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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion – Part 82 September 11, 2009

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.

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/



1. Jomo Piñata - September 11, 2009

An interesting idea, WhaleRider, laudable even, but I’m not crazy about the idea.

The standard of proof for conviction of crime is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Creating a financial incentive for people to come forward with evidence that crimes were committed may cast “reasonable doubt” on the credibility of what they come forward to report, because “they must have made it up for the money.”

The reason to come forward with evidence that crimes were committed is because “it’s the right thing to do.”

2. WhaleRider - September 11, 2009

The False Claims Act allows people to file “qui tam” lawsuits against individuals or companies that have directly or indirectly defrauded the federal government. Through qui tam lawsuits, whistleblowers may recover the government’s losses on the government’s behalf. Tax fraud cases are handled differently. For more information about rewards for whistleblowers in cases involving federal tax fraud or tax underpayments, see information about the new IRS whistleblower law .

Many people who file qui tam lawsuits (called the “relators”) are employees or former employees of companies that commit fraud. But anyone who knows of an instance where the government has paid false claims can file a qui tam lawsuit. That could be, for example, a competitor, a customer, a subcontractor or even a patient.

Filing a False Claims Act lawsuit

False Claims Act cases and procedures are unique, and a specialized knowledge of the law can be very helpful in getting a successful outcome for a qui tam lawsuit.

The relator files the lawsuit in federal court “under seal,” meaning it is not available to the public and cannot be discussed with anyone except the government officials investigating the case. Even the defendants — the individual or organization charged with committing fraud — are not told about the lawsuit. This gives the government time to investigate the fraud allegations without alerting the defendant. The seal initially lasts for 60 days. But seals on qui tam cases are routinely extended for one or two years or even longer while the government investigates.

At the end of the sealed investigative period, the government decides whether to join, or intervene, in the qui tam lawsuit. If the government joins the case, the litigation is conducted jointly by the government and the whistleblower’s attorney, with the government as lead counsel. If the government declines to intervene, the relator may go forward with the lawsuit and assumes primary responsibility for running the case.

The timing of a lawsuit can be critical. The first person to file a case under the False Claims Act for a particular fraud preempts all other cases. So if you plan to bring a case, it is important to do so before another whistleblower beats you to the courthouse. Potential whistleblowers also should keep in mind that the False Claims Act has a statute of limitations that may be as short as six years.

Damages and fines

The law stipulates that a liable defendant pay three times the government’s losses plus a fine for each false claim. When settling a case, the government often agrees to forego the civil penalties and accepts two to three times the amount of damages suffered by the government. The defendant also must pay the fees and the case-related expenses of the whistleblower’s attorney.

Whistleblower’s reward

Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are entitled to 15 percent to 30 percent of whatever amount the government recovers as a result of their qui tam lawsuits. The amount varies, depending on whether the government intervened in the qui tam case and other factors.

Congress decided to give whistleblowers a share of the recoveries that result from qui tam lawsuits to give people a strong incentive to step forward and take the personal and professional risks involved in reporting fraud. It also wanted to encourage private law firms to risk their resources in litigating cases on the public’s behalf.

If you have any information why not visit this website.
~from http://www(dot)phillipsandcohen.com

First one who blows the whistle, gets the cash.

But, we need a smoking gun, not hearesay.

3. WhaleRider - September 11, 2009

Whistleblowers, the IRS and tax fraud cases

Whistleblowers who provide information about tax fraud or tax underpayments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will get a bigger reward as a result of a recent law passed by Congress.

The whistleblower reward section of the Tax Relief and Health Act of 2006 is modeled after the reward section of the False Claim’s Act qui tam provisions.

What whistleblowers who report tax fraud can expect:

The new tax fraud whistleblower law establishes certain provisions regarding whistleblowers who provide the IRS with information about tax fraud or tax underpayments:

Whistleblowers may receive a reward of 15 percent to 30 percent of the amount the IRS collects as a result of information about tax fraud provided to the IRS.

To qualify, the whistleblowers must provide information about tax fraud or tax underpayments that exceeds $2 million (counting tax, penalties and interest).

The annual income of an individual tax cheat must exceed $200,000.

If a reward from the IRS fails to recognize the whistleblower’s contribution, the whistleblower may appeal the reward amount to the U.S. Tax Court.

If the whistleblower initiated or planned the tax fraud, the IRS may reduce or deny a reward. (sorry Abe)

A whistleblower reward also may be reduced if the whistleblower’s allegations have been previously disclosed.

Whistleblowers are still covered by the previous existing law for confidential informants to the IRS:

The IRS will keep the whistleblower’s identity confidential.

The IRS pays rewards after it completes an investigation into the tax fraud or tax underpayments, collects all amounts owed in the case and the matter officially is closed.

Before the new tax whistleblower law was enacted in December 2006, the IRS rarely paid rewards to tax fraud informants, and the rewards paid were small: just 1 percent to 15 percent of the amount the IRS recovered.

The new tax whistleblower law “will give a lot of encouragement for people to step forward who otherwise wouldn’t,” attorney John R. Phillips of Phillips & Cohen said in a Wall Street Journal article about the new whistleblower law.

Attorney Erika A. Kelton of Phillips & Cohen told “Marketplace,” a business news show broadcast by National Public Radio, that the new law “should pay whistleblowers handsomely, too.”

If you have information about tax fraud that exceeds $2 million and would like to know how Phillips & Cohen can help you with your case and the IRS, please fill out our tax fraud case evaluation form. This is the fastest way to get a detailed response.

Their contact information is:

Phillips & Cohen
131 Steuart St.
Suite 501
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: 415.836.9000
Fax: 415.836.9001

That’s dubdubdub.phillipsandcohen.com


4. silentpurr - September 11, 2009

And why not just sign the petition for good measure.

5. Jomo Piñata - September 11, 2009

Thanks for the information, WhaleRider.

False Claims Act suits are civil suits. The burden of proof in civil suits is not “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It’s “preponderance of the evidence,” which means “more likely than not.” A burden which is much easier to meet.

6. James Mclemore - September 11, 2009

There is something about what sometimes sounds a bit confrontational in regards to the signing of the petition that bothers me a bit.

At the GF site I think it is quite useful for people there to be reminded of the petition and for them to think about their reasons for not signing. However, in my opinion, if posters to this blog are judged by the single item of whether or not they have signed the petition, that would be a mistake. There could be a number of personal reasons (some involving children and their protection) that may come into play in someone not signing. The petition is one tool that has evolved from this blog, and it may end up being one that has a powerful impact. I certainly hope so, but remember that different people contribute different things to this forum.

I just quickly scanned and skimmed Elena’s new blog. Once was enough for me. There are attacks on Bruce, Ames, Old FOF, and Vena. Although each of these people’s voices are quite different, they are some of the most eloquent and powerful posters that the blog has had. Again, imho, if we begin doing that, and judging each other it will weaken what the blog is immensely. We can and will disagree and call bullshit on each other and argue, but I would save the personal attacks and judgements for the shills and apologists that come here to disrupt.

7. Walter Tanner - September 11, 2009

Washington Post: Many Women Targeted by Faith Leaders, Survey Says

One in every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader, a survey released Wednesday says.

The study, by Baylor University researchers, found that the problem is so pervasive that it almost certainly involves a wide range of denominations, religious traditions and leaders.

whole article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/09/AR2009090901724.html?wprssrss_nation

And check this out:

Lawmakers are also taking note. Clergy sexual misconduct is illegal in Minnesota and Texas. Texas law, for example, defines clergy sexual behavior as sexual assault if the religious leader “causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser.”

I don’t think there are any centers in Minnesota or Texas, unfortunately. I am going to contact my state legislators with this information. If Texas can have a statute like this, California should. Watch how quick the FoF would drop their “religious” tax classification if it did become law!


8. Walter Tanner - September 11, 2009

And for all you legal eagles, here’s the paper from the Study’s website, “Sexual Misconduct of Clergypersons with Congregants or Parishioners: Civil and Criminal Liabilities:”


Maybe there is something here…at least it might give night chills to Abraham…


9. silentpurr - September 11, 2009

Sorry for being a nag. I guess it seemed to me to be the most expeditious way to move an investigation along. I’m not judging, but I would like to gently inquire…..why? For you, Why not sign?

10. fofblogmoderator - September 11, 2009

7 & 8 are new

11. Agent 007 - September 11, 2009

Well said, James.

I can absolutely understand why someone might not sign the petition. I can also understand why people are confused that others don’t sign. They want solidarity. They know there’s strength in numbers, so it’s understandable to occasionally shout out and say, “Hey what’s up?!”

My gut feeling is that something very good will grow from the petition — even if the number is relatively small. (Enron sure as hell didn’t have 15,000 whistle blowers. It just took a few.)

I also think something very good will grow from the blog and the GF site. It all amounts to open discussion and creating some transparency that was never there in the past. It’s a very uncomfortable thing for Burton — hence the shills and the apologists jumping in. Spreading the word is a powerful thing. In my opinion, that was the biggest problem: The word had no way of being spread.

12. James Mclemore - September 11, 2009

9. silentpurr

No need to apologize. Your posts did not come across as nagging. I am glad you are here and enjoy your voice.
And if your question was for me specifically, I was one of the first to sign it.

13. WhaleRider - September 12, 2009

Thank you, Jomo!

A “preponderous of evidence…more likely than not. A burden of proof much easier to meet.” Hmmm….I like the sound of that.

Let’s exchange it for our burden of shame in aiding and abetting what the FOF has become: Burton’s Rape Factory.

I imagine the population of people from abroad still living in OH behind the iron curtain in a news blackout and in dire financial shape might benefit from hearing about the reward for whistleblowers and how to get into contact with the nice folks at Phillips and Cohen who are eager to help.

I am sure Phillips and Cohen wouldn’t mind if their information and phone number was reprinted from their website and passed around…

14. X-ray - September 12, 2009

81/286. brucelevy – September 11, 2009

AG also is a lawyer, do you trust everything he says?

15. Jomo Piñata - September 12, 2009

X-ray has good intentions so far as I can see. He just doesn’t like being set straight when he’s wrong. The type of argument he makes in 14 is called a “weak analogy.”


16. arthur - September 12, 2009

Long time ago on Jay Leno or something similiar a world reknowned “Rock Star” sans band members talked about “power” and “sex”.

He said on stage he could look out over the audience and if some woman caught his fancy he could signal for her to go back stage. That happened a lot with him and his band members. “Sex and drugs”.

In a similiar interview a “protestant pastor” of the non-dominational sort said the same thing. And, something to the effect that it is hard “serving the Lord” when a woman is making “eyes” at you.

That’s what got me kicked out of Pastor Robert Burton’s church. Making more than “eyes” with a married woman. Had I known that sexual debauchery was going on at all levels of Pastor Burton church, I would have indulged more and savored the experience. Being a Libertine as I am.

The power of sex in Church, in the Halls of Government, on the street it seeps out everywhere.

But, somethings like Power over the Flock needs to be cut short. Recently, here where I live, a church person took in a homeless boy and was questioned about his teaching methods. It seems he was teaching the boy how to bathe and in the process actually pulled back the foreskin and washed it for him.

Sex and the drug it produces for some.

17. Agent 007 - September 12, 2009

Makes sense to me that someone might like the idea of legal actions being taken against an organization they believe is immoral, evil, unethical, possibly criminal, etc — even if it’s based on anecdotal evidence with no apparent legal basis. Just some feedback: Persistent contrarian speculation on whether or not any type of action might be successful seems very un-lawyer like to me. There are so many unknown factors that I find it hard to believe anyone can draw any conclusions whatsoever, whether they’re a laywer or not.

I think it’s good to let the emotions run sometimes, and it’s good to keep them in check as well. You seem intent JP on keeping things balanced and in check, which is a good thing obviously for a bunch of p’ed off ex-fofers.

But I’ll say this about what the authorities may or not be doing with Burton and the FOF… We don’t know. If they are doing something, I’m sure they won’t be advertising it with any of us. This blog, the GF site, and the petition may have absolutely no impact in getting someone’s attention — or all of this may be having a lot more impact than any of us realize. Speaking up, as opposed to not speaking up, is definitely increasing the odds that someone is listening.

18. brucelevy - September 12, 2009

14. X-ray

And Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, and Perry Mason (fiction), as well as Clarence Darrow, Thurgood Marshall, and Thomas Moore. So what the fuck does that prove? I trust Jomo as a person and a lawyer who knows his limitations.

19. X-ray - September 12, 2009

18. brucelevy – September 12, 2009

Bruce, If you know him personally and trust him, that’s another story. I don’t know who he is and what his intentions truly are.
He sounds knowledgeable, but there was few times when I wasn’t sure where he stands in regards to the FOF.

15. Jomo Piñata – September 12, 2009

Jomo, I have no intention to discredit you, and I don’t give a shit if you think that you are smarter.
If you here to help to bring FOF down, I sincerely appreciate your contribution.

20. James Mclemore - September 12, 2009

Bruce –

I lost a bookmark. Who was that wonderfully crazy solo performer with the modified bass that had all the attachments and pipes and valves?

21. Jomo Piñata - September 12, 2009


It’s not about being smarter. It’s about dispelling ignorance. Carl Jung wrote that “the task of midlife is not to look into the light, but to bring light into the darkness. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

22. Jomo Piñata - September 12, 2009

P.S. to X-ray: To the extent anyone has followed my contributions here under the names Jomo Piñata and veronicapoe over the last eighty or so pages, I think they can have little doubt about “where I stand” in relation to the FOF.

23. Jomo Piñata - September 12, 2009

17/Agent 007

Makes sense to me that someone might *like* the idea of legal actions being taken against an organization they believe is immoral, evil, unethical, possibly criminal, etc — even if it’s based on anecdotal evidence with no apparent legal basis.

Sure. As a group fantasy, it’s got real symbolic value. People like such fantasies for the same reason that they like demagogues. It’s exciting. It’s cathartic to announce that redress will be had. The tyrant will be toppled. The oppressed will be freed. Justice will be done. We will get to the Promised Land. Hallelujah!

It’s a different matter when people confuse their fantasies, their beliefs that something ought</i< to be true, or will be effective, with something that actually is true or will be effective. People set themselves up for disappointment by investing hope in fantasy actions that cannot be effective. Sometimes a reality check is in order.

I agree with you that talking about it increases the chance that someone is listening who is in a position to actually take an effective action. That could be, for example, someone with first-hand knowledge of recent, serious criminal wrongdoing who decides to divulge his account to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

24. X-ray - September 12, 2009

22. Jomo Piñata – September 12, 2009

I never doubt veronicapoe.
Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

25. nige - September 12, 2009

16 arthur

I believe that Sex is the motivating power of the Universe – attractions and repulsions, force and counter-force – but one thing I have learned as I have grown older…..

If you do not have respect for sex, it will not have respect for you…..Nigel.

26. dragon - September 12, 2009

Exerpt from Elena’s BLOG,

Friday, 11 September 2009
Oh James, talking about Old FOF, Bruce, Vena and others is not talking badly about them! They are all very fine people, they are just not as fine as they can be. Life is like an instrument that we spend the whole of our lives tuning into. Why do you expect them or me to be a finished project when we’re only stepping on our fifties and sixties? Isn’t being brilliant enough? Does one also have to be perfect? Like angels? Not humans?
Posted by elena at 18:56

James Mclemore – September 11, 2009

I just quickly scanned and skimmed Elena’s new blog. Once was enough for me. There are attacks on Bruce, Ames, Old FOF, and Vena. Although each of these people’s voices are quite different, they are some of the most eloquent and powerful posters that the blog has had. Again, imho, if we begin doing that, and judging each other it will weaken what the blog is immensely. We can and will disagree and call bullshit on each other and argue, but I would save the personal attacks and judgements for the shills and apologists that come here to disrupt.

My personal point of view:

On both sides shattering.

I put a question to both of them.

What is it deep inside you what let you disapprove some special words written by the other part/ner?

27. Agent 007 - September 12, 2009

JP, Well, from what I recall you’ve done a good job of asking people to consult with a lawyer on these topics, while at the same time cautioning them they should avoid getting too excited about the outcome. I also understand why you try to keep things calm.

I agree with your use of the word “fantasy” or “fantasizing.” But my point is that it’s speculation on anyone’s part what “the authorities” may or may not be doing when it comes to the FOF.

And I can speculate, too. My speculation is that someone is watching. Some of the shills have said that the FOF is very small potatoes and that people — for that reason — aren’t that interested in investigating it. Unfortunately, that may be true. However, I also wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a list of a few hundred organizations throughout the U.S. (many of them cults, like the Fellowship of Friends) that someone is keeping a close eye on… what type of weapons they might have at their locations, what type of taxes they’re paying, and how the money is being raised, whether children are involved, where the guy in charge is traveling, and more.

We can speculate along both extremes: that they’re not interested in the FOF at all. Or we can speculate that someone might storm the gatehouse any minute, close the place down, and place Burton in jail. I haven’t read the blog enough to know whether anyone here is claiming either extreme. But I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, and that Burton and his enablers have more to be concerned about than usual right now.

28. James Mclemore - September 12, 2009

Dragon, you asked…..

“What is it deep inside you what let you disapprove some special words written by the other part/ner?”

I do not wish to disappoint you, but I am not sure it came from anything all that deep inside. The main point of my post had to do with the subject of signing /not signing the petition, and my opinion that we not spend time picking at each other on our individual approaches to posting and what people have to offer here. I happened to write the post shortly after perusing Elena’s blog. Perhaps my post could have done without the paragraph you quoted. It was not said just as a dig towards Elena, and I will readily admit that some parts of Elena’s posts were as much rebuttal as they were attack. There are parts of Elena I admire very much, and yet her posts still sounded like more of the same and not something I personally wish to read. I used it as an example to make a point. When I read Elena’s blog, it sounded more like a blog about a blog and some of the people that post here than it did about the fellowship of friends. When that sort of thing happens here on this blog is when it seems to me we get off track. I just think our energies are better spent in other ways.
It will have been an error on my part to mention and be critial of Elena’s blog if it returns us to debating Elena again. If you wish to discuss this further with me you can write me at jmsmclm(at)gmail(dot)com

Elena – you can certainly write me there also if you wish.

29. arthur - September 12, 2009

Nige (25),

I got it! In today’s local newspaper was the following article. About “sex”.


“A 21 year old man from San Francisco is accused of sexually assulting a 12 year old Bishop (village not far from here) who authorities say he met on the internet.

Authorities say the man met the girl on a popular social networking site and then traveled to Texas to meet her Sunday.

B.E.B (complete and fully Russian name), who was arrested Monday by Bishop police, was being held in the Nueces County Jail (my county) on suspicion of indecency with a child and aggravated assult with bonds totaling $650,000.

The Texas Rangers (dont want these looking for you) and the Bishop Police Department are conducting a joint investigation, according to a news release from the Department of Public safety (Home of the Texas Rangers).

I want to apologize beforehand for offended anyone’s sensibilites so quit reading right now!

For me, the pussy has been born yet that’s worth one night in jail.

30. arthur - September 12, 2009

That should read, “hasnt been born yet”

31. brucelevy - September 12, 2009

20. James Mclemore

“That One Guy”

32. arthur - September 12, 2009

And, I also apologize to the grammarians for my bad English. It all started back in the fourth grade. I could never get diagramming sentences. Like what’s the difference between a noun and verb, explain a run on sentence, what the hell’s a ?????? and that sort of thing. Never make a lawyer. And, in my neighborhood it doesnt really matter as long as it doesnt offend the sensibilities. Know what I mean?

33. WhaleRider - September 12, 2009

We are lucky to have Jomo as a regular poster here. I know him personally and can vouch for his integrity.


We need all the reality testing we can get. That what friends are for.

Hey Arthur, don’t worry about the grammar. Remember the Beaux Arts Trio? The FOF person assigned to turn the music pages for Menahem Pressler the pianist told me the guy made more mistakes than anyone else he’d seen perform! It’s your spirit that matters.

Thanks for being here, too.

34. Ill Never Tell - September 12, 2009

Yesri, your going to like this one.

81/213. Dr. Pangloss:

‘. . .to understand both sides of the coin.’
You forgot to mention: ‘Life on the edge.’ Every coin also has an edge besides the two sides – kind of like being third force blind – its the edge that holds the two sides together. Bleeding edge, as compares with leading edge. A lot less space there but it is intense.

Yes, DogPatch, Arkansas Bob* and his harem scare’m (ooops!, forgot, no contractions allowed; should be: ‘scare them’) of enablers; where daily life is from the ‘bleeding edge’ and only the absurd is common place. Such as, but not necessarily limited to: young heterosexual male sex slave trade, marriages of convenience for green cards, religious (and other) visa arrangements, money smuggling and laundering, shell corporations to hide assets, false non-profit 501c3 scams, inappropriate flow of assets between (so-called) profit making corporation(s) and non-profit corporation(s), flagrant disregard for laws (e.g.: building multi-million dollar Greek-style outdoor theater without building permits; unlimited/inappropriate use of construction and/or ‘conditional use’ permits – examples: winery construction, administrative offices, theater, library, public restaurant, bakery, Lodge/Apollo d’Oro, etc.; building Galleria on a ‘Garage Addition’ permit to Blake Cottage; closing public access to Dixon Hill Road where it passed through the Fellowship property; using Galleria as a giant restaurant/church/museum/meeting hall; avoidance of property and/or other taxes on the basis of being a museum), refusal to contribute to improvement of Rices Crossing Road (highly utilized by FoF), private inurement, disposal of non-profit property without due process, conducting various forms of gambling, discriminatory treatment of the old and crippled, favoritism based on ‘what?’, orgies and prostitution, just to name a few. Does that cemetery have appropriate formation and documentation? may their souls rest in peace. All this makes Fellowship of Friends a good citizen in Yuba County, California – Just ask Mr. Richards, the wealthy neighbor with 1000’s of acres. Better morph this puppy into an educational non-profit, asap, and keep it even more private, reclusive, esoteric, and secretive. Not because the ideas are dangerous; but because the actions taken may not be in keeping with what could be considered all human decency.

Not that I’m giving anyone any ideas.

*Arkansas Bob:
Start here:
Read the page. Then at the bottom, step through the pages using the ‘Next Topic’ link.

35. Ill Never Tell - September 12, 2009
36. Ill Never Tell - September 12, 2009

Try this:
Supping With Alex

37. Ill Never Tell - September 12, 2009

Ooops, sorry, bad link!

Try this:
Supping With Alex

38. Agent 007 - September 12, 2009

Absolutely. Not sure if anyone was arguing against JP’s integrity. I’m certainly not. I’m advocating that posters feel comfortable questioning his opinions — whoever he is, whatever his status is in the community, whatever respect anyone may or may not give to him. Group think begins with assigning authority to someone, and from that authority there’s a tendency to defer and give up one’s opinion. I believe he’d agree with that. I also think we should listen to him.

39. Agent 007 - September 12, 2009

referring to WhaleRider’s 33.

40. arthur - September 12, 2009

You know, the first time I read about Jomo’s gender the thought came to me that, it aint a he. It’s a she and she has a friend named Archie. Now I’m confused because everybody is back to calling him a he. I guess Poe is not a last name. I guess mystery is better than having Jomo go through what that South African speed runner went through- a gender check.

Next time somebody goes eye ball to eye ball with law enforcement for whatever reason-dont go into shock. It is disconserting but startyelling something like, “I’ll tell you where the “still” is if you’ll go after Robert Burton he’s the shark in this small neck of the woods”.

41. nige - September 12, 2009

38 Agent 007

My guess is – Jomo Pinata has been biding time, watching how the blog evolves, how the FoF reacts and crumbles and gathering his/her momentum discerningly towards, what most of can feel ‘coming up pretty darn quick’ – YES FOLKS!!!!! – A REAL-LIVE KAIROS TIME – SOMETHING LEGAL HAS TO GIVE AND THE FRAUDULENTSHIP OF FREUDS IS GONNA TAKE IT UP THE ASS!!!!!…..Nigel.

42. Jomo Piñata - September 12, 2009


I believe he’d agree with that.


43. We Were There - September 13, 2009

Check this out…


44. James Mclemore - September 13, 2009

43. We Were There

Very cool – it took me a few moments to figure out all the things you have to click on to view it all – nice music and artwork.
I almost threw my little pipe away.

45. Panoritsa - September 13, 2009

43. We Were There…

Very Cool! Excellent…

46. Yesri Baba - September 13, 2009

37 I’ll never tell

Thanx for the Dave Archer link. I don’t think I’d seen that one.

It’s easy to see ol’ Slobbering Johnson didn’t fall far from the tree.

“If you sup with the devil, best to bring a long spoon.”

Good advice from Mr. DeRopp. I had a friend who lived at Sonoma Mtn. Zen Center which was located next to the Horn prop. and across from Deropp’s place. He said DeRopp would only put his mailbox out when he wanted to get mail- don’t know why but I think that is sooo funny.

I guess it’s best to just deal with those pesky flies your own self.

47. X-ray - September 13, 2009

34. Ill Never Tell – September 12, 2009

Good material for the first prospective students meeting.
On the second meeting I would introduce them to the Rick Ross website.
The third meeting I would dedicated to the ‘best of the Blog’.

That’s all they need to join coalition instead of joining the FOF.

48. Associated Press - September 14, 2009

Italy grapples with priest sex abuse

The Associated Press
September 13, 2009;
8:56 PM

VERONA, Italy — It happened night after night, the deaf man said, sometimes in the priest’s bedroom, sometimes in the bathroom, even in the confessional.

When he was a young boy at a Catholic-run institute for the deaf, Alessandro Vantini said, priests sodomized him so relentlessly he came to feel “as if I were dead.” This year, he and dozens of other former students did something highly unusual for Italy: They went public with claims they were forced to perform sex acts with priests.

For decades, a culture of silence has surrounded priest abuse in Italy, where surveys show the church is considered one of the country’s most respected institutions. Now, in the Vatican’s backyard, a movement to air and root out abusive priests is slowly and fitfully taking hold.

A yearlong Associated Press tally has documented 73 cases with allegations of sexual abuse by priests against minors over the past decade in Italy, with more than 235 victims. The tally was compiled from local media reports, linked to by Web sites of victims groups and blogs. Almost all the cases have come out in the seven years since the scandal about Roman Catholic priest abuse broke in the United States.

The numbers in Italy are still a mere trickle compared to the hundreds of cases in the court systems of the United States and Ireland. And according to the AP tally, the Italian church has so far had to pay only a few hundred thousand euros (dollars) in civil damages to the victims, compared to $2.6 billion in abuse-related costs for the American diocese or euro1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) due to victims in Ireland.

However, the numbers still stand out in a country where reports of clerical sex abuse were virtually unknown a decade ago. They point to an increasing willingness among the Italian public and – slowly – within the Vatican itself to look squarely at a tragedy where the reported cases may only just be the tip of the iceberg. The Italian church will not release the numbers of cases reported or of court settlements.

The implications of priest abuse loom large in Italy: with its 50,850 priests in a nation of 60 million, Italy counts more priests than all of South America or Africa. In the United States – where the Vatican counts 44,700 priests in a nation of 300 million – more than 4,000 Catholic clergy have been accused of molesting minors since 1950.

The Italian cases follow much the same pattern as the U.S. and Irish scandals: Italian prelates often preyed on poor, physically or mentally disabled, or drug-addicted youths entrusted to their care. The deaf students’ speech impairments, for example, made the priests’ admonition “never to tell” all the more easy to enforce.

In this predominantly Roman Catholic country, the church enjoys such an exalted status that the pope’s pronouncements frequently top the evening news, without any critical commentary. Even those with anti-clerical views acknowledge the important role the church plays in education, social services and caring for the poor.

As a result, few dare to criticize it, including the mainstream independent and state-run media. In addition, there’s a certain prudishness in small-town Italy, where one just doesn’t speak about sex, much less sex between a priest and a child.

“It’s a taboo on top of a taboo,” said Jacqueline Monica Magi, who prosecuted several pedophilia cases in Italy before becoming a judge. “This is the provincialism of Italy.”

Breaking the conspiracy of silence, 67 former students from Verona’s Antonio Provolo institute for the deaf signed a statement alleging that sexual abuse, pedophilia and corporal punishment occurred at the school from the 1950s to the 1980s at the hands of priests and brothers of the Congregation for the Company of Mary.

While not all acknowledged being victims themselves, 14 of the 67 wrote sworn statements and videotaped testimony, detailing the abuse they say they suffered, some for years, at the school’s two campuses in Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet. They named 24 priests, lay religious men and religious brothers.

Vantini said he, too, was silent for years.

“How could I tell my papa that a priest had sex with me?” Vantini, 59, told the AP one afternoon, recounting through a sign-language interpreter the abuse he said he endured. “You couldn’t tell your parents because the priests would beat you.”

Vantini named two priests and two lay brothers – three of whom are still alive – but asked that their names not be printed for fear of legal action. He spoke with the nervousness and agitation he says has accompanied him all of his life from being raped as a child by a priest.

“I suffered from depression until I was 30,” said Vantini, who attended the school from age 6 to 19. “My wife said it was good that I spoke out because it lifted this weight from my chest.”

Vantini’s one-time schoolmate, Gianni Bisoli, 60, named the same men in his written declaration and in an interview, as well as 12 other priests and brothers from the Congregation, accusing them of sodomizing him, forcing him to have oral sex and to masturbate them.

In his declaration, Bisoli also accused Verona’s late bishop, Monsignor Giuseppe Carraro – who is being considered for beatification – of molesting him on five separate occasions while he was a student at Provolo, which he attended from age 9 to 15.

A diocesan probe cleared Carraro of sex abuse. But the investigation interviewed none of the alleged victims, limiting testimony to surviving members of the Congregation, other school personnel and their affiliates, and documentation from the Congregation and Verona diocese.

The late bishop’s beatification process was suspended pending the investigation, but is now going ahead to the Vatican’s saint-making office.

Five decades later, Bisoli still recalls the route he said he took from the institute, located on a quiet street named for the congregation’s founder, Don Antonio Provolo, along the serpentine Adige river to the bishop’s residence tucked behind Verona’s Piazza del Duomo.

Bisoli, who became deaf at age eight, said he was accompanied by one of his abusers and walked past the red brick Castelvecchio, an imposing 14th-century citadel, then along the main Corso Cavour thoroughfare or the more out-of-the-way pedestrian shopping street Via Mazzini.

“They brought me inside the curia (the diocese headquarters),” Bisoli recalled in an interview. “There was a servant who opened the door, then someone brought me inside. It was dark.”

Bishop Carraro appeared, he recalled. “The bishop started to touch me, grope me,” he said, running his hands up and down his body, pulling at his shirt and shorts to demonstrate. “I pulled away. But he continued to touch me for 15, 20 minutes. I didn’t know what to do.”

On a subsequent occasion, Bisoli says, the bishop tried to sodomize him with a banana. Another time, they were on the sofa and he sodomized him with his finger, offering him candy to appease him, Bisoli said.

Once, Bisoli said, the bishop offered him some gold crosses that had caught Bisoli’s eye.

“I said ‘at least give me 10,000-20,000 lire so I can buy a Coca-Cola or an ice cream,'” Bisoli recalled.

The current bishop of Verona, Monsignor Giuseppe Zenti, initially accused the former students of fabricating their claims in talking in January to L’Espresso, a left-leaning newsweekly. Zenti called the accusations “lies” and a stunt that was part of a long-standing real estate dispute between the Congregation and the deaf students’ association, to which the alleged victims belong.

But when one of the accused lay religious men admitted to sexual relations with students, Zenti ordered an internal investigation into the Congregation. The results found that some abuse occurred, albeit a fraction of what has been alleged.

According to the diocese probe, there were episodes of physical violence against two unnamed students between 1958 and 1965. From 1965 to 1967, two would-be priests with “sexual disorders” were kicked out; while between 1965 and 1990 a religious brother had sexual relations with an undetermined number of students, the investigation found. In all cases the accused were removed.

“There could have been some episodes, some bad apples are possible,” Carlo de’ Gresti, spokesman for the Provolo institute said in an interview at the school’s Chievo campus, where a lay staff now runs a technical school for poor teens. “It happens, even in families. That there could have been 26, 27, 25 pedophiles? There is no objective corroboration from anyone who isn’t inside the (students’) association.”

Advocates, however, says the diocese’s investigation was fatally flawed because it didn’t interview the alleged victims and only people with links to the school who may have something to hide.

“If they had wanted to shed full light on it, they wouldn’t have only heard from priests and lay brothers, but from the deaf as well,” said Marco Lodi Rizzini, a spokesman for the victims.

The investigation has been forwarded to the Vatican, said the Rev. Bruno Fasani, spokesman for the diocese. He claimed former students had been manipulated into denouncing innocent priests and accused some of harboring a long-standing animosity to the church.

Zenti, for his part, asked forgiveness from the victims.

“The feeling that prevails is above all one of profound solidarity with the victims of abuse,” Zenti said in a May statement. “To them and their families, a humble request of forgiveness is made.”

Among the cases the AP tallied, there were charges of inducing boys into prostitution, participation in satanic rituals, and one notorious case in which the church itself determined that an elderly Florentine priest was responsible for “sexual abuse, false mysticism and domination of consciences.”

Where there were sentences, they ran from a two-year suspended sentence to eight years in jail, although with Italy’s notoriously lengthy appeals process it’s unclear how many have been carried out. Where civil damages were awarded, which has been rare, the amounts ranged from about euro15,000 per victim to euro150,000 (about $22,000 to $220,000 at today’s exchange rates).

The cases in the AP survey involve civil or criminal cases and investigations. For that reason, the Verona figures were omitted, since no criminal or civil action is pending because the statute of limitations has expired.

In 2002, when the abuse scandal was erupting in the United States, the No. 2 official in the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Monsignor Giuseppe Betori, was quoted as saying clerical sex abuse was so limited in Italy that the conference leadership hadn’t even discussed the matter.

But Italian prelates and the Vatican now seem to be taking the problem far more seriously. Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican prosecutor in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – which handles cases of priestly sex abuse – acknowledged that public awareness of the problem in Italy had increased as a result of the “tsunami” of cases that came to light in the United States.

“There is a change of mentality, and we find that to be very positive,” he told the AP.

In a shift for the Vatican, Scicluna acknowledged that priestly sex abuse was an age-old problem that needed to be rooted out.

“I don’t think it’s a question of happening. It has always happened. It’s important that people talk about it, because otherwise we cannot bring the healing which the church can offer to people who need it – both the victims and perpetrators.”


49. WhaleRider - September 14, 2009

Scicluna’s last paragrah made me sick to my stomach.

“I don’t think it’s a question of happening. It has always happened. It’s important that people talk about it, because otherwise we cannot bring the healing which the church can offer to people who need it – both the victims and perpetrators.”

Although both organizations are legally entitled to call themselves churches in that they claim to have an interest in the development and care of the human soul, the obvious difference between them is that the FOF appears to have no interest whatsoever in bringing healing to the victims of Burton’s sexual abuse, nor even has the capacity to do so. In fact, Burton’s abuse continues unabated ad nauseum.

This is why the FOF must be disbanded.

50. nige - September 14, 2009

49 WhaleRider

“This is why the FOF must be disbanded”

I feel we (on the blog and other ex-members) are closer than we think to this situation coming about. Although government machinations are ever so slow, if written material has been sent them and if the media (such as Appeal-Democrat) has been alerted, then ‘the wheels are in motion’. As you say, Burton is not going to stop his sexual abuse (we all know he is a criminal pervert and, most probably, chronically mentally ill) so, however long it takes to bring him to justice (the merest whiff of his being likely to be brought into court will have REB’s enablers ‘chasing their asses’, trying to prevent this) he will not be able to hide his transgressions behind legalise and ‘a good front’ in court. Recent material on the blog (yours included about ‘whistleblowing’) has opened doors for members, or recent ex-members, to search their consciences and help put this maniac behind bars…..Nigel.

51. Ames Gilbert - September 14, 2009

Walter (#82-7 & 8), thanks so much for the alert. This is very interesting information, and has got me thinking, and here are the results.
It seems to me that we’ve spent a lot of the last eighty-one odd pages looking inwards, from one point of view, mulling over our experiences of the FoF and the FoF itself. Perhaps it is time, not to put this focus entirely aside, but to, in addition, look outwards. We’ve focused mainly on one organization, one leader, and on the problems circulating around these. I wonder if it might actually be easier to bring an end to the harm caused by a single organization by stepping back and exploring the possibilities of helping all being harmed by similar setups?

If anyone cares to look at the Baylor University study that Walter linked to, one can see that there are some restrictions in 14 states, and laws attempting to eliminate sex between counselors (including spiritual) of all kinds and those psychologically dependent on them in three states: Minnesota, Texas and Arkansas. Only the laws in Arkansas have proved bullet-proof so far, because they are the only ones that don’t raise the specter of mixing the interests of church and state. The Baylor study recommends that any new state laws be based on the Arkansas laws.

A Modest Proposal
Why don’t we look into seeing if we, all of us together, can get a new law passed in California, based on the Arkansas law. The first step would be to thoroughly familiarize ourselves with that law, why it came into being and its history, and the cases leading from it. The second step might be to start researching assemblymen and senators in the California legislature who might be interested in sponsoring such legislation. We could make general reports here on the blog, but any specific action after that should probably take place off-line. Why give people like Robert Burton, Robert Mearns and Abraham Goldman, not to mention the whole sorry bunch of Fellowship of Friends Board of Directors, any advantage?

Here’s the best part, as far as I’m concerned. Such a new law in California would not only curb Burton (an outcome devoutly to be wished), but would also curb the rest of the counselors and clergy who abuse those in their care. If such a law existed today in California, perhaps 47 choirboys across the state would not have been molested this Sunday morning after mass, 126 women would not have submitted to the sexual advances of their psychiatrist during ‘private counseling, 9 Sunday school teachers would not have shared ‘just our little secret’ with those in their charge, and 1,285 assorted church officers would put aside temptation and give up their plans to take advantage of their psychological power to seduce men, women, boys or girls in their congregation. And Burton would have had to keep his hands off all and any of his followers or face jail, today and for the rest of his miserable life.

Efforts in this direction would change our focus from our little local corner of the universe, to a larger scale. Success would benefit the many unknown as well as those we know. Efforts would not lead into the quagmire and uncertainties of directly confronting the FoF, but success would produce results we could be proud of.

Other people do research, raise money, link with similar interest groups, talk to legislators, get laws passed. Why not us?

Whaddya think?

52. nige - September 14, 2009

51 Ames Gilbert

Count me in – I’m with you!…..Nigel.

53. nige - September 14, 2009

from Wikipedia…..

Positions of power
Sexual misconduct can occur where one person uses a position of authority to compel another person to engage in an otherwise unwanted sexual activity. For example, sexual harassment in the workplace might involve an employee may likewise be coerced in fear of being dismissed. Sexual harassment in education might involve a university student submitting to a professor’s sexual advances in fear of being given a failing grade.

Several sexual abuse scandals have involved abuse of religious authority and often cover-up among non-abusers, including cases in the Catholic Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,[2] the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Orthodox Judaism,[3] and various cults.

54. nige - September 14, 2009

from Answers.com…..

During the 1980s and 1990s, many lawsuits were filed using these new laws. Adults successfully sued a number of Roman Catholic priests for sexual abuse that the victims had endured many years before. Health professionals argued that the victims needed the lawsuits as much for therapeutic as legal reasons. Confronting the abuser and holding the abuser accountable for the actions is a significant step for the victim, who often feels shame, guilt, and responsibility for the abuse.

However, a controversy has arisen over the validity of recovered memories. The dispute centers on memories that are coaxed or brought forth through the efforts of therapists. Some experts in law and mental health question the veracity of these memories and challenge their use as the evidentiary basis for lawsuits over conduct that allegedly occurred years, and sometimes decades, in the past. They contend that these are “implanted memories,” brought about by hypnosis, truth serums, and therapists’ suggestive remarks. They are also troubled that therapists may be allowed to testify as expert witnesses, when there is no scientific evidence to support their theories regarding recovered memories.

55. nige - September 14, 2009

from ucsantacruz.com…..

Sexual assault is a general term which covers a range of crimes, including rape. As defined under California law, rape is non-consensual sexual intercourse that involves the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Sexual intercourse is considered non-consensual and, therefore, rape when the person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability renders the victim incapable of giving consent. Whether the accused is a stranger, acquaintance, spouse, or friend is irrelevant to the legal definition of rape (for the Penal Code definition of rape, see Appendix B). Beside rape, other acts of sexual assault include forced anal intercourse, forced oral copulation, penetration of the anal or vaginal area with a foreign object, and forcibly touching an intimate part of another person. Men as well as women can be victims of these other forms of sexual assault (see Appendix B, Definition of Sex Crimes).

56. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 14, 2009

51. Ames Gilbert:

Good suggestions, Ames. For political assistance, it might be a good place to look by investigating the political people involved with the Jonestown event. It was being investigated by a California State legislator – or something like that –
might even have been an elected official that was killed or injured in that case. But people surrounding it would be supportive and possibly give direction to the effort of starting legislative process.

57. Ames Gilbert - September 14, 2009

P.S., I suggest we call the proposed new law, “Brian’s Law”, in memory and honor of Brian Sisler.


58. silentpurr - September 14, 2009

Thank you for sharing this story. I will help in any way that I can be useful.

59. WhaleRider - September 14, 2009

Brilliant Idea! Brian’s Law. Let’s make it happen.

I suggest we get our ducks in a row and contact California Rep. Jackie Speier, San Mateo County , who was shot at the airport on the fact finding mission to Jonestown.

She’s are woman!

60. 411 - September 14, 2009

I think it’s a great idea to follow through with the idea of initiating a law (Brian’s Law). I think a law is very much needed prohibiting religious leaders from having sex with their members. These “leaders” are in a position to start their own personal harems/concubine without anyone questioning anything. It’s seems to be 100% manipulation on the part of the leader.

61. X-ray - September 14, 2009

Say YES to Brian’s Law!

62. More history needed? - September 14, 2009

Prevention is the best maintenance was the device of the octave leader for the fellowship of friends for years.

Sure: Yes to Brian’s Law

63. Renald - September 15, 2009

Excerpt from The Profound Healing of the Pulse


by Jo Denning

This excerpt could lead some to valuable healing—Renald

“Discovering the Patterns
When I was first starting to work with energy, I was working with a young woman during a full day personal energy intensive. The focus she had chosen for her intensive was ”spiritual growth,” and we spent the day completing the necessary openings and initiations to assist in developing her intuitive gifts and healing abilities. Then, with only a few minutes left at the end of the day, she asked if it might be possible to work on something from her personal life. She then shared her experiences of her abusive childhood.

As I listened to her childhood story my attention was soon caught by something I had never noticed before. What I saw was an intricate, three-dimensional geometric shape floating about four or five feet away from her body. It was filled with intense colors and had smaller patterns interwoven within it. It seemed vibrant and alive. As she spoke about the events from her childhood, I noticed that the pattern became brighter. When she spoke specifically about the ways she was feeling limited by the abuse, one of the smaller internal patterns became more brilliant. I was fascinated by this geometric shape and continued to watch it as she spoke. It soon became apparent that her experiences from childhood and this geometric pattern were connected.

Although it was getting late, we decided to explore this new discovery. Over the next few minutes, as I held my hands over her body and felt the familiar, warm energy flowing through them, the pattern begin to change. Soon, the brightest inner portion of the shape began to fade — and at this point, she commented that her emotions about the abuse were also fading. Within just a few minutes, the bright portion was transparent. Now, when she thought of her childhood experiences, her emotions remained calm and balanced.

Although the geometric shape I had originally seen was still visible in this woman’s energy field, the shape no longer contained the very bright, smaller pattern within it. I later came to understand that what had been released from that pattern was the unneeded and out of balance emotions from that experience and which had influenced her life as an adult. What remained now in the pattern was the wisdom, compassion, and insights she had gathered from the experience.“

64. Renald - September 15, 2009

Mea Culpa,

Please make my above post excerpted from an article by

JO DUNNING. sorry…!

65. arthur - September 15, 2009

I just googled “Brian’s Law” (didnt read it) but one exists in Canada and it has to do with “Mental Health”.

66. X-ray - September 15, 2009

65. arthur – September 15, 2009

‘C-influence’ on our side.

67. Bares Reposting - September 15, 2009

I did a Google search on ‘Brian’s Law’ and one of the first pages to appear had this poem:

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid, you see.
I took His hand when I heard Him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day –
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Fill it now with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh. a kiss;
Oh yes, these things I, too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow –
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times,
A loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief
Lift up your hearts, and peace to thee –
God wanted me now. . . He set me free.

68. Mikey - September 15, 2009

You do realize that the laws of nature govern man’s behavior, and not vice versa? To that extent the FoF is a natural phenomena and it and it’s like cannot be easily altered or extinguished. Laws prohibiting slavery have not changed the facts of greed, exploitation & self-interest. Who listens to Moses, Mohammad or Jesus and what did they know anyway and what did it get them and how did it help us?

69. Renald - September 15, 2009

re 67 Bares Reposting:
Great impulse !!! It reminds me of the “something else“ in the saying “ When something does not work, try something else. “
Clearly pushing against does not work.


70. Agent 007 - September 15, 2009

Renald, I like the impulse, too, although I disagree with the premise that something is not working. It depends on what you’re expecting, but I see all of this as working just fine — the blog, the GF, the petition, the picketing, the people leaving, and discussions that rarely if ever took place just three years ago, and all of the future discussions that have yet to take place.

Talking about the FOF is form of advocacy — not a “pushing against.” People are supporting something as opposed to opposing something… They’re supporting a better informed public — as well as supporting better informed “selves” — about the FOF and Burton. In the process, good things are growing from it… maybe even a new law that might attract attention from a much wider audience, and promote some even wider good. I like the idea.

71. Ames Gilbert - September 15, 2009

Thanks to those who have written to support the idea of “Brian’s Law” both here and privately (my e-mail address for those who don’t have it is: nancyames (at) accessbee (dot) com).

I assume the regular (official or self-appointed) FoF monitors of the blog (stand up, Abraham Goldman, Nicolas Spaulding, Linda Kaplan, and the rest) are busy with their thoughts of how to sabotage possible progress on passing a “Brian’s Law”.
Here’ s some information for you. There are members of the Fellowship who not only read the blog, but support the idea of a “Brian’s Law”. They think that Burton’s 24-hour-a-day quest for sexual satisfaction detracts from his ‘teaching’, from the time and attention they pay good money to obtain.

Imagine that!

Of course, I’d argue with them about the value of the ‘teaching’, even if Burton is starting to backslide a bit and incorporate more 4th Way terminology. But, the point right now is, they want Burton to stop having sex with his followers, and don’t mind an external law that may cause him to stop, since all are agreed that he cannot and never will stop of his own volition; he has no volition.

So, FoF blog monitors, time for some self-study. Abraham, why are you immediately leaping to defend Burton? Is this a result of deep thought or the usual automatic reaction? Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to continuously defend Burton as he engages in his repulsive and exploitative sexual predation? Nicolas Spaulding, why is your automatic reaction to try to find out who else has been reading the blog and who has contacted me? You should know that you are widely despised and distrusted for the roles you play. Linda Kaplan, have you tried to understand why you seek and hold authority within the Fellowship, how your sexuality may be tied up in what Burton does, why you also cannot find lasting and satisfactory relationships? You also are despised and distrusted, not only because you hold several records as a gossip, but because of your hypocrisy as you preach one thing and act another.

I’m glad that some people in the Fellowship can see the value of curtailing Burton in at least one aspect. In a legitimate organization, this duty would fall to the Board of Directors; their job is to control Burton, to act as a counterweight, and to represent the interests of the members. But this they have never done, Burton has no restrictions at all, and hopefully one day they will be held accountable for their abject dereliction of duty.

72. Vena - September 15, 2009

I imagine Brian’s parents would be grateful for this attempt to honor his memory and his suffering. Thanks to you Ames.

73. Ames Gilbert - September 15, 2009

Results are in for the FoF member count (#81-3 & #81-10). Several people contacted me; they kindly checked the list by going through regions that they personally knew.
The bottom line is, to within one or two members, the September numbers stand; as far as we can tell, the Propylaia database numbers are accurate. Total members on September 1, 2009: 1570, give or take a few. Just 62 in the U.S. apart from the ones at Apollo–that’s good news, and thanks Ollie for the heads up!

74. rock that boat - September 15, 2009

71. Ames Gilbert – September 15, 2009


75. Pavel - September 15, 2009

Hey guys,

two or three weeks ago I bought myself Meetings with Remarkable Men, which I enjoyed reading, only to find an FOF bookmark halfway through it. I found that pretty funny, startling too, as I naively thought that the FOF would have gone away (or at least changed to the point where I would not come into contact with their advertising anymore) after those few years.

Anyway, the whole incident reminded me of all of you guys, who have been a lot of fun to roam around the internet with and I decided to briefly stop by and say hello.

Hope you are all doing well and that you are finding what you are looking for. You are all awesome (as you should know).

Take care,


76. Walter Tanner - September 15, 2009

Regarding “Brian’s Law:” Bravo! In terms of approaching elected officials, we should start with Assembly Member Dan Logue and State Senator Sam Aanestad. The FoF are in their district. A constituent should make an appointment with both about this subject, and at first be willing to meet with just a legislative aide.

I think we have a very coherent, quickly explained and easily justified message: California, like Arkansas and several other states, should criminalize clergy sexual abuse. It would be smarter to first reach out to other lay Catholic organizations, the Unitarians, etc., and form a coalition (that is how State politics is done), but that is just my opinion as a community and political organizer.

And that gets to the point: For those of us who really want to do this, should we form a committee, take this thing off-blog? (But report on-blog periodically, of course!)

Ames smartly asks why give the FoF legal machine any gunpowder, and that is a legitimate concern. We do need discretion: one of the powerful emotional appeals to this story is that WE HAVE FRIENDS, SPOUSES, AND FAMILY STILL INSIDE and we surely do not want to threaten the FoF into becoming a paranoid, David Koresh-like cult. We want the sexual (-spiritual?) abuse to stop. The continued existence of the FoF is irrelevant (in my view, right now, tactically & strategically).

I think, at this point, the fact of our transparancy serves us, and we should use it to gain further moral leverage against the FoF.

Anyway, we have a lot to think about, I’m ready to put 5-10 hours a week into this. I can drive up to Grass Valley or wherever when needed. Also more than willing to host a house party in the Berkeley Hills to get this initiative moving.

Obviously the energy is available for this. Let us take this time, before the storm, to completely hash-out how we feel and what we are willing to do about this. I think Elena should be allowed to voice her opinion, as she, to-date, has done the most to generate media coverage against the FoF. Everyone should offer talking points, strategies, tactics, contacts and organizing methods.

Let’s stop clergy sexual abuse in California.


P.S. I’m already considering the Gavin Newsome for Governor campaign. Gavin was the mayor of SF who legalized gay marriage for six weeks or so…sufficiently anti-clerical to support such legislation…

77. morgan le faye - September 15, 2009

You continue to make the blog worth reading – You and others that contribute practical and creative discussion.

78. Dr. Pangloss - September 15, 2009

76. Walter Tanner

Walter is so right. Social and political change needs to start locally. Yuba/Sutter County officials and State representatives won’t want to look like they are ignoring a tax-dodging cult lead by a debauched anti-Christ. 2010 is an election year. Enough constituents need to make noise. Being a registered voter helps.
The FOF is too small for bigger “public servants” outside the Yuba district to give a damn, although I hear that Congresswoman Jackie Speier has real integrity. I guess it’s pretty damn hard to forget an experience like the hell she went through in Jonestown.

79. James Mclemore - September 15, 2009

Ames and Walter –

Great ideas. I will help in any way I can. Funds are low which makes travel difficult right now, and being pretty much apolitical I know nothing of how these things work; nor am I a registered voter in the state of California, but I do have some time at the computer I would gladly give if I can be of any assistance.
I also agree with Walter, that it would be good to find a way to have Elena contribute and be a part of the project if she so wishes.

80. James Mclemore - September 15, 2009

Current members of the Fellowship of Friends :

If you are here and reading this, how much more do you need to hear? What will it take and when will you reach the point where you say “Enough”, and finally stop supporting what is going on there?
What are the questions left in your mind about staying or leaving? All possibilities for growth of any and all kinds are still wide open for you. If you have fears that are based on what you have been told about ‘losing the school’, they are unfounded. The idea that your possibilities will end if you leave the FOF is at best a mistake, at its worst it is a dirty little trick invented to keep you there. Do not fear. You are only temporarily stuck in a bit of a cul de sac. Your true possibilities for understanding are not restricted to a place, a person, or to any thing. The world outside of the FOF is expansive. It is the whole world. It has everything you need.
How hard do you have to work to overlook and to justify what goes on there with Robert Burton in what he says and what he does behind closed doors? Try an experiment. Look about you, look without trying to describe it or explain it or categorize it in any way. Put your ‘work language’ aside for a few moments. What is this organization you find yourself in? Who or what is Robert Burton? Close your eyes. You may be able to feel it even before you can put it into words. Something is wrong. Something is simply wrong. You can sense that something is amiss and, it is NOT YOU. If you have questions and you ask them within the framework of the Fellowship of Friends you will be told that anything that feels wrong is something wrong with you. You may be told that you are not working hard enough. Maybe you need to do more sequences. You need to separate. You are being tested by angels. Some of the people who tell you these things may be well meaning. They are mistaken. Nothing is wrong with you. It has nothing to do with a lack of effort. No one knows more about YOU than YOU do. I repeat – NO ONE knows more about YOU than YOU do. If you are plagued with questions you do not seem to be able to resolve, make up a fake name, log onto the blog and state the questions that are bothering you. What have you got to lose? If you come here sincerely looking and asking, people here will do their best to give you some other ways of thinking about things that may be troubling you.

81. nige - September 16, 2009

80 James Mclemore

“No one knows more about YOU than YOU do. I repeat – NO ONE knows more about YOU than YOU do.”

I was one of those members, admittedly, 20 years ago, who was told I would ‘lose all possibilities’ if I came away from the ‘school’. I survived a suicide attempt, psychiatric treatment and years of ‘wandering in the wilderness’. I now have self-employment as a Craft Metal Teacher, something inextricably related to my True Essence – Real Happiness. This situation has come about by listening to others, who have been both supportive and derogatory about my possibilities, but, ultimately, listening to that little voice – that ‘touch of Godhood’ within myself – that gives Self-Reliance and stability in the Whirlwind of Life. As the Buddha stated…..

“Let go of the mountain – you will not fall off.”

If any of you current members would like to contact me privately…..

Nigel Harris Price…..email: nhprice@gmail.com

82. veramente - September 16, 2009

75 pavel

What a nice surprise!
So you found a bookmark, how does it look like? The one that was given to me eons ago had Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s portraits in a cameo like shape on each end of the bookmark.
Persistent, aren’t they? (THE FOFFIONS)
I hope you are doing great dear Pavel. As you can see I am still hanging around. Drop in again soon.

83. James Mclemore - September 16, 2009

Almost forgot………..

Thanks Bruce for the “That One Guy”.

And yes, a ‘Hello’ to the Sheik.

84. Renald - September 16, 2009

RE. “69. Renald – September 15, 2009
re 67 Bares Reposting:
Great impulse !!! It reminds me of the “something else“ in the saying “ When something does not work, try something else. “
Clearly pushing against does not work.


70. Agent 007 – September 15, 2009
Renald, I like the impulse, too, although I disagree with the premise that something is not working.“

That something is not working is not a premise. Do you mean that everything which was ever tried on the blog has worked. I personally do not think so, sorry. I am sure that some of it is counterproductive.

When on the other hand efforts which are being made are productive, then its fine to continue, of course. I just don`t see the benefit of banging heads against the wall after a while, just like the poem said.

Brian`s Law or whatever it will end up being called IS something new.
I was not making a shotgun negative statement. On the contrary.

85. nige - September 16, 2009

84 Renald

“When on the other hand efforts which are being made are productive, then its fine to continue, of course. I just don`t see the benefit of banging heads against the wall after a while, just like the poem said.

Brian`s Law or whatever it will end up being called IS something new.
I was not making a shotgun negative statement. On the contrary.”

Yes! something worth contributing ALL our efforts towards…..Nigel.

86. Crouching Tiger - September 16, 2009


“I think Elena should be allowed to voice her opinion, as she, to-date, has done the most to generate media coverage against the FoF. Everyone should offer talking points, strategies, tactics, contacts and organizing methods.”

I think Walter’s right. Now that there appears to be some movement towards a practical aim, doesn’t it make sense to include Elena? After all, that’s what she’s been wanting all along!

87. nige - September 16, 2009

86 Crouching Tiger

I agree about Elena. I think this “movement towards a practical aim” will get us all, on the blog, pointing in the same direction, where there will be little chance of personal slanging matches, contentions and confrontations. I was in two minds about what I thought of Elena’s being banned from the blog, since she has a ‘vital energy’ that is needed – when silliness and sarcastic comments somethimes abound – to direct against the criminality of the FOF and, especially, in this case, attempting to curtail REB’s sexual abuse of (young) men. It obviously means, on our part, as those who have personally had to deal with Elena’s posts in the past and have only being able to muster ‘bitter reprisals’ (I, myself, have also had confrontations with other bloggers!), that we should be open to WHAT IS BEING SAID, rather than the personality of WHO IS SAYING IT…..Nigel.

88. Crouching Tiger - September 16, 2009

Yes, the practical side may well be the area to bring out the best in Elena.

The banning was bunkum. Sure, she could go over the top, and she could have restricted her posts a bit more – but hey, nobody died. Just a few hurt feelings, but nothing more than that.

Personally, I think her kind of energy could be well-suited to the legal action being envisaged – even if she doesn’t return to the Blog.

89. Ellen - September 16, 2009

Thanks, James McLemore, #80.


As it turns out, I left the Fellowship on the day, even the hour that my step-mother, of approximatlely 30 years, died. During the funeral in my hometown, I told my devout Christian brother, who had blown the cult whistle on me and my spiritual practice approximately 23 years earlier, that I had left the Fellowship. He gently absorbed that knowledge and asked me why, if I wanted to talk about it, and also was curious about what was next (for me).

As I recall, I spoke a bit about the revelations of the blog but what I remember most was speaking about the overwhelming experience of the extent of my own ignorance. Ignorance itself. My ignorance, your ignorance, everyone’s ignorance. Ignorance of self – especially when I thought/we thought, I was/we were working so hard to uncover the self. And all my friends, also still hidden in their own ignorance. Ignorance of sordidity, yes. But the shame, the dirt, the abuse could not exist if everyone to the last member was not ignorant about the true nature of the self, of themselves. So then also, spiritual ignorance.

And here, this is the test of words, words that reach beyond themselves into experience, because there is a kind of ignorance that exists from incomplete intellectual knowledge – which is how we usually define that word – but there is also an ignorance that exists from incomplete being knowledge. And spiritual work is often undertaken to diminish that ignorance – not to compound it – yet how frequently does it accomplish just the opposite. Is it the nature of the beast???

The profound and divine experience of self remembering should lead to more and more expansion not constriction; to openness, not closure. To a fuller and more transparent embrace of life in of all of its variety, not an organization of dwindling membership, forced to condemn its graduates as failures. That in itself, is a failure, born of profound spiritual ignorance.

The solution? Wake up!

90. dragon - September 16, 2009


It makes sense to include all members and Ex-members who are willing to talk about the FOF and who are working on their liberation from that mental burden given by the FOF.

Freedom is everywhere, it is the single person who lives in it’s own prison all over the world.
Those prisons are the “bad” relationships with our fellow men, the “bad”, sick mistrust, the prison of self-adulation, the prison of “that’s what you get for it”….

It is not only Elena to whom we are talking, it is not her, we are calling back to the Blog, it is our freedom.

And I am not “ashamed” or “affected” or something else, I dare to say WE!

Please come back Elena, we know about your sorrows and troubles and we are able to endure that.

Thank you Jomo, Nigel, JimMc and all!

91. Mikey - September 16, 2009

I am interested in hearing a few more names of my old friends. (Ha!) Is this a privacy issue? Aren’t good folks like John Bowen, Grant & Marie Ramey, Kenneth & Lydia Wygal proud of their long association and support of Robert Burton & the Fellowship of Friends? Can even the paying devotees themselves find out which of their “friends” are actually Trustees of the board? They are a registered church organization, so somebody must know. Is Ben Dover still a member of the “King of the Cults”?

92. Mikey - September 16, 2009

Hi Pavel. As Hardy sometimes said to Laurel:
“It’s a fine mess you’ve gotten us into”.
PS. Your bookseller may be interested to know who is polluting his wares with illegal bookmarks and what they are promoting. (I thought there was a lawsuit/settlement with the publishers on this count.)

93. Vena - September 16, 2009

If Elena does come back, and I agree she has much to offer at times, I hope she will be able to refrain from viciously attacking other posters and not dominate the blog with excessively long and repetitive posts.

I hope that we can all remember the aim of helping people to leave and stopping new recruits from joining and in that way avoid posts that turn us into easily dismissed “negative former members”.

Courtesy and thoughtfulness will get more attention and true consideration of the message we are trying to convey than hateful remarks and name calling ever will.

94. WhaleRider - September 16, 2009

Thanks for checking in with us. Have you read “the Guru Papers”, yet? I recomend it if you are interested in your own evolution.

Yes, keep the bookmark. It’s evidence of the FOF’s unlawful cult recruiting techniques.

95. Ames Gilbert - September 16, 2009

I don’t know if banning Elena was a ‘solution’, but I suggest that folks who want her back visit her blog over at
and refresh their memories.
It is true that no-one died when she posted. It is true that we all benefit from the efforts of people with energy and commitment. It is true that what Elena says on her blog that she is a ‘cult survivor’ who is barely two years out and banning seems overly harsh for someone so wounded. It is also true that she has by herself posted more by volume in a couple of weeks than we collectively have in the same time period. And IMO, it is also still true that a large part of her posts are about herself and her reactions to other bloggers.
Many people, including myself, have said that part of this blog contributes to healing. But, healing is a process. Presumably one gets better, and there must be a way to measure this, even if it is mostly subjective and internal. I do know from close observation that some people start on a path of healing, then get more interested and involved and eventually stuck in the process itself, and thus fail to actually get healed.
Although l’m sure that others might not agree, I personally am over the Fellowship experience. I’ve healed, and healed a long time ago. I sought professional help, spent much time and money and energy on workshops, tried to shed light on and face my darkest parts, thoroughly explored the reasons for joining and staying and leaving the Fellowship. I believe that even if the blog had existed at the time, I would have had to do much of the same work in the same way anyway. I sincerely believe that what blogging can heal is fairly limited (though useful), and that folks are kidding themselves if they think that all, or even much, of their healing can be accomplished in this medium.
So, if Elena thinks that she can do it all here, at the risk of subverting some of the other purposes and utility of the blog, then I vote against her return.

96. Mikey - September 16, 2009

Fools! You want elena to come back as long as she doen’t behave like elena? No es possible.

97. Crouching Tiger - September 16, 2009


“I sincerely believe that what blogging can heal is fairly limited (though useful), and that folks are kidding themselves if they think that all, or even much, of their healing can be accomplished in this medium.
So, if Elena thinks that she can do it all here, at the risk of subverting some of the other purposes and utility of the blog, then I vote against her return.”

I agree that the blog is unlikely to help much as a primary form of healing, and there have been many times when we’ve all watched Elena chasing her own tail with everything ranging from amusement to outrage.

For myself, I’m happy to scroll through a few pages of stuff I can’t follow (or can’t be bothered to follow) in return for that one post when she hits a nail absolutely on its head. When she does hit that nail, she is capable of articulating something no-one else here can…

I’d guess that for most here, her emergence from the fellowship is a huge ugly duckling, but nonetheless an emergence it is. Providing Elena can observe a few basic rules of blog etiquette – like restricting the number and size of posts per day and not overdoing the martyr bit – I feel it’s better to include, rather than to exclude her.

Plus your proposed legal action may be just the opportunity for her to achieve the negotiation within herself that she wants and needs.

98. Vena - September 16, 2009

After reading Ames’ and Mikey’s last posts I feel a little more courageous.
I don’t want to be unfair or unkind to Elena but she has proven time and again to be aggressive and antagonistic. We have erred on the side of tolerance too many times. I haven’t visited her blog and won’t because I know from her postings here what to expect. And I know I am being attacked by her for my opinions. At the risk of being “politically incorrect” I am recommending to not let her back. The last pages have been a breath of fresh air. As far as scrolling past her posts, that’s fine for those who will. My concern is the effect it has on those questioning whether to leave or to join.

99. silentpurr - September 16, 2009

Vena, Please try talking TO Elena not ABOUT Elena. It’s about communicating with each other.

100. dragon - September 16, 2009


Tú, mujer, qué eras allí, qué raya, qué varilla
de ese abanico inmenso? Estabas lejos como ahora.
Incendio en el bosque! Arde en cruces azules.
Arde, arde, llamea, chispea en árboles de luz.
Se derrumba, crepita. Incendio. Incendio.
Y mi alma baila herida de virutas de fuego.
Quién llama? Qué silencio poblado de ecos?
Hora de la nostalgia, hora de la alegría, hora de la soledad.

Entonces, dónde estabas?
Entre qué genes?
Diciendo qué palabras?

Quién eres tú, quién eres?

Este es un puerto.

101. arthur - September 16, 2009

“Ignorance from intellectual knowledge”, “Ignorance from incomplete being knowledge”? Well, yes, and? The measure of my “spiritual knowledge/Being is one iota if that much.

So, I defer my “contribution” to “Brian’s Law” to Elena Haven much more articulate, much more intelligent, much more concerned, much more spiritual and much more able to take The Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton head on.

102. Shelley Mitchell - September 16, 2009

Hello to Pavel and all.
I recently found this marvelous series of Alan Watts Youtubes.
This one in particular goes to the very heart of what brought most of us into the FOF and kept us there for a long time.

For those blog readers who don’t know Alan Watts, he was a British professor of philosophy who moved to Northern California in the 1960s. He was one of the pioneers who brought the conversation of East-West thought to the attention of many seeking souls that emerged in the 60s and 70s. Well worth googling his name. I’d wager that RB was highly influenced by him. I find it cleansing to get the message direct from the source (Watts).

103. Old FOF - September 16, 2009

Silentpurr 99

Why should Vena have to speak with Elena? Why should the abused be forced to make peace with the abuser? That is cult think – or more broadly a form of “blaming the victim.”

Should the Brian Sxslers of the world have to make peace with the Robert Burtons?

To my knowledge there have only been THREE persons banned from the blog in THREE years – and each one of them have been highly abusive of this space and of other fellow human beings. Think of it, this blog is open to the whole world – and only three people have been removed. It is actually quite remarkable, and a testament to tolerance.

And make no mistake: Elena is abusive. As Ames suggested, if one were to review her blog dispassionately one would literally (read: not figuratively) see this – she lays it all out without apology. Standards for thee; but not for me.

Persons with personality disorders rarely change – even with very directed treatment. As baseball coach Casey Stengel used to say, “You could look it up.”

So … you are welcome to make excuses for Elena if you want. But please mark this – by age 50 (with rare exceptions) people are who they are. And to some extent they mostly are who they were.

I can almost hear the blowback from this – and maybe there should be some POSSIBLE reprieve mechanism – but at least hopefully based performance. Such as non-destructive behavior for six months or a year or, …. allowing for at least the possibility of change.

But please acknowledge this: Elena has been very destructive. And in a space that could be used constructively. I have people who I literally love who are still in the Fellowship of Friends. And it MATTERS TO ME that they come to no harm ! That there is a path out for them.

Presently, Elena appears so blind to the extent of the untoward and downside aspects her OWN behavior – that even now she excoriates others while excusing herself.

This is not a formula for personal change. One might have been naive to have expected some level of humility in the face of a rebuke.

By the way, would this be an inappropriate time to mention that (I believe) Brian’s great uncle was the baseball giant, George Sxsler. You could look it up.

104. Old FOF - September 16, 2009

Shelley Mitchell 102 (good catch)

Alan Watts story

Robert Burton indulged the habit of saying ugly things about many of the more roughly recent consciousness or religious types who might be thought of as rivals for members’ attention. To this end, I heard him disparage, for example, Meher Baba, Mother Teresa, etc.

Any case, at a dinner back then Burton related the story of his encounter Alan Watts wherein about the time that he was just joining the Alex Horn group – Robert traveled across the San Francisco Bay (California) to the little town on the bay called Saucelito where Alan Watts lived on a houseboat (according to the story) to attend a talk that Alan Watts was giving.

Burton related that the one thing that he couldn’t overcome was that Alan Watts smoked cigarettes incessantly – and that consequently his teeth were badly stained by tobacco. And that this was apparently a very bad sign to the young Robert Burton.

He concluded the story with the lame pun that “Alan Watts was a dim bulb indeed, and” – hands folded, head down in the mock humility pose – “not a conscious being.”

(as improbable as it might seem to current students, one might be forgiven for thinking that Robert is what we called queen of hearts — “mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest …”)

105. silentpurr - September 16, 2009

103 Dear Old FOFer, I am wondering why in the world would someone want ANYONE banned from this blog? Personally I see all posts as ” if the shoe fits, wear it” If the shoe is uncomfortable, as it seems in your case, I would that you suggest examine it. You might find something………. Every “student” who has had the wherewithall to escape, and I do mean escape the clutches of the Fellowship Of Friends, deserves a space to rant, rave, express, tell stories, relate, heal….
You and I,Old FOF, enjoy the cloak of anonymity (real or imagined).Elena does not. Let us not be so self-absorbed and cynical that we experience another person’s PROCESS as a personal assault on our state of well-being? !!!!!

106. silentpurr - September 16, 2009

104 Old FOF I do agree that Robert Burton was, is masquerading as the ‘king of hearts’ He’s a bit of a sadist. I was with him when he laughed about students, mocking their efforts.

107. James Mclemore - September 16, 2009

102. Shelley Mitchell

Thank you for that. Somewhere back in the late sixties, “The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are” was sort of my first bible. After having strolled down a number of alleyways and dead-end streets, I seem to have gone full circle and ended up right back with that same essence of non-duality that first resonated somewhere inside those many years ago.

If RB was influenced by Watts, something tragic must have happened somewhere inbetween the influence and the mish mash that Burton came up with and that passed for ‘self-remembering’. If he was influenced by Watts, I suspect Burton both missed and misinterpreted what Watts was saying, and then again missed and misinterpreted what Gurdjieff may have been pointing to. I don’t think Burton had a clue. He only went far enough with the inquiry to gather a little power which was aided by his already established sociopathy. In his sickness I doubt he could actually see what Watts was pointing at. He also may have known that it would not serve him well to tell people that efforts were not required to become who we already were. Watts taught that the search and the efforts only work to show us the absence of a separate some one who think they lack something and are then attempting to get somewhere, and thus reveal the futility of the enterprise itself.

108. James Mclemore - September 16, 2009

105. silentpurr

“Every “student” who has had the wherewithall to escape, and I do mean escape the clutches of the Fellowship Of Friends, deserves a space to rant, rave, express, tell stories, relate, heal….”

I agree with you. However I do not see that what Old FOF and Ames have posted to negate that idea. To me what they and Vena are saying and that I agree with is that when one person begins to have an effect on that “space”, that makes it difficult for others to use that same “space”, and that may diminish the quality and usefulness of that ‘space’ for the many others (some of whom may only be reading and not posting), then some sort of lines and boundaries appear to become unfortunately necessary.
I don’t think anyone wishes to be in a position of judgement of anyone else, but are only attempting to keep the blog as useful as possible for as many as possible.

109. fofblogmoderator - September 16, 2009

Let’s stop the discussion of Elena. She has her own blog, she reads this one, and if she wants to communicate directly to contributers here she can contact me for an email address. I see no reason to have her here on the blog right now.

If there is forward motion with the idea of initiating a new law regarding religious leaders and their coerced sexual relationships, then I know Elena will be able to help out (if she wants) without having to post here.

That’s my 2 cents, and yes, I feel the blog is a more balanced environment when Elena does not post here.

110. Susan Zannos - September 16, 2009

111. morgan le faye - September 16, 2009

The following applies to many past pages and is perhaps a belated complaint. But I am choosing to respond to Silent Purr’s post to express a long-held perspective (as one of the earliest regular contributors to the blog).
Exerting yourself to advocate for and protect the “right” of people to act out, agress against others, etc is a real misplaced misguided effort IMO. There are many other more deserving causes. Why bother. Let rude bloggers promote their own cause and answer to the effects of their own causes. Save yourself for a cause more worthwhile.
The much vaunted freedom to rant, rave, express, tell stories, relate, heal….is a myth- and often an obfuscation. Much of what passes for “healing” ” telling stories” etc. is plain bad behavior – aggressive & tedious. I want to read and contribute to the blog but do not want to engage with all the immature antisocial crap that gets posted. The right NOT to deal with all that crap is a more subtle “right” and is harder to articulate and reason, than the right to do whatever the hell you want.
I value the contributions of many bloggers, but this is often a conversation that is hard to want to join. Despite the effort of many, the blog recurrs to a low level. SilentPurr’s attitude – held by many – ensures the tyranny of the lowest. The blog is continuously brought down by contributors who say in type what they could not say elsewhere – who act out their neuroses and eccentricities on the blog using all participants as the foil for their own tensions and dysfunctions.
And they are supported by those that are easily impressed by negative force or vulgarity – as though disregarding considerateness and politesse were somehow meritorious or impressive. Some bloggers fawn and seem cowed into a misguided admiration and support of crude and aggressive bloggers – to the extent that they will advocate for the (self-styled) ‘right’ of a few to thrust their own idiosyncracy on the rest of us.
I see the same false values, cowardliness, failure to set a standard and take a position, the same predictable contrariness, affectation, and unctuous loyalties that made the FOF possible.
Do not idealize the action of those that use the blog community as their personal, perverse proving ground. Setting a standard is actually OK. When we gather together in life vs. online, we set an implicit standard; in general we comprehend the advantage of civility, patience, etc. can measure the benefit to all of goodwill, consideration. Why is the blog exempted of the same standard of conduct?
Some are so long out of the FOF, they cannot directly relate to debate about more recent abuses and follies, etc, but have found an active forum that apparently tolerates their acting out and aggressions. We lack discrimination and are misguidedly tolerant if we fail to apply resistance to those that abuse the attention of the many contributors on the blog. Precisely those traits allowed Robert to exist.

112. Susan Zannos - September 16, 2009

Well, that didn’t work. Sorry–great video.
Isn’t it curious how obsessed we are with pathology, how we struggle and struggle to make sense of the seeming humans who are insane (whatever “insane” means). First Robert…now Elena…Why can’t we just shrug and walk away?

113. dragon - September 16, 2009

Just to relax or stir us all:

Great Zen song of my beloved master guru, he’s tickling the earlobes:

And Susan isn’t shrugging a statement? For what? Walking away…the answer…

114. Yesri Baba - September 16, 2009

115. Vena - September 16, 2009

How can I contact you personally? I think you have posted that information before but I don’t recall.

116. morgan le faye - September 16, 2009

BTW: In my last post (111) I am not referring to Elena. Initially Elena was a active well informed well intentioned and positive contributor. Her modus operandi was not to exploit the blog energy – while others trawled for a fight, only contributed oppositional posts, mugged and bashed other bloggers while contributing nothing creative of their own. These are the types I object to. IMO Elena exposed herself too much emotionally on the blog and attracted some early reactions that set off a series of compounding, increasingly negative actions and reactions. I felt Elena got backed into a corner like a cat with her hackles up. I think that she felt unfairly ‘victimized’ and then repeatedly sought to defend, explain and justify herself. But the effort involved her and others in long 7 intense exchanges that became unresolvable, evoking harder and more brutal responses on both sides. A kind of viciousness can sprout on the blog. I feel Elena ended up feeling and fighting like a threatened wild animal. When you are in that state, you can lose discrimination and good judgment… My two cents worth

117. morgan le faye - September 16, 2009

oops 109 popped in while I was writing 116. Did not mean to post a contradictory contrib. Bog moderator – thanks for your efforts

118. fofblogmoderator - September 16, 2009

My email address is: nogurus@yahoo.com

119. nige - September 16, 2009

No names post, this!

There are mood disorders, personality disorders and sociopathic disorders. The first two require ‘treated therapy’, medication, self-understanding and TIME. I belong to the first group, am aged 53 this November and feel I have found balance and a sense of self-worth which, although sometimes needing, shall we say, aggressive expression, have learned to listen to what others have to say and, given some time, absorbed and understood why the confrontation was and to not repeat past mistakes. I feel personality disorders have much more difficulty, inasmuch as they do not look at themselves ‘as others see them’ (paraphrase Robert Burns) and have very little inclination to do so unless removed from the ‘tortured fire’ that ignites and continues their disorder. Time spent with themselves and seeing the effect of ‘the wind of self-hood (little self, you may note) blowing back in their face’ may be the best therapy. As for the third group above, nothing can treat. Best action is isolation in the form of a high-security prison/mental institution. Add the names, in your own minds ONLY, as respectful of the wishes of Steve, the fofblogmoderator, and perhaps others and please feel free to point out if you think I may be misguided in my views. Truly…..Nigel.

120. silentpurr - September 16, 2009

One may be beyond help if one cannot realize that one needs help, i.e. RB.

121. nige - September 16, 2009

120 silentpurr

Simply and exquisitely beautifully stated…..Nigel.

122. nige - September 16, 2009

Hey Steve,

I know these little ‘squares’ that attach to the person posting often default, but I do rather like mine being like a small chessboard, with the pieces indicating whre they may like to go!…..Nigel.

123. WhaleRider - September 16, 2009

“One may be beyond help if one cannot realize that one needs help, i.e. RB.”

That’s when a responsible society needs to intervene. Socipaths know how to work the “system” and exploit loopholes. Burton has made it a career of it.

124. fofblogmoderator - September 16, 2009

Just so you know….

I mentioned I would supply Elena with anyone’s email address. I would never do that without asking the person first.

125. Old FOF - September 17, 2009

silentpurr 105

In reconsidering my 103 post above – I take a number of your points. My post is way too harsh, too personal and lacking of civility. Especially as the person cannot easily answer. The fofblogmoderator has since articulated a superior and more dispassionate stance – thank you.

Consequently, I extend an apology to all involved including especially the sister blogger who shall not be named again. I am truly sorry.

Per the posts of morgan le faye – it seems like a correct target to work at maintaining a space where all manner of people can express themselves honestly – given the fierce inner totem that the Fellowship of Friends has represented.

But easy maybe to be too uncivil and unfair in the pursuit of what seems at the time to be a bigger aim. Regretful.

126. morgan le faye - September 17, 2009

Personal note: Hey Nige, Just in case…My strongly expressed post (around 111) does not refer to you. Your posts have a friendly amiable conciliatory energy that I appreciate. …Love the Robbie Burns.
I object to those combative bloggers that lurk with the single intention of finding the weakness in every post, overreact, and express every minor thought in aggressive & crude language.

127. nige - September 17, 2009

126 morgan le faye

No need to worry!…..I know I am one of those who have ‘stirred the waters’ a little in the past, but I did not take offence at your post…..I just think it is good that WE ALL ‘tak a wee inkle at oursels’ now and again, so that we know where the healing nature of the blog can go, in the long run…..Nigel.

128. silentpurr - September 17, 2009

Fellow posters, It may be helpful to consider that we are all more or less mentally ill. All the way from slightly dysfunctional to psychotic. Let us not fractionalize by squabbling. We ALL know who wears the Crown of Maddness! It’s RB. And no one here can compete with him! Except maybe Mad King Ludwig, his patron saint.
Elena, on the other hand is like reading a page from J L Borges.

129. Susan Zannos - September 17, 2009

130. peter mac - September 17, 2009

all good/great teamwork involves various characters……..mavericks,stalwarts prodigys etc,the combined effort is most effective when everyone is singing from the same hymnsheet .

131. Ellen - September 17, 2009

Ames, #51
Great idea. Expanded yet focussed. What took us so long to think of that??? (Well, dodo, some one had to come up with it.)

Shelly M., #102
That’s a great one! I got a good belly laugh out of it!

Susan Z, #129
Another good laugh. The U mess of A.

To all current members with just a pinch of curiosity, here’s a non profit website containing a bunch of spiritual thingy-bob resources. Or http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/.
A little cross referencing might show ya just where you’re at.
(Don’t touch that button!!!) 😉

132. dragon - September 17, 2009

111./116. Morgane


“I see the same false values, cowardliness, failure to set a standard and take a position, the same predictable contrariness, affectation, and unctuous loyalties that made the FOF possible.”

Banning Elena is nothing else but the futile attempt of banning the ugly parts of our inner self.

The persons who are in possession of their truth “Elena should be banned or she could come back in her “tamed version” will get those ugly parts back, because they are not willing to comprehend the mechanism, they are using.

I repeat it again: IT IS NOT ELENA, who IS BANNED!

133. Mikey - September 17, 2009

Attention Booksellers & Publishers:
The Fellowship of Friends has been placing bookmarkers in your products for decades. The bookmarkers are designed to promote their so-called 4th Way pyramid scheme/cause and to recruit dues-paying devotees.
While “it ain’t no big crime” (to quote Mick Danger) the worst thing for you is that the people who take the bait hook line & sinker will stop buying books.
I said stop buying books; however is within their tenants that it is perfectly ok to steal from public libraries & bookstores.
You’ve been warned.

134. Mikey - September 17, 2009

That should read “tenets” (not tenants) of their pseudo-religious organization that is wholly controlled and devoted to the material/sexual well-being of that notorious decadent/pervert Robert E. Burton.
You’ve been warned again.

135. veramente - September 17, 2009

I found a dream journal and there are a few FOF dreams in there.
Here is one dated in 1996 I was barely out of the “school” psycologically speaking. At the time I knew that RB had “boyfriends” but did not know the extent of his sexual addiction.
Here it is:

I am at the Academy; walking towards the back of it I look up and see a window with white soft curtains pulled at the sides. I know that is Robert’s room.
He may be there, unseen, looking down.
I enter the back of the Academy and start to explore. There are rooms I did not know of, I see a huge steam bath room, of a light green color; it’s clean and empty with huge windows from where a soft light comes in.
I continue to explore and now see small rooms with bunk beds, all worn out carpets, socks forgotten over the beds and windows looking out to a more secretive courtyard.
I realize I am now in some kind of austere type of building looking like a castle.
I want to get away from there, the place feels familiar and I dislike it. There is no one around and I hope I will not be lost on my way out since I have been there before.
There are lots of stairs getting you anywhere and sometimes far from the EXIT.

136. Ames Gilbert - September 17, 2009

For me, this article from the New York Times website has some bearing on several areas we’ve discussed on the blog. It is entitled, “Are Your Friends Making You Fat?”, and summarizes some novel research into social networks. I’ve been thinking about how this affects the process of ‘normalization’ in our culture and specifically in the FoF culture. It may help answer questions on the lines of “How did we come to accept and internalize so much crazy shit?” It might even lead to another way to observe ourselves as we discuss actions like banning and our behaviors and interactions on the blog.


Food for thought…

137. Crouching Tiger - September 17, 2009

Interesting article Ames. In the terms of the article, it’s almost as if Elena helped pass on the ‘virus’ of the idea of taking some kind of legal action based on the Blog to you! Funny how these things happen – an idea is planted repeatedly in the subconscious of the group, then comes to fruition through someone else in that group, not the apparent originator.

138. dragon - September 17, 2009

136. Ames

“How did we come to accept and internalize so much crazy shit?”

It might be that it was not possible to see beyond that sticky stuff. It was beyond detection at that point in time. Don’t reproach yourself.

It might be a little bit like the famous Nansei shoto case during the WW2:

The story was given to Major Keyhoe by a U.S. Navy officer, pseudonymously identified as James Dawson, who had served as a Combat Information Center Officer aboard an aircraft carrier during the incident. Patrolling the area south of Okinawa in company with another aircraft carrier, Dawson’s ship detected with radar (Microwaves) a huge force of enemy aircraft approaching from the northeast.

Initial radar contact was 120 miles. The blip or echo returning from in incoming force was very large, supporting an estimate of 200-300 aircraft in formation. But it could also be one huge craft, an idea that was impossible to think about in those days for an enemy aircraft. At 100 mile range, their speed was determined to be 650 knotts – nearly 700 mph. No known aircraft I the world at that time could attain such speed. At eighty miles and at an altitude of 12,000 feet, the incoming force of aircraft began to spread out in two formations from the main body, as though preparing to assault the whole American task force. Only twelve available US aircraft were scrambled to intercept. In bright weather, with only scattered clouds at 5,000 feet, the American pilots were in clear skies. At 15,000 feet on interception with the radar signal, they never did see a single incoming craft, ;et alone 200-300 of them. The fighter director on another aircraft carrier also picked up the radar of the alleged enemy craft. But the pilots could not see anything there. According to Major Keyhoe, the U.S. Navy acknowledged after the war that there had been this inexplicable “Ghost of Nansei-shoto.” There are countless examples of “Ghost Aircraft” that show up on radar and remain invisible to pilots.

139. Susan Zannos - September 17, 2009

I don’t think it’s any accident that “self observation” as directed by Fellowship precepts was exclusively of ourselves in isolation and not of group interactions. Good article, Ames. I find it most compelling to attempt retroactive observations (What was I thinking??!!!?) I can, for example, remember in 1998 wishing fervently that I could believe that there was even a possibility that California could experience completely unscientific seismic activity that would submerge the coastal area. I felt that there was clearly something very wrong with me because I couldn’t even force my mind to a neutral position. I remember a particular directive from Robert: “Act as though the predictions were correct.” I could do that. This allowed me to stay within the social support network.

140. silentpurr - September 17, 2009

And then there was the directive: “Act as if you were conscious”. Our peculiar behavior earned us the name “space-cadets in OH and Marysville for years. I wonder if FOFers still stand out?…… cringe

141. X-ray - September 17, 2009

140. silentpurr – September 17, 2009

‘Act like you were conscious’

If you conscious, why would you act like one? You would just be it.
If you not conscious, you would need to imagine what consciousness is, to act like one, which is to act from your imagination, imagining yourself being conscious.
That’s what happened to the ‘conscious Bob’. He confused his imagination with reality and forced others to believe that his confusion is reality.

A circus of confusion with self-rewarded title.

142. Ames Gilbert - September 17, 2009

Hi Crouching Tiger,
You may have a point (#82-137), but the credit must go to Walter Tanner (#7 and 8 on this page), who researched and pointed out the Baylor study. When I read that, I realized it provided an answer and a direction that had been lacking.

X-Ray, you nailed it!
Burton tells the followers he is conscious, then tells them to act as if they are conscious, so they start copying hisacts! Burton sees them copying his acts (and the groupthink has ‘verified’ he is conscious), so then he must indeed be conscious, and back and forth it goes in the mirror of mutual illusion.

143. nige - September 18, 2009

Woke up today and knew, after even a few minutes, that this was going to be a ‘for God’s sake, Nigel, get all the help you can to not have a spirally out of control high’ day. The sky was cloudless blue, I had no ‘cauliflower feeling’ in my head from the medication of the night before and I zipped into organising my home, my preparations for my business day ahead and put on a favourite music CD, having tears well up uncontrollably at the meaningful lyrics. Fast forward to waiting at the bus stop – interpreting the symbolism of the Jovial lady walking by with her black sweater with red diamond decorated sleeves and white trim. SO – bus to GP’s to check in! Dr. Wheedon is either an emotionally centred Lunar-Venusian or a Martial with a passive feature, but somehow she managed to have answers to questions before I had even composed them on the way to the clinic. In the Isca Medical Practice, she is the partner I have seen the least but – TALK ABOUT ASTUTE!!!!! It seemed like, when I knew I needed help with my condition (and most of you know what that is and when the blog suffers from my ‘poetry plastering’ and ‘I am the Absolute, designated Angel 45, and you damn well ought to, listen to me’ ‘dramatic blurts’) and was receptive to sound advice – in this case back off from your mood, do not over-organise yourself, be there for your students, facilitate their creative aims – lots less teacher and more tutor, less even of the tutor and just become the support they need for the time they attend – the advice, worked with sincerely, was PURE MAGIC! Apart from a little resonating silliness from my three JoH Venusian students in the evening, I experienced the ‘self-contained-mild-joy-in-action’ state that was my aim and the directed advice of the GP was achieved. I would actually like to state that I am so grateful for the present state of the blogsite and the posters in that you can be REALLY POSITIVELY YOURSELF HERE NOW AND STILL SUPPORT THE OTHERWISE QUIETLY STATED AIMS OF OTHERS ON THE SITE AND FEEL THAT NOTHING FOR ANYONE HAS BEEN JEOPARDISED. I would like to include just one poem, and my blogging will be completed for the evening (GMT). Sorry – it is a repeat but a ‘goodun’…..

(I would like it to go out to all present Fellowship members who feel like their visitation here is helping them question and seek – believe me, I know, that there is a whole bustling, humanitarian, egalitarian world out here that will fulfil your heartfelt deep desires and the true nourishment of your yearning souls…..Nigel.)

W E Henley

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

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

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

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

A belated P.S. to Vena…..let no-one tell you you are being tame; your quiet sincerity sparkles like the birth-star from which you came and which guides you…..love, N.

144. Yesri Baba - September 18, 2009

“How did we come to accept and internalize so much crazy shit?”

Good question. An even better question is- “what crazy shit am I still believeing?”

145. ton - September 18, 2009

“That’s what happened to the ‘conscious Bob’. He confused his imagination with reality and forced others to believe that his confusion is reality.”

‘his confusion’ IS reality, more accurately is A reality, at least for he and those unfortunates under his influence. as for whether others are really ‘forced’ to believe?? agreed that individual choice is reduced once under the ‘big top’ of his social influence (to extend your circus metaphor)… and certainly there are forms of coercive persuasion, seduction and peer group pressures at work… certainly a lot of deception and manipulation in the mix… and especially vulnerable to all of this are the youthful and naive upon whom he preys…. the ‘older students,’ his true confederates, are the enablers and belong in a different category than do the neophytes… ‘forced others to believe’ ? i think this may be a little too conveniently overstepping the sticky, messy and personally sickening subject of complicity…. it is true most people are looking for something or someone to believe in, his game is to take advantage of that aspect of human existence…. as yesri implies: there’s all sorts o crazy shit to believe in, that fact and the human need to believe in something/anything doesn’t change post fof.

146. peter mac - September 18, 2009

Hi Nige………… i had to laugh at Dr Wheedon…. …………….remember well the napkin rings you made hall farm days i liked to spin them round in my palm an enjoy the shape and weight. Bye for now Peter

147. nige - September 18, 2009

146 peter mac

Yes! I say, do not throw out the fond memories with the dishwater. If self-remembering has any meaning it is that we should remember our lives, strongly, openly and vividly and move forward as whole people…..Nigel.

148. Ellen - September 18, 2009

From the Washington Post article on the Baylor study, Walter Tanner 82, #7:

“The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis, uses investigating panels to look into complaints against rabbis. It notes that “the power imbalance between clergy and those to whom they minister makes it clear that sexual contacts in these situations are by definition non-consensual.” ”

and also

“…But, Garland said, “when you put it [clergy sexual misconduct] with a spiritual leader or moral leader, you’ve really added a power that we typically don’t think about in secular society — which is that this person speaks for God and interprets God for people. And that really adds a power.” ”

…the Guru Papers, illustrated.

149. nige - September 18, 2009

148 Ellen

Abstracted related!?…..

From what I have experienced – God is a state; Heaven is the extension in the World of the God-state; Christ was a MAN who held and used wisely the Godhood (trouble is that he made a public spectacle of his death – could be delusions of grandeur?)…..

How many of us came to the cult of the FoF longing for the experience of higher worlds/states and quickly became hypnotised by the dictatorially-based ‘de haut en bas’ facade of friendship…..which was no friendship at all, as most of us experienced…..

A school of refinement is no school of regeneration – regeneration, which is our personal resposibility, if we choose that road (some humans do not)…..

“Let us not make hollow museums of our lives”…..Nigel.

150. Jomo Piñata - September 18, 2009

144/Yesri Baba

“How did we come to accept and internalize so much crazy shit?”

Recommended: http://www.michaelshermer.com/weird-things/

151. Mikey - September 18, 2009

Do you know what is weird?
You can believe in something that is false and you can believe in something that is true; at the same time you can know that something is false and you can know that something is true.
It’s a hard situation, but that can’t be proven to anyone else but yourself.

152. Yesri Baba - September 18, 2009

151 mikey

The thing is – to my mind- is that you can ‘know’ that something is true and from that ‘knowing’ infer and unknowingly believe a boatload of crazy shit. Before you know it you are under the ‘big top’ at the end of Rices Crossing road or a seemingly infinite other Retardovilles.

153. Tatyana - September 18, 2009

Visiting Oregon House recently I realized that there are three (at least) types of FOFers.
One type is people who are fun, creative, crazy (in a good way), stressing to be caught for smoking.
Another one is people who are deeply into FOF- they are uptight, straight and self-righteous like religious fanatics, trying ‘to do what is right’ and avoid “temptations of a lower self”. Those are sad folks. They of coarse keep a distance from people like you and me like from sick.
And then there are FOFers with the “important roles”. Those are a whole another story – people who sacrificed so much of their life and served Robert. They have very high standards, a lot of relativity and a deep something… beeing?

This is what holds FOF together. People.

154. nige - September 18, 2009

152 Yesri Baba

And wanting to know about ourselves, we felt we needed to be involved with a group of tossers where we were told, and believed, for some of us, for a shorter, some longer, length of time, that we were somehow special. The truth is that every individual on this earth is special and will come to their own ‘feeling’ of that individuality and specialness in their own good time. For us, on this blog, we have been given the role of having been involved with a ‘false prophet cult’ and, I believe, the one that was led by the Anti-Christ. We cannot go back and ‘unbelong’ ourselves. The past is as much of what we are and what we know now. Let us delve into our consciences and lead what we expose into the ‘arena of the due process of law’, which is also under the law of Divinity…..Nigel.

155. Dr. Pangloss - September 18, 2009

153. Tatyana

Good observation. I noticed the same types when I was in many years ago. I have added my comments to Tatyana’s notes:

Visiting Oregon House recently I realized that there are three (at least) types of FOFers.
One type is people who are fun, creative, crazy (in a good way), stressing to be caught for smoking.

–Members of this group usually have no ambition to climb the social/power ladder of FOF. They like to get loaded with friends and make fun of the other 2 groups of FOF members. They listen to forbidden music and secretly break other “excercises”, etc. They are often on the FOF gravy train in some form and are always short on money but don’t care enough to leave because they are mentally lazy like the party.
Another one is people who are deeply into FOF- they are uptight, straight and self-righteous like religious fanatics, trying ‘to do what is right’ and avoid “temptations of a lower self”. Those are sad folks. They of coarse keep a distance from people like you and me like from sick.

— These member are usually the ones paying most of the bills. They have to maintain there careers and professions to keep coming up with the cash. They only have time to attend important events and pay for multiple dinners with the exalted teacher. They must keep up their fanatic adherence to FOF rules and teaching, no matter how absurd, in order to justify the large amounts of money they keep handing to KY Bob. They resent the first group of members who live “tramp” lives and have too much fun. If they stick around long enough, they may move to the next group.
And then there are FOFers with the “important roles”. Those are a whole another story – people who sacrificed so much of their life and served Robert. They have very high standards, a lot of relativity and a deep something… beeing?
Many in this group started out as very sincere younger seekers of truth, willing to make any sacrifice to “awaken” or score points for a better shot during their next lifetime. Once they have ascended the ladder to an “important role”, (usually by filling the empty roles of those who leave or die) they hold on tight and refuse to see the ugly truth about their situation. They apply relativity to all the contradictions of the FOF and especially “the teacher”. It’s fine with them to believe they cannot see the higher and they love the praise and power they are spoon fed by KY Bob. They may be the most deluded of the 3 groups and the often the most evil.

156. Dr. Pangloss - September 18, 2009

151. Mikey

Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed.

William Blake

157. Tatyana - September 18, 2009

155. Dr. Pangloss.

Thanks! Sounds so true..

I am so glad I am out! I think I was in the second group when I was in. I would not feel comfortable in the first group. I don’t like lying and hiding. And I did not have a chance – thank God! – to be in the third group. It is probably the hardest to leave from there…

158. lauralupa - September 18, 2009

155. Dr. Pangloss

AH! Good one. Me number one for sure.

So… I was looking at these awesome pictures and for some weird reason my mind wandered back to a bunch of deeply deluded people I used to hang out with some years ago.
Enjoy my lovelys


159. brucelevy - September 18, 2009

153. Tatyana & 155. Dr. Pangloss

Pretty damned accurate IMO. Although one could come up with some equally accurate gauges of “types” of members using different criteria: by neurosis and psychosis, finances-to-hierarchical role ratios, sliding scale from completely naive/well meaning-to-total asshole and psychopath, etc.

But I like your “system”.

160. voloneska - September 18, 2009

something about the second type – deep into FOF. There is mix of truth and lie. A truth is – you value more if you pay more. It is true. So if you pay more and conquer objection of not to pay more, you are more deep into FOF. You pay with not only money. You must give up self-will (that is all that comes from you about what you want and dont want including concience) and ‘life’ values like goodness and happyness and hope for planet.
You pay before you recieve. Can say that to pay is the prize as giving up all these things makes you conscious. This is the lie as you never recieve because it is your problem you did not pay enough.
That is why is a trap. Like gambling you cannot leave table until you make big win or loose everything. But you have already lost so much that the only big win possible for you to leave table is to break bank. Like Girard says you must bet your bus ticket home.
This is called payment. Really it is brain washing.
Only because it is your school do you believe it is not a cheat. If you see this anywhere else you will recognise crime and cheat. Like in gamble hall, the old players need new players to come and play, or casino will close and they never get big win, so they become part of cheat. Only escape is to walk away. Gurdjieff says unnecessary suffering most hard to give up. Easy to leave FOF, just go! but unnecessary suffering is part of contract with FOF. Must suffer to awaken. Walk away is fail, because not have being to make big enough payment.
Not new. This is typical Jew or Christian or political tyranny ideology control. Burton takes bits from other places. He makes quilt of guilt from rags he picks up on street. This trap has developed in FOF, not invented by Burton. It has developed because it is best control system for situation only. If it could be any other way it would be different.
Many times I was amazed how FOF members do not think about mechanicality of FOF organization. Only way not to see is if you have head in sand.

161. Tatyana - September 18, 2009

160 Volenska.

I also made a connection between the Casinos and FOF after watching Las Vegas Revealed on TV. They said they are DESIGNED for you to LOSE not to win. But people go gamble hoping that they are special and lucky, or can control the law of attraction or cheat or – whatever.

Once FOF member at the party was making a wish (you know the moment when something happens, and everyone shouts: make a wish, make a wish!). He sat silently for a while and I advised: “wish to be conscious!”
“Oh, no! – he replies – this is Work! I want to wish something easy!”

Made me think for a while. What exactly FOF sells – pressure to make more efforts, because it is good for your evolution? “This is what we are paying for”.

162. Tatyana - September 18, 2009

Another story from OH. My son who is 19 now visiting his friend who is FOF member (type 2), saying: “I am thinking of joining FOF” The friend replies: “Oh, no! Robert will molest you!”

Why in the world one needs a teacher like this?

163. Tatyana - September 18, 2009

Sorry for taking too much space, I guess, I am bored today…

I was reminded recently of something I completely forgot – inspirational quotations. Usually I don’t look for quotations, I read whole books. But this time I did a research and found a few websites with the quotations of all sorts of famous people. I even found this:

“A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.
Carl Sandburg ”

Funny. Anyway, I think it is a clever idea to use quotes for the meetings if you have nothing to teach. Never occurred to me before how clever it is! It is so easy! There are billions of quotations and if one is hooked on that it will create endless need to discuss and interpret – one life is not long enough to discuss them all and to pay for all those meetings!

Will it make a good business or it can only work on brainwashed cult members?
Goes like this:
Advertise inspirational meetings where people will read quotations and spend some time trying to contemplate on them and interpret them. The leader of the meeting will give the most obnoxious, the most stupid and unexpected interpretation of all and charge the participants $200. Isn’t it lovely, my dears?

164. James Mclemore - September 18, 2009

163. Tatyana

“Sorry for taking too much space”

IMO, you are not one of the people who needs to worry about that.
Post away.

165. Ames Gilbert - September 18, 2009

Thanks, Tatyana, for your list (#82-153). It got me thinking.

Well, I was definitely the second type, but I think there are various subsets, and shades of gray. I was very serious about it all, but after a couple of years, I found I could no longer trust many others, so I played pretty much a lone game. This ‘group of one’ did expand to include my wife, and then later to another who had left the FoF but had stayed in the area. This was our ‘study group’. I have to tell you though, I often envied those who seemed to be having a good time! But, I had the mindset that I had to make all the officially mandated efforts, and then some, or else what was the point?

It seems to me that one could recognize several broad classes of ‘seekers’. One for example, might be those who aspire to acquiring more-than-normal powers, and a second, those interested in exploring their inner worlds. The former might have more attachment to a specific guru or personality who claims or implies certain powers that he/she can then pass on under certain conditions; another characteristic might be that they usually wish to project their power outwards. The latter might be looking for a system to help organize and explore their inner life, and perhaps might be slightly less prone to attaching themselves to a particular person (though they might be as strongly attached to the system, or map); and these might tend to project power inwards, towards ‘conquering’ their perceived weaknesses. Of course, there might be any number of shades in between.

What powers? Well, Burton claims powers of prophecy (windows into the future), ability to talk to spirits of the dead, and so on. He also perhaps implies being able to read people’s minds, by way of not-quite-denial (in my hearing, he answered such a question with, “knowing what goes on in the average mind, why would I want to do that?” with a definite energy that he could if it were only worthwhile). And there was the ‘life after death’ and ‘multiple lifetimes’ thing. But, I believe that many people who ended up in the “inner circle” were mainly attracted to gaining powers they could project outwards, in other words, borrowing some of Burton’s authority.
These people want mundane power, power over situations or others, and they ‘arrived in time’ to learn from a skilled operator. Some of these stayed and, taking positions of temporal or spiritual authority, have become big fish in a small pond. Others left to form their own groups. Those with full-blown psychopathies produced the Spiral of Friends, et al., and passed on the chain of pain; more sincere and decent people folded their tents voluntarily after learning important lessons. One way of recognizing these potentials is to look for symptoms of ‘teacheritis’ in oneself (yes, Ames!) and others.

My present theory is that Burton is a narcissist and sociopath, and is very far from being conscious; if this is true, there are implications. The main one is that his partners in the dance have very specific weaknesses that match and mirror Burton’s own; he feeds our illusions at the same time we feed his. Sincere self-exploration would start to reveal these matching weaknesses; for example, I started exploring my feelings of being special, of being unusual, and went on from there. This has been rich territory to explore, and for myself, has validated my personal diagnosis of Burton. That is, I myself do have the wherewithal necessary to be a mirror to a narcissist, which include some of the same characteristics as the narcissist him/herself. It is also mathematical; the nearer one is to Burton, the more involved one becomes in his world view, the easier it is to fully enter his fantasy, give up individuality or the hope for it, and to train oneself to be a more perfect partner in the dance.

166. Ames Gilbert - September 19, 2009

Voloneksa (#82-160),
Your’s is a great summary.
That’s one of the main reasons why I stayed so long. I felt I had such a large stake that I couldn’t afford to lose, so I had to keep adding to it and continue the game. Luckily other things intervened to show me that cutting those ‘losses’, however hard, was a heck of a lot better than the infinite payment for less than nothing. Looking back, I really have to laugh. What I thought was important turned out to be trivial, and what was truly important was right under my nose–and free–all the time.

The follower certainly let the cat out of the bag, didn’t he? (#82-162)
Did your son tell the member that he was thinking of joining the FoF just to see what the reaction would be, or is he really thinking of joining?

And don’t worry about taking space! You have the gift of saying in a few words what it takes half a page for me to say!

167. Tatyana - September 19, 2009

165. Ames.
Great post. Thank you.

Flattery from RB is a powerful tool. Only people in authority can use that one. But one can always try – try to make people what YOU want them to do by telling them that they are special.

168. Tatyana - September 19, 2009

Here, found a few gems for the FOF members who are lurking around here… 🙂

“Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”
Susan Ertz

“If we remove ourselves from the world, we are pretending that we can follow our own individual enlightenment and let the rest of the world go to hell, so to speak.”
Satish Kumar

“Not creating delusions is enlightenment.”

“He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.”
Walt Whitman

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
Maria Montessori

“What students lack in school is an intellectual relationship or conversation with the teacher. ”
William Glasser

“I think spirituality is a good thing but I dislike any sort of dogmatic organization. ”
Noah Taylor

“The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk. ”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

169. WhaleRider - September 19, 2009

170. ton - September 19, 2009

shelly mitchell 102
thanks for the alan watts linkages… insight filled, a wonderful orator, his books are good but i much prefer the spoken word. many years ago (many years after he’d already passed on), i went to a party and spent the night on his houseboat the ss vallejo, which was and i believe still is docked in sausalito… ah memory, my old friend…


171. Tatyana - September 19, 2009

172. Susan Zannos - September 19, 2009

Voloneska 160 about Robert:

“He makes quilt of guilt from rags he picks up on street.”

173. dragon - September 19, 2009

Let’s talk about the demons released by the mental FOF acrobatics.

What’s about a person who realized her inappropriate behaviour?

Could it be possible to talk TO her again?

As Pawel, the Sheik, mentioned:

That’s for the FOF perfect to gain a new peak condition.
Knowing all the Ex-members are united in “their inner self’s marked by the FOF slime”, scrupels?, sweet human weaknesses?…

But the BLOG is only one mirror of the FOF-cult-experiences.

Nothing more, nothing less, don’t worry about it.

Or is it better to watch that You-Tube?

Very particular souls out here:

Beata Maria
You know I am a righteous man
Of my virtue I am justly proud
Beata Maria
You know I’m so much purer than
The common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd
Then tell me, Maria
Why I see her dancing there
Why her smold’ring eyes still scorch my soul
I feel her, I see her
The sun caught in raven hair
Is blazing in me out of all control
Like fire
This fire in my skin
This burning
Is turning me to sin
It’s not my fault
I’m not to blame
It is the gypsy girl
The witch who sent this flame
It’s not my fault
If in God’s plan
He made the devil so much
Stronger than a man
Protect me, Maria
Don’t let this siren cast her spell
Don’t let her fire sear my flesh and bone
Destroy E_ _ _ _ _ _a (very overdrawed it is better to let her left out)
And let her taste the fires of hell
Or else let her be mine and mine alone
Dark fire
Now gypsy, it’s your turn
Choose me or
Your pyre
Be mine or you will burn
God have mercy on her
God have mercy on me
But she will be mine
Or she will burn!

Or could it be sheer laziness?

Pleasant Blog-Splashing?

( that’s really not for All)


Robert E. Burton:

The Ragpicker???

Does he look like that:



Every little penny he gains from his “work” maintains the BOB-SYSTEM!

Realizing that is the task, knowing that is the order for acting!

174. Panoritsa - September 19, 2009

160. voloneska

so well put. Thanks.

“Giving up one’s will…” Aouch! What a deception…

175. We Were There - September 19, 2009

82/155 Dr.Pangloss

“And then there are FOFers with the “important roles”.
Many in this group started out as very sincere younger seekers of truth, willing to make any sacrifice to “awaken” or score points for a better shot during their next lifetime. Once they have ascended the ladder to an “important role”, (usually by filling the empty roles of those who leave or die) they hold on tight and refuse to see the ugly truth about their situation.”

Pretty much without exception the closer a member gets to Robert Burton, the more certain it is that (s)he will leave the Fellowship of Friends as the pathetic reality displaces the imaginary ‘teacher’ and ‘school.’

One definition of pathetic – a 70 year old badgering (what amount to) children for sex.

A HAND-MIRROR (Walt Whitman)

Hold it up sternly — see this it sends back, (who is it? is it you?)
Outside fair costume, within ashes and filth,
No more a flashing eye, no more a sonorous voice or springy step,
Now some slave’s eye, voice, hands, step,
A drunkard’s breath, unwholesome eater’s face, venerealee’s flesh,
Lungs rotting away piecemeal, stomach sour and cankerous,
Joints rheumatic, bowels clogged with abomination,
Blood circulating dark and poisonous streams,
Words babble, hearing and touch callous,
No brain, no heart left, no magnetism of sex;
Such from one look in this looking-glass ere you go hence,
Such a result so soon — and from such a beginning !

176. fofblogmoderator - September 19, 2009

173 is new

177. Dr. Pangloss - September 19, 2009

175. We Were There
“Pretty much without exception the closer a member gets to Robert Burton, the more certain it is that (s)he will leave the Fellowship of Friends as the pathetic reality displaces the imaginary ‘teacher’ and ’school.’ ”

This precisely why Burton kept those with “responsible” roles from becoming too close to him. Sure, center directors would get a dinner or 2 with him when he was visiting, or get to sit next to him at a meeting or public event, but he rarely revealed his true nature to his little generals and provincial governors.
Hopefuly the stories told on the blog by those who got a little too close to Bob, will open the eyes of the current crop of “leaders”.

178. Dr. Pangloss - September 19, 2009

175. We Were There

A HAND-MIRROR (Walt Whitman)

Interesting bit of honest self-examination by Whitman as an old man.
How many people want to look at themselves with such honesty?

179. Dr. Pangloss - September 19, 2009

175. We Were There

A HAND-MIRROR (Walt Whitman)

To quote Mick Jagger:
“What a drag it is getting old.”

180. nige - September 20, 2009

175 We Were There

Also, how many of us, at the end of our lives, would be able to say something similar to Walt Whitman?…..

“Dear God, be this my final prayer,
Here on bended knee;
Old, poor and paralyzed,
I thank thee.”

181. nige - September 20, 2009

I have just (early a.m. Sunday 20 September) visited Elena’s ‘battlesword’ site and have my own personal feeling that she is benefiting from it. Not to sound demeaning to Elena, but I think she would be the first to admit that she can be ‘crazy’ at times (as we all can, though not necessarily whilst posting on a blogsite), but her new ‘venue’ seems to give credence to the phrase – “If you want to tame a wild horse, give it a big field.” I also tried to post to her site, without success (however, should receive an email about how to do it), so thought I would post here in the hope that she (and others!) may view it…..

Frondes Agrestes 1.2

“The temper by which right taste is formed is characteristically patient. It dwells upon what is submitted to it. It does not trample upon it, – lest it should be pearls, even though it looks like husks. It is good ground, penetrable, retentive; it does not send up thorns of unkind thoughts, to choke the weak seed; it is hungry and thirsty too, and drinks all the dew that falls on it. It is an HONEST AND GOOD HEART, that shows not too ready springing before the sun be up, but fails not afterwards; it is distrustful of itself, so as to be ready to try all things; and yet so trustful of itself, that it will neither quit what it has tried, nor take anything without trying. AND THE PLEASURE WHICH IT FINDS IN THINGS THAT ARE TRUE AND GOOD, is so great, that it cannot possibly be led aside by any tricks of fashion, or diseases of vanity; it cannot be cramped in its conclusions by partialities and hypocrisies; its visions and its delights are too penetrating, – TOO LIVING, – for any whitewashed object or shallow fountain long to endure or supply. It clasps all that it loves so hard that it crushes it if it be hollow.”

(John Ruskin, the Evangelist Pre-Raphaelite)

Love to ya, Elena – keep going, lass!…..Nigel.

182. a former student - September 20, 2009

It seems that it may have been two years ago that I stated that any member who had not been given a copy of and agreed to the terms of the “Canons of the FOF” had grounds for a civil claim of fraud and could demand a return of all “donations”. The FOF fairly quickly responded by changing their marketing and beginning to stress their role as a “church”. While my connection with the FOF ceased over 30 years ago it is not to late for some to make this legal claim.
It is too bad that Elena did not follow this course instead of her continued rants against the FOF. Apparently the FOF attorneys took the information more seriously than all the former members who have continued to repeat the same condemnations

183. nige - September 20, 2009

182 a former student

It only takes that one, brave, yet conscienable student. I think the statute of limitations is two years in the case you are stating…..Nigel.

P.S. I would have liked my share of ‘past donations’ to have gone to my creditors. (N.)

184. dragon - September 20, 2009

182. a former student

“It is too bad that Elena did not follow this course instead of her continued rants against the FOF. Apparently the FOF attorneys took the information more seriously than all the former members who have continued to repeat the same condemnations”


Thanks for sharing YOUR wisdom. Thanks for showing your “true” nature, perhaps I’m mistaken, implanted by the FOF candy floss?

It seems to be a touch of condescending towards Elena, isn’t it?

185. dragon - September 20, 2009

Just a silent purr, lyrics on Sunday for all:

On the floating, shipless, oceans
I did all my best to smile
til your singing eyes and fingers
drew me loving into your eyes.
And you sang “Sail to me, sail to me,
Let me enfold you.”
Here I am, here I am
waiting to hold you.

Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you here when I was full sail?
Now my foolish boat is leaning,
broken lovelorn on your rocks.
For you sang ‚Touch me not, touch me not,
Come back tomorrow.‘
Oh my heart, oh my heart shies from the sorrow.

I’m as puzzled as a newborn child.
I’m as riddled as the tide.
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or shall I lie with death my bride?
Here me sing: ‚Swim to me, swim to me,
Let me enfold you.‘

Here I am, Here I am, waiting to hold you.

186. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2009

It seems that it may have been two years ago that I stated that any member who had not been given a copy of and agreed to the terms of the “Canons of the FOF” had grounds for a civil claim of fraud and could demand a return of all “donations”.

You have a vivid imagination. People can make civil demands for anything they want. The real question is, if they sue, can they WIN? When people bring even compelling-sounding civil claims, they can’t win if the claims are STALE. “Stale” means the statute of limitations on the type of claim has expired.

Depending upon the grain, whether it’s wrapped, and whether it is stored in the fridge, bread lasts about a week. Civil claims last somewhat longer but they just as surely get stale too.

The FOF fairly quickly responded by changing their marketing and beginning to stress their role as a “church”.

The Fellowship of Friends, Inc. received a Federal 501(d)(3) exemption in 1971 based on its state status as a church. A statement in the Via del Sol Journal tantalizingly promised that people could “receive deferments by becoming ministers here.”

( “Deferments” refers to an ability to avoid conscription into the military, and so to be able to avoid military service in the deeply unpopular Vietnam War then raging.)

The 1978 articles of incorporation of the California nonprofit religious corporation, The Fellowship of Friends, Inc., which are a public document, provided that the primary purpose of the corporation was as a church. See for yourself. http://bit.ly/hOWHl

The primary purpose of the corporation was changed in 1979 from a “church” to a “religion” in an Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation. See for yourself. http://bit.ly/wDcUR

187. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2009

The message immediately above responds to 182/a former student.

188. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2009

In the Sanders litigation, which took place between 1984 and approximately 1988, certain defendants claimed the “priest-penitent privilege” meaning that their status as spiritual advisors conferred upon them and those they counseled a sacrosanct expectation of absolute confidentiality. I’m just sayin’….

189. nige - September 20, 2009

187 Jomo Pinata

Remember the phrase?…..”The truth will out.”…..Nigel.

190. Old FOF - September 20, 2009

Jomo Piñata 187

Very interesting. Does this dispose you more OR less in terms of the possible efficacy of Brian’s law?

191. nige - September 20, 2009

189 Old FOF

And let’s blast that priest-penitent privilege thing out of the water, too…..Nigel.

192. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2009

190/Old FOF

If you tell me EXACTLY what you mean by Brian’s law, I can answer the question. Be specific please. Assume that I’ve looked at what’s been posted here on the subject and that wasn’t specific enough for me to be able to answer your question.

193. nige - September 20, 2009

Just thought, at this juncture, that it might be fitting to tell why Ames suggested the new change in legislature as Brian’s Law. To my mind, it is all about the sexual exploitation of persons who have dedicated themselves to a leader of a cult, not knowing that this was criminal, not spiritually enhancing…..

Ames Gilbert

Your call for the ‘Story of Brian Sisler’…

My guess is that no–one knows the ‘whole story’, but I am willing to contribute what I know, and hopefully others will do the same, and between these all, we can make up a composite that is fairly complete.

I first met Brian Sisler in 1978 when I came to Renaissance. He worked in the White Barn down the road from the lodge (a lake covers the site now), part of a group of “King of Spades” centered people gathered together by Burton in an octave known as “Antique Restoration”. He was quiet, shy, gentle, and reserved. He worked industriously in the woodworking section (next to the auto repair bay) in the back two rooms of the building. The project was the restoration of the Steinway grand piano, last seen by myself in the Town Hall. My task was the restoration of some metal parts, and the replacement of the missing metal leg ends on the matching stool. My parts had to fit the parts he worked on, so we interacted.

We were kept very busy, many hours a day, and we didn’t get much private time. I found out that he was from the mid–west. I got the impression that he had been in the Fellowship for a couple of years. He enjoyed plays on words, but did not tell jokes; none of us did.

I was put on other octaves; our friendship did not develop. The next significant interaction I had with him was just after I had become married, in 1981. He asked me what it was like to be married. Why I remembered this was because of the wistfulness in his question and in the ensuing conversation. My impression is that some lady had ‘put the move on him’, and he was wondering how to respond. He really wanted to have someone close to hug and love and cherish. I teased him a little about it, and said he should do it (meaning, get married—the ‘no sex outside marriage’ exercise was current then). I had no idea then, nor since that he was supposedly ‘gay’. My wife tells me that her ‘gaydar’ at that time told her that he was.

After I left salary, our paths diverged sharply. In about 1983, my wife told me that she had seen Brian walking down Rice’s Crossing Rd several times, and that his demeanor struck him as odd. She had offered him lifts, but he had strongly refused. Then we heard that Brian had walked to Marysville (28 miles) one day, also refusing lifts, and that his behavior was becoming ‘odder’.

I went to nursing school, and caught TB from a patient. I couldn’t work as a nurse, we got into financial trouble, and moved to Sacramento. During our time there, we were told that Brian had been stabbed and was in hospital. The official story, given by the center director, was that he had been stabbed 44 times, that this was a signal from C-Influence, and that he had been ‘released’ from the Fellowship, and had returned to his family in the mid-west.

A few years later, Leigh M., one of the “King of Spades” in the Antique Restoration octave, and I got talking about Brian. She had been a much closer friend with him, and had stayed in intermittent contact after he left. She told me he had left home and was living on the streets of his hometown. He refused help from his family. She also told me that he had been homeless when he was stabbed in Sacramento. About a year later, she told me that he was applying to re–join the FoF, and that his application was being evaluated by a FoF psychiatrist. He was allowed back.

I went to a private dinner at the Lodge to celebrate his return. When I asked him about his experiences, he looked at me and said very softly and clearly, “Everything that happened in the last ten years was totally unnecessary”. That is all he’d say about it. I found out that the 44 stab wounds were mythological, invented by Burton. There had in fact been five.

I felt at the time he was one of the few people who really needed to be in the Fellowship for his own safety, provided Burton left him alone, which appeared to be the case.

About three years later, I left the FoF, and the next contact was when I saw him in Dobbins, last year (2006). He was staying with Janet M. She told me he had been given ‘leave of absence’ from the FoF, and she had given him a room to stay in behind her house. He was living very marginally, from time to time he was able to find some finish carpentry work and contribute to food and rent. That was the last time I saw him.

About six months ago, I heard the rumors that he was dead. I checked around, and they appeared to be true.

This is what I can piece together, but I stress I have no first–hand information. I hear he went to the FoF gatehouse, and asked to see Burton. Burton refused to see him. He made his way down to Marysville, checked into a motel, and hanged himself.

I have a copy of an unpublished manuscript by a former student, who describes her own journey through the FoF, from infatuated newbie to horrified onlooker and final withdrawal. All the names in the book, except her own and Burton’s, have been changed to protect herself. It is an amazing story, and I wish it could be published. It is titled, “Strange Truth. A Horror Story”. One of the central characters of this story is that of “Tristan”—Brian Sisler. She describes their deep friendship and his emotional and physical pain as Burton brutalized him, how he lay groaning on the floor of the Blake Cottage for hours after a session with him. This went on for years. She had first–hand knowledge, her job was to clean the Blake Cottage around the comings and goings of Burton, —and to clean the soiled underwear. She recalls the perfuming of Burton and the air around to cover the sordid smells. I wish she would publish the book, but I can understand her reluctance to endure what Burton and Goldman would throw at her.

She dedicated the book to “Tristan”.

“This book is dedicated to dearest “Tristan” who, after years of remorseless effort on the part of the Teacher, was finally destroyed.”

At the time of writing, Brian had arrived back home with his father, and so the author could not have known what was to happen. But even at that time, her observation was that he had been destroyed…

My understanding is that Brian was a schizophrenic. The “higher being” that is Burton took ruthless advantage of his weaknesses and used him as his personal property, to do with as he wished. There was no compassion, no love, no understanding, Brian was just an object for his gratification. And when things became too uncomfortable, he was thrown away, like a soiled tissue, and with as much compunction. Compost. I channel my anger about this and other things that have happened as best as I can, right now mainly through the blog, and hopefully in a constructive way. There are many other stories yet to be told, by many, many people; they are slowly being revealed, and Burton will be shown, once and for all, for the horror that he is. That is my hope.

And I hope the pieces of Brian’s life will come together to form a whole with the contributions of other readers.”


194. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2009

Nige gives the background, which is well and good, but doesn’t address the question I’ve just posed to Old FOF. My question is not “why ask the legislature to pass a law?” but rather “what, exactly, did you have in mind?”.

195. Old FOF - September 20, 2009

Jomo Piñata 193

“what, exactly, did you have in mind?”

Oops – in over my head.

Ames, are you in a position to address this regarding the Brian’s Law proposal. ?

196. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2009

195/Old FOF

Ames and I have been talking about this outside of this forum.

Not “over your head,” BTW. Tell me what you had in mind. You must have had *something* in mind. Doesn’t have to be perfect.

197. WhaleRider - September 20, 2009

Baylor University Conducts Largest National Study of Clergy Sexual Misconduct with Adults.”

From Reuters:

“Using this data as a foundation, the Baylor team has been working to outline possible initiatives designed to identify and prevent CSM, and draft model legislation to make CSM illegal in the same way that relationships with patients and clients are illegal for other “helping professionals” including doctors, lawyers and mental health practitioners. At present only two states — Texas and Minnesota– have legal statutes in place to guard against CSM.

Shall someone contact the “Baylor team” to inquire about this “model legislation”?

198. Susan Zannos - September 20, 2009

The petition has arrived. If someone can tell me the blog page and posting number of the addresses proposed as recipients, the process of copying and mailing can continue. Thank you.

199. Old FOF - September 20, 2009

Jomo Piñata 195

Ha ! Feels like Paper Chase and I’m up before Prof. Kingsfield (book / movie from the 1970s about Harvard law school)… but let me give this a stab. (or a hit of the piñata as it were)

Wondering if the “priest-penitent privilege” (and confessional type) concept is something like the expectation of confidentiality in medical transactions? I am given to understand that generally in such medical circumstances – PATIENTS controls these rights.

If this is NOT currently true in California regarding the religious privileges, I’m wondering whether perhaps Brian’s Law could help swing the balance such that the “Penitent” better controls these rights? If this is doable and could be swung, it would be a savage and effective tool against “clergy” abuse at least in California – and even spread eventually to other States.

Not sure of my assumptions (hence also “conclusions” here) – but is this formulation developed enough to address?

BTW, hell-of-a-thing to used to speak of states, and now to speak of States. Down and Out In London and Grass Valley !

200. X-ray - September 20, 2009

197. Susan Zannos – September 20, 2009

Susan, would you please copy/paste it at this time?
(look for newly moderated comment)

201. X-ray - September 20, 2009



Franchise Tax Board


Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General, State of California
Office of Victims’ Services

U.S. Department of Labor

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

Office of the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

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



KCRA 3 Television


202. Jomo Piñata - September 21, 2009

I think enacting a statute which makes sex between legal adults based upon unequal power relations a *criminal* offense is a bad idea.

When one person injures or wrongs another in a way that’s legally actionable, that’s called a tort. The injured person can seek civil redress in court. That’s called a lawsuit. The kind of circumstance involving abuse of power relations to procure sex, well, that’s what the law of tort is FOR.

When one person commits an offense that damages the PUBLIC, that’s called a “crime.” The victim of a crime is a witness. The decision to prosecute is not his or hers, it’s the State’s. The “people of the State” prosecute crimes.

I only mentioned the “priest-penitent privilege” to illustrate, for the benefit of “A Former Student,” the proposition that the Fellowship has used “church” language and concepts for many years.

203. Jomo Piñata - September 21, 2009

Feels like Paper Chase and I’m up before Prof. Kingsfield

(At this moment the individual who seemed to personify “persecution” throws off his disguise, appears openly as the representative of higher school, and seems “transfigured”!)

Rodney Collin, The Theory of Celestial Influence (1954), p. 330.


204. Ames Gilbert - September 21, 2009

The Baylor CSM (Clergy Sexual Misconduct) Study (#82-7 & 8) is ongoing:

This site is for survivors, congregations, religious leaders, and researchers who want to understand and prevent clergy sexual misconduct with adults.

What We Know:
Virtually all the studies of clergy sexual misconduct have been clinical, focusing on the motives of offenders, the dynamics of the abusive relationship, and the devastating consequences for primary and secondary victims. Understanding these dynamics is vitally important for those professionals faced with intervention and treatment of offenders, survivor and their families, and congregations.

There is virtually no research or information to inform prevention strategies, which is the primary purpose of our study. Clergy sexual misconduct occurs across faith groups and communities and occurs so commonly that we need to understand why and how our communities of faith allow it to continue to happen. As believing and worshiping people, we have responsibility to ensure that our communities of faith are truly sanctuaries-safe places-to all who enter in. Explore this site to find out what we have learned about preventing clergy sexual misconduct.

Resources for your use:
 We have prepared several documents to help you learn more about clergy sexual misconduct with adults, prevention strategies, a sample code of ethics for your congregation, and much more.
Ongoing studies:
 The ongoing clergy sexual misconduct project is entering a new phase where we want to explore more about the contextual factors involved with CSM itself and how survivors have moved forward. If you are a survivor of clergy sexual misconduct, or have a family member who is, and are interested in helping researchers further understand this issue, we invite you to e-mail us and put in subject line “survivor”*. We will keep your contact information confidential, and you may use a pseudonym if you prefer.

In addition, if you are a treatment provider who has worked with a survivor of CSM we want to hear about your experiences in helping survivors heal. We invite you to leave us your contact information also and in the subject line please put “treatment”*.

Our contact e-mail for this project is: CSM2@baylor.edu

*Everyone who leaves information may not be contacted by a researcher for inclusion in the study.

205. Old FOF - September 21, 2009

Had to laugh Senor Piñata, you ARE Kingsfield and I am over my head! But then – well, as we might say: the human condition …

Maybe we can revisit this a bit later – as the thought having ignited, am pondering not so much crime but the tort.

In the meantime, you remind me of the Simonesque:
There is a girl in new york city
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when Im falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means
She means were bouncing into graceland
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees youre blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow
In graceland, in graceland

206. fofblogmoderator - September 21, 2009

210, 202 and 204 are new

207. Mikey - September 21, 2009

Remember the head-banging exercise?
Feels so good when you stop – just like leaving FoF.
The human condition may be just a state of mind and in the words of philosopher-poet Kris Kristoferson “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”.

208. nige - September 21, 2009

207 Mikey

Trouble is – most, if not all, of us have been left with ‘headaches’ after we have left the FOF. Some have had therapy to help with this, others have worked with and through the blog, while yet others have ‘gone it alone’ and we may not know who they are. As for freedom – a big area, that one! I do not think that the word implies making a free-for-all out of one’s life, now that there is no cult and its leader. If consciousness has any meaning for us, might it be that we must use will in finding our true selves and then to use those selves in the service of humanity as we find it? For me, there is no other way…..Nigel.

209. Dennis - September 21, 2009

Nigel, wow, will, true self (probably including essence), and service to humanity. (“doing” at its best). And Mikey, Kris Kristoferson “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” what a perfect description of surrender, possibly the only entrance to wordless oneness.

210. Yesri Baba - September 21, 2009

207 mikey

“Remember the head-banging exercise?”

Is that what happened to you guys? It must have ended before I got there. Everyone was calling them themselves ‘it’ and talking all kinds of crazy shit. Head-banging explains it, it’s all so clear now.

211. nige - September 21, 2009

182 a former student/186 Jomo Pinata

I was just wondering whether the ‘religious set-up’ that I took the time to read in JP’s links to the Incorporation of The Fellowship of Friends has any worth with regards to the true nature of the FOF, as it was then (1978 and 1979) and as it pursued the aim (as we all know now) of providing REB with a decadent and sexually predatory lifestyle from day 1 of the inception of the cult and through to the present day’s shambolic mismanagement of funds and how these funds are raised? It seems to me that these “inky blots and rotten parchment bonds” (Shakespeare – Richard II) were, and are, just smokescreens for the immoral, physically, emotionally and financially injurious and downright criminal goings-on that we have all heard about…..Nigel.

212. silentpurr - September 21, 2009

I am wondering if the head banging exercise came before or after the playing the fool exercise?

213. bigfoot - September 21, 2009

Once they have ascended the ladder to an “important role”, (usually by filling the empty roles of those who leave or die) they hold on tight and refuse to see the ugly truth about their situation.”

RB used to give instructions to one person (student A) with ‘important role’ and then give a contradictory instruction to a different person with ‘important role’ say student B, without letting them know about one another, that way he almost always get what he wanted and by the mean time created Havoc amongst those poor students (A verses B) as they all tried hard to please him.

214. Jomo Piñata - September 22, 2009
215. X-ray - September 22, 2009

212. Jomo Piñata – September 22, 2009


Hitler Erl Burton?

216. Yesri Baba - September 22, 2009

SPIEGEL: So art never opened Hitler’s eyes — he saw only what he wanted to see?

Schwarz: That was always his intention, right from the start.


217. Tatyana - September 22, 2009

209. Dennis – September 21, 2009

“Nigel, wow, will, true self (probably including essence), and service to humanity. (”doing” at its best). And Mikey, Kris Kristoferson “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” what a perfect description of surrender, possibly the only entrance to wordless oneness.”


Sounds very depressing. And brainwashing.

218. Elena L - September 22, 2009

Tatyana, Try to remember what it was that attracted you to the 4th Way in the beginning, before RB and the Fellowship.

219. WhaleRider - September 22, 2009

Another Fellowship Man Hospitalized

Oregon House (URP!)-Late last night a young, newly arrived Russian man traveling on a religious visa secured by the exclusive Northern Californian cult, The Fellowship of Friends was admitted to a local Yuba County hospital in an unconscious state and suffering from bruises all over most of his body.

Once brought back to consciousness, 22 year old Poopskof Petroglyph, (affectionately known as Poohpooh Peepee by his spiritual superiors in the Fellowship) claimed to have inflicted the bruises upon himself using a blunt instrument called a “sleeping stick”, apparently enabling him to beat himself into unconsciousness. Doctors were puzzled by the man’s actions. “I am asleep, and I used it to wake up”, he was quoted as saying in broken English. “This is a free country, no?” He is currently being held for further psychiatric tests.

Doctors found in the man’s possession a copy of “Gag Me with a Loon”, a publication put out by the Fellowship outlining the cult’s philosophy of self-deprecation and self-flagellation, putting forth the idea that only the few incredibly smart lucky ones who can continue to pay the steep membership donation fees will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only after several lifetimes of hard gulag-style labor and servitude to the groups elderly gay founder, Mr. Robert “Earl of Hurl” Burton.

For some unknown reason, the group has recently found great success in recruiting new willing members in economically depressed Russia as the North American membership wanes due to allegations of fraud and clergy sexual misconduct by Mr. Burton and others.

Some ex-cult followers report that young Russian men are paid handsomely for their sexual favors to the leader of the cult, travel the world with him, lick his shoes, pose for nude portraits, and even have Cyprus trees named after them.

As usual, followers of the Fellowship were unavailable for comment about their leader’s practices.

220. Mikey - September 22, 2009

RE: Good & Bad
I read this in a book the other day and wondered what other people think.
“The human mind fluctuates between good and bad constantly.
Good thoughts, good desires, good feelings when acted upon
are helping others in need, worshipping God in truth,
giving in charity, honesty in one’s affairs.
Bad thoughts, bad desires and bad feelings when acted upon
are harassing others, inflicting pain,
wishing others ruin, or unnatural sexual acts.”

221. nige - September 22, 2009

217 Tatyana

It would be useful to know exactly what aims you had that brought you to the FOF, what kept you in it and your reasons for leaving. Personally, I was attracted by the idea of making contact with higher centres/higher states, since I did not know what they were about, never having taken psychadelic drugs to find out, as some had done in developing their ‘magnetic centres’. What I have experienced with my mental condition having vast mood-swings is that a higher state always involves the sense of a Positive Selfhood being intensely interested in Humanitarian Aims. I may be wrong, and please explain to me if I am not, but you have only been recently out of the FOF cult, and may have a long way to go to experience something of that nature. Depressing? Nowhere near! And as for brainwashing, all I experience in higher states is dopamine floods…..Nigel.

222. Tatyana - September 22, 2009

I was referring to Dennis post, not yours. It sounds too familiar and at the moment I am allergic to things like “surrender, possibly the only entrance to wordless oneness” and “true self (probably including essence)”
Dennis must came right out of RB’s meeting (or worse).
And THAT is depressing.

To answer your question, I joined the Fourth Way School which had a lineage to Mr. Gurdjieff which turned out to be not true. I wanted to learn and to evolve. The system which described a human condition as a sleeping consciousness within a machine with many disconnected personalities that do not know itself and each other, mechanicalness and shallowness of being – made sense to me. I was inspired to learn about myself and improve my conditions: to have control over my negative emotions and features, etc.

The reason I left are too many to list. But one of them – I lost a motivation to pay for RB’s lies.

223. nige - September 22, 2009

221 Tatyana

Sorry for sounding defensive/aggressive and mistaking the comments. That ‘surrender’ thing may sound very cultish,but you should look up the definition of ‘Nirvana’ in a standard dictionary. And thanks for being brave to answer my question. I think we are both ‘pointing in the same direction’…..Nigel.

224. Tatyana - September 22, 2009

Thanks, Nige,

I found 2 different definitions, neither say anything about surrendering:

a Buddhism. The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion.
b Hinduism. Emancipation from ignorance and the extinction of all attachment.

2 An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

1. (Hinduism and Buddhism) the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation; characterized by the extinction of desire and suffering and individual consciousness

2. any place of complete bliss and delight and peace

225. Dennis - September 23, 2009


You are right. My talking about surrender, oneness, and true self is similar to some of the hollow talk that RB engaged in, because they are ideas that I have not fully verified and you probably have not either. I understand why you would find them depressing and indications of brainwashing. I will stop talking about things that I have not verified.

Elena L/silentpurr, and I left the FOF over twenty-five years ago. We were in for twelve years, almost from the beginning. We only learned about RB’s perversities in the last couple years, and naively believed that a “conscious being” was under different laws. We were good students, worked and lived at Renaissance, and were center directors. When we left the school, not much changed for us, except that RB was no longer our teacher, and we had to say goodbye to our friends. Because we had each other, and a new baby, we just carried on. We stopped thinking about all the RB bullshit and continued using all the work language and work ideas of the 4th Way. We see type, center-of-gravity, and personal alchemy within us and around us all the time, and our children have verified it and use it also. We see that we can not not express negativity. We notice that the Si-Do interval is always the most difficult to complete. We experience, and observe, the effects of every new and full moon.

It is not depressing and we do not feel brainwashed.

226. arthur - September 23, 2009

Dennis (225),

“We noticed that the Si-Do interval is always the most difficult to complete”

I didnt get pass the Mi-Fa, but that’s OK. Bobby and his crew crashed at the SI-Do, I say circa 1977-1979. After that it was wholly “big top” with cotton candy and lollipops.

“We experience, and observe, the effects of every new and full moon”. So do I and sometimes loony too.

While in the FOF traveling circus, I was “photograph” as a “jack of clubs”, weird and just recently an x-lion tamer said, “I always thought you were strange”.

I guess that never looked at the reflection–a 4th way concept.

227. arthur - September 23, 2009

that should be they in the last sentence.

228. Tatyana - September 23, 2009

It is an interesting challenge to be asked what brought me to FOF and what took me out. If such thing as 4th Way exists at all how do people experience progress in the Work?
It promised so much at the beginning, but where did it leave us?
Gurdjieff as far as I understand did not teach sequences or meditation. I found that what inspired me in the Work I can’t discuss with my closest friends in FOF or in Gurdjieff Foundation… how to be a human being and not a stimulus-response machine.

229. dragon - September 23, 2009

For Jomo/214.


camouflage paint,

camouflaged advertising,

B—-n is dancing behind the ceiling and he avoids the Holocaust.

He knows and lives: The world wants to be cheated.
That’s his one and only secret knowledge.

No “octave”, “we are happier”……

I think a comparison with somebody else leaves a memorial to “his work”.

It is inevitable, he is and was like the whole of mankind nothing but dust…… and that’s comforting…..to know, he dreams about eternity…. but soon he will become dust… and his “holy essence”?….

Somewhere in the universe are “des vases canopes” on golden ground, treasuring the very essence of the Burtonian wisdom.

In the meantime are the victims of Burton somewhere outside, trying to forget, trying to find an explanation for their endured abuse, their illnesses resulted from years of brainwashing.

But must the SHOW GO ON?

230. Ellen - September 23, 2009

An interesting article for any and all Jungians out there:

231. rock that boat - September 23, 2009

Thank you Ellen!!!

Will save up for the Red Book, published December 2009

232. brucelevy - September 23, 2009

233. Kid Shelleen - September 23, 2009

Re: Carl Jung

Isn’t it strange that the aspects of my life I am most interested in now are the very ones I was taught to ignore for fifteen years? Dreams, imagination, “subjective” art (as if there were any other kind), all fuel a passion for life that does not exist in the arid circles of what these days passes for the so-called 4th way.

234. another name - September 23, 2009

Dear Dennis and Tatjana and others.

Not expressing negative emotions? Mmmmh, one aspect of expressing negative emotion is the unmet need that needs some light….?

Be aware with the full extend of not expressing negative emotions. Is crying a negative emotion? Is saying get of my back when somebody is taking too much space or is abusive a negative emotion?. Or it is a way to help you set your boundaries and be true to yourself?

For myself I have seen the effect of not expressing myself, my passion, my negative emotions as as stifling, stifling of the heart and I am psychological/ emotional back where I left before I joined the fellowship.

In the fellowship of friends, I learned more to reason and understand with the mind…and the heart or my personal growth was not addressed….? Makes me sad. Is sad a negative emotion according to you?

Would appreciate if this rings a bell and receive feedback.

235. Tatyana - September 23, 2009

234 another name

I was thinking about this too. I think most common emotion that was called “negative” is rage. When one looses one’s cool it is very easy to point a finger and say “baaaad”. But after studying an astrology for example, I know that the rage is an expression of Mars energy and therefore an expression of truth (maybe subjective, but nevertheless). At the same time there are so many quiet evil poisonous emotions that are hard to point one’s finger on.
If non-expression of negative emotions is helpful tool from the point of view of the 4th way, it definitely can be a tool for a cult manipulation. ‘Keep quiet and don’t complain’ sort of thing. One can keep “struggling” with the expression of negative emotions and feel bad about oneself instead of communicating ones feelings and perhaps changing something in one’s life.

236. Dennis - September 23, 2009

My understanding is that the original value in trying not to express negative emotions was to verify that we can not not express them, that we are mechanical, and that we can not “do.”

237. Dennis - September 23, 2009

It also verifies the speed of the emotional center. Negative emotions happen way to fast for the intellectual center to come in and try to stop them.

238. another name - September 23, 2009

My understanding is that the original value in trying not to express negative emotions was to verify that we can not not express them, that we are mechanical, and that we can not “do.”

It also verifies the speed of the emotional center. Negative emotions happen way to fast for the intellectual center to come in and try to stop them.

Dear Dennis

This sound paradoxical to me.
In my daily practice I see/ hear that many expression of negative emotions like shouting or sadness or angriness are expressions of a need…..

Look forward to a reply

239. brucelevy - September 23, 2009

238. another name

Both are true, paradox be damned.

240. Dennis - September 23, 2009

Trying not to express negativity, judging ourselves and others, and then shaming ourselves and others, for not being able to do it, may be a Burtonism.

241. nige - September 23, 2009

235 Tatyana

About this Mars-energy thing…..

My body-type is predominantly Martial. With my mood disorder, if I experience the rage and do not put it ‘outside myself’ as what I have learned to call ‘directed aggression’, then it implodes on me and becomes depression, with all the lingering negative thoughts and memories and feelings of impending doom. Others on the blog will have experienced me in this place I sometimes visit…..Nigel.

242. Jomo Piñata - September 23, 2009


Trying not to express negativity, judging ourselves and others, and then shaming ourselves and others, for not being able to do it, may be a Burtonism.

Actually, it’s inherent in “renunciate moralities” and “unrealizable ideals.” The very existence of the “unrealizable ideal,” (“unconditional” love, for example) and the “renunciate morality” implementing it, divides you inside. There’s the part of you that tries to live up to the ideal and the part of you that falls off the wagon,so to speak. Shame follows inexorably from the scheme. In fact, the scheme itself is a shame factory. The scheme seems to promise psychic wholeness, but actually impedes psychic wholeness. Now *that’s* a paradox!

In my humble opinion.

243. Dennis - September 24, 2009

Along with trying not to express negativity,”renunciate moralities” would include the ten commandments. No wonder Christians and Jews are so full of shame. Both the Fellowship and the bible being “shame factories.”

244. Dennis - September 24, 2009

Perhaps our Christian and Jewish childhood shaming is part of what prepared us for, and attracted us to, the Fellowship shaming.

245. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

Do not have any other gods before me.

It’s doable, God. I’m down with it.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Ok, I got you. It’s a Western thing. Asia will be different. But ok, I’m not gonna worship a statue. I like them, I can enjoy them. Bernini’s gonna do some amazing stuff, Michelangelo too. But you want me not to worship them. Fine by me.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me

Whoa, fuck you, man. I don’t want any part of the punishing the kids for the sins of the parents thing. Leave this one out. Call rewrite. I don’t know who stuck this one in here.

but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Pretty heavy-handed, God. I’m onto your game.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Holy holy holy, only thou art holy. I got it. It’s just a name, God. Get over it.

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

Not so hard. The hard part is getting my boss to give me the same day off from week to week.

For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.

God, you’re ok with this having slaves thing? We’ve gotta talk. This is nuts.

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

Imitate you. I got it.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Keep the social fabric from tearing to shreds. I’m with you, God. Hard to do, sometimes impossible, but not an unrealizable ideal much of the time.

You shall not murder.

Amen, God.

You shall not commit adultery.

I’m a fan of monogamy myself, God. We’re cool.

You shall not steal.

Tell me something I don’t know.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Now we’re talking. Good one, God.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Hard one, God. We’re a covetous bunch. But my rich neighbor’s not as happy as I am, so if I find myself coveting his Bentley, I just remember that and it goes away.

246. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

245. Jomo Piñata

Of course God didn’t write any of that horse shit. Cause she’s got ADD.

247. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

Very funny. In two parts.

248. Panoritsa - September 24, 2009

Gosh… this was sad to read…

A friend writes on their wall something about friends and how important it is to keep your friends… And then there is a comment by a current member on their status … He says :” Presence is better than making friends, it is the only friend you can take with you after death”

What are we talking about ?????

249. Yesri Baba - September 24, 2009

246 Brucelevy

yeah, she was probably sitting there wondering: “Now why did i get these stone tablets?” and some suck -up started telling her how wonderful she was.

250. I know - September 24, 2009

246. brucelevy
“Of course God didn’t write any of that horse shit. Cause she’s got ADD.”

With such bluntness, why did you join the FoF in the first place?
(Please don’t repeat again why you left)

The so called work- books are full of information about the demanding nature of school work, about self discipline and about submitting self will to the will of the teacher…etc’.

Knowing all that in advance, what did you expect to get in a School? Why did you stay for so long?

I left because I did not have basic life and literally I had no money. Part of it is my lazy attitude, yet another part is that my slavery (and others’) was very convenient to many well to do students, who never suggested that I need to go out and take care of my life.
When I finally realized that this is what I must do, I was too resentful and too broke to stay.

Still, even today, I cannot deny receiving many good things while being in the FoF. Some of them are quite helpful today. I have learnt to observe myself in a relatively objective way. I try as much as I can, to take responsibility for my actions. I never knew how to do that before joining the FoF.

I hope you have a better way to express yourself than using ‘horse shit’ as part of your vocabulary.

251. James Mclemore - September 24, 2009

248. Panoritsa

”” Presence is better than making friends, it is the only friend you can take with you after death””

“What are we talking about ?????”

I suspect we are talking about people who are involved in something that instead of moving them closer to themselves in the present moment (which also seems to coincide with becoming truly connected to other people and to the environment in the present moment), can actually move them further away if that is possible. To think that ‘Presence’, as they call it, could be something that a ‘you’ can win and then hold onto and then take somewhere is an error that will keep the mind turning in circles. They may be becoming even more rigid and separate from life instead of less. Cults and cult thinking and the guru/follower deal seem to do that. People become even more selfishly ‘self-centered’ within the very illusion that the ideas may even say it is going to disrupt.

252. James Mclemore - September 24, 2009

ps – And yes, it is sad.

253. James Mclemore - September 24, 2009

250. I know

Personally, I sort of like the word ‘horseshit’, especially when it involves sections of so-called ‘sacred texts’, that were probably written or translated by a bunch of power hungry men that worked for some crazy King of England named James, and that only help in producing a sense of lack, and guilt and shame in the people they wanted to control. That is horseshit.
If you got something good for yourself out of your time in the fof, that is a good thing. The fof at its core however is worse, much worse than just horseshit.

254. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 24, 2009

247. brucelevy:

‘. . .hulu(dot)com. . .

Very funny. In two parts.’

hulu is one place to find this spoof, but, there are bandwidth related issues with using that site. My experience has been that most video host sites are live streaming media and if there are bandwidth issues to your connection to the internet (which many people have), then it makes it almost impossible to watch. On the other hand, it appears that youtube has a different way they transmit the video (probably controlled as intellectual property). They cache the video on your computer. So, if the first play pass is unwatchable, let it run through to the end, then the replay is from cache on your computer and is watchable. I have not found any other media hosting site that works that way.

So, here is the youtube source:
Hardline: Inside the Idaho Sex Cult:
The Journeyman 3:16:

255. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 24, 2009

Check this out, too:
Hardline: Inside the Idaho Sex Cult:
The Compound 3:03:

256. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 24, 2009

82/107. James Mclemore:

‘After having strolled down a number of alleyways and dead-end streets, I seem to have gone full circle and ended up right back with that same essence of non-duality that first resonated somewhere inside those many years ago.’

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

‘If RB was influenced by Watts, something tragic must have happened somewhere inbetween the influence and the mish mash that Burton came up with. . .’

Yeh, he met up with Alex Horn and his own brand of sociopathy.

‘Watts taught that the search and the efforts only work to show us the absence of a separate some one who think they lack something and are then attempting to get somewhere, and thus reveal the futility of the enterprise itself.’

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

We live in a closed universe. It is presumed to be infinite and, at the same time, one giant bubble or sphere. Light passing through this universe does not travel in a straight line, like it is perceived to do over relatively short distances, but bends and ultimately is circular in its path. Everything is circular in its path and comes back, eventually, to where it started. (I suppose it also applies to time.) Picture yourself on the surface of a sphere, take a step out from any place and you are one step closer to the point you just left.

‘alleyways and dead-end[s]’? Go figure!

257. Mikey - September 24, 2009

Dear God:
As I recall the story, there we were in the Garden of Eden and all we had to do was remain blissfully ignorant and everything would be fine, you said. All the while you knew all along that the urge to know (not be ignorant) would be irresistible.
It feels like such a divine trick that now I don’t know if it is damnation or salvation. Please advise.
Love, Yours Truly.

258. I know - September 24, 2009

253. James Mclemore
That’s superficial and childish.

259. another name - September 24, 2009

Dear “I know” and others

..just listen and sit with it.

Wonderful you have your mind set that you got soemthing especially when you where in the harem?

Just keep watching many ex students might take aroudn 5 years to digest the experience…if you are willing to look when things come up…

Good lcuk and healing to you and others.

Be aware of reacting fast…it will cover a need and I wonder which need this is in your case.

260. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

250/I know

With such bluntness, why did you join the FoF in the first place?
(Please don’t repeat again why you left)

The so called work- books are full of information about the demanding nature of school work, about self discipline and about submitting self will to the will of the teacher…etc’.
. . .

I hope you have a better way to express yourself than using ‘horse shit’ as part of your vocabulary.

The “so called work- books” are full of horseshit too. In fact, it’s the very inability to call horse shit “horseshit” that gets people into deep shit.

The term horseshit is incredibly useful. (So is the ability to call shit shit). But go ahead, think yourself proper by saying “poppycock” instead. It comes from the Dutch word pappekak, which means “soft dung.”

Look inside yourself at your attitudes towards language. Something shameful about using the word “shit”? I like the passage in Angela’s Ashes where our protagonist refers to his siblings’ diapers as being all shitty, to the mortification of his Irish Catholic aunts followed by their rebukes and threats of punishment. But why be ashamed to call shit shit? There’s a reason Frank McCourt gives us that detail sixty some-odd years later.

261. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

260. Jomo Piñata

Thanks for that. It spares me getting up in “I know’s” grill. I’m not going to waste my time, this time.

262. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

258. I know

You may think you left but you’re obviously still very much in. Let’s talk in five years.

263. Dennis - September 24, 2009

260. Jomo Piñata, The “so called work- books” are full of horseshit too.

I find it interesting to contemplate the possibility that “objective knowledge” may be available to us now, that was not available when Gurdjieff and Ouspensky did their work. We may be able to see serious flaws in their understands. That may be why Ouspensky told his students to “abandon the system” near the end of his life, because he may have seen those flaws in his own teaching. And if they were deepseated flaws, that his whole teaching was based on, then rather than try to correct them, he just told them to discard the whole teaching and start from scratch, which is what many of us are doing.

264. Crouching Tiger - September 24, 2009


Putting your fingers down your throat and vomiting up the 4th Way ideas wholesale and trying to start from scratch is one way out. Saying ‘Horseshit’ to the workbooks is a kind of nervous reflex. Nothing more objective than that though – you’re always in a ‘thought-reform’ environment one way or the other, it’s just a question of how much you realise it.

In previous post you said you’d kept ideas about types, alchemy and centres of gravity and that was all still ‘live’ for you. None of these ideas belong to the 4th Way in practice, they were a fellowship idiosyncrasy. So that’s hardly starting from scratch.

No-one starts from scratch. But the temporary emptiness in your stomach after the trauma persuades you that ‘next time’ you’ll be eating more objective food. In fact you just change your diet to something more easily digestible, and easier to live with.

265. Another Voice - September 24, 2009

258: I know.

It really does take some time to digest the FOF experience. I have been out six years and the first three years were pretty tough psychologically. It will be easier to see the peak of the digestion process in your rear view mirror as you go thru time. We are supportive as well as critical here on the blog.

266. I know - September 24, 2009

262. brucelevy – September 24, 2009
“You may think you left but you’re obviously still very much in. Let’s talk in five years.”

I do not deny what you say, yet I cannot go back and I do not think I will.

Still, is there a real deference between being positive/neutral and being furious in relation to the FoF?

I feel that deep inside both attitudes contain a form of being in.

267. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

264/Crouching Tiger

you’re always in a ‘thought-reform’ environment one way or the other, it’s just a question of how much you realise it.

Sayin’ so don’t make it so. A “thought-reform environment” is a very specific thing. If you were saying, “we’re always influenced by one thing or another,” well, that would be true. But a thought-reform environment or program is one in which your ability to evaluate and your ability to respond to the influence attempts of others has been impaired by the use of specific and identifiable techniques.

This is a distinction worth making. Don’t erode the distinction by using the term “thought reform environment” loosely, before you’ve understood that distinction.

Just a thought.

268. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

266. I know

I think it’s a mistake (often reinforced in the FOF) to equate one’s mode of communication with what you term “fury” or what you perceive as blatant negativity on the blog. Although there have been examples of unrestrained fury here, I think you were referring to the thread that started with my use of “horse shit” and other’s subsequent responses.

269. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

266/I know

Still, is there a real deference between being positive/neutral and being furious in relation to the FoF? I feel that deep inside both attitudes contain a form of being in.

Listen, that set of experiences is a part of you. Like it or not you are “in”–one way or another–because that set of experiences DE-fines you, whether directly (“what I got that I still use”) or by way of resistance, by opposition (“what I UN-learned after I left”).

The question now is whether that set of experiences CON-fines you.

Does it determine the categories you use to think, or can you step outside those categories and find new,more comprehensive ones more accurate, more finely tuned–better maps of human be-ing?

Can you embrace uncertainty, navigating life on the basis of your own experience, without a map?

Experiencing and acknowledging anger can herald change. Anger is a creative force! If you say, “being furious is a way of still being in,” you are devaluing the possibility that your own anger has something constructive to say to you.

And if you devalue the possibility that your own anger has something constructive to say to you, you are unlikely to hear what it is saying.

270. Crouching Tiger - September 24, 2009


“Sayin’ so don’t make it so. A “thought-reform environment” is a very specific thing. If you were saying, “we’re always influenced by one thing or another,” well, that would be true. But a thought-reform environment or program is one in which your ability to evaluate and your ability to respond to the influence attempts of others has been impaired by the use of specific and identifiable techniques.”

Point taken.

My point is that the feeling of release occasioned by the exit from a hard-line thought-reform environment like Fof can easily persuade you, wrongly, that you’ve entered a more ‘objective’ phase of your thinking – maybe because the edges of your mental grid are softer and more blurred. The bars of the prison are not so visible.

What I found interesting about Dennis’ post was that there was a strong feeling of leaving-behind-the-4th way yoked (in a previous post) to ‘antique’ fellowship ideas that were still a living part of his mental fabric.

I guess Dennis would feel that he’d escaped the fellowship, but those ideas are still in there, unreformed. Probably that’s the case with most of us, there are still secret little bits of junk that we guard jealously. What you call ‘our ability to evaluate’ contains all sorts of these bits of debris, floating around unacknowledged… How to find them?

271. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009


contemplate the possibility that “objective knowledge” may be available to us now, that was not available when

Why call it “objective knowledge”?

When I hear that term I imagine a moldy 15’x15′ tarp full of old leaves, grass clippings and gum wrappers strapped to my leg and making it frustrating to walk to the car, let alone get in it and go somewhere. Why not just call it “knowledge”?

Knowledge is always evolving, always developing. If you call it “objective knowledge” you kill off the living part of it–in my humble opinion–because the term itself implies something static, unchangeable, “settled,” dead.

272. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

270/Crouching Tiger

How to find them?

Chimpanzees groom one another. We do too.

273. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

And the critical mind is a fine-toothed comb.

274. Crouching Tiger - September 24, 2009

Jomo, Mind yes, but also: you need a sensitivity to what is going on in your body right now. Then the mind will point towards the absolutely necessary.

275. Dennis - September 24, 2009

To me it seems we are talking about three entirely separate things here.

1 – RB was, and is, mentally ill and misintrepreted the 4th Way from that sociopathic/psychotic place, so much of what he said was, and is, horseshit.

2 – Some of what we received from the 4th Way, whether from Burton’s mouth or from the books, could be verified. Whether it came from Burton is irrelevant. The question is, is it true. I have verified many things, like type, etc., and they are real for me. It has absolutely nothing to do with RB.

3 – An entirely different subject is; are there flaws in Gurdjeiff and Ouspensky’s teachings, that we may have the great good fortune to be able to understand today, that were not available to them. Why did Ouspensky tell his students to “abandon the system?”

276. I know - September 24, 2009

269. Jomo Piñata – September 24, 2009
Right, both negative and positive standpoints can be of value.
Still, if one is mobilized to a 3-4 years crusade against the FoF, in many ways one is definitely in. I am not condemning being in, my point is that there is more than one way of being in.

277. Crouching Tiger - September 24, 2009


1. Agreed

2. The three elements you mentioned – types, alchemy and centre of gravity – are all RB’s additions. What is the difference between verifying something, and the mind simply getting used to thinking in a certain way until it becomes second nature? What G. meant by verification is not that.

3. I enjoyed Ouspensky when I first discovered the 4th Way. That interest slackened over the course of time. The interest in Gurdjieff proved more lasting. Can you tell the difference between a flaw in the 4th Way and a flaw in the fellowship version of the 4th Way?

Whatever flaws may or may not be present in G.’s teaching, at least he genuinely encouraged people to understand things for themselves. It was a product of its time, as is non-dualism. What are the flaws in non-dualism?

278. Tatyana - September 24, 2009

I was trying to answer my own questions about what ideas that became dogmas in FOF are actually the 4th way ideas and do the Real 4th way ideas are a “true knowledge” or a bunch of “horseshit” created by Mr. Gurdjieff to keep money coming.

After realizing that FOF was not a legitimate 4th way school and did not have a lineage to Gurdjieff, I joined Gurdjieff Foundation. At least they have people who worked under Mr. G. guidance.

GF, however, seems too vague and foggy to me (sorry Crouching Tiger). They are doing seating and talking about “something” (as in “I saw something, it was very interesting”)

FOFers mostly talking about C Influence (God) and doing sequences (praying) – it is nothing else but a religion.

279. Ames Gilbert - September 24, 2009

Panoritsa, you quoted,
“Presence is better than making friends, it is the only friend you can take with you after death”, then you asked, “What are we talking about?????” (#82-248)

I’m sure it was a rhetorical question, but I’m going to address it anyway.

First, the follower is lying, pure and simple. The statement is unverifiable, but spoken as if the follower could and has verified it. But behind this is the spiritual materialism endemic to the Fellowship of Friends and its deluded leader, the anti-teacher Burton. There is now the concept that somehow collecting brownie points, moments of presence, is going to lead to some theoretical salvation, or some advantage in a future lifetime. The collecting of the points has become the end in itself, and the follower becomes a self-remembering mechanism. The exact opposite of the purpose of the original exercise. I can say this because I fell into exactly that trap myself for a while.

280. Dennis - September 24, 2009

277. Crouching Tiger
“2. The three elements you mentioned – types, alchemy and centre of gravity – are all RB’s additions. What is the difference between verifying something, and the mind simply getting used to thinking in a certain way until it becomes second nature? What G. meant by verification is not that.”

I feel that my verifications of type, etc. are “what G. meant by verification.”
I have been seeing them within me and around me, for over 35 years, since the day it was presented to me at a prospective student meeting. And they are clearly not “RB’s additions,” they were passed down by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Rodney Collins, among others.
The fact that RB used them to draw most of us into the FOF, to me, is a verification of their “objective nature.” We recognized that “objectivity,” to the extent that we were able to verify what was presented to us. We trusted our verification. Then we naively transferred our trust of those verifications to RB, and the race was on.

281. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

275. Dennis and 280

For myself I basically agree with you. Certain ideas in a “system” are useful as far as using them to understand something relatively invisible. There was more to “essence types”, alchemy etc. than RB’s bastardization of the ideas. I also see types, and have for many years, as well as the interplay of types. A “system” exists with it’s categorizations to create a closed system (that’s how a “system” has to be to be a “system”) not because it may or may not be a cosmic truth, but to get from here to there. I believe that one must eventually leave a “system” for it to be an effective one, if not one is trapped in it and it is of no use. But we shed aspects of a system we all traveled in at different paces, to different degrees and for different reasons. It’s difficult but important to discern for one’s self where and how deeply RB and his flying monkeys have distorted ideas, because we all saw in different ways specifics that the 4th way originally had that were useful and may still be useful to one.

And of course “types” was part of the G & O & RC model whether it was seen as planetary or endocrine in nature. At least for me. I really don’t see how one can dismiss types with the bath water.

282. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009


Some of what we received . . . could be verified. . . . The question is, is it true. I have verified many things, like type, etc., and they are real for me.

Well, you know, that “verification” idea has a problem.

The result is predetermined, and the predetermined result controls both the observations made (confirmation bias) and the choice of reasoning used to reach the result.

In other words, there’s this “idea” that you are “attempting” to “verify.”

(What you’re describing is different than testing an hypothesis using the scientific method.)

You start with a “concept,” like “type,” and you compare your observations to the concept. If they “fit” in some way, you consider that you’ve “verified” the idea. Kinda loose.)

The “idea” remains what it is, whether or not you’ve “verified” it.

(E.g., there’s this omnibus endocrinological/cosmological idea called “Saturnine/Anterior Pituitary type.” Whether or not you’ve verified it doesn’t affect the fact that there’s this idea called “Saturnine/Anterior Pituitary type.”) Hence, the idea is not “refutable”:


283. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009

And once you have the “idea” in your head, it shapes what you notice, before awareness even enters the picture:


284. Dennis - September 24, 2009

I understand “confirmation bias,” and I agree that it is a big part of any belief that we have, very similar to the “placebo effect.” But I feel that my verifications of type, etc.are very scientific, after 35 years of observing them in and around me, all day long, every day. It is as real for me as my hand in front of my face. Surely you have each verified many things that you have no doubt about, and if they happen to have come from a flawed source, it does not necessarily make them flawed.

285. Yesri Baba - September 24, 2009

you go Jomo!

I remember at some point after being out of the fof wondering – why am i trying to fit the world into this pre-fab box of ideas. Isn’t it all about a unique, new and evolving perspective?

It is critical to get in there and examine all that stuff, all those ‘memes’ implanted from where ever.

Bring a large shovel. There are horses everywhere.

286. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009


I feel that my verifications of type, etc.are very scientific, after 35 years of observing them in and around me, all day long, every day. It is as real for me as my hand in front of my face.

Your statement calls to mind elderly Freudians (I have encountered more than one) who would tell me they have observed the Id, the Ego, and the Superego every day for 50 years and that Freudian psychoanalysis is based on science. Your statement also calls to mind Thomas Kuhn’s statement, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

I’m just sayin’…. 😉

287. Tatyana - September 24, 2009


What are the idea of types give you?

From the perspective of a person who studied astrology for 20 years, types theory is incomplete and inaccurate. In other words everyone has all types (planets) in oneself manifesting in different ways and areas.

The alchemy… In FOF the idea of alchemy was a perfect tool for manipulation and discrimination. I felt such a relief when I got read of my FOF wardrobe.

Same with “center of gravity” discrimination. Have you met someone in FOF who was a jack of clubs with lead alchemy and a tramp feature?

288. Yesri Baba - September 24, 2009

Just for funsies here is an idea to examine.

I call it ‘original sin’

The ‘idea’ is this.

Is there a subject experiencing an objective world. It so awfully seems so. But is it true?

289. brucelevy - September 24, 2009

If one views the ideas we’re talking about in the context of the FOF of course it appears to be, and is, horse shit. But the same ideas removed from a sham “system” (It isn’t a system as it is played out in the FOF- it’s tailored to manipulate) they are viewed, by me for myself, to be much freer of the bs and nonsense. And if it doesn’t work for you, ok, and if it does, ok. I can’t eliminate the idea of types (as a useful, if not temporary aid) when I can see the interplays happening in real time. It’s certainly not the only useful tool of it’s type, there are numerous categorical tools for numerous types of “systems”. They are useful in the context of whatever system is currently being utilized on one’s path. The important caveat is they are only tools, they are not cosmic laws.

290. Jomo Piñata - September 24, 2009
291. nige - September 24, 2009

Hey, you guys (24 September)…..

Instead of playing literary/intellectual table tennis, why not try to see what all this lineage, verification of ideas, encounters with REB/FOF, leaving the cult and coming across ‘a brave new world, which hath such people in it’ is all about? Don’t you see how it has all been a set-up for the NOW and SOON TO BE FULFILLED? The Gods give and the Gods take away. Maybe ‘objective knowledge’ was implanted in all the teachings, including the insular non-teaching of the FOF? In other words, I am trying to say, yet again, that C-influence has attracted REB to the ideas; he has perverted them to his sociopath/psychopath ‘black hole’ to let us and others and the authorities/the law expose him as the Anti-Christ. Yeh, big wow!!!!!Nigel.

292. WhaleRider - September 25, 2009

Thank you so much for your postings.

re: non-expression of negative emotions…one of the cornerstones of the fourth way…designed not only to illustrate one’s “mechanical” nature but also to enable one to accumulate the refined energy necessary to grow a soul.

If one attempted to consciously withhold any of the body’s processes, like thinking, feeling, eating, sleeping, and eliminating, what does it prove? It only proves that you can’t do this indefinitely only because these processes are necessary for survival. So what? To do so for extended periods of time may cause a few “altered non-ordinary states” that may cause one to feel non-ordinary or “special” but doing so also causes illness.

IMO the non-expression of negative emotions is a futile exercise designed to make one feel like a failure. In those without well-developed egos and healthy self concepts, it can make one feel inferior to or even dependent upon some “special” person claiming they can.

After two decades away from fourth way zealots, I have come to understand that it is more useful and healthy for me to manage my negative moods instead of withholding the expression of individual negative emotions. Negative moods are far more destructive, and yet something that we can learn to manage before they cause pain, suffering, and tragedy for ourselves and others.

IMO, whether a human is born with or without a soul is merely a philosophical question which cannot be proven or disproven.

Something we can be sure of is the humans are born severely lacking in wisdom and experience.

293. Old FOF - September 25, 2009

Speaking for myself, when you’ve been deeply IN the Fellowship, it can be (read: was for me) very hard to leave. You have to give up a strong and hard-won stance and perception of place, a feeling of community, and especially a sense of meaning.

In the end for me, the number of problems became too big a price to continue to stay – these included the concerns of conscience, the contradictions, practical concerns about one’s personal inability to move forward psychologically, and sense of feeling trapped in the Fellowship of Friends with no way out.

There was also humiliation at the new found knowledge at having fallen in the trap. And rage. Early on the blog I related about my 2-3 years of bursting into spontaneous rants. Pretty soon you learned not to inflict these on friends (as much) – even those in similar circumstance. So, sometimes I’d be alone in a room by myself just ranting away. Now it seems somewhat comedic – but then just anger and pathos.

It was like they say – a grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

When you are in, you can’t see the price you are paying. Later you realize that TIME WENT BY – your life was significantly diverted. And you mourn some of that time and those misplaced efforts. You realize that you had been in contact with something that approached evil – and was highly creepy. That you had internalized this weird eccentricity as normal. And for years had been explaining it away to yourself – and to others in your family and community.

That the experience had tested conscience and you had been found wanting.

When you were IN, you felt that you had developed abilities and skills that were somewhat powerful. When you come out – I felt for a good while like the 90-pound weakling. It was shocking – some areas were sort of strong but many were completely undeveloped. It was as if I had been a big-shot body builder – but on the moon.

After a while I begin to find my new legs and gradually my life started to improve. It is such a relief not to have to carry the burden of the Fellowship around – internally and in every way. And I’ve been exposed to new experiences – simple ones like family. And a healthier sense of place, community and meaning started to gather.

It is such a relief not to have to carry the burden of the Fellowship around …

294. Jomo Piñata - September 25, 2009


If you go to this link:


which is a journal of science and health from the mid 1890s,

And you hit the “forward” arrow to scroll forward a little bit in the book, to the beginning of the April, 1895 issue (if you reach p. 188 you’ve gone too far), you’ll see a disquisition on “type.”

I’d be interested in your reaction to this journal as a whole, in light of our discussions here.

295. 411 - September 25, 2009

I don’t mean to contradict anyone here, but weren’t we informed in the FOF that the objective was not the non-expression of negative emotions, it was the transformation of negative emotions? The realization that burning your hand on the stove was not meant to be an emotional experience. You realize that the pain caused by 450 degree heat can be remedied by applying cold water or ice, etc., but to start screaming or getting pissed off is misdirected energy.

296. arthur - September 25, 2009

From Tatyana, “Have you met someone in the FOF who was a jack of clubs with lead alchemy and a tramp feature”? That’s “I”.

It’s been quite awhile but Rodney Collin spoke about “types” in “The Theory of Celestial Influence”. He included a study by someone who spoke about “Endomorphs, Mesomorphs and Ectomorphs”.

In Ayurveda a thousands of years old “science of life” they base all their “stuff” on body types named, “Pitta, Vata and Kapha.

All of which reminds me of a song by Bob Shakespeare sung by Jimi the guitarman.

“There must be some way out of here”, said the joker to the thief., “there’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief……”No reason to get excited”, the thief kindly spoke, there are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke”

297. Jomo Piñata - September 25, 2009


Another Name recently posted a link here to a talk by Robert Scaer, the neurologist who has written about the failure to discharge the autonomic “freeze” response (as in “fight, flight, or freeze), when experiencing trauma from a position of helpless, as the origin of many psycho-physical afflictions, including PTSD, fibromyalgia, whiplash syndrome, etc.

So tell me why screaming, or doing anything else your body wants to do when you suffer trauma, is “misdirected.” Your autonomic nervous system has a role to play. Let it do its thing!

298. 411 - September 25, 2009


“Your autonomic nervous system has a role to play. Let it do its thing”

It did when you pulled you hand away from the heat. The yelling is just drama you add for effect. (IMO)

Have you ever screamed out “motherfucker” (or something similar) when reacting to an adverse event and “caught” yourself and realized that you might be over-reacting to the situation? I have. It makes me laugh to realize how little control I have over my reactions. I let everyday events control my emotional state. If I’m stuck in traffic, extremely hungry, hot and sweaty, any of those things typically makes my mood “sour”.

299. James Mclemore - September 25, 2009

298. 411

“It makes me laugh to realize how little control I have over my reactions. I let everyday events control my emotional state. If I’m stuck in traffic, extremely hungry, hot and sweaty, any of those things typically makes my mood “sour”.”

Your statement, which at times during my life I could certainly have made also, caused me to think again of what Yesri Baba posted and asked at 288.

“Is there a subject experiencing an objective world. It so awfully seems so. But is it true?”

300. Jomo Piñata - September 25, 2009


The yelling is just drama you add for effect. (IMO)


301. Crouching Tiger - September 25, 2009


If you’ve found a way to make the study of types etc. work since the fellowship, good for you!

But there is no harm in remembering that Burton’s teaching is a loaded dice.

Many, many students in the Fof ‘worked with the King of Hearts’ as their centre of gravity because that is where they wanted to be identified – in their image of themselves, and recognised by others. Hardly any worked with the King of Clubs. This was not the result of impartial observation, but a statement of how they viewed themselves in relation to the the fellowship environment. As Jomo points out, this possibility needs to be accounted for.

For myself, I can see that a lot of observations I made in the fellowship were loaded, especially against the Instinctive Centre. You are asked to prefer ‘being emotional’ to ‘being instinctive’ (or rather, what is taken to be instinctive) and that stops your unbiased exploration of your instinctive nature (your body) in its tracks. By doing so, it stops the return to wholeness in its tracks. The environment you are in habitually, shapes and limits your observations.

The King of Clubs is not the true enemy, as any real study of Gurdjieff’s work shows. The attitude that sees it as the enemy is an entirely different matter!….

302. Crouching Tiger - September 25, 2009


“The yelling is just drama you add for effect. (IMO)”

Only if you see your emotions as somehow independent of your body!!!

303. Mikey - September 25, 2009

There seems no end to all that can be known by the minds of men. Gurdjieff was an admitted con artist who did not claim any higher calling and Ouspensky was an admitted seeker who at his end said that the so-called 4th Way system that he propounded was pretty much made-up horseshit (Abandon ‘ship, mates). Mankind certainly has many, many mechanical aspects which may be worth studying and which are entirely due to the infinite variety of experiences, but we are most certainly not merely a machine. (What did Jefferson Airplane say? “You are the crown of creation”.) That is, according to the ancient never-ending stories, if true or allegorical.

304. Kid Shelleen - September 25, 2009

If there were no human beings to perceive it, would objective knowledge still exist?

305. nige - September 25, 2009

301 Crouching Tiger

I went from Queen of Spades (super-active in all the physical third-line octaves when I joined the FOF) to intellectually-centred, since I could recall many of the ‘angles’ from the workbooks (studying them every night when I came home from college) to 8 of Hearts, since the work in which I was involved was on ‘the moving-discriminatory factor of impressions’. Now my work involves creative individuals and their aims, I find that – ‘photograph’ – is so near the mark that I would not wish to change it. Trouble is, I have become much more emotional in my life and the way I deal with and approach people than I was in my Fellowship days – could be I am more natural, could be I do not have the fear, guilt and sense of financial inadequacy that I had back then. A word to Dennis – were we not taught, in our prospective student meetings, that these two areas – types and centres of gravity – were ONLY MAPS as part of objective knowledge. Do we get into our lives? Do we extend the hand of compassion? Do we expand our horizons in the world as we delve more deeply into our own personal psychologyy? Just some thoughts…..Nigel.

306. Yesri Baba - September 25, 2009

304 Kid

“If there were no human beings to perceive it, would objective knowledge still exist?”

Well, now that’s just silly….hey, wait a minute… maybe …if there were no human beings how would souls re-incarnate..like if a giant asteroid hit the earth and all life was destroyed…would they have to go backward in time… boy that would create a log jam…would the moon starve to death?…wow this is confusing…i better rethink some stuff… ah fuck it….

307. Ames Gilbert - September 25, 2009

Well, Yesri, when you ask, “Is there a subject experiencing an objective world”, you have invited some philosophizing, so here goes…
What is what we call ‘experience’ or ‘information’? Joseph Chilton Pierce, in his book “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg”, first bought this question to my attention in the ‘70’s. I paraphrase an example he gave that got him thinking. He had a pet rabbit that lived in his walled garden with the furtherest wall from the house beside a busy freeway. He measured the noise right at that wall at 120 decibels, loud enough to damage human hearing. He would play a game with the rabbit, try to creep as quietly as he could out of the house into the garden without the rabbit noticing and perking up its ears. He was never able to do this, even when the rabbit was right beside the freeway wall. The rabbit was able to ignore the freeway noise and pick out only the noises that could affect its well–being, those made by a possible predator, for instance. Well, this got him (and me) thinking about ‘reality’ and how we perceive it.

We cannot absorb all the information that is out there, so there have to be filters. As far as I can tell, if we are opened to too much, we become insane. I think this is what was happening to the young man Anna described in her post to us when she left the FoF. So, some of the filters are physiological. For example, the human eye cannot perceive all frequencies, so it is tuned for a certain range that is useful for humans. It is useful (for us) to use frequencies that see the atmosphere as transparent, and trees as opaque. Thus, a very small fraction of the signals that are available arrive at the brain, then psychological factors take over. We learn what is ‘important’ (that crackle from a twig snapping for the woodsman, the color of the sky at night for the farmer, the nuance of a particular harmony for a musician) for our particular circumstances. Short story, more and more complex patterns are recognized, and on top of this, a cultural overlay is established. There is constant feedback between us and other humans, and a consensus reality is born. And this means that we humans are not nearly as individual as we seem, and could quite validly be seen as social organisms with many interdependent parts (a tribe, for example). The link between individuals and the community around them is very powerful. We seek validation from that community, want a place in that community, and in many ways, we define important aspects of our reality in the context of the community.

As far as I can understand, the majority of humans take the consensus reality for granted; we assume it is the only and whole reality. A few humans are built differently and process the input differently, and have a different output as a result. And a few of those try to tell the rest of us about that difference and what it might mean.

A couple of those voices resonated with me, invited me to explore, and I did and do. But, in my reports to myself so far, I have to conclude that it really doesn’t seem to matter. I enjoy the glimpses into an alternate way of seeing things, but I can’t see a right or wrong about this or that pattern, nor can I blame the majority who aren’t interested in this subject at all. The folks who claim that their way of seeing things is inherently superior, or who claim some advantage from their point of view, are welcome to their claims, which include being able to make some aspect of the ego permanent.

So, Yesri, sometimes I feel that ‘I’ am just a temporary agglomeration of energies swimming around in a sea of other energies, a subset of a hologram in an ocean of holographic information, and at some point the temporary will merge into the All, and maybe re-emerge as some other temporary pattern, maybe not. So what? What I perceive is, my life is a gift, and whether it is based on illusion or not, why not join in the game of ‘pretend’ wholeheartedly? In this corner of the playing field, I can try to increase my sensitivity to various energies, perhaps expand the range I experience a little. Some people (seekers) label that as ‘trying to become more conscious’. Maybe it is not ‘real’ in some ultimate sense, maybe it is all being dreamed, it is definitely impermanent (and thus unreal by some measure) as far as I can tell, but why let that stop us from relishing and living the given appearance of life to the full? It will be over soon enough, so why waste the ‘opportunities’ that present themselves in the meantime? I’d certainly describe those who restrict the breadth of their experiences now for the sake of some imagined future reward in a theoretical ‘next lifetime’––for example, members of the FoF and their like––as throwing the gift back in the teeth of the giver, but that’s just my take.

308. Dennis - September 25, 2009

As Bruce said, they are just tools, and as Nigel says ONLY MAPS. I’m just reporting that, for me, some of the tools I learned in the FOF, that came from people like Gurdjieff, and others who I still respect, have been very useful for me.
Let me give an example. The compatibility and incompatibility of types has been a very useful tool in doing marriage counseling. I help both people understand the characteristics of their types and I show them how these characteristics are related to compatibility, opposites attracting. The phenomenon that is especially useful in this setting is that the degree that one person is away from the other person’s compatible type is the exact same degree that the other person is away from their compatible type. This means, that as far as the essence of type is concerned, every relationship is always equal. Even though it feels completely different for each person, because they are that equal distance from a different type, essence is always equal and always fair. Personality, on the other hand, is never equal and never fair, and is a totally different bag of worms. But the essence of type, predominant center, and personal alchemy are always equal and fair. This helps to neutralize much of the negativity that is felt in a relationship that is having difficulties. And the most important thing about essence is that there is no advantage of any one characteristic over any other, they all have their strengths and their weaknesses.

309. fofblogmoderator - September 25, 2009

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