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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 113 September 21, 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. Renald - September 21, 2011

I believe Ames is right. I should not allow my personal beliefs to reflect in my posts or my opinions. I believe from now on I will focus more on his or burton`s. After all their habitual thoughts are far more intelligent and fact based and useful and functional and advanced and admirable and so free of programming. I believe I will make an appointment with a shrink so as to liberate myself of all my beliefs and start all over with their`s or maybe someone else`s even more advanced and get my head out of my asshole. Right, I believe tomorrow will be a better day for it. Oh, I just can`t wait.

2. Renald - September 21, 2011

Here is a guy who has just read the Del Sol newsletter:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-buzz/man-train-one-most-bizarre-laughs-200311334.html

LOL

3. For the record - September 21, 2011

Renald, you frequently talk about resistance and letting it go, but what I see occurring with you is that you are resisting and not letting it go.

I’m curious why the blog frequently falls “off topic,” especially when the topic is heating up. I think there are numerous reasons — there are shills among us, sure, but often it’s just the need for attention. Also, the criticism of Robert Burton sometimes hits a little too close to home — some of us may realize directly or indirectly that we may share some of the same traits and attitudes and behaviors that Burton holds. After all, we followed this person. So when someone like Ames or Whalerider delivers a strong message that makes someone feel uncomfortable, the impulse is to resist and deny.

I know — it’s hard to listen to this stuff. It’s one big fat “photograph” of Robert Burton cult leader and the Fellowship of Friends and everyone who has followed the man down the abyss. And it’s not easy to let go of some of these ideas — even after many years. I absolutely agree with you that resistance is the key to unhappiness and problems in our lives. The question is, maybe our inability to look at the evil of the Fellowship of Friends and Burton straight in the face is the resistance that one might really be concerned about.

4. surelyujest - September 21, 2011

I believe Ames has it right about Burton’s ability to project certainty being a source of his charisma and strength. Those who would follow him soon imitate that certainty in a feeble attempt to generate their own charisma and followers who hang on their every word. Most lack the psychopathy necessary to pull it off. The desire to adopt the pose of the enlightened leader is the only good explanation for why someone would speak confidently about people ending up on the moon. The other explanations are too depressing — naive gullibility or absolute lunacy.

5. Renald - September 21, 2011

Re.3 .- For The Record .- Thank you for that. Somehow it feels kind of nice to know that I am not the only one who is aware of this part of the workings of the mind.
When it comes to looking at the `evil` of anything there is only one ability which counts. That is the ability to go into that territory if the need exists without being affected negatively. Sure there is also the matter of relativety. If I feel slightly upset for one moment and realize it then there is very little harm done and I can laugh at myself the much better feeling acquired for a much longer period of time easily makes up for it.
If I possibly do not realize that I have stepped into some quicksand, then I can only be grateful when someone else makes me aware of it.
That is what friends are really good at. At that point it is a good habit to develop some staying power, meaning to consciously stay in gratitude as long as possible even though it may seem fabricated, exagerated. It can only help. If I came across a stack of hundred dollar bills on the street would I even consider to just take one of them and leave the rest?

6. Renald - September 21, 2011

Re. 4 surelyujest – “Most lack the psychopathy necessary to pull it off.“
What is necessary to pull `it ` off is a certainty, a pure expectation, sometimes called faith. Clearly this can be promoted by some form of mental illnes but not necessarily so. Naivety or lunacy could also work. What makes a professional a professional ? Usually past experience and past successes. Then we call it confidence. In the end it is a lack of fear, of negative imagination, of stress, and so on that enables a Tiger to sink those long putts time after time.
That is why in poker games it is one winning strategy to cause the opponent to get angry or impatient or any other negative feeling, just as long as his rebuttals cannot drag you down with him. Life is meant to be fun, to be enjoyed.

7. Tim Campion - September 22, 2011

September 27, 2011 Yuba County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda item:

“Fellowship of Friends Claim For Refund of Property Taxes”

The Fellowship is seeking a tax refund of $572,338 for the years 2006 through 2009.

The fraudulent church seeks to pay less so others may pay more. The board will apparently reject the claim, but maybe Nicholas or Greg will be there to “reason” with them. We can only hope that some day those in Fellowship leadership roles will realize they are merely “tools” – not of C Influence, but of a psychopath.

8. Red Hat - September 22, 2011

But according to Google maps, this isn’t FOF property at all. It’s at the corner of Rices Crossing and Rices/Texas Hill, across the street from the old Oregon House Community Center.

9. Tim Campion - September 22, 2011

Red Hat, if you open Google Maps, it should show 12607 Rices Crossing as the Fellowship property.

10. WhaleRider - September 22, 2011

Rock the Boat:
“Don’t you think he might have hoped that people would wonder why he did that?”

Didn’t Mr Goldman leave a note? That would be the clearest indication of his motives.

Despite what he may have said in his note, it appears though the impulsive and hostile act itself that he didn’t care much about what other people would think or how they felt about it…including his loved ones.

In my experience, people I knew who planned out their suicide usually chose other quicker, less painful means.

Although, you might find this interesting…

“In the United States 52% of suicides involve the use of firearms.

Asphyxiation (such as with a suicide bag) and poisoning are fairly common as well. Together they comprised about 40% of U.S. suicides.

Hanging, with its connection to justice and injustice, is what the Department of Health and Aged Care of Australia calls a “particularly confronting display of resistance, defiance, individual control and accusatory blame”; it is “a rebuke and statement of uncaring relations, unmet needs, personal anguish, and emotional payback”.

There is a popular belief in Chinese culture that the spirits of those who have died by suicide by hanging will haunt and torment the survivors, because they had died in rage and with feelings of hostility.

Angry and oppressed women would use this method as an act of revenge. Sing Lee and Arthur Kleinman write that hanging, the most common method in traditional Chinese society, was the “final, but unequivocal, way of standing still against and above oppressive authorities, often with the suicide ceremonially dressed prior to the ultimate act”.

~Wikipedia

It would seem that Abe’s suicide was indeed out of “personal anguish”…with some degree of hostility, IMO probably directed at his doctors after his failed operation, based upon the facts of the matter.

Anything else is pure speculation on our part, derived from our cultural relationship to the act.

Given what we know about the last days of Brian S. and burton’s unwillingness to speak with him, it would appear that Brian’s suicide by hanging may have been more a display of defiance and emotional payback than Abe’s.

Does anyone know what method Kevin K used?

11. Nick Bishop - September 22, 2011

I’ve found your recent posts very refreshing Renald. And I think your point about Burton atttracting the life he wanted is undoubtedly correct. By and large he HAS attracted the life he wanted.

There have been a number of unforeseen side-effects [court-cases, addictions, alleged illegalities, the Blog etc], but the strength of his self-fantasy has created a ‘Neverland’ type environment where his bizarre set of personal needs [sexual and financial] can be met. There was absolutely no chance of that happening in ordinary society.

The Fellowship has lasted for over 40 years now. It even survived that huge reality-check four years ago, with the Blog’s tremendous initial flood of information and personal testimonies.

Does anyone seriously think that Burton does not not still believe it to be all worthwhile?

His will to sustain that environment has to date proved stronger than the will to oppose it, on this Blog and elsewhere. That will has been fragmentary at best, subsisting in odd letters to the authorities and a poorly-constructed petition. No-one has yet had the guts to get people together and build an organised campaign against the FoF.

So no Renald, I hope you don’t turn into Ames or WR. The tone of your comments was outside the range of most of the speakers on this Blog, and all the better for it!

12. surelyujest - September 22, 2011

Whatever Abraham Goldman’s shortcomings, there is this: if he was experiencing severe, unending pain, then few of us can understand what that can drive a person to. Typically, those who denounce a suicide when it is the result of pain, those people have almost certainly never really experienced pain, or they have forgotten what it can be like. Of course, we’ve all experienced pain, but there is regular pain, and then there is the severe, insanely horrible pain, that is many magnitudes worse than ordinary pain.

If you have ever had major surgery, like a hip replacement, then you know what pain can be, at the moment you wake up. When it happens, you are shocked, because you never knew pain could be like that. The people who lightly poo-poo that kind of suffering have never experienced it, or they have buried the memory of it. Five seconds of real pain would change their tune, and all the silly talk of “transformation” would vanish beneath their screams.

So if he was in constant pain, I feel for him.

13. WhaleRider - September 22, 2011

surleyujest:
I happen to feel more for the living than the dead, having dealt the painful emotional damage that this type of suicide causes for loved ones.

I think you miss the point in my posts about the subject, and I don’t believe I (or anyone else) ever mentioned any “silly talk” about transformation. That silly talk is from you.

If I had a painful, terminal illness, I’d go the Hemlock Society route as well, making the conscious choice to have my loving family around me.

Now I happen to have a great deal of experience in dealing with severe, chronic pain, and I can tell this, pain is a three part proposition: the pain you remember from yesterday, the pain you experience in the present, and the pain you expect to have in the future.

If a person experiences “insanely horrible” pain (which seems a bit histrionic IMO) the brain has very effective ways of dealing with it, and such a person is likely to just go unconscious.

There are many examples of soldiers who have been severly wounded and continue fighting without feeling any pain.

14. Red Hat - September 22, 2011

11. Nick: “His will to sustain that environment has to date proved stronger than the will to oppose it, on this Blog and elsewhere. That will has been fragmentary at best, subsisting in odd letters to the authorities and a poorly-constructed petition. No-one has yet had the guts to get people together and build an organised campaign against the FoF.”

Well, we do have our lives, Nick. And I, for one, don’t want to give mine up to go chasing after Robert like some betrayed Donna Elivira. Robert is Robert full-time. And his enablers are working full-time, “on salary,” to keep the show going.

There is something very simple many people miss, that Abraham and the FOF leadership never did:

Under American freedom of religion, you are free to botch up your life with any flakey beliefs as you see fit. You are allowed to join snake cults, or the Hare Krishnas, or the Fellowship of Friends. You are allowed to have any kind of sex with any adult who will have you. You are allowed to wait on mountaintops for the end of the world.

When we were in the FOF, we demanded that right – and we got it.

All we can do is warn, and tell our horror stories to discourage new membership.

For the organization to be brought down legally, you have to prove that it is breaking laws. And unless anyone is willing to come forward with recent evidence of sexual or financial wrongdoing, there’s not much that can be done.

15. Red Hat - September 22, 2011

Here’s a thought: why don’t a few of the lawyers on this site make a boilerplate post about what kinds of evidence might be legally useful. Simple, straightforward, easy-to-use.

Plus a safe place or person to come forward with such evidence.

Then it can be reposted every page or so.

The petition has all sorts of terrible stories about the results of our poor choices and how we were lied to – it is sad, but the courts can’t do anything about it. Lying to people isn’t illegal – otherwise a lot of seducers of both sexes would be in jail. And the law protects your right to make poor choices. It also contains wrong dates and other errors, and it also has sweeping claims about “all the money being used for Robert” which is patently untrue – some went to the winery, some paid for electrical bills for the offices, or pots and pans for the restaurant.

A lot of people – especially foreigners unfamiliar with the law – need very clean, basic information about what constitutes evidence.

16. Ames Gilbert - September 22, 2011

Renald, (#113-1 or thereabouts), I’m gently pointing out that, in my opinion, many of your posts have the flavor of selling something, not just simply sharing your point of view. But whatever, if by your practices and philosophy and belief system you can cause any positive changes in the world, you have my support.

Nick Bishop (#113-11 or thereabouts),
I agree––one Ames is enough, maybe more than enough.

I know that you yourself “don’t have the guts to get people together and build an organized campaign against the FoF”, otherwise I presume you’d have done that long ago. But I’m interested in how you would go about it, even it is the point of view of an armchair general.
Maybe you are thinking of the (very expensive) legal possibilities.
Bear in mind that no-one since Troy Buzbee has been willing to step forward with current actionable evidence of crimes (within the statute of limitations). Bear in mind it is not illegal to seduce young men above the age of consent with promises of this or that, that it is not illegal to make sex part of a religious doctrine, and that is not illegal to claim that having sex with Burton will advance the ‘evolution’ of a follower.

Perhaps you were thinking of a moral campaign to stir up the public. In that case, how would you distinguish Burton’s little setup from the hundreds just like it? People drunk with power who have convinced their followers of their infallibility and have taken advantage of them are a dime a dozen, and apart from a few paragraphs from time to time in one or other of the tabloids, garner little attention. There have been newspaper articles over the years, nothing took fire. Even if they did take fire, do you think that shame is likely to affect Burton or bring the organization down? What else, a posse, some vigilante action?

Really, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

In the meantime, I’m with Whalerider. “Drain the victim pool”, one at a time.

17. Nick Bishop - September 22, 2011

16. Ames Gilbert

I do think that there is a point where talking doesn’t necessarily help the healing process, and action does – whatever form that action takes. The sense of re-empowerment is accelerated.

There are other possibilities that don’t involve legal action. A modest aim like an ‘awareness group’ to help ex-members, or soon-to-be ex-members, would be of immediate help if it was organised well.

Simply leasing an office space, with a few part-time counsellors, or researchers willing to use some of their time to interview members/ex-members and accumulate first-hand testimonies and contact appropriate authorities and media outlets.

Setting up a website based on that information, beyond the anonymous contributions on the Blog. Maybe a Rick Ross/Steve Hasan type site, based on the similarity on cults formed by Burton ex-members. Monitoring Fellowship activity such as the recent attempt to appropriate Eckhart Tolle material on the web could be achieved in a more methodical way than it is now.

The strength of feeling about the issues on this Blog would naturally lead to some kind of action on the part of the central contributors here, I would have thought. It can be relentless and structured even if it’s not militant.

These are just a few first thoughts.

As you are already aware, I’m in the process of writing a book based on events in the FoF, so that will have to be my form or action.

18. Nick Bishop - September 22, 2011

15. Red Hat

Another very useful suggestion.

19. Golden Veil - September 22, 2011

“Here’s a thought: why don’t a few of the lawyers on this site make a boilerplate post about what kinds of evidence might be legally useful. Simple, straightforward, easy-to-use.” [Red Hat]

I would be very surprised if any attorney would view this idea as simple; an ethical attorney is never casual about dispensing advice, especially if it’s not in their area of expertise or experience. Are there any attorneys out there that are experienced with the type of law this would entail? Would you want to advise via a website that might be seen as endorsing the opinion that a person or organization is involved in federal crimes? Would you like your postings of a legal nature be construed as implying that someone is involved in criminal activities that cross international borders and perhaps be liable for defamation of character actions against you? This seems to be naive thinking to me, the idea that an attorney even with the right legal expertise would do this and open themselves up to legal censure and risk their license to practice. Any attorneys out there with the right expertise willing to do that?

“Simply leasing an office space…” “Setting up a website based…” [Nick Bishop]

What about the funds? That could be a real issue, especially in this economic downturn. I look forward to reading your book, Nick. There are a few people on this site that could write quite a treatise themselves… in fact they already have, here! I think an “expose”
type of a book is a good idea, though. My best wishes for the completion and publishing your book.

20. Nick Bishop - September 22, 2011

Golden Veil.

“What about the funds? That could be a real issue, especially in this economic downturn.”

Charitable donations as a starting point. There’s a readymade community in the GF that can be tapped.

An organisation, however small, could help with some of the issues that currently keep members in the Fellowship in OH. For example, I know of at least two current members who would leave if they could find a buyer for their properties, houses currently stuffed with renting Fellowship students. So just having the ability to offer them a contact list of potential ex-member buyers/renters could help ease their passage out financially.

21. Tim Campion - September 22, 2011

20. Nick Bishop

Re: the two current members with properties. If the properties are full of renters, it seems they could leave the Fellowship, yet still retain the rental property in Oregon House. Members will continue to need housing. Without the burden of donations, greater opportunities should open up for these landlords. (Maybe vacancies in these properties could be used to attract those who wish to leave, and need the assurance they will have a place for that “first step out the door”?)

My understanding (just from following the blog and Greater Fellowship) is that there is a community of ex-members in and around Oregon House that does offer support to members transitioning to freedom.

If that is the case, perhaps, with some support from ex-members worldwide, it can be further encouraged, developed and advertized.

It seems a logical place to start.

22. WhaleRider - September 22, 2011

Cult Hikers Freed

Oman House, CA – After more than two years in cult captivity, two Americans who were convinced the world was soon going to end, took their first steps back toward sanity Wednesday as they bounded past the guarded gate house at the border of reality outside the insane Republic of Living Presence in Oman House, California and into the arms of family for a joyful reunion.

Price tag to secure their freedom?…a mere $500,000 each, about the price of a house or two in the region.

Also returning to Oman House for the reunion was Sarah Sosureofherself, whose critical mind was arrested with Shame Boldface and Joy Fatalism but freed a year ago.

Boldface offered to marry Sosureofherself while in mental prison so he could keep the cult leader, Robert E. Burton, at a safe distance and out of his pants. When their plans were announced, Burton had her escorted to the border and she was released from the cult.

A tearful Boldfaced appeared greatly relieved to be in her arms once again after his ordeal with the predatory Burton.

“Two years in mental prison is too long,” Boldface said, and hoped their release from mental and sexual bondage will also bring “freedom for Living Presence cult prisoners held hostage in America and around the world. It’s worth any price you have to pay!”

“We are deeply grateful to His Majesty The Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion for starting the blog, and to all our blog partners and allies around the world who have worked steadfastly over the past few years to secure the release of information about the behind the scene activities of this fraudulent church.

Their families said the three were just hiking to a bookstore for a meetup reading of Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of the Now”, and struck up a conversation at the event with a well-dressed man with an intense gaze when they may have accidentally strayed from the topic of being present. Apparently that’s when the seeds of fear about the future were planted.

The release of the two Americans would remove one point of tension between the cult and the rest of the planet, but suspicions still exist on both sides and no thaw is in sight.

Meanwhile, gay cult leader Robert E. Burton continued his insane rant of doom at the Journey Forth General Assembly on Thursday, expressing his distrust of anyone not in his cult or inhabiting the Middle Ground.

23. Tim Campion - September 22, 2011

22. WhaleRider

I think that’s what I heard on Democracy Now this morning. Or was it a dream?

24. Renald - September 23, 2011

Re. 21 – Tim Campion “ it seems they could leave the Fellowship, yet still retain the rental property in Oregon House“.

Sure but without renters. reb would see to it and it wouldn`t be the first time. One such flop house even had its water supply cut off after the 15 or so hispanic renters moved out of her double wide.. Does the name Doroda ring a bell? Leaving the fof cost her plenty and I don`t mean just financially. There are plenty of such reasons or similar reasons why some hang on at least till their social security kicks in. Those are usually on salary so don`t have to pay membership dues and get discount rates for the events. That way with a part time job and some rental money coming in under the table it is possible to live fairly comfortably. Mind you your groceries might come from discount stores but one gets used to that. I even remember buying Renaissance desert wine by the case for $2.00 a bottle at such a store in Grass Valley. Yes I had far more money in my pockets then than I do now but the reason for that is that I was there and not where I should have been.

25. Red Hat - September 23, 2011

19. Golden Veil.

Actually, it’s been done on these pages before, but in a more scattershot way. I’m suggesting it be restated in clear language and consolidated in one post.

It’s not dispensing legal advice to tell people about the statute of limitations on certain illegalities, and that hearsay is not evidence, and sob stories are not actionable.

Many foreign FOFers may not understand the basic facts about American law. That’s one reason why they keep suggesting the U.S. government “act” on anecdotes and rumors.

Have you ever been a party in a lawsuit?

21. Tim.

I don’t think the renters cover the mortgages in most cases, and I can only imagine what has happened during the housing crisis with these large silly vanity houses. In any case, FOF renters frequently default on the rent. They tend to leave without much notice, and getting reliable renters is often competitive.

26. Tim Campion - September 23, 2011

24. Renald and 25. Red Hat

My question was really to Nick Bishop regarding the property owners he/she mentioned. Darota’s story is a dramatic saga, and certainly not the ideal “model”, if you know what I mean.

Nick: So these people would like to leave the Fellowship, but being stuck with a property precludes that?

The real estate market in O.H, as in most of California, sucks. I’ve been watching it for awhile. Red Hat’s right: who but a Fellowship member would invest in one of those Tuscan mansions in Oregon House, far from the nearest golf course? (And how many members remain with the resources to buy such homes?)

These property owners apparently invested heavily in the ark, without realizing what they were sold was just a fantasy ark.

It’s little different than those of use who plowed our wealth into stocks, 401k’s, real estate investments, etc. At some point you have to make a decision to stay in, or get out.

It seems these people need to de-couple their spiritual losses and their financial losses. As a Fellowship member, their moral and spiritual losses will continue unabated – that’s pretty well demonstrated by the record.

It’s likely no one here can accurately predict their financial prospects.

27. Red Hat - September 23, 2011

At some point, you get desperate enough to leave in your birthday suit.

28. WhaleRider - September 23, 2011

Tim:
I used to watch Amy Goodman and Democracy When?, but I found it a bit too depressing and just wanted to put a gun to my head afterward. That’s when I switched to Jon Stewart, (as you may have guessed) which made the world seem a little more sane to me.

When I left the FOF, I had nothing but a trunk of clothes and a head full of bad memories.

I recommend bringing along your sense of humor.

29. Tim Campion - September 23, 2011

27. Red Hat

First hand experience?

28. WhaleRider

I actually watch Democracy Now to lift my spirits. By the way, that post from OhMan was one of your best yet.

It’s funny, I left with many positive memories, though I was finally forced to decide between taking financial responsibility for myself and my family or supporting the school, my so-called “real family”. (How many had Robert tell them “you are my son” or “you are my daughter”?)

The fact that our “real family”, our “real Father” was prepared to condemn us to hell if we weren’t sufficiently successful in the “A Influence” arena (e.g. making money) to cover ever-escalating demands for “donations” is very telling.

Gurdjieff has been quoted here as saying “Nothing shows up people so much as their attitude toward money.” Burton’s attitude has been on display for decades. He just can’t get enough of it.

(W.R.: You had a trunk???)

30. Nick Bishop - September 23, 2011

26. Tim Campion

Yes Tim, you pretty much described the situation in this post. They can’t sell and if they leave they fear they’ll lose all their rental income.

“My understanding (just from following the blog and Greater Fellowship) is that there is a community of ex-members in and around Oregon House that does offer support to members transitioning to freedom.

If that is the case, perhaps, with some support from ex-members worldwide, it can be further encouraged, developed and advertized.

It seems a logical place to start.”

I think it would be a logical place to start. I would certainly support it. The single most consistent issue emerging from these pages over the years is that members re-emerge financially stretched, without life skills, without friends and often without job prospects. In life terms, they are helpless children.

There is little doubt they would appreciate the existence of a structured support group that could help with deprogramming, life adjustment and social/professional networking.

I believe that this would also be a more effective way of ‘draining the victim pool’. In its first year or two, the Blog was probably responsible for the great majority of the 500+ departures from the Fof during that period. Now it doesn’t impact on FoF membership figures at all. It’s still a handy sounding-board, but most of the stories have already been told.

Repetition turns people deaf after a time. Doing something practical and positive to help them exit from confusion represents a reasonable next step forward.

31. Bares Reposting - September 23, 2011

10. WhaleRider:
‘Does anyone know what method Kevin K used?’

At the time, first hand accounts reported: death by drowning. He was living in a home with several other Fellowship of Friends members in Palo Alto area.

21. Tim Campion:
‘Re: the two current members with properties. If the properties are full of renters, it seems they could leave the Fellowship, yet still retain the rental property in Oregon House. Members will continue to need housing. Without the burden of donations, greater opportunities should open up for these landlords. (Maybe vacancies in these properties could be used to attract those who wish to leave, and need the assurance they will have a place for that “first step out the door”?)’

This might work, but you are really, really naive. You would not believe what could happen if Fellowship of Friends (FoF) sheep go astray. Good luck.

22. WhaleRider:
‘. . .suspicions still exist on both sides and no thaw is in sight.’

Many are cold, but a few are frozen.

24. Renald:
‘Sure but without renters. reb would see to it and it wouldn`t be the first time. One such flop house even had its water supply cut off after the 15 or so hispanic renters moved out of her double wide.. Does the name Doroda ring a bell?’

Clarification: Property in this example was on an adjacent property to the residence of Robert Earl Burton on Fellowship of Friends property – walking distance in fact. It had a quad-wide manufactured/mobile home. D*r*t* St*rr owned it.

Read more:

http://www.archive.org/download/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_935/LetterToAppeal-democratJanuary71982.pdf
‘Letter to the Editor of the Appeal-Democrat dated January 7, 1982 – Bruce Elliott DilLavou: Letter from Bruce Elliott DiLavou to the Editor of the Appeal-Democrat, January 7, 1982 Keywords: Robert Burton; Fellowship of Friends; Dorota Starr; Thomas Pannell’

Rendered to plain text:
‘P. O. Box ****
Chico, CA 95927
January 7, 1982

Dear Editor:

Some of your readers are aware of the cult known as the Fellowship of Friends in the area of Oregon House, CA near Oroville. Unknown, however, is a recent development involving the F of F and ex-member Dorota Starr.

Since Ms. Starr defected from the Fellowship some six months ago, they recently have written informing her that the hook-up of her well to that of the F of F’s well will be disconnected.

The well hook-up, made to supply Ms. Starr with water, was promised verbally to her for as long as she needed it. On this the Fellowship has reneged. The promise was made initially because the F of F’s system being much stronger, was taking the water “out from underneath” the reach of Ms. Starr’s system. It seems the issue of the well hook-up became a problem for the F of F after Ms. Starr’s departure from the group and her reluctance to move from the area. Ms. Starr believes this could very well be an effort by the F of F to force her to move.

The reports are that the Fellowship of Friends is hoping to buy many properties around the Oregon House, Dobbins and Collins Lake areas, with very handsome prices being offered to local land owners.

With the Oregon House branch of the Fellowship of Friends serving as the World Headquarters, it makes good sense for the group to want as much “insulation” around them as possible. Former members and the parents of former members have given reports that are anything but desirable concerning the inner workings of this cult.

It should also be noted that Ms. Starr was the deciding factor in another member leaving, Mr. Thomas Pannell.

But why should Mr. Pannell’s departure cause much concern? Mr. Pannell was at one time very close to the leader of the Fellowship of Friends, Mr. Robert Burton. It seems the departure of Mr. Pannell struck a discordant note with Mr. Burton as he personally came to Ms. Starr’s door very late one evening to retrieve Mr. Pannell. This indicates to Ms. Starr another possible reason for their wanting her to move.

Mr. Robert Burton, who began the Fellowship of Friends, eleven years ago was a student of Alexander Horn, the leader of the “Theater of All Possibilites” in San Francisco. Mr. Horn’s group was abruptly closed in 1978, after some news reports on alleged beatings and possible child abuse among the theater’s company.

Though the F of F renounces such practices, they are hoping to open a children’s nursery in the Oregon House area, on property, it is reported, owned by four members of the Fellowship. One wonders what could stem from this. The request for construction has been denied only to be appealed by the F of F members. The hearing will of course be re-scheduled.

APPEAL DEMOCRAT
January 7, 1982
Page 2

In all of this we should ask ourselves: What are the long range implications of any group desiring such extensive land holdings and isolation? How will this affect our communities? Who will be teaching the children at the proposed nursery and what will they be taught?

There was a sign that hung on the wall in Guyana which read: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Many believe that further investigation into the activities of this group are very much in line. I certainly agree.

Sincerely yours,
Bruce Elliott DilLavou’

Hand written notes in the PDF version of this document could be those of an attorney, finding aspects that could be called into question in legal circumstances.

Thomas Pannell is/was close relative to someone who is/was member of Fellowship of Friends.

‘It seems the departure of Mr. Pannell struck a discordant note with Mr. Burton as he personally came to Ms. Starr’s door very late one evening to retrieve Mr. Pannell.’ Robert Burton was jealous (amongst other things) and seeking to retrieve his lover and sex slave.

‘sign that hung on the wall in Guyana,’ refers to the Jonestown mass suicide incident.

This depicts yet another bunch of examples of the kindness and compassion of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton.

26. Tim Campion:
‘At some point you have to make a decision to stay in, or get out.’

That’s right, cut your losses, get out while you can. Walk away from any property that is worth 20% less than what the debt is on it. Let the bank/investors take it back. That’s possibly the latest Fellowship of Friends (FoF) scam. Stop paying the mortgage, keep the money, give it to Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton. Dare the mortgage holder to come foreclose. If they do, move into an FoF neighbor’s house until the same thing happens there. They will collapse like dominos, but FoF will get the wealth while they can.

30. Nick Bishop:
‘I believe that this would also be a more effective way of ‘draining the victim pool’. In its first year or two, the Blog was probably responsible for the great majority of the 500+ departures from the Fof during that period. Now it doesn’t impact on FoF membership figures at all. It’s still a handy sounding-board, but most of the stories have already been told.’

Anyone needing help to leave need only to reach out to those in the local and/or global community for assistance. Those who have left have all been through the process, can empathize, and show the kindness and compassion that the Fellowship of Friends ultimately lacks.

There are more stories yet untold.

32. Agent 45 - September 23, 2011

Jesus got himself crucified.
Judas hanged himself.
Two completely different things.
“Go ye and do likewise.”

33. nigel - September 23, 2011

from Sacramento Bee, 2011…..

(always wondered what happened to the ‘Vineyard Sprawl’)…..

“One of the group’s varied endeavors was the winery and its surrounding 365 acres of vineyards. Over the next couple of decades, the Renaissance label became celebrated for wines of solid structure, clarity, daring and longevity, particularly cabernet sauvignon and riesling, varietals generally not given much hope of withstanding the withering aridity and heat of the Sierra foothills.

During the past decade, however, the fellowship put more effort into its ballet troupe, theater group and other artistic ambitions and less into Renaissance. Most of the vines were pulled out, and production was cut back sharply. Today, it farms just 44 acres of vineyard and makes only around 2,500 cases of wine annually.

Hills that once sprouted vines are now given over to roaming herds of horses, cattle, llamas, ostriches and camels, which is a whole other story.

One of Renaissance’s remaining stands of vines is planted to zinfandel, a variety that the fellowship’s winemakers never much embraced. Renaissance, in fact, hasn’t made a zinfandel under its own brand since 2002. The man who managed Renaissance’s vineyards for 30 years, however, always had faith in the zinfandel, and still does.”

34. Nick Bishop - September 23, 2011

Bares Reposting.

“Anyone needing help to leave need only to reach out to those in the local and/or global community for assistance. Those who have left have all been through the process, can empathize, and show the kindness and compassion that the Fellowship of Friends ultimately lacks.”

A vaguely optimistic sense of community isn’t the same as an organised, funded group manned by individuals who can commit their time and money to offer their support and advice. Investing in such a group is one way of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’.

35. WhaleRider - September 23, 2011

Bares Reposting:
“Many are cold, but a few are frozen.”

Yes, the few incredibly lucky ones…frozen in burton’s headlights.

Nick Bishop:
“Repetition turns people deaf after a time.”

If you consider followers helpless children, how many times did your parents have to repeat themselves before you got it?

I suggest writing to Congresswoman Jackie Speier (a Jonestown survivor whose district includes part of San Francisco) and start lobbying for a new law in California that makes clergy who manipulate their flock into having sex with them classified as 3rd degree felony rape, as it is in pastor burton’s home state of Arkansas.

Even if the law doesn’t pass, it is a chance to shine a bright light on the dark side of the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway to Presence/Robert E. Burton.

Once there is a mass exodus, then we can deal with the people who need and request our help.

Anyone willing to be filmed for a longer version of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? (A working title)

I’ve been considering entering the work in the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC deadline for submission is Oct 15, but there is a late filing deadline of Nov 30.

Here’s their link:
http://www.fullframefest.org

Anyone interested can email the fofblogmoderator at nogurus@yahoo.com and he’ll forward it to me.

36. Tim Campion - September 23, 2011

31. Bares Reposting

“This might work, but you are really, really naive. You would not believe what could happen if Fellowship of Friends (FoF) sheep go astray. Good luck.”

You appear to be making arguments for argument’s sake. So you too cite the Darota Starr case. Ancient history. Perhaps you can site some cases from the over 700 who departed in the past five years. How did Robert Burton make their lives hell as they attempted to leave? You give him more power than he has.

***

“That’s right, cut your losses, get out while you can. Walk away from any property that is worth 20% less than what the debt is on it. Let the bank/investors take it back. That’s possibly the latest Fellowship of Friends (FoF) scam.”

In case you’ve been in a burrow, this is exactly what’s been happening across this country for the past five years. People are walking away from negative equity mortgages. Again, you give Robert and the Fellowship too much credit. Are you intentionally trying to stoke fears? I thought we were looking for solutions. (Where is the Law of Attraction when you need it!)

“We” were talking about individuals supposedly wishing to leave the Fellowship. So why would they stop paying their mortgages and instead give the money to the Fellowship?

37. Ames Gilbert - September 23, 2011

Nick Bishop, (#113-60 or thereabouts), thanks for your answer, and here is my response.

You say, “As you are already aware, I’m in the process of writing a book based on events in the FoF, so that will have to be my form or action.”
And contributing to the blog is my form or action.

You say, “Simply leasing an office space, with a few part-time counsellors, or researchers willing to use some of their time to interview members/ex-members and accumulate first-hand testimonies and contact appropriate authorities and media outlets.” I say that is likely a poor return on investment.
My particular philosophy on ‘helping others’ can be summed up as “no–sacrifice contribution”. That means that I have learned (and this has been hard, as a confirmed “do–gooder”) that it does not serve the purpose to sacrifice myself to save others. I can contribute to a certain limit, and going over that limit harms me and my interests and leaves me diminished. I learned this as a nurse; an old veteran warned me that I was heading for burn–out like so many other idealist nurses if I continued as I was. She taught me that one could care, and do a decent, professional job, but to stand back and avoid become involved too deeply with the patients; this simply consumed one and left one an emotional wreck, which served neither patients or nurse. Spending thousands of dollars which I can ill afford on office space and consultants to ‘help’ people who may or may not come along is to me a ridiculous proposition, so I won’t bite on that one, thanks. But now the idea is out there, maybe someone with the resources may run with it.

Another tidbit of my philosophy which I’ll share is: someone has to ask for help, and in the right spirit before it can be given in the right spirit. Handouts don’t work, either for the donor or the receiver. So, based on the energy of the situation as I read it, I am very willing to help on an individual basis as needed. Help was available when I exited, and I try to pass that on.

Saving people from themselves and their foolish mistakes is not my mission. Saving people from understanding that their decisions have consequences, sometimes irreversible, is not my mission. And ameliorating the situation of folks who bought into a fantasy and built themselves a McMansion on the expectation that the lenders would be drowned and they wouldn’t have to pay the mortgage is not my mission. In fact, I want to avoid those kinds of people on principle, in or out of the Fellowship of Friends. If I interpret your words correctly, the friends you mentioned who still pay hundreds of dollars a month to stay because they feel thay are in some way chained to their property may be just such people.

I joined the Fellowship as a naïve and callow youth. True, I was idealistic. True, I could see that there was no reason that my ideals were superior to anyone else’s, so why not couple my efforts to someone else’s vision, and work hard to realize something better for myself and humanity. But along with this, I had no sense of discrimination, so I coupled my efforts to a fraud. I spent big money, time and effort on a gold–plated pile of turds. In the process, I learned some things. But, I can see no reason–and no possibility–of saving others from doing the same thing. If that was all the harm the Fellowship did, I wouldn’t lift a finger. That was a fine education, IMHO, why would I deny that to anyone?

It’s Burton’s psychological and physical abuse that I’m interested in stopping. I see this blog as being the best ROI of all the suggestions made so far. I can’t make seekers do due diligence, but if they do, they will likely find this place and its warnings. And, unlike Renald (if I understand him correctly), I’m not interested in salvaging Burton himself; my current viewpoint is that he is beyond our help.

I like Redhats suggestion of summarizing the legalities; a good place for that would be on the Fellowship of Friends Wikispace, which has a specific page for those “thinking of leaving”. I agree with Golden Veil that it should be written, or at least reviewed, by a lawyer, because they have a better overview. And I agree with her that posting a succinct list of questions that seekers should ask is a good one (BTW, Golden Veil, how is that list coming along?) The Wiki would be also be a good place to post that, IMO. The Wiki is already linked at the top of every page of this blog; anyone can contribute if they first prove their bona fides.

38. WhaleRider - September 23, 2011

Ames’ post above is an excellent example of someone who sets and maintains clear and healthy personal boundaries…something burton routinely violates.

pastor burton teaches exploitation to his followers by example, and that is not going to cease overnight once a follower leaves the cult.

39. nigel - September 23, 2011

36 Ames Gilbert

Whatever ‘contretemps’ I have had with Ames in the past (especially my ‘Nutty Nigel’ phase, splurging my non-compos mentis attitudes all over the blog, to which he took great exception), I have come to see, over the years we have posted (his years being more than mine), that he has a sound ‘grasp’ of what was happening in the Fellowship and what can be done to a) prevent others making the profound mistake of joining the vicious cult with Burton at the hub, and b) help those who have been greatly hurt, both mentally/emotionally and physically by Burton and his enablers, and who are now ‘grasping back their lives’ (and however long that may take). I think it would take a huge legal case (within the statute of limitations – and that would prove difficult at this time, since I think the time limitation is 2 years [anyone know different?]) to halt Burton, although, as some have alluded to, the Fellowship has, at this time, very little financial resources for legal cases. Ames states that this blog (and those related, at the top of the blog page) have the greatest ‘clout’ in bringing people, who are ‘on the fence’ to a point of actually being ready to leave the Fellowship. My own feeling is that there is to be a time – not far off – when Burton will become quite ill – ill enough to not have a sense of control over his inner group and the boy followers of his harem. Hopefully, he will run out of time before the blog runs out of impetus…..Nigel.

(12. surelyujest/13. WhaleRider…..Speculation from one person wishing to know what was going through AG’s head to make him commit [actually succeed in it] suicide, then sound(?) knowledge from a mental-health care professional about what drives people to this act – I seem, even, to remember that Agent 45 stated that “Happy people do not commit suicide”. Although I think that enough has been said about the subject (prompted by AG’s act), I can offer first-hand knowledge of what actually does go through one’s mind, although I feel that, if one is ‘hosting’ any sort of deep depression, it is best to see a REALLY GOOD PSYCHIATRIST and put oneself completely in their care. Suicidal despair is NOT a ‘natural human feeling’ – today’s pressures add too much to an already turbulent life that many lead. If any of you want me to ‘spill the psychological beans’, I will but I think it is a subject that has been covered enough on the blog. Anyone interested enough who does not want a blog account, can contact me on nhprice@gmail.com)

40. Nick Bishop - September 23, 2011

Ames.

I understand what you say about knowing your limits in relation to helping others.

However, much of what you say doesn’t make a lot of sense, and doesn’t even tally with your recent [helpful] actions. For example :

“Saving people from themselves and their foolish mistakes is not my mission. Saving people from understanding that their decisions have consequences, sometimes irreversible, is not my mission.”

Quite clearly that IS your mission. A few weeks ago you wrote an impassioned plea to ‘Meetup’ members of the faux-Eckhart Tolle group not to swallow the Fellowship bait they were being offered. Judging by the number of replies you say you received, you helped save 5 people from both making a foolish mistake, and suffering the potential consequences of their further involvement in that group. They were being ‘groomed’ psychologically, and you helped stop the process taking root. If that isn’t saving people from their foolish mistakes, I don’t know what is.

“Spending thousands of dollars which I can ill afford on office space and consultants to ‘help’ people who may or may not come along is to me a ridiculous proposition, so I won’t bite on that one, thanks.”

Why see yourself as the main ‘investor’ in all of this? I don’t think I suggested that you should be Santa Claus. $5 per month from 200 good souls on the GF would give a workable financial base. Office space is an option not a necessity, the operation could be run from an office at home. If 10 volunteers contributed 3 or 4 hours of their time per week, then you have a full working week. The point is, the idea would easily be workable on a shared charitable/volunteer basis, without huge expenditure.

I’ve no doubt that he benefits of even a one-hour interview with someone with your weight of experience in the Fellowship would be invaluable for say, a current member contemplating leaving. Face-to-face contact means far more than words on a page.

However, organised support implies a greater note of seriousness and sense of responsibility to those who now fill the shoes we once occupied. For whatever reason – and I don’t feel you’ve yet given the real reason – you don’t seem to want take that step despite your commitment to the Blog’s virtual world. That is your choice.

41. Renald - September 23, 2011

Re. 36 .- Ames Gilbert- quote- “ It’s Burton’s psychological and physical abuse that I’m interested in stopping. I see this blog as being the best ROI of all the suggestions made so far. I can’t make seekers do due diligence, but if they do, they will likely find this place and its warnings. And, unlike Renald (if I understand him correctly), I’m not interested in salvaging Burton himself; my current viewpoint is that he is beyond our help.“

It seems you did not understand me correctly, so for what it`s worth:
I asked this theoretical question in order to better understand some posters` motives and I did this in good conscience with absolutely no malice aforethought.

Basically I asked whether or not one would make a very small sacrifice of time, a couple minutes a day for maybe a month or less to go through a ritual which would be guaranted to heal burton completely and turn him into a wise and loving teacher.

I was not arguing nor even stating that this is or was possible.
Actually one part of me takes the stand that anything is possible while another part of me considers this particular outcome as highly improbable.

I received very few answers and so I let it drop.
If on one hand “ “ It’s Burton’s psychological and physical abuse that I’m interested in stopping.“ then why wouldn`t I want to spend a couple minutes a day for a while to achieve that compassionate goal? I certainly am willing to spend many hours posting over years to warn new members and not so new members who are not informed as to what is going on just like I was.
Actually I responded in a later post (I had asked the question a couple times within about a six month period) similarly posed and did give a brief explanation of my intent in that later post. Blog being blogs it is easy to miss some posts which is why I bothered to repeat the question in the first place.
Had I received a larger number of answers I could have determined more readily whether I was dealing with posters who mainly had motives of anger, hatred and revenge rather than the more positive ones that they ascribed to. Then I could have spent my time and effort addressing those issues. There just was no interest as far as I could determine.

42. Renald - September 23, 2011

In case that my above was not clear enough, completely healing burton would stop the psychological and physical abuse which is still rampant in spite of the combined effort of so many over the last four years or so to inform on this discussion group. Just an afterthought.

43. WhaleRider - September 23, 2011

Renald:
‘Had I received a larger number of answers I could have determined more readily whether I was dealing with posters who mainly had motives of anger, hatred and revenge rather than the more positive ones that they ascribed to.”

Sounds manipulative, IMO, and speaks to your own ambivalence: part of you wants to believe in magical thinking and part of you doubts it can work.

You’d feel better if more people would have signed on, but now that we haven’t you question our motives. That doesn’t sit well with me.

What you do reveal is precisely the weakness in our thinking that burton exploits…part of us wants to believe he is “conscious” and part of us doesn’t.

Way back when more followers were posting they tried the same tactic with the question: what if he is conscious? The lower can’t see the higher, so how can you be sure he is not? Do you want to gamble that he is wrong and go to the moon?

This is how psychopaths work; they prey on weakness.

44. Ames Gilbert - September 23, 2011

Nick Bishop (#113-39 or thereabouts),
you got me, I’m such a fraud.
I thought a two-for-one wouldn’t stretch me too far. In the process of warning people about Burton’s sexual predation and psychological abuse, I thought I would throw in, gratis, my viewpoints that the spiritual part is bullshit and that seekers are likely to loose a lot of time and money as well.
Let me make it clear. I couldn’t give a damn if people want to float around the place with their noses in the air, thinking that they are the chosen; circumstances will usually reveal their self-deception in due course. I don’t give a damn that Burton exchanges large sums of money in return for folks feeling they are special or saved. I don’t care much that he got eighteen–hour days out of me and others for $90 a month plus food, with board the floor of the Lodge. I don’t care much that some people get a special thrill out of being a big fish in a small pond, and are disillusioned or hurt when their true worth is revealed. I especially don’t care if some people believe in some prediction and place heavy bets on it coming true, using this ‘inside information’ for their material gain––and then pouting when it doesn’t pan out.
If it was just the bullshit or the fleecing, I wouldn’t bother, even though I’m sorry that people lost money or didn’t save enough for retirement (both true for me). I mean, if every life lesson ended in restitution or status ante quo, then they wouldn’t be lessons, would they? But Burton’s abuse actually motivates me to act and warn seekers. It takes about the same amount of effort, so why not throw in the other warnings as well?

You are right, a few dollars a month from a large group would provide decent money (although I would think, or at least hope, that the GF audience would be a harder sell than most). You said (#113-17 or thereabouts), “Simply leasing an office space, with a few part-time counsellors, or researchers willing to use some of their time to interview members/ex-members and accumulate first-hand testimonies and contact appropriate authorities and media outlets.” When I said that IMO this was a poor return on investment (ROI), I meant that I don’t understand what value the product (interviews, first-hand testimonies) would have in terms of my goals. If there have been crimes committed that are actionable, why have the middleman? The legal route is clear; if you have knowledge of a crime, you must report that crime and let the law take its course (unless you are the lawyer for an exceptionalist organization like the Fellowship of Friends). Anything else is a collection of sob stories of one degree or another; is all this effort you propose worth that? IMHO, that is a poor ROI.

I’ve spoken to people face-to-face before, and I’m willing to do so when mutually convenient. Just in case, here is my e-mail again: nancyames (at) spiralemail (dot) com. I post here under my real name, and I’m in the Grass Valley, CA phonebook.

Back to simple things I can understand, like packaging my flower bulbs for customers.

45. Nick Bishop - September 23, 2011

Ames.

I don’t believe you’re either a fraud or a coward. But, retired or not, I do believe you’re underselling yourself and your power to accelerate the healing process in others, by confining yourself to writing on this Blog.

46. fofblogmoderator - September 23, 2011

#35 was stuck in “moderation”

47. Renald - September 23, 2011

Re 43 WR You see what you want to see and assume way way too much. I am not interested in a contest or fight. How does that song go? “ It`s my blog and I`ll cry if I want to. cry if I want to……..“

48. Associated Press - September 23, 2011

‘What this brings up for me is a reflection and reminder of how amazing we are as – human beings, the goodness and kindness at – our core. It has nothing to do with nationality and everything to do with humanity. When faced with overwhelming obstacles, devastation, and destruction we seem to instinctually respond from a place of deep care and concern. Our brains are, in fact, hardwired for empathy and compassion, and this video shows that in abundance. Thank you for sharing.’
~ comment from contributor to the YouTube page after seeing this video.

Untold story in the mainstream media:
BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience 11:57:

49. NG - September 23, 2011

This is dedicated to all those delusional people who tell stories and anecdotes about the benevolence and magnanimity of Robert E. Burton in regards to former students when he is away from his Zoo and touring out in the open, and how things are changing and bla, bla, bla…
The story goes that our beloved RB ordered that Maria Lucas was not to be left alone with Philip in her last living moments. A student had to be present with her at all times. Maria passed away in Philip’s house, the healthiest and most loving and sensible environment she could possibly be in, away from the rat-like self professed love of RB and his beloved FoF servants. Philip didn’t want to attend Maria’s memorial service but, just to be sure, he was told that he could not attend.

Probably the most useless, hurtful, cheap, and despicable things to say and do in such a situation: yet another successful story of the renowned “school of love”.

Off to a different topic, the story goes that Abraham Goldman was been bad mouthed by the cream-of-the-crop of the Fellowship community. He started to be shunned and ignored by the finest specimens of the Zoo-FoF (such as Linda Kaplan and other shameful and shameless assorted henchmen) adding despair to the already dramatic predicament.

50. Shirley - September 24, 2011

40 Nick, 44, etc, Ames

Reading your discussion made me think about a couple of issues. One is, the exit counseling office concept, whether brick-and-mortar, or virtual. Whether or not such an “office” is a good idea is, is that it’s one thing to encourage someone to participate in a possibly good idea. It’s another to persuade someone to go against their innate nature. WR suggested that Ames had healthy boundaries. Another way to look at it is, each person contributes in ways that is comfortable with their natures and talents.

I remember wishing there had been a suitable “exit counselor” available, when I left the FF, where I could talk out my issues. I had almost zero ex-members around to talk it out with, where I lived. However, I took some initiative and looked through the back reference pages of a few books where they listed exit counselors for people who’d been in similar groups, but then shied away from the thought of baring my soul to a stranger. So it took a few years on my own, plus a lot of letter-writing and long distance visits with the group of 10-15 who subsequently also left, 20 years ago. And I also talked about it with some trusted new friends who didn’t mind processing the issues with me. So much for the “life” person concept, in terms of people who are “there” for you.

Nick, although the idea of an office sounds, on the surface of it, like a good idea, a few hurdles come to mind: $5 from 200 people on GF to fund it – well, when one of the GF administrators emailed GF members that the account was running low and needed money to fund it for a year (might have been $200), the impression that I got was that she didn’t get a lot of takers. There are way more than 200 people on GF, and you’d think many would send $5. But it didn’t happen that way. In the end, she got enough. Also, although it’s been ages since I left the FF, the dynamics are probably still the same: it’s a very personal group, rather than impersonal and institutional. When people think of leaving, they probably seek out a few close friends to talk about it with, who are also sitting on the fence, or who have recently left, or they seek out a long-lost friend from pre-FF days. Once out, it’s not like it was 10-20 years ago, before there was the blog and GF. Although GF is now very inactive, it remains a social networking site for people to ‘friend’ each other, where, no doubt, a lot of connecting and emailing and visiting goes on.

I don’t know if outreach efforts to current members is the way to go. I found it interesting that this blog enabled ~ 500 people to leave since 2007. It gave a place to question, doubt and vent. But here’s my question: what else happened during those years that might have propelled so many people to leave? And why is it not happening now? You would think that a prominent member’s suicide would prompt a wave of questioning and doubt, followed by people leaving the FF. As people reported on the blog in the last few pages, Abe’s suicide did prompt many questions; but the FF party line seems to have put those questions to sleep, enabling member to reconcile it all to themselves. I don’t think people leave because they are taken by the scruff of the neck and told how horrible the FF/RB are. If anything, that kind of talk might only repel a FF member who is long-trained to “avoid negativity.”

51. WhaleRider - September 24, 2011

Renald:
I’d think you’d have a better standard for determiing a person’s motives rather than whether or not they verbally agree to indulge in magical thinking with you.

It’s a double bind; if you say yes, you have to disengage your critical thought process, and if you say no, your motives are hatred, anger or revenge.

It’s like how burton forces his followers into his delusional system by pointing to the middle of his forehead and asking them, “Do you see my third eye?”

Praying for a mentally ill person might make you feel better, but I can guarantee you it does them no good, and IMO could make them worse.

IMHO, compassion is an act, not just a hypothetical thought exercise.

Processing anger here on the blog doesn’t necessarily mean they are angry people all the time, and doesn’t give you or anyone the right to judge them or their motives for being here, as long as they refrain from making personal attacks.

52. silentpurr - September 24, 2011

Thinking about the process of becoming delusional..
I can remember a discussion taking place about what type of “Way” our school would be.
It may have been a meeting at the Skyline Church, and a question asked, was it the “Way of Love” or the “Way of Denial”? I think I remember Robert saying that the “Way of Love” WAS the “Way of Denial”.

53. Nick Bishop - September 24, 2011

Shirley.

“Nick, although the idea of an office sounds, on the surface of it, like a good idea, a few hurdles come to mind: $5 from 200 people on GF to fund it – well, when one of the GF administrators emailed GF members that the account was running low and needed money to fund it for a year (might have been $200), the impression that I got was that she didn’t get a lot of takers. There are way more than 200 people on GF, and you’d think many would send $5. But it didn’t happen that way.”

I take your point Shirley.And I think there’s a powerful lesson in there somewhere about the kind of group we were in, and about the relationship it propagated between ‘strength of feeling’ and ‘capacity to act’. More than 1,000 members of the GF, but just over 100 signatures on the petition.

A few years ago I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly, that everything upon exit could be done individually with the help of a loose confederation of ex-members. But a number of events happened in that time to persuade me that 1] it’s lot easier to build these organisations than I thought, and 2] an ability to behave positively in a group situation is an important definition of adult growth, and a true exit from FoF influence. After all, it’s the opposite of sociopathy.

One of main characterististics of the FoF is that it encourages a fascination with internal processes at the cost of manifesting in the outside world. It’s enough ‘to have the state’, it’s enough to manifest just to your mates in the Fellowship. There is no grasp of the relationship between the two realities, which is why so many of the things that happen ‘on site’ are so bizarre, as if they’re occurring within some kind of demented fairytale.

That’s why I raised the issue doing something solid and positive, which might have a lasting value for both those administering it, and those somewhere within the exit cycle who could use the service.

Maybe I pressed Ames a bit too hard, my apologies if that is the case. But if there is a unifying feeling that binds us all together, a common thread of humanity, then something akin to what I suggested is what proves it.

What we have is the Blog, and that appears to have no effect on the FoF membership at the time of speaking.

54. jomopinata - September 24, 2011

Nothing like a tiny bricks-and-mortar organization to provide a target. Let’s not forget how Church of Scientology bankrupted, and then purchased the assets and files of, Cult Awareness Network, and now operates it in the cause of “religious freedom” (an important cause to be sure, but a deceptive one in respect of “religions” which utilize “manipulative persuasion”/thought reform).

How about “leaving the Fellowship of Friends” meetup groups?

55. jomopinata - September 24, 2011

What we have is the Blog, and that appears to have no effect on the FoF membership at the time of speaking.

Nick, how would we know?

56. Nick Bishop - September 24, 2011

Jomo.

Point taken about tiny targets, though I doubt the FoF has the aggressive zeal of Scientology.

The ‘meetup’ group idea sounds rather good. It also passed through my mind. Why not? It would save the startup costs of a standalone website. It would be a good way to measure response without any big initial investment.

The Blog’s effect on FoF membership is just guesswork based on recent membership figures, which appear stable. Plus, even the effect of AG’s suicide seems to have been absorbed with relatively few ripples, unless anyone knows different?

57. WhaleRider - September 24, 2011

Nick:
I applaud you fervor.

My guess is that the cult is currently preoccupied with the next doomsday prediction in 2012, and there will undoubtedly be another exodus after that one fails, too. Maybe we can stage a gathering in OH the day after.

It is probably too soon to calculate the effect of AG’s not so graceful exit as it can take a while to think clearly when you are so numb and in shock.

NG:
Thank you so much for the report. I’d wager that nobody in the cult is immune from Linda’s bad mouthing, except Linda of course, which is why the most ruthless guards in WWII concentration camps were prisoners…and the cult seems to have reached a new low of shunning followers even while still within the cult!

Your report about Abe’s shunning does suggest some of his hostility and anguish may have been directed at the cult as well as his doctor given the timing of the event…that is, if he knew about the bad-mouthing, which we may never know. Was he not invited to attend or could not afford to go?

58. We Were There - September 24, 2011

57. WhaleRider – September 24, 2011

‘My guess is that the cult is currently preoccupied with the next doomsday prediction in 2012, and there will undoubtedly be another exodus after that one fails, too. Maybe we can stage a gathering in OH the day after.’

Good idea, Whalerider – maybe someone can schedule a ‘Robert Burton Doomsday 2012 Celebration’ for the weekend after the predicted date.

By the way, exactly what is he predicting this time?

59. Renald - September 24, 2011

re. 11. “ Golden Veil – September 8, 2011
I forgot to say that being asked to leave for asking a question is really creepy, too!“

The Gerd as she was sometimes called got the boot for daring to repeat her question to burton three times at a dinner. The motives for her ousting were well concealed. Either way within six months she was extremely grateful for her good fortune and had attracted to herself more than she could possibly have imagined possible as well as confirmation of burton`s charlatanship and fraud.

60. Renald - September 24, 2011

re. 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?“

Now Golden Veil was not referring to Dorota when she reported student tenants were evicted because this student had been given a leave of absence.

61. Arthur - September 24, 2011

We were there (58),

What is Robert Burton predicting this time? I have no idea what he is up to.

But I am wondering why he named his encampment Isis? And why he was enamored with Luxor, Egypt?

I remember unclearly that Rodney Colin said that there was some kind of ‘esoterically/spiritually/omni something or other between the Mayan and Egyptain pyramids.

To us uneducated like me and Robert Burton is how did those savages build those pyramids? Or, did they?

Then somebody wrote in the comment section of a newslitter that the Mayan and Egyptain Calenders had some mystical connection in ending dates.

Accordingly, December 21, 2012 is either the end of the world, maybe Robert Burton’s position, or it’s in the mythology of the Condor and Eagle flying in unison.

The Condor and Eagle are symbols for the Heart (emotions) and the Mind (Intellect).

So, December 2012 is when you will either die with Robert Burton or you will experience a higher level of Consciousness?

And maybe neither.

62. Red Hat - September 24, 2011

It’s bizarre. They’re waiting for the end of the world in 2012. Meanwhile, their housing prices have crashed, they owe $200K on McMansions now worth $75K. A prominent leader commits suicide. Various members crashing and disabled from various untended diseases and self-neglect. They dress like something out of the 1980s. They’re poorly positioned to survive any global or national shockwave.

Don’t they realize, for them, the end has already happened? What more do they want?

63. Renald - September 24, 2011

re. .- 155 .- Jomo Piñata “ 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. “

Exactly! This is what I was saying. That is an example of pushing against what you don`t want and I never advised that.
What I did advise is to focus on what one does want which is the exact opposite. In this case, and I know it sounds like nit picking but it actually is the key, what is required for a healthy outcome is to make a decision that I will do what will make me feel good, to spend my time and energy in that direction. Go for a walk in the woods, play with the dog, watch your favourite funny movies, phone a happy for lucky friend, in other words keeping so busy that there is no time for anything negative. If you have to, fake it. The idea is to build a preferred habit, one that will lead to joy and replace the old worn out one.

“Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”
— Samuel Goldwyn.

64. Renald - September 24, 2011

Re. – 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. “

There was no question in 149.
Anyhow, great! As long as the positives outweigh the negatives during you daily life everything is fine. If ie. working in your garden lifts your spirits or if posting on this discussion does the same, then there is nothing to be concerned about. I generally don`t post material aimed at one person in particular and if I do I hope that I make it clear, ie. like in my msg to Elan. Even when I post in response to say your post like here what I post is my opinion on a subject and my intent is that it may be beneficial to someone and to myself since it is something that I enjoy.

65. Arthur - September 24, 2011

Red Hat (62),

I don’t remember the year but Robert Burton said that the next economic crash would be violent.

In this he might be right considering how things seem angry.

Lots of people might get upset with the lack of finances to continue as usual. Except for the super rich which will have the wherewithall to survive, and I think he said that too.

Anyway, if the economics do crash and Isis (or whatever) is debt free, then they can use the land and animals for food.

Camel, rabbit and deer stews mixed with ‘home’ grown carrots, onion and grape leaves.

But if the economics gets out of hand and dangerous then venturing out on the nearby highways to get Robert some special treat could be dancing with death.

66. nigel - September 24, 2011

…..from Google – Mayan End of the World Predictions 2012

Will it be the end of everything? Or will it be the dawning of the age of Aquarius? No one really knows. One thing’s for sure, though. December 21st of the year 2012 is the day time as we know it will end.

So at least claim the Maya’s, that ancient civilization that lived in the Mesoamerica’s since 2,600 BC. The Maya’s had an extremely complicated method of keeping track of time, based on three separate calendars. The most important, most encompassing of these calendars holds the `Long Count’: the period from the beginning until the end of time. And on December 21st 2012, the Long Count expires. It will be point zero. Time will be up for the Universe. It will be, literally, the end of days.

Big deal, you might say. Still, there’s a couple of very interesting (and disturbing) facts about the Maya calendar’s end. Most intriguing, 21-12-2012 is not a day like any other. Up in the sky, an extraordinary and incredibly rare event will take place. The Sun will move to a unique spot in the sky — and hold still for a while, since it is solstice day. The Sun will sit precisely on the heavenly crossroads between the Milky Way and the galactic equinox, forming a perfect alignment with the center of the galaxy.

Er… what?

Well: the night time sky is crossed by several mathematical lines. One is the axis of the Milky Way — the Milky Way, as you may know, being that bright band of stars you can see running across the heavens on a clear night. Another important line is the cosmological ecliptic: the axis along which the constellations travel, the line that defines coordinates in space.

You can say a lot about the Maya, but you’ve got to hand it to them: they knew a hell of a lot about stars. For instance, they calculated the exact duration of a year to a thousandth of a decimal point, much more precise than any Greek or enlightened philosopher ever did. Also, they were able to predict every solar and lunar eclipse until this day. And obviously, they knew where the galactic equinox and the exact middle of the Milky Way lay: they called this crossing `the Sacred Tree’.

More disturbing, the Maya’s were awfully good at astrology, too. Mysteriously, they predicted in what year their civilization would be overrun by foreigners coming from over the seas. Legend has it they even predicted the world wars. So if a Maya tells you the world will end in 2012, you’d better take it seriously.

But actually, the Maya’s never predicted anything concrete about 2012. That may have something to do with our ill knowledge about Maya culture: when the Spanish ransacked the land, they burnt literally every Maya book they could find. Only a handful of scriptures survived. And in them, there’s not a clue about what happens when the Maya calendar ends.

So what awaits us in 2012 basically is an open question. And as with so many open questions, countless doom preachers, semi-prophets and other crackpots pop up to provide an answer. The interpretation you hear most: 2012 will mark the coming of a new, glorious age of wisdom and peace. It will be Age Of Aquarius at last, with a world full of peace, love and understanding.

The reasoning behind this is actually not that stupid. The Maya’s didn’t really believe in endings: their conception of time was circular, with every end being the beginning of something new. So, 2012 shouldn’t be an exception.

Also, the Maya’s had a highly developed philosophy of the cosmos. They saw the cosmos as the true mother of things. Consequently, the Maya’s thought the cosmos is all around us, and within us. Every plant, every animal, every man is sheer Cosmos.

So, New Age philosophers say, December 21st 2012 will be the day on which this inner cosmos is reconnected to the divine outer cosmos. The Sun will mount its unique position to form a `gateway’ between the Universe and the souls of every living creature on Earth. Our linear conception of time will crumble, and with it, fear and hatred will vanish. It will be purification at it’s very best, when everyone is soaked in cosmic understanding and divine love.

So there it is: on December 20th, you’ll kick your dog, yell at your spouse and cheat on cards. But a day later, you’ll be calmed down into a peaceful dude with nothing but love and understanding to guide you in life. Even though it’s mid-winter, it’ll be summer of love for all humanity.

Other doomsayers foresee doom and destruction. December 21st will be the day the Earth will be destroyed. Some think it will be because of some nuclear war, some say it will be because it’s biblical judgment day. Even others take the ending of the Maya calendar more literally, and claim the Universe will just cease to exist. Zzzzp!, gone.

There’s something to be said in favor of such sinister scenario’s, too. The Maya divided their Long Count into five lumps of time, called Great Cycles. And every cycle had a well defined end. For example, after period number one, a Jaguar came by and ate everyone on Earth. Well, it’s the Maya saying this, not me!

The second cycle ended in air, the third in fire, the fourth in flood. And what about the last period, the stretch of time we’re in? The Earth will be destroyed by earthquakes, is the interpretation some scholars give to the etchy-sketchy remains of the Maya culture. That needs emphasizing, because the last word on Maya timekeeping isn’t said yet: almost every year new books on the issue are published.

So, what are we to make of it all? Will it be time’s up in 2012? Well: we at Exit Mundi wouldn’t bet on it.

Don’t forget: there are many, many religions predicting some kind of end to the world. And the Maya prediction attracts a lot of attention now, merely because their end date is so well-defined, and because the Maya Deadline is only a couple of time-ticks away.

And what about that awesome phenomenon of the Sun sitting in the heart of the Tree of Life? Well, that happened before. The Sun passes the Tree every 25,800 years. That’s a lot of years, but since the Earth has existed for an astonishing 4,5 billion years, the Earth survived the `divine event’ more than 150,000 times already!

What’s more, the last six times the phenomenon occurred, modern humans already walked the planet. Obviously, it didn’t have much effect on our spiritual lives. It certainly didn’t stop the Spanish from butchering some 800,000 Maya’s in the sixteenth century.

All texts Copyright © Exit Mundi / AW Bruna 2000-2007.
You’re not allowed to copy, edit, publish, print or make public any material from this website without written permission by Exit Mundi.

67. nigel - September 24, 2011

I guess I just did a copyright infringement. Don’t tell, anybody!!!!!

68. nigel - September 24, 2011

“The world should lose her qualities if the celestial spheres should forget their wanted motions; if nature should intermit her colours and leave altogether the observations of her own laws: if the moon should wander from her beaten way; the times and seasons blend themselves by disordered and confused mixture: what shall become of man who sees not plainly that obedience unto the laws of nature is the stay of the whole world.”
Poetry on Heavitree Sculpture 2009

69. nigel - September 24, 2011

…..from Google – What is the Purpose of Blood?
(maybe a question to pose regarding the ‘healthy circulation’ that should occur in any group…..)…..

“Blood is a red fluid that contains a complex mixture of cells suspended in a liquid matrix which is transported (circulated) throughout the body by the circulatory system of an organism. It circulates around the body by the heart and delivers oxygen and other important nutrients to cells of organs and tissues, while at the same time, removing waste product from our body. Blood is located in almost every part of our body, which is due to the network of blood vessels called the circulatory system (see diagram). It is circulated through the body’s heart, arteries, veins and capillaries ( tiny vessels that connect arteries and veins). In order for blood to carry out its functions, it needs to circulate all over our body to all living cells and tissues which it does through the support of the heart that pumps blood throughout our entire body (see diagram of a pumping heart). Thus, it is the fluid of life, a vital life force that all humans need in order to live and sustain life.”

70. For the record - September 24, 2011

Nick: “The Blog’s effect on FoF membership is just guesswork based on recent membership figures, which appear stable. Plus, even the effect of AG’s suicide seems to have been absorbed with relatively few ripples, unless anyone knows different?”

Nick, I feel like I’m watching Fox News when I read your posts. Did Robert Burton provide you these membership figures? (“Hey Nick, membership is still going strong! Not to worry! You can trust me!”)

Burton’s power depends entirely on the silence of those who know him. Open discussion about this group erodes its power and control over the minds of its followers. That’s why Burton disallows open discussion. But another very nice effect of open discussion is this: It helps people to process what is occurring — or occurred, past tense — as they go through the process of healing from the experience.

Regarding your criticisms of Ames — where’s that coming from? (it’s a rhetorical question). He’s just one voice, but it’s very simple: He articulates clearly and eloquently what people are not allowed to articulate within the cult. I can’t think of anything more powerful than that. Whatever people may believe needs to be done, everything progresses from that, and nothing progresses without it.

71. Golden Veil - September 24, 2011

I agree with For the Record regarding Ames Gilbert’s contributions here:

“He’s just one voice, but it’s very simple: He articulates clearly and eloquently what people are not allowed to articulate within the cult. I can’t think of anything more powerful than that. Whatever people may believe needs to be done, everything progresses from that, and nothing progresses without it.”

Ames also appears to be quite grounded… a recent quote :

“Back to simple things I can understand, like packaging my flower bulbs for customers.”

I clicked on the Italian blog ~ see under Blogroll, right side bar ~ it hasn’t been updated since sometime in 2010. But the Russian blog looks like “it’s running on greased wheels!” I love the title; it’s the only part in English ~

Fellowship of Fools

Can anybody tell us if that blog is currently active? I bet it is!

72. Nick Bishop - September 24, 2011

For the Record.

I agree with most of what you say about Ames. However I do believe the Blog now only has a fraction of the impact it had in 2007-2008. So I guess I don’t agree with you that, at this moment in time, it’s the most powerful solution.

Look at it the other way round. Why not do something positive too, as well as talk about the FoF? Is that an unreasonable expectation? Do you not think an ‘exit service’ of some kind might be useful and constructive?

73. Golden Veil - September 24, 2011

Nick ~ I know that you’re not addressing me, but I have to say that since this project of starting an actual organized meeting place for students exiting the Fellowship of Friends is so dear to your heart, why not start working on creating it? If you want it done, start working on it and stop debating the efficacy of it with naysayers. Focus instead on gathering together likeminded ex-members.
Engage with the ones who are with you on it!

Maybe you could consider becoming involved with the Greater Fellowship. Start a group there devoted to organizing an exit office in Oregon House. There are a lot of members of the Greater Fellowship that live right there in Oregon House where you envision an exit office. Your first step would be to become a member and then start a group. Forget the debating and get on with it!

74. Golden Veil - September 24, 2011

P.S. to Nick ~

There may be a local Oregon House ex-member that would donate a room at their local business or home with part time hours devoted to opening the door to Students considering leaving the Fellowship of Friends and providing them with an ear and maybe something like an “Exit Package” with resources like social services, etc. With your writing skills you could write something that could be helpful to these Students that may be sitting on the fence or newly “self- graduated.”

Alternatively, you could create a website and gather together people that would be willing to donate an hour of their time one day a week at the closing of their work and be there in case someone shows up.

Or, maybe what would be better -you could have people register with their phone numbers, maybe even someone like Ames Gilbert, that they will take calls on a particular day of the week, for an hour, kind of like an academic advisor. They could be available for example, on Mondays from 5 pm to 6pm. Maybe the “Exit Package” could be downloadable.

The whole thing could be more like an “Underground Railroad” than an actual money absorbing physical office.

75. Shirley - September 24, 2011

72 Nick, 73 Golden Veil

Or, how about JomoPinata’s 54:

“How about “leaving the Fellowship of Friends” meetup groups?”

Whether it was meant in jest or not, (and since most jokes escape me), that might be an interesting option to consider. It could be called, “The Power of LEAVING THE FOF Now.”

If a Fence-Sitting/Exit-Counseling Meet-Up group was created, there could be an official policy of anonymity being allowed, given the sensitive nature of its purpose. However, in that kind of a situation, anonymity might, after awhile, defeat its purpose, because as mentioned, the FF is a very friend-on-friend organization. Who wants to approach a cartoon-character or op-art avatar/icon with one’s innermost fears and angst about the FF and RB? (Of course, our real selves might be a turn-off. Imagine an op-art avatar suddenly turning into the author’s face, and the fence-sitter says, “OMG, it’s you! I couldn’t *stand* you when we had to do the dish-washing octave back in the 1970s. You were such a jerk.” Actually, if a FFr uses a word like “jerk,” I’d say they’re making progress in expressing “negativity.”

Speaking of anonymity:

Although GF allows anonymity, the vast majority of GF members post their real names and profile photos. But then, almost everyone on GF is an ex-FFr, so there isn’t a pervasive sense of paranoia of one side spying on the other. Having said that, the GF policy has relaxed, and one no longer needs a personal invitation to join; it just needs approval by an administrator after the joiner passes one hurdle.

Therefore, recent joiners have been individuals who are complete strangers to the FF and who might have stumbled on GF via a related worldwide 4th Way Ning site called What is the Work (or a similar name). Both sites refer to each other’s link. What I’ve noticed about several of these recent entrants is, that they’ve changed the “extended family” nature of GF. GF is not really there to discuss general 4th Way subjects (if anything, the opposite). GF’s main strength is that we all know the person/institution that had a place in our lives, and many of us knew each other, if only as a face and name from the past. No need to explain generalities. One reason anonymity isn’t a particularly good idea on GF is because it’s more a social networking site than a “trading of ideas” site, which this blog leans towards. Ideas can be disembodied, but social networking probably should not be.

Anyway, my point is, is that anonymity has its pluses and minuses, and the context determines which side should prevail. In fact, Nick, another paradox to trying to collect money on GF for an exit counseling “office” is that half of the blog posters on this site use pseudonyms. Imagine collecting 50 x $5 checks from blog posters, and trying to match up their real names with the aliases.

I’ve heard that some of the current members seem happy in the FF. If not happy, then at least, not expressing discontent. Why would such a person want a divorce from the FF? The people you’d want to provide your sympathies and insights to, are the people who can’t suppress any longer their suspicions, doubts and serious questions. Such people can’t openly discuss it with their FF colleagues. Whatever they do, they’d have to be the one to take the initiative, whether it’s to seek out someone one on one, or venture onto this blog, or some other alternative.

76. For the record - September 24, 2011

Nick, I haven’t taken the time to read the entire thread above, but I do agree with you that some sort of action or actions beyond the blog are worth a try if people have the time and the inspiration to try them out — even if it involves just an effort to help people feel more confident and positive about their futures when they leave. But while we’re talking about that, keeping the discussion going is essential. This IS something “positive.”

There seems to be a recurrent thread on the blog that the status quo has been maintained in the last few years, and therefore people have been generally wasting their time by expressing themselves on the internet. That’s not what I’m seeing. Sometimes people leave abruptly. Sometimes people leave gradually after processing things over a period of time. If there’s a positive method to help people feel like there’s some support out there when they leave, that’s a good thing. I like the idea if it’s implemented in an intelligent way.

One thing that I suggest, however, is not a Meetup group that deals specifically with the Fellowship of Friends per se, and former members. Instead, I suggest that those inspired to do so start meetup groups (anywhere in the U.S. or in other countries) that have absolutely nothing to do with the Fellowship of Friends — and start some groups on classical music, jazz, art museums, theater, world travel, starting a business, French language, cooking, wine, beer, olive oil, or any other activities that can help people connect with each other. And then, if you want, invite people to join via the blog and the Great Fellowship site. Let people know these groups exist.

This will accomplish two things:

1) Help people in/out of the FOF to connect with each other.
2) Help people in/out of the FOF to connect with people everywhere.

These groups could be fun for whoever organizes them, and the impulse behind them is not necessarily to attract former or current members of the FOF. The impulse is to have fun, make friends, and connect with people in general. If some former members — and even current members — try it out, that would be absolutely oustanding. If not, it would still be outstanding.

77. Tim Campion - September 24, 2011

According to numbers provided by “Ollie” and others on this blog, the Fellowship membership has dropped from a 2005 peak of 2,200 members to 1,380 in the summer of 2011, a net loss of 820, or 37%.

But people have been joining the Fellowship during the past five years, so it’s likely the actual exodus is closer to 1,000 members. Linda T. is reported to have said the blog was the worst thing that has ever happened to the Fellowship, and she would be in a position to know.

And what did the blog do? Simply provide information and an opportunity for dialogue.

One thing is clear, Robert is the captain of a sinking ship. Time is not on his side. His prediction that the school would peak at 10,000, “and then the doors to the ark would be closed” turned out like all his other predictions. A myth.

78. nigel - September 24, 2011

77. Tim Campion

The blog, despite its ocassional rants (which the moderators have been swift to call on) and the ‘idiotic posters’ (who have been removed), has proven to be not only a ‘goldmine of information’ for both those who have been thinking of leaving the FOF (and some who have left because of it) but (like me) a place to share ‘angles of thought’ on subjects of psychological and philosophical interest as well as the medical areas that people like WhaleRider can tell us about. I think I stumbled across the blog in 2008/9 by just ‘googling’ Fellowship of Friends into the internet toolbar and have found it a source of personal support in my quest for balance (most of you know about my bipolar affective disorder, which I continue to work with, and will do the rest of my life) and everyday nourishment. Thanks to all of you here and good luck to us all…..Nigel.

79. nigel - September 25, 2011

Award-winning Yuba County winery also serves as a cult

Sacramento Bee/August 17, 2002
By Stefanie Frith

“Oregon House, Calif. — Tucked away in the Yuba County countryside lies a winery that produces award-winning wines that have been served at a birthday party for Ronald Reagan and at numerous restaurants, such as the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.

Admirers of the Renaissance Winery and Vineyards praise its ability to make what one critic called wines that “belong in every cellar” in the sometimes cold, sometimes brutally hot climate of Oregon House, where no other winery operates. But Renaissance, part of a community called the Fellowship of Friends, has problems beyond growing grapes.

Called a cult by ex-members, neighbors and cult experts, the Fellowship has fought with county officials over taxes and been sued by former members. That, wine sellers said, makes it hard for Renaissance to promote its wines, because part of the art of selling wine means playing up a winery’s history.

Renaissance’s story, however, is “too bizarre,” said Wilfred Wong, a San Francisco-based wine buyer. “While their quality is good, there are a lot of other wines out there and I just don’t want to work with a winery that has all that excess baggage.”

Winery officials, who agreed only to a telephone interview and would not speak about the Fellowship, said they are trying to drop that “baggage” by experimenting with new wines and new labels.

With 365 acres of vines in a 1,300-acre compound called Apollo that covers the rocky hillsides of the Sierra foothills as well as the plateaus below, it has been a challenge learning which grapes grow best in the rugged terrain, said Tim Quartly-Watson, general manager of Renaissance Winery and Vineyards.

“We are still learning and we are going to be learning 100 years from now,” said Quartly-Watson, a Fellowship member who moved from England to California six years ago.

Renaissance produces 25,000 cases of wine a year, part of what a winery brochure calls its “art of living … and labor of love.”

With about 2,000 members, one third of which live in or near Apollo, the Fellowship follows the Fourth Way tradition of spiritual development that was developed by turn-of-the-century Russian philosophers George Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky, said Steven Hassan, a Boston-based cult expert who has counseled former members of the Fellowship. The Fourth Way teaches that humans are asleep and can only wake up through a series of extreme exercises and observations that break down the old personality and develop a higher consciousness.

Apollo was designed to aid this process. It was started in 1974 by former Bay Area elementary school teacher Robert Burton, a follower of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. They have their own school, restaurant, cemetery and museum, insulating them from the rest of Yuba County, a mostly rural area about 90 minutes north of Sacramento.

They are virtually unknown to their neighbors in Oregon House, a community of about 2,000 people hidden among thick trees and narrow roads. The winery sticks out in this area of mobile homes, deserted shacks and old pickup trucks, its entrance protected by a guard and lined with potted palm trees.

“They are unlike you and me,” said Sandy Gaggero, a retiree who lives near the winery, one of the few neighbors who were willing to speak about the Fellowship. “They are low key and are almost brain-dead. They are really on another level. It’s a cult. They don’t make decisions for themselves.”

Yuba County officials have had disputes with the Fellowship, said county tax assessor David Brown. The group once sued the county unsuccessfully to get a tax exemption for its museum. They have also claimed they were a nonprofit organization, but the county proved them wrong and denied that request as well, Brown said.

Until recently, the Fellowship also owed the county about $2 million in taxes, but they are currently on a payment plan to pay it back, said county supervisor Hal Stocker.

Former members have sued Burton, claiming brainwashing and even sexual abuse, according to court records. In 1996, a former member sued for $5 million, claiming Burton had sexually exploited him at age 17. That suit was settled months later.

The suit claimed the Fellowship was being used to further Burton’s “voracious appetite for perverted sexual pleasure and elegant lifestyle.” Burton is portrayed as a leader who considers himself “an angel in a man’s body” who communicates with up to 44 angels, including Benjamin Franklin and is second in spiritual power only to Jesus Christ, said former members and experts.

Part of the Fellowship’s appeal, Hassan said, is that it presents an illusion of intellectuality to those who believe that Gurdjieff was an enlightened being.

“Many people who he entranced thought he was incredible and magnetic and started their own groups, like Burton,” said Hassan. “And I have yet to find (a group) that is healthy.”

Renaissance officials dispute the characterization of their community as a cult. “We are a cultivated winery, Quartly-Watson said.

Matt Kramer, a columnist for Wine Spectator magazine and author of “Making Sense of California Wine,” said he admires the winery’s courage in taking on the difficult microclimate. He called the Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling “very promising” and great deals for the price.

“They are still feeling out what grows best in that microclimate,” said Kramer. “How long it will take them to become fully revealed is unknown.”

At San Francisco’s Ritz-Carlton, wine director Stephane Lacroix has been serving Renaissance’s Cabernet 1996 at $10 a glass for three years. He said it has good balance and a fresh finish.

“There is value and quality and I never took into consideration anything else about them,” Lacroix said. “They are quite professional people who are serious about making quality wine.” ”

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE WINERY STANDS NOW?..

Nigel

80. nigel - September 25, 2011

Apollo (Fellowship of Friends)

Oregon House, California, United States

The Fellowship of Friends was founded in 1970 as an esoteric school dedicated to the practice of living in the present. Our single-minded focus is on creating a connection with the Higher Self, known by many other names, such as the third eye, the witness, and the soul. Our practice to achieve this aim is in the form of active meditation, or inner yoga, used in every moment of our life.

Intially based on the Fourth Way tradition, we now incorporate the great teachings of Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, as well as the Egyptian and Mesoamerican traditions.
The spiritual center of the Fellowship, Apollo, is located on 1200 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California. For forty years members have worked the land, slowly transforming it into a place of orchards and vineyards, fountains and gardens. It is an international community of more than six hundred members and includes a restaurant, an outdoor theater, a fine press, a concert hall, an award-winning winery, and an art gallery.

All members of the Fellowship are invited to live at Apollo, or to visit as often as possible, and join in the daily activities. We share in the work of landscaping, cooking, office work, construction, flower-arranging, and seemingly unending dish-washing. We have an orchestra, choir, and theater group, and gather daily for meetings, study groups, dinners, concerts, and readings.

Yet, inspiring as they are, these outward forms are not our true aim or achievement. At Apollo the visible exists primarily for the invisible—everything has been created to support the inner discipline of being present. This is the reason for all our buildings and events and interactions, and life at Apollo is one of great pressure and of equally great joy.

Living at Apollo is a personal and ever-changing experience. It can be a place of intense effort and inner work, and an opportunity to share that work with others. The company of our friends, the lovingly tended environment, and the example of the teacher are constant reminders of our aim to escape imagination and enter the living present—the only place where human beings can truly be together.
.
Visitors Accepted
Visitor Process: Contact us through email or by phone for an introductory visit.

Statement of Housing Non-discrimination:

Our community does not discriminate in regards to housing based on race/color, national origin, religion, sex/gender, family status (i.e. having children, not having children, or being pregnant), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, source of income, age, creed, personal appearance, political affiliation, HIV infection, military/veteran status, unfavorable military discharge, gender identity or expression, receiving public assistance, or being the victim of domestic abuse.

Our community does not provide land or housing and is therefore not subject to fair housing laws.

THAT SECOND-TO-LAST PARAGRAPH IS A LAUGH…..NIGEL.

81. Nick Bishop - September 25, 2011

Thanks Golden Veil, For the Record and Shirley.

Lots of food for thought in all your posts.

I’ll state my position as simply as I can. I live in the UK, so I think any project of this sort would need a co-ordinator based in OH. They would be on site and have their ear to the ground in a way I couldn’t. So first it would be necessary first to find that person/persons.

Having said that, I would be happy to be responsible for the European arm of any such project, plus any services [like webchat] that could be offered over the web. I can offer writing, counselling and website design skills.

Because this would necessarily start as a part-time, voluntary endeavour, there has to be a ‘We’ at the beginning, and as I say someone willing to act as the OH co-ordinator.

Any volunteers?

How about you three, GV, FtR and Shirley – are you up for it?

I can be contacted at nicholas.bishop22@tiscali.co.uk

82. My2Bits - September 25, 2011

I’ve been pondering the various well-considered posts about providing some kind of exit counseling or support service for members who may be considering leaving the Fellowship.

In my case, ‘the blog’ circa 2007 provided the alternative information I needed at the time to make a decision and take the leap. For a while thereafter, I was active on the GF site, but now I’m only an occasional visitor. Recently, I returned to ‘the blog’ after a long absence to do some additional reflecting and processing. Both venues provide, IMO, a useful service for fence-sitters and former members.

I doubt that any kind of “underground railroad” staffed by former members would be successful. Most escapees either separate from the OH scene completely and start anew, or remain by necessity or choice in a netherworld somewhere between the FoF and “life”. To me, attempting to “drain the victim pool” by proselytizing seems futile.

The Fellowship is dying, along with its leader. It is the ‘inner guru’ of individuals that will keep them in or guide them out of the morass. Is it really our duty to try to alleviate their suffering? I would gladly see RB in jail for his crimes, but he seems legally untouchable after all these years.

Consider this quote from Nisargadatta:

“The inner guru is not committed to non-violence. He can be quite violent at times, to the point of destroying the obtuse or perverted personality. Suffering and death, as life and happiness, are his tools of work. It is only in duality that non-violence becomes the unifying law.”

These days, it is only the ‘inner guru’ that I trust.

83. Golden Veil - September 25, 2011

81. Nick Bishop

I am not in Oregon House, either. Nick, with your above stated skills ~ writing , counseling, and website design ~ you could start up a group on the Greater Fellowship site and invite local Oregon House ex Fellowship of Friends to become members that are willing to volunteer to be contacted by both fence sitters and newly exited students (or they could specialize with one or the other.) You could work on an exit package that may have answers to common questions and list withdrawal manifestations that a newly exited Student might experience. You could list social and financial resources ~ the Salvation Army is an organization that will help men that have no funds and need housing, food, and a job. If you are computer savvy enough to use Skype, you could counsel the people you are seeking so intently to help yourself, as long as they can Skype (utilizing free accounts.) You appear to be one of the rarities here daring to go by their actual name; I don’t see a Nick Bishop on the Greater Fellowship roster. Joining there and starting a group would be the first step towards getting enough support for your venture from the large group of former ex-Students still living in Oregon House.

84. nigel - September 25, 2011

…..from Google-ing – Nisargadatta, Inner Guru
(questions asked of Nisargadatta, with answers)…..

Q: What is wrong with the universe?

M: Forgetting your Self is the greatest injury; all the calamities flow from it. Take care of the most important, the lesser will take care of itself. You do not tidy up in a dark room. You open the windows first. Letting in the light makes everything easy. So, let us wait with improving others until we have seen ourselves as we are – and have changed. There is no need to turn round and round in endless questioning; find yourself and everything will fall into its proper place.

(It seems N. makes no differentiation between Lower and Higher Self. And the question of ‘letting in the light’ applies very critically to what is happening, and has happened, in the FOF – ‘inner darkness’ is the Fate of All who Stay in the CULT…..Nigel.)

85. Nick Bishop - September 25, 2011

My2bits.

You raise the core issue of the whole debate when you say “Is it really our duty to try to alleviate their suffering?”…

….”Am I my brother’s keeper?”

It’s an ancient question about just how deep our sense of community goes, both with ourselves and with others.

86. Nick Bishop - September 25, 2011

Golden Veil.

Thanks once again for your suggestions. I am on the GF [look up Nicholas Bishop].

For the time being I’d like to see who might be interested on this Blog, that is where the initial query was directed. If you’re interested, why not email me?

87. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 25, 2011

On Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton, member numbers and exit support:

I do not think some have a full understanding of the mathematical dynamics of FoF membership – not playing with full deck.

Each month there are a certain number of people that leave. Each month there are a certain number of people that join. (This happens on a worldwide basis; not just Oregon House, although, leaving may be more intense there – often from the shock of learning what goes on behind the curtain where the wizard lives – or is that: where the lizard lives.) The net result determines whether the membership number is declining, static, or increasing. (Just like the idea of ascending and descending octaves; everything travels on one or the other and is seldom neither for very long.)

The main aim, as far as reducing the victim pool is concerned, is measured by FoF membership numbers declining or static. Of course, declining is preferred, however, maintaining static numbers implies that people are being influenced, somehow, to leave; because there will always be people that will join, even if it is to satisfy curiosity. Keeping joiners to zero, or minimal, is desireable, too, as the aging population will have its deaths. But, joining cannot be stopped. And, people will stay until their cost-benefit analysis dictates they leave. (Country club membership is only worth so much.)

In about two years, the donation requirements will increase. (At least, that was the way it was.) So, over that two years, there is a lot of churning, or froth, caused by short term memberships; soon to expire. (FoF describes this sometimes as: ‘It takes two years for your being to catch up with your knowledge.’ That statement should help bridge the interval that comes at about 18 months, when donations increase radically, and help keep those ‘marks’ on the path.) I would venture to guess that more people leave in their first two years than in any other two year segment of time one may survey across a member’s membership from FoF 40 years of history of joiners. So, these departures happen almost automatically, or, at least, with little or no effort applied. Also, it is upon this segment of the membership population that FoF expends considerable resources to obtain and keep. If you are looking for ‘low hanging fruit’ to influence, it would be these youngsters.

Furthermore, at the other end of the spectrum, reductions to current membership numbers has its limits. Due to the hardcore members, commited for life, the lower the numbers go, the more resources are needed to influence departures. And, ultimately, as you approach zero, you run up on the fact that there is only Robert Earl Burton left, plus the inner circle. So, practically, it can never go to zero until he goes to zero.

So, preventing joiners, informing the two-year-olds, supporting fence sitters, and the newly departed, is accomplishing much. Do not be too consumed by the numbers. (Also, lately, I have heard that terms of membership has become more negotiable given recent economic conditions and the recent membership losses.)

Draining the victim pool is primarily an information based effort that has little to do with a brick-and-mortar presence in Oregon House. (Although, you can check and see if AG’s office space or the old FoF/RVW headquarters office, the Collin Office, on Marysville Road, is available for such purpose. You might even need a few beds, like a hostel/hospital/clinic/halfway house, for the ill, infirm, indigent, that have nowhere else to go.)

Secondarily, or equally primal perhaps, it is an emotionally based effort – one where people feel it is the right thing to do (and they are ready), others have done it successfully, and that there: is help, is friendship, and The Work on one self, is still possible for them.

75. Shirley:
‘Whatever they do, they’d have to be the one to take the initiative, whether it’s to seek out someone one on one, or venture onto this blog, or some other alternative.’
That’s right, correct triad is that they must be first, or third, force in the initiative.

88. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 25, 2011

75. Shirley:
Greater Fellowship anonymity is needed less than on FoFblog because it is a secured site (limited audience) that cannot be accessed, or scanned, in the general scope of the internet. Other Ning hosted sites may be open to greater access, as selected by the founders of them.

89. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 25, 2011

One more thought:
An anecdote on Mother Teresa:
‘Her critics were right, of course. She had nothing of substance to show for more than a half-century of work with the poor. The poor were poor and badly treated in Calcutta before she arrived, and they are poor and badly treated still today. The same is true in every other of the 122 countries where her nuns have set up shop. She did criticize the arms race as theft from the poor; she did decry the avarice and greed by which some nations live high on the hog while others barely survive; she did denounce rich nations forcing birth control, abortion, and sterilization on the poor; she did appeal to world leaders on behalf of refugees and victims of war; she was vocal against the death penalty, euthanasia, and abortion. But she had no illusions about the power of her voice. She worked from below. “There are thousands and thousands of poor, but I think of only one at a time,” she said. . .’

Reportedly, when someone said to Mother Teresa, ‘The world is full of millions of poor and needy. How, are you going to save them all?’
Mother Teresa replied,
‘Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.’

Of course, to Robert Earl Burton, Mother Teresa suffered from ‘mechanical goodness’ chief feature.

90. Arthur - September 25, 2011

“It takes two years for your being to catch up with your knowledge”.

I’ve heard that before.

And if the ‘shock’ of leaving can be emotionally stablized one can take the advice of Maurice Nicoll by going into life and practicing what one knows. Devoid of sequencing rhino poop and whatever else Modern Bob has dreamed up.

I think it was “ton” that said he roamed the streets of San Francisco after being kicked out. As I roamed around. That was then and now days….

I think information about this blog has already been bundled and mailed to Robert Burton’s ranch addressed to whomever. Maybe that could be continued from time to time?

“Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you”.

91. For the record - September 25, 2011

90. Arthur.
“I think information about this blog has already been bundled and mailed to Robert Burton’s ranch addressed to whomever. Maybe that could be continued from time to time?”

“Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you”.

—-
Arthur, I really appreciate your posts.

92. For the record - September 25, 2011

89. Wouldnt You Like To Know

“Of course, to Robert Earl Burton, Mother Teresa suffered from ‘mechanical goodness’ chief feature.”

Yes, of course he would say something like that. It’s amazing how much a person can miss by being a cult follower. It’s like hiking down a trail and having the most spectacular view opening up before you, but with a guide continuously insisting: “Just look at the trail. Keep your head down and your eyes on the trail.”

93. Renald - September 25, 2011

Re. 82 – My2Bits – I read this post and wanted to reply to the part where it said that N. did not differentiate between the self and the innner self. As I formulated my `angle` I decided to go back to that quote only to find that it was no longer there. I know it could not have been edited out by a blogger so that left only my mind. This led me to a better understanding as to why or how my posts can so often seem to be totally misunderstood. And I thought it was possibly just a matter of mechanicality on the part of negative types. Hmmm.

94. Jbalance - September 25, 2011

Nick: “Simply leasing an office space, with a few part-time counselors, or researchers willing to use some of their time to interview members/ex-members and accumulate first-hand testimonies and contact appropriate authorities and media outlets.”
This is based on pure imagination.
When a student decides to leave the FOF they receive emotional help from ex-students on an individual basis . Different forms of mixed self-help groups with both students and Ex-students exists in Oregon House (such as MKP, NVC , meditation).
Nick: “An organization, however small, could help with some of the issues that currently keep members in the Fellowship in OH. For example, I know of at least two current members who would leave if they could find a buyer for their properties, houses currently stuffed with renting Fellowship students. So just having the ability to offer them a contact list of potential ex-member buyers/renters could help ease their passage out financially.”
Both students and ex-students are affected by the real estate down turn. There are few ex-members with houses that rent to students, no problem there.
Nick :“A vaguely optimistic sense of community isn’t the same as an organised, funded group manned by individuals who can commit their time and money to offer their support and advice. Investing in such a group is one way of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’.”
There are some individual efforts made to reach students one on one. There are no incentives or real motivation to organize anything in Oregon House (nor will it work). THIS BLOG has helped tens of students to leave the FOF.
Conclusion: Students leave when their Timing calls for it, it is their second awakening.

95. Arthur - September 25, 2011

For the record (91 & 92),

Thanks and I think Robert Earl Burton actually did say that about Mother Teresa.

I think he also said that Bob Dylan’s Chief Feature was “tramp”.

Has anybody ‘photographed’ Robert Earl Burton?

What I can remember Burton was Saturn (according to the type information) Saturn’s are said to be inclined to control their environment. That fits.

His alchemy is distorted because his Chief Feature is lunacy wrapped in tramp. No wizard is he (well maybe his Saturn overview traits allows him to see something) but more than likely his real nature is of a tongue thrusting lizard in tights.

That’s sort of my opinion.

96. nigel - September 25, 2011

93. Renald

It may be that you read my reply to 82. My2Bits where I actually quoted Nisargadatta on ‘the self’. The FOF/Burton differentiate between a ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ self, only to ensure that followers are kept from taking care of ‘the machine/instinctive center’ and are kept in the cult. Nisargadatta only refers to ‘the self’, which I take to be in contrast to all the ‘borrowed accoutriments’ of ‘life/personality’. There are many quotes from Nisargadatta, which can be found just by Google-ing his name. Good luck with this…..Nigel.

97. nigel - September 25, 2011

94. Arthur

Great to have you posting regularly. You have a great deal to offer…..Nigel.

98. WhaleRider - September 25, 2011

Nicolas Bishop:
“…Am I my brother’s keeper?” It’s an ancient question about just how deep our sense of community goes, both with ourselves and with others.”

This is a question of boundaries, my friend, how deep a sense we have of ourselves, focusing on helping ourselves be healthy before helping others.

We are awash in a community of people who don’t maintain healthy personal boundaries, who are duped into thinking that by exhausting their personal health, well-being and finances in support of burton’s rape factory at their own personal expense, they will be assured so real estate in paradise.

You know, one of the most damaging (not to mention impolite) behaviors a person can do to another is to ignore them when they are sincerely addressing you. Which is fine, you are free to do that if that’s what kind of person you are.

Now where on earth, do you suppose, did you learn how to shun like that?

Correct me if I am wrong. You appear to be ignoring me, I assume because of my particular negative, deconstructive “voice”.

I am going to remind you of something I don’t want you to forget.

This blog is a public and anonymous forum, and unlike the GF, each post is given equal weight; you don’t have to join one person’s discussion or start your own. You can just post what you are feeling or thinking or something you like to share with the group on any given day. The moderator plays a passive role.

As long as a person refrains from making personal attacks, anyone can post on any topic, express any feeling and receive feedback from others from a variety of perspectives, which allows a person to take what they want and leave the rest.

It also allows us to chime in support for each other directly and efficiently, without having to wade through various discussions on various topics.

The most valuable aspect of this blog, as I see it, it that people are quite willing to show up for each other. That to me speaks volumes.

Do you actually believe that if a newly freed cult follower showed up on this blog asking for help that they would be ignored? I don’t think so! I believe the network of which you speak is already in place.

I will say, from the tone of your posts, I assumed you were living in OH, not organizing this rescue effort from your armchair in the UK.

There is another story about Mother Teresa, who I greatly admire.

A famous person wrote to her asking to come to India and join her work. Mother Teresa wrote back and told her to stay put and take all the money she would have spent traveling all the way to India and give it to the poor in her immediate community.

I suggest you consider Aruthur’s advice and focus on the person closest to you.

BTW, do you know Nigel? He’s practically your neighbor, for goodness sake!

99. nigel - September 25, 2011

97. WhaleRider

“BTW, do you know Nigel? He’s practically your neighbor, for goodness sake!”

I live in Exeter, in the county of Devon, in the south-west of England. I have not been to London to attend the GF London Group Meetings (time and money, basically) but have an ‘inkling’ that there would be all this talk ‘in a watered-down form’ from FOF days. If Nick Bishop wants to contact me in a non-professional light (i.e. no counselling ideas, O.K.?!) I would enjoy meeting with him. I will actually try contacting him on the email address he gave above…..Nigel.

100. Nick Bishop - September 25, 2011

Nigel.

By all means make contact, I live in Wales but often frequent London and the South-West. It would be good to hear from you.

Whalerider.

There’s no need for your feeling of being ‘shunned’. As you can appreciate, there were quite a lot of posts on the subject I raised and I replied to the ones I could. No personal offence intended.

I’ve been over in Ireland watching some of the Solheim Cup. For the non-sports nuts among you, that’s the ladies’ equivalent of golf’s Ryder Cup. It probably represents the peak of sporting performance for either sex.

If you can find a way to watch the climax of the cup, do so. It shows so clearly how group endeavours can extend so far beyond the range of the individual, and bring the best out of those individuals.

Playing for your country in a team of eleven others entails a completely new feeling. This is the true excitement and beauty of the group dynamics/team-building business in which I’m involved professionally : the whole at a certain time becomes greater than the sum of its parts. No-one knows quite why, but you always know it when it happens, the sense is unmistakeable… The energy is different, there is a feeling of connectedness to a larger entity, and absolute trust in your colleagues. The Blog does not have that kind of connectedness at all.

I guess that’s why I made the ‘leaving student’ proposal. However I do know that trust in your friends and trust in a group are both elements that are destroyed by the FoF experience, sadly. So difficult to recover.

So, while there is no place to start other than the ‘person closest to you’, that is simply the start. At a certain point you have to recover more and more of the life outside yourself, and know your own role within it.

101. Renald - September 25, 2011

re 95 – Nigel Thanks Nigel. I actually thought that you might come through with a good explanation. So it just a matter of what who means by what word. One person can term self as being the entire bundle including what could also be called soul or higher self and another can mean only the part which is physical including its psychology and lifetime experiences or memories. This could certainly lead to all types of disagreements and/or misunderstandings, the tower of Babel.

102. Renald - September 25, 2011

Clarification – by “ the part which is physical including its psychology and lifetime experiences or memories.“, I meant present lifetime experiences or memories not including prior lifetimes if they can be said to exist.

103. nigel - September 25, 2011

100. Renald

I keep ‘harping on’ about the explanation of The Self, by Gurdjieff, since it makes sense to me, on my Life’s Journey, in The Present, and into The Future…..

(paraphrase)…..”The Master, Real ‘I’ or The Self is Essence, grown up.”

“All inner work must start with Essence.”

I started my journey in precious metal crafting when I was aged 19. I joined the cult in 1978, when I had just turned 21. I pretty-much continued with my craft through my FOF days then, due to coming to terms with exiting and my bipolar, could not do much of it until 2003, when I embarked on an Adult Teacher Training Course. Now I am the founder and tutor of my little jewellery school and have never been so happy in all my life (just as an aside with regards to WhaleRider’s ‘boundaries’, I find I have a great deal to offer my students and just have to watch for ‘burn-out’, when I give too much of my energy – the students know when this happens and are really kind to me). I could never have imagined myself in the cult being ‘a computer programmer remembering myself’!!!!! What I have now cannot be taken away from me and the more I give to my students, the more I seem to have for myself. Is symbiosis the word?…..Nigel.

104. nigel - September 25, 2011

…..from Google-ing ‘symbiosis’…..

sym·bi·o·sis (smb-ss, -b-)

n. pl. sym·bi·o·ses (-sz)

1. Biology A close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member.

2. A relationship of mutual benefit or dependence.

105. Shirley - September 25, 2011

99 Nick

I think what just transpired between you and Nigel is an example of what I mean by how friend-on-friend-oriented the FF was/is. Given your geographic distance, you may not meet up any time soon, but the fact that you’d consider doing so, not having met before (?), is, to me, one of the strengths of the FF. That, in itself, may be one reason why it’s hard for many current members to leave: They don’t want to give up the friendships and what we call the country club aspect of the FF, where the social events fill a basic human need to be around people one knows.

Nick, in response to your #81 above, I don’t live in CA, and haven’t been to OH in over 20 years. (From Red Hat’s recent description, above, it doesn’t sound like much has changed). In addition, I wouldn’t want to do the “office” thing, hard copy or virtual. I’m not inclined that way – I wasn’t in the FF, and am still not that way, post-FF. I continue to feel that if a FF member is starting to think about leaving, and isn’t able to do so in one fell swoop, that they would need to be the one to take the initiative and reach out to a trusted friend or acquaintance. If they are in OH, there are probably many people there already who recently left the FF that they could turn to. We know there is this blog, and they can go on GF now without having to be personally invited by email. The culture of fear in the FF is a great inhibiting force that puts a lot of speed bumps in the way of anyone trying to make a smooth exit out. Even so, we know it’s possible.

Perhaps those massive exoduses out (such as the 500 +/- who left in 2007-08, and previous large exoduses) will continue to be infrequent phenomena. I’m not interested in inciting exoduses. If another one happens again, then there are some existing platforms to process the upheaval and questions.

106. WhaleRider - September 25, 2011

Nick:
“The Blog does not have that kind of connectedness at all.”

Although not as intense as in a sports competition or business enterprise, I do feel more connected after your kind post. Thank you.

Ironically, I did have the delight of watching my 9 year old daughter competete in a soccer game yesteday.

107. Nick Bishop - September 25, 2011

Whalerider.

My daughter is little older than yours, but family is a wonderful place to start post-Fellowship. Realising that your parents and your children are in a way ‘you’, but with slightly altered eyes and skin, is fundamental. The funny thing is, there’s no loss of boundaries in that realisation.For whatever reason, to ‘give and not count the cost’ doesn’t mean any loss of energy or self-depletion, it’s self-renewing. Don’t ask me why.

It works that way with teams too. When the trust really reaches that unquestionably deep level, people don’t seem to become more dependent, quite the opposite. Their role becomes clearer, and they become more responsible towards it.

108. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 25, 2011

What’s new in wonderful world of FoF:
http://www.bluelogic.us/

New Titles:
E. Kehl & N. Walker, Where the Two Worlds Touch
G. Haven, Art of Presence
G. Moore, Gods Play Chess, Don’t They
G. Moore, Mysterious Origins of Chess
G. Moore, Out of Africa
G. Moore, Through the Eye of A Needle
J. Craig, Philadelphia
J. Stubbs, Inner Connections
L. Carter Holman, Evolution of A Self-Taught Painter
R. Altamirano, In Touch With the Miraculous
Love Sonnets and Songs by Anonymous Egyptian Scribes
R. Altamirano, Meetings with Remarkable Friends
W. Smith, Pinocchio Nerino

Ancient Teachings:
Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
Mahabharata

4th Way:
A. R. Orage, On Love and Psychological Exercises
G. Gurdjieff, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson
P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous
R. Collin, Theory of Conscious Harmony
R. Collin, Theory of Celestial Influence

More things in heaven & earth…:
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce
CS Lewis, Four Loves
JL Borges, Labyrinths
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll, Thru the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll, Sylvie & Bruno
Lewis Carroll, Sylvie & Bruno Concluded
Umberto Eco, Kant and the Platypus
Wm. Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Wm. Blake, Song of Experience

eBooks:
Diary Notes from Hell:
Who Am I?
Power of Now, Then What?
More Diary Notes from Hell:
High Velocity
Quantum Communication

Site contains books, biographies, blogging, etc

109. Tim Campion - September 25, 2011

99. Nick Bishop

“I do know that trust in your friends and trust in a group are both elements that are destroyed by the FoF experience, sadly. So difficult to recover.”

***

I too found this to be true. And I would also add that “trust in oneself” is intentionally destroyed. This helps solidify loyalty to the cult.

After the Fellowship, I found that I joined group efforts with some reluctance and a fair amount of caution.

110. fofblogmoderator - September 25, 2011

#94 is new

111. Arthur - September 25, 2011

Is the following rule still in force?

“Do not speak to any former student because that will delay, destroy or harm their returning to Robert e. Burton”.

If it is then that will be the first line of scary situation for fence sitters and two year old new members.

So I ask Nigel, Shirley, Whalerider are you scared of that rule if it’s still in force? I didnt think so. I cant image you three going back to be saved by Robert e. Burton.

I ask because back in the day being kicked out put the fear in me about approaching a current in payment student.

Even then I was trying to follow the rule of the day.

What was I thinking? Well, the blog wasnt available.

112. Shirley - September 25, 2011

111 Arthur

I’m under the impression that the rule of current members not speaking at all to ex-members has been relaxed. Hearsay has it that they even socialize somewhat. For ex., wasn’t there an Oregon House Music Festival last month, where current and ex members sat in the same concert hall? I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how much mingling there was.

Mingling: My very limited experience with current members in recent years is that there is what you could call a Chinese Wall between current members and ex members. Meaning, there is very little passing of FF inside information (real news about the FF or RB) that is shared by the current member with their ex member friends. Of course, maybe those individuals are already on the fringes of the FF, so they don’t get inside info anyway. Also, because I remembered that rule from the distant past, I didn’t feel it was correct to coerce a person to tell me information that they might feel should be protected. In addition, if they themselves didn’t know anything firsthand, then their respect for the “no gossip” rule, for better or worse, added to their not knowing anything worse divulging to an “outsider.” I think some of those experiences are what confirms for me that any member who wants to leave, needs to take the initiative. Some of them are in poor financial straits, and yet, that is not incentive enough to leave. It doesn’t surprise me.

113. Shirley - September 25, 2011

Correction: anything *worth” divulging to an “outsider.”

114. Constant Reader - September 25, 2011

108. Wondering Who’s Watching

To the FOF members responsible for Blue Logic:

As a former member of the FOF, I am startled by your inclusion of Borges on your reading list. The man was a genius. I know, I know, you appropriated Leonardo, Lincoln, and a hundred others – why balk at this? Perhaps it’s because I was castigated for reading him while I was in the FOF; he was, after all, one of the “dead ones.”

I am even more appalled by your inclusion of C.S. Lewis, a convinced and committed Christian, on your list. You describe “The Great Divorce,” on your website as being “extraordinary tale of our obsessive identification with excess baggage – and the consequences.”

I know C.S. Lewis would be horrified at the group he is being used to promote on this website. I know, because I have read him, and not just in the heavily edited FOF “Cliff Notes” version.

This is a man who was a guardian for a string of teenagers and supported a raft of other dependents, including an alcoholic brother, the irascible mother of a dead friend, and a dying wife. This is a man who never shirked a single responsibility in his life, and gave away a good portion of his income to take care of the needy. This is a man who answered every one of the thousands of letters he received, even from the children and the mentally unstable fans. This is a man who taught Oxford students tirelessly, day after day, and wedged in his own writing in his “free” time.

You, of course, will think he wrote a few great books despite these “feminine dominance” weaknesses. No, that’s where you have it wrong. He wrote them because of his caritas, because of his humanity and discipline and will. You won’t understand until you try it.

About one thing C.S. Lewis is unquestionably especially right: the attempt to marry heaven and hell is doomed, based on the mistaken belief “that reality never presents us with an absolutely unavoidable ‘either-or.’ … This belief I take to be a disastrous error.”

The FOF represents precisely this kind of marriage – the belief that we do not make choices when we dump our children, parents, friends, debts or whatever to pursue “higher impressions” and self-indulgent moments. The idea that we can remake God in our own image, according to our own vices. The idea that we can cut our own deal. That something is only evil if we think of it so.

Please don’t die like Abraham, abandoned by those who saw him as “excess baggage” in his old age. Despite the flowery PR eulogies, he had been dumped by Robert and dumped by FOF insiders, after taking care of every piece of dirty laundry the FOF had ever soiled. The devil makes a bad master.

It’s time to get out of the pool folks. As someone wise said, “Beyond good and evil, there is only evil.” Either-or. Which will it be?

FOF moderator: Could you maybe add http://www.bluelogic.us/ to the list of fraudulent FOF pseudonymous organizations?

115. Renald - September 26, 2011

Re. 94 – JBalance – Sounds like someone doesn`t want any more competition than there already exists. I could be wrong, I certainly was before.
Another thought: a fence sitter as we have labelled them here will often be a person who feels pulled in two directions. I would like to issue a warning or better put an advice that if this is the case for you please make a decision one way or the other now. That type of pulling is exactly what leads to disease. Once the disease progresses it may become rather quickly too late to decide anything anyways.

116. Tim Campion - September 26, 2011

94. jbalance

Thanks for this reality check from “ground zero”. I appreciate your direct and practical statements. For those of us far removed, they provide useful insights

117. Red Hat - September 26, 2011

94. jbalance

“Both students and ex-students are affected by the real estate down turn. There are few ex-members with houses that rent to students, no problem there.”

I beg to differ. I know former members with OH homes. Often they are commuters, and get exploited by FOF members who don’t have money and leave in arrears, and often without notice. It’s hard to keep your house filled, especially when you aren’t in touch with current members. Often a lot of cleanup and bad householder – people storing boxes and you have to dispose of when they move to Melbourne, people going off their heads, wanting to trade wine or services that you don’t need for rent, etc.

118. My2Bits - September 26, 2011

Re: My post #82, Nick #85, Whalerider, and others

Just to clarify, in my post I was trying to take a step back and look at motives, which I think is an underlying topic of this thread.

Whalerider summarizes it beautifully:

“So, while there is no place to start other than the ‘person closest to you’, that is simply the start. At a certain point you have to recover more and more of the life outside yourself, and know your own role within it.”

Admittedly, I’m still suffering from PTSD of sorts as a result of losing contact with the community which was a central part of my life for 30 years. But the connection still exists. I too wish to help others by whatever means possible, and this is always in the back of my mind when posting here.

I suppose I’m still in the process of recovering my self as necessary step in honestly being able to manifest ‘love in action’.

119. WhaleRider - September 26, 2011

eh, that was Nick, and I agree, he is spot on.

Recovering one’s self and restoring personal integrity requires learning to set healthy boundaries…as in being able to say for oneself, “enough is enough”.

That’s how I left.

Wondering Who’s Watching:

Here’s a blurb from Mr Gilbert Moore’s site Blue Logic:

“First published in 2007, written by Rolando Altamirano, a pupil of Robert Burton, this book documents what it means to receive an esoteric teaching directly and personally from its conscious source, not second hand, not from books like this one, but directly.”

I bet some of the finer details of what these “encounters” actually mean aren’t in the book.

120. fofblogmoderator - September 26, 2011

#114 is new

121. The FOFion - September 26, 2011

Haven kicked out of the school after criticizing new policy to allow criticism of the school

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Sources have confirmed that Girard Haven was kicked out of the school Sunday after critizing Robert Burton for implementing a new policy that allows criticism of the school.

Haven was summarily tossed when he criticized Robert Burton’s new Criticize Openly Policy (COP).

“Not a good idea,” Haven said. “Open criticism will open up a can of worms. I strongly advise against this.”

Within minutes, Haven was shown the door.

“This was indicated to me by Influence C,” Burton said. “COP is such a lovely acronym for this new direction of the school, is it not? COP gives my beloved students the authority to protect themselves from criminal behavior, and from any damaging or unhealthy experiences they may experience in the school. Fortunately, there will be no need to enforce this new policy, as I have the best interests of my students at heart.”

Editor’s note: The FOFion apologies to readers who are now experiencing a wave of nausea. We don’t create the news — we just report it.

122. Renald - September 26, 2011

Rolando wrote a book? You have to be joking. LOL They just used his name. If he wrote a book, I wrote a hundred of them. LOL

123. Tim Campion - September 26, 2011

121. The FOFion

The next thing you’ll be reporting is Dick Cheney’s apology for the Iraq Invasion.

124. nigel - September 26, 2011

…..just cliked on Blue Logic site. and found this…..

The Art of Presence: Perspectives from a Fourth Way School Girard Haven (July 2010) A collection of six essays, whose opening paragraph reveals the extraordinary power of metaphor. “In order for a key to be of any value,” Mr. Haven reminds us, “One has to know what lock it fits and how to use it to open that lock. One then has to open the door, and finally, one has pass through the door to reach what was inaccessible before.” 130 pages later the essays reach their coda: “The advantage of the sequence is that mechanical responses only have to be controlled for thirty seconds at a time; the advantage of passing through death on the larger scale to a state of presence … is that one need not seek the rather special circumstances of the sequence to experience the state. But our biggest advantage is that by working simultaneously on both scales, each will grow much more rapidly. At death, the scales will merge, and ‘now’ will become ‘forever’” A remarkable vision of consciousness transcending functions worthy of quiet reflection. 156 pages illustrated, and in full color. A Glossary of such terms as sequence and functions included.

BASICALLY, I SUPECT THIS BOOK IS A LOAD OF DRIVEL THAT HAVEN KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AND THAT BURTON INVENTED…..Nigel.

125. nigel - September 26, 2011

124 (addendum)

It is interesting that Haven has only switched his ‘systems analyst’ role from his area of computing in ‘life’ to the same role in the cult. I suspect he still feels that it ‘does not matter what you do, as long as you remember yourself’ (paraphrase – Gurdjieff), since ‘consciousness is not functions’ (paraphrase – Burton). Being in the FOF and, especially having a high-up/inner-circle role, guarantees you nothing but inner darkness. I also suspect that, since Haven has had no chance to directly work against his dominance feature, having had ‘key roles’ in the FOF, that he regards this feature, as it has evolved through the years, as consciousness (grandiose overbearing states, more likely)…..Nigel.

126. Agent 45 - September 26, 2011

CLASSIFIED – EYES ONLY
To: Shirley
From: The Director, A.M.B.
“My panacea to the worried world is the effort on its part to get an answer to the questions, ‘Whence and whither?’
The knowledge that all have the same beginning and the same end, with life on earth a happy interlude, will go a long way in making the brotherhood of man a reality on earth, and this in turn will strike at the root of narrow communalism and rigid nationalism,
which mean wars and economic exploitation.
I bless you all for the realization of this, the aim of life.”
Yours Truly,
M. S. Irani

127. Ill Never Tell - September 26, 2011

121. The FOFion:

Very funny.

Here is part of a Sufi story:

‘A certain man caught a bird in a trap.
The bird says,
“Sir, you have eaten many cows and sheep
in your lifetime, and you’re still hungry.
The little bit of meat on my bones won’t satisfy you either.
If you let me go, I’ll give you three pieces of wisdom.
One I’ll say standing on your hand. One on your roof.
And one I’ll speak from the limb of that tree.”

The man was interested.
He freed the bird and let it stand on his hand.
“Number One:
Do not believe an absurdity,
no matter who says it.”

The bird flew and lit on the man’s roof.
“Number Two:
Do not grieve over what is past. It’s over.
Never regret what has happened.”

“By the way,” the bird continued,
“in my body there’s a huge pearl
weighing as much as ten copper coins.
It was meant to be the inheritance
of you and your children,
but now you’ve lost it. You could have owned
the largest pearl in existence, but evidently
it was not meant to be.”

The man started wailing like a woman in childbirth.
The bird: “Didn’t I just say, Don’t grieve
for what’s in the past? And also, Don’t believe
an absurdity; no matter who says it?
My entire body doesn’t weigh
as much as ten copper coins.
How could I have a pearl that heavy inside me?”

The man came to his senses.
“All right. Tell me Number Three.”

“Yes. You’ve made such good use of the first two!”
Don’t give advice to someone
who’s groggy and failing asleep.
Don’t throw seeds on the sand.
Some torn places cannot be patched.’

Do not believe an absurdity,
no matter who says it.

* * * * * *

124. nigel:
The Art of Presence: Perspectives from a Fourth Way School Girard Haven:
“In order for a key to be of any value,” Mr. Haven reminds us, “One has to know what lock it fits and how to use it to open that lock. One then has to open the door, and finally, one has pass through the door to reac
h what was inaccessible before.”

Here is part of a Houdini story:

‘Looking to capitalize on Houdini’s immense popularity and fame, a London bank challenged him to break out of their vault with its new, state-of-the-art locking system. They were CERTAIN that even the great Houdini would finally meet his match.

Houdini accepted, and on the appointed date, the press turned out in droves to see if the master could get out in the three and a half minutes allotted.

This time he got to keep his clothes on. But he had another trick up his sleeve!

His contracts always specified that before he disappeared into the trunk or cell or behind a small curtain (when performing on a stage), he could kiss his wife. After all, many of his feats were seriously dangerous, so who could refuse the couple what might turn out to be their last goodbye?

But what no one knew was that he was getting more than a kiss! As their lips met, his wife would secretly pass a small piece of wire from her mouth to his. Then, once he was alone or hidden behind the curtain, he’d use the wire to pick the locks.

This time out, though, the wire didn’t seem to be doing the trick. Here’s what Houdini wrote about that experience …

“After one solid minute, I didn’t hear any of the familiar clicking sounds. I thought, my gosh, this could ruin my career, I’m at the pinnacle of fame, and the press is all here.

“After two minutes, I was beginning to sweat profusely because I was not getting this lock picked.

“After three minutes of failure, with thirty seconds left, I inadvertently reached into my pocket to get a handkerchief and dry my hands and forehead, and when I did, I leaned against the vault door and it creaked open.”

And there you have it, my friend. The door was never locked! But because Harry BELIEVED it to be locked, it might as well have been. Only the “accident” of leaning on the door changed that belief and saved his career.

It’s the same way with all of us. The things we believe to be insurpassable barriers, obstacles, and problems are just like the bank vault door. The only lock is in our minds, and as long as we simply believe that we CAN’T, well, we can’t.’

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

~ Jelaluddin Rumi
13th century mystic poet

* * * * * *

126. Agent 45:
‘CLASSIFIED – EYES ONLY’

Does that mean you have to kill us all once we have read it?

128. Arthur - September 26, 2011

Nigel (124),

I found this “coming forth by day” (Egyptain–Book of the Dead) which sounds like Robert E. Burton’s “Journey forth by day”.

Anyway, the “Bardo Thodol” the Tibetan Book of the Dead has more interesting ‘concepts’ than Robert E. Burton’s thief of ideas given to Girard Haven.

“People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch”.

Jelaluddin Rumi, Mystic

129. Ollie - September 26, 2011

57. WhaleRider
58. We Were There
61. Arthur
62. Red Hat
66. nigel

WhaleRider wrote, “My guess is that the cult is currently preoccupied with the next doomsday prediction in 2012.” Indeed, Robert Burton is, when there is some spare time and he is not detecting “the message” in yet another circle or square, a number six or four. I came across some recent material:

Robert Burton on 06/22/2011:
“We received wonderful information on our visit to Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, and had four very nice dinners with two students in Dallas, GC and CE. As we were leaving, I mentioned to them that I felt the end was quite near for humanity. Just then there was a flash of lighting in the sky, and that night a tornado appeared in the region. I have been in many earthquakes with Influence C, but this was my first tornado! Related to the ‘circling centuries’ [this refers to a few lines by Virgil: ‘Now the last age by Cumae’s Sibyl sung/Has come and gone, and the majestic roll/Of circling centuries begins anew’], a group in Oakland predicted that the earth would come to an end on May 21st – the day we were leaving Texas. As soon as we drove away and waved goodbye to the two students, within thirty meters we saw this license plate in front of us saying ‘ALL DUN.’ Unbeknownst to us, when we left G and C, it was six o’clock at Apollo – the time at which the prophecy claimed that the world would end. There is a video we made of L pushing a globe. We call it ‘turning the world.’ After the globe began turning, he stopped it, and it weighed five thousand pounds! Then he started turning it again, pushing it four times. What this means is that Leonardo will see us though the Last Judgment. I believe that the Last Judgment will be the work of the angel Paul. Then Leonardo will begin a new civilization here at Apollo, with the new seed people from around the world. Only when we walked away did S realize that it was six o’clock Apollo time.”

Robert Burton on 09/14/2011:
“We have been working with Influence C for forty-four years, and are still waiting for them to realize their plans. But we are much closer – everything is in place now for the Last Judgment. It is becoming much more probable.”

Robert Burton on 09/14/2011:
“Next month, on October 4th, there will 444 days to the Mayan prediction of the end the cycle on December 21, 2012. The messages I am receiving indicate that they will not enact the Last Judgment in 2012, but more likely in 2018. It is based upon several signals they have given. In fact, as I was speaking about this with Dorian today an email arrived and my iPad chimed just as I said ‘2018.’”

130. Agent 45 - September 26, 2011

You should know , Ill Never Tell, that the Agency neither confirms nor denies termination policies & procedures. Suffice to say that these things usually work themselves out in one way or another.

131. WhaleRider - September 26, 2011

Ollie:
Priceless! Thank you so much for your invaluable report.

“I was speaking about this with Dorian today an email arrived and my iPad chimed just as I said ’2018.’”

“As we were leaving, I mentioned to them that I felt the end was quite near for humanity. Just then there was a flash of lighting in the sky, and that night a tornado appeared in the region.”

“As soon as we drove away and waved goodbye to the two students, within thirty meters we saw this license plate in front of us saying ‘ALL DUN.’ ”

~Robert E. Burton

Ideas of reference and delusions of reference involve people having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous phenomena in the world refer to them directly or have special personal significance: ‘the notion that everything one perceives in the world relates to one’s own destiny’.

In psychiatry, delusions of reference form part of the diagnostic criteria for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or bipolar disorder during the elevated stages of mania.”

~Wikipedia

FOFion:
YOU ARE BRILLIANT! Keep up the good work!

One laugh out of a follower would be enough to break their delusion and start them on the road to recovery.

132. brucelevy - September 26, 2011

129. Ollie

Unfuckingbelievable. If people don’t pick up and leave after that horse shit then they’re clowns who deserve what they get.

133. brucelevy - September 26, 2011

“One laugh out of a follower would be enough to break their delusion and start them on the road to recovery.”

I think it’s more likely that one laugh would be enough to have the student removed immediately.

134. Jomo Piñata - September 26, 2011

Let’s not forget Burton told us that Dixon Hill Road was named after Jeane Dixon. (Anybody out there remember her?)

135. Ollie - September 26, 2011

Just got some more recent material. Apologies, it’s very long, but I thought it might be worthwhile…

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“On September 5, 1967, I met Alex Horn. This date marks the moment when angels from Paradise descended upon us, and our quest for divine presence began. We could say that on this day: ‘It has begun.’ Here [referring to a photo] we see a photograph of Alex Horn, showing four fingers on each hand. This [referring to a photo] is the Claremont Hotel and the Berkeley Tennis Club, where I played tennis. I met Influence C hitchhiking because it was just fashionable in the sixties; one would hitchhike from Berkeley to Carmel, and such things. I met Influence C in Berkeley on the crossing of Ashby and Domingo Avenues, like Placido Domingo, the singer. He was born in Spain and raised in Mexico, so it is an omen of my bringing the sequence – the Song of Solomon – to our school. Incidentally, the sequence is a ‘Song of the Self.’ It is four words. This is where our journey began. A doctor picked me up and gave me a ride. He would later turn out to be payment for Dr. Ethan Ha_s. So we did very well! The doctor was on his way to a prospective student meeting on Page Street (like William Page) in San Francisco. This [referring to a photo] is the house at 350 Page Street where I had my prospective student meeting. It is eight – three plus five. This [referring to a photo] is the interior. The owner was quite gracious about inviting us in. Here [referring to a photo] I am before the gated entrance. … I am looking up in gratitude to Influence C. I was just like you, one of many, one of seven billion. There was no particular reason on the surface they would give any of us this gift, but we are exactly the ones they wanted. And now we are all present and we can see why they wanted us.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Soon after I met Influence C on September 5th, forty-four years ago, one of my first observations was that life after death was not a theory. In a sense, this was our school’s first verification. Because before meeting Influence C we had all read literature about life after death, but our faith is a result of our verifications. We have the privilege of verifying that life after death does exist. … This [referring to a photo] is a road sign for Modesto, where I had a car accident. About three months after I met Influence C I had approximately a hundred stitches in my head. It is curious that a small group of students gave me a Miata as a gift last night. This is exactly the same as the car that I crashed in – a tan Volkswagen bug. I made a left-hand turn. The driver behind me stopped, but the driver behind him decided to pass, and I was hit broadside and shoved under a parked truck. I heard a horn (like Alex Horn), and an ‘I’ said, ‘Well, it’s not for me.’ That is the most wrong about anything I have ever been in my life! I woke up and the nurse was saying, ‘Doctor, you did a beautiful job with those stitches.’ They rolled me out of the operating room and I just stood up and walked out. I took a taxi and then a Greyhound bus to my little one-room apartment. It was then that I realized how serious Influence C are about helping us. Of course, we have students who have experienced much worse than that. The Miata is a nice little gift, coming almost forty-four years after the Volkswagen. I also soon realized that I was under the guidance of Leonardo. Very early on I wondered who was helping me and they started signaling Leonardo. Leonardo and I are very different, but also very similar from the point of view of presence. Later I will say a few things about why we are so different. If we survive the Last Judgment then many things will become self-evident.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote by Dave Archer – once a member of Alex Horn’s group – is read: “Alex used to say we were not in the ‘work,’ meaning the Gurdjieff Work. Repeatedly he described our endeavor as a small ‘preparatory school’ at best, saying that if we worked exceedingly hard on ‘growing being,’ one of us MIGHT join the ‘Real Work’ . . . someday.”)
“Patricia Ch_r, who read the angle, studied with Alex Horn for a little while. I studied with him briefly also, for eighteen months. Then he closed the group, leaving ten of us there, and Influence C removed me – they would not give me employment. Finally, I found employment cleaning a woman’s house – and she died unexpectedly. At that point they briefly made me a homeless person. Alex once came up to me with a tiny little Christmas bell about two centimeters tall. His little higher emotional center was working and he rang the bell in front of my third eye, meaning that we have a little school here – he and I. Of course, we have four large bells from a French foundry above Apollo d’Oro now. Inscribed on one of them are the words: ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ We put it there without knowing what we know now. Anyway, even today we are a school in our infancy. During my time with Alex he openly spoke about my role and his role as being conscious roles. Also Influence C did not reveal themselves to anyone else in his group, but in our school everyone verifies Influence C to enter the Way. The inner meaning of ‘entering the way’ is reaching long BE and completing the sequence – entering the way to presence. … This [referring to a photo] is a view of the ranch that Alex owned for a few years. Patricia, would you like to speak about this?”
(Patricia Ch_r: “Yes, it is a functioning vineyard now. Sharon and Alex owned the property and they brought students up there on the weekends to work. You went, did you not?”)
“Yes, I did. I was in charge of the refuse. I remember that Alex once drove by in a red Jaguar that he enjoyed, which had a big dent in the hood. He was watching me in a very sweet way as I worked with the refuse. It was a touching moment in our play.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“In 1967, someone saw something no one else did, a celestial influence coming to make men immortal. Once again, in 1971, the same miracle occurred and the school (Apollo) was started by the grace of Influence C.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Here is a photo of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Rodney Collin, and Alex Horn. Of all of them, we learned the most from Ouspensky. Before the sequence Ouspensky was the most quoted figure by far, but now we rarely mention his name. Why? At the end of his life he said, ‘If man was made to remember himself there must be some simple method. I’ve been looking all of my life but it was never given to me’ – by Influence C.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“As a young person I did not have a desire to teach, but I did it because Influence C asked it of me. Others had a strong desire to become teachers, and that was their downfall.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“From the beginning, I knew I was following the directive of angels. … This [referring to a photo] is a Meissen urn decorated with ascending cherubim. It is now in Anthony and Patricia Ch_r’s collection. We used this image on our bookmark. Did any of you meet the school through this bookmark? (Many students raise their hands.) Very nice! Maybe we should bring it back.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote, supposedly by Alex Horn, is read: “If ever a conscious being is produced from one of my students, then my role as a teacher is complete.”)
“We are expecting to see several conscious beings produced here in our lifetime. This [referring to a photo] is my crystallization celebration at the Lincoln Lodge in 1976; it was quite sweet. … Influence C gave me the date of March 15, 1976 for my crystallization. I went to Phoenix and stayed at the Arizona Biltmore in the desert waiting for it to happen. The astral body was breathing, but the crystallization did not occur. So I returned to Apollo a few days later and my last thought before I went to sleep was ‘Well, it’s not going to happen tonight.’ That was about at 11 pm; then I woke up at 4 am and it was upon me. It was March 19th and world six immediately rose to handle it. I was facing Mount Apollo at the time with my back turned to California.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“I came from so far back to go so far forward. Robert Ma_c used to work with my life sister, Betty Burton, at a restaurant called Saluto in San Francisco. Robert was a waiter and he was carrying a dessert called The Great American Disaster. He and my sister encountered each other in a swinging door and he spilled the dessert all over her. Subsequently, her lover, who owned the restaurant, died, leaving her fifteen million dollars. Curtis said that the Ming screen we once owned was recently sold at auction for a record high and was the only piece of Chinese furniture to ever sell for more than a million dollars. He said that it is now worth fifteen million dollars, so we have fifteen and fifteen – incomparable wealth: presence. My sister is leaving her inheritance to the ASPCA – the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ouspensky said something like, ‘Cats eat rats and rats eat cats.'”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We are destined for immortality – eternal life – and this is what makes Paradise so sweet: it is a deathless place. Also, everyone is conscious and immortal there. Here everyone is mortal and unconscious, except for us.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Our press is the temple of literature for Apollo and civilization. Our presses do not require electricity. We know how to make paper and vellum as well. … Here [referring to a photo] we are planning the new press building… this temple of literature. Here [referring to a photo] is our Petrarch Press this year.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Apollo’s cemetery could be called ‘conscious passage. We can also call it a ‘paymentorium’ – a place of payment.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Apollo is Mecca for ascending souls in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is here that Influence C will take their stand against the Last Judgment. This is the only safe haven.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“For forty years our school kept going forward, until we finally arrived at the greatest ally of presence – the sequence. Never could I detect the nature of the lower self until the sequence came – I could only speak about it philosophically. But now with the sequence we know exactly what we are facing and precisely where this intestinal figure is located.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote by a Fellowship member is read: “Our school is truly a golden chain of love that began when Robert was most graciously accepted into the ranks of the angels.”)
“Who wrote this, dear? (Thomas F_n.) It is very sweet. This [referring to a photo] is Asaf giving the toast at the Crystallization celebration in 2010. Here [referring to a photo] are the four of us at the Getty Villa in the order of appearance: myself, Asaf, Dorian, and then Sasha. It is quite a beautiful sight.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo. This is what having Influence C in one’s life may mean. This [referring to a photo] is our Bactrian camel Rembrandt and his mother… This [referring to a photo] was our animal parade during Journey Forth… A few ibexes will be arriving at Apollo later this month… It was a major step when Influence C began bringing the animals.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We have a beautiful conscious society at Apollo and our inner circle around the globe. The centers are points of light in humanity. … Here [referring to a photo] I am teaching in [our] Grand Pavilion with a statue of Shiva behind me. We are truly becoming immortal here.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“The [live] broadcasts of the meetings are one the most important events in our school’s history. Influence C accelerated everyone’s evolution.”

136. Shirley - September 26, 2011

126 Agent 45

Thank you

137. brucelevy - September 26, 2011

135. Ollie

Unbelievably nauseating I’m dumbfounded. It’s difficult to imagine him being greasier than he was when I knew him, but this is …..? His embellishment and plain dishonesty concerning his past is way beyond pathological. What kind of fuckups are still in the school? Even the word “sheep” understates what they are at this point. Sheep and sociopaths.

Any odd, lone, present member with any vestige of conscience and intelligence should be hightailing it out today. Or they’re fucked.

138. Opus111 - September 26, 2011

“Leonardo and I are very different…” R.E. Burton.

Wisdom coming at you in small bits.

139. Renald - September 26, 2011

Ollie, surely any healthy prospective follower who reads this drivel or any part of it will have the sense to run like mad. How grateful I am for the World Wide Web !

140. Renald - September 26, 2011

Bruce, remember that when the member ship hears this stuff they are already in a trance and totally disconnected from conscience or intelligence. Otherwise they would all burst out laughing uncontrollably for hours on end.

141. Ill Never Tell - September 26, 2011

‘132. brucelevy – September 26, 2011
129. Ollie
Unfuckingbelievable. If people don’t pick up and leave after that horse shit then they’re clowns who deserve what they get.’

It’s not ‘horse shit.’ It’s dung da dung dung DUNG! Camel dung! How sweet it is; is it not?

142. Ill Never Tell - September 26, 2011

‘I’d Walk a Mile for a Camel.’ Smoke your brains out, in the now!

143. nigel - September 26, 2011

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“As a young person I did not have a desire to teach, but I did it because Influence C asked it of me. Others had a strong desire to become teachers, and that was their downfall.”

I think, Burton, you are talking absolute horseshit!!!!! It has been no downfall that I have been teaching at my Academy of Precious Metal Arts for almost 4 years now and over 8 years since I became an Adult Education Teacher (you were elementary and always out of/in your element, depending on how sincere you wish to be as a ‘teacher’ (apostrophes important)…..Nigel.

144. nigel - September 26, 2011

127. I’ll Never Tell

A beautifully rendered ‘history’ about how anyone can stumble across ‘consciousness’. The thing is – there may or may not be lightning and earthquakes – but there is certainty in awakening…..in my case I briefly found it on 31 October/01 November 1990, when I was 33 years old (that number recurs in my ‘play’). Since then there have been waves of recurrence and leave me with the ability/willingness to give of myself. Dear friends on the blog…..I am yours…..Nigel

145. silentpurr - September 26, 2011

Thank you Ollie.
I, myself, am extremely grateful to have ended up on the outside of the fish bowl!
Funny, how RB has become so chatty about his past.
It seems like a kind of “spinning his own version” for the record.
Perhaps he is reading his own reviews…

146. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 26, 2011

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“As a young person I did not have a desire to teach, but I did it because Influence C asked it of me. Others had a strong desire to become teachers, and that was their downfall.”

That statement is so ridiculous, absurd and a lie as would make one cry. Burton pursued an higher education degree at San Jose State Teacher’s College to become employed as a fourth grade elementary school teacher prior to his date of claiming ‘meeting with Influence C.’ And, if there were anyone to look to to see a classical example of ‘teacher feature’ (chief feature of having/wanting to teach people – that is, do fourth line of work – work ON other people), it would be Robert Earl Burton. But there is some truth there: teacher feature is a significant downfall of many a guru.

147. Tim Campion - September 26, 2011

135. Ollie

Truth is indeed stranger, and more entertaining, than fiction! Though he’s in large part addressing a new audience, the script is right out of the 70s. (Though I must admit it’s even more candid and detailed than anything I heard at the time. Perhaps we are approaching the final chapter, and he feels the need to tell his personal story, colorfully embellished as it may be, filling in the blanks.)

Returning to that “hallowed” September 5, 1967 date assures the maximum number of 44th anniversaries to be celebrated in the coming years (along with their attendant fundraising campaigns. Some clever marketing there.) And the newly-repackaged loving relationship with Alex Horn is “sweet”.

And those ALL DUN license plates have a habit of showing up at the wackiest times! (This is at least the third occasion that one’s been trotted out.)

But does it really matter that he makes this stuff up? Perhaps those around him are content to just watch and occasionally participate in the show, to humor the man in his twilight years, heedless of the personal cost and the fact they harbor a criminal.

148. WhaleRider - September 27, 2011

Memorandum

To: all My lowly servants
From: Supreme Master Ka Ching Burton
Date: As of this moment forward

Dearest lowly servants:

Me, Myself and I, your One and Only Supreme Master have been guided by C-Influence through the conscious fairy tale characters known as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of our newest exercise called, Thumb Twiddling.

Since the thumbs are useless appendages that do not fit with the sacred number four, from now on, while dining with Me, Myself and I or listening to Me, Myself and I during My wonderfully awe inspiring lectures, all lowly servants such as yourself, shall from this moment forward, while basking in the light of My Divine Presence, in addition to keeping your gaze fixed soley upon Me, Myself and I, twiddle your useless little thumbs, indicating your absolute love and devotion to Me, Myself and I.

So unless you happen to be driving Me, Myself or I in a car or cooking My food, or handwashing My soiled sheets and undergarments, or clipping My toenails, or performing any other menial task in My service, or working toward your next big juicy or monetary donation, please get started twiddling your thumbs right this instant, and do not stop until the world finally ends which could be very soon or unless I tell you otherwise.

This I guarantee you will assure your lowly place in heaven just below My feet.

149. Golden Veil - September 27, 2011

“Wanting nothing with all your heart, stop the stream.” Buddha

The above quotation (laughing to myself) is one of the many inspirational quotations accompanying new photos of The Teacher and his devoted Students seen in the opulent surroundings of Apollo d’ Oro on the Living Presence website, photos that show an outrageous number of non-native transplanted palm trees, gilded statuary, dinners where Students are seated before rich table settings of Meissen porcelain dishes…

I suppose The Teacher has selected this quotation in reference to one’s inner stream of many “I”s, not in reference to the want of the material luxuries and riches that he is so fond of… or the infinite variety of male heterosexual partners that he so dearly wants and requires for his own personal satisfaction…

Ah, I see the photo of an old Friend, one not seen for many years, looking so happy, remembering himself, perhaps, in a way, but surely forgetting with great effort and intention all that he knows that would darken his shining gaze, if only he reflected more on the realities of this gilded farce…

“We must always remember that we are fighting for this most beautiful state of divine presence.” The Teacher (probably)

http://livingpresence.com/who-we-are/Fellowship-of-Friends.html

150. For the record - September 27, 2011

“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo.”
– Robert Earl Burton

It’s possible that the survival of humanity will depend on protecting itself from people like yourself — psycopaths, and especially those who also own very large weapons.

Apollo can’t even watch over the welfare of it’s own small group of inhabitants, let alone take care of “humanity.” But still he extends his predictions of an “ark” to 2012, and now he’s saying 2018? And of course later it will be 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024…

A few weeks ago, someone wrote in to say everything is “business as usual.”

Well, based on these quotes, definitely Burton is “business as usual.” What is not so clear is whether or not the thinking of his followers is “business as usual,” especially after Goldman’s very bizarre death. Lots of damage control being attempted right now, spin doctoring, distractions, denial, and flat-out lying. I don’t think things are business as usual.

151. Shirley - September 27, 2011

135 Ollie

Thanks for that. The expression “poverty of the imagination” really applies to almost all of it. The content is limited and not especially interesting. I can picture the students sitting quietly and attentively, listening to the humble-toned pronouncements. Isn’t it great to be free of that?

“Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Inscribed on one of the [bells] are the words: ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ We put it there without knowing what we know now.” ”

Hey, I face a small museum complex, and those exact words face my window, chiseled on the stone wall! What a coincidence! Does that make me special, and graced by C Influence, and put me on the path to immortality? Seriously, though, it is deeply ironic to think that “truth” is approachable in a society that practices mind control. The sad thing is, is that when you’re in the grips of it, you don’t recognize it for what it is. It’s only when you’re free of it, looking back at what had happened to your mind and emotions, that you realize what a rigid, invisible prison it was.

“Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We are destined for immortality – eternal life – and this is what makes Paradise so sweet: it is a deathless place. Also, everyone is conscious and immortal there. Here everyone is mortal and unconscious, except for us.””

How does he, or any one, know who is going to survive the death of the body and become immortal? (And what’s the guarantee? That you join the FF and, ergo, your final stop is Paradise?) That is, at best, a palliative statement, meant to comfort “the masses.” A few weeks before my father died, he recounted a dream to me and my friend that made him anxious. We talked about it, and she said to him, “You know you’re going to die, and you don’t know what’s on the other side. No one has come back from the other side to tell us.” I was astonished at her forthrightness; no palliative words there! Death has a finality that is very unsettling. RB’s words deliver certainties where they do not exist.

152. My2Bits - September 27, 2011

I recall once, in a more private setting, a brave student asked RB if ‘the sequence’ was a form of brainwashing. RB answered obtusely and off-the-cuff: Most people don’t have a brain to wash.

There were a few quiet chuckles as, of course, those present were not “most people”.

Ah, the irony.

153. WhaleRider - September 27, 2011

Cult Leader Makes Startling New Claim

OUT HOUSE (CA)-Robert E. Burton, spiritual headmaster for Living Pretense School for Boys, has made a startling claim in his newest book of old quotes, “Conversations with Me, Myself and I”, that “never before could I detect the nature of the lower self” because he has been “living in too much comfort” and recently realized that “insecurity is a wordless higher state.”

“It is that devilish lower self that craves feelings of security, feelings that undoubtedly will satisfy it and create even worse feelings of peace and serenity,” said Burton in a bewilderingly long and convoluted book launching speech, marking the 444,444 day since he started talking to himself.

“We know exactly what we are facing and precisely where this intestinal, warm, and fuzzy figure is located,” he said, eyeing the bulging crotch of the boy standing next to him.

His speech was chock full of his own peculiar style of non sequiturs, ideas of reference, magical thinking, and trance logic.

“One of his best,” said one dazed and confused follower.

He began his speech with a newly revealed date for doomsday recently communicated to him by the angels hovering in his personal conscious iPad.

Apparently in order to provide his followers with even more blissfully wordless states of higher insecurity Burton stated that “instead of December 21, 2012” as predicted by “those unreliable Mayans” the date is now been pushed back until the year 2018.

Followers breathed wordless sighs of relief as Burton shattered their comfortable expectation that the insanity was soon going to end next year and now might last even longer.

154. Tim Campion - September 27, 2011

151. Shirley

The fact that you look out onto a building with the inscription “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” does not count as a shock from C Influence, because you are not one of the Chosen. So please stop trying to make sense of that message.

You were one of the Chosen, but for some reason the Gods decided to find a substitute. And though your name suggests surely you’re one of the Chosen, and your post number 151 could indicate you’re a Woman Number 5, be assured that according to Robert you have no brain to wash and you are no longer chosen.

Actually, the Gods seem to be having a bit of a problem down here on earth. They’ve sent Robert around 15,000 hand-picked Chosen Ones, yet he can’t seem to hang onto them. Well a few of them he does…

This doesn’t exactly promote the Intelligent Design theory.

155. My2Bits - September 27, 2011

Re: Whalerider’s #153

Hilarious!

A good laugh is a healing experience. Thanks.

156. nigel - September 27, 2011

Google-d to send to an old pre-FOF aquaintance who has has not grown up in his life, despite all his worldly fame and success…..Nigel

“When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” I Cor. xiii. 11.

In childhood the mind, pleased with every trifle and void of care, vacantly pursues its little pleasures, and, blessed with ignorance of the ills and disappointments of life, looks forward with sanguine hopes to fairy scenes of happiness; while the bright and tearless eye, resting on the outside of things, sees a paradise in every lawn and grove. A recollection of these childish delights is often cherished with rapture in future years, while the man, forgetful of the frettings and whining of childhood, indulgently inquires, Why were the former days better than these? But he does not ask wisely concerning this. A virtuous manhood is much more to be desired than the state of children. It is capable of far nobler pursuits, of knowledge, enjoyment, and action more congenial with the ends of our being. The child has no high and manly aim, no cares for great and dignified things, little thought for his future well being either in this life or the life to come. His understanding is feeble, his knowledge is small, his pursuits and pleasures are useless to the world, his years are trifled away in pursuing airy visions, and he is a stranger to elevated and substantial happiness. He speaks as a child, prattling unconnectedly of his little concerns; he understands as a child, superficially and contractedly; he thinks as a child, incorrectly and inconsistently; but when he becomes a man he puts away childish things. His taste relishes nobler objects; his conversation is more dignified; his conduct and pursuits are manly; his views and knowledge are enlarged. Spurning the shackles and toys of babyhood, he becomes perhaps a philosopher, and explores with astonished gaze the works of his Creator. His unrestricted fancy, not confined to the policies and interests of kingdoms, wanders among the stars, and delights itself with the numberless worlds which revolve above his head, while his faith and knowledge are employed on the great affairs of the kingdom of God.

157. Ill Never Tell - September 27, 2011

In Burton-think (thought without a brain, so no need for brain washing or a flood), the reason the Great Flood (Fall of California or Armageddon) has not happened yet, and/or is indefinitely postponed, is that the Ark is not ready.

As with Noah, where his neighbors thought he was insane, the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton, could care less what the neighbors think (they just need their brains washed – if they have any), let alone the members, nor will they inner consider about the Ark building and preparations.

Besides the plans for the Ark, which, like the plans for the winery, never reach completion, let alone get built, there is the epic effort to assemble examples of all living things, two by two (or otherwise reproducible), and to keep them alive, viable, and ready for being saved. (Golden Veil: that’s what the ‘outrageous number of non-native transplanted palm trees, gilded statuary,’ the zoo animals and all manner of collections, is for.)

By the time the Ark is ready, not only will the neighbors know about it by sight (like the winery, theatron, or mcmansion), but there will be a real problem with the stench in, as WhaleRider puts it: Out House, California, due to the amount of dung from all the animals. It will smell like that massive cattle ranch/slaughterhouse in central valley California, near Harris Ranch, that one can experience from Interstate 5 when passing that way.

Additionally, as with 1998 and 2006 episodes, there will be a huge number of containerized cargo load 18 wheeler trailers, full of everything that greed can imagine, parked all over the Fellowship of Friends property and elsewhere around the neighborhood. These will be ‘on consignment,’ ‘on credit,’ or, ‘on approval’ orders/acquisitions brought there in hopes that they could be possessed without paying, should disaster actually happen. If not, they will be returned.

Noah’s first mate, the pirate, will have a pet cockatoo on his shoulder that speaks: ‘What fools these mortals be.’ while bobbing its head up and down or looking at you with its head cocked sideways they way REB does it.

158. jbalance - September 27, 2011

Red Hat: “I beg to differ. I know former members with OH homes. Often they are commuters, and get exploited by FOF members who don’t have money and leave in arrears, and often without notice. ”

Red Hat this is true for members and for former members.

There are few former members that live abroad that rent houses to students for few years already.
Often people will rent houses to whom ever come first (if they have money), or to whom ever they feel comfortable with – usually it someone from your own kind.

159. jbalance - September 27, 2011

Renald:”JBalance – Sounds like someone doesn`t want any more competition than there already exists. I could be wrong, I certainly was before.”

What are you saying?

160. Arthur - September 27, 2011

So what does Robert Burton’s “Miata” licence plate read, “follow I”?

Or, “Guru ____One” separated by a bufflao patty?

161. Arthur - September 27, 2011

Is it buffalo?

Maybe it will read “Ark-2-You”?

162. Renald - September 27, 2011

re. 156 – Nigel – Loveliest piece of sarcasm on the blog.

re. 157 – Nigel – When will burton reveal the great mystery of the cocked head? Or is 40 years not long enough for him to realize the connection? Maybe JBalance can help him figure it out. Duh !

re. 158 – JBalance – Take you head out of …………….Never mind, keep it there. It looks best on you though I understand that it is hard to read in there.

163. Opus111 - September 27, 2011

Arthur:

Perhaps: “F ARK U”

164. jbalance - September 27, 2011

Renald
Thanks for the clarification.
I guess I offended you, you Fake.

165. Tim Campion - September 27, 2011

135. Ollie

In what form did you receive this “material”? Is this your transcription from video? Official transcripts? Is the information edited?

166. Kid Shelleen - September 27, 2011

“Let’s not forget Burton told us that Dixon Hill Road was named after Jeane Dixon. (Anybody out there remember her?)”

Sure, didn’t she foresee the coming of Mason Williams and psychically help him survey the Mason-Dixon Lion? Then some years later they recorded “Classical Gas,” which of course is caused by reading Dante and eating pepperoni pizza too fast. I could be wrong about all this, but WTF, some people will believe anything.

167. nigel - September 27, 2011

…..to Renald and Arthur…..

…..from W B Yeats – “The People”…..

“I might have had no friend that could not mix
Courtesy and passion into one like those
That saw the wicks grow yellow in the dawn:”

(in the hope/terror that my hypo-manic state might not result in an ‘all-nighter’, and I do not mean sexually; I mean that I may not sleep tonight)…..Nigel.

168. For the record - September 27, 2011

165, Tim Campion

A few observations about Ollie:

Ollie rarely answers a question directly if at all, and I would be surprised if he answers your question. Or he’ll provide some cryptic answer. My guess is that someone “provides” material to him, just as they provide him other material — apparent membership statistics, and so forth. Burton is trying to affect the message on the blog in subtle ways. Of course it’s not a good idea — it just fuels the flames of commentary about his cult — but Burton is crazy enough to try it. He just can’t let it go.

My take: Burton is delusional enough to believe that talking about the end of the world will attract followers (by sharing his usual nonsense about 2012, 2018, etc, on the blog), and that it will somehow convince those who have left that they should return.

I find it interesting that Ollie rarely if ever shares his own commentary about whatever he posts. And if he does, it’s not very extensive.

169. nigel - September 27, 2011

…..from “End of the World Predictions” (Google-d)

With a bit of effort it is possible to list at least 25 “End of the World as we Know It” predictions. Some of them are pretty unlikely – even bizarre – but some are definitely more realistic and therefore, frightening. Not all of these predictions will destroy the planet but most will remove humanity once and for all. We’ve listed the top 25 predictions based on Likelihood and Impact (a classic risk analysis predictions matrix.) It’s the end of the world as we know it. Remember …

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, It’s the end of the world as we know it … and I feel fine.”

The famous chorus from the REM song of the same title and published as part of their 1987 Album “Document”.

170. For the record - September 27, 2011

Of course, a lot of what Ollie posts speaks for itself — “Res Ipsa Loquitur” — a steadily declining membership base, and completely insane comments about “Apollo” being the last hope for civilization. I suppose commentary is not necessarily needed.

But sometimes the lack of commentary (possibly) speaks for itself as well.

171. Renald - September 27, 2011

Re. 167 – Nigel – Some sex might guarantee you some sleep.
Works for me.

172. Renald - September 28, 2011

Re 164 jbalance – Just keep making those teaching payments.

173. Arthur - September 28, 2011

End of the world prediction: Jim Morrison of the DOORS said, “nobody gets out of here alive”.

Which sort of reminds me of the Jelaluddin Rumi quote, “people are going back and forth across the DOORsill where the two worlds touch”.

I have a documentary video filmed in a Tibetan village of a “Bardo Thodol” reading to a corpse. The claim is that “hearing” is possible.

If true then what does it mean? It’s scary because Socrates says basically the same thing. Socrates said those who hate go to a place surrounded by those who hate.

How did Socrates and the Buddhist monk know?

174. Arthur - September 28, 2011

Nigel (167),

I can’t have sex. Nobody around to have sex with besides I would quickly run out of breath or have a heart attack.

I have no advice for you about your “terror” except I have read that Indica Cannabis (body high) will knock you into slumber and carry you along on a cloud of sweet dreams.

I have no personal knoweldge of this.

175. Tim Campion - September 28, 2011

168. For the record

Thanks for jumping in there for “Ollie”. I guess “he” doesn’t need to answer after all.

Can you substantiate the claim “Burton is trying to affect the message on the blog in subtle ways”? What trace do you see of his direct involvement?

176. jbalance - September 28, 2011

Renald :
I finished making TP long ago.

177. Shirley - September 28, 2011

135 Ollie’s reportage

After thinking some more about RB’s somewhat unimaginative comments reported above, it struck me that there was the usual adulation and never ending preoccupation with opulence and material wealth. Students take their cues from their teacher. If the teacher (note, no capital “T”) takes great delight in auction house activities (something I vaguely remember him asking a few students to do in NY in the 1970s, on the FF’s behalf), then students will emulate that admiration. I assume it is still the case that many students who join are relatively unsophisticated; I don’t mean that students may not have “street smarts”, have college degrees (or whatever), a profession that they chose or are good in. Rather, that most students were not born into aristocracy (although some were; I’m sure there are many tales to tell, there) or great family wealth (and that was also true). That kind of background and upbringing brings with it a kind of ease in exactly the strata of society that RB seemed to want to belong to (but of course, not “of it,” since “it” was “Life”). But my recollection is that many students were somewhat in awe of the expensive restaurants, auction houses, rare book dealers, and so on. I’m mostly referring to social behavior, here, because those are some of my memories of “going around” with students at RB’s behest, or occasionally with him. The FF was like a finishing school. If nothing else came from our experiences in the FF, at least there was a bit of exposure to what money can buy, even if it’s your own teaching payment that’s subsidizing those extravaganzas.

My point is twofold: that, for a spiritual group (sorry, a “school”, with a capital S. Never to be confused with a mere spiritual group), the FF sure panders to A Influence: Money; wealth; privilege; luxury. I hate to say this, but great wealth is usually made on the backs of the working poor (that was not meant to be a double entendre, but you can read into it what you’d like). If we who left the FF (thank god) were kind of honest with ourselves, wouldn’t we admit that we, too, sort of, kind of, enjoyed that atmosphere when we were in the FF? Even if we never got to ride in his Rolls Royce, even if we were only allowed to wait on his tables (I didn’t do either; doesn’t seem like I missed anything, either), we were around it, and we were given the blatant message that we had The Best of The Best. We were somehow preserving the most beautiful representatives of culture. That seemingly glamorous lifestyle of constant “refinement” is very much on the surface, like pressboard. It’s not solid through and through, like hardwood. It’s nouveau riche aspirations gone amuck, paid for by people holding two jobs (that’s the way it was when I was paying my dues).

And that is my second point. I have no complaints about economic security. Frankly, having a modicum of financial security is important; otherwise, you spend your waking hours stressed out over how you’re going to make ends meet. Half of the world lives like that, or worse. But in the FF, for all of the FF’s admiration for Meissen, Mercedes Benzes (or whatever cars are now the vogue in the FF), Hermes scarves — many students live(d) hand to mouth, scraping together their monthly teaching payments as a priority, rent second. Xray’s posts, several pages ago, about having to pay 50 cents for olive oil at lunch, when it used to be free, and the consequences of the Lincoln Lodge kitchen being shut down and its effects on salaried members, is a direct case in point. Class stratification doesn’t get more separated than in that kind of example, where the person at the apex lives how he wants, gets what he wants, and doesn’t have to think about how it will be paid for, and the people doing manual labor all day and need to eat properly and get $400/month are having to count their nickels. The stunning thing is that FF members accept it willingly. We all did, but now we’re out of the FF, and we can feel good that we’re not subsidizing that anymore.

178. Arthur - September 28, 2011

Sounds like a pyramid scheme.

179. Shirley - September 28, 2011

And you know the pharoahs didn’t help haul those blocks to make their own pyramids.

180. For the record - September 28, 2011

175. Tim Campion

Tim, I really don’t know about Ollie… If he (she?) has his hands on so much information about this cult and knows some sources within it, then hopefully he can be encouraged to share some of what he’s thinking about all of this… Ollie must have some remarkable insights, since he’s apparently very close to all of this.

Maybe I missed some of this posts where he actually describes his attitudes, concerns, or reactions to Burton and the FOF. I’m also curious where he gets his information — for example, membership stats, and why he would believe the stats that are being provided to him — more than anything else that someone might tell him within the FOF. Statistics are so easy to manipulate — to sounds better, seem better, look better. (Of course Burton would never do this, right?) But Ollie never divulges or provides any hints about his sources.

Until he shares a bit more, and drops his impartiality “act”, then I’m skeptical about his intentions.

Regarding Burton: Nothing direct, but I generally believe that at least some of the people who try to “disagree” with the general message of the blog are doing “third line” — which means they have been directed from the cult leader himself. The conventional wisdom is that Burton doesn’t care what is reported on the blog. People may believe that he’s “above all of this.” I sincerely doubt that. He’s curious and interested. Linda reportedly said the blog is the worst thing to ever happen to the school? I’m sure Burton wouldn’t disagree

Although, I do disagree: Burton, ironically, is the worst thing to ever happen to the school.

Anyway, I’d be glad to be proven wrong about Ollie. Maybe he’s actually protecting his/her sources by not saying too much. Who knows, but something seems a bit off about his posts. It’s just my gut feeling.

181. nigel - September 28, 2011

Walt Whitman, as one of my two guardian angels, wrote succinctly about the way I feel at this stage/day in my life…..Nigel.

“I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”
― Walt Whitman

182. nigel - September 28, 2011

And one of Shakespeare’s (my other guardian angel) sonnets (maybe our common thread on this blogsite – maintaining our sense of self whilst offering our thoughts and experiences)…..

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. “

183. Ill Never Tell - September 28, 2011

166. Kid Shelleen:

Very funny.

‘A certain man caught a bird in a trap.
The bird says,
“Sir, you have eaten many cows and sheep
in your lifetime, and you’re still hungry.
The little bit of meat on my bones won’t satisfy you either.
If you let me go, I’ll give you three pieces of wisdom.
One I’ll say standing on your hand. One on your roof.
And one I’ll speak from the limb of that tree.”

The man was interested.
He freed the bird and let it stand on his hand.
“Number One:
Do not believe an absurdity,
no matter who says it.
”’
~ 127. Ill Never Tell

* * * * * *

168. For the record – September 27, 2011
‘165, Tim Campion

A few observations about Ollie:

Ollie rarely answers a question directly if at all, and I would be surprised if he answers your question. Or he’ll provide some cryptic answer. My guess is that someone “provides” material to him, just as they provide him other material — apparent membership statistics, and so forth. Burton is trying to affect the message on the blog in subtle ways. Of course it’s not a good idea — it just fuels the flames of commentary about his cult — but Burton is crazy enough to try it. He just can’t let it go.

My take: Burton is delusional enough to believe that talking about the end of the world will attract followers (by sharing his usual nonsense about 2012, 2018, etc, on the blog), and that it will somehow convince those who have left that they should return.

I find it interesting that Ollie rarely if ever shares his own commentary about whatever he posts. And if he does, it’s not very extensive.’

No offence intended by this to Ollie (or anyone else):
Some people are professional angle givers. In order to not be too cryptic myself and thus act like a professional angle giver, I will elaborate: One of the basic characteristics of a professional angle giver is to be elusive to the degree that resembles teflon; nothing should stick to one. Additionally, the angle should leave everyone hearing it in a state of profound silence as they contemplate the deep, or not-so-deep, boundless wisdom and/or meaning of what was said. This can be done with real knowledge, being and understanding, or, with a meer absurdity. Afterward, many join the fray, but the initiator walks away.

* * * * * *

173. Arthur – September 28, 2011:
‘How did Socrates and the Buddhist monk know?’

They passed that way before and were familiar with the territory?

* * * * * *

177. Shirley – September 28, 2011:

Good post. Summed up:
‘SuperCelestial thought; subterranean actions.’

* * * * * *

BTW, in my post: 157. Ill Never Tell, this paragraph:
‘Noah’s first mate, the pirate, will have a pet cockatoo on his shoulder that speaks: ‘What fools these mortals be.’ while bobbing its head up and down or looking at you with its head cocked sideways they way REB does it.’
should read:
Noah’s first mate, the pirate, will have a pet ‘cock or two’ on his shoulder that speaks: ‘What fools these mortals be.’ while bobbing head up and down or looking at you with its cocked head sideways the way REB does it.

* * * * * *

180. For the record:
Burton, ironically, is the worst thing to ever happen to the school.

Yes, this is very true, and the sooner the whole organization realizes it, cuts its losses, gets rid of that impediment, and moves on, the better.

‘The bird flew and lit on the man’s roof.
“Number Two:
Do not grieve over what is past. It’s over.
Never regret what has happened.”’
. . .
‘Don’t give advice to someone
who’s groggy and failing asleep.
Don’t throw seeds on the sand.
Some torn places cannot be patched.’
~ 127. Ill Never Tell
Move on, or, move out, people!

184. Agent 45 - September 28, 2011

Speaking of Linda T. and the Hierarchy –
The Prime Minister of Italy is reported to have referred to the Prime Minister of Germany as an “Unfuckable Lard Ass.”
That reminds me of something Bruce might have said.

185. surelyujest - September 28, 2011

But there are people who would collapse into dust if their puffed-up posture of professional angle-giver were deflated. They’ve invested their full identity posing as “one who knows.” The saddest ones learned their trick in the Fellowship, but continue trotting it out decades after they left.

The very saddest do not even have another human that they can exchange knowing looks with after the angle is given — they are reduced to looking wise in front of their computer screen, forever hoping that someone will join their one-person meeting.

Biscuits will be served during refreshments…

186. brucelevy - September 28, 2011

185. surelyujest

Don’t forget, even in the FOF, there were those who immediately took these “angle-givers” for the douche bags they were and are. For many of us, the higher and faster they rose in the monkeyarchy, the more they were seen for what they were.

187. Shirley - September 28, 2011

I remember those lofty “from one angle of thoughts”. I’m sure I was one of the prime offenders. The Hermes scarf and tie gives the posturing added sheen and validity. Another way to shut people up at meetings was to humiliate them with a public “photograph.”. A good one is “You’re being mechanical,” because you weren’t supposed to answer that. “Buffer!”. See what fun we had, messing with each other’s minds?

Does anyone remember the origin or reasoning behind that? I remember hearing people retorting to each other at meetings, “(What you said) was just one angle of thought.”. A euphemism for “I don’t like what you just said.”. Wasn’t it originally to remind a person of how “subjective” we are? (That implies that only someone with”higher faculties” was objective, and we know who that was.) It’s curious that FF students were/are always handicapped by the FF dogma that “the lower cannot see the higher.”. It guarantees RB’s autonomy and power, until you realize that you can allow yourself to question and doubt it. How often did he ask whether we had verified C influence (and our dutiful arms went up) , but he probably never said, “You should verify for yourselves that I am what I say that I am, and if you cannot, then test me and challenge me with questions.”

188. For the record - September 28, 2011

183. Ill Never Tell

“One of the basic characteristics of a professional angle giver is to be elusive to the degree that resembles teflon; nothing should stick to one.”

For teflon coating: If you don’t state a *new* opinion — in other words, one that isn’t already accepted and approved by the group — then you don’t need to be concerned about anyone responding negatively to your opinion, or questioning it. The ego isn’t fond of that.

185. surelyujest

“But there are people who would collapse into dust if their puffed-up posture of professional angle-giver were deflated. They’ve invested their full identity posing as “one who knows.” ”

I think that’s one of the main reasons that many people hesitate to leave. They fear that no one out there will listen.

But what”s “saddest” to me is when the speaking rarely touches on topics that are off-limits — only topics and attitudes and viewpoints that are approved by the group. And of course the topic can never be a critique of the FOF or Burton, and there can never be an argument, and never a statement such as, “No, that’s not right –or– “But that doesn’t make sense” –or– “That seems absurd.” No questioning. No skepticism. Nothing direct and to the point. You may catch some flack for that.

Anyway, hopefully everyone speaks as “someone who knows” — otherwise why speak? If there’s arrogance and hostility, that’s another thing, but hopefully we’re sharing what we know here with the impulse being to help ourselves and help others to process everything and understand it better.

This all relates to Ames’ comments about Burton’s attempts to sound “certain”. People are trying to sound certain like Burton. I always laugh when Burton throws in the word “maybe” or “possibly” — he knows that too much certainty is sounding increasingly absurd. So increasingly he says “maybe” we will save humanity and “possibly” — not definitely something is true or will be true. It’s almost like he’s pretending that he’s not pretending that he’s certain.

“We have the privilege of verifying that life after death does exist.”

What he’s implying: If you join the Fellowship of Friends, you too can have life after death. Ignore all of the problems, ignore that I’m a psychopath. Pay the money. The ends justify the means.

189. Gaya - September 28, 2011

all this comments about Ollie. It is not difficult to access this material about fof. Does he have to comment this material? No,it speaks for itself! It is so ridiculous. There is no need to comment.

190. Golden Veil - September 28, 2011

188 For the Record

“I always laugh when Burton throws in the word “maybe” or “possibly” — he knows that too much certainty is sounding increasingly absurd. So increasingly he says “maybe” we will save humanity and “possibly” — not definitely something is true or will be true. It’s almost like he’s pretending that he’s not pretending that he’s certain.”

Or starting to try to cover his ass in case once again his predictions don’t pan out… he, too, learns!

191. nigel - September 28, 2011

“Your Wondrous Stories” – lyrics by Jon Anderson of the group ‘Yes’..

I awoke this morning
Love laid me down by the river
Drifting I turned on up stream
Bound for my forgiver
In the giving of my eyes to see your face
Sound did silence me
Leaving no trace
I beg to leave, to hear your wonderous stories
Beg to hear your wonderous stories ‘LA AHA’

He spoke of lands not far
Nor lands they were in his mind
Of fusion captured high
Where reason captured his time
In no time at all he took me to the gate
In haste I quickly
Checked the time
If I was late
I had to leave, to hear your wonderous stories
Had to hear your wonderous stories ‘LA AHA, LA AHA’

Hearing
Hearing hearing your wonderous stories
Hearing your wonderous stories
It is no lie I see deeply into the future
Imagine everything
You’re close
And were you there
To stand so cautiously at first
And then so high
As he spoke my spirit climbed into the sky
I bid it to return
To hear your wonderous stories
Return to hear your wonderous stories
Return to hear your wonderous stories
LA AH LA AH AH AH

Hearing
Hearing
Hearing
Hearing
Hearing

192. For the record - September 28, 2011

By the way, just a question…

Has anyone ever made the very positive step of escaping this cult without feeling and expressing “negativity” toward it?

Different people process things differently, so I’m sure this had degrees, but I really feel this is the common thread that helps people wake up — coming in touch with negative feelings, and even more importantly, expressing them.

“Wait, wait. So Girard, what you’re saying is that we should accept what Robert Burton says no matter what? Are you completely out of your fucking mind?!”

193. nigel - September 28, 2011

In my ‘at the moment’ rapid-cycling bipolar state, I ‘hit the wall’ (marathon-running term) and came crashing down today to emotional depletion. One of my wonderful students, whom I had to cancel for tonight, who is a tall and graceful King-of-Hearts Saturn-Mars with a quickly-grasped metal-work skills base, phoned me and said “No problem with the cancellation, Nigel – your health comes first. By the way – a silver lining – today is my wedding anniversary. My husband will be pleased to see me home early”…..Serendipity or what?????…..Nigel.

INVICTUS
By
W E Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbow’d.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

194. nigel - September 28, 2011

…..from ‘Quote Monster’…..

“Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.” (anon)

195. For the record - September 28, 2011

Take care of yourself, Nigel. Thanks for sharing so much positive energy on the page.

196. nigel - September 28, 2011

…..”Emulate what you admire, not what you are told to do”…..(quote from me, today, Nigel (a little Sun Child in his innermost being)…..

Nat King Cole – “Nature Boy” – lyrics…..

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eye
But very wise
Was he

And then one day
A magic day he came my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”

(instrumental interlude)

“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”

197. silentpurr - September 28, 2011

Looking at Robert in retrospect, so to say, I wonder if he actually ever did ANY “work”?!!
If Ollie’s posts are actual (129 and 135), then Robert appears to be someone who never even bothered to learn how to separate himself from HIMSELF, which he seems to be entirely full of.
-he did touch on having been one of the 7 billion, but unlike the rest of us, only momentarily.
He has carefully selected from the 4th way and the other great “material”, as a child at dinner would, what he prefers, ignoring the rest. Robert’s self assurance glistens with vanity and greed.

To me, he appears prideful of his “cult” status which, for him, is perfectly legitimized by his imagined association with Egypt and it’s “cultish religion”. The pharaoh urged his people to work hard in this life to be REWARDED in the afterlife..
Paymentorium or just desert?

198. silentpurr - September 28, 2011

“just desserts”.

199. James McLemore - September 28, 2011

Credit where credit is due………..

eden ahbez (born George Alexander Aberle)

Wrote “Nature Boy”

200. fofblogmoderator - September 28, 2011

#189 is new

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