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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion – Part 65 February 9, 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, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence 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. Ellen - February 9, 2009

Silence:

“There is the great silence. You can open yourself up to that and then it’s experientially evident.

Outside, you can experience the great silence, despite the hustle and bustle of the world. You can always tune yourself in more accurately. You can open yourself up very precisely for the very essence of silence. Then the great silence manifests itself very strongly. That can become so overwhelmingly strong that all the rest of your restrictions are swept away. It can also come over you spontaneously, the realization of the great silence, the expansion into that great silence, as grace.

Going within you also discover the deep silence within yourself. When you return to the source of your self all sorts of worries fall away, all sorts of identifications. With further insight you can release them so that they no longer play a role. In the center of yourself, the center of your heart, it’s quiet and free. If you can be consciously present there in that center, the small space seems to be infinite. There is an infinite silence. That infinity merges with the great silence that at first you may have experienced as external. The external silence and the internal silence come together, they are identical. The great silence as the essence of the cosmos in which everything is absorbed and the internal great silence of formless self-being-consciousness merge. The self-being is released from its own restrictions into the Silence. “

(Douwe Tiemersma, Advaita Post #9-20)

2. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 9, 2009

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures,
were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts
and the diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer,
where he lectured with much applause
in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable,
I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out,
I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air,
and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect
silence at the stars.

– – – – – –

This is thy hour O Soul,
thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books,
away from art,
the day erased,
the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging,
silent, gazing, pondering
the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

A Clear Midnight
Walt Whitman

3. Yesri Baba - February 9, 2009

.

4. lauralupa - February 9, 2009

!

5. Panorea - February 9, 2009

Fofblogmoderator part 64:

…The members that now remain will stay on long after Burton dies. It is a country club with a country club lifestyle for many of the members. They have invested their entire adult lives in making that place look like a Beverly Hills retreat. The core participants will all die as Fellowship members with their teaching payments current and probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars invested over their lifetime…

It is one of the best descriptions of the current state of affairs in the Fellowship (and specifically Oregon House). Last night I was talking with two current members; both of them very dear people. One of the them is about to depart, the other is still caught up in the “where else shall I find that energy?”

“What made you go?”, was one of the questions we tried to answer. Then Tatyana came up with the subject here. It was a cold early November morning when I could not think of any reason for staying in the Fellowship. Two years ago I saw Robert Burton behind the scenes in a state that reminded me of a wild, scared animal. I was selected to seat next to him during the performance and I felt that enormous weight on my body. That person who was standing in front of me, moving towards my direction was not friendly, was not positive, was afraid of something and he was looking at me for assistance. This was also the first time I saw Robert not surrounded by his usual crew, not being engaged in some “important” conversation. During the event, he kept on squeezing my hand and it was a very unpleasant sensation. The person next to me was not a teacher but someone who was using me.

Of course at that time, I classified all of my perceptions as my “instinctive centre”. I really had to work on myself and move to Isis as soon as possible. The unpleasant feeling stayed with me though and it came back during two events with Robert outside Apollo. In the meantime, my friends whom I trusted because they were not “followers” or “puppets” were slowly departing. The centre became a barren place. No initiative was taken. Everyone was nodding when reading a quotation and was staring at the selected images. I followed the steps of the creation of the work I’s and the sequence. Poor efforts to have something sounding ancient and scientific. We were learning to add more in our overloaded Western minds instead of seeking for silence, quiet moments we could just Be.

What made me move on was that I could not connect with myself any more. I feel my common sense was still alive and I took a few weeks off meetings in order to see what was going on. Luckily, I had no Golden Chains attached to the Fellowship. The membership ended with an email. Nothing to return. Those weeks without meetings were very revealing of the fears I had. I was becoming an afraid woman. And my fears were all related to leaving the Fellowship. I wish no one to feel like this. And there are so many friends who are so afraid. I had to draw the line for that intelligent and mature person I used to be in my early twenties. I had to pull the plug for the sweet girl who joined the Fellowship full of ideals.

6. Crouching Tiger - February 9, 2009

Good to hear some quieter, gentler voices in the last few posts… Nice to know they haven’t been expunged by all the noise lately!

Perhaps we should forget about straining to be ‘leaders’ or ‘moderators’ here. Just be participants, saying what needs to be said when it falls to each of us to say it. Nothing more than the necessary. At least, that is my notion of a public square.

7. Another Name - February 9, 2009

Dear All,

This early morning, these words came to me:

When we blame ourselves and or others there is an emotional wound behind blaming. Our deep need(s) is somehow not met…. an essential need for the one who is blaming….

It does not fail….

For wiser words, this article says it more clear, enjoy.

Love, safety and joy to all

http://www.NonviolentCommunication.com
This article is adapted from Kelly Bryson’s book, Don’t Be Nice, Be Real: A Handbook to Nonviolent CommunicationTM. Article reprinted by
PuddleDancer Press with permission from the author.
© 2000 Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT
Healing the Blame
that Binds
by Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT

Blame is the game that protects me from the understanding that the cause of all my emotional distress,
fear, shame and guilt comes from the part of me I call “the inner voice.” As long as I keep the big bony finger
of blame pointed in your direction, I can remain unaware of the fact that it is what I am telling myself about
your behavior that is stimulating my painful reactions. This lack of awareness of the true cause of my distress
also keeps me powerless to do much about it. And even though I may make great efforts to souse this distressing
fire inside me by ensnaring you into taking responsibility for it, the fire still burns. It is as though there were
a mirror reflecting a fire and I continued to pour bucket after bucket of water on the mirror expecting the fire
to be put out.
Another way of looking at blame is to notice that it is a tragic expression of an unmet need. When I call
you “selfish,” I am expressing disappointment about wanting you to give more consideration to my needs.
When I call you “stupid,” I may be expressing frustration about wanting you to have already been aware of
certain information. When I call you a “jerk,” I may be scared and wanting more space between my car
bumper and yours. So I might say that blame is an ineffective request for empathy, for painful feelings and
for understanding of unmet wants. The tragic part is that the form I have chosen to express my request
almost guarantees its denial. This is not only true of requests I make of others but also those I make of
myself. Here’s an example.
This morning I tried to motivate myself to get out of bed early and write this article by telling myself that
I was lazy and self-sabotaging if I didn’t. Well, that was such an unpleasant nagging voice to hear so early
that I rolled over and went back to sleep.
So what can be done about this habit of making requests of ourselves and others in the form of blame?
Just as blame is a protective move based on fear and ignorance, compassion is a corrective countermove based
on courage and understanding. Whenever I find myself blaming myself or others, I want to take some time to
turn my attention to that part of my body that feels the blame. Sometimes it’s my stomach, and I know it’s
anger; sometimes it’s my heart area and I know it’s hurt; or if it’s my upper chest it’s fear. It feels relieving just
to acknowledge it, feel into it and imagine what it wants in order to feel better. Now I’m ready to try what
Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist, calls “Giraffe Speak.” Now I am ready to take responsibility for
what I am wanting, and for what I am feeling. I am willing now to “stick out my long neck” and reveal my
true feeling of the moment and ask for exactly what I want. Now instead of calling you inconsiderate, I might
say “I feel lonely and want you to come over.” Instead of calling myself lazy, I might tell me, “I’m feeling
scared and want you to finish this article before the deadline.” Giraffe Speak is not a technique to manipulate,
but a way of increasing your chances of inspiring compassion and cooperation from yourself and others.
The reason blame is so rampant is that it looks like it works. A mother tells her grown son that he’s
ungrateful because he doesn’t phone often enough. So the son starts calling weekly. Did the mother get
what she wanted? Maybe on the surface, but not for the reasons she can enjoy. Yes, the son is calling, but

http://www.NonviolentCommunication.com © 2000 Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT
Healing the Blame, page 2
only because he feels too guilty, ashamed, or scared not to. And the deeper longing the mother has for connection
with her son will continue to be unmet.
Another popular feature of blame is its usefulness in extracting sweet revenge on our hated ones. Aside
from my private practice I work with gang kids and their families in Southeast San Diego. I have noticed that
few things seem to delight the kids more than to catch one of the counselors breaking the rules and then to
point the big bony finger at them for it. When you ask the kids why this brings them such joy they say, “cause
now they can know how I feel all the time when they yell at me for stuff.” Again I can see how this blaming
and trying to get revenge is a poorly coded S.O.S. for understanding and empathy.
This reminds me of a story Dr. Rosenberg told about his work with a certain murderer in the Swedish
prison system. The murderer told him that the only thing that got him out of bed in the morning was the joy
of fantasizing about the revenge he was going to take on the person that had turned him in, once his nine
years were up. Dr. Rosenberg, being a gambling man said, “I’ll bet you that if you give me one hour of your
time, I can convince you that there is something you want even more than revenge.” The prisoner, having
plenty of time on his hands, agreed.
Dr. Rosenberg began, “So it sounds like you’re completely enraged with this man that turned you in, and
would like him to know just how you feel about him.”
“Yes, I’d like to break the squealer’s neck,” replied the prisoner, “And to think he used to be my best
friend.”
The doctor: “And besides anger is there also a sense of deep pain and confusion about how your best
friend could do this?”
The prisoner: “Yea, I would have never turned him in, he was my best friend.”
The doctor: “Is part of the pain you’re feeling about the loss of this friendship?”
After an hour of this deepening dialogue, the prisoner began to cry as he became aware that his desire
for revenge was a cover for a deeper need to have his feelings about the situation understood. This prisoner
went on to convince many other prisoners to take workshops with Dr. Rosenberg, who now goes back to
Sweden every year to work with them.
Self-blame is the same game. It’s an attempt to get some relief, through revenge, on ourselves. And again
this self-blame is a poorly coded S.O.S. for help in the form of self-understanding, empathy and compassion.
I have tried to affirm the self-critical voices away, only to create more polarization.
The Voice: “How could you be so stupid?”
Me:“I am a perfectly intelligent person.”
Voice: “How could anyone like you?”
Me:“I am a perfectly lovable person” etc.
But this is like ignoring a crying child. And inside of us the crying either gets louder or takes another form
in an attempt to get heard. Sometimes it takes the form of self-sabotage, relationship or work addictions,
spiritual addictions or depression.
So what I am wanting to always remember is to keep clear my intentions to compassionately connect with
any blame I hear whether inside or outside of me. Unless, of course, I am feeling overwhelmed, and that’s
when I want to remember to reach out to you for understanding. And one hopes you’ll have your “Giraffe
Ears” on and hear my feeling and understand about my unmet dreams. And please try to remember not to
try to solve my pain with New Age Chicken Soup, like, “Why have you created this in your life,” or “You’ll
probably need to increase your zinc intake,” or “with the Common Variety Chicken Soup, like “things could be
worse,” and “No pain, no gain.”

http://www.NonviolentCommunication.com
For more information on Nonviolent Communication visit the PuddleDancer Press website at http://www.NonviolentCommunication.com
For more information about the Center for Nonviolent Communication please visit http://www.CNVC.org
© 2000 Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT
Healing the Blame, page 3
“Words are windows or they’re walls
They sentence us or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear
Let the healing flow through me.”
“There is luxury in self blame.
When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has the right to”
– Oscar Wilde
Kelly Bryson MA, MFT, author of the best selling book, Don’t be Nice, Be Real – Balancing Passion for Self
with Compassion for Others (COVER TEXT: A Handbook to Nonviolent CommunicationTM), has been featured

8. dragon - February 9, 2009

#FOFblogmoderator,1,2,3,4,5,6

have a great day!

#4 good link!

9. dragon - February 9, 2009

An ancient BLOG
A POST jumps in

Plop!

10. Vena - February 9, 2009

Wildz:

“My primary interest in the blog was in it’s ability to reveal to those still in some of the contradictions and corruption.”

I should have said, “My primary interest in the blog was in it’s ability to reveal to those still in the Fellowship some of the contradictions and corruption in that organization.”

I think from your post towards the bottom of the last page that you thought I was referring to corruption on the blog which is not the case.

11. Ellen - February 9, 2009

#5, Panorea,
Thanks for your story. I remember a time period a few years ago where all “students” in the Fellowship were asked to memorize a particular work “I”. Do you remember that? It was something like, “It is always best to be present to what is before you”. Well, sure, great thought, I’d agree with that – because it is true, though come to think of it, the phrasing is very dualistic.

But problems arise when being present to what is before you, in a particular moment, turns out to be a sleeping, identified “Teacher”. Many of us were not able to process – first or even second time around – what was right in front of our eyes, due to the other hierarchichal concepts we had either already come with or received through School programming – or both.

It’s also kinda similar to those images Robert liked to show of the death card, the devil in chains, or the wolf in sheeps clothing, etc…
Who would think that the one giving careful lessons in fire prevention was himself an arsonist? Whose mind is/was free enough to see that the wolf himself is up to some new old tricks? What turns does it take in both the mind and heart to understand that all the “evil lower self” stuff is just a smoke screen to cover RB’s nefarious activities?

12. fofblogmoderator - February 9, 2009

#7 is newly moderated

13. Panorea - February 9, 2009

Yes Ellen,

“At all times it is best to be present to what is before you.” And then he asked us to remember ourselves every time we thought of him or Influence C; anything to take the attention away from the reality of our situation.

14. fofblogmoderator - February 9, 2009

To anyone who might have missed this post from 2 years ago.

There is some very good reading on page 1 of this blog:
http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/

Former Long-Time Student Says:

January 12, 2007 at 10:11 pm
I would like to respond to A’s post, which states “that by understanding yourself you will understand Burton”. He has said something very important here, though my interpretation of his statement will likely diverge from what he intended.

By understanding yourself, you will understand Burton: Quite true. If one understands oneself, one will also have a better understanding of what motivates the “Teacher”. That is, one’s own motives will prove to be the same or similar to the Teacher’s, for the fundamental reason that students and teachers are both human beings, with accordingly similar basic needs and psychologies. This point of view departs, however, from orthodox Fellowship teaching and belief. A good example: While still a member, I invited a student friend and her husband, to dinner. We were discussing the Teacher’s sometimes “mysterious” behaviour. I said that we needed to remember that in addition to his being our Teacher, he was also a human being. “No he is ISN’T!” she shouted from across the dinner table. “He’s a G—O—D!” That is, the Teacher is not a human being, but a different category of being altogether. I was shocked by her vehemence but was glad to hear her point of view, as I liked her, and a more concise declaration of Fellowship dogma I had never heard. A “conscious being” is so very unlike “ordinary” people, who are “sleeping” machines, as to be another creature entirely. This anthropology is at the heart of Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teaching and at the heart of the FoF’s.

Being “conscious” means that one has not only learned to access higher states at will, but that one is oneself a higher being. Thus empowered, one is no longer subject to the same laws that govern lower beings, that is, the rest of us. I am reminded of Nietzsche’s “superman” who megalo-maniacally arises out of the weak and ignorant masses to forge his own morality out of his own will-to-power (one can easily see how Nietszche was such an inspiration to the Nazis) and how the authoritarian Gurdjieff may have been influenced by his ideas, whether directly or indirectly (Ouspensky was certainly aware of them); we in the individualised West, have certainly inherited them. Yet, the “superman”, Nietzsche’s bold replacement for the God who had died, was ultimately still a man, although (theoretically at least), much improved by his self-conscious daring and genius.

Interestingly, at the rarified level of the FoF-type conscious being, some of the rights and privileges of a higher being would appear to be the uncensored enjoyment of sensory gratifications involving, food, drink, sex, and money, as well as the intoxicating gratifications of being worshipped . . . and feared as a god. Because these pleasures are enjoyed and exercised by a conscious being, they somehow assume a different character. They are absorbed into the character of the actor, if you will. Yet one can see also that in wider society, it isn’t only ‘spiritual beings’ who, when they achieve a certain power and influence, are all too willing to exercise unrestricted privileges at the expense of others, but persons of a quite material orientation, including those less privileged, are also equally willing to “act out” more fully these same desires when circumstances finally conspire to allow them greater scope.

It is easy to acknowledge that greed, lust, vanity, and inordinate desire for power are motives behind all of our overly-indulgent actions. These aspects of our nature are so well known, that all the major religions have recognised them throughout their histories: the sage or the saint has always been distinguished not only by their perceived proximity to the divine, however that is conceived, but according to how s/he handles the very natural ‘temptations’ or ‘desires’ that “flesh is heir to”.

Interesting then, how FoF teaching would ascribe the extravagant acting out of these desires to “higher” causes, since they are enacted by a “conscious being”. Thus the Teacher’s words and actions are judged, strangely, by a so-called “higher” standard, and vices are made out to be virtues. Attitudes or actions incongruent with the teaching of the majority of sages and teachers, previously understood by means of common sense, which implies the knowledge of one’s own nature and thus of other human beings’, is instead, mystified behind a counterfeit standard.

In transcending it, one does not leave behind one’s human nature, but rather “perfects” or purifies it. The Buddha taught purifying the mind and body through mindfulness and non-attachment, and compassion through his ethics, which requires at all times, the respecting of persons and their property. Even Christ, “the Son of God”, had no problem humiliating himself by following rules meant for ordinary, humble people. “I have not come to change one jot or tittle of the law, but to fulfil it.” In fulfilling and transcending the law, he not only did not abandon its basic tenets, but made it even more exacting, by extending its sovereignty ever more into our protected inner territory, as in his purifying teaching that one doesn’t have to act out adultery to have committed it; simply to have looked upon a woman with lust was to have committed it in one’s “heart”. Or in the beatitude “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.

Although the FoF’s teaching has departed from the The Fourth Way, and the Fourth Way was at the outset only a root upon which RB’s teaching was grafted, the cosmological concept known as the Ray of Creation has added its burden to the belief that a conscious teacher is above the law. In the Ray of Creation, the earth is a very long way down, the last to the bottom-most rung, which terminates at the moon, an eater of souls. The further down the Ray of Creation, the more laws one is under. The object of the pupil is to free him/herself from these “unnecessary” laws and to put oneself under the influence of higher laws. Therefore, as has been said, according to FoF teaching, ordinary normative ethics apply only to those living in a lower level of consciousness, and are banished to that derogatory realm under the laws of “feminine dominance” (all the social rules one learned from one’s mother): that uncreative, mechanical region inhabited by dull “Life People”, sleeping machines, “who do not know themselves”, who understand little and who are capable of nothing else but the blind following of someone else’s arbitrary rules. Thus could RB reduce the loving acts of Mother Theresa, for example, to “mechanical goodness”, i.e., she just couldn’t help but help other people. In this dismissive and pseudo-majestical “dispensing of existence”, he thus relegated her and others who might be tempted to emulate her, to fodder for the moon. Would that we could all be like her, or Gandhi, so spontaneously self-sacrificing, generous and loving!

Under such teaching, one is asked to disbelieve what one’s senses and intuition know even without words, which is that Mother Theresa and Gandhi and others like them are doing good. Instead one is instructed to believe, counter-intuitively, and against one’s common sense, that the good actions of such people are at best useless, and at worst, evil (in the Fourth Way’s sense of evil as mechanicalness). This harsh gavel falls merely on the basis of one’s teacher conclusion that although these good people appear “awake”, they are in fact, asleep; they are definitively “unconscious beings”. The logic is this: When a “conscious being” does good, it really is good, but when a sleeping machine does good, . . .

One might ask: What could be more predictably, historically, humanly mechanical than the temptation to exploit one’s exalted position to indulge one’s every whim? Thrasymachus, a character in one of Plato’s dialogues, maintains, unsuccessfully, thank goodness, that as far as any real definition of justice is concerned, ‘Might makes right.’ I would be much more convinced, as I think most people would, of any person’s sanctity and claims to godliness (especially when the claim to divinity is exclusive of 6.5 billion other human beings on the planet) if such an exalted personage did NOT indulge their every whim, and did not, deplorably, attempt to twist vices into virtues, especially when those so-called virtues are paid for by the sweat and toil of others, while at the same time, wilfully inducing paralysis in one’s tender devotees and workers by wielding over their heads visions of spiritual extinction and the loss of all their friendships should they decide—at any point ever—to move on and to grow. I myself should be greatly vigilant if told: “The only way to graduate from the School is to die”.

But it is for each individual to decide amongst the possible motives for such statements and kinds of teaching. It could be useful to ask oneself why anyone, especially oneself, would say or teach such things. Best wishes to all.

15. Vena - February 9, 2009

Another Name,
Thanks for that passage about blame.

16. up with which I will not put - February 9, 2009

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

-Thomas Jefferson

17. Yesri Baba - February 9, 2009

“Interesting then, how FoF teaching would ascribe the extravagant acting out of these desires to “higher” causes, since they are enacted by a “conscious being”. Thus the Teacher’s words and actions are judged, strangely, by a so-called “higher” standard, and vices are made out to be virtues. Attitudes or actions incongruent with the teaching of the majority of sages and teachers, previously understood by means of common sense, which implies the knowledge of one’s own nature and thus of other human beings’, is instead, mystified behind a counterfeit standard.”

Mystified behind a counterfeit standard.

Mystified behind a counterfeit standard.

Mystified behind a counterfeit standard.

pay no attention to that man behind the curtain….

18. Wildz - February 10, 2009

Vena

I got it first time around. I appreciate your input to the blog, and am sorry that often I don’t express myself clearly.

19. Yesri Baba - February 10, 2009

Hey, has the digital switch-over occured? My tv is picking up some strange station. There is a leader from some country giving a press conference. He is giving intellegent answers to difficult questions from reporters. He is using long sentences and it is making my head hurt. He is calling on the reporters by their names!
What station is the retard on?

20. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

O

21. Wildz - February 10, 2009

Ut oh (o) lets not make this site political

22. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

unless it involves some humor.

23. Susan Zannos - February 10, 2009

According to my best understanding this site has never been anything other than political.

24. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

There are too many parallels to ignore. Also, the “politics” of the FOF is an interesting topic… Who makes what decisions and when. Who decides to do something based on what’s politically expedient. Who decides NOT to do something based on what’s politically expedient. The fear of saying the wrong thing. The fear of being perceived as saying the wrong thing. The fear of being perceived that one may possibly do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing about doing the right thing. And so on. Yep. Politics.

Of course, as a slave owner, Thomas Jefferson was a man of contradictions, but here’s another good one by him…

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

25. Vena - February 10, 2009

Thanks Wildz.

26. Opus 111 - February 10, 2009

Tatyana

What broke the spell for me was to read the personal stories of Robert’s abuse by various former members early on this blog (2 years ago or so). Discovering that it was not consensual sex, as I had conveniently believed, but rather perverse abuse of spiritual power of the worse kind. Add to this the fact that I had been primed by the “new teaching”. While I had always been able to pick a couple of wise sayings from events until then, it all suddenly sounded complete nonsense. I call it a spell because many others heard the nonsense and felt the abuse 5 years ago, 10 years ago and 30 years ago; for me it was 3-4 years ago. I could not trust that person any longer.

27. Bares Reposting - February 10, 2009

“Regrettably, P_t_r B_sh_p (then the president of FoF) said, when he was struggling with his terminal illness, lung cancer, and death was near, something like: He was sorry he wasted so much time on the ‘politicking,’ in the school; time that he could have spent on, more profitably, remembering himself.

Truth be told, I am sorry to say, FoF is more about ‘preying mantra’ than ‘praying mantra.’ Member number 2, the first student to the teacher, had said as much some 35 years ago and it has not changed much since then. Nearly the whole body politic follows the leader. Not even the death of the teacher may stop it for it has become institutionalized.”

Getting anything done around here is like mating elephants:
It’s done on a very high level.
There’s a lot of stomping and screaming involved.
And it takes two years to get any results.

Remember, there is a 2 year time period needed for being to catch up with knowledge.

Then there are those damned tusks.

28. WhaleRider - February 10, 2009

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

My apologies if I offended anyone in my interactions with Elena. I got tired of walking on eggshells around her.

To be honest, I am experiencing a feeling of relief on this page without her constant barrage of posts and personal attacks against anyone who sometimes disagrees with her (like me).

The recent personal stories on this page are very touching to read. Thanks.

Maybe, just maybe, a current FOF Follower will read one of these heartfelt, honest stories and reach their tipping point, too.

Keep up the good work. Stories like that are self-validating.

And every now and then, it’s healthy to let go of the addictive blog trance…and allow for others do their healing…because for the blog addict chasing the “dragon of approval from others”, you are only as “good” as your last post.

Be well.

29. Spoonful Blues - February 10, 2009

“Any old port in a storm” – as the expression goes. But now the rain and winds have abated one can once again unfurl the sails and hear each other speak.

30. Panorea - February 10, 2009

Seem to attract this recently…

-Mum! It’s for you!
mumbling…-not now…too late…

-Hello with J—-. Remember me?
Me: Yes, how are you?
She: Heard you left the Fellowship.
Me: (trying to sound controlled…) Yes, some months ago. How about you? Have not seen you for ages.
She: Why did you leave? You were so involved.
Me: That’s why. Because I saw and heard too much. Why are you staying?
She: You know I was always low profile. Never believed I had to believe. Always avoided the spotlight. Met Robert once. Went to Oregon House once; disliked center directors, coordinators, travelling teachers. Avoided all of them.
Me: I know. Why are you staying?
She: I am lonely. Not that many friends out there. I can have a good talk with some of the students.
Me: Go to meetings?
She: never, they all look fascinated; reading out of pieces of paper; looking at the images. But I can talk with some of them over a cup of coffee.

Why are you staying?

31. Spoonful Blues - February 10, 2009

For those who have left recently, or are in the process of leaving…

“So you have prevailed in escaping the ‘comfort’ of the womb. But now a new struggle begins.”

Re-integration into ‘life’ after leaving the FOF can consist of several stages. Here are some observations about this process you might find helpful:

Initial fear, confusion, vulnerability as you wonder what might happen to you in your new existence amidst ‘life’. The indoctrination of Burton and his group have succeeded for many years. But you found a chink which allowed you to break free. Something in you has glimpsed what Burton’s ‘show’ is really about. You have become disillusioned, sickened, feel creatively sterile, having ‘escape’ dreams. But it is this realisation you now must hold on to as you re-adjust to ‘life’ – which is good – is healing.

But now you become angry. Angry at Burton for his deceit. That other students never told you what was really going on and were content to play the teacher’s stooges. But most of you will be angry with yourself. Angry that you have allowed yourself to be fooled for so many years. This indignation will show itself in numerous ways. Rants to this blog, for example. Taking offence at what others might say. You are now feeling prickly and hyper-sensitive. You will have a loathing to all those ‘work’ words you once found so seductive e.g. Magnetic Centre, they are now filled with a poison.

You also at this time find yourself trying to make up for lost time. Indulging in activities that were previously denied you. You might seek to fill the vacuum of your spiritual life and look for a replacement guru – living or dead. Join another group or follow a new teaching. Just as you have often filled the void after a broken relationship by immediately seeking out a new partner. When in truth you needed the time to reflect and not rushed headlong into a new situation.

Over time the anger subsides to a prolonged resentment and distrust. This might be reflected in how you relate to new friends and partners. It’s to be expected. For so long you have been given a model for so called friendship, which has produced many so called friends, but which now has collapsed so you have to re-evaluate what is the meaning of ‘true’ friendship. But you will also find that when you do make new or re-new past friendships, though fewer in number, they will be more genuine, stronger and build on more meaningful foundations.

Eventually, as you become integrated into the ‘real’ world, you will see the FOF as just an episode of you life. You will be grateful you have been given another chance. You have escaped this small enclave founded on one man’s fears and found your true self has begun to take on responsibilities you never before imagined were possible (you were told they weren’t possible!) You might even see the FOF as a necessary part of you life and though you may no longer have an appetite for the ‘work’, the language will no longer produce that sickening feeling in the stomach, so phrases such as Magnetic Centre can be viewed without all the associative baggage.

You will also rediscover a sense of humour – not the sarcasm, belonging to the earlier ranting stage. Here topics which would have previously had you foaming at the mouth and flipping your lid, now seem so bizarre or unimportant you find yourself smiling and wondering how you ever took them so seriously. Though you still might remain puzzled by certain aspects, such as how so many seemingly sensible people can continue to remain in the FOF – some of them until their deaths.

You will also reach a point where you find pleasure in listening to others. Instead of the constant “I” of me – which we were programmed to become attentive to – in the attempt to ‘Self Remember’ and which kept us selfish at heart in our own self important world of personal ‘conscious’ attainment. But through this ‘self forgetting’ and new found ability to hear, you can no longer remain cold, indifferent and inattentive to the human needs of others. Which ironically has become manifest in the figure of Robert Burton. His tragedy being, he really has become ‘crystallised’ lacking genuine human interaction and feeling (how could he behave in the way he does if these qualities were present?) But happily there remain many among who have not reached such an extreme and frozen place and whose life’s flame is still burning inside. Who will respond to the gentle breeze of a love – genuinely expressed and with a humility belonging to those who are grateful for what they have – not what they are striving to achieve.

The finally there is the sense of wonderment about life and our existence on this earth within this solar system . Gaining comfort in the fact that not everything needs an explanation. There is a magic in not knowing answers. So we become more weary of those who profess to know the meaning behind everything and nothing.

Good luck!

32. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

Hmm. Should there be concern about “politics” entering into the discussion, I think what you’re referring to is “partisan politics,” which is generally mindless hogwash and propaganda by one party about another. However, when absurdity reaches new heights and becomes obvious from the amount of damage it’s doing, you mention it — not because you are “partisan” but because you believe something needs to be said about it, if only to make fun of it sometimes.

Sure, let’s not go too far off topic, but the FOF and Burton? Very similar to the above. And the discomfort with the topic is also very similar.

33. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

Thanks for that, P.

“They all look fascinated; reading out of pieces of paper; looking at the images. But I can talk with some of them over a cup of coffee.

Wait, THAT’S IT! People in the FOF don’t realize there are coffee shops outside the FOF! Spread the word! Peet’s! Starbucks!

34. fofblogmoderator - February 10, 2009

29 & 31 are newly moderated

35. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

Spoonful: “So we become more weary of those who profess to know the meaning behind everything and nothing.”

Yep, and sometimes that’s “us.”

—–

“Initial fear, confusion, vulnerability as you wonder what might happen to you in your new existence amidst ‘life’.”

Some former followers of Burton may experience this. But many don’t. We were fed this idea in the FOF — that there’s something to fear outside the FOF, something to be confused about, and that we’re launching ourselves into the unknown with no guidance and nothing to look forward to. But I sense that many people jump right into living happy, productive, and thoughtful lives — wasting no time with the self-doubt. If someone can do that: very healthy.

Spoonful, nice thoughts. thanks for sharing.

36. Anna - February 10, 2009

I stayed in the Fellowship because despite any misgivings I had about the ‘administration’ and other students I believed that Robert was a ‘conscious being’.

In retrospect I have learned that naivety, plus a miserable childhood filled with chastisement and rejection; plus the intense disappointment at finding that my big hope, the adult world, was actually riddled with cruelty, hypocrisy, greed and injustice, made me the perfect mark.

All that my predator counterpart needed to do was promise me something ‘other worldly’ something ‘ideal’; to give me a simple formula to explain why everything about normal life, seemed so horribly wrong. And to offer me a path way out of it, lined with loving friends who had promised not to be ‘negative’.

There are other current members who were never ‘inner circle’. In retrospect I admire them for this, in some way they have been stronger that I was in their ‘own truths’.

Yet they think that as long as they don’t believe in what Robert Burton is saying, they are OK, they even boast about their liberal views and say things like “In or Out what’s the difference? Or “I never did what he told me to any way” But I question this kind of staying.

My silly naivety was an obvious flaw, and there is clearly world’s of learning for me to do.

But what about those who continue not to be uncomfortable about financially supporting Robert Burton, even though they are smart enough not to believe in him? What is their flaw? What is the invisible wall that they have built which prevents them from simply leaving? What is it that they can learn?

Having worked in the office and having been right in the middle of things I can assure current members that most of their ‘donations’ are going to support Robert’s sex habit, and that any time they spend in centre activities, will also be spent on reinforcing the ‘loving’ atmosphere in which fundraising for him can also take place.

I remember my mother’s disappointment when at the height of the Apartheid one of her seemingly liberal friends moved to South Africa because she could have a swimming pool and a maid there, because she wouldn’t be poor any more.

37. brucelevy - February 10, 2009

Upon leaving the FOF there is an infinite spectrum of what you’ll experience as one moves forward. What you might experience is exactly what you should be experiencing, IMO. So I can only speak of what it was for me.

When I left, I was ready. I had left a couple years earlier, in my mind. I wished to be at a certain place in respect to the money situation. When I left, I owed them nothing, and paid plenty.

I really didn’t spend much time thinking about the past, for several reasons, one of them being the trauma I carried, and another was the immediate direction I was going to take.

After awhile I had the time in my mind to start digesting the experience, with the help of my ex wife (who wasn’t ex at the time) I slowly started metabolizing the stuff. At the same time I was rediscovering the things about myself that I had been willing to give up for the FOF, which never should have been abandoned. Things that were good, and things that made life a joy. It was pretty bearable (the bad stuff) because I was no longer part of the “pain factory” (complete and utter horseshit designed to keep you quiet and pliant).

I don’t look at life after FOF as another chance. I see it simply as the continuum of my life. It’s all part of where I am now. That doesn’t mean the “crime” I experienced was “ok” (fuck no).

I suspect each person will have a different story over time, as it should be.

My only advice…don’t be afraid. Don’t take the FOF fear bull shit with you, or at least see it for what it is and work with it over time. No one else’s story is going to be your story.

38. tatyana - February 10, 2009

Sometimes I meet students who look like they are doing the sequences or something like this. Weird in other words. But often interaction with the students does not seem different than with anybody else. However, if you ask – why are you still in – it usually evokes defensiveness.
But I think what truly is behind “staying” all those intelligent and great people is fear. Fear that there will be the end of the world soon and that they have a safe place to hide in case “something happens”. It sounds funny, but I heard it in many occasions.

I have been there. I know how scary it is to let go and to try to do something “against the will of the teacher” or the “will of C Influence”. I was expecting something bad to happen to me as a punishment. But it did not happen. So, I am more relaxed now about all this mumbo-jumbo. But I still would not move to San Francisco for example. Just in case…🙂

39. waskathleenw - February 10, 2009

31. Spoonful Blues,

Your description of life after leaving the FoF is how it was for me 25 years ago. Clearly not much changes, and length of time in doesn’t seem to make much difference. I was in for only seven years.

I bounced between depression and euphoria for several months. It was certainly an “alive” time, to say the least. Sometimes I felt like a four-year-old turned loose in a candy shop with $50.

40. Anna - February 10, 2009

I left two years ago many of the patterns Spoonful described have happened to me and some of ‘Up with’s’ happiness, productiveness and thoughtfulness.

I haven’t regretted leaving and haven’t met any one who has, as yet. Although admittedly it is much easier to leave these days than it was even three years ago. Then there was no discussion and no ‘Greater Fellowship’.

It hasn’t been all roses though. A lot of the painful habits Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends instilled lingered on and I expect more of them will be revealed.

At first there was a tremendous lifting of the weight of one layer of failure and self deprecation. At least I wasn’t failing at his version of ‘awakening’ anymore.

I continued to have a lot of judgment about myself though. I noticed that I spoke to myself very harshly: there was always something ‘wrong’, something which could be ‘improved’.

I had a lot of fun reading about ‘normal psychology’. Before leaving I had no idea what a psychopath, or a sociopath, or a psychotic, or a narcissist was. These terms had all been assigned to the dustbin of A and B influence. At first of course I recognized these behaviors in others; it was clear that Robert Burton had all of them.

This year though I’m starting to spot narcissism in myself. Not in a judging way, it’s more like “Wow, so this determination to be spiritual was actually just a way to stay shallow…” “Have I been contriving to receive other people’s love so at the cost of actually looking at my self?” “Now that I’ve seen my own reflection, I am excited about breaking through the surface impression and going deeper” and “will my Narcissus some day drown all together?”

Leaving the Fellowship has definitely been a joining. If anything ‘spiritual’ right now it is more like ‘participation’; the beginnings of seeing my relatedness to everything and one.

Also all it’s about acknowledging the infinite, incomprehensible variety of things, I’m beginning to get the hint that there may no longer be ‘one’ comforting ‘right’, one system, any system, it’s disturbing and pleasing, and an adventure.

(Loved Bruce’s post)

41. up with which I will not put - February 10, 2009

“But I still would not move to San Francisco for example. Just in case…🙂 ”

Of course, a fire almost burned down Apollossaince several years ago. Actually, there have been numerous fires that have threatened it. We are each living in our own little disaster zones. No escaping it.

A friend recently suggested a trip to Israel. My first thought was the danger, the risk of terrorism, and the possibility of the larger war there, and me being an American with a big target on my back.

And then there’s the possibility that I go… and that I have one of the most powerful and memorable experiences of my life.

42. dick moron - February 10, 2009

Very personal lyrics written for a lost friend…..
——-
So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil,
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for cool breeze? Cold comfort for change?
How I wish, How I wish you were here.
We’re just two losts souls, swimming in a fish bowl, year after
Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears
Wish you were here

—Roger Waters

43. dick moron - February 10, 2009

Oops… left a word out of the song.

——–

So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil,
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for cool breeze? Cold comfort for change?
How I wish, How I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year
Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears
Wish you were here

—Roger Waters

44. nigel harris price - February 10, 2009

Just absorbing the freshness, change and ‘opening up’ of page 65. Bruce, especially, thanks for your soft expounding…..Nigel.

45. dick moron - February 11, 2009

38. Tatyana

But I think what truly is behind “staying” all those intelligent and great people is fear. Fear that there will be the end of the world soon and that they have a safe place to hide in case “something happens”.
____________________

My belief is that one of two conditions, Fear & Vanity, or both, keep people in FOF once they have realized the true nature of “The Teacher”. One needs only a small amount of humility and courage to get away.
As for Oregon House being a safe place during “the end of the world”— Think about all the gun-toting rednecks living in those Yuba hills. Who do you think they will go after when they run out of food?

46. brucelevy - February 11, 2009

45. dick moron

“Who do you think they will go after when they run out of food?”

The members don’t seem very appetizing to me.

47. dick moron - February 11, 2009

46. brucelevy

Mark L-sk-n, Benjamin Y—n, mmmmm, big meal & good to eat!

48. Jomo Piñata - February 11, 2009

That’s why they’re kept around: as insurance. The Chubb Group.

49. Vena - February 11, 2009

The unspoken but strongly felt question in the air in Oregon House is no longer, “Why did you leave?” but “Why are you still in ?” Current members actually look sheepish and a little embarassed.

50. Ill Never Tell - February 11, 2009

As for Oregon House being a safe place during “the end of the world” scenario:

Besides the above mentioned ‘hungry neighbors,’ consider this:
Beale Air Force Base is within a 30 mile radius of Oregon House. It has an intelligence gathering mission. The U2 aircraft have been flown from this location. Primary targets are often the ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ of the combatants so as to avoid as much bloodshed as possible and make the opponent vulnerable. That location is likely high on a nuke target list. Oregon House, generally, geologically, is southwest facing (towards Beale and central valley). What type of devastation do you think would happen? Why is the winery built with massive concrete walls and mostly underground? (Wine making considerations were not the only reasons. Used to be able to see, on a clear day, all the way to Sacramento from the top of the winery.) Next to Beale, is Sacramento, the capital of the 8th largest economy in the world, California. Sacramento is also major railroad hub. A nuke hit there is within 60 mile radius. So, next to San Diego area (the Navy and Marine bases), L.A. and S.F., what do you think would be good targets on west coast U.S.A.? Where are there military installations? Where are there missile launch sites? This is not a doomsday prediction; just practical considerations. Better to be at ground zero and instantaneously go out in a blaze of glory than to be on the fringes of the devastation area where the most gruesome suffering will happen.

As a matter of comic relief:

Two culinary cannibals caught a comedian camping close by their community and after carefully creating the cooked carcass, delicately marinating and roasting the jokester, they sit down to dine. Setting aside the first morsel, they then intentionally eat a few bites. After their third bites, they put down their utensils and then one cannibal says to the other, ‘Does this meat taste funny to you?’ Puzzled, they decide to invite the head shrinker to dinner to find out whether they might be the problem.

51. Yesri Baba - February 11, 2009

46 brucelevy

“The members don’t seem very appetizing to me.”

I don’t know, lamb is pretty tasty.

52. Ill Never Tell - February 11, 2009

Bhaaad, bhaaad, Yesri Baba.

– – – – – –

Re: my earlier post on: “the end of the world” scenario:

I am sorry, I forgot, C Influence have erected a powerful invisible shield over all of Oregon House, California, to protect fair Apollo from the possibility of that “end of the world” scenario I described. (Or, all will be saved in the winery, the theatron, or some other secret hiding place.)

(Seriously, the only erected ‘force field’ in Oregon House are penises (or replicas of such – palm tree fertility symbols.))

Anybody notice that many doomsday cults are located in remote, god forsaken, places (for safety reasons) and/or are busy committing mass murders or mass suicides (sometimes in misguided attempts to bring on the doomsday)?

Bhaaad, bhaaad, I’ll Never Tell.

53. Ellen - February 11, 2009

#45, Dick Moron

“My belief is that one of two conditions, Fear & Vanity, or both, keep people in FOF once they have realized the true nature of “The Teacher”.”

Dick, I sense that once someone fully admits to themselves the true nature of “the teacher”, then their time is defo counted. But it is an internal clock, whose speed may depend upon circumstances. It took me six months after fully seeing to finally leave. But in that six months I tried to awaken as many people as I possibly could to the “terror of the situation”.

The point is to get to a place where you can no longer justify what you see in front of you – and you finally trust yourself enough to go with that, no matter what the cost.

New knowledge helps, whether it be on cults or pathological family systems, pathology in general, non-duality or some mixture of all. But if you keep your head in the sand trusting only the Fourth Way and RB, you’ll stay stuck.

Emotional support also helps, but – at least these days – there is plenty of that both ways.

But who is the one who is ready to hear the new knowledge? There appears to be a ripening process whose inner life is not yet clear to me. Does the shell break from within or without? And who breaks the shell? I still don’t know.

54. Ellen - February 11, 2009

Correction:
But who is the one who is ready to hear the new knowledge and feel new feelings?

55. Crouching Tiger - February 11, 2009

Ellen:

“New knowledge helps, whether it be on cults or pathological family systems, pathology in general, non-duality or some mixture of all. But if you keep your head in the sand trusting only the Fourth Way and RB, you’ll stay stuck.”

I feel non-duality is an excellent exit mechanism. One of my friends who left at roughly the same time as me regularly attended Tony Parsons and Roger Linden events. She abandoned them after about eight months, but they seemed to have done their work as far as the fellowship was concerned….

Probably, getting away from any teaching which is top-heavy with intellectual apparatus (as the school was/is) is a good thing. Forms of meditation which remind you of your relationship to your own body are especially valuable. That will in time unlock a whole treasure-trove of ‘knowledge’ which is already there, embedded in you.

The school could be described as a psychopathy of the 4th Way. There are still plenty of people posting here who are still talking the same language, thinking the same thoughts and (presumably) feeling the same feelings, which actually connect them to this psychopathy. Not just directly, in the talk of body types and centres of gravity, the talk of c-influence and alchemy etc…, but also indirectly, in the incessant theorizing and reliance on quotation. From time to time, I experience it in myself. It’s a matter of patience to live through this and accept it for what it is, and not pretend that the obsession with the overheated mind and its language can lead anywhere but back to the psychopathy. If you habitually rant, it hardly matters whether you’re ranting ‘for’ or ‘against’ something. The “You” who rants is still the same.

One of the pleasures of the discussion in the past few days is that there’s a gentle firmness in it which cannot be psychopathic. I particularly liked Bruce’s comment: “I don’t look at life after FOF as another chance. I see it simply as the continuum of my life. It’s all part of where I am now. That doesn’t mean the “crime” I experienced was “ok” (fuck no).” This feels like a good place to be, strong and balanced.

There’s something in our body which knows how to feel like this, again and again. Forget the mind and even the feelings – the body can sense where it needs to be, anywhere, anytime.

56. Ellen - February 11, 2009

55, CT
Yes, and the (FoF) messages we got about the body were so fucked up and so ignorant.

To all, thanks for contributing to such a fine, even tempered page. It is such a huge relief.

57. Jomo Piñata - February 11, 2009

My experience is, one gains from reconceptualizing “Fear” and “Vanity” into “anxiety” and “narcissism.” Especially since, in doing so, “Vanity” loses its “deadly sin” overtones and becomes a nonmetaphysical condition that can be healed, with terrestrial causes that can be examined.

58. WhaleRider - February 11, 2009

“Your own self is the ultimate teacher (Sadguru). The outer teacher is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal.”
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

It turns out the guy I have been quoting Dr. Stephen Wolinsky, PhD from his book “Trances People Live” (1991) was a follower of Nisargadatta.

ellen:
“And who breaks the shell?”

We do. Who else?

When Miles left and upset the apple cart, that’s when I started thinking for myself. All Miles had to do was ignore his conscience and he would have inherited the whole show. But, like many other less ‘visible’ ex-followers, he could not. That made a deep impression on me. He also introduced me to the concepts of “magical thinking” and “ideas of reference”. Understanding those concepts in relation to the dogma of the FOF AKA Pathway to Presence was the point when I began to surpass Burton’s “teaching” and my exit clock started ticking.

I am eternally thankful to Miles and to my own common sense.

59. tatyana - February 11, 2009

One of the things that helped me to heal was getting a job in life instead of cleaning houses and being on salary or even working for students.

When I just started working in “Life” I was treating everyone on the level of “sleeping machines” and “features” and did not “waste” energy on talking to them. “Never eagle stoop so low to listen to a black bird…”
Plus I was sceared that if I accidently give out that I am a student of FOF they will devour me…

I guess it was OK only because I am Russian. But one day a young girl who was working with me asked me in a very sweet way: “Do you hate this job? You look so depressed all the time! How do you have fun?” It shocked me to the point that I could not understand the word “fun” if it is some sort of a definition of a “lower self” activity or a valid experience. I mumbled something back that I do have have fun every day by having dinners with my friends and going to the concerts. Another time a guy asked me on Friday night: “What are you doing tonight, Tatyana? Going to clubs?” I took it as a personal insult: CLUBS!!! Of coarse not! I am going to the reception! I did not say that to him, but my facial expression was probably so extreme that he never talked to me again.

It took me a few years to melt down, put aside my invisible wall and start relating to people like normal humans and be friendly and open.

Another thing that helped me to heal was moving out of Oregon House. Otherwise the “wounds” don’t heal if they are rubbed every day. And there are just a little too much of the influences that put me off balance again that I can only take in small portions…

60. lauralupa - February 11, 2009

little non sequitur:
nice talk on the search for meaning

61. dick moron - February 11, 2009

57. Jomo Piñata

I see a difference between vanity and narcissism, especially where it applies to FOF. A narcissist is so enamored with their self, they will turn every experience into more self-love. The kind of vanity I found in FOF members and in myself even years after leaving FOF, was a feeling of superiority due to the “special” work I had been practicing with my “special” fellow members. One may experience extreme self-loathing and shame, yet still feel vastly superior to others because of one’s “higher level of being”. It’s very similar to the extreme sense of racial superiority some ethnic groups or cultures foster. Maybe arrogance is a better word than vanity.
I have detected this attitude, in some posts on the blog by former FOFers in comments about how extraordinary and talented FOF members were. Maybe, but from my experience, most members were pretty average people. The level of talent rarely, if ever, was top-notch. If someone truly had individual talent, it was quickly crushed or suppressed to serve the mediocre culture of Bob Burton. “Paint me a Rococo picture of a guy with a boner on my ceiling, dear.”

It takes time to get over this “special” smugness. Taking the big dive back into “life” can be a truly extraordinary experience that can lead to enlightening new friendships with wonderful people who have never heard of The Fourth Way.

62. fofblogmoderator - February 11, 2009

Just a quick note of recognition and thanks to all who have contributed to the blog during the past 26 months.

The Fellowship of Friends always allowed you to look at the past regarding ex-student’s lives. There were tons of documented meetings and photos of all the plays and dances, etc, but you never got to see what happened to those who left after their departure. This blog and the Greater Fellowship site do just that. There is no big void. No bewilderment. We now know that people don’t fall off the earth. They also don’t fall into any specific category after they leave. Some continue to search, some are content to let everything go.

The main thing is that we have a voice. If this blog had existed before I joined and I found it on Google, I would have used it as a basis for making my decision to join or not. It certainly influenced my decision to leave.

I remember the sad tone in friend’s voices when I said I was leaving the FOF. It was as if they were imagining me falling into some dark hole…….
Well friends, it’s not like that at all.

Again, thank you all for your creative, inspiring and sincere contributions.

63. Panorea - February 11, 2009

Actually, the most “enlightened” moment I had those last three months since my departure was when I was walking down a quiet street going to follow classes in an area I had loved as a child but neglected during my busy time to be present in the Fellowship. I was reminded of my grandmother; a woman who had to go through two World Wars; raised two children; lost many loved ones; was an analphabet but loved all of me; every little bit.

The moment that made me weep, there in the middle of the street, was the one when she asked me to teach her how to write her name. That woman had the courage to take a pen and learn to write when she was 82 years old. I wept because I realized my heroes are not men number 5 or 6 or 7. My heroes are in me. My grandmother’s shiny face when she had managed to write her name brought me light and joy and courage at that moment.

After my departure, I went back to things I loved as a child. People just chat with me in the streets. I am learning to be one with my world and not to “separate” my feelings, my sensations, my mind activity. I look at my colleagues and really make contact with them. I instinctively learn to trust life and people and my own perceptions. I listen to music I like, I look at gorgeous contemporary art (there is so much good stuff out there!). I love deeper and enjoy my friends as they are. I have so much less commentary about myself and others.

I could go on and on…

64. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 11, 2009

61. dick moron:

‘I see a difference between vanity and narcissism, especially where it applies to FOF. A narcissist is so enamored with their self, they will turn every experience into more self-love. The kind of vanity I found in FOF members and in myself even years after leaving FOF, was a feeling of superiority due to the “special” work I had been practicing with my “special” fellow members. One may experience extreme self-loathing and shame, yet still feel vastly superior to others because of one’s “higher level of being”. It’s very similar to the extreme sense of racial superiority some ethnic groups or cultures foster. Maybe arrogance is a better word than vanity.’

In a word: Hubris

From Wikipedia:
Hubris (/hjuːbrɪs/) or hybris (/’haɪbrɪs/) (ancient Greek ὕβρις), [From Greek] mythology is a term used in modern English to indicate overweening pride, self-confidence, superciliousness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution. In ancient Greece, hubris referred to actions which, intentionally or not, shamed and humiliated the victim, and frequently the perpetrator as well. It was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich. The word was also used to describe actions of those who challenged the gods or their laws, especially in Greek tragedy, resulting in the protagonist’s downfall.

Look it up.

Here is an example of its use:

Wouldn’t You Like To Know’s posts to the FoF blog often are imbued with hubris.

65. Across the River - February 11, 2009

I just wanted to say it’s really great to see intimacy returning in some of these recent posts. To me that has always been most meaningful here – openness that gives the space for one another to share experience and nurture the possibility to “feel new feelings” (thanks Ellen!).

66. dragon - February 11, 2009

Good evening or good morning to all:

two jokes from a friend:

ATTORNEY: Were you PRESENT when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

—————-

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

67. whalerider - February 11, 2009

dick moron:
This is an excellent topic.

IMO, narcissism is not all about self-love, and Burton and his followers are much more than vain; it is indeed more about self-loathing as you suggest. It is about incorporating and preaching unreachable ideals of which they are exempt, and then projecting their inadequacies onto others to cover over a deep seated emptiness. The ego is inflated, but full of air.

TV Evangelicalists Jim Bakker and David Taggart are prime examples. They place themselves above others and yet cannot possibly live up to the standards they preach.

Narcissists feel they are the center of the universe and have a difficult time relating to others because they are so busy “self-remembering”.

Often this is seen in people who have been neglected or have lost one or both parents in early childhood. The missing parent is idealized as perfect and nobody can possibly live up to the exalted standard they have internalized instead. (We know nothing of Burton’s missing parent, his father.) Loving both our parents as flawed people like everyone else makes us more compassionate humans and self-accepting of our own flaws and the flaws of others.

I’d say narcissism accounts for the vast majority of FOF Followers who ascribe to the masochistic notion that they are merely “sleeping machines” with a demonic “lower self” to struggle against and who value “airy” states of mind rather than their own well-being.

So the question is: what are FOF Followers actually “remembering”?

68. Jomo Piñata - February 11, 2009

61/dick moron

I see a difference between vanity and narcissism, especially where it applies to FOF. A narcissist is so enamored with their self, they will turn every experience into more self-love. The kind of vanity I found in FOF members and in myself even years after leaving FOF, was a feeling of superiority due to the “special” work I had been practicing with my “special” fellow members. One may experience extreme self-loathing and shame, yet still feel vastly superior to others because of one’s “higher level of being”. It’s very similar to the extreme sense of racial superiority some ethnic groups or cultures foster. Maybe arrogance is a better word than vanity.

I understand what you are saying. Let me try to explain what I am saying. “Narcissism,” in the sense that I am using it, is a particular condition of self-preoccupation and blindness. It may be a normal and natural part of human development, or it may be pathological and intractable. Different psychological theorists (i.e., Freud, Horney, Kohut, etc.) have different opinions about it. I have done a bit of reading but am by no means expert on the various theories.

That said, this is how I think about it:

When sufficiently painful things happen to us in our lives to shatter our sense of identity–painful things with deep roots in our growing up–and we become preoccupied with our emotional pain and the question of our identity in the wake of the painful things that happened, I call that condition one of being “narcissistically wounded.”

In such a condition we are blind to the emotional condition of others, for the reason that we are preoccupied with our own identity and our own pain, which threaten to overwhelm us. I see this as the backdrop to my own attraction to the fourth way ideology many years ago, and to my recruitment into the fellowship. In the fellowship I was instructed in techniques to keep some of that pain at bay. When applying those techniques, some of that pain went into a “deep freeze.” That is, it lost its acute character and its edge, but pain it remained, buried and in need of being faced. The dissociative, distancing techniques I learned in the Fellowship did not allow me to heal that pain, but only to avoid it in a given moment.

In the psyche’s armamentarium of emotional-pain-avoidance weapons is something called “grandiosity.” If I am preoccupied with shattered identity, it gives me some short-term, palliative relief to imagine that I am the handsomest, or strongest, or most original, or most creative, or most intelligent, etc., people that have ever strolled the globe. In pursuit of such relief I, a narcissistically wounded person desperately fleeing intractable psychic pain, treat everyone and everything as a mirror which shows me just how handsome, strong, original, creative, or intelligent I believe myself to be. Mirrors that show me anything but that get discarded, because they don’t help alleviate my pain, which at any moment threatens to engulf me.

The sense of empty identity manifest in the term “vanity” only illuminates the grandiose part of narcissism. And it does so with a biblical “deadly sins” overtone which really does not address the question of what’s actually going on in the psyche of the narcissistically wounded individual. That’s why I think it needs to be reframed.

69. dick moron - February 11, 2009

whalerider and Jomo,

Thanks for adding to my understanding of narcissism. I had not really looked at it as a result of pain and loss. I can see that it could be a strong defense mechanism for an insecure, even wounded person. I guess everyone has a certain amount of narcissism.

I had always associated it with individuals who need to have an adoring audience such as politicians, actors, artists, rock musicians and other performers (evangelists). Burton certainly is a narcissist of the most extreme type.

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in trying to define pornography:
“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it . . . “

70. Jomo Piñata - February 12, 2009

Anyone who has ever been jilted, and has engaged in fantasies of returning wildly successful in some pursuit after a number of years and being reclaimed lovingly by the person who did the jilting, has experienced narcissistic grandiosity at work in his own psyche.

71. whalerider - February 12, 2009

Nice posts Jomo.

I’d add that narcissistic grandiosity would be at work when FOF Followers are secretly expecting to be tapped on the head by Burton to be the next conscious being in recognition of all the hard work they are doing being present. He’s more likely to reach down unzip your fly.

Been there, done that, moved on.

72. Josiane - February 12, 2009

Today I am celebrating my first year out of FoF.
(I apologize for the length of this post.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008 was the last meeting I ever attended at the Galleria. I had already decided that I was leaving but wanted to attend one more of these brainwashing events with the aim to record how insane it all was: looking at people’s vacant faces; the obscene ceiling in the foyer; the boys coming in and out of the library in expectation of the great man’s appearance; nobody talking to the person next to them, except of course for the “inner circle” and the “researchers” who always had something important to communicate, only just among themselves evidently. Contrary to my habit of standing toward the middle of the room, I found myself standing on a platform near the door to the library out of which Robert would come. When he came out he saw me, stopped, smiled at me, and put both his arms on my forearms (which is apparently unusual) and said he was glad to see me. He seemed sincere. I looked at him straight in the eyes and, for the first time, there was no fear in mine. I believe he saw that. That was the meeting when he announced that Alex Horn had died and that Alex was now “with us in the room”. Strange, I thought to myself, since Alex Horn died in September, why didn’t Robert sense his presence back then. Then I remembered that Robert had heard about Horn’s death from the blog the week before that meeting. Talk about manipulation!

My relationship with Robert as my former teacher started in 1977 when I moved from Europe to New York to join the Fellowship. It must have been quite a novelty back then for someone to move from Europe for the sole purpose of joining the School, so I attracted his attention. After that I saw him regularly in Europe where I was a supporting student in various centers and a center director once. Being around him in the early 80’s was quite exciting. It was full of unexpected phone calls to join him for a meal or a trip. One time, however, as a center director in Geneva, I was asked to pick up his watch at Vacheron-Constantin, a very famous Swiss watch making company, where it was being repaired, and bring it to him in Rome. My husband and I took the train down to Rome to deliver the watch, which we proudly presented to him at a restaurant where he was having dinner with a small group of students. He took the watch, thanked us, and resumed his meal. The next day we took the train back to Geneva without having seen him.

I have read a lot of theories about Robert on this blog. The one that makes most sense to me at the moment is that Robert achieved a certain level of consciousness but, due to his inability to deal with his inner conflicts, over time it turned into its opposite. What still puzzles me is that some members sincerely claim they achieve higher states during those weekly meetings with Robert, my husband being one of them. And that’s why they are staying, even though they are perfectly aware of what’s happening in the Galleria. It’s a big subject yet not one that fits into this post.

What fits here is to recognize that the Fellowship experience was not forced on us; that we went into it willingly; there are no victims or perpetrators that I can see. Just people, human beings having experiences, some good, some bad. I like Bruce’s comment, as many have already acknowledged, “I don’t look at life after FOF as another chance. I see it simply as the continuum of my life. It’s all part of where I am now. »

It’s been an amazing year. It started with feeling more alive than I can ever remember feeling since the time I was a young adult. Leaving the Fellowship opened up horizons of freedom, critical thinking, relying on myself for decisions, smiling to strangers who would then smile back, hugging plants and animals…you name it! Then, of course, came the anger and the confusion over the whole mess. And also the depression. I won’t dwell on those aspects because they have already been well covered by others, except that, throughout those stages, the feeling of being “alive” never left me.

What now? Acceptance maybe; allowing everything to be as it is. Not in a passive way but as a way to become deeply involved in one’s life and the lives of others without passing judgment or telling anyone what to do. Just being there. Surely, love will arise out of that.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

73. dream catcher - February 12, 2009

53. Ellen
The point is to get to a place where you can no longer justify what you see in front of you – and you finally trust yourself enough to go with that, no matter what the cost.

YES. One day all fear and doubt vanished. I clearly could see how unhealthy everything was, emotionally in a rut, my creative juices dried up, suffering from weird aches and pains and to top it all off the meetings were an insult to my intelegence.

Just like Ellen said, I trusted my self enough to leave.
It is a year and a half or so now…… and I never looked back.

Left Oregon House, left my job in Marysville, moved to a fabulous Island, got a new job, started to paint again, and once again I am enjoying life to the full.

As for my friends, this poem say it all:

“Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

~E.E. Cummings

74. tatyana - February 12, 2009

Elena is temporary refused to have the microphone, but I would like to address the thought I found in her quotation #14:
“every individual has two opposing needs which operate simultaneously: the need to be independent to be oneself; and the need NOT to be oneself, NOT to be anybody at all, NOT to resist mental pressure.The need to be inconspicuous, to disappear, and to be swallowed up by society is a common one. In its simplest form we can see it all around us as a tendency to conform. Under ordinary circumstances the need for anonymity is balanced by the need for individuality, and the mentally healthy person is one who can walk the fine line between them.”

I think it is connected to the idea of Will we are used to in FOF. We are told that our will of an individual is Self-Will or willfulness and in order to develop a Real Will one has first to abandon Self-will.

I believe there is a lot of material lies within these ideas. The whole trick about Feminine Dominance and obedience lies within thest “two opposing needs which operate simultaneously”

75. Ellen - February 12, 2009

58, WR,
If by “we do”, you glibly mean the sadguru, then we both are on the same page – which from your posts I already feel and think that we are.

My “I don’t know” was an evocative reference to the sadguru, as I regard it to be a bit of a mystery – it is both within or without, it is both “me” and “not me” – depending upon who I take myself to be in a given moment. Labels just don’t easily apply, particularly as I find for myself, the word “conscience” is both an absolutely true personal experience and an absolutely overworked and misused word.

“Conscience” cannot be mandated nor forced because it arises from within and may even compel us to seemingly immoral action.
“Conscience” cannot be explained or given from one human being to another, because people vary in their capacity for insight.
“Conscience” cannot be produced or created but it can be blocked by compartmentalized thinking, sensing and emoting.

The “Inner Guru” cannot be mandated nor forced because it arises from within and may even compel us to seemingly immoral action.
The “Inner Guru” cannot be explained or given from one human being to another, because people vary in their capacity for insight.
The “Inner Guru” cannot be produced or created but it can be blocked by compartmentalized thinking, sensing and emoting.

Ça va?

76. X-ray - February 12, 2009

>That was the meeting when he announced that Alex Horn had died and that Alex was now “with us in the room”. Strange, I thought to myself, since Alex Horn died in September, why didn’t Robert sense his presence back then. Then I remembered that Robert had heard about Horn’s death from the blog the week before that meeting. Talk about manipulation!<

Why didn’t Robert sense his presence back then?
Because he is a verified liar.

77. Old Fish in the Sea - February 12, 2009

72 – Josiane,

You need not apologize for your long post. I enjoyed reading every word and felt the joy and sincerity of your freed soul. Good Luck to you and to your family.

78. tatyana - February 12, 2009

I was talking with the fofer yesterday about the dooms day, mentioning the points from the blog about Apollo not being a safe place to hide. Funny enough at the same time on TV there was a program about Armageddon and Mayan predictions.

The idea of staying together as a community for safety came up. That made me remember what I read about two conflicting needs in humans – one is a need for individuality and another – a need for conformity.

Amongst the Non Violent Communication list of basic human needs there is a need for acceptance and community, and a need of autonomy and independence.

Before I moved to US I hardly ever heard the word “independent”. Recently I am observing American life “in life” and I must say I am impressed with it. I came from a society that did not allow individuality and freedom. The word “individualist” was only used with a meaning “egoist”. In America people are learning about freedom, individuality, personal space, rights etc. since they are born. Freedom of choice and freedom of speech, independence in thinking, “thinking outside of a box” – every day expressions here.

I am not sure I completely understand the meaning of those principals – I am more familiar with the need for conformity and acceptance – the need to be quiet, to stay close together with trusted people for safety, to think for the “good of all” and not to stand out of the crowd (the nail that stands out get hammered). But what makes americans join the cults and give up their individuality and will? Maybe independence leads to loneliness and lack of meaning?

It seems just strange that when people join FOF they are promised Will and Consciousness but after all “disclaimers” about self-will and willfulness the idea of will turns into it’s opposed. The need of free will turns into a need of conformity and obedience.

79. fofblogmoderator - February 12, 2009

#76 is newly moderated

80. Anna - February 12, 2009

Dear Josiane and All,

Actually I do feel that there were victims and a predator. The idea that “no one is to blame” is for me a bright flashing light saying “Here’s a point in which one could start looking deeper”

It is very clear from Bonita’s description of her first encounter with Robert Burton that he was all wrong. His behaviour was either psychotic- marked by hallucinations, or by psychopathy (lying- absence of conscience). He was drunk. He told her that she had found the man/god she was looking for. He told her that he had travelled across the US to find ‘students’ and that he had to return home to find her- his first ‘student’. Later he invited her to have sex with him. She was required to massage him for a prolonged period first and then he satisfied himself with her and paid absolutely no attention to her needs. On the same day he lied to his other students in a meeting saying that he was celibate. After the meeting she asked him why he had lied and reassured him that no one would judge him if he had; at this point he changed the subject.

This is exactly the pattern of behaviour that he has perpetuated since then. I know this first hand.

He continued extracting favours and money from his followers. The Fellowship grew and became what it is now. Bonita’s ‘spiritual ignorance’ and mine were the same, we were exploited, no doubt about it. And so were you. The predator’s list just got longer and longer; the more he could get away with the more ‘risks’ he took. Our desperation for authority, for certainty, for camaraderie, or our fear- what ever it was- kept ensuring that we would provide him all the ‘food’ he needed. And yes, of course his stomach stretched.

In saying this I do not abdicate responsibility. My work now is to try to shine some light on what it means to be a victim. What can I change now to break the pattern? How can I help my child not to suffer the same fate that I have up till now. I basically taught her by example to be exactly like me and in this sense I, the ‘sweetest’ person in the world, have harmed her. Am trying to remedy this and it is a big deal.

.

I

81. Jomo Piñata - February 12, 2009

The word “blame” has multiple meanings. It can be a noun meaning the bearing of responsibility. It can be a verb meaning “to apportion responsibility.” It can also have the overtone of apportioning responsibility where no responsibility lies.

Blaming others as a way of avoiding personal responsibility is one thing. Everybody agrees it’s bad. But blame or blaming consisting of analyzing who is responsible for what is good. It’s essential. We can’t understand cause and effect unless we are willing to lay blame where blame is due.

So be willing to lay blame where blame is due. Anyone who tells you to relinquish blame is probably just encouraging you to beware of unwarranted blaming of others for things that are your own responsibility. I think many people need to blame themselves less. But relinquishing blame is not a viable option. Assigning blame is an integral part of figuring out what happened.

82. Yesri Baba - February 12, 2009

75 Ellen

“Conscience” cannot be mandated nor forced because it arises from within and may even compel us to seemingly immoral action.”

Perhaps on rare occasion. More often it is likely to be some nefarious nematode satisfying mr. Happyguru.

“You cannot depend on it to be your guide, when it is you who must keep it satisfied.”

Bob Dylan on conscience.

83. Yesri Baba - February 12, 2009

78 Tatyana

“I was talking with the fofer yesterday about the dooms day, mentioning the points from the blog about Apollo not being a safe place to hide. Funny enough at the same time on TV there was a program about Armageddon and Mayan predictions.”

Not all that odd since every other program on TV is some religious nut or whack job predicting armageddon and talking about Mayan predictions. And since you were talking to a religious nut-whack job it seems that this probably falls into the category of probable occurance rather than coincidence.

84. ton - February 13, 2009

backtracking a bit to the narcissism thread, here’s an opinion for consideration: because of the malignant narcissist at the center of the organization, narcissism in it’s various forms is an essential and key component of the FOF experience, in fact the continuation of the cult depends and preys upon narcissism in the ‘normal’ human being. everyone naturally experiences ‘primary narcissism’ as a developmental stage during infancy. ‘secondary narcissism’ comes later and is also considered ‘normal’ (based on social ‘norms’)… i.e. everyone experiences this too as part of their development. but the malignant form of narcissism which FOF members encounter through ‘the teacher’ and the organization that has grown up around him, feeds something called ‘inverted narcissism’ in the ‘student.’ the ‘student’ believes they are in contact with something / someone who stands above and beyond the human condition when in fact, the reality of the situation is all too human and perhaps in this case sub-human.

“Inverted narcissists project their narcissism onto another narcissist, using projective identification to keep the narcissistic state both distant and close. They experience narcissism vicariously but are still narcissists.”

http://changingminds.org/disciplines/psychoanalysis/concepts/narcissism.htm

85. nigel harris price - February 13, 2009

This last post on Narcissism helps me re-enter the blog after a few days. On the rare moments, recently, when Elena was not ranting, she described the phenomenom of the citizen wishing to be integrated into society by having a steady, well-defined, job with a secure future. I have no such possibility, since I have put my future ‘on the line’ by surrendering my ‘stakeholder pension’ to fund my jewlery teaching business. How does narcissism fit in with this? Well, in our teacher training, we were taught to use ‘critical analysis’ and ‘reflective practice’ – mainly, always seeing what effect our teaching had on the students and, especially, whether LEARNING WAS TAKING PLACE. I actually love the modualting of my teaching style and integrating of my talents base to ‘transfer skills’. There can be ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM FOR NARCISSISM but there is the sense of Self Melding with the Entirety of the Experience. There may be similar points in posters’ lives where such a ‘risk’ is necessary and I am sure Whalerider may have a psycho-slant on this…..Nigel.

“Once in every life, there comes a time,
We step out all alone and into the night;
The moment won’t last, but we remember it again,
When we close our eyes.

Like stars across the sky, we were born to shine,
All of us here, because we believe.”

(Andrea Bocelli ‘Because We Believe’)

86. veramente - February 13, 2009

Josiane 72
“What fits here is to recognize that the Fellowship experience was not forced on us; that we went into it willingly; there are no victims or perpetrators that I can see.”
——————————-
Josiane, when I first read the above I felt a little anger because it does not fit with my experience and it feels intellectually dishonest (not consciously)
To kind of deny that there are no victims and perpetrators is like saying that nothing really happened while we feel devastated at so many levels.
In the FOF we adopted inhumane attitudes towards ourselves and others, and your comment above reminds me a little of the same coldness we had in treating events of our lives.

87. Ellen - February 13, 2009

82, Yesri,
Right.
The formulation is a tricky one.
To my current, read expanded understanding, it’s fine not to act in accordance with the wishes of another person or persons (because it can denote a level of emotional maturity, which in the best of all possible word-worlds could be the intended meaning for the term FD), but it’s not fine to bring harm to another human being (because doing so is pure and simple spiritual ignorance).

The fact is that all Fellowship members are encouraged to pledge their troth to “self-remembering” as a psychological practice (so they get to please themselves and not necessarily others, as a certain kind of healthy narcissism). The veracity and vibrancy of that experience is then purported to exist only with its confines, which has the hidden effect of safeguarding the ongoing agenda of its leader (so they end up “innocently” supporting the harm that he continues to enact).

Relative to the blame thread, I consider it fully appropriate to blame Robert Burton for the psychological manipulation of innocent, naive, open and trusting seekers. Both for the harm that he does do and for the conceptual web that he, in full knowledge of the harm that it does, continues to weave.

Alternatively, I think, when a current member reaches a certain level of inner maturity or purity or both, the Self, will start to break through the layers of accumulated esoteric garbage. Then, it is a matter of time before the full import of what he or she has been innocently supporting breaks through. And then the long work on evaluating that “innocence”: to find “who” was and “who” wasn’t, to find out what to keep and what to toss.

And ultimately, I think the sadguru guides us to everything we attract in our lives as learning experiences.

“The self by its nature knows itself only. For lack of experience whatever it perceives it takes to be itself. Battered, it learns to look out and to live alone. When right behaviour, becomes normal, a powerful inner urge makes it seek its source. The candle of the body is lighted and all becomes clear and bright.” – Nisargadatta

88. nigel harris price - February 13, 2009

The Nisargadatta quote was beautiful, Ellen. Thanks…..Nigel

89. Jomo Piñata - February 13, 2009

Josiane,

“What fits here is to recognize that the Fellowship experience was not forced on us; that we went into it willingly; there are no victims or perpetrators that I can see.”

Talk to more people. Don’t be surprised to discover, some years down the road, that you yourself were victimized. Oftentimes people don’t recognize their own victimization until they discover intentional deception. If you’re not pissed off, it’s because you don’t know what happened.

90. tatyana - February 13, 2009

Hello, everyone.

I am taking a small business class at the college and yesterday I learned something new – we were told how “to dress for success”.

I just beginning to realize how much my understanding of the dress code is messed up by FOF. Our instructor was telling us how to present a reliable and a trustworthy image of oneself when doing a presentation or applying for a loan. How to dress up and what not to wear do not give a wrong message at first impression.

I asked her what message would give a man who is wearing a bright red jacket – she laughed and replied: “Stay away from a man in the bright red jacket! This man is a clown!” I was thinking of RB of coarse.

My guidelines in clothing came from the believe that RB has a great taste and a divine alchemy, so if one wants to look at his best, one has to look like RB or the “inner circle”. And those guys wear red, yellow and pink a lot. What do they look like to an average american?

91. Anna - February 13, 2009

Narcissus (the real Guy)

Once upon a time there was a beautiful boy; his face looked as though it had been carved from marble and his neck from ivory. Usually admirers thronged around him entranced by his loveliness but kept at bay by his coldness and hard pride. One day he loses sight of them when playing in the woods, and calls out “is anybody there?”

The girl Echo rushes to him and he backs away shouting “I would die before I would give my power to you.” Echo is stricken, she mumbles “…I would give my power to you.” and her body and soul shrivel away to leave only an echoing voice.

One of the other young people scorned by Narcissus utters a curse “May he fall in love and not have what he desires”. Sure enough while about to drink from a silent pool he sees the most beautiful face. He marvels at its cool, chiselled perfection and is entranced. He reaches an arm into the deep waters and the image on the surface dissolves.

He is filled with craving and despair, and lies prostrate by the edge of the pool tormented by the knowledge that the person he longs for is separated from him by the thinnest of membranes. Suddenly he realises “It’s me!” and cries “What I long for I have.” He strikes at his chest in anguish and his skin begins to take on a delicate glow like the flush of an apple. Slowly he is consumed by the hidden fire of love.

His companions search for him; in the place where his body had lain there is a delicate flower with white petals and a yellow heart.

***

I summarised this tale from my latest therapy the book ‘Care of the Soul’ by Thomas Moore. Apparently when Narcissus was born a seer prophesied that “He will live till a ripe old age, provided he never comes to know himself.”

Moore explains that when we are narcissistic we depend on the reflection of a particular image of ourselves received from our companions. Maintaining this image makes us truly cold and shallow. But the moment we actually see our reflection with our own eyes is pivotal. As we warm to the image Narcissus will melt and burn away, his death bed the soil for the scented and soulful daffodil.

Until this New Year I had seen myself as a being who was eternally wounded by heartless, compulsive men. I was a kind person and I could not understand my fate, it seemed so unfair and illogical. To pre-empt abuse I would be as nice as I could and forgiving and demure. I would grieve often, occasionally implode with venomous rage, and felt fully justified in both. Knowing that my painful indignation was justified prevented me from trying to find a cure for it. I was constantly conniving for distraction, mainly in the form of received appreciation.

Eventually it clicked. I saw the face of a victim in the water… I couldn’t go on suffering because someone else was to blame. I would never be able to change the someone elses. I had to find a way out through myself. My arms reached in to the darker deeper waters and the victim’s image was disrupted. Narcissus’ strength is sapping away.

***

Lots of funny-ghastly stories occur to me. Once at the peak of my inner-circleness and Robert’s depravity I was having a stroll with E. who was even more inner-circle than me and one of my closest friends. “You know Anna” she said as we divided our attention across her perfect garden, “I think we are being asked to give up our emotions”.

My chest ached surely we were not being asked to surrender our hearts as our next noble sacrifice. “No” I said “That can’t be”

But she was right.

92. nigel harris price - February 13, 2009

89 Jomo Pinata

I remember my dad saying many times, when I had just come out of the Fellowship, and was trying to talk through my guilt of my business failure (primarily) and having failed, financially, the Fellowship – “The problem was, you were obsessed with the FOF”. It actually took me many years from my exit (and many bi-polar swings) to ‘get the FOF shit out of my system’. I actually remember re-looking through ‘The Fourth Way’, then getting angry and throwing it in the waste basket (violently!). I usually found Gurdjieff and Ouspensky to be the ‘dark proponents’ of the ‘system’ and Rodney Collin, as the third, sunshine, or healing force. Bruce and others have succinctly stated it that we experienced our lives both in and out of the FOF and, for me, there had to be an unravelling or filtering of the useful from the ‘dross’…..Nigel.

93. Anna - February 13, 2009

Dear All

Although I feel as Nigel ‘Bruce and others have succinctly stated, that we experienced our lives both in and out of the FOF.’ And although I’m aware that I couldn’t have changed anything. And although I don’t really have any regrets…

It is weird to have to acknowledge that I have spent my entire adult life being ‘conned’.
The aspect of my life that was most precious, most sacred has turned out to be rooted in lust and lies.

About Josiane’s testimony on a year of being out.
One thing that hasn’t been addressed is the fact that her (lovely) husband is still a member. I really feel for her… Heaven knows what I would compromise to create a place in myself in which I could bear this.

If I remember correctly Josiane started a discussion about this on the GF and there were not many responses. Any ideas?

94. tatyana - February 13, 2009

93. “One thing that hasn’t been addressed is the fact that her (lovely) husband is still a member. I really feel for her…”

Yes, it is tough. I am in the same situation. It is hard to live with someone you love who does not share your understanding of the most significant experience – FOF. It is painful for both. In his eyes you are a traitor and a looser – lost C influence etc. There is an agreement not to push each others buttons and not to talk negatively about “the school” and “the ex-students”. A lot of compromises. For example, there is always a risk that someone from FOF will ask the current member to end the relationship with the ex-student or leave FOF. You never know what his choice will be… On the other hand there is always a hope that by healing and freeing your own mind you can inspire your loved one to do the same. It takes a lot of patience. And I often wish to speed up this process somehow.

95. in2it - February 13, 2009

“It is weird to have to acknowledge that I have spent my entire adult life being ‘conned’. The aspect of my life that was most precious, most sacred has turned out to be rooted in lust and lies.”

Anna, even today, many years later, those words have impact for me. I’m still processing it, and it’s still a jolt to the system. Thanks for expressing it without the sugar coating.

96. dragon - February 13, 2009

#90 tatyana

“I asked her what message would give a man who is wearing a bright red jacket – she laughed and replied: “Stay away from a man in the bright red jacket! This man is a clown!” I was thinking of RB of coarse.”

——————–

Even if I am only a simple “life-people” being, your news report makes me smile!

Go on with your posts!

97. Ellen - February 13, 2009

94, tatyana, (and josiane)

What you speak of is a certain kind of understandable negative imagination. The kind of ultimatum you describe was never presented to Roger C. who died a “hero’s death”, relative to FoF standards: second student only to Peter B. to have a funeral at the Theatron. RC never left his wife or children despite surface FoF peer pressure to do so. Bottom line, Robert never told him to. (never told me to, either) So your husband can pull that trump if it ever comes up – which I doubt that it ever will.

Candice G. also stayed married when her husband left. He rejoined a number of years ago now, but they never consulted anyone else for their own facts on their own relationship. DG was out of the FoF for almost 20 years.

You (and your husband) both need to know in your heart of hearts that physically separating from someone you love because of FoF boundaries is simply formatory work on identification – and ego based, at that. If your relationship breaks up, then FoF differences can be used to buffer to some deeper problem of communication.

You don’t need to let your differences drive you apart, unless you both want them to. Those differences are unreal. Stay focused on what each of you know. The situation can be used by both of you for digging deeper into your individual selves – and meeting there.

Let your spirituality inspire him!

98. Josiane - February 13, 2009

Anna 80, Verament 86, Jomo Pinata 89,

Thank you guys for your comments. I appreciate that. I am very familiar with all the stories that have been told on this blog yet I don’t seem to be able to get as angry as many are. I have been racking my brain to find good reasons to be very upset yet I cannot. Not that I have not had my moments of rage to the point of throwing in the fire all the brand-new Thoughts from the Teacher that my husband had just purchased but overall, I don’t find it in me to seek revenge or agonize over what happened. Probably because for me it was not all bad. Maybe I was not that close to the fire to get singed or maybe I am still brainwashed. Who knows.

I sympathize with the condition that students on salary are, with limited choice, if any at all. I try to help by providing jobs, such as gardening, pet sitting, carpentry, etc. I have seen some behavior at the post office or the local store indicative of severe imbalance (at least it would be if I behaved that way) and I feel sorry for them. I am just hoping that a moment of grace will come for each one of them that will reveal the true nature of the Fellowship. Members leaving one by one is the best strategy to initiate doubt in the mind of those who are still in. And doubt would be their best ally.

As was mentioned on a few occasions, everyone’s experience exiting the FoF is different, although there are definite categories. I fall into the category of people who feel it’s a better use of their time to move on with their lives. You don’t know these people because they don’t read the blog yet most of my friends are doing just that.

I appreciate all points of view. And there are many. That’s why this blog is so great.

Be Well.

99. WhaleRider - February 13, 2009

ellen:
Let us not forget that Roger C and Candice’s husband weren’t on the Burton menu, so to speak. Neither was yours.

Can the same be said for the hubbys of Anna and Tatyana?

100. tatyana - February 13, 2009

98. Exactly!

I would like to ask if anyone knows the copy right laws. If I post a picture of RB or the RB’s quotation from “The Loons” here – can I get in trouble?

Thanks. I just found a few latest pictures that made my blood boil… a little… He still goes around shows his freaking 6 fingers and making his Mayan predictions. And our friends are paying attention to this nonsense!

I hope those who are on the fense will not be stopped by those “just in four years we will see” BS.

101. Vena - February 13, 2009

Whalerider,
Roger C. and Candice were/are wealthy students. Robert always had a different agenda for the weathy. The men weren’t on the menu but the fact that they had money put them in a different category.

102. Kid Shelleen - February 13, 2009

Anna,

Thomas Moore is someone whose writing and thinking I really resonate with. Check out his book “Original Self” when you finish with “Care of the Soul.”

http://www.amazon.com/Original-Self-Living-Paradox-Originality/dp/0060953721/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234561612&sr=1-1

Shortly after I left the FoF, I heard him read at a local bookstore. In response to a question from an audience member, he gave a truly inspired off-the-cuff talk about the differences between soul and spirit. It opened something inside me which allowed me to begin thinking about my life in a different way.

103. fofblogmoderator - February 13, 2009

#95 is newly moderated

104. Someone - February 13, 2009

I haven’t been here for sometime.

Recently I met a student on a flight. We were sitting next to each other. We had an interesting and sincere conversation and I appreciated her openness.

It was clear to me is that she is in the School completely out of her own free will. I believed her when she said that she values being present more than ever and that the school gives her the right environment to evolve.

I brought-up some questionable issues regarding RB’s conduct and she acknowledged some of that and said that the overall picture for her was that she finds Apollo and her fellow students to be the best people to be with in the best place.

She kept telling be that there are things she could not convey in words…I remember using the same terminology.

Though I have my strong criticism against the FoF and RB, I am less inclined now to put myself in a preaching position taking upon myself a missionary task to implant doubts in current members and persuade them to leave.

105. in2it - February 14, 2009

Someone,
Dissent is not synonymous with “anger” or “preaching.” Dissent can become angry, but the two are not one and the same.

As far as persuading anyone to “leave” the FOF, I would simply encourage them to seek ideas and advice from outside the FOF. Anyone who does that sincerely will see that Burton is harming people, and they’ll eventually conclude that running as far away as possible is wise.

One thing to consider about “things she could not convey in words” is that words are frightening in a cult — especially new words, and new ideas that challenge one’s cult-generated assertions. Ideas that come from outside the FOF do cast doubt. That’s a good thing. Doubt and skepticism are essential if you’re going to sincerely evaluate something and understand it, and be awake to it.

106. nigel harris price - February 14, 2009

104 Someone

I, too, found Renaissance (at that time) an ’emotionally charged’ experience and the interractions with students, for the most part, supportive, as a group. But I think we need to look behind the surface. It is my belief (having had my proverbial eyes opened) that the school has a rotten core (REB with his sexual indiscretions with either willing or coerced men) which is surrounded by a very expensive and refined act. As to ‘being present’, there is a dangerous area here. Ouspensky stated that “Self remembering is fine for a while but, after a while it has to be connected with your aim – what you want.” Why does a student just want to ‘be’ (sequence or otherwise)? I personally think there are many damaged essences who are either still in the FOF or have passed through it. One student for many years, who was very close to ‘the hub of the Fellowship’ and whose insights I valued at the time I was in the FOF (and still do) actually stated to me in an email – “Have no doubts, Nigel, there is a very real evil in the Fellowship.” Let’s face it, REB is a ‘taker’ and not a ‘giver’, as a spiritual leader should be. The complete set-up of the FOF is there to give REB a luxurious and depraved life-style and has very little to do with the 4th Way or any other system of spiritual development…..Nigel.

107. nigel harris price - February 14, 2009

“These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands,
they are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or
next to nothing,”

(Walt Whitman – ‘Song of Myself’)

108. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 14, 2009

Hello Anna and all,

What a lovely topic to dwell upon on Saint Valentine’s Day; self-love.

‘That he should be like Cupid blind.’ Oliver Goldsmith

Below is another version of the Narcissus story. It is from:
Age of Fable: Stories of Gods and Heroes. 1913.
Thomas Bulfinch (1796-1867)
(A.K.A. Bulfinch’s Mythology)
Chapter XIII: Nisus and Scylla – Echo and Narcissus. . .

But, first, a word from our sponsor:

Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel’s as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
And foolish notion.

Robert Burns
Poet of Scotland
1759-1796

In modern English:

O, what a gift that God would give us
To see ourselves as others see us
It would from many a blunder save us
and foolish thoughts.

– – – – – –

Echo and Narcissus
Echo was a beautiful nymph, fond of the woods and hills, where she devoted herself to woodland sports. She was a favourite of Diana [Artemis], and attended her in the chase. But Echo had one failing; she was fond of talking, and whether in chat or argument, would have the last word. One day Juno [Hera] was seeking her husband [Zeus/Jupiter], who, she had reason to fear, was amusing himself among the nymphs. Echo by her talk contrived to detain the goddess till the nymphs made their escape. When Juno discovered it, she passed sentence upon Echo in these words: “You shall forfeit the use of that tongue with which you have cheated me, except for that one purpose you are so fond of – reply. You shall still have the last word, but no power to speak first.”

This nymph saw Narcissus, a beautiful youth, as he pursued the chase upon the mountains. She loved him and followed his footsteps. O how she longed to address him in the softest accents, and win him to converse! But it was not in her power. She waited with impatience for him to speak first, and had her answer ready. One day the youth, being separated from his companions, shouted aloud, “Who’s here?” Echo replied, “Here.” Narcissus looked around, but seeing no one, called out, “Come.” Echo answered, “Come.” As no one came, Narcissus called again, “Why do you shun me?” Echo asked the same question. “Let us join one another,” said the youth. The maid answered with all her heart in the same words, and hastened to the spot, ready to throw her arms about his neck. He started back, exclaiming, “Hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!” “Have me,” said she; but it was all in vain. He left her, and she went to hide her blushes in the recesses of the woods. From that time forth she lived in caves and among mountain cliffs. Her form faded with grief, till at last all her flesh shrank away. Her bones were changed into rocks and there was nothing left of her but her voice. With that she is still ready to reply to any one who calls her, and keeps up her old habit of having the last word.

Narcissus’ cruelty in this case was not the only instance. He shunned all the rest of the nymphs, as he had done poor Echo. One day a maiden who had in vain endeavoured to attract him uttered a prayer that he might some time or other feel what it was to love and meet no return of affection. The avenging goddess [Nemesis] heard and granted the prayer.

There was a clear fountain, with water like silver, to which the shepherds never drove their flocks, nor the mountain goats resorted, nor any of the beasts of the forests; neither was it defaced with fallen leaves or branches; but the grass grew fresh around it, and the rocks sheltered it from the sun. Hither came one day the youth, fatigued with hunting, heated and thirsty. He stooped down to drink, and saw his own image in the water; he thought it was some beautiful water-spirit living in the fountain. He stood gazing with admiration at those bright eyes, those locks curled like the locks of Bacchus or Apollo, the rounded cheeks, the ivory neck, the parted lips, and the glow of health and exercise over all. He fell in love with himself. He brought his lips near to take a kiss; he plunged his arms in to embrace the beloved object. It fled at the touch, but returned again after a moment and renewed the fascination. He could not tear himself away; he lost all thought of food or rest while he hovered over the brink of the fountain gazing upon his own image. He talked with the supposed spirit: “Why, beautiful being, do you shun me? Surely my face is not one to repel you. The nymphs love me, and you yourself look not indifferent upon me. When I stretch forth my arms you do the same; and you smile upon me and answer my beckonings with the like.” His tears fell into the water and disturbed the image. As he saw it depart, he exclaimed, “Stay, I entreat you! Let me at least gaze upon you, if I may not touch you.” With this, and much more of the same kind, he cherished the flame that consumed him, so that by degrees he lost his colour, his vigour, and the beauty which formerly had so charmed the nymph, Echo. She kept near him, however, and when he exclaimed, “Alas!” “Alas!,” she answered him with the same words. He pined away and died; and when his shade passed the Stygian river, it leaned over the boat to catch a look of itself in the waters. The nymphs mourned for him, especially the water-nymphs; and when they smote their breasts, Echo smote hers also. They prepared a funeral pyre and would have burned the body, but it was nowhere to be found; but in its place a flower, purple within, and surrounded with white leaves, which bears the name and preserves the memory of Narcissus.

[John] Milton alludes to the story of Echo and Narcissus in the Lady’s song in “Comus.” She is seeking her brothers in the forest, and sings to attract their attention:

“Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen
Within thy aery shell
By slow Meander’s margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are?
O, if thou have
Hid them in some flowery cave,
Tell me but where,
Sweet queen of parly, daughter of the sphere,
So may’st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all heaven’s harmonies.”

Milton has imitated the story of Narcissus in the account which he makes Eve give of the first sight of herself reflected in the fountain.

“That day I oft remember when from sleep
I first awaked, and found myself reposed
Under a shade on flowers, much wondering where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how
Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved
Pure as the expanse of heaven; I tither went
With unexperienced thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake that to me seemed another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite
A shape within the watery gleam appeared,
Bending to look on me. I started back;
It started back; but pleased I soon returned,
Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks
Of sympathy and love. There had I fixed
Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warned me: ‘What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;” etc.
Paradise Lost, Book IV.

No one of the fables of antiquity has been oftener alluded to by the poets than that of Narcissus. Here are two epigrams which treat it in different ways. The first is by [Oliver] Goldsmith:

“On a Beautiful Youth, Struck Blind by Lightning.”
“Sure ’twas by Providence designed
Rather in pity than in hate,
That he should be like Cupid blind,
To save him from Narcissus’ fate.”

The other is by [William] Cowper:

“On an Ugly Fellow.
“Beware, my friend, of crystal brook
Or fountain, lest that hideous hook,
Thy nose, thou chance to see;
Narcissus’ fate would then be thine,
And self-detested thou would’st pine,”
As self-enamoured he.”

– – – – – – end quotation

Here is a painting of the subject:
http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/EchoAndNarcissusWaterhouse.html

109. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 14, 2009

Here is the flower described:
Narcissus poeticus
(Poet’s Narcissus)
http://www.alchemy-works.com/narcissus_poeticus.html

110. Panorea - February 14, 2009

Someone somewhere in this page…

…Though I have my strong criticism against the FoF and RB, I am less inclined now to put myself in a preaching position taking upon myself a missionary task to implant doubts in current members and persuade them to leave…

Gosh dear Someone what a strong way to put it. Did you ever put yourself in that preaching position?

I am so grateful to my friends who were sincere about their doubts and perceptions. The preaching was left to the people who were still “in” and had numerous agendas and interests. The ex-members I know try to cope with their lives and recover. Many are still angry and many manage to move on and enjoy their life, trust again, revive their abused sense of spirituality.

But I agree there are many current members who do not want to face the truth. They do not mind where their monies go and they do not see they play a role in supporting a sick organization. They only see that it is good for them and their “own” development. Maybe that’s where the problem lies?

I was also so proud of myself being in the Fellowship out of my own free will… How does this translate into human language? I do not know yet; I am trying to figure out.

111. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 14, 2009

Narcissus poeticus picture:

While Narcissus poeticus is in the daffodil family, it is separate genus and species.

Wikipedia states, in part:

‘Toxicity:
While all narcissi are poisonous when eaten, Poet’s Daffodil [Narcissus poeticus] is more dangerous than others, acting as a strong emetic and irritant. The scent is powerful enough that it can cause headache and vomiting if a large quantity is kept in a closed room.’

It grows wild in Oregon House and is often the first bulb plants to blossom in the spring.

112. Panorea - February 14, 2009

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Happy Valentine’s Day ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

113. normal human being - February 14, 2009

I am very greatfull to Elena for posting so much here. Sometimes I read everything, sometimes I just scroll down, because her posts are too long. It depends on haw I feel and what I am working with that day. But you know what? I feel so bad sometimes, I feel so fucked up, so angry and frustraited… And the only place where people can understand me – it is here. Yes, we argue and call each other names, but we have big thing in common – cult experience.
And Elena – she is always here for me… And for all of us. She wrights about thing I cry, I read it and feel more sain, especially if it something provocative and many people responding. It is great, it is great Healling process. She still has a lot of pain inside, just like me and all of you. It is healthy to get it out

114. normal human being - February 14, 2009

Hello Annd and Tatyana, it is very hard to be in that situation. It seems that this situation gives a lot of opportunity for your personnal grouth. It is almost like dealing with a sick child – a lots of love, patience and hope.

115. Ellen - February 14, 2009

99 & 101,
True on both counts.

116. dragon - February 14, 2009

113. normal human being, thanks for your post!

Every word of aggression, every rage is not only an imaginable sign for the “ inner imbalance” of a person. Some posts are also the helpless attempt to stop the ongoing recruitment of the ROTTEN INSTITUTION of the FOF.

Some people are very strong and they are getting away everything what is going to happen during their lifetime.

Nevertheless our modern societies need the vulnerability and the sensitivity of the people who are NOT as strong as GERMAN Krupp Stahl (steel of Krupp and Thyssen). They are more receptive, they are more susceptible, they are often more creative, they are different from the large majority of people who are “running smoothly” but they ARE (in their vulnerability) the warning sign in our societies. They show us what is going wrong.

Every society that is excluding or making disappear their victims/invalids/uncomfortable or awkward persons has a problem in its core, not in the core of the victims.

The modern plutocracy and the societies that worship money and try to reach more and more riches during their lifetime (even if they go off in search of consciousness) are far away from a spark of consciousness if they don’t learn to interpret Laotse’s quote in an adequate way:

Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

The blog may shed its skin for another time but this is nothing than a reflection of our modern societies.

No judgement, no reproach.

But let us face the future there is always hope for all of us and that’s not cynical in no way.

Many valentines and hot kisses for all of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

117. Ill Never Tell - February 14, 2009

Teacher’s personal rule: Cash cows must not be molested. All others are suckers or suck ups.

The sacred cows are my subjects and shall not suffer indignity.

118. Someone - February 14, 2009

I know for a fact that there are “Normal” people there in the FoF who sincerely want to be there. I believe their sincerity and the fact that I think they are wrong does not give me the right to try and “convert” them.

I still have some inner anger and frustrations. I am gradually dealing with it. I came to realize that there are perhaps some 2-3 hundred students who really want to be in FoF and will stay there at least for some time.

I know I can see things they do not see, yet they have made their choice. That student I met on the plane joined in 1980. That’s almost 30 years. This is her life for better or for worse. I believe it is much more for worse, but truly I respect her for what she wants to do with her life.

I feel I need to be true to myself abut the persuasion matter. The idea of implanting doubts in students is wrong in my mind. I am trying the best I can to innerly move on, relinquish my anger and accept the fact that the FoF is there and I am somewhere else.

It is clear to me now that I cannot go on being a “FoF Shadow” forever. There is a point where I must let go of RB and the FoF. I am not there yet and I am grateful for this forum where I can express what I feel and how I think.

119. Mick Danger - February 14, 2009

It Just Ain’t Natural
“Q: What was the strangest place you’ve ever made “whoope”?
A: In the butt, Bob.”
By acting according to the principles of nature – and not going against it – the result arrived at is natural. But by not following the principles of nature and going against it, naturally the result is unnatural. By following the natural way, if the result proves unnatural, then that can be called supernatural.
For example, it is natural to eat food by the mouth and pass excrement from the rectum. But it is supernatural to eat by the mouth and not pass any stool. If, instead of feeding one’s self by the mouth, one is fed through he rectum, then that is unnatural.

120. Someone - February 14, 2009

It is your choice to demonetize everything by exaggeration. You probably think it serves the aim of hindering the FoF.
There is room for that and many here share that purpose.

Yet, there is room for those like me, who accept the fact the FoF is there and probably will stay there in one form or another.

What I do not respect is that whenever such line of thought starts here, you and some others bring RB butt for assistance. That’s childish in my mind. It is a legitimate way to hit back if that’s what you want to do, but please allow some space for other opinions.

121. Vena - February 14, 2009

“Have no doubts, Nigel, there is a very real evil in the Fellowship.” Let’s face it, REB is a ‘taker’ and not a ‘giver’, as a spiritual leader should be. The complete set-up of the FOF is there to give REB a luxurious and depraved life-style and has very little to do with the 4th Way or any other system of spiritual development…..Nigel.

That sums it up nicely.

122. in2it - February 14, 2009

Someone,
You’re presenting a false dichotomy: People either “move on” or they “demonize everything by exaggeration.” In other words, one can’t express honest dissent and still “move on”?

People can do both. And if “moving on” is built upon a foundation of denial, it’s not a very strong “moving on.”

Sometimes it’s not a pleasant healing process. The truth can sting. Seeing yourself clearly in how you were duped can really sting — and seeing yourself clearly, by the way, is one of the stated “aims” of the fof. Ironic, isn’t it?

Anna expressed it in a nutshell above:

“It is weird to have to acknowledge that I have spent my entire adult life being ‘conned’. The aspect of my life that was most precious, most sacred has turned out to be rooted in lust and lies.”

From her beautiful words and the words of others on the blog, I have no doub she is moving on really well.

123. in2it - February 14, 2009

doubt.

By the way, regarding those who say people are “trying to cast” doubt about the FOF, I would put it another way:

If people are trying to cast anything, it’s certainty. There is no doubt. We’re long past that.

124. tatyana - February 14, 2009

Someone: “she finds Apollo and her fellow students to be the best people to be with in the best place”

Do not confuse Love with Stockholm Syndrome.

I was there too – in the middle of the most insane situation if asked I would reply – I am greatful and this is the best it can be.

125. WhaleRider - February 14, 2009

someone:
“This is her life for better or for worse..”

Obviously SHE does not have to service the gay predator of straight men cult leader with a sex addiction. Well good for her.

She might feel differently if it was her son.

126. normal human being - February 14, 2009

Someone:
It is clear to me now that I cannot go on being a “FoF Shadow” forever.

OK, it will sounds a little pit dramatic, but FOF will stay with us forever, just like any another learning experience. If you give it write valuation – not too much, not too little, just enought.
One can go in to denial and thrue away bath water with baby in it… Years I spent in FOF was years of my life. I’ve learned a lot, met bunch of nice or not so nice people, or idiots, I even met one pcyho.. Haw lucky I am….And the main thing – I learn a lot about cults.. And there are a lot of cults out there. On a different scales: churches, goverment, TV brainwashing ets.. I am glad I can recognize it and be very celective.
Do not be hard on yourself, if you need time to digest it – take your time. For myself – I needed a few years just to start talking about it.

127. normal human being - February 14, 2009

Hello Someone.

“I know for a fact that there are “Normal” people there in the FoF who sincerely want to be there.”

Would you please give your definition of “Normal people”, because since it is my name, I feel ofended..

128. nigel harris price - February 15, 2009

“But I……cannot close the eye of the mind, nor stop my mouth from speech”
(W B Yeats – ‘The People’)

I think Whalerider will correctly interpret the above quote, since he predicted an ‘upturn’ in my mood. Events related, as usual – yesterday, with my favourite pure-Solar lady student resonating my energies and then Wales beating England in the 6-Nations Rugby by a margin that won me a bet at the ‘bookies’. Too much alcohol flowing at the pub and me going to bed at 8pm and waking up now at 3am (our time).

I was thinking, with all this ‘back-and-forth’ banter about the validity of the FOF, why some of us bother to post with the aim of either warning prospective students or being a ‘lever’ for easing current students ‘on the fence’ (as some have put it) out of the ‘morass’. After all, it is quite easy for many to state that the Fellowship is, for the most part, a positive experience. In my opinion, I would say that, if you have enough money and are willing to ‘submerge’ your discriminating faculties, you will come to the conclusion, as Steve has put it, that the FOF is actually an ‘expensive country club’ for you and may remain that way for some time.

The FOF will remain an experience in ‘the long body of the soul’ and be part of people’s lives should they stay in it or not. Going back to discrimination, can we separate REB and his obvious ‘sexual indulgences’ (among other indulgences) from the form of the Fellowship and how gloriously positive and emotionally enriching it may appear? Surely the centre of the ‘school’, the ‘teacher’ must be the ‘shining example’ of all the principles that the FOF embodies (in this way we see GH as somewhat of a ‘shield’, whose formatory arguments dissolve any critical thinking that may lead to dissent etc.). The trouble is that the ‘teacher’ is the ‘black hole’ that swallows anything about the FOF that may be good and emotionally nourishing. To use a coarse English phrase – “The situation is arse about face.”…..Nigel.

129. in2it - February 15, 2009

With a little compartmentalized thinking, almost anything can seem normal. Just focus on comfortable thoughts; and ignore the uncomfortable ones. It’s pretty easy.

130. tatyana - February 15, 2009

Someone, Just dig a little deeper and you find a lot of fear in those normal people. Quite abnormal, insane fear. Conformity is based either on Vanity or Fear. Or both.

131. Anna - February 15, 2009

Dear Josiane (at ) and All,

Josiane’s post made me start thinking about two things: ‘anger’ and ‘moving on’ with one’s life.

About the first she said:
“I am very familiar with all the stories that have been told on this blog yet I don’t seem to be able to get as angry as many are. I have been racking my brain to find good reasons to be very upset yet I cannot.”

I have thought a lot about anger since reading this. In my case too there hasn’t been a whole lot of it toward Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. Any flashes of it have been outshone by the exhilaration, happiness, and hope that have accompanied leaving. If I had to deal with the man in person though it might be evoked.

I have felt anger toward individual current followers who I bump in to. The resolute ‘shutting off’ in those I have cared for, can be overwhelmingly frustrating. I know that they are sincere in wanting ‘awakening’, but also that they will never get achieve it whilst under Burton’s spell, or whilst clinging to even the most tenuous of membership.

Interestingly, two years ago when Burton’s debauchery was widely publicized; the two most vehemently angry people are still members today.

My most terrible anger has been about those who I know intimately. I feel that I have been their victim and they have been unjustifiably brutal and cruel to me. I have never been able to confront them with my feelings, and my bottled up rage is often hellish.

I had not acknowledged this internal ‘hell’ until this December, or even considered that there may be a way out. Much like an abused dog who assumes that there is no other type of life.

Actually I have been experiencing this internal hell for as long as I can remember. As a child there was no choice about it, but having reached adulthood ideally one would begin to take responsibility for changing things. It is here that the Fellowship stepped in and paralyzed all such possibilities, it FROZE me. Instead of saying ‘look within’, ‘discover your own truth’ to ‘strengthen your boundaries’ it told us ‘not to listen to the many I’s’ to obey the teacher unconditionally’ ‘to go to as many meetings and events as possible’ to appear ‘positive’ and to donate money to the ‘ark’.

I entered in to countless connections in which my boundaries and sense of personal worth were violated, on every level. I would feel disappointment and ultimately hate for the perpetrators but struggle to appear ‘forgiving, compassionate and above all ‘light’. This pattern would repeat and repeat and repeat. It had to, Robert Burton actively shunned healthy introspection and taking responsibility, because he needed to be in charge.

But the severity of this December’s rage attack was so painful that I was forced to note it, and seek out a new way of coping.

My therapist responded that I seem to attract people that I can hate. I was shocked by this assessment but felt open to exploring it. Later he pointed out that there is never a predator without a victim. Although I had heard this before, I then found it horrible and dismissed it; but now for the first time in my 46 years I have been able to conceive of some useful truth in it. Not that the predators are not blameworthy; but now I have found a dark place in my own psyche which I can bring light to, and hopefully even move out of.

I now see Anger very differently than I did in the cult. There we were taught that it is the expression of the Lower Self and should be squashed and replaced with a ‘cheerful lightness’. Now I see that whilst shunned it can eat me alive, but when acknowledged it points to redemption. It is a red flag which something deep and oppressed with in me is desperately waving, shouting “look deeper”.

So Being Angry needn’t be a weakness or a requirement. But it does alert us to parts of ourselves of which we had been unaware, and if our quest for ‘awareness’ is genuine we might try to keep an eye open for such ardent calls for help along the way.
*
Josiane you also said “I fall into the category of people who feel it’s a better use of their time to move on with their lives. You don’t know these people because they don’t read the blog yet most of my friends are doing just that.”

I don’t see the blog as necessarily a place where people agonize, or are stuck in Anger and vengefulness. I have forced my self to write on this page largely out of a sense of responsibility, it’s part of my ‘moving on’.

Perhaps ‘moving on’ for some people means ‘continuing’ whilst changing as little as possible. Leaving was enough. Perhaps they need a period of rest, of stillness, or even of maintaining the ‘cheerful lightness’.

‘Moving on’ for me can also mean actively growing. Most contributors to the blog seem to reflect that definition, they are sharing what they have learned and are learning. I do not see words like ‘greed’ or ‘debauchery’ as reflections of Anger. These terms are more stirring to us than to others because their existence has for so long been hidden.

132. Anna - February 15, 2009

PS: My post at 131 referered to Josiane’s at 98.

133. in2it - February 15, 2009

Anna wrote: “I do not see words like ‘greed’ or ‘debauchery’ as reflections of Anger. These terms are more stirring to us than to others because their existence has for so long been hidden.”

These words are stirring to anyone who doesn’t want live their lives blindfolded.

Conflict avoidance keeps the Fellowship machine going. If there’s no conflict, then there’s no disagreement, no dissent, no tough questions, and no tough answers.

Meetings once had “angles.” But imagine meetings with disagreements and dissenting voices. The “angles” satisfy the requirements for dogma and secrecy. Conflicting viewpoints, meanwhile, stimulate discussion, curiosity, and realization.

The response to this is usually that “The FOF is not a democracy.” I’m never quite sure what that means exactly. But if democracies are populated by people who are open to new ideas, mindful of the truth, and concerned when they see a despot — and if democracies are populated by people who are trying to see themselves and their society more truthfully — then I agree. But the fact the FOF is not a democracy doesn’t change the fact that something is seriously wrong.

Again, the doubts have been “implanted” in the FOF for a long time. Time to set aside the doubts. Really, just open your eyes and there is no doubt about the “Fellowship.”

134. Jomo Piñata - February 15, 2009

Text:

> “The FOF is not a democracy.”

Meaning:

“Don’t waste your time with power struggles in this organization. You lack the power to effect organizational change here. If you don’t accept this, you miss the point.”

One of the rare instances where the blah blah blah is actually straight talk.

135. in2it - February 15, 2009

http://www.sonyclassics.com/ridinggiants/

Recently saw a documentary film called “Riding Giants,” which follows the history of surfing while focusing on four of the top surfers of all time, each of whom helped to revolutionize the sport.

The film also focuses on the surf culture of the late 1940s and early 50s, and how it sprang up in Hawaii. A small group of young guys were having a great time riding the big waves. In the meantime they were indirectly revolting against conservative American society of the 1950s. They drank beer, smoked pot, swore, laughed, goofed around, quit the basketball team, rejected for a time the idea of pursuing a career and making money, lived on the beach in tents and Quonset huts, played the guitar, enjoyed the company of beautiful young women (many of whom also challenged the big waves), and often got themselves into trouble with parents and employers. They dressed casually and freely, let their beards grow and their hair fly around wildly.

They were not only ahead of their time, but their attitude about the world was partly what influenced the attitudes in the youth of the 1960s — giving a big finger to the bullshit of those in power and who ran the country. They said “no” to an unjust war. They said “no” to what the world felt they should be doing, and most of them had a great time in the process. Some of them died or nearly died in their reckless pursuit. But they lived joyfully.

“They must have thought they found Nirvana,” was one quote from the film.

I sense it’s no accident that one of Nature’s most beautiful displays — the great waves of Hawaii’s north shore — had an influence on changing the way we thought about the world. The waves landed on the shore and carried ideas with them — and a young group of guys and gals understood those ideas and conveyed them to us.

———

So, not surprisingly, I recall Robert Burton many years ago talking about surf culture in derogatory terms — more or less just saying that anyone who lived that way of life was obviously directionless and lost. I recall references to “eternal recurrence” and “food for the moon” and so forth.

After all, a type of free thinking grew out of surfing. And free thinking is frightening and dangerous. It safer to stay on the shore, where there is no danger, no dissent.

136. WhaleRider - February 15, 2009

someone:
I do wish to thank you for being here and posting again. Please do come back.

Your initial post about your interaction with the follower on the airplane haunted me for several days. What do you say to a person who makes “being present” the most important focus in their life? I could feel your confusion, how could you possibly argue with them? I pondered that night in bed, is there anything more important than being present? If so, does the end indeed justify the means?

That night I had the following nightmare. I had escaped from the Academy, Burton and the Fellowship. I was in the woods alone running. I traveled down a muddy ditch toward a clearing and the slippery, deep mud made me lose traction. I felt like I was in slow motion. When I finally made it to the clearing it was the very steep side of a hill that was terraced with fences and houses with large windows built into the hill. I at once felt afraid that the houses were of Fellowship followers and I would be “caught”. I noticed tree stumps and cans that were shot up full of bullet holes and I feared for my life. A large man spotted me who was a follower, and I was somehow compelled to go with him. I was brought to some kind of office. There were people there who were all smiling and positive, yet, I didn’t want to be there. I knew that Burton was waiting to see me. There was a person at a computer that couldn’t find my membership information, even though they knew who I was. They said I had disappeared from the roster. I told them that I had “levitated”. I saw a phone on the desk and managed to make a call. I woke up, thank god.

So, what is more important than the act of “being present”? My inner guru showed me. in2it is right. FREEDOM The freedom to practice being present any way I choose…without being sexually or financially exploited.

137. ton - February 15, 2009

in2uit, speaking of ‘free-thinking’ and surfing here’s an interesting documentary:

http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/surfwise-documentary-film.html

nigel circa 128:
“The trouble is that the ‘teacher’ is the ‘black hole’ that swallows anything about the FOF that may be good and emotionally nourishing.”

the ‘black hole’ loves no one and nothing as much as the white swallow…

138. nigel harris price - February 15, 2009

136 whalerider

You’re right. Dreams can tell us a great deal. My recurring dream about the Fellowship is GH telling me that, if I pay up £500, I wil be allowed ‘back in with full honours’. During my time in the FOF, most of it was spent being worried sick about money and, indeed, caused the final. desperate act. As with you now, being present means being present to the freedom of personal responsibility towards my fellow humans…..Nigel.

139. Yesri Baba - February 15, 2009

“What I do not respect is that whenever such line of thought starts here, you and some others bring RB butt for assistance. That’s childish in my mind.”

———————

It gives a hole new meaning to ‘ass-ended’ master.

I thought they said : ” The caterpillar will be transformed into a butterfly.”
not : “The worm will try to get into your butt and fly.”

So that’s what they mean by ‘penetrating essence’!

The teacher bears the student’s load. Oooouuu yucky!

Guess i must be one of the ‘some others’.

140. ton - February 15, 2009

yucky!

here’s to dreams and illusions… while they last:

141. Yesri Baba - February 15, 2009

131 Anna

Thank you much for your posts!

One thing though…

“I know that they are sincere in wanting ‘awakening’”

Bullshit. We are sincere in wanting precisely what we have, yes? Let’s be honest.

The same goes for relationships and friends experiencing ‘states’ in the cult. They are cowards and liars who are wasting your money and time supporting a corrupt despot and organization. You know this is true. Stop lying and justifying it.

Like the terrified woman who: “Just can’t put it into words”- Yeah, she can’t put it into words because it is a big fat fucking lie.

142. ton - February 15, 2009

yesri ‘yucky’ as in ha, ha, yuk, yuk….

whalerider,
for years after leaving a i had a similar recurring dream-theme which involved my infiltrating the FOF and the cat-and-mouse game of interacting in different scenarios while trying not to get caught.

here’s something the wife sent to me for st. valentine’s day… i thanked her for another reminder of what i am:

143. ton - February 15, 2009

in return i sent this (among other things)…

with a belated prayer to those i have known and loved–

you’ll be free if you want to be:

144. Josiane - February 16, 2009

Dear Anna (post 131)

“Perhaps ‘moving on’ for some people means ‘continuing’ whilst changing as little as possible. Leaving was enough. Perhaps they need a period of rest, of stillness, or even of maintaining the ‘cheerful lightness’.

‘Moving on’ for me can also mean actively growing.”

I am glad that the topic of « moving on » has surfaced in some recent posts. It has been my impression that the idea of « moving on » has not been well received on this blog. I would be interested in a discussion on that : what does moving on mean? Why do we hold on to the past, to our attitudes, our suffering, our grudges? Do we think we need to make things right before we can move on? Or is it that by moving on/making our peace with ourselves and others we will come to see that these external events are not within our power to change and that the only real possible change is internal ?

145. in2it - February 16, 2009

“It has been my impression that the idea of « moving on » has not been well received on this blog.”

Moving on is very well received on the blog. Obvious signs of denial are not well received on the blog. Straw-man arguments are not well received.

Josiane, you present a false dichotomy when you say that “the only real possible change is internal.” Change is change. Part of that change is internal. Part of it is external. The two overlap and intertwine in many ways.

146. Jomo Piñata - February 16, 2009

Josiane,

Why do we hold on to the past, to our attitudes, our suffering, our grudges?

Let go of the idea that we “hold on to” the past. Within us is the sum of all that we have experienced. We take our experiences with us wherever we go. (“Wherever you go, there you are.”) Past experiences are rings in my particular tree. They are part of who I am.

Ideologies don’t change what’s actually going on. They just give us a set of misleading value judgments for labeling what’s going on. If I am still experiencing emotional pain in relation to some set of experiences, why would it stop just because some ideology tells us I ought to be able to “let go”?

My experience is that ONLY by facing painful experiences in the past, by thinking about them, bringing new information to bear on them, and feeling what there is to feel in those experiences, can the psyche work through whatever it needs to work through so that the pain can abate.

147. WhaleRider - February 16, 2009

josiane:
Moving on…that’s what dangerous viruses do, once they have exhausted their host…they simply move on to the next one.

Sound familar?

BTW, do you have children? I do. Two of them.

To me, this blog isn’t about holding onto a grudge. It’s about moving on to the task of draining the victim pool. Stagnant water just breeds more mosquitoes. Silence is not the answer. Wordless breaths are not the answer. That creates more victims.

What’s it going to take?

148. nigel harris price - February 16, 2009

147 whalerider

Just before I came on the blog this morning, I had the idea of what I was going to post (and, before that, a dream of members leaving the school with their possessions while the ‘property’ was being bombed by fighter planes). I think you are correct in stating that this site should be of an ‘impelling nature’, unlike the GF, which is somewhat ‘nice to see you again’ in mood. Many of us have fought hard and long to come to Our Real Selves, having left the FOF, and are willing to share our experiences and thoughts to the betterment of individuals and their lives. I hope you will use us well…..Nigel.

149. Ellen - February 16, 2009

141, Yesri.
Yo! Rock on. Are you sure your name isn’t Bruce?

Josiane,

I think an essential ingredient to moving on is relinquishing lying. Relinquishing all the concepts, buffers and explainations that kept me from seeing and accepting the full picture of what I was actually involved in and why.

Jomo said it very well. “…by thinking about them, bringing new information to bear on them, and feeling what there is to feel in those experiences, can the psyche work through whatever it needs to work through so that the pain can abate”. I would add so that life can return.

Some (many) people brought narcissistic wounds with them to the Fellowship, looking for inner peace. Though certain situations with the FoF experience may have temporarily brought that peace, the necessity of accepting a diseased environment as the price for that particular kind of “inner peace” often generated even greater and deeper narcissistic wounds. It is those deeper wounds or “payments” that have kept and still keep people bound to the organization. Actually, the Fellowship is a wound generator rather than a person liberator, though naturally the FoF dogma says quite the reverse.

For example, if Someone were to have the chance to dig deeper into that current student he met on the airplane, he would find a few skeletons, that’s for sure.

I can only suggest to gently keep digging at yourself into the “why” – not because it contains some answer that you can one day write down in a diary somewhere (or on this blog) – but because that “why” scabs over an essential source of your own precious living, loving energy, which when finally dissolved one day brings your own lost vitality as its answer.

150. Panorea - February 16, 2009

It was a sad day for me yesterday. It was the day I joined the Cult many years ago. “My birthday in the school”; remember that?

Next to my relief about being “out”, I experienced anger and sadness and indignation and moments I did not know how I felt. I don’t know about you but for my way of “working” on myself many emotions were not allowed to be experienced. I needed to “transform” them.

Yesterday, “moving on” meant admitting my mistakes. Joining the Fellowship and staying in it is one of my mistakes. It is a big mistake. Moving on does not mean looking at the experience and trying to discover what I gained. This would mean I am again busy with rationalizing.

Did I gain something by being in that incredibly restricted environment? If there is a positive answer to this, I am sure it will come. But forcing an understanding that is not there yet only adds to my already suppressed emotional life.

Admitting my mistake opens a window to look at bit clearer out there. It makes my responsibility obvious but it also reveals the other side’s responsibility. Robert is not just a sick man, he has abused and squeezed all the beauty that has entered his world. I need to look at the ugly beast in the eyes in order to move on.

151. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 16, 2009

98. Josiane:

(Thank you much for your posts.)

‘I am very familiar with all the stories that have been told on this blog yet I don’t seem to be able to get as angry as many are.’

1. Yes, many revealing stories have been told here.
2. There is no reason to get angry. Transformation of negative emotions is one lesson that all passing through the Fellowship of Friends (a.k.a. Pathway to Presence) should have learned, if they got their money, life’s, and effort’s worth.
3. Josiane, you may not know about the untold stories. You might feel differently if you knew about some of the more outrageous ones that I know about – not from rumour or gossip; but from first hand experience. (First hand experience is a lot different than ‘hearing about it.’) [That’s one of the
most astonishing things about FoF – just how blind, shallow, isolated and disconnected people are, even living in the same, so-called, community. People could be dying of contagion next door and the neighbors wouldn’t know about it – or care, if they did know about it.] “. . . there are things [that] could not convey in words” To quote from 104. Someone.

“Though I have my strong criticism against the FoF and RB, I am less inclined now to put myself in a preaching position taking upon myself a missionary task to implant doubts in current members and persuade them to leave.”

Yes, Someone (and all), to do ‘missionary task’ is as likely to produce the opposite affect than that which one would expect as it is likely
to produce what one intended. That is because that approach, much of the time, is the wrong triad. Best thing is to be patient and to be there for others when they come asking for help. Show people that you got what the Work is all about and that you are still doing it without the crutches (and clutches) of FoF. People are, naturally, third force blind.

152. WonderingWhosWatching - February 16, 2009

131 Anna:
‘It is here that the Fellowship stepped in and paralyzed all such possibilities, it FROZE me.’

Many are cold, but few are frozen.

131 Anna:
‘. . . now I have found a dark place in my own psyche which I can bring light to, and hopefully even move out of.’

Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

131 Anna:
‘Now I see that whilst shunned it can eat me alive, but when acknowledged it points to redemption. It is a red flag which something deep and oppressed with in me is desperately waving, shouting “look deeper”.’

For [then] we [saw] through a glass, darkly, but [later] face to face: [then] I [knew] in part; but [now] shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

131 Anna:
‘keep an eye open for such ardent calls for help along the way.’

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (Matthew 6:22)

153. Panorea - February 16, 2009

Two more issues for today…

The week before I left, I asked myself whether I would have joined the Fellowship today. The answer was a simple “no”, as I did not have any desire to join the ghastly Scientology Church or any other dark organization. The Fellowship of Friends presented itself as a loving, inspiring and inspired by the “Gods” society. A school of awakening it was, along the lines of Mr. Ouspensky and Mr. Gurdjieff. It presented itself as a “refined” way to work on oneself and as the years were passing it became the only way and many more…

So, I was holding on to that “ideal”, desperately trying to make it work. I kept on looking on the outside, forgetting that there was much in the inside.

The second issue is the fact that however light and easy we look at our connection and involvement with the Cult Fellowship of Friends, modern psychologists take the whole issue of Cult ex-members very seriously. Of course, many still in the Fellowship will tell you that modern psychology is incomplete (thanks to grandpa Pjotr…), but then again many still in the Fellowship suffer from depression, anxiety and other agonizing states that modern psychology can treat.

It is not a simple issue. One needs assistance to move on and believe me professionals neither ask you give up your life for them nor request you to go into debt for the awaking of your soul. There are simply many people out there whom one can trust.

154. Panorea - February 16, 2009

152 WWW

you sound as if you had an overdose of Fellowship of Friends meetings. Also part of the notorious research team? Welcome!

155. Bares Reposting - February 16, 2009

146. Jomo Piñata:

‘We take our experiences with us wherever we go. (”Wherever you go, there you are.”) Past experiences are rings in my particular tree. They are part of who I am.’

I know this has been said before but it bares reposting, with my emphasis:

Afoot and light-hearted
I take to the open road,
Healthy, free,
the world before me,
The long brown path before me
leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune,
I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more,
postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints,
libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content
I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want
the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well
where they are,
I know they suffice
for those who belong to them.

(Still, here, I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women,
I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible
for me to get rid of them,

I am fill’d with them,
and I will fill them in return.)

You road I enter upon
and look around,
I believe you are not
all that is here,
I believe that much
unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception,
nor preference nor denial.

Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman

156. Ill Never Tell - February 16, 2009

136/147. WhaleRider:

Thanx for your posts, dreams, and stamina here.

‘Stagnant water just breeds more mosquitoes.’

Bacteria, algae, fungi, opportunistic aquatic plants, infectious diseases, etc., too. But, also fertile place know as ‘wetlands’ where mother nature reproduces/regenerates herself. Ah! the contradictions of life.

Still ‘draining the victim pool’ is a good idea.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have
To stand naked.

An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it.

Bob Dylan
It’s Alright Ma
From deluxe edition
Don’t Look Back
Out takes:

157. Spoonful Blues - February 16, 2009

“The Tigers of Wrath are Wiser than the Horses of Instruction!”
William Blake

May I say it’s perfectly fine and probably very healthy to express moral outrage – providing it comes from oneself i.e. one’s own understanding of ‘moral’ as opposed someone else’s. Nor is this the same as ranting and raving!
Perhaps if more people expressed such outrage, we would have less complacent, more truthful communities of individuals, dealing with meaningful issues with a few choice words, rather than a lexicon of meaningless excuses! (work language)

Remember, it is advantageous to certain persons that so called negative emotions (whatever they are) are better not expressed! Sometimes when we are angry, we are close to the truth and that can become uncomfortable.

p.s. feel free to express you indignation toward me.

158. brucelevy - February 16, 2009

Good page, good posts.

159. Someone - February 16, 2009

122. in2it

“People either “move on” or they “demonize everything by exaggeration.” In other words, one can’t express honest dissent and still “move on”?”

Some 4th way ideas are still valid and “Either Or” is formatory thinking.

I have that feeling that says, “Let those who wish stay with the FoF” and let me move on…

160. brucelevy - February 16, 2009

159. Someone

“I have that feeling that says, “Let those who wish stay with the FoF” and let me move on…”

That’s fine for “you” but what relevancy does that have to do with the idea of putting important factual information about the FOF out there for people to hear or not hear? If it makes you or some others uncomfortable I would say that’s “your” problem.

161. Jomo Piñata - February 16, 2009

131/Anna:
‘. . . now I have found a dark place in my own psyche which I can bring light to, and hopefully even move out of.’

“The task of midlife is not to look into the light, but to bring light into the darkness. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

–C.G. Jung

162. Jomo Piñata - February 17, 2009

Ellen/149

Some (many) people brought narcissistic wounds with them to the Fellowship, looking for inner peace. Though certain situations with the FoF experience may have temporarily brought that peace, the necessity of accepting a diseased environment as the price for that particular kind of “inner peace” often generated even greater and deeper narcissistic wounds. It is those deeper wounds or “payments” that have kept and still keep people bound to the organization.

There was this notion of escaping into the present moment by using the looking exercises. All one had to do was to be present, so we were told. In fact we were taught a method of dissociating which was given names like “self remembering” and “being present.” The feelings that contained such suffering were in the present too, even though they may have arisen in response to past stimuli.

Whenever I hear someone extolling the spiritual virtues of “being present,” I am never sure whether or not they are simply speaking about paying attention to their senses as a method of avoiding having to deal with emotional or intellectual issues.

Whenever I hear someone saying that spiritual development consists mainly in “being present” and that “being present” solves their problems, I wonder whether they are just employing a thought-terminating cliche

I read a great quote yesterday by a writer named Michael Shermer:

“Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.”

163. Ill Never Tell - February 17, 2009

162. Jomo Piñata:

‘I wonder whether they are just employing a thought-terminating cliche[?]’

Of course they are. Ever hear of O’s ‘stop thoughts’ exercise? Trying to do that may reveal that one can not do. But there is a difference between a self-initiated effort in this regard compared to one initiated by another person upon you. The latter often being a ‘fourth line of work,’ work on other people, type of effort – where you are being told what to think, or not.

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine

Bob Dylan
It’s Alright Ma
From deluxe edition
Don’t Look Back
Out takes:

164. Josiane - February 17, 2009

I recently met a former colleague at a grocery store in Grass Valley. I asked her how she was doing, pressed her for details on her life. She said “living, simpling living. I also cook a lot, but mostly living.”

165. Jomo Piñata - February 17, 2009

163/I’ll Never Tell

Ever hear of O’s ’stop thoughts’ exercise? Trying to do that may reveal that one can not do.

I guess it’s a matter of perspective. The “stop thoughts” exercise seems to prove that barking an ideological command at yourself does nothing to change an underlying reality. “We cannot do.” What a fucking surrender to an anti-vision of passive ineffectuality. The fact is, there are some things we can do and some things we can’t. I cannot think the bark off a tree or cause the clouds to congeal into cotton candy. Or shut off mental chatter just because something in me thinks I ought to be able to do so.

But there is a difference between a self-initiated effort in this regard compared to one initiated by another person upon you. The latter often being a ‘fourth line of work,’ work on other people, type of effort – where you are being told what to think, or not.

“Thought-terminating cliches” are devices utilized by participants in thought-reform environments, both in interpersonal exchange, and also internally, to nip critical thinking in the bud before it has a chance to develop critical mass and so to question the wisdom of the participant’s commitment or involvement.

166. Yesri Baba - February 17, 2009

“Ever hear of O’s ’stop thoughts’ exercise? Trying to do that may reveal that one can not do.”

I don’t have a problem stopping thoughts, but getting them to go somewhere is a bitch.

167. Yesri Baba - February 17, 2009

“Whenever I hear someone saying that spiritual development consists mainly in “being present” and that “being present” solves their problems, I wonder whether they are just employing a thought-terminating cliche”

As I mentioned in my last post, I am not a big thinker. This ‘being present’ thing is a real conundrum for me.

Maybe people can help me out with some thoughts about this. So, here is my question:

WHERE THE FUCK ELSE HAS ANYONE EVER BEEN?

Assuming that there will be no answers to this question I will pose this in relation to a recent thread on sincerity and lying:

Isn’t attempting to be ‘present’ a lie and being insincere?

168. Crouching Tiger - February 17, 2009

Jomo.

“Whenever I hear someone extolling the spiritual virtues of “being present,” I am never sure whether or not they are simply speaking about paying attention to their senses as a method of avoiding having to deal with emotional or intellectual issues.”

This is an interesting question. The way Gurdjieff taught it, the point about having some awareness of your body is to realize that your ’emotional and intellectual issues’ are actually expressed through the body, and that is the most reliable place to deal with them. Trying to deal with them through your mind alone is fraught with difficulty and wrong turnings. Our obsession with tinkering with ’emotional and intellectual issues’ by thinking about them constantly – self-help guides, psychotherapy etc.. – is really part of the problem, or can worsen it.

‘Looking’ and ‘listening’ in the fellowship was a start, but one enfeebled by the overall environment created by Burton.

“The “stop thoughts” exercise seems to prove that barking an ideological command at yourself does nothing to change an underlying reality. “We cannot do.” What a fucking surrender to an anti-vision of passive ineffectuality.”

The ‘stop thoughts’ exercise is mostly a refreshing way of seeing that ‘you’ are not your thoughts… At least most people find that refreshing! Of course it became far more than that in the fellowship and became a bit of a negative and an excuse for helplessness. ‘You cannot stop your thoughts – doesn’t that make you feel bad?… therefore you should let RB do your thinking for you.’

I feel that the way you discuss these issues points to a very basic problem after leaving. No-one in their right mind would see any problem with ‘looking’ or ‘listening’ or ‘being present’ under normal conidtions… But because they were part of an environment with very abnormal conditions, they’ve been contaminated and now people won’t go near them again. I’d guess that most of us would want to keep something of what is in those ‘commands’ – but how to do it without returning to fellowship associations and psychopathy?

As a starter, you could try to grasp that all three exercises are part of a way of realizing that your body contains the understandings you want already. All you are trying to do – if you’re trying anything – is to unlock it. Not trying to ‘separate’ from it or kill it, but unlock its secrets. You want your intuitions, feelings and thoughts to work for you, on ‘your’ behalf. If you’re always spending your time fascinated by what you’re thinking and feeling, that can never happen….

169. Ellen - February 17, 2009

162, Jomo,

I don’t have time to respond to you now as fully as I would like. We are packing our bags for a big trip to Aussie-land. So we’ll be back in about a month.

My comment that you quoted and then your response are each tips of icebergs, in both the positive and negative senses. Suffice it to say for now that awareness, which is ever present, is the water that each of us/ that we are all/ swimmin’ in. Ideally, “being present” is a method of bringing the attention like a spotlight back into itself (as awareness) instead of always spraying it outward onto external (or internal) objects. Energetically, the experience of doing so (under the correct and knowledgeable guidance) can dissolve and expand the person to such a degree that the “person” (experienced as a constriction) disappears or dissolves.

The technique of “being present” as it was/is practiced in the FoF focused on awareness in consciousness so that mind or body or emotional activity was observed as something separate from the “witness”. Though such “witnessing” can be seen as an interim stage, in fact the witness is still ego-based, a spiritual temporary way station, between open awareness and the more constricted body-mind consciousness. Spiritually speaking, this is very tricky stuff because witnessing reinforces a level of duality which ultimately is not real. Additionally, the FoF practices SR/presence without integration into life and living, which insures duality since it draws such a hard line between “them” and “us”. As such, a potentially liberating practice has become a buffer instead of a liberator.

Guidance at the top had to insure entrapment rather than liberation in order to buffer and sustain its own sychophantic, parasitic lifestyle.

170. Crouching Tiger - February 17, 2009

Yesri.

“Isn’t attempting to be ‘present’ a lie and being insincere?”

Depends where it comes from… if it comes from a sincere wish to be more alive, more of the time – simply THAT and nothing more – then how can that be a lie?

171. Yesri Baba - February 17, 2009

170 Crouching Tiger

“Depends where it comes from… if it comes from a sincere wish to be more alive, more of the time…”

Where it comes from is my point. Aliveness is a whole nuther can of worms. Time, well, I think that is covered under ‘present’.

172. Panorea - February 17, 2009

Yesri.

I do not know.

I know that my problems do not just disappear by “trying to be present”. And I also know that I do not have many of them. I have some questions about life and existence and meaning.

I also know that self-remembering and being present are just words that were in a very unfortunate way abused in the Fellowship. Maybe there were good intentions when the words were invented. I wasn’t there. I try to avoid the terms as much as I can at the moment. But I live my life and listen to the birds and the news on the telly. I also try to have quiet moments in my day, read a good book, listen to music I like, write, draw, dance, cook, care for another, smile…🙂

173. Crouching Tiger - February 17, 2009

Yesri.

“Where it comes from is my point.”

Okay, so spell it out. What do you really mean? Do you mean that you think ANY desire to be present is wrong or a delusion? Or do you see a difference between that desire say, inside and outside the fellowship?

174. Panorea - February 17, 2009

do you think we can have a cup of coffee? same time zone?

175. Panorea - February 17, 2009

Do not know about you but the contact with my closest friend (my body) was never addressed at the Cult (oh yes, it was considered our enemy right?). I suspect there were many reasons for that, but doing yoga has opened a whole new world for me. So off to fitness and yoga this morning.

Enjoy your day!

176. Crouching Tiger - February 17, 2009

Panorea.

“Do not know about you but the contact with my closest friend (my body) was never addressed at the Cult (oh yes, it was considered our enemy right?). I suspect there were many reasons for that, but doing yoga has opened a whole new world for me. So off to fitness and yoga this morning.”

I agree. I feel that anything that helps remind of that connection to the body has to be a help. The 4th Way addressed to the body makes sense – to the mind, just plain dangerous… as we found out in the school. To get that developing sensation that your thoughts and feelings are growing out of your body means that you can’t possibly see it as an enemy. You have to nurture it and your corrections, when they arrive, have to gentle and entirely within natural law.

The body is the only one that can be present. Left to their own devices, the mind and feelings are always elsewhere, somewhere off in past or future… When you’re in touch with your bodily sensations, you have a chance to be sincere!

177. Yesri Baba - February 17, 2009

173 Crouching Tiger

“Okay, so spell it out. What do you really mean? Do you mean that you think ANY desire to be present is wrong or a delusion?”

I mean any thought or feeling that we are not present is wrong and delusion.

I have yet to find a body sensation that thinks it is not present so you might be on to something there.

178. Crouching Tiger - February 17, 2009

Yesri.

Agreed.

179. Ellen - February 17, 2009

I’m just back from my yoga class, too!🙂
So, an addendum to my post #169 in relation to the little ensuing discussion of CT, Yesri and Panorea:
“Additionally, the FoF practices SR/presence without integration into the physical body, life and living, which insures duality since it draws such a hard line between “them” and “us”, “higher self” and “lower self”. As such, a potentially liberating practice has become a buffer instead of a liberator.”

And it still remains true:
“Guidance at the top had to insure entrapment rather than liberation in order to buffer and sustain its own sychophantic, parasitic lifestyle.”

180. Panorea - February 17, 2009

Ellen, I can see in front of me:

-Did you hear that? They left the school to join a yoga class. They lost their valuation.

And from the Guru Papers (seemed to have found my “Guru”, right?):

…Once the spiritual impulse is channeled into any renunciate worldview, it makes those who share a belief in that structure feel connected. But this involves creating a walls between “us” and “them”, which historically has been the easy way to become mechanically bonded and fill the vacuum of meaning…

181. Ellen - February 17, 2009

180, Panorea,
Yo! Those Guru Papers rock.

182. in2it - February 17, 2009

About anyone “losing their valuation” or “having valuation”, it might be a fun experiment for some people to occasionally replace the word with “evaluation.”

The former is an example of a thought-terminating cliche (great term, Jomo Piñata, as the FOF is filled with them). The word “valuation” allowed us to believe something without questioning it. But the word “evaluation” can imply an ongoing process that’s open to new lines of thinking, new ideas, and dissenting views. In other words, constant evaluation of the FOF would allow people to consider the possibility that it’s a destructive organization that causes harm to people.

However, the word “valuation” brings all thinking to a halt — Everything is reduced to, “Do you want to work or not? Do you value “the school” or not?” End of discussion.

—-
Jomo Piñata: “Whenever I hear someone saying that spiritual development consists mainly in “being present” and that “being present” solves their problems, I wonder whether they are just employing a thought-terminating cliche.”

Yesri Baba: “Isn’t attempting to be ‘present’ a lie and being insincere?”

—-
Since “moving on” from the FOF, I haven’t been simply questioning the Fourth Way ideas. I’ve been sincerely “evaluating” whether or not they’re a part of the problem.

So one thought about “being present” and whether it’s a lie:

It’s definitely a lie if it’s coming from the ego. In other words, if “being present” is attached to getting nods of approval, getting acknowledgment from others, and separating yourself from others, then you might want to evaluate whether it is a lie, and whether you are being sincere.

Whatever “it” is, I sense that it’s silent, invisible, and unassuming — no accolades from the adoring masses of gurus and fellow students. The more “being present” is about a sense of self-worth derived from the approval of others — and especially a guru guy — the more I question it.

Is there a “being present” that escapes that trap? Maybe. But by then, we might be using an entirely different term for it, if any term at all.

183. tatyana - February 17, 2009

I watched a video “Energy Anatomy” of Caroline Myss about chakras. I never knew anything about chakras before. She explains it in terms of different bank accounts thru which we lose/gain energy.

It resonated in me in a few cases. One is her description of the first and second chakras as the points of tribal and one-to-one powers. She says that it is hard to “unplug” from the connections based on those chakras, however one can lose more energy thru those connections than gain. For me the example of tribal connection is being in a cult – it gives you a community and a support, yet, it drains your resources beyond what you can afford.

The second chakra is connected with sex, power, money and addictions. When one is “plagued” there one basically gives one’s power to someone else and again – can be drained empty of energy. I think people who were “close to Robert” had this exact situation.

I also noticed that when she was talking about the higher chakras, the idea of divinity and asking for guidance, I experienced a strong negative reaction. I realized that my attitude to anything divine has a strong “tribal” stigma on it and makes me nauseous and resentful to the ideas of “guidance” or “gods”.

I was wondering if after leaving FOF anyone else had a similar experience and gave up on “connection to the divine” as a part of a luggage one left behind?

184. WhaleRider - February 17, 2009

Awesome discussion you people!

The essence of the Fellowship mind fuck is that Robert Burton has hypnotized his followers with empty promises of paradise into “being present” to his needs and interests above and beyond their own…

185. Yesri Baba - February 17, 2009

182 in2it

So one thought about “being present” and whether it’s a lie:

It’s definitely a lie if it’s coming from the ego. In other words, if “being present” is attached to getting nods of approval, getting acknowledgment from others, and separating yourself from others, then you might want to evaluate whether it is a lie, and whether you are being sincere.

Whatever “it” is, I sense that it’s silent, invisible, and unassuming — no accolades from the adoring masses of gurus and fellow students. The more “being present” is about a sense of self-worth derived from the approval of others — and especially a guru guy — the more I question it.

Is there a “being present” that escapes that trap? Maybe. But by then, we might be using an entirely different term for it, if any term at all.

———————–

I don’t want to beat this to death, but…

I said attempting to be present is a lie. ‘Being present’ is the truth. What happened to “neither preference nor denial”? What quality or circumstance of now is aided by trying to be in it?

It is happening all on it’s little lonesome.

The silent, invisible, and unassuming (in an alive sort of way) is the natural condition of the present. What is not that is what we are honestly attempting to be in.

186. tatyana - February 17, 2009

I think that the idea of being present is only dangerous when it requires to give up your brain. The part that reflects on one’s experiences, actions and makes choices. The part that takes responsibility for one’s mistakes. In that case it becomes a buffer and an excuse for anything as in “I was present and therefore it was the will of the gods for this and this to happen.” Or “influence C gave me an “I” because I stopped the thoughts”

187. in2it - February 17, 2009

Yesri Baba, thanks for clarifying for me. And keep on beating away. I’ve sensed “effort” is much more akin to receptivity and openness than it is a striving after something, or an attempt at something.

188. Yesri Baba - February 17, 2009

“Is there a “being present” that escapes that trap? Maybe. But by then, we might be using an entirely different term for it,…”

Great idea! Let’s call it Babatime. Follow me, my little lambs, together we will enter into Divine Yessence! (don’t forget your checkbooks, all major credit cards accepted.) Be careful though, I’m feeling a little ‘anxious’ if you know what I mean.

189. Walter J. Tanner - February 17, 2009

Regarding “the present,” here’s an interesting POV from someone far outside the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky-Theosophy orbit:

Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in just the way in which our visual field has no limits.

That’s Ludwig Wittgenstein. He also has intriguing things to say about language and meaning:

We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched. Of course there are then no questions left, and this itself is the answer.

The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of the problem. (Is not this the reason why those who have found after a long period of doubt that the sense of life became clear to them have then been unable to say what constituted that sense?)

There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.

The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of natural science–i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy — and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in his propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person–he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy–this method would be the only strictly correct one.

My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)

What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

Helped me with overcoming the “work language” and “system” dogma. Don’t know if it will for anyone else.

walter.tanner@gmail.com

190. Josiane - February 18, 2009

Whalerider 147

I have a 20-year-old daughter, currently spending her junior year in a Paris University. Why do you ask, pretty please?

191. brucelevy - February 18, 2009
192. Another Name - February 18, 2009

“The task of midlife is not to look into the light, but to bring light into the darkness. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

–C.G. Jung

Agree completely and that is one of my directions and life lines.
Putting light in the darknes, deep, painful and relieving, helpful….very personal and not useful most of the time to express to others. From this place, no thought come sometimes automatically, a connection deep with…you name it, mothers, fathers, all the sisters, brothers in the world….yet it is a very personal experience. all is one and one is all in that moment…..

Part of my personal healing and it feels ,,,,ME.

Thanks Tatyana for Caroline Meyss. I have two movies here and just discovered, chakra massage which is a win- win situation for both. For the giver and the receiver.

Have a great healing, life.

193. More history needed? - February 18, 2009

Dear friends,

When I hear entrees here on the blog:
Like people who are in are ……….,I feel concerned. In my own experience there is so much we do not know about other people’s situation or what their decision is next week.

The last two months, I have heard and seen many students questioning, leaving, open for contact with ex students, kind and checking on others. Things are changing form my perspective.

On the other hand when I saw the list of students recently, I saw that many students had left, still are leaving. Also I saw that students are still, joining like in Tijuana or in Argentina, not so much in the USA or Europe. That is a concern.

194. in2it - February 18, 2009

“Also I saw that students are still joining like in Tijuana or in Argentina, not so much in the USA or Europe. That is a concern.”

Yes, but I hope they have a lot of cash in their bank accounts, or rich clueless parents. Otherwise, they won’t be staying for long.

195. in2it - February 18, 2009

190. Josiane – February 18, 2009
Whalerider 147

I have a 20-year-old daughter, currently spending her junior year in a Paris University. Why do you ask, pretty please?”

“Pretty please?”

Josiane, with one extremely flippant response to one sincere and obviously heartfelt question, … oh never mind.

196. ton - February 18, 2009

Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see how you’re pinned:
When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.

197. veramente - February 18, 2009

190 brucelevy

Thank you for the link Bruce.

After listening to the talk it made me think that the word WISDOM was never mentioned during my fof years…and could Cult Master Robert Burton be described as someone who has wisdom? Clearly NOT.

198. Jomo Piñata - February 18, 2009

195/in2it

Reality check here, in2it: I don’t read Josiane’s response as flippant. I read it as nice–cutesy nice, but nice.

199. veramente - February 18, 2009

I wonder if being present is way over rated.
We tend to be so much in our heads that it sure seems an effort sometimes just to notice that we are living and breathing.
Maybe if we were in a more natural state with less energy in the head we could experience degrees of awareness that may seem to slow us down initially.
That is why meditation can be good. It can bring one to a still and stable place where the mind is not ruling. It seems to work for me.

200. in2it - February 18, 2009

flippant.

201. in2it - February 18, 2009

WhaleRider’s post to which Josiane refers is the following:

———————
147. WhaleRider – February 16, 2009

josiane:
Moving on…that’s what dangerous viruses do, once they have exhausted their host…they simply move on to the next one.

Sound familar?

BTW, do you have children? I do. Two of them.

To me, this blog isn’t about holding onto a grudge. It’s about moving on to the task of draining the victim pool. Stagnant water just breeds more mosquitoes. Silence is not the answer. Wordless breaths are not the answer. That creates more victims.

What’s it going to take?

==============

Josiane’s question (“Why do you ask, pretty please?”) is flippant because she already received her answer in the post that she’s referring to. WhaleRider is bringing up the issue of children and how they are potential members of the victim pool in the FOF. He, you, and I are concerned about it. Josiane apparently is less concerned about Burton as a whole than others and has stated this.

So I’m not sure what you mean by “reality check.” Flippant is flippant. Shall I sugarcoat it?

202. in2it - February 18, 2009

Anyway,… I’m sorry for the booming response, Jomo Pinata. I’m sure you just didn’t see it from my perspective, that’s all.

But I do sense a pattern of denial coming out of some posts from some people. But we’ve all been there, Josiane.

And you know what, I’m sure there’s STILL something “unsavory” that I just don’t want to see about Mr. Bob Burton even years later. The FOF is that ingrained in all of us. It takes time.

203. Jomo Piñata - February 18, 2009

I just don’t read her as being flippant. Maybe she innocently misses Whalerider’s point. I could be wrong.

204. in2it - February 18, 2009

Ok, point taken. You could be right.

So, getting back to the topic of children, here’s an old post from this blog:

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/#comment-2235

“I don’t even know how to begin this. I lived in the Fellowship from age five or six to thirteen. The sweetest and most wonderful childhood memories are there, running around in the woods or going to the ballets or the operas. Culturally, it was amazing. I had the finest of educations and am well-versed in the classical arts.

“Emotionally, I’m still devastated. To find out that the home of your childhood, the one place that set a standard for your environment is simply a facade for greed, power, and money is not easy thing to cope with. Having grown up there and spent almost all that time with the children, my main concern is the children.

“These children, including myself, are never going to be fully adjusted to the real world. The ones that I know who left are all self-destructive and are trying to find some way of ever relating to the world again.

“I’m not sure what my point is, but I thought I might as well comment. The Fellowship has granted me so much, but there’s no way they could ever make up for the emotional manipulation that the children and young adults end up having to put up with.”

205. Josiane - February 18, 2009

Although my English is generally pretty good, I sometimes come up with expressions that don’t belong, like “pretty please”. As for the children, I didn’t see that what Whalerider was saying was connected to children. It upsets me greatly when students’ children start joining the Fellowship.

Hope this is closes the topic of flippant or not.

206. WhaleRider - February 18, 2009

josiane:
Forgive me for assuming that you were not a parent, as the majority of Followers of the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence are not parents, and therefore may not share the same concerns about the safety of our children as I do, especially for the boys.

It is as though we all contributed our time, energy and money to the construction of a well in the center of our community, and over time the well has become stagnant and a breeding ground for pestilence. It is the responsibility of the community members to fill the well in, not just move away.

207. Allan S - February 18, 2009

Not sure if this has been posted before, but I think Don Hoyt explains very well the place of the body in Gurdjieff’s teaching in this article (it’s a bit long but worth some attention)…

This entity we call the Body (Don Hoyt 2002)

A tomb. A garment, to be discarded at death. An obstacle to the awakening process. A place of bondage.

These are but a sampling of ways in which the human body has been viewed in almost all of the spiritual traditions. One of the more classic expressions of this view can be found in the mantra-like words: “I am not this body.”

It is an utterance that, curiously, is neither true nor false. Rather it is irrelevant to whatever purpose or function this brief sojourn on earth is destined to serve. In a strange way the words also betray a disdain of this physical being; a disdain that almost borders on spiritual hubris in that it views as virtually worthless this awesome creation. We would do well to ponder the implications of this perception since at an unconscious level it has profoundly influenced our attitude towards the physical body.

When we move outside the spiritual traditions, we find that the prevailing attitude towards this corporeal reality—this entity we call the body—is not so significantly different. At best the body is viewed as a biological extension of the whole psychic-physical organization that comprises what it is to be a human being. In this more general context, the body is that which one learns to deal with, to cope with, to placate, to enjoy, to tolerate, to pamper, to control, to discipline, and much more.

Bear in mind, however, that these delineations of how we relate to this living creature, are merely punctuation marks falling across the continuum of general awareness. For the most part the body—as a living being—rarely comes into the field of our consciousness.

We are for the most part simply oblivious of its presence as an existential reality—as a living entity having its own intelligence and sphere of awareness. Except of course when it is hungry, in need of rest or sex, or when it is sending out signals of euphoric pleasure or intense pain.

Nevertheless, some observers might well respond to this with the disclaimer that there has been an increasing interest, particularly in the last three decades, in techniques that promise to enhance our relation to the body. After all, it cannot be disputed that a remarkable upsurge of enthusiasm has appeared for books and training seminars that offer a wide variety of sensory awareness techniques.

Ironically, it is precisely here that we see one of the clearest examples of what has been described as the dilemma of the modern era—the mind/body split—a phrase that by now elicits little more than a yawn since it has become just one more cliché of our times.
Yet as we pay closer attention to some of the more recent attempts to “heal this split”—through invoking a deeper appreciation and affirmation of the body’s role in our life—we see once again that it turns into the same old song. It is still the mind at work.

For it is the mind that conceptualizes the problem in the first place. And it is the mind that then proceeds to orchestrate one or another program to alleviate this problem.

Once again then, we find that even with such subtle techniques as “listening to the body,” or “following the breath,” or coming to a more “global sensation” of the body, that the implementation of these techniques is undertaken by permission of the mind. And oddly enough, this continues to escape our notice. It is the mind that still holds the baton.

Very rarely do we come upon a truly reciprocal relation, in which there is a sharing of awareness between body and mind—as co-partners. Yet it is precisely this state of rapport with our earthly companion, that provides an indispensable foundation for the real work of self-study and self-awakening. And as we become more practiced in this way of relating to the body, something interesting occurs. We find that the living presence of this being begins to make itself known to us through its emanations—which we experience as sensation or sensory awareness—and that this enables us to partake of the body’s own field of awareness. Not as object to the mind, but as subject within its own sphere of influence and awareness.

We realize then that we are no longer associated with a “body.” Rather, that we are in the presence of a living being, a being with whom we share the journey towards spiritual awakening.
What is extraordinary about this way of approaching the body is that the experience of it seems so natural. It is also pragmatic in that it has the effect of freeing the attention from its usual deep identification with the tensions (and thus from the physical, mental and emotional habits that are supported by these tensions).

We discover then that this dynamic state of rapport with our living partner grounds us; it grounds our work. Instead of dreaming of the work of spiritual transformation, we live the work. And because we are thus grounded, we become thereby more receptive to the help from above that is always available to transform us—whenever the inner conditions allow this lawfully to take place.

In an exchange that took place in New York in 1924, following a demonstration of the movements, Gurdjieff addressed the question: “What place do art and creative work occupy in your teaching?”
You saw our movements and dances. But all you saw was the outer form—beauty, technique. But I do not like the external side you see. For me, art is a means for harmonious development. In everything we do the underlying idea is to do what cannot be done automatically and without thought…

If our aim is a harmonious development of man, then for us, dances and movements are a means of combining the mind and the feeling with movements of the body and manifesting them together. In all things, we have the aim to develop something which cannot be developed directly or mechanically—which interprets the whole man: mind, body, and feeling.

The second purpose of dances is study…

Thus movements have two aims: study and development.

In light of Gurdjieff’s response one may begin to appreciate—at a deeper level of engagement—that the attention does have the inherent capacity to come into closer and more intimate proximity with this entity we call the body, and, through an attitude of study, to acknowledge the reality of its living presence experienced as a vital member of our total psycho-physical-spiritual being, revealing thereby its capacity to serve a noble and conscious endeavor, the endeavor of “combining the mind and the feelings with movements of the body and manifesting them together.”

208. in2it - February 18, 2009

“I didn’t see that what Whalerider was saying was connected to children. It upsets me greatly when students’ children start joining the Fellowship.”

I’m glad you feel that way. I share that feeling with you.

But I’ll just add that it surprises me given your earlier statement that “there are no victims or perpetrators that I can see” and a few other statements above that articulate a certain reverence for Burton and the FOF.

Regardless of whether I agree with you or not about this, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you weren’t thinking about children when you said that.

If you want light banter, and for no one to take you seriously, you may find many people here who enjoy that. But personally I take words seriously. Otherwise what’s the point? I can go to Facebook if all I’m looking for are laughs.

209. WhaleRider - February 18, 2009

Being present.

I have given this topic much thought over the past few days and many thanks to Jomo for bringing it up.

The concept of “being present” is another example of how in certain circumstances we can accept an idea as doctrine without giving it critical thought, especially when we are young.

On the surface, being present seems like a useful practice. If we are not present we would be prone to accidents. Being present during a learning process (along with adequate practice) greatly aids in retaining the material or action we are learning. Also we feel more emotionally connected to others and nurtured when we feel they are present to us when we are talking with them. When we are present to our bodies we exercise, eat well, and take better care of our bodies. And when we are present to ourselves, we are less likely to be exploited by others.

So for me the idea has a certain utility, different from the idea of identification which leads to suffering.

So when does being present become a spiritual practice above all else?…when we bought into the fourth way idea that being present as we took in “impressions” (outside of ourselves) to create more refined energy which coated our astral bodies in a frantic effort to grow a soul before being eaten by the moon.

But first, we had to agree that we did not possess souls. How could that possibly be verified? I have no recollection of ever having verified that I did not have a soul when I joined the cult! I just went with the idea. I had to agree that I was lacking in something.

Beware! If we assume others do not have souls, we can de-humanize them and in turn, ourselves. This is a dangerous and unhealthy practice.

The opposite of being present, IMO, is disassociation. If I am disassociated from my body and I make a foolish move, I throw out my back. If I am a cult leader and practice shunning those followers who leave my cult, then I am disassociated from (not present to) the harm I have caused them.

Aside from the aforementioned utility of being more “dialed in”, so to speak…for me being present affects my spirit in the following manner: it helps me to manage my unconscious projections onto others and to the world. If I am not present to the unconscious, reactive, knee-jerk activity of projection, if I allow my projections to rule my relationships with others and the world, I become preoccupied, depressed, controlling, resentful, angry, and prone to repeating the mistakes of my past…in other words, not a happy camper.

One of the prime issues in unhealthy cult behavior is the practice of projecting one’s own, god given inner guru onto someone else claiming to be more evolved and then identifying with the cult.

210. sharon - February 18, 2009

in2it #208 – you must not know josiane in person – “light banter, and for no one to take you seriously”?? I very much doubt it. I’m sure that she would not bother with any blog if she did not hope to add something worthwhile to it. At the same time, she, like many others, myself included, may not have the time and/or energy to devote to perfect and all-encompassing blog postings.

When we jump on each other for our sometimes inadvertent ways of expressing ourselves, we are often supplying our own form of “blog dominance”. Maybe we could give each other more benefit of the doubt, more room for possible differences of expression, more elbow room for each other.

211. in2it - February 18, 2009

Sharon,
It works both ways.

I see a form of denial in Josiane — and in many others who post to the blog — let alone the shills who occasionally show up to promote the party line and disrupt things.

This denial is not surprising, and it won’t change just because I’m calling people on it. We all spent so long in the FOF that it will understandably take a long, long time to get rid of the same patterns of thinking, the same “language”, and the same attitudes about dissent, disagreement, and conflict.

“Just move on. Let it go. The only change that matters is inner change, and so on.”

All great ideas, except when applied to a public forum where people are trying to shed a sliver of light on the truth — a truth that was rarely discussed for so long because there was no Internet, there was no contact with former members, and there was no real thinking occurring in the FOF — let alone “critical” thinking.

In fact, even the word “truth” fell to a lower “level” of respect in the FOF, because it’s really “understanding” that we’re after.

Well, we have plenty of that, too… But does it take years to understand the FOF? No, just open your eyes — that’s all. It’s not a complicated mathematical formula. No system required.

On numerous occasions in the FOF, Sharon, I fielded the same responses that I’m getting from you right now. There’s a lot of pretentiousness and make-believe harmony in the FOF, and it’s not surprising that some of it ends up here on the internet. But that pretentiousness, that make-believe harmony, and that fear of anything close to conflict is exactly what has kept the FOF running.

If people don’t see the denial in Josiane (and Josiane, you are not alone), then the denial within the FOF is quite a bit more chronic and prevalent than I realized. Even escaping doesn’t cure it.

Think about it — or not. Or let’s all get back to pretending wonderfulness and sweetness.

212. in2it - February 18, 2009

“There are no victims or perpetrators that I can see.”

That is denial with a capital D.

213. Crouching Tiger - February 18, 2009

Allan S.

Many thanks for such a terrific post! It has a definite relation to the foregoing discussion about the value of ‘the effort to be present’. I feel very few ex-fellowship members understand what a unique version of the 4th Way they were experiencing in the form of the Fellowship of Friends…. They still view the 4th Way through that lens, inevitably.

In2it.

You said in a previous post that you’d given Josiane the benefit of the doubt concerning her reply to WR. In your post 211, it’s plain that you haven’t given her that benefit at all.

214. Jomo Piñata - February 18, 2009

I’m glad that in2it is expressing his or her opinion, whether or not I agree with it.

215. 411 - February 18, 2009

#207
Alan S. I also thank you for the post. There are some very interesting ideas put forth there.

As far as the misunderstanding between Josiane & WR, I think that’s been resolved and it would be nice to drop it.

As far as Josiane’s statement:
“There are no victims or perpetrators that I can see.”

I would disagree with that.

Starting from the prospective student meetings through every facet of life in the Fellowship there was an intentional effort made to build Burton up to the status of a god. Just the fact that upon becoming a member you were immediately given a “suggestion” to wait one year before meeting “the teacher” seems to me to be the laying of the foundation of deceit and misinformation that permeates much of the FOF culture.

216. Walter J. Tanner - February 18, 2009

Some questions for in2it (re:208):

Do parents have the right to bring-up their children in the religious tradition they (the parents) choose?

If not, who determines when a certain religious tradition is damaging to children?

And right also — sharon hit on this at #210 — this is a frackin’ blog and I type stuff in at work when I’m getting paid anyway. You want therapy? I charge $45/hour by phone, you want a Learned Dissertation on the Concept of the Present in Stoic, Romantic, and Early Modern Contexts, that would be like $100/hour, plus expenses.

“The lightness of blogging is the scourge of tyranny”

walter.tanner@gmail.com

411 at 215: a bunch of people building some guy up as a “god” is a bit more complicated than “victimization” in my book, yo. There still does exist a line between “stupid” and “victim,” it is not as hazy as you think. Yes, the followers are “victims,” victims of their own ignorance, and the suffering they attract is the necessary consequence of that ignorance. THEY THOUGHT GOD WAS SOMETHING ON THE OUTSIDE, a misunderstanding that can be most easily overcome by seeing that your “guru” was full of shit, so for some reason that I don’t understand the universe keeps creating these hyper-inflated guru types who keep founding religions, etc.

217. tatyana - February 18, 2009

To continue to theme started by someone here are a few thoughts a friend in FOF told me sometime ago:

– The school put pressure on me and made me into what I am now.
– I am so grateful that Robert started teaching again – these 2 things – cancellation of sex-exercise and the teaching are the best things!
– I regret that I did not expose myself to the school enough, I don’t like photographs, but when I do get them they help me a lot.
– I can’t tell my life friend much about what is going on here, because one must pay for these things.
– I don’t care for the teaching put into words too much – Robert is my teacher and he teaches every moment.
– Only after so many years I started to understand sequence. Thanks to … she opened it to me.
– Certain things become clear in time.
– An individuality must be earned. First one must learn a discipline.
– Abandoning one’s will is one of the greatest things I learned in the school.
– People who became best at something don’t know what to do with themselves.
– L….i and Gr…n are amazing people. I watch them over 30 years becoming more and more humble and sweet. P…p L…s also. Maybe now the fellowship tree is dropping fruits and new schools will spring from it?
– School helped me to live with a conflict. All these conflicting I’s, broken heart and you still going.
– When I am in traffic I know how to separate from my I’s.

218. sharon - February 18, 2009

in2it I think you misunderstand my position. You want to take issue with what you see as “denial” – fine, I agree. But to dump on someone and insist on your own interpretation of something like “pretty please” after the writer has given their own explanation is an example of what I mean by “blog dominance”.

I also agree with jomo – I am glad to see you express yourself. I am also, however, glad to see josiane express herself. It has NOTHING to do with a desire for “harmony” – that is bullshit. If I want “harmony” I can agree with those who are clearly seeking to shut up the questioning, more dissident voices on the blog, or I can simply not post “move on”. And I am NOT talking about responses to the obvious FoF apologists like DC. I am talking about honest questions and discussions. That is what I mean by more elbow room.

I don’t happen to think josiane’s questions are rhetorical (some do seem to be), and I don’t see her as an FoF apologist. Of course, I happen to know her. She has some sincere questions: What did she receive from her tenure in FoF? Why isn’t she angry? Why am I (sharon) sometimes angry, sometimes not? If josiane’s daughter were being courted by one of Bob’s boys, would she be angry? What does it mean to me, “moving on”? Am I stuck here in my bitterness, does it serve me now? Am I in denial that there was ever anything good (or not) in FoF? I think josiane was asking sincere questions that are not well served by folks dumping their own dogma onto her. I hated that in the Fellowship.

219. sharon - February 18, 2009

…correction above second paragraph “or I can simply not post and “move on”.” sorry – it’s really hard to write perfect posts, sheesh!

220. sharon - February 19, 2009

walter tanner:
“Do parents have the right to bring-up their children in the religious tradition they (the parents) choose?”

That is a good question. I doubt that there is a perfect answer.

Personally, I think exposing your kids to a whole bunch of religious traditions is a real gift to them. Whilst suggesting that questions about it all are always good, and the bottom line will be what they themselves feel inside. And at the same time, teaching them to avoid insulting others’ religious beliefs.

I get rather nauseated seeing the indoctrination that parents (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, FoF, Scientology…) impose on their children. And there I noticed a fair amount of indoctrination going on in FoF, and the ban on children on the property or at FoF functions only intensified that, by making FoF a desirable but just-out-of-reach thing (you can join when you are 21, dear).

221. WhaleRider - February 19, 2009

As promised….

http://www.livevideo.com/video/536C38F3F97B4746BC0215BC47000ED8/don-t-ask-don-t-tell.aspx

Your feedback is appreciated.

Feel free to share it with “friends”.

222. a friend - February 19, 2009

What’s the story with Tatyana Noble?

The rumor goes that she was forced by her husband Carlton Noble this morning to a mental clinic in Marysville, as a consequence of her attendance to a teaching event yesterday at the Galleria.
She tried to call 911 for help but was unsuccessful.

Any ideas?

223. dick moron - February 19, 2009

217 – L….i and Gr…n are amazing people. I watch them over 30 years becoming more and more humble and sweet. P…p L…s also. Maybe now the fellowship tree is dropping fruits and new schools will spring from it?
——–
Fruits? Humble and sweet? New schools founded by humble sweet fruits? 30 years working to be more humble and sweet so as to drop off the fellowship tree and start a school! I guess just being a sweet nice guy will get you your own school someday.

224. Panorea - February 19, 2009

411 Thank you for this.

…Starting from the prospective student meetings through every facet of life in the Fellowship there was an intentional effort made to build Burton up to the status of a god. Just the fact that upon becoming a member you were immediately given a “suggestion” to wait one year before meeting “the teacher” seems to me to be the laying of the foundation of deceit and misinformation that permeates much of the FOF culture…

I remember when I was asked to wait for a year before visiting Renaissance I was told from a few “students” that one needed to be mature (I was also very young…) with the work in order to understand what is going on there! Apparently at that time (beginning of the 90s) there were some waves of “new students” who had visited Renaissance and left the Fellowship right after they returned to their countries. Lucky guys!!!!

225. Panorea - February 19, 2009

I would have been terrified having any of my children joining the Cult or any other Cult! I only visited Oregon House with them and they had a good time with a few other children but as a mother my heart would break when seeing some of the parents doing “third line octaves” and neglecting their dear ones. Not that I did not do the same back home. But the fascination at Apollo, Isis was outrageous!

And it was not easy to say something either. Twice I tried to mention something to two friends they told me that the kids will do fine, our soul comes first…

The most scary moment was when I was waiting at an airport with my oldest daughter and Robert (of course he was surrounded by his entourage…). He came over to ask how we were doing with the events (how much monies we were collecting for his pockets) and turned towards her telling her “you are so special”. Gosh, it felt so fake and so disgusting! The odd thing is of course I could see him being so sick when addressing my own child but not when he would talk to me. However, that moment added to my underlying feeling and helped me eventually to pack and go…

226. Yesri Baba - February 19, 2009

216 Walter Tanner

“…so for some reason that I don’t understand the universe keeps creating these hyper-inflated guru types who keep founding religions, etc.”

Why do you say you don’t understand when you define the reason perfectly a few lines before?

That’ll be $200 bucks.

227. Yesri Baba - February 19, 2009

217 Tatyana

HAHAHAHA…oh oh BWAAAAHAHAHAHA….expose myself to the school…BWAAAHAAHAHAHAAA…oh stop oh oh….oh so many years …started to understand the sequence.. BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA…no no….stop..BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA stop…please…oh oh dropping fruits……WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..BWAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA….ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh geeeeeeze. Gawd your funny. Keep em coming.

228. Yesri Baba - February 19, 2009

225

Sould be you’re instead of your. I couldn’t see the keyboard. My eyes are
too teary.

229. Yesri Baba - February 19, 2009

226

Sould be should. Is should a word. It sure looks weird. So does word and weird. Weird, is that spelled right? Let’s see… i before e except after c or when sounding like a as in neibor and weigh..shit is there a gh in both of those…. wtf is it wierd…damn it. Why is there an n…

Guess i took too much…

230. fofblogmoderator - February 19, 2009

221 & 222 are newly moderated

231. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 19, 2009

221. WhaleRider

Thank you for the video. I highly recommend that you put it up on YouTube. The way livevideo manages the data stream appears to require streaming video the first time AND in replay. If there is not adequate bandwidth, there will be an unpleasant broken viewing regardless of anything the viewer can do. On YouTube, the first time video plays, with inadequate bandwidth, it will play broken, but replay is played from cache on viewer’s computer and is a more pleasant experience.
Few people in Oregon House have adequate bandwidth. I could be wrong about this but it would not hurt to have it in both places.

232. Jomo Piñata - February 19, 2009

Sharon, you wrote

I think exposing your kids to a whole bunch of religious traditions is a real gift to them

I don’t disagree with what you wrote. And yet even this formulation is problematic. A child “exposed to” many religions but not particularly enculturated into his own will feel like he belongs to, and can fully belong to, none of them. (At least that’s my own experience. I don’t say it’s “bad.” Instead, say that the periphery is the only place I can sit.)

233. brucelevy - February 19, 2009

221. WhaleRider

Good job, thanks. I forwarded it to the publisher of The Union in Nevada City.

231. Wouldnt You Like To Know

It is on Youtube.

234. Jomo Piñata - February 19, 2009

Whalerider, you should know that Livevideo is running a Scientology recruitment video right alongside your “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

Sorry guys. Been through the same kind of financial exploitation and mindfuck already, no need to do it again with different props and players.

235. brucelevy - February 19, 2009

221. WhaleRider

Are you going to post it at the GF?

236. Panorea - February 19, 2009

Great WhaleRider! Thank you.

Is it posted on youtube? I cannot find it when I type “Fellowship of Friends.” Don’t we need to make sure if one wants to read about that “Fellowship of Friends” can go there and find it immediately? How about a title that will easily lead to the result?

Also, about two years ago someone sent the link for this Forum to many of us who were still in the Cult. It was very useful for me at least who was not aware of it. Can one send a similar post with the link to this video?

237. brucelevy - February 19, 2009

Sorry, it’s “Live Video”, not “Youtube”.

238. abraham franklin - February 19, 2009

What is actually happening to stop the abuse that continues to occur and will continue to occur from, in the name of, and by Robert Earl Burton, his buddies, and The Fellowship of Friends?

239. abraham franklin - February 19, 2009

apart from that fantastic video?

240. sharon - February 19, 2009

jomo – “A child “exposed to” many religions but not particularly enculturated into his own will feel like he belongs to, and can fully belong to, none of them.(At least that’s my own experience. I don’t say it’s “bad.” Instead, say that the periphery is the only place I can sit.)”

So do you feel that you would be happier sitting firmly inside the circle of some religion? And if you were happier thus, does that imply that it is what you would prefer?

In any case, I dunno if you are right – I was quite enculturated into my own (protestant christianity), but have no interest in it now. Maybe some us will just always feel at the periphery of the tribe?

241. tatyana - February 19, 2009

Talking about the safety of the children. When I was asked to marry RB’s sex slave I did not know at the time that I put my 9 y.o. daughter in danger. Whoever is not on the same wavelength as those sexual creeps have no idea what is going on in their minds. Don’t let your daughters date Robert’s boys! After all what happened to us I would never let my children live in Oregon House. Period.

242. Jomo Piñata - February 19, 2009

Sharon,

I think that at the root of my vulnerability to cult recruitment, all those years ago, was a deficit of belongingness. I felt cut off from roots which, had I been more thoroughly enculturated, might have given me social resources which would have counterbalanced the tendency to throw myself wholly into the fellowship culture.

In my own case the underlying religion and culture was Judaism. I was recruited as a college freshman. At college it would not have occurred to me to visit the Hillel House to connect with others socially or around cultural or religious issues. And yet it seems clear to me in retrospect that such a resource would have benefited me, had I been able to avail myself of it. But my lack of enculturation precluded me from even being able to entertain the idea.

It has taken many years for me to be able to establish some secure and beneficial relation with my cultural heritage. I am not demographically alone as there is quite a sizable cohort in the United States of assimilated secular Jews sitting at a distance from their cultural heritage. (I can add that Judaism differs from Christianity in that one is not defined by belief or by “believing in.”)

My spouse speaks of “roots” and “wings.” I agree with my spouse that children need to know their roots so that they may find their wings.

243. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - February 19, 2009

*239: My sentiments exactly. When I left the FOF I lost my job and moved away with my 7-year old son with less than $300 in my pocket and an old car, because I felt that same way. Oregon House is not safe for kids, male or female. It’s not the fear of sexual abuse but the psychological distress it causes them (so much confusion). Somehow I knew that back then. I made the right decision and left town. It was so hard, but I do not regret what I did and I know my son is better adjusted because of it.

244. Polo - February 19, 2009

The moon is full again it seems.

245. tatyana - February 19, 2009

Panorea, “The odd thing is of course I could see him being so sick when addressing my own child but not when he would talk to me.”

A few years ago my brother in law was a victim of a famous Moscow terract in the theater. He was a co-director of the theater, lost a few of his students children and as many was hospitalized after the government freed the victims by poisoning everyone with the gas. Robert found out about it somehow and he asked me to send him his love. I did not realize how odd was that to call my sister and tell her that Robert send her and her husband his love. Her reaction was: “Oh yeah?… And who is he?” and then she asked me not call anymore. Poor food for the moon did not appreciate the God’s Love!

246. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - February 19, 2009

#242: Seems you are belitting heartfelt comments, including mine.

247. tatyana - February 19, 2009

Good catch, Little Suzy! I just went into self-doubt immediately. As when I am told “this is too queeny” or “this is too negative” or “this is your lower self” etc. etc.

248. WhaleRider - February 19, 2009

Thanks for the feedback on the video link posted above (221).

We are now in the process of cutting the documentary in half and posting it on youtube (which has a ten minute limit per segment) for easier viewing and then I’ll link it to the GF site, then to the wiki site, and then to the petition, if possible…and anywhere else I can to get the message out: the Fellowship days are numbered. Let’s drain the victim pool and shut down the rape factory, for our children’s sake and our own.

Your feed back is appreciated, and please share the clip with a “friend”.

I’d like everyone to know, both current members and ex-members that you are invited to be part of the project, which is ongoing. Your voice is important!

Consider what we have so far as just the trailer for a full-length version.

If you would like to be interviewed, please contact the fofblogmonitor at: nogurus@yahoo.com and they will forward your information to me.

The whole world is watching.

249. Mick Danger - February 19, 2009

Bravo WhaleRider, well done.
Maybe the soundtrack should be Pachelbels Cannon played backwards.
Bob is dead.
Turn me on dead man.

250. Jomo Piñata - February 19, 2009

good one Mick!

251. Anna - February 19, 2009

In the Video it was suggested that there may have been ‘hundreds’. This is unrealistic. Robert Burton has many males available ‘on call’ at any time. At the peak of his debauchery he could ply, with the help of viagra and careful management, as many as sixty males into ejaculating for him on any one day. One of his entaurage told me that generally there were as many as four hundred males available to him at Renaissance/Apollo/Isis at one time.

Once this Blog revealed the truth many members left and the immigration service returned many of his young Russian male entourage to Europe his right hand man told me that he had been forced to revert older American men…

252. veramente - February 19, 2009

221. WhaleRider
Thank you for the video Whalerider! I see you have in mind to continue with this project, cool!
In fact I was thinking the video informs mostly on the very hard work especially in the early days, and the important notion that Burton has no boundaries legal or otherwise when it comes to his sexual life.
There is so much more to report as we all know, but with taking a step at the time, right?
Thanks also to the participants speaking publicy and without fear.

253. veramente - February 19, 2009

242 Polo
actually the next full moon is on March 11

254. tatyana - February 19, 2009

Yes, thank you, WhaleRyder and everyone in the video!

If it is of any help I can be interviewed…

255. brucelevy - February 19, 2009

249. Anna

“In the Video it was suggested that there may have been ‘hundreds’. This is unrealistic.”

Not unrealistic at all. We’re talking about around 30 years of this shit.

256. brucelevy - February 19, 2009

Fuck the full moon too. Facts are facts and crime is crime regardless of the moon phase.

257. fofblogmoderator - February 19, 2009

238 & 239 are newly moderated

258. Jomo Piñata - February 19, 2009

Bruce, I think she Anna’s “unrealistic” comment meant that “hundreds” pathetically underestimates the true number.

259. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - February 19, 2009

Once this Blog revealed the truth many members left and the immigration service returned many of his young Russian male entourage to Europe his right hand man told me that he had been forced to revert older American men…

this sickens me.

260. whalerider - February 19, 2009

tatyana:
Send your email address to nogurus@yahoo.com and I will make the interview happen and put you in the documentary ASAP.

I’d love to get some Russian voices on tape. Anybody have some footage they’d like to contribute?

The more voices, the better.

How about a big get together in Oregon House during Memorial Day weekend in May at Lake Francis?

I’ll bring my camerman, you bring the truth.

261. Walter J. Tanner - February 19, 2009

Yesri at 226:

Damn, you got a paypal account?

T

262. Panorea - February 19, 2009

It felt so eerie to watch the video again. First of all the road up to Oregon House, always after an about 20 hours journey from Europe. often at night, trying to find our way in the middle of nowhere…But with the excitement in our hearts (had agreed with my husband to never visit without each other…guess why…); so many friends there, the promised land.

When I heard the words about the predictions, the stories the narrators presented, the quotations by Mr. Burton, I felt a bit sick. We believed that nonsense! We believed it and kept it a secret. But when the nonsense is uttered, the chimera dissolves.

Thank you for the courage to state the obvious.

263. Anna - February 19, 2009

Yes, I meant that hundreds was an UNderestimate.

264. Allan S - February 19, 2009

262. Panorea

You expressed my feelings on the video very well, thanks. Thanks Whalerider and all who participated and a kiss to “Peaches”.

Allan.

265. tatyana - February 19, 2009

Whalerider, do you want to submit a video to the Appeal-Democrat?

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/video/submit/

Can I give a little critique?
1.I don’t like that people repeat 2-3 times what they say.
2.Would be nice to see more people. There are very cool people to interview – C…n L….t, T…a B…n, J….n H…t, C….a H….n and many many others who were close and know a lot. But of coarse it takes guts to speak in public.

As the beginning it is very cool! Thank you!

I sent an email to no gurus by the way…

266. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - February 19, 2009

I like the video just as it is and actually liked the words repeated twice. I think it had an impact the first time, and then the visual the second time took it to another level. Good work!

267. Yesri Baba - February 19, 2009

Whalerider-

Great job, man!

I like the Memorial Day idea.

268. Yesri Baba - February 19, 2009

238 Abraham Franklin

There is a link to a petition at the top of the page.

269. in2it - February 20, 2009

Sharon, Josiane, and others. Best wishes and points taken.

WhaleRider, wwwwwow.

270. sharon - February 20, 2009

in2it – thanks for listening.

271. Opus 111 - February 20, 2009

The video is striking and very compelling because of those interviewed and the resonance it has for us. Thanks to the courageous ones who give their beautiful face to this sad story.

More topics that could be included are the money, teaching payments, special donation, seasonal donation, targeted donations, the fund-raisers, events, meetings…. money, money, money.

The religious workers era, the eastern block connection, the cash paiements to russian dancers, etc… are all worthy topics as well.

272. X-ray - February 20, 2009

‘In the Video it was suggested that there may have been ‘hundreds’. This is unrealistic. Robert Burton has many males available ‘on call’ at any time’

The Valentine’s day alone is sixty. We’re talking thousands here less or more.

273. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 20, 2009

Yes, WhaleRider, well done. It is a great early cut. YouTube and 10 minutes with an infinite number of 10 minute sequels/prequels in the same genre is the way to go. Maybe a unique name is needed, like: Fellatio of Friends Fact Films (the 4 F club – may the fours be with you.)

On another note: I agree with Anna and others. Of the approximate 15,000 former members, there are likely thousands (not just hundreds) that have been sexually abused and/or coerced to participate in sexual relations with Robert Earl Burton. Since my view came from as close, or closer, than that of Anna, I substantially support that fact. Over 30+ years and an enormous number of virtually anonymous (or nearly so) participants, Robert Earl Burton could not even keep a count or estimate. Many of them nobody, least of all Robert Earl Burton, would know their identities. Of current members, there are likely hundreds of sex partners. And the quest is always the passion for the hunt to recruit new material for the victim pool. Then there are those that are not, nor were not, members of the Fellowship of Friends. Such as:children of fellowship members and pretty much anyone else (male) that the man could have contact with. It is an obsession – perhaps a whole new medical/psychological disorder could be devoted to it – maybe there is? There is Sex Addicts Anonymous.

Oh, isn’t it so cute, and emotional, to penetrate those delicate essences with the goddess conscious being’s finer hydrogens – it is so innocent. (Said tongue-in-cheek, of course.)

274. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 20, 2009

P.S.: Forgot to mention in last post that there are/were a lot of potential sex partners that would be chased after, groomed, and nurtured to the task that upon being propositioned, would find it repugnant, and declined to participate. This is an almost incalculable number that certainly taxed the time, effort, and resources
of the teacher and the entire organization of the Fellowship of Friends. Hence, the request: not to defeat the will of . . .
It also, mightily, diverted precious possibilities from fruition that the organization would have otherwise achieved.

275. Anna - February 20, 2009

About being Present.

I have found that any wish to become something other than what I am can be very destructive.

If I am subject to some kind of authoritarian regime such as the Robert Burton’s sect, the external authority will most likely shape my ‘Presence’ in to an activity/behaviour which will serve his own interests.

Yet even without a Robert Burton, if I believe growing a soul is some type of quest, I will develop an Inner authoritarian who first divides me in to ‘Present’ and ‘Not Present’ and who then, however subtly, will denigrate everything that falls into the latter category.

My Inner authoritarian will quickly categorise and blame most spontaneous behaviour as ‘Not Present’, particularly if it is uncomfortable or negative. Certain types of behaviour associated with my Present self will be allowed though, such as: being tidy, punctual, and bright and cheerful, and completing even the smallest of motor tasks to the last detail.

The squashed and hidden Not Present self will continue to exist, though it will seethe and rebel against it’s prison, seeping or lashing out now and then, particularly in private places where no one (except our children and others who ‘don’t count) can see it.

If my authoritarian continues to divert my attention away from my Not Present self, she/he may erupt as sudden unexplainable tearfulness, rages, violence, and even physical illnesses (which I have recently learned are called neuroses). There may be illogical anguish and despair which can only be quenched with alcohol and narcotics.

In a desperate attempt to get the upper hand the Inner authoritarian will order an increase in permitted behaviours such as ‘finishing things’ And my Present self will have become an
Obsessive Compulsive.

Our Present selves are Desperate Housewives. (Have just seen the TV series for the first time… hmm)

I am happier with the word ‘awareness’ as it has more joy about it. But the quest for this must also divide and turn against me. Unless, perhaps it is balanced with with awareness of others…

276. dragon - February 20, 2009

221. WhaleRider

Special thanks to A—s, V——a and all the others (courageous)!

Some psychiatrists and I watched the video. The speaking persons appear to be authentic and that’s the main thing.

It is not easy to speak in front of the “whole world”!

Go on with that!.

277. Anna - February 20, 2009

Sorry All… but I feel duty bound to repost this from an earlier page. Just in case first time readers didn’t know…

Inner circle facts Says:
March 1st, 2007 at 8:25 am
Are you ready for some brutal facts?
Who would like to know how its really happening in his bad room? OK folks,fasten your sit belts,the Kansas going Bye Bye…
Did you know that usual orgies are formed from 4 to 6 student?.Usually two of them are SIMULTANEOUSLY entering Burton’s anus.Third person is laying on his back while Mr.Burton is providing him an oral sex while two from both sides are subject to the masturbation by MR.Burton with his two hands.
Some time there is one more student who’s role is to hold Burton’s testicles in his mouth during the whole time.Prior to all, by Burton’s request Viagra pills are shared and swallowed between all members of the orgy which are constantly provided by Mr.G.
Some time you can hear Burton’s words during the sexual activities “How incredible! We are getting closer,aren’t we?”
Some of them are asked to suck his nipples and his toes.All sperm gets swallowed by Mr.Burton at the end of the act.But that is not all yet.
There are two students who had the most terrifying and most humiliating role to play (in my opinion).They have to enter with their hands by their elbows into the Burton’s anus.(Looking for Consciousness perhaps)..both students are Russians.One of them had left the school and the other has been “shipped” back to Russia for disobedience.
And now get this:
Beside those depraved scenes there is another one which going to shake you all:
There is another act that Burton is preforming with a specific student of his own “inner circle”.This act of Humiliation is performed in his bath room while Burton is laying down and 3 students are urinating right on him!
And on the next morning,like nothing happened Mr.Burton is leading the meeting on Love?
How cynical indeed!

278. veramente - February 20, 2009

Anna 275

“Yet even without a Robert Burton, if I believe growing a soul is some type of quest, I will develop an Inner authoritarian who first divides me in to ‘Present’ and ‘Not Present’ and who then, however subtly, will denigrate everything that falls into the latter category.”

“If my authoritarian continues to divert my attention away from my Not Present self, she/he may erupt as sudden unexplainable tearfulness, rages, violence, and even physical illnesses (which I have recently learned are called neuroses). There may be illogical anguish and despair which can only be quenched with alcohol and narcotics.”

“Our Present selves are Desperate Housewives. (Have just seen the TV series for the first time… hmm)”
————————————-
Anna, awesome points!
Thank you.

279. tatyana - February 20, 2009

Many FOF members still can’t see Robert Burton as a sexual predator and a manipulator, because they hold him in very high regard. They surrendered their will for his Will because they belive he a Higher Being. It is very painful and almost impossible to admit to oneself that you were conned and basically served an ill man 10-30 years. All his whimsical wishes, addictions or obsessions are taken (even by himnself perhaps) as the God’s Will.

He gives them very high goals: to be worthy of the Gods, to create a Soul, to be responsible for the School. That makes one feel that he did not do enough, because nothing he had done brings him any closer to these goals. They can’t see that these goals are set to keep them busy, to justify their suffering and to take from them anything that can possibly be taken.

If suffering is justified, no one is looking for healing. If absurdity is justified – nobody is looking for understanding. If endless payment, lunatic effort and responsibility for creating a new civilization is justifed – nobody can rest, think and care for themselves and their loved ones.

This is why this organization is going to go on. It is really a rare case in human history.

280. in2it - February 20, 2009

Just the facts: When I hear it’s been “thousands”, it changes my perception about the FOF. If “thousands” is true, and I’m not personally doubting it, the extent of this man’s sickness, and the extent of his deception, is almost beyond belief.

One of the perceptions about the FOF that I find difficult to “let go of” is the idea that the FOF once had “precious possibilities” as you described in your post, Just the Facts.

I appreciate that sentiment. Like many of you, I look back with some fond memories (and many not so fond) on what I believed the FOF to be.

But anymore, I’m inclined to think that the FOF never did have precious possibilities. From the beginning, it was destined to be what it is. It’s just hard to acknowledge that.

281. in2it - February 20, 2009

“This is why this organization is going to go on.”

Yes, one possibility. Or it may also be why it will self-destruct.

282. Too Good To Be True - February 20, 2009

They Did It Again:

The Fellowship, shamed by the generosity and compassion of former members towards friends in need, recently held a fund raiser for a member facing a serious illness after hearing that former members were raising money for this current member. This seemed too good to be true and in fact it is. The Fellowship has pulled the frequently used “bait and switch” tactic. Money was given by people assuming it would go to their friend but the family was recently told by Elizabeth B. that the money would be held in a fund called “Circle of Friends” and that they could submit bills to be considered for payment. It is highly unlikely that the intended recipient of the donations will ever know how much was actually given in his name and he now has to go begging, hat in hand, for the money that should have been generously given him with no strings attached.

283. Yesri Baba - February 20, 2009

274 Just the Facts Ma’am

“It also, mightily, diverted precious possibilities from fruition that the organization would have otherwise achieved”

Yeah, good thing he had such a ‘voracious’ appetite. Who knows what kind of monstrosity the Fellowship of Friends would have become.

284. fofblogmoderator - February 20, 2009

282 is newly moderated

285. Jomo Piñata - February 20, 2009

282/Too Good To Be True

I smell provable fraud.

286. tatyana - February 20, 2009

282/ Too Good To Be True

I heard a similar story from my friends musicians I…a & B…t. Remember all the find raising concerts they performed? They never saw the money!

287. nigel harris price - February 20, 2009

We seem to be ‘getting down to’ operations in the FOF, which, if investigated, would prove that monies were being used for ‘erroneous’ reasons and would, therefore make the FOF a fraudulent body. If the money brought into the Fellowship were for ‘spiritual development’ of the group, then what was described above makes the ‘goings-on’ of the FOF even more fraudulent…..Nigel.

288. Walter J. Tanner - February 20, 2009

Thank you Anna for the “inner authoritarian” — great imagery of the pitfalls awaiting “work on oneself!”

Socrates calls the soul-making-process midwifery — there is nothing “to do,” the soul is continuously being born and there really is nothing you can do about it but, like with a baby or child, try and create a fulfilling environment for it as best you can, get the mother to breathe, etc.

Of course Platonism was all the rage in Gurdjieff’s time, and he is a conscientious objector to much of it. Maybe different times need different teachings or emphases, or maybe things are different for different people…when I obsess on a metaphysical disjuction I usually just accept both sides as possibly true. So probably time of effort, another time for release, although personally release has “worked” to a far greater extent for me.

Tatyana, you are brilliant at dissecting the psychological strategies used by people within the Fellowship — #279 is really good, I know because I remember being just like that, and its hurtfully embarrassing! Nietszche said “all truth is soaked in blood,” right?

But I don’t think it is all that rare, it is found everywhere, but in the Fellowship we gave our neuroses particularly profound and high-sounding names.

If the whole “circle of friends” thing is true, then this blog is much more powerful and influential than the critics believe.

walter.tanner@gmail.com

289. Panorea - February 20, 2009

Do you remember all the donations we gave for our dear Theatron? Do you remember the donations for the Bistro? That last one was such a fiasco, I remember how the student in charge was when we would ask how the project continuous…What project? Where did the money go? Who knows?

290. Panorea - February 20, 2009

May I also remind all the current members who according to the latest fashion seem to deny Robert and only admit with all the seriousness they can gather that they do not stay in the “school” for Robert but for themselves, that their donations go directly to the belly of the beast and helped, help and will always help him to satisfy his perverse desires and pay his bills?

Where do you put your energy? And for how long more?

291. tatyana - February 20, 2009

Since the ex-studnets community becomes stronger and more active, can we file for a Class action lawsuit?

292. nigel harris price - February 20, 2009

291 tatyana

Mr Ford Greene of Hub Law Offices in San Anselmo would know the answer to that one…..Nigel.

293. tatyana - February 20, 2009

I think it is up to us. We have what it takes if want to bother…

294. tatyana - February 20, 2009

Sorry for taking too much space here, but I had such a blast reading Pathway to Presense. It is REALLY funny.

First a few pages the words “hidden” and “secret” are found many times. It is like a massage to my “Higher Self” aaaaah. HIDDEN ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE!

But then at the end it says: “The problem of today lies not in finding esoteric knowledge, but in discovering what is objective and practical within the mass of available information.”

Aha! So they don’t have hidden esoteric knowledge – just objective and practical, a? Well, I buy objective and practical.

HIGHER POSSIBILITIES. PRACTICAL METHODS. For those who are “prepared to understand”…
I am READY. I am so prepared I am shivering – bring it on!

But then again: “intellect can not comprehend it but it can be experienced”
Oh! can not comprehend? That’s too bad!

Keep reading…”students in schoolS are taught to direct all inner effort toward recognizing and being present to the higher self.”
How many schools do they have?

Oh, here is an exercise (teaches how to develop consciousness): “Go outside and find a tree.”
Where am I supposed to find a tree outside?
“If you are successful, find a friend and try the same exercise: without being conspicuous, talk to your friend and be aware of your friend, at the same time being aware that you are there, in that particular place, talking to your friend”
Ney… I don’t like to use my friends for weird experiments. I guess this is not for me…

But for those who are digging it there is a discussion you can sign up for….

295. Ill Never Tell - February 20, 2009

294. tatyana:

‘But for those who are digging it there is a discussion you can sign up for….’

Yes, a MODERATED discussion, no doubt, and you know what that means. Just like the, one-time, Fellowship Discussion List, there would be NO critical evaluation, NOR dissenting opinions, NOR any unseemly subject matters, like the personal behaviours/responsibilities of the teacher or other key power structure persons. And, like the Fellowship Discussion List, it would be SHUT DOWN as soon as the subject attempted to turned to: 1) the aberrant sex practices that exist at the core of the institution, 2) how much it costs plus where and how the money is spent, 3) history and background check that could reveal legal actions brought against the institution and its main players, 4) etc., etc., etc.

296. tatyana - February 20, 2009

“Pathway to Presence” should be called “Hardway to Nonsense”

297. tatyana - February 20, 2009

295.

I will think about creating a website HardwayToNonsene.com as an alternative, where the links will be:

about us
what we believe
what we do
prices
history

And everywhere where there is a word “secret”, “hidden” or “sacred” I will have a PayPal button: “Are you prepared to understand? – click here for donations”.

And even though their exercises are quite good (try to find a tree see if you are success-fool), I would add: “try to keep a secret from your friend (if you have a friend), you can even try to have sex on a side and not tell your partner about it. If you are successful- come join us! You are the school material!

298. lauralupa - February 20, 2009

thanks whalerider, peaches, vicky and ames
…and everyone else who has been writing

My personal conclusion is that the “precious possibilities” of the Fellowship were naturally inherent in each of its hopeful members, and the Fellowship leader and organization did all it could to thwart and exploit them for its own selfish ends. There was never a noble aim behind Burton’s enterprise. It takes a while to swallow that one.

299. Spoonful Blues - February 21, 2009

I remember that a favourite quote in the FOF was by William Blake: “The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

Now I will be the first to put my hand up to say that I was very fond of this quote – especially as it helped in justifying my particular fondness for wine, fine foods and various accessories that would boost my alchemy rating – which was very important if you were to move in the accepted FOF circles.

But it also seemed to sit well in the whole Fellowship of Friends ethos as propounded by Robert Burton. For as I was to find out, he certainly embodied seventy five percent of this quote. He was on the path of excess and he had the palace that comes with it. As for the wisdom – he certainly believed he had it.

During the occasions I was able to witness Burton at close quarters – sometimes too close for comfort, I noticed he did nothing in half measure. That is when it came to drink, food, pills, sex and spending money.
At restaurants he would usually buy several of the dishes on offer at each course – though he wouldn’t necessarily eat them. We’re talking Michelin Stars here!
When he purchased clothes he would rarely by one of anything. If he liked a leather jacket costing $5000 dollars, he would most likely buy two of them, in case he spilled a drop of wine or something on one and it ruined the impression. As we know the impression was everything. It mattered little if some student was trying to scrape $50 dollars together to meet a teaching payment – the price of a pair of socks!
But it comes as no surprise – though it obviously does to many – when we learn the greatest excesses took place behind closed doors. Where young men would be sucked dry until they flinched with the pain – though fortunately for him there was a ready supply of fresh recruits, happy to receive his blessing.

Yes, it did make me re-evaluate this famous quote by Blake. Then of course Robert Burton is no ordinary man, is he? Personally, I can only conclude if it does lead to wisdom, it’s the f***ing long way round!

300. tatyana - February 21, 2009

Anna, I remember when I first read “Inner circle facts” it was a HUGE shock. I could not believe it, I thought someone very very mean is making it up. So I went to my friend who was “Robert’s Friend” at the time and asked him to tell me “if it is true”. He replied: “The whole blog is about me. Because who is chosen to urinate on RB? Me. Who is asked to sh…t on RB? Me. I am not going to read this f…g blog! I don’t know how people write and do not afraid that they will be run over buy a bus!” I saw with my own eyes that this friend of mind is very much off balance and needs help to say the least, but there is nothing I could do. I told him that I really wish him to run away from all this hell…

I was so disturbed that I probably drunk the whole bottle of wine later that day… But again, every time I tried to talk to someone about it, the reply was always – “It is all lies. Those guys like it.”

301. fofblogmoderator - February 21, 2009

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