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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Part 109 August 16, 2011

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.
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Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway To Presence Discussion.

For recent pages from the blog go here

For previous parts of the discussion please click on home and scroll down, or move to the Fellowship of Friends Discussionblog, or to AnimamRecro for the very beginning. For a more organized reading check out The Fellowship of Friends WikiSpace.

The largest meeting point for former and current members of the Fellowship of Friends is the Greater Fellowship, you can sign up to the Greater Fellowship community and connect with former members of the Fellowship of Friends as well as some current members here.

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

http://www.livingpresence.com/

For sites in Russian and Italian, click http://fofway.narod.ru/and http://laliberastrada.blogspot.com/respectively.

To access the Online Petition: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/djindjin/petition.html

For more information check Rick Ross and Steven Hassan.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence from the discussion.

Participants require 1 moderated comment before they can start communicating in real-time. (ie. if you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear about 1 day after it has been posted, any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously).

To visit the site created by Unoanimo:http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/res-ipsa-loquitur/

Comments

1. Arthur - August 16, 2011

I havent read any 4th Way books (Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Collin and Nicoll) in a while but I would rate the knowledge in them equal or better to any new age, ” self-improvement”,”Become conscious now”,”Become new again”, or, whatever is circulating around and about.

2. sallymcnally - August 16, 2011

yeah, it’s seems simple, just notice what’s going on inside your self at all times. easy huh??!!!! I like what Esther Hicks said, that it’s not necessary to notice all the thoughts, all the time, which would make you crazy but to notice the emotional flavor of the thoughts or how you’re feeling about them. Made sense to me, although I know there will be an uproar of replies about Esther Hicks being a guru I think by staying open you can learn things from anyone, including the homeless person on the street.

3. sallymcnally - August 16, 2011

but I still believe the phrase ‘know thyself’ is the key and not noticing thyself gets one in a heap of trouble, especially these days.

4. Arthur - August 16, 2011

sallymcnally (2&3),

Never heard of Esther Hicks but agree with learning from life, “homeless person on the street”.

I think “know thyself” came from the ‘school’ of Socrates. And, I think the concept is included in the fourth way literature.

Noticing the flavor of one’s thoughts is good, and so is “divided attention”.

I think becoming conscious which in Bible lore is being “born again” too hard for me, especially.

But, I still wouldnt throw out Nicoll’s commentaries. Even though I am weak in all things 4th Way or any “Way” for that matter.

5. Mr. Burp - August 16, 2011

194. X-ray – August 16, 2011

“..and I agree with Bruce, an intelect and bob are antonyms, a fucking retard can put two sentences together without ´outside help´.”

197. X-ray – August 16, 2011

“..sorry, I meant to say that fucking retard can´t put sentences together.”

You are killing me!!

6. Tim Campion - August 16, 2011

Mr. Burp and X-ray

You’re BOTH killing me. But I love it. You two should get together for a drink.

7. nigel - August 16, 2011

Page 108 – Post # 145 Arthur

No problems – my workshop is way out in the country and my home is in the suburbs of Exeter, Devon. All safe, thanks to the angels…..Nigel.

8. X-ray - August 16, 2011

mr fart,
I am sorry if I didn´t make myself clear

GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU BRAINLESS JERK

9. X-ray - August 16, 2011

Sorry Tim, I have other things to do then waisting my time with idiots like him.

10. X-ray - August 16, 2011

208 of the last page

4th way leads nowhere? Well, it surely leads to an inflated Ego which to some looks like a destination.

11. X-ray - August 16, 2011

This asshole mr. fart is a true product of the fellowship of friends; stupid, arrogant and mentally ill jerk.
These people have to be in the cult because they can´t make it outside in real life. They are losers.

12. Mr. Burp - August 16, 2011

9. X-ray

Sorry Tim, I have other things to do then waisting my time with idiots like him.

8. X-ray

mr fart,
I am sorry if I didn´t make myself clear

GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU BRAINLESS JERK

11. X-ray

This asshole mr. fart is a true product of the fellowship of friends; stupid, arrogant and mentally ill jerk.
These people have to be in the cult because they can´t make it outside in real life. They are losers.

Somebody make him stop pleeease…!!

13. Magoo - August 16, 2011

Josiane
I was ‘privileged’ to be at PB deathbed, it was like a group worship. Then I was also at Gio Puglia who was an Ex FOFer, and that experience seemed more real to me.

14. X-ray - August 16, 2011

Fucking scumbag, your place in burton´s bedroom.

15. Renald - August 16, 2011

Re. 2 – Sally

Here is a link to a utube about religion (cults as well I suppose)
It also provides access to others.

Cheers!

16. Golden Veil - August 16, 2011

13. X-ray – August 16, 2011

Fucking scumbag, your place in burton´s bedroom.

?

Is this something that should be going on on this blog? I’m all for humor to help heal from trauma, but this isn’t humor – this is kind of twisted…
X-ray, if you really know this person well enough to spew out these pejoratives, at them, then why not take it outside and spare the rest of us?

Some of want to tell our own history as a part of our recovery from the Fellowship of Friends, and a great many of us want to publicize facts about the darker side of The Fellowship of Friends. Personally, my aim is not to preach to the choir, but to alert current members to the darker side of The Fellowship of Friends. Considering the brainwashing that the current members are submerged under… what if one of them does decide to check out the blog and then reads your crude expletives? It is counter productive to my aim to reach out to the current students and make an impression. And surely, you must be emotionally mature enough to realize that if you truly want another poster to stop inciting you, you simply must stop inciting them? If I could, I would write this all to you in a personal note… but there is no option for that here… Yes, with the anonymity it is hard really to know whose side who is on… your posts are denigrating The Fellowship of Friends Discussion Group blog… are you aware of that? I am starting to wonder if it is your aim to do that.

17. X-ray - August 16, 2011

15

Why don´t you pull your head out of your ass and see who is fucking with whom here? Do I start with him or he is the one who being a smartass making stupid comments thinking he makes fun of me?

So if you annoyed by it, you can ask this shithead to disappear or at least not bother me, because this is the response I will have for him. Another option is to skip the comments.

18. X-ray - August 16, 2011

and you right, this is not a humor, but a response to a twisted sickos.

19. Sockpuppet - August 16, 2011

Here’s a suggestion for all.

When you start feeling “attacked,” go silent for a couple days, pick a new name, and start over again. Move on, without any history. My own personal aims align pretty well with Golden Veil’s (#15). It doesn’t help if I get caught up in a pseudonymous “me.”

It’s amazing how much all of us can get “identified” with these anonymous pseudonyms, and feel we have to “defend” ourselves against other pseudonymous personalities. Or else we start trying to explain ourselves, trying to talk about ourselves.

This is especially so, I think, in the case of the people who use their real names (with obvious exceptions). It brings to the blog all the baggage associated with that name. People you had little dramas with, the people who always thought you were a twit, people who resented your “role,” etc., etc., etc.

It jams the whole blog up with personal histories, windmill-jousting, and all sorts of Spy-vs.-Spy attacks and counterattacks.

Moreover, there has been in the past the real risk of legal actions, however spurious, from the FOF. We need to be able to speak freely, though truthfully. So (with the moderator’s forbearance) please keep moving and shaking things up so you won’t be the object of a real or imagined attack.

20. Renald - August 16, 2011

Re. 15 – Golden Veil-

This utube video is a gift for you. I realize that just as if one were to open a book in the middle somewhere there is terminology which sounds difficult to understand especially at the beginning of this video. A little later examples are given and it becomes easier.
I have known Esther since 1998 and she really is a plain Jane type of girl and southern lady. I chose this one because it fits so well. I hope you enjoy it. If not, then the photography and music are worth spending the five minutes or so there.

Cheers!

21. Opus111 - August 16, 2011

I had to stop after 13 seconds, when the phrase “undivided attention” was uttered. My past training would not allow it.

22. X-ray - August 16, 2011

18

Good idea. Might work for someone.

23. Renald - August 16, 2011

Re. 18 – Sockpuppet –
Thank you for reminding me about the name change-identification business. Renald was my birth name but I only used it on official documents by necessity. When I joined the fof it was clear that changing names was a tool for awakening so I went along with it.
So all those I met during that 13 year period got to know me as Renald. In the meantime even my mother never uses that name.
So I will take your advice and change it again. One problem though is that there are people on here who automatically, at least in the past, who let their rudeness and distrust out on newcomers. Maybe things will be different now, wouldn`t that be nice!

As far as the legal ejaculactions go that is the least of my concerns.
They would just be hanging themselves.

Cheers!

24. X-ray - August 16, 2011

20

Totally with you on that.
I made it thru one minute, couldn´t handle more.
Good sales people though.

25. Sockpuppet - August 16, 2011

22. They would be hanging themselves, but that didn’t even slow them down in the past. Meanwhile, as Ames can tell you, they put you through all sorts of torture and legal fees before the case gets thrown out for its frivolousness. At least, that was AG’s method. Who has time for that?

If you are offering any new information, or controversial information or confirmation, you could potentially be a target, I suppose. That’s why it’s important to tell the truth – or what you have every reason to believe is the truth. It’s your best defense. If you are believed to be acting maliciously, with a total disregard for the truth, you become more vulnerable. (Lawyers out there: feel free to correct me.) I imagine the FOF’s legal services division are in disarray right now. But if it feels safer to move on and not be a fixed target, it’s nice to do so.

You’re right, though, about the ragging that occurs with newcomers, which is a shame.

Most of all, I think it’s good to stick to the reason I came here, and not get distracted by side-issues. As Whale Rider says, I want to “drain the victim pool.”

26. Renald - August 16, 2011

In poker there are players who even though they know they are holding a losing hand they prefer to hang on to it and pay to call bets over and over again. Yet they are often just looking for a good excuse to bow out and this is listed as a good reason not to raise them too high by professionals.
burton hisself even knew about that and used it to program these losers to not pay attention to their good judgement sometimes referred to as common sense which he also poo-pooed. “`Common sense is not so common.“ Thus he invalidated those inner experiences as well.
There is another side to this, though, and it comes around when one is exposed to something which is not habitual or is not thought to be habitual meaning programmed.

Cheers!

27. X-ray - August 17, 2011

24

A shame is to think that a newcomer can´t be a shmuck.

28. Shirley - August 17, 2011

7 Nigel – good to hear you’re ok, and glad Arthur thought to express his concern.

29. Shirley - August 17, 2011

202 pg 108 Renald

Renald, when I say “heartbreaking”, you should take it with a grain of salt (cliche). Please don’t take it as an indication that the blog is getting bogged down in a negative direction. If anything, becoming informed is important, especially when the subject at hand is a closed and secretive group that is controlled by someone that doesn’t seem to have its members’ best interests in mind.

Also, the habit in the FF is suppression and obfuscation, so getting into the habit of giving factual information, or clarifying something that’s fuzzy, is good. In addition, I question the validity of equating anything “negative” as being equal to “bad”. You get all twisted up inside, trying not to express anything approaching anger or disagreement. There’s no platform for working out differences in an open and honest way, no way of properly venting or exercising some critical thinking. You couldn’t discuss if something was right or wrong / good or bad, because that was dualistic. (How about a range within right-wrong?) We got so stuck in the form of things, not in the substance. If anything, you were immediately “photographed” and put right back into a straight-jacket.

I’m glad that the voucher trade and bankrupting Egypt trips were described. The atmosphere of fearful whispering and pent-up anger at feeling ripped off just encourages more of the same. No one said you have to get stuck in retelling those stories over and over. But part of the telling of these stories is to realize, “I can’t believe I was part of that.” And to follow it with, “and I’m not part of it anymore.”

30. Shirley - August 17, 2011

Renald, I didn’t mean in my 28 above, when I said “you”, that I specifically meant you. I meant “people in the FF”.

31. fofblogmoderator - August 17, 2011

13 is new

X-Ray and Burb you are now having a time-out. I don’t have the time to be a moderator on this blog. I can turn pages and keep track of new posts and allow the filtered posts to get through like #13, but I have no time for this nonsense between you two. If it makes everyone happy I’ll change my moniker to fofblogpageturner.

My address is nogurus@yahoo.com. I’m not able guarantee I’ll have time to address what I anticipate to be your tirade against me. Deal with it until I do.

peace

32. Arthur - August 17, 2011

Someone above said that Robert Burton’s crew is capable of revenge either through the legal system
or otherwise. And the advise was be careful of what you say.

My opinion that sounds true before the Sheik gave this blog a go forth and mulitply. Any revenge would be not so good for them.

On the petition page I belong to one of the testimonials and stand by my words.

33. Arthur - August 17, 2011

Maybe they meant be careful of libel and slander. Sorry!

34. Tim Campion - August 17, 2011

19. Sockpuppet

“We need to be able to speak freely, though truthfully.”

***

One of the greatest lessons the Fellowship of Friends offered. We saw first hand what happens when we fail to do so, or allow others to fail.

For me it was an expensive lesson, and I now value these ideals with a passion (though it sometimes lands me in trouble.)

35. Renald - August 17, 2011

Re. 29-30 Shirley “ Renald, when I say “heartbreaking”, you should take it with a grain of salt (cliche).“

And what I was trying to point out to you and also to any others is that one`s choice of words uttered and probably even more so when written becomes part of a memory or thought. I cannot imagine the word `heartbreaking` not being a negative word. I also happen to think that making a habit of referring to those words has negative consequences. Therefore taking it with a grain of salt is exactly what I would not do if I were you. This also applies to things said because one thinks or even knows that it is a description of fact, of truth.
We are in every moment creating our reality and that is not a cliche.
I wish you happiness, peace and good health.
Cheers!

36. Magoo - August 17, 2011

Shirley
Vouchers not only became an exchange but also a commodity. They were exchanged not only for sex but also for $$ in the local black market. First they were traded for $150, then for $100 and then for $75.
One could earn half a voucher for 4 hours of work in landscaping, or in galleria dinner preparation, washing dishes, cooking etc. A full voucher for prep, serving and cleaning package. People from all classes found ways to acquire vouchers with different services depends how close you were to RB.
With vouchers you can get access to dinners, meetings and events with RB. Cash was always preferred so when you had a table half full you will fill it with voucher holders, at meetings they will be standing rather then sitting.

37. My2Bits - August 17, 2011

Whalerider, 108, #203:

“But how can the FF stoop so low?”

“The entire group stoops that low due to the creation and maintenance of the psychological schism known as “the lower self”.”

Yes. It was my deep suspicion of this concept of a discrete higher and lower self, which was introduced by RB around 2000 or so as part of his ‘new teaching’, which finally led me to rebel. I sensed that the only possible long-term effect of such a teaching would be psychosis — endless ‘civil war’ between the forces of good and evil in one’s own mind.

I remember giving a few angles to this effect at a meeting and afterward being advised that such statements could become grounds for my being asked to leave the school.

RB liked to show a picture of a stained-glass window detail from a French cathedral at Galleria meetings. Viewed normally, it was a beautiful, positive image. But wait! When the detail was turned upside down, it revealed itself to be a wide-mouthed, demonic-looking face with tongue sticking out.

Thanks so much, Whalerider, for your sharp mind and wit.

38. nigel - August 17, 2011

To ‘Shirley’ and ‘Arthur’ with thanks…..

…..from Walt Whitman’s ‘Song of the Answerer’…..

“Whichever the sex, whatever the season or place, he may go freshly and gently and safely by day or by night,
He has the pass-key of hearts, to him the response of the prying of
hands on the knobs.”

39. Renald - August 17, 2011

Re. 37 – My2Bits

After reading that post I had a feeling of celebration, of joy, to hear that you left the fof because you were in touch with your guiding system in a conscious way. You knew why you left and it was clear in your mind. When I left I knew it was the next logical step but if someone was to ask me why I left specifically I would not have known what to say. Reminiscing about that I heard a song in my mind:

Cheers!!

40. nigel - August 17, 2011

Maybe a little contraversial, but worth posting…..

A NORMAL BEING WISHES TO LIVE FOREVER
– G. I. GURDJIEFF

“A normal being wishes to live forever. A normal man is one who not only has actualized his inherited potentialities, but has freed himself from his subjectivity.

This wish to live constitutes a being. Once being alive there is no choice, we must live forever.

Your powers are to actualize, to be aware of your presence. This is your money in the bank, your cash, your earning ability.

Next to awareness, the most important thing is Time. The flow of time through us gives us our chance to extract what we can. Time is a three-fold stream, passing through our three centers. We fish in this stream, what we catch is ours, what we don’t is gone. Time does not wait for us to catch all in the stream, if we catch enough, we have enough to create the three bodies, and become enduring.

Time is the sum of our potential experience, the totality of our possible experiences. We live our experiences successively, this is the first dimension of time.

To be able to live experiences simultaneously is adding another or second dimension of time.

To be aware of this simultaneity is called solid Time, or the third dimension of Time.

I beg you, before starting on this journey to question yourself. You are plunging into the dark; here is a little lamp; I show you how to rub it; but make sure you know how to rub it.

Suffering is the price of endlessness.

Conscious labor consists of having an objective in life, as a LIFE aim, an Aim which can be pursued the whole of your life. It does not depend on the vicissitudes of life. It is the aim for which you took the trouble to be born. You are an immortal being if you keep this aim.

If you keep this aim through this life you will have an aim strong enough to persist after this life, an aim big enough to persist through an immortal existence.”

41. My2Bits - August 17, 2011

Re: My post #37

The ‘higher self / lower self’ teaching was perhaps an aberration of the 4th Way concept of higher and lower centers, and it had a moral component which the former did not.

With repeated conditioning, the ‘higher self’ came to be whatever I’s kept you in the school and the ‘lower self’ whatever I’s might seduce you into leaving. As in, “Oh, so and so left the school because their lower self became too strong.”

42. Arthur - August 17, 2011

The other day somebody was talking about licence plate numbers and how Robert E. Burton would give meaning to the number.

Out of curiosity I googled Kabbala numbers and found that 666 meant lower self or lower mind. I forgot which.

Today My2Bits uses the term ‘lower self’ which peaked my curiosity again and back to Kabbala I go. I cant find where I saw where 666 means lower mind or lower self. I found multiply other meanings for 666 instead.

So, whatever I said before, forget about it.

43. surelyujest - August 17, 2011

37 My2Bits

“It was my deep suspicion of this concept of a discrete higher and lower self, which was introduced by RB around 2000 or so as part of his ‘new teaching’, which finally led me to rebel. I sensed that the only possible long-term effect of such a teaching would be psychosis — endless ‘civil war’ between the forces of good and evil in one’s own mind.”

I agree with you, but I see the same issues (and potential problems) with the 4th Way. Consider the fight between “true personality” and “false personality.” Gurdjieff even used the term “civil war,” like it was a good thing. Maybe if I follow that advice, I’ll end up a chain smoking lunatic weighing 350 pounds.

44. Arthur - August 17, 2011

I have a vague understanding of the 4th way so keep that in mind.

To me and I’m just throwing it out there “true personality” might be analogous to “higher self” or lying close by or in the direction of.

I was talking to a professional woman once in a bar. She told me there was a whore in every woman (maybe she was trying to excuse what she was, because that’s what she claimed as her profession

If it’s true that there is a whore in every woman and she was a student of Robert E. Burton then more than likely she would experience a ‘civil war’ now and then.

And if she was a proper church lady, well nobody’s immuned from ‘civil wars’.

45. Arthur - August 17, 2011

I forgot (senior moments) come frequently now days. To me ‘civil war’ is analogous to the Moslem (maybe Sufi) Jihad, inner Jihad.

46. J. D. - August 17, 2011

fofblogmoderator

I’m not very active on this blog and I’m no devil’s advocate, but I have to say that you are in some measure accountable for the childish time-out handed to the bloggers. Not much for enforcing it, but because you have failed to address the abuse shown on this blog for quite a while. It has been brought to your attention before, when it was quieter, but you failed to take any action. Is it some kind of fear or just apathy? This form of bullying has gone unnoticed or ignored for a long time, me included, until now (Ty GV) and I find the indifference displayed by most of us quite troublesome. It is quite hypocritical to think that we are somehow carrying on a healing process from the conditioning of the cult, and yet we remain blind to things like this in our “home”.

47. Ronnie - August 17, 2011

Feeding weeds and then half-assed wishing they would go away is a doomed to fail plan.

48. fofblogmoderator - August 17, 2011

People who want to continue to bicker can contact each other privately. That’s the “adult” thing to do in my opinion. Burp and X-Ray were taking it too far and I tried to give them some latitude hoping that they would get tired and just let it go. It didn’t happen.

I have guests staying with me and don’t have time right now to deal with this. The Sheik used to collect money from bloggers. I personally sent him a couple hundred bucks. I do this for free and have been doing it a lot longer than the Sheik did. I’ve had to deal with Greg G and Elena and all kinds of stuff I didn’t “sign up” for.

I’ve taken and implemented suggestions from many participants here. Rather than tell me how I’ve fucked up, why don’t you offer a solution. For me to hear that I let it go on too long and I’m responsible means the solution is to replace me? I don’t think so, but we can certainly put it to a vote.

49. nigel - August 17, 2011

…..from ‘Song of Myself’ by Walt Whitman…..

“I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,
And you must not be abased to the other.
Loaf with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turned over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stripped heart,
And reached till you felt my beard, and reached till you held my feet.
Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heaped stones, elder, mullein and pokeweed.”

50. nigel - August 17, 2011

…..from ‘King Henry V’ by William Shakesperare,,,,,

KING HENRY V
Alas, your too much love and care of me
Are heavy orisons ‘gainst this poor wretch!
If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d and digested,
Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,
Though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, in their dear care
And tender preservation of our person,
Would have him punished. And now to our French causes:
Who are the late commissioners?

CAMBRIDGE
I one, my lord:
Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

SCROOP
So did you me, my liege.

GREY
And I, my royal sovereign.

KING HENRY V
Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;
There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,
Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:
Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.
My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
We will aboard to night. Why, how now, gentlemen!
What see you in those papers that you lose
So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!
Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there
That hath so cowarded and chased your blood
Out of appearance?

51. Opus111 - August 17, 2011

Let me first say that I do appreciate the efforts of moderators, including our present one. I have no clear idea what moderating a blog exactly entails, but I can guess.
Participants to this blog are assumed to have been members of the FOF, and probably the majority were. Leaving a cult leaves you in various states of emotional upheaval, including denial, anger, depression, before you can start to fully recover (grieving stages).
The quality of blog contributions obviously varies but the impact they have is not necessarily linked to how tamed and cerebral such contributions are. Many are angry, confused and angry some more and plenty impactful.
To try and set some sort of metric that will cut out what is “inappropriate”, too strident or a waste of time is an impossible task, in my view. Bickering will occur, because that is the norm in most forums I have seen.
I am perfectly happy to continue to have “our blog” continue the way it currently is, with warts and all, because its benefits far outweigh its limitations, even to this day. It may not always be the case. Our moderator has offered to hear grievances from contributors who feel they are being mistreated and that is more than adequate recourse for me. On the one hand, it is just a blog; on the other hand, it is one that has blown a big hole in the FOF cult. Let’s not throw the baby with the bath water.

52. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 18, 2011

[World] 48. fofblogmoderator:
fofblogmoderator/Steve,
I have been on this blog since near the beginning. IMHO, you are doing a great job.

My recommendation would be to ‘time out’ bad actors that attack each other with invective sooner. One round of insulting behavour is understandable. After that, a warning, then, should it continue, a temporary cooling off period can be imposed. Repeat offenders get escalatingly longer periods to cool off. Perhaps that will give them the message they need.

Thanks, again, for your service.

53. Sockpuppet - August 18, 2011

In the FOF, people used to repeat, “We all have the same aim.” It was bullshit then, of course, and it’s bullshit now. So I’m sometimes disturbed when I see these same attitudes from post-FOFers.

We didn’t all have the same FOF experiences, we didn’t think the same things, we didn’t leave for the same reasons. Sometimes people posting have tried to appliqué their own understanding onto me, and suggested – or even outright stated – that when I’ve been out as long as they have been, I will come to a more collective point of view.

But I won’t. I’m a different person. I’m an individual, with my own understanding. Just like everyone else.

I have contributed to this blog over the years. Sometimes I’ve been driven off by the hazing that seems to go with being seen as a “newcomer” (in quotes, because I’m actually an old-timer using a new moniker). Sometimes I’ve been driven off by an insistence that I conform to the opinions of others. And sometimes I’ve been driven off by the cussing and ranting of those who have monopolized the posts (fofmoderator has named some, but by no means all of them).

I’m not intimidated by the more belligerent and bullying posters. But my life is very full, and my time spent here is time taken from other activities I value. I post because it’s a debt I owe, having participated in the FOF for years and having been helped out by others who freely gave their time to me. I can find other ways to contribute to the same aims, if I have to.

But more importantly, I know that these “bad actors” drive away the very fence-sitters I’d like to reach. These fence-sitters have been told that when you leave the FOF, you lose all possibilities. By gum, some of the people who rant on and on, or post again and again, with cursing and invective, sure make it look like that’s the case.

I would rather have them being driven off by a truth we are speaking, rather than the way in which we speak it.

Obviously, fofmoderator doesn’t have time to be a babysitter. But it would help if everyone would be more tolerant of differences in people’s experience, and the fact that people come here for different reasons. It would help if we didn’t respond so easily to trolls – who knows these “trolls” might be the next to leave? Don’t take the bait. And even though I’ve sometimes found it frustrating, I can be more tolerant of people who come here for mutual support, healing, and even venting, rather than providing a bridge out for existing members.

And to tell the truth, fofmoderator, we couldn’t even be having this discussion if you hadn’t excised some of the more problematic people from posting; they have blocked many conversations from deepening. I appreciate your putting on the hip-boots and wading through the muck for all of us.

54. Sockpuppet - August 18, 2011

FYI, I spoke with a fence-sitter this morning. He was deeply troubled by recent events, and not buying the whitewashing coming down from on high. This really might be a time for people on the blog to be welcoming, helpful, and open. It could mean a lot to someone.

55. Arthur - August 18, 2011

In my opinion leaving the influence of Robert E. Burton is akin to a divorce where bonds are broken.

Some suffering is expected, some for a long time, time will include grief, confusion, self-hatred, other hatred, doubt, ‘civil wars’ and weeping.

I read once that separation is the death of a marriage and divorce is the burial.

And time not only numbs but heals all wounds. Dark clouds move off and rays of “psychological” sunshine come again.

Set sail from the FOF and “into the mystic”. (Van Morrison)

Moderator Steve, not you, stay here with us until the “rapture” comes upon us.

56. For the record - August 18, 2011

I can tolerate all manner of FOF propaganda… I can endure endless commentary about Robert E. Burton being a king of hearts and a conscience being who we cannot understand due to our low levels of being — but please: No ripping fofblogmoderator. This guy is the 31st Imperishable Star.

That’s my vote.

57. Philip the Fair - August 18, 2011

54. Sockpuppet.

Maybe if the crisis gets big enough and people don’t accept the words from on high, they’ll do what they did 15 or so years ago. What was the occasion? The Troy B. lawsuit? The Ames rebellion? Some other “crisis”? Can’t recall.

Those who had “questions” were invited to one-on-ones with the village elders. Was it members of the Fellowship Council, the self-proclaimed “spiritual wing” of the FOF? Can’t recall that, either.

But that method of treatment already defined the situation as a personal problem, needing personal consultation, like a psychiatric session. It was all some bad weather inside your head. Not a series of questions that needed to be asked of the group as a whole, because they affected everyone. It was just about you.

It was a joke, of course. The elders were people with such obvious “issues,” or whose issues would become obvious soon – I’m thinking S.D., L.K./L.T., G.H., D.K.E., E.B., and others – that they should have been quarantined somewhere beyond the North Star.

I lived with a member of the Fellowship Council once. The committee was a last refuge for incurable gossips. They’d sit around on the phone, discussing other people for hours. Sick. And hilarious, too. The hypocrisy of it.

58. James McLemore - August 18, 2011

J.D. –
A little history in case you were not aware. Quite some time ago the Sheik was going to close the blog down unless someone wanted to take over. Nobody applied for the job. The present blog moderator finally took over because he did not want to see the blog shut down and no one else wanted to do it. I would venture a guess to say it is pretty much a thankless job. The fact that the blog is still here for you to even post your judgments on the blog-moderator on, is thanks to this guy. From my own prespective of someone who used to post quite often and now simply reads along. I think he has done a terrific job. He has let its run its course with little or no censorship, as it should be. Only 2 people that I can remember have been banished.
This blog, to me, serves as a warning to those unsuspecting victims who are seeking a school to try and find some imagined future state, and it does this by telling them, “For God’s Sake, Don’t Look Here”. The blog also evidently functions for people healing and maybe bringing closure to their life in a cult, and maybe hopefully aid in those thinking of leaving the fof. When things get far away from those aims the blog usually ‘rights itself’ by the other posters stepping-in or if they don’t then the blog moderator may feel it necessary to do so, as it seems he just did.

Sockpuppet –
I have seen many times in the past, If anyone comes here truly needing help, the longtime posters will do what they can to offer support and wish them well. However, if they are still carrying cult ideas and cult language and programming they will probably be reminded of it and confronted with it, not because people do not wish it on the blog, but they know that it’s based on deception. It is hard for me to imagine a ‘fence-sitter’ who was about to leave the fof and then changes his mind because some profanity laced post by someone on the blog. They were either not as close to leaving as you thought they were or maybe leaving for the wrong reasons. It’s not what they judge us as being that’s of importance, it is a seeing of what is going on inside of a cult led by a sociopath they need to see.
********

I have at times wished some of the blog posters to cut back on the profanity filled posts and I have also enjoyed someone telling someone else that what they posted is ‘horseshit’.
They, IMHO, shouldn’t need to go to personal attacks to confront someone with what they posted. However, if you cannot stand a few “Fuck you’s”, and have someone throw back up in your face what someone else thinks of as bullshit that you posted, maybe this not the blog for you. I don’t think people really want the niceties and “Golden Alchemy” of that ridiculous cult they were once in.

59. For the record - August 18, 2011

Arthur, and Sockpuppet. Thank you.

With some time travel, I imagine how much I would have loved and appreciated both of you, and all of you, at a certain juncture. And I still do.

60. For the record - August 18, 2011

James McLemore, you rock. So do you, Tim Campion. Have you guys met? You should meet, if you haven’t. I see a friendship in the making. I see a lot of friendships in the making.

61. Sockpuppet - August 18, 2011

#59. Jas.

I appreciate your point. However, one man’s “cult ideas and cult language and programming” is another man’s truism. A lot of former members (understandably) have knee jerk reactions to certain concepts. “A buffer,” in some cases, may simply be “denial” – but I wouldn’t slam a former or current Shipper because they used the former word rather than the latter.

I don’t buy the “tough love” stuff when it’s just a lack of self-control – and believe me, I’m guilty, too, of shooting off at the mouth. More than most.

We all tailor our language for an audience. “Fuck you” may be someone’s straightforward opinion of something I said. If I said that to my boss I’d be out on my ass. Too often we say it here because we don’t see the face of the person we’re speaking to – who might be an unrecognized friend.

I don’t know anyone who changed their mind about leaving because of their blog. I do know many who won’t bother looking at it because at the time they last tuned in, it had descended into the toddler-level immaturity, or insane rages, or babbling.

It’s not “Golden Alchemy” pretensions to refrain from abuse and obscenities. It’s often just courtesy.

“I have seen many times in the past, If anyone comes here truly needing help, the longtime posters will do what they can to offer support and wish them well.” Very true, and my bad for not acknowledging it in my remarks. Thank you.

62. WhaleRider - August 18, 2011

It starts with the idea of “dividing attention”.

First comes the false assumption that everyone else on the planet couldn’t possibly be dividing their attention, only you and a select few who know about the idea.

Then, once you buy into the idea, in order to watch yourself watching, you have to skew off a part of your attention, which in turn you identify as your “real self” or “higher self” or “steward”.

In Freudian terms, that part is called the “super-ego”. By striving to put the super-ego in charge all the time, you may become more self-conscious, but in a way that is clumsy and awkward, thus weakening the ego, making one ripe fo r

Through the act of “self-remembering” in a Sisyphean and ultimately futile effort to be perfect, one labors to remember to keep the super-ego in charge.

But we fail because our instincts are just too strong and compelling. Then the super-ego just raises the bar.

When your super-ego gets tired of beating you up, it likes to take the “high road” and beat up on others….hence all pastor burton’s craziness about the fine art of dining with him and “life people”.

Jihad is the struggle against that which divides you.

63. James McLemore - August 18, 2011

60. For the record

I did meet Tim. It was about 36 years ago when we both lived at the “Ranch” (as it was known at that time). I remember a kind face and gentle eyes.

64. Tim Campion - August 18, 2011

60. and 63. FTR and JM

(Cut it out. You guys are making me blush.) Together, James and I were pioneers! Our banishment to distant centers (Detroit and Dallas) tore us apart. Enough of this personal history stuff…

65. brucelevy - August 18, 2011

61. Sockpuppet

You know, I’ve been quietly reading your posts trying to get a grip on where you are, without commenting. But , after some thought, I don’t like you, and I don’t like what you represent. I don’t know who you are, but I’ve lived along side of several people while in the FOF who easily could be you. You feel real slithery to me, and familiar. I don’t trust what you say, and I don’t trust your stated motivations.

66. sallymcnally - August 18, 2011

From the description above the blog is supposed to be a discussion about the Fellowship of Friends and its leader. When what happens between x-ray and dr burp occur it’s way off track and at the very least misleading to people who come here to find some useful information about what’s going on either in or out and share their views. I think it can do harm to people who are desperate and looking for a way out. I think they should be banned from that kind of bantering. Thanks, Tim, you are a patient man.

67. Tim Campion - August 18, 2011

Bullying and uncivil behavior is a “feature” of anonymous/pseudonymous forums. It can’t be blamed on the moderator. (By the way Steve, what happened to the PayPal link? I vote for reinstalling it!)

From an article on Salon.com:

Launched in response to cyber-bullying, this campaign [for identity disclosure] made headlines last month when Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg declared that “anonymity on the Internet has to go away.” Her statement echoed that of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who previously called for “true transparency and no anonymity” on the Web…

As Zuckerberg and Schmidt correctly suggest, online anonymity is primarily used by hate-mongers to turn constructive public discourse into epithet-filled diatribes. Knowing they are shielded from consequences, trolls feel empowered to spew racist, sexist and other socially unacceptable rhetoric that they’d never use offline. Compare a typically friendly discussion on the non-anonymous Facebook with the usual flame wars that dominate anonymous comment threads, and you’ll understand why a new Zogby poll shows that most Americans believe anonymity makes cyberspace less civil. Ending that anonymity, then, probably guarantees an online world that is a bit more cordial.

So there’s the business argument for ending anonymity.

Anonymity has benefits. And as we’ve seen, there are trade-offs. Anonymity does not necessarily guarantee one can speak “freely, though truthfully” (e.g. X-ray and Mr. Burp).

Our choice to use our real name or a pseudonym is a personal one, and it is a factor in determining the nature and quality of the conversation that will follow.

Anonymity/pseudonymity protects those who wish to reduce the risk of legal or criminal threats, public embarrassment, harassment, retribution, etc. For example, a poster may not want their employer to know they were in a cult. Or they may want to avoid the stigma that accompanies being a victim.

For some, telling their history here is part of the healing process, and if using a pseudonym facilitates that effort, it should be used.

With a pseudonym, we might avoid some preconceptions based on age, gender, Fellowship “typing” and roles, and perhaps shed the mantle of a previous blog persona. (But curiosity will inevitably compel us to “figure out” who’s behind that pseudonym. While the casual visitor is unlikely to see past the pseudonym, over the course of a long discussion, identities have a way of revealing themselves.)

Credibility may suffer, as anonymous/pseudonymous posters are regarded as less responsible, less accountable for their statements, and even more inclined to lie. (That’s obviously not a significant problem on this forum, rather a general finding in social media.) Are we more equal, more objective, less biased when anonymous? It’s a good question to ask. What do you think?

Over the years, we have seen some individuals start out using a pseudonym, grow more comfortable over time and eventually reveal their real name.

Some of us may desire to get to a more personal, more trusting level of discussion. How to achieve this if we don’t know with whom we’re speaking? (This may well be an argument for taking the conversation to a more secure forum like the Greater Fellowship site.) It depends upon the intended audience.

Using our real names, we might from the outset bring a recognized mutual history to the conversation, which can add depth and value.

From my first post nearly five years ago, I consciously (non-FOF usage of the term!) chose to use my name on this blog. I feel the action holds “this individual” to a certain level of civility, accountability and honesty. For me, personally, this was the most compelling argument.

Keep in mind that on the internet there is no real anonymity. Blog moderators, ISPs, government and intelligence agencies can glean quite a bit from our activity on this blog. Believe me, with sufficient motivation, it is not difficult to identify posters. So, we should always choose our words carefully.

One last thought about some of us who “hog the blog”: often it seems there’s no one else in the room (and perhaps there isn’t.)

But if you’re lurking out there, step out of the shadows and join the fun! (We won’t bully you too badly.)

“Anonymity’s real social value is rooted in helping the powerless challenge the powerful.” – Anonymous

68. Tim Campion - August 18, 2011

66. sallymcnally

(That praise is meant for Steve, the blog moderator, correct? I would second that emotion!)

69. fofblogmoderator - August 18, 2011

#61
“I don’t know anyone who changed their mind about leaving because of their blog.”

I am the blog moderator. My name is Steve Lang. I was in the Fellowship of Friends for 13 years (1994-2007). I read this blog in 2007 and immediately called my Los Angeles Center Director, Vera and notified her that we needed to do some damage control because a mass email had been sent out to current members with a link to the blog and it looked pretty bad for the FOF.

I continued to read this blog for the next few weeks and before I knew it I found myself “on the fence”. I asked a few close friends who I knew had access to the “inner circle” if any of these accusations were really true (sex orgies, etc..). The answer was a definitive “yes”. When I found out that things like Burton was having his underwear shipped to Beverly Hills to be dry cleaned, or that he had some form of sex with numerous members on any given day, I said I was through.

I had been feeling “the sequence” was not really the answer and Burton was making shit up left and right. I knew too many inside stories about countless corrupt activities and acts of criminal behavior. For example, we used to hire musicians for the Apollo orchestra from places like Grass Valley and one particular female violist (life person)and I became “friends”. She confided in me that one of the orchestra members at an after-concert party approached here while she was outside the house where the party was taking place and out of nowhere whipped out his penis. He tried to entice her to participate in some kind of sexual activity and she freaked out. She got a hold of the orchestra conductor and told him what had occurred. He urged her not to tell the authorities because it would be dealt with internally. She wanted to continue making money with the Apollo Orchestra so she kept her mouth shut. To put things in more perspective the student who whipped out his cock was a newlywed. He had been married (if i remember correctly) just a few months.

So in response to your statement, you and I might not know each other, but I definitely changed my mind about leaving because of the blog. That’s why I’ve kept it going. That’s why it’s important. It can help people leave. Especially if they read it without all the clutter of in-house bickering and petty bullshit that appears here from time to time and which I feel diminishes the impact of what the blog has to offer in terms of influencing current members to leave.

70. Sockpuppet - August 18, 2011

Thank you, Steve. Actually, my comment was concurring with the earlier comment in #58: “It is hard for me to imagine a ‘fence-sitter’ who was about to leave the fof and then changes his mind because some profanity laced post by someone on the blog.”

I apologize if I was misunderstood.

71. Bares Reposting - August 18, 2011

‘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.’ Quoted from the top of each blog page.

69. fofblogmoderator: Thanks for that post and your continued contribution.

I first read the The Sheiks Blog on page one in 2006 (near when it began – there were only a handful of posts at that point) while still an FoF member. I thought it would amount to nothing. I did not contribute to it to move it on. Later, due to other circumstances, plus the content of this blog, I departed company with FoF, after many years of significant commitment to that organization. I personally know Steve Lang, the blog moderator. He may not know who I am. But, I trust his judgment and ability to perform the responsibilities of that job on here.

Please keep in mind that there are tens of thousands of people that have passed through FoF and are now former members. Meanwhile, the population of current members slowly shrinks. Greater Fellowship has over one thousand members.

72. fofblogmoderator - August 18, 2011

#71
Yes- I did not follow my own guidelines and issue a “warning” to x-ray and burb. My bad. I make mistakes.

I personally dislike the the term “time-out”, but I used it because those two guys were pissing me off and I felt they acted like children.

This blog has been overactive for the last couple of weeks since Abe hung himself in his house (for his family to come home and discover) and it’s been a challenge to keep current with all the postings. I appreciate the positive feedback from the recent postings and I will try to stay on top of matters (bickering between bloggers) sooner than I did in this particular instance. As far as the paypal link, I don’t feel comfortable taking contributions. 99.9% of you make my job easy. Turning pages is no big deal.

73. Shirley - August 18, 2011

69. blogmoderator – Thanks for your story. It’s very encouraging.

74. Ollie - August 18, 2011

69. fofblogmoderator

Thanks very much Steve. You’re doing a monumental job.

75. Arthur - August 18, 2011

“The people who have the right to call themselves Christian are those who follow the precepts of Christ”…author ?

“I like your Jesus, I do not like your Christians, they are so much unlike your Christ”…Ghandi

The Church of Robert E. Burton is a fake in four dimensions. If you are reading the Gurdijeff series and hope to find similiar people be very careful of any recruiting coming from this church.

If you are in this organization run by ‘tramps’ and supported by enablers trust your’instincts’ and remove yourself. The real truth is out in the world.

Robert E. Burton the light of Christ for 2,000 years is a ‘super tramp’ and complete failure following the precepts of Christ.

He is the shepherd shearing his flock of their ‘physical’, mental, emotional and whatever change they have in their jeans and bank accounts.

Robert E. Burton is one of the frauds roaming the world.

76. Ronnie - August 18, 2011

Dedicated to Fence Sitters or Fence Sitters To Be:

77. sallymcnally - August 18, 2011

Tim: For some reason I thought it was you. I haven’t been posting in a while so thanks Steve! One more thing I’d like to add and it’s probably been said before. I used to post a lot on this blog and left it because of people like burp and x-ray posting. I’m sure there are more like myself that didn’t want to spend time here because of that form of activity that also might have had something worthwhile to say. I know it’s an open forum but when there is an intent of helping others heal it doesn’t help to have to read such negative posts and to me plain old stupid shit that has really nothing to do with anything except posturing and I think we’ve seen and heard enough of that already.

78. Golden Veil - August 18, 2011

My aim is to inform current Students and alert prospective Students of what is going on behind closed doors at The Fellowshio of Friends’ Apollo and in luxury hotel rooms internationally. What The Teacher calls “The Sequence” and “Influence C” are subordinate to his extreme sexual appetite for attractive heterosexual men, whether or not they are already in a committed relationship. When he engages them through his Teacher – Student position of superiority he commits an amoral and unethical act that has long term emotional and physical ramifications that are far from positive, These sexual acts in no way initiate access to “Higher Centers.” They initiate long term regrets. He travels with a male harem and has far flung Centers internationally where attractive young males are recruited for his future pleasure. These “Students” are given special benefits and discounts. If it doesn’t look right, sound right, or feel right – it’s not right!

79. Ronnie - August 18, 2011

Silence is a stick and all sticks I have ever seen had two ends to them. In the fof silence is used to perpetuate lies, mainly lies of ommission. At a galleria dinner my partner asked for clarification regarding “ going to the moon“ and for that she was “ silenced“.
She was told she could no longer speak to students. She was told she had to “ get out of town“. This is the teaching she was paying for? Indirectly I suppose it was. At least she learned that the fof was no school. So again the stick has two ends. Things are sometimes more than what they seem. At this time she is very grateful to have been ex-communicate-d. We get what we attract when we open the door, when we allow it in.
Here is a song which describes the stick of silence:

80. WhaleRider - August 18, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance

We’ve thrown this idea around on the blog for some time.

It’s clear to me that splitting a person into “higher and lower” parts, thus creating two opposing psychic forces, can compromise a person’s free attention as they become preoccupied with their endless internal civil war.

The ego will then seek relief by projecting this conflict onto the world stage as the fight between good and evil.

x-ray seems to be a person still stuck in this black or white dichotomy instilled in him by either his culture or the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence or both.

It feels to me like he is verbally lashing out and needs help.

Inner civil unrest weakens ego boundaries, causing a state of confusion and disassociation usually leading to some form of regression in service of the ego. (Bear in mind that the state of confusion is considered a higher state in the 4th way. It means the indoctrination is working.)

Weak ego boundaries can also cause such a person to readily violate the boundaries of others.

If you are unclear about what regression is, I can tell you that in its most extreme form displayed by the severely mental ill, it can involve a lot of acting out in the form of kicking, hitting, screaming, spitting, pissing, shitting, and swearing.

In a state of mild regression, a person becomes more malleable and suggestible. (pastor burton uses father/children metaphors to enhance this effect.)

In a more suggestible state, one is more likely to use trance logic to “verify” (verifabricate) beliefs instead of employing the scientific methodology of experimentation to duplicate results.

If you consider ego boundaries to be part of the total picture of a person’s immune system, then weakened ego boundaries translates to weak immunity to viral memes, such as pastor burton’s.

pastor burton’s meme seems to infect the controlling, super-ego part in his followers…the stronger the super-ego, the weaker the ego, the more vulnerable the essence to outside control and manipulation by others.

But the word, cognitive, may not capture the depth of the dissonance.

Cognitive, in my mind implies conscious knowledge of something. Cognitive dissonance is used to describe internal conflict of both opposing ideas and underlying, closely held beliefs.

IMO, the more a cult follower is encouraged to communicate over time, the more apparent the opposing ideas will become to them. This is why pastor burton instills a culture of silence and repetition (not to mention shame and fear), to blunt the natural process of critical thought and debate, thus incubating the meme-virus.

It usually takes a bit of shock to change a belief.

But shocks like the one Abe provided also requires pastor burton take the cock out of his mouth and speak about it, spinning the event and exposing his psychosis.

Thanks to the sound of Abe’s silence, a few in the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence will wake up and jump the fence to freedom. That would give his death a meaning he might not have intended…or maybe he did. We will never know.

81. sallymcnally - August 18, 2011

‘It usually takes a bit of shock to change a belief.’

so true

82. nigel - August 18, 2011

Boyzone Andrew Lloyd Webber (music)/Jim Steinman(lyrics)

No matter what they tell us
No matter what they do
No matter what they teach us
What we believe is true

No matter what they call us
However they attack
No matter where they take us
We’ll find our own way back

I can’t deny what I believe
I can’t be what I’m not
I know I’ll love forever
I know, no matter what

If only tears were laughter
If only night was day
If only prayers were answered
Then we would hear God say

No matter what they tell you
No matter what they do
No matter what they teach you
What you believe is true

And I will keep you safe and strong
And sheltered from the storm
No matter where it’s barren
A dream is being born

No matter who they follow
No matter where they lead
No matter how they judge us
I’ll be everyone you need

No matter if the sun don’t shine
Or if the skies are blue
No matter what the end is
My life began with you

I can’t deny what I believe
I can’t be what I’m not
I know, I know
I know this love’s forever
That’s all that matters now
No matter what

83. nigel - August 18, 2011

“The White Cliffs” – Alic Duer Miller…..

XII

“Why do we fall in love? I do believe
That virtue is the magnet, the small vein
Of ore, the spark, the torch that we receive
At birth, and that we render back again.
That drop of godhood, like a precious stone,
May shine the brightest in the tiniest flake.
Lavished on saints, to sinners not unknown;
In harlot, nun, philanthropist, and rake,
It shines for those who love; none else discern
Evil from good; Men’s fall did not bestow
That threatened wisdom; blindly still we yearn
After a virtue that we do not know,
Until our thirst and longing rise above
The barriers of reason—and we love.”

84. nigel - August 18, 2011

“The People” by William Butler Yeats…..

” ‘WHAT have I earned for all that work,’ I said,
‘For all that I have done at my own charge?
The daily spite of this unmannerly town,
Where who has served the most is most defamed,
The reputation of his lifetime lost
Between the night and morning. I might have lived,
And you know well how great the longing has been,
Where every day my footfall Should have lit
In the green shadow of Ferrara wall;
Or climbed among the images of the past —
The unperturbed and courtly images —
Evening and morning, the steep street of Urbino
To where the Duchess and her people talked
The stately midnight through until they stood
In their great window looking at the dawn;
I might have had no friend that could not mix
Courtesy and passion into one like those
That saw the wicks grow yellow in the dawn;
I might have used the one substantial right
My trade allows: chosen my company,
And chosen what scenery had pleased me best.
Thereon my phoenix answered in reproof,
‘The drunkards, pilferers of public funds,
All the dishonest crowd I had driven away,
When my luck changed and they dared meet my face,
Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me
Those I had served and some that I had fed;
Yet never have I, now nor any time,
Complained of the people.’
All I could reply
Was: ‘You, that have not lived in thought but deed,
Can have the purity of a natural force,
But I, whose virtues are the definitions
Of the analytic mind, can neither close
The eye of the mind nor keep my tongue from speech.’
And yet, because my heart leaped at her words,
I was abashed, and now they come to mind
After nine years, I sink my head abashed.”

85. nigel - August 18, 2011

Sorry – I am getting a little emotional/high, but still taking my medication. Somehow, since there are many ex-members who are paralleling with me on this one – non-duality, working against the higher/lower self crap etc. When I was out of the FOF, it took me a great deal of time to find my way back to a true role – 1989 to 2003 – when I began my teaching practice. The angels/gods/higher forces have been kind in taking me from my awakening to possibilities whilst in the FOF – to dying to my essential self with my bipolar and all – to a master/craftsman teaching his craft to willing and superbly striving students.

I could never have come to this crucial stage by just being a computer programmer or corporate headhunter remembering himself – bollocks to that bullshit.

To all still in the FOF – Burteon will milk you for all his pathological being will take. Take the difficult road and get out quick…..Nigel.

86. WhaleRider - August 18, 2011

If I may, the best example (thanks Ames) of pastor burton’s cognitive dissonance is his freaky psychotic assertion that he is not really a man, but a female “goddess housed in a man’s body”.

What is a follower to do when they hear that information, especially out in the fringe centers of the cult?

Since that information cannot be verified and contains two (if not more) opposing, mutually exclusive ideas, the conflicting information puts the listener in a state of confusion or bewilderment…you have to just believe it, unchallenged, and that is that…hence the trance logic that since confusion and bewilderment are considered a “higher” state, then it must be true.

I can guarantee you that confusion is not a higher state; ask anyone who has had to deal with a person struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

In pastor burton’s delusional system, he splits himself into a male and female part, disassociates himself from his male side and identifies with his female side…but not just any female, his female side is a goddess, an idealized version of female….definitely an imbalance of power there.

It begs the question nobody ever asks: what happens when a mortal man and goddess get together?

In Greek Mythology the combination doesn’t usually have a happy ending for the man, or the goddess, like Orion, for example, unless you believe in an afterlife as consolation. (Bear in mind that Orion’s constellation is only the image of the man “immortalized” in the night sky, although his story will have long since been forgotten when those stars eventually have moved on to different locations and then burned out.)

So by hearing and recounting pastor burton’s goddess story, the follower incorporates pastor burton’s psychosis and passes it to others.

What does psychosis mean?

Does it always mean hearing voices or seeing little green men? No, it can also mean a area of the mind which houses two crazy-making, opposing ideas or beliefs that are mutually annihilating, which a person will also vigorously defend…until the person grows to understand, accept, and most importantly, balance all the different parts of themselves.

87. Ames Gilbert - August 18, 2011

Sockpuppet, (#109-61 or thereabouts),
Opinions differ. I disagree with Bruce’s opinion; I think you add to the conversation, and I hope you continue.

Tim, (#109-67 or thereabouts),
I personally use my given name because I have nothing to lose, and want to openly speak my truth which I feel includes my name. I take the point that a reader who is acquainted with the messenger called “Ames Gilbert” may not be able to separate those associations from the message in a blog post; so be it. But, as I was considering my choices, I could definitely see the value of being anonymous. For example, if a current member of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence/Church of Robert Earl Burton organization wants to post, he/she must realize that FoF minions are monitoring this blog, and that there may be consequences. Who wants Nicholas Spaulding or Linda Kaplan/whatever or Kevin Brown or the self–appointed police breathing down their neck? Again, it is well–known that employers and potential employers routinely do searches on employee names, so, unless you are self-employed like me, it might be prudent to avoid links to the FoF and its works, even if they are in the past. Not to mention a WikiLeaks situation, where a current member might want to spill the beans.

Steve, (#109-69 or thereabouts),
In my opinion, you are doing more than fine. Your guidelines are fair. It might be tempting to try to control the energies more, including more rules of various kinds, but by going down that path you would end up being a dictator, not to mention how much time it would take, not to mention how it would change you personally. See the example of Robert Earl Burton for the ultimate in (unsuccessful) micromanaging. So, thank you very much for taking the time and trouble. And, thank you for sharing your story.

88. silentpurr - August 18, 2011

I thought the real aim was to observe, which includes a third thing.
If one can just observe duality, one is less inclined to identify with either/or.
The splitting up one’s self is neither good or bad nor high or low. But the problem in the Fellowship is that ALL roads are Robert’s roads.
Yes , you may travel upon that road but you will be inclined to experience it as he wishes you to. His interpretations become the bias for all to absorb or take on.
Everything Robert believes, “sees”, predicts or portents is coming from his own skewed take on life! And there is not much of YOU there. As his “student” you must accept living under these extra unnecessary laws for untold years or you can leave with your conscience and what you have learned.
Freedom from the Fellowship is the very best part!

In fact, Robert’s category containing what he deems to be “higher self” is actually loathsome and mean-spirited…cold
-Just as G said: “What’s up is down and what’s down is up”.

89. Tim Campion - August 18, 2011

88. silentpurr

Yes! The Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence is a universe unto itself, with Robert Earl Burton at the center of that universe. World 192.

Whalerider, Ames, nigel: thanks for sharing the results of your work, studies and life experience here!

76. Ronnie

Welcome to the discussion blog! You’re apparently unaware of the rule that new members are not to post YouTube videos for the first six months.

90. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 18, 2011

75. Arthur :
“I like your Jesus, I do not like your Christians, they are so much unlike your Christ”…Ghandi
True test of any spiritual path:
Would the person that started it consider themselves a member. That is, would Jesus be a Christian today? Would Buddha be a Buddhist? Would Abraham, Jacob (Israel), or Moses, be a Jew? Would Prophet Mohamed be a Muslim? Etc. Would Gurdjieff be on the Fourth Way or in Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence/Church of Robert Earl Burton organization? (Gurdjieff would probably punch Bobbie’s lights out, so that his higher centers would fuse.) Get the picture?

91. 2011 - August 18, 2011

I was with a friend yesterday who left the Fellowship Of Friends/ Living Presence about 8 years ago. My friend asked me if ever missed Apollo. I responded that I didn’t. My friend then responded that they definitely missed it!

So there you go. People who HAVE LEFT still miss the 1000 acres of landscaped vineyards, gardens, lakes, outdoor theatre, restaurants, private community environment.

This is one of the biggest things that current member have to overcome. They are keeping themselves “in” because they love the gardens, the hand-selected friends they have that they can confide in about how they really feel about the FOF and Robert. They love the sound of the quotes, the excursions to Egypt and Mexico. And when they park their cars on Sunday mornings and head towards the meeting they think to themselves; “how can I be crazy, look at all these other intelligent people who are gobbling every word as much as I am, and if they aren’t leaving the ‘school’ then neither am I.” They ask themselves “where would I live, where would I work, how could I duplicate this lifestyle outside of the Fellowship?” “WHO WOULD MY FRIENDS BE??”

I remember leaving one of the breakfasts that Burton had in the tents on the lawn outside his house. I was friends with the lawyer we’ve spoken about David “S”. I don’t mean to tell stories about him but this serves as such a classic example of what I’m trying to convey. He was at the breakfast and I asked him how he liked it. He responded that he had no clue as to what Burton was talking about during the breakfast (incoherent babbling about “the beloved”, etc) but what a beautiful experience regardless. I swear to you this happened. Now come on. If you can’t even follow the conversation at a breakfast (not many could I suspect), but the flower arrangements and the place settings and the harp music and the pretty women, etc made up for it. I hope you understand the magnitude of how entrenched the current hanger-ons are.

92. WhaleRider - August 18, 2011

silentpurr:
“I thought the real aim was to observe, which includes a third thing.”

Yes, exactly, well said, in attempting to observe one’s mind, one does create a “thing”…known as a homunculus, an incomplete, malformed humanoid-type being within your mind set up to watch you, think, act, feel, or imagine.

Its chief activity consists in the quixotic endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.

At first, its mission is to be just an impartial and benign observer…but the more attention and emphasis we devote to that one part of our mind, the more identified we become with it, and then the more partial, cold, judgmental, mean-spirited it becomes when it fails to change anything (or create other conscious beings), despite the endless word exercises.

It eventually merges with the structure in the mind known as the super-ego, then beats up on the ego, (such as, why aren’t I conscious after all these years in the group? or How could I be so stupid to stay this long?) and the person’s psyche spins in circles like a dog chasing its own tail.

A contained meditation practice is fine for observing the mind, but I wouldn’t make a career of it.

Reminds me of the psychiatrist I recently heard about who, in a hopeless and horrific act, shot and killed her teenage autistic son at home, and then a day later took her own life.

The crazy part of her used the very gun she had bought to protect herself from her crazy patients. Apparently, she failed to defend herself from her greatest enemy, her own mind.

93. Arthur - August 19, 2011

Wouldnt you like know (90)

It took all day but I finally “got” the picture.

94. brucelevy - August 19, 2011

91. 2011

Addicted to pseudo-refinement.

95. Josiane - August 19, 2011

Recently a long-term student finally severed their link to FoF. It could have been a combination of the help he/she received from spouse, friends, this blog, their own conscience waking up, an act of Grace, whatever. When I heard the news, it felt like I was witnessing a new birth.

Thank you all. This blog IS making a difference. And, like some have said recently about themselves, the blog WAS instrumental in my leaving FoF in 2008, yet perhaps only because I had been a fence-sitter for a while. This blog cannot reach those students who are so deep in the FoF dogma that they won’t even consider looking at this blog. “It’s the lower self.”

96. Ronnie - August 19, 2011

Tim. thanks for the photograph!

97. Tim Campion - August 19, 2011

96. Ronnie

I was just messing with you. I’ve generally enjoyed the videos you’ve posted…and learned a few things along the way.

98. For the record - August 19, 2011

91 and 94.

This is another one of those myths about the FOF that needs to be questioned — that there’s a higher level of refinement there.

My experiences non-FOF and post-FOF have been just the opposite: By far the most beautiful “cultured” experiences that I’ve ever had have been “in life.”

Those aspects of the FOF definitely drew me in — the art, the music, the beautiful flower arrangements, fine dining, and more. But the opportunities in “life” frankly have been a lot better. I’ve learned to converse in life, where I never did in the FOF. I’ve learned more about tasting wine, tasting my food, listening to music, viewing art, and appreciating Egyptian history (for example) out here than I ever did in there. I’ve regained a sense of mystery about the world — and an appreciation for it and the people within it — that I nearly lost in the FOF.

I have fewer ready-made cultural experiences in life, just as I have fewer ready-made friends. I have more friends, though, and more cultural experiences. The best music, the best art, the best dining experiences, the best wine, the best olive oil, the best flower arrangements are out here. It’s not real surprising, though, is it?

No one watches me enjoy it, or applauds my “efforts” when I appreciate it, and no one nods with approval when they see me at a concert or viewing art in a museum. If I’m lucky, I’m able to enjoy with the person I love. When I pause to look long at nature, no one thinks that I must be on the way, or in the inner circle. They simply smile and appreciate it that I’ve reminded them to stop as well.

The best of what I experienced in the FOF was made in life. We appreciated it — that’s a good thing. The bad thing is that we actually began to lose our appreciation for the best things that life has to offer in the Fellowship of Friend.s

99. Sockpuppet - August 19, 2011

87.

Thank you, Ames.

95.

If it’s who I think it is, yayyyyyyy! It is a new birth.

(And even if it’s not who I think it is, yayyyyyy!)

100. Ill Never Tell - August 19, 2011

98. For the record:
‘The bad thing is that we actually began to lose our appreciation for the best things that life has to offer in the Fellowship of Friend.s’

You know that saying: The best things in life are free.
Well, as it turns out, the best things in life are not ‘things’ after all. Like love, compassion, kindness, friendship, patience, respect, courage, awareness of your true purpose for being, . . . etc. Wake up people, you are not in Kansas anymore*.
*As in: Wizard of Oz – Who’s that behind the curtain?

101. Tim Campion - August 19, 2011

And while you’re at it, don’t miss the alternative ending.

102. Nick Bishop - August 19, 2011

88. silentpurr – August 18, 2011

I thought the real aim was to observe, which includes a third thing.
If one can just observe duality, one is less inclined to identify with either/or.

The splitting up one’s self is neither good or bad nor high or low. But the problem in the Fellowship is that ALL roads are Robert’s roads.

92. WhaleRider – August 18, 2011

silentpurr : “I thought the real aim was to observe, which includes a third thing.”

Yes, exactly, well said, in attempting to observe one’s mind, one does create a “thing”…known as a homunculus, an incomplete, malformed humanoid-type being within your mind set up to watch you, think, act, feel, or imagine.

Its chief activity consists in the quixotic endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.

I think you’re talking about entirely different things here. Silentpurr seems to be talking about an awareness that naturally arises and which you can become part of, which can shift from thought to feeling to sensation effortlessly. It’s basically harmonious and promotes harmony when it’s present.

WR is talking about that something else which was a peculiarity of the Fellowship and its 4th Way DIYers in it. A form of mind activity that creates a permanent division inside a person.

These sound like opposed views of what an experience of self-observation might be like – they don’t support each other. What SP is describing sounds like a feeling for awareness which has freed itself from Robert Burton’s pathways. WR is describing the pathway itself.

103. nigel - August 19, 2011

98. For the record

I, too, enjoy simple things more – impressions, as we were told to call them – sometimes, when my state is more positive, people’s faces just show their character in an immense, humanitarian way, or the crack in a stone wall with ivy growing through it can ‘beat the pants off’ a da Vinci. My taste in music has become hugely eclectic – everything from the group ‘Queen’ to Frank Sinatra to Hadyn. And I feel the way we were taught to experience things in the FOF was so one-dimensional i.e. “Here is the ‘school’ me experiencing this, that or the other” – how vain and elitist! Like so many people it took time from leaving the FOF and help from family and ‘growing’ new, real friends (and, for some, psychiatric help – me included which I still need for my bipolar). The motto on my mother’s family crest is ‘pro libertate’ (for freedom) and I wish that for you all, both in or out of the cult…..Nigel.

104. nigel - August 19, 2011

…..from the Preface to ‘Leaves of Grass’, by Walt Whitman…..

“The time straying towards infidelity and confections and persiflage he withholds by his steady faith … he spreads out his dishes … he offers the sweet firmfibred meat that grows men and women. His brain is the ultimate brain. He is no arguer … he is judgment. He judges not as the judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing. As he sees the farthest he has the most faith. His thoughts are the hymns of the praise of things. In the talk on the soul and eternity and God off of his equal plane he is silent. He sees eternity less like a play with a prologue and denouement … he sees eternity in men and women … he does not see men or women as dreams or dots.”

105. Shirley - August 19, 2011

91. Someone posted a similar question on the other website, where they said they had left the FF 20 years ago, but still missed the “friendship and culture”. Although I felt that way for awhile after I left the FF, I would agree with Bruce(#94) that it was pseudo refinement. It is not that he cultural offerings were “pseudo”, per se – such as some of the musical choices or encouragement to go to art museums -that appealed to me personally due to my background. Rather, for RB, it was not part of his upbringing. He had aspirations and pretensions of an upper class lifestyle based on imitation and what people taught him. What is more damaging is that RB used the “refined lifestle” to ensnare us,like Circe” did in the Odyssey. We may realize that this is a false edifice for RB, but it doesn’t have to be part of ours, once we leave the FF and free ourselves from the “choices” it made for us.

106. surelyujest - August 19, 2011

80 Whalerider

“It’s clear to me that splitting a person into “higher and lower” parts, thus creating two opposing psychic forces, can compromise a person’s free attention as they become preoccupied with their endless internal civil war.

The ego will then seek relief by projecting this conflict onto the world stage as the fight between good and evil…

Inner civil unrest weakens ego boundaries, causing a state of confusion and disassociation usually leading to some form of regression in service of the ego. (Bear in mind that the state of confusion is considered a higher state in the 4th way. It means the indoctrination is working.)

Weak ego boundaries can also cause such a person to readily violate the boundaries of others.

If you are unclear about what regression is, I can tell you that in its most extreme form displayed by the severely mental ill, it can involve a lot of acting out in the form of kicking, hitting, screaming, spitting, pissing, shitting, and swearing.”

That’s very well put. The results are something like this:

“Cunt! Twat! Fag! Snatch!”

“One must become more emotional if one is to experience the bounty of higher centers.”

“Cunt! Twat! Fag! Snatch!”

“Life people are doomed to experience their mechanical sleep for eternity on the cold mineral surface of the moon.”

“Cunt! Twat! Fag! Snatch!”

Ad nauseum…

107. For the record - August 19, 2011

Ugh.

108. fofblogmoderator - August 19, 2011

#105 is new

109. For the record - August 19, 2011

100, 103, 105.

Shirley: Regarding “pseudo refinement” and Burton: “He had aspirations and pretensions of an upper class lifestyle based on imitation and what people taught him.”

But that’s true with many people, right? It’s true in this cult, and not in this cult. And particularly true for many people who grew up with an “upper class lifestyle.” To me, what’s pseudo or “false” is anyone who appreciates art and culture as some sort of demonstration of their superiority.

The point of my previous post, 98, is mainly that it’s a myth (when we’re in) that we can’t get positive, enriching cultural experiences outside of the FOF. As long as we believe that nonsense, it’s a little harder to leave.

110. Tim - August 19, 2011

An attitude of “exceptionalism” only serves to blind us to our common humanity. For some, the notion that they are no more special that anyone else is so repelling that it must be destroyed, utterly. In my opinion, Robert succumbed to such a weakness.

111. sallymcnally - August 19, 2011

Anyone that was around in the mid-70s saw the transformation of people suddenly become art and classical music devotees. If you look way back at some of the pictures on the GF it started with the Lincoln Lodge and a bunch of people that looked like seventies hippies, a rather scruffy bunch I might add. I think it’s rather humorous in retrospect. Pick your guru, pick your style of guru, worship is worship in whatever you choose to wear, listen to or appreciate to become part of the chosen few. It’s ridiculous!

112. silentpurr - August 19, 2011

Robert, sitting in my grandmother’s rocking chair, asked me the title of the music we were listening to. It was Pachebel’s canon. 1973

113. surelyujest - August 19, 2011

112 silentpurr

So it was your fault! Curse you! I will be quite happy never to hear “Pachelbel’s Greatest Hit” ever again.

114. Agent 45 - August 19, 2011

Anybody who thinks the Fellowship of Friends or its not so friendly affiates is anything other than a scam is an idiot .

P.S. Too much warm and fuzzy pollyana crap makes Blog a dull boy.

115. surelyujest - August 19, 2011

Luke 15:11-32
New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

So many students of various Ways are like the “good son” — they cannot imagine that all those sleeping machines who are not making efforts could be worthy of God’s love. Even though the “good students” have everything, it’s not enough. They must make sure that the unworthy have nothing. The fact that the “bad students” have everything as well eats them alive. With their spiritual greed and ego based on the vanity of how special they are, they are their own punishment as they feast on their own bowels, writhing in their self-made Hell. They would teach you to do the same.

116. Arthur - August 19, 2011

I never heard Pachebel’s Canon in D Major (see I remember) until 1977 and I liked it.

Since leaving Robert Burton’s control of refining my being, which has since descended, “it” now enjoys Pink Floyd just as well.

About those “scuffy hippies”: Maybe they were “automatons” following the fashion of their psychology?You know, those long haired people think like I do? And, smoke the herb and do all the things I do or want to do. And, some read books that I like.

Just like the subsets (Beatniks) over on North Beach with their goatees and poetry/drumming. I like those people they think like me, I’m growing a goatee and doing what they do.
While in the same 50’s it was narrow ties and crew-cuts for the men and dresses and capri’s for the women. And, no kissing.

In the 70’s it was wide lapels and bell bottoms.

But all the while at Burton’s place is was “affectations” of the rules. Something like that.

117. sallymcnally - August 19, 2011

And this is not to say I did not have a great time in the Fellowship, I did. Only problem was I was drunk most of the time like most devotees or at least somewhat tipsy and therefore never addressed real emotional issues that were hiding under the alcohol. That came later, and I did it on my own, without the help of AA, NA, FOF, 12-steps, you name it. I am not an alcoholic, I am a person who never addressed their emotional problems and used alcohol to cover up the mess. Sound familiar anyone? I’ll bet I’m not alone.

118. sallymcnally - August 19, 2011

#4 Arthur — no way IS the way —

119. silentpurr - August 19, 2011

Surelyujest, yes! I know I’m to blame for that one, especially since I gifted him with the record! Later, at Renaissance I was given an “octave” of taping records onto cassettes.
I remember Robert musing once that when a “person loses the school” all their appreciation for the Arts is lost also because negative associations would prevent K of H activity.
He’s wrong, of course. But at the time I felt “fortunate” for myself and sorry for the departed student…

120. Arthur - August 19, 2011

Sallymcnally (118),

Well, at least it isnt “my way or the highway”. Actually, my way is the way because its the only way I know. But I did enjoy reading ‘supposed’ other ‘ways’ as well.

“Ask any experienced mental health practitioner what happens to a person who constructs and tries to maintain a life based on denial of fundamental reality. It can be done for awhile, in spite of occasional outbursts of behavioral oddities (remember Dr. Strangelove’s disobedient arm that was always popping up in an embarrassing nazi salute). But how long can such pretense be maintained, even when the pretender is surrounded by the best handlers money can buy”?…Apparently, a damned long time”. Joe Bageant

Yes, Robert E. Burton has been practicing his “way” for a damned long time and taking his escorts with him.

121. Arthur - August 19, 2011

The following is better with audio but I dont know how to transfer that here. The lyrics in Caps dedicated to all fence-sitters. And, sorry for the length. Frank Sinatra’s song.

“And now, the end is near,
and so I face the final curtain
my friends, I’ll say it
clear;
I’ll state my case of which
I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve travelled each and
every highway.
And more, much
more than this.
I did it my way.
Regrets? I’ve had a few,
but then again, too few
to mention.
I did what I had to do
and saw it through
without exemption
I planned each charted course
each careful step along the
byway.
And more, much more than this.
I did it my way.
Yes there were times, I’m
sure you know
when I bit more off than
I could chew,
But threw it all, when there
was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
and did it my way.
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed
and cried,
I’ve had my fill–my share
of losing.
And now, as tears
subside
I find it so
amusing.
To think, I did all that,
and my I say, not in a shy way–
oh no. Oh, not me
I did it my way.
FOR WHAT IS MAN? WHAT
HAS HE GOT?
IF NOT HIMSELF–THEN HE
HAS NAUGHT.
TO SAY THE THINGS HE TRULY FEELS
AND NOT THE WORDS OF ONE WHO
KNEELS.
The record shows I took the blows
and did it my way.
Yes, It was my way.

122. Arthur - August 19, 2011

threw should be through.

123. Shirley - August 19, 2011

112 silentpurr
So now I know the source, 38 years later. I was at the meeting where RB had the Pachelbel record played. I think he had TE play it. I liked it, but then, I liked that period of music. The problem is, that piece became deeply associated with only the FF, for many students, for many years. Same with rose Meissen. A few years after I left the FF, I was in a tiny porcelain shop in Greenwich Village in the 90s and saw some rose Meissen cups and saucers and vases. It was my first “sighting” of such stuff since leaving the FF, and it took me a few minutes to see it in perspective, to not allow the FF to “own” that in me. On one hand, that kind of association of music or objects with a particular group or time in our life is natural. I don’t think it necessarily indicates mind control. But I personally needed to loosen many of that kind of subtle influence that the FF had in my everyday life.

124. Shirley - August 19, 2011

115 SUJ

I’ve always been intrigued by that parable, but had not applied it to the “good” and “bad” students. I thought about that parable a lot a few years ago in relation to my family, and felt very much like each son, at different times. It seems to raise many questions about what is fair and just, as well as our feeling of deserving certain rewards for being compliant and obedient.

125. nigel - August 19, 2011

116. Arthur…..with apologies to Pink Floyd…..

Money
Get away
You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money
It’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, CAMEO, FOURTH WAY DAYDREAM
THINK I’LL BUY ME SOME LAND AT APOLLO

Money
Well, get back
I’m all right KING OF HEARTS
Keep your hands off of my stack
Money
It’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class travelling set
I think I need a RUSSIAN BOY

Money
FOF IS A CRIME
Share it fairly
But don’t take a slice of my pie
Money
So they say
Is the root of all evil today

But if you ask for a raise
It’s no surprise that they’re giving none away

“HuHuh! I was in the right!”
“Yes, absolutely in the right!”
“I certainly was in the right!”
“You was definitely in the right. That geezer was cruising for a bruising!”
“Yeah!”
“Why does anyone do anything?”
“I don’t know, I was really drunk at the time!” (to sallymcnally, since I was that way, just to block out the pressure and concentrate on my craft)
“I was just telling him, he couldn’t get into number 2. He was asking why he wasn’t coming up on freely, after I was yelling and screaming and telling him why he wasn’t coming up on freely. It came as a heavy blow, but we sorted the matter out”

126. nigel - August 19, 2011

1 – There can be only one (Highlander)

25 – With full understanding (full understanding is denoted by
the number 25)

The last post is #125

With love and there is more…..Nigel.

127. nigel - August 19, 2011

Isaiah 42

The Servant of the LORD

1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5 This is what God the LORD says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 “I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and NEW THINGS I DECLARE;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

128. nigel - August 19, 2011

…..from ‘Song of Prudence’ by Walt Whitman (with apologies to Walt)…..

“The indirect (SPIRITUAL LIFE) is just as much as the direct (CORPOREAL LIFE),
The spirit receives from the body just as much as it gives to the body, if not more.

Not one word or deed—not venereal sore, discoloration, privacy of the onanist, putridity of gluttons or rum-drinkers, peculation, cunning, betrayal, murder, seduction, prostitution, but has results beyond death, as really as before death.

CHARITY AND PERSONAL FORCE ARE THE ONLY INVESTMENTS WORTH ANYTHING.

No specification is necessary—all that a male or female does, that is VIGOROUS, BENEVOLENT, CLEAN, is so much profit to him or her, in the unshakable order of the universe, and through the whole scope of it forever.”

My Guadian Angel (one of two) is with me tonight…..Nigel.

129. Tim Campion - August 20, 2011

114. Agent 45

“Anybody who thinks the Fellowship of Friends or its not so friendly affiates is anything other than a scam is an idiot .

“Too much warm and fuzzy pollyana crap makes Blog a dull boy.”

***

OK, Agent 45. What’s your story? What made you wake up and stop committing your money, your body and your mind to the cult?

130. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

114. “Too much warm and fuzzy pollyana crap makes Blog a dull boy.”

For the record, I never suggested indulging in “warm and fuzzy pollyanna crap.” You can be tough and direct without being abusive, and it’s possible to ignore a personal insult flung at at you for the sake of the discussion moving forward for everyone.

Ego-driven slagging matches are of interest only to those participating in them.

131. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

(p.s. For what it’s worth also, I often appreciated X-ray’s insights, and hope someday there’s a return after the time-out.)

132. Renald - August 20, 2011

Twenty five years later I`m still addicted to love and all that soft and fuzzy Pollyanna stuff. Ain`t it a shame!

http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dfv1XBWX9-bw

Cheers!

133. Renald - August 20, 2011

Re. 132 The link disappeared. It`s an omen!
Oh Man !

http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dfv1XBWX9-bw

Cheers!

134. James McLemore - August 20, 2011

110. Tim

“Specialness”

Specialness seems to be a cornerstone of the ego or the separate sense of self, or whatever we wish to call it.

Burton makes good use of the need to feel special in his followers. He spreads it with his first lie – that he is somehow different the rest of us (and he is not talking about the fact he is a sociopath). He spreads that specialness to his flock; that they are in the only ‘real school’ on earth, that the are the only recipients of his imaginary C Influence (by way, of course, through Burton), and that they too can now look down on people outside of the cult as merely “life people’.
Burton’s complete lack of compassion should be the first thing to give him away, but it doesn’t because of his followers wish to feel ‘special’.

135. Homeland Security - August 20, 2011

112. silentpurr

“Robert, sitting in my grandmother’s rocking chair, asked me the title of the music we were listening to. It was Pachebel’s canon. 1973”

Hmmm. Keep talking ‘purr, we’ve almost got a fix on your location…

136. Ronnie - August 20, 2011

Tim, you`re such a joker!

137. WhaleRider - August 20, 2011

Nick Bishop:
Thanks for your post. I’m glad you are here.

What is the nature of our awareness, and how can we be aware of it using our own?

IMO, in order to divide your attention (or awareness) you have to split off an internalized image or representation of yourself watching yourself. This is known as the homunculus fallacy, and the meme is like a replicating virus.

The concept of divided attention, IMO, is a mind trap, an endless knot used to captivate you. Once the meme takes root in your mind, it can be cultivated and passed onto others, like the meme that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.

The hidden truth in the paradox is that you cannot be fully aware of yourself or fully know yourself through the lens of only one part of your own mind. Who is actually holding the lens? In the case of the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence, it is pastor burton. You see what he wants you to see or you are kicked out.

Granted, there are degrees of self-awareness; some people are more mature and aware of themselves, taking ownership and responsibility for their unconscious processes and projections, than others.

And yet we can realistically expect that as we age we accumulate more self-awareness in adulthood than in childhood by the simple virtue of living longer.

But I trust that on some level everyone is aware of themselves unless they are dead.

IMO, awareness is more like a luminescent and volatile fluid than a flashlight that can be somehow divided in half and pointed back the other way. In that regard, what you would see with half a flashlight would always be an incomplete image of yourself, which plays into cult indoctrination.

IMO, you cannot successfully divide awareness any more than you can divide a pool of mercury using the end of a Popsicle stick.

Awareness flows like a river and can be at more than one place at a time, like the water at the river’s mouth, along its banks and at its source all at once.

You can try to dam up the flowing river, channeling it this way or that, and try not to be aware of something like a pimple on your neck, but eventually awareness floods its banks flows there anyway.

Now you can condense your awareness to a small point like when picking up a grain of sand with a pair of tweezers, and in doing so block out the rest of the world, or you can spread your awareness out to include not only a vast amount of sensual stimuli you are experiencing in your present environment, but it also can extend deeper into the inner dimension of memories and concepts.

As I age I collect an increasing number of memories of myself, and now that I am older I can carry a memory of myself in the present more easily than when I was younger.

Seems to me like everyone experiences this if they live long enough, and pastor burton’s group certainly doesn’t hold the patent on the process of becoming more aware of yourself over time. It happens naturally…only pastor burton has convinced his followers to pay him for it.

138. Tim Campion - August 20, 2011

136. Ronnie

I would never speak of the pompitous of love. I’ll leave that to WhaleRider’s “pastor burton”.

139. Nick Bishop - August 20, 2011

WR.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you say, “Who is actually holding the lens? In the case of the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence, it is pastor burton. You see what he wants you to see or you are kicked out.”

I doubt there is anything inherently wrong with ‘the concept of divided attention” any more than there is with pairs of opposites recently discussed, like “higher” and “lower”.

I work with teams and businesses to help them function more efficiently, and what makes all the difference is the honesty of the environment and the trust it evokes in the people involved.

Everyone has a point at which they begin to lie about themselves [without exception] or in some way mask their weaknesses, often without knowing it. At a certain point point they do not want to be seen by others. In order to establish the values within the group that you want – or allow the pairs of opposites to work, if you like – that ‘will to be seen’ has to become greater than it is, and so the need for mutual trust, humility and honesty within the group becomes absolute.

Then, and only then, you can begin to highlight areas of strength and address areas of weakness, encouraging ‘good’ habits and eroding unhelpful or outright ‘bad’ ones.

If you translate that to the Fellowship, you see an environment in which the bedrock is not in place. There is not that humility and honesty or the ‘wish to be seen’ as you really are – and it all starts at the top. When ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ and all the other pairs of opposites are introduced into an unstable environment like that, you create a world in which the highs are very public but often exaggerated, while the lows become ever more private, driven deeper underground so to speak. The overt values of the group exist in a state of widening contradiction to the private behaviours.

Personally, I’d be wary of attributing the same lack of stability to every group, or even every 4th Way group, however. At least without knowing, for sure, how deeply those core values go.

140. Nick Bishop - August 20, 2011

I should add that a successful environment, regardless of whether it’s ‘esoteric’ or ‘exoteric’, simply produces people who can do what they say they are going to do – and they can do it consistently.

Looking back at the Fellowship, most of Robert Burton’s private activities were justified by statements such as ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ and ‘The lower cannot see the higher’. These are exactly the kind of justifications that become common when the gap between a person’s being or real capacity, and their stated intent has become too great.

In sports or business, it would be considered the sign of a failing group.

141. Arthur - August 20, 2011

Nick Bishop (139),

“I doubt there is anything wrong with the concept of divided attention”.
Isnt there something said about not labeling what’s observed? To disprove the ‘concept’ should’nt the disproof be couched in the same language from which the concept arose?

And, doesnt Robert E. Burton’s mixing of languages cause further distortion?

Dividing attention and sequencing rhino poop means what? Divided attention and sucking off must be a terrible view, better to have singular vision.

142. Nick Bishop - August 20, 2011

Arthur.

Yes I agree about the distortion caused through language, particularly in that word ‘divided’. It could easily be [mis]used to create a sense of division within the self. The same goes for the treatment of the notion of ‘separation’ in the Fellowship.

143. WhaleRider - August 20, 2011

OMG, the 30 canine commands! Don’t get me started.

All the obsessive effort at focusing the mind on each word…!

What a cruel amd sadistic exercise to make a person do…unless, I guess, you are teaching them English.

It’s like forcing a person to scratch their mind on the same spot until it bleeds.

Do you see people in the corners at Living Presence meetings visibly mumbling that stuff to themselves?

That’s not living.

That’s a person becoming someone’s dog, someone’s fuck poodle.

144. Ronnie - August 20, 2011

142 Nick Bishop
That distortion is because we see what we are programmed to see and hear what we are programmed to see and hear, understand what we are programmed to understand and so on. Home and school programming has a purpose which is to keep the populace ignorant and subservient. It is doing a great job. It is keeping inflation down and the housing market stable. The economy is thus stabilized. What? Oh! Hummmm! Maybe I need to rethink this.
I wonder if there are any good schools where an adult can join to discover what is wrong with society. Hmmm. John Doink`s son joined a group called `4th way`. Let me google that and see what comes up.

145. Ronnie - August 20, 2011

138. Tim

I was just messing with you. I’ve generally enjoyed the comments you’ve posted…and learned a few things along the way.

What the hell is wrong with my speakers? There seems to be an echo in here.

Oh I know. That wasn`t even sound. It was only the echoes in my mind.

146. Renald - August 20, 2011

This is mainly for Whalerider and Nigel, well, actually not but I am following the format by habit.
Here are some stimulating thoughts on mental illness which may or may not be considered useful and which may or may not even be stimulating even though they personally stimulated me, whoever I am.

Cheers!

147. nigel - August 20, 2011

…..from, “Song of Prudence”, by Walt Whitman…..

“All that was ever manfully begun, whether it succeeded or no,
All suggestions of the divine mind of man or the divinity of his
mouth, or the shaping of his great hands,

All that is well thought or said this day on any part of the globe,
or on any of the wandering stars, or on any of the fix’d
stars, by those there as we are here,

All that is henceforth to be thought or done by you whoever you
are, or by any one,

These inure, have inured, shall inure, to the identities from which
they sprang, or shall spring.

Did you guess any thing lived only its moment?
The world does not so exist, no parts palpable or impalpable so
exist,

No consummation exists without being from some long previous
consummation, and that from some other,

Without the farthest conceivable one coming a bit nearer the
beginning than any.

Whatever satisfies souls is true;
Prudence entirely satisfies the craving and glut of souls,
Itself only finally satisfies the soul,
The soul has that measureless pride which revolts from every lesson
but its own.”

I have a theory about LAWS…..

I really have no time for GOD being a father-figure who judges us as good when we are well-behaved and damns us when we ‘stray’. But I do believe there are UNIVERSAL LAWS. I was raised a Protestant Christian (Anglican) – all coffee mornings and church fetes, but have a strong leaning towards Eastern Teachings and especially the Law of Karma and the cyclical nature of things (continuous lifetimes being one of those laws) – even Shakespeare said something about this sort of thing when he stated – “They have their exits and their entrances” (the seven ages of man). I think what he meant is that ‘exiting’ (transforming into the spiritual realm) has more possibilities and is of a speedier and more expedient nature than the corporeal/material world (which has an entrance and is slow and ponderous in the learning).

I know I have ‘hit upon’ what Burton promised to ‘sell’ me through a lifetime of efforts and huge amounts of money which I would never be able to afford. I can only say that you could experience this statement about myself by being physically with me. However, I am quite willing to be alone with my states whenever I am not with my beautiful students.

There is no point in ‘self-remembering’ if that builds to nothing but a higher-and-higher state of awareness with no reality (i.e. the Real Self). I feel that…..

“When you reach self-hood and take care of others, there is no need for fear about any aspect of one’s life. Believe me, the Universe will take care of you”…..Love to all…..Nigel.

148. Arthur - August 20, 2011

Thanks for that, Nigel.

About programming: The “programming” of life starts early on advertising works and so does propaganda.

Then comes ‘People’ like Jesus and Lao Tzu.

149. nigel - August 20, 2011

There is nothing to fear in DEATH, although I feel that BURTON fears it immensely, since he has squandered his divine right by belittleing others into his ‘web of darkness’ and spouting ‘vacuous nothings’ to ‘tickle his misled disciples ears’ – more and more ‘pretty boys’ – more and more sperm – the physical representation of ‘divine sex energy’ – the number of the BEAST is ‘sick, sick sex’ (666).

Dylan Marlais Thomas said it well…..

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

” And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.”

150. Ronnie - August 20, 2011

138 Tim Campion

`pompitous of love` one definition according to yahoo is

a vain statement of one’s sexual prowess.

151. Ames Gilbert - August 20, 2011

Thanks, Nick Bishop, for your valuable contributions.
When, to my understanding, you state (#109-139 or thereabouts) that honesty and trust are essential to the healthy dynamics and future possibilities of a group, I feel I must emphasize that this must be there right from the beginning. The founder(s), whether of a business or a group seeking to enhance their understanding of themselves, must be impeccable in this regard, and must actually act in honesty and trust from the start, which is always a risk. This foundation is what the organization will be built on, there can be no expectation that somehow things will miraculously right themselves later. And it starts well before any physical manifestation, before even the ideas of how to organize coalesce, at the point of desire. Burton deceived himself and others right from the beginning, and the fact that he did not know and does not know that his lies and deceptions would corrupt all possibilities for his new group shows he knew and knows nothing of real value, and is no fit teacher. His point of desire was for money, sex and power, and that led him to the path where he could acquire those things. It is incredibly unfortunate that his passage affected so many thousands of people, although I think it is fair to state that each of those affected would have probably found another, possibly less harmful way to explore their particular weaknesses.

And Whalerider, in the FoF it is possible to become a ‘self-remembering machine’ and thereby cut oneself off from one’s humanity. To my understanding, Gurdjieff, flawed though he may have been, understood that we in the west must relearn to integrate our whole selves, and especially the body, back into the whole which was the basis for the design in the first place. Quite the opposite from the present form of the Fellowship of Friends, where followers are taught to regard the “instinctive center” as the enemy (to be subdued or beaten).

152. Arthur - August 20, 2011

Nigel,

I understand that Robert E. Burton liked, bought and sold Chinese furniture. Did he pocket the money? Or, did the church buy a new Bentley for their pleasure? Haven’s pleasure or the “escorts” pleasure? And, I heard he likes fine quality antiques?

I read the other day about a curious discovery in China or what is known today as China.

They found mummies in the ‘Takla Makan’ desert some with blond and red hair and nothing Asian about them.

One ‘they’ (those who do this kind of study) think one was a Shaman because of the articles found in his grave. They carbon dated his rmains and found he was 1,000 years older than the closest Asian

They also think he spoke Tocharian and traced that language back to a kinship with the Celtic language.

I found all this curosity interesting and I bet Robert E. Burton the light of all knowledge doesnt know anything about it.

153. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

I recently spoke to a fraud expert, who has interviewed con men and worked with many, many victims of fraud.

The con men told him that their first move is to discover the hot buttons for a particular mark – what does he or she want? Then they dangle the phantom thing in front of the victims to get them salivating. Huge financial windfalls, a vacation house on the Mediterranean, a life of glamor, whatever.

Anyone looking in from the outside knows the situation and the promise are ridiculous. But the point is to “get the victim under the ether,” to put them in a heightened emotional state where they are out of control. “If they drop into valley of logic you’ve lost them,” he said.

Then they get the victim to give a little, a nominal amount. Then they groom the victim into paying higher and higher dollar amounts. You’ve already given some, but won’t see a return on your investment till you pay more. So you pay more, and more, and more, with an eternally receding promise of more and more returns for your “investment.”

The victims hide the amount they’re putting into this from their spouses, family, friends who might intervene. They know they’d be criticized. It’s devastating and embarrassing.

The victims are not dumb, he said. They’re often very smart. But they fall prey to this cognitive dissonance: I’m a smart person, but I’m living this dumb thing.

Two reactions: The first is to conclude, “I’m not as smart as I think.”

The commoner reaction is the “rationalization trap”: That’s to think, “I’m a smart person, and I’m going to prove I was right” – then they continue to throw good money after bad. They can’t just cut their losses and move on.

Sad cases, he said. Thousands and thousands and thousands of them, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

154. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

Oh, and the profile for a mark: According to the fraud expert, the typical victim is not necessarily more gullible or naive or financially uninformed. Rather, he or she is simply more open-minded, and more open to new ideas and new approaches in life. They are more open to sales approaches in general.

While this mindset is characteristic of youth, the people who are older and fall for scams have typically retained this more wide-open approach to life, for reasons unknown.

155. Opus 111 - August 20, 2011

Interesting analogy between FOF fishing for new members, payment schedule, and the scams known as Nigerian scam, phishing scam, advance-fee fraud, romance scam (there are hundreds of them). As you point out, the victims are not always classic “naive, unsuspecting individuals). Noteworthy victims of scams include a Massachusetts psychotherapist, a NIH-funded East Coast researcher who ended up putting his own research money toward the scam and got indicted for it, a financial adviser, a president of food manufacture company, John Mc Enroe, etc…

The umbrella term for many of these scams is “confidence trick”.

156. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

The “confidence trick” lingo becomes somewhat muddy in the FOF. All the hallmarks are there – and yet, I believe that Robert believes that he is what he proclaims himself to be.

On some unarticulated, subliminal level, however, I think he knows that he’s running a scam. That’s why he needs the constant reassurance from his insiders and applause from the masses to convince himself, again and again, that he’s not just another spiritual poseur.

The interplay of these strands become confused, and that’s why it can be hard to convince FOFers to cut their losses and leave.

The con-man aspect to this is the easiest, most straightforward way to get people out, rather than parsing the fallacies of the Fourth Way and the FOF’s connection to it. If you try to convince Shippers it’s a scam, however, they accuse you of cynicism, and point to the obvious self-belief and “sincerity” of Robert.

157. Tim Campion - August 20, 2011

The power of confusion

The Fellowship of Friends continues its search for new “marks”

158. WhaleRider - August 20, 2011

You know ames, these many years out of the cult, I prefer not to refer to anyone as a machine. It feels depersonalizing and demeaning to the human spirit.

I was speaking about training fuck poodles …not quite as mechanical as toaster ovens; they are alive, but reduced to narcissistic objects, nonetheless.

I mean, what is the “machine” archetype we all share in our collective unconscious? Robot? Car? Vacuum cleaner? Do aborigines dream about riding in flying machines or do they just fly?

From the perspective of the 4th way, we are not humans, we are cyborgs, part divine and part machine; and those two opposing ideas don’t sit well with me anymore.

IMO, we are all divine.

Sure, some people can seem to display machine-like behavior, especially in their habits and obsessions, but separating off and referring to oneself as part machine feels deadening to me…takes some of the mystery out of the totality of a person, if you know what I mean…just bag of chemicals…etc.

IMO, we free ourselves from many of our projections when we can accept the unfathomable nature in another.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing up here.

159. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

157. Tim

With this video, you’ve introduced another layer of complication. The person in this video was (in my opinion) one of the most intelligent and sincere people still in the FOF.

The FOF is not the normal top-down scam, with a bunch of guys in a backroom twirling their moustaches and counting stacks of money – though I’ve heard by rumor that some of Burton’s conversations with his insiders are just about that cynical.

Every center director who told someone to have enough “valuation” to put a $300 dinner on an overburdened credit card, every ticket-seller for a lunch or dinner or reception, everyone who participated in a prospective student meeting telling the new marks that “It really works!” – and every member who made an earnest video touting the “Pathway to Presence” – has participated in continuing the scam.

In short, we were all not only victims, but perps.

Coming to grips with that can be one of the hardest aspects of leaving. It means a lot of humiliation – and, ultimately, humility.

Hey! Jump in! The water’s cold at first, but it’s great after awhile!

160. silentpurr - August 20, 2011

This blog offers a Dendrochronological view of Fellowship History. We share a piece of the ‘whole’ through time!
From the posted transcripts, a meeting with Robert looks very different what used to be an intelligent exchange of “questions and angles”, and has definitely devolved into what now appears to be the hoary raspings of a false prophet, grasping at the declining edge, through what probably is, a sea of nodding, bored pineal glands…

161. Shirley - August 20, 2011

137 Whale R

“As I age I collect an increasing number of memories of myself, and now that I am older I can carry a memory of myself in the present more easily than when I was younger.

“Seems to me like everyone experiences this if they live long enough, and pastor burton’s group certainly doesn’t hold the patent on the process of becoming more aware of yourself over time. It happens naturally…only pastor burton has convinced his followers to pay him for it.”

158 Whale Rider

“From the perspective of the 4th way, we are not humans, we are cyborgs, part divine and part machine; and those two opposing ideas don’t sit well with me anymore.

IMO, we are all divine.”

WR: I feel somewhat similarly to those 2 passages of yours. In the case of the latter, I remember being out of the FF and starting to accept and enjoy what we used to look down on as the instinctive center. It was a gradual and wonderful process of general acceptance and integration. The concept of the divine starts to become a meaningful concept.

162. Shirley - August 20, 2011

158 WR: What I mean is, when I denied a part of who and what I was, then the concept of the divine was abstract and not applicable in a real way.

163. Sockpuppet - August 20, 2011

I, too, am always puzzled by those who decry the cultural impoverishment outside the FOF, and those who are reluctant to lower themselves to “life.”

It’s true that the cultural life within the FOF can be pleasant – but at best it’s all filtered through the taste of one strange man. You won’t be able to catch Wagner’s Ring Cycle, or attend a great jazz festival, or see a Picasso retrospective, or catch a Pirandello play. You’ll never get into a hot discussion with friends about Saramago’s “Blindness” vs. his “Death with Interruptions.” You’ll never even hear an all-Scarlatti program. Or see a week of screwball-comedy films from the 1930s.

Look, if you live anywhere near a reasonably big university (in the Bay Area, for example, there are several), you can catch a lot of recitals out of music departments, with music that is fresher and more varied than what the old-timers can offer at Oregon House (e.g., aging singers reprising Mozart ingenues). Good museums in any reasonably sized city will give you a varied, top-notch offering more artistically profitable than seeing the FOF holdings for the nth time. Go to a cinema festival. Join a book club.

But you will have to get off your can and seek these things out. It’s not all that hard. And if you’re too lazy or indifferent to do it – well, it’s not “life”‘s fault. What you may find out is that these were just pretensions assumed because there was pressure to do so, and you honestly don’t value it as much as you pretend to.

It’s true you won’t find occasions where people are decked out in 1980s ball gowns with sequins, with men in ruffled shirts and plaid tuxedos. And you won’t attend gatherings where everyone talks like they’re in a provincial production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Nor will you see the odd aesthetics that make all the publicity materials the FOF/RVW generates so pronouncedly off-kilter – dewdrops-glistening-on-the-bowl-of-roses and ladies-at-harps cliches that just look, kinda strange.

Like many others here, my cultural life is much richer and much more varied now. Robert viewed culture as a sort of frozen-in-a-museum, time-capsule thing, a period piece. Not something living and breathing that you can actively participate in.

164. James McLemore - August 20, 2011

The Power of Confusion –

I wonder if Mr. Tolle knows they tack his name up on the top of some of their videos. Burton doesn’t seem to care what he uses. His use of the Fourth Way with all his weird interpretations of it (as if it needed any), to dropping that for the most part as he segued into his Sequence with his 30 breaths nonsense and his take on rhino poops, and interpretations of how many toes or fingers were in some 200 year old painting. Now if the finds his students, and the pool of new recruits have some interest in Tolle he will find a way to harness that. What he would have dismissed as “B Influence” yesterday, he now uses as advertising, although I am sure he has his own turn on it. Maybe none of those other people are doing it right because they don’t have Leonardo flying around the room. Whatever it is I am sure he is telling them, “Goodness, you just are not working at it diligently enough, you will get it if you if just keep making those teaching payments”.

165. Tim Campion - August 21, 2011

159. sockpuppet

It is unfortunate that this person appears in the video. What strikes me as she speaks about presence (and as others do in the accompanying videos) is the subliminal message: “I strive for presence, but I’m usually asleep. I hope to be more successful someday.” In other words, “I’m a failure.”

To me (as has been abundantly expressed throughout the blog), this is an evil perpetuated by Robert Burton’s teaching: that we are born fundamentally damaged human beings, born with “original sin” (sleep).

And through all the mental gyrations (a sample of which the speaker exhibits), we struggle to find something that we possessed all along.

I disagree with your statement “The FOF is not the normal top-down scam…” I believe it is precisely that. Consciously or unconsciously (as WhaleRider suggests), Robert set out to follow a business model that would fulfill his needs. Those appear to have included power, adoration, wealth, success, and sex.

Robert Burton (by his own admission) was raised in an abusive family. He left that family and joined an abusive school operated by Alex Horn. A “school of pain”, he nevertheless observed a business template in use that might satisfy his needs. Clearly, it produced a significant amount of money for the guru, and all the sex he could wish for. (It just so happened this school was not for homosexuals.)

In short order, Burton set off to find some followers and form his own school. Though he called it a “school of love”, only the physical violence was missing. The sexual and psychological coercion and abuse carried forward.

It may no longer be the case, but from what I can gather here, for most of the Fellowship’s history, he has strictly controlled virtually every aspect of the school: what was taught, its image, how it interacted (or failed to interact) with the outside world, and, to the extent he was able, the conduct of individual student’s lives. As has been stated, he is the ultimate “micro-manager”.

In such a dictatorial system, the responsibility rests primarily with the leader. As in the case of the abuses in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, while the leadership blamed a “few bad apples”, clearly the responsibility for the abusive culture pointed directly to the highest echelon in the military.

So, for all of us who have participated in the school, amends must be made for the abuses we perpetrated (the family, friends and former members we had shunned, the “life” people we were taught to regard with contempt and pity, the new members we brought to the school through our own ignorance of what we were doing.)

But the primary responsibility lies with Robert Burton. He and his school must be completely discredited. For those still gathered around him, I would advise: let him go and live out his years in peace and seclusion, but don’t continue to validate him and his school with your presence.

166. Sockpuppet - August 21, 2011

It is unfortunate that this person appears in the video. What strikes me as she speaks about presence (and as others do in the accompanying videos) is the subliminal message: “I strive for presence, but I’m usually asleep. I hope to be more successful someday.” In other words, “I’m a failure.”

What I meant to say was, how truly sad that all that intelligence and sensibility and self-reflection is used to defend the FOF, which is now marketing itself under the banner of another guru and another book, one which has now been out about 8 or 10 years. (And yes, you are right about the self-deprecation.)

167. James McLemore - August 21, 2011

165

“And through all the mental gyrations (a sample of which the speaker exhibits), we struggle to find something that we possessed all along.”

Yes.

168. Renald - August 21, 2011

For those interested I have begun posting YouTube Abraham links on the Abraham Group in the Greater Fellowship site.
The first three are `Psychiatists` Patients part 1-2-3`.
Cheers!

169. Shirley - August 21, 2011

163. Sockpuppet

“I, too, am always puzzled by those who decry the cultural impoverishment outside the FOF, and those who are reluctant to lower themselves to “life.””

I think it’s a natural outcome of being locked into a controlling group like the FF with it’s Us vs. Them where “life” supposedly is coarser and blind. I had a wonderful experience a few years after leaving the FF when I made friends with someone in a language class who decided to broaden my cultural exposure to include contemporary literature, art and music. I had told him about the FF, and he deemed its cultural offerings as nice but narrow. He was a pianist who was composing an opera based on a Platonic dialogue. That was my first clue that not all “life” people were “dead”. Why did we accept such an attitude?

I don’t think “culture” is that important to that many people in the FF, or to that many ex-members. But that’s an assumption. It’s one example of how the FF put blinders on us.

170. Tim Campion - August 21, 2011

166. sockpuppet

Yes, it’s deceptive and confusing. I wonder if these videos are the work of a “rogue element”, or officially-sanctioned Fellowship of Friends videos. As Ames has discussed, Robert believes the ends justify the means. Whatever works (that is, brings more income.)

171. Nick Bishop - August 21, 2011

Ames.

“When, to my understanding, you state (#109-139 or thereabouts) that honesty and trust are essential to the healthy dynamics and future possibilities of a group, I feel I must emphasize that this must be there right from the beginning. The founder(s), whether of a business or a group seeking to enhance their understanding of themselves, must be impeccable in this regard, and must actually act in honesty and trust from the start, which is always a risk. This foundation is what the organization will be built on, there can be no expectation that somehow things will miraculously right themselves later.”

Yes. Otherwise, a malfunctioning group needs to be melted down completely and rebuilt from scratch. This means establishing a sense of accountability from the top downwards, and we often get all members to stand up and tell a story that exposes a weakness or fallibiity in themselves. It starts with the leaders in the group, so that there is a sense of equality, that ‘we’re all in this together’. People often leave the group, and new leaders emerge during this process.

It’s hard to imagine this taking place in the Fellowship, at least Robert Burton [as a Man #8] and his inner circle are not known for their ability to admit weakness, so the structure would probably be much too rigid to admit any meaningful change.

Can anyone remember Burton telling a story in which he revealed himself to others?

172. Renald - August 21, 2011

171 Nick Bishop:

“ Can anyone remember Burton telling a story in which he revealed himself to others?“

This is an extremely good point. When I was a young child, I was taught that children are supposed to be seen but not heard. I was the oldest and at that time there were three sisters also involved.
This has many repercussions later on in life, none of them good.
A child when allowed to speak to adults is looking for acceptance.
The child does this by exposing itself or revealing itself by speaking of what matters to him or her. Then they watch for the adults` reactions. When they feel acceptance they will usually continue to milk the situation for all they can get. This is when adults usually say, “ Okay, okay, that is enough. You are getting silly now,“ with a stern look on their faces. Sometimes, like in my case, we were told to go to our rooms. More rejection. The part adults usually miss is that their first reaction to the child`s revelations, especially their likes and wants, what they enjoyed, makes them feel good. Rejection feels bad. I wonder why ! Suddenly what they thought was a fun thing flips around and they are figuratively given a slap in the face.
Yeah! That feels real good. (sarcasm)
Another thing adults did and tend to also do now is lie to kids.
It is for their own good. The ends justify the means, of course.
They are not mature enough. So they also learn to lie to themselves. After a while they lose the ability to tell the difference from fact or fiction, the truths or the untruths. This causes problems mostly to do with emotions. After a while, at least I know I observe this in myself, they lose the ability to know an emotion which feels good from one that feels bad. I feel the emotion then have to look around, to think around, and try to figure out what is going on in me.
No wonder I have had such a hard time using my guiding system, emotions, to make proper decisions. Further I did not think I was any different from others, from the norm. Why would I think there was something wrong with me? I was born perfect like everyone else and at one time I knew it. It is only later that doubt, a negative emotion, came crawling in through the back door.
Both of the above conditions lead to screwy behavior. We start to learn to accept anyone who will show us acceptance, even the weirdos in the park. Why these people even encourage us to reveal ourselves, to expose ourselves, mostly physically since that is their specialty. Finally it feels good! Why when I was lucky (because I did not end up in a shallow grave) some of my relatives echoed some of these experiences. Hmmm! My favorite cousins or uncles.
G. said we see the world 180 degrees in the wrong direction. No bloody wonder!
What is the solution? How to rid oneself of the horrible consequences of those habits and addictions? The rich people go to a shrink who may or may not have an inkling as to what goes on. They usually follow what Freud taught them from textbooks and that usually skirts the issues. Anyhow there is no money in quick cures.
The poor go to the priest or pastor and often these people are in the above mentioned boat. They had been treated the same by their trainers. Then they make the headlines. Who would believe it? He was such an upstanding, loving, cheerful, magnetic person.
Oh well, it is sad to see that the bastard was actually a wolf in sheep`s clothing, a psychopath or sociopath. Hang him!
Now don`t get me wrong. I am not advocating a policy of doing nothing about such problems. I am simply tracing the addiction to its roots for the sake of understanding in order first of all that it is not repeated. I leave the idea of conscience or the perceived lack thereof to the philosophers and the judges.
I maintain once again that the way to break addictions is to starve them, weaken them, the neural connections in our brains, the very physical hardwired pathways of our programs in the same way that we would do with a computer except for one thing. Instead of rewiring the program in a computer we just elect to buy a new board. This is not practical with humans. We have to do it the slow and tedious way. After a while what was tedious also becomes habitual. We get better at it. That is called education, but real education, not what passes for it often ending up in a diploma on the wall, signifying nothing.
Anger over a situation is fine, just don`t get stuck there since it does get habitual, addictive. That applies to all emotions, negative or positive. They are useful and maturation (not to use an fof word) requires them as indicators, signposts on the map. Pretty simple until you get a hold of a counterfeit or inaccurate map, if you get my gist.
My cpu is telling me that this post is already too long. I will add more links to GF-Abraham. The first ones dealt with death, dying and suicides since we had just been dealing with the suicide of burton`s lawyer or was it his dentist? My memory is not so good. (lol) The next bunch will focus on children issues(?).
Cheers!!

173. Renald - August 21, 2011

re 172 – Renald In my quest for brevity my editing suffered as often happens here. I want to add one detail. Where I said, “ That applies to all emotions, negative or positive. I was speaking of the process of habit making. If such a habit is determined to be a good one or a useful one then we can obviously choose to keep it and maybe reenforce it. This pre-supposes that we are still able to tell the difference between what feels good and what does not. Killing a whole bunch of non-believers in a mosque might feel good to someone who has been programmed to think or feel that way but never will someone who thinks and feels like a small child even have such thoughts.
Cheers!

174. Arthur - August 21, 2011

Renald (172),

When you first leave the cult of Robert E. Burton you might be inclined to go to a priest, pastor or rabbi. Or, if you have access to lots of money go to a psychologist or those with higher degrees (MD’s).

I only had two years with FOF and none of the bad experiences, unless being kicked out is bad (feeling wise, it was).

It’s almost like PTSD (I think) you dont want to talk about being in a cult led by a homosexual mad-goddess in a man’s body. How in the world would you ever explain that?

So, the most important thing is to throw your seabag over the fence and run not walk to the nearest bar. And if anybody asks where you’re coming from, just say, “you wouldnt believe me if I told you”.

175. Sockpuppet - August 21, 2011

So, the most important thing is to throw your seabag over the fence and run not walk to the nearest bar. And if anybody asks where you’re coming from, just say, “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you”.

You nailed it.

176. sallymcnally - August 21, 2011

It is unfortunate that this person appears in the video. What strikes me as she speaks about presence (and as others do in the accompanying videos) is the subliminal message: “I strive for presence, but I’m usually asleep. I hope to be more successful someday.” In other words, “I’m a failure.”

Yeah like ‘I am an alcoholic’ keeps one forever in AA.

177. nigel - August 21, 2011

174 Arthur

I, actually, have told a few people that I know well enough, and who know a great deal about me, that I was ‘in a cult, run by a sex-mad homosexual (which I discovered later, rather than earlier on in my membership), narcissistic psychopath’ – not quite in those words but they understood the meaning and implication. They (most of them) said it was probably something in my ‘loner’ attitude towards life (I am still not a hugely social person, preferring to have a few people whom I would call ‘good friends’ and another larger group that I know by name but would not confide in) when I was young (I joined the FOF when I was 21 years old) and maybe someone who was looking for ideals that they could not find elsewhere.

So many people here seem to assume their years ‘in’ were wasted and that they took a long time to adjust when they were ‘out’. My years ‘in’ were paralleled by learning about my chosen craft (which meant I did not earn piles of money, which was what you were ‘supposed to do’, for supporting the ‘school’), but I have resentment and anger if I look back too closely at my fourteen or so years after having left the FOF when I was ‘adrift’ and trying to come to terms with my ‘spiritual and psychological nature’ and rebuilding. Funnily enough, training to become a Post Compulsory Education Teacher in my chosen craft was the most powerfully self-healing and, since September 2003, the most inwardly/outwardly beneficial thing that has happened to me. I tell those who want to know about me that I have never (honestly) been so happy in all my life.

It would be good to hear of other people’s psychological journeys from ‘in’ to ‘out’…..Nigel.

178. sallymcnally - August 21, 2011

176 – sorry if I offended anyone here, but I do believe it to be a trap for remaining the eternal victim and ‘I’m small’ mentality.

179. Tim Campion - August 21, 2011

178. sallymcnally

Contrast that with how Robert speaks:

I do not think—that is my virtue. I just see. I have immortal vision. All these people have mortal vision.

It is such an incredible experience to circulate in life; with immortal vision I observe mortal sleep.

I am immortal, and death does not exist for me.

It is within my power to make my students immortal.

I do not think; I am present. Therefore I am—a conscious being.

As your teacher, I can see Influence C’s plans.

When my task is complete I will continue to work with our school, and communicate to my students the wishes of higher forces for our new civilization.

If one of his “students” started speaking this way, they would soon be put in their place, or shown the door.

180. Ronnie - August 21, 2011

178 What makes you think you offended anyone?

You are well aware that if you are afraid of offending someone that you will. I prefer to think that you may have provided a necessary shock to someone`s program.

181. sallymcnally - August 21, 2011

#179: I have my shovel in hand and am ready to clean the barn. It seems like it hasn’t been cleaned in some time and is starting to smell really bad. — HELLO out there in the land of OZ!!!! He used to be a little better at disguising his guru-higher-than-thou mentality.

182. Ronnie - August 21, 2011

179 “As your teacher, I can see Influence C’s plans.“

….and now C influence tells me that you are well endowed.

Hummmm! Sweet too.

183. sallymcnally - August 21, 2011

#180; Well I do think AA is a valid way for people but I also think that staying in AA with the ‘I am an alcoholic’ forever attitude keeps one from being other than that. I think being in AA can be helpful whereas I’m not so sure being in the FOF is so helpful, it can be however. The Guru lesson is HUGE!!!! I’ve met a lot of people that have left their guru and still worship them years later, forgetting the bad and just remembering the lights above their heads. Ahhhhh sweet sleep!

184. Arthur - August 21, 2011

Hi, Nigel!

I too didnt know Robert E. Burton was a mad homosexual goddess in man’s body until I found this blog. And believe me it was a shock to find this out. Because from 1979 until 2007 (whenever the blog started) I still believed the FOF was a true school .

It is a school but of a different kind as refered to by fellow englishman Maurice Nicoll who said the real school is ultimately your pub.

I’ve been going back to that video @157 and rewatching it over and over. So, I finally googled her ‘school’ on the internet and they do look “innocent”, inviting they do. But I’m sort of agreeing with Sally about all those videos. I’ll pass.

185. J. D. - August 21, 2011

IMO we (as in me/you/he/she) take ourselves way too seriously. We join the cult, we screwed-up, but that was the end of the world exclusively for our big ego and imaginary self-image. The first thing is to accept the simple fact and don’t put it under the rug. Get out of the spiritual closet and laugh about it: it’s very dramatic, but it passes quickly. If anybody asks where you’re coming from, just say: “I’ve been in a cult!” You will be amazed of the response: 30% of the times they don’t listen; 30% don’t have a reply, 30% don’t care, and if the 10% shows up asking “Why?” or thereabouts, then explain it the best you can with something like: “I am a gullible moron!”
I told my folks all about the cult and my arrogance while in it, but I omitted the part where I stared at the ceiling while for my own good my teacher was sucking my dick; my folks are in their eighties, I figured that they don’t need to know. My close friends know… they are my friends. Even though legitimate and moral, sometimes my tirade against the FoF feels like putting things off and tastes like a sweet justifiable excuse, running the risk of letting it define me… I’m just saying.

186. nigel - August 21, 2011

184. Arthur

“It is a school but of a different kind as refered to by fellow englishman Maurice Nicoll who said the real school is ultimately your pub.”

Spot on, Arty-baby!!!!! My best friends are at the Bishop Blaize Pub, across town from where I live. They realize I have bipolar and compensate for, and help me with, that. They also recognize my double-Celt warrior-nobility ancestry (unlike Ames, who is, however, another well-educated Englishman) – and there are some mighty men and women at the B.B. Furthermore, the Blaize Karaoke Night is where I re-learnt to use my Welsh singing voice, free from fear (one of my features, along with naivete), which used to produce constriction of the diaphragm. I love you loads…..Nigel.

187. sallymcnally - August 21, 2011

#184: Arthur I think you misunderstood me. There are many people I feel are inspirational, like Abraham, that have helped me a lot. Eckhart Tolle has helped me too and I still feel inspired reading his books.

I do feel that you can gain a lot from inspirational people and each person has different ideas of that, but what I don’t feel is healthy is when we find one particular thing and worship it as THE way or THE person who knows it all, or is somehow above who we are. I believe we are all connected and I believe that each one of us is learning at the speed we decide to learn. At times these speakers can be quite helpful and at other times we need different spiritual food. 🙂 And for me that has changed over time.

188. sallymcnally - August 21, 2011

And one more thought. I feel the most helpful attitude for me is not to close doors and try to be open to new ideas and be flexible and when I’m that way I learn a lot more about myself and others.

189. Ames Gilbert - August 21, 2011

Thanks, Sally, for pointing this out (#176 & 178 or thereabouts).
If the wounds never heal, one is wounded forever. For some, being a victim becomes a preferred lifestyle.
Never once does the Fellowship of Friends mention what comes ‘after’. Not on the website, not in the introductory meetings, and certainly not after one has joined Burton in his fantasy.

In one sentence: if there is no graduation, there is no school.
Period.

No, the Fellowship uses ‘bait and switch’. The bait used to be the ‘Fourth Way’, now it is Eckhart Tolle, or, “We study the best of all traditions”, or whatever. Then, the switch, by degrees, to the religion of Robert Burton, the worship of Burton. Burtonism itself becomes not only the way, but the destination.
No end, no limits, no exit.
Burton reigns using fear or infatuation over those those who thought they hired him to teach them how to empower themselves. Now, some followers state, as a matter of pride, “I want to die in the school”.
Their wish is granted—sometimes long before the physical body departs.

190. Armando - August 21, 2011

#189 – And for the physical body, sometimes years before average life expectancy.

191. Arthur - August 21, 2011

Sallymcnally (187),

I completely misunderstood what you meant. Because I included Eckhart Tolle in the “I’ll pass” comment.

I’m with Nigel on his pub experiences. He struggles with Fear and Naivete and has overcome a portion of Fear by singing.

I use the word portion because Fear has lots of tensile play that he has to strum.

More importanly, he is basically alone in his “spiritual search”, or at least he hasnt mention reaching out to “guru’s” of one kind or another.

His ‘inspiration’ comes from his work, his co-workers, his pub life, and his books and music. In life practicing what he knows to do.

Ram Dass wrote a book titled, “Remember, Be Here Now” in 1970 something. To me it’s all the same, just a different voice.

192. Jimmy the System - August 22, 2011

I’m a little concerned that our efforts to quarantine this organization – the Fellowship of Friends a.k.a. Pathway to Presence a.k.a. Living Presence – are ineffective when the group keeps changing its name and URL when the existing “brand” is tarnished.

That way they can conceal the notoriety that follows such horrific and heartbreaking events, such as Abraham Goldman’s suicide, or Kevin Kelly’s suicide, or the heinous sexual coercion and human trafficking, immigration scam marriages of its insiders, and other offenses under the direction of Robert Burton, who pretends to be spiritual leader, with all the IRS breaks that allows.

Can anyone with any search engine savvy let us know how we can ensure that these warnings are posted at least as high as the enticements on the various websites for Fellowship of Friends a.k.a. Pathway to Presence a.k.a. Living Presence?

I think it might help if the names are included in full and boldfaced in as many posts as possible, but I’m not sure.

Suggestions?

Here’s the site:

http://www.livingpresence.com/

193. sallymcnally - August 22, 2011

#191 – Yeah, Ram Dass lives right down the street from me, he just wrote a book, ‘Still here’. That about says it all I think!!

194. sallymcnally - August 22, 2011

For a few years out of the Fellowship until two years ago I went to see Wayne Dyer and Byron Katie a number of times. While I was going I was getting a lot of out it. The last time I went I felt I did not receive much and so decided not to go back. It was not to say there was nothing there, but I had received as much as I could out of the experience at that time.

And when I left I just left. Nobody called me asking me to come back, nobody sent me a bill, nobody cared either way, except me. I decided to not go back, I decided to not pay anymore, and I decided that I didn’t feel like going back, not even a voucher in sight.

195. nigel - August 22, 2011

191. Arthur

You are correct about having no ‘guru’. The only thing I did that was at all ‘group-y’ was to study the Bible with some Jehovah’s Witnesses some years back. I had no intention of joining them. You are also entirely correct about my ‘inspiration’ – it is nice to know that others are seeing fellow ‘bloggers’ as characters with a background (as I can ensure you I do of you) and not just someone to shoot ‘angles’ at. Thanks to you and others who take the time to write inspirational and nourishing material here…..Nigel.

196. Ronnie - August 22, 2011

Wholly Shyte! I was going through the In Memoriam of the GF when I noticed they had no info in there about Brian Sisler. So I googled his name. One entry list there was the link to

Critical Mass
I didn’t know that Brian Sisler was schizophrenic until he left the Fellowship, but he did have a pathetic quality to him. He was a heavy drinker, an attempt at self-medication I suppose, and he sometimes got into trouble because of his drinking. He said that he didn’t feel able attend any Robert events or FOF concerts without drinking first. After one accident too many, Brian was told to take valium before attending any of Robert’s events, helpfully prescribed by Dr EH. I didn’t have the feeling that Brian was exclusively gay, he seemed to develop crushes on women, so maybe he was bisexual.

The version I heard about Brian’s attempt to contact Robert was that he was turned away by the gatehouse attendant. Robert subsequently sent a message to the gatehouse that any current or former member who asked to speak to Robert should be put through to someone close to Robert, Dorien or Asaf. I wonder if this would really work. The Fellowship # is 692-2244. Don’t all phone up at once.

Ph_lip L_cas can be lunatic about security. He likes guns a lot and regularly goes hunting deer illegally on the property along with M_hai. Others do it to, becase Robert wants to thin down the deer population because of his roses. He also gave Ph_lip permission to shoot any dogs that get onto the property. I’m told that PL took a course in a particular kind of shooting in case Robert is ever involved in a hostage situation. He is paranoid about ex-students getting onto the property, and so gatehouse keepers would be unlikely to be sympathetic to anyone who asks to see Robert.

Actually it gave The Fellowship of Friends Discussion Group and the part and page where the post was written. The link went directly to the proper page. Wonders of technology!
I immediately thought that you would be interested.
Cheers!

197. Ronnie - August 22, 2011

PS Cats are also fair game.
Cheers!

198. Opus 111 - August 22, 2011

#195:

A little update on those rather old news. PL has now been out of the FOF for several years (>4+ years) and, I am told, no longer uses or possesses guns while being a (very) valued member of the Oregon House community.

People do change, more so once they are out of the FOF, interestingly.

199. brucelevy - August 22, 2011

195. Ronnie

RB has always had a psycho-sexual attraction to guns and motorcycles (cocks). He used to put his crushes on cycles and “octaves” of sitting on his roof with guns to shoot any animals that would dare to deface his roses.

He’s a pathetic piece of shit. He unfortunately gives gay people a bad name (stereotypes). It really isn’t gay people he represents, it’s sociopaths.

200. sallymcnally - August 22, 2011

PL probably had to go through his own painful re-discovery of himself. That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind and to not ‘trash’ people on this website. You never know when one of them will ‘wake up’ and smell the roses for what they truly are. 🙂

201. Ronnie - August 22, 2011

199 Sallymcnally – But of course that does not apply to REB.

202. nigel - August 22, 2011

We, in Exeter, were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day, topped off with an L.A. sunset, which rather reminded me of these lines from William Wordsworth, and the fact that certain things can give me ‘higher states’, despite my ‘returning-to-earth’ downers that I have to take…..Nigel.

“And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,–both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.”

203. Palmyra - August 22, 2011

Does anybody know if Abraham Goldman had a funeral service in the FOF? Or if Robert denied him that as he did with Kevin Kelly? Also, does anybody know about what is happening with Susan and the children? How are they coping?

204. Arthur - August 22, 2011

Who said, “let go without regret and better things will enter”, or something like that?

Seems that would be good advice for ‘fence’ers’ thinking about jumping and good advice for the recently departed.

205. Ronnie - August 22, 2011

Without the lower, the higher would not be higher, it would simply be kind of like……. average.
And if things were always just average, would hope exist?
And if hope did not exist, might it not get depressing?
Or at least boring?
If the temperature was always cool, could I still dream of warmer.
Maybe contrast does have some value, its place in the grander scale of things.
Without sinners, could we still have saints?
Without death, could we still feel alive?
Could I still enjoy a cold beer?
Or dream of one?
If boobs were always huge
Wouldn`t they lose their attraction?
If everything was gratis,
Would payment still be a principle?
If all were outers, could there be inners?
And versee vissa?
Would appreciation exist?
Would love be worth getting up in the morning for?
Or anything else for that matter?
Just a thought.
Could there be an end to a silly post?
Or would it go on and on?
Could there be a blog,
A clean or a dirty dog?
Would there be anything to learn
Or to unlearn?
Would anyone bother to
Bother to?

206. sallymcnally - August 22, 2011

#203, Ronnie the Rapper is born! Actually I like the post!

207. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2011

192 and 203 are new

208. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2011

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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