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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion, Part 72 May 5, 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. X-ray - May 5, 2009

231. WhaleRider – April 29, 2009

Keep going, WhaleRider, you awesome!

2. James Mclemore - May 5, 2009

fofblogmoderator :

I used to remember once in a while to thank the Sheik for his work, and of course we can still thank him for beginning this phenomenon, but I also wish to thank you for your time and efforts.

3. WhaleRider - May 5, 2009

Transformation Through a Dialectical Perspective

“Using fear and punishment alone limit the effectiveness and productivity of people, who will work to the level of fear abatement and no more. If actual rewards are slim, there must be belief in some future reward.

Authoritarian hierarchies that have lasted constructed symbol systems that used religious authority to justify power and give people hope after death. Also this mollifies those on top who usually prefer not to face, or be reminded, that those below are being used arbitrarily.

Renunciate moralities that glorify spirit make easy the use and abuse of anything worldly (including life itself (i.e. people)) for the sake of so-called higher concerns.

Self-sacrifice is abstract because what is involved is not any specific act of sacrifice, but rather a generalized way to be. ((AKA, masochistic))

Renunciate moralities lend themselves admirably to authoritarian social hierarchies that leverage power by “sacrificing” those lower on the hierarchy. Whenever possible this is done by getting people to sacrifice themselves voluntarily through inculcating the authoritarian virtues of unquestioning duty, loyalty, and obedience. ((arf, arf))

Hierarchical, authoritarian moralities that demand sacrifice can do so only by blocking the intelligence, self-trust, and care needed for survival. Whatever form a new system takes, it must include a shift from accumulation to preservation, from exploitation to care, and from otherworldly hope to hope in this world.

The limits of dualistic thinking lie in excluding other ways of structuring experience. Both the possible unity behind seeming opposition ((in higher worlds or dimensions)) and the dialectical relationship between the two poles are harder to grasp and require more sophisticated abstractions and mental processes than dualistic either/or thinking affords.

There is most probably an aspect of the universe that operates through a tension between poles or oppositions ((each needing the other to exist)). Given this, it’s effortless to think dualistically, because oppositions are the apparent aspect of the universe and thus easy to perceive.

Fortunately, human intelligence is capable of other kinds of mental integration, because there a processes especially important in the human arena that linear either/or conceptualizing cannot capture. Either/or thinking is one particular form, which is pragmatically appropriate to those aspects of experience that must conform to it.

Trying to squeeze processes that do not fit a binary mode into binary thought must distort them.

What has historically been called dialectical thinking is another way thought can operate that better envision the workings of relational processes.

Whereas binary, either/or thinking is based on each side of an opposition being static and separate (higher self vs. lower self), dialectical thinking is process-oriented and sees that within oppositions there is a movement or growth toward more inclusion that can contain both sides.

A dialectical perspective can express the dynamic connection of seeming opposites and is needed to perceive two parts of a whole. Each side is not only totally necessary for the other to exist at all, but is often embedded in the other. ((i.e., Yin and Yang symbol))

Living and dying are embedded in each other, as are control and surrender. Through surrendering control to an ideology, one can gain control ((albeit conditional)) of one’s emotions.

Attachment and detachment work similarly. By becoming attached to one person ((lover, guru)), one detaches from others and hence is no longer controlled by anyone else. Even the ideology that glorifies detachment brings hidden attachments to the ideology itself, and to the emotional control that detachment brings. Surrender brings attachment to whatever is surrendered to and also to the powerful feelings it arouses. ((which can be addicitve))

Ignoring the dialectical interrelationship between the selfless and the self-centered, altruism and egoism, lies at the heart of many moral confusions and dilemmas.

This creates what we call the ”spiritual paradox”, which can be stated as follows: If it is self-centeredness that keeps one from higher spiritual realizations- heaven, a better next lifetime, whatever-then by working on ridding oneself of self-centeredness, one’s spiritual goals are achieved. The paradox lies in the fact that having one’s own spiritual advancement as the focus of one’s life is totally self-absorbed, ((narcissistic)) and hence self-centered at a more hidden ((unconscious)) level.

Religion’s ((FOF’s)) glorification of spiritual rewards ((being present)) basically presents them as more sublime pleasures. The desire for pleasure, no matter how exalted ((or sublime)) is self-centered.

Viewing the selfless and the self-centered as dialectically embedded does not do away with moral dilemmas, but it does change the way they are dealt with. ((such as openly allowing priests to marry))

Internalizing dualistic renunciate moralities has created a perpetual inner conflict between a “good” (selfless, (higher)) part and a “bad” (self-centered, carnal, (lower)) part. This is at the root of self-mistrust, for one can never be good enough.” ((job security for gurus, cults, and churches))

~The Guru Papers

4. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 5, 2009

There is lots of valuable and useful stuff on the internet now about the Fellowship of Friends (aka Pathway to Presence) – isn’t freedom of speech glorious. I just checked out The Fellowship of Friends WikiSpace at:
http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/
Pretty good work there. It also includes a guestbook that allows comments. That is beginning to produce yet another blog about personal experiences of The Fellowship of Friends and the people you might meet there.

One story that I have not seen there and don’t remember if it appeared on this blog; so here goes:

Nigel wrote on the page 71:
‘Actually, I feel more-and-more as I think about it, that REB, if he had any ‘higher states’, which led to his enacting the inception of the FOF, or has now (”there are 44 angels disappearing up my backside even as we speak, dear” – get the idea?), then it is all down to ‘rampant schizophrenia’. Who would really want ’sensory anomalies’ and (let us face the facts, REB) ‘hallucinations’ to command their daily activities?…..Nigel.’

Nige, and all, perhaps you do not remember, or do not know, that REB had a near-death-experience that likely accounts for his ‘enlightenment.’ As I vaguely remember the story: It was sometime in the late 1960’s, 1968 or 69, probably between when he was booted out of Alex Horn’s group (for chasing young males for sex) and the start of his teaching, 1Jan1970. It could have been earlier and contributory to his being booted from Alex Horn’s – been to hospital, not able to function, not able to pay Horn’s fees. REB was living either at his mother’s or out of a Volkswagen bus. He was roughly 28, 29, or possibly 30, years old. Although he had a teaching credential, from San Jose State Teachers College, for teaching elementary school (fourth grade was what he may have last taught), he was not employed at it at that time; I think. It was the height of the 1960’s hippie movement, summer of love in San Francisco (1967), etc. Supposedly, he was driving somewhere, fell asleep, and crashed. He woke up in hospital with severe head injury and a metal plate was installed in his head. His life would never be the same again. Did it lead to mental illness? That’s anyone’s guess. Did it lead to chronic pain that led to prescription drug use/abuse? That’s anyone’s guess. Is there any way to check the story? That’s anyone’s guess. The rest is history. Now, I was not there, nor did I know REB at that time, but that is the story as it has been told by REB, passed on, and as best I can remember it. Perhaps others can help piece it together because I do not have all the parts of the puzzle. And, many that are in the know, are still in FoF, and wouldn’t talk here. Perhaps it is fiction and/or a story told to get sympathy from people; like so many of those crazy spam emails phishing for the gullible.

Wouldn’t You Like To Know?

[It used to be advice from the Teacher, to those making long car journeys, under almost any type of conditions, that he, the Teacher, used to put a cassette tape in his mouth to help stay awake while driving. Try it some time; except now you’ll do it with a CD case.]

5. Kiran - May 5, 2009

Dear ALL

by coincidence I come across this Blog that I long thought had died-out.

Writing this from beautiful Brazil I want to tell you there is a LIFE-AFTER-FOF.

I know that BLAMING and EXPLAINING is the way to stay connected to what has caused suffering and this will go on

unit all the precious potential contained in this pain is
BLOWN-TO-THE-WIND

stop so you dont have to get the painful RESET that I got to make
me start fresh

Kiran

some pictures from my new life
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23287606@N06/sets
http://www.energy-medicine.info/newsletter-april-09.html

6. Jomo Piñata - May 5, 2009

3/WhaleRider

“having one’s own spiritual advancement as the focus of one’s life is totally self-absorbed, and hence self-centered at a more hidden level.”

Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!

4/WULTK

The VW bus was a product of “teaching payments,” so that’s 1970 at the earliest. My understanding is that the accident occurred in 1968.

7. elena - May 5, 2009

2.Yes, thank you fofblogmoderator for continuing to support this blog.

And Whalerider for the texts.

Something that’s been puzzling me lately is the thought that people are only creative when they can detach themselves from the outside programming and recreate it in their own way, inside. In putting that recreation outside again, culture or subculture or supraculture is renewed.

As I begin to think I realize that I’ve spent the whole of almost fifty years without “creating”. In childhood we at least played; as a teenager there was enough “love” and sex for a lifetime. Then there was “shopping” the world over, buying and looking at things as if a life could be made up of objects. Then came the Fellowship for which I am of course grateful, because it allowed me in its extreme decadence to get a pure taste for the state of the soul in our times. And now. The blog has been as helpful as the Fellowship in getting a taste for our times and added an extra bonus of hearing myself.

As I try to move on from both Fellowship and blog wonderfully interesting things show up but what truly moves me is the possibility of being able to create and recreate myself. Perhaps it is a natural process at fifty to find enough trust in one’s self to be what one is without fear or urge to become something else but it seems it’s been a huge circle towards my always present but ignored self and at fifty I am like a child playing with clay and wool, words and music as if they were the abc of life. I make silly little toys, play basic songs and write like a child banging on a box with a small hole to see what comes out of it. Is there anybody there? Anything? And all sorts of things without importance come out from the only act of creation that I have ever attempted. It is not the cotton doll or the made up music, nor the words shuffled in a new order that matter as much as the understanding that I am a creator like all other human beings.

No one has ever told me that I too am a creator. Was it only I who was brought up in a time in which one was nothing until one became famous or rich, powerful or conscious? Only I that opted to die without attempting to live, defeated by the task before being willing to try it, revolted by the already obsolete and inhuman conditions?

The wonder of being a farmer must be the miracle of moving her majesty to produce corn, food and flowers by the grace of the Sun, but no one had ever told me that they were only metaphors of the equally profound mystery of all creation and that THAT is the only true regenerating force for any individual and all culture. Each man and woman must touch the core of his and her being with open trust and delight and act from it regardless of the insignificant little toys that come from the joy of doing so.

We are starving without realizing that we are ourselves the generators of nourishment. Identified with the outside world, we are trapped in believing that shopping can compose our selves of being, like parents who buy innumerable toys for children convinced that the child has nothing of his own to entertain and in supplying finished toys, stunt the possibility of recreating the world for himself. The spirit of generosity could not be fooled into keeping others from feeding themselves but we live in a time that keeps people half starved and hopelessly uncreative.
The physical hunger and pressure in the lower classes is only a reflection of the spiritual starvation of the upper classes: The Spiritual poverty: The lack of generosity, of “being”. Man “meddles” in a body without soul and a soul without spirit. People are dying without having lived. It’s the “spirit” what needs to be recovered.

It would be wonderful to hear you talk, that is, to hear your spirit. I’m joyfully curious about you. Bruce, why did you ever join the Fellowship? Would you care to share it? What inspires you today? And you Ton? And Jomo Piñata? Laura? Yesri? Crouching Tiger? Wouldn’t you like to know? Bares Reposting? FOFion? Sharon? Old Fish? James? Steve? Sally? Veramente? To mention only a few off my head! Can you share your selves with us? Can you talk? Whalerider? Anna? Ellen? Mick Danger, Mickey? Steve? Tatyana? Unoanimo? X-ray? And any other whose name I might forget but not his soul? Dragon and you? What inspires you?
The blog is getting awfully boring with monologues and fences, I would really like to hear you talk but wouldn’t be at all surprised if you don’t. Oh, The Fence boy, you too might try it too, it is actually healing! Trying to throw others off the fence just reveals your hunger for identity. Definitely Fellowship starved.

It seems mostly Nigel and I have been spilling out our selves here, there must be an advantage to having more than one lose screw! But here is the question for you Nigel: could you share about your self without mentioning the leaves? No jewel making or classes, nothing you are taking or that bipolarity of which you’ve made a shield? Why would you want me to love the leaves that will fall with the next season?

And then it is true that we talk through the leaves but is there any trunk or flowers that we could also look at? Shed the Fellowship skin off and live anew?

8. elena - May 5, 2009

Forgot In2it, blind man and many more but the question includes even Somebody and Someone!

9. Tatyana - May 5, 2009

One from the Fence

I resonate with your words. I am sorry you have been so unpopular here, but I feel respect for you and I like what you write. I think I understand where are you internally. You consider FOF as the only support for your evolution, because you had experiences that were helpful in the past. If the ideas of mechanicalness and awakening from sleep still make sense to you – let’s talk. I noticed that for some reason you do not reply to my posts, so I am not sure if you want to talk. If you do let’s start from the beginning as if we did not read this blog: can FOF be good for one’s evolution? Or is it a harmful organization?

10. Tatyana - May 5, 2009

From the place when we decide to be aware, to be in the moment, not to be only a machine with it’s habbits, programing, opinions, features etc. – we are all equally beggars.

I went to my second meeting in GF last night and there I realized that what is important for me it is to have a support from people who are doing the Work. The Work is the only thing that matters – not the form, not belonging to the organization. I met people in FOF who are sincere in the work and I met people outside FOF who are sincere in the work. What organization is more helpful or less harmful I don’t yet. All I know is that I appreciate meeting people who are working on themselves, because it helps me.

11. The FOFion - May 5, 2009

Hundreds Leave After Burton’s Comment

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Several hundred followers in the Fellowship of Friends promptly handed in their membership cards Tuesday morning when they heard the group’s leader, Robert Burton, tell them to “take nothing seriously but your aim to awaken.”

A spokesperson for the group called the comments by Burton a “major” breakthrough in promoting healthy psychology and healing.

“I’m rather shocked Burton would say this,” the former member said. “I don’t think he understood the ramifications of telling people to take nothing seriously but their aims to awaken. My first thought was, ‘Why am I subjecting myself to his abuse and wasting my adult life in the FOF? Why not just leave if it’s best to take ‘nothing’ seriously but my aim to awaken?”

Burton initially had no comment. But he later released a prepared statement: “You see, this is how students lose the school: formatory thinking. Of course, non-identification is a key to awakening, but I never told anyone it was alright not NOT be identified with the school or with me. Don’t identify with other things, but it’s an absolute necessity that students remain identified with me and the school. I mean, otherwise they would leave, right?”

Many former members said they wouldn’t take Burton’s comments seriously.

12. fofblogmoderator - May 5, 2009

#5 is newly moderated

13. Yesri Baba - May 5, 2009

6 Elena

“No one has ever told me that I too am a creator. Was it only I who was brought up in a time in which one was nothing until one became famous or rich, powerful or conscious? Only I that opted to die without attempting to live, defeated by the task before being willing to try it, revolted by the already obsolete and inhuman conditions?”

The thing to see is that we are also the creator of our limitation. We build the bars of our movable cage. we build the personas of those we interact with, we build the famous, the rich and the powerful. There is only one conscious being. There is no ‘out there’ out there. You are always-ALWAYS- right here shining through the mind.

14. Yesri Baba - May 5, 2009

“…that he, the Teacher, used to put a cassette tape in his mouth to help stay awake…”

It worked so well that now he uses a cock.

15. Yesri Baba - May 5, 2009

The DLE Crystal Wand has the same effect when holding it with two hands. The intensity of sensation is very pleasant and more subtle than with the gold hand electrodes.

Conscious Bob here. Please send two cases pronto. The gold hand electrodes are worn to the nubbins and no longer vibrate at the level of my new anal being. You got any with the crystals on the outside too? Cost is no problem. I still got loads of cash coming in, but I do miss the chunk of change from that douche that sells that crap on the internet.

16. Bares Reposting - May 5, 2009

“having one’s own spiritual advancement as the focus of one’s life is totally self-absorbed, and hence self-centered at a more hidden level.”

I remember, back in about just before 1998, there were these crisis meetings at the Fellowship of Friends headquarters in Oregon House, California, because there was a resource shortage and a Ming furniture collection that was not selling, worth tens of millions of dollars, supposedly. Ming rich, cash poor. (Ming ming ming ming ming ming ming ming ming!) Lincoln Lodge/Apollo d’Oro was closed. (How were people going to eat?) And other problems, like law suit(s) settled out-of-court for millions of dollars. Apollo Operations Group (AOG) meetings trying to find ways to combat the Olivehurst Gospel Assembly (OAG. Read more here: http://www.rickross.com/reference/fof/fof11.html) actions – was one way to look at it. California’s fall was imminent. There were these meetings to get prepared, where people talked about how we would pull through helping each other and being generous, etc. (More of the usual ‘supercelestial thoughts; subterranean actions.’ In all honesty, there were some well meaning and acting folks.) We were not a selfish bunch of people that, when really bad times came, it would not be a ‘me-first’ (a play on the mi-fa) interval. So, one truth speaking quiet person got a chance to chime in, as suggestions from all and anyone were sought. Seldom did that person say anything. They said something like: Pretty much everyone in the Fellowship of Friends came there with the primary purpose of getting consciousness for themselves. (Little did they know what that meant!) At least that was the way it was for the speaker (honestly), and in many many years, the way for almost everyone that they had met there. These people did not come to give consciousness from themselves (as if they could) to others. In other words, first line of work was paramount, and second and third lines were subject to falling by the WAYside, so to speak. Prime directive: selfish purpose ‘at a more hidden level.’ (Ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching! Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. It’s a Wonderful Life. (Where’s my Baccarat wine glass?)

Yesri Baba, didn’t you mean a cock-a-two? Donations are being accepted to add to the zoo. There’s just not enough birds on hand.

17. Renald - May 5, 2009

14 Yesri Surely that was a typo? Did you mean cork?

By the way another species of animal will soon be named to be added to the animal farm collection.
From a headline:
Turkey says clan feud led to attack that killed 44

Or does that mean that there already are 44 turkeys flying around the Galleria ?

18. Bares Reposting - May 5, 2009

Ooops, bad link, bad bad link, that was supposed to be:
Read more here:
http://www.rickross.com/reference/fof/fof11.html

19. Associated Press - May 5, 2009

I know this is event was very sad but the AP original headline read:
44 Killed in Attack on Engagement Party in Turkey

BILGE, Turkey — Eight men suspected of gunning down 44 people during an engagement ceremony were arrested Tuesday, accused of killing the betrothed couple — whose wedding they opposed — along with relatives and friends in a 15-minute rampage. . .

20. brucelevy - May 5, 2009

5. Kiran

Oh please. Kiran, you’re no less the massive narcissist than you were fifty pages ago. Why not forgo the camera and just stand in front of the mirror, smiling, for the rest of your life.

21. brucelevy - May 5, 2009

5. Kiran

And how presumptuous of you to think that something that isn’t right in front of your smiling face must not exist anymore. Or that you even apprehend the thrust of what’s happening here (at least part of the time).

22. WhaleRider - May 5, 2009

kiran:
In his own words:

“As in every other field of life, here too there are many people who want to benefit from the suffering of others by selling their medicine, devices, or therapies without proper warning about the widely unknown success rate (speaking of his product, in particular?), or the non-comparable nature of the methods and theories involved in comparison to that of established science.”

I vote we continue to keep the blog non-commercial and resist attempts by anyone here to profit from the suffering of others.

The link to kiran’s “newsletter” is a marketing ploy. He’s been warned before, but apparently he has a short memory or thinks we do.

I would gladly embrace a discussion of his philosophy and perceptions as long as he agrees that we are all on a level playing field here and not potential customers for his snake oil.

“Inergetix supports the idea of Mind/Body dualism.”

Don’t get me started…

23. brucelevy - May 5, 2009

22. WhaleRider

…and maybe restrict your photo archive to those that don’t have YOU in them.

24. The FOFion - May 5, 2009

Yet Another Policy Change: FOF to Apply Idea of ‘Self-Observation’ to Itself

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — After nearly four decades of discussing self-observation in terms of individual weaknesses and personal human traits, the Fellowship of Friends has finally applied the idea… to itself.

“Of course, we’ve always talked about the value of self-observation,” a spokesperson said Tuesday at a news briefing. “But we’ve often forgotten how the idea is inevitably connected to the groups to which we belong. How can we see ourselves if we don’t see clearly see what we are a part of?

The FOF will immediately begin looking at itself with a critical eye — as individuals must do to see themselves more clearly.

The spokesperson added: “If we don’t see the blatant denial, vanity, dysfunctional behavior, and malignant narcissism in the group we belong to, there’s not a chance we’ll see it in ourselves.”

25. The FOFion - May 5, 2009

Burton Shocks Meeting Attendees, Says ‘Mistakes Were Made’

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Robert Burton shocked meeting attendees Sunday by saying, “I might have been wrong once” and, “Mistakes were made.”

Almost everyone in attendance left the meeting immediately, and some of the attendees expressed disgust at Burton’s comments.

“We need a leader who is infallible and beyond reproach,” a follower said after the meeting. “If he starts admitting he’s wrong, it’s sort of a buzz kill. It blows our sense of superiority.”

At the meeting, Burton reportedly said, “It’s possible that people outside the Fellowship are living meaningful lives and are receiving spirtual guidance — perhaps by higher beings. It’s possible that I’m wrong that we’re the highest school on earth since the time of Christ, and that I’m a man No. 7 or 8. These are just theories, and I can completely understand why people sometimes think I’m delusional. It’s possible that mistakes were made in the Fellowship — by me especially.”

A few students were still in shock after hearing Burton’s comments.

“I realize he’s just being honest, but that’s not what I signed up for,” one follower said. “Sure, I know the earth may be filled with world views that promote an acute spiritual awareness and understanding, and that many people live meaningful and productive lives out there. But I’m not here to think about that stuff.”

26. nigel harris price - May 5, 2009

7 elena

When I was ‘recovering’ on my return to the UK, having left the Fellowship, C—–a P—–k wrote to me and said that I “was more than a silversmith”. And you have asked the question about “Where is my self other than my craftwork?”. The point is, and again you mentioned it, that the Self is Creative and must find Expression. Gurdjieff actually stated that the Self, the Master or Real ‘I’ is Essence grown up. Why do I now teach that which I took all those years to learn? For me, it is easy to see that Essence is TANGIBLE – you can feel it ‘vibrating’ in a person. It is their joy in their chosen work which ‘infects’ (dare I say it) others and helps them in the positive processes of the Universe. Some of my students actually say I am a Master of My Craft and I would say I am nothing without them, those I am so needy to which to pass on my knowledge. Do you not think that this is where REB went wrong – I feel he has nothing of himself and has only borrowed ‘techniques’ – witness his Bernard Berenson imitation. If this does not answer your question, or you feel others would be ‘enlightened’ by my posting further explanations, please ask…..Nigel.

27. James Mclemore - May 6, 2009

WhaleRider said

“I vote we continue to keep the blog non-commercial and resist attempts by anyone here to profit from the suffering of others.”

I agree.

I had been thinking about ordering my very own set of Parabolic Crystal Domes until I read Yesri’s post about the Crystal Wand, and then that just ruined it for me.

28. elena - May 6, 2009

Yesri: The thing to see is that we are also the creator of our limitation. We build the bars of our movable cage. we build the personas of those we interact with, we build the famous, the rich and the powerful. There is only one conscious being. There is no ‘out there’ out there. You are always-ALWAYS- right here shining through the mind.

So true and also, we free our selves from ourselves!

It’s good to hear more of your voice.

Nigel, no need for further explanation. I heard you well!

29. Josiane - May 6, 2009

One from the Fence (and all),

I am not sure whether you are serious about re-joining FoF, getting these long-time bloggers going, or if you are confused enough to sincerely ask for help in your own special way. Personally, I have recently come to the realization that everyone needs a belief system. Even if we think we don’t need one, that, in itself, may be a belief system. All belief systems are, by their nature and in my view , subjective, that is, they are created by subjective minds. In that light, some of what is happening on this blog is comparing and defending belief systems: Robert is a criminal that should be brought to court. FoF is a school of evolution. FoF is a rape factory. FoF produces higher states in its participants. Robert is a fraud. FoF is my family. Then, we move on beyond FoF and start sharing our newly found belief systems, such as Oneness, Zen, any New Age teachings that make us feel good and secure. I am all for feeling good and secure and I am also all for exploring new ideas and concepts, with the understanding that when one does that one needs to watch for the tendency for it to become a new belief system.

So, where to go from there? Perhaps just acknowledging one’s human nature would be a start. Then, following one’s conscience. We may not be able to escape the trap of belief systems, but what about conscience? Isn’t that what tells us right from wrong? For ourselves, not from authority?

Time to go feed the cat.

30. michael - May 6, 2009

“If I verify that it was Robert’s true intention that these things be taken rigidly, than that would be and indication for me that his teaching is false.”
___

One From The Fence ~

Isn’t this the sort of ‘heart-logic’ that keeps Faith faith-full and Belief believable, leaving out the growth of the self-sufficient individual and personal consceince?

IMO, you’ll never prove that ‘his’ teaching was false until you prove that your identity as a student was just as false, if not more so, so far as the journey is concerned. Maybe even that ‘true and false’ are also ‘wings’ to shed and leave behind in the dust?

Not to say that there are regrets or time lost, not at all, just that trying to prove the FOF and Robert as false without first finding yourself in that self-made-brier-patch is an impossibility and an esoteric hobby you’d (IMO) be better not creating newer plastic designs for yourself to glue together and airbrush:

Could it be that in what you wrote, you’re giving yourself an incalculable ultimatum, one that is not so far from those that others here on the blog were possessed with as ‘Babes in the hood’ (me too BTW)?

Maybe this ‘task’ to return to the FOF to “verify” is your conscience’s shadow boxing?

I feel you’ll find everything you need inside the attitude belonging to the tough “If” that you’ve proposed to yourself and also, if Everything isn’t enough, then you’ll find even more in the wish to pursue an impossible verification-task in the FOF a second time.

When something moves from the subconscious to the conscious, does this ‘travel’ make it so ‘holy enough’ to worship? After all, the mud isn’t the lotus and the lotus isn’t the mud, although there’s an agreement between the two that’s far greater than their wedding pictures.

There are so many good people you could visit without knocking down the house so to stand up the door.

31. sallymcnally - May 6, 2009

7 Elena: Things are going so fast lately it’s sometimes hard to breathe and I am out of words just trying to observe my worldview from a place of caring for myself and others. That keeps me pretty busy. Silence is sometimes the best recourse.

32. WhaleRider - May 6, 2009

“Where to Go From The Present”

“The dialectical perspective offered here is not merely an intellectual romp. It is a way of ((consciously)) raising the level of abstraction, enabling one’s point of view to be more inclusive. It does not separate process from content, and thus takes movement ((between poles)) into account rather than reifying abstractions into static, separate entities. ((asleep vs. awake))

Viewing individuation and merging dialectically, i.e., the closing and opening of boundaries, the self-centered and the selfless, and multiplicity and unity, can bring a deep shift in the human psyche-if this level of discourse does indeed fit the way things work. One very good reason for thinking things do work this way is that it explains why attempting to eliminate one side of a polarity has never worked. ((ask Jim Bakker))

The seeming oppositions listed above (and others, too), when conceived only within an either/or framework ((good vs. evil, awake vs. asleep, those in the “Work” and those not)), depict a universe where each side of the polarity struggles with the other for ascendency. So the more selfless one is, the less self-centered (and vice versa). ((The more awake one is, the less asleep.)) This has been the basis of all renunciate moralities.

The concepts “selfless” ((or awake)) and “self-centered” ((or asleep)) are both abstractions, as they each abstract only an aspect of a whole living person. They are both abstractions that have meaning only in relation to each other. ((One aspect cannot exist without the other.))

Perhaps the most basic polarity is between unity and diversity, the One ((I)) and the Many ((I’s)). The animistic worldview did not have the abstractions to separate them. Polytheism glorified in diversity, populating its world with a multitude of powers. Monotheism constructed a hard dualism between the One (God) and the Many (God’s creation). And finally, the ideology of Oneness conceived the idea of unity by abstracting it from diversity; it then valued only that pole through claiming it more real. ((and thus promoting an unhealthy doctrine of self-sacrifice for followers))

Viewing unity and diversity as dialectically embedded is a more inclusive abstraction that gives as much importance to individuals as it does to their participation to the whole.

Dialectical conceptualizing may appear more difficult partially because it is different for the usual way the mind is trained to think. It is more demanding, as it involves an alertness to an ever-changing context.

The seeming simplicity of the binary mode of thinking is a product of artificially slicing reality in two. ((real vs. imaginary)) The ensuing distortions are the legacy that we must begin to unravel. ((and how!))

Dualistic thinking simplifies life because it permits the construction of rules that can be learned by rote and mechanically followed-“This is good, and that is bad.” It is this outmoded either/or morality ((and thinking)) that is now casting its shadow over the world ((and the FOF)).

A prerequisite for real change is a vision for the future that is not merely reshuffling of old forms ((as seen in classical art or cave paintings)). This can only occur through alternative constructions of the Word coming from a process that is not authoritarian. ((BUT BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF MANY))

For only by reframing the symbol system and the values it generates can the view of possibility also change. The old order does not relinquish control of the symbol system ((or cult language and frames of reference like “teacher/student”)) easily, for to do so is to cede control itself.

We view the real struggle today as involving who controls the Word.

What’s at stake is not only the shape of the future, but whether there will be a future for humanity at all.”

~The Guru Papers (1993)

33. Another Name - May 6, 2009

Thanks Sally

I resonate with the above.
I am somehow not so inerested in talking about myself.

Busy working on a local party with lots of music.
May 16…..

Hug to all of you

Celebrating life
With lilacs fading
Plenty of roses
Green cherries appear
No peaches yet
Sooo green and clean
This May fifth
happy May 5th and 6th and 7th and the rest of your life.

34. veramente - May 6, 2009

29 Josiane
….All belief systems are, by their nature and in my view , subjective, that is, they are created by subjective minds. In that light, some of what is happening on this blog is comparing and defending belief systems: Robert is a criminal that should be brought to court. FoF is a school of evolution. FoF is a rape factory. FoF produces higher states in its participants. Robert is a fraud. FoF is my family. Then, we move on beyond FoF and start sharing our newly found belief systems, such as Oneness, Zen, any New Age teachings….
————————————–

I hope it is clear that Robert BEING criminal is not part of a belief system. It is a fact, objective if you will.

I would not go so fast into other thought systems (spiritual authoritarian models) after leaving the FOF!
Good luck in finding your inner teacher.

35. in2it - May 6, 2009

Josiane, when you call the personal accounts on the blog and the evidence against Robert Burton a “belief system,” it’s denial — or as we used to call it in the fof, a buffer. But the word “denial” is much more to the point.

You’re not alone in that denial. I’ve been there. And a lot of people who have left (not just the fof, but other cults as well) hold to the notion that spending time in their cult was a good thing. It’s classic. We don’t want to believe or acknowledge how bad things are, or how big a mistake it was. We don’t want to acknowledge that we fell for a con, and that someone played upon our weaknesses.

But we did fall for a con, and someone did play upon our weaknesses. That’s not a belief system; it’s an uncomfortable truth. We spent our decades in the FOF calling it “just an ‘I'” or “identification,” or whatever — basically dismissing any criticism of the FOF and Robert Burton as “false personality,” and we lobbed one “work” term at it after another, which made it a lot easier to stay.

Time to get past that.

36. in2it - May 6, 2009

By the way… there’s that “we” again. Obviously, for some the denial was not as great, and for others was much greater. But keep in mind that I use the term “we” because my “belief system” is that anyone who spent time in this cult — the Fellowship of Friends — was harmed by it in some way.

37. WhaleRider - May 6, 2009

“Epilogue”

“Behind the masks of authoritarian power is the idea that there is some greater intelligence ((usually outside of ourselves)) that knows what’s best for others. What this always amounts to is that someone either claims to have that intelligence, or to have a direct line into properly interpreting it.

Its most extreme forms occur when moral superiority is linked to infallibility ((and unchallengeablity)). The image of the guru represents the epitome of its construction, which is the reason for this book’s title.

Often included in this is the corollary that the authority cares more about your well-being than you do, and can do so because of being selfless. Whether or not a state of ultimate selflessness or infallibility is achievable by anyone is debatable. Then too, there is the question of how anyone could be certain someone else really is in such a state.

What is clear, however, is that obeying others because they claim to be morally superior, or have an inside track to the truth, not only breeds corruption and lies, but removes people from personal responsibility.

We view humanity as a whole as struggling with the necessity of leaving its adolescence behind ((not regressing into a child-like state in the FOF, and abdicating personal responsibility)).

Another necessary element in becoming an adult is realizing that ultimately others cannot know what’s best for you. Authoritarian power, whether political or ideological ((or religious)), has been the major form of ((thought)) control throughout the history of our species’ childhood and youth.

This includes looking for a savior to make things right. The very idea of a savoir ((father authority figure)) contains the assumption that such a person knows what’s better for you than you do, thus making whatever the presumed savoir says unchallengeable.

The savior approach to problem-solving not only keeps people ((or cult followers)) childish, it is the basic mode of the old authoritarian paradigm. It has also justified the greatest violence and abuses.

The old paradigms all have some authority-be it leader, wise man, guru, avatar, representative of god, or prophet-((setting the agenda)) and telling the rest of us what life is about and how to lead it. How to replace this old methodology that we are outgrowing is a major issue facing humanity.

The past by its nature has a strong pull-a weighty authority and an implicit credibility. This is the power of custom, habit, and tradition, for existing paths take less effort to follow.

It is natural to believe the answer still lies in the old solutions, but that they just need to be done better ((with more presence, dear)), or implemented with more forcefulness ((do it or else you get the boot)). This is a reasonable course until if becomes clear that trying to utilize old forms better makes things worse.

That point has been reached, and so the past no longer holds the key.

When old paths lead to a dead end, the solutions that worked become part of the problem.

This is why the need for a paradigm shift is in the air.

Where to go from here must come from the interacting perspectives of living people exercising their will ((and power)) not only to survive ((independently)), but to create a world where there is a future.

Hope lies in the possibility that our self-destructiveness is not our true nature, that we have the intelligence and courage to change even the deepest patterns, should this be necessary. It is now necessary; and fortunately change is propelled by confronting a dead end.

The old systems of belief, morality and also of the way power has been constructed, defended, and used have served humanity to bring us where we are today, but are no longer serving ((our evolution)). They have become self-destructive. Authoritarian hierarchies structurally not only produce corruption, but the likelihood of those on top using those below uncaringly.

This book does not offer programmatic solutions in the form of specific content. ((That’s up to us, right here.)) It does offer a different way of conceptualizing both the problems and solutions.

First and foremost, it aims to show that if the process of change is authoritarian, it is not change at all. Seeing more clearly the hidden nature and pervasiveness of authoritarian beliefs can itself undermine their power.

The construction of such a morality is the job of all of us. But if its basis is authoritarian, it will necessarily breed the same old self-mistrust and callous use of people ((or cult followers)) in the name of some unchallengeable “higher” principle.

It could be argued that it’s too utopian to expect ordinary people to look to themselves as the bottom line of what’s right, and also to care sufficiently about the state of the world. It is true that this has never occurred in the world-but then it never had to ((we’ve been stuck relying on authorities like Burton to do it for us, when he’s really only been looking out for his own perverted self-interest)). We are stuck in the outmoded beliefs and methods that give us no idea of our potential.

It is not that people need to mover toward personal responsibility, mutual respect, and care in order to become or feel morally better. It is rather that we need to do so simply to survive.

If, as we assert, current problems are a function of outmoded authoritarian beliefs, this is truly a source of hope: Self-perpetuating structures depend totally on beliefs ((fourth way or otherwise)) that live in people’s minds. Although beliefs tenaciously resist reorganization, should they change, the changes can come swiftly, with extraordinary repercussions.

For us, hope lies in the possibility of moving beyond our authoritarian past in order to build a future which values keeping this planet habitable for its interwoven and interdependent life forms. If the challenge is met, the world will have to be a better place for those living in it, because for the first time since the early small bands of humanity’s infancy, everyone’s well-being is once again linked with survival.”

The End and The Beginning.

~The Guru Papers

38. sallymcnally - May 6, 2009

for anyone interested:

[audio src="http://finerminds.s3.amazonaws.com/arjuna-ardagh/arjuna-and-vishen-interview.mp3" /]

39. Daisy-Jane - May 6, 2009

Not long before I left (late 90’s) St_v_n Da_b_ck called me over and said “You’ve been observing the school – you can’t do that!”

Talk about BS. Thats the ‘authoritarian’ power system speaking.
Never give up your natural power to descriminate!
Or you will get stuck in a stupid cult.

40. michael - May 6, 2009

Thank you Whalerider ~

For me there’s no doubt that I did not have the “personal responsibility” needed to (not) join the FOF: It’s a Catch 22 yes? And very, very moot: That those with no personal responsibility had to first try to plant in fields of salt and then learn so to move on and grow that ‘PR of the self (?) That some innate lack or need attracted the form of our particular ‘family’ and even the form it took for those who ‘Did not know about the depths of all of the FOF’s shadows.’ Even the not knowing was relevant to the kind of ‘student’ the soul was ‘in’ at the time (IMO).

I have found that ‘thinking’ there was an ‘esoteric conspiracy’ and still is (is) a form of denial, denial of the past and the present circumstances within me and my private time.

While to me ‘now’, all of this ‘planting’ seemed very subconsciously initiated, some industry that took root because I was I reading then and not the story’s page now (?)

Personal Responsibility: I do not mean the practical skills to make money and manage a budget to get through life, instead it’s something more emotional or concerning self-worth or the ability to gain/have enough self-trust to take care of myself while being presented with the state of utter aloneness, [that] in a mysterious way doesn’t come ready made or taught to stick with us in a fundamental scheme as we grow and change.

It’s interesting to look back and to see how ‘Good Householder’ never included the humanity-seed within us (empathy, charity, forgiveness of ignorance, tolerance, etc.), nor did it include ‘The Others’ who weren’t ‘savvy enough’ to subconsciously keep that seed from sprouting, that it could have been a pathology of the magnetic center, that we “Knew too Much” to really know what to do At-The-Time (?)

Even Robert seems to still be winging it and winging it never gets better than it was when it started flapping, though the erosion sure looks convincing, i.e., that the Time it took to effect those around its flapping is somehow ‘antique’ and worthy of thicker and thicker bullet-proof protection… It isn’t is it? Because wandering through a museum full of Plexiglas cases is a lonely tactile experience…

The Blog is helping and not afraid to handle ‘priceless clay.’

Personal Responsibility also seems to concern promises we made to ourselves down deep long ago and even oaths our dreams-to-be took and the promises those pledges implied… Are our childhoods ever done with us?

Sometimes it seems that many ‘this or that’ perspectives assume that there’s a ready made person waiting to be called upon to demonstrate what is/was morally right and to clearly see with ‘common sense’ what is/was archeologically wrong in the past and even in a ‘possible future’ that’s feared to become that same flawed Past, adding to its weight and influence…

Though somewhere in there is me, the once addict of the ‘I need the We to not be Me.’ And this ‘me’ isn’t really anything truly static enough to judge with common sense, while a hot stove to an errant bare hand always will be…

I have yet to fully convince myself that what was ‘wrong’ with the FOF ‘back then’ was not exactly parallel to what was ‘wrong’ with me or that there was not a symbiotic relationship between myself and the FOF, i.e., I was Narcissus and the FOF was the pool’s reflection I was trapped in, while Echo was my conscience (something like that)…

To surely say with aloofness that ‘something’ went utterly wrong is no longer an option for me so far as separating my feet from their prints, calling the ones that are solid and still attached to me ‘mine’ and the hollowed out indention(s) the Earth’s fault or the effect of something beneath me (or beneath another) and how I was ‘forced to walk’ or ‘fooled into dancing for a king-pauper.’ I played the fool because I did and that’s pretty much the gist of it.

As someone who actually lived the Guru Papers before ever knowing it was written from my actual life experience I can only wish that it serves as an Inclusion of the Reader into the cause and effects of the Cult-We and not a scope or bayonet: Because sometimes showing what was wrong with our make-believe-family through an ‘objective’ third party agent can further deepen the armor-thicknesses and resentment of the factory that’s somehow producing us willy nilly.

It’s not to say that Warning Signs are not helpful, just that every once in awhile someone who cannot read and who is near sighted will stumble into a radioactive wasteland with rototiller and seeds in hand and homestead it.

It’s odd that ‘war’ is factored into ‘peace.’

It’s a romp for sure and I hope the Guru Papers doesn’t become an actual name rather than a title of a book about many of us, though not the silent part in us, the part that cannot ever say anything 100% authentically sure about all of this that’s at its soul’s electronic fingertip’s periphery…

Still, after trillions of words, no one knows where the acorn came from.

41. in2it - May 7, 2009

Michael, Whalerider’s words, and the Guru Papers’ words, may sometimes FEEL like a “bayonet” because they challenge a deep set of attitudes which were conditioned into us — and that we allowed ourselves to be conditioned with. We can look at it like a bayonet, or we can see it as a sharp pain that alerts us to something being seriously wrong.

To get to that healing part, we often need that sharp pain. If there’s no clue that any healing is needed, or that anything is wrong, in general not much healing is going to happen. The Guru Papers, and this blog, help with that imo, and have helped me with that.

If we ARE looking for health and if we are making a sincere attempt at spiritual well-being (whatever that might mean to each of individually), one thought — one important thought imo — is that we need to get past the That’s Negativity Paradigm that plagued us in the Fellowship, and that plagues all cults, and that in many ways plagues society at large when there’s a march to an unjust war (for example), and when a few assert control and betray the trust of the people.

See through all the jokes and sarcasm and In Your Face Truth on the blog as an offering of love.

It’s just that if you don’t believe healing is needed, or that health and well-being are important (I think people do believe that here, which is why they are reading and/or contributing ), then it will seem like a bayonet.

But it may easily be a ray of light and the road to healing, good health, and strength.

42. WhaleRider - May 7, 2009

California Cult Moves to Legalize Dissent

Yuba City (Urp!)- In another of a series of bizarre developments over the past few months, Robert E. Burton, spiritual authority figure (and soon to be zoo-keeper) for the Fellowship of Friends Pathway to Presence Church of Esoteric Christianity, Inc. has taken a positive step to legalize dissent and open debate among his followers and his increasing number of dissenters.

The announcement was made today that during this year’s annual “Journey Froth and Funds Fleecing Event”, a public debate about the merits of his so-called teaching will be held at the cult’s building code-violated open air theatre.

The price of admission for members has been set at $12,000 per seat, $11,999 for non-members. Visa, MasterCard, and American Excess Cards are welcome. Many are expected to shun the event.

“Bring it on!” Burton was quoted as saying, “Show me the money!”

The exalted cult leader himself promises to take a cushioned seat at exactly 4:44PM for forty-four minutes with anyone who has the stomach to debate him over a set of pre-screened topics ranging from, “How no sense makes sense” to “The spiritual benefits of Viagra and other enhanced awakening techniques,” (as long as his opponent has not been previously legally bound to silence due to an out of court settlement) while he speaks softly over a loud speaker system and his opponent has to shout out his or her challenges and responses over the deafening sounds of silence from his shamed community.

Critics see this as a desperate move to raise funds as a result of the recent economic downturn, coupled with a dwindling roster of high paying American followers.

Also, in a related development that some see as a further indicator of the economic times, the cult also announced today a $25 “snooze tax” levied for each incidence of any follower caught using the word “blog” or mentions the two words “guru papers”.

Love,
WR

43. michael - May 7, 2009

in2it ~

I am not sure how you figured that the “bayonet” ‘feeling’ was directed to Whalerider or the Guru Papers (?) Though, well, as I said, I hope that it (including all of Whalerider’s work) serves as Inclusion and not ‘refined war’; (if) it refines the reader’s warring, then this is no fault of the author or even the reader, it’s all in how a person wants to read into something or add themselves in between the lines: No fault implied, you rolled with it as you saw fit and that’s what the blog is also about…

The “That’s Negativity Paradigm” ~ Yes you’re right, though that’s not the paradigm I was swimming in while writing to Whalerider: we paradigm one another’s supposed intentions all the time and leave little room for innocence, plainness and neutrality: the blog is a blessing to all, even to those who will not read it because it means that there’s still a mirror on the wall somewhere that has yet to speak and that (IMO) can only be good news…

44. Jomo Piñata - May 7, 2009

Show me the money! Awk!

45. veramente - May 7, 2009

39 Daisy-Jane
Not long before I left (late 90’s) St_v_n Da_b_ck called me over and said “You’ve been observing the school – you can’t do that!”
————————————
The devil knows the truth, or he made a pact with the Devil.

46. nigel harris price - May 7, 2009

elena

A little more about the Self and Bi-Polar. A poster stated that in hypo-mania one is nearer to the Self and when one is depressed one is nearer to the social or Non-Self. I certainly know I am less judgemental in hypo-mania – more likely to see other people as ‘charcters’…..Nigel.

47. in2it - May 7, 2009

“You’ve been observing the school – you can’t do that!”

A bit creepy. Reminds me of this exchange in “2001: A Space Odyssey”, when the men aboard the ship began to realize their computer, HAL, was seriously malfunctioning:

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Dave Bowman: What’s the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

Like HAL, you can almost hear the circuitry in people’s brains short out (mine included, at one time) when someone mentioned anything uncomfortable about Burton or “the school”. If you start going down that road even a few steps, removing yourself is just a matter of time. So you don’t go down that road. And generally you don’t want others going down that road, either. They’re more than welcome to leave, but just don’t tell anyone why, that’s all we asked of people who left. Please don’t tell us why.

48. in2it - May 7, 2009

“there’s still a mirror on the wall somewhere that has yet to speak…”

beautiful analogy, michael.

49. in2it - May 7, 2009

Re: kiran’s argument (5) that writing to the blog is “blaming” and a “way to stay connected to what has caused suffering”.

This line of thinking:

1) is nothing new. It’s another version of the “dissent is negativity” argument that permeated/permeates the FOF, and that permeates all cults. The author, just like all of us, developed that view of the world in the FOF, because it was fed to us daily.

2) might be evidence that something about the blog makes the poster feel uncomfortable.

3) is built upon a false premise that any dissent or disagreement or objections are signs of unhappiness and displeasure and therefore signs of weakness — yet another effective idea for stifling dissent, because people often don’t want to appear unhappy or weak.

4) disregards the healing and therapeutic effects of talking about a negative experience with those who can relate to the same experience.

5) is built upon a false assumption or premise — that someone cannot express their dissent without being unhappy, and that someone cannot express their dissent without concurrently working to improve and enjoy their own lives, and find spiritual well-being. In many ways, if the dissent is offered without hatred and malice, the two work hand-in-hand and are inseparable.

6) is built upon a false premise that everything has been said that needs to be said, and that there’s no further value in expressing dissent, sharing ideas, and that we can’t concurrently point the way to something positive as we describe something negative.

50. Jomo Piñata - May 7, 2009

49/in2it

51. Jomo Piñata - May 7, 2009

49/in2it

Jomo Piñata likes this post.

52. morgan le faye - May 7, 2009

re: 49 in2it
BRAVO – Thanks.

53. brucelevy - May 7, 2009

49. in2it

7) Being a dick who’s in love with themselves is a prerequisite to starting one’s own mini-cult.

54. Jomo Piñata - May 7, 2009

Earlier experiences underlie later experiences. Seems like an obvious thing to say, but hear me out. Lots of people have the idea that we should leave behind our experience, dissociate ourselves from it in some way, and go on to the next set of experiences without “dwelling on” the experiences we just went through.

Surely there is something adaptive in that attitude, but it misses the fact that examining experience and forging a new perspective is also adaptive. There’s something to be gotten from looking back at what happened, reframing it, learning new ways to understand it, and looking back at it yet again. If we’re looking back at it, it means we’re grappling with it. That’s good. That means there’s something to be gotten from it. Our psyches wouldn’t dwell on old experience unless it held the promise of yielding something we need in the present. This, in my opinion, is why dreams kick up old experiences–they have something to say to us in the present.

In my humble opinion.

55. Yesri Baba - May 7, 2009

54 Jomo

Definitely. Keep digging at that fellowship experience. You will be surprised at what you unearth.

56. nigel harris price - May 7, 2009

A little more about the Self (mostly for Elena)…..

I remember working in a craft gallery in San Francisco and feeling guilty about being behind on my teaching payments. I was at the back of the gallery and there were no customers in the gallery. I really wanted to be taking a course in jewellery work at Alan Revere’s Academy (that was My Self expressing it). But, Oh, no, it was necessary to try to become current with one’s obligation to the Fellowship. Trouble is, I kept going into my own business until such a time when making money for the Cult became an impossibility…..Nigel.

57. WhaleRider - May 8, 2009

tatyana:
A while back in ancient blog history there was a FOF supporter named Howard Carter who posted his “unchallengeable” belief that consciousness and imagination functioned like oil and water…that they are completely separate and mutually exclusive states. It’s a fair assumption that this belief is rampant among FOF members, from top to bottom, and derived from the Fourth Way literature.

I disagreed with him then and still do.

In light of the issues discussed in the Guru Papers, this belief appears to me as an excellent example of polarized, dualistic thinking. Carter believes, as many, if not all FOF followers do, in making futile efforts to resist imagination which he labeled as sleep (a negative) and expand consciousness which he labeled as being more awake or present (a positive).

It is clear to me that this practice (labeled spiritual) of focusing on one side of human nature invariably leads to a perpetual state of inner conflict and self-doubt within an individual, rendering them in a vulnerable and disempowered state, dependent upon some authority figure to define what constitutes “being present”, whether that is by adhering to the practice of not showing one’s teeth while smiling in public or attempting to remain at all costs in the hyper-vigilant state labeled, “self-remembering,” seemingly oblivious to the past and future.

I’d like to discuss human consciousness (sleep + presence) from a dialectical perspective, meaning a more inclusive stance than exclusive.

For me, consciousness and unconsciousness have equal power; you cannot have one without the other, AND there is a little bit of each embedded in the other.

I call it the “yin and yang” of consciousness. If you are familiar with the yin and yang symbol, then you know what I mean. I have great appreciation for the harmony, balance and symmetry of the yin and yang symbol as related to human awareness. It feels healthy to me. (And I see it everywhere these days…!!!)

In my expereince, an imbalance in either direction spells psychological problems. On the one side of that scale too much “consciousness” through the practice of ‘self-remembering” can lead to narcissistic behavior and on the other side too much “imagination” can lead to psychotic (or overly zealous) behavior.

IMO, mental health can be seen as a balance of both, the middle path, or as I jokingly once wrote, not the higher or lower self, but the “middle self”.

So, in consciousness there can be a little bit of sleep and in sleep there can be a little bit of consciousness, and yet they are both equal parts of the same whole.

The “Work”, as you still like to call it, IMO lies in managing how much sleep there is embedded in my consciousness and how much consciousness there is embedded in my sleep.

I have accepted about myself that I have no lasting control over the larger light (conscious) and dark (unconscious) aspects of the yin and yang symbol within myself, nor do I desire that kind of control; I only seek to master control over the smaller parts of the light and dark aspects within myself that are embedded in the other.

One way I seek to establish greater presence in my unconsciousness is through the practice of meditation (self-reflection, although not of the narcissistic kind…)

Either way I am aware of myself. I take that as a given that will only change when I die and presumably cease being aware. Whether or not there is an afterlife, I will never know until I get there.

What will be left of “me” will be the results and reverberations of my actions in the sea humanity, including my children and my children’s children, and so forth, assuming they all procreate.

It is a healthy morality to want the world to be a better place for children, which includes being free of the fear of man-made or imagined apocalypses, wars, too much pollution, and of course, sexual predators. That’s the kind of group of people I want to be part of. I hope you find what you are looking for in the Gurdjieff Foundation that you haven’t found in yourself.

58. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

57 (bus # to my dad’s house) whalerider

I have a yin/yan symbol on my Celtic Shaman jacket! It was given to me by a little anorexic girl called Kirsty while in the ‘asylum’ once. And I agree about the conscious/unconscious thing. However, I have no progeny but go along with Whitman – “I scoff at what you call dissolution”…..Nigel.

59. Another Name - May 8, 2009

Dear Josiane

I am not sure if everybody needs a new belief system?

I have need for authenticity, healing fom the fof and rearranging my life and be real..true to myself and I mean realy true to myself.

For an increase awareness Bruce Lipton, great interview and his book or his audio book is very inspiring. The biology of belief,

Hug to you and lots of healing and hope your heart speaks to you what your needs are.

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/blipton.htm

60. Tatyana - May 8, 2009

57 Whalerider

thank you for a clear and personal message. I am glad that you have this understanding. I also hope I will find in GF what I am looking for, but I do not have high expectations at the moment. Neither do I have a commitment. It is not easy to trust anymore…
What is important for me now is to live my own life and to find my own balance and my own truth without immitation, fear, and programing of other people and systems.
I grew up in the Communist Russia, joined an esoteric school founded by Russian man and ended up in American cult where I spent 15 years, and now I live under American programming, trying to fit (which is no easy!) I need to find my own way. Myself. And this is what I am doing.
I wanted to study the 4th Way when I was 20 and when I joined FOF I was told that it is the 4th Way and it has a direct lineage to Gurdjieff. Now I know that it isn’t so. Well, may be GF has something, they are the second generation so to speak… I saw photographs of Lord Petland (that one to whom RB gave a pillow) with Mr. G and not at the Sunday brunch at the rose garden – they were close friends and partners. Gurdjieff trusted him to lead the work in America.

I believe in traditions which is not at all American thinking. I noticed that in America modern thought has all the power and tradition almost does not exist.

Thanks again for talking to me, I appreciate it a lot.

61. James Mclemore - May 8, 2009

WhaleRider –

First, thank you for all the work lately – lots of great posts.
While ‘my take’ on seeing what I/we ‘can’ do, is different in some ways than yours, I strongly agree that the procedures taught and used in the fof of trying to struggle against imagination and the so-called King of Clubs, and which pass for observation or enquiry, is an error that does actually tighten the contracted state that it appears I am already in.
The quote below is not something I am selling or pretend to completely understand. In fact my own ideas differ from it, but it is I think useful as another way to look at the idea being sold in the fof as observation and ‘self-remembering’. It has been posted a couple of times. It is a quote from Chogyam Trungpa.

“Self-remembering is quite a dangerous technique, actually. It could involve watching yourself and your actions like a hungry cat watching mice, or else it could be an intelligent gesture of being where you are. The whole point is that, if you have any idea of relationship-I am experienceing this, I am doing this-then “I” and “this” are very strong personalities, equally. Somehow there will be a conflict between “I” and “this”. It is rather like saying that “this” is the mother and “I” the father. With two such polar extremes involved you are bound to give birth to something. So the whole idea is to let “this” not be there, and then “I” will not be there. It is not a matter of telling it to yourself, but of feeling it, a real experience. You must take away the watcher, the observer of the two extremes. Once the watcher is removed, then the whole structure falls apart. The dichotomy remains in existence only so long as there is an observer to keep the whole picture together. You must remove the watcher and the very complicated bureaucracy he creates to insure that nothing is missed by central headquarters. Once we take away the watcher, there is a tremendous amount of space, because he and his bureaucracy take up so much room. If we eliminate the filter of “I” and “Other” then the space becomes sharp and precise and intelligent. Space contains the tremendous precision of being able to work with the situation in it. One does not really need the “watcher” or “observer” at all.”

62. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

57 whalerider

“the results and reverberations of my actions”…..

Now I see what you mean! And why it is so necessary to come to what many sages have called ‘right’ or ‘conscienable’ action. As you say, whether or not there is an afterlife (and for the ‘life of me’, I cannot see the point of lighting the candle of Life in this Life, only to have it put out at what we call Death, since, if we can believe in Angelic Intervention, having verified it for ourselves, why can we not become Angelic in the Spirit World ourselves?) we need to find a Joyful Work for the sake of Others – our children (in your case), our friends, or in my case, my fellow craftspeople and students. It never ‘felt right’ being in the FOF and yet it was part of our Fate – let us heal ourselves (as 59 Another Name says) and continue in our journey of Delight in Pure Action…..Nigel.

63. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

60 tatyana

Trust ‘traditions’ – methods that are ‘tried and tested’ – a bit like inheriting your mom’s recipe book, which was handed down from her mom and her mom before that. You will find that traditions are ‘good earth’ – fertile for producing the sprouting of your Seed-Self – with no fear of Imitation (which the FOF used to tell us was the Path to Enlightenment – the new student copying the actions of the older student, and so on) and allowing Your Soul to soar to the heights of Humanity. Whether or not you will find your way in the United States, I cannot tell (personally, I was inspired by the almost ‘reckless way’ in which small business was carried out there and am influenced by it even now, even though my business in California was doomed/fated to failure) – are there other countries you think you could settle in, that are less extreme? Only you can answer your own questions, in the long run – if you truly live those questions…..Nigel.

64. sallymcnally - May 8, 2009

#59: Another Name. Actually I was looking through the interviews available on that website, Conscious Media Network, and found an interview by a former student Ph.lip Mo.ntr.se who is teaching an emotional release technique. Small world huh? Not sure if you knew him. Aloha

65. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

60 tatyana

I probably do not have to tell you this, but beware of any Californian who is trying to sell you something!…..Nigel.

66. michael - May 8, 2009

“I noticed that in America modern thought has all the power and tradition almost does not exist.”
___

Tatyana ~

For the most part, particularly in the Oregon House-FOF-bubble, this aura of American tradition was extinct, i.e., frozen and tugged up North by a ghostly, revengeful Titanic and sunk because it was not the ‘form’ of the affirmations needed to keep expectations high, slick, ungraspable and high-heaven out of reach…

The only one in the FOF high school who has a diploma from ‘the school’ is its ‘Principle’ and that’s a little spooky…

I’ve found that I find and experience more “American Tradition” in others when I stop looking for my expectations and self in them. (No implying here: Just that it works for me to uncamouflage their hearts, hearts that are often overshadowed by my desperate blowing up really big my own so to be noticed, administered to or ‘safe’ at their expense.)

There are so many silent feathers rustling about in peoples kitchens at 4AM in the morning: I mean, everyone is ‘working’, something is happening to everyone and they are ‘in it’ looking out, undeniably experiencing something that is so Holy and mysteriously unpredictable that no amount of living or dying on this planet for tens of thousands of years has ever been able to postpone or put on hold the sounds they make, the scissors of the Fates, the stomping of the Graces, the crackling high blood pressure prancing of the Four Horsemen and the sounds we make when we’re successfully born into the airy world one more time as this love we’re trying to take with us everywhere we are sent to go…

67. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

In America (and California, especially) you are free to…..

…..rip people off for every cent you can get.
…..cheat on your spouse.
…..own as much real estate as you can get.

…..and so on…..Nigel.

68. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

Despite that the motto of my mother’s clan ‘Wallace’ is ‘Pro Libertate’, I found the lyrics of Neil Sedaka’s song, ‘The Immigrant’ to ring true, since I was ripped off by unscrupulous employers, incompetent lawyers and, of course, that cult, The Fellowship of Friends……….

Harbours open their doors to the young searching foreigner
Come to live in the light of the beacon of liberty;
Plains and open skies, bill boards would advertise;
Was it anything like that when you arrived?
Dream boats carried the future to the heart of America
People were waiting in line for a place by the river

Chorus
It was time when strangers were welcome here;
Music would play they tell me the days were sweet and clear;
It was a sweeter tune and there was so much room,
That people could come from everywhere

Now he arrvies with hopes and his heart set on miracles;
Come to marry his fortune with a hand full of promises;
To find they’ve closed the door they don’t want him anymore,
There isn’t anymore to go around.
Turning away he remembers he once heard a legend,
That spoke of a mystical magical land called America…..

It was time when strangers were welcome here
Music would play they tell me the days were sweet and clear
It was a sweeter tune and there was so much room
That people could come from everywhere

It was time when strangers were welcome here
Music would play they tell me the days were sweet and clear
It was a sweeter tune and there was so much room
That people could come from everywhere

69. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

In the movie, “I, Robot”, Will Smith’s character says to the ‘good’ robot…..

“Maybe that is what freedom is…..fulfilling one’s purpose”…..Nigel.

70. Tatyana - May 8, 2009

Nigel,
I don’t know where I could settle in, nor do I have a choice at the moment. Maybe the whole point is not to settle in, not to belong, be free… If I had a choice, I would travel a lot. I like Europe, so I would probably be somewhere there.
You are right about mom’s recipe book. A lot good recipes were lost due to a tendency to oppose the rules and question traditions and authorities. On the other hand if you stick to only one tradition you’ll only eat ‘one kind of food’ all your life, when in America you have an access to all kinds of ethnic foods… which is good if they are authentic and not a ‘california version’ of them.

71. veramente - May 8, 2009

I like your post (57) Whalerider!
The Yin and Yang of the opposite poles of consciousness without labeling them, playing with anything in between, and self correcting what we know it is for our best interest: harmony, peace of mind, a good life that includes other people and much more.
I agree that in general we, (can I say we?) must stop looking for big answers outside ourselves especially if in the process we get to become punitive to our nature, our being human.
I have this motto for myself in regards to any spirtual or philosophical approach: if it makes me feel guilty, it stinks!
yes, I grew up Catholic😦

72. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

70 Tatyana

Some of the ‘teachings of the system’ are correct – think about intervals; there are times when we live with what we have been given – that is the notes between intervals and then at intervals we must make the best use of those ‘Kairos Times’. It all depends on our ‘inner strength’ and the power of ‘our innermost wishes and dreams’. With both those ‘inner things’, we have the chance to either jump a little off the ground or to soar like The Angelic Beings. NEVER STOP DREAMING!!!!! With all love…..Nigel.

73. brucelevy - May 8, 2009

The Matrix

my name is Meo(w)

74. Jomo Piñata - May 8, 2009

71/Vera

yes, I grew up Catholic😦

I’d be interested to hear your reflections, if you want to share them, on how patterns in your upbringing, especially those around guilt and obligation, mapped onto your FOF experience.

Have you read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by the way?

75. WhaleRider - May 8, 2009

james lemore:
I’d be interested in hearing how you say your ideas differ from Trungpa’s in the quote that you posted

For me, despite his good looks, Trungpa’s point of view illustrates one of the many long traditions of spiritual authoritarian hierarchies that promote a dualistic, renunciate morality of selflessness over selfishness. (Now where on Earth would I get an idea like that?)

Gurus like this claim to have “arrived” at divine Oneness, speaking as unchallengeable authorities about rewards now and in the afterlife, by having somehow detached or overcome their human selfishness.

I don’t believe that is possible.

Despite all his many renowned accomplishments, famous students, and all his efforts at embodying oneness, Trungpa led a double, seemingly compartmentalized life.

From Wikipedia:
“His controversial career is characterized by his style of “crazy wisdom” by his Western followers. He drank, smoked, slept with students, and often kept students waiting for hours before giving teachings. Much of his behavior has been asserted as deliberately provocative and sparked controversies that continue to this day. He was known for his drinking of alcohol.[19] Before his coming to America, Trungpa, while under the influence, drove a sports car into a joke shop in Dumfries, Scotland. ((no joke)) He was left partially paralyzed and often in need of assistance to walk. On some occasions he was carried off-stage for being too drunk. Physically weakened by years of heavy alcohol use, he died in terminal stages of heart failure at the age of 48. One of his nursing attendants reports that in his last months, he suffered from incontinence, distended belly, discolored skin, hallucinations, varicose veins, gastritis, and esophageal varices — classic symptoms of terminal alcoholism and cirrhosis — and yet he was still drinking heavily.”

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem like enlightened behavior to me, it seems like unhealthy self-destructive behavior, and I’m sorry, that paradoxical “crazy wisdom” defense doesn’t fly with me any more. There just seems to be too much of that “do what I say, not what I do” syndrome going on, and I start gagging.

In all fairness, the morality behind “we are all one” is that since we are all one, we should treat each other with respect and care and peace and love, just the way we would like to be treated, not in such selfish manner, like we are all related in some way. Sounds fine by me. The question is, do I need to make it my religion or is that just employing common sense?

I can get all the “we are all one” philosophy I need by observing nature through my own eyeballs and the “Web of Life” on this planet in this world (that we all have our boots in right now), not just in some other world on a different plane, in a different dimension, that only certain special people have gained access to. I ought not to have to meditate for hours on end to get “there” either, not while there’s wood to be chopped and water to be carried.

Hey, I can get into the Web of Life. It makes perfect sense to me; I can see it in action on a daily basis. It’s in my self-interest and survival to think that way. I’ll play my part.

So why would I want to pay someone to remind me that in the bigger, somehow more real, “objective” world all my hard won individuation is worthless in the grand scheme of it all? (I know that’s not what you are suggesting, james.)

The dialectical take is that yes, we are all individuals and we are all connected, both are true and equally important. That”s ecology and self-sustainability. Think globally, act locally. Seems like a no-brainer to me…a win-win situation, and I like win-win.

Common sense informs me that it is in my self interest to make selfless sacrifices for the community’s greater good, and at the same time, I must accept responsibility for myself to make sure my own individual basic needs are getting met, too.

So I willingly sacrifice my time and effort to perform some right action to benefit the community and then I can buy enough shelter and calories to live on and that makes it a win-win for everyone. Seems like a plan to me. Do I really need a cult to do that?

Trungpa points to the dualism inherent between the subject (the “I” doing the observing) and object (whatever is observed outside oneself.) He says, “The dichotomy remains in existence only so long as there is an observer to keep the whole picture together. You must remove the watcher…” Is that so?

I disagree with him when he says, “One does not really need the “’watcher’ or ‘observer’ at all.” That’s not true. I don’t believe it is question of need. There is no choice. IMO, if you aren’t observing through your eyes, you’d be dead or asleep.

Well, with all due respect, my mom used to say, “Watch where you’re going or you’re headed for a fall”, and I going with my mom’s advice.

What, apparently Trungpa wasn’t observing or watching all that alcohol he was drinking until it snuck up and clocked him?

If your eyes are open and you’re alive, then your brain is taking in images and assigning them meaning whether you like it or not through whatever “filter” you want to call it, be it through an ideology of self-absorbed “selflessness” or something else you contrive.

In the philosophy of “Oneness”, there is no subject or object because we are all one with the universe and there is no real “I” since it changes like everything else and eventually gets absorbed with everything else into this great big vast Oneness. That’s bigger picture, the gurus are telling us.

So by abstracting out the idea of Oneness from the world of the multiplicity of individuals, gurus claim that other world in the bigger picture is more real. Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t.

Ultimately, each of us must define for ouselves what is real.

Again, I don’t think “work” on one’s selflessness includes engaging in self-destructive behaviors that lead to one’s early demise.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. What do you think?

76. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

75 whalerider

“…..I’m so glad it’s you” (Annie on the telephone to Ray in ‘Field of Dreams’)

For me, this blogsite is a way to communicate somewhat with ‘survivors of the cult’ and in other ways to offer and receive stimulating assistance to one another. I feel close to you, whalerider, inasmuch as you are an ‘expert’ in the mental-health field and I am someone who has undergone, undergoes now and will in the future undergo mental-health difficulties (this full-moon has put strain on that, with friends, banks and clients ‘messing up’ my financial equilibrium – which is why I wanted to turn on my computer at this GMT late hour and receive sustenance for My Soul).

Whalerider, as with you, I am a little perturbed about Trungpa’s notoriety (I had not heard of him previously) and tend to sway more to your philosophy of existence (which in my interpretation is an explanation that there is both ‘in-ness’ and ‘out-ness’ of our being – the Organism experiencing the Universe and, as I describe it to myself – The Guest of the Pineal Gland, standing aloof “both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it” [Whitman]). What guides us? Our connection to the Godlike Nature? Is it conscience? And, after all, what is that – is it within us? – Can we develop it? – Right action? Right thought/feeling? I have no answers of my own to give you. I FEEL I AM LIVING A GREAT AND GLORIOUS RISK BUT THE UNIVERSE, THROUGH HUMANITY, IS SUPPORTING ME. May we be conjoined by the wish to support the Essential Nature within each of us…..Nigel.

77. nigel harris price - May 8, 2009

76 UNION? Who knows?

78. James Mclemore - May 9, 2009

75. WhaleRider

WhaleRider – Thanks for thought provoking post. I am getting ready to go out for the evening, but I will get back to you. For now, I will just say that I knew nothing of Trungpa’s personal life (sounds like he may have been a mess), and as I said it was not a post that necessarily reflects what I think on the subject of observation or enquiry, and watchers and witnesses. In retrospect I think I possibly used a poor example of something in order to bring to light what I see as a potentially harmful error in the fof’s teaching of those things.
I really do appreciate your post and when I have a little time I will try to share with you a bit more of what goes on inside my little world.

79. nigel harris price - May 9, 2009

whalerider et al

Why did we join the Fellowship of Friends? Was something missing from our lives, or were we truly seeking a Higher Reality, or maybe both were true, given that we may have had a feeling of dissatisfaction with the life around us in those ‘preparatory’ days? And now that we have ‘survived the ordeal’, as it were, do we turn our back on the aims we set for ourselves all those years ago?

I wonder, for myself, why it was not possible for me to ‘exit the FOF’ in a mentally/emotionally ‘composed’ fashion and why there were those 14 years of instability before putting my feet on the first steps of the ‘jewellery teacher ladder’. The phrase “STATES” comes to mind inasmuch as something concerning the spiritual journey had to underlie what I now have. I have never felt so confident and yet so ’emotionally supple’ with regard to the way I treat my interractions with family, friends and my students.

I would dearly love to hear others’ stories on this subject…..Nigel.

80. James Mclemore - May 9, 2009

Hi Whalerider –

Let me begin by getting out of the way all the places I agree with you, and to tell you that after being here for almost 50 pages now, I have come to admire your heart and the compassion that comes from it. You are one of those who make me think and dig into things a bit.

You said:
“Gurus like this claim to have “arrived” at divine Oneness, speaking as unchallengeable authorities about rewards now and in the afterlife, by having somehow detached or overcome their human selfishness.I don’t believe that is possible.”

“and I’m sorry, that paradoxical “crazy wisdom” defense doesn’t fly with me any more. There just seems to be too much of that “do what I say, not what I do” syndrome going on, and I start gagging.”

“I can get all the “we are all one” philosophy I need by observing nature through my own eyeballs and the “Web of Life” on this planet in this world (that we all have our boots in right now), not just in some other world on a different plane, in a different dimension, that only certain special people have gained access to. I ought not to have to meditate for hours on end to get “there” either, not while there’s wood to be chopped and water to be carried.”

I thoroughly agree with all the above and do not wish or think we need to pay anyone for anything either.

Now back to Mr. Trungpa…….

You said,
“I disagree with him when he says, “One does not really need the “’watcher’ or ‘observer’ at all.” That’s not true. I don’t believe it is question of need. There is no choice. IMO, if you aren’t observing through your eyes, you’d be dead or asleep.”

The term ‘spiritual materialism’ has been used on the blog many times. This is from Wikipedia:

“Spiritual materialism or spiritual narcissism are terms used to describe mistakes spiritual seekers commit which turn the pursuit of spiritualism into an ego building and confusion creating endeavor.”

What I was trying to point to in my post is, as I see it, a form of this ‘spiritual materialism’. It creates an even more exacerbated split than was already there and sets up this ‘watcher’ character and then there is the stuff he is going to watch. In the fof it does become like a ‘cat watching mice’ as they watch this fictitious ‘lower self’ etc. It sets up a no-win situation of a seeker who cannot truly find anything and will feel that he is failing or not working hard enough, and yet still produces that ugly sort of ‘specialness’. Even in groups not led by a sociopathic con-man this same thing seems to happen. To me, the ‘watcher’ that Trungpa is referring to, and what you are speaking of are two different things, but I could be wrong. The one looks to me like a dispensable construct of the mind, and the one you are speaking of is actually who we really are, and yes, if that goes away, it would mean we have ‘folded up the tent’ of the time/body and we would be dead.

As to Trungpa’s character defects I was not aware of all that stuff in his personal life. Had I known that, I may not have used a quote from him to try and get where I was going, at least not on this blog. I agree that he sounds self-destructive and had a bunch of baggage. One question that arises for me, is does this completely cancel out things he may have written or said that may have brought people benefit. This seems like touchy ground, especially when I still read about people on the GF who say that they had a wonderful time and learned a lot in Burton’s cult. I think if we learned anything in the fof about ourselves it was because of each other and in spite of Burton.
When I first left the fof in 1979 (no blog / no GF) some of Chogyam Trungpa’s writings were quite helpful to me as I made a difficult and lonely transition out of the cult. I have found some things he has written helpful to me several different times over the years. He is, by the way, the person who coined the term ‘spiritual materialism’. Now none of that benefit that I received excuses the guy of anything, and it is sad that he had this tragic and self-destructive side to himself. That in itself does not negate what I may have gotten from his writings. (And I know Whalerider that you did not necessarily imply that). I guess what I mean, is that if I found out the the author of the Guru Papers had been engaged in some sort of ‘immoral’ or self-destructive behavior, I would still consider the Guru Papers a very valuable tool.

WhaleRider – you said,
“So by abstracting out the idea of Oneness from the world of the multiplicity of individuals, gurus claim that other world in the bigger picture is more real. Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t.
Ultimately, each of us must define for ouselves what is real.”

I am not sure of all you are saying or implying with that. Leaving out the “gurus claim” part, It does seem to get down to whether or not there is something real and accessible, and yet beyond or at least unseen or unrecognized by most inhabitants of the planet, including me. It appears to me that Jesus was pointing toward something, as was The Buddha, and Rumi and a number of others; and that there is something (a living experience?) behind the terms ‘Christ Consciousness’, ‘Liberation’, or ‘Awakening’. This is not to say that a church or school or system or tradition or guru is needed, or that we have to pay anyone, or that it is anywhere other than right here right now inside of us, or that there is anything special required. As to your last sentence, I will have to admit to sort of having the suspicion that our definitions may not be needed at all. But I could be wrong, and like you said “Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t.”

I know I have not addressed your question as to the differences in my take on ‘witnessing and observing’, but this already feels awfully long. Since I do not seem to be able to write anything short, perhaps it would be better to try and write to you personally with that stuff. I do think that if we want to continue the discussion on the parts that have nothing to do with Burton and the fof, that maybe we could do it at the GF or through private email, just so we do not take up blog space.

Love to you Whalerider – my email if you wish it is jmsmclm@gmail.com

81. michael - May 9, 2009

“I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem like enlightened behavior to me…”

Whalerider ~

Thanks for that: I’ve looked, traveled, met a few and read about many of those “enlightened behavior(s).”

Somehow the only one that is still as predictable and closest to my expectations is me and the not-me’s in me, I believe this goes for everyone else who finds the looking for the ‘resonating profile’ in themselves, i.e., the outline that only they themselves may one day step into, no one else…

Do we doubt others claims because we ourselves are trespassing on our own now-consceince? While it seems that even those who are said to have been ‘perfect’ (Jesus) attract conspirators (Judas), and even have them eating at the same table: so, the globe spins and spins and what we are in we’re in…

I have yet to find (Meyer Baba included) a soul in a human body that doesn’t inhabit on a daily basis some idiosyncrasy that ‘I’ would consider uncomplimentary to their declared oneness with themselves and the cosmic whole: (The “oneness” that doesn’t match, hide or compliment my own expectations, shortcomings and contradictions in myself and my ‘situation’ As-Is…

I wonder, while writing to you, who are ‘we’ to ‘SEE’ another as ‘only one’ and speak of them as a framed painting that they’ve hung in a museum while being an event coming to fruition in the painting, when in a greater actuality that ‘one’ is swimming in our eye’s retina? And possibly ‘caught our interest’ as a small spark due to our own self interest in remedying our daily-dualism (?)

Maybe dualism and contradiction are not ‘wrong’ or indicators of ‘no oneness’, perhaps these ‘exist’ as the curvy line, i.e., what makes Yin and Yang together and one (?) What if the very standards of oneness is keeping us from seeing it?

Is a person’s ‘need to be considered ONE’ any more or less contradictory to Now (and seemingly flesh-destructive) than another’s ‘deed to be considered ONE’ Now? I wonder some more…

Somewhere in my heart there’s a voice that says Trungpa is Trungpa is Trungpa is Trungpa, like Jupiter is not Pluto because Pluto is, who is now not even considered a planet (?) When I cease looking for others end-claims of enlightenment to begin my own comparing of self to them or strengthen my own doubts about their daily successes (for what reason it is so deeply dark words cannot relay), then their footsteps are perfection squared:

I owe it to what’s not the tennis match between the Left and Right hemispheres in and about me, to say, ‘Yes, the tennis ball is hollow otherwise it would not bounce; Trungpa is Trungpa is Trungpa and here I am looking at Trungpa because he’s looking at me, he’s IN my life as an integral part of me.’

Every day the body dies a little more, though the gloss in our eyes remain Immortally The Looker and this I believe is one of the fundamental subconscious contradictions we’re electronically struggling with.

Maybe we do not want to see/accept anyone who’s closer to The End of the book we’re so enthralled with reading?

Hopefully our expectations of one another will change someday when Eternity is given its due fruit-place on our molecular family trees (?)

Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Orage: all big drinkers too and it could be said to have ‘hurried them where moles have shadows.’ No less, they were in love with what we’re still falling in and our special sort of I-drunkenness will be ferreted out by Time soon enough…

82. brucelevy - May 9, 2009

80. James Mclemore

I don’t think it’s a weakness to be able to glean useful information from a asshole. They’re lightposts that were put there along the way. The problem is our propensity to believe the lightpost when it says “I am the Way”. They believe their own bullshit, and for various reasons, good and bad, one tends to believe them, and worse..feed their bull shit until it become this symbiotic parasite/host scenario, with the two interchangeable roles bouncing back and forth. There’s no dearth of fools to be fed upon by sociopaths and narcissists.

83. brucelevy - May 9, 2009

I may seem cynical but I feel that anyone who puts themselves up as a “teacher” has some serious shit they’re not dealing with. The real teachers SIMPLY live who they are, and those with eyes to see can gain something. Otherwise they’re just lightposts, and nothing more, but often far less.

84. James Mclemore - May 9, 2009

brucelevy 82 & 83

Yes. I like the picture of a lightpost you use. There is a lot in those words, “The problem is our propensity to believe the lightpost”. Hopefully we slowly, but surely, learn to just use what light is there and go on our way. The light itself never belonged to the lightpost anyway.

85. James Mclemore - May 9, 2009

81. michael

“and our special sort of I-drunkenness will be ferreted out by Time soon enough…”

I like that. It is very nice to hear your re-incarnated melodic voice.

86. WhaleRider - May 9, 2009

James Mclemore:
“…is something real and accessible, and yet beyond or at least unseen or unrecognized by most inhabitants of the planet…”

As in the unconscious mind, perhaps?…the unseen part of our being that has been shadowing us all along, the part we have been dodging, the part we need to make peace with if we desire to know ourselves as whole people instead of as halves?

BTW, my I-drunkenness is ferreted out each night while I dream.

87. James Mclemore - May 10, 2009

86. WhaleRider

“As in the unconscious mind, perhaps?…”

Sure. I have no allegiance to any particular names or words, sacred- sounding or otherwise. I do wonder who is the ‘we’ that will ‘make peace’ with it.

88. Yesri Baba - May 10, 2009

Bruce,

“I may seem cynical but I feel that anyone who puts themselves up as a “teacher” has some serious shit they’re not dealing with. The real teachers SIMPLY live who they are, and those with eyes to see can gain something. Otherwise they’re just lightposts, and nothing more, but often far less”

I don’t know that I entirely agree with the first part of that statement. There are some that consistently point by sayind ‘you are the way’ but I think if you set yourself up as a teacher you are going to have some serious shit you better deal with.

The second part I do agree with. I know I have learned more from those people than any ‘teacher’.

————————-

As for the watcher and watched or oneness and multiplicity, the origin and solution of this conundrum is as clear to my sight as the nose on my face and there is not a chance in hell I can communicate it to anyone. I am sure there are many here that understand that for themselves and forgive my foolishness.

This ‘crazy widom’ stuff is bullshit. If someone is engaging in crap and hurtful behavior, it is just that. You know it and I know it immediately when we see it. If we don’t point it out and stand against it we are cowardly weasels.

89. brucelevy - May 10, 2009

88. Yesri Baba

Maybe. But I don’t trust the “you are the way” people anymore than the “I am the Way” people. They’re all selling something. They’re coating some cosmic rules and laws and facts that are readily available with bull shit and fluff. They’ve always been available and they’ll probably always be available. Fuck the middle men, except for the occasional and useful slap upside the head. They always drop a few truths in the bottle of snake oil.

90. WhaleRider - May 10, 2009

James Mclemore:
“…who is the “we”?” What do you mean? Are you alluding to state of we-lessness?

I’m going to go with the we as in your particular James Mclemore brand of personality that you (as in your individual cellular life force acting in your own best interest) have been polishing up over the years there AND that back parking lot you happen to own of memories and associations that your body has faithfully recorded since before your eyes first opened. They don’t always get along. Stuff comes up. Shit happens. You still have to make a living and self-destructive behavoirs are counter-productive in the web of life.

I find my meditation deepens when there is inner harmony. On the other hand, some of my most creative projects have been mounted during times of deep angst…

91. Yesri Baba - May 10, 2009

89 Bruce

OK, I’ll buy that.

92. James Mclemore - May 10, 2009

90. WhaleRider

“…who is the “we”?”

Exactly. And I am not trying to be cute. I simply mean I think that is one of the most powerful questions that can be asked.
“We-lessness” just sounds like a philosophy or an idea that ‘we’ might cook up.

93. veramente - May 10, 2009

74 Jomo
I’d be interested to hear your reflections, if you want to share them, on how patterns in your upbringing, especially those around guilt and obligation, mapped onto your FOF experience.

Have you read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by the way?
————–
Thank you Jomo, this is useful introspection, I’ll try sharing some of my thoughts later when I have a some more time.
I did not read Joyce’s book, but now I am curious.
Wonder what it’s in there and I’ll check into it.

94. michael - May 10, 2009

“If we don’t point it out and stand against it we are cowardly weasels.”
___

Yes, and we’ve done allot of both, no? Yesri Baba, I agree wholeheartedly with you, some of us lean against lampposts while eating till they eventually fall over, some burrow underground and disconnect their ‘power supply’ while others just pull it up like Neo in the Matrix and start swinging… I guess the more I understand how it is that my particular darkness was subterraneanly attracted to the lampposts of Oregon House, the better I can shine for fundamental reasons and not ‘special ones’ and not for the sake of seeing myself in others, if you know what I mean…

James Mclemore ~

My grandmother once said to me when I was a teenager, “I can’t wait to see Christ the Lord.” And I replied, “And when you do, then what?” See starred at me with a quizzical look, and I believe that it is that sort of look which lasts in the soul forever…

Rock on!

95. Yesri Baba - May 10, 2009

94 Michael

“…the better I can shine for fundamental reasons and not ’special ones’…”

Funny thing, the fundamental reasons turn out to be the special ones. I guess that’s how they became fundamental.

I must be getting old.

96. Yesri Baba - May 10, 2009

“…who is the “we”?”

Let me see if I can explain this:

You see we have a wee me and a BIG me.
If you subdue wee me and become BIG me you are transformed into
PIG me and suck wee nie.

I must be getting young.

97. Yesri Baba - May 10, 2009

One correction and disclaimer.

should be: pig ME

I want to be clear that I do not think that sucking weenie is bad. Almost every time someone has sucked my weenie it has been a positive experience.

I have a big problem with someone distorting a philosophical system to lie, entrap, coerce and abuse creating his own little weenie sucking factory.

98. ton - May 10, 2009

from the late-great, frankly speaking zappa, dedicated to some of the lamp posts and would be lamp posts….

99. ton - May 10, 2009

this social critique might be a little more to the point in the case of the fof: ‘what kind of guru are you?!’

100. nigel harris price - May 10, 2009

yesri/whalerider/jamesmclemore

For me, the experience IS both the watcher and the watched, inside and outside – stimulus/impression and response. Then there is that
Special Gift of The Guest, the Godliness which may come in this lifetime or lifetimes hence – by struggle with life and ourselves and not by adhering to a ‘pseudo-system’, although we may apply systematic efforts that we have found to be useful in books, organizations and things our peers have suggested.

bruce, especially

My students call me Nigel, not ‘sensai’, or Master – that is how I like it. For me, the term ‘facilitator’ (one who makes it easy) fits my sense of myself well. The point about any way of learning is that the one teaching must make sure that learning is ACTUALLY taking place. With that criterion determined, you are all cordially invited to Studio 6, in the Redearth Open Studios event, to see the wonderful work that my students do (I am serious about how beneficial it would be all round!). For details:-

email aprhys@nigelprice.net
landline 0 (11) (44) 1392 462103

As a taster, visit the Academy of Precious Metal Arts website at:_

http://www.apma-uk.co.uk

Thank you all for allowing self-expression to alleviate my stress on this powerful full-moon…..Nigel.

101. nigel harris price - May 10, 2009

Hey! I did a Ton (100 – FATE) after two tons. Silly old blog-site…..Nigel

102. veramente - May 10, 2009

74 Jomo
I have some difficulties in talking about my upbringing in a heavy religious context.
I’ll do my best Jomo and perhaps a little at the time.
There is however a strong similarity with Joyce’s Artist environment in his early education. There is also the hot topic of sex and the clash between the natural instincts against the heavy morality.
While I was falling in love with boys my age and breathing in and out Catholicism 24/7, I was confronting the strange issue of having to integrate experience of incest and also some “groping” from a priest who was doing confession for me in the church.
The last example was kind humorous in a way.
The incest was protracted for several years since I was 5 or 6 and through my very early teens.
I think I know the feverish and pathological energy in a person who has weird sexual appetites.
In one of the early pages of this blog I recounted a dream I had about Burton and the meaning arrived much later when I was reading it to my husband who knows my story pretty well.
I’ll find the dream to post here.
As far as guilt, oh my god, I was infused in it. When you are taught guilt as a way of life, you become hyper vigilant and always careful around people.
You must conform, learn to conform if you do not want to be shamed and shunned.
I was perfect food for the cult, I learned the rules very quickly.
More later.

103. nigel harris price - May 10, 2009

102 veramente

I had a ‘firm but fair’ upbringing from my parents. Both of them had kept their ‘virtue’ until they became married and I know that, even though they had (often alcohol-fuelled) fierce tempers and would ‘spank’ me for wrong-doing, they really loved me and nothing sexually ‘indiscrete’ happened. I went to a boys-only boarding school from the ages of 11-16 – which gave me a great education but built up my already intense fear feature – and although I had crushes on girls in the local girls school, I was reticent to take anything further (I think, when I look back on it now, that there were ‘bolder’ boys who could talk ‘like radios’ and I know I had really nothing to say to people – underdeveloped in both essence and personality). I had non-commital relationships later in my twenties (Yes! You guessed it! Life women) and became more relaxed around the feminine gender. I had, and still do now, a fierce hatred of arse-kicking women (both in and out of the FOF). There is still no special lady (good luck or bad – who knows?) but plenty of ladyfriends.

As an aside, I think Burton did not make moves on me, because he knew I was ‘straight as a metre-rule’ and would have told him where to put his ‘wandering weenie’. I’d like to hear more about you…..Nigel.

104. WhaleRider - May 10, 2009

James Mclemore:
“I simply mean I think that is one of the most powerful questions that can be asked.”

You mean second only to, “Who am I?” right?

105. nigel harris price - May 10, 2009

104 whalerider

You know, most people never ask themselves that (important) question, “Who am I?” (Funny, I just loaded a compilation CD and on came Al Jarreau’s cover of Elton John’s “Your Song”)…..

In fact, all the rest of my family have been ‘do the right thing/watch what others think of you” people. It is a highly advanced individual who puts these things aside and goes for the ‘Self serving the Great Humanity’ Prize (‘Highlander’ – there is a sign of The Truth behind ‘fantasy’ movies such as these).

Isn’t it strange how the FOF taught the tenets of the 4th Way (in the early years, at least) – that it is possible to achieve the State of Selfhood, and yet, instead of promoting ‘the Body Electric’/’the Promontory of Experience’ (Whitman) it wound up instilling people with an absurdly contrived sense of community in which followers could not excel but only serve false personality (You can just imagine Burton telling most of his ‘friends’ – “You have financing in essence, dear”)

Anyone have other thoughts?…..Nigel.

106. James Mclemore - May 10, 2009

103. WhaleRider

They seem like pretty much the same question to me. I only used ‘we’ because of the phrase I took from your post about a ‘we’ who needed to make peace with a ‘something else’ inside of ourselves. It was not written with any sort of challenge behind it or to be argumentative. It just simply appears to me like a potent question and something or somewhere worth looking into (or is it ‘in to’ ?).

107. You-me-us-they - May 10, 2009

Michael, hello,

you wrote:
“What if the very standards of oneness is keeping us from seeing it? Would you say more?

In disorder, from here:
A “keeping us from” working quite well, so far !
The ‘can’t be looked at ‘and other ‘not grasp-able’…
for the mind and the senses scratching each other on the head ?

It is said that Oneness loves looking at itself…

108. You-me-us-they - May 10, 2009

Forgot:
It is said that Oneness loves looking at itself…

With no intention; nor purpose
(just in case)

109. fofblogmoderator - May 10, 2009

100 is newly moderated

110. nigel harris price - May 10, 2009

106/107/108

Great theories, you guys – but when You Are and When You Have Got It then there are no arguments and no need to explain Oneself – Just Being and Giving…..

“There was a man; they called him mad; the more he gave, the more he had” (Anonymous)…..Nigel.

111. Jomo Piñata - May 10, 2009

vera/102

Thanks for sharing this information which I think anyone would regard as heavy duty.

Would you send me a short note at jomopinata@gmail.com so I can send you a short private e-mail offline?

If you want to.

112. veramente - May 11, 2009

111 Jomo P.
You are welcome Jomo.
Yes the information is personal and heavy duty. But so is the content of the blog: Whalerider’s accounts of his encounters with Burton and countless others.
The outline of my experiences is pre-fof. I talk about this because for many of us who ended up in the FOF Cult, some of our early experiences seem to repeat in one way or another or to create a certain predisposition.
It all seems an intricate fabric with stories going forward and backwards.
I hope I did not cross some boundaries here by saying what I said.

I am not worried about myself, I use a blog name and I am pretty well over my past. The incest experience was also not violent physically speaking. But you do not need to be raped to become damaged. The confusion and loss of soul is what really happened then, and in some ways later.
It takes a long time to get better. You trust the adults, the “Teacher” to be having the best interest at heart. Instead it’s the opposite, they come dressed up like the big wolf in the grand motherly clothes, and they’ll eat you up! So true.

113. veramente - May 11, 2009

Nigel 103
As an aside, I think Burton did not make moves on me, because he knew I was ’straight as a metre-rule’ and would have told him where to put his ‘wandering weenie’. I’d like to hear more about you…..Nigel.
___________________-
Well Nigel, I am a woman, so fortunately no chance for his lurid advances.
He did try with my husband who was then my boyfriend. Thank god Burton failed.

114. James Mclemore - May 11, 2009

Veramente said.

“I hope I did not cross some boundaries here by saying what I said.”

I cannot imagine anyone here thinking or feeling that. If they did, then those were good boundaries to cross.

Love and the best of all things to you.

115. nigel harris price - May 11, 2009

112/113 veramente

Thank you for living up to your blog name – “of a true mind”…..Nigel.

116. michael - May 11, 2009

You-me-us-they ~

I felt, when I wrote that, many things: One was, that expectation for the tomorrow-self was/is a psychic-pathological sort of disease of the soul’s embodiment in the human-plant… If I look around all plants and animals have some peculiar pathogen all to themselves or fatalistic host; trees have termites, fields have locus, tulips have gophers and ‘we’ (among many more) have the tomorrow-self…

There are standards that work for me today, can round themselves up and stand alone as successful within a twenty-four hour period or less, then there are standards that are like taking degenerating drugs or drink, their spirits embody the immortality of idea and concept, not satiation, joy of the now-I and perception of My Day/Thee Day with unconditional autonomy, unconditional love of ‘How am I?’ Forget the ‘Who?’ it never answers itself and is set to keep the hemispheres playing checkers for eternity. Maybe that’s how god has figured out how to stay existing forever: life, death and seeds (?)

For me, right now, the standards learned in the FOF were never meant to expire and somehow my soul needs expiration dates these days, otherwise, well, the shopping for groceries in the dark experience would be just too much if there weren’t some fresh rewards in the now to set down with at the dinner table.

Before I left the FOF, many of the standards kept me in there, in the symbol of me, unconsciously dependent on and in the kaleidoscope of a family of lookers who looked like me, though ‘we’ could not help ourselves since help was not the issue, the ‘Us and Them’ is proof enough of this (for me). By staying in I stayed out of myself deeply: this isn’t to say that a sports fan is any better off, only that when you know, you know and learning how to take care of myself has been one of the most terrifying standards to build; nothing is ready made for us in this respect (IMO), though we’re “created equal” we spill and fill ourselves up at alarmingly different rates and ‘choice substances.’ No?

Oneness is waiting behind the complex tapestry I weave to protect it from the harshness that makes it worth protecting; though somewhere, sooner or later, that room where this game is played out has to let go of me, of my standing there in awe, because we won’t be humans forever: There’s a space between the two hemispheres where a fifth Ace card can fit, play that card, believe me, in this game down here, the left and right will never see it coming… My heart’s better off when I do not go to bed at night with Could, Should and Would.

In the FOF we loved to plan things, change things, even be things: did we ever leave Change alone for a minute and ask it what it wanted for itself?

117. michael - May 11, 2009

P.S.

If a standard takes me looking outside myself, then I know that I have left that standard and am being stood upon by something ‘else.’ When I am inclined to bring another down to make them more ‘normal’ or ‘not so one’ via my unmet (often improbable) standards, or what I expect from my life though do not have, then this ‘Trying to make the playing field level’ is dubious at best. Standards of/for Oneness are many, how ironic.

As for Oneness: So far I’ve never met anyone being Me.

118. Ill Never Tell - May 11, 2009

117. michael – May 11, 2009:

‘As for Oneness: So far I’ve never met anyone being Me.’

That’s because you are not being you.

119. nigel harris price - May 11, 2009

116/117 michael

As the Americans say, “You talk a blue streak”…..Nigel.

120. McMikey - May 11, 2009

Shri Meher Baba is very different than “Meyer Baba”.
Sort of like Jesus Christ is different than “Jesus H. Christ”.
Anyway he didn’t say anthing for 44 years and as I’ve said before, lessons have been cancelled.

121. jack - May 11, 2009

Hi folks
I have been fighting a severe depression for the last six weeks but am now at the other end of the tunnel.
x-ray do you still have the list to send out to that you posted previously it was on my computer which died.
If you can post it here or send me a copy I can begin sending the petition out.
If anyone else has time we could perhaps break the list up into chunks in order to make it go faster.
We are hopefully going to set up a paypal button in order to collect some cash to either pay for postage and hard copies or to pay the petition web site to send them out.
If anyone has any suggestions for destinations for sending it to they will be gratefully received.
All the best to all.
Ps just watched Whaleriders videos on You tube and would like to congratulate all involved.
Imo they were dignified, articulate, intelligent and to the point.

122. michael - May 11, 2009

X-ray ~

Jack asked me to ask you (on the Blog) to please list again “The list you posted some time ago.”

123. michael - May 11, 2009

Jack ~

I believe we posted at the same time, how curious is that?

124. You-me-us-they - May 11, 2009

Hello Michael,

“expectation for the tomorrow-self was/is a psychic-pathological sort of disease”
“By staying in I stayed out of myself deeply.”
“My heart’s better off when I do not go to bed at night with Could, Should and Would.”

Are you aware that this words (I could have off context-ed many more) could very well appear in some Nondual quotes site?

I appreciate the “taking care of myself” part very much.
I surely verifyied for myself that leaving the FOF = a deep and healthy return to basic “care taking”.
I discovered the necessity to enter what I call the “worthiness business” or what you might prefer to call “dignity”.

And truly, the “immediate effect” testing, in the very experience of life is great standard!

On your ps: “As for Oneness: So far I’ve never met anyone being Me.”
Boy, that one is a gem (for me)
Oneness created Michael but is not Michael…

That can keep Michael busy indeed…

Thank you Friend!

125. nigel harris price - May 11, 2009

God! What a confusing day…..Nigel.

126. James Mclemore - May 12, 2009

124. nigel harris price

Maybe it’s planetary. I had sort of a rough morning myself.

127. WhaleRider - May 12, 2009

What gets confused as a result of our mutual waking up out of the cult trance are: one’s personal boundaries.

Boundaries form the basis of personal integrity.

128. nigel harris price - May 12, 2009

125 James Mclemore

Typical of ‘stuffy old Devonians’, there was some uproar when the new Heavitree (derivative of Holy Tree, where criminals were hanged some centuries ago) Sculpture was installed. Personally, I am all for public art, especially when it ennobles the human spirit. These words were inscribed on the glass backing and pavement parts of the sculpture…..

“The world should lose her qualities if the celestial spheres should forget their wanted motions; if nature should intermit her colours and leave altogether the observations of her own laws: if the moon should wander from her beaten way; the times and seasons blend themselves by disordered and confused mixture: what shall become of man who sees not plainly that obedience unto the laws of nature is the stay of the whole world.”

129. nigel harris price - May 12, 2009

126 whalerider

I have an ‘inkling’ of what you mean by “boundaries”, but would you be so kind as to give us some idea of the direction in which your thought is leading, so that we might address the topic, which I feel is important. In my own life, for instance, I now have had my own apartment for over 6 years and it is my own little ‘inner sanctum’ and a ‘far cry’ from the unnatural ‘teaching houses’ situation. May this day bless you…..Nigel.

130. veramente - May 12, 2009

114. James Mclemore
Thank you for your message.
What you said reminds me that the worst thing sometimes is keeping secrets. Not even for ourselves really, but for covering up the real crimes.
The silence is not even a conscious choice.

Thank you for your good wishes indeed and for the love.
Many wonderful things have been happening in my life. I feel I am coming out of my cave and daring to be more of who I am.
All the best to you too.

131. nigel harris price - May 12, 2009

veramente/whalerider/james mclemore

All this talk about boundaries – perhaps the biggest one and the one that needs to be thought on greatly, is the sexual one…..

REB needs to be regarded as one of the most depraved, and unfeeling, sexual predators. Who, with any ounce of conscience, would have foreign heterosexual males marry eligible female ‘students’, only to be able to indulge in orgiastic ‘ceremonies’ with those males. Meher Baba used to talk about ‘chaste marriages’…..I think he meant that the marriage relationship was a deep one – one that penetrated and sustained, and was sustained by, one’s essence. That being the case, any ‘infiltration’ or violation of that relationship had every chance of damaging the essence of the perpetrators. I count myself lucky that I have many women friends with whom I can talk seriously or share a joke or try to sort out problems – it is almost implied that there is no likelihood of violating the relationship they have with their male-partners (married-to, or otherwise). It is not so much a ‘secret’ that I have learned or my stage in life, but I think anyone with a Solar-Artist ‘streak to their nature’ has a certain amount of sexual self-containment (actually I have found that a relationship can be very disruptive to the ‘artisic/creative flow’). I feel that when the relationship brings on such responsibilities as offspring (whalerider would be good to ask on this one) that one needs to ‘grow up about sex’. I hope this opens the door to some stimulating talk and impelled action…..Nigel.

132. Yesri Baba - May 12, 2009

Good, yeah, send that petition somewhere.

Which reminds me-

A tip-o-the-hat to all the mid and upper management of Cosmodemonic Enterprises from my era (or any other era) for laying your ‘John Hancock’ on the line.

Oh wait , there aren’t any.

Fucking pussies.

133. Renald - May 12, 2009

129 Veramente

“ What you said reminds me that the worst thing sometimes is keeping secrets. Not even for ourselves really, but for covering up the real crimes.
The silence is not even a conscious choice.“

Here we go again — the secrets behind the secrets —-

And for those who asked — it is given — whether they remember asking or not.

—– and some researchers are now saying that the priesthood has evolved into a group that is approximately 50% gay and the rest , well ,,,,,, shhhh! We don`t want to go there.

I read today where Top Secret stuff has been found on Hard Drives sold on Ebay. Sounds a bit like The Blog, or should I say the Fof. Got to check out Ebay I guess, but then why bother, I have my `law of attraction scope“.

Cheers!

134. Susan Zannos - May 12, 2009

Yes. Boundaries. Talk about this, please. This is a major, major problem–I have no sense of where mine should be and am often greeted by astonished reactions when I go crashing through other people’s without even knowing the boundaries were there.

135. Renald - May 12, 2009

re 133. Susan Sannos. It is really difficult for me to picture you as someone having boundary problems. The picture which might come up with flippant effort might be of a screaming newborn baby, all bark and no bite, and I say that with all due respect which I have a lot of for the you I managed to meet over the many years. Cheers!

136. James Mclemore - May 12, 2009

120. jack

Good to hear your voice. Glad you made it out of whatever that darkness was. There certainly are some dark spots in some of these woods. Say more of what specific sort of help is needed. I may be able to help.

137. Jomo Piñata - May 12, 2009

133/Susan

Regarding boundaries, try this:

http://tinyurl.com/q2hqkl

138. Jomo Piñata - May 12, 2009

The chapter on bad boundaries and their connection to narcissism begins on p. 27, which is back two pages from where the tiny url lands you.

139. Jomo Piñata - May 12, 2009

This one lands you in the right spot:

http://tinyurl.com/pctqd7

140. Panoritsa - May 12, 2009

On Boundaries… I ordered all three books just yesterday. Cults base their survival on people who never got the chance to draw the line when they were little ones. Fear, Obligation and Guilt are the three sisters who kept me going. When you have sick people when you are a child and you manage to survive one way or the other, there is a chance you will attract similar sick authoritarian models like Burton and his inner circle. It is a way of continuing to survive and it feels familiar and safe. That’s how abuse works. But one can break through and start living a healthy and yes (!) happier and fulfilling life. It is a question of trying…

1.”Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You”
Susan Forward; Paperback; $12.56

2. “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers”
Karyl McBride; Hardcover; $18.72

3. “Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-up’s Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents”
Nina W. Brown; Paperback; $11.53

141. X-ray - May 12, 2009

fofblogmoderator

trying to post for several times requested info

no success

142. X-ray - May 12, 2009

Welcome back Jack!

Glad you made it!

There is no need for postage, it’s all online.

So click it or ticket😉

FBI
https://tips.fbi.gov/

IRS
http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=106778,00.html

Franchise Tax Board
https://webapp.ftb.ca.gov/informantdb/selection.aspx?Lang=en-US

INS
http://www.immigrationdirect.com/uscitizenship-contact.jsp

Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General, State of California
Office of Victims’ Services
http://ag.ca.gov/victimservices/contact.php

U.S. Department of Labor
http://www.osha.gov/pls/osha7/ecomplaintform.html

Child Abuse
Childhelp’s National Child Abuse Hotline
800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)

Office of the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
http://gov.ca.gov/interact#email
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

ICSA – International Cultic Studies Association
P.O. Box 2265
Bonita Springs, FL 34133
Phone: 239.514.3081
Fax: 305.393.8193
e-mail: mail@icsamail.

cbs5news
http://cbs5.com/

KNBCnews
http://www.knbc.com/contactus/index.html

KCRA 3 Television
http://www.kcra.com/station/1843006/detail.html

FOXnews
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,77538,00.html

143. veramente - May 12, 2009

136 Jomo

I read the book posted on the link. Along with Guru Papers it was one of the best readings for me.
After years I left the fof I found myself unwillingly gravitating towards a person with full blown Narcissistic personality. (plus some others along the way who were less extreme in a sense)
Unfortunately I got too close to him out of a feeling of loyalty and compassion. I got burned! I am more aware now of this tendency of mine to fall for these energy suckers.
The list of capital sins mentioned in the book “Why is it always about you?” was all marked by this particular individual. Just knowing these characteristics was very useful in clarifying what was really going on and distance myself from this guy.

Here they are:

Shamelessness
Magical Thinking
Arrogance
Envy
Entitlement
Exploitation
Bad Boundaries

It describes Robert Burton of the Fellowship of Friend and Pathway to Presence pretty well. Don’t you think?
The sins in this case get passed down to the “students”, overtime these “awakening” people become unable to have normal relations.

144. fofblogmoderator - May 12, 2009

#141 was caught up in spam

145. brucelevy - May 12, 2009

141. X-ray

Thank you. There it all is.

146. brucelevy - May 12, 2009

141. X-ray

Maybe…if these are used, a cover letter for each different agency specifically focused on calling attention the appropriate transgression that they’re each looking for.

147. brucelevy - May 12, 2009

each ARE looking for.

148. X-ray - May 12, 2009

The more emails will be sent out, the more chances we’ll have to hear back in one way or another.

I’m sure that governmental agencies still well remember the Jonestown tragedy, and they would like very much to prevent another one in the future.

They will pay attention if enough emails will hit their screens and letters will be found in their boxes.

149. X-ray - May 12, 2009

145. brucelevy – May 12, 2009

Makes sense.

150. X-ray - May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Robert!

With love, ex-students.

151. nigel harris price - May 12, 2009

149 X-ray

Taurus – down to earth or, in the case of REB, subterranean in thought, word and deed…..Nigel. (let’s inter him, folks!)…..re. post # 141.

152. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

45. veramente – May 7, 2009:

39 Daisy-Jane
Not long before I left (late 90’s) St_v_n Da_b_ck called me over and said “You’ve been observing the school – you can’t do that!”
————————————
The devil knows the truth, or he made a pact with the Devil.

55. Yesri Baba – May 7, 2009:

54 Jomo
Definitely. Keep digging at that fellowship experience. You will be surprised at what you unearth.

****** ****

Re: Fellowship of Friends
private interest(s) benefit
(a.k.a. private inurement)
Is IRS & CA FTB watching?
Is this 501 (c) 3 charitable
corporation material?

Several members of the Fellowship of Friends were (presumably) gifted their real property, either directly or indirectly, from the assets of the Fellowship of Friends. (Or, fair market value exchange did not take place, or, was faked.)

Those persons would be: A…r…h…m,
S…e…en D…,
C…r…os/E…i…a,
and possibly others.

There are likely many insidious examples of the transference of FoF assets to its preferred members, often under direction of Robert Burton, personally, that could constitute: ‘engaging in activities that result in inurement from the church’s or organization’s income or assets to insiders (i.e., persons having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization).’

Now perhaps it is not desired to see persons who have worked hard for many years be deprived of their ill, or not so ill, gotten gains. Possibly the recipients were in a ‘quid pro quo*’ situation. That is, in return for doing something for Robert Burton, Robert Burton would do something for them. Could these be examples?:
See subSEQUENCE posts.

*What is quid pro quo according to IRS?
Quid Pro Quo:
A contribution made by a donor in exchange for goods or services is known as a quid pro quo contribution. A donor may only take a contribution deduction to the extent that his or her contribution exceeds the fair market value of the goods and services the donor receives in return for the contribution.

153. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

Could these be examples?:

1.
As Fellowship of Friends’ and Robert Burton’s attorney (and FoF member, simultaneously) one might be expected to compromise one’s professional and moral integrity in representing such entities and put at risk the ability to practice professionally. [Not to mention, conscience and any oath there might be to uphold the United States Constitution in practicing law.] Therefore, this should be highly rewarded to the extent that Fellowship of Friends’ prime real estate, The Shakespeare Knoll (familiarly named), be the prize.
What price loyalty?
[Alas, what was the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton to do when the prior attorney, C. M., quit due, in part, to the moral repugnance the role presented? You, AG, were the only one! And, with your rich nest egg that you sat on that you received as a personal injury attorney that participated in the Dalkon Shield settlements,
(see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalkon_Shield
) you were the perfect choice. It could be said, ‘Bad wombs have borne bad sons,’ to put a spin on Shakespeare’s words – still propheting from the misery of others (and ’still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims’). That is the FoF story of late: ‘Misery loves company.’]

More examples:
See subSEQUENCE post.

154. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

Could these be examples?:

2.
Have undesired sex with me, Robert Burton, or not, or better, state publicly, before hundreds of members at meeting, that sex with me, Robert Burton, The Teacher, the prime minister of Fellowship of Friends, is an OK thing to do; say that, ‘I had sex with Robert and have later said no to it,’ so that the stigma of such activity is minimized along with the entire pain body of: 1) the current membership, ~1500+ people, and, 2) the ~15,000+ former members (persons who have worked hard for many, many years).
Therefore, this should be highly rewarded to the extent that Fellowship of Friends’ prime real estate be the prize.
What price loyalty?
[Not to mention, the significant assistance on building a house, getting a mortgage, furnishing the place, landscaping, and affording the payments, that are enjoyed at the expense of persons who have worked hard for many, many, many years and have gotten little but grief and the chance to pay; not that your circumstances are without their own set of grief, for surely, there is a price to pay to be so exalted. Robert Burton does not sell favors lightly. Not to mention, the preferred, and likely almost? exclusive, access to the use of Fellowship of Friends’ land for personal business purposes,
A…o…lo O…i…e O…l; see:
http://www.a…o…loo…i…eo…l.com/
Did you know that olive oil makes a good substitute for K-Y Jelly as a personal lubricant? See K-Y Jelly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-Y_Jelly
That certainly would be needed on the Ark for that reason, in addition to its culinary and medical uses.]

155. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

Could these be examples?:

3.
Be my, Robert Burton’s, semi- permanent personal secretary (read: slave), indulge the sexual proclivities involved and/or look the other way, get permanent status to stay in the United States, and enjoy the American Dream while putting on the show of a normal happy marriage so that there is, credibility for the form the Fellowship of Friends (read: Robert Burton) wishes to project. Therefore, this should be highly rewarded to the extent that Fellowship of Friends’ prime real estate be the prize.
What price loyalty?
[Not to mention, the significant assistance on building a house, getting a mortgage, furnishing the place, and affording the payments, that are enjoyed at the expense of persons who have worked hard for many, many, many years and have gotten little but grief and the chance to pay; not that your circumstances are without their own set of grief, for surely, there is a price to pay to be so exalted. Robert Burton does not sell favors lightly. How does it feel to be the prince and princess of I’si’s? Child, who’s your godfather? Or is that: Child, who’s your sugar daddy?]

{#3 Could be a bit dated as the persons mentioned may no longer be members of FoF.}

[Quick, let’s put those properties back in the name of the Fellowship of Friends before anyone notices, or while we are being watched, and later it can be appropriately readjusted. Wink, wink.]

[Can sperm be considered a donation? People have said here on the blog that the appearance of shills promoting the FoF point of view, from time to time, was the equivalent of an email spam attack. No!, dears, it’s a sperm attack. Time for more donations. Zip, zip.]

Now, I ask you, how is the above activity directed towards this goal:
‘beneficiaries of an organization’s activities must be recognized objects of charity (such as the poor or the distressed) or the community at large (for example, through the conduct of religious services or the promotion of religion)’?

Is IRS & CA FTB watching?

156. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

‘How did he [Steven D*mb*ck] manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit?’

Answer:
Private inurement.

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

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

[Steven D*mb*ck possibly is, or possibly was, a minister of the Fellowship of Friends church. Steven D*mb*ck possibly was the recipient of the gift of real property from the assets of the Fellowship of Friends church. That would be the property where his home now stands. Steven D*mb*ck, according to Elena in her recent account above, possibly claims to own property that belongs to an homeowners’ association and is owned as ‘community property.’ Steven D*mb*ck possibly is, or possibly was, the recipient of favourable, no-bid, business arrangements with the Fellowship of Friends church (likely directed by the head hauncho himself). The Ap*ll* Ol*v* O*l company may be likewise favourably treated. Benefits may extend beyond just the olives – i.e. to other agricultural areas and materials. Steven D*mb*ck possibly is ‘person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.’ The practices of Steven D*mb*ck and Ap*ll* Ol*v* O*l may be worthy of investigation for exploitation of workers (both legal and illegal workers, as well as possibly using Fellowship of Friends’ religious workers for the benefit of these private interests; both in the past and possibly now.]

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

[Perhaps Steven D*mb*ck is a charity case. But to single one out in that manner may constitute ‘private benefit.’ And, likely, ‘substantial’ at that.]

– – – – – –

To all:

The lessons of love taught by the Fellowship of Friends are primarily ‘tough love.’ That is what abusers primarily understand and that is why they deliver it upon others.

157. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

Private inurement.

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

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

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

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

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

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

– – – – – –

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

158. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

U.S. Internal Revenue Code
501(c)(3) Exemption Requirements:

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and NONE OF ITS EARNINGS MAY INURE TO ANY PRIVATE SHAREHOLDER OR INDIVIDUAL. In addition, it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

To be organized exclusively for a charitable purpose, the organization must be a corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation. A charitable trust is a fund or foundation and will qualify. However, AN INDIVIDUAL WILL NOT QUALIFY. The organizing documents must limit the organization’s purposes to exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) and must not expressly empower it to engage, other than as an insubstantial part of its activities, in activities that are not in furtherance of one or more of those purposes. This requirement may be met if the purposes stated in the organizing documents are limited in some way by reference to section 501(c)(3). In addition, an organization’s assets must be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose. This means that if an organization dissolves, its assets must be distributed for an exempt purpose, to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose. To establish that an organization’s assets will be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose, its organizing documents should contain a provision insuring their distribution for an exempt purpose in the event of dissolution. Although reliance may be placed upon state law to establish permanent dedication of assets for exempt purposes, an organization’s application can be processed by the IRS more rapidly if its organizing documents include a provision insuring permanent dedication of assets for exempt purposes. For examples of provisions that meet these requirements, see Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

An organization will be regarded as operated exclusively for one or more exempt purposes only if it engages primarily in activities that accomplish exempt purposes specified in section 501(c)(3). AN ORGANIZATION WILL NOT BE SO REGARDED IF MORE THAN AN INSUBSTANTIAL PART OF ITS ACTIVITIES DOES NOT FURTHER AN EXEMPT PURPOSE. For more information concerning types of charitable organizations and their activities, see Publication 557.

The organization MUST NOT BE ORGANIZED OR OPERATED FOR THE BENEFIT OF PRIVATE INTERESTS, SUCH AS THE CREATOR or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. NO PART OF A SECTION 501(c)(3) ORGANIZATION’S NET EARNINGS MAY INURE TO THE BENEFIT OF ANY PRIVATE SHAREHOLDER OR INDIVIDUAL. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

159. Bares Reposting - May 13, 2009

As many here have expressed, a “church” that publicly lavishes its leader with extravagant gifts, vacations and travel, while creating a community dependent upon public welfare for health support may arguably be in violation of its IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

It is a moral, if not legal abuse of the non-profit classification, and reflects a general lack of conscience within the Fellowship of Friends leadership.

Perhaps the next Greater Fellowship gathering should include a very public, and media-covered vigil outside the gates of Isis. After all, tax-exemption merely redistributes the tax burden throughout society.

In other words, we all pay for Robert’s indulgences.

****** ****

The month before I left, a Burton cell phone bill from one of his cars was over $4,000, and the FoF couldn’t pay it; so Burton just called around and had students put it on their credit card. How does an accountant deal with this? What column in the books does this go on? I’d guess that much of the accounting of the FoF is fraudulent to bypass the requirements of the canons and the intent of non-profit organizations (that they are specifically required to avoid benefit to the organizers). There may be even two sets of books… But to answer in terms of the broad picture, say ten percent for necessary overhead, ten percent for salaries, and the rest to indulging Burton’s every whim and fantasy. Just the costs of maintaining and transporting the on-demand sperm bank has to be over a million a year.

The new FoF website has made it crystal clear that it is now officially “The Church of Robert Burton”, complete with new religion. There is the hook of the Fourth Way link when doing a Google search, in that there are redirects to the new organization; too valuable to abandon.

420/13/Ames Gilbert

****** ****

For those who may be concerned about the innocent religious visa holders that are returning to country of origin:
Yes, it is rather disruptive of their lives. Colateral damage, alas. They are not necessarily being sent home as a preemptive move by The Fellowship of Friends and Abraham Goldman and Associates (the FoF lawyers). Although that would be a valid strategy in an effort to minimize the damages and cut the losses. Consider that Homeland Security has been privately individually interviewing visa holders, that FoF was instrumental in the process of getting the visas for, for 6 or more months now. And is probably revisiting all visa activity historically FoF related. Like MySpace, which law enforcement has found to be an excellent source of research material for criminal activity/evidence, so are the The Fellowship of Friends Discussion pages. The authorities likely have the goods they need (read: evidence and/or depositions) and an alternative scenario might be: get the innocents out of the way before the big guns are brought in. – You know, the scene where the women, children, old and the lame have a chance to get out of harms way before the worst of the combat comes into play. Wouldn’t want any of them to get hurt unnecessarily and certainly wouldn’t want any of them taken prisoner/hostage. The foreigners will be safe at home country where Homeland Security knows how to find them when court appearance may become necessary and the U.S. of A. will not have to host them further or they could disappear into the witness protection program under the guise of having gone home. U.S. of A has learned much since Waco/Branch Davidian, Ruby Ridge and Jonestown. So, the FoF scenario will likely not be so extreme; which otherwise would reflect badly on the government(s) and/or elicit sympathy from the general populace for the persecuted.

Besides the immigration business, there are other agencies looking closely at FoF. Just follow the money; use forensic accountancy. Private inurment is rampant. What’s that mean you say?:

[Private Inurment
Private inurment occures when someone with a controlling interest in a non-profit corporation uses their position to influence the application of the organizations resources for their own or another’s personal gain. An example would be if leader X of Y, a nonprofit group, was able to influence Y’s board of directors to, say, award a construction contract to a company owned by X or Z. As a result of the arrangment, X or Z will enrich (inure) through the application of Y’s resources to a project that was profitable to X’s or Z’s company.

Let’s say for example, an individual or contractor that attended a church performed work on the Pastor’s personal residence, or other property. In exchange for the work, the church provided free bible college tuition or school tuition. This arrangment, if it exists, is problematic for two reasons. 1) The Pastor has enriched (inured) himself by bartering the resources of the church (bible college classes and school) in exchange for work on his personal residence. The person performing the work has reportable income equal to the fair market value of the tuition received.

Private inurment violations, have caused some organizations (religious included) to loose their tax exempt status with the IRS.]

In 37 years there is surely evidence of regular and repeated acts of inurment; better check those Swiss bank accounts.

****** ****

What responsibilities
accompany 501(c)(3) status?

While conferring benefits on 501(c)(3) organiza-
tions, federal tax law also imposes responsibilities
on organizations receiving that status.

Recordkeeping
Section 501(c)(3) organizations are required to
keep books and records detailing all activities, both
financial and nonfinancial. Financial information,
particularly information on its sources of support
(contributions, grants, sponsorships, and other
sources of revenue) is crucial to determining an
organization’s private foundation status. See
Publication 4221, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3)
Tax-Exempt Organizations, Publication 557, and the
instructions to Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF for
more information.

Filing Requirements
Annual Information Returns – Organizations
recognized as tax exempt under section 501(c)(3)
of the IRC may be required to file an annual
information return: Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or
Form 990-PF along with Schedules A and B. Certain
categories of organizations are excepted from filing
Form 990 or Form 990-EZ including churches and
very small organizations. See the instructions with
each of these forms for more information.

Unrelated Business Income Tax – In addition to
filing Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF, an exempt
organization must file Form 990-T if it has $1,000
or more of gross receipts from an unrelated trade
or business during the year. The organization must
make quarterly payments of estimated tax on
unrelated business income if it expects its tax for
the year to be $500 or more. The organization may
use Form 990-W to help calculate the amount of
estimated payments required. In general, the tax is
imposed on income from a regularly carried-on
trade or business that does not further the organi-
zation’s exempt purposes (other than by providing
funds). See Publication 598, Tax on Unrelated
Business Income of Exempt Organizations, and the
Form 990-T instructions for more information.

Disclosure Requirements
Public Inspection of Exemption Applications and
Annual Information Returns – Section 501(c)(3)
organizations must make their application (Form
1023) and the three most recent annual returns
(Form 990 or Form 990-EZ) available to the public,
upon request and without charge (except for a rea-
sonable charge for copying). The IRS also makes
these documents available for public inspection
and copying. Private foundation returns (Form 990-
PF) filed on or after March 13, 2000, are subject to
the same disclosure rules. These documents must
be made available at the organization’s principal
office during regular business hours. Upon request,
an organization must furnish copies of the applica-
tion and the three most recent annual returns. The
requests may be made in person or in writing. See
Publication 557 for more information.

Charitable Contributions— Substantiation and
Disclosure

Organizations that are tax exempt
under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC must meet cer-
tain requirements for documenting charitable con-
tributions. The federal tax law imposes two general
disclosure rules: 1) a donor must obtain a written
acknowledgment from a charity for any single
contribution of $250 or more before the donor can
claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal
income tax return; 2) a charitable organization
must provide a written disclosure to a donor who
makes a payment in excess of $75 partly as a con-
tribution and partly for goods and services provid-
ed by the organization. See Publication 1771,
Charitable Contributions – Substantiation and
Disclosure Requirements, for more information.

Exemption Requirements

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

To be organized exclusively for a charitable purpose, the organization must be a corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation. A charitable trust is a fund or foundation and will qualify. However, an individual will not qualify. The organizing documents must limit the organization’s purposes to exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) and must not expressly empower it to engage, other than as an insubstantial part of its activities, in activities that are not in furtherance of one or more of those purposes. This requirement may be met if the purposes stated in the organizing documents are limited in some way by reference to section 501(c)(3). In addition, an organization’s assets must be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose. This means that if an organization dissolves, its assets must be distributed for an exempt purpose, to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose. To establish that an organization’s assets will be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose, its organizing documents should contain a provision insuring their distribution for an exempt purpose in the event of dissolution. Although reliance may be placed upon state law to establish permanent dedication of assets for exempt purposes, an organization’s application can be processed by the IRS more rapidly if its organizing documents include a provision insuring permanent dedication of assets for exempt purposes. For examples of provisions that meet these requirements, see Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

An organization will be regarded as operated exclusively for one or more exempt purposes only if it engages primarily in activities that accomplish exempt purposes specified in section 501(c)(3). An organization will not be so regarded if more than an insubstantial part of its activities does not further an exempt purpose. For more information concerning types of charitable organizations and their activities, see Publication 557.

The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

****** ****

Jeopardizing Tax-Exempt Status

All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches
and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:

¦ their net earnings may not inure to any private
shareholder or individual,

¦ they must not provide a substantial benefit to private
interests,

¦ they must not devote a substantial part of their
activities to attempting to influence legislation,

¦ they must not participate in, or intervene in, any
political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to)
any candidate for public office, and

¦ the organization’s purposes and activities may not
be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

Inurement and Private Benefit
Inurement to Insiders

Churches and religious organizations, like all exempt
organizations under IRC section 501(c)(3), are prohibited
from engaging in activities that result in inurement of
the church’s or organization’s income or assets to insiders
(i.e., persons having a personal and private interest in the
activities of the organization). Insiders could include the
minister, church board members, officers, and in certain
circumstances, employees. Examples of prohibited inurement
include the payment of dividends, the payment of
unreasonable compensation to insiders, and transferring
property to insiders for less than fair market value. The
prohibition against inurement to insiders is absolute;
therefore, any amount of inurement is, potentially,
grounds for loss of tax-exempt status. In addition, the
insider involved may be subject to excise tax. See the
following section on Excess benefit transactions. Note
that prohibited inurement does not include reasonable
payments for services rendered, payments that further
tax-exempt purposes, or payments made for the fair
market value of real or personal property.

Excess benefit transactions. In cases where an IRC
section 501(c)(3) organization provides an excess economic
benefit to an insider, both the organization and
the insider have engaged in an excess benefit transaction.
The IRS may impose an excise tax on any insider who
improperly benefits from an excess benefit transaction,
as well as on organization managers who participate in
such a transaction knowing that it is improper. An insider
who benefits from an excess benefit transaction is also
required to return the excess benefits to the organization.
Detailed rules on excess benefit transactions are
contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 26,
sections 53.4958-0 through 53.4958-8.

Private Benefit

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

Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)

Net Income Subject to the UBIT

Churches and religious organizations, like other taxexempt
organizations, may engage in income-producing
activities unrelated to their tax-exempt purposes, as long
as the unrelated activities are not a substantial part of the
organization’s activities. However, the net income from
such activities will be subject to the UBIT if the following
three conditions are met:

¦ the activity constitutes a trade or business,

¦ the trade or business is regularly carried on, and

¦ the trade or business is not substantially related to the
organization’s exempt purpose. (The fact that the organization
uses the income to further its charitable or religious
purposes does not make the activity substantially
related to its exempt purposes.)

Exceptions to UBIT

Even if an activity meets the above three criteria, the
income may not be subject to tax if it meets one of the
following exceptions: (a) substantially all of the work in
operating the trade or business is performed by volunteers;
(b) the activity is conducted by the organization
primarily for the convenience of its members; or (c) the
trade or business involves the selling of merchandise
substantially all of which was donated.

In general, rents from real property, royalties, capital
gains, and interest and dividends are not subject to the
unrelated business income tax unless financed with
borrowed money.

Examples of Unrelated
Trade or Business Activities

Unrelated trade or business activities vary depending on
types of activities, as shown below.

Advertising
Many tax-exempt organizations sell advertising in their
publications or other forms of public communication.
Generally, income from the sale of advertising is unrelated
trade or business income. This may include the sale
of advertising space in weekly bulletins, magazines or
journals, or on church or religious organization Web sites.

Gaming
Most forms of gaming, if regularly carried on, may be
considered the conduct of an unrelated trade or business.
This can include the sale of pull-tabs and raffles. Income
derived from bingo games may be eligible for a special
tax exception (in addition to the exception regarding
uncompensated volunteer labor covered above), if the
following conditions are met: (a) the bingo game is the
traditional type of bingo (as opposed to instant bingo, a
variation of pull-tabs); (b) the conduct of the bingo game
is not an activity carried out by for-profit organizations
in the local area; and (c) the operation of the bingo game
does not violate any state or local law.

Sale of merchandise and publications
The sale of merchandise and publications (including
the actual publication of materials) can be considered
the conduct of an unrelated trade or business if the
items involved do not have a substantial relationship
to the exempt purposes of the organization.

Rental income
Generally, income derived from the rental of real property
and incidental personal property is excluded from
unrelated business income. However, there are certain
situations in which rental income may be unrelated business
taxable income:
¦ if a church rents out property on which there is debt
outstanding (for example, a mortgage note), the rental
income may constitute unrelated debt-financed income
subject to UBIT. (However, if a church or convention or
association of churches acquires debt-financed land for
use in its exempt purposes within 15 years of the time of
acquisition, then income from the rental of the land may
not constitute unrelated business income.),
¦ if personal services are rendered in connection with
the rental, then the income may be unrelated business
taxable income, or
¦ if a church charges for the use of the parking lot, the
income may be unrelated business taxable income.

Parking lots
If a church owns a parking lot that is used by church
members and visitors while attending church services,
any parking fee paid to the church would not be subject
to UBIT. However, if a church operates a parking lot that
is used by members of the general public, parking fees
would be taxable, as this activity would not be substantially
related to the church’s exempt purpose, and parking
fees are not treated as rent from real property. If
the church enters into a lease with a third party who
operates the church’s parking lot and pays rent to the
church, such payments would not be subject to tax, as
they would constitute rent from real property.

Whether an income-producing activity is an unrelated
trade or business activity depends on all the facts and
circumstances. For more information, see IRS
Publication 598, Tax on Unrelated Business Income
of Exempt Organizations.

Special Rules for Compensation of Ministers

Withholding Income Tax for Ministers

Unlike other exempt organizations or businesses, a
church is not required to withhold income tax from the
compensation that it pays to its duly ordained, commissioned,
or licensed ministers for performing services in
the exercise of their ministry. An employee minister may,
however, enter into a voluntary withholding agreement
with the church by completing IRS Form W-4, Employee’s
Withholding Allowance Certificate. A church should
report compensation paid to a minister on Form W-2,
Wage and Tax Statement, if the minister is an employee,
or on IRS Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, if
the minister is an independent contractor.

Parsonage or Housing Allowances

Generally, a minister’s gross income does not include the
fair rental value of a home (parsonage) provided, or a
housing allowance paid, as part of the minister’s compensation
for services performed that are ordinarily the
duties of a minister.

A minister who is furnished a parsonage may exclude
from income the fair rental value of the parsonage,
including utilities. However, the amount excluded cannot
be more than the reasonable pay for the minister’s services.

A minister who receives a housing allowance may
exclude the allowance from gross income to the extent it
is used to pay expenses in providing a home. Generally,
those expenses include rent, mortgage payments, utilities,
repairs, and other expenses directly relating to providing
a home. If a minister owns a home, the amount
excluded from the minister’s gross income as a housing
allowance is limited to the least of the following: (a) the
amount actually used to provide a home; (b) the amount
officially designated as a housing allowance; or (c) the
fair rental value of the home. The minister’s church or
other qualified organization must designate the housing
allowance pursuant to official action taken in advance of
the payment. If a minister is employed and paid by a
local congregation, a designation by a national church
agency will not be effective. The local congregation must
make the designation. A national church agency may
make an effective designation for ministers it directly
employs. If none of the minister’s salary has been officially
designated as a housing allowance, the full salary
must be included in gross income.

The fair rental value of a parsonage or housing allowance
is excludable from income only for income tax purposes.
These amounts are not excluded in determining the minister’s
net earnings from self-employment for Self-
Employment Contributions Act (SECA) tax purposes.
Retired ministers who receive either a parsonage or
housing allowance are not required to include such
amounts for SECA tax purposes.

As mentioned above, a minister who receives a parsonage
or rental allowance excludes that amount from his
income. The portion of expenses allocable to the excludable
amount is not deductible. This limitation, however,
does not apply to interest on a home mortgage or real
estate taxes, nor to the calculation of net earnings from
self-employment for SECA tax purposes.
IRS Publication 517, Social Security and Other
Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious
Workers, has a detailed example of the tax treatment for
a housing allowance and the related limitations on
deductions. IRS Publication 525, Taxable and
Nontaxable Income, has information on particular types
of income for ministers.

Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church

Tax Inquiries and Examinations of Churches

Congress has imposed special limitations, found in IRC
section 7611, on how and when the IRS may conduct
civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. The IRS
may only initiate a church tax inquiry if the Director,
Exempt Organizations, Examinations reasonably
believes, based on a written statement of the facts and
circumstances, that the organization: (a) may not qualify
for the exemption; or (b) may not be paying tax on an
unrelated business or other taxable activity.

Restrictions on Church Inquiries and Examinations

Restrictions on church inquiries and examinations apply
only to churches (including organizations claiming to be
churches if such status has not been recognized by IRS)
and conventions or associations of churches. They do
not apply to related persons or organizations.
Thus, for
example, the rules do not apply to schools that, although
operated by a church, are organized as separate legal
entities. Similarly, the rules do not apply to integrated
auxiliaries of a church.

Restrictions on church inquiries and examinations do not
apply to all church inquiries by the IRS. The most common
exception relates to routine requests for information.
For example, IRS requests for information from
churches about filing of returns, compliance with income
or Social Security and Medicare tax withholding requirements,
supplemental information needed to process
returns or applications, and other similar inquiries are
not covered by the special church audit rules.

Restrictions on church inquiries and examinations do not
apply to criminal investigations or to investigations of the
tax liability of any person connected with the church,
e.g., a contributor or minister.

The procedures of IRC section 7611 will be used in
initiating and conducting any inquiry or examination into
whether an excess benefit transaction (as that term is
used in IRC section 4958) has occurred between a
church and an insider.

Audit Process

The following is the sequence of the audit process.

1. If the reasonable belief requirement is met, the IRS
must begin an inquiry by providing a church with written
notice containing an explanation of its concerns.

2. The church is allowed a reasonable period in which to
respond by furnishing a written explanation to alleviate
IRS concerns.

3. If the church fails to respond within the required
time, or if its response is not sufficient to alleviate IRS
concerns, the IRS may, generally within 90 days, issue
a second notice, informing the church of the need to
examine its books and records.

4. After issuance of a second notice, but before commencement
of an examination of its books and records,
the church may request a conference with an IRS official
to discuss IRS concerns. The second notice will contain
a copy of all documents collected or prepared by the
IRS for use in the examination and subject to disclosure
under the Freedom of Information Act, as supplemented
by IRC section 6103 relating to disclosure and confidentiality
of tax return information.

5. Generally, examination of a church’s books and
records must be completed within two years from the
date of the second notice from the IRS.

If at any time during the inquiry process the church
supplies information sufficient to alleviate the concerns
of the IRS, the matter will be closed without examination
of the church’s books and records. There are additional
safeguards for the protection of churches under IRC
section 7611. For example, the IRS cannot begin a subsequent
examination of a church for a five-year period
unless the previous examination resulted in a revocation,
notice of deficiency of assessment, or a request for a
significant change in church operations, including a
significant change in accounting practices.

Download IRS publications and forms at:
http://www.irs.gov/
or order free through the IRS at:
(800) 829-3676.

160. in2it - May 13, 2009

Susan, 133. I don’t believe we know each other, but just wanted to send my best wishes.

Bares Reposting, thanks for adding a large amount of very pertinent content to this page.

161. nigel harris price - May 13, 2009

Just a matter of time (and our effort, ex-members)…..let’s face it; the FOF is f—–d…..Nigel.

162. elena - May 13, 2009

On boundaries
Identified with one’s self, the ego grows like a parasite over the other;
unidentified, the I is like moss over the soil.
The parasite is invasive because it can’t perceive the “other”. Indifference is as powerful a parasite as blind love.

163. McMikey - May 13, 2009

Time Check Star date Wed. May 5, 2009 7:30 am PDT Post #162

164. elena - May 13, 2009

Bares Reposting,

The Fellowship has been functioning for overt thirty years. They know all the details that need to be legally met and are masters at keeping them in order. They will not be pulled down with such legalities. It’s a different approach what would be necessary. A different consciousness from the people outside.

165. WhaleRider - May 13, 2009

Enough is enough.

This is the boundary that defines personal integrity.

To be or not to be, that is the question.

The issue is not whether or not to have boundaries, the issue is learning to set or relax them when appropriate.

It is a criminal offense for an employer to violate personal boundaries of an employee by baiting them into performing “sexual favors” under the guise of career advancement.

It is moral corruption for a cult leader to violate personal boundaries of a cult follower by baiting them into performing sexual favors under the guise of “spiritual advancement”, too.

If Burton and his ardent followers are unable to keep or set appropriate boundaries due to their own vested self-interest, then it is up to the victims of his abuse to speak out and set them for the safety of the unassuming public, otherwise the abuse will continue.

Do what you can to speak out, and you will be empowered. Stay silent and your shame will eat you.

166. sallymcnally - May 13, 2009

On Boundaries: One day recently our neighbor decided to put up a fence around his 10 acre parcel in front of what used to be my perfect view of paradise. He’s thinking of having barbed wire placed on the top. Typically ones boundaries have to do with feeling threatened in some way or another.

It’s pretty easy to see boundaries expressed in nature and in animals, but people are much more subjective when it comes to their idea of boundaries because emotions are then attached to the initial threat and the expression of boundaries changes.

I left the FOF because I felt threatened by REB due to his predatory activities. I proceeded to add how I felt about that and then it became my story and my subjective definition of boundaries.

#160: Elena, I like that analogy. Thanks! Very insightful.

167. Mikey - May 13, 2009

Time Stamp 5/13/09 9:24 am PDT

168. sallymcnally - May 13, 2009

Many remaining Fellowship members are more threatened by leaving than by staying.

169. michael - May 13, 2009

Whalerider ~

Reading your post #162, I wonder if all that is really speaking from you to what others need to do or what you need to do for yourself ultimately; is “Enough is enough” your consceince speaking? This I say as a friend on a public forum because in so many ways the dust of the past for all will not move ‘out of The Way’ unless the cellar door(s) does (from inside the cellar) because no one will dare flip that carpet over for you/on your behalf.

What if you were to file an abuse claim in Yuba County yourself, for yourself; even noting there that it’s a preemptive measure on your part on behalf of others too? There is no time limit to such abuse claims and the Catholic church ministry charges is an example of this. As far as I can see, until signatures and claims are filed in the ‘Court of the Land’ the FOF will continue to send ‘older Russians’ to pick up a different four ‘younger Russians’ for Robert’s Christmas ‘gift’ every ‘December 2008’ till the cows come home: And now that the FOF has two female camels, well, you know the rest of the story…

I am not implying that their (the four Russians) story is your story, 100% guaranteed, though it could be and isn’t this enough for those ‘who have proof,’ to demonstrate it outside the symbols of old hurt and salted wounds, to do so where prevention of sexual abuse is a matter of law for human dignity, privacy and the protection of personal innocence, i.e., the court?

I would stand beside you in any court of law for however long it took to purge these dense shadows from your translucent soul.

It seems to me that being in the FOF kept us so busy with the color wheel (and painting photographs for one another and the world at large) and its many “possibilities of evolution,” that we could never gather into a ‘We’ then concerning these ‘feelings of something off kilter’ enough to see and couldn’t wholly envisage the one true color from where all those ‘personal colors’ would ultimately go via our ‘Best Wishes’, i.e., into the hue of Gaia-mud: the lotus is down there somewhere, somewhere…

A Footnote: I could be way off base here Whalerider, it’s a hunch, a feeling: no expectations and no rules for you or others, just a solo curiosity and solo question.

All the best to you.

170. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2009

166/michael

There is no time limit to such abuse claims

Sayin’ so don’t make it so.

171. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2009

162/Whalerider

It is a criminal offense for an employer to violate personal boundaries of an employee by baiting them into performing “sexual favors” under the guise of career advancement.

Sayin’ so don’t make it so.

172. elena - May 13, 2009

165. It shows how deep in imagination they’ve fallen, how weak they’ve become. It is SO much better out here without the idiocies of following Robert’s lifestyle.

It shows how damaged they are. Damaged as in having been psychologically hurt by the Fellowship. Brainwashed to the conviction that a sick environment is actually a desirable place to live in.

One of the pleasures of being out is recovering one’s own time and space. Fellowship members wouldn’t even understand that. They wouldn’t know what it means to choose their own clothes. That’s how bad the programming is.

Freedom,
Freedom
Free these people

Or should I say: freedoom!? It’s more like it.

173. fofblogmoderator - May 13, 2009

120 & 162 are newly moderated

174. michael - May 13, 2009

Jomo Pinata ~

Yes, ‘Legal Truth’ is not ‘the truth,’ though isn’t a voice heard and a story recorded as public record, a newspaper article published, a conscience ignited, a community awakened and a county called to a collective conscience better than ~ “Sayin’ so don’t make it so.” (?) This slogan reminds me of the collective-doubt that the FOF instilled in our gut-feelings about other’s hurt by using objective knowledge on behalf of subconscious, subjective fears of reprisal and abandonment.
The law has its practical deadlines, no argument there, though a voice heard and a preemptive measure given has none…

Maybe there’s something that doubts it can survive without shadows and so doesn’t bring the objects blocking the sun to light and holds fast to them as private keepsakes (?) To me, any gesture of light is better than adding to the photo album of the crossroads.

175. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2009

173/michael

I hear you through the verbal flowers, and appreciate what you say.

Hear me, though. Gestures of light do better in novels, films, paintings, poems, etc., than in courts. Accept my “sayin’ so” comments as gentle corrections to the factual assertions you and WhaleRider have both made, as I intend them to be taken that way.

176. WhaleRider - May 13, 2009

Jomo:
Please explain. Seems like sexual harassment in a hostile workplace to me. Why isn’t it so?

Michael:
“I wonder if all that is really speaking from you to what others need to do or what you need to do for yourself ultimately.”

For me, it isn’t a question of either/or. Both are true. I wouldn’t preach something that I don’t apply to myself, or that cannot be proven by direct observation by others in the natural world (as opposed to the supernatural world).

“Enough is enough” is the formula for setting a boundary that begins to define personal integrity, a firewall, if you will.

Otherwise without a balance of appropriate limits and boundaries (some flexible, some not) there is no integrity, resulting in an organism, a mind, or an entire group of people becoming infected, diseased, and corrupted.

Yes, it is my conscience speaking. How can I tell?…I have clarity on the issue. I just want to drain the victim pool, for the sake of my community…Earth. The FOF aka Pathway to Presence is a trap set by a sexual predator, a rape factory. The eventual outcome of being a member is rape..financial, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. The part that is unclear to me is the outcome of a court claim against the FOF.

The claims against the Catholic Church were about priests molesting minors. Burton is operating in and exploiting a very gray area of law, the separation between church and state. In the case of Troy, Burton settled out of court because he probably would have lost and could afford to pay for Troy’s silence.

This is the FOF’s endgame for dissenters: ignore them, shame them into silence, or as a last resort, buy their silence.

Everyone has their price.

I don’t want to be confronted by the moral dilemma of having to put a price on my suffering or name a price for my silence.

Right now I’d rather exercise my freedom and power to speak out as I have been doing. And yes, I think others ought to as well, in their own way, in their own time, if they feel they have been abused and raped as I have.

Now I know that should’s and ought’s push your buttons, Michael, and at the end of the day, you are right, we ought to take responsibility for and care of ourselves by flipping our own carpets, as you say.

I don’t mind flipping someone else’s carpet in my community if they are too weak to do so for themselves, just to keep the moths away.

177. michael - May 13, 2009

Whalerider,

Much love to you and your healing. Thank you for the reply.

178. nigel harris price - May 13, 2009

174 Jomo Pinata

Why do we not try to get our novels, films, paintings and poetry to court? I am not being flippant, or ‘tongue in cheek’. After all, it the right of due process that truth be heard in the presence of a jury of our peers. Truth, I believe, can outflank any legalise or ‘loopholing’. Why be afraid, when X-ray has provided the vision of a chink in the armoured facade of the Fellowship of Friends and the way to shake the foundations of its self-certainty? If any of you came to this blogsite for a ‘chat’ or to ‘air the breeze’, then I am not for you!!!!! My truth is being prepared to be sent to the appropriate addresses that X-ray provided and I will stand up in a United States Court of Justice and speak my piece, when the time comes.
…..Nigel.

179. nigel harris price - May 13, 2009

175 whalerider

“Everyone has their price”…..funny name, the angelic beings gave me!?

180. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2009

162/Whalerider

It is a criminal offense for an employer to violate personal boundaries of an employee by baiting them into performing “sexual favors” under the guise of career advancement.

170/Jomo

Sayin’ so don’t make it so.

175/WhaleRider

Please explain. Seems like sexual harassment in a hostile workplace to me. Why isn’t it so?

179/Jomo

The explanation is simple. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is not a crime. There are plenty of unlawful acts that are not criminal offenses.

181. WhaleRider - May 14, 2009

Jomo:
Got it. Although the employer is liable if an employee is sexually harrassed by a superior, but it is not a criminal offense, the offender will not be arrested.

So…It is an unlawful act for an employer (or any authority within the company) to violate the personal boundaries of an employee by baiting them into performing “sexual favors” quid pro quounder the guise of career advancement.

Thanks for the clarification.

Hmmm…wasn’t Burton my employer, then? Wasn’t I in the employment of the FOF sleeping at the Academy under the works of art as a “human shield” when the abuse occured?

182. Jomo Piñata - May 14, 2009

180/WhaleRider

It may not even be an “unlawful act.” It depends upon whether the “employer” meets the definition of “employer” under one of the laws making discrimination in employment “on the basis of sex” unlawful.

(Quid pro quo sexual harassment (“screw me and you’ll get promoted”) and “hostile work environment” sexual harassment (catcalls, cheesecake posters, sexually charged work environment) are each species of employment discrimination “on the basis of sex.” N.B.: the word “sex” in Title VII, the federal law, means “gender.”)

Under Title VII, the employer has to have a certain number of employees to become subject to the law. I believe it’s 50. Otherwise, it doesn’t meet the definition of “employer.” States have antidiscrimination-in-employment laws that track Title VII, but define “employer” differently, so as to reach smaller employers who employ, say, 15 to 49 employees.

Religious organizations may even be exempt from anti-discrimination statutes such as Title VII. For example, they can certainly prefer their own adherents over others when they hire employees, a preference which, if other employers did it, would violate both state and federal law.

Not good news for victims of egregious conduct by trusted spiritual advisers. But that is not to say there is no remedy where someone who has been victimized in this circumstance comes forward in a timely way.

183. X-ray - May 14, 2009

Robert Burton is an immoral jerk who had died as human long ago but had never reborn as any thing else.

He is no different then any other criminals who still by chance are walking on the streets or rest in the jail. His lack of intelligence, moral, and complete absence of conscience are proofed on daily basis. His sick fantasies and destructive behavior is the cause for many people illnesses, suffering, traumas and pain.

Robert Burton shall end his days in jail.

Amen!

184. Jomo Piñata - May 14, 2009

From California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which is California’s analogue to Title VII:

Gov’t Code section 12921. (a) The opportunity to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation is hereby recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

Gov’t Code section 12922. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, an employer that is a religious corporation may restrict eligibility for employment in any position involving the performance of religious duties to adherents of the religion for which the corporation is organized.

Gov’t Code section 12926.
….
(d) “Employer” includes any person regularly employing five or more persons, or any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, the state or any political or civil subdivision of the state, and cities, except as follows:

“Employer” does not include a religious association or corporation not organized for private profit.

185. gabrielle - May 14, 2009

168. michael
“…the FOF will continue to send ‘older Russians’ to pick up a different four ‘younger Russians’ for Robert’s Christmas ‘gift’ every ‘December 2008′ till the cows come home: And now that the FOF has two female camels, well, you know the rest of the story…”

Sounds like people trafficking to me?!?!?!?

186. Yesri Baba - May 14, 2009

“Wasn’t I in the employment of the FOF sleeping at the Academy under the works of art as a “human shield” when the abuse occured?”

This from Whalerider got me thinking (uh-oh).

One thing that could be done is for people to stop being enablers for their emotion junkie friends.
Stop having your little classical music concerts. Stop putting the flower arrangements and shiny, gilded little whatnots and paintings and fine dining etc. etc. etc. all over the place.
There is nothing wrong with that stuff. It is just irrelevant.

You wouldn’t leave a crack pipe on the coffee table when your crack ho sister comes over or take your quart-a-day bro to the corner bar.

Maybe some of the country clubbers might have a good time without that stuff around and start to wonder about the value of where 90% of their money is going.

187. fofblogmoderator - May 14, 2009

154 & 184 are newly moderated

188. Another Name - May 14, 2009

Dear Nigel

When you write;
It is not so much a ’secret’ that I have learned or my stage in life, but I think anyone with a Solar-Artist ’streak to their nature’ has a certain amount of sexual self-containment (actually I have found that a relationship can be very disruptive to the ‘artistic/creative flow’). I feel that when the relationship brings on such responsibilities as offspring (whalerider would be good to ask on this one) that one needs to ‘grow up about sex’. I hope this opens the door to some stimulating talk and impelled action…..Nigel.

Too black and white for me Nigel, there are so many roads to San Francisco or….so many ways to express creativity/ love and please who fits the shoe wear the shoe.

Comparing is a lack of respect for each others life, choices. If this works for you great…sometimes our mind reasons to explain and understand what we are doing is what is “right”?

Remember time will tell us what is “right” and that is not for the faint or heart as this might mean to be disappointed and a need to accept what is and what your are. and what life is for them….it increase when we get older. Talk with older folks and ask if these are the “golden years” for them.
Much love and search for you on your path and for all of you.

189. Another Name - May 14, 2009

Stay silent and your shame will eat you.

Maybe time to all look inside of us…what are the “secrets” we have not spoken out loud in our own life?

190. elena - May 14, 2009

No matter what the secrets are there is no shame after one can assume shame. Transforming shame with compassion translates into more tolerance for one’s self and others.

I was not born in Paradise and one of the great pleasures of growing up is dealing with both life and my self as I am. It’s a strange thing to become familiar with pain as the status quo for so many people. So much unnecessary suffering that real suffering pales before it.

Another Name, what is there to be ashamed of? That I have in my youth been as selfish as all other teenagers of my time? That my parents were too busy with themselves to find their children interesting? That I was too ignorant to understand how to raise my children? How to help others? That there is not enough love to be loved but plenty to love?

The wonderful thing about meeting shame or that part of my self that thought it could tame life is that it quickly showed me the true dimension of life and my self in comparison. There is no shame in meeting one’s self with humility and great dignity in appreciating the dimensions of life.

It is beautiful to be a young egocentric convinced that one’s got the world by the handle no matter how painful that is in the end but it is much more beautiful to get humbly old and know that life is much more structured than one could have ever imagined.

Wouldn’t you say we are playing hopscotch between life and death and have the body and the emotions as the lines over which we are supposed to jump?

And I don’t mean life and death as now and then but life and death as actual realities in the present, one as a manifestation of the other, a spiritual world that is pouring out of life itself, surrendering to the possibility of not only it’s being actualized in this beautifully physical reality but of actualizing one’s self in its realm?

Emotions like shame are pathways of the soul to the spirit. The darkness is lit under the light of one’s willingness to be. One’s willingness to put on the robe of shame and keep walking without it. Not shameless but filled with passion and compassion. And continuing to walk with great curiosity because no matter how tough the soil, each step is an amazing discovery not only of one’s self but the world around one. The facts are just the skin of the forces they carry within and behind each force a whole dimension stands in which each human being is playing hopscotch! It is a beautifully rich world!

Perhaps the only way to help others walk with dignity is beginning to walk with dignity one’s self.

191. Another Name - May 15, 2009

Dear Renald

When I read the following:

re 133. Susan Sannos. It is really difficult for me to picture you as someone having boundary problems. The picture which might come up with flippant effort might be of a screaming newborn baby, all bark and no bite, and I say that with all due respect which I have a lot of for the you I managed to meet over the many years. Cheers!

I realize how well do we/you /I know my friends?????

Maybe time to ask each other some personal questions? See what we attract?

192. michael - May 15, 2009

Elena ~

Thank you for sharing.

“So much unnecessary suffering that real suffering pales before it.”

___

I wonder if such sentences as that one, taught into our dislodged hearts, build and buttress shame rather than diminish it, if there is such a thing as diminishing that which makes or breaks a growing heart (?)

For me, I have found that there is no such a thing as “Unnecessary Suffering”, that the idea/concept of Unnecessary Suffering may actually have been born from a sort of unconscious fixed trauma (like Narcissus trapped at ‘his pool’, ‘his concepts’); some very visceral unfinished business in the human psyche that’s confused about having to live so to ‘have to die’ (No doubt, our souls are not altogether substances bottled in only genie-bottles.)

The suffering that repeats itself in me that my logical mind ‘thinks’ is pathological, hereditary or habitual belongs to my own private time body, my time line, the clock strikes fourteen because it’s fourteen o’clock, for me: if I ‘think’ that a certain kind of suffering is “Unnecessary”, I find that I am simply stopping Time so to regret the Past, to Judge myself and stalemate my conscience…

Outside of thinking, I am happening and no amount of ‘this or that’ can deter its deeper tracks, those causes and effects that rise from greater voices in me than those ‘after the fact’ that I or another has consciously suffered… In other words, no matter how much I think before or after, eventually even the “Intentional Suffering” begins to be suspect and then it all gets thrown into a big cauldron and stirred by three old women sharing one glass eye, who we all know all too well to be very disconcerting cooks…

Who are we to determine from the outside what another’s inside IS ultimately as to say “Unnecessary” or “Necessary”?

There is an enormous about of ‘objective’ labeling (and an enormous undertow of judgment and disdain in its contents), a corrupted pair of ‘esoteric cataracts’, that the FOF seeded in our tear ducts, that we would do well to afford the best laser surgery the Earth has to offer to return to that state of childhood humility that sparked our curiosity in joining such a ‘family of ‘friends” in the first place: to rewind a little and unwind, to look into the outside and know that everyone is experiencing; what we call it and ‘think’ it is, (IMO) belongs solely to us and not them.

The best to you, and thank you for the inspiration.

193. elena - May 15, 2009

Hi Michael,

Thanks for challenging that statement.

As with everything this has all those sides that can be questioned depending on where you pick them up. As I’ve said before, I’m not about to throw the System away with the Fellowship and in fact am having quite a bit of fun adding other Systems to it which was also supposed to be “forbidden”!!

I follow what you’re saying, respect it and agree that each person can label his own suffering as he pleases but after trying to commit suicide due mostly to twenty years of unnecessary suffering, much to my shame, I openly stand against 90% of what people call suffering. When I say unnecessary I think I mean that most of it could have been avoided and of course we know that the real tragedy is that it couldn’t have been. You get people committing suicide because they dug a hole and buried themselves in it and only left enough of their head and hand out to pull the trigger and then you realize that they were the flower arrangement of a situation in which everyone involved threw in the dirt they could and the few that offered something else went unheard. So we’re talking about the human condition as it is and you’re definitely right, it simply “is”. The problem for me is that while the human condition is running on its tracks, the individual human being is out in the wild trying to open paths so that other tracks can be followed because he or she just wouldn’t run on the same track and because every newborn being is a completely original possibility.

It’s very easy to get to the point of trying to commit suicide or becoming a criminal when the way one looks at life is that it is never good enough and what ever happens, no matter how small or big prompts one to look at the dark side of the issue. If one turns the equation around and looks at the positive side of no matter how dark an issue, it is also very easy to keep walking. I know a lot of people on both sides of the equation and the poorer and more hard working the more positive while the richer and more comfortable the more negative. And Cults like the Fellowship to me are the epitomy of unnecessary suffering. A whole bunch of fairly well to do people finding a good excuse to get fucked! Forgive the literacy but we might as well get to the point so that the post doesn’t get longer with delicacies.

Got to go now, will finish later!

194. in2it - May 15, 2009

The following is a 12-page article in the NY Times from two years ago by Michael Pollan. He’s trying to bring awareness to serious problems with our food, how it’s processed, how it affects our health, and how that affects the world as a whole.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html

The article begins:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give away the game right here at the beginning of a long essay, and I confess that I’m tempted to complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a few thousand more words. I’ll try to resist but will go ahead and add a couple more details to flesh out the advice. Like: A little meat won’t kill you, though it’s better approached as a side dish than as a main. And you’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat “food.”

So, what’s the connection? Well, for one the connection is HEALTH, and HEALING, and WELL-BEING. But to put it simply:

This is a cult. If you’re in, leave. If you’re not, don’t join.

Some people have tried to frame the issue as being more nuanced than that, but it may help occasionally to see the simple truth and dismiss the nuances, and see that nuances are an avenue even more denial. “It’s not that bad. I don’t have any problems with Robert. Things are fine. The blog exaggerates.”

Pollan’s article, by the way, and his books: good reading if you want to be aware of food, where it comes from, and how it affects us all.

195. WhaleRider - May 15, 2009

elena:
“When I say unnecessary I think I mean that most of it (suffering) could have been avoided and of course we know that the real tragedy is that it couldn’t have been.”

Sounds like a double bind, if you ask me.

If, as you say suffering could not have been avoided, then doesn’t that in some way make it necessary, as Michael was saying?

To me, suffering is an important part of the learning process inherent in life that over time one comes to accept or suffer more until one does. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one needs personalize suffering and go looking for ways to suffer more to learn more; it seems to me that I suffer most when I refuse to change and grow.

Although it also seems to me that some suffering is a only result of arbitrary, unavoidable accident, nothing more.

The real tragedy lies in both thinking unavoidable suffering could have been avoided and not accepting the inevitability of suffering as part of the learning process.

This leaves one in a compromised state of perpetual self-blame and self-loathing, which can sometimes lead to a pathological state of wanting to displace one’s suffering onto others, making them suffer, too.

Making mistakes and suffering doesn’t mean one is stupid.

I think people commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide for a variety of reasons. Some people commit suicide because they have a terminal illness; some as a result of a great loss. In some early cultures, like the early Japanese culture and in radical Islam, it is considered an honorable act. Most suicide attempts (I read as many as 60%) are alcohol related.

One reason I think people go through with the desperate and cruel act of suicide is to shift the unbearable pain they don’t want to feel anymore onto the others they knowingly leave behind.

196. nigel harris price - May 15, 2009

195 whalerider

As one who ‘survived’ a suicide attempt, I can say that it is an aggressive act and the emotions that precede the act fluctuate between extreme blame and guilt (internalizing the negativity) and,as you say, ‘throwing’ those negative emotions ‘outwards’ at others. I was drinking wildly and losing money ‘hand over fist’ before the attempt and it took me many years to bring control to my life after the suicide attempt. Ask me more, of you think it will help…..Nigel.

197. in2it - May 15, 2009

As with many things, balance is the key: balance, balance, balance. (Alright Emerson, one ‘balance’ would have been enough.)

Someone can acknowledge a pain without sinking deeper into it. Someone can also let go of suffering without being in denial about it.

It’s a state of relaxed intensity, or relaxed focus, which many of the best athletes and most accomplished people in this world are able to attain — that would include all of us. In our best moments, we apply it to other areas of our lives — interpersonal communications, relationships, and personal growth — and beyond making money, gaining power, or “winning.”

Forgiveness is a good thing always. But forgiveness is often seen as an external act where everyone knows you are forgiving, and the person you have forgiven has acknowledged it and nods approvingly, and it all ends with a big hug with others gathered around to applaud you for forgiving.

But I see forgiveness as something that begins slowly and silently, often without anyone acknowledging it at first, and very often never acknowledging it. Forgiveness is not enablement; it’s firm and direct and it doesn’t look to be noticed.

We can talk about the Fellowship of Friends without becoming — yet again — victims of the suffering it causes. Balance, balance, and more balance. (Forgive me, Emerson.)

198. Susan Zannos - May 15, 2009

Thinking about the concept of “boundaries” as somehow useful to the effort to figure out what a more psychologically and emotionally healthy life might be like, I keep coming back to one of those terms so prevalent in Fellowship use: “identification.” One of those nice little ironies is the instance of a cult using an accurate observation about human behavior to perpetuate exactly that behavior. In this case we were repeatedly admonished to sever our identifications with everything other than the Fellowship in order to intensify the identification with the Fellowship. Sweet.

Maybe that worked particularly well with folks who had a history of strong, perhaps serial, identifications that caused major confusion about forming reasonable boundaries. Maybe it was domineering parents, maybe fundamentalist religion, maybe abusive relationships, maybe alcohol or other drugs, maybe a shifting series of things. If a person has a habit of relinquishing a sense of worth and even of existence to some person or group or activity, then without such an exterior focus the world and life in it seem meaningless and dark.

Maybe In2it’s “balance” would be a state in which a person did not need some exterior assurance of his or her worth. It seems to me that being in the Fellowship was an effort to get that assurance from Robert and from other members, and the difficulties and depressions since are a result of failed attempts to find an exterior replacement. If that is correct, curiously enough, then the effort “to not identify” was in fact, although splitting an infinitive, a correct effort. The problem was that it was a cynical lie in the Fellowship.

199. Jomo Piñata - May 15, 2009

198/Susan Zannos

state in which a person did not need some exterior assurance of his or her worth.

This ties in very neatly with some concepts found in Bowen Family Systems Theory, particularly the concept of “differentiation of self.” A sense of self which does not require some exterior assurance of his or her worth is a “self-validated” sense of self. A sense of self requiring the validation of another person is an “other-validated” sense of self. The tension between a self-validated sense of self and other-validated comes up in the context of intimacy all the time.

In the book Passionate Marriage, David Schnarch writes about “differentiation of self” and its relation to “reflected sense of self,” “other-validated intimacy,” and “self-validated intimacy.” It’s also tied into an idea called “borrowed functioning,” which has to do with borrowing a sense of self from one’s mate. Have a look here:

http://bit.ly/differentiation-etc

The concepts of “borrowed functioning,” and “other-validated sense of self” seem to map pretty well onto processes observable in the cult, in my view.

200. Jomo Piñata - May 15, 2009

“No amount of a reflected sense of self adds up to self-validated intimacy. A solid sense of self doesn’t develop that way. Differentiation grows slowly from the inside through self-confrontation. Pseudo-self changes quickly from the outside through borrowed functioning. This is where the leap of faith comes in: at some point you have to become a hero or heroine in your own eyes by doing something that requires you to self-validate.”

–David Schnarch, Passionate Marriage, “The Leap of Faith: From Other-Validated Intimacy to Self-Validation,” at p. 120. See link above at 72/119.

201. Tatyana - May 15, 2009

Susan, thank you for a meaningful post. It is interesting to think about identification in connection with the boundaries. It seems almost a nice trick to brake the boundary of the other. A thief takes your stuff and says: “you are too identified!” I am trying to replace an attitude that someone is identified with something with an attitude that someone values something for some reason that I can’t know. I can’t know if it is good or bad either, maybe he needs it! Maybe when he will not need it he will let it go without suffering…

202. nigel harris price - May 15, 2009

The ‘self-validation’ or sense of self-worth actually needs no validation – it just IS!…..Nigel.

203. Tatyana - May 16, 2009

Thank you in2it 194 for a link.

I was just reading about eating in the memoirs of Dushka about Mr. G.
“… But he insisted: “Man should eat, not as an animal, but consciously.”

This concept itself is not unique to Gurdjieff, only the importance he accorded it. Almost every religion advocates prayers before meals to remind one of this, but the reason itself has almost been forgotten.

Of all the examples Gurdjieff might have used to illustrate the essential aspect of his teaching, “quality of attention,” he chose the one experience that all human beings share: “When you do a thing, do it with the whole self, one thing at a time. Now I sit here and I eat. For me nothing exists in the world except this food, this table. I eat with the whole attention. So you must do—in everything. To be able to do one thing at a time—this is the property of man, not man in quotation marks.”

At another time he was quoted as saying: “If one knows how to eat properly, one knows how to pray.” And yet again: “It is important to compose a dish in its correctly-blended elements as a composition of music or the colors in painting. Harmony in scale. Must have much knowledge to be a good cook. A culinary doctor.”

Louise Goepfert March, one of Gurdjieff’s secretaries at the Prieuré, remembered that in those days he was usually quiet at the table. He would say, “When I eat, I self-remember.” And he chided people who insisted on talking during the meal, “Idiot God made only one mouth. Should have made two.”

204. elena - May 16, 2009

Susan Zannos,
Nicely put, thank you. Yes, that definitely sounds right. Let go of all other identifications and become psychologically addicted to the Fellowship which in the long run simply proves that man needs man and individuals will continue to depend on the community what ever that community is. This is true in even more extreme situations when the man in prison or concentration camp as well as kidnapped or hostage will establish powerful emotional ties with those in charge.

You say: “It seems to me that being in the Fellowship was an effort to get that assurance from Robert and from other members, and the difficulties and depressions since are a result of failed attempts to find an exterior replacement. If that is correct, curiously enough, then the effort “to not identify” was in fact, although splitting an infinitive, a correct effort.”

Definitely the first part of getting assurance from Robert, “the conscious being” but “the difficulties and depressions since” (to me), wouldn’t necessarily be only the failed attempts to find an exterior replacement. After leaving a cult why wouldn’t we acknowledge that there is real grief from the realization that one was fooled and fooling one’s self? That hundreds were so? There are many reasons to be genuinely sad and beaten. And then re-structuring one’s self and one’s perception and understanding of life can take years. In relation to not being identified, to me, not being identified is always correct and I hardly practice it as much as I’d like but the way that is understood in the Fellowship is what I would deeply question. In it, we are supposed to not identify with our emotions, with our thoughts and these in relation to our life: family, friends, nation, world, man, society, the Fellowship, Robert. By so doing members are left psychologically naked and vulnerable depending only on the form. It is said that we are not supposed to be identified even with the Fellowship and Robert but the whole structure of Fellowship Cult is designed to make members thoroughly and absolutely dependent exclusively on both.

The practice of non identification in a more pure form, IMHO, is a door to perceiving the dimension behind the initial identifications. In other words, what one is not identifying with is a dimension, not particular occurrences or people. As if the outer layer or dimension of one’s psychological life could be shed like the leaves in autumn, like the skin of reptiles or the fur of bears. What the Fellowship does is “objectify” the things we are not supposed to identify with, leaving members helpless. We shed everything we enter with and replace it with identification for the rigid forms and conditions (dress code, behaviour code, form, form, form without meaning) while the member’s authorship or self is replaced by Robert’s “credits” without “being”.

In re-structuring one’s perception of the world and one’s self after leaving the cult, I believe re-establishing the structure with which one is willing to relate to one’s self, those around one and the world at large helps put things back into perspective. The world at large conditions our lives through family and relations and understanding both “circles” allows one to get a fairly objective picture of one’s self from the point of view of one’s “Time”. Looking at one’s self not from inside out but from outside in. Then one can look at the forces that sculpted one and those around one.

205. elena - May 16, 2009

Whalerider:
This ties up well with your post on suffering, blame and shame. I still think things happened the only way they could have happened and Oh yes, they could have been avoided if only….
So yes, we hopefully learn the lesson and don’t join another cult next week nor set the conditions for our children to act alike and likewise in other experiences.

The question of unnecessary suffering continues to be tied up with negative emotions. I know people who make a living out of complaining and seeing black were there’s light. I have myself been like that until the blackness turned around and broke me against the Earth. When I look at them, who are so close to me, I see how their “Times” has woven a picture of reality and they don’t know how to move out of that picture. They are, just like I was in the Cult, in a Cult of their own, paying with tremendous amounts of misery. I do not feel I am judging my family in and outside the Fellowship (For Girard will always continue to be my family), for acknowledging the amount of unnecessary suffering that they are going through nor do I judge myself for the impotence to help them or the suffering that I experience in my impotence. It’s worth “seeing” even when one cannot find solutions. Indifference is not my option.

Going back to the question of identification, yes, whatever the identification, it has the power of sucking one’s life and soul out. I believe that the human being today can turn that around and live without the identification. I think that as we move on from the “egoness” of “my” to “our” not only does the act of playing an instrument, to take a simple example, become the act of music playing on me for its own grace but “living” itself becomes an objective reality of which the individual is simply a glorious aspect: A flower. Each human being flowers in the tree of life for his own sake and the sake of life. In my times it seems we have stopped perceiving the objectivity of life and “subjectify” everything through our personal identifications. But “well being” is not a subjective reality. Hunger is not subjective. Physical, emotional and intellectual poverty are not subjective and everyone, no matter what class they belong to, is suffering from some form of poverty. The crisis today is not independent of that reality. As In2it says, “balance” is required. It is wonderfully fortunate that no matter the poverty in no matter what class, some little something seems to make up in everyone and the picture is never totally black nor totally light.
“It happened as it had to happen” meets with the present and repeats itself unless in the present, I as an individual and we as a society become conscious of it and change the forces that made it happen. Past meets future and repeats itself unless there is someone present enough to change it. There is always someone present enough and life is changing even if many are “caught” behind.

First and third line are like the ends of a bow that determine how one moves through life. One’s life is drawn by the state of health of that connection. Everyone is connected to both himself and the whole but the state of that connection is what determines how each individual actually acts in practical life. The movement from “I” to “our” without loosing sight of my “self” or “us” implies a 180 degree shift between ego and I.
Thank you for allowing me to express these things. I am sorry they have not been digested enough to be shorter.

206. in2it - May 16, 2009

Tatyana, I’m glad that resonated with you.

Loved the quote: “Idiot God made only one mouth. Should have made two.”

And four ears would have helped, too.

207. Panoritsa - May 16, 2009

From Elena 204:

…After leaving a cult why wouldn’t we acknowledge that there is real grief from the realization that one was fooled and fooling one’s self? That hundreds were so? There are many reasons to be genuinely sad and beaten….

Well put Elena. From time to time I will either read or hear an ex-member mentioning that they also gained so much in the Fellowship. I cannot know what is going on in one’s mind, but that pain-free moving on does not really make sense to me. I mean we were part of a complete fiasco here. The hero was fucking fake and we kept on praising him. But we were also “trained” to distance ourselves and not be “identified” and “separate” from our thoughts and feelings. They were just the many “I”‘s… It is like someone asking you to amputate your left leg and you willingly go ahead and do it in order to replace it with a gilded Ionian style column.

I am not sure there is so much moving on and healing if you do not mourn and grief after you leave the maddening cult.

208. Jomo Piñata - May 16, 2009

It is like someone asking you to amputate your left leg and you willingly go ahead and do it in order to replace it with a gilded Ionian style column.

Well put!

209. Jomo Piñata - May 16, 2009

But I got a lot from the experience. The Ionian column actually bears weight very well and does not get cellulite. I get compliments on the scrolls almost every day. I no longer have to cut my toenails and depilatories for that leg are a thing of the past. I can now park in handicapped spots and the checkers offer to carry my bags to my car. So I do not regret my decision. I got what I paid for.

210. Jomo Piñata - May 16, 2009

I have to admit my gait is somewhat different now, sort of lumbering and limping rather than just walking. But I’m told it becomes me, though the people who say that use a tone of voice I find confusing. And I stop to admire my new profile in the mirror whenever I get the chance. It’s certainly different than it used to be. So is everyone else’s, I guess, because of the normal aging process. I am exempt from that process because Ionian columns last for thousands of years.

Not everyone has an Ionian column in place of a leg. When people ask me about it, I tell them I’m of Greco-Roman heritage. I feel special.

211. X-ray - May 16, 2009

209. Jomo Piñata – May 16, 2009

That´s why an irony and humor are forbiden in the cults.
They shining truth.

212. nigel harris price - May 16, 2009

204 elena

For a while I could not ‘get a hold’ of your post, and was reticent to post a reply, knowing we both share a ‘disorder’, and that, for me, was one of the aspects of leaving the cult with which I had to come to terms. I do not know what I would have been like, had I not joined the Fellowship of Frauds, and my Fate commingled in learning my Beautiful Craft Trade and having to deal with the demands the FOF made (dealing badly, I may say!). But suffering for 3 and 1/2 years under the delusion that one had ‘lost all possibilities’ because one had been ‘released’ from the cult caused me so much dysfunctional depression, that I hardly knew where to turn. Unfortunately, the stimulus of going for a Secondary School Teaching Certificate and all the new ideas sent me into a huge high where I was ‘sectioned’ for 4 months. And so on, with hopes followed by huge disappointments – false starts, I would say, until this stage of my life – control over my disorder and a wonderful professional/social life. Was there something (unnecessary suffering?) I could have avoided?; could the path to The Beauty of Now been shortened?; does it all matter when one reaches this stage in one’s evolution? I can only paraphrase Walt Whitman: “Has the world been cruel to you, brother? I am sorry for you; the world has not been cruel to me”…..Nigel.

213. michael - May 16, 2009

“From time to time I will either read or hear an ex-member mentioning that they also gained so much in the Fellowship. I cannot know what is going on in one’s mind, but that pain-free moving on does not really make sense to me.”

What about what’s standing behind the “also”: can a person have both, the pain of severing the umbilical cord and the warmth of an old friendship, even if it’s only nine months old? Like it or not, our first relationship was with our mothers: I wonder at whose expense we “praised him”? Was it at the expense of a father or mother who never ‘was’, an anonymous feeling of abandonment buried so deep that only hunger-for-paternal (or ‘family’) was conscious? Was it a ‘first love’ lost to some real-world-event or a need to be ‘good boy or good girl’ in a ‘conscious school’, i.e., an affirmative model of the ‘perfect family?’

It doesn’t surprise me to find that I was a jester juggling potatoes in Oregon House: after all, I put on the rodeo clown makeup eons ago and invested heavily in the french fry industry.

214. in2it - May 16, 2009
215. James Mclemore - May 16, 2009

214. in2it

Thanks – great story – we all need a little help sometimes………

216. James Mclemore - May 16, 2009

Jomo Pinata 208 & 209

You remind me of Kurt Vonnegut sometimes with your wonderful sense of humor that causes laughter but can almost make you cry at the same time.

217. Yesri Baba - May 16, 2009

“Idiot God made only one mouth. Should have made two.”

Guess that’s why daddy G. spent so much time talking out his ass and little fundamentalist diaper babies keep repeating his shit.
What do you think Mr. Krabs?

218. Renald - May 16, 2009

They closed down the school inorder to protect the students from the virulent flu. Then most of them went to the cinemas or the malls to be with the crowds they are used to. This repeated itself over and over again until…………..

Sounds familiar. Oh right! It`s that damned law of attraction!

Cheers!

219. Someone - May 17, 2009

205. elena – May 16, 2009
Yours, “For Girard will always continue to be my family”

After you have publically exposed every single detail of Girard’s sexuali life, you dare say he is your family?

If hypocrisy would have been an Olympic discipline you would have certainly won a golden medal.

220. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

219 Someone

Here we go – ‘bitchy Sunday’…..Nigel.

221. Someone - May 17, 2009

220. nigel harris price – May 17, 2009
Oh yeh? And who’s the bitch here?

222. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

221 Someone

Perhaps to relate scale to your acerbic (look it up in the dictionary) posts…..

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

Perhaps there is more beauty and understanding in life when the glaring sunlight is softened by the patterns of shadows. Perhaps there is more depth in a relationship that has weathered some storms. EXPERIENCE THAT NEVER DISAPPOINTS OR SADDENS OR STIRS UP FEELINGS IS A BLAND EXPERIENCE WITH LITTLE CHALLENGE OR VARIATION IN COLOUR. Perhaps when we experience confidence and faith and hope that we see materialize before our eyes thus builds up within us a feeling of inner strength, courage and security.

We are all personalities that grow and develop AS A RESULT OF ALL OUR EXPERIENCES, RELATIONSHIPS, THOUGHTS, AND EMOTIONS. We are the sum total of all the parts that go into THE MAKING OF A LIFE.”

(This is the true story of a little boy named Dibs…..

He would not talk. He would not play. Judged mentally defective, he was oblivious both to other children and to his teacher; in reality he was a brilliant, lonely child trapped in a prison of fear and rage, a prison from which only he could release himself. And through psychotherapy and love, he did.)

223. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

A late birthday gift for Robert Earl Burton…..

FRONDES AGRESTES (by Ruskin)

Section 1

4.
Had it been ordained by the Almighty that the highest pleasures of sight should be those of most difficult attainment, and that to arrive at them it should be necessary to accumulate GILDED PALACES, tower over tower, and pile ARTIFICIAL MOUNTAINS AROUND INSINUATED LAKES, there would never have been a direct contradiction between the unselfish duties and the inherent desires of every individual. But no such contradiction exists in the system of Divine Providence; which, leaving it open to us, if we will, as creatures in probation, TO ABUSE THIS SENSE LIKE ANY OTHER, and pamper it with SELFISH AND THOUGHTLESS VANITIES, as we pamper the palate with deadly meats, until THE APPETITE OF TASTEFUL CRUELTY is lost in its sickened satiety, incapable of pleasures unless, CALIGULA LIKE, it concentrates the labour of a million lives into the sensation of an hour, – leaves it open to us, BY HUMBLE AND LOVING WAYS, to make ourselves susceptible of deep delight, WHICH SHALL NOT SEPARATE US FROM OUR FELLOWS, nor require the sacrifice of ANY DUTY OR OCCUPATION, but shall bind us closer to men and to God, and be with us always, HARMONISED WITH EVRY ACTION, CONSISTENT WITH EVERY CLAIM, UNCHANGING AND ETERNAL.

224. Someone - May 17, 2009

222. nigel harris price – May 17, 2009
“We are all personalities”

Hmmm…still using work language, shame on you Nigel…

225. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

Sustenance for Sunday…..

INVICTUS
By
W E Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbow’d.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

226. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

224 Someone

…..and you can run to Daddy B. with my post #223…..Nigel.

227. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

To all FREE PEOPLE, in or out of any group or organization…..

“Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body………………………………………………………………”

Walt Whitman – Prologue to ‘Leaves of Grass’.

228. elena - May 17, 2009

Someone,

You, like many here, seem to still belong to the club that thinks families are meant to hide the dirt within themselves from society so that it can continue to hold it up and spread it within itself to the detriment of those who have to submit to power within the family and usually to the head of the sick male authority that society has so masterfully set up.

I don’t belong to that club nor anyone who holds society worth more than family, privacy and corruption.

229. elena - May 17, 2009

Someone,

We live in a time in which it is possible to love those sick buggers without buffering how sick they are. But the male credo of protecting one’s husband or father or no matter who is over and done with.

230. ton - May 17, 2009

“When abuses are publicly exposed, the leader either denies or justifies the behaviors by saying that ‘enemies of the truth’ or ‘the forces of evil’ are trying to subvert his true message. Core members of the group have a huge vested interest in believing him, as their identity is wrapped up in believing in his righteousness. Those who begin to doubt him at first become confused and depressed, and later feel betrayed and angry. The ways people deny and justify are similar: Since supposedly no one who is not enlightened can truly understand the motives of one who is, any criticism can be discounted as a limited perspective. Also, any behavior on the part of the guru, no matter how base, can be imputed to be some secret teaching or message that needs deciphering.

By holding gurus as perfect and thus beyond ordinary explanations,
their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything. Some
deeper, occult reason can always be ascribed to anything a guru
does: The guru is said to take on the karma of others, and that
is why his body has whatever problems it has. The guru is obese
or unhealthy because he is too kind to turn down offerings: besides, he gives so much that a little excess is understandable. He punishes those who disobey him not out of anger but out of necessity, as a good father would. He uses sex to teach about energy and detachment. He lives an opulent life to break people’s simplistic preconceptions of what ego-loss should look like; it also shows how detached and unconcerned he is about what others think. For after all, ‘Once enlightened, one can do anything.’ Believing this dictum makes any action justifiable.

People justify and rationalize in gurus what in others would
be considered unacceptable because they have a huge emotional
investment in believing their guru is both pure and right.”
(Guru Papers p.52)

231. ton - May 17, 2009

“That interest in one’s own salvation is totally
self-centered is a conundrum rarely explored.”
(ibid p.54)

232. in2it - May 17, 2009

Ton, your post seems to describe the profile of the latest blog provocateur (a few posts above), who presumably is “practicing” “self-observation,” and therefor can see him or herself in these words:

“Core members of the group have a huge vested interest in believing him, as their identity is wrapped up in believing in his righteousness.”

“By holding gurus as perfect and thus beyond ordinary explanations, their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything.”

“People justify and rationalize in gurus what in others would be considered unacceptable because they have a huge emotional
investment in believing their guru is both pure and right.”

233. Another Name - May 17, 2009

Dear Elena and others,

You wrote: No matter what the secrets are there is no shame after one can assume shame. Transforming shame with compassion translates into more tolerance for one’s self and others.

I assume that I was not clear in my writing when I read your response.

Shame in this case is also the early feeling of not being worthy… shame often is in the realm of unawareness. Although it dictates our behavior anyway. Shame often resulting from early, (maybe childhood) rejection in the form of subtle verbal or non verbal communication. Repeating itself in later life.

Robert has used this shame and feeling of unworthiness to promote his lust and greed.
For example when he tells hid ‘boys’ not to share information with others is the same as many molesters do with children. “Do not tell anybody”, which increases the secret at I.

I myself after so many years of fellowship of friend, I noticed that I never spoke about the fellowship of friends with others. Now when people ask me about the fellowship of friends it feels freeing to just talk my opinion about it, express myself, just freeing. It is also with other issues in my life, just opening the subject up and bring light to areas in my life that have been in the dark for a long time.

Thanks for reading and allowing myself to express more clearly….more light on the matter now.

Just read the guru papers after i wrote my post. …
Interesting.

234. in2it - May 17, 2009

It’s obvious but needs to be said occasionally:

One of the biggest ironies of this entire FOF journey was that we believed we were honestly seeing ourselves, observing ourselves, exposing buffers, working on our weaknesses, and helping others to see themselves.

Think about this for a moment: We spent years in a cult that alleges its aim is to “awaken” its participants, and we were told that leaving the group was a sign that “awakening” was no longer possible. But… Get this… What was our most profound moment of being awake? Answer: When we finally left. How’s that for a plot twist?

235. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

I believe that, although Burton may have had an experience of higher centres operating (he says, “Worlds 12 and 6 came into being and there was an earthquake and thunder”), I cannot see how he has any chance of continuing any form of ‘enlightenment’ with the behaviour that has happened, is happening now and will probably happen in the future. My own personal awakening came at my age of 33 (All Hallows Eve continuing into All Souls Day 1990), when I experienced all my memories of the Fellowship and encounters with members and what they had said at any given time, in one big ‘rush’ (would Gurdjieff have called it conscience?),. There was thunder across the sea as I tried to ‘consign G—-d H—n to the (full) moon’ and I followed, what has been a way of developing a higher state of being for me, my own Highway Code (being led around by the numbers and colours in the road-signs and side-walks and deciphering them with ‘the mind’s eye’). Taken to extremes, this type of behaviour can lead to hypo-mania and ‘sectioning’ by the authorities, but ‘calmed-down’, as it is experienced by me these days, I am bemused in synchronicity (pure thought relating to pure experience). I have won and lost states but am not willing to lose my sense of ‘well-being and balance’ to ambivalent sexual discrepancies (to tell you the truth, there has been next to nothing in the romance/sexual sphere in my life in the last 20 years – “hey, you get used to it”). I know what I know and I have what I have and, as many of you have witnessed, I give what I can to whomever asks…..and I fight my corner when I come across ‘foffie idiotics’…..Nigel.

236. Panoritsa - May 17, 2009

And again…

234. in2it – May 17, 2009

It’s obvious but needs to be said occasionally:

One of the biggest ironies of this entire FOF journey was that we believed we were honestly seeing ourselves, observing ourselves, exposing buffers, working on our weaknesses, and helping others to see themselves.

Think about this for a moment: We spent years in a cult that alleges its aim is to “awaken” its participants, and we were told that leaving the group was a sign that “awakening” was no longer possible. But… Get this… What was our most profound moment of being awake? Answer: When we finally left. How’s that for a plot twist?

237. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

236 Panoritsa

So how do we provide the environment for others to awaken (i.e. leave the Fellowship of Freuds)?????…..Nigel.

238. Panoritsa - May 17, 2009

Nigel

??????????? I don’t get it…..

239. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

I do things in ‘5’s to affirm the directive…..????? is followed by 5′.’s…..Nigel

240. Panoritsa - May 17, 2009

Price … you are Priceless…

241. Yesri Baba - May 17, 2009

‘(he says, “Worlds 12 and 6 came into being and there was an earthquake and thunder”)’

Hey Jomo, do you have that pdf that tells the story?

was it:

Earthquake and thunder
Smoke and lightning
Rumble in the bunghole or
Angel farts and glitter?

i’d hate for anyone to mistake the event because of a funky mexican meal or shaky info.

242. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

240 Panoritsa

Not sure how to take the ‘compliment’, but I think I meant, in that post #237, that we should question DEEPLY – never take anything for granted – that is one way I have ‘transfomed’ my naivete feature (and always get a 1/2 payment up-front on what people commission from you as an artist; that way you will not be left with an unsaleable ‘objet d’art’ if they reneg on the deal – make them take you seriously!!!!!)…..Nigel.

243. nigel harris price - May 17, 2009

241 Yesri Baba

You know, despite the fact that you have said previously that you post ‘tongue in cheek’ most of the time, there may be a certain ‘ring of truth’ to your silliness…..maybe REB was bullshitting about his, as he called it, crystallization…..after all, there are so many things he has lied about that bloggers have ‘uncovered’ the truth about…..for instance CELIBACY on his part (that is a big one).

There is a quote from REB that I remember that would well describe those of us who are trying hard to live our lives honestly and pursuing a spiritual journey of any description (and the BASTARD ASCRIBED IT TO HIMSELF!!!!!).

“I know who I am and I know what I represent”…..(comments, please!)

244. in2it - May 17, 2009

It’s a combination of two things with Burton:

1) Delusion: In other words, not realizing that he’s lost touch with reality.
2) Lying: In other words, fully realizing that what he tells people is untrue, but telling them anyway because it furthers his agenda — sex with many of his followers whenever he wants, fun trips abroad, a sense of power and control, an inflamed ego, nice cars, and so on.

What I’m discovering is that it’s a lot more No. 2 than I had previously realized.

But imagine a group of people who are completely afraid of the ramifications of acknowledging even No. 1.

How on earth will you convince a person that “it’s a lot more No. 2” when they have no clue even about No. 1?

—-

Imagine a person without a conscience who is surrounded by people who believe he not only has a conscience, but that he exists in a higher spiritual realm… Ouch! Not a good thing. Not a good thing at all.

No, it isn’t Burton who is delusional; instead, those who follow him are the delusional ones.

245. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

to Forty-Four in2it

Ooh. Stunner!…..Nigel.

246. Jomo Piñata - May 18, 2009

“I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby. It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished. It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved.”

247. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

246 Jomo Pinata

Thanks for clueing us in. There you have it folks. That is what Burton said.

248. elena - May 18, 2009

Someone: “After you have publically exposed every single detail of Girard’s sexuali life, you dare say he is your family?”

Of course, why would I deny it? You think a woman makes a husband out of a man and throws him out like men do to their wives?

Just in case you haven’t got it clear enough let me tell you a little about the pricelesness of Girard’s sexual life in the history of this cult and the experience of men with sexuality just so that it is left for the record and we make no mistakes about it in the future. We might not be able to solve this problem today but anyone who understands her time enough, writes for a different one!

Let me tell you the most priceless thing I learnt with Girard: that no matter how much damage a man does, it is mostly out of ignorance. You can take all the Nazis and all the people in power no matter where and the most pathetic aspect of the tragedy is that most people in those positions don’t know that they are being evil. They were programmed to fit in the System and paid harder than anybody else to keep it running. Their life is set up on it. Perhaps that is why it is so easy to continue to love them enough to wish them nothing but well-being: The destruction of the System!

Another aspect that will need to be explored much more deeply in the future is the connection between sex and the community. Wilhelm Reich of course touched on it deeply but when you actually live it in flesh and blood, when you actually live the experience of being with someone who has disenabled his emotional centre almost completely by the obsessive practice of sex without love and is willing to hurt no matter who to keep his imaginary picture of himself and his world running, the theory, no matter how perfect, is insubstantial in comparison. You can’t fuck around with sex without it having deep consequences on the structure of your being. In fact you can’t fuck around with anything and get away with it untouched.

What we will come to understand in the future much more vividly is that no one can move a hand without the movement affecting the whole of his being. That nothing anyone ever does is free of effects. I belong to a time in which the super-production of meaningless things has made life itself meaningless and most people go around like zombies without even wondering what else we could have done with our selves. Consumerism is consuming our soul. Pure addicts! To women, shopping, money, power, fame, television, drugs, people! Sex, food, and rock’n roll! It was fun to picture that but in the extreme, mass production simply mass consumed us. It is not only that people have lost meaning, it’s that life itself is meaningless: “Eat, fuck and die! Put old people in the home and children in the closet! Or the kinder garden is just as good, where someone else can take care of them! While you make money and consume” Why do you think obesity is a factual issue in America? It’s no longer that people live life, it’s that life “lives” people, “consumes” them.

I, like most others, thought I was different but how much more could have life consumed me in a Cult for seventeen years? But don’t think I’m complaining, this was my lot and I’m happy putting it straight! The game isn’t over until one stops kicking!

What I find most amusing about comments like yours is that after destroying the family, after treating women like whores, after creating a society of consumerism in which nothing has meaning, men still expect women to respect the integrity of their authority as if they had any! You’re lucky that women like me can still say they love idiots like Girard. Or at least aren’t willing to shoot them like men so eagerly do to each other.

Tell me where is there any legitimacy left in the patriarchal society you’ve so lavishly constructed? Now you’ll say you weren’t the people in power!!! It is so corrupt that weirdo’s like Robert and Girard can legitimately function as “God-Kings”! And all the men do is say: it’s CONSTITUTIONAL! And continue to hide their pricks from the Public Square because they’ve come to think that living is only possible in private! Where no one can see them! Hiding our lack of being and exposing the shame of not knowing how to exist! Private property became so private that people have to hide to exist their private lives: programmed to die without ever protesting! You think it is a coincidence that the public Square has been replaced by the shopping mall? If we had not eaten the whole crap, we women, Robert and Girard wouldn’t have lasted a day! The other side of the Fellowship that hasn’t been mentioned enough is that it is an altar to machism and men bought it as badly as women, bought it so badly that instead of protesting they paid for it and made “sissys” out of themselves. You included Someone. Sick sissy protesting because I expose the sexuality of a fucking sicko who systematically allows the rape of twenty year old men so that his sick guru can pay him a cheap salary but allows him to watch porn and preach while multitudes pay to listen to him!” You can adorn the facts all you like but the facts are fucked and still I do not wish them any harm but help. We loved each other but how could you ever understand THAT! I’m so glad I walked away from such love. If a few more women walked away, things would have to change!

Ranting is such a pleasure! Give me another of your comments and I’ll fly high! Orphans have the advantage that they never had a home! No where to hide! Anywhere is good enough to die!

249. brucelevy - May 18, 2009

this was posted on the GF:

250. X-ray - May 18, 2009

236. Panoritsa – May 17, 2009

´´What was our most profound moment of being awake? Answer: When we finally left.´´

For me it was a moment of truth, that is for sure.

251. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

248 elena

I feel you controlled your words and yourself well in answering ‘insensitive Someone’ and I also think you have actually ‘pinned him against the bull in the dartboard’ with your incisiveness. I wonder how many men still, whether in or out of the Fellowship, think of women as accessories to their own petty sense of power and vanity within the world? As you know, by what I wrote in a recent post, I have been (very!) single for a long time now but still hold out that that ‘special woman’ will come along – I ask my women friends, who are in strongly bonded relationships, what I should do and what I should be like (how I should act) to attract HER – the answers are much the same – be a gentleman to every woman you come across, show that you have a REAL Interest in the THINGS THAT MATTER IN YOUR LIFE, and SHE will find YOU. As you probably can guess, there is little chance in asking men – their answers are like…..women are after your money and deserve a ‘good shagging’ (very intelligent, eh, Elena). Again, many thanks for your post…..Nigel.

252. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

249 brucelevy

Damn!…..Got to get that sound-card fixed…..Nigel.

P.S. He looked like one who did not get rich. Anyone kind enough to relate a few of his comments? N.

253. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

For Elena, after my brief night’s sleep…..Nigel.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Sonnet CXVI (William Shakespeare)

254. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

“When I am down, and Oh! my soul so weary,
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on troubled sea;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up, to all that I can be.”

(Westlife – ‘You Raise Me Up’)

255. James Mclemore - May 18, 2009

246. Jomo Piñata

Strange memories………..
I lived at the ‘ranch’ when this supposed event took place. I can remember wondering at the time if he was making all this up. I had the gut feeling that he was, and yet pushed that thought back, and of course, did not share it with anyone else, not even with the lady I was in an intimate relationship with. I remember there was a part of me wishing that I could look at it the way in which it appeared to me that other students did. Everyone seemingly joyous and celebrating over what had supposedly happened. I wanted to be part of the ‘family’, but did not feel like I was, and was just left with the feeling that I must be defective or in some way unworthy. The unworthiness being something that I now know I brought with me from my first family. It seems there are a number of different dynamics that can keep one in a cult that have that ‘family’ motif. I never did trust Burton, and yet was in awe of him and wished the acceptance of the other students whom I admired. How strange.

256. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

88, at the gate;
elena and me, avatars be…..Nigel.

257. Panoritsa - May 18, 2009

Jomo,

thanks for the words from the “master” of deceit about his “crystallization.” I remember the first time I heard him uttering them during a dinner at the Galleria, I started looking at the exit sign… I found it then but felt clued on my chair…

What nonsense we swallowed all those years.

258. Panoritsa - May 18, 2009

Nigel,

I was just re-posting In2it’s post 234…Because I just liked it.

And I meant the compliment…

259. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

257 Panoritsa

(I was a little unsure…..)…..but I digress. There is a song by the rock-group, ‘Queen’ (oh, yes!) called ‘The Great Pretender’. The strange thing is, and I am not inventing this, since there are allusions to it in the Bible, THE THINGS THAT SEEM TO BE, ARE NOT! Witness governments (war-mongers), banks (‘financial services’ is a joke!) and high-rolling gurus (emotional rapists and more). Again, to talk about Burton, he is not just any old guru; he is (wait for it) The Antichrist (“and the number of The Beast is ‘sick, sick sex'” [to paraphrase Revelations]). What role do we have, as ex-members, who have had some, or a great amount of proximity to him? On the blog, we give witness to what was done, and we will be called on, in a court of law, to give our accounts – an exemplary case, I should think!!!!! Of course, there will be an attempt at a ‘buy-out’ by Burton’s legal team, but we shall all say, in unison, as in Shakespeare’s Henry V…..

“The offer likes him (King Henry) not.”…..Nigel.

260. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

To all the women in our lives – our wives, mothers, lovers and lady-friends…..

HER PRAISE
By W B Yeats

“She is foremost of those that I would hear praised.
I have gone about the house, gone up and down
As a man does who has published a new book,
Or a young girl dressed out in her new gown,
And though I have turned the talk by hook or crook
Until her praise should be the uttermost theme,
A woman spoke of some new tale she had read,
A man confusedly in a half dream
As though some other name ran in his head.
She is foremost of those that I would hear praised.
I will talk no more of books or the long war
But walk by the dry thorn until I have found
Some beggar sheltering from the wind, and there
Manage the talk until her name come round.
If there be rags enough he will know her name
And be well pleased remembering it, for in the old days,
Though she had young men’s praise and old men’s blame,
Among the poor both old and young gave her praise.”

261. Panoritsa - May 18, 2009

Nigel,

I agree. I often thought the last months that if there is a personification of evil, I’ve met it and it is Burton. It scares me to even think about the support we offered to his rape factory and the big fat lies he has been spreading for decades.

I am trying to come into terms with the evil side and I know one thing: the more I avoid to look at it, the more space it takes.

I feel as a human being I need to look at my dark sides and embrace them. I need to know what I have down there at the basement.

The Fellowship served as a drug, nothing like the bookmarks and the advertisements about a school of love, awakening and friendship.

I enjoy my life, friends, family but the Fellowship remains a thorn on my side: how we massively supported the madness in each other, the hypocrisy, the lies…

I’m off for now…till soon…

262. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

Copy of my ‘bouncing bomb’ just sent to The Governator…..
(617 Suadron Leader Price ‘Dambusters’)

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger
I was given your contact details by a friend who was, as I was, up until 20 years ago, in what can only be described as a ‘cult’ (though I did not see it at the time) that goes by the name of the Fellowship of Friends and has its headquarters in Oregon House, north of Sacramento. I was one of those professionals who had earned a degree in England and went to work in Los Angeles under an H-1 visa. Unfortunately, due to an incompetent immigration lawyer and unscrupulous employers, the passage forward to a ‘green card’ did not materialize. Another prospective employer in Palo Alto said he would have no problem in obtaining one for me in his employment but, when he ended my contract, I discovered he had made no application whatsoever and so I was left as an illegal immigrant and in debt to the tune of several thousand dollars. As you can probably understand, I was left in a precarious position – do I leave owing money (I actually had no money for air-fare and transporting my belongings) or do I continue, hoping that work would improve and that I might find that ‘special lady’ who would become my wife? I went through various other employers, using my social security number which I had already obtained until opening my own workshop in my trade as a silversmith and having the honour of being the Official Silversmith for the Visit of Pope John Paul II to San Francisco in 1987. Was it Fate that I had stayed on illegally? Can the Law answer that one? I only know that there was no other craftsman/business owner who could have produced the Holy Vessels. Unfortunately, my debts spiralled out of control, and in June 1989 I became clinically depressed and made a very serious suicide attempt. I believe my debts were, in a large part, due to having to pay vast amounts of money to the cult (I ended up owing about $30,000 to business angels and credit companies). I also believe that the cult should pay any back taxes that I owe federally and to the state, since it was due to them that I could not pay. You may like to know that, after much psychotherapy and a balanced medication for my bi-polar disorder, I now teach my beloved craft-form to adult learners in the county of Devon, England. I feel that I made an honest attempt to become a legal worker, given the circumstances, and that the Fellowship of Friends has made a mockery of the immigration system by ‘importing’ young men for the pleasure of the homosexual cult leader and fixing arranged marriages. Other members have gone through the ‘farm workers’ loophole. I am sure that, upon intense investigation, the Fellowship of Friends will be found to be a fraudulent corporation (it has shielded itself from tax liabilities, also) and not the ‘Beautiful Church’ which it purports to be. I would be glad to have my evidence heard in any Court of Law, should it be deemed necessary. Yours most sincerely…..Nigel Harris Price BA Hons., Cert. Ed., MIfL

“Call me irresponsible”…..as the song goes…..Nigey-pooh, coming through.

263. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

And, of course, to create a pincer movement, the Department of Justice (Office of Victim’s Services) has been sent a copy of the ‘letternator’…..Nigel

(outflank them like the Battle of Falkirk – see ‘Braveheart’)

264. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

The Apollans snoozed while Nigey posted…..yes, folks – they had a copy of Schwarziburger’s email from me. Put on your best armour, exxies, I feel a good fight comin’ on…..nobody beats the Nige!!!!!

265. fofblogmoderator - May 18, 2009

250 is newly moderated

266. in2it - May 18, 2009

“What was our most profound moment of being awake? Answer: When we finally left.”

X-ray wrote: “For me it was a moment of truth, that is for sure.”

——–

The main point was to bring some attention to the irony… that “awakening” and awareness are the supposed goals of the organization, when the actual goal is lack of awareness and being asleep to the agendas of the cult leader.

The truth about Burton and the FOF is so obvious that the only way to hide it is to make sure people… are asleep.

It’s a bit like someone suggesting a nuclear waste dump in your back yard will be good for your health. Not a perfect analogy, but you get the point.

267. X-ray - May 18, 2009

246. Jomo Piñata – May 18, 2009
“I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby. It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished. It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved.”

Did it happened when two big dicks have entered his anus?
Amazing what Darvon and Viagra can do to a man.

268. in2it - May 18, 2009

Jeez, this page was doing so well for a moment there.

269. in2it - May 18, 2009

Today’s Words of the Day:

dictionary.com:
pernicious \pur-NISH-us\, adjective:
Highly injurious; deadly; destructive; exceedingly harmful.

merriam-webster:
cupidity \kyoo-PID-uh-tee\ noun
inordinate desire for wealth : avarice, greed

270. 411 - May 18, 2009

“I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby HOW WOULD BURTON KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO GIVE BIRTH >. It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished. It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, AGAIN, HOW THE FUCK WOULD BURTON KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE SHOT BETWEEN THE EYES and I was looking at them unmoved.”

271. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

Does anyone remember REB saying that he would live to the age of 72, then end his role (don’t worry folks, he’s already dead). Guess what blog page this is????? And how dynamic evryone’s posts are (ripping HIM apart, I would say!!!!!). I feel a ritual suicide in the air…..

Anyway, I have had a long (4am – 11pm) day and still have energy from the stimulation of my life’s positive activities. I am reminded of the motto of the Express and Echo (Exeter’s city newspaper)…..

“Action into words and words into action”

With this in mind I copy and paste the swift reply from the Office of the Governor General of California…..

Thank you for writing to Governor Schwarzenegger. The Governor appreciates hearing from people like you who care about the future of our great state.

The issue you have written about is federal in nature and falls outside of the Governor’s jurisdiction. Our office suggests you contact U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein on this matter at the following address:

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 393-0707
http://feinstein.senate.gov

You may also wish to contact your U.S. Congressional Representative. To find out who your local Representative is, please visit http://www.house.gov/writerep.

Again, thank you for writing and voicing your concern on this important issue.
Sincerely,

Luis Portillo
Office of Constituent Affairs

“In peace, there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility.
But when the blast of war blows in our ears
Then imitate the action of the tiger.
Hold fast the nostrils, summon up the blood
And raise each vaunting SPIRIT to its full height”

(‘Breach Speech’ – Henry V, by William Shakespeare)

There was a beautiful commercial about bequeathing money to worthy causes, such as the alleviation of suffering and poverty throughout the world and how it is individuals and their actions, not those of governments, corporations and war-mongers, which shape the world. The final line read…..

“I WILL, will YOU?”

I say, batter the foffing bastards into REB’s black hole…..

“France (Renaissance etc.) being ours, we’ll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces.”

Guess which play?????…..Dark Champion of the House Ruler out of an Impetuous Man (the translation of my Celtic [warrior-nobility] name)

P.S. Exeter’s name comes from the Latin ISCA, meaning water and,as any scientist will tell you, water is the ESSENCE of LIFE. N.

272. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

With intense gratitude to X-ray’s lead…..

Congressman Wally Herger
Washington, D.C. Office
2268 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3076

District Offices

Chico
55 Independence Circle, Suite 104
Chico, California 95973
(530) 893-8363

Redding
410 Hemsted Drive, Suite 115
Redding, California 96002
(530) 223-5898

273. nigel harris price - May 18, 2009

REB: “Technology is our art-form.”

NHP: “Information is our technology. We become our art-form.”

274. X-ray - May 19, 2009

271. nigel harris price – May 18, 2009

Yes, the more – the better!

With gratitude to every one else contributing here.

275. Panoritsa - May 19, 2009

411.

How greedy indeed can a “spiritual” leader be? Consuming all possible experiences and Goodies?

A Goddess in a male body, a Galleria, A Prytaneon, A Theatron, Propylaia, samples of the best Russian dancers, samples of young men…Giving birth (???) yes, but to higher centers ( real babies mean a lot of work you see…)…shoot me between the eyes…right there…right now… So much suffering that man…

What a sissy…

276. michael - May 19, 2009

With gratitude that summer vacation now lasts all year long…

Student: “I do not have a belief system, I verify.”
Former Student: “And you believe that you’ve verified?”
Student: “Yes.”
Former Student: “Oh.”

277. nigel harris price - May 19, 2009

As we in England start our morning…..

“We are but warriors for the working day” (William Shakespeare)

278. Ellen - May 19, 2009

Bruce,
Thanks for the video.

Nigel,
You are a true warrior. A warrior of the heart. Bless you…

279. Panoritsa - May 19, 2009

Nigel – You Rock!

280. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 19, 2009

Today’s Word of the Day:
perfidy

dictionary.com:
per·fi·dy
[pur-fi-dee]
–noun, plural -dies.
1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery: perfidy that goes unpunished.
2. an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.
Origin:
1585–95; < L perfidia faithlessness, equiv. to perfid(us) faithless, lit., through (i.e., beyond the limits of) faith (per- per- + fid(ēs) faith + -us adj. suffix) + -ia -y 3

Synonyms:
See disloyalty.

Related Words for: perfidy
perfidiousness, treachery, betrayal, treason

merriam-webster:
perfidy
noun

1. lack of faithfulness especially to one’s spouse — see infidelity
2. the act or fact of violating the trust or confidence of another — see betrayal

281. Nelle - May 19, 2009

Oops!
My photo has come up inadvertently!
I’ve been doing a major overhaul to my personal (artist-nose) website these last few weeks and added a wordpress blog feature to discuss technical issues related to painting – thus the avatar showing up here.
Time for a new name anyway. For the intereseted and curious the website address can be found on my GFoF page.
X,
Nelle

282. ton - May 19, 2009

since we’re posting definitions — re: the position of power and control which the guru has in relation to the individuals in his flock, consider ‘abuse of fiduciary responsibility’ — speaking personally, when i found the fof i think there was an understanding and an expectation of the responsibilities and higher moral standards that ought govern the conduct of a so called ‘spiritual teacher’ — but since nothing was in writing there’s probably no framework for legal action on these grounds (?) one thing i can say, to quote the song: ‘we won’t get fooled again…’

“A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.[1] ”

283. Panoritsa - May 19, 2009

Ellen… I love your new avatar!

284. michael - May 19, 2009

ton ~

Yes, and since many in the ‘we’ were proud to be writing their own rules when it came to building permits, marrying for visas, travel and residence abroad and having a country store stock imported chocolates from just about every developed country (Excepting Vatican City, 0.2 square miles and 770 people strong), well, as they say in America, “More power to him.” Though, as a ‘legal church’ there are some ‘no brainers’ that the FOF would have to answer to so far as “‘abuse of fiduciary responsibility'”… And since it’s not really a ‘legal’ church, then there’s some brainers that Yuba County officials may have to mull over, like the hundreds of thousands of tax dollars they’ve spent of FOF students money to repave roads so to make it a smoother ride from Oregon House to San Francisco International Airport.
___

Personal Liability of Church Board Members

In the past, church board members performed their duties with little if any concern about personal legal liability. But this is changing. An increasing number of church board members are being sued personally. What has changed? What are the most common theories of liability? What can board members do to protect themselves? These are critical questions addressed in this article.

THEORIES OF LEGAL LIABILITY

Tort Liability

The most common basis of liability is the commission of a tort. A “tort” is an injury to another’s person or property caused by either an intentional act or negligence. Examples include the negligent operation of a vehicle in the course of church work, defamation, fraud, copyright infringement, and wrongful termination of employees.

Board members ordinarily do not incur personal liability for such torts solely because they serve on the board. They must be actively involved by directing or participating in the wrong. A board member ordinarily will not be liable for the torts committed by other board members without his or her knowledge or consent. Obviously, board members having any question regarding the propriety of a particular action being discussed at a board meeting should be sure to have their dissent to the proposed action registered in the minutes of the meeting.

Contract Liability

Church board members may be personally liable on contracts they sign in either of two ways. First, board members may be liable on contracts they sign without authority. Second, board members may be liable on contracts they are authorized to sign but which they sign in their own name without any reference to the church or to their “representational capacity.” To prevent liability, board members who are authorized to sign contracts (as well as any other legal document) should be careful to indicate the church’s name on the document and clearly indicate their own representational capacity (agent, director, trustee, officer, etc.).

Breach of the Fiduciary Duty of Care

Church board members have a “fiduciary duty” to perform their duties “in good faith, in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of the corporation, and with such care as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances.” This duty commonly is referred to as the “prudent person rule” or the fiduciary “duty of due care.” Church board members can reduce the risk by (1) attending all of the meetings of the board and of any committees on which they serve; (2) thoroughly reviewing all interim and annual financial statements and reports and seeking clarification of any irregularities or inconsistencies; (3) investigating and correcting any other irregularities or improprieties; (4) thoroughly reviewing the corporate charter, constitution, and bylaws; (5) dissenting from any board action with which they have any misgivings and insisting that their objection be recorded in the minutes of the meeting; and (6) resigning from the board if and when they are unable to fulfill these duties.

Breach of the Duty of Loyalty

Church board members have a fiduciary duty of loyalty to the church. This duty generally requires that any transaction between the board and one of its members be (1) fully disclosed, (2) approved by the board without the vote of the interested member, and (3) fair and reasonable to the corporation.

To illustrate, assume that a board member owns a carpeting business and is selected to install new carpeting for the church. In most states such a transaction will be appropriate so long as the board member’s personal benefit is fully disclosed, the transaction is approved by a disinterested majority of the board, and the transaction is fair to the church.

Violation of Trust Terms

Church board members may be legally responsible for violating the terms or restrictions of properties and funds held in trust by the church.

To illustrate, assume that a church raises $250,000 for a new building fund and later decides to cancel the project. Can the board spend these funds for other purposes? The important point is this—designated funds are held by the church “in trust” for the designated purpose. When the church abandons the building project, the designated contributions are revocable at the option of the donors. In most cases donors who made designated contributions can be identified, and they should be asked if they want their contributions returned or retained by the church and used for some other purpose. Church boards must provide donors with this option in order to avoid violating their legal duty to use “trust funds” only for the purposes specified. Of course, churches should advise these donors that they will need to file amended tax returns if they claimed a charitable contribution deduction for their contributions in a prior year.

Securities Law

Most state securities laws impose civil liability on every board member that (1) offers or sells unregistered, nonexempt securities; (2) uses unlicensed agents in the offer or sale of its securities (unless the agents are specifically exempted from registration under state law); or (3) offers or sells securities by means of any untrue statement of a material fact or any omission of a material fact.

In recent years, a number of churches have violated some or all of these requirements. Such violations render each board member potentially liable, and the amount of liability can be substantial.

Wrongful Discharge of an Employee

In the past, employment agreements of unspecified duration could be terminated “at will” by either the employer or the employee. No “cause” was necessary. In recent years, courts in a number of states have permitted dismissed “at will” employees to sue their former employer on the basis of a number of theories, including: (1) wrongful discharge in violation of public policy (e.g., employee terminated for filing a worker’s compensation claim or for reporting illegal employer activities); (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (3) fraud; (4) defamation; and (5) breach of contract terms. Directors may be personally liable to the extent that they participate in such activities.

Willful Failure to Withhold Taxes

Church board members having authority over a church’s day-to-day financial affairs can be personally liable for the amount of payroll taxes that are not withheld or paid over to the government by the church. It does not matter that they serve without compensation, so long as they act willfully. Clearly, church leaders must be knowledgeable regarding a church’s payroll tax obligations and ensure that such obligations are satisfied.

Loans to Directors

Most states prohibit the board of a church or other nonprofit corporation from making loans to either directors or officers. Board members who vote in favor of such loans can be liable for them in the event that the loan is unauthorized or otherwise impermissible. Church boards must check the state law under which they are incorporated before considering any loan to a minister.

“IMMUNITY” STATUTES

Most states have enacted laws limiting the liability of church board members. The most common type of statute immunizes uncompensated directors and officers from legal liability for any negligent act committed within the scope of their official duties. “Willful and wanton” conduct or “gross negligence” is not protected by such statutes. Why have most states enacted such laws? The primary reason is to encourage persons to serve as directors of nonprofit organizations. In the past, many qualified individuals have declined to serve in this capacity out of a fear of being sued. The immunity statutes respond directly to this concern by providing directors of nonprofit organizations with limited immunity from legal liability.

MISCELLANEOUS DEFENSES

A few defenses are available to the directors and officers of nonprofit organizations in addition to state “immunity” laws. One relates to unincorporated churches. It is the general rule that members of unincorporated churches cannot sue other members for injuries they suffer in the course of church activities. This rule on occasion can protect church board members. In addition, most courts have ruled that church board members cannot be sued over internal “ecclesiastical” disputes, including the selection, discipline, or dismissal of church members.

As a general rule, board members are not responsible for actions taken by the board prior to their election to the board (unless they vote to ratify a previous action). And board members ordinarily are not liable for actions taken by the board after their resignation. Again, they will continue to be liable for actions they took prior to their resignation.

A number of state laws permit nonprofit corporations to amend their bylaws to indemnify board members for any costs incurred in connection with the defense of any lawsuit arising out of their activities as directors.

285. veramente - May 19, 2009

fofblogmoderator, where do I find your email?
Thank you for all you do!

NIGEL,
You rock man!

286. X-ray - May 19, 2009

246. Jomo Piñata – May 18, 2009
“I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby. It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished. It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved.”

Actualy I do belive in bolt fo lightning, smoke and earthquake.
It is quite possible with the help of two big russian cocks drilling up your ass powered each by two 100 mg blue Viagra pills and about 300-400 gr beefsteak mixted with a buttle of red wine.
Plus the half, or now full pack of Darvon a day, can really make it all happen.

287. X-ray - May 19, 2009

and that is what he thinks a conscious being means..
a fucking sicko..

288. fofblogmoderator - May 19, 2009

281 is newly moderated

Veramente, my email is; nogurus@yahoo.com

289. nigel harris price - May 19, 2009

Panoritsa/veramente

Whitman:-

“I am great; I contain multitudes”
“Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking”

I only wish to help, and to BE!!!!!…..Nigel.

290. nigel harris price - May 19, 2009

Panoritsa/veramente

Whitman:-

“I am great; I contain multitudes”
“Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking”

I only wish to help and to BE!!!!!…..Nigel.

291. nigel harris price - May 19, 2009

Make no mistake, ladies – this is handover time…..

An avatar who loves women and an avatar who has loved men ( both stand in this middle ground) make way for six more conscious women to bode in this Age of Aquarius. The big problem is – MISOGNONY – the fact that ruling Saturn has made Male Dominance and the Bringer of Old Age and Death the prime factor since time gone by. The Absolute declares it…Nigel

“Dishonour not thy mothers” (Henry V, by William Shakespeare)
“Dishonour not the Universe, thy Electric Mother, the Carrier of Us All”…..Nigel, (2009)

292. nigel harris price - May 19, 2009

Sorry…..stuck an extra “N” in misogony (declared fault)…..Nigel

293. what the...? - May 20, 2009

Check this out while you can, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find…

http://www.archive.org/details/FofBoardWarning

294. fofblogmoderator - May 20, 2009

293 is newly moderated

295. Panoritsa - May 20, 2009

293. !!!!!!!

Everyone should read what is in the archive.org

Especially YOU who are still in the Fellowship.

It might worth printing out the information as it might disappear soon…

296. Panoritsa - May 20, 2009

Actually, you can read through the black marker that covers the names. Could it be that truth shines through?

We have been members of a corrupted organization for years. I thought I was in a school of love and consciousness. Look at the mess…

297. Jomo Piñata - May 20, 2009

293/what the…?

nice. amazed? no.

298. veramente - May 20, 2009

Panoritsa – May 20, 2009
Actually, you can read through the black marker that covers the names. Could it be that truth shines through?

————–
We saw this document before, cannot imagine how it got on line. Glad it is.
But I cannot read through the black marker, can you give me some hints?

299. fofblogmoderator - May 20, 2009

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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