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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Part 110 August 23, 2011

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Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway To Presence Discussion.

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 official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. Arthur - August 23, 2011

Ronnie,

Read an interesting article at Reason.com titled, “Theology is Dead”.

It’s about how contradictions and opposites become one at infinity.

Your last post reminded of that article.

2. Arthur - August 23, 2011

Ronnie,

The idea came from Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th Century.

‘It was at the point of infinity that Cusa found God. God is the “Coincidentia Oppositorum”–The Coincidence of Opposites. Here is where things become what they are not. “God is the absolute maximumness and absolute unity”. Cusa writes, “preceding and uniting things that are absolute different and distant, for example, contradictions, between which there is no mean. In other words, God is the point at which contradictions merge into identies at which is and is not become one.

Sorry, I started this. But Cusa get be just as “right” as Robert E. Burton sociopathic woman.

3. Arthur - August 23, 2011

Not ‘get’ but could.

4. nigel - August 23, 2011

2. Arthur

I would not include ‘Burton’ with ‘God’…..Nigel

5. Kid Shelleen - August 23, 2011

Wayne Dyer is a tool of the highest order. Barefeet, black pajamas, shaved zen-chic Q-ball head, selling the Beautiful and the Bored the secrets of the Universe. That being said, I do try to catch the end of his specials on Public Broadcasting so I can hear his musically challenged daughter warble an off-key “Amazing Grace” while The Master weeps tears of I’m-not-sure-what.

Katie Byron has reached her expiration date also. I think she initially had some good ideas, but then, well, you know, Ya Gotta Make a Buck.

I once received an email from Dyer years ago asking for money so that Ram Dass could live out the rest of his life in Hawaii! What balls, but I guess it worked.

6. Ronnie - August 23, 2011

Right, it seems that none of these guys realize that money is evil.
The more money they have, the more evil they are.
Being poor sucks too.
I guess God must be a middle class, white collar type.
Who got me going ?

7. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2011

I forgot to mention that this page is again open for all to participate

8. Arthur - August 23, 2011

Nigel,

The “Sorry, I started this”. Is my excuse for whatever came afterward.

I was thinking that all these “gurus” like Robert think they are right.
And, I thought that Cusa is just as right.

Robert E. Burton will be a whole golem at eternity, just guessing?

9. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 23, 2011

Page 109/’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?’

This I know, but I was not in attendance:
AG had funeral service in the FOF this past weekend that was equal to the usual that is done. Kevin Kelly type treatment not happening w/AG.
This I know at second hand:
Family financially will be fine. Otherwise, what would you expect?

10. Tim Campion - August 23, 2011

From the Appeal-Democrat 8/23/11:

Abraham Nathan Goldman

Visit Guest Book

Abraham Nathan Goldman passed away July 31, 2011, in Oregon House, at the age of 61, after a long and extremely painful medical condition. He is survived by his beloved wife of 27 years, Susan Carol Goldman, and his beloved children, Rosalind Elizabeth Goldman and Elan Michael Goldman. Abraham was born in Chicago, IL, on December 21, 1949. Abraham was a distinguished civil rights attorney in Illinois and California, who courageously and relentlessly pursued justice for the oppressed, the maligned, the injured and the forgotten. Abraham would successfully complete cases that no other attorney would dare or care to try. His legal career spanned 35 years. Abraham consistently went above and beyond the call of duty in every facet of his life, be it his family, his friends, his church, or his clients. Although, one of the busiest people one could ever know, he would always make time to help his fellow humans. All this he continued, even after becoming profoundly deaf. He loved and served tirelessly, until his death. His golden heart will never be forgotten. Arrangements are under the direction of Lipp and Sullivan Funeral Directors, Marysville, CA. Send Condolences http://www.appealdemocrat.com

11. 2011 - August 23, 2011

#10
Who wrote that? The White House Press Secretary?

12. Agent 45 - August 23, 2011

The Agency recently declassified the Jan. 2011 membership list for the Fellowship of Friends. Though the worldwide population is about 1,380 worshippers/devotees/suckers, I was somewhat encouraged to find only 20 or so names that I recognized. Shouldn’t at least one of them be a Man #5 by now?
There is a principle in the field of science called Inertia (an object at rest tends to remain at rest and an object in motion tends to remain in motion). At the same time it is axiomatic from a spiritual point of view that worthwhile endeavors are often difficult. [If it was easy any fool (but not every fool) could become a “conscious being”.]
It’s easy to stay a member of the FoF and, make no mistake, it’s hard to stop believing in the false and leave that particularly dispicable organized pseudo-religion.
You gotta ask yourself – What would Gurdjieff do?

13. Agent 45 - August 23, 2011

P.S. In answer to your inquiry, Mr. Jimi, my participation here is for the purpose of having a little fun expressing my point of view and to discredit the Fellowship of Friends as much as possible.
Formatorily speaking – Let the chips fall where they may.
I have no idea if this helps or hurts.

14. Arthur - August 23, 2011

There must be a whole lot of rich people among the 1,380. Otherwise how can a bunch of “house boys” keep this thug going?

He must be making money under the table (a scam) somehow.

Is it wine, olive oil, medical marijuana?

Looking ‘spiffy’ and having your drawers cleaned and pressed in Beverly Hills takes some doing.

Maybe that’s it. He has some old rich women in Beverly Hills believing in the Second Coming led by him.

15. Ronnie - August 23, 2011

14 Arthur It would not be the first time. We were once told that a `life` friend of Robert`s had been allowed to build a house near the town hall and live there the remainder of his days. The idea was that the man was extremely wealthy and that his entire estate would be bequeathed to guess who?, It never happened likely because the mark`s family likely had him declared incompetent to run his affairs.
Either way we never heard anything about him ever again.

16. Ronnie - August 23, 2011

Speaking of post number 15 here is another post 15, this one from Part 5 :
by No accounts
March 30, 2007 at 12:21 am

My friend Be, who was 76 and had been in the school for over thirty years, was asked not to go to dinners because she ate one too many biscuits at a tea.

My friend Hold, who is half blind, was asked to take a leave of absence because he closed his eyes at a meeting.

My friend Pray, was hit by her husband various times and told nothing would happen to him because he belonged to the Teacher’s inner circle.

My friend Back, was told to take a leave absence because it was feminine dominance to ask for help for an 87 year old woman with alzheimer.

My friend Act, gave up dancing after 15 years because she never fitted the “form” of the school.

My friend Leave, left because he was never able to share his gracious Art within the form of the teaching.

My friend Kneel, had to play the part of being the teacher’s stable mate so that it all looked more legitimate. Not a word ever came out of his mouth.

My friend Drop, served for years in any octave and was then dropped.

My friend Use, was used for years in any octave and then dropped.

My friend wit, was told not to speak.

My friend Look, was told not to speak.

My friend Move, was told not to move.

My friend Taste, was told not to taste.

My friend Hear, could not hear for no one talked.

My friend Think, could not think because consciousness is not functions.

My very best friend Read, was prompted to leave her husband because he never lay with the Teacher.

My friend write, was forbidden to write.

My friend Child, shot herself and survived.

My friend Serve, served all these.

My friend Scale, brought Scale and Relativity to it all.

My friend Aim, said: The shot turned around against them and killed them all.

My friend Time, gave up her child and was still unable to find compassion for herself after twenty years.

My friend God, turned his back.

17. Arthur - August 23, 2011

Then he must “friends” in Rolling Hills Estates?

18. Tim Campion - August 23, 2011

In the summer of 1972, Robert said within a year, Miles and another person would be Men #5, and that the fourth conscious being had already arrived in the Fellowship of Friends.

Within a few years, he would proclaim the school would produce seven conscious beings.

Where are they now?

The “school” is in its twilight. One of three “conscious beings”, Miles, had the intelligence to leave. The other two alleged conscious ones (Robert and Girard) are mired in “infra-sex”.

Other than pointing to Burton and saying “there’s a conscious being (because he says he is)”, who in Burton’s group can explain what a “conscious being” is?

In a school whose foremost mission was to produce “consciousness” in its members, who can even describe what “consciousness” is? Since none of you can verify Burton’s self-proclaimed consciousness, on what grounds do you believe this is anything but a scam? That what you’re experiencing is not simply faith?

At least the 44 randomly-selected beings Robert cites as conscious arguably produced something of lasting value. Burton’s legacy is one of human suffering. Does this sound like the Gods’ plan for the anointed one (who is “second only to Jesus Christ”)?

As Agent 45 suggests, we don’t speak of the “Fellowship of Fools” simply because it has a cynical ring. We have actually been there, and have verified it. (Likely one of the very few verifications resulting from time spent in the cult.)

19. Renald - August 23, 2011

Okay boys and girls, it is `fess up time. (short for confess) I just woke up from a nap with the plan of writing this post.
Earlier I admitted responsibility for this whole fiasco. There has not been one single reply or comment.
I don`t have time right now for a total reconstruction so I will touch only on a couple key points.
Round about the time that I reached puberty and had been introduced to the salient parts of this evolution, my friends and I somehow heard that there was some old guy who hung around a local bridge who liked to give blow jobs to kids. I remember having thoughts of interest on a couple occasions. None of us acted on those thoughts, at least I did not.

Maybe a couple years later during my pool hall stage I occasionally saw this older man with an entourage of 14 to 16 year olds, usually at restaurants where he would buy them all coffees. I enquired and found out that he was a tutor and a sculptor and that he had sex with his students. Again I remember being somewhat interested but not enough to actually act on it.

There were other connections but I need to leave.
In the meantime those who are familiar with the law of attraction will see where this is going and maybe others who know nothing about it as well.

Cheers!

20. Opus111 - August 23, 2011

Interest in “the law of attraction” and the story above?

I confess: No on both counts.

21. Renald - August 23, 2011

Re. 19 – Renald — Later on in life I read all of Carlos Casteñada`s books and was so interested that I told myself that if I ever heard of such a teacher that I would drop everything and beg him to take me as a student.
The next step was Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and the rest of the Fourth Way authors. I realize now that Gurdjieff`s power over people. for example the train conductor who was mesmerized into punching his worthless piece of paper as if it was a legitimate ticket, was appealing to my feeling of powerlessness.

Put all these factors and many others together and you can readily see that I was ripe for the plucking. (What an odd word `plucking`!)
My point is that when all the pieces of the puzzle are put together the picture that comes out is exactly the picture which manifested. The relative intensity of those thoughts determined the outcome. For example the desire to be with a teacher or guru was very powerful, so much so that as soon as I found an ad for the fellowship (at the lodge library on an island in the Pacific) I quickly telephoned and made an appointment for the next day. The building was even an exact replica of the Lincoln Lodge except that the library was on the second floor of the island one and the balcony faced the ocean rather than the vineyard.
All three prospective meetings were held the same evening. Number one I new much more about the Fourth Way than all of them put together and that should have perhaps clued me in but my intellectual vanity clouded that issue. Besides if I knew that much I would certainly move up in the echelon of the school faster. Good news! The rest of the spiel was not important so questions were non-existent. I visited Apollo within 5 months and was taken on salary 5 months later contrary to their own rules. Things were looking great.

The other thoughts or desires described above were much milder, less emotional , less energetic as were the manifestations. Again what transpired was a match. I did not find myself engaged in sex with the guru in the same way that I had not in my youth. I am not saying that I was somehow better than those who did. I simply did not attract it, not before, not after.

The more I focus on past memories, the more connections I find.
Nothing happened by accident. There was and is a pattern and it is a pattern where emotional energy or power of thought dictates events in the future. If I took this idea and turned it on its head, and I have tried a bit, the pattern remains the same. I can even entertain the thought that the future influences the past as much as the past influences the future. One thing for sure, the pattern clearly exists and is clear to see.

Now for the proof in the pudding. Do I prefer chocolate or vanilla? Do I use regular milk or soya? Would I enjoy it with strawberries or mango? Do I want ice cream or a jelly for a topping? I can always use whatever ingredients habitually happen to be in my kitchen or I can choose different ones. It`s all up to me. (I mechanically enjoy using contractions or not using them when it is my choice. That joy did not exist when I was following burton`s script, but then he had taught me that my joy was not important. What a crock!)

I wish you all much joy. I imagine that I can see you all joyous, smiling and laughing with teeth exposed even. I am imagining that someone will gain an important insight from my post. I am sorry if I have caused a problem for anyone here. Please forgive me. I am very grateful that this moderator decided to allow me to keep on revealing myself and my thoughts here among the many other gifts which I have received. The more I see of myself, the more I love myself.
Finally, since I read some posts in part 5 by Abe G. before going for my nap, I thank you Abe for the encouragement, just in case you were somehow involved. You are welcome to come back any time you wish, my door will be open. If not, knock louder.

Cheers!!!

22. Renald - August 23, 2011

This post is dedicated to my contrasts.
I would write these lyrics more positively but the sentiment is perfect.
The artist is also better than the usual ones.

Cheers!

23. Renald - August 23, 2011

Lyrics for above

Helmut Lotti

The road is long
With many a winding turns
That leads us to who knows where,
Who knows where.
But I’m strong,
Strong enough to carry him.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

So on we go.
His welfare is of my concern.
No burden is he to bear,
We’ll get there.
For I know
We would not encumber me.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

If I’m laden at all,
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another.

It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return.
While we’re on the way to there,
Why not share?
And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

He’s my brother.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…

24. Shirley - August 24, 2011

12. Agent 45; 18. Tim

Tim, you said: “In the summer of 1972, Robert said within a year, Miles and another person would be Men #5, and that the fourth conscious being had already arrived in the Fellowship of Friends.

“Within a few years, he would proclaim the school would produce seven conscious beings.”

How come that never came to pass? How come RB never acknowledged that any one ever “graduated” from the FF? How come he claims to be at such a “high level of being” that only some invisible entity like “C influence” can verify that?

It suggests that no one inside the FF will ever be able to be at his supposed level and verify he is what he says he is; which means, he can say whatever he wants, and his followers will have to believe it, because the circular reasoning = they will never be able to verify it at their current lower-than-RB’s-level of being.

“If the being of man is really at one with the being of God, should it not be cause for suspicion that human beings take eighteen years, a neat and manageable portion of human lifetime, to qualify to become decoders of God’s master script, rather than five minutes, say, or five hundred years?” (J.M. Coetzee’s “Elizabeth Costello”)

25. Agent 45 - August 24, 2011

Hey!? It seems to me that there should have been a police investigation into the death of Abe Goldman to determine if it was in fact a suicide.
They’ll say nice things about you too, Booby Burton, when you’re dead.
Warm & conflicted, my ass,

26. Tim Traveler - August 24, 2011

“Special” Agent 45 and Shirley:

Though new members were instructed to “verify” everything, in the Fellowship of Friends one enters the realm of “magical thinking”, as some here have called it. A place where virtually nothing is “verifiable”!

It might require scientific method and critical thinking to operate a successful business such as a winery, olive press, law firm, restaurant or a theater company, but when it comes to the Fellowship’s particular form of worship, these capacities appear to get left at the door.

And not to be picky, but…out of ALL the things Robert Burton has predicted, have any been actualized? When conscious beings never popped up, the Depression didn’t occur, California failed to fall and hydrogen warfare didn’t break out on schedule, Burton said the gods had humiliated him, and he would refrain from prophesying. But he couldn’t stop. We see with Abraham’s death he’s still at it:

“Somehow Abe will be taken by C Influence.”

He is out of control, and perhaps has always been. The “Teacher” is indeed like Oz’s wizard, or maybe even more like this clown (at least this guy’s funny):

27. For the record - August 24, 2011

Tim (18),
Lying is Burton’s art form.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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/

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Jimmy T.S.,
Depends how you look at it. Blackwater changed their named to “Xe” (pronounced “Z”) a few years ago, partly because Blackwater became a tarnished name, and synonymous with the numerous things that were wrong with the U.S. war in Iraq. But that worked for Blackwater, because their clients knew them well. The name didn’t matter as much.

For the FOF, changing the name is not a good thing. It weakens the brand.

The internet has opened an avenue for people to talk openly about the Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence.

It just takes time. When you search for “Living Presence” in Google, the blog is now showing up on the second page. Within a few weeks or months, it will show up on the first page, and in multiple search results. Burton will need to change the name again.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
12. Agent 45 – August 23, 2011
The Agency recently declassified the Jan. 2011 membership list for the Fellowship of Friends. Though the worldwide population is about 1,380 worshippers/devotees/suckers, I was somewhat encouraged to find only 20 or so names that I recognized.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Really, only 1,380? I thought Ollie was giving us a number that’s much larger than that. Doesn’t sound like “business as usual” if 1,380 is correct. Sounds more like a dramatically reduced number of customers. Ollie?

28. For the record - August 24, 2011

Agent 45: “Hey!? It seems to me that there should have been a police investigation into the death of Abe Goldman to determine if it was in fact a suicide.”

Routinely, there may be an investigation that we’re not aware of. It’s crossed my mind, too, although I’m sure most people don’t want to go there. Can of worms, this topic. It’s hard to grasp the concept that the Fellowship of Friends has anything malevolent about it. It’s a religious organization that focuses on living one’s life well and attaining higher levels of consciousness…. Right?

29. My2Bits - August 24, 2011

I read an article that got me thinking about the FoF/PtP/LP from a sociological perspective. I’d never thought to see the group as a “tribe.”

It’s called “The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight,” and is an interesting read if you have the time.

[snip] “The researchers explained this is how one eventually arrives at the illusion of naive realism, or believing your thoughts and perceptions are true, accurate and correct, therefore if someone sees things differently than you or disagrees with you in some way it is the result of a bias or an influence or a shortcoming. You feel like the other person must have been tainted in some way, otherwise they would see the world the way you do – the right way. The illusion of asymmetrical insight clouds your ability to see the people you disagree with as nuanced and complex. You tend to see your self and the groups you belong to in shades of gray, but others and their groups as solid and defined primary colors lacking nuance or complexity.”

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/08/21/the-illusion-of-asymmetric-insight/

30. Jimmy the System - August 24, 2011

Using full names for Fellowship of Friends (FOF) and Robert Burton does help – so does boldfacing. I’ve experimented. Keep repeating terms and phrases.

The sentimentalizing of Abraham Goldman‘s appalling suicide makes me want to throw up endlessly. And the hypocrisy of the group staggers me with its doubletalk now that an insider has done away with himself.

Abraham Goldman was used by his Beloved Teacher Robert Burton like a washrag. His ability to make a living was hamstrung by his Teacher’s endless demands (wine for legal work, as I recall at one point). His career was destroyed, his health destroyed, his financial solvency destroyed. He did all the dirty work for a very dirty organization.

Now his kids don’t get a father.

31. Jimmy the System - August 24, 2011

It’s as Gurdjieff said. These people have no shame.

32. Renald - August 24, 2011

It used to be that when a channeller (psychic) had information to share, pretty well the only way to get that info out was to get a book published. Another way was to hold public meetings (workshops, seminars). These were limited means. Nowadays with the burgeoning of technology of communications, the internet, the www, you can sit naked in your bedroom when you feel disposed and tune in to videos and movies and to top it off for the money haters it is free of charge.

Lately one such movie, Tuning In, has become available where a half dozen of these channellers were subject to interviews. Not only is the phenomena explained but the content of their info is also put forward in this documentary style movie.

I remember well when I first introduced a friend to a law of attraction video. After the first few minutes he quickly got up and ran out of the house without saying a word. He was obviously afraid. Some time later he returned and asked to see the rest of it. It changed his life and even if he had not gained anything else at least he decided to exit The Cult of the Fellowship of Friends. It took him a few more years to do so in the same way that it took me five years and in the same way that many others pondered on that fence for years.

Now you know that movie makers have a way of accentuating what they consider to be drama and this one is certainly no different.
Each channeller goes through an evolution. It takes time for them to become habituated to this form of inspiration. If you listen to Esther Hicks, for example from twenty or so years ago with Esther now. the difference is obvious. She has learned a lot. Her vocabulary has expanded tremendously. Her emotional content has blended with her intellectual content (in her trance state more noticeably) and the result is that her presentations are now quite humorous, humor being a useful tool for aiding others to detach from negative states.

That being said here is the intro as provided by YouTube and the link to access the first part which will then provide access to the rest of the movie:

http://www.tuninginmovie.com

TUNING IN is a truly unique feature-length spiritual documentary, the result of 10 years of inquiry into the phenomenon of spirit channeling by filmmaker David Thomas. Channeling is a practice dating back to antiquity wherein an individual, usually in a trance state, makes a psychic connection with a spirit being. The “channeler” is then able to act as a dimensional go-between in bringing other humans in contact with the entity, as well as interpreting messages from the entity.

For the very first time, six of America’s prominent channelers are featured in the same film in order to gain insight into the phenomenon, as well as the information being received. They are Lee Carroll–channel for Kryon, John Cali–channel for Chief Joseph, Shawn Randall–channel for Torah, Darryl Anka–channel for Bashar, Geoffrey Hoppe–channel for Tobias and Wendy Kennedy–channel for the Pleiadian Collective.

The entities coming through—each with a strong and distinct personality—were interviewed at length by the filmmaker and the result is remarkable: across space and time it appears the entities are speaking as one, delivering a clear and profound message of empowerment for humankind.

Cheers!

33. Renald - August 24, 2011

PS to 32, I forgot to mention that there are now well over a thousand short videos on specific questions available on YouTube featuring Abraham-Hicks (about 100 hours) and no doubt as many from other channellers. By the time those are seen there will no doubt be just as many new ones added, again at no cost. No need to buy books, attend workshops or anything. So much for the theory that these people are charlatans who are in it for the money. Personally I did buy books and attend workshops back in 1998-99. 99.5% of the presentations are simply repetition because people keep on asking the same questions. One half of one percent, approximately, contains material which is evolutionary, new, expanded, with new approaches to learning about one`s self. One needs to have some understanding of new concepts in order to translate that energy into words in a meaningful way.
Cheers!

34. Tim Campion - August 24, 2011

32., 33. Renald

At least let people deprogram from one cult before sucking them into another. You “attracted” the Abraham-Hicks teaching? They would like you to think so. To me it appears you’ve fallen prey to another scam, replacing one dogma with another. (That’s my outsider’s perspective.)

Perhaps you could set up an Abraham-Hicks discussion forum on the GF site, rather than fill these pages with marketing pitches? I feel like I’m in a prospective student meeting and someone’s locked the door.

No cheer.

35. Renald - August 24, 2011

Re. 34 – Tim Campion – We are all free to choose.
I posted some onfo here because it is said here that one of the desires is to drain REB`s victim pool. Since I personally know that the same info was instrumental in helping some students wake up and smell the roses and move on to more, it seems logical that I pass on to others the same opportunity. I am sorry if you for some reason felt that you were locked in to my post. That certainly is not my intent.
I am not preaching anything. I am not selling anything. A bundle of information is not a cult, it is just a bundle of information and one which I was and am grateful for. I fully understand your feeling and I have also had it at other times. Once bit, twice shy. I also understand that this orientation may not be for you. It may not be for many others as well. Yet it may actually be exactly what someone else needs and wants and attracts, so I don`t buck the current.
Either way you are still a class act and I appreciate all your posts.
Cheers!

36. James McLemore - August 24, 2011

34. Tim Campion

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly.
.
Renald –

I think you are hiding, so to speak, behind the “Cheers”.

The spirit that you write in sounds so positive, although it sounds a bit forced. It seems to you, to be that you are ‘sharing’ something, but the feeling here is that you are ‘selling’.
The reasoning sounds like what happens when one is in the middle of a belief system and is then is telling others,
“I have ‘verified’ it, it’s true, it’s working”.
You are studying yet another system that promises something. It sounds as if you have a belief system in The Law Of Attraction. It sounds to me that you are replacing one thought system with another. This is what the seeker does. You think you have now found the right one. I don’t think that there is a ‘right one’.
.

I did like the story of someone who is first, ‘running from the house in abject fear, only to later have it change their life’. That was a great ‘lead-in’.

37. Ollie - August 24, 2011

27. For the record

Last time I saw membership numbers (this month) there were 1,480. Down by about 30 since last year.

38. Renald - August 24, 2011

Re. 36 James McLemore.
I use the word Cheers and one or more exclamation points at the end of my posts for a selfish reason. It is there to remind me to manipulate my thoughts in such a way that if I happen to be feeling less than great, that I need to make the efforts required which will uplift my spirits. I want to feel good as much of the time as possible.
I am aware that due to the nature of the blog it is easy to get dragged down when I get involved. There is often a strong element of pushing against what I do not like or want implied and that is never justified in my mind. Music that I enjoy can sometimes help and that is one reason why I have included some.
I am not going to get going into a harangue about my beliefs. This is not the place. I would however attempt to answer such related questions on the aforementionned GF site if asked to.

“ Abject fear“? It seemed obvious to me that fear was involved but I never asked him why he ran out. For all I know he may have had some digestive problem.(which could have been triggered by fear). All I know is that he came back and asked to go on with the film and that it was instrumental in his leaving the fof.
Apparently he witnessed similar reactions with other students later on who also all left the fof and who can attest that this info was useful for them in reassessing the effects of the fof on them and their spiritual and psychological development.
So I am not surprised by apparent negative reactions. I see all as being necessary. All is well.
The film “ Tuning In“ which I recommend above has nothing to do with Esther and Jerry Hicks. They too got burnt before by the producers of another film called “The Secret“, in a way. The info contained in “ Tuning In“ runs along the same street and leads to the same place. Sometimes it pays to have an open mind.
May you find joy and milk it for all it`s worth!

39. Golden Veil - August 24, 2011

36. James McLemore

” It sounds to me that you are replacing one thought system with another. This is what the seeker does. You think you have now found the right one. I don’t think that there is a ‘right one’.”

Yes, maybe ‘systems’ are for machines…

My body is a kind of marvelous organic machine, but as for the rest of what is me… I’m way off the Fourth Way bandwagon.

40. James McLemore - August 24, 2011

What seemingly unbelievable things caught us we moved from the system idea that everything must first be tested, and into a faith based system where “verified” turned into Whalerider’s “veri-fabrication”.

1. We were “asleep” and Burton was “awake”.
– We didn’t really didn’t know for ourselves what those two terms meant nor if they even had any meaning. The meaning that came (that we were ‘asleep’) did not come from personal investigation it came from the system itself, from its own ideology, and from Burton.

2. That there was such a thing as “C Influence”, and that it was somehow outside of, and beyond one, and somehow controlled your life.
– Not much difference in that than a God with a long beard keeping records in the sky. Jesus words, “The kingdom of God is within you”, and pretty much all the well-thought of sages and thinkers throughout history, and for the thousands of years of Buddhist, Vedanta, Taoist, and Zen writings, ever mentioned an idea that something was outside and beyond yourself. In fact, quite the opposite.

3. That there really was a thing called”objective knowledge” that was a “hidden”.
– We were ripe for that with all the ‘magical thinking’ we brought with us as seekers from all the stuff we had read. – Burton’s fervid imagination filled it full with his interpretations of G/O, Decks of Cards, alchemy, the fact the he could see what “lifetime” someone was in, the fantastical idea that our very own innocent body has this diabolical thing called the “King of Clubs” which would try to hamper one’s soul-building efforts, that Burton had the only open channel to this “C Influence”( that was suprisingly a lot of dis-embodied poets and inventors and painters who told you they were around by way of license plates and an occasional experience of synchronicity).

It all sounds like a “MacGuffin” to me now……..

From wikipedia –

“A MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is “a plot element that catches the viewers’ attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction”. The defining aspect of a MacGuffin is that the major players in the story are (at least initially) willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to obtain it, regardless of what the MacGuffin actually is. In fact, the specific nature of the MacGuffin may be ambiguous, undefined, generic, left open to interpretation or otherwise completely unimportant to the plot. Common examples are money, victory, glory, survival, a source of power, or a potential threat, or it may simply be something entirely unexplained.
The MacGuffin is common in films, especially thrillers. Usually, though not always, the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and then declines in importance as the struggles and motivations of characters play out. It may come back into play at the climax of the story, but sometimes the MacGuffin is actually forgotten by the end of the film. Multiple MacGuffins are sometimes—somewhat derisively—referred to as plot coupons.”

41. James McLemore - August 24, 2011

Renald –

“May you find joy and milk it for all it`s worth!”

Thanks for the well wishes. I sincerely mean it. But I am not seeking joy to the exclusion of what my mind thinks is not joy. If joy happens it will be more than welcome. As far as someone “milking it”, I would take a second look at the ‘one’ who thinks they can ‘milk’ anything.

42. Ames Gilbert - August 24, 2011

I googled the interwebs and found that: CA Government Code Section 27491 and Health and Safety Code Section 102850 require a coroner to look at Abraham Goldmans death for two separate reasons. First, it was (AFAIK) unattended, and secondly, it was a suicide. Later on, we the public may be able to get at a final report which may be sanitized so that medical confidentiality is not compromised, but it is not the coroner’s job to dwell on speculations about the motives.

Renald, my wife and I looked into the “Law of Attraction” as espoused by Esther and Jerry Hicks, bought some tapes, went to a seminar and met them in the flesh. All very reasonable, and certainly Esther had some fantiastic insights to share when she was asked questions by the audience. Speaking for myself only, I could not get past this conundrum; it is fine to try to consciously attract good things into one’s life, but how to not hold the lack of such things in one’s consciousness at the same time? To use their ‘new red sports car’ example (may have been updated, this was twenty years ago, when they were beginning their mission), you must first be aware of the lack of the red sports car in your life before you start trying to attract the red sports car into your life. Having both in my awareness at the same time sent conflicting and opposite messages into the Universe, so to speak, so—for me—no, or inconsistent, results. Also, their teaching did not take into account the desires and wishes of others, all presumably under the same Law of Attraction. For example, if my family or neighbors perceive me as being ‘lower middle class’ and thus unlikely to have a new red sports car in my driveway anytime soon, what of their powers of projection? What of their messages to the Universe? Neither Esther or other followers could provide answers.
IHMO, if you have found happiness and peace following their advice, good for you. I think finding happiness and peace, and fulfilling your potentials are rather more important markers of your life than finding ‘answers’.

43. Ill Never Tell - August 24, 2011

’34. Tim Campion
. . .replacing one dogma with another.’

Don’t let your dogma chase your karma.
Or, your karma might run over your dogma.

This is an ancient Zen Kōan suitable for deep contemplation and wisdom.

44. sallymcnally - August 24, 2011

#43: LOL!

45. Renald - August 24, 2011

Re. 41 – James McLemore “ As far as someone “milking it”, I would take a second look at the ‘one’ who thinks they can ‘milk’ anything.“

Kids do it intuitively. Second looks don`t bother them. It`s pretty simple actually. If they find something funny, they keep on repeating it as long as possible. Ever wonder why? Or is it another matter belittling them as being incomplete?

Some people on here do that very thing with their negative stands.
It seems they enjoy it so they keep it going on and on till death doth us part. It`s just a different addiction.

46. nigel - August 24, 2011

38. Renald

Some of us (and I do include myself here, since I have to deal with bipolar disorder) do not necessarily go for the “I must get happy, feeling good, so I can act out my life” syndrome. Most days I wake up depressed – mildly or greatly – depending on how much ‘good sleep’ I have had the night before and, as the day goes on and I proceed with my ‘nourishing life’s work’, be it with or without my students, my mood lifts into a relaxed excitement and by the end of the day I am in a ‘head-spin’ of ideas I want to convey – hence, most evenings, I spend some time, before going home to ‘wind down’, at the pub with my good friends (beer is a great overall relaxant). Then, it is home to take my major anti-psychotic – Olanzapine – and a double-dose of mood stabilizers – Lithium and Depakote – and blogging and surfing the web until my mind is as tired as my body. A little verse from Beth Neilsen Chapman:-

(from “How We Love”)…..

“Life has taught me this – every day is new;
And if anything is true,
All that matters when we’re through
Is how we LOVE…..”

I say – “Take the black and the white, the joy and the dross, and make of Your Self something to give to others. That way you will rise above the ‘thrill-seeking’ wish to be always in a good mood.”

Miyamoto Musashi said – “Rise above Love and Grief; learn to serve Humanity”

Agape and Truth…..Nigel.

(P.S. – Sorry about the different types of love confusion)

47. A Hundred Thousand Angels - August 24, 2011

Page 106/’88. Mr. Burp – August 2, 2011:
‘AG lost a long battle with depression and physical pain due to piercing migraines. In real life “the Work” doesn’t work… the miracles it promises.’

In homage to Abraham:

‘I pray thee, peace.
I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently,
However they have writ the style of gods
And made a push at chance and sufferance.’
Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare
Act V, Scene I.

‘Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.’
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
William Shakespeare
Act V, Scene II.

48. Renald - August 24, 2011

Re. 42 – Ames Gilbert. “ For example, if my family or neighbors perceive me as being ‘lower middle class’ and thus unlikely to have a new red sports car in my driveway anytime soon, what of their powers of projection? What of their messages to the Universe? “

Ok this one time I will bite right here right now but like was said earlier this is not the place.
You are right when you say that if there are counter energies, thoughts, expectations and so one that nothing will manifest. That is our usual method. However there is the matter of a possible inequilibrium. If you really desired that shiny new red sports car without any form of resistance which has the equal amount of energy as your desire, you would have it one way or another. That could simply come from a belief. How do you react to seeing a new sport`s car in a neighbor`s drive? I don`t know the answer, only you do. I want to keep this brief but since I push against rambling…well you get the picture.
While at Apollo and while I was at the same time attending the seminars, I did a lot of experimenting. I may have written about some of these on this blog some years ago, I`m not sure. One such experiment I tried on my good friend Charles P. who was working the gatehouse. I was drawn to stop and talk to him one morning on my way in to the vineyard office. He was depressed as his Volks had burnt its motor and he had no way to get to work but to walk. I engaged him in conversation which appeared to be fantasizing.
I asked how would he feel if someone came to him and offered him a shiny brand new red car. It kind of caught him by surprise, like I was just joking. I continued to stay on that thought neighborhood; what type of seats would he choose, leather? I kept pumping him with questions which kept him imagining and his mood changed to a positive one. The idea was to keep him there for 68 seconds and it worked well. The following morning there was a shiny new red car parked at the gatehouse so of course I stopped to check in on him.
What had transpired was that a student had unexpectedly been sent overseas by Reb just after he had bought the car. The wife had thought that Charles would be as good as any to take care of it till the husband came back since she had heard about his car problem.
There was no way of telling how long he would be gone. Well old habits die hard. Turns out that when I asked him about the car Charles said that he would not have chosen that car, a Jeep (I don`t remember the model but it was one I would have loved) because Jeeps have military connotations. I could not get him to say anything positive so I left. The owner came back a couple weeks later.
I tried three different such experiments that very day. Another student had been threatened with not being allowed on to the property because he was late in his fof payments in a phone call just prior to my talking to him. He was furious because the fellowship owed him thousands, about six months wages. So away I went into imagination again. “`XXX“ , I said, how would you feel if you got another telephone call apologizing for this call, that it was made by mistake and asking you to come in and pick up your check? He smiled, and brightened up as he answered me. I again kept him busy with this discussion for at leat the 68 seconds. Within an hour, I found out later the call came and he had already picked up his check.
My third attempt that day had to do with another depressed student.
I don`t want to go into details on that one but that discussion took about ten minutes. It was easier to find questions on that subject so I milked it for the extra time. We discussed a whole pile of details for that desire, maybe twenty of them. This was a life changing manifestation and it took approximately two months to show up. And when it did and some of the details would take years to manifest because there is just no way to have x number of children without the time, every one of the details mentioned came to be, without a single exception.
What was common to all three of these experiments of mine is that nobody actually took me serious, so there were absolutely no negative expectations created. They were let go and forgotten about. You could have knocked me over with a feather after each one of them.
Please no more, my daughter, Sara Joy wants to use the computer and does she know how to manifest!

Cheers!!

49. James McLemore - August 24, 2011

45. Renald

“Kids do it intuitively.”

Exactly. That my point. If you were to ask the child, “Is he milking it?”, my guess is he/she would look with a blank stare.
But if you look for something to milk, or some fun comes along, and the mind goes to. “Lets milk this,” you are done for. You are a step away from that intuitively moment, stuck in your mind.

50. Tim Campion - August 25, 2011

48. Renald

These are interesting anecdotes and must be of personal value.

You are describing a process the Fellowship of Friends effectively dialed into. They found prospects who were looking for an escape and taught them to envision their freedom. (Only the prison was an illusion, and the “tools” largely unnecessary.) It was mostly a charade.

It seems one lesson from your observations is “be careful what you wish for. You might just end up in a cult.”

51. sallymcnally - August 25, 2011

You guys are way into your left brains — try the right once in awhile —🙂

52. sallymcnally - August 25, 2011

it’s starting to sound like a political debate on the ‘correct’ and ‘proper’ way to not be in a cult. Come on! GEEZE! Give the poor guy a break!

53. Tim Campion - August 25, 2011

51. sallymcnally

I blame it on George W. Bush. I can’t deal with anything “right” anymore.

54. sallymcnally - August 25, 2011

#53: LOL!!!😐

55. Renald - August 25, 2011

“It seems one lesson from your observations is “be careful what you wish for. You might just end up in a cult.”

Exactly! I thought I had described that quite well many times before.
I am grateful that I did not develop the wish to never get stuck in one for the rest of my life. Both ends work.
To me what makes the anecdotes memorable is that all three took place on the same day, a day when I particularly felt like playing.

Cheers!

56. Shirley - August 25, 2011

35. Renald

“We are all free to choose. I posted some onfo here because it is said here that one of the desires is to drain REB`s victim pool. Since I personally know that the same info was instrumental in helping some students wake up and smell the roses and move on to more, it seems logical that I pass on to others the same opportunity.”

Maybe some people are pushed out of the FF by their disgust of the goings-on, and others are pulled out of the FF by an attractive alternative. Maybe most people who left had some combination of both happening.

When I was in my exiting process, there were 14-15 of us who were also questioning RB and the FF. We were spread out in different countries; therefore, much of our questioning happened through letter-writing and the occasional personal visits to each other. Several of us were in the same city, so we’d socialize together, with the unspoken understanding that we would not abandon each other when one or more of us left the FF. There was no Blog, no GF, only this constant attempt at communicating with each other. What bound us together during those couple of years was the questioning and doubting of the same leader and group.

Within 2 years, most of that small group left the FF. Some of us kept in touch and continued to write or visit each other in our different countries, if possible. It meant a lot that we did not excommunicate each other. However, what was noticeable, and discomforting, was that we began to go our separate ways, in terms of what and who we chose to “follow” next. And despite the desire to respect each other’s new spiritual choices, it was hard to swallow some of those choices. One person was still avid about the 4th Way. Another looked into Seth Speaks. Several tried different “high level of being teachers”, often moving to that teacher’s country to study with him/her. One person got into drugs. And a few turned away from everything, and as far as I know, are probably none the worse for having had no obvious spiritual affiliation.

There is goodwill among us, but our having gone our separate ways, in terms of finding meaning in our lives, means that we haven’t been sharing common lives. The intensity and closeness of that important 2-year exiting period has necessarily faded away. However, I have not heard a single one of those 14-15 individuals regret their decision to leave the FF and go his/her own way.

In the FF, there is a culture of homogeneity. One goes from FF teaching house to teaching house, and the same music is playing, the same art reproductions are found on the walls, the same books, the predictable standards of taste and behavior, so that one’s experiences with each other are comfortable and seemingly supportive and positive. It is like a fortress against the “coarseness” and randomness of “life”. There is an illusion of being taken care of from cradle to grave. As long as you are cooperative.

57. sallymcnally - August 25, 2011

#56: ‘In the FF, there is a culture of homogeneity. One goes from FF teaching house to teaching house, and the same music is playing, the same art reproductions are found on the walls, the same books, the predictable standards of taste and behavior, so that one’s experiences with each other are comfortable and seemingly supportive and positive. It is like a fortress against the “coarseness” and randomness of “life”. There is an illusion of being taken care of from cradle to grave. As long as you are cooperative.’

Sounds like any church to me. Ahhh sweet sleep. My dad used to sleep through the 1-1/2 hour sermons that the minister gave on Sunday mornings at our church Poor guy, 5 days a week at the office, then half a day Sunday listening to a sermon that didn’t interest him.

58. nigel - August 25, 2011

It is my belief that ‘no fucker is going to become conscious’ in the FOF (and I really think Burton is a sociopath and not a conscious being). How could there be consciousness (knowing what you are and what you represent, as Burton once said) when there is all this conformity to a style/pattern of behaviour. I feel a little trepidacious about mentioning the so-called 44, but all of them offered something individual as a legacy to humanity. I still believe that the FOF saga has been a ‘set-up’ to reveal Burton as the Anti-Christ. Bring on the authorities to ‘take Burton to the cleaners’ over all his illegalities and those of his enablers. Like X-ray, I wish Burton to go to prison before he ‘snuffs it’…..Nigel.

59. nigel - August 25, 2011

From ‘Wikipedia’…..

“The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, is a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner. The antichrist will seemingly provide for the needs of the people but deny them ultimate salvation.

The term “antichrist” appears five times in 1 John and 2 John of the New Testament — once in plural form and four times in the singular.[1] The Apostle Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in particular the 2nd chapter, summarizes the nature, work, coming, and revelation of the “Man of Sin” – a passage often regarded as referring to same person as the antichrist of 1 and 2 John.”

60. Ronnie - August 25, 2011

The same question has popped up again. If you discovered that somehow you were given the power to erase all the negative qualities of Reb and transform him today into a healthy, loving, and wise teacher, would you do so?

61. X-ray - August 25, 2011

10

Another lie.
It should read:

´´Abraham Nathan Goldman have committed suicide on July 31, 2011, in Oregon House, at the age of 61.´´

Can anyone please contact Ryan from the apeal democrat to make the correction?

62. X-ray - August 25, 2011

And for expossing another fellowship fraud, it would be right to attach an email sent to current students, where FOF admiting that AG have ended his life by his own hand.

63. Agent 45 - August 25, 2011

From “As Good as it Gets” (1997)
– Screenplay by Mark Andrus & James L. Brooks

Carol: Do you have any control over how creepy you allow yourself to get?
Melvin: Yes I do, as a matter of fact. And to prove it, I have not gotten personal, and you have.

Melvin: Can I ask a personal question?
Simon: Sure.
Melvin: You ever get an erection over a woman?
Simon: Melvin…..
Melvin: I mean, wouldn’t your life be easier if you weren’t…..
Simon: You consider your life easy?
Melvin: All right. I give you that one.

Carol: Come on in, and try not to ruin everything by being you.
Melvin: Maybe we could live without the wisecracks.
Carol: Maybe we could.

Melvin: Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.

Melvin: I’m drowning here and you’re describing the water.

64. WhaleRider - August 25, 2011

Ronnie:
How many socipaths does it take to change a lightbulb?

Stupid fuck.

65. silentpurr - August 25, 2011

64, my sentiments exactly

66. Tim Campion - August 25, 2011

30. Jimmy the System

Search engine optimization is a science in itself and I don’t profess to know a much about it. That said, here’s what I’ve found: in searches for Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton, this blog does fine. In a search for Living Presence, it doesn’t.do well. I realize that one factor is that we don’t mention Living Presence in the blog title or description.

The blog would likely have to be titled “Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion” (or some variation) to rank significantly higher. (There’s a lot of competition in the Living Presence category.)

(On a side note: three weeks ago, I registered the domains robertearlburton.com and robertearlburton.org and set up a site that is simply an aggregation of material from this blog and our other “collective archives”. In my searches, that site now appears first in search results for “Robert Earl Burton” on Yahoo/Bing. However, on Google it has appeared anywhere from first page to fourth page.)

Bolds can help, but apparently not everywhere. They work better in headings and titles. In your experiments, be aware that the algorithms may be responding to your personal searches and “customizing” results to meet your particular line of inquiry. Another person may receive very different search results. (It might help to clear cookies, caches and search history before launching a new search – but that can cause other unwelcome issues.)

Have fun!

67. Shirley - August 25, 2011

60

He would have to be a different person in his entirety, from the inside out. Not going to happen.

68. brucelevy - August 25, 2011

60. Ronnie

If you discovered that somehow you were given the power to erase all the negative qualities of Reb and transform him today into a healthy, loving, and wise teacher, would you do so?

If frogs had wings would that keep them from bumping their bottoms?

How many angels fit on the head of a pin?

If the Queen had balls, would that make her be the king?

And other useful questions.

69. silentpurr - August 25, 2011

60 -just kidding, but actually, I think most people leave the fellowship because they can no longer bear the disappointment and disillusion that comes with the “shock” that they are wasting time, resources and trust with a person who is not going to change. Ever.
And due to Robert’s insatiable and undisciplined appetite for consumption and attention ( I think he welcomes the gossip), there is no value given to health, love and wisdom.
Why should there be? The Fellowship, having become it’s own opposite gets along just fine without health , love and wisdom!

70. nigel - August 25, 2011

“My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold”, by William Wordsworth

“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”
1802.

To me, this poem is about the proper domain of Essence, something that is rarely discussed here on the blog – even less, in the proper meaning of the word, in the FOF, where all is style, pose and fashion – bound to Burton’s whim (he has no will – GOD! HE HAS NO CONSCIOUSNESS/CONSCIENCE!) …..NIgel.

71. fofblogmoderator - August 25, 2011

66 is new
I’ll look into updating the blog name

72. Agent 45 - August 25, 2011

A man once bragged that he could make a pun on any subject, so someone dared him to make fun of the king. He demurred saying:
“The King is not a subject.”
Your numbers are more correct than mine, Ollie. The total population was recounted at 1,463 – but that included 2 or 3 now deceased and a few more with the temerity to leave. By the way, Robert Earl Burton was member # 193. Is he trying to hide something?
Soon to be released: Names of Fellowship of Friends Board of Directors and the official smarmy characters that are gaming the cult for social status, profit and kinky sexual favors. Next the Agency hopes to isolate and publish the names of the sodomites themselves.

73. fofblogmoderator - August 25, 2011

the Blog name has been updated along with the brief description (at the very top of the page). Any other suggestions?

74. Shirley - August 25, 2011

60 Ronnie

REB has found something that works, so he has no incentive to change. The FF is the “gift that just keeps on giving” to him. Earlier, I’d compared him to Madoff in a certain sense (such as, having no remorse while deliberately and knowingly taking advantage of people who trust him). Madoff threw in the towel (confessed) in late 2008 only because he thought he would be caught soon (this was during the market collapse); it’s not that he had a change of heart and was sorry about what he did.

If REB ever changes, even externally, it would mostly likely be because he has painted himself into a corner and is compelled to do so. I really can’t imagine him undergoing an internal change of heart (because he probably doesn’t have a “heart” – real feelings, compassion, conscience).

75. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

“ If you discovered that somehow you were given the power to erase all the negative qualities of Reb and transform him today into a healthy, loving, and wise teacher, would you do so?“

Well at least more than one had the balls (so to speak) to answer the question.
Yet nobody really answered it. You all squirted the issue. Only Xray so far was able to and that was with the previous attempt on my part.

It basically was a yes or no illiciting question.

One could also explain why the answer was either the yes or the no.

Actually, it is not important to answer it on the blog. In the heart is where it is important.

I will wait a while longer and give my answer.

76. Tim Campion - August 26, 2011

73. Blog star

Thanks for that. Now the web crawlers need to do their thing and report back to headquarters that there’s a new blog title out there. It may take a week or so for rankings to be affected.

Nice avatar – refreshing!

77. X-ray - August 26, 2011

75

´´Yet nobody really answered it.´´

I don´t think so.
Bruce have gave you great answers.

78. Ill Never Tell - August 26, 2011

75. Ronnie – August 26, 2011:
‘Yet nobody really answered it.’

Just because you asked a question does not mean you are entitled to an answer.

Posing the question:
“If you discovered that somehow you were given the power to erase all the negative qualities of Reb and transform him today into a healthy, loving, and wise teacher, would you do so?”
Is instructive enough. And, getting no satisfactory (to you) answer, is also instructive, indeed.

Do you know what the sound of one hand clapping is?
Hmmm, Grasshopper?

79. Agent 45 - August 26, 2011

Take a break Renald/Ronnie, you are being obnoxious, condescending and stupid.
X-Ray, would you please translate this message into a language he can understand. Thanks for your help.

80. Shirley - August 26, 2011

75

I thought I answered it. Maybe you need to be more receptive to how people express their thoughts. Basically, I couldn’t see the point of entertaining the possibility. I cannot picture RB as healthy, loving and wise. Maybe I did once, back in the 1970s. But I no longer do.

And if the Q was supposed to elicit in each of us something about ourselves, such as our ability to visualize RB in a “positive” way, then I guess I just don’t picture him that way and I don’t want to apologize for that. That, to me, would be a kind of false positivity. I would rather see things as they are, than try to generate artificial positivity. I had enough of that in the FF.

81. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

Yes or no……. also “ Actually, it is not important to answer it on the blog. In the heart is where it is important.“

That was clear to me and from me. I am not interested in a quarrel, on the contrary I just want to understand more about those I am speaking with and their motivations, their desires. I don`t need to understand Reb`s thinking process as it is already clearly visible. After all there is a five year history of that laid out here for all to see.

82. WhaleRider - August 26, 2011

Ronnievich:

“In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a real paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.”

~Wikipedia

How long have you been a hostage, squirt?

83. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

78 I`ll never tell
“And, getting no satisfactory (to you) answer, is also instructive, indeed.“
I agree and that is fine.

84. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

75 Agent 45 Obnoxious? I am sorry if I hit a nerve.

85. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

82 Whalerider I never mentioned any captors or implied such a thing, real or imaginary. Someone is making a mountain out of a molehill. That is also interesting. I do not and will not bad-mouth anyone over this simple question. Why should I lower myself ? I leave that to others, there are plenty. It`s a dirty job and somebody has to do it, I know, but I won`t volonteer for that octave.

“ How long have you been a hostage, squirt?“ Oh I get it, you are afraid that I might be an inner. lol. My intentions are honorable.
I`m not interested in burton, I`m interested in you`all.

86. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

Congrats X-ray for not falling for that obvious set up from the agent.
I like your honesty and courage. Welcome back!

87. Tim Campion - August 26, 2011

37. Ollie

“Last time I saw membership numbers (this month) there were 1,480. Down by about 30 since last year.”

***

Ollie, For the Record, Agent 45 (and your esteemed Agency):

It was reported 10/29/09 in these pages the membership was 1,570, so it’s a decline, but a slow one. The numbers, however, are not as important as the revenue.

It would be valuable to know more about the Fellowship revenue, and the location of the “high value targets” (i.e. which centers are most profitable. Maybe Charles or James has some idea?) If we knew that, perhaps we could find volunteers to create and moderate translated, targeted blogs that would work best with the local search engines (google.ru, google.es, google.it, etc.)

For all I know, the current blog audience may be 95% or more English-only speakers (those requiring no translation. You cannot rely on Google Translate to provide a good representation of the this discussion in Russia, Spain, Italy, or Brazil.)

Food for thought.

(Renald: please attract volunteers. Cheers!)

88. Ronnie - August 26, 2011

“Black Hole Caught in Act of Swallowing Star :
a black hole ripped apart a star, which scientists named Swift J1644+57.
Hummmm! The 44 is a dead giveaway.

Tim, it seems to me that our blogsters are hard pressed to understand English, real or American. Anyhow I`ll slap on The Sound of Silence or Pink Panther and see if I can get my mood to rise a little and give it a shot. lol.

89. Renald - August 26, 2011

RE. 88 – Ronnie –
Thanks, I can use all the help I can find. Two heads are better than one according to a not so reliable source.

Cheers!

90. X-ray - August 26, 2011

86

Don´t know what you talking about, mr. ronnie.

91. WhaleRider - August 26, 2011

Ronnie:
You don’t have to be a current follower to be held intellectually and emotionally hostage by the 4th way…and the magical thinking and ideas of reference that are imbedded in pastor burton’s delusional system.

In the first place, it is impossible to erase all our negative parts.

Second, your question is also a double bind. IMO, for burton to “transform”…”into a healthy, loving, and wise teacher”, he’d have to abandon his air tight delusional system, cease “teaching” and accept himself as equal to everyone else…yeah right, like that is going to happen, silly.

The real question is: If you discovered that somehow you were given the power to accept all the negative qualities of yourself and transform yourself today into a healthy, loving, and wise person, would you do so?

The truth is…you do have that power over yourself.

You don’t have the power to transform others, neither do I…and to even consider it, that’s probably the remnants of burton’s delusional Jesus complex that you have unconsciously incorporated.

92. Ames Gilbert - August 26, 2011

Ronnie (#110-60 or thereabouts and following),
apparently you believe that you are owed an answer to your question. That tells me something about you and your valuation for other people’s time and energy. And the kind of question you asked, and your claim that later you yourself are going to provide the correct answer tells me more.

My answer to your question, for what it is worth, is “no”.
Cf ‘Law of Unintended Consequences’. Not to mention that with power comes equal responsibility (that is, I would be responsible, probably in including ways I could not possibly imagine, for the consequences). Not to mention that if I had that kind of power, there is no reason to expect I could be trusted with it. Not to mention the fact of having such power would change me in ways foreseeable and unforeseeable.

X-Ray, (#110-61 or thereabouts),
I talked with Ryan McCarthy, and he is well aware of the circumstances. The A-D policy is not to discuss suicides unless it is a public figure, which Abraham Goldman was not. The remembrance idealizing AG was not written by the paper, but by the family, and they paid to insert it in the paper. A form of advertising, if you will. I expect that it was designed to bring some comfort to his family.

93. sallymcnally - August 26, 2011

#91: The real question is: If you discovered that somehow you were given the power to accept all the negative qualities of yourself and transform yourself today into a healthy, loving, and wise person, would you do so?

The truth is…you do have that power over yourself.

good one!

94. Renald - August 26, 2011

RE. 141. Renald – July 25, 2011
If you could go through a thinking ritual for a minute every day for a month and it would be guaranteed to cure Reb of all his harmful habits, turn him into a wonderful loving being, would you do it?

142. Mr. Burp – July 25, 2011
117. 141. Renald

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

144. X-ray – July 25, 2011
NO, Renald, I wouldn´t spend even a day doing that.

RE. 92 above Ames Gilbert “My answer to your question, for what it is worth, is “no”.“

No 2 Yes 0

Okay! I go Yes but it is close.
I would do it mainly because there are over a thousand potential victims out there some of which are every day being abused.
I would do it because all of the present students would be helped by a wonderful, healthy, wise and loving teacher to undo the harm done to them by his previous abuses.
The reason I say it is close is that I am aware that each one of us and them are in some way responsible for creating that reality.
Yet this kind of miracle would leave a better result in the end.
By better I mean mostly faster.
Is it possible that he could change like that? Not bloody likely and certainly not on his own. He is too far gone in this lifetime.
Even if it did happen, we would never know about it.
Another likely outcome is that if it did happen (the miracle) he would walk in and confess to all his past crimes and do the rest of his teaching from behind bars. I know that would put a big permanent smile on X-ray`s face or he might get so excited that it could trigger a heart attack. Everything that can be thought can happen.
Cheers!

95. Renald - August 26, 2011

re 93. Sally- Right and that may even be more difficult than my imaginary scenario. It certainly has to come first in order to be aligned without which nothing can improve.

I felt inspired to ask the question and so I did.
I thought it only fair to answer it.
I felt inspired to post some other info and so I did.
Hopefully I will be able to take a long break and that should put some other smiles on some discontented faces.
I would pop open a good bottle of wine to celebrate but it seems that it was the trigger for migraines, so a Coronita will do.
Thanks to All. Also a belated special thanks to whoever mentioned
Ho`Oponopono on the blog as it probably had something to do with my giving it a try and I found it surprisingly helpful.
Daiboja ! (Correct my spelling on that one if you can. It is Ukrainian)

96. nigel - August 26, 2011

Renald/Whalerider

On this positive/negative thing…..

Sometimes you need to discriminate and this takes negative thinking – not being happy all the time – sometimes being wary. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to work against my naivete and to help one of my ‘business’ friends. At my local pub, some guy I had never met ‘muscled in on’ my dog and started to feed him pub snacks. He was quite cheery about it, made some lame excuse and then started drinking my beer. When I pointed that out he insisted it was his and continued to drink it. My adrenals fired off – I removed my dog and myself from the table and said – “Enjoy your beer!” He then got in a conversation with my ‘business’ friend, then left the pub. My friend said he knew the guy and I asked if he had done business him. He said he had, but the guy was all talk and never ‘got to the deal’ with him. I advised my friend not to get to the contract stage with the guy, since you cannot rely on people who steal others’ drinks. What do you think of that, Renald, or is it all rosy with you?…..Nigel.

97. WhaleRider - August 26, 2011

nigel:
“Sometimes you need to discriminate and this takes negative thinking – not being happy all the time – sometimes being wary..”

You are speaking to the link between thinking negative thoughts and and experiencing negative feelings, which can lead to negative mood swings, right?

What does it take to engage in negative thinking and yet remain in a positive mood?

For me, it’s a sense of humor. Your culture, nigel, is brilliant at it. Next time, make a joke about it. Have a good laugh at his expense, after all, you paid for it. I’d leave too. Your dog, your beer…what’s next, he’s going to get into your pants?

98. Ames Gilbert - August 26, 2011

Renald (#110-94 or thereabouts),
I answered a different question (#110-60, not #105-141), in case you didn’t notice, so you had better adjust your ‘score’. So, now I have more information about you, including the fact that you post under two different names, which even have blog conversations with each other. A fine joke, except I’m too obtuse to appreciate it. What I do know is, I’ll skip posts from both of you in future.

99. nigel - August 26, 2011

99. Whalerider

It’s all right, mate. I take double mood-staibilizers – Semi-Sodium Valporate and Lithium. I would probably have gone high ( if I had not taken ‘me meds, mate’), become confrontative and had a tempoary ban from the pub. I know what is good for me – and that includes all sorts of medical help – and the help of all my friends in the community and my students who all know about my disability…..Nigel.

P.S. (at your command!)…..Is Burton competing with Mount St. Helens for being the largest ‘ash-hole’ in the USA?????!!!!!…..n.

100. nigel - August 26, 2011

Sorry – 97. Wahlerider!!!!!

101. nigel - August 26, 2011

My lucky evening, Whalerider…..n.

102. silentpurr - August 26, 2011

Let there be room for all including R/R whose sense of mischievousness can be endearing! Why should he not be free to explore it? No harm was done…
meow

103. Tim Campion - August 26, 2011

102. silentpurr

I agree. (In the spirit of the Arab Spring, this is no time to waste our ammunition on fellow-insurgents.)

Robert was effective at teaching us conformity and to imitate his phony gravitas. The self-righteousness that results is a tough habit to break.

104. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 26, 2011

I vote for inclusionary, as compares with exclusionary.

105. 2011 - August 26, 2011

excuse the non sequitor- I thought it might be interesting to follow this thread from a web site (Zero Hedge) blog that I frequent. It’s a little lengthy but it might be of some interest to the people here to see how threads e/de/volve”. If it seems long we can have the moderator delete it.

-eureka-
“Let’s contemplate and discuss “social cohesion”… What is “social cohesion”? How can we have it – in a dynamic way, so it doesn’t diappear, sucked up by power or bureaucracy? If Libertarianism is based solely on individual pursuit of happiness, how can it possibly create social cohesion?
I want to hear all your descriptioms of dynamic cohesion – if such a concept/model is at all a real possibility.
OR – is U.S. quite simply too big and too divided – ethnically, culturally, financially, territorially – to ever be socially cohesive, and therefore by definition destined to fracture?
Let’s go a little deeper for a while. Let’s see if we have any real brain power – and any real interest in each other’s ideas – and thus by extension in community in general and this country in particular.
Thank you all. I await your intellectual contributions to our common potential for dynamic cohesion.”

-GoldBricker-
‘Your question is an old one.
See Plato’s Republic. Use the Allan Bloom translation.
Plato says that the state won’t hold together if it’s every man for himself, or a few in charge against all the rest. He holds that a form of organization arrived at by reason has the best chance, and says how he proposes to get there. He recognizes all sorts of concepts, including the value of division of labor and comparative advantage.”

-Temporalist-
First I think you should get a better definition of “Libertarianism” because it is not just about “individual pursuit of happiness” it is about the LIBERTY to do things even those that make you miserable too or even kill you as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else or their property.
People take things for granted when it is right there all along.  The U.S. Constitution has been disregarded for too long but one day it will be the law of the land again.  Perhaps the Declaration of Independence is one definition of Libertarianism for you; as it points out it is about “rights” not “happiness” and without Rule of Law, which has been abandoned in most of the modern world, there can be no “social cohesion.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
 
-Random_Robert-
Where this country has failed is in preserving the separation of church and state…  bear with me.
I’m not talking church in the Roman-Catholic, bible toting, mass on Sunday sense.
The church that has captured .gov is the church which espouses the “God’s work” of one Lloyd Blankfein.
You must realize that these uber-rich sociopaths (the same ones who no posess adequate concentration of wealth that they effectively chart the course of society) are compelled to fight for the status quo only to validate their own self righteousness… It is a religion to them, and they are the high Priests.
Does the Catholic Bishop truly believe that his robe and collar are his ticket to heaven, even as he is sodomizing the alter-boy in the confessional booth? Without seeing into the mind of a sociopath, that question can never be answered.
This status-quo, which is so vehemently defended, either creates sociopaths, or it simply offers them the nutrient-rich environment to thrive.  Either way, it must yield to entropy.
The Constitution?  the Constitution is easily summed up in 3 bullet points:
1) Express yourself
2) Represent yourself
3) Defend yourself
Societal cohesion is born out of the underlying respect that everyone deserves these 3 liberties just as much as anyone else does…
Deny the sociopath the ability to “do right” by you, and you remove their power to corrupt society.
 
-SteveNYC-
Firstly, to be “in pursuit” can not lead to lasting happiness, the statement was flawed from day 1. The “pursuit” itself of something, anything, will ensure that you can not become “one” with that thing as the desire to have it clouds your inherent relationship with it. Even when one gets what one pursues, it is but fleeting. When the illusion breaks down, so does the temporary state of happiness. In order to be happy, don’t pursue.
Secondly, there is limited understanding not just in this country but in all the world right now, about what we are. The fact that we are all linked, one, has been blown apart by the lies and misinformation rammed down our throats day after day after day by media, politicians, business leaders, neighbors etc. Until we realize what we are, “dynamic cohesion” is just a concept, a pipe dream. Our priorities as a race right now are all f*cked up.
Ok, that’s my 2 cents…..

-EvlTheCat-
To be “in pursuit” of something is subjective.  As a base case place a man in the woods with nothing but a knife and a string and tell him to survive.  If he does not choose to be “in pursuit” of satisfying his basic needs then he is as good as dead.  If living does not make you happy then that is because you cease to appreciate what the natural world has to offer, or you have been convinced that a reward awaits you in a better place after you die..  This is the crux of the problem complex societies create; ceasing to understand the beauty and necessity of the natural world and to appreciate our place in it.
Our society, dependent of fossil fuels, has made the pursuit of necessity an easy task.  Upon removing the need to pursue basic needs people create abstract necessities to pursue.  Our need to dominate our natural surroundings is a perversely abstracted concept at this point.  When you pursue abstraction then I agree you will never be happy.
At this point requiring our abstracted world to revert to some more balanced natural state is inconceivable.  Central planners still believe this can be achieved by force, through laws, and elite run bureaucracies.  All perversions for the need to dominate our surroundings instead of living in balance with it.
As to the second part of your statement, I tend to agree with it, but on a cosmic scale as opposed to limiting it to a planetary scale.

-narnia-
if history has taught us anything, it is that “social cohesion” cannot be mandated by force.  no one can make me like you or value what you value and vice-versa.  true “social cohesion” only comes when you and I come together voluntarily.  the more you try to make that involuntary, the less likely we are to peacefully coexist.

-Imminent Crucible-
Thoreau was not a communist, but rather inclined toward Transcendentalism with a taste of Anarchy. He lived in his cabin on Walden Pond from 1845-47, and published the book in 1854. Das Kapital did not appear until after the Civil War.

-CPL-
while at starbucks they would rub body glitter on their bodies, straighten up their man purses and make sure their apple products were updated.  Once the whole gay affair was done, they would don their cardigans and corduroy jackets and give each other handjobs in the parking lot while mincing about how a committee to discuss the realization of south east asian farmers benefits the plight of the average north american post office worker…
Then Marx and Thoreau would give each other hand jobs again.
(ahhh, there we go…troll post complete)

-ManOfBliss-
Good. Shut the fuck up.
***Takes big sip of java chip frappuccino while checking portfolio performance”**

-disabledvet-
While giving hand job.

-Diogenes-
Ha ha ha when Thoreau wrote  Walden the  telephone hadn’t been invented and  Das Kapital hadn’t been written.
This is sort of like the critic who complained Shakespeare used too many cliches and common sayings.

-PistoleroPedro-
My favorite part of Walden; he borrowed an axe and a shovel to build his cabin, and returned them two years later sharper than when he borrowed them. Give me a world full of people like that.

-Monday1929-
People who keep borrowed items for two years?

-orangedrinkandchips-
she is a clueless, nasaly cunt!

106. Agent 45 - August 26, 2011

Dear Hearts & Gentle People –
Who said anything about exclusion or restricting freedom of posting drivel?
What about us vulgarians? Aren’t we free to call a spade a shovel?

107. Agent 45 - August 27, 2011

Of course there are more graceful and less graceful ways to leave the Fellowship of Friends.
1. Totally graceless: Kill yourself and leave your family to deal with the mess.
2. More graceful: Stop making payments and tell the powers that be the reason why.
Of course there is no graceful way to stay a member of that shameless little cult. Choose wisely.

108. Tim Campion - August 27, 2011

105. 2011

You didn’t have to go to Zero Hedge to find that. We have many wondrous examples here. It’s reassuring though to see that we’re at least at the level of “life”, and not below it. (And thank goodness The Agency is here to lift us from the gutter.)

109. Shirley - August 27, 2011

102

I am inclined to agree with silentpurr.

However, Ames, and maybe some others, felt deceived by a semi-fabricated conversation between R/R. Maybe that’s a price we pay on a blog where posters can have aliases: We don’t always know whom we are communicating with; we can’t put a face to the name. I think the pseudonyms are here to stay, because people who use them have reasons to do so. My guess is that they don’t want the baggage that came with their FF persona to accompany them when people see their name, plus a concern with hostile action by FF sympathizers.

The R/R internally-generated dialog is a different matter, and has its own ethical calculus. The risk is that trust, and maybe credibility, is lost, as Ames indicated.

110. Red Hat - August 27, 2011

#92. Ames.

Nonsense. He was a famous enough figure for the Appeal Democrat to post this message on his “legacy” page:

“Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.”
~ The Appeal-Democrat Family

He was one of the most prominent attorneys in region. And he was well known as the FOF litigator.

Moreover, if you search for suicide in the Appeal Democrat archives, as recently as May 26 they have an article about a 14-year-old Wheatland girl who committed suicide. Hardly a famous person.

They are participating in a cover up by the organization, however kindly intentioned. They are seriously negligent in their responsibilities about a organization that has a growing dark side. Perhaps, on the occasion of an economic depression, the prospect of a major taxpayer going under in a poverty-stricken county is too much to face.

It would be interesting to know how far behind in its taxes the Fellowship of Friends is – the corporation is legally allowed to be behind for five years. They’ve played that little way of getting a high-interest loan before, back in the days when an earthquake was going to take care of their debts.

#87. Tim

Foreign centers don’t bring in revenue. They deplete it. The foreign centers with their small “teaching” payments need to be subsidized by the U.S. centers – at least that was so in the past. Last I knew, they didn’t have many American centers left – Robert Burton prefers exotica nowadays. I hear there’s a new exodus to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Palo Alto/Silicon Valley to make a buck. Apollo/Isis/Apollo/Renaissance/Mount Carmel/Living Presence, or whatever, can’t be generating much income – people have built huge mausoleum-like houses that now cost more than they’re worth. People were nickel-and-diming each other to death last time I was there.

They used to say that if “Renaissance is the heart of the Fellowship of Friends, Palo Alto is the pocketbook.” In these economic times, Sacramento or San Francisco will do as well.

For economic purposes, English will do fine.

111. Agent 45 - August 27, 2011

Nige –
What is your dogs name?
What breeding or lack thereof does he/she display?
I’m sure he/she was thinking – how can you argue with free food?
Arf! in dog language tanslates to Hey!
At least one couple made the mistake of taking their pet to a restaurant in the Far East. Ewwww…

112. Agent 45 - August 27, 2011

Correction: Arf translates to Hey.
Red Hat – Since when does the Fellowship of Friends pay real property taxes? Last I heard they were in arrears, if you get my meaning, if you catch my drift.

113. Tim Campion - August 27, 2011

110. Red Hat (Jimmy, whomever…)

It’s encouraging to hear you think that foreign centers don’t generate revenue, but what about the stories of couriers carrying cash to Oregon House from overseas. Do you think they are long-past, perhaps fabricated?

The Oregon House real estate market looks grim (not that others look much better.) It must be tough to find buyers for those big homes, especially with no world class golf and other amenities nearby.

98. Ames Gilbert and 109. Shirley

I didn’t get the impression Renald/Ronnie was trying to deceive anyone. He told us he uses two names (and the avatar appears the same regardless which name you use.)

I’ve unintentionally used several names here, just because I wasn’t paying attention when I typed in the name. (If you are a sleeping machine, it’s easy to do.)

But I’m with you two – I don’t follow the purpose of his dialogue, and don’t wish to invest.

(Renald/Ronnie: I know you’re okay with that.)

114. Red Hat - August 27, 2011

I’ve heard direct accounts of the money-in-suitcases thing from former couriers. So it’s true. I can only speculate. Money goes out from FOF central headquarters, a percentage returns directly to Robert in cash? Just a guess.

Outlying centers were not moneymakers. They “contributed” in other ways.

115. leonhardon - August 27, 2011

Tim, fofblogmoderator etc.

http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo

download the PDF, really useful I.M.O.

Also, the links from here to the petition, wikispaces etc. were probably a positive factor in their page ranking and hence their removal will be a negative.

116. Ames Gilbert - August 27, 2011

Red Hat (#110-110 or thereabouts),
if you look through the other A-P Obituary Guestbook pages, you will see that they enter the exact same words for anyone who has a low entry count; I guess this makes the lost soul feel a little less lonely, or the family feel the dear departed a little more consequential. Part of the (paid for) service.
But I take your point about the suicide of the Wheatland girl. I didn’t do any research, just took the reporter’s word for it. He was musing out loud whether to write about Abraham Goldman’s suicide (in terms of AGs stature in the community), and I admit that I told him that in my opinion I thought it would be an unnecessary burden to the family. Maybe I misunderstood, and what I understood to be the paper’s policy was his personal policy.
I agree with you about the Fellowship of Friends finances; the Americans have always provided the deep pockets, and tidbits like Roger Greene’s legacy couriered over from England are unusual. This may be related to the auction goals I published in #108-97, where the target is for Isis to provide 93%, all other centers around the world, 3% of the total. Maybe that is a realistic appraisal of the total income stream as well?

Shirley (#110-109), I didn’t feel deceived. I just felt that I personally was silly to have spent any time on the subject. I’ve used other names on this blog myself; maybe it would be fun to have them converse with each other as well, if there were a point and the audience could be let in on the joke.

117. Just the Facts Ma'am - August 27, 2011

“108/1. NG – August 12, 2011
Business as usual. Part 1. . .
(…): When we were coming back from lake Tahoe with his son we saw on the back of a truck: “It is written!””

“108/22. Renald – August 12, 2011
Picture this. They (who were they? Including burton?) coming back from Lake Tahoe where is burton`s condo which is in the name of Abraham Goldman with Abraham`s son…..
This sounds to me like another Buzbee scenario. Abraham finds out that burton has got his paws into his son`s pants (son is 16 years old) and proceeds to hang himself. Someone in the entourage knows the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth. . .”

“108/53. NG – August 12, 2011
Business as usual. Part 2.
For all the speculative thinkers: AG’s son was away camping when it happened. Someone went to Tahoe to drive him back home to his family.”

“108/61. Bares Reposting – August 13, 2011
So, is it plausible that AG’s son could come under such perdition? What irony would that be? Defend REB under these circumstances and then have your own flesh and blood exposed? REB can plan and conive and wait patiently for years to get what he wants. The longer he waits, the more tantalizing the prey becomes. Meanwhile, what AG wanted for his child, did that matter? REB has the magic wand in one hand and a club in the other – just like REB describes of Influence C.”

“108/71. For the record – August 13, 2011
I’m sure he realized a moment or two later that he should have kept that one to himself. But the thing is, he just had to say it. Because the fact that “his son” was in the car is exactly what made it such a frightening “shock” from Influence C. No doubt Burton had a talk with him afterward.”

“108/90. Alider – August 14, 2011
(Abraham’s son?) Abe’s son now is 16 years old – and what is written?? Does anyone knows something about to whom RB refers?”

“108/157. Wondering Who’s Watching – August 15, 2011
Try to think about this, for a moment, as Robert Earl Burton (REB) would think about it. After all, they are just I’s and anyone can have them, right?. . .
But the most important and valuable thing, REBwise, was they had a son, who was coming of an age where REB would love to get his influence over him. REB has been waiting and watching for many years. With the father gone, access could be easier. I would not even be shocked to learn this hypothetical: That AG communicated with REB about suicide and REB told him to go ahead with it. I am not saying that I know that to be the case. Just in the grand scheme of things, ‘the play is written’ and why not REB doing the writing? He has already ascribed to himself every imaginable power and authority. All things exist to serve the conscious being. Get the picture? Welcome to the club young man. How can you refuse your teacher?”

Do you know that part in the bible, Genesis 22, where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, as a test ‘that thou fearest God’? Well, Robert Earl Burton (REB) fancies himself to be no less than God (man number 8), and has acted in that fashion towards his flock and environment for many years. So, why wouldn’t it be expected that he ask Abraham G. to sacrifice his only son to the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), a.k.a. Pathway to Presence, a.k.a. Living Presence, sex cult?

That tidbit too tantalizing to turndown, today or tomorrow. Take time to think that twice through.

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

‘106. Agent 45 – August 26, 2011
Aren’t we free to call a spade a shovel?’

A spade is a shovel alright; a pointed shovel. So, when you are shoveling it, make sure you have a point, please, thank you. (Not directed at Agent 45.)

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

110. Red Hat – August 27, 2011:
‘It would be interesting to know how far behind in its taxes the Fellowship of Friends is – the corporation is legally allowed to be behind for five years.’

Should be a matter of public record on county website.

‘Foreign centers don’t bring in revenue.’

In some cases they do ‘bring in revenue,’ but, mostly are sources of cheap labor and human sex slave trafficing.

‘People were nickel-and-diming each other to death last time I was there.’

Yes, here is an example: One MF, who fashioned themselves a big business person, and now may own a house (bought from S. & T. S., who left FoF over the flap about going to see Adyashanti) across Rice’s Crossing Road from the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) (Living Presence, Pathway To Presence) property and the Galleria (residence of Robert Earl Burton), agreed to hire a fellow student, KL, for some professional work and when it became time to pay the compensation, MF did not have the money that was agreed to in advance. MF then offered KL a business or personal credit card, that MF had, so that KL could go and buy some things equal to the value that they were owed. The credit card, quite possibly already near being max’d out, was then reported stolen, by MF, and that the charges were illegal/bogus. This brought criminal charges onto KL. The items purchased were considered illegally acquired and evidence to be confiscated. MF refused to exonerate KL. The end result of this fiasco is not known to me. (Criminal activity is lauded in the sociopathic environment of FoF.)

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

‘102. silentpurr – August 26, 2011
Let there be room for all including R/R. . .’

Post FoF, we need all the R & R we can get. And, R & R does not mean ranting and raving.’

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

118. Tim Campion - August 27, 2011

115. leonhardon

Thanks for this. I will study it. I think Steve was going to move the petition link to the Blogroll, where the other links reside. Hopefully, no net difference. (I’ll find out by reading the pdf.)

119. nigel - August 27, 2011

111. Agent 45

Nice of you to ask – my dog is a West Highland Terrier (a little, fluffy, white thing when his coat gets long) and his proper kennel name (he was used for breeding before I got him, the breeder has terminal cancer) is – Mister Ferdy of Shammick. I have a copy of his bloodline going back two generations. By the way, he can be quite fussy about what people try to feed him. Thanks for your interest…..Nigel.

120. Nick Bishop - August 27, 2011

“Foreign centers don’t bring in revenue. They deplete it.”

Hard to imagine how this can be so, at least in the larger European Centers. While I acknowledge that OH teaching payments and donations always seemed to be higher, the foreign center of which I was a member was self-sustaining.

The teaching house rent was paid for by the students living in it, all events were individually funded by entry fees and there was no evidence of reinvestment in the Center. So the great majority of teaching payment, special event and donation revenue must have been pure profit for the FoF. A conservative estimate of the TPs per month would be $10,000-$15,000.

There were also some rich students in the Center. I know one who paid a [record] TP of over $4,000 one month. I know my annual FoF expenses worked out at $6,000-$7,500.

I do think it’s true to say that the Fellowship is at its core a very American/Californian phenomenon, especially in its interpretation of the 4th Way. Robert Burton invested it with a lot of Puritan/Pioneering baggage that gives it a distinctive American flavour.

I don’t think it could ever have been founded and built up in late 20th Century Western Europe. Here, the same cocktail of ‘desire-for-saintliness & deviant sexuality’ seems to be the province of the ancient religious institutions!

121. Arthur - August 27, 2011

I wonder how many in the current FOF think Robert Burton is such a such that they would submit to a Jim Jones suicide pact?

122. panorea - August 27, 2011

This seems to be the new invisible way to promote the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence…

Young people travelling…around the globe… Asaf must be the new messiah for the Fellowship followers, check their blog, check the aloof look in the eyes of the true believers…

Moderator; is it an idea to warn people that behind this young and fresh idea the Fellowship of Friends is watching?

http://www.noplacetobe.com/travelblog/random-traveller-road-less-traveled/

123. nigel - August 27, 2011

On the subject of ‘would you change Burton into a good man/teacher if you could?’, I think you have to face things as they are in this world, without ‘moaning’ and meeting each situation with all the Humanitarian Goodness that you can personally muster…..

As an addendum, I have just unearthed an article from cleaning out my files (hardcopies)…..

“What Makes a Leader”, by Abraham Zaleznik (excerpts)

Leading is vastly different from managing.

Leaders grow through mastering painful conflict during their developmental years, confronting experiences that cause them to turn inward. Managers, by contrast, perceive life as a steady progression of positive events, resulting in security at home, in school, in the community and at work.

Leaders are ‘twice-born’ individuals who endure major events and crises that lead to a sense of separateness – estrangement – from their environment. They turn inward in order to re-emerge with a created, rather than an inherited, sense of identity. The introspective capacity…..encourages deep thought about problems and methods for their solution.

The crucial difference between managers and leaders is their respective commitments. A manager is concerned with style: how decisions get made and communication flows. A leader is concerned with substance: WHAT decisions get made and communicated.

Whereas managers focus on process, leaders focus on imainative ideas, driving other people through their compact to create reality out of their dreams.

Leaders get excited about their work and, even if only by contagion, stimulate their subordinates.

(This article was on pages 42, 43, 44 and 45 of ‘Success’ magazine, June 1989 – the very month of my ‘exit’ – “Do not think you are failing, when you are succeeding” – Robert Earl Burton, early ’80s).

Hope you all enjoy this post…..Nigel.

124. X-ray - August 27, 2011

92

Thanks Ames.

94

Renald, you have to drop your new age stuff.
It´s hurting you.
There are not enough red sport cars for everyone and if everyone will create his own reality, there will be no space for others in it.

As far as foreign centers generating cash, and as far as I knew it at the time, only the London center was doing that well, other centers in Easter Europe and Russia was seen by burton as a dick farms, and were supported by him.

125. WhaleRider - August 27, 2011

Cult Leader Discovers Two New Laws

CRAZY HOUSE (Tuba County) – In his newest book, “Self-Aggrandizing”, Robert E. Burton, CEO and Head Fondler of the Fellowship of Friends AKA Living Presence, a quasi-religious corporation tucked into the dusty rusty crusty foothills of Northern California, uses what he claims is his “immoral vision” to reveal two new esoteric laws operating in the universe he calls the “Law of Distraction” and the “Law of Subtraction”.

According to Burton, the Law of Distraction is the divided attention of an individual or group from the chosen object of attention (themselves) onto the source of distraction (him).

Incredibly, the cult believes that magic does not exist and that magicians use something called, “sleight of hand” which the cult claims depends on the use of psychology, timing, misdirection, and natural choreography in accomplishing a magical “awe” effect.

The cult leader has explored many ways to employ the Law of Distraction to captivate his followers, including camels, elaborate flower arrangements, certain numbers on license plates, starvation, enormous lawn sculptures, sex orgies, and sleep deprivation.

According to Burton, the Law of Subtraction is the underlying principle hidden in the shadows of the ever popular Law of Attraction.

Burton continues on unabated in his demonstration of how the Law of Subtraction works behind the scenes in conjunction with the Law of Attraction and the Law of Distraction, wherein Burton’s attraction to money, gold cuff links, and young men subtracts from the life force and bank accounts of his followers without them noticing until it is too late and they are in too deep to leave the cult without suffering more than they do remaining captivated.

126. Shirley - August 27, 2011

86 Renald

I think X-ray’s #123 is what was meant. X-ray can be very direct, with no b.s. You may have assumed you were invited to get a volley of gratuitous profanity.

One unintended consequence of the FF discouraging “expressions of negativity”, and simultaneously encouraging photographs by members of each other at any sign of mechanicality, is that many of us became over-polite. We found ways to express ourselves with euphemisms or other safe and indirect ways so that we were perceived as being neither negative nor mechanical. Things were left unsaid that probably should have been said with direct simplicity. I have memories of individuals who were direct and abrasive, and others who were direct and kind. But my predominant memory is of individuals who danced around a subject, for whatever reason. One contributing factor is that the group is a closed community, so there’s an awareness of minimizing unnecessary hostility.

116 Ames – thanks for clarifying.

127. Agent 45 - August 27, 2011

121 Arthur – I don’t know about suicide, but I bet not a single member is ready to lay down their life for Robert Burton or the Fellowship of Friends. Hurting other people by the members is another story.
I recall a moment when I realized things were going way too far for me to stomach much longer. In the late 1970’s I was standing outside ye olde Lincoln Lodge with John Bowen while most of the rest of the population was having a fine dining experience. John bragged that he would burn down the Lodge then and there with everyone in it, if only Robert would tell him to. I think he thought it was a virtue that he would be so loyal and obedient. Fucking idiot.

128. Red Hat - August 27, 2011

116. Ames

Thanks for the clarification. I don’t want to be exploitative and ghoulish about this terrible death – at the same time, it’s not the first such demise (Kevin K., Brian S. come to mind), and more will follow. It’s hard to know when to be compassionate to the grieving family, and when to issue warnings in the strongest language possible.

In any case, the Appeal Democrat has lost any pretense to being a newspaper. Probably cutbacks and circulation drops have taken their toll. It’s a defanged, declawed, neutered lapdog.

120. Nick

I don’t know particulars. London may have been an exception, as X-Ray said. This idea that was a commonly stated truism among the FOF leadership – and they plotted carefully about where to open foreign centers because they would be a drain, hence, offsetting benefits had to be considered (I think X-Ray nailed one such “benefit”.) Often, outlying center’s payments didn’t even cover the “teaching house” and were funded from the central organization. (I put all these terms in quotes, because they are b.s.) Whether t.p. were also expected to fund “traveling teachers,” who tortured the locals, or pretties for Robert Burton when he came to town, I can’t say.

129. For the record - August 27, 2011

Regarding the numerous names of the Fellowship of Friends, led by Robert Burton, a.k.a., Robert Earl Burton:

Let’s not forget that beingpresent.org is yet another domain name owned by the Fellowship of Friends. We should also focus on mentioning that as often as possible. Here’s partly how it works: The more a word or phrase or name is mentioned on the web, the more likely it will show up in search results on the first page. Nothing too complicated about it. So just keep mentioning it, and eventually the blog will show up in searches next to all of the various aliases used by this cult.

Fellowship of Friends / Being Present / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence

Red Hat – glad you joined in…
I haven’t had time to read everything on this page, and generally skim over things quite a bit. But it’s good to see some level-headed discussions and questioning about the Fellowship of Friends — how it works, what it’s up to, where the money is coming from and where it’s going, why people are deceived by it, and good advice on how to escape the deception. All of us know a little or a lot about Burton and the FOF separately and individually. By sharing what we know and learning from others what they know, we’re able to make connections and get a clearer picture of the whole, and understand the essential aspects of what the Fellowship of Friends “is” more clearly and honestly.

130. NG - August 27, 2011

Speaking of which…

August 24th, 2011
From the FoF media channel :

“September 1st to September 5th Mini Journey Forth

Celebrating our Teacher’s 44th Anniversary of Meeting Influence C

Dear Friends,

After a beautiful Ballet Festival, Robert would like to announce the revival of the Theatron. The building permit has just been renewed, and a French 18th century carved limestone wall is being reassembled as a new charming entry to the Theatron. It will be dedicated at the opening of the upcoming Mini Journey Forth.

The Teacher suggested the name of this venue be the “Da Vinci Theatron”.

In order to make this extraordinary project come into being, the Teacher is encouraging students to support it. Our donations to the forty-fourth anniversary gift of Meeting Influence C will be directed towards the Theatron revival, as will the proceeds from the upcoming Mini Journey Forth. Please follow the donation instructions bellow.

As this project develops, we will keep you constantly updated.

“As we enter the fifth decade of working with Influence C in our school, the age of miracles is upon us.” Robert E. Burton

In presence,
Friends from Journey Forth”

131. J. D. - August 27, 2011

As it turns out, the large attendance and popularity of this blog is owed to a handful of us with Multiple Personality Disorder… hilarious!

132. For the record - August 27, 2011

NG (129) – The first thing that stands out from that announcement is the lack of any dollar signs showing the large amounts of money that Burton wants people to contribute. He knows the figures will show up on the internet… Not a good advertisement.

Fellowship of Friends / Being Present / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence

133. Ames Gilbert - August 27, 2011

Thanks for the fresh material, NG (#110-129 or thereabouts).
In my naïveté, I thought one applied for a building permit, and when it was approved, started building. Only after various inspections at appropriate phases, including the final inspection, showed the work was completed satisfactorily and was safe could one actually use the structure. But the exceptional Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence/Church of Robert Earl Burton organization, under the direction of various invisible celestial buddies, uniquely interpreted by said Burton, has apparently decided, again, to skip the intermediate stages and get right on to using the structures for their grandiose religious celebrations. This exceptionalism is a habit that does not serve them, or various hired and innocent performers, well. I also wonder if their insurance company thinks much of the idea; something tells me that they would not be impressed by claims that “C-Influence wished . . . “

134. X-ray - August 27, 2011

When I was working my ass of building this fucking theatron, one day we were ordered to gather all plants in the pots to cover it so the inspectors will not see it from the winery where they led them after intentionally blocking the road to Galleria.
Regardless, the inspectors saw the fraud and prohibited using theatron until all permits will be acquired.
It looks like finaly they got the permit, but to say that their permits were ´´renewed´´ it´s like to say that AG have passed away.

135. X-ray - August 27, 2011

Fellowship of Fraud, that really what it is.

136. X-ray - August 27, 2011

And btw, I think you right Shirly and this is why American people are loosing their jobs and their homes these days.
They have been blindly robbed by the big banksters and their paid bodies in Washington. All that because they were turned into zombies who lost their ability for critical thinking, speaking out, expressing themselves clearly and naming the evil, corruption and fraud when they see it.
Unfortunately, there are other people who were seeing the fraud all alone, but were a minority and didn’t have the power to change things around. Now when more and more people are waking up, there is a hope for change, but this process is slow, while evil have grew to full size.

137. Ames Gilbert - August 28, 2011

X-Ray (#110-133 and on),
many of us have no idea what this Theatron is. I’ve heard a little in passing, and seen some pictures on the GF, but if you have the time, could you tell us what you know including how it started, how funds were raised and spent, history of permits and not, anything you can remember. How you felt when you first heard of it and what you did when you worked on it, what it is made of, capacity, who designed it, where it is sited, original purpose according to Burton and present purpose if known, whatever. Only if you have time!
Of course, anyone else who wants to chime in, feel free . . .

138. X-ray - August 28, 2011

I don´t mind Ames, but how much a slave like me can tell you except how much I hated that?
What I do remember is working like a donkey for 400 dollars a month six days a week 10 hours a day under a burning sun trying to remember myself, not express negative emotion, no judging, no having a lower ´´I´´, not loosing a valuation for the school and so far and so on..
I think it was around 2001 when burton still had his Greek hysteria, deciding to build a theatron so he can invite the Russian ballet dancers to Apollo who then were paid by cash from tickets purchased by 500 students who were encourage to see ballet because it was good for their evolution.
There were auctions after auction with over a hundred thousand dollars proceeds each. I think, conservatively speaking, there was over a million dollar raised during the first year just from the auctions. Theatron was the worse octave there, the hardest one, people didn’t want to work there but as you know, killing yourself for the aim of the school is good for your evolution too, so you just doing it. People were getting hurt there without treatment ¨¨it just your machine, your soul is evolving´´.
There were other slaves who were cutting the white blocks up on the hill also for salary, so I think, they were only buying the blocks. How much that cost I don’t know, but I kind of doubt that it cost as much as they were raising for it.
At the most we were around 10 workers in total, multiply by 400 a month, you get 4000 a month. One auction a month over one hundred thousand dollars. They were paying out 4000 in salary buying some block and putting in their packets tons of cash. Then one day Louidgi came (a landscaping octave leader, and not a bad guy really, he actually had a heart and was trying to be kind to people without getting a hit on himself) and said that for the next two days all of us have to carry the big pots with cultivated plants (a little palm trees which was burtons obsession at the time) to the theatron to cover it completely. We did. Few days later came inspectors.
I think it was W.M. who have suggested to block the road to Galleria/Academy ( the road that leads to theatron) and lead them up the hill to the winery. From there you could see a big spot of little palm trees brought together. I don´t remember the details but soon after that this octave was suspended for a while but then continued again and the theatron was built. Burton was inviting his Russian ballet dancers, then inviting them for ´´school events´´, was giving them whole a lot of attention.
There were rumors that the county shuted down the project because they didnt have a building permit but people were dismissing that as gossips.
The auctions were continuing regardless and more money were puring into their packets. So how much they raised only 44 knows.
What I remember very well, is my feeling when coming to have a lunch at Apollo doro once and been asked from now an on to pay a 50 cents for the olive oil (which was free before)to use with the bred, thanks to which I felt full after lunch. And that´s after serving at burtons´ dinners for free, as a third line work after 10 hours work and seeing how all untouched food was removed from the hungry students who just paid about $100 per person, was thrown out.
I think thats pretty much all what I can think of now. Will right more if anything will come up.
If anyone remember better, please do correct me.
Oh, the location.. when you get out from the Gallerias front door, you go thru the rose garden( a deadly place for deers, dogs and cats) passing a Posaidon fountain which also cost about 140 thousands dollars, crossing the road going down, they planted palm trees there, going farther and you get there.
From the theatron you can see the winery pretty much streith ahead on the hill. The capacity is hard to say, but when we had about 500 people, there was space for more on the sides. Down below you had a stage. burton always was coming last with his flying monkeys, of course getting the best sitts.

139. Shirley - August 28, 2011

137

Thank you for the vivid description. Some of the inhumanity of it was very moving to read, such as about the previously-free olive oil and the untouched food that was removed from the hungry students was thrown out. I never understood the extreme hierarchy in the FF, and what I perceived as the deliberate creation of an underclass in the FF.

“…people didn’t want to work there but as you know, killing yourself for the aim of the school is good for your evolution too, so you just doing it. People were getting hurt there without treatment ¨¨it just your machine, your soul is evolving´´.”

This reminded me strongly of a book I read right after I left the FF by a former Moonie. One page described how they’d be asked to donate a kidney. And why not? You would do *anything* that you were asked to do, right? I remember thinking that that was how it was for us, too. For us, it was, “Go against the machine.”

140. Golden Veil - August 28, 2011

Yes, thank you for the vivd description. Surely there was an architect – does anyone know the name?

“And that´s after serving at burtons´ dinners for free, as a third line work after 10 hours work and seeing how all untouched food was removed from the hungry students who just paid about $100 per person, was thrown out.” X-ray

I am wondering, though, why people did not eat the beautiful food and left hungry? Is it because it was not considered to be polite to eat while REB was talking and then time ran out?

141. panorea - August 28, 2011
142. My2Bits - August 28, 2011

Re: Post #139

I went to several of these Galleria ‘teaching dinners’ where, when RB was attending, it was not acceptable to eat (i.e. to take a bite or chew one’s food) when someone was talking. If you violated this rule, you ran the risk of being ‘blacklisted’ from future dinners.

Usually, the dinner was an almost continuous dialogue between RB and AB, who would stand in the room with notes in hand. RB would make a comment, AB would comment on his comment, AB would provide a lead-in to RB’s next point on the script, and so on and on. Occasionally, there was a supportive guest comment, but seldom a question.

Many would sit anxiously, course after course, for RB to stop talking and take a bite of his dinner — for that was their signal to quickly chow down a bite of their own before RB and AB resumed their dialogue. The nicely prepared food could hardly be enjoyed, of course, and most of it was taken away in the end, to the benefit of no one.

Eventually, students were coached to dine before these dinners so they wouldn’t be hungry and could be completely attentive. Several “inner circle” members who attended regularly didn’t even try to eat. This bizarre and frustrating experience usually cost $100 to $150.

143. X-ray - August 28, 2011

139

´´Is it because it was not considered to be polite to eat while REB was talking and then time ran out?´´

Yes.

140

True.

144. Agent 45 - August 28, 2011

That is a telling story, X-ray. I enjoy these tales of efforts gone by. They say “Nothing is wasted” (except the food that the body needs).
Associatively, if the Theatron of Inequity is where I think you are describing it, I remember cutting & filling that site with the D-8. It was a 24-hr./day octave with 2 or 3 cat-skinners and, of course, no clearing & grading permit. (Ironic isn’t it? That’s what Caterpillar-type tractor operators are called).
One day I left the property to sneak off to Sacramento to see my old friend and D-8 mentor guy, Michael Flemming. He was a short muscular blond haired lunar (now deceased), who I think was a discarded one or more night stand for the Celibate & More-Conscious-than-thou-it-is-good-for-your-evolution Robert Burton.
Anyway, after I spent the better part of the night unwinding/smoking & drinking I showed up very late the next day for my shift running the tractor. Later Karl Werner lectured me for about an hour, during which time I decided to try to not say a single word back to him.
It worked! Uncle Karl had a good time and I had a good time. And it served to give me another push in the right direction. And no, I didn’t let the door hit me in the ass for a few more years of ever worsening nonsense. If this was the Fourth Way it was all bullshit to me.

145. Arthur - August 28, 2011

After all these years why didnt somebody just ‘bitch slap’ the goddess in a man’s body?

You know, walk up to him, throw a side-winder of a flat palm across his poop smell’er and say, “thanks bitch for nothing”.

The ‘shock of it all’ might have created “3-state” in the palm and the face?

Maybe even wake-up his conscience or bring home his Arkansas up bringing.

146. nigel - August 28, 2011

Just been watching the Belgian Grand Prix – a 44 lap race and quite enthralling – to be topped off by my barrister friend, Gavin, arriving to see the Arsenal v. Manchester United soccer match (I left before it began). But I did detect that Gavin is not one of those ‘sordid lawyers’ who work for ‘a buck and a buck only’. Apparently, he had to take an oath of conduct, which included the part of the Magna Carta, which says – “To no man will we sell, deny or prevent right of justice”. Does the American Justice System have such an oath?…..Nigel

147. Shirley - August 28, 2011

There seems to be a time-honored FF pattern of exploiting a huge swathe of almost-free labor. Being “on salary” for $400/mo. in the 2000s is like being paid next to nothing. I remember that discrepancy back in the 70s and early 80s, when some of the hoipoloi (common) “laborers” at Renaissance were on salary for such a small amount that it effectively robbed them of their economic independence. It kept them tethered to the FF economic system and property. Many of us with a paying job “in life” were donating such a large portion of our salaries and maxing out our credit cards, that it also effectively hampered us.

I was never “on salary”. My memory of some of the salaried students who worked on the property, including the women who did endless housework “octaves”, was their sense of humility and lack of complaint. I wondered if I would ever reach that point of third-line devotion and personal abnegation (self-denial). My impression, at the time, was that those lower-paid salaried individuals were “closer to essence”, and that those of us with city-paying jobs were more in the world of “personality,” whether false or true. Was I wrong? I stopped thinking about it, once I left CA for London, although in the London center, there existed the familiar distinction of who ended up washing dishes and who always sat at the head of the dinner table without ever doing any menial labor. I was angry when I saw that happening in my first month at Hall Farm. I turned to J.C. (still in the FF) when I said, “Why are we weeding and xyz isn’t?” He laughed. I didn’t find it funny, after a few months of seeing that certain London students accepted their humble lot in the FF while a bunch of us (usually, the Americans) were viewed as having “older student” status. (One person is still in the FF, probably still accepting her humble lot.)

I continue to think that the repression of any supposed “expressions of negativity” (which included complaining about one’s situation, no matter how unfair or cruel or damaging) worked against many of us, because that allowed us to put up with all kinds of abuse. Abuse does not have to come with a leader and group that has spiritual aims. The FF seems to have had this pattern of bondage from the beginning, and amazingly, it just keeps happening.

148. nigel - August 28, 2011

143. Arthur

I do believe that everyone who was approached by Burton for sexual exploitation reasons was ‘groomed’ beforehand. I think it would have been difficult for anyone with a conscience to outrightly ‘slap REB in the face’ (figuratively or literally)…..Nigel.

149. WhaleRider - August 28, 2011

My2bits, X-ray, and Agent 45:

Thank you for sharing your compelling stories.

The lunacy about charging for the olive is priceless. Sounds like a tipping point in your 4th way career, x-ray. If so, for only fifty cents, you got a good deal.

If only followers would equate the discarded food with the time they are wasting participating in pastor burton’s delusional system…that would help pull the plug on his victim pool.

150. Shirley - August 28, 2011

50 cents for olive oil –

The human part of that sentence was, “thanks to which I felt full after lunch.” When people are doing a lot of physical labor, day after day, you need to feed them and care for them accordingly. I remember someone who was never in the FF) saying to me, “I take care of that which takes care of me.” (She was talking about taking good care of her car, which got her around every week. Or, as we would’ve said in the FF, she was in “good householder” with her car.)

The way I see it, *someone* – some fellow student in the FF – came up with the idea of charging 50 cents for the olive oil. It might have seemed like a small amount of money, especially in the 2000s. Someone above said people nickel-and-dimed each other. But 50 cents is a noticeable percentage if one’s monthly salary is only $400. What “gets” me about this detail is that whoever thought up the 50 cents charge, must have known the consequences it would have had on people like X-ray. Why did they allow themselves to put that idea forward? What happened to their sense of proportion, and humanity, of fellow feeling? (Did/does any one in the FF have any of that?)

151. Golden Veil - August 28, 2011

“If only followers would equate the discarded food with the time they are wasting participating in pastor burton’s delusional system…that would help pull the plug on his victim pool.” WhaleRider

Yes!

152. X-ray - August 28, 2011

48

When you pay $200 a month to rent a room, you left with $200 per month to eat, which was only enough for a lunch in Apollo doro a day, which if you eat without 4-5 pieces of dried bred (and this is why you need some olive oil) then you go hungry until evening, when you can walk to Oregon House store and buy some plastic sausages for dinner on what you have left with. So 50 cents a day, it´s something you just don´t have.
At that time, two Italians were running Apollo doro, Jean Franco and Alice and her boyfriend Harvey who were doing the corasons for burtons breakfast. All tree of them were quite unpleasant people, especially the first two. They never looked hungry though.

153. X-ray - August 28, 2011

147

Yes, that would be a cheap way out, if that would be the only tipping point.

154. X-ray - August 28, 2011

148

And after all, they call it ´´school of love´´.

155. For the record - August 28, 2011

Here’s a description of the ‘Theatron’, based on what I noticed many years ago. I’m sure others can provide more details and clarifications.

The ‘Theatron’ is an amphitheater that forms a semi-circle. It seats around 750, possibly more. It’s located about 200-300 yards east of the “Academy”. The audience faces east toward the stage, with an upward facing view of what’s left of the vineyard and winery.

Unlike the classic idea of an amphitheater, where the structure is built harmoniously into a hillside that already resembles an amphitheater, the ‘Theatron’ is only partially constructed as such. Large walls were constructed to support the edge of the seating area, so the structure stands out awkwardly in the landscape as you drive down the road from the winery. The stage also seems a bit strange: It doesn’t rest naturally on the ground like most amphitheaters, but hovers above the ground awkwardly.

Several years ago, the Getty Villa in Los Angeles went through a renovation. As part of the renovation, they build a small amphitheater just north of the existing museum that seats 450. The ‘Theatron’ is a similar design, but larger. There are no seats — only stone surfaces.

Summary: Rather than provide a source of inspiration and a center of art and culture, the ‘Theatron’ symbolizes the illness of this cult — the pretentious aspirations of a delusional man who is surrounded by misguided followers.

Maybe one day all that’s left of the Fellowship of Friends will leave behind this unfortunate landscape in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and leave it to a group of people who can use it for something that’s truly inspirational, creative, life giving, and healthy.

156. Arthur - August 28, 2011

nigel (146),

“Bitch slap” is street slang for being aware of wrong-doing and is acknowledged.

Since 1970 this criminal enterprise has taken ‘souls, essences’ to the slums.

Even a lawyer warned the criminals about illegal activity. He displayed a little conscience.

Those who kept quite not so much.

157. Shirley - August 28, 2011

150

I can sort of understand. When I joined in mid-73, I had recently relocated to SF, and had just found a low-paying job that same month in downtown SF.

There was an effort that summer to revive the Ranch (I guess it was in an uncertain state, prior to my joining), so I went there on weekends. I had little extra income for anything other than basics (especially with the t.p. and now, the special donations), so going up to the Ranch was a semi-hardship, financially (as well as for someone from the city who didn’t do tents and found sleeping on the cold linoleum floor in the Franklin Complex to be unbearable; but that was my problem, not the FF’s). For 2 years on weekends up at Renaissance, I’d bring my little bag of food from the teaching house in SF, eating it where I could (since you were not supposed to make a “poor impression” by eating your humble food in full view of everyone, what with the emphasis on gold alchemy impressions). I don’t know how many other weekenders did that, or how many of them simply ate only once/day, or whatever. But we didn’t sit around doing the country club thing in those days: there was a lot of physical work that RB pushed on us. (If he caught you sitting around, he’d tell you to find “some third line work, Goodness.”)

Around that time, the “fine dining octave” began to develop – the white Rosenthal china, experimenting with different types of cuisines. But to “dine” properly at the Lincoln Lodge, one had to pay for those meals, and I couldn’t afford it. The irony was, I was asked if I’d take on the weekend dishwashing octave as 3rd line work. How could I say No, despite not wanting to take it on? So for a year or so, a couple of us – me, Drew, Melvin, Marcia and John, would slave away at the left-hand sink, washing unbelievable amounts of white Rosenthal, glasses, those horrible Calphalon pots stuck with food. It was hard getting people to volunteer for a couple of hours, so we were really always the same team, from Friday night until Sunday afternoon. (And we tried not to ask people who were on salary all week doing very physical work, like D-8 drivers, because you figured they needed the time to sit on the front porch).

We’d get photographed by RB if it was raining outside and the Calphalon pots were lining up the outer path, because we couldn’t wash the dishes fast enough using one sink and not having enough volunteers. Getting personally photographed by RB in those days was semi-traumatic, because one wanted nothing but love from The Teacher. We (meaning, the small group of us weekend dishwashers) never snacked on the food in the kitchen, despite poverty, and even though Sheila and Shelita were making wonderful meals, because it just wasn’t the thing to do. They added insult to injury when the Meissen “octave” began, and the right-hand sink was dedicated to the precious, expensive Meissen and Georg Jensen silver, and we were told, unceremoniously, to please be more intentional and not get the ordinary pots, pans and dishes too close to the Meissen. Talk about feeling like an underclass.

So why does it not surprise me to hear how bad it still was in the FF in the 2000s. Some of the worst perpetrators of the inequity and the “making you feel bad about yourself” were our fellow students. I think that’s the way human nature is. In the case of the FF, the big excuse was “work against the machine” and “it’s third line work” and “pleasing the Teacher.”

158. X-ray - August 28, 2011

155

´´I think that’s the way human nature is´´

No, Shirly, this is how inhuman nature is.

159. Shirley - August 28, 2011

156

X-ray, yes, that is right. (Although I was also thinking of certain cultural barbaric practices around the world where women, including mothers, perpetrate on their daughters, to make them more “attractive” to prospective husbands.) Shortly after I left the FF, I remember thinking that if I could give that much effort and money to the FF and RB, that surely, I could do that for myself, and take responsibility to make my life better again. I have tried to hold to that.

160. Tim Campion - August 28, 2011

153. For the record

“Maybe one day all that’s left of the Fellowship of Friends will leave behind this unfortunate landscape in the Sierra Nevada foothills…”

In time, others will come to clean up the mess, and remove all the gaudy monuments to one man’s vanity. Nature will restore the scarred Apollo landscape. Of more concern are the interior landscapes that Robert Burton has destroyed. His legacy will not be his pathetic “teaching”. It will be the trail of tears and of shame he has left others to heal.

So long as he sees his glory reflected in the adoring gazes of followers, he is content. He exists only because those around him provide sustenance. And for that, and only that, he is thankful.

161. Shirley - August 28, 2011

Same for 140 My2Bits’ story about the $100-150/plate dinners, where you ended up not eating it for understandable reasons. Why didn’t someone in the kitchen think of putting together leftover/take-home containers for each diner? (Not gold alchemy enough? Too “practical”?) Even here in NYC, $100 is a lot to pay for a dinner at a restaurant. And yet, we’ve come to expect this kind of behavior in the FF. Doesn’t that say something about RB and the FF?

Plutocracy = government run by the wealthy. There is often corruption and unwillingness to make life better for the ordinary person in plutocracies.

162. WhaleRider - August 28, 2011

Think of it

you got clean

all dressed up

you’ve paid the fee for your place

you are at the table

ready to enjoy your wonderous life

in all its delicacy

your whole life is right there sitting in front of you

like a big plate of beautiful food

you are hungry after a long day’s hard labor

…then you have to sit there

and listen to pastor burton’s insane drivel

on and on and on and on and on and on and on

with toothpicks under your eyelids

that cost 50 cents each

as your plate grows cold

and is taken away from you

thrown away or worse

and you go home hungrier

163. X-ray - August 28, 2011

159

It´s worse than that, Shirly.
It is not an unwillingness of the wealthy to make life better for the ordinary people, but that is theirs intention to make it worse for them by turning them into their slaves.

164. silentpurr - August 28, 2011

One way that Robert placed stress on the relationship with my former husband was for the two of them to have discussions concerning me without my being there. I learned that Robert thought it was “a good time” to sell our little farm on the North Shore of Oahu, even though I hadn’t been consulted and had no plan to sell it..
It wasn’t a good time to sell 1980, a “buyers market”.
I resisted signing the agreement because of a clause #13, stating that the property could be used speculatively and turned over to the bank instead of being returned to us. A Fellowship lawyer ( I won’t mention who, strongly recommend I sign rather than “go to jail”! I signed.
I know, I’m a complete idiot.
.

165. Shirley - August 28, 2011

161

X-ray – The first person I encountered at my first weekend at the Farm / Ranch that summer 1973 made my life slightly miserable. As a female, she should have acknowledged a simple request that I made. Instead, she told me to “separate.” I should have told her to shove it. I think she’s still in the FF, maybe running things. What do you expect from someone who thinks with blinders on?

Theatron – I remember seeing photos of it for the first time on TB’s page on GF a few years ago. (Unfortunately, she removed them very quickly). I didn’t know what it was. Her photos included RB and, I think, AB, with lots of other students all dressed up. Nothing about it looked compelling enough for me to want to be there. I recognized John G and a few other old timers, and thought, “I could have been stuck there, too.”

166. silentpurr - August 28, 2011

It would be more fair to say my Fellowship lawyer friend strongly recommended I sign or “RISK going to jail”

167. Arthur - August 28, 2011

After reading 110 pages of Robert Burton’s life-style and attitude toward others, I can only say this.

Thank God, C-Influence and Patricia for setting me up to be kicked out by G. Haven.

They say poverty is a grind. More so being upper middle class or rich and under the influence of Robert E. Burton.

168. Golden Veil - August 28, 2011

Prospective Students may find this site while researching Living Presence, etc. prior to attending the first of the usual three introductory meetings.

I would like to compile a list of questions that former Students of The Fellowship of Friends would recommend that these Prospective Students might ask when the proper time comes. Of course, questions like “How much are membership DUES and associated FEES, and COSTS for course materials?” and “What kind of TIME commitment is required?”, etc. come to mind… but what I would like compile are specific questions regarding STUDY and COURSE WORK REQUIREMENTS, and especially, aspects of STUDY SUBJECT MATTER that could help inform the Prospective Student of what they may be getting into.

These might be questions that you wish that YOU would’ve asked before becoming as involved as you did with The Fellowship of Friends. Thank you!

169. For the record - August 28, 2011

Golden Veil: That’s an outstanding idea.

– How much money do I need to pay to remain a member of the Fellowship of Friends?
– Do membership fees increase over time?
– Are there any hidden fees that I should be aware of?
– What is the money used for?
– What is the Fellowship of Friend’s attitude, or stance, about anyone who leaves the group?
– How many people have left the group, both in numbers and percentage?
– In general, what do former members think of the group and its leader?
– Is the Fellowship of Friends affiliated with Eckhardt Tolle?
– Is the Fellowship of Friends a legitimate religious organization?
– What are some of the major concerns about this group?
– etc.

All of the answers are within these pages…. But it would be good to consolidate the answers in one document, or one post, and make it readily available to people.

170. Shirley - August 28, 2011

165 Yes, sounds like you cut your losses short.

I don’t think most people would mind donating their time or money if they knew they were building something good or useful or elevating to humanity. Philanthropists do that, even when they’re egotistical and want their names attached to the hospital or college building. But at least a large population benefits from such generosity. And for those who contributed sweat equity, as exemplified by X-ray and Agent 45, you’d like to know that the project comes to completion and equally important, be maintained.

I have this feeling re: R Greene’s bequest, that if Roger had been alive and donated that sum, outright, to the FF for its intended purpose (a building?), that he would *never* have put up with watching RB squander it quickly on toys like an unleashed, spoiled child in a candy shop. But he was no longer alive to object. And that says something about RB.

171. Tim Campion - August 28, 2011

166. Golden Veil

That’s a great idea. Perhaps we could link the final list in the Blogroll, or in the introduction to this site.

Many of these questions about leaving a cult can be turned around and directed at the cult members presenting at a Prospective Student Meeting:

Questions on leaving a cult

172. X-ray - August 28, 2011

Silenpurr,

Why not to mention? Whoever said that to you is a jerk, not you. In fact, he should go to jail for racketeering.
He is a criminal, not you. I would think it was AG, just smell like him.

And no, you were not stupid, you were criminally intimidated.

173. Shirley - August 28, 2011

167 and fofblogmoderator – Is there a way to duplicate a concise list of such questions on a sidebar on this blog, so it doesn’t get buried in a post?

174. Tim Campion - August 28, 2011

It seems our friend Nicholas Spaulding is an active participant in Yuba County Board of Supervisors meetings, no doubt representing the will of Influence C in county matters (zoning, land development guidelines, building and safety codes, water resources, Environmental Impact Reports, air quality compliance, wildlife protection, taxes, fees, permits, licenses, etc.)

With a tradition of openness and honesty, I’m sure the Fellowship of Friends serves as the county’s moral compass. Still, it would be interesting to hear what they have to say publicly. Does anyone here attend such meetings?

From one such meeting last Fall: Yuba County Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes

175. Just the Facts Ma'am - August 29, 2011

Warning Signs:
http://www.rickross.com/warningsigns.html
“Potentially unsafe groups or leaders “come off very nice at first, they go for vulnerable people who are looking for answers, lonely, what you’d call ‘normal people.’ They’re very good at what they do and can get people to believe anything. You might think you’d never get taken in, but don’t bet on it. ”
— Margaret Singer, Ph.D.

176. Just the Facts Ma'am - August 29, 2011

Basic Questions:
What is a cult? Why do people join? What kind of people join cults? These and many more commonly asked questions can be found at a section titled:
“Frequently Asked Questions.”
http://www.rickross.com/faq.html

177. Just the Facts Ma'am - August 29, 2011

Above posts from:
‘Getting Started’ page on Rick A. Ross Institute website:
http://www.rickross.com/start_me_up.html

178. X-ray - August 29, 2011

And btw silentpurr,
Your husband is a schmuck but shame on you for living with him after that.
If you had self-dignity, you should start a divorce process the next day after been forced to sign the papers.

179. X-ray - August 29, 2011

172

I see now how they could get a permit.
But hey, at least this clown got a better role to play, than making stupid jokes at auctions.

180. For the record - August 29, 2011

beingpresent.org

Another advertising and recruiting tool for the Fellowship of Friends.

181. Shirley - August 29, 2011

178

Thanks. Just looked at it for the first time. I couldn’t stand more than a few seconds of each page.

182. Tim Campion - August 29, 2011

178. For the record

That’s the old site that livingpresence.com succeeded. It seems to have been abandoned early in 2010, but still may be drawing inquiries.

183. My2Bits - August 29, 2011

Re: Theatron posts

The Theatron, generally described in previous posts, was perhaps the Fellowship’s most expensive infrastructure project. After years of holding music, theatre, and dance performances on make-shift stages in the woods, at locations only accessible by dirt roads, RB needed to have a venue worthy of his ambitions.

In my view, the construction of the Theatron revolved around RB’s wish to attract high-level ballet artists to OH to perform exclusively for him and his. Of course, musicians and actors would also have their time in the spotlight.

The crowning moment was, perhaps, when a troupe of dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet invited RB to join them on the stage for a final bow. To them, he was like a wealthy rock star, living on a huge estate in the middle of nowhere. All-expense paid travel between Moscow and the US, generous fees, wining and dining hosted by resident Russians — what a deal! RB cultivated relationships with these artists to the extent that the Bolshoi company had to push back legally to prevent RB from hijacking dancers from their performance contracts at home.

That such first-class artists would travel to OH to perform for RB & Co. offered him much-needed validation after the failed ’98 prophesy, and proved what some 4th Way ‘chutzpah’ and a little money could do — with a little help from the Angels, of course. But his moment of glory had its human price.

The Theatron was build by student labor, cheap or free. Pieces were individually cut from Texas limestone and were assembled to form the amphitheater. Once, I spent a half-day tying foundational re-bar in the hot sun, and that was more than enough for me. I remember the ‘cutting tent’ up near the winery where a crew of students worked endlessly with electric saws, finishing each day completely covered in white limestone dust. The construction work was gruelling, to say the least, but the telling of the most pertinent back stories should be left to the workers themselves.

It was hard to pin down the actual cost of this project. A million? Millions? All I know for sure is that there was fundraiser after fundraiser, year after year.

Gala events were held to celebrate the completion of the Theatron, and to send the venue on a few technical shakedown cruises. It took a bit of getting used to, for performers and audience alike. The seats were flat limestone slabs. Soon, there was a busy local market in designer cushions and luxury portable seating.

The first stage was simple and inadequate, so the next project was “the superstructure,” an expensive aluminum construct designed to support sets, lighting, sound, and off-stage areas. This kicked off another round of fundraisers to raise the necessary 250K-500K.

As it turned out, the acoustics were poor — not good at all for an expensive, solid stone amphitheater. The intended orchestra pit below the front of the stage swallowed sound and was deemed unusable. It was nicknamed “the alligator pit” and was later covered over. Acoustic surfaces were built to project sound out from the stage, and more expensive sound systems had to be purchased. For ballet performances, a special floor of specific size was needed. The stage size was expanded and the expensive floor was built. As the project cost ballooned, residents grew increasingly weary, and wary, of the endless fundraisers.

RB’s seat at the Theatron was chosen by a favored consultant to be ‘the best’. Ticket prices for assigned seats were skewed based more or less on their proximity to the teacher’s seat. A large block of seats surrounding RB’s was reserved for his entourage and other chosen ones. I often had the thought, “bread and circuses”.

The Theatron was built ‘on the sly’, away from the prying eyes of building inspectors. RB, in his hubris, considers himself to be above the ‘level of life’ and essentially unanswerable to authorities. His ‘MO’ was to go full steam ahead on a project, and then sort out the details later. It’s true that the Theatron was once camouflaged with palm plants to hide it from a scheduled inspection of the property.

But we live in the age of Google Earth, and it couldn’t be kept hidden for long. At one point, inspectors shut down the Theatron completely until a goodly number of code violations could be resolved. Many non-student residents of OH went ballistic when they heard about this new theater. They complained of the increasing and sometimes high-density traffic on the narrow road leading to the Fellowship property. Eventually, things calmed down and regular performances resumed.

This story has already become too long. My apologies. While there were admittedly many amazing performances at the Theatron, I do agree with other posters that its construction was and is emblematic of the steady streams of hubris, greed, narcissism, exploitation, and corruption within the organization.

184. Golden Veil - August 29, 2011

Thank you for your responses to my request for questions. I am seeking questions that, if answered truthfully by the Fellowship of Friends Students leading the meeting, will alert the “Prospective Students” that the organization has twisted rules, exorbitant dues and special financial assessments, along with teachings based upon the spurious knowledge and serendipitous imagination of its Teacher Robert E. Burton, and possibly even reveal the self-cohersive magical thinking of his Students, etc… Post no. 167 (or thereabouts) ‘For the record’ ~ you are on the right track!

Yes, these are not questions on the order of “What is a cult?”, but more specifically directed to learning about the actual organization that they are attending the ‘Introductory Talks’ for, like…

“How can I verify that Robert E. Burton is indeed a ‘conscious teacher’ as claimed on your website?” “Who did he study with?” “My husband (or wife) is not interested in studying “The Work”… will that interfere or hinder my progress?”, etc. The questions I have formulated here may not be the best questions… but if any of you would like to contribute, we can eventually compile a list of the best, and then groom and refine them so that they are concise and can be used in a very practical way. Of course the “Introductory Talks” presenters will work on sidestepping and deflecting questions that may reveal too much… but with everyone’s imput, let’s try it and start a compilation. I agree that it’s a good idea to perhaps set them into a side bar or add in a link to easily access them.

I wonder if you are like me, and you recall how part of the attraction to the Fellowship of Friends was its mysteriousness. Somehow I willingly dispensed with logical analysis and instead trusted the rather enigmatic but compelling ‘Introductory Talks’ as being esoteric but truth. My seduction into Robert Burton’s con school was achieved partly, I think, by being told that “The School” was only for a special few who had a “Magnetic Center.” Various events had fortunately brought me to “the moment that I met The School,” had especially conspired (ha ha, “influence C’, no doubt!) to lead me at that point in my life to “The School…”

I would like to assist “Prospective Students” to learn about the real Fellowship of Friends and perhaps help prevent at least a few of them from being taken in by Robert E. Burton’s elaborate con. I still think of the few sweet, deluded people that I met who recruited me, that are incredibly, 27 years later, still there, consorting with this charlatan in one way or another.

Is there something that you would suggest be asked at the outset? Maybe the revelation that it is not truly a Fourth Way School is not such a big deal. Maybe many of the vulnerable, sensitive types don’t really care about that…

185. panorea - August 29, 2011

Have tried to post the following site but it might not be coming through…

Here is a new way of advertising (it is Asaf’s work but he is closely related to Robert Burton’s “teaching” and this is nowhere stated).

Check:

noplacetobe.com/travelblog/random-traveller-road-less-traveled

Asaf is random traveler number 54 and here is the beginning of their text:

Quoting:…Who are you?
Ansley and Asaf Braverman.

Asaf Braverman used to work for a private art collector. He decided to set out on a quest to visit the places of origin of the objects he’d handled. He is currently authoring a novel on the origins and meaning of ancient art and ritual.

Ansley Braverman is a trained actress and photographer. She has traveled as a photographer throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Between travels, Ansley shoots weddings and portraits…end Quotation…

It continues for some time.

186. panorea - August 29, 2011

test…

187. panorea - August 29, 2011

Check a new way of advertising for the “teaching” of Robert Burton (it is a blog Asaf created but they never mention their close relationship to the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway to Presence). It might be of course that Asaf is going his own way with being a “leader/spiritual teacher”, or that he is getting ready to take over Burton’s role, the main thing is his followers who look ecstatic in all the photographs at his blog are the Fellowship of Friends…

http://www.noplacetobe.com/travelblog/random-traveller-road-less-traveled/

Asaf is traveler number 54 and here is the beginning of their text on the web site:

Quotation: Asaf Braverman used to work for a private art collector. He decided to set out on a quest to visit the places of origin of the objects he’d handled. He is currently authoring a novel on the origins and meaning of ancient art and ritual.

Ansley Braverman is a trained actress and photographer. She has traveled as a photographer throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Between travels, Ansley shoots weddings and portraits…end of Quotation

188. nigel - August 29, 2011

…..from “The Promise of a New Day” (a book of daily meditations)

August 29

“We do not weary of eating and sleeping every day, for hunger and sleepiness recur. Without that we should be weary of them. So, without the hunger for spiritual things, we weary of them.” – Blaise Pascal.

A great spitritual hunger is a hallmark of our age. Our age, however, is such a secular one that many of us do not recognize this hunger for what it is. We feel an emptiness and we try to fill it with consumer goods or exercise workshops. Our restless narcissism takes up one fad after another but, since we are truly not hungry for them, we weary of them.

Spiritual nourishment comes only with self-forgetfulness. This seems paradoxical: and yet transcending ourselves is the greatest gift that can be bestowed. Haven’t we noticed that the people who seem to be at most peace in the world are those who live for others?

When we find a true source of spiritual wealth, we can learn to satisfy our hunger. And it will recur! Our needs for refreshment of the spirit will be more focused, better defined, and we will know how to satisfy them. We can never nourish our spirits by concentrating on ourselves.”

(subtext)…..

I will strengthen my spirit by endeavouring to achieve selflessness in my dealings with others.

189. Wondering Who’s Watching - August 29, 2011

181. My2Bits – August 29, 2011:
‘His ‘MO’ was to go full steam ahead on a project, and then sort out the details later.’
This is in keeping with his [Robert Earl Burton] ‘fire, aim, ready’ style of management; as compares with the normal orientation of ‘ready, aim, fire,’ that most people use. Or, in other words, of wild west origin, ‘shoot first, ask questions later.’

The seating capacity was in excess of the entire membership of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) (BeingPresent.org, Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, Church of Robert Earl Burton) – certainly more than all those members who lived in Oregon House and Northern California combined; plus their families and friends. The size rivaled the sports/speedway venue, that was constructed, about the same time, in the south Yuba County area nearest the Sacramento metropolitan area. (I had never been to see that facility. ‘the lack of opposition to plans to build a speedway and amphitheater in southern Yuba County is extraordinary — but no more extraordinary than the fact that this $90 million development is pegged for one of California’s poorest counties.’ 1April1999 – Yuba County Indy and NASCAR racetrack.) It was mind boggling where the audiences would come from to fill this theatron, given that it was not open to the public, by FoF design. Then, of course, there was the problem of traffic and access, as well as parking – all needing to meet public safety standards – not to mention what the non-FoF neighbors might think about it. The winery, under construction for decades, was not properly permitted at various times, let alone ‘temporary use permitted’ for how it was being used. Robert Earl Burton’s residence, I hear tell, was built with a garage addition permit to a mobile home site, the Blake Cottage. How was this going to be any different?

Also worthy of mention: The construction was the equivalent of a giant solar energy collector dish. Since it was facing east with little or no shade, the sun shined on it all day and it reradiated the heat from the stone for many hours after shadow fell on the seating areas. With an outdoor venue used mainly in the summer, this place was going to be hot in the evenings when performances would take place – even worse during the day, when workers and performers needed to make preparations. Most events required formal attire of those attending or serving.

Then there was the problem of not having appropriate drainage for the place. That caused water to collect in various areas in the rainy season. This caused unwanted stuff to grow on the near brilliant white stone. But, worse, with freezing temperatures in the winter, the softish limestone was caused to delaminate from the repeated ice/thaw cycling that took place.

Most of the professional workers employed on the project refused to acknowledge that they had anything to do with it for fear they would lose their licenses by working on a non-permitted project.

No matter what the county or locals wanted, FoF could not be stopped from using it, right?

None of these things mattered, of course. The important thing was to raise the money (so appropriate ‘skimming’ could be done) and to get it done.

From ‘Self-Remembering’ – by Robert Earl Burton:
‘The last words of Peter Ouspensky were, “Aim, aim; more effort, more effort.”‘

Theatron
Definition: In general, the theatron was where the audience of a Greek tragedy sat to view the performance.

A theatron referred to the place where spectator looked at sacrifices, dances or theatrical performances. A theatron came to refer specifically to semi-circular, tiered, stone seats for viewing performances.

Theatron: Greek term for “place of seeing.” Thea: “view” + –tron, suffix, denoting place.

Wondering Who’s Watching

190. X-ray - August 29, 2011

181

True.

I also agree with Red Hat, few pages bag, who said that Apeal Democrat have lost its credibility. I only want to add that they are now presstitutes like everybody else. Zero respect from now an on.

Another think I just remember reading the recruiting posts above.. creepy stuff but I´ve heard that myself from the oldest students in the fof.. once I´ve heard that from M.L. who said ´´we need fresh blood´´ with sick smile while talking at reception table about new prospective students.

191. Agent 45 - August 29, 2011

Did we pass the test, Panorea?
Questions for Defective Student meetings:
1. What are the so-called mandatory donations used for?
2. How is your leader’s health? Is he/she sexually active?
3. When can I meet Tom Cruise & John Travolta?

192. X-ray - August 29, 2011

Shutting down the middle class of America.
Following the illegal armed raid on organic farm in LA last month, the operation is continuing.
Who next?

http://www.naturalnews.com/033454_Gibson_Guitar_armed_raid.html

193. Shirley - August 29, 2011

181 and 185

Thanks for the comprehensive overview of the Theatron fiasco. They complement x-Ray’s earlier description nicely. The FF has an overblown view of itself as a preserver of certain aspects of high culture. Or is it “high vulture”.

194. Agent 45 - August 29, 2011

Political / Economic / Religious / Social Freedom is only relative freedom. From what I’ve been able to figure out so far, anyway.
Free at last, Thank God Almighty! said the frying fish as she/he escaped the pan into the fires.

195. panorea - August 29, 2011

do not know what I am doing wrong but I cannot post a link here…

196. panorea - August 29, 2011

ok… there is a link that has the following text:

Random Traveller 54
Road Less Traveled

Asaf and Ansley

Who are you?
Ansley and Asaf Braverman.

Asaf Braverman used to work for a private art collector. He decided to set out on a quest to visit the places of origin of the objects he’d handled. He is currently authoring a novel on the origins and meaning of ancient art and ritual.

Ansley Braverman is a trained actress and photographer. She has traveled as a photographer throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Between travels, Ansley shoots weddings and portraits.

197. Opus111 - August 29, 2011

The “theatron” was also known in local parlance as the white elephant, due in part to its appearance and the failed attempts at hiding it under the green rug.

It was really no secret at all to the locals that the construction was going on without permit. Imagine truckloads after truckloads of lime stone slabs crawling up the hill for months, with truck drivers happily sharing information about their destination with whomever might ask them at truck stops.

Once the county officials manage to catch FOF red handed, under the guise of a winery inspection, those officials were more than happy to plan for retribution for the many instances of hubris shown over the years by FOF, its leader and legal representatives. They first red-taped it indefinitely (emotional pain), then asked for costly improvements before it could re-open: new stage, railings, handicap access (FOF prefers to hide than give access to its handicapped) and toilet facilities (port-a-toilet was still the norm around the premises). I think they ultimately negotiated temporary and restricted usage before most of those improvements could be completed. Left unused and under the elements, the elephant started to show its flakes and wear, and ultimately grew weeds. Parenthetically, some of the more knowledgeable stone workers had warned that this particular stone would not endure the elements without some major finishing/cover/whathaveyou. However, Wayne M., one of the favorite flying monkeys in charge, had the ear of the master and much of his hubris. The project continued to its current sad, flaky, preposterous state. Flaky and preposterous would indeed be an apt way to characterize the master and his various projects.

198. nigel - August 29, 2011

193. Opus 111

I saw a photo-image of a ‘ruined’ Winery in the long anti-FoF link (posted, I think, last page). Were this and the Theatron both unfinished ‘arhitecture’ for the New Civilisation. What stopped completion – funds being needed for Burton’s lifestyle? or funds just plain ‘running dry’?…..Nigel.

As an addendum…..can the present members not see that Burton is just plain ‘out of his tree’?

199. Ames Gilbert - August 29, 2011

X-Ray,
thanks very much for telling us more about the Theatron and your experiences working on it. I ‘Google Earthed’ it last night, and took a virtual tour of the property afterwards . . .
And thanks to all you others who added to the details and their understandings of this project. It would be laughable if it didn’t involve the suffering and injuries of so many. Talk about a monument to hubris and grandiosity! I guess none of the 44 knew anything about engineering, site preparation and acoustics worth passing on, nor did they trouble themselves to access to such knowledge on his behalf. Certainly Burton, who thinks any random thought that comes into his noggin must, by divine circular reasoning, be an objective message from ‘higher realms’, fancies himself a new ‘Renaissance man’, a polymath, expert in all things knowable.

This is yet another example of the actual level of Burton, and how he is unfit to teach anyone much of anything. He considers any random firing of neurons in his brain to be a valid ‘do’ or start of an octave. He starts giving orders, the followers work overtime to rationalize his spewings and convince themselves that crazy is the same as wisdom, and the result is something like the Theatron. Ironically, surrounded by another giant monument to his failures, the vineyard. And there, up on the hill, the never–to–be–finished winery, made with so much concrete that it would take a tactical nuclear weapon to remove it. How do the minions explain that monument to vainglory to themselves and visitors and performers? The fact is, Burton has no idea how to start, run or complete his undertakings in self–glorification. And he has no idea about the scale of maintenance and upkeep necessary to keep a project going after the initial completion. The way he organizes his external world is a valuable clue to how his internal world is structured. Crazy is as crazy does.

Goldenveil, I proposed a list of questions that anyone who is considering joining the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence/Being Present.org / Church of Robert Earl Burton organization in post (#23-69, Oct 26 2007). The moderator at that time had a confusing way of organizing the blog, including dropping actual post numbers, and for those who can’t find their way around these earlier pages, here is the direct link:
http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/10/23/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-23/#comment-10011
This might help you or anyone who wants to work on a ‘master list’. When this is done, I would suggest the moderator put it up in the resources list, in capitals, with a heading on the lines of, “QUESTIONS ANYONE SHOULD ASK BEFORE JOINING Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence/Being Present.org / Church of Robert Earl Burton organization.

200. Golden Veil - August 29, 2011

Yes, Ames, and I think the name you formulated for the resource heading of the questions is an especially good one. I just looked at your link and see that your list of questions for prospective students is very thorough! How interesting that we both had a similar idea…

I’d like to see for this purpose TEN or less questions that might lead to frank revelation ~ and some of yours may be perfect. I want to formulate them so that they will not seem assumptive of wrong doing. I envision questions whose answers will somehow reveal the nitty gritty of the Fellowship of Friends and its eccentric and miserly ways. Something about attrition might be a good question, but, of course, there is no recognized final outcome for a Fellowship of Friends Student. There is no graduation, only indentureship!

THank you for the link and great questions!

An article about the Theatron that was in the local paper ~

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/fellowship-21444-goldman-amphitheater.html

201. Shirley - August 29, 2011

194 Nigel

I think some of them do. One person spoke about RB with an air of distancing herself from him, as though it allowed her to remain pure in the Work, or something. Some current members are a bit like children of abusive parents. They know something is wrong, but feel protective of that parent and end up being unable to freely articulate what disturbs them, with any honesty. They don’t want to be put in the position of having to defend or justify RB’s behavior. Children are usually loyal to their parents, and loyalty is considered a virtue. But loyalty can be misplaced.

202. nigel - August 29, 2011

196. Golden Veil

Thank you for that link. Here is one of those priceless quotes from Goldman, when he seemed ‘entirely embroiled’ in the Fellowship’s obfuscations…..

Goldman said there was ready explanation for construction preceding permitting.

“Since it’s a ‘religious structure’, he said, “Fellowship members thought they could build it first and get the permit later.”

“It was not the intent not to get a permit,” Goldman said. “The problem was, given the fact it’s a small church and the funding is irregular, the plans were changing. When we met with (county officials), since the plans were changing rather frequently, it just didn’t seem like it was going to work to submit one plan and a second plan and the third plan and fourth plan until the Fellowship could see what it could accomplish.”

The Theatron is “really not completed yet,” Goldman said. “It had gotten to a certain point where the Fellowship was confident it could be presented to the county and not go around on a merry-go-round and be changed again and again.”

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/fellowship-21444-

197. Shirley

I was one who was still in touch with my real-life parents all the way through my membership of the FOF (and they, in fact, came to my rescue after my suicide attempt, although they had difficulties with my aggressing my way, in spiritual/psychological terms, out of my ‘links’ with the cult. I never came close to Burton and certainly did not worship him. I felt he owed me ‘knowledge for my work’ and that work was very individual to me. In the end, after 22 years out, and 8 years in REAL TEACHING (something tangible and nourishing for my students), I have reached BALANCE. I feel sorry for those poor souls who have ‘swapped one dysfunctional family for another’ with an entirely psychopathic leader…..Nigel.

203. silentpurr - August 29, 2011

170, I didn’t say the lawyer’s name, Xray, because the person is no longer a student and is probably cringingly embarrassed by his Fellowship ” counseling” days.
Regarding my former husband. He’s not really a smuck just someone who needed his ego massaged. and we were on the way to crashing anyway but Robert was never one to let a glass vase teeter on the edge…
I doubt if there exist many or any strong relationships/marriages in the FOF, and why should there be? They are a denying force to REB’s plans and a strong loving relationship/ can aid in escape.
But for REB’s purposes, it’s better to keep people confused and dependent yet in a competitive mode. remember, only the individual can evolve!

204. Tim Campion - August 29, 2011

196. Golden Veil

That Appeal-Democrat article is priceless. When cornered, you see the serpent squirm and hiss, cajole and make excuses, and finally plead for mercy.

But once freed it will pursue its lawless course, laughing at the gullibility of “life people”.

This is Burton’s belief: in the pursuit of his aims, the end always justifies the means, the rest of the world be damned.

205. nigel - August 29, 2011

Just came across this quote from Oscar Wilde, that I thought would reassure, in continuing the blog…..

“Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.”

206. X-ray - August 29, 2011

199

Well, I´m glad he is your ex now and if you left him for that, I respect you.

192

´´He is currently authoring a novel on the origins and meaning of ancient art and ritual.´´

Now this is unbearable!
I know Asaf very well, he is one of those rich kids who saw nothing in his life. The only good he can do is taking a notes, he is not capable of thinking on his own. And this peacock is authoring a novel about the meaning of ancient art and rituals?
Give me a fucking break! This is pathetic.
I am sure that no publisher will take his crap and the only way to publish his intellectual vomit would be to use Petrarch press on E. M. property. I think this is how they got published burtons and gerard bullshit, which I used to start a fire during winter time in my house.
I hope he wont forget to mention the esoteric meaning of six bull poops and ritual behind it.

207. X-ray - August 29, 2011

198

Yes, this is Goldmans talk. Fraudulent as ever.
Reminds me the ´´consensual´´ sex talk between burton the underaged Troy B.

208. X-ray - August 30, 2011

And BTW, silentpurr, ´´schmuck´´ is an all inclusive word, and IMO, the description you gave of your ex, well fit into it.

209. J. D. - August 30, 2011

I found this article: it’s in Italian, but you can look at the pictures.

http://fellowshipoffriends.blogspot.com/

210. Shirley - August 30, 2011

205

You can copy and paste the Italian text into Google / translate. It will recognize that it is Italian (or you can choose that as the original language). On the right hand side, choose English, unless it is already chosen for you. The entire article immediately gets translated. Translations are, of course, a bit iffy, but that’s because it’s a machine and not a person. Well, a real machine, as opposed to a 4th Way machine. For ex., here is the first sentence:

The following article ‘was written in response to one entitled “The Fellowship of Friends: a community’ for the ‘Fourth Way'” published on the website: ‘viverealtrimenti’. Although it has been submitted to the administrator of the site, and it ‘was refused publication.)

211. Tim Campion - August 30, 2011

J.D.:

A few pages back, you mentioned a couple of Eckart Tolle meet-up groups:

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

Penetrating the Power of Now

Rancho Cordova, CA
165 People of the Now

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

Next Meetup

2nd Saturday MINDFULNESS WORKSHOP

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

Check out this Meetup Group →

Are the organizers, Peter Morrow and Abdallah Samaha, still members of the Fellowship of Friends? And do you know if they have they created these meet-ups under the auspices of the Fellowship?

It would indeed be sad to learn these are recruiting venues for Burton.

212. Associated Press - August 30, 2011

Babelfish translation {not very good but you get the gist.]:

[Summary: The Fellowship of Friends: international community or ego-village? All that glitters is not gold.]

The Fellowship of Friends: comunita’ intentional or ego-village? (The following article e’ state written in entitled answer to that one ” The Fellowship of Friends: a comunita’ for the ‘ Via’ quarter; ” published on the site: ‘ viverealtrimenti’. Although or be subordinate all’ attention dell’ administrator of the site, of e’ be refused the publication.) – For onor of the report, and in order better to join to the title it: “Community Intenzionali and Ecovillaggi”, the speech on the “Fellowship of Friends” goes right reopened, dawned and deepened. After to have visited this comunita’, the first necessary precisazione regards the instructions of Robert Burton inspired to the Quarter Via. In fact they are at this point three or four years that this last one is abandoned in order to leave the place to `sequenza’, a kind of mantra that it serves in order to invocare, to obtain and to extend the presence. It would go back quite to the preistorico man, even if the integrating parts of aforesaid prayer are monosillabiche words of English language. An idea of the Quarter Via that it has not been abandoned instead is that which the man does not possess volonta’ and alone puo’ not to make, for which must adopt the volonta’ of possesses it to who, that is of who he is fugitive from the prison of the `sonno’. To reason of cio’ must add, that the `religione’ to `Apollo’ it is to execute what the founding master says, also in the event ‘ that it was not practical, counter-productive and to the times illegal. As an example: years ago began the intense activities for the construction of `theatron’, an enormous amphitheater in white woman sandstone stone dedicated to the ballet and other sfarzose rappresentazioni. Such plan was begun and executed without permissions, secretly from the inspectors of the department of the constructions of the county. The weft came pero’ discovered, also perche’ a construction of those dimensions puo’ not to pass over a long time span unnoticed, with the result that the plan was quickly blocked from the county. For logistic reasons, of codes lawyers, penalita’ (lack of emergency structures, railings, access and bathe for etc, wheelchairs) and after to have spold piu’ of a million dollars, aforesaid plan has been abandoned from the FoF, leaving the inadatta stone to crumble itself under the inclemencies and relegating the famous dancers of the Bolshoi to the red-adapt fields from tennis. The `theatron’ still today it stops the record for piu’ the great construction executed in California without permissions. The beginning of this trend puo’ to trace itself historically in an other audacious plan: `winery’. this last one is a built up concrete mega-bunker in order to contain the production, imbottigliamento and storing of the wine, but also, and oltretutto, like anti-atomic shelter as a result of the predizione of the War to the ‘ hydrogen that would be due to burst in year 2006. The `winery’ it is a colossal building begun in years ’70 and never completed, abandoned to sad, imposing the degradation and reduced to and forgotten to rudere, and defined `eyesore’, that is a fist in an eye playfully. In spite of its name, the Fellowship of Friends (Confraternita of the Friends) does not have benche’ the minimal sense of comunita’. the students, thus the members are called compose that it, come paid with a wage base that piles to $350 to the month, that is $1,75 to the hour. In the state of California `the minimum wage’ is of $8 to the hour. Possessing `conscious wealth’, being rich of knowledge, for the students the money is not sure the point, but after expenses, they scarcely succeed to disembark to the lunario, rendering the extremely precaria survival. Between the other things, to `Apollo’ there is a beautifulst orchard on the hill to average coast. During the last few years some students have privatized, it, but with insufficient fortune. This year is returned in the hands of the comunita’ of the Fellowship, with the result that the fruit, abundant and prelibata, comes sold the same students, or, for the majority, it comes left marcire for earth and on the trees, when the maintenance of the same ones could help. An other example is `vegetable garden’. this rigoglioso garden, it has been put with the sweat of the students and the students visitors, and the same ones periodically are invited to go to help in order to maintain it. The entire one collected goes in sews some of `the Galleria’ and of the restaurant `Apollo of oro’. In case the students they wanted to savour the fruit of their same job, they are, also here, invited to pay it. Other rapprasentativo case is the vine, than a time it covered 150 hectares, and now it is reduced to a tenth one. Vigorous mature twenty lives and trent’anni have been left to perish senz’acqua, or uprooted in order to leave space the nothing. Recently to Apollo they have been acquired numerous exotic animals, between which twenty or so blade, a dozen of camels, a ten of dromedari, ostriches and parrots. Being the situation financial institution dell FoF always malferma, with periodic cut of `places of lavoro’, and holding account of the economic condition of the students, tasks that a camel, or a dromedario one costs some thousand dollars, and equally an ostrich, without to count maintenance expenses. The cost of a blade alone would supply to a student the salary for approximately three months. Currently not there is a practical use for these animals that between the other continue to arrive, and the scope of these expensive acquisitions has not been still revealed. Same `modus operandi’ the obsessing one is found in years ’80 regarding Chinese furnitures, in years `90 for the Fontanas and `the King Charles Cavalier’, in the new millenium for the palms. The relationship with the comunita’ to outside of cancels, sluices to the public, of the Fellowship of Friends, is not of the piu’ happy. After trent’anni of presence in the zone of Oregon House, California, the relationships between students and not-students are minimal, but piu’ that not-existing other. The Fellowship of Friends considers the rest of the which fall asleep world-wide population, thus justifying the limited relationships with the outside. From the nickname of `ego-villaggio’. the comunita’ of Oregon House it considers in its turn the arrogating and potentially dangerous students of the FoF here since, in the course of the years, the seven in the USA have unfortunately filled up the black reports of newspapers. The interaction between students and former-students is still piu’ nonexistent. Who leaves the group, is not seen of good eye, a lot of piu’ of who it never has strangely not been. Lately pero’, the comunita’ of former-students, historically in minority, he has grown to excess having rendered the daily encounter to the post office them and the supermarket many embarrassing impacciati and. Often the students do not exchange again the salute to the former-students, and the former-students from part they, try to make feint of nothing. The famous one hurting is that cio’ it happens between persons that they are known from piu’ of vent’anni! Inside of the FoF a small group of volunteers exists also, the “Needy Friends” where it is attempted to supply cures to sick students, it makes ill and needy of support. Such caritatevole small association does not have some problem to employ the aid of former-students. In case she was a not-student or a former-student to have need, comunita’ the FoF does not have structures participants and it does not supply some support, spalleggiando instead the exercise not to fraternizzare with persons who have left the FoF, created and periodically which confirmed exercise from the founding master. For which, in conclusion, regarding the FoF inside of the speech of comunita’ intentional and the ecovillaggi, it is necessary to go beyond the curtain of smoke and to of la’ of the appearances, perche’ as it says the popular wisdom: “Those is not all gold that luccica.” –

213. Associated Press - August 30, 2011

Google translation [not very good but you get the gist.]:

[Summary: The Fellowship of Friends: self-intentioned or village? All that glitters is not gold.]

The Fellowship of Friends: communities’ self-intentional or village?

(The following article ‘was written in response to one entitled “The Fellowship of Friends: a community’ for the ‘Fourth Way'” published on the website: ‘viverealtrimenti’. Although it has been submitted to the administrator of the site, and it ‘was refused publication.)
– To honor the record, and to better adhere to the title: “Intentional Community and Ecovillage”, the discourse on “Fellowship of Friends” is duly opened, updated and deepened. After visiting this community ‘, the first necessary clarification about the teachings of Robert Burton inspired by the Fourth Way. In fact there are now three or four years and that it ‘was dropped to make way for the’ sequence ‘, a sort of mantra that serves the purpose of invoking, obtain and prolong its presence. It dates back even prehistoric man, even if this prayer are integral parts of monosyllabic words of English. An idea that is not the Fourth Way ‘was abandoned, and instead of’ that man does not have the will ‘and just can not’ do, so it must take the will ‘of those who own, or to whom, and’ escaped from the prison of ‘sleep’. A reason for this’ must be added that the ‘religion’ to ‘Apollo’ and ‘do what the teacher says the founder, even in’ that was not practical, counterproductive and sometimes illegal. For example, years ago began work on the construction of ‘theatron’, a huge white sandstone amphitheater dedicated to ballet and other magnificent performances. This project was initiated and performed without permits, hidden by the inspectors of the department of buildings in the county. The plot was however ‘discovery, also because’ a building of that size can not ‘go unnoticed for long, with the result that the project was immediately blocked by the county. For logistical reasons, the legal codes, penalties’ (lack of security structures, railings, access, and bathrooms for wheelchairs, etc..) And after spending more ‘than a million dollars, and that project’ was abandoned by the FoF , leaving the stone to crumble under unsuitable weather and relegating the famous dancers of the Bolshoi adapted to the tennis courts. The ‘theatron’ still holds the record for most ‘big construction done without permits in California. The beginning of this trend you can ‘track historically in another ambitious project: the’ winery ‘. And the latter ‘a mega-concrete bunkers built to contain the production, bottling and storage of wine, but also, and moreover, anti-atomic shelter as a result of the prediction of the war which was to explode in the al’idrogeno 2006. The ‘winery’ is a colossal building began in the 70s and never finished, abandoned to decay and reduced to a sad, forgotten ruins and impressive, and jokingly called an ‘eyesore’, which is an eyesore. Despite its name, the Fellowship of Friends (Friends of the Brotherhood), although not the ‘slightest sense of community’. Students, like ‘you call its members, are paid a basic salary, which amounts to $ 350 per month, or $ 1.75 per hour. In the state of California on ‘minimum wage’ and ‘of $ 8 per hour. Possessing ‘conscious wealth’, being rich in knowledge, for students and the money is not ‘certainly the point, but after expenses, they can barely make ends meet, making survival very precarious. Among other things, to ‘Apollo’ c’e’un beautiful orchard on the hill halfway. In recent years some students have privatized, but with little luck. This year and ‘back in the hands of the community’ Fellowship, with the result that the fruit, abundant and delicious, is sold to the students themselves, or, for the most part, is left to rot on the ground and trees, when it could help the livelihood of the same. Another example is the ‘vegetable garden’. This garden blooming, and ‘was put together by the sweat of students and student visitors, and the same are regularly invited to go and help to keep it. The entire crop goes into the kitchens of the ‘Gallery’ and restaurant ‘Apollo Gold’. If students wish to enjoy the fruits of their own work, they are here, too, asked to pay. Another case, and advances represented ‘the vineyard, which once covered 150 acres, and now and’ reduced to one tenth. Gagliardi vines mature twenties and early thirties were left to perish without water, or destroyed to make way to nothing. Recently, to Apollo were purchased exotic animals, including a dozen blades, a dozen camels, a dozen camels, ostriches and parrots. As the financial situation of the FoF increasingly shaky, with periodic cut ‘jobs’, and taking into account the economic status of students, consider that a camel or a dromedary costs a few thousand dollars, and just as an ostrich, not counting maintenance costs. The cost of a blade only provide a student’s salary for about three months. Currently there is no ‘a practical use for these animals, which among other things continue to arrive, and the purpose of these expensive acquisitions is not’ yet been revealed. The same ‘modus operandi’ obsessive ‘found in the 80s with regard to Chinese furniture, in the ’90s to the fountains and the’ Cavalier King Charles’ in the new millennium for the palms. The relationship with the community ‘outside the gates closed to the public, the Fellowship of Friends, not’ more of ‘happy. After thirty years of presence in the Oregon House, California, the relationship between students and non-students and ‘minimum, but more’ than anything else non-existent. The Fellowship of Friends sees the rest of the world’s population fell asleep, thus justifying ‘the limited relations with the outside world. Hence the nickname of ‘ego-village’. The communities’ Oregon House considers in turn the students of the FoF arrogant and potentially dangerous because, over the years, the seven in the U.S. have unfortunately filled the news of black newspapers. The interaction between students and former students and ‘even more’ non-existent. Anyone who leaves the group, not ‘frowned, strangely a lot more’, and those who do not ‘ever. Lately, however, ‘the community’ of ex-students, historically in the minority, and ‘grown beyond making the daily meetings at the post office and supermarket very awkward and embarrassing. Students often do not reciprocate the greetings to former students and former students for their part, try to ignore it. The sore point, and ‘that what’ happens between people who have known each other more ‘than twenty years! Inside the FoF also exists a small group of volunteers, “Friends of Needy” where we try to provide medical care to sick students, sick and in need of support. This small charitable association has no problem to use the help of former students. If it is a non-student or former student who needs the community ‘FoF has not participating properties and provides no support, but backed the exercise not to fraternize with people who have left the FoF, exercise regularly created and reaffirmed by the master founder. So, in conclusion, with regard to the FoF community within the discourse of ‘eco-villages and intentional, and’ necessary to go beyond the smoke and beyond the ‘appearances, because’ as the popular wisdom says: “Do not and ‘all gold that glitters. “-

214. fofblogmoderator - August 30, 2011

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