fell in love because I craved that sense of freedom for myself, and IMO most people still in do too, somewhere deep inside, even though they’re too afraid to admit it quite yet.
Unless they too are already dead. I surely hope not.

259. elena - December 29, 2008

Don’t worry Dick, it’s just the drop that made the water spill!

260. dick moron - December 29, 2008

256. nigel harris price

Thanks for the thought Nigel.
My point in the post was the fact that this blog originated with The Sheik describing his prospective student meeting at the FOF center in London and a former member, out of nowhere, responded with such a strong statement.
As for Mr. Haven, I recognized him as a cold automaton the first time I visited the Los Angeles center where he was a director. This was confirmed many times thereafter and I luckily succeeded in having nothing to do with him during my 21 years in FOF. Now, I feel a little sorry for the poor schlub.

261. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

253. Jomo Piñata:

‘First post in the blog after the Sheik’s, stating Fellowship ruined her life, is attributed to “Barbara.”‘

And

255. dick moron

I do believe that (1st post) “Barbara” Ain’t ‘Miss BeHavin’.’
‘Twas another Barbara. But I could be wrong.

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (1941) 3:18

(Fats Waller)

262. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 29, 2008

258. lauralupa

‘In my personal experience, rediscovering the bad girl in me was a big part of the vital impetus that saved me from the Fellowship rut.’

This one’s for you:

Wynonna Judd – Ain’t Misbehavin’ 3:57

263. Old Fish in the Sea - December 30, 2008

It is a pleasure to be free from the heavy, controlling energy as evidenced by the note from [An older student] to DC which I copied below. The use of words like “older”, “personally for you”, “wasting”, “I will not respond” etc. has a chilling effect. This voice has appeared before and each time the effect has been the same. DC, like other FOF contributors, has disappeared and seems to be controlled by the cult pressure to obey.

It is educational to see this FOF dominance and how it stifles the individual spirit.

**********

Post 123 by [An older student]

Dear DC,

I haven’t been here for quite a while.

Reading all this, it becomes evident that your posts are feeding this Blog and to a certain extent they are keeping it more alive than it would have been without your involvement.

The negative influence of this Blog on the FoF is practically non-existent and if part of the reason you are writing here is to create some sort of balance, I do not think that is necessary.

Let this Blog run as it is. It is quite harmless. You are wasting quite a lot of energy on other peoples’ lower-self instead of separating from your own.

This message for you personally and I will not respond to any forthcoming posts. I do not know who you are, otherwise I would have contacted you directly.

264. nigel harris price - December 30, 2008

263 Old Fish In The Sea

I think this idea of ‘lower self’ is ridiculous. If FOFfing about in a pseudo-religious atmosphere exuding an air of superiority is what awakening is all about, I feel I am well out of it…..Nigel.

265. aline - December 30, 2008

The current discussion reminds me of the remarks that I read on the GF for a video that showed a parody of RB and his teaching today.
Some have found this movie, poor, vulgar and inappropriate.
For me, this is not the video which is vulgar, but what is shown in it.
Likewise when everyone speaks and share posts on this blog.

266. Panorea - December 30, 2008

263. Old Fish in the Sea

Very much agreeing with you here. DC has been a great example of that Fellowship stifling way of thinking. It was very good having him with us. About the interaction with the “Older Student” (sounding Girard-like), I am not so sure the whole game is that clear. It definitely reminds one “N_ch___s Sp____i_g asking that other current member to stop writing (that was thousands of bloggie words behind us, tried to find it but failed…). How odd that these characters would just stop writing by having someone else telling them to do so. It could have been anyone imitating the Fellowship dictatorial tone. We all know how to do that…

Very fishy my dear Old Fish.

267. Just the Facts Ma'am - December 30, 2008

260. dick moron on Jihad Haven. Here’s a story:

In 1978, Los Angeles Centre, this ancient Fellowship of Friends, AKA Pathway to Presence, member (me) was traveling through. I first met Jihad Haven, in person (one-on-one), when I arrived at the teaching house and found B & G coming into the house with many bags of groceries. I immediately assisted and carried in some of the bags. Then, when inside, I continued to assist with unloading the groceries. Suddenly and abruptly, Jihad responded in a manner like, as I remember it, ‘don’t touch our stuff’ and ‘get lost.’ If not those words, then that was the impression left on me. Definitely left a distinctive memory; that is, strange behaviour for a Fellowship member, especially, later learned, as to who he was.

I had been in FoF almost two years at that point. And, the above occurred before I even knew who Jihad was. By then I had expected strange behaviour from Fellowship members. But this incident was like returning a kindness with cold, remotely-disconnected-emotionality, dispatched with martial command of circumstances. I tried to understand the mechanicality of the situation and went my way. However, this first impression has stayed with me these many years and I have not had much respect for that person, either in person, writing, emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise, since, because: as polished and refined a behaviour as one can ‘put on’ in the many ‘show’ venues one finds in FoF, it is the little common moments that really tell what a person is made of.

Summary: treated like dog; treats others like dog. Conscious Being material? Man 5? Go figure. Just there by default. Not much different 30 years on. Just ask Elena, she lived with the man.

I say the above with all due respect for a person who has spent their life in that manner and with recognition of the physical infirmities now gifted them as means for compassion to be learned.

268. Ellen - December 30, 2008

Page 59, #206. Susan Zannos – December 19, 2008

“At any rate, I am interested in learning more about what former students have come to understand about themselves that would explain why they were members of the Fellowship, sometimes for many long years.”

Hi Susan,

I’ve been thinking about your question for a few days now. I feel it – as a question – resontates on many levels and therefore I, myself, can’t respond on just one. It’s as though each of us existed in a challenging marriage, but one day the private detective handed in all the evidence – which confirmed our worst fears – or we ourselves fell in love with another man, or both. So we have signed the divorce papers and after the fact, are left with the stunning question: WTF was that about? Why was I so blind for so long? Or why was I in love for so long? Well, what can you say? What was it that you valued about your own FoF experience while you were living it? Can you remember? Was it the ideas? Was it the Fourth Way knowledge? Was it the people and what you could give in that environment? Or was it something more indefinable, ineffable than that?

I’m just asking, because these are the questions I’m asking myself now, too. And just to be clear, so you can understand where I’m coming from, for at least the last twenty years or so, my connection to the Fellowship was about 90% C Influence/school and about 10% Robert.

A divorce or a death marks the end of something that once was alive. Yet a post mortem on a cadaver can only determine cause of death, never cause of life, because on a post mortem that’s all that’s left – a dead body and somebody else’s probing intellect. So the knowledgeable information that abounds regarding cults is very good and helpful for understanding the harmful aspects of group dynamics. But it is, of necessity, someone else’s intellect studying the cause of death (or at least severe illness) – and also it’s not the death of a person – but rather that of a group. And yet we existed within the FoF group as part of the livingness. So now the mind – at least it’s your own – tries to figure out what the living heart knew in the moment. Tricky business. And memory is dim, sometimes clouded over or sometimes illuminated by newly acquired knowledge, and in general we have forgotten what the experience itself (of being in love) was like. Again, well, what can you say? Study the detective’s papers or the coroner’s report for clues? Dredge up memories? To my mind (and heart) understanding the essence of the livingness, and where it was/is centered, is more encompassing and closer to the point, than understanding any particular piece of knowledge regarding a dead body.

Thus, I tend to think of a group as a living entity that can exist not only as an ego (the cult-mind part) but also as a subtle yet temporary field of energy just as a person might. We tend to speak about people as existing on the level of personality, essence, soul and spirit. Do those levels also exist for groups as collective entities? Just asking. And if they do, in what way do we perceive them and trace their lifespan? And how do we recognize the vibrancy of their life? According to our own experience? It must be so. And what do group experiences (regardless of their focus) offer us that individual ones don’t? Basic connection to and with other people? Something simple like that? Something living like that? So in addition to the experience of the simple connectedness of a group, the FoF environment also encouraged presence, a journey of inner connection, which increased the experience exponentially.

Presence, consciousness and love were all part of the FoF package – to which I subscribed as fully as I could. I would guess you did, too? And those qualities created a greater sense of connectedness, of unity – and it was good. It was very good. Since it was a physical group experience, even the sensory extension of my little self was sometimes palpable – and that was good, too. Additionally, since it was a physical group experience, that extension of my little self was limited by the same and I would feel lonely if I couldn’t be around other members, and that was bad. Finally, since it was and continues to be a physical group experience, guided by a deeply perverted misunderstanding of spirituality, the extension of small self which can be experienced there (within the group) remains deeply limited and ignorant of its own infinitely expansive true nature – and that is really, really too bad. Witness now how Jomo and Daily Cardiac cannot finally meet, as they speak from different levels: Jomo as a specialist in cadavers and Daily Cardiac as a cell in a body he doggedly perceives as thoroughly alive, since his own presence still tells him so. Were we any different?

You say: “Doctrine of any stripe is of no interest. But I am interested in understanding…”
Well, IMO, doctrine or not, your understanding will remain limited if the knowledge you listen to from others doesn’t encourage you to dig deeper into yourself and go all the way from the partial expansion that you did experience within the Fellowship (and you – like the rest of humanity – still hunger for) to the infinite expansion of your own true nature above and beyond the small self, beyond mind, beyond groups, beyond beyond…

As ever, good luck to you…

269. Crouching Tiger - December 30, 2008

Laura & others…

Yes, I feel you’re talking about a ~ perhaps THE ~ most important aspect of life after fellowship… The sensation of letting all those false walls in oneself be pulled down one-by-one, like a succession of inner Berlin Walls, that’s very strong…. And of letting everything gently (or wildly) reconnect, letting the voices which had been temporarily quelled start talking again to each other. Even if they’re shouting or screaming at first…

Self-remembering (if you want to use that word) is just about allowing these various member states of your body, mind and feelings to work in their own proper areas and eventually establish a sound, healthy status quo.

The false division of self in the fellowship, in which what might be important observations are prematurely slotted into ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ categories under intense pressure from the peer-group, and the King of Clubs has to carry the can for everything, is a true disaster.

To me, the Work is about returning, again and again, to what is sincere and genuine and simple, until all the false castles you build run out of solid ground on which to raise themselves. And trying to impersonate the ‘higher self’, as I believe DC was trying to do, is just another false personality. It may be a good intention, but the road to hell is paved with them… I feel this is what many are objecting to in some parts (but not all) of William’s posts.

Creating this division of steward and lower self, and shoving a lot of personal dislikes down into the ‘lower self’ category before you’ve even begun to find a common understanding among the body, mind and feelings, that’s so crazy! You cannot divide yourself and remember yourself at the same time.

270. Crouching Tiger - December 30, 2008

Ellen.

“Well, IMO, doctrine or not, your understanding will remain limited if the knowledge you listen to from others doesn’t encourage you to dig deeper into yourself and go all the way from the partial expansion that you did experience within the Fellowship (and you – like the rest of humanity – still hunger for) to the infinite expansion of your own true nature above and beyond the small self, beyond mind, beyond groups, beyond beyond…”

Yes, somehow the ‘rightness’ has to be rescued – God knows how! – from the ‘wrongness’. Maybe, the feeling of being-in-love from the flawed object it had to pass beyond… and then, let nothing stand in the way of its expansion, even if they assist that expansion! – friendships, groups etc…

271. nigel harris price - December 30, 2008

268 Ellen

I have a great deal of difficulty coming to terms with this idea of ‘being in love’. Was it ever a possibility in the FOF? I seemed to see many relationships and marriages being based on features and the overt expression of those features. I cannot say that I am an expert on relationships, having been single (pretty much) for my entire life and, in the FOF, I dreaded becoming involved with anyone who would ‘tear me away’ from my Essence aims. Not exactly A loves B and B loves C, but something like that. How is it that a person can ‘love’ GH or why could/can REB not be in a stable relationship? I don’t think I will be able to answer those questions (or maybe not now even need to) but maybe these are things that other members/ex-members have been contemplating…..Nigel.

272. The FOFion - December 30, 2008

FOF Blog May Shut Its Doors for Good

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — The WordPress FOF Discussion Blog, one of the nation’s largest retailers of fine clothing, is shutting its doors for good despite record sales during the Christmas holiday. Overall U.S. retail sales were the worst in 40 years according to one report, but customers continued flocking to Blog in record numbers.

“Frankly, I’m not sure why they’re going out of business,” said one disappointed customer, who stood in a long line waiting for after-Christmas deals at the Manhattan Blog branch. “Look at all of these people.”

In 2008, the popular retail clothing store easily outpaced its main competitors, Daily Cardiac Clothiers and Howard Carter Fashions. Both stores held going-out-business sales during the holiday rush.

“You know, without our competitors giving us a reason to be, I really don’t see why we should continue,” said Blog CEO Joe Negative. “We really need that competition to sell our clothes.”

But some shareholders say they’re puzzled by Negative’s conclusions. They vow to fight the decision at the next shareholder meeting.

“Uh, sales are brisk,” one shareholder said Monday. “Let’s stay in business. Besides, a new store will spring up soon to take the place of Cardiac and Carter; I’m sure of that. So let’s stay the course.”

Some analysts speculate that Cardiac and Carter failed to adapt their clothing lines to the changing preferences of American consumers. Several years ago, both Cardiac and Carter shifted their emphasis to brightly colored silk suits, shirts, and ties, as well as a conservative line of women’s clothing.

273. Jomo Piñata - December 30, 2008

Ellen/268

It took me a little while to appreciate your “specialist in cadavers” vs. “cell in a body he doggedly perceives as thoroughly alive” metaphor which, given its unsavory nature, at first I perceived as inapt. But I think I got it. I think you are saying Lacuna Piñata may perceive Jomo Piñata as a specialist in cadavers which have no relation to his living body.

But, if I validate your metaphor, I do think it is wrong to say Lacuna and Jomo cannot finally meet. Such a statement evinces less faith in real conversation than conversation deserves. Jomo does not actually expect to persuade Lacuna Piñata of anything. But to the extent Lacuna Piñata evades honest questions through dishonest artifice, even if he does not admit that dishonesty now, somewhere inside himself–if Lacuna Piñata is a sincere person–he is going to feel a little bit dirty. Maybe not now, maybe some years from now, a little fragment of the exchange replays in his psyche, and he doesn’t feel good about it. Hasn’t this happened to everyone?

And at that moment, the two minds finally do meet. Faith in this sort of conversation simply trusts the psyches of the conversants to settle things out on their own time.

274. The FOFion - December 30, 2008

FOF Secures Copyright of Vivaldi Music

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — The Fellowship of Friends (FOF) secured a copyright on all Vivaldi music Monday. All performances and recordings of the late Baroque composer are now the intellectual property of the FOF, according to the U.S. District Court ruling.

The decision seems to reverse centuries of copyright law, as Vivaldi’s music has been part of the public domain for more than 200 years.

“Not anymore,” said an FOF attorney. “By law, no one can listen to Vivaldi and enjoy his music without writing a check to the Fellowship of Friends. If you experience feelings of well-being, inspiration, and joy from Vivaldi, write us a check.”

The FOF is reportedly trying to secure copyrights on many other items in the public domain — including Self Awareness, Self Knowledge, and Feelings of Well Being and Spiritual Growth.

“These ideas were not invented by the FOF, nor was the music of Vivaldi,” said one attorney representing The English Concert, the famous London Baroque ensemble. “People from all around the globe have gained tremendous joy and inspiration from him, and I think we’ll be successful in keeping it that way.”

During the mid-1970s, the FOF was able to secure copyrights on Dour and Stern Facial Expressions©, Pretentious Acts of Holiness©, as well as Fear and Dread©. No one challenged those rulings.

275. aline - December 30, 2008

#274 the FOFion

Thanks.
Well, what a relief !!
I can let them alone to listen frantically Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

276. lauralupa - December 30, 2008

FOFion, thanks for the Daily Giggles!

This small, little known cult I just found out about last night, “Eternal Values”, made me think that its late founder and Burton may be spiritual brothers, possibly even “on the same ladder”… sorry I found no pics, believe me, those handsome young men in stiff pose and formal attire looked eerily familiar…

“…the strangest gurus seem to be based in New York City. Take Frederick Von Mierers, a former male model and social climber from Brooklyn who convinced scores of beautiful, young, rich New Yorkers, including top models from the Ford Model Agency, as well as Sylveseter Stallone, that he was an alien “walk-in” from the star Arcturus. Physical beauty was a prerequisite to membership in his cult, Eternal Values, which was based in an elegant Sutton Place apartment house. “I’m here to train the leaders of the New age,” he told writer Marie Brenner. “Everyone I am training for leadership will have perfect features. I believe in the master race!”

One of the ways Von Mierers would save his followers from the coming Armageddon was by making them buy expensive gemstones, which he sold for many times their worth, often supplying phony appraisal certificates. Sex was also required; he coerced them into bizarre practices, like the multiracial gangbang called The Treatment. “You need to sit on a six-foot dildo in the middle of Park Avenue,” he told his female disciples, who included Jackie Adams, a Ford superstar with an Elizabeth Arden contract who was desperately seeking insight into her unhappy childhood. For his own pleasure, Von Mierers kept a Polaroid collection of enormously endowed black men.

As his fame spread through New Age circles, the cheek-implanted, face-lifted Von Mierers amassed millions selling his stones and psychic “life readings,” which he claimed were accounts of previous incarnations, to the likes of Stallone, New York arts patron Alice Tully, and Rae Dawn Chong. He had a New York cable-TV show and was prominently featured in the 1986 book Aliens Among Us. His philosophy was a mishmash of Eastern teachings, New Age psychobabble, and rabid anti-Semitism, but his control over his devotees was seamless. “Satanic” defectors, however, eventually including Adams, went to the police and denounced him as a fraud.”

http://www.rickross.com/reference/ramtha/ramtha1.html

“…In a deposition that is part of the public court record Roger Hall, a Houston real estate broker, contends that he and Douglas Wyatt were members of an elitist cult called Eternal Values. He said the group preaches, among other things, anti-Semitism, misogyny and the superiority of male homosexuals.

Mr. Hall also contends that under the influence of the cult Mr. Wyatt came to believe that in a previous reincarnation Mr. Sakowitz was an evil gunfighter in the Old West, that Oscar Wyatt was a sheriff and that they are now fighting it out again. ‘Different Spiritual Ideas’

Douglas Wyatt denounced as “outrageous distortions” Mr. Hall’s characterization of the group’s beliefs and its influence over him. He said, “Eternal Values makes available certain books and writings related to Eastern philosophy and different spiritual ideas that are not easily obtained by the public.”

In her deposition Mrs. Wyatt, the plaintiff’s mother, says she paid $70,000 for a ring with an Eternal Values gem mounted so that it would touch her skin. She also said the group’s central belief was “love of mankind.” (from a New York Times article)

277. nigel harris price - December 30, 2008

All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
Waht is less or more than a touch?

Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so.

(Walt Whitman ‘Song of Myself’)

278. nigel harris price - December 30, 2008

Just something I found on the web regarding leaving cults………………

Dr. Ronald M. Enroth:: “Leaving a restricted and abusive community involves what sociologists call the de-socialization process whereby the individual loses identification with the past group and moves toward re-socialization, or reintegration into the mainstream culture. There are a number of emotions and needs that emerge during this transition process. How one deals with these feelings and affective experiences has a significant impact on the overall healing that is required.

Many have described the aftermath of abusive-church involvement as comparable to that of rape victims, or the delayed stress syndrome experienced by war veterans. It is recovery from what might be called spiritual rape. You feel like something has been lost and you will never be the same again.”

279. nigel harris price - December 30, 2008

Do you think REB has read this extract from the (4th Way) Pathway to Presence site?…………………………

“Worldly thoughts and material concerns blind the mind, or eye of the soul, like a cloth that covers the physical eyes: so long as we are not free of them, we cannot see.” Simeon the New Theologian (Philokalia)…………………………….

So, REB, could you possibly do without your fancy cloths and baubles, your Mercedes and your dwellings and, most of all, stay away from sexual contact with young men?…..Nigel.

280. nigel harris price - December 30, 2008

Hope some FOF members read this……………

Please answer the following questions honestly
Do you feel that no matter how hard you try, the “good deeds” you perform for your group are never quite enough? As a result of this do you often feel plagued with feelings of guilt?What are you motivated by? Is it genuine love for God and the group etc., or is it fear of not meeting the desired standards?Is questioning the group, or the group leaders, discouraged or frowned upon?Does the group you belong to believe that it is an elite and exclusive organization which alone has the truth and answers to life’s questions?Does the group pour scorn upon, attack, and mock other Christian churches and their interpretation of the Bible?Is reading any literature critical of the group discouraged? Many cults will warn members not to read anything critical of the group, especially if written by an ex-member (who are called names by the cult such as “apostate”, “hardened”, or “of the devil” etc.). This is a well known information control technique to stop the member from discovering the clear and documented errors of the cult. Members abilities to think for themselves is effectively disarmed in this way. Instead, they will think more and more as the rest of the group thinks.Take a look at the way the group looks and acts. Does everyone dress, act, and talk more or less the same? One observer, speaking of his particular involvement with a cult, said that the group encouraged its members “to do everything in exactly the same way – to pray the same, to look the same, to talk the same. This in psychology is a classic example of group conformity. Its purpose is to ensure that no one tries to act differently or become dissident, thus nobody questions the status quo.” (Andrew Hart, Jan. 1999).Does the group discourage association with non-members (except, maybe, for the possibility of converting them to the group)?Does the group give you “black and white” answers–what the group agrees with is right and what the group disagrees with is wrong?Does everyone in the group believe exactly the same things (i.e. what the group leaders tell them to believe)? Is there no room for individual belief, or opinion even in minor areas?Does the group wear “two faces”? On the one hand, does it attempt to present itself to potential converts and the public at large as a group of people who are like one large family, full of love and equality? But in actuality, does the group have many members that inwardly feel unfulfilled and emotionally exhausted?Have you attempted to disable your own God given critical thinking abilities by “shelving” various doubts about the group or groups teachings etc.Are those in the group who do not conform to the requirements of the movements teaching treated with suspicion, as if they are second-class members? Does the group tend to withhold certain information from the potential convert? Are the more unusual doctrines of the group not discussed until an individual is more deeply involved in the movement?
Do you feel fearful of leaving the group? Many cults use subtle fear tactics to stop members from leaving. For example, the group may imply that those who leave will be attacked by the Devil, have a nasty accident, or at least not prosper because they have left “the truth”.
If you answered “yes” to most of the questions on the previous pages, the group which you are involved with is certainly using manipulative mind control techniques.

Now that you know this, what will you do?

You need to realize that whatever group you are part of does not have a monopoly on God. For many people in mind control cults, leaving the movement is usually considered the equivalent of leaving God Himself and forfeiting ones salvation. However, the truth is that there are Christians in all denominations who have found salvation in Christ alone, and not the church group itself. Many people who are trapped in a spiritually abusive religious system often feel as though they would have nowhere else to go even if they did manage to make the break from the group.
The answer is found in what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”You need to leave the group. This may be difficult, but by staying you will only continue to be spiritually and mentally abused. You will also be contributing to a system which, in your heart, you know to be wrong. Don’t let pride keep you from leaving the group.

Don’t feel as though you will be alone in your decision to leave. There are many individuals who have been in the same situation as yourself. These people come from many different religious groups, but have all been victims of the same dominating mind control techniques. Today, many are living new lives of liberty, security, and hope.

(Again, from the web)…..Nigel.

281. whalerider - December 30, 2008

crouching tiger:
“You cannot divide yourself and remember yourself at the same
time.”

Yes, you cannot feel like a whole person if you disidentify with and demonize aspects of yourself, and then project those parts you don’t like about yourself onto others out in “life”.

That’s how you can see a person’s level of being, study how they treat “others” who might disagee with them. If a person claiming to be conscious has to demonize his detractors, then he has not come to terms with his own inner demons. That is darkness, not enlightenment.

Identifying with the “higher self” is the Cult Trance.

The more you run from your inner demons, the faster they chase you, making fear a constant companion in the Cult Trance as well.

The “higher and lower self” are like Siamese twins. One cannot live without the other.

The “self” to remember is the “you” who can take a step back and see both the higher and lower as one without identifying with either. Doing so puts you in touch with your own power, the middle self…the center around which the dervish whirls, arms extended, with one hand pointing up and one hand pointing down.

It’s the difference between identifying yourself only as one part of your contents, “the good” part, and identifying yourself as the context through which your life flows, the witness.

This is what Eastern philosophy teaches us through a meditation practice…the intentional, self-empowering trance we do for ourselves (versus the induced Cult Trance of Burton’s freak shows). Meditation teaches you to be your own self-validating witness to yourself, not just a “good follower” of Trance du jour.

282. Walter J. Tanner - December 30, 2008

Fabulous discussion from all quarters, fellow travelers.

Crouching Tiger says: “ultimately if you want to take things further you’ll find someone who knows about the practice rather than the theory.”

This belief is a form of spiritual materialism: it assumes that awakening (spiritual work, what have you) is analogous to any other human activity.

Of course if you want to really dance you can’t just read about it, you need to find a partner who can teach you. As in all other learnable things. So if Crouching Tiger is talking about getting-to-know the Gurdjieffian lineage as an end-in-itself, that is fine. Like a cooking class, the various orthodox Gurdjieff Foundations, et al., offer instruction on how they did it “under Gurdjieff.”

But awakening, what I believe to be the point of it all, is discovering within yourself the resources to continue the spiritual journey regardless of circumstances (even one’s physical death). Once those resources are present, the simplest conversation with your barber — or even interacting with your cat (its more about a sentient-encounter than an intellectual-verbal exchange) — can reveal to you your next step. Every moment becomes your teacher.

And it gets tricky here, of course, for I am preaching that you don’t need no preacher to find what you are after. So in a way I tell lies even as I try to speak the truth. Some mystics just chalk all this up to the limitations of language, but I don’t think this is true. The language here is contradictory because what it is trying to describe is radically open, in that from its perspective there is always a new way to proceed, there is never any restriction — that ‘word of sin’ as Crowley called it.

Now this of course does not mean that once one “gets it” you stop doing any sort of spiritual practice. Before enlightenment, chop wood, etc.

—-

William,

Nice rant, but nothing that hasn’t been said before. May I suggest the si-do exercise: go to the Greater Fellowship and start a discussion thread on the topics you are interested in.

Nobody can define the blog, some guy wrote about his prospective student meetings in London a few years ago and every response since then (as well as the Greater Fellowship) is just a comment to those original postings. I come here not only to engage current members in an open and ecumenical forum about Robert’s teaching, but also to hear about folk’s experiences with non-dual philosophy, ayuasca, and blacksmithing. I like speaking boldly about what I understand because there are a lot of solid intellects here that will tell me when I’m wrong. I have a scholarly interest in how cults form and how greater religious movements are legitimized, so that’s fed here too. I guess the bottom line, though, is that I keep posting because the voices here are vibrant, encouraging and enlightening, and remind me that not all the fruits of the FoF are rotten, in fact the FoF experience forged a lot of jewels (and some real pieces of work!)

Happy New Year!

walter.tanner@gmail.com

283. ton - December 30, 2008

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

http://www.popaganda.com/Paintings/pages/mickeys_last_supper.htm

284. elena - December 31, 2008

You stand so far away
or is it I?
and the pleasure of this Ocean that separates us is welcome.
The pleasure of time and space and the life we didn’t share
Not as children or adults and still eager to meet in this word.
“Word” yes, not world. This world will continue to separate us and it is welcome.
To weave like spiders
each to our own and confident of that.

Writing on wet newspapers in the puddles of the street and happy to do so because the ink is black enough to be seen…by me.

No argument. No excuse. No motive. And no surrender either.

You sit with your body still and cannot be touched, or looked or heard. They tied up their hands in jewellery. Fixed their eyes in fascination and heard nothing, never even heard the silence.

An Ocean stands between us like black marble in square ice.
Love is like a creeper that invades all but passion takes care of love, digs out the roots and makes of it compost for the soil.

Freedom, freedom, freedom
free doom. Free dumb. Freed om!

Let death embrace life with all its warm darkness where I can finally rest from this hot day.

Why would I stop the roses from decaying or not allow layers of dust to cover us?

I give you back this body that I borrowed,
Take the clothes, the shoes, there was never any make up.
Never needed any, even for seduction, never had enough for pretence.

And when all is done, when there is no road between us, when we can call ourselves free of each other, words will grow like trees where you never saw the seeds.

It is no time for watering; we’ve grown used to growing in the desert and the furtherer away you stand, the faster we’ll grow.

285. Daily Cardiac - December 31, 2008

Walter Tanner – 282:

“This belief is a form of spiritual materialism: it assumes that awakening (spiritual work, what have you) is analogous to any other human activity.”

H T – “As above, so below.”

This truism from Hermes Trismegistus seems to dispute your assertion.

I can only say that I, personally, understand the above truism to be accurate. But I would go a little further and suggest that not only are spiritual pursuits analogous to many other, ordinary, human activities but in some cases if one took them in a literal sense one would often still hit the mark.

In my experience; being able to see the analogous connections between the lower realm and the higher is one of the chief ways higher forces communicates with man. As far as I know they don’t have vocal cords so we can rule out Cecil B. De Mille’s various interpretations.

We also get a clue from Rodney Collin who revealed the structure of spiritual laws emanating from a higher world and being carried over to the next lower; in some diluted form.

World One has one law, but that one law appears as one of three in world three and so on until we get a faint echo, a distorted, “noisy” version of world one contained in world 96.

Walter – “But awakening, what I believe to be the point of it all, is discovering within yourself the resources to continue the spiritual journey regardless of circumstances (even one’s physical death). Once those resources are present, the simplest conversation with your barber — or even interacting with your cat (its more about a sentient-encounter than an intellectual-verbal exchange) — can reveal to you your next step. Every moment becomes your teacher.”

I could not agree with you more.

Walter – “And it gets tricky here, of course, for I am preaching that you don’t need no preacher to find what you are after.”

In a way you are contradicting yourself as you just said that “Every moment becomes your teacher.” (and teachers sometimes preach, as in Jesus’ case) But this is splitting hairs. The real test is to distinguish which observations in the moment are coming from the teacher in one.

I can have one thought at 7:00 in the morning that says “time to get up”, and another that says “don’t worry; just pull up the covers and finish this interesting dream.” Often life puts us in the position of choosing.

I happened to have found a teacher whom I trust to point the way. I still have to make all of my decisions on my own “in the moment.”

But I do hold to the belief that when one is led to something real, to just what one was searching for, the search, quite naturally, is over and another kind of spiritual work begins.

We may only disagree on the merits/qualifications of the teacher in question but that’s alright. We both had a choice and followed through on it. Who said the world was not a just place.

286. Crouching Tiger - December 31, 2008

Walter.

“But awakening, what I believe to be the point of it all, is discovering within yourself the resources to continue the spiritual journey regardless of circumstances (even one’s physical death). Once those resources are present, the simplest conversation with your barber — or even interacting with your cat (its more about a sentient-encounter than an intellectual-verbal exchange) — can reveal to you your next step. Every moment becomes your teacher.”

Couldn’t agree more, sounds like the essence of learning! I feel DC is also right in much of his following post, it brings the best out of us when we see how what we like to call the ‘spiritual’ and ‘material’ realms are in fact constantly interacting, only our perception makes them seem separate – or spiritual work some kind of specialised activity! I guess this is what WR means in his great post about ‘the middle self’. A wonderful notion, and an even better reality…

The original quarrel I had with DC was simply that RB and the fellowship doesn’t understand the Gurdjieff teaching well enough to teach it to others. Some elements are distorted and others are missing, so the mirror won’t eventually show you your own true face… But do I think that Gurdjieff is the only way to find what you’re after? By no means.

284, Elena – great poem!

285, DC – any particular reason you’re back?

Happy New Year to all!

287. Yesri Baba - December 31, 2008

286 Crouching Tiger

“… when we see how what we like to call the ’spiritual’ and ‘material’ realms are in fact constantly interacting, only our perception makes them seem separate -…”

—-

I don’t get it. I understand you to be saying that our perception makes the spiritual and material seem separate but that they are not. Is this what you are saying? If so, how could they interact?

288. Crouching Tiger - December 31, 2008

Yesri.

To avoid getting too bogged down in a theoretical discussion, here’s an example….

Yesterday, early in the morning, I took my dog for a walk. At the start, I was lost in random thoughts, and he was pulling me this way and that. Pretty unruly. At a certain point I realized that I had to pay more attention to him and actually, do nothing but walk the dog!… Quite quickly, his behaviour altered and I really felt that we were taking the walk together, there was a sense of harmony and cooperation, of him willingly on the end of my lead.

When we reached the field and I released him for a gallop, the scene was very beautiful. There was a crust of ice across the grass, and mist hovered a couple of feet above the ground. The sun was cold and brilliant, and I could feel myself in every footstep when I moved. Although my dog roamed far and wide, he always responded to my calls.

The ‘material’ aspect was the need to walk the dog and do it with a purpose, the ‘spiritual’ aspect – having some sense of myself while I did it… These aspects began to exist in a kind of ongoing conversation. I’d have a sense of myself walking, or a finer experience of the natural setting, then check where the dog was, maybe call him back…

If I got lost in the beauty of the natural scene (a possible fellowship outcome!) and forgot about the dog, I could ‘wake up’ and find him nowhere to be seen – this has happened to me before! Or if I got lost in another train of thoughts, I could lose that sense of my own body walking/running/jumping and end up in a large, concealed puddle! (this has also happened)…

To me, this is an experience of what WR just called ‘the middle self’ that somehow, can see beauty and have finer experiences and yet not lose contact with daily tasks and the very earth you stand on, and the body you stand in… There’s this delicate ‘something inside’ that has no problem dealing equally with both worlds, and understanding how they touch each other… Of course it comes and goes.

In the fellowship. I felt there was often a rather large division between the ‘spiritual’ events (meetings and dinners etc) and for example, the events that followed them! After a meeting it could be very unedifying to watch people stuff their faces without any restraint at all and become the very opposite of their ‘angelic’ appearance at the meeting!…. This often happened after one of RB’s events, and there was an innate sense of wrongness about it – something was clearly missing in the relationship between the spiritual and material aspects there.

I hope this answers your question more helpfully than a theoretical response.

289. Panorea - December 31, 2008

Wishing you all Love and Peace and whatever you wish for your lives.

Enjoy your children, your spouses, your friends, your parents, all people who have crossed your path and have cared for you and have loved you under no condition.

You are perfect as you are. I found this to be the greatest secret.

There is snow where I am and there are happy dogs out there and children drinking hot chocolate. Happy to have known some of you and glad to meet more of you in the future.

I hope my friends who still watch this insane theater play called “Fellowhsip of Friends” will take notice of the exit sing, leave their chair and go out to live their lives. I do hope they will.

290. Panorea - December 31, 2008

………………Oopsss, yes, exit singing Hallelujah

291. Mick Danger - December 31, 2008

In a last ditch attempt to recruit heterosexual males,
FOF Productions is proud to release:
“Esoteric Girls Gone Wild”

292. elena - December 31, 2008

285. Daily Cardiac – December 31, 2008
Walter Tanner – 282:
Nice post, Daily Cardiac, you are actually enjoying being here and that is the most healing thing you’ve done yet. The “older student” won’t be happy that you do not obey him so you answer not only disobeying him but not standing up for your Cult with the same dogmatic vein. What a pleasure. The blog works! Socializing works. Freedom of Speech works! Bravo!
Thanks Walter for your post too. Nice train of thought.
You’ve almost said it all there Daily Cardiac but what does it mean to you in practice? You seem to have the theory down but how do you equate it? I’ll use examples common to all of us so that we can relate to what we’re talking about more easily:
In the Fellowship Cult, members are not allowed to be: express themselves, participate, make their own mistakes, run their own races, connect to their own Art and develop it and yet the so called aim of the Fellowship Cult is to help members develop their being through the practice of self-remembering.
The “above” side of the Fellowship is the aim to help people develop themselves while the practical, earthly, “below” side of it is to impede their development. Instead of developing themselves the members develop idolatry for the Guru replacing the authority of their own self for the authority of another man and giving their will up to him. In so doing, we can also witness a life of faked values. Replacing their own I for a fake other I (“fake” in the sense that it is not their own) is the foundation but then they also replace their own lives for the guru’s life. Fake lifestyle. Fake values. Fake events. Fake higher states. Something like lions in a circus that jump the fire circles because the master tells them to do so convinced that they are overcoming their own personal difficulties. You might feel like a lion but poodles do the same thing and now people in cults too. They are legitimate analogies of a life but have nothing to do with the wild freedom of animal nature or the Conscious Freedom of the human nature.

293. elena - December 31, 2008

Crouching Tiger

The following is much connected to the previous post to Daily Cardiac.

If we jump to your example of walking the dog, there’s another interesting point of view because here you state that what makes you present is that you are aware of yourself while walking the dog which is very much Robert’s idea of self-remembering. I would like to challenge that, not you, and offer a different alternative in which you are only an aspect of the “above” in this scene.

My perception is that you conceive of the scene as though your awareness of yourself were what brought the “magic” and that the dog and the park were aspects of a “lower” realm that is given meaning by your presence. My suggestion is that that is only a small aspect of awareness in which the individual thinks he is the source of the magic. It is an extremely self centred point of view of the world and it worked so well for Robert because he then declared himself the only possessor of such qualities while the members in general are the possessors of the machine, the king of clubs, the lower self. By making of the members the “sleep machines”, he guarantees for himself the development of idolatry rather than the development of a School of Consciousness.

All this is only a superficial aspect of the question. What is worth looking at, is the practices of the fellowship or any practice and where it leads. What “springs” from no matter what action. “As above, so below” works in as much as they are “connected” in a wholesome interaction in which “the Act” strengthens the above or the below, “generosity” or “greed”, “creativity” or “dogmatic repetition”.

If you hide in your room and watch T.V. all day and eat bread and butter, what is your state after that? If you eat spaghetti for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what is your state after that? If you put screws on the same machine all day, what is your state, if you watch porno for an hour what is your state? You could be so called “present” to any of these activities but that would not make them any better. Your state would not necessarily be raised equally by any action. If you manipulate someone to be able to feel your sexuality it is not the same as if you seduce that person and he or she freely gives himself or herself into the act of love or sex. It is not that T.V., and bread, spaghetti and sex are wrong but the effects they have on the individual have their own, extremely particular consequences. And it is the consequences what the Fellowship members are trying to avoid looking at, both on themselves as members who submit blindly and members who are manipulated into submitting sexually. There is no consciousness or freedom of the will in “submission” in the Fourth Way.

Becoming convinced that the Acts don’t matter as long as they themselves are “present” is doing away in one simple stroke with the world at large. The Western culture of our times is also designed on the premise of the supremacy of the individual over the world. In a way, what you’re really saying if you actually managed to be “present” to walking the dog, is that you allowed the dog, the trees and the fresh air in the park to transmit to you their spiritual as much as their physical reality. It is not that you are more present to yourself but that the world outside is more present in you and permeates you with its being, with its reality, with its beauty and you experience wholesomeness, integrity, oneness with the world, consciousness. The “above” flows freely in the “below,” in the interaction between people and things, natural and fabricated by man.

In any form of authoritarian relationships, there is a less conscious, less developed expression of life because submission of one person for another’s will is less powerful than freedom of action from both individuals particularly IN THE FOURTH WAY. In other paths, the way will is developed by submission to a teacher has nothing to do with the willingness to act from one’s own self with one’s own perception of the world in one’s OWN life which is what characterized the FOURTH WAY or THE WAY OF LIFE.

A lot of the discussions here are not taking those aspects into account. The Fellowship used aspects of other systems to justify Robert’s dictatorial style of submitting the member’s will to his authority and that is were he deceived the members presenting himself as a Fourth Way teacher. What could have been valid in other paths of development was deception in a Fourth Way School.

294. tatyana - December 31, 2008

I only recently realized that bloging is something people do all over the world these days. I came across just a few blogs and spiritual groups or cults is just one kind of them – artists do blogs, parents, housewives, patients, victims of any abuse, teenagers, classmates, just lonely people. I guess the blog does not have a common aim and is not a meeting or a work in progress, but a place to meet and exchange thoughts and feelings. It is interactive real-time free of consequences communication with the masks. In most cases I don’t know whom do I talk to and if I knew I might say it differently. Also I can’t open all my “cards” even if I use my name because I don’t know who is watching and whom am I getting in trouble by typing something on my screen. Ones I asked on GF for help how to leave FOF and I received a lot of responses, but I did not expect that when I go to OH store next time a few people will greet me and ask: “Did you figure out how to leave FOF?” I was with a friend-student who had no idea what was going on and it was uncomfortable.

I don’t know how many current student read this blog. I did when I was a student. But most of my friends don’t. Not because they were told not to or because someone here uses harsh expressions, mostly because they are not interested. I asked a few of them why don’t they read the blog, they said: “I don’t want to read this stuff” Even if it is a brilliant, intelligent, thought provoking – it is just stuff for those who has an attitude and does not want to change it – what can you do about it?

The same when you try to talk to someone in person and ask a challenging question just to hear “I don’t want to talk about it”. What can you do? Engaging in a conversation and building a trust and discovering contradictions, pointing out buffers, weird attitudes etc – takes time and is a work in progress. But in between the sessions we still can be friends and spend a nice time together and help each other etc.

To me it all comes to the fact that there are less and less people I enjoy spending time together in the FOF rather than out. But there are A LOT still in. And this is also uncomfortable to know that someone can just shut the doors and say something like: “Stop feeding their and yours lower self” and your friends will be gone behind the iron gates. Rather scary stuff.

295. Crouching Tiger - December 31, 2008

Elena.

“My perception is that you conceive of the scene as though your awareness of yourself were what brought the “magic” and that the dog and the park were aspects of a “lower” realm that is given meaning by your presence. My suggestion is that that is only a small aspect of awareness in which the individual thinks he is the source of the magic.”

No. It’s simply getting to a point where ‘You’ are just one aspect of the scene, like the dog, the frozen ground, the sun etc… A different feeling of oneself. The process is like a kind of melting down.

“In a way, what you’re really saying if you actually managed to be “present” to walking the dog, is that you allowed the dog, the trees and the fresh air in the park to transmit to you their spiritual as much as their physical reality. It is not that you are more present to yourself but that the world outside is more present in you and permeates you with its being, with its reality, with its beauty and you experience wholesomeness, integrity, oneness with the world, consciousness.”

It’s both. You feel yourself, you feel the beings outside you, it’s a kind of split-second pendulum motion.

Try not to get trapped in words and concepts and just remember what it felt like when you were more alive than normal. What did it feel like? It would be interesting to hear an example of your own.

296. Old Fish in the Sea - December 31, 2008

Welcome back DC. I am encouraged that you did not let the voice of “An Older Student” dominate your thinking.

DC: I can have one thought at 7:00 in the morning that says “time to get up”, and another that says “don’t worry; just pull up the covers and finish this interesting dream.” Often life puts us in the position of choosing.

OF: Yes, and this need to choose helps us to see when we are in a dream and when we are using the information that is available intelligently and appropriately. As you said, the moment becomes our teacher – but do we have the courage to let go of our hopes and dreams and preconceived ideas so we can learn from the series of moments that are presented to us?

DC: I happened to have found a teacher whom I trust to point the way. I still have to make all of my decisions on my own “in the moment.” .
OF: Yes, but trusting Robert is an ongoing process, and there will come a point when you will need to decide whether it is time for you to try to develop your own conscience and principles independent from those of the teacher. He has his essence, his strengths and faults, and his play and you have yours. Your essence is not like his, and so the food that you need may be different. There may be a time when your essence needs to be set free. There may be a time when your principles and his are not compatible, or when the heavy payments stifle your ability to experience what you need. The $64,000 question is whether you will have the courage to risk your soul in order to gain your soul. There is so much spiritual fear generated in the Fellowship that leaving becomes a difficult task. I am encouraged that you were able to come back and continue writing despite the voice of “An older student”.

DC: But I do hold to the belief that when one is led to something real, to just what one was searching for, the search, quite naturally, is over and another kind of spiritual work begins.

OF: Yes, but you are changing and the Fellowship is changing so the evaluation of the usefulness of the organization to you does not stop. Seeing yourself as an independent being allows a new kind of spiritual work to begin. It allows the “I don’t know” to grow which from my experience is the foundation for presence and escape from dreams. It is what allows us to learn from our series of moments.

DC: We may only disagree on the merits/qualifications of the teacher in question but that’s alright. We both had a choice and followed through on it. Who said the world was not a just place.

OF: The world is not a just place when lies and deception are used to distort the basis for making a decision. To my observation, time has shown that Robert often speaks about things that he does not and cannot know as if he does know. Since many people like you trust him, this makes FOF life less just, and makes the blog a useful place for exploring alternative ways of viewing some of the myths that Robert perpetuates. In this sense the blog, for those that read it, makes the world a little more just.

Our moments are our teacher – but do we have the courage let go of our hopes and dreams and preconceived ideas so we can learn from the series of moments that our life presents to us?

297. Crouching Tiger - December 31, 2008

Elena.

“If we jump to your example of walking the dog, there’s another interesting point of view because here you state that what makes you present is that you are aware of yourself while walking the dog which is very much Robert’s idea of self-remembering. I would like to challenge that, not you, and offer a different alternative in which you are only an aspect of the “above” in this scene.”

Just an additional thought. RB’s idea of self-remembering (if he had one) did not include the body as the most fundamental reference point. The reference point was ‘the steward’, a mental construct. In my experience this makes all the difference… Being in contact with the world of your own sensations, or being able to talk that language, ‘earths’ you and gives self-remembering an very different flavour… The experience tends to puncture any bubble about creating the ‘magic’ by your own efforts.

298. The FOFion - December 31, 2008

University Course Teaches the Art of the New Year’s Toast

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Apollo State University, located in this bustling metropolis just outside Nevada City, Calif., recently finished its fall semester to little fanfare. But one of the course offerings at this institution of higher learning has raised some eyebrows: “Delivering the New Year’s Toast to Cult Members.”

Some students have expressed concern about the course. But a top administrator at the school defended it.

“You know, the key to delivering a New Year’s toast is to help followers believe they’ve accomplished a great thing by making it through another year,” the administrator said. “Make them feel proud that they’ve resisted the temptation to give up on their noble efforts, and gently strike fear in their hearts that they’ll fail to make it through 2009.”

The course also reveals another secret: Help followers believe there’s a feeling of solidarity in the cult by using phrases such as, “We have each other,” and “Let us toast to our good fortune.”

It also helps if the toast references the thoughts of great literary and philosophical giants.

“Followers must believe they’re connected to profound ideas that can’t be found anywhere else on the earth,” the administrator said. “They must believe that by leaving the cult somehow all books by these great minds will suddenly vanish from all book stores and libraries, and that they’ll never again find another friend who reads them. They must believe they can never again think noble thoughts, or accomplish noble actions, or attain any spiritual growth.”

But can a simple toast accomplish all of that? One student who recently finished the course and dropped out of the university is skeptical.

“You know, adding a few glasses of champagne certainly helps,” she said. “But I find the whole idea of trying to deceive people with a New Years toast a bit creepy. And I’m not really interested in starting a cult anyway. But maybe that’s just me.”

The course also teaches the business principles behind the New Year’s Eve celebrations: how much to charge participants, what type of food to serve, what type of music to play, and so forth. Another student expressed his admiration for the course.

“The professor’s been there; he’s done it, so I sense we’re getting our information from the source,” the student said. “He told us it always helps if a large number of people feel they’re missing out on the inner circle celebration. It gives them a ‘maybe next year I’ll be included’ feeling, and entices them to stick around long enough — you know, just in case.”

For a select few male students, the course includes field trips to Egypt, Mexico, Paris, London, St. Petersburg, and the Amalfi Coast.

299. simeon - December 31, 2008

My dear friends,
let us have a toast on our beloved teacher Robert Earl Burton, who was always a great source of inspiration for all of us who are still in, but even more for those who are out now. Thank you for creating this incredible possibility, to devote still a great part of our lifetime in writing about You on our beloved blog.
Love 2 all !!

300. ton - December 31, 2008

simeon 299 re: your ‘beloved teacher Robert Earl Burton…’
here’s a toast:

to all my true friends champaign and to all my sham friends real pain…

“…Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”

http://www.popaganda.com/Paintings/2007index_lastbreakfast.shtml

happy new year

301. ton - December 31, 2008

to robot and fof enablers, cute as a button, here’s to you:
click on ‘mythographic visions’ and follow the links, you ‘fisher of boys’ —

http://www.popaganda.com/Paintings/2008_dec.html

302. Yesri Baba - December 31, 2008

288 Crouching Tiger

To me, this is an experience of what WR just called ‘the middle self’ that somehow, can see beauty and have finer experiences and yet not lose contact with daily tasks and the very earth you stand on, and the body you stand in… There’s this delicate ’something inside’ that has no problem dealing equally with both worlds, and understanding how they touch each other… Of course it comes and goes.

In the fellowship. I felt there was often a rather large division between the ’spiritual’ events (meetings and dinners etc) and for example, the events that followed them! After a meeting it could be very unedifying to watch people stuff their faces without any restraint at all and become the very opposite of their ‘angelic’ appearance at the meeting!…. This often happened after one of RB’s events, and there was an innate sense of wrongness about it – something was clearly missing in the relationship between the spiritual and material aspects there.

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

I am suggesting that no matter how refined it becomes the subject/ object, spiritual/material division is created by the mind. If it continues on there begin to be debates as to whether or not angels have vocal cords.

I think the way you described the walking the dog event is what keeps people trapped in the fellowship of friends.

I don’t think there are ‘both worlds’. I think the delicate ‘something inside’ is subtle delusion.

To me losing track of the dog and finding him rolling in the mud and getting pissed off or watching people stuffing their faces is just divine. So are beautiful meadows with me standing in them.

I guess I have lost the golden thread or maybe I lost my fingers. (but not my middle finger)( ;

303. art - December 31, 2008

simeon 299. “who was always a great source of inspiration for all of us who are still in, but even more for those who are out now.”

if you’re saying burton’s actions inspire the expression of dissent, that I would agree with. reading some of the stuff on this blog, however, i’m sure it’s not the kind of attention he enjoys.

304. ton - December 31, 2008

simeon here’s a phonetic link…. primates are people and too this is not necessarily meant as criticism…. but as they say in my country: if the shoe fits….. monkey see monkey do:

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

your #299 on page 60 is a good reminder that the blog is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

may the new year bring further decrease in support for, and an end to the excessess and insane depravities of the cult of robot burton and the followship of friends.

simian says:
“dear friends, let us have a toast on our beloved teacher Robert Earl Burton, who was always a great source of inspiration for all of us who are still in, but even more for those who are out now. Thank you for creating this incredible possibility, to devote still a great part of our lifetime in writing about You on our beloved blog.”

and a happy fucking new year to you too

305. art - December 31, 2008

ton, yes, a creepy message in simeon’s 299. the fof exists because blind loyalty takes over for conscience. acceptance in the tribe requires blind loyalty. conscience challenges blind loyalty. conscience must therefore sleep.

306. dragon - December 31, 2008

Hey let’s dance a Happy New Year 2009 from Germany!!!

Don’t take the FOF tooooo seriously!

Let us dance together Ton, Elena, Lauralupa, Crouching Tiger, Panorea, Aline Vive la France!, Ellen, Yesri, Brucelevy, Old Fishy, Tatyana, Mick Danger, Jomo Pina Colada, Walter Tanner, Arthur!!!, Whalerider, Nigel My Bard, Just the facts, Wouldn’t you like to take a champagne? and All the OTHERS on The BLOG

Hey FOFBLOGMODERATOR and JACK you are doing a great job, a Happy NEW YEAR to YOU and THANK YOU!

307. ton - December 31, 2008

around 305 Art: cognitive dissonance is at the essentce of the formula for the cult; the fof sells itself as a ‘school of awakening’ but offers only, and relies upon ‘sleep’ (trance/hypnosis) to attract and keep followers….

http://www.hermes-press.com/hyp_essence.htm

308. ton - December 31, 2008

essence…

“It is not a matter of the operator doing something to subjects or compelling them to do things or even telling them what to do and how to do it. When trances are so elicited, they are still a result of ideas, associations, mental processes and understandings already existing and merely aroused with the subjects themselves. . . . What they say or do serves only as a means to stimulate and arouse in the subjects past learnings, understandings, and experiential acquisitions, some consciously, some unconsciously acquired.”

“Hypnotic induction techniques may be best understood as approaches that provide subjects with opportunities for the intense self-absorption and inner experiences called trance. The wise operator then develops skill in relating creatively to this inner experience of his subjects.”

and etc.

309. Crouching Tiger - December 31, 2008

Yesri.

“I am suggesting that no matter how refined it becomes the subject/ object, spiritual/material division is created by the mind. If it continues on there begin to be debates as to whether or not angels have vocal cords.

I think the way you described the walking the dog event is what keeps people trapped in the fellowship of friends.”

Well, I said my piece. You’re trying to lump everything into one bag, and still judging self-remembering by what you experienced in the fellowship. I’m not at all interested in this intellectual debate about the relationship between ‘spirit’ and ‘matter’ – or not as interested as you. There is only one world.

I’d say that maybe, you’re too scared to go back and save what can be saved from what drew you to the fellowship in the first place. And keep your middle finger for yourself, you may need it!

310. art - December 31, 2008

ton, wow. quite the page on trance/hypnosis. and why not?

the right attitude got me out of the fof and that same right attitude can lead to a productive happy life away from it. in the same way, certain thoughts led me into the fof and kept me there. point is, thoughts are powerful — and if your mind goes down the wrong back alley can lead to hypnosis/trances.

ah, but not us, right?

right? …….

dragon, how about if we do both — dance AND take it seriously?
but i get your point… “toooo” seriously ain’t good either. happy new year to you across the ocean.

311. elena - December 31, 2008

Crouching Tiger,

My moments of better states are not different to yours or anybody else’s. I think we are just interpreting them differently in relation to Robert’s presentation which was so self centered. Most of my understandings today are the result of those experiences, I’ve over expressed them on the blog so I doubt there’s a need to repeat them.

I guess the point for me today is trying to understand what things are in themselves. What is it to play an instrument. What does it feed, what does it connect with out there and in here! It might be very intellectual but it seems worth exploring considering that I had lost so much meaning about almost everything. In a way, it is also related to trying to understand things in terms of their own objective value.

If the Fourth Way is the Way of Life, what in life is so rich that can awaken a person? I guess that’s what the question comes down to.

To those who give a shit about the Fourth Way and this exploration, please don’t mind us, I give a dam whether you are interested in the fourth way or no way at all. The pleasure of listening to people express themselves is beyond the need of having them commit to a particular practice. I have myself not made fourth way efforts for many years. The desire stagnated in the Fellowship for a long time but one of these days I might pick up some old tricks and see how they work today.

312. Crouching Tiger - January 1, 2009

Hi Elena,

“If the Fourth Way is the Way of Life, what in life is so rich that can awaken a person? I guess that’s what the question comes down to.”

Right. At the risk of flogging a dead donkey, I’d say that the 4th Way really started to have some meaning for me when I started to understand it didn’t have to appeal to the mind first and foremost. ‘Appeal to the mind’ is largely what it has in the fellowship. But when the channels to the body and feelings begin to open, and learning happens through those channels, the experience of the 4th Way does become far richer. The kind of awareness I’ve tried to indicate – and which I’ve no doubt many here have experienced both inside and outside the fellowship – doesn’t belong to either mind, body or feelings – it’s outside them but has a kind of ready sympathy with all three!

Ooh, back to the party! Happy New Year!

313. peter - January 1, 2009

Happy new year every one!

Peter

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314. sharon - January 1, 2009

Dear Crouching Tiger,

I felt this learning via/in the body when practicing Chi Gung, and when connecting to my body when singing. When I started Chi Gung in 1997 after a severe brain seizure, I felt a strong gladness to reconnect my prior understandings and development of this type of work, which I had lost during my previous 15 years in the Fellowship of Friends.

I agree with you that without this aspect of awareness, we are not fully dimensional – at the time I described it as feeling like a flat piece of paper. Fortunately I was able to a certain extent to find that feeling of 3-dimensionality through Chi Gung. I suspect this is similar to what you have been learning with your G. studies.

315. fofblogmoderator - January 1, 2009

FRESH PAGE

Happy New Year!


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