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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion – Part 78 July 31, 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. Ames Gilbert - July 31, 2009

On the GF website in May, Tatyana asked a question, and Duncan made a forum (The FoF distortions of the 4th Way) for it and invited answers. There were many, and I invite you to go there if you can. I thought about distilling all the answers for the blog, but between getting the various permissions and knowing that I in turn might possibly distort the answers by editing them or by not putting them in the correct context, I decided I’d just share my answer alone for those who don’t have access to GF—Ames

T: You mentioned that FOF distorted the ideas of the 4th way. And that there are fundamental ideas of the System such as 4 centers, self-remembering, obstacles to a higher state etc.

I would like to catalogue if I can all distortions that FOF made of the 4th way. Can you point a few?
One that came to mind right away was that a student has to abandon A influence for C influence (meaning bring the life in the school, pay money and work hard for nothing for the Teacher.)

What about that Nine of Hearts and the Steward thing? Steward is the 4th way idea. What about wordless state of Presence – is it not the same as a Higher State? Besides, Robert still uses the idea of 4 centers – does it make his teaching a true teaching?

Ames:
Tatyana,
The one-line answer: Burton using the idea of 4 centers does not make his teaching a true teaching by any means.
Where, O where to begin? You are going to need months of full-time study to catalog all the distortions, misunderstandings and deviations! Here are some random examples to get you started…

• Of course, the whole damned thing (wrongly called a ‘teaching’) is a travesty, because the organization was founded on, and is to this day riddled through and through with lies, fairy tales, inventions, distortions, and monuments to Burton’s ego.

• The first big lie was that Burton was qualified to be a teacher at all. His claims are just that, claims, without proof. Here is an example, on just one level. Of the group of six students kicked out with me in 1994, one took it upon herself to find and talk to Alex Horn’s first wife (still in Northern California), and report back to us. His wife remembered Burton quite clearly. She was quite unequivocal about his sexual appetites and the fact that he failed the task set for him by Alex Horn. The task had two parts. The first part was to stop pestering fellow male students for sex. The second was to stop all homosexual activity outside the group, period. He failed at both, and was thrown out. The idea that he ‘surpassed his teacher’ and was later praised by his teacher is laughable. Whether you accept that Alex Horn was a true 4th Way teacher or not (I do not), Burton failed his task completely, and flunked. And, not only is there no lineage through Horn, but Horn has no lineage either. The 4th Way demands a legitimate conscious lineage in order to transmit the necessary information.

• He dazzled Bonita (his first follower), then had sex with her, then lied about that. He continued the lie by claiming celibacy (except of course when forcing himself on his heterosexual sex partners) until he could no longer deny it (about 1984-5). He doubled the lie by claiming that homosexuality prevented evolution, and by making homosexual non-practice an absolute task, not only for those first dozen years, but for several years after he was exposed as homosexual to the laity. He tripled the lie, setting new records for hypocrisy, when one man he raped had the courage to stand up at a meeting and denounce Burton. Burton interrupted, calling the young man not only a liar, but delusional, and claimed again that he was celibate. The young man received no support, or even questions from the audience, and left the FoF directly from that meeting. (I was not there, but Stella W., who was present, told me about it in 1998. She also emphasized that she absolutely believed Burton, just as all the other followers present at the time apparently did). My point is, the organization was riddled with corruption from the beginning. Even the initially beautiful things were underlain with this corrupt foundation, and hence inevitably became corrupted.

• In 1994, Burton was asked, “What is the purpose of conscience?”, and replied with these words, “Conscience is just a collection of “I”s; anyone accumulating too much material there should leave the school.” Since it is the purpose of a 4th Way school to wake up conscience, which develops in parallel with consciousness, Burton thereby shows himself to be the low charlatan he is, and that he has neither consciousness or conscience. This is probably one of the most important deviations from the 4th Way, one which cannot be overemphasized.

• The claim that ‘C-Influence’ is some power external to one. The Church of Burton linked this distortion to the ’44 angels’ and so on, that they are his helpers (or, depending on occasion, vice-versa). On the contrary, the 4th Way says that C-Influence is the transmission of higher knowledge through a teacher. The implication is that this would be orally or by example. The idea of 44 angels or any other external co-teachers is inimical to the 4th Way.

• The claim that he is a personal intermediary between his followers and ‘C-Influence’. That he is necessary to his followers’ evolution, and the only person on the planet who can be so. This has nothing to do with the 4th Way. The only part of this claim which might be valid is if he was is a transmitter of higher knowledge—and of course only if he were a true teacher. The 4th Way emphasizes that one’s evolution is personal, that no one can do the work for another.

• The claim that it takes many lifetimes to awaken, and that one must somehow follow him through those many lifetimes. This is another set of lies, based on a gross distortion of some theories put forward by Ouspensky in a couple of his books. For a start, these were only personal thought experiments, secondly, they cannot possibly be verified—only one’s present life can be verified. Coupled to this lie in Burton’s fantasy is another; that giving up one’s will to Burton is pretty much permanent, at least for several lifetimes. The 4th Way emphasizes that giving up one’s will to a teacher is strictly temporary; just long enough for the student to see the difference between morality and conscience, and to build up trust in conscience as the true guide. The central point of the 4th Way is to truly individuate and take real responsibility for oneself. This means it is critical to separate from the teacher and graduate from his or her school. Burton teaches the opposite; he teaches his followers to fear or adore him. This means that instead of the teacher pointing the way, the teacher has become the destination—in exact opposition to the 4th Way.

• Connected intimately with the above is the claim that the ends justifies the means. This basic misunderstanding also highlights and proves Burton’s lack of knowledge, being, and conscience, and any of his followers who believe the same. An awakening conscience understands that the ends never justify the means, that the means shape the ends. And a careful study of the law of three and the law of seven, keys to understanding the 4th Way, also shows this clearly, at whatever level one chooses to concentrate on.

• The claim that no follower can awaken in a female body. This is also closely linked to another of Burton’s personal inventions, Feminine Dominance. The 4th Way may sometimes refer, in different words, to the ‘cultural soup’ we all swim in, but even that was distorted by Burton to become a personal weapon against women generally (reducing them, simply because of their gender, to second-class citizens simply because of the fact that they are usually the first contact an infant has with culture), and against men in the particular (“Having sex with me is the best way to overcome Feminine Dominance, dear”).

• The claim that having sex with him is an important aid to evolution. Not only is there nothing like this in the 4th Way, after much research I have found no verifiable record of sex with a teacher ever actually having any advantage, while there are literally thousands of testimonies about the detrimental effects of sexual abuse of power by leaders within recognized religions as well as innumerable cults. Connected with this, the 4th Way categorically claims that anyone who is sexually abnormal cannot progress further. Whether you believe that homosexuality itself is an impediment or not, Burton plainly suffers from satyriasis, uses force, and is a sexual pervert incapable of normal, loving relationships. We know this because he has never had any. He may speak words about love, but he cannot act from love.

• The ‘impressions octave’. While an important aspect of the 4th Way, this has been distorted and misunderstood in an almost lunatic fashion by Burton. First, the ‘impressions’ he gathers are usually the result of greed. That is, owning them is the most important factor; his collections are always impelled by his greed (by one definition, this is pornography). This is especially true of his collection of young men, of course. But the excesses, the hundreds of suits, pairs of shoes, cars and so on have little or nothing to do with the 4th Way ideas of impressions or their usage. Another way of seeing the lack of consciousness connected with his collections is that he does not allow enough resources to maintain them. Ranging from whole groves of orange trees lost to frost, to hundreds of acres of vines abandoned, huge monetary losses as valuable antiques are ruined, the list is very long.

• Verifications are central to the 4th Way. Burton has substituted faith for verification at almost every turn, above all faith in him, his predictions, his actions, and in his high being. Almost nothing he says or claims is verifiable. Here is an example. The 4th Way says that before a person can became a man number five, he must replace himself with a man number four, and so on. The gap between the supposed man number 7.8 and the supposed man number 5, Girard Haven, exposes the giant fallacy for what it is, just another fantasy. In reality, Burton is at a very low level, and having established a thrall over his followers, has made them infantile dependents.

Tatyana, you can see where this is going. EVERYTHING about Burton is suspect, because he is an abject slave to his desires, and has woven a fantasy world to help support his desires. So EVERYTHING about the Fellowship is suspect, because the followers, in their neediness, have agreed to enter and support his fantasy, and so are also slaves to his desires. This is not to say that the efforts of the followers may not sometimes bear fruit; if they take responsibility for their efforts, and refuse to dedicate the fruit of their efforts to him, some independence may arise; however, the mechanisms of the Fellowship soon align to remove such irritants. It is very difficult to achieve correct results when the basic fact is—Burton prefers to keep his followers dependent and asleep.

2. James Mclemore - July 31, 2009

For newcomers to the blog –

If you wish to know more about the Fellowsip of Friends and Robert Earl Burton, and are having difficulty navigating through some of the side issues that seem to come up here, go to the top of the page and click on
“It speaks for Itself”. There you will find a collection of pertinent posts that were collected by unoanimo and reposted under “Res Ipsa Loquitur”, which means “IT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF”
Just start reading and you will see that it does exactly that.

3. dragon - July 31, 2009

1. Ames

Thank you for the information it is necessary to mention it again and again.

Even if it is not easy to ruminate it!

4. DXP - August 1, 2009

Ames, nice debunking that the fof is in any way a 4th way school. Or has anything really to do with the 4th way except a few convenient terms.

An interesting thing about the 4th way is that it is relatively new, in this form, and has many weaknesses so that it is rather easy to corrupt.

You said: “An awakening conscience understands that the ends never justify the means, that the means shape the ends.” and that is very true, goes beyond any particular spiritual ‘system’ or any system for that matter. Since it is often experienced as arising naturally the whole “going against the machine” is often corrupted into an excuse for not paying attention to conscience.

5. elena - August 1, 2009

Ames, that’s excellent! thank you. It’s very good to see that things are getting clarified.
It would be good to add a few more:

The idea of functions being separate to consciousness is another deviation
The idea of “biological” families is interpreted and used against member’s and their families.
First line of work is completely corrupted
Second line is non existent
Third line is AUCTIONS!
The idea of payment is a principle is manipulated at Robert’s will to rip people off as fast as he can.
The idea of past and future was corrupted and is very significant because it actually imposes on members a condition of not thinking or referring to their past or future. It FREEZES them in the present so that anything related to their biography in the past or a concern for themselves in the future can be annihilated. The Fellowship Cult does not want members being present to their own lives but needs them to be dogmatically disposable to the Cults needs.
“Now means now, in this moment. We can only work on ourselves in the present moment that exists right now” Girard Haven
The whole ideology of the Fellowship circles around destroying any connection to member’s life, past or future disallowing them the possibility of learning from their own mistakes, trusting their strengths or relating to their loved ones outside of the cult.

There are many more, I’ll get back to them later. You can take any page of any of Girard’s books and you’ll find the meticulous brainwashing, the consistent corruption and the myriad justifications everywhere.

6. elena - August 1, 2009

While I am very much relieved that itstwinetime was banned it goes deeply against my principles. Perhaps if people were given a first warning with clear directions on what is the problem we could work with it.

Thank you nevertheless for taking that step fofblogmoderator, it’s not easy to take responsibility like that.

If you decide to move back on your decision and give this poster another chance you would count with my support. I don’t agree with him, I think the attacks are low and premeditated and have a clear agenda but I might be mistaken and dialogue might still be possible. The question is: what is dialogue?

Thank you again for your work.

7. DXP - August 1, 2009

I second Elena’s notion that banning for disagreement is not a good idea. It is cultish – sort of like shunning. I found out he is not who I thought he was and apologize to him for that.

Another thing about the 4th way I don’t have much regard for is all the ‘world levels’ – you know, how if one is “under fewer laws” then the “energy” feels lighter. The problem with that is that conscience feels like a “law” – it often “feels heavy”, immovable, certain. The only way to develop conscience is to follow it when it is experienced, and in my view, consciousness cannot be separated from conscience, or developed separately.

8. WhaleRider - August 1, 2009

Thanks, fofblogmoderator. Good job.

9. X-ray - August 1, 2009

1. Ames Gilbert – July 31, 2009

Ames,
I appreciate the clarity of your expression.

6. elena – August 1, 2009

‘If you decide to move back on your decision and give this poster another chance you would count with my support.’

Don’t worry Elena, he will reappear here soon under another name.

7. DXP – August 1, 2009

‘I second Elena’s notion that banning for disagreement is not a good idea.’

He hasn’t been banned for disagreement, but for his groundless hate rage towards all of us.

10. Vena - August 1, 2009

9. Thanks fofblogmoderator. The incessant nastiness and bickering is pitiful and disgusting. Anyone reading the blog for the first time on one of the recent pages would surely dismiss it as nothing worth spending time on and go away with the impression that most participants are seriously disturbed malcontents. It may have run it’s course but I believe that there may still be the possiblity of revealing the Fellowship for what it is to someone searching for answers but that will only happen through sincere personal posts, not vitriolic rants that go on and on ad nauseum.

11. X-ray - August 1, 2009

77/85. Ames Gilbert – July 31, 2009

Harry Hindsight (#76-283),
‘Of course, there is some circularity here; Burton reinforces Girard’s authority and gravitas by claiming that Girard is ‘conscious’ and a true product of his ‘conscious teaching’.

This is true, Girard is Burton’s puppy and a true product of his ‘teaching’. That’s why he is not conscious, but a sicko.

12. silentpurr - August 1, 2009

I have been following this blog for sometime, and appreciate ALL voices, no matter how shocking the message. If ‘Swinetime’ is banned we may run the risk of smothering the offending textures and homogenizing our yet to be transformed negative emotions into a bland substance very much like what we ran away from.

13. DXP - August 1, 2009

What was so bad about itstwinetime anyhow – to deserve shunning and banning? He said – what??? – that was so bad?? He said some might be wasting their time? Or can’t let go? If that is not true, then just brush it off – he is entitled to any wrong opinion he wants to have. He called some commenters some names? He called me “Jack” and I’ve been called worse by welcomed members of the fof blog. I thought being called “Jack” was actually rather funny since I’m not even a man.

14. X-ray - August 1, 2009

12. DXP – August 1, 2009

Are you serious?

15. DXP - August 1, 2009

I would like to re-state this:

The only way to develop conscience is to follow it when it is experienced, and in my view, consciousness cannot be separated from conscience, or developed separately.

16. DXP - August 1, 2009

13 xray

yes, I am genuine in my question.

17. harryhindsight - August 1, 2009

Dear Moderator,

Thanks for removing itsswinetime.

The timing of the vitriolic invective seemed a little too convenient for me, considering that the Fellowship’s “Journey Forth by Day” debacle was in full swing. Or perhaps the trusty ol’ shill radar just needs a dust.

By the way, I heard that A–f Braver–n the bigamist is in town.

Ames,
Thanks for the insight into Burton and the early crimes. There was a time when I thought I had clearly seen the despicable creep I’d taken as a teacher for what he was, only to discover I’d not yet got the entire length and breadth of it. There seems to be an equal portion of seeing and swallowing ones own naive gullibility at each stage.

This story needs to be made into a book or a class action suit or something. Does anyone know how to contact Burton’s family, his early teacher colleagues, early shag buddies etc.? The roots expose the tree IMO.

How does a class action suit work, any legal shmeagles reading? Surely the level of deception in the way that the FOF was marketed represents ground for RICO action or class action suit?

Harry

18. dragon - August 1, 2009

It appears to me that all the sermons of itstwinetime are the futile
attempt of a weak and dying FOF.
The ideology of the FOF dismisses in many cases mental time bombs, which fire sooner, later and I don’t hope so forever.

If he/she (itstwinetime) was a member of the FOF for many years
( ~ 20) ago, he/she is a perfect example for the inhuman methods of that group.

How did he/she preserve all that hate, that fury, that aggression. Is it that what is one side effect of the Robert Burton lectures.

Is there anybody in the FOF who is willing to visit me and to verify that he/she is at complete peace with him/herself???

If yes, don’t hesitate to contact the FOFblogmoderator, Mister S.L.!

I am looking forward to several hundred requests!

Et quand je dit litote, c’est une litote!

19. fofblogmoderator - August 1, 2009

#12 is new

To all who participate here actively or passively; I am the person who has been changing the pages here for the last year. That’s the role I’m most comfortable with. I don’t like being a referee or being responsible for “banning” anyone. It gives me no pleasure and runs against my nature.

The last couple of days seemed to generate a lot of bitter sentiments and I saw nothing that looked like forward motion so I took a stand and stopped itstwinetime from posting. I could have issued a “warning”, but I knew I would be gone all day today and wouldn’t be able to monitor the postings and I wanted to stop the momentum of the name calling and verbal abuse. If the consensus is to have itstwinetime come back then fine, he can come back.

I personally feel the blog serves many functions and purposes. The function I’m most concerned with is the one that allows anyone who is interested in joining the FOF to gain a clear picture of what the organization is all about. The next function that I feel is important is to allow current members to see that there are many possibilities outside the FOF.

For the first time in the FOF’s 39 year history there is finally a collection of voices that has questioned the validity of the organization and airs their thoughts and concerns on this site. The things that people here are questioning and discussing are grounds for dismissal if you are a current member. While I was a member anyone who questioned the validity of Robert Burton or the FOF was considered to have lost their valuation or in an “interval”. There is no room for anything but absolute obedience and conformity.

I was in for 13 years. I had many friends that I enjoyed and I thought that there was a lot of value in being a member. However, I kept thinking how no one ever gave me a straight answer when I asked at my prospective student meeting; “when do you graduate?” Don’t tell me that graduation occurs at death. I think that’s a bunch of nonsense.

Anyway, it’s late (2:30 a.m.) and I need some sleep. Please post your opinions about itstwinetime. I’m willing to do whatever the majority thinks is the right thing.

20. nigel harris price - August 1, 2009

19 fofblogmoderator

As regards ‘itstwinetime’. I gave up posting to him/her directly. My main reason for posting here, since being 20 years ‘out’, is that I, for the most part, want to be constructive and supportive of other bloggers and their personal journeys. Very rarely (and others may ‘call’ me on this) do I take the critical line or revert to acerbic wit. I already feel the site is healthier with ‘time’ gone…..Nigel.

21. elena - August 1, 2009

Thank you very much Moderator for your work and clear statement.

I think the issue goes beyond itstwinetime or me but the understanding of how a blog, a public square, the place where we wish to share and are willing to hold and stand by is used.

It is of course wonderful if Fellowship members come here to dialogue but when they come here to use this sight to further justify the cult, to give veil threats of violence, to attack with vicious insults one of the posters that has seriously threatened the Fellowship publicly, then it is worth questioning our selves about what this medium is about. I am extremely grateful to all who have in their own way been fighting the Fellowship much longer than I have.

I insult Fellowship members as viciously as I have been insulted but I have backed up such statements with 77 pages of facts. I go from the personal to the social and confront both. It is clear that the many insults often addressed against me are in the personal sphere without dealing with the social issues involved, clearly revealing that the agenda is to suppress the legitimacy of my claims by putting my “persona” down. This is typical in the political environment.

Any organization is confronted with the fact that its members must, sooner or later accept the conditions by which they are willing to participate.

Greg was banned because of his violent nature bringing most of us to agree that that kind of violence is not welcome here.

I personally felt threatened by itstwinetime’s comment that I was simply getting closer to a bullet in my head. DXP’s question about what was so wrong about Mr. Twine shows me how easily people dismiss such questions when they are bias and when they are not the target of the bullets. Instead of reacting to the guy with defensiveness I should have simply been able to tell the moderator that I felt physically threatened by this guy and asked the moderator to give him a warning. The fact that I did not do this but continued in the momentum allowed us to keep falling down the precipice with very hard feelings for each other. Such extremes ought not be necessary in human interaction. Mature societies would stop these run downs long before the participants hurt them selves. We are not in a mature society of human beings and death is often the result of such encounters. That is the risk I am also willing to take but no death is of any value if people don’t learn from it.

I personally felt that had I been moderating this sight I would have immediately called the person to moderate him self or get banned. It was nevertheless very interesting to me to have to face the fact that such characters and experiences can come from fighting this cause and that it won’t stop me. I thank the moderator for giving me the opportunity to experience that before taking measures.

Even so, I agree with silentpurr that the gold alchemy interaction that Vena would like, and I say this with all respect towards you, is definitely an aspect of the programming that we received from the Fellowship Cult. Nothing would please me greater than coming to a loving and refined interaction between us because we have genuinely come to such a place in our relationship, but the friction between us and especially between us and Fellowship members standing up for the Cult is no joke, it is a real live social and ideological struggle. We come from different corners of the world and tuning ourselves into the human within each one of us will not come without the necessary struggle.

I am still convinced that itstwinetime is a Fellowship member or worse, someone hired by the Fellowship. Of course, the possibility that he is just a sick man who after thirty years is happy to come and stand up for every Fellowship abuse against almost everyone here is also possible.

Finally, I think the question is also about what is this medium about? Is it a medium for cults to spread out their agenda like so many members have tried? Or a medium to dialogue about what happens in cults and why anyone of the posters supports them or not? It is clear by now that those members that have spoken even slightly from their heart have had their place and time here but those who simply come to state the Cult’s agenda without answering to any questioning have not only been questioned but violently insulted and not only by me. It is clear that this is not a neutral medium and if it were that neutral that Cults could spread out their propaganda, I would be the first one to leave.

The Public Square is “neutral” in as much as it allows for every human interaction to take place without banning anyone but when the interaction reaches, even veiled physical threats and/or repeated insults without the aim to come to disagree with human integrity, then I think, in my humble opinion, that it is legitimate to ban the poster. The problem is not dis-agreeing, the problem is living with out disagreements because they still don’t violate anyone’s human integrity. That is why Cults cannot be agreed with.

On the other hand, hard as it is to take such posters, I would give them as long a leash as possible because we learn a great deal about human viciousness from them. Were I right in my belief that this guy has a clear agenda directed by the Fellowship, the malevolence of it is something that must not be buffered and never forgotten, because the naivete that would prefer never to deal with real conflicts is what makes us so vulnerable and inept to prevent such things to develop into major crimes.
It is precisely this naivete what put us in the Fellowship and holds so many members still in it: it is wonderfully comfortable to hope the world to be a fairy tale. I still think it’s a fairy tale but I no longer buffer the big bad witch.

Thank you for the space and time.

22. elena - August 1, 2009

Having said all that, if itstwinetime can moderate himself and dialogue without insults or veiled physical threats, I would accept his return.

23. elena - August 1, 2009

…or at least backed up insults, that is, insults backed up with facts that acknowledge not only the form but the content.

24. elena - August 1, 2009

One more thought:

By now, I would like to be clear that I almost unconditionally support the moderator no matter what mistakes he makes. He has proved to be as neutral as anyone could be asked to be. No one should ever be absolutely neutral but when on a role, to be as faithful to the role as they possibly can and I think Steve has met that premise by far. We are all learning here

Thank you again.

25. DXP - August 1, 2009

I’m inclined to take itstwinetime at his word and think he is not a current member of the fof. But I could be wrong. It happens! Moderator, I appreciate that you are putting forth your best efforts into this blog. But kicking people out because they create some controversy is, really, just like what we have been conditioned to in a cult and is just continuing the cult-like mentality.

One of itstwinetime’s (I wish he had picked an easier handle to type) points was that we carry the need for cults within us and I think that is very true (true for humanity, and maybe even more so for this group who have been deeply involved in at least one cult). Another point of his that just leaving one cult is not a quick, simple, complete cure for that need, nor a panacea for spiritual growth and if we merely leave one cult then we might easily just create another in which to feel comfortable in. Yes, he had an annoying and aggressive manner, but not nearly as much as so many of the fof-blog-accepted commenters. One point I completely agree with is Elena’s mentioning of his talking about bullets. THAT is unacceptable and he should have been told so by the moderator and any posts with such content should be quickly deleted. I think his point was that she is putting herself into danger and questioning her motives or wisdom in doing so, which is a valid point, but he went way too far. But I can’t think of anything else he said that was so egregious. As far as insults go tho, itstwinetime (or whatever the hell his handle is) is no worse then lots of others here so if he is to be discouraged from using insults then maybe others should too? (I would have given several commenters, including myself, a “time out” with a temporary short restriction to posting – a cooling off “time out”) Or is there some list somewhere of the anticult sanctioned targets for name-calling insults that can be consulted? Blogs don’t HAVE to be open Public Squares, they develop differently and many are highly censored – which is their choice. That’s one of the cool things about blogs.

If hopes for the blog include 1) discouraging/enlightening future members and 2) enlightening current members and offering a choice, then behaving just like a cult – in the form of a simple anti-fof-cult – is not much of a choice. If debate and disagreement and hearing hard uncomfortable points of view of others is completely suppressed in the fof cult, then is it such a good thing to continue that? I would rather hope that a current member could see a forum where humans do not all think in lock step. The GF is a much more congenial place but is not available to people contemplating joining. I also agree with Elena that this ‘going after the one who does not agree’ (the outsider of the group) with personal attacks is typical of current political talk is just typical of the politics of personal destruction.

26. elena - August 1, 2009

Thank you DXP.

Before the decision were taken to allow itstwinetime back and of course, after hearing everyone else’s opinion, I do think it is important to review many of his statements concisely because there are many that step into very delicate arena.

The speed in which things moved was too hectic to point them out at the time.

27. DXP - August 1, 2009

As far as discouraging people who are contemplating joining the fellowship of friends, the following paragraphs might be helpful.

If you are young and are:

1) a heterosexual man: you will be required by the leader (if you appeal to the leader) to have sex with him. Repeatedly. You will be thus required to go against your conscience over and over which will likely damage it. If you choose to not have sex with the leader he will shun you.

2) a heterosexual woman: you will be required to stand by and watch the man or men you care for go thru hell by choosing thru coersion to have sex with the leader. Repeatedly. You will be, once again, a second class citizen who’s purpose is to enable a powerful corrupt man.

3) a homosexual man or woman: you will not be allowed to express your sexuality at all.

4) are an older man or woman: your purpose will be enabling, usually in the form of money. If you cannot fulfill this purpose you will be discarded.

If you leave the group you will be shunned.

No one will be allowed to dissent or think for themselves. You all will be required to go against your conscience if it is not in complete lock step with the leader’s wishes which do NOT reflect any 4th way ideology whatsoever – or only when it is convenient for him to get what he wants. Your conscience will be DIScouraged to develop and it may also be damaged. Consequently, your consciousness will be split from your conscience which is NOT 4th way and is NOT a viable spiritual evolution. Therefore the fellowship of friends is NOT a 4th way school, nor is it a church that promotes any sort of spiritual development.

If you have other agendas and motives for joining this group then so be it, just be forewarned.

28. elena - August 1, 2009

More areas in which the Fellowship corrupts and adapts the System to the Cult:

The idea of “Influence A” and “Life”:

“ “life is great, just get on with it”. But this is where life deceives us most, in the mistaken assumption that its own ends have meaning and purpose, and that moreover we are obliged to pursue those ends. The influences that accompany this momentum – money, career, spouse, family, country, health, pleasure – the Fourth Way calls Influences A (also referred to in this pages as LIFE). As long as a person believes primarily in Influences A and devotes his time and energy to acquiring them, he will not be interested in spiritual work, even if he says he is.” Girard Haven, Pg 30 of Creating a Soul.

With this attitude Mr. Haven completely (brain) washes out the possibility of working with one’s life as a means of awakening. He completely destroys the FOURTH WAY’S primal stone: the connection between the Work and Life. He also re-asserts the division between the spiritual and life, the physical and the spiritual and worst of all he throws spouse and family in with money and pleasure, ads career, nation and health, leaving nothing on which a man can stand on. This is how Fellowship members are stripped off their psychological skin.

Not “being identified” with one’s psychological skin is one process in a System but being “stripped away” from it, is brain washing. If the process of not identifying were taken on by the individual himself allowing him to occupy the ruling faculty, the result would be very different to “filling the resulting void” with idolatry for the guru and allowing the guru to take the place of the ruling faculty. Brainwashing does not only come with the malfunctions of the individual’s centres or functions but with the gradual deterioration of the individual’s sense of I, leading to depression as well as other forms of chaotic internal and external malfunctions. Interestingly enough, individuals who have fallen under this “spell” like Mr. Haven, do not acknowledge their state as a result of their conditions but tend to disregard their depression, stroke or whatever else as the malfunctioning of the “machine” while “the other side of them” is flying freely in divine consciousness. The “sincerity” with which they accomplish this, lies in the fact that one side of them selves is completely disconnected from the other. While Mr. Haven is frantically depressed hitting everything around him he does not know who the fuck is the Girard Haven role and vice-versa. He is at the same time the strongest and most vulnerable person I’ve met. The real tragedy about it is that they seem to have walked into this condition through the unguided, undirected and misused use of their own will. The lack of a teacher that could help the deviations prompted them into such void. The fact that “the Teacher” had taken such path, led them into the same dead end.

This almost perfect division into two distinct personalities is what in the System is called the hasnamuss or wrong separation. In regular language it is probably termed: psychopathy.

Thank you for the space and time.

29. sharon - August 1, 2009

DXP #26. Thank you for your, imo, well-stated and well-reasoned point of view.

One small thing – GF is open to anyone ever involved or interested in 4th Way, not just ex-members of the FoF.

30. nigel harris price - August 1, 2009

“Creating a Soul”…..

Now there is a title of a book at which to laugh! The soul ‘cradles’ the infant spirit in its quest to maturation. The soul is already there – the spirit is, likewise, there, but, as many have stated on the blog, there needs to be correct alignment with body – all this talk of ‘going against the machine’ can be used by active features in the FOF to perpetuate their Heirarchical Ivory Towers and ‘trash’ others’ Real Work…..the work of Conscious Harmony (one of Rodney Collin’s best books, I might add). I am slowly learning a great deal from my holistic therapist/spiritual healer student (one of the most self-critical and exacting in her work). She says that the wish to be healed is the active force and she is just a channel for outside influences…..

I state again…..WE MUST WISH TO BE HEALED…..Nigel.

31. DXP - August 1, 2009

29 Sharon. Thanks for clarifying that! I have not been active on the GF for a while now. The discussions regarding the 4th way on the GF might be really interesting to people contemplating joining the fof and be a good place to participate. I suppose there is a link there from this blog? (I’m not all that tech savvy)

32. ton - August 1, 2009

re: twine, a few impressions / opinions… for what it’s worth.
although i did find the way that he expressed himself and his ‘holier than thou’ attitude, to be arrogant, abrasive, galling, annoying, i didn’t entirely disagree with some of what he wrote. a valid issue/topic he raised is one of culpability and personal responsibility, it’s a topic that’s come up many times before. i’m all for reflecting, meditating on and otherwise ‘processing’ the role of personal responsibility vis a vis the fof, seeing/withdrawing ‘projection’ is certainly worthwhile, and i agree with the premise that playing a ‘blame game’ and ‘pointing the finger at’ is not the best approach to solving a problem — there are always at least a couple of different perspectives to consider. but it seems to me, twine’s simple ‘solution’ and his prescription for the ‘path to enlightenment’ in this case was to flip the ‘blame game’ on it’s head and point the finger solely toward the self…. imo although that’s certainly one component to factor in, it’s not entirely the answer, and it’s glib to think so. imo this is not what blogging is about, it’s not necessarily about simply ‘getting over it’ and ‘getting on’ with life. past experience is part of life, it informs the present and the future, i think this reflective quality is part of the value of the blog.

if i have this right, twine’s general position was, that the blog and the participants here represent an ‘anti-cult,’ which is just another form of cultism…. and part of his sermonizing involved convincing others to ‘see the light’ by pointing out the error of ‘our’ ways… his ‘mission’ seemed at first, to be directed at leading the ‘wretches’ and ‘denizens’ of the blog to the ‘salvation’ represented by ‘moving on’ and ‘letting go’ of past experience by putting that experience in it’s ‘proper place’…. according to twine, in this case putting past experience in it’s ‘proper place’ is accomplished by taking personal responsibility for being duped. according to his way of thinking, once ‘we’ take full responsibility, the blog serves no useful purpose. the implication is that once his mission to ‘enlighten’ the ‘poor’ bloggers is completed, it naturally follows that the blog dissolves into nothingness.

to my way of thinking, a practical function of the blog is the potential it has for alerting others to the pitfalls of the fof… if the blog can keep just one person from joining or help just one person to leave the cult, then personally i feel it is worth my participation here… and of course we know from personal testimonies, that in a whole host of ways, the blog has helped a lot more than ‘just one’ person. twine contends that the blog is mired in negative past associations, and through his lens darkly, all he could see here is ‘hate speech’ — something he himself is pretty good at. i think his ‘mission’ undertaken with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, misses one of the practical purposes of the blog and this is primarily where i personally took issue with him. (imo) a practical purpose here is to keep a light pointed in the direction of the misdeeds and shenanigans that occur under the auspices of the fof.

i think if twine comes back and continues this misguided ‘crusade’ to help ‘awaken’ the ‘poor, pathetic’ posters here, then we’ll run into the same sorts of issues, arguments and ad hominem attacks…. of course arguments are part of life too, the question is to what end? and what purpose is served? arguing with someone like a ‘DC’ who relentlessly defends the fof, exposes the narrow-minded thinking represented by fundamentalism…. imo, arguing in that case can serve a useful purpose. arguing with someone like a ‘twine’ is a different kettle of fish…

“Mr. CAGE: I think we can tell rather clearly when we’re in what the Indians call an artha circumstance, which is a circumstance where you have a goal and you don’t want to kill yourself or you want to win, as in a game, or you want to cross the street without getting killed, or you want to hunt wild mushrooms and not kill yourself and so on. That’s one way of living. Another way of living is having and giving pleasure, kama. And another way is following the good rather than the evil. I think that would – that which is dharma in Indian philosophy is very close to what in Christianity is faith, hope and charity, such things.

And then in Buddhism, there is moksha, which is liberation from all those three concerns. And normally if we went to school, we would think, well, we start in artha, we go to kama, we go to dharma and we graduate and get into moksha. But I think the truth of the matter is that we’re in all four all of the time, and that we live a life characterized by inconsistency. And that’s the marvelous thing. You can then write a poem, as the Japanese monk did, on having reached enlightenment. You can say, now that I’m enlightened, I’m just as miserable as ever.”

33. sharon - August 1, 2009

31 DXP – I don’t see a link to GF on this blog. I’m not terribly technical myself. The url is http://greaterfellowship.ning.com/

34. arthur - August 1, 2009

I thought it was tennis match with “twine”. Back and forth weaving his mystery. Tying knots here and there. Weaving his magic carpet with old thread. Bring him back!

35. in2it - August 1, 2009

I will personally lose interest (and have lost interest at times) if the blog becomes a free-for-all where people start chiming in about any topic they want. Certain posters have a definite agenda to divert the attention of the blog away from Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends and cult-related topics, and they’ve succeeded pretty well at times.

Moderator, great job. I think your comments capsulize things well:

“I personally feel the blog serves many functions and purposes. The function I’m most concerned with is the one that allows anyone who is interested in joining the FOF to gain a clear picture of what the organization is all about. The next function that I feel is important is to allow current members to see that there are many possibilities outside the FOF.

“For the first time in the FOF’s 39 year history there is finally a collection of voices that has questioned the validity of the organization and airs their thoughts and concerns on this site. The things that people here are questioning and discussing are grounds for dismissal if you are a current member…”

So, we can’t be “dismissed”, but someone can definitely get on the blog to distract us and change the subject. That’s what itswinetime, or whatever his moniker is, is trying to do. Really doesn’t matter what his motives are… that is definitely the action and the end result.

This is not the same as a person’s voice being silenced in the FOF. In the FOF, sincere questions about the true motives of Burton and the supposed “aims of the school” are silenced. People are open to discussion here, and the 77 pages provide a record of that if anyone questions it. But there does come a time when it’s fairly obvious that someone is just here to obfuscate. Whatever their motives, their prime directive is to ignore the pertinent concerns about the FOF, and discourage people from posting here, make fun of the proceedings, and so on.

36. Ames Gilbert - August 1, 2009

Voloneska (# 77-90), I entirely agree with you when you said

76 Nigel – it did not happen with you and elena and probably won’t with itstwinetime. I think people have many reasons to post on blog. Many reasons are simple personal problem reasons and nothing to do with blog in reality. Like crazy people sitting in corner shouting to the sky and leading imaginary conversations where they show they are right to compensate for reality problems.

I ask myself, “What is the purpose of the blog?”; the answers seem to fall under four main categories.

First, to alert present and especially prospective members that there are alternate viewpoints; examples being the sleight of hand where the FoF presents itself as a 4th Way ‘school’ while actually proselytizing ‘Burtonism’, or how crime and corruption spread from the center to permeate the organization.

Second, to collect human stories about experiences, positive and negative, in the Fellowship.

Third, to show present members that there is indeed ‘life after the Fellowship’, with practical examples of how people have moved on, healed, or found new pathways.

Fourth, as a limited medium to help healing, and within reason, a venue for occasional venting. This fourth is where I personally see most of the problems arising. The venting is far from occasional.

I’m sure I’m not alone in tiptoeing around the ones who seem to go too far and abuse this blog, who, as Voloneska pointed out, are like people sitting in the corner shouting to the sky. But, I’m not going to tiptoe any longer, even if it invites retribution from Elena and Nigel, who I specifically name as the main abusers of our patience and goodwill.
This does not mean that they do not add value to the conversation from time to time, it means that because of their lack of discipline, they dilute the value of their contributions considerably; I have come to the stage where I simply scroll right past their rants. It was becoming the same with itstwinetime as well. Although he had some good things to say, well worth thinking about, he seemed to be more concerned with a manipulative experiment in pushing people’s buttons. Whatever, these folks seem to simply ‘suck the oxygen out of the room’ with their selfish demands for attention. I have to ask myself, if someone from the FoF or someone checking out the FoF was to land on some of these pages, what impression would they gain, what would be useful to them, would they be bothered to explore some of the previous pages? IMO, I think they would turn away.

So, although I’m grateful that the moderator stepped in to put a stop to the devolving situation, IMHO, if he’s going to ban Itstwinetime, it would seem only fair to ban Nigel and Elena as well. She has posted up to 14 times in one day, and has certainly been just as rude and vociferous as Itstwinetime, if not more so.

I hope calling things the way I see them does not lead to more screams of outrage or paranoia (e.g. 77-48), but if it is to be, so be it!

37. brucelevy - August 1, 2009

35. Ames Gilbert

Thank you for that. I agree.

38. sallymcnally - August 1, 2009
39. fofblogmoderator - August 1, 2009

Hey Ames- Regarding your post #35. Good points. I did publicly ask Nigel to restrict his comments to a handful per day and he basically complied. If you noticed, DXP posts more than Nigel but no one seems to mind. I’m not sure what that means.

Elena, you seem to get “worked up” without too much outside impetus and you do get abrasive and you have been posting more than most. It’s feels as if you can’t stand the “silence”.

Let’s try this self-discipline idea. There are some rules and regulations posted at the top of the blog. One of the new ones that I put up was asking people not to take up too much space. Unfortunately, that term (taking up space) was used in the FOF quite a lot and I try to avoid using FOF terms- just because. So let’s just say that;

1. If you have more than 3-4 posts in any given day, then that’s probably enough.

2. If you disagree with somebody try not to call them names.

3. If your post seems rather personal and directed to another individual on the blog ask them for their email address and write them privately.

My email address is : nogurus@yahoo.com and my name is Steve.

40. sharon - August 1, 2009

Here, here, and thank you, Ames.

41. fofblogmoderator - August 1, 2009

#35 is new

42. sallymcnally - August 1, 2009

okay maybe this one will work! Just for fun.

43. elena - August 1, 2009

Well, you’ve managed amongst you what the Fellowship couldn’t.

Thank you, it’s been a swell trip. It’s all yours, take good care of it!

44. nigel harris price - August 1, 2009

36 Ames Gilbert

So is it – “blog for blog’s sake” ?

or…..

“Courtesy and passion” (W B Yeats)

P.S. I’m not a ‘let’s have some rules here’ Saturn any more, but I go along with suggestions, if they ‘feel’ right…..Nigel.

45. Ames Gilbert - August 1, 2009

So, Elena, it’s “my way or the highway”? Sorry you feel there is no room for compromise or movement. Nigel, how did you arrive at ‘blogging for blog’s sake’? I’ll repeat my second paragraph (actually, I’ve reworded it slightly):
I ask myself, “What is the purpose of the blog?” The answers seem to fall under five main categories.

First, to alert present and especially prospective members that there are alternate viewpoints; examples being the sleight of hand where the FoF presents itself as a 4th Way ‘school’ while actually proselytizing ‘Burtonism’.
Second, how crime and corruption spread from the center to permeate the organization, including the indulgence of the Burton the sexual predator.

Third, to collect human stories about experiences, positive and negative, in the Fellowship.

Fourth, to show present members that there is indeed ‘life after the Fellowship’, with practical examples of how people have moved on, healed, or found new pathways.

Fifth, as a limited medium to help healing, and within reason, a venue for occasional venting. This fourth is where I personally see most of the problems arising. The venting is far from occasional.

Of course the above is all my subjective personal opinion, but still, nothing much about blogging for its own sake.

Moderator and Nigel,
I did notice that Nigel’s posts were fewer. I assumed that this was the more restrained part of your usual ‘cycle’. If this is intentional, then I unreservedly apologize for the misunderstanding, and thank you very much.

46. in2it - August 2, 2009

Imagine for a moment if someone just came here with the goal to mess things up in any way that they could. Well, more than one person has made the attempt. Paid to do so? Who the fuck knows. But why on earth would anyone be surprised, shocked, or believe that’s unlikely?

Of COURSE someone comes here to screw with things.

Lots of money is at stake here. A comfy, cozy, bloated way of life is at stake. Being a big fish in a small pond is at stake. And if someone threatens that, they will do anything they can to disrupt that threat. They tried spamming the blog, they’ve sent their SS guards to play mind games, and they’ll keep trying to muck things up any way they can.

The key is to recongize that, and refocus. that’s all. Don’t take the bait.

fwiw, i find elena’s and nigel’s rants to be a LOT less destructive to open and free-flowing dialog than the game-playing and manipulative bullshit of whathiswinetime — who insists he’s not an FOF apologist, but sure as hell enjoys taking the conversation away from the fof and back to the insults and silly nonsense. The big difference imo is that nigel and elena are sincere and definitely appreciate this open forum, one that never, ever existed in the fof. whatshisname was obviously here to muck up the works, and I agree that his main intent was to push buttons and enjoy the response… and for whatever reason, he enjoyed trying to distract the blog and prevent it from remaining the healthy forum for free-flowing information that it is.

Ames, I think your description of the four purposes of the blog is right on. But I’ll stand with Elena and Nigel on this one, but at the same time agree with you that the amount of venting sometimes doesn’t help. The thing is,… if there’s one less whathisname on the blog, and more discussion about the wonderful possibilities that are out here, and more frank discussion about burton and the fof, and more focus on alternative world views that can help dispell the cult thought viruses, they’ll be fine.

47. brucelevy - August 2, 2009

46. in2it

“…amount of venting sometimes doesn’t help.”

“doesn’t help” is an understatement. It gets to the point where it’s destructive, especially to the credibility of the blog. Email interactions between specific parties make more sense, and is less exhibitionist. A needy exhibitionism gets repulsive pretty quickly, and people here to see what the story is will be tuned off immediately. There’s definitely nothing wrong with baring one’s scars and pain as they relate to the FOF, use the blog, to an extent, for healing. But for God’s sake, get your therapy from a therapist. You pay them to listen.

48. X-ray - August 2, 2009

The fellow-sheeps are glad to see the wolfs are fighting one another.
Don’t let them to enjoy it.

49. nigel harris price - August 2, 2009

45 Ames Gilbert/46 in2it

I did take fofblogmoderator’s advice, as well as not being so ‘pent up’. If that part of my cycle recurs, I will try to be reserved and pertinent…..Nigel.

50. nigel harris price - August 2, 2009

“All beings serve a purpose; it is within the faculty of men that they might choose their purpose” (nhp 2009)

51. dragon - August 2, 2009

If Ames Gilbert or Brucelevy or otheres are so kind as to look at Nigel or Elena after 20 years from now on have passed by, they will notice an imperceptile difference concerning the posters of them.

It is worth to wait and to see for the opportunities life gives to us all.

For better or worse who is to judge….

If all those posts of itstwinetime and others are outlets of the strange machine called FOF, it could be worth to read it, knowing that there is destruction, hate, fear, anger or the unconscious cry for release of that mental concentration camp.

52. DXP - August 2, 2009

I don’ think a blog is the right place, at this point, to warn people of the dangers of the fof. I think the appropriate next step is a ‘consumer beware’ kind of web site.

Some advantages of a website would be:

It would be strictly controlled by the owner(s) of the site. There are lots of sites like this. If you want to buy something you can check it out often on ‘fact check’ sites.

A list of ‘testimonials’ taken from this blog could be included.

Information on the GF could be given and linked to.

It could be in several different languages.

The fof does not own copyright to the name so the site could be called something like “Fellowship of Friends Facts”. There are lots of sites like this (and some are funny) – I just was looking at one about Goldman Sachs recently http://www.goldmansachs666.com/ As you can see they use the company name in the address. I’m sure Goldman does not like that, but if this warning site can do it to Goldman (who have even more lawyers than the fof, -snark-) , then a fof Fact site could function too.

Information would be ordered and easily accessed which is not true on a blog (as seen by Sharon giving the GF link which one would have to wade thru pages to find if one was extremely motivated and actually knew it was mentioned in the first place).

The site would be controlled easily and not make a blog moderator turn into a kind of tyrant in order to meet goals (like Ames’ list which seems good)(altho, the ‘venting’ part could be just left to this blog and not incorporated as a goal on a debunking site). A link to this blog could even be included.

There could be sections dealing with different aspects of the goals of the site – a section dealing with sexual abuse and harassment, a section on the 4th way and any spiritual system the fof appears to be “using” at the moment.

A section of the history of the group would be interesting.

It would have to function properly, within legal boundaries, and so could be a resource for legal actions. And could be a clearing house for information on legal actions. I’m sure there are more advantages.

I’m sure there is the expertise, will, and even funding that could be gathered for a fof Facts site. Sites can purchase a preferred spot on google and so the site could be right at the top of any search.

An organized, accessible, attractive, updated Facts site would also release this blog from trying to be something that blogs just are not good at. Then the blog could organize itself, under the moderator’s goals, into whatever blogs morph into over time. It could be a place for debate, disagreement, venting, music videos ….whatever.

53. DXP - August 2, 2009

Another advantage: no one could cloak and try to mess the site up (I don’t think twine was a current fofer – the idea of “either you’re with me or you are a fofer is silly). The site would not accept random comments. It would have to be designed to withstand fof hacker attacks, but I suppose that is possible. if the Goldman warning site can do it, and Goldman probably has as many hackers – I mean tech people – as they do lawyers. No wonder they need so much money in bonuses.

I keep thinking of advantages… another one, the real dollar costs, over time, could be revealed very clearly to be seen by anyone checking out the fof.

54. brucelevy - August 2, 2009
55. DXP - August 2, 2009

Sorry for the multiple posts.

On a fof Fact site I think Ames should be involved in some way. The first post on this page is already clear and organized. It is just difficult to find on a blog with, what, 78 pages so far. He has a real grasp on the philosophical underpinnings of the 4th way, and of how the fof has distorted it. The fof may not be bookmarking 4th way books any longer (?) and may not offer itself as a 4th way school, but a debunking of it trying to appear as one would be really helpful to a seeker. Of course there could be other sections where it could be debunked that the fof is any kind of spiritual group whatsoever.

And it never hurts to include a bit of humor. Humor is a great way to debunk something like the fof which takes itself so seriously. I’m sure native speakers of other languages could translate all of it, including the humor. The GF could be used as a resource for finding translators.

56. DXP - August 2, 2009

Ah, Bruce, another early riser I see.

Well, I had a rather different site in mind. I don’t think it is organized very well, and is too long. It is not visually very attractive. When I googled fof it was 6th down from the top and the fof official site was first. The site name gives no indication that it is a warning site. It is written in a style that seems like a very recently departed former fof member – there is not much of a sense of distance, neutrality, or in the language of someone who is not already indoctrinated. The whole thing reads like a testimonial. But it is a start! Why was Wikispaces chosen to host the site?

57. Panoritsa - August 2, 2009

DXP.

I like your idea but who is going to do it? This blog did not even start by someone directly related to the FOF… There are about 157 signatures for just the request to investigate the FOF…

My friends who have left the last two years do not read the blog, they go on with their lives (and I am very happy to see they do enjoy them…).

For me the blog serves just a few people who have some doubts about the FOF. They probably sneak in here to read what’s up and they may put themselves together and move on one day. Two years ago many members left and there was this blog to read and write. The first place related to the FOF that one could express their thoughts. There are members leaving nowadays, but there are not that many and they leave quietly… As the moderator mentioned:

“…For the first time in the FOF’s 39 year history there is finally a collection of voices that has questioned the validity of the organization and airs their thoughts and concerns on this site. The things that people here are questioning and discussing are grounds for dismissal if you are a current member. While I was a member anyone who questioned the validity of Robert Burton or the FOF was considered to have lost their valuation or in an “interval”. There is no room for anything but absolute obedience and conformity…”

I do not see anything wrong with restricting someone like “whateverhisnamewas.” It is not that he supports the FOF and the moderator shuts him up. He just enjoys the attention and he attacks other bloggers.

Prospective students? There is so much information on the internet about Cults and the Fellowship that you have to really deserve to be abused if you decide to join…

Nigel took the suggestions and Elena too. But the “whateverhisnamewas” attacked her and Elena cannot just sit and wait…Why would she? Maybe we can kindly remind Nigel and Elena when they tend to write long posts to limit themselves to a few a day?

What I think does not work is to try to have an agenda about the posts here. I write because I feel like. It is a form of communication. It has helped me to understand my own “stupidity” and my relation to the Cult. I enjoy other contributors a lot, especially when they seem to reflect on how the Cult worked. It is interesting to have new names. And it is a pleasure to read current member’s messed up, endless intellectual constructions…

58. DXP - August 2, 2009

I’m really sorry to criticize the wiki site since it appears to be a very sincere effort and lots of work has gone into it. But (you knew that was coming) it is not clear. In the section of “thinking of joining” a very lengthy paragraph starts the section off with:

“So you may have read the Fellowship of Friends website, and felt that this could be IT..You may be young, but you have always felt this yearning, you may have always been more sensitive or more perceptive than others, and always felt somehow different from the crowd….You are committed to totally waking up from the dream. The Fellowship of Friends now feels like it may be the spiritual family that you have longed to meet….You may join the FoF and may find that it is a perfect match for you, and may be happy there for a short or long time.”

If I was not already indoctrinated in fof or 4th way speak lots of this would be hard to follow. Also, it reads like a lot of flattery. And the warning is NOT clear. Here is how the Goldman warning site starts:

“This website has NOT been approved by Goldman Sachs. This website was designed to provide information about Goldman Sachs to demonstrate how destructive this company is to our lives and the hopes and dreams of our children.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

“When the people and the government fear Banksters like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, there is economic dictatorship that will destroy the very fabric of our existence as a civilized society.” – Mike Morgan”

Again, the wiki site is 6th on a google search, after some retirement home too! heh. And in the google blurb there is no indication it is a debunking site.

Panorista, good question about who is going to do it? Someone did the wiki site, and the more debunking/warning sites out there the better. Who knows, if it is talked about maybe someone will heed the call. My point about a site is that a blog is a vehicle hard to control, and to actually control it means the moderator has to behave in ways similar to fof and shun people who the current students, I mean bloggers, are uncomfortable with. Rules are not clear. If the blog merely and only serves to debunk to current members, as you suggest, then a site might be helpful to warn future possible members. I’ve been out of the fof for a long time and if I was going to look into joining a group and did a search on it general info on cults would not be something I’d pay much attention to.

59. WhaleRider - August 2, 2009

elena:

Last page:
“You’re a sad bunch of people, eating like doves from the hands of a Swine. You do not know how to discriminate.”

This page:
“If you decide to move back on your decision and give this poster another chance you would count with my support. I don’t agree with him, I think the attacks are low and premeditated and have a clear agenda but I might be mistaken and dialogue might still be possible.”

and now:
“Well, you’ve managed amongst you what the Fellowship couldn’t. Thank you, it’s been a swell trip. It’s all yours, take good care of it!”

I agree with that last statement. It has been a swell trip. Yes, there are freedoms here that were not allowed in the FOF, the blog is ours, and we need to take good care of it.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

It's fine to use the scroll button, however, new visitors are unlikely to do that, and I too, have hopes that the blog is both a place for fence sitters to do some reality testing and ex-followers to heal by fully expressing themselves. The trouble is, those two groups of people aren't necessarily always compatible.

My advice to all ye who come here is this: Take what you need and leave the rest.

A requirement for membership in a group run by a narcissist is that we allowed our personal boundaries to be constantly violated. This blog is a good place to for us to learn to set them again in a healthy way.

IMO, nobody ought to be banned permanently, just one page at a time.

Attacking each other serves only to inhibit dialog AND the healing process. For instance, the "Truth and Reconciliation" hearings in South Africa at the end of Apartheid were not designed for people to hurl invectives and point fingers at each other.

IMO, the moderator's job is to set limits when two people are unable or unwilling to do that for themselves.

If someone attacks you by calling you names and it makes you angry, why stoop to their level and attack them back out of anger? What is learned by that experience? Undoubtedly your judgment will be clouded by anger. As Gandhi said, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

It is far healthier to stay with the feeling and just express that you are angry or hurt by what is said. Then if you are unable to contain your anger and find yourself wanting to judge the other person and call them names in response, I recommend you stand up for yourself and ask for moderation instead, no matter which side of the fence you are on.

This is not a public square without rules nor is it metro train where you are held captive, like the in the FOF. You can get on or off anytime you like, and you are free to stay as long as you like as long as you are able to behave yourself like an adult. If you need to throw a tantrum like a two year old, (which if you didn't do then, you'll need to do eventually) then a more supportive environment like a therapist's office is more appropriate.

In my city, the community has decided not to warehouse the mentally ill in institutions because it makes them worse. Despite the effect it might have on tourism, the mentally ill are allowed to rant and rave on street corners. I can accept their right to be there, and yet I usually don't hang out and listen to them rant, which they have an ongoing need to do resulting from a build up of internal pressure. And if a mentally ill person is unable to contain themselves on a bus, the bus driver asks them to get off.

Nevertheless, we are all products of the Phallusheep of Blow Buddies, brain damaged or not. This is our community.

I ask for more moderation.

60. X-ray - August 2, 2009

56. DXP – August 2, 2009

DXP, don’t reinvent the wheel.
If you really want to help, sign the Petition and send it over to all places I’ve specified.

61. DXP - August 2, 2009

X-ray.

If you honestly look at that “wheel” you’ll see it has enough flaws to make it unworkable. If you are closed to critique or even new ideas that’s your deal.

62. dragon - August 2, 2009

A blog per se is still something wild and free. If the bloggers of the ongoing FOF discussion here, submit to “certain” rules (not too much verbal aggression, not too many posters per day, no coming up of hot-tempered posters…) it is OK. Voluntary duty.

But the blog has an excellent moderator, who fulfils this in an unique, nice and fair way.

If the blog decides for doing more beside this blog it will be fine, why not?

If the blog finds a way to do more warning actions on the web, why not?

But it takes time and responsibility to act and it is really frustrating to start with a project, that seeps away…

63. Vena - August 2, 2009

Thanks Ames Gilbert for your post #36.

64. X-ray - August 2, 2009

60. DXP – August 2, 2009

I’m open to the action, but I’m closed to bullshit.

Wikispaces is great resources, but you didn’t like it.

Did you sign the Petition? Did you send it over?

I get a feeling that you not.

65. DXP - August 2, 2009

x-ray, define how ever you want. If my suggestions don’t suit you just disregard them. I’ll feel free to do the same.

66. X-ray - August 2, 2009

64. DXP – August 2, 2009

Did you sign the Petition?
Did you send it over?

67. nigel harris price - August 2, 2009

Judging by what is being posted recently, I feel we should have ‘rigorous debate’ about what a blog site concerning the FOF/Burton/members and the ‘journeys’ of ex-members should be all about. Despite the fact that I would have wanted to defend my position about why I ‘vent’ and ‘rant’ and I am sure Whalerider would have adequate knowledge of that, it is not really now necessary. Are we about to expand horizons and become inventive about the blog ‘world’, or is it going to be rules and ‘nice’? I do not see us staying as before…..Nigel.

68. dragon - August 2, 2009

Nigel,

I feel with you and understand that your downs and highs are a part of you.
If the possibility of excusing you from that were given, you wouldn’t be that special person: Nigel

“I do not see us staying as before…..Nigel.”

My impression this evening as well.

69. silentpurr - August 2, 2009

Yes, I am sincerely asking the question; why, with almost 1000 who have joined Greater Fellowship, have so few felt compeled to sign the petition?

70. Yesri Baba - August 2, 2009

I was just chuckling to myself reflecting on the b.s. I wrote the other day about you all being the Absolute.
I didn’t mean that you can shoot lightning out of your butt from Alpha Centauri.
I just meant that the you here in which everything is arising, in which everything appears and disappears, the simple feeling of being you, the simplist of the simplest form of simplicity reduced to the essence of simple.

“there is a quality to what is happening that is different from something that is not happening- that is that it is happening”

This message is not for those who can shoot lightning out of their butt- you know who you are.

71. X-ray - August 2, 2009

68. silentpurr – August 2, 2009

‘Yes, I am sincerely asking the question; why, with almost 1000 who have joined Greater Fellowship, have so few felt compeled to sign the petition?’

Good question to ask those who didn’t sign.
BTW, DXP still didn’t answered my question, yet he gave us ‘new ideas’.
Sounds just like ’14 ways to be present’, and shit like that.

72. Yesri Baba - August 2, 2009

Just another thought.

I remember that one of the primary suggestions about self-remembering was to not connect it to any specific technique or idea one had heard of previously. If that was done it would be a lost opportunity.
Perhaps we tried to see that idea in a fresh way.
Was there any possibility of it not being dropped into the mumbo gumbo ‘spiritual’ bullshit soup?

think about it.

again, not for peopl who can shoot lightning out of their butt.

73. DXP - August 2, 2009

x-ray, please chill. First, I am not a “he”, and I have not been to the GF site in many months, so you’ll have to ask around there for your petition. I will consider going public in signing, but may not (if I get to the GF site). Sorry my ideas irritated you so much. Obviously they were not good ideas. Maybe this is not a place where ideas can be tried out – you are satisfied with the wiki site and most likely think this applies to you “you may have always been more sensitive or more perceptive than others, and always felt somehow different from the crowd”.

That’s OK, there’s places for ideas and blogs have their own natures and cultures.

74. nigel harris price - August 2, 2009

71 Yesri Baba

I specifically remember Ouspensky stating…..

“Self remembering is all very well in terms of self awareness, but, at a certain point, it has to be connected with your aim, what you want to get.”…..Nigel.

75. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

71. Yesri Baba

I suppose I qualify to ‘think about’ your question, since I absolutely cannot shoot lighting bolts from my butt (not even close).
Yesri, for myself I suspect I was pretty much already dead in the water with that one almost before I got going, even though it may have been the single idea that brought me to the fof in the first place. A powerful concept that was perhaps pointing towards the very thing that you spoke of at 69, but when it was misunderstood and then unintentionally diluted and confused with things like ‘work I’s, ‘intentionality’, ‘deputy steward’, ‘king of hearts’, etc, it then tended to become something like the cat watching mice deal, and can then only turn one in circles.
No disrespect Nigel, but I think that quoted statement at 73 is an indication that the idea had already become mixed in the “mumbo-jumbo soup”, whether Ouspensky or not.

76. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

68. silentpurr

If you go to the GF there is a very long discussion on exactly that, people’s reasons for signing or not signing. And it sometimes gets contentious. You’re certainly free to discuss it again here, but it’s all there with faces attached. Even before that discussion appeared I had a pretty good idea about different people’s reasons for not signing, and it was all I had expected it to be.

77. X-ray - August 3, 2009

72. DXP – August 2, 2009

Obviously you knew about the Petition and still didn’t sign it, yet you giving new ideas on how would be more effective to expose the cult.
There were tremendous amount of efforts and time invested in creation of the Wiki and especially Petition, so signing it, would show some respect to those who’ve done it, of course, if you agree with the content. But if you disagree, than what is there to even talk about?
As a results of this blog, no one have joined the cult in the last two years and hundreds of people have left and keep on leaving. This blog is very effective tool, and that’s exactly why the fellow-sheeps are trying to stop it, or at least to delude it with some nonsense such a DC and other assholes.
Having new ideas it is good, especially when old ones have been followed thru.

78. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

Someone I know read the petition but thought it’s intentions unclear. Even the first page with the all of unnecessary letters is daunting to read. How many signatures are needed to be effective?

79. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

Maybe a lot of xstudents did drop off the edge just as RB predicted they would……..

80. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

77. silentpurr

From the first paragraph of the petition :

“We are past members of the Fellowship of Friends, an organization operating as a church in the rural Sierra Nevada foothills of California. It is dominated and controlled by a man named Robert Earl Burton. Our petition asks for an official investigation into the practices and character of his organization.”

That seems pretty simple and clear, but perhaps I am missing something.

Also, if you go to the wikispace link at the top of this page you will find the petition without those extra characters in it.

81. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

77. silentpurr

“unnecessary letters”

your fucking kidding right? The purpose is to expose what’s going on from first hand accounts. How do you find them either “unnecessary” or “daunting”? Short attention span, or are you just being a jerk?

82. X-ray - August 3, 2009

77. silentpurr – August 3, 2009

‘Someone I know read the petition but thought it’s intentions unclear. Even the first page with the all of unnecessary letters is daunting to read. How many signatures are needed to be effective?’

It looks like we are having one more asshole here.

83. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

Bruce & X-ray

I thought perhaps when they said ‘letters’ they meant the funny little circular characters, if they are talking about the letters themselves, I don’t know what to think. I also wondered about the line “Someone I know read the petition”.

84. DXP - August 3, 2009

I’ve been posting for one month, tomorrow, and that is probably about enough from me. I had certain things I wanted to say, I said them, Plus I’m going to add a critique of the wiki site. Moderator, you can remove this comment in a couple of days if it is felt that leaving it would not be what you want as an archive. I probably would, if I were you.

I would like to say that most current posters here have been to varying degrees rude and not communicative. I’m speaking of x-ray, harry, bruce and twine in particular. I used to post to this site several years ago (not as DXP) and it was a vibrant place, full of ideas and revelations. I’m sorry to say it is not now. Maybe it has run its course. I feel that is a pity for the really interesting blog commenters like Ames, ton, in2it and (even tho brief) Sharon. It feels like Ames is just shouting into the wind and that is a shame since he has good points to make. Possibly certain commenters didn’t like that I said there is collusion by Robert’s sexual “partners” and them, but I was married to one of Robert’s boys and I KNOW this to be true. One can claim “rape” – legally, a form of “date rape” … once — but not if one keeps going to those dates over and over and over. After a –rather short– time it becomes a kind of symbiotic collusion. It must be hard to face, and I understand it is attractive to re-claim one’s masculinity by becoming a macho-macho man…. belligerent, easily offended, foul mouthed, laid back know-it-all dude.

So here’s what I wanted to say:

1) Robert cannot be ‘saved’. He will not save himself since he thinks he is just great. No reason to stay to improve the fof because Robert IS the fof and he will not and cannot be “improved” – he thinks he is already better than the most famous religious figures.

2) the fof is, yes, a cult, but more importantly it is fundamentalist and extremist. It is fundamentalist because it is completely beholding to one ultimate authority and that is one man. That’s fundamentalism – only one MAN can interpret words from god – or “higher” beings. When an authority is taken in that way it also becomes extreme as shown by the use of “shunning” if any church member is not exhibiting the proper fundamentalism.

3} It does no good to accuse fof members of enabling Robert and his fof if we are not willing or able to take responsibility for our own tenure. Yes, we all had serious fucked-up psychological issues we probably carried with us into the experience (these are both reasons and excuses), and we were dumb and WANTED the magic to be real. But there is also some responsibility to take, as adults, and we need to swallow our humiliation and weaknesses. Robert’s “boys” allowed themselves to be his “boys” because they were getting something out of it too. Robert’s boys’ girls enabled it all, we hid our minds, feelings and faces, because we were getting something out of it all too (maybe we cared about that more than the men we loved, and that is horrible). What was it that we were getting – that current members are getting? I guess that is for the individual to answer.

x-ray, your #76 comment is rather level headed. No, however, I did not know there was some sort of petition, and have not participated in this blog or the GF for some time, but it is easy to assume I would know, and “obviously” you made assumptions and then believed them. I did not know about the wiki site and you are completely correct that I should acknowledge the great wonderful efforts that have gone into them.

Let me do that now…. the wiki site is a wonderful beginning and a huge effort on the part of many I’m sure. I applaud you, and everyone involved!!!

If there is any value you can take out of my recent posts it is of taking into consideration a person who was NOT aware of the site and sees it for the first time at this late date. Possibly my critique will be of use to you. Also, I was not just giving ideas just to expose the cult, as you assumed, but wanted to address the function of this blog, which was the question of the day, and I still think that a blog is a really difficult vehicle to form into a warning/debunking site, tho it arose as that, naturally. it is a BLOG and blogs are unruly, wild and free, completely democratic, easily corrupted form. If moderated with a light hand, as the current moderator does, it will not serve as a warning/debunking vehicle alone, because it will include too much controversy and voices that are not specific to your goals. If the moderator wants to tame the blog into that then there will be some serious disadvantages to that, as dragon says.

So, my crit of the wiki site, while really appreciating the good intentions, efforts and energies that went into it. I sort of feel bad about this crit, but I still have to call it as I see it:

Ames set out, as the first comment on this page, a good structure for dealing with the fof’s version of the 4th way. This was not clear on the wiki site. The ‘home’ page sounded just all so “nice”. Why? To not be seen badly by current fof members?? It reads like an “angle” one would have liked to give at a meeting but was not allowed to. “Oh Please Please listen to this angel”…. Honestly, if I was a seeker I could not tell if the wiki site was pro or anti fof. There is just so much bunk that is pro-fof on it. The “thinking of joining” part is pretty much all flattery. The “thinking of leaving” part is a poem of leaving, not real stories of success in expanding horizons, great connections, awakenings, or whatever. The “psychology” part is good, but is way too long and disorganized. The psychological disorder part is not credentialed but just a bunch of suppositions by what appears to be pissed off former members (sorry, but that is how it reads with this kind of thing: “Some familiar with Robert Burton have suggested he suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. ” – just who are those “SOME” who are “familiar” with Robert who “suggest” ???). The “teaching” section, where are any of Ame’s great ideas??? It give a sort of history of God – or the “higher beings” and then…..??? the “in their own words (I guess “their” means the fof official story… as said by who? why include this without serious debunking?) and the “official face” part seem very, frankly, pro fof. At the very least they are still very bought in to the fof thinking. Parts of these seem to be gushing…. I mean, really, “Woven into Burton’s methods is the concept that “impressions” can be food for the soul. He has tirelessly promoted the arts within the Fellowship, educating himself and encouraging others to educate themselves in all the arts. His artistic appreciation is wide-ranging, and the forms of its expression have varied greatly – from poetry readings to scholarly journals, from impressive art libraries to fountains, landscape gardening, and horticulture. ” is just gushing. And it is complete, absolute, rancid, total and old bullshit. Robert has no real interest in the arts!! Any real art will challenge and he is into feel-good crap and nothing else. So why include this on a debunking site????? Do you still ‘believe’ it?? Again, sorry, for the harsh crit, but this is how I read the site. If I was a seeker, or even a current member, it would read as a neutral or even sort of pro fof pro art site. There is some mention of heterosexual men having to have sex with the leader, but it is again couched in flattery…. “attractive” men and so on.

About the petition: who is being petitioned? and for what action? Neither of these are clear at all. Yes it is clear who is doing the petitioning, but an effective petition has realistic goals thru viable means and venues. I may be ignorant of who is being petitioned and for what actions, it is not stated in the petition, so please excuse my ignorance and inform me. Bruce and x-ray seem to have all the macho macho answers…. I am actually listening tho. Even tho this has been around, please do me the favor of restating the specific goals and means to those goals, of this petition even tho as Bruce says I’m one of the “assholes”.

If you are not into that, OK.

85. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

81. X-ray

Two assholes.

86. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

Don’t they usually show up in two’s?

87. X-ray - August 3, 2009

83. DXP – August 3, 2009

79. James Mclemore – August 3, 2009

77. silentpurr

From the first paragraph of the petition :

“We are past members of the Fellowship of Friends, an organization operating as a church in the rural Sierra Nevada foothills of California. It is dominated and controlled by a man named Robert Earl Burton. Our petition asks for an official investigation into the practices and character of his organization.”

No, you are not listening.
What is fucking unclear here? Are you on medication or you just playing fool?

88. X-ray - August 3, 2009

85. brucelevy – August 3, 2009

‘Don’t they usually show up in two’s?’

Yes, nice couple.
I wondering if there a third one will be showing up tonight, or I can go watch a movie?

89. DXP - August 3, 2009

86, x-ray, what is “fucking unclear” is this: “Our petition asks for an official investigation into the practices and character of his organization.” Asking WHO for WHAT kind of investigation??

This is not hard to understand. As I said, it is clear WHO is petitioning, but the rest is NOT clear. Please clarify. Or not, you might just want to watch your movie.

90. X-ray - August 3, 2009

88. DXP – August 3, 2009

‘Asking WHO for WHAT kind of investigation??

To: all appropriate regulating agencies and elected officials of the State of California and the United States of America. World news media, and all world citizens concerned with abuses of religious power.

‘Investigation is the process of inquiring into a matter through research, follow-up, study, or formal procedure of discovery.’
Wikipedia

91. X-ray - August 3, 2009

You are a real asshole DXP.

92. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

88. DXP
and in fact, a whole tentative list of agencies to be sent the petition were posted on the previous page here, I think posted twice. It seems clear that either you’re intellectually lazy or you just don’t want to see. Two traits that are virtually endemic in the FOF.

93. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

maybe two pages ago, not much was said in the last page.

94. DXP - August 3, 2009

Yes, x-ray I am an asshole. Often. But the bit about “all”(?) “appropriate” (?) “regulating” (of what?) agencies, means…. huh? What do you want them to do with it if they are totally on board with your agenda anyhow? Please be clear.

I’m really getting tired of your macho macho post fof still inured mentality. You could just answer my questions but you choose to be belligerent and attack me for not understanding everything about the great “YOU” off the bat. Come on, man, chill. I’m willing to meet you half way.

95. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

Ha! We may be playing the devils advocate, but on my computer, the petition looks as if it were written on a faulty keyboard! Also, I too would like to see all former members sign. Is it too late to tidy it up?
To whom it may concern, just saying….

96. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

93. DXP 94. silentpurr

Since you two have such a remarkable meeting of the minds why don’t you two get together and do it right, and leave us dumb fucks alone?

97. X-ray - August 3, 2009

It means that you are fucking stupid DXP.
I see no other meaning.
Sorry.

98. fofblogmoderator - August 3, 2009

#59 is new

99. X-ray - August 3, 2009

94. silentpurr – August 3, 2009

‘Ha! We may be playing the devils advocate, but on my computer, the petition looks as if it were written on a faulty keyboard! Also, I too would like to see all former members sign. Is it too late to tidy it up?
To whom it may concern, just saying…’

Listen to what it’s saying, not to how it’s looking. Besides, it was reviewed by a lifelong anti-cult attorney, so you might want to think that you are smarter, but you really not.

100. fofblogmoderator - August 3, 2009

So much for the 3-4 posts per day, the name calling and the personal communications. I come up with some really lames ideas, huh?

101. fofblogmoderator - August 3, 2009

p.s. the last time I looked at the petition, all the random characters were still showing up. Forget about the content. It needs to look professional to be taken seriously.

102. X-ray - August 3, 2009

It needs to be sent out more often to be taken seriously.
Sorry for numerous posts, it’s not my usual pattern, but when I deal with assholes that’s the way I sound.

103. DXP - August 3, 2009

I’m truly sorry to be an “asshole” for you x-ray. As a fellow ex-fof member I have a great sympathy for other ex-fofers. I have been sincere in all my questions to you and my (albeit harsh) crit of your petition (I guess it is yours) and the wiki site. I have really valued this blog and have really benefited, personally, from its existence.

104. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

101. fofblogmoderator

I don’t get any strange characters. I would guess it’s idiosyncratic to one’s computer or browser setting. They don’t show up for me on either the link on this page, nor the link on GF. If I’m not getting them it’s not the petition.

105. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

If the additional signatures are unnecessary for the purpose of beginning an investigation, then leave it as it is. If more are needed, then I think it should be easy to read AND not have those rambling sentences like ” not long afterward I became entangled with a married woman who was”…..
Too much useless information. Make it more concise. and have it retyped!!!

106. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

The characters look like upside down Qs .They seem to be subbing for quotation marks and run through the whole piece. Very disconcerting!

107. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

This is unbelievable.

108. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

and apostrophes.

109. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

106. silentpurr

I would guess, in the FOF, you would have been photographed with a lunatic feature, no?

110. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

What are you talking about? Don’t you believe me?

111. DXP - August 3, 2009

109, Bruce, what are you doing “photographing” fellow bloggers with the old fof mind-set kind of nonsense? I know it is hard to accept a critique but bite the bullet man. It will make the petition/wiki site/blog better in the long run. That is a common aim – right?

112. Crouching Tiger - August 3, 2009

YB.

“Was there any possibility of it not being dropped into the mumbo gumbo ’spiritual’ bullshit soup?”

Almost certainly not!…. The more ‘experienced’ a seeker you are, the less likely you are to allow yourself to forget all the techniques you’ve learned. Even when they are unquestionably the main thing standing in your way.

Little ‘spiritual’ fingers just can’t help wanting to fiddle with, and ‘refine’ something that already palpably exists on its own terms.

113. arthur - August 3, 2009

No one in particular but some people spent way too much time sucking on their mother’s clitoris coming out into this world.

114. Jomo Piñata - August 3, 2009

I’m not sure why anyone believes the petition, upside-down “q”s and all, is going to cause a law enforcement agency to investigate FOF.

Understand: the people whose attention you want already have a lot to do and are working under cash-strapped conditions.

First-hand reports of current violations of the criminal law–reports which people who have that first-hand knowledge personally tellto law-enforcement personnel–are what get criminal investigations going.

If anyone has such first-hand information, be a good citizen and tell law enforcement.

115. sharon - August 3, 2009

X Ray – quite honestly I have several times wondered if you might be a Fellowship plant, with the purpose of deflecting folks away from interesting issues and the blog in general, and to discredit the brains and personality of ex-FoF members who post here. Your foul language is so extraneous and over-the-top, and you have a tendency to rant and call names without any real insight or personal stories to offer. Without going back and doing my research, I believe this thought first occurred to me during the D. Spr..d letter excitement and AG’s brief flurry of postings. But I also seem to recall this thought cropping up in my brain way back.

It is kind of an obvious thing for FoF to do to turn people off from the Blog, and I would not be surprised if there are at least a couple of fake bloggers here (what are they called – “sock puppets” ?). And if so, I do believe the techinique is slowly but surely working, as the Blog has dwindled down to insults, bickering and defensive behavior amongst a few folks, with a couple of obvious exceptions.

My sincere apologies if I have inappropriately maligned your intentions. I’ve been biting my tongue on this, but I feel I owe this Blog, which in its first page galvanized me to finally get me off my passive, weak ass to walk out of the FoF prison. And it’s been a wonderful 2+ years of freedom.

116. harryhindsight - August 3, 2009

Sharon,

Had the same feelings. At the very least, it’s someone pretending to be Russian.

Jomo,

Do you have any advice on organizing a Class action or Rico suit. Almost 1,000 G.F. members, so might be possible to finance now.

Harry

117. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

115. sharon – August 3, 2009

X Ray – quite honestly I have several times wondered if you might be a Fellowship plant,

I could be wrong, but I don’t see that. I see it as more likely to be some others.

118. Jomo Piñata - August 3, 2009

Nice reflective essay:

http://bit.ly/KUpzB

Harry: No.

119. Mikey - August 3, 2009

I agree with Bruce, Sharon. A little honest profanity is alright with me X-ray. Vulgarity is in the eye of the beholder.

120. sharon - August 3, 2009

I don’t mind the so-called vulgarity, Mikey – it’s the lack of substance behind it that I question. I appreciate useful profanity. What’s the point of a lot of reiterations of “fucking asshole” e.g, with no facts, rational opinions or personal stories to back it up? Is it just laziness? Or am I being too kind in assuming that there might be some agenda behind the apparent lack of communication ability?

Bruce – of course you could be wrong. Of course so could I. At least I know who you are and you know who I am and we don’t need to question each other’s sincerity.

121. sharon - August 3, 2009

I am so glad to be out of the Fellowship! It’s been 2 1/2 years now, and although I do wish we’d gone many years ago, I have been able to let much of that go. I am very happy with my life ex-FoF.

To be done with the nagging background guilt, the conflicts of conscience, the daily sense of distaste, the depression, the feeling of being always careful, always stifling the expression of the real inner conversations. To feel the love of my family, to share in a vibrant community, to contribute in some small way to my own sense of human compassion and progress. To be healthy! To NOT be part of a self-imagined elite, insane bunch of egoists.

I meet other ex-FoFers nearly every day in NC/GV and they look pretty much as happy as I feel.

122. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

121. sharon

“I meet other ex-FoFers nearly every day in NC/GV and they look pretty much as happy as I feel.”

That’s my experience also.

123. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

Sharon

I have never had the feeling that X-ray was from the fof. If I am not mistaken that is the person who sent Across the River the money to pay for having a lawyer look over the petition. It is the same person who has posted several times the addresses of where the petition might be sent. I think what you are seeing is just frustration with responding to people who appear to be criticizing the petition, yet have never thought to sign it, and in this particular case it sounded as if they had not even read it yet before they began pointing out what they thought the weaknesses were.

I do agree with you that the blog seems to have dwindled down lately in some respects.
We will have to wait and see what happens next, which is always the case anyway.

124. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

fofblogmoderator

When you posted your hopes and dreams for the blog a bit up the page I wanted to ruminate on the implications and see how I felt about it. It seems to me (and this is simply my opinion and view) that the problem doesn’t revolve around number of posts per day. That puts an artificial restriction on what kinds of conversations can take place. If people are actively discussing an important subject or point, being compelled to cut off one’s part in the conversation due to 3 posts per day, one may be actually dropping a bomb in the middle of a search.

It seems to me the problem seems closer to the amount of space that is taken on a page by emotional and personal needs, reactions and compulsions. Of course it’s simple to self regulate by…I’ll will only post, at most, three posts a day. No thinking or introspection is required. But to self-question, honestly, whats being put out there is much harder.

I’m trying to think of some way to incorporate space vs time vs depth vs craziness. The only fluid and flexible method I can come up with, personally, is the other bloggers calling them on it when they see it, which pretty much has been as it’s been, with the moderator being a very efficient “governor” (or crisis valve) for when the crazy hits new peaks, and the shit hits the fan.

Just some thoughts.

125. DXP - August 3, 2009

121, Sharon, cool post! The newly ex-fof folks in my life look much the same. At first they looked sort of dazed, like they were in the process of a huge internal growth spurt. After a few months they are vibrant, exploring ideas and activities, laughing a lot, feeling things deeply, wickedly funny. They are so great to be around.

re vulgarity: if the motivation behind vulgarity is just to shut up someone -who is not currently agreeing with every bit of what you have to say- is the real, honest, reason….. then the art of vulgarity is lost.

126. sharon - August 3, 2009

Thank you James. Though I believe DXP did not start out criticising the petition, rather the Wiki site – X Ray brought the petition up. I wondered if a FoFer was pointing out the dearth of signers, actually. But I’m ready to drop the subject.

127. brucelevy - August 3, 2009

126. sharon

Haven’t we all been pretty shocked at the lack of signatures at some point in the process? I was blown away. I was even more blown away when I followed the GF conversations and viewed the justifications that were given. Some elaborate, some absurd some simple, very few believable. It’s actually what I expected knowing the people that I knew. Most people are in it for themselves, period. If it didn’t directly affect them in a blatantly adverse manner, they weren’t going to publicly tie themselves to their prior decision of supporting the FOF when they know the FOF is a criminal enterprise. It would make them look less than they see themselves. And we know that the growth of conscience was not part of the curricula at ol’ Bendover U. So in this case I simply understood their shock about that, but not the rest of it.

128. nigel harris price - August 3, 2009

123 James Mclemore/124 brucelevy

You guys will NEVER BE SECTIONED for ‘non-lucid thinking’ with such insightful posts. I hope these type of posts are the ‘herald for a new era’ on the FOF Discussion site…..Nigel.

129. nigel harris price - August 3, 2009

127 brucelevy

I gave up on the GF site when there were no, may I say it, daring-to-state-one’s-case, posts. Such things like “Hope to see you for an espresso next time we are both in Vienna” really ‘turn me off’. As I have mentioned in the Discussion several times before, I post with the main objective of ‘cultivating thought towards impelling, conscienable action’…..Nigel.

130. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

Hi Sharon

When I referred to someone sounding critical before reading the petition I meant ‘silentpurr’, not DXP.
And I agree it is time to drop it anyway.
*****
Bruce, you said……
“It seems to me the problem seems closer to the amount of space that is taken on a page by emotional and personal needs, reactions and compulsions.”

I think that is it. It may require some proof-reading and a couple of key questions put to oneself by whoever is about to hit that “say it!” button.

131. DXP - August 3, 2009

I’d be glad to drop it too, but just want to say my critique of the wiki site was sincere – and the petition. Critique is not the same as criticizing. I know it can feel that way if something is “your baby”, but a good crit improves things. As I said, I felt rather badly about the crit, but just called it as I saw it.

132. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

a repost from “Res Ipsa Loquitur”

unoanimo
Outrageous Conduct, Emotional Distress

From the ‘fact’ of multiple lifetimes, to the ‘fact’ that people who leave the Fellowship of conditional “Friends” are ‘food for the moon’, to the ‘fact’ that Burton is at a ‘higher level’ than anyone else on the planet, to the ‘fact’ that Beloved Teacher is the necessary intermediary between a student and higher forces, only able to ‘progress’ through Burton’s intervention, to the ‘fact’ that Burton is a goddess trapped in a man’s body (!), to the ‘fact’ that the Sequence represents the highest product of ‘higher schools’ stretching back to prehistoric times…

and on and on and on…

All designed to put one in the classic bind. No way out but to swallow and take a big gulp of “faith”, and watch one’s conscience shrivel away, a sacrifice to Burton, the gift he demands so one can stay safe in his shadow, nestling like chicks under his wings. But unlike real chicks, which must grow and fledge, choosing to stay chicks forever.

16/201/Ames Gilbert

133. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

I won’t offer any more critiques about the petition, even though I had read it and my concerns come from a sincere place.
The question still remains: Why so few signatures?

134. sharon - August 3, 2009

James – you’re right, it was someone else (see above).

135. Ames Gilbert - August 3, 2009

Nigel, in my opinion you might want to take another look at the GF site. I think your attention was drawn by the social networking part of it. If you look at the top menu, you’ll see “Forums”, and there are many discussions going on there. These, of course, vary greatly in quality, but there are some really meaty conversations recorded there. If you don’t find a topic to your taste or current need, then start a new forum (this applies to blogs as well; if you want to start a discussion or support group concerning your bipolar disorder, or publish your booklet or private correspondence, and attract a specialist audience, you can so easily do that. Apparently four new blogs are started each second of every day worldwide to suit particular needs and aims!) And if any one wants to explore and discuss the 4th Way in detail, there is the What Is The Work Site (with many ex-FoF contributors) amongst many, many others.

DXP, thank you for your comments on the Wiki site. I will pass them on to Traveller, who started it and runs it, and I’m sure your thoughts will be appreciated (really!).

Jomo, thank you for making some facts of life clear again. IMO, officials, like us all, probably seek the low-hanging fruit, in this case, the easiest cases to investigate with the most assured chances of successful prosecution. That’s what careers and reputations are built on. If I remember correctly, the FoF was once investigated by the IRS in the early 80’s, and apart from making a few changes, pretty much got away with little more than warnings. That, and the fact that the statutes of limitations means that most of the charges in the petition are no longer prosecutable, and the fact that the state tends to shy away from investigating ‘religious’ bodies anyway, means that, as Jomo says, there had better be plenty of compelling, fresh smoking ‘in your face’ evidence before the powers that be get off their butts. I signed the petition as a moral statement of where I stand; at the most I hoped that maybe it would encourage some official to at least promote it to the back burner. Detailed, solid evidence is what will bring it to the front burner, and whoever provides it will have to pay a considerable price in examination, time and publicity.

136. DXP - August 3, 2009

Ames, thank you so much. I really appreciate it that you are open minded and non-judgmental.

About legal action, sexual “rape” and “abuse” might be hard to legally prove. But sexual “harassment” might be a better course to pursue. In that case a list of people who say they have been sexually harassed might be helpful. The fof is both a church and an employer, so those “on salary” could possibly make a case of employment sexual harassment. Otherwise financial impropriety would be via the IRS and they might be interested – again. But allegations would have to have some rather current substance. Churches get a lot of lee way.

I googled “sexual harassment laws church” and got some interesting sites. Here’s one:

http://www.ag.org/top/legal_matters/sexual_harassment.cfm

I suppose there would be one agency that handles issues like this. Seems from the site that a state agency might work best. I’m not up on the laws in California, but a call to the state attorney general office might be informative and helpful in who to send a cover letter with a (signed?) list of people who have personally experienced the harassment. In looking at this site I’d say there is a good chance for legal action in this targeted area.

137. James Mclemore - August 3, 2009

133. silentpurr

Sorry if I misunderstood what you said in an earlier post. It sounded to me as if you had not read it yourself.

In regards to the number of signatures, as Bruce said earlier, there was a lengthy discussion (which is still there to read) on the GF site about that very topic of signing or not-signing.

138. silentpurr - August 3, 2009

James, I know several GF people who were unaware of the petition. Would it be possible to send out an Email, an update?

139. James Mclemore - August 4, 2009

silentpurr –

I know very little of how the GF site is run, or whether some sort of bulk email could be sent to everyone, or whether it would do any good. The link to the petition was listed, and still is, on the very front page. There was that discussion I spoke of, the link for which was on the front page for quite some time. Perhaps the amount of people who actually visit the home page and look to see what the announcements and discussions are is relatively small, and that most others, even though they joined GF, do not go to the site at all or only go to make contact with old friends and to chat, which of course is absolutely fine.
I thought more people would sign immediately, and I thought that many more people would enter the discussion about it and would then sign. I was wrong. It is possble that one of the reasons for that was that many just did not know about it. However I have the feeling there is more to it than that. I could not imagine anyone who was in the cult, and then had the knowledge of some of what went on there and still goes on there, who would not wish to sign it (with the exception of some of those who were abused by Robert and told their stories, but because of current circumstances and family felt a need to remain anonymous). I certainly was not sure that the petition would do any good no matter how many signed it. For myself, the actual signing of the petition had very little to do with what fruits might or might not come from it, even though I certainly hoped it might help put an end to the abuse and brain-washing.

140. Jomo Piñata - August 4, 2009

136/DXP

We’ve been down this road before. See 72/182:

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.

141. Jomo Piñata - August 4, 2009

Unless you were victimized, RECENTLY, talk about a lawsuit is FANTASY.

Unless you have DIRECT PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE of a crime, talk about criminal prosecution is FANTASY.

142. DXP - August 4, 2009

Jomo, I saw that about Title VII, but this from the site I linked above made me think there could be other routes via state harassment laws. There should be some agency in California who could say if the fof meets the requirements and if a harassment case can be made.

“Many employers who are not subject to Title VII have been sued for alleged sexual harassment under state law. In fact, many victims of sexual harassment prefer not to sue on the basis of Title VII even if their employers are covered under Title VII. The reason: Victims typically receive much higher awards of monetary damages in state court. Lawsuits brought under state law typically allege that the employer is guilty of one or more of the following: (1) “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” (2) defamation, (3) negligent selection or supervision, (4) assault and battery, (5) loss of consortium, (6) invasion of privacy, (7) wrongful discharge, or (8) false imprisonment. In addition, many states have enacted their own laws banning sexual harassment, and such laws are much more likely to apply to local churches.”

143. Jomo Piñata - August 4, 2009

DXP, you are more than welcome to write me at veronicapoe@gmail.com.

144. DXP - August 4, 2009

This is from that site also. Jomo, thanks for the email invite. I’m not a lawyer, but I will admit I know a few. If I can help, tho, I’m in.

“Many state courts have adopted similar conclusions in sexual harassment cases not brought under Title VII. The key point to understand is that an employer (including a church) can be legally responsible for the sexual harassment of its agents and supervisory personnel even if the employer was unaware of the conduct and the conduct violates the employer’s written policy prohibiting sexual harassment. The reason: Supervisory personnel are considered to be agents of the employer; accordingly, their work-related misconduct is imputable to the employer whether or not the employer is aware of it.

Example. A woman was hired as an associate pastor of a church in Minnesota. A year later she filed a discrimination charge with the state department of human rights against her supervising pastor. She claimed that her supervising pastor repeatedly made unwelcome sexual advances toward her. He allegedly referred to themselves as lovers, physically contacted her in a sexual manner, and insisted on her companionship outside the workplace despite her objections. The woman informed her local church leaders as well as her synod before filing the complaint with the state. Although the church and synod investigated the woman’s allegations, no action was taken to stop the alleged harassment. Less than 3 months after the complaint was filed with the state, the church held a congregational meeting at which it voted to dismiss the woman as pastor. The reason stated for the discharge was the woman’s “inability to conduct the pastoral office efficiently in this congregation in view of local conditions.” A state appeals court ruled that the woman could sue her former supervising pastor for sexual harassment. The court also rejected the supervising pastor’s claim that the woman was prevented from suing because she had consented to the supervising pastor’s conduct.”

145. Jomo Piñata - August 4, 2009

Intrepid souls might want to have a look at California Government Code Section 12926.2.

146. X-ray - August 4, 2009

115. sharon – August 3, 2009

Well, that is a real insult Sharon, to call me a Fellowship plant. You cannot imagine worse to call me.

I was the one who send the money to Ford Green to review the Petition. I was the one who spend hours and hours researching places to where to send the Petition, then I’ve signed it and send it.

‘and you have a tendency to rant and call names without any real insight or personal stories to offer.’

That’s true. I have no patience for idiots, and if I see some one like DC and other like minded shitheads here, I will just say what I think about them without farther explanations.

‘I believe this thought first occurred to me during the D. Spr..d letter excitement and AG’s brief flurry of postings. But I also seem to recall this thought cropping up in my brain way back’

Interesting. And what was that about? What was there I’ve said that made you ‘wonder’?

147. X-ray - August 4, 2009

101. fofblogmoderator – August 3, 2009

Fofblogmoderator,

Today I thought about ‘3-4’ post thing, and here is what I think about it.

If my posts annoying some one, they can just skip it. I don’t read all posts either. I was in the cult already and have no interest to become a part of another. If people will complain and ask you to ban me, then fuck it, I’ve done enough already.
Until then, I will speak as much as I want, and I will say what I think.
And since I make my own rules, I’m respectfully rejecting yours.

I appreciate your work regardless.

148. Jomo Piñata - August 4, 2009

Paranoid style was endemic in the fellowship. You know, that highly directed, hypervigilant style of attention which scanned the environment looking for “clues” to confirm pre-existing biases?

Some carryover is to be expected when you leave and for a long time thereafter.

Let’s remember that people make honest mistakes. There are some things we shouldn’t take personally, even if it seems like they were meant personally. Hey, cut each other some slack. You spent decades in a cult!

149. sharon - August 4, 2009

X-Ray – It came to my mind, over several pages of posts. You speak your mind, expect others to speak theirs.

Nevertheless, I will repeat: my sincere apologies at being wrong.

150. X-ray - August 4, 2009

And one more thing Sharon; when we started speak about Burton’s shit, you were still devoted student, paying teaching payment, looking in the ‘teacher’s’ empty eyes, thinking how lucky you to be a part of ‘conscious school’.
You are out now thanks to all of us who spoke the truth.
Yet, you haven’t sing the Petition.

151. fofblogmoderator - August 4, 2009

#124
Bruce thanks for sharing your ruminations concerning governorship of the blog.

As far as I’m concerned I don’t want to be the author of the rules here. It should be a group consensus. For example, itstwintime has been writing me each day that he’s been locked out. I told him I wanted to let him back on and he responded that he would like to come back and he would tone it down, but he seems to want to continue to come here and criticize the current participants.

Here’s an email I sent him two days ago;

“I understand that your opinion of the blog and its participants is certainly your right, however, it seems that those few who remain here (there has been probably over one hundred people that have come and gone over the last 3 years on the blog) are set in their ways and attitudes about the FOF. I don’t know how long you were in, although if you left in 1980 then you couldn’t have been in for more than 9 years, and I don’t know how much money you spent on the FOF, but sometimes those numbers can be commensurate with the amount of energy and time that the former member spends “digesting” their experience in the FOF. So for you to participate on the blog by almost exclusively pointing out what you consider to be a waste of time, energy and counterproductive to the “mission”, doesn’t seem to work into the fabric/spirit of the blog. I certainly agree with some of your observations, but you do have a way of presenting your ideas that seem to alienate the reader (including myself). it feels like you are attacking us, so the natural inclination is to defend oneself.”

—————-

Here’s an excerpt from his current email to me.

” HEY, WHY DON’T YOU MAN UP AND REMOVE THOSE TWO
“ASSHOLES” bruce and x-ray?You remove me, for much LESS than that and don’t even resub like you intimated you would, and yet you let those two ASSHOLES keep running roughshod here?

THIS IS WHY THIS PLACE IS A FUCKING SINKHOLE, real “poverty” of intelligence!”

————————–

Now how about if you people who are reading this think about what you would do under this set of circumstances. Someone (James?) mentioned keeping people off for a one page duration. That’s OK with me, but my gut tells me that itstwinetime is going to be a “problem” again. After he reads this he’s probably going to send me another email with insults. Fun job I have, huh?

One of the reasons I’ve stayed interested in the bog is that there are a bunch of colorful characters here and over the last 2 years I’ve read a lot of interesting comments and (what I consider to be) insightful and powerful thoughts from the other bloggers. If anybody really wants to know anything about the FOF, they can peruse the first 100 pages of the blog and they’ll see a whole lot of very real and powerful testimonies about ex-fofer’s experiences while “in”.

You see in my opinion if people joined the FOF looking for something and then wound up leaving because they were disappointed or disillusioned because they didn’t find what they were looking for, it’s not THEIR fault. It’s the FOF’s fault. They (FOF) hide and conceal so much behind-closed-doors shit that’s it’s almost mind blowing. Why do you think that no one in the FOF can come up with a reasonable explanation as to why Robert has to have so many sexual relations with so many members of the “church”? If any of us here had a harem and sexual history as wide and deep as Robert Burton’s we would be considered to be some kind of crazy sexual deviant. He’s sucked hundreds of cocks! Don’t tell me not to think about that. Why can’t he be with ONE patrner for an extended period of time, and then if it doesn’t work out, you move on like most people do it? This guy is having the ultimate fantasy life possible. He gets tons of money for having people sit down to lavish dinners where he does his little “show” and then gets to pick the sexual slave of his choice for his personal sexual gratification. He travels the globe with hundreds of people doing his bidding; arranging his travel plans, setting up the meeting at the antique shop for that 18th century vase he had his eye on (of course all the students get to gawk at it at the next reception and feel a sense of “ownership”), arrange for the meeting and dinner in the hotel ballroom where he will dismiss the hotel staff and have his “students” serve him instead. All the while a dozen research students are looking through various “sacred” books digging up quotes and pictures for him to present at his next meeting ($100.00 for choice seating). Oh, and don’t forget the 2 dozen grounds keepers working in 100+ degree heat that are moving palm trees a little to the left…..no, actually a little to the right….ooops I’m sorry dear, a little to the left again. I could go on and on………..

I know this is more than I usually post, but I’ve got a free hour.

Lastly, I know my suggestions about volume of postings per day and verbal abuse and private communications were not so practical, but I gotta be honest, I think the name calling is the worst of the 3. It seems so unnecessary. I know I can’t stop people from doing it and I don’t think it’s normally grounds for being locked out, but can we at least insert an “IMO” (In my opinion)? So, for example, x-ray’s post from tonight:

“That’s true. I have no patience for idiots, and if I see some one like DC and other like minded shitheads here, I will just say what I think about them without farther explanations.”

could also read;

“That’s true. I have no patience for idiots, and if I see some one like DC and other like minded (IMO) shitheads here, I will just say what I think about them without farther explanations.”

Some how it sounds less of a blanket statement and more subjective that way. Just a thought…………………

152. James Mclemore - August 4, 2009

151. fofblogmoderator

Nice post, and you are doing a great and pretty much thankless job.
Thank you.

One of the odd thoughts that occurred to me out of what you wrote was about itstwinetime.

I tried to picture myself thinking of a place that I would describe by saying,
“THIS PLACE IS A FUCKING SINKHOLE”
and then asking if I could please go back. I found that difficult to imagine.

153. sharon - August 4, 2009

Well, actually, I have (signed, that is). This morning, in fact. I resisted the cult-reminiscent pressure to conform for a long time, but found that I had finally gotten over the need to resist. I have not said much about reasons, because I think that signing petitions, like voting, is a private matter.

I don’t think you know me, because I don’t think that I could have been perceived as “devoted”, except for perhaps a year or two when in Europe. Paying, yes, unfortunately, though never more than monthly donations (that was enough!). Singing for fund-raisers, yes. Going to a meeting every now and then, until they were stopped, but very rarely to Burton’s nonsensical, tasteless “events”, and not in the last 2 years of my membership.

I clearly don’t know you – maybe if you used your real name, as I do, and as a few others do, I would understand you better, or at least remember the non-insulting, non-ranting posts from the past.

Nor did I ever think that I was part of a “conscious” school – that word was not generally part of my working vocabulary. I hoped that I was part of a community that was sincerely working towards a better way of life – that hope was killed by living in Oregon House, and I spent a decade or so coping with that loss of hope.

But this is the kind of accusation that I was talking about – you have made my point regarding bickering, insults, etc.

I would like to see this Blog continue to tell the truth, and to be a place where intelligent current or prospective FoFers can read it. Currently, I don’t see much point in continuing to read it.

154. sharon - August 4, 2009

sorry, my post #153 is directed (just in case it’s not clear) to X-Ray.

155. X-ray - August 4, 2009

151. fofblogmoderator – August 4, 2009

‘ HEY, WHY DON’T YOU MAN UP AND REMOVE THOSE TWO
“ASSHOLES” bruce and x-ray?’

I was right about him from the beginning, and I am sorry now for being polite to him.
I will correct it when he gets back.

‘Some how it sounds less of a blanket statement and more subjective that way. Just a thought…………………’

Why should one try to sound more subjective?
If one is an idiot, then one is an idiot, and ‘IMO’ will not make him better.

156. brucelevy - August 4, 2009

155. X-ray

Isn’t this like fucking kindergarten?

157. brucelevy - August 4, 2009

Let the little prick back, but then don’t censor us.

158. brucelevy - August 4, 2009

I take that back. Do what ever the hell you want.

159. DXP - August 4, 2009

Moderator, very thoughtful post. One thing you said struck me: “Why can’t he be with ONE patrner for an extended period of time, and then if it doesn’t work out, you move on like most people do it?” I think several here might say it is one symptom of a sociopathic mental illness. Probably narcissism is a matter of degrees, and if so Robert has an advanced degree in this. It takes a conscience that one is aware of (linked to consciousness), and one that is intact to have a real relationship. A conscience takes into consideration the “other” and it is obvious that he just does not do that.

Re twine: I understand he has his view of the commenters, and, frankly, the banning policy does not treat everyone equally. Some are allowed to behave in the very same way that others are not, and it seems based on sharing an agenda. That said, it also looks like twine’s main goal is to berate commenters and does not have much to say about the fof and, THAT he does NOT share with the commenters he derides. I think that colors the issue. You may not like making the rules, but as moderator it is your call. Even tho blogs can be utter democracies if they are untended, if a moderator is present he/she is the ultimate ruler of the blog – just the nature of blogs. I’d say you are doing fine and asking for input on difficult decisions, but the final say is yours and I think most would support you in whatever you decide.

160. fofblogmoderator - August 4, 2009

“Isn’t this like fucking kindergarten?”

No.

161. DXP - August 4, 2009

X-ray, Bruce and Twine, check out the hats!

162. X-ray - August 4, 2009

156. brucelevy – August 4, 2009

155. X-ray

Isn’t this like fucking kindergarten?

Yeap…maximum first grade.
Let no one undermine your self-confidence and make you doubting yourself.

163. X-ray - August 4, 2009

161. DXP – August 4, 2009

A strength of a men is in the content of his character, and not in the size of his muscles or dick.
What I see in the movie, is a bunch of fagots making buks.

164. fofblogmoderator - August 4, 2009

#155

“Why should one try to sound more subjective? If one is an idiot, then one is an idiot, and ‘IMO’ will not make him better.”

You thinking someone is an idiot is your opinion. It’s not a fact. When you say; “and ‘IMO’ will not make him better”. I have to question whether you are really trying to make someone “better”. I can’t imagine that calling them an idiot will make them “better”.

I understand that some people enjoy the adrenal rush they get when they tell someone to fuck off. What’s more, the passive nature that I think I come off as having irritates people who are more aggressive by nature. The energy I give off doesn’t feed their need. I’m not enough of an adversary. I want everybody to get along. That thought bums a lot of people out. It’s too gay for them.

Is this really who you want to have as the guy that “moderates” this blog?

165. DXP - August 4, 2009

163 Oh x-ray, you missed my teasing you a bit with that video. You guys are doing just soooooo much posturing that it reaches highly comic levels. So who are you? The main macho guy or the hard hat?

166. X-ray - August 4, 2009

I think you doing a good job moderating site, and wanting everybody to get along, isn’t really bad idea.
Just to remember that pigs and eagles cannot get along, they have a different nature.

167. X-ray - August 4, 2009

165. DXP – August 4, 2009

I’m nobody, a cyberspace creation, and when I’ll hear that Burton in the jail, I’ll disappear from here forever.

168. Ellen - August 4, 2009

Blog moderator,
Thank you for doing your best at this rather thankless job. The only suggestion I can make is for everyone to try to make this an interesting discussion through quality input rather than a food fight. Then it becomes less of an issue of ducking the latest missle from whoever.

For myself, I try to ignore personal insults here. If people engage me on a discussable topic, I’m interested. Others can do that, too. Why not just let the personal attacks slide?

BTW: I know of four personal friends who have left the Fellowship within the last few months, so the attrition does continue. I don’t know if these people are reading the current form of this blog or not, I kinda doubt it, but I really don’t know. If they are, please speak up, we’d love to hear from you. Yes, the first pages were exceptionally powerful. But now there is also the GFoF with provides a different kind of platform and Facebook, too…

So many people are left so deeply jaded and cynical after their illusions regarding the Fellowship are punctured that they give up on spirituality all together. (I personally feel that that’s a shame, but it may all just be a factor of time so I let that slide, too). What’s interesting about the cynical/jade reaction is that it seems to provide evidence to underscore the Fellowship’s/Fourth Way mentality regarding “people who leave the work”. Rampant negativity expressed here then just becomes an example for RB’s self-fulfilling prophecy (“see, I told you so”) – but that’s only for anyone who chooses to remain blind and insensitive to the deeper issues. And the deeper issues are both disgusting and outrageous to anyone who allows themselves up to receive it all uncensored – even by their own mind.

Negative perceptions are needed, personal exchanges laced with defensive negativity detract (IMO).

169. Panoritsa - August 4, 2009

Blog moderator.

Thank you for the great job here. And thanks for the notes you have posted on this page.

What made this blog powerful was the personal stories of people who left the Fellowship. Juicy or not, they are still here and they document many steps one takes to join the cult as well as the difficult way back to one’s “home.”

All (and if I am wrong just correct me…) the members who have left the last years read the blog at one point or another. I know I was trembling when I first posted here. But I have my life back and I know when I think of friends who are still behind the walls that many of their “sufferings” are closely related to them staying in the prison of the FOF. It is a vicious cycle.

This blog can be more “useful” if more ex-members contribute with their insights.

And yes, it helps, when there is less shouting and name-calling. So, the moderator needs to edit here and there. It is very tiring trying to get through so many explosive posts.

170. Mikey - August 4, 2009

A little barely related explaination from “Mischievous Chicken” by Bal Kalchuri:

“All through these millions of human births and deaths
the human being is clutched in the dream of Nothing –
in the clutches of lust, in greed’s grip of wealth,
in selfish egoism, in anger’s wars, in hatred’s cruelty,
in pride’s vanity and jealousy’s poisonous envy.
These desires pervade the gross conciousness man or woman’s world
and they fill their gross consciousness with dreams
of power, romance, conquest, killing, glory and greatness.
When does man or woman awaken from all this dreaming?”

That puts a lot of us in the same boat.

171. Ames Gilbert - August 4, 2009

X-Ray, thank you very much for your work on the petition, and for contacting and paying Ford Greene. Whatever happens, the idea and execution of the petition made a lot of people think about the crimes of the Fellowship, both as an institution and as embodied as the will of the chief criminal and charlatan, Robert Burton. It made a lot of people think about their roles and their responsibilities to fellow humans who, for whatever reasons, became Burton’s sexual conquests.

The blog goes ‘up and down’ according to the perceiver; one person’s up may be another’s down, so, like the weather, just wait…

Thanks, blog moderator, for your work, and for taking the trouble to explain some of your actions. Again, these will suit some of the participants and audience, and not others. Since you do the work and discharge the responsibilities, I wholeheartedly support your decisions, including the ‘why Itstwinetime and not Bruce or X-Ray’ ones. Sometimes decisions just cannot be easily explained or justified, there are too many factors, they result from a lifetime of experience, and one has to trust that they are right for that particular circumstance. It’s lucky that these are not usually life and death matters here in cyberspace!
BTW, it certainly sounds like Itstwinetime is very, very identified with the ‘sinkhole’; maybe time for him to check in again with that ‘conscious teacher’?

172. DXP - August 4, 2009

I think that men who have been Robert’s prey, and who have left and are trying to reclaim their true inner dignity, can be just too damned hard on themselves. The ones who stay are probably unconsciously even harder on themselves. Since I left the fof about 25 years ago I’ve matured a lot (age does that) and have a different perspective now. Plus, I have a daughter and loads of young people in my life – who I love, adore and enjoy. It is a hazard of youth that older, charismatic, powerful and deceitful men prey on them. If a person does not have someone looking out for them from a place of love, someone on their side no matter what and is engaged with their lives, then being preyed upon is horrible. It is not their fault but it seems to feel like it. More often it is a tribulation for girls since society is built in a sexist way, so for boys – and for boys who are preyed upon in ways that feel abhorrent and unnatural to them – it is maybe even harder for them.

I’m dealing with a 20 something young person in my life at the moment who is going thru hell because of the “attentions” of an older, powerful man. One thing I’ve seen is that the young person goes thru flips of enjoying the lavish expensive attention and feeling unbelievably guilty about it – taking all the “blame” on, personally. Makes me want to rip this man apart with my teeth. Unfortunately there are laws preventing me. I can see that if a young person does not have a “safety person” then the experience is much worse for them. I can also understand why youth is so attractive. They are beautiful morsels, impressionable, not threatening, utterly delightful. Reminds me of the myth of Persephone, a beautiful innocent who because of her very innocence gets abducted and raped by the god of the underworld.

173. brucelevy - August 4, 2009

172. DXP

Very perceptive and accurate post.

174. DXP - August 4, 2009

Bruce, and others, One thing my personal situation with my young person is making me realize is that I have been way too harsh in my earlier posts and I feel remorse about it and apologize. “Collusion” is a word only true if there is not deep love and my earlier posts reflect a lack in me. Love certainly brings a different dimension and totally redefines what is true.

I hope my young person can navigate and internalize a self love. It is such a dangerous period in life. For some reason, I see that young people seem to think that self love is a bad kind of pride. That is NOT TRUE. I remember hearing the Dalai Lama saying that people in the west lacked self love as a strong core and basis for enlightenment. Makes more sense to me now.

175. Walter J. Tanner - August 4, 2009

I want the blog to be a place where I can demonstrate my level of being by not feeding the trolls and not responding to the idiots.

Thanks moderator!

walter.tanner@gmail.com

P.S.:

DXP: Si-do!

I sing the Petition electric!

176. sallymcnally - August 4, 2009

#175: Mr. T: Have you misplaced your heart?

177. Jomo Piñata - August 4, 2009

174/DXP

I dimly recall the drum beat, in various eastern texts, telling us “self love” (I understood “conceit” or “narcissism”) had to be sacrificed in order to achieve a higher conciousness.

But love for oneself, compassion for oneself: That’s not conceit. That’s not narcissism.

The young person emerging from a family of origin which has somehow corroded, rather than fortified, his sense of wholeness is likely to continue to apply what he has learned in that family. If it’s harshness, if it’s beating oneself up, that strategy has to be experienced as unsuccessful. Then there’s room for wholesome self-compassion to emerge.

In my humble opinion.

178. brucelevy - August 4, 2009

175. Walter J. Tanner

Level of being demonstrating itself is an oxymoron.

179. brucelevy - August 4, 2009

It’s more vanity demonstrating it’s level of being.

180. silentpurr - August 4, 2009

Walter, At this time you may demonstrate your level of being by reading and signing the petition. did you?

181. Josiane - August 4, 2009

127. Brucelevy

“I was even more blown away when I followed the GF conversations and viewed the justifications that were given. Some elaborate, some absurd some simple, very few believable. ”

We may be running in circles here, for some of these reasons have already been expressed clearly (maybe in GF and not so much on the blog). Some valid reasons were that some of us still have spouses in the FoF prison.

This past weekend my husband and I had a horrible (for me) interaction when he told me that he was going to increase his donations (a.k.a. “teaching payment”) to the Fellowship. I has a literal nervous breakdown and locked myself in the bathroom and cried my heart out for over half-an hour. You see, I had thought that our talks together over the past 18 months, since I left FoF, might have had some impact on him, yet I was faced with the blatant realization that he is as much a fellower as ever. He did say that, through our talks he had come to not pass judgment on people outside FoF as he used to do but he still likes the teaching and the lifestyle in FoF.

My options? 1) Be patient and keep bringing in more talks and dialogues (and that’s why I still haven’t signed the petition); 2) Get out of the relationship. 3) This is where you, guys, come in, with advice and support.
Thanks in advance.
Josiane

182. brucelevy - August 5, 2009

181. Josiane

Wow, very difficult position. But I did find… “He did say that, through our talks he had come to not pass judgment on people outside FoF as he used to do…”. That should pretty clearly tell you where he is. He’s as deeply indoctrinated as he was, and considering the efforts on your part, he’s probably sunk in even deeper. It must be very difficult for you to see that he’s in no way involved with responsibility, conscience and reality. I would think it would come down to you making decisions independent of him, because he’s obviously not going to change his stance. I guess it includes “Is this a relationship that is doing anything for me?” When clearly you are ,at least, secondary to his considerations.

183. brucelevy - August 5, 2009

On the other hand, when you’re a boy who has RB’s attention, the perks tend to blind one to one’s own higher self interest. We all have a whore in us.

184. Tatyana - August 5, 2009

Dear Josiane, I really really know how you feel. It comes in certain moments only and most of the time seems like it’s OK to be in the “opposed camps”. Maybe it is time to reevaluate what is yours and what is his. He shouldn’t pay YOUR money to FOF, but if he wants to contribute to what he believes in, you can’t stop that. Since we are in a similar situation you can email me. I am on GF.
Good luck and a lot of patience.

185. Josiane - August 5, 2009

Thank you for the support so far. I appreciate it. Just to clarify, my husband and I are in our fiftys. No RB’s sex situation here. My husband brings in most of the income but I do have a job that brings some income. – Josiane

186. harryhindsight - August 5, 2009

Josianne,

I’d go for number two. Alternatively you can hang around a couple more years until he goes for number two.

Sorry to be blunt, but your husband is totally indoctrinated. He likes the teaching about Rhino poop and the lifestyle, dressing up and wiseacreing about the sequence. He has great respect for his drugged up, deluded, sex addicted teacher, so much so that he’s going to pay even more for his miraculous connection than he has to. Oh and isn’t it marvelous that he doesn’t judge the rest of the world so much anymore!

Probably you love him, but what are you sacrificing while you hang onto the hope of rescuing him? Wise up girl because he can’t – it’s not your fault.

Harry.

187. James Mclemore - August 5, 2009

Josiane –

First let me say that my heart goes out to you.
It sounds like a very difficult situation that I cannot truly imagine, and it would be silly of me to offer any specific advice.
I would say this. It appears you have offered yourself, or seem to see, only 2 possibilities. They appear to be to keep trying and working and hoping to pry your husband free from the fof, or to leave the relationship. I would suggest an experiment of taking both of those temporarily off the table, at least in your mind.
They both sound, in quite differing ways, self-defeating to me, at least in thought. The first because we can never really change another person, and in this case I suspect you cannot know what is truly going on inside that keeps him enmeshed in the fof, regardless of what he says. The second because although you might relocate and decide in your mind to think differently about the relationship, the relationship will undoubtedly continue in some form for some time, if in nowhere else but your heart. As I am sure you know, it will not be as simple as clearing the table after dinner.
Perhaps just try watching your life unfold in the way that it may unfold no matter what you think about it. The supposed making of ‘decisions’ are often just thoughts ruminating about things in the only way they know how, and then LIFE just moves us in some direction. Thought does its best and tries to be helpful, but it does not appear to be able to get beyond itself. Life seems to keep moving regardless of what we think. Perhaps this experiment may leave openings for something new to enter that you have not included or thought possible in what appear to be your only choices.
I wish the best for you.

188. Tatyana - August 5, 2009

‘My husband brings in most of the income but I do have a job that brings some income’

This is hard. It is terrible to depend financially on someone else. Been there, done that. Also there are thousands of couples where a spouse takes away from a household for some odd addictions, hobbies etc. Counseling can help with that. You need to reinforce your boundaries and self-respect.

189. brucelevy - August 5, 2009

185. Josiane

That’s a whole ‘nuther thing then. He’s apparently made his decision on what’s important to him, and where in the hierarchy of things you stand. You might have to do the same, though I’m sure it would be difficult.

190. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2009

Tell him that even though you know he had plans for that money, if he was going to give it to the Fellowship, you’d really rather have it as alimony.

191. James Mclemore - August 5, 2009

Josiane

ps – and feel glad and thankful that you are free of that truly bizarre fof thinking that is keeping your good friend in a trance.

192. Josiane - August 5, 2009

Wow, thank you all. Keep it coming. Very grateful. – Josiane

193. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2009

http://bit.ly/aNbmS

“[A]t some point you have to become a hero or heroine in your own eyes by doing something that requires you to self-validate.”

All of which is to say, you may have to do something very uncomfortable for you, but which you may determine is consistent with your integrity–“brave love”–by putting him in a position which requires him to have to make a very difficult choice.

David Schnarch, the author of the book to which I’ve linked above, observed that in committed relationships, at any moment one’s partner can require one to choose between integrity and relationship.

In the circumstance you describe, I see YOUR integrity as being on the line. Your husband resolves to commits a substantial share of your marital assets to an enterprise which you may have gradually come to understand as fundamentally evil.

You have the power to interfere and to alter the life that the two of you have known (an alteration, a choice, which may or may not break the spell) but the exercise of that power requires your bravery, your willingness to make waves, and your willingness to hold fast to your own integrity and not have your position be controlled by your own fear of change or fear of loss.

* * *

Feel free to disregard the above if it doesn’t speak to you. I frankly admit I don’t know what’s best for you.

194. X-ray - August 5, 2009

171. Ames Gilbert – August 4, 2009

Thank you Ames.
Your ‘thanks’ to me is really going back to many people, who have silently or openly contributed to the Petition.
I especially applaud those who told their stories signed with their names.

181. Josiane – August 4, 2009

Josiane,

I understand your situation and I feel for you.
Many of us have lost wifes and husbands for same reason. That’s the nature of the cult. You not the first one and you not the last.
Your husband heavily indoctrinated and if after all what has been revealed and said about Burton and the FOF, he still enjoying the ‘teaching’ and the life style, then I would say that you have lost him many years ago, when he have joined. You were living with Robert Burton all those years, calling him your husband.
By being patient you will only suffer more.
Your husband thinks that you have lost your ‘valuation to the school, and now loosing it , pulling down him with you’.
Talking more to him will hurt you more and will not help because he doesn’t hear you, he simply can’t, he hypnotized.

Be responsible for your own life and do whatever feels right in your heart.

Peace to you.

195. X-ray - August 5, 2009

181. Josiane – August 4, 2009

P.S. The current students will be ‘asked’ to increase their ‘donations’ more and more, as more people will be leaving.
Your husband will bring both of you to bankrupcy without warning.

Be wise, protect yourself.

196. Another Name - August 5, 2009

Dear Josiane

August has been in all these years very hard on my relationship.
Today is a moon, sorry to say often very hard on relationships, as I verified.

Take your time and spoil yourself. Built some other connections and do each day 3 things you like, for you yourself.

Organize a women’s evening and how you can suppot each other for example…

Be gentle with yourself. You will know when it is time to leave. Do not have to be in a hurry and built a support system either way.

Take care.

197. DXP - August 5, 2009

196, Yes, support systems are very important. And building them is a reward in itself. Your life may open up in ways you can’t see at the moment. Friendship can be a key for many people, showing us things in ways not possible just by ourselves. One can get very isolated in a marriage that does not include mutual understandings on deep issues. Friendships might help you open up to many possibilities and let you feel less trapped in too few choices.

198. James Mclemore - August 5, 2009

Support and compassion and friendship have been spoken of or alluded to in many of the last posts. Here is an example of something from the ‘off the charts’ opposite of those 3 powerful human phenomenon. This is another repost from “Res Ipsa Loquitur”. Here, the subject is someone who cares nothing about wives or husbands or friends.
******
on July 29, 2007

“And his actions? They SCREAM of lack of love and compassion, they show coldness, selfishness or just indifference! Oh, I saw it, I have experienced it, not once and not twice. Many people have verified his true “love”, so many stories, too many…
His “love” is purely conditional and it depends on his personal interest in you. If you’re useful to him in some way – here comes “love”(or clever manipulation). Not useful anymore – you’re dumped and don’t exist for him. If you cross him or object him, or (God forbid) compete with him for his boys – he hurts you so cruelly, without any human compassion…
Really, he simply DOESN’T CARE for any person but himself. Can’t you see this? When he hurts someone you know – what do you say to yourself? That it doesn’t matter? That this student was a jerk anyway? Or do you just close your eyes and repeat: “Teacher loves me now and forever”…

Where is his unconditional love to me now, after I spent over 10 active years in his school and paid him over 50K? My friends who spent over 20 years and gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars were cut off and forgotten, without good bye and thank you, and wouldn’t even be acknowledged as human beings by your loving teacher…
“I love you now and forever” – yeah, right.”

16/342/Janna

199. Panoritsa - August 5, 2009

Josiana,

Gosh, I do not really know what to say, but I feel so much for you. My husband left just a few months ago. Quietly. He has paid lots and lots of monies (being “sincere” and always paying his 12%…).

I refuse to think about the money we both spent. We both work and I see our past in the FOF as an addiction (others gamble, etc…).

It was very difficult for me not to get upset after he’d come back from a meeting (we are not in OH, thank God!). He never read this blog. I don’t think he will ever do it. I purchased the “Guru Papers” and started reading. He took the book and many issues were brought up. He started talking with a therapist. I could see he was on his way out, but I could also see all those forces from “in” that were pulling him. Did not and could not bring up this subject here. Our closest friends were leaving. He started seeing that his friendships were based on some kind of “agreement” instead of love and care. We were lucky he got reconnected with some friends from his childhood and a really nice chap from his university time.

And then our young children…Last week we were talking about how guilty we both feel, especially with our oldest and our crazy trips to California…There is so much to heal…

I would say, other people help more. I could see he would listen and communicate in a different way with our friends who had left than with me. I could only be myself and go ahead with my life. And my life leads me to myself, especially after I left the cult, and he could see that…

I still do not know what to to tell you Josiana. If he would agree on counseling, you could discuss issues with a third party. Being associated with a cult is a huge thing.

Wishing you the best.

200. Ellen - August 5, 2009

Hi Josiane,

A tough situation. I’ve been there, actually, and in your husband’s shoes, too!

He is following something inside of himself that he projects onto the Fellowship. Therefore, what he sees and values is good. And we all do this in large and small ways. So you can’t deny his experience – whatever it is. But what you can do is throw light upon its shadowy aspects. And he can refuse not just to look, but also not to see (with his mind and his heart, perhaps because the implications for him at this point in time are simply too great?). There is nothing, absolutely nothing you can do about that! That is the blunt truth. All you can do is fully, completely accept the situation without any reservations: “what if”s or “but when”s.

My practical suggestion to you is to get yourself to a local AlAnon meeting (maybe GV/NC?). Though your husband is not an alcoholic, he is addicted to a spiritual practice which disallows integration with life and so it is personally destructive – do you want to stand around and watch that, or even continue to be a living part of the man’s life that he is trying to destroy? For a spiritual drunk (particularly a Fellowship one), coming into integration is a question of personal maturity, but since the word “maturity” seems to contain a value judgement, I prefer “ripeness” because that word more closely mirrors a development of experience through time.

My own experience of AlAnon meetings was that of a pool of compassion based on experience so profound that it truly had a different quality to it and helped me to fully and unreservedly accept my own situation (my own alcoholic of that time). My guess is that when you are able to fully accept your own situation, your response to it will become crystal clear. But no one can advise you there.

201. Ames Gilbert - August 5, 2009

Hi Josianne,
My wife stayed for a while after I left, so I feel for you. I hope you are getting lots of ‘third ways’ from your friends. Here are some of my thoughts, for what they are worth.

You’re swimming around in some wreckage, but what is this wreckage? It seems to be the wreckage of your assumptions, your hopes for change in someone, your expectations. So, ask yourself, what is left? What can you build on? It sounds to me that you have the relationship. You fell in love with a caring, sensitive man with many fine qualities and perhaps a few faults. You may not have known all his fine qualities or all his faults before the ceremony, but you were adult and realistic and you expected to have an adventure finding out. And you have found out, and the same goes for him.

This is a time for reflection and honesty. If you had stayed in the FoF, would there be any problems in your relationship right now? And if there were, would you have gone to work on them right away? Would you have tried to clear judgment about your husband’s flaws, would you have focused on and encouraged your husband’s finer qualities, and seen them with new appreciation, would you have stuck by him through the ‘thin’ as well as the ‘thick’? I believe so. Is this really any different?

It seems to me that in the majority of cases, when we hold a desire for change in our minds, and imagine that change, we are actually holding two images. One is the result we want, and the other is the result we don’t want, in other words, things as they are. We can’t help it, they are equally powerful in our psyches, and as a result our desire is neutralized; we are projecting mixed messages, there is almost always ‘the elephant in the room’. When you try to ‘change’ someone’s mind or behavior (and I include having expectations of someone in this category), one can’t help but hold the unsatisfactory present together with the wish for change. The seed is unborn.

Here is a possible solution. Go past the difficulty by using creative imagination. Imagination is a tool, one of our gifts, but we usually just let it idle and produce random stuff on the mental screen. Here’s how it might go. Imagine yourself and your husband in a little scene. You are moving closer together, and now you are close enough to see the light of his eyes, and the love shining there, and he can see your light and your love. You are incredibly happy as you nestle in his arms, as you hug him, life is very good, you are effortlessly present, you are so grateful for the gift of your relationship, the marriage of choice between two strong individuals who are building something unique, together. Don’t spoil the scene or make it more difficult to imagine by attaching conditions, such as him leaving the FoF. You can base the scene on an actual scene like this in the past that brings the same feeling and immense gratitude. Leave the ‘how-to’s’ as one of the mysteries of the universe. Simply concentrate on the scene. It doesn’t have to be long, just repeat it as often as you can remember; this is a form of prayer. Relax into the wish fulfilled, live it as if it was fulfilled.

J_d_ S. (who is on GF) is not in the FoF, and has not been for decades. Her husband has been in all that time. It seems to me that their relationship must be a model of non-expectations, non-judgment and a love that transcends much of the usual conditionality. I’d bet she would be willing to talk about this, and I’d bet she’d be a source of other ‘third ways’.

I wish you the very best for yourself and your husband.

202. Mikey - August 5, 2009

That was real good advice for Josianne, Ms. Jomo (78/190).
When the going gets tough I want you on my side.

203. Mikey - August 5, 2009

Speaking of getting closer, a friend told me this joke:
Pigs is Beautiful.
So, a guy, a pig and a dog become stranded on a deserted island and between the three of them they figure a way to survive and get by until they are rescued. Actually life ain’t that bad on the island – they’re able to provide themselves with the necessities and every evening they have time to sit on the beach and enjoy the sunset. Many months go by and one evening the guy is feeling a little amorous and starts moving closer to the pig. He slowly moves closer and closer and starts to put his arm around the pig when suddenly the dog is in his face, growling and baring his teeth. So the guy backs off and they resume the normal routine.
One day a beautiful blond washes up on shore and the trio gladly incorporates her into their lives as castaways and every evening they sit on the beach together and watch the sunset.
Several more months go by and the guy starts feeling amorous again and he leans over to the beautiful blonde and says:
“Would you do me a favor?
Could you take the dog for a walk?”

204. DXP - August 5, 2009

Mikey -snort!- that was funny!

It seems like many of us had similar experiences. I did too, and left nearly 2 years first. He was not into talking about it – not into it at all – so I just did my thing. The creative imagination tool is very powerful, and support by a group like alanon is too since you can just come out and tell all to them. Friends were a bit different for me as far as the total baring of the soul, but they fed the soul and the adventure of making new friends on totally different grounds, not a shared church experience, was exciting. Support and friends with other former members is just great. I guess he saw that I was not stuck, experimenting, having a creative and fun life, and buffering less when things were bad, and made his own mind up for his own reasons taking what he saw in me into consideration. Forcing a partner out before they are ready just sets up some resentments in the relationship, and in any case the partners can become resentful that you were “ahead” in this important decision, always expecting an “I told you so” even if that is never the intention.

And where there are children they are always an important consideration. That does not mean go or stay since families are so different from each other and kids are too. But if there is a family you will know them and their well being can also be a guide, support, and delight to you.

205. Another Name - August 5, 2009

Dear friends

Thanks Josiane for asking this question. And thanks fo all who answered. this has been meaningfull and practical, close to the heart. Sigh. Better call my friend who is still in teh fof and last time had a had time.

Thanks again. Love this blog and ofcourse, thanks moderator for your willingness to do what you, do so fully and sincere.

206. Vonlenska - August 5, 2009

Remember we were told in FOF that should not talk to ex-students. When they went to life they were not interesting. Nothing communal to talk about and different values.
For me after FOF the people in FOF are not so interesting. I find boring and stuck in cult comfort zone. Even if they were friends before when I am out of FOF the friendship has less value. Instead of gratitude for some old woman supporting my work by annoying me, I can have gratitude that I do not have to be tortured to fake conscousness any more.
FOF people use relationships for their work – First Priority! That is why so many bad relationships held together by negativity because addicted to emotional friction self-remembring.
Not FOF people can have relationship for happyness reasons and because of love to someone else like self. No RB has power to tell you to leave your partner or make new partner because it will be good for evolution.
Different rules.
Josiane can do what you want for your happyness. World is big.

207. Josiane - August 5, 2009

You, beautiful people, thank you so much for your support. I can feel that you truly care. Even though this has not been everybody’s experience, your posts really show compassion and understanding, probably because everyone has a sad story to tell.

I am particularly grateful to you for suggesting ways to deal with the situation beyond the only two options that I could see, such as counseling, creating a support system, be honest with myself, use creative imagination as prayer, examine my fear of change/loss (in myself) and desire for change (in him), be kind to myself, listen to my inner voice for when the time is right to make a decision, have other ex-FoF friends interact with my husband, acceptance, being a living example of what life post-FoF can be, and, if all fails… I’ll keep the “alimony” approach in mind (thanks Jomo😉 )

I will now spend some time with all you have given me and try to digest it.

208. sallymcnally - August 5, 2009

Josiane:

We don’t know each other but I left in 1994 with a fairly large wave of people. The most difficult area for me at that time was to explain to my 5 year old son how one parent could leave the Fellowship and the other one remain. His dad is still in the Fellowship. My son is now 20.

My desire and wish for my son to remain emotionally stable and healthy moved me to remain in a friendship with my former husband. This required me to remain neutral with my feelings regarding the Fellowship as often as I could when we were all together. At times I didn’t think I could do it, but I did. It also required me to have long discussions with my son to keep his heart and mind open to both parents.

Now my son seems very well adjusted today and understands how difficult it is for his dad to leave in a very profound way, which I am so grateful for. He accepts his dad and loves him very much as a current member of the FOF.

I tell you this story because I think how you handle this situation really can effect the outcome of your relationship with your husband and you are wise to ask questions and get input.

209. Another Name - August 5, 2009

Dear Volenska

Yes I can see your point of view and on the other hand, there are also people who are in, who are wonderful people …and yet less and less indoctrinated and people who are out who are still stuck and selfish. Remember we all were in once…

With other words…..it is not black and white. Everybody has a different time. My partner was ready to leave way before me. Very patient. When I expressed my first thought of leaving, he/she did not miss a beat and left. Never put any pressure on me and expressed his/her point of view when the time was “ripe” and it applicable. I do appreciate this tremendously, and am still grateful for taken my own time to get out.

I still interact with students…it is the way it is. I meet them in the store, in town, the eduational system, even at my job or the local market. Fine with me…I hope to be as patient as my partner and when time comes to be able to throw the anker and be a bridge. One sentence can already be enough.

Volenska….is friendship so segmented….are you not seeing people too much as objects?

I wonder my self, writiing this?

210. Vonlenska - August 5, 2009

Another name. What I mean is people are more objects in FOF. It is not realistic to want real personal friendship there because all is under law of the school. This is realy RB law. Some students on edge are more normal but on inside circle students are not possible for friends unless first you are school friends. Once school friend relation goes there is hardly much normal friend relation left. To meet at store and smile is not freindship for me.
Out of school very different. Reasons for relationship is not idea of evolution or school heirachy playing. Out of school you need different reason for realationship. What are new reasons? Same problem as all other people on planet. Only new for us. FOF made it more easy because of idea of friction is good and self remembering more important than all others. So people stay in bad relationship because it is useful. Aim is to transform negativity not to be happy and make partner in love happy.
Outside FOF, bad relationship is bad relationship with no excuse.

211. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2009

Accepting things that ought to be changed can lead to learned helplessness:

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

Perhaps this helps explain why some people stayed so long. I think that people become so used to accepting situations they could change as though they cannot change them that they become estranged from their own personal power and cannot take a strong stand. But a strong stand might be what’s necessary, especially where one member of a couple persists in willful blindness.

212. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2009

This is also good:

“Somebody Else’s Problem”:
http://bit.ly/1afxvQ

213. Yesri Baba - August 6, 2009

Pessimism sucks but there is nothing worse than cleaning up truck loads of crap trailing behind optimists.

214. WhaleRider - August 6, 2009

Josiane:

Trust that the universe has something better in store for you.

215. rock that boat - August 6, 2009

Josiane, I recall your husband to be a sweet and sincere man.
I do wonder though if he ever had a relationship with RB. Before he met you. Some male students (now in their forties or fifties) are still faithful to a Robert Burton once-upon-a-long-time-ago love affair. To leave FOF would be to admit they were sexually active with and abused by RB. Denial or buffering of the homosexual relationship seems easier then to go through the long process of acceptance, shame and at one point healing.

216. X-ray - August 6, 2009

210. Vonlenska – August 5, 2009

What a paradox – the followers of Fellowship of Friends are knowing nothing about friendship. But how could they, if friendship there is totally conditional? They really should be named a ‘Fellowship of Conditional Friendship’ (FOCF).
Same goes to Burton’s smile, which absolutely fake, so as his ‘conscious love’, which goes usually to those who pay him well and let him suck their cocks.

217. DXP - August 6, 2009

x-ray, I think it is *really difficult* to accept that Robert has no conscience. To fully understand that takes some distance. Until that time there is shock, irritation, frustration, anger, and other feelings as to why is he like this? We ASSUME that everyone has a conscience, and that it is linked with consciousness. That means, one is AWARE of the voice of conscience – one pays attention to it. To really get one’s head around the fact that some people are fundamentally different in that regard it a huge leap. Took me a long long long time, and that time was in reflecting back on the experience after I had already left. That helped. I think it is much easier to recognize this once one has left for a space of time.

How could there be friendship without conscience? If there is no real valuing of the ‘other’ person, how could one love them? You are right, it is fake.

218. Jomo Piñata - August 6, 2009

217/DXP

Brain Difference In Psychopaths Identified
http://bit.ly/EQhh5

219. Tatyana - August 6, 2009

Last night I had nightmares. I woke up crying because in my dream I discovered that my husband has sex with RB and didn’t tell me. There was an interesting part to the dream. I was angry at Robert and screaming at him and he replied: “Turn Right”. At this moment I heard a voice from the skies which said: “If you always turn right you will be going in circles.”

220. WhaleRider - August 6, 2009

Tatyana:
Great dream! You had a normal, healthy emotional response to discovering that your husband was unfaithful and hid it from you. I’d cry too if I discovered my wife was secretly servicing the sexual addiction of my spiritual authority figure. Then I would get mad.

I pity the husbands who are still stuck in the endless cycle of “Galleria duty”.

221. silentpurr - August 6, 2009

Many years ago I was riding with RB in his chauffeured Mercedes. He leaned toward me with ” goodness, would you not like to sell your Volvo and buy so and so’s Mercedes? Now, I knew so and so and his Mercedes which had been previously wrecked and restored, but had constant problems.I was a “good student” who always complied with Robert’s requests. This time I’d had enough and said ” But Robert, I have heard that that car is a lemon! His jaw dropped, he rearranged himself’ looked ahead and changed the subject…I was a single mother and “so and so” was one of his Blake Cottage boys.

222. Mikey - August 6, 2009

I advocate no pity for them brown-nosed groupies and their selfish motives. Everybody gets what they deserve sometime.

223. X-ray - August 6, 2009

217. DXP – August 6, 2009

Yes, It has become quite clear to me many years ago. Burton has nor consciousnesses no conscience, which are pretty much the same, just same phenomena expressed thru different places, which both of them are lack in Burton.

‘How could there be friendship without conscience? If there is no real valuing of the ‘other’ person, how could one love them? ‘

Of course it is impossible, same goes to all relationship. Without conscience there would be only ‘interest’ of one kind or another. All of it’s fake.

219. Tatyana – August 6, 2009

Good dream.
It showed you a normal human reaction about cheating.
In the dreams, we can learn things clean, perceive them with our conscience, without interference of the mind, which is full of mental traps. And that’s the way we have to learn to live in daily life.

224. X-ray - August 6, 2009

Awakened conscience will take you out of the cult.

225. nigel harris price - August 6, 2009

219 Tatyana

Didn’t REB himself say that ‘right’ indicated ‘personality’?…..Nigel.

226. nigel harris price - August 6, 2009

Dear Ames

Do you see a contradiction here, that your ‘model of the blog’ has overlooked? I feel you ought to be more inclusive in your outlook…..Nigel.

36 Ames Gilbert

“76 Nigel – it did not happen with you and elena and probably won’t with itstwinetime. I think people have many reasons to post on blog. Many reasons are simple personal problem reasons and nothing to do with blog in reality. Like crazy people sitting in corner shouting to the sky and leading imaginary conversations where they show they are right to compensate for reality problems. ”

219 Tatyana

“Last night I had nightmares. I woke up crying because in my dream I discovered that my husband has sex with RB and didn’t tell me. There was an interesting part to the dream. I was angry at Robert and screaming at him and he replied: “Turn Right”. At this moment I heard a voice from the skies which said: “If you always turn right you will be going in circles.” “

227. brucelevy - August 6, 2009

In the discussion area of the GF someone asked “WHAT GOOD THINGS CAME FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE FOF?”

This was my post:

“Well, lets see…I was fortunate enough to be sexually exploited at a fairly young age, I always wanted to join a school that would do that, and also give it’s tacit approval. I found that an organization called the Fellowship of Friends taught me that friendship is truly conditional and superficial, and a “friend in need is a friend one doesn’t need” . I found out that I can live frugally, working for several years for about 250.00 a month while building self esteem by watching a sexual, monetary and psychopathicly bent teacher give new meaning to gluttony and greed at a whole new level. I found that due to “feminine dominance” it’s ok to treat a woman as a second or even a third rate organism, unless they have money, and to use them a a shopping mall for their husbands to be on RB’s meat rack. I found that an exceptionally ignorant, narcissistic and misogynistic drag queen can create and build a cult, and feed off humanity while demeaning it at the same time. I found that if you convince a group that they are special, REALLY special, you can do whatever the fuck you want and you will not meet any real resistance, because no one wants to lose their “specialness”. I found that what one could previously deduce as normal human beings can easily be led into being pimps, liars, exploiters and slugs. I found that the FOF encouraged “real art” like the ceiling painting of RB’s boys with hard dicks pointing to heaven, and how easy it is to have people approve, by omission, commission or nocturnal emission such “art”. I learned that their is no such thing as excess. I found how easy it is for minor scum bags to learn the ways of major scum bags, and carry on the tradition. I found one should never underestimate the stupidity of the “intelligent” people the FOF attracted. And finally, I learned that people who were not so blatantly and tangibly fucked over can forget and ignore the farce they were part of and helped encourage, while ignoring their personal responsibility of such travesties.

Thanks for reminding me to look deeper at my experiences.

What I value from those years is what I brought to the FOF, developed in spite of, and continue to work with after seeing the depths one can sink to when one’s ego and “lower self” is displayed as one’s “higher self”.

228. James Mclemore - August 7, 2009

Bruce –

Nicely worded. I suppose it is judgemental on my part, but I cannot help but think it is good for some of the people at the GF to be reminded that there were darker things going on besides exotic travel, fine dining, and their higher emotional experiences.

229. rock that boat - August 7, 2009

Tatyana, interesting the TURN RIGHT thing in your dream.
Yeah, I bet that can become a vicious circle, endless endless with no change. On the other hand the meaning of right-according to the dream people-, turning right, right side of anything is giving, creativity, intuition.

Maybe it”s time to listen to your intuition, be creative about your choices, and give to your man by trusting him.
Where there is no trust there is no love.

And if you are right, that he is under the spell of that predator
RB and even has sex with him, then move on! Dump him!
Life is to short!!!

230. brucelevy - August 7, 2009

229. rock that boat

Custer: “Trust me”.

and the flip side to that is that someone who makes obviously flawed decisions isn’t the person you wish to put your trust in. Like putting ones trust (and everything else) into RB. And seeing that one is secondary to another’s aims, with little regard for “relationship”. This is obviously not a two week relationship. They’ve been together for many years. Tatyana knows in her heart where the trust should go, and where it shouldn’t.

231. nigel harris price - August 7, 2009

Thought this little ‘snippet’ might describe REB and, the opposite, conscienable thought and action, quite well…..Nigel.

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 EVERY ACTION, CONSISTENT WITH EVERY CLAIM, UNCHANGING AND ETERNAL.

232. dragon - August 7, 2009

Hedge Lether’s “latest” project, it was unfinished:

The animated music video shows the illegal commercial whale hunting that takes place off …

It may be also a metaphor for cults like the FOF: FISHING AND DISEMBOWEL….

233. Renald - August 7, 2009

I just woke up from a dream or vision, not sure which as all seemed to have happened at once.

There was a procession of sorts of inners all trying to hide the fact that they were crying. I got a hint of what had happened when one of them said, “ I have been in for 35 years, and now nothing.“

After I awoke I had the thought that the FOF had shut down and could not resist checking the blog out. Is that creative imagination? or just premonition ?

Still I can`t help feeling sorry for some of them.

Maybe he decided not to return from a trip to Luxor and applied for citizenship.

Cheers!

234. Mikey - August 7, 2009

As long as one keeps in mind that there is not the slightest trace of spirituality in the whole FoF experience, you will eventually find out that it is inherently narcissistic and perverse. It can only lead its adherents further and further into-the-hole (as they say). Some of us know that this goes without saying, but apparently it is being said again because it needs to be said.

And to lift our spirits, here is a some more from
“The Mischievous Chicken” by Bal Kalchuri:

“It is a spiritual fact that man is a microcosm,
that the mental world with its two planes of Thought and Feeling,
the subtle world with its four planes of Power (Energy),
the numberless universes of suns, stars and moons,
and Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Power,
and Infinite Bliss are all within the human form,”

235. Mikey - August 7, 2009

PS. Good one, Bruce.
(Hint: If you really want to get his goat, call him a “putz”. He will then pretend that praise or citicism does not affect him.)

236. Ames Gilbert - August 7, 2009

Nigel (#78-226),
No.

237. dragon - August 7, 2009

Good By
Willy de Ville:

Loup Farou Bal Goula (Over creatures only mad men know.
Its Louisiana guard dog’s nightmare.
Cajuns don’t say his name.
But they say looks just like a rabid dog.
And he walks upright like a man)

238. DXP - August 7, 2009

# 227, Bruce

Wow. wow…. The “teaching” is certainly not the “learning”. The ‘fruit of the tree’ is poison and that is what needs to be said about the ‘tree’.

239. Josiane - August 7, 2009

234. Mikey
“As long as one keeps in mind that there is not the slightest trace of spirituality in the whole FoF experience, you will eventually find out that it is inherently narcissistic and perverse.”

Some devotee made this comment shortly after the lifting of the no-pants-for-ladies exercise: “I was at Apollo d’Oro for coffee and there were these ladies wearing elegant pants that went up to here (showing mid-calf) and with very nice shoes.”

That’s the latest I have to report about spirituality in FoF/country club.

240. Yesri Baba - August 7, 2009

227 Brucelevy

right on Bruce.

“I found one should never underestimate the stupidity of the “intelligent” people the FOF attracted.”

Let’s be sure we talk intelligently and nice about the fof experience. We don’t want to be using any naughty or angry words that would show that we lost all the ‘good things’ we got from the experience you describe.

241. nigel harris price - August 7, 2009

234 Mikey/239 Josiane

See, there is even, on the other hand, the chance that there is ‘the look of spirituality’ i.e. the ‘wearing of spiritual clothes’ (clergy, gurus) the ‘spiritual acts’ etc. Some bloggers have posted about the benefits of various types of yoga in which they are now partaking, including yogic meditation, stopping thoughts, being still and so on. For me, I have a craft form (either chosen by me, or chosen for me by Fate, or something else) which requires dedication, concentration and hard work and, most of all, patience. If I may relate it to how the FOF is ‘sub-titleing’ itself ‘The Pathway to Presence’, it is my own and, perhaps my students’, way of being present, given the above requirements. None of us wears our ‘best bib and tucker’, we share coffee, tea and cookies or cakes and relate some of our week’s goings-on as we ‘perform’ our craft. The problem with the FOF is the chief feature (in the way in which Gurdjieff would have described it) with which I joined the cult – ‘being on display’. The fact that I was ‘dragged through the cesspool of life and came up smelling like an English summer rose’ after 20 or so years says something for the true process of evolution…..Nigel.

“Life in all its fullness” (John)

242. ton - August 7, 2009

Interviewed in 1966 by François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock illustrated the term “MacGuffin” with this story:

“It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says, ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answers, ‘Oh that’s a McGuffin.’ The first one asks, ‘What’s a McGuffin?’ ‘Well,’ the other man says, ‘It’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ The first man says, ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,’ and the other one answers ‘Well, then that’s no McGuffin!’ So you see, a McGuffin is nothing at all.”

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

243. nigel harris price - August 7, 2009

242 ton

Q. What does an owl in Scotland do?

A. HOOTS, mon!

244. X-ray - August 7, 2009

233. Renald – August 7, 2009

‘I just woke up from a dream or vision, not sure which as all seemed to have happened at once.’
There was a procession of sorts of inners all trying to hide the fact that they were crying. I got a hint of what had happened when one of them said, “ I have been in for 35 years, and now nothing.’

You just woke up to harsh reality.

245. Yesri Baba - August 7, 2009

‘SHAKE UP’ IN ‘EXERCISES’ AT FOF

In an effort to continue in the monumental task of awakening his hapless students Robert has ended the task of no pants for women (the men wear the pants around here).
In addition he has instated a new exercise- crotchless trousers for the men. When asked about the aim of the exercise he replied: “No reason really, just because I can, and really, these idiots will do anything I ask.”
However many feel that this is a way to fast track candidates for entrance into the ‘third eye’ experience which is the purpose of this partcular 4th way school.

When asked how she thought students would react to the new excercise, one lady responded: “It will be awkward for a few days, but like all the other retarded excercises of the past, after a little while it will seem right as rain, in fact, in a couple months any guy walking around with his limp dick in his pants will be known to be losing the school.”

246. nigel harris price - August 7, 2009

Relating to my post #121 and, hopefully, not treading on Ames’s ‘try not to rant personally’ toes, I was going through my ‘My Documents’ and picked up on this passage that a previous blogger had posted…..

The sixth chakra is located in the forehead. It’s energy is light. It’s color is often seen as indigo. And interestingly enough the Sanskrit word for this center is called ‘Agna’ or the ‘command post’. And this is very significant for it insinuates that the ‘command center’ – the director of our drama – is not in the power center. It’s not in the emotional center. It’s coming from a very high source – the intuitive center – which is what the sixth chakra is about. Note the sixth chakra has more often than not been discussed in very occult ways as place for super-consciousness, visions, clairvoyance and clair-audience. And that may be well and good, but for your life’s work it’s helpful to understand this as a flow of the intuitive cosmic intelligence that is not occult at all, but maybe very natural.
For example, I often ask groups: have you ever had a time in your life when mysteriously or in some way that you could not understand some force came in and guided you, helped you make the right decision, pointed you the right way, helped you out of danger? And generally a large majority of people raise their hand and said ‘yes’. So this is not a hidden secret experience, it is something that most people at one point or another in their life have had happen to them! But then I ask a question: ‘how many of you felt this was extraordinary?” And again the majority of people raise their hand. Now, what if this experience was not extraordinary at all? But what if this is the way it’s supposed to be? What if you are actually aligned to the intuitive flow direct perceptions available to you 24 hours a day? This is a possibility of the sixth chakra.

To perceive and be open to dimensions of experience that are often invisible to people not because they are so high and mighty, but because most of the time we’re just too busy. You see, we live in a culture that is vibrating primarily on the first three chakras. Occasionally we move into a heart energy. Occasionally we move into a creative energy. But the opening of a direct intuitive intelligence is something that is neither taught nor supported in popular culture. Therefore it is thought to be fantastic.

The vocational issue around the opening this ‘command center’, if you will, is intuition on one side and inflation on the other side. You see, you may have a fantastic revelation, a fantastic opening (and that is a beauty of the sixth chakra) but then when you begin to think that ‘Oh! I must be special’ or “If everybody did this in this way they may have this” – you move into inflated side of the sixth chakra. And it can get very very heady when the person begins to experience what Henry Davis Toro called “the higher laws”. That’s why it is so important that we work from the bottom up, that we have a strong ground, that our feelings are open, that our power center is clear, that we are working towards contributions, and so on and so forth.
So, what we want to do is open to the higher laws. Not to be someone special, not to move out of the world, but literally as if you are reeling a kite in from the sky to bring them down into the market place. Because the market place is the great democratic leveler of everything. If you can bring your intuition, if you can bring your inspiration into the market place – then you’re sharing it with other people. That is your life’s work.
When you’re inflated – you shy away from the market place, you want to keep things secret. Because then your self-delusional bubble might burst. So the opening of the sixth chakra has to do with the opening of intelligence, with the opening of intuition, with the opening to guidance from sources that we cannot fathom, but that we can experience and work with on a daily basis.

After all in the last twenty years we have seen remarkable healing of all sorts – through healers, through assemblies, through groups, through prayer. We have seen a power of spirit cure cancer, leukemia, diabetes, we have all seen incredible transformations. Well, if the power of spirit can do this then the same power should be able to get me a job. This is “bring it down home”. And this is very important: this work is a work of alignment – it’s not a work of escape. The whole purpose of creating the work you love and moving into our life’s work is to bring the heaven and the earth together. To bring the intuition and a practical together and to take that deep intelligence and apply it to day-to-day situations.

So we ask in the sixth chakra that we can open to the unknown and bring into the known. And that will generally guard us and guide us against the inflated delusional position.

Rick Jarow “The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide”

247. brucelevy - August 7, 2009

240. Yesri Baba

Fuck no!

248. James Mclemore - August 7, 2009

Thanks ton –

you just never know what you are going to learn here. I love that story and that ‘term’.

249. nigel harris price - August 7, 2009

Another ‘gem’, found by Ellen…..

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

Thank you, Ellen.

250. Solar Hero - August 7, 2009

Josianne – Like the best FoF meetings, many insightful things have been said. If I add at all: Err on the side of sticking with your man, just so he has someone if he does manage to get out.

Oh, silentpurr reminds me:

“Many years ago I was riding with RB in his chauffeured Mercedes. He leaned toward me with ”Dear, would you not like to sell your Volvo and buy so and so’s Mercedes?” Now, I knew ‘so and so’ and his Mercedes which had been previously wrecked and restored, but had constant problems. I was a “good student” who always complied with Robert’s requests. This time I’d had enough and said, “But Robert, I have heard that that car is a lemon!” His jaw dropped, he rearranged himself, looked ahead and changed the subject…I was a single mother and ‘so and so’ was one of his Blake Cottage boys.”

Robert was easily manipulable, especially if you took advantage of his power or vanity. Silentpurr, you have allowed me to remember why I am suspicious of anyone who claims “damage” from REB!

So now I begin to wonder if I really need to separate all us ex-FoFers into those who took and those who got taken — Did you who got taken READ anything about Gurdjieff or the Fourth Way before joining? “I made a deal with the devil, but I also made an arrangement to fool the Devil.”

walter.tanner@gmail.com

251. Solar Hero - August 7, 2009

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey:

“As long as one keeps in mind that there is not the slightest trace of spirituality in the whole FoF experience, you will eventually find out that it is inherently narcissistic and perverse.”

Nirvana is Samsara.
Kether is in Malkuth.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.

Dude, “spirituality” does not exclude “narcissism and perversion,” it absorbs and transcends it, man. “Spirituality” is EVERYWHERE.

Although I do not deny that the FoF was a “country club.”

walter.tanner@gmail.com

252. nigel harris price - August 7, 2009

250/251 Solar Hero

Yes, what did we get from the FOF? For me, a system with which to view types and features, the ‘rigours’ of Good Householder (which, if applied to our FOF experience and how we are now, means ‘sorting the wheat from the chaff’), centres of gravity (very important now, dealing with my present students) and the idea of being present (to one’s body and functions, especially inner thoughts and inner dialogue, and one’s memories and aspirations).

With regard to True Good Householder, the Scriptures state…..

“Put your house in order, that the King of Glory (6th chakra) may come in”

…..Nigel.

253. brucelevy - August 7, 2009

250. Solar Hero

“If I add at all: Err on the side of sticking with your man, just so he has someone if he does manage to get out.”

Right, after all, you’re a woman, and you should stick by your man regardless. Think of his discomfort if he has to decide to leave alone. (Actually, that’s exactly how he should leave…alone.)

“Robert was easily manipulable, especially if you took advantage of his power or vanity. Silentpurr, you have allowed me to remember why I am suspicious of anyone who claims “damage” from REB!”

Thanks, you reminded me of all the egocentric douche bags that have passed through the FOF and added more bull shit to their misogynistic bag-0-tricks.

“So now I begin to wonder if I really need to separate all us ex-FoFers into those who took and those who got taken”

Yes, of course. You’re a legend in your own mind.

254. brucelevy - August 7, 2009

251. Solar Hero

“Dude, “spirituality” does not exclude “narcissism and perversion,” it absorbs and transcends it, man. “Spirituality” is EVERYWHERE.”

Dude, your a predatory, narcissistic asshole. And your “vanity” is “BOTTOMLESS.”

255. Solar Hero - August 7, 2009

Nigel, was just looking into Hume (really Home, but the Brits couldn’t pronounce it right) — there’s a guy who took apart a few religious enthusiasts and fakirs!

256. Solar Hero - August 7, 2009

Moderator — is it possible to add a time with the date on each post? I’m curious about how long it takes some people to respond to me.

257. James Mclemore - August 7, 2009

256. Solar Hero

“I’m curious about how long it takes some people to respond to me.”

You are kidding, right?

258. brucelevy - August 7, 2009

Unbelievable.

259. silentpurr - August 7, 2009

250 Solar hero, The point that I was trying to make, was that Robert’s lacking of Conscience revealed itself in that small way. He manipulated all of us, man and woman.And there were punishments for being” willful”.
I won’t go into that here.

260. Yesri Baba - August 7, 2009

256 Solar Gyro

It’s getting purta near instantaneous here.

261. Yesri Baba - August 8, 2009

“The feeling that I have not realized is the obstruction to realization. In fact it is already realized and there is nothing more to be realized. Otherwise, the realization will be new. If it has not existed so far, it must take place hereafter. What is born will also die.”
Ramana Maharshi

262. DXP - August 8, 2009

250 Solar Tanner,

“you have allowed me to remember why I am suspicious of anyone who claims “damage” from REB!”

I don’t know if you have any early 20 somethings in your life, but I suggest if you do you take a good look at them and then bring on your judgment. It would help if you actually like them, or even better, love them. And “spirituality” mumbo jumbo works better thru a lens of love (compassion) too.

x-ray, yes, you were right. Turns out I was trying to re-invent the wheel. All I can say is – great minds work alike! heh. So the wiki site will be the one and even tho I gave a harsh crit of it, it certainly could be worse. And it exists! That’s saying something right there.

263. ton - August 8, 2009

wall-e,
you’re kidding…. right?

264. X-ray - August 8, 2009

256. Solar Hero – August 7, 2009

Solar Panel,
Your ‘level of being’ is very impressive.

265. X-ray - August 8, 2009

234. Mikey – August 7, 2009

‘As long as one keeps in mind that there is not the slightest trace of spirituality in the whole FoF experience, you will eventually find out that it is inherently narcissistic and perverse. It can only lead its adherents further and further into-the-hole (as they say). Some of us know that this goes without saying, but apparently it is being said again because it needs to be said.’

It is worth to be repeated.

266. dream catcher - August 8, 2009

In our crazy and confusing lifes,
isn’t this what it is all about?

For one human being to love another;
that is the most difficult of all our tasks,
the ultimate, the last test and proof,
the work for which all other work
is but preparation.

–Rilke

267. NIMO - August 8, 2009

227 is a good one… definitely bulldozes right through the bs… tells the whole story in one long paragraph. And many other great ones on this page. But Moderator, I suggest you put this one on the Highlights of the Month page.

Wait… Do we have a “Highlights of the Month” page?

Well, if you do, this should go there. WARNING… If you’re an indoctrinated follower, cover your eyes………..

*********

227. brucelevy – August 6, 2009
In the discussion area of the GF someone asked “WHAT GOOD THINGS CAME FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE FOF?”

This was my post:

“Well, lets see…I was fortunate enough to be sexually exploited at a fairly young age, I always wanted to join a school that would do that, and also give it’s tacit approval. I found that an organization called the Fellowship of Friends taught me that friendship is truly conditional and superficial, and a “friend in need is a friend one doesn’t need” . I found out that I can live frugally, working for several years for about 250.00 a month while building self esteem by watching a sexual, monetary and psychopathicly bent teacher give new meaning to gluttony and greed at a whole new level. I found that due to “feminine dominance” it’s ok to treat a woman as a second or even a third rate organism, unless they have money, and to use them a a shopping mall for their husbands to be on RB’s meat rack. I found that an exceptionally ignorant, narcissistic and misogynistic drag queen can create and build a cult, and feed off humanity while demeaning it at the same time. I found that if you convince a group that they are special, REALLY special, you can do whatever the fuck you want and you will not meet any real resistance, because no one wants to lose their “specialness”. I found that what one could previously deduce as normal human beings can easily be led into being pimps, liars, exploiters and slugs. I found that the FOF encouraged “real art” like the ceiling painting of RB’s boys with hard dicks pointing to heaven, and how easy it is to have people approve, by omission, commission or nocturnal emission such “art”. I learned that their is no such thing as excess. I found how easy it is for minor scum bags to learn the ways of major scum bags, and carry on the tradition. I found one should never underestimate the stupidity of the “intelligent” people the FOF attracted. And finally, I learned that people who were not so blatantly and tangibly fucked over can forget and ignore the farce they were part of and helped encourage, while ignoring their personal responsibility of such travesties.

Thanks for reminding me to look deeper at my experiences.

What I value from those years is what I brought to the FOF, developed in spite of, and continue to work with after seeing the depths one can sink to when one’s ego and “lower self” is displayed as one’s “higher self”.

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

268. NIMO - August 8, 2009

Dream Catcher (266,Rilke poem),
I found a lot of love in the following interview recently broadcast on PBS:

*********
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08072009/transcript4.html

“BILL MOYERS: You acknowledge in here that these 40 people you have interviewed across the country do not represent the majority of people in this country. You just put a face on some of these figures by men and women by talking to them. And it’s also obvious that the book deals with people of an affluent class. People who have the means to make choices and to go this way instead of that way. Whereas there are, you know, six, seven, eight million people in this country, over 55, who are living in poverty, and they don’t have choices.

SARA LAWRENCE-LIGHTFOOT: Right. Well, we think they don’t have choices. One of the things I talk about is perceived abundance. How do we experience our life? Do we see whether we have a great deal of material resources or not, do we see choices in front of us? And so, a factory worker, who’s been laid off from his job in Madison, Wisconsin, tells me that he was laid off. That he and his wife went to the flea market every single Saturday with their stuff, trying to trade it or sell it, so that they could put food on their tables, and continue to feed their family.

And at the flea market one Saturday, he saw these strange and interesting sculptures and pieces of art made by artists who were bringing their art to the flea market. And he said, “You know what? That’s interesting. I could do that. And I’m good with metal. I’m a welder. I’m good with metal.” And he went home, and began playing with the metal that he had around his house. And he began sort of saying, “What do I like? What do I care about?” He loves dinosaurs. He’s always loved dinosaurs since he saw “Jurassic Park”. And he begins to create these animals, these sculptures. He takes them back to the flea market. People become interested. He sells them for almost nothing. It catches on. And by the time he’s talking to me, he’s telling me that he’s gotten his first gig with an art gallery. So, his sort of innovation, his resourcefulness, and ultimately his pride in his own creativity, comes through. This is a factory worker.”

**********

269. Daisy-Jane - August 8, 2009

Hey Walter;

Let me be the first to congratulate you.
You have successfully emerged from the FOF experience with an impressive level of being (Man #5 perhaps???).
You have stated that REB is a fraud and con-man but at the same time an enlightened teacher. I assume as one of his boys you participated in all mannor of perversities and yet have been able to ‘transform’ this experience to your benefit. You have made lemonade from lemons!
Perhaps all those people who claim injury were just neccessary ‘fodder’ so that one such as yourself could emerge!
mmmmmmm…..what’s wrong with this picture?

270. Six-Weeker - August 8, 2009

…..Hello again out there in ex-fof land. I guess it was around the middle of July that I posted a question. I asked what are Burton’s positive qualities, in the sense of how did he manage to be so successful.
…..Various people responded to my post. Now I will respond in turn.
…..My post was 100% sincere-there seemed to be some doubt about that. I was a member for 6 weeks and I attended weekly meetings in the Sierra Room, in a fancy hotel opposite Capitol Park, in Sacramento. The lady in charge of the meetings was a lady by the name of Lucretia.
…..I did think that the members were above average in intelligence and worldly success. I remember at one point somebody mentioned how many of the members were medical doctors. When he said that I noticed that there were big smiles all around.
…..One person responded with the statement that Burton is an inspired spiritual leader, and at the same time a pervert, etc, etc. I suppose that that point of view is probably correct. Traditionally a distinction is made between saints on the one hand, and witches and warlocks on the other. I suppose that Burton might be something of a warlock to the extent that he is an inspired spiritual leader. Another person suggested that it was not Burton’s talents but Gurdjief’s system that made Burton so successful. But I suppose that Burton would still have to have some considerable talents to make use of Gurdjief’s system the way he did.
…..I took a chance on appearing ridiculous and mentioned my black dog story. That incident occurred before I joined fof. The way I interpreted it, if it wasn’t a coincidence, it was a human being controlling the actions of a dog and telling me I shouldn’t leave, or in other words, I should join the organization. I didn’t take it to be possibly a higher beneficent force, but rather possibly some magic of the white or black variety, coming from some person. Even if it were really magic involved, it would not have influenced my decision to leave. If it were really magic, it would have impressed me as indicating that there was something real going on in the organization, as opposed to an organization that consisted of only theory and imagination.
…..I believe that Gurdjief was who he claimed to be and I believe that the world in general is typified by lies and fantasies and criminals in high places. And so it seems strange and sad that the ideas that came from Gurdjief should end up helping to create something like fof.
…..I know that there are other organizations (at least one other one) that are based on Gurdjief’s ideas. Hopefully they are of more value than fof.

271. NIMO - August 8, 2009

Six-Weeker.

1) First of all, no, you’re not a six weeker.

2) “My post was 100% sincere-there seemed to be some doubt about that.” Well, d’ya think?

3) “One person responded with the statement that Burton is an inspired spiritual leader, and at the same time a pervert, etc, etc. I suppose that that point of view is probably correct.” We have plenty of examples and evidence of his pathological narcissism. Name some examples and evidence of how he’s an “inspired spiritual leader.”

4) “there was something real going on in the organization.” The use of the word “real” here and your use of the words “theory and imagination” are typical the lingo of long-term indoctrinated followers. No, there is nothing “real going on in the the organization.”

Please be less obvious and transparent if you’re going to bring this cult group-think nonsense in here. You say “you took a chance of appearing ridiculous”. you’re way past the “took a chance” phase.

272. Ames Gilbert - August 8, 2009

Jomo, thanks for the leads to SEP (Someone Else’s Problem) and Learned Helplessness (#s 78-211 and 212). There are some real insights to be had there.
It seems to me that the depression resulting from the learned helplessness is known in the FoF as an ‘interval’, and some of the drones will gather round to ‘help’ the unfortunate by offering ‘photographs’. Other drones will ‘walk by on the other side’, and either relieve the stress of cognitive dissonance by imagining themselves immune (superior), or by gossiping about the fellow drone amongst themselves. For the remainder, it is SEP.

Nimo (# 78-268),
You quoted, “So, his sort of innovation, his resourcefulness, and ultimately his pride in his own creativity, comes through”…
This reminded me of something Howard Thurman said: “Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

273. NIMO - August 8, 2009

The Fellowship of Friends — and chumming around with Robert Burton, for however many weeks or years — that IS the “interval.”

So from that standpoint, that “photograph” (“you’re in an interval”) within this cult was always correct.

But throwing away the word “interval” for a moment (because it’s more cult indoctrination speak), the FOF is also a true waste of one’s time, talents, and love — a diversion from our own spiritual well-being and the well-being of those around us. Damn right we were “in an interval”. I think more accurately when someone gave us this so-called photograph — we woke up to the fact that we were in an ‘interval’.

Ames, thanks for that quote.

274. NIMO - August 8, 2009

Regarding anything “real going on in the organization”, (cult) well, if anything “real” took place Six Weeker, it actually occurred within its followers — such as you and such as me, when — by some chance — we opened our eyes and acknowledged that “self-observation” and “seeing yourself” require also being able to “see” what you’re a part of. That’s all. As Bruce wrote:

“What I value from those years is what I brought to the FOF, developed in spite of, and continue to work with after seeing the depths one can sink to when one’s ego and “lower self” is displayed as one’s “higher self”.”

275. Six-Weeker - August 9, 2009

…..He,he,he, you amuse me Nimo. I guess there is no way of convincing you I am who I said I am. And maybe there are “trolls” lurking about this blog, I wouldn’t know about that. But I am no troll.
…..The fact that I have some ideas in common with long time members does not contradict the fact that I was in reality a member for 6 weeks. In my opinion a lot of the ideas of fof have great value. After all they come from Gurdjief and his students.

276. DXP - August 9, 2009

Six Weeker

I originally doubted you because I thought you were over-obviously using flattery to elevate opinion of members of this church.

But if you really are as you say I would council you to join the church. You are a ripe candidate for this church. Would you mind, after joining, returning to the blog in a year or so and updating us all on all the oh-so-intelligent people there and the greatness of the Leader of the church? I could not tell for sure, but it seems your dog wants you to join too. That would indicate how intelligent and above average you are and your decision to join this church would be just perfect for you.

277. NIMO - August 9, 2009

Hmm. SW, I never said you were a “troll.” You are definitely an apologist, however. Interesting that you’d bring that up, though.

*********
X-ray, I like your comments, and your moniker is perfect… a tool for diagnosing injury and illness, and for seeing things that are hidden from view.

*********
quoting you here as you quote Mikey………..

265. X-ray – August 8, 2009
234. Mikey – August 7, 2009

‘As long as one keeps in mind that there is not the slightest trace of spirituality in the whole FoF experience, you will eventually find out that it is inherently narcissistic and perverse. It can only lead its adherents further and further into-the-hole (as they say). Some of us know that this goes without saying, but apparently it is being said again because it needs to be said.’

It is worth to be repeated.

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

224. X-ray – August 6, 2009
Awakened conscience will take you out of the cult.

278. NIMO - August 9, 2009

Again quoting Bruce: ““What I value from those years is what I brought to the FOF, developed in spite of, and continue to work with after seeing the depths one can sink to when one’s ego and “lower self” is displayed as one’s “higher self”.”

I like the repeating here. It takes time to expose memes to the light of day. Messages take time. Listening takes time.

“Look long and you will see.”

279. Yesri Baba - August 9, 2009

“Please be less obvious and transparent if you’re going to bring this cult group-think nonsense in here. You say “you took a chance of appearing ridiculous”. you’re way past the “took a chance” phase.”

LOL…no shit!

280. Yesri Baba - August 9, 2009

272 Ames

Nimo (# 78-268),
You quoted, “So, his sort of innovation, his resourcefulness, and ultimately his pride in his own creativity, comes through”…
This reminded me of something Howard Thurman said: “Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

In the same vain as my little post on pessimism and optimism-

What if what makes you come alive is adulation, power, dominance, money, sex, control etc. on and on and so on. I guess we need to have a definition of ‘alive’.

281. James Mclemore - August 9, 2009

275. Six-Weeker

“In my opinion a lot of the ideas of fof have great value. After all they come from Gurdjief and his students.”

To imply that the parroting of the ideas of other people (which is one of the things that Burton does a lot of, although not particularly well), would mean that there is something ‘real’ going on in the fof is ridiculous.

We could probably assume that the words of Jesus of Nazareth had great value also. From the mis-interpretation and mis-application of those words have come the Catholic Church with its Inquisition and pedophile priests, Jehovah’s Witnesses, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Mormonism, and a whole long list of fundamentalist groups and cults.

282. NIMO - August 9, 2009

yep, and we need a definition for “you.” What you describe looks more like the ego coming alive maybe…although that’s also a tricky definition… “the ego”… because cult leaders are notorious for getting people to “surrender their egos” and so forth.

But that’s just what they SAY they’re promoting. In reality cult leaders are getting people to surrender — period. People give up their goals, their creativity, their productivity, their families, their friends, and their service to themselves and society.

unless of course those goals directly support the “ego” and the agenda of the cult leader.

283. Yesri Baba - August 9, 2009

in addition-

I know this is a complex subject- people are differnt. It is something I come up against again and again in my employment and am going through it again right now. There are people that just come ‘alive’ getting ‘things’ done, telling people what to do, manipulating people, taking advantage of people seemingly with very little sense of empathy or compassion or any sensitivity what so ever. That type is often valued in this culture or at least the portion of this culture I have been exposed to.
To me getting ‘things’ done has nothing to do with life it’s how you go about getting ‘things’ done that is alive.

284. silentpurr - August 9, 2009

Six Weeker I seriously doubt that RB”s perversions would be discussed early on in your meetings Why, I myself did not know a thing about RB’s
inappropriate behavior until 12 years into it. After I learned, I left as soon as was possible for me (6 months). At that time we had a task not gossip, which was strictly enforced.

285. brucelevy - August 9, 2009

284. silentpurr

“At that time we had a task not gossip, which was strictly enforced.”

Ahh yes the gossip exercise. Chosen strictly to help people awaken.

286. brucelevy - August 9, 2009

284. silentpurr

That exercise first started just around the time he was enlarging his harem, and there was “talk” that needed to be “taken care of”.

287. brucelevy - August 9, 2009

It was also the time that people started to realize that is wasn’t just happening to oneself, that others right around them were having it happen also. People started to say no and remove themselves from his presence, as much as he allowed them. It was the first time more than one person was talking about their experiences. Thus…the gossip exercise. Of course there were several other things happening that the monkeys didn’t want to get out.

288. brucelevy - August 9, 2009

The same on a more ridiculous level… RB was needing more and more money as his greed and lack of taste was costing more and more. He was hitting up the same doctors and lawyers to frequently, they were starting to get irritated, or they became broke. Some asshole member of the entourage pulled some number out of his ass pertaining to how much the students spend each year on tobacco. You could see the money signs in RB’s eyeballs. Thus…the smoking exercise.

289. nigel harris price - August 9, 2009

283 Yesri Baba/287 Brucelevy

I am so glad, now, looking back on it, that I was only, during my 11 years in the cult of the FOF, on ‘the fringe’ and not immersed in the politicking and ‘sexual misconduct’ of ‘the dear church’. My only healing was in coming to terms with the fact that I had not financially failed the cult but, in the relatively little I had given, was ‘fleeced’. Money is still ‘a big issue’ for me now, with my business, but I am staying, for the most part, within my own capabilities of ‘good householder’, not only financially, but also psychologically. Thank you, all my friends on this blogsite, for ‘allowing me in’……Nigel.

290. xeeena - August 9, 2009

284– Silent purr

You misread six-weeker’s post. He/she was referring to what was said here on the blog, not at an old FOF meeting.

291. Six-Weeker - August 9, 2009

Thanks for pointing that out, Xeeena. I would say that the people who have attacked me on this blog are so worked up that they are irrational and disinclined to actually read what I wrote in my carefully written posts. The fact is, you folks are not worth replying to anymore.

292. nigel harris price - August 9, 2009

291 Six-Weeker

I take it, by your post, which I have carefully read, that you will not be blogging anymore. Fine! That leaves more space on the site for those of us who do not want to just ‘air the breeze’, but actually CONTRIBUTE!!!!!
…..Nigel.

293. NIMO - August 9, 2009

283 Yesri Baba
“I know this is a complex subject- people are differnt. It is something I come up against again and again in my employment and am going through it again right now. There are people that just come ‘alive’ getting ‘things’ done, telling people what to do, manipulating people, taking advantage of people seemingly with very little sense of empathy or compassion or any sensitivity what so ever. That type is often valued in this culture or at least the portion of this culture I have been exposed to.
To me getting ‘things’ done has nothing to do with life it’s how you go about getting ‘things’ done that is alive.”
*****
And from Ames G.’s post: …. Howard Thurman said: “Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

*****
On FB, there’s a little button you can click to say, “I like this.” Well, fwiw, I like this. Good discussion. Good page. I love the misunderstandings as well as the understandings.

294. DXP - August 9, 2009

I was not sure from six weeker’s post if he/she was actually interested in Gurjeiff or not. Why bring the name up when dissing all of humanity like the most arrogant fundamentalist does (or a really timid person who lacks enough self compassion to extend it to anyone else, tho that might be the same thing)? If he/she is actually interested, then he/she might want to look for a 4th way group. The fof is not one and does not claim to be one. It never was in actuality, altho appearing 4th way was a very clever con-ish marketing tool.

The “there is something real” going on in the group, don’t know what you mean. Something “real” how?

295. X-ray - August 9, 2009

270. Six-Blinkers – August 8, 2009

The only talent a retarded pervert has, is sucking dicks.
The only reason why Gurdjief’s ideas worked for him so long, was because his mouth was usually shut and busy swallowing the sperm from his beloved students. There wasn’t space for conscious teaching flow.
Later, when his greed expanded, and his conscious teaching has been vomit out, people started choke from stench.
Brief history of how Burton have destroyed the FOF.

296. veramente - August 9, 2009

Today I was with a friend who is on a mixed buddhist/new age path.
She was sharing with me that humanity and the earth are going through some very special times and that things are speeding up; in the not so far distant future many of us will perish either through some violent natural and destructive events, or by dying suddenly.
Meanwhile others with a higher level of consciousness will find themselves attuned with higher frequencies that are able to withstand the new times for a new world.
I nodded and nodded until she said almost nonchalantly that it is predicted 2/3rd of humanity will be wiped out from the face of the earth by some kind of divine will.
At that point I looked at her and said: 2/3rd’s? that’s really awful…
Somehow I was reminded of the insensitivity we developed in the FOF especially around Burton’s predictions of natural cataclismic events killing many people.
I love my friend and respect her for the many other gifts she has, but cannot possibly buy into her magical thinking which by the way seems rather popular at this time and age.
Do you guys find people talking about this nonsense? do you even half believe it? or do you think that humans must dream crazy visions from time to time for a special need of (horrific) purification when the world at large seems to be more out of control? Jomo, you may have an answer into this phenomena.
Thank you guys for any input.

297. nigel harris price - August 9, 2009

The earth does not argue,
Is not pathetic, has no arrangements,
Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise,
Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures,
Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out,
Of all the powers, objects, states, it notifies, shuts none out.

The earth does not exhibit itself nor refuse to exhibit itself, possesses still underneath,
Underneath the ostensible sounds, the august chorus of heroes, the wail of slaves,
Persuasions of lovers, curses, gasps of the dying, laughter of young people,accents of bargainers,
Underneath these possessing words that never fail.
from “Song of the Rolling Earth” by Walt whitman

(This is about the most sensible thing I have heard written about the earth, and what she has to deal with…..Nigel.)

298. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 9, 2009

296. veramente

‘2/3rd of humanity will be wiped out from the face of the earth by some kind of divine will.’

Since the dawn of man there has almost always been this concept of cataclysmic divine intervention. According to the theory (it’s theory because no one knows for sure) presented in the Fourth Way, and other systems of consciousness, the destiny of the Earth is to become like the Sun and emit its own light. The Moon would become like the Earth.

There are at least two avenues that can be conceived that leads to this situation. One is on the personal level, where the individual finds and merges with that which is the equivalent of the Sun within themselves, i.e. becomes conscious. Then if enough people can be there simultaneously, the Earth might become conscious and glow like the Sun. Is there sufficient number of people to meet critical mass to accomplish this? If not, then when? Would they even try?

The other situation would be that something triggers the Earth into the nuclear reaction that is the same as what takes place in the Sun. Is there sufficient nuclear arsenal to meet the critical mass necessary to trigger this nuclear reaction? If not, then when? Would they even try? It would take an extreme amount of temperature and pressure. The matter that the earth is made of would have to convert to mostly hydrogen, helium, and other small matters – like the suns everywhere.

Does the Earth have the being to accomplish either of the above scenarios? If not, then, how long will it take? Is it a matter of time? – Of course, there will be many failed attempts prior to the final achievement of full enlightenment. At full enlightenment, would it matter if there were such a thing as human beings?

There might be other theories.

299. Panoritsa - August 9, 2009

296. veramente

I was a few days ago with a friend who is also kind of Buddhist/New Age…but she is also very much involved with water supplies in Africa and tries to assist whenever she can and with an intelligent way the planet…

I think there are so many myths we enjoy supporting. I have been reading a very interesting book called “No more Secondhand Art” and the writer mentions another book called “No more Secondhand God.” The idea of us as humans “looking” or “perceiving” anything as for the first time and with no need to rely on other people’s narratives is so much more aligned with some sort of peace and connectiveness with oneself and others.

Is it all we are after living a bit longer, or having a higher level of “consciousness” so we can keep on experiencing life (or a form of life)? There is so much more (especially after years in a cult) in just the simple interaction with other people, with no agendas and impossible goals to reach. There is so much more than “enlightened” beings. My friend also facilitated Dalai Lama’s congresses. According to her, he is a special man, who does not perceive himself as special. He is simple and unpretentious. NO, I am not going to start admiring him. But it is refreshing to be free of doom scenarios and “predictions.” What is the use of them, other than becoming afraid and dependent?

300. nigel harris price - August 9, 2009

298 WYLTK/299 Panoritsa

I am reminded of some words of a song by Neil Sedaka…..

“Someday, when this world has had its way with me,
Part of me will still be human;
Doing all that I can for peace and love”

301. brucelevy - August 9, 2009
302. JonB - August 9, 2009

Hello guys.
Thank you for your help to get out of FOF.
You helped to shed light on the unknown FOF.
I have left 2 months ago after being in for 30 years. I was on the fence for 2 years but finally the time has come, thanks.
JB

303. Jomo Piñata - August 9, 2009

296/Vera

Do you guys find people talking about this nonsense? do you even half believe it? or do you think that humans must dream crazy visions from time to time for a special need of (horrific) purification when the world at large seems to be more out of control? Jomo, you may have an answer into this phenomena.

An answer? ME? No.

BUT, here are a few things that make for interesting reading and discussion:

George W. Bush comments to Jacques Chirac about Gog and Magog
http://bit.ly/B7pST

Tracking the progress of the planned World War Three
http://bit.ly/sYUKd

A Brief History of the Apocalypse
http://bit.ly/t4JKH

Bible Says: The Psychology of Christian Fundamentalism
http://bit.ly/yYs4D

Ritual Ground: Epilogue
http://bit.ly/QoXAt

304. JonB - August 9, 2009
305. fofblogmoderator - August 9, 2009

302, 303 & 304 are new

306. fofblogmoderator - August 9, 2009

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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