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Fellowship Of Friends/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Part 90 February 11, 2010

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.

Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway To Presence 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 Discussionblog, 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. More history needed - February 11, 2010

Worth repeating from Veramente.

Hope the blog does not stall….
Main reason for coming here is to contribute to anti-cult self generated movement of real people like you and me who have been deceived or in more modern terms: brainwashed!



Look at the petition and consider signing.: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/djindjin/petition.html

Send this info to a student you know.

How can we warn and protect each other?

2. Thot Plickens - February 11, 2010

Video documentary about Fellowship of Friends

3. hundredthousandangels - February 11, 2010


4. veramente - February 11, 2010

A hundred thousand angels:
yuck, yuck yuck!

What a contrast to the sobering and real video in Post 2,
what’s your point? to lull some of us into sleep with seemingly benign quasi sacred images?
I do not know if this possibly related, but after watching your shit my computer shut down on its own in the middle of posting while saying your images are somewhat Valium like effect. (dazed and confused)

5. WhaleRider - February 11, 2010

Announcing a new product for male FOF members, both new and old:


6. silentpurr - February 11, 2010

yes yuck yuck! I agree with veramente. Your videos, hundred thousand, though being ‘camp’ in a way, induce in the viewer a very strong desire to regurgitate a hairball. HACK!

7. dick moron - February 11, 2010

3 hundredthousandangels.

Joseph Goebbels would be so proud of you. Inspiring video!

8. Q - February 11, 2010

Goebbels is working with her.

9. apostate - February 11, 2010

“Cult members can’t just be normal good people; they have to be moral titans, playing out grand heroic roles in an epic cosmic moral melodrama. Many members feel that their lives will be pointless and meaningless if they don’t play such grand roles in life — to live an ordinary life and be a normal good person is merely meaningless, pointless, existence”.
Someone from the previous page worried that the blog is winding down; not to worry, ‘we’ could follow advice from the “genius” here and put the blog back into his ‘safe-keeping’ hands —


— that way ‘our’ ex-friend could turn this forum into yet another monologue consisting entirely and exclusively of extremely long-winded bombast which apparently he thinks of as a ‘very stimulating’ conversation he carries on with, whom ? You can take the kid out of the cult but (it would seem, at least in some cases), you can’t take the cult out of the kid. He is indeed a legend in his own mind.

10. 2010 - February 11, 2010

Here’s a reposting from 2/11/08

Crouching Tiger
One of the most instructive and enjoyable TV programmes on at the moment is ‘The Dog Whisperer’. The aforesaid DW, a bloke called Cesar Millan, traveles up and down the length of the US “rehabilitating dogs and training people”….

It’s fascinating stuff from an esoteric standpoint. Whether they spoil and pamper their pooches or live in fear or anxiety about them, it is always the human attitudes and energies being fed into the dog that DW is at pains to correct. When the penny drops, the humans begin to realize that the the faithful mutt can only play back to their owner everything they’re being given…

DW asks them to speak to the dog in its own language, not in the ordinary range of their human emotions and thinking.

My experience of the Fellowship was that Robert Burton refuses to speak to the ‘dog’ — the instinctive centre — in its own language. He just can’t make himself understood and therefore gets some ‘insane’ reactions from it.

For one of the more bizarre years in my life I lived in a Teaching House run by Hugh J—s. The experience was a strange alternation between instinctive ‘lows’ and emotional ‘highs’. Instinctive misery seemed to be part of the deal. A lady called Isabelle insisted on living in a room that was no larger than a shoebox, with space only for her bed, two candles and a picture of RB! That was pretty typical of the prevalent desire to punish, rather than discipline the ‘dog’.

Over weekends, the house would be flooded by poetry readings, music and flower arrangements as students came together for events. By Sunday night the linen tablecloths, silver cutlery and crystal glasses would be put away, and we’d be back to bare wooden tables and Hugh’s endless repeated diet of Turkey escalope and salad… the same every day.

The more emotional the weekends, the greater the instinctive ‘hit’… Within a couple of months, certain tenants wouldn’t speak to each other. This could go on for weeks or even months. Food, drink and even cash teaching payments that were left in the TH were thieved. A rash of stickit notes started appearing all over the house, with the ‘owner’s’ name on food and drink: “This is mine”. Bills weren’t paid and everyday chores frequently weren’t done. The atmosphere for five days a week was as cold as a cemetery.

For the most part I spent as little time in the TH as possible. Through the cloud of mixed messages RB used to give out, it became clear that the ‘dog’ was there to be punished rather than disciplined, so that his behaviour became more and more crazy, even rabid. No wonder one of RB’s favourite images of the Instinctive Centre is the mouth from Chartres Cathedral, ready to devour its victims. That’s the way he sees it, the monster he created. The dog has no role to play in the ‘weekend’ emotionalism, after all.

Six months out of the Fellowship, this is feels like just one sad example of how wrong work leads to wrong results. Work without common sense or ordinary civility, and certainly without any notion of external considering. The only time anyone mentioned that phrase was to indicate that you weren’t not giving THEM enough of it!

The themes of emotional arousal and the instinctive punishment go together hand-in-hand in the FOF, they’re inseparable. It’s why the brutishness of Elena’s experience with Girard, or Anna T’s experience with one of RB’s boys, will repeat….. For myself, I felt I had to free myself from BOTH to truly cut the cord with the School.

P.S. Elena. The para beginning “If you say…” in one of my previous posts is NOT addressed to you personally, it’s just rhetoriacl, as in “If One says…”. Okay?

11. brucelevy - February 11, 2010
12. apostate - February 11, 2010

yup, and ‘dr. demento’ says:

“Just because they finally turned against Bob does not mean they turned off the group-think kook-clan mentality that drove them to Bob to begin with.”

Yes and isn’t it the truth, evidenced by his very own ‘productions’ – ‘page’ after ‘page’ of lunacy, representing countless hours dedicated to attacking imaginary ‘foes’ and propping up his own tattered remains of “the group-think kook-clan mentality.” He’s still trapped in a cult, the sad part is that he may not be aware of it because it’s a cult of one, but it’s a cult nonetheless. He likes to think of himself as some sort of ‘master’ regarding so-called ‘esoteric’ matters, and if he possessed the the right kind of ‘people skills’ he would no-doubt be recruiting hapless victims into his cult-o-one; just what the world needs, another shameless, self serving, narcissistic ‘guru’ adding to the blight on society.



A favorite ‘recruiting’ technique used by ‘dr. demento’
(an example of why it remains a cult of one):

” The individual members of the cult are told that they are inherently small, weak, stupid, ignorant, and sinful. Cult members are routinely criticized, shamed, ridiculed, discounted, diminished, and told in dozens of ways that they are not good enough. ”
“What is curious is the degree to which the hatred of others is based on similarity.”

13. Golden Veil - February 11, 2010


Ok, Apostate ~ regarding:


I looked at those posts and checked out their author. It looks to me like he has his own damn cult started up!

The Fourth Way System
Started by Greg W. Goodwin at:



see essays by Greg W. Goodwin–Fourth Way System

“Formatory Apparatus” “THE MOON” “LIFE”

at: ivanosokin.tripod.com/

No wonder he is so critical [and perhaps fearful] of this blog…

Or am I completely off base here?


14. apostate - February 12, 2010

Golden Veil

” It looks to me like he has his own damn cult started up!”

Yup, a cult of one. Thank god he has all the charm and charisma of a mud puddle, otherwise there would be yet another overly self-impressed, self-serving guru out there playing the game of luring and trapping victims, just what the world needs more human sacrifices for another delusional and demented ‘case.’

15. James Mclemore - February 12, 2010

apostate –

Not only demented but venomous, toxic.

16. fofblogmoderator - February 12, 2010

From Greg Goodwin-

“Their moderator is a reflection of their mentality and is cut from the same cookie-cutter of endless potential cult creeps.”

“Get rid of the fag control freak moderator and let intelligent and focused ex-members such as myself post to the blog, effectively criticizing Burton and the FOF cult while pushing back against the routinely idiotic daily comments of the obsessive yet empty-headed and mediocre ex-fof gang of losers.”

Just documenting the hate.

17. Golden Veil - February 12, 2010


I think ‘Hate’ often has ‘Fear’ as its inspiration.

Or maybe the guy’s on drugs,

or is a mean drunk, or something…

who the hell knows; but forget that sucker,

regardless…let’s not give him any more attention!


18. veramente - February 12, 2010

Dear FOFblogmoderator

I did not realize I was your ass kisser, according to Goodwin I must be! (see wiki GW notes…)
and to let Mr. Goodwin know: I really do not care if my comments are what they are, when they are.
The blog continues, it’s a thorn in Burton’s ass and apparently a great mental game for Goodwin.

Anyway…better not fuel Mr. Narcissistic wanting to be lavished even with negative attention. He lives on planet Screwed Up and uses his intellectual energy screwingly so. You cannot win a pissed off Narcissistic personality, he will always be right, he will always be abusive, resentful, extremely vain and profoundly poor in spirit.

19. Dumbstruck - February 12, 2010

One of the axioms on Greg’s site is, ironically: “Negativity slams the door of chance removing the necessary element of luck required to find your Self.”

If there’s one sound that describes Greg’s experience with blogs like these and the 4th Way in general, it’s the sound of doors slamming in his face. And it’s his own negativity that does the trick every time. By his own token, he must be the unluckiest man on the planet.

20. WhaleRider - February 12, 2010

Actually Mr. Greg Badloser is probably suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, the gnarly shadow side of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

A person in his shoes also carries within him a deep self-loathing like a narcissist, but he lacks the social sophistication to attract anything but negative attention. Such a person has great difficulty sustaining relationships because the self-loathing runs so deep, is so self-destructive and so difficult to accept that they are compelled to make a career of projecting those feelings onto others, seeking to bring everyone in their path down to their level and especially targeting anyone who appears to be an authority figure.

The only temporary relief they feel is to make others feel the bad feelings so they don’t have to.

This why Greg is attracted to Gurdjieff’s so-called “system of fragmented teaching of an unknown origin”, it provides him the “tools” to justify his illness and degrade other “sleeping machines”.

He sustains the illusion that others cannot see the painful truth about themselves like he can and if they did they would loath themselves as much as he loathes himself (or his “machine”). “How could we be so stupid to join that cult?”

In his early development as a child, he probably had one parent or authority figure who was very loving and one who was very harsh and critical, and he was forced to oscillate between the two. He had no choice but to accept and internalize the harsh parent or authority figure since he was somehow dependent upon them, and he feels everyone else should also have to accept such a level of critical harshness like he had to. It was necessary for him, and it should be necessary for everyone else, especially those close to him.

I have heard recent stories from someone close to him that he also has the capacity to be caring and show great compassion at least in the short run.

Unless he gets help, he will continue to be a lonely cult of one. The internet is a perfect storm for him.

Nevertheless, he is a product of the FOF like we all are and a good example of how woefully inadequate the FOF is in helping people evolve out of their unconscious patterns. In fact, the FOF does the opposite of what is claims; it reinforces unconsicousness and dependency.

21. fofblogmoderator - February 12, 2010

19 is new

22. Thot Plickens - February 12, 2010

“People are barely aware of the best leaders. Next are leaders who are loved and praised. Next are leaders who are feared. Next are leaders who are despised and defied.

“When you lack faith, others lack faith in you. The Sage is self-effacing and one of few words. When he is successful, the people say, “We ourselves were successful.”

-Lao Tzu

23. brucelevy - February 12, 2010

20. WhaleRider

The only thing I would disagree with is your invented scenario of his childhood. It’s something we can’t know. What we CAN know is sociopathy is, to a great extent, genetic (although nurture can play a part that makes it more or less harmful to others).

24. Q - February 12, 2010

“sociopathy is, to a great extent, genetic”

I think the expression is “There but for the grace of God go I” or something similar.

What is the greater curse? To be the sociopathic guru? Or the victim of the sociopathic guru?

The guru has nowhere to run, as he must run

25. jonbeth - February 12, 2010

I worked with Greg in the 80s for M.Eroy. was his best man at his wedding with C——e and spent some time with him. He had long hair and long mooshtage then today he just has long hair and looks like an aging teenager.
At the job He used to throw fits and disapear for few weeks and then all of a sudden there he was again at the job.
He told me once that he told R.B that he was conscious and R.B reply was “you are not and let the numbers take care of themselves”.
You can see a photo of him here as it is in his facebook. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddjw7bd7_11vvj4hpd6
If you have not seen/read his gloomy outlook on the world, then check it here.


26. Q - February 12, 2010

… from himself.

27. brucelevy - February 12, 2010

24. Q

“What is the greater curse? To be the sociopathic guru? Or the victim of the sociopathic guru?”

Being the victim of a sociopathic guru, and then going and putting yourself out there as a sociopathic guru. The snake swallowing it’s tail.

28. fofblogmoderator - February 12, 2010

25 is new

29. silentpurr - February 12, 2010

Somewhere along the way Greg seems to have forgotten the main point.

30. WhaleRider - February 12, 2010

Re: nature vs nurture and mental illness…which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I am of the mind that the main proponents of the nature/genetic model are rich pharmaceutical companies who mainly fund the studies in order to develop new drugs.

Notice there is no test for serotonin levels in the brain, yet antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed (and profitable) drugs on the market.

On the other hand, nurturing is labor intensive and time consuming.

31. surelyujest - February 12, 2010

19 Dumbstruck

“One of the axioms on Greg’s site is, ironically: “Negativity slams the door of chance removing the necessary element of luck required to find your Self.””

Equally ironic is this fact about his endless stream of axioms: they sound just like they were lifted from the angles in the Fellowship’s old seventies era journals. They have the precise tone, that same smug certainty and pseudo-intellectual formality. For someone who claims to hate the FOF as much as he does, he sure tries hard to imitate it, and especially the angles that were supposedly from Robert.

Also, the more you hate on him, the more he thinks he’s succeeding. That’s actually one of his axioms too — pearls before swine, and all that.

32. brucelevy - February 13, 2010

30. WhaleRider

I’m not aware of a pronounced pharmacological approach to treatment of sociopathy. In fact most mental health practitioners I know of pretty much don’t try to treat it. It’s a futile endeavor. They may prescribe standard, readily available mood altering drugs, but the industry see far richer areas to pursue. A psychopath is what he is. You can see it anyway you wish, but genetic predisposition is the primary cause, period. I’ve known quite a few who have come from loving, caring families, yet they are what they are, and usually one can find a precedent somewhere in the family tree. Becoming a criminal is something else entirely. One can produce a criminal with nurture alone in some cases.

33. brucelevy - February 13, 2010

31. surelyujest

and swine before pearls.

34. WhaleRider - February 13, 2010

BTW, the scenario I presented about Greg’s upbringing was not something I imagined, but based upon an assessment of his behavior There is undoubtedly a connection there. And Greg’s impulsive outbursts of anger (as reported by jonbeth) and his drug use (that he disclosed to me) are also symptoms of BPD.

He probably has one side of himself that believes he is indeed a “conscious being” and another side that loathes himself for joining the cult, and his moods oscillate between those two poles probably several times a day, which unconsciously mimics his childhood.

But we’ve gratefully departed from our discussion of Greg since I don’t feel he is necessarily displaying full blown sociopathic behavior although the two conditions often co-exist.. IMO, psychopathy is on yet another level altogether.

I don’t believe all mental illness is genetic, and you are right, there is strong evidence to support a genetic predisposition to psychopathy (sociopathy in extreme) regardless of upbringing. In order to process the existence of psychopathy in humans, some call it evil. On the other hand, I don’t believe there is overwhelming evidence to support that all sociopathic behavior is purely genetic either.

…Does that imply one might have a predisposition to “enlightenment” or “goodness” as well?

I don’t believe I am aware of a pronounced pharmacological approach to the treatment of anti-social personality disorders either, and the reason most mental health practitioners don’t treat it is because that segment of the population usually don’t seek treatment in the first place unless it is mandated by a court of law. Usually sociopathy is considered synonymous with criminality.

35. WhaleRider - February 13, 2010

Psychopathy is usually considered criminally insane.

36. More history needed - February 13, 2010

For sociopaths and upbringing read Alice Miller for your own good.

Bruce said that he knows, sociopath who come from healthy families?
I doubt it, based on what I studied and what I have encountered in daily live.

BTW what is a healthy live. Acc to Robert Scaer, http://www.traumasoma.com/
we are all traumatized in this society ( more or less). Just because the way we are born, put in daycares and our parents are sooo busy and lots of under unwanted issues on the way to growing up.

Enjoy Robert, worth studying

37. JIM RISSE - February 13, 2010

Hey Bruce,

I remember you cracking my neck in the Lodge some 30+ years ago! It was good just to see your name in print (brought to mind all the great guys like D. “Nicrazy” we used to know.)

We shouldn’t tiptoe around the issue of RB> He definitely is a demented person suffering from “NPD”(narcissistic personality disorder).

My heart goes out to Elena and others who suffered mightily trying to be true to the “work” and RB at the same time.

Unlike others, I had a great time in the fellowship. I loved working around the virile guys at the farm Like Randy O. , Grant R., Don B.and numerous others. They were a greater inspiration than was Robert and his “boys club”. Plus it was fantastic to know Stella and Harold–true characters.

If I could convey the “the double distilled essence” of what i have learned since fellowship days, it would be: “look to your own soul for truth and understanding”and remember that God,The Father, loves you….. each and every one.

38. apostate - February 13, 2010

This wanna-be ‘guru’ seems to think he’s the smartest ‘being’ on the planet, that he’s got the inside track on a ‘secret’ that nobody else knows about, that everyone else is too ‘stoopit’ to recognize his ‘brilliance.’ As for the one-liners, these ‘pithy’ little absolutisms that he shits out, where have I seen this type of ‘mentation’ before? He would like to pass it off as ‘wisdom’ (ha ha) but It indicates (to me) the fragmented and tortured state of mind he lives with. As a legend in his own mind and the smartest man on the planet, he thinks he’s the ultimate outsider, the archetypal rebel without a clue, still full of teenaged angst, which in a teen-ager is understandable, forgivable, but in a fifty-something year old ‘man’ it’s sad and pathetic. Some folks never grow up.

“Those who leave a cult usually immediately become enemies and scapegoats and ostracised pariahs, and contact with them is usually forbidden. Defectors from the cult are viewed as very dangerous enemies because they may encourage more members to leave (by saying true and sensible things about the cult). Those who quit the cult become the ultimate outsiders.”


39. surelyujest - February 13, 2010

37 apostate

“This wanna-be ‘guru’ seems to think he’s the smartest ‘being’ on the planet, that he’s got the inside track on a ’secret’ that nobody else knows about, that everyone else is too ’stoopit’ to recognize his ‘brilliance.'”

Quite true. And sadly, he’s found the ideology that perfectly reinforces all his worst tendencies: the 4th way.

It tells him he’s more special than all those billions of sleeping machines. It offers oodles of labels to codify meaningless shades of difference, which is easily mistaken for wisdom or knowledge. It offers the certainty of belief which he now shares with all those religious fundamentalists he claims to despise.

The first step for anyone in that position to heal is to start over, with the understanding that we don’t really know much of anything. But that requires a step that is probably too painful: giving up one’s imagined superior position in the world.

How many of us have the courage to admit we’ve wasted much of our lives studying a fictional ideology, and using it to construct an imaginary understanding of the world? Ouch.

40. apostate - February 13, 2010

Well said. A person first must acknowledge that he needs healing before any meaningful movement in that direction takes place. You bring up an important piece of the healing rubric: even if one can recognize, acknowledge and ‘consciously’ admit that one needs healing, it still takes a great deal of courage and inner fortitude to abandon the imbalances which lead to illness — it’s all the more difficult when a person’s entire self-perception is invested in the imbalances.

Regarding the ideology that reinforces bad tendencies — I used to think that the FOF attracted people who started out with good intentions, but I’m more pessimistic about it now. The people who the FOF (generally) attracts are those with a high level of narcissism and (somehow) becoming entrenched as a FOF member redirects those narcissistic tendencies to benefit the primary narcissist — a.k.a. “the teacher.”

41. WhaleRider - February 13, 2010

The last person I had the chance to meet who IMO had full blown sociopathy bordering in psychopathy was about 6 months ago and quite a piece of work.

He was 32-35, rather muscular, tattooed, and claimed to have a bad cocaine/meth habit. He also claimed to be a professional gambler and proficient in Martial Arts. He wasn’t cut out for a 9-5 job, in other words. I noticed he wore steel toed boots, though. He had recently arrived in the city with his mother, whom he had traveled with from Florida.

He seemed attached to his mother who apparently urged him to get help for his stimulant abuse. He claimed to have never known his father. He also reported that when using drugs he engaged in unsafe sex with male transvestite prostitutes, (also known to abuse stimulants), which was surprising to me since he didn’t appear to be the least bit gay.

He talked about how he didn’t let anyone “get in his way”. He mentioned getting into trouble in the past about “not being able to control his anger” as he put it. Then he started going into detail about this homeless guy who often slept in his apartment building doorway and had somehow disrespected him. He went to great lengths to convey to me how “lucky” the homeless guy was that they haven’t run into each other lately.

When talking about how he went out looking for the homeless guy the week before and how he was going to beat the living daylights out of him, his eyes glazed over and he began gesturing with his fists, as though he’d been down that road many times. This didn’t appear to be an idle threat; he came across as very, very menacing, without any compassion whatsoever for the homeless man’s plight.

It was a chilling experience. He had a face of stone.

42. fofblogmoderator - February 13, 2010

37 is new

43. brucelevy - February 13, 2010


Risse. Wow, good to hear from you. I was thinking about Nik-crazy the other day. When he and I lived together in OH we used to drive around and he’d smile and wave to every car that went by. I asked him what the hell he was doing. He said “Every smile’s a square foot of tile.” Yeah you and I seem to have been inspired by some of the same people.

Nice to have you here.

44. brucelevy - February 13, 2010

40. apostate

I agree. It’s a totally different pool of people now who are attracted to the FOF than it was 20-30 years ago. Different ends of the spectrum I think.

45. apostate - February 13, 2010

Did I hear, or did I imagine I heard that D. Nicrazy passed away not so long ago?

Speaking of ‘the spectrum’ –

To preface this, I will say that some measure of what follows could be applied more or less to myself and probably each and everyone, it’s a matter of ‘relativity’ and a question of degree. Psychopathy and sociopathy are two designations for categories of anti-social behavior and as far as that goes, I think I can ‘safely’ say that everyone experiences some ‘antisocial’ tendencies, again it’s just a matter of degree and manifestation. Psychopathy is at the extreme end of the spectrum of anti-social behavior and sociopathy is somewhere below it in terms of extremity. They’re both considered ‘personality disorders’ and as one source puts it: “they’re an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors, but psychopathy leans towards the hereditary whereas sociopathy tends towards the environmental.”

Although his followers would like to believe that “conscious Bob” is above mere mortals, the fact that he can be categorized somewhere on the spectrum is not in doubt, it’s just a question of ‘where’ on the scale; is he at the ‘psychopathic’ end or the ‘merely sociopathic’? In the past we’ve discussed ‘criminality’ in relation to Burton and as stated previously, just because he’s not been convicted, it does not diminish his criminality (nor does it excuse his criminality as DC tried to assert). Likewise, just because he’s managed to steer clear of being institutionalized in an asylum, that doesn’t mean he’s not insane. I would contend that he IS BOTH A CRIMINAL AND INSANE, therefore, he is criminally insane. Whatever you care to call it, there’s no doubt in my mind that Burton belongs in a category somewhere further toward the psychopathic side than our ‘friend’ Greg. (Although he might like the idea of being compared with his ‘teacher,’ in reality the ‘generosity’ of such a comparison is not flattering and should be no consolation).

46. Ill Never Tell - February 13, 2010

Hey, 45. apostate, “conscious Bob” is on the tell-a-pathic end of the anti-social behavior spectrum: what he tells you to do, you had better do it, like it or not, or you’re toast. Either way, you’d be up the ‘proverbial’ creek without a paddle.

47. Thot Plickens - February 14, 2010

Sociopaths exploit both healthy and unhealthy traits in others.

If a person has the ability for self-reflection and self-analysis and a willingness to assign responsibility or blame to themselves, sociopaths exploit this. So if someone tends to “look inward” for changes in their lives and for solutions — which is a healthy trait — they may also have difficulty “looking outward” enough to acknowledge that others can be harmful, manipulative, deceptive, pathological liars, and even criminal.

Meanwhile, it’s true that Burton FOF, Inc. also takes advantage of narcissist tendencies of many followers. So both are true. Sure, the FOF attracts a different type of follower these days, but I think the sense of ego — trying to stand out from the rest of the world — has always been the hook. Followers always fit into this range to a greater or lesser degree.

So it’s a relationship. But like any relationship where one person is administering most of the abuse, you don’t start to solve the problem by “looking inward” and trying to figure out “how I attracted this” — such as a wife who is being physically abuse. In fact, “feeling blame” for being abused is part of the problem. First step is to acknowledge the abuse and not make excuses for it. And next step is to stop blaming yourself for the abuse.

It’s odd how people may *believe* they’re “doing well with someone” even when the abuse is being dished out in heavy doses. Lower middle class Republicans, for example, who have no idea that Republicans in Congress and in the White House have harmed their economic standing for decades, but who continue to vote for them based on “lower taxes.” (I’m not necessarily saying the Democrats have helped that much either, but the notion that Republican politicians are somehow *better* for the middle class is a ludicrous idea. And yet many victims of Republican policies believe that, which is why Republicans continue to get elected.

I was the same with Burton. He was speaking the words I wanted to hear, while simultaneously picking my pocket and keeping me in prison. So I can’t fault those lower middle class Republicans too much. I’ve fallen for the same lie.

48. Susan Zannos - February 14, 2010

Every now and again someone will have a try at expressing what he or she gained in the Fellowship that was of value to them–and then everyone jumps them and works them over for their opinion. But with the obvious danger of getting mauled and chewed on, I did receive something of considerable value to me.
I will never again hear of the cruelty of German guards escorting their prisoners to the gas chambers, or young soldiers at Abu Ghaib or Guantanamo torturing prisoners and wonder in horror, “How could anyone do that to another human being?” I will never contemplate the belief system of Christian Zionists who happily work toward nuclear armageddon so that they can participate in the Rapture and wonder, “How could anyone believe anything that crazy?”
Ouspensky said somewhere that if you tried this work, you could be guaranteed only one thing: you would see yourself. I’m not so sure about the business of “the truth will set you free,” but some truth at least has united me with all of humanity, not just the ones I thought I should be united with.

49. apostate - February 14, 2010
50. apostate - February 14, 2010

Musings on “Wisdom and then some” — Ironically, the degree to which hatred of others is based on similarity continues to be a curiosity. Are those who remind him most of himself the ones he chooses to target? Is it based on a deep-seated self-loathing? There is a seamless reinforcement of his own neurotic tendencies and his adopted, artificially acquired ‘4th Way’ belief-system, an ideology which supports separating himself from himself, you know the mentality; “I” vs “the many I’s,” “man as a machine,” the “sleeping” machine, etc, etc. He likes to think that he’s privy to ‘secrets’ which make him ‘special,’ and this sepreates him from others, it makes him a social isolate.

He seems to base the validity of his acquired ‘special’ knowledge on a notion that it is ‘ancient,’ as if that alone would validate it. The idea that the “4th Way” is ‘ancient’ and therefore more ‘valid’ than current knowledge is another acquired notion about his ideology, something he read in a book when he was 20. The book was by or about Gurdjieff, someone who trimmed and painted the feathers of sparrows in order to sell them as canaries to the unsuspecting.

This adopted ideology feeds into and supports a sense of disorientation in the world, of not belonging, of being an ‘outsider,’ the archetypal ‘rebel’ who rages against everything he sees, which he sees as conformity and ‘the norm.’ The “Fourth Way” has nothing to do with “evolution” it’s a system that keeps the believer trapped in a state of self-doubt always wondering which “I” is me ? This is a state of depersonalization in which an individual is susceptible to suggestion and manipulation. Someone with a degree of ‘charm’ or charisma, someone like a Burton (or Gurdjieff), who is adept at using ‘the system’ to his advantage, might be able to sell “the system” and convince others of the “truth” of such a system, once the hook is set, he’s able to keep the believers disoriented, disconnected, in a state of depersonalization and dependent on authority which makes the believer malleable, easy to manipulate.

Fortunately, in this case the ‘guru wanna-be’ is only able to convince himself of the “truth” of the “4th Way,” he remains a cult of one, thus sparing the rest of humanity from yet another huckster who would use his ‘special-ancient-knowledge’ to take advantage of others. Even Ouspensky abandoned and renounced the Gurdjieff system later in life, you might say he finally “woke up” and realized that it was a dead end and a distraction.

“It is ironic that Ouspensky is remembered mostly for his book on Gurdjieff, which is the least of his works and the very thing that keeps the Gurdjieff movement going. Indeed, much of the better stuff people tend to give Gurdjieff credit for was, in fact, Ouspensky all along. Without Ouspensky to make his ideas semi-coherent, there never would have been a Gurdjieff movement. It would have died with Gurdjieff. In any event, it has been noticed by too few that many of the ideas credited to Gurdjieff, such as the antiquity of the Sphinx, for example, are mentioned in Ouspensky’s books long before Gurdjieff professed them, in altered form, later on. And Gurdjieff himself said he would beg Ouspensky to be his teacher if Ouspensky “understood” his own books! From this we can gather that Gurdjieff read Ousepensky’s early classics, admired them, and very likely appropriated many of Ouspensky’s own ideas, only to regurgitate them back at their originator later on, as part of Gurdjieff’s own admittedly ‘stolen’ hodgepodge of ideas. No wonder Ouspensky was so impressed with him.”

51. dragon - February 14, 2010

3. hundredthousandangels

wonder, wonder, wonderful!

more angels needed???
And “Kölle Alaaf” from the German carnival to all Blog visitors!
Have funny days and forget the FoF theatre!

52. dragon - February 14, 2010

the link for:

3. hundredthousandangels:

53. Thot Plickens - February 14, 2010

From the link Apostate provided:

“Zimbardo comments that strong social forces were in operation and that people fell into their respective roles very quickly. The lack of people ‘just quitting’ attests to the power of obedience and how well people will stick to ‘the rules’ that are presented to them…”

Apostate (50):

“The “Fourth Way” has nothing to do with “evolution” it’s a system that keeps the believer trapped in a state of self-doubt always wondering which “I” is me ? This is a state of depersonalization in which an individual is susceptible to suggestion and manipulation. Someone with a degree of ‘charm’ or charisma, someone like a Burton (or Gurdjieff), who is adept at using ‘the system’ to his advantage, might be able to sell “the system” and convince others of the “truth” of such a system, once the hook is set, he’s able to keep the believers disoriented, disconnected, in a state of depersonalization and dependent on authority which makes the believer malleable, easy to manipulate.”

Years ago, one of Burton’s followers held a “lecture” in the FOF about “hydrogens”, which presumably was an attempt to show scientific and logical validity to the “fourth way” or “the system.” I recall the lectures didn’t last long, or if they did they grew smaller and smaller. No surprise, because he simply called attention to how little we actually know, and how little scientific basis there is for the fourth way. As soon as people really dissected it, they also started questioning it more.

Self-reflection, self-realization, self-analysis and honest attempts to see one’s own actions and reactions to the world are all healthy ideas – AND they are nothing new. Carrying it beyond that into a delusional belief that we understand the entire cosmos is quite a leap, no matter how many diagrams we use to state our case.

One idea that the FOF strangely neglected related to “self-observation” was how our thoughts can truly shape our world, and even change our lives. Our thoughts can help to make us strong, weak, healthy, unhealthy, successful, unsuccessful, happy or unhappy, productive or unproductive, loving or hateful. As one author recently wrote, “Changing your thoughts can change your life.”

Of course, the Fellowship of Friends couldn’t discuss THIS type of “self-observation.” Because Burton’s followers changing their lives is not exactly on the agenda.

Regarding this recurrent question of whether we learned anything of value in the FOF:

Simply from living our lives, reflecting, going through trial and error, and from being in close proximity to others who are maybe doing the same — we did learn something, sure we did. But one of the biggest realizations that allowed me to leave the FOF was the realization that all of the best lessons learned in the FOF can be learned anywhere — and much more. And taking it a step further, there’s a chance to unlearn the many unhealthy ideas that we learned in the FOF that — if not addressed in some way — can persist for years after leaving.

Is “life” a “desert” as Burton would have us believe?

Step 1 for me was literally shaking myself free from that thought virus.

54. surelyujest - February 14, 2010

“The artificial personality does not like consciousness because such a state demands that a man think about himself and his life. ”

Only a person who has spent his life viewing others through the lens of someone else’s theories, instead of direct observation, could make a statement like that. But the individual warped by ideology sees only those things that support their presumptions.

“You know it, I know it and most of those reading this know that what I’m saying here is actually the case.”

So it all comes down to this: deep down we all know the 4th way is true, some of us just can’t admit it.

I remember that mindset. It was when I was a member of a cult. For someone who has stringently applied a comprehensive set of dogma to their lives over the course of 3 or 4 decades, it is probably too late for freedom. The world is so much bigger — the average “buffoon” is so much bigger — than your claustrophobic ideology would have you believe.

The “six of hearts” — more imaginary knowledge, this straight from Robert Burton. Following Gurdjieff and Ouspensky is one thing, but clinging to Robert Burton’s fantasies is quite another.

That little rush of satisfaction you feel when you think you’ve observed the 6 of hearts is nothing more than that experienced by the elderly bingo players when their number is called. It fits! Okay, what number is next…

55. surelyujest - February 14, 2010

“You know it, I know it and most of those reading this know that what I’m saying here is actually the case.”

That’s what it comes down to? We all know it’s true, you just can’t admit it.

I remember thinking like that. But I was in a cult then…

56. surelyujest - February 14, 2010

53 Thot Plickens

Nicely stated. I still remember the very moment when I shook myself free from the FOF/4th way “thought virus.” The world opened up, as though I had been trapped in a claustrophobic, dark box, and I greeted my long-lost, natural self with relief and gratitude.

I also remember in that moment thinking how the cult members would say that this relief is what if feels like to give up the hard work of evolution. But even all these years later, I can feel, and trust, the difference between the ideology’s words and my own experience. I’ve never regretted for a moment the choice I made. That imprisoned state of mind is something I look back on with a kind of nausea, and is something I would never choose to go back to.

I remember waking up each day in the Fellowship with a kind of dread — my life had become sheer drudgery, and self-loathing of the machine, and constant second-guessing of myself.

Since that time when I rejected the cult and its dogma, I have slowly developed a different kind of feeling many days: that of simple gratitude for the abundance and miracle of life. Not every moment, and certainly not because I’ve lived a life of ease and luxury — God no.

In my FOF/4th way days, I remember many times thinking I “should” be grateful — for finding the school, for discovering The Work, for being “chosen from the billions of sleeping machines.” What a different feeling than actual gratitude.

57. Thot Plickens - February 14, 2010

54. surely u. jest

Yep I agree. It also comes down to fear.

Behind the inability to admit something are many hidden premises locked away in our skulls. One of the keys to manipulating people is to keep those hidden premises locked away. Don’t call attention to them.

“Listen to your teacher.”
Hidden premise: “He knows you better than you know yourself.”
Deeper hidden premise: “If I take responsibility for what’s needed in my life, what happens if I screw up? I’ll have no one to blame but myself? Ok then, I better listen to my teacher.”

So, it’s fear.

The deeper hidden premise is a thought virus. We are telling ourselves that life is a trap, and that bad things are around the corner if we don’t make exactly the right moves at exactly the right times in exactly the right way. It’s really a mind-F the Fellowship of Friends. One cure is to take a deep breath or two, and not second-guess every move that we make. Laughter helps. Friends help.

Ah, another thought virus… that friends are not available “out there.” Just look. And keep looking. Don’t stop. It’s surprising how many true, actual, authentic friends there are. Of course, taking the analogy of finding a parking place in a crowded city, it’s always hard to find that parking place if you insist on looking on only one city block. Gotta drive around a bit. Friends are like that, too. Looking for them in one place, and one place only — not a good idea.

One could write a book on thought viruses in the FOF.

58. Thot Plickens - February 14, 2010

55. Surelyujest. Beautifully stated.

59. fofblogmoderator - February 14, 2010

54 is new

60. veramente - February 14, 2010


Just read this story of an Israeli Cult leader as stated in the article.
(mostly a guy who married lots of women and performed rape and sodomy to his daughters as well)
What surprised me is that the authorities knew about this man for ten years and not until recently they finally “convinced” (brackets are mine) one of the victims to press charges.

61. apostate - February 15, 2010

Regarding musings upon the site called “Wisdom and then some,” here is a disclaimer: as I make no claim to being ‘clairvoyant’ or possessing ‘special insights,’ much of what I am about to write is admittedly an exercise in speculation, for what it’s worth. As for the website (hyperlink below) that is of current interest, it’s chock-full of examples of a “4th Way” cult mentality, as such it provides ‘useful’ illustrations of what to avoid — if you’ve already escaped from the trap of the FOF organization, you can count your blessings. But as illustrated by said website, just because you’re free of the organization, that doesn’t mean you’ve finished the work of freeing your mentality of the cult trappings:

“Of course there are many things wrong with the mentality of the average person on the street, but all this has already been explained to this person to no avail. The Fourth Way is only for those dissatisfied with themselves.”


This is typical ‘4th Way’ claptrap, and a good example of the tenet that “when we feel badly, we act badly.”  There is a certain type of fundamentalism that underlies most of the material on this person’s website(s); yes it is based on a dogmatic belief in the “4th Way” ideology which gives it a particular spin and sets it apart (somewhat) from other cults, but what fundamentalists of any stripe have in common is thinking in terms of ‘absolutes,’ they tend to see the world in black and white. Our ‘friend’ here exemplifies this mentality constantly throughout the pages of these websites, he is absolutely convinced of a ‘4th Way’ version of ‘the truth’ and his convictions create and reflect a mind that is closed-off, walled-in by a toxic ideology. He’s not about to consider for even a moment, that 36 years of devotion has lead him to a dead-end. He doesn’t seem to realize that what is “wrong with the average person on the street” IS HIM, he’s what’s wrong, it’s his imagination and his own constitution projected outward onto this notion of “the average person.” And so he persists in his cult of one, a rebel without a clue.

Somewhere along the line he acquired a schema about the world that it is a hostile and mean place filled with people out to get him. Because of this ‘schema’ he ‘sub-consciously’ produces ‘proof’ for his expectations, this is the mechanism of a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ at work; his devotion to “the 4th Way,” the FOF experience, the blog, all reinforce aspects of his ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ Part of his rationalization is that he’s a rebel who nobody can understand, after all, he’s no “average person on the street” — his acquired ideology supports a pre-existing condition marked by antisocial tendencies and depersonalization. The 4th Way, his adopted belief system “justifies” his anti-social tendencies and a depersonalized state of being, his ideology neutralizes (somewhat) a depersonalized condition because these beliefs seem to explain the condition and provide some feeling that he’s ‘OK’ and justified in his attitude toward the world. He’s acquired specific ‘scripts’ for how to act and he’s acquired a feeling of self-efficacy based on what ? Apparently conversations he has with himself about his ideology. It seems a little nuts to me but hey, whatever floats yer boat.

According to the material on his websites and what he’s posted here in the past, most of his ‘script’ comes directly from “The 4th Way.” In his distorted thinking, after all these years of devotion to an ideology, does he still carry any expectations for a ‘positive’ outcome ? (though not positive in any sense, one expectation that comes through over and again is “my perceived ‘enemies’ will regret it”). Has he identified with victim-aggressors in his past ? Is he, in his own mind, some sort of heroic avenger of injustice? Is that the positive outcome he imagines? Social cognitions are acquired over time from interpretations of personal experiences, this creates a filter for “readings” of other events in the larger world — you can see the result of this in what he reflects back. Based on what he produces and launches into ‘cyberspace,’ he’s sometimes emotionally overwhelmed with a mixture of rage and depression and his action is a consequence of that emotional state. It is certainly hostile, reactive, with emotional aggression, and not necessarily instrumental aggression, or only ‘instrumental’ inasmuch as it is intended to be destructive rather than constructive. With that being said, I wish him well, he managed to free himself from the FOF, that’s a postitive step, now if he could just free his mind — as posted earlier on this page, giving up attachments takes an act of courage, as long as the perception is that it’s safer to carry on with what is familiar, the necessary courage lies dormant.

62. More history needed - February 15, 2010

Israeli cult leader charged with enslavement, rape
February 14, 2010 12:05 p.m. EST
Goel Ratzon has allegedly fathered 59 children by 23 wives.
Goel Ratzon has allegedly fathered 59 children by 23 wives.

* Goel Ratzon, 60 accused of living with 23 wives
* Ratzon allegedly controlled women in a cult-like structure
* Indictment says authorities knew of his cult for 10 years


* Israel
* Crime

Jerusalem (CNN) — An Israeli man accused of having 23 wives and fathering 59 children was charged Sunday in a Tel Aviv court with multiple counts of sexual assault, rape, sodomy and enslavement.

Goel Ratzon, 60, was arrested last month.

Authorities charge that he lived in a compound with the 23 wives, having convinced them that he was omnipotent.

All the wives tattooed Ratzon’s name and picture on their arms and the children’s names are all derivatives of his name, according to the court papers.

Ratzon married his first wife in 1972, added a second wife in the early 1980s, and from 1991 added another 21 wives, according to the indictment.

He persuaded the women that he had the power to heal and curse, through which he gained “complete control of their lives, desires, thoughts, emotions and actions,” the court papers say.

Ratzon spoke in court for first time last week, saying he was innocent, that everything was done with consent, and that any women who wished to leave could do so, Israeli media reported.

The indictment charges that the defendant “captured the women in a ‘pseudo-family’ structure that revolved around the worship of his image, making the birth of his children a supreme goal that the women must aspire to, and all this was to glorify him while serving and fulfilling all his needs.”

Ratzon demanded that his wives and children completely obey all of his orders and has stringent rules and had a penalty system if they disobeyed him, the indictment alleges.

He also “abused his wives by trampling their self-worth and cut them off from any outside social contact including their families, and by this enslaved them to him and his desires,” the court papers say.

The indictment includes allegations of rape and sodomy of two of his daughters, sexual assault of another daughter, and rape, assault and sodomy of four other girls.

Beyond the mental and physical control Ratzon had over his wives, he effectively controlled all of their finances, the indictment says. The women deposited major chunks of their social security payments and salaries into the family’s account, paid for all of his living expenses and bought him all his property and anything he demanded, authorities charge.

Ratzon’s cult has been known to the authorities for about 10 years, they said, but it was only about six months ago they succeeded in convincing one of the women to file a complaint. That brought about his arrest last month.

63. apostate - February 15, 2010

” The second line of work is available everywhere, with each person you come face to face with. Those in the various groups always insist that second line can only be done with them. They all clam this: “only with us.” Those of us that were in the FOF now easily understand that this insistence is a buffer used to maintain a defensive justification for belonging to a self-congratulating clique. The Fourth Way is science, in fact it is the originator of science.”


All of this is from an expert at ‘self-congratulating.’ (One thing that first jumps out from the above is the attempt in two different ways to assume and establish the ‘validity’ of the ‘us’ vs ‘them’ mentality). More generally, it appears that his aim is to impress with supposed erudition and artificial self-confidence, and thereby to attract a few ‘groupies’ so he can then move from the level of a ‘group’ of one, to a ‘clique.’ As a ‘group’ of one, although a lack of numbers reduces support, it does not diminish the extent of his own indoctrination, his own personal ‘group-think,’ which virus-like he attempts to spread via the web.

A lot of what this ‘wisdom’ dispensing person is posting, reminds me of parts of something I read from R. Lifton’s “Eight Point Model of Thought Reform” —

“The potential convert to the group becomes convinced of the higher purpose and special calling of the group.

“An explicit goal of the group is to bring about some kind of change, whether it be on a global, social, or personal level. ‘Perfection is possible if one stays with it and is committed.’

“Sacred science — a perspective that is believed to be absolutely true and completely adequate to explain EVERYTHING. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. ABSOLUTE conformity to the doctrine is required.

“LOADED LANGUAGE — A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members “think” within the very abstract and narrow parameters of doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a ‘black and white’ mentality. Loaded terms and clichés prejudice thinking.

“DOCTRINE OVER PERSON — Pre-group experience and group experience are narrowly and decisively interpreted through the absolute doctrine, even when experience contradicts the doctrine.”


64. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 15, 2010

Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

65. Thot Plickens - February 16, 2010

You could argue that a “cult of one” is a “higher school” than the Fellowship of Friends based on some of the comments by Robert Burton over the years.

Since the FOF was founded in 1970, the rough estimate is that only about 7 or 8 percent have stayed in the cult, so about 93-94 percent eventually come to their senses and leave. Add to that the thousands of people who may have been interested or curious about the Fellowship of Friends, and even attended introductory meetings, but ran in the other direction as fast as they could (possibly when they learned more about the cult, or when they simply listened to their intuition, or simply listened to what followers said to them more closely), then the percentage of people who reject Burton’s ideas is closer to about 99+ percent of everyone who comes in contact.

Burton routinely explains away the low retention rate of the FOF by saying his school does not “flatter” people, and that awakening is “difficult” and that it’s only for the select few, etc. If people reject his ideas and reject him, it’s obviously because they have a “lower level of being” he explains. Burton probably pokes fun at Hollywood because movie stars have the popularity and lifestyle that he craves, and just to annoy him even further, many of them get involved in volunteer work, altruistic endeavors, and social causes — something he strongly discourages for anyone in the FOF.

And good lord, they ALSO make monetary contributions to good causes — something that’s completely unacceptable in the FOF. (There’s only one cause in the FOF — and that is his cause.)

So, if you’re thinking about starting a cult, just remember: If you do start the cult and no one joins it, this means your school must be particularly difficult, and that your ideas are particularly unflattering to people. If no one joins, it’s truly a sign that you are higher being, and that you have founded the highest school on earth, so don’t despair.

66. Bares Reposting - February 16, 2010

by Ram Dass
Yoga Journal 1977

In his book The Way of Kabbalah, Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi warns that one of the hazards of the spiritual path is
that the seeker may mistakenly study
with a false teacher, someone who is
either self-deluded or an imposter.
He also writes that of even greater
. . .is the man who has reached some
level of realization. His quality is
usually enigmatic, and he often
possesses remarkable powers which
he uses to intrigue and manipulate
people who are not so evolved as
himself…Alas, such men have the
ability to fascinate and imprison
people by their personal charisma,
which is the exact reverse of
Kabbalah, whose object is to free
men from bondage…Such a man can
leave the path and descend to the
ego, where he exercises all the
powers and skills he has acquired
nominally for the sake of spiritual
work, but in actuality for the
glorification of his ego. To such
people the image of themselves is
most important, and with it comes
clothes and mannerisms, all of which
suggest that they know about the
next and upper World… The
phenomenon occurs on the edge of
all Traditions… Temptation is
possible all the way up Jacob’s
Ladder. Lucifer was among the
highest of archangels before he fell.
Only God is perfect.
To come in contact with a dark or
fallen Teacher is often part of a
seeker’s training. Many dead ends will
present themselves; but all will teach
him something, if only… how to
extract himself from the subtle net
that a false teacher weaves around his
followers so that his ego may feed on
Halevi’s warning fits the latest
chapter in my spiritual journey. I’d
like to share it with you to make my
own position known, and in order
that you might be forewarned of a
more than questionable teaching.
Whatever there is to be learned from
this is, I think, of importance to the
spiritual community as a whole.
Let me bring you up to date. My
guru, Neemkaroli Baba (better
known as “Maharaj-ji”), died in 1973.
Since then I had been with a few
other teachers, but none could begin
to replace him. I was also lecturing
and teaching on a full schedule, but I
found I was getting caught in more
worldly play, and I felt more and
more depressed and hypocritical. By
the end of the summer of 1974 I
decided to return to India. I didn’t
know what I’d find, but I’d go
anyway. I knew I was different than I
had been ten years before but I was
still not cooked.
Driving East, I stopped overnight
in Pennsylvania at a motel where I
was planning to watch the House
Judiciary Committee Hearings on
television, but a storm put out the
electricity. It was too early to go to
sleep so there was nothing left to do
but meditation. After Maharaj-ji came
to me in a vision. He looked just like
he always had looked.
He laughed and spoke to me. It’s
interesting—he had always spoken in
Hindi, and my Hindi was very bad. In
India there was always somebody
translating. But on these other levels,
the transmission is in thought forms,
and then it comes out in whatever
language you think in. So he said to
me, in very good English, “You don’t
have to go to India. Your teachings
will be right here.”.
It was so valid, and so real that at
that moment I decided not to go lo
India. I decided to go to New
Hampshire, meditate a month or so
in a cabin, clean out my head, and see
what would happen next.
On the following day passing
through New York City, I called
Hilda Charlton, a spiritual teacher, to
say hello. She told me there was a
woman in Brooklyn who I should
meet. When I resisted because I
wanted to be alone, she told me this
woman said my Guru was sitting in
her basement. Of course I decided to
stay one more night, and the next day
I went with Hilda to see a lady named
Joya. We went down into the
basement of her home and there she
was, sitting in what Hilda said was
samadhi. I checked; I could find no
breath or pulse. She was like a rock,
She was a very unusual looking
woman; she had long false eyelashes,
heavy mascara, and a low cut dress.
Maharaj-ji was an old man in a
blanket, but I’d given up having
models about what packages the next
message was supposed to come in.

Finally she came out of it, looked
at me, and said, “What the fuck do
you want?” Hilda said, “Oh, dear,
this is Ram Dass,” which didn’t seem
to make any impression on her at all.
She said, “I don’t care who the hell
he is. Does that old man over there
belong to you?” I looked and there
was a blanket with nothing on it. So I
said, “I don’t know.” She said, “He’s
buggin’ me; get him the hell out of
Then her consciousness seemed
to shift just a little bit as she went
into a very light trance, and suddenly
I felt Maharaj-ji was speaking to me
through her. He was talking about
things that he and I had been
discussing in India when I had seen
him last, little matters about
maintenance of the temples in India
and all kinds of very picayune
stuff that she probably could not
know and I hadn’t even remembered.
She came back from that plane but,
as she explained, she was not
conversant across planes so she
didn’t know what had just happened.
In the Winter of 1974 I moved to
New York City where, for 15
months, I studied intensively with
Joya. These teachings had a bizarre
intensity that is difficult to convey.
From 5 a.m. until 1 or 2 a.m. each
day, it was like being in a tornado—
or a clothes dryer. One had either to
get out or surrender. The realities one
was forced to accept went against
much of what is common sense, but
each time I railed against the system,
Joya would talk me out of it. For
example she let me know that my
lack of trust in her was killing her.
The women who surrounded her
abetted this emotional blackmail by
making desperate phone calls with
ghastly reports of how badly Joya was
bleeding due to my resistance.
So it was that I surrendered more
and more deeply to those teachings.
As I did so, I reported in interviews
and lectures that Joya was, as she
professed to be, an enlightened
being. Many factors contributed to
my surrender to her reality.

1) The intensity of the confrontation
(often twenty hours a day)
forced my subtle ego defenses to the
surface. And Joya, in a Kali-esque
way, pounced on these impurities and
magnified them until I had to let
them go or get out. I let them go as
fast as I could and hung in. This was
just the fire of purification that I,
with my chronic case of
unworthiness, was seeking.

She represented herself not only
as the actual Kali taken form, but as a
number of other cosmic identities as
well, including Athena (played to
Hilda as Artemis); Sri Matabrahma
(the Mother of the Universe, played
to Hilda as Lazuma, the Goddess of
light); and Tara, the Tibetan Goddess
of Tantras (played to an astral Padmasambhava).
As hokey as all this
seems, while I was in the teaching the
intensity arid brilliance of the staging
and props created a reality which
made me ready to believe the bizarre
assertion that a Jewish housewife and
mother of three, who was married to
a fine Italian Catholic man in
Brooklyn, was in fact Ms. Big, the
creative force of the Universe. I and
several hundred others were seduced
into this fantasy by her combination
of powerful charisma and chutzpaha
and by such things as her seeming to
go into deep trance states (with
cessation of bodily function), and her
claim to have manifested the
stigmata. In our greed for spiritual
materialism we wanted to believe it.

2) At the outset, Joya spent much
of our time together in trance states
in which she seemed to function as a
medium. Through her came many
seductively rich teachings—
supposedly from Biblical, Hassidic,
Hindu and Buddhist wise men and
women of the past, or from beings
on other planes. Her voice and
language would shift from
unschooled Brooklynese to exquisite
poetry that poured forth for hours at
a time. I was breathless with the
richness of these moments. Because
it was only through total loving
surrender by those around her that
these teachings could come forth, I
was led to surrender to the reality of
the entire scene more and more. She
told me that some of my teachers at
that time were such august spiritual
figures as Jethro (Moses’ father-inlaw),
Padmasambhava, Lao Tsu, as
well as Ramakrishna, Christ, Mary
Nityananda, an early Kaballah
teacher, Kali and Durga. This all
impressed me because I had never
been around people in trance states.

3) Many people for so long had
reinforced a model in which I was
someone special. Even Maharaj-ji
often said “Ram Dass is a great saint,” or
“Ram Dass— Isha” (Christ), or “I am
not your Guru, Ram Dass is your
Guru.” When most people asserted
my specialness I saw it as their lack of
perspective. When Maharaj-ji said it, I
saw it as his forcing my power trip to
the surface so we could see the
absurdity of it. But now when all these
incredible figures of the past appeared
to speak through Joya just to prepare
me for higher work, it fit in perfectly
with this grandiose model. With my
intellect I knew this model was just
another “trip”, and had said so time
and again, for I felt myself more and
more each day becoming nobody
special. Yet my ego thirst for power,
by no means fully eradicated, made me
vulnerable to this model that I was
somebody special, all the more so in
the face of such strong reinforcement.
For Joya kept reiterating that she had
come to earth only to be an
instrument for my preparation to be
a world spiritual leader and that
ultimately she would sit at my feet. All
of the people who were now around
her, she said, were being prepared to
support me in my later work. I easily
let myself be convinced.

Those who are familiar with the life
story of Krishnamurti will recall that
Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater of
the Theosophical Society proclaimed
the youthful Krishnamurti as the new
world leader. He too bought into it for
many years before he announced in
1929 the dissolution of the Order of
the Star, which had at the time more
than 50,000 members. In doing so,
he expressed an anti-spiritual
materialism line to which he has
adhered for the last 45 years:
‘I do not want followers and I
mean this. The moment you follow
someone, you cease to follow
…I desire those who seek to
understand me to be free, not to
follow me, not to make out of me
a cage which will become a
religion, a sect. . .You think and
hope that another can, by his
extraordinary powers — a miracle
— transport you to this realm of
eternal freedom which is
happiness . . . You have the idea
that only certain people hold the
key to the Kingdom of
Happiness. No one holds it. No
one has the authority to hold that
But Joya said she held the key.

4) There was even a powerful
vision I had had a few years earlier
which further played into Joya’s reality.
In the vision, I was being brought into
a large amphitheatre in which many
hundreds of beings in white robes
were gathered. At the far end, on a
dias stood a lone figure, a woman also
clad in a white robe. Although I could
not see the figure who guided me at
my elbow, I felt it was a man who
wished to sponsor me for membership
into this august body. Then the
woman on the dias raised her arm
pointing at me, said, “Take him out.
He’s not yet ready.” In the vision I
seemed to understand and agree
perfectly and left with my sponsor. So
now, sitting at the feet of one who
professed herself to be the Divine
Mother of the Universe, I felt that I
was, in fact, finally being made ready
for membership.

5) In the past five or six years I
have received literally hundreds of
grateful letters from people who
report how I came to them in a vision
or a dream at a time of need and
reassured or guided them. While I
personally have rarely experienced
such astral comings and goings, I must
conclude that either there are a lot
of hysterical people creating
fantasies about me because I am a
public figure, or that I have a secret
psychic life and am very active in my
subtle or astral body. Joya convinced
me that the latter was true, telling me
that 80% of my teaching was on other

6) Perhaps what had concerned me
most in the period just before I met
Joya was that I was not yet free of my
attachments to sexuality. After a long
and intense bisexual history, I still
found that my perceptions were
colored by my sexual desires. I could
afford to be patient about my own
purification from sexual clinging, but
in view of my public role, I was uneasy
that any sexual preoccupations on my
part would subtly contaminate those
to whom I lectured or with whom
I worked individually and thus
reinforce their own attachments and
suffering. Despite the fact that
Maharaj-ji had said, “I would never let
Ram Dass do anything wrong in
America.” The persistence of these
sexual preoccupations led me to doubt
Maharaj-ji, or at least to yearn to clean
up my sexual act. In view of how
many years I had been trying to get
free of these sexual clingings, including
offering lust into the sacrificial fires of
India, I had given up hope of ever
knowing freedom in this lifetime. The
sexual karma just seemed too heavy.

I had read of the transtric in certain
Tibetan sects for just this purpose.
The monk would go through a seies of
ritual openings working with a dakini,
or God-woman. Mostly these were
young women who had been prepared
from childhood to serve in these
rituals without any personal involvement
or clinging to the sensual aspect
of the ritual. In my fantasies I was
hoping that at some point I too would
be introduced to such teachings, and
through such conscious rituals with a
disciplined guide, I would once and
for all be free.
And now I was presented with a
woman teacher who within a few
months after the commencement
of the training, began to focus on
my sexuality. As I opened more and
more, assured by her of her total
perfect non-attachment to any desire
systems, I felt a new hope that
my dream for purification was
finally manifesting through this
teaching. I plunged headlong into the
tornado, casting caution and doubt to
the winds.

7) Maharaj-ji had again and again
said to me, “See the world as the
Mother and you will know God.” He
often was heard to be repeating the
word “Ma” over and over again. He
had several temples built to Durga, an
aspect of the Mother. And all of this
Mother devotion made me feel like an
outsider, for my own feelings about
the Mother were too colored by the
relationship with my mother and by
my training as a Freudian theorist and
therapist. To be in love with a
Universal Mother just wasn’t happening
for me. And yet I knew that the
aspect of devotion for the Mother, just
as much as devotion to the Monkey-
God Hanuman for whom I had overwhelming
love, was a part of the
lineage of my Guru. Sooner or later I
would have to find a way to appreciate
a devotional relationship with the
Mother. Then I came to New York
City and started to study with Joya and
enter her matriarchal reality. She
professed to be the Divine Mother,
and I felt that at last I would open up
to this form of devotion.

8) And finally there was the
experience in the Pennsylvania
motel with Maharaj-ji. The fact that
Joya continually spoke about
Maharaj-ji and implied his presence
by seeming to carry on
conversations with an astral
Maharaj-ji whom I could not see,
fed into my secret wish that though
Maharaj-ji had left his body, he
would return somehow to guide my
spiritual journey.
There were a few people around
Joya who appeared to have third eye
vision. I knew that though there is
often merit in such higher “seeing”,
the third eye can be as vulnerable a
suggestion as the other two. Nevertheless
these reports did strengthen
my belief in Joya.
Each of these pieces fed the
reality of the whole system.
There were of course many
disquieting aspects in life with Joya.
But I had to relinquish my doubts,
for with each doubt Joya would
provoke incredible guilt in me,
telling me that I was causing a
severe pain in her head. This pain
originated, so she said, with an
analine dye test on her brain. This
pain plus the fact that she freaked
and went stiff at the sound of sirens,
she attributed to having been taken
in a straight jacket by ambulance by
doctors engaged by her husband
who thought she was going insane.
She said that neurologically the
lobes of her brain had come
together. The doctors failed to
understand the spiritual significance
of this phenomenon, as did I, and
diagnosed her as having a brain
tumor. We were never allowed to
talk to the doctors and were
required to stand by helplessly and
watch the well-meaning husband
and the medical profession destroy
the greatest saint of our time. At
another time Joya reported that the
doctors had found her body riddled
with malignant cancer which she
told us she had taken on for another
person. In large groups we prayed
night and day to heal her, and she
finally reported a miraculous cure.
Joya seemed to have great
difficulty staying in her body and
would, at the slightest provocation
go stiff as a board. Efforts to keep
her in her body consumed much of
our time together. There was a jewel
that Joya wore around her neck that
Hilda had invested with a mantra to
bring her down. When Hilda
touched the stone Joya usually came
down, but with the pain so she said,
of a thousand razor blades cutting
through her. This was in turn very
painful to all of us. We therefore
went to great lengths to surrender to
Joya’s every whim so as not to cause
this painful drama.
Another way in which Joya could
be kept down on earth was with
gold bracelets. Soon both her arms
were covered practically up to the
elbows with these bracelets, gifts of
concerned devotees. She said that
impurities burned her so the gold
had to be of at least 18 karats. In my
zeal to save her, at one point, I
purchased a $1200 bracelet for her.
But in the back of my mind I kept
remembering a time with Maharaj-ji
back in 1971. At that time he would
call me to him when I was at the temple.
As often as ten or fifteen times in one day he
would point at me and say in Hindi,
“Women and Gold.” I never fully
understood why he was saying this.
At the time I knew that
Ramakrishna had often cautioned
devotees to beware of women and
gold, and I assumed that this was a
way of warning me about the traps
of sex and money. But now as I
found myself purchasing this costly
gold for this incredible lady, it
dawned upon me that perhaps
Maharaj-ji had meant his warning in
a more literal way than I had
Another costly trinket was an
$800 ring which Joya needed for
protection from a group of Tibetans
who were coming from a secret
Shangrila deep in Tibet to kidnap
her and return her to her throne as
the true Tara whom they
worshipped. For the ring we found
an old lapis lazuli scarab. When Joya
saw it, she said that what we thought
was just a pretty scarab was, in fact,
a sacred stone from northern
Afghanistan that had been taken
down into Egypt after having served
in ancient rituals among ancient
Aryans who later migrated to Tibet.
While this story seemed unlikely,
research did corroborate that lapis
lazuli was in fact mined only in
northern Afghanistan in ancient
times, and a scholar of Asian
religious history confirmed that the
Aryans had indeed brought
Buddhism to Tibet from, among
other places, northern Afghanistan.
It was such bits and pieces that kept
together the fragile web of reality
that Joya created.
Mixed with the melodrama were
hours of the most incredible meditations,
much discipline and practices
pranayama, great outpourings of
devotion in prayer and song, and
lectures in which Joya appeared to
read from an invisible blackboard
and share great truths. While all her
teachings were probably available in
various books that anyone could
have read, the intensity and context
of the presentations gave them the
quality of living original truth. And
there was no rest: I got only two or
three hours sleep a night. The
combination of fatigue and the
incredible energy surrounding Joya
kept my emotions at the very edge.
This made the drama all the more
volatile, and the hysteria more
pronounced and the reality more
tenaciously adhered to.
During my time with Joya, a
number of people, many of whom
were devotees of Maharaj-ji, came to
take teachings. After a time, a few
left. My involvement led me to look
upon these few as unfortunate in
that their ability to surrender was
insufficient for them to receive
these precious teachings. But then
my own doubts started to grow
faster than I could consume them.
Joya had changed a great deal in the
year. She came to resent having
beings speak through her and
refused to serve as a medium. Thus
while she still had great shakti
(power) and charisma, her lectures
became merely the reflections of the
culture in which she had grown up,
sprinkled with spiritual homilies. In
her new feeling of power she also
cast aside Hilda. As Joya’s
compatriot. Hilda, with her astral
carryings-on, had generated the
necessary climate of hysteria to
support Joya’s melodrama. Joya had
said time and again, “If you want my
truth, you must also take my
insanity.” Slowly I came to be
unwilling to make that bargain.
For example, one day Joya and I
were hanging out and the telephone
rang. She picked up the receiver and
in a pained whisper said, “I can’t
talk now, I’m too stiff,” and let the
receiver drop. The phone was hung
up and without hesitation she
resumed our conversation as if
nothing had happened. I realized
how many times I had been at the
other end of the phone.
No matter how I rationalized, my
doubts grew. With doubt came
boredom. The tantric exercises no
longer seemed productive. I began to
experience Joya as just another
person with attachments. I
entertained the possibility that these
feelings were cues that I was finished
with this teaching and should leave.
But there was anger in me, and
Maharaj-ji had warned us that no
matter what we did, we should never
put another person out of our heart.
So I waited until my love was strong
and then I tried to bow out
But Joya would have no part of it.
She treated this withdrawal as resistance
which had to be overcome for
my own good. To this end she
enrolled her entourage to persuade
me through messages, pleas, threats,
badgering and general disruption of
my life. For almost four months, I
had to live as if in a state of siege:
refusing to answer the telephone,
which rang day and night, and often
keeping someone posted at the door.
If a call happened to get through, I
would be told by one of her wellmeaning
devotees that Joya lay bleeding and
dying because of my infidelity.
At times Joya would show up in
person to tell me that I was afraid of
love or unwilling to surrender. I was
told that the astral Maharaj-ji was
crying because I had defected. And
on and on. The drama got so heavy
that in one early morning episode she
and her followers were sighted
climbing over the roof of an eighteen
story building in an attempt to break
into the apartment where I lived. The
police were summoned by the
management to remove Joya, who by
then was trying to pick the lock and
kick my door in. This foiled her
attempt to bring me to my senses and
to save me from the evil influence of
the people with whom I was
associating, all of whom had left her
The reality had crumbled.
I began to see the similarities
between these events and stories
about other movements such as the
so-called Jesus Freaks, Reverend
Moon’s group, and the Krishna
Consciousness scene. Once you are
in them, they provide a total reality
which has no escape clause.
My leaving Joya was part of a
large exodus of disillusioned
followers, including some who had
served as servants in her home. And
as the refugees who left the front
lines exchanged stories, the incredible
tapestry of half truths and lies started
to unravel.
By all reports there had been
no doctors nor dyes, no straight
jackets, no cancer riddled body, no
stigmata and no Tibetans, Her
incredible energy came not solely
from spiritual sources, but were
enhanced by energizing pills. Her
closest confidants now confessed
that many times they were ordered to
call me to report a terrible crisis they
knew to be an outright lie. They
complied because she convinced
them that it was for my own good.
Stories of such deceptions came thick
and fast. Finally, I had to admit I had
conned myself.
What is the lesson from all this? Is
it a study in gullibility, fed by greed
and spiritual materialism? Is it
Maharaj-ji’s lila or cosmic joke? Is it a
study of paranoid schizophrenia or
psychopathy? Is it a case of the
misuse of spiritual powers? Perhaps
it’s all of these. Or could it just be a
tantric teaching that defies judgment?
I don’t know the answer. I can label
this phenomenon a dozen different
ways and build a supportive case for
each reality. But enough realities have
been built—and crumbled—in this
These teachings have a positive
side. Through them and the leaving
of them, many of us have gained
strength, compassion, openness, and
an ability to allow the movement to
be as it is. For all of this I am deeply
grateful. However, while I and others
profitted from these teachings, not
everyone did. Some seemed to have
been hurt in that they came away
with more despair, cynicism, and
paranoia than they had before. If
Joya’s is not a pure tantric teaching, it
is heavy karma indeed! Lies used to
enhance one’s personal power do not
There is an aura that surrounds
tantric teachings which implies that
the ends justify the means. For a
liberated tantric teacher, such a
morality may be possible. For a
teacher with any attachment, it is not.
Since I now see that things I said
previously about this teaching are just
not true. I come away with egg on
my beard. But of more significance
than my embarrassment is the issue
of truth. Maharaj-ji insisted that I tell
the truth no matter how
embarrassing. For he said, and I
believe, that truth will make you free.
During the period of Indian protest
against the British, Mahatma Gandhi
had initiated a large protest march in
which many thousands were
involved. After the first day of the
march, Gandhi called his lieutenants
and cancelled the protest. They objected
strongly saying that after all
this effort he couldn’t do this. He
answered, “My commitment is to
truth not to consistency.”

There is one final point to be
made. Is there reason to fear taking
teachings out of concern as to
whether the teacher is pure? Perhaps
not, for all that can ever trip us up is
our own impurities. Which is not to
say that discrimination is to be
abandoned, for indeed it remains an
invaluable protection on the path. I
got caught because of my spiritual
greed and insufficient faith in
Maharaj-ji. You too may get caught
and suffer deep disappointment and
confusion. But I hope that you may
learn something from my example
and save yourself a big detour, if your
longing for God is pure, this is your
strength. Then though you may get
lost for a time, you will in the end
hear clearly in your inner heart what
to do, and all the impurities around
you will just become more grist for
the mill of your awakening.

PDF here:

67. Bares Reposting - February 16, 2010

Baba Ram Dass (a.k.a.: Richard Alpert) on wikipedia:

68. brucelevy - February 17, 2010

66. Bares Reposting

He wrote some useful stuff, especially in the days when I and my peers were pretty stoned. Some side info, I went to his first meetings/ lectures in NY when he came back as Ram Dass (somewhere around 1968 or so). He had a copy of the Search next to him and would periodically use some of the info. He also immediately had his eyes on the pretty men in the audience. I don’t know what he did with all that that “stuff” subsequently, but I doubt he pulled the shit RB does.

69. Thot Plickens - February 17, 2010

The fact the Ram Dass even addressed the topic of “false teachers” and “imposters” is perhaps telling. To my knowledge, it’s not a topic ever addressed by Burton at all — for all the apparent reasons.

As Fellowship of Friends followers, ‘we’ could sometimes be critical in our thinking, but there were certain topics we’d never address. One topic we avoided was any discussion of other cults, and any discussion of other cult leaders. You’d think that topic would be useful for us in “valuing” the FOF and in recognizing a mistake made by hundreds of thousands of “sleeping life people” — joining a cults! But obviously such a discussion — if addressed with any honesty for more than one or two sentences — would just bring more attention to the obvious: that the FOF is yet another cult, and that Burton is yet another cult leader.

Fascinating article by Ram Dass. Thanks for (re)posting that.

p.s. regarding the following passage:

“…he often
possesses remarkable powers which
he uses to intrigue and manipulate
people who are not so evolved as
himself…Alas, such men have the
ability to fascinate and imprison
people by their personal charisma,
which is the exact reverse of
Kabbalah, whose object is to free
men from bondage…”

“Not so evolved as himself” means that some of his followers have a conscience and that he doesn’t. Someone with that quality may seem to walk on water. After all, nothing stops them.

70. veramente - February 17, 2010

66 Bares Reposting

Thank you for the reading, long but fascinating. It takes some courage to write that stuff and put it out there for everyone to read.
I do squirm though to his (Ram D.s) thoughts about purity and the search for God.

71. Kid Shelleen - February 17, 2010

If anyone is interested, watch the movie “Fierce Grace.” It’s about how Ram Dass was initially dealing with his stroke. It’s a very good documentary. For me, there is a very telling moment when he relates what was going through his mind as the stroke occurred. He said there were no spiritual thoughts in his mind at all. No teachings, no visions, nothing higher, nada. He felt the paramedics and the stretcher; watched the roof of the ambulance, the ceiling of the ER, the pipes and florescent lights as he was ushered down the hall to the OR. He said that he came to the conclusion that, if after all the work he had done on himself, this incredibly mundane experience was to be his last, he really needed to re-dedicate himself to more work. When I heard him say that, I had the feeling he may have drawn the wrong conclusion from his experience.

72. silentpurr - February 17, 2010

Comparing Robert’s ‘school’ and Greg’s ‘school’ ……
Robert, like Greg, is also very comfortable with maligning people from a distance…
I notice that communication is in one direction only. No invitation to a dialog….
I guess, if one misses the main point of the Gurdjieff/ Ouspensky teaching and one decides to ‘teach’ from having been inspired by a false teacher, It will be from reinforced FEATURES, just as Greg demonstrates.
Did anyone ever actually have a conversation with RB? I didn’t.

73. sallymcnally - February 17, 2010

Since you guys are on the subject of Ram Dass you may want to check out a website Doorway Into Light. This is an organization Ram Dass has started to help dying people transition into death. Whatever he said or didn’t say in the past, he certainly is doing inspirational work now. I am about to become an active member. Namaste —

74. another name - February 17, 2010

Dear Sally McNally

Please before you start with the relative “new Organization ” of Ram Dass, study up on the work of Steven Levine and his books and audiotapes. He started in the 80ties and his approach his very respectful and deep.I am afraid Ram Dass is an active type who now confronted with death is approach an area of dying as an expertise? ( Steven Levin,..most libraries have work of him, audio and books.)

If you want to work with dying people learn the art of listening and asking questions. I have found this approach the most useful.

Most frustrating about working people “who want to help dying people” is the projection of the way they think “how somebody should die.” Very scary and a lot of codependency.

” Can you sit with me and hold your tongue when I face my deepest pain?” Can you let me be and be there without changing anything…?
Can you/me/ we.

P.S. Do not expect answers. Only if you wish from the heart

75. veramente - February 17, 2010

71 Kid S.

Maybe Ram Dass had expectations about his level of being in the face of a scary situation which could have possibly threaten his life.
friends as well.
Kid, I am curious to know what do you mean when you say that RD may have drawn the wrong conclusions from his experience.
My question is not purely intellectual as I had some freaking out experience in the past where I felt I was going to lose my life.
All my “spirituality” was gone, completely, there was anger and a sense of being utterly alone. It was like experiencing a big: THIS SUCKS.

76. veramente - February 17, 2010

Post 71 correction
3rd line says :friends as well. I cut a sentence there but not completely!
Ignore it please.

77. veramente - February 17, 2010

I meant post 75!!!
ADD-Me! : )

78. sallymcnally - February 18, 2010

Another Name: I’ll let you know. Aloha

79. another name - February 18, 2010

Dear Veramente and others,

Thanks for sharing your experience, I find dying an incredible experience.

In my experience, people go/die very different…..I myself believe in the fact that we come in a certain way and we leave in a particular way.

The times I almost left this earth…

1. Complete loss of memory retrograde amnesia, no memories.

2. Time wooooh, I am going to die. This is it…….curiously watching.

80. Ellen - February 18, 2010

#66, Bares Reposting

Thanks for that post. I remember reading it (or parts of it) a few years ago along with an out of print book entitled Saints and Psychopaths by William Hamilton. William H. was also friends with Ram Dass and entered Joya’s spiritual community based on RD’s recommendation, as I recall. I don’t think he was “in” as long, but then he was not as high profile a student as Ram Dass, so Joya might not have played him the same way. Interesting stories, all. Makes me realize ever more deeply that spirituality can be pretty tricky business. Maybe the trickiest, especially if it is a business!

Buyer beware. Stay open and stay clear. Your own purity will help to extract you from impure situations (like the Fellowship).

81. Thot Plickens - February 18, 2010

“Makes me realize ever more deeply that spirituality can be pretty tricky business. Maybe the trickiest, especially if it is a business! Buyer beware.”

It’s not so tricky. Just beware of anyone who says: “Payment (to me only) is a principle.”

On a completely different note:

82. Kid Shelleen - February 19, 2010

Veramente wrote:

“Kid, I am curious to know what do you mean when you say that RD may have drawn the wrong conclusions from his experience.”

Well, he meditated all those years, right? He did all the spiritual things he thought he should do. I think he was expecting something more from all that work he had done. I think Jung would say his projection collapsed. All he had invested in came to just the mundane existence of ordinary life. Isn’t that what Christ came to on the cross when he said “Father why have you deserted me?”

So, what struck me was that he thought he should work spiritually harder after that experience, but in fact, the real message was that there was no need to. His preconceived expectations prevented him from seeing what was right before him. Nothing is hidden.

83. Golden Veil - February 19, 2010


Are you a Student, or have you attended a Prospective Student

Meeting? I am writing here to tell you things that are NOT

imagination, opinion, or conjecture. These are verifiable facts:

1. The Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence is a cult.

2. The Teacher Robert Burton is the cult’s supreme authority.

3. He financially gouges his followers by charging exorbitant

membership dues and various additional fees.

4. He uses the money to create an ostentatious environment that

is pompous and ornate; and to provide himself and a small

circle of ‘favorites’, predominately male followers, with fine

clothing, jewelry, food, alcohol, and trans-European and

Mid-Eastern travel. He spends the money on expensive

paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts to decorate what

is primarily, his own private residence.

4. He isolates his followers from their families, friends, and

ordinary society by the use of classic brainwashing techniques.

5. He has used his students to build what constitutes a private

fiefdom in which federal and state laws regarding employment,

and immigration are often broken. Students often work long

hours and for below the federal minimum wage; marriages

have been arranged; and, there have been incidences of elderly

and disabled students being mistreated, and summarily

dismissed, when they were no longer of use, sometimes

after years of devoted service.

6. Robert Burton has maintained a requirement of ‘shunning’;

he requests that current students have NO CONTACT with

dismissed students, or students who have left of their own

volition. This directive has left emotional scars on many.

7. Robert Burton has a notable sex life marked by abnormal

sex craving which leads him to employ students to ‘pimp’

exclusively male sexual partners for him; bringing them

to his dwelling at Apollo to satisfy his Satyriasis in not

only one-on-one encounters, but also group orgies. His

sexual desire is so voracious that he seduces heterosexual

males students, and even married students.

These are facts. How could one be conscious of these facts and

choose to be part of this cult? Don’t be foolish! For more facts,

read the personal experiences of former students that are related

on this very blog. Read here:



84. veramente - February 19, 2010

82 Kid S.
Thank you for the clarification.
It feels good to let go of the burden of being a spiritual super hero.
For myself in general I find that accepting my humanness more releases me from the tension of wanting to be an ideal of myself.
No struggle, just is, no need to cover ugliness, and enjoying beauty when it’s here.

85. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 19, 2010

Simply, directly, and well put, Golden Veil (@ Page 90/#83).

Never imagine wisdom to be more than the understanding of a child.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Those of us with old thoughts of God can learn much from the seemingly innocent, spiritual understanding of a child not yet under the influence of other teachings and rituals, such as being baptized. Many of those who come under such influences are uninitiated to Truth. But when they have awakened to Truth, as in the uncontaminated expression of love found in an innocent child, undisturbed from its innocence by various forms of domestication, then they, too, will come in understanding to be as One, in and of God. Indeed, such become integrated with this new Truth, which keeps them alive in the understanding that being so transforms Life beyond the divisive features of so-called human life. Instead, in its final form of Truth, Life becomes “Heaven as in earth.” In all our oneness, then, life is that.
The Gospel of St. Thomas

86. Bares Reposting - February 20, 2010

Page 26#3 on November 22, 2007 at 3:44 pm Vena:

To Jack #594:

One thing we do know is this: many people who experience interactions with psychopaths and narcissists report feeling “drained” and confused and often subsequently experience deteriorating health. Does this mean that part of the dynamic, part of the explanation for why psychopaths will pursue “love relationships” and “friendships” that ostensibly can result in no observable material gain, is because there is an actual energy consumption?

“My biggest frustration and source of anger, is at those who have refused to take a stand when they see the abuse . No matter how outrageous his behavior others often stood by and inadvertently fuelled his grandiosity and denial… although denial is too mild a word for it.”

“I have finally come to the conclusion that they cannot change, so all we can do is to refuse to participate in their sick drama and leave the stage.”


Many of us have noticed that the boys in the harem seem like “zombies”. Their trance-like gaze and general demeanor is sad and scarey. It’s one reason that I quit going to receptions or other events with Robert and his boys a long time ago. I felt disturbed by their state but almost as disturbed by the rest of the students who were acting like this bizarre arrangement was invisible. It is just too strange for a normal person to feel comfortable around.

* * * * * *

Page 26#12 on November 22, 2007 at 8:01 pm brucelevy:

9 Nuthead

Which reminds me of the time the first mass tuxedos octave began. This was when Via Del Sol it was “the ranch”. RB bought out a tuxedo rental firm. They were all put up at “the barn” and all the salaried students were required to buy one. I remember everyone reluctantly jamming themselves into the room to find parts of tuxs to try on. It was theater of the absurd. Of course they were almost all the same passe styles, some fairly worn. I hated mine and rarely failed to find an excuse to not attend functions purely concocted so RB could stand there and look at the herd for sexual culling. We looked like penguins. That’s when RB started buying shirt studs to bribe students with, along with the cameos. It was the same time salaried students with glasses were directed to get contacts, whether they wanted them or not. I tried mine on once and said fuck it. There wasn’t any area of one’s life at the ranch (or raunch) that was one’s own.

* * * * * *

Page 26#14 on November 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

Someone suggested Michael Moore recently, which is not so far off. His sister lives in Nevada City and he comes here often. Someone might want to put a bug in their ears about creating a movie on the subject of cultism in America. Plenty of material.

* * * * * *

Page 26#18 on November 22, 2007 at 11:33 pm Janna:

Nuthead #9,

About the ball gowns, and Robert’s hatred of women:

I used to work with Nette in 1996, and clearly remember her frustration with those hideous and ugly used gowns that we had to repair and hem before they would be sold for $15-20 to FOF women. Nette thought these gowns were the way the teacher was ridiculing and diminishing women, forcefully making them look exactly as you said:
“The women looked like a group of transvestites at a costume party with the theme of 1950s suburban grandmothers.”

Those gowns were so bad, cheap, disgusting, out-of style, unsexy, gross! Covered with cheap glitter and sequins, they were truly horrible. The colors and styles were disgusting. It made women look like tasteless village peacocks.
And almost every woman had to wear this crap in public as a “gift” from her Teacher, even though she had to pay for it.

Once Nette raised her hands in frustration and exclaimed: Why is he doing this? Why does he hate women so much???

I understand why. Because women are his immediate competitors when it comes to men. Because any of his boys would gladly chose a woman over an old gay – he can never ever win against an attractive woman, and he knows this.
Because he is a jealous self-centered old gay man, that’s why.

He hates women and tolerates them in the school only as a bait for young men to join the school.
At first he was not allowing women to get pregnant and have kids, so they would not be stealing men from him to take care of their families.
To make women look unsexy and unattractive he invented infamous “pant” exercise. Women had to mandatory wear skirts on the property, even if they were working on landscaping and it was clearly not practical to wear a skirt while working. Young attractive women looked like a bunch of village grandmas in those stupid long skirts…
To further make ladies look like hags he purchased those ugly gowns and dressed most Apollo women in them AND made them feel obliged and thankful to him! At every formal event women in those idiotic dresses had to thank and thank their Teacher for his kindness…
Then he came up with an exercise of not coloring aging grey hair for women, so to let them “naturally” age and look old and unattractive. All of the “infra-sex” exercises were against women and their natural beauty.
Then finally he came up with anti-serving exercise in 2006, saying that men shouldn’t serve women at the table anymore, because it is feminine dominance.
He always “punished” women much more severely and cruelly than he did men – sending them away to remote centers, excluding them from school, fining them heavily or taking their “octave” away.
It has nothing to do with anyone’s evolution, it’s simple basic hatred and jealousy.

I can’t believe that women in FOF are still putting up with this crap. Don’t you see this?

* * * * * *

Page 26#22 on November 23, 2007 at 3:32 am my4bits:

Re: Post 17, Pensate un Attimo

Dear Pensate,

Yes, a very good suggestion for a blog discussion. The “sex exercise.”

I’ve been thinking about my experiences with this exercise, as I sit here, alone, on Thanksgiving Day. My memories of this almost 20-year period are poignant, painful, and confusing. It is part of the ‘raw underbelly’ of my Fellowship experience, as I am sure it is for many others.

Anything I can say about my feelings and experiences are admittedly those of a one-time “true believer” and cult member. Not as a believer in Robert Burton per se, but as a believer in “the Ark” and what I then considered to be the historical mission of the Fellowship as an esoteric school tasked with “bridging an interval in the cycle of civilizations.”

What were we not willing to sacrifice for this supposedly noble cause?

I recall some sort of angle from RB that went like this: It is better to marry than to ‘burn with desire.’ Aaarrgh! Yes, we were given the choice: to marry or to burn. It was up to the individual to decide which was the preferable form of hell. Some students were better suited for one form, others for the other.

I tried both, and both were, predictably, hell, in the context of the Fellowship. In another world, things would — or might — have been quite different. Years 30 through 50 were spent nobly resisting or suppressing sexual attraction, both inside and outside of marriage.

I bought in to the line that the exercise would have the positive result of revitalizing the “institution of marriage” that had lost its value in this “age of tramp.”

I can attempt to justify the good reasons why I submitted to the exercise — sublimation of sex energy to channel instead to Higher Centers, developing the King of Hearts, working on tramp and against the drain of infra-sex. But, in retrospect, it makes me very sad and resentful. Yes, angry. VERY ANGRY!

Honestly, I was not capable of sublimating sex energy for some higher purpose. I was too naive. Instead, I only managed to re-direct the energy into wrong work of one kind or another.

I can’t even begin to evaluate the suffering my “work” in this area caused others, but I know it to be considerable. For this extreme vanity, I am so sorry.

And now as I begin, with the help of others, to see and understand the “big picture” of these years — the flaming hypocracy of which I only saw glimmers — I can only wonder what I may have lost during those years.

Honestly, I cannot say that I gained anything spiritual from those decades of faux-sacrifice. Instead, I lost counteless opportunities for intimacy, comfort and emotional warmth, intense communication and sharing, the deeper experiences of lasting marriage, and true evolution fueled by the higher hydrogens of sex.

Having perhaps missed important ‘windows of opportunity’ in life to learn certain valuable lessons about relationship, I am trying to learn them now, after these milestones have come and gone, and when my level of sex energy is beginning to flag.

Lost life. Lost opportunity. Lost love. True, but there is always the seed of new love! And I feel exceedingly grateful that there is, even now, the possibility of redemption and renewal!

I refuse to become a bitter ‘hack’ that regrets having lost “the best years of his/her life!” pursing noble dreams promulgated by a psychopathic narcissist and sexual predator. I made my choices. Period.

“The moving pen writes, and having writ, not a tear can wipe out a word of it.” (paraphrased from some author).

* * * * * *

Page 26#25 on November 23, 2007 at 8:56 am Ill Never Tell:

26#3 Vena:

‘Many of us have noticed that the boys in the harem seem like “zombies”. Their trance-like gaze and general demeanor is sad and scarey…’

Vena, for male members (no pun intended) of the brothel/whorehouse/bordello/harem/seraglio (whatever you want to call it) of the Galleria Isis œuvre, and having the sperm sucked out of them on a regular and unconditional basis by Robert Earl Burton and company, plus the sexually transmitted disease issues, in addition to the usual adversities the Fellowship of Friends experience delivers upon a person, you would understand why ‘the boys in the harem seem like ‘zombies’ and what gives rise (again, no pun intended) to ‘[t]heir trance-like gaze and general demeanor’ that ‘is sad and scarey.’ Robert Earl Burton’s appetite knows no limit except that it might stop just short of being a full blown Hasnamuss.

26#12 brucelevy:

Bruce, with the risk of revealing this posters true identity, let me go as far as to say that I know how the ‘tuxedo octave’ was conducted. RB did not buy out a tuxedo rental firm. The retired (read: old and unwanted) formal wear from rental firm(s) was/were negotiated for on a consignment basis. Complete outfits were sold for $44, as I remember. What was not claimed/bought was returned to source. The rest, as you state it, was accurate and I agree ‘was theater of the absurd.’

26#14 wakeuplittlesuzywakeup:

One exFoFer told me there is someone writing a book tentatively titled: The Darker Side of the Light [subtitle: Everything you want to about the corruption in traditional and new age religious/spiritual organisations, but were afraid to ask.] This is to be a compendium of corruption activities in new age, and not so new age, spiritual and religious organisations; a kind of ‘tell all’ to inform the spiritual seeker what to avoid. The author was purported to live in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area and have collected much data on the Fellowship of Friends, among numerous other organisations, going back some 30 years. That could be a valuable resource for a Michael Moore type film.

But, a Michael Moore type film in this area might better be focused on cults in America in general since there are many ‘political’ cults also. This would be an excellent film for an election year that could show how cults attempt to manipulate so much of the social environment.

26#18 Janna

Don’t you understand, ’sequins’ is all the rage in the Fellowship of Friends now and the women that had the opportunity to suit up with sequins at that early time were doing advanced work? [Said, tongue in cheek.]

Also, regarding: ‘I understand why. Because women are his immediate competitors when it comes to men.’ This very issue is the reason why certain women in the Fellowship of Friends were PERSECUTED FOR LIFE by Robert Earl Burton and his minions of flying monkeys. One of them you know personally, Janna. I do not name names so that the innocent are protected – which includes me not revealing who I am. But, just one transgression in this area of depriving Robert Earl Burton of his prey was sufficient to black list a woman for life; talk about account keeping – Robert Earl Burton is expert in this area and does it with secrecy – all the while imploring his followers to drop accounts (and their pants).

Don’t forget the beautiful soprano singer A. M. that Robert Earl Burton put out of the Fellowship of Friends when it was found out that she got into the harem – not just ruined for life, but all future possibilities of evolution (including beyond this lifetime) disrupted and/or denied (according to Fellowship of Friends doctrine), as punishment. And, this was regardless of how much Robert Earl Burton cherished her, long sought after, singing capabilities. [Such singing capability has not appreciably been seen in the Fellowship of Friends since then, except on rare occasions (and at considerable expense), as a sort of Karmic debt incurred.]

26#22 my4bits:

Sorry for your new found ‘awakening’ to the TRUTH; but glad to see your acceptance and moving on. Remember: ‘Don’t get mad; get even.’

The above demonstrates real debauchery, if you ask me, in hindsight (again, no pun intended). Makes you wonder who the real turkey was on this Thanksgiving holiday – gobble, gobble.

87. Tatyana - February 20, 2010

Always look at the bright side of life…

88. Jacob Bartels - February 20, 2010

“This is psychological sleep, what the Fourth Way calls the second state of consciousness. The condition is so completely convincing that people asleep in the second state of consciousness, people in false personality, can even convince themselves that they are already in the highest possible state of consciousness without the least effort on their part.”

Wrong again Diaper Boy. The condition of the ‘second state of consciousness’ is so convincing that people (you) convince themselves that they are NOT in the highest state of consciousness.

The real ‘imagination’ is that there is a you that is in or out of imagination.

fucking retard.

89. apostate - February 20, 2010

For entertainment purposes only (?) Maybe, but this might also serve as an illustration of what to avoid, the consequences of a dogmatic and blind allegiance to the unrecognized confines of an ideological mental institution.

More ‘gem’ from ‘wisdom and dim sum:’

“Is there a sort of ‘operating personality’ focused exclusively on what it has been conditioned to believe as “all there is” and based on that limited view then runs though life dismissing everything that even hints that there is more to reality, or that what is happening to it is mainly due to the wrong operation of the perceptions?”


Since the above was phrased in question form here’s a response: The “operating personality” in this case is of course the ‘dispenser’ himself of these ‘pearls of wisdom.’ If our ‘friend’ here wasn’t so mired in a feedback loop, reinforced by 4th Way dogma, he might then be able to realize that the negative qualities he identifies (with) in others come from his own projections. HE is the “operating personality” who’s been conditioned by a limited ‘4th Way’ view, this causes him to dismiss and reject anyone who suggests there is more to reality than the narrow confines of a dogmatic belief in ‘4th Way’ pseudo-science.

Notions borrowed from the 4th Way are warped into an imaginary ‘other’ which serves one practical purpose for our ‘friend’; ‘the system’ serves as a rationale for his own constitutionally (inherent) negativity. He’s fooling himself into thinking that personal ‘evolution’ comes from using the ‘fabric’ of a borrowed ideology to clothe one’s own vindictive and venomous feelings. Using a borrowed pseudo-scientific language as a vehicle to project one’s misanthropic feelings onto an imaginary idea about “the other” can only result in dead-ends, no personal change comes of it, as is evidenced by the wisecracking of ‘our friend’ here. It’s all repetition and permutation of 4th Way dogma, often used in combination with attacks on those who question his belief system and the conditioned state of mind that results.

The self-proclaimed ‘wisdom’ that this person so freely doles out, is proof enough of the folly and madness of a dogmatic insistence on repeating the same things over and over again and expecting different results — pity the fool. He has adopted the ideal belief system to reinforce and express his constitutionally misanthropic world view, this adopted ideology supports, reinforces and rationalizes his ‘apriori’ frustration. It is ironic that his condition is compounded as a result of his belief in 4th Way dogma, the result is being psycho-emotionally stuck in a negative-feedback loop wherein no change can occur. Much as he might like to, as long he’s unable to free himself from the confines of his ideological prison and as long as he continues to project his frustration onto an imaginary ‘other’ he remains stuck — projection prohibits change, he can only imagine a ‘possible evolution.’

There is of course always hope, ‘hope springs eternal,’ even for a person who has devoted 36 years to a 4th way ‘system’ as a rationale for the state of his constitution. After all, when a person feels badly he can’t help but to express hostility and negativity, and in this case the result of feeling badly is the use of 4th Way ideas to project his own bad feelings onto the outside world. An obvious target are those who remind him most of himself, the ‘blogging ex-FOF assholes’ as he puts it — ya, I would say that ‘turn of phrase’ describes him clearly enough.

So where exactly is the hope in this? Withdrawing projection is the beginning, as parts of the person that have been trapped by projection are reclaimed, there occurs the ‘aha’ moment. The process could be described as ‘enlightening,’ this type of ‘self-revelation’ has the effect of casting light into shadows, and one actually feels physiologically lighter. When projections are recognized for what they are — parts of the Self — and as these parts are reclaimed and ‘owned’ as such, a sense of ‘redemption’ occurs. Love may even be realized for the first time. Forgiveness begins with the Self — it seems that some folks don’t know where to begin, or don’t care to.

90. apostate - February 20, 2010

91. fofblogmoderator - February 20, 2010

88 is new

92. brucelevy - February 20, 2010

87. Tatyana
90. apostate

great ones

93. Sleepless in Seattle - February 21, 2010

For any readers of this blog who may have known Gloria Calpouzos, wife of Lucas Calpouzos, AKA Gloria Caimbridge ( her “group” name I believe ) she passed away peacfully in her sleep on Friday 2/19 in her home at FOF after a long ilness. The memorial service is Saturday 2/27. My wife and I will be attending although we are not members of FOF, just realtives of Gloria. We appreciate what we have learned from this blog which we have been reading for > 2 years.

94. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 21, 2010

90/93 Sleepless in Seattle

Thank you for informing us. I learned much from Gloria. I remember the first time I met Gloria and Lucas, clearly, like it was today. This is for you Gloria:

When to the sessions
of sweet silent thought
I summon up
remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack
of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes
new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye,
unused to flow,
For precious friends hid
in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s
long since cancell’d woe,
And moan the expense
of many a vanish’d sight:
Then can I grieve
at grievances foregone,
And heavily from
woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account
of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay
as if not paid before.
But if the while
I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored
and sorrows end.

Wm. Shakespeare
Sonnet 30

95. apostate - February 21, 2010

Sleepless, I did not know the woman but I’m sorry for your loss.

More from ‘wisdom’ and dim sum:

” Only a person with unusually limited intelligence would spend this much time writing several paragraphs loaded with every psycho-babbling cliche known to man in a futile attempt to avenge the anger my few words caused his insecure sense of identity.”


I’ll take a minute to examine this attempt at abusive ad hominem in the context of a point in my last post, a point which ‘our friend’ here managed to interpret in terms he can relate to when he writes “I’m rubber you’re glue” — an interpretation by-the-way that is on an emotional level of about a nine year old child. ‘Our friend’ here, this spewing fount of ‘wisdom,’ judges the limits of ‘intelligence’ based on the amount of time spent writing psycho-babling cliche’ — apparently the more time spent in such an ‘endeavor,’ the more limited the intelligence. Once again he fails to reflect yet another ‘brilliant’ insight back onto himself before he attaches a label to ‘the other’ — for him, “unusually limited intelligence” is indicated by spending so much time writing the nonsense he describes, and yes he has a point but he fails to apply it to himself. What does his own judgment of intelligence say about someone who has literally wasted away hours, days, weeks, months and years filling up his own websites with nothing other than ‘4th Way’ psycho-babble, cliche’ and tantrums (?). And where does that whole ‘endeavor’ get him? Rhetorical questions, the evidence is clear, and based on what I’ve read of his own babblings, I understand his anger and frustration.

As for the “anger” and an ‘insecure sense of identity’ he attributes to ‘the other’ — he feels it in himself but fails to recognize it as his own, he feels angry when someone questions the belief ‘system’ with which he so identifies, a system upon which he seemingly bases his entire identity, yes it is indeed a flimsy sense of identity to which he clings. What is his own anger about? That’s something he needs to take responsibility for rather than using ‘the other’ as an imaginary vessel in which to pour his own frustrations. As for his charge that I am somehow motivated by ‘revenge’ and anger by a few careless words he foolishly, thoughtlessly and flippantly tosses toward me, he couldn’t be further from the truth — I certainly don’t take personally his own poisonous constitution, that’s his problem and his mess to deal with. My motivation is to shed some light on the toxic nature of an ideology, a mind-virus which he happens to represent, a virus that has taken hold of the lives of a few people I have known and loved. Do I feel angry at ‘our friend’ for a angry few words? No, for him I feel nothing more than pity — and I feel a sense of shame since that’s something he appears to lack.

96. Ellen - February 21, 2010

#93 Sleepless in Seattle

Thank you for posting the message. I received the FoF official announcement yesterday (forwarded by a friend who is still a current member). Gloria was a very sweet and kind person. I have had many fine experiences with Lucas and Gloria, both separately and together. I treasure both of them as kind, well meaning people.

I’m also very glad to hear that you are have been reading this blog as it goes along for the last few years. It is both revelatory as well as informative. How could it be otherwise in order to illumine the many faceted picture of the Fellowship of Friends. I would guess that you worry/ have worried about your relatives over the years? This blog doesn’t set those worries to rest but rather inflames them. Nothing to be done about that.

My best guess is that Lucas and Gloria have been following their inner star, not suspecting that the organization they have devoted their life to is yet another mirror in the haze. But the inner star that they follow is true and real. I hope when you see him that you are able to relate to Lucas from a balanced and intelligent love. Maybe in time you will be able to send him a few books? I’d recommend I Am That by Nisargadatta. The Guru Papers would also be good although that may require a more open mind than he may currently possess? So, better to focus in the truth of “self-remembering” via I Am That?

My condolences to you for Gloria’s passing. I know that she she has been ill for a long time, so I am happy to hear that she died peacefully in her sleep.

97. another name - February 21, 2010

Dear Sleepless in Seatle

Thanks for sharing.

Gloria, a hummingbird and strong in her weakness.

One of her favorite quotes:

Every day above ground is a good day!

I sat with Gloria and massaged her feet and legs together, mostly silence, with her beautiful, woolen gloves and white head cover ..for the cold.

I asked if there was anything she wanted to do or address…she said I did everything I wanted in my life.


Many of us will probably not be able to attend her funeral, still she will be for always part of me.

Some of us might take a hike and toast to her on the mountain?

98. another name - February 21, 2010

For Gloria and all of us.

99. sallymcnally - February 22, 2010

it would be nice if for once the fellowship dropped all the bullshit and let everyone who wanted to attend the funeral. that would be a step in the right direction.

100. Golden Veil - February 22, 2010


Once again,

exclusion and delusion,

hand in hand.

My heart goes out

to all who will

miss Gloria.

Remember your friend,

who finally graduated,

from the Fellowship,

with love.


101. silentpurr - February 22, 2010

We all will eventually die.
I remember having had the realization that, at the end of his life, Robert might thank us for having served him so obediently and self-sacrificially through the years. The important understanding for me was that if I hadn’t fulfilled MY own purpose for living, while providing for the Fellowship, then all was for naught. I HAD to get away.
But why would Robert ever thank any one of us when he actually feels and believes himself deserving of our time money and pain. After all, isn’t that the ‘role of the teacher’, to help student’s to go beyond themselves while providing a denying force?
Yes, in the earlier years, as students of RB, we were naive yet we were sincere. We trusted and with effort, gave up our will.
People like Greg may mock us now because they themselves have been deprived of the opportunity to trust, having joined when they did.
I think the problem for fellowship students today is a continued belief in ‘Robert’s dream’ which is glaringly self-serving and corrupted. And of which they are not really a part. Each one of them is expendable. The Fellowship is Robert’s dream only. All else is accessory. I am sure many students know this but continue to support from fear.
A Fear of Life. Just as Robert has always feared Life.

There is a terrible violence to Robert’s dream. And to escape from it often requires a rude awakening….Conscience and knowing what to value.

His dream,his laws compound our own dreams and laws. And we have only a measured amount of time.
This is why it is important to graduate.
It takes time to recover.

102. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 22, 2010

I remember how Gloria attended every meeting that she could for decades and kept, what appeared to be, meticulous personal notes of the meetings even when publications (supposedly) documented the meeting content. In her later years, with health issues, she had been told she could not attend dinners with the teacher any more. I do not remember the exact circumstances about that – something about not conforming to the dinner table behavior protocol desired by Robert. Does anyone know some aspect about that? What a way to go – to dedicate your entire adult life to the Work and the Fellowship of Friends and then in the final years to be shut out of some facet of community participation. Is that compassion, or what?

103. silentpurr - February 22, 2010

-Didn’t realize that Gloria had been life-long member.
I am sorry for her family’s loss.

104. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 22, 2010

Sorry, I have to make a correction to my post at #102. ‘to dedicate your entire adult life to the Work and the Fellowship of Friends’ is not accurate. Gloria was an FoF member for something like the last 34 years of her approximate 80 years of this lifetime. So it was not ‘entire adult life.’ But still the general concept remains.

105. More history needed - February 22, 2010

sorry to say

I think of Gloria’s family..

She could not be on the dinning table as she needed food for her blood sugar levels, ate fast and sometimes would spill food…

Robert did not “enjoy” this impression”.

Another older lady’s ( when she went through her last year of cancer), was consulted by a student to pay attention to this lady to dress “better” and change her hair to “be a better impression” when she went to the “events”. At a certain point the lady did not eat at the breakfasts either.

106. Panorea - February 23, 2010

There is no better balm for the soul than being around people who really care for you, who do not judge you for who and what you are, who want to be friends unconditionally. I thought I had unrealistic demands and I had to work hard to be enough; well this thought brought me to the FOF. I am out of there for a year and a half now and even though I still remember some good moments, I still think being part of such a group was a projection of my own inability to see the good in all there is.

Caricature of a life afraid to live. We assisted each other to the building of our walls. Children walking around in search of confirmation, dressed in borrowed clothes, casting back leased light…

Cults are a substitute for unpleasant? realities. The FOF is an empty vessel that can be filled with any painful or not story, it is a chameleon, a never-ending story…

107. another name - February 23, 2010

Thanks Panorea

Somehow we early on in our life, we had to “do things” to be accepted and just being a child was not enough.

Were we still pleasing a “parent(s)” in the fellowship of friends/pathways to be present?

Projection towards the “theacher”?

Good questions.

Rilke writes somewhere we are unopened letters passed on from generation to generation….

Sigh, …..Living the question?

108. brucelevy - February 23, 2010
109. Sleepless in Seattle - February 23, 2010

Thanks for all the kind words about Gloria. Your remembrances of her do capture much of her essence, especially the way she would take notes about everything she ever read or attended. She was very kind and we could always enjoy a laugh together no matter what the circumstances.

Interesting that her “impression” at some of the meals later in life made her persona non grata. She came from very poor beginnings ( Spanish Harlem) and she never wasted any time eating!

I have struggled trying to have conversations with Lucas about spiritual things. We used the same terms but they had different meanings- like 2 parallel planes.

Again, thanks to all

110. nige - February 24, 2010

Just to say I have been away from the blog due to broken-down Internet access at home. I scanned up to see the subject matter and found Bares Reposting #86 still to the point on discussing the FOF nightmare. I probably will not post too often when access is restored due to the fact that my jewellery/silver teaching business has hit a higher level and requires much of my time (brilliant students!). good luck with all your work on this site…..Nigel.

111. another name - February 24, 2010

Dear sleepless night in Seatle.

IMO Some members in the fellowship had an authority /identity in being. the smart guys, professor or something in this aspect.

A moment I remember very well, was when 3 of those “wise guys” including Lucas were talking at an event and trying to outsmart each other. I mentioned this to them, all these words, what are you actually saying and doing? This took a few times with my friend Lucas. After this our conversations became less intellectual. When Gloria became more sick, they became very practical in the moment. “The teaching identity seemed to be over with for now . I anticipated with the grieving ,it will take a while for the “teaching” to come back.

Words are a poor substitute for authenticity, beautiful when there is congruency…

Take care.

112. another name - February 24, 2010

Dear Nigel

Enjoy your life and thanks for being here. My need for closure.

Who knows when….

113. Sleepless in Seattle - February 24, 2010

another name ( post 111)

Thanks for you insight. I am hoping that the situation with Gloria will open Lucas’s eyes but his life for the past 30 years or so has been dedicated to the ideals of fof. We are just there to rspect and support him in whatever way he needs. My impression is that Lucas is one of the “older students” who does some “missionary work” from time to time.

114. Alexander McKenzie - February 25, 2010

Hope the blog does not stall….
Yeah, probably should move “Burton” out of the blog-banner, it kinda sticks in the throat, so to speak. I opt for dropping his name.

115. James Mclemore - February 25, 2010

114. Alexander McKenzie

“Yeah, probably should move “Burton” out of the blog-banner, it kinda sticks in the throat, so to speak. I opt for dropping his name.”

I find that to be a rather odd suggestion.

116. Thot Plickens - February 25, 2010

So, about “stalling.” The fof is incredibly obsessed with appearances. The main goal is to appear that you’re awake. Appear that you’re close to Robert. Appear that you’re doing the work. Appear that you’re being thoughtful, emotional, intellectual, intentional. Appear that you have valuation. Appear that you’re “in essence” — which is one of those expressions in the fof that ironically requires anyone who uses it to be “in” anything BUT “essence.”

The group itself must appear that it’s doing something profound or important for posterity, even if weeds are growing up all around it. The group must appear to be “in good householder” even if hundreds of individuals within the group are struggling with their finances in one way or another. Much like a company trying to impress shareholders, the group must always attempt to appear to be making progress or doing something new and different and better (hence the “sequence” in recent years), even if — like Enron — it’s all smoke and mirrors and the investments will go *poof*. Followers, with the exception a very small number of the wealthiest, can’t even think about a retirement plan, or even consider what will happen to them in old age, let alone build a community of enlightened beings who will guide a future civilization (yep, that’s what we believed, some of us did).

It’s day after day after day after day after day of denial — denial about everything that’s happening, and then denial about the negative consequences of that denial. And forget about healing and recovering and thriving (which is absolutely possible, by the way) until that denial is at least acknowledged and dealt with, which is the first step toward chipping away at it.

Thankfully, the blog is not the fof.

If it takes a natural rest, there’s no need for anyone to stir to action and start writing furiously to assure everyone that it’s important or guided by higher forces or that anyone who writes here somehow has a “higher level of being” or is cool, or is admirable. There’s no need to keep up appearances and keep going, or seem to keep going, or seem to not care about keeping going. If someone uses the word “fuck” or “shit,” there’s no need to worry that it might leave the wrong impression and scare people away in the fof who have sensitive ears because they’re trying to be “refined” or because they’re trying to avoid “coarse hydrogens.”

The blog could rest for 10 years, and all of the information and insights on the previous pages won’t vanish until someone pulls them off the site.

So I wouldn’t use the word “stall.” Even the best cars spend most of their time parked and waiting patiently for the next drive up the road. Even this page alone is an eye opener, with some entirely new insights about Burton — whose name should ALWAYS be kept on that banner.

117. another voice - February 25, 2010

116: Well said. As the saying goes…. the only difference between a current member and an ex-member is time. The truth eventually outs…often after a long and painful process. We here support those going through the process.

118. Ames Gilbert - February 25, 2010

I’ve sent a request to interrupt Greg’s monolog so I can post this message. In the meantime…

Hello Greg,
I thought I’d look in at your blog and see if anything was new or fresh, but same old same old. IMO, you are still on the same mission, which is to establish that you are a superior being who can see more clearly and further than anyone else. You see yourself as a spiritual teacher—though any knowledge I have of you is, of course, based entirely on your web monologs (you actually engage with precious few people, as far as I can tell). Based on your past reactions, I can be fairly sure in advance that you have already have decided to not give a shit, and are already putting on the armor of disdain. Or at least if you have a written reaction to this post, you are going to considerable trouble to affect such a pose. Feel free to surprise me, though.

Why do you bother with this ranting? Talk about pouring from the empty into the void! You’ve been having a conversation with (largely) yourself for so many years. Why? You claim ‘entirely for the purposes of amusement’. Then it must amuse you to indulge your vanity so often, to reinforce the very traits that you rant against. You are mired in negativity at exactly the same time you hold the negativity of others up to view and proclaim how destructive it is. There is insanity for you. And, you keep on and on doing this, expecting… what? That after decades of claiming special insights, people are going to focus just on them and not on the being making the claims? That is insanity for you.
You have some affinity for what you regard as the Fourth Way. From what I can tell of your writings, you have not met anyone who is a real teacher in that tradition, and if you have, you have learned nothing of value. You appear to be a kind of sifter of the detrius left behind by Gurdjieff (and perhaps a couple of his sources, I wouldn’t know), and I suppose you judge yourself suitable to discriminate what is of value and what should be thrown out. I can tell you, I see no evidence of judgment or discrimination any better than mine or anyone else’s, at least in your public writings. You certainly haven’t learned to control the manifestations of negativity, so why would I place any value in anything else you say about spiritual matters? There is no evidence that you are more than merely machinery for the regurgitation of collected reports from those that you (accidentally) happen to align with. In this, as well as your claim to non–provable superiority and non–provable ‘knowledge’, you are indeed rather like Burton.

Your bête noire seems to be the FoF Discussion blog. You’ve spent many hours, days, weeks and now years attacking it and the participants, to no avail. There is insanity for you. Again, you claim your superior ‘conscious’ amusement. Bullshit, I say. You are rolling and reveling in negativity. If it looks like negativity, talks like negativity, and walks like negativity, then that is what it is. I hope you spare us any talk of ‘conscious emulation of negativity as a lesson to the unwashed masses’ nonsense, but if it is indeed amusement, then you have a very small mind, easily amused, and certainly identified and caught up in the ‘amusement’—and for so many years…

You claim that the blog has had no effect, and put out some numbers to back your claim. But your numbers are highly selective. Firstly, the FoF membership peaked out at about 2500. So, it is rather smaller than it was. Secondly, the number of American followers outside of Oregon House is now about 60, and the number of followers in Europe outside of the former Eastern Block countries is only a few dozen. This means that the income stream has dropped precipitously. Secondly, you are simply lying. I know for a fact (if what people talking or writing directly to me can be regarded as facts) that the blog has had an effect on a large number of people. The blog is in English and obviously can only affect those who can read English and perhaps some of their friends; I invite you to reflect on why the numbers of members who can speak English are so much lower than those who can’t.

Any blogger who is a realist understands that the ‘hard core’ of the FoF membership is not going to easily change. They don’t read the blog, and their minds are fairly closed most of the time anyway (just like yours—or mine). I’d bet that a lot of potential recruits come across it, though, and if they do due diligence, they will be appalled and look elsewhere. Just like if they come across your blog and do due diligence, they will be appalled and look elsewhere.

Your diatribe against the Greater Fellowship website is as petty as your vents about the blog. There are dozens of decent discussions going on there of a far higher quality than your monologs. My guess is that you are jealous.

Greg, you have told us that the moderator should be fired, and someone superior like you should take over. But, you must have forgotten that you’ve already invited readers to move to several of your alternative blogs, and they have stayed away in droves. Your present site is the reality, Greg. That is what the FoF Discussion blog would become, in short order, if you became the moderator. Your monolog. A testament to your tired, failed attempts to impose your worldview on the poor deluded fools who fail to recognize your genius and your message. If your blog had any value, it would be valued, Greg. It doesn’t, so get with reality. If you keep on the way you are going, things will stay the same. To expect things to be different if you don’t change—there is insanity for you. And of course, probably I’m insane to try reaching you.


Thanks, Steve for doing the moderation. It’s probably a pain, it takes up your time, but of course most of us believe you are doing something worthwhile service. So, again, thank you for stepping up.

Note to Someone,
results of experiment of not posting or reading this blog since Jan 1st. No, I didn’t suffer any withdrawal symptoms, not even twitchy fingers or facial tics. I thought about the blog maybe twice, as it happened to come up in conversation. So, your theory about ‘blog addiction’ is false, as far as I am concerned. But thanks for your deep concern.

119. fofblogmoderator - February 25, 2010

Hey Ames-

Welcome back.

120. JBeth - February 25, 2010

she gave me once a recipe for relationships (with your partner I suppose) try to:
Hug each other often.
Be a friend.
Learn to forgive quickly.

121. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 25, 2010

Regarding the Fellowship of Friends (Pathway to Presence, Robert Earl Burton, et al.) blog stalling (and other matters): I don’t know if those that read here still believe in the law of octaves, but whether you do or not, the progress of any activity has its ebb and flow, naturally. And, like the oceans on our planet, that will, pretty much, go on forever, in some state, despite our selves, so will this. Even God rested on the seventh day. I like what 116. Thot Plickens said: ‘Even the best cars spend most of their time parked and waiting patiently for the next drive up the road.’ Or, I also like what some other illustrious person said: ‘If things could be other than they are, they would be.’

Yes, and thank you, blog moderator, you have done many good service.

Hello, again, Ames, welcome back.

122. apostate - February 25, 2010

More entertainment from ‘wisdom’ and dim sum:

“I mean, I see idiots posting nonsense all the time and I certainly do not feel a responsibility to let them know what fools they are. ”

Ya right, and denial is a river in Egypt.

“obviously seething intensity agonizing eagerness to discredit me, posing as a self-styled representative of the Fourth Way, anger.”

How can one “discredit” someone who has (almost) zero credibility to begin with? His anger and frustration is palpable, but in fact I’ve acknowledged and given him credit for the few positives I see, for example having extracted himself from the FOF cult. As his websites demonstrate, there is more to dealing with imbedded cult-think than simply removing oneself from the organization — but leaving is a first step.

“You dedicate much emotional energy in pointing out to the arena of imagined spectators”

Yes you certainly do.

“how is it that any defect that I might notice about you applies back to me in spades (?) (believing religiously in Freud’s projection).”

This person apparently believes only in his own projections and to such an extent that when they are pointed out, his reaction is to deny and attack. Can he believe that he is devoid of the projection mechanism? (Ok I admit to taking a survey course on Freud in college and later on I did a more in depth self-directed study of Jung, the latter being where I learned about the concept of projection). Accusing me of “religiously believing in Freud” is just another attempt at diversion and a means of denial — ‘verification’ will happen when he recognizes the ‘mechanism’ at work in himself.

“You long endeavor with what appears a near feverish frustration to explain the impenetrable workings of the villain, you struggle,”

Not long, not feverish — and far from being “impenetrable” he is really very transparent. This is certainly no struggle.

“you take great pains to uncover any subtle contradictory trait you can grasp as a spotlight in the ongoing project to itemize the foulness during my psychological autopsy”

No “great pains” are taken, the “foulness” here is plain for all who care to muck through the nonsense he posts.

“enter the details in a permanent scientific catalogue that clarifies my fatal flaws and overall decadence and corruption. Your purpose is to make it crystal clear to those that might somehow be susceptible to my beguiling and bewitching influence that I am someone”

He really gives himself too much credit — but that’s his M.O., he’s a legend in his own mind, even if it takes the form of an ‘anti-hero.’

“that can be decisively defeated through the technique of reasonable psychological judgment, a medium that you excel at. Yet during this campaign not even the least wave of annoyance flusters your perfectly clear conviction to honorably discredit the Fourth Way and all that use its poisonous ideas to delude themselves and the entire world; ideas that have mercilessly destroyed the sanity of some of your closest friends. You speak only with the cool certainty of a convinced prosecutor of righteousness. All this motivation to appear on Steve Lang’s blog of justice and there to courageously ego joust in public, unmasking a deluded follower of evil, contains not so much as the least sign of temper. Not even a miffed eyebrow is raised during the battle of blood-thirsty rhetoric.”

He does have a flair for the dramatic, and ‘wordy’ too. He looks at this as a sort of ‘battle-field’ and a competition, it was all to obvious in his ‘bloggings’ here and it continues ‘in spades’ over at his own dedicated websites, all of this is in fact (for him), about “decisively defeating” the other through “ego joust” in “the battle of blood-thirsty rhetoric.” Just take a look at the what he so assiduously devotes himself to for over in the corner to which he’s been banished.

” You certainly are a pure spirit sir noble knight, at least in your own view of yourself. Ladies and gentleman please take note of an impeccable example of a man who knows himself inside and out. Seldom can be found written in the many lines of thought that grace the long wires that wrap the world in its web such unsoiled incentive to take up keyboard then set into the glowing carved stone of history the gallant conviction of non-debatable opinion.”

This again is him looking at his own reflection which he portrays with a “gallant conviction of non-debatable opinion” — his website is full of it — on second thought, his “gallant conviction” comes from “non-debatable FACT,” right? These ‘facts’ are based on his years of studying an ‘esoteric scientific system’ (a mixture of equal parts bombast, poppycock and delusion).

“As one of the few certified cynics in the vicinity I must report that I am skeptical of your self-aggrandizing dispassion.”

Again he gives himself way too much credit, but why shouldn’t he, after all he is the center of his universe. Were he to take his head out of his ass and look around, he would find the world is full of cynics, and a true cynic doesn’t need to be ‘certified.’ But he won’t look around because what he might ‘discover’ would damage a self-image as being ‘unique,’ the archetypal rebel. He may not be “certified” but based on what I’ve seen of his ‘work’ he’s definitely ‘certifiable’ — and I’m not talking about cynicism. Talk about “self- aggrandizing” !! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING!? Have you seen the dreck that this guy churns out? It’s THE definition of self-aggrandizing!


123. Thot Plickens - February 26, 2010

One of the traits of narcissistic personality disorder is the desire to preemptively accuse others of their own most glaring weaknesses. It’s a defense mechanism, a way to defend the ego. Their hope is that it disarms or weakens any critical discussion about them. It doesn’t, but they believe it does. Because they were the ones who initiated the topic, they’re hoping this steals thunder from someone who perceives their madness and is prepared to call them on it. It doesn’t, but if people perceive it that way, they gain a victory of sorts.

Burton may not seem to be someone who does this, but he does.

— One of his favorite criticisms is to criticize people “in imagination.” And yet his own imagination knows no boundaries. His image of his own worth to mankind knows no boundaries. The “role” of the FOF is to carry on for a new civilization, to acquire ancient knowledge and understand something about it that scholars and philosophers for centuries could never understand. History would recognize the FOF as the seat of a new civilization that would last peacefully for 1,000 years. Who again is “in imagination”?

— Burton loves to make fun of and criticize successful people “in life” for being shallow and lacking substance and being vain — especially movie stars. They are only interested in “A influence,” which we know by now is the single-minded pursuit of wealth, power, glory, fame, and sexual gratification. This description of a man obsessed with A Influence matches Burton 100%. It was and is right in front of us — way too obvious to see apparently.

To be continued… (Does anyone else want to take over… We could write a page on this topic alone.)

The person Apostate is referring to above is more of the same. The one thing that he has going for him — and it’s an extremely important thing — is his utter failure to influence anyone. Because of that, I sense there’s something in there still that hasn’t existed in Burton for a long time (if it ever did) — and that’s a chance to turn his own criticisms back on himself one day. So many of us have bent over backwards — and forwards (unfortunately) — to please Burton that I’m guessing he’s completely lost, and has been since a very early age. That’s a hard one to escape — the incessant adoration of those who will never criticize you, never say no.

124. silentpurr - February 26, 2010

To me, Greg sounds emotionally traumatized. It’s as though he is imprisoned in a lonely cell of his own design.
Why won’t Greg post here?
On this blog, with it’s relaxed atmosphere, he could actually explore some of his psychological issues.
By ranting and raving all by himself, he’s only tightening his bonds with the ugly habits of finding faultfinding and name calling.

125. Bares Reposting - February 26, 2010

Greg has been banned multiple times due to obnoxious and caustic behaviour on this blog and elsewhere.

126. silentpurr - February 27, 2010

does that mean forever?

127. fofblogmoderator - February 27, 2010

120 & 123 are new

128. ton - February 27, 2010

“The one thing that he has going for him — and it’s an extremely important thing — is his utter failure to influence anyone. Because of that, I sense there’s something in there still that hasn’t existed in Burton for a long time (if it ever did) — and that’s a chance to turn his own criticisms back on himself one day.”

‘Entertainment’ from ‘wisdom’ and dim sum:

“Each one of them sits with regret each morning staring into the far too familiar face of an old woman with a faint mustache, reassuring himself that he is better off than the old man with all the money, with all the sex, with all the followers, enjoying the power. I am pure and he is tainted, each claims as a consolation for the terminal blandness. Still, the fools easily succumb to such deluded ignorance as to call anyone else insane.”

Assuming that “each one of them” is his imaginary notion of FOF graduates, into this imaginary picture, he projects HIS OWN envy of Burton, envy that is a mixture of the admiration and resentment he feels for what HE thinks of as someone who represents ‘material’ and (in his view), even ‘spiritual success.’ These envious feelings he projects onto ‘the other(s)’ come out of the stew of HIS OWN poisons which he seemingly fails to recognize as HIS OWN.

Here is the latest ‘pithy aphorism’ from the wisecracking ‘wisdom’ of ‘our friend’ — when writing this he must have been looking into a mirror, since it describes him “to a T” —

” Simply because you’ve alienated nearly everyone you know does not necessarily prove you’ve achieved a uniquely elevated understanding, it could just as well indicate narcissistic delusion.”


“Just like a dream, how we observe, or “dream up” the world has an actualizing and meaning-creating influence on how the world materializes and appears to us. This realization unlocks the door to our ever present God-given creative potency, as we realize that in a very particular way the world is as we dream it.”


Something FOF programming tries to root out of the members is imagination, in fact the main battle in the FOF JIHAD is the constant war that is waged against imagination. Killing of imagination is a foundation of FOF mind-control, this sort of ‘inner work’ effectively erodes and destroys a soul so unfortunate as to fall under the influence.

Here’s a link to a much more reverential view of the imagination:

“The concept of imagination is perhaps the most important key to the understanding of the opus.” Accomplished alchemists realized that the God that they were projecting onto the philosophers’ stone was an imaginary God, a God of the Imagination. This is not to devalue their God, or imagination in any way, as if to say “their God is ONLY imagination.” The alchemists knew that their God was a creation of the cosmic imagination, and this is why they venerated, revered, and prayed to it. For the alchemists, the imagination is the Divine Body in every person, a refined, rarefied and “subtle body” that is not humanly constructed but divinely implanted in us from a source beyond ourselves.   


129. brucelevy - February 27, 2010

126. silentpurr

He’s been banned, allowed back, re-banned….several times. Each time it becomes worse, including threats.

130. brucelevy - February 27, 2010

126. silentpurr

You can partake of his own blog any time you wish, on your own.

131. silentpurr - February 28, 2010

Yes, I guess you are right, Bruce. He lied about me also. He just wrote that Silentpurr ‘ believes that she can walk through walls and travel in outer space’ which is silly and something I have never claimed.
He seems to be obsessed with shame and homoerotic imaging. His writing, though colorful, is based on scatological smearing and without nuance.

132. fofblogmoderator - February 28, 2010

128 is new

133. Thot Plickens - February 28, 2010

Sorry to hear that. Definitely don’t take it seriously. Sometimes we really over-analyze this stuff.

Burton: cult leader.
Greg: Wanna-be cult leader, or cult leader of one.

Simple solution: Recognize cult leaders and other liars when you see them. Don’t believe them. Don’t follow them. Avoid them if possible. Think, and be sure to think clearly and decisively.

I’ve occasionally “imagined” (since I think imagination is a healthy and powerful force when it comes from the right place) that Burton isn’t quite as much the evil guru as I thought — that all of this is a test of sorts. That it was the intention all along to get people to see the wisdom of leaving the FOF despite everything he was saying to the contrary — that he knew that presence was something even more valuable for us outside the walls of the FOF prison, and that he knew all along that the experience opened up a new facet of the universe to us that we otherwise would not have known had we not joined the FOF, but that we had to leave. We had to.

But I’m afraid not. Unfortunately, Burton is a cult leader with some serious disorders. That’s all. There are many cult leaders in this world. He’s just one more.

But one thing I do know — that the experience actually has opened up a new facet of the universe to me, even it was never intended that way by Burton. And I think it has for others too. The lesson learned is that there actually is something beautiful about living one’s life and “being present,” but only doing so without seeking applause and approval, and that seeking such an invisible presence gives one strength. And that the natural act of inhaling and exhaling, and being open to the world and the universe, and connecting with people without fear and vain judgments of them… was really what “effort” and “work” meant all along. I took two long walks today, with the first signs of spring in the air… I didn’t need to call it “presence” or a “higher state” or “self remembering” or “the work.” It just was — it was beautiful and invisible. And I thought about all of you going right back to January 1st, 1970. I know that right now you know what I mean by this — no need to see any nods of approval, or read any kudos, or hear anything at all.

“The work” — if you can even call it that — really began for me “out here,” away from “systems” and structures of thought, and nods of approval. Just thoughts. Just feelings. Just us. No guru. No school.

134. Thot Plickens - February 28, 2010

And although we generally don’t see it…

Maybe the world itself is The School.

But leading us toward what profession, what career, what purpose?

That’s the mystery.

135. veramente - February 28, 2010

131 silentpurr

one thing for sure, he is getting the attention he wants.
But no one can be his rival or an equal for that matter.
He has to Win feeding on real or imaginary perceptions of weakness in others.
The obsession he has with this blog shows the nature of his mind: obsessed, hard, vengeful, toxic.

136. dennis - February 28, 2010

If Greg had Being, he would have a choice to not express negativity.

137. ton - February 28, 2010

136 dennis

re: negativity, ‘being’ and our wisecracking friend greg, he wrote:

“I claim no particular being, other than knowing that I’m asleep which is at least something”

‘asleep’ eh? where have i heard that before? he clings to his beliefs and uses this tired, old, lame excuse for bad behavior, much as a fundamentalist christian uses the notion of ‘original sin’ as an excuse… but i digress.

some aspects of the negativity he exhibits live inside each of us, albeit to a lesser degree, but i think most can relate on some level to the ‘lessons’ that are demonstrated by someone like greg. for someone who has a congenital, or developmental predisposition, or is otherwise more susceptible to negativity, (as we used to call it in the FOF ‘a negative type’), a condition of conductivity develops, the person in a very real sense becomes a ‘reactor unit’ and a conduit, he is helpless, with no means of neutralizing or transforming the negative charge. a lot of things in life can contribute to and amp up a pre-existing negative charge; daily encounters with stress, reactivity, anger, hurry, worry, frustration, compulsion, obsession, feeling defeated, ashamed, down and out, etc. as this short list suggests, with negativity it’s a bit like the chicken/egg paradox, it’s not always clear what the antecedent is, it’s not clear if the condition starts from the inside-out or the outside-in, but distinguishing a cause and effect relationship is not necessarily the point anyway, it’s simply ‘splitting hairs’ and the effect remains the same.

in this case a ‘leap’ is necessary which necessarily involves a realization that how the world appears depends on how HE observes it, how HE “dreams it up.” what greg needs to realize (make real for himself) is that HE has a meaning-creating influence on how the world materializes and appears TO HIM. when he realizes that the world is as HE dreams it, then maybe he will take personal responsibility for doing the work that is required to change the lens through which he views it, thereby changing the way he manifests…. or not, maybe he’s all too comfortable living with his current condition, and it may be beyond his power to change anyway — much like our friend ‘daily cardiac,’ greg appears to be stuck in a negative feedback loop, and so real change may require ‘divine intervention,’ an act of grace. in the meantime here’s a prayer he can practice:

while I draw the breath of life, while my heart is beating, i have light, and i have the power to choose optimism.

138. ton - February 28, 2010
139. Ellen - March 1, 2010

Nice one. The thoughts we think determine the reality we experience. There are some thoughts that exist in each person on a very deep, i.e. unconscious level. The point of self-inquiry is to expose these cramplike thoughts to the light of day and allow them to dissolve into the open air. Even the “me here and you there” thought; the “me and mine” thought that necessarily, logically creates the “you and yours”.

140. silentpurr - March 1, 2010

Being isn’t anything that can be claimed.
It just is what it is.

141. another name - March 1, 2010

Thanks Thot for your questions…this arose in me and happy to share.

And although we generally don’t see it…

Maybe the world itself is The School/ a continuous therapy, the ongoing process of life, to live, instead of anticipating on what is going to happen in an future distance .

In the meantime being in a profession, career, purpose, life?

That’s the unfolding mystery, moment by moment, nothing needs to be done, it is happening right now…

142. another name - March 2, 2010

Given out on Gloria’s funeral and for all of us.


Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there,
I do not sleep.

I am the thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there,
I did not die.?

143. Ellen - March 2, 2010

Another Name,

Thanks for publishing the Hopi prayer from Gloria’s funeral. It’s very beautiful.

And also, thanks for “nothing needs to be done”. So true, when you release the intensity of your own agency at a very deep level. Then you see, life goes on and things happen in the best possible way. This involves a profound trust that goes far beyond any attitude in the mind.

And this is no esoteric secret hidden far away in some “forest school”, it’s essentially no different than the deep comfort a baby feels/you felt, relaxing in the arms of your mother. Anyone can find that place, as it is their birthright. (quite literally!) 😉

And Life goes on…

144. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 2, 2010

Gloria has/had the being of a mighty heritage oak; firm, gentle and pliant all at the same time – while putting out acorns.

Ode to Gloria C.:


I Think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer 1886–1918

That’s how Gloria was.

145. ton - March 2, 2010

for a fundamentalist, the world is seen in ‘black or white’ — our ‘wise friend’ demonstrates using a polarity he identifies in his latest ‘wisecrackings:”

“I am here and you are there” (vs) “we are all one”

“Which of the two ‘camps’ seems less identified with the opinions of others: the fundamentalist Fourth Way-er or the incredibly mind-opening nondualists?”


poor little ‘fourth way’ fundamentalist, he seems to have forgotten a seminal idea (pun intended) from his adopted religion — that is, the concept of ‘relativity’ (all things being relative/ i.e. relational, in relation) — and he just can’t seem to wrap his head around the idea that two (or more things) may be true at once.

146. Associated Press - March 3, 2010

Jesuit priest who abused boys casts shadow in the Northwest long after his death
By Bryan Denson
The Oregonian
February 27, 2010
The Associated Press

A long-dead Catholic priest haunts the region’s Jesuits.

From novitiate to priesthood, the Rev. Michael Toulouse stood apart. Superiors described him as frivolous, vainglorious, short on religious discipline, lacking judgment and prudence, a man with serious character flaws.

By 1950, they knew why: Toulouse was an accused rapist with a predilection for boys.

The priest died more than 30 years ago. But a group of men, some of them now gray, still seek justice for what they describe as Toulouse’s serial molestation of them from 1948 to 1970.

They are among 500 people with open claims of abuse against the region’s Portland-based Jesuits, who sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a year ago in the face of vast legal exposure. The case, now in mediation, makes them creditors in the bankruptcy.

Much is at stake for the Roman Catholic order that put down roots in the Northwest 168 years ago. The Jesuits hope to resolve the case and bring peace to victims of abuse, while the victims seek compensation for the harm priests wrought on them from the native hamlets of Alaska to the suburbs of Seattle to the rangelands of Montana.

Lawyers for the parties are now picking through the nuts-and-bolts finances of the region’s Jesuits — formally known as the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province — to decide how much they are worth and how much they will pay in a global settlement to creditors.

Questions about the province’s complicated finances remain unanswered: Who really owns Jesuit High School? What about a $7.3 million retreat for priests at Hayden Lake, Idaho? And, with a Jesuit leader at the Vatican, will creditors’ attorneys be able to follow the money to Rome? The province declined to comment on the bankruptcy.

Lawyer Timothy D. Kosnoff, who represents some of the men claiming abuse by Toulouse, said the forthcoming bankruptcy resolution — and the money it means for him and his clients — is secondary to exposing Jesuit leadership. For years, some of the Northwest’s Jesuit leaders — much like the bishops who headed some of the nation’s Catholic dioceses — quietly protected pedophile priests by moving them from place to place, victim to victim.

“They’re into protecting their wealth and their image from scandal, even at the expense of harming — gravely harming — children,” Kosnoff said. “To me, that was the real evil.”

Toulouse was first accused of sex abuse in late 1950, when the father of a 14-year-old boy stalked into the office of the Rev. Francis Corkery, president of Gonzaga University in Spokane, carrying a pistol.

The distraught dad told Corkery he intended to kill Toulouse and tell the press how the priest had sexually abused his son for two years. Corkery jumped up, according to a witness account in court papers, and said, “No, you can’t do that. I’ll take care of it.”

Toulouse’s superiors confronted him. They said the boy accused him of molesting him before morning Masses at the priest’s residence. Toulouse, then 39, told superiors the boy had been the aggressor.

Jesuit leaders didn’t question the boy or consult police but considered reporting the incident to superiors at the Vatican.

“Fr. Michael Toulouse permitted a schoolboy to attempt intimacies for a moment while himself half drowsy abed,” they concluded after one meeting. “Awakening fully he sharply rebuffed the boy, and expelled him from the room, then came very openly to the Provincial confessing his partial fault.

“Question: Should this case be referred to Rome? Ans. All consultors (reply) negatively. Handle it here.”

The Jesuits sent Toulouse to a teaching job at Seattle University, which riled the school’s president. It appeared to him that Toulouse was thrust on him not to fill gaps in his faculty “but because he had to be got out of Spokane.”

No one, it appears, warned Seattle’s children.

By 1953, Toulouse was planting his feet under the table of a working-class family in Seattle. He won their hearts with his philosophical orations, and took a special interest in their 10-year-old son.

Now in his middle 60s, the son and two younger brothers accuse Toulouse of worming his way into their home and molesting them, one after another, until the youngest told his mother in 1965.

In interviews with The Oregonian, the eldest brother recalled that Toulouse would abuse him and then give him absolution for his sins. He never spoke of the abuse until the past few years. The Oregonian typically does not name the victims of sexual abuse.

His mother, after learning of her youngest son’s abuse, complained to the Rev. James B. McGoldrick, a prominent faculty member at Seattle University. Jesuit officials paid her son a settlement in exchange for signing an agreement that forbid him from suing them or disclosing the allegations.

But the abuse didn’t end, according to a lawsuit filed in King County, Wash., by eight men. In one instance, McGoldrick paired Toulouse with a teenage boy who had gotten in trouble with the law to help get the boy back on track. Toulouse is accused of molesting him, too.

“I’ve seen this a lot,” Kosnoff said. “It goes so far beyond just gross negligence that it really causes you to wonder whether this was purposeful — ‘Here, would you like to take my rabid dog for a walk?'”

The oldest of the three brothers said the passage of time allowed him to forgive the priest for his sickness. But he still cannot forgive those who let him endure such abuse.

“Nobody,” he said, “stopped him.”

The Seattle case against Toulouse might never have come to light had it not been for the pistol-packing father who came looking for the priest in Spokane 60 years ago.

A few years ago, Seattle lawyer Michael T. Pfau was poring over a mound of documents in a lawsuit filed by the victim when he stumbled across the 1965 confidentiality agreement signed by the youngest of the Seattle brothers.

Pfau’s firm interviewed him, and soon the victim and his older brothers — for the first time — shared their stories of molestation. Their abuse, according to the eldest of them, had been “the elephant in the room the last 45 years.”

The two elder brothers are among eight men with an open lawsuit against the Oregon Province. Like many men in the 1950s and 1960s, they had been unwilling to step forward and accuse a priest of abusing them.

Back then, such allegations often brought shame on families. But things changed in the last couple of decades, as more and more attorneys began to specialize in sex abuse by religious and institutional leaders.

Kosnoff’s springboard came 14 years ago, when a Portland boy accused an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of sexually abusing him. The lawyer fought a five-year legal battle that left him with a heavily mortgaged house and $200,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. But he won a $3 million settlement.

The following year, he joined forces with Pfau. They have since won cases against the Mormons, the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, racking up at least $100 million in settlements and jury awards.

Pfau and Kosnoff are part of a loose-knit consortium of attorneys now looking for their share of a global settlement in the Jesuit bankruptcy.

After the Jesuits declared bankruptcy Feb. 17, 2009, Toulouse’s Seattle accusers became creditors with a stake in the outcome.

They and others claiming abuse by Jesuit clergy accuse roughly 130 Jesuit priests of abusing them in the province, which includes Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

That’s just a fraction of the Jesuit priests who’ve served in the province since the first of them set foot in Montana in 1841. The Jesuits have done much good since then, devoting themselves to the poor, serving as parish priests across the Northwest and earning a reputation as top-class educators.

Jesuit leaders have expressed hope that resolving the bankruptcy will bring peace to those who suffered abuse.

The case entered mediation toward a global settlement earlier this month in Reno. Talks are set to resume in Portland early next month.

The province hopes to get on sound financial footing as creditors seek cash settlements for their suffering. But they remain far apart on how much the province is worth.

Lawyers for the Jesuits say the province owes more than it owns. They have argued before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris that they don’t own institutions such as Jesuit High, Gonzaga University and Seattle University, where Jesuit priests teach and serve as administrators. Such assets, they have argued, are off-limits to creditors because they are funded by charitable donations.

Creditors’ attorneys say the Jesuit order has deep pockets that go all the way to the Vatican. As a measure of that wealth, they say, the Oregon Province and its insurers paid $50 million in 2007 to settle clergy abuse claims by 113 people.

The Oregon Province’s finances are complicated by its separate funds for general operations, education of seminarians, ongoing education of priests, benefits for retired priests and accommodations for aged and infirmed priests, said James Stang, the Los Angeles banrkuptcy attorney who represents creditors.

“In 2007,” he said, “the total assets were approximately $109 million in these different funds.”

As for Toulouse, he died in 1976. Seattle University later honored his memory with the Michael Toulouse, S.J. Memorial Lectureship in Philosophy.

The lectures went on until 2005, when university officials, confronted by new sex-abuse allegations against the priest, discontinued the series.


147. Thot Plickens - March 3, 2010

The concepts of “winning” and “being right” get to the heart of the issue. Veramente and Ton both touch on it really well in some of their posts.

If the world becomes simply a question of winning vs. losing (duality), we see the world as a battleground or arena for victory or defeat, and we see others as competitors vying for the victory that we want for ourselves. We need to defeat them, or at least believe that we’re defeating them. This is dualistic, either-or thinking. For us to win, they must lose. For us to be right, they have to be wrong. For us to be healthy, they must be unhealthy. For us to be conscious, they have to be unconscious.

One of the common sayings in the FOF was “giving up the need to be right,” which was a useful mantra when getting into an argument or whenever we were on the verge of wasting a lot of energy during a disagreement. But we got that backwards. By far, the greater concern is wanting others to be wrong. Wanting to “be right” is a normal and healthy impulse. Because as Ton wrote, more than one thing can be true at once, and related to that, more than one person can be right.

The concept of victory and defeat is definitely a huge aspect of our lives. It drives us and motivates us. You could take the view that gaining “victory” is what builds bridges, brings couples together, creates families, starts universities, and enables someone to compose a symphony. To be successful and to thrive is a victory.

But is there really a “loser” in that? Really?

It’s our choice at some point to see the world — and our “spirituality” — either as a type of Survivor episode where we’re trying to get the others off the island, and where we see a world of shortages that can only reap abundance on a select few.

Or — to see the world differently as a place where it’s possible to be right without others being wrong. Where it’s possible to be victorious without defeating anyone, and even to share in the victory. To see “victory” as accomplishment, productivity, creativity, free thinking, openness, and revolution without bloodshed. Where we can attain success without others failing. Where we see knowledge and attainment as being limitless and abundant.

We see others as collaborators, friends, colleagues, teammates, comrades, protagonists, supporters, supportees, sympathizers, fellow conspirators (which means “to breathe with”), lovers.

A friend gets the girl and we see that as a good thing, not a horrible defeat for us. We bear hug them and congratulate and say, “Good for you man. Best wishes to both of you.” From that friendship, we meet other friends; we find other good times.

But if we see the world as simply winning or losing (duality), victory or defeat (duality), being saved or not being saved (duality), consciousness or unconsciousness (duality), us or them (duality), we’re locked in a mindset that forces us to never give up. We cannot “leave the school” (an expression that I’m starting to think is absolutely meaningless), because to leave would be to lose, to suffer defeat. We’d need to acknowledge that it’s a defeat to devote much of our lives to something that was blind alley, a dead end.

Of course, if we can emerge from that dualistic way of thinking, leaving the school takes a lot less courage.

148. veramente - March 3, 2010

What is happening in Oregon House California, home of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence?
Any news? Burton must be getting old and Viagra cannot last forever, wonder if his brain looks like scrambled eggs at this stage/time.

149. WhaleRider - March 3, 2010

Thot Plickens:

“By far, the greater concern is wanting others to be wrong.”

Yes, IMO, this is the essence of an antisocial personality…the unconscious need to degrade others. That’s what makes someone with an antisocial personality disorder so difficult and “tricky” to be around. The paradox is, they cannot stand being alone: they need an audience.

They unconsciously need others to feel feelings they don’t want to feel.

150. Thot Plickens - March 3, 2010

AP 146. “Their [sexual] abuse, according to the eldest of them, had been ‘the elephant in the room the last 45 years.’ ”

Parallel stories like this really offer a clearer perspective about the FOF, because they reveal a deeper societal problem. I’ve read some of the comments from the FOF PR Tag Team who edited the FOF Wikipedia article. They wanted you to believe that the FOF is an isolated case that the public “doesn’t care” about — that only families, close friends, and former members are genuinely concerned about cults such as the Fellowship of Friends and other similar cults where sexual abuse occurs. But the issue resonates with a lot of people.

Having grown up Catholic, I sometimes wonder how much money my parents contributed. Sure, I don’t *believe* my local priests were involved with the sexual abuse of altar boys. But when you think about the Catholic Church as a whole, that’s yet another organization where money isn’t well spent by worshippers, to put it mildly. At least in the FOF there’s a record of donations, even if there’s no obvious record of where the money is going exactly. In the Catholic Church, I’m guessing my parents donated tens of thousands, and all in cash. It’s hard to track $10 bills, though.

In any case, this concern for money must really show my “low level of being.” A true believer would never concern themselves with such a minor issue, when consciousness and awakening is the prize, and/or joining Our Father in Heaven.

“Prize” — damn, there’s that “winning” thing again. I get the prize, and you don’t. I win. You don’t. I’m in. You’re out.

WhaleRider: Yes. It’s ironic that what you describe is “unconscious” isn’t it? …when consciousness is supposedly THE prize.

151. ton - March 4, 2010

for ‘entertainment’ purposes only —

in trying to ‘clarify’ a point that he feels was misunderstood, of course he does not for a moment consider that misunderstanding could possibly result from any fault in his attempts at expressing himself. it’s obvious the problem is with ‘the other,’ it’s the result of ‘defective intelligence’ — could there be a problem with the sender of the message, absolutely not. interpretation of the message in this case is based partly on everything that he’s ever written here and on other sites — he believes that with his ‘special esoteric insights’ he’s got the inside track on the truth, from his lofty perch he surveys the sleeping masses, offering ‘wise’ pronouncements of his infallible judgment. he believes his point of view is always right, whereas everyone else’s point of view is the product of ‘mental defect.’ when he deigns to explain himself he doesn’t sound any less arrogant, but at least he’s trying to make himself understood — is he actually trying to relate to another human being ?! that actually makes him seem a little more human himself… but then, of course he resorts to the usual and always obligatory insults…. it seems he can’t be or do otherwise.

” 6. Anti-social personalities refuse to face the truth and in fact attempt to malign anyone that tells them the truth.”

(good point — now take some time for self-reflection)


152. Golden Veil - March 4, 2010


This quote led me to me in a different way for a moment;

and then I thought of you… I hope you are doing well!

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.

In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement

and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden

heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key

moments, and life itself is grace.” [Fred Buechner]


153. Tatyana - March 4, 2010

My friend FOFer:

“I am grateful for the School. I would never discover such things as Shakespeare, Marcus Aurelius, Goethe… I love reading it. And the Bible. Robert’s keys are the tools that can be applied to everything. I am not trying to convince you to return, but what else is out there?”

Could not reply… Any ideas what could I answer to that?

154. Golden Veil - March 4, 2010


Tatyana ~

I would say to your friend that snow globes are beautiful, too,

but I wouldn’t want to live in one. Especially if the tiny exquisite

castle in the center held a monster that bewitched and harmed

some of the residents of the picturesque snow globe… I would

say, “Wake up! You can live outside this false ivory tower! LIVE!”


155. Someone - March 4, 2010

Funeral ceremonies in the FoF have strong ‘School flavor’ and I don’t understand why would any ex-member want to attend them under such conditions. I have my deep respect to Gloria as a warm and lovely human being and that’s how I remember her. What one carries in one’s heart is what counts.

Last month I met a current loyal member. He is an older student.
He told me something that was quite interesting.
He said that many of the ex-members who live in OH are still there because they are linked to the School energy even if some of them are negative toward it. I don’t know if there is any truth in what he said, but it is an interesting thought.
Personally the first thing I did when I left was moving away from OH.

156. Golden Veil - March 4, 2010


No. 155 ~ Someone

I see, the “current loyal member, an older student” believes that the
“ex-members who live in OH are still there because they are linked to the School energy even if some of them are negative toward it.”

Your statement: “Personally the first thing I did when I left was moving away from OH.”

The ” current loyal member, older student’s” remark seems to me
to be particularly judgmental of and somewhat diminishing to the many ex-students living in Oregon House.

I feel that the cult’s lasting influence is dependent upon the individual. It does not matter how many miles away an ex-student moves, how many years were spent in the school, or how many years have gone by since the school was left, or whether or not there is fraternity with current newer or long time students…it is
all relative, individual.

Everyone has their own way of coping; that is, recovering from being a devotee of a narcissistic sexually deviate psychopath.
For some, that includes developing methods of contributing to a common cause; to publicize the ills of the Fellowship of Friends,
a stronghold of judgement and repression.

It is clear to me that for some ex-students, leaving Oregon House abruptly was not an option due to homes and mortgages, children, jobs and businesses, and perhaps even marriages to current Fellowship of Friends students.

There are ex-members in touch with current students, yes, and these relationships usually include the intention to question the Fellowship of Friends despotic authority and perhaps be a positive influence on these current student friends to leave. Everyone has their own way to deal with their Fellowship of Friends history.


157. Jomo Piñata - March 4, 2010

“I am grateful for the School. I would never discover such things as Shakespeare, Marcus Aurelius, Goethe… I love reading it. And the Bible. Robert’s keys are the tools that can be applied to everything. I am not trying to convince you to return, but what else is out there?”

Could not reply… Any ideas what could I answer to that?

“If you like Shakespeare, Marcus Aurelius, and Goethe, you’ll love the public library. You know, maybe you should go back to school, take some courses in literature and philosophy. Maybe hook up with a great books discussion group.”

“You ask, what else is out there? The answer is, whatever is out there is up to you to discover. You can be spoon-fed convoluted gibberish, which you can apply to anything precisely because gibberish is incredibly malleable, or you can begin to recognize and embrace the fact that life is a great mystery which is intrinsically uncertain. Your Fellowship involvement alienates you from your true condition of uncertainy by giving you a false certainty, but this is reversible. Leave the Fellowship and you will see. Come join the great adventure which life’s uncertainty offers you, and leave the myth of certainty behind. Before they happen, losses loom larger than gains, but in retrospect the losses will seem small, and the gains immense.”

158. veramente - March 4, 2010

157 Jomo
Very good Jomo! in fact I did feel I was back in school studying literature and art. It was interesting for a while as I had no much propensity for the classical arts especially. All those impressions were certainly substituting the empty feelings I had about life and daily grind until they stopped working.

159. brucelevy - March 4, 2010

“what else is out there” is one of the many bull shit rhetorical questions the FOF uses to manipulate their sheep. The real answer, of course, is “everything else”.

160. silentpurr - March 4, 2010

In the Fellowship, our creative potential for understanding is held in dry suspension like a seed kernel. Unless we are really exposed to the Waters of Life our potential for understanding will remain only a potential.
Use what you have to germinate yourself in life’s conditions. A seed held too long forgets it’s Life Power.

161. silentpurr - March 4, 2010

Let Nature be your first teacher… Goethe

162. another voice - March 4, 2010

“The wisest men follow their own direction
And listen to no prophet guiding them.
None but fools believe in oracles,
Forsaking their own judgement. Those who know,
Know that such men can only come to grief.”

Euripides, Iphigenia in Taurus

163. WhaleRider - March 4, 2010

What else is out there beyond cult mentality?

The truth. The one you find for yourself.


I have to admit that I have masochistic streak and glanced at Mr Badloser's diatribe page…and was actually impressed.

All he claims is that he is conscious that he is asleep…and yet in his sleep he can clearly see the sleep of others!

Sounds pretty arrogant to me.

If one understands where he is coming from then, a place of anti-enlightenment, then ipso facto, the opposite of what he says is probably closer to the truth…and thus for him, we are all idiots, and I am “an insect”. (He gets off on punching below the belt, so to speak.)

I don’t think his opinion carries much creditability when taken at face value in its vulgarity. For that matter, he might as well call me a microbe or a molecule!

Taking this into account, I liked his idea of the blog as a forum of an “enlightened gang”.

That was enlightening feedback, since one person cannot possibly hold all the answers for everyone, not even Ouspensky, who happens to be unavailable for comment at present.

164. brucelevy - March 4, 2010

It appears Greg made his way back to the blog indirectly, due to US. Talk about unnecessary suffering and self flagellation. Something in us can’t do without him. I think that might be something to bring into the light. Is it masochism on our part? Boredom. Making ourselves better by making him worse? He must be having a ball now. Internal self preening and all that.

165. Q - March 5, 2010

Some of the responses have bee interesting to read. Fourth way dogma vs nondualism for instance. Discussing anything with someone who is filled with hate cannot get you far tho.

166. Someone - March 5, 2010

156. Golden Veil

I am interested in the simple truth and I have no interest in promoting the anti-FoF flavor of this Blog at all cost.
RB deserves strong criticism related to his sexual misconduct and he should have been sued for it, but not everything in the FoF is wrong and evil.

I tend to agree with most of what you wrote…still a thought came across…what would happened if the FoF will close down the property and the King and disciples will disperse of relocate? Will the ex-embers’ community stay anyway? I don’t know…

167. Golden Veil - March 5, 2010


166. Someone

I can only surmise, but I feel that when the FoF shuts its doors (perhaps due to Robert Burton’s departure), the Oregon House ex-students will for the most part probably stay in the community because of the lives they have created there OUTSIDE of the Fellowship of Friends. Whether they have left the FoF willingly on their own, or been ex-communicated by virtue of their having questioned FoF authority, they have chosen to make Oregon House their home.

By the way, I too was deeply attracted to the Fellowship of Friends.
The form of the school, its cultivation of fine impressions, music, art, philosophical literature and intense psychological self study all had great appeal to me. And I found the fraternity in Italy lovely.

My awareness of Robert Burton’s odd harem was just one of the things that began to dissuade me, though. Ultimately it was what happened in the American FoF circles I spent time in. There were many inconsistencies and disharmony of spoken word and action.
I left the Fellowship of Friends after only one year and became connected with another school, the Gurdjieff Foundation for five years.


168. nige - March 5, 2010

just to save time, this is a pasted post from bbattleswordd…..

Hi Elena
I have been away from both blogs for some time now mainly due to my internet home site being out-of-order. But the main result of this and the requiring situatiuon is my business has reached a new level with about as many students and commissions as I can handle at the present time. The winter months saw me with my usual depressive ‘looking backward to troubled times’ period. I am still experiencing those a little these days but I think my greatest phrase that I use today is “Let it go!”. I find I really do not care if REB gets sued any more or the FOF gets put out of business or if I get to strut my stuff in court. My life is very rich and balanced and I have never been happier in my life. Keep on with the work you love so much…..Nigel.

169. Thot Plickens - March 5, 2010

Sum1: “…anti-FoF flavor of this Blog at all cost…”

“at all cost”:
Where does that come from? I wouldn’t agree with that attitude about it. I doubt that many people do.

The blog has definitely been “pro-dissent”. Not all of that dissent is helpful or constructive, but the overall impact is that it’s opened some eyes (mine, for example) and provided a healthier perspective about an unhealthy organization.

“…not everything in the FoF is wrong and evil.”
There is something seriously wrong with the FOF, but this doesn’t imply that “everything in the FOF is wrong and evil.”

Focusing on the good things in life is healthy but not at the expense of our common sense and critical thinking. It’s typical for abused spouses, for example, to have trouble leaving a relationship partly because they want to focus on the good. At some point, it’s a positive step for them to see that the negative consequences of remaining in the relationship. To get there, they acknowledge that something is seriously wrong. They take a dissenting view about the relationship. They’re not “against” marriage, not “against” their spouse, but they acknowledge to themselves that their spouse has a serious problem, and that leaving them is a healthy step.

If a friend became involved with that partner, they might also warn them.

It’s a pretty effective propaganda tool to call dissent “negativity.” We learned that one in the FOF. That’s a good one to unlearn.

170. WhaleRider - March 5, 2010

masochism or sheer boredom…Probably what would drive a person to endure Mr Badloser’s verbal abuse is similar to what would drive a current hard case FOFer to read the big scary blog or back to an abusive spouse…or the person would have to be just plain nuts or have some kind of martyr complex. You’d have to pay me to do it.

From his writings, I don’t get a sense Greg does much self-preening though, I bet he more like…pulls out his own eyebrows.

You have to admit, he does have a fine body of work on youtube for your viewing displeasure.

In that regard, he does better than me.

He does display a certain amount of…creativity, despite his lack of grace and social skills.

171. another name - March 5, 2010

For 158 Veramente and Golden Veil and Nigel and all of us.

What is happening now in OH IMO?

Some students have to give their houses to the bank.
Some had to go back to live with their parents.
The economy is effecting students too.
Some students moved away, probably due to jobs?
Students leave very slowly.
Students kids are leaving the Yesca?
Prediction is focused now on 2012
The fof1500 students are going to teach the rest of the world to be present after 2012.
Gardens, and strange animals…on the property.
Journey forth by day saw “new” young male Russian students ahhhh.

Ex students
Hardly anybody can sell their house.
Groups developing self sustainability
Concert in the 7 th day Adventist church and some private
The Oregon house community center works with students and non students.
Some people seem to move here as their is an interest in growing marijuana.( bad idea).

Is it a time of healing?
It takes 5 years to kick an addiction….
PTSD takes a long time to heal and many in and out have suffered from PTSD IMHO.
Leaving the fellowship takes more then 5 years too?

Love the kids of students and ex who some of them come back and hang out.
Many living a regular live and try to give it meaning?
Some how.. obviously we are not special.
Wake up little Suzie!

172. Golden Veil - March 6, 2010

This is worth reposting…read it and learn, dear Student:

“It’s a pretty effective propaganda tool to call dissent “negativity.” We learned that one in the FOF. That’s a good one to unlearn.”

[Thot Plickens, 169.]

Brainwashing isn’t sudden. It is achieved gradually…

Who are you?

Are you a group of acquired tastes and learned manifestations, courtesy of ‘The Teacher,’ Robert Burton, of your esoteric ‘School,’ The Fellowship of Friends?


173. paul g - March 6, 2010

“I am grateful for the School. I would never discover such things as Shakespeare, Marcus Aurelius, Goethe… I love reading it. And the Bible. Robert’s keys are the tools that can be applied to everything. I am not trying to convince you to return, but what else is out there?”

It’s not what’s ‘out there, including the school, which you include in ‘out there’. There is no amount of ‘out there’. ‘Out there’ is infinite.
It’s what’s ‘in here’.
Your distrust of what’s ‘out there’, and your fear of what is ‘out there’, has got you hooked up to the appearance of a solution that you found ‘out there when you couldn’t find anything else’. And it will always be an appearance because it is something you must cling to amongst the experiences included in ‘out there’. And to pay for it you must discount the rest of experience ‘out there’, for the current experience – the thing you found when you could find nothing of any worth ‘out there’. Because now you’ve found something out there you want to keep it, even though it’s an appearance.
But it’s ‘in here’.

Or, you could just say ‘it’s in here’. But you might look a bit soppy, like you’d found God or something.

174. Bares Reposting - March 6, 2010

‘162. another voice – March 4, 2010

“The wisest men follow their own direction
And listen to no prophet guiding them.
None but fools believe in oracles,
Forsaking their own judgement. Those who know,
Know that such men can only come to grief.”

Euripides, Iphigenia in Taurus’

Thank you for that, another voice.

While on the subject of Greek wisdom, let’s look at this:

When gods in anger seek a mortal’s harm,
first they deprive him of his sanity,
and fashion of his mind a baser instrument,
that he may have no knowledge wherein he errs.
Lycurgus c.396-c.325 B.C.

The above might characterize the mental state of brainwashed cult followers.

175. veramente - March 6, 2010

171 another name

thank you for your description/picture of the present FOF/PtP.
It seems rather squalid and somewhat bankrupted.
Burton I am sure continues to lavish on himself and his chosen ones…
Very sad, beyond sad, tragic.

176. 2010 - March 6, 2010

While I was in the Fellowship of Friends I experienced a profound sense of “in here” (in the “school”) and “out there” (everywhere else).

With all the insanity and greed going on in the world it’s quite easy to think you have sheltered yourself from the big bad terrible world by hiding inside the protected (and I mean literally- guard house and all) walls of the FOF. Why do you think so many rich couples with large houses stay together? They know what they have inside the big house even if they hate it. There’s enough space to separate yourselves and even though it sucks, it’s big, expensive and a known environment. Hey, some fresh flowers and beautiful palm tress goes a long way.

When it was going around the rumor mill that I was leaving the “sacred school” a friend who is very close to Robert called me and said he heard I was leaving and was it true. I explained to him that I had really lost step with what Robert was spewing out and I felt it was time to move on. He replied that he had just finished attending
one of those lavish breakfasts that Robert throws (to have some pocket money for the day) and that even though he didn’t understand anything Robert was talking about, the whole thing was still so beautiful.

There you have it my friends. Those who stay have made a conscious effort to throw away any sense of discernment and are putting their money on the horse that looks the prettiest.

177. David Butcher - March 7, 2010

I just read an interesting article in Rolling Stone magazine about a cult a lot like the FOF. It’s called Dahn Yoga. They focus on young college-age people. The ‘guru’ is a Korean named Ilchi Lee and he seems to have a lot in common with RB. Check out the story at this link:

178. veramente - March 7, 2010

check this out:

An article on Scientology on the NY Times.
Perhaps writing something on the Readers Comments linking the story to the Fellowship of Friends-Pathway to Presence Cult can bring more visibility to the giant worm in Oregon House in California.

(I did)

179. veramente - March 7, 2010

regarding article on NY times with link posted above, I signed as VM/Nevada City in the comments section.
Perhaps we have a chance to put more comments in there linking the story with the FOF/Pathway to Presence and say more.
Posted also the YouTube from Whalerider, glad to see comments went trough.
Would it be nice if we sneaked through the back door of an article about cults basically, and raise more awareness about the FOF?PtP?

180. another name - March 8, 2010


Check this out….interesting. Please replace men also for women.
Curious about your responses.

181. Golden Veil - March 8, 2010


180. another name

That is a GREAT link for this blog. Thank you!

I bookmarked it.


182. veramente - March 9, 2010

a new “spiritual”way

183. veramente - March 9, 2010

even better…. f..k it!

184. Golden Veil - March 9, 2010


This is really funny in a sad-funny sort of way, Veramente.

Right now I want to make efforts in my own personal life.

And I want to contribute to the ease of pain and bring joy

to others. The philosophy of ‘f*ck it!’ does not work for me!

Thank you for the laugh, though, amidst tears…


185. veramente - March 9, 2010

Hello Golden Veil, I appreciate the process you are going through, even if I do not understand it because I do not know you but I can still feel the emotion and wish for you the healing you want/need.

Yes, the video was meant for laughs, nothing serious.
I may see the value of ” f..k it” as a letting go of some sort; it is to even say to the part of me that continually wants to be perfect…”f..k it”, you know? leave me alone, let me breathe, I do not need ideals constantly to live my life. Can I just be me, true to me and not to some kind of dogma, religion, while I respect people and life (sort of a golden rule of some kind).

186. Golden Veil - March 10, 2010


Veramente ~

Yes! To he*l with dogma and religion!

Yes! I agree the Golden Rule is good idea, one of the best.

Yes! I need more order in my life so that I can be of service.

I think that Ram Dass and Mother Teresa were on the right track…

Thanks for all of your perceptive and witty posts here, Veramente!


187. Q - March 10, 2010

Re: another name and the “take full responsibility for your life” web page…

Just make sure you find balance in your life. I sense the poster is making a commentary about the blog and is vaguely critical of former fof’ers who express their views. But whether its a blog or a religious organization, if you can’t let anything else into your life, that’s where it becomes unhealthy.

188. Ellen - March 11, 2010

Hi All,

I spent last evening with some old friends who are still members of the Fellowship. It was a nice evening, reminding each of us of our love for one another. As a sort of psychological digestion of the evening, this morning I found myself thinking (once again) about the term “spiritual bypassing” (which also seems to relate to the current thread). And I came up with the following formulation:

Robert Burton uses the whole environment of the Fellowship of Friends to indulge in his own personal version of spiritual bypassing. Everyone who is a member is more or less ignorantly involved in perpetuating that illusion (those actively involved in the organization have to do that even more than others) .

When an individual member becomes aware of their own issues (whatever they may be) – and is forced by circumstances to address them – then their chances of understanding the bigger picture are much greater, and they can become free of the unhealthy ways in which the Fellowship environment influences their life. (They can actually become free of the Fellowship!)

Alternatively, those members who use the Fellowship environment to hide from their own personal stuff might be in for a long term of duty.

But the good news is that when you eliminate your own spiritual projections and buffers, you can still enjoy a very “spiritual” life, grounded in expansive presence, but not bounded by a limited and limiting form.

189. Ellen - March 11, 2010

“Spiritual Bypassing”: a term coined by a therapist named John Welwood.

190. veramente - March 11, 2010

Burton: a disempowering fake.
One time he gave me an assignment to call someone in Europe a current female “student” who was exiled for having challenged him in the matter of sex.
Dutifully I made the call and after I inquired with this woman I called back Burton to let him know about her status. Guess what was his response: I almost felt like I annoyed him and he did not seem interested at all in what I had to say.
Of course I turned the whole little experience as an opportunity for me to awaken and work with my identification, who knows what hidden task he had for me…
But I never found the answer, which was quite obvious.

191. WhaleRider - March 11, 2010

Confuseus once said, “Once you take a shit and flush, do you stay up at night worrying about what has become of it?

Burton treats his ex-followers like shit, not people.

192. another name - March 12, 2010

Dear Q

Thanks for your comment.

For me it was food for thought and a recheck where i am a victim and were I blame or could take more responsibility, Become more independant. I love to share this kind of info.

Maybe i did not understand your reaction:

What do you mean with:

Just make sure you find balance in your life. How would you suggest?

If you can’t let anything else into your life, that’s where it becomes unhealthy? What do you mean with this remark?

Just make sure you find balance in your life. I sense the poster is making a commentary about the blog and is vaguely critical of former fof’ers who express their views. But whether its a blog or a religious organization, if you can’t let anything else into your life, that’s where it becomes unhealthy.

193. another name - March 12, 2010

Sooooo beautiful, so congruent, soooooo happy to share with all of you.

India Arie

194. Q - March 12, 2010

It’s a good topic — “taking responsibility for your life,” and it’s exactly what the Fellowship of Friends, or any cult, prevents someone from doing. Maybe that’s partly what Ellen is describing above.

Regarding balance:
The Fellowship of Friends — like other cults — leads to imbalances. It’s good to see how your inner world affects your life, but it’s also good to be aware of the environment that you’re a part of.

No need to worry that we’re “playing the victim” if we’re taking decisive, positive, productive steps in our lives. Seeing the FOF with a critical eye is part of that, and seeing yourself with a critical eye is part of that. Both are needed. That’s partly what I mean by balance. We all know which of those is missing from the FOF.

It’s very possible to articulate sound criticisms of the FOF and to point out the many ways it’s harmful to people and still “take responsibility for your life.” Actually, that IS taking responsibility for your life — to acknowledge to yourself and to others that something you participated in was unhealthy and harmful.

195. Thot Plickens - March 13, 2010

159. brucelevy
“what else is out there?”

The real answer, of course, is “everything else”.

No one has stated it better in so few words.

196. Lloyd Christmas - March 14, 2010

First, I must say that this blog is a great resource for exposing just how evil a man Robert Burton really is, and for providing a forum in which people can discuss this subject.

That said, there seems to be a large, large amount of talk going on, but not much in the way of action against Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. (That’s my impression; maybe I’m wrong.) The petition is a good start, but what by itself does it accomplish? There have been previous lawsuits which failed. Why? It is important to examine what went wrong there and have a better strategy for the next battle. My guess would be that Burton’s high-priced lawyers know how to flex their muscles. How then can high-priced lawyers be beaten? I am confident that any lawyer Burton could hire could be beaten, provided that the case against Burton were overwhelming enough, despite whatever charisma Burton may possess.

It’s important to realize that, with the type of low character Burton evidently has, every day that ex-students spend lamenting over injustices suffered at his hands is a day he spends laughing. Every day he laughs and ex-students wail is a day lost. If he dies before he’s brought to legal justice, it means in some sense that he won; he committed the perfect crime. (Now, I doubt he’s truly happy, what with the allegations of coprophilia and all, but it’s no reason that huge numbers of students should continue to suffer in ways large or small.)

In any case, it’s important to focus on how Robert can be beaten (and the Fellowship, perhaps, dismantled) in a court of law. In this setting, it won’t do to concentrate on evil acts he perpetrated that are nevertheless legal (e.g., brainwashing men into sucking him off, hoodwinking well-intentioned people into giving him upwards of 10% of their salaries).

No, to nail him, one needs to concentrate on actual crimes he committed. The main thing that leaps to mind is his sexual seduction of a minor decades ago, while knowingly having a venereal disease. [Maybe we could get Chris Hansen of “To Catch A Predator” fame to go after him.] Another potential line of attack can be his putting people “on salary”, which I take to mean paying them far less than minimum wage for longer than nine-to-five hours. Maybe he’s also hired illegal immigrants and can be cornered for that. Oh, and let’s not forget the debacle where he got fake IDs from the Mafia to provide to his Russian paramours. There’s no sense in taking half-measures with a degenerate like him, because he’s not taking half-measures with his “students”.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but the longer we wait, the more days he happily laughs and sucks male members’ members, while students give up their money, some give up their asse(t)s, and, what’s maybe worst of all, human beings waste years of their lives meditating on idiotic garbage.

As an afterthought, whether or not the lawsuit works out, we can consider launching an information campaign. A campaign that’ll be as bold as the FOF propaganda is insidious. If they use tactics like putting bookmarks in books, why don’t we hand out booklets door-to-door like newspaper–in Oregon House, the nexus of the cancer. The booklets could mention things about Burton–nothing that could get the publishers into a libel suit, however. More modestly, it could just ask common sense questions: “How can a person be conscious if they keep predicting earthquakes that don’t happen?” “Do you really believe that all those people outside the school are going to be ‘food for the moon’? Is that something verifiable?” “What do you think of a spiritual leader who shows less sexual restraint than his students?” “Do you pay 10% of your salary hoping to attain consciousness, but find yourself more depressed every year? Hear the testimonials of ex-students whose lives have improved after leaving the school, who feel like burdens have been lifted.” Since Burton plays hardball, we have to beat him at his own game, but we have to play clean while he plays dirty.

197. brucelevy - March 14, 2010

thanks Mikey

Meher Baba

For one to declare that he is a saint and to allow people to bow down to and revere him, without real authority, is to feed one’s ego with intense happiness. Simultaneously, with the feeding of the ego comes a feeling of well-being.

One who is addicted to opium (eating or smoking) derives a similar feeling of well-being, though temporarily. After a time, the opium addict begins to feel the after-effects of opium such as severe constipation, loss of appetite, headache, dullness and drowsiness. He then begins to realize that it would have been better had he not become addicted. But, unfortunately, he cannot give up the habit. He has become its slave. He realizes this too late and sinks into deeper addiction, being tempted to take greater and greater quantities of opium to keep pace with the gradual loss of the feeling of well-being.

Similarly, one who indulges in happiness by allowing people to bow down to him, without real authority, feels the prick of conscience later on. And with this feeling he realizes that he has no authority, but has got so used to the habit of feeding his ego in this manner that he is unable to stop the practice. He continues indulging and, after a time, does not pay heed to the pricks of conscience. He becomes numb to the voice within.

After years of addiction, it so happens that one day the opium addict is found lying unconscious in a gutter of filth. An extra overdose of opium proves tragic for the addict who lost complete control over himself. The passerby scoffs, ridicules, points at him as a confirmed opium addict.

In the same way, a person who poses as a saint, without really being one, starts to behave in an unworthy manner after years of indulgence in addiction to overdoses of homage. With him, unlike the opium addict, his unworthy behavior is accounted as “perfection” by his followers. When he abuses others his words are accepted as blessings! When he beats someone, his beating is accepted as the descent of his grace! When he indulges in lovemaking with the opposite sex, it is accepted as pure love!

In short, whatever he does, anything and everything, is accepted in a spirit of reverence and love by the followers of the man who has posed as a saint. The more unruly his behavior, the greater the admiration of the followers. And the greater the admiration, the richer becomes the feeding of the ego of that man. Eventually, he falls from the high pedestal of admiration because, not being a genuine saint, the rich doses of admiration prove too much for the ego to digest. With this fall this “opiumized” saint is ridiculed. Those very persons who once called themselves his followers now scoff and call him a fraud.

198. Amanda Raphaelson - March 15, 2010

Hi old frends,

A new year begins this spiring, and hopefully we can tranform anger, neglect of love, judgement, and self loathing , and give a new direction to our lives this year. As most of us are in our middle age years; we need to look forward and help ourselves to proceed to our “next life” goals, and find out who this person may be in 2 years?. All of us have past issues to reconsile. Lets go forward…

199. fofblogmoderator - March 15, 2010

196 & 198 are new

200. Thot Plickens - March 15, 2010

196. Lloyd

Whether or not what you suggest ever comes to fruition, I’d let go of the following thought:

“…every day that ex-students spend lamenting over injustices suffered at his hands is a day he spends laughing. Every day he laughs and ex-students wail is a day lost.”

That’s your take on things, but personally i don’t believe very many blog posters or former members are lamenting or wailing. It’s healthy to state a few opinions here — that combined with living productive and happy lives that have nothing to do with any of this.

Whether Burton laughs or doesn’t laugh is completely his problem. But if he does, it’s foolish on his part, and honestly I doubt he’s laughing very hard. The free flow of information here and on the GF site, as well as the ever-present word of mouth, has taken its toll with membership numbers – down 700-1,000 in recent years. Who knows how many more will leave, but what’s been happening in recent years is a good thing.

Information and open communication are powerful forces when you’re talking about an organization that thrives on secrecy and the fear of openness.

So, having said that, I’ll let others respond to your suggestions about taking action. I personally don’t feel I’m engaged in some sort of battle with Burton — where either “he wins” or “I win / we win.” Many people have opened their eyes, and continue to open their eyes — that’s what’s most important to me. That alone opens up all sorts of healthful possibilities.

If you’re serious, though, this isn’t the place to discuss legal action or strategy. I’d suggest leaving your email address and soliciting direct feedback from people. And I also suggest letting the blog be what it is.

201. WhaleRider - March 15, 2010

Proposed Holiday Raises Concerns

YUBA COUNTY- Legislators are grappling with separation between church and state issues and scratching their private parts on how to handle a proposal by the Fellowship of Friends, Inc. AKA Pathway to Presence for a new state holiday called, “Have Sex with Your Clergy Day”.

Loyal Fellowship members, single or married, are already lining up at the Fellowship’s headquarters located in the tiny hamlet of Oregon House in eager anticipation of the spring event. Young male followers from all over the world, some as far away as Russia are being asked to come to Oregon House to participate.

Reportedly, several young ardent male followers of Robert E. Burton, the elderly gay founder of the Northern Californian sex cult, have even pitched tents in front of the home of the controversial leader, wearing nothing but bathrobes and slippers, and armed with tubes of personal lubricant and plenty of Viagra.

The Fellowship festivities are to begin at midnight of the spring equinox and are to continue through the early morning hours, then throughout the day, and until midnight the next day, with Burton taking only short breaks to catch a few wordless breaths. Burton is expected to break his personal record that day for the number of men he has sex with over the course of 24 hours, thus assuring his seat in the top spot for all eternity.

Yuba County Health Officials are concerned about the safety of Burton having unsafe sex with so many multiple partners, since Burton is known to have contracted Herpes sometime in the past and has spread the incurable virus to many of his followers, under the guise of showing “valuation for the school” as he puts it.

Officials are relieved that the greatest threat appears to be contained only within the cult itself, since Burton is rarely known to have sex with anyone else but his followers. But Burton places no such restrictions on his followers, whom are spread worldwide and fears of a pan epidemic of Herpes has many officials concerned.

202. Golden Veil - March 15, 2010


201. WhaleRider

Your mock news items are always witty, wry and funny; but I must

commend you particularly on this bulletin. It is actually one of the

most succinctly truthful posts I have read here! This useful news

bulletin lacks only one thing. There is no mention about how many

of the youthful, handsome and willing male sexual participant

followers pay teaching payments and how many are given a free

ride. Also, if I had known when I was a ‘Student’ of the Fellowship

of Friends / Pathway to Presence that I was being discriminated

against [by virtue of my being a woman] and thus not qualifying for

the sexual participant teaching payment discount…well that would

have really irked me! Any ‘Students’ out there to comment on this?


203. Thot Plickens - March 16, 2010

Amanda: “…hopefully we can transform anger, neglect of love, judgment, and self loathing, and give a new direction to our lives this year. As most of us are in our middle age years; we need to look forward and help ourselves to proceed to our “next life” goals, and find out who this person may be in 2 years?. All of us have past issues to reconcile. Lets go forward…”

OK. This topic of “moving forward” and “moving on” has been addressed on the blog so often that I’ll just ask you to read some of the responses on the previous pages.

But I will say this: It’s not either/or.

A person can both move forward and talk about the FOF — gosh, what a revolutionary idea. And for some — maybe not you — talking about it may be the exact remedy needed for “moving forward.”

I’m always wondering where these comments come from. Is it an innate discomfort with the entire idea of pummeling “Robert” (our once “beloved teacher”) with criticism? Is there something in these criticisms that strikes at the very core of what made us all cult lemmings in the first place?

I’m glad you bring up the season of spring. For me, the blog and the GF — including even the most acerbic commentary — are like healthy, clean, fresh, natural air.

Some very uncomfortable truths about Burton (and us as we followed him) are hidden beneath all of those beautiful cotton-bond letter-press FOF publications that our gentle friends printed for so many years. None of their beautiful and gracious smiles, and none of their love and naivete, can hide that fact. Something was terrible wrong beneath every beautiful page — whether there was a perfectly printed photo of a Rijksmuseum Rembrandt on the cover or not.

Regarding “past issues.” I personally hope people keep unearthing them, examining them, and analyzing them, no matter what happens to the blog and no matter what happens to Burton. It’s healthy, and by the way, there’s no “neglect of love” in that at all.

204. Thot Plickens - March 16, 2010

Amanda, by the way the GF site is perfect for moving forward. If you haven’t joined already, you’ll be more than welcome. But even better than that are the dozens of great social networking sites on the internet that have absolutely nothing to do with the Fellowship of Friends but that offer tremendous possibilities and open doors for us.

Also, because the world is filled with riches, what’s really stopping us from moving forward? Answer: our own belief that the world is not filled with riches, that it’s a world of shortages where only a few can enjoy the rewards, and a world of shortages where only a select few can find genuine meaning in their lives.

Anyway, see the blog as a bit of a demolition of the ugly shack before the very large house with the ocean view is built. I hear what you’re saying: don’t forget to build the house, too.

205. brucelevy - March 16, 2010

206. Michelle - March 16, 2010

I saw the “100,000 Angles” video [ very tempting to join the slam gang and say 100,000 maniacs lol!] but I won’t.

It made me think of the mother of someone I know, who “lost” her son to this place. I can hardly even begin to imagine how she feels. but I have a feeling that if she could say anything to him- this video expresses it all. I wish he could hear her and then – listen- from his heart.

But that is fantasy. In reality, I think this person is happy where he is. I
mean why go outside when its so warm and fuzzy within the realms of the group – a feeling most of you probably don’t relate to at this point.

I guess something happened, in your minds on in reality, that caused the fuzziness to evaporate. Once this happens- it hard staying still. It is, however, harder to find the courage to leave. and the longer you spend in fuzzy land – the harder it is.

This is why I think each and every one you is brave to have managed to find strength to “climb” out side of this womb [ and it must have been a special place if you found your self there to begin with]. I think it’s hard , when feeling so disillusioned from a person, a place, or teachings that did not meet the expectations placed upon it. I think it’s harder to accept, that those who remain put don’t share the same feeling. How dare they? you know how they feel, you once felt the same and then one day woke up. How come they don’ t wake up and see the reality they way it is? they way you do? They should just wake up like you and share the hardships rather than pretend [at this point they must be pretending ] it’s all milk and honey. I get it. it sucks. but for some people, some things, twisted as you may now think they are, are exactly what they were looking for. Some might not have the strength or courage to take the steps you have taken. Some might consider it a personal and intimate failure to ever come out. Others might simply be happy where they are and would not want to be in your place of grief, criticism, pain and so they will stick to this place forever.

If you think of it, philosophically, anything can fit the term cult.

Any practice of anything within a group of people led by someone [and there is always a leader] can be considered a cult.

Esoteric, just means not a lot of people share the practice or belief.

Thinking in these terms, you can view this discussion board or group of x-members as a cult [or in the process of becoming ] Seeing that the “main stream” is the FOF, it might even be considered esoteric 😉

Just a thought.

207. fofblogmoderator - March 18, 2010

206 is new

208. Jomo Piñata - March 18, 2010

Hi Michelle,

“Cult” is a pretty elastic term for sure. People use the word in many different ways.

The meaning which, in my opinion, may best fit the experience of people who left the Fellowship of Friends is the following one:

“Cult: A high intensity, high control, closed group that subjects its membership to deceptive and manipulative conduct, utilizing an authoritarian ideology and a variety of ‘thought reform’ techniques which have been described by scientists in books such as Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. Typically these groups have a pyramidal power structure with sociopathic and or narcissistic leaders at the top.”

209. Golden Veil - March 18, 2010

205. brucelevy

Thanks for posting this great video. Yes, indeed, the Fellowship of

Friends~Pathway to Presence “wilts under the spotlight of scrutiny.”!

208. Jomo Pinata

Thank you for your excellent definition of Cult; that is why I post

here. To put a spotlight on and scrutinize the practices of an

organization that can severely damage its members emotionally;

that encourages the separation of its members from friends and

family, that commits tax and immigration fraud, that cheats its

members in a financial sense, and that promotes a fictitious

philosophical and spiritual world view; and is the creation of

narcissistic, sociopathic, leader immersed in a state of satyriasis.


210. rock that boat - March 18, 2010

2+ years after leaving the FOF

nevertheless i
feel that i cleverly am being altered
that i slightly am becoming
something a little different,
in fact

ee cummings

211. Michelle - March 18, 2010

I wonder…
what about those who firmly believe in this school of thought and aspire to be like the leader. Those who spend years trying to “climb to the top”. Would you consider them narcissistic? sociopaths?

212. veramente - March 18, 2010

206 Michelle
Thinking in these terms, you can view this discussion board or group of x-members as a cult [or in the process of becoming ] Seeing that the “main stream” is the FOF, it might even be considered esoteric …
Just a tought
indeed it is just a tought, and a tought can be changed.
I doubt there is a danger in here.

213. Ellen - March 19, 2010

#205, Bruce Levy,
Nice one. It resonates to one of my favorite quotations: “Militant atheism is the right answer to dishonest religions.” P. Nagaraja Rao

And since to exist, religions require a form that becomes unwieldy and inflexible, and also which must persue its own interests over the interests of the individual, it is (they are) inevitably, inexorably, dishonest.

214. Q - March 19, 2010

“German bishops’ ‘shame’ over abuse scandal”

Not exactly dinner conversation material in the fof.

Here’s a quotation that will never be. Imagine a Wordsworth Room dinner, with music playing softly, and the quiet clank of forks and knives, and everyone sipping wine and listening intently to Robert Burton:

“At first glance, our precious school may seem similar to other religions and cults. But with self-remembering, we have everything, and they have nothing. Self-remembering is what separates us from these organizations. [holding hands as though in prayer, and bowing his head slightly, and then the table is silent for about 10 seconds.]

“Has anyone read the news lately about the Catholic Church? [looking earnestly into the eyes of someone sitting next to him] Of course, feminine dominance is not the answer. Being present is the answer. But sexual abuse and taking advantage of your power over others is also not the answer. We are lucky to be in a conscious school, to have the gods guiding us, and to have each other. Without love and respect for one another, we are just pretenders.”

215. WhaleRider - March 19, 2010

People with co-dependency issues also happen to be very adept at playing the narcissist when given the opportunity; however, FOF indoctrination (and membership) demands only one main narcissist, one authority, one hierarchy…with Burton at the top. All are required to be dependent upon him.

Anyone who challenges Burton’s authority usually leaves the cult or is sanctioned, or just kicked out. Burton controls who is on top and who is at the bottom….both literally and figuratively speaking. And Burton only rewards those who are the most compliant. The longer a person stays in the cult, the more likely they are going to unconsciously model the leader’s behavoir.

Yes, socipathy or antisocial behavior can be learned, as opposed to psychopathic behavior, which is more than likely a genetic disposition and more severe. For example, a significant number of people in prison do not use the prison experience to reform themselves, but learn how to be better criminals. Spirituality, on the other hand, teaches us to have a conscience and compassion for others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves, honoring the spirit in all of us equally.

Burton learned his exploitive behavior from a scandalous cult he was briefly involved with in San Francisco called “Theater of All Possibilites”, ran by Alex and Sharon Horn, whose methods involved violence.

Burton “teaches” his followers to disengage from their conscience (inherent in sociopathy) in order to tolerate, comply with, and condone his perverted behavior, using a doctrine called, “reisisting feminine dominance”.

So, do I consider the long term members of the FOF narcissistic and socipathic? Yes…and co-dependent.

216. nige - March 19, 2010

196 Lloyd Christmas

Your post brings back my feelings of questioning why we are blogging on this site…..

Is it to just ‘have a discussion’ or do we have an aim?…..Nigel.

217. Opus 111 - March 19, 2010

I wonder…
what about those who firmly believe in this school of thought and aspire to be like the leader. Those who spend years trying to “climb to the top”. Would you consider them narcissistic? sociopaths?

I prefer the “flying monkeys” qualifier (thanks to Bruce?). It has a vivid quality to it.

218. Michelle - March 19, 2010

Jomo Piñata–>Thank you for posting the definition and helping me better understand you view and shared experience.

veramente–> I doubt that there is any danger here either. I do have the impression that “FOF” for some could be a defining component in one’s identity- whether identifying with it or against it. I am not judging either.

WhaleRider –> so those who participate or have participated in the FOF have co-dependency issues? Do you think that thing that differentiates those who leave FOF is that they “break through” this trait?

Opus 111 –>Flying monkeys!? Lol!!

219. Associated Press - March 19, 2010

Pope Under Fire For Handling Of Sex Abuse Claims
by The Associated Press
March 12, 2010

Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese acknowledged it transferred a suspected pedophile priest while Benedict was in charge and criticism is mounting over a 2001 Vatican directive he wrote instructing bishops to keep abuse cases secret.

The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977-1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.

Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scope of the scandal Friday in his native land from the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed “great dismay and deep shock” over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.

Hours later, the Munich archdiocese admitted that it had allowed a priest suspected of having abused a child to return to pastoral work in the 1980s, while Benedict was archbishop. It stressed that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger didn’t know about the transfer and that it had been decided by a lower-ranking official.

The archdiocese said there were no accusations against the chaplain, identified only as H., during his 1980-1982 spell in Munich, where he underwent therapy for suspected “sexual relations with boys.” But he then moved to nearby Grafing, where he was suspended in early 1985 following new accusations of sexual abuse. The following year, he was convicted of sexually abusing minors.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement late Friday noting that the Munich vicar-general who approved the priest’s transfer had taken “full responsibility” for the decision, seeking to remove any question about the pontiff’s potential responsibility as archbishop at the time.

Victims advocates weren’t persuaded.

“We find it extraordinarily hard to believe that Ratzinger didn’t reassign the predator, or know about the reassignment,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The pope, meanwhile, continues to be under fire for a 2001 Vatican letter he sent to all bishops advising them that all cases of sexual abuse of minors must be forwarded to his then-office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that the cases were to be subject to pontifical secret.

Germany’s justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, has cited the document as evidence that the Vatican created a “wall of silence” around abuse cases that prevented prosecution. Irish bishops have said the document had been “widely misunderstood” by the bishops themselves to mean they shouldn’t go to police. And lawyers for abuse victims in the United States have cited the document in arguing that the Catholic Church tried to obstruct justice.

But canon lawyers insisted Friday that there was nothing in the document that would preclude bishops from fulfilling their moral and civic duties of going to police when confronted with a case of child abuse.

They stressed that the document merely concerned procedures for handling the church trial of an accused priest, and that the secrecy required by Rome for that hearing by no means extended to a ban on reporting such crimes to civil authorities.

“Canon law concerning grave crimes … doesn’t in any way interfere with or diminish the obligations of the faithful to civil laws,” said Monsignor Davide Cito, a professor of canon law at Rome’s Santa Croce University.

The letter doesn’t tell bishops to also report the crimes to police.

But the Rev. John Coughlin, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, said it didn’t need to. A general principle of moral theology to which every bishop should adhere is that church officials are obliged to follow civil laws where they live, he said.

Yet Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore in Northern Ireland, told a news conference this week that Irish bishops “widely misinterpreted” the directive and couldn’t get a clear reading from Rome on how to proceed.

“One of the difficulties that bishops expressed was the fact that at times it wasn’t always possible to get clear guidance from the Holy See and there wasn’t always a consistent approach within the different Vatican departments,” he said.

“Obviously, Rome is aware of this misinterpretation and the harm that this has done, or could potentially do, to the trust that the people have in how the church deals with these matters,” he said.

An Irish government-authorized investigation into the scandal and cover up harshly criticized the Vatican for its mixed messages and insistence on secrecy in the 2001 directive and previous Vatican documents on the topic.

“An obligation to secrecy/confidentialtiy on the part of participants in a canonical process could undoubtedly constitute an inhibition on reporting child sexual abuse to the civil authorities or others,” it concluded.

In the United States, Dan Shea, an attorney for several victims, has introduced the Ratzinger letter in court as evidence that the church was trying to obstruct justice. He has argued that the church impeded civil reporting by keeping the cases secret and “reserving” them for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“This is an international criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice,” Shea told The Associated Press.


220. Thot Plickens - March 20, 2010

218. “I do have the impression that “FOF” for some could be a defining component in one’s identity- whether identifying with it or against it. I am not judging either.”

Judging can be a good thing. Go ahead and judge. Put the idea behind that somehow you’re a lesser human because you judge. It’s good ole sound, healthy, critical thinking. It makes the world go round. It helps you make good decisions. It helps you avoid bad decisions.

Regarding your idea that some people “identify with” and other people “identify against.” … Probably both are one and the same. But part of getting past a cult experience is learning to put behind this type of dualistic thinking — that people need to be for something or against it, and that there are people who are “in” and people who are “out.”

We’re here, “out here”, and you’re there, “in there.” This imaginary line — dividing a thousand or so fof followers from the remaining 7 billion people on earth — is an FOF-centric, and a narrow view of the world.

What I found interesting, from reading previous pages, was that many of the FOF All Is Just Fine Team Members liked to emphasize and pretend such an artificial dividing line exists, and that people who post on the blog are on the other side of that line — “ex-student” or “left the school”, or negative and antagonistic toward the FOF, or otherwise just idiots for saying anything negative at all about the FOF, or the Fourth Way, or the sequence, or Robert’s sexual abuse, or whatever.

They tried to build that straw man — the imaginary line dividing us and them — because it’s lot easier to break it down than addressing the real concerns. Blasting away at that straw man, they believed, would distract readers from seeing the blog as a group of thoughtful former members who have genuine concerns about the issues, and genuine concerns for everyone connected with the FOF — past, present, and future. I’m glad you’re not one of those people, Michelle, and that you truly want to delve into these issues honestly. And that you’re not here to defend an organization that is so dysfunctional and unhealthy that it’s shockingly obvious to anyone who opens their eyes — as obvious as the emperor with no clothes.

If anything genuinely changes in people when they leave, which is not a guarantee, it’s this: They begin to understand there was never anything to leave. There was no “inside” and no “outside.” There was no line. There is no line.

221. Thot Plickens - March 20, 2010

Nige… Your words have been effective. Twenty, or 30, or 40, or many more, have thought differently because you wrote your thoughts. The same number have seen the FOF in a clearer light when they saw the bizarre mental gymnastics and convolutions of many FOF defenders. That’s enough for now. Cracks formed long ago, and now they’re widening. Let it happen or not happen.

I won a court case once, but it was partly because I approached the judge and the police officer with a firm conviction that I was in the right, and my calm sense of purpose helped. I didn’t “identify” with the results at all (traffic ticket), but only with the delivery of my speech to the judge, and never wavered from that the thought that it was a victory alone just to present my case. And I won. I think some of that same energy and approach is relevant here.

That said, you and “Lloyd” do make me curious — what do lawyers have to say about lawsuits against abusive cult leaders. I think it’s a legitimate question. I don’t think this forum is quite the place to discuss it openly, but I appreciate that someone is bringing it up with some passion and conviction as you and “Lloyd” have.

Two things: Robert is not laughing, as Lloyd C. suggested. He is not getting away with something as he suggested. He’s smiling and having fun, sure, but he’s carrying around a ball and chain. It’s not going to get better for him.

222. nige - March 20, 2010

221 Thot Plickens

Your words are concise and effective. As you spoke it reminded me of studying art history and especially of Van Gogh – the man only wanted to express himself and only sold one of his paintings during his life (with help from his brother). I agree with you that the blog is useful more for attrition of the FOF influence than a legal blasting of Burton out of existence. I am pretty sure he is so criminally insane that he does not feel affected by its influence and continues with his petty, psychopathic life…..Nigel.

223. nige - March 20, 2010

Some thoughts from a psychotic ‘sufferer’…..

I don’t think there can be any such thing as a ‘conscious school’. From my experience with a mental disorder, the God-State is entirely personal and cannot be permanent – there would be very little chance of operating normally in this state – too positive and impractical and prone to becoming negative and aggressive if challenged. The thing about the FOF is that it is entirely a group of brown-tonguers who worship Burton and believe he will do them benefit if they (a) pay the FOF lots of money, (b) follow rules and (c) carry out ‘favours’ for REB. Can you imagine the meetings at certain times being punctuated with ‘angles’ such as – “Ooh! Is it not lovely how we are all holding hands and rising up to Paradise together?”.

Sorry, but ‘Divine Comedy’ – I’ve done the tee-shirt, read the movie – and, as Gurdjieff stated, the process goes ‘Awakening, dying and rebirth’. Do any of you FoFfers belive this is what occured to REB?…..Nigel.

224. ton - March 20, 2010

what happens when you loose everything?

225. ton - March 20, 2010

224 should be “lose” — not “loose” — although it’s an interesting question: what happens when you ‘loose’ everything? i know that when you ‘lose’ everything it can feel like ‘all hell breaks loose.’

see an account by acclaimed artist pablo amaringo… he talks about his encounter at a ‘portal’ portal to ‘the holy of holies’ — even in this peripheral proximity, he felt “burned up” by the experience and after that, knowing that the reality of a face to face encounter with ‘god’ would mean certain death, his desire ‘to see god’ vanished ….


226. brucelevy - March 20, 2010
227. nige - March 20, 2010

Trying to keep to the suggestion of 3 posts per day…..

A subject close to my heart…..ESSENCE.

Gurdjieff said that it was necessary to recognise Essence characteristics in ourselves (and perhaps others?), stating that one person may may be a good cook whereas another man may be a good sailor…..you get the idea, I hope, since I no longer have a copy of “In Search…..”.

But, hey! I found this on Google…..

Essence, the soul personality and personality. In order to see clearly the roots of our psychological distortions, Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way defines two aspects of the individual: essence and the multitude of fleeting sub – personalities. Essence, the soul personality, is what a person is born with, sub – personalities are that which are acquired, usually by some traumatic event, usually in childhood which splits the childish sub – personality from the Soul stem.

All that is learned, both unconsciously through imitation and through acquired likes and dislikes, constitutes the outer part of the person, that which is changed by outer circumstances. Though personality is necessary, it must not be left to dominate essence or it will produce artificial persons, sub personalities cut off from their true natures, or the soul itself.

“This means that with a quick and early growth of personality, growth of essence can practically stop at a very early age, and as a result we see men and women externally quite grown up, but whose essence remains at the age of ten or twelve.” The Energy Enhancement concept of the inner child which needs to be healed before it can grow up.

Through the practice of Energy Enhancement Soul Contact Meditation, we can separate ourselves from the pretenses and imitations which have enslaved us since childhood and return to who we actually are.

Such a return to our essential nature is accompanied by a sense of liberation unlike any other. “To thyself be true” is the first commandment on the way of self-development and the attaining of a higher consciousness.

The fundamental abnormality in human beings lies precisely in the divergence between personality and soul – essence. The more nearly we know ourselves for what we are, the more we approach wisdom.

The more our imagination about ourselves diverges from what we actually are, the more insane we become: Gurdjieff, “Unless a man first finds himself, finds his own essential nature and destiny, and begins from them, all his efforts and achievements will be built only on the sand of personality, and at the first serious shock the whole structure will crumble, perhaps destroying him in its fall.”

(Meditation, Buffers, Energy Blockages, Mechanical people, Essence, Gurdjieff Part 1 of 2
By Swami Satchidanand )

I have often thought, as I experience my life now and as to how there were all sorts of absurdities bandied about regarding Essence in the FOF, that REB is One Big False Personality with a crippled or dead essence – all sorts of angles given to ‘students’ ,such as, “You have a city essence”, or “You have a classical essence”…LIES just as substantial as the ones he would tell his boys to get into their pants!!!!!

I think Daily Cardiac stated that the Essence of the School was strong, since it was unified (actually it is a Totalitarian Amalgamation and a Perversion of Truth) and bloggers were bitching amongst themselves because they had no essence possibilities. My experience with my teaching establishment in precious metals is that Essence can be strong in a person and recognise other qualities of a different Essence in another person (maybe having a contretemps with them, initially). For instance, there are some skills of my 10-of-spades Mercury-Saturn students that I would not attempt myself as an 8-of-hearts Mars-Jovial-Solar.

“To be content in our differences…..”, I think that is what Rodney Collin wrote (and I hope to get back to more of his writings soon). Nigel.

228. We Were There - March 20, 2010

226. brucelevy – March 20, 2010


Is this a joke?

229. brucelevy - March 20, 2010

The Onion is a satire site.

230. brucelevy - March 20, 2010

When one leaves the FOF one needs to regain a sense of humor, irony and satire, as it’s frowned upon when “in”. But you can laugh at Robert’s shitty jokes as long as you cover your mouth, but then you have to laugh at each joke 8-10 times a day when he keeps repeating them.

231. ton - March 21, 2010

230 “When one leaves the FOF one needs to…”

start over again:

232. Thot Plickens - March 21, 2010

226. Good one, Bruce. The Onion rocks.

Let’s see… I’ve been Catholic. And I’ve been an FOFer.

If there’s some sort of cosmic Three Strikes You’re Out rule for blind faith in one lifetime, I had better be careful for the remainder.

Pope Forgives Molested Children

VATICAN CITY—Calling forgiveness “one of the highest virtues taught to us by Jesus,” Pope John Paul II issued a papal decree Monday absolving priest-molested children of all sin.

“Though grave and terrible sins have been committed, our Lord teaches us to turn the other cheek and forgive those who sin against us,” said the pope, reading a prepared statement from a balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. “That is why, despite the terrible wrongs they have committed, the church must move on and forgive these children for their misdeeds.”

“As Jesus said, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,'” the pope continued. “We must send a clear message to these hundreds—perhaps thousands—of children whose sinful ways have tempted so many of the church’s servants into lustful violation of their holy vows of celibacy. The church forgives them for their transgressions and looks upon them not with intolerance, but compassion.” ……….

233. Thot Plickens - March 21, 2010

231. ton, amen brother.

234. veramente - March 21, 2010

220 Thot Plickens

I appreciate your contributions here. Thank you for being here and for your sharings. Like your “dyslexic” name.
Welcome back Nige!
when will the FOF/ Pathway to Presence house of cards fall down?

235. another name - March 21, 2010

234 When will the FOF/ Pathway to Presence house of cards fall down?

Time is doing the job, in the meantime a lot of healing needs to be taken place and I invite all of you to try to be loving so people can leave with more ease and peace and healing.

Good equinox/spring Sunday to all of you.
New beginnings are in the air.

236. Michelle - March 21, 2010

when will the FOF/ Pathway to Presence house of cards fall down?

It seems to me that there any many houses of cards out there. That if FOF comes crumbling down another will spring right back. The houses made out of cards, I think, will continue to exist as long as people carry cards around hehehe

237. veramente - March 22, 2010

235 Michelle,

personally I do not want to lose track of the house I was part of and I want it down.

238. No Kid - March 22, 2010

@veramente: Respectfully, I *don’t* want it to fall down. At least not yet. I was pretty badly abused – physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually – by these people (you people?) as a child. Not a “child” in his mid-20s…a prepubescent *actual* bald-pubed child. If the FoF falls, I may well become responsible for the elderly parent who cheerfully turned me over to the care of some serious nut-jobs, and does not to this day acknowledge any culpability. That is completely unacceptable to me. Would it be acceptable to you? If this happens, I have no idea what I will do, or what I can do. Will you – will any of you – step up to the plate on this? I don’t expect you to. Frankly, I expect nothing from anyone ever associated with this organization. That is not “attitude” – it is experience. I’m no fan of the FoF. I am also…No Kid.

239. Bares Reposting - March 22, 2010

History of: No Kid postings plus some comments (Please excuse the long post.):

8/328 No Kid Says:
May 8th, 2007 at 4:08 am

In post 8/38, Lady B writes:

“At Isis, children are the last concern. In fact, a friend who doesn’t have children told me, “I think that Isis needs an orphanage.” I was shocked and offended. (snip) Someone said — I wish I could remember who — that you can see the level of civilization in a country by looking at the way they treat children and old people. Elena, you’re right: I don’t recognize the same Ark that I boarded 20 years old.”


There was no golden age before the fall, but there was once an orphanage of sorts…It was called the kid’s house.

It was a double wide pre-fab installed at the base of the long drive near the entrance the farm, Via del
Sol. Kids who hadn’t been given away lived there. The big house was about a mile up the road and the barn, which later became the auto shop, was at about the half-way point. The kids were allowed as far as the barn to work milking the cows and such, but were forbidden to go further. We did of course, steering
clear of the adults, roaming the woods, having fun and being kids. Food was scarce. People were supposed to come take care of us, bring food and such and sometimes did, but often did not. Twelve kids lived there. Another dozen came on weekends. sometimes bringing snacks, and a lively pomegranate-centered economy developed. Sometimes we’d pool money, walk to Oregon House store and buy loaves of bread to divide.
A certain male student used to come around a lot. The older kids were suspicious of him and poked fun behind his back, but the youngest ones, who felt their parent’s absence more acutely, seemed to take comfort in his attention. Cold water showers in winter: “Arctic Regions!” was a running joke. You’d shout it
out when showering and everybody would laugh.

My association with the FoF continued until 1980, most of that time as a student. I was a free worker then on salary. and know hard work, long hours and little sleep. My education was spotty, but I have since corrected that. Incongruous gaps remain. My upbringing was remarkable: both bizarre and traumatic, but also instructional, and for me, foundational. In fellowship
language: the FoF was my influence B. I now take the Buddha’s advise and follow my own path. The fellowship broke me…repeatedly over many years but I survived
and eventually grew strong. Life is good.

Peace to Every One and best as All Ways.

I bear no one ill will.
And I am not naive.

I am
No Kid

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

27/544 on December 31, 2007 at 8:53 pm No Kid:

Interesting that the subject of kids is up again. Probably not for long. It seems that usually when it is brought up it dies pretty fast…

#359 Associated Press wrote:

“If there is abuse of the under aged or the young in the Fellowship of Friends community, it is likely indirect and mostly due to neglect. Remember, a person must be 18, or older, to be a member of the Fellowship of Friends.”

Please don’t underestimate the effect of neglect. Also, it was not always the case that a member had to be 18. At first, it was 16. Then there was a single exception, an 11 year old. Other young adolescents followed, and eventually there were about a dozen minor members. This was only a phase. But at this time, at the property, 14-18 hour work days substituted for education for the very few kids who lived there. This is not great for rapidly growing bodies, and in the case that I can speak to, permanent, lifelong physical damage was one result.

Also, it is not necessary for a minor to be a member to be abused. A very long time ago, in the first couple of years, children on the property lived separately from the adults and adult members would come around occassionally with food. Not daily. Parents came sometimes, but the most frequent visitor was a man who just liked children a lot. The older kids (8-14) suspected what he was about and mostly shunned him. The little ones (3-6) missed their parents much harder and would crawl all over this friendly man who brought food, and would scream if the older ones tried to separate them. That is ancient history, but I don’t see why non-member status would protect today’s kids any more than it protected the kids in the 1970’s.

I have only posted here once before, (8/328) to test the water, and getting no interest, I went back to listening. I only check in once in a while to see if the conversation has taken any new path. Sometimes there has been some change, but it is remarkable how much of the same comes back. I suppose that is what this blog group most needs to process. Your issues tend to be quite different from mine and I tend to find I have more in common with others who were raised in different cults than I have with adults who joined on their own volition.

Here, there is of course lots of interest in young men’s sexual experiences, and not much about the experiences of former or current kids. One thing that always surprises me and that comes up over and over again is the idea that adults in their 20s are actually “children.”

#527 Rain wrote:
“Some have made a distinction between men and children. But remember, these men are in a state of childhood…”

Pleeease…that is just mind-boggling in its silliness. There is no equivalence between an 6 year old child and a 26 year old man, unless that man is profoundly brain-damaged or severely retarded. But I suppose that denial does motivate. I am not trying to belittle the terrible trauma of getting unwanted head, but from my POV, and compared to some of what I and some of the *actual* children grew up with, poolside fellatio while lounging in Armani would have been really really great.

Perhaps many who post here had children of their own and don’t want to think about what they may have exposed them to. It is certainly a lot easier to think and talk about the ways in which others mistreat us than the ways in which we mistreat others…the grand nobility of victimhood. To those few of you who have actually accepted some degree of culpability, thank you. I do not think that the FoF is one evil man plus thousands of innocent lambs. The abuse is well-distributed and I suspect that almost everyone involved is culpable in one way or another…and I include myself in that. We let the kid-lover play with the toddlers so that they would be quiet and he would leave us alone. I am not innocent, and I very much doubt that most of you are either.

BTW: I am not trying to bash anyone with information that he or she does not want or to hear, or force you to accept some degree of responsibility for your lives and your interactions with others. However, I found that, for myself, I started to heal from the substantial damage inflicted by this fellowship of “friends” when I *stopped* thinking of myself as a victim and began to take back my own agency. That included acknowledging my own part. Just an idea. Use it or not.

I am not naive to the wrongdoing of others…
…and I am not innocent of it myself.
And I am also – No Kid.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some comments to No Kid:

28/1 on January 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm waskathleenw:

544 No Kid

No Kid, despite the lack of response to your part 8 post, I wish you would post more often and provide more details if you feel comfortable doing so.

Current students, prospective students, newspaper reporters and who knows who else are reading this blog. It’s important for the stories to be shared — more than once if posted several pages back. It’s a daunting task for someone new to read 27 pages of history.

Thank you!

– – – – – –

28/4 on January 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm lauralupa:

544 No kid
Yes No kid, please write down your stories, I think it would be very good to learn more about the point of view of the children. I myself have mothered three girls during my eight years living at Renaissance. But it was the late 80s-early 90s, and in that period things were easier, if not easy, for parents and their children.
Not much was ever said to me, either in public or in my circle of friends, about the families situation early years. I just learned quite a few things from your post. We were in fact in the dark about a lot of things that had happened before (or that were happening at the time, for that matter). I knew that some (at the time, it seemed to me that there were only a handful) of the students had abandoned their offspring, but no details were offered (remember? we were not supposed to talk about our measly personal matters). I mostly had heard of such stories from students who had subsequently retrieved their children. Maybe the others were too ashamed to talk about it, I don’t know. It all sounded so impersonal, it’s weird to think about it right now. It was all for the good of the school! And no one ever told me anything about the abortions and hysterectomies, or most of the various horrors slowly coming to light through the blog…
The pain was definitely deeply buried behind self control, self denial and self satisfied smiles…

– – – – – –

28/8 on January 7, 2008 at 3:31 am veronicapoe:

544/No Kid

I for one am very interested in your experiences. If you are interested in writing to me privately to tell me about them I am interested in listening.

veronicapoe (at) gmail (dot) com

– – – – – –

28/12 on January 7, 2008 at 5:50 am Associated Press:

Thank you [No Kid] for your appearance here and your posting. You do elicit thought and emotion as well as presence.

When I wrote:

“If there is abuse of the under aged or the young in the Fellowship of Friends community, it is likely indirect and mostly due to neglect. Remember, a person must be 18, or older, to be a member of the Fellowship of Friends.”

I was speaking in generalities and of more recent history of the Fellowship of Friends. I was also speaking in the context at the times on the blog, which was about legalities, if memory serves me correctly. So, thank you for the greater detail. Here is some more detail:

There certainly were both upsides and downsides to circumstances for children of Fellowship members. Some might say that there was a lot of adverse conditions for raising children – some worthy even of intervention by child protective services (which, BTW, could even be worse for the children). One could start with the fact that student number 2 (Robert being student number 1, although he probably long ago stopped thinking of himself as a student, maybe not). That was the woman that Robert purportedly had sex with in order to establish a certain ‘bond’ which could go beyond the normal teacher/student relationship bond. That woman was married at the time and had children. This ‘conscious teacher’ action may have led to the marriage having difficulties, to say the least. Family life for those children in that family was not necessarily ideal prior to said marriage but it was family life of some kind once there was a marriage. Then the disruption from FoF took place and at least one of the children, still under age, became perhaps the first FoF ‘orphan.’ The only family that child had left was the Fellowship of Friends, by proxy. Do you see any scruples (scruples: an uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action) at work around here? Or, do you see screw pulls?

[The next generation that the above child produced reflected the valuation for family life that they did not have. The only real way that seemed possible for them to have stability of family life was to isolate themselves from the undesired ‘influences’ of you-know-who and eventually leave the Fellowship.]

Children, generally speaking, were marginalised and shunned from the beginning of the school (and likely from the beginning of their lives). They were too much trouble, too uncontrollable, and a distraction from the aim of creating a new civilisation and building an ark – as we were told by the Teacher. So, if you did not have any, then do not have any. And, if you did have any, they should be out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Also, as mentioned elsewhere on this blog, there were other solutions to the child problem. But, eventually, there was a place for the children and a creation of The Lewis Carroll School. Also, worthy of mention, is the family that Robert dotes upon and is the godfather to at least one of the children – which means an uneasy life of employment and housing for life supplied under Robert’s direction. (I would not wish that on my worst enemy. But, there it is.) It certainly makes it look like Robert is pro-family in that sense, doesn’t it? In that community, nothing miraculous seems to happen unless Robert wills it to happen.

One problem, that I was aware of, was one of children growing up in an overly speciallised environment. In particular, there was more development of essence and not so much development of personality. This could present a problem when the children had to go and live in the general scope of life on the planet. They would not be prepared. Ouch!

Another problem was the overly licentious life style that existed from the leader which spread to other Fellowship members. They thought/felt, if Robert can do whatever he wanted, well so can I. There were acts of sexual abuse of children that repeatedly would appear on the rumor mill – the ‘alternate grapevine,’ if you will. You just cannot stop the hidden communication channels. Were they more than happened in the general scope of life? I do not know. But some children were very screwed up, not only because they may have been abused this way directly, but also because they knew what was going on in the white mansion on the hill.

Add to these the problem created by the ‘no contact with former members exercise.’ Think about the disruption that would create for familial relations if one or the other in a marriage chose to leave the Fellowship when children are involved; estrangement likely, as a minimum.

But eventually there was the Buzbee incident in the 1990’s. This has been mentioned before on the blog, so, I will be brief with it. A child of a Fellowship member, while under age, was persuaded to having sex with Robert Burton, allegedly. I say allegedly, because the legal action that developed was settled out-of-court. Since that time, a strict adherence to the age requirement was implemented so as to filter and prevent such an ‘accident’ from happening. At least it looks good on paper. What actually may have happened, and what is still happening, could be any body’s guess.

Still Fellowship members are offering up, or being asked to offer up, their offspring, underage or not, to the designed purposes of the so called ‘conscious being’ who knows better what is good for all.

So, in short, as I said in 27/359:

‘There is more likely abuse of the elderly, the weak, the vulnerable, the ill and the infirm, as they can be members, and be deprived of their human rights and dignity. This seems to happen habitually in the power structure of the Fellowship of Friends, right from the man at the top (read: Robert Burton) and as a trickle down from the top type behaviour imitated by others. Just read the postings of Elena for example. It is not always the case, though.’

According to this post:

on January 5, 2008 at 11:21 pm
27/604 rich wrote:

Re: 601 Nuthead
So glad you left this cult. For whatever reason. This particular cult leader, in my opinion, in the main, shortens a persons life span. Now whatever teaching you might find in the future check the following before anything else. How are the elderly treated? Are there any children, if so ,are they happy? Best yardstick you could ever use. In my opinion, for whatever reason, your action was correct.

I agree and I recommend that you evaluate the society you live in on the basis of how it manages affairs of the elderly, the weak, the vulnerable, the ill and the infirm. Are they all respected? Are their human rights and dignity preserved? In what manner? Especially in the contemplation of: There, but for the grace of God, go I. Or, in another sense: That IS me and the only separation from me, that might exist, is in my mind.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

28/39 on January 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm No Kid:

Hello, Bloggers.

waskathleenw wrote:
“No Kid…I wish you would post more often and provide more details if you feel comfortable doing so…Current students, prospective students, newspaper reporters and who knows who else are reading this blog. It’s important for the stories to be shared…”

zoecan1 wrote:
“No Kid- Please stay and share. You are so very important too. I have only been here a few weeks and feel comfortable. Soon you will be too.”

No Kid responds:
Thank you, Kathleen, Zoe. I will probably pop around from time to time. Who knows, I could become a “regular.” Stranger things have *certainly* happened! I do in fact have a great deal of ambivalence about posting here. And I have no interest *whatsoever* with talking to the press at this time. My personal comfort actually has little to do with my reluctance, but thank you for considering it. One thing about being raised in the fellowship is that I have a very high tolerance for discomfort. Scar tissue is a lot tougher than pristine baby skin! My reluctance has more to do with potential reprecussions against elderly relatives. I will not repay their neglect of my best intersts with the same. I am better than that. If their well-being is ever threatened, *that* is when I will consider activating my considerable political and press connections. Failing that, I will allow entropy to do what it does best – with no help from me. Everything decays eventually.

Lauralupa wrote:
“Yes No kid, please write down your stories, I think it would be very good to learn more about the point of view of the children.”

No Kid responds:
I won’t be posting the best of stories (the worst of stories) here. They are my ace up the sleeve in case I ever need to use them strategically.

Lauralupa wrote further:
“I knew that some (at the time, it seemed to me that there were only a handful) of the students had abandoned their offspring…”

No Kid responds:
Well… “abandoned” can cover a wide range of actions. As far as I know, kids were not just dropped off on the side of road with a blanky and a P&J sandwich. Students *were* encouraged to get rid of the kids, though. Generally this meant they were sent to live with friends or relatives. In retrospect, given a choice, I would rather have been sent away. There was a nice family who probably would have taken me. But…ancient history.

Mishaba7 wrote:
(about students who cut themselves off from their families of origin) “Have you apologized to your mother lately?”

No Kid responds:
Good question. Obviously I would add: “Have you apologized to your children lately?”

veronicapoe wrote:
“I for one am very interested in your experiences. If you are interested in writing to me privately to tell me about them I am interested in listening.”

No Kid responds:
Thank you, Veronica. I will consider it.

Associated Press wrote:
“Thank you for your appearance here and your posting. You do elicit thought and emotion as well as presence.”

No Kid responds:
Thank you, AP.

Associated Press further wrote:
“…That woman was married at the time and had children…and at least one of the children, still under age, became perhaps the first FoF ‘orphan.’”

No Kid responds:
Yes. I knew that woman, knew her husband, knew the child. I won’t say anything further out of respect for the privacy of others.

Associated Press further wrote:
Do you see any scruples (scruples: an uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action) at work around here? Or, do you see screw pulls?

No Kid responds:
Nice pun, AP. I don’t quite understand the question, though. Do you mean scruples “here” on this blog or “here” in that history?

Associated Press further wrote:
“Children, generally speaking, were marginalised and shunned from the beginning of the school (and likely from the beginning of their lives). They were too much trouble, too uncontrollable…”

No Kid responds:
Uncontrollable and trouble…I certainly was! It eventually resulted in my being put out on the street in the middle of the night in the rain with only the clothing I was wearing. That was lots of fun. It was a good thing that I had been mixing with outsiders. That bit of disobedience kept the rain off my head on subsequent evenings. And, of course, when one is a relatively attractive and personable teenager, there are always older men who are happy to provide the basics of life in exchange for the luxuries of young flesh. I am not complaining about that, BTW. My sugar-Daddies probably saved my life and I am grateful to them for that.

Associated Press further wrote:
“…the children had to go and live in the general scope of life on the planet. They would not be prepared. Ouch!”

No Kid responds:
Not prepared…well THAT is an understatement!

Associated Press further wrote:
“…There were acts of sexual abuse of children that repeatedly would appear on the rumor mill – the ‘alternate grapevine,’ if you will. You just cannot stop the hidden communication channels…”

No Kid responds:
I have enormous respect for hidden communication channels. I think that one of the reasons that gossip is so disparaged (not only in the fellowship, but in most other structured social groupings) is that it is generally the channel through which those without direct access to power and to conventional channels of communication are able to share information about what kinds of people are to be found in that structure. That is obviously very threatening to those who in pursuit of personal and political power would control all communications. One of the first things any tyrant does is seize control of communications. Grab their presses and their minds will follow…

Best to All.
I am, No Kid.

28/40 on January 7, 2008 at 11:20 pm No Kid:


A small correction…

“My personal comfort actually has little to do with my reluctance, but thank you for considering it.”

should read:

My reluctance actually has little to do with my personal comfort, but thank you for considering it.

I am,
No Kid.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some comments to No Kid:

28/44 on January 8, 2008 at 5:16 am Associated Press:

. . .

No Kid, I was kidding when I ask, ‘Do you see any scruples?’ – because the circumstances described (in the history of the
Fellowship of Friends described) show fairly significantly that there was a lack of scruples operating and instead there was a ’screw pulls’ play being acted out. Or, in other words, the hidden agenda was to satisfy the lower self aim(s) of getting sex (and lots of other things like money, labor, devotion, loyalty, dependence, etc.) from the participant(s) under the guise of doing something else – like spiritual pursuits or awakening. Or, more simply, the underlying purpose frequently is: how to screw over the seekers that have come to find the Fellowship of Friends, rather than to deliver the goods they claim is their purpose. Classic ‘bait and switch’ kind of game.

The blog has been very well managed, and with scruples, by the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion and much thanks goes to such a person for their continued efforts and time.

– – – – – –

28/66 on January 9, 2008 at 5:54 am Pamela Lichtenwalner:

39 No kid
I have been reading the postings and I am fairly speechless. I see love and pain and growth and anger and fun and humor and, for most of you, deep compassion and friendship with one another. And, as a group, you are quite the wordsmiths ….. the books, plays, music and poems that will come from some of you ………
Now, back to a topic that I have brought up before and I am responding somewhat to No Kid.
I am wondering how any of you that left in adolescence, without your parents’ or your families’ support, survived? (Yes, there is a sociologist [and others] who is wondering what the counties could do to assist kids leaving such groups but first the professionals need to know just what the needs are.) What about the younger kids? Did they, while in the group, have adults who looked after them, have a child-centered schedule of good meals, school, play-time, medical care, being able to play sports with kids not involved with “FofF” and just plain kid fun? Do the high-school-aged kids get an education to prepare them for college or university or further trade/arts education? What is a day in the life of a kid like?
Someone once said, “The measure of a society is how the members care for the most vulnerable.” In a previous post here, someone alluded to a similar thought. So, I am just asking. If anyone wants to contact me to contact them privately, that is fine. I am neither a journalist nor a writer nor an attorney. Just a teacher.

– – – – – –

28/158 on January 11, 2008 at 6:35 am Mishaba7:

Dear No Kid,
I’m glad you found a way to save yourself and are now saving the savable, one kid at a time. Building a life where you are now well-respected, well-connected, and most of all well-loved, is a huge accomplishment for anyone, but you had to transcend so much hell to get there. I have deep respect for your success.

After my horrific clash with the fof, I went to teach in the ghetto. I, too, find meaning in saving one kid at a time. I found that the ghetto is not just full of ugliness, one can find beauty and music, dance and art, and kindness and love there. Oh, yes, and also depraved predatory sex, vanity, posturing, drugs and aggression, a gang pecking order, and a social viciousness. But, in reading the blog and in having contact with an fof teaching house, those things were evident there also. Angels and demons can be found anywhere and the way they are dressed, the words that are used, the music that is listened to don’t determine what they are, their treatment of others does.

[More on page 28.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

66/110 No Kid – February 25, 2009:


This is mainly to Andrew. Others take what you will.

I follow this blog from time to time. I was involved in the Fellowship as a child, for ten years, between 1970-1980, and was put out on the street as a teen for not flying quite right. I am referencing post #61, which the moderator kindly re-posted:

Has anyone who has a mind that they can still use, tell me what happened to your kids while you were in this cult?

Yes, Andrew, I can. I joined the Fellowship in 1978 before I had children. I married in 1979; I had my first child in 1982. (snip) also was witness to the neglect of children by their parents in Oregon House.

No Kid responds:
I do not intend to provoke anyone. I do not post here much. I notice that when, very once in a while, there are posts here from people who were actually *children* when we were involved (through our parents, such as they were) that these posts are most often ignored. I wonder why. Anyway, because of that, we tend not to post. I suspect that these kinds of posts make people uncomfortable because if they are parents, or if they had ANY interaction with any children while they were involved, that it points a finger back at them. I think that it is a lot easier to to concerned about the effects that non-consensual sex acts might have on adults (young, non-citizens…I do get the power dynamic) over whom one has no authority than over what the effects of unknown acts involving one’s OWN children might be. It is easier to live with those answers, because someone ELSE is to blame.

Andrew, in post # 103, you wrote: “So I need all of your help my ex is planning on going to apollo with my 12 year old daughter. I am afraid how do I stop them.”

Andrew, you are a grown man. She is a twelve-year old child. If you do not protect your child now, you will have to live with that. Do not think for a minute that she is safe because she is a girl, or “just a baby” or anything. There is a lot of talk on here about RB’s abuses. I am not minimizing that. But anyone who thinks that is the ONLY abuse that goes on in th FoF is way beyond naive. I am not. I would never have survived if I had been. I was only a part of this organization during its “glorious” golden day – before it “got bad” according to many on this list. Nonsense. It was rotten at its root. There were no glory days. In 1971, children went hungry. People who “liked children” were a lot more likely to bring food. Got it? The little ones went for the food and the bigger ones went without. I have no idea what is going on there now, but if you allow someone to take your daughter, that is on YOU. Not the group. Not Robert. Be a man. Protect your child. Please.

I am…
No Kid

[More on page 66.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

No Kid, rare poster that you are, thank you for your regular, but brief, reappearances here.

240. Thot Plickens - March 22, 2010

Veramente, thanks, and feeling is mutual.

No Kid,
I missed some of your earlier posts entirely, but I hope you write more often! The same invitation goes to anyone (who might be checking in occasionally) who grew up with parents in the FOF.

If you do contribute, I’m sure the discussion will kick into a higher gear.

Your experience and your thoughts get to the heart of the matter. And not that I sense you care in the least, but don’t be deterred by the use of Fellowship-ese or FourthWay-ese here, or the occasional pretentiousness (myself included). It’s refreshing to hear someone speak directly from the heart and from their experience — and that’s crucial if any of us are really going to fully understand the depth of what is occurring in the FOF.

Inform us. Tell us how bad it really is. From my experience, it often seems like I’ve got it all figured out — and then someone steps in and makes it really clear how little I know about Burton. So, maybe it’s not the tip of the iceberg here, but I sense there’s still a huge amount of ice to be chipped away.

241. Thot Plickens - March 22, 2010

Bares Reposting, thanks for gathering the comments.

And by the way, no pressures No Kid. 🙂 … But your take on things is always extremely welcome.

242. No Kid - March 22, 2010

Thanks, everyone, for your comments and for your welcome. And thanks, Bares Reposting, for providing context for my current posting. I will, tentatively, continue to post. Please also try to understand my reluctance. I am trying to protect someone. I have mixed feelings about that of course. For anyone here who has a notion of who I might be, and that would only apply to people from the first decade, please do not “out” me. That happened here once already. That is what the gray boxes are about. I do want to participate in this discussion, but I can only do it if the danger is kept minimal through respect for anonymity. Best to everyone. I am…No Kid.

243. fofblogmoderator - March 23, 2010

235 is new

244. veramente - March 23, 2010

No Kid,
I have no idea who you may be and if it helps, do cover you tracks a bit while saying your truth.
You may find that you are not as stuck as you think; there is a way out from most difficult circumstances.
Talking is a great first step!

245. No Kid - March 23, 2010

Veramente, thanks for your nice message.

I agree that I am “not as stuck” as I think, but that is because I do not think I am stuck at all. Someone certainly IS stuck, but it is not me. I am free – and I prefer to *stay* that way.

I’m simply pointing out one of the potential and probably unintended side-effects of advocating “pulling down the house.” If it were just a house of cards, its collapse would pose little danger. But it is full of dusty wine bottles, gaudy painted plaster angels and big books about long-dead cultures perched precipitously on high shelves. As well as some ugly skeletons and some *very* heavy egos. There are people inside who are too old and not nimble enough to escape collapsing buildings or dodge flying soup tureens.

I don’t particularly want to have to stage a rescue in the face of a demolition. I just want to walk gently through a faraway garden with the people I love and who love me and who continually demonstrate that not through words – but by their behavior.

No first step here. That was taken thirty years ago on a rainy night. They didn’t even let me get my coat. I have worked hard to be where I am. I am also very lucky, fairly smart and very very tough. And most definitely…No Kid

246. Panorea - March 23, 2010

Quoting from “Bread Upon the Water”, Guinevere Ruth-Mueller ISBN:0-9678637-0-8


Quotingend quoting….

The book is full of anecdotes like this. The writer ( a current member, a lovely lady, who has been though a lot) has documented the madness many of us went through in the Fellowship of Friends and how we managed to turn it into something “useful” for our “souls.” It is sad to go through some of the stories (the only book I have kept from my FOF period…). How many of us have felt not enough the way we were and needed to be told, to be mended…

And children… a waste product in the beginning of the FOF, a “third line octave” later and definitely a good way to keep the wives of Robert’s boys busy and exhausted….

247. Panorea - March 23, 2010

OOps, I managed to delete the quotation from the book…

here it is:
….When I joined the School, students were required to attend two meetings a week, and two additional meetings were optional. My home was an hour and a half from the meeting place, and I had two small children, 3 and 7 years of age, to consider. People did not yet know what to do with children, because it had not been an issue up till now. At first I was asked not to bring the children into the house, so I put them in the back seat of my VW bug, which made into a bed, and drove around the block until they fell asleep. I parked the car in the garage or in the driveway, and during the meeting I periodically went out to check on them. After the meeting, I would drive home and put them to bed. This became a routine that I repeated four times a wee… > end quoting…

248. veramente - March 23, 2010

Book title by Guinevere R. M.
“Bread upon the water”

From Answer.com:
An expression from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament: “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
This saying calls on people to believe that their good deeds will ultimately benefit them.

It is amazing that this mother of two children is naively recording what would be considered child neglect. But for Robert Burton “The Teacher” you do what you must do and gladly for your evolution.
It does not matter if he tramples on your humanity, that was just a price tag, giving up on the children eventually.
I sometimes feel pity for these people like Guinevere who became an instrument perpetuating Burton’s philosophy.
Bread upon water… in another place? another life?

249. veramente - March 23, 2010

Hello No Kid, you are definitely NOT a kid. Forgive me for my assumption. When in front of a theoretical FOF scenario you asked for who may be going to step up to the plate, I thought you were maybe a bit stuck. Also your mention of child abuse made me think you were a survivor, a victim still very scarred.
But what you seem to fear is a destruction of the social structure built around Oregon House through the Fellowship Of Friends?
To return to the house of cards I see how the metaphor transformed rather quickly into a house of bricks. If the latter fell down it would really hurt! But what I had in mind was actually the imaginary philosophical system that Robert Burton has been reinventing in the last 30 plus years.
What if the current members saw, really saw with their whole being, not just their heads that the Emperor really never had any clothes?
The house of cards would fall and I want it to fall seeing finally through the ILLUSION.
(and if aging demented RB gets to suffer some consequences, I would not be too sorry, he may never become responsible anyway, but it would be nice to see him without the bottle for once!)

250. Jomo Piñata - March 23, 2010

Dear No Kid,

I am really, really glad you post here. I remain interested in your story and whenever you decide to tell us more I’ll listen with great interest. I find myself hoping this individual who came to the kids house and abused the children was ultimately prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.

I think the belief that the FOF will take care of its elderly members, if that organization continues to totter along, is not well founded.

251. another name - March 23, 2010

Dear No kid

How do we protect the children -now- is the question. You were abused like 50 % of the female Americain population at least once in your life. 20-30 % of the male population.

What are we doing to protect this generation and the next? Our children and grand children?

Or do we support a man who states ( at least to 2 students and I am afraid to more )…After 2006 there will be no laws to have sexual relationships with children.

PS most likely 2006 will now be 2012?

252. No Kid - March 24, 2010

Hello, Everyone.

Thank you all for your input and various points of view. I am going to respond to a few different posts and do it one at a time for clarity. It is very easy to misunderstand and be misunderstood in the web/blog format.

Panorea wrote: “The writer (a current member, a lovely lady, who has been though a lot) has documented the madness many of us went through in the Fellowship of Friends and how we managed to turn it into something “useful” for our “souls.”… [GRM quote:] ‘I had two small children…I put them in the back seat of my VW bug…and drove around the block until they fell asleep…This became a routine that I repeated four times a week”

I knew those kids. Cute little blond boys. Lived in the kids’ house for a while. I wonder whatever happened to them? The little one seemed to really like the nice man who liked kids. All the little ones did. Glad their mom is still lovely, and I remember that she was always nice. Lots of very nice, very lovely people in the FoF. Lovely is lovely and nice is nice, but there is a time and place for all things.

I am not always so nice. I have a kid of my own. And anyone who threatens him in any way has to deal with me. Mess with that boy, and you have to meet this man. My kid had a stalker for a minute. I arranged to meet him (the stalker) in a cafe. We had a conversation. When I dismissed him, and he stood to go, his pants were wet and he stank of urine. I never even raised my voice. I did not have to. Nice is over-rated. Nazi Germany was full of nice Germans. Lovely people.

I am actually pretty easy-going in most situations. Practically a pussy-cat. But I also know what people are capable of and there are certain things that are just not going down on my watch because I know when the situation calls for the ferocity of a tiger, and I can go there because I am…No Kid.

253. No Kid - March 24, 2010

Hello Everyone.

veramente wrote:
“No Kid, you are definitely NOT a kid. Forgive me for my assumption.”

No Kid replies:
Nothing to forgive, veramente. Just a misunderstanding. “Bares Reposting” reposted some earlier posts. I do not know if you read them, but if you have not, you might consider it. They should provide some context for this current conversation.

veramente wrote:
“…your mention of child abuse made me think you were a survivor, a victim still very scarred.”

No Kid replies:
I *am* a survivor. I am *not* a victim. The former is a fact, the latter is a choice. Clarification, please: did you mean scarred or scared? Yes to the former, no to the latter. My scars prove I am alive, that I did in fact survive. Dead flesh does not scar. Wounds like I sustained when I was a kid are usually fatal. Only those who are tough enough to survive the battle get to bear scars; they are part of me and I consider them a beautiful ornament for my very tough hide. It is easy to hurt delicate baby skin. Mine? Not so much. But if you meant scared…as in afraid…no. I do not scare very easily.

veramente wrote:
“But what you seem to fear is a destruction of the social structure built around Oregon House through the Fellowship Of Friends?”

No Kid replies:
Respectfully, I think you have misunderstood me. Please allow me to clarify: I do not “fear…destruction of the social structure.” This is not about fear. I am *way* past that. To reiterate: I am protecting someone, someone frail and elderly. Someone I love and who I like to think loves me – in their own unique way. Someone who I want to protect…even though I was *not* so well protected. Not a concept, not a structure: a person. Flesh and blood. I do not want the FoF to fall because then responsibility for that person could land squarely in my lap – and that would not be good for either of us. That is my *only* investment here, and if that was not an on-going consideration and concern I would not be here – at this blog.

veramente wrote:
“To return to the house of cards I see how the metaphor transformed rather quickly into a house of bricks. If the latter fell down it would really hurt! But what I had in mind was actually the imaginary philosophical system that Robert Burton has been reinventing in the last 30 plus years.”

No Kid replies:
That is my point exactly. We are dealing in metaphors, but psychological reality is largely symbolic, or metaphorical if you will. A house of cards is not such an apt metaphor, IMO, because its erection has little effect and its downfall can’t do much damage. Whereas falling brick *can*. If you acknowledge that RB’s “imaginary system” can do real damage, then you must cede that its downfall can also have real effects…including real damage.

veramente wrote:
“The house of cards would fall and I want it to fall seeing finally through the ILLUSION.”

No Kid replies:
Which brings us back to the original point: I *don’t* want to see it fall – only because I do not want to have to rescue the aforementioned elderly frail person from the falling rubble. When this person is gone, be my guest: bring the house down. At that point, I will have no further interest in anything that goes on there.

That may be selfish. I acknowledge that. I’m good with it actually. Sometimes selfishness really is a virtue. Not always. In this case? Who knows? I’m no saint, but I am also…No Kid.

254. No Kid - March 24, 2010

Jomo Piñata wrote:

“I find myself hoping this individual who came to the kids house and abused the children was ultimately prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.”

No Kid responds:
I wish I could give you better news. I don’t think so. Who would have complained? The older kids thought he was creepy and we generally just avoided him. The little ones were too little to understood what was probably going on. Plus they *liked* him. He was “nice”. He played with them, tickled them and paid attention to them when their parents were not around…which was most of the time. They were too busy evolving, you see. So they did not complain. They did not even notice. These were the early “golden days” BTW…

But one who *did* end up jailed: James Randazzo. This “nice man” used to *seriously* creep me out. It became apparent to many that I was studiously avoiding him. Hard to do in a FoF house. I was “photographed” repeatedly for my attitude problem regarding Jim. Result of that? A “task” to allow him to handle me. Nasty piece of work. http://www.fourthwaycult.net/randazzo.html

Jomo Piñata wrote:
“I think the belief that the FOF will take care of its elderly members, if that organization continues to totter along, is not well founded.”

No Kid replies:
I agree. That is a concern, too, but I have *a lot* more power to make an active organization see things my way than I would have with a demolished house of cards – or bricks. If “Hitler” is alive, you can put a knife to his throat and make him dance to the tune you call. If he is dead, you can only stand on the collapsed bunker screaming impotently into the night.

Tapping relentlessly on my keyboard in the night,
I am respectfully, No Kid

255. No Kid - March 24, 2010

Another Name wrote:

“How do we protect the children -now- is the question…What are we doing to protect this generation and the next? Our children and grand children?”

No Kid replies:
Do you mean FoF kids – or kids in general? Catholic kids? Rajneeshi kids? Which kids? I can’t speak for others. Me? I try to save the savable – one at a time. It is not much, but it is all I can do. Some I can do something about, others not so much.

A story I like: a man is walking along a beach after a big storm. There are thousands of starfish that have been picked up by the wind and scattered around. They are drying out, dying in the sun. There are so many that he has to walk carefully not to step on them. He sees another man walking towards him. With each step, the second man reaches down and picks up a starfish and throws it into the ocean. Soon enough, they are face to face. The first man says to the second: “What are you doing? Can’t you see it’s useless? There are too many. You will never be able to save them all. You won’t even be able to save a fraction. You are wasting your time. Plus, they are just starfish. What does it matter?” The second man reaches down, picks up a starfish, looks at it, looks at the first man, throws the starfish into the ocean and replies: “It matters to this one.”

And it matters to me. Walking along the shore, picking up starfish, I am…No Kid

256. Thot Plickens - March 24, 2010

No Kid, if it takes a while for people to respond, I guarantee that’s the sound of thinking going on. The FOF likes to talk about wordless states, and wordless “breaths.”

If that’s truly what someone seeks, then try reading the above.

I’d just like to say this… Before I “move on” (which presumably means to the people stating it that I forget about the FOF and focus on the future), I think the “moving on” will go quite a bit more smoothly if I have a better idea what exactly it is I’m “moving on” from. Still learning…

I’m not one to want to rally the troops to launch a class-action lawsuit against Burton and the Fellowship — to make a legal attempt to stop him — and I don’t have the know-how and the resources to do that anyway, and I do wonder if the fallout would be worse than just letting the house of cards (I do like that analogy) fall down and implode under its own weight… However, consider this… If the man lives another 20 years, how many more naive souls will fall victim to him? How many more will suffer?

Yep, that’s just a thought, too.

It’s not a thought to feel anxious about. I think it’s a healing thought if you let go of the ego for a moment, and the indignation, and just recognize that stepping back from this way of life was a very good thing. And that helping others to do so is also a very good thing.

257. brucelevy - March 24, 2010


He’s still at it. I’ve mentioned before that quite a few sociopaths have used the FOF as a source to further their ways and means to manipulate and exploit others. Do his words sound familiar, with only small changes, if any, to the basic concepts?

258. No Kid - March 25, 2010

Hello, Everyone.

Thot, Thanks for the comment [256] about the sound of thinking going on.

You also wrote: “I’m not one to want to rally the troops…however, consider this… If the man lives another 20 years, how many more naive souls will fall victim to him? How many more will suffer?”

No Kid replies: Yes. It is no easy choice; neither is ideal and the FoF situation would be ludicrous if it were not so tragic. And there’s no reason to think it will stop with his demise, either. Where there is money, real estate, trinkets and access to a free source of labor, there is usually someone ready to step into the vacuum left by their predecessor’s death.

BTW: I’m not saying that leaving it alone is the right decision. I am just saying that it is mine and is as well-reasoned and valid as those who prefer more activist paths.

Lots of kids are in bad situations. I help the kids who cross my path, in whatever ways fit the particular situation…from buying a street kid with anger issues a cup of coffee and listening to him vent, to full-on adoption, with the life-long commitment that implies.

Bruce, I am not surprised at all.

I am…No Kid

259. Ellen - March 25, 2010

Hi No Kid,

Thanks for posting here and bringing the content of this page to a deeper level. I was one of those nice smiling people, who believed that the quantity and goodness of the people involved would ultimately outweigh Robert’s dysfunction – because I experienced the existential goodness of presence-awareness, especially in the company of others. I was wrong (not in the latter, but in the former) and the cancer went deeper than I could have ever imagined.

Relative to the dis-assembly of the Fellowship, there are a few levels.
Chipping away at the wrong parts of the mentality seems to be the most important task, bar-none. It seems to be slowly changing of member-individuals. There are changes occurring in the shunning-thingy. (not that you care) But it is a start, relative to Openness, which then also affects an individual’s emotional world.

The physical-emotional situation of long term committed members, if the dissolution continues, is (IMO) a serious consideration. I know that if someone was on FoF salary until retirement, their pension is usually better than the salary they had previously received – due to how “salary” payments were structured. Since such people usually have no assets, they also qualify for (reasonable?) medical care – even under the old US system. (Of course, paying for prescription drugs with a serious illness could be a difficulty. But that is and has been happening all over America. Who knows if the newly revised US health structure will address that effectively?) And if the Fellowship as an entity collapsed (which seems unlikely), then what would happen to its pensioners who have no other recourse? I really don’t know. Maybe someone else does?

I/we own land and a few (humble) homes in the area. I try to offer employment and positive impressions on as many levels as are personally available to me to the starfish that come my way. I know that other friends who have remained in the area act according to their own circumstances and talents. For example, there is a community garden project. So, I feel the thrust of responsibility and I would simply encourage others to feel and act in their own way – whatever it is. Posting here is one…

And finally, a musical interlude that also seems appropriate:

260. veramente - March 25, 2010

No Kid, thank you for clarifying all points and perspectives.
Glad to hear you are not a victim: I used that word along with the “survivor” for ease of communication.
I personally do not like either to identify with those terms, to me they sound too much like of being in a recent state of struggle.
You seem like someone who has become much stronger from those challenges. The scars reminding you even more where you came from and better not mess up with you!
Believe me I have no power to make the house of cards or bricks to come down but I hope whatever happens to the FOF/PtP, your dear person will remain protected.

Wonder if some of the FOF oldies who had children in the early days of the Cult are reading here and are now filling with dread, or suspecting who the “nice” man was. They must know that sexual abuse digs deep in the psyche and can have long term negative effects in a person’s life.
Thank you for bringing out another skeleton out of the closet. The more truth the more light the less denial. Hopefully.

261. WhaleRider - March 25, 2010

“I know that if someone was on FoF salary until retirement ((a salary derived from the exploitation of others)), their pension is usually better than the salary they had previously received ((probably derived from honest sources))-due to how “salary” payments ((read:payoffs))were structured….And if the Fellowship as an entity collapsed (which seems unlikely), then what would happen to its pensioners who have no other recourse?”

Wouldn’t the said loyal pensioners have to exercise the recourse of getting by on Social Security and Medicaid like the rest of us?…although admitedly antidepressants and Viarga aren’t cheap.

Are they entitled to anything more?

262. Thot Plickens - March 25, 2010

General statement directed at no one in particular, but relevant to the above thread:

I’m extremely skeptical of any notion that the FOF will take care of anyone in old age in any capacity whatsoever — that any individual can depend on that. I’m also skeptical that somehow there’s a community niche in Oregon House that will somehow be helpful for people in old age.

I’m also skeptical that there’s any real change as far as openness with former members. Perhaps yes in a superficial way, but the depth of the denial in the FOF prevents anything meaningful or substantial as far as friendship or maintaining/forming genuine bonds with people they consider outsiders.

My simple advice is this: No matter how old, no matter how connected to everyone there, leave now. Expand your thinking. See possibilities, and be skeptical of all naysayers and warnings of impending doom. Maybe there’s a reason — an ironic message from the angels perhaps? — that this cult refers to it as “Life.”

263. silentpurr - March 25, 2010

Dear No Kid, thank you for the courage to post and the intelligent fresh voice you bring.
It is clear that the Fellowship is an example of a descending octave, which is consuming itself on the way to chaos.
You are and have have been in an interesting position to observe much.
I was one of the parents who began the first ‘children’s house’, Oregon House /Dobbins in the mid-seventies. To my memory, it was a friendly wooden 2 story house in a glen.
The participating student/parents took uor turns minding the kids between work ‘octaves’ at the lodge. we were dedicated to our kids and to the fellowship. I remember it as an enjoyable time to spend with my 5 year old daughter and a fun gang of kids. We read, sang, danced to Grieg, baked, built forts and clung to each other during an earthquake. Parents slept there at night and brought lunches and dinners from the fellowship kitchen. Parents were Montessori and A S Neill inspired.The activities were child-guided, relaxed. A respite from the busy lodge life.
Those bucolic times did exist for a bit, I believe, because Robert was NOT involved. And few, if any students unrelated to children ever visited. In fact children were considered the baggage of our own personal plays.Hidden away. Practically ignored (lucky for us). My memories are bittersweet because even in the beginning,however, Robert did try inserting the meme that ‘placing the school first was the best thing we could do for our children’.And time-wise,there was always a struggle to balancing one’s responsibilities of being a parent and student. For me, about 2 years.Then I was sent away to start a center.
I think that the Fellowship’s negative impact on the FAMILY really began when Robert realized that most of the fellowship was childless (Pregnancy was discouraged). And to the world, didn’t LOOK wholesome. His strategy was to protect himself and his toxic behaviors by inventing a ‘Family Theme’, which was the sudden encouragement of marriages, encouraging couples to marry AND to have children. celebrating baptisms, choosing names, starting schools, all such a picture of domestic bliss! We can see it was a sham because like so many other of Robert’s inventions there was no real commitment .
But children require time and commitment, and Robert has been the competitor for their parent’s attention.
I can see all of it as a tactic of Robert’s, a man who never changed a diaper, to gain control of an aspect of life of which he had no experience or credibility.
It is heartening to find well adjusted young people-of-conscious like yourself emerge from Fellowship experiment.
You are an old soul.

264. Ill Never Tell - March 25, 2010

262. Thot Plickens Said:

‘I’m extremely skeptical of any notion that the FOF will take care of anyone in old age in any capacity whatsoever — that any individual can depend on that.’

You are wrong on that. Certainly one person will be cared for in old age: Robert Earl Burton. And, likely, the minions of flying monkeys (read: the harem.). Plus possibly a few other select persons. All others pay cash. No need for ‘In God We Trust.’ Or, as we used to say, ‘Trust in Allah, but tie your camel first.’

265. Ellen - March 26, 2010

WR, Sorry if I was not clear. There is no “retirement” fund connected to the Fellowship. There is only Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. And the Social Security payments can end up being higher than the salary income was, depending on what was reported as being voluntarily deducted by the FoF as a donation. But what happens to someone who leaves the organization before 65 and or/is not “officially” retired from it? They are peniless, are they not?

266. No Kid - March 26, 2010

Hello, Everyone.

Ellen: “I experienced the existential goodness of presence-awareness…”

No Kid: I am a big fan of presence, awareness, mindfulness et cetera. It’s not enough, by itself, though. In logical terms, I think of it as necessary, but not sufficient. Some kind of moral core helps.

Ellen: “There are changes occurring in the shunning-thingy. (not that you care) But it is a start, relative to Openness, which then also affects an individual’s emotional world.”

No Kid: That’s good to hear. BTW, vis a vis caring: I wish only the best for everyone involved in this strange scenario.

veramente: “I hope whatever happens to the FOF/PtP, your dear person will remain protected.”

No Kid: Thank you!

Thot Plickens: “I’m extremely skeptical of any notion that the FOF will take care of anyone…in old age.”

No Kid: No shit, Sherlock! (wink) This is where the whole house of cards metaphor holds: the whole thing is shaky as hell. All of it. And it’s always been shady. What a lot.

Thot Plickens: “…the depth of the denial in the FOF prevents anything meaningful or substantial as far as friendship or maintaining/forming genuine bonds with people they consider outsiders.”

No Kid: I’m at a loss when asked by friends if we’re close. I usually say something like we love one another and treat one another well. This speaks to something that most of you might not think about. How to explain a missing childhood in social situations? I am guessing most of the people on this list grew up in some kind of a family, went to high school, then to college, work, military service, just bumming around…and then into the FoF. Totally different for me…exactly the opposite direction. I think that’s why I have sometimes found commonality with people who were raised in other cults or even in whacked-out, totalitarian extended family or similar situations. I think we are all seeing slightly different FoFs. I know my lenses are tinted. It is interesting to see where there are differences and where there are agreements.

silentpurrr: “I was one of the parents who began the first ‘children’s house’, Oregon House /Dobbins in the mid-seventies. To my memory, it was a friendly wooden 2 story house in a glen.”

No Kid: Mid-seventies? OH/Dobbins? That sounds like kid’s house 2.0, which I heard about, but never lived in. The one I am talking about was version 1.0. It existed for only about a year, summer 1971 – summer 1972. That was the first year on the farm, Via del Sol. It lasted about a year. At first the kids lived with everyone else, in tents or in the lodge, but then a pre-fab was brought in and installed near the entrance of the property, off to the right. I remember the day it arrived. I think a pond might be there now. Then RB started hanging out in Carmel and HI and the “centers” started and everyone was sent to them, and the place was more or less deserted for awhile. One student and his dog were caretakers. Some talk of getting rid of it, then voila! Vinyard, re-energization and the start of the next phase. I think it was explained it terms of a mi-fa interval. I doubt they’ve used those terms in years…and I know nothing of any silent breaths or thirty eyes!

silentpurr: “The participating student/parents took turns minding the kids between work ‘octaves’ at the lodge. we were dedicated to our kids and to the fellowship. I remember it as an enjoyable time to spend with my 5 year old daughter and a fun gang of kids…the activities were child-guided, relaxed.”

No Kid: Sounds nice. I wasn’t in on that particular octave. Which is not to say that some parents did not come around kids house 1.0. Some did, and some I remember fondly.

silentpurr: “You are an old soul.”

No Kid: Okay. I think of that as neither here nor there – quite literally – but I also understand it is intended as a compliment, so thank you.

I may or may not be an old soul, but I am definitely…No Kid.

267. WhaleRider - March 26, 2010

One can retire at age 62 and receive partial benefits. If a person becomes unemployed before the age of 65 and wants to recieve full benefits by retiring at age 65, they get another job or start their own business and continue paying into the social security fund, or if they are eligible, they collect unemployment, just like everyone else.

“Necessity breeds invention,” Franklin said.

IMO, given all the tools and being the older FOFer has, getting a job in life at that point could be good for their evolution away from the cult narcissism….quite humanizing, in fact.

268. silentpurr - March 26, 2010

No Kid, was that double wide also called the ‘lower house’?

269. another name - March 27, 2010

Some people are very well taken care of depending on which friends are around them. Gloria was extremely well taken care of. Claire was, John G is, etc, etc.

Talk to Sutter North hospice, and you can inform yourself.

270. No Kid - March 27, 2010

“…was that double wide also called the ‘lower house’?”

No Kid: “Lower house?” I don’t remember that, but it is possible. It’s not a very memorable name.

271. silentpurr - March 28, 2010

Yes, It was called ‘the lower house’ to distinguish it from the ‘upper house’ which later became known as ‘the lodge’. It was a double wide trailer type house with a deck and sliding glass door. Students bathed and even slept there on the floor. It was primitive and dusty. A student named Clair stayed in the back bedroom Maybe Rosemary did also. This was before the ‘Caravan’ Airstream phase.

272. No Kid - March 28, 2010

That’s the place. In its first incarnation, it was the kids’ house. Then empty. Then the lower house. Then the store/salon/studio. Then?

273. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 28, 2010

Re: Lower House

By about 1977, or so, it was called the Franklin Complex. It housed, as No Kid said, ‘store/salon/studio:’ M.M.’s gift shop, hair and nail salon (beauty shop), architect office, bathroom, possibly more. It was a rudimentary mobile home situation that, within about a decade, was removed entirely to make way for the terraced hills of the vineyard and a series of ponds, known as, in descending elevation order from the Lodge: Milton Pond, Christ Waters, and Lake Nancy (may have different names now). The old (antique restoration/wood shop) barn was also razed about the same era – parking lot is near that spot lately.

That was a good location for the ‘lower house’ (appropriate FoF euphemism). Children would have been out-of-sight and out-of-mind there.

Now, ‘Lower Self’ has become the name applied to the place in a person where the desire to procreate comes from.

It would also be the ‘Lower Self’ that is interested in reading this blog – as FoF would see it.

Of course, the ‘Satyriasis Cult’ behaviour, practiced by the Teacher, does not come from the ‘Lower Self,’ but from divine inspiration!

274. Jomo Piñata - March 29, 2010

No Kid, I’d be interested to know whether the following document provides any fodder for your recollections:


275. Associated Press - March 29, 2010

Hello FoF Bloggers,

I have some documents that I would like to place on:
Fellowship of Friends in books and news
FoF page at:

Can someone tell me how to best do that anonymously?

Thank you.

276. Panorea - March 30, 2010

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press

277. veramente - March 30, 2010

276 Panorea
Thank you for the poem!

278. James Mclemore - March 30, 2010

276. Panorea

Yes! Thank you – Great stuff

279. WhaleRider - March 31, 2010


For the first time after 100 days of suckular seclusion, Willy Wonka Burton will once again throw open the pink pearly gates of his magnificent and mysterious Galleria to his faithful sweet toothed following and three or more amazingly incredibly lucky gold alchemy ticket holders will receive a personal, exclusive, free of charge, extended behind the scenes tour of Burton’s anatomy and private multinational rape factory.

Lucky winners will be flown in coach class from any destination in the world, and a brand new wardrobe of cast offs is provided. Winners also have all teaching payments suspended for one whole year maybe longer, and Viagra is on the house.

The three or more gold alchemy tickets will be tightly wrapped around the stubby little Burton Bars, which after too many glasses of wine and too mnay embarrassing years in his cult you’ll find are only dispensed to those sweet toothed males brought within closest proximity to Willy Wonka Burton himself.

So if you want to win a seat next to Willy Wonka Burton himself at dinner and take advantage of this incredible limited offer, and you are a starving, poor, ripe, young male new to the Fellowship of Friends flock, grab your tri-fold sleeping pad and contact your nearest homosexual octave leader to sign up today for access to your special allotment of Burton Bars, which come without protection in only one size and flavor.

That next invitation to the wine cellar for late night snacks you are inner considering about…might just be your chance to win an all expense paid trip to see the pyramids and no teaching payments for a whole year, maybe longer!

Hey, what goes on at the Galleria, stays at the Galleria, isn’t that right? The wife or girlfriend doesn’t need to know, and they wouldn’t understand anyway.

Get your Burton Bar today!

280. Golden Veil - March 31, 2010


279. WhaleRider

Thank you for another one of your spot-on, witty posts!

To the gentle readers of this blog who are scratching their heads, wondering what the heck that post is really about, please see this link. It will explain everything.



281. fofblogmoderator - March 31, 2010

Too long on the same page……..

New Page

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