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Fellowship Of Friends/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Part 92 May 8, 2010

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.
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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/

Comments

1. Ill Never Tell - May 8, 2010

From Facebook ‘Living Presence’:
‘If you would like to learn how to bring presence to each moment of your life—working with a precise method, a teacher, and the help of other dedicated people—then we invite you to find out more.’

Be sure to bring your penis, partner and purse – leave your conscience at the door.

91/291. 2010:
‘Who knows how long the new car smell will take to wear off before they realize they are riding in a piece of junk that has a [$]5000.00 paint job that they paid for.’

And, like a new car, the value plummets immediately after you drive it out of the showroom and/or off the dealership parking lot. The newness is what attracts the new marks. Any sales and marketing expert, worth their salt, will tell you that the most valuable customers to a business are the ones that you retain, because they sustain through thick and thin. It costs like ten times as much time, effort and resources to get a new customer as it does to retain a current one. Fellowship of Friends has a real huge problem at keeping the customers that they have.

2. nige - May 8, 2010

The blog is really getting ‘near the bone’…..Nigel.

3. Someone - May 8, 2010

Yesterday, after quite a long time, I met a “Genuine” FoF member.

She has been a member for 26 years. At times we used to be quite good friends.

We had a relatively long conversation and I asked her about RB’s renewed request to keep away from ex-members and she said it wasn’t a mandatory issue.

She said that after the ‘Big Thinning’ (her words) things started to calm down and living in OH became more relaxed.

She said that the old ‘regime’ has retired and the new one is quite liberal and that there isn’t any financial pressure on people. She was honest enough to admit that part of the reasons for that extenuation is largely to avoid losing more members.

She said that members who have difficulties with theirTP are allowed to stay without paying.

I asked her what is the one thing that is keeping her there and she said it is the ‘Work’. She said that three of her best friends left together two years ago, but for here there was doubt at all.

Related to the main point from my point of view, i.e RB sexual conduct, she said she is aware of the fact that there have been some ‘issues’ around this matter (her words), but she does not put too much weight to it. That was disappointing.

I asked her about new students and she said that there are new students only in the third world and the middle east, but almost none in the US and Europe.

We talked for a while about the new teaching and about the way she sees it.

My impression is that she was quite sincere and simple. I believed her when she said that the Work is her motive to stay in the FoF.

4. 2010 - May 8, 2010

#3…. “I believed her when she said that the Work is her motive to stay in the FoF”

I find it hard to believe that “the work” can only take place within the boundaries of the FOF. If you have been in the FOF for 26 years or 2 years, you have learned what there is to learn. If you’re into “self-remembering” it doesn’t matter if you know about the sequence or Egypt or mesoamerican culture. The practice of self-remembering can be done right now while reading these words (look/read with presence). The idea that learning stops if you leave the FOF is absolute nonsense. Why doesn’t Robert ask everyone to leave for one year and see who returns? IMO It’s not the work that keeps people in. It’s the rituals. It’s the “fellowship”. It’s the palm trees and the water buffaloes and the statues that everyone feels part owner in. C’mon, 26 years of being in a “fourth way school” and they can’t figure out how to leave? It’s because they don’t want to leave.

5. 2010 - May 8, 2010

Further more-

What about the stock market crash that didn’t happen? What about 1998? What about 2006? What about Miles being a Man #5? That’s a whole lot of “work” separating from those conflicting “I’s”.

Robert loves to say; “why change a winning hand”, yet he’s changing shit left and right every other day. He changes the “teaching” (everyone buy a “clicker” and count how many times a day you remember yourself) and the various “rules” (No sex……OK have sex) and the “compound” (rip up those old nasty grape vines and let some sheep enjoy the terraced hills) the names of buildings, lakes and people. It’s all just to keep the place “fresh”, so his precious students don’t fall asleep.

So if you’re late with teaching payments all is forgiven, it’s no big deal now. That’s because there is strength in numbers. Burton wants to sit in that outdoor ampitheatre and look up and see 800 people. There’s no way that the students who aren’t making payments are also being invited to sit next to “the teacher” at dinners/meetings, receive expensive clothing and go on private trips. All that shit is reserved for the high rollers and of course members of the harem. Do I sound bitter??

6. Thot Plickens - May 9, 2010

2010, no, not at all. Emphatic is a better word. I’m liking it.

And the same to you, William (previous page).

I love you all. Thanks for helping to shake me loose from the insanity and the nonsense of this cult.

7. William - May 9, 2010

#3 vis-a-vis the “Genuine” FOF member:

And had she been told, during the prospective student meeting process, about the drug-fueled sex escapades of her teacher, had she been told about the exploitation of young men from impoverished Third World nations, had she been handed a sheet of paper with the bizarre angles about “long Be” and told this was the best thinking of her Conscious Teacher, had she been given the web links and the newspaper clippings — and, though I don’t know her, if she had looked into a crystal ball and seen what her life would be today — SHE WOULD NOT HAVE JOINED.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

8. Someone - May 9, 2010

4. 2010 – May 8, 2010

To be honest with you, after I left I stopped almost all attempts to be present. So IF you call that particular action WORK then I do not WORK. I stress the IF because WORK can be defined differently by different people. If WORK includes being more balanced and sincere and financially stable than I think I am working on myself.

I think that objectively it would be much harder to try to be present on a daily basis if there are less or no reminders around one.

In the FoF or in any other organization that puts being present as its top goal, there is a higher prospect that one would be reminded.
It is simple common sense.

Of course it is true only for those who believe that being reminded to be present is of high value, otherwise it makes no sense to join these organizations in the first place.

9. Someone - May 9, 2010

7. William – May 9, 2010

Strangely enough apparently people are still joining the FoF outside
the US and Europe. I don’t know the numbers, but I suppose that this information is not totally faked.

They probably have WEB access and they can speak and read English. That means that at least some of them have joined the FoF in spite of what is written here.

That is a good point to think about.

One or two sweeteners in a cup of coffee taste OK, but if one puts inside a hundred sweeteners then one cannot drink the coffee.

10. Ill Never Tell - May 9, 2010

9. Someone:

‘One or two sweeteners in a cup of coffee taste OK, but if one puts inside a hundred sweeteners then one cannot drink the coffee.’

Yes, but one can drink the Kool-Aid!*:

*That’s an euphemism for: Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple, Jonestown, Guyana, a Christian destructive doomsday cult that in 1978 persuaded over 900 members (adults and children) to commit mass suicide by most of them drinking a grape drink laced with cyanide and a number of sedatives, including liquid Valium, Penegram and chloral hydrate, which, popularly, was called Kool-Aid.

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

Prior to that, there was ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’ (published 1968): Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters traveling across the country driving in a psychedelic painted school bus, reaching what they considered to be personal and collective revelations through the use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs.

What this means is, given the right circumstances, anybody is likely to do anything, including dying or tripping out, to go along with the group protocol.

That’s right, if it feels good, do it! And, if it doesn’t feel good, do it any way!

11. rock that boat - May 9, 2010

stored far away somewhere

The ‘teaching’ is taken as gospel truth, since it is spoken by Robert Burton, and one rather dares not to think otherwise

One’s mind has become a slave
That great instrument of freedom, wisdom, knowledge and healing,
is reduced to the state of mind and heart of a person who lost his individual connection with a higher spiritual guidance.

12. rock that boat - May 9, 2010

oops lost some text

13. No Kid - May 9, 2010

#73 etc. Mariposa:

Wow. Soap root, yes. We boiled it into shampoo. I remember that. Remember the laughing man? And calling BM “the tongue!” I had forgotten that nickname. He was a creepy character. Fit right in. I guess the more absentee of the parents were glad to have such a nice man volunteer to keep an eye on us. I had been well-enough taken care of before the FoF that I had a pretty clear idea that he was one of the kinds of adults I was supposed to shun, and I pretty much did. It seemed that most of the bigger kids avoided him but that the little ones liked his attention. You were the oldest at 14 and I was the youngest of the big kids at 10. There was a gap in 8/9 year olds and then a slew of little ones. Then centers started. I saw you a year later. You had gotten married in the mean time, which was pretty shocking to me since I was 11 and considered you a peer. By that time my objections to being handled by strangers had resulted in an “exercise” for me to allow it. To overcome willfulness, you see. I guess it did not take. I am still willful when the situation calls for it, but then again Now I am…

No Kid

14. William - May 9, 2010

Someone,

Please reread my #293 on the previous page. It answers some of your questions. And a post by Ollie on the same page shows the demographic breakdown for people joining in 2010.

I’m not saying that everyone who has internet access won’t join the FOF. I am saying that there is an overall pattern that, in the societies where technology and information are readily available, the numbers trend downward. As Russia became so, the numbers dropped.

In societies that are politically problematic or impoverished, green cards and visas will remain overt or subliminal reasons for membership. However, these centers won’t be providing income for the FOF; historically they are drains on the FOF. And even these numbers nowadays don’t equal the hotspots of Russia in its heyday.

I know. I participated in some of the recruitment efforts of the FOF. To be honest, it created a sinking feeling in me and others to realize that bright people with “magnetic centers” were not joining in the U.S. and Western Europe, despite all the pep talk we gave ourselves. (It made us feel like patsies, if we could have been honest.) There was concern about how we would “reach” these people, despite all the bad publicity.

Again, please reread my earlier post: 30 leaving every month and 32-33 joining. Those were the figures back then. Now it’s a trickle, even in these magnetic center hotspots like Turkey.

Your comment about the special financial deals being cut vis-a-vis “teaching payments” explains why the numbers aren’t dropping faster, overall. That, and the relaxed restrictions on contacting ex-Shippers. One can more easily stay from sheer habit.

It takes real effort to rebuild one’s life from scratch. It takes moral courage to admit one has made a terrible mistake with one’s thinking and one’s life, and reverse course. On the other hand, one can renew one’s effort to be present with the “long Be” or the “short Be,” one can be mesmerized by one’s surroundings in this very moment, pushing out the knowledge of what one’s life has become, the horrible compromises one has made, the abandoned marriages, the neglected kids, the estranged parents, the unpaid bills, and the funny lump under your right armpit that just won’t go away.

As for your post #8, I’m no Adyashanti fan, but I have to say he has a point: how do you get OUT of the present? Even if you are in imagination, you are in imagination in the present.

I do think states can be an addictive drug. I think that they can be used to buffer conscience, reliability (which Gurdjieff said was the hallmark of being), taking responsibility, and so on. Certainly they are being used that way in the FOF. (Ever hear about the two students who starved to death during eye contact?)

Have you ever read “Dark Night of the Soul”? It, and other works like it, say that states are a byproduct, and can easily become a distraction, if not a roadblock, on a spiritual path if they are sought directly as an end in themselves. I reread this book recently — hadn’t read it since I was at university.

Boy, did it make me feel like a sucker.

15. nige - May 9, 2010

14 William

I just had “Three Dark Weeks of the Soul” at the local asylum. Being dosed to the max on ‘downers’, which gave the effect (so I am told by one of my students who suffers from it) of Parkinson’s Disease. Apparently the dopamine flow across the neuro-transmitters is slowed right down, which causes physical blundering. I am somewhat of a ‘byproduct of states’ myself and have to realize where I want to be in my internal world to operate creatively, while keeping my apartment in order, food on the table and money in the bank to pay for things.

I have written about these things in my long essay – “The Years Between” and would be glad to send anyone a copy if they would like to send me their mailing address to my email site – nhprice@gmail.com.

I used to get a ‘fix’ out of visiting the Property after long months of enduring financial hardship in California but I can be quite satisfied now with the ‘spark of life’ that issues from seeing a bunch of wildflowers sprouting from an old brick wall…..Nigel.

(Recommended listening from a psychiatric nurse who played this in the ‘asylum’ [The Cedars] – Ludovicio Einaudi – Le Onde)

16. Someone - May 9, 2010

14. William – May 9, 2010

You can be rest assured that nowadays the FoF will not lift a finger to help anyone (besides one or two distinguished members) with any kind of visa and certainly not for a Green Card.

I think that your attempt to generally label non-Americans as visa hunters carries with it a bad smells of patronizing.

Most people join the FoF because they believe there is spirituality inside. Some find it and stay, than some loose it and leave or stay out of fear or comfort, but there are very few who join in order to get a Green Card.

17. William - May 9, 2010

What they do doesn’t matter much to me one way or the other, Someone — that’s the joy of leaving!

And the “attempt to generally label” doesn’t come from me as much as it does the young Russians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, etc., who knew their fellow countrymen well.

I used to hang out with them. They openly talked about those who were in the FOF for its material benefits, marriage opportunities and chances to get a green card, washing machine, etc.

I personally knew several members who were eager to beat a hasty retreat out the door, but couldn’t because their green card applications were tied up with the FOF legal and immigration offices.

And I know personally of squalid cases when Robert used these situations to manipulate and threaten members.

As far as “magnetic centers” go, I also know of several of these Eastern European members who never seemed to have cracked a copy of “The Fourth Way” or “In Search of the Miraculous.” Their knowledge of the putative principles underlying the FOF was scant, to say the least. They were allowed to join because of their great sincerity and wonderful essences, according to their center directors – with a special bias towards the young and attractive. The FOF never had many barriers to joining – and the few that existed could usually be overcome with a checkbook.

Don’t know what the “one or two distinguished members” might be, but I can guess. There used to be a very bright and appealing Brazilian woman who had a special gift for finagling green cards for Robert’s insiders – applied for on the basis of their unique “talents,” no doubt. Her unquestioned ability to game the system was openly known and joked about by the FOF higher-ups. I know. I listened to it.

I don’t drop to one knee at the idea of “spiritual,” Someone. I think all of us have immortal longings – some more, some less. Usually they are mixed up with many other things — such is human nature. But when something “spiritual inside” gets mixed up with very clear material benefits for people who lived in nations of the direst poverty, I think the motives become very confused, and the possibilities to exploit are endless.

Pardon my cynicism, Someone – but you are touching one of the areas of FOF life that most inspires it.

When did you leave?

18. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

NUK PE NTJK ( Egyptian )

I AM THAT I AM ( English )

I have at last reached my Goal
And solved the secret of my Soul.
I am “THAT” to whom I prayed.
“THAT” to whom I looked for aid.
I am my own Mountain Peak.

I upon Creation look
As a Page from my own Book.
For I am the “ONE” the many take;
For All is “ME”; There are not two;
Creationis “MYSELF” all through.

What I grant unto Myself
I just take from Myself
And give it to Me, the only One;
For I’m the Father and the Son.
My wishes flowing forth from Me.
For I’m the knower and the Known,
Subject,Ruler, and the Throne.

The Three In One is what I AM,
And Hell itself is but a dam
That I did put in my own stream
When in a nightmare, I did dream
That I was not the only One;
And thus by ME was doubt begun,
Wich ran its course till I awoke
And found that I with ME did joke.

So, now that I do stand awake,
My Throne I do surley take,
And Rule My Kingdome, wich is ME,
The Master thru eternity.

19. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

From: Robert Earl Burton
To: All Ex-members & students ( later on also dedicated to the organization itself too. ) with Love:

“Running to the edge of the world”. ( by MarilynManson )
Album : High end of the Low

Remember when I took you up to the top of the hill?
We had our knives drawn, they were as sharp As we were in Love. If God crossed us We’d take all his drugs, Burn his money and his house down, and wait for the fire to spread.

But sometimes hate is not enough to turn this all to ashes, together as one against all others break all of our wings to make sure it crashes.

We are running to the edge of the world running, running away
We are running to the edge of the world
I don’t know if the world will end today

I had no choice to erase the debt of our families
Let you say goodbye with lips like dynamite
Everyone turned their backs ’cause they knew When we held on tight to each other We were something fatal that fell into the wrong hands.

sometimes hate is not enough to turn this all to ashes, together as one against all others break all of our wings to make sure it crashes.

We are running to the edge of the world running, running away
We are running to the edge of the world
I don’t know if the world will end today

We don’t seek death, we seek destruction
Death, we seek destruction
We don’t seek death, we seek destruction
Death, we seek destruction

We are running to the edge of the world running, running away
We are running to the edge of the world
I don’t know if the world will end today

See a new beginning rise behind the sun
We could never catch up to them as fast as we run ( X-6 )

20. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

” I Want To Kill You Like They Do In the Movies”

I wanna fuck you like a foreign film
And there’s no subtitles to get you through this
And I’m a country you don’t ever, ever, ever, ever
Ever wanna visit again

Line up, roll camera, you pretend, I’ll pretend
And cut, cut, cut, cut, cut
Line up, roll camera, you pretend, I’ll pretend
And cut, cut, cut, cut, cut

I wanna kill you like they do in the movies
Don’t worry there’s another one just like you in line
I wanna kill you like they do in the movies
Don’t worry there’s another one just like you in line

Line up, roll camera, you pretend, I’ll pretend
And cut, cut, cut, cut, cut
Line up, roll camera, you pretend, I’ll pretend
And cut, cut, cut, cut, cut

I’m a strip, strip
And I flicker, flick, flick, flick
A flicker of celluloid
And there’s holes, holes, holes in my everything

I’m a strip, strip
And I flicker, flick, flick, flick
A flicker of celluloid
And there’s holes, holes, holes in my everything

Just what I projected
Just want to project ir
Come in, come in, come in, come in
Come in , come in, come in, come inside

So much, much, much more skin to break
I haven’t even taken off my gloves

So much, much, much more skin to break
I haven’t even taken off my gloves

I feel a little sorry baby, I feel a little sorry baby
I hear the afterlife is poorly scored
I feel a little sorry baby, I feel a little sorry baby
I hear the afterlife is poorly scored

You’re lucky you don’t have to wake up
Sick, sick, sick, sick
I’m sick of immortality, I’m sick of immortality
I’m sick of immortality

Only acting baby
Only acting baby
I was only acting baby
You’re overacting baby

Don’t confuse it with love
Don’t confuse it with love
Don’t confuse it with love
Don’t confuse it with love

Every time I kill you I’m just killing myself
Every time I kill you I’m just killing myself
Every time I kill you I’m just killing myself
Don’t flatter yourself, don’t flatter your self

This is business not pleasure baby
This is business not pleasure baby
Business of pleasure baby
This is business not pleasure baby
This is business, this is business

I wanna kill you like they do in the movies
Don’t worry there’s another one just like you in line
I wanna kill you like they do in the movies
Don’t worry there’s another one just like you in line

Line up, roll camera, you pretend, I’ll pretend
And cut, cut, cut, cut, cut
Line up, roll camera, you pretend, I’ll pretend
And cut, cut, cut, cut, cut

( MarylinManson: High end of the low album )

21. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar

Wight Spider

I’ll build you a shiny doll house or church
Where you can shrink into a tiny wight spider
And gorge on horrid memories with conceited wingss

Smother the past in a cocoon or me
And I’ll help you move all the bodies

And I’ll possess you but I don’t need you
To be another one of my possessions
I don’t need you to be my possession

And I won’t make you kneel for anyone but me
I won’t promise a star, don’t promise your soul
We’ll say that we don’t believe

I’ll keep you wet when the world is dry, I can see them coming
I’ll take you back inside if they came for answer
Wrap my claws round your mouth tight

We’ll consume each other
Until there’s nothign left to hide
And they can all drown in our blood

And I’ll possess you but I don’t need you
To be another one of my possessions
I don’t need you to be my possession

We can’t haunt this home, home anymore
No, no, no, no

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

How the fuck are we supposed to know
When I’m a monster, the way you refuse to die?
How the fuck are we supposed to know
If we’re in love or if we’re in pain?

I’m a tightrope walker, I can’t find my circus
And I’m damaged beyond repair
You’re just a coffin of a girl I knew
And I’m buried in you

You never said I’ll end up like this
You never said I’ll end up like this
No, no, no, no

Sometimes I dream I’m an exterminating angel
A traveling executioner from heaven
Sent to give you the prettiest death I know
Call the grave and make our reservations

You never said I’ll end up like this
You never said I’ll end up like this
No, no, no, no

Are we in love or are we in pain?
Are we in love or are we in pain?
Are we in love or are we in pain?
Are we in love or are we in pain?

How the fuck are we supposed to know
When I’m a monster, the way you refuse to die?
How the fuck are we supposed to know
If we’re in love or if we’re in pain?

Why is my wound a front door to you?
Am I my own shadow?
Why is my wound a front door to you?
Am I my own shadow?

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

“It’s better to push something when it’s slipping
Than to risk being dragged down”.

Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar !
Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar !
Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar !
Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar !

This isn’t a mob, won’t need to change names.

22. brucelevy - May 10, 2010

17. William

yeah, I’m with you. Someone’s got their own reality, as well she is entitled to, but really!!!

23. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

As for your post #8, I’m no Adyashanti fan, but I have to say he has a point: how do you get OUT of the present? Even if you are in imagination, you are in imagination in the present.

that is true: no matter how far you travel to the past or how far you travel into the future, the consciousness its always Present!

You can not get In from where you have never get out .

24. fofblogmoderator - May 10, 2010

#18-21 and 23 are new

25. silentpurr - May 10, 2010

yes OoOoOoOoOoOo, the question remains; can one observe one’s-self in imagination, in the present? Or is one too identified with whatever?

26. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

I thinks the Self its a product of imagination itself , the Self was created based upon imagination. how would the world be with out imagination? with out imagination we would not have: rivers, flowers, animal species, mountains, stars, nebulas, constelations, automoviles, furniture, food, sex, etcetcetc. everything its created to be experienced by the Self, in creations ( material ) the Self can experience itself in example: you create a painting, then you can see your Self expresed in that painting, and like that with averything , we have created planets, stars, oak-trees fish, bears, tigers, humans etcetc, the thing is that we still do not remember how ( we need the now how hahahaha we are in search of the miracle–the now how ) and that in my Self perspective can be found in silence. just as we download stuff from the website we can download anything from above and beyond. thoughts and words contian vibratios those vibrations contain substance, we are a energy-field inside a bigger energy field, that is why thought and words are so power full , but humans still are not aware about it they are in the process to remember, that is why we see too much violence, power abuse, rapes, murders because we still do not know how to create consciously. lets pretend you have a magic wand and you still do not know how to use it, so you use it without knowing how, and you create as being blind, it is thru experience of those creations that you start realizing Woooo! so this is how it works hu? the world as we see it, it is just a projection/reflection of our in-side, and when we realize that it is when we can start the Transformation the in-side and out-side becomes the same..it is when we will find the paradise lost, 1st within and after we find it within start bringing it out. Some knew it and want to keep the Gift we all have since birth, and madeup the story about The devil and satan and so. Yep we are talking about the sex-energy, the ray of creation, the power of love, Mars = Will / Venus= Feeling, etcetc, that Gift it is known as “The Grace of God” , the trinity Father, son and holy spirit, the void etcetc, call what you want call it as it makes you feel more confortable. that energy does not know about good and evil, we have been given the free will to use it ,under concer and we have to be responsible of the consecuences of those acts, the universe energy does not judge it is what it is, you are your own judge and thru experiences consciouness beings to expand higer or lower, it all about vibratory frecuencies you have the Choice! where you at, where you want to be how do you want your enviroment to be, your reality ( even you are aware it is an ilusion, it becomes a conscious dream ) imagination its a powerfull magician, we must be their friends, remember you become the Player and the observer at the same time, you become a Game Master..you become The New Son/Sun of God.

27. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

SuperWisdom: The Monthly A.I.M.S.

May 2010 — Analogies, Images, Metaphors and Stories – for Wisdom Seekers, Writers and Speakers

Scales

Paramahansa Yogananda writes eloquently on a major aspect of finding balance:

“In every being there exists a masculine and a feminine nature. The masculine or positive side reveals itself as the powers of discrimination, self-control, exacting judgment — qualities that express or respond to reason. The negative or feminine nature consists of feeling — love, sympathy, kindness, mercy, joy. In the ideal being, these two aspects are perfectly balanced. but if reason lacks feeling, it becomes calculating, harsh, judgmental; and if feeling lacks reason it becomes blind emotion.”

This mental picture has endless profitable connections on many different levels. For example, too much effort and straining for results causes inner life imbalance, as well as excessive recreation and television at the expense of reading the great spiritual books. Attention to food quality and regular exercise matter; however, an obsession with furthering and protecting one’s health impacts the flow of revitalizing spiritual energy through the system. Balance, clarity and patience hold the key.
********************************************************************

Train

On a recent road through through the vast open spaces of Arizona, I saw a long train on the distant horizon. I could see it in its entirety — from engines to caboose.
The great esoteric writer Maurice Nicoll in Living Time explores the fascinating viewpoint that one’s life encompasses past, present and future, and not just the sliver of time that comprises the present moment. Contemplating this concept generates powerful connections. It also stirs up mental opposition, since the conditioned mind believes anything that can’t be presently seen does not exist.

Don’t we carry loads of useless items from the past? What if one could walk backwards on the train to another car (representing a “past” segment of one’s life) and sweep away the sand and rocks on that particular freight car? What if one could move his awareness forward on the train, representing what appears to be the future, and clear away debris from those cars? Perhaps the word life-healing means just that — healing the entire life!
********************************************************************

Glider

A glider carried aloft by a tow plane holds fascinating parallels to the spiritual path. The tow plane can only go so high. At a certain point the glider pilot pulls the lever and soars away on his or her own resources.

Books and classes represent the tow plane. It’s constructive and we feel gratitude for the boost, yet some if not most spiritual travelers never risk the separation! If we don’t reach down at some point and pull the level to soar on our own, we end up missing the point of it all.

Prolonged attachment to the tow plane can delay entrance to higher grades, where increasingly what others say about spirituality gets examined aside our own experiences and direct observations.

To soar higher, glider pilots look for vertically flowing currents of wind. They often find them on the edges of hills and mountains, since this typography redirects the wind upwards. Obstacles and challenges do the same for us. They channel the spiritual air flow upward, and the skilled life-pilot rides the currents to the top of the sky.

it is sad that only ex members read this, if we can only make active members from FoF read it? but after all those still in FoF are free to choose being there yet still aren’t they? if REB its making atrocities lets wait and leave it that issue to The Universe to God if something or someone is on the wrong path The creation sooner or later will align him/her/that , in the mean time we must continue our journey in peace, in state of grace. if we want to help active members , and REB and crew, lets mantain our auras and energy align with the center of the galaxy and in that way we Will Be contributing with the Whole! everyone deserves a second chance to repent ( repent = chaning our way of thinking ) by the way on the temple of delfos the first maxima says as follows: If you want to know the Universe start knowing your Self ( or something like that I don’t remeber exactly how the phrase ) and the 2nd maxima says: Nothing with excess ( or something like that too, hahahaha ) well dudes have fun life is a great gift if know how to see it.

28. Thot Plickens - May 10, 2010

— Several posts over the last few days
— Using maybe three different pseudonyms
— Literally just throwing posts on the page that are mostly new-age buzzwords and nonsense, copied and pasted from other websites
— Obnoxious tone.
— Not a single mention of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.
— The obvious intent is to draw attention away from some of the more articulate and powerful commentary about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends during the past week (William, 2010, others), and in the meantime make the site seem a little more insane and obnoxious to discourage readership.

Well, that’s my impression anyway. Who knows what their motives are, but they love pulling the attention away. Between him/her and Someone, I get the feeling that somebody here is really hitting the right notes.

29. Thot Plickens - May 10, 2010

Or maybe he’s been on one trip too many with Robert Burton and is starting to lose his mind. Or maybe he’s pondered Burton’s comments one time too often and is starting to lose his mind. Or both.

30. OoOoOoOoOoOo - May 10, 2010

superwisdom.com

The 18 Most Powerful Things You Can Say to Yourself — Wise Self-Talk and the Secret of Energy
BY TOM RUSSELL
Purpose: Learn to recognize negativity (from any source) as a rope you don’t have to grab.

There was once a man who walked a winding path leading to the top of a high mountain. The man could see the mountaintop far away on the horizon. The path went through several villages, and at each one a curious thing happened. Several citizens gathered and threw ropes at him. In the beginning he took hold of the ropes, trying to be friendly; however, as soon as he did they attempted to pull him off his path.

The traveler soon learned to refuse the ropes. He saw through the tricks of the villagers. They wanted nothing to do with the path he was on. Furthermore, they wanted him to stop his journey and settle down with them.

From then on the ropes would flop right on the ground in front of him. Occasionally he observed himself reach down, about to pick up the rope, but he stopped himself just in time. He refused to pick it up! He learned to bear the wrath of those who threw them. They most certainly didn’t like it that he was independent.

The traveler made it all the way to the top of the majestic mountain. The vast view and pure air created the perfect home for eagles and other rare birds, who flew joyfully around its summit. Here he found everything his heart longed for. And it all was his to enjoy because he refused to catch the ropes!

The Power of Self-Talk

Spiritual self-talk develops your power of choice. It helps you expand the brief moment of decision between stimulus and response.

And here is where the following 18 super-thoughts come into practice. They activate your power of choice! They keep you aware in those brief seconds of time just before you reach for the rope. They hold enormous power when applied.

The 18 most powerful things you can say to yourself:

1.All too often we slip into silent mental arguments with people. These mental movies create a huge energy drain. When you see yourself starting to drift into a mental argument with someone say to yourself, “There are higher things to think about.”

2.The book SuperWisdom often refers to the enormous power of instant recovery. You don’t have to be caught by the past, either recent or distant. Now is new! You need not obey five seconds ago, five minutes ago or five years ago. Say to yourself often, “I am new now!”

3.With the following declaration you catch depression, anxiety or any negative emotion when it first appears. It resembles a snowball rolling down a hill. Being small, at the top of the hill the snowball can easily be stopped. Likewise, negativity is very weak when it first starts to form. At the first sign of negativity from others, or your own thoughts, say “I need not let you enter my life and take over my mind.”

4. So much mental anguish gets generated when we defend ourselves over a mistake. If you are going to be a concert pianist or an airline pilot or a professional sales person, you most certainly will make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. What causes so much timidity in the spiritual search? People afraid to make mistakes never grow. Free yourself! Give yourself permission to make mistakes. And when you see you’ve made one be quick to say, “I am wrong.”

5. Just before a breakthrough to a new and higher level, the inner world becomes shaky and confused. A part of you wants to go back and settle down again in the seeming stability of past days. But you can’t go back. New and greater revelations lie just ahead for you. When you experience this healthy unravelling don’t try to hold things together. Say to yourself, “I wonder what will happen if I go a little further?”

6.Fear was once beautifully defined as an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Anytime you feel fear approaching, follow this course and you cannot fail – DO IT ANYWAY! Say to yourself, “I’m going to call the bluff and see what happens.”

7.We really have only one problem — we don’t remember our spiritual lessons! If we remember to apply what we already know, cheerful new wisdom follows. It can be very difficult to remember in this spinning, nutty world, but with the following you’ll see yourself remembering much more often. When you remember your lessons right in the middle of the challenge you take a giant step upwards. Say to yourself, “What do I need to remember?”

8.You can use the following statement whenever you see a rope tossed at you in an attempt to make you negative. You can use it with people, the media, your own thoughts, everything! With this statement you live in freedom! Nothing can touch you. Why? Because you do not react! You do not grab hold. You simply say to yourself, “I have nothing to say to that.”

9.We need a super powerful technique to overcome the spin of the inner world. Like a hamster in a cage, the mind wants to spin around and around. This is a giant waste of energy. But how do we stop it? Often, throughout the day, you can use the following statement to remind yourself of the present moment. Notice the contrast between the spin state and the awareness state. Which feels better? Say to yourself often, “I am here.”

10.The few people pursuing genuine self-transformation contemplate a truth that upsets many. Most people fear to see where the pain really resides, preferring to deny responsibility. Like a giant bulldozer, this truth pushes out of the way the old obstacles of fear and anguish. Say to yourself, “The pain is in me, not out there.”

11.The further we go on the spiritual journey the more a definite attitude begins to form — We see that challenging and demanding experiences provide nourishing food for our development. In the beginning we thought it was all about peace and comfort. But we come to see that we really don’t grow in comfort. We grow when things get rough. We learn the most by stretching our inner resources. This request exemplifies a true prayer heard in lofty spheres. Say to yourself, “More please of whatever I need.”

12.Sensitive gauges tell operators when their equipment reaches high pressure zones. Likewise, we too have super sensitive instruments inside of us. Like our ears and our eyes, they are organs already present. But they yearn for development. Their efficient operation releases abundant new energies. How do you bring them back to life? Ask yourself, “Am I in a negative state right now?”

13.If you could find a way to meet every challenge, a way that would guarantee spiritual success because it guarantees an inner victory, what would you do? There is such a method based on the supreme law of life, The Law of Growth. Human beings either regenerate or they degenerate. Nothing remains the same. When faced with any new challenge, any difficult person, any problem at all say to yourself, “Time to take the next step up.”

14.When you refuse to pick up the ropes, what happens? Well, the unaware person throwing them gets mad. “What gives you the right to refuse my demands?” they say by their brazen manner. Your freedom makes them very insecure. They get angry, try to make you feel guilty, threaten you, and when that doesn’t work they’ll flip flop into the nicest, sweetest person you’ve ever seen. When that doesn’t work they will go back to anger again. Claim your freedom! You have a right to your own life. Let them get mad if they must. Say silently to yourself, “If you know what is best for me, why are you so miserable?”

15.The book SuperWisdom says, and it is a quote from author Vernon Howard, “Always leave a nut with his own nuttiness.” You don’t have to pick up nuttiness and reproduce it. What a relief when false sentimentality falls away! Sad but true, most people choose to dwell in the swamp and defend their right to stay there. But these swampy zones are lonely places, and the dwellers want company. Say to yourself, “That is your fear (or worry, problem, regret, etc) not mine.”

16. Many tools in this article apply to other people; however, ultimately the problem is never the actions of others, but the fact that we grab the rope they toss and yell, “Go!” But since difficult people constitute this world’s most plentiful resource, effective tools to deal with them are quite necessary and valuable. Here’s another one. Say to yourself, “No, I am not going to behave back to you the way you behaved to me.”

17.When doubts swirl around you, when hostility seeks to enter and maul your good feelings, when vendictive people throw their darts, when your own thoughts accuse you and tell you their favorite lie — “you’ll never make it,” when all this happens you can win every time by quietly and firmly telling the negativity, “You’ve got the wrong (man — woman).”

18.False advice abounds about “self-esteem” and trying to see yourself withflattering, imaginary virtues. Pretense obscures self-observation. You don’t have to pretend. You can know! The book SuperWisdom instructs to simply see yourself as a learner. This viewpoint of yourself is true and places enormous spiritual resources on your side. Say to yourself, “I want to understand what it’s all about — I want to learn!”

Conclusion: Seeing negativity (from any source, including your own internal thoughts) as a rope that you do not have to grab, brings everything into focus. We begin to understand that we really do have the power of choice. We also begin to see how we’ve been careless with this power because we feared to displease negative people and our own negative thoughts. Yes, there may well be a protest, both from others and from our habitual nature. But so what! The lofty and delightful feelings you experience reinforce the fact that you’re on the right path at last.

And the affect on your daily life will be enormous. Since we must often deal with a hundred or more negative ropes a day, applying Wise Self Talk will place you in a commanding zone. Your Power of Choice will be reclaimed and placed at the center of your self-development efforts. From it will flow a thousand lively streams. You’ll know you’ve found the Master Key at last. And you’ll be delighted at how practical it all is.

Enjoy your Self !

31. Thot Plickens - May 10, 2010

*sigh*

32. James Mclemore - May 11, 2010

28. Thot Plickens

“I get the feeling that somebody here is really hitting the right notes.”

Yes. I wondered also if that might be the case. I would guess that particularly your own posts, along with those of 2010 and William and a few others have made those overseeing the blog a little nervous. I think it is a combination of some very well written and well directed powerful posts, and the fact that they are being posted by some relatively new voices that has gotten their attention.
Please, keep it up.

33. zannos - May 11, 2010

William; I think we joined the Fellowship the same year–1976? And left the same year–2006? Or close enough that we necessarily had a lot of the same experiences at approximately the same time. And now I read your posts with particular interest and wish I could speak as powerfully as you are doing for us all. It’s hard to express, maybe because of some vestigial remains of that valuation for specialness, but I wish I could explain to anyone who is unable to leave even though aware of the fraud underlying the Fellowship, the actual joy in the ordinariness of a perfectly mundane life. Even though I was over 70 when I left, the practical details–getting jobs, making new friends, reconnecting with family–weren’t the hard part. And it was damned hard!! The hard part was the gradual realization of how much of the Fellowship was in me, and how much of value I had willingly given up for the shoddiest bunch of claptrap imaginable. But gradually I got tired of kicking myself around. It just isn’t an interesting enough activity to carry on for whatever there is left of my life.

34. James Mclemore - May 11, 2010

33. zannos

“The hard part was the gradual realization of how much of the Fellowship was in me, and how much of value I had willingly given up for the shoddiest bunch of claptrap imaginable.”

It is ‘shoddy’. I have been gone for thirty years. The post about RB’s birthday present reminded me just how ridiculous some of it was and how it has evidently become even more so. And then just about the same time there were the posts (some still coming it seems) of the channeling stuff and some other varieties of new-age drivel. It would be rather funny if it is FOF monitors that are posting these long doctrines of nonsense right near a post that alluded to some of their own. Burton, I would think, probably discredits the new-age stuff as low-grade B Influence, while at the very same time making up and feeding his flock the same sort of crap in a different story, except of course, the stuff he is serving is presented (as it always is) as the only ‘real thing’, and that which will make people a part of the ‘chosen ones’. If it was not for the fact that it can be hurtful to the people who are trapped in it, it would be funny.
Do people still believe there really is a live pony buried somewhere in those huge piles of horseshit? Even if there were, and I am quite sure there isn’t, you would never be able to find them and dig them out anyway.

35. Remember this? - May 11, 2010

From the blog November 2007; A response to the FOF shill, “Psychic”

Psychic-

you are such an example of brainwashing and indoctrination…

you believe in concepts, if Robert Burton tomorrow will tell you that the Lower Self is not Lower anymore you would believe it, if he will tell you that the Higher self doesn’t exist you would believe it, if he will tell you that the sequence is now composed of 9 instead of 6 you would agree…..whatever but not thinking with your own brain.

psychic…you cannot reach presence and even less prolonged it …simply because you already are it!!It is really the searching that prevents you from this realization! It is already all here….but you are too indoctrinated to even think about this!
RB will keep you in the wheel forever….you will never do enough efforts, you will never be worthy….

WAKE UP!!!!

36. fofblogmoderator - May 11, 2010

#35 is new

37. William - May 11, 2010

25. Silentpurr: “yes OoOoOoOoOoOo, the question remains; can one observe one’s-self in imagination, in the present? Or is one too identified with whatever?”

That’s the whole point. That little buggy isn’t going to take you anywhere.

Look at all the vaunted FOF “conscious beings” to date:

1) RB. Consider his jealous rages and punishments for the women who divert his supply of male prostitutes. You want names of the women? I know them. This is a “conscious” being? No matter how much window-dressing you put on it, this behavior is well below “the level of life.” More on RB below.

Next conscious being: MB. Headed for the hills because he didn’t want to “keep mouthing the same old jive” (a paraphrase of his words). Wise choice, Miles! Good luck to you!

Next conscious being: GH. A few days ago, someone told me he’s become “kind of a clown.” They wheel him out, his jaw flaps and flaps and flaps – and, according to his latest ex, he goes back into his cave and looks at porn sites and kicks his computer in his rages. Maybe he is on “Robert’s ladder,” after all! He made the “big sacrifice” of giving up his high-paying job some 30, 40 years ago. At some point, that sacrifice became an excuse, then a convenience, then an entitlement. Your FOF tax dollars will be supporting him into his unemployable dotage, which is already well advanced. I bet now they wish he’d escaped like MB, to reduce the FOF overhead. Not a chance, FOF — he’s your success story!

Next conscious being: JTB. Headed for the hills when he got spooked by the scam. Living happily ever after in U.K. Who was that masked man? Godspeed, JTB!

Next conscious being: Asaf? Dorian? Who else is on the current list? They’re looking pretty plausible now, maybe. But then, so did some of these others 10, 20, 30 years ago. Why do you think the process will leave these young people unscathed? Look at the corrupt financial and sex-slave operation that’s run out of the Galleria. Remember: THEY ENABLE THAT. I know about the instructions from Robert through these enablers to lie to the women about what “work” their menfolk were doing at the Galleria. Do you think anyone can do THAT and remain internally whole? Is it really worth a Tag Heuer?

As for identification, silentpurr, look at all the posts today where someone is putting their hands over their ears and shouting “La! La! La! La! La!” Go back to Part 4 of this discussion and look at the legal threats of “Be Careful.” Or reread the letters of GH to the community about not reading the blog. Or read the “Inner Facts Circle” description of Robert’s sex life. You mean that’s kind of overt and subtle bullying is “not identified”?

What about an open information society? Hey, FOF members, what are you scared of hearing? Does your “work” depend on not hearing some I’s – or instead are you using reason to inoculate yourself against them? The first is willful blindness, the second is tricky. Beware of what Gurdjieff called “the evil god self-calming.” Beware of justifications, rationalizations, excuses to make it okay for you to sit on your can and do nothing.

Think about the role of conformity in your life – yes, I used to be expert in these excuses. You are “respecting Robert” by your silence at his dinner. You are trying not to be a denying force for others. You are recognizing that there is a time and place for everything – and that the receptions, meetings, whatever, are not the right place. I know all these excuses. I crafted some of them.

Think of how much in the FOF you turn away from, refusing to see (La! La! La! La! La!) I didn’t know how gruesome Robert’s sex life was (see “Inner Facts Circle” – much of this has been confirmed to me by insiders since). But you know, it wouldn’t have taken that much for me to find out. I remember seeing the dissociated looks on some of the young men at receptions. I remember hearing about one who tried to escape. Where was I?

If you have any kind of a conscience, it’s all going to come back and bite you in the butt later. Then you, too, will be numbing the mess you made of your own life and the lives of the people around you, with pornography, or booze, or orgies.

I ought to know. But I prefer conscience to gin. The pearl of great price doesn’t always feel good.

There’s another way, of course: you can “be present.” Close out the past, the future. Be present to that mouthful of food – and don’t look into the face of the young man from Kiev sitting next to Robert. Be present — then you can forget about all Robert’s predictions of great glory, new civilizations and six conscious beings – they are, after all, in the past. You can forget about the future, where the young ‘uns will put you out to pasture as an old geezer, a conscious being wannabe who is way past it. (Think of who will be “assigned” to look after you — that ought to scare the bejeebers out of you!) “Being present” not only gives you a high and helps you buffer – it enables the organization. It’s just as well that you threw away all the old journals, predictions, “Vines” during the spring housecleaning to “raise the impressions.”

Zannos, Yes, our dates suggest we have many of the same experiences.

Here’s my take – it’s different James Mclemore’s, so take it or leave it: I don’t think it was all claptrap. Much of “the System” is true and works. If it didn’t, I would have been out the door sometime in the first two years. (Obviously, I’m talking about Gurdjieff & Ouspensky – not Robert’s jive, which was, of course “given to us” to “separate” from our logical minds.)

But over decades, working as hard and sincerely as we could, it turned people into psychological cripples or monsters – sometimes both. We both know them. We know the same names. I know of no one who was not compromised, who remained spiritually, psychologically unscathed by the principles of “separating,” which in the end seemed to produce a queer dissociation from one’s own life. Or the craving for states, which is just another addiction of a low spiritual grade.

Much we “never verified.” We didn’t verify it because it wasn’t true. I wonder now: Ouspensky said that lying was talking about something as if you knew it, or could know it … then he spends hundreds of pages talking about conscious schools, ancient Egypt, etc., as if he knew it. Huh? Huccome I never noticed that?

I think discernment and discrimination is a lot harder than simply trashing the whole thing as lies. It was a very big spiritual mistake – that doesn’t mean it was a complete waste of time.

In the end, it did not produce the results we wanted – just the self-hypnotizing drug that is being marketed as “being present” nowadays. And what has the Gurdjieff Foundation produced? It’s interesting: half a century has gone by since the deaths of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. It did not usher in a whole new era. It’s a largely forgotten footnote of 20th century cultural history, already.

What did it produce in the 21st? Well. Robert.

38. William - May 11, 2010

p.s. Mistakes in previous post — apologies. Did not mean to imply, for example, that Robert Burton was ever in the Gurdjieff Foundation. He wasn’t. Nevertheless, the whole Gurdjieff-Ouspensky thing hasn’t left much of a legacy, has it? Like Whitman’s followers thinking “Leaves of Grass” would be a third Testament, and that the world would be celebrating Walt’s birthday like Christ’s. Or how about all the Communists of the mid-20th century? We are hardly alone in our messianic/utopian delusions. Not much comfort, perhaps — but it is humbling, and for that I’m grateful. From Übermensch to the human race again.

And I didn’t complete the numbering for the “conscious beings” — down through “5”.

Clearly, I’m tired and a bit written out. Adiós.

39. Ollie - May 11, 2010

33. zannos

Regarding “the shoddiest bunch of claptrap imaginable”:

Robert Burton in a Fellowship meeting on the subject “The Nothing that is Something” (May 09, 2010):

‘A photograph shows a boy in an airplane wearing a tee-shirt saying “Yes.” His arms are outstretched in long-BE form and he is looking up. There is a great meaning behind this simple photograph. The twenty-first Olympics just finished, but before it began there was a tragic accident in which a young athlete died, leaving the Georgian delegation with six athletes. An American athlete named Apolo Ohno won eight medals in the winter Olympics. When my B Influence teacher died on the tennis courts at fifty-seven, his last words were “Oh no!” because he knew he was having a heart attack. He said, “Oh no!” and died right there. Apollo may survive the Last Judgment – oh no – yes! All things end in yes for schools if this comes to pass. There is a formatory phrase in life, “Seeing is believing.” Jesus said, “If you would believe on me” – if you would make the sequence act, so seeing is believing.’

There you have it. Wake up everybody, this rubbish will not turn you into a “conscious being” one day, nor will a thousand sequences or a million wordless breaths!

Don’t listen to it any longer. Get out of the Fellowship and take time to heal. Learn again to be quiet with yourself, away from the relentless propaganda. Don’t let the Fellowship obscure the sun of your true being.

There is a silent peace, beyond all efforting, beyond all “gripping of the present”, beyond all those desperate desires to “be immortal”. Don’t be afraid. Relax. Trust it. Be silent. This silent peace is you. Has always been, will always be. Forever and ever.

40. Jomo Piñata - May 11, 2010

39/Ollie

An American athlete named Apolo Ohno won eight medals in the winter Olympics. When my B Influence teacher died on the tennis courts at fifty-seven, his last words were “Oh no!” because he knew he was having a heart attack. He said, “Oh no!” and died right there. Apollo may survive the Last Judgment – oh no – yes! All things end in yes for schools if this comes to pass.

Clang association: http://bit.ly/aCpwnj

41. nige - May 11, 2010

40 Jomo Pinata

Bejeepers! There is something I have to look out for…..Nigel.

42. Panorea - May 11, 2010

“The Nothing that is Something…”

What a lot of rubbish… The Fellowship circus… Boy, what energy it takes to keep on trying to turn nothing into something… When you manage to escape the madhouse you will find out!

Very good points this page. Thanks

43. brucelevy - May 11, 2010

Song dedicated to Queen Robert and the zombies of the FOF:

44. silentpurr - May 11, 2010

Hmmm.. Looks like Rush Limbaugh and Robert Burton share the same ‘classic’ taste the Decorative Arts. But Fellowship Students wouldn’t needlessly be aware goings-on in ordinary ‘life’. If they are identified with the school, as I once was, then they will accept a continual ‘seeing through the glass darkly’ .

45. silentpurr - May 11, 2010

a buffered-from-life existence.

46. Tatyana - May 11, 2010

William: “Much of “the System” is true and works.”

“And what has the Gurdjieff Foundation produced?”

William, how can you know if you never were in the Gurdgieff Foundation?

Recently I attended their movement class. They had a reading at the beginning from a “work book” (different work books than in FOF) were Mr. G. was quoted saying that the “System” is only one half of the “4th way knowledge” which is incomplete if you do not study the “Movements”.

Try it. It is almost free! $20 a month?

47. tatyana - May 11, 2010

32. James Mclemore

I think you are wrong. I think it is a Russian ex-student flying high :))

48. James Mclemore - May 11, 2010

47. tatyana

Your guess is probably better than mine.

49. nige - May 11, 2010

Elena used to comment that cults were like a microcosm of life. In the sense that the motivating factors are Money, Sex and Power this is true. Burton is obsessed with highly-priced knick-knacks and objects that adorn various locations around Apollo. His sex life is an insatiable desire for extreme homosexual orgyism and he excels in wielding an unquestionable power over the enablers right on down to the lower minions. It can hardly be said that he possesses any humility, any restraint in his sex-life or any ability to listen to useful advice from his followers. During that psychotic period of mine (11 June 1989) I felt that I had failed him and that death was the only right judgement I could bring upon myself. It is obvious now that I was meant to survive and play a part in my community as I do now. It may be difficult for those of us who have survived the trauma of departing the FOF to convince those who still follow ‘Burtonism’ (a friend of mine in Pacifica said that the Fellowship was as spiritual as a bucket of vomit) but if we unfold our ‘stories’ honestly and with compassion for the unnecessary suffering that insiders are experiencing, then we will have played our parts well…..Nigel.

50. nige - May 11, 2010

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”
–Carl Jung

This sort of puts paid to Long Be, Short Be or Be Present with your cock in REB’s mouth

51. Ill Never Tell - May 11, 2010

39. Ollie:

‘Robert Burton in a Fellowship meeting on the subject “The Nothing that is Something” (May 09, 2010):

‘A photograph shows a boy . . . arms are outstretched in long-BE’ etc.

[What! No photograph of a boy . . . long-BE outstretched?]

This is what is popularly known as:
polishing a turd.

Seeing is believing; in deed!

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

William Shakespeare

This also applies to the bizarrOoOoOoOoOoOo posts.

52. Charles Steiner - May 11, 2010

Am enjoying very much “William”‘s writings as well as the writings of “James Mclemore.” Good writing, good thought, excellent postings.

53. Someone - May 12, 2010

28. Thot Plickens – May 10, 2010

Your detective skills are overwhelming. I guess you are so good at it that the authorities were forced to reject you for being overqualified…

Just to ease you troubled mind, I think that it is a real shame that up until now no one has taken any legal action against RB’s sexual misconduct.

Yet, I think that this Blog has been involved with a lot of air grinding.
When there’s a “Stack Overflow” full of childish exaggerations, one cannot expect outside seekers to take what is written here too seriously.

I prefer telling the truth and the truth is that besides RB’s small sexual circle, there are things that might be quite attractive in the FoF including the esoteric ideas and the external environment in OH.

That is a neutral fact – not an opinion and certainly not my opinion.

54. veramente - May 12, 2010

53
“I prefer telling the truth and the truth is that besides RB’s small sexual circle, there are things that might be quite attractive in the FoF including the esoteric ideas and the external environment in OH.

That is a neutral fact – not an opinion and certainly not my opinion.”
—————————-
so sure of yourself, aren’t you….

55. Thot Plickens - May 12, 2010

Someone, I thought you were moving on, or letting it go.

It doesn’t require any detective work or analytical skills. What you are is obvious. It’s obvious what Robert Burton is. It’s obvious what the Fellowship of Friend is. And it’s obvious what we were when we were in it. We were cult members. We overcomplicate it. There’s no mystery to it. No debate required. And it doesn’t take a degree in cult psychology to see that it’s a cult.

It’s interesting that some people see it from a mile away and never join the cult, and look at “us” as though we must be, or must have been, crazy to join the Fellowship of Friends. Based on a world view that categorizes everyone with “level of being,” you could argue that all of the people who ran in the other direction when they met the FOF had a higher level of being than all of us, because they were not asleep to the scam, and could see how Burton manipulated people’s egos to lure them into the trap.

This idea that we can’t understand something unless we “try” it or “join” it is one of the traps… that somehow there’s something we don’t yet understand. A few years of “work” and then we’ll understand. And if we still don’t understand, then keep trying. Later, we’ll understand.

But we understood right away. We knew right away.

We knew that something was seriously wrong with the Fellowship of Friends when we first met it. But we didn’t listen to that, even though it was an inner wisdom that’s within all of us. We didn’t follow that light. Ironic isn’t? We supposedly joined to try to be “awake”? But it was being asleep to the truth about this cult that enabled us to join and to stay. And many of us have — at one point or another — even defended Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Because defending Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends,, Someone, is the deepest form of sleep that one can imagine.

56. Thot Plickens - May 12, 2010

Actually, there are deeper forms of “sleep.” But defending a cult and its leader — something that many of us have done — ranks right up there. Trying to hide and cover up the truth about a cult and its leader — that’s taking it a step or two even further.

57. Hono`pono`pono - May 12, 2010

Dear Someone

Yet, I think that this Blog has been involved with a lot of air grinding.
When there’s a “Stack Overflow” full of childish exaggerations, one cannot expect outside seekers to take what is written here too seriously.

YOU THINK….OK, CHILDISH EAGGERATIONS…WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY. What is your need, not in the mind but in your heart. why this blaming? Of others? Wouls you be willing to elaborate on this please.

I prefer telling the truth and the truth is that besides RB’s small sexual circle, there are things that might be quite attractive in the FoF including the esoteric ideas and the external environment in OH.

THE TRUTH IS YOUR TRUTH. WE CAN BE IN THE SAME (ROSE ) GARDEN AND YOU FEEL WONDERFUL AND I MIGHT FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. IN THE SAME ROSE GARDEN….

That is a neutral fact – not an opinion and certainly not my opinion.

Dear someone,

EVERY DAY WHEN I TALK TO OTHERS, I SEE AND HEAR THAT WHAT MY ‘NEUTRAL FACT IS MIGHT BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FOR OTHERS. I REALLY WONDER WHAT YOU ARE MISSING. PLEASE TALK TO YOUR PARTNER, IF YOU HAVE ONE.

Best to you and more awareness.

58. Hono`pono`pono - May 12, 2010

Thanks for the inspiring post, please William rest and come back soon.

59. Hono`pono`pono - May 12, 2010

Dear friends

Would you want to listen to this youtube and let me know if you recognize the karma idea and Robert’s shedding of his karma to members and ex members.

Please no judgments or disrespect fullness, I have more then I can use.

You can find more parts of this production on youtube.

Interesting concept.

60. Thot Plickens - May 12, 2010

Hono, the poster calling themselves “Someone” isn’t sincere about that. Someone knows that Burton doesn’t have a “small sexual circle” (unless there’s a double entendre there somewhere). They know it’s actually a very large group of men spanning four decades. Some people have alleged that Burton has has sexual contact with several hundred, or even thousands, of his followers since the cult was started in 1970. Someone is just here for a little damage control, that’s all. I wouldn’t expect to have a serious conversation with them.

Remember that the commentary on the blog about Burton’s sexual contact with his followers is not a commentary about the sex per se, but it is a commentary about the coercion, the manipulation of his followers, the violation of the trust of his followers, the abuse of power as a cult leader, the numerous lies and deception related to his actions, the utter disregard for the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and much more. And then there’s the psychological fallout to so many men who were coerced into sexual contact with Burton and felt they couldn’t disobey, and many other related issues mentioned on the blog on all of the previous pages.

Some unsolicited advice: I hear in your post a bit of the “relative” thinking that we were taught in this cult — that somehow our direct perceptions of reality are not real, because others may have a different perception of that reality.

Trust your perceptions of reality. What you see is real. You don’t need to filter it through Someone’s opinion first, or my opinion, or Robert Burton’s opinions. See what you see, and then think about it. The results are pretty impressive. No need to analyze or attach a Fourth Way term to it, or any term to it.

When you leave the cult, it’s alright to go ahead and trust what you see. Actually, it’s alright to trust what you see when you’re in the cult. That process is what helps people escape. Distrusting ourselves is what keeps us stuck there.

61. Thot Plickens - May 12, 2010

“… Robert’s shedding of his karma to members and ex members…”

What Burton is shedding is much less important than what YOU are shedding.

If it’s true that “Robert is shedding his karma to members and ex members” (whatever the hell that means), the first thing you can do to avoid that is to stop calling him “Robert.”

Stop calling this cult “The Fellowship” or “the school,” and so on. If a person feels like the cult is following them when they leave the cult, it’s often because they haven’t let go of the language used within the cult.

Language is one of the most important tools to keep people asleep in the Fellowship of Friends.

And most importantly, stop calling yourself an “ex-member.” Leave the terms behind.

62. WhaleRider - May 12, 2010

Someone:
“…there are things that might be quite attractive in the FoF including the esoteric ideas and the external environment in OH.”

Define “things“. What things? Be specific.

Attractive to whom? And why?

People are naturally attracted to beauty and interesting ideas; that’s not saying much.

Can you understand something only by it’s sales pitch and packaging?

Thot:
Are not the terms asleep/awake included in the cult indoctrination tool kit?

Burton uses language to keep his followers enslaved in the FOF.

63. 2010 - May 12, 2010

I read In search Of the Miraculous when I was 15 years old. I had seen Ouspensky’s name referenced in a book called The Master Game that I had read prior to ISOTM and just seeing his name piqued my curiosity. After reading In Search Of The Miraculous I was sure that I had found a very profound book. I started talking to all my high school friends about the ideas and explained that we were all wasting our lives on trivial pursuits and that there was so much more meaning to life than just a biological existence. All that accomplished was me alienating many of my friends. They thought I was a kook. I realized I had better keep my mouth shut if I wanted to have any friends.

I joined the FOF in New York City many years later and was so happy to walk into a room with 20 or more people that had read the books that I had read and that seemed to be on the same page as me. I think people who were in a similar position as myself, those who knew these ideas and were looking for like-minded individuals could easily get lured into the organization. You pay by the month, you can leave whenever you want, it seemed like an ideal environment to test the waters and if it didn’t feel right, then you leave. In New York we were going to museums, operas, restaurants, basically having a lot of social fun, so it was easy to feel like you had joined a group that was seeking knowledge and culture. If there seemed to be some flakey people that would visit from time to time from other centers I always just chalked it up to how interesting the variety of people that come to these 4th way ideas.

The FOF abused many 4th way concepts as a way of smoothing out all the things that couldn’t be reconciled. When there was a big theft of wine from the winery at the property back in ’97 (?) everyone was saying; “well we wouldn’t be a real school unless there was crime- it’s one of the 6 processes described by Collin”. Or how many times did people either say to themselves or to others that how could we understand Burton’s sexual desires? The lower can never understand the higher.

The examples go on and on. But during the course of my 13 years with the cult I made many friends and go involved in a lot of FOF activities and had girlfriends that were also in the cult. In other words I was growing roots. So it’s not so easy to just pack up and leave. It took me about 6 months of being on the fence after discovering this blog to finally leave. I understand that for many it’s not easy, but hey, the FOF has an open door policy. Why don’t you create an escape plan, make your move and if nothing happens for you outside of the cult you can rejoin no questions asked.

64. Someone - May 12, 2010

62. WhaleRider – May 12, 2010

Right,

Still!
There is a parallel Blog in Russian with more or less the same content
and in spite of that there are new members. The claim that they are after a Green Card is BS.

The new members from the Middle East and India probably read English and if they Google “FoF” they also enter this Blog.

So, why do they choose to overlook the thousands of anti-FoF
expressions here and go to a prospective meeting, pay TP and join?

If one suppresses the fact that there is something very attractive in what the FoF has to offer and (maybe something they feen they really need), one will never be able to cope with them.

If all what this Blog has to offer is slandering, it is a very poor tool.

65. silentpurr - May 12, 2010

Thot 60, you have touched on the essential meaning and purpose of this blog and it’s usefulness.
It can take a little while to regain a taste for the freedom of expression.which can be enjoyed by participating here.
I am not saying that the creative-self is killed in the Fellowship of Friends. It is just not given the space to grow and experiment. In the Fellowship the creative-self is underfed with passivity.
One does not realize a threat right away or even in the beginning.
It does take some time to be properly ‘invested’
But little by little, small decisions will be made ‘for your own good’. As you comply, more is asked of you.
What you will see, mostly in retrospect, is that your thoughts, emotions, and even your body language will gradually align with the Fellowship style of thinking, feeling and behaving. It all trickles down from Robert. His ‘will’ is manifested through the ‘Older Students’ who are imagining themselves to be ‘good’.
I remember an event as a ‘student director’88. We closed a particular ‘teaching-house’ in the Carmel Center, forcing the residents to fill up spaces in the ‘preferred houses’. We had been ‘asked’ to do it and it was unpleasant. Especially since they enjoyed living together and were paying such reasonable rent. But actually this group of rebels were a creative bunch left-over from Stella’s Carmel Days. They were cocky and rebellious, needing to be tamed…passified.
Some of the most important lessons of the FOF, for me relate to having ‘blindly trusted’ in Robert, his interpretations and his goals.
Only by graduating could I begin to glimpse the depth of my sleep.

66. silentpurr - May 12, 2010

erata, please read 78

67. Hono`pono`pono - May 12, 2010

pay TP

Erata, many people do not pay teaching payments and in Russia the amount is very low.

Hey, reading members, you do not have to pay and still be in. Saved you a lot of money to day. Good luck

Thanks somebody for opening a door for “members to save some money.

Is Thot correct, no response?

Curious what your karma is.

68. James Mclemore - May 12, 2010

59. Hono`pono`pono –

Here is my two cents on the link you posted……(sorry, but I could not listen to the whole thing).

First I would say I agree with the gist of what Thot Plickens wrote in relation to it and to RB and the cult.
*********
Karma is one of those words which sounds like it means something that I should certainly understand by now. I don’t.

From what I can tell, it is given somewhat different meanings in different Eastern religious doctrines, and to most westerners it is simply another name for cause and effect, which is something that appears to our limited view to somehow work as some sort of law.
But do we really know that?

Why worry about it? Even if it were possible to know whether or not this guy has any idea what it is he is talking about, and then to possibly think we understand it for ourselves, what is it we would then have? Would we have anything at all that would help in embracing the next moment that is unrelentingly unfolding in our completely mysterious life right now?

69. Jomo Piñata - May 12, 2010

I think part of the modus operandi of marketing the Fellowship is the making it *very attractive* to the prospective student the mark. The refined conversation, the classical music, the careful dressing, the not interrupting, the teacups, etc., etc. Can you tell I was recruited during a particular era? Perhaps this observation has a shelf life, now expired. Expired or not, I believe there’s definitely a linkup between how the mark would like to see himself, and the exemplars presented by those who adopted the Fellowship group persona (i.e., anyone who ever conducted or participated in a prospective student meeting). Some attributes of that persona can be found here: http://bit.ly/ce2MPm (194K GIF). Ergo, “join this organization, and you may rightly consider yourself one of us, because we’re special. We look special, we act special, and if you join us you can flatter yourself with the idea that you, too, are special.”

Never mind that that need to consider oneself special is a sign of a particular kind of woundedness, common to mark and cult leader alike. That woundedness, the narcissism of the mark, is the keyhole, and the Fellowship–its recruitment techniques, its ideology, its baroque accoutrements, its mannerisms, its props–fit that keyhole perfectly. They were made for each other.

70. William - May 12, 2010

Thot, You nailed it in #55.

That mistrust-of-self is what kept me in the organization for years and years. “Don’t believe your lyin’ eyes.” If something looks weird, it’s because you haven’t “verified” it yet.

I always liked this one: “We cannot know the truth at our level.”

Right, we cannot know huge existential truths, maybe. But, as a long-gone student used to say, “If you see a bird pulling a worm out of the ground, you see a bird pulling a worm out of the ground.” And as Ouspensky himself used to say, work with what you know, now, and the rest will become clearer to you.

That’s why I tell those still in the organization (I refuse to call it a “school”) to start making moves towards what they know now, and translate what they know into action immediately, or your understanding-in-the-moment will vanish along with your other daydreams. New results will flow from that. Start moving to get out NOW – make a phone call, send off a resume, start building bridges out. Don’t make a decision, if you are not ready — but please do make a move.

I think “Someone” should be listened to respectfully, for at least three reasons: 1) I do not like the pile-ons that are typical of the internet; they represent humanity’s lynch mentality, and for that reason alone we should do everything we can to resist them; 2) I think we should encourage a broad range of opinions, if respectfully (and even if emphatically) expressed – we don’t have to come up with a group consensus here; and 3) “Someone” does indeed represent a large body of opinion among current members. I am writing, primarily, for those people – for fence-sitters, or for any “strong” member whose certainty in a falsehood can be shaken a little, to prepare the ground for an eventual departure later.

Let me address the third point.

The FOF community is a mosaic. Or perhaps, to change my metaphor, like a cancer – chemotherapy is ineffective in some cases, great in others; some cancers can be prevented by diet, others not.

For many – I was one of them – it’s easy to believe that Robert’s actions are peripheral, a distracting side-issue to the “real” work, which involves “me,” and thinking about “me” and “my” work, so that “I” can get better and better. This is what we called “separating” – which easily leads to an unhealthy “compartmentalizing” and eventually “dissociation.”

The FOF is fundamentally a dangerous place to be not because of what it did to No Kid, or Robert’s young men, or the demented higher-ups, impoverished many, though that is certainly criminal enough – it is (I repeat) it is dangerous because it is a lie.

It will always be a lie – and all its results (No Kid’s abuse, for example) are inevitable consequences that flow from a lie. It is not a lie for some people and a truth for others (“on me, it looks good”) — it is a lie for everyone. It does not produce “higher man.” It produces much, much lower men. And those of you who stay, keeping your middle-class lives and your professional jobs, become moral mice in the face of depravity, which you pay for and allow.

It’s easy to fantasize that you are living a normal, middle class life until your wife runs off with some Julio she met at Apollo d’Oro. And you will be told that you are “under feminine dominance” when you try to convince her that the kids need her at home, or that she made a promise to you that she is violating, or that you both signed these mortgages. You may come to realize that you live in a pathological organization, well below the level of life. On the other hand, you may buy this line of thinking, and take up with 21-year-old Hot Katya after the next reception. Maybe the kids will be taken care of by that nice smiling man who keeps offering and says he likes children.

And those weird Russians screwing themselves senseless – that’s their “choice,” you tell yourself. It’s a free country, and people can “choose.” You will refuse to reexamine your participation in an organization that enables and encourages “choices” that are irresponsible, immoral and depraved. (Yes, yes, yes, I know: there is no “morality,” it is all subjective. By the way, would you please pass me your wallet? Your car keys, too?)

If a mortgage lender encourages people to buy things they cannot afford, human nature will encourage them to take it. Yes, of course it is their “choice,” their fault – but you are also complicit! Hey you out there in the FOF, your silence is complicity!

But Thot (again in #55), the word “cult” word doesn’t do much for me. It has its places, and it helps some to have their noses rubbed into this word.

I cannot claim that I was drawn in by Robert’s putative charisma. I did not need a daddy figure. I did not live cowering in fear. I thought something was true, I thought it “worked” – then I found out it didn’t. Like all the stupid idjits who joined the Commie revolutions of the 20th century. Just plain wrong. Criminally wrong.

I never put aside my brain and stopped thinking. I was thinking, thinking, thinking away. I needed to think as the years went on, to develop all those rationalizations and theories. I would have made a good little Maoist. A good little Stalinist.

“Cult,” for me, is just another societal label. Another word to label experiences. It’s useful to a point – but then people begin wondering whether the U.S. Army, the Mormons, IBM, the Whole Foods Nation and the environmental movement are also “cults.” This thinking gets you nowhere. In the end, we are describing human nature. People form groups. They encourage conformity. Many groups have whacko opinions and resist new information – look at both our political parties.

The FOF was a very bad spiritual mistake. It was a lie that I gave my life to. That’s good enough for me.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t think the Fourth Way, even as practiced in the FOF, was complete crap. For example, I really do see that negativity is a man’s inability to keep his grievances to himself. It is a weakness. The complaining, the rages, the self-pity.

And yet, and yet… When I lived in a community where everyone was not expressing negativity, or trying not to…

I found that I was living among people who could rationalize away almost any monstrosity. I saw people who were unable to rouse themselves against overt cruelty. I saw people that were self-involved, and so interested in preserving their own pristine state – the most important thing, after all, was not to express negativity – that they were unable to act promptly and decisively on what they saw. (What systems were put in place after the violations No Kid experienced? Not feelings or regret, but actual policies to make sure such an outrage never happened again?)

I’ve come to conclude that maybe some things just don’t happen unless there is a fire in your belly. And yet, and yet … I still see self-pity, complaining, outbursts of anger as a weakness. And I really think they are. I don’t have any easy answers for this. Both seem to be true. I guess I’ll still be puzzling out that contradiction for awhile. And that’s okay by me.

Funny, we used to say that, at prospective student meetings, when we would discuss the non-expression of negativity, some newcomer would always ask, “what about Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the temple?” We were instructed that it was an “opposite I.” True. But it was also very much to the point. It was that little ventilator shaft in the “Death Star.”

Also to those on this blog who say that the whole Fourth Way, as expressed in the FOF, was complete crap and we were fools: Not only do I really not think that (again, it was a mistake, that doesn’t mean it was a complete waste of time) – but for those of us whose membership measured into decades, it risks catching me up in self-loathing, and loathing what, after decades, is most of my adult life. These were the marriages, births, children, friendships, and days that compose our lives. It can be self-defeating — on some level we have to embrace all the pieces, the criminal mistakes and the love.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly deserve the self-loathing – but it’s simply not a practical way to pick up the pieces and continue my life. I have a wonderful life, way beyond my deserving, a wonderful relationship with my family – and I go back and make amends where I can for my past error. For example, by participating right now in this conversation, hoping I can reach some of you current members.

This is not true for everyone – some of the very old-timers will maybe have to deal with this issue in a different way. That’s why it’s good we are all on this blog.

But even to those old-timers, I say: You are not the most hopeless cases! I used to think you were!

The worst cases are the ones who felt a bump in their breast, or were throwing up, and couldn’t afford medical care anymore in 95962. A witch doctor told them cancer wasn’t cancer, or that it could be cured by eating ripe grapes soaked in salt water on Tuesdays.

We buried those people up on the hill. The funerals were very “emotional.”

71. William - May 12, 2010

Wow. Active day. By the time I posted, I’m miles behind, and hope not irrelevant by now.

72. William - May 12, 2010

Someone, with all due respect, you don’t seem to be taking in and digesting information. In #14 on this page, I said:

“Please reread my #293 on the previous page. It answers some of your questions. And a post by Ollie on the same page shows the demographic breakdown for people joining in 2010.”

Please read #14 as well. I’m very interested in your p.o.v., but it makes no sense to keep posting the same questions without considering the responses you are getting to your comments.

73. brucelevy - May 12, 2010

60. Thot Plickens

“Someone knows that Burton doesn’t have a “small sexual circle”

Actually Someone doesn’t KNOW shit. She’s been pulling neutral facts out of her ass for a couple years now. Even theoretically, how would she even know, first hand, what goes on with Robert’s sex circus. There’s zero chance that she would witness any of it. She sees what she wants to see to justify her absurd “neutral facts”. On the other hand, I know what went on, I was there, It happened to me, I know some of the other victims and knew them when it was going on. There is no value in any of Someones neutral facts, except as they aid her in steeping her life in bull shit.

74. WhaleRider - May 12, 2010

William:

A witch doctor told them to drink the kool-aid…because they are off to a better place. Who needs health care, really? We are all going to die one day regardless.

That’s sad.

75. brucelevy - May 12, 2010

64. Someone

Madame, you’re a moron, and you think far too much of your own “intelligence”. You prove your ignorance time and again. Move on, because we’ve all heard the same crap from you over and over, yet you have nothing to say.

76. brucelevy - May 12, 2010

70. William

I respect your right to approach bloggers here (specifically Someone right now) in any way you wish. As for how I approach it, you have nothing to say on the matter. I think the only person “piling on” Someone right now is me. If you have a problem with that, considering all the other candy coating posts surrounding her posts, again, that’s too bad. I’ll continue calling bull shit bull shit. If I wanted to surround myself with artificially “considerate” people, I could have stayed in the FOF and let all the bull shit slide with fine words, often too many of them.

77. Charles Steiner - May 12, 2010

75 and 76 brucelevy

I have no objections to your calling out bullshit wherever you find it. I think it’s part of the business of finding what’s true. I liked your naming of the “artificially considerate people.” I think you’ve got something there. Ex-FoFers know that type and that type exits elsewhere, too. But I’d stay away from calling people names — unless they’re famous figureheads. It’s what a person does or says that you can judge because it’s out there, visible, objective. Of course, you can try to judge a person and/or his or her being, but, well, it says something about your choices when you do that and then come up with conclusions. The safer bet is to target a person’s behavior. Acting like a moron and stating that is different from calling someone a moron based on certain behaviors. There’s no confusion or pain, for one. There’s no arbitrary mixing up of cause and effect for another. I understand the temptation, but it’s something to avoid and question as to why it needs to be avoided. But the best to you. I enjoy your contributions here as well.

78. brucelevy - May 12, 2010

77. Charles Steiner

My criticism of Someone is not out of context or based on her recent posts alone, but rather a couple years of exactly the same shit being said based on nothing factual except her opinion of something she was not privy to except from second and third hand bull shit given as the party line. The first time she posted this garbage I, and many other patiently explained quite a few things based on first hand experience. She refuse to believe it and prefers her own”neutral facts” It’s not what she said recently that makes her “behavior moronic” (is that better, does that sooth the sharp edges) it’s that she does not allow herself to hear facts from people who actually experienced them. For me that makes her either a moron or insane.

79. brucelevy - May 13, 2010

And this little dance of hers has occurred here innumerable times in exactly the same way, over and over ad infinitum. It’s self-soothing bull shit and it has nothing to do with relativity. Personally I’ve run out of patience for that crap.

80. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

78 brucelevy

l understand your circumstance and situation. You described it earlier and well and I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes in relation to this Someone. Two years is a really long time to hear nothing back but bull. Look, I’m not in your shoes and I’m not telling you how to feel. I hate when people do that because your feelings are yours as mine are mine and as individuals we need to respect our individuality. What makes her moronic is what she says and does, not who she is. I think you have now said just that, and that’s all of what I meant by my advice. Thanks for writing back.

81. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

79 brucelevy.

Oh, I get it! I really do! And it is crap. I think the “neutral” business is just scientism, a fake way of coming off as objective and scientific. I think as long as we value certain facts over others — and there’s no way around the issue — we’re going to value the fact of life over the fact of death, for instance, and not feel “neutral” about it either. It’s a growth experience to learn when enough is enough in terms of arguing with someone (ahem) who isn’t amenable to reason or reasoned debate, give-and-take, or learning. I’ve blown many a gasket myself (although not here) for simply not being aware that there’s no reasoning with a fixed idea or an irrational one. There’s a human limit to how much pointing one can do or discussion. You have read the comments on Amazon book reviews, for instance, haven’t you? There’s the same bull going on there as here. But it’s my problem if I try to exceed it by some superhuman effort and receive no positve result, no good result. That lack of a satisftying end-product then makes me seem the one who’s unreasonable. That’s been my experience. I’ve really been enjoying the various voices that have come onto this blog, however. The effort to deal with our encounter with the FoF seems to demand all these disparate and strident voices. I’ve read and seen some insane stuff here and felt and heard some just really fine and superlative writing and thought. Some of the good stuff seems to come out only because of the inane and insane crazy stuff. I hope I’m not being too Whitmanesque here. Call me out on the bullshit if you want, brucelevy.

82. brucelevy - May 13, 2010

81. Charles Steiner

I don’t see any bull shit in what you’re saying.

83. Thot Plickens - May 13, 2010

Burton Asks Ex-Students to Not Use the Words ‘I’ and ‘The’

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Fellowship of Friends Teacher Robert Burton announced Wednesday that ex-students should stop using the words “I” and “The.”

In other news, Burton has asked a small group of ex-students to open the Kotzebue, Alaska Centre.

Meanwhile, several ex-students haven been asked to go on salary. If successful, Burton plans to announce a special Ex-Student Fundraising Drive in mid-June called Journey Back and Forth.

Said Burton: “You know, it can’t hurt to try. It’s equally as amazing that current members fall for this stuff.”

84. Thot Plickens - May 13, 2010

a.k.a. The FOFion. : )

85. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

83 Thot Plickens

Ho ho ho, and a bottle of rum. Pirate Burton and his fairy Pranksters!

86. Thot Plickens - May 13, 2010

“35. Remember this?”

Good post.

——-
Bruce and Charles, and William. All good comments. I don’t agree with all and everything that people are saying, but it’s a healthy conversation — including the sharp words.

——-
62. WhaleRider: “Burton uses language to keep his followers enslaved in the FOF.”

Yep. We sometimes underestimate how the regular use of certain words can dull the thinking and prevent us from seeing clearly. Stop using them, and it’s almost like magic how our thinking begins to change, too.

——-
69. Jomo Piñata

I studied this one, and I loved the use of the lined-out text. The word “mark” is perfect.

——-
68. James

Just wanted to repeat:

“Even if it were possible to know whether or not this guy has any idea what it is he is talking about [re: the idea of “shedding karma”], and then to possibly think we understand it for ourselves, what is it we would then have? Would we have anything at all that would help in embracing the next moment that is unrelentingly unfolding in our completely mysterious life right now?”

87. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

69. Jomo Piñata

“I studied this one, and I loved the use of the lined-out text. The word “mark” is perfect.”

It is. It was. I totally agree. Shows Burton as the card-sharp, too. Fools with knaves.

88. Someone - May 13, 2010

Brucelevy

As long as you have your stage to use your favorite shit and moron I can see you are quite happy so enjoy yourself.

Post factum I think that it is really a missing that you have not sued RB AND WON!!! for what he did to you. That is the main issue.

Still the plain facts are that you haven’t been in the FoF in the last 25 years or more so I might be knowing certain things better than you.

While I was a member, I took the trouble to check the facts and RB’s sexual circle around 4-5 years ago included 10-14 students out of which 6-8 were more ‘permanent’ and the rest more casual. He did use to ‘replace’ 5-10 students each year. So altogether it used to be around 20-25 students. Out of ~2000 members at that time, it is around 1 percent.

Statistically it is a ‘small circle’ and that’s what I said.

That is a FACT, not an opinion!!!

Essentially 20 or 25 abused students is terrible especially if one gathers all of them along 40 years.

The context in which I was using the term ‘small circle’ (and almost everyone here is an expert of taking things out of context) was that people are still joining because there are VERY ATTRACTIVE elements in the FoF ideas and 1 percent of abused students is relatively small for most of them to notice unless they are part of the victims or close to them.

One cannot ignore the persistence that RB puts on being present. It is an appealing idea for some people (it used to be appealing for many ex-members here, perhaps for most of them). Stating that God is presence can be a powerful idea in the 21st century. If one chooses not to deal with it for what it is, one is missing the opportunity to approach new seekers.

I think that a more balanced discussion would have made this Blog a much better source for new seekers. A balanced approach is more appealing. It has more reasoning and it can be much more convincing.

89. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

68 James

Why do you want to repeat asking your rhetorical question? You already know the answer you want. I will tell you this: I heard an ex-student who continues seriously to work with Fourth Way ideas discuss the latest biography of Ayn Rand using FoF language, and it was one of the richest. if brief, literary experiences I’ve encountered. What was there was given just a little more flavor, and that flavor made all the difference. What’s seen can’t be unseen.

90. James Mclemore - May 13, 2010

89. Charles Steiner

I am a little confused by your post. I think there were a couple of question marks in the post at 68, but I don’t think I repeated anything.
Thot Plickens reposted a section of what I had written. Is that what you meant?
And I am real unsure what that has to do with an FOF language interpretation of Ayn Rand.
Help me out here.

91. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

90 James Mclemore
86 Thot Plickens

Sorry James. I stand corrected. You’re right. Thot Plickens quoted you and it was HE who just wanted to repeat something you had asked. So my question rightfully ought to have been put to him and belongs to him. Why? The question does seem rhetorical and already invites its own answer.

My answer to that question, given the big IF (and it’s a huge IF — totally in imagination) — and assuming the question is meant to be real and not rhetorical metaphysics, what would we have that’s more than the unfolding and mysterious Now? We’d have a richer experience of the Now My example of a richer experience while still being in the moment is listening to an ex-FoFer with serious understandings and knowledge criticize and interpret the latest biography of Ayn Rand that we both read (in terms of chief feature, body type, center of gravity). Reading a book or looking at a picture can be a much richer experience if you know more about the subject than a mere first encounter without knowledge. That’s my answer to your understandable puzzlement. Sorry, James. I wasn’t totally focused on who wrote what numbered entry on the blog at the time and I apologize if I caused offense. Did you really write that question that Thot Plickens quoted?

92. brucelevy - May 13, 2010

88. Someone

I think you just illustrated my point better than I could.

93. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

88. Someone

“While I was a member, I took the trouble to check the facts and RB’s sexual circle around 4-5 years ago included 10-14 students out of which 6-8 were more ‘permanent’ and the rest more casual. He did use to ‘replace’ 5-10 students each year. So altogether it used to be around 20-25 students. Out of ~2000 members at that time, it is around 1 percent. Statistically it is a ‘small circle’ and that’s what I said. That is a FACT, not an opinion!!! ”

Someone, you’re a trip! I’ll help you out — with brucelevy watching. You did take the trouble to check facts. We believe you. I think that’s very believable that you tried to seek out the truth. I think you did your best to assess as much about the issue as you possibly could. You gathered statistical evidence as best you could. These events are facts. To the best of your knowledge, you discovered that Burton’s lovers comprise a small circle. That’s really all you can say. Everybody else understands that Burton is furtive and his movements cannot be traced wholly and indelibly, not by espionage agents and not by you. If Robert Burton entered a men’s bathroom, you wouldn’t have any idea what went on in there. Some guys know this. Gay guys certainly know this. The Pope and his lovely boys know this. But we all know that you, to the best of your knowledge, assessed certain evidence to be the case, to be the facts of the case. To the best of your knowledge you’ve setting out what it is you know to be the case. I thank you, and I’m sure a lot of other people feel grateful for your contribution.

94. Someone - May 13, 2010

92. brucelevy – May 13, 2010
The problem is that you have no point.

95. James Mclemore - May 13, 2010

91. Charles Steiner

“I apologize if I caused offense. Did you really write that question that Thot Plickens quoted?”

No offense taken, and, – Yes I did.

96. Someone - May 13, 2010

93. Charles Steiner – May 13, 2010

Yeah, he is entering their bathrooms and there are still people who know that beforehand and decide to join.

Do you have anything else to say to them that will help them reconsider?

I say that if you want to deal with it (unless you don’t care about the new seekers) you must seriously deal with the teaching, you must deal with the spiritual aspects of the FoF and there are spiritual elements there.

You can void it all, but some new seekers see it differently and they are joining taking RB as their teacher while they know all the published details about his actions.

Deal with it!

97. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

Dear Someone,

You mention and list a lot of goals, all of ’em good, but I’ve got to say there’s just too much for any one person to do or accomplish, and I think a committe would be forced to carefully pick which goals first to meet while discarding others due to lack of time, funds, and other priorities. Do. I. have. anything. else. to. say. to them. that. will. help. them. reconsider.

At one time the FoF was known as THE most intellectual spiritual enterprise in the U.S. and it attracted intelligent people (not essentiallhy “attractive” people). So that’s a whole cut of the pie right there. How to address those intellectually centered people still in the FoF — or/and those who are so intellectually talented or inclined.

The top item on that shelf is thinking for yourself and verifying what it is you’re hearing, not giving lip-service to the idea but to allow that enterprise to have integrity within yourself. This has already been addressed by many other ex-students and quite eloquently. Here’s the drawback about an intellectual approach, even though there’s a lot of intellectuality in the Fourth Way system and at least was so too with the FoF and I’m going to quote from Bertrand Russell’s (1951) lecture on man:

“What went wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man is a rational animal and framed their arguments on this hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band do more to persuade people than can be done by the most elegant train of syllogism.” And then Bertrand Russell, a member of the Elite and a founding father of this New World Order we’ve begun to live in, states in the very next breath: “It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young …. ”

When I joined, I believed in “man as a rational animal” even though I could and did act quite irrationally often and I read the Fourth Way books as a so-called rational animal who believed in a scientific mysticism or rational mysticism. My mistaken ideas were a product of my generation, my training, my cultural background. Lots has changed since then. The FoF has gone through a number of morphic changes. If a person is 60 and over and still in the FoF, there’s no help nor should anyone try. If he or she is young, under 40 say, when he or she joined would be a pertinent issue to address — because, over time, men and women have been taught to be more impulsive and more “gut-feeling” oriented rather than taught to use their noggins. I guess I got nothing, Someone, because what worked for me — finding out Burton was a big ol’ whore and actually feeling my spirit be stifled by group conformity were sufficient to break the chains for me. Bread and circuses didn’t attract me and when “the culture octave” started, it had some appeal but it wasn’t part of my original contract with the System or with the FoF. For the newer generation it is, and I have nothing to offer — if what worked for me doesn’t work for them.

98. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

96. Someone,

Aggrandizement, hanging in there with the Big Guy, the one who looks like the Winner, the Top Dog, the Main Man, the Made Man whether it be in the Mafia, the Drug Culture, or with the Big Banksters or the top brass government officials — or Hollywood — all this aggrandizement has gathered considerable momentum culturally over several decades now due to the advancements of science and technology — or gadgetry — , and Might Makes Right and being Number One are the psychopathological principles that appeal to many of us (“losers”) now in this corporatistic atmosphere of Survivor, the Biggest Loser (meaning Winner), global governors, and so on. Logic and intelligence have no appeal whatsoever in this massively interdependent society — and cannot. Magnetism, power, attractiveness, the accountrements of luxury are what appeal to the given individual of today’s world. No one need be spiritual or intelligent or if so, no one need do without the props of power and money.

To win — above all else — requires, however, a lack of conscience. People who are sociopathic and psychopaths don’t have a conscience. They are born without it. The sociopath and the psychopath are attracted to Top Dogs, attracted to power and powerful men. Our culture has been birthing these individuals in droves, if not biologically, then simply socially for decades now.

To see that one is part of this programming but that one one can make a choice to be different from this programming, (since “the school, the FoF, is integral to the psychopathology of our corrupt society and will not help one in the least to see oneself or know oneself as one is — not even by getting between the legs of the Biggest Bully on the Block — ) then maybe there’s a chance for a meaningful redemption that isn’t faddish, cultish and wholly lacking in integrity as is the case with the FoF for that individual. B

But the student has got to “stop” and compare and contrast, look around and see what he or she is apart from the organization, apart from the “play” that’s in the airwaves and on the computer. A person who is attracted to power, however, will have no willpower to walk away.

99. 2010 - May 13, 2010

Whatever the number of new people that have joined it doesn’t matter. It’s not quantity it’s quality that counts. “Someone”, you seem to suggest that the FOF offers an environment that is attractive to certain individuals seeking enlightenment. It’s possible that these new recruits might be to the “Fourth way” what these people are to Christianity;

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/us/02fight.html

100. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

99. 2010

Interesting point. Could be. The new recruits are unfathomable types to the old creed.

101. Someone - May 13, 2010

99. 2010 – May 13, 2010

“It’s possible that these new recruits might be to the “Fourth way” what these people are to Christianity;”
——————————————————–
I think you are right. Yet, if you read what Gurdjief says, he ascribes the 4th way to Esoteric Christianity. The question is where actually the difference lies. In practical terms if “permanent presence” is the goal than maybe the 4th way and Esoteric Christianity share the same goal or they are identical.
However, if as part of the way, psychological balance is to be achieved then maybe there is a difference resembling to what you meant.

102. Ill Never Tell - May 13, 2010

60. Thot Plickens:

Very well said, my friend.

70. William:

Very well put, in that post and elsewhere.

68. James Mclemore

re: Karma

‘Why worry about it? Even if it were possible to know whether or not this guy has any idea what it is he is talking about, and then to possibly think we understand it for ourselves, what is it we would then have? Would we have anything at all that would help in embracing the next moment that is unrelentingly unfolding in our completely mysterious life right now?’

As the sayings go:

‘Don’t let your karma run over your dogma.’ And, ‘don’t let your dogma chase your karma.’ It all makes sense to me now.

87. Charles Steiner:

‘Shows Burton as the card-sharp, too. Fools with knaves.’

Yes, you got it, he’s not playing with a full deck, but, nevertheless, the jokers are in there. [Could you possibly mean ‘card-shark’? Eats ’em up for breakfast.]

‘Someone’ is not playing with a full deck neither. During a period of time exceeding a decade, and ending very recently, my direct personal experience indicated a ‘sex cult circle’ of coerced, and not too coerced and/or otherwise persuaded, sex partners that easily exceeded 100, on an ongoing basis – both local to Oregon House, elsewhere, and internationally. The parade had some permanence but also was in constant flux. Guest lists for ‘dinner with the boys’ (whether they would attend, or not, on any given occasion) could be indicative of the extent of the grooming process. Then there were the occasions of birthday celebrations where oral sex on 60+ separate individuals in one day was achieved. [Also documented elsewhere on these 92 pages.] Dizzying circumstances, to say the least, even for the ORGANizers!

But, yes, as Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) made popular: ‘There are lies, damn lies. and statistics.’

So, it would be accurate to say that ‘the sex cult inner circle was a small percentage of the entire Fellowship of Friends membership.’ Since these ‘sex cult activities’ did not involve the women, it was somewhere below 50% of the membership!

It would also be accurate to say that ‘there are some things that are attractive about the Fellowship of Friends to Someone.’ There are also curiosity seekers and curtain climbers wishing just to know and verify for themselves. Go figure?!

103. Pavel - May 13, 2010

The context in which I was using the term ‘small circle’ (and almost everyone here is an expert of taking things out of context) was that people are still joining because there are VERY ATTRACTIVE elements in the FoF ideas and 1 percent of abused students is relatively small for most of them to notice unless they are part of the victims or close to them.

One cannot ignore the persistence that RB puts on being present. It is an appealing idea for some people (it used to be appealing for many ex-members here, perhaps for most of them). Stating that God is presence can be a powerful idea in the 21st century. If one chooses not to deal with it for what it is, one is missing the opportunity to approach new seekers.

I hate returning to this discussion (for those of you who do not remember me, I was the original moderator) because it always seems as if there has been no movement forward – there is a strange stale feeling in the air.

As with most things, the question of the FOF is a simple one to answer and the answer lies very clearly in the excerpt that I have chosen to quote. That is, the attraction that the FOF has is clearly explained.

Instead of looking at why such a school may appear attractive, we should perhaps have a look at its efficacy. As far as I am concerned, the only factor of importance with spiritual traditions is that of efficacy – what does it advertise? – how do you achieve it? – how long does it take? – is it safe?

The FOF advertises presence and awakening, the theory being that prolonged presence leads towards awakening. From experience, FOF members have tested that the teachings do lead towards a state of presence, but as none have achieved awakening the link between the two has yet to be determined.

Now, lets compare this premise with the information we can gain from Buddhist insight theory (2,000 years of delivering enlightened individuals), ie. that states (concentration states, ie. presence) do not lead towards awakening, they lead towards a strengthening of concentration (which makes it easier to access non-ordinary states). This is such a basic piece of information that it baffles me that the smart practitioners in the FOF have not worked it out yet. Dozens of years of practice and no permanent results… Sure, you get a dose of very blissful non-ordinary states, most of which are very pleasant and seductive, but… thats it. You then need to apply that buffed up concentration in insight practice (which produces stages rather than states and progressively leads towards awakening).

So, can the FOF provide awakening to its practitioners? Well, not if its basic premise is false. The FOF can provide non-ordinary states (concentration states), that much is for certain. The real question is, does FOF provide awakening (do the practices work?), how long does it usually take? (claiming that this kind of work may take many lifetimes is a huge, dirty lie! – are there any particular reasons why one may be inclined to believing this? /this, by the way, is not an uncommon claim even in Buddhism, at least in the Eastern, monastic form/). Does this kind of work have any negative side-effects? Are there teachers willing to work and help in alleviating from these? Are the teachings clear, straightforward and easy to follow?

DOES IT WORK???

For further reading that may make it easier for you to determine whether you are taking part in a genuine spiritual tradition check out Bill Hamiltons Saints and Psychopaths:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/iyjfzyzyo5j/19649507-Saints-and-Psychopaths.pdf

– deals with the differences (and similarities) between genuine teachers and psychopaths, explains what enlightenment is and how it is reached

or Daniel Ingrams Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha:

http://www.interactivebuddha.com/mctb.shtml

– explains the difference between the practice of morality, concentration and insight. Gives maps of the territory that an insight meditator will move through before attaining to enlightenment

All the best to you all.

104. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2010

Pavel,

In my opinion this discussion, considered as a whole, is unlikely to move forward, although individual participants may move forward in their views and contributions.

As new participants proceed to emerge from the cult, they may come to occupy a place in this conversation that others have abandoned, that of minimizing the cognitive dissonance created by leaving or struggling with the idea of whether they should leave or stay.

People who leave, or who are in process of leaving, have cognitive dissonance created by the clash between the views and values they have been programed to adopt by means of the thought-reform process, and the views they must adopt in order to decide to leave the cult, or to come to terms with the fact they have left the cult.

In this blog-space these participants are going to voice a range of attitudes, including attitudes supportive of the cult and of their actions while in the cult. Others are going to subject those attitudes to criticism. The cast of characters engaged in the discussion changes; but in my opinion the discussion as a whole cannot and will not move forward, because the new participants will always be attempting to minimize their own cognitive dissonance and to rationalize their actions, values and choices in the cult, just as the prior participants did. It’s a natural process. If there is change, it will happen inside people, where it won’t necessarily be visible to readers of the blog.

Just my 2p on this issue.

105. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2010

PS to Pavel,

What I encourage you to recognize is that it is one thing to articulate and frame the issue rationally, as you have done, from the detached perspective of having never been a member of the cult, and quite another thing to have been recruited into joining a cult, to have been subjected to a lengthy and subtle thought-reform process, and to have gradually freed oneself from attitudes that one was deceived and manipulated into adopting.

From the former position, the proposition you articulate is cut and dry, a matter of simple logic. From the latter position, mere logical propositions cannot touch the heart of the matter; the attitudes and values which the logical proposition negates, but which the cult participant adopted in a process which was not entirely of his own volition, have many functions in that individual’s life quite unconnected to whether or not they are actually “true.”

You may find illuminating the concept of “trance logic,” in which contradictory propositions are simultaneously affirmed by the entranced subject. My experience is that a form of trance logic operates in the Fellowship, and that it immunizes those under its sway from the impact of such propositions as you have articulated here.

106. Someone - May 13, 2010

102. Ill Never Tell – May 13, 2010

100 in parallel at a certain point of time? Very reliable….anyone who enters this Blog for the first time is going to swallow that without chowing.

107. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

102. I’ll Never Tell

“Could you possibly mean ‘card shark’? Eats them up for breakfast.”

“Card-sharp

Meaning

Someone who is skilful at playing or manipulating cards, or one who makes a living by cheating at cards.

Origin

‘Card-sharp’, which is sometimes spelled either ‘card sharp’ or ‘cardsharp’, might be thought by some to be a misspelling of ‘card-shark’. The latter is the more commonly used of the two synonymous phrases, especially outside the UK, which is one of the few countries to prefer card-sharp. It is sometimes suggested that one term derived from the other. There’s no clear evidence to support that view, although if it is the case then it must have gone from ‘sharp’ to ‘shark’ as ‘card-sharp’ appears to be the older term. Both ‘card-sharp’ and ‘card-shark’ appear in print in the USA many times before they are seen in publications elsewhere – a sure sign of country of origin. The first such devious card players were called ‘card-sharpers’ rather than ‘card-sharps’, although the dates of the earliest known citations of the two terms are close enough together to raise doubts as to which came first. ‘Card-sharpers’ was recorded by George Augustus Sala, in his Twice round the clock, or the hours of the day and night in London, 1859.”

So, in brief, yes, I could possibly mean “card shark” and did mean it.

108. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

103. Pavel

This notion you have of spiritual efficacy — how long does it take? — does make you sound like a modern McDonald’s restaurant customer of spiritual strivings. Your interest is in results, not process, technique over experience. You can’t walk into a Buddhist monastery, ask these questions, and expect to get a direct answer. Have you not read Meher Baba? I am certainly not defending the Fellowship’s assertions in the least, but nobody with any integrity will tell you how long it will take and what exactly you are guaranteed in these matters. Those people who are not manipulators and who have experienced something higher for themselves will tell you: it just happens. Some seem to admit it does require years of preparation; other say, like Jean Klein, that any technique simply molds the mind into a formatory pattern. In other words, Jean Klein, like many others, says “it just happens. You can’t DO anything to get there. So, I really don’t see you have any kind of principle to lean on – to declare that the air is stale here. Your idea is really nowhere. It’s a false pursuit.

109. rock that boat - May 13, 2010

78. brucelevy
I knew a Someone in the FOF, Italian, Saturnine type, with dominance, power and vanity. Even clashed once with her, a referee (octave leader) had to settle our differences, I won. What I learned about this person was that the combination of dominance vanity and power blind-sided her perception of any reality, she wanted to be RIGHT, regardless!

Young Soul probably.

110. Thot Plickens - May 13, 2010

Pavel, if you want the conversation to acquire some “movement forward” and to be less “stale,” the only way to do that might be to change the subject completely. Although I’m not sure I’d agree that the conversation isn’t moving forward, and that it is stale.

Remember the topic — the Fellowship of Friends cult. Until it “moves forward” and until it becomes less “stale” — until something changes within it (which is very unlikely) — the conversation may seem to go in circles, over and over, touching upon the same issues over and over.

But different people are reading, and diffrent people are participating, and there’s a slightly different take on things from month to month.

The repetition is a good thing. It counters the propaganda of the FOF, which is extremely repetitive as well, and one-by-one it may touch a few people. To go into deeper topics beyond the scope of the conversation is a nice idea (and it sometimes does happen here), and it may happen here eventually more often if people start leaving the FOF in even greater numbers, and if it begins to implode. Then I’m guessing other issues and topics would be delved into, assuming the blog is still here at that point.

But the FOF is a hard topic. It’s a topic that’s really geared toward a specific type of audience — those who are interested in joining, those were once interested in joining, those who have joined, and those who have left, and to a certain extent families and friends of all of the above.

I agree with the comments by Jomo Piñata, 104 and 105.

111. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

103. Pavel

I don’t want to sound the sour note. While I disagree with your idea of efficacy in spiritual yearnings, I’m happy and grateful that you started this new blog. I think FoF-related people really can use it, value it, need it, and the circumstances are on-going, so I’m glad you have the technical facility and intellectual interest to tie on another rope to help others to escape from that pit where the Gay Boogey Man feasts.

112. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

110. Thot Plickens

Hear, hear! I second that motion! Well said, Thot Plickens! And the FoF is indeed a hard subject. Repetition is a good thing.

“Everyone in them is repeating. In all their ways of living it comes out of them in repeating. More and more everyone is repeating. More and more it is wonderful in living the subtle variations coming clearer into ordered recognition.” (Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein, who fought Margaret Anderson to protect Fritz Peters from Gurdjieff who made Fritz mow the lawn for hours and hours and hours, without any education or any other diversion.)

And yes, with Thot, I agree too that the FoF is of interest only to FoF-related people. Not to Buddhists, not to Scientologists, Not to Baptists, not to Freemasons, not to Socialists or Atheists or Muslims. Only FoF-related people. I once had the audacity to think other people cared about the goings-on of this cult and I gave a prepared lecture before a group of men and women in San Francisco — this was years ago — called the Gay Atheists of San Francisco — and I explored and explained the cult, its history (to the best of my knowledge at that time) as well as the machinations, the traumas, the perversion — and the audience’s response was: “We’ve heard this before. The Scientologists are no different. Why would anyone be so stupid as to join such an obviously bizarre cult?”

In my very early break from the FoF — days after leaving — I dared to test the strength and understanding of a fledgling Jungian therapist who, in my first and only session, told me after she listened to my story — “Oh, that’s horrible. Here’s Peppy, my dog. Pet my dog. You need emotional contact. Pet her fur.”

Thus — your Blog, Pavel.

113. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

Here’s my new conception of what I think is going on in the FoF with Burton and his chosen directors. They, being psychopathic manipulators, invite you in, draw out your desires and then use your desires, direct and coax your desires, even stroke them, only so that in the end their own desires and results are met. As a student, prospective student, you are a mark. You don’t suspect you’re among thieves because some of them are doctors, some are IT specialists, some are even psychiatrists, but the Pirate of the Ship selects only those who are capable of sustaining and furthering his goals. When you are mentally paralyzed — by the contradictions and fear that arise among people you grew to trust — an inertia begins to take place — the trance — and the law of accident or or mere happenstance then takes over completely. With any luck — and a lot of pain — your trance can be broken, your paralysis can end, but the Game is keep the student where he or she is best suited — the bottom feeder for the “higher types” who really know how to manipulate and mine the gold from you, federal notes, essence, and all. How long will it take before a student can make a break? It can take hours, days, months and years. I remember Burton saying “Awakening is less than a classical process.” Yes, awakening to the reality of the Hell a student lives in is less than a classical process. There’s no definitive guidebook. But the Con is a Classical Con.

114. WhaleRider - May 13, 2010

Welcome back Pavel. I don’t care what anyone says, you’re my hero!

Thanks again for hooking us all up. Rock on.

Jomo:
Trance logic. Precisely.

115. Pavel - May 13, 2010

Jomo Pinata: Thank you for putting that perspective forward (you are right I am sure). Yet, I believe that it is a very good idea to have a look at what our intentions are and how we are meeting them and whether we should not change one or the other, hence my post. My post was not supposed to comment on the healing process that people undergo here (that is not the staleness I was referring to), it was simply my view of what grounds the FOF can be evaluated from, I hope that this perspective may be helpful, as it has been to me.

Charles Steiner (108):

Your interest is in results, not process, technique over experience.

You are putting words into my mouth, please dont, even if you find my approach to speaking about spirituality unsavoury. My interest is in technique that makes me able to inquire into the present moment with some degree of accuracy, depth and clarity. That is the process that I want to put into motion and the experiences that come from that are the inevitable result. Imagine trying to write a book (process) without a pen (technique), the result of which would be having an unwritten book, the experience of which would be different to an experience of having the ability to write it (being in the possession of a pen) and thus creating the desired result.

What I mean to say is that I spent years having strange experiences, non-ordinary states, reading this and that (all of which was very interesting, if somehow destabilizing) and then was quite solidly shaken when i realized that it is possible to work with spirituality in a much simpler way, not to mention my horror when I found out that all of these boring spiritual traditions (ie. Buddhism) have already worked it out, mapped it very accurately and that its there for people to use if they choose to. There is no mystery unless you really want it to be there (which most people do, lets look at how people generally react to non-ordinary states).

I am certainly not defending the Fellowship’s assertions in the least, but nobody with any integrity will tell you how long it will take and what exactly you are guaranteed in these matters.

How long will what take? Enlightenment? Sure, anyone who has achieved it and is open about it will tell you how long it took them, what they did to get there and what the attainment changed, why shouldnt they? This is perhaps one of the most pleasing developments in Western spirituality, the fact that people are willing to be more open about these things, demystifying the process and empowering others to follow in their footsteps. People who do the opposite (mystifying the process) generally have an agenda of some sort (I can not think of any other reason).

Wouldnt you want to be able to find out how long your doctor had to study, what it entailed, what he knows, in order for him to be capable of treating you? Should it not be similar with spiritual teachers/traditions? Should we not ask these questions before/during our study? Should that information not be available?

Those people who are not manipulators and who have experienced something higher for themselves will tell you: it just happens.

Could you please define what you mean by something higher? Are we once again talking about enlightenment or some other (un)specified attainment? Higher than what? What is this height the measure of?

Some seem to admit it does require years of preparation; other say, like Jean Klein, that any technique simply molds the mind into a formatory pattern. In other words, Jean Klein, like many others, says “it just happens. You can’t DO anything to get there.

Good luck with rationalizing inactivity (or do you truly believe that there is no causality to the process?). How do you test the progress that you make if you follow this logic? Is there progress? Why do certain things happen to some people and not to others? Would you learn basic maths if you did not study it at school?

I believe that even the sudden schools of awakening require people to listen to specific talks/people, think of specific things, inquire into the present moment through other means, which they would not label as technique, yet there is still something being done (which is a given to moment-to-moment experience). Sure, from a certain perspective you cant do anything to get there because it is a change in relationship to what happens of its own accord, but there are necessary steps to be made to realize that this is the case. Would you disagree?

All the best.

116. Jomo Piñata - May 13, 2010

For those interested, the 1997 Cultic Studies Journal article about the Fellowship of Friends, authored by “A Collective of Women” and titled “Sex, Lies, and Grand Schemes of Thought in Closed Groups” is now available to read without charge, by clicking on the following link:

http://bit.ly/bBlcty

117. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

115. Pavel

I hear a bit more of what you’re striving after. I still don’t understand how you think a Blog is going to help you in that. Tell me the people who told you it took x years to get y result from your schools of awakening. I’d like to read their views. Help me out. Help us out. I’m not putting words in your mouth when I write you prioritize technique and result over process and sustance; I’m giving meaning or interpretation to the words you wrote that are begging for clarity. To put words in your mouth, I would have had to say: You said X or XYZ — when in fact you didn’t — say those words I said you said, I mean.

A pen is a tool, not a technique. Why are you fooling around with the simplest terms?

You seem to think there is a scientific method to mysticism or higher states. Or that it is some sort of business with the prophet or spiritual guide as some kind of CEO of spiritual business plans. Are you talking about Werner Erhardt? Whatever. That idea of yours is a nice Yellow Brick Road to follow. It still doesn’t address your need to form a Blog to help you out with this. That was your intention, right? But how could it? A blog is not a school of awakening.

You believe, you believe, you believe. I get that. I hear you believe. You are a believer, just like the song by the Monkeys goes. You know I disagree. You seem like a nice guy, even a helpful guy. Actually, you more than a “seem” like a nice and helpful guy; you are helping me and others, directly and indirectly, subtly or perhaps unknowingly, just by establishing this blog. So I’m not going there, trying to attack your person or your virtues. I think the entire endeavor is fruitless, however, insofar as Ultimate Goals are concerned. You can pick up new ideas, talents or skills. But the Big Bang of Higher Consciousness, if it’s real at all, is something that happens and goes by “the grace of God,” in all traditions and in all paths. And if you find out differently, you’re hanging out with a Psychopath. There’s another Krishnamurti out there, a U.G. Krishnamurti. You can read his “The Mystique of Enlightenment” or other of “his” writings. He doesn’t write the books; others who listen to him talk do the writing. He’ll tell you what’s what.

You’ve been persuaded by the idea of “effort.” That could be Burton’s influence or it could simply be the Protestant Ethic working on you as it has on others for a couple of centuries at least now. I’m not saying effort will bring you nothing. I think the real world does give you real results when you make an effort. Just not the fairy, funny, phony, false things imagination might expect, the things you can read in books specially prepared to wet your imagination.

Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and atheist, is a practitioner of meditation. As a scientist he wants to investigate how meditation makes a person more compassionate. He feels that if science can learn how the use of the mind can make people better or stronger emotionally and ethically, that would be a boon to mankind as well as to science. He is no novice; he practices a form of Buddhist meditation such that he can sit for hours and days, as I understand it, going deeper and deeper into meditation. The results of his efforts, outwardly and for the world to see, are simply his ability to sharpen his focus, his intelligence, when he speaks to get to the core and essence of an issue, like a surgeon’s scalpel. He’s made some very creative contributions to the field of ethics and religion as a result of his work as a scientist. However, he sees that the path of meditation is strewn with obstacles because those “in charge” want you to swallow the bogus myths and legends — all of which have nothing to do with the practical reality of living and achieving the good in this life. How long will it take? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! As long as the guru needs your money — is my answer.

118. Opus 111 - May 13, 2010

Charles:

At one time the FoF was known as THE most intellectual spiritual enterprise in the U.S. and it attracted intelligent people…

Wow! probably only known to FOF members. I have also met a few individual in the FOF who thought they were the most interesting person in the world. To paraphrase,

Stay humble, my friend.

119. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

117. Opus 111

Thank you for your advice, “friend,” but if you can read, read that the statement says, “At one time the FoF was know as THE most intellectual spiritual enterprise in the U.S.” Nowhere does it state that I am the most interesting person in the world. “World” versus “U.S.” “Enterprise” versus “I.” “The most intellectual” versus “the most interesting.” Can you see the worlds of difference? No? I wonder . . . .

If you are not deliberately and argumentatively putting words into my mouth – and I’m sure you’re not really because you would never do that, you want to be helpful and kind and sweet and loving and dear — then you are misinterpreting the words and need to reread and reevaluate what prompted you to write me in the first place. In fact, the words I used, slightly pararaphed, came from a published book back in the late 70s/early 90s. They are not my words. And the FoF was viewed as a cult and an expensive cult for so-called intelligent people way back then.

Did you tell those few individuals in the FOF who thought they were the most interesting people in the world anything about themselves that they could take home with them? If not, maybe now’s the time. I’m not them.

120. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

83. Thot Pickens

“Said Burton: “You know, it can’t hurt to try. It’s equally as amazing that current members fall for this stuff.”

Did he really say this, Thot Pickens? Your piece here at 83 was so striking, I’ve been waiting for someone to address it but no one has. I agree with you we are here to talk about Burton and company.

I am aghast at the news you presented. It is so openly crafty and cynical right down to his own words.

Who told you this? Did you make up this scenario in order to be an agent provocateur? If only for a discussion?

I can tell you that years ago, a good 15 years ago, I think I might have jumped at the chance to go back because I really really felt I had found my place and heart space there as nowhere had I found it in life — only I wasn’t “allowed” to go back. And then there was the whole idea of having to avert my eyes while Robert did the nasty with someone nearby, a circumstance to this day I’ve never been able to fathom how other students weren’t troubled by.

I guess the scenario you depicted here in 83, Thot Plickens, reminds me of some dreams I’ve had in the past about the FoF, but the cynicism and the calculatedness of it all. Well, if it’s real, I’m glad you posted it because it is truly disgusting!!!! Man, that’s soooo not an attractive offer.

121. Renald - May 13, 2010

Re. the “how long will it take?“ controversy, I well remember that Burton hisself used to repeat that “If one does not awaken within ten years, one likely never will.“

This quote served me well, yet it still took me three years to leave beyond the ten years. On one level and that level I only saw clearly much later, I had begun my journey back to Life. I had started to see more light and spent those three years sharing my new insights. This I did with many of the “Top Dogs“ as well as the rookies. I did not feel stomped on at any time. I did feel appreciated for my willingness to venture into No Man`s Land, yet many of these people choose to stay put right there in Organ House in the fof. They apparently have learned to separate themselves from all that is in or out and I do understand that because of the three years I observed myself on the fence, so to speak. I personally believe it had more to do with what was referred to as my instinctive center, my survival needs. When the proper stars aligned themselves just right, when I attracted to myself the proper conditions, walking away from it all permanently simply was the next logical step and was no more difficult then stepping over a crack in the sidewalk.

Thank you William for your posts, whichever William you are. The piling on is real or at best was real and there has been in the past a strong lynch or mob mentality. Yet that too has proven useful, as I probably was spending too much time and effort on this blog and was ignoring other aspects in my life which needed me more such as enjoying myself. Cheers!

122. nige - May 13, 2010

To go over again a little story I posted…..

At a San francisco meeting once, B——n Y—-n had us write down what lifetime we thought we were on. I put 9th, because I could not understand why it was so difficult – I was pursuing the ‘inward path of my essence attributes’ and not making enough money to be able to come to meetings, mostly. Now I have reached, as Pavel desrcribed it, that state of (almost permanent) awakening and am giving of myself in a great way to my community, I realize, as Pavel again stated, that ENLIGHTENMENT IS A GIFT AND CANNOT BE TRULY EARNED…..Nigel.

123. Opus 111 - May 13, 2010

Someone:

The “problem” is not the same for those still joining FOF and for those stuck in it, at least as I see it.

Those who join (very few currently and mostly from 3rd world/middle eastern countries) fall prey to the lure of FOF implicit promises: better life centered on things spiritual, closeness of a group, beauty, art, etc… We know those seekers are as naive now as we were then to the true nature of the FOF and its leader. They do have access to more information however, if they care to look.

Those who stay, such as this lady you described, are indeed stuck. They are stuck in a bet on its way down. Bad if you bail out, worse if you stay with the hope things will get better. So they have to increase the dissonance: “Robert sexual escapades only affect a small group of (willing) participants, you know” “the few who stay are all the stronger for the many who left” “I could not turn my back to Robert and C-Influence”, “I would be unable to have a spiritual life outside the FOF, there is nothing there anyway”, etc… They have bought in the memes of specialness, of conscious school, of conscious being, of greatest light in 2000 years, of eternal damnation/recurrence, and it is too painful and scary to let go. They do not stay because FOF is in any way attractive; in fact, many things FOF are truly repulsive, many others are wacky, and an increasing number of its reality is degrading/crumbling.

You do not discuss “ideas” with FOF members or prospects. FOF is nothing about ideas. In fact, FOF is idea-deprived. He who enters there will need to leave ideas at the door. So much for the cult for intellectuals. REB took care of that. After a few years of positive reinforcement in that environment, you get those gentle close-minded, polite folks you see walking around OH. If you ask them, they will tell you they are “happy” and have everything they need, until…

124. Thot Plickens - May 13, 2010

Pavel, it’s great to see you back and hope you keep contributing. And by the way, nice photo, man! Burton would probably think he let one get away. : ) Someone messed up your indoctrination.

Of course, YOU are the one who truly messed up your indoctrination — by thinking critically, and keeping your eyes open.


Charles, that’s just satire, inspired by http://www.theonion.com.

It’s usually called The FOFion and it has some laughs at the expense of Burton and the FOF, as well as former FOFers at times.

Also, check out some of WhaleRider’s articles. He’s done some outstanding “news” reporting on the blog. : )

Just a general comment:
Sometimes satire is strangely close to the truth.

125. Thot Plickens - May 13, 2010
126. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

123. Thot Plickens

Thanks for the clarification. It felt not right right at the start of discovering the posting, but then I began wondering. . . . Now, too, I get the FoFion reference. I had no idea what that was, but now I do. I’ll check out WhaleRider’s articles. I like his writing as well as yours. Sometimes satire is strangely close to the truth, but it’s because it reveals the truth.

Every time I need to refer to your posting name, I must say, it gives a smile. It’s difficult to type, so it’s not at all formatory, and it compresses more than one idea, which, just in these two features alone, is funny.

127. Pavel - May 13, 2010

Charles Steiner: Hmmm, lets finish this.

Teachers I enjoy who are pretty clear about their attainments: Daniel Ingram, Kenneth Folk, Shinzen Young. (google them)

You seem to think there is a scientific method to mysticism or higher states.

Yes.

Or that it is some sort of business with the prophet or spiritual guide as some kind of CEO of spiritual business plans.

Where did you get that idea?

It still doesn’t address your need to form a Blog to help you out with this. That was your intention, right? But how could it? A blog is not a school of awakening.

I am just visiting and I like (enjoy) having the kind of discussion I have had with you. No new blogs, no plans, no intention to start anything (apart from an intention to write the initial post and an intention to share those two links, they are mind-blowing).

And if you find out differently, you’re hanging out with a Psychopath.

I have found out that practice makes certain things happen which correspond to the maps of the mystical traditions. Thats kind of why these traditions exist and why people follow them. That is, through practice, we have the opportunity to realize (experience) what the traditions speak of, instead of trying to interpret the words, which is impossible to do accurately without the experiential evidence (even if it may not seem like that to someone doing the interpreting without having access to the evidence).

Thot Plickens: Never was a member.

Whalerider: Nice to see you (you are my hero).

Okay, take care everyone, it was nice coming back. Having seen this pattern replay a couple of times, I am sure that I will come around again.

128. fofblogmoderator - May 13, 2010

116 is new

129. Charles Steiner - May 13, 2010

126. Pavel

Hey, Pavel! Thanks for listing the names of the Teachers you enjoy. I was hasty in my reply to you, far too rapid, and I noticed you left links for me to follow up on — and I did so, but later, not at the time I wrote you asking you for names.

My own orientation to what you’re interested in and are pursuing is such that I can’t engage you fairly or equably since I have no interest or taste for it.

If, yes, you do seem to think there is a scientific method to mysticism or higher states, then it is some sort of business with the prophet or spiritual guide being a kind of CEO of spiritual business where on such and such a date you arrive here or there, as planned, as outlined, as anticipated, as worked for. Where did you get that idea? It’s implied in your logic and your approach. And these Teachers write the books and made the audios that you consume.

I am just visiting, too. I’m glad to learn you’ve enjoyed our discussion. I wish I could improve on that, increase that, but I’m no fan of “practice.” It’s just brain-parking to me.

You say you have found out that practice ,ales certani things happen which correspond to the maps of the mystical tradition. The same thing happens in traditional Christianity –whether Roman Catholicism or born-again Southern Baptist. It’s an observation merely but there’s this curious coincidence between believing the tradition and then having the experience that matches the tradition. Human beings are very adaptable. Once a language has been established by which to talk about certain ineffable states, one can have them. Whatever else you experience outside that tradition gets labeled as insane, a product of the devil, mere hallucinations, and so on. Human beings can develop what’s expected of them if it means community and belonging.

Thank you for telling me, Pavel, Thot Plickens was never a member. Someone who is able to hold his head when everyone else is losing theirs has to be a non-member! Ha. I’m joking!

I don’t really know you as I might know. say, brucelevy. I really never knew brucelevy, but I know of him but I have met him. I remember he was well-loved by Stella Wirk when she was alive. I have a guess that your membership in the FoF, Pavel, was after I left, in 1982, Maybe the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s? I’m ignorant here. I haven’t really done much research on the contributers here though I’ve been following generally the overall rolls and rolls and rolls of discussion blogs abuot the Fellowship online over the years.

130. Opus 111 - May 14, 2010

Charles:

“Brain-parking”, I like that expression.

Pavel never was a member of the FOF. He wrote the very first entry to this blog, and did not anticipate the unraveling it would create. He is the most important man in ex-FOF world😉

131. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

129. Charles Steiner

Unless you’re being sarcastic about Stella and I I think you may have me mixed up with someone else. She didn’t appreciate the fact that I once told one of the Carmel students that the “teaching” in Carmel was very different than the “teaching” at the ranch (during the 70’s). She took that as a slight and we were never close after that.

132. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

Actually we were never close before that either, though I came to appreciate her role as reprobate.

133. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

130. Opus 111

Thank you Opus 111 for that good info. I now too can see now how astonished he still must be . . . I’m sorry, Pavel! 🙂 And thank you both.

134. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

Pavel: “Never was a member.”

Yep. I was referring to your first meeting when you escaped and never returned. There’s a part of me that both admires and envies people who were able to accomplish that. I think, at the same time, some of us walked the fof path for a reason…

… if for no other reason (ironically) than to learn to be suspicious of imaginary reasons.

135. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

131 brucelevy

No! I wasn’t being sarcastic about Stella. It’s my memory. I may have you confused with someone else; I’m not sure. Did you go to those ex-Fellowship gatherings in San Jose and other places in the mid-1980s by the beach where Stella, her daughjter,. Harold, David Guido and many others, including myself, went to just be together, laugh and lick our wounds? I have a photo of one event posted on Greater Fellowship and people have told me the handsome guy wearing the sun glasses and the black hat is you. I remember the face in that photo — if it is you — because the handsome face is associated with Stella’s remark then about the owner of that face. At that time, she regarded you quite well — at least to me, she did.

I had my spats with Stella myself — after we left the FoF. She didn’t know a syllogism from a theorem to save her soul and that bothered me — then.

136. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

“reprobate” Great word. I recall hearing your name in that category, Bruce.

My god, were we ever brainwashed — partly the brainwashers, too, but mostly the brainwashees.

137. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

134. Thot Plickens.

Thot! YOU were a member after all and it was Pavel who was not? Oh, I’m confused all right!

138. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

136. Thot Plickens.

Brainwashees. When I was a kid, I was a prig about being Roman Catholic and I was only 5! One time by accident I got plunked in a Protestant Sunday school class at camp and I kept my hands over my ears the whole time because I refused to listen to “Protestant rubbish.”

Next, I’m 28 and in the FoF and — the same thing happens! I hear “gossip” about who left the fold and why and negative murmurs about Robert. My reaction? I hold my hands over my ears. I refuse to listen to such rubbish!

Brainwashees. One of the things I’ve learned about my failures is that gossip is useful. I have no starched reaction against it any more.

139. James Mclemore - May 14, 2010

116. Jomo Piñata –

Thanks for the link. Those ladies need to be congratulated for the piece of work they put together. I hope some current followers click on it.

Here is just one short item that caught my attention.

Re: people leaving the group…..

“He taught that when someone was being released, the first sign was that their understanding of the group’s worldview would be “removed” by higher forces. This was a neat explanation for and means of controlling any deviations from the group’s shared outlook.”

How perfect is that. In one quick clean swipe, followers will not listen or cannot hear anything from anyone who has left the group, because they will believe that the Gods have magically removed the ex’s understanding of how special of a place they were in and how their possibilities have now been exterminated.
Fairy tale stuff and yet, we believed it…….once.

140. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

139. James Mclemore

“Fairy tale stuff and yet, we believed it…….once.”

Yes, fairy tale stuff we once believed in. When I left the group, a young woman quite friendly with Robert, a Sheila SomeoneorOther, got him to tell me over the phone while I was at work that there were no hard feelings between us at my leaving. Not after I gave him a few days before I quit a check for $1,650, my ranch donation, etc. I’m sure he would not have any hard feelings at all!

141. James Mclemore - May 14, 2010

Someone – This quote is at least partially for you…….

The quote below is from the same article (at Jomo Pinata’s link at 116). It addresses perhaps at least a part of that “spiritual attractiveness’ issue that you seem to think does not get addressed.

“Being present to each moment was the ostensible raison d’être of the community. Unfortunately, presence, as we learned it, included but minimal attention to the body. Rather, we learned mainly a mental operation born of “divided attention.” Divided attention, or non-identification, was the heart of the practices that sustained and united the community. This practice produced evocative altered states, but also often effected a split from the body. This dissociative split encouraged us to believe that we were conquering our pain, suffering, and difficult emotions by passing into more exalted states of consciousness. In fact, we systematically numbed ourselves to body sensations by this practice. Most of us adhered to typically Judeo-Christian attitudes about bodily impulses as enemies to be conquered in the quest for enlightenment; thus, we isolated ourselves from those instinctual sources integral to the embodied, awakened heart and mind.”

I think the key phrase in the above is “as we learned it “.
And in my own humble opinion those practices as taught in the FOF does even more than produce a split with the body. It produces an unreal and partially fixated idea of who it is that is doing this ‘dividing of attention’, and ‘trying to be in the moment’, and ‘struggling with imagination’ stuff. As it was taught in the FOF, it is not simple and innocent observation and enquiry. You are given baggage and labels and boogey-men to look out for. It becomes more like a cat watching mice. It looks to me like it actually produces a sort of hardening and even more rigidity to the egoic sense of separation than was there to begin with.
Anything in the FOF to do with something truly ‘spiritual’ is, I think, questionable at best. The ‘attractiveness’ is all in the facade, and then I suppose in those trance-induced “evocative altered states”.

The women who wrote the quoted piece stated this in the first section..

“…we want to offer a view of what it was like–how silent and unobtrusive the soul-killing can be.”

142. tatyana - May 14, 2010

Cult for intellectuals? I don’t think there are any intellectuals left in FOF.

This discussion fascinates me because the majority of contributors are talented and extraordinary writers and bright thinkers.

Too bad you all guys left and there is nobody to talk to anymore🙂

I like the current topic – what FOF offers, why some people find it useful when others find it false.

When I watched a DVD of introduction to Scientology with my daughter (more than 4 hours!) I realized something very important about pitching the “spiritual product”. I had to stop the video and point out what is going on (the lies) every 10 minutes. She did not join. Her friend did – she moved to Las Vegas because Scientology found her a good money making position there.

I realized that at some point in Russia I was the one who was doing the pitching. “Representing the School”…

143. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

142/ tatyana

Gurdjieff originally drew from the intellectual and artistic circles in England and America and France, and they, in turn, gave him fame and notoriety by virtue of propinquity. The Ouspensky books were intellectually written to give a scientific patina to Eastern ideas. Those followers of Gurdjieff, in turn, wrote intellectual works appealing to the next generation of would-be followers of Gurdjieff’s and Ouspensky’s ideas. Poets in America, back in the 1970s, like Robert Bly were quoting from the System and from Gurdjieff, giving yet another intellectual/artistic patina to the Great Bald One. Margaret Anderson, one of the Lesbian ladies of the rope under Gurdjieff — and formerly the editor of the avant-garde magazine “Little Review” which published T. S. Eliot and Gertrude Stein — her books were suddenly being published in the Seventies as never before. The whole devolution of exposure to the Fourth Way system was very insiderish from the start and — intellectual.

I did a certain amount of “pitching” myself. No sooner had I joined, being myself the first student in a new center, than I became the “living example” to other prospective members. Then when I helped to start a new center. new members looked to me and I “pitched” them — not verbally, but by my cloned/cultic behavior.

144. X-ray - May 14, 2010

88. Someone – May 13, 2010

Someone,
Are you pulling numbers out of your ass?
Robber Burton sucks between 60 and 70 cocks on every Valentine day.
Ask D_r_an about it, he knows, he makes the schedules and greets you at the door.
This alone will beat your numbers, not to mention every single day with scheduled orgies.
You can’t be ignorant about it, it’s all a common knowledge, more likely you a fellowship employee/damage control team.

145. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

144. X-ray.

X-ray! So harsh! Whew! Is that attitude really all that necessary to make your statement clear to her and to everyone else? And you make me blush, too! Is that Dorian you’re referring to? Is he, like, a lifer in the FoF now? As old as the hills, is he? Or did he leave?

146. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

141. James Mclemore

I appreciate your bringing up the article by A Collective of Women from the FoF entitled “Sex, Lies and Grand Schemes of Thought In Closed Groups” that Jomo Pinata (no. 116) brought out here and your beginning a discussion about it. I’ve not read the whole thing just yet because I was stopped by a passage and had to reflect on it:

“This lack of knowledge about closed-group influences makes people even easier prey. Just as a young girl needs to learn how to spot the Don Juan who is out to seduce her, betray her, and add her to his list of conquests, so everyone needs to learn how to spot the would-be god who would capture your soul for his own purposes. The concept of a cult often stops further inquiry in that we tend to think we know what it refers to–that is, something that has nothing to do with us.”

I really don’t know the first thing about how a young girl learns “how to spot the Don Juan” let alone the god who would capture her soul, but a while back, I read “Clarissa,” the 1,440-page 18th century novel, which is exactly about this subject, and once finished with it, I felt that every girl in the world should have this book assigned to her as required reading because the heroine finds herself without family or friends and has only her intelligence and intuition to defend herself with when confronted with a much older man, rich and powerful, who is a master manipulator and who wants to conquer her physically and spiritually. If women have to deal with one-tenth of what this heroine had to go through, it’s worth every woman’s — and man’s — time to read the novel. I think it, too, is helpful in elucidating for anyone just what the tricks are that make a manipulator a master and what kind of heart — or lack of heart — he actually has. Shades of Robert Burton in the antagonist, I’m telling you!

147. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

135. Charles Steiner

Nope, that wasn’t me.

148. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

Well, that’s cleared up! Thank you for letting me know. Now I officially don’t know you, ha! I’m reading some of your 2009 postings, however. Hope you don’t mind. Just trying to get a little acquainted.

149. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

145. Charles Steiner

You know what Charles, you’ve stepped in here pretty late. There’s a history with Someone’s bull shit. It may appear to you that people are just arbitrarily jumping on her, but that’s NOT the case. You don’t know the history, and Someone’s just a typical ex-member doofus. Sorry, but that’s how it is. If you want to re-repeat everything that’s come before, be our guest.

150. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

One of the ideas that I’m noticing on this page — somewhat unexpectedly — is that some of the realizations we have about the FOF don’t come into focus until someone describes it in words: “This [thing] exists. This [thing] is happening.” And then I become more aware that it exists and that it’s happening.

When someone says it or describes it, we think we knew about it all along, and we nod and say, “Yes, that’s obvious.” But it’s the act of saying it, writing it, reading it, and sharing it in words that brings a new dimension to it.

A good example of this is the “staging” of the “first prospective student meetings.” First of all, it’s a sales job. Unwittingly or wittingly in some cases, we helped sell a concept — every time we arranged some flowers, placed an image of one of the “44” on the wall, vacuumed the house, and arranged the throw rug under the coffee table just right.

Does this remind anyone of something? That’s right; it’s just like selling a house. The termites may be chewing away at the foundation, the roof may be ready to fall in, and the windows may leak when it rains — but a good “stager” makes sure the house for sale looks like a mansion in the Hamptons — with beautiful this and beautiful that everywhere.

I mean, I know the FOF idea of “it” being a “play” — but it never occurred to me that the entire thing was staged very carefully. We tend to be reluctant to give Burton any credit with regard to his manipulative skills, but I sense this is something he gave a lot of thought to: How to prepare the house just right for sale, knowing full well that it’s a piece of junk.

Burton is like a realtor. Many of us have acted as his employees — preparing the home for sale… the structure is weak and even dangerous to reside in, but if the facade is looking very pretty and well arranged, that’s all that matters to him.

So sure, all of this is obvious. My advice to people is this: If it seems obvious, say it anyway.

151. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

149. brucelevy

Oh, no. You’re not pulling me into your drama.

152. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

149. brucelevy

Oh, no. You’re not pulling me into your drama!

153. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

149. brucelevy

Oh, no. You’re not pulling me into your drama! (I’m repeating everything that’s come before.)

154. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

But the real estate market is not doing so well, nor are auto sales… cutting and pasting from #1 above.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. Ill Never Tell – May 8, 2010

91/291. 2010:
‘Who knows how long the new car smell will take to wear off before they realize they are riding in a piece of junk that has a [$]5000.00 paint job that they paid for.’

And, like a new car, the value plummets immediately after you drive it out of the showroom and/or off the dealership parking lot. The newness is what attracts the new marks. Any sales and marketing expert, worth their salt, will tell you that the most valuable customers to a business are the ones that you retain, because they sustain through thick and thin. It costs like ten times as much time, effort and resources to get a new customer as it does to retain a current one. Fellowship of Friends has a real huge problem at keeping the customers that they have.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

155. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

Charles, I have to say… You may be entirely sincere (it’s always a guessing game on these pages), but something about your posting seems odd to me. : ) If you are sincere, why not give it a rest for a bit and check out some of the previous pages. It seems like you’re merging onto a major freeway at 25 mph.

Ideas flow here… Propagandizing gets jumped upon, and there may be some sharp words. It’s not always good, and there may be some hurt feelings occasionally. But my sense is that honest contributors are treated fairly. An occasional fuck, damn, shit, and cock HERE are more like poetry to me than the most profound Wordsworth poem uttered at a Robert Burton dinner.

(By the way, if you like, you can pay $50 or more to stand and watch Burton eat and listen to him talk. Absolutely no lie.)

156. Someone - May 14, 2010

144. X-ray – May 14, 2010

Let’s do some math here. Suppose he is having (as you claim) 80 students a day and he dedicates 5 minutes gross to each one. Altogether it’s 6-7 hours NON STOP in one single day.

That is of course your fantasy and that’s what makes this Blog unreliable.

157. Charles Steiner - May 14, 2010

155. Thot Plickens

Bye.

158. Someone - May 14, 2010

149. brucelevy – May 14, 2010

If you really want to be honest you need to enclose to each and every post of yours this title:

“brucelevy – left the FoF 26 years ago and have been there for a very short time”

From your posts here there is a sense that you are hiding it in order to make the impression that you have been there for years.

That’s a kind of sublime imposting.

159. The Box - May 14, 2010

I wanted to address the issue of Robert, as a homosexual, having sex with male students. I think this blurs the issue somewhat. The questions that get asked are: are the students bisexual? Is it appropriate for them to have sex with Robert when it’s not their sexual orientation, and the like.

Let’s look at what the situation would be if Robert was heterosexual and behaving in the same way with women. This would mean that he always travels with women, has women-only cellar dinners every week and prefers female company to that of men. It would mean that he has unprotected sex regularly with dozens of female partners. That he has regular sex with married women. That he makes extensive use of FOF resources to shower women with gifts. That he lives with a harem of women, and young women at that. That he has multiple-partner orgies with women. That he uses prescription medication and shows them porn to increase or affect their arousal. That traveling FOF students send him photos of young female students that they come across in their travels and that he chooses the ones he finds most attractive and offers them visas and green cards to stay in Oregon House.

It would be utterly unacceptable, and of course he wouldn’t be able to do this . He has taken advantage of the social acceptability of men spending time with men and the moral ambiguity of homosexual and bisexual relationships, plus the dynamics of male-female relationships to feed his satyriasis.

160. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

Was reading some of the previous pages, taking my own advice…

~~~~~~~~~

1. What You Should Know About Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends – January 18, 2010

• It’s a doomsday cult.

• The predicted doomsday never came.

• Burton predicted major catastrophes for 1984 and 1998, and then nuclear war for 2006. For decades, he predicted the Fellowship of Friends would become the beginning of a new civilization in 2006.
 Burton said, “Our task is to establish a new civilization.”
• Through cognitive dissonance, followers try to forget the above predictions, or downplay them.

• Like other cults, followers object to the word “cult.” But there’s no better one-word description for this organization in the English language.

• Burton has coerced and seduced several hundred young followers — and perhaps thousands — into having sex with him, using promises of spiritual salvation, expensive gifts, vacations abroad, as well as playing on their fears of being outcast from their circle of friends. As a result, many former and current followers have suffered lasting psychological scars and emotional trauma, and a few have committed suicide. (Read the numerous personal accounts within this blog.)
• In doing the above, Burton has violated the trust of thousands of his followers who were unaware of the extent of his sexual activities within the cult, and unaware of the extent of his deception.

• Burton is a sociopath and malignant narcissist who shows no concern for the welfare of his followers unless they are useful to him in some way. When they cease to be useful to him, he discards them.

• Burton’s “public” persona is one of a gentle guru who speaks with a soft voice. This personality helps him deceive his followers into believing they have found the one truth path to enlightenment, salvation, and heaven.

• Burton tells his followers that 44 angels, or gods, guide the Fellowship of Friends — and that they guide only the Fellowship of Friends. Angels, he says, do not guide anyone else on earth.

• Burton advances a world view that Hell exists, and that there’s only one way to avoid going to Hell when one dies: Join the Fellowship of Friends, and stay in the Fellowship of Friends until your death. All people on earth who do not join the Fellowship of Friends will go to Hell when they die. Likewise, followers are warned that they will go to Hell if they leave the cult.

• Followers are discouraged or forbidden from communicating with former members. Those who leave the cult will lose contact with their closest friends within the cult.

• Followers are forbidden to discuss any of the above. If they do discuss these facts with their friends, or question anyone about these facts, they will be expelled. This in turn fosters secrecy and lack of transparency within the cult.

• Burton charges exorbitant membership fees – anywhere from 20% to 40% of income, depending on a person’s salary. The full amount of these fees is never discussed when representatives try to sell people on joining the cult.

• The fees have helped pay for Burton’s extravagant lifestyle, which includes expensive clothing, frequent expensive vacations, and a lavish home at the cult’s compound in Oregon House, California (between Grass Valley and Yuba City).

• Burton and the Fellowship of Friends have been sued by former members on multiple occasions. Most of these suits have been settled out of court, with insurance companies paying the settlement on behalf of the Fellowship of Friends.

• Burton founded the cult in 1970. For more than three decades, he characterized the cult as a so-called “Fourth Way school.” In recent years, the cult has virtually abandoned any discussions about the Fourth Way.

• Because the Fellowship of Friends (also referred to as Pathway to Presence) has been granted religious status, American taxpayers help pay for this cult.

• In the last four years, several hundred followers have left the Fellowship of Friends, and many followers continue to leave. It’s believed that slightly over 1,000 members remain worldwide, but reliable statistics are not publicly available.

~~~~~~~~~

161. Jomo Piñata - May 14, 2010

Someone, if you had survived sustained, repeated sexual abuse by Burton 30 years ago, how would you feel if someone discredited your perspective on the Fellowship because your experiences were not recent?

162. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

I doubt “Someone” believes anything they’re writing. It’s disingenuous — just a job to them. Just stir the pot and deny everything, much like the like others who are tasked to do the same. The ends justify the means — that is, obscure the truth because they’re protecting “Robert” and “the school” because true consciousness transcends these all of these concerns. Maybe they’re on salary to check in occasionally, and they probably like the kudos from Burton. Who knows what their story is, but it’s clear that they’re not sincere.

However, I don’t quite get the fantasy world that this person lives in… They somehow believe that they’re helping to distract readers? They think all of the other posts are not being read? In the end, they’re just giving all of us — including the current members who occasionally read here — a point-blank view of how an indoctrinated cult follower thinks and behaves. Were I a current member reading here, I’d be at least equally alarmed about the FOF after reading posts by Someone as I would be reading the most thoughtful posts by everyone else that expose the blatant truth about Burton and the FOF.

They may want to re-group and figure out a different strategy. One strategy is to take up a huge amount of space talking about everything but Burton, or maybe mentioning his name occasionally, but mainly just talking and talking and talking about topics, any topic — chatting up a storm and saying nothing, so that any reader’s head will spin and give up. I have to admit — I’m impressed.

163. Opus 111 - May 14, 2010

Someone

Do you truly feel that the best way to grasp Burton’s sexual abuse of his members is “by doing the math”?

If a man beats his girlfriend(s), will you argue with the victims that in fact, non-euclidian geometric principles cannot verify the exact surface of bruises they said they received, or that the number of this man’s girlfriends violates Bayes’ theorem?

What do you find attractive about the current FOF by the way?

164. X-ray - May 14, 2010

156. Someone – May 14, 2010

He does it for 12 hours strait, you stupid bitch, with only break to lunch and dinner, spending 10-15 minutes on each cock.
And this is why he looks exhausted the next day, having neck pain.
This is the only day in the year when he sleeps less than usual.

165. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

Charles, you lost me at 151, 152, 153. I found some of what you wrote interesting on this page, but I have no idea where you’re coming from in those posts, and in many others.

But I know that a person won’t fully understand what’s happening in the FOF until they understand — at least a little — where Bruce is coming from. In all blogs, there’s a jungle atmosphere. This one is one of the most polite that you’ll see anywhere. That said, there’s also plenty of bullshit and game playing going on. Bruce is probably better than anyone at calling it out. It’s no wonder there’s an aversion in the FOF to anyone with Bruce’s attitude — there’s plenty of bullshit going on there.

From merriam-webster:

bullshit: “to talk nonsense, especially with the intention of deceiving or misleading.”

166. veramente - May 14, 2010

157 Charles S.
I hope you do not give up so easily on the blog.

these are some of my thoughts today :
I realized after more than 2 years on this blog there are two types (or more) of FOF members: the ones who are still in and are paying their “taxes” , the others like Someone who are out but they are still in, carrying the mentality of defending the cult.
At first it may seem that my view is black and white , but it is not , believe me. After a while you lose patience with some impertinent people who because they had “a good time” in the Fellowship they think they got something valuable out of it. People like such need more brain rinsing, and there is no point sometimes to continue the discussion with them, because what it comes down to is: you are right, and you are wrong, or to mathematically count how many blow jobs can Robert Burton possibly perform in a day.
This is petty reasoning, and quite a nearsighted way of seeing things.
On the whole the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence is a MALIGNANT organization, no matter how many of its members appear soft, innocent , smiling, kind people. We know who’s behind them already!
There is not much to save in an organization that has started from corruption, if there are sincere people who really believe in the ideas of the 4 way or whatever it has become under RB, they then should have the courage to quit Robert Burton and see if they can carry on and really apply their theories of evolution; but as I say this , I do not even believe this is possible.
Either one is OUT or not, being half out, or half in does not work!

167. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

163 X-ray. In addition to the fear of eternal damnation, do you have any idea what type of coercion he’s using to convince these guys that they need to participate in these orgies?

In other words, is it fear of being sent back home? Are guys literally being dumped at the airport when they refuse or object? Other factors?

168. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

Veramente,
I keep hearing people say that “Someone” is a former member. What — just because they said so?

Seems like they’ve been around the blog way too long trying to spin things positively about the FOF to be a former member. They’re one (or two?) of the more indoctrinated cult followers. Writing on the blog for them is like folding napkins for one of the dinners, or selling raffle tickets for Journey Forth by Day. It shows valuation, dedication, loyalty, and level of being.

The concept of lying in the FOF, by the way, was taught. One example has been the “lying on your resume” tactic when changing careers. I hear numerous people describe how it worked for them. But that type of lying is just the same as any other lying in this cult. It may work for a few months or a few years, but look in the long term.

169. veramente - May 14, 2010

127 Pavel
Nice to see you around!
Is that your real pic on the avatar? if it is, it really defies my imagination. You know, when you see a name and you listen/read to that person’s words you make up an image.
I see you have other discussions going in another website.
Again, thank you for starting this platform a long while ago and as always, good luck to you!

170. veramente - May 14, 2010

167 Thot Plickens
“The concept of lying in the FOF, by the way, was taught. One example has been the “lying on your resume” tactic when changing careers. I hear numerous people describe how it worked for them. But that type of lying is just the same as any other lying in this cult. It may work for a few months or a few years, but look in the long term.”
———————————-
yes, intentionally lying, putting on a show:reminds me of an earlier post of yours about the “staging” of the first prospective meeting for the new suckers…
and I would not be too surprised if Someone is a snake in the grass.

171. William - May 14, 2010

#166 — Thot Plickens:

“In other words, is it fear of being sent back home?”

Yes. When Robert buys your plane ticket out of poverty and a zero future, you know what your “job responsibilities” are.

I know some of these men. My information is not rumor.

That’s what makes this organization in 2010 a sex slave trade.

That’s why no person of good conscience can stay in this organization. “It still works for me” simply doesn’t cut it.

172. Jomo Piñata - May 14, 2010

William/170

I know some of these men. My information is not rumor.

Absolute size – x-large
If you have first-hand information that human trafficking is presently occurring in Oregon House, you should contact state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the offices of the United States Attorney and the California Department of Justice, and provide the information that you have concerning this serious crime.

173. silentpurr - May 14, 2010

I think a reason Someone may have difficulty leaving is because they are still emotionally attached on all sides.
They may BELIEVE (because Robert said) that by leaving, they’ll lose their energetic appreciation for art and beauty. They won’t.
Nothing that was sincerely felt in the Fellowship is ever lost.
Mozart, Bach and Leonardo.
They are still yours to keep.
Meow!

174. fofblogmoderator - May 14, 2010

159 is new

175. William - May 14, 2010

p.s. Someone: Please remember that toxicity is measured in parts per million.

To Jomo: You and I both know that people have to be willing to come forward. When you are dealing with foreigners who are intensely afraid of “authorities” even in their own country, and who desperately want to put this stuff behind them, it’s not easy. I’ve tried.

176. WhaleRider - May 14, 2010

William:
Would you like to be part of the ongoing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” project?

Would you be willing to be filmed stating your knowledge of what goes on behind the pretty FOF scenery and discussing your experiences in the FOF?

This is also an open invitation for anyone to be part of the project.

We’ll post it on YouTube as a part of the documentary.

fofblogmonitor would be happy to relay your email address to me.

177. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

162. Thot Plickens

I don’t think she’s “doing a job”. She’s not “in”. She’s just a fool and a blowhard with a few issues concerning her stay and her leaving. She’s built a history for herself that justifies her decision making. Which is fine, if not completely deluded (whatever gets you through the night). Incidentally I was in for 11 years. I saw the whole evolution (or devolution) of her majesty’s whore house. I stayed in touch with a few people in the know for years after. I’ve read the statements of many victims and know where there is exaggeration and where there is fact. It doesn’t matter to me what people who reject reality think. But that won’t stop me from calling out fools, idiots, liars and morons.

178. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

“Seems like they’ve been around the blog way too long trying to spin things positively about the FOF to be a former member.”

Not at all. There are numerous ex-members on the greater fellowship who still refuse to accept facts about what goes on and what went on, if for no other reason than to convince themselves that they were not vulnerable to stupidity, gullibility, narcissism and didn’t waste all those years on a scam. It’s very common to “buffer” one’s weaknesses and even convince one that they are one’s strengths.

Someone is simply an ignorant fool with an overblown self picture based on nothing.

179. WhaleRider - May 14, 2010

brucelevy:
You are very outspoken about your experiences, and I admire that, would you care to be filmed as a segment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

I’ll be happy to pay you a visit or we can use a webcam. If you’d like to be involved in the editing of your segment, I am open to that.

180. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

179. WhaleRider

I don’t think so. I’ve made my statements, attached to my name, to several articles that have appeared in the LA Times and other California papers, some with national syndication. I did this before the blog. I’ll allow some others to take up the gauntlet at this point, and continue to voice my concerns here and on the GF. It’s time others got off their asses and took some responsibility. Your past videos are wonderful and very useful, but you’ll no doubt recognize the dearth of people who experienced it first hand. You should seek out more of the more recent victims who can attest to the extreme his debauchery has evolved to.

181. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

159. The Box – May 14, 2010
You’re so right. When described that way, it does shine a new light on things.

170. veramente
So true. I agree with you.


silentpurr: Yes. At some point maybe Leonardo, Bach, and Mozart and other talented geniuses, will be associated with leaving rather than staying.

Rhetorical question: What if a person told me that I needed to choose between two options to experience all of the friendship, beauty, knowledge, insights, and wonders of the world and to learn more about myself and the universe in the process?

The first option is to confine myself to one organization where I can only read certain books, listen to certain ideas, meet certain people, and experience what’s given to me.

The second option is to travel the world, meet countless people, read any book that I want, meet any people who I want, experience a world that I make for myself, and find inspiration everywhere I go in everyone I meet, and in numerous ideas and philosophies.

That’s exactly the choice we’re given.

(Leonardo’s name is derived from a big cat, by the way.)


William and Jomo Piñata … Your interaction really gets to the heart of things.

182. Thot Plickens - May 14, 2010

177-178. brucelevy
Yes, good points all.

183. nige - May 14, 2010

I can deeply understand the difficulty of anyone in the Felowship coming forward with their tales of complicity in REB’s sexual antics. But it would be a great ‘jump forard’ if Burton was ‘nailed’ for the illegelalities he makes use of in the FOF…..Nigel.

184. silentpurr - May 14, 2010

Yes Thot, I too would choose freedom.
Isn’t it ironic that the very thing the Fellowship seeks to control is the freedom it claims to offer……. caught like an ant on a mobius strip.

185. James Mclemore - May 14, 2010

Re: Someone

Someone’s credibility was already pretty low on my meter, but I still sometimes thought that I sensed a tiny wisp of sincerety. I thought it to be a confused sincerety, but sincerety nevertheless.

I agree with Bruce. They do sound a bit like several people I have encountered at the GF, who for a seeming variety of reasons, still cling to a picture of themselves that disallows the idea that they were trapped for a while in a cult, and that they got fooled and fooled themselves.

186. James Mclemore - May 14, 2010

No particular reason or point for posting this. It just looked like these two guys were having fun doing this Randy Newman piece, and I thought it may have been a while since some of you may have heard Dr. Johns rather unique voice.

187. X-ray - May 14, 2010

145. Charles Steiner – May 14, 2010

Charles,
We’ve spent here over 3 years talking, so we know who is who here, and when Bruce or James M. or Ames (to name just few) are saying ‘this is bull shit’ then be sure, it is.
Go read the blog from the beginning, post by post, and then lets have a reasonable talk.

167. Thot Plickens – May 14, 2010

‘163 X-ray. In addition to the fear of eternal damnation, do you have any idea what type of coercion he’s using to convince these guys that they need to participate in these orgies?’

All what works, Thot Plickens, but fear is at the base.

‘In other words, is it fear of being sent back home? Are guys literally being dumped at the airport when they refuse or object? Other factors?’

It’s a bunch of cowards, no objection, no refusal.

188. brucelevy - May 14, 2010

186. James Mclemore

Great clip, thanks.

189. Peter Schwank - May 15, 2010

for you

190. WhaleRider - May 15, 2010

Peter Schwanker:

for you.

“If I could start again,
a million miles away,
I would keep myself,
I would find a way.”

thanks for that link, ton.

191. silentpurr - May 15, 2010

What is the role of the fellowship board member? Are all fellowship members/students a part of ‘the fellowship corporation’? Isn’t the board supposed to regulate the CEO?

192. nige - May 15, 2010

191 silentpurr

Don’t you know that corporations can be deliberately constructed so that the CEO and other members of the controlling body have no responsibility (if the corporation is ‘going down the pan’) and, even more bizarrely, creates ‘golden parachutes’ for these members. AND IT AIN’T JUST THE FOF?!?!?…..Nigel.

193. William - May 15, 2010

Robert is not the CEO, and has no formal relationship to the FOF legal structure. He is the “founding minister,” or some such.

194. nige - May 15, 2010

193 William

The ‘CON-founding minister’ more like it!!!!!…..Nigel.

195. Hono`pono`pono - May 15, 2010

Someone – May 14, 2010

144. X-ray – May 14, 2010

Let’s do some math here. Suppose he is having (as you claim) 80 students a day and he dedicates 5 minutes gross to each one. Altogether it’s 6-7 hours NON STOP in one single day.

That is of course your fantasy and that’s what makes this Blog unreliable.

SOMEONE

Please go tall to E H, ask Mic-a or J-l–n or any other student who is in the small circle.

Please do your own investigation. I think he does not seem to be able to do more then 65 boys a day and he starts early.

196. arthur - May 15, 2010

I’ve never met Sir Robert only saw him from a distance. Everything I know came second hand. I heard that this singer was a venus/mercury with tramp feature. Sir Robert I believe now to be the Tramp. This is dedicated to him.

197. nige - May 15, 2010

195 Hono pono pono

Or else – GO TO THOSE BOYS – and ask which of them would rather not be ‘ingratiating’ themselves at REB’s sexual command. I am sure that the real authorities in California would have a more lenient end-result for the ‘boys’ than sending them back to their country of origin, should they speak up in their own defence…..Nigel.

198. Old FOF - May 15, 2010

In the interests of prospective and current students who may come here for information, I personally don’t want the recent comments by the contributor known as Someone about the scope of the sexual abuse in the Fellowship of Friends by Robert Burton to stand without further comment.

The following has all been brought out in this blog very well (and in much more and better detail) – in the past years. It is so central to the issue regarding the Fellowship of Friends cult and abuse – that it is sort of pathetic that it has to be addressed again (and to an ex-student) – but here goes.

When I left in the mid-1990s I estimate that by that time Robert Burton had likely had sex with over 1,000 of his male students. This was not just a made up figure but an estimate based on serious inquiry.

For example (in retrospect on discovering that this practice was occurring), through various means I was able find that about 40% of the male students in each of the two main centers in which I had been living were seduced by Robert Burton – some very soon (weeks) after they joined.

Still later, I learned of the almost conveyor belt system that was established for young men to travel with Robert – it appeared somewhat coordinated by his “secretaries” – whereby I learned that on balance about two new students were seduced each week, in this manner.

His “symposium” drinking bouts were also a means of seduction for inebriated students.

Finally, for a while I was in a position to know about a number of students who one would never have dreamed would have fallen to Robert – who also at one time or another had been seduced.

These were almost all heterosexual students – and many of them carried large shame and silence.

It’s possible that this has been toned down in recent years, but based on comments by those who seem to be sincere students and ex-students over the past two to three years (on this blog), it seems likely that this pace of sexual abuse if ameliorated at all – has not been by much.

I suspect that Someone is (somewhat) sincere. But I would maintain that her research was / is incomplete at best. And I would ask her to consider that she may be wrong in her numbers by orders of magnitude (add zeros) – that the true story is hidden very well by a master at using student shame and embarrassment to keep such things in the dark.

And I would ask her to consider the effect that her words may have on vulnerable people – if you are wrong (you are). You ought to think about what minimizing does, Someone. In your mind, you are just being honest, but consider that there are others that know more than you do. At the least, you ought to make room for other views, if only to not be a possible accomplice in the whitewash. To join in the whitewash is to be an accomplice – and to accrue terrible karma.

In passing please note again that this debate is not “esoteric.” One of Robert’s conquests hanged himself, one either died or nearly died from anorexia, and at least three had psychotic breakdowns. And these are just the ones that I knew about. Was Robert Burton responsible? In my mind he is, but maybe there were contributing factors. Nevertheless, why is a “conscious” teacher having sex with hundreds and perhaps thousands of his own male students – some of whom are vulnerable, and nearly all of whom were naïve sincere seekers?

The idea that Robert Burton’s sexual abuse is more or less confined to a select few would be laughable – if it was not so hideously tragic.

199. ton - May 15, 2010

172. Jomo Piñata – May 14, 2010
William/170

I know some of these men. My information is not rumor.

If you have first-hand information that human trafficking is presently occurring in Oregon House, you should contact state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the offices of the United States Attorney and the California Department of Justice, and provide the information that you have concerning this serious crime.

175. William – May 14, 2010

To Jomo: You and I both know that people have to be willing to come forward. When you are dealing with foreigners who are intensely afraid of “authorities” even in their own country, and who desperately want to put this stuff behind them, it’s not easy. I’ve tried.

william,
jomo’s “lawyerly” advice sounds like a practical way to bring the fof scam to the attention of the ‘proper authorities’ and finally put an end to it.

william, you say that “people have to be willing to come forward” – you are a person with first-hand information, are you willing to come forward ? what exactly have you “tried” ? so often the word “tried” is linked to a sort rationale for failure… so i’m curious as to what you’ve “tried” and not succeeded at actually doing ? are you talking about trying to get one of these “foreigners” to come forward? if so have you “tried” “coming forward” to the “proper authorities” yourself ? wouldn’t a more direct approach be more effective? especially if you have “first hand” info that would be of interest… a way to bypass the “trying” could actually lead to the ending of a scam that’s gone on for far too long. have you “tried” contacting the agencies mentioned above ? seems like a simple enough thing to pick up the phone and dial… simple but not easy.

200. voloneska - May 15, 2010

The box 159
You say it will be incredible if Burton does the same with women as he does with men because it can not be accepted.
You miss out one detail in picture of Burton in sex with many many women. The women are all lesbians!!!
This is perverse detail that changes scenario from within normal comprehension to way, way out there.
Why someone wants to have sex with people attracted to opposite gender?
Burton started with sex relationship with homosexuals. But at a time he finds he has power to get sex from hetrosexuals. He only needs to use mumbo-jumbo teacher mojo and they will let him suck their penis and swallow their semen. Burton becomes specialist. Like strange insect develops in weerd environment, Burton sexual perversion develops in weerd environment of FOF. He does not plan this. He only adapting to situation. Burton victim of FOF too, only he pushed into role of goddess cocksucker.
Bastard Faries very nice. Thank you Bruce.

201. nige - May 15, 2010

At this day on the FOF Discussion Blog, we are hitting a ‘core area’ for subject matter and I hope we stay with it for what may be an appropriate time. You see, Robert Earl Burton is not about the Fellowship of Friends – he just wants that facade for the enablers down to the minions to support his homosexually orgiastic goings-on with heterosexual males – the gratification of ‘deflowering’ them into homosexual activities excites his depraved being. The water-buffalo, the palm-trees and the statues have nothing to do with REB’s REAL AGENDA!!!!!Nigel.

202. Golden Veil - May 15, 2010

Thank you for posting this! Great scholarship on the FOF!

116. Jomo Piñata – May 13, 2010

For those interested, the 1997 Cultic Studies Journal article about the Fellowship of Friends, authored by “A Collective of Women” and titled “Sex, Lies, and Grand Schemes of Thought in Closed Groups” is now available to read without charge, by clicking on the following link:

http://bit.ly/bBlcty

203. William - May 15, 2010

198. Ton:

You are suggesting that I “out” the victims who do not wish to come forward by giving their names to the authorities. Not a chance.

I have no “firsthand” information. Robert has never made a pass at me. Not his type.

Listen, I didn’t mean to make it sound like I have burning red-hot evidence — I just didn’t want to be dismissed by people like “Someone” as going by rumor. I’m not. I have the evidence many, many of you have. It really doesn’t take much to find this stuff out.

Hang out with the young foreign students. Talk to the young pretty Russian, Ukrainian, etc., women. They’ll talk your ear off about what they’ve been through with boyfriends, husbands, friends. (What about the Russian women who confronted Robert in 2000?)

Better yet, pour a quart of whiskey into some of the folks who work at the Galleria, and listen to their stories. I bet E.S. has some stories to tell, if he’s still around.

It’s really not that hard to find out. If you are in the FOF, you have to be working NOT to find out.

204. ton - May 15, 2010

i understand… thanks for clarifying

205. nige - May 15, 2010

201 William

“If you are in the FOF, you have to be working NOT to find out.”

See how everything is all ‘arse about face’? It is so difficult for anyone to come forward with the truth!!!!! Can anyone tell me what is standing in the way without displaying a tone of being ‘oh! so detached’ from what is going on?…..Nigel.

206. William - May 15, 2010

A poignant example of what I mean:

I was confirming some of the nasties on my way out of the FOF. I started hearing too many stories about people I knew, usually by people who were close to them. I could no longer disbelieve it; these people were in a lot of pain. There was one particularly sordid story about a family and what Robert had done to explode it that was making the rounds at that time, and I knew them.

I was talking to a good friend, let’s call him Ernest, one of the “insiders,” and he was bragging about how close he was to what was then Robert’s inner trio — the inside of the inside (it never ends — there’s always someone MORE on the inside, and no one ever feels inside enough until they want out). He was telling me about what kind of credit he had with Robert’s righthand man.

We were discussing a recent wave of exits. Ernest was telling me, in elaborate metaphors and apologetics, how the FOF had gotten more intense, more real, and it was throwing off those who were more peripheral, who couldn’t keep up with the speed and intensity of Robert’s “new teaching.” It was separating the wheat from the chaff — and that’s why people were leaving.

I said, “Well, not really. Some are leaving because of the increasing depravity and weirdness in Robert’s sexual adventures.”

He looked at me uncomfortably, apprehensively, and said: “Where did you hear that? I hadn’t heard that.” I was so astonished I just laughed.

Well, sure you didn’t, Ernest! Why don’t you pull your lips off the butt you were kissing and ask Robert’s righthand man a few direct questions? You just had lunch with him! You were just telling me how much cred you had with him!

There are stones nobody in the FOF wants to kick over. Weird, white little bugs underneath will start running around in circles when the sun hits them.

207. nige - May 15, 2010

204 William

William – this is brilliant!!!!! This is what people need to hear!!!!! Maybe others can post along these lines (P.S. I am not sure if we met – I was that weird-looking Solar-Saturn-Mars, who made the ceremonial set for the FOF and the Papal Mass set in 1987 – shall we say that is my cred – MY FATE). I look a lot more gnarly and Mars-Jovial these days!!!!! I think we are in important territory…..Nigel.

208. silentpurr - May 15, 2010

I think heterosexual men are deeply embarrassed, which has been RB’s failsafe strategy.

209. nige - May 15, 2010

206 silentpurr

I think REB was once ‘on the make on me’ but I did not come when I was invited to a reception of his (I had a business meeting at my employer’s). I was then invited to two dinners when I was visiting ‘the property’ but left before the ‘goodbye hugs’. P.S. I am still heterosexual but not active ‘in that department’…..Nigel.

210. silentpurr - May 16, 2010

Thank you Nigel, but I was referring to the heterosexual men who had indeed been duped by Robert into believing that he knew the best for their ‘evolution’. These people, many who are fathers, now cringe at the thought of having been placed in such a passively-provocative -position, to have been, simply put; a ‘piece of ass’.

211. Thot Plickens - May 16, 2010

196. arthur – May 15, 2010

Right on!

212. Thot Plickens - May 16, 2010

199. voloneska – May 15, 2010
I’m not sure, but you may have misunderstood one of The Box’s main points in his/her post No. 159. I won’t try to interpret it entirely because maybe I’m not getting the full gist either. But my sense is that he’s trying to show how our biases regarding gender can affect how we perceive what’s occurring with Burton and his sexual encounters. When you look at it differently — in the way that he suggests — the perception is intensified for a moment. The realization is more vivid. For a moment, The Box stripped away some of my own biases and helped me to see something more clearly. I really appreciate that post.

213. Thot Plickens - May 16, 2010

voloneska But wait… Actually, as I read your post a bit more, I’m started to understand where you’re coming from, too. Very interesting new “angle” on Burton if it’s true. Or at least new to me.

But regarding your one comment: “Burton victim of FOF too…”

The quick response to that is, “No.” Burton is a victim of himself.

The only thing relevant to us, however, is that we ourselves do not need to be victims. Part of that process — escaping the victimhood of the Fellowship of Friends — is doing exactly what all of us are doing right now — talking about it.

214. nige - May 16, 2010

208 silentpurr

Profound apologies if I seemed to belittle the ‘angst’ that those men encounter/ed…..Nigel.

215. Thot Plickens - May 16, 2010

William and ton — outstanding conversation. You guys rock.

Sorry for the string of posts, but I had to finish off on this note. I agree with Nige about being in “important territory.” Well said, comrade.

216. Someone - May 16, 2010

178. brucelevy – May 14, 2010

“There are numerous ex-members on the greater fellowship who still refuse to accept facts about what goes on and what went on, ”
———————————————————
But you haven’t been there for over 26 years and still you express yourself here as if you KNOW.

How much credibility would a new surfer in this Blog give to a statement that a 70+ years old man is having sexual activity with 60-80 young boys on a single fay?

Can’t you get it? You are stepping on your own toes.

I am also registered in the GF. I think they are much more sane than many guys here. Why do you expect that they will be spending their entire lives being in such an obsession like yours?

Your FoF fetish is not a mandatory psychological pattern for each an every ex-member. That’s you choice, and the fact that you expect all the rest to comply with your obsession has a significant touch of narcissism.
\

217. brucelevy - May 16, 2010

214. Someone

Bite me.

218. James Mclemore - May 16, 2010

Someone –

Not that you would care, but this is probably my last post to you, unless you can dig a little deeper and actually pose some real questions, or have something useful to add to the blog.

********
I wish to address YOUR most obvious obsession…….

Let me tell you first that I do not know Bruce in any fashion other than what he has written here on this blog and what he has said in a couple of discussions on the GF site.(And I might add that I do not always agree with him.) Obviously the same is true for me in respect to you, I only know you from what you post, except that I do not know who you are if you are participating in the discussions on the GF.

My suspicion is, that you are either ‘seeing things’ that do not exist at all.
Or………..
You are seeing something, but you are so far off in your mental interpretation about what it is that you are seeing, that it makes it almost impossible to actually respond to it. It would require way too many words.

If there are any ‘fetishes’ or ‘obsessions’ going on, I feel pretty sure they are coming from your projections. I think that’s pretty much the way it always is with these sorts of things.
I still cannot understand clearly what your aim is in coming here, but you are beginning to appear more and more foolish as time goes on.

219. fofblogmoderator - May 16, 2010

198 & 202 are new

220. James Mclemore - May 16, 2010

Old FOF’s post just recently popped up at 198. I am going to repost it here just in case anyone did not see the moderators ‘new’ note and scroll back to it. It should not be missed.

198. Old FOF – May 15, 2010
In the interests of prospective and current students who may come here for information, I personally don’t want the recent comments by the contributor known as Someone about the scope of the sexual abuse in the Fellowship of Friends by Robert Burton to stand without further comment.

The following has all been brought out in this blog very well (and in much more and better detail) – in the past years. It is so central to the issue regarding the Fellowship of Friends cult and abuse – that it is sort of pathetic that it has to be addressed again (and to an ex-student) – but here goes.

When I left in the mid-1990s I estimate that by that time Robert Burton had likely had sex with over 1,000 of his male students. This was not just a made up figure but an estimate based on serious inquiry.

For example (in retrospect on discovering that this practice was occurring), through various means I was able find that about 40% of the male students in each of the two main centers in which I had been living were seduced by Robert Burton – some very soon (weeks) after they joined.

Still later, I learned of the almost conveyor belt system that was established for young men to travel with Robert – it appeared somewhat coordinated by his “secretaries” – whereby I learned that on balance about two new students were seduced each week, in this manner.

His “symposium” drinking bouts were also a means of seduction for inebriated students.

Finally, for a while I was in a position to know about a number of students who one would never have dreamed would have fallen to Robert – who also at one time or another had been seduced.

These were almost all heterosexual students – and many of them carried large shame and silence.

It’s possible that this has been toned down in recent years, but based on comments by those who seem to be sincere students and ex-students over the past two to three years (on this blog), it seems likely that this pace of sexual abuse if ameliorated at all – has not been by much.

I suspect that Someone is (somewhat) sincere. But I would maintain that her research was / is incomplete at best. And I would ask her to consider that she may be wrong in her numbers by orders of magnitude (add zeros) – that the true story is hidden very well by a master at using student shame and embarrassment to keep such things in the dark.

And I would ask her to consider the effect that her words may have on vulnerable people – if you are wrong (you are). You ought to think about what minimizing does, Someone. In your mind, you are just being honest, but consider that there are others that know more than you do. At the least, you ought to make room for other views, if only to not be a possible accomplice in the whitewash. To join in the whitewash is to be an accomplice – and to accrue terrible karma.

In passing please note again that this debate is not “esoteric.” One of Robert’s conquests hanged himself, one either died or nearly died from anorexia, and at least three had psychotic breakdowns. And these are just the ones that I knew about. Was Robert Burton responsible? In my mind he is, but maybe there were contributing factors. Nevertheless, why is a “conscious” teacher having sex with hundreds and perhaps thousands of his own male students – some of whom are vulnerable, and nearly all of whom were naïve sincere seekers?

The idea that Robert Burton’s sexual abuse is more or less confined to a select few would be laughable – if it was not so hideously tragic.

221. Someone - May 16, 2010

218. James Mclemore – May 16, 2010

I am glad that it is your last post

222. veramente - May 16, 2010

Someone, the problem with you is that you have no empathy.
You may think that you came out of the FOF pretty intact, but in reality you became even more obtuse. Perhaps it makes you feel better to think that some of us here are FOF Fetishists, you have no idea how wrong you are.

223. Thot Plickens - May 16, 2010

I keep reading this word “sincerity” in reference to the poster calling themselves Someone. Who knows — the benefit of the doubt is a good thing.

Yes, I’m sure there are people who left the FOF a long time ago or recently who are still extremely indoctrinated, who can see no evil there, and who are afraid to see the truth because their ego doesn’t want to see the foolishness in being deceived and in following a sociopath. (It’s taking me a lot of time to fully process everything I’ve been reading and hearing since leaving.) And of course the same can be said for many people still writing the checks and buying raffle tickets and quietly sitting with their hands folded at “meetings.” It’s hard for them to acknowledge just how twisted things are in the FOF, too.

However…

I don’t see those people spending too much time on the blog, or on the GF site, and I especially dont’ see them having extended conversations back and forth. If they ARE sincere, it’s just a matter of time before they will be worn down. Words are powerful. Talking about these topics (something we don’t do in the Fellowship of Friends to any depth) is powerful.

The one thing I will say about current members: Many of them ARE sincere. Many of them are confused or afraid to face these issues. Many feel trapped and unsure where to turn to, and who to turn to. Many of them intuitively know that they had better NOT check in here, or on the GF site, or all bets are off. They know that the truth will hit them a bit too squarely in the face. So they don’t read here, and they don’t write here.

And then there are those who believe what they believe know matter what Burton does or says, and no matter what evidence and testimony is placed before them, and no matter how often that evidence is presented. They will hold steadfast no matter what. They are Cult Members Level 32. Whether she left or not, that describes Someone — or at least that’s what I’m perceiving. It’s hard to take a person seriously who has announced without fail that nothing will sway them, no matter what, and that their only goal is to deny and change the subject, and then deny again, and then change the subject again, and ignore anything that really hits home, and sidestep all of the pertinent questions.

That’s not a conversation, and that’s certainly not sincerity.

So I sense that a few of you know who this person is, based on your use of the word “her” and “she” occasionally, and that she’s an “ex-student.” So, I’ll defer to your collective wisdom on that. However, as far as the level of sincerity, I sense very little until “she” shows some ability to acknowledge the gist of the conversation here. Current members who avoid this place are a huge step up on her: I know that hundreds of them, if they took the time to enter here, would certainly be changed by what they hear. I can’t imagine Someone ever changing.

The ball’s in your court now, Someone. Tell me something, anything, that indicates a shred of concern, or even a slight bit of doubt, and then I’ll agree that there’s something sincere going on in there. If you aren’t just a bunch of words on the screen — a PR response and a type of damage control — and if there’s an actual person in there, it would be interesting to hear from that person, and less from The Denial Machine.

224. silentpurr - May 16, 2010

Someone, If you really are a WOMAN, then surely you can relate to the REPULSION felt by those who are the target of unwelcomed sexual advances. Even if it happened to only one person, such behavior is unacceptable! But he cold, intellectual reasoning that finds comfort in RB’s crazed certainty is in itself the Fellowship Sickness!
And the part in YOU, your womanliness, which has been marginalized and ridiculed for so long in the Fellowship, now has no other purpose but tend to Robert’s ‘image, like a termite busily tending to it’s ‘Queen’!
The fact that you Defend Robert tells me that you probably joined, and supported, the Fellowship for all of the ‘wrong’ reasons!
Come out of that hole and face the light!

225. James Mclemore - May 16, 2010

As for us wondering where some people’s empathy and sincerety may have disappeared to………….

Two more little quotes from…. “A Collective of Women” and titled “Sex, Lies, and Grand Schemes of Thought in Closed Groups”.

“Discovering how they were finally “broken” may be the most difficult piece of the puzzle for former members of closed groups who are attempting to reconstruct their lives. According to Herman’s studies, in the final stages of establishing covert control, the perpetrator has the victims violate the codes of conduct by which they formerly defined themselves. In so doing, he removes the last vestiges of individual conscience.”

“In closed groups where covert control is exercised, strange, trancelike dynamics operate that prevent those participating from seeing the most obvious things.”

226. Hono`pono`pono - May 16, 2010

How much credibility would a new surfer in this Blog give to a statement that a 70+ years old man is having sexual activity with 60-80 young boys on a single fay?

I KNOW TOOK ME A FEW YEARS TO BELIEVE IT AND DIGEST THIS ABSURD PHENOMENA. TIME MIGHT HAVE TO DO YOURS.

I am also registered in the GF. I think they are much more sane than many guys here. Why do you expect that they will be spending their entire lives being in such an obsession like yours?

COMPARING IS A IMMATURE COPING MECHANISM.

*Typical human behaviours can be classified in three categories –
Child, Parent and Adult. “Child” connotes immaturity and the person
at the receiving end. “Parent” connotes the instructor and the
person giving feedback. “Adult” in this case is the balanced person –
who is neither interested in being at the giving or receiving end –
but only wants the best outcome of the conversation.* KINJAL SHAH

Your FoF fetish is not a mandatory psychological pattern for each an every ex-member. That’s you choice, and the fact that you expect all the rest to comply with your obsession has a significant touch of narcissism.

TALKING DOWN IS AN IMMATURE COPING MECHANISM.

Enjoy the “photographs”.

227. nige - May 16, 2010

225 Hono pono pono

To whom are you referring?…..Nigel.

228. nige - May 16, 2010

Sorry…..226

229. Hono`pono`pono - May 16, 2010

This is referring to Someone’s post 216.

230. X-ray - May 16, 2010

Someone, your stupidity is unbelievable.
Just to let you know, Burton’s perversion has evolved after Bruce have left the cult. Burton became a lot more sicker and obsessive in the last 10-15 years, so what Bruce is have to say, you have to multiply that, to get the fuller picture of the now days perversion and the sex-addiction of RB.

231. ton - May 16, 2010

other posters say they have a problem with the word “cult” — i say “if the shew fits”:

“Cults sprout up when traditional values and structures of a society are weakened. The 1960s spawned a counterculture that romanticized drug usage, revolution in general (the sexual revolution in particular), and retreat to communes. As baby boomers entered their teens, America’s fertility rate plummeted, while the rate of divorces and adolescent suicides began to climb.
During the 1980s, the counterculture mainstreamed; drug use continued unromanticized… The sexual revolution became legitimized… People lost interest in family: marrying less and later, cohabiting more without marriage, having increased out-of-wedlock births.

Cults promise salvation. Instead of boredom – noble and sweeping goals. Instead of existential anxiety – structure and certainty. Instead of alienation – community. Instead of impotence – solidarity directed by all-knowing leaders.

Cults want wealth and power for the leadership, to be supplied by members. Wealth may include:
• transfer of cash, real estate, and cars,
• profits, from exploitation of members’ labor in cult-owned businesses, and
• funds raised deceptively from relatives and other non-members.

Power may include:
• manipulation of all relationships, work, or schooling to solely the needs of the cult,
• assignment of city and country of residence,
• regulation of pregnancy and sexual favors,
• behavioral/ideologic controls via group punishments, or threatened expulsions, and
• limitation of members’ opportunities to sleep, to pursue individual interests, or simply to reflect.

Leaders exhort members to proselytize; predictably, more members mean more wealth and power for the leaders.

Cults are uninterested in altruism as a moral imperative. Most have self-serving moralities to benefit the organization and its leadership in particular. Individual fulfillment is irrelevant. Pseudoaltruistic activity helps image building.

Cults don’t want high overhead. Members in cult enterprises may be underpaid or unpaid, work in unsafe environments, or have no provision for medical care.

No cult wants its inner workings exposed, although sophisticated cults may curry media interest or even employ public relations consultants and ad agencies to manage their image.

Cults do not want to be called “cults.” Thus, a definition is proposed to clarify the discussion in this article.

Cults are groups using thought reform to recruit and control members, by employing the following:
• Miracle – ideology imputing miraculous power to leaders and/or activities.
• Mystery – secrecy obscuring actual beliefs and practices.
• Authority – claims on members’ time, talents, bodies, or property to meet group needs.

Thought reform is a hyperefficient indoctrination achieved when secrecy impairs indoctrinees’ awareness of what is happening to them and what they are becoming – thus, there is no full, informed consent. Brainwashing or mind control are popular terms for thought reform.”

John Hochman, MD

232. Old FOF - May 16, 2010

Someone 216

“How much credibility would a new surfer in this Blog give to a statement that a 70+ years old man is having sexual activity with 60-80 young boys on a single day ?”

I apologize for the TMI character of the following, but on information and belief …

As you may know from your research (and the earlier blog), Robert Burton is primarily a “catcher” (as opposed to a “pitcher”) in most of his homosexual physical encounter activities and practices. He would not be the ejaculator 80 times in a day – or maybe even once. The 60- 80 ejaculations would mostly or entirely be those of others ejaculating in him or on him.

At one point in a deposition for (in part) a sexual abuse / fraud lawsuit (Sanders?) 20+ years ago, Burton indicated that he had been impotent for some years. This though was in the pre-Viagra era.

233. brucelevy - May 16, 2010

“Burton indicated that he had been impotent for some years.”

Well, either he was out and out lying as a defense or C influence was working with him and there was a fucking miracle because as anyone who was coerced or volunteered to be his sex object knows that was never the case. In fact he would last about 30 seconds (thank God). But that was before his whole sexual dynamic evolved into Caligula mode.

234. brucelevy - May 16, 2010

Or maybe he was important while Alex was insisting he relate to women and no men.

235. Old FOF - May 17, 2010

impotent

Yeah Bruce, I didn’t necessarily believe this – but it was relayed to me by someone who was in the room – that Burton claimed this.

They also said that H*lga sat next to him and literally held his hand (pretty much) the whole of his testimony – and that he adopted the emotional posture as if he were the victim. That he spoke with his head bowed in a strange weird wispery little boy voice.

For what it’s worth.

I guess one main point for current and future readers of this blog – is that Robert Earl Burton is a much much stranger, weirder, decadent, cold, and more promiscuous character than many if not most ordinary folks might possibly imagine.

And if Burton considers you at all, it’s in light of what he can try to get from you.

236. William - May 17, 2010

Regardless of who “Someone” is, I know that Someone represents a body of opinion among many current members, and ex-shippers, too. For that reason alone, h/she is worth addressing. The people embedded in that kind of thinking are some of the people I wish to reach. Whether or not I ever reach the particular individual assuming the moniker “Someone” is immaterial to me. I think it is a waste of time to gnash over him/her, or spend much too much time debating him/her.

231. ton

With all due respect (and that’s meant sincerely), I think “cult” is just the modern way we have of describing these things. I don’t think this medical/psychological p.o.v. is the wisdom of the ages, writ in stone, and I think in a century we will have better understanding, better descriptions. (I think it’s entirely possible that in a century, we will regard this kind of literature the way we will eventually regard chemotherapy as a way for curing cancer — primitive, but the best the times offered.)

Meanwhile, we have a choice now about whether we think these descriptions fit our experiences, or whether our experiences are being squished into these boxes.

Obviously, I recognize points of contact between these descriptions and my experience, but there is much they miss, too. They are descriptions of disease without a definition of health. As I’ve said before, we all have “immortal longings,” and I find most of this material doesn’t address that hunger for the numinous. I happen to agree with Ouspensky that if one wants radical change of being, radical methods are needed. And when you’re looking for radical methods, obviously you are going to take some chances among the loonies. (On the other hand, what is wrong with a slow change of being? Maybe the lure of quick, radical change was one of the illusions that entrapped me.)

This isn’t something I want to debate here — I simply haven’t the time and it would be a diversion. (“Someone,” this is the first time I’ve been here in months. It’s hardly an obsession — but the FOF was a huge chunk of my life, and it is something I am still pondering and digesting. I wouldn’t have returned to this site at all except for the new ruling about non-contact. When I sensed the drawbridge might be going up, I wanted to throw a few last words across the bridge. As someone wrote earlier today, I once defended this group and justified its practices, I bear some of the collective “karma.”)

I cannot claim that I was in a trance. I wish I could. I cannot claim that I ceded my decision-making to Robert. How much easier I would feel if I could make that claim!

I take responsibility for what I said and did during those years. It was my own poor decision-making. My own misunderstanding about the nature of spirituality.

The FOF was monstrous. But I chose it. For years and years and years.

To take responsibility is a burden, and, oddly, a freedom, too.

237. X-ray - May 17, 2010

Old FOF

‘The 60- 80 ejaculations would mostly or entirely be those of others ejaculating in him or on him.’

True.

‘And if Burton considers you at all, it’s in light of what he can try to get from you.’

True.

238. Thot Plickens - May 17, 2010

William wrote: “Whether or not I ever reach the particular individual assuming the moniker “Someone” is immaterial to me. I think it is a waste of time to gnash over him/her, or spend much too much time debating him/her.”

William, that’s exactly one of my points. When you see the insincerity and disingenuousness emanating from this poster, you’re not going to accomplish anything in having long, drawn-out discussions or arguments with them, nor will you get anywhere when you assume they actually believe everything they’re writing. They aren’t tuning here to discuss anything in an honest way.

William, I like where you’re coming from for the most part, but your aversion to the word “cult” (which is shared by others, too) is an example of cult indoctrination. You’ve escaped much of the group think obviously — based on the fact that you left, and based on your beautifully articulate posts on the blog and the GF site. But I suggest you try the word on for size. We all have to struggle with certain types of denial — I still am too. For you, I sense there’s some significant denial related to the word cult. My sense is that almost all other terms used to describe this cult are euphemisms — “the school”, “religious organization”, “spiritual group”, “fourth way school”, “The Fellowship”, “The Fellowship of Friends”, and so on. Think about it: Have you found a better word that is not euphemism — that does not downplay it?

I also think your impulse to jump onto the blog because of the recent Burton comments is well intentioned, and I applaud it. But do you think his words really indicated any change? It’s always been the same discouragement of contact with former members. After all, former members hold one of the keys to the escape of Burton’s followers: open discussion.

Open discussion.
Open discussion.
Open discussion.

(And no, one “open discussion” doesn’t suffice. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat, and repeat again. It’s needed, because it’s the repetition of sleep-inducing words in the FOF — and the lack of frank open discussion — that kept us chained to it.)

There’s a reason that someone called their website Freedom of Mind. People do give up their thinking: http://www.freedomofmind.com/

I don’t know the entire story behind this website, or what type of ego may be behind it. But to me, a huge step in extricating ourselves from the bondage of the FOF is allowing ourselves to say it: “Yep, I am a member of cult.” “I joined a cult. Good god, what on earth was I thinking?”

The word may seem unimportant to some, and therefore inappropriate. But try to utter those words to your closest friend or to your wife or another loved one, and see how it feels and what it evokes. I promise you it will make a difference. Words are powerful. They can imprison us. They can also free us.

239. Thot Plickens - May 17, 2010

… a key sentence in Ton’s 231:

“Cult do not want to be called ‘cults’.”

240. Thot Plickens - May 17, 2010

“Cults do not want to be called ‘cults’.”

241. Jomo Piñata - May 17, 2010

236/William

I cannot claim that I was in a trance. I wish I could.

Respectfully, what makes you think that you would know whether or not you were in a trance?

Suppose a person simply doesn’t know how to make that determination? Why would that person’s lack of awareness of what comprises a trance be the main criterion to which one would look in determining whether that person was in a trance?

I take responsibility for what I said and did during those years. It was my own poor decision-making. My own misunderstanding about the nature of spirituality.

Have you considered that you may be taking responsibility not only for things for which you are responsible, but things for which you are not?

People who trust can be deceived by those whom they trust. People who are deceived make decisions based on false information provided to them in order to deceive or manipulate them. Then they develop other rationalizations for their decisions based on the false information. Later, when they discover that the information on which they based their decisions was false, and that they were being deceived, they still have that scaffolding of later-developed rationalizations which support their earlier decision. This process happens automatically and it happens to everyone.

So it is not really meaningful, I suggest, to “take responsibility” for decisions you made based on false information provided to you deceptively, which you then rationalized automatically. You are not at fault for trusting or being naive. You are not at fault for being a victim of intentional deception. Rationalizing your decisions retrospectively happens automatically to everyone.

That is not to say you bear NO responsibility for your decisions. But it IS to say most people are quite ready to own up to things for which they’re not responsible. And, in my opinion, it’s harder to get an unflinching look at what happened in one’s own case if the outcome is pre-determined, i.e., if the end result must be that “I take responsibility.” Examine what actually happened and only then let the responsibility be allocated.

242. Jomo Piñata - May 17, 2010

The following link speaks to the question whether one can be unaware of one’s trance states: “Our Unconscious Trance States,” an article by Dennis R. Wier:

http://bit.ly/cjr1u7

243. James Mclemore - May 17, 2010

Nice post at 241 Jomo. I especially liked this……..

“…. in my opinion, it’s harder to get an unflinching look at what happened in one’s own case if the outcome is pre-determined, i.e., if the end result must be that “I take responsibility.” Examine what actually happened and only then let the responsibility be allocated.”

The underlying current that had us ‘out there’ looking for answers, or that “hunger for the numinous” as William called it, had/has I believe a wonderful innocence at its core.

One dictionary gave this definition for ‘mistake’.

1. An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.

I think most of us undoubtedly had all three of those elements working for us when we arrived for that first prospective student meeting. How could it have been otherwise? We were fully ripe and ready for deception, whether or not that deception was intentional or simply came from the misguided view of others.

So what is it we would take ‘responsibility for? And ‘who’ is it within us that is going to ‘step up’ to do that? If it is something that has the taste of self-judgment about it, I would not trust those thoughts.
From where I see it from, we did not decide to begin our ‘search’ – we simply found ourselves ‘searching’. Our apparent predisposition to what could be called ‘gullibility’ is not something we ever chose. That simple childlike Innocence inside is perhaps what is most real about whoever it is that we both were, and still are.

So….. ‘taking responsibility’ begins to look as if it is simply a platform that we obviously erect only ‘after the fact’, and that, while sounding like a good and mature thing to do, in and of itself and if done prematurely, will, as Jomo inferred, actually tell us nothing about ourselves.
And the best part, which to me has a taste of freedom about it, and which I have now come to believe is perhaps the only thing we can and need do in every situation, is to just LOOK. Just LOOK, without judgment, and then the elements will sort of naturally resolve themselves, or bring about any needed actions, without us doing anything other than the LOOKING.

244. Tatyana - May 17, 2010

159. The Box – May 14, 2010

I wanted to address the issue of Robert, as a homosexual, having sex with male students. I think this blurs the issue somewhat. The questions that get asked are: are the students bisexual? Is it appropriate for them to have sex with Robert when it’s not their sexual orientation, and the like.

Let’s look at what the situation would be if Robert was heterosexual and behaving in the same way with women.

200. voloneska – May 15, 2010

The box 159
You say it will be incredible if Burton does the same with women as he does with men because it can not be accepted.
You miss out one detail in picture of Burton in sex with many many women. The women are all lesbians!!!

How about if Robert was a woman having sex with many many married men. Homosexual married men🙂

245. Tatyana - May 17, 2010

Just trying to think outside The Box…

246. another name - May 18, 2010

“He who desires to see the living God face to face should not seek Him in the empty firmament of his mind, but in human love” (Feodor Dostoevsky).

For Everybody

247. silentpurr - May 18, 2010

Or how about if Robert were a lesbian woman pressuring heterosexual women for sex. How would the men respond to that situation?

248. silentpurr - May 18, 2010

The heterosexual married men.

249. X-ray - May 18, 2010

244. Tatyana – May 17, 2010
247. silentpurr – May 18, 2010

What difference it makes be Burton lesbian or gay, when essence of his crime is not in his orientation but in his power abuse, which has allowed him for decades to coerce employees and trusting visitors for sex?

250. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 18, 2010

249. X-ray:

‘What difference it makes. . .?’

Those are good extrapolations of imagination, people, but, yes, it is NOT so much about sexual orientation, gender, or the type and extent of bizarre sex acts; although they be grotesque and outrageous.

It is about the ‘power abuse’ as X-ray says, but more importantly: violation of fiduciary duty:

From Wikipedia:
‘A fiduciary duty is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust between two or more parties, most commonly a fiduciary and a principal. One party, for example a corporate trust company or the trust department of a bank, holds a fiduciary relation or acts in a fiduciary capacity to another, such as one whose funds are entrusted to it for investment. In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests.’

‘A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary (abbreviation fid) is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the “principal”): he must not put his personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents. The word itself comes originally from the Latin fides, meaning faith, and fiducia, trust.’

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

251. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 18, 2010

FoFBlog moderator:

Please delete the first of those 2 earlier posts as it had typos. And, thanks for your continued service here.

252. Thot Plickens - May 18, 2010

“In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests.”

—-

Wouldnt You Like To Know, good post.

“… whose aid, advice or protection…”

At some point, we changed the meaning of the word teacher to mean someone who has the power and authority to do whatever they want to us based on our blind faith in their ability to see something that we cannot see, or to know something that we cannot know. But your post describes partly what an actual teacher is — someone we can rely on for “aid, advice or protection.”

If anyone questions (in so many words) Burton’s violations of fiduciary duty (as described in the post above), the response always touches upon his alleged ability to see something that we cannot see, or to know something that we cannot know. The party line — left unspoken and undiscussed — is that only he can understand why he has sex with so many of his followers. Only he can understand anything that troubles us. We don’t need to understand. He’s our “teacher.” And yet if we really did have that conversation, it would seem so absurd as the words came out of our mouths, that many of us would have to change our thinking. That’s one of the reasons why discussing this cult is a good thing — it shines a light on the absurdities.

253. James Mclemore - May 19, 2010

I remember once during a meeting in Los Angeles, there was the sound of a passing ambulance from the street. RB said,
“They are playing our song.”

Just prior to having that memory, I was thinking that one of the ideas that RB sells that serves his purposes so well, has to do with ‘suffering’, and how suffering is such a good and necessary thing for the supposed ‘awakening’ and ‘creation of a soul’ that is to take place at some future time.
I know, I know……, the idea appears to also be in some of those revered and sacred texts that we have read and studied, and some of the so-called ‘saints’ thought self-flagellation was a swell idea,………. but is it really so?

This part may be an oversimplification, but as the story goes…..The Buddha’s whole search was initiated by him to find an END to the suffering that seemed to accompany life. There is another story that goes…..”Take up your cross and follow me”, except that guy said, “Those who love Me, find that My cross is light, and My way is easy to proceed”.

My suspicions, coming from my own life experiences, is that it can be uncomfortable at times, to say the least, when this chrysalis thingy starts to break apart or gets some cracks in it, but I do not think it is necessary for us to try to implement any pain on our own, and it certainly seems out of place and downright wrong for some other person to try and create more discomfort for us.

It just sounds silly to me.

And it also sounds like a great tool for someone to use to manipulate people. RB can have people working 16-24 hours a day, and giving up their material things and all their money, and giving up their relationships, and giving up their children, and submitting to his sexual demands or any other whim, and all of it somewhere under that sacred umbrella of ‘useful suffering’ or ‘friction’, that he gladly provides for his flock.

254. silentpurr - May 19, 2010

I think that Robert suffers from a deep shame which he buffers by imagining his persecution and eventual ‘crucification’.

255. brucelevy - May 19, 2010

” his persecution and eventual ‘crucification’.”

No, I don’t think so. It’s just part of his “gig”. He used to talk about that. He’s simply a sociopath who’s so far the fuck out there he just says whatever the hell the moment calls for, to get to the next moment. There’s no connection to conscience, self or anything else that comprises humanity. Real shame doesn’t enter into the picture. He’s not capable of feeling shame.

256. Thot Plickens - May 19, 2010

I think you’re both right.

Sociopaths have mechanisms for switching off shame altogether. The most important mechanism is never letting up. If they’re always conning people, always trying to take control, always eliminating challenges to their authority — combined with a delusion that they’re leading a “master race” or building an “ark”, etc. — they have no time to feel bad about who they might hurt.

Shame is not a good thing for anyone. It’s a heavy, coarse emotion that is best to leave behind as quickly as possible. But people with a conscience can actually face their shame, and then replace it with something healthier and nobler — compassion, love, courage. Sociopaths don’t need to bother with that “facing it” thing. Somewhere deep inside there is shame, but they just “don’t go there.” Unlike the rest of us, they can bypass cumbersome feelings.

“There’s no connection to conscience…”

“Connection” is the key word there. They just disconnect from it. It’s a switch.

Realizing that Burton does not have a conscience, by the way, removes one of his biggest advantages when he tries to manipulate others. Most people treat sociopaths as though they have a conscience, and the sociopath exploits that. It may not be a pleasant thing to entertain that idea about Burton for many people, but you’re not going to understand what he is truly up to until you do.

257. WonderingWhosWatching - May 19, 2010

250. Wouldnt You Like To Know:

‘fiduciary duty:
In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. . . . such a relation . . . requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests.’

And yet, ironically, Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, in bass ackwards fashion, expects their members to show: aid, good faith, trust, protection, sole benefit, and loyalty toward them for the sake of their position of vulnerability, justifiable repose confident, and reliance. Or, in FoF speak: ‘Life is upside-down and backwards.’ They suppose that they are entitled to those benefits and you fail your fiduciary duty toward them when you pull back and pull out of the cult.

258. Thot Plickens - May 19, 2010

257. WWW: Yes.

How many of you believe that the FOF doesn’t care when you leave? I once believed that. But it’s just the facade. It’s what we/they pretend. It’s what Burton pretends. It’s part of the act. The supposed attitude is that “you’re hurting yourself” when you leave. Everyone’s replaceable. The “school” is unaffected. Obviously it’s a play, and so forth. This is another one of those group-think attitudes that discourage people from leaving — the idea that absolutely no one will be impressed by it, or affected in any way, and that — except for a momentary pause — no one cares, and “leaving the school” barely leaves a ripple in the water. The truth is, that’s nonsense. Every time someone leaves, it has this effect:

It forces people to think.

Not everyone starts thinking, but many people do. Every time someone leaves, people will follow. When you decide to leave, others will be affected in a positive way. It weakens the facade. Every time someone leaves, it’s harder to pretend.

259. Jomo Piñata - May 19, 2010

258/Thot Plickens

How many of you believe that the FOF doesn’t care when you leave? . . . It’s what Burton pretends

http://ow.ly/1N8LS

260. Jomo Piñata - May 19, 2010
261. Josiane - May 20, 2010

258 Thot Plickens

“It forces people to think.”

A very good friend of mine left the “organization” a year before I did. Big shock! A few months later we met at the local post office and she gave me a big hug, one of these hugs that is full of life and love. I could feel her strength and vibrancy. That embrace left me wondering why I wasn’t feeling that way any more: strong, vibrant, happy, loving. Instead, all I was feeling was low, depressed, not caring, and confused about the evermore controlling exercices and strange teaching. Long story short: my friend was instrumental in my finally finding the strength to leave. Granted, if a person doesn’t have that strength already in them they may never leave. It’s everybody’s journey. I hope this post reaches someone.

262. Josiane - May 20, 2010

addendum to 261:
“I hope this post reaches someone” and gives you the strength to explore the possibility of reclaiming your life. It’s not easy but it’s possible and it’s worth it.

263. X-ray - May 20, 2010

262. Josiane – May 20, 2010

‘…explore the possibility of reclaiming your life. It’s not easy but it’s possible and it’s worth it.

True.
Reclaiming your life IS possible AND worth it.

264. nige - May 20, 2010

263 X-ray

“Reclaiming your life IS possible AND worth it.”

It can sometimes be difficult to see that this may be true, when you have to go through ‘great troughs of experience’ that test the very core of your being. But, as Rodney Collin stated, “To your own self you must come.”…..Nigel.

265. nige - May 20, 2010

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

– William Wordsworth

266. nige - May 20, 2010

I am a sailor, you’re my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the hearts treasure, together we set sail

With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together we learned how to cope

Chorus:
Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled water that keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew

Together we’re in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destination’s not marked on any charts
We’re navigating to the shores of the heart

Chorus 2x

“The Voyage” by Christy Moore

267. rock that boat - May 21, 2010

261 Josiane
…instead, all I was feeling was low, depressed, not caring, and confused about the evermore controlling exercices and strange teaching.

Yeah..that rings a bell Josiane!
We were left hungry in a famine of our own making, living numb passionless lives, disconnected from our souls.

You, I, and the others here on the blog had the courage to reshape our lives, ignite that essential spark once again, and live.

268. silentpurr - May 21, 2010

Yes Josiane and Rock that boat, We will never take for granted the emotional relief felt by leaving the Fellowship of Friends!

269. X-ray - May 22, 2010

267. rock that boat – May 21, 2010

‘You, I, and the others here on the blog had the courage to reshape our lives, ignite that essential spark once again, and live.’

.. and live better, a lot better ..

270. another name - May 22, 2010

Yes X ray

After some time and healing.
Much love and enjoy

The way of positive affirmation’s Jessica will show you.

271. X-ray - May 22, 2010

270. another name – May 22, 2010

‘After some time and healing.’

Healing comes when people are willing to look into and understand their past, to dig thru things and call them by their names.
It will require honesty and courage to face and to admit their own naivety and fears.
There is another option, they can ‘buffer’ it creatively, ‘moving on’ on surface, letting scars sink deeper, turning them to heavy burden of a painful memories they now have to hide from, and there you go, life continuing thru lies, no different from what it was before.

272. Ollie - May 22, 2010

Recent membership stats:

12 left, 1 joined in the last two weeks, bringing the total count down to 1,529, another all-time low since the numbers started to crumble five years ago (2,200 back then). Among the leavers is someone from Rome who joined earlier this year (congratulations), and the new joiner is in Monterrey (good luck to you, hombre…).

273. Ollie - May 22, 2010

Robert Burton in a recent meeting, May 16, 2010:

“We read an article saying, ‘Could the Mayan Apocalypse Island be the Juan Fernandez Islands, which are four hundred miles out to sea into the Pacific Ocean from Chile?’ The last sentence of the article caught our attention: ‘But who believes that the world will end in 2012?’ The various nations of the world possess an enormous number of nuclear weapons. They are even becoming obsolete and falling apart. There has been a tremendous gap between World War II and World War III. People cannot conceive that they are the victims of the Last Judgment. No age was able to see itself; but every other age could see that this is the age of the external Last Judgment. The other schools spoke about it symbolically. We saw a license plate saying ‘US SAFE.’ Theoretically, we will survive it, unharmed.”

(Scared yet? Mind you, it’s “us” – not “U.S.” – who is safe, “us” being of course the few remaining Fellowshippers, not all you wretched billions of other people on planet Earth…)

274. X-ray - May 22, 2010

273. Ollie – May 22, 2010

Burton, I have bad news for you:
The World is not likely to come to an end in 2012, but what is likely to end, and possibly sooner, is the flow of money and semen to you from your students as they awaken more to your fraud.

275. veramente - May 22, 2010

Robert Burton/Apocalypto

276. WhaleRider - May 22, 2010

Ideas of reference and delusions of reference involve people having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous phenomena in the world refer to them directly or have special personal significance. In psychiatry, delusions of reference form part of the diagnostic criteria for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or bipolar disorder during the elevated stages of mania.

Persons with ideas of reference may experience:

A feeling that people on television or radio are talking about or talking directly to them

Believing that headlines or stories in newspapers are written especially for them

Having the experience that people (often strangers) drop hints or say things about them behind their back

Believing that events (even world events) have been deliberately contrived for them, or have special personal significance for them

Seeing objects or events as being set up deliberately to convey a special or particular meaning to themselves

Thinking persons or groups of persons are plotting against them and that precautions must be taken to avert the threat

Ideas of reference can also be compared to religious ideology in which some supernatural being is especially concerned with the individual, their family, tribe, or species.

~from Wikipedia

277. silentpurr - May 22, 2010

And for those of you who seek comfort by pulling deeper into Robert’s apocalyptic embrace, -please consider, that when Robert says ‘us’, he is referring to only to ‘himself’ and his ‘vision’. HIS survival.

278. nige - May 22, 2010

…..or bipolar disorder during the elevated stages of mania……

I have experienced these…..

A feeling that people on television or radio are talking about or talking directly to them.

Believing that headlines or stories in newspapers are written especially for them.

Seeing objects or events as being set up deliberately to convey a special or particular meaning to themselves.

Ideas of reference can also be compared to religious ideology in which some supernatural being is especially concerned with the individual, their family, tribe, or species.

O.K. Whalerider, now that you have made your point, why is it we were made to look out for 44 conscious beings working with us? That is the first in a long line of persons/events that we were made to perceive as belonging to the ‘growth’ of the Fellowship of Friends. You see…..I think that there is significance in events and peoples’ lives. Things do not happen for nothing and there is the spiritual behind the physical…..Nigel.

279. Thot Plickens - May 22, 2010

Regarding survival, the bigger question is how much longer these beliefs, fears, and superstitions can survive in the FOF:

Robert Burton:

–Predicted a major worldwide depression that would begin in 1984.
–Predicted the “fall of California” for 1998
–Predicted nuclear war, the end of civilization, and the beginning of a Fellowship of Friends “ark” for 2006
–Now predicting “theoretically” that everyone in the Fellowship of Friends will “survive unharmed” whatever occurs in 2012.

2013: ?
2014: ?
2015: ?

280. Thot Plickens - May 22, 2010

“there is the spiritual behind the physical…..Nigel.”

I think so, too. I keep returning to this idea of balance: i.e., keeping my feet on the ground as I ponder some of these questions.

What’s healthy is reflecting upon mysteries without pretending that we know the answers. Insights morph into delusions when we start pretending that we do know the answers — for example, what’s going to occur in the future. We can sometimes sense the future, and it’s sometimes healthy to act on that — but we cannot know.

That’s often where fear enters into the picture. Doomsday predictions elicit and encourage fear. Classic “red flag”.

A lot of wisdom in the posts above: Josiane, thanks for starting that beautiful thread.

281. nige - May 22, 2010

280 Thot Plickens

If you have a chance to view “A Beautiful Mind” (Russell Crowe) about the schizophrenic mathematician, John Nash, you will see that there can be a great deal of fear in ‘visions’. Even out-and-out paranoia raises its head. I suppose for me – when positive ‘spiritual signs’ manifest, then I escalate towards mania (elated out-of-the-ordinary state), but my ‘natural healer’ student and holistic therapist ALWAYS ADVISES ME TO KEEP MY FEET ON THE GROUND!!!!! Being swept away by the positive in life is like expecting New York Cherry Cheese Cake (my favourite dessert!) after the entree every dinnertime….Nigel.

P.S. What is positive about Doomsday predictions?????

282. Thot Plickens - May 22, 2010

Nige, yes, I liked that film. And just to clarify, I think it’s healthy and “normal” to experience fear, and what you describe as “fear in visions” may also be normal, although I suppose it depends on the person and the individual experience.

But when fear becomes the basis for one’s life and one’s decisions — that’s unhealthy and abnormal. I know that FOF followers — including many who have left — don’t generally see the organization as being based upon fear, but it is. Fear of the afterlife, fear of loneliness, fear of “life”, fear of future events, and fear of being just another person brought onto the earth for mysterious, unknown reasons. And then that hints at another one: Fear of the unknown.

And how do we deal with the fear of the unknown? We pretend that we know.

What makes cults, some religions, and all war machines particularly nefarious is their predisposition to manipulate people into living their lives and making important decisions based on fear.

283. WhaleRider - May 22, 2010

Nige:

“…why is it we were made to look out for 44 conscious beings working with us?”

Folie à deux (English pronunciation: /fɒˈli ə ˈduː/, from the French for “a madness shared by two”) is a rare psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another.

The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille or even folie à plusieurs (“madness of many”).

Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome as dependency psychotic disorder and induced delusional disorder .

~from Wikipedia

Nige, instead of looking out for angels, a healthier approach would be to look for them within.

284. Renald - May 22, 2010

re 272. Ollie –Clarification–that is one joined in Monterrey, Mexico not to be confused with Monterey, California. Cheers!

285. nige - May 23, 2010

283 Whalerider

“Nige, instead of looking out for angels, a healthier approach would be to look for them within.”

…..duly noted…..Nigel.

(or even within ‘common people’)

286. nige - May 23, 2010

283 Whalerider

Actually, we are ‘encroaching upon the delusional’ anyway when we approach this subject. I noted that Ames Gilbert was looking for conscience when he entered the FOF and others were trying to find some sort of community. My aim was TO FIND OUT ABOUT HIGHER STATES – a vastly more dangerous game. My question now is – “Can you deal with them when you find them?”…..Nigel.

287. WhaleRider - May 24, 2010

Nigel:
“Can you deal with them when you find them?”

Yes, you can tell a lot about a person by their trail.

Nigel, my wish for you is to shine in what you leave behind.

288. nige - May 24, 2010

287 Whalerider

Yes – it does seem to me that I want to leave a ‘legacy’ of what was struggled for, both in terms of when I was not allowed, by circumstance, to keep going in my Soul’s Art Work and now, with my little school of jewellery design and fabrication. Rodney Collin talked of ‘Keeping an interest in one’s Essence activities, for that way the Soul is ignited’.

Even what I have to endure at present, and at other times – The Big Yucks – feeling low in my whole being, has to be worth going through without complaint. I am sure others have had worse…..Nigel.

289. Ill Never Tell - May 24, 2010

‘Apocalypto’ is a 2006 Mel Gibson directed film that the IMDB plot describes: ‘As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices.’ So, yes, 275. veramente, Robert Earl Burton/Fellowship of Friends, in this regard, has a similar plot; the plot thickens while there is so much rearranging of the lounge chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Look out for those darn icebergs!

Taglines:
‘When the end comes,
not everyone is ready to go.’
‘No one can outrun their destiny.’

Title card:
‘A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.’
Will Durant

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1488388377/

290. nige - May 24, 2010

I cannot understand why REB and others have to take anti-depressants for the daily running of their lives. I can understand why REB has to take Viagra for sexual purposes, but why ‘the boys’? If the purpose of ‘being present’ is to encounter ‘supra-sex’, why is everyone who dallies with REB so depressed? Must be something to do with the oppressive nature of dominance, greed and tramp…..Nigel.

(Written by someone who has to takes daily downers to control his everyday happiness and prevent his sexual nature causing a riot at weekly karaoke sessions…..n.)

291. X-ray - May 25, 2010

290. nige – May 24, 2010

‘I can understand why REB has to take Viagra for sexual purposes, but why ‘the boys’?

What is there to understand?
How can a young hetero, fuck the shit out of old gay without a bottle of wine, a porn in TV room and diamond shape 100 mg Viagra pill?
Go try it first and tell me how does it feel.

292. another name - May 25, 2010

I forgot to add the you tube link…Great fun.

Thanks X ray for your response.

Whalerider.Thanks I appreciate your aproach :
Look for the angel within or in other people. It takes some patience and soul searching when you meet somebody and trying to find the angel in this person and the same angel is somewhere in you (IMO you can replace angel with teacher).

This has been my daily approach and is most difficult with the people I am close with.

Some people are doing Shaman healing to deal with their “demons”.

My “demons” appear in the night when there has been unresolved issues form the day or when some truths are coming through….

Yes, sleepless nights, with insights
Going inside
In my inner world
Like many people in the world
Emotions and pains are part of us
All mothers, fathers, children….
Illness might be a way to get
Hand in hand with your inner Truth?

293. The FOFion - May 25, 2010

FOF Sanctions Self for Violations

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — The Fellowship of Friends has launched an internal investigation into “recent activities”, and has issued a sanction against itself.

“This is part of self-study and self-observation,” said an FOF spokesperson. “If we don’t keep watch over ourselves, who can?”

Sanctions include a reduction by half in the number of strange activities in the coming year, as well as regular 10-second discussions on ethics violations and mind control techniques.

“It’s about time we cleaned things up a bit,” said the spokesperson.

New Raffle Prizes

The Fellowship of Friends is conducting a special raffle this week, with tickets going on sale today. The top prize is life-long membership. Second prize is a “Trip with Robert and His Entourage to Beautiful North Texas.” Third prize is standing room admission at one of Robert’s meals. Tickets are discounted for former members.

294. The FOFion - May 25, 2010

FOF Cuts Off Diplomatic Ties with Former Members

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — The Fellowship of Friends has officially cut off all diplomatic ties with former members.

The Church of Anti-Science-Ology, one of the FOF’s biggest allies, has urged calm.

295. The FOFion - May 25, 2010

Sparky the Wonder Penguin Stars in ‘The Very Silly Mayor’

NEW YORK (ARK) — Sparky the Wonder Penguin is the star of the latest book by award-winning cartoonist Tom Tomorrow: “The Very Silly Mayor.”

Most critics agree: The book is required reading for cult members, former cult members, those thinking about becoming cult members, and those who think cults are dumb.

“You could see the very silly mayor as being about any authority figure that people follow without question,” Tomorrow said. “Your third-grade teacher, for example. The book is, in the end, about dissent. It’s about speaking up when you don’t understand something, or when you have an opinion, or when you think that cops can’t possibly catch robbers when they’re wearing clown shoes.”

To order your copy today, see http://www.verysillymayor.com.

296. Agent 45 - May 26, 2010

Re: Raffle Disclaimer
Life-long membership is just reward not the top prize.
The longer you’re “in” the more like Robert Burton you become.
(Like it or not).
Even if that’s not the prize you want, that’s what you’ll be getting. Everybody gets what they deserve, some more, some less.
(Thank God for the Law of Karma – Nobody escapes the consequences).
Sincerely,
Richard Boone

297. Ill Never Tell - May 26, 2010

296. Agent 45:

‘Nobody escapes the consequences’

Didn’t you mean:
‘Nobody escapes the con’s sequence’?

298. WhaleRider - May 26, 2010

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Oregon House (USA)- Tension among the divided FOF camps has risen dramatically since international investigators said last week that a sub-human directive fired off by Little FOF’s leader Robert Kim Burton Jong VI that torpedoed and sank yet another close friendship he discovered navigating the waters between the two sides was unnecessarily mean, childish, and down right inhumane.

Little Fellowship, which historically denies any responsibility for the loss of friendships or the suffering of others, declared yesterday it is even urging its followers to cut off all family relations with Big Fellowship members, starting more restrictive, “all-out counterattacks” against the Bigger Fellowship’s psychological maturation and growth operations it conducts on the Internet and barring all thought-provoking conversation between all FOF members, big or small.

Relations are at their lowest point in more than a decade, when Bigger FOF members began reaching out to Little FOF members with previously undisclosed information, unconditional love and support as part of reconciliation and deprogramming efforts after the last mass exodus.

Defiant Robert Kim Burton Jong VI continues to respond by tightening his grip on his followers’ thinking, feelings, and gonads, further isolating them from themselves, their families, loved ones, and the rest of the civilized adult world.

“If they try to sink our ship, we’ll sink some of their ships first,” one Little FOF Spokesfollower said on the playground today.

299. fofblogmoderator - May 26, 2010

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