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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Part 105 July 15, 2011

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 former members of the Fellowship of Friends as well as some current members here.

To visit “Living Presence”, the newly created web site for recruiting new members to the Fellowship;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

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.

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. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 15, 2011

Thank you for your continued efforts and service to this blog venue, fofblogmoderator. It is appreciated beyond any visible recognition.

2. nigel - July 15, 2011

1. wyltk

Yes. I beleive you have been fair for the most part when ‘arguments’ have been apparent and also stepped in to stop the blog becoming too unruly or a ‘slanging match’. Thank you…..Nigel.

3. Agent 45 - July 15, 2011

Join Gay Geezers Association / Alliance of Sexual Predators Today!
Totally affiliated with King Robert Productions.
(Whoops, I almost typed King Rodent.)
All donations are used for self-agrandizing purposes!
Not a penny nor a care for the weak or impoverished.
Suckers & Suckees welcome.

4. surelyujest - July 15, 2011

“Major problems…” My god, yes. Why else read such nonsense? It wouldn’t be interesting if it didn’t come with all the insane angry lashing out. That’s the good part. I skip the rest. People always look at the lunatic raging on the street. It’s entertaining, but not much more.

5. nigel - July 15, 2011

Robert Earl Burton is a conscious being, right?????!!!

Compared to the other 44, where are his artistic, musical or literary talents that have shone forth during his reign as Head Honcho of the Illustrious Fellatioship of Freuds?????!!!!!

Oh!…..I forgot! He is a magnificent proponent in playing the mouth/organ…..Nigel.

6. nigel - July 15, 2011

On “Sacred Sex” website – excerpt from “Love and Sex”, by P D Ouspensky (there is a great deal more)…

Written by PD Ouspensky

“There is not a single side of life which is not capable of revealing to us an infinity of the new and the unexpected, if we approach it with the knowledge that it is not exhausted by its visibility, that beyond this visibility there is a whole “invisible world”–a world of to us new and incomprehensible forces and relations. The knowledge of the existence of this invisible world: this is the first key to it.

A wealth of “newness” unfolds to us in the most mysterious sides of our existence, in those sides through which we come into direct contact with eternity–in love and in death. In Hindu mythology love and death are the two faces of one deity. Siva, god of the creative force of nature, is at the same time the god of violent death, of murder and destruction. His wife is Parvati, goddess of beauty, love and happiness, and she is also Kali or Durga–goddess of evil, of misfortune, of sickness and of death. Together Siva and Kali are the gods of wisdom, the gods of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the beginning of his book, The Drama of Love and Death, Edward Carpenter very well defines our relation to these deeply incomprehensible and enigmatical sides of existence:

Love and death move through this world of ours like things apart–underrunning it truly, and everywhere present, yet seeming to belong to some other mode of existence.

And further:

These figures, Love and Death, move through the world like closest friends indeed, never far separate, and together dominating it in a kind of triumphant superiority; and yet like bitterest enemies, dogging each other’s footsteps, undoing each other’s work, fighting for the bodies and souls of mankind.

In these few words is shown the contents of the enigma which confronts us, encompasses us, creates and annihilates us. But man’s relation to the two aspects of this enigma is not identical. Strange as it may seem, the face of death has ever been more attractive to the mystical imagination of men than the face of love. There have always been many attempts to understand and define the hidden meaning of death; all religions, all religious doctrines begin with giving to man this or that idea about death. It is impossible to construct any system of world-contemplation without some definition of death; and there are numerous systems such as contemporary spiritism which consist almost entirely of “views upon death,” of doctrines about death and post-mortem existence. (In one of his articles, V. V. Rosanoff observes that all religions consist in substance of teachings about death.)

But the problem of love, in the contemporary way of looking at the world, is regarded as something given, as something already understood and known. Different systems contribute little that is enlightening to an understanding of love. So although in reality love is for us the same enigma as is death, yet for some strange reason we think about it less. We seem to have developed certain cut and dried standards in regard to an understanding of love, and men thoughtlessly accept this or that standard. Art, which from its very nature should have much to say on this subject, gives a great deal of attention to love; love ever has been, and perhaps still is, the principal theme of art. But even art chiefly confines itself merely to descriptions and to the psychological analysis of love, seldom touching those infinite and eternal depths which love contains for man.

In reality love is a cosmic phenomenon, in which men, humanity, are merely accidents: a cosmic phenomenon which has nothing to do with either the lives or the souls of men, any more than because the sun is shining, by its light men may go about their little affairs, and may utilize it for their own purposes. If men would only understand this, even with a part of their consciousness, a new world would open, and to look on life from all our usual angles would become very strange.

For then they would understand that love is something else, and of quite a different order from the petty phenomena of earthly life.

Perhaps love is a world of strange spirits who at times take up their abode in men, subduing them to themselves, making them tools for the accomplishment of their inscrutable purposes. Perhaps it is some particular region of the inner world wherein the souls of men sometimes enter, and where they live according to the laws of that world, while their bodies remain on earth, bound by the laws of earth. Perhaps it is an alchemical work of some Great Master wherein the souls and bodies of men play the rôle of elements out of which is compounded a philosopher’s stone, or an elixir of life, or some mysterious magnetic force necessary to someone for some incomprehensible purpose.”

7. X-ray - July 15, 2011

4 sureblablabla

I think you just spiritually castrated, and this why you think about anger what you think.

8. X-ray - July 15, 2011

and it´s not about getting intertained, like shithead also think. You people are either sick or stupid.

9. Tim Campion - July 15, 2011

194. fofblogmoderator

“…I took over responsibility for keeping the blog open in August 2008 starting on page 44. We’re now on page 105.”

Dear fofblogmoderator (is it “Steve”?)

Thanks for your continued effort on our behalf. That’s quite a run – over sixty pages. (And there has been an amazing “wealth” of material to sift through these past three years.)

I’m curious: what is your motivation for continuing this dedicated effort? (Have you ever shared your story here? Indeed, do you have any interest in revealing more?) I’m an occasional visitor and may well have missed your previous comments.

In the early days of “the blog”, we learned about “The Esoteric Sheik’s” encounter with the Fellowship in London, which resulted in the birth of these discussions. At the time, I found that having some sense of where the Sheik was “coming from” added value to the blog.

(In addition to “hits” registered above,) Is there statistical data available for the blog, showing trends over time, number of repeat visitors per time period, new visitors, number of page views, time spent on the site, etc.?

Perhaps like many (and as a blogger myself), I often try to assess the value of the blog, and of contributing even more material to the already vast archive here. (Is it possible to add “labels” linking common topics, and head off to some degree the generation of further redundancies?)

If it can be easily demonstrated that there are only a few individuals participating (essentially limited to those who are posting), this information could be useful in framing our discussions. (Maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to repeat the stories of Robert’s predictions, for example.)

However, if those writing are but a small contingent of this audience, and there are in fact many others “lurking” out there, including unique new visitors (which I have doubted), then that information would be useful.

With the analytics now available to social networking and blog sites, it seems we need no longer operate so much “in the dark”. Effective communication is fundamentally linked to “knowledge of one’s audience”.

Finally, a technical question: is there a way to display links to each page of the blog, allowing immediate navigation to an archived page? For example, when you said you began moderating at Page 44, without a link, it took considerable effort to navigate back to that page.

I’d enjoy reading your perspective. And, again, thanks for all you have done (and continue to do!)

Tim

10. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 16, 2011

9. Tim Campion:

‘Finally, a technical question: is there a way to display links to each page of the blog. . .’

On Greater Fellowship website, on the left column, find box labeled ‘Resources and Links’
where there are links to several entry points
to the FoF blog long body; including indices (indexes). This can help.

11. fofblogmoderator - July 16, 2011

Tim Campion- If you look at the top of this and every blog page you will see a link that says: “for recent pages of the blog go here”. That link will give you about 10 previous pages that you can click on and see the the entire content of the page.

As far as my motivation, I posted it once before; three years ago “the Sheik” announced that he was finished maintaining this blog and was going to end it. I offered to keep turning pages for him if no one else volunteered. Guess what? No one else volunteered! So by default i became the maintenance man.

I do post here under a different moniker and yes, my real name is Steve Lang. I was in the FOF from 1994 until 2007. It was this blog that informed me of the real behind- the-scenes activities of the FOF. I always suspected there was a bunch of nepotism and questionable relationships in the FOF and the blog spelled it out. I couldn’t remain a member knowing what I then knew. There is no other explanation but that Burton was abusing his position and creating a very one-sided “game” where the only winner was himself. I would like to expand my thoughts but I have a trip tomorrow morning and will have to come back to this next week- if there is anything else to add.

12. silentburp - July 16, 2011

Thank you Shirley for the communication, and by the way: it was “like yoga class where the teacher admonished you if you stopped taking his/her classes”.

In my opinion, the moment you fully accept the fact that the wound was self-inflicted, ‘respect’ doesn’t strike me as a part of the recovery process/vocabulary.
I say: “Why?” And you say: “Why not?”… Let’s call the all thing off; it is just a civil exchange of opinions… isn’t it? Because one thing I was pointing out was that particular behavior that in front of disagreement, goes berserk, uses foul language as the only mean of communication and refuses to explain his/her point of view using expressions like: “…something you’ll never understand.” And then not only there is the silent approval from others, but also the apologies for being disrespectful when nonconforming, out of some kind of fear… sounds familiar? It’s déjà vu!

Fofblogmoderator:

“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.”

You said: “What i do is I just read the entries and if somebody gets seems to be working outside the bounds of the our established blog etiquette I give them (usually in private) a suggestion to stay in bounds.”

I’m wondering if repeatedly calling someone: ‘asshole’, ‘shithead’, or ‘go fuck yourself’ is in our constitutional blog etiquette, or ‘in bounds’.
What do you consider ‘excessive abuse’?
What is your interpretation of ‘personal attacks’?
What is the threshold of your ‘discretion’?
You talk the talk, but certainly you don’t walk the walk!

13. Tim Campion - July 16, 2011

10. Wouldnt You Like To Know
11. fofblogmoderator

Thanks. Actually, you both pointed me to the exact tool I was searching for. I now see you can just click on the “Home” tab at the top of the page to reach this index.

Because it only displays 10 pages (at a time), I didn’t recognize it as an index that will take you back to the start of this forum. (In present form, it’s not a very convenient index.)

But If the index were cleaned up to simply display page headers, without all the unnecessary and repetitive detail under each page header, many more pages would be visible and navigating back in time would be much simpler.

X-ray and silentburb: You’re making my head hurt.

14. Shirley - July 16, 2011

12 Silentburp – You said, “Let’s call the all thing off; it is just a civil exchange of opinions… isn’t it? Because one thing I was pointing out was that particular behavior that in front of disagreement, goes berserk, uses foul language as the only mean of communication and refuses to explain his/her point of view using expressions like: “…something you’ll never understand.” And then not only there is the silent approval from others, but also the apologies for being disrespectful when nonconforming, out of some kind of fear… sounds familiar? It’s déjà vu!”

Understood, and agreed, although your delving into the ups and downs of social discourse (such as on this blog) is a good subject, in and of itself, to talk about. It happens all the time online and offline. Curiously, the closer we become to someone (friend; partner; coworker), the worse it tends to get, because our expectations rise that they will support us unconditionally. When we discover that they just don’t see things our way, partially or completely, we feel disappointed. At worst, we feel kind of betrayed.

Deborah Tannen, the linguist, writes about social discourse. She wrote an article in the 1990s about “When Talking More Doesn’t Help.” I found the ideas there helpful. The article distinguished between 2 fundamental types of disagreements:
(1) When 2 of you disagree because of insufficient information, then providing more, or enough, information can often reconcile the disagreement.
(2) When each of you feel so strongly about subjects to do with money, sex, power, the division of duties, etc., then each person explaining their stance will only make matters worse. She says that this 2nd type of disagreement is best left as, “let’s agree to disagree,” when it’s obvious that it’s no longer about providing more accurate information. People simply feel the way they do about certain things, and nothing will change it. (For ex., abortion rights; the current impasse on the US debt ceiling and whether to cut spending or raise taxes.)

Going back to the topic at hand, which is to question why ex-FFrs deserve some respect for having left the FF, it’s fine to drop the Yes/No disagreement. But the deeper subject is to look into the myriad issues of what brought someone into it, what compelled them to stay (Tim addressed that in his post about now the “narrative changes” once you’ve joined), and why it’s so hard to leave. If it was easy to leave, then there’s nothing to discuss. If it’s hard to leave, then what makes it hard? And when something is hard to do, and you’ve accomplished it, it’s an acknowledgement of something that’s done.

15. J. D. - July 17, 2011

Shirley:
That of friendship is a tough subject: do you support your friend no matter what or there is a limit to that? If a friend supports you no matter what, it makes he/she a very good friend (considering “no matter what” throwing your life away inside a cult)?
When he was asked about curing cancer with shrubs of sage and inspirational music rather than getting an operation because it was considered too ‘intrusive’, Lesley’s friend answered: ’I respect her decision!” What kind of a friend is that? But as a friend, how far can you push ‘intervention’?
My family was always very supportive of my decisions (fof included) although they saw right through it from the very beginning. Would I have prefer them to be more outspoken and kick my delusional butt? Absolutely! Would I have listened? No! …well maybe… maybe not… who knows.
That’s because, unfortunately, everything is filtered through belief. When we are blinded by it so that we can’t see and consider any supportive evidence (or in the spiritual realm the absence of it) we ignore any type of help, or suggestion, or support… “no matter what”!

So: let’s agree to disagree? I don’t think so!
At a certain point I thought that belief and faith were people rights, and not to be judged.
It may well be a right, but it’s moronic and therefore I reserve the same right to judge it.
In the words of Deborah Tannen ( the predictable linguist): “People simply feel the way they do about certain things, and nothing will change it. (For ex., abortion rights; the current impasse on the US debt ceiling and whether to cut spending or raise taxes.)” and that is only attributable to belief and faith in it.

Going back to the topic whether respect is due to ex-FoFers, the answer is still no! No matter the myriad issues and the “narrative changes”. We put ourselves in it, we stayed as long as we did, we made it hard to leave, we got out, … congratulations! It’s absurd that in order to stay in such yoga class we had to ignore our teacher’s words and actions… we were psychologically unstable to ignore what he said and what he did!!
Was it hard? Well…okay! Acknowledgment? All right, but sorry, no ‘respect’ cigar.
What made it so hard to leave was the belief that leaving would jeopardize the original belief that we righteously bestowed upon ourselves: the belief that we were inadequate, that our ordinary life was not extraordinary, that we could turn into better higher perfect beings, that we could change who we were.

RB is a mentally insane criminal, so are the inner circus clowns; having said that: whose responsibility was it?

P.S. I hate the expression “Throw out the baby with the bath water.” First: in our cases there was no baby; second: at times it is best to throw everything away.

16. Tim Campion - July 17, 2011

Part 104 -163. Agent 45

“Anyone who has been in the Fellowship of Friends and has left deserves some respect.”

Agent 45: Since your words (innocuous though they seemed to me) generated a surprising debate, would you care explain what you meant?

17. Renald - July 17, 2011

““Anyone who has been in the Fellowship of Friends and has left deserves some respect.”

If you go to the Greater Fellowship site you will find nearly a thousand persons who left the Fof and then joined the GF site.
On most all occasions you will find that these persons received positive feedback regarding their decision. Also some have expressed their leaving the FOF rightly or wrongly as having graduated from that so-called school. A nine or ten month old todler receives congratulations for learning how to make their first steps on their own. Semantics or no semantics a show of love or support is just that. Nobody is going to pin a medal on their chest or go into a massive diatribe regarding what they deserve to get from others or what they do not deserve to get. That is far too much ado about nothing. Cheers!

18. Renald - July 17, 2011

P.S. re my above, although if that is what you wish then by all means go for it. After all this IS a discussion group, supposedly. Cheers!

19. Tim Campion - July 17, 2011

17. Renald

But, Renald, it seems others were prepared to go into a “massive diatribe”, which is why I posed the question to Agent 45. I was curious if we had understood 45’s point.

20. nigel - July 17, 2011

17. Renald/19. Tim Campion

Seems to me the GF site is all about congratulating getting out and what ex-ers are doing now. Personally I find the GF site a bit of a ‘dinosaur’ – people taking ages to post back and some folks’ pages lying dormant for great lengths of time. I prefer the immediacy of our FOF Discussion Site here (no matter how many quarrels arise between posters) and have little time for GF, even though I have a page there. I am getting used to seeing others’ points of view on this blog, however hard they may ‘lay into me’.

The FOF Discussion Site is, for the most part, full of intelligent remarks and a wealth of experience (even when negative) being shared. Thank you all…..Nigel.

21. Tim Campion - July 17, 2011

20. nigel

“…no matter how hard they may ‘lay into me’.”

I knew a motorcycle rider we called “Timex”. Every time he crashed while off-roading, he just got back on the bike and kept going. That’s you!

And I agree: there’s a lot to learn here from “opposing” voices.

22. nigel - July 17, 2011

21. Tim Campion

This thing about keeping going (what with my bipolar and also getting quite old for a part-Solar)…..

I try not to think whether I am happy or not. I know I have my life’s work (quite artistic) and that I can make aims for my days at work and my occasional day off and the mentally ill me is put to one side. It has taken many years of experience and hard knocks – in the FOF I was fleeced and had my naivete and fear taken advantage of; in life after the FOF, I learnt how to grow up as a human being – but I feel I am at a juncture when I can stare death in the face, whenever it may come (and that is a big thing!)…..Nigel

23. nigel - July 17, 2011

From “Cassiopaea” website…..

Gurdjieff has another word for psychopaths, it was the Hasnamuss which I’ve read in Persian translates to s-h-i-t soul . Gurdjieff made up a checklist which could almost be considered a code of honour amongst these theives, robbers, conmen, murderers and captains of industry. The list is as follows:

Quote
(1) Every kind of depravity, conscious as well as unconscious
(2) The feeling of self-satisfaction from leading others astray
(3) The irresistible inclination to destroy the existence of other breathing creatures
(4) The urge to become free from the necessity of actualizing the being-efforts demanded by Nature
(5) The attempt by every kind of artificiality to conceal from others what in their opinion are one’s physical defects
(6) The calm self-contentment in the use of what is not personally deserved
(7) The striving to be not what one is.

Now, lets compare this to Hare’s list from the Glossary in regards to psychopaths.

Quote
Glib and superficial charm;
Grandiose sense of self-worth;
Need for stimulation;
Pathological lying;
Conning and manipulativeness;
Lack of remorse or guilt;
Shallow affect;
Callousness and lack of empathy;
Parasitic lifestyle;
Poor behavioral controls;
Promiscuous sexual behavior;
Early behavior problems;
Lack of realistic, long-term goals;
Impulsivity;
Irresponsibility;
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions;
Many short-term marital relationships;
Juvenile delinquency;
Revocation of conditional release;
Criminal versatility.

Which various points of Gurdjieff’s match the one’s of Hare?

For example Hare’s “Parasitic lifestyle” matches Gurdjieff’s “The calm self-contentment in the use of what is not personally deserved.”

Are there any that don’t fit?

(Are there any of these qualities that do not fit Burton?…..Nigel)

24. Shirley - July 17, 2011

Sorry for the long post below.

15 J.D. – Good question, about “do you support your friend no matter what or there is a limit to that? If a friend supports you no matter what, it makes he/she a very good friend (considering “no matter what” throwing your life away inside a cult)?” I think it’s a question that has complexities, because it’s something we’ve probably all experienced as both friend-er and friend-ee, so to speak.

My experience, in both directions (friends supporting me; my supporting friends) is that support is not unconditional between friends and family. Exceptions might be parents towards their children, because parents seem to exhibit a lot of forgiveness towards their offspring; but I’m not qualified to speak as a parent.

In thinking of certain instances in my life and people close to me, people pull away from even their best friends when something destructive or dangerous or wildly out of control starts to happen over a prolonged period. I’ve also seen those same people return afterwards, and have the friendship return to a secure footing. (I’m thinking of drug abuse; serious alcohol problems; domestic violence).

But what is support for a friend? There was a time that I might have thought it meant “being there for them,” no matter what. But that’s too simplistic and narrow. Maybe we have an obligation to tell our friend that what they are doing is, in our opinion, bad for them or bad for someone else, or ineffectual (certain cancer “treatments” – more below), illegal, and so on and so forth. One of my good friends used to tell me that she didn’t like a certain aspect of what I was doing in my life, but as it was not self-destructive or destructive to any one else (meaning, it wasn’t drugs or alcohol or violence), she didn’t feel a need to go beyond that. However, she never pretended to like my choice in that particular area, and would tell me so when the issue arose. If the situation were reversed, I know that I might now verbalize the same to a friend, but that is a recent development for me. Before, I was way too passive. Re: intervention, I don’t care for it, but that’s just my personality, and I haven’t given the rights or wrongs of it much thought.

Your brief example re: Lesley – (BTW, do you mean Leslie L., who recently died? I only knew about that when someone told me in a brief email that she’d died.)

Your question reminded me of 2 women I knew in NY who were diagnosed with cancer at the same time 20 years ago. One was my shiatsu masseuse, whom I came to know over a period of a few years (we’d sit and talk about our lives before and after the sessions). She abruptly ceased her practice when, at the age of ~ 40, discovered she had breast cancer. She said she intended to treat it through meditation, Chinese herbs, and other alternative, non-invasive healing methods. At the exact same time, her roommate, whom I’d met but didn’t get to know well, had a recurrence of breast cancer, and signed up for a clinical trial across the country. She got aggressive medical treatment, but as she was on a clinical trial, probably could not accept conventional chemo, etc., during that time. Two years later, I got a note from the shiatsu friend, saying her roommate had just died that month, and that she herself was doing very badly. I got a call 2 months after that from someone saying my friend had died. It was weird that they took such different courses of treatment (or non-treatment, depending on your view) and both happened to die almost at the same time.

But your Q regarding “support for a friend” and intervention: I remember thinking my shiatsu friend was a fool to think she could meditate her cancer away. I knew a bit about Chinese herbal medicine at the time, but would never have recommended it as a standalone cancer treatment. I didn’t tell her so. She was quite sure of her decision, told me people had expressed their doubts, but that’s what she wanted to do. I didn’t feel telling her that would have changed her mind.

25. Golden Veil - July 17, 2011

Thank you, Shirley. These are thoughts and situations that all of us have. I find myself wondering, is the dynamic of being in a cult similar to an addiction dynamic? In that case, you could apply the Alcoholics Anonymous Anon 3 Cs if you have a loved one that has an addiction problem. You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, you can’t cure it. A cult member could be talked into leaving the cult, couldn’t they? Forced de-programming:

26. Shirley - July 17, 2011

25-27 During my years in the FF, 2 female students were “forcibly” removed from the FF by their fathers (from what I was told). I don’t know if any professional deprogramming took place. At any rate, I don’t know how they fared in the ensuing years, how they are now, were they resentful for the intervention, are they now incredibly glad they were yanked out, etc. Of course, at the time, I remember being shocked that they were removed from the FF against their will, because the FF was considered the only place to be, (ad nauseum).

27. Tim Campion - July 18, 2011

25. Golden Veil

If only we could have all done it in under two hours!

28. Shirley - July 18, 2011

25 Golden Veil – In fact, I knew of a story where a devout, religious family hired a private investigator to look into their son. The son had been a “good boy” (clean cut, conventional) until he met some “woman who claimed to be a guru.” That woman was an ex-FFr who put herself out as some goddess. To make a long story short, the parents wanted their son back, because they felt he had fallen under the spell of a cult figure (he started letting his appearance go hippie). The son refused. Against the private investigator’s advice, the parents tried to have their son forcibly taken away. He ended up having them arrested for kidnapping. I think he won the case, and it ended quite tragically for the parents.

29. Renald - July 18, 2011

re. 25 – Golden Veil “ I find myself wondering, is the dynamic of being in a cult similar to an addiction dynamic? “

There is no difference, yes, it is an addiction and I mean neurologically speaking. First of all there was constant repetition of the party line and secondly there was a perceived psychological reward experienced. These contribute to a hard-wiring which is physical. The ability to reduce the addiction depends on the amount of time and energy which can be redirected to another subject. In effect what happens is that a different addiction needs to be input in order to starve out the old one. Essentially the old addiction will continue to exist for a long time but it might not be noticeable.
Also for the sake of relative brevity I have not mentioned till now that each of those addictions can actually be composed of many parts or branches. For example the reward gained from say attending meetings could be said to be a branch, a separate part of the main addiction, an identification in fof-speak. People unwittingly become addicted to all sorts of behaviors (needs and desires) be it in business, politics, religions, sex, nutrition, sleep patterns, exercise or the lack thereof, social life, in other words all aspects of life as we know it. These are not usually referred to as addictions but I cannot find a better word when it has progressed beyond a simple habit.
The key is in finding what will work as a substitute, at least after one has realized that the addiction exists.
Cheers!

30. dennis - July 18, 2011

Yesterday Elena and I spent the afternoon with another former student and we wanted to share an insight that all of us had. Elena and I realized that we had spent twelve years in the FOF partly because we were not able to trust our fathers, hers was bipolar and mine was depressed. We were looking for a father figure we could trust, projected that need onto RB and trusted him completely, like little children whose literal survival depended on being taken care of by the adult. It took us twelve years to realize that RB was not trustworthy because we did not have a model of a trustworthy father to compare him to. The student we were with yesterday had a better relationship with his father and he never fully trusted RB. He stayed in for five years partly because he admired and enjoyed other students.

31. Agent 45 - July 18, 2011

16. Tim Campion (Mr. Jimi!)
At the time, I had a couple of posters in mind when I said “respect”.
I kinda thought a lot of us were in the same boat, but maybe not.
No one said this had to be a civil discourse, and I don’t know who is at the helm.
Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?

32. surelyujest - July 18, 2011

Our intuition could have helped us in the beginning if we had listened to it more. Shouldn’t you be suspicious of a “system” that tells you everybody is doomed — except you?! That’s right, all those billions of people don’t have a clue, but now you do. You really are that lucky! And special! Everyone else who believes their belief really is true and correct — well, they are just wrong. Who could believe it! Lucky! Special! It seems so obvious now…appeal to our vanity (special!) and our innate survival instinct (immortal!). What a bunch of suckers we were.

33. Renald - July 18, 2011

re. 32 – surelyujest “ . Shouldn’t you be suspicious of a “system” that tells you everybody is doomed — except you?! “

Of course I was suspicious. I even knew most of it was bull and took a lot of what was being said as a joke. Yet I believed that by going along with the work ideas that the “ system“ would get me where I wanted to go. I believed that the environment, the people, were particularly useful for doing “ the work“.
I knew there were charlatans galore in that field and I was willing to take that risk. Why? Because I believed that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I had bitten on the Gurdjieff bait and the hook fit my mouth perfectly. As a matter of fact the system taught me that I was not to take it seriously. That was part of the hook, the con job. I mean had it not been for the fact that I was middle aged and that I did not expect to live a long life I would have stayed in my own country and studied Tibetan Buddhism in a serious all or nothing way. I just thought there was not that much time left. Like I said before, I had acquired habits of thought which caused me to be attracted to the fof and my addiction is what brought me there willy nilly. Given the circumstances, the psychological and neurological ones things just very simply could not have happened differently.
I can say that I was a sucker from where I stand now in my present circumstances but I don`t believe it because that is not one of my habitual thoughts. It obviously could be but I prefer other ones at this time.
Cheers!

34. Tim Campion - July 18, 2011

33. Renald

“…I was middle aged…”

Renald, your maturity at this point may have played a crucial role in establishing your skepticism. We believe in different things when we’re 20, than we do when we’re 60.

Looking back, it’s difficult to understand how we succumbed. But when I joined the Fellowship (at 22), the average student age was somewhere around 28 years. (I don’t know what the demographics are now.)

Most of us were naive, and ready to believe.

31. Agent 45

That reminds me of the words of a now-ancient Bard:

If it’s respect you seek, “you can’t always get what you want.”

35. Agent 45 - July 18, 2011

Speaking of the Bard:
Without Shakespeare
All the world wouldn’t be a stage;
No countrymen would lend anyone their ears; and,
Life wouldn’t be a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

(Ripped from the pages of a NY Times article by Edward Rothstein)

36. surelyujest - July 18, 2011

33. Renald

You are right that the hook was perfectly designed for us. Gurdjieff’s system was very clever in that regard. Maybe even genius. It didn’t just promise the world, it mixed in just enough bitter medicine to make it all so much more convincing. By throwing up obstacles, it ensures that you will dig in that much harder to overcome them. Now you’ve got commitment from the followers. Also, the idea of “effort” appeals to the Western puritanical impulse, or whatever other self flagellating impulses are in there. Combine that with the ideas that undermine confidence in your own judgment and rely on the “wisdom” of a teacher, and voila — you have a near perfect instrument of indoctrination and exploitation.

There were actually some clues right out in the open. Somewhere Ouspensky said, in response to a question about how to tell mechanical from non-mehcanical parts of us, “It’s all the machine.” I understand that now as saying the parts of us that “want to awaken” is just as mechanical as the parts that want to eat dinner. If you look at the motivations to awaken honestly, they are not so noble.

Our bodies and minds are “machines” of a biological nature, and are capable of generating great awareness and wisdom, as well as violence and other nastiness. We do the best we can to navigate it all, inclining toward the good as much as we are able. But the good and the bad are all part of us. Trying to tell us that the unpleasant parts of us are somehow not as real is simply more flattery designed to hook us, as you say.

37. Arthur - July 18, 2011

If a rightly formed magnetic center (using 1970 work words) leads to a real and true fourth way school… Well, the proof is in the pudding.

Same holds true for the schism that is now (2011) Present of Mind or whatever the older FOF is known as.

38. Renald - July 18, 2011

re. 36 – surelyujest “ We do the best we can to navigate it all, inclining toward the good as much as we are able.“

The way I see it is that we incline towards what we think or believe is the good. For example a terrorist`s idea of what is the good does not strike us a terribly good. Still remember that it is addiction. In the above example there may be 72 virgins ready and willing to please him tied to his belief and surely that can easily be seen as sufficient reward to cause his thoughts to become habitual. There are many cults or religions who do a whopping sales job regarding becomng enlightened as a final reward. It is all the same mechanical process as was said earlier.
Cheers!

39. Tim Campion - July 18, 2011

38. Renald

It is fascinating – and beneficial to all, I think – to witness you grapple with personal experiences in this very public forum. You’ve offered some stimulating perspectives and conclusions.

Your application of the term “addiction” to ideas and belief systems is intriguing.

It seems the difference between habit and addiction is largely one matter of degree. (I assume both have both physiological and psychological components.) And at a certain stage an imbedded pattern has more potential to cause harm to oneself, and to others.

As you say, we may observe all kinds of “addictions”: food, sex, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, TV, politics, games, music, power, “things”, etc., etc.

Those inputs we “gotta have” to feel complete and fulfilled (if even for a moment.)

It may be more difficult to see the habits (and addictions) of thought and reason. “When was the last time I ‘craved’ an idea, like I crave a cup of coffee?” Sometimes, the analogies aren’t quite appropriate.

But there is a sense of craving that brings one to forums such as this, that gives us pleasure in understanding our world to a greater extent, or leads to resolution of internal conflict.

And it can certainly become habitual. I guess my concern would be “when does it become detrimental?” (And who can answer that for us?)

(By the way, the example of the terrorist may be an example of your particular thought habits. I know I take pleasure in extreme examples!)

40. Shirley - July 19, 2011

16-20 re Agent 45’s “some respect” remark, and 31.

Yeah, it’s beginning to look like people feel quite differently about:
-taking responsibility for having joined;
-being in, whether for only a few years or for many years;
-what it took to leave; and
-how difficult or easy it was/is to process what effects the FF had on one.

I evidently thought it was difficult for most people to leave, and that it took a lot of work to assimilate back into ordinary life (or a new group, as the case may be for many ex-members). My hunch is that the more deeply a person was mired in the FF, then the harder it might have been to extricate oneself.

Re: taking responsibility for having joined, I continue to agree with Tim’s earlier post (might be on pg 103) that although the deal is presented as a month-to-month membership, it is true that the narrative changes as soon as you’re in. You immediately get the heavy trip that “this is it,” there’s nothing outside of it. Oh, and by the way, a special donation is due next month. (“But I just joined?”) It all preys on one’s feelings of desperation to keep a toe hold in a real something that you’re pressured to say, “Yes, I’ve verified it,” but are never encouraged to truly question what you’re supposed to be verifying.

41. Opus 111 - July 19, 2011

One of REB favorite motto was:
“We are not better than anyone, we are just luckier than everyone.”

With this gentle theme and variations, it was easy to settle in that lucky moronic state, feigning humility and reminding ourself of your “good fortune”. This progressive loss of critical faculty was reinforced by the constant criticism of intellectuals, academics or nobel prize winners (“they have nothing, we won the ultimate prize, eternal life”, etc… etc…).

The narrative became increasingly simpler over the years, expertly reinforced, until individual discourse and reflection was all but banned and sacrificed to the altar of purity of thoughts and emotions, and replaced by incessant busy-ness and zombie mantras.

It took us a long time, but we ultimately puked. At least my stomach deserves some respect!

42. Shirley - July 19, 2011

41. Somewhat related, I remember being fresh out of the FF and re-uniting with an old pal from pre-FF days (despite having cut her off when I joined). She was an art restorer. What do you know, she actually knew what Meissen was, and she had restored a few figurines (not of “our” quality, of course). What made us think that no one but we knew about things like that? (I kept discovering how paltry my cultural knowledge was, post-FF, when I made friends with people who were deeply versed in various subjects that, in the FF, we might have only grazed in a superficial way.) It made me question just how deep was my exposure to anything special during my FF years. What exactly was the FF’s many-layered world?

I think part of the problem is that many people joined at a rather young age (20s), and unless your family took you around on the European Grand Tour or you hobnobbed with the rich and famous who ate off of gold-gilded Rosenthal, you just didn’t have much first hand exposure to the constant influx of culture and “esoteric knowledge” that was given to us, day after day, year after year. This is not a blanket complaint against the cultural aspect, which I enjoyed. Rather, it’s a comment on how insulated we were, and perceived the FF’s cultural life to be precious and special. (Wasn’t the FF supposed to be building an ark or something?)

43. WhaleRider - July 19, 2011

“Some psychology professionals and many laymen now mean ‘addiction’ to include abnormal psychological dependency on such things as gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, internet, work, exercise, idolizing, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, self-injury and shopping…characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving, inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships.

~Wikipedia”

dennis:
Nice work connecting the dots, becoming more conscious of the unconscious. That’s evolution in my book. I, too, had a difficult relationship with my father; he was harsh and sometimes violent, leaving me with a deficit of male affection.

Burton is certainly no intellectual giant…he provided me with affection…for a price.

44. Renald - July 19, 2011

re. 39 – Tim Campion…“ But there is a sense of craving that brings one to forums such as this, that gives us pleasure in understanding our world to a greater extent, or leads to resolution of internal conflict.
And it can certainly become habitual. I guess my concern would be “when does it become detrimental?” (And who can answer that for us?)
From the point of view of the brain, the machine, simply going there whether intellectually, emotionally, instinctively or whatever else depending on the way the addiction was acquired or programmed is good and the result is a hormonal secretion which can be equated with a reward, a feeling good. Morals do not even enter into the picture. Now the habit can be obviously negative but that does not matter to it. A not so extreme example, one which I had for most of my life was that of nail biting. I could not quit it for love nor money as they say. Actually the fact of the matter is that my love for my daughter (also an addiction by the way) enabled me to get addicted to not biting my nails. The time factor (every moment in my day (almost) and the energy factor both were enabled because my addiction to my love for my daughter addiction was greater and once I took the first step the rest became relatively easy. It still exists as a connection in my brain albeit due to starvation is very weak at this time. Every once in a while I feel the urge to nibble maybe because a nail is cracked or because a piece of skin is sticking out due to a cut or something. My new habit though does not allow it to happen and an awareness is created. Without the awareness I might only wake up to the fact well after it was too late as it often did in the past.
The good news is that I spotted the imitation in time and a nasty habit was prevented from being born.
Now to get back to this craving which brings people to a forum such as this. As I said before the brain is not concerned whether doing it too much is detrimental or not. Another example, the heroin addict must have other addictions which prevent him from over-dosing. The brain will not stop him from going overboard and so this does happen. Obviously I do not see habits of thought as an analogy.
Give our heroin addict recurring suicidal thoughts accompanied with a feeling of relief at the thought of his death and it would be no surprise to see him over-dose. He might just as easily develop a terminal illness or have a serious car accident. The result would be the same. Many would assign these type of results to “ bad luck“.
That is only another belief. That belief allows the feeling good response. Is it detrimental? Who decides? The brain decides and it is never detrimental from its point of view. The program though is changeable and the brain will cooperate if it must. Each individual needs to reprogram it. Brain washing from the outside without the consent of the addict is possible but kind of difficult to implement.
There have been successes seen with the use of Neurolinguistic Programming combined with hypnosis or hypnotic suggestion where children were brought in by their parents or guardians. I have no doubt that the government uses these techniques as do their enemies with prisoners in war or warlike conditions. Otherwise one might get into trouble with rights activists and the law. Yet the process is a natural and constant part of life.
Cheers!

45. fofblogmoderator - July 19, 2011

The following post was written by someone named “Anderson” on 7/5/11. It “slipped through the cracks” and I apologize for not having caught it sooner.

“A couple of posts above: “I remember when this blog has represented an inspiring vehicle through which honest communication of facts has given people/members worldwide the possibility to know the truth about all things related to the Fellowship of Friends and Robert E. Burton.”

Hmm, Did someone delete all of the previous pages? Still there, last I checked. In fact, if someone were concerned that the posts lack any substance on this page (for example, your post above), they could easily scroll up the page to look at some really interesting comments. You aren’t one of those people who lie by omitting important details, would you?

***

“Reasons why credibility, respectability and likability of this blog have ridiculously plummeted:

– Gratuitous fabrication of false rumors.
– Groundless, childish scare tactics.”

Yes, you are so right. Everyone should be careful about damaging Burton’s reputation, or saying anything that reflects poorly on the Fellowship. Big priority. Major concern.

And yes, as far as scare tactics, I’ll try one: People who don’t comply with my thinking will experience a “second death” on the moon. Is that what you’re referring to?”

46. Tim Campion - July 19, 2011

41. Opus 111

“progressive loss of critical faculty”

43. WhaleRider

“Burton is certainly no intellectual giant…”

The Fellowship inhabited a world of aphorisms, and I find “speaking or writing in aphorisms” to be one of the more unfortunate and persistent legacies of our “intellectual” programming, one of those difficult-to-shake devices Shirley refers to.

(“Not that’s there’s anything wrong with aphorisms.”)

However, Burton recognized early on that he could leverage his humble intellectual gift and feign a much greater wisdom by borrowing these nuggets from true intellects.

But he failed to appreciate that they were to be used as a seasoning, not a substitute for the main course. These distillations often represented a product of critical thinking, intended to inspire others, not to be used as currency.

He seemed to have a craving, a desperation to be something he was not. (Perhaps its connected to “father issues” such as dennis and Whalerider touched upon.)

Within his school, he established the intellectual baseline – his own. He was free of any metrics, save his own arbitrary ones.

I have witnessed a much deeper level of engagement here in the blog (and on the Greater Fellowship site) than was found in the often shallow and rigidly circumscribed intellectual world experienced in the Fellowship.

***

P.S. WhaleRider: thanks for revealing the source of my “angles”.

47. Tim Campion - July 19, 2011

44. Renald

“From the point of view of the brain, the machine, simply going …is good and the result is a hormonal secretion which can be equated with a reward, a feeling good. Morals do not even enter into the picture. Now the habit can be obviously negative but that does not matter to it.”

“As I said before the brain is not concerned whether doing it too much is detrimental or not.”

***

I appreciate your passion and conviction, but don’t necessarily agree with your characterization of the brain as a seemingly monolithic entity.

Thoughts, feelings, morals, etc. do enter in (at least in my brain, and from your example, in yours. Otherwise you might not care whether your daughter chewed her nails.)

You describe biting nails as an addiction, but that feels like a pretty heavy sentence. Do you have to be “addicted” to your daughter to overcome the “addiction” to nail-biting?

There is another way to deal with it: take up the guitar. (It works, and you don’t have to be addicted to the guitar.)

Coming to this forum might be a habit, it might be an addiction, and it certainly creates an internal conflict arising from the need to “allocate scare resources”, as they say in economics. Different capacities within the brain are brought to bear. Hormones may be at work, but so are many problem-solving capabilities, layered in with learned patterns.

I am not ready to be likened to the suicidal heroine addict, but I do have concerns about the habit.

48. Tim Campion - July 19, 2011

…scarce…

49. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 19, 2011

36. surelyujest – July 18, 2011:

‘If you look at the motivations to awaken honestly, they are not so noble.’

Yes, this is a good point. Consider this:
That those attracked to the Fourth Way, and many other spiritual pursuits, are primarily interested in GETTING consciousness (as if it could be gotten and possessed like A Influence) rather than giving or conveying consciousness to others. (At least that was my personal experience and what I saw with many others over a period of decades.) And, then, when conveyance becomes part of the necessary process, there must be payment of some kind. Thereby, Influence C devolves and becomes Influence A. From that, comes the idea that Influence C, a precious resource, is limited and thus that hinders its more widespread proliferation.

50. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 19, 2011

Oops, ‘attracked’ should be ‘attracted’ in above post.

51. Renald - July 19, 2011

re. 47 – Tim Campion “ Do you have to be “addicted” to your daughter to overcome the “addiction” to nail-biting?“

Not necessarily, but that is what worked for me. I could have taken up the guitar and by that I mean that I could have gotten somewhat addicted to playing the guitar and that little bit of an addiction could have grown substantially with sufficient time and energy. All permutations are possible. This is why though we are all basically the same we are all different. That is how evolution works. Most of our problems occur when we start disallowing but I don`t want to get going in that tangent since it also disallows dissent.
I post in order to present a possibility that others, who I care for, might consider in order to better their lives. It is up to them if they want to do so or not. I don`t remember asking for a fee. That makes it a bargain. I don`t ask for and don`t expect respect or admiration or friendship or anything else that I can think of because I understand how that works. Yes, I habitually post my thoughts and have done so on other occasions. I know enough that when I stop feeling good about doing so I will stop. I decide. Otherwise my addiction would become detrimental to me and there are plenty others out there for me to get hooked on.
Cheers!

52. surelyujest - July 19, 2011

49 Wouldn’t You Like to Know

Exactly. The system is supposed to be based on being present and on verification. Yet so many followers spend so much time talking about either the rewards or dire consequences that occur after death, or even about things that supposedly took place before this life (past lives, recurrence). So, it’s the unknowable combined with imaginary pasts and futures — very far from the present.

53. Tim Campion - July 19, 2011

George Carlin back from the dead

This video has been dusted off and rolled out by MoveOn.org to highlight the current state of affairs in Washington. Apropos of recent blog discussions, we could almost replace “The American Dream” with “The Fellowship Dream” here.

54. Mr. Burp - July 19, 2011

On the idea: an addiction for an addiction. In my opinion the best way is just to stop completely, without allowing yourself to again cross the line (the gatehouse?) that became an ordinary and familiar threshold… easier said than done, right? And here is where a friend is so important: to share fear, to get courage… to walk with you through it (having additional truthful and helpful information available doesn’t hurt). The addiction-substitution theory reminds me too much of the “one buffer for one buffer”, the one eye for an eye theory that the fourth-way-joke fantasizes about. Among ex-FoF and in the greater FoF there are plenty who did that: they traded the FoF for non-dualists, the universe, shamans, advaitas, new and old religions, transurfing and other mumbo-jumbo substitute spiritual activities. If you have a gambling problem, does going to a different, better, fairer casino help?
The cure to belief is not to believe, the only possible awakening is to wake-up from the dream of awakening.

Regarding the father figure: my dad and I always shared a good relationship, and I stayed for fifteen years! RB might have given that sort of cardboard affection, but when I refuse to continue to travel with him he treated me like a piece of garbage, worse: like I didn’t exist, and yet years later there I was… So much for that theory.

The narrative changes but the facts don’t. We got out of the FoF, somehow we got out of a place where the teacher we chose, our leader and guide, our role model and inspiration showers with the number 2 angel in the universe and tells us he is a goddess in a man’s body while he sucks us dry. We got out of the mental institute in which we locked ourselves by our very own choices, the narrative changes and now we are cool.

There are some people who saw right through the cult crap from the beginning and stayed for years; there are some others who stayed because they were having fun in the community, like a club med and they stayed for years; some others never believed in the fairy tales of the teacher and stayed for years, some people ‘worked’ just with the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and they stayed for years… same difference… same result. We are always on the look-out for excuses and justifications to make us feel better, to make us feel not such losers, that maybe getting out was something special… and here we go again.

Fbm:

Hooliganistic support for this blog aside… Do you really read all the posts? Because hints of repeated excessive behavior beg to differ.

What would it be an “important detail”, your judgment about what post had substance and what comment was interesting?

– Gratuitous fabrication of false rumors: no matter who is about and what the motive is, a lie is still a lie.

– Groundless, childish scare tactics: how would you define threatening members of a cult/church to choose a side because the FBI investigation will be bring harsh consequences upon them?

Don’t take it personally; despite being very opinionated it is a good thing that this arena is still open, although…

55. Dennis Larson - July 19, 2011

I just wanted to throw in my two cents about addiction. I like to reserve the term for self medication that becomes connected with the survival part of the brain, the mid-brain, the Instinctive Center. The theory I like to work with is that addiction is caused by stress, either a lot of stress or being especially sensitive to stress. Stress hormones flood the blood and brain. We use a drug, or some other behavior, and our stress temporarily goes away. After a few uses, because of the brain chemistry, the mid-brain gets activated each time and the craving for the substance is experienced on the level of life or death. The adrenal glands dump adrenaline into the blood and the pancreas dumps sugar for energy. Our sight and hearing get very acute. We are ready to fight or flee. And what is most interesting is that the frontal cortex, the thinking feeling part of the brain, shuts down. Brain scan imaging shows the mid-brain lighting up and the frontal cortex going dark. The instinctive center, in it’s great wisdom, knows that thoughts and feelings would get in the way of fast action. This is why we make poor decisions when we are in a craving state. (Associatively, out of control anger activates similar stress hormones that activate the mid-brain and shut down the frontal cortex. This is why we make poor decisions when we are very angry and why the best thing we can do when very angry is immediately get away from the situation, until the frontal cortex has time to come back online.)
Similar to what has been described in these posts, the most important factor for getting control of an addiction is to find something personal that is more important than the addiction. AA uses admitting ones helplessness and surrendering to a higher power. What I find often works better than higher power is realizing that there is a person, or persons, in one’s life who are more important. We can do much more for others than we can do for ourselves.

56. Tim Campion - July 19, 2011

(Dennis – it is good to hear your thoughts again!)

My apologies to fellow bloggers and readers alike for injecting another lengthy post. In recent weeks, I have been “digitizing” some personal archives, and came across these gems. I thought they should be included in the on-line record. This should be my last such post.

The following shows Robert Burton in “damage control mode” following Miles’ departure. I believe it was unusual at the time for dinner notes to be immediately published and distributed, but as Robert said, this was an unusual “shock”, and it called for extraordinary measures.

***

Notes From the Teacher’s Dinner

March 18, 1985 through March 24, 1985

I have worked seventeen years with influence C and Miles’ departure rates as one of the most unexpected shocks. I arrived home from my trip at 3:30, feeling that I had everything under lock and key. Miles insisted on seeing me. I asked him to wait a week, but after a shower, I called him back.

Miles mentioned that he was leaving his teacher as I had left my teacher. However, Miles was with the Fellowship fourteen years and I was with my teacher eighteen months. I told him he was making a mistake. My teacher never said that. (ed: Robert was reportedly asked to leave Alex Horn’s school.)

I am not trying to think about how I can understand; I am thinking about how you can understand. As events unfold they will help you understand. When I talked to Miles I asked that he not work with Fellowship students or former students. Miles stressed that they would have to decide for themselves. One does not take another teacher’s students, yet I think that this will occur.

Miles did wonderful service for the Fellowship. We have had that taken away. C influence is removing our crutch.

There are no former students that I dislike. One cannot experience self-remembering and dislike simultaneously.

Goethe said there are moments in which time can be so cruel. This was a cruel moment. Our job is to handle it because we can not change it; but we can change ourselves.

Angels are brilliant technicians and they have delivered a brilliant shock. Students may not understand how much I am an impartial observer to the play. Naturally, for they are HIGHER forces, I know better than to challenge them, but rather use their shocks.

This shock was designed to prepare us for more difficult shocks. The new Russian premier (ed: Mikhail Gorbachev) has a birthmark on the top of his head. He looks as if he has been clubbed. It is one of the worst omens I have ever seen. He is an actor appearing on the stage of hydrogen warfare.

In dealing with a shock of this magnitude one needs to separate, and also to affirm and reaffirm one’s aim to separate, and to realize it.

For every student that fails, ten will be strengthened.
This means more responsibility for all of us, and more responsibility means more being for all of us.

On the surface, a shock like this appears to make a jungle out of evolution, but on the contrary it can bring unity and harmony to one’s life. Its true meaning is to produce the third state and not identification.

With shocks like this one, one must keep one’s thinking above feminine dominance. One has to use it to be present and not identify with one’s feelings about it. If one is identified with it, one is under feminine dominance. Rainier Maria Rilke called us “wasters of sorrows.”

I am grateful for this shock. It has helped people to awaken; it has jarred them. I am grateful for that.

Each of us will need to make continued efforts after this shock. Six to twelve weeks – it is not something one can relax with. One really can never relax, but it is more apparent now.

Student: There are many students who do not have the good fortune to know you or to see you. Some of these students are confused because they know Miles and are not sure what action to take.

Teacher: Those who are crystallizing correctly will survive; those content with influence B will fail.

Student: It is very painful to have friends leave. It is something we can not understand.

Teacher: It is a natural occurrence for evolution. If we look at conscious beings they almost always lose their wife or child. So this kind of suffering is, in a way, a logical kind of suffering, considering that we are involved in evolution.

Student: Is there a way for those who are struggling to ask for help?

Teacher: The shock is designed to force understanding from people, to force something from oneself and, from one angle, not from me. Forced to one’s own understanding – nothing could be better than that.

We can and should always retreat to self-remembering. Early in my development if I could not understand something within ten minutes, I would let it go. Intuitively, I knew that the machine was undermining self-remembering. A work “I” is: “Listen to no ‘I’s now.” So I would do the looking and listening exercises, trying with all my being to dodge the many “I”s. And how sweet the “I”s can be, trying to entice one.

Something important for men number four is not to be slowed down by one another. Plato said, “Press on those ahead of you and forget about those behind.” Especially, the higher your level of being, you must not let others slow you down.

The first Gurdjieff book I bought was sold to me by a man who was a little disdainful of Gurdjieff. He said the Gurdjieff was full of holes. I said that awakening is like a donut – keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole. There are plenty of holes in the Fellowship, but there is a donut too.

One in five that enter this School enter the Way. All of Mr. Gurdjieff’s students left him. Mr. Ouspensky had a five percent retention rate, and my former teacher had much less than that. We have about a twenty percent retention rate. That is one reason I try to stay away from new students; if they leave, I do not want them to leave with my time.

In your life you will see that I have never stopped teaching. A teacher realizes himself by withdrawing.

Rodney Collin said one can love a teacher but not understand him. It is the same with influence C; we can love them but not understand them.

When we have already found influence C, why should we go looking for it elsewhere?

I wish I could convey to you how lucky we are. Paul said, “Everything I have gained is due to suffering.” This shock is suffering, but we will gain.

All that is certain is that we have this moment, our aim to awaken, and influence C; that is all we know.

Influence C do everything they can to shake us from them. Those who can not be shaken are worthy to enter Heaven.

Nothing is sacred – nothing but our aim to awaken. There is nothing influence C will not do to produce that. We are the lucky recipients of their work.

The end justifies the means. I think that one understands that simply these days. The system has to be very simple to reach us.
We could not possibly be delivered without shocks. No matter how much we are suffering, we can always look around and see someone, some life person, suffering more. Everyone suffers, but we have been instructed by Angels to transform suffering – and make something of it.

We cannot escape through thinking; we cannot escape through laughing or crying; we can only escape through self-remembering.

What there is to gain is so great that I speak two words incessantly and incessantly return to those two words: self-remembering.

finis

57. fofblogmoderator - July 19, 2011

54 is new

In response to your question (Mr.Burp) as to whether I read all the posts- yes I do. Sometimes I read them in a cursory manner, but in my opinion nothing has warranted my intervention for quite a while. I have had to ask Nigel a couple of times to try to measure how much he contributes and to try curtail the volume. Other than that it hasn’t been since Greg and Elena were active that I’ve had to intervene.

I can’t act as a filter to determine which statements are false and which are true. If someone heard that Burton has AIDS and they write it here- so be it. As far as threatening members of a cult to choose sides- that post didn’t mention any specific names did it? It’s when two people are active on the blog and threatening each other or repeatedly trying to offend the other that I step in.

I don’t determine which posts are “interesting”- they all get in.

58. Renald - July 19, 2011

re. 55 – Dennis Larson`s “ We can do much more for others than we can do for ourselves.“
Some of us can and some of us cannot. My heroin addict friend is not able to find anything, not his successful business, not his wife, not his son who died on Christmas Day looking for his father on Vancouver`s heroin alley, not even his own survival which he risked repeatedly. He did tell me though that if he ever found something better he would switch. More important? No, for him it would mean anything which is more desireable, which feels better and I assume that it wold have to be on an instinctive level. Maybe there is a disfunction or incapability on the emotional level which could have occurred with heroin usage. Maybe that also happens with sociopaths. Maybe they are addicted to the control over others to satisfy their other addictions. That makes sense to me. In order to find something else which is more important or maybe desireable it seems to me that one would have to have the ability to focus on that something else which may or may not be possible depending on the individual.
Cheers!

59. dennis - July 20, 2011

Renald, that is one of the saddest accounts I have ever heard. I would probably kill myself with drugs if that happened to me also. If he has any other children, or for his wife, or for a higher power, if he realized that the most loving and helpful thing he could do for them would be to stop his addiction and dedicate his life to helping them, that is the only thing that I can imagine that could save him from killing himself.

60. WonderingWhosWatching - July 20, 2011

55. Dennis Larson – July 19, 2011:

‘I just wanted to throw in my two cents. . .’

Why is it said, when you put in your views in on a subject:
‘put in my two cents worth’
But, when people want to know what a person thinks on a subject, it is said:
‘a penny for your thoughts’??? Just wondering.

When ‘stress hormones flood the blood and brain,’ for whatever reason, this is very detrimental for the cardiovascular system and other aspects of the organism and serves to reduce the length of time of that life on the planet. [Studies have shown that it actually permanently scars one on the inside.] So, it saves your life in the moment of fight/flight/freeze response but causes you to die sooner in the long run – not to mention what it does to your consciousness. (Adrenal overload is a chronic condition of modern man; avoid inflammatory circumstances.) Value consciousness above your life and you just might save your life.

As the wise ancient court philosopher said, when confronted by the barbarian invading warrior, who said, ‘What would you do old man? Do you not fear me and know that I could kill you in an instant?,’ ‘I could let you.’

61. Agent 45 - July 20, 2011

I think it’s cute, fofblogmoderator. I think he’s attrackted to you.

62. WhaleRider - July 20, 2011

“One cannot experience self-remembering and dislike simultaneously.”

“One really can never relax, but it is more apparent now.”

“Those who can not be shaken are worthy to enter Heaven.”

“We cannot escape through thinking; we cannot escape through laughing or crying; we can only escape through self-remembering.”

Great example of burton’s party line meme right about the time when I left.

What a crock of rhino poop!

63. Renald - July 20, 2011

re. 62 – Whalerider—“ Those who can not be shaken are worthy to enter Heaven.”
And those who are shaken (out of their fof tree) go straight to the moon, Bang, Zoom, to the moon, Alice!
How can anyone leave when they are inclined to believe (repeat the thoughts to themselves or to others) this garbage? They cannot until something better comes along and taps them on the shoulder(so to speak) hard enough to draw their attention and long enough to ensure neuronal linkup. Then a real awakening can happen.
Cheers!

64. Shirley - July 20, 2011

56 Tim – Thanks for posting. It’s good to read a primary source once in awhile to remind one how vapid and non-sensical some of those seemingly profound statements are. I can almost hear his martyr-like tone of voice, too.

30 Dennis, about the father figure one could trust: My experience was a bit different. I was very close to my father, barring a period of active teenage rebellion and being distant from him during my FF years. He was reliable and trustworthy. I had turned my back on him when I joined the FF, and I’d always felt that RB’s authoritarian ways was the substitute that I needed. I would not have questioned my father’s trustworthiness, which might partially explain why I had trouble reconciling RB’s depraved behavior, even though I knew about it (third-hand, from women, not from men) many years before I left the FF.

65. X-ray - July 20, 2011

56Tim

nots from the teacher..

Jeez, reading thru this crap I had no other thoughts that burton´s ideology is actually satanic, not only sick. the base to his evil doctrine is suffering and pain. this psychopath must be arrested and criminaly charged with multiple accounts now!

66. nigel - July 20, 2011

I have waited several days before posting my ‘nickel’s worth’ about the subject of a father figure. My own angle would be more about parental figures – my parents came from good stock and both were generous with their attributes, being ‘firm but fair’. I did not have rebellious teenage years but, when I joined the FOF at the age of 21, it was my mother whom I told about what I was experiencing but, since I was stil at art-college until the age of almost 23, I told nothing to my father, of whom I was more afraid, about what I was attempting spiritually. Actually, I never foisted upon Burton the role of a father figure – I expected a teacher to be exactly that – someone who could lead me to a knowledge of higher possibilities – I asked endless questions at Burton-led dinners about how this could be achieved, but still held on to my ESSENCE AIM of wanting to become as good a craftsman in precious metals as I could.

Burton’s aims are not to teach possibilities of awakening but to instill fear of his dominance and greed – not to produce freedom of conscience but to have the membership makes the difference of an American Express Card over embracing LIFE IN ALL ITS FULLNESS.

…..Nigel.

67. Shirley - July 21, 2011

This book review of “An Anatomy of Addiction” came out today in the NY Times, in case it is of interest. It’s about cocaine use during the late 1880s, before people realized it was addictive. I’m not commenting one way or another about the book or the substance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/books/howard-markel-on-cocaine-in-anatomy-of-addiction.html?emc=eta1

68. Tim Campion - July 21, 2011

66. nigel (and Dennis, Shirley, Renald…)

I was about the same age. I was hooked from my first encounters at the teaching house in Malibu, California. It was such a positive, child-like atmosphere; a dramatic contrast to the world I was coming from. My first prospective student meeting was about a month after I was booted out of the military for rebelling against their brand of insanity. I didn’t realize I was about to trade one form of brainwashing for another (and maybe, as Renald suggests, substituting one addiction for another.)

Burton relished the parent/teacher role. In those days, students would line up at the Lincoln Lodge for a brief personal “audience” with him, during which we would ask our most burning questions. (Important stuff like “should I enter a relationship with so-and-so” or “should I sell my motorcycle?”)

60. WonderingWhosWatching

For some reason, my “aphorism alarm” just went off…

69. nigel - July 21, 2011

65. X-ray

I can understand your venemous tone concerning Burton. I realize he has been ‘getting away with murder’, both psychologically and literally. Both you and I have contacted authorities who may be interested in conducting deep investigations into the cult. I believe all we can do is ‘keep on knocking on the door of conscience’, both with authorities and with the current FOF-fers who may be looking for a way out. You are right about Burton being Satanic. An ex-member who was close to G Haven actually said to me – “You know, Nigel, there is real evil in the Fellowship of Friends”. THINK!…..Nigel.

70. nigel - July 21, 2011

60. WonderWhosWatching

I have adrenal overload when I become manic (and opposed by those who would wish to restrain me). That is part of my bipolar. I am also a part-Martial type. I do know that I feel ‘drained’ after such episodes and my mind becomes dull. I am quite happy now to take my huge amounts (daily) of anti-psychotics and remain ‘stable yet practically creative’, rather than have those huge ‘highs’ that lead to delusional behaviour and, sometimes, hospitalization…..Nigel.

71. X-ray - July 21, 2011

69 Nige,

Well, if more people would be knocking on the same doors, I think we would be witnessing a trial now.
Burton´s nature is evil, so his creation is evil as well. A rotten fruits comes from a rotten tree.
This people are hard core criminals and it is truly amazing how dumb down others are who can´t see that.
This is actually unbelievable.
I have no words anymore, nor do I have a patience. The stupidity of people is disgusting.

72. nigel - July 21, 2011

71. X-ray

I feel that directed agression can sometimes have positive effects (aiding the process of necessary destruction)…..Nigel.

73. Mr. Burp - July 21, 2011

58. Renald

Not to play devil’s advocate here, but do you consider your heroin addict friend (btw: excruciating story) a psychopath that for his addiction must be arrested and criminally charged? Do you think that his nature is evil?

74. X-ray - July 21, 2011

No, I am not been aggressive here, Nige, I´m only saying what I think the way I think it.
I remember when 9/11 happened, at the very next meeting someone ask burton what was he thinking about it (back then we were allowed to ask questions)and his reply was ´´this is C influence¨.
To me that was a first red flag (very red in fact) and a serious shack up. I thought back then if gods are so evil and they have murdered 3000 innocent people in such a horrible way, then these gods are most likely demons which I don´t want to have any thing in common with.
He also said that the big fire in Oregon House which destroyed many properties was also orchestrated by the same gods, in fact, he said it was a Rodney Colling job.
So if the guy is so much oriented on the pain, suffering, destruction and death, what makes him to be other than an evil scumbag?

75. silentpurr - July 21, 2011

I think my first major disappointment with him was when during a meeting, he looked up at the ceiling and calmly stated that C-Influence had now taken the shape of Leonardo di Vinci and was smiling down upon us. I had joined the Fellowship feeling fortunate to have safely escaped the clutches of the Catholic Church and that the 4th Way would offer more Truth. C- Influence as I understood had nothing to do with one’s ‘visions”.

76. Alexander Paramount - July 21, 2011

parallel universe ?😀
http://greaterfellowship.ning.com/

77. whalerider - July 21, 2011

IMO, the substitution of one habit for another usually provides some harm reduction but only temporary relief from addiction, since the frontal cortex is not engaged in either case, and habit substitution by itself fails to address the underlying issues of dependency.

It is more clear to me that the opposite of being dependent is to become more independent (and thus more mature), yet the opposite of addiction is not to become addicted to or dependent upon something else less harmful.

I think that the cult’s “addictive” or “habitual” nature stems from nurturing an increasing amount of dependency in the followers the longer they stay.

From the cult’s perspective, better stay put, the world is a big, bad, scary place. A follower sacrifices first their will, then their conscience for primal safety.

78. nigel - July 21, 2011

Brilliant posts – X-ray and WhaleRider…..Nigel

79. Renald - July 21, 2011

re 73 – Mr. Burp – It is not a crime to be addicted to anything except when someone gets addicted to crimes. I mean we all have to be responsible for our actions. However one thing leads to another.
In this specific case my friend did break the law and is in jail at this time. I think good and evil are highly subjective. While in America pedophilia for example is judged to be a horrible crime, it is widely accepted as a quite normal activity in some countries.
Do I think that his nature is evil? If his nature is evil then all our natures are evil. By that I mean that it is our nature to be addicted taking that word in the way which I have been describing. I hardly would look for acceptance re. this idea and it is just as well that I am not addicted to having my ideas, thoughts or beliefs accepted like someone I know with the initials of REB.
I don`t like all others` addictions but I would not agree to judge the persons who have them and no I am not religious.
Cheers!

80. Tim Campion - July 22, 2011

On the Lam?

To fofblogmoderator, and all. For discussion:

The Fellowship of Friends has changed its on-line identity so many times, you’d think they were running from the law!

The Wikipedia page for Fellowship of Friends was taken down. Apparently it could not withstand a mediated, collaborative community discussion that gave voice to both boosters and detractors.

I suspect the name Fellowship of Friends is a cross Robert Burton would rather not bear, but perhaps the name is inextricably tied to that precious 501(c)(3) tax exemption granted to “churches”.

The
“Who We Are” section of the “Living Presence” website tells us

The Fellowship of Friends is registered as a 501(c)(3) California non-profit church organization and is a member of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) and the California Council of Churches.

Membership in those two groups appears to be nothing but a cynical attempt to portray legitimacy. Other than tax-exempt status, what do these organizations have in common?

If one purpose of this blog is to advise the public in general, and prospective students in particular, of the risks the Fellowship presents to members and the community, then we may need to modify the name of this Discussion page.

If it can be done easily, I would suggest titling the page:

Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence Discussion

or

Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway to Presence Discussion

Currently, a search for “Living Presence” will not “find” this discussion. (At least using the several search engines I’ve tried.)

If people are being referred to “Living Presence” on-line (without being given the specific web address), they will not be introduced to this discussion.

(If they search for “Fellowship of Friends” on-line, they cannot avoid the controversy!)

Another way to provide more visibility to search engines is, where appropriate, to use “Living Presence” or “Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence” when referring to the organization in our conversation here. (Such a device was suggested early in the blog’s history.)

I’m not a “techie”. If others have thoughts on making this forum more visible, please speak up.

Thanks.

81. Renald - July 22, 2011

Re. 77 Whalerider– “ I think that the cult’s “addictive” or “habitual” nature stems from nurturing an increasing amount of dependency in the followers the longer they stay.“

If that were the case would it not follow that dropping the fof addiction would be virtually impossible for long timers? Yet the record shows that the retention rate for old timers has to be under ten percent.

As a member I often heard and developed the habit of believing that those who left were simply looking for the right reason to leave. I still believe that in a way, not necessarily actively looking but definitely passive looking.

The expansion, for example, that a member feels after joining is great, feels great, and that is addictive. When this feeling ceases to be felt the wandering eyes become active. This must be so if my theory is correct. Where the heck is my next fix? Of course it may or may not be conscious and it may or may not be covered up (buffered). This is a simplistic view because there may be and probably are many such addictions connected in one way or another.
For some getting a regular blow job from anyone at all could easily develop into a habit. That is not so hard to fathom, is it? For others the fof could be a good hiding place, one grown accustomed to and not willing to let go of even if the mumbo jumbo does lose it attraction.
I repeat, we are all different when it comes to the fine details. I can tell my story in detail and there might not be anyone else past, present or future for whom it would be the same. Yet in a broader sense we are identical, we are human. We do have the freedom of choice even if we are not aware of it. Use it or lose it, as they say.

I can hear it now, “ What about the victims, the ones who have been hurt or damaged by someone else`s addictions? They did not choose to be victimized, to be fondled on that long road trip to the condo in the mountains or to the desert. They did not choose to be dropped like a hot potato by their beloved teacher for choosing to not continue on a perverted path.

I am leaving this question open, to fester, to be considered. I know my answer and I understand that it will not be popular. I look forward to your thoughts on this subject.
Cheers!! by the way, does anyone know how to say `Cheers!!` in Russian?

82. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 22, 2011

56. Tim Campion – July 19, 2011:

Notes From the Teacher’s Dinner
March 18, 1985 through March 24, 1985

Thanks for that, Tim Traveler. I remember those times. What has arrived in your text is useful to read, and yet, they are only a shadow of events that transpired then. Most of what appeared in print from FoF was highly edited by one or a few people and subject to the chief editor, REB, ultimately.

As I remember, from my first hand experience, the Miles departure caused REB to express negative emotion(s). This was the first time I witnessed that from him, after my several years in FoF. That taught and informed me, fairly early on, that REB was not a perfect teacher (guru), just like the many such type people (holy relics as I call them) I had met up to that point in time and since. [To those not familiar with FoF exercises and/or tasks, non-expression of negative emotions was at the top of the list. REB used to say that if there was one, and only one, exercise that one could use to become conscious, that, alone, could do it. Or, something like that.]

I learned to glean the gems of consciousness development in the rough places and the refined and held that no one person was ‘The Teacher’ – and, thereby was able to be a student and learn from many different circumstances and sources, in FoF, out of FoF, and from the general school of life.

‘Nothing is sacred – nothing but . . . aim to awaken.’ Not even REB or FoF is sacred.

83. fofblogmoderator - July 22, 2011

#80 is new and if you look at the top of this page the title has now been updated

84. WhaleRider - July 22, 2011

Renald:
“If that were the case would it not follow that dropping the fof addiction would be virtually impossible for long timers?”

Only if the follower is masochistic enough to remain in a state of infantile dependency, like the 10% who stay on.

But the majority of people grow up and do leave, eventually.

It speaks to the difference between nature vs. nurture. Despite the cult’s indoctrination, it is in our nature to crave freedom from oppression. The cult labels this craving for freedom, “the lower self” in order to nurture further dependency.

85. Tim Campion - July 22, 2011

82. Wouldnt You Like To Know

“Most of what appeared in print from FoF was highly edited by one or a few people and subject to the chief editor, REB, ultimately.”

***

Yes, these notes were no doubt edited.

(However, the “Mozart Deck” notes previously posted – Part 104, Post 128, were verbatim from the scribe’s handwritten notes, before the Official Editors took over. But even at the time of writing, scribes likely practiced some editorial discretion. And, in having some fun altering proper names, I joined the ranks of editors.)

86. Tim Campion - July 22, 2011

83. fofblogmoderator

“if you look at the top of this page the title has now been updated”

***

THANKS!

So, if they’re looking for LIVING PRESENCE, they should check this page out as well!

87. Agent 45 - July 22, 2011

Join Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway to Presence!
Your suffering is proof that it is working.
Long Lasting Results.
No Money Back.
Not Void…, yet.

88. X-ray - July 22, 2011

Thanks Tim, we defenitly have to follow and update all new names.. and of course it has to do with legal issues more than with anything else. These fellowship crookes are known for their dirty tricks.

89. Renald - July 22, 2011

re 81 – Renald partial edit or add-on for clarification. “ As a member I often heard and developed the habit of believing that those who left were simply looking for the right reason to leave. I still believe that in a way, not necessarily actively looking but definitely passive looking. “
After all there are way more right reasons to leave than to stay.
The proof is in the pudding.
On another topic I do not consider new or older members to be masochistic or infantile in the derogatory sense of the word`s usage which is an insult to children and a sign of not knowing what one wants. Children do and boy do they let you know and that is how it should be. It is too bad that the electorate so easily forget this fact. It is however part of the fof brainwashing technique to feed us repeatedly with loop-thoughts to ensure that we do forget what it is that we wanted when we joined.
It is our nature to crave enjoyment. When that ceases we look for the above mentionned `right reasons to leave` because that is our nature, to be nurtured. One phrase often used which describes this well goes something like this, “ The sense of adventure is no longer there.“ So the looking starts for a new adventure. If this thought continues it can become a habit which is called boredom. With time it earns the name depression, which I would call the addiction.
Cheers!

90. Renald - July 22, 2011

Associatively about wanting……..

YOU CAN`T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT, BUT

[chorus]
I saw her today at a reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Oh yeah, hey hey hey, oh…

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
Sing it to me now…

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled

I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him

You can’t always get what you want, no!
You can’t always get what you want (tell ya baby)
You can’t always get what you want (no)
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
Oh yes! Woo!

You get what you need–yeah, oh baby!
Oh yeah!

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

You can’t always get what you want (no, no baby)
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, ah yes…

This old Rolling Stone tune brings back a lot of memories in particular one lonely night on Cortez Island where I was the audience of one for a live performance. Shortly after I moved to Oregon House. (at least it does not change it`s name every second or third year.

You will have noticed if you read it that a key word here is the word `need`.
Need is clearly a strong component in addiction. Not so much that the need has to be real but it does have to be a magnet. How does that happen? It sneaks in on the thought highway. That includes feelings and emotions, some form of perception, some form of experience. It exists at the birth and it exists at the death of the addiction.
If we have any kind of thought that we need, we need.
If we have any kind of thought that we want, we need, especially with repetition and intensity of energy. Again emotional energy is the most quick and powerful.
That reminds me of another song. Just joking. Actually I always thought that I never paid any attention to lyrics. Hmmm!
Cheers!

91. surelyujest - July 22, 2011

A clue that someone has become a cult-brainwashed tool: frequent disparaging comments about “life people,” or some other derogatory term that means the same thing: “most people,” the “average citizen,” etc. The problem is that if you have been thinking in this way since your twenties, your brain has become permanently warped, and has probably suffered actual physical changes that affect your perception, allowing you to only see what reinforces your beliefs.

The average person, in fact, is much more complex and perceptive than these cartoon versions peddled by gurus with a vested interest in selling self-worth inflating caricatures. But once you’ve bought into this two dimensional worldview, it can be very hard to see things more objectively again.

92. Tim Campion - July 22, 2011

88. X-ray

You’re welcome. Credit where credit is due: “Golden Veil” actually suggested the name update back at Part 99 – Post 1.

93. WhaleRider - July 22, 2011

Dear Board Members of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) and the California Council of Churches:

As you may or may not be aware, your organization has within its ranks a quasi-church known most recently as “Living Presence” and formally known as “Pathway to Presence” and as the “Fellowship of Friends”. The group displays its affiliation with your organization in its online advertising here: http://livingpresence.com/who-we-are/Fellowship-of-Friends.html

What you do not know is that the founder and pastor of this corrupt, hedonistic cult, Mr. Robert E. Burton, regularly has sex with multiple male members of his flock, uses his position of power to live a lavish and expensive lifestyle, and has had a civil law suit filed against him for having sex with an under-aged boy infecting him with the herpes virus, which settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money whereby all are sworn to secrecy. The details of the suit, a matter of public record are here:

(insert B vs. B)

We trust that upon closer scrutiny, you will find the above mentioned group does not meet your high standards of moral decency and has absolutely nothing in common with the Christian faith. In fact, Mr. Robert E. Burton claims to be the second coming of Christ.

We pray you will take this matter as seriously as we do and take the appropriate action.

Sincerely,

Former Follower of Robert E. Burton

94. WhaleRider - July 22, 2011

PS Burton has and continues to encourage his married female followers to have abortions instead of having a family.

95. Agent 45 - July 22, 2011

92. 93. WhaleRider
That’s the type of doing something I admire.

96. X-ray - July 22, 2011

92 Whale

Good letter. I hope it will be sent out very soon.
The more the better.

97. X-ray - July 22, 2011

92
I would also attach the Petition link to this letter.

98. X-ray - July 22, 2011

actually, all links should be attached to it, Whale, Rick Ross, the blog, Petition…

99. Tim Campion - July 22, 2011

92. Whalerider

Thanks for taking this initiative.

For those who wish to join him:

Contact information for both organizations:

International Council of Community Churches

California Council of Churches

Link to details of Troy Buzbee lawsuit

(Whalerider: do you have a better source for the B vs. B case details?)

100. Golden Veil - July 22, 2011

92. WhaleRider – July 22, 2011

“In fact, Mr. Robert E. Burton claims to be the second coming of Christ.”

I thought he has claimed to be “…the brightest light in 2000 years.” Well, I guess that could be construed to mean “the second coming of Christ,” but it’s not quite the same, is it? It doesn’t really seem that he presents himself to be Jesus reborn… if anything, his line of talk leans more towards claiming that he is the second coming of Isis!

Is it true that he encourages abortions? Could he really be that evil?

Why not enclose the photo of him in the bright coral red suit with the pink shirt and pale salmon colored silk tie with the cascading roses…that photo speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Yes, especially if you put in a brief mention of the wine soaked all-male orgies and his other passionate claim, the one about being “a goddess in a man’s body.”

How about the notoriety of being the United States of America’s longest lived spiritual con artist and world class esoteric bull sh–ter?

101. whalerider - July 22, 2011

International Council of Community Churches
21116 Washington Parkway
Frankfort, Illinois 60423

http://www.icccusa.com/default.cfm/PID=1.13

The California Council of Churches
4044 Pasadena Ave
Sacramento CA 95821

http://www.calchurches.org/1-1.html

102. X-ray - July 22, 2011

98 Golden Veil,

It´s much worse than that. He was forcing femail to abort to preserve their money, attention and affection to him. Now you tell me if that´s enough to criminaly charge him with murder of innocent unbord children.

103. X-ray - July 22, 2011

sorry.. femails.. there were many..

104. X-ray - July 22, 2011

my blood gets boiled when I only think about it, how those poor parents felt – I can´t even emagine..

105. WhaleRider - July 22, 2011

Renald:
“On another topic I do not consider new or older members to be masochistic or infantile in the derogatory sense of the word`s usage which is an insult to children and a sign of not knowing what one wants.”

Who said anything about children?

You seem to be avoiding the issue of dependency, chemical or otherwise, which I suspect hits a little too close to home for you.

Your critical thought process ceased when you unconsciously associated to the Rolling Stones’ song and into the past for an escape of the painful reality of the underlying topic, how could you be such a fool to join the FOF and stay for as long as you did?

“Need is clearly a strong component in addiction.”

Actually, ego deficit is clearly a strong component in chemical dependency or co-dependent behavior. We all have needs.

We mature, grow and evolve when we learn to meet our own needs in a conscious way instead of unconsciously manipulating others to meet our needs for us, as in the case of a cult leader like burton.

106. nigel - July 22, 2011

To avoid ‘professionally orientated niggling’, since we almost all seem to be flying parallel in this ‘cutting edge’ stage of the blog/discussion (sorry, WhaleRider, but nicotine changes my thought ‘scatter-static’ into ‘infinity mode’ – define your scientific symbols to understand this), hope this ‘take’ on UNITY IN DIVERSITY (Gurdjieff’s writings), seen on YOUR coinage (our best one on the £2 coin is ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’) sheds some light. I tell my mental health team what I am about, but do not disregard what they have to offer – I am leading my life – but do not want to ‘champion this blog’ as may happen if I do not charge-up my dosset-box with Depakote, Lithium and Olanzapine (6mg of Haloperidol has already been taken today as my week-induced creative high would lead me to blog/clog/hog). Apologies to Steve (and I would take his decisions as good advice) as I try not go for an ‘all-nighter’ – on the computer without sleep – not an REB-with-Viagra sex-party. So here it is from Wikipedia…..

E pluribus unum (pronounced /ˈiː ˈplʊərɨbəs ˈuːnəm/; Latin [ˈeː ˈpluːrɪbʊs ˈuːnũː]), Latin for “Out of many, one”, is a phrase on the Seal of the United States, along with Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum, and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782.[1] The phrase is similar to a Latin translation of a variation of Heraclitus’ 10th fragment, “Out of all things one, one out of all things.” A variant of the phrase was used in Moretum, a poem attributed to Virgil but with the actual author unknown. In the poem text, color est e pluribus unus describes the blending of colors into one. St Augustine used a variant of the phrase, ex pluribus unum, in his Confessions…..Nigel.

107. nigel - July 22, 2011

I bought ‘Frank Sinatra -The Main Event, Live’ for my dad, when I was sixteen and played it when I was incredibly depressed on ‘attempted-suicide-rescue’ from the FOF and was back in the UK. This is one of the tracks…..

What is America to me?
A name, a map, or a flag I see;
A certain word, democracy.
What is America to me?

The house I live in,
A plot of earth, a street,
The grocer and the butcher,
Or the people that I meet;
The children in the playground,
The faces that I see,
All races and religions,
That’s America to me.

The place I work in,
The worker by my side,
The little town or city
Where my people lived and died.
The howdy and the handshake,
The air and feeling free,
And the right to speak my mind out,
That’s America to me.

The things I see about me,
The big things and the small,
The little corner newsstand,
And the house a mile tall;
The wedding and the churchyard,
The laughter and the tears,
And the dream that’s been a growing
For a hundred-fifty years.

The town I live in,
The street, the house, the room,
The pavement of the city,
And the garden all in bloom;
The church, the school, the clubhouse,
The million lights I see,
But especially the people;
That’s America to me.

The house I live in,
My neighbors white and black,
The people who just came here,
Or from generations back;
The town hall and the soapbox,
The torch of liberty,
A home for all God’s children;
That’s America to me.

The words of old Abe Lincoln,
Of Jefferson and Paine,
Of Washington and Jackson
And the tasks that still remain;
The little bridge at Concord,
Where Freedom’s fight began,
Our Gettysburg and Midway
And the story of Bataan.

The house I live in,
The goodness everywhere,
A land of wealth and beauty,
With enough for all to share;
A house that we call Freedom,
A home of Liberty,
And it belongs to fighting people
That’s America to me.

108. Golden Veil - July 23, 2011

102. WhaleRider – July 22, 2011

“Actually, ego deficit is clearly a strong component in chemical dependency or co-dependent behavior. We all have needs.

We mature, grow and evolve when we learn to meet our own needs in a conscious way instead of unconsciously manipulating others to meet our needs for us, as in the case of a cult leader like Burton.”

I find this theory very interesting, WhaleRider. We have written so much about Robert E. Burton; I would like to read more about ourselves, and I would like to read more about “ego deficit.” I think having greater understanding of this kind of topic would be useful in moving towards my aim to wake up Students who are reading this forum. I would like to outline possible reasons that they may have aligned themselves with such a fantastically fictitious “Conscious School.”

I know that you are actually addressing Robert E. Burton when you say the above [quoted.] But a person would certainly have to be deficient in some manner in order to buy this pretty, mysterious, and fun, even, but highly controlled and perverted product. Especially to stay with it once the sham of it is known… Some people like to feel special, or elite (look what Hitler achieved.) Truth really is stranger than fiction, isn’t it?

“Know Thy Self.” Socrates

109. Tim Campion - July 23, 2011

A link to this unflattering 2008 article in the Appeal-Democrat might make an informative addition to any letters/e-mails you write to the above-mentioned church organizations:

A former believer takes on the leader

(Or maybe you can suggest a better one…)

110. Mr. Burp - July 23, 2011

We mature: in some cases. We grow: yes. We evolve: I wouldn’t stretch it that far. Consciously, unconsciously, smonsciously… Don’t we all tend to manipulate others to meet our needs for us?
Students who are reading this forum? Do you really think so?
I think that by now they formed the habit to stay the hell out of this nut-house: too direct, too profane, too far-fetched, to hurtful, too trivial, too extreme, too untrue for the believers. Don’t underestimate the power of belief… Remember?
Btw: do we know for sure that RB forced and currently forces femails to have an abortion? That’s the first time I heard such thing. I suspect this is yet another untrue piece of information, that is not needed. And what about women?

111. Someone - July 23, 2011

Out of several thousand students who have left the FoF in 40 years, only 20-25 are still writing here on a regular basis. Quite shabby.

After many many years of being a member, most of them in OH, I slowly reached a point where I don’t have a single thought about the FoF for weeks continuously.

I just met a current older student on a flight so I entered to check what’s going on.

Laying off has been the best solution for me.

112. Shirley - July 23, 2011

106 Tim, thanks for posting. It’s a good article. I hadn’t heard about the picketing. And RB looks ridiculous in the photo; it’s hard to believe he’d inspire such awe when he’d enter a room.

113. Shirley - July 23, 2011

108 Someone – I may be wrong, but my understanding of this blog is that it came about at a critical and coincidental time in the FF when droves of people were starting to leave. The fact that it was started by a nonFFr might have given it even more “objectivity,” in that the Sheik had no motive to un-do a group where he had been a dues-paying member. Therefore, the blog served/serves many purposes, some of which are (1) to finally enable free venting of the many suppressed experiences of the FF and RB, (2) to actively un-do RB’s activity as the leader of the FF, and (3) to explore residual issues to do with joining a closed group and the many psychological issues associated with why one did that, stayed, and how one left. I don’t think any one blogger has to engage in all purposes. And as blogs go, it probably changed over the years and will continue to change.

“Laying off” it all is, indeed, a good thing. It’s all in the timing. Some people left a long time ago and are now revisiting the issues. Other people left around the time this blog began, and actively explored the many issues that were bothering them, as part of their “exit” process.

114. Shirley - July 23, 2011

Correction to my 110 post above. “..in that the Sheik had no motive to un-do a group where he had NOT been a dues-paying member.”

My point there is that he didn’t have an “agenda”, since he had not been a FF member. Therefore, the Sheik’s Blog became, as I saw it, simply a platform that was able to serve whatever it needed to, at the time.

115. Renald - July 23, 2011

re. 107 – Mr. Burp`s “ Students who are reading this forum? Do you really think so?
I think that by now they formed the habit to stay the hell out of this nut-house: too direct, too profane, too far-fetched, to hurtful, too trivial, too extreme, too untrue for the believers. Don’t underestimate the power of belief… Remember?“

I agree. This applies to students and ex-students. Over the years we have seen many fine contributions to this blog. The authors however have left and for the most part never give the blog a second thought. The problem as I see it is that there are a few gang-bangers who continually come out of their cess pool to inflict as much harm to these bloggers as they can muster. It then becomes a negative experience to even skim over the contents and they just don`t happen to be addicted to that crap. Been there, done that.

Ah there goes my critical thinking, I just associated with the barking dog story:

• Mullah Nasrudin, standing on the bank of a river, watched as a dog came to drink. The dog saw itself in the water and immediately began to bark. It barked and barked all morning and into the afternoon, until it was foaming at the mouth. Finally, dying of thirst, the dog fell into the river – whereupon it quenched its thirst, climbed out, and happily walked away. Nasrudin said,
“Thus I realized that all my life I had been barking at my own reflection.”

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.

116. Renald - July 23, 2011

“I’m sorry for creating this problem, please forgive me, thank you, I love you”

Cheers!!

117. Renald - July 23, 2011

I have a question which will no doubt lead to another and another if I happen to remember the answer.
The best person alive to answer this question would be the one who was and is suffering the most from experiences in the past with Robert E. Burton. Well, say in the top hundred.

Here it is. If you could go through a thinking ritual for a minute every day for a month and it would cure Reb of all his perverted habits, turn him into a loving being, would you do it? Please explain why or why not. Remember that he may go on leading his group for another ten or twenty years in the same way that he has for the past forty.

What drove me to ask this question is that I listened to a utube video for which I include the link below:

I was highly impressed and as I said it caused me to come up with questions.

Cheers!!

118. Tim Campion - July 23, 2011

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” – Thomas Jefferson

It would certainly be easier to walk away from this forum and “forget about the Fellowship of Friends and Living Presence”, if the organization were not still marketing itself to “lost souls” within our community.

The Fellowship continues to obfuscate and mislead. It has, from what I can see in the record, engaged in monitoring and disruption of these blog discussions, used intimidation and threats of legal action to stifle debate and dissent, engaged in covert misinformation campaigns, it continues to market itself as a lawful “church” while violating compliance laws; it has in the past, and continues to violate immigration laws, and accusations of the abuse of “congregation” members persist.

That the Fellowship’s legal defenses have thus far been “successful” (only successful in burying the truth, it appears) is attributable less to the skill of its lawyers than to an indolent public. The reports of continuing abuse of the public trust within, and by, the Fellowship impel those who desire to expose these alleged crimes to maintain their campaign.

Through the grant of tax exemptions, insurance benefits for legal defense, provision of government services (welfare, medical, legal, protection, etc.), our community supports and subsidizes the Fellowship of Friends and enables the activities (including those illegal and immoral practices reported) that take place within its confines. And, in return, what value does the Fellowship bring to the community? A shining example of moral, spiritual and community leadership? Hardly.

Since its founding, by all indications, the wealth and benefits have (in violation of State law) accrued primarily to its leader, Robert Burton. Yet in its wake, the Fellowship has left a costly legacy of very real and demonstrable personal destruction. (In economics, this is referred to as an “externality” – a responsibility avoided, and a cost borne by the public.)

One reason for returning to this forum, is that I have indeed been part of both communities: the offending and the offended. And having supported the Fellowship and its leader for thirteen years, I am more familiar (than are members of the general public) with the questions and issues involved. For me this is a “local issue”, and unlike national politics, or saving the planet, this is an area where a single voice is more likely to have impact. (Witness Elena Haven’s story.)

It may be (choose your label) “identification”, “addiction”, “feminine dominance” or (banish the thought!) a sense of shared personal responsibility and accountability that causes people to contribute here. From one perspective, the particular mechanism and motive is not so important. Revealing the truth is. As Robert said (“and I generally avoid quoting such ignoble sources”,) the end justifies the means.

Whether there are three voices here, or a thousand, it is important that the continued marketing and public relations efforts of the Fellowship of Friends via their Living Presence website are balanced by an equally “living presence” (ugh) of countervailing voices.

According to the Living Presence website, the Fellowship currently has about 1,500 members worldwide, roughly the same membership it had nearly three decades ago, and far fewer than at its peak. The cult is clearly in decline. With the high cost of maintaining centers scattered across the globe, a less affluent base, rising legal defense and P.R. expenses, declining infrastructure at Apollo, escalating health costs for its aging members, Robert Burton is now receiving (pardon the expression) “less bang for his buck”.

Thus far, the Fellowship has been immune to the virtues of truth and honesty, and has been inadvertently protected by lax legal and community oversight; however it may ultimately be simple economics that undermine the kingdom. Though we’ll never know its full impact, this blog, by continuing to inform and to discourage would-be victims from entering Robert Burton’s sphere of influence, helps accelerate that demise.

Personally, this blog does not represent an obsession, as much as a sense of unfinished business – something I would like to see resolved and remedied before I pass on. If Robert Burton lives out his days in unperturbed bliss, so be it. In the company of many others, I will have tried to undo some of the damage I helped create.

119. nigel - July 24, 2011

102. WhaleRider

Do you mourn Amy Winehouse, a tortured genius, as I would call her?…..Nigel.

120. nigel - July 24, 2011

115. Tim Campion

A brilliant and eloquent post – thank you…..Nigel.

121. Golden Veil - July 24, 2011

~ Conscientious former Students, I am with you! Bravo!

110. Shirley – July 23, 2011:

“Therefore, the blog served/serves many purposes, some of which are (1) to finally enable free venting of the many suppressed experiences of the FF and RB, (2) to actively un-do RB’s activity as the leader of the FF, and (3) to explore residual issues to do with joining a closed group and the many psychological issues associated with why one did that, stayed, and how one left. I don’t think any one blogger has to engage in all purposes…

Some people left a long time ago and are now revisiting the issues. Other people left around the time this blog began, and actively explored the many issues that were bothering them, as part of their “exit” process.”

~

115. Tim Campion – July 23, 2011:

“Thus far, the Fellowship has been immune to the virtues of truth and honesty, and has been inadvertently protected by lax legal and community oversight; however it may ultimately be simple economics that undermine the kingdom. Though we’ll never know its full impact, this blog, by continuing to inform and to discourage would-be victims from entering Robert Burton’s sphere of influence, helps accelerate that demise.

Personally, this blog does not represent an obsession, as much as a sense of unfinished business – something I would like to see resolved and remedied before I pass on. If Robert Burton lives out his days in unperturbed bliss, so be it. In the company of many others, I will have tried to undo some of the damage I helped create.”

122. WonderingWhosWatching - July 24, 2011

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
– Thomas Jefferson

These words (and similar variants) may speak truth, but, insofar as they once appeared, as such, on Fellowship of Friends (a.k.a.: Living Presence) daily card, there could be misattribution. Do a search and find Thomas Jefferson Wikiquote page. Also see Jefferson Encyclopedia at: wiki.monticello.org.

‘For some reason, my “aphorism alarm” just went off…’

Otherwise, I agree, ‘A brilliant and eloquent post.’ Thank you for the effort.

The separation of church and state, embodied in the U.S. Constitution First Amendment, perhaps the main saving grace that Fellowship of Friends (a.k.a.: Living Presence) has at its disposal, does seem to be a Jeffersonian concept. The First Amendment protects pretty much any religious belief/system, but does not necessarily protect pretty much any religious actions. For instance, it could be a religious belief to take human sacrifice of a person’s life, but it cannot be an action that one could take without criminal consequence. So, criminal activity by a religious organization is not protected by the First Amendment. (Possible example: Defrauding people as a practice of a religious organization; stating that a charitable contribution (501(c)(3)) is going to be used for a specific purpose and then have it be used for a different purpose, or, for a purpose outside the scope of a charitable (501(c)(3)) organization – money donated for ‘feeding the poor’ being used by church officials to adorn church property or money donated for ‘feeding the poor’ being used by church officials to feed themselves or live a lavish lifestyle.;-)

123. fofblogmoderator - July 24, 2011

92, 99 & 101 are new

124. Golden Veil - July 24, 2011

110. Mr. Burp – July 23, 2011

“We mature: in some cases. We grow: yes. We evolve: I wouldn’t stretch it that far. Consciously, unconsciously, smonsciously… Don’t we all tend to manipulate others to meet our needs for us?
Students who are reading this forum? Do you really think so?
I think that by now they formed the habit to stay the hell out of this nut-house: too direct, too profane, too far-fetched, to hurtful, too trivial, too extreme, too untrue for the believers. Don’t underestimate the power of belief… Remember?”

Profane, yes…

But not too far-fetched . . .

125. Tim Campion - July 24, 2011

99. Tim Campion

You screwed up the links, silly.

For those wishing to contact the Church organizations, use Whalerider’s links (Post 101). They actually work.

122. WonderingWhosWatching

Good work! I’m going to hire you as my editor.

126. Tim Campion - July 24, 2011

93. WhaleRider

Thanks for the inspiration. I joined you in writing the International Council of Community Churches and The California Council of Churches.

127. nigel - July 24, 2011

101. WhaleRider/126. Tim Campion

Maybe I would be saying with X-ray here…..

“Let’s do something about this, now we have the connections”.

Some of us (I would say, not myself, as I was not [im]morally nor physically/sexually involved with Burton) have stories that would ‘resonate with illegalities in a supposed church-status’. I would say it is not only necessary, but a person’s moral and universal duty to ‘rat’ on the Fellowship of Friends where, mostly, the goings-on have been, under the glossy ‘we-are-so-good’ exterior, little less than EVIL. Obviously, we can only do what we can do, but does anyone here think we do not need to see this vicious cult dismantled?
…..Nigel.

128. nigel - July 24, 2011

From “Living Presence” website…..

“The Fellowship continues to have a single, overarching aim: to teach its members how to be present and how to prolong presence. That effort, sincerely practiced, can transform our lives. In addition to practical exercises and methods to control attention, we offer an environment that encourages effort and spiritual growth through frequent teaching events, physical labor, cultural gatherings, and study sessions. Most of all, we offer the chance to share the company and the understanding of a conscious teacher and of other sincere students.”

Wouldn’t it be great to have a photo-image of Burton giving a ‘pretty-boy-hetero-male-student’ a blow job, then we would really understand what they have to be present to?…..Nigel.

129. nigel - July 24, 2011

Again, from “Living Presence”…..

“Suffering is woven into human life on earth. We cannot avoid it; indeed, without suffering, we could not awaken. It is a joy, then, to learn that true alchemy is turning the lead of suffering into the gold of our own presence, and to discover the internal tools that make it possible.”

As Burton MIGHT state – “If you love them, watch them squirm”
…..Nigel.

130. nigel - July 24, 2011

Interesting ‘take’, from having Google-d “Katha Upanishads”…..

“Naraka (Buddhist)Main article: Naraka (Buddhism)

Yama Nat in Burmese representation.Naraka is usually translated into English as “hell” or “purgatory”. A Naraka differs from the hells of western religions in two respects. First, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and punishment; second, the length of a being’s stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually very long. Instead, a being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her previous karma (actions of body, speech and mind), and resides there for a finite length of time until his karma has exhausted its cumulate effect.”

131. Tim Campion - July 24, 2011

128. Nigel

I’m with you, Nigel. These blogs have certainly had a dampening effect on the Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence influence. (In recent years, membership has declined, what…40% or more?)

So, you ARE doing something about it.

One idea, and I don’t know the appropriate legal protocol to follow, would be to collect together, in a single statement, EVERY (non-frivolous, documented, defensible) allegation of impropriety, abuse, violation of state and federal law, etc. involving Robert Burton, The Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence, its Board of Directors, and officers.

It would to need to be able to withstand charges of defamation, violation of attorney-client privilege, confidentiality, etc., but could serve as a “one stop shopping laundry list of controversies” that have clouded this “cerebral sanctuary”, and serve as a warning to all who might might come in contact with the cult.

The impact of seeing such an inventory, could be compelling.

132. Tim Campion - July 24, 2011

129. Nigel

“Most of all, we offer the chance to share the company and the understanding of a conscious teacher and of other sincere students.”

I would like to see the Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence defend its claim that they have a “conscious teacher”.

This would seem false advertising. (And I might be inclined to demand a refund.)

133. X-ray - July 24, 2011

125 Tim
Folks, do at least that if you don´t have the balls talking the FBI an IRS like some of us did.

134. X-ray - July 24, 2011

The bottom line is that burton is antihuman and this is his main crime with which he must be criminally charged and prosecuted. His blatant haterage against humans, goodness and love is outrages. Scumbags like him must be isolated from society. His place in a maximum security federal prison.

135. X-ray - July 24, 2011

oh and someone 111, go fuck yourself in the maintime..

136. Tim Campion - July 24, 2011

133. X-ray

“Folks, do at least that if you don´t have the balls talking the FBI an IRS like some of us did.”

I have on numerous occasions been jailed, fined or otherwise punished for confronting government authorities. From my perspective, intimidation is not a deterrent.

But it does force you to use your head more effectively. You must have a reasonable case and evidence. If you went to the FBI and/or IRS, what specific case did you make, and what evidence did you bring to the table?

That would be useful to know.

You can’t just say “Robert Burton hates humans.”

137. Golden Veil - July 25, 2011

128. nigel – July 24, 2011

RE: “Living Presence” website… Yes! See the

beautiful young man in blue at 00:22 and 1:38 ~

I would wager that he has had more opportunities

for “… the chance to share the company and

the understanding of a [sic] conscious teacher…”

than all the other Students put together in this

Fellowship of Friends recruitment promotion video.

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Beautiful in blue: save yourself, fool!

138. Shirley - July 25, 2011

There’s a book review in today’s NYTimes whose title was “More Money Than God.” It’s about 2 books, one on Scientology, the other on the Catholic Church. We don’t need to care about these 2 organizations, but I found some of the dynamics to be familiar.

The first few lines are apt: “We do not need these books to tell us that money and religion make for a poisonous combination…Even religious leaders develop a certain swagger when they know they are backed by bundles of cash.”

Another line resonated, “Hubbard was particularly fiere against defecting members…”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/books/review/inside-scientology-and-render-unto-rome-book-review.html?emc=eta1

These trends and dynamics don’t surprise us because human nature has certain tendencies. We expect so much from spiritual leaders, and often, we are disappointed, or worse.

139. X-ray - July 25, 2011

I agree with you Tim, but we can say about his sexual assoults on people, tax fraud, imigration fraud, insurance fraud and there are plenty of evidence to that. Leave alone the moral issues of inflicting pain and suffering to people.

140. X-ray - July 25, 2011

And Tim, correct me if Im wrong, but if you know that what you say in fact is true and you can prove it, why would you be jailed or fined for it? thats like living in a Nazi germany or something. And if you get punished for speaking up the truth, that you only expossing a bigger corruption. I do not care whether I speak to the goverenment or to the God himself as long as what I say is the truth. Petition is supported by the people who are ready and willing to testify in court under the oath, do you think this is enough of the evidence?

141. Renald - July 25, 2011

If you could go through a thinking ritual for a minute every day for a month and it would be guaranteed to cure Reb of all his harmful habits, turn him into a wonderful loving being, would you do it?

142. Mr. Burp - July 25, 2011

117. 141. Renald

Interesting question: preposterous, useless, idiotic… nobody cares, let it go!

“Wouldn’t it be great to have a photo-image of Burton giving a ‘pretty-boy-hetero-male-student’ a blow job, then we would really understand what they have to be present to?…..Nigel.”

No! Same as above.

133. 134. 135. and so on X-ray

Yeah! I’m with you motherfucker. You are a big, beautiful, ignorant, obtuse piece of shit. Fuck you! You son of a bitch. (It is so much fun to stay in bounds!)

143. Agent 45 - July 25, 2011

“Brightest light in 2000 years”?
That’s surpassing quite a few other luminaries, not to mention the Prophet of Arabia himself.
Oh, that’s right, I forgot what I learned in the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway to Presence –
All other religious belief systems don’t mean shit.

144. X-ray - July 25, 2011

NO, Renald, I wouldn´t spend even a day doing that.

145. X-ray - July 25, 2011

oh, sorry Mr.Fart, seems like you got upset or something.. I bet it has to do with lack of sequence.

146. Renald - July 25, 2011

Sorry for going back to the beginning of this part or page.

re. “ 4. surelyujest – July 15, 2011
“Major problems…” My god, yes. Why else read such nonsense? It wouldn’t be interesting if it didn’t come with all the insane angry lashing out. That’s the good part. I skip the rest. People always look at the lunatic raging on the street. It’s entertaining, but not much more.“
And so most everyone thinks. The way I see it is different. Every experience, every thought, every word heard becomes a part of me, that is a part of my program. It does not matter if I think it is entertaining (like TV), or if it makes me happy or unhappy, or loving or hateful, or whatever, it is still a part of me. If that was the only problem it would not be so bad. The thing is everyone else who has contact with me is also influenced and everyone who has contact with them are also influenced. Okay it may be a small influence, seemingly not worth of wasting a breath on, like the influence of smoking one cigarette in a lifetime, but we know what often happens to the person who smokes that first cigarette, a habit and maybe even an addiction with consequences. A child gets cancer and nobody can figure out why. Not exactly insignificant.

If this post happens to cause anyone a bad feeling please know that I am sorry for causing it. Please forgive me. Thank you. I mean well. Honest!
Cheers!!

147. Tim Campion - July 25, 2011

Dear Tim,

Thank you for your email. The Fellowship of Friends is not now, nor has it ever been, a member of the California Council of Churches. Our member denominations are listed on our website at http://www.calchurches.org/1-who-we-are.html.

I have written to them in the past to request they remove any reference to the California Council of Churches, but have to admit I never followed up on it. So thanks for reminding me of this. I will ask a member of our board of directors who is an attorney to send them a cease and desist letter. And I will also send an email to the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) to alert them to do the same.

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.

Peace,

Rick

The Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser
Executive Director
California Council of Churches
California Council of Churches IMPACT

148. Renald - July 25, 2011

147. Tim And what if their lawyer is a member of the FOF like maybe David S.? Why it could just slip his mind. Nice work. You are talented. I knew it.
Cheers!

149. 2011 - July 25, 2011

#147- It the FOF is not a member of these church organizations then i suspect they have a lot of “splaining to do”.

150. Tim Campion - July 25, 2011

Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau’s Online Complaint System.

Your complaint has been assigned case # XXXXXXXX.

Filed on : July 25 2011

Filed by :
Timothy Campion

Filed against :
Fellowship of Friends
P.O. Box 100
Oregon House CA 95962

Complaint Description:

Offending statements:

1. “Based in Northern California, with centers located worldwide, our school provides a place for aspiring souls to live and work together in an atmosphere of beauty and effort, under the guidance of a conscious teacher.” (http://www.livingpresence.com/)

2. “Most of all, we offer the chance to share the company and the understanding of a conscious teacher and of other sincere students.” (http://livingpresence.com/who-we-are/Fellowship-of-Friends.html)

3. “The Fellowship of Friends is registered as a 501(c)(3) California non-profit church organization and is a member of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) and the California Council of Churches.” (http://livingpresence.com/who-we-are/Fellowship-of-Friends.html)

***

Regarding statements 1 & 2: The claim that the Fellowship of Friends has a “conscious teacher” is entirely specious. Though it is their greatest selling point to “seekers”, it is completely unprovable. Were they to define the behaviors of such a teacher, it would then be found that their “pastor” has repeatedly been accused of behaviors that do not comply with this model (and in fact have been the subject of numerous lawsuits.) To draw attention to the legal actions is not my intention. It is merely to prevent their false advertising.

Regarding statement 3: this too is a deception, designed to confer legitimacy on this organization. This is a statement (received 7/25/11) by the leader of one of the above mentioned organizations:

(Message from the Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser Executive Director California Council of Churches inserted here.)

Your Desired Resolution:

Remove the misrepresentations from the corporate websites and all promotional material.

151. X-ray - July 26, 2011

147

a true reflection of the fellowship of FRAUD

152. victoria Zeischegg - July 26, 2011

Good going Tim! Thanks!

153. leonhardon - July 26, 2011

Thanks Tim, (147)

In case anyone is just tuning in, see Whalerider 93 above, Tim at 147 and before it’s taken down go to, http://livingpresence.com/who-we-are/Fellowship-of-Friends.html and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you might still find the following. Now remember folks, this is on the page, “Who we are” on the Fellowship’s recruitment site.

“The Fellowship of Friends is registered as a 501(c)(3) California non-profit church organization and is a member of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) and the California Council of Churches.”

Weeeeeeeeell, not so. The fellowship is not and never was a member of the C.C.C. and were apparently asked by the C.C.C. some time ago not to claim that they were.

On the FAQ page at living presence.com we may also read the following.

“Q. Many spiritual authors speak of “the power of now,” “being here now,” or “living in the moment.” What is different about the Fellowship’s approach?

A. These are words trying to describe an objective reality, and so are all the words on this website.

Q. Why do esoteric schools generate controversy?

A. A powerful teaching elicits powerful responses from those it touches. The teacher’s role is to help his students awaken to their Higher Selves. In doing so, he must help them see their sleep, their imagination, their illusions, their lies, their imaginary sense of self-importance, all of which must die before their true Self can be born.”

154. Tim Campion - July 26, 2011

Thanks to WhaleRider’s “git ‘er done” spirit, today, I also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, claiming false advertising.

In another example of “blurring the lines”, Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence members seem to be hoping for a little success-by-association, invoking Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now in some of the following videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/livingpresence1234 . (Fortunately, viewership is negligible.)

155. Renald - July 26, 2011

Right on cue, D. Thank You.
What is it, Ames? Anyhow,
Cheers!

156. fofblogmoderator - July 26, 2011

150 is new

157. panorea - July 26, 2011

If the Fellowship of Friends / Living Presence is not a non profit “Church” organization, there are a lot of consequences what concerns the tax exceptions situation in many other countries outside the USA. I am on holidays now and the least I can do when I’ll be back is to call the tax office of the county I live and alert them as the Fellowship there is a non-profit organization and members receive a percentage of their “teaching payments” back from the taxes as they are recorded as “donations”, since the Fellowship is registered as a church in the USA.

This has been going on for decades. What a lie again and what an ignorance from my side to take the information that the Fellowship is a “Church” on face value… But then again I wanted to believe the rubbish…

Thank you Tim.

158. Tim Campion - July 26, 2011

157. panorea

I would also question whether various penalties, fines and “re-entry fees” levied on members over the years were reported to the IRS and other agencies as voluntary tax-exempt “donations”.

When members were shifted from Fellowship of Friends salaried positions to Renaissance Vineyards and Winery (a for-profit corporation) salaried positions, their stated salaries were increased to comply with minimum wage laws.

The net pay, however, remained unchanged, as any after-tax excess was categorized as a “donation”, and deducted from their paycheck. This was “voluntary”, of course, but also a condition of employment.

Just one of the deceptive devices the “school” employed.

159. X-ray - July 26, 2011

when the tax fraud will become finally expossed in the FOF, there will be no end to it.. and they know that.. and they scared..

160. silentpurr - July 26, 2011

Does the Fellowship pay Social Security for salaried workers? Medical Insurance? Dental?

161. X-ray - July 26, 2011

160
As far as I know they don´t.
But what I know they do ( or did at least ) is they paying some people more and then taking it back from them in cash payment.

162. Tim Campion - July 26, 2011

150. Tim Campion

Update: complaint rejected by BBB. (This was anticipated, due to legal ramifications.)

Any other ideas out there?

163. Renald - July 26, 2011

160
Social security is paid for salaried workers. Medical insurance and dental not. At least that is how it was until 2001.
Cheers!

164. WhaleRider - July 26, 2011

“Little (key) strokes fell great oaks.”

~Benjamin Franklin, updated

The tag “Living Presence” has been added to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Part 1 & 2 on YouTube. Thanks for the nudge.

I would think the Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser might have some ideas and advice about what else to do about exposing people like Pastor Burton and harmful quasi-churches in California.

8)

165. Shirley - July 26, 2011

160, 163 So what happened when someone on salary needed medical or dental attention? Or just a preventative, standard annual check-up or routine teeth cleaning? The person paid for it him/herself?

166. Tim Campion - July 26, 2011

161. X-ray

If there is a “cash economy” within the Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence, especially where official receipts are not used, this may suggest illicit activity.

164. WhaleRider

(I hope you’re not suggesting they chop down the “Franklin Oak”.)

Those videos continue to offer a powerful testimony. (To those who watch, and are a member of YouTube: use the “vote” buttons.)

From #2:

“It’s an evil organization. It’s just…it has nothing to do with spiritual growth. It’s a cult. Everybody who’s there is abused in some way, on some level. If I had known what was going on, I could not have been a part of that organization. I didn’t ask questions; and I regret that deeply.”

165. Shirley

I was on salary roughly eight years. Taxpayers paid for our medical and dental care, and for the birth of my daughter. As the Fellowship paid far below minimum wage, our family was covered (thanks to the goodness of taxpayers) by Medi-Cal. (This was long ago, between the years 1975 and 1985, and policy may have since changed.)

167. X-ray - July 26, 2011

166

illicit activity is the second name of fellowship of friends.

168. WhaleRider - July 26, 2011

BBB is not a government agency; if there is a complaint lodged against a business, BBB only has leverage with businesses who sign on with them (for a steep yearly fee). They usually use the complaint as a sales call to the non-member business in question.

FYI, the governmental agency (CA Dept of Justice) where a California consumer can file a complaint against fraudlent business practices in California is here:

http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php

Here’s the actual nonline form for California consumers to file a complaint with the State Attorney General:

http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

169. WhaleRider - July 26, 2011

To make a difference, here’s what you all are after:

“(CA) Consumer Complaint Against A Business/Company”

http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

170. Tim - July 26, 2011

168. WhaleRider

Thanks for this. For anyone filing such a complaint, it might be helpful to identify the Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence as a “school” (their characterization in promotional material), and not as a “church”, which introduces legal ambiguity.

171. nigel - July 27, 2011

If it comes to light that the FOF has fraudulently ben claiming tax-exemption as a church, what will happen? Is there a Statute of Limitations to that? Nigel.

172. fofblogmoderator - July 27, 2011

168 & 170 are new

173. Renald - July 27, 2011

re 171 Nigel – I think it is a little tricky. As a church if the fof collapses the property reverts to the county (or state I am not sure). If it is determined that it never was or is not a church, then they may have to pay back taxes and fines but they then might be able to sell the church property. If that includes all the property it would go for a tidy sum. It seems to me to be a little tricky that the Vineyard and Winery are legal businesses but are located on church property and I doubt that part of the church property could have been transferred to these businesses as that sounds to me like inurement. The lawyers would probably have fun with that and would no doubt reap the most benefit unless they are disbarred for criminal activities which to me is not far fetched at all. Personally I couldn`t care less. Their corruption or the politicians` corruption exists outside my life and I consider it not any of my business or worry. I have other uses for my energy and time.
Cheers!

174. nigel - July 27, 2011

173. Renald

I admire your posting – neutral in yourself, but making interesting comments. Maybe more of us could learn from you…..Nigel.

175. Agent 45 - July 27, 2011

Au contraire, Renald. If you really couldn’t care less you wouldn’t post here at all. Your writings have changed for the better, in my opinion.

176. surelyujest - July 27, 2011

Let’s assume for a moment that the Fourth Way, and/or whatever “system” the FOF is pursuing right now, is real. That is, that people who consistently make efforts to follow its precepts can become conscious. Where are the conscious beings? Even one? In fact, sincere followers seem to become worse off — anti-social, gullible in that they spout fairly insane theories as though they are obvious facts, and very, very negative. Just look at Robert, Girard and…others.

We were told in the beginning that we should base our acceptance of the Fourth Way on our results. These results seem paltry, or worse. The loudest preachers seem the most damaged, and not getting any better. It’s about what you’d expect in terms of psychological damage when you make arbitrary divisions inside yourself, then suppress large chunks of who you are while cultivating an entirely artificial work personality built on other people’s ideas of who you SHOULD be. So much unnecessary misery.

177. Golden Veil - July 27, 2011

176. surelyujest – July 27, 2011

“It’s about what you’d expect in terms of psychological damage when you make arbitrary divisions inside yourself, then suppress large chunks of who you are while cultivating an entirely artificial work personality built on other people’s ideas of who you SHOULD be.”

Very well said! An apt description of some of the psychological damage long term Students of the Fellowship of Friends risk who surround themselves with judgement and live in an environment of neurotic hyper-conformance. Why not choose instead to be free?

178. Renald - July 27, 2011

re. 175 Agent 45- I said I couldn`t care less about the corruption of the lawyers and the politicians. I do care very much about the ex-members, the members, and the members-to-be. I care very much about myself since I fall into one of those categories. I am sorry that I helped cause so many problems. I am sorry that I recommended that my gay friends in Monterrey to go visit and/or stay at Apollo.
I meant no evil. I just thought that since Robert was gay (or so I thought) that they could enjoy themselves there. This was in 2001.
I am grateful for those who made this blog possible so I can vent a bit, come to realize that I am not in charge of the Universe, and that life is about experiencing joy, like taking a deep breath after being under water for a bit too long. Man that breath feels good.
Cheers!

179. Tim Campion - July 27, 2011

Does anyone know if the Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence has an active account on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media? (The only FB site I see appears to be a third-party creation.)

Beyond their website, are there any other forms of outreach currently in use? Just curious…

180. surelyujest - July 28, 2011

I state again that the key to success for a lifelong adherent to the Fourth Way is gullibility — particularly self-deception. That and a very vivid imagination, to be able to see false connections, a god’s face in every cloud. I don’t know much, but I do know this: I am not an artist and I have never done yoga. Only the self deluded fanatic could jump from fully dreamed racist scenarios to odd suburban dramas. But it’s a perfect illustration of using incorrect information to imagine fully blown realities, then present them with utter confidence. It’s a short step from there to souls on the moon. And it’s just silly to think the ancient Greeks knew any more about the afterlife than we do.

The real giveaway is how a question that hits too close to home is followed by a nasty ad hominem. I thought it was a Fourth Way practice that when you are given a photograph, you don’t deflect with childish, “oh yeah? well you’re stupid!” nonsense. Very evolved. I couldn’t have proven the point any better, so thanks for that.

Also, why would a person use “suburban housewife” as an epithet, hurled as though everyone knows this is an insult? Am I not good enough to become a Fourth Way conscious being? Nice little misogynist streak there. Very majestic.

181. X-ray - July 29, 2011

180
Not only to the 4th way, but pretty much to all the others systems of believe on sale.

182. Agent 45 - July 29, 2011

Mom would not allow her children to refer to her as a “housewife”, she was a “homemaker”. Get that straight, son.
I repeat, if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

183. We Were There - July 29, 2011

I would make a very clear distinction between ‘The Fourth Way’ and what the ‘teaching’ put forth by Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. As the years rolled by this became increasingly true.

After 20 years, I have just reread Ouspensky’s ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ and it still resonates for me.

184. WhaleRider - July 29, 2011

Still There:

Care to elaborate a bit on which part of it resonates for you?

185. X-ray - July 29, 2011

183

Do you think you smarter than everybody else and you alone can make a clear disticntions?

186. nigel - July 29, 2011

A question came to me today – 22 years out of the Fellowship…..

“Do I/we (I mean bloggers, mostly, but almost everyone else who ‘tunes in’) have the courage to embrace ‘life in all its fullness’?”

I seem to remember how we were told to distinguish between ‘life people’, who would not be worthy of our energy and those in the FOF, who were ‘evolving’. For myself now, I encounter many people in my adopted city and find it is in me to make separations based on my judging them unneccessarily. This is dependent on my mood (I suffer from a mood disorder) – if high, everyone has character, has possibilities; when low, people are in my way and are generally a pain in the butt…..

Do you recall the gossip in the FOF?…..

It was often based on who was having relationships with whom – what features were involved; who had left the ‘school’, who had been told to leave; who wanted back in and why Robert rejected them…..

And, God! – so much lying…..

Let it be said as many times as is necessary…..

The Fellowship is insular and small-minded.
The Fellowship is heirarchical and mysogynistic.
THE FELLOWSHIP IS HEADED BY A PSYCHOPATHIC, NARCISSISTIC, SEX MANIAC…..

…..thank you for your time in reading this…..Nigel.

187. Mr. Burp - July 29, 2011

I agree with 180. and 181. eX-brayn (unbelievable!)

183. We Were There

You are right to say that the 4thway and RB teaching are two separate things; but it has always been the case from day one, don’t kid yourself. Nevertheless both ‘whatevertheyare’ represent intellectual masturbation through spiritual imagination.
I’m sorry for you, but if after 20 years ‘whateveritis’ still resonates for you (so what!) it means that You Are Still There.

188. nigel - July 29, 2011

187. Mr Burp

What the fuck are you talking about, orifice-explosion?…..Nigel.

189. Renald - July 29, 2011

186 Nigel – “ Do you recall the gossip in the FOF?…..

It was often based on who was having relationships with whom – what features were involved; who had left the ‘school’, who had been told to leave; who wanted back in and why Robert rejected them…..“

No, none of those resonate as having been in my experience.
I wish it had been because then I would have at least had some information whereas I had none on those subjects. At Apollo any time information of any kind came to us it was usually from visitors from other centres. We felt isolated. I suppose those in charge of donations(?) might have had more information but our neighbor never shared it with us. Ten years later she is still in.
We used to play poker with another friend who worked in the accounting department and he also never divulged anything, so I guess we had different experiences. The reason I mention all this is to help those who are quick to make judgements about why we hung on so long, to explain how it was for us. There was no blog.
Cheers!

190. Renald - July 29, 2011

re. 187 – Mr. Burp, “ I’m sorry for you, but if after 20 years ‘whateveritis’ still resonates for you (so what!) it means that You Are Still There.“

I agree. What this indicates to me is confirmation that both time and energy need to be used in creating an alternate focus point to come as close as possible to completely eliminating an addiction especially one which was strongly reinforced. Time alone is not enough. In my case I had come into contact with the Law of Attraction material, got remarried and had a child. Yet when I read or hear some of the garbage I used to believe in, or hear from old friends, or any such memories which are connected to those times (even my working in my own backyard garden since I spent 5 years on salary at the Renaissance garden), all of those transport me back somewhat and I feel the addiction wanting to raise its friggin head. Love is forever.
It exists in my memories, in my brain. Denial does not work. Matter of fact it is counterproductive because in order to deny it I have to remember it; basic Law of Attraction. Anyone who was into `The Search` and derived pleasure from it in their past and rereads it is most likely going to revisit those pleasures and all which was/is connected in memory to them. Buyer beware!
Cheers!

191. nigel - July 29, 2011

189. Renald

Yes – I suppose Apollo was isolated – necessarily, by those who wielded power and dominance. I just heard all this stuff as a ‘borderline case student’ – pretty much always out of the center of things and hardly ever current with donations. Hope this offers some understanding…..Nigel.

192. nigel - July 29, 2011

I am on the White House Information Mailing List…..

Decided to reply to the ‘debt thing’…..Nigel.

nigel price to White
show details 11:15 PM (1 minute ago)

Dear President Obama
Perhaps I wish that you had been President when I was resident in California, USA from 1982 to 1989. It is because of your rallying call (in this case, your national debt and the other important issues you have addressed since your Presidency) for ALL PARTIES CONCERNED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. Sometimes, a great leader invites all manner of dislike, because ISSUES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED, NOT JUST HOO-HAA-ED at and this takes a great spirit, which I believe you have. I took the road of a craftsman allowed into the United States on an H-1 Visa yet made illegal by incompetent lawyers and unscrupulous employers. However, I did produce the Papal Commission in Silverwork in 1987 for use at Candlestick Park, so feel I gave back to many people their connection with God. That means a great deal to me and I hope you feel something similar in what you are doing. Yours…..Nigel Harris Price BA Hons, Cert Ed, MIfL

193. nigel - July 29, 2011

190. Renald

One of my students (Solar-Martial) is a proponent in Holistic Healing and Massage Therapy. She introduced me to the phrase – Namaste, which means – “I bow to the divine spark in you, which is also in me’..

Could I offer you that greeting, Renald?????…..Nigel.

194. Golden Veil - July 29, 2011

Chilling to think of living within that tarnished ivory tower in the old days without any contact with the outside world; no cell phones, and no computers. Just letters and an occasional phone call. There was a lot of carefully prescribed, but limited doses of cultural arts during the time I was there… I remember the movie room with “My Fair Lady” in its little library.

Today’s Student would find it hard to not be informed… There must be classes in “Intention.” Yes, “Keep that finger off the keyboard; don’t make a search with Google; keep off the Fellowship of Friends Discussion Group blog; don’t visit the Greater Fellowship site!”

And those whispers about “The Teacher and his strange habits”… definitely best to ignore them…you don’t want to disrupt your elitist esoteric school fantasy, do you? But, perhaps you found “The School” on Google (or was it a bookmark, or word of mouth?) How to keep to one’s “aim…” it must be much more difficult these days to stay so asleep while thinking you’re awake…

Nigel: Shall I write a letter here to England’s David Cameron?

195. Mr. Burp - July 30, 2011

188. Nigel

No. Gosh… Nigel, you are obsessed!

190. Renald

The fact the something is preceded with a suffix such as ‘law’ doesn’t mean anything, it’s like the the ‘law’ of the mirror, or the ‘law’ of three, the thirty ‘imperishable’ stars’, or ‘divine’ presence. Adjectives, superlatives, suffixes don’t change the nature of crap: Still crap remains.
The law of attraction is no different.

Now I’m going to write a letter to the Pope!

196. fofblogmoderator - July 30, 2011

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