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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 112 September 7, 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. For the record - September 8, 2011

Summary of the past few weeks: Abraham Goldman, a long-time member of the Fellowship of Friends and lawyer who represented the cult in legal matters and a close confidant to Robert Burton, the cult’s leader, committed suicide a few weeks ago — essentially the most emphatic and self-destructive way to “leave the school.”

Another long-time but less “prominent” member of the cult who is close to Burton, reportedly also attempted suicide recently. The cult, under Burton’s guidance, has tried to keep this suicide attempt from becoming general knowledge. And they have spent weeks trying to place a positive spin on Goldman’s suicide, showering him with respect and reverence — this despite decades of emphatic criticism and condemnation for anyone who ended their own life. An odd reversal of attitude, to put it mildly.

Meanwhile, Burton continues to use the cult to prey upon his membership for money, sex, and ego gratification — and the cult followers continue to provide him with all of the above.

AND meanwhile, Burton continues to push his doomsday predictions further and further into the future. He predicated global catastrophes for 1984, 1998, and 2006, and is now hinting that people had better stay in the cult to prepare for whatever is going to occur in the year 2012. Being a “student’ in the FOF would definitely be an advantage when civilization finally ends, although it’s not clear yet what form “the end” will take. (As one member said years ago, “Eventually maybe he will be right, after we’re all dead.”)

The following is from a wikipedia article about “doomsday cults”:

The philosophies and predictions of many doomsday cults involve the “threat of death to their members and others.”[27] The group Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God carried out a mass murder in Kanungu, Uganda, after the doomsday prophesies of its leaders failed to come true.[27] Some groups draw their doomsday predictions and prophesies from the charismatic authority figure of their group.[27] The group The Summit Lighthouse, a branch of Church Universal and Triumphant led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, made predictions of an impending nuclear holocaust that was forecast to occur on April 23, 1990.[10][27] When these predictions failed to come true, Elizabeth Clare Prophet reiterated her statements of impending doom, stating to her congregation: “We need your sacrifice. The world is about to fail. I don’t know where the bombs are coming from. But we must be ready.”[27] The group had stockpiled their shelter with military-grade weaponry, and members of the organization were later arrested on federal weapons charges.[10] After Elizabeth Clare Prophet was diagnosed with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, the group’s leadership has attempted to draw the focus of its work away from doomsday predictions.[27]

Social scientists have found that while some group members will leave after the date for a doomsday prediction by the leader has passed uneventfully, others actually feel their belief and commitment to the group strengthened.[27] Often when a group’s doomsday prophesies or predictions fail to come true, the group leader will simply set a new date for impending doom, or predict a different type of catastrophe on a different date.[27] Niederhoffer and Kenner attribute this motivation of the charismatic leader to maintain a consistent belief structure as due to a desire to save sunk cost: “When you have gone far out on a limb and so many people have followed you, and there is much “sunk cost,” as economists would say, it is difficult to admit you have been wrong.”[28] In Experiments With People: Revelations from Social Psychology, Abelson, Frey and Gregg explain this further:

“..continuing to proselytize on behalf of a doomsday cult whose prophecies have been disconfirmed, although it makes little logical sense, makes plenty of psychological sense if people have already spent months proselytizing on the cult’s behalf. Persevering allows them to avoid the embarrassment of how wrong they were in the first place.”[29] The common-held belief in a catastrophic event occurring on a future date can have the effect of ingraining followers with a sense of uniqueness and purpose.[27][30] In addition, after a failed prophesy members may attempt to explain the outcome through rationalization and dissonance reduction.[21][31][32] Explanations may include stating that the group members had misinterpreted the leader’s original plan, that the cataclysmic event itself had been postponed to a later date by the leader, or that the activities of the group itself had forestalled disaster.[21] In the case of the Festinger study, when the prophecy of a cataclysmic flood was proved false, the members pronounced that their faith in God had prevented the event.[24] They then proceeded to attempt to convert new members with renewed strength.[24]

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

2. Associated Press - September 8, 2011

Petition to Investigate the Fellowship Of Friends (FOF), Living Presence, Pathway To Presence:
http://www.petitiononline.com/djindjin/petition.html

3. Tim Campion - September 8, 2011

2. AP

That petition needs a make-over. The writer, Jack Soutar, has had difficulty getting support from host Artifice, Inc., to get the petition cleaned up.

After four years, it might be time to start anew with a fresh petition reflecting more recent events, including the original testimonies, and adding new ones as well.

And maybe during the intervening years, a better petition site has come on-line. (MoveOn.org recently asked for new petition recommendations, but I figured the Fellowship of Friends probably flies under their radar.)

Any thoughts from the gallery?

4. Guy Grand - September 8, 2011

The transcript of the Goldman funeral eulogies made me slightly nauseous. Talk about some carefully written spin! It reminds me of the U.S. Military cover-up of former NFL star and U.S. Army Ranger, Pat Tillman’s death by his own comrades in Afghanistan. Carefully scripted misdirections from truth meant to lead the true believers into continuing to support all the lies and carnage.

One of his brother’s summed it up quite sincerely at the family memorial for Pat:

“Thanks Pat. [toasting him with a glass of Guiness beer] I didn’t write shit because I’m not a writer. I’m not just going to sit here and break down on you. But thanks for coming. Pat’s a fucking champion and always will be. Just make no mistake, he’d want me to say this: He’s not with God. He’s fucking dead. He’s not religious. So, thanks for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.”

Tillman did not take his own life. We have all probably known someone who battled a horrendous incurable disease to the bitter end in order to be with those they loved for as long as possible. Our nature is to live. To those I’ve known, ” ‘an air raid siren and a fog horn’ continually blasting in his ear” would have been nothing to endure. Perhaps A. G. finally truly experienced his conscience and could no longer endure the truth of what he was and who he had been defending for so many years. What other desperation could drive one to do this to their family and friends?

5. 2011 - September 8, 2011

I agree with the above (#4). I couldn’t believe the flowery spin they put on Abe’s suicide. Those that remain in The Fellowship Of Friends/Pathway To Presence will believe anything. They even talk like Burton with their bullshit about “the play”, etc.

A quote from the eulogy; “Higher Forces though are also masterful in revealing a profound design in his passing”. Yes, they are telling all of you who remain that this is your fate if you stay with the Fellowship cult. You will want to kill yourself too.

Get out while you can.

“Just Do It”-
Nike

6. Bares Reposting - September 8, 2011

111/184. Shirley – September 7, 2011
‘. . .We didn’t have much compassion in the FF. Kindness, yes, but I don’t think there was true compassion.’

Here is limited example of the kindness and compassion of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton:

FoF Blog Page 5/#15:
‘No accounts Says:
March 30th, 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.’

[Bold emphasis added.]

7. Bares Reposting - September 8, 2011

111/184. Shirley – September 7, 2011
‘. . .We didn’t have much compassion in the FF. Kindness, yes, but I don’t think there was true compassion.’

Here is limited example of the kindness and compassion of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton:

FoF Blog Page 5/#363:
‘Perpetua Says:
April 7th, 2007 at 8:42 am
I found this letter in Stella Wirk’s website.
I think some of you might like to know about it.

Samuel Sanders Tries to Help FOF

The following Letter to the Board of Directors, Fellowship of Friends, was presented by Samuel L. Sanders, one of the FOF board members, in an attempt to have the Board of Directors take appropriate action to censure the unethical and criminal behavior of Robert E. Burton, self-professed prophet of the Fellowship of Friends.

(Around this same time, a precedent was set for this by the San Francisco Zen Center which had done the same for their leader for similar activities, and had given their leader a year off as leader to get straightened out with counseling or whatever. This had given some hope to FOF members that something similar could be accomplished.)

It was not discovered until later that Burton’s unethical activity already had transpired unabated for fourteen years!

Samuel’s letter to the Board:

March 4, 1984

Dear Friends,

What is to be said can only be heard through your heart. Please try to listen from that part. For a long time we have been part of a criminal process which has hurt many individuals. Some of these individuals have been sacrificed because we have chosen not to listen to our conscience.

Robert has over the years pursued and sodomized young men. He has used his position to seduce these young men with the promise of immortality. His actions are simply that of a degenerate being no matter how refined. We in our blindness have allowed some dear individuals to be defiled and damaged by his appetites. Our ommission, and it is one in the strictest sense, is allowing it to continue.

Some of these young men have become seriously psychologically impaired through this process. Yet we go on minimizing it because it is safer not to know. These acts are a violation of Robert’s position. If we excuse this by saying that it is his privilege or his private weakness we are both accomplice and victim. If it is allowed to continue, the karma which we attract will bring down our school and leave very heavy stains on our being. It is simply not worth the contamination wrought.

There may be much discomfort which comes from these words. But please try to think of the anguish some of these young men have been subject to in the name of evolution; and ask yourself whether you would knowingly, as a higher being, conduct your life in this way.

Can you truly accept that one can enter higher worlds by such actions? Would you wish to enter these worlds by such acts? This reasoning leads to one final not-so-profound conclusion; the Emperor is indeed very naked and we sadly provide his mantle.

Robert is a victim also. The highest that one can extend him is compassion and help. If one becomes angered at him or oneself or me the cycle continues. He is and will be confused and hurt by these actions. Yet firmness and equanimity are what is needed. We do great harm to our school and our being should we choose not to act.

We have talked and preached an ethic of love and acting for the higher right. Now is the time to be the words. It would also be a solemn and humane act for us to help the young men who have been hurt and damaged by Robert. It would be a proper legacy to pass on to the next generation.

If you find in your solitude that fear and or the wish to defend has kept you from hearing what has been said, you lose a very dear friend. You lose yourself!

In friendship,
Samuel L. Sanders

Update within a day:

The Board of Directors would not discuss this letter or its contents and closed the meeting to “think about it.” The next day, unbeknownst to Samuel Sanders, the Board of Directors voted to remove Samuel as a Board member and excommunicate him from the Fellowship of Friends.

On June 6, 1984, Case Number 36937 was filed in Superior Court of California, County of Yuba, by Samuel L. Sanders, Plaintiff, versus Defendants: Fellowship of Friends, Inc., a corporation; Robert Burton; Miles Barth; Frank Annis; Gerard Haven; Helga Ruth Mueller; Abraham Goldman; Charles Frank; Charles Randall; Clair Bowan; and Does 1 through 50, inclusive.

The Lawsuit Complaints:
1. Fraud
2. Conspiracy to defraud
3. Breach of fiduciary duty
4. Conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty
5. Injunction
6. Damages

During this time, Stella Wirk still was publishing a small newsletter called “The WirkShop,” in which she had reported on the lawsuit and letters to the editor contained comments about the situation. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Stella and Harold were out of the group, the members of FOF who subscribed to the paper had subsequently cut off their subscriptions per FOF rules about not communicating with former members in any way. (Part of the conspiracy is that the usual line given members is “If you don’t communicate with former members, they have a better chance to come back into the teaching!” The “Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap” approach, and it works.)

Abraham Goldman, lawyer for the Fellowship of Friends, brought a copy of “The WirkShop” to court and asked the presiding judge to put a “gag order” on the case, and charged that Stella was “out to destroy the Fellowship” with gossip and slander. The “gag order” was ordered by the Judge, all this without any notification to Stella Wirk. The result was that none of the participants in the lawsuit were permitted to speak about it to each other or anyone else!

(Abraham Goldman has gone so far as to state publicly for newspaper articles that Stella is merely a “disgruntled former member” who is leading a *conspiracy* to destroy the FOF because of a personal vendetta against Burton! Stella finds it amusing that a lawyer would make such a ridiculous statement. A conspiracy to expose the truth?)

The outcome of the lawsuit, some three or so years later, was that it was settled out of court. That is, the Fellowship of Friends made a financial settlement payment to Samuel Sanders, and the case was over and would not go to trial. Samuel was not permitted to reveal the financial nature of the settlement, due to the “gag order” and Robert Burton told members of the Fellowship of Friends that the case was “dropped for lack of evidence,” or words to this effect, lying to the FOF membership.

It was considered by members to be a 4th Way Work effort to follow Robert’s task of not speaking about this issue among the members, which effectively gagged most of the FOF and thus insuring the secret life of Robert Burton would remain secret for several more years.

==========================================

It was approximately two years ago that an upsetting event took place at a meeting held at the FOF farm at Oregon House. From information received, the meeting was led by Belinda Rockwood (formerly known as Linda Kaplan), who asked the members attending, “Are there any questions?” the standard opening for an FOF meeting.

Yes, there were several pointed questions about what was occurring with Robert Burton’s activities, to which Belinda would redirect the meeting by re-stating her required topic. Some people still tried to ask questions and Belinda abruptly ended the meeting. Those people who had stood at the meeting and asked questions were excommunicated from the Fellowship by the next day. Emily Gordon, Ramona Merryweather, to name two long-term members (Ramona from the 1970s!), thrown out of the group for no other reason than requesting truth!

Of course, people being ousted from FOF are not said to be “excommunicated.” The line for their removal is, “They were *released* by higher forces.” Mmmm Hmmm, sure. “Higher forces” are supportive of the life Burton leads, according to Burton, which is almost as absurd as Goldman’s remarks.

It was about this time in 1995 that approximately 250 members left FOF (although rumors erroneously report about 400 people left).

Last we heard, the farm, now called Apollo, is no longer open to the public one day a week and no tours are being made there. The restaurant, La Cochina, is closed to the public and only open once a week for the membership.

The Fellowship conspiracy to “cover up” Burton’s activities is not explained by weather balloons flying over Apollo, yet it may be becoming more clear that these terrible secrets may be coming out at long last.

If a board covers green grass on a lawn, the grass turns brown and all sorts of insects, worms and other wiggly things take up residence under the board. When lifting the board and allowing the sun to shine in that former dark spot, the grass immediately begins to heal in the sunlight, and the bugs, beatles and other insects scurry out of sight fast! Healing for the Fellowship requires that light be shed on all that has been kept in the dark for a quarter of a century and the group must return to adhering to the *original principles* of the Fourth Way!

Everyone in the hierarchy involved in keeping the membership in the dark certainly is responsible for supporting this unfortunate situation.’

8. Bares Reposting - September 8, 2011

111/184. Shirley – September 7, 2011
‘. . .We didn’t have much compassion in the FF. Kindness, yes, but I don’t think there was true compassion.’

Here is limited example of the kindness and compassion of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton (REB):

‘For more than 10 years I worked hard, earned good money ‘in life,’ and supported FoF with my $$$’s donations and knew little of the behind the scenes activities, so to speak, but heard a little. Then my life changed and the next more than 10 years were spent living up close and personal (in other words: intimately), with how FoF operates behind the scenes. I witnessed the unbelievable. But, as long as I was not directly being abused, it was someone else’s play. Here is an example:

My friend, call them JG, was a near and dear friend. You might say I knew them intimately, without being in a sexual relationship; it was an emotional and spiritual relationship. JG had history of substance abuse, in particular, alcohol – not life threatening. In the early days of FoF, they were a pioneer and supporter of what was happening with FoF in Oregon House. They were also independent and had friends and family not in FoF. In short, they were somewhat of a rogue element. Their partner died at an early age. After that, there were times when they would, as the saying would go, get into the harem of REB by having interests in one of his young men. This represented competition. Often alcohol was of significance in these
‘dalliances.’ So, alcohol abuse became the target, since it would be difficult to make it about something else, i.e.: raiding the harem, and bring unwanted attention to this secret society that REB maintained.

Flash forward by about 30 years. JG is on a permanent task of no alcohol under any circumstances – not even to be seen with a glass, with or without alcohol in it – maybe empty would be OK, but no guarantee – might give the appearance that the glass was emptied by drinking the contents. If it appeared that it could be alcohol, someone would be reporting it. It did not require a condition of compromised behaviour due to alcohol; nor dalliance with the harem, nor DUI. Really hard to comply with this when so much of the FoF culture involved wine and toasting glasses, etc. Gradually, over the years, more and more justified, and mostly unjustified, constraints of the task were applied to my friend that eventually lead to a leave-of-absence (LOA) that I personally witnessed.

There was a time, more than once, that serious alcohol abuse developed in the FoF/O.H. community. This was a recurrent problem. There was around 1998, or so, a serious effort to address this – especially with a prediction looming – fall of California. One BE, a council member, was assigned, or adopted, the effort to convene a group that would try to ‘work’ on this problem with people. My friend decided to go since they had so much experience in this area that they thought they could help. Besides being an elder in the community, they also had some professional standing. They did not go because they needed help, nor were they under the influence, nor did they drink or appear to drink, at these meetings. Nevertheless, it was reported to REB that they were there. Boom, task violated; leave-of-absence (LOA) imposed. Over the years, ever more stringent punishment was applied to these leaves-of-absence and ever lengthening leaves-of-absence imposed and difficulty of task required. I was confided in these activities.

On this particular offense, it was 6 months LOA, as I remember it, in 1998. (The next time would be a promised permanent outing.) The requirement was, that if they were on LOA, then they could have no contact with any FoF members and that meant that any members living on their property had to move out – even though they lived in a private separate quarters by themselves and could have someone else carry on any contact with the tenants.

Several of the tenants were elderly and disabled: one was an FoF elder who was crippled and with heart condition. Another was in their 80’s or possibly 90’s and somewhat infirm. There were others of various health and wellness conditions. They all had to find new homes. This was likely the beginning of the end for one of them – they would die shortly after this episode. But, first, my friend tried to compromise or negotiate. They proposed to leave their own home and save these other people from having to leave. Some trusted person would be left in charge of the property. This was accepted. They tried to do that. They went off somewhere (and, that is another whole story), but suffice it to say, they could not manage it and came back in a couple of weeks. It was rapidly reported to the minions of flying monkeys. If they did not leave, it was curtains for all. Everyone moved out in 48 hours, as required.

That was one of the more egregious examples of things I witnessed.’

It is possible that there are other sides to this story, as there almost always are other sides.

9. Bares Reposting - September 8, 2011

Attempted was made to conceal identities in that last post, however, the story is not fictitious.

10. Golden Veil - September 8, 2011

I think that it is incredibly creepy that a perceived affront or insult or something like attending the equivalent of an Alcoholics Anonymous or self-help meeting would generate a request by Robert E. Burton to take a prolonged leave-of-absence. That the said leave-of-absence would mean evicting Student tenants off self-owned private property in order to maintain distance from “The School” is bizarre. Who is sicker, The Students or The Teacher?

11. Golden Veil - September 8, 2011

I forgot to say that being asked to leave for asking a question is really creepy, too!

12. Jomo Piñata - September 8, 2011

7/Bares Reposting

Abraham Goldman, lawyer for the Fellowship of Friends, brought a copy of “The WirkShop” to court and asked the presiding judge to put a “gag order” on the case, and charged that Stella was “out to destroy the Fellowship” with gossip and slander. The “gag order” was ordered by the Judge, all this without any notification to Stella Wirk. The result was that none of the participants in the lawsuit were permitted to speak about it to each other or anyone else!

Since Stella wasn’t a participant in those proceedings, the court didn’t have the power to order her to do anything. However, for some reason she seemed to think she herself was bound by that “gag order.” I’m not sure why.

It’s worth noting that lawsuits are public records, and that, with some exceptions, anyone can go to a courthouse and ask to review the court’s file in a given case. And, to my knowledge, people who examine public records are not forbidden to disclose what they learn.

13. Old FOF - September 8, 2011

111/184. Shirley – September 7, 2011
‘. . .We didn’t have much compassion in the FF. Kindness, yes, but I don’t think there was true compassion.’

Along the lines of recent posts, I thought I’d add this oldie – an actual minute from the Fellowship Council. Have to read it carefully for the doublethink.

Fellowship Council
Minutes from the meeting of June 8, 1991

Amsterdam:
Diana K.. reported that during her recent visit as a traveling teacher she had been subjected to an unprecedented display of negativity directed toward her personally from the centre directors, apparently on the belief that she had participated in a conspiracy to ‘remove’ them from office.
Although Diana K.. was able to neutralize the negativity and leave on good terms, she felt that this incident provided clear indication of the need to change directors. The Council agreed, and instructed Girard to work with the regional coordinators to find suitable replacements. R and H S.. were mentioned.

14. Ames Gilbert - September 8, 2011

Jomo, (#112-12 or thereabouts),
I think, based on what later happened with the Los Angeles Times case, and the general impression I got from talking to her, that Stella was simply frightened. At the time of the LAT case, she and Harold were so poor that they had to ask their friends for help just to pay for the advice of lawyers. Remember that the LAT did not include her under their defense umbrella in court, thought they used her words in their story. Abraham Goldman already had an established reputation as a ruthless “attack is the best defense” lawyer, and Stella probably envisaged their meager savings going to lawyers in the flash of an eye.

Stella was postmistress at the Carmel post office when she joined the Fellowship of Friends in June 1970, and had a secure career. Burton later persuaded her to resign so she could be on salary full–time; she was a much more talented teacher of the Fourth Way than he was, and for those who took the Fourth Way seriously, she was a major attraction. When she noted that she would be giving up her career and pension rights, Burton promised that the Fellowship of Friends would take care of all that. After she was given the boot, she fell back on other skills, but these jobs were not paid well, nor did they last. When she retired due to bad health, Harold was able to pull them through with his (mostly seasonal) artwork, but they had no large nest egg, and certainly nothing to withstand lawsuits.

Burton boasted to me in 1981 that the Fellowship would have a complete retirement scheme for all those who worked on salary, paid for by the enormous sums we would earn as a premier winery. I guess he thought I needed to hear that. He’s still batting zero in the prediction business . . .

15. Ames Gilbert - September 8, 2011

I was reading through some of the rest of page 16 of the blog (lots of good stuff there!) and I came across this, from “Life Person”. IMHO it’s a perfect summary, so I’m going to post the whole darn thing instead of just the link.

After months of periodically reading and contributing to the blog, what most amazes me is the enormity of the disconnect between what is observed and what some people choose to believe.
Once the emotional charge created by the resurgence of memories that had drifted around for decades dissipated somewhat, and I had for some weeks left off reading the blog, which seemed to perpetuate that charge, and then came back to it, I find myself stunned and incredulous.
Taking away those things that he has said about himself, and those things that others have said about him, and looking only at the evidence before us, we see a man who, before he announced himself as a Teacher, was most easily described as a loser. Fired from his modest teaching position, kicked out of his brief stint in an abusive cult for the most pedestrian reason–being unable to keep his hands off the other guys–living with his mommy or in his van long past the age when we’d expect a man to have a halfway decent job. A man with modest formal education from a white trash background, with the middle name of Earl. Had never accomplished anything of note. Cannot write, paint, dance, or sing. Oh yes–he could play tennis, at the level of the average high school varsity player.
A man who has since lived an entirely parasitic existence, having declined to lift a finger on his own behalf since he was thirty, beyond walking, sitting, lifting fork and glass, talking, and having sex; a man whose muscles have atrophied from disuse. A man who cannot be bothered to pay his own bills, or drive his own car, or fix his own faucet. Can you imagine your father, or your neighbor, let alone Socrates, telling people to do manual labor, including labor that benefits only himself, year after year, decade after decade, while he simply shuffles around in thousand-dollar slacks and five hundred-dollar shoes, without ever contributing anything? Jesus was a carpenter. Dante wrote fantastic works of literature. Leonardo painted masterpieces. Others make shoes, grow food. Here’s a man who jots down notes and sayings at the level of a precocious junior high schooler, and gives others instructions in between efforts to satisfy his physical urges. We find the model for this in, say, Henry VIII, or more accurately, a pinheaded, inbred pharaoh.
Here is a man who has not, in at least 37 years, and most likely in his entire life, had an intimate emotional relationship with another man, woman, cat or turtle that would be recognized by anyone as normal, let alone mature.
Whose “teachings” are almost entirely unoriginal, having been cobbled together, first from the works of Gurdjieff and his disciples, a little later from quotes copied like a lazy freshman from the Harvard Classics, and now from a hodgepodge of sources that does not rise to the level of solid “B Influence”–stuff that, thirty years ago, you wouldn’t have picked out of the trash, like Chariots of the Gods and Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. He even tried his hand at National Enquirer-style prophecy, and was so spectacularly unsuccessful that he now claims he never meant any of it.
A man who fancies himself an aesthete, of impeccable taste, yet whose taste is classic nouveau riche, reflecting once again the lack of any originality, let alone artistic flair. Everything is copied, taken from others, like the pile of statues in the basement of Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu. Who considers a Greek temple plopped down in the Sierra foothills very classy, and cannot see that it is pathetic kitsch, like Las Vegas casinos featuring recreations of pyramids and Venice.
In any other circumstance, this man would be considered ridiculous. A buffoon. Laughed at.
And this, of course, does not address a level of greed and financial manipulation that would seem eye-rollingly incredible in a made-for-TV-movie about a New Age Guru. Who would believe a character who did all the running after cufflinks, the wine-guzzling, the pouring of rich food down his gullet, the endless supply of suits, shirts, shoes, Rolls Royces and Mercedes, watches, paintings, furniture, and on and on and on, while continually demanding more money from his followers, some of whom make extraordinary sacrifices, destroy themselves financially, to keep the man in silk, cashmere, and the umpteenth performance of Giselle. We’d turn it off in disgust, exclaiming that the movie showed an obvious intent to slander all nontraditional religious organizations and make their adherents seem imbecilic.
And then theres the fellow’s peculiar sexual habits, which also are no laughing matter. His need to have his various orifices continually filled, not by people with whom he shares a deep emotional bond, but by desperate or naive people he has cajoled with pathetic fairy tales, who hide their faces in shame as he grunts and pants before showing them the door and calling in the next one. People who carry the diseases he has passed on to them, and perhaps their partners, for the rest of their lives, along with the burning resentment and humiliation of having allowed themselves to be so callously and pitifully used by someone they trusted. This sort of behavior is generally accepted everywhere as demonstrating a profound emotional disturbance.
And none of this even touches on the man’s treatment of others when they’re not coming in his mouth, his disregard of what would be considered decent, principled behavior in any culture, under any ethical or religious creed. His complete lack of genuine interest in the well-being of anyone who does not give him, or procure for him, money or sex, his willingness to act, without regret, as though a person he has known for twenty years or more, a person who has given him everything they have, has never existed the moment the individual stops giving him money or sex.
But, I suppose, none of this precludes his being the Light of the World, the Greatest Being Since Christ, and worthy of the highest lifelong devotion. And why? Because he says he is “conscious.” So that’s what being “conscious” means, does it? How could I have missed it. But some say they have “verified” that he is “conscious.” Oh, that changes everything.
For quite a while everyone on earth was convinced the world was flat.
“But he teaches people to be present.” Indeed. Being present to eating too much, drinking too much, having sex with people who don’t want to have sex with you. Present to enjoying the fruits of others’ labors. Present to the sycophantic bowing and scraping of people without any self-respect or discernment. He teaches, by example, how to be present to treating others like shit.
How to account for his success? If a person without any useful abilities of his own sat down and decided to develop a way to allow himself to have all the money, sex, food, travel, power, fancy clothes, adulation, and sheer self-indulgent luxury an adolescent could possibly imagine–if a man embarrassed by his own sexuality and humble social status wanted to be treated like a god–what might he come up with?
And why is it that so many people whose wisdom is so much more easily observed, who are truly kind and compassionate, who genuinely value others simply for their inherent humanity, who find delight in simple pleasures and do not need to be continually praised, obeyed, fucked, fed, entertained, clothed, and carted about, who enjoy being useful, who serve others instead of claiming to serve disembodied spirits while leaving a trail of pain in their wake–why is it that such people do not have as many people trying to learn from them?
Might it be that some people actually want what they see this man has, rather than true wisdom, true compassion?
Might it be that some people cannot bear the thought that what is so obvious might actually be the simple truth, which would make them gullible fools?

16. Renald - September 8, 2011

“ . If one becomes angered at him or oneself or me the cycle continues. “ Samuel Sanders

These may be the wisest words written by anyone on these 112 pages if by `becoming angered` it is meant to be stuck in that anger.
Anger as a transitory event is healthy. It is guidance. Staying there is poisonous for all concerned. Even pretending to be angry over a long period of time is a cause of much suffering which only death can releave. This I have observed.

17. fofblogmoderator - September 8, 2011

#13 is new

18. Jomo Piñata - September 8, 2011

Great Moments in meetings of the Board of Directors of The Fellowship of Friends, Inc.

October 5, 1985

“A question was raised as to why the new Sony 30″ TV cost so much. [Name Omitted] explained that it was originally priced at $10,000 and that we received a bargain in paying only $4,600. The costs of shipping and tax brought the total expenditure to $6,000. He also informed the Board that the cabinet was constructed of the finest hardwood from Mount Fujiyama and that this model television is considered the finest ever made.”

19. Agent 45 - September 8, 2011

Sorry, Shirley, I don’t see any kindness in the Fellowship of Friends – only varying degrees of selfishness.

20. Tim Campion - September 8, 2011

Bares reposting as well (from the Greater Fellowship site):

http://static.ning.com/socialnetworkmain/widgets/video/flvplayer/flvplayer.swf?v=201109012344

This is the mortal who holds so many in his thrall. Few dare in his presence to challenge such “revelations”. Watching, I felt I was back in kindergarten.

Contrary to “The Teacher’s” assertion, it was the California DMV that denied them “complete Men Number 7” status, as the license plate had already reached its character limit.

21. Tim Campion - September 8, 2011

Sorry. The above video link won’t launch, probably because it’s embedded in the GF site. This is a link to an alternate location:

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/2011/09/art-of-explaining-license-plates.html

22. silentpurr - September 8, 2011

In Fellowshipese, spontaneous feelings of kindness or charity toward others are to be viewed with suspect. Altruisms are considered at best, “mechanical expressions of goodness” unless they are directed toward lofty subjects, personal feelings are just that. Personal, subjective. Unlike Robert’s emotions, whose, according to Robert, are the only REAL ones.
… But, not all feelings are to be wrestled with and made docile. Contempt for others who are imagined to be not quite so deserving seems to be an acceptable emotion.
The “struggle with Feminine Dominance
– remembering Robert’s proud account of resisting being “dominated” by feelings, which for him were feminine and something to be resisted, when he chose not to speak to his dying mother. -heard that story on several occasions.

23. Shirley - September 9, 2011

22 silentpurr

Thanks for reminding me: how could I forget about those struggles against “mechanical expressions of goodness”? And that we cut ourselves off from our own feelings of wanting to help others because it was “Feminine Dominance.” Makes me forever glad that I left the FF. Amazing that we gave up our freedom of mind and emotions and live(lihoods) for so many years, and for most of us, at such a young age. But then, when we’re young, we’re malleable and impressionable.

I read some of 6. Bares Reposting’s examples again (I think the list was posted a few times on this blog). When we’re young and resilient, disability and infirmity aren’t every day concerns. But now that many of us are older, we understand the reality of the body and mind’s vulnerability. In particular, I’ve experienced, directly or indirectly in my family and friends, examples similar to the list’s Hold /Pray /Back. When I first saw the list a few pages back, I thought, “If I’d had any of those issues while I was still in the FF, how would I have dealt with them?”

I think the answer is predictable for a FF-believer: you’d go against “mechanicality”. You’d do as you were told, no matter what the consequences would be, later in your life. “Hold”: Problem with your eyes? Who cares? They’re only your eyes, they’re just part of the “machine.” (How come we had no common sense when it came to taking care of our body’s health? Anyone remember Anthony S., who was supposed to have “depleted his accumulators” or something like that, working at Lincoln Lodge?)

“Pray”: Men beating up on women: I remember hearing about one of RB’s favorites hitting his wife, way back in the late 70s; we all knew it wasn’t okay, but we knew that RB would protect him; fortunately, she left the guy, but even then, we knew the guys in “the entourage” were a protected group. We should’ve looked a little harder at what was really going on with that protected group, and confronted it within ourselves.

“Back”: As for the failing of the mind that comes with old age – I’d like to see what happens in the FF as more and more of the members age. I’ve heard stories from recent ex-FFrs that there were many individuals who extended themselves to the ill and infirm. But if the general attitude is to “work against feminine dominance” and “create will by going against the machine,” then kindness (never mind compassion) will be in short supply.

24. Panorea - September 9, 2011

21 Tim.

This is priceless… Thank you. Brings back memories of how stupid, awkward, and nauseous I felt during the “meetings”… again as a “good” student I considered all my reactions my “lower self” that had to be disciplined…

25. Elan MOTHERFUCKING Goldman - September 9, 2011

My name is Elan Goldman. That’s right, the son of the late Abraham Goldman. First, I would like to make it clear that my fathers suicide has been felt throughout the community. Second, that my father suffered from severe hearing dissabilities, a course which plauged him for much of his life and drove him to his death. In no way shape or form was my fathers death related to the school. Third, you are a group of people who are full of hate. I will most likley never join the school, but I know this much. It brought more happieness to my father than most people can feel in their entire lives. You should be ashamed of how you have mentioned him in this thread.

please go fuck your selves.

26. For the record - September 9, 2011

21. Tim

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/

This website is remarkable. The information is direct and to the point, and comprehensive. Hopefully it’s getting a lot of visitors, and showing up in search results. Really well done.

27. Tim Campion - September 9, 2011

24. Panorea

“In right order, goodness, nausea is the correct response.”

28. Bares Reposting - September 9, 2011

111/184. Shirley – September 7, 2011
‘. . .We didn’t have much compassion in the FF. Kindness, yes, but I don’t think there was true compassion.’

Here is limited example of the kindness and compassion of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton (REB):

Copied from Stella Wirks’ Website Page: sharole.htm
[Previously posted on blog at:
More history needed?, March 29, 2007 at 12:14 am]:

‘This is known as “the Hell letter” for reasons which will become clear.

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

The letter below was sent to Sheila Cousins, also known as Sharole Manering, who had fallen and injured herself in 1980 and had gotten behind in her monthly payments to the Fellowship of Friends.

Sharole died in 1982 after a long struggle with cancer. Her mother was very upset to find the letter from FOF among her papers.

Sharole’s mother also was disturbed to find out that Fellowship members had come to visit Sharole in the hospital, to sit and stare at Sharole, and eventually talked Sharole into returning a cameo “given” to her by Robert (the reason for this is unclear).

You see, Robert “gave” lots of cameo “gifts” to the women in the group, and they had to PAY for them! The prices weren’t cheap, some up to several hundred dollars!

Sharole’s mother was very angry about this, and demanded return of the cameo, with no success. She finally requested the help of Karl Werner (winemaster at the time) and he quickly came to her aid to effect the speedy return of the cameo rightfully to her.

Sharole would have wanted it this way; she was too weak in the hospital to deal with FOF students who came to see her, and could hardly stand to have them sitting there staring at her. We know about this because we lived in Nevada at the time, and we visited her frequently. She confided in us these things. Her mother told us about the cameo scenario, and she was mad as hops. We suggested she contact Karl.

The late Karl Werner had a sense of fairness for such things, and if anybody could accomplish the cameo’s return, it would be him. He, one of the few rare ones, could speak up to Burton and any of the hierarchy. He was unimpressed by people acting snooty.

When Sharole died, the only person “assigned” by Robert to attend her funeral was Doris Elizabeth. When it was discovered that Harold and I were still in Sparks, Nevada, Doris decided to allow us to represent FOF as we were going to the funeral anyway.

We represented ourselves at the funeral, and chalked up another notch for the inconsistencies and insensitivities of FOF members learned from the leadership.

Here is the letter which upset Sharole’s mother deeply because she realized her daughter had kept this letter with her for two years, no doubt very hurt by it herself. It has come to be known among ex members as “The Hell Letter.”

[Actual image of letter on FoF stationery in use at the time.]

Fellowship of Friends
March 27, 1980

Sharole Manering
Philadelphia Centre
[sic: notice English spelling in vogue/sw]

Dear Sharole,

As you requested, herein are the angles the Teacher offered to you.

“Tell Sharole hello for me. And tell her to remember that she is working with Influence C and that she needs to be a good businesswoman with them. Tell her that she has held on this long and that there is no reason that she cannot hold on eternally; that is, until she becomes an angel. Remind her that this is C influence speaking directly with her through me. Remind her that this is their way of warning her and that she has to become current with her donations now or she will have to leave the Fellowship. Tell her that the only other place to go is hell.”

Those are his [Robert Earl Burton’s] words, Sharole. Good luck to you.

Sincerely,
s/James B.*
[*happy rumor is that James B. left FOF, 1997)(unverified/sw)]

29. Tim Campion - September 9, 2011

25. For the record

Thanks Ftr. I think you’re the first to visit (ha, ha.) The site is simply a reformatting of material gathered by our fellow “archivists”, the creators of the FoF Wiki Space, the Fellowship of Friends Internet Archive page, contributions from Ames’ Gilbert’s extensive archives, and of course news, observations, testimonies, etc. from this Discussion Blog.

It is roughly arranged in chronological order. And hopefully, readers find the blog easily searchable. Curiously, the oldest blog post date permitted by Blogger was January 1st, 1970. I take that as clear indication Influence C is working both sides of the aisle.

So, just keep talking and those of us who like to take notes will keep typing.

30. fofblogmoderator - September 9, 2011

#25 is new – but I cannot verify the accuracy of who the person says they are

31. 2011 - September 9, 2011

#25 “It brought more happieness to my father than most people can feel in their entire lives.”

Really? Why then was he trying to become a member of the Greater Fellowship site? It’s a forbidden site for a “happy” fellowship member.

32. Tim Campion - September 9, 2011

Obviously, Elan MOTHERFUCKING Goldman did not attend the Lewis Carroll School.

(Check out their website: “http://doineedone,bitch/?”)

33. WhaleRider - September 9, 2011

Elan, Son of Abraham:
I am so sorry to have heard about your father’s death.

I lost my father in 1997 to a heart attack. He refused to stop smoking, which seemed suicidal to me. Despite his flaws, I loved him very much, and I still miss him.

It’s OK to be angry. It was not your fault.

Speaking for myself, I can honestly say that I feel way more full of shame than hate.

34. Bares Reposting - September 9, 2011

CULTS & CONSEQUENCES

Barbara Bruno Lancaster, Former Cult Member

In 1972, I joined a study group. In 1984, I woke up to find that I had willingly given away my life for 12 years – under an illusion that I was making myself a better person and the world a better place to live in. This wasn’t a dream, I was in a cult.

That sounds pretty drastic. How could anyone let themselves get hooked into such a situation? I was then 27 (hardly a child). Now I must take responsibility for not having taken responsibility. I was a thinker, an artist, a reader who envied the people in history who were lucky enough to live in times where there were opportunities to become part of a movement that made a contribution to humanity. I wanted to understand “what makes us tick,” but found no answers in modern psychology. Perhaps there was an elusive ancient knowledge that I might discover today. I feared a wasted life, and doubted my ability to live self-directedly.

In 1972, I wished to study a psychology called The 4th Way, which is based on the early 20th century writings of George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky. This philosophy proposes an esoteric system of achieving a permanent higher level of consciousness and stresses the need to find a “real” 4th Way school led by a consciously-developed teacher. After finding a bookmark from a group (I will call it the “SOS” [FoF]), I attended a series of prospective student meetings and came into contact with people who certainly acted esoteric. They were speaking knowledgeably on a subject of great interest to me. I was asked to try a few of the school exercises in behavior modification, and felt awkward and stupid around the students. I couldn’t believe that they wanted me to join! I made the first in a series of monthly donations, and then was directed to a silent, seemingly ineffectual man in the corner, whom they referred to as “The Teacher.”

Within a few weeks, I had moved from my home in Hawaii and was living with other students in a house in Carmel, California. For six months I had little contact with anyone outside of the group. The Teacher and his inner circle of leaders took over the house to work on a book and hold meetings. My activities centered on a constant exposure to his words and to carrying out the directions of his leaders. There were mental exercises to be followed in all waking hours, i.e., words that we were to eliminate from our speech; not using contractions; not crossing our legs and physically moving in a manner that indicated intentionality (we looked like robots). When one could begin to adjust to an exercise, it would be changed. I now spoke only in the special “work language” of the school. For five years I followed a word exercise that forbade the use of the word “I.” One was to refer to themselves only in the 3rd person. (Try ordering a meal without using “I.”) We were used to hearing each other speak, but our special language added to the discomfort of outside communication.

The aim was a heightened state of awareness in which one could regard oneself objectively as a machine-like being. Man existed in a state of walking sleep and needed constant shocks in order to awaken to his real potential. My words, reactions, physical appearance, and basic character were always open for discussion by the others. My behavior and attitudes were constantly observed and classified as indications of a “good” student or a “bad” student. This was always done as suggestions for my own good. I was not supposed to express negativity.

This environment was not all unpleasant. There was a strong feeling of community, a sense of purpose, of spiritual fulfillment, and a new state of awareness of the world that was exhilarating. There were times when I felt that I was losing control of my mind. This was taken care of by taking me for a walk where another student would softly remind me that this was simply a stage in my development, and that confusion itself was really a high state. There was a kindness and humility among the lower ranks of students that made me feel accepted. I was approaching all of this as a one-year experiment in self-knowledge.

Three months after joining this “study group”, a special meeting was called and it was announced that a woman who had left the school had committed suicide. This was seen as an example of what happens when students do not value the knowledge they have been exposed to. The school had become a lifetime endeavor! (Only for those who were strong enough to succeed.)

We were now told that there were invisible higher level beings, called “C Influence” that were around us constantly and would provide shocks to remind us of their presence. When something pleasant, or unpleasant, occurred it was said to be C Influence, providing shocks to awaken me from my lowly state. C Influence spoke directly through the Teacher, and to question this was considered a manifestation of a low level of being. We had been chosen to become the enlightened people who would found a new civilization after a soon-to-come nuclear holocaust. Please remember, this was said in an insulated environment. I began to think that I was constantly being watched and that even my thoughts were subject to judgement by these “higher forces.” Lifton refers to this as the “psychology of the pawn.”

When my savings ran out, I began working again in ordinary life and found that there was a profound distance between myself and my co-workers who were not part of the school. I was quiet and just did my work. My “real” life was elsewhere, and I was thoroughly committed to it.

Although the school control never succeeded in becoming absolute, my ability to measure reality and to maintain personal a[u]tonomy was greatly diminished. In George Orwell’s 1984, he saw this regulating restraint as being accomplished by means of the 2-way telescreen. But a mechanical device is not necessary when one is sufficiently surrounded by “human” apparatus.

The world became divided into black & white. Ideas, feelings, and actions consistent with school policy were praised. Inconsistencies were explained as a waste of my precious time and an incorrect valuation of the opportunities that had been extended to me. Policy was changed over the years, but an unwavering demand was placed upon me to strive permanently for a perfection which did not exist. I became guilty and depressed. I was no longer working for something – I was fighting against myself. Guilt always followed a self-observation, and my repressed negativity could be expressed through complaints about my attitudes. I wanted to “confess” my awareness of a personal failing before someone else could point [out] it out. The more I admit[t]ed to weakness, the easier it was to judge others.

I was the enemy! I began to think that I just wasn’t capable of knowing myself. Other people’s opinion of me was “real.” The school became a living being and I was just a cell in it. The group was more important than me.

I became a “master of justification.” Former cult members all say that they had doubts throughout their involvement. My misgivings became a closely guarded secret, unbearable to admit, even to myself. I developed subtle ways of rebelling, but outwardly I towed the party line. This core of doubt looked for an open door, and I lived in fear of finding it. It was Catch-22. [in FoF speak: Catch-44.]

I sided with the liberal-wing of the school, who felt that they could bring about a more humanizing element, and perhaps ensure their own survival. Yet, too often, I took no action against injustice, deceit, and outright bullying by the Teacher’s appointed leaders, whose power he supported. I watched children being given away when the Teacher decided they were unecessary distractions. Relationships and marriages were broken at his suggestion. The rich were courted and fleeced. The 10% of gross salary for monthly donations rose with an ever-rising list of required special donations. It was almost impossible (both financially, and as proof of commitment) to live outside of a communal situation. Within a “teaching house” there was little or no room for deviation or personal expression. We were an intellectual and cultural group, but the form this took was always at the whim of the Teacher’s taste. He wanted us to become an 18th century culture (imagine a woman’s place in such a society), and a large part of funds went to his antique purchases (the finest works went to his home).

Eventually the group had centers in most major cities in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. The Teacher got the school a State Charter as a Church. He established a winery on the school property in Northern California as a non-profit corporation. We were expected to spend weekends and vacations working at the headquarters. Those with especially high levels of “valuation for the work” lived and worked there full-time. There was no housing provided. People lived crowded together in houses outside the grounds, or in trailers, or slept under a table and kept their belongings in their car trunk. But on Saturday night, they wore tuxedos and gowns to the concert hall, where prestigious musicians would play to an audience who would overwhelm them with applause at the appropriate moments.

In the “SOS” [FoF] an attitude of them-versus-us prevailed. The outside world was dead. Apparently, people who knew too much about the secret activities of the Teacher had been given direct tasks not to tell the others. You were asked to leave if you broke a task. If you left the school you were ostracized.

I was happily married to another student, whom I trusted with some of my doubts. We had a little mixed-breed dog who was very precious to us. I came close to a nervous breakdown in 1980 when the Teacher declared that we could only have pedigreed animals. I began to realize how much control the Teacher had over anything I cared about. I saw only two choices: become quietly insane (as others had), or commit suicide. I could not imagine having the strength to leave the school. My husband Ronald suffered greatly in his fear that I was losing my commitment. He began defending me to people who were offering him advice about changing my behavior. We became part of a developing underground of discontent where small confidences were shared. In time, an ethical member of the Board of Directors [Samuel Sanders] discovered criminal actions and called for public censure of the Teacher. This information was strong enough to penetrate through to what was left of my self-respect, and I could not offer a single justification. Even then, I thought that things could now change for the better. A meeting was called, by a representative of the Teacher, to discuss the situation. I brought up my concerns: Students were not free to seek help from mental professionals; many were becoming alcoholics, and we were, generally, living in a state of fear. I was told that these problems were my imagination and the fear was only within me. I snapped!

I left the group – after 12 years. l felt helpless. I had no friends and was deeply in debt. I couldn’t explain the lost years. To the outside world a cult experience itself indicates a flawed mentality. I grieved for those left behind, imprisoned by their learned ability to accept the unacceptable. Ronald, myself, and a few others felt marooned on a strange shore, cringing, clinging, and finally, setting out to discover our new world.

Within a few months, we became part of a former cult members group at the Cult Clinic in Los Angeles. The Clinic was a flame burning in my dark night. I will always be grateful for their understanding. What has been most helpful is hearing that ex-members share the same experience even though the form of each group is different. What cults believe is not important (it may be truth or nonsense). The key indication of danger lies in an insulated organization that lacks a system of checks and balances.

l choose to believe that the positive things I retain from my experience are a credit to the sincere relationships I once shared, to my abiding faith in the goodness of God and nature, and to my own intelligence and self-respect.

However, I did not gain this from the “SOS,” [FoF] but rather, in spite of it.

Most ex-cult members do not speak out. Many never realize they were in a cult. They just leave one day, and eventually look for something else to replace it. My activities in cult awareness – reading, writing, lecturing, and creating publications – are looked upon as extreme by some of the people who left the school with me.

The most common reaction to my story is: “Well, that could never happen to me!” I’ve met with a lot of former members and they are not stupid. Most are highly intelligent. The newer groups are especially appealing to the well-educated. Recruitment is directed to the best, the brightest, and the most idealistic of persons. Every cult member is a recruiter whose sincerity is infectious. Please note: Because cult members can only associate with people inside the group, they will see outsiders purely as potential recruits or losers. I did not feel I “recruited” my mother and my life-long friend when they joined the “SOS” [FoF] at my encouragement – I wanted to “help” them down the one true path.

Mind control exists – – it produces an inability to act from one‘s own integrity. Brainwashing is spiritual rape. Remember: No one ever thinks they are joining a cult.
Barbara Bruno Lancaster

35. Ames Gilbert - September 9, 2011

Elan (#112-25 or thereabouts),
First, I hope you don’t mind me dropping the “Motherfucking” from your moniker out of respect for your mother. Secondly, I feel for you. I lost my dad when I was thirteen; he died in a remote part of Africa in an aircraft crash, and we didn’t get the news for several months, and we never got the body. So, I do know how it feels, and I know that it is going to take years to come to terms with your dad’s death.

However, I cannot agree that this is a “hate–filled site”. Some people express hatred, yes, but there is a great deal of truth on these pages. Although some present members of the Fellowship of Friends have argued their case, doing this is frowned upon, so they do not have the freedom we do, and certainly can’t reveal their names. This inevitably makes the conversation one–sided. And yes, your father’s actions defending the Fellowship don’t come out in a good light. For example, he was responsible for people harassing and threatening me and my family, and I won’t forget that. And he was responsible for defending Robert Burton when he was accused of having sex with an underage boy who put his trust in him. That was settled out of court for a large sum and the records were sealed, so we the general public don’t know what specific evidence was presented. But we do know that Robert Burton, the leader of the organization your father defended, had sex over several years with a boy of about your age. I do not admire your father defending that man, nor for what he did during the course of that defense.

Being a member of the Fellowship of Friends and placing himself under the guidance of Burton since 1978 may have made him happy, I don’t know. I’ll take your word that you believe that to be true. I was happy for a while, and then I woke up to what I was supporting. I choose not to believe that your father was happy defending a power-hungry sexually insatiable man who has wasted more than $150 million of his follower’s money over forty years. Your father may have been happy living in a community of his friends, but surely he could not have been happy defending the leader of that community?

I idolized my father, and saw only his good side. Later on, I discovered something about his weaknesses, and that was troubling and hurtful to my image of him. Still later, I can see that that is what made him human; we are all flawed, and we bring all of us to the dance, and that makes it interesting. I know this is ahead of you, but believe me when I say you will be glad to discover his humanity, because it will help reveal more of your own.

Again, I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Sincerely,
Ames Gilbert

36. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 9, 2011

23. Shirley – September 9, 2011:
‘Anyone remember Anthony S., who was supposed to have “depleted his accumulators” or something like that, working at Lincoln Lodge?’

He was last known to me to be in the employ of Abraham Goldman, living in Oregon House.

37. panorea - September 9, 2011

Elan, first of all I am really sorry for your loss. I’ve only exchanged a few moments with your father and when I think of him I am reminded of his kind face. My husband was fond of him and he was really saddened to hear of the news. We both left the fellowship a few years ago and for our personal life and relationship with our children and other individuals, it was the best decision we ever made.

Do you realize that if you were to express yourself to any official fellowship forum you would have been censored? This is not a “pretty” site. This is the first place where individuals who were silent and dumb for years may express their opinion about the Cult fellowship of friends.

So, say what you want to say and try to listen if you can. And I cannot agree more with Ames, as a mother and a daughter I would just drop the middle name you used.

I am sorry for your loss.

38. Renald - September 9, 2011

ELAN – This is just a reminder that many of us here on this blog upon hearing the very sad news about your father immediately felt for your mother, Rosie and yourself though most if not all had never met you or your sister. You might also note that you were in my thoughts and that I wanted to ensure you had not been abused by Robert Earl Burton. Maybe my fear was misplaced and counter-productive on some level and for this I apologize. I sincerely hope you all are as well as can be expected under the circumstances.
I don`t know if what I intend to say next will make any sense to you at this time but it may later on. I want to list a number of feelings, emotions, which is natural to experience when progressively healing from grief. Some of the steps can be skipped depending on individual circumstances. I won`t go into the details.
First may come insecurity-guilt-unworthiness. Jealousy sometimes pops in here but is very difficult to spot. Not so hard to spot though are hatred and rage. After some more time a healthy response is revenge and this softens the hatred into anger. When it has drained a sufficient amount of energy the anger can turn into discouragement and then blame, blame in this progression is mostly of others. Shame can still exist here as a residual of self-blame but it is not a strong as the possible guilt felt earlier on.
Oddly enough, at this stage worry can be seen as being useful for a while. I say useful simply because it is a step forward toward empowerment. Doubt and disappointment may follow and lead to overwhelment. “ I`ve had it, let me outa here!“ This slips into frustration, irritation and impatience, a pretty grumpy time. From here can be seen a growth of pessimism (as a blogger one plays devil`s advocate at every opportunity and goes against whatever anyone else says). This also gets tedious and tiring and the loss of that energy causes one to stop which is a bit of a shock which is seen as boredom. This is really good news because when one is bored one is also open to something which feels better, ie. foods of all sorts start to be interesting or going out to parties and such stuff starts to sound fantastic. With this contentment returns, then hopefulness, and lo and behold traces of optimism and positive expectations. Before long beliefs change especially belief in oneself.
Enthusiasm grows. Eagerness returns and before one knows it one begins to feel happy again. The better it gets, the better it gets.
Now veritable passion is possible and once it flourishes the Big Six take turns. They are sometimes referred to as alignment of oneself with one`s self. They are Joy (long-lasting, Knowledge (feeling inspired), Empowerment (knowing that allowing is all that is needed since the world is at your command-in a loving way of course), utter Freedom, Love (unconditional) and its little sibling Appreciation.
This process can take twenty minutes (hardly believable I know) or twenty years or more or forever. It depends on the individual.

With a name like Elan, and I don`t believe in accidents, I predict that you will move up that ladder pretty quickly. That would be the best gift you could give to your mother, your sister and your friends and most importantly of all, to yourself and your Self.

May we meet at the top !

39. Jomo Piñata - September 9, 2011

Elan, I am sorry for the loss of your father, one of the most difficult losses anyone can endure. I’m glad you’re posting here and I hope you continue to post. I hope you continue to say what you think and feel and that you find yourself open to honest and uncensored exchange.

40. Truth BE Told - September 9, 2011

Élan, your post is powerful and courageous as you are and as your dad was. None of the assholes on this blog had the guts to stand up to him when he was alive– they are cowering whimpering lowlife scum trying to drag a man’s name through the muck of their own pitiful existences. Don’t waste your time with their venom and garbage. You know your dad was a great guy and an awsome lawyer. A lawyers work is often thankless as folks do not want to know that everyone is entitled to a lawyer to speak for them. Don’t seek for help from FF either, these losers did not stand by your father even less. That is why no one had the guts to stand by him and say what needs to be said, but you did so well: no one deserves to be so grotesquely maligned in death. Go love and live your life and let all these dead bury each other– they deserve what they are reaping. Their shameless and pathetic excrement on this blog is not for you.

41. WhaleRider - September 9, 2011

FYI:
The Kubler-Ross model for the 5 stages of grief from her book, On Death and Dying:

1) Denial and Isolation
At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.

2) Anger
The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if they’re dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.

3) Bargaining
Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, “If I do this, will you take away the loss?”

4) Depression
The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.

5) Acceptance
This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.

Kübler-Ross added that it’s important to note that these stages are not meant to be complete or chronological. Not everyone who experiences a life-threatening or life-changing event feels all five of the responses nor will everyone who does experience them do so in the order that is written. Reactions to illness, death, and loss are as unique as the person experiencing them.

Not everyone goes through all of the steps or goes through them in a linear fashion. Some steps may be missed entirely, others may be experienced in a different order, some may be re-experienced again and again and some may get stuck in one.

42. fofblogmoderator - September 9, 2011

#40 is new

43. WhaleRider - September 9, 2011

Truth BE Told:
“Don’t waste your time with their venom and garbage.”

Remember, when you point a finger, three fingers are pointing back at you.

44. Ames Gilbert - September 9, 2011

Truth BE Told (#112-40 or thereabouts),
Good for sticking up for Elan, but I don’t think he needs your help. And he certainly doesn’t need your lies and negativity. Abraham is gone, and he doesn’t need your defense, either. Unless you think he is somehow worrying about what people say on this blog.
The first of your lies is that no-one stood up to Abraham. I certainly did, and called him on his unethical behavior. Secondly, that he was an ‘awsome’ lawyer. No, he wasn’t, he was a mediocre lawyer, and behaved so badly that he had to be sanctioned for it by the state bar association.
Abraham was probably a great dad and a fine family man. But, the fact is, he was one of the few people who could have blown the FoF and the whole sorry mess out of the water a long time ago. He could have saved an enormous amount of harm over the years. He chose not to, and bears some of the blame, as do all, including me, who supported the charade as it unfolded.
And finally, you are spewing under an assumed name, so fuck you for both your lies and your cowardice. You aren’t doing anyone any favors, let alone Elan or Abraham.
If you had stuck to “go love and live your life” and stopped there, your post would have had some meaning.

45. Tim Campion - September 9, 2011

34. Bares Reposting

Thanks for adding this material. Although archived by Veronicapoe/Jomo Piñata over four years ago, I believe this is the first time the actual text has appeared in the blog. Did you have to transcribe the chapter? Thanks for this effort; I have also added it to the REB blog.

46. Tim Campion - September 9, 2011

23. Shirley and 36. Just the Facts Ma’am

I can recall dining at the Lincoln Lodge, sitting at a long table in the old library/reading room, Anthony seated at the head of the table. The rest of us watched in amusement as he fought off sleep, until finally his head just settled into his plate of food.

There are many stories of such physical exhaustion from those days (the 70s).

47. Opus111 - September 9, 2011

Maria Lucas (1960-2011). RIP

48. Renald - September 10, 2011

To you dear lady,
And for the rest of us
There is still time to change the road we are on.

49. Shirley - September 10, 2011

“Parable”

First divesting ourselves of worldly goods, as St. Francis teaches,
in order that our souls not be distracted
by gain and loss, and in order also
that our bodies be free to move
easily at the mountain passes, we had then to discuss
whither or where we might travel, with the second question being

should we have a purpose, against which
many of us argued fiercely that such purpose
corresponded to worldly goods,
meaning a limitation or constriction,

where others said it was by this word we were consecreated
pilgrims rather than wanderers: in our minds,
the world translated as a dream, a something-sought,
so that by concentrating we might see it
glimmering among the stones, and not
pass blindly by: each further issue we debated equally fully,
the arguments going back and forth,
so that we grew, some said, less flexible and more resigned,
like soldiers in a useless war.

And snow fell upon us, and wind blew,
which in time abated – where the snow had been,
many flowers appeared,
and where the stars had shone, the sun rose over the tree line
so that we had shadows again; many times this happened.
Also rain, also flooding sometimes, also avalanches, in which
some of us were lost, and periodically we would seem
to have achieved an agreement;

our canteens hoisted upon our shoulders,
but always that moment passed, so
(after many years) we were still at that first stage, still
preparing to begin a journey,
but we were changed nevertheless;

we could see this in one another;
we had changed although we never moved,
and one said, ah, behold how we have aged, traveling
from day to night only, neither forward nor sideward,
and this seemed in a strange way miraculous.
And those who believed we should have a purpose
believed this was the purpose,
and those who felt we must remain free
in order to encounter truth, felt it had been revealed.

(by Louise Gluck)

50. Guy Grand - September 10, 2011

40. Truth be told

Right— as a lawyer Mr. Goldman ranks right up there with Roy Cohn,— Abe just performed on a much smaller and idiotic regional stage. Bravo!

51. Bares Reposting - September 10, 2011

Open Letter to Robert Burton

January 1982

Dear Robert,

For a long time we have felt the need to discuss with other sincere students the dilemma which our teacher is faced with concerning his private life and consequently some of our own dilemmas stemming from this situation and from our lack of knowing how to handle them.

November 29, 1981 at the P*m*r*y House with a group of friends gathered together seemed an ideal time to open up the subject since it had become obvious that it was no longer a secret and also that several wonderful students were seriously considering leaving the school because of the inner conflects generated.

A sincere in-depth discussion ensued and the following is a summary of the feelings expressed by those present:

It was felt we could accept the idea that a teacher has a right to his own private life as long as his actions do not negatively affect the lives of others. (Walt Whitman, Leonardo Da Vinci and others did not lead a school) .

This situation within a school would not appear to be a sound note in the octave of developing a new civilization.

It is difficult to understand how these actions strengthen the whole or are right for the whole, even though on some level they may be right for the part.

It places people both presenting and representing the system in an awkward position in all areas including that of guiding children.

We all have too much invested in ourselves, each other and the school. This could also place the whole and/or the part in jeopardy relative to our income producing capabilities in life.

The credibility gap created when a teacher does not live his life according to the rules he sets down creates a gnawing situation for students, making it sometimes impossible for them to feel the school is real and to be willing to devote their full energies to it.

We do not like to think of leaving the school as the only alternative. It is our school and we are concerned about it’s future. Work in this area may be connected to the teacher’s work in further[ing] his evolution and we have a role to play in that.

It seems important not to call a weakness anything but a weakness. It is the first step in being able to either give or receive help.

The teacher said that the school would become whatever the students make it. This seems to put the responsibility especially on older members to bring to light whatever their conscience cannot accept — a part of the principle of being true tp oneself.

It seems the proper course would be to deal with this potentially troublesome situation from the “inside” which would reduce our vulnerability to damage from life.

A strong positive feeling of the phenomenal accomplishments of this school and our own development under our teacher’s guidance is prevalent among us and we would not wish to allow it to weaken through fear of making efforts toward pcssible solutions to the present problem.

The teacher may not be aware of how few students actually know about this area and also the amount of denying force it presents even to older students.

We ask you, Robert, to consider finding new ways to modify this situation.

In our deepest friendship and affection, this letter has been endorsed by the following students:

D*n B*rr*ll
D*r*s B*rr*ll
L*nn P*m*r*y
Carolee P*m*r*y
R*g*r Fitzgerald (C*v*nn*)
P*m*l* Fitzgerald (C*v*nn*)
R*ch*rd And*rs*n
R*b*rt Eg*n

[This letter, though not very specific as to the issue(s), was authored over two years prior to Samuel Sanders’ letter to the Fellowship of Friends Board of Directors, March 4, 1984. (Copied in FoF blog post page 112/#7). All of the above named people left the Fellowship of Friends subsequent to this letter.]

52. WhaleRider - September 10, 2011

Truth BE Told:
You wanna talk about what’s going on for you, now that you have calmed down a bit?

Seems like we hit a nerve.

It’s OK to feel anger, and it’s one, if not THE most difficult emotions to manage, right up there with love.

Yes, when we purge our anger it often makes us say stuff that’s not true and taxes our relationships. Yet to avoid anger weakens our spirit, and to turn it against ourselves or repress it causes mental and physical illness.

I sense that all the talk about fathers may have stirred up your inner world a bit.

Our parents can be a huge source of cognitive dissonance. I know mine were. I was very angry at my parents at times, needed them to take care of me, was embarrassed by them, and was supposed to love them, too. I grew up in the 70’s and they were part of the untrustworthy “establishment”. My father was a retired military man and worked for the military-industrial complex!

Years later, at the end of my father’s life, he was very emotionally supportive of me, despite his health conditions. He made great efforts to make amends. Luckily I was out of the cult by then and could work on having a relationship with him, rather than continue to let myself be sexually and financially exploited by “fatherly” pastor burton. I felt compassion for my father, which had a humanizing and healing effect on me post cult.

So, what is your truth? Care to share your humanity?

53. Ames Gilbert - September 10, 2011

Bares Reposting (#112-51 or thereabouts),
Roger Cavanna didn’t leave the Fellowship of Friends after that letter, or if he did, he rejoined. Maybe he was suspended briefly for his part in the Persian carpet affair. He certainly died as a ‘member in good standing’ in 2006. His wife, Pamella, did leave in 1994, but subsequently rejoined, and AFAIK is still a member.

54. Renald - September 10, 2011

Synchronicity par excellence–

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
‘this could be heaven or this could be hell’
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel california
Any time of year, you can find it here

Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the captain,
‘please bring me my wine’
He said, ‘we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the hotel california
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
The stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
‘relax,’ said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!

55. rock that boat - September 10, 2011

25.The -fake- Elan letter.
They won’t give up will they, so now a fake ‘Elan son of Abraham’ letter has been concocted. Who’s writing this time? How far will they go to protect their criminal bubble? (I guess until it bursts).
Anyhow… it is a clear indication that the blog has become a threat to them again. Well done moderator, thank you, and thank you Ames for sticking your neck out and to everyone else who kept the blog alive.

56. WhaleRider - September 10, 2011

Burton Defends Tax Cuts

POOR HOUSE, CALIFORNIA – Multi-millionaire Pastor Robert E. Burton, CEO of the now morally bankrupt Burton’s Drive-Thu Ministries, Inc. strongly defended tax cuts for himself, a professed blow job creator.

Attended by one of his chief economic meal tickets and biggest blood donors, Peter “Nutcase” Morrow, Burton made his comments by phallus phone from his extravagant gay villa in Luxor, Egypt.

“I am above paying my fair share of taxes like everyone else,” said Burton after clearing his throat during a little breather, “that way I can continue unabated creating well-paying blow jobs for the young and naive, the unemployed, and for those who just want to get better blow jobs, like married men.”

When asked why Burton has been lately outsourcing his blow jobs to more foreigners than Americans, Burton stated that it was simply a matter of narcissistic supply and obsessive demand. “I also feel more at home in countries where the economy sucks the most”, he said.

57. Bares Reposting - September 11, 2011

53. Ames Gilbert – September 10, 2011
‘Bares Reposting (#112-51 or thereabouts). . .’

Yes, I think you may be right on that. Sorry about the error.

58. Shirley - September 11, 2011

56. WhaleRider – If there was a “like” button, I’d press it.

57 Bares Reposting, 53 Ames – Shortly after joining the FF in the early 70s, I was on a bus crossing the Bay Bridge, reading a Rodney Collin’s “Theory of Celestial Influence”. Roger was sitting across the aisle and asked if I was studying with a teacher. I gave him Anna G’s number. We got off the bus and went our separate ways. He and P joined some time later. Our paths didn’t cross much in the FF.

59. Golden Veil - September 11, 2011

This day, 10 years ago, was for me, the end of our innocence.

Here, lovely singers interpret Don Henley’s song that reflects my

thoughts, and yes, there are tears falling now with the memory,

and their traces will always be on my cheeks…

60. Associated Press - September 12, 2011

President Obama read from Psalm 46 [at start of 9/11 observance in New York],
which he chose because it speaks of perseverance.
Here is the whole KJV:
Psalm 46
God Is Our Refuge and Strength

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah,A Song upon Al’amoth.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her;
she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:
he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah.

61. silentpurr - September 12, 2011

…an old bit of wisdom says: Believe nothing against another but upon good authority, nor report what may hurt another unless it may be a greater hurt to others to conceal it….
This is why the blog is important.

62. Golden Veil - September 12, 2011

34. Bares Reposting

Thank you for posting the very moving record of personal history by Barbara Bruno Lancaster. I quote from it:

“Mind control exists – – it produces an inability to act from one‘s own integrity. Brainwashing is spiritual rape. Remember: No one ever thinks they are joining a cult.”

63. Golden Veil - September 12, 2011

Barbara Bruno Lancaster was a Fellowship of Friends member during what I would consider its hey day, 1972 – 1984. She
learned a lot, didn’t she, about beauty and perverted narcissism.

Like many, she felt misunderstood by “life people” on her exit:

“The most common reaction to my story is: “Well, that could never happen to me!” I’ve met with a lot of former members and they are not stupid. Most are highly intelligent. The newer groups are especially appealing to the well-educated. Recruitment is directed to the best, the brightest, and the most idealistic of persons. Every cult member is a recruiter whose sincerity is infectious.”

With the right timing we were all vulnerable to “The School.”

64. Agent 45 - September 13, 2011

Happy people usually don’t kill themselves.

65. For the record - September 13, 2011

55. rock that boat – September 10, 2011
25.The -fake- Elan letter.
“They won’t give up will they, so now a fake ‘Elan son of Abraham’ letter has been concocted. Who’s writing this time? How far will they go to protect their criminal bubble? (I guess until it bursts).
Anyhow… it is a clear indication that the blog has become a threat to them again. Well done moderator, thank you, and thank you Ames for sticking your neck out and to everyone else who kept the blog alive.”

I have to agree. I really liked the thoughtful responses by a few people to that post. Who knows — maybe it is Abraham Goldman’s son. On the other hand, I really appreciate your skepticism. Easily I can see someone trying to put a stop to the speculation about what happened.

The threat that you’re referring to in this case is the ability of people on the blog to state the obvious — that Robert Earl Burton would LOVE to have “relations” with Elan, or any young man connected to the Fellowship of Friends. Honestly — does anyone believe otherwise? Does anyone believe that Burton would show restraint? (“No, I’d better not. He’s just too young and impressionable. I don’t want to scar him for life. I better hold off until he’s more mature.”)

66. For the record - September 13, 2011

47. Opus111 – September 9, 2011
Maria Lucas (1960-2011). RIP

————-

Opus, I’m sorry to hear the very sad news about Maria. Can you share a few more details? Was she battling a long illness?

67. Opus 111 - September 13, 2011

Maria L. had indeed been battling the proverbial long illness for nearly three years.

68. Amanda Raphaelson ( Mariposa) - September 13, 2011

I had a rather large “credit towards future membership dues” owed to me , I gave appreciated stocks to the FOF as a way of paying in “bulk” for a section of a year’s dues for many yrs, (about a credit of $4K. ) when I left . I wrote a letter to
RB to ask that these funds be given to help rebuild the Lincoln Lodge, allowing the kitchen to be rebuilt and to serve students working at the “farm”. I never received a note of appreciation, or information on how this money was spent. Of course, I was a non-member, and could not be communited with…However, it still surprises me that this issue of not feeding working members of the farm were tolerated and thought as “normal”. Simply astounding. And I was there when we purchased this farm with my family’s money..

69. Amanda Raphaelson ( Mariposa) - September 13, 2011

*communicated

70. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 13, 2011

My comments in bold below.
Time to name names:

6. Bares Reposting – September 8, 2011
111/184. Shirley – September 7, 2011
‘. . .We didn’t have much compassion in the FF. Kindness, yes, but I don’t think there was true compassion.’

Here is limited example of the kindness and compassion of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton:

FoF Blog Page 5/#15:
‘No accounts Says:
March 30th, 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.
Gl*r** C.

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

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.
Ann* T., Sh*ll*y M., plus untold number of others.

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.
Cl*r* El*n* H*v*n, caring for D*r*thy B.

My friend Act, gave up dancing after 15 years because she never fitted the “form” of the school.
Not sure, but could make a good educated guess.

My friend Leave, left because he was never able to share his gracious Art within the form of the teaching.
J*s*ph M.?, plus untold number of others.

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.
Stablemates aplenty.

My friend Drop, served for years in any octave and was then dropped.
J*n*th*n P., plus untold number of others.

My friend Use, was used for years in any octave and then dropped.
G*rd* A., plus untold number of others.

My friend wit, was told not to speak.
G*rd* A. (blind servant to Teacher who spoke out of turn), plus untold number of others.

My friend Look, was told not to speak.
J*hn B**gn*n, plus untold number of others.

My friend Move, was told not to move.
Not sure, but could make a good educated guess.

My friend Taste, was told not to taste.
See ‘Be’ above, plus untold number of others.

My friend Hear, could not hear for no one talked.
Abr*h*m G., plus untold number of others.

My friend Think, could not think because consciousness is not functions.
G*r*rd H*v*n, plus untold number of others.

My very best friend Read, was prompted to leave her husband because he never lay with the Teacher.
Not sure, but could make a good educated guess.

My friend write, was forbidden to write.
Not sure, but could make a good educated guess.

My friend Child, shot herself and survived.
H**th*r N.

My friend Serve, served all these.
Legions of third line volunteers.

My friend Scale, brought Scale and Relativity to it all.
Scale the walls and get out before it’s too late.

My friend Aim, said: The shot turned around against them and killed them all.
Not sure on this one, but: ‘Remember, when you point a finger, three fingers are pointing back at you.’
Page 112/#43. WhaleRider – September 9, 2011

My friend Time, gave up her child and was still unable to find compassion for herself after twenty years.
G**n*v*re M., plus untold number of others.

My friend God, turned his back.’
Robert Earl Burton could care less.

This is only a partial list. Others welcome to contribute.

* * * * * *

By the way, here is the list of:
The Thirty Imperishable Work ‘I’s
1. Be (Be Present)
2. Hold (Hold the sequence with Presence)
3. Pray (Choose the theme of the sequence; i.e. Look, Hear, etc.)
4. Back (Watch the lower self)
5. Turn (Return to the theme of the sequence; i.e. Look, Hear, etc.)
6. Long BE (Prolonged Presence)
7. Act (Engage Presence)
8. Peace [Pax] (Avoid the entire spectrum of negative emotions)
9. Leave (Avoid identification)
10. Kneel (Do not resent friction)
11. Drop (Do not judge or keep accounts)
12. Use (Use voluntary suffering)
13. Wit (Avoid wit)
14. Now (Think neither of the past nor of the future)
15. Look (Look with Presence)
16. Move (Move with Presence)
17. Taste (Taste with Presence)
18. Hear (Listen with Presence)
19. Feel (Feel with Presence)
20. Smell (Smell with Presence)
21. Talk (Speak with Presence)
22. Think (Think with Presence)
23. Read (Read with Presence)
24. Write (Write with Presence)
25. Child (Remain in essence; avoid false personality revolving around chief feature)
26. Serve (Do not inner consider, externally consider)
27. Scale (Use scale and relativity)
28. Aim (Keep aim and complete octaves; be aware of third forces)
29. Time (Remember the brevity of life)
30. Gods (Remember the gods)

I hope all that read here, read in Presence about the crimes committed by themselves, their fellows and the organization they have supported.

So many ways that things can go wrong; so few ways things can go right.

71. Renald - September 13, 2011

One to thirty—a waste of electonic ink.

72. surelyujest - September 13, 2011

Watch this, and see how easily our perceptions are altered. Now imagine looking out at the world and seeing confirmation for your beliefs everywhere. That is what “verifying C influence” is all about — a simple distortion of perception, combined with magical thinking and a desperate wish that it all be true. Because then you really would be special…

73. For the record - September 13, 2011

Another important factor about the McGurk Effect, especially the example shown above, is that it requires someone to manipulate your perception of what is being spoken.

In other words, there is no McGurk Effect until someone deliberately changes the video so that it appears the speaker is using the “V” sound. To make it work, they’ve created an artificial effect — a deception — that will confuse the listener and obfuscate. Take away the deception in the video, and play the actual video in a straightforward way, and anyone who makes an effort to listen normally will hear the actual sound of the “B”.

Cults encourage people to mistrust their OWN perceptions, so that they feel dependent on someone else, while simultaneously encouraging them to trust without question what others are telling you more than you trust yourself.

In the Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence cult, people are taught to chronically disbelieve their own perceptions about the world. What they REALLY should be mistrusting is what they are being told. It’s healthy not to believe and act upon all of your own internal impulses and perceptions. What’s at least equally as important, however, if not more important, is to balance that by not believing and acting upon all of what others want you to believe.

74. Golden Veil - September 13, 2011

I feel that the Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence cult emphasis on BEAUTY is a subversive distraction from the intense judgement / high control that is so prevalent and also serves to clothe The Teacher’s selfish use of Students with a sense of purpose. “These are higher impressions, they are superior, they are a means to conscious evolution.” Utter bullsh1t!

75. WhaleRider - September 14, 2011

McGurk Eyes

I, burton

I behold prey…

Watch your back!

I return only to myself

I belong only to myself

I act peaceful and feel nothing

I leave a void

I kneel, use friction. Don’t resist!

I drop all accountability

I use others

I have no wit

Here now for me and maybe later tonight

I look, move, taste, hear, feel, smell, talk, think, read, and write as a child

I serve on my scale

For my aim

Your time is short

My gods…are your gods

76. Shirley - September 14, 2011

70 Just the Facts Ma’am

Thanks. When one knows the individuals mentioned, then the examples are no longer so abstract. These are people we knew/know, so the indignities and humiliations they suffered are much more vivid. And that is what these examples are: rigid and petty attempts by the FF at enforcing the idea of “going against the machine” or, as was said above, work on “feminine dominance”. A curious feature of the FF is that members were not encouraged to explain their behavior (that extra biscuit; closing your eyes because of visual impairment), because that’s “just the (sneaky) machine justifying itself.” You accepted whatever was dished out; just swallow it (no pun intended) and work on yourself. People put their trust in RB and the FF, and so much of that trust is betrayed.

77. Tim Campion - September 14, 2011

74. Golden Veil

Loosely connected with your thought…

I was walking around town yesterday, and noticed a playing card lying in the gutter – a four of diamonds. For those of us versed in a certain symbolic language, there are many memories that might play in connection with that card. (“I would much rather be a nine of diamonds…”)

All the internal chatter, all the muddying of reality by Robert Burton’s faux-esoteric constructs; the Thirty Imperishable Work I’s, the war with “one’s machine”, the non-expression of negativity, the endless striving after “higher (man-made) impressions”, the profound aphorism that must be spoken – all of this, I think, did not bring us any closer to “God”.

It is clearly a distraction, Robert’s obsessive drive to esoterically interpret human utterances, events, symbols, objects, coincidences, painstakingly illuminating his personal link to “C Influence”.

As poets have always known, every moment is filled with “God’s” work. And it is freely available to each of us. The sunlight, breezes, leaves blowing, a spider in its web, the person before you. How can we fail to see it? (Well, maybe if we’re trying to remember which of The Thirty Imperishable Work I’s best applies to this moment.)

“Presence” doesn’t require an intermediary. Yes, we need to learn to open our eyes. But we certainly don’t require the life-long guidance of a charlatan like Robert Burton. Only by undermining what we already knew could he indoctrinate us into his sinister world, a world from which, under his terms, there is no escape.

On the way home, I saw the card again. But this time, a short distance beyond, I saw two more: the seven of clubs and the queen of spades. There was a time when this would have resulted in confusion. “What does it mean?”

But now, they were three cards on the ground, and the trees are just showing their autumn tints, while red-tail hawks circle above, and I felt happy to be here. These were the only signs necessary.

78. paul gregory - September 14, 2011

Golden Veil: if you are on the GF, I can tell you a little about Mervyn and the Academy.

79. Golden Veil - September 14, 2011

Beautifully put about noticing what just comes from nature… Thanks!

80. Shirley - September 15, 2011

77 Tim

What with the deck of cards and license plates, you’d think the FF’s website would have a section called Interpretations. People could submit their questions and ask for “the Teacher’s interpretation of a license plate” or card that one saw that day. Responses would be returned, upon payment of an appropriate fee. (Just joking.) I just don’t get RB’s “thing” for license plate interpretations.

I remember being at the Lincoln Lodge one day in the mid 1970s. I can’t remember who “photographed” my center of gravity. It used to be a big sport, in a way, guessing people’s 4 aspects: body type, center of gravity, alchemy, chief feature. It was like astrology on steroids. Anyway, I remember going to him about it. (Wasn’t there a period when he’d let people line up at the Lodge, to ask him questions of a personal nature?) So I told him I wasn’t sure about being such-and-such a center of gravity. He said quickly, “Then maybe it’s…{xyz}.” He gave it no thought at all. I was disappointed with his superficiality, and never asked him about it again.

81. From Robert's Mouth - September 15, 2011

In my opinion much too complicated- but here it is:

“These commands were no sooner issued than they were performed.” [The Arabian Nights]
Truly, in schools, as the Roman poet Ennius said, “No sooner said than done.” In Mark 5:41-42, Jesus said to the damsel, “Arise,” and “straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years.” The “damsel” represents world twelve—the higher emotional center; “straightway” refers to the thirty precious work ‘I’s. She rose from imagination, and “walked”— prolonged presence. In Acts 12:13, “As Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken.” The steward knocked at the door of the nine of hearts, and world twelve appeared.

“Act! Allah will behold your actions.” [The Koran]
Act—engage presence with the thirty work ‘I’s—and you will be in a state of being present and holding presence.

“The fruit of knowledge is action.” [Ibn Ajiba]
“The fruit of knowledge”—the thirty work ‘I’s—“is action”—engaging presence. If the ‘I’s assert themselves, and you do not become definite, then you need the work ‘I’ Engage, which we have abbreviated to Act. You must Act upon these ‘I’s—that is, you must engage presence with them.

“I called on the name of Allah and let fly my arrow.” [The Arabian Nights]
The steward used Be and engaged presence. We know from Arjuna that the steward has thirty arrows in his quiver. Rumi said, “My arrow hit the target.” *An Egyptian relief from Abu Simbel portrays Ramses II shooting an arrow, behind whom is a second figure following his movements. Thus there is a double arm, a double bow, and a double arrow. Here, Ramses represents the steward, and the figure behind him represents the higher centers.

“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.” [Psalm 91:15]
Here, God is speaking. “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him”—the steward will call upon the higher centers with the thirty precious work ‘I’s, and the higher centers will answer him. “I will be with him in trouble”—in imagination—“I will deliver him, and honor him.” In John 1:1, it is written, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

“I do what you desire, O Ra; I do what is good, I act as one who pleases, O Ra; I cause your bonds to fall, O Ra.” [Going Forth by Day, Spell 39]
“I do what you desire, O Ra”—I assert the thirty work ‘I’s. “I do what is good”—good deeds, the thirty work ‘I’s. “I act as one who pleases, O Ra”—I actually engage presence with the work ‘I’s. “I cause your bonds to fall, O Ra”—the chains of sleep have fallen from the divine presence of the third eye. On September 7th, I will begin my fortieth year of working with great Influence C. We have been digging, and digging, and digging, and look what we have found! It is incredible, is it not? The thirty precious work ‘I’s materializing the presence of the third eye.

82. fofblogmoderator - September 15, 2011

81 is new

83. Agent 45 - September 15, 2011

During the first week of December (1939), Venkatapathaiya issued this outrageous statement to the press:
“For all the hysterical tom-tom about Shri Meher Baba by his coterie of devotees, disciples, admirers and friends, who try bluff, bluster, bravado and browbeating, there is unimpeachable documentary evidence, of a most intimate character, which denounces him as a swindler, cheat and charlatan.
He stands condemned as a despicable wretch not fit for any decent minded man or woman to associate with. He is a fraud on humanity! A dangerous devil!”

Dr. Ghani asked, “Why don’t you turn your key?” Baba replied:

This is my key; otherwise what could these ignorant people do?
It is not their fault. They harp on the same old issues, with the same old stories repeated over and over again .. – all too childish for words!

Until now I did not mind, and did not allow public replies, but now it is necessary for the world to know, since we are establishing an important center here. That work should not suffer. So, reply to them, but in a dignified manner – coldly, calmly, but convincingly.

Things were too slow, rather dead and dumb for the work. You had no enthusiasm. So, to stir it all up, this opposition has come. Let us welcome and utilize it for my work. Do not make it personal and get mad at individuals. State facts and smash their silly talks and arguments.”

Lord Meher, Pg. 2476, Bal Kalchuri

84. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 15, 2011

Commentary on the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton:
From: Meher Baba Journal
(A publication of the Fellowship of Friends, c. 1970’s. [Quotes did not appear in this order.]):

‘Though religion has come into existence to liberate man from all narrowness, it can itself become a cage when not understood properly. All the world religions proclaim the same eternal and Universal Truth; yet human weakness has a tendency to carve out some limiting, narrow loyalty which closes its gates upon the shoreless and unbounded ocean of love and divinity. It is not the essentials of religions, but addiction merely to their outer forms, which has tended to divide man from man, thus thwarting the very purpose of the great founders of the world religions.’

[Remember, the common attitude, and likely FoF exercise, is to shun former members. How is that ‘shoreless and unbounded ocean of love and divinity.’? Remember, the common attitude likely in FoF is that ‘life-people’ (non-members) are marks to be fleeced or taken advantage of. By their fruits you shall know them.]

‘Only when his mind is utterly detached from the false is it possible for man to disentangle himself from the repetitive clutches of the fleeting moment. Then and only then can he become established in the “eternal now,” which everlastingly includes the eternal past and the eternal future. The eternal “I am” is an unfailing assurance of the only Reality which ever was, is and will be.’

‘Do not live in ignorance. Do not waste your precious lifetimes in differentiating and judging your fellow men. Live only to find and realize your true identity.’

[Full actual quote:
‘Live not in ignorance. Do not waste your precious life-span in differentiating and judging your fellowmen, but learn to long for the love of God. Even in the midst of your worldly activities, live only to find and realize your true identity with your Beloved God.’]

‘There is within man the inextinguishable light of Truth, because he is essentially divine in origin and being.’

[Full actual quote:
‘Selfishness and lust for power tend to drag man towards brutality, which he has inherited from his evolutionary ancestry or acquired during erroneous searching through his incarnations. But there is within man the inextinguishable light of Truth, because he is essentially divine in origin and being.’]

‘It is not so much that you are within the cosmos as that the cosmos is within you.’

[Full actual quote:
‘Though the eye is small, the soul which sees through it is greater and vaster than all the things which it perceives. In fact, it is so great that it includes all objects, however large or numerous, within itself. For it is not so much that you are within the cosmos as that the cosmos is within you.’]

‘As long as man remains ignorant of his divine Self he may as well be a stone.’

[Full actual quote:
‘As long as man remains ignorant of his divine Self he may as well be a stone; a man lives and a stone exists, and both remain equally ignorant of the Truth. As Kabir says, ‘While man cannot achieve TRUTH he is no better than a stone.”

[Kabīr (c.1440–1518) was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced. . .]]

[End Meher Baba Journal quotes.]

* * * * * *

‘Love is also different from lust. In lust, there is a reliance upon the object of sense and consequent spiritual subordination of the soul in relation to it; but love puts the soul into direct and coordinate relation with the Reality which is behind the form. Therefore, lust is experienced as being heavy and love is experienced as being light. In lust, there is a narrowing down of life and in love there is an expansion in being. To have loved one soul is like adding its life to your own, your life is, as it were multiplied and you virtually live in two centres. If you love the whole world, you vicariously live in the whole world. But in lust there is the ebbing down of life and the general sense of hopeless dependence upon a form which is regarded as another. Thus, in lust there is the accentuation of separateness and suffering; but in love – there is the feeling of unity and joy. Lust is dissipation; love is re-creation. Lust is a craving of the senses; love is the expression of the spirit. Lust seeks fulfilment but love experiences fulfilment. In lust, there is excitement; but in love there is tranquility.’
Meher Baba

[My edit of Meher Baba quote:
To have loved one’s soul is to add its life to your own.]

85. Agent 45 - September 15, 2011

That was a fun interlude, Wouldn’t You, now back to the regular programming.
Correction: Should be Bhau Kalchuri.
“To everything there is a season,
Turn, turn, turn.
And a time for every purpose under heaven.”

86. Shirley - September 15, 2011

84, 83

“If you love the whole world, you vicariously live in the whole world.”.

That is why the segregation in the FF mindset of Us vs. Life people prevents the experience of true kindness, nevermind compassion. There is not a sense of kinship with general humanity when one’s perception of one’s self is of being an elitist. In addition, compassion doesn’t seem to be an end in itself, so much as it is a manifestation of connectedness to others. In what way is any one of us different from another? Feeling that one is special (being in a “real School) feels good, and the FF feeds that feeling.

87. Renald - September 15, 2011

re. “ 82. fofblogmoderator – September 15, 2011
81 is new “

No it isn`t. It`s the same old crap, the same old trap, the same old clap-trap. It`s the same old snow job, the same old blow job, the same old sick rob. He`s the same old fake. For your own sake, please awake. For your own fate, head for the gate. This ain`t no poem, please just come home.

88. Renald - September 15, 2011

Subtract post 81 from post 84 and the remainder is post 84.

89. silentpurr - September 15, 2011

O said ” …essence can die in many different ways. It may only die for this life or it may die completely. It can die completely only as a result of a long period of wrong actions, actions against conscience. Killing essence means killing conscience.”

90. Shirley - September 16, 2011

84 Wouldn’t You

“To have loved one soul is like adding its life to your own”
[[Your] edit of Meher Baba quote:
To have loved one’s soul is to add its life to your own.]

Either one: Hard to experience, isn’t it. A Taoist said that we’re like a drop in the ocean that imagines a separation between itself and the rest of the ocean, when in fact, it’s all water. That Us vs. Them thing isn’t exclusive to the FF, but the FF tendency is to feed it, as though it’s a good thing. It ends up strengthening the prison bars.

91. WhaleRider - September 16, 2011

From Robert’s Mouth:
“These commands were no sooner issued than they were performed.” [The Arabian Nights] Truly, in schools, as the Roman poet Ennius said, “No sooner said than done.” In Mark 5:41-42, Jesus said to the damsel, “Arise,” and “straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years.” The “damsel” represents world twelve—the higher emotional center; “straightway” refers to the thirty precious work ‘I’s. She rose from imagination, and “walked”— prolonged presence. In Acts 12:13, “As Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken.” The steward knocked at the door of the nine of hearts and world twelve appeared.”

Great example of:

Trance Logic In the trance state of narrowed and focused attention in which a person’s normal capacity for critical analysis is suspended, it is an alternate thinking process that enables ideas that would be paradoxical to the conscious self to peacefully coexist within the mind and inconsistencies in logic are better tolerated; Trance Logic opens a hypnotized person to suggestion.

The suggestion above being that any of the quotes and numbers game that burton spews from his pie hole has something to do with him and his 30 canine commands…in his troubled imagination!

Here’s the paradox, is there anything that one should not do with “presence”?

I guess…spend money without presence, perhaps?

Spend (with presence) isn’t on the list, now is it?

So spend money without presence!

Another words, it’s OK to buy a voucher now to be more present later!

Hey, Good Householder is just another form of feminine dominance!

Go ahead and spend money you might not even have…they take all major credit cards.

…or as burton’s does, spend other people’s money!

“We have been digging, and digging, and digging…”

Yeah right, the only real digging he has ever done is in other people’s pockets.

92. Tim Campion - September 16, 2011

From “The Manly WIsdom of Will Rogers”:

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

93. WhaleRider - September 16, 2011

Demystifying the Sequence

If ever there was an example of mind control, burton’s sequence of 30 canine commands is it.

It occurred to me last night that as presented by the cult the 30 canine commands contain a high degree of imbedded cognitive dissonance and trance logic in that although the 30 commands are called “I”s which is a pronoun, the actual words are verbs, denoting actions.

Firstly, it is impossible to perform all 30 actions simultaneously, which I don’t think is the point; one is expected to selflessly perform each action with awareness, which of course would be the case one way or the other…unless you’re my dead grandmother.

Secondly, the idea of observing my many “I”s as I understood it presented in the fourth way, is that these thoughts come from my mind, not anyone else’s, and that each person ought to own them and take responsibility for them, even the thoughts that are contradictory or unconscious.

Yes, sometimes I want or think this way in one circumstance and sometimes I may want or think the opposite in another different circumstance. (This was true when I was younger, more ambivalent, and didn’t know myself as well, but I find this less so now that I am older and know myself better.)

So inherent in the idea of my many “I”s is that my “I”s are mine and yours are yours.

But with the sequence, this is not the case.

The follower consciously and intentionally repeating the 30 verbs (with “presence” or vigilance) is to learn and incorporate these verbs (or burton’s dog-like commands) as their own, which originate from outside the follower’s mind.

IMO, this practice is invasive and compromises the integrity of the self.

More importantly, the subject, “I” in the cumbersome sequence is missing.

I = ego = self

It is impossible to “remember oneself” if the self is not there, and thus cult membership requires that one remove one’s self from the picture, placing the cult leader’s self interest above one’s own.

Imbedded in the 30 canine commands are verbs like turn, kneel, drop, hold and serve, all of which IMO are about serving burton’s interests and furthering cult indoctrination at the expense of one’s personal integrity and mental health.

Simply saying the words with “presence” and intention doesn’t create a self or metaphoric third eye, any more than funding burton’s rape factory does…quite the opposite, in fact.

Here’s where Gurdjieff’s axiom holds true for me…Life is Only Real When “I Am”.

It seems to me that holding just the one thought “here I am” is a much more streamline and elegant means to be more present when necessary and appropriate than learning a bunch of dog commands by rote…unless English happens to be your second language.

Here I am writing, here I am reading, here I am walking, here I am talking, here I am in Egypt, here I am letting some old fart suck my dick, here I am being a good follower, here I am not thinking, here I am getting drunk again, here I am watching my husband be seduced, here I am buying more vouchers on credit, here I am not calling my family back on Christmas, here I listening to the psychotic ramblings of a sexual predator…etc.

94. Agent 45 - September 16, 2011

When your nose is kinda runny
you may think it’s funny,
but it’s snot.
“Schools of Awakening” – Ha!
“Food for the Moon” – Ha, Ha!
“Fellowship of Friends” – Ha! Ha! Ha!
Good fucking luck.

95. silentpurr - September 16, 2011

Luck! You will need more than luck because you’ve just been
tricked into a social fossilization process!
70, thanks for posting the “30 imperishable work i’s” .It’s interesting to see how Robert’s illness has degraded the idea of ‘work on one’s self’. The list represents a Robotized ‘teaching’ where the creative individual not only “does not exist”, but need not exist at all! Just follow this plan and it will lead you to a comfortable place, free from nagging questions… Surprise! Your “work i’s” now work for Robert.

96. Renald - September 16, 2011

re.90 – Shirley–Two thoughts.
First. You can`t give love unless you have it, meaning you can`t love another soul unless you love your own. Why? Because if you do not love your own you cannot be in alignment with it. The soul does not allow its alignment with anything less than unconditional love. When we are not in alignment with our soul, we experience suffering of one sort or another.

Second. The backside to strengthening prison bars is that it encourages the development of the desire to escape. Bars stifle change and we are designed to crave change. Society tends to train that tendency out of people mainly by introducing fear into our memory by using constant repetition. Fear sells and the instillers profit. “ To the moon !“

97. For the record - September 16, 2011

Whalerider 91. Yes, are entirely welcome to spend indiscriminately with presence. So I’ll go ahead and add that one, and a few others.

31. Spend (spend more than you have with presence)
32. Abuse (abuse with presence / be abused with presence)
34. Ignore (be ignorant with presence)
35. Deny (be in denial with presence)
36. Manipulate (manipulate and be manipulated with presence)
37. Lie (lie and be lied to with presence)
38. Believe (believe nonsense with presence)
39. Don’t question (don’t question what you are told with presence)
40. Don’t talk (don’t talk openly about uncomfortable topics, with our without presence)
41. Don’t think
42. Don’t feel
43. Don’t suspect.
44. Don’t be (don’t be what you are)
45. Do be (do be what we want you to be)
46. Obfuscate (obfuscate with presence)
47. Dig (dig yourself a hole)

To refresh people’s memories, they arrived at the “30 imperishable stars” after a group process of sorts, where Burton asked people to come up with the entire list — a type of collaborative effort, and then they fine-tuned it and arrived at the final list. You can tie up your mind in knots thinking about these things, which is the end result, and maybe the desired result as far as Burton is concerned. The dull mind games keep people preoccupied and unable to really doubt what they are being told or to question what is occurring, or to bring the conversation in the direction of anything with honest substance.

98. Ill Never Tell - September 16, 2011

97. For the record:
Sorry, ’30 imperishable work I’s’ must be monosyllabic (‘canine’ commands). It also helps, possibly, if imbecilic.

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

81. From Robert’s Mouth:
‘We have been digging, and digging, and digging, and look what we have found! It is incredible, is it not?’

91. WhaleRider:
‘Yeah right, the only real digging he has ever done is in other people’s pockets.’

92. Tim Campion:
‘From “The Manly WIsdom of Will Rogers”:
“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”’

97. For the record:
’47. Dig (dig yourself a hole)’

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Someone was walking along the Way and was not watching where they were going. They tripped and fell into a hole. The walls of the hole were so steep they could not get out. Dazed and confused, they cried out for help.

After considerable period of time, someone comes by and hears their cries. It is a doctor, a psychiatrist. ‘Tell me your problem, and I’ll try to help you out,’ the doctor says. They reply, ‘I’m stuck in this hole and can’t get out. Can you do anything?’ The psychiatrist says, ‘I think so. You sound depressed and/or anxious, so here’s a prescription. (Tosses Rx into the hole.) Take these as directed, and I’ll come back every week to discuss how you feel. Or, here’s my business card, give my office a call for an appointment.’ (Tosses business card into the hole.) Doctor goes their way and someone is still in hole and can’t get out.

Next, a priest happens by and hears the call. The priest says, ‘Do you need help, my son?’ They reply, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?’ The priest says, ‘No, but let’s pray together for your safe escape.’ The priest says a brief prayer, writes it down, throws it down in the hole and says, ‘Repeat this prayer three times a day and come to confession weekly.’ Priest goes their way and someone is still in hole and can’t get out.

After another considerable period of time, a third person comes that way and hears the cries. They peer over the edge into the hole and someone, relieved, cries out, ‘Thank God! Can you help me out?’ The first thing this passerby does, they jump down into the hole with them. Our someone in the hole, excitedly, says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both stuck down in this hole.’ This good samaritan replies, ‘Stop trying to dig your way out; that’s only getting you in deeper. I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’ Together, they find their way to liberation.

99. victoria Zeischegg - September 16, 2011

You’ve reached the bottom when you stop digging — Anonymous

100. The FOFion - September 17, 2011

Non Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centres Now Accepting Non-Students

NEW YORK (ARK) — In a dramatic policy reversal, Life is now accepting non-students. Non-students are being recruited via non-bookmarks in bookstores throughout the East Coast. First prospective non-student meetings are now being held in Manhattan and Long Island.

“Life consists of over 7 billion people,” said a Life spokesperson. “We believe it’s the largest organization if its kind anywhere in the world. And yes, it does cost you to join. Every day, you need to get up in the morning, take care of yourself, and seek personal growth and happiness. It’s not easy, but Life members help each other through acts of kindness and tough love, while sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience with each other.”

It’s estimated that only about 1,000 to 1,500 non-Life members now exist.

“Yes, they certainly have dug themselves a hole,” said one current Life member, who has been a member of Life for a long, long time. “But eventually most of them will see that they’re Life members, too, just like the rest of us, and that really there’s no need to pretend otherwise.”

101. Shirley - September 17, 2011

100 The FOFion

Brilliant. Or, as J.D. would have said, “Hilarious!”

102. Golden Veil - September 17, 2011

The 100th post (above) is truly a gem among posts!

” … yes, it does cost you to join. Every day, you need to get up in the morning, take care of yourself, and seek personal growth and happiness. It’s not easy, but Life members help each other through acts of kindness and tough love, while sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience with each other. ”

” It’s estimated that only about 1,000 to 1,500 non-Life members now exist. ‘But eventually most of them will see that they’re Life members, too, just like the rest of us, and that really there’s no need to pretend otherwise.’ ”

I love this and it is the truth!

Thank you!

103. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 17, 2011

The Emperor’s New Clothes 3:26:

Wondering Who’s Watching

104. WhaleRider - September 17, 2011

The FOFion:

WELCOME BACK!

I missed you.

105. Renald - September 17, 2011

re. 103. Wondering Who’s Watching

Which one was Linda T. ?
This one was almost as good as Lysistrata. I particularly liked the part where G. A. is beckoning to the sheep across the audience.

106. Golden Veil - September 17, 2011

103. Wonder Who’s Watching ~ Great video!

At the end, The Emperor said, “People see what they want to see.”

Ain’t it the truth!

I was one of the gullible ones during my time with the Fellowship of Friends…

Wake up and see the Emperor’s (Robert Burton’s) “new clothes” (his teachings.)

107. My2Bits - September 18, 2011

Re: Whalerider, #93.

“If ever there was an example of mind control, burton’s sequence of 30 canine commands is it.

It occurred to me last night that as presented by the cult the 30 canine commands contain a high degree of imbedded cognitive dissonance and trance logic in that although the 30 commands are called “I”s which is a pronoun, the actual words are verbs, denoting actions.”

Whalerider’s words nicely sum up my intuitions about the doctrine of “the 30 imperishable stars,” and his term “30 canine commands” is spot on.

About trance logic… Toward the end of my term in the Fellowship, RB was insistent that students maintain eye contact with him whenever he was speaking at meetings or dinners. Twice, he photographed me — relaying his message via one of his fleet-footed intermediaries — for not doing so, and to immediately mend my ways.

This insistence on steady eye contact created a kind of “electrical circuit” in a room that made me uncomfortable and resistant. Surely, this “circuit,” which dare not be interrupted, created and supported some kind of group trance state conducive to collective indoctrination.

What gets me is the thought that RB was doing this intentionally, like some kind of diabolical genius. He’s diabolical, for sure, but he’s no genius. Is his malevolence intelligent? Evil? Or, simply ‘instinctive’ for a psychopathic, narcissistic personality such as his?

108. Renald - September 18, 2011

re. 107. My2Bits

Well at least he knew who you were. That`s more than I can say after 10 years or so at the compound.

109. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 18, 2011

Élan (whether the posting here, with that name, was real or not),
(And for anyone else who wishes to read this),

I am sorry for your father’s passing. Do not be disheartened. Remember that it is not he who is absent of you (or, us, the living), as time and space is of no consequence where he has gone. It is we who are without him, as time and space separates us and is our prison. So, be with him whenever you think or feel about him, and he will be there.

What to do with anger: Transformation/Regeneration:

‘Yet in spite of this, no man can acquire the enormous supply of new energy necessary for self-transformation either by eating more or better. For this he must turn to the other two forms of human nourishment – air and perceptions which pass through a similar series of refinements, giving rise to new manifestations at every stage. For whereas solid food is almost automatically refined to its final possibility, the digestion of these two finer forms of food depends largely on the attention, understanding and choice of the person concerned.

In the case of perceptions, particularly, digestion is not automatic, is not assured by nature at all. It depends entirely on the degree of consciousness of the receiver. And with increase in this consciousness, perceptions may be refined to a point where they give rise to degrees of ecstasy ordinarily unimaginable by us.

For example, every day one passes a certain beggar in the street. Sometimes one perceives the beggar’s face, if at all, as a vague blur in the general scene, which has no more meaning or significance than an old piece of newspaper. The perception reaches one’s eye; but it goes no further, gives rise to no processes within the organism at all. On another day, exactly the same photographic image will impress itself most vividly on one’s consciousness. One will suddenly see the beggar as he is, see the poverty, illness, craftiness, amusement or hopelessness written on his face, and will suddenly become aware of what has brought him to this point, and of what inevitably awaits him.

This simple perception will give rise to a hundred thoughts, speculations and emotions. It will be refined into food for mind, feelings and even for the highest healing or creative activity. And this digestion of the perception will be the result of a momentary increase of consciousness on the part of the perceiver, perhaps of his having remembered himself.

This, however, already begins to border on another process altogether. For the chief characteristic of the process of digestion is that in it, all proceeds by Nature. Every man, by his very birthright of a human body, enjoys the use of the energies so produced. And though he can in many ways interfere with and hinder their normal output, the whole miraculous series of transformations goes on quite independently of his will, intention or desire.

Thus this natural refinement, which begins, as we saw, with inert matter and ends with form [Transformation], must not be confused with intentional refinement, induced by man’s own will and aspiration, which begins with form and ends with life. This latter [Regeneration] involves a different and most difficult process. Later we will see the point at which it could begin.

Earth: Sun: Planets: or Matter: Life: Form:
Transformation, Refinement, Purification, DIGESTION.
213: passive, active, neutralizing

Planets: Earth: Sun: or Form: Matter: Life:
REGENERATION, Re-Creation, Change of Nature, Art.
321: neutralizing, passive, active

1: active force; first force
2: passive force; second force
3: neutralizing force; third force

In fact, the process of regeneration exactly implies the transmutation of matter from opacity to radiance. This transformation involves two stages. Physically, an opaque body must first become translucent, that is, it must acquire the capacity of being penetrated by the light of another body. Only after a long period in this state can the possibility of radiance, or of shining with its own light, arise. In the same way, a man wishing to develop must first become translucent . . . He must lose his solidity, become invisible and unrecognised, be seen only by another’s light. This very exposure and penetration may then prove the means enabling him to know himself and in the end to acquire permanent consciousness of his own.

These three stages – opacity, translucence, radiance – correspond to the three states of matter, mineral or cellular, molecular and electronic, of which we have spoken before. In the planetary world, the second stage is connected with the development of atmosphere, and the third with the generation of light. In man, the second stage is connected with the development of a new molecular body, capable of assimilating the consciousness of another, and the third with the creation of a further electronic body, capable of generating its own consciousness and embracing others within it. Elsewhere we shall speak of these potential new bodies as the soul and the spirit.

Very much can be understood about our present state of consciousness and the next potential ones, by considering the question of invisibility. For the development of these new bodies involves the creation of vehicles with which to penetrate into the invisible worlds.

As we saw in Chapter 4, there are many different kinds of invisibility for us. Things may be invisible because they are too far, like some distant star; or because they are too near, like the glands within one’s brain. They may be invisible because they are too large, like the earth; or too small, like a cell. They may be invisible because they are too rarefied, like air or thought; or too dense, like the inside of a mountain. They may be invisible because they are too fast, like a flying bullet; or too slow, like the form of a civilisation.

All these different kinds of invisibility arise because in its ordinary state our consciousness only functions freely in relation to the mineral and cellular worlds. Confined to a cellular body, it is aware only of mineral or cellular objects.

If this consciousness could be raised to a degree of penetration where it could function equally freely in relation to the molecular world, many of these kinds of invisibility would no longer exist for it. A consciousness which had the same powers in relation to the molecular world as ours has in relation to the cellular, could actually ‘perceive’ molecular matter like air or emotion; could actually penetrate into the interior of dense objects, like mountains; and would enjoy such speed of movement that the whole scale of ‘far’ and ‘near’ would be completely transformed.

Above all, a consciousness at liberty in the molecular world, that is, in the next state beyond ours, would no longer be aware only of objects, but also of the relation between objects. Because in most cases the field of force representing the relation between objects is composed of matter in molecular state. It would then be aware of the relation between a cat and a chair, a man and a woman, its possessor and his surroundings. In comparison with this awareness of living and ever-changing relationships, the perception of separate objects would seem to refer to a dead and unbelievably dull world.

Now for practical purposes, the first step towards this penetration of consciousness into the molecular world or world of relationships, lies in the practice of divided attention. The man who begins to learn how to divide his attention deliberately between his own body and the object or person he is dealing with, that is, who is simultaneously aware of himself and his surroundings, does in fact begin to live in a world of relationships, in the molecular world. He has begun to be self-conscious. He has begun to grow a soul.

Certainly, his first efforts to accomplish this will show him very clearly the extreme difficulty of holding this state, and will prove to him beyond question that command of it is not natural to man, but has to be laboriously acquired. At the same time these same efforts will open up before him quite a new world, the world of relationships, and will demonstrate to him that this world is actually attainable by his own consciousness, through divided attention. Moreover, with this progress of his consciousness towards the next state, the sphere of the invisible will diminish for him.

About the creation of yet another body beyond the soul, that is, the spirit, we can not speak here. This is too far from us. But now we begin to understand the literal meaning of the word ‘regeneration.’ By this process creatures of cellular body are literally reborn, first into molecular bodies, and second into electronic bodies. Each rebirth means entry into a new world, new perceptions, a completely new relation to the universe. In fact, all the new possibilities we have hitherto touched upon – conscience, consciousness, fusing of the nervous systems, penetration into other times, awareness of other worlds, immortality – all refer to nothing else but different aspects or different stages of such regeneration. . . .

Such growth in essence and birth of a soul will imply a change of the whole being of man, an inner accumulation of energy and force. And as the reflection of perceptions as personality was found analogous to the reflected light given off by the moon, so the inner transformation of impressions to create a soul will resemble the process by which a body glows by its own light. It will be analogous to the Sun.’

The Theory of Celestial Influence
Man, The Universe, and Cosmic Mystery

Rodney Collin

So, it is your choice.

110. WhaleRider - September 18, 2011

My2Bits:
“Surely, this “circuit,” which dare not be interrupted, created and supported some kind of group trance state conducive to collective indoctrination.”

You bring to mind an interesting point…so to speak.

Eye fixation is a well-known technique for inducing trance and hypnosis.

It is a fallacy to think that trance only occurs with the eyes closed. When one fixes the eyes upon one point, the eyes defocus and one readily goes into a more suggestible trance state, relaxing the critical mind and trance logic is more acceptable.

Repeat the experience enough times and burton’s insane delusional belief system becomes your own.

I remember when was in the cult I was exposed to a technique for keeping one out of “imagination” or trance, which involved moving the eyes around and not letting the eyes fixate upon any one point for more than two or three seconds.

A few months ago I had to do an online traffic school course. In the section on driving safety, there was a part about how to avoid “highway hypnosis”, and the exact same technique was discussed!!! Don’t fixate on one point ahead of you while driving.

IMO, this is proof that burton’s cult has become the opposite of what it might have once been or at least claims to be, (although for me it was then and still is a rape factory) not a place where one is encouraged to live in the present, but a place where trance is openly encouraged in order to become enslaved in an imaginary world.

111. Renald - September 18, 2011

re 109 and are your bullshit detectors all going off at once?
If not they are faulty or badly programmed to begin with.
“ Join my club and I will teach you how to create a soul“. LOL
Oh and don`t forget that payment is a principle, or should that read principal source of income for “The Teacher“.
Pure hogwash!

112. Renald - September 18, 2011

re 110.- Whalerider. Excellent post. “Repeat the experience enough times and burton’s insane delusional belief system becomes your own.“
Yes his sing-song inductions, his posture with his head cocked to one side, his use of certain words as anchors, all are designed to set his followers back into trance state automatically. That is the main reason followers feel totally helpless (99% of them most of the time) when they are in his proximity. I don`t know if he learned his techniques from others deliberately or whether it is something which simply evolved as a natural consequence or in other words was a co-creation but either way “ buyer beware!“
His promise of awakening is a joke, a not funny one which I hope will someday fall flat and be seen as the crock which it is. What can be gained though is more like sleep-walking.

Regarding focus and de-focusing or attention: A good example of my take on the above is the state of day dreaming. This activity is healthy enough from time to time. We are born with this ability.
However if a person gets into a habit of using this process too often it can become an addiction. (sorry, I just can`t think of a better word)
It will be seen as a form of escapism, of not wanting to deal with the world. Medication is then prescribed to make it more difficult to attain.
New names are invented in order to label customers, and the game goes on.

113. sallymcnally - September 18, 2011

http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=20896752

this guy is great for anyone interested.

114. sallymcnally - September 18, 2011

Focus and refocus: Play some chess, free and does the same thing.

115. leonhardon - September 19, 2011

Bob’s new book,

The Theory of Molestuall Influence

116. silentpurr - September 19, 2011

Regarding The Emperor’s New Clothes:
I see the story’s townspeople depicting the Fellowship student body especially “older students”.
It’s the ‘individual’ who sees with ‘fresh eyes’ what is going on!
Alice Miller states in her book “The Untouched Key” that “The belief that older people understand more about life because they supposedly have had more experience was instilled in us at such an early age that we continue to adhere to it even though we know better. Naturally, older craftsmen have more experience in their trades, and older scientists have more facts in their heads, but in both cases their knowledge has precious little to do with wisdom. Nevertheless, most people have never given up hoping that they can learn something about life from their elders, whose advanced years must imply richer experience. Even people whose parents have long been dead will seek out parental substitutes such as priests, psychotherapists, gurus, philosophers, or writer’s, convinced that those who are older must know better….”
Older students bear the moral responsibility for enabling Robert’s farce.

117. Ill Never Tell - September 19, 2011

116. silentpurr:
‘Older students bear the moral responsibility for enabling Robert’s farce.’
How true. And, also:
Older students bear the moral responsibility for enabling Robert’s farts.
Take your heads out of your own orifices, wake up, and smell the . . .

118. Golden Veil - September 19, 2011

“Older students bear the moral responsibility for enabling Robert’s farce.”

Beautiful, nice, smart, artistic, culturally oriented, clean, organized, polite, seemingly wise and sophisticated, but delusional, fake, brainwashed and brainwashing, promoting non-assertiveness, prejudice, judgmental, stunted emotional growth, stunted maturity, unhappiness, alcoholism, magical thinking, back pain, muscular strain, erectile dysfunction, the whittling away of dignity, destruction of individuality, crushing creativity, pretentiousness, suppression, repression, promoting myth and fairy tales as reality, lies, cover-ups, the division of man from wife, mother from children, sons and daughters from their parents, waylaid careers, encourage debt, insomnia, hernias, ulcers, gas, the swallowing of bitter bile, rape, molestation, sexual predation, mental illness, migraine causing, uptight, fictitious, imitative, disingenuous, false, unreal, pretend completely inappropriate, criminally complicit…

119. Golden Veil - September 19, 2011

Whoops! Last line:

false, unreal, pretend, completely inappropriate, criminally complicit…

120. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 19, 2011

105. Renald – September 17, 2011
‘re. 103. Wondering Who’s Watching
Which one was Linda T. ?’

The one holding a goose in her arms. The one to proclaim the truth, immediately after the young girl, causing the sleep to fall from their eyes and all laugh.

More:

Emperor’s New Clothes trailer 1:34:
(With Sid Caesar)

121. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 19, 2011

Emperor’s New Clothes from
Hans Christian Andersen with
Danny Kaye 5:00:
(Danny/Hans: We always keep our promises, don’t we?)

Little boy (~0:44):
‘That’s not a king. It’s only a queen with a mustache.’
Danny/Hans:
‘You’d be surprised how many kings are only a queen with a mustache. But, we all believe it’s a king, don’t we?’
All:
‘Yes!’

122. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 19, 2011

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” pt.6/7 8:37:
(With Art Carney and Alan Arkin as the tailors)

123. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 19, 2011

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” pt.7/7 7:34:

124. Ames Gilbert - September 19, 2011

WHW, (#112-120 or thereabouts),
‘re. 103. Wondering Who’s Watching
Which one was Linda T. ?’
The one holding a goose in her arms. The one to proclaim the truth, immediately after the young girl, causing the sleep to fall from their eyes and all laugh.

You must be joking, right?
Linda T. is one of the fawning ministers who first go along with the two weavers as they pull their con. One of her main jobs over the years? Head of the Ministry of Truth, with charge of the following sub-departments (in Newspeak); Recdep, Ficdep, Resdep, Pornosec, Teledep, and last but not least, Propdep.

As Silentpurr points out, all “older students” help reinforce Burton’s manifestation of Orwell’s “1984”.
See also: bellyfeel, doubleplus, goodsex, goodthink/crimethink, blackwhite, unperson, and many others.

125. Someone - September 19, 2011

I talked to a friend of mine (a member) about Abraham Goldman’s death. Abraham was a good friend of mine.

There is a great deal of evil and viciousness in the hearts of those who connected Abraham Goldman’s death with being in the FOF and spread the lies about alleged attempts in the FOF to hide the circumstances of his death.

The day after Abraham Goldman died Robert said publicly and openly during a large event that Abraham commuted suicide.
Hundreds of people heard that on-site and on video.

No one was hiding anything!!!

Abraham has suffered tremendously form serious medical issues accompanied with unbearable pain that could not be sufficiently controlled even by powerful narcotic drugs.

His prospect of recovery was very slim and he was not able to bare anymore pain.

This blog has turned into a snake pit.

126. Agent 45 - September 19, 2011
127. Guy Grand - September 19, 2011

125. Someone

Yeah, well the FoF is a trouser-snake pit for an evil old snake charmer.

128. Guy Grand - September 19, 2011

126.
Grant is such a hypocrite.
“Eddie” Schulten? That’s hilarious.

129. Ames Gilbert - September 19, 2011

Hello Someone, (#112-125 or thereabouts),
did your friend explain the vast differences in the treatment of Abraham’s suicide and Kevin Kelly’s suicide? And why Burton suddenly changed his mind about suicide being the end of all possibilities (his long–held opinion on the matter)?

Excuse me being a bit cynical about your intentions and motives . . .

130. brucelevy - September 19, 2011

It’s her familiar refrain. She left the FOF because of hardships, but got great things for herself yadda yadda. She always spouts the party line but takes exception with the sex with boys part. She’s a typical outsider who doesn’t wish to actually sever her FOF connections. Actually she’s fairly typical of “local OH” people who join and leave.

She’s posted the same horse shit over and over for years, as if she has any credibility outside of her own mind.

131. Jomo Piñata - September 19, 2011

http://bit.ly/pV38qK (19 MB PDF)

See sociopath’s advice at pp. 2-3:

The Subject of Suicide: “Do not try to save anybody here who tries to commit suicide. They shouldn’t be here. And they will strangle you just as some drowning people drown someone who tries to save them.”

132. WhaleRider - September 19, 2011

Someone:
“…those who connected Abraham Goldman’s death with being in the FOF”

Obviously there is really no connection between Abraham’s self-inflicted, intentional death and Living Presence…absolutely none whatsoever.

How could the two be connected?

Abe’s no longer among the living and not so present anymore either.

Seems pretty black and white…AND Living Presence sets such a very high moral standard for all of its followers.

Shame on us for thinking so…or for thinking anything at all…! Best not to talk about it.

Although apparently, Someone, you were not among the living who discovered his body.

I bet finding Abe hanging there quite at home with his eyes bulging out and his tongue such a beautiful shade of blue created wonderful lasting memories for Abe’s loved ones…just so they could inherit some of the pain he was feeling..which I am certain they too will find that not even powerful narcotics can possibly quell.

I mean, they didn’t just go right out and celebrate, right?

Or maybe the untold story is that Abe was actually practicing autoerotic asphyxia and got a little carried away, so to speak, like David Carradine.

I understand you get a big hard-on and ejaculate in the process. But I am sure such practices would be of no possible interest to the likes of Robert E. Burton and company.

133. Renald - September 19, 2011

Re. 125 .- Someone.

All suffering is the result of being pulled in one direction and refusing to go there. In other words resistance. Either one relaxes and allows this calling or eventually one way or another one finds oneself where one resisted to go in the first place. It cannot be otherwise.

From that point of view all death is a form of suicide. It`s the return ticket being used as it must be.

134. silentpurr - September 19, 2011

Were I to consider suicide, I think I’d go the Hemlock’s Society’s version with my loving family surrounding me, drifting off in overdosed peace.
Abraham, for some reason needed to go with a more dramatic, “memorable” exit, a la Robert Burton style.

135. Opus111 - September 19, 2011

Someone at 125:

What would you have called Mr. Burton if he had publicly said that Abe made a terrible and naive mistake; that in fact he committed a crime against the Gods and C-Influence and in the process lost all possibilities of evolution. Would you call Burton a snake?

Perhaps you should, because that is what Burton said after Kevin K. (presumably) committed suicide in 1998.

Notwithstanding the severity of Abe’s physical discomfort, I would venture to say you probably have no first hand knowledge of it, and you would be unable to explain why it was more intolerable than having been quadriplegic for most of one’s adult life and dependent on the uninterrupted assistance of others for bodily functions, fighting body sores, infections and constant discomfort. Read what Christopher Reeves had to say if you are not convinced.

So yes, as Bruce might say, you can take your fake and selective outrage and shove it.

136. Ill Never Tell - September 20, 2011

The reason that the KK and AG suicides were treated differently is the same reason that the student wore a plain single colored clothing: to be out-of-patterns.

137. Renald - September 20, 2011

Why bundle up the Kevin K. and Abraham G. suicides as examples of Burton`s reactions when we have a much more recent suicide, by hanging even, in Brian S. ? Furthermore the shat upon Brian is a much better example of horrible abuse at the hands (so to speak) of his teacher/pastor/minister/prophet/princess or whatever is the latest title he/she has self-bestowed.

138. Bares Reposting - September 20, 2011

Via.Del.Sol.Journal.10.26.1971.pdf
rendered to plain text:

VIA DEL SOL JOURNAL
Volume I October 26, 1971 Issue No. 6
MEETING, SATURDAY October 16
(The movie “Gold Rush Days” with
Charlie Chaplin was played as an ex-
ercise to control laughter.)
The control of laughter was good,
the movie had humor from one angle of
thought.
Student: It also seemed to be sad in
parts.
That is right, it is life…0ne of
(my) students once said that (i) am
like Charlie Chaplin.
Please try to use (my) name as
little as possible. (i) don’t like
to hear it — it is not (me).
MEXICO
There will be a trip to Mexico
probably in February. There will be
two levels: abundant and frugal
(mostly frugal). It will be fun for
all and good for impressions.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. In general, we will travel as
economically as possible. Yet, for
those who wish they may (and should)
live high at times. We will have a
planning day one day. (i) think $250
should do it, and less for some and
more for some.
C INFLUENCE
Students were asked how many have
verified that C influence is a
reality? (Several raised hands.)
Help (from C influence) is given in
the amount it is appreciated and
valued.
Just about all the people who raised
their hands are on the “way”. Some are
on the “way” who did not raise their
hands.
Everything here is fated. (my) words
are never (my) own, even now. C
influence controls all of us to wake
us up.
When you are less extreme, less
happy and less sad, more mellow,
more 40 or 50 (or Number 4 or 5),
less identified, then you are on the
way.
THE FARM
If people cannot afford the farm,
speak to me and (i’m) sure it can be
arranged.
We can give food, lodging, and
presently cannot give people money.
Eastern teachings have always done
this and teachers and students also
begged for food and still do.

Colodi, who wrote Pinocchio, said
that the wealthiest people have to
heg for food.
SNAKES
Wear strong, high boots and try to
stay on trails and walk cautiously.
Listen to what you think are lizards,
they can be snakes.
Q. It’s cold weather now, and
snakes less apt to be out anyway.
A. Yes, and we may have some
more warm weather.
Yorgos and the teacher had an
experience of seeing a rattle
snake on the trail – several others.
People started shifting (the moving
center). (A brain of its own.)
Miscellaneous Notes from October 16
People are interested in evolution
on their own terms (they would like
the teaching to be what their idea of
a teaching is).
Q. What about other groups. They
are studying the same things we are?
A. If vou think that anyone in
life is on the same path, you don’t
yet know what.you have met here.
There are people who could be here,
but do not have luck (good fate).
Ouspensky said, “You must not
discount luck. You must have luck to
meet a teaching.”
It is only possible to become
conscious in this present life by
fate. Some people here may be fated
to become conscious in another life,
or this life.
Gurdjieff said, “We are all
equally beggars.”
OPEN MEETINGS
Nov. 2, 4, 9. “Please work with new
people if you haven’t. Each person
try to bring one or more people.
Don’t worry if you don’t have anyone,
though.
Most people would go mad if they
stopped “puttering”.
We will end now, and (i) hope you
know (i) love you more now, even
though (i) do not speak.
MEETING AT FARM, October 12
Separate: for a source of friction
and health, we will stop making
coffee in the farm house until Dec. 1
and at that time another decision will
be made to continue or not. It will
produce negativity, which is food for
the Self to come into existence.

[End Page 1]

Via Del Sol Journal Page 2 October 26, 1971
If you wish to make coffee in your
tent, it is your privilege. It would
be best to end the habit.
People do not drink coffee or smoke
cigarettes – they drink a habit and
smoke a habit. The drinking of coffee
and the smoking of cigarettes is a
buffer. It keeps filling time to
avoid the helplessness of being unable
to cope with the simpleness of
existence.
Remember – to use it as a source of
friction.
(i) will still drink coffee once in
a while, just as (i) smoke once in a
while (not being mechanical), and
presently (i) have three cups of
coffee a year and 10 cigarettes. And
(i) taste them, and use them for
higher centers. On alcohol,
we will eventually almost eliminate
them (maybe serve at festive
occasions).
When a person uses drugs, or drinks,
they borrow from tomorrow. Like a
heavy person who eats too much on one
day and at that time says, “I will
diet tomorrow”. Peonle borrow from
tomorrow. Peter Ouspensky said that.
Also, most conscious men do not
smoke or drink, and in the East they
do not have sex. Gurdjieff and
Ouspensky were the exception in this
area.
If you have one cup of coffee a day,
it’s not a buffer (sometimes 2 cups).
Water is the best drink.
A rock record says, “i don’t always
get what i want, but i always get
what i need. It is Western personality
that drinks and smokes (false person-
ality).
BERKELEY MEETING, October 19
Brian Marshall introduced his
friend, Alan Lucas. The comment was
that it looks like Brian has brought
his own replacement.
Discussion of angles of thought
about the “lower eating the higher”.
If the teacher is eaten, it is called
a “crime”.
It is one of the ways C influence
works.
Crime can make other students
stronger who see and do not make the
same mistake.
One area where a student eats the
teacher is when the student wastes
the teacher’s work – – for example,
not doing a task.
A teacher is intended to be drawn
from, but not eaten.
“Never did the eagle stoop so low
as to listen to the blackbirds”.
That is the Self listening to the
many “I’s”.
Q. False personality likes to be
liked. Does essence like to be liked?
A. Essence is liked without trying
to be liked. Essence can be hurt by
insensitive people.
Angle of thought is that “I’s”
that feel a “need” of another person
are false personality.
The lower cannot see the higher.
That is a Law.
PROBLEMS
Problems rely on outraged honor,
being slighted, lack of justice,
etc., and literally are not real.
Parts of the emotional center enjoy
problems.
Problems can come from willfulness.
I good student said to me over the
weekend, “You make it hard for us.”
(i) replied that you will forgive me
when you are near death.
(i) am balanced and do not make
it hard or easy.
When a person is about to die, all
he has left of importance in his
life are his moments of consciousness;
that is, when his Self was awake and
time has not eaten the moments of
self-consciousness.
Ouspensky said that these are our
precious possessions.
Do not let the emotional center
take you down on the subject of
death.
SUBJECT OF SUICIDE
Suicide, in general, is vanity.
The emo ional center wants to be
noticed or has taken itself too
importantly (vanity).
Ouspenskv formulated the theory
that peeole who commit suicide will
live their lives over and over and
commit suicide at an earlier and
earlier time and eventually will be
born dead. There is a medical name
for such babies. They are born with
a healthy body, but seemingly no will
to live; It is called “merasmus” or
“failure to thrive” (reported Richard
Hannah).
Do not try to save anybody here who
tries to commit suicide. They

[End Page 2]

Via Del Sol Journal Page 3 October 26, 1971
shouldn’t he here. And they will
strangle you just as some drowning
people drown someone who tries to
save them.
Q. What eventually happens to the
soul of a person who commits suicide
earlier and earlier and then is born
dead?
A. It would cease to exist.
Ouspensky formulated that this would
be the only true death – – the death
of a soul.
Q. Are the Self and the soul the
same thing?
A. Presently we will say that it is.
There are many names for the Self – –
the nameless one, astral body, the
little gray bird, the light, the
third eye, higher emotional and
higher intellectual – – these are
“pen names” for the Self. It is not a
word, it is a state.

It is possible that people contin-
ually learn too much too soon in
their lives and eventually think
that they know what there is to know.
Such persons are Krishnamurti, Allen
Watts, etc.
They play that life over and over
again, always learning too much too
soon.
According to Ouspensky’s formula-
tion, people have 2 or 3 lives in
which to make it after meeting a C
influence group.
Q. Allen Watts tries to teach
knowledge to others, to help others.
A. Yes, and he teaches his errors
to others. He has errors and he does
not know they are errors.
Allen Watts is a high person, and
yet he has missed the target, and
does not know there is a target. A
fatal error. (To the questioner: Try
to give up the idea of justice.)
These people cannot work with a C
influence teaching because they
“know everything”. What opens the
door on one level, may close it on
another.
Buddha has formulated that it is
one of the signs of Buddhahood for a
teacher to be able to get people to
value their selves more than the
illusion of life.
It is always difficult to meet a
school.
About no coffee at farm house. It
is fine to irritate personality by
not giving it cigarettes and coffee
at times.
Some people need to feed a wolf;
others need to irritate personality
now (to produce friction).
A third force cannot be born with-
out the duality of friction. C
influence will give you more help.
Q. Some people seem to be so glum.
A. People are in sleep and it is
glum if you can’t wake up and you
know it. Also, it is leaving imagin-
ary suffering, the fire keeps going
out. There is joy if the Real “I”
crystallizes.
Q. Gurdjieff seemed to have so
much joviality in his teaching.
A. Yes, and he also gave them a
knee in the stomach and struck them
which is a form of love (he was try-
trying to wake them up Martially).
Mary Ward is here – – a new octave.
She is similar to Bonita, the first
student.
Charles Ward may he replacement
for Jim Bullock – – Jupiter.
This is not a Gurdjieff teaching – –
it is Esoteric Christianity – – and,
as always, it still hurts.
To change your level is as a
caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
Also, the teaching was around
before Christ manifested on earth.
Q. What about not using your name?
A. Just minimize it. “Robert” is
OK, it just doesn’t need to he said
much. (i) don’t like “teacher” or
“instructor” either.
We will end now, loves.
MEETING AT FARM, October 21
Isn’t it nice (we) have a farm,
after all the looking (we) did.
Q, What two centers accept that
existence is simple?
A. Higher emotional and higher
intellectual. The Self sees exist-
ence as simple.
The Self has a capacity to accept
objective facts of existence, and
not try to make existence what his
or her personality imagines existence
to be like.
Q. Does the self choose the next
role, or is it ordered by higher
forces?
A. A guess would he the latter.
Q. If a person gets to No. 4, when
he recurs, will he be No. 4?

[End Page 3]

Via Del Sol Journal Page 4 October 26, 1971
A. (i) don’t know, most probably
move on.
Q. Can you explain what the
Enneagram is about?
A. George Gurdjieff, as (i)
understand it, was the first esoteric
teacher to release the diagram to the
public. It has been passed on from
teacher to teacher with an understand –
ing that it should be given to only a
few. It is a complete teaching, as
other forms are a complete teaching.
Q. Why is C influence?
A. It enjoys existence.
Everything is a part of the whole.
Parts have a separate identity as
well as being parts of the whole.
Ouspensky has formulated that at
death, the Self immediately is born
again into the same home with the
same parents. We will understand more
two years from now.
Q. I cannot see the relevance of
learning about the Ray of Creation or
the Table of Hydrogens, when we are
studying ourselves.
7. Different types here need differ-
ent food. Also, as buffers are removed,
knowledge is necessarv to replace the
buffers.
Also, such knowledge brings rela-
tivity to the scale of our existence – –
how small we are.
In addition, Ouspensky, for example,
didn’t receive that knowledge until
after being in the teaching for about
20 years. Maybe in 20 years we will
find it more useful.
Try to ask nractical questions.
Knowledge should be useful. It is fine
if something is useful for you and
not for others.
Q. What should the relationship be
with parents and children here?
What kind of atmosphere best for them?
A. Good householder.
Q. C influence will take care of
their atmosphere and environment.
A. We must proceed as if C influence
wasn’t present.
Overall it is best to have children
in private homes on the ranch. They
are lucky not to be in public schools.
FROM POBERT’S NOTEBOOKS
“Existence is odd.”
“For women, watch the hens on the
farm – – no insult at all intended – –
just observe a female species, wants
chicks…after raising a brood,
they’re right back at it again.”
“Meher Baba said, ‘I am the one
who loves you more than you could
love yourself’.”
“(i) do not need a ‘no’ – – (i)
only need your love.”
“When a person is doing something
quesstionable the reason (i) may ask
about it is that you are trying to
attach your will to mine, and what
you are doing is not my will.”
“Try to keep musical records that
have words out of the house.”
“Necessary laws are the same for
all. People can be under more
unnecessary laws, depending on their
level of being.”
“What holds most women back from
evolution is that they are more
attracted to males and children than
to themselves.”
“Our poor little emotional centers
cannot understand the No. 3 person.”
“Forgive each other here.”
“The problem is within you, not
without. Trv to use it as friction.”
“Work against any weakness in
yourself and you work against Chief
Feature. It is building Will”
(Peter Ouspensky).
“(i) love you and won’t let vou
down. ”

This is Issue No. 6 of the news-
letter. Price: 75¢ for four issues,
or 20¢ per Copv. Issue No. 1 was
free, so this issue begins a new set
of 4 on subscription.
The subscription is beneficial to
you and appreciated by the one who
compiles the notes.

[End Page 4]

139. Someone - September 20, 2011

I am not a member anymore for quite a while, but I haven’t lost my empathy
and respect.

Reading your malicious words about an unfortunate death of a man shows expressly that those who remained in this blog are the burned bottom of the pot.

Enjoy your cooking.

140. Agent 45 - September 20, 2011

Dear Someone,
(Don’t worry, No One, has been assigned to your case.)
With all due respect, a certain amount of empathy I can understand, but what’s to respect about the Fellowship of Friends?
When Sam Giancana was asked by Bobby Kennedy if there was anything he could claim as his contribution to society he responded:
“I pay my taxes.” (Having learned a lesson from Al Capone).

Too bad the Fellowship doesn’t even have that level of being.

141. For the record - September 20, 2011

Opus 111, a few posts up… What you wrote strikes the right chord. That sums it up really well.
___________________

Bares Reposting, also a few posts above:
That excerpt is an insight into the mind of a psychopath. It’s also a perfect example of a chronic need by Burton to make statements about the afterlife and “recurrence” and other topics that no one on earth can possibly know anything about, with the obvious intent to impress upon people that he must be conscious in order to know such things. The Fellowship of Circular Logic. Reflecting upon these things is one thing. Making proclamations of fact about them is an entirely different thing.

Note that the following viewpoints were uttered repeatedly for 40 years by Burton until his suicide policy (what he tells the Fellowship of Friends followers about suicide) went through an abrupt change recently. Later, Burton learned more or less to avoid articulating such blatantly callous statements as shown in bold below — at least in public. I’m sure he lost a few people with this one…

From Bares Reposting post above, quoting from Burton and the via del sol journal:

SUBJECT OF SUICIDE
Suicide, in general, is vanity. The emotional center wants to be noticed or has taken itself too importantly (vanity). Ouspenskv formulated the theory that peeole who commit suicide will live their lives over and over and commit suicide at an earlier and earlier time and eventually will be born dead. There is a medical name for such babies. They are born with a healthy body, but seemingly no will to live; It is called “merasmus” or “failure to thrive” (reported Richard Hannah). Do not try to save anybody here who tries to commit suicide. They shouldn’t he here. And they will strangle you just as some drowning people drown someone who tries to save them.
Q. What eventually happens to the soul of a person who commits suicide earlier and earlier and then is born dead?
A. It would cease to exist. Ouspensky formulated that this would be the only true death – – the death of a soul.

__________

With Abraham Goldman, Burton could not adopt this stance. Too many people would question the entire charade, and to put it mildly, wonder if something might be wrong. And “wondering if something might be wrong” is by the way the very first step in leaving the Fellowship of Friends. Burton therefore had to spin things positively.

On another note, here’s the definition for the word “shill”. One thing I’ve noticed about the use of shills on the blog — We may not be certain whether a specific poster is a shill or not, but it’s clear that shills do contribute on these pages occasionally. And they usually make their presence known when the blog strikes the right chord.

Shill: “A shill, plant or stooge is a person who helps a person or organization without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with that person or organization. Shill typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) that he or she is secretly working for.”

142. surelyujest - September 20, 2011

Reading those early journal entries, it strikes me how little has changed — today’s 4th Way preachers spout the same information, in the same tonality. If anything, Robert sounded more reasonable, almost sane, and far less negative than this year’s model. In the “student’s” questions, I still hear people who are entranced with a huckster. Robert played the guru role rather well then. It sounds like his greed hadn’t run away with itself yet either.

I thought that to really achieve something in the 4th Way, you had to find a real school? The Fellowship certainly wasn’t, and from what I hear, neither is the Foundation. So we have gone from saying “you must have a school” to “you can find a fake school and get everything out of books you bought at the mall.”

143. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2011

“In our experience, the dimension that correlates most closely with psychopathy and which has been identified or is implicit in all definitions of the illness is the concept of empathy – but … empathy defined in a specific two-part way. Empathy is loosely thought to be the capacity to put yourself in another person’s shoes. But this seems to be only one part of what constitutes empathy as it exists or does not exist in the psychopath. What seems to be different about the psychopath is that he is peculiarly unaffected or detached emotionally from the knowledge that he gains by putting himself in your shoes. Thus, although he is able to very quickly glean during the briefest of interaction with another person a lot of very useful information about what makes him tick, this knowledge is simply knowledge to be used or not as the politics of the situation dictate. What seems to be missing in psychopaths is the compelling nature of an appropriate affective response to the knowledge gained from putting himself in another person’s shoes, in the way that happens in the normal person. This essential missing aspect of empathy in the severe psychopath is not in my experience easily seen and one does not often get a second glimpse of it if one has been treated to a first one by mistake.”
. . . .
Barker continued: “A rather crude example might suffice, for I am sure many of you (psychiatrists) have had similar experiences. A young psychopath who had inflicted multiple stab wounds on an elderly woman, and was charged with attempted murder, appeared as subdued and appropriately sad about the offence during the early stages of a first interview. His eyes were moist as he accurately described how the woman must have felt during and after the attack. But later in the same interview, after a rather jocular rapport had been established, this boy blurted out ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about. The old bag only had a few scratches’. To my knowledge, in all his subsequent years at mental hospital, he stuck to all the right lines of remorse which he quickly learned were more appropriate and useful. The bright psychopath doesn’t stumble like that very often. Although with luck the right question at the right time in the right place about how the other person’s feelings affected him, will produce a pause, or a puzzled look, or even rarely the question ‘How am I supposed to feel about it?’
“We have often thought that the deficient capacity for this two-part type of empathy, coupled with a pervasive distrust of others, are together enough to account for the psychopath’s inability to give or receive affection, or maintain lasting relationships.”

http://bit.ly/n3zTu8

144. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2011

“What seems to be missing in psychopaths is the compelling nature of an appropriate affective response to the knowledge gained from putting himself in another person’s shoes, in the way that happens in the normal person. This essential missing aspect of empathy in the severe psychopath is not in my experience easily seen and one does not often get a second glimpse of it if one has been treated to a first one by mistake.”

….

Here is the glimpse of the “essential missing aspect of empathy” in the severe psychopath:

Do not try to save anybody here who tries to commit suicide. They shouldn’t he here. And they will strangle you just as some drowning people drown someone who tries to save them.

Via Del Sol Journal, October 26, 1971, at pp. 2-3.

145. Ames Gilbert - September 20, 2011

Someone, (#112-139 or thereabouts),
I think Bruce has a point, you still seem unhealthily attached to your past in the Fellowship, but that’s just my opinion. Do you long for the days when things were good, and you didn’t know about Burton’s little weaknesses, and you still had that certain innocence, or rather, the facts hadn’t yet been pushed into your face in a way you could no longer ignore? When you had a community and a place in that community, even if dysfunctional?

My bottom line about Abraham Goldman is: he may have had many redeeming qualities, may have indeed been a good friend to you and others, a fine father and an outstanding husband. On the other hand, he was one of the few people who knew ‘everything’ about the dealings of Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, and was in a position to do something about it. He could have exposed it all, and chose not to do so.

He may have been a wonderful father to Elan; at the same time he chose to protect the sexual predator preying on so many other father’s sons. Abraham may have had a wonderful relationship with Susan; at the same time he chose to protect the jealous misogynist who interfered in so many marriages because they diverted attention from him. I salute Abraham for adopting a child who needed a happy home, and for providing that; at the same time, he supported the leader who had required so many wanted children to be aborted.
I could go on . . .

So, you claim that none of these possible sources of mental conflict, which would have much troubled most normal people, affected him. To me, that means that his conscience was not operating. In that case, when you say that you were good friends, are you quite sure that what he considered friendship was the same as what you considered friendship? In that respect, I personally found the organization to truly be, “The Fellowship of Very Conditional Friends”.

P.S., we here in the snake pit/cook pot still want to know how your friend in the FoF is dealing with Burton changing his mind about suicides; surely, either Burton was lying through his teeth before, or he’s lying through his teeth now—or, most likely, both.

146. WhaleRider - September 20, 2011

Someone:
Whom are you defending, the dead at the expense of the living?

You seem to be reacting to our “words” as we process the event.

We are talking about Mr Goldman’s malicious and selfish act, an act with far reaching emotional and financial damage, not to mention a PR disaster for burton and Living Presence.

Ever try to sell a house in which someone died? It must be disclosed to the buyer. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in the house where my loved one died in such a manner, either.

Your culinary analogy is apt… a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

147. Someone - September 20, 2011

145. Ames Gilbert
Bruce levy left the FoF some 25 years ago and is still a FoF ‘mind prisoner’ and you dare speaking about “unhealthily attached to your the Fellowship?”

148. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2011

Someone, you apparently think that Bruce’s outspokenness about the Fellowship, many years after leaving, means that he is an “FoF mind prisoner.” Apparently, in your view, people cease to be prisoners of their experiences by putting them out of mind. The mere fact that a set of experiences occurred more than twenty five years ago, but the person is still affected by them, means (apparently to you) that the person is a “prisoner” of them.

I believe the opposite is true. Looking experience squarely in the eye, understanding what happened, and communicating it to others, is the surest way to integrate life experience, no matter how long ago it occurred.

149. Renald - September 20, 2011

One of the main differences between Robert Earl Burton and the rest of us is that for forty years or so he has gotten everything his heart desires and the rest of us have not. On occasion he has also gotten stuff that he didn`t want. However he has the innate ability to let that stuff go. For the rest of us it is the opposite, on occasion we have gotten stuff that we desired but mostly we have gotten stuff we didn`t want. And when we got that unwanted stuff we gave it all the attention and energy we could muster.

From an amoral point of view he is a winner and we are losers.
It is often said that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
It is also said that what resists persists. There has to be a reason for that. If most of us abused so much as one person we would end up in jail, pronto. He abuses thousands and has never even been arrested or questioned. We have to get it through our resistant skulls that he is doing something right even when he is doing something very wrong from our point of view. That even is a good case for the idea of being in that body for a particular reason, that of waking us up even though his method looks as backwards as can be.
Also from that point of view it doesn`t matter one iota whether one stays in the cult or leaves it. What matters is having the light dawn on us. After that it simply is a matter of making use of that knowledge on a regular basis and basking in the joy of it and its manifestations.

The reason that he is not in jail is because he has never given that thought an ounce of his attention and as long as he keeps it that way many of us bloggers are pissing directly in the wind. Being right about his addictions and abuses get nobody anywhere. Actually it gets us where we don`t really want to be, in a state of negative emotion.
He was right. There is no justice in this world and we need injustice for our evolution. It is by knowing what we don`t want that we can discover what it is that we do want (for oneself).

There is no such thing as real magic. That is a term which only covers what we do not understand or `see`. Therefore there is also no such thing as magical thinking. As my good friend G. A. was often heard to say, “ It`s only our thinking that makes it so“.

150. 2011 - September 20, 2011

Why can’t Burton explain why he had to lie about being celibate?

Why can’t Burton explain why he is never anywhere alone by himself?

Why can’t Burton explain why he must only have sex with heterosexual men?

Why can’t Burton explain that not one of ‘predictions’ has happened in the timeframe he predicted it would occur?

Why can’t Burton explain why so many “ascending souls”, who were at one point completely dedicated to the illusion of what they thought the Fellowship was and upon realizing that none of the questions above could be answered, chose to leave the cult? We’re talking thousands. And please don’t quote the bible about “many are called”

151. Opus111 - September 20, 2011

I would add to Jomo’s point that Bruce’s experience may date 30 years back, yet it was the experience of scores of others over the past 30 years. It is the experience of many still, today.

That is why it matters.

152. Renald - September 20, 2011

Re. 148 .- Jomo Piñata.
“ I believe the opposite is true. Looking experience squarely in the eye, understanding what happened, and communicating it to others, is the surest way to integrate life experience, no matter how long ago it occurred.“

I agree but one point I wish to make is that this integration itself need not take the rest of one`s life. Once one realizes it, understands it, there comes a time to let it go and move on and the sooner the better. If not, going there becomes a habit. After that it can appear to be a mission and the way out becomes difficult to find. Maybe some of us watched too many Wyett Earp, Roy Rodgers, Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Lash LaRue, and so on movies and got programmed to think that it is our job, our duty to correct the world out there. Sorry but changing somebody else`s life is an impossible task. Changing my own seems to have been difficult enough.

So why am I here throwing bread crumbs on the ground?
Good question. After all bread tends to get mouldy pretty fast or as the tale said get eaten up by the birds. Oh well, there is some good in fertilizer. Who is it that said “ Hope in man`s heart eternally springs“?

153. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2011

152/Renald

one point I wish to make is that this integration itself need not take the rest of one`s life.

I think it depends on what the person is integrating. For some people, some experiences, what you say is doubtless true; for other people, other experiences, who’s to say how long it should take? To the mother who lost her child, will you be the one to say, “Oh, get over it!” ?

154. Renald - September 20, 2011

re 151 Opus 111
True, compassion and love of others are the finest of the finest of emotions which motivate our actions. At the same time whenever time and energy is used to bring back that experience to the present over and over again, it is the same as living it over and over again.
It has a deliterious effect on us and one of those is that it then becomes difficult to quantum jump back into a healthy setting emotionally speaking. That then can also become a hardship to others and help to drag them down.
The reality check would be to ask “ Are my relationships with my family, my spouse, my significant others, improved after I spend time rehashing those old experiences or is it the opposite?“ If the answer is yes, then go for it. If on the contrary the evidence points to grouchiness or any negative behavior, then I would say that there is a more important job to be done, that of becoming re-aligned with that good feeling place, joy and love. It`s just a matter of priorities.

155. Jomo Piñata - September 20, 2011

154/Renald

Ah, if only emotional health were so simple that the little binary test you suggest would infallibly guide our decisions.

My experience is that a decision that I am done struggling with a past experience is at heart an acknowledgment that I am not done with it. When I have really integrated a past experience and have substantially healed, I need no such decision; rather, I feel that the struggle with it has abated of its own accord. Deciding that I am “done” with something doesn’t mean I am “done”; rather, I’m not “done” until it’s “done” with me.

Whoso supposes conscious intention actually controls the self, supposes it actually could control the self, has adventures in self discovery yet to come. In my humble opinion.

156. Ames Gilbert - September 20, 2011

Renald (#112-149 or thereabouts),
thanks for the recap of the Abraham-Hicks point of view, you are doing an excellent job.
My answer to you is the feedback I get from posting here. Every time I am thanked by someone who appreciates my input, that validates my efforts. I don’t claim to ‘change people’s minds’. What I am told is that I have provided food for thought; those new thoughts have allowed and encouraged people to change their own minds. As recent example, I received five e-mails of thanks from folks warned about the Power of Now come-ons. My guess is that there are many, many ‘seekers’ who have been warned by this blog about the Fellowship of Friends as they do due diligence, researching the organization.
Someone, that is also my answer to you. I trust any viewer to be able to sort through the blog and decide what is valuable and what is not for themselves, just as you have done. People like Bruce and myself left the Fellowship of Friends a long time ago and got on with our lives. At that time, there was little we could provide in warning to prospective followers, unless they happened to ask our opinions in person. Things have changed. Now, there are new avenues of warning thanks to widespread internet use and tools like Google. You and Renald may think we are foolish to be interested in the fate of strangers who we will in all likelihood never meet; we will have to agree to disagree about that.

Jomo, thanks very much for the links and commentary on psychopaths and their behavior. I want to add that, IMO, if followers model their behavior on that of a psychopath, then psychopathic behavior is likely to become normalized for them over time. Hence the disdain for individual conscience by the leader inevitably comes to be emulated by the followers.

157. silentpurr - September 20, 2011

Someone, we are here as a continuance of that which wishes to understand
Reality, sometimes it includes looking at unpleasantries..

158. For the record - September 20, 2011

Renald, you seem like a bit of a devil’s advocate on this page… I appreciate that. I’m sure many people do. It stimulates discussion. It stimulates thinking.

Here’s my response to it:

To me, one of the most touching, relevant, concise, and thought provocative posts that I’ve read anywhere on the blog was Opus 111’s comments about Kevin Kelly (at 135). I realize that all of us are processing things differently, and that obviously that one didn’t resonate with you for whatever reason, but I’m puzzled why — given everything that’s conveyed here — you would choose that one to find fault with. Just a question.

Also, let’s take a closer look at what you wrote about Robert Burton:

— “One of the main differences between Robert Earl Burton and the rest of us is that for forty years or so he has gotten everything his heart desires and the rest of us have not.”

Robert Burton has not “gotten everything his heart desires.” In fact, just the opposite. What he desires is never enough. He is cursed with the desire to always, always, ALWAYS get more, acquire more things, have more conquests, gain more control, have more comfort, be more admired. More, more, more, more. It will never be enough. That is not happiness. And it is definitely not a Pathway to Presence, let alone Being Present.

— “We have to get it through our resistant skulls that he is doing something right even when he is doing something very wrong from our point of view.”

His only advantage over most people is that he does not suffer the pangs of conscience, and most people have trouble imagining this, so he can routinely (although temporarily in most cases) deceive many people he comes in contact with. There’s nothing “right” in that — not in any way.

——————————
About your advice to move on, maybe you’re projecting a bit with that one? Maybe it’s time for you? I like many of your attitudes related to placing your attention on the things you want, etc. — it’s very true. But maybe it’s time for YOU to put that one into practice? Just an idea.
——————————

And here’s one more of your comments about Burton…

— “From an amoral point of view he is a winner and we are losers.”

Ah, that winning and losing thing again.

Charlie Sheen is an actor who was in the news in recent months for losing his television job due to some out-of-control behavior (drugs, parties, thumbing his nose at anyone who criticized him, etc.). His mantra during that time was “Winning!” When anyone asked him about whether or not he was going off the deep end, He just answered: “Winning.” In other words, hey, I’m rich, famous, getting attention, and you sorry people are all “losers.”

In a recent interview, someone asked Sheen why he changed his attitude and began the healing process, and at least for now adopted a more introspective attitude about his life and the people around him.

His answer was concise and to the point, and something that’s completely unimaginable coming from Robert Burton in even his most profound moment of self awareness:

“Losing,” Sheen said.

159. James McLemore - September 20, 2011

Bares repeating :

155. Jomo Piñata –

“Whoso supposes conscious intention actually controls the self, supposes it actually could control the self, has adventures in self discovery yet to come. In my humble opinion.”

160. Golden Veil - September 20, 2011

“…if followers model their behavior on that of a psychopath, then psychopathic behavior is likely to become normalized for them over time. Hence the disdain for individual conscience by the leader inevitably comes to be emulated by the followers.” [Ames Gilbert]

Well, put. Yes, I think so, too. This disconnect from conscience is taught by Robert Burton via his doctrine of “resisting Feminine Dominance.”

As WhaleRider so succinctly has said:

Students “are “taught” through following a doctrine of “resisting feminine dominance” not to feel any remorse for virtually any behavior (theirs or their leader’s) so long as the behavior is in the interest of feeding a hypervigilant state of “wordless presence” and it conforms to their leader’s warped worldview.”

from:

http://battlesword.blogspot.com/2010/10/feminine-dominance-fellowships-feature.html

161. Golden Veil - September 20, 2011

Please note:

To find where the above referenced quotation by WhaleRider is, scroll to the very bottom of the link.

162. silentpurr - September 20, 2011

On the subject of Robert’s “changing his mind”. When you consider his history, he may not even have a mind that CAN change. The voices he listens to could even be telling him that it would be “acceptable” ( in a Pat Robertson kind of way) for troubled students to go ahead and stage their own exits…

163. Tim Campion - September 20, 2011

131. Jomo Piñata
138. Bares Reposting

Jomo (if I can call you by your first name,) thanks for posting this on the Archive, and Bares, thanks for converting it for this blog.

One of the most remarkable exchanges, I thought, was this:

Q. Does the self choose the next role, or is it ordered by higher
forces?

A. A guess would he the latter.

Q. If a person gets to No. 4, when he recurs, will he be No. 4?

A. (i) don’t know, most probably
move on.

He learned very quickly to avoid saying “I don’t know.”

Regarding suicide, Robert said it was “nature’s way of eliminating weak seed.”

***

149. Renald

“The reason that he is not in jail is because he has never given that thought an ounce of his attention and as long as he keeps it that way many of us bloggers are pissing directly in the wind. Being right about his addictions and abuses get nobody anywhere. Actually it gets us where we don`t really want to be, in a state of negative emotion.
He was right. There is no justice in this world and we need injustice for our evolution. It is by knowing what we don`t want that we can discover what it is that we do want (for oneself).”

“There is no such thing as real magic. That is a term which only covers what we do not understand or `see`. Therefore there is also no such thing as magical thinking. As my good friend G. A. was often heard to say, “ It`s only our thinking that makes it so“.”

Renald, I don’t like “piling on”, but I hope you can see this “material” differs little from that Via Del Sol journal above. Same tone. Same “higher wisdom”. Same b.s. Sorry, but the emperor has no clothes.

***

Someone. I’m glad you’re here.

164. Renald - September 20, 2011

re. 155 – Jomo Piñata. It is not the test which is the infallible guide, it is the emotional system. Sure it may not be as easy as following the recipe for pancakes off the box. It does not take a mental genius to figure out if he feels better or worse after a course of action. If I feel worse, then I know enough to try something else before I get numbed to it.

“ Whoso supposes conscious intention actually controls the self, supposes it actually could control the self, has adventures in self discovery yet to come.“
As I have posted before many times I at present take as a given that I am made up of a greater self on a spiritual level and a smaller human self which will rejoin the greater self on a more permanent basis at death. That greater self cannot be controlled by me. If my intentions or my thoughts take me on a path which goes against my best interests (namely what my desires have created for me), then it lets me know on an emotional energy level. I either feel good or I feel bad relatively speaking. If I insist on going against the flow I will suffer more. The end is always the same if I resist that guidance too long. I take it as a given because that is the conclusion I have reached after ponderring my past and others` pasts within the context of a system of thought. Suffering is not the province of evil people. Neither is it the province of good people. It just is a tool, a method of receiving communication or inspiration. Not paying attention to it is asking for trouble.

165. Renald - September 20, 2011

Re. 156 .- Ames Gilbert – “ You and Renald may think we are foolish to be interested in the fate of strangers who we will in all likelihood never meet; we will have to agree to disagree about that.“

If I believed what you believe I believe, then I would not be posting, would I? I agree to agree. What I am trying to convey is that if, and I have plenty of evidence within these numerous pages showing that some posters are hurting themselves in the name of a holdy mission, then I administer a shock that I know they will reject at first. My hope is that a seed may be planted which when the time comes, if it does before it is too late, that some of the data will be used by them to help them to recover. We are all influenced by our experiences be that what they may.
I obviously have a different way of expressing myself since we are all different. I even choose to express myself differently from one time to the next in a sort of shotgun approach, but I am well aware that I would never win a popularity contest. Someday we will see eye to eye.

166. Renald - September 20, 2011

Re. 158 .- For The Record-
“ but I’m puzzled why — given everything that’s conveyed here — you would choose that one to find fault with. Just a question.

Also, let’s take a closer look at what you wrote about Robert Burton:

— “One of the main differences between Robert Earl Burton and the rest of us is that for forty years or so he has gotten everything his heart desires and the rest of us have not.”

Robert Burton has not “gotten everything his heart desires.” In fact, just the opposite. What he desires is never enough. He is cursed with the desire to always, always, ALWAYS get more, acquire more things, have more conquests, gain more control, have more comfort, be more admired. More, more, more, more. It will never be enough. That is not happiness. And it is definitely not a Pathway to Presence, let alone Being Present.“

Wow, so much to cover. My memory needs some Ginkgo Biloba.
First I am sorry if my post led anyone to think that I found fault with Opus`s post. I did not. It is just that `I` found it odd that since Brian`s suicide by hanging was more recent that it was not mentio
ned when discussing Abes suicide by hanging. I didn`t find it odd at all that burton never said boo about it because he clearly has reasons plenty not to bring that subject up. The thing also is that I hardly knew Kevin whereas I considered Brian a friend.

Further down in the post I went into the fact that you pointed out that burton has not gotten everything he has wanted, just most of it.
That does not in any way presuppose that there are a certain limited bunch of stuff that we want and when we get it we are done. On the contrary each new experience has to provide fuel for more desires.. Yes the same more that you seem to think we are not naturally made to want. The friggin Universe want more. Why else would it be expanding ? Why do you think billionaires don`t retire? Or is it that they are all conscienceless sociopaths?

Sorry my daughter has an emergency need for my attention so I will return when I can.

167. Renald - September 21, 2011

Re 158 .- For The record continued…
Winning means feeling good, losing means feeling bad in American metaphor parlance. At first Sheen felt fine, then later he noticed that he was now feeling bad so he took the intelligent way out of that situation and decided to try something different. Common sense.

re. 162.- Silenpurr,
“The voices he listens to could even be telling him that it would be “acceptable” ( in a Pat Robertson kind of way) for troubled students to go ahead and stage their own exits…“

So “ acceptable “ to whom? I`m curious. I would like to throw even more fuel on this bonfire but first I want to make sure I`m on the same page.

re.- 163 .- Tim Campion. I would also like to express my appreciation for the posting of the Via del Sol. I had never seen one.
It is worse than I had imagined for the most part.
Piling on? I have not noticed any.
My tone? I think I know what you mean. I referred to it above somewhere today. I would make a lousy diplomat. I have also been accused on this blog of beating around the bush and not making my points clear. I guess there may be a happy medium somewhere.
You might also realize that when some authors want to make a point visible that they devote entire tomes and series of tomes to their attempt. My posts are already way too lengthy for a blog but I feel that I have something worthwhile to express here.

168. rock that boat - September 21, 2011

125. Someone – September 19, 2011

There is a great deal of evil and viciousness in the hearts of those who connected Abraham Goldman’s death with being in the FOF and spread the lies about alleged attempts in the FOF to hide the circumstances of his death.

The day after Abraham Goldman died Robert said publicly and openly during a large event that Abraham commuted suicide.
Hundreds of people heard that on-site and on video.

Dah…there was no way they could hide that one, are you kidding?

And did it ever occur to you Someone that Abe was making a statement? “WATCH OUT FOR RB and his Minions, they take and take an take, until they take all of you…
Abe choose to hang himself at the opening weekend of ”Journey Fourth By Day”, the FOF non-stop m3ega -money maker with endless breakfasts, meetings, lunches, and dinners, with hundreds of visitors from all over the world paying steep prices. He choose to hang him self at the opening night of the Ballet, RB’s favorite!!! (with very expensive Russian dancers).
Don’t you think he might have hoped that people would wonder why he did that? Why… at biggest money maker event of the year, the place packed with foreign students…why that weekend? Why not wait an other week until all visitors are gone and things are back to normal? Abe takes Center Stage here and is saying something loud and clear.To make you guys think!
You still respect the FOF? Get real Someone!

169. Tim Campion - September 21, 2011

168. rock that boat
125. Someone

“…Abraham commuted suicide.”

I didn’t notice this until “rock” repeated it. “Someone” probably intended to use the word “committed” (to be responsible for). The word “commute” can mean “to lessen the severity of (as in a punishment).

Perhaps you’re both correct. Maybe Abraham has now advanced suicide to the category of acceptable exits from the Fellowship of Friends. Robert has acknowledged the violent act, citing numerous justifications (and the will of C Influence), thus allowing him to bless rather than condemn Abraham’s decision.

170. Shirley - September 21, 2011

138 Bares Reposting / extract from the Journal 1971:

“Q. What about other groups. They
are studying the same things we are?
A. If vou think that anyone in
life is on the same path, you don’t
yet know what.you have met here.
There are people who could be here,
but do not have luck (good fate).”

I remember hearing stuff like that at meetings in the mid-late 70s. A group of people sit and hear that, over and over, and feel how lucky they are to have stumbled on RB/FF. If you look at that single excerpt from 138, you see how it reinforces the perception that you’ve found the “one and only.” Therefore, if you leave, you’ve lost your way (and remember, it is the “only” way). If you leave the FF, you will be among all of those other hapless people who don’t have the “luck (good fate)” to find a “real School”. There’s nothing like being assured by RB that you’ve found “It.”

A related belief was “being on the way.” In retrospect, what a curious concept that was. Before meeting the FF, who ever thought about “being on the way”? It fed into the very human need for approval. Strangely, only RB seems to know whether you are, or are not, “on the way.” How come we ourselves were not able to “know” whether we were “on the way” or not? Because it guaranteed that only one person had omniscient power.

171. For the record - September 21, 2011

Shirley (170)! Nicely called out — you nailed it!

And what exactly does it even MEAN to be “on the way”?

No one ever defined that one. It’s another question never asked.

And if it was asked by someone somewhere, it certainly was never answered with anything more than a vague change of the subject.

And no definition would make sense anyway. Being “on the way” means you’ll become a conscious being? Destined to be a conscious being? Isn’t everyone who joins the school destined to be a conscious being? That’s why were were so “lucky,” right? Or is it possible that many people — despite their good luck and fortune to have made the decision to spend all of their time and money and toil on the Fellowship of Friends — would never be “on the way”? Doomed for eternity to think they are somehow special, while Burton and all of the others “on the way” are nodding knowingly about the futility of their efforts (because they are not “on the way”), while simultaneously subtly — or not so subtly — scolding them for not being good students.

The idea that ALL of us were lucky was drilled into people by Burton over and over — picture soft lighting and wine glasses clinking in the “Wordsworth Room”. Apparently, even those NOT on the way were lucky.

Numerous nonsensical ideas were flying at us from every direction — the inner circle, the outer circle, “being on someone’s ladder” or someone “being on your ladder”. “completing his/her task”, good householder (someone who is making money and forking it over to Burton).

And what does it mean to be gold alchemy? Does it mean you’re closer to being awake? No, we’re told it’s not, but you could have fooled me — with people bending over backwards to APPEAR to be gold alchemy, and the king of hearts, or even the flip side — pretending that they didn’t care about those things, even though the emphasis on these imaginary ideas formed the backbone of the whole mind-game charade called the Church of Burton.

172. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 21, 2011

“Robert Burton has not “gotten everything his heart desires.” In fact, just the opposite. What he desires is never enough. He is cursed with the desire to always, always, ALWAYS get more, acquire more things, have more conquests, gain more control, have more comfort, be more admired. More, more, more, more. It will never be enough. That is not happiness. And it is definitely not a Pathway to Presence, let alone Being Present.” 158. For the record

Comment on the above, the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton, ‘Goddess in a Man’s Body,’ and rabid conspicuous consumption of much of the human population on the planet (From: The Age of Fable, Thomas Bulfinch. a.k.a: Bulfinch’s Mythology):

ERISICHTHON (also: Erysichthon) was a profane person and a despiser of the gods. On one occasion he presumed to violate with the axe a grove sacred to Ceres (Demeter). There stood in this grove a venerable oak so large that it seemed a wood in itself, its ancient trunk towering aloft, whereon votive garlands were often hung and inscriptions carved expressing the gratitude of suppliants to the nymph of the tree. Often had the Dryads danced round it hand in hand. Its trunk measured fifteen cubits round, and it overtopped the other trees as they overtopped the shrubbery. But for all that, Erisichthon saw no reason why he should spare it and he ordered his servants to cut it down. When he saw them hesitate he snatched an axe from one, and thus impiously exclaimed: “I care not whether it be a tree beloved of the goddess or not; were it the goddess herself it should come down if it stood in my way.” So saying, he lifted the axe and the oak seemed to shudder and utter a groan. When the first blow fell upon the trunk blood flowed from the wound. All the bystanders were horror-struck, and one of them ventured to remonstrate and hold back the fatal axe. Erisichthon, with a scornful look, said to him, “Receive the reward of your piety;” and turned against him the weapon which he had held aside from the tree, gashed his body with many wounds, and cut off his head. Then from the midst of the oak came a voice, “I who dwell in this tree am a nymph beloved of Ceres, and dying by your hands forewarn you that punishment awaits you.” He desisted not from his crime, and at last the tree, sundered by repeated blows and drawn by ropes, fell with a crash and prostrated a great part of the grove in its fall.

The Dryads in dismay at the loss of their companion and at seeing the pride of the forest laid low, went in a body to seeing the pride of the forest laid low, went in a body to Ceres, all clad in garments of mourning, and invoked punishment upon Erisichthon. She nodded her assent, and as she bowed her head the grain ripe for harvest in the laden fields bowed also. She planned a punishment so dire that one would pity him, if such a culprit as he could be pitied, – to deliver him over to Famine. As Ceres herself could not approach Famine, for the Fates have ordained that these two goddesses shall never come together, she called an Oread from her mountain and spoke to her in these words: “There is a place in the farthest part of ice-clad Scythia, a sad and sterile region without trees and without crops. Cold dwells there, and Fear and Shuddering, and Famine. Go and tell the last to take possession of the bowels of Erisichthon. Let not abundance subdue her, nor the power of my gifts drive her away. Be not alarmed at the distance” (for Famine dwells very far from Ceres), “but take my chariot. The dragons are fleet and obey the rein, and will take you through the air in a short time.” So she gave her the reins, and she drove away and soon reached Scythia. On arriving at Mount Caucasus she stopped the dragons and found Famine in a stony field, pulling up with teeth and claws the scanty herbage. Her hair was rough, her eyes sunk, her face pale, her lips blanched, her jaws covered with dust, and her skin drawn tight, so as to show all her bones. As the Oread saw her afar off (for she did not dare to come near), she delivered the commands of Ceres; and, though she stopped as short a time as possible, and kept her distance as well as she could, yet she began to feel hungry, and turned the dragons’ heads and drove back to Thessaly.

Famine obeyed the commands of Ceres and sped through the air to the dwelling of Erisichthon, entered the bedchamber of the guilty man, and found him asleep. She enfolded him with her wings and breathed herself into him, infusing her poison into his veins. Having discharged her task, she hastened to leave the land of plenty and returned to her accustomed haunts. Erisichthon still slept, and in his dreams craved food, and moved his jaws as if eating. When he awoke, his hunger was raging. Without a moment’s delay he would have food set before him, of whatever kind earth, sea, or air produces; and complained of hunger even while he ate. What would have sufficed for a city or a nation, was not enough for him. The more he ate the more he craved. His hunger was like the sea, which receives all the rivers, yet is never filled; or like fire, that burns all the fuel that is heaped upon it, yet is still voracious for more.

His property rapidly diminished under the unceasing demands of his appetite, but his hunger continued unabated. At length he had spent all and had only his daughter left, a daughter worthy of a better parent. Her, too, he sold. She scorned to be the slave of a purchaser and as she stood by the seaside raised her hands in prayer to Poseidon (Neptune). He heard her prayer, and though her new master was not far off and had his eye upon her a moment before, Neptune changed her form and made her assume that of a fisherman busy at his occupation. Her master, looking for her and seeing her in her altered form, addressed her and said, “Good fisherman, whither went the maiden whom I saw just now, with hair dishevelled and in humble garb, standing about where you stand? Tell me truly; so may your luck be good and not a fish nibble at your hook and get away.” She perceived that her prayer was answered and rejoiced inwardly at hearing herself inquired of about herself. She replied, “Pardon me, stranger, but I have been so intent upon my line that I have seen nothing else; but I wish I may never catch another fish if I believe any woman or other person except myself to have been hereabouts for some time.” He was deceived and went his way, thinking his slave had escaped. Then she resumed her own form. Her father was well pleased to find her still with him, and the money, too, what he got by the sale of her; so he sold her again. But she was sold, now into a horse, now a bird, now an ox, and now a stag, – got away from her purchasers and came home. By this base method the starving father procured food; but not enough for his wants, and at last hunger compelled him to devour his limbs, and he strove to nourish his body by eating his body, till death relieved him from the vengeance of Ceres.

“WATCH OUT FOR RB and his Minions, they take and take an[d] take, until they take all of you…”
168. rock that boat

What else could suicide be about if it is not about being fully consumed?

I keep hearing this sucking and sucking and sucking sound off in the distance. Beware the Event Horizon; it could be a Black Hole, out of which not even Light can escape.

173. Bares Reposting - September 21, 2011

On A. Goldman’s Suicide and Pathway to Presence Cult

And will Robert have Abraham Goldman’s name erased from every paper in the Fellowship Cult aka Pathway to Presence like he has done with the other members that committed suicide? Because it shames him to embrace the people that supported him and that he turned his back on? Because all in the inner circle are willing to back him up and hide the horrors of the Fellowship Cult?

This death will not be forgotten as easily as they forgot the death of so many others. Abraham Goldman believed in what he did for the Fellowship Cult and Robert Burton and turning their back on him will be too difficult a task but acknowledging it will be no less so. That is why they acknowledge only the instinctive suffering that he was going through unable to hold him dear in their womb and realize that he had no one to turn to in his suffering like everyone else in the Fellowship cult who went a step beyond what was “allowed”.
It was not “allowed” to go deaf or “take” the act of inifinite piety that Abe had taken. It was not allowed to look in any way different to the rest: well organized Barbies with a Monalisa smile.

There is a tragedy in the man that realizes that he worked his whole life for a moment that never came. That he or she sold his soul to the devil in the hope that at least the devil would recognize him but that that moment never came because the devil is the devil and can never give up his own place. That he toiled in the name of God and struggled for the sake of the devil and was burnt alive before he took his own life. Abraham Goldman is not the first or the last man in the Fellowship cult with this luck. We are shamed not by his will but by the tragedy of its outcome. Robert Burton lives on the demise of his followers. The fact that those in the younger generation are willing to play along with him and discard the older generation that put him in the throne with the hope that they will be recognized and pampered, speaks only of our human innocense but in its unconsciousness it reveals its greed. The trouble with essence is that it is subject to degenaration. It can be turned against itself because of its innocence.

There is a dignity in the man that takes his life when he acknowledges his shame that the Japanese people well recognize but of which we know little in the West. To say that Abraham Goldman was simply unable to tolerate his physical suffering is to rob him from the dignity that embraces death, however it comes.

I do not condone the things Abraham did to support Robert’s cult reign like I do not condone Girard Haven’s brainwashing of thousands of people but the tragedy goes well beyond their individual misdeeds. To understand the human drama in which we struggle a whole life to become, within no matter what cult, without ever reaching more than the step in which we acknowledged someone else’s life and made him into a puppet guru is tragic enough to judge ourselves for taking our own lives.

There is a dignity that cannot be stolen from anyone’s death. In the act of suicide we are not simply declaring our personal defeat, we are also stating the failure of the world in which we lived. Suicide cult members are the symptom of a failure within the organization that reveals its flaws: the question of being, of authority, of the self.

I acknowledge Abraham Goldman’s tragedy as my own. I ask for forgiveness for not having had enough courage to fight the Fellowship wisely and for having been unable to inspire more to find their road to life.

Monday, 8 August 2011
Elena’s Blog: The Public Square
http://battlesword.blogspot.com/2011/08/on-goldmans-hanging-and-pathway-to.html

174. Agent 45 - September 21, 2011

Having arrived at the Gates of Heaven, Barrack Obama meets a man with a beard. ‘Are you Mohammed?’ he asks.
‘No my son, I am St. Peter; Mohammed is higher up.’
Peter then points to a ladder that rises into the clouds.

Delighted that Mohammed should be higher than St. Peter, Obama climbs the ladder in great strides, climbs up through the clouds and comes into a room where he meets another bearded man. He asks again, ‘Are you Mohammed?’
‘Why no,’ he answers, I am Moses; Mohammed is higher still.’

Exhausted, but with a heart full of joy he climbs the ladder yet again, he discovers a larger room where he meets an angelic looking man with a beard. Full of hope, he asks again, ‘Are you Mohammed?’
‘No, I am Jesus, the Christ; you will find Mohammed higher up.’

Mohammed higher than Jesus! Man, oh man! Obama can hardly contain his delight and climbs and climbs ever higher. Once again, he reaches an even larger room where he meets this truly magnificent looking man with a silver white beard and once again repeats his question: ‘Are you Mohammed?’ he gasps as he is by now, totally out of breath from his long hard climb.
‘No, my son, I am Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega.
You look exhausted! Would you like a cup of coffee?’

Obama says, ‘Yes please, you’re so kind.’
So God looks behind him, he claps his hands and yells out:
‘Hey, Mohammed, two coffees!’

175. Golden Veil - September 21, 2011

“And will Robert have Abraham Goldman’s name erased from every paper in the Fellowship Cult aka Pathway to Presence like he has done with the other members that committed suicide?”

The above is from Elena’s August 8, 2011 post
from the Public Square, already quoted here in
173. Bares Reposting – September 21, 2011

Is this really true? What papers were the names erased from?

~

“Abe chose to hang himself on the opening weekend of ”Journey Fourth By Day,” the FOF non-stop mega-money maker with endless breakfasts, meetings, lunches, and dinners, and hundreds of visitors from all over the world paying steep prices. He chose to hang himself on the opening night of the Ballet, RB’s favorite, with very expensive Russian dancers!!!

Don’t you think he might have hoped that people would wonder why he did that? Why at the biggest money making event of the year, the place packed with foreign students…why that weekend? Why not wait another week until all the visitors would be gone and things back to normal? Abe’s taken the “Center Stage” here and is saying something loud and clear… to make you guys think!”

The above (grammar edited) is taken from
168. rock that boat – September 21, 2011

If the timing of Abraham Goldman’s suicide is a sign… what is it a sign of? Could it be a sign that he, like many others before him, was finally asked NOT to be present? Could the timing he chose be an indication that his suicide was not only to put an end to his no longer bearable physical suffering, but also as an emotionally driven response to what was for him the ultimate and final insult by The Teacher – his abandonment of him?

Yes, the specific timing of his suicide could be an indication of great emotional pain, a response to finally being the one asked not to attend…

176. Renald - September 21, 2011

According to the story that I heard Jesus Christ committed suicide.
It was said that he did it to fullfill a prophecy. As good a reason as any, I guess. I mean they didn`t have licence plates in those days but maybe they read donkey turds or something. You never know.
Maybe that`s the reason he went to the desert and fasted for forty days. I tried that once as a preliminary to overdosing, no food or water for five days and spent my days lying naked in the sun. It didn`t pan out. At the last minute my father showed me love, something he never did before, and I gave up on the idea. Odd thing is I never lost any weight, not one pound. Best laid plans of mice and men and so on.

re. 162.- Silentpurr,
“The voices he listens to could even be telling him that it would be “acceptable” ( in a Pat Robertson kind of way) for troubled students to go ahead and stage their own exits…“

So “ acceptable “ to whom? What did you mean? Acceptable to himself or to the gods or to whom?

177. Renald - September 21, 2011

RE. 176. Renald – September 21, 2011
“ According to the story that I heard Jesus Christ committed suicide.
It was said that he did it to fullfill a prophecy. As good a reason as any, I guess. I mean they didn`t have licence plates in those days but maybe they read donkey turds or something. You never know.“

I doubt they had enormous life insurance policies which paid off on suicides if they happened after a certain period of time in those days.

178. Ames Gilbert - September 21, 2011

For the record (#112-158 or thereabouts),
I don’t think that Renald is playing ‘devil’s advocate’, it seems to me that he is seriously and consistently avowing his belief system. He has the ‘good news’, and he wants to share it.

I think you have it cold. Part of Burton’s mental illness is that his desires cannot ever be satiated. For an ordinary person, that would be a sort of hell, but Burton appears to lack even the simple self–awareness that would recognize that. The way I see it, he has completely entered his fantasy word (and slammed the door behind him), and the real world does not impinge; this is possible because he is surrounded by layers of adoring or fearful sycophants who do the necessary translation or who buffer the effects of the surrounding world.

People meeting Burton do not at first realize that he is acting from within his fantasy. Since he is the absolute ruler of his fantasy, this gives him an incredibly powerful sense of certainty, and this expresses itself as a sort of charisma. I felt this unusual certainty, and I bet that most people connected with him feel it as well.
The sense of certainty is rather valuable when you want to get things done, since most people are uncertain, and are rather easily swayed by someone who projects certainty. Moreover, our culture teaches us to respect people who are certain, it is a characteristic of authoritarian leadership, the most common type today. This applies especially in a situation where folks have given up their will to a leader; they are the very definition of uncertain, that is why they trust their fate to someone who appears more certain.

Sheer guesswork, but reading over Stella Wirk’s remembrances, it would seem that it was about mid 1978 Burton started demanding absolute obedience in all things; that would be connected with “slamming the door” as he permanently entered his fantasy. A few months later, just after I joined, he stopped ‘teaching’ in any recognizable form of the Fourth Way (the stuff he does now is the performances of a madman, IMHO, only tolerable to those who are regular participants in Burton’s fantasy world themselves).

179. fofblogmoderator - September 21, 2011

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