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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Part 106 July 30, 2011

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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. Best of the Blog - July 30, 2011

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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.

=======

2. Renald - July 30, 2011

Preceded with a suffix??? Not where I come from.

3. We Were There - July 30, 2011

184. WhaleRider – July 29, 2011

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

Sure (and thanks for your contributions to this blog over the years).

The idea that I have more than one ‘brain’ (and its corollary that ‘I’ am many disconnected ‘I’s).

The idea that imagination (in the Fourth Way sense of uncontrolled mind activity) wastes my time and gives little in return.

Expressing negativity wastes my energy and gives me nothing.

I’m sure you have spent many hours thinking about these same ideas – what have you come to?

4. X-ray - July 30, 2011

Nige, this mr. fart 187 is a complete idiot, no worth attention.

5. fofblogmoderator - July 30, 2011

#1 is new

6. nigel - July 30, 2011

The Fellowship Aim…..

REB – “Pursue the Higher Self through what I tell you to do (even if I have to suck your cock to get the message through)”.

GH – “Do the Fellowship politicking (“The Lobster Quadrille”).

JB – “Keep those ‘donations’ coming and you will build a soul”.

The True Aim…..

GIG – “The Self, Real ‘I’, The Master is Essence grown up”.

PDO – (paraphrase) – “When I see ‘facts’, then I will believe that the system works for me”.

NHP – (that’s me, folks) – “I did not care if Burton had told me I had a strawberry pink with purple polka dots Essence. I had, prior to the FOF, found something very real (as my own Essence and my cultural heritage) and pursued it through my membership and beyond until now, as I am a master of my craft and ‘sensei’ (translated as – previous lifetime – from the Japanese, and meaning teacher/master) with all the qualifications and the Academy of my students – bless them”.

BASICALLY, I BELIEVE NO ONE WILL GAIN ANYTHING WORTHWHILE THROUGH STAYING IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF FREUDS UNTIL THEY (CHOKE!) ‘COMPLETE THEIR ROLE’…..Nigel.

7. Shirley - July 30, 2011

1 – Glad you reposted Tim’s 118 from page 106 –

Tim, I agree, your 118 post was sincere and eloquent, worthy of an Op-Ed piece. If it inspires any person to outer action or internal soul searching and further thinking, then it was worth whatever time you took to craft that post.

3 We Were There – Thanks for clarifying. I was also wondering what you had rediscovered in In Search, 20 years later. Would you consider this: that some of what you note in #3 above is not “exclusive” to the 4th Way, or any spiritual or psychological system? How about viewing some of the ideas that were presented in the G-O books as a kind of common sense? Meaning, once you were presented with the possibility that humans have more than one “brain,” you start to observe manifestations that confirm that. It starts to make sense. You mentioned “imagination” (aka daydreaming, sometimes). It may be a time waster for many, but for creative types, it may lead to productive visions and ideas. (But then the 4thWay might say that that is not “imagination,” but some other manifestation.)

More on 3 We Were There – I wonder if one of the most debatable aspect of the 4thWay is its theory of “evolution”. I mean, c’mon, how long has the FF been existence, with RB at its helm? How many so-called conscious beings/Man Number 5+ did the FF produce that we know for sure are whatever they are supposed to be? With RB’s moral behavior seriously in doubt, what does that make him, and does that disprove the 4thWay elevation from baseness to so-called consciousness? By my questions in this paragraph, I don’t mean to disparage, at all, any one’s aspirations towards increased awareness, enlightenment, sensitivity, or mindfulness. I don’t presume that any of those states are necessarily equivalent to the 4thWay term “waking up.”

8. Shirley - July 30, 2011

Correction, Tim’s 118 was on the earlier page 105.

9. Mr. Burp - July 30, 2011

3. We Are There

“The idea that I have more than one ‘brain’ (and its corollary that ‘I’ am many disconnected ‘I’s). “

You have one brain, but because it doesn’t function properly and it cannot deal with the fact that it thinks we are not adequate or ‘enough’ as we are, it creates more brains to blame, it creates justifications for your moronic/conscious actions. We might have many ‘thoughts’ and they are (or not) necessarily disconnected… so what? Like my good friend eX-brain that in order to avoid giving attention writes “don’t give attention!”

“The idea that imagination (in the Fourth Way sense of uncontrolled mind activity) wastes my time and gives little in return.”

Welcome to the real world: that’s how it ever was, that’s how it is and always will be. Beware of those who claim it is not so (you included).

“Expressing negativity wastes my energy and gives me nothing.“

“Expressing negativity” is not automatically a bad thing. Robotically not expressing negative emotions while thinking you are transforming it THAT is harmful. Expressing negativity sometimes (aka allowing yourself to being who you are) might actually help you prevent a stroke or a heart attack. And if you still going to suffer unspeakable pain well… I’m sure that’s because you attracted it.

10. Renald - July 30, 2011

Mr. Burp = suicide bomber hired by FOF to disrupt discussion group.

He/she out to stick his head back in his shit pail and die.

That`s the last bit of attention the fart gets from me.

Cheers!

11. WhaleRider - July 30, 2011

We Were There:

Thanks for being here.

Imo, “In Search” is a blueprint for how to form a cult.

The fourth way is set up to be impossible to achieve sustained success at it; and yet there seems to be an endless supply of fundamentalists who are willing to crucify themselves trying. As ton once said, the fourth way is a mental trap.

“Expressing negativity wastes my energy and gives me nothing. “

Interesting. Already the hook of “getting” something is planted..of “accumulating” something that you feel you are somehow lacking (other than the wisdom and experience that comes only with age.)

Let’s look at the bigger picture for a moment. If I were a sociopath, here’s how I could sell you what you think you lack, which you will never get enough of, and make a nice living for myself:

If I were to start a cult with myself in the center, first I would make it a requirement for cult membership that negativity, criticism, and anger were not allowed, especially about me and my actions.

Next, I would convince my followers to adopt the belief system that expressing any negativity whatsoever drains their soul juice, which it so happens (I make them believe) they can only grow more of in my cult.

This condition serves to disempower my followers and gives me carte blanc to run the cult any way I wish; dissenters are simply “asked to leave” or kicked out.

Then, I would also create a highly controlled, guarded, and structured environment in which my followers feel inadequate compared to my superiority, which in turn is likely to keep them in a depressed mood by causing them to project their unresolved anger and frustration back at themselves or at non-members.

I would also promote activities in adoration of me as a source of relief for my follower’s depression, charging them a lot of money to be in my presence, or I’d make them do other stuff for me to be around me.

(The military command structure also doesn’t tolerate insubordination from the lower ranks in order to ultimately channel that built up anger at the enemy.)

Now, imo, anger is a useful emotion in which to have access. Anger can motivate a person to take action to make change. Wanton anger can be destructive. If no anger is allowed in the cult, no one will take action on their own behalf to destroy their mental chains.

On the other hand, remaining in an unbalanced, narrow, irritable mood for any extended amount of time is unhealthy and no fun to be around either, just as holding onto unresolved anger can raise blood pressure possibly leading to a stroke.

Attempting to remain in an unbalanced, expansive, euphoric mood also has unhealthy consequences. Just ask Nigel. At either mood extreme, reason and critical thought are compromised, which can lead to unhealthy or hurtful behavior.

12. We Were There - July 30, 2011

7. Shirley – July 30, 2011

‘I wonder if one of the most debatable aspect of the 4thWay is its theory of “evolution”. I mean, c’mon, how long has the FF been existence, with RB at its helm? How many so-called conscious beings/Man Number 5+ did the FF produce that we know for sure are whatever they are supposed to be?…’

Thanks, Shirley; here you seem to be equating the Fellowship with the Fourth Way.

This gets into what I was trying to say (on the last page), that Robert Burton told all of us he was teaching ‘the Fourth Way’ and we (many of us, certainly me) believed him. As the years passed, it became clear to many that his ‘teaching’ was further and further from the Fourth Way and more and more a personality cult.

The Fellowship turned out to be a fraud, and in my mind what it accomplished (and failed to accomplish) has little to do with the Fourth Way.

13. 2011 - July 30, 2011

#10- Renald, I don’t think Mr Burp is a plant at all. I think you are misreading him.

Isn’t it important that there be a further investigation of whether or not the Fellowship is a real registered church organization? Am I missing something or couldn’t this new piece of information from the California Council of Churches turn out to be a complete misrepresentation and possible infraction of the law on the part of the FOF?

14. Golden Veil - July 30, 2011

11. WhaleRider – July 30, 2011

“If I were to start a cult with myself in the center, first I would make it a requirement for cult membership that negativity, criticism, and anger were not allowed, especially about me and my actions.”

It’s possible that Robert E. Burton’s self centered cult was intentionally created from the get-go, but I think he just fell into an opportunity and found success, then cultivated skills at using people. The many rules, some inspired by Gurdjieff’s own methods, probably grew organically with Robert Burton’s expansion of influence and power.

12. We Were There – July 30, 2011

“The Fellowship turned out to be a fraud, and in my mind what it accomplished (and failed to accomplish) has little to do with the Fourth Way.”

YES!

15. Golden Veil - July 30, 2011

Sometimes people leave links to support from other schools of thought and spirituality. Here’s one:

http://www.eckharttolle.com/article/The-Power-Of-Now-Spirituality-And-The-End-Of-Suffering/

16. Shirley - July 30, 2011

14. Golden Veil re: 11’s post. Your, “…but I think [RB] just fell into an opportunity and found success, then cultivated skills at using people.”
Yes, that seems quite likely, doesn’t it. If he were transplanted to another era, another country, say, Italy 1500s, you could seem him using his cunning in the mighty church system, using and abusing his way to power, with financial gains and sexual misconduct.

17. X-ray - July 30, 2011

assholes comes and goes, yet they stinks the same..

18. Shirley - July 30, 2011

12. We Were There – You may be right: I’ve been accused of worse, in regard to my assumptions that the FF was the living embodiment of the 4thWay. Seriously, though, have you witnessed any one that has become a Man Number 5? No point talking about the further up numbers, if we can’t go past 5.
This reminds me of an accusation hurled against me when I was immersed in the FF. The person said s/he didn’t think that I thought of myself as “one day being a Man Number 5, in which case, what was I doing in the FF,” was I just passing the time of day? That person, however, did think that that was possible for him/herself. I am sorry to report that s/he remained a mere mortal.

That would have been a good time for me to leave the FF, if not for the FF’s corruption, then because I evidently found the system wanting, in terms of my needs. However, and this is a big however, it was supposed to be the only place to be, in terms of finding “it.” No matter how baffled or disturbed you were, part of the mind control was to keep you from exercising the freedom to question and inspect.

19. X-ray - July 30, 2011

13 2011

Of course this asshole not a plant. Plants are usuful on our planet, they giving us life by inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. But sickos like this mr.fart are only a polution to clean air we breath. He is not a plant, nor animal or human, but rather parasite or virus of the same genetic sequence as robert burton.

20. Renald - July 31, 2011

re 13 2011 – As I posted before I think that Burton would be better off financially if the fof was found to not have been a church. They could be attempting to use dissenters to make that happen.
Cheers!

21. WhaleRider - July 31, 2011

We Were There:

“The idea that I have more than one ‘brain’ (and its corollary that ‘I’ am many disconnected ‘I’s).”

In order to further exercise control over my followers, I’d “teach” them through repetition to compartmentalize and mistrust themselves, by instilling the belief system that they possess not merely one brain, but three brains, in turn causing them to constantly trip over themselves in a state of heightened “self-consciousness”, and thus reinforcing the belief that they are inferior to me and unable to control themselves without my help. They will readily accept and pay for my control (and critical thought blocking) system to relieve the resultant anxiety of not being perfect, but at least better off than non-members.

Any dissenting or challenging thoughts are just labeled the “machine’s many I’s” (or lower self) which should not be trusted…even that tiny little voice called, “conscience”…or the realization that if you can’t tell your mother or father about what you are doing, then you probably ought not to be doing it.

Sure, each of us contains multitudes; call them the many “I”s if you will. So what. I can accept that about myself. Yes, it is healthier to own and take responsibility for all the parts of myself, even the parts of myself I don’t like. I consider that being flexible and adaptable, and ultimately more human and tolerant. Yet, I (the whole) still can have and maintain core values and beliefs.

“Systems” thinking is the current trend instead of reductionist, understanding how the parts work together as a sustainable whole.

The question is, how do we best govern the unruly multitudes in the healthiest manner…with more democracy and freedom or with more totalitarian control?

22. Renald - July 31, 2011

If I get addicted to expressing negativety or positiveness , I am in trouble. As a habit, if I could choose, I would pick the habit of being positive because it is a healthier position to transition from. I see life as a constant transition. A person who has the habit of being positive is less likely to change to other habits which are negative and therefore more detrimental. It is important to note that I see habits as being less powerful than strongly reinforced or fed habits which I call addictions. Addictions steal our freedom no matter whether they are considered good or bad. If I got severely addicted to meditation, for example, I would lose out on the joy of living. I would of course not believe that and might even be happy to be thus addicted, never-the-less, just like my heroin addicted friend. I just don`t wish this on myself or anyone else.
In short expressing negativety from time to time is surely better for me than holding it in, repressing, but that was never the issue. The teaching was that we could transform it rather than repressing it. Again I am talking about time (duration) and intensity (energy). The relief felt when venting feels good and if it feels good it is easy enough to see where I could develop the habit and that is where the potential problem exists. I need to be aware of it. I am not against feeling good. That is preposterous. On the contrary. It is not all or nothing. Anytime I lose the ability to steer my own course, I fail at life, at least temporarily if not completely.

Cheers!

23. Ames Gilbert - July 31, 2011

Tim Campion (#105-56 or thereabouts),
Thanks for taking the trouble to put your notes into the public record. I think it is useful to quote Burton on these pages, because these quotes illustrate important shortcomings in his worldview that deserve to be pointed out.
Generally, the quotes show what an extraordinarily high percentage of his maunderings are unverifiable, at least in the way that I understand verification.
The notes include the claim that the ends justifies the means, and I heard him say these same words myself. This is, IHMO, a basic misunderstanding which also highlights and proves Burton’s lack of knowledge, being, and conscience, and any of his followers who believe the same. My experience is that an awakening conscience understands that the ends never justify the means, that the means shape the ends. I challenge anyone to come up with an example where this is not so. And, for anyone still interested in such, a careful study of the law of three and the law of seven, central to understanding the 4th Way, also shows this clearly, at whatever level one chooses to concentrate on.
Tim, you say (in #105-115) the same words; I assume you actually meant to say that the blog is the correct means to an end, or that your particular post was an intentional means to an end. If I’m wrong, and you meant it the way you wrote it, that is, generally, as Burton did, I would be glad to hear why you think this is so.

Mr. Burp (#105-107 or thereabouts),
of course, anything written in this blog is almost certainly second-hand to a reader (for example, only if you were there at the same time could you verify that what I am about to write is ‘true’). However, for what it’s worth—I was there in the Brown’s Hotel in New York in 1980, in Burton’s presence when he took a call from a follower asking his advice about her pregnancy. I heard him tell her to get an abortion. Burton’s personal secretary at the time was there with me and could confirm this if he wished; afterwards he told me that this was Burton’s general policy (this was the first I’d heard of it). This was justified by the theory that for followers to have children at that time would mean that they would be the wrong age to be saved for the ‘fall of California’, or some such. When I said that they would be teenagers in 1996, and asked why that was relevant, I was instructed that I was ‘thinking formatarily’.

________________________
For those new to this blog who want a bit of insight into how the Fellowship of Friends—Pathway to Presence organization actually behaves, I advise you to do a search for “David Springfield letter”. David Springfield is the name of a long–term follower and lawyer who wrote a letter resigning from his job as a legal representative for the organization, and clearly stating why. I just did a search for “David Springfield Letter”, and I’m glad to say I came up with 1750 hits. Many of them are from Torrent sources, which means, ASAIK, that you need a bit of expertise or experience to download. Others, such as:
file.wikileaks.info/leak/david-springfield-letter-2009.doc
amonst many, opened right up on my desktop. I think anyone reading this letter will come away with quite a different view of the organization than from visiting the Pathway to Presence website, and IMHO, a much truer one. The letter quite clearly lays out the fears of the author and his warnings that the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Friends is just a puppet in Burton’s hands, rather than fulfilling the legal requirements of overseeing the affairs of a non–profit religious organization. He particularly points out that the authorities might regard all the benefits accruing to Burton as unreasonable compensation, that is, inurement. But that is just my opinion, go ahead and read it for yourself.
________________________

Burton did not arrive where he is today because a cruel universe picked on a harmless young man and transformed him into a domineering control freak and sexual predator. Nature and/or nurture gave him certain propensities, and he mechanically sought those circumstances that would satisfy his needs, and actively avoided situations where self-observation and control in this regard were required. He was corruptible through and through, and so attracted the role of spiritual charlatan, a position that allowed those needs to be satisfied with the fewest restrictions, and at the same time attracted the corresponding gullible, naïve and shallow followers who would enter and reinforce his fantasy. A far better man than he said it best, “By their fruits ye shall judge them”. The vast differences between one such as Jesus and one such as Burton raises the question in my mind whether they might not even be considered different species.

24. For the record - July 31, 2011

Just curious: Is David Springfield from Holland? The same person as David L_bb_s? All of the various names for the group are rather odd — Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence / Being Present / Via del Sol / Mount Carmel / Renaissance / Apollo.

Good god — did I leave anything out?

But some of the individual name changes are rather odd, too. If the names Springfield and L_bb_s are referring to the same person, ‘twould be interesting to know whether he changed his name legally, and whether he’s actually practicing law with the name “David Springfield.”

Also, I’m wondering what the ABA thinks of the above referenced letter mentioned by Ames Gilbert. Doesn’t care? Would be concerned? Or maybe they think he’s just yet another one of those cult member lawyers, in the same mould as the Scientology lawyers. Or does it raise a few eyebrows? I’d think yes.

25. We Were There - July 31, 2011

7. Shirley – July 30, 2011

Common sense – yes.

I really don’t know how exclusive to the Fourth Way these ideas are – maybe they all can be found elsewhere.

But there they were in one place and I was saying to myself ‘of course’ again and again as I read Formatory thinking. Unnecessary talk. Magnetic center. Knowledge/Being/Understanding.

Whalerider 11 and 21.

What you are describing here sounds like the Robert Burton Way and I am arm in arm with you in rejecting it.

You seem to have moved beyond that to reject the Fourth Way, yes?

If so, you are ahead of me in your understanding or you are making a mistake – or maybe we both are!

In any event, for now we may have to agree to disagree on this.

26. Shirley - July 31, 2011

23. Ames, thanks for your post, and some earlier ones. I hadn’t/didn’t read the blog for several years. By the way, the abortion issue/RB never came up for me. I also didn’t have any female FF friends for whom this was an issue (that I know of). I guess the women I hung out with weren’t pregnant at the time, so this was never a current topic with the women I hung out with. Yet, considering it was a general women’s issue, I don’t know why we never discussed it. Did we not know much about it, did we not hear much about it, was it a forbidden subject – I just don’t know.

27. Golden Veil - July 31, 2011

There are ex-Students posting on this blog that had children while in the Fellowship of Friends. If any of you are reading this, did Burton ever suggest that you have an abortion? If he did, obviously you didn’t go for it…

Anybody else hear of anyone being given the “direction” to have an abortion?

28. brucelevy - July 31, 2011

Along with the “suggestion” to have abortions was the “suggestion” to have hysterectomies to avoid pregnancy, and a few actually did. At the time RB often said that a “suggestion” from “him” should be seen as a “task” by those who are “on the Way”. I also got into it with Blanda Schlockwood when I suggested to students who were advised to get abortions to tell her to fuck off. This ultimately resulted in Blanda being told to stay away from my wife and myself.
I was there while this happened, so any nay sayers who think that it’s malicious rumor can kiss my ass and go fuck themselves.

29. brucelevy - July 31, 2011

For the time line for the above…I joined in 74 and physically left in 85, and inwardly left in 83 and for those two years I observed the rapid decline of the parasitic organism called the FOF/ Apollo at that time, This was while RB’s sexual proclivities were still being kept “relatively” hidden, and he hadn’t yet tapped Eastern Europe for his boy toys who would have, no doubt, fucked anything to get out of their own hells.

30. brucelevy - July 31, 2011

31. Shirley - July 31, 2011

26. Golden Veil – A few of my women friends have grown children. Judging by the age of the children, the women must have gotten pregnant at the end of the 80s-very early 90s. My guess is that by then, pregnancy was no longer a matter that was interfered with, but I don’t know, for sure.

27.28. Bruce – My recollection of the late 70s, early 80s, is that Robert (sometimes directly, sometimes through his henchmen / women) interfered actively in people’s “intimate” lives, such as the relentless pressure that you marry the person you were dating (especially if you sleeping with the person). And there was also the abomination of separating couples who were dating, if they were both Jewish. The latter changed in the early 80s; it affected a few of my personal friends in the FF, so I remember the impact of that insane directive.

32. Agent 45 - July 31, 2011

Tee Dum
Tee Dum
Tee Dumpty Dumpty Dum.
Notes to Sheiksblog from a friend:
1. Mere condemnation will not enable you to destroy the FoF.
2. Very often questioning will trump ready-made answers.

33. Agent 45 - July 31, 2011

Thanks a lot, Shirley.
You just destroyed what was intended to be a sequential posting.

34. WhaleRider - July 31, 2011

We Were There:
I not only reject the fourth way, but the first second and third way, too!

Once I start believing that I am more “evolved” or “conscious” than someone else, as in the difference between person number 1,2,3 and person number 4,5,or 6, or that I am on a more “accelerated path” imo, I am on the brink of losing my humanity and becoming sociopathic or worse.

Once I start attempting to accumulate something that cannot be measured (Hydrogen 12), or the moon is after my soul, I am suffering from a delusion.

35. Shirley - July 31, 2011

Agent 45, I’d accommodate you and cut/paste, but alas…

36. dennis - July 31, 2011

WhaleRider, you are not alone. If the duality that you are describing is an indication of “losing my humanity and becoming sociopathic or worse,” then most of us are in big trouble.

37. Josiane - July 31, 2011

26. Golden Veil and others.
In her book, Bread upon Water, G…v…re M…ller, a long-time and current FoF member tells of a conversation she had with Burton when she asked him why it was okay now for couples to have children (it must have been some time in the 80s) and his reply was: “Earlier we were building a School, now we are building a civilization.” She found that to be very profound. It’s important to note that G.M. had been one the women asked to give up her children in the early years of the school, which she did!!!

38. We Were There - July 31, 2011

Another Fourth Way idea that makes sense to me is that whether an action is right and wrong is determined by ‘aim.’

So what IS my aim in posting here (of course, each of us has many aims, some more selfish, some less, but I speak here of the most important or overriding aim):

To bring Robert Burton to court to face punishment for his transgressions?

To reach out to current members and extend the hand of common understanding of their plight?

To deter future converts from associating themselves with ‘Pathway to Presence?’

To seek and provide advice and share successful (and perhaps not so successful) post-Fellowship strategies?

To correct others in what I believe is their faulty thinking?

To shock, offend, show off, destroy constructive discussion?

Other aims?

Some posts will contribute to multiple goals, while some will advance one at the expense of another.

The above may be obvious for some, still it may be worth asking…

What is my aim here? What is yours?

39. Best of the Blog - July 31, 2011

We Were There: “To correct others in what I believe is their faulty thinking?”

Pointing out faulty thinking is absolutely one reason that people may participate in any debate. Are you suggesting there’s something wrong with that? That’s partly why humans share ideas, and share their opinions about those ideas. Agreement and silent nods of approval are what you get in a closed cult environment. In that same closed, cult environment, new ideas and new ways of thinking are not welcome. And particularly, disagreement is not welcome.

The expression “correct others” is your take on what people are doing when they disagree with you… But if you find this objectionable (“correcting others”), just keep in mind that you’re trying to do the same in your post.

Look… Conversations can sometimes be harmonious, sometimes more contentious. I will gladly embrace contentiousness if it helps all of us think more clearly about this, and more honestly.

I’ve always found it interesting that Ouspensky articulated his displeasure with “negativity” in the sense that people supposedly deluded themselves when expressing negativity. In other words, he wrote, many of us just believe we are being honest, and we justify our negativity on that basis. But what our dear conscious being forgot to mention is that honesty is an important aspect of clear thinking. I will gladly listen closely to any “negative” commentary that I believe is coming from honesty. Without that, we’re often clinging to a false harmony that’s brought about by obfuscation, redirection, and ignorance.

I find it bizarre how much noise occurs whenever a couple of people join the discussion and post some real whoppers on these pages. (Ames and Tim above.) It’s as though it’s just too much to bear.

40. Best of the Blog - July 31, 2011

========
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.

=======

41. Best of the Blog - July 31, 2011

========

23. Ames Gilbert – July 31, 2011
Tim Campion (#105-56 or thereabouts),
Thanks for taking the trouble to put your notes into the public record. I think it is useful to quote Burton on these pages, because these quotes illustrate important shortcomings in his worldview that deserve to be pointed out.
Generally, the quotes show what an extraordinarily high percentage of his maunderings are unverifiable, at least in the way that I understand verification.
The notes include the claim that the ends justifies the means, and I heard him say these same words myself. This is, IHMO, a basic misunderstanding which also highlights and proves Burton’s lack of knowledge, being, and conscience, and any of his followers who believe the same. My experience is that an awakening conscience understands that the ends never justify the means, that the means shape the ends. I challenge anyone to come up with an example where this is not so. And, for anyone still interested in such, a careful study of the law of three and the law of seven, central to understanding the 4th Way, also shows this clearly, at whatever level one chooses to concentrate on.
Tim, you say (in #105-115) the same words; I assume you actually meant to say that the blog is the correct means to an end, or that your particular post was an intentional means to an end. If I’m wrong, and you meant it the way you wrote it, that is, generally, as Burton did, I would be glad to hear why you think this is so.

Mr. Burp (#105-107 or thereabouts),
of course, anything written in this blog is almost certainly second-hand to a reader (for example, only if you were there at the same time could you verify that what I am about to write is ‘true’). However, for what it’s worth—I was there in the Brown’s Hotel in New York in 1980, in Burton’s presence when he took a call from a follower asking his advice about her pregnancy. I heard him tell her to get an abortion. Burton’s personal secretary at the time was there with me and could confirm this if he wished; afterwards he told me that this was Burton’s general policy (this was the first I’d heard of it). This was justified by the theory that for followers to have children at that time would mean that they would be the wrong age to be saved for the ‘fall of California’, or some such. When I said that they would be teenagers in 1996, and asked why that was relevant, I was instructed that I was ‘thinking formatarily’.

________________________
For those new to this blog who want a bit of insight into how the Fellowship of Friends—Pathway to Presence organization actually behaves, I advise you to do a search for “David Springfield letter”. David Springfield is the name of a long–term follower and lawyer who wrote a letter resigning from his job as a legal representative for the organization, and clearly stating why. I just did a search for “David Springfield Letter”, and I’m glad to say I came up with 1750 hits. Many of them are from Torrent sources, which means, ASAIK, that you need a bit of expertise or experience to download. Others, such as:
file.wikileaks.info/leak/david-springfield-letter-2009.doc
amonst many, opened right up on my desktop. I think anyone reading this letter will come away with quite a different view of the organization than from visiting the Pathway to Presence website, and IMHO, a much truer one. The letter quite clearly lays out the fears of the author and his warnings that the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Friends is just a puppet in Burton’s hands, rather than fulfilling the legal requirements of overseeing the affairs of a non–profit religious organization. He particularly points out that the authorities might regard all the benefits accruing to Burton as unreasonable compensation, that is, inurement. But that is just my opinion, go ahead and read it for yourself.
________________________

Burton did not arrive where he is today because a cruel universe picked on a harmless young man and transformed him into a domineering control freak and sexual predator. Nature and/or nurture gave him certain propensities, and he mechanically sought those circumstances that would satisfy his needs, and actively avoided situations where self-observation and control in this regard were required. He was corruptible through and through, and so attracted the role of spiritual charlatan, a position that allowed those needs to be satisfied with the fewest restrictions, and at the same time attracted the corresponding gullible, naïve and shallow followers who would enter and reinforce his fantasy. A far better man than he said it best, “By their fruits ye shall judge them”. The vast differences between one such as Jesus and one such as Burton raises the question in my mind whether they might not even be considered different species.

=========

42. Best of the Blog - July 31, 2011

========
27. brucelevy – July 31, 2011
Along with the “suggestion” to have abortions was the “suggestion” to have hysterectomies to avoid pregnancy, and a few actually did. At the time RB often said that a “suggestion” from “him” should be seen as a “task” by those who are “on the Way”. I also got into it with Blanda Schlockwood when I suggested to students who were advised to get abortions to tell her to fuck off. This ultimately resulted in Blanda being told to stay away from my wife and myself.
I was there while this happened, so any nay sayers who think that it’s malicious rumor can kiss my ass and go fuck themselves.

==========

43. King of Comments - July 31, 2011

38. Best of the Blog

I agree. Although I find calling yourself “Best of the Blog” a little disturbing, for the same point you were trying to make. Same as pointing out who is worthy of having a second chance and a place in the hall of fame of posts in this crowded arena.

Thank you 23. Ames and Bruce 27.
That was certainly then, but it is now as stated on the ‘revealing’ post?

10. Renald
You must have attracted it, after all… it’s the law!

19. eX-brain
You are a genius, could a plant possibly type on a keyboard?

37. Are You There?
“Another Fourth Way idea that makes sense to me is that whether an action is right and wrong is determined by ‘aim.’”
Are you nuts? Oh, … I get it … you are kidding, …right?

31. Agent 45
Good point.

44. James Bryant - July 31, 2011

38. Best of the Blog – July 31, 2011

“We Were There: “To correct others in what I believe is their faulty thinking?”

“Pointing out faulty thinking is absolutely one reason that people may participate in any debate. Are you suggesting there’s something wrong with that?”

Maybe I wasn’t clear.

I don’t suggest correcting others is necessarily wrong; I include it as a possible aim in participating in this blog.

———————————–

“The expression “correct others” is your take on what people are doing when they disagree with you… But if you find this objectionable (“correcting others”), just keep in mind that you’re trying to do the same in your post.”

Best, I promise I am not trying to correct your thinking!

What I AM trying to do (my aim in posting):

I haven’t closely followed the blog for the last year or more, but my impression is that it has become increasingly hostile toward current members as well as Robert Burton.

There are a few people still stuck in the group who I consider friends.

Now that it seems the thing is finally drawing to a close, I’d like the blog to be a welcoming place for those who may well finally realize they are in a desperate position, in many cases at an advanced age.

Since the Fourth Way still speaks truth to me (and likely some, maybe many, others who have rejected Robert Burton’s cult) I think current members should know that rejecting Robert Burton does not necessarily require rejecting every principle upon which they have built their lives.
.
———————————

“I find it bizarre how much noise occurs whenever a couple of people join the discussion and post some real whoppers on these pages. (Ames and Tim above.) It’s as though it’s just too much to bear.”

I don’t understand this; can you clarify?

———————————

Finally, I am humbled that you have chosen my post as “Best of the Blog!”

45. J. D. - July 31, 2011

A friend of mine sent me these links a while ago. The Fellowship of Friends and its henchmen are using ‘meetup’ groups (see links below) as a launchpad, they are using the “power of now” and its popularity to lure and recruit for the FoF. Check out a ‘meetup’ group near you.

http://www.meetup.com/The-Power-of-Now-San-Jose/

Penetrating the Power of Now

Rancho Cordova, CA
165 People of the Now

Inspired by Eckhart Tolle, this group seeks to go beyond Eckhart’s book into the actual day to day practice of being Present.One awakens the moment one realizes one is asleep…

Next Meetup

2nd Saturday MINDFULNESS WORKSHOP

Saturday, Sep 13, 2014, 5:30 PM
1 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

46. X-ray - July 31, 2011

36

That´s why she look like a fucking animal.

47. X-ray - July 31, 2011

I have deep compassion to those poor kids who got deprived of the parents love by the evil will of the criminal psychopat robert burton.
But I have just as same amount of haterage to those fucking parents who never deserved to have a blessing of children in the first place.

48. X-ray - July 31, 2011

I mean who in the world can even ask things like giving away your children? This is pure evil. The guy is a wicked heartless souless jerk, a genetic error, he never should become a human in the first place.
And this antihuman, antilove, antilife by some considered a second coming of Crist? How disgusting these people are. I am ambaresed to even mention that I was once a member of this evil circus.

49. brucelevy - August 1, 2011

44. X-ray

Quite simply, it’s what a sociopath does. Conscience doesn’t enter into the equation because it isn’t present. Only ancompletely inner focused pathological egocentricity.

50. brucelevy - August 1, 2011

Only a completely inner focused pathological egocentricity.

51. Renald - August 1, 2011

It`s not a very big jump from not having the ability to take responsibility for one`s choices to thinking that “the gods made me do it“. In a court of law that usually is enough to get the person committed if the court believes that the accused believes it.

Cheers!

52. Renald - August 1, 2011

“ But your honor Socrates and I discussed building the theatron in the TV room and believe me you don`t want to argue with Socrates! That`s why we did not apply for a building permit. Right, that is what you tell him, Abraham.“

“ We were having dinner in the Wordsworth Room when Leonardo Da Vinci suddenly appeared and he was surrounded by a whole slew of angels. He did not look too happy so I thought we had better skip dessert.“

Cheers!

53. X-ray - August 1, 2011

45

Yes, it´s really simple but so disgusting.

54. surelyujest - August 1, 2011

Here’s something to consider. The 4th Way zealot fervently preaches his religion, but when anyone offers evidence that it’s mostly a bunch of nonsense, tailor-made to create cults, then that person is attacked — not on the points of their argument, but with ad hominem insults. Let me break this down. I say the 4th way is bullshit. I am attacked on my personal faults, including the incredibly narrow-minded and absurdly prejudiced term “suburban housewife.” Okay, that means my argument is invalidated because I am lacking in certain ways. The other side of that argument is that the 4th way preacher must have no faults, because then they would be a basis to invalidate everything he spews. By his own logic, the preaching is valid only so long as the preacher has no faults. So we descend into name calling. Very advanced spirituality.

This amazing immaturity and lack of insight into even these basic breakdowns of logic do not give confidence in the preacher. Because this rock thrower doesn’t just live in a glass house, but a crystal cathedral.

This is what I am fighting against — the rank hypocrisy.

Again, where are the conscious beings? Why is the success rate so unimpressive, meaning nonexistent? I don’t disagree with many of G & O’s observations about humanity, though they are quite simplistic in many places. People are machines. I just don’t believe there is any way out like they describe. Nobody knows why we are here and what happened before or what happens afterwards. Anybody who says otherwise is lying. Of course that has never stopped anyone from spinning incredible fantasies. Considering that those saying otherwise always have a personal agenda (even if it’s nothing more than elevating themselves over “life people” — disgusting term) — let’s just say it undercuts their arguments.

55. surelyujest - August 1, 2011

From an article on ventriloquism…the parallels to the mind manipulation used in cults is clear, especially “verifying C influence”:

“As I later learned, my brain was contending with the “ventriloquist effect,” first noted in a study in the 1890s but named by a research team in the 1960s. The basic insight, that “visual information biases the spatial localization of auditory events,” is a key finding in behavioral and neurological research. When it comes to spatial processing, human vision is, by dint of evolutionary adaptation, generally stronger than the auditory sense. (Which is perhaps why it’s infuriatingly difficult to locate a cellphone that is ringing two feet away from you if it’s concealed under a couch pillow.) Human perception, which functions by fusing simultaneous streams of sensory information, works on the assumption that if auditory and visual stimuli occur in proximity—close in both space and in time—they must be caused by a single source, the one you see. So when we watch lips moving in sync with an unrelated sound, our brain simply denies the confusion, the strange coincidence of these two events, and instead processes them as though they were one very normal speech act. Thus, a ventriloquist can modulate his voice to make it sound near or far, as though it were muffled in a box, or gurgling up from underwater, but he doesn’t actually “throw his voice” in any particular direction; he just tosses it to the audience and they—their eyes, their brain—place it in the lips of the dummy.

“This accounts for why post-Enlightenment ventriloquism continues to be bothersome. The problem lies not in the nefarious methods or motivations of the ventriloquist but rather in what it says about us, about our capacity for self-deception. True, the effect may be orchestrated by a sordid stranger in a Hawaiian shirt, but it is we who carry out the illusion. Nor does an understanding of the ventriloquist effect free us from its power. On the contrary, it forces us to witness just how pitifully our brain glosses over problems, how seamlessly it weaves its convenient answers. Our sensory system is as much a puppet as the duck with the googly eyes. As it turns out, there is wisdom in that old routine in which the dummy turns to his master and says, “No, you’re the dummy.”

From this article:

http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2011/07/25/dummy-land/?utm_source=feedbur
ner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheParisReviewBlog+%28The+Paris+Rev
iew+Blog%29

56. fofblogmoderator - August 1, 2011

43, 44 & 45 are new

57. X-ray - August 1, 2011

43 King of the Crap

Why don´t you do yourself a favor and go FUCK YOURSELF YOU BRAINLESS JERK

58. X-ray - August 1, 2011

45 J D

Disgusting but not surprising. They always were thievs, they are thievs and they will always remain thieves because they are shallow themselves and can produce only fraud.

59. X-ray - August 1, 2011

King of Crap 43

Your stupid sarcasm wouldn´t work for 5 years old boy, let alone an older dick like you.

60. X-ray - August 1, 2011

And one more thing to King of Crap

So if a murderer committed a murder 20 years ago but never murdered again, does that dismiss his crime?
If burton forced abortions 20 years ago does that dismiss the fact?
You either a complete idiot or another member of a damage control team and in either case you are a schmuck.

61. Tim Campion - August 1, 2011

In the “better late than never” category…

Perhaps many/most of you already do this, but using the following link (the Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion blog “home page”) to reach this site will help assure that “hits” for the FOF Discussion blog are consolidated, and will result in search engines ranking this blog higher – hopefully, right alongside the Living Presence home page, and keeping it there.

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

(Currently, whenever a new blog page is created, search engines see it as a new website and their ranking algorithms treat it accordingly. So, for example, if we bypass the home page and go directly to Page 106, the hit will be registered for that site, not the home page site, in effect “depriving the home page of votes” and diluting its potential for a higher ranking.)

62. Renald - August 1, 2011

Anyone severely addicted to the feeling of power feels good no matter if they have thrown a bowling ball for a strike, posted insults in a blog or gone on a killing rampage. It`s all the same to them. It is just a matter of degree. Many great thinkers have tried to explain how it works but the cause has nothing to do with intellectual exercise. Therefore they all use the word `power` or its many synonyms as part of their arguments while seemingly not noticing that they are doing so. Our first and final responsibility is being aware of our cravings and how they affect others. That is what defines being civilized. In the end we are those others.
Cheers!

63. X-ray - August 1, 2011

Not sure to whom you reffering, Renald, but if you reffering to me then I´m sorry, but I don´t have another language for assholes.
So if my posts are disturbing to you, then skip them, because they not going to change in regards to the shitheads like the few we are having right now.

64. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

44. James Bryant

“There are a few people still stuck in the group who I consider friends.

“Now that it seems the thing is finally drawing to a close, I’d like the blog to be a welcoming place for those who may well finally realize they are in a desperate position, in many cases at an advanced age.

“Since the Fourth Way still speaks truth to me (and likely some, maybe many, others who have rejected Robert Burton’s cult) I think current members should know that rejecting Robert Burton does not necessarily require rejecting every principle upon which they have built their lives.”

***

A very touching observation, and an important consideration. Thanks, James.

65. Shirley - August 2, 2011

61. Tim

Thanks. Good idea. My habit has been to go straight to the Bookmark/Favorite that I created.

66. WhaleRider - August 2, 2011

“…current members should know that rejecting Robert Burton does not necessarily require rejecting every principle upon which they have built their lives..”

By staying in a cult so long, didn’t you eventually reject all the principles upon which you built your life prior to joining anyway, like honesty, integrity and self-respect?

Frankly dude, imo, if you built your life around the FOF, you built it upon sand…you were sold sub-prime real estate, and that’s a painful fact to bear. You were taught to lie, you hid the truth, and you kept silent for burton.

You already gave up the principles that make you a more mature amd trustworthy human being, what’s left, your wide-eyed sense of wonder??

It’s the trail you leave behind that matters to the rest of us and to our kids…what you have personally done to improve not only your own life, but for as many of those around you too, even for free if you can, ought to be a trail we all would want to follow.

Drain the victim pool.

67. Mr. Burp - August 2, 2011

eX-brain

It is remarkable how you go from:”That was certainly then, but is it now as stated on the ‘revealing’ post?” to barking: “So if a murderer committed a murder 20 years ago but never murdered again, does that dismiss his crime?
If burton forced abortions 20 years ago does that dismiss the fact?”

Your obtuseness is a constant surprise, reaching new highs every time… fascinating.
So much for “not worth the attention”, but I guess that the proverb is right: “When the brain is away, you will come to play.” Maybe my sarcasm wouldn’t work for a five years old, but surely gets you all fired up.

Btw, Renald saying: “Anyone severely addicted to the feeling of power feels good no matter if they… posted insults in a blog” was definitely you; plus he didn’t refer to your posts as “disturbing” to him, but that was just your idiocy striking again.
Thank you! You are precious to this blog with endless and relentless offerings of ludicrous material.

74. Tim C.

“I’d like the blog to be a welcoming place for those who may well finally realize they are in a desperate position, in many cases at an advanced age.”

Good luck with that! (please see above)

“… I think current members should know that rejecting Robert Burton does not necessarily require rejecting every principle upon which they have built their lives.”

Good luck with that as well. To them RB IS a conscious being, what they live for, their aspiration, the point of arrival. There are so many current students, even at an advanced age, even disputing the teaching, even despising the politics, who look (and maybe always will) at RB with creepy starry eyes, and to “serve” is a priority.

68. waskathleenw - August 2, 2011

Hi folks,

Earlier this evening, I received an email saying that Abraham Goldman killed himself last night. Susan and Rosie came home from the ballet and found him.

The person who contacted me feels that this should be on the blog, but didn’t want her name mentioned. She says she KNOWS it’s not a rumor.

I wasn’t given any more detail than this.

69. Renald - August 2, 2011

Re. 63 – X – Ray If you estimate that you fall in the category of “Anyone severely addicted to the feeling of power “, then what followed may apply to you. I think we all get a kick or a rush from some activity or another or we would not do it whether it is replaying a thought, eating a certain food, stretching our muscles in the morning, going fishing, reading a book, going to church, driving over the speed limit, you name it. When it is over-done or taken to extremes so that it becomes detrimental to oneself or others, then it really needs to be looked at carefully. It sometimes is hard to know that it has gone too far and so developing the habit of `consciously` varying behavior is like an insurance policy.
X-Ray or whatever your name is what you do is your business and not mine, on one level. By taking responsibility for what I feel when I read your posts I am able to pinpoint where I need to work or not work. So I am grateful for whatever you post. I consider my posting on this blog to be a work in progress, one that is useful for me and maybe for others if they so wish to consider what I have to say. If not well you got it right, they can just skip them or dismiss them, pffft!
Cheers!

70. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 2, 2011

AG, FoF long time member, FoF long time attorney, reported to have died. Does anyone know anything about this?

71. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

23. Ames Gilbert

“The notes include the claim that the ends justifies the means, and I heard him say these same words myself. This is, IHMO, a basic misunderstanding which also highlights and proves Burton’s lack of knowledge, being, and conscience, and any of his followers who believe the same. My experience is that an awakening conscience understands that the ends never justify the means, that the means shape the ends. I challenge anyone to come up with an example where this is not so. And, for anyone still interested in such, a careful study of the law of three and the law of seven, central to understanding the 4th Way, also shows this clearly, at whatever level one chooses to concentrate on.

“Tim, you say (in #105-115) the same words; I assume you actually meant to say that the blog is the correct means to an end, or that your particular post was an intentional means to an end. If I’m wrong, and you meant it the way you wrote it, that is, generally, as Burton did, I would be glad to hear why you think this is so.”

***

In Page 105 Post 115 (copied above, Page 106 Post 1), I wrote:

“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.”

Context, and a common language, is essential to the understanding of our words. We should have asked Robert what he meant when he said “the ends justifies the means”. Unfortunately, we were in a state of enchantment and largely discouraged from interrupting his “train wreck of thought” to ask such questions.

So it’s good that you question my usage. In my statement, it was intended as a figurative use of the common expression (made even more figurative by my use of another obscure Burton quote, referring to Bob Dylan.)

As to what I meant: yes, as you suggest, I think the blog is one appropriate mean to an end, that of uncovering and publishing “the truth” about the Fellowship and Robert Burton. Since we are not likely dealing with coerced confessions here, whatever motive or the condition that drives a person to share their truth can be seen as secondary to the actual content of their statements. (I’m not addressing intentional falsehoods here.)

Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest bringing in the FBI or CIA water-boarding experts to get at “the truth”. (Those guys have an even harsher interpretation of “the ends justify the means.”) On second thought…

As an aside, I did not set out to couch my statements in a 4th way context, and have no personal interest in testing their validity within that framework. Confusion is a natural outcome when we mix languages, so that’s one of the things we must contend with on this blog.

Let me know if I sufficiently addressed your question.

72. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

67. Mr. Burp

“74. Tim C…”

Mr. Burp! Your indigestion is impacting your mental faculties. We’re not even there yet!

And I didn’t say those things. (But that probably doesn’t matter…)

73. Guy Grand - August 2, 2011

70. Wouldnt You Like To Know

I got an e-mail today saying Abraham G. had committed suicide last night.

74. Golden Veil - August 2, 2011

*** Okay, I just eliminated my Mac’s bookmark to Page 106 and have now set it to The Blog’s Home Page link as Tim Campion, and now Shirley, have suggested. To get to the current page of comments, you just need to click on the word “comments” in the lavender link at the top left of the page. A side benefit is that I don’t have to keep changing the bookmark when the moderator starts a new page. Very cool. Thanks, Tim! ***

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

I notice that a Living Presence Google search doesn’t bring up The Blog, but that a Fellowship of Friends Google search does; it’s currently listed 5th in the search results. Maybe if everyone that has a bookmark changes it to the Home Page it will keep the blog up where it is. I checked out the Fellowship of Friends WikiSpaces site and The Blog is referenced in footnotes quite a bit. The History page was illuminating to me, especially the sections entitled “Robert Burton returns” and “No more Fourth Way.” Oh, and, ha ha, “Predictions.”

http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/History

I am wondering if The Blog might come up during a Living Presence Google search if spaces are added between the slashes. Maybe the title is read as one name because there are no spaces between the names? Maybe it would make a difference to print the names separately without the slashes… but then it might be read as a new website. By the way, is there a section that shows how many times it is opened and conceivably been read? I don’t see a counting tally anywhere here.

75. Agent 45 - August 2, 2011

RE: “A few people stuck in the group that I consider friends.”
Is this true? Do some older old students of Robert Burton feel trapped in their circumstances? Do you think sympathy will help them free themselves? Some say you can’t escape the consequences of your own actions. Sounds right to me.

76. X-ray - August 2, 2011

67 mr. Fart

Just as I said GO FUCK YOURSELF

77. X-ray - August 2, 2011

IF AG comitted suicided that would not be surprising, considering all he knew about burton and the fof.

78. ollie - August 2, 2011

68. waskathleenw
70. Wouldnt You Like To Know
73. Guy Grand
76. X-ray

I also received confirmation that the sad news about AG is true.

79. Ames Gilbert - August 2, 2011

Tim, (#106-61 or thereabouts),
you make a great point about the way search engines rank this blog. I had no idea that each new page starts the ‘relevance count’ afresh. So, what you are saying is, if we click on the link you provided, and put that in our “Favorites” bar (or equivalent), then that will always automatically take us to the latest page? If that is so, could not the blog moderator do the same? That is, when ‘turning the page’, provide us with this very same link instead of one that specifically links to the next page in numerical order?

And Tim, thanks for answering (#106-71 or thereabouts). It so happens that the particular context when I personally heard Burton say the words, “The ends justifies the means”, was after he had finished (for the nth time) telling us about his relationship with his mother, ending with the statement that he didn’t go to her funeral as ‘work against feminine dominance”. I understood him to mean that any and all sacrifices were justified on the ‘path to awakening.’ At the time, I said nothing (part of my sorry record of never, not even once, questioning any of his statements to his face, not even the spectacularly bizarre, “I am a 900 million year old goddess trapped in a man’s body”); actually, at the time, I had not thought through the saying and had not realized the consequences of acting as if that was true.

80. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

77. Ollie (and others)

Yes, it is sad, tragic news. My condolences to Abraham’s family and friends.

78. Ames Gilbert

Perhaps I should not have spoken with such certainty, but that is what my experiments and observations of recent weeks have shown. And YES, the blog moderator could use that same link at the bottom of each page. It would simply take us to the “home page” where the new discussion would appear at the top of the page index. (It would require the reader to make one extra click to then open the latest discussion.)

The regret you express for not having questioned – who here has not felt that profound failure? (Even the few who eventually confronted and challenged Burton had first supported him.)

81. Renald - August 2, 2011

re. 78 – Ames Gilbert`s “ It so happens that the particular context when I personally heard Burton say the words, “The ends justifies the means”, was after he had finished (for the nth time) telling us about his relationship with his mother “

This is a good example of being addicted to a thought or thoughts, in this case to a pain or maybe a guilt feeling. Each time he repeated the experience by reliving it somewhat he got more addicted. As well since the students around him at that time heard the story so many times, whatever reaction they had was also becoming part of their program. Even now as Ames is relaying the story to us, it has an impact on him. Personally I had heard the part about not attending her funeral and that this was a part of his work on himself. It was certainly a contributing factor to my skipping my son`s and my father`s funerals when I was at Apollo. After having had those two experiences I know that when envisioning my mother`s death in the not too distant future the thought of skipping her funeral still pops up as a memory, as a memory of thoughts which are habitual. The choice has not been made actively but the inclination mechanically is still there. I can change that habit now by stating to myself how it could be different, by creating a new intention backed by habit. I can start putting money aside for the airfare and every time I do make a deposit toward that fund I would be reinforcing the new habit of thought thus making it easier to rid myself of an unwanted addiction.
Thank you Ames for helping to change my life. We are so inter-connected that we would be totally flabergasted if we could see just how much. There is indeed a lot of cleaning or clearing to do.
Cheers!!

82. WhaleRider - August 2, 2011

How sad to hear about AG. My heart goes out to Susan and Rosie, too.

Suicide is the endgame in cults for the pathologically devoted.

Anyone hear if there was a note?

Thanks for the browser tip, Tim. Strength in numbers!

83. fofblogmoderator - August 2, 2011

#74 is new

yes- I will create a link to the home page when I post each page turn. As has been noted, it will require one extra click for you to get to the current page

84. 2011 - August 2, 2011

Regarding Abe’s suicide, Robert Burton always tries to explain to the Fellowship members what these events really mean from the perspective of “C influence”. I would be curious to hear how he spins this one.

It’s too bad about Abe. My own imagination has speculated that he couldn’t bear to be “in” or “out” of the FOF. After all, he did attempt to join the Greater Fellowship site and was rejected (as i recall). Maybe it was a health issue. Maybe it was depression. Maybe we’ll never know….

85. Ames Gilbert - August 2, 2011

I called Abraham Goldman’s law office just now to find out as directly as I can about the situation.
The person who replied confirmed that Abraham is dead.

86. Renald - August 2, 2011

re 77 – Ollie Thank you Ollie for the confirmation. Abraham just like most of us had a soft side and he was not afraid to let others see it.
A relationship with a sociopath is bound to have a negative influence.
Unfortunately the story does not end here. His daughter 17 and son 16 no doubt are suffering deep scars and my prayers go out to them in the hope that they can help them cope.

All kinds of scenarios want to push to my consciouness, no doubt part of my program. I have curious thoughts surfacing which want to know which was the straw that broke the camel`s back. I am sorry.

“ Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.“ –Carl Jung
and a partial quote, “ Allowing your toxic thoughts to be first, you automatically experience imperfection in the way of disease, confusion, resentment, depression, judgement, and poverty.“ — Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Zero Limits

Peace !

87. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

78. Ames Gilbert and 80. Renald

Perhaps examples can be found where intentionally separating someone from their family members has helped their growth and development. I don’t know.

Robert applied his dangerous prescriptions indiscriminately, without regard for the individual patient. He was (and still is) simply a “quack”.

(To my knowledge, Robert also directed Fellowship members to perform gardening and housekeeping tasks for his mother, another potential misappropriation of “church” resources.)

88. Mr. Burp - August 2, 2011

Thank you Tim, my bad! It was your post #64. containing 44. James Bryant comment to which you replied: “A very touching observation, and an important consideration. Thanks, James.”
But you’re right, it doesn’t matter.

AG lost a long battle with depression and physical pain due to piercing migraines. In real life “the Work” doesn’t work… the miracles it promises.
Some dirty FoF secrets probably died with him.
I remember when Kevin that took his own life and according to RB he lost everything… what cowardly, insensitive, useless, ignorant, stupid, nasty thing to say. For suicide victims the “way” stops there. How is he going to justify this one…

My thoughts go to his loved ones left behind.

89. sallymcnally - August 2, 2011

Abe was always conflicted and it finally must have broken him – he had a large heart —

90. silentpurr - August 2, 2011

When someone dies by their own hand it may be just the last of many little cuts…

91. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

74. Golden Veil

“I am wondering if The Blog might come up during a Living Presence Google search if spaces are added between the slashes. Maybe the title is read as one name because there are no spaces between the names? Maybe it would make a difference to print the names separately without the slashes… but then it might be read as a new website.”

***

Feel free to explore possibilities! In my experiments, I didn’t find a difference when spaces or slashes were added or removed. The search algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated and now attempt to predict what the individual user is trying to find, based upon their search history and other factors. (So my search results will differ from yours.)

But if more of us are using the same link to access this forum, and if the forum features many references to Fellowship of Friends and Living Presence, then a person who is just starting a search for “Living Presence” should have a good chance of finding this forum as well. (The effectiveness of the strategy can be evaluated over time. Ask someone who would not normally look for this sight to do a search on their computer for “Living Presence”, and see if they’re able to find “us”.)

92. X-ray - August 2, 2011

78

Sad news? Not so sad to me.

93. X-ray - August 2, 2011

89

Large heart?
The guy was defending a 60 year old burton who had a sexual contact with an underage boy. (TB case) How large that makes his heart to be?
Besides, he have done a lot of threatening and intimidation to many people over the years and all in sake of defending burtons image. How that makes his heart to be so large?
I have a close friends who had a first hand experience with him which they would not describe as nearly as positive, noble or kind. In fact, according to them, it was quite harmful and left deep scars in their hearts.
The guy didn´t have his conscience as his friend.

94. X-ray - August 2, 2011

In any case, regardless of what me, you or anyone else is thinking of him, the fact is that with AG´s death, burton become extremely vulnerable (legally speaking), and the chances to put him in prison now are higher than ever before.

95. Tim Campion - August 2, 2011

74. Golden Veil

“I checked out the Fellowship of Friends WikiSpaces site and The Blog is referenced in footnotes quite a bit. The History page was illuminating to me, especially the sections entitled “Robert Burton returns” and “No more Fourth Way.” Oh, and, ha ha, “Predictions.”

http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/History

***

Someone put a great deal of effort into that site, and did an admirable job.

Be warned however: using “thefellowshipoffriends” in the above address, or in a web search takes one to Greg Goodwin’s sinister world.

(So, clearly my statement in 91 was incorrect – spaces can matter.)

96. Josiane - August 2, 2011

Abe, RIP. To those of us who found their way out of FoF while still alive, whether you participate in this blog or not, I wish to reaffirm that there is life after FoF and that we are indeed the lucky ones. We will not die in the FoF cult.
Namaste!

97. X-ray - August 2, 2011

OH yes, to die in the cult would be the worse scenario for me. That would mean eternal spiritual imprisonment. I can´t thank enough all what helped me to leave this fucking shithole. Besides, there is ONLY life after cult, in cult there isn´t any.

98. nigel - August 2, 2011

From…..

“A Prayer for My Daughter”, by W B Yeats…..

“In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise.
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.”

99. Shirley - August 3, 2011

I’m sorry to hear about Abe. I hadn’t seen him or Susan since the 1980s, and hope she’ll be all right.

100. RH - August 3, 2011

I am sorry to hear this about AG. The conflict must have been a living hell for him. I know he was conflicted. He once compared his enduring the Fellowship problems with the way one would endure one’s mother. I am now taking care of my mother, who is very old and dying in an unhappy way….. and I am stretched to endure it because there is no other option. Perhaps AG had to find another option.

May Susan and children find consolation.

101. Shirley - August 3, 2011

44. James, you said “What I AM trying to do (my aim in posting):

“I haven’t closely followed the blog for the last year or more, but my impression is that it has become increasingly hostile toward current members as well as Robert Burton.

“There are a few people still stuck in the group who I consider friends.

“Now that it seems the thing is finally drawing to a close, I’d like the blog to be a welcoming place for those who may well finally realize they are in a desperate position, in many cases at an advanced age.”

I found your comment on the increased hostility towards current longtime members/RB interesting, because I thought that the blog’s tone has been kind of tame in recent months, compared to the first year. (I haven’t read much of the intervening years’ posts.) Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point.

If you are referring to some of the posts becoming quite specific against certain people or RB, then it raises the question of who the blog is for, and how wide the audience is. One risk a public blog takes (versus the more closed GF site) is that you don’t know who’s reading it. In addition, due to the pseudonyms, we don’t know who many of the participants are. Therefore, you want to speak (and vent) freely, but you risk talking about, and criticizing, individuals who might be checking out the blog, or even participating here under a pseudonym. Maybe it’s a risk we’ll have to take. (In fact, maybe if the people who are being discussed are reading about themselves, they can step up to the challenge and defend themselves.)

James, I also have a few friends who are longstanding members who are still in the FF. My gut instinct is that they would not look at this blog with joy, because it would immediately make them defensive about their beliefs. They would already have to be at the point of serious doubt and asking some hard questions. Or, as you say, in a desperate position.

102. Nick Bishop - August 3, 2011

Renald, Tim C and Ames G.

The well-known story of Burton’s mother and his response to her death & funeral is as good an example as any of the way he has twisted the work to suit his own psychology.

My own mother died at the end of April after I had taken on the main burden of care for her in the last six months or so. At times it was ridiculously difficult. However, I can say that at the end I had a more positive impression of her than I’d ever had before. And my experience of myself in that time was especially concentrated. You don’t realize until something like this happens how much of what you take to be You is basically, your parents. 80-90% of ‘your’ psychological material is really ‘theirs’.

I gave the oration at my mother’s funeral and it was a very powerful experience. By the end I felt I was connected to my family in a way I hadn’t been before.

I believe you evolve by realizing more and more of these connections, starting with your family. It is interesting that Gurdjieff [unlike Burton] on many occasions directed his students back to their families, to bring up a child or look after a parent.

To do the opposite and flee from that situation seems like a kind of cowardice – as if there’s a part of your own psychology you can’t bear to face.

103. Johnny B - August 3, 2011

Whatever you think about all of this (fof) please just respect Abe for the good, generous mans that he was.

104. Agent 45 - August 3, 2011

Some would rather not live than face the music.
R.I.P.? Somehow I don’t think so.
I read somewhere that suicides become actual ghosts and that their subtle body remains tethered to the gross world for centuries where they may attempt to use other gross bodies for their unfulfilled desires. This may mean that Abe’s old stomping grounds are now haunted. I hope this highly theoretical information doesn’t spook anyone.

105. X-ray - August 3, 2011

well, in any case, it would be very dificult for ´subtle´ body to defend burton in court once again.

106. Renald - August 3, 2011

re 101 – Agent 45 – I told you I saw Leonardo da Vinci feeding the camels!

107. Ill Never Tell - August 3, 2011

103. Renald – August 3, 2011:
‘re 101 – Agent 45 – I told you I saw Leonardo da Vinci feeding the camels!’

Omar Khayyam feeds the camels, you silly goose!

108. For the record - August 3, 2011

http://www.facebook.com/abraham.goldman for a picture of AG.

On his facebook page, he listed “Living” as one of his primary activities. The main interest he mentioned was “Life.”

In the category of other, he lists many of the same things that all of us enjoy — Walt Whitman, Rilke, Epictetus, Asian art, and “The Hub” – “All around us individuals are pursuing ideas for a better world. The Hub is designed to inspire these people and help them to innovate.”

Someone wrote above that he was conflicted. That seems true to me. I never really knew him (so if there’s some anger about his role in defending Burton, I can’t argue). But cognitive dissonance may explain a lot with him.

My heart goes out to his family.

109. 2011 - August 3, 2011

Regarding Abe- my “inside” sources tell me that he was going through a lot of discomfort because of a botched operation that rendered him unable to speak. His business was failing and he was having a hard time making money. It sounds like he was depressed and unable to cope. No word on what method he used to take his life.

110. X-ray - August 3, 2011

For the record

If you dont know much, take a look here and tell us how would you feel if you would be a mother or a father of a 17 years old boy who was sexually abused by the 60 years old psychopathic gay with a doubtful health condition and have his lawyer against you and your underaged son in the court?

http://www.rickross.com/reference/fof/fof12.html.

111. fofblogmoderator - August 3, 2011

101 & 102 are new

112. sallymcnally - August 3, 2011

Anyone holding this conflict for years on end suffers a sad and lonely life. I hold great sadness for people like that in or out of the Fellowship.

It is its own form of self-inflicted punishment.

RIP Abe

113. WhaleRider - August 3, 2011

x-ray:
I don’t know about your country, but in the US, by law even child molestors and murders are entitled to legal representation; whom a lawyer represents is not reflection of the lawyer’s character. Personally, if I had to hire one, I’d want a pit bull, not a poodle.

IMO, your feelings of hatred seem to be overriding your reason and compassion for others.

Do you think AG was given much of a choice not to represent the great master exploiter burton?

Sounds to me like AG’s suicide was an act of desperation.

It is well publicized on this blog how the FOF/LP has little or no social safety net for its faithful, long-term elderly members in failing health, other than burton, that is.

114. Robert Schelly - August 3, 2011

I met Abraham Goldman through Mark Laskin at the Chautauqua House around 1988.

115. X-ray - August 3, 2011

112

I am sorry Whalerider but what you saying is wrong.
He was not brought in chains to the court to defend burton. He was an adult by then and could make his own decision. I don’t buy into this bullshit of ´´he had no choice´´. If he had his conscience in place he would refuse to defend burton in such an ugly dirty case. But obviously his conscience was overwritten by other factors.
You speak about compassion? Well, there is a big difference between true deep compassion and melancholic sentiments which I hear here someone have. In my opinion he have not deserve a drop of true compassion.
You say that in this country every body have the rigth for legal representative? Sure, its true. But what kind of a legal representative would take a case like that? Would you defend a pedophile yourself?
I don’t have compassion to him, I don’t have compassion to burton and I don’t have compassion to any other criminal enablers of the fellowship of friends. I wish them all to face a trial and serve long sentences in prison.
And by the way, this is why US is falling apart as we speak, because instead of prosecuting fraud, corruption and evil, the system provides a legal defence to criminals who do not deserve a defence. A sort of screwd up sick justice. Instead they pressing charges against a mother who planted vegetables in her front yard. What a sick society we live in. Pathetic.

116. X-ray - August 3, 2011

´whom a lawyer represents is not reflection of the lawyer’s character.´

bullshit Whale.

117. jomopinata - August 3, 2011

The presumption of innocence, and the respect for the due process accorded to persons accused of crimes, are among the crown jewels of democracy and of the American legal system.

Lawyers who defend persons accused of crimes often remark that, in their view, what they are really defending is the Constitution of the United States and the Amendments to that Constitution.

The United States Constitution and the Amendments to it limit the power of government to conduct searches without warrants based on probable cause, to imprison people for lengthy periods of time without trial, and to convict them of crimes without first according them a fair trial.

These are not defects. Rather, they are values so important to American society that they have been placed in the Constitution, to which all other legislative enactments must yield.

118. X-ray - August 3, 2011

115

Please give me a fucking break.
AG knew very well what was going on and who was truly innocent.

119. J. D. - August 3, 2011

112. 113.

I think you are both right. It’s just a matter of who believes holding the better perspective to look at it. All of us (more or less) have been in the cult and we didn’t have any choice at that time but to make decisions according to our belief in the FoF, RB’s indoctrination and our own spiritual dream. For all of us, our judgment was somehow clouded. We all wore those shoes.
If we had a business at that time, wouldn’t we have put it to serve the FoF and its ‘enablers’? Our business WAS to serve the FoF, but are we all unilaterally accountable for those decisions?
We can look at an attorney just from the point of view of a job, and that attorney can decide to take a case according to his/her own belief (human rights, money, fame, the thrill of the challenge, etc). When we look at it from our personal ethical/philosophical stand point then it becomes a different thing. Once we accept the fact that, no matter what, one has the right to defend him/herself through an attorney, we have to accept the job of an attorney. If we decide who does or doesn’t have the right to defend him/herself we would go down to a very different and dangerous path.
I guess that we just have to deal with what we have.

120. X-ray - August 3, 2011

or you think that after been an insider for so many years AG really believed that the sexual contact between 60 years old burton and 17 years old TB was consensual?

121. jomopinata - August 3, 2011

Lawyers can certainly decide whether or not to undertake a representation in a civil matter. As to criminal defense, poor people accused of crimes have lawyers appointed to defend them, while rich people accused of crimes typically hire skilled criminal defense lawyers. I know of no criminal prosecution in which RB was an accused; all matters I have ever heard about were civil.

122. X-ray - August 3, 2011

J.D

That’s why some attorneys are not so different than prostitutes. Both are selling themselves for money.
And shouldn´t be the honesty and ethics carved in very base of an attorney training? I think it should and it should also be his compass rather money or whatever. And if an attorney does not rely on his ethics than he shouldn´t be an attorney in the first place, because any shmuck can study law and misinterprate it as he wish.
It takes a lot more to have a human dicency instead.

123. X-ray - August 3, 2011

Jomo
you speak like a lawyer now, can you speak like a human as well?

124. X-ray - August 3, 2011

´misinterprate´
I am sorry for the spelling.

125. Ames Gilbert - August 3, 2011

The conflicted opinions about Abraham Goldman reflect my own. On the one hand, I found it unforgiveable that he would sic the revolting Scientology ‘investigator’ called Ingram onto me, in an effort to dissuade me from supporting the T__y Buzbee lawsuit. Ingram was the one who threatened me during one of our two meetings, “You wouldn’t want something bad to happen to your wife and child, would you?” And Goldman also sent Ingram to hassle Troy’s birth mother, who until that time had absolutely no idea what was going on in her son’s life; this purely to put pressure on Troy and make him yield. At the time, this Ingram excrescence was wanted in two states to answer for his abusive investigations.
Goldman worked for years as the principal lawyer for the Fellowship of Friends; during this time he not only worked on the ‘fireworks’, lawsuits and such, but also the ‘bread and butter’. That is, he actively guided the organization, advised the Board of Directors, and supported their malfeasance. According to the ‘David Springfield letter’, he knew of the improper relationship between the Board and Burton, and condoned it by commission or omission.
So the impression I got was that when it came to protecting Burton or the Fellowship of Friends, he was completely ruthless and without conscience.
Goldman was also disciplined by the state licensing authority, and had his ability to practice law limited for a period of time.

On the other hand, outside the role of lawyer, he seemed to be a mild and gentle man, but our personal relationship was confined to nodding when we passed each other. From the time I first met him (1981, I think), he seemed fragile, and later on it was apparent his health was deteriorating. The last time I saw him a couple of years ago, as he was shopping in the locality, he looked gray, worn-out and completely exhausted.
I can’t imagine the pain, physical or psychological that would drive one to suicide, but obviously he could not bear it, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I feel very sorry for the family he left behind, especially his children.

Sallymcnally, you have mentioned twice that he was deeply conflicted. Can you tell us something about these conflicts without disclosing information that should remain private, or which will identify you?

126. sallymcnally - August 3, 2011

I have to say it was an opinion and an intuitive thought nothing else. There is nothing that was said to me although I spent many hours with him alone. He seemed conflicted, but this was years ago.

Since I have firsthand experience on what it’s like to be brainwashed and to have done things and said things to people I love that I would not otherwise do today, I believe he was too. I can’t imagine still being in the Fellowship after 35 plus years and what it would do to me. I can only imagine the load to become unbearable both psychologically and emotionally if one was having second thoughts all those years.

As far as the nasty business that continues to go on with Mr. Burton it’s still hard for me to believe people continue to put up with it and stay in there. Maybe this will do some good for some people but in the end it’s our choice whether we stay in abusive relationships or allow people to abuse us and for us I believe.

Sally Black

127. WhaleRider - August 3, 2011

x-ray:
“He was an adult by then and could make his own decision.”

I think you underestimate the power of peer pressure and the subconscious need to conform in order to belong. Cults are built upon it.

I certainly felt that need to conform in burton’s bedroom. I was isolated from my parents and friends who were thousands of miles away, and I was with “an angel”, as burton put it. Sure, I was an adult, I went down that dark alley myself, and I trusted a sociopathic predator. I accept responsibility for that, and, that doesn’t give burton permission to exploit my weakness or the weakness of others in his pastoral care.

This is precisely the gray area that sociopaths exploit in others, blaming the victim…it’s not the predator’s fault, the victim should have known better.

BTW, I have had the distinct displeasure of accompanying a convicted pedophile from a mental health facility to the police station to register him as a sex offender. It was one of the creepiest experiences of my post-FOF life.

But you miss the point. A defense lawyer defends not the actions of the accused, but the right of the accused to have a fair trial.

128. X-ray - August 3, 2011

Ames,

´You wouldn’t want something bad to happen to your wife and child, would you?”

This is a direct, mafia style life threat.
And AG was involved directly in it. In fact he send this goon to make this threat. This is outrages. They both should be locked in jail for that.
As far as I know AG´s attorneys license was suspended for violation of ethics. So the guy was known for that, besides, he was a long time burton supporter and he knew that TB case was not the first time when sexual predation was comitted by burton.
Reading Ames story made my stomach sick.
I judge people by their action and AG´s actions are disgusting to the core. And I feel sorry for those who don´t seems to be getting it.
Said that, I do feel compassion to his children since children are innocent and never should be responsible for his parents.
I would also add that committing suicide is an act of cowardliness and weakness. I would never leave my family by taking myself out because of this or that. This is truly disgusting pathetic and pitiful.

129. Tim Campion - August 3, 2011

The following statement is a testament to the passions elicited by the conflicting roles that Abraham played.

Abigail – Part 5 Post 66:

“An open letter to Abraham: Thank you for helping me make a decision. It is not for the years of Fellowship nastiness that you have helped to cover up, or for the arrogant flouting of the laws requiring building permits and reasonable taxation. Nor is it for the abandoned children and heartbroken families resulting from Fellowship rejection of ‘life.’

“It is for your appalling hypocrisy–after the threats and paranoia and ranting and saber rattling–in trying to assume the role of a reasonable, open-minded, nice sincere guy. This transparent and fraudulent pose makes me feel physically ill. I will do anything I can do to be sure that the information on this blog reaches any interested agencies, newspapers, and the immigration authorities.

“Again, thanks for making the decision for me.”

***

For our actions, a society’s laws will be applied. As for who we are, what we think and what we believe, who among us gets to determine by what laws we shall be judged?

In my mind, that is the realm of critical thinking, conscience and compassion. And here, there are no easy answers.

130. X-ray - August 3, 2011

Whale,
I think there is big difference between a yang student who was isolated from his family and home and burton´s attorney who was running the show since ever.
And I don´t think I miss anything at all, it is you who don´t seem to understand.
No attorney is obligated to represent anyone. It is a personal choice. AG´s knew exactly what happened and he choose to legally represent burton and worse, he choose to hire a ruthless intimidator and sent him to victim mother!

WHAT THAT MAKES HIM TO BE???

AG was defending burton´s ass from a lifelong ass raping in prison, for raping a minor, not anything else.
This people are criminal at the core. They psychopaths. They don´t have a conscience. They are walking zombies who things they gods.

131. X-ray - August 3, 2011

127

Yes, this is true face behind stinking smile.

132. Ames Gilbert - August 3, 2011

“The United States Constitution and the Amendments to it limit the power of government to conduct searches without warrants based on probable cause, to imprison people for lengthy periods of time without trial, and to convict them of crimes without first according them a fair trial.”
That is just so late twentieth century theory, Jomo; you’re way behind the times. In fact, the government CAN and DOES conduct searches without warrants on probable cause, DOES imprison people for lengthy periods of time without trial, and DOES convict them of crimes without first according them a fair trial. Not only not convict them of crimes, but ordains the death penalty in advance (see reigns of Bush II, Obama).
I agree with you that everyone is entitled to presumption of innocence and is given the chance of a minimal level legal representation. In return, would you agree that currently, in practice, we have a justice system that not only puts many of our high officials and people with influence completely beyond the reach of any law, but that for those still subject to the law, the amount of justice received is often directly correlated with the wealth expended on lawyers? AKA, one law for the rich, another for the poor. Today. In the U.S.A.

133. X-ray - August 3, 2011

Not to mention that our Constitution has been shredded in front of our eyes. In now days you guilty until proven innocent. The 1984 is here. And it´s getting worse as we speak. And all of that is happening because people´s ignorance, gullibility and unwillingness to see the facts that people like burton are actually running our society.

134. Tim Campion - August 3, 2011

130 Ames Gilbert

And no law for suspected terrorists who are unfortunate enough to be cornered beyond our borders…

135. X-ray - August 3, 2011

oh, but instead, if you don’t like to be robbed by the banksters or don’t like a tax increase or against the endless and illegal wars then you quickly are considered to be a terrorist within the borders.

136. Tim Campion - August 3, 2011

(X-ray: are you unemployed, like me? I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about. I kind of like having a little spare time on my hands.)

137. X-ray - August 4, 2011

Well, enjoy it while you have it.
Pretty soon your only activity maybe to find a food to put on your table.

138. Shirley - August 4, 2011

103 (was 101 Agent 45, but you got bumped), 105, 106 – I remember Bengt Lungren (FF member who died many years ago) quoting an Arabic saying, “Trust in Allah, but tie your camel first.”

101 Nick Bishop – Thank you for sharing your story, especially as it happened so recently. I agree with much of it, having cared for my father until he died at home, two years ago. However, unlike you, I had moved back home after leaving the FF (at my father’s suggestion) and ended up not leaving, especially as my parents were becoming old and infirm. Thus, I was here when he needed me during his final years (cancer). I felt it was a privilege to be able to give back to him, after having ignored him during most of my years in the FF. I’m absolutely sure that if his leg break and cancer had happened during my first 10 years in the FF, I would not have returned home to help. (After all, he was a “life person”. That is so damaging!) I assume you were very “hands on” with your mother in her final weeks; I was, with my father. Dealing with the everyday ordeals of someone who is, literally, dying on you in increments, is not for the faint of heart. The physicality of it, alone, is difficult (vomit, urine, feces). And there are the many deep questions, such as, What happens to your beloved parent when the body dies? Is there a spirit or soul that survives? Also, the feeling of how much “they” are “you” is immense, and a gift. I’m glad you had a chance to speak at her service. I gave a eulogy at my father’s memorial service, and felt it gave me a chance to articulate to my family and friends how much he had meant to me.

139. leonhardon - August 4, 2011
140. fofblogmoderator - August 4, 2011

113 is new

141. Tim Campion - August 4, 2011
142. brucelevy - August 4, 2011

126. WhaleRider – August 3, 2011

” I think you underestimate the power of peer pressure and the subconscious need to conform in order to belong. Cults are built upon it.”

That’s all fine and true, however…I met and spoke to AG the first time he came to the ranch. After a short conversation I personally felt he was one of the greasiest, manipulative, narcissistic people I had met in the FOF up to that time… I really came away feeling dirty. And his apparent “softness, generosity, etc” could very well be much like the charm that any sociopath would cleverly be able to imitate.

Then again, I really do feel for his family and what they are going through. It was so “generous and compassionate” of him to lay all this on his family, and no doubt others.

143. Renald - August 4, 2011

Wow ! This discussion group is alive and well and getting better.

Thank you all.

Cheers!

144. For the record - August 4, 2011

It would be good to know more details about cause of death, and as whalerider asked, whether there was a note, and any further accounts about his state of mind in the last several months.

http://christmanforensics.com/suicide_investigation.php

It’s sad and a little frightening to hear about the suicides of so many people who are connected with the FOF. Looking at Abe from afar (again, I never really knew him personally) he always did seem a bit sad.

145. For the record - August 4, 2011

Renald: Agreed. And thank you for helping to keep it alive.

146. fofblogmoderator - August 4, 2011

100 & 141 are new

147. X-ray - August 4, 2011

142 Bruce

Yes, I always had the same perception of his ´jentle smile´, always felt the sharp teath hiden behind.
He was a professional sociopath working for a professional psychopath.

148. X-ray - August 4, 2011

Ames,
Last night I was thinking about your story and I felt how you felt as a husband and a father. I don´t know what was your thinking process and your action, and it may be something too personal to share with people you don’t know, but I was thinking what I would do in your choose. On one hand, I would want to grap this sucker by the balls and smash it like a chicken eggs, making him cry his guts out and forgetting the way to my house forever, but on the other hand the threat he made was very serious and could overweight my righteous desire.
But the other question I wanted to ask is what was your involvement in the Buzby case, I mean, what kind of support you wanted to provide him and his family for which you were threatened by these crooks?

149. Renald - August 4, 2011

Ames, so Linda T. was already gunning for you when you made that innocent comment re. Elena`s question re. what to do about students who stole from her? Or do I have the timeline wrong?
Cheers!

150. Opus111 - August 4, 2011

It will be revealing to learn where Mr. Goldman’s remains are buried. As most here know, K. Kelly was not buried in the FOF property cemetery. At the time, Burton made few sanctimonious remarks, indicating that committing suicide pretty much wiped out all possibilities of evolution and how such a person could not longer be associated with his “school”.

Perhaps a mausoleum under Burton’s bedroom would do.

151. WhaleRider - August 4, 2011

Bruce, thanks for the reality check. In either case, I don’t think the FOF/LP brings out the best in people in the long run, as evidenced by AG’s “conscious” or “intentional ” exit choice.

The longer you stay in, the worse it gets.

In a similar sense, prison usually reforms few and mostly informs the greater number on how to be better criminals…(and right now America has too many prisons!) I don’t think it gets any better the longer you stay there either.

It seems apparent to me that AG’s version of suicide is a selfish and desperate act, in disregard of how especially difficult and painful it is for those close that are left behind…unlike the soldier who in a heroic and selfless act, throws himself on a grenade to protect his platoon.

Nevertheless, death and dying is a difficult process for everyone.

The great, wonderful 4th way has very little instruction as to the actual dying process, as compared to The Tibetan Book of the Dead, for example. (BTW, does anyone have an address where a person can send flowers to those left behind?)

I guess the 4th way infers that you are supposed to remember yourself and be as present as you can no matter what, even to a process that might be for some extremely painful, and which also might be very difficult to do if you are old and falling apart. (I seriously doubt there is evidence to suggest self-remembering is any way a guard against dementia!)

It also seems reasonable to expect that for such a HUGE transition from Earth to Paradise, that it would be a process the pastor of any bona fide Church would want to preside over.

Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think that is the case with pastor burton in his church.

I wonder…what if AG had attempted to reach out in his last final desperate moments and call pastor burton, his spiritual adviser and old friend of many years, for support and help and advice…but of course, pastor burton was too busy that dark night to take the call.

152. jomopinata - August 4, 2011

Ames/132

In the history of the United States there has always been a tension between the things the government actually does to individuals and the limits the Constitution places on what it may lawfully do to individuals. It is easy to see both in prior eras and in the present era that the Constitution is sometimes violated and that those violations may sometimes go unremedied. Sometimes the Supreme Court, whose job it is to interpret the Constitution, gets it wrong. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) (upholding constitutionality of racial segregation laws under the doctrine of “separate but equal”) is one example and Korematsu v. United States (1944) (upholding the constitutionality of Executive Order commanding internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during WWII) is another.

So if the question is, do I admit that our government doesn’t act in accordance with the Constitution in respect to specific things in the present era, the answer is, yes, of course. Constitutions and laws are not sufficient to implement and protect themselves, even in a society built upon the rule of law. In my opinion one also needs an educated and uncowed citizenry. But it is one thing to indict a democratic society for unsuccessfully implementing its governing principles, and quite another to suggest that those principles have lost all vitality and power. The Constitution is not dead yet. That I guarantee you.

153. brucelevy - August 4, 2011

151. WhaleRider – August 4, 2011

Maybe AG did reach out to RB. We don’t know anything about the actual scenario . Only the result and culmination. It wouldn’t be at all “out of pattern” for RB to refuse to address anyone’s doubts about the Queen.

154. Tim Campion - August 4, 2011

Could it be that Burton’s greatest fear is death? And that this entire ruse has been an attempt to convince himself that he shall always be comforted by the presence of his “angels”?

155. nigel - August 4, 2011

144 For the record

from the link…..

“Suicides rarely “just happen,” there are usually weeks or even months of history which include hopelessness, helplessness, and haplessness. This behavior is often associated with suicidal thought, self-destructive talk, and even risk-taking behaviors.”

For any of you who have thought about, or attempted suicide…..

1. Perhaps the protagonist is getting into financial trouble (not difficult with the FOF)…..

2. Perhaps the protagonist is losing touch with people who could honestly, and humanely, help them…..

3. Risk-taking behaviours could include trying to have a business as a sole-proprietor and as an illegal immigrant, as it was in my case…..

4. For me, the wish to end my life came pretty soon after a period of rapid-cycling bipolar and was attempted by taking 40 tablets of anti-histamine. When that did not work, I used an Exacto-knife and lacerated my wrists (sideways, which caused later mestatization of the finger tips – apparently, if you want to do it properly, you go in the direction of the veins and arteries)…..

5. Psychotic thoughts are built up by pressure – financial being a big one; shame at being unable to meet one’s responsibilities – all sorts of negative things…..

X-ray says he feels suicides are an indaication of “cowardliness and weakness” – sorry mate – not that straightforward…..Nigel.

156. Renald - August 4, 2011

Re. 154. Tim Campion – August 4, 2011
“ Could it be that Burton’s greatest fear is death? And that this entire ruse has been an attempt to convince himself that he shall always be comforted by the presence of his “angels”?“

Makes sense to me. After all that might be the real reason he skipped his mother`s funeral. Da real feminine dominance!

Cheers!

157. William - August 4, 2011

It appears Abraham’s suicide was triggered by illness and financial desperation. But to go against Robert’s most adamant teachings about suicide (“losing all possibilities,” etc.), and to take his life in such an aggressive way (hanging), there had to be some more deep-seated doubts. I suspect there was a good deal of self-loathing as well.

This is the moment to reach out to your friends who are still in the FOF. Ask questions, don’t preach. Certainly don’t harangue. Listen.

Before the denial moves in and the official party line comes down (Gurdjieff called it “the evil god self-calming”), now is the time for current members to see that this isn’t an isolated incident, coming out of nowhere. It’s part of a pattern.

The bad-news stories are accumulating, and they accelerate as we get older, as the FOF continues in time.

Now is the time for those having second thoughts to begin planning an exit – but the first step is to face the truth squarely. It’s not going to get better. You won’t “awaken” in this group. But you will lose more years and accumulate lifelong regrets. And you might become one of the horror stories.

158. William - August 4, 2011

#155

Bravo, Nigel.

159. Tim Campion - August 4, 2011

157. William

Thanks for this sobering, yet empowering look at reality.

160. sallymcnally - August 4, 2011

Thank you, William for the very sad news of how Abraham ended his life. He must have been experiencing great despair to do such a thing.

My heart goes out to his children and Susan.

I had a friend whose husband committed suicide by shooting himself and my friend found him dead. It has stayed with her all these years because she still does not understand it. It’s always worse for those left behind to try and figure out why and what part they played in it. It’s a huge tragedy and a messy way to end things.

161. X-ray - August 4, 2011

He hanged himself out? How pathetic. Did he think about his children coming home and seeing him hang from the second floor? He overdose himselve with dorvon for example and die in the bed.
Jeez, he lived as a creepy individual and he died like one.
I now even more disgusted.

162. X-ray - August 4, 2011

sorry, I meant he could overdose himself with a Dorvon

163. X-ray - August 4, 2011

Yes Nige, I do see suicide as an act of cowardness and extreme spiritual weakness.
A strong person would never end it like this, he would fight and struggle until the end. He would choose to deel with it than escape from it.
But you see the fellowship´ rethocris is to escape from life and that´s exaclty what Goldman did. After all, he was good student.

164. X-ray - August 4, 2011

fellowshp rethoric.. sorry.. I can´t even type right dealing with this crap..

165. X-ray - August 4, 2011

Yes, I think we will learn more details with the the time, but regardless, I feel that this horrible event signifies the end fellowship of friends… in one way or in another.

Let´s also not that all suicides that happened in the fof in the last 5-10 years were a hang ups. It feels to me somewhat satanic.

166. X-ray - August 4, 2011

lets also note

167. Renald - August 4, 2011

When I saw that the Appeal-Democrat still did not have the information published re. Abraham N. Goldman, I just now sent Ryan McCarthy an email citing where on the blog some of the information could be seen.
Cheers!

168. Josiane - August 4, 2011

The Fellowship sent an email to all members on Tuesday, acknowledging that Abraham Goldman had taken his life “by his own hand”.

169. X-ray - August 4, 2011

152 Jomo

Oh yeah, the Constitution is so alive that TSA can stick their hands down your pants and grope your genitals, copes can stop you and search you without a warrant or even come to your home and search it without a warrant.
And now we have a super congress which will decide for everybody else. Bush called a Constitution ´just a piece of paper´ and shoved a patriot act down to our throats. And for those who doesn´t know, a Patriot Act has nothing to do with patriotism, but it has to do with warrantless surveillance of the American people. And there is a lot a lot more facts that points that our Constitution has been destroyed by the very people who sworn to protect it.
So the Fourth Amendmet is already dead. Now they trying to kill the First and Second and it´s only a matter of time when the whole Constitution will truly become just a peice of paper. This is a desent to tyranny which we, ex cult members got to taste a bit.

170. X-ray - August 4, 2011

168

And they did it only because they know that with the blog and internet they can´t make up stories.

171. X-ray - August 4, 2011

167

It would be good to send the info to Rick Ross as well, for the record, so to speak.

172. X-ray - August 4, 2011

156

I agree. But he not only skipped his mother funural, he was also proud of that.

173. sallymcnally - August 5, 2011

X-Ray: I have found judging a book by its cover does not lead to much understanding about what the book’s about. Perhaps you could let up a bit on your harsh judgments of people. It serves no one, especially not you.

174. Shirley - August 5, 2011

157. William

Desperation is a terrible “place” to be, especially when there is a combination of emotional despair, a sense of hopelessness in any possible future resolution, and in some cases, no financial or supportive safety net in a period of crisis.

Reading the various comments above about AG, I’m trying to keep in mind how repulsive his execution of his FF legal “duties” were, as opposed to a warmer, personal side. Nevertheless, I was affected to hear AG’s suicide was by hanging. Two of my relatives in mainland China hanged themselves. The first hanged herself during an extreme period of political turmoil and violent harassment, so we “understood” it to be externally caused. But the second one made me quite sad, because I had met some of her family in their tiny home (3 generations in 2 rooms, no running water, an outhouse for a toilet). When her husband died of an asthma attack, her father-in-law’s already-barbaric psychological browbeating of her continued relentlessly, until she hanged herself in her room. Her teenage daughter found her. The father-in-law showed no remorse. I felt that she had endured a long period of daily harassment by a father-in-law who controlled her every movement, with no money to remove herself and her daughter (plus, one was not allowed to move freely in China, during that time period).

As unfortunate as AG’s suicide is, I hope it is a “wake-up call” to current members of the FF who feel unhappy and conflicted about much of what goes on in the FF. Everything I’ve heard since I left the FF a long time ago is that it has only gotten worse: the high $$ demands; the never-ending double-speak and refusal to speak the truth in a clear and direct manner about *anything* at all; RB’s continued sexual corruption.

My guess is that there is still a lot of fear in even the committed FF members. They are afraid of reprisal, of being perceived as being disloyal to “awakening.” For those members who have been in the FF for a long time and are closing in on, or past, retirement age, I can’t imagine what they must be thinking. What are they going to do when their financial resources goes down to the wire (hello, it’s a recession out there!), and their health and mind take a downhill turn? It’s hard enough being outside of the FF and have these these very real problems. I can’t fathom being in the FF, scraping together the mandatory teaching payments, and hoping that somehow, the FF community (certainly, not RB) will see you through your difficulties. At a certain point, someone is going to have to turn out the lights; I would hate to be that person, asking why s/he waited so long.

175. Shirley - August 5, 2011

173, etc. Hey, Sally! Good to hear your thoughts.

176. X-ray - August 5, 2011

173

Would you please elaborate on that?
What exactly in your opinion I judge ´´by the cover´´?
I hope to hear some reason in support of your judgment.

177. X-ray - August 5, 2011

173

and how do you know what serves me and what not?

178. Mr. Burp - August 5, 2011

x-reich

I misjudged your fanatic, bigot words of hatred as simply coming out of your rear end. I can picture you goose-stepping in your kinky uniform and shiny boots while reading from your neo-Nazi manifesto. Without skipping a beat, you are singlehandedly counterbalancing reason on this blog. Thank you!

179. William - August 5, 2011

It may already be too late. FOFers are already starting to rationalize what happened. I spoke to two FOF women tonight. It was an “enormous shock,” they said, but he was in wrenching pain, clinically depressed, and so on. Happens every day “in life.”

“Evil god self-calming.”

A few anodyne remarks from RB, and it will be as good as new. It may even start a trend.

Just hold to the obvious truths, without being argumentative. No, it’s not commonplace, it’s extremely bizarre. No it didn’t happen without warning. He was deeply involved with the dark side of the FOF for years, and many of us thought it all would come to a strange finale. People are in pain, lots of it, every day without killing themselves. (If he was in that much pain, why wasn’t he hospitalized, anyway?)

If he left a note, I wouldn’t be at all surprised it was destroyed. After all, it’s what he would have done.

180. Shirley - August 5, 2011

William, what a wasted opportunity (that it’s being rationalized already). And yet it was predictable that that would happen. Let’s hope a few current members take the time to reflect deeply about the implications of AG’s life and death, instead of just pushing the disturbance and “noise” out of their awareness.

That line about it happening every day in “life” – It took me a long time, post-FF, to get rid of that separation in my mind. Part of the fear of leaving the FF is that one will join the very sea of people (“life”) that one had been so disdainful of.

181. For the record - August 5, 2011

William, it will affect people. But people will pretend that it doesn’t affect them. They won’t talk about it openly. They won’t ask questions. They won’t acknowledge. They’ll try to forget.

For many, it won’t be easy to forget, though. They’ll see the house. They’ll see the driveway to the house. They’ll wonder how someone who was so close to Burton, and supposedly “on the way,” could do this. They’ll begin to doubt, if they haven’t begun to already. This one won’t go away so easily.

182. Renald - August 5, 2011

A little off topic but this may prove useful.
I was 43 when I joined the fof. Within about 6 months I started to suffer from migraine symptoms. One fof doctor at the Oregon House clinic laughed at me and more or less called me a liar. He said that my symptoms were impossible. Worse than that I had to pay him. Acupuncture treatments from Luis D. helped alleviate the pain and discomfort but the symptoms continued. I left the fof when I was 56. Since the migraine situation continued and I went to the emergency for a particularly painful event, a neurologist saw me and prescribed medication. The symptoms then disappeared completely for the last 8 or 9 years. I do not think the medication actually did that much to help. The foods he told me to stay away from, I have gone back to eating (bananas, chocolate, and such). There is one though that I have completely stayed away from for those 8 or 9 years and that is red wine. My best guess at this time is that the red wine was the problem, especially when I overdid it, which was often when I was a member.
Regarding the ongoing topic, I know that when I suffered the excruciating pain there was no possibility of engaging in any activity because I was imobilized. I lost the ability to think and lost almost all memory temporarily. I could not even remember anything about pain killers, whether they existed or whether taking then would help, nothing. I certainly could not entertain suicidal thoughts any more than any other thoughts. Everyone is different, I know, but this is my 2 cents` worth and I know what I experienced, well most of it anyways.
Bravery or cowardliness did not even come close to entering the picture. In any event if you know someone who has them, recommending staying off red wine might help them.
Cheers!

183. Nick Bishop - August 5, 2011

Shirley 138

It sounds like our experiences were quite similar. As you say, the physicality of the experience makes an enormous impression on you. Seeing someone you know by blood, dying step by tiny step every waking day, and seeing them unable to control even the most basic of bodily functions, is not easy.

Over the course of time, it affects you deeply. The fact that there’s only you to wake up at 3 a.m and clear up the waste products, and that is ‘you’, your role, kinda leaves you nowhere to go. None of your other roles or achievements in life matter. It makes you face yourself in a way that maybe, you’ve never quite managed before.

The will towards the simple act of turning around and facing yourself just as you are, with no ‘frills’ or justifications is really the only important thing, but it’s incredibly easy to lose. In the Fellowship, I believe it did become lost in the endless thirst for more third states and ever higher experiences.

I remember feeling that the people in the FoF who were humble and seemed to have some sense of themselves and their limits were usually neglected or marginal figures. They didn’t stay too long. The higher up the ladder of power you went, the more you encountered ‘people with no limits’ and the dangers associated with that…

Isn’t it odd and ironic that a group that was formed initially on the basis of the simple precept ‘Know Thyself’ should eventually turn into its complete opposite, and find its most valued members running away into self-made fairytales of evolution?

Or maybe making AG’s darker choice, when the contradiction became too hard to support any longer.

184. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 5, 2011

Regardless of what you may think or feel about AG, AG was a pillar to FoF community in Oregon House and beyond. Despite his hearing loss, and other issues, he carried on his profession as best he could – not a pretty situation to have a deaf lawyer. Some would characterize his practice as: ‘ambulance chaser’ at one end of a law spectrum and/or ‘champion for, and defender of, the defenseless’ at another end of the spectrum – with the stain of shadiness or sleaze (as mentioned already here) in the spectrum somewhere?

Contrary to some of the recent postings, here and elsewhere, regarding the downside of family planning issues in FoF (abortions, hysterectomies, adoptions, etc.), this couple, Abe and Susan, at a later stage in life than is usual, was asked to adopt a child and subsequently bore their own child. (Was this the appropriate thing to recommend as a ‘task?,’ by REB, to people who were already saddled with significant burdens in their lives?; is a question that begs an answer.) They, nevertheless, took it on. (Susan, later, had significant cancer episode, too.)

Additionally, ‘Milestone’ (from a webpage for AG), it states, in ‘Dalkon Shield [birth control method gone wrong (Dalkon Shield IUD Products Liability)] Litigation – over 500 clients, in excess of $15,000,000.00 combined settlement proceeds.’ Many women were seriously damaged for life in these cases.

So, you see, AG was all over the map in his legal professional life and likely highly conflicted in his personal life, too. (Talk about cognitive dissonance, mind-control, self-calming and major petit mal type migraines.) Please put yourself in his place and ponder the promises of promoting and prolonging presence, too; puzzles the will. . .

In these respects, a somewhat tormented soul. And, then, add the tormenting that only REB could deliver upon a person and you have a prescription for??? These words come to mind:
‘To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? [commit suicide by knife]
Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all. . .’

In this passage, Hamlet, as Shakespeare writes it, ponders suicide, which does not take place, only later to die in sword play.
You meet your fate
on the path you take
to avoid your destiny.

185. My2Bits - August 5, 2011

As a contribution to the ongoing discussion of AG’s tragic suicide, its possible causes and import, I would like to share some of my own experiences. AG was who he was, and did what he did, and I do not see any point in disparaging the dead. As a student, I admired his dedication.

A few years ago, I left the Fellowship quietly and with a determination to not look back. I then entered a period of despair with strong suicidal undertones. Although I never for a moment regretted my decision to leave after 30 years of membership, I felt that I had lost everything. In material terms, this was quite so.

I had always been adept at “rising from the ashes” and moving on. But this time, at my age and in my dire circumstances, my chances of accomplishing this feat once again were not good. I made a number of last-ditch efforts to support myself, but found no safety net. The thought of suicide arose as a reasonable way to tidy up the mess my life had become. I sold all my belongings and began to put my affairs, or what were left of them, in order.

With what funds remained on a credit card, I spent two days at Lake Tahoe, walking and reflecting, writing good-bye letters to my remaining family, enjoying fine food and wine, and even smoking a good cigar. I then purchased some red roses for myself and drove to the place I had chosen to end my life.

I spent many hours sitting by a beautiful lake with a .45 pistol aimed at my heart. I listened on my iPod to a few of my favorite classical music pieces. I took 10 strong pain-killers, washing them down with a nice brandy. The sun traversed the sky and set; the stars were coming out. It was time. I squeezed the trigger to its first safety position, but could not pull it further. The simple thought arose — There is Love. And yes, I hate making a mess. I wondered who might hear the shot or who would discover my body. I wanted someone to find me, to rescue me. I got up, reeled a bit, packed up my things, and drove back into town where I stayed the night in a motel. The next day, my recovery began.

I won’t try to describe what my life is like now, what motivates or sustains me, or what I see my spiritual path to be. It doesn’t matter to you – it’s my dream. What I do want to tell you, dear reader, if you need to hear it, is that there is, indeed, a way out of the “small pond” called the Fellowship of Friends and into a larger and more real world. You don’t need to be as dramatic about it as I was.

186. nigel - August 5, 2011

182. Nick Bishop

“The will towards the simple act of turning around and facing yourself just as you are, with no ‘frills’ or justifications is really the only important thing, but it’s incredibly easy to lose. In the Fellowship, I believe it did become lost in the endless thirst for more third states and ever higher experiences.

I remember feeling that the people in the FoF who were humble and seemed to have some sense of themselves and their limits were usually neglected or marginal figures. They didn’t stay too long. The higher up the ladder of power you went, the more you encountered ‘people with no limits’ and the dangers associated with that…”

That resonates with me…..Nigel.

187. X-ray - August 5, 2011

178

Familiar, disgusting but not surprising.
We all get what we deserve.

188. X-ray - August 5, 2011

And yes, if there was a letter found, it would be destroyed. They need people asleep like the ones discribed in the William post 178.

189. X-ray - August 5, 2011

And zombies like these, nothing will wake up.

190. nigel - August 5, 2011

Google-ing ‘spiritual awakening and money’…..

Views About Money: Part One

by Lou Conjar

“Many spiritually-oriented people have a very difficult time resolving the conflict caused by some of the teachings they receive concerning money. Many religions and philosophical systems imply that money is evil or that it somehow magically transforms anyone who has it into an evil person.

Sayings such as “Money is the root of all evil” and “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” are repeated frequently enough that they easily penetrate into the subconscious of devout followers who want to avoid evil, live in accordance with God’s will and eventually get into heaven. It doesn’t matter that the “eye of a needle” referred to doesn’t mean what most people think it does or even that, as people mature, they consciously realize that money is not, in fact, evil. The subconscious patterns are in place and can continue to pose obstacles for those trying to gain financial freedom until they are released.

One of the reasons it is so difficult for people to let go of this subconscious programming is because it is placed there by people they admire and respect while they are innocent children and it is re-inforced so often in society. All of the saints and other spiritual models presented by organized religions, particularly different forms of Christianity, are depicted as poor throughout their lives or as having renounced “worldly goods”. Many religious leaders take vows of “poverty”, which implies that to find God, you must not be “burdened” with possessions.

Why then are so many churches and other holy structures such opulent palaces? In order to show the “Glory” of God? Do we believe that God has any need of such things? Do we believe that God would want his children to sacrifice and live in poverty in order to build a palatial structure in which to worship? Jesus preached against this kind of thing. He chastised the church hierarchy for their reckless spending on adornment and told the people that they could talk to God directly, from anywhere.

So let us agree that it’s possible that God doesn’t want us to be poor, that there is nothing holy about poverty. Let us take a new view of money. The fact is that money is nothing more than a form of energy. Scientists have proven that what we see as the material world is actually not material at all. The tables and automobiles and dollar bills we think we see, touch, etc. are really not solid objects at all. They are really energy and space … a lot of space. So money is a form of energy – neither good, nor bad in and of itself.”

191. Agent 45 - August 5, 2011

Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s a time of madness.
There have been 36 – 37 participants on this page, depending on how you count, or if you count.
“You meet your fate
on the path you take
to avoid your destiny.”
With a few more lyrics and a melody and we could have a hit!

192. surelyujest - August 5, 2011

154 Tim
“Could it be that Burton’s greatest fear is death?”

I would say yes. It is the same for all religious fanatics. They desperately want to believe there is something that survives this life. In the process, they diminish the only life we know we have.

193. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2011

Nick Bishop/182

Isn’t it odd and ironic that a group that was formed initially on the basis of the simple precept ‘Know Thyself’ should eventually turn into its complete opposite

It’s a myth, pure and simple, that FOF was formed “on the basis of the simple precept ‘Know Thyself.’ ” It’s one that many people want to believe, but it just is not so.

If you read http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/Bonita, it’s plain that the FOF was formed at the intersection of two people, RB and Bonita, and two drugs, alcohol and mescaline.

Burton, a part-time tennis instructor living at home with mom after losing his elementary-school teaching job, was disinhibited by alcohol and trolling for followers who would confirm to him how special he was. He had an act, a shtick, which he learned primarily from Alex Horn and which he had been practicing for some time. He knew how to turn it on. The question was, could he find someone on whom it would work?

Bonita was under the influence of mescaline and in a state of extreme suggestibility and manipulability when she encountered Burton’s shtick. It worked. He dangled the bait, and she went for it.

Burton quickly took over Bonita’s life. Bear in mind she was a married woman with a child, with responsibilities to that child, who suddenly began to spend six days a week, well into the evenings, with a much younger, single man. Burton exploited her credulousness to monopolize her time, utilized her for sexual gratification, dumped her and caused her to be ostracized.

So to say that the FOF was formed on the basis of the simple precept “Know Thyself” is really just a myth that those who have a history of involvement with the FOF want to believe. It’s not what really happened. What happened to create the FOF was that, with the help of alcohol and mescaline, disinhibition encountered credulousness, and narcissism found narcissistic supply.

194. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2011

Oh, and I left out, exploited her for money. Big omission, my bad.

195. Ames Gilbert - August 5, 2011

Renald (#106-149 or thereabouts),
You have the correct timeline, but I don’t think Linda was ‘gunning for me’, in fact I think that if she had known I was banned from meetings she would not have called on me to speak (I only found out myself twenty minutes before via Peter Bishop, but decided to disregard the order and see what happened).

X-Ray (106-#148 or thereabouts),
I actually had very little to do with the case. I offered my support, and made that publicly known. I gave some money. Ford Greene asked me to write a brief account of my time in the Fellowship with a summary of recent events, which I did. That was it. Anyway, AG sent me a subpoena demanding everything including the kitchen sink, which was delivered by Ingram, led by someone from the Goldman office. The second time, Ingram found his own way. My understanding is that Goldman got together with the Church of Scientology because Ford Greene had been one of the few people who won a case against that organization, and they found common cause. The Scientologists lent one of their top ‘persuaders’, the odious Ingram. The meetings were very intense for me because I was torn. I wanted to be physically violent, wanted to protect my family, but my wife was clinging to me, begging me to see reason, I was also angry with her for what I perceived as cowardice, I realized Ingram could be armed (he appeared to be wearing an underarm holster), all these things going on at the same time. Very intense.
_________________
When Abraham Goldman subpoenaed me in 1996 to get documents relating to the Troy Buzbee case, I enclosed this letter with the material he requested.

21 October 1996

Abraham,
One final appeal to your conscience. As the person best equipped in the Fellowship to bring the reign of madness of Burton to an end, you must act to do so. You are the only one with complete access to the information, to all the evidence accumulated through the years, and you have been Burton’s confidante for all these many years.

Please think back to when you joined the Fellowship. Surely, if you had by a miracle been given the knowledge of knowing then what you know now, you would have turned away. It cannot have been your ambition to end up catering to a charlatan and a pervert, covering for his mistakes and predations, wearying yourself to the bone with lies to cover his omissions and commissions? Surely you imagined a life of openness, not lies? Surely you imagined a life among true friends into whose eyes you could look with joy and honesty, knowing they could see the same in yours? Surely you did not imagine a life where your final defense against your own conscience would be, “I was only following orders”? Please, wake up and follow your conscience. Do not be afraid. There is so much love and help and forgiveness—if you wish. Face up to your responsibility. You could help so many people by telling the truth, now. You could save so many people so much heartache in the future. But, best of all, you could be helping yourself. You must have lain awake many nights struggling with the latest revelations of the day about Burton, and your heart must have ached to be in a place where none of this had anything to do with you. Such a place exists, both psychologically and physically. Look within. Act and forgive yourself, as all others with a good heart already have. Nothing can take away your responsibility for your past actions; you must face up to them yourself, but there is all the help you need if you ask for it.

You can make your life exactly as you wish it. You have done so until now, and will do so in the future. It is your gift from God, to do with as you please. If you wish to continue as you have done—thy will be done. If you wish to break away from this mess—thy will be done. It is up to you.

Know, that even if I personally am sometimes angry about the situation, I am not angry with you. You have your lessons to learn, and you have chosen your path. But, know that I believe you are strong enough to create joyful changes, if you wish. I send you loving wishes and encouragement.

(signed)
Ames Gilbert

_________________
It is pretty sad to go to Abraham Goldman’s Facebook page (link above, #108) and see his face. Not the face of a happy man. It is sadder to see that he had 404 friends. Four hundred and four friends–and no one to turn to when he needed help most. Like most of us, he was probably at heart a decent man, but a weak one. His weaknesses led him to some bad decisions, one of the worst being to put his trust in Burton and essentially hand over not only his will, but his conscience to a hasnamuss of the fourth kind. The same Burton who said, “Conscience is a collection of subjective I’s. If a student accumulates too much material there, he should leave the school.”
_________________
A.R. Orage—anger and hatred are negative emotions only when they are misdirected. Never fear to hate the odious.

196. Nick Bishop - August 5, 2011

191 Jomo

That’s certainly the back-story alright! But by ‘basis’ I mean the platform that grew the business : the shared belief among [eventually] thousands of people that they were on the way to enlightenment.

That’s why people joined. And I’m sure that both you and I joined on that basis too.

197. Jomo Piñata - August 5, 2011

194/Nick

In sales it’s called “the pitch.” In confidence schemes it’s called “the bait.”

198. WhaleRider - August 5, 2011

surelyujest:
“It is the same for all religious fanatics. They desperately want to believe there is something that survives this life. In the process, they diminish the only life we know we have.”

The scary part is that religious fanatics who project their fear of death onto their followers also like to push a few people off the diving board ahead of them and take a few with them when it’s their turn, just to try to self-calm the fear.

Look at People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate, and even Carlos Castenada, all turned out to be complete frauds.

And after pastor burton passes, life just won’t be the same for those followers who are left behind with an empty basket and no more eggs.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

199. silentpurr - August 5, 2011

For someone feeling desperately trapped in a life where all control has been surrendered, and no escape is possible, the taking of one’s own life may be the last and ultimately decisive act one can take that is truly ‘one’s own’. I am thinking of Shirley’s 174 post also.

200. sallymcnally - August 5, 2011

I had a dream last night about Abe. He was sick and needed help. I was trying to help him find someone to help but people were ignoring us. There was very little time, he was very sick and some documents had to be filed or he would die. He was too sick to file them so we were aimlessly searching for help but no one would help behind the gate or on the other side of the gate. I woke up before the dream completed. I remember feelings of desperation and frustration that time was running out and then I woke up.

201. Renald - August 5, 2011

Wow! and double-Wow !! Carlos Casteñada too who planted the seed in my heart. Of course I had a fair bit to do with that planting and I am not looking to blame someone else for my trip. What impresses me is that so much is coming together at the same time.
Even my nocturnal dreams are going through a big change.

It`s funny that whalerider even mentioned the eggs.
Just before leaving Apollo five of my six egg-layers died, most of them at the claws of wild animals. The last one I returned to Charles P. No more eggs in my basket. One small step on the journey of a thousand miles. In less than a year after that my wife and I freed ourselves from the claws of the fof. It felt like the next logical step.
I am so grateful that I did not attract to myself the fate of so many other victims. It could have easily happened. I was ripe for the taking.

Cheers!!!

202. X-ray - August 5, 2011

Thanks Ames,
It is a powerful and a touching letter written by a decent human being to a sociopath. A simple logic tells me that he never answer to your letter.
I understand your feeling when you were faced against this Scientologist, it was not an easy moment. Both him and Goldman had to be criminally charged with life threatening and both had to be sentenced to prison.
This is why posts like Sally´s 173 make me want to vomit. I knew the guy personally, I was in the fof and I have close friends who were deeply traumatised by Goldman’s actions, so I make my judgment by the content rather by the cover.

203. sallymcnally - August 5, 2011

X-ray, I was deeply traumatized by his actions firsthand so please spare me the drama.

Did you really know him? I don’t think so. I don’t think he allowed anyone to get close to him and that’s the tragedy of anyone who lives their life covering up how they really feel and goes against themselves day after day.

This is how I saw him and that is why I forgave him. My heart remains open, not closed because of the experience I had with Abe. And it certainly had nothing to do with his actions against me which at the time were very painful and personally difficult to bear.

204. X-ray - August 5, 2011

201

Well, you haven´t learn your lessons and that is not a sign of wisdom.
To some people it is enough to bite a rotten apple to realise it´s bad.
What you think it is compassion – it is not.

205. X-ray - August 5, 2011

In fact, it is a sign of a mental illness to have ´compassion´ to one who hurt you.

206. Arthur - August 5, 2011

In the scheme of the ‘patriot act’ and other acts under the umbrella of homeland security.

Like no warrant eavesdropping of cell phones, a bonanza of information on citizens and non-citizens, or the presense of ‘exigent circumstances’ breaking down doors without a warrant.

All of which remind me of the Fellowship of Friends presense in Islamabad.

Where they currying favor with enemy combatants?

207. sallymcnally - August 5, 2011

Actually x-ray it’s part of the healing process not mental illness.

208. Arthur - August 5, 2011

I originally found this quote at the end of a local obituary. I googled the author and found that he was a martial art (aikido) founder and philosopher, and had plenty else to say.

“As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you”…Morihei Ueshiba

I plead guilty to being weaken and defeated. So, I suppose to gather strength and win, I need to stop concerning myself with the “good and “bad”.

Or, “externally consider always, internally consider never”.

209. Tim Campion - August 5, 2011

Abraham is certainly not the last desperate soul at Apollo.

To those remaining, I would say your “teacher” no longer needs you. You have served him long enough. He has seen to his comfort and security, and built his fantasy island. It is time to bid him farewell. As Walt Whitman wrote:

Long enough have you dream’d contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,

You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life.

Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,

To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.

***

There is help and support to be found beyond the confines of Apollo. One need only ask. Robert did not forge our friendships, and (though he did try) cannot undo them.

210. X-ray - August 5, 2011

205

Does´t sound like a healthy process, Sally.

206

Good to hear from you Arthur.
I hope you doing better and I wish you well.
But the quote you gave here from this Ueshiba guy is misleading to say the least.
It teaches you to be blind to your consience and to be deaf to your critical mind. It´s another burton type guru and it is an analog to “Conscience is a collection of subjective I’s. If a student accumulates too much material there, he should leave the school”, just a little more sofisticatred one.

211. X-ray - August 5, 2011

And you NOT becoming evil fighting evil.

212. X-ray - August 5, 2011

Furthermore, an ability to see and discern the good from evil is a virtue and a base on which our life should be built upon.
This is where nondualism is limping, thinking it is running ahead.

213. Renald - August 5, 2011

Re. 206 Arthur`s
“ Or, “externally consider always, internally consider never”.“

In the end it is all the same. Who is doing the externally considering?

Or should I ask What is doing it? Can Robert externally consider?
How do you know he can or can`t? Can Islamic terrorists (martyrs) externally consider? Oh of course not, they are the enemy. Where did the bullshit detector disappear to now?

By the way, Arthur, it is nice to see you here again. I also plead guilty. I then ask myself to forgive myself. I do forgive myself and for this I am grateful. From this point on in this moment I love myself and in loving myself I love indiscriminately all others. It just happens.
In my weakness I can soon forget all that about love and loving but I can also remember and start again the next moment. Eventually I expect it to become a habit of mine and then later an addiction of mine.
Cheers!!

214. nigel - August 5, 2011

190. surelyujest

From Walt Whitman – ‘Song of the Answerer’…..

“They prepare for death, yet are they not the finish, but rather the outset,
They bring none to his or her terminus TO BE CONTENT AND FULL,
Whom they take they take into space to behold the birth of stars, to
learn one of the meanings,
To launch off with absolute faith, to sweep through the ceaseless
rings and never be quiet again.”

I believe the Fellowship of Friends (with Burton as the Arch-Manipulator) sold a system that made/makes people so puffed-up with the thought that their special-dom would/will survive death that they continue with their petty little money-making lives and political FOF antics with little thought of what IS REAL IN THEMSELVES!!!!!

As an admission, I really never got near (as folks like Ames and
Whalerider did) to the rotten core of the ‘school’. I plied my trade when I arrived in California, did some nice commissions (one of them being the ceremonial set of silver for the Fellowship) but was working like an idiot (with alcohol problems and ‘tut-tut’ mixing with ‘life people’) when I financially and emotionally reached ‘the end of my tether’ and attempted suicide. I was saved by the caring intervention of C—-a P—–k/H—n and now wonder where my posting has ‘impact’. I suppose it is in reference to the above extract from Whitman, in as much as what I am doing now, rescued from the whirlpool of my spiritual ‘death and rebirth’ (check out Gurdjieff’s take on this in the ‘Search’), has daily nourishment for me and my students and has the chance of leaving a lasting and achievable legacy on the ending of my role as Nigel Harris Price BA Hons, Cert Ed, MIfl., founder and tutor for Academy of Precious Metal Arts (check out http://www.apma-uk.co.uk). It is hard to convey on the blog how much positive energy is shared at our little countryside sanctuary where the studio is and really takes BEING THERE!!!!! this post will probably produce counter-arguments, but HEY! I have said what I wanted to say, much as you all have…..Nigel.

215. Renald - August 5, 2011

Below is part of a letter I sent today to a very good friend with whom I share my privatemost thoughts. I find it hard to imagine that it was mere coincidence. Note that I posted 51 and 52 the same day of the suicide, the hour yet to be determined.
Quote:
“ His suicide impacted me more than normal maybe because I had written a post on Aug. 01 where I referred to Abraham, obviously Goldman, in a humourous context. Here it is including another (51) which I posted at the same time which by the way refers to a court of law.

“51. Renald – August 1, 2011
It`s not a very big jump from not having the ability to take responsibility for one`s choices to thinking that “the gods made me do it“. In a court of law that usually is enough to get the person committed if the court believes that the accused believes it.
Cheers!
52. Renald – August 1, 2011
“ But your honor Socrates and I discussed building the theatron in the TV room and believe me you don`t want to argue with Socrates! That`s why we did not apply for a building permit. Right, that is what you tell him, Abraham.“
“ We were having dinner in the Wordsworth Room when Leonardo Da Vinci suddenly appeared and he was surrounded by a whole slew of angels. He did not look too happy so I thought we had better skip dessert.“
Cheers!

When I see mud on my shoes I can safely assume that I have walked in some mud. I could be wrong but I most likely am right. In a poker game I would go all in on the strength of such evidence.

Cheers!

216. nigel - August 5, 2011

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…..

The court of chancery, which governed fiduciary relations prior to the Judicature Acts.

“A fiduciary duty (from Latin fiduciarius, meaning “(holding) in trust”; from fides, meaning “faith”, and fiducia, meaning “trust”) is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust regarding the management of money or property between two or more parties, most commonly a fiduciary and a principal. One party, for example a corporate trust company or the trust department of a bank, holds a fiduciary relation or acts in a fiduciary capacity to another, such as one whose funds are entrusted to it for investment. In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests.”

217. Bares Reposting - August 5, 2011

FoF Blog Page 4/#92. Money Talks Says:
March 24th, 2007 at 12:15 pm
Is the money so important?,
then why are these
‘Payment Guidelines and Donation…’
mandatory?:
http://badlinknow
Rather than at the discretion
of the gift giver?
[I know,
it is the ‘will of Influence C’
(that Influence A
be at Influence C’s disposal.)]
Do you, whoever you are, deserve it?

‘The gift is to the giver,
and comes back most to him’

‘I give you my love
more precious than money.’

Has, so soon, the meaning of
these words been forgotten?:

Whoever you are! motion and reflection are especially for you, The divine ship sails the divine sea for you. Whoever you are! you are he or she for whom the earth is solid and liquid, You are he or she for whom the sun and moon hang in the sky, For none more than you are the present and the past, For none more than you is immortality. Each man to himself and each woman to herself, is the word of the past and present, and the true word of immortality;
No one can acquire for another –
not one,
Not one can grow for another –
not one.
The song is to the singer,
and comes back most to him,
The teaching is to the teacher,
and comes back most to him,
The murder is to the murderer,
and comes back most to him,
The theft is to the thief,
and comes back most to him,
The love is to the lover,
and comes back most to him,
The gift is to the giver,
and comes back most to him –
it cannot fail,
The oration is to the orator,
the acting is to the actor and actress
not to the audience,
And no man understands any greatness
or goodness but his own,
or the indication of his own.

Walt Whitman

Here, take this gift,
I was reserving it for some hero,
speaker, or general,
One who should serve the good old cause,
the great idea,
the progress and freedom
of the race,
Some brave confronter of despots,
some daring rebel;
But I see that what I was reserving
belongs to you just as much as to any.

Walt Whitman

Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.
Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded?
yourself?
your nation?
Nature?
Now understand me well –
it is provided in the essence of things
that from any fruition of success,
no matter what,
shall come forth something
to make a greater struggle necessary.
My call is the call of battle,
I nourish active rebellion,
He going with me must go well arm’d,
He going with me goes
often with spare diet,
poverty,
angry enemies,
desertions.

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe – I have tried it –
my own feet have tried it well –
be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten,
and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop!
let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand!
mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit!
let the lawyer plead in the court,
and the judge expound the law.
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself?
will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other
as long as we live?

O! dear Walt, maybe we forgot
what the real values are.

Thou O God my life hast lighted,
With ray of light,
steady, ineffable,
vouchsafed of Thee,
Light rare untellable,
lighting the very light,
Beyond all signs,
descriptions,
languages;
For that O God,
be it my latest word,
here on my knees,
Old, poor, and paralyzed,
I thank Thee.

Now for a word from our sponsor:

Dear Friends,

Here is this week’s schedule
for Robert’s Dining Events.

To reserve your place you may call the Dining Events telephone number: xxx-8234

All reservations will be confirmed.

Thank you,

Dining with Robert

Friday, March 23, 8:30 am Voucher Breakfast in the Galleria Salon

Seating: One full-day Voucher + $10.00 or Regular – $100 Special & Senior – $75
Standing: One half-day Voucher + $10.00 or Regular – $75 Special & Senior – $50
Note: Standing places are available. You may request to be placed on the Waiting List
for a seat for this and upcoming Voucher Breakfasts. Students will be contacted as spaces
become available.
Topic: The Steward: Intoning the Sequence in Imagination and Intoning the Sequence with Presence

In sleep:
Sumerian Texts, Debate between Bird and Fish: Your speech contains grave errors; you have not given it due consideration.

With Presence:
Hermes Trismegistus: Grasp the meaning of my words; for if you grasp it, that which seems to be hidden will be revealed to you.

Friday, March 23, 3:00 pm Auction Cherry Blossom Tea at the Orchard

For information and to make your reservation, please call xxx-8216

Topic: The Flower

Saturday, March 24, 8:30 am Auction Breakfast at a Student’s Home

Topic: Short Be and Long BE

Saturday, March 24, 7:00 pm Dinner in the Galleria Salon

Seating: Regular – $150 Special & Senior – $100
Standing: Regular – $100 Special & Senior – $50

Topic: Sacrifice
Egyptian Pyramid Texts, Utterance 664: Offer a sacrifice with thy hand

– For Breakfasts: Please sign up by 6:00 pm the day prior to the breakfast
– For dinners: Please sign up by 4:00 pm the day of the dinner
– A 20% discount may be used within one month of a Birthday or School anniversary.
– Couples may also use each others Birthday and School Anniversary discount.
This is for seats only.
– Special Price: students on payroll. Senior Price: students 65 years and older.
– Standing: If reserving standing, please let us know if you will need a stool.

218. fofblogmoderator - August 5, 2011

184 is new

219. WhaleRider - August 5, 2011

x-ray:
Good vs. Evil makes a great story. Do you believe in magic, too?

BTW, didn’t Christ express compassion on the cross for those who hurt him? Was that a sign of his mental illness?

220. X-ray - August 5, 2011

Whale,
You somewhat disappointing.
I base my moral values on my conscience, which has an ability to discern between good and bad, but what you are basing your values on, if you don´t seem to see the difference between them?
And sorry, I wasn´t with the Christ at the time, so I don´t know what he actually said.

221. For the record - August 5, 2011

Sally and X-student-Ray.

Thanks for your thoughts, although sometimes X-ray I wonder if you’re for real. I’m sure you are, but I’m just saying, the thought has entered my mind… There’s nothing like unabashed hatred and anger to frighten off those fence sitters.

But I’m with you on most of what you say, and glad you’re unleashing your fury. I would have loved to have met you in the FOF — and who knows, maybe we did. Your comments resonate. But so do Sally’s comments… because… to make things even more interesting, both anger *and* compassion are part of the healing process. While anger was (and still is) a part of the healing process for me in continuing my life anew after the FOF, a huge thing that helped me escape was the vivid realization that the so-called religious organization that I was a member of was Sick. Not sick with a mild fever or a slight cough, but sick with a serious, chronic, un-treatable disease.

It was the realization that Burton was seriously ill (and that people like Goldman were also seriously ill) that eventually enabled me to leave the asylum. Some amount of compassion is involved there, because part of that means being able to relate to that illness because you see it in yourself to some degree. But compassion didn’t prevent me from resisting and opposing, and running as far away as I could, as fast as I could. There were and still are many other feelings as well — anger, doubt, disappointment, etc. But I think the emotion that most enabled me to see how seriously ill (fucked up) the Fellowship was — and to finally leave — was compassion. That combined with an impulse for self-preservation.

The obvious thing that’s rarely stated: The Fellowship of Friends is sick. And Goldman’s suicide casts some more light on that.

Nick 182
“Isn’t it odd and ironic that a group that was formed initially on the basis of the simple precept ‘Know Thyself’ should eventually turn into its complete opposite, and find its most valued members running away into self-made fairytales of evolution?”

Jomo 192: “So to say that the FOF was formed on the basis of the simple precept “Know Thyself” is really just a myth that those who have a history of involvement with the FOF want to believe. It’s not what really happened. What happened to create the FOF was that, with the help of alcohol and mescaline, disinhibition encountered credulousness, and narcissism found narcissistic supply… 193. Oh, and I left out, exploited her for money. Big omission, my bad.”

Nick, I agree with both you and Jomo. However, I think you left out one important word — the word *believed”. We believed that the cult was “formed initially on the basis of the simple precept ‘Know Thyself’ “, as well as other noble ideas. And what’s more, we believed that we *knew* it was based on this. We believed that we weren’t believing. Strange but true. What I find ironic is that we professed that we believed nothing, when in fact we believed everything, just like any other religion. Also ironic is that we professed to be more awake than the rest of the world — or at least with a better possibility of being more awake — when in fact we were more asleep than most people. When they saw, they ran.

222. fofblogmoderator - August 5, 2011

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