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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion, part 63 January 18, 2009

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/

Comments

1. nigel harris price - January 18, 2009

My friend, Jane, a nurse, was 44 today. We had a birthday lunch with her and her husband at the local pub. She is DEFINITELY a Jovial type…..Nigel.

2. Old Fish in the Sea - January 18, 2009

What after?

The FOF is over for many of us. We are perhaps left allergic to gurus, wary of cult thinking, cynical about religion, untrusting of states, doubtful about meaning. We have been burned and we don’t want to be burned again. Perhaps we are afraid of being taken in by the vision of another person. We are perhaps in an interesting void. At first this void is in itself meaningful. It represents freedom, a new beginning, hope for a better life – the possibility of direct experience unadulterated by dogma.

But after a few years the novelty of the void wears thin. It still feels more useful than taking on a false world view – a view where we think we know something. It feels better than taking on the view of someone else with weaknesses and needs different from our own, but the void begs to be filled with something new. Can we live without any dogma or structure to our seeking? Is the lack of structure its own kind of awakening? Can the void become a limitation?

But what can we find that meets our new-found high standards for making sense. Almost all religion seems sweet but shallow, groups seem lost in group think, mediators seem to be identified with states, artists have something but it fades and grows with the success of the performance or work of art, athletes and health-nuts are healthy but sometimes lack depth, and communities that seek a more fulfilling human connection seem naive. The 4th way has some good ideas but does it lead to a lack of self confidence and hope when sincere efforts are minimally effective? What is there for the thinking man or woman whose ideals have been destroyed, who can no-longer follow a distorted man like Robert or a system that typically leads nowhere.

Is it time for each of us individually to begin to develop our own personal evolving ‘system’ based on our own experiences? A changing system that requires only one follower (ourself). Or do we need to keep seeking, hoping to find a more honest system that is worth following?

Many of us have a wealth of experience. What was good about our previous attempts to deepen our life. What kinds of efforts (or non-efforts) provided some real meaning? Can we find a way to use the best of what we have learned from our own unique experiences to generate a concept of what it means to live – an approach to enhancing life? Is their value in formulating our own set of life-principles?

For a moment (since we usually dwell on this) let’s overlook the criminal aspects associated with gurus. Gurdjieff developed (or passed on) his version of the 4th way based on what he learned from his experiences. Maharishi developed or made available a system for meditation. Robert tried to use combinations of the 4th way, meditation, art, literature, impressions, and group synergy to create states. Many others have developed a way of thinking about life that brings some meaning – at least for them. All of these systems may bring something but in the end be limiting to those that are beyond following.

Individually we have each tried many things and collectively we represent a wealth of seeking. Can we take our own experiences and put them together into a world-view that provides motivation and makes some sense of day to day life? Can we find attitudes that will give us the courage and strength to go deeper into the human experience? Do we need to get more information by looking at other teachers/groups/methods or do we have enough information to at least attempt to formulate our very own personal approach? Do we need others to boost our own efforts? Do we need followers to convince ourselves that our approach has significance?

Perhaps there really is the religion of a man number 1, 2, 3 and 4. Maybe the 4th Way is for men number 4. What follows when that has been destroyed or when we have moved beyond? Can we live within the void?

No answers – just a lot of questions.

3. Panorea - January 18, 2009

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Who you are is enough

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

4. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 18, 2009

2: Old Fish in the Sea: Helping others and focusing less on my own interests has been quite beneficial for my wholeness. And that can take many forms depending on the person.

We all have ENOUGH INFORMATION ALREADY! I find people just soak up receiving energy from me whether it be in the form of kindness or acceptance or just listening to what they have to say.

Namaste

5. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 18, 2009

Work on oneself becomes extremely narcissistic after awhile. I think 20 years is long enough.

Namaste

6. Old Fish in the Sea - January 18, 2009

3-Panorea-Who you are is enough
4-Suzy- Find FulFillment through helping others.

Thank you.

Two beautiful and simple principles and I feel you both have lived through understanding their personal significance.

7. ton - January 18, 2009

old fish:
“…Robert tried to use combinations of the 4th way, meditation, art, literature, impressions, and group synergy to create states….”

I have a slightly more cynical view here; i think in order to feed his own arch-vain, self-aggrandizement and malignant narcissism, he tries to exploit the naive with any and all means he can latch onto… the “meditation, art, literature, impressions, and group synergy” act as a diversion, it’s a sort of ‘shell game’ (imo of course).

8. whalerider - January 18, 2009

Old Fish:
“Can we live within the void?”

IMO, the void, the blank canvas, is where we, the artists of our lives, must learn to live, even though it’s uncomfortable…so that our consciousness is creatively renewed in the present, rather than let ourselves be entranced by the endless repetition of the shadows of our past. The void is the Source. Only questioning will lead you there.

Abandon the system. You know enough. Be your own follower. Help others.

But first, do no harm.

9. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 18, 2009

63/2. Old Fish in the Sea

‘What after?’

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot

10. Old Fish in the Sea - January 18, 2009

7 – ton
I don’t know what Robert’s motives were but I appreciate your more cynical view. I expect his motives were mixed like they are with most of us. I believe he had several sides of himself, each of which had different motives. I believe his lack of unity is displayed by the contradictions between what he says he values, what he asks from his students, and the lifestyle that he chooses for himself.

8-Whalerider
Well said.

I guess that leads to the question, of how to learn to bear, even appreciate the void – the sense of not knowing, which many of us meet upon leaving.

11. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 18, 2009

Old Fish: Sometimes it’s good to explore other ways and not to be afraid of getting ‘suckered in’ or sucked into something else. I think we all ‘got it’ this time and aren’t easily fooled.

There’s plenty of ways to be ‘inspired’ out there, and I think we are inspiration junkies. I know I am.

12. Old Fish in the Sea - January 18, 2009

9 WYLTK – Thanks for the appropriate quote.

Perhaps we can continue to explore/seek/learn without letting go of our self respect, principles, and critical thinking. Sometimes it is difficult to try something on without becoming it, particularly in light of the idea that growing sometimes means letting go of fixed attitudes.

13. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 18, 2009

Old Fish:

We have followed a very narrow path leading us back into the void. There’s lots going on in the sea of possibilities. If nothing else find out how resistant you are to something new. That was a real wake up for the little suzy.

14. ton - January 18, 2009

old fish:
” I don’t know what Robert’s motives were….”

from your previous post it sounded as if you had some insight into his motives when you suggested it had to do with “creating states” — that may be true but the “states” he tries to create involve hypnotic/auto suggestion. lest we be diverted again, we might try to keep to the “present tense”…. it’s about what his motives ARE… and let’s not soft-pedal the situation by comparing him to “us.” what motivates this hasnamas is all too painfully obvious. the cult’s successful use of obfuscation infected the followers and seems to be a habit of mind and an affliction that is difficult to shake….

15. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 19, 2009

ton: It’s not only hard to shake but it has damaged each one of us; some more than others, kind of like spiritual a betrayal. I can’t think of anything worse for someone who believed hook, line and sinker. I am one of those believers.

16. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 19, 2009

15: Oops, should be ‘a spiritual betrayal’

17. Yesri Baba - January 19, 2009

2 OFitS

“This holding on to old paths in life holds you back. When you hang on, how far can you fly? Even when you hold on to a ribbon of nothing, you are still holding on. You have wound ribbon around your fingers, and you hold tight to the ribbon. You hold tight the way a baby’s hand holds on to whatever comes in its reach. You hold on to ideas. You hold on to the past. You hold on to ribbons of the past and flapping ribbons of the future, and you let this precise moment go, perhaps only to hold on to it later in retrospect. Let go to the winds that which belongs to the winds. Let the winds sweep your path clear. Let the branches fall. Let the winds of life prune your path so you can move forward. Let the winds blow away that which is not really here anyway and which yet holds you down.

It is as if you take a hammer and nails and batten down your life. You try to keep it safe, and safe to you may mean what has already been.

Beloveds, unfist all that which you hold on to. Unfist all you expect. Unfist all that you carry with you. Think of the baggage you carry with you and how long-standing it has been. How needless what you carry! You drag it along as if it served a worthy purpose. I tell you to let go, and still you hang on. You hold on, and you trip over all that you hold on to.

Someone make up a song of letting go, will you? There are songs of lost loves, and yet the lost loves are kept present, as if they, when all is said and done, amounted to more than your greatness anyway. All that remains are your thoughts, past thoughts about the past. Precious to you are your thoughts, yet you have read them over enough. It is time for you to write new thoughts. Clear space for new thoughts and new loves.

No more stuffing the past into drawers. Your mind is not meant to be an overstuffed file drawer. How much is enough, beloveds?

You shovel snow in the winter. Now shovel old thinking away. Let it melt in the sunshine of life. Let go, let go! Hurry it along. Hurry it gone. Trade in your old mind for new.

This clearing out is the fountain of youth so sought after. Unclog the mind. Let go of residue. Clean your windows. Unclutter your mind. Empty it so you can see. You want to see out and you want to see in.

You wash your face every day. Now wash piled-up thoughts from your mind. Wash generously. Let your mind come shining through. Find a clear slate to write on.

I will tell you this until you no longer need to hear it.

Beloveds, you have your steps to evolution piled high. You can only trip over all this clutter on your stairs. Don’t go through it piece by piece. Just get a trash bag and toss it all in.

Tell Me, beloveds, what is there that you must really examine? What do you think would happen if you just tossed it out? What is your fear?

Pick up all the content on your golden stairs with your two hands and heave it.

Say, “So long, old thoughts! So long, all the shapes and sizes of you. So long, all of you that has been accumulating dust and making it difficult for me to climb. I have had enough of you. Honestly, I don’t know why I have kept all of you packed so tightly so long, as if, somehow, you strengthened the stairs of my life. Of course, you don’t. Of course, you never did. Of course, you hampered me. Of course, you got in my way. So long now, old thoughts so long held onto. So long.”

————————
” What follows when that has been destroyed or when we have moved beyond? Can we live within the void?”

Follow everything that does not seem to be the ‘void’ until all is ‘void’ and the ‘void’ is full.

18. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 19, 2009

10. Old Fish in the Sea:

‘how to learn to bear, even appreciate the void – the sense of not knowing’

‘The Void,’ of which you write, like the supposed vacuum of outer space, is not empty of matter(s): upon closer, and more attentive, examination one may find much rarefied substance there that previously was seen, with grosser vision, as nothingness. The ‘knowing’ of this nothingness (call it the light of consciousness, if you will), and becoming one with it, is part of the foundation of the universe.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
. . .

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
. . .

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day?
. . .

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Auguries of Innocence
William Blake

19. Opus 111 - January 19, 2009

It was pretty obvious, while in the FOF, that Robert admires performers. He likes flamboyance, bravado in artistic performance rather than what many, I include myself, perceive as depth. His taste, shown in the type of artists he asked to be re-invited was often mind-boggling, especially in his later years. This and other observations led me to conclude that what most would call emotional maturity was lacking in him, as opposed to ascribing this to a “higher emotional taste”). I have also heard that not infrequently, he would ask of his entourage, after one of his rumbling quotation ping-pong meeting with Asaf, how they felt HE did in the meeting. Not exactly the enlightened guru who walks away in the sunset.

I forget whether insecurity is part of the cardinal features of narcissistic personalities, but Robert often comes accross as fearful and very insecure. Maybe the size of his entourage and the extravagance of his taste has some to do with that.

By the way, Old Fish, I believe that our “evolution” ceased to be of any interest to him a long time ago (10 if not 20 years). So the fluff, the receipes for higher state experience had become his persona-feeding routine, and the induced devotion in us followers kept feeding the beast.

20. nigel harris price - January 19, 2009

Some encouragement on the ‘topical issues’……………………..

As one that for a weary space has lain
Lull’d by the song of Circe and her wine
In gardens near the pale of Proserpine,
Where that AEaean isle forgets the main,
And only the low lutes of love complain,
And only the shadows of wan lovers complain –
As such an one were glad to know the brine
Salt on his lips, and the large air again –
So gladly from the songs of modern speech
Men turn, and see the stars, and feel the free
Shrill wind beyond the close of heavy flowers,
And through the music of the languid hours
They hear like Ocean on a western beach
The surge and thunder of the Odyssey.

‘The Odyssey’ (Andrew Lang)

Much strength to you all…..Nigel.

21. jack - January 19, 2009

Dear friends
A belated happy new year!
Just a progress report on the petition.
I am currently waiting on the support team replacing the old version with the strange punctuation with a new version from a normal pc in word format instead of from my mac.
Also the letters have been removed and a link installed instead and all the links activated.
Good luck to one and all.
jack.

22. Mick Danger - January 19, 2009

It was heartening to see America happy, if only for a while, at the Inagural festivities at the Lincoln memorial yesterday.
Plus there were two NFL playoff games, one of which Jesus directly participated in.

“During the 1960s violence and tragedy were haunting and tearing apart American society. While the Vietnam war was escalating, the President of the United States was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. It all seemed part and parcel of the ‘suffering and chaos the world over’ which Baba had foretold. When the news of Kennedy’s death was brought to Meherazad, Baba commented:
‘He was a great man, good and sincere. Dying as he did has not only made him immortal in mankind’s memory and history, but it has given him a great push forward spiritually. However, although he was assassinated because it was ordained to be, it is not a good thing, and it portends more suffering ahead for the world.’
A few years later, in 1968, John Kennedy’s younger brother, Robert, was assassinated by a terrorist. Among the blacks, the Muslim leader Malcolm “X” was assassinated in 1965, and the Christian leader Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968.”
-Lord Meher Pg. 6225

23. elena - January 19, 2009

Thank you all for your posts. I hope you don’t mind if I work on this subject a little each day while you continue the discussion; hopefully you can jump back and forth if you like to leap. Looking at the things the Fellowship stood for I am not surprised that most ex-members would rather nobody knew the level of ridicule and horror that we managed to reduce our lives to but since that level has become common in most cults and average life, I find it necessary to take a good look at it. What is surprising is that many of us lived with those assumptions for decades without ever questioning them in public. Long live the Public Square!

Text 8. Excerpts taken from THE RAPE OF THE MIND: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D.

What the Pavlovian council tries to achieve is the result of an oversimplification of psychology. Their political task is to condition and mold man’s mind so that its comprehension is confined to a narrow totalitarian concept of the world. (cont.)It is the idea that such a limitation of thinking to Lenin Marxist theoretical thinking must be possible for two reasons: =====first, if one repeats often enough its simplification, and second, if one withholds any other form of interpretation of reality.=====

_____The narrow concepts of the world in The Fellowship of Friends Cult that I can presently remember:
Man is a machine (misinterpreted from the Fourth Way)
You can only awaken in your ninth lifetime and 99.99 % of you are between your fifth and eigth lifetime.
All men are sleep.
Robert Burton is the only conscious being on planet earth.
The Fellowship of Friends Cult is the only conscious school on planet earth.
Robert Burton is second only to Jesus Christ
Read only conscious beings
Repeat the sequence and you’ll awaken
Remember yourself always and everywhere
Work on yourself and only yourself

This concept is based on the naive belief that one can permanently suppress any critical function and verification in human thinking. Yet, through taming and conditioning of people, during which period errors and deviations must continually be corrected, unwittingly a critical sense is built up. True, at the same time the danger of using this critical sense is brought home to the students. They know the dangers of any dissent, but even this promotes the development of a secondary and more refined critical sense. In the end, human rebellion and dissent cannot be suppressed; they await only one breath of freedom in order to awake once more. The idea that there exist other ways to truth than those he sees close at hand lives somewhere in everybody. One can narrow his pathways of research and expression, but a man’s belief in adventurous new roads elsewhere is ever present in the back of his mind.

The inquisitive human mind is never satisfied with a simple recital of facts. As soon as it observes a set of data, it jumps into the area of theory and offers explanations, but the way a man sees a set of facts, and the way he juggles them to build them into a theory is largely determined by his own biases and prejudices.

Isolation and Other Factors in Conditioning
Pavlov made another significant discovery: the conditioned reflex could be developed most easily in a quiet laboratory with a minimum of disturbing stimuli. Every trainer of animals knows this from his own experience; isolation and the patient repetition of stimuli are required to tame wild animals. Pavlov formulated his findings into a general rule in which the speed of learning is positively correlated with quiet and isolation. =======The totalitarians have followed this rule. They know that they can condition their political victims most quickly if they are kept in isolation. In the totalitarian technique of thought control, the same isolation applied to the individual is applied also to groups of people. ======This is the reason the civilian populations of the totalitarian countries are not permitted to travel freely and are kept away from mental and political contamination. It is the reason, too, for the solitary confinement cell and the prison camp.
Mass Conditioning Through Speech
In the Pavlovian strategy, terrorizing force can finally be replaced by a new organization of the means of communication. Ready made opinions can be distributed day by day through press, radio, and so on, again and again, till they reach the nerve cell and implant a fixed pattern of thought in the brain.

_______In the Fellowship Cult:
Daily Cards
Quotations by the “Conscious Beings”
Girard Haven’s books, lectures and events.
Robert Burton’s book, quotations, publications of meeting, videos and events.

The fact that ONLY Robert Burton and Girard Haven were allowed to speak in the past four years before 2007 are significant. In the years previous to that, ONLY the enablers were allowed to speak. The Dambecks, Taylors and maybe thirty others. The amazing thing about this people is that they don’t just think that they have a right to private property like regular people think they have, they think that speech, self-expression and love, or the right to give people opportunities, has fallen on their hands by the power of the ONLY CONSCIOUS BEING ON PLANET EARTH and they have been CHOSEN AS THE ONLY ONES with a right to PRACITICE them, while the rest of the members, ALL EQUALLY BEGGERS, MUST OBEY. The sad thing about each of these enablers is that they control everybody else’s expression but give absolute freedom to their own very personal dictator. The reign of the Havens, Dambecks, Taylors, etc is coming to as tragic an end as was expected from such a System and now the reign of the Asafs, Dorians and company is being firmly implanted. WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING FOR THIS TO CONTINUE? The inhuman manipulation of power is as sick in the Fellowship of Friends Cult as in totalitarian state. What makes it a thousand times more corrupted is that it is achieved by the spiritual manipulation of the member’s good will.

The power and success of the indoctrination is so thorough in the Fellowship of Friends Cult that the aim of every male member was to imitate Girard Haven and Robert Burton. Many ex-members still move and talk like them. Dambeck, Kevin B., and the many others who have appeared on the blog are such faithful imitations of Girard Haven, that I who am his wife cannot differentiate between one or the other in their expression. The assumption was that the more a male student looked, acted and expressed himself like Girard Haven or Robert Burton, the more awake he was becoming!

(Yuk, it’s time to throw up again. Does it surprise anyone that confronted with a Daily Cardiac on the blog, my reaction is immediately triggered towards the connection with Girard Haven? The feeling of love and hate quickly arise.)
(cont) Such is the Pavlovian device: repeat mechanically your assumptions and suggestions, diminish the opportunity of communicating dissent and opposition. This is the simple formula for political conditioning of the masses. This is also the actual ideal of some of our public relation machines, who thus hope to manipulate the public into buying a special soap or voting for a special party.

The Pavlovian strategy in public relations has people conditioned more and more to ask themselves, “What do other people think?” As a result, a common delusion is created: people are incited to think what other people think, and thus public opinion may mushroom out into a mass prejudice.

Expressed in psychoanalytic terms, through daily propagandistic noise backed up by forceful verbal cues, people can more and more be forced to identify with the powerful noisemaker. Big Brother’s voice resounds in all the little brothers.

24. elena - January 19, 2009

Of course, the truly Pavlovian behavior is obvious in every aspect of The Fellowship of Friend’s life, from lining up to a meeting, to watching videos of Robert while having lunch, dressing up in the morning and changing clothes three or four times for the respective event. It keeps the members busy convinced that they are living out their lives with great effort and care. Unfortunately they are and we all were, the faithful picture of circus little poodles in their colourful bows. “Barbies” who ring their identity from the brand of their tie and the model of the car.

Who would have thought that “teaching” in our gold alchemy little brothel, run side by side to the most corrupted techniques of totalitarian indoctrination.

25. elena - January 19, 2009

Cult suicide
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cult suicide is a term used to describe the mass suicide by the members of groups that have been considered as cults. [1] In some cases all, or nearly all members have committed suicide at the same time and place. Groups which have committed such mass suicides and who have been called cults include Heaven’s Gate, Order of the Solar Temple, Peoples Temple (in the Jonestown incident) and the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God. In other cases, such as Filippians and the Taiping, a group has apparently supported mass suicide but without necessarily encouraging all members to participate.

Peoples Temple
Main article: Jonestown
On November 18, 1978, 918 Americans died in Peoples Temple-related incidents, including 909 members of the Temple, led by Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana.[2] The dead included 274 children. A tape of the Temple’s final meeting in a Jonestown pavilion contains repeated discussions of the group committing “revolutionary suicide,” including reference to people taking the poison and the vats to be used.[3] On that tape, Jones tells Temple members that Russia, with whom the Temple had been negotiating a potential exodus for months, would not take them after the Temple had murdered Congressman Leo Ryan, NBC reporter Don Harris and three others at a nearby airstrip.[3] When members apparently cried, Jones counseled “Stop this hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity.”[3] At the end of the tape, Jones concludes: “We didn’t commit suicide, we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.”[3] The people in Jonestown died of an apparent cyanide poisoning, except for Jones (injury consistent with self-inflicted gunshot wound) and his personal nurse.[4] The Temple had spoken of committing “revolutionary suicide” in prior instances, and members had previously drunk what Jones told them was poison at least once before, but the “Flavor Aid” drink they ingested contained no poison.[5] Concurrently, four other members died in the Temple’s headquarters in Georgetown.
[edit]Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God
On March 17, 2000, 778 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in Uganda.[6] The theory that all of the members died in a mass suicide was changed to mass murder when decomposing bodies were discovered in pits with signs of strangulation while others had stab wounds.[7] The group had diverged from the Roman Catholic Church in order to emphasize apocalypticism and alleged Marian apparitions.[8] The group had been called inward-looking movement that wore matching uniforms and restricted their speech to avoid saying anything dishonest or sinful.[9][10] On the suicide itself locals said they held a party at which 70 crates of soft drinks and three bulls were consumed.[11]
This version of events has been criticized, most notably Irving Hexham,[12] and a Ugandan source states that even today “no one can really explain the whys, hows, whats, where, when, etc.”[13]
[edit]Solar Temple
From 1994 to 1997, the Order of the Solar Temple’s members began a series of mass suicides, which led to roughly 74 deaths. Farewell letters were left by members, stating that they believed their deaths would be an escape from the “hypocrisies and oppression of this world.” Added to this they felt they were “moving on to Sirius.” Records seized by the Quebec police showed that some members had personally donated over $1 million to the cult’s leader, Joseph Di Mambro.
There was also another attempted mass suicide of the remaining members, which was thwarted in the late 1990s. All the suicide/murders and attempts occurred around the dates of the equinoxes and solstices, which likely held some relation to the beliefs of the group.[14][15][16][17][18]
[edit]Heaven’s Gate
On March 26, 1997, 39 followers of Heaven’s Gate died in a mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California, which borders San Diego to the north. These people believed, according to the teachings of their cult, that through their suicides they were “exiting their human vessels” so that their souls could go on a journey aboard a spaceship they believed to be following comet Hale-Bopp.[19] Some male members of the cult underwent voluntary castration in preparation for the genderless life they believed awaited them after the suicide.[20] On March 30, 1997, Robert Leon Nichols, a former roadie for the Grateful Dead, was discovered dead in his California trailer, with a note nearby that read in part “I’m going to the spaceship with Hale-Bopp to be with those who have gone before me.” Using propane gas rather than vodka and phenobarbital to end his life, Nichols, like the members of Heaven’s Gate, had his head covered by a plastic bag and his upper torso covered with a purple shroud. Nichols’ connection with the cult is unknown.
In May 1997, two Heaven’s Gate members who had not been present for the mass suicide attempted suicide, one succeeding in the attempt, the other going into coma for two days and then recovering.[21] In February 1998 the survivor, Chuck Humphrey, committed suicide.[22]

Las Cañadas suicide sect scare
Heidi Fittkau-Garthe, a German psychologist, and a previously high-profile Brahma Kumaris, was charged in the Canary Islands with a plot of murder-suicide in which 31 group members, including five children, were to ingest poison. After the suicides, they were told they would be picked up by a spaceship and taken to an unspecified destination.[29] However a more recent article in Tenerife News casts doubt that there was any intention on the part of the group to commit suicide.[30]

26. elena - January 19, 2009

Before going ahead with this article, I wish to remind anyone participating here that this is your space. You can use as much f it as you like. You don’t have to read everything that is presented and I am not including this post thinking that you are under the obligation to read. I think the material is worth looking at in relation to cults but have nothing against you if it doesn’t attract your attention.

In relation to people’s health in cults, if you’re feeling sick and have been for a long time, consider the possibility that your body is trying to tell you that you better get the hell out of where you are. Asthma, vomiting and even having to carry a cushion to sit down at events so that I could bear the back pain became the common pattern I was in, during the last months in the Fellowship of Friends Cult.

All of these have seriously improved after leaving. Being totally helpless in relation to one’s body is an aspect of current health thinking in regular society and another tool of indoctrination in Cults. The fear of not being able to help your self. That point of view is wonderfully questioned in The Way of Illness by two German authors who unfortunately I don’t remember the names. C. Davies knows the names I think if you’re still in contact with her.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Effects_of_Religious_Cults_on_the_Health_and_Welfare_of_Their_Converts
November 4, 1977, Extensions of Remarks P. 37401-37403.
Read into the United States Congressional Record on November 3, 1977.
Vol. 123 Part 29, No. 181 Proceedings and Debates of 95th Congress (First Session)
November 3, 1977

The Effects of Religious Cults on the Health and Welfare of Their Converts
HON. LEO J. RYAN

OF CALIFORNIA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, November 3, 1977
Mr. RYAN: Mr. Speaker, the activities of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church continue to cause distress for many of us. As you know, the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, chaired by my distinguished colleague, DONALD FRASER, is investigating allegations of close ties between the Reverend Moon and some of his organizations and the South Korean Government, including the KCIA. As a member of the subcommittee, I am, of course, disturbed over such allegations. My greatest concern, however is for those young people who have been converted by these religious cults and for their parents, who have suffered the loss of their children.

One of these parents, Mrs. Ida Watson Camburn of Sunnyvale, Calif., brought to my attention the testimony of John G. Clark, Jr., M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, before a Vermont senate committee, which was investigating religious cults. Dr. Clark’s remarks, based on 2-1/2 years of research, deal with the effects of some religious cults on the mental and physical health and welfare of their converts. I highly recommend his conclusions to my colleagues:

TESTIMONY OF JOHN G. CLARK, JR., M.D.
In this statement to the committee established by the Vermont Legislature, I intend to present substantive conclusions drawn from 2-1/2 years of research on the effects of membership in some religious cults on personal health of their converts. My conclusions are rather grim: The health hazards are extreme! Though I will talk primarily of the absolute dangers to mental health and personal development, I must also as a physician draw attention to equally serious, often life threatening, dangers to physical health.

I will state that coercive persuasion and thought reform techniques are effectively practiced on naïve, uninformed subjects with disastrous health consequences. I will try to give enough information to indicate my reasons for further inquiries as well as review of applicable legal processes.

From the specific data gathered during the time of my investigations a rather accurate history of involvement in the cults can be now adequately described. In doing this I believe I can adequately demonstrate why I think there are major health hazards as well as many other social concerns directly caused by activities of the particular cults which we try to define as destructive. The destructive cults are numerous and include the very well known ones such as Hare Krishna, the Unification Church, the Scientologists, and the Divine Light Mission, all of whom are utilizing the same basic techniques. The fact that I use the word techniques indicates that these investigations have delineated a series of technical aspects to these questions which need to be understood and can be explained.

All of the groups that we are talking about have living leaders who are demonstrably wealthy. The beliefs of all these cults are absolutist and non-tolerant of other systems of beliefs. Their systems of governance are totalitarian. A requirement of membership is to obey absolutely without questioning. Their interest in the individual’s development within the cult towards some kind of satisfactory individual adult personality is by their doctrines, very low or nonexistent. It is clear that almost all of them emphasize money making in one form or another, although a few seem to be very much involved in demeaning or self denigrating activities and rituals. Most of them that I have studied possess a good deal of property and money which is under the discretionary control of the individual leaders.

Most of the cults of concern consider themselves purely religious; some others appear to be more political. One of the most important of the common properties of such cults is the presence of a leader who, in one way or another, claims special powers or may even allow himself to be thought of as the Messiah. Such leaders do have special personal qualities, including a unique worldview and special willingness to effect drastic changes in the thinking and behavior of followers.

It appears that the techniques utilized by these cults are very similar overall although each one uses its own peculiar style. It would appear obvious that all of these cults have worked out ways of gaining access to susceptible individuals in order to have served to any degree. Those who succumb to the enlisting efforts seem to be divided into two rather distinct groups. The first is composed of the “seekers” of whom we all know, popularly though incorrectly thought to constitute the entire population of susceptible people. They are schizophrenic, chronically so, or borderline personalities. It is quite clear that the existence of emotional or personality problems is a reason for becoming involved in the cults and that most mental health professionals consider only this reason at present. These inductees involve themselves in order to feel better because they are excessively uncomfortable with the outside world and themselves. Such motivated versions are “restitutive,” in that the “seekers” are trying to restore themselves to some semblance of comfort in a fresh, though false, reality. We also see this attempt at restitution in the development of the so called secondary symptoms of schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness as the attempt at restitution of a troubled or damaged mind to put together a new, simplified mental world and style of reasoning in order to compensate for the terrible awareness (or near awareness) of personal vulnerability. Approximately 58% of inductees were found to be in this first group from my studies.

The remaining 42% of the examined sample, however, were not ill or damaged in the sense I have mentioned before. That is, they were found to be apparently normal, developing young people who were going through the usual crises of development on the way to becoming adults, who, for any of a number of reasons, had fallen into the trap laid by the cults and had been taken in. On examination they were strong growing students on the average who were facing the normal pains of separation from their families, the normal depressions therefrom, the new, clear slightly feverish view of the complexity of outer reality which is a part of early college life. I think of their joining the cult as being “adaptive;” that is, they are presented with certain problems by the social and physiological processes which are not in themselves as pathological as those involved in the “restitutive” conversions. In some ways it is this more healthy “adaptive” group that is most alarming to the observer.

From a clinicians point of view the first or restitutive group under the influence of cult indoctrination and practices is very much at risk. In many ways it can be very easily shown from long experience within the mental health field how very much more damaged they may become by being given a thought disorder by a group that conforms to a prior tendency to this sort of thinking disability. Their chances of ever developing a good relationship to outer reality and becoming autonomous individuals must, perforce, diminish with the passage of time. I am reminded of the chronic schizophrenics of some years ago whose psychotic style of thinking became totally institutionalized when placed in the back wards of hospitals for such a long enough time that they ultimately could no longer think at all effectively. The healthier second group, though theoretically less totally vulnerable, is more easy to identify with; their problems may be especially revealing, as I will try to explain.

These people tend to be from intact, idealistic, believing families with some religious background. Often they had not truly made any of the major shifts toward independence, and so, left home at the appropriate time believing they were ready for freedom. When this belief was seriously challenged in this brave new world by their first real set backs or by any real crisis they became covertly depressed, thus enhancing their susceptibility to the processes of conversion.

For individuals in this state of vulnerability to be converted a series of circumstances, techniques and events must occur to bring about the complete subjugation of mind and person which I am attempting to describe. The first event is the gaining of access to these potential converts, which is raised to a high art by all of the successful cults. Some even have printed manuals describing where to approach prospects, exactly what types of initial pressure to put on each of them and what the odds are that they will acquire a certain number of converts from a given amount of pressure well applied. The general openness of manners of this group adds to the ease of access. Once such a prospect has agreed to investigate the rather simple propositions expressed by the representatives of the cult he or she is brought into the next and highly sophisticated activities of the conversion process. From the first, intense group pressure, lectures, lies, false use of facilities and other inter-personal pressures unexpected by the individual are brought to bear. Singing, chanting and a constant barrage of the kinds of rhetoric which catch the young idealistic minds are constantly in play. So intense is this that individuals who are under such pressure and are susceptible tend to enter a state of narrowed attention, especially as they are more and more deprived of their ordinary frames of reference and of sleep. This state must be described as a trance. From that time there is a relative or complete loss of control of one’s own mind and actions which is then placed into the hands of the group or of individuals who have been the direct contact with the individual inductee. This induction period has also been described as “coercive persuasion.”

Once this state of passive, narrowed attention and willingness to be influenced is achieved, the true work of conversion (or of thought reform) begins in earnest. This is always a program of unbelievable intensity! During this, all of the cults step up their ideological reform pressures by increased group pressure, change of diet, and the introduction of elements of guilt and terror. The question of supernatural pressures that one must face in the future are brought out more and more explicitly and concretely. Many promises are made of redemption or safety, in the certainty that the world will soon end at which time there will be enormous rewards or terrible punishments to believers or non-believers. The threats may be implicit but are sometimes increasingly physical and explicit physical threats. Preaching is constant from all sides; supervision is absolute and privacy of body or of mind may not be allowed for days or weeks into the future even to use the bathroom. All relationships to other people are organized and stereotyped and no chance is given for idiosyncratic expression. The victims are induced rapidly to give all familiar and loved past objects – parents, siblings, home, city, etc. – and they are physically and emotionally moved to as foreign an environment as is possible to imagine. Thus, it becomes increasingly hard for them to reconstruct in imagination what one has once experienced some time in the past. Reality becomes the present and includes in its elements of the supernatural, magical; terrifying thought which has been expressed constantly all around. There is no base left for reality testing.

Perhaps as important a factor as any is that the base of each individual’s language which has been part of the mind and the body function from the very early stages, is slowly and deliberately changed. All words of any emotional importance have had some shifting of their meaning to an oversimplified, special sort of related definition. Each person is given more and more tasks to learn, to study, to grasp, and has less time to believe that the past ever existed. By this time the indoctrination has defined parents as being infected by Satan’s influence and parenthood is reinvested in the leaders of the cults. The urge to go home has been replaced by the need for the absolute authority of the cult and its leaders and at the same time the value of education and the need to go to school has disappeared from the consciousness. This much radical change of attitudes, loyalties and thinking style can occur and regularly does occur within a few days to a few weeks.

From this time the problem of maintenance of the state of mind is apparently rather simple. Leaving the old familiar life setting and renouncing it for a new communal theology the accepting of a new family with new definitions of love and denouncing of natural parents leads an individual to think all bridges to the past are closed and that a very brave move into a new world has, indeed, been made. In some cults members are taught intensive chanting and meditating procedures which in case of any attack on their beliefs can cover up all possible thoughts and doubts. Others can apparently reenter a trance state with a narrowed consciousness of reality the first moment that somebody questions or challenges their beliefs. They are then promoted to the next steps or stages in their cults usually as proselytizers, money raisers or in some cases garbage collectors.

In my opinion, the last stage of this process in both adaptive and restitutive groups probably may evolve after four to seven years. This would be “acculturation” and would be irreversible. This stage may be compared to that of the untreated person with a schizophrenic illness who slides without proper help into a kind of personal degradation which, if unchallenged or untreated in time finally becomes acculturated and permanent. Anyone trying to nudge a person from this acquired style of thinking and behavior as we in mental health field know very well is going to feel that he is the natural enemy of his own patient. In my opinion, I repeat, by acculturation this new style of thinking may become irreversible.

Before this final state cult members seem to experience two forms of personality: the original and the imposed. The original is complex, full of love relationships, expectations and hopes and, especially rich language. This richness of language is that which parents suddenly miss when they first see their thought-reformed children. Their reaction is appropriately panic! They recognize and correctly identify terrifying, sudden, unacceptable changes in the style of language and the style of relating as well as a narrowing and thinning down of the thought processes. Formally bright, fluent and creative individuals are rendered incapable of the use of irony or a metaphor and they speak with a smaller carefully constricted vocabulary with clichés and stereotyped ideas. They also appear to have great difficulty using abstractions in their speech or arguments. They do not love except in clichés and established forms. Almost all of the charged, emotion-laden language symbols are shifted to new meanings. Parents notice this long before professionals because they do not need cumbersome and elaborate tools to analyze language patterns. Their memories and intuition are sufficient.

The evidence for what I call a shift in personality which may be what we call in psychiatry “depersonalization,” comes from several kinds of observation. The first is that, despite the appearance to very experienced clinicians of flagrant and classical schizophrenia in many converts the induced mental state being discussed does not respond to the most effective antipsychotic drugs or any of the methods of treatment customarily applied by mental health professionals to restore effective thinking. Thus, we are relatively helpless to restore thinking processes because under the current interpretations of the laws we cannot maintain physical control for long enough to bring about the confrontation therapies which might be effective in reestablishing the original personality style in the way it was done with the Korean war prisoners. On the other hand antipsychotic medicines are still effective in treating acute psychosis in these same people though not affecting the state of conversion.

The second and rather compelling piece of evidence is that the thought-reformed state is dramatically altered by the process of deprogramming about which, thought I cannot legally advise it as a therapy under most circumstances, a great deal is known. The deprogramming process as it is now practiced effects, in a large number of cases, a fairly rapid return to the old organization of the mind, a repersonalization, and brings back with it the old language skills and memories, original personal relationship patterns and of course the old problems. Furthermore it is regularly observed that for some time after the deprogramming the affected individuals are very vulnerable for about a year and, especially during the first few weeks to two months, they feel themselves aware of and close to, two different mental worlds. Their strong impulses to return to the cult are altered by logical reasoning processes and the great fear of some one taking control of their minds from the outside once again. During this time a former convert can quickly be recaptured either by fleeting impulse or by entering a trance state through a key word for piece of music or by chanting or by a team from the cult.

In general, however after a return to an original state of mind the individual’s problems begin to seem like ordinary health problems. Most of them are depressed, depleted people reminding one very much of that status of patients who have recently recovered from acute psychoses who are able to feel that for the first time in their lives they had lost a clear sense of reality and of control. They feel ashamed of what they have done and the pain they have inflicted, are very scared and for a while unable to manage their lives effectively. To remain within the strict mental and social confines of the cult experience for even a short time is disastrous for some who have become psychotic or have committed suicide. Continuing membership appears to invite a deeper acceptance of the controlled state of mind and, in my opinion, leads to the gradual degradation of ordinary thought processes necessary to cope with highly differentiated and ambiguous external life problems of the future. In this state after some time the intellect appears to lose a great many IQ points: the capacity to form flexible human relationships or real intimacy is impaired and all reality testing functions are difficult to mobilize so that moderate prior psychological disability is likely to be set back considerably and permanently in his or her maturation to adulthood and will certainly be impaired in the ability and capacity to deal with the real world’s opportunities and dangers. The loss of educational and occupational experiences will confirm these losses beyond any doubts.

This is the rough picture of the phenomenon of thought reform as practiced by present day cults and the natural history of this process and its effects on the involved individuals. Though incomplete it is based on examination of 27 subjects at all stages of involvement in six different cults as well as interviews with many more interested and informed observers. I believe the overall outline is sound though, of course, incomplete. The fact of a personality shift in my opinion is established. The fact that this is a phenomenon basically unfamiliar to the mental health profession I am certain of. The fact that our ordinary methods of treatment don’t work is also clear, as are the frightening hazards to the process of personal growth and mental health.

In this paper I have tried to describe the phenomenon of involvement of young people in destructive cults. The problems of special vulnerability to conversion were described and two major groups of susceptibles were identified. A natural history of access, induction by coercive persuasion, the process of thought and attitude reform and the maintenance of conversion described. An opinion that a permanent state of acculturation was likely to occur after a number of years was expressed. The rapidity of these catastrophic changes was emphasized as well as many of their qualities and these were related to mental health and maturational concerns.

Specific and important problems such as suicide, depression, psychotic reactions and psychosomatic disorders are most serious and deserve another discussion and much more study. It is also clear that the multiple, serious and often bizarre problems of physical illness need careful and official attention. Both the mental health and physical health problems presented by the activities of the cults should be investigated in much greater detail by official agencies. I believe that they merit active interest of such constitutive authorities as this legislative body who I trust can see some of the greater implications of all that has been discussed and will be further revealed in these hearings.

27. formerfofer - January 19, 2009

Old fish in the sea:

Thanks for posting such an interesting set of questions.

If I was back pre-fellowship, I’d still be looking to work with the 4th way since it was the only method that made sense back then, after much searching, and still does now.

I’d be looking for help and guidance because I verified at that time that I couldn’t make progress in understanding the ideas and how to apply them by working alone.

I’d be looking for a mentor who would be a third force and not someone who would deliberately create more denying force. I felt back in the Fellowship days and still now that there is enough denying force internally and externally without anyone needing to inflict additional difficulties on anyone else.

formerfofer
1978-1992

28. Susan Zannos - January 19, 2009

Hi Old Fish and others. I have had the good fortune to come upon a sort of anti-guru. I’ve wanted to send this link for quite a while, but haven’t because I find the business of flopping around looking for yet one more spiritual practice to be distasteful. This guy, who could not possibly be more ordinary, doesn’t particularly find such practices abhorrent, just beside the point:

http://www.johnsherman.org/john_sherman_videos/

29. Ill Never Tell - January 19, 2009

28. Susan Zannos:

Re: John Sherman

At least he is honest enough to admit that he was/is criminal.

See Autobiographical Sketch:
http://www.johnsherman.org/truth_is_all_that_matters/autobiographical-sketch-1.html

30. Yesri Baba - January 19, 2009

Accountability and responsibility
Spiritual teachers must answer to a higher standard of behavior and accountability than their students; we can not be excused for abusive, cruel behavior on the basis of any idea that we are inherently immune from criticism by virtue of our advanced state of realization. We are, after all, those to whom people come for help resolving the most profound and disturbing aspects of all human existence; we are those to whom they come seeking final release from the universal suffering that seems to be the natural lot of human life. And as such, like it or not, we are looked upon as being outside and above the norm, different from them, and answering to a higher call than service to ourselves and to our own happiness and gratification.

Those who come to us by and large are willing to lay it all on the line before us, hoping once and for all to be led by us to the end of suffering and confusion, and the snuffing out of the craving for happiness. They come to us preconditioned by thousands of years of hidebound tradition, believing us to be inscrutable and beyond the standards of normal human conduct. They believe that what we have to offer them is so mysterious and hidden from ordinary view that they have no basis for judging our conduct, since our conduct, however hideous, might be just what is needed to “wake them up.”

We can, of course, resort to bankrupt ideas about non-duality and the like to excuse our shortcomings, but that just doesn’t work for me; it’s just another limited story about reality, and there is no life in it, no joy, nothing real. We who find ourselves in this peculiar role need to own up to what we do and take responsibility for our wrongdoings no matter how ‘unspiritual’ that might seem. We are trusted, and we should keep ourselves worthy of that trust as best we can.

You are the master. There is no guru; there is no dispeller of darkness; there is no one to whom devotion is owed, no one to whom devotion is a condition of your realization, and nothing that needs to be fixed about you. There is nothing that needs to be cleared away for you to see what you are. You are all that is.

John Sherman

31. sharon - January 19, 2009

I find this “autobiographical sketch” highly unbelievable.

32. Old Fish in the Sea - January 19, 2009

formerfofer:
Currently, I am not ready to let anyone tell me what to do or how to think. I am happy to hear what others say, but that is different from putting myself under a mentor. You might see this un-trusting attitude as a casualty of being in the Fellowship – and you might be right. I currently see it as one of the positive side effects. I understand the potential gains that might come from learning from another, but I think I need to work now against the part of me that looks for outside guidance – someone that will provide hope, inspiration, and buffer the harsh realities by giving me a sense of direction.

For now, I see this need to have someone tell me what to do as a weakness that is shared by most humans and even my dog. We do not feel comfortable unless there is someone (supposedly wiser) telling us what to do, how to best spend our time and energy, and how to think. This part in us avoids the effort to really find out for ourselves, as DC so perfectly demonstrated, with his almost complete lack of curiosity and initiative. We have the possibility to arrange the details of our life, what we do, where we choose to go, what events will nourish us, but on a daily basis we do not accept this as our responsibility.

I know the void can be dangerous. It can lead to depression. It makes some more passive (why do anything). It can be filled by meaningless activities. If we choose to live without any teaching or any overriding dogma, we still need some principles and structure. The question is where do the principles come from. Hopefully they come from our own learning – our own experience and sense of right and wrong. This is difficult when we have a mentor. I think if we are going to live in the void, we still need to come to some personal values and continue with a somewhat disciplined life, or the void will destroy us.

Although I sometimes miss having a teaching, the void represents a kind of growing up and an opportunity to take responsibility. In my better moments, it feels like the walls have been lifted, and the world is open. All people, all events, all successes and all failures, all emotions, all pain, and all joy are my teachers, begging me to learn from them. My life calls for letting go of the father figure, for growing up, for exploring for myself, for taking full responsibility for my own ethics and efforts- for choosing what is important.

This does not mean that I don’t respect your path or that your advice is not good advice – but I need to go down this road of living without dogma (or any form of teacher) a little longer. The thought of choosing my life, even down to the details, is still a bit foreign, even daunting, but very exciting.

Perhaps in a few years I will feel differently.

ton and Opus111:
It is difficult for some of us (like me) to shake off the bad habit of apologizing for Robert and the Fellowship. We had to do it internally to stay in for so many years and the habit can still surface.

Thank you Suzy,Yseri, and Would’t you Lke to Know for your inspiring thoughts..

33. brucelevy - January 19, 2009

31. sharon

Yes it’s strange. Seems like another in a long line of scams for him. His clips, for me, are no more than the fluff that any literate, practiced sociopath could put together a la Erhardt, Kriananda, RB, Adi Da etc. Right from the famous text book “Everyman’s Guide: How To Create and Grow a Cult”. But as such, there is so little of real substance. Then again, one has to create their own substance out of the bull shit.

34. whalerider - January 20, 2009

BURTON DEFENDS TECHNIQUES

Oregon House (AP) – In a statement issued from the high levels of command at the Fellowship of Friends, Robert Burton is quoted as defending his “enhanced awakening techniques.”

“I see no problem,” says Fellowship Attorney General, Abraham Goldman. “If you were given the chance to spend the rest of your life after death in paradise, what would you do?”

Continuing what some might call his Journey Forth Rape Defense Tour ’08, Robert Burton on Monday revealed for the first time the number of his captives who were subjected to so-called “enhanced awakening techniques,” and he insisted the “school” had a moral imperative to engage in such techniques.

The spiritual despot said he subjected nearly 1,200 or more followers to the harsh techniques, which critics say constitute torture and rape, and he vigorously defended the practice. After a weekend interview with Fox News Sunday, Burton spoke to the conservative Religious Times on Monday.

“I think there were a total of about 1,200 give or take a few hundred young male followers who were subjected to “enhanced awakening techniques”; only three of those who were subjected to golden showers”, Burton told the paper, according to a transcript released by his enablers on Monday. “Was it torture? I don’t believe it was torture. They seemed to enjoy it! We spent a great deal of time and effort getting legal advice, legal opinion out of the Office of Legal Counsel, which is where you go for those kinds of opinions, and from the Department of Propaganda as to where the red lines were out there in terms of this I can do, this I can’t do. I handled myself, I think, very appropriately.”

Techniques beyond water play include use of stress positions, forced nudity, sleep deprivation, oral copulation, anal penetration, fisting, and exploitation of fears, for example by threatening followers with vicious lies about eternal damnation.

Burton went to great lengths to separate the extreme treatment of nearly two dozen young Russian followers in his cult in the Galleria from the abuses recorded years earlier at the Goethe Academy and Blake Cottage. He essentially rehashed the line the Bush administration has been giving since those scandals first erupted; any abuses were the results of a few low-level bad actors and in no way stemmed from policy decisions at the top.

Buying into this logic, of course, would require ignoring reams of evidence to the contrary, including a comprehensive, bipartisan Senate report on follower’s treatment in such high intensity/high control cults.

The Committee’s investigation found, however, that senior officials in the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence decided to use some of these harsh techniques on followers based on deeply flawed interpretations of spiritual law.

The Committee concluded that the authorization of such aggressive awakening techniques by senior officials was both a direct cause of follower abuse and conveyed the message that it was okay to mistreat and degrade other vulnerable followers in the Fellowship cult.

Burton was unapologetic about the use of harsh techniques, which he admitted he “signed off on” when the “no sex” exercise was lifted several years ago. The cult leader even claimed it would have been immoral to not mistreat his followers.

“And to come to the question of morality and ethics, in my mind, the foremost obligation I have from a moral or an ethical standpoint was the power I have ordained upon myself when I crystallized a Man Number 7 to satisfy any carnal desire I am conscious of, and to protect and defend my cult against all other sleeping machines, foreign and domestic. And that’s what I’ve done. And I think it would have been unethical or immoral for me not to do everything I could in order to satisify my greed and lust while protecting my cult against further attacks like what happened when the Troy Buzzbee affair surfaced. I paid out a lot of money to silence Troy and his father. I think it was the right thing to do to sell that Ming furniture. And I feel very good about what I did and continue to do. If I was faced with another willing, eager-to-please, pliable young underaged teenager like that again, I’d do exactly the same thing.”

While the Fellowship’s tactics have been widely deplored because of the myriad human rights violations they likely involve, there’s also virtually no evidence they actually work (beyond, of course, the oh-so-trustworthy Burton’s repeated assurances). On this point, Burton may take heart in his old colleague’s sayings: “The lower cannot see the higherand the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and .”

Many ex-followers disagree.

35. Yesri Baba - January 20, 2009

Yeah, with that fake autobiography and statements like this:
“You are the master. There is no guru; there is no dispeller of darkness; there is no one to whom devotion is owed, no one to whom devotion is a condition of your realization, and nothing that needs to be fixed about you. There is nothing that needs to be cleared away for you to see what you are. You are all that is.”, Sherman is surely on the road to riches.

Really, is it fucking possible to get any more cynical?

36. sharon - January 20, 2009

Yes, and if he really is the hardened criminal that he represents in his “autobiography”, how convenient: no need for remorse or reparations, no need to be kind to anyone, no need to take responsibility for anyone but yourself, no need to try to excel at anything, etc, etc – just “You are all that is.”
Sounds like Burton.

37. Yesri Baba - January 20, 2009

36 sharon

How the fuck do you know what kind of remorse or reparations he may or may not have made or how kind or unkind he is or who or what he takes responsibility for or what he excels at or doesn’t excel at?
Pull your head out of your ass.

38. sharon - January 20, 2009

Yesri – how do you know what I am talking about?: only from what I write. I made my comments based upon what I read, which produced a particular reaction in me. My apologies that my writing produced such a reaction from you. Take care of your own head.

39. sharon - January 20, 2009

..on the other hand, you are correct Yesri, that I did not do much research before making my comments, and I can accept that I do not know much.

40. Yesri Baba - January 20, 2009

“Take care of your own head.”

Good advice. It gets wedged up there pretty good sometimes.

41. Yesri Baba - January 20, 2009

“You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the mountain for a few moments; then the wind blows your footprints away.” ~~Arlene Blum

42. sharon - January 20, 2009

41. That is pretty incredibly amazing. Talk about making something of one’s life… jeez.
(I could do without the heart-stings music at the key moment in his speech to the girls, though)

43. whalerider - January 20, 2009

Old Fish:
“I know the void can be dangerous. It can lead to depression.”

Would you care to elaborate a bit more? What’s wrong with depression? Is not depression a necessary part of the full spectrum of feelings we humans have? If we do not have depression and suffering, how can we know and appreicate joy?

“Why do anything?”…What is there to “do” really?

How can the void destroy us when it is the Source of all creativity? Is it not the destruction of the ego that you are speaking of?

From the void you have come and to the void you will return.

Swim with me for a while, old fish in the sea.

44. Susan Zannos - January 20, 2009

Well, that’s why I didn’t post the Sherman link for well over a year. The electronic media, great as it is, leaves a great deal out of the many ways communications take place. The autobiographical material might not make sense to those too young to have been political activists in the late 50s and 60s when we really thought that robbing banks was a good way to attack the evils of capitalism. And I can hardly blame anyone for being dubious about the opinion of someone who accepted Robert Burton for a teacher for 30 years, which is probably my main reason for not posting the link before. And I’m sorry I did.

45. sharon - January 20, 2009

Not dubious about your opinion, Susan. But I am very dubious about gurus! Anyone who makes money from “spiritual” counseling is suspect to me.
The parts of the autobiography that were suspicious to me were not the bank robbing to attack capitalism (I do remember the SDS days), more things like an ex-con being hired by Boeing (a major company in aviation and Defense contracts which surely performs extensive background checks on prospective employees) as an R&D machinist, and concurrent with employment at such a company, belonging to the Revolutionary Communist Party – there were just too many of these types of stories to be believable to me. It reads like a very sensational novel.
But I admit, I’m very sceptical, perhaps too much so.
I am sorry if I offended you.

46. Old Fish in the Sea - January 20, 2009

43: OK Whalerider, I’m swimming with you so here we go:

What’s wrong with depression? – I guess I would agree that there is nothing wrong with depression up to a point. It can be a natural reaction to a dose of reality. But suicide can really mess up a life and I was thinking of a friend who came very near to killing himself when I when I wrote that. I am all for facing reality but depression, especially when it doesn’t go away, makes us want to give up. A little giving up at times certainly has its place, but when it becomes an unending cycle, it diminishes life not just for the depressed person but it can also affect others in close proximity. My own choice would be to deal with depression so that it does not negate life But you are right, it is important to experience the whole spectrum of emotions.

“Why do anything?
I guess this is a question that each person needs to face and come to his or her own understanding. Certainly not much matters from some perspectives. For me, doing is a way to paint my life – it is my interface to experience – and an expression of my essence. You can say that nothing I do will matter and you would be right on a certain scale – but it does matter to me (and in come cases to those I care about). I think the obsession with states can give one the feeling that the details of life are unimportant. I believe the details of life – the things that we do or don’t do- are what make life interesting. I can understand the attraction to states. I love that feeling of well-being, of existence, of magic, but I see states as a means for enhancing life, not as an end in themselves. They are only one part of reality and typically only one way of perceiving the world.

How can the void destroy us?
I am all for bearing the void and by a void I mean freedom from any particular world view. But when the old reasons for existence are suddenly removed, the void can be harsh. I can’t say what keeps you going – perhaps there is some ideal or some hope that gives you a sense of possibility. Take that away – take away all the hope, all the ideals, all the sense of purpose, all the love, all the connections and depending on your background, psychological makeup and understanding, it is likely that the void would either make you or break you. I believe some of us are put in that position when we leave the Fellowship, particularly if we really believed in Robert and his view of the world. For this reason, leaving is a wonderful opportunity, but the void that is created is difficult for some. Call this void the destruction of the ego if you like. For me, now, it is sometimes difficult but it is where I want to be. I believe there is a connection between what you call the void and what I call the void, but I sense we are using the word a little differently.

From the void you have come and to the void you will return.
Yes, the real void.

44 Susan Zannos- I liked what John said Susan. Thank you for introducing him. I listened to the videos and experimented with understanding that I am not my life but rather the part that knows I exist. This created a meditative state similar to (or the same as) self-remembering. I think these states have their place. They reduce suffering, anxiety, a great deal of wrong work and they can bring understanding. They can certainly enhance life. My only concern is when they are used not so much to enhance life but to replace life – when they become all and everything. I am not suggesting that John Sherman thought or taught that – only that this seems to be a common relationship to states that I am currently avoiding. When John says all else is “beside the point”, it makes me wary. But in fairness to him, all I did was listen to the 3 videos, and what do I know anyway – perhaps my attitudes reflect post-partum cynicism.

47. Bares Reposting - January 20, 2009

44. Susan Zannos:

‘I’m sorry I did.’

Don’t be sorry. Be happy. Do it over again. There was nothing wrong with your posting. I fact, if it promotes individual critical thinking, without judgment, then it is probably making this space and these people, reading here, better off. Thank you.

48. lauralupa - January 20, 2009

ton 286 (previous page)

“The goal or rather direction of spiritual development, so far as I can see, is very roughly this: precise and comprehensive awareness of the world, including oneself and other selves; precise feeling about all this; and coherent and creative action to open up ever new possibilities of the life of the spirit. This goal is essentially a communal, not an individualistic or private, goal. The self-centred individual can never even begin to seek It. It is the way of life for individuals, but only for those who feel themselves to be “members one of another.”

olaf stapeldon

thanks ton for sharing, I finally had the time to read the piece and quite enjoyed it. As soon as I have the time, I’ll get Starwalker.
Speaking of time, I just started teaching a graphic design course, and since it’s my first teaching experience, my mind is very absorbed in preparing the lessons and searching materials for classes. Yesterday it was my first lesson and it was exciting. BTW, ton, you work as a teacher too, right? A Nigel, and Elena… I am honored to join the crew!
All this means I won’t be writing much here in the next few months, although I might post some sporadic findings… the whole “creativity and freedom of expression against dogma and totalitarianism” issue really attracts me, and I am going to research it further.
So, a big hug to all of you lovely people and hopefully I’ll see you around in a while…

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=BrZTNhW44-o&feature=related

49. lauralupa - January 20, 2009

I meant “And Nigel”

… and james, here’s another song for the road… all the best to you!

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

50. ton - January 20, 2009

laura, based on my experience with teaching much of the work is about the preparation, that’s the time consuming part, at least for the first few years. with some ‘hindsight’ i realize now that over-preparation was a way for me to work out some of my anxiety about the unfamiliar situation… that was not particularly useful… now i realize it’s much better to be prepared for the lesson but it’s just as important to relax into it, easier said than done sometimes in new situations and depending on your disposition. then there’s presentation of the material, teaching is an art when it comes from the heart and it’s done with care for your students…. maybe most importantly, at least in my line of work, there’s adapting lessons to the individual needs and abilities of your students which means insight into the student and creativity. yup, you’re going to be busy… but if you’re sitting at the computer anyway, check in and drop us a line or a link from time to time, your posts are always good food. ciao bella

51. Ellen - January 20, 2009

#28 & #44, Susan Z.

Thanks for the link. I checked they guy out. The core of what he is saying sounds right to me, though I didn’t dig too deep into it. As you well know, the audience here is deeply jaded, additionally his biography is VERY outrageous. That’s not to say the guy isn’t “for real” (or not) – finally, at least.

What does it take for a person to finally wake up from the concept of “me”??? The Zen tradition counts a few awakened masters as former murderers. Serious. But that’s no justification for crime, either.

Many if not most voices on this blog (and I count myself among them) chant the word “conscience” as the major error of RB’s version of the Fourth Way. Yet it’s also easy to take that word at face value and not consider why the lack of conscience really is such a problem – particularly for someone who embarks on the spiritual path. Morality is, after all, relative, right?!?

Thus, if you don’t know that the complete dissolusion of all conceptual borders and separations between you and the “other”, another, leads to the awakened state, then harming a few people along the way is no big deal, right? Hurting or harming another person doesn’t matter because it doesn’t hurt – you.

But if you do know that, if your sense of “me” becomes overwhelmingly infinite, then it’s also transparently clear that you would not bring harm to another sentient being – as yourself.

So this guy, John Sherman, may have had a big awakening, a big turn around. These things do happen. If so, I’d be interested to hear his comments about his former life style. Additionally, how is he using his current understanding to help ease the suffering of the world?

Talks, workshops, retreats? $$? Is he going back into those prisons that he knows so well? Or is he just making money from it? On the site there was no lack of donation contribution possibilities, though I did like what he had to say about accountability and responsibility.

52. fofblogmoderator - January 20, 2009

50 is newly moderated

53. Panorea - January 20, 2009

Why does one feel the need to play the role of a “teacher”, to share their spiritual experiences with others and have them staring at him and expecting him to resolve their sufferings and pains? There are so many people you and I have met in the Fellowship who would be able to express in the most beautiful words their ” esoteric”, “spiritual”, you-name-it experiences; they could write a book, make a good web site, and try to attract followers.

But why would one feel the need to be a “spiritual teacher”?

54. whalerider - January 20, 2009

Old Fish in the Sea:
I thank you for the dialog. As you probably can tell, I am reacting to the use of word, ‘depression’, in the context of a “mental illness” which you may or may not be alluding to.

Since when has the grieving process or deep sadness become labeled a medical issue…a simple chemical imbalance in the brain (for which there is no blood test) corrected by a drug? Do lingering feelings of sadness, pain and sorrow necessarily have to lead to suicide? Do feelings of sadness necessarily negate life or can we learn to accept that they part of life?

If our life expectancy is 70+ years, would it not be reasonable to expect that we might experience maybe even at least one or two years of depressed feelings of sadness due to some kind of great loss…which overall add up to a small percentage of our entire life? I was taught that a grieving process of a sudden, traumatic loss can normally last up to three years! I am grateful for my sadness! It makes me more human, not a cult machine pretending to be better than others while secretly taking antidepressants.

I teach my children that it’s OK to be sad, too, and I cry with them. The last time I did so was on New Year’s Day when their mother left for nearly three weeks to go on vacation in Thailand. She returned yesterday. I am now into the second year of my divorce process and just now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, without the use of medication.

“My own choice would be to deal with depression so that it does not negate life.”

I say, that which does not kill me, makes me stronger. IMO (and in the opinion of others) the more you attempt to negate a painful feeling, the more pathological it gets. Life is painful sometimes, even depressing. But we do more damage to ourselves avoiding feelings, than we ever would at just allowing ourselves to fully experience them…especially negative ones. In my view, feelings eventually come and go like the tides. Yet suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary condition.

“I believe the details of life.”

I couldn’t agree with you more….living life fully, not skipping over the details…I certainly understand the allure and even the addiction to intense or enjoyable feeling trance “states” also, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that such states are not an end in themselves. Feeling trance states, both positive and negative are the content of our lives. If we identify with the trances of our feeling states, we are subject to them and whatever or whomever can create them for us. Has not our spirituality taught us that our consciousness is the context of our daily trances and not the content of them?

Just to be clear, I view medatation as a tool (not an end in itself either) in which to experience one’s consciousness as the context of the trances of which we drop in and out. Personally, it helps me identify with my consciousness and not any particular trance I observe or in which find myself.

You speak of the void created without the intensity of Burton’s fundamentalist, apocalyptic world view or freedom servitude and from the shackles of cult thought control…of suddenly feeling confronted with the lack of purpose for existence…for to Burton those who leave him cease to exist as his narcissistic objects… and from a seemingly endless supply of victims a new face rotates into place…Yes, birth is a difficult and painful process…from the warmth of the womb into the cold void of the world…let us nurture each other as fellow travelers!

Ah, the void, as I see it…the absence of anything material or tangible…the harsh reality of looking at our lives each day, one day at a time, as a blank canvas…like the true artist does in his or her studio…asking themselves do I copy what I did the day before? No. Do I just imitate my teacher’s style? No. Do I give up? No. Am I fully committed to creating something new that has never been seen on the planet before? For me, the answer is, yes! Yes to consciousness! Yes to the consciousness of facing the void and not knowing what will happen next…of navigating my own vessel in the dark of night by listening to the instruments of my heart and conscience…

Old Fish, I am glad to swim with you there now…in the middle of a dark ocean whose depths are unknown, with great magical creatures like others on this blog swimming around us, occasionally brushing up against the soles of our dangling feet!

I posted earlier what my lovely, svelte yoga teacher Christy said during the deep relaxation “dead man’s pose” at the end of the yoga class…The Buddha said one ought to ask oneself each day, as though it were the last day of your life the following three questions, “ How fully did you live? How well did you love? How deeply did you let go?”

Letting go…that’s the hardest part.

But you asked, what keeps me going? For me it is the pursuit of happiness…not happiness in itself, for that feeling trance state like all others is transitory…I live for the pursuit of the happiness trance. Feeling the love trance makes me happy. And one day, upon my passing over, I will even have to let go of all that I love.

My conscious preference is to feel my happy trance, otherwise I will unconsciously create a negative trance if I don’t pay attention. In my darkest hour of depression trance last year, I repeated to myself not the 30 canine commands, but simply, “I choose to be happy”, even though I didn’t feel my happy trance at the time. And after hearing Obama’s speech today, I felt happy to be alive and able to share that happiness with my kids. For once I am proud to be an American.

It is a pleasure to swim with the likes of you, Old Fish. Thanks for posting from your heart and not from a book.

55. nigel harris price - January 20, 2009

Old Fish in the Sea and whalerider

There is a difference, shall we say, between what ‘ordinary’ people feel as depression – grieving, loss, change even, and ‘clinical depression’ which IS A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE IN THE BRAIN AND LEADS TO PSYCHOSIS – thoughts of suicide, panic attacks etc. YES, they need to be treated. Personally, since I take ‘downers’ to prevent stress making me ‘high’, when it comes to depressive states I use common sense – improving the environment, even washing the dishes, clothes etc and just ‘slog through it’. I speak from personal experience of all the above, so JUST ASK…..Nigel.

56. nigel harris price - January 20, 2009

54 whalerider

See if you can live with this one – “Deep joy in one’s work”…..Nigel.

57. formerfofer - January 21, 2009

Old Fish in the Sea

“For now, I see this need to have someone tell me what to do as a weakness that is shared by most humans and even my dog. We do not feel comfortable unless there is someone (supposedly wiser) telling us what to do, how to best spend our time and energy, and how to think.”

One of the confusing issues is that many spiritual mentors/teachers whatever, don’t confine themselves to offering guidance on a person’s inner life but involve themselves in their students’ external lives too.

If I was looking for a mentor (which I’m not) I’d want their help in understanding if I was making the right kind of internal efforts, sorting out misunderstandings, avoiding blind alleys, helping to keep efforts focused, helping to bridge intervals, making sure I wasn’t making inappropriate efforts for my stage of development and so on. I wouldn’t see it as their role to say what I should wear or who I should marry or what kind of job I should get etc.

“I know the void can be dangerous. It can lead to depression. It makes some more passive (why do anything). It can be filled by meaningless activities. If we choose to live without any teaching or any overriding dogma, we still need some principles and structure. The question is where do the principles come from.”

If it helps I have an inner structure built around the main work ideas of divided attention and the transformation of negativity emotions, plus others such as meditation. These are tools that have kept their value over the years and ensure that, when I can remember to use them, even the most mundane activity can be meaningful.

“I need to go down this road of living without dogma (or any form of teacher) a little longer. The thought of choosing my life, even down to the details, is still a bit foreign, even daunting, but very exciting.”

Enjoy your journey. Have fun!

formerfofer
1978-1992

58. whalerider - January 21, 2009

Thanks, Nigel, for chiming in. You are absolutely right. An episode of either side of bipolar disorder that leads to psychosis is a serious mental illness which requires ongoing medication and social support. For some people, even clinical depression can lead to a temporary psychosis that requires medication and even hospitalization. I speak from experience, too. What you suffer from is far worse, and I have always been clear about that with you.

I sincerely admire and respect your day to day struggle. If there is anyone here who is adept at living in the moment, it is you. I, too, often employ improving my environment as a way to improve my mood.

We in America are at the mercy of huge pharmaceutical companies that have a vested interest in advertising their product in such a way as to incite “ordinary” people to diagnose themselves and ask their doctor who feels obligated to prescribe the latest drug to make their patient’s symptoms go away. But usually, if the underlying issues are not addressed, the symptoms return. It’s called the “Prozac poop-out”.

Again, why is there no blood test for serotonin levels? IMHO, it is because without a definitive test then more people can be prescribed the drug and sales skyrocket.

Currently in the US, there are even antidepressants prescribed for pet dogs.

I do take deep joy in my work, which is helping others without harming or exploiting them.

59. elena - January 21, 2009

Text 9 20th Jan 2009
Political Conditioning
Political conditioning should not be confused with training or persuasion or even indoctrination. It is more than that. It is tampering. It is taking possession of both the simplest and the most complicated nervous patterns of man. It is the battle for the possession of the nerve cells. It is coercion and enforced conversion. Instead of conditioning man to an unbiased facing of reality, the seducer conditions him to catchwords, verbal stereotypes, slogans, formulas, symbols. Pavlovian strategy in the totalitarian sense means imprinting prescribed reflexes on a mind that has been broken down. The totalitarian wants first the required response from the nerve cells, then control of the individual, and finally control of the masses. The system starts with verbal conditioning and training by combining the required stereotypes with negative or positive stimuli: pain, or reward. In the P.O.W. camps in Korea where there was individual and mass brainwashing, the negative and positive conditioning stimuli were usually hunger and food. The moment the soldier conformed to the party line his food ration was improved: say yes, and I’ll give you a piece of candy!

______Political conditioning as described above is a reality in Cult conditioning with the use of exactly similar techniques.
In the Fellowship Cult, the more you conform and pay, the more attention you get from Robert Burton. What is interesting about this is that what members become addicted to is attention from Burton because that attention means their “being” and even “higher level of being” is recognized by the “divine being”, living out a constant competition with the rest of the members for that psychological recognition that grants them the “right to be” as if they had lost it somewhere or had never had it. A similar phenomenon occurs with Girard Haven, the man that Burton predicted would become the second conscious being in the “School” and therefore, planet earth since the Fellowship of Friends was the only conscious school in the whole planet!
How easily vanity corrupts!

It’s worth mentioning that the whole structure is designed to elicit and strengthen a secondary personality that has been tamed to want nothing more than to be valued by the guru and the rest of the members and great personal efforts are made by each individual to reach that goal which is never reached in a cult because the guru cannot grant merit to anyone but himself. The whole structure would crumble if anyone else were able to achieve the gurus qualifications from his own personal effort because he would no longer need the guru or the cult.

Every normal individual’s natural inclination for social participation is turned against him to induce him into perceiving other members as threats rather than friends. The competition for recognition from the guru, in addition to all the other anti-social practices, isolate him into a psychological prison much more real than if he were put behind bars.
_____

Many victims of totalitarianism have told me in interviews that the most upsetting experience they faced in the concentration camps was the feeling of loss of logic, the state of confusion into which they had been brought the state in which nothing had any validity. They had arrived at the Pavlovian state of inhibition, which psychiatrists call mental disintegration or depersonalization. It seemed as if they had unlearned all their former responses and had not yet adopted new ones. But in reality they simply did not know what was what.

______The loss of moral, ethical, spiritual and even material values increases daily in that state of confusion and anything the Guru does is perceived as a confirmation of his divinity!

…Pavlovian training can be used successfully only when special mental conditions prevail. In order to tame people into the desired pattern, victims must be brought to a point where they have lost their alert consciousness and mental awareness. Freedom of discussion and free intellectual exchange hinder conditioning. Feelings of terror, feelings of fear and hopelessness, of being alone, of standing with one’s back to the wall, must be instilled.

_____In cults, the terror is essentially psychological. The terror that the world is going to end and only the few chosen ones in the cult know about it. The fear of not being prepared and the hopelessness of knowing that no one in the cult or outside of it can be increasing the uncertainty and inducing the members into remaining “just in case”. In the individual arena: the terror of not being good enough to be approved by the guru or other members, the hopelessness of all effort.

How frail is trust.

Although not addressed in most of these texts, it is worth exploring the emotions that are tampered with and severely weakened by life in the cult. Self-trust or confidence and trust in other human beings are replaced by blind reliance on the guru. Dignity: all the members walk with a dignity sawn to the hem of their clothing, the cult uniform but without a sense of self worth. (Must expand).
_______

The treatment of American prisoners of war in the Korean P.O.W. camps followed just such a pattern. They were compelled to listen to lectures and other forms of daily word barrage. The very fact that they did not understand the lectures and were bored by the long sessions inhibited their democratic training, and conditioned them to swallow passively the bitter doctrinal diet, for the prisoners were subjected not only to a political training program, but also to an involuntary taming program.

_____The “TAMING PROGRAM” faithfully describes life in the Fellowship of Friends Cult. The systematic conditioning into a particular behaviour, personally and socially. Physically by how members should move and dress; emotionally by how members should maintain disconnected to each other on one level and how they should connect to each other on a another level; intellectually by what and how they should think, talk about and read: the sequence, quotes by authors chosen by Burton and Burton, quotes and thought processes presented by Girard Haven.
______

To some degree the Communist propaganda lectures were directed toward retraining the prisoners’ minds. This training our soldiers could reject, but the endless repetitions and the constant sloganizing, together with the physical hardships and deprivations the prisoners suffered, caused an UNCONSCIOUS TAMING and conditioning, against which only previously built up inner strength and awareness could help.

_____UNCONSCIOUS TAMING is an even more accurate word. Complete unconscious taming that after a few years of being submitted to it, members can no longer react to.
_______
…Often those with a rigid, simple belief were better able to withstand the continual barrage against their minds than were the flexible, sophisticated ones, full of doubt and inner conflicts. The simple man with deep rooted, freely absorbed religious faith could exert a much greater inner resistance than could the complex, questioning intellectualist. The refined intellectual is much more handicapped by the internal pros and cons.

In totalitarian countries, where belief in Pavlovian strategy has assumed grotesque proportions, the self thinking, subjective man has disappeared. There is an utter rejection of any attempt at persuasion or discussion. Individual self expression is taboo. Private affection is taboo.

Peaceful exchange of free thoughts in free conversation will disturb the conditioned reflexes and is therefore taboo. No longer are there any brains, only conditioned patterns and educated muscles. In such a taming system neurotic compulsion is looked upon as a positive asset instead of something pathological. The mental automaton becomes the ideal of education.

_______These last two paragraphs could not describe the Fellowship of Friends better: Not only is exchange of free thoughts extinguished from the social life of the cult, even in private dinners amongst members, the conversation is reduced to stereotyped formulas. The neurotic compulsion of the individuals, particularly Burton’s and other enablers is looked at as the difficulties they are struggling against because of the high energy levels of consciousness that they have to deal with. Members invent no matter what rationalization to justify the compulsive behaviour of those in positions of authority and their own which increasingly becomes equally erratic.

60. elena - January 21, 2009

Text 9a.
In totalitarian countries, where belief in Pavlovian strategy has assumed grotesque proportions, the self thinking, subjective man has disappeared. There is an utter rejection of any attempt at persuasion or discussion. Individual self expression is taboo. Private affection is taboo.

_______This is the most significant aspect of the “TAMING” in cults:
No discussion, self-expression is taboo and private affection is taboo.

People are experienced as enemies for whom affection cannot be expressed. The few friends that people make are connected to the hierarchy in relation to the Guru granting them little privileges. “Inner circles” that he manipulates at will.

Any group of people whose system of values is questioned tends to react similarly to the person questioning them and they will do anything to isolate him or her from them selves.
The blog phenomenon is a valid verification of this reality.
The suctioning of emotional communication with the subject has an effect for some time and can be lethal if the subject cannot overcome his or her dependency on the group but it loses its impact if the subject frees him or herself, just as a lover would recover from a love that was not responded to, as soon as he or she stops being identified with the person.

The result is freedom from his or her own personal submission to the group and freedom from the group’s values, reinforcing his or her personal convictions. This is a necessary process in the public life of any individual.

Where there is a retrieving of emotional energy from the person doing the questioning, the group wishes to punish the person by ostracizing him or her emotionally, never seriously addressing the questions especially when they cannot rationally be opposed. The group is challenged intellectually but being unable to respond rationally, it retrieves emotional energy or love from the person that threatens their status quo.

As much as love is a desirable element in all human interactions, a man or a woman must stand beyond love and still be. The Sun can never turn against itself.

61. elena - January 21, 2009

….beyond the love conditioned by those values and still be.

When people love, they will not condition others to their same beliefs, to treat them with kindness. Such conditional love, is not love at all.

In the present state of such emotional immaturity amongst human beings, men must rely on respect and laws to interact.

62. elena - January 21, 2009

Yesri baba, I have a few questions if I may. Is it “cool” in the USA to treat someone like you treated Sharon? and is one suppose to olympically feel great about it? Is not feeling pain because one is being insulted viciously in response to a minor assumption no matter how mistaken, supposed to be a sign of maturity? Like in Robert’s cult in which the raping of young boys is supposed to be an honor?

This idea of putting one’s head in one’s ass is so common here on the blog and so anal, do you think we might be in the second stage of sexual development? How much shit has to blow up to the ceiling before you feel you’ve reached the desired effect?

I was only able to keep silent while seeing someone else being abused when I was in the Fellowship of Friends cult, I have promised myself to never again allow myself to do that, I hope you can forgive me for feeling the insult.

63. Yesri Baba - January 21, 2009

62 elena

I felt bad about it. I was in a pissy mood.

Sharon, I apologize for having been a dickwad to you.

64. Old Fish in the Sea - January 21, 2009

54: Whalerider – Thank you and I appreciate your acceptance of sadness. I think I could learn something from you in that regard.

I do feel sad sometimes. I would not really call it depression. Mostly when I am sad, I cannot find a good reason – the winter just comes into my cells. It makes it hard to keep doing. Perhaps I would do better to let the sadness stay, like an honored guest, instead of kicking him out of the house because I do not like how he makes me feel. I have become pretty good at kicking him out and I know a few ways to stuff the sadness into my cells where noone knows he exists – not even me.

I have noticed that I am almost always happy when I am teaching teenagers. I believe there comes a time in life when it is fitting to pass on what we know to those that are younger. I am not interested in being a spiritual teacher although in a way, all teaching is spiritual. The spirit intertwines with the practicalities of life and human connection springs from sharing the most non-spiritual understandings. The “I did it” smile, that comes when some little ability is successfully transferred from the older being to the younger child or teenager, is the glue that binds the generations.

I like the questons:

“ How fully did you live? How well did you love? How deeply did you let go?”

but they are a little painful to me. There is nothing more painful than seeing opportunity squandered. It is easy to forget all those beautiful opportunities that blossomed when we see one precious opportunity that we cannot/could not find the strengh to pursue.

You swim well Whalerider and have encouraged me to swim in unfamiliar waters.

57-formerfofer “If it helps I have an inner structure built around the main work ideas of divided attention and the transformation of negativity emotions, plus others such as meditation. These are tools that have kept their value over the years and ensure that, when I can remember to use them, even the most mundane activity can be meaningful.”

Yes, that is the kind of structure that I think can be helpful. It is simple. I expect it deepens your life.

I have been down your road to the best of my ability for most of my life and I know it works on a certain scale, I have also spent many years meditating. I appreciate meditation and the 4th way when it is kept simple, as you describe it, but there is so much intrigue in starting over, in starting with a blank canvas. I think for me there needs to be more letting go, more waiting, more allowing, less controlling, more simplicity in my connections to people and life. I have learned to use divided attention and even control of negative emotions as a barrier between me and people. When I am afraid I feel a false self remembering put up a force shield which acutally separates me from what is going on. I want to unlearn that. I am interested in trying to be more honest and loving. I am not interested in separating myself. I want to let some of the pretentiousness fade.

Perhaps I will come back to the 4th way someday but I want to let go of that way of thinking for a while – just to see where it takes me. This is my private adventure. I appreciate your concern about me and recognize that you hope to help me. That warms my heart.

65. Crouching Tiger - January 21, 2009

Old Fish.

“I have been down your road to the best of my ability for most of my life and I know it works on a certain scale, I have also spent many years meditating. I appreciate meditation and the 4th way when it is kept simple, as you describe it, but there is so much intrigue in starting over, in starting with a blank canvas. I think for me there needs to be more letting go, more waiting, more allowing, less controlling, more simplicity in my connections to people and life. I have learned to use divided attention and even control of negative emotions as a barrier between me and people. When I am afraid I feel a false self remembering put up a force shield which acutally separates me from what is going on. I want to unlearn that. I am interested in trying to be more honest and loving. I am not interested in separating myself. I want to let some of the pretentiousness fade.”

What you describe has to be a natural and organic part of the process, and not only of recovering your essential humanity after leaving the fellowship.

My own experience has taught me, and is teaching me, that self-remembering is an organic process. It is not primarily an intellectual one – one of the fellowship’s greatest curses in its handling of 4th Way ideas. ‘Organic’ means its has to be connected to your feelings and your sensations, and proceed through them… it’s more connected with your feet and your solar plexus than to your head! And of course, the head doesn’t like this very much, because the process itsn’t soluble in terms of ideas and words. But nonetheless, it is soluble.

I recall from my early learning that the meaning for the Greek word ‘logos’ (the word of God) was ‘relationship’. Relationship to oneself, to others, to the earth you stand on. And what does self-remembering mean, if not allowing the members or parts of oneself to regain their natural place inside, and work together harmoniously? To have relationship?

It is impossible to think your way forward in this situation…

66. ton - January 21, 2009

dear blogmoderator, can you please post your email address when you read this? thanks

67. dragon - January 21, 2009

Congratulations to all USAmericans, it was refreshing to see and to hear the 44th President of the United States.

Good bless America and all the other continents!

A fresh start!

68. nigel harris price - January 21, 2009

To all you teachers (in both the professional and broad senses of the word)…..Remember you have been given a precious priveledge in passing on your skills, knowledge and experience. I have had experience in education spheres right from pre-school playgroups, through primary and secondary education and right up to adult work (with my craft-centred business/academy). The thrill of learning (like mercy) “blesses him who gives and him who receives”. It is a reality that needs to be reinfoced but, once entrenched in the learner, can never be taken away. THE JOY OF DISCOVERY that one can have a skill, and that skill can be shared – so simple yet so rewarding. In a way, if I did not feel scorn and contempt about the way REB leads his life, I would pity his self-aggrandising and predatory little world…..Nigel.

69. fofblogmoderator - January 21, 2009

#66

Hey ton, my address is; nogurus@yahoo.com

70. elena - January 21, 2009

Thank you Yesri, that felt much better.

Continued from THE RAPE OF THE MIND: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D.

Peaceful exchange of free thoughts in free conversation will disturb the conditioned reflexes and is therefore taboo. No longer are there any brains, only conditioned patterns and educated muscles. In such a taming system neurotic compulsion is looked upon as a positive asset instead of something pathological. The mental automaton becomes the ideal of education.
Yet the Soviet theoreticians themselves are often unaware of this, and many of them do not realize the dire consequences of subjecting man to a completely mechanistic conditioning. They themselves are often just as frightened as we are by the picture of the perfectly functioning human robot. This is what one of their psychologists says: “The entire reactionary nature of this approach to man is completely clear. Man is an automaton who can be caused to act as one wills! This is the ideal of capitalism! Behold the dream of capitalism the world over a working class without consciousness, which cannot think for itself, whose actions can be trained according to the whim of the exploiter! This is the reason why it is in America, the bulwark of present day capitalism, that the theory of man as a robot has been so vigorously developed and so stubbornly held to.” (Bauer)
Questions:
Are cults flourishing so powerfully in America precisely because a significant number of people are already very susceptible to the psychological submission needed to make the cult possible?
How does the already dismembered family in the developed countries, make the individual prone to adopting a cult family, in which in reality, there is no family at all but total commitment to the guru-dictator and life is reduced to the mechanical economic supply for the cult?
What fills the difference between regular cults in which people are simply made psychological slaves, to satanic cults in which people become criminals that allow for abuse and murder of children and virgins?
Does the allowance of the Cult-Guru to invade one’s personal integrity economically as much as psychologically create such a disconnection between the personality that submits to the treatment and one’s self that one is then impeded to perceive the rape of young men or the humiliation of the members in all aspects of their lives as social crime? By accepting the treatment on one’s self, do one’s standards on what is criminal become so vague that the systematic rape of young men and other abuses are perceived as NORMAL?
How does one’s relation to one’s self determine one’s relation to society? In the experience of the integrity of one’s own being, how does one perceive the integrity of others?
How do personal aberrations condition one’s perceptions of social reality?
I would like to clarify that I am not looking for scapegoats. It is my belief that all human beings, ALL, even the worst criminals, are yearning for UNITY. The problem is not in the “yearning”, but in the realization of that yearning.
The attempt to understand the relationship between the individual and him self or her self and society must necessarily be approached with great compassion. As Jesus said “let he who is free of sin, throw the first stone” (paraphrasing).
My short life has been long enough to understand that consciously evil people are rare while unconsciously good people are the majority. Unfortunately it is the unconsciously evil people who take advantage of the unconsciously good people and all forms of life of our societies today are tainted with criminality.
I understand “crime” as any form of abuse of one individual to another: Verbal, physical, psychological or social. We live in a state of crime! Even people who have never met have criminal relationships to each other. The invasion of a nation by another is criminal. The invasion of anyone’s integrity, economically, psychologically or culturally is criminal. “Invasion” is not the same as “relationship”. The mutual flow of communication between people and nations is not an invasion. Invasion always includes some form of abuse.
I believe that the purpose of our times is to understand the impediments each of us as an individual is suffering and how that affects our relationship with society. The longing for unity is not simply a religious longing for enlightenment, it is a very practical reality that is consistently expressed in our everyday life and our ability to connect with each other.
Love is not an abstraction. It manifests itself in every step we give or neglects to manifest. “Sharing” is not a metaphor; the way we are willing to practically share this piece of cake on which we happen to live or whatever the “cake” happens to be determines our ability to “connect” and that connection our ability to “unify”. Love, real love, is the only force able to lead us to unity.
All of life is nothing but a metaphor of our spiritual reality. The cake we share in our birthdays is a microcosmic theater of this big beautiful and round cake called Earth, that we are to learn to share if we are to celebrate our birth as human beings.
Life today is still far from human. The ideal of humanity pulsates in each individual but from the ideal to reality there is time and eternity. Each individual can actualize the ideal each moment of his or her life or neglect it. Each individual lives in the struggle to be or not to be and what we each need to understand is that each moment of our lives presents us with the opportunity to be more human, to love and to share.
Life is the harp that every individual is trying to play and music, the mastery with which we are able to connect. Each man is a string: there is no music without connection.
The main characteristic of life today is the search for scapegoats. Individually and socially, nationally and internationally, people are satisfied with finding a scapegoat that will lighten their own responsibility in the crime! We lynch every person we insult, we insult every person we neglect, we neglect every person we don’t consider. The inability to consider others is an aspect of our unconsciousness or rather, of the limited consciousness in which an individual can perceive only the reality of himself and not a reality in which all are included with objective rights and opportunities.
The System of Subjective Privileges conditioned by preferences without personal or social objectivity in every institution and social strata is one of the sources of injustice. In the subjectivity of love, of equality, of rights, there can be no objective justice. Love conditioned by personal preferences is not human but beastly. Not animal, but inhuman. In their natural state, there is no cruelty in animals.
The exploration of our personal and social impediments is not pretty. To see our selves and every aspect of our beauty as much as our misery, is not flattering but to neglect to look at our selves is blindness. Every human being must be able to examine his and her life with enough compassion and detachment to recognize where he/she erred and where she/he was successful. The parameter is very simple: how human can you be?

71. sharon - January 21, 2009

Elena, thank you for your care for me, I felt loved when I read it.

Yesri, I took your #40 “Good advice. It gets wedged up there pretty good sometimes.” as an apology already. And although I was a little stunned at the tone of your criticism, it did force me to realize that I was being insensitive to Susan, for which I apologized.

72. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 21, 2009

I thought this was worth re-posting.

Crouching Tiger: “My own experience has taught me, and is teaching me, that self-remembering is an organic process. It is not primarily an intellectual one – one of the fellowship’s greatest curses in its handling of 4th Way ideas. ‘Organic’ means its has to be connected to your feelings and your sensations, and proceed through them… it’s more connected with your feet and your solar plexus than to your head! And of course, the head doesn’t like this very much, because the process itsn’t soluble in terms of ideas and words. But nonetheless, it is soluble.”

73. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 21, 2009

As a group of people we’re a little rusty in emotional maturity as has been proven on the blog many times. Maybe had we focused on how we treat others (and ourselves) our obvious lack of sensitivity towards (ourselves and others) would not be so blatantly obvious here. I include myself in this group. It’s not really that funny.

As an example, On CNN today I watched Joe Biden make fun of John Roberts for missing his lines in yesterday’s swearing in. Although the crowd made lots of ugly noises Mr. Obama was silent and not laughing. We now have someone in office who is a good example of what emotional maturity looks like. Lucky us.

74. tatyana - January 21, 2009

Last night we had an argument with a current student about what does it mean to be present and can FOF help one to be present or not. The student described a very inspiring process of getting more information and beauty by being attentive and more awake to yourself and the environment around.
I approached the subject differently, trying to explain that not so many people were looking for the school in order to get help to be present (like musicians look for the musical school to learn to play music). In reality people were not sure what were they looking for, perhaps something different from the obvious, disappointing or painful life. They go to the “spiritual shop” to see what is there.

There are all kind of product offered in the spiritual shop – religion, different meditation techniques, yoga, etc. If one is young and inexperienced or careful one might end up in a cult where one will be told that in reality he is an alien from Sirius and in order to go back home he need to drop the body. One can also find a recipe for improving one’s life or building a better community. But most likely one will find some life-long practice to earn immortality. In FOF it is called “being present” (which is similar to the ‘alien’ story except one can’t drop the body yet to go back home, one has to develop an astral body first). And of coarse we are told that all that other stuff in the “spiritual shop” is B-influence, or a lie in other words, but being lucky as we are we got C-influence!

When I was looking for the school I was not looking for “how to be present” technique. I did not know I had to be present. I learnt it in FOF. As well as that I WANT it more than anything else and only have to be reminded about it.
It is hard to be present, to pay attention to “what is in front of you”. Plus you have to deal with the tools and give up things that are supposedly preventing you from being present – such as showing your teeth, watching TV, gesticulating, smoking, laughing, talking and expressing negative emotions. In addition you have to accept that when you suffer you have a better chance to build your astral body, and being present is easier. So, when one receives a “shock from C influence” or asked by the teacher to do something weird (such as give up your child, move to another country, leave your job or a spouse or have sex with him) it is actually a good thing, and one should be happy because nobody is doing enough voluntary suffering.

This is were it’s get hard to argue with the believers in the FOF doctrine who are accepting the suffering and feeling very grateful for it. Because from our perspective, or “life” people point of view, they are just hurting themselves unnecessary.

Any thoughts on promoting/prolonging presence/suffering etc.?

75. art - January 21, 2009

“Any thoughts on promoting/prolonging presence/suffering etc.?”

“presence”
“prolonging”
“current student”
“suffering”
“student”
“It is hard to be present.”
etc.

The use of these typical words and phrases of the cult (and many other so-called “work words”) is partly what keeps people stuck in it. Let go of these words. Find different words, and you’ll see the lack of anything extraordinary in the FOF.

76. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 21, 2009

The misuse of C-influence as something the Fellowship has the full rights to is how Robert Burton controls his members. Among the many other words mentioned above, take it out of your vocabulary.

77. Opus 111 - January 21, 2009

Isaac Newton’s cousin demonstrated a long time ago that the chances of being messed up by our experience in the FOF were inversely proportional to the distance that separated us from Burton, to the square power.

78. Kid Shelleen - January 21, 2009

Tatyana,

My advice would be not to argue with current members at all. Do not try to peruade them of anything. If you are seeing them in a social situation, such as dinner, just enjoy their company for what it is. I still see members socially and the FoF almost never comes up, niether does the 4th way. If they wish to have a frank discussion about these topics, I’ll gladly offer my unvarnished opinions, but I have to believe they already have an intuitive grasp of where I stand. This doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. It does mean, however, that we are not friends as intimately as we once were.

Never lose sight of where we all were at one point in our lives. We all propped ourselves up with the fof/4th way fairy-tale. Our various needs were great. For a long time I ignored the voice that said, “Stop, something is wrong here. Something doesn’t add up.” And, I certainly wasn’t going to listen to those same thoughts from someone else, especially an ex-member. It’s useless to try and convince someone to get up off their bed of nails.

79. whalerider - January 21, 2009

Today during my morning meditation, I flashed on the cult slogan, “confusion is a higher state”, which was repeated to me many times during my cult indoctrination. It was said to me so many times that I accepted this as truth without really thinking about it, and when another Fellowship of Friends follower said they were confused about something, I parroted the slogan back, “Oh, don’t worry about it, confusion is a higher state,” effectively silencing critical thought or further debate.

I now know this to be false. Confusion is not a higher state, clarity is.

Confusion is the “gateway state” to unconsciously accepting cult indoctrination.

80. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 21, 2009

#78 Great advice!

81. Walter J. Tanner - January 21, 2009

Fellow Travelers,

Since we’re all tellin’, here’s some folks I tripped over after leaving the FoF.

Like John Sherman, the whole “anti-guru” gig was already a competitive field even when I was looking around 1999…I liked U.G. Krishnamurti, all of his writings are copy-left and available with a Google search, also videos. But my favorite, of all the anti-gurus, was the Kanes (Ariel & Shya), who wrote the book Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work. I bought the damn book, and the subtitle is A Book About Instantaneous Transformation, a term they copyrighted! That’s right, they copyrighted the term “Instantaneous Transformation,” and all throughout the book Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work, they use the little copyright symbol whenever they say “instantaneous transformation.”

I thought that they right there had the most to say about the current crop of spiritual teachers. Kept me from becoming one, I reckon (I mean by that making money off it).

I’m not saying that Sherman or any of these guys can’t be helpful, just don’t pay them for it. So you can at least respect U.G. Krishnamurti, even though he’s an ass….

and:

Panorea asks: why would one feel the need to be a “spiritual teacher”?
Answer: because one is Saturnian?

walter.tanner@gmail.com

82. art - January 21, 2009

makes it seem rather benign. The guy’s just a saturn. no worries.

83. art - January 21, 2009

Kid: “For a long time I ignored the voice that said, “Stop, something is wrong here. Something doesn’t add up.” And, I certainly wasn’t going to listen to those same thoughts from someone else, especially an ex-member. It’s useless to try and convince someone to get up off their bed of nails.”

I think the operative words related to this topic are “convince” and “argue.” There’s no need to argue, and there’s no need to try to convince. But like anyone writing a book or making a comment at a dinner, you can just share your perspective, put it out there, and let it go.

Yes, it’s useless to “argue” with current members, just as they probably think it’s useless to argue with us. However, for me, it actually DID help to hear the opinions of former cult followers. It may not have sunk in right away, but eventually it did. I recall many of their words even today.

Sure… “arguing” and “trying to convince” are a waste of energy. But “friendship” occasionally means pressing home your point a little — maybe with a hand on their shoulder. And then letting it go. That seems healthy to me. If it’s a friend, sharing your viewpoint is not an argument, but (maybe) an act of love. The most caustic comments on this blog may be closer to love than the most tender kiss by our beloved “teacher.”

84. tatyana - January 22, 2009

Thank you Art,
this is where I was coming from too. “Argue” was not a precise word. There are a lot of people there still confused and need help without knowing it. As I was. Talking sometimes help to bring forward contradictions and weak logic, and to vent frustrations. Nobody wants to hurt themselves, but why so many students do? Because they are being brainwashed perhaps?

85. whalerider - January 22, 2009

ton:
Your assessment of the fourth way as a mental trap has stuck with me ever since you first posted it. In my meditation this morning I also flashed on how the trap works, at least in the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence.

Wolinsky states that the granddaddy of all deep trance phenomenon is age regression. He states that a therapist can safely assume that his or her client’s problem trance revolves around it. Age regression is much more common than most people realize or admit to.

I now feel that exercise of not expressing of negative emotions, especially to one’s cult leader puts one into a trance state of age regression, similar to when as young, highly dependent children we were inhibited from expressing many of our negative emotions toward our parents or care givers even if they were violent or sexually abusive because our survival depended upon pleasing them. This paves the way for child abuse and mental illness in adulthood. That same dependency also paves the way for cult follower abuse by the likes of Burton, who uses father/teacher metaphors with his followers, and holds them captive in a child-like, dependent, and pliable state while he goes about inappropriately satisfying his sexual needs with his young male followers. In that same metaphorical sense, that makes Burton a child molester.

For me, it sheds a new light on the Fellowship cult promoting the idea of “being in essence” as a malleable state of age regression.

Tatyana:
“It is hard to be present, to pay attention to “what is in front of you”. Plus you have to deal with the tools and give up things that are supposedly preventing you from being present – such as showing your teeth, watching TV, gesticulating, smoking, laughing, talking and expressing negative emotions.”

The Fellowship followers you mention fail to understand that in reality it’s hard to stay in a state of age regression when you act like an adult. Children will hurt and blame themselves before they confront their abusive caregivers.

I applaud your efforts.

To the extent you can ‘re-frame’ and purge the cult language from your vocabulary in your responses to current cult members, you will make an impression that will work on their sleeping intellects.

If they say ‘student’, smile and respond with follower. If they say ‘teacher’, respond with leader. If they say ‘being present’, respond with being hypervigilant. And if they say ‘school’, be brave and call it a cult.

Let me know how it works.

86. GIORGIO - January 22, 2009

When gurdjieff oficially closed his group some time before he died he told his students to start all over from another begining because the way they have been working until then was all wrong.
Shall we start all over a new begining ?

87. art - January 22, 2009

Yes, the word “brainwashing” sometimes sounds like science-fiction or a sinister plot by a sophisticated group of perpetrators. Maybe it is sometimes.

But it really doesn’t take much to sway people’s thinking when you have a group of people who just want to feel like they belong. So they keep their “own” thoughts in check by first making sure those thoughts actually mesh with the group’s thoughts. If their thoughts mesh with the group, then — and only then — do they let them fly. If their thought don’t mesh with the group, they keep them under wraps, or worse, let them die.

We have some of the same here on the blog. But the difference here is that we DO argue, we do disagree, and we are open to something new, and to a healthy and diverse set of opinions. It keeps things in check. There’s a healthy skepticism here, but also a flowing of ideas.

It maybe feels frightening to drive away from the gatehouse for the last time, and see that we don’t know, and then to come back in contact with our own capacity to perceive directly — often without conclusion or certainty, or even without words.

It’s there that thinking and “observation” …. truly takes place.

But when I say “even without words,” I’m not talking about the “wordless state” of the FOF (yet another fofism). Yes, no one does want to hurt themselves. But they do. The FOF lures us into dangerous back alleys.

It’s ironic that the idea of “buffers” is such a prominent idea in the FOF. Because — assuming a “buffer” is a squashing of unpleasant and uncomfortable realities about ourselves and the world around us — then the FOF has missed the most obvious buffer of all… The FOF itself. I’m safe. i’m here. No work needs to be done. No way to do anything out there. Submit in silence.

88. fofblogmoderator - January 22, 2009

85 & 86 are newly moderated

89. elena - January 22, 2009

Dear Tatyana,
Thank you for writing here. Wow, your letter surprised me!

How are you Tatyana? How are you feeling?

It’s been two years since I left and I’m only just beginning to shake it off. The lack of emotional, intellectual and even physical stability prolongs itself for a long time but the little I’ve recovered something that looks like my self is worth every second of the suffering. The feeling that there was nothing in the world or life that I really cared for was very strong for a long time. Becoming interested in it has been a slow but wonderful process. The things that I really want to care for are beginning to matter and not having to worry about what I’m going to wear to what event, or all the clothes I have to buy to look Fellowshipy is already so much more fun. Not having to put up with Robert’s eternal monologue and instead fighting my ass off with whom ever will give me the grace of their company is so much more alive than listening to Robert or Girard’s backward thinking without being able to argue against it. Laughing again for laughable things and crying as often as necessary without judging myself with the idea that I’m inner considering or being in self pity but simply crying because it feels good to do so and knowing it won’t kill me!

Ah Tatyana, life is a beautiful thing that does not need to be adorned with gold or silk dresses to stand on its own. The simplicity of sitting in one’s self while it happens is a treat one never has the chance to experience in the Fellowship, where the most terrible thing is that one has to make life up as if it were not in itself, good enough!

Every one of you in the Fellowship was much more talented and educated than I was. You are an artist. You paint beautifully; your Russian education would make my life ten times happier today and yet, I am so happy with my own that I do not envy yours. What I really wish to share with you is, trust yourself. Sit inside your beautiful shell like a pearl and let life dance around you. As long as you trust the pearl, you don’t have to worry about the Ocean.
The fellowship offers no opportunities. It is a fake life in a sick environment. No matter how talented, the creative ones in the Fellowship are working against themselves, Robert doesn’t allow them to grow. Their work is not appreciated with love, the hardships they suffer to create it are not shared so that Robert can take all the credit. No one can struggle with his own demons in an environment in which no one is allowed to live their own life.
Be careful with staying in Oregon House and spending a lot of time with members. While you are vulnerable, treat yourself to “life”. I was a wreck when I left and the temptation to return never happened but many have gone back without giving them selves an opportunity. Lecturing members does not matter but when they see that you are simply, no longer identified with the Fellowship and that you’ve filled your life with other realities, they’ll know that the life of the Fellowship is not the only option. The Fellowship lives on the member’s identification with it while the members die in it.

Tatyana: Any thoughts on promoting/prolonging presence/suffering etc.?

Try to observe your question: promoting/ prolonging…..
The problem in the Fellowship is that it makes people believe that they have to be doing something to “be”. That they have to work harder, make more effort and so on. Like the story of the man that gets so used to searching that when he finds it he no longer recognizes it. The concept of activity as a necessary characteristic of being is very deep. They need to be useful. They need to work to justify themselves. They need to make money. I never saw anyone enjoying his or herself in the Fellowship. They made a religion of their limitations. I have never seen anyone suffer as much nor make anyone as miserable as them selves. I hope you have more than one person that you can thank for something in the Fellowship. Unfortunately I don’t. The few friends I came across, happened after leaving. Some extended their hand out for Girard’s sake and hid it when Girard left. But one beautiful American lady was solid gold before, during and after! No one in the poverty of my country is as miserable as that. No. That is a mistake: Now there are serious criminals here. They are probably more miserable than the petty criminals of the Fellowship who amount to little more than pimps. They are tied to time and have never had a taste of eternity which lives in the leisure of being. Time has gotten them by the neck and it is strangling them. No time to share or appreciate the nothingness of another’s company. One has to meet so many conditions to be interesting that it is difficult to qualify. They have to feel that you are more than them, have more money, be more artistic, more educated or more sexy. If you’re just a human being without adjectives you don’t qualify. Of course, these limitations are the same in people everywhere a few people still know that nothing replaces the joy of meeting another human being and look deep into your eyes when they greet you no matter how many times.

I do have great admiration for the American culture in as much as that is possible of all cultures, but the only America I’ve met is in the Fellowship of Friends and I would have loved it more had I done without it. Any American from Marysville was a hundred times kinder than most Americans in the Fellowship. They all watched people like sheep being sheered in a sheep pen and never said anything about it. It is “normal” to them, so normal that cults flourish with people committing suicide. It’s CONSTITUTIONAL. If I can say all these things with respect, know that I am saying them with respect. Being identified with one’s nation is as poor an identification as any other. No one can help himself or his nation as long as he or she remains subject to it. The crimes in my country are beastly inhuman. My country is no better than America. The few human values are quickly dying: to receive economic help from America, the military have to show a certain number of dead guerrillas but since guerrillas are difficult to kill, they kill civilians, dress them in guerrilla military uniform and add them to the numbers. Thousands of civilians are being killed for this. Nothing kills the human soul as quickly as indignity. It is better to die protesting than to live in silence and fear.

90. Crouching Tiger - January 22, 2009

Tatyana.

“Last night we had an argument with a current student about what does it mean to be present and can FOF help one to be present or not. The student described a very inspiring process of getting more information and beauty by being attentive and more awake to yourself and the environment around.”

I don’t see anything wrong with this at all. You can always meet students who have had some very inspiring experiences and are able to describe them well, who’ve found some way to work with the 4th Way ideas and had some good results.

The individual sincerity can is not institutional. The fellowship lives off the sincere efforts of its rank-and-file members, and there is just enough ‘quantity of truth’ to allow these experiences to flourish…

The questions are really these: do fellowship values, as they are observed as facts/results/actions, accord with my own? Is there a complete understanding of how and where ‘presence’ fits into my life? Is the fellowship, and Robert Burton, going where I want to go?

The ultimate question is about the framework of the organisation, and whether it can ‘place’ inspiring experiences effectively in the context of a whole life… And that such a life is fruitfully connected to ‘Life’ and everything around it.

91. Panorea - January 22, 2009

Walter Tanner.

You do not actually believe that crap about types, do you? We’ve spent so much time staring at people and trying to put them in little boxes and scrutinize their behaviour instead of living our lives. How was that body-type information used in the Fellowship? We were becoming little monsters of manipulation. I know people who are long and bony and are not spiritual cheaters.

The more I am out of the little creepy cult and its influence, the more I see what a short-sighted experience it has been.

92. Panorea - January 22, 2009

There are some “friends” who avoid me. Even though I was shocked in the beginning, I try to hold them in my heart and accept where they are. I do not actively try to approach current members (I also do not live in OH). I also find it difficult to keep my mouth shut when I am in a conversation with current members and they talk to me about the various “misfortunes” in their lives. I want to tell them that being part of such a sick organization makes you sick too. Abandoning your “will” and submitting to the “will” of a damaged person who calls himself a “spiritual teacher” carries you miles away from your soul.

What can one do for one’s friends who walk around with eyes wide shut? Be oneself maybe? And keep on loving them for what they are and accepting where they are? I guess so.

93. Kid Shelleen - January 22, 2009

Whalerider wrote:

“If they say ‘student’, smile and respond with follower. If they say ‘teacher’, respond with leader. If they say ‘being present’, respond with being hypervigilant. And if they say ‘school’, be brave and call it a cult.”

With all due respect, man, I would never treat people I consider friends in such a condescending manner. What would be the point? What reaction would one hope to elicit? Tatyana’s circumstances may be different, but the folks I still see, I’ve known for over twenty years and dispite their blind-spot (purely my subjective opinion), I respect them and love them.

Hey Walter,

U.G. Is a hoot! I, personally, like his very direct “You’re awake or you’re not awake, it happens or it doesn’t happen, nothing you do will make it happen, nothing you do will prevent it from happening. Now, go away and leave me alone.” And yet, he still has followers.

94. art - January 22, 2009

Kid, Whalerider’s point, from what I can tell, is that we get attached to the so-called “work words,” and that it helps shake ourselves loose from the hypnotic effect of these words by using different ones — and that using different words (using our “own” words) will be even more helpful in talking with people who are still part of the cult. Even the word “awake” (which you used above) is a lot more subjective and harder to define than fourth way enthusiasts and the fof cult want people to believe. Using different words can cut through the mind-numbing bullshit of the “work language.” These “work words” are used repeatedly without any real thoughtfulness, and they eventually lose all meaning.

Like me, I’m sure Whalerider also has friends in the fof that he loves. Pulling them away — even if it’s just a little — from the hypnosis of fellowship-ease seems like an act of kindness to me, and not condescending at all.

95. tatyana - January 22, 2009

Recently I saw a daily card on the shelve on my good friends “Older students will never leave Robert to be responsible for the whole school. Love, Robert.” It made me wonder how do they understand “a responsibility for the school”. In order to be responsible for the school, one has to understand the aims of the school. In order to understand “the aims of the school”, one has to see who is in charge.

RB must be a very active businessman. He must have a good business plan. He designs a lot of details in FOF and uses his “students” to make them happen. He also uses people for what he can take from them, and if he does not see anything useful for him in a person, he just keeps him washing dishes or paying TP. He looks at his flock as a material – he is an artist and a director, so he makes this huge amount of different folks run around with different orders and play the assigned roles. He has a kingdom.

There is nothing too wrong about having a kingdom, if he was hiring people to do the job, but the trick is what he pays for the favors – self-remembering is your own reward, Influence C gave you this role, payment is a principal, etc.

People need a purpose in their life but it takes a talent to make a person to work hard for nearly nothing. Not anybody can do it – no matter how creative he is with the lies and manipulations. Not anybody can say: give me money, build me a castle, furnish it with an antique furniture, make me a rose garden with the fountains and palm trees, dress me in designers’ clothes, feed me from the golden plates gourmet food, drive me, massage me, entertain me, be my sex slave, and I will let you be my guests… for just a few hundred dollars. Or to see and to touch my golden dishes – when you wash them.

Does it work because he tells people that it is all “theirs” – take responsibility for the school: go on salary or come to serve breakfast?

96. elena - January 22, 2009

It works because we trusted them and didn’t trust ourselves enough.

Getting conned by an organization of five hundred people working to sustain it is, as we’ve seen, extremely easy. You get there and find all these pretty people working their asses to make it look pretty like the cinderella dream come true.

The mixture of having a dream of what one’s own life could be and an apparent community where it could develop making the right efforts unfolds itself out and people don’t realize they are being conned until they’ve paid too much time besides whatever else. Then it is difficult to “get a life” so they have to bring people in to justify their own.

Robert certainly is talented, I would even say he’s evil enough to quickly know the people he needs to get rid of and how to manipulate their interest to make them believe the Fellowship is playing on their frequency but without the enablers he is nothing. The enablers after all are nothing but whores who learnt to bend every time he demanded it from them and thought it was worth it because they still got paid for it. Paid the opportunity to play some role within the dream.

The vanity of the false ego is almost limitless.

97. tatyana - January 22, 2009

One memory came to me about Apollo “golden alchemy aristocracy” experience. Once I was invited to the reception of A….n F..w. My russian friends were visiting for Journey Forth and a few of them were staying at her house. The invitation sounded very nice: come on Friday night to her house for a reception for russian ladies, there will be a champagne, food and she will give away a collection of reception dresses, so you can try on what you like! When I arrived to the house, there were no cars, first I thought that it was cancelled, but then I realized that russian visitors do not have cars, so they were home – no hostess. The house looked pretty messy and not at all like a reception. A few minutes later more guests arrived and the hostess herself showed up. She was furious. She was yelling at the ladies who stayed at her house that they did not take care of the house well, and made everyone work hard – move the furniture, bring the bags of garbage out, make a fire etc. I guess she just came from town bringing food and champagne with her. I was given a task to clean the candelabras. They were huge and heavy and I never before did anything like that. As soon as I touched it some part came out. Jeez! I completely panicked when she came to me “to tell me” that it was 18-th century candelabras and I have to handle it with care, boil water and take the old wax out of it by poring hot water on. This whole reception deal became somehow scary and not at all what I thought. I realized that I am not interested in washing her candelabras and sneaked away. But the energy of this whole event hunted me long after, I even had a dream that night that A. is chasing me and wants to hit me with her 18-th century candelabras on the head. I still am not sure if it is normal for Americans to make your guests clean your house or is it something can happen only in FOF.

98. Jomo Piñata - January 22, 2009

tatyana thank you for this story. No it is not normal in the US to make your guests clean your house. I love the way you said, “I realized that I am not interested in washing her candelabras and sneaked away.”

99. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 22, 2009

#97: HISSSSSS!

100. shermanoaks - January 22, 2009

Isn’t the election of the 44th president supposed to somehow signal the imminent demise of RB? I seem to recall hearing some such thing amongst the heaps of other bunkum I picked up on during my thankfully brief sojourn in the fof.

101. brucelevy - January 22, 2009

95. tatyana

One reason it happens is that RB has successfully instilled “hive” mentality into the whole group mind. The main purpose of the hive is to pamper the queen termite, and move the bloated, useless, offensive body from one side of the hive to another.

102. elena - January 22, 2009

Once we accepted to pay 350 dollars for an evening with our Teacher, 1000 dollars for christmas evening with the Teacher,
100 dollars for lunch with Girard, all the enablers thought they had to be rewarded in some way for saying hello to the rest of us. It is just a natural development of such a hierarchic system of power and privileges.

But of course, once we accepted Robert could rape nineteen year old boys, what else could we have opposed?

103. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 22, 2009

101: I took my earmuffs off and my claws are out! HISSSSS!

104. fofblogmoderator - January 22, 2009

100 is newly moderated
shermanoaks, if that’s where you reside, we should talk….

105. Walter J. Tanner - January 22, 2009

Fellow Travelers,

art says ‘Saturn’ and ’benign’ in the same breath…that’s what they want you to think. I never think “no worries” when I think of Saturns…I think of ‘inevitability’.

Panorea: “You do not actually believe that crap about types, do you? We’ve spent so much time staring at people and trying to put them in little boxes and scrutinize their behaviour instead of living our lives. How was that body-type information used in the Fellowship? We were becoming little monsters of manipulation. I know people who are long and bony and are not spiritual cheaters.”

I think what we are is so complexly ordered that no one will ever be able to predict human behavior, but I haven’t thoroughly rejected such typing systems: the enneagram, astrology, spiral dynamics, Myers-Brigg, etc. They are not the ‘truth,’ they are a way for the human mind to organize perceptions in a holistic manner, a tool like a net or a filing system.

There are some rudimentary principles that, astonishingly, even long-term Fellowship people never got. For example, all of the “types,” in whatever system you use, are all equally human and have equally healthy and unhealthy expressions. You can see that this fundamental understanding of using “types” was never operative in the FoF (I found it in outside reading, some of the 44). The trickster archetype is as much a “teacher,” as this blog has proven again and again.

So when I implied that Saturns are attracted to teaching, that is another way to say that there is a completely healthy expression of a kind of human essence that enjoys teaching….and of course there are unhealthy expressions too. Now whether that person is lanky or not, that might be a reason for you to choose astrology over the enneagram: everyone has a Saturn somewhere in their natal chart. Or use Riso’s enneagram-system with 9 types, much more variability.

I think it is a very good thing, when young people are trying to generate “higher states of consciousness,” that their exaltations remain saddled to the fact that they are at the same time a 7 with a 6 wing, Aquarian, Solar, Mercurial, Gemini rising, ENTP, Moon Leo, silver alchemy, ya da, ya da…its a Conjunctio Oppositorum of these exalted states of consciousness (also pretty rare in the FoF, admittedly) with a grounded and humble view that you are just another DNA copy of this silly little species of apes.

Panorea: “What can one do for one’s friends who walk around with eyes wide shut? Be oneself maybe? And keep on loving them for what they are and accepting where they are? I guess so”

You’re sounding like Gurdjieff.

And Tatyana, your stories are so illuminating. I always hated Robert’s grand dames, down to a one but for Linda (T., now?), who never gave me shit and told it like it was, at least for what I could hear then. (I wonder what a conversation with her would be like now.) And please, let me guest, it turned out a “donation” was required before A.F. would let go of any of the dresses?

walter.tanner@gmail.com

106. whalerider - January 22, 2009

kid:
“I would never treat people I consider friends in such a condescending manner…”

?????

Oh right, I forgot, it’s the Fellowship of Friends, everyone is supposed to look after each other.

Where I live, friends don’t let friends go to Starbucks.

tatyana:
I guarantee you that if you were to have a conversation with a current Fellowship of Friends Follower and bravely, intentionally, and compassionately use the language choices I suggested instead of their trance inducing cult language, you would be more conscious in that moment and remember it for the rest of your life. It would make a lasting impression on your friend, too. And if they are your friends, wouldn’t they want you to be more awake anyway?

Afterall, what are friends for?

107. tatyana - January 22, 2009

105 “I always hated Robert’s grand dames, down to a one but for Linda (T., now?), who never gave me shit and told it like it was, at least for what I could hear then.”

Very interesting to know what did she tell exactly? To me she told once the secret on how to work with the Queen of Hearts. If I understood it correctly one has to separate from the I’s of QofH while C Influence writes the Play to make it more visible. In my case C Inflluence wrote a play of molesting my child by RB’s boy (our conversation was in relation to that). So I had plenty of practice…

108. tatyana - January 23, 2009

106 Afterall, what are friends for?

The friends are for having a good time. And for helping in trouble times. If I call FOF “cult” (which I do occasionally) I won’t have too many friends to come for dinner, this is for sure. I recently noticed how some of my friends – followers – are talking behind my back, while I am at the kitchen, that they had a fantastic experience at Robert’s breakfast last Saturday. What was I suppose to do – jump out and say: “Aha! I heard that! You are still supporting this criminal cult leader and wasting your money on brainwashing sessions!”?

109. ton - January 23, 2009

re: friends, a quote from one of my favorite artists, billy blake:

“the bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.”

the spider and it’s web is an apt metaphor for Robot Burton’s brand of friendship…. that’s not to negate the true friendships which are formed in the fellowship, in spite of the predator at it’s core.

110. whalerider - January 23, 2009

tatyana:
“jump out and say..”

No, not at all. You are right. You’ll need to be more subtle than that. Only when you are in a conversation with someone, and they use cult language with you, instead of repeating it back to them, create a moment of presence for yourself and make the switch of words. You will be in your power when you do.

Ok, maybe the word “cult” would be too much of a shock for the tender ears of your friends. How about “group” instead of “school”, and “Burton” instead of “Robert”? Any chance you get, use different words. It will inspire you and your friends to begin to think outside the cult box.

Another tactic is this: don’t look people in the left eye anymore. Look at them directly between the eyes at the bridge of the nose.

111. peter - January 23, 2009

What is friendship?

Most humans just like or dislike you for the way you make them feel about themselves.

Sad? No.

Their life is just as much an illusion as your own life is.

112. elena - January 23, 2009

Seems worth trying to get more people to help with the petition:

“All those petitions you’ve signed, actions you’ve taken and contributions you’ve made are paying off in dramatic fashion.

With four executive orders today, our new President:
Ordered Guantánamo Bay shut down
Banned torture
Ordered a full review of U.S. detention policies and procedures, and
Delayed the trial of Ali al-Marri, an ACLU client whose case is at the center of the Supreme Court’s review of indefinite detention policies.”

From ACLU

Tatyana, no, telling them that they are supporting the cult criminal won’t help but if you’re clear why you are not supporting him that could help. You could ask them the questions Daily Cardiac was never able to answer:

What is dignity for you? Are you treated with dignity in the Fellowship? Are you valued? What is valued about you? Why do you think you are not worthy of being valued by Robert? What makes you excuse Robert’s lack of valuation for you with ideas that he is too busy with divine things? Isn’t it obvious to you that those divine things are sex with members and auctions to make money to seduce his boys?

Do you feel gratitude in the Fellowship? Do older members who’ve been there for decades feel graceful? humble? kind? gentle? If Robert has done nothing for them after thirty years, why do you think he can do something for you? Do you feel special?
Do you feel you are a chosen one?
Do you know that separating people from the rest of humanity is a well known tactic in cults to submit people with the idea that they are more special than other? Do you think feeling special has something to do with vanity? If there is pride about being a human being, don’t you think you would consider all beings deserving of that pride?

Why do you think Robert doesn’t allow you or anyone to express himself in public? Do you think conscious beings learnt to become such by reading Plato and Jesus and never talking or making mistakes? Do you think you can’t make mistakes? Why can’t you make mistakes in the Fellowship? Mistakes such as saying silly things?
How does your understanding of dignity relate to what Robert does importing young men who are programmed to have sex with him even before they arrive?
If you can find your own source of positive emotions and convey that no positive emotions exist in the Fellowship, that it is all just an act of forced well being because naturally expressing the discomfort is banned, you might be able to get somewhere.

If one of your friends is one of the boys you could ask him if he really thinks that is the only way he can make it in the USA and if it is worth being in the USA at that price. Without being too ambitious, can’t one have a simple, decent life in Russia? One can, even in Colombia. I remember feeling for a long time that Colombia wasn’t good enough, that I could never develop here and that I needed the Fellowship but it is the greatest lie I’ve told myself.

The price of whoring at that age is too expensive for anyone. Have they looked at all the other older men in the Fellowship that still have sex with Robert? Many, many of them? Many who are so depressed that they live on litium?

I’m sorry with those who think I should not use work language, like inner considering or positive emotions. While I respect whatever doctrine you live by, without the understanding of positive emotions and the lack of them in the Fellowship of Friends I would have been unable to leave it. In fact, without the understanding that what cults manipulate is people’s positive emotions in essence, I would not be able to understand what happened to us. I agree with many that the System is full of flaws but I no longer expect perfection from anyone or anything. That was essence’s naivete. It is not the imperfections of the Fellowship what bother me, it is its criminality.

Misused, the Fellowship can destroy people but properly used, the System can destroy the Fellowship. Why have positive emotions or second line of work never developed in the Fellowship of Friends? Isn’t it clear that Robert dismissed it because the contradictions between his life and the System were too many? Rhino poo adapts much better!

I wish you all well.

113. elena - January 23, 2009

It’s true Peter, thanks, but in the long run, we don’t abandon each other for hearing the truth no matter how much it hurts.

114. God Laughing - January 23, 2009

97. tatyana – January 22, 2009
A. is chasing me and wants to hit me with her 18-th century candelabras on the head

Hahaha that was funny Tatyana, I can totally picture it!
A-ison… bossy, mad and dominant.
Slaves abused and accused
and as usual no one wins here!

t will probably take a few more lifetimes for A
to learn human Being skills such as compassion, gentleness,
respect for a fellow soul

115. dick moron - January 23, 2009

105. Walter J. Tanner
I always hated Robert’s grand dames, down to a one but for Linda (T., now?), who never gave me shit and told it like it was, at least for what I could hear then. (I wonder what a conversation with her would be like now.)
___________________________________
Are you kidding me? Maybe Linda changed after I left, but she certainly was the doyenne of the power-hungry “grand dames” when I knew her. Of course, she had no money like most of the others, so she had to survive by being sly. Maybe she just told you what you wanted to hear.

116. dick moron - January 23, 2009

107. tatyana

Your account of Linda is spot on correct. That’s how I remember her. She must be quite a spectacle these days. Such a mess.

117. art - January 23, 2009

One thing to watch for in the FOF is the normalizing of the abnormal.

General rule of thumb with the FOF is that a LOT of what we considered “normal” is actually pretty unhealthy, dysfunctional, insane, pathetic, and absurd — i.e., it was actually abnormal. This normalization-of-the-abnormal is what makes the entire charade possible.

Saying that anyone “tells it like it is” in the fof, is an example of that. If anyone “tells it like it is” in the fof, they won’t be telling it for very long.

118. art - January 23, 2009

I thought the following contrast was striking. Here’s an Obama quote from his inauguration speech:

“Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

The next day, I’m reading a headline: “Limbaugh Says He Hopes Obama Fails.”

Whether Obama and all of us can deliver on the above, time will tell. But Limbaugh’s comments tell it all. Definitely the “normalization of the abnormal” isn’t confined to the little ole fof. Limbaugh, Cheney, Bush, and friends have all mastered it.

119. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 23, 2009

Linda T is the one who called me and said I wasn’t to speak to my sister anymore (because she just left the school) and right after that I knew I had no choice but to leave also. Talk about the abnormal being normal!

120. art - January 23, 2009

Perfect example, wulswu. I’m sorry you went through that. Such a clear choice between insanity and love, though. What else could you do.

Regarding such accounts as yours and Tatyana’s, one of the best ways to make it all seem perfectly normal is simply to shrug your shoulders and say, “Not much I can do about it. What can I say?”

And then change the subject. But there is something people can “do.” They can talk with others about it. They can express an opinion.

Imo, the most underrated and under-used sentence in the Fellowship of Friends is…

“That’s weird.”

121. nigel harris price - January 23, 2009

It seems to me that most of the ‘angry’ posts on this blog-site come from ex-members who have recently left (two years or less) and who were residents and/or ‘workers’ at Renaissance/Isis/Apollo. That is where the ‘hub’ of the FOF ‘scam-wheel’ is and where most of the dirty little goings-on of REB, GH and the ‘enablers’ take place. I actually have, as a major psychological feature, naivete, in a large dose, expecting the best of people and, although I knew that REB was gay, I believed most of what I was told by older students about how he would ‘fall in love with a male students to deal with the emotional suffering of leaving them after a while’ (no bullshit, that one!). I would ‘brush’ with students who had computer jobs and were about to ‘take their essence on a cultural tour of Europe’, while I was struggling to get enough money together to make teaching payments to stay in the FOF. Now I am older (and, YES, wiser) I can look back and see what a load of crap it all was, with sophisticated contortions of ideas by people who were almost all in false personality in the positions of power. Life is so much richer and emotionally open now…..Nigel.

122. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 23, 2009

You could say Linda T was just ‘doing her job’ and this was many years ago. Now 15 years later and bucketfuls of denial what kind of person is left? I have only empathy for her now and wish her well.

123. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 23, 2009

@122: And of course she did me a great favor by adding that little push I needed to leave. Maybe she’ll understand that some day. I hope so!

124. art - January 23, 2009

Speaking of “angry posts,” it reminds me — although I absolutely realize this isn’t what you’re doing, Nigel — that “normalizing the abnormal” also works the other way around…. The fof also does a nice job of “abnormalizing” the normal.

It’s funny how powerful one simple word can be — how it can change one’s perception of reality. The words “criticism” and “dissent” are also under-used in the FOF. To replace these words, people simply use the words “angry” and “negative.”

The word dissent is actually disallowed past the gatehouse.

125. art - January 23, 2009

122 and 123. Great attitude about it!

126. tatyana - January 23, 2009

I think it is very hard for the most students to be aware of the intensity and the scale of what is going on at the Galleria. Most students are busy with the philosophical ideas or survival and can’t see what is going on in front of them. What is in reality a rape factory looks like a nice entourage of “Robert’s friends.”

After talking to my russian friend who escaped the spider web of RB I learnt how the guys recruit each other to sleep with R. Burton. “Without our sperm Robert would be dead and we would not have the Sequence” is one of the lines that “sell”.

Robert has sex 2-5 times a day and guys are assigned a specific time when they have to be “on duty” – 2-3 times a week (sometimes more often). And no, they don’t do it for the pink suits or the jewelry. They do it to be closer to the Teacher and to serve Conscious Being.

While the older students trying to “take responsibility for the school” by not leaving it, Robert is doing harm to more and more people every day.

127. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 23, 2009

I think it’s also important to remember we are not the victims. The folks that remain in the Fellowship are the victims. We left. That’s the first big step towards getting rid of the anger it produces. I believe experiencing anger is normal when leaving but also important to work through and eliminate over time.

128. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 23, 2009

#127: And as my friend Bruce would probably say it, “What a fucking waste of time!” Sorry! Had to say it!

129. whalerider - January 23, 2009

tatyana:

“Without our sperm Robert would be dead and we would not have the Sequence” is one of the lines that “sell”.”

“Robert has sex 2-5 times a day and guys are assigned a specific time when they have to be “on duty” – 2-3 times a week (sometimes more often).”

You are shitting me! Oh my God, that makes me want to puke! I am so sad and disgusted to have been part of that rape factory. To call the Fellowship of Friends a church is an outrage!

130. tatyana - January 23, 2009

129 Yeap.
I know at least 10-15 russians who are “the inner circle”.
It is very hard to talk to them about their “duties”. Once a young fellow sat at our table at pottage right after his “service”. I felt uncomfortable, wanted to say something, but just buffered. He looked like “a zombi” , or rather like a person who just came from war or a prison. I wish I was prepared and had something to say. Could save a life.

131. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 23, 2009

It’s kind of like being under a spell, and we were given the tools to stay under the spell. REB is a master manipulator that’s for sure!

132. nigel harris price - January 23, 2009

I hope, if current members are viewing this blog-site, something is ‘touching a nerve’. I now know why my mother, when she would contact me while I was still in the FOF, would state “Wake up, you little fool!” The FOF is Death, Sleep and False Personality – the opposite of what it purports to be…..Nigel.

133. tatyana - January 23, 2009

“WITHOUT SPERM DONATIONS, HE WOULD BE DEAD”, SAYS A RUSSIAN CULT MEMBER

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — The large flat-screen TV on the sideboard, the pink armchairs, the frescoes on the ceiling all indicate that this was once a comfortable life.

The television has not worked for several years. The armchairs are leaking stuffing, the servants have died of Aids-related illnesses, one young man is in prison in Mexico after being caught border jumping.

A 70-years old man squats on the floor, his eyes dull with hunger and two broken golden plates in his hands. One cup of sperm had to serve as breakfast, lunch and dinner. All but one of the followers of R. Burton have been rescued by the Human Rights Committee. He too lies sluggishly on the floor barely looking up at the visitors.

The young man spend most mornings locked up in the three-roomed house in the residence of Oregon House. For this he earns 100 rubles a month, which sounds a lot until you convert it and realise that it is less than $1. Of this 80 rubles goes in Teaching Payments. The 20 rubles left is only enough for a single loaf. “Robert is hungry the whole time,” said Sergei. “If it wasn’t for my sperm donations, he would be dead.”

134. nigel harris price - January 23, 2009

With all this ‘stuff’ posted, I feel I was not released, C-influence helped me escape…..Nigel.

135. dick moron - January 23, 2009

I recall Hairy Ape Burton once telling me he looked forward to his old age when he would not have such an insatiable sex drive. This was way before Viagra was introduced. Then again Viagra is not needed for a fisting session. I guess his statement was just another of the old pervert’s lies.

136. whalerider - January 23, 2009

tatyana:
The question I’d ask the zombie Russian sex slaves, looking them directly between the eyes is this:

“Is this the kind of life you want for yourself?”

Let me know what they say. Maybe there is a chance to save one.

137. elena - January 24, 2009

Tatyana,

Thank you for writing about how the boys you know perceive what they are doing. I have not heard much but the little I’ve heard is in somewhat different lines. A friend would tell me that many of the boys talked openly about the fact that Robert had become fixed in his small minded mentality and was after all, little but a noveau rich trying to overcome the fact that he came from an unfortunate back ground. I also heard that pink suit had protested enough and had demanded a car or he would leave. Since “Pink Suit” as you called it, or this boy who admitted to play the apparent role of Robert’s stable boyfriend at least for the public,
seemed a good “pull off”, I wouldn’t be surprised if the story is close to the truth, which doesn’t mean that he’s not utterly brainwashed.

It’s a little difficult but not impossible to believe that the boys put up with that whole game with just the brainwashing. It makes one think that they would have to be a little more sophisticatedly manipulated than the rest of us or perhaps it was just easier because while hundreds of us were willing to do strip tease without getting paid at least they were getting paid for doing the same thing! That’s a nice way to put it, the facts are we were willing to get raped without getting paid.

I wonder how you or the friends around the boys deal with that air of superiority that they carry around members. The isolation in which they find themselves. How do they explain all that?

In other words, I am sincerely intrigued. It is clear to me that they are manipulated very sophisticatedly from the beginning but do you know how they actually add it all up?

What do they think of having to dress and look like barbies?
What do they think of the other hundreds of idiots that don’t get to be with the Teacher?

Whalerider, Bruce, if you’d care to help us understand I’d appreciate it. You’ve both talked about the hideous aspects of it but would you consider talking about the psychology of it when it worked? Of course you were in at a different time when it was hidden so I think it’s very different.

138. tatyana - January 24, 2009

I heard a different story. This young man run away and tried to escape, but because he did not find anything to do – he is very inexperienced and naive – he came back. He is shy and not demanding person at all. Also he was a virgin before he met RB. SInce then RB treats him most gently and does not push too hard.

Most of the “inner circle” I know are very nice sweet people, not arrogant. They dress in clothes that Robert buys them because they trust that he has a perfect taste and a gold alchemy. He always picks the best, most beautiful things. And also they submitted their will to the Teacher!
Some are arrogant because they were picked by the angel! One friend told me in a confident moment that Robert looked deep into his eyes and said that he has something special like nobody else. He is absolutely sure that Robert loves him consciously and knows what is best for his evolution.
I am myself intrigued, especially when I hear that such and such left his wife and moved back to Galleria, or when a married man and a father goes “on duty” and his wife is OK with it.

139. ton - January 24, 2009

Tatyana, thanks for your posts.
“the teacher’ preys upon naivete, flattery is a a ‘tool’ he uses to maneuver and manimpulate the prey…….

p.s.
i am sorry the ‘non-american’ ex-fof-‘students’ have been impressed so negatively by their experience of a few ‘bad american apples.’ i hope you will see and understand that the ‘american’ examples of unscrupulous, amoral, immoral and criminal conduct you have encounterd in the fof, are not defined or circumscribed by nationaity. the fof is not ‘normal’ by any standards… maybe that’s part of the attraction, people are looking for an alternative (and in the process fall into the spider’s web).

140. whalerider - January 24, 2009

elena and tatyana:

So you’re intrigued…by the addictive nature of sex, money (security), or power?

Let’s not forget that “conscious beings” in Burton’s cult are exclusively hand-picked by Burton. The truly conscious beings leave the cult on their own accord.

That’s why I felt I had to subject myself to him, and also why I left.

He promised me the school while I was in bed with him; I knew he was lying to feed my vanity and get into my pants. Haven’t you been there as women?

141. ton - January 24, 2009

meant to write manipulate….

Socially
A means of gaining control or social influence over others by methods which might be considered unfair. Social advantage may be sought through either manipulative or persuasive rhetorical arguments.
Confidence trick
Media manipulation
Parental manipulation
[edit]Influence and persuasion
Abuse
Advertising
Brainwashing
Charisma
Fraud
Indoctrination
Love bombing
etc…

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

142. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 24, 2009

The more I read this stuff the more outrageous it becomes.

143. James Mclemore - January 24, 2009

Lauralupa –

Just wanted to tell you thanks for the Red Hot Chili Peppers for my ‘road’, and thanks for the many, many things you have written in the last year or so. In addition to your own words, I have made good use of a number of quotes you have cut and pasted for us ( the Narcissus stuff by Stephen Levine is something I re-read frequently). It is you who introduced me to Joanna Newsom and Laura Barrett and I really thank you for that. Anyway, may lose my internet connection soon, and just felt the need to let you know I have been a fan and have learned much from your posts and links.

144. normal human being - January 24, 2009

RE: Post # 118 ART

Art, you like so many other totaly misrepresented Rush’s meaning!
Why would Rush say something so stupid. What he meant is ” I hope he fails to implement his liberal policies, because they would be very bad for the country”.

145. Yesri Baba - January 24, 2009

“Why would Rush say something so stupid.”

1) Because he is a brain dead jingoist.

2) You both ate the same thing for breakfast.

3) Bill O left a little room in the bucket.

4) He wanted to make Sean Hannity seem smart.

5) He wants to get a job at Fox News.

6) It’s all he knows how to do

7) Someone told him it would take ten pounds off his fat face.

8) Ann Coulter said she would let him blow her.

9) He meant to say “pass the gravy”

10) If he said something smart normal human beings would stop listening to him.

146. dragon - January 24, 2009

Elena,

I think it is important to discuss Tatyana’s posts of the “6Addicted” REB:

Do you think this is an appropriate link for the conscious being?

http://www.slaafws.org/

It is important to unmask the strange occurrences happening around the “teacher”.

Tatyana you are right, those young Russians are victims, not enablers. I think your representation of events is quite rightly!

But how can we do something for those young men?

147. Jomo Piñata - January 24, 2009

145/Yesri

11. Because, as the new Senator from Minnesota pithily observed, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.”

148. elena - January 24, 2009

140. whalerider – January 24, 2009
elena and tatyana:

So you’re intrigued…by the addictive nature of sex, money (security), or power?

Let’s not forget that “conscious beings” in Burton’s cult are exclusively hand-picked by Burton. The truly conscious beings leave the cult on their own accord.

That’s why I felt I had to subject myself to him, and also why I left.

He promised me the school while I was in bed with him; I knew he was lying to feed my vanity and get into my pants. Haven’t you been there as women?

I continued to think about this yesterday and this surfaced:

What was I trying to do when I paid thousands of dollars, worked for free and offered “my self” to the Fellowship?

At the beginning I was trying to participate, to be valued by Robert and the rest of the members. The only thing one seemed to be allowed to give was money or effort so I gave lots of money and effort like everybody else. When I realized that didn’t matter, that is, it didn’t take me anywhere it turned against myself and I wondered whether I was trying to bribe the teacher into acknowledging me with what I offered. Remember? We were supposed to be giving without expectations of receiving anything back. So for a long time I gave to that void called Robert and the Fellowship where nothing ever came back.

I think everybody else did the same. Of course, most fitted in one or another niche and rolled on. The artists offered their talents, the architects theirs and whoever knew a trade offered it. The boys offer their bodies that are much appreciated and rewarded for. They seem to be the only one’s that are rewarded with the money everyone else gets to pay.

I certainly believe, unlike you Dragon this time, that the boys or little men: Asaf, Dorian, Mihai and others who took the role of enablers, are definitely enablers. Everyone of us moved from being victims to enablers sooner or later and some qualified 100% while others like myself remained pretty lousy “non-school material” arguing wherever I could but still standing up for The System and Robert. I sincerely thought we, “the sleeping masses”, simply didn’t understand either one! The more idiotic we were the more “awake” Robert seemed to be in comparison! After all, he was the only one who had a life!

It is not difficult to understand that everyone is acting on good will. I certainly did. It’s just that good will when the phenomenon takes criminal proportions is not good enough.

In a way, as long as I could reduce the issues to myself without the ability to take a look at the whole phenomenon of the Fellowship, it was easy to accept that I was not good enough, I wasn’t a conscious being, I hadn’t worked on myself enough, I was nobody to pretend to be anything else, I needed the School as a third force to make effort, who was I to mind what Robert’s personal life was about, who was I to state what the relationships between people could be…. On and on I found a thousand reasons to submit and accept the deal. It wasn’t until the Fellowship as an institution meddled with Dorothy and me that I realized that it was willing to harm its members no matter how much they had given it. The agenda of the Fellowship became clear: use and abuse and throw anyone who opposes that pattern.

How could one not realize that it is a perfect rape machine of the good will of its members? All is well as long as the member is offering him/her self but as soon as the member demands human dialogue and support, not even money, he or she is thrown out.

So the idea is that people who offer their time and energy to something without expecting to get paid for it are stupid? Should get raped for being stupid? While I was not expecting to get paid economically I was definitely wanting to participate in the life of the Fellowship.

In the “right” order a member makes first line efforts with third line ideals and those efforts should translate into second line: self expression through art, self protection through a balanced economy, self dignity through political participation: CULTURE. “The Ark”.

The strange thing is that no matter how much individual effort everybody makes instead of the community or second line becoming stronger, the Fellowship develops into a money making brothel for Robert Burton’s private agenda and every member participates only in as much as he or she is willing to assume a role for that agenda:
GO OUT AND MAKE MONEY, COME IN AND PAY FOR EVERYTHING AND WORK SO THAT ROBERT’S WILL IS MADE MANIFEST: SEX AND MONEY AT ALL COST! AND NEVER, EVER BE YOUR SELF, YOU STILL DON’T EVEN HAVE A SELF! IF YOU WORK NINE LIFETIMES DOING THIS, YOU’LL ACQUIRE ONE!

The individual aim to work for the Ark or humanity is turned against the individual member and his impulse or need or desire or all of them at once to establish a flow between himself and the world around him is turned against him and judged as “selfish”. Wanting and needing and demanding one’s birthright as a human being to belong to the human community is turned against the member and made to feel that it is inappropriate, selfish and not correct to expect an open conscious dialogue: The right to speak and to decide about the community’s matters: THE RIGHT TO BE ONE WITH THE WHOLE.

Isn’t that interesting? In as much as an individual does not conceive of him or herself as a complete human being with inalienable rights that no one should ever for no reason take away from him or her, he or she will continue to submit to societies in which others take the decisions and command the life he or she can have. In as much as an individual is alienated from his own self, he will allow others to alienate him from his personal or civil rights.

The path of religion which I and I think others took in the Fellowship, was precisely the path in which we thought that submitting our will to a divine being would allow for us to develop. We gave up our civil rights; our human rights. In regular society, most people are so submitted that the greatness of the machinery seems unreachable and we accept to not participate as the accepted status quo. Civil rights are taken for granted but in fact, as we all know, only a few get to use them because the “cake” is so divided that only a quarter of the cake reaches the majority in capitalist as much as communist societies: what the population gets in goods in communist societies, it has to give up in power.

Another interesting aspect about all this is that had we been following the way of the fakir, the yogi or the monk, many of the things in the Fellowship would have made sense but in the Fourth Way, the fact that we gave up our lives, our rights, our connection to the world resulted in this aberration of a life in which systematic rape has become the modus vivendi. (way of life). How much more sick could it get?

Going back to the Russian boys Tatyana, why do you think they became such an apparently easy and available target?
How much does the American Dream of self determination, having a job and getting paid well for it matter? I know it mattered to me. But the Fellowship took us back generations and reinstated us in a roman-catholic autocratic society in which everything but self-determination was possible. Why did we lose sight of our aim so easily?
This post in which you mention the one dollar monthly payment? Where does it belong? I don’t understand it.

Dragon, thanks for your contribution. Unfortunately, to treat Robert and the mass of sexual psychotics that he is serially producing, we need America to reaffirm itself and where it wants to go.

I am not sorry that this post is long or our lives complicated. I am happy to have the willingness to invest in it the thought and exploration that it requires. I thank you all for your thoughtfulness and willingness to dialogue.

149. elena - January 24, 2009

“I think everybody else did the same. Of course, most fitted in one or another niche and rolled on. The artists offered their talents, the architects theirs and whoever knew a trade offered it. The boys offer their bodies that are much appreciated and rewarded for. They seem to be the only one’s that are rewarded with the money everyone else gets to pay.”

I bet the mechanism of the boy’s retributions is as sick as everything else in the Fellowship: they are tied up with pretty clothes and privileges tied up to Robert’s penis and without a millimeter of freedom. If they are good at it, then they get to play little dictators themselves! Wonderful!

150. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 24, 2009

#144: We get the news drama first, facts last. Namaste.

151. whalerider - January 24, 2009

elena:
Thanks for the thoughtful post.

“So the idea is that people who offer their time and energy to something without expecting to get paid for it are stupid?”

My sincere apologies if my post in any way implied that you are stupid if you were making efforts without expecting to be “tapped” by the “Queen in a man’s body” Burton to be the next conscious being. You are not stupid, and I don’t consider you a stupid person by any stretch of the imagination.

I can sense that you desire to better understand what motivates humans to do what they do.

At the risk of seeming trite, it’s really very simple. Humans are consciously or unconsciously motivated by fear, pain, or suffering…or self interest, whether they choose to admit it to themselves or not. End of story.

For myself, I was motivated by self-interest. I am vain. I was there to learn for my own benefit as much as I could from this person who claimed he was the “brightest light in 2000 years.” If I have to help others to be helped myself, I can work with that, as long as I am getting my fair share of the goodies. When I understood that Burton wasn’t the avatar he said he was, I left. I was not held captive by the fear of being eaten by the moon or that I might be “missing something” to motivate me to stay.

BTW, it is fear that motivates humans to act against their own self-interest. The Bush team were experts at this.

That’s what Burton does to delude his followers into doing what they do…”your reward is in paradise” otherwise “you’ll suffer eternal damnation”.

You could claim that a person might labor, suffer, or act against his or her own self-interest to help others out of “ego-less” compassion or love, but I would argue that that person is doing so either because they derive some kind of satisfaction from their actions or they are deluded in doing so out of self-interest in the “afterlife”.

As I said, in Burton’s cult conscious beings are hand-picked exclusively by him, leaving most people to make efforts in order to be recognized, which is a valid human need.

Burton also knows how captivate some people by making them feel special if they need to feel special or by providing others with a form or means to satisfy their unconscious masochistic need to deprecate themselves. Which are you?

152. tatyana - January 24, 2009

148. Elena, the post about one dollar monthly payment is a joke -illustration inspired by the expression of my friend.
Russians were trained in communist times to give everything to the Party. We did not have american dreams. I see a lot of this psychology in Russians even though these days Russia changed quite a bit. Did you know how much the infamous Galleria artist made a month? About $400. Sometimes he is asked to paint for free and then come back “on duty.” And as far as I can tell he is scared to the bones of the goddess in a man’s body.

In America I see a lot of hard workers and very patient and positive people, but they like to get paid. One day in Apollo shows you that people are doing jobs for a different reason then get paid.

The morning at the Galleria starts at 6 am when a team of cooks replaces a tired guard. Just one morning event involves a few hundred people. And everyone is enthusiastic, positive, efficient, refined. Before the dishwashers finished with the plates a second cooking team is coming for a dinner event. Even more people involved. Cooks, managers, servers, juice squeezers, coffee makers,
name-card writers, musicians, ‘inspiring quotation at the beginning’ readers, diners. Hundreds, hundreds people. Every event. How often? 4-5 days a week? Plus the other hundreds who water the gardens, arrange ballet events, build Theatron and fountains, buy the palm trees etc.
From an ordinary point of view people are doing too much and being paid too little, but they look inspired, enthusiastic and willing. Maybe just a participation into a beautiful event is enough payment for some? For me it look like an ideal world. City of Friends where everyone contributes as much as one can and gets as much as one needs!

153. art - January 24, 2009

144 nhb: “What he meant is ” I hope he fails to implement his liberal policies, because they would be very bad for the country”.”

Yes, and those “non” liberal policies have been so good for the country and the world, haven’t they? Anyway, that’s a whole different topic, although in my opinion there are many uncanny parallels to the fof.

Tatyana, 138, thanks for sharing your accounts. I feel another layer of denial (about Burton) getting peeled away every time I hear these stories, which are tragic and very sad. My heart goes out to these young men. If even one of you happen to read this, I wish you all the strength and self-respect to walk away with a strong heart and a strong soul.

154. tatyana - January 24, 2009

Whalerider: Haven’t you been there as women?

It is interesting I was asked by one of the Robert’s sex slaves/friends who knew my interest in painting: “If you met a Master who could teach you his painting secrets in return to the sexual favors – would you do that?” I replied: “No.” He was surprised and did not believe me. To a certain degree it is a personal choice how much one sells oneself for.

I am not sure but it seems to me that men (not so much women) tend to agree “to experiment” in this area more easily.

155. art - January 24, 2009

“If you met a Master who could teach you his painting secrets in return to the sexual favors – would you do that?” I replied: “No.” He was surprised and did not believe me. To a certain degree it is a personal choice how much one sells oneself for.”

The question is: What exactly is the “much” that these guys receive in return for “selling themselves”?

Burton is not “teaching” anything to them, other than how to dismiss their own common sense, how to go against their own best interests, and how to give up personal mental and physical health in return for some nebulous promise of salvation. That’s been his main message to everyone who joins the fof. Go against the Self.

Which is so incredibly ironic given his professed intent to help us “remember” the “self.”

This sentence is that part that’s really revealing: “He was surprised and did not believe me.” This sounds exactly like an FOF follower. The fact that he “didn’t believe” you underscores just how deep the indoctrination is in the fof. He has lost all concept that the only way to learn those “painting secrets” is to open his own eyes.

“Painting is naught but seeing.”

156. dick moron - January 24, 2009

152. Tatyana

I think one reason Burton prefers the Eastern European men for his harem is that most of them are in the USA on visitor visas. This makes them like prisoners, unable to support themselves in this country without the meager payments they get from FOF. Correct me if I am wrong about this since I have been out of FOF for about 12 years. I watched many a victim get the hell away from Oregon House when they had finally had enough. Old RB finally figured out how to keep his prized bulls within the fence.

When I worked for the FOF as a young man, there were periods of months when I worked 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. The payment I received was well below the legal minimum at the time.
But I was happy in my youthful dream. Of course eventually one must wake up from dreaming.

As far as the “American Dream”, I now understand this to be just another lie programed into the minds of the working class, that they too can achieve the dream of wealth and comfort, through hard work and dedication to their corporate employer or through their own sweat. This dream makes for dedicated worker ants who rarely improve their lives these days. The dream of FOF is not so different. Hard work, following rules and unswerving dedication to the leader might help you to be reborn in a higher lifetime next go round. If your are a woman, work harder and make more sacrifices than the men. One has to be a true believer in the dream.

When I finally left FOF and tied up all the physical connections I had in Oregon House, I got the hell away from that area for good. I would recommend this physical relocation to anyone recently departed. If you can find a way to move even to Marysville or Nevada City, do it soon. It may be the only way to get the poison out of your system.
It helped me.

Dylan Thomas wrote:

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

157. dick moron - January 24, 2009

137. Elena

What do they think of having to dress and look like barbies?
————————-

I remember, watching Burton buying silk robes and other frilly clothes for one of his early male student obsessions. It was probably one of the first trips I made with RB in 1976. I vividly recall seeing the look of total desperation in his eyes. It was the look of someone who deeply knew they were being objectified and disregarded as a feeling, living being. He left Burton about 3 months later and after being ostracized by Burton, wisely left the FOF soon after.
In my opinion, Burton is addicted to the act of shopping and buying expensive merchandise. It is quite simple. He cannot buy enough for himself, so he has to have others close to him to shop for as well. He loved to shop for others with their own money. It reminds me now of the rich old ladies I see walking their little lap-dogs on Park Avenue in New York. The leashed pets are usually dressed in some kind of tiny designer doggy sweater or even little designer doggy boots, if it is raining. It’s the same fucking thing with Burton and his entourage.

158. nigel harris price - January 24, 2009

156 dick moron

Thank you for the quote from one of my countryman…..Nigel.

159. nigel harris price - January 24, 2009

156 dick moron

I thought you might like this one about Arks…..

“Cry, multitude of arks! Across
The water lidded lands,
Manned with their loves they’ll move,
Like wooden islands, hill to hill.
Huloo, my prowed dove with a flute!
Ahoy, old, sea-legged fox,
Tom tit and Dai mouse!
My ark sings in the sun
At God speeded summer’s end
And the flood flowers now.

from ‘Prologue’ by Dylan Marlais Thomas

160. dick moron - January 24, 2009

Nigel,
Thanks. Such beautiful strings of words.
I used to work near Thomas’s favorite pub in New York’s West Village. I think I once had a pint at the table he would write at.
Cheers!

161. sharon - January 24, 2009

Tatyana: “If you met a Master who could teach you his painting secrets in return to the sexual favors – would you do that?” I replied: “No.” He was surprised and did not believe me. To a certain degree it is a personal choice how much one sells oneself for.”

A similar conversation took place in my mind when reacting to the B__bee case years ago. In fact, this very scenario is common in the music world. I said “no” to my voice teacher as an 18-yr-old college student, and found another voice teacher. Later, I said “no” to a couple of famous tenors and conductors when singing on the operatic stage, and probably didn’t get favored because of it, but it wouldn’t have been worth it to me. For that matter, I also turned down my boss when working as an accountant, and lost my job a few months later. So I could not then understand why the young men around Bob don’t say “no” if they want to, as I did to these men. I thought that it would surely be even easier to say “no” than for a woman, especially when there was a different sexual orientation involved. I figured they thought it was worth it to them, or that they didn’t particularly mind, and I didn’t talk to anyone who first-hand could disabuse me of this interpretation. One thing that did not occur to me is that perhaps men have less experience with unwelcome sexual advances than women.

Now I can see, and it is very odd to me, the attitude of these young men that there are no other teachers out there, teachers who have higher standards of conscience, and certainly better teaching to offer. I don’t think I ever had that “only one” attitude about Bob, but I did think that there were no communities out there that would be better than FoF. Now I know that also is a lie.

I’m having trouble with the “how much one sells oneself for.” Why sell yourself at all? For any price?

162. nigel harris price - January 24, 2009

In these times when we see that “the love of money is the root of all evil”……

“Beyond the independence of a little sum laid aside for burial-money, and of a few clapboards around and shingles overhead on a lot of American soil owned, and the easy dollars that supply the year’s plain clothing and meals, the melancholy prudence of the abandonment of such a great being as man is to the toss and pallor of years of moneymaking with all their scorching days and icy nights and all their stifling deceits and underhanded dodgings, or infinitessimals of parlors, or shameless stuffing while others starve…..
…..Still the right explanation remains to be made about prudence.”

163. nigel harris price - January 24, 2009

162 nigel harris price

That was Walt Whitman ‘Leaves of Grass’, by the way…..Nigel.

164. elena - January 24, 2009

Tatyana, thanks for your clarity. Yes, massive events with individuals who think they can afford to sell themselves short. In the long run what one most regrets is how cheaply one valued one’s self.

151. whalerider – January 24, 2009

“So the idea is that people who offer their time and energy to something without expecting to get paid for it are stupid?”
Thanks Whalerider, that sentence had nothing to do with anything you said but I’m very glad you found something we could dialogue about and very happy to realize that what I think I am saying has nothing to do most often with what others hear. It makes me happy because most of the time I think you just hate, you as in all of you.
W: I can sense that you desire to better understand what motivates humans to do what they do.
At the risk of seeming trite, it’s really very simple. Humans are consciously or unconsciously motivated by fear, pain, or suffering…or self interest, whether they choose to admit it to themselves or not. End of story.

_______Good lord Whalerider! is that really your picture of the world or am I just misunderstanding you? I am on the contrary convinced that humans are motivated only by love, by the desire to communicate with others, talk, touch, mix, learn, make love in every sphere of existence!

W: For myself, I was motivated by self-interest. I am vain. I was there to learn for my own benefit as much as I could from this person who claimed he was the “brightest light in 2000 years.” If I have to help others to be helped myself, I can work with that, as long as I am getting my fair share of the goodies. When I understood that Burton wasn’t the avatar he said he was, I left. I was not held captive by the fear of being eaten by the moon or that I might be “missing something” to motivate me to stay.

_______I believe you in the good sense of the words. Americans seem to have a much more developed sense of self interest than people in other countries. For me this is what makes the American individual so interesting and the American Nation so dangerous. But beyond your American conditioning, if you cared to explore deeply your self interest I doubt that you’d find a selfish little beast who doesn’t want essentially a world to be a part of.
W: BTW, it is fear that motivates humans to act against their own self-interest. The Bush team were experts at this.

_____Again, I don’t agree with you. Or at least not that easily. I think in the Fellowship it is the combination of fear and blind commitment. Blind commitment comes from a very beautiful side of our being but in “essence” or rather immaturely, IMHO. But what I find worth realizing is that the fear is precisely a fear of losing the ideal, the blind commitment to a community, an Ark, a better world and once one’s been paying to belong and build it for a while, it becomes very frightening to lose it overnight. But the fear is never first. There is no REAL source of hatred or negative emotions in the human being. These are secondary responses to the world. IMHO.
W: That’s what Burton does to delude his followers into doing what they do…”your reward is in paradise” otherwise “you’ll suffer eternal damnation”.
_________O.K.!
You could claim that a person might labor, suffer, or act against his or her own self-interest to help others out of “ego-less” compassion or love, but I would argue that that person is doing so either because they derive some kind of satisfaction from their actions or they are deluded in doing so out of self-interest in the “afterlife”.
______I wouldn’t argue that but I would definitely state that a person is willing to sacrifice the whole of his or her being for what she or he loves. I don’t see that as a heroic act but rather as the natural condition of healthy human beings. In other words, I would agree with you in the idea that they derive great satisfaction from their actions: from working, from participating, from growing up in the experience and developing his or herself parallel to the community or society in which he or she participates. Isn’t it a wonderful thing to work on something one enjoys? To be valued for it because others profit from it? There is nothing wrong in profiting from each others work, what is absurd is the abuse of our work for the benefit of a Robert Burton or the like.

W: As I said, in Burton’s cult conscious beings are hand-picked exclusively by him, leaving most people to make efforts in order to be recognized, which is a valid human need.

Could we rephrase that? Being recognized is not just a valid human need. When we put such a verb to the act of acknowledging each other’s presence it is as if an effort had to be made to recognize another person (which is what happens today because people only recognize those who they think are better than themselves in their subjective sense of values and advanced condition of self deprecation) which, in a healthy human being does not require an effort, it is a quality of his own being manifesting awe before another’s presence. Silent subtle acknowledgement.
W: Burton also knows how captivate some people by making them feel special if they need to feel special or by providing others with a form or means to satisfy their unconscious masochistic need to deprecate themselves. Which are you?

______I’m afraid you must have your answer to such a question that I would never dare ask anyone in such a form. Your premise that there are only human beings who have either an unconscious masochistic need to deprecate themselves or that need to have their ego pampered by a sicko is the most ill fated premise I have come across together with all of Robert’s premises that people are the six billion sleeping dead people on the planet. The problem between my conception of the world and yours is that with premises like this one, the fountain of youth in yours is born in the rotting putrefied source of a dark world. If you do not know the God within you, you will find evil where ever you go no matter how much you pray to Allah. You will never understand the Fellowship if you cannot acknowledge the innocence with which people are willing to sacrifice themselves for the well being of mankind. That is what Robert abuses.

I must have been the exception to the rule because Burton and I never mixed in any way. He was much smarter than I in that he knew from the beginning that I was a dangerous presence for him, always and everywhere and never admitted me. He tried to reject me but wasn’t able to get rid of me. Then Dorothy’s play happened and it is busting him! You can’t fight an 87 year old 30 year member of the Fellowship with alzheimer’s with abuse and get away with it! Young boys still have a few resources to defend themselves but old people like Dorothy are at his mercy and he has none unless they’ve licked his ass blind. He was stupid enough to take what I offered long enough instead of releasing me very quickly and has gotten me to spend enough time to help people get out of his entourage. If only fifty had left in the past two years, he would have paid what I offered in money, with over five hundred leaving the Fellowship, he is beginning to pay for his spiritual greed.

I do not fit in either one of your options. I gave everything I had: money, love, commitment, conviction and still everything I did was against everything he wanted. He couldn’t stop me with Dorothy, or Girard, which he really wanted. He hurt me enough but not the options I managed to take above and beyond the Fellowship. The lack of freedom to be, that we all suffered, hurt me immensely year after year, but I am quickly making up for it!

I thank you for your willingness to dialogue. May we exchange each other’s “sources” for our mutual benefit.

165. nigel harris price - January 24, 2009

tatyana

Would you be able to tell me, on a matter not really related to the blog, were the silver ceremonial (wedding/christening etc.) pieces being used while you were still in the FOF?…..Nigel.

166. elena - January 24, 2009

I’m sorry, there’s nothing spiritual about greed, so Robert’s just paying for what he attracted!

167. whalerider - January 25, 2009

elena:
“I am on the contrary…”

Yes, I believe you are.

“…convinced that humans are motivated only by love, by the desire to communicate with others, talk, touch, mix, learn, make love in every sphere of existence!”

Do you think it is not in your self-interest to love or “communicate with others, talk, touch, mix, learn, make love in every sphere of existence?” If you don’t do this, you will die! Our survival depends upon it. It is very much in our self-interest to love.

Self-interest, in the context of which I speak (motivation), means going toward something positive that often, but not always, feels good, as opposed to going away from or avoiding something that is painful and often a negative…or focusing on what you gain from an action versus what you lose.

“But beyond your American conditioning, if you cared to explore deeply your self interest I doubt that you’d find a selfish little beast who doesn’t want essentially a world to be a part of.”

I am not sure where you are going with this. I do care to explore myself deeply every moment I am able…very much so…and I care to explore others from all over the world usually six days a week.

“Your premise that there are only human beings who have either an unconscious masochistic need to deprecate themselves or that need to have their ego pampered by a sicko is the most ill fated premise I have come across together with all of Robert’s premises that people are the six billion sleeping dead people on the planet.”

I believe we were speaking on the scale of the psychology of people who are involved with the Fellowship cult for long periods of time, not on the scale of humanity in general.

“The problem between my conception of the world and yours is that with premises like this one, the fountain of youth in yours is born in the rotting putrefied source of a dark world.”

I disagree with you. The believe world is made up of both dark and light…so is youth.

“If you do not know the God within you, you will find evil where ever you go no matter how much you pray to Allah.”

I do know the God within me, that’s why I left the cult. And I don’t feel the need to pray to Allah or to anyone else. I see people as essentially good, who sometimes display evil behavior when they are not connected to their God within.

“You will never understand the Fellowship if you cannot acknowledge the innocence with which people are willing to sacrifice themselves for the well being of mankind.”

A person sacrifices themselves for the well-being of mankind out of self-interest. That doesn’t necessarily mean fulfilling a need arising out of the selfish ego. Here we are taking about martyrdom, or if you like, “higher-self” interest. Even though it is sometimes painful to stand up for what you believe in, it is in your self-interest to do so and strengthens your conscience. Socrates knew this.

You have confused the idea of self-interest with the ego; they are not the same. Yes, the ego can be selfish; I believe in a self in which the ego is only a part.

Hate? I don’t hate anything, except the taste of liver.

168. elena - January 25, 2009

Hi Dick Moron!
Thanks for 157. All little insights that add up to the picture.

Tatyana: Russians were trained in communist times to give everything to the Party. We did not have American dreams.
Would you say the Russians at Isis have an interest in being in America or are you saying that they are there mainly to serve Robert and the Fellowship? Do they want to go back to Russia in the long run? I am very ignorant about all that so I would appreciate it if you can give us an insight.

Hi Whalerider,
It’s good to know that it is just a misunderstanding of concepts. The context in which I’ve tended to use self interest is that selfish kind that I misunderstood in your text.

W: “But beyond your American conditioning, if you cared to explore deeply your self interest I doubt that you’d find a selfish little beast who doesn’t want essentially a world to be a part of.”
I am not sure where you are going with this. I do care to explore myself deeply every moment I am able…very much so…and I care to explore others from all over the world usually six days a week.

_________Where else would I be going to but the same place you went? Basically that beneath the selfish self interest there’s simply an aspect of one’s integrity being addressed.

W: I believe we were speaking on the scale of the psychology of people who are involved with the Fellowship cult for long periods of time, not on the scale of humanity in general.
W: Burton also knows how captivate some people by making them feel special if they need to feel special or by providing others with a form or means to satisfy their unconscious masochistic need to deprecate themselves. Which are you?

It doesn’t sound like you’re talking about the past or the specific context or the Fellowship, thank you for clarifying it.

E.“The problem between my conception of the world and yours is that with premises like this one, the fountain of youth in yours is born in the rotting putrefied source of a dark world.”

W: I disagree with you. The believe world is made up of both dark and light…so is youth.
______It is O.K to disagree then because I am not talking about the belief world but being. The innermost essence of people’s being. Not what we think but what we feel. Not what we feel but what we are. But it was already just a misunderstanding so why insist right?

W: I see people as essentially good, who sometimes display evil behavior when they are not connected to their God within.
_____Then we see the same thing!
_____hate? Well you’re luckier than I am, because I hate a million things that happen in our world today including the Fellowship.
Not its people but it’s corruption.

Thank you for the English lesson, in the future I’ll try to understand how you use self-interest.
I wish you well. Thank you for the dialogue.
If you care to indulge, would you share what you wanted from the Fellowship? What was your self interest?

169. whalerider - January 25, 2009

elena:
I’ve always felt that deep down we all have much common ground if we can just get past the defensive arguments over semantics without attacking each other’s character.

What did I want from the Fellowship? What was my self interest?

Rather than react to small town life by drowning in drugs and alcohol as my friends seem to be doing, I wanted to be among people who at least appeared to be working toward improving themselves. That’s why I joined.

In the beginning of my life in the Fellowship, I felt nurtured in a way that I didn’t get growing up. There was no yelling and screaming like there sometimes was when my family sat down to dinner and at the time, my parents were getting a divorce. The non-expression of negative emotions felt like a safer environment than what I was used to. I spent a lot of time in the Fellowship in the trance of age regression or “being in essence” as we called it. After the Fellowship, I went back to university.

My self interest was and still is my spiritual growth, mental health, and emotional well-being. I called it my ‘evolution’ back then.

170. nigel harris price - January 25, 2009

169 whalerider

I am interested in this idea of Essence as a ‘trance state’ or ‘age regression’. I was also suspicious of the ‘la-la-la’ Essence Act, when Gurdjieff taught that Essence was something tangible – “one man is a good sailor, another is a good cook…..”. For me, my precious metals training was ‘way up there’ as Essence, being a double-Celt in bloodline (heritage) and having mainly Solar body-type. I always thought that, at meetings, Gui—-re gave the best Essence act….. Nigel

171. normal human being - January 25, 2009

For 145 Yesri Baba:
I feel very sorry for you, Yesri Baba. It is very sad that all you can think about it is a blowjob and you are not able to have an intellegent discussion. Well, to bad… You are very angry and weak person…

172. Yesri Baba - January 25, 2009

Thanks for the chuckle dude. By the way, that smiley face icon comes up on it’s own when you hit certain keys. I was thinking more about that idiot Rush stuffing gravy into his big fat ugly face.

173. elena - January 25, 2009

Whalerider,

Yes, the lack of expression of negative emotions in the Fellowship hooks us all but unfortunately affirming one’s self and participating in one’s life was included as an expression of negative emotions, “slicing off” our essence (our life, nation, family, friends, beliefs: everything got washed off leaving us defenceless) and impeding our development which was replaced by an “act of well being” from false personality in which there is no harmony throughout but an over acted role of “manic good householder” and a sick neurotic in private quickly installing the two personality hasnamuss.

In relation to our common ground, as long as we don’t expect charm from people who walk into the police station after being raped, we might start to understand each other.

“Our life, nation, family, friends, beliefs: everything got washed off leaving us defenceless” This is very interesting because the fact that cults are developing so strongly in our times must be closely related to the fact that our lives are pretty messed up before we join. The need for a nation or a third line establishment that envelops our families with dignity and the family, the individual with love is what is rare anywhere in the world today.

Most people feel equally victims of life as we felt in the Fellowship: No guarantees; a government that maintains the status quo without the individual feeling that he or she is of any significant value which induces all those negative attitudes towards the bullshit and worthlessness of life, reinforced by difficult family and social relationships. If each of us as an individual doesn’t grasp the fact that the disconnectedness from our society is responsible for our personal well being, we will continue to be as helpless to it as we were in the Fellowship. In both arenas we are giving up our “presence” in it! We are like children in a birthday party in which mum decides that only her son and his close friends can have ninety percent of the cake while the rest of us passively commit suicide because there wasn’t enough cake for us convinced that we are not good enough to get any, anyway!

The beauty of the spirit that lives in every human being can overcome adversity and stand above its impediments. The question today is how strong is still the beauty of the spirit in human beings? How alive? If so many of us are willing to submit to cults in which the long term outcome is non-existence, self sacrifice in idolatry and suicide, how weak is the human spirit that such aberrations of life are what is becoming “common”? The authorities in power no longer have to kill the isolated masses of disgruntled human beings because they take care of themselves by committing suicide in their little cults for “frustrated in life human beings”!

We have a problem and we better work together on trying to solve it!

What is interesting about this in America, which is the only experience of which I know a little, is that we are not talking about people economically at disadvantage; in fact, cult candidates are often economically solvent. Even so, the pattern is the same: They are disconnected from the rest of the world psychologically with weak family or social ties. They are psychologically as poor as people without economic participation in society. This was certainly my case and by what you say Whalerider, yours too. I had enough money that I thought would help develop something decent but my trust on life had waned badly. A Conscious School where many of us could invest ourselves as well as our economic resources seemed ideal. Unfortunately it was a different form of escapism like taking drugs.

The harmony between one’s self, one’s society and humanity at large seems to be as necessary in regular life as a tool for development in a Conscious School. Turned upside down and backwards like in the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult, it is an equally effective tool for the development of hasnamusses.

I wish you all well. Thank you for your time and thoughts on this matters.

174. dragon - January 25, 2009

Elena,

please read this article:

http://lightmind.com/thevoid/daism/sfchron-04.html

… it sounds familiar, I am sure. With variations but familiar!

This great guru-avatar passed away last year. You can enjoy his presence also on youtube.

http://www.adidam.org/adida/whoheis/home.htm

I think you know the stories about him.

It could be the future model for the FOF inner circle:

To create a community interconnected via E-Mail-teachings and giving donations for this benefits of enlightenment.

The inner circle lives on an island (the Fidjis) and keeps distance to the hard-working community.

It will be “the most penetrating event” in the life of the members if they are chosen for a visit..

The inner circle will change those visitors forever….

They will use them, misuse them or something else but before they enter the island they will have to sign a contract:

I did everything voluntarily! It was my decision…..

Victims, enablers, readers, fellow…human beings… and we are FOF-watchers!

175. ton - January 25, 2009

dear flog moderator, this is a second submission, please do not post twice…

yesri around 145, thanks again baba, Yesri, thank you for the laughs, what would we be without humor? your list of reasons for that fathead ‘rush’ is nothing short of brilliant…. especially the ann coulter reference…. that one comes with the mysteriously appearing smiling face too. it seems that we have a so called “normal human being” here, another knucklehead who can’t appreciate your incisive wit, humor and wisdom and so resorts to the ad hominem…. i don’t know what’s worse, brainwashing by FOX news and ‘rush’ or brainwashing by ‘conscious bob…’

James, I don’t know if you’re still reading but while you’re in transition you can check here via an internet cafe’ — stay in touch.

In general, the HBO series called BIG LOVE started the new season last week…. it’s worth a look…. deals with the mormon brand of cult mentality, mind/body control, manipulation and especially in the recent episode, “love bombing”

176. Panorea - January 25, 2009

well, this was a good one!

Greater Fellowship member number 905 (!) is Robert Burton (!!!).

His photograph (profile), 1970 as the year he joined the Fellowship and his web site….

A joke? Good or bad sense of humour? The master himself? HIs “inner circle”? Who is there?

177. Yesri Baba - January 25, 2009

174 ton

Wow, I have gone from weak and angry to brilliant in 5 posts, what a roller coaster ride. I guess art imitates life. We got our own little ‘Big Love’ goin’ on.

Totally second the motion on ‘Big Love’. We watch it religiously. Crazy weird power struggles and drama hatched from bizarre, bogus beliefs, sound familiar?

(imo, advance apo’s to all you mormons out there)

178. ton - January 25, 2009

hey “normal human being” — speaking or writing of ‘blow jobs,’
what do you call a vampire who drinks semen instead of blood…. maybe it’s because he lost his fangs… so sad.

ode (owed) to the one-and-only ‘conscious bob:’

I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my fangs

So I’m sad and I feel lonely
So I cry and I’m very angry
And I hate some garlic
So I’m so no more sad and
Ache yeah yeah

I am a vampire and I am looking in the city
Pretty girls don’t look at me
Don’t look at me
Cause I don’t have my fangs
But I have lost my fangs

I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my mouth again
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my mouth again

So I get bone and I shred
So I eat popcorn and I lose the weight
And I sing with my best looking
And I want to play the guitar
But my guitar is out of tune
I am a vampire
I am looking in the cd
And the musical don’t play with me
Don’t play with me

and etc.

179. ton - January 25, 2009
180. whalerider - January 26, 2009

nigel:
Yah, age regression, a deep trance phenomenon, the state you spontaneously go into if you like dogs and come across a cute puppy on the street. You might also age regress into a state of fear if you met a menacing pit bull on the street and you were bitten by a dog as a child.

People spontaneously regress all the time without noticing, like when one has a strong emotional response to something out of left field, and for the most part, it isn’t a problem.

This is my new understanding about the glossy-eyed, cutesy, bubbly, positive, smiley act or “being in essence” personality that seemed to be promoted in the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence and especially at Renaissance when I was there. Having some solar myself made me fit right into this mold. Notice a pattern in Burton’s entourage?

This vulnerable, uncritical trance state of age regression would make most people easier prey for predatory types, who use their positions of authority to exploit the good will of others….that is, as long as you had a halfway decent relationship with your parents, you’ll tend to do what someone acting like “mommy or daddy” tells you to do.

Burton first invited me into his bedroom late one night under the pretense that he wanted to “snuggle” with me.

181. whalerider - January 26, 2009

elena:
” A Conscious School where many of us could invest ourselves as well as our economic resources seemed ideal. Unfortunately it was a different form of escapism like taking drugs.”

The irony for me, elena, was although I attempted to distance myself from my childhood friends who were using drugs and alcohol to escape from the boredom of small town life, I became involved with Burton who used wine, margaritas, Darvons (prescription pain-killers), sex, shopping, “divine presence” and “c-influence” to escape from the responsibility of exploiting and damaging so many people to feed his lust and greed.

I feel a bit like Oedipus, who thought he was fleeing his fate only to attract it.

182. elena - January 26, 2009

Whalerider,

God you’re actually talking to me! Wow, where do I draw the line? You’re talking to me normally! Thank you, it feels good. Following your post, yes, also like Ouspensky looking for Schools in the east to find Gurdjieff at home.

__________

All this exploration must be dead boring for most of you. Not moving forward with this is dead boring to me. Please just go ahead with the things you like to talk about and allow me to express the ones I find worth the trouble. The Fellowship is disappearing for me or at least staying in the background of a much greater phenomenon.

Where are the humour geniuses? Even I miss you!

Text 11. The Rape of the Mind.

Western psychology and psychiatry, although acknowledging its debt to Pavlov as a great pioneer who made important contributions to our understanding of behaviour, takes a much less mechanical view of man than do the Soviet Pavlovians. It is apparent to us that their simple explanation of training ignores and rejects the concept of purposeful adaptation and the question of the goals to which this training is directed. Western experimental psychologists tend to see the conditioned reflex as developing fully only in the service of gratifying basic instinctual needs or of avoiding pain, that is, only when the whole organism is concerned in the activity. In that complicated process of response to the world, conscious, and especially unconscious, drives and motivations play a role.
All training, of which the conditioned response is only one example, is an automatization of actions which were originally consciously learned and thought over. The ideal of Western democratic psychology is to train men into independence and maturity by enlisting their conscious aid, awareness, and volition in the learning process. The ideal of the totalitarian psychology, on the other hand, is to tame men, to make them willing tools in the hands of their leaders. Like training, taming has the purpose of making actions automatic; unlike training, it does not require the conscious participation of the learner. Both training and taming are energy and timesaving devices, and in both the mystery of the psyche is hidden in the purposefulness of the responses. The automatization of functions in man saves him expenditure of energy but can make him weaker when encountering new unexpected challenges.
Cultural routinization and habit formation by local rules and myths make of everybody a partial automaton. National and racial prejudices are acted out unwittingly. Group hatred often bursts out almost automatically when triggered by slogans and catchwords. In a totalitarian world, this narrow disciplinarian conditioning is done more “perfectly” and more “ad absurdum.”
The Urge to Be Conditioned
One suggestion this chapter is not intended to convey is that Pavlovian conditioning as such is something wrong. This kind of conditioning occurs everywhere where people are together in common interaction. The speaker influences the listener, but the listener also the speaker. Through the process of conditioning people often learn to like and to do what they are allowed to like and do. The more isolated the group, the stricter the conditioning that takes place in those belonging to the group. In some groups one finds people more capable than others of conveying suggestion and bringing about conditioning. Gradually one can discern the stronger ones, the better adjusted ones, the more experienced ones, and those noisier ones, whose ability to condition others is strongest. Every group, every club, every society has its leading Pavlovian Bell. This kind of person imprints his inner bell ringing on others. He can even develop a system of monolithic bell ringing: no other influential bell is allowed to compete with him.
Another subtler question belongs to these problems. Why is there in us so great an urge to be conditioned, the urge to learn, to imitate, to conform, and to follow the pattern of family and group? This urge to be conditioned, to submit to the communal pattern and the family pattern must be related to man’s dependency on parents and fellow men. Animals are not so dependent on one another. In the whole animal kingdom man is one of the most helpless and naked beings. But among the animals man has, relatively, the longest youth and time for learning.
Puzzlement and doubt, which inevitably arise in the training process, are the beginnings of mental freedom. Of course, the initial puzzlement and doubt is not enough. Behind that there has to be faith in our democratic freedoms and the will to fight for it. I hope to come back to this central problem of faith in moral freedom as differentiated from conditioned loyalty and servitude in the last chapter. Puzzlement and doubt are, however, already crimes in the totalitarian state. The mind that is open for questions is open for dissent. In the totalitarian regime the doubting, inquisitive, and imaginative mind has to be suppressed. The totalitarian slave is only allowed to memorize, to salivate when the bell rings.
It is not my task here to elaborate on the subject of the biased use of Pavlovian rules by totalitarians, but without doubt part of the interpretation of any psychology is determined by the ways we think about our fellow human beings and man’s place in nature. If our ideal is to make conditioned zombies out of people, the current misuse of Pavlovianism will serve our purpose. But once we become even vaguely aware that in the totalitarian picture of man the characteristic human note is missing, and when see that in such a scheme man sacrifices his instinctual desires, his pleasures, his aims, his goals, his creativity, his instinct for freedom, his paradoxicality, we immediately turn against this political perversion of science. Such use of Pavlovian technique is aimed only at developing the automaton in man, not his free alert mind that is aware of moral goals and aims in life.
Even in laboratory animals we have found that affective goal directedness can spoil the Pavlovian experiment. When, during a bell food training session, the dog’s beloved master entered the room, the animal lost all its previous conditioning and began to bark excitedly. Here is a simple example of an age old truth: love and laughter break through all rigid conditioning. The rigid automaton cannot exist without spontaneous self expression.
____This must be a mistake, originally it probably said: the rigid automaton cannot coexist with spontaneous self expression.

Apparently, the fact that the dog’s spontaneous affection for his master could ruin all the mechanical calculations and manipulations never occurred to Pavlov’s totalitarian students.

_______In relation to the question above on why human beings tend to conform and imitate, one plausible explanation is that we are in fact like psychological copies of our forbearers. The more I look at people the more we seem to be faithful copies of those who brought us up. As people get older the semblance with their parents becomes more obvious, As one observes one’s children, the faithful unconscious copy of one’s acts in a much deeper sense than merely the physiological is shocking. Things that I might have already overcome they are just beginning to deal with. It’s strange. As if we spent the whole of our lives following the path that was inevitably designed for us without ever activating our will. Most people don’t even want to conceive of anything beyond the established parameters.

Not identifying with one’s self in the long run is about separating from all that programming. It’s a strange ride we’re on. The most amazing, terrible and great adventure film doesn’t come even close.

I’ve been recovering my family. It feels good. We had little chances of recovering even up to last year. Things change when people are dying. The proximity of death reveals the things that matter. My stepmother with whom we’ve managed to recover a closeness that had been lost since I was twelve began chemotherapy last week but we’re hoping the cancer is not so severe and that she can be helped.

I wish you all well.

183. fofblogmoderator - January 26, 2009

174 & 178 are newly moderated

184. Old Fish in the Sea - January 26, 2009

175: Panorea
The person posing as Robert Burton was taken off of the Greater Fellowship because we felt that it was highly unlikely that it was really RB and we don’t condone anyone pretending to be another person.

Joining as an anonymous person is ok. Pretending to be someone else is not.

185. dragon - January 26, 2009

“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

Noam Chomsky

= Something about the FOF indoctrination/brainwashing/ and “the art of Blog-discussion”

„Whether a person feels positive or not is kind of a comment on their personality and of no great interest.

You can find positive signs or you can find negative signs. How you evaluate them depends on something that happened in your life recently or something like that.

There’s no objective way to do it. The important thing is you try to commit yourself to making the positive signs more real.

Suppose you felt that there’s 99 percent of a probability that human civilization is going to be destroyed in the next hundred years, but one percent chance it won’t be, and that one percent offers some opportunities to do something. Well, you commit yourself to that one percent.”

Noam Chomsky

= Also something about the power of cults! Look at the 2012 hysteria (the climax on 21 December, I presume)

“People are dangerous. If they’re able to involve themselves in issues that matter, they may change the distribution of power, to the detriment of those who are rich and privileged.”

Noam Chomsky (1928 – )
Source: The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower

You can also say: Blogs are dangerous…… ..of those who are the privileged members of the FOF.

186. dragon - January 26, 2009

Art and culture an important mirror and healing outlet for societies,

Please read and sign also this petition:

While many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture for centuries, the United States has not yet created such a position. Quincy Jones wants to change that and has started a petition asking President-Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts. If you feel that the United States needs the Arts now more than ever, please take a moment to sign the petition.

The article:

http://www.realitysandwich.com/secretary_arts

The petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/esnyc/petition.html

187. Jomo Piñata - January 26, 2009

Old Fish/184

Burton wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, be welcome or tolerated on GF any more than a molester’s presence would be welcome or tolerated at a support group meeting for victims of sexual trauma.

188. nigel harris price - January 26, 2009

whalerider

I feel I have made a bond with you, since you have said that you are now involved in the mental health sphere. This being noted, I now need your help. I do not feel exactly a ‘blog-addict’, but it is certainly part of my life, as much as my jewellery teaching and my social life with my friends here in Exeter. The problem is, I am ‘mildly flipping’, having on Friday overdone some physical work in my home (painting), which caused a physical and emotional ‘crash’ on Saturday, when I could do little more than watch the soccer in the afternoon (Sunday was even worse, and my appetite waned). Today, I went to my workshop early and my Spanish Mercurial student did not arrive (when she had expressly made the date) and I could not get her on her cell-phone. I had to come back to my ‘local’ and borrow some money from a good friend of mine for a sandwich and coffee until tonight’s class. All this down-then-(rescue)up is causing my inner state problems. As I think I mentioned, I am mainly on ‘downers’, apart from Depakote, as a mood-stabilizer, and I normally feel like shit in January anyway. Any ideas (and maybe to help not just me, but other posters)?…..Nigel.

189. whalerider - January 26, 2009

Nigel:
I realize that much of what I have to offer you will have undoubtedly already heard many times from your therapist or doctor, and I apologize if I seem patronizing.

I commend you for reaching out for help. That is always appropriate. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and level of being. I want you to know that your moment by moment struggles are an inspiration for me.

From what I understand, and mind you I am not a medical doctor, Depakote is one of the mood stabilizers that has lesser side effects than say, Lithium, for instance, so of course your doctor would recommend to continue taking it. I understand the predicament of taking a ‘downer’ on the down cycle. I remind you it is so the rebound is not so steep and intense, which can sometimes be more dangerous…which is also to remind you that, as you well know, the rebound is coming. It’s just a matter of time. The mood stabilizer is to keep your mood swings in a more narrow range.

An image that may apply is that of a pendulum string. When the string is shorter, the period of swing is not so great, and you are closer to your center. The farther away you are from your center, the greater the period of swing. Keep to your routines. Probably it’s a good idea to drink coffee with your mates at the pub instead of alcohol during the down cycle. But keep up the social contact.

You mentioned loss of appetite. Three meals a day with two snacks helps to stabilize everyone’s mood, whether they have a mental illness or not; I can surely tell when my kids start acting up that usually it’s time for a meal or a snack. So get some food in you, even if it is yogurt or toast. Make sure you are eating something every couple of hours. In the AA Program, there is an acronym, H.A.L.T…a reminder to avoid getting Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. That’s when feelings get overwhelming and addicts start tweaking for whatever drug gave them a sense of control.

As you may have been reading I have recently gone through a divorce, and I have two young children. My ex-wife and I share 50/50 custody for the kids; which means I too have been experiencing a bi-polar, roller coaster of emotions every week as part of my weekly routine…I am elated when they arrive and dejected when they leave. Some of my coping skills in addition to regular eating and exercise are to attend weekly Al-Anon meetings (adult children of alcoholics), maintaining a close intimate relationship with my girlfriend (who goes to the meetings, too), and the comedy channel. Don’t underestimate the power of laughter (or sex) to naturally elevate your mood.

Finding and sharing your experiences with a group of your peers is a big help, too. If you were to find a way to interact with other people suffering with your conditions, either online or in person, you’ll have a better chance at learning new coping skills that have worked for others. No coping skill works 100% of the time.

Sharing with peers also helps to alleviate the feelings of guilt or stigmatization you might feel, which can amplify your symptoms. How you feel about yourself matters a great deal. Remember that everyone has issues, in that regard you are no different than anyone else. And if there was ever a time to practice dis-identification, now is the time. You are not just your moods, but also what can watch them as your moods play out.

Take care, Nigel. My heart goes out to you.

190. whalerider - January 26, 2009

44th President Is A Sign, Says Cult Leader

Oregon House (AP)-In an abrupt change of dogma, Robert E. Burton, leader of the high intensity/high control cult headquartered in Northern California called the Fellowship of Friends, AKA Pathway to Presence, has made a startling revelation shortly after the inauguration of the 44th president, Barack Obama, the first African American president ever elected in the US..

“C-influence has indicated to me that I am no longer a goddess in a man’s body,” Burton stated to his ardent followers, “I am really a black man in a white man’s body.”

“The young Russian concubines Burton kept to satisfy his inner goddess have all been deported and replaced by young, topless black women from Kenya”, stated Abraham Goldman, the Fellowship’s attorney. “We’re on a different pathway now.”

“He now been wearin’ thick gold chains around his neck, dark sunglasses, and black suits instead’o thos pink suits”, said one follower with one hand on his drooping pants, “but yo, it’s cool, it don’t matta, I’m still his nigga.”

“I’ve had to make some menu adjustments,” said the Fellowship cook in a recent phone interview. “Now Burton is requesting grits for breakfast, fried chicken for dinner and watermelon for desert….to feed his inner black man, he told me.”

Officials in Yuba City revealed today that the Fellowship has also applied to import several African animals for their grounds, (a former winery), including zebra, wildebeest, water buffalo, and a giraffe.

County records also indicate that “Apollo” has been renamed as ‘The Hood.”

191. elena - January 26, 2009

Dragon,

Thanks for your posts. Petitions signed! Even a few more names to ours!

It really is strange to hear about this sects and their aberrations lived out as “afternoon tea in the nearby coffee shop”!

And then even more amazing to observe the shame of the Fellowship of Friends participants who will not sign a petition or acknowledge the reality of what they belonged to which is another form of complicity.

While some work with members in different ways and that is part of the process, others simply avoid the subject and run off. Fortunately life is around the corner waiting for us all.

On a lighter note, it is a beautiful sunny day. It’s been raining more than usual and some areas of Colombia are under water but the sun still comes out bright and gay for long periods of the day. Yesterday my two step brother and sister with their two children and my sister and I went for a walk for the first time in our lives! Just being together with people without conflict is such a healing thing!

Nigel love, take a big kiss! Trust the keel of your soul!

I wish you all well.

192. Kid Shelleen - January 26, 2009

CLUB MIDNIGHT

Are you the sole owner of a seedy nightclub?

Are you its sole customer, sole bartender,
Sole waiter prowling around the empty tables?

Do you put on wee-hour girlie shows
With dead stars of black-and-white films?

Is your office upstairs over the neon lights,
Or down deep in the rat cellar?

Are bearded Russian thinkers your silent partners?
Do you have a doorman by the name of Dostoyevsky?

Is Fu Manchu coming tonight?
Is Miss Emily Dickinson?

Do you happen to have an immortal soul?
Do you have a sneaky suspicion that you have none?

Is that why you flip a white pair of dice,
In the dark, long after the joint closes?

Charles Simic — from “Walking the Black Cat” — 1996

193. elena - January 26, 2009

Nigel love, never give up on the idea of giving up what ever you are depending on. Drugs are another way in which power keeps people in place. Empower yourself with love and trust, little by little, each day! Please don’t discard information like this which I continue to publish for all of us so that we can be less ignorant than we were before joining the Fellowship.

THE RAPE OF THE MIND: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D., Instructor in Psychiatry

CHAPTER THREE – MEDICATION INTO SUBMISSION

As we have already seen in the preceding chapters, it is not only the political and Pavlovian pressure that may drag down man’s mind into servile submissiveness. There are many other human habits and actions which have a coercive influence.

All kinds of rumrs have been circulatd telling how brainwashees, before surrendering to their inquisitor, have been poisoned with mysterious drugs. This chapter aimes to describe what medical techniques — not only drugs — can do to reach behind man’s inner secrets. Actually the thought-control police no longer need drugs, though occasionally they have been used.

I will touch upon another side to this problem as well, namely, our dangeorus social dependence on various drugs, the problem of addiction, making it easier for us to slip into the pattern of submissiveness. The alcoholic has no mental backbone any more when you give him his drink. The same is true for the chronic user of sedatives or other pills. The use of alcohol or drugs may result in a chemical dependency, weakening our stamina under exceptional circumstances.

In the field of practical medicine, magic thinking is still rampant. Though we flatter ourselves that we are rational and logical in our choice of therapy, somewhere we know taht hidden feelings and unconscious motivations direct the prescribing hand. In spite of the therapeutic triumphs of the last fifty years [since 1900], the era of chemotherapy and antibiotics, let us not forget that the same means of medical victory can be used to defeat our purposes.

No day passes that the mail does not flood the doctor’s office with suggestions about what to use in his clinical practice. My desk overflows with gadgets and multicolored pills telling me that without them mankind cannot be happy. The propaganda campaign reaching our medical eyes and ears is often so laden with suggestions that we can be persuaded to distribute sedatives and stimulants where straight critical thinking would deter us and we would seek the deeper causes of the difficulties. This is true not only for modern pharmacotherapy; the same tendencies can also be shown in psychotherapeutic methods.

This chapter aims to approach the problem of mental coercion with the question: How compulsive can the use of medical drugs and medical and psychological methods become? In the former chapters on menticide I was able to describe political attempts to bring the human mind into submission and servility. Drugs and their psychological equivalents are also able to enslave people.

The Search for Ecstasy Through Drugs

Among drug addicts of all sorts we repeatedly encounter the yearning for a special ecstatic and euphoric mood, a feeling of living beyond everyday trouble. “Thou has the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty opium!” Thomas De Quincey says, in his “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.” Although the ecstatic state is different for each person who experiences it, the addict always tells us that the drug takes him to the lost paradise he is looking for; it brings him a feeling of eternal euphoria and free elation that takes him past the restrictions of life and time.

In the ecstatic state, man arranges the universe according to his own desires and, at the same time, seeks communion with the Higher Order of things. But the ecstatic state has its negative as well as its positive aspects. It may represent the Yogi’s mystic feeling of unity with the universe, but it may also mean the chronic intoxicated state of the drunkard or the passion of some manic psychotic states. The feeling may express the intensified spiritual experience of a dedicated study group, but, on the other hand, it may be encountered in the lynch mob and the riot. There are many kinds of ecstasy — esthetic ecstasy, mystic ecstasy, and sick, toxic ecstasy.

The search for ecstatic experience is not only an individual search, it often reaches out to encompass whole groups. When moral controls become too burdensome, whole civilizations may give themselves up to uncontrolled orgies such as we saw in the Greek Bacchanalia and the contagious dance-fury of the Middle Ages. In these mass orgies, artificial stimulants are not necessarily used. The hypnotic influence of being part of the crowd can induce the same loss of control and sense of union with the outside world that we associate with drugs. In the mass orgy the individual loses his conscience and self-control. His sexual inhibitions may disappear; he is temporarily relieved of his deep frustrations and the burden of unconscious guilt. He endeavors to experience the blissful sensations of utter yielding to his own body needs and desires.

The ecstatic participation in mass elation is the oldest psychodrama in the world. Taking part in some common action results in a tremendous emotional relief and catharsis for every individual in the group. This feeling of participation in the magic omnipotent group, of reunion and communion with the all-embracing forces in the world brings euphoria to the noraml person and feelings of pseudo-strength to the weak. The demagogue who is able to provide such ecstatic release in the masses can be sure of their yielding to his influence and power. Dictators love to organize such mass rituals in the service of their dictatorial aims.

Ever since man has been a conscious being, he has tried from time to time to break down the inevitable tension between himself and the outside world. When mental alertness cannot be relaxed now and then, when the world is too much and too constantly with him, man may try to lose himself in the deep waters of oblivion. Ecstasy, drugged sleep, and its fantasies and swoons of mental exaltation temporarily take him beyond the burdensome effort of keeping his senses and ego alert and intact. Drugs can bring him to this state, and any addiction may be explained as a continuing need to escape. The body cooperates with the mind in this search for an evasion of life, and drugs gradually become a body need as well as an emotional necessity.

In criminal circles addicting drugs like cocaine and heroin are often given to members of the gang in order to make them more submissive to the leader who distributes them. The man who provides the drug becomes almost a god to the members of the gang. They will go through hell in order to acquire the drug they so desperately need.

In the hands of a powerful tyrant, this medication into dependency can become extremely dangerous. It is not unthinkable that a diabolical dictator might want to use addiction as a means of bringing a rebellious people into submission. In May, 1954, during a discussion in the World Health Organization, the fact was disclosed that Communist China, while forbidding the use of opium in her own country, was smuggling and exporting it in great quantities to her neighbors, who have consequently been compelled to carry on a constant struggle against opium addiction among their own people and against the passivity which results from use of the drug.

At the same time, according to officials of Thailand who made the charge and requested U.N. aid, Communist China has been sending all kinds of subversive propagandists into Thailand. Thailand charged that the Chinese were using every device they know to infect the Siamese people with their ideology: brainweakening opium addiction, leaflets, radio, whispering campaigns, and so on.

The Nazis followed a similar strategy. During the occupation of Western Europe, they created an artificial shortage of normal medicaments by halting their usual export of healing drugs to the “inferior” countries. However, they made an exception in the case of barbiturates. In Holland, for example, these drugs were made readliy available in many drugstores without doctors’ prescriptions, a situation which was against customary Dutch law. Although the right therapeutic drugs were not made available for medical work, the drugs which created passivity, dependence, and lethargy were widely distributed.

The totalitarian dictator knows that drugs can be his helpers. It was Hitler’s intention, in his so-called biological warfare, to weaken and subdue the countries that surrounded the Third Reich, and to break their backbones for good. Hunger and addiction were among his most valuable tools.

What has all this to do with the growing addiction and alcoholism in our own country? I have already mentioned the alarming increases in death from barbiturates. But I would like to emphasize even more the psychological and political consequences. Democracy and freedom end where slavery and submission to drugs and alcohol begin. Democracy involves free, self-chosen activity and understanding; it means mature self-control and independence. Any man who escapes from reality through the use of alcohol and drugs is no longer a free agent; he is no longer able to exert any voluntary control over his mind and his actions. He is no longer a self-responsible individual. Alcoholism and drug addiction prepare the pattern of mental submission so beloved by the totalitarian brainwasher.

194. elena - January 26, 2009

As I’ve said many times, please just jump over this posts if they don’t help you understand things better. They are helping me a great deal, particularly in separating from the Fellowship and understanding the problem in a much wider context.

The speed with which I wish to understand is mine, you don’t need to follow it.

Sometime ago, posters here suggested that Robert had a hypnotic power at meetings and I shrugged it off thinking it was too far fetched although, reading about it today, I remembered that not long before I left I made the effort to listen to everything Robert said with a critical mind and realized that it was no different to a catholic priest inducing his congregation into guilt and fear. It was the first time in seventeen years and it took a lot of effort to make that effort. I realize now that I’d been there for seventeen years just wanting it to be magic and good while at the same time always feeling it was awkward and absurd. The hypnotic or autosuggestion theory works very well.

Text 12. The Rape of the Mind.
One of the first useful techniques medicine delivered into the hands of the prierinto-souls was the knowledge of hypnosis, that intensified mental suggestion that makes people give up their own will and brings them into a strange dependency on the hypnotizer. The Egyptian doctors of three thousand years ago knew the technique of hypnosis, and ancient records tell us that they practiced it.

There are many quacks who practice hypnosis, not to cure their victims but to force them into submission, using the victim’s unconscious ties and dependency needs in a criminal, profitable way. One of the most absorbing aspects of this whole problem of hypnosis is the question of whether people can be forced to commit crimes, such as murder or treason, while under a hypnotic spell. Many psychologists would deny that such a thing could happen and would insist that no person can be compelled to do under hypnosis what he would refuse to do in a state of alert consciousness. But actually what a person can be compelled to do depends on the degree of dependency that hypnosis causes and the frequency of repetition of the so-called posthypnotic suggestions.

Actual psychoanalysis teaches that there even exist several other devices to live other people’s livse. True, no hypnotizer can take away a man’s conscience and inner resistance imediately, but he can arouse the latent murderous wishes which may become active in his victim’s unconscious by continual suggestion and continual playing upon those deeply repressed desires. Actual knowledge of methods used in brainwashing and menticide proves that all this can be done.

If the hypnotizer persists long enough and cleverly enough, he can be successful in his aim. There are many antisocial desires lying hidden in all people. The hypnotic technique, if cleverly enough applied, can bring them to the surface and cause them to be acted out in life. The mass criminality of the guards in concentration camps finds part of its explanation in the hypnotizing influence of the totalitarian state and its criminal dictator. Psychological study of criminals shows that their first violation of moral and legal codes often takes place under the strong influence and suggestion of other criminals. This we may look upon as an initial form of hypnosis, which is a more intensified form of suggestion.

True, the incitement to crime in a hypnotic state demands specially favorable conditions, but unfortunately these conditions can be found in the real and actual world.

Recently there has been much judicial discussion of the problem of the psychiatrist who uses his special knowledge of suggestion to force a confession from a defendant. Such a psychiatrist is going beyond the commonly accepted concepts of the limitations of psychiatry and beyond psychiatric ethics. He is misusing the patient’s trust in the medical confidant and therapist in order to provoke a confession, which will then be used against the patient temporarily in his care. In so doing, the doctor not only acts against his Hippocratic oath, in which he promised only to work for the good of his patients and never to disclose his professional secrets, he also violates the constitutional safeguards accorded a defendant by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects a man against self-incrimination.

What a defendant will reveal under hypnosis depends on his conscious and unconscious attitudes toward the entire question of magic influence and mental intrusion by another person. Pepole are usually less likely to stand on their legal rights in dealing with a doctor than in dealing with a lawyer or a policeman. They have a yielding attitude because they expect magic help.

Suggestion and hypnosis are considered by some to be a psychological blessing, but they can also be the beginning of terror. Mass hypnosis, for example, can have a dangerous influence on the individual. Psychiatrists have found several times that public demonstrations of mass hypnosis may provoke an increased hypnotic dependency and submissiveness in many members of the audience that can last for years. Largely for this reason Great Britain has passed a law making seances and mass hypnotism illegal. Hypnosis may act as a trigger mechanism for a repressed dependency need in the victim and turn him temporarily into a kind of waking sleep-walker and mental slave. The hypnotic command relieves him of his personal responsibility, and he surrenders much of his conscience to his hypnotizer. As we mentioned before, our own times have provided us with far too many examples of how political hypnosis, mob hypnosis, and even war hypnosis can turn civilized men into criminals.

Some personalities are more amenable to hypnosis than others. Strong egos can defend themselves for a long time against mental intrusion, but they too may have a point of surrender. There are overtly critical persons who are much less sensitive to suggestion from the outside than to images from within themselves. We can distinguish between heterosuggestive and autosuggestive personalities, although quite a variety of reactions to hypnosis and suggestion can be distinguished. But even these autosuggestive types, if subjected to enough pressure, will gradually build up internal justification for giving in to mental coercion.

195. nigel harris price - January 27, 2009

elena/whalerider

Seems like we have a little triad here!? Dear Elena, I am the one who has to take the medication, and have had it changed many times over the past 20 years (manic-depressives usually outrgrow their meds – the system gets used to them – whereas a schizophrenic will be able to stay with a good regime for life – ‘God! What a life!’). I cannot afford not to take medication for my ‘brain disorder’ – personally, socially or professionally – being ‘phoenixed’ to this present level of competence, but I will also not be beaten down by my psychiatric support workers, and that includes the ‘shrinks’. Perhaps my favorite helper is the Head Psychiatrist at the Crisis Resolution Team – a wonderfully skilled Solar-Venus-Mercury lady to whom I can really ‘bear my inner soul’ without risk of having it used against me. You will have to bow to whalerider’s more expansive and in-depth knowledge of the mental health profession and I almost completely concur with his advice, much of which I have already implemented (anyone know where I can get some of the ‘sex’ bit? – joke). There is a ‘crux’ area, which involves my life (all the way through), the FOF and anyone else trying to deal with overbearing father figures………………..

On the bus home, I sat down below a poster……………

“Who gives you HOPE?”

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” Psalm 43 vs 5

For Soul, read receptiveness of Higher Centers
For God, read Creative Entity of the Universe

Hope this helps the undrestanding along…..Nigel.

196. elena - January 27, 2009

Nigel,

Take everything you need but I guarantee you that there are other solutions. Western medicine is extremely ignorant in many areas.

It is up to you and I don’t mean to judge you or take away your confidence and I think Whalerider’s advice is great, I support it thoroughly. What I’m trying to say is that there are other options and it is always worth exploring them. They might cost a little more money but they are worth trying.

No harm meant love, no harm.

197. elena - January 27, 2009

Actually anthoposophy is Western medicine and I think it would be worth considering but if you want to stick to only that possibility Nigel, I’ll bug you only once a year!

Please never stop bugging me if you think there are better options!

198. elena - January 27, 2009

I meant: Anthroposophy

199. Another Name - January 27, 2009

Dear Nigel and WR,

I am touched by “Nigel” question and WR response….I have many approaches and I will give my point of views and experiences …

Serotonin you can find in dark chocolate and potatoes. Yes, eating in time, drinking enough water, do not forget saltl is part of a healthy lifestyle. Many of the “patients” I encounter have a chronic dehydration body….

A lack of calcium can cause depression…I hope this underscores the need for a healthy diet enough….?

Ever heard of 5 HTP….this is a natural serotonin, (serotonin is one of the essential proteins which our body needs) that can be used. When you decide to go on 5 HTP, you have to stop your serotonin medication for at least 2 weeks. Do some more research on this matter. One book is Eric Braverman’ “The Edge Effect”.
The Diet ure from Julia Ross gave my partner and me enough information to quite Prozac and Paxil and we both used 5 HTP and I used Gaba Gaba for a while.
We still use 5HTP occasionally when we feel out of balance.

On another note, when I encounter people with bipolar I often asked them what happened before they got moodswings….The stories are so touching, from sexual abuse, abortion and death of a family member, or not liking their jobs etc. Lots of sadness arises when we get to that place…. There is a big happening before the onset of Bipolar it seems….?

I was very touched when I read Martha’s Beck story in “Finding your Northstar” about her diagnosis of bipolar and her own conclusion. She describes the fact when becoming maniac she enjoys what she does in her daily life and depressed when she fills her life with “must”, “should” and “live up” to other peoples standards. Worth reading….

I tried Kava, kava and St Jansworth both did not do much, when I overdo things I crave dark Chocolate and I love potatoes…..

Meditating and balancing your life……good luck to all of you…
Sorry that I can not write more…have to gooooooo.

200. nigel harris price - January 27, 2009

another name/elena/whalerider

I value everything each of you has posted, but I am sure you all realize that each of us must deal with the hand we have been given. Elena, love, these ‘non-conventional’ methods to cope with mental disorders are expensive and require the devotion of time to implement – both difficult for me at this time. I have managed to climb out of the ‘alcoholic pit’ where I was drowning my misery to not feel anything at all. The fact that I have taken the chance to ‘go solo’ with my jewellery teaching has given me such a boost and stability and my students are so supportive (funnily enough, I have many teachers and nurses on the roster) Whalerider, there was something I wished to address – I have not found it useful to mix with fellow sufferers (there is a sort of ‘resonance’ effect with that interface), but allow myself to be guided by those who have experienced dealing with others with the same problems that I have. Rodney Collin said “You will find your friends in the strangest of places”……Nigel.

201. elena - January 27, 2009

Thank you Another Name,

Your exclusion expresses such kindness!
We must be back in the club mentality! Or probably never left it!

Nigel,

You’re right love, other possibilities are expensive but one good doctor can do wonders for you. Wonders if you really understand what you want for yourself.

Some of the doctors here are working with everything they have verified that works. Bach flowers, traditional medicine, anthroposophy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture and combinations of the few. I’ve been surprised with the efficiency of the flowers.

I don’t trust anyone that looks at me or you like a fixed form. Not even my self or your self. I’d do away with what treats your hopelessness or mine. I see a vicious circle for over twenty years in which the periods of stability don’t really compensate the horror.

There is always a way out, but you’ve got to walk through that door and the only key is you your self. Dependency on others keeps you away from your self. People are not there to lean on but to play with, talk with and fight with when necessary. The “father” state in which your needs are pampered is another way for power to minimize the friction: The legacy of capitalism to deal with its orphans whose parents could not be home to survive. Whose parents had to split, to feel a part.

We might have been abandoned but we can still walk, Nigel, you still have legs and arms, never undermine yourself and think of yourself as a hopeless case of no matter what. Fight with me. I have not yet felt the you in you that can fight. Where is it hiding?

Where are you all hiding? Where did you forget to say I? You? Us? They? She? He? Where did you become so exclusive like Another Name and a hundred others? What is it in you that allows for people to get insulted without saying a word? Raped without even looking. And insult with silence and indifference because you don’t even dare speak? Did the Fellowship manage to tame you for the whole of a lifetime? Or do you think the public square is too public for you to be and you come here to practice the worthless blogging in which nothing of value can happen? Do you still think you have time for blogging? Are there still places where you can indulge in not being? This last part is not for you Nigel, it is for our friends here. You are one of the most open and sincere bloggers. At least you dare to say No and Yes! You teach us with your openness and the vulnerability of your self asking for help.

As I said, I completely support and agree with Whalerider’s recommendations to you but as you well know, all those drugs they are giving you have kept you in the same circle for over twenty years. Who’s taught you to be on your knees? You are not a child Nigel. I think you are man enough to know what I am saying. You’ve always known what I am saying here and make little efforts to buffer it. You also have the ability to sing and bring beauty to this place above many of us. What are you afraid of? I want to hear YOU. Not a tamed you… when you are ready.

Don’t think I’m fighting with you! Think of it more like a game of puppies in which we get to know each other’s nerve without hurting our selves. Don’t be afraid of your nerve! To be is the most scary adventure of our lives but the only one worth running for!

Ban me if you like but I protest. The pattern here is no different to that in the Fellowship but for the few who had the luck to never join it.

I wish you all well.

202. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 27, 2009

NIGEL: “I value everything each of you has posted, but I am sure you all realize that each of us must deal with the hand we have been given.”

Sounds to me like you really don’t want any help? Many people have tried to give you alternatives, including myself. You ask for help but then you don’t want it. You might want to consider self sabotage. That’ll keep you spinning for a long time. (only trying to help)

203. Another Name - January 27, 2009

Dear Elena

I do not anderstand what you are trying to say..in the following
Elena. Are you willing to say it in different words?

Your exclusion expresses such kindness!
We must be back in the club mentality! Or probably never left it!

204. elena - January 27, 2009

Another Name,

The lack of a name is not enough to pretend one is not there,
envy sits quietly at the root of all ostracism
there’s a little thing called manners
which is an aspect of consciousness
as all true education is.
There are no excuses to be less no matter where.

Nigel,
You have my full support for whatever you are doing.
Any change in therapy would need a lot of time and willingness.
Feel no pressure coming from me, just an open possibility to consider. You’re worth whatever it costs.

205. Wildz - January 27, 2009

Another Name

I think Elena is offended that you addressed your 199 comment to Nigel and WR only.

206. waskathleenw - January 27, 2009

Here is a good essay on the subject of Hotel California Cosmology. The bullet points at the end are pertinent.

http://gnosiscafe.com/gcblog/2009/01/14/hotel-california-cosmology/

207. elena - January 27, 2009

Wildz,

It happens so often here that I should not be offended any more right. Go numb like the rest here that doesn’t become affected by anything. No wonder we spent so many years watching those boys getting raped and did nothing about it.

208. whalerider - January 27, 2009

elena:
“Who’s taught you to be on your knees? You are not a child Nigel. I think you are man enough to know what I am saying.”

It is unfair and unwise to offend someone’s manhood while they are in the depressive cycle of a person suffering with bi-polar disorder with psychotic features.

Mental illness affects men as well as women, young and old.

Nor is it enlightened to sugggest that using a prescribed medication for a serious and life threatening mental illness is a weakness. You have done this before, and I respectfully ask you to please stop. You are more likely to drive Nigel away than to help him.

A point of reference for you, Elena, would be to compare a person in psychosis with the state of mind in which you found Dorothy when you took her into your care. Both are unable to care for themselves and must depend upon others for help. This could easily be what Nigel is facing if he stops using his meds.

Again, I am asking you kindly and with respect.

209. Opus 111 - January 28, 2009

Elena:

I can only second Whalerider’s just contributed opinion (208).

You easily have contributed the most postings and the most words to this blog. I have not read every word of it, but I respect your contributions. I sense that one of your most recurring personal complaints about FOF and Burton is that they did not allow you to express your self.

People do that here. They allow you and everyone else to contribute, within the constraints of moderation. You express yourself freely and often. Many have responded to your posts, most often in complimentary and stimulated terms. It is yet anyone’s privilege to engage whom they choose and respond to contributions they choose. It has nothing to do with respect or lack thereof. Suggesting that it should be otherwise makes no sense. It would be like suggesting to go from the “repression of expression” that you recriminated in the FOF, to an “mandatory blog expression” or “disallowed silence”. Freedom of expression is just that: expression, or not.

210. elena - January 28, 2009

This is another example of how things can be changed and corrupted and misinterpreted when you wish to.

Your interpretation of that sentence has nothing to do with what I meant.

Who’s taught you to be on your knees means, who in the fucking world ever told you Nigel dearest that you are sick for life with no hope of recovery? Who ever told you that is a sick person, an ignorant who does not deserve to be in the medical field.

I think you are man enough to known what I’m saying means exactly that, you are not a child who has to be pampered with drugs to feel O.K. for the rest of your life. If you want to do that I won’t judge you for it. I’ve seen enough of you here to understand by now that you can feel what is going on here a hundred times better than a lot of people so it is in fact a compliment and not an insult.

So no, Whalerider, I’ll keep saying whatever I’m saying and you can continue misinterpreting it as much as you like.

211. elena - January 28, 2009

Opus, thank you for the tone of your post. I will say when I feel people are rude because they are rude. If that bothers anyone then it would be better to not be rude.

212. whalerider - January 28, 2009

Elena:
I can assure you that a person with Nigel’s condtion does not take the kind of medication he takes to “be pampered to feel O.K.” In fact, quite the opposite. Trust me, these are not “drugs” that a person would ever abuse or take for recreation.

This only further illustrates your lack of being in the area. As I said before, you are running the risk of harming the person you wish to help by pushing your point of view.

You completely missed my point about Dorothy. She was not a child either when you had to care for her was she?

“I’ll keep saying whatever I’m saying and you can continue misinterpreting it as much as you like.”

If there is anyone here acting like a defiant child, it’s you.

213. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

To all

The point is, we are dealing with states and still trying to deal with our lives. I am man enough and possibly honest enough to tell my students that I have had a bad weekend with my bi-polar and do not try to hide it. It gives all of us space to make for a workable tutoring/learning episode. That is the practicality with which I work with my serious illness. I know what I would be like if I did not take my medication and it would be a ‘living nightmare’. Enough hurt has been done to my family and friends by not doing my own Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Certainly there are (in this average-size city of Exeter) many therapists in all sorts of Eastern and alternative disciplines but, like the FOF, you can become addicted to anything after a while. I administer my own tablets and check-in with my specialists – in actual fact, I am going to see Alison Shellock at my Isca Medical Practice tomorrow to try to get some scale on this whole issue (depression tends to make sad memories resurface and some have been difficult to bear – my mother would have been 91 last Friday, had she lived). Elena, I think your desire for me to free myself is noble and I feel I should at least investigate the various disciplines you mentioned. Wakeuplittlesuzywakeup – if it were not for the fact that you had been ‘softer’ in the past, I would be troubled by your acerbic tone and misunderstanding of what I had written. Several posters have privately emailed me for advice on similar things they have been experiencing. Someone once wrote “Normality is a place the bi-polar sufferer can only ocassionally visit”. Not with self-pity…..Nigel.

214. Opus 111 - January 28, 2009

Elena, to go a bit further…

If someone addresses me directly, one on one, I would consider it rude not to answer, even if it is only by saying ” I do not know much about this, or I have not thought about it in those terms”.

If I spoke at a forum of 100 or perhaps thousands, as in a professional meeting for instance, I may be disappointed, but not necessarily surprised or insulted if there were no questions or comments following my presentation.

I do not consider the blog to be a one-on-one conversation.

215. elena - January 28, 2009

Thank you Nigel for understanding like the man you are and not misinterpreting and corrupting what I’m saying.

Whalerider, The psychoanalist I went to see after trying to commit suicide in the hope he’d give me drugs for I was about to do so again for two years and on and off for another ten, told me he was actually a psychiatrist who’d been working and finally directing a clinic for twenty five years and had never ever seen anyone recover with drugs. The only thing that he’d ever seen that worked was for people to be listened to so he had abandoned psychiatry and become a psychoanalist. I think drugs like anything else have their place but it is one percent valid next to the 99 percent of a human being’s ability to overcome his or her own impediments. If one can’t carry one’s self one might as well consider the wheel chair but making invalids by profession does not appeal to me.

Opus 111. I don’t need to be in a club to demand basic decency from the people I interact. If that cannot be met I’ll be very happy to leave. Basic decency is not too much to ask and no one here is too dumb to know when it happens even though occasional over sensitivities might occur.

Also it is not like we haven’t been at this for long enough to know each other and to know who we are. We are actually very few people here talking about a very common experience. I do not have time in my life to fool around with a lot of people who cannot even meet basic manners. The challenge in my life is making it more real, more decent, more worthwhile no matter where I am. I respect this forum with all my heart. If people here think this is a blog where they can come and shit on other people then I’ll be happy to be informed so that I can take all my energy and split to another corner of the world.

What we make of this is a reflection of who we are. We can use it to hurt people or help each other and try to become more human each day, I think that after our common experience we all need a long time of practice.

I thank you again for the kindness of your tone.

216. Opus 111 - January 28, 2009

Opus 111. I don’t need to be in a club to demand basic decency from the people I interact.

I have not thought about it in those terms.

217. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 28, 2009

Nigel: I observe myself first and sometimes I see a similarity in someone else. That’s about as soft as it gets my friend. Namaste

218. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 28, 2009

PS Nigel: I never said anything about self-pity as you mention in your blog. I believe it’s more stubbornness than self-pity that is responsible for my self-sabotage. (I am an OX, Taurus, Emotionally centered Saturn-Mars-Solar) Sorry you took my observation as critical on my part. I didn’t mean it that way. Enough said!

219. Postminimalist - January 28, 2009

Seek balance. Be aware of imbalance.

Be open to self-examination. Be wary of self-doubt.

220. dick moron - January 28, 2009

Cheezus!
This is starting to sound like the Dr. Phil Show bordering on The Jerry Springer show. Where oh where is our punching bag, Daily Cardiac?

221. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 28, 2009

I guess I opened myself up for that. Meow!

222. dick moron - January 28, 2009

Meow! Purrrrrrr!

223. fofblogmoderator - January 28, 2009

219 is newly moderated

224. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

218 wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

I just noticed that, in this mood, I tend not to see others’ problems. I will try to be more externally considerate…..Nigel.

225. dragon - January 28, 2009

A comment on Bipolar Affective Disorder:

I’ll go along with Whalerider’s post and Nigel you are our valued fellow poster here!

Elena, I regard your posts and your work for the petition and the Blog highly! Please stay with us and express your doubts and your ideas. WE are all (apart from the “hurters”) able to communicate with each other!

Well I’ll try to explain the difficulties concerning the bipolar affective disorder in connection with a Blog discussion:

Using a prescribed medication for a serious and life threatening mental illness like the bipolar affective disorder is nowadays the only effective method (with additional methods like: recognizing episode triggers, reducing negative expressed emotion in relationships, recognizing prodromal symptoms before full-blown recurrence, and, practicing the factors that lead to maintenance of remission. Cognitive behavioral therapy…etc..)

In the near future might be additional and new possibilities to make it more bearable or perhaps to cure it.

But unfortunately there is no healing with one solitary method e.g. Homoeopathics (also High Potencies), the unchecked use of Kava Kava and/or other “exotic herbs” in dosages which are not proven to be effective or which are not checked for the components or additional “impurities” or which are not checked for the long-term use (and do you know the persons who are in the charge of sales for many “internet medicines”? Which of those is responsible in case of health problems caused by this “medicine”?)

It is really not possible to diagnose or to give healing instructions to a person via internet, it is dangerous…..

To share feelings and give an advice like “I try to eat chocolate and I feel fine by doing that” is ok but every human being is unique and every medical treatment is unique!

It is ok to say: You are not alone, we share your emotions, your periods of bipolar affective disorder and your remissions but we are not YOUR PERSONAL DOCTOR.

Whoever left the FOF and feels bad, ill and alone:

Please come to the Blog, speak with us….. and feel connected…

Here are your fellow-sufferers and the two or three FOF-members who are on their way (that’s the custom with them, a bad habit) to HURT other people are so easy to identify, it is no bother at all….here are specialists for this task, be sure….

The Blog is not able to heal but you can talk about everything and everybody who is honestly concerned with the warning function of this Blog will give you advices etc….

226. dragon - January 28, 2009

Quote for the Day:

Do: Mahna, Mahna! –>

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

227. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

dragon/elena/wakeuplittlesuzywakeup/whalerider

There may be a reason why I know that there are no quick or absolute ‘fixes’. After I left the FOF, in a suicidal ‘down’, Cy—-a Pa—-k wrote to me in a somewhat “Heal dammit!” way, which just made me feel worse and more of a failure. The wish to be cured is the active force, not others’ demands and the third force seems to be the professionals advice on how to cope.

I have posted this excerpt before, but it is worth repeating. I got the book ‘Dibs – in Search of Self’, written by Virginia M. Axline, when I was studying as a Pre-School Playgroup Leader (never actually took it up, but the study was a steadying factor at the time)……………..

“Dibs had had his dark moments and lived for a while in the shadows of life. But he had had the opportunity to move out of those dark moments and discover that he could cope with the shadows and sunshine in his life.

Perhaps there is more understanding and beauty in life when the glaring sunlight is softened by the patterns of shadows. Perhaps there is more depth in a relationship that has weathered some storms. Experience that never disappoints or saddens or stirs up feelings is a bland experience with little challenge or variation in colour. Perhaps when we experience confidence and faith and hope that we see materialize before our eyes this builds up within us a feeling of inner strength, courage and security.

We are all personalities that grow and develop as a result of all our experiences, relationships, thoughts, and emotions. We are the sum total of all the parts that go into the making of a life.”

To all those who are experiencing something negative in their life at the moment, I would say “Resolve to solve, and know that you are being looked after”

“The meak shall inherit the earth”…………….Nigel.

228. dragon - January 28, 2009

Dear Nigel:

Thank you for that:

“We are all personalities that grow and develop as a result of all our experiences, relationships, thoughts, and emotions. We are the sum total of all the parts that go into the making of a life.”

229. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

“When the sun shines on England, it atones
For low-hung leaden skies, and rain and dim
Moist fogs that paint the verdure on her stones
and fill her gentle rivers to the brim.

When the sun shines on England, shafts of light
Fall on far towers and hills and dark old trees,
And hedge-bound meadows of a green as bright-
As bright as is the blue of tropic seas.

When the sun shines, it is as if the face
Of some proud man relaxed his haughty stare,
And smiled upon us with a sudeen grace,
Flattering because its coming is so rare.”

Alice Duer Miller ‘The White Cliffs’

You guys are my ‘shafts of light’…..Nigel.

230. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

Sorry, not sudeen, sudden…..Nigel.

231. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

“O, sad people, buy not your past too dearly,
Live not in the dreams of the past, for understand,
If you remember too much, too long, too clearly,
If you grasp memory with too heavy a hand,
You will destroy memory in all its glory
For the sake of the dreams of your head upon your bed.
You will be left with only the worn dead story
You told yourself of the dead.”

Alice Duer Miller ‘The White Cliffs’

232. brucelevy - January 28, 2009

This surely rings some creepy bells.

233. elena - January 28, 2009

Dear Dragon and all,

I love you but fortunately love never stopped me from disagreeing with people. I assume you assume that Nigel’s bipolar affective disorder is a much more severe case of it than my little depressions but since there are no absolute rules about this I seriously question that.

When Nigel sent me some information he had about his disorder I immediately recognized myself in it. Fortunately I have a life long programming of not trying to solve my problems with medicine and when the psychiatrist told me that in 25 years he had not seen people recover from medicines I took him seriously. That does not mean that I have not been in bed crying literally for periods of six months and had to struggle with not trying to commit suicide with more and less intense periods for over thirty years. Violence and compulsiveness as you’ve all seen here is not alien to me.

I think you misunderstood me. Show me where I tell Nigel that I am an expert in this? Or that I am a doctor in the subject? As I recall the only suggestions I’ve given him is keep looking for solutions, don’t dive blind in traditional western medicine and attitudes and keep trusting yourself. What is so wrong in that that some people here underestimate Nigel’s sense of himself so badly that he cannot indulge in exploration without totally giving up what he’s doing because I make a few simple suggestions mainly related to trusting his own will?

Looking at definitions of bipolar disorder on the internet they all say that no one knows where it comes from, what it really is, etc, etc. One of the reasons I am suggesting to Nigel to look up Anthroposophical solutions is because the Anthroposophical approach to the human being seems more sound than the traditional approach. Steiner might make a thousand mistakes but at least he tries to give explanations that when one gets used to them, with some common sense one can apply them to particular situations. I have never told Nigel to stop his treatment, I’ve told him to consider other options. It might be true that at extreme moments Nigel might need to take those power medicines but it might also be true that if he went to a Doctor that treated his whole biography and treated him with flowers and homeopathy plus minerals and whatever else is there, he would not get such intense outbreaks of depression and would actually tap into a biography that like that of all of us, is “the stuff we are made of.”

I do not discard strong medicine for severe cases but I am extremely distrustful of the severe misuse of such medicine’s in our times, particularly after seeing them used in America and the Fellowship. Girard was taking prozac and had convinced himself that he had a physical need for it. After a few months of not taking it he was feeling better about himself. H. was being given sever dosages of anti-depressants after trying to commit suicide and reduced them considerably after a few months of living with me.
I did try to talk with her into trusting and loving herself but more than that, in simply giving her enough emotional and economic support for enough time that she could recover the keel of her own self and a little trust in mankind or the fact that not all of us were miserable enough to not put up with her after putting a bullet in her head. I knew from my own experience that she needed to “camp out” for a long time.

In my personal experience depression is a “low I” or a “low sense of one’s self”. One’s “self” as an objective entity that is literally way below where it should be for a healthy life. You can see it easily in drug addicts particularly after they stop taking drugs during the long periods of recovery. Cult members suffered it seriously but developed an interesting phenomenon in which while our own I had been suppressed to depression, a made up secondary I was forced to “act normally” developing the hasnamuss or schizofrenic “two definite personalities individual”. In states of depression the individual loses contact with the world and the feeling that there is nothing in it worth the effort is all pervading. I do not pretend that my experience is the only one explanation possible but I doubt that it is one person’s unique phenomenon. It doesn’t seem at all surprising in our times when people are simply alienated from themselves. I have never seen older Colombian farmers suffer depression like older Colombian well to do people and no one as depressed as people in the Fellowship, who moved with a tuned battery without soul. Any of the women that ever worked for my family was a hundred times healthier than all of us put together! I had my children with such people because I knew they had a lot more of that than I could have ever given them.

In depression I lose the keel of my own soul. After trying to commit suicide at 27 and surviving I knew I wanted to live but I didn’t know how. For four years before finding the System I wondered around just trying to protect my self from myself. “Self remembering” or the acknowledgement of an objective “I” helped me in that the more I practiced it the more I valued the world. It raised not me but my ability to resonate with the outside world as an aspect of myself. It connected me, communicated me, filled the world with meaning and my self with the ability to experience gratitude and pride and their offspring: joy, happiness and well being. I do not intend the blog to be a School for personal development so I have never actually told Nigel to continue practicing self remembering but self remembering is nothing but trust on one’s self and it is what has most helped me. For those of us whose life has driven us so far apart from our selves that we no longer know where we are, the practice of trusting ourselves is not a given but a necessity. We are psychologically lost like children who can’t find their way home and the need to walk back to our selves is not a metaphor but a reality. I know Nigel is as lost as I am but I also know that he’s as there as I am. The lack of kindness in the world hurts people who are already much alienated from them selves. Kindness is the way in which the human spirit feeds each individual with love. The sharing of kindness strengthens each other’s individuality. The lack of community weakens us all. Personal kindness is a necessity against depression but objective social kindness can heal us in a great scale.

I look at myself as a product of my time. There is nothing unique about me, my family or the people who I’ve lived with. I realize that physical activity practiced with care keeps the depression under control while television or unbalanced mind activity tends to raise it. Playing an instrument, working with glass and walking raise the possibilities of not feeling desolate.

You are much talented than I am Nigel. Your English heritage is beautiful, you have poetry in your hands and your heart. There is no reason for you to not find your self in full bloom! Just sit within your self and don’t let the Ocean tamper with your keel! Nothing can replace your own will but give it time to grow like a tree!

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286342-overview

Bipolar Affective Disorder
Stephen Soreff, MD, President of Education Initiatives, Nottingham, NH; Faculty, Metropolitan College of Boston University, Boston, MA
Lynne Alison McInnes, MD, Associate Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Human Genetics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Updated: Sep 18, 2008

Introduction
Background
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness (MDI), is one of the most common, severe, and persistent mental illnesses. Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of deep, prolonged, and profound depression that alternate with periods of an excessively elevated and/or irritable mood known as mania. The symptoms of mania include a decreased need for sleep, pressured speech, increased libido, reckless behavior without regard for consequences, grandiosity, and severe thought disturbances, which may or may not include psychosis. Between these highs and lows, patients usually experience periods of higher functionality and can lead a productive life. Bipolar disorder is a serious lifelong struggle and challenge.1
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, has been recognized since at least the time of Hippocrates, who described such patients as “amic” and “melancholic.” In 1899, Emil Kraepelin defined manic-depressive illness and noted that persons with manic-depressive illness lacked deterioration and dementia, which he associated with schizophrenia.
Bipolar disorder constitutes one pole of a spectrum of mood disorders including bipolar I (BPI), bipolar II (BPII), cyclothymia (oscillating high and low moods), and major depression. Bipolar I disorder is also referred to as classic manic-depression, characterized by distinct episodes of major depression contrasting vividly with episodes of mania, which lead to severe impairment of function. In comparison, bipolar II disorder is a milder disorder consisting of depression alternating with periods of hypomania. Hypomania may be thought of as a less severe form of mania that does not include psychotic symptoms or lead to major impairment of social or occupational function.

For related information, see Medscape’s Bipolar Disorder Resource Center.

Pathophysiology
The etiology and pathophysiology of bipolar disorder have not been determined, and no objective biological markers correspond definitively with the disease state. However, twin, family, and adoption studies all indicate that bipolar disorder has a genetic component. In fact, first-degree relatives of a person with bipolar disorder are approximately 7 times more likely to develop bipolar disorder than the rest of the population……….

http://www.healthcentral.com/bipolar/introduction-7872-108.html
Bipolar affective disorder
Bipolar affective disorder
Definition:
Bipolar affective disorder is a mood disorder characterized by mood swings from mania (exaggerated feeling of well-being, stimulation, and grandiosity in which a person can lose touch with reality) to depression (overwhelming feelings of sadness, anxiety, and low self-worth, which can include suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts).
Alternative Names:
Bipolar disorder; Manic depressive illness
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
The disorder usually appears around the age of 25 and affects men and women equally. Children are rarely affected. The cause is unknown, but genetics do seem to be involved. Relatives of people with bipolar affective disorder and depression are more likely to be affected.

There are different types of bipolar affective disorder. Bipolar I is the classic form of the condition, with discrete periods of mania alternating with depression. In a person with bipolar II, the depressive phase predominates and there is no true mania. There may be periods of elevated mood and energy in which the person doesn’t completely lose touch with reality (hypomania).
People with bipolar II may appear to have depression rather than bipolar affective disorder (especially since few people complain about periods of good mood and energy that don’t cause problems), but mood stabilizers seem to help more than antidepressants.

234. elena - January 28, 2009

The problem with me in the Fellowship was that I was unable to develop the “all is well” looking act and almost crystallized in a distant non approving questioning act of reservation in which I neither took what the Fellowship offered or was able to give what I had.

It was awful but I’m glad I was unable to adopt that “all is well act”. if it ever comes back, may it be genuine.

235. elena - January 28, 2009

Another thought:

Few things have been as healing as crying for six months! The attitude that crying should be stopped is as ignorant as lowering temperature. To live out one’s suffering knowing it won’t kill one is the healthiest thing in the world. It strengthens one’s trust in one’s ability to bear with life and it helps one resolve many unresolved issues.

236. dragon - January 28, 2009

Elena,

you have chosen the way of a questioning mind! That was your protection against the complete takeover.

People who are somehow susceptible to sadness have in a lot of cases the shelter of the questioning mind.
I am sure it is so much better than the “all is well” attitude.

Whatever happens: preserve your questioning mind!

237. whalerider - January 28, 2009

elena:
I couldn’t agree with you more about crying and the healing process. I cried everyday for about six months after my divorce, and then on and off for another six months. A year and a half later, I’m now just starting to feel healed from the pain of that loss because I let myself feel my sadness deeply and didn’t regard it as a negative emotion to be avoided. I cried as much as I could. It totally felt healthy to cry.

“The problem with me in the Fellowship..”

Interesting choice of words.

Didn’t Burton and the FOF cult indoctrinate us feel that way? That we, our ‘lower’ self was the problem, not him?

I know that deep down you don’t think for one second there was a problem with you in the Fellowship. The Fellowship was the problem. Thank goodness you had the common sense to get out.

238. elena - January 28, 2009

Thanks Dragon and Whalerider for the harmonizing.

The problem with me in the Fellowship is that I was unable to develop friends. I would see us all playing those roles and couldn’t get myself to say hello. Beautiful people without kindness but for a few exceptions and I brainwashing myself from morning to night with “don’t judge, you didn’t come here to change others”….

The Fellowship only helped to damage even more what one was already weak in.

239. fofblogmoderator - January 28, 2009

231 is newly moderated

240. nigel harris price - January 28, 2009

231 elena

I felt that was the most brave post you have written and it made me think that we are closer to each other than may have first been obvious. I think, without medication, as I was in the FOF, I would still be under the ‘driving force’ of my adrenals – frenetic hypo-manic activity with my artistry to try to beat the depression stages of failing financially to live up to the FOF idea of Good Householder (you know REB’s phrase “You need to be on time to be out of time” i.e. give me money at the required time) until finally my adrenals turned on me and ‘cast judgement’ on all I could not achieve, with the symbolism of my artwork causing the delusion-driven behaviour leading to the suicide attempt. I am just hopeful that there are blog-visitors in the current FOF membership who will lead sufferer/members of this condition to seek help and understand what is causing their unhappiness. I am going to ‘google’ anthroposophy tonight…..Nigel.

241. whalerider - January 29, 2009

elena:
“The problem with me in the Fellowship is that I was unable to develop friends. I would see us all playing those roles and couldn’t get myself to say hello. Beautiful people without kindness but for a few exceptions and I brainwashing myself from morning to night with “don’t judge, you didn’t come here to change others”….

The Fellowship only helped to damage even more what one was already weak in.”

Would you care to elaborate? You felt weak in a certian area and following the Fellowship doctrine did not help you improve yourself but damaged you further?

242. elena - January 29, 2009

Nigel,

There are no mysteries in my history. A lot of the fear in people is that we seem to want to make things more complicated than they are. Dark areas that we don’t recognize nor want to recognize. I can trace back exactly when and how the depression set in and it was a slow process of fifteen years until I tried to hurt myself. All we need is a lot of compassion to look at our selves. It’s from compassion that gratitude and pride sprung, at least for me!

As long as you don’t end up in an anthroposophic cult, do go ahead! I read a lot of Steiner before I began enjoying him and making any sense of what he was trying to say but I thoroughly enjoyed his fairly short book called Man, Symphony of the Creative Word. I would suggest you read it as if it were poetry, that is, without trying to make too much sense with of it with the rational mind!

The value for me in the long run, is that it re-members our many separate parts. In the Fourth Way one has to do it for one’s self which is “The” beautiful trip but in Anthroposophy he pieces a lot of things together before he invites one to work. I’ve never actually “worked” with Steiner’s practices. Anthroposophists say Gurdjieff and Steiner much disliked each other but to me they are two sides of the same coin!

Good luck!
Clara

Hi Whalerider,

No, I think the System helped me a great deal but life in the Fellowship worsened whatever condition was already present in me when I moved to Isis and over the years working in centers where there was so much conditioning.

While I used the System, particularly at the beginning, it was wonderful! If I’ve said anything of value here, it comes from that period nineteen years ago. The first two years in the Fellowship are the greatest years of my life! I wasn’t at Isis but I worked with my life and it was truly beautiful! My children were happy with the changes!

I tried to share those things at Isis but people thought I was crazy! There was no life with students but cult. Cult life sucks! and sucks away what ever is good in no matter who and gives nothing back. No one is valued and people need to be valued for a healthy dialogue between the individual and the community for there to be culture: life. I understand those things now but I simply suffered them then.

After my mother’s suicide I’ve never been good socially and developing friendships at Isis was not easy for me. Mothers bring joy and stories I heard today. Nothing was easy and I just kept trying to not judge and “separate” from the difficulties! Everything got worse. I stopped “working” with the System I just worked and worked like Girard. Only that Dorothy demanded me to be human and kept me somewhat alive! It was absolutely crazy. We were trying to survive the perfect coldness of the Fellowship to an absolutely demanding situation. It “killed” us out of the Fellowship! Hooray!

What I mean Whalerider is that the Fellowship worsened what ever was already weak in people and did not allow me to develop what was strong. It exacerbated the problem. It used what ever people were good at but didn’t feed them back depleting us constantly. It is a perfect grinder!

I am so glad so many of us are out.

Forgive me for taking so much. I will balance myself out soon and free a lot of space! Life is brighter each day!

Thanks for the dialogue Whalerider.

I wish all well.

243. fofblogmoderator - January 29, 2009

226 & 232 are newly moderated

244. Mick Danger - January 29, 2009

“How do you get even with a guy like Hitler?
You bring him down; you bring him down with ridicule.”
-Mel Brooks (Cpl. Melvin Kaminski, U.S.Army, WWII)

The Blog is only the first circle of payback Hell, Bobby, there are much more radical elements.

245. Mick Danger - January 29, 2009

I don’t deny anyone the right to be a sperm-eating Goddess-in-a man’s body, but are the 12 russian sex slaves really kosher, Bobby?

246. ton - January 29, 2009

elena 242
re: steiner — ya i agree, steiner’s writings are difficult (many of his books are transcripts of lectures)… this is not intended as an endorsement but i will offer a personal point of view and just a few thoughts regarding your warning to nigel about the ‘anthroposophic cult.’ i’m currently employed by an anthroposophical organization called Camphill which was founded by dr. Karl Konig et. al. i work in a Camphill community as an arts and crafts teacher for special needs students grades 1-12, i’m certified by the state to teach and paid a salary commensurate with what teachers make in the public school system (it’s not slave labor). although i don’t live in the Camphill community where i work, i’m a relatively active participant in the community life there, because i choose to be. i come and go as i please, i will on occasion attend anthroposophical lectures and discussions if the topic is of interest but there is no implied or enforced compulsion to do so. that being said, there tends to be a cultish aspect inasmuch as it generally seems to be part of human nature to dogmatically and myopically latch onto ideas and ideologies which examine and purport to explain the mysteries of life and human existence. based on my past experiences in the fof i’m sensitized and acutely aware of the trappings of a cult and i stand against that sort of thinking in the organization…. i am not alone in this attitude, many of my colleagues and friends there also recognize and resist the tendency by some in the organization toward cult thinking and the concomitant behaviors. the fact that there is room for dissent and a range of views and opinions without the threat of ostracism… along with the fact that the organization has a permeable membrane that allows for and encourages integration with the wider society, this to me is an indication that in spite of a ‘cultish’ element, there is no comparison with the likes of the fof. Steiner was all about individual freedom and it’s a bit ironic how some people can take this work and try to turn it into dogma…. but imo anthroposophical thought is grounded in a striving for individual freedom which is a natural antidote to the human tendency toward dogmatic fundamentalism.

“Steiner concludes by pointing out that to achieve this level of freedom, we must lift ourselves out of our group-existence: out of the prejudices we receive from our family, nation, ethnic group and religion, and all that we inherit from the past that limits our creative and imaginative capacity to meet the world directly. Only when we realize our potential to be a unique individual are we free. Thus… only when we actively strive towards freedom do we have some chance of attaining it.”

247. elena - January 29, 2009

Nigel, Continuing with the text I found this that seems much to the point. We’ve all been here! The hope is that we can avoid to fall in a similar trap. Big hug!

Text 13 The Rape of The Mind by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D

The Therapist as an Instrument of Coercion

Medical therapy and psychotherapy are the subtle sciences of human guidance in periods of physical and emotional stress. Just as training requires the alert, wellplanned participation of both student and teacher, so successful psychotherapy requires the alert, well-planned participation of both patient and doctor. And just as educational training, under special conditions, can degenerate into coercive taming, so therapy can degenerate into the imposition of the doctor’s will on his patient. The doctor himself need not even be conscious that this is happening. The misuse of therapy may show itself in the patient’s submission to the doctor’s point of view or in the patient’s development of excessive dependency on his therapist. Such a dependency, and even increased dependency need, may extend not only far beyond the usual limits, but may continue even after the therapy has run its course.

I have seen quacks whose only knowledge was where to buy their couches. By calling themselves psychoanalysts they were able to gratify their own need to live other people’s lives. Eventually the law will have to establish standards which can keep these dangerous intruders from psychotherapeutic practice. But even the honest, conscientious therapist has a serious moral problem to face. His profession itself continually encourages him, indeed obliges him, to make his patients temporarily dependent on him, and this may appeal to his own need for a sense of importance and power. He must be continually aware of the impact his statements and deductions have on his patients who often listen in awe to the doctor who is for them the omniscient magician. The therapist must not encourage this submissive attitude in his patients — though in some phases of treatment it will help the therapy — for good psychotherapy aims toward educating man for freedom and maturity not for conforming submission.

The practitioners of psychology and psychiatry are now much more aware of the responsibility their profession imposes on them than they have ever been heretofore. The tools of psychology are dangerous in the hands of the wrong men.

Modern educational methods can be applied in therapy to streamline man’s brain and change his opinions so that his thinking conforms with certain ideological systems. Medicine and psychiatry may become more and more involved in political strategy as we have seen in the strategy of brainwashing, and for this reason psychologists and psychiatrists must become more aware of the nature of the scientific tools they use.

The emphasis on therapeutic techniques, on students knowing all the facts and the tricks, the overemphasis on psychotherapeutic diplomas and labels lead actual therapy toward conformism and rationalization of principles that are in contrast to the personal sensitivity needed. Our critical and rational faculty can be a destructive one, destroying or disguising our basic doubts and ambivalences born out of tragic despair, that creator of human sensitivity.

The danger of modern psychotherapy (and psychiatry) is the tendency toward formalizing human intuition and empathy, and toward making an abstraction of emotion and spontaneity. It is a contradiction to attempt to mechanize love and beauty. If this were possible, we would find ourselves in a world where there is no inspiration and ecstasy but only cold understanding.

Every human relationship can be used for the wrong or the right aims, and this is especially true of the relationship of subtle unconscious ties which exist between psychotherapist and patient. This statement is equally true for medicine in general; the surgeon, too, thrives on strong ties with his patients and their willing submission to his surgical techniques. Experiences in therapy have taught us that faulty technique can give the patient feelings of being bogged down. Sometimes patients feel as if they have to remain living in servile submission to the doctor. I have seen whole families and sects swear by such modern witch doctors.

No wonder that sound psychoanalytic instruction requires the therapist to admit himself for years of technique he is about to apply to others, so that, armed with knowledge of his own unsound unconscious needs, he will not try to use his profession to mastermind other people’s lives.

Various psychological agencies, with their different pspychological concepts and techniques, such as family counseling, religious guidance, management counseling, and so forth, can easily be misused as tools of power. The good will that people invest in their leaders, doctors, and administrators is tremendous and can be used as a weapon against them. Even modern brain surgery for healing the mind could be misused by modern dictators to make zombies out of their competitors. Psychology itself may tend to standardize the mind, and the tendency among different schools of psychology to emphasize orthodoxy increases unwittingly the chance for mental coercion. (“If you don’t talk my magic gobbledygook, I have to condition you to it.”) It is easier to manipulate the minds of others than to avoid doing so.

A free society gives its citizens the right to act as free agents. At the same time, it imposes on them the responsibility for maintaining their freedom, mental as well as political. If, through the use of modern medical, chemical, and mechanical techniques of mental intrusion, we reduce man’s capacity to act on his own initiative, we subvert our own beliefs and weaken our free system. Just as there is a deliberate political brainwashing, so there can be a suggestive intrusion masquerading under the name of justice or therapy. This may be less obtrusive than the delibrate totalitarian attack, but it is no less dangerous.

Medication into submission is an existing fact. Man can use his knowledge of the mind of a fellow being not to help him, but to hurt him and bog him down. The magician can increase his power by increasing the anxieties and fears of his victim, by exploiting his dependency needs, and by provoking his feelings of guilt and inferiority.

Drugs and medical techniques can be used to make man a submissive and conforming being. This we have to keep in mind in order to be able to make him really healthy and free.

248. elena - January 29, 2009

Ah Ton! I would fall in that Camphill organization like a new born rabbit! They’d turn my heart upside down and backwards like the Fellowship and do whatever they wanted with me if I weren’t a little more reserved today!! If knowledge can be delicious Steiner’s and many other anthroposophical authors is that knowledge. Theodor Schwenk and his Sensitive Chaos on water, Konig and all his works, there are so many of them that it brings back hope to the world!

I took an amazing course with G. Archer, an expert on textiles who presented us with the connection between the energy in different regions of the Earth, the culture of the people and the form of nature in that particular region through the study of the tapestry of each nation. She showed us how solar- masculine cultures like Japan reach that exquisite golden perfection as an expression of their inner hierarchic command and how feminine african cultures relax into a non radial, unfixed form that expresses more organic, natural relationships in society.

There is so much beauty out there that it would be a pleasure to live a hundred lifetimes to encompass a little of it! We do live in a magic world and Anthroposophy is allowing for culture while in the fourth way it is limited to a reduced number of authors.

To me the Fourth Way authors bet on the ability of each individual to run his own course and reveal reality to their own self while Steiner has the world talk to the individual, beautifully, magically! They are perfectly opposite approaches: as if Steiner had rooted himself on external consideration and what it in itself is, while Ouspensky on self remembering. It is interesting that the downside of the fourth way has been the development of cheap cults in which the individual disappears for idolatry while in Anthroposophical groups, from the little I’ve seen, you get this amazing people with exquisite knowledge but still pretty egotistic and prone to embellishment maintaining the hierarchic status.
Either way, we are far from perfect beings but along with our imperfections life is every second worth the struggle!

I think Ouspensky assumed that properly used, self remembering would reveal the world to the individual who would “naturally” “consciously” embrace the world which is what Steiner does most beautifully!!! The few Anthroposophists I know would kill me if they heard me saying these things! Of course, Steiner was enlightened in an almost inhuman way which Gurdjieff and Ouspensky were not! Ouspensky was academically human which is what I love about him because he made awakening sound possible and it is! When one looks at Steiner, one’s eyes are not enough to see him!

When I talk like this, don’t think I am pretending to be awake but I am also not pretending that I have lived in vain. There’s so much struggle still needed for me to appreciate life fully but I struggle with such a pleasure!

Thanks Ton for sharing your self with us.

Good luck to all, have a great day! Thanks Bruce for that video, good to remember what we originally came here for!

249. elena - January 29, 2009

To me the Fourth Way authors bet …..

That should say, To me The System’s or The Work author’s bet….

250. We Were There - January 29, 2009

Elena and Nigel, I don’t mean to sound unkind, but may I suggest that you consider limiting your contributions to, perhaps, 2 or 3 a day, and try to stay focused on the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton?

Such an ‘exercise’ might give you the opportunity to reflect more about each post… you know, ‘quality over quantity.’

Thanks.

251. Panorea - January 29, 2009

…Cults offer a powerful matrix that breaks through individual boundaries and amplifies energy. Often what grabs the person is not a specific leader or ideology, but rather the configuration of emotions that is part of the state of surrender itself. Gurus can arouse intense emotions as there is extraordinary passion in surrendering to what one perceives as a living God. The inbuilt potential for violence is likewise great. Should the guru become paranoid, greedy, or merely bored, as many do, they can get their disciples to do almost anything…

This is a part from “Who defines reality in religions and cults”, from the book “The Guru Papers.”

It has come very close to my experience in the Fellowship as often I would disregard my perceptions as the “many I’s” and be reminded by my fellow students that the energy around Robert was so special. Thinking about surrendering to a living God; what an enormous thing to do…but many of us thought we were just doing that very thing….

252. giorgio - January 30, 2009

I agree , Elena and Nigel please hold your horses

253. Postminimalist - January 30, 2009

Ok, look. This issue has come up frequently on the blog.

Just scroll down. If you want a different topic, then change the topic. If you want focus, do the focusing. If you want something short, write something short.

And stop being so passive aggressive!

OK, juuuuust kidding on that last part, lol.

254. elena - January 30, 2009

We were there and Giorgio,

With pleasure! have great fun!

255. ton - January 30, 2009

elena 248,
am i, or are we here supposed to be impressed by the your lists of authors? why is it that on the one hand you end by thanking me for ‘sharing myself’ but on the other hand, after reading your post, i feel more like you are attacking me? i am not a “new born rabbit” and i resent the implication. make no mistake, “they” have not turned my heart ‘upside down and backwards like the fellowship’ (your words) and “they” definitely DO NOT “do whatever they want with me” (your words again). in my previous post i warned about comparisons with the fof because i know from experience that’s the natural thing to do in the case of a cult survivor… as i implied, one thing that i can thank my fof experience for is a sensitized awareness of cult mentality and how to deal with this all too pervasive aspect of human psychology. as a contributing and productive participatory individual in an organization, one makes sacrifices, but the element of individual choice in that context is something you seem to be unaware of…i understand. that’s based on your fof experience. apparently you have very little or no idea about free choice and freedom of expression within the healthy gestalt of group dynamics… especially if you base your unconscious preconceptions on your fof experience and continue to view things through that distorted lens. i hope you will one day move past this mode of perception and you will choose to do some good in this troubled world… i know you can if only you will.

256. elena - January 30, 2009

With pleasure Giorgio and We were there,
Have Great Fun!
It’s all yours!

257. elena - January 30, 2009

Oh Dear, Giorgio and We were there, excuse me a minute I have a conversation with Ton that hadn’t finished!

Oh Ton, here is another example of misinterpretation. You people really are talented in this!

What I meant at the beginning of that text and all throughout is that I so much admire the many anthroposophic authors that I would give my heart willingly to it and they would be able to do whatever they wanted with me if I were still as naive as in the Fellowship. Just in case you misunderstood the term inhuman in relation to Steiner, I meant that he was so great he was not quite human, I should have said supra-human!

I mention some of the authors that evoke nothing but awe in me.

And what I was trying to say is that it is a great opportunity to work with those people, that I would like it so much that I would fall in it like a complete defenseless newborn rabbit! I couldn’t think of anything more willing in essence!. It is a beautiful opportunity and I hope you take advantage of it.

Since no matter the tone or the wording the majority of you here only misinterpret and corrupt what I say, I wish you all good luck, I thank you for putting up with me for two compulsive years, you’ve been amazingly kind considering I’ve been such a pain in the ass.

Have great fun
It’s all yours!

Sorry that came out two times Giorgio and you were there, I had another page open and didn’t see it had come out!

258. ton - January 30, 2009

elena, re: your last post; it almost ‘sounds” apologetic but there is an unmistakable undercurrent of patronizing condescension. “…if I were still as naive as in the Fellowship…” and of course you aren’t, we’re all changed by experience…. after addressing me you write: “…you people…” guess what, i’m not a ‘lump.’ maybe it’s just this medium and the fact that ‘we’ are different minds separated by thousands of miles…. but the gaps between interpretation and action and intention is something i’ve been ‘talking’ about since i started posting. the question is, what’s behind the intention here?

259. elena - January 30, 2009

Dear Ton,

You people means that the whole lot of you including Whalerider who just recently badly misinterpreted my post to Nigel and you tend to misunderstand everything I say.

I’m very sorry you do that. Very sorry that I keep writing and writing in the hope that you’ll finally understand my intention and meaning but I just must be out of your time because no matter how much I try it doesn’t work.

Let’s try once more: If I were still as naive as in the Fellowship the cultish side of the anthroposophists that you work with would “do me in”! (like My Fair Lady might have said) because I like Anthroposophy so deeply that I would go head over heels to please them like I did in the Fellowship. I don’t know what’s so patronizing about that, it seems a simple clear fact.

What’s behind the intention? Admiring you for what you do and appreciating your good luck to be amongst people who I deeply believe in? Is that too good for you to perceive like the rest of my post?

One day, a few years from now, you might understand what I said in that post, please let me know when you do. From what you say, you haven’t even read it. If I told you the things I expected from it you would laugh your heart out like I am doing now! I thought maybe you’d help me find a job in an institution like that where I could be with people that have really worked hard not like the cheap pimps of the Fellowship! Don’t worry though, I think I don’t want to come anywhere close anymore if the standard of misinterpretation is like yours! If you’ve misinterpreted all my posts like this it is now very easy to understand you!

In the meantime, I wish you all fare well. It’s been good to be here. You have all much helped me. I am a lot stronger now than I was two years ago when I left the Fellowship. I am sorry I cannot please you, I am sure you will please each other well.

I hope you are not like so many who neither cut nor lend the axe! Please use this wonderful tool of communication to connect more deeply! Throw a party! I will!

260. elena - January 30, 2009

Correction, just so that you Ton take it less personally: If you’ve all misinterpreted my posts like this it now very easy to understand you!

261. elena - January 30, 2009

my posts like this it is now very easy….

Oh Dear, You were there and Giorgio, about seven already! Must be a magic number!

262. ton - January 30, 2009

Dear Elena, thanks for the clarification, i understand more now…
as for your: “thought maybe you’d help me find a job in an institution like that where I could be with people that have really worked hard not like the cheap pimps of the Fellowship!”

you don’t need my help for this….

as for ‘institutions’ avoid them if you can….

life is for learning and then moving on…. time to move on.

263. elena - January 30, 2009

And if I did I wouldn’t get it anyway!

Yeah, time to move on!

264. James Mclemore - January 30, 2009

Elena – I don’t mean to butt in, and I am not even sure if I got it right, in this cycle of misunderstandings, but….

ton said,
“you don’t need my help for this….”

Elena, you said,
“And if I did I wouldn’t get it anyway!”

If the part I quoted from ton is what you were responding to, I would look long and hard and deeply at what is behind that response of yours. I suspect it holds something very important for you, and has nothing to do with ton, or anyone else.
And I do agree it is time to move on. (probably tues morning for me)

love to you.

265. elena - January 30, 2009

You obviously didn’t get it James, who do you think Ton is trying to fool, himself or me?

Maybe just you!

266. elena - January 30, 2009

James, you must be misinterpreting something like Ton and Whalerider recently, you obviously haven’t read even one of those posts.

If you’re all so eager to move on, why don’t you. I bet you are like those who neither cut nor lend the axe.

267. normal human being - January 30, 2009

Please, everybody, STOP!!! for a minute and read it again:

“…All we need is a lot of compassion to look at our selves. It’s from compassion that gratitude and pride sprung…” Elena 242

And again

“…All we need is a lot of compassion to look at our selves. It’s from compassion that gratitude and pride sprung…”

And again

“…All we need is a lot of compassion to look at our selves. It’s from compassion that gratitude and pride sprung…”

268. dragon - January 30, 2009

Looking at the last post:

I think the FOF methods are immanent. Wherever a person moves on, the internalized methods are going with many persons and it takes only a second to reactivate them.

But is it only a result of the FOF?

Isn’t it also a kind of banal malice, a quality in every human being and everybody has the possibility to notice it or to increase it or to let it live in its little cave of our variety of thousands thoughts.

Should we wake it up and should we pay tribute to it like the FOF?
Should we reallly cultivate it as a new sort of infertile maize given to the farmers in the Third World countries? Infertile maize causes a relationship of dependence.

To look at it/the malice, to accept that it is an essential part of our beings and then doing what strengthens our ability to give and to live in a constructive way, could be one possibility.

Or is the FOF an institution preparing its members for a very special hunting license?

Hunters kill, they try to give a quick death but the FOF-members are they on the way to learn:

How to take delight in HURTING, primarily people who are obviously victims of those brainwashing methods?

By the way, what is your definition of a “normal human being”, dear FOF?

269. elena - January 30, 2009

250. We Were There – January 29, 2009
Elena and Nigel, I don’t mean to sound unkind, but may I suggest that you consider limiting your contributions to, perhaps, 2 or 3 a day, and try to stay focused on the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton?
Such an ‘exercise’ might give you the opportunity to reflect more about each post… you know, ‘quality over quantity.’
Thanks.

252. giorgio – January 30, 2009
I agree , Elena and Nigel please hold your horses

253. Postminimalist – January 30, 2009
Ok, look. This issue has come up frequently on the blog.
Just scroll down. If you want a different topic, then change the topic. If you want focus, do the focusing. If you want something short, write something short.
And stop being so passive aggressive!
OK, juuuuust kidding on that last part, lol.

Thank you Postminimalist, although I imagine it is not a compliment!

You are there and Giorgio, don’t move, I’ll be right with you as soon as I can find a good reason to do so.

We were there: Elena and Nigel, I don’t mean to sound unkind,
______you don’t need to mean it, it’s in your nature!

but may I suggest that you consider limiting your contributions to, perhaps, 2 or 3 a day,
_______No, as Postminimalist suggested run past them and make up your own reason to be here somewhat more creative than simple criticizing others.
and try to stay focused on the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton?
_______You’ve gotta be kidding! I already focused on that shit for nineteen years, you want me to stay with the petty insults for the rest of my life?
_____Are you a Saturn with a dominant feature dear that thinks you can suggest these things to people without having ever granted them anything but your superiority?

Such an ‘exercise’ might give you the opportunity to reflect more about each post… you know, ‘quality over quantity.’
_____I don’t know quality over quantity dear, why don’t you show us your expertise more practically? When or where do you consider anything seriously without concentrating on petty little insults?
Thanks.

252. giorgio – January 30, 2009
I agree , Elena and Nigel please hold your horses
Oh Dear! We must have a reincarnation of Javoh who could not bring out a courageous statement like “You are there” on his own but as soon as someone spitted it out, he would be the first to cheer.
Being such a good cheer leader Giorgio why would you need to hold your horses? Maybe because if you let them go, your balls might fall out? Or you won’t be able to show enough brains?
Why don’t you both go and screw each other, I was seriously considering your invitation but I definitely am hopeless at holding my horses specially when the reign gets tight!

267. normal human being – January 30, 2009
Please, everybody, STOP!!! for a minute and read it again:
“…All we need is a lot of compassion to look at our selves. It’s from compassion that gratitude and pride sprung…” Elena 242

Normal Human being, if there were anything normal about you, you would not have put that name on your self! Welcome to the club!

As you can see with Giorgio and “He is there” I have hardly been practicing this beautiful theory for the past seventeen years but still let me tell you more about it!

Compassion is a quality of real I, like pride. Non-judgement is the mother of compassion. I didn’t get to compassion from the petty compassion that thought I had to be good to other people, (there was non of that anywhere in my upbringing) it “happened” to me after working with non-judgement. “A quality of Real I” is worth stopping on and looking at carefully. When we look at physical beauty in people, there is great pleasure, when we look at spiritual beauty in people, there is great being! The pattern of course is that we burn them first then glorify them so we must be on a hell of a good track!

Non-judgement, or the capacity to not criticize people like He Is There and Giorgio as soon as they open their mouth, eventually led me to see that I was just like them but by the time I was able to see that, there was already something that could bear to see it! What is difficult about “looking” is being able to see! If you just look at the blog and the pattern in which people tell me its time to move on, insult me with petty little criticisms about my self without ever biting on the subjects I present is that they are not able to see what I am looking at, they do not wish to consider it. They are not rejecting me as much as what I am presenting but because they are unable to assimilate what I am presenting , they make petty little attacks on me. They remain in the “personal” without being able to acknowledge the “public” undermining with personal attacks what their minds are unable to reason with.

Since I am still rather vulnerable, I tend to take them personally but every once in a while (about each half a day) I am able to move beyond the personal and give a fuck about the petty little attacks, mine or theirs! Or the fact that most have given up attacking and hope that if they stop acknowledging me I might disappear! The more they disappear me the more I appear! Must be blog-magic!

Something else worth looking at here is the imaginary space in which we are moving. For me this is the Public Square where the human soul within each one of us lives. Here is the whore and the woman, the pimp and the man, the child, the wife, the politician and the architect. Here is Nature and Man. The “public” as an expression of the private. If you look at the blog, you’ll find that most of the participants participate with what they allow of themselves to show and they hardly show more than their fingernails as if they were ashamed of their legs and arms, their tits and groin, their waist, their neck, their hair and hands! We show our imaginary picture of our selves or what we think others should see and in that imaginary picture, most try to avoid their shadow, their fears, their humanity. They present their “coherence” and are much bothered by Nigel’s or my openness to beg for help because they think they’ve got it all resolved!

In the undercurrent, they’ve all decided that if they can place us, Nigel and I in the lunatic bin, they can carry on with their lives without dissonances. “The Fellowship was bad but not bad enough to act against it, conforming with a few petty insults against it is so much more comfortable than seeing it for what it is” conforming with what they themselves allowed them selves to be in the Fellowship. They felt so happy in it for such a long time, that if sickos like Nigel and I got dumped by it, it is only because we are after all, sickos!

Nigel love, hold your horses honey, lunatics are divine beings in the East, we’ve just got to move an Ocean!

You look at the sporadic participants and you can get a good taste of these things. They think they are already awfully advanced, even participating in such a “popular” activity!

So abnormal human being, thank you for giving me another excuse to spill my guts out, let’s hope the lot of them have moved on so that they don’t have to look at what they don’t want to see.

In case you have any doubts, you don’t have to study the whole blog, just look at the recent interaction with Ton. He goes frantic about his fears and never addresses the subject of Ouspensky and Steiner. I was happy that someone who should know them both having been here and there with He is Here, would enjoy some of the exploration but instead he comes back with this shit about insulting him with rabbit fur! And if he, like Laura, is one of the one’s that actually tried to consider me, what are we going to have next?

In the meantime, we better continue enjoying our selves and wishing each other well!

270. elena - January 30, 2009

Sorry Nigel, I have to move west and Ocean and you East a continent!

I know you’d want to think about it seriously before being dumped with me in the same bag but if you ask he is there and Giorgio for redemption I’m sure they’ll reconsider you!

271. postminimalist - January 30, 2009

267. normal human being – January 30, 2009

Please, everybody, STOP!!! for a minute and read it again:

========

I did, thanks for pointing that out. I noticed the word “compassion” in Elena’s post. Even that word alone is a thousand miles ahead of the dogma of the FOF. The word “compassion” ain’t part of the vocabulary.

What is it you call that, again, feminine dominance? We can’t have none of that compassion stuff around here, lol. It’s so B-influence.

272. postminimalist - January 30, 2009

Take what works for you, and dismiss the rest of this stuff. Don’t respond. You have an inner strength like all of us. Keep going where you’re going. Let others follow, or not follow. Follow them, or don’t follow them. Just say what’s on YOUR mind.

Elena, keep going where you’re going. Let others follow or understand, or not follow or not understand. Follow others, or don’t follow them. You don’t need a “group” – and you don’t need our support. Just tap into that inner strength of yours.

Ok, yep, sounds like Dr. Phil. But who cares. He’s not all bad.

273. whalerider - January 30, 2009

elena:
“You people means that the whole lot of you including Whalerider who just recently badly misinterpreted my post to Nigel…”

Elena, you neglected to mention how you recently “badly misinterpreted” my post about self-interest and motivation.

This omission of your own weakness leads me to suspect that such a sweeping condemnation of “you people and the whole lot of you” is a projection of your own failure to understand the feedback of others through the filter of your anger and defensiveness. Hey, I’d be angry at my mom if she committed suicide, too.

Elena, you seem stuck in a fight of “me against the world” and you lash out at anyone who steps in your path. I can understand why you don’t make friends easily. You seem to look for the weaknesses in others instead of their strengths. You see others as “beautiful people playing empty roles” as though everyone has to be perfect to measure up to your idealized standards, thus you worship Steiner, a dead guy, who can’t give you any feedback. Do you see a pattern there?

What is it about your own imperfections that you are not willing to accept? Accepting your imperfections will lead you to enlightenment!

We are all imperfect beings, even Dr Phil. Only Allah is perfect, so just relax, and let’s focus on draining Burton’s victim pool.

274. whalerider - January 30, 2009

BTW, today’s my birthday.

Yep, I’m an Aquarian. The numerology of my birth date adds up to the number 9.

In tarot, nine is the Hermit. This is my path…

“Introduction to the Hermit Tarot Card Meanings:

In our fast-paced, harried world of today, we would all do well to do as the hermit does. The Hermit’s stride is slow but sure. He takes each step with a deliberate, conscious approach – knowing that each step of the journey is a small imprint upon the larger picture of his path. He does everything in this manner – each breath he takes, each word he speaks, every decision he makes is a deliberate act.

This is one prime source of the Hermit’s wisdom. In recognizing that each of our thoughts and actions is a brick we use to build our lives, we partake in the creation of our own reality. The Hermit has had to learn this lesson by means of distancing himself from the regular, routine world. By removing himself from the “normal” stream of societal thought, the Hermit is able to listen to the inner stirrings of his own intuition and act upon it.

In much the same way, by turning off our telephones, switching off our televisions, and removing ourselves from the barrage of external chatter – we are able to finally hear the small voice from within that leads us to higher ground.

The Hermit walks a fine line. By purposefully choosing to remove himself from society he also runs the risk of being misunderstood and labeled inappropriate. These labels do not concern him as his path of spiritual knowing and higher wisdom are his prime concerns.

The path of the Hermit is certainly not for everyone, but we all have parts of ourselves that need a little quiet time at the least. When the Hermit shows up in a reading it often refers to a need to be still, contemplate, meditate, observe what is going on before any further action is taken.

Key Symbols Relative to Hermit Tarot Card Meanings:

This section focuses in on a few select symbols that can help us further define the Hermit Tarot card meanings.

Staff: Appearing as an attribute amongst pilgrims, saints and even priests, the staff is an emblem of power and authority. The staff is in the Hermit’s left hand, representing the hand of higher awareness (subconscious mind). In this case the staff represents the Hermit’s ability to use his isolation and the knowledge he has gained as a tool upon his path to even higher levels of awareness.

Stance: The Hermit stands upon the precipice of an icy mountain. This symbolizes the heights of his journey, and further intensifies the feeling of his isolation. Mountains typically symbolize achievement, growth, and accomplishment. The symbolism in this case is the Hermit has achieved his goal and he is continuing the path he has chosen, committed to his endeavor of ultimate awareness.

Star: The star of David shines brightly within his lantern. Biblically, David is means “beloved of God” and so the light from the star symbolizes the light of God. Further inspection of the star reveals that it is comprised of two triangles, one inverted, the other erect.

This is a common symbol for male & female, or opposing/balancing energies. In the context of the Hermit, this symbol represents balance, and using the energies together for the purpose of spiritual advancement.

Key Questions Relative to the Hermit Tarot Card Meanings:

When contemplating the Hermit Tarot card meanings, ask yourself the following questions:
•Have you taken the time to simply “be?”
•Are you able to be still? If not, why?
•What is your level of awareness at this moment?
•Are you receiving the guidance you need on your path? If not, why?
•Are you able to be quite and listen to the still small voice within?
•Is the current path you are on still as meaningful as when you first set out?
•When was the last time you stopped to take a break from the hussle-bustle of your life?”

275. Mick Danger - January 30, 2009

“Number 9, Number 9, Number 9,
A little bit older and a little bit colder,
Number 9, Number 9, Number 9……..
You say you want a revolution,
Well you know, we’d all love to change your head”

276. elena - January 30, 2009

Thanks Postminimalist,

One is enough to inspire me!

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

You poor sick man Whalerider,

I have felt your lowliness but never imagined you would use my mother to attack me. You’re running out of decent arguments so you resort to this lowliness. As the women here would say: God have mercy on your soul!

It is a good thing I am in peace with her and even better that the more you talk like that, the less power you have over me.

Elena, you neglected to mention how you recently “badly misinterpreted” my post about self-interest and motivation.

What did I misinterpret about that post? That I didn’t agree with you?

You’re welcome to lay it out and we’ll take another go at it you sick fool.

277. elena - January 30, 2009

Ah Whalerider, I forgot: with friends like you who needs enemies?

But it is always good to know how low a people can go to know why not to go anywhere else with them.

278. Mick Danger - January 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Whalerider,
and a very merry un-birthday to the rest of you.

279. whalerider - January 30, 2009

elena:
“What did I misinterpret about that post? That I didn’t agree with you?”

#168
“It’s good to know that it is just a misunderstanding of concepts. The context in which I’ve tended to use self interest is that selfish kind that I misunderstood in your text .”

A friend is someone who will tell you what they feel is the truth, even if it is painful.

You have a personality trait that causes you to eventually attack anyone who seems like an authority figure, Elena. It happens time and time again on this blog. IMO, this speaks to an unresolved primal rage at your caregivers from your childhood. So feel free to direct it at me if you need to, I am not afraid of you or of difficult feelings, for I know that behind all your pain is a great soul struggling for freedom.

If you were indeed at peace about the suicide of your mother, why the defensive rage? I said nothing derogatory about her, may she rest in peace, I spoke only about your relationship to her.

And call me whatever you want, I am just the messenger.

280. Postminimalist - January 30, 2009

Ah yes. Man, that negative blog. Obviously a sign of what happens to people when they “leave the school.” Ah, I’m so glad i’m still safe in the hands of Robert Burton. As soon as my friends stopped writing checks, the gods said:

“Hey Leonardo. Joe here is not writing checks anymore.”
“Really? Holy shit? Drop him lick a sack of potatoes, then Goethe. I never really liked Joe that much anyway.”

No. Nothing weird going on in the fof, no sir.

Anyway, just keep letting it rip, people. Healing. At least there’s a little less pretentiousness here.

281. elena - January 30, 2009

This is a personal note to Mr. Rider, please avoid your selves the discomfort and he the shame.

273. whalerider – January 30, 2009
elena:
“You people means that the whole lot of you including Whalerider who just recently badly misinterpreted my post to Nigel…”
Elena, you neglected to mention how you recently “badly misinterpreted” my post about self-interest and motivation.
______Whalerider, the comparison is so weak that you barely have a point: a misunderstanding of concepts, not a corruption of the a whole text in which you like Ton, neglected to listen to the love. Like Robert Burton dear, you can’t perceive the love!
This omission of your own weakness leads me to suspect that such a sweeping condemnation of “you people and the whole lot of you” is a projection of your own failure to understand the feedback of others through the filter of your anger and defensiveness.
_______The feedback of others? We are talking about misinterpretation and corruption. You can win a decent argument so you turn against the personality just as you are doing now.

Hey, I’d be angry at my mom if she committed suicide, too.
________There are areas in people’s lives Whalerider that you cannot approach with that coolness. You show an insensitivity as cold as Robert’s. You give shit about me, you’ve tried to dis-authorize me many times and have not been able like recently with the drugs for Nigel. Your false pride is hurt so you slash back with this hoping to shame me for my mother’s suicide. You poor sick man!
Elena, you seem stuck in a fight of “me against the world” and you lash out at anyone who steps in your path. I can understand why you don’t make friends easily.
_______Here you’re trying to attack me because I don’t make friends as if we were here on this blog to make friends by submitting to what ever others wish to impose. That might be your priority but I cannot make friends with people who continue to condone the Fellowship; who misinterpret and corrupt what I say and who ostracize me. These things hurt but they don’t hurt so much that they will destroy me. If I lend myself to all this it is so that you too can look at the areas you’re blind to. You will see them sooner or later, I promise you.
I am in a fight against the world of the Fellowship, that is, all those inside and all those outside who have one way or another hurt me and others. You are far from being the world but a minor part of it that was important to me at some point and it is less and less so each day.____
You seem to look for the weaknesses in others instead of their strengths.
Really? We must be one for the other, perfect mirrors, for what I attack in you is that you do not discuss the issues I present but attack me. I’ve survived, because no matter how much you attack, someone understands what I am trying to say. A minority indeed, but a significant minority.

You see others as “beautiful people playing empty roles”
_____Great Whalerider, keep corrupting things out of context and you’ll win every battle, you learnt plenty in the Fellowship. “beautiful people without kindness” was actually the sentence which you’ve changed directed at brainwashed members of the Fellowship. What else were we inside? We have the opportunity for kindness here but we don’t have it here either, we must have lost it all in the Fellowship. So be it!

as though everyone has to be perfect to measure up to your idealized standards,
______yes, I better lower myself to yours and start ostracizing people and corrupting what they say to get cudos for popularity!

thus you worship Steiner, a dead guy, who can’t give you any feedback.
_____You’re edging with ridicule here. Worship Steiner? WHERE! I demand proof of that!
Do you see a pattern there?
______No, you’ll have to try harder! You give me plenty of feedback and I you, it just doesn’t please your ego! It doesn’t please mine either but I don’t ostracize you for it!
What is it about your own imperfections that you are not willing to accept? Accepting your imperfections will lead you to enlightenment!
______My imperfections dear are so many and I’ve exposed them so lavishly that characters like you pick them up and turn them against me but it is a double bladed sword that equally turns against you.

We are all imperfect beings, even Dr Phil. Only Allah is perfect, so just relax, and let’s focus on draining Burton’s victim pool.

279. whalerider – January 30, 2009
elena:
“What did I misinterpret about that post? That I didn’t agree with you?”
#168
“It’s good to know that it is just a misunderstanding of concepts. The context in which I’ve tended to use self interest is that selfish kind that I misunderstood in your text .”
_____At least I acknowledge my misunderstanding, where do you or Ton?
And then I don’t usually carry it further but you’ve got an old splinter in your soul.
A friend is someone who will tell you what they feel is the truth, even if it is painful.
______Thank you for acknowledging what I’ve been doing here!
You have a personality trait that causes you to eventually attack anyone who seems like an authority figure, Elena.
______Authority figures? Yes, there are none here. So many of you here wish to be authority figures and I respect none. Argumentation and debate but no given status, you’ll have to keep that for your appointments in which you can pretend that you know something.

It happens time and time again on this blog. IMO, this speaks to an unresolved primal rage at your caregivers from your childhood.
_____Your attempt to psychoanalysis is poor like most of your debate. If I had not resolved my primal rage, I would not talk about it. Once one has dealt with one’s difficulties it is not a problem to expose them.
I have had tremendous rage against the Fellowship and Robert but even that is waning so much that I am happy to look at the phenomenon through a much wider lense as is the Rape of the Mind. Many of you keep asking to let you concentrate on daddy Robert like you’re doing here but you’re much more attached to daddy Robert at this point than I am. Should I say something bitchy like you about my mother? I understand that after fucking around with him for so long, it is difficult for you to let go of him? Shall I continue? Twenty three years later and you’re still screaming about how you allowed him to play with you in exchange for a few privileges because you were better than others? Do you, sick one, think that I don’t know that when I use something like this, like you used with my mother, I am not trying to raise shame in you? To make you vulnerable about who you are for having been fucked by Robert? I by having being fucked by my mother who committed suicide? You think I am so susceptible to your cruelty and that you will make me so vulnerable with that shame that I’ll let go of you? Your neck is as thin as a chicken’s. Cowards like you don’t scare me either. In fact, unless you apologize, I will never again read any of your posts because you are not worth my time so write along for the people that condone you. I’ll keep fighting if I feel like it_______
So feel free to direct it at me if you need to, I am not afraid of you or of difficult feelings, for I know that behind all your pain is a great soul struggling for freedom.
______Don’t come licking me after this shit Whalerider, there is nothing I despise or disrespect more than this kind of hypocrisy. You have no love and you perceive no love which is present in most of my posts. There are other things present too but you chose what to be indifferent to. I respectfully ask you to leave hypocrisy aside. We do not need to pretend there is love here, respect is enough, from sustained respect, love can grow.
“A great soul struggling for freedom”? I laugh at you, even that is meant to say that I am not free that I need to struggle more, like daddy Robert, you really are a wonderful magician like him, no wonder you charm people with the clock! How much do you charge dear, are you so mad with me because I wouldn’t give you the time?
If you were indeed at peace about the suicide of your mother, why the defensive rage? I said nothing derogatory about her, may she rest in peace, I spoke only about your relationship to her.
____Get to know your self a little better then come and give me lessons about my mother. You can’t even tell yours what you’ve suffered you’re so ashamed of yourself. You like that? You think you’re the only one who can be bitchy as hell here? Good, get to know me if you haven’t had a good enough taste yet.
And call me whatever you want, I am just the messenger.

______Yes, like Bobby dear, the messenger of Influence shit?

282. James Mclemore - January 30, 2009

Whalerider

HAPPY BIRTHDAY –

283. Postminimalist - January 30, 2009

Ok, that’s it. I’m rejoining. It’s too negative out here. Much less negative in there. Argh. Life people.

284. whalerider - January 30, 2009

elena:
Your style is to overpower and silence your critics by venting the years of your pent up rage at them. You want others to cower around you, to be in awe of your power. The world misunderstands you. And we owe you an apology for not finding the love in what you offer us. (Mostly, I hear the love in your posts when you describe your homeland, your “motherland”. How could you be mad at that?)

It remains to be discovered whom you are actually mad at. Maybe I was wrong. Is it really “daddy”, then? You use the word several times in your last highly agitated post to me. Is that what is fueling your rage against Burton?

BTW, shunning my posts makes you on the same level as Burton. He too, could not handle honest feedback either. And I bet he feels the world misunderstands him, too, as do all molestors.

I think I reserve my apology for after you apologize to me for all the names you call me. I have responded to you with more respect that you have shown me.

But no matter what name you call me or how “bitchy” you get, I am still not going to get mad at you. I am a whalerider.

>>>>><<<<<

Thanks Mick and James.

When you get to my age, you call it as you see it and sometimes you have to duck. When the Hermit holds up the lantern, it’s not always a pleasant sight.

Postminimalist:
You’ve hit upon one big underlying reason people stay in the Fellowship cult…the difficulty of dealing with negative emotions. It isn’t easy when people lose their cool, make personal attacks and start calling you names… (wow, you should hear my 6 year old daughter when she goes at it.) If we could all just pretend we didn’t have negative emotions, or medicate them away, the world would be a nicer place, right? Having kids has been the best teacher for me of dealing with negative emotions…can you imagine telling a kid not to express them? Unexpressed feelings are so damaging…they pile up and then without the tools to express them, the negative feelings haunt and chase you for the rest of your life. I’ve certainly dumped my share on the blog, and I feel better for it. elena is exposing her dark side, and I am encouraging her to do it. We all have one.

285. elena - January 30, 2009

Whalerider,

At least you learnt to keep my mother out of your vocabulary in your last post. Since neither of us will apologize, we can disappear of each other’s sight!

Good swimming for you!

286. tatyana - January 31, 2009

Can anyone with the Non Violent Communication skills help out here?

287. GIORGIO - January 31, 2009

I spent a few years in the fof, those days they called the property in California Renaissance, i joined the fof “in search of the miracolous” , like many of us, after reading Gurdjief and Ouspensky.
I left because the road finished and there was nothing beyond that path.
There is a life after this school, and as we thought when we were Children o younger, there is something else besides that we used to call ordinary life, let us drop the excess of luggage, i guess we could fresh start again……… or just move on, let us heal and just be, we have already runned a long run.
God bless you Elena, i sincerely wish you find some peace

288. nigel harris price - January 31, 2009

I am not sure how it is for others, but I find it is impossible to ‘compartmentalize’ parts of my life. The thing is, experiences ‘mesh’ and negative and positive are interwoven. I think GIORGIO explained well above about ‘the road finishing’ for him in the FOF and that he had moved on. I think anyone who lives their life ‘on the surface’ has nothing to offer to society, either locally or globally, and it in the spiritual nature of humans to want to explain their lives to themselves. I think, at the moment, we have to realize that Elena, especially, is experiencing many things that cause anger and, rather than rebuking her or shying away from her posts, we need to be kind and supportive. The Bible actually says “There is nothing that love cannot achieve”. And we all need love…..Nigel.

289. elena - January 31, 2009

All I need now is a bunch of sharks feeling sorry for themselves after having bitten. Have some dignity for your selves if you can’t amass any for others.

290. elena - January 31, 2009

You can go back and get canonized by the Fellowship.

291. tatyana - January 31, 2009

This is a provocative behavior. This behavior can attract violence and therefore the excuse of being hurt.

292. elena - January 31, 2009

It works both ways Tatyana.

293. nigel harris price - January 31, 2009

response to elena (247) – ‘therapists and coercion’

From my experience (and believe me, it is deep and prolonged), there is just as much belittlement in a therapist wanting a patient/client to be ‘calm, cool and collected’ as there was in the FOF with members being encouraged to be in the ‘king of hearts’. When are we going to realize that ALL EMOTIONS are valid in life and that “It hurts, yes, a great deal” cannot be brushed aside by social or cultural demands. We have been there for Elena when she was a positive contributor and a forerunner in the healing process and now we want to drop or change her because she is experiencing and expressing hurtful memories and needs us in return. Let us, at least be strong and supportive for her…..Nigel.

294. elena - January 31, 2009

Nigel We have been there for Elena when she was a positive contributor and a forerunner in the healing process and now we want to drop or change her because she is experiencing and expressing hurtful memories and needs us in return. Let us, at least be strong and supportive for her…..Nigel.

I’m not experiencing hurtful memories Nigel dearest, don’t you worry about me, I’m having a great time love! It’s about time!

295. elena - January 31, 2009

Normal abnormal human being,

I didn’t thank you enough for your post: I am truly grateful. The wideness of your hearing fills me with joy!

296. tatyana - January 31, 2009

Elena, you have all attention of the blog for days already on you. Do you like it? You started spinning a few days ago when Another Name did not include you in the posting. Was that the reason you got upset? If it is the reason, can you tell me why in one posting you say that people don’t have to read your long messages and then you get offended if they don’t include you in the reply to someone else?

You blame people in attacking you or diminishing you, but it only looks this way to you. Your reaction is inadequate. Nobody here is mean to you at all, everybody including WhaleRider means well. You just got on this spin and shooting everyone from your window. Relax, woman, let’s be friends and play something else except the war.

297. elena - January 31, 2009

Go ahead Tatyana, be those words, you are one who did not answer me for months even when I addressed you personally. We’ve all got our piece of the pie here and I spit on Whalerider’s attacks through my mother and anyone’s support of it.

The gold alchemy disguise, so well learnt in the Fellowship in talking might still fool a hell of a lot of you but you won’t get me to play with it. Wake up!. Don’t disguise the root of Whalerider’s acts with this icing.

I’d been through Ton, He is There and Giorgio and Whalerider, who doesn’t lose opportunity to jump when he thinks I’m already half beaten jumped into the attack and you’re all going to sit and caress him for doing so? Of course, what else could I expect!

We separate each day a little more and with things like this I don’t regret it.

298. elena - January 31, 2009

No wonder you all did so well in the Fellowship and we disliked each other as much then.

299. tatyana - January 31, 2009

I don’t think WhileRider attacked you.
He was trying to understand you, to reach for you. He did not do it well, obviously, but I am sure he did not want to hurt you.

I did not reply to your message, I am sorry. I did not think I should. Often I don’t get replies to my postings too. I think for more intimite conversations it is better to use emails. Write to me, I will gladly reply. You now my email.

300. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - January 31, 2009

Ugh!

301. fofblogmoderator - January 31, 2009

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