jump to navigation

Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 115 October 10, 2011

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.
trackback

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/

Advertisements

Comments

1. WhaleRider - October 10, 2011

Someone:
“…yet after reading the same content being ruminant again and again by the same people, amongst them those who left during the 80′s and the early 90′s, I realized that supporting what they say is like encouraging people to gulp while being in a Weight Watchers session.”

Do you mean supporting the blog for you is now like encouraging others to swallow more food in toxic amounts so they get fatter and feel worse?

That certainly isn’t the case for me; food is nourishment, and yet I feel revulsion when I hear even in small amounts what burton is up to these days. I also feel more in touch with my anger that his rape and exploitation of others continues unabated.

A more apt metaphor might be that you feel supporting the blog is like encouraging people during a group session for bulimics to eat vomit, get sickened, and then vomit more. Which would hold true…except I feel better after purging about what I read on the blog of how toxic burton has become, than I do when calling Ralph on the big white telephone if I’m sick.

To be fair, I think if you started reading the blog over again from page one until now, you’d see an evolution of concepts and ideas as we digest our cult experiences over time. The language used on the blog now is far from the same as it was several years ago when the blog first began.

The blog is ongoing because the cult is ongoing. It is not like reading the same petition again and again.

Predators, like cults, learn to adapt in order to remain fed or they cease to exist. So too, must our warnings. Are you expecting the cult to warn people of itself?

Shall we “let go” of warnings on packs of cigarettes, too? Or do we adapt the message using the victim’s point of view, like this:

2. Mr. Burp - October 10, 2011

For the record 164. 188.

This ‘ego’ thing is thick and pointless. Everybody has an ego but it seems that the first chicken who cries:“EGO!” wins the argument. It’s just another put-down like the ‘photographs’ inside the FoF mental institute.

The puzzle and its puzzlers at times do depict a picture that I dislike: the picture illustrates how allegedly experienced grown-ups say absurd and contradictory things, but I guess that a good BS detector has to be developed and applied with a double standard.

silentpurr 165.

That reminds me of the last time I saw a goddess; she was on her knees in the middle of the Galleria library, and with her mouth full said: “Mmphhhfff…!”

3. nigel - October 10, 2011

Too true, WhaleRider…..

Because I suffer now from Type 2 Diabetes and have been smoking for some while, that is what I am trying to give up, mainly because no-one needs an amputee-teacher (constricted arteries and veins and all that!)…..Nigel

4. Agent 45 - October 10, 2011

Personally I have my doubts that any of this does any good,
but here goes a copy/paste:

A typical former inner-circle member speaks

I joined in Timbuktu center in 1991 and moved to Isis (at that time called Camelot) in 1992. My experience with other students had been very good. Many of the young women were very beautiful, and the older ladies paid very well. I worked in the vineyard, napping in the afternoons. The salary was low, but I made extra money by selling Fellowship gasoline and vineyard supplies to the locals. I made it clear to them that I despised them because they were “life”. I regret this deeply now. I realize that I should have despised them because they were ignorant redneck Yankee half-breeds, not because they were “life”.
One day in the 1990s, when I was in the Ming House, sanding down the Chinese furniture, Robert came up to me and said, “C Influence want to suck you.” I said, “Don’t you mean: C Influence want you to suck me.” He repeated, “No, C Influence want to suck you.” “ “Well, if that is what they want” I replied.
Immediately I felt a supernatural force sucking me. I later became convinced that Liberacce was working with the School.
Another time, when Robert himself was sucking me, I asked him what was the meaning of his homosexuality. He replied, “mmmm mmmm mmmm”. I was shocked that this refined man and supposedly conscious teacher would speak with his mouth full!
After that, I traveled with him extensively, in his private jet, in the yacht, and eventually in the hot air balloon, where he would hold helium parties. I was given a position of responsibility and I was the one who purchased the animals for his private zoo. I became an international expert in zebras! I’m still very fond of those stripey li’l fellas.
But the sex became more and more extreme. One time Robert tickled me until I bled. Then there was the nasal sex. He did not use protection, and I still have catarrh. Then there were the circle jerks, and the “shooting” contests. Man, those tapestries went through a lot of dry cleaning.
I felt that I had become a sex slave. In addition to Robert, there were the new Russian girls. How they cried when I told them that Robert used me for his evil purposes, it was a very good chat up line. To earn more money I provided services to some of the older male musicians, and I don’t mean page turning.
Robert’s teaching began to descend when his deafness became more pronounced. One day I confronted him and said to him, “Robert, I think that it is immoral that you use these young men for sex.” He replied, “Yes, I would like sea bass for the entrée tonight, dear.”
The final straw came when Robert simply cut me off and expelled me from the school, just like that. How can this be love if he can just cut us off like that? OK, I had just absconded with $200,000, his collection of ancient Greek jewelry and a Monet, but I thought that his love was meant to be unconditional.
My first years out of the school were very difficult for me. I met up with many ex-students but, to be frank, they didn’t pay very well. The out of court settlement from the FOF helped, I must say.
Eventually I gravitated toward Advaitic sex therapy and orgone generators. Like many ex-students, I am now grateful for my negativity. Although I bear no ill will to Robert, I was very disappointed that the letter bombs did not go off at the right time. I have not really thought about the Fellowship for a long time. It was someone else with my IP address who has been searching for “Fellowship of Friends” on Google twice every day for the last five years.
My advice to fence sitters is: come to me. I know many of you. I am a bit older now, but still in good shape and my rates are very reasonable, as many on this blog will confirm.

~Zack

5. nigel - October 10, 2011

Agent 45…..

Ha, ha, ha…..but very apt…..keep on posting…..Nigel.

6. For the record - October 11, 2011

Burp,
So, you don’t like the word “ego,” and I suppose you also dislike the words “shill”, “sociopath” and “cult” or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and I suppose you also dislike the word “uncomfortable.” Words and self-expression are disallowed in the cult. Not here, AFIK.

The word “ego” in the context that I used it is the desire to be separate from others — better than them, superior to others. It’s the desire to draw attention away from others and what they’re saying, and draw more attention toward yourself and what you’re saying, no matter how much value might be found in instead paying attention to them and what they’re saying. That’s ego. Rather than a conversation with information being exchanged, it’s an attempt to stomp upon others and what they have to say, and to control the conversation. Ego loves to disrupt and obfuscate, and to confuse, break down, and discourage others. In extreme cases, it’s a need for power over others, but I think most of the time it’s just a little voice inside that wants attention because the world isn’t responding to us the way we would like. Where humor could be an eye opener, the humor of the ego tries to close eyes, and close minds, and the close the door to anything productive. In short, it’s not really that funny at all — just ugly.

7. silentpurr - October 11, 2011

Mr. Burp you Idiot! that was no goddess! The person you heard utter ‘Mmpffhh’ is an imposter!
… besides a goddess knows to never speak with her mouth full.

8. Just the Facts Ma'am - October 11, 2011

The post described below has been removed from the The Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition. It is possible that it was removed because John had died and could not have posted it. Other possibilities might apply.

Page 114/#101: ‘Just the Facts Ma’am – October 4, 2011
Found on The Fellowship of Friends Investigation Petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?djindjin&1
Entry #205. JOHN ESAM
Missing US$40,000 possibly more out of John’s estate. He died ill and destitute on 24th June 2011. The Fellowship took control of his savings and his pension money and gifted it back to themselves. Theft/fraud/deceit/corecion/duress etc. When will law authorities enforce criminal charges against this cult?How many more people must be robbed and coerced by this cult? Also they write fraudulent Wills and Power of Attorney documents. The Fellowship attorney – David Springfield is definitely dodgy.’

Not entirely completely disappeared from the all-seeing internet.

9. Wouldnt You Like To Know - October 11, 2011

The link at the top of this page with label: ‘trackback’ does not go to the index page, like the link on the tab that says ‘home.’ Should it? Instead, it goes to the same page as one is looking at.

10. fofblogmoderator - October 11, 2011

From WordPress;

In a nutshell, TrackBack was designed to provide a method of notification between websites: it is a method of person A saying to person B, “This is something you may be interested in.” To do that, person A sends a TrackBack ping to person B.
A better explanation is this:

Person A writes something on their blog.
Person B wants to comment on Person A’s blog, but wants her own readers to see what she had to say, and be able to comment on her own blog
Person B posts on her own blog and sends a trackback to Person A’s blog
Person A’s blog receives the trackback, and displays it as a comment to the original post. This comment contains a link to Person B’s post
The idea here is that more people are introduced to the conversation (both Person A’s and Person B’s readers can follow links to the other’s post), and that there is a level of authenticity to the trackback comments because they originated from another weblog. Unfortunately, there is no actual verification performed on the incoming trackback, and indeed they can even be faked.

Most trackbacks send to Person A only a small portion (called an “excerpt”) of what Person B had to say. This is meant to act as a “teaser”, letting Person A (and his readers) see some of what Person B had to say, and encouraging them all to click over to Person B’s site to read the rest (and possibly comment).

Person B’s trackback to Person A’s blog generally gets posted along with all the comments. This means that Person A can edit the contents of the trackback on his own server, which means that the whole idea of “authenticity” isn’t really solved. (Note: Person A can only edit the contents of the trackback on his own site. He cannot edit the post on Person B’s site that sent the trackback.)

hope that helps

11. Wouldnt You Like To Know - October 11, 2011

Therefore, no relevance to tracking back to prior pages of a particular blog.

12. Agent 45 - October 11, 2011

What’s the last thing a student want to hear while giving Robert Burton a blow job? “Thanks, but I’m not Robert Burton.”
(Adapted from a Willie Nelson joke)

13. WhaleRider - October 11, 2011

Agent 45:
Thanks for your post. It made me feel very grateful I left before the nasal sex started.

You are so lucky to be free from the shackles of gay male dominance!

14. surelyujest - October 11, 2011

When I hear 4th Way devotees speak about “life” people, I am struck by how little these people bear any real resemblance to actual people I know. These “life” people are cartoons, caricatures that serve to reinforce the believer’s view that he KNOWS, and the other 7 billion don’t. In my experience, “making efforts” in the 4th Way style actually decreases understanding, as you begin to substitute deep engagement with others for being satisfied slapping superficial labels on them and calling it higher understanding. Also, how quickly the believer always turns to impossible to verify concepts such as astral planes and the afterlife on the moon. It doesn’t even pass the 4th Way’s own demand not to lie, so it’s a FAIL within a FAIL. Add to that the very childish statement that anyone who doesn’t believe is stupid, and you have your very own self-reinforcing feedback loop of self-deception.

It is true that the 4th Way believer does not see much deep thinking or feeling from “life” people. People aren’t stupid, and they can tell when you are judging them. They usually revert to superficial behavior to get rid of you. They certainly will not render themselves vulnerable by revealing their deeper feelings and insights into life with someone who clearly deems himself superior. It’s the same way that homophobic people don’t ever seem to know any gay people. Homosexuals either steer clear of them, or don’t reveal their true natures to them, knowing their prejudice. It’s precisely the same thing.

Okay, let’s say for a moment that there are people who live on the astral plane, and transform everything, and never express negative emotions and are always awake. Where are they? Has anyone ever met one of these saints? I’ve been alive a long time, and I’ve never met one. Pointing to some historical marvel is not proof of consciousness either. In a thousand years when everyone is living in mud huts again, they will think that a civilization that could go to the moon must certainly have been “conscious.”

I would say beware any so-called System that JUST HAPPENS to put YOU at the top of the spiritual food chain. Doesn’t that make you just a little suspicious? It should.

So let’s look at what we do know. Let’s examine the behavior of the 4th Way’s biggest proponents for clues of advancement. I see lives of alcoholism, addiction to smoking and food and sex, and so on. Not that impressive. As for our current supporters, all you have to do is criticize their beliefs and they become literally spitting mad. Negative, that is. So after 30+ years of making efforts, you can’t even refrain from expressing negativity just because someone says your beliefs are a fantasy? Makes you think, or it should.

15. surelyujest - October 11, 2011

Also, too: I feel not only duped by the Fellowship of Friends, but by the 4th Way in general. Let me make a parallel: Galileo no doubt grew up thinking that the sun orbited the Earth. Once he discovered the opposite is true, he tried to educate people of that fact. This is not because he subconsciously believed that the sun really did orbit Earth, and was terrified it might be true, and therefore needed to convince others to accept his new theory so he could convince himself. That is ridiculous.

16. For the record - October 11, 2011

surelyujust 14 and 15.

“I would say beware any so-called System that JUST HAPPENS to put YOU at the top of the spiritual food chain. Doesn’t that make you just a little suspicious? It should.”

Yes. I wish it had. But appealing to a person’s ego is one of the hooks. You are lucky. You are special. You are better. You are more divine. I admire people who have encountered cults like “Living Presence” aka Fellowship of Friends and went running in the other direction — not because “the truth” frightened them, but because they dogma and the superstition and the obvious deception and stupidity of it all frightened them. It just took us longer; thankfully we eventually did wake up, ironically. And still waking up.

17. surelyujest - October 11, 2011

16 For the record

Exactly. We had that special combination of gullibility and vanity — the luck of being one in a billion!

All that imaginary talk of souls. That was the biggest lie of all. How do you verify a soul, or its lack? It’s pure belief — only it does not even have the honesty of ordinary religion, which talks openly of faith. It is faith wrapped in paralyzing labyrinths of excuses about why it is different. Gurdjieff said that one day we would have “facts.” Nice ploy. I am still waiting. True believers continue on, mistaking messages on license plates and confirmation bias for actual reality.

18. For the record - October 11, 2011

Completely agree. It’s a mystery of existence. Do we have a soul or not? I don’t know. I can imagine. I can reflect upon it. I can use the mystery to live life more passionately and to treat people with kindness and to be present to my life, but unfortunately I can also use the mystery to instill fear in people and to try gaining control over them, and collect their money.

Do we have souls? Do animals have souls? Do the trees? Is there an afterlife? After what I’ve seen in the so-called Fourth Way, and in this cult, agnosticism resonates with me more than ever. Even the idea of “faith” resonates more than believing that I know something about these mysteries when I cannot possibly know.

And while Robert Burton’s cult pretends that it lives in the realm of “knowledge” and “understanding” and “being”, what we call faith is actually a lot closer to knowing and understanding and being. It’s closer to science and rational thinking and intelligence. It is not inherently delusional. It admits that it does not know — a major step along “the way.”

Cult and religious dogma can read a lot like a good (or bad) science fiction novel. One of the keys to good science fiction is making it sound plausible. One way to make it seem plausible is to throw in a few ideas that have universal appeal (such as being present, being here now), then throw in some numbers, large terms and a few scientific topics. Then you simply add the fiction on top of it all, and you have a following.

That’s not to say that someone can’t gain inspiration from science fiction, but at least no one is pretending that it is not fiction.

19. Arthur - October 12, 2011

For the record (18),

First I’m not an apologist for the Fourth Way.

Second in your post you mention ‘soul’ and ‘faith’.

As I try to remember (might have it wrong or backwards) the Fourth Way claims that wo/man is not born with a soul.

But can develop one through the practices of three methods or teachings rolled into one (The Fourth Way as Ouspensky named it).

The Way of the Monk is the religious ‘Faith Way’. Which deals with the heart (emotions).

20. 2011 - October 12, 2011

we are #4 here:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=fellowship+of+friends

Not so good here:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=living+presence

what can we do?

21. For the record - October 12, 2011

19. Arthur
Yes, I remember that, too — that we’re not born with a soul, but with a certain set of efforts over a long period of time, and only with guidance of a ‘real’ school we can create a soul.

I don’t entirely dismiss the Fourth Way, and I also don’t want to be disrespectful of anyone who finds value in it. I consider myself a Fourth Way agnostic. I’m open to a lot of it, but have learned to be skeptical about most of it. I can’t dismiss all of it, including the idea of four lower centers, and I’m still fascinated by the connection (maybe) to the deck of playing cards. The enneagram is fascinating, too. Take the number 1, or 2, or 3, etc., and divide it by 7 and you get a repeating decimal that matches the progression along the enneagram.

Or just take any circle, and you can fit six circles of equal size exactly around it. It’s the basis for crystalline structure in the physical world, and the numerology behind it is maybe interesting as well.

But is there some secret meaning behind these things? Or are the circle, square, triangle, and enneagram just simple geometry? And any further conclusions just a type of superstition? Maybe a combination of both?

Maybe we actually are lucky in one sense — that we can still try to “use” some of these ideas in some way, being open to what works for us and what makes sense, but also examine them with critical thinking — something we were discouraged from doing in the fof. Anyway, I don’t know you, but sense you are doing exactly that, and it comes through in your words.

I find it interesting, by the way, that in the Fellowship of Friends, you were required to accept all of it. If you would pick and choose ideas that made most sense to you, you were somehow exhibiting a bad attitude, or a buffer. You had to accept all of it.

Imagine living one’s life believing everything you hear, and acting upon it, never once questioning it. Even the most indoctrinated cult follower would say that would be foolish. They just don’t see that they are doing exactly that.

22. Tim Campion - October 12, 2011

20. 2011

Silly life person. We cannot “do”!

(Oh, wait – that’s people in a certain cult who cannot do.)

If someone is Googling specifically for “Living Presence”, well, they’re going to find that webpage at the top, almost no matter what we “do”. But if they include any other terms, like Fellowship of Friends, Robert Burton, Fourth Way, Goddess in a Man’s Body, etc. they’ll have an excellent chance of stumbling onto this discussion.

Short of paying Google to put us at the top of the page, I don’t know any other options. The results appear to be better using Bing and Yahoo.

23. Wouldnt You Like To Know - October 12, 2011

16. For the record, surelyujust 14 and 15:
‘But appealing to a person’s ego is one of the hooks.’

Stroking the ego leads to dead end; crime, hire and salary.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Upton Sinclair

Fourth Way interpretation:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his self-image (read: imaginary picture of himself) depends upon his not understanding it.

Consider this:

Page 69/#169. Wouldnt You Like To Know – April 3, 2009
‘In the real world it looks more like most scientists are quite willing to pursue wrong ideas for so long as they are rewarded with a better chance of achieving more grants, publications and status. The classic account has it that bogus theories should readily be demolished by skeptical (or jealous) competitor scientists. However, in practice even the mostconclusive ‘hatchet jobs’ may fail to kill, or even weaken, phoney hypotheses when they are backed-up with sufficient economic muscle in the form of lavish and sustained funding.’

Were it corporate America, its political cronies/puppets and purchased media, that wanted to suppress Galileo’s ‘new universe’ (Copernican heliocentric system) view, rather than the Inquisition of the Catholic Church, the Earth still might be seen as the center of the universe.

And this:

‘Here is an excerpt of something copied on the FoF blog some months ago about a once popular, now dead, Guru. Some editing has been done to make it general/anonymous:

‘[Enter name of favorite Guru] became a controversial figure when they began to have sex with large numbers of devotees, drink obsessively, abuse drugs, engage in incidents of violence against wo/men, and financially exploit followers. [Guru] claimed that they were doing these things “temporarily” as a form of spiritual teaching, in order to reflect devotees’ own tendencies back to them and thereby accelerate their spiritual development.

However, each announcement that this “temporary” method of teaching people was ended forever was followed by another period of partying led by [Guru]. But there are only so many times one can go through a cycle like this without increasing the probability that doubts will be raised. So [Guru] eventually decided to restrict their personal interactions and partying to generally include only the small group of devotees known as “inner circle.” Those in the inner circle serve as intermediaries in interactions with the general membership of the community, and fulfill sensitive functions that require extreme loyalty to [Guru]. The inner circle has been perhaps the most critical piece of infrastructure developed to enable decades-long pursuit of every kind of fulfillment at the expense of others. The inner circle’s mission has been to hide what they can of indulgent personal life, abusive treatment of others, and psychological issues. What they can’t hide, they spin by explaining as spiritual teaching, tantric practice, or “crazy wisdom.” Or, they claim that what [Guru is] really all about has nothing to do with [Guru’s] body-mind at all, which would mean that anything you could observe about his human behavior is not particularly important when compared to his alleged transcendental function as an agent of spiritual awakening. . .

[Guru] and his organization have failed to live up to the expectations that many supporters had for them in the early days.’

(Sound familiar?)

Then more recently this:

‘The main reason it, the Fellowship of Friends [Pathway to Presence, Living Presence, BeingPresent.org, Church of Robert Earl Burton], still exists is that so many people have bet their entire lives on it and cannot bring themselves to the above realization.’ (Realization of the corruption/abuse.)’

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his self-image (read: imaginary picture of himself) depends upon his not understanding it.

24. Arthur - October 12, 2011

For the record (21,

In Robert’s Way all information had to be accepted without question or least not questioning him. Cult?

In the Fourth Way new information is not rejected out of hand but held without predjuce. As it is verified as truth then it can be used or not.

When I read Rodney Colin’s book, “Theory of Celestial Influence” I was awed by his research. He took esoteric and exoteric knowledge from around the world and moulded it into to a (for me, a wow book).

I think Gurdjieff did the same thing but by personage.

When you mention the Enneagram for some reason I thought ‘body types’.

In Rodney Colin’s book he mentioned body types and he mentioned a researcher that did work on those types. I couldnt remember the name and Googled by guess and bingo hit it. I went to wiki and found a bunch of people that did ‘body type’ research. Including the man Colin mentioned.

When I did Ayurveda looking for health help I recognized “body type’information there too. Different name same characteristics.

Just a short list mentioned in Wiki that did Body Type research: In one form or another.

Sheldon who Colin mentioned.
Ayurveda
Plato
Gurdjieff
Nietzsche
Aristotle
and Jung

I can only guess that the Fourth Way named by Ouspensky brought to him by Gurdjieff is not entirely snake oil.

25. Arthur - October 12, 2011

After thought:

The snake oil salesman is Robert E. Burton (head)-master of the cult Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway to Presence.

26. surelyujest - October 12, 2011

18 For the record

Re the “mystery of existence.” I couldn’t agree more. When thinking about topics such as souls and the afterlife, there is no more honest statement than “I don’t know.” However, it takes a degree of humility that cannot be summoned by a person who has invested his entire identity in the role of a “Man Number 4.” In fact, the Man Number 4 is a dense accretion of personality whose chief characteristics are specialness (one in a billion!), arrogance (if you don’t agree with me, then you are just too stupid to understand) and certainty (there’s no way I’m wrong!). Ask one of these Men Number 4 how he has verified that following the 4th Way creates a soul, and he’ll tell you: I read it in a book, you moron!

27. Ames Gilbert - October 12, 2011

Someone, (#114-187 or thereabouts),
here’s one way of looking at it. Most escapees, when they get their freedom, move on to other things, usually but not always, vowing to never take the chance of becoming prisoners again.
A few, very few, go back to help other prisoners escape or alert potential prisoners to the trap. One way would be to actually rejoin and try to spread the word, but the leucocytes within the Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence / Being Present.org / Church of Robert Earl Burton organization will soon detect this, and there also there is a risk that one would be ‘sucked back in’ (pun intended). But at the level of this blog, the risks are fairly minor, IMO. But for you, they appear to be considerable, so you would be wise to follow your feelings and back away.

Tim, (#115-22 or thereabouts),
AFAIK, there is no way for ordinary interests to elevate their rankings. Some hucksters have worked out ways to game Google’s system, but Google is constantly finding ways to circumvent them. But, there is “Adwords”. This is the part of the results page (on the right, in my browser) where interested parties enter an auction to “pay per click”. The auction winners are displayed in order, highest bidder at the top. I use Adwords myself. Because my business is so specialized, and I choose the keywords very carefully, I’m usually first, and my total cost is about five dollars a month, my contribution to the billions that Google makes. It is so effective that I dropped all other forms of advertising.
Maybe we can experiment with this. If it works, then we can ask for general support, either here and/or GF (hit PayPal button if you found the information useful, perhaps?)

Surelyyoujest, (#115-26 or thereabouts),
Perfect!
You said, “Ask one of these Men Number 4 how he has verified that following the 4th Way creates a soul, and he’ll tell you: I read it in a book, you moron!”
I’ll add that some of these will go as far as creating websites where they pontificate almost daily about their specialness and how stupid the rest of us are, larding their arrogance heavily with appeals to carefully selected authorities. One in particular has, over many years, come to specialize in quoting from this very blog and has imaginary conversations with the participants, each one culminating in a final putdown that establishes his astounding grasp of the One True and only Possible Interpretation of the Fourth Way. Truly a master of self–awareness and insight (and unwitting source of amusement)!

28. Ames Gilbert - October 12, 2011

In other news, those nasty ‘life’ people deny Burton two weeks worth of pocket money:

Yuba County supervisors reject Fellowship of Friends’ request for $572,338 tax refund
October 11, 2011 10:40:34 PM

By Ben van der Meer/Appeal-Democrat

Religious group Fellowship of Friends received a less-than-friendly response Tuesday from the Yuba County Board of Supervisors, which rejected a $572,338 property tax refund.

The board voted 4-1 to dismiss the foothills group’s request for refunds on taxes paid from 2006-09.
County Counsel Angil Morris-Jones said the group took too long to give the board legal justification.
Fellowship of Friends first made the request more than a year ago to amend its tax returns for the four-year period to reflect its status as a tax-exempt religious group.

Kathi Lutton, an attorney working with the Fellowship, told county supervisors the group based near Oregon House/Dobbins had been working with the county Assessor’s Office for the last year to gain an exemption for future property tax bills. The full amount from previous bills has been paid.
But Morris-Jones said the exemption issue was separate from the refund issue, and the Fellowship hadn’t done enough on the latter to justify the refund.
“There are seven possible exemptions, and none of those has been cited,” Morris-Jones said of the refund issue. “It’s been continued for a year. My concern is the ramifications to the county if action isn’t taken.”

Lutton requested the board delay consideration for another two weeks so the Fellowship could correct the situation.
“They thought because they were working with the assessor, they thought they were advancing the ball,” she said.
She added the group also needed more time to review a rejection letter the county sent earlier this week for the Fellowship’s amended claim, filed earlier this week.
Communication issues might have also been a problem, Lutton said, because the Fellowship hasn’t had a regular attorney for some time.

Supervisor Andy Vasquez made a motion in support of the two-week stay, saying he also thought the group shouldn’t be penalized when it was actively working with the assessor.
“It’s a substantive amount of money, and it’s only fair as a matter of justice,” he said.
But the measure died without a second. Supervisor John Nicoletti then made a motion to deny the refund claim.
Vasquez was the lone dissenter.

CONTACT reporter Ben van der Meer at 749-4786.
________________________________________

Advisory to Board of Supervisors: Watch out, you’re messing with 44 angels who are planning to destroy every person on earth except for followers of Robert Earl Burton (the members of Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence / Being Present.org / Church of Robert Earl Burton organization). You’re doomed anyway, but those 44 angels can make the rest of your lives (due to end Dec 21, 2012) darn miserable!

29. Golden Veil - October 12, 2011

Thank you for the above information.
But, December 21st? Whaaaa?
Footnote?

30. Ames Gilbert - October 12, 2011

Golden Veil (#115-29 or thereabouts),
you must have missed the several references in the past few pages about December 21, 2012. The “End of the Mayan Calendar” thing is now formally adopted by Burton into his fantasy. The latest license–plate–inspired prediction by Burton to inspire awe or fear in his followers. !Featuring! the extinction of all mankind, leaving Burton and “Fellowship of Friends” / “Pathway to Presence” / “Living Presence” / “Being Present.org” / “Church of Robert Earl Burton” organization to inherit the earth and start the New Civilization.

Rinse and repeat when this one predictably fails.

31. nigel - October 12, 2011

I have appreciated Ames posts about how to connect our discussion pages to those who are browsing for Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence etc sites. I firmly believe that we are having an impact on the state of ‘fence-sitters’, ‘thinking-of-getting-outers’ and those who might otherwise be thinking of joining the cult. I am not sure that much can be done ‘as a huge blast’ to the foundations of FOF, but am sure that we are aiding with the attrition of its membership. Occurences such as Burton’s deathly demise or the authorities catching up with gross taxation/all manner of fraud/sexual abuse of members may yet be a long way off, so we who remain and contribute to the FOF Discussion site may want to realize that we should still see a long road ahead of us…..Nigel.

32. nigel - October 12, 2011

re: 27. Ames Gilbert

from Wikipedia – definition – “leucocytes”…..

“All white blood cells are known officially as leukocytes. White blood cells are not like normal cells in the body — they actually act like independent, living single-cell organisms able to move and capture things on their own. White blood cells behave very much like amoeba in their movements and are able to engulf other cells and bacteria. Many white blood cells cannot divide and reproduce on their own, but instead have a factory somewhere in the body that produces them. That factory is the bone marrow.”

33. Tim Campion - October 13, 2011

28. Ames Gilbert

Ames, thanks for posting this Appeal-Democrat article!

In regards to improving internet search rankings, I’ll answer you via e-mail.

34. Tempus Fugit - October 13, 2011

This link leads to the very beginning of this blog in 2006 and includes links to the first ten pages:

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/

I’m hoping it comes up as a clickable link; otherwise copy and paste in your browser.

More links to come; I’m putting together my own directory of the entire blog as well as copying all pages and saving them in Word format.

Those of you who are more computer savvy are welcome to join in and perhaps suggest more sophisticated approaches to this project.

My goal is to make it easy for all of us to access and study the blog.

If you are a current member of the FOF you have probably been forbidden, or at least strongly discouraged, from accessing this blog.

Why? Who would be afraid of the freedom of your mind and integrity of your judgment? Who gains from keeping you asleep?

Read this blog (past and present) with an open mind and your true adult self, which is already fully formed and present, will show you what this information means and how you need to respond.

35. Tim Campion - October 13, 2011

34. Tempus Fugit

The fact that the blog has three incarnations (and has generated a few “side projects”) does make searching for content more difficult.

The links to the previous two incarnations are provided in the “Blogroll” (see the sidebar at the top of the page: “Animam Recro” and “Fellowship of Friends Discussion”.) You can also find them by clicking the “About” tab at the top of the page.

Previous pages of this current incarnation can be accessed by clicking on the “Home” tab at the top of this page, or, if you know the page number you want, simply type the number into the “Search” box at the top of the page.

(I wonder if anyone else has already undertaken a similar project to what you are attempting? You may not have to duplicate the effort.)

36. Tempus Fugit - October 13, 2011

35 Tim Campion – October 13, 2011

Thanks Tim, I hadn’t noticed the links to “Animam Recro” and “FoF Discussion” were so handy right here on the page.

Navigating the blog is still an adventure. There’s a gap between “Animam Recro, part 10” and “Fellowship of Friends Discussion, Part 3(3).” (Hope I remembered those numbers right).

Anyway, there are links on each page to move forward and back. I’ve been saving the link to each page as well as copying each page into a Word document.

A bit tedious but I am developing an archive at least for my own use. Definitely not out for glory – if others are doing anything similar or have suggestions that would be great. The entire blog is huge and it’s a slow project.

Some of the early pages of “Animam Recro” are quite revealing and lively, with a number of FOF members posting and debating critics of Burton and the cult.

The first post on this page, (WhaleRider – October 10, 2011) makes a case for the benefits of reading earlier parts of the blog and also speaks to the importance of continuing to warn others.

Seriously, I think all of you who have been doing this for years can take enormous satisfaction in your efforts to help others.

Whalerider:
“The blog is ongoing because the cult is ongoing. It is not like reading the same petition again and again.

Predators, like cults, learn to adapt in order to remain fed or they cease to exist. So too, must our warnings. Are you expecting the cult to warn people of itself?”

37. Golden Veil - October 13, 2011

Best of the Blog ~ First Prize goes to Dick Moron

Student: “Can’t we just talk about work ideas?”

Princess: “No, dear. It is best for your spiritual development if you do as I say… now pull down your pants; the Gods want you to do this for me now.”

38. Wondering Who’s Watching - October 13, 2011

Thanks Tempus Fugit for taking me back to time when:
‘Page 1/#76 Wondering who’s watching Says:
February 11, 2007 at 1:21 pm
Hello friends. As a former current member of FOF (figure that one out) for 30+ years and singed by the flames of the inner circle, I have been on both sides now.

As my true witness can say: Much of what has been said here is the truth and need not be criticized, edited, defended or denied – it is!

My brief comment is: It was only a matter of time until such a venue would appear since the Fellowship Council expunged the discussion list that it privately provided to the members for the discussion of the Work. No such quality of truth as you see here would have been allowed by that moderated list.

As William Shakespeare said in his character Hamlet: Foul deeds shall rise though all the world o’erwhelm them to men’s eyes.

[Hey, that would make a good angle for a meeting, if only it could be given.]’

That gives an indication of when I started reading the FoFblog and when I first posted. It is not a great effort to ‘be there’ to help others out of the quicksand that is FoF. Be careful not to fall in ourselves. I agree with:

Whalerider:
“The blog is ongoing because the cult is ongoing. It is not like reading the same petition again and again.

Predators, like cults, learn to adapt in order to remain fed or they cease to exist. So too, must our warnings. Are you expecting the cult to warn people of itself?”

The cult does not allow for informed consent decisions to be made by the neophytes nor the old timers.

39. surelyujest - October 13, 2011

27 Ames Gilbert

“One in particular has, over many years, come to specialize in quoting from this very blog and has imaginary conversations with the participants, each one culminating in a final putdown that establishes his astounding grasp of the One True and only Possible Interpretation of the Fourth Way.”

You’re pulling my leg. Nobody is that pathetic.

40. Shirley - October 13, 2011

39. surelyujest

Not only that. You are supposed to be me.

41. Mr. Burp - October 13, 2011

for the record

You said: “…There’s no sense of direction in your comments. You’re just throwing stuff out there that’s vaguely coherent in some respects, but mostly incoherent.
Not that I expect you to be open to advice, but why don’t you join in and help with the puzzle? Do you dislike the picture that’s unfolding?”

Then, speaking about incoherence, you said: “Words and self-expression are disallowed in the cult. Not here.”

And then you went on a rampage about the ‘ego’. Are you really sure you know what you are talking about? Did you notice that the way you describe the ‘ego’, it has an uncanny resemblance to the ‘lower self’? … a leopard cannot change its spots.

This is the picture that I see coming out from this ‘puzzle’: I’m joining in… baby steps…

Silentpurr

🙂

42. For the record - October 13, 2011

Burp,
You seem to talk about everything but Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence cult.

Until you can do that, it just sounds like you’re trying to change the subject or disrupt things with negative comments and sarcasm — for whatever reason. Hired gun to disrupt things? Just obnoxious? Who knows.

What do you think about Robert Burton? Do you like him? Is he not getting a fair shake here? Are people focusing too much on the damage he’s doing? What do you think about the Fellowship?

43. silentpurr - October 13, 2011

Yes, Mr. Burp?

44. For the record - October 13, 2011

Silent Purr,
Assuming this is the same “Silent Burp” that joined the blog a while back, I think what set him or her off was that some time ago you suggested the leader of this group may have AIDS. He/she didn’t like that.

But I like the idea that you warned potential victims that they are taking risks by engaging in sex with Burton. If Burton does have AIDS, which would not be shocking, it’s the culture of silence around this type of issue that leads to serious consequences for those who are connected with him. The status quo within the group is to stifle all speculation about what “Robert” may be doing. No discussion is allowed around how his actions may be harming to people.

When rational objections fall short, poking fun is the only recourse.

45. surelyujest - October 13, 2011

40 Shirley

“Not only that. You are supposed to be me.”

So the 4th Way IS true — I really do not know myself.

46. nigel - October 13, 2011

44. For the record

For myself – I would certainly like to see more posts about Burton’s carrying-on. From what I can ascertain (from this blog, since I have no other personal source), many of those currently in the FOF are oblivious to what Burton is doing ‘behind the scenes’ and are only ‘in’ for the fact, as many posters have stated, that they have invested heavily, both financially and emotionally/intellectually in the cult. It is important that ‘fresh air’ is allowed to enter into what people know and can make decisions for themselves. I don’t think anything has changed over the 40+ years that the cult has been in existence about ensuring that Burton is made responsible and culpable…..Nigel.

47. nigel - October 13, 2011

This is an old post (I don’t think this person posts anymore, unless they have a new moniker) but has a ‘pertinent ring’ to it…..

in2it

“-Appreciating relaxation, silence, and rest, but also recognizing when vocalism and action and dissent are welcomed by the universe, and finding the answer to that question in our conscience — however difficult that is to define or describe.”

48. nigel - October 13, 2011

Posted by Ellen, some time ago…..

“The self by its nature knows itself only. For lack of experience whatever it perceives it takes to be itself. Battered, it learns to look out and to live alone. When right behaviour becomes normal, a powerful inner urge makes it seek its source. The candle of the body is lighted and all becomes clear and bright.” – Nisargadatta

(I really feel for this important aspect of ‘right behaviour’. Somehow, I am disgusted by what I hear about what Burton has been doing – and continues to do to naive and fearful ‘students’ – Russian or otherwise)

49. nigel - October 13, 2011

A poetic rendering of what is expected by many…..

The Second Coming
By W B Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

50. nigel - October 13, 2011

I don’t know who posted this, but I find it beautiful…..

“With vigilance, there’s flexibility of mind, body, and soul. There’s no one to hate, nothing to hate, nothing to conquer, no fear of being conquered, and no fear of failure.”

51. Mr. Burp - October 13, 2011

42. 44. For the record

You are all about “it seems… it just sounds like you are trying to… if… for whatever reason… who knows… assuming… if…” Pointing out hypocrisy and contradictions is “disruptive” or “negative” only if you don’t like the picture and get aggravated by it personally. People who change the subject when they are called on it and act like nothing happened are despicable, not as much as a sick, old, criminal guru, but despicable nevertheless.

Let me remind you once again what you have said: “Words and self-expression are disallowed in the cult. Not here.”
Other questions? Stop being patronizing!

Also, stop guessing… What I didn’t like back then was not the fact that RB might have AIDS, but rather that it was (and still is) merely a rumor. There is enough material to wrap up that turd not to engage in lies and speculations detrimental to the integrity and credibility of this blog.

Silentpurr

Chill… just enjoyed your comment.

52. Wouldnt You Like To Know - October 13, 2011

Yea, Tempus Fugit, thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was back there, too. Time flies when you are having fun. But, also, time flies backward as well as forward.

1/79 Wouldn’t you like to know Says:
February 12, 2007 at 12:40 pm
from:
ArkansasBob · THE BURTON ASSRAM
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArkansasBob/message/5

Case # 060209
[Settled before going to court and jury and thereafter sealed from public view.]

Fellowship Of Friends-A Cult In Oregon House, California.

Another lawsuit filed against F.O.F/Renaissance Vineyard &
Winery, Robert Burton, Girard Haven, Abraham Goldman, Helga Ruth Mueller, and Clair Bowen–directors of Fellowship of Friends, Inc. The lawsuit brought by Troy Buzbee and filed on April 29, 1996 in the County of Yuba.

Complaint for Damages is in Case # 060209
1. Fraud
2. Intentional infliction of emotional distress
3. Negligent infliction of emotional distress
4. Breach of fiduciary duty
5. Negligent supervision
6. Sexual misconduct with a minor
7. Sexual harassment
8. Wrongful discharge
9. Negligence
10. Failure to pay minimum wage
11. Battery

Fellowship Of Friends Cult – By Michelle M. Milligan

“Within the pages of the case are facts and details concerning sexual and perverted acts practiced by Burton, his philosophies and ideologies expected of the members.”

According to the case, Robert Burton, “The Teacher”, as referred to by members, began the corporation Fellowship of Friends in 1971.

The “Fourth Way philosophy is taught and practiced by the Fellowship of Friends.

The location of The Fellowship of Friends herein referred to as the F.O.F. is in Oregon House, however the F.O.F. refers to their location rather as “The Renaissance”.

Troy Buzbee’s father became a member of the F.O.F. in 1976. Richard Buzbee’s son Troy was only seven years of age. Richard Buzbee was told that if he paid his teaching payments each month and followed the tasks and suggestions of the teacher, Robert Burton that he would enter “the way,” become “conscious” and “immortal.” He was told that Burton was a “conscious being” and that he was “celibate.” He was told that he could trust Burton completely with his body and soul. From 1976 through May 1994 Troy’s father was a member of the Fellowship of Friends.

As Plaintiff Troy Buzbee grew up he regarded Robert Burton as a God. According to the case distinction between Burton and Troy’s father were not clear to him at times. Troy Buzbee became a member on October 10, 1986 when he was 17 years of age, virgin.

After Defendant Burton and Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC’s factual representations and undue influence caused Troy Buzbee to lose his ability to think independently, he became increasingly subject to the domination, control and undue influence practiced, implemented, and used by said Defendants. In direct consequence of such deception, coercive persuasion, brainwashing and undue influence, Defendant Burton used Troy Buzbee, among hundreds of other young men, for the partial gratification of his satyriasis, an uncontrollable compulsion to engage in sexual conduct with scores, if not hundreds, of men. In addition thereof, Defendant Burton exploited Troy Buzbee for the provision of cheap labor, well under the minimum wage. Said exploitation continued off and on until the time when Troy Buzbee terminated his membership with Fellowship of Friends, Inc., in
August 1994.

Commencing in December 1986, Burton, would have “teaching dinners” during which he would ply Troy with alcoholic beverages. After one particular such meal in December 1986, Burton instructed Troy to come to Burton’s room and to shut and lock the door. Burton told Troy that Burton was “an angel in a man’s body”, and the gods wished for Troy to be close to Burton. Defendant Burton then held in an embrace. Defendant Burton said, “influence C wishes you to be close with me. “He repeatedly assured Troy that his “soul was not (his) body, and that the angels wished for (Troy) to be with (Burton).” Burton explicitly told Troy that the “angels” wanted Troy to disrobe, and the “angels” wanted Troy to submit to Burton’s sexual advances because Burton himself was an “angel”, a goddess in a man’s body.”

Burton said to Troy, “I promise you I am an angel in a man’s body.” “You have to remember that I did not write the play about Robert Burton.” Burton would kiss Troy on the forehead which he said represented the seat of the soul and then instruct Troy to “separate” from his body and just “let go”. Burton reminded Troy that Troy’s body would soon decay while his soul was immortal. Burton told Troy that he would talk to him after he died using the same soft voice he used at the time. Burton explained that for him the interaction with Troy went beyond conventional sex and into “supersex”, which was a method characterological evolution. Defendant Burton stated, “My sexuality is on the level of Super-Sex.” From December ’86–April ’94, Troy submitted to Burton’s demands, which were: Drop out of college, provide Burton with sexual favors and provide hour long massages after Burton had been sexually serviced.

Burton used money from the corporation to pay other members for performing specific sexual acts. In denominations of $50 or $100. The case mentions one case of “specific sexual acts” performed on Burton by Karl Feldman, Troy Buzbee’s best friend. Burton spoke openly about his sexuality in the form of jokes at the all-male dinners that he would often lavishly host at all-male, all-you-can-drink “symposiums.” He would boast that “one hundred boys would not be enough (for his sexual appetite). “Troy worked at the gatehouse on F.O.F. property. Burton directed certain members who are “guards” to arm themselves with firearm-type weapons. Burton then had him become his “personal” guard. During the next four years Troy observed numerous men in Burton’s room in a single night. Troy was asked to massage Burton after his lovers left.

According to the case, Burton suffers from sexually transmitted diseases. He made no effort to tell Troy. As a consequence, Troy acquired viral herpes. In addition, Troy suffered from stomach ulcers. Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc. was built as a bomb-shelter in obeisance to Defendant Burton’s prophecies regarding massive and wide-spread disaster and chaos in the near future. Defendant Burton uses Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Inc as his alter ego in the same way he uses Defendant Fellowship Of Friends, Inc.

According to the case…..

At all times mentioned herein Defendants Girard Haven, Abraham Goldman (also an attorney), Helga Ruth Mueller, and Clair Bowen were members of the board of directors of the Defendant corporation, Fellowship Of Friends, INC.

At all times mentioned herein all of the Defendants were acting as the agents and servants of each other and in doing the acts complained of acted within the scope of their agency and employment and at the direction and with the knowledge and ratification of the other Defendants.

The Defendant Burton at all times mentioned herein, dominated, influenced, and controlled, and does now dominate, influence and control the Defendant corporations and the directors and officers thereof, as well as the business, property and affairs of the Defendant corporations.

At all times mentioned herein, there existed and does now exist, a unity of interest and ownership between the Defendant Burton and the Defendant corporations; the individuality and separateness of said Defendant and Defendant corporations has ceased; and despite knowledge of these facts, Defendant corporations and its officers and directors have had notice of acquiesced in and agreed, consented to, and ratified the conduct of Defendant Burton as herein alleged, At all times since its corporation to the present time, the Defendant corporations have been and are now a mere shell and naked framework which the Defendant Burton has used and does now use as a conduit for the conduct of his personal business, property and affairs.

Defendant corporations are subject to a unity of control, and its corporate structure was created as an attempt to avoid payment of taxes and civil judgments and to confuse courts and those seeking redress for these Defendant’s acts. Due to the unity of personnel, commingling of assets, and commonality of business objectives, these Defendant’s attempts at separation of Defendant corporations and Defendant Burton should be disregarded.

Defendant Robert Burton directs, controls and operates Defendant corporations and uses them to enforce his orders and carry out his attacks on groups, agencies or individuals, including the acts against Troy alleged herein, to the extent there is no separate identity between Burton and said Defendant corporations and any claim of such separate identity should be disregarded.

The Defendant corporations were created and are being continued and maintained pursuant to a fraudulent plant, scheme and device, created and operated by the Defendant Burton, whereby the benefits and product of the income and revenue of the Defendant corporations are diverted to the use and enjoyment of the Defendant Burton through the Defendant corporations to himself while concealing the truth of his financial relationship with Defendant corporations.

Prior to the formation of F.O.F. and Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, Burton formed a conspiracy in concert between the corporations for the express purpose and intent of developing and implementing a plan and scheme which would permit Burton and co-conspirators to:

a. use, abuse and exploit the fiduciary relationship between the Defendant Burton and the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC,, on one hand and the members of and contributors to the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC,, on the other hand for their own personal unlawful gain; and

b. to use, abuse and exploit the fiduciary relationship between the Defendant Burton, as ‘founding minister’, and selective members of the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC., for the express purpose and intent of performing unlawful and perverted sexual acts upon the persons of said members, including Troy, and by causing certain of the members, including Troy, to work for Defendant corporation Renaissance Vineyard & Winery, INC., and Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC.

That all times pertinent hereto, the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC., and the Defendant Renaissance Vineyard and Winery, INC, were formed and operated by Burton and said other Defendants for their sole and exclusive aggrandizement and to create an ambiance of neo-religious import which was and is currently being used by Burton and the other Defendants to manipulate, unduly influence, and control the minds, bodies, and the assets of the members of the Defendant corporations for the sole and exclusive purpose of 1) satisfying Burton’s satyriasis-his voracious appetite for perverted sexual pleasure and elegant life-style; and 2) diverting the contributions and donations of the membership to their own use and purposes.

Members of the Fellowship are required to donate ever-increasing sums of money as they become further and further vested as members of the
Fellowship with the caveat that when donations required of them are not timely and completely made their membership is either revoked or they become indentured servants of the Defendant corporation in residence at its principal place of business for nominal compensation and required to perform degrading menial tasks of a full-time basis at the whim and caprice of the Defendant Burton and other authorized representatives of the corporate Defendant Fellowship Of Friends, INC., and Defendant Renaissance Vineyard And Winery, INC. All donations made by members of the Fellowship are devoted either to the continuing worldwide recruitment of new and replacement members with fresh money to contribute to “the cause,” or the acquisition of assets, including but not limited to, Defendant Renaissance Vineyard and Winery, INC,, which are ostensibly being acquired for the use and benefit of the membership but which are in reality being acquired for the personal benefit and aggrandizement of Defendant Burton and some or all of the other individual Defendants named herein.

Meanwhile, Defendant Burton annexes free and unfettered use and enjoyment in and to the assets of the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC., Defendant corporation Renaissance Vineyard And Winery, INC., and the benefits to be derived there from, including, but not limited to, the provision money for bribes to young male members to prostitute themselves in an intensification of Defendant Burton’s compulsion and demand for sexual servicing of his long-standing state of satyriasis.

The entire, purpose, scope and extent of the aforesaid plan and scheme as implemented by said Defendants is to effectively deny the members of the Defendant corporation Fellowship Of Friends, INC., not only the right to participate in its rituals and teachings on an ongoing basis but also, and of equal importance, to deny members of said Defendant corporation, including Plaintiff, of their just right to participate as beneficiaries entitled to use and enjoy the property of said Defendant corporation.

Troy suffered from fright, horror, grief, shame, anger, humiliation, embarrassment, chagrin, disappointment, worry, self-loathing, self-betrayal and self distrust.

Haven, Goldman, Mueller, Bowen knew of all these afore-mentioned practices of Burton. They have agreed and abetted Burton in his efforts. They knew of Burton’s diseases and said nothing. At all times pertinent hereto, Defendant Burton, and the other Defendants, caused Troy’s mental and emotional centers to become deceptively and coercively inculcated with the following tenets:

a. Defendant Burton communicated with “C-influence” which was provided by “44 angels” which were each individually named including, but not limited to, Jesus, “Benjamin Franklin,” “Lincoln” and “Bach,” and that Burton was the Fellowship’s only connection with said “angels.”

b. Defendant was and is the most important person on the planet since Christ. Defendant Burton claims a numerology of consciousness where he has already advanced to a man number 7.3, with Christ being a man number 8. Burton is above man-made laws, a moral law unto himself.

c. “C-influence” brought Troy to the Fellowship and Defendant Burton, and that Troy’s interactions with Defendant Burton would be the most important relationship that Troy could ever have.

d. Defendant Burton is assisted by “C-influence” to guide the spiritual evolution of the member “students” with “shocks” designed to help them “awaken”.

e. The members of the Fellowship are special, and set apart by higher forces for survival. Members of Defendant Burton’s “inner circle” must associate only among Fellowship members, must disregard non-members, and demonize ex-members who are critical of Burton whom “the gods” will “destroy.” Such ex-members’ opportunities for growth and development are terminated failing to submit to Burton.

f. Defendant Burton possesses gift of prophecy that is infallible.

g. In 1998 California will “fall” in huge earthquake whereupon people will die in massive numbers.

h. In 2006 there will be an Armageddon, where all humans everywhere except for members of the Fellowship will be expunged by higher forces.

i. Members of the Fellowship will inherit the world’s material goods and act as the “Ark” for a new civilization based on that of the Greeks of about 450 B.C., and are thus presently preparing themselves to bear the torch of civilization now and in the future.

j. By following Defendant Burton’s directives so as to gain “being” (depth of character) through separating from suffering and immersing themselves in culture, mostly Western art, classical music, opera and ballet, Fellowship members, including Troy, are preparing themselves for being the “Ark”.

k. Everything the members of the Fellowship, including Troy, had learned since birth was “false” and caused him to exist in a kind of “waking sleep.” The Defendant Burton informed Troy that in order to “awaken,” he had to replace what was “false” with what was “true” which was defined as the system of ideas as The Fourth Way, including all the “new” knowledge that Burton had added to that system.

l. Defendant Burton stated, and states, to the general Fellowship and to Troy, that without “C-influence” Troy could not “awaken”.

m. Defendant Burton stated, and states, to the general Fellowship and to Troy, that to “awaken” was the only way to avoid having the purpose of his life be to provide “food for the moon.”

n. Defendant Burton stated, and states, that Troy’s people outside the group as “life-people,” he said were “tragedies.” Burton said Troy’s own mother was such a “life-person” and that the Fellowship was Troy’s “real” family and Burton was his “Father.”

o. Defendant Burton stated, and states, to the general Fellowship and to Troy, that any challenge to the extent of Burton’s excesses of greed and satyriasis to be a lack of understanding of his practice of “crazy wisdom” which he asserts that he must force himself to perform is forcing himself to live that way for the good of the members as a “lesson.”

53. Tim Campion - October 14, 2011

36. Tempus Fugit

Fellowship of Friends Discussion index:

Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals, and Fellowship of Friends Discussion

 Part 1 through Part 10

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion

 Part 34 through Part 115 (current page)

54. Tempus Fugit - October 14, 2011

More links to the past of the blog.

As I noted in post 34 above:

The first link below leads to the very beginning of this blog in 2006 and includes links to the first ten pages:

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/

Next are the links to pages 11 through 33. Some of them are summary pages with links to several other pages:

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion/

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-12/

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/06/21/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-13/

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-14/

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/page/3/

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/page/2/

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

I hope these all work! If not I’ll figure it out and repost, or someone more computer savvy will help out.

Lots of reading. If you have escaped from the FOF read as much as you like and give thanks for your freedom.

If you are in the FOF read as much as you need to and understand the true nature of your prison and your jailer. No, the FOF is not your prison and Burton is not your jailer.

The jail has no doors and Burton has no power over you unless you give it to him. You are only a prisoner by choice, and freedom is yours if you have the courage to walk away.

55. nigel - October 14, 2011

The haunting melody and the beautiful lyrics of this song touch me to tears each time I hear them (you could YouTube it to listen but here are the lyrics – pertinent to those both in and out of the Fellowship of Friends)…..

“The Path of Love”, by Beth Neilsen Chapman…..

“Oh the path of love is deep, with a thousand twists and turns
There are promises to keep, there are endless things to learn
Through the laughter and the tears, sometimes lost sometimes alone
Letting go is how you steer, and it always leads you home

Oh the path of love is free, it will never hold you back
Like the branches of a tree, reaching out till it’s lost track
And it opens wide each heart, like the seed that breaks the stone
No matter where you are, it will always lead you home

Oh the path of love is true, and it only wants what’s best
There are doors it pulls us through as it puts us to the test
And there’s nothing to pretend, in our heart somehow we’ve known
The path of love won’t end, no it only leads us home
The path of love won’t end, it only leads us home”

56. nigel - October 14, 2011

Beth Nielsen Chapman Back to Love Review Album.
Released 25 January 2010.

Radio 2 Album of the Week
16 January 2010
.Artist Played By Alex Lester BBC Radio 2
. Friday Night is Music Night BBC Radio 2
. Iain Anderson BBC Radio Scotland

BBC Review
A joyous collection of skilfully-written songs delivered in the most relaxed way.
Nick Barraclough 2010-01-14

All those bedsitter songwriters, the angst-ridden 22-year-olds trying to drum up a bit of convincing emotion in their forced lyrics, should use Beth Nielsen Chapman’s new album as a case study. You need to live first.

She’s been through it, has Beth. Her husband died from cancer in 1994. She has subsequently had a brush with the disease herself, and more recently an operation for a benign brain tumour.
On the back of all that you could be excused for bracing yourself for a pretty heavy time, but this is a writer and performer who knows about celebrating survival, and the result is a joyous collection of skilfully-written, happy songs delivered in the most relaxed way (there’s even the odd giggle), which almost belies the incredibly high standard of performance and production.

Some would accuse Chapman of taking the country out of a few Nashville artists and replacing it with what is basically straight-down-the-line pop. Faith Hill’s huge hit ‘This Kiss’ was one of Beth’s, and she’s written for many other country artists too, such as Trisha Yearwood, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson. But she has also been picked up by the likes of Elton John, Neil Diamond and Michael McDonald.

This new collection is, despite her Nashville base, a pop album, though acoustic instruments, particularly mandolin, abound; and her affection for a Celtic connection shows at one point with the inclusion of accordion and whistles. She is obviously in a position to call upon Music City’s finest musicians, and they don’t come much finer than those assembled here, with co-writer credits for the likes of the Benmont Tench and regular collaborator Annie Roboff.

A number of other Nashville writers have pursued careers as artists, but usually without much success. But Beth, who might not have the voice of some of those she writes for, brings an authenticity to her songs, and it makes this album such a joy.

Beth has been championed by the likes of Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce over the years, and rightly so. Americans looking to sell in this country should take note: stadium-filling, posturing, superficial artists don’t travel so well. But considered, intelligent artists with this sort of integrity always will.

Tracks
.1 Hallelujah
.2 I Can See Me Loving You
.3 Even as It All Goes By
.4 How We Love
.5 I Need You Love
.6 More Than Love
.7 Happiness
.8 I’ll Give My Love
.9 Shadows
.10 Peace
.11 The Path of Love

Date : Jan 25 2010

BBC © 2011 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

57. WhaleRider - October 14, 2011

Monument to Cult Victims Completed

OREGONE HOUSE, CA-Ceremonies commenced today in Northern California for the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to the victims of the cult called the Fellowship of Friends, AKA Living Presence, conspicuously erected on an ex-follower’s property directly opposite the cult’s front gate.

At first glance the towering 200 foot ivory lighthouse seems out of place so far from the shoreline, until one climbs the internal ladder and reads about the shipwrecked lives of more than 10,000 spiritually and financially bankrupt victims who had fallen prey to Robert E. Burton’s ruse over the course of nearly four decades.

Burton once predicted that an earthquake would cause most of California to fall into the ocean creating beachfront property where the lighthouse now stands as a warning to others to steer clear and as a beacon of hope for those followers still held in mental bonds.

Each stone of the lighthouse bears the name of each ex-member and how much money they had donated to Burton’s personal cause. Photos and stories about Burton’s followers who had committed or attempted suicide, abandoned their children, or gotten abortions and divorces are also presented on the walls.

The commanding view from the top gives one a better perspective of how the dying vineyard, incomplete theatron, fountains, gardens, palm trees, roaming exotic animals and gaudy statuary on the Fellowship grounds sits incongruent with the surrounding environment, a stark testimony to Burton’s hubris.

As the revolving solar-powered light called, the “Eye of Ra,” was illuminated, one teary ex-follower said, “We want everyone to know, we have a living presence, too.”

Sweeping across the Fellowship property every 44 seconds both day and night, it is certainly the brightest light in 2000 miles.

58. nigel - October 14, 2011

55. WhaleRider

Not really a joke, is it everyone? It would certainly beat Elena’s ‘parading’ outside the gatehouse! Keep posting, WR…..Nigel.

59. nigel - October 14, 2011

55. WhaleRider / 56. Nigel

I find it funny, in a different way, that you are able to ‘move’ from Mental Health Professional to humorist ‘in pursuit of justice’ regarding the Fellowship Of Friends. I would certainly find opening up comically on the blog, given my bipolar disorder and my profession as a teacher of precious metals, very difficult (or is it diffi-CULT?)…..Nigel.

60. Jomo Piñata - October 14, 2011

WhaleRider/55

Good one!

61. fofblogmoderator - October 14, 2011

53 and 54 were temporarily blocked because of the links….

62. JB - October 14, 2011

Richard Malten disappeared.
Has anyone heard from him?
JB

http://www.sierrawave.net/8523/search-for-missing/

63. Tempus Fugit - October 14, 2011

53. Tim Campion – October 14, 2011

Thanks Tim! I didn’t see your post when I uploaded mine – maybe we posted at the same time.

At any rate your set of links is much better than mine; clean and comprehensive.

fofblogmoderator? Is there any way the links posted by Tim Campion in post 53 could be part of every new page?

64. silentpurr - October 14, 2011

Thank you Mr. Burp, but the goddess (Urania) was displeased momentarily for having been compared to a mere mortal… especially a mere mortal’s mechanics.

65. Tempus Fugit - October 14, 2011

37. Golden Veil – October 13, 2011

The Dick Moran YouTube videos are hilarious, thanks! Strange to think now that I once gave control of my life over to another human being – never again.

Imagine letting yourself be told what to say, what to eat, what to like, who to have sex with, who to marry; the list goes on and on.

Maybe the nature of control in the FOF is more subtle now, or is it?

What I do know is my freedom is a precious gift, and, in my opinion, if you are in the FOF you have given away the one unique quality that defines a human being, your free will.

But really it’s still there, you just need to use it. Read this blog, talk to trusted friends, family, professionals, be open to the truth. Your heart will see the truth, and free will gives you the power to act.

I’m going to use my freedom to get out of town for a few days. Have fun! I’ll check in with you all later.

66. fofblogmoderator - October 14, 2011

#62 is new

67. Red Hat - October 14, 2011

62.

He’s been missing SINCE JULY and nobody noticed?

68. surelyujest - October 14, 2011

Why does Richard Malten’s picture look like a mug shot?

69. Golden Veil - October 14, 2011

The authorities probably pulled his driver’s license photo. They could have looked up the owner of the vehicle from the Jeep’s registration. Probably not a mug shot ~ just a driver’s license photo ~ not everyone smiles for those…

70. silentpurr - October 14, 2011

Richard Malten is from Oregon House, is he a student or former student?

71. Ill Never Tell - October 14, 2011

68. surelyujest:
‘Why does Richard Malten’s picture look like a mug shot?’

Looks like it could be a driver’s license photo. Supposition would be that his ‘2001 maroon Jeep utility vehicle’ was found longterm unattended (abandoned?). They (Sheriff’s Department) did a records check on owner and came up with DL of owner as well. Then assumed the owner was missing.

Sure, it looks like a mug shot but there are none of the usual ‘labels’ in the photo that mug shot’s typically have. Looks a bit like deer caught in headlights.

Possibly Lunar type; went off on some solitary adventure. Maybe did not even tell anyone.

I hope it turns out for the better and he is found.

72. JB - October 15, 2011

Red Hat:He’s been missing SINCE JULY and nobody noticed?

In the land of the ‘free’ you can disappear and no one will notice, unless you tell someone.

He left the school few years ago, and had property in OH.

73. Bares Reposting - October 15, 2011

Yes, Tempus Fugit, sometimes it is good to look back where we came from and remember ourselves. This is going to be long postings; but entertaining.

I found this post:
Page 6/272. Shelley Mitchell Says:
April 16, 2007 at 7:33 pm
‘Sheik, first of all, thank you for your time and guidance on this forum. I am an ex fof member. If anyone reading this would like to see a brilliant treatment of the controversy at the root of this bittersweet blog I suggest you see Harvey Keitel’s performance in Jane Campion’s film HOLY SMOKE (with Kate Winslet). I coached Mr. Keitel for his role. Jane Campion used material directly from true stories I shared about the fof.

I joined the Followship in 1975 where Girard was center director and was ‘kicked out’ with a letter signed by him 17 years later. During my tour of duty I was married for a few years to Robert’s #1 gate keeper, organizer and personal assistant. I was also Robert’s personal chauffeur, ‘hostess’ and point person in New York City for about 5 years in the late 70s. I often wondered why there was a tube of KY jelly next to the toothpaste in his hotel bathroom. To say I was naïve would be generous. It took me 10 years to leave after I DID find out why the KY was there. WHY did it take so long to exit? I was nearly 30 years old and had passed the bulk of my 20s in the fof. I burnt my bridges with anyone I knew in my chosen profession and I felt unequipped to confront the superficiality and crassness of popular culture. My days continued to be peppered with C-influence (synchronicities) despite the sense of personal betrayal and manipulation I felt, not only by Robert but even more by most of the people he authorized to speak on his behalf. (Many of whom, shockingly, were skeptical regarding C-Influence!) During the mid 1980s I tried to have the conversation now flowing in this forum and was highly criticized and eventually rejected for it. I lived (hid out) in Europe and despite my personal doubts about the fof became the center director of a small city in Northern Italy where there were only two students… my husband being the other one. If I do say so myself, I think we directed each other with great aplomb. I started to get in trouble once some young Italian people actually started joining and visiting (or immigrating to) Renaissance. Before they left for America I warned them that they might get hit on by the teacher. I worded it more delicately, of course, but it wasn’t long before I got a call from Guinevere and then Robert himself asking me not to speak about his personal life to anyone, ever again… or else! I told both Guinevere and Robert that for my own personal ethic I needed to be honest with these young international travelers about the possibility that they might be seduced. Notwithstanding the fact that I found the 4th way work to be a driving force in my own search for meaning, I also confessed to these young Italians my own confusion at being a spokesperson for an organization whose leadership I questioned. During one long distance (Oregon House-Italy) conversation with Robert, I told him that I had nothing against homosexuality, that I actually thought it was cool. I said something to the effect that he should take away the exercise against it and accept himself as he was. He told me that he was not a homosexual but that he actually became a woman when he was with these young men, and that the sex was part of his, and their, awakening. I held my ground and said that, for my own personal reasons, I would continue to warn young travelers about what they might encounter upon meeting him. I added that it was up to their own discretion what to do. I also told Robert that I loved him (which is true) and that there were no words to express how much I valued what I had learned through his efforts as a teacher. At the end of this 20 minute conversation he asked me to pass the phone to my husband. Robert apologized to him for any pain he may have caused and asked him to pass the phone back to me. Robert told me what he had just said to my husband. I think I thanked him and put the phone down. I know I was shaking. My husband was crying. We both sat very still and silent for a long, long time.

…I am of Jewish Russian descent, Minsk and Kiev.
My heart goes out to all, but especially to any confused young students from Eastern Europe.
Shelley’

This prompted my interest in researching Holy Smoke! that Shelley mentions. [Bold emphasis is mine.] So, here goes:

‘If anyone reading this would like to see a brilliant treatment of the controversy at the root of this bittersweet blog I suggest you see Harvey Keitel’s performance in Jane Campion’s film HOLY SMOKE (with Kate Winslet). I coached Mr. Keitel for his role. Jane Campion used material directly from true stories I shared about the fof.’

Holy Smoke! (USA/Australia 1999)
Director: Jane Campion
Ruth (Winslet) is tricked into coming home; was setup to be deprogrammed by PJ (Keitel)

From IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Holy Smoke! (1999)
Plot Summary:
While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho cult de-programmer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But PJ quickly learns that he’s met his match in the sexy, intelligent and iron-willed Ruth! (Written by Anonymous)

Based in Sans Souci, Sydney, Australia, Ruth Barron and her friend go on a trip to Delhi, India, where Ruth attends a Hindu religious ceremony, and decides to stay put. Ruth’s mother, Miriam, travels to Chandni Chowk, Delhi, where she meets with Ruth, and is appalled at the condition she is living in. She tells Ruth that her father has had a stroke and may not survive. A Saree-clad Ruth, who now calls herself Naznee, initially refuses, but relents and accompanies her mother back home. Once at home, she adorns her room with pictures of Bhagwan Shri Shiv, Bhagwan Shri Kishan and Devi Maa Lakshmi, and she will soon find out that the real reason for her return is to spend time alone in a half way hut in the desert in the company of an renowned ‘Cult Exiter’ PJ Waters – and it is after this encounter that everyone’s lives will change forever. (Written by rAjOo)

User Reviews (2):
11 July 2003 | by (jonest80) (San Francisco, California)
Most of Jane Campion’s films make me uncomfortable. This one was no exception. But I liked it. And it has grown on me.

Having investigated eastern philosophy and western mysticism for years, I appreciate Jane Campion’s competency in dealing with themes of a metaphysical nature. I was stunned by her use of metaphor in “The Piano,” a constant returning to the place of origination, the synergy of yin and yang, the veil of illusion, and the mystery of expression (“the word”).

Holy Smoke is more direct in its approach, but effective in exploring themes of power and love as both intimate and universal life forces. As usual, Campion approaches her subjects with an unflinching, but sympathetic, eye.

I am always nearly a fan of Campion’s production values: I love the saturated, dark colors, the carefully contrived shots, the whimsical and sparing use of special effects and humor, and typically incredible casting.

While appealing on an aesthetic level, what appeals to me most about “Holy Smoke” is that it deals with some of my favorite themes: the illusory nature of “reality,” the vulnerability, and power, of the human mind, and heart, and the sometimes shocking, sometimes humorous ways that we learn from the wisdom of the universe.

In “Holy Smoke,” when I saw PJ Waters get off the plane to the sound of Neil Diamond singing “I am I said… I am I cried,” I took notice, and became expectant of a punch line somewhere down the road.

This film could be called flawed, and is definitely not for everyone, but I come away from it feeling empowered, humbled, and amused–and appreciative of the sensitive, creative, adventurous spirits who made it.

PJ Waters is retained as an expert to de-program Ruth, but the Universe has other plans in mind… I love it.

Can Kate deprogram the deprogrammer?
15 March 2006
Author: Dennis Littrell from SoCal

Kate Winslet plays Ruth Barron, a young Australian woman who goes to India and becomes smitten with the touch of a charismatic guru, so much so that she changes her name and forsakes her family to stay in India and attend to and worship the guru. Her parents become alarmed. Her mother goes to India to trick her into coming back to Australia so that she can be deprogrammed by a professional from the United States that they have hired (P.J. Waters as played by Harvey Keitel).

What director Jane Campion does with this once familiar theme is most interesting. She puts the deprogrammer to the test, so to speak, and initiates a struggle of will between the deprogrammer and his young charge. The key scene arrives as Ruth comes naked into P.J.’s arms in order to test his professionalism (and her sexual power). I don’t know about you but I think a naked and passionate Kate Winslet would test any man’s motivation and make him think twice about what he really wants to do.

The psychological idea behind the story is this question, What is the nature of the guru’s hold on his flock? Is it spiritual or is it profane? Do the young women who follow him desire him as an alpha male or is it spiritual deliverance they seek? Naturally Ruth believes the latter and the deprogrammer the former. But what is the deprogammer’s motivation? Is this just a job for him or does he feel he is helping to free his clients from some kind of mental slavery? Or is he just another sort of phony guru himself? Keitel in black hair and black moustache and devil’s mini goatee dressed in black with a menacing look and a lot of physical energy (despite being 60-years-old when this film was released) contrasts sharply with Winslet’s youthful beauty and beguiling voluptuousness. Strength of character is something Kate Winslet brings to any role, even including her outstanding performance as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet (1996), a role that is usually played wiltingly. Here one senses that her strong will and determination are going to be quite a match for the deprogrammer who gives himself three days alone with her to break her attachment to the guru.

Two questions: One, if he is successful, will that just mean that she has transferred her allegiance from the Indian guru to him? Will it mean that his psychological strength is greater than that of the guru in far-off India? Two, in what respect is such a forced confinement with someone who is in physical control going to lead to a variant of the “Stockholm syndrome” experienced by some women held hostage, e.g., flight attendants on hijacked planes, and the famous case of Patty Hearst? Will the captive become enamored of her captor? Campion handles this most interesting theme by focusing on the sexual and carnal nature of the relationships. The test of will between P.J. and Ruth becomes a question of: Can she seduce him and thereby strip him of his professionalism? The movie is candid about sex and sexuality in a way that emphasizes the power dynamics of sexual relationships. There is some full frontal nudity and the sex scenes are steamy beyond what one usually sees in an R-rated film. (If seeing Kate Winslet naked might offend you, I recommend you close your eyes.) Harvey Keitel did an outstanding job in a very demanding role and was entirely convincing (despite being a little too old for the part); but as usual Kate Winslet completely took over the film with her commanding countenance, her superior acting skills, her great concentration and her mesmerizing charisma. If there is a better, more captivating young actress working today, I don’t know who she is.

Her role here might be compared with her performance in Hideous Kinky (1998) in which she goes to Morocco to find enlightenment among the Sufis. That is a more charming film, and she is outstanding, but this one gives greater range to her skills.

Notable (and watchable!) as a counterpoint to Winslet’s Ruth is sexy and sleazy Sophie Lee as Yvonne who is so taken with P.J. that she fairly begs him to make love to her. Also impressive is Julie Hamilton as the woebegone and stumbling mother.

Of course I would say see this for Kate Winslet, and if you are a fan, you sure don’t want to miss Holy Smoke since it includes one of her best performances; however, what really impressed me is the original and daring conception and direction by Jane Campion who is best known for The Piano (1993), a film that received an Oscar nomination for the best direction and starred Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill.

So see this for Jane Campion who is not afraid to show human nature in the raw.

From Wikipedia:
Holy Smoke!:
Plot synopsis:
During a trip to India, Ruth Barron has a spiritual awakening and embraces the teachings of a guru named Baba. Back home in the Sydney suburb of Sans Souci, her parents are appalled to learn their daughter now answers to the name Nazni and has no intention of returning. They concoct a tale about her father Gilbert having had a stroke and being on the verge of death, and her mother Miriam travels to India in hopes of convincing her to come home, with no success until she suffers a serious asthma attack. Ruth agrees to accompany her on her return flight.

Miriam arranges a reunion with Gilbert, who supposedly is recuperating in the Outback, and this charade lands Ruth in the clutches of P.J. Waters, an American exit counselor who deprograms members of religious cults. In a remote cabin, he isolates Ruth, separates her from her sari and religious props, challenges her faith in Baba, and slowly wears her down. As she begins to weaken, Waters finds himself sexually attracted to her, and in time Ruth allows him to seduce her. She then turns the tables on him, as she discovers her sexuality allows her to make mincemeat of his machismo.

From The Gurdjieff Journal—Fourth Way Perspectives:

“No one can be close to me,” says Ruth Barron (Kate Winslet) during her deprogramming after having taken sannyas with Baba, her Indian guru. Fear of others is common in all, not just the characters in Jane Campion’s new film Holy Smoke. Coming into another’s energy field, we feel we have to be somebody, otherwise, we feel vulnerable. But always having to be a somebody, whatever role we take on or is given us, weighs us down, keeps us from experiencing that closeness human beings need. For, above all, we are social animals. To come together we think we have to forget ourselves. So we disappear into drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll, get caught up in the money-power dream.

“The mind is a mystery,” says a minor character at the film’s beginning. “We decide to diet in the morning and by lunch have forgotten all about it.” Campion leaves it there, as if it’s a mystery that hasn’t been unraveled, and goes on to what really interests her: true relationship between man and woman. To explore this, she puts twenty-something Ruth in a shack in the Australian outback with sixty-something P. J. Waters (Harvey Keitel), an American “exit counselor” who has handled 189 cases with, as he brags, “only a three percent recidivistic rate.” Waters’ three-day program is: Day One, isolate her, get her attention, win her respect. Day Two, remove all the spiritual props, upset her, provoke her, let her see her anger—get her back into the animal nature. Day Three is supposed to be resolution but before this the situation has quickly become more than he’s ever handled.

Turning the Tables
He tells the young girl—”The mind is a rebel. It is not a servant.” And later after using her language of “soul,” “the spark,” “the path,” he tells her “I don’t want to disempower you.” But this, of course, is exactly his aim. Psychologically speaking, he wants to break Ruth’s rapport with and transference to the guru and return her to her previous life. In an amazing scene, Ruth, naked to herself, stands alone in the Australian night, stripped of all belief in anything. It is a dangerous point, for she stands now in between her new life and her old. She turns to face Waters nude underneath the raincoat he’s covered her with. “The love is gone, it’s all gone,” she says forlornly. She steps out of her raincoat and wants to kiss him. He declines and puts the coat around her shoulders. She is so afraid, so alone, she urinates on herself. Understanding the depth and dangerousness of her fear, out of compassion and, yes, of course, lust, Waters lets her kiss him. She, giving herself to him entirely, seduces him and he experiences an intimate and intense communication with a woman beyond anything he has ever known. Unwittingly at first and later with some hint of intuition, she comes to realize she is his healing, as he is hers. A case of transference quickly becomes counter transference with this primal female. P. J. is intoxicated. The Ruth who has given herself to him is not the Ruth of the next day. She is angry at herself, at him, and asks sarcastically—”Which do you like best, my personality or my breasts?” To his credit and Campion’s, he answers honestly. Ruth continues her assault, needling his insecurities and fears and using her body to play with his mind until he calls her, pathetically, “Man-hater!” Then Ruth, experiencing her power, having reduced him as he reduced her, tells him she wants to teach him how to kiss. “I know how to kiss,” he protests. “Not as I like to be kissed, gently,” she tells him. From there she leads P. J. beyond gender, putting him into a red dress, painting his lips. She asks who he is. “A dirty old man.” She asks who she is. He takes her lipstick and writes backwards across her forehead so she can read it in the mirror—Be Kind. While their journey to “the bottom” of one another is “mixed,” that is, both Ruth and P. J. seem to move from personality to essence and back, there is the sense of inner response and resonance from the other when both are truly exploring. For they touched each other, becoming close in a real way, beyond gender, beyond society, a wordless experience of mutual empathy, understandable only really to themselves. But Ruth still has her anger toward men. She wants dimensional relationship. And all men want is her body. She is treated not as a person but a thing. P. J.’s macho front, as we learn, hides his hostility and fear of women. He, too, was “opened” by an Indian guru who shocked and disgusted him by wanting to have sex with him. Hence his career. Campion (The Piano) might have gone deeper into the situation she has created, but one senses she went as far as she could go. . .

“Holy Smoke!” T R A I L E R 1:49:

74. Bares Reposting - October 15, 2011

Recommend watching the YouTubes in order of their posting.

Third eye opening (from “Holy Smoke!”) 0:50:

75. Bares Reposting - October 15, 2011

The Real Best Actress of 1999 – Holy Smoke! – Kate Winslet 3:15:

76. Bares Reposting - October 15, 2011

Holy Smoke! (Jane Campion)- Kate Winslet 3:48:

77. Bares Reposting - October 15, 2011

Last one.
Holy Smoke! 2:13:

Holy Smoke! (USA/Australia 1999)

78. Agent 45 - October 15, 2011

Post Retoasties
Back in the early 1990’s Thomas Easley (the unaforementioned Robert’s #1) was trying to undertake some legal action against Robert Burton/Fellowship of Friends.
No, it was not sponsored by KY Jellies – “The Gold Alchemy Personal Lubricant – comes in a bucket, put it on with a trowel.”

79. nigel - October 15, 2011

73. Bares Reposting

Although I only read as far as S—–y E—-y’s testimonial, I probably will get back to reading about ‘Holy Smoke’ or will even try to see it on DVD, if I can rent it – I actually like seeing things ‘at first hand’. I actually was in London with S—–y and found her a good proponent of drama. thank you BP, for posting…..Nigel.

80. nigel - October 15, 2011

…..quote from Eric Liddell, in the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’, for all of us who have been lucky to dedicate our lives to Truth Unto a Natural Ending…..Nigel…..

“You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It’s hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape – especially if you’ve got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you’re dinner’s burnt. Maybe you haven’t got a job. So who am I to say, “Believe, have faith,” in the face of life’s realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? FROM WITHIN. Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race. “

81. nigel - October 15, 2011

I always find this Bible passage uplifting…..Nigel

…..from Isiah:40…..

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

82. Guy Grand - October 15, 2011

Nos. 73. – 77.

Is this a movie review blog now?
If you want to see a good Kate Winslet movie watch Little Children or The Reader.

83. For the record - October 16, 2011

Guy,
Yes, I’d much rather read short, sarcastic comments on the blog than read commentary about a movie that might provide some insights and draw interesting comparisons to the Living Presence / Fellowship of Friends of cult.

84. Guy Grand - October 16, 2011

Record,
Sorry, I don’t see any similarity between the FOF (I knew) and the clips from “Holy Smoke”.

Watch “Woman in the Dunes: by Hiroshi Teshigahara . That’s the FOF experience (as I see it) in a nutshell.

85. nigel - October 16, 2011

I couldn’t rent ‘Holy Smoke’ – only family films allowed at ‘Blockbuster Video’ (and I think the film is ‘R’ rated). Got this funny feeling that sex is the primary topic between the Winslett and Keitel characters – probably that is where the movie interfaces with Burton-esque goings-on. You see – sex is the governing factor in human lives – reproduction and creation – but Burton takes it to anal extremities (exactly meant). Sex as creative versus sex as perversion. Where has Burton used his sex energy for positive means?????…..Nigel.

86. The FOFion - October 17, 2011

Five more bloggers released from captivity

NEW YORK (ARK) — Five more Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence (FOFPTPLP) bloggers were released from captivity Sunday.

The five bloggers had been occasionally spending a few minutes here and there posting to The Blog when so inspired, which to the untrained observer may have seemed rather healthy and normal, but FOFPTPLP authorities began showing concern in recent months.

“It started becoming clear that it was never going to stop,” said a FOFPTPLP spokesperson. “We think the FOF Blog Moderator was telling them that they’d lose all possibilities if they leave The Blog. Can you imagine anything stranger than that?”

What’s more, many bloggers believe they will have no social life outside The Blog, and therefore fear the consequences of leaving.

“They think they would have nowhere to go,” one FOFPTPLP analyst said. “It’s sad really. Their entire lives are built around fear and delusional ideas. They actually think that the FOFPTPLP is not a legitimate organization, and that it’s leader has evil intent, and that somehow it may help to talk about it openly on the internet. Can you believe that?”

87. Associated Press - October 17, 2011

Vatican weighs in on cult-like group in Legion
By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press
October 17, 2011

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has proposed giving hundreds of women who live like nuns within the troubled Legion of Christ order greater autonomy after a Holy See investigation found serious problems in their regimented communities.

The pope’s delegate running the Legion, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, said in a letter published Monday that the problems of the consecrated women of the Legion’s lay branch were “many and challenging.” Of particular concern is that they have no legal status in the church.

In a 2010 Associated Press expose, former consecrated women spoke of the cult-like conditions they lived in, with rules dictating nearly every minute of their day — from how they ate to what they watched on TV — all in the name of God’s will.

The women described emotional and spiritual abuse they suffered if they questioned their vocation, and of how they would be cast aside if their spiritual directors no longer had any need for them.

The Vatican ordered the investigation after word of the abuses emerged during a broader Vatican probe into the Legion, a conservative order founded in Mexico in 1941 by the late Rev. Marciel Maciel.

After decades of denying allegations Maciel was a pedophile, the Legion in 2009 began admitting to his double life: that he sexually abused seminarians and had fathered at least three children with two women.

The revelations have put the Legion in a tailspin and cast a shadow over the Vatican since Pope John Paul II had held Maciel up as a model for his orthodoxy and ability to attract new priests and donations.

Maciel had created the consecrated branch of the Legion’s lay movement Regnum Christi primarily as a fundraising tool and to provide unpaid teachers for Legion-owned schools. The consecrated women also run youth programs and work to recruit new members.

The members, who at their height numbered about 900 women and a few dozen men, make promises of poverty, chastity and obedience like nuns do, though they enjoy none of the legal protections nuns have that make it difficult for their orders to kick them out.

Legion officials have repeatedly declined to provide statistics on how many remain in the movement. Former members say many women have either left amidst the Maciel scandal or are taking time to discern whether they still have a vocation.

In his letter, De Paolis said those who remain are happy and providing a valuable service to the church.

“However, the issues regarding personal and community life that have emerged from this same visitation on an institutional level initially appear to be many and challenging,” he wrote.

He said the women should have greater autonomy from the Legion, in both their personal and community lives, and that they need a legal status that corresponds to canon law.

They would, however, maintain a “link of participation” with the Legion.

De Paolis said the women would have to rewrite their norms, but that for now the statutes guiding their life that were approved by the Vatican in 2004 remain intact.

One of the great scandals about the consecrated women is that they were told the Vatican in 2004 had approved a set of over 1,000 rules dictating how they were to behave when, in fact, the Vatican approved only about 150 general norms.

Genevieve Kineke, who runs an active blog read by many former Legion and consecrated members, said she hoped the autonomy envisaged by De Paolis will enable current and future members to truly discern whether they have a vocation. Up until recently, some 18-year-olds would make their lifelong commitments to being consecrated after a mere six-week candidacy program.

“As long as the delegate relies on the existing superiors to guide his actions concerning these individuals, then we have a closed circle of conformity to the same methodology,” Kineke said in an email.

While current consecrated members say they are happy and participating in the reform process, their choices haven’t always pleased their parents.

Kelly Tuttle said she grieves daily for the loss of her 27-year-old daughter, who gave up a partial medical scholarship to the University of Dayton, Ohio to become consecrated in 2003.

“The Katie that I knew, I grieve for that Katie,” Tuttle told the AP. “There’s only the shell of her left. Because they’ve taken the person that I knew as my daughter, who was young and vibrant, intellectually alive and athletic, and they’ve taken that out of her.”

“It’s like she’s dead and gone,” she said.

Katie Tuttle declined to be interviewed, according to a Legion spokesman.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

More at:
legionariesofchrist.org
http://www.rickross.com/groups/loc.html

88. nigel - October 18, 2011

…..from Google-ing “Stripping the Gurus” – you see, we are as responsible for our organizations as are our leaders…..Nigel.

“Why do false Gurus exist? It is our own fault. We choose our Gurus just as we choose our politicians. The false Guru market is growing because the false disciple market is growing. Because of his blind selfishness, a false Guru drowns people, and because of his blind selfishness and wrong understanding, a false disciple gets trapped. A true disciple would never be trapped by a false Guru.” (Muktananda, 1981)

89. nigel - October 18, 2011

…..having Google-d ‘why the need for cults’…..

Parental bonds are not just a social phenomena, they are very primal. The mother is the nurturer, the father is the protector and also serves to provide the direction and “religion” of his children. If a child is abandoned or rejected by his mother or father, no amount of corrective reasoning can take away the emotional pain that is experienced by the child, and it does not go away with age.

The family unit also includes many primal experiences, so that if one’s family is missing one or more of such experiences, a distinct need may be felt to take part in what one has missed along the way. Among such primal family experiences are the following:

• a hierarchy (chain of command)

• a strong leader over all

• direction/goals

• common enemy to rally against

• something sacred (a “religion”)

• exclusivity (family pride)

• customs and taboos

• justice and punishment

• favoritism

Such aspects of family life are not “evil,” they are normal and present in all human societies as well as in the higher animal kingdom. Good parents promote healthy experiences that become part of one’s personal identity and style. The trouble begins when a parent abuses his authority and commands others to their harm. Physically and sexually abusive fathers, dictatorial attitudes and harsh rules designed to legislate the actions of all without regard to their personal needs or desires are quite common. Negative experiences such as these also become part of one’s identity, hence the need for therapy groups dealing with children of alcoholics, the physically and sexually abused, etc.

The human psyche will look for ways to fill this “family void.” Perhaps we are still looking for that father image we longed for as a child. Perhaps life has become too uncertain; we just lost a job, a mate, or moved away to a strange place, and we need something more secure to put faith in. Maybe we are tired of being a “nobody,” and wish to tap into the power of a charismatic leader, and share in their limelight. Maybe we just want to live a good life away from drugs or alcohol, and a new family with a strong father will help us do that through the strict guidelines that are practiced.

People don’t join cults over doctrine; they commit to the group because they want a new family. Doctrine merely becomes part of the family baggage.

Cults as Extended Families

Cults are simply extended families with a new hierarchy. There is a father image in most all of them, or in a few cases a very strong mother image instead. The “pecking order” in this extended family is obvious once one is initiated, the direction or goals become very clear, and the common enemy is preached against constantly. There is no question among the initiates as to what is sacred and what is profane. Such is learned through both written and verbal instruction, as well as observing and experiencing the rod of the judicial system of the group. Favoritism is unavoidable, but when coupled with the abuse of power it is oppressive.

The difference between the family experience and the cult experience is generally found in the degree of abuse experienced, as well as in the use of deception. Ministries and individuals who attack the concept of “modern cults using mind control” are missing the point when they say it doesn’t exist. In reality, it is their straw-man concept of what “mind control” means that is out of date, i.e., the picture of the cult that uses brainwashing techniques to change a person against their will. Such brainwashing techniques are really not that powerful in the long run and have been abandoned for the most part; whereas the “extended family” scenario with its complex and subtle forms of absolute control, deception and abuse is by far the most classic and powerful form of cult mind control. It is also a model that is much easier to understand, assuming one has been raised in a family of their own, especially an abusive one. The concept of “cults” is no longer mysterious or strange, but is quite predictable and readily observed in society.

Religion (as a belief system) is often cited as a major devisive force, both in ecumenical as well as political matters. In actuality, however, doctrine is only one of the many forms of control within the extended family. Most of the abuse and deception actually has its origin in the father figure who is the leader, rather than whatever “scriptures” are held in esteem. In the case of abusive father figures who use the Bible, all sorts of distorted concepts are taught using the Bible, where passages are usually taken out of context or totally misinterpreted. Why? For the sake of control, and for pretending that one has all the answers. Aren’t fathers supposed to have all the answers? Many people think so, and go looking for a system or ideology that provides simple answers to complex subjects. What they don’t realize is that for every over-simplified belief system (whether a religion or secular ideology), there is an abusive father image behind it.

90. WhaleRider - October 18, 2011

FOFion:

Ex-Bloggers Mostly Silent About Ordeal

New York (ARK)-Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence (FOFPTPLP) officials are pleased to announce that the five ex-bloggers recently released from blog captivity are learning once again how to keep their mouths shut and are not saying much to other followers about their blogging ordeal.

“It takes me out of the present to refer to the past,” said one ex-blogger during a celebration commemorating the 44th month since the FOFPTPLP’s last name change. “Self-reflection isn’t the same as self-remembering.”

Another ex-blogger did comment, “I wasn’t comfortable blogging for free. How could I value something that didn’t max out my credit card?”

91. Golden Veil - October 18, 2011

The above humor reflects how I view the silliness I submitted myself to under extreme self delusion, that debacle called the Fellowship of Friends / Pathways to Presence / Living Presence…

Many former Students have fond memories of international friendships and what for many was an initiation into the appreciation of fine art, art music, and the culture of beauty. The various psychological exercises, intimate talks, the attention, the exclusivity, the feeling that one was “special” counterpointed with uncomfortable self and peer judgement… what a rich delusion! That man behind the emerald green curtain of Oz, in Apollo, that narcissistic perverted charlatan… the thought that he is at the helm of it all, fills me now with regret.

Oh, how we cherish our delusions…

92. nigel - October 18, 2011

…..I am a craftsman, by profession; a teacher by way of making my living and a mystic, by way of having survived a cult and living in post-middle age. Love to you all…..Nigel.

“In My Craft or Sullen Art”, by Dylan Marlais Thomas

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labor by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

93. Tim Campion - October 19, 2011

62. JB

Updated story on Richard Malten:

http://inyoregister.com/node/1866

JB: do you know if Richard participated in the blog?

94. Agent 45 - October 19, 2011

Robert Burton, high priestess for the Fellowship of Friends, is pleased to announce to his trusted older students that he will not be attending any of their funerals either.
“You don’t need a horoscope or a microscope to see the mess that you’re in.” – George Harrison
Hari Krishna Hari Krishna
Hari Rama
Rama-Krishna

95. JB - October 19, 2011

Tim
I know little of Richard since he was a ‘loner’.
While still in FOF he took care of his father and uncle,here in OH. When his father passed away he sold the house and bought property by Apollo. He had a German lady girl friend, or was married to her for awhile still in the FOF. Then he left FOF.
He used to go camping in the Sierra by himself.
That is all I know, but I am not sure.

96. For the record - October 19, 2011

Google searches for “Living Presence” are now showing these pages (fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/…) about halfway down on the second page of search results. FOF propaganda still prevails on the first two pages, but it has company.

Tim, good question about Richard. Speaking of searches, I did a search for his name. There is no facebook page that I could detect, but his google profile is “hydrogen12” and his occupation is “Cat Herder.”

https://profiles.google.com/hydrogen12

I hope he’s alright, and that we hear some good news soon.

97. nigel - October 19, 2011

Fellowship of Friends
Alternate Names of the Group:
The Fellowship, The School Group

Leader:
Robert Earl Burton (aka “The Teacher”)

The following information provided by a former member of the group:

Description:
There is a fair amount of information on the web about this group, so I won’t go into exhaustive detail. It was founded by Robert Burton in 1970 in No. California. Early on, the group purchased a large amount of property outside Chico, Ca. It was founded as a “4th Way School” along the lines of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s organizations. The leader’s lifestyle can be read about in a lawsuit that has been published on the web, along with several newspaper articles detailing his activities. The group maintains a central facility on the California property, with a well-regarded winery and art museum. The leader is charismatic, controlling, largely inaccessible and prone to making dire prophecies that never come to pass. Imitation of the leader permeates the organization, held in place by fear-based peer pressure and religious zealotry. Criticism of the leader and the organization is strictly forbidden. Burton claims his spiritual development is second only to Christ’s — !! that he is “enlightened,” “conscious,” “an angel in a man’s body,” and so on.

The BITE Model As Applied to Fellowship of Friends

Behaviors:

1. All of these aspects are strictly regulated. Members are strongly discouraged from associating with those outside the group, and even with family members. Though this changes over time, rules about clothes and personal appearance abound. There are rules regarding how members eat, and on occasion, what they eat and drink. (For example, for a time soft drinks and bacon were forbidden.) The leader at one time suggested sleeping no more than 6 hours per night, and there was strong peer pressure to conform. As a result, some members’ health was damaged (mine included). The financial commitment was large at first, and increased until it was enormous. 10% of your income was the base payment, plus a constant series of “special donations” (required) and “special requests” (not required, but strongly “encouraged”). Members who chose to live and work on the Fellowship property were paid less than minimum wage, to my knowledge, while being asked to work excessively long hours. Those not living on the property were “encouraged” to spend their vacations there, generally spending their time participating in the manual labor.

2. At the time of my membership, students were encouraged to live in group houses called “teaching houses.” Those who didn’t were tangibly judged as being “less serious about work on themselves.” This seems to be less the case these days, however, as the general population of students has aged. There were generally two 2-hour meetings per week, along with special activities and dinners, but again, students were strongly pressured to spend any leisure time in the company of other students, and to avoid unnecessary contact with outside people.

3. This definitely happened, but in reality, there was a rule or “suggestion” for virtually every aspect of a student’s existence, so there was generally little question as to what “the Teacher wished one to do.” I do know that at one point he issued a proclamation that anyone in a relationship should either get married or terminate the relationship. Most people took this seriously and did as they were told.

4. I suppose there was some inclination to “confess” one’s “failures in the work.” More likely, though, was the tendency to “tattle” on others who had broken rules. There was and is a strict no-smoking rule, with large fines for offenders; students took to sniffing one another for signs of offense, and would turn in suspected smokers.

5. Punishments for breaking rules included fines and even expulsion from the group. Failing to keep monthly dues current barred one from attending meetings and other group events. Rewards were more subtle — acceptance and praise for successfully being able to act the part of the “good student.”

6. Individualism was all but banned outright. Students were told what music, art, clothing, etc. they should like. Non-compliance resulted in being shunned as someone with a “negative attitude” toward the teaching. To enjoy music etc. that was not sanctioned by the “Teacher” was seen as a personal defect and weakness to be ashamed of. There is also a very insular language peculiar to the group, where catch-phrases quickly take the place of real thought.

7. See above.

8. Questioning the teacher’s insights, commands, requests etc. was strictly forbidden, though the means for enforcing this were more covert and had to do with engendering shame, fear and guilt.

Information:

1. Any negative talk about the “teacher” was regarded as gossip, against which there were strict rules. A search of the web regarding lawsuits against Robert Burton will reveal the extent of his abuses of power, yet that information rarely if ever reached the students. The “Teacher’s” indiscretions were always interpreted in the most positive light possible, as in, “everything he does is for the good of our spiritual evolution.”

2. There was a time when reading newspapers and watching TV were forbidden, though now that is not the case, to my knowledge. Any information critical of the “Teacher” was quickly and effectively suppressed. There were and are strict rules forbidding contact with former members.

3. Us vs. them is a huge component of the Fellowship. Those not in the group are called, derogatorily, “life people,” and are considered “sleeping machines” and “food for the moon.” Burton has predicted a coming Armageddon, in which only Fellowship members will survive, and will be solely responsible for carrying on with civilization. The rest of “life” will be “expunged” according to Burton.

4. There is some of this, see above.

5. When I was a member (1981-89), there were monthly journals that were very substantially edited and “improved” transcripts of meetings. Occasional communiques with Burton’s thoughts would be issued. He has since written a book titled “Self-Remembering.” Certain books somewhat critical of the 4th Way in general, such as Webb’s “Harmonious Circle,” were discouraged.

6. The system of thought behind this group is quite complex, and tends to engender the tendency to do this to oneself.

Thought:

1-6: All of these occur, constantly and intensely, with the exception of chanting, praying, speaking in tongues, and singing/humming.

Emotional:

1-7: Yes to all these, in a very big way. Burton claims that those who leave his organization lose all chance of spiritual evolution. I quote: “When a student leaves, all the light that was available to them disappears down a black hole and is forever lost.” Staying in the organization, on the other hand, guarantees eternal life.

Other Sources of Information: The Fellowship has vigorously suppressed, through the use of lawsuits, information critical of them. They successfully squelched the airing of, I believe, a “20/20″ segment that featured a former student speaking out against the organization. However, there are some legal documents and newspaper articles that can be found on the web that will give you an idea of what really goes on behind its very well-groomed facade.

98. Shirley - October 20, 2011

An article on the front page of the Dining section of today’s New York Times newspaper had an article that mentioned Apollo Olive Oil. The first part of the article is below. The word Apollo linked to their website, http://www.apollooliveoil.com, in case any one is interested in looking at it.

“California’s Olive Oil Challenge Europe’s”
By Julia Moskin, NY Times, 10/18/11

“American food lovers have long taken for granted that only olive oils from the Mediterranean are worth buying — preferably with an olive tree, an Italian flag and some words like “authentic cold pressed” on the bottle.

“But in the last decade, California producers have mounted a major new effort to bring back the domestic olive oil industry, planting thousands of acres, building new mills and producing oils that can be fresher, purer and cheaper than all but the finest imports.

“The California olive oil trade, started by 16th-century Spanish missionaries, was almost dead 10 years ago, except for small-scale producers along the Pacific Coast and in the wine country.

“Many people loved the romance of olive oil,” said Deborah Rogers, an owner of the Olive Press, a mill and orchard in Sonoma, Calif. “But no one could figure out how to make any money at it.”

“Less than 2 percent of the olive oil consumed in the United States is produced here. But that figure is nudging upward as companies like California Olive Ranch, Corto Olive and Apollo have produced oils that are priced to compete not only in specialty stores, but in supermarkets. They’re using two powerful tools: intensive farming systems already in wide use around the Mediterranean, and a self-imposed bureaucracy that has tried to set a new domestic standard for purity, just as imported olive oil has come under increased scrutiny….”

99. Agent 45 - October 20, 2011

Apollo Oil Oils!
Made by cult zombies right here in America!
Approved for use in bizzare sex ceremonies.
The natural alternative to KY.
Safe for kids of all ages.

100. nigel - October 20, 2011

…..from “Robert Earl Burton – An Unauthorize Blogography”…..

“Truth Be Told” wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:

‘The claim on the previous page that FOF workers were allowed to go hungry is among the more serious charges against the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence/Power of Now/Pathway to Presence/Whatever, based in Mount Carmel/Via del Sol/Renaissance/Apollo/Isis/Apollo.

Some background: Until the late 1990s, everyone was fed at a common trough. Free food was one of the benefits of being “on salary.” Management decided, during a round of budget cuts, that this was encouraging “tramp.” People should take responsibility for themselves.

A fancy restaurant, Apollo d’Oro, was created, and members were expected to pay for their meals. Someone told me, about 2003 or 2005 I think, that some students were actually going hungry in the wake of this plan.

I took the matter to El1zabeth Blak3, a psychologist who was then a member of the “Fellowship Council.” As I recall, I suggested the extra food at the Galleria could be distributed, or at least something to do with the food being wasted.

She asked me to name names. Of course I didn’t have any. This had been described to me as a general reality, not the complaint of an isolated person or two. It seemed believable enough. She floored me when said anyone who was hungry should come forward. In other words, the beggars would have to identify themselves to get help.
“Please, sir, may I have some more?”

I guess the Council was the “spiritual wing” of the FOF. They didn’t do compassion. They were too busy tracking down Adyashanti followers and discussing the candidates for center directors. (Pardon the snark.)

“For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink … Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me.” Matt. 25: 42, 45.

101. nigel - October 20, 2011

…..from Google-ing – “Altered States of Consciousness”…..

“An altered state of consciousness is a brain state wherein one loses the sense of identity with one’s body or with one’s normal sense perceptions. A person may enter an altered state of consciousness through such things as sensory deprivation or overload, neurochemical imbalance, fever, or trauma. One may also achieve an altered state by chanting, meditating, entering a trance state, or ingesting psychedelic drugs.

The testimonies of mystics and meditators who claim that their ability to enter altered states of consciousness has brought them enlightenment or transcendence are generally regarded with great skepticism among the majority of scientists in Western society. Other researchers, especially those in the field of parapsychology, maintain that Western science must recognize the value of studying altered states of consciousness and face up to the fact that what scientists consider baseline or normal consciousness is not unitary. In the opinion of many parapsychologists, science must abandon the notion that waking, rational consciousness is the only form of any value and that all other kinds are pathological.

Researchers who study aspects of human consciousness have suggested that within the course of a single day an individual may flicker in and out of several states of consciousness. Some theorize that there are six states of “nonreflective consciousness,” characterized by the absence of self-consciousness. These states include:

Bodily feelings, which are induced by normal bodily functioning and are characterized by nonreflective awareness in the organs and tissues of the digestive, glandular, respiratory, and other bodily systems. This awareness does not become self-conscious unless such stimuli as pain or hunger intensify a bodily feeling.
Stored memories, which do not become self-conscious until the individual reactivates them.

Coma, which is induced by illness, epileptic seizures, or physical injuries to the brain, and is characterized by prolonged nonreflective consciousness of the entire organism.

Stupor, which is induced by psychosis, narcotics, or over-indulgence in alcohol, and is characterized by greatly reduced ability to perceive incoming sensations.

Non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, which is caused by a normal part of the sleep cycle at night or during daytime naps, and is characterized by a minimal amount of mental activity, which may sometimes be recalled upon awakening.

Rapid-eye-movement sleep, which is a normal part of the nighttime sleep cycle, and is characterized by the mental activity known as dreams.

The reflective, or self-conscious, states of consciousness are:

Pragmatic consciousness, the everyday, waking conscious state, characterized by alertness, logic, and rationality, cause-and-effect thinking, goal-directedness. In this level of consciousness, one has the feeling that he or she is in control and has the ability to move at will from perceptual activity to conceptual thinking to idea formation to motor activity.

Lethargic consciousness, characterized by sluggish mental activity that has been induced by fatigue, sleep deprivation, feelings of depression, or certain drugs.

Hyperalert consciousness, brought about by a period of heightened vigilance, such as sentry duty, watching over a sick child, or by certain drugs, such as amphetamines.

Levels or types of consciousness with varying degrees of what could be considered an altered state might include:

Rapturous consciousness, characterized by intense feelings and overpowering emotions and induced by sexual stimulation, the fervor of religious conversion, or the ingestion of certain drugs.

Hysterical consciousness, induced by rage, jealousy, fear, neurotic anxiety, violent mob activity, or certain drugs. As opposed to rapturous consciousness, which is generally evaluated as pleasant and positive in nature, hysterical consciousness is considered negative and destructive.

Fragmented consciousness, defined as a lack of integration among important segments of the total personality, often results in psychosis, severe neurosis, amnesia, multiple personality, or dissociation. Such a state of consciousness is induced by severe psychological stress over a period of time. It may also be brought about temporarily by accidents or psychedelic drugs.

Relaxed consciousness, characterized by a state of minimal mental activity, passivity, and an absence of motor activity. This state of consciousness may be brought about by lack of external stimulation, such as sunbathing, floating in water, or certain drugs.

Daydreaming, induced by boredom, social isolation, or sensory deprivation.

Trance consciousness, induced by rapt attentiveness to a single stimulus, such as the voice of a hypnotist, one’s own heartbeat, a chant, certain drugs, or trance-inducing rituals and primitive dances. The trance state is characterized by hypersuggestibility and concentrated attention on one stimulus to the exclusion of all others.

Expanded consciousness, comprising four levels:

A) the sensory level, characterized by subjective reports of space, time, body image, or sense impressions having been altered;

B) the recollective-analytic level, which summons up memories of one’s past and provides insights concerning self, work, or personal relationships;

C) the symbolic level, which is often characterized by vivid visual imagery of mythical, religious, and historical symbols;

D) the integrative level, in which the individual undergoes an intense religious illumination, experiences a dissolution of self, and is confronted by God or some divine being.

Each of these four levels might be induced by psychedelic drugs, hypnosis, meditation, prayer, or free association during psychoanalysis. Through the ages, many of humankind’s major material and spiritual breakthroughs may have come from these virtually unmapped, uncharted regions of the mind.

There are many reasons why the great majority of scientific researchers remain doubtful about the validity of altered states of consciousness, such as the misuse of hypnosis by amateur practitioners, the lack of understanding by professionals and public alike of the creative processes, and the disastrous results of the recreational use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. Descriptions of mystical revelations become almost florid as self-proclaimed seers and mystics attempt to translate their psychedelic drug or trance state experiences into the language of a technically oriented society. Quite frequently, creative geniuses of Western culture have compared their moods of inspiration to insanity. The composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) once compared his behavior during creative periods to that of a madman. Such comparisons are regrettable, and it is unfortunate that modern culture has few models other than madness to describe the throes of creativity.

William James (1842–1910), the great pioneer of the study of consciousness, wrote in the Varieties of Religious Experience that what is called “normal waking consciousness” is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, separated by the slightest of barriers, “there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.” While many individuals may go through life without suspecting the existence of these states of consciousness, “…apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness…No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these forms of consciousness disregarded.”

While skeptical psychological researchers continue to label claims of revelation and transcendence through altered states of consciousness as delusional and self-deceptive, others call for a serious examination of various states of consciousness and ask for more research to learn the particular significance of each state on the totality of the human entity. Many parapsychologists firmly believe that continued research into altered states of consciousness may well reveal that humankind’s most important discoveries, its highest peaks of ecstasy, and its greatest moments of inspiration occur in reverie, in dreams, and in states of consciousness presently ignored by the professional world and the general public.

(So you see – being present may not bring about the God-State)

102. sallymcnally - October 21, 2011

I love Apollo Olive Oil. 🙂

103. Golden Veil - October 22, 2011

The Apollo olive oil looks good to me… check this out:

http://www.apollooliveoil.com/health.php

104. nigel - October 22, 2011

I bet Burton would like to get his hands on some Extra Virgins…..Nigel

105. WhaleRider - October 22, 2011

Supreme Extra Lucky Apollo Olive Oil

Basking in the bright sun of the Sierra Foothills, the noble Apollo Olive awakens glistening each day, its delicate skin bathed by the sweet morning dew, cleansed of the rich red iron dust of the soil far, far below the shady and well-groomed branches and leaves of its Tuscan stock.

The noble Apollo Olive’s day is spent hard at work ripening the thick meat coat around its hard inner seed, becoming fatter and juicier day by blissful day. The softened winds from the harsh central valley gently rock the Olive babe each evening to sleep, lulled into a peaceful slumber by the music of orbiting celestial spheres and diamond stars twinkling overhead.

In the arid climate the noble Apollo Olive’s main aim: coalescing its protective oils and special sugars from its environs, the luxurious elixir of many a gourmet’s garnish and plate du jour.

At peak ripeness, at the perfect moment, just at the waning of the harvest moon, the noble Apollo Olive’s fate is to be lovingly hand picked by the delicate and attentive fingers of the Apollo Oil Specialist, never to touch the ground, and is gently placed with its elliptical brethren in hand woven baskets, made of only the finest Malaysian rattan.

The tree eagerly begins the olive replacement process.

Then the Noble Apollo Olive journeys forth, transported by other bare-footed Apollo Oil Specialists along the softly beaten foot path down to the Apollo Olive Oil Refinery constructed of sun-baked bricks and seasoned live oak beams, nestled in the valley below the peaceful slopes.

There the Noble Apollo Olive is dumped into a cold steel barrel, deprived of air, and crushed by mechanical means.

Then it is spun incessantly until all memory of it former life is completely erased, blending it into one great undifferentiated mass of organic pumice, becoming but a shadow of its former self as its luck slowly trickles out, robbed of its virginal life fluid.

What distinguishes the Supreme Extra Lucky Apollo Oil extraction process from all the others?

It operates in a vacuum.

Enjoy!

106. nigel - October 22, 2011

105. WhaleRider

Wow!!!!! WR…..cosmic post…..intelligent and poignant…..Nigel.

107. nigel - October 22, 2011

My ‘errant’ student, Linzi, went on vacation to India last week and her boyfriend bought her a Star Ruby…..(Google-d this)…..

Discover the most attractive, rare & valuable form of rubies!

Star Ruby.

The undisputed ruler in the fascinating world of gemstones. One of the most charming, fascinating and remarkable creations of nature.

At StarRuby.in, learn everything about this splendid gemstone…

…..about star rubies…..

Star Rubies are beautiful gemstones that display a six-ray star that seems to glide magically across the surface of the gem when the latter is moved. This six-ray star is caused due to an optical phenomena known as “Asterism”. The term “Asterism” is derived from the Greek word “aster”, which means star, so asterism is commonly referred to as “star” or “star-effect”. In simple words, asterism is a star-shaped light effect across the surface of gems. Other popular gemstones that display asterism are Star Sapphire, Star Rose Quartz, Star Garnet, Star Diopside, Star Moonstone, Star Spinel and Star Opal.

(We are all stars and gems, that are cut to shape by the events of life…..thus we shine…..Nigel).

108. Kid Shelleen - October 23, 2011

“I love Apollo Olive Oil. :)”

Isn’t this a quote from Apollo Popeye?

…and I think he says “loves”

Just tryin’ to keep the blog factual, as well as entertaining!

109. We Were There - October 23, 2011

And Grant Rumi plays Popeye (complete with pipe) while Olive Oil is played by Leigh Misfit…

110. sallymcnally - October 24, 2011

This place has turned into a snake pit — I personally don’t find it fun to make fun of people — that used to be my friends.

111. sallymcnally - October 24, 2011

the blog has turned into a lot of lofty words, uplifting poetry and such and then poking fun of people? Hmm, kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. Have your fun guys, but I think this is not helpful stuff but perhaps that’s not what you’re here for anymore I have no idea but I don’t think I’d be too impressed if I were a person on the fence reading this —

112. Agent 45 - October 24, 2011

Thanks to your remarks, Kid, some people are taking this blog seriously. So knock it off with the uplifting poetry.

113. Agent 45 - October 24, 2011

Speaking of lofty quotes, I think it was Gurdjieff who said:
“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

114. Fee fi fo fum - October 24, 2011

This blog has always been a snake pit. The anacondas have give way to the garter snakes. Caveat emptor.

Nothing wrong with a good laugh now then. Didn’t the “work books” say laughter is tthe negative and positive halves of centers coming together? Some of the humour is worthy of a local newspaper. In fact, some of FFion and Whale Rider’s fake articles are probably not too far off the mark from the real thing. That makes the FF look pretty sad.

Maybe we don’t have to make fun of people we used to be friends with in the FF, but think about it. Are they friends anymore with us? We dropped out and fell into the outer circle.

115. James McLemore - October 24, 2011

113. Agent 45

I think that lofty quote rightfully belongs to J.R. “Bob” Dobbs.

Another of Dobbs’ quotes that may sometimes be mistakenly credited to Gurdjieff or to Robert E. Burton, is,

“Pull off your pants, and ROLL AROUND IN YOUR MISTAKES. Then send me your life savings.”

116. nigel - October 24, 2011

Looks like it’s true – in the FOF you have ‘invented’ lofty ideals, assisted by a ‘lofty’ location, lofty music and lofty literature – on the outside, the need for dissent, arguments, sarcasm and, for God’s sake, not taking yourself and the whole world seriously…..Nigel.

117. nigel - October 24, 2011

test

118. fofblogmoderator - October 25, 2011

#114 is new

119. We Were There - October 25, 2011

sallymcnally,

To use the language we learned together, that comment (in 109 re: Apollo Popeye) was from my jack of hearts, and as, you said, not helpful to what I consider my aim in participating in the blog.

Thanks for the photograph!

120. Agent 45 - October 25, 2011

Awww, that’s so sweet and Fellowshippy.

121. WhaleRider - October 25, 2011

Sallymcnally:

“…kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.”

This is precisely the point. But where is the harm?

We are all equals…but there are those incredibly supremely extra virgin lucky ones who’d like to believe they are more equal than others.

Those caught up in the unconscious need to feel superior are ripe for exploitation if they cannot (or are not allowed to) laugh at themselves or others.

The only harm in poking fun at the elitists who “used to be your friends” (or spouses) is a wound to their narcissism.

Dealing with narcissistic personality structures is probably one of the most difficult tasks we face as members of an “inclusive” community, second only to dealing with anger.

It is virtually impossible for an inflated narcissist to see himself or herself accurately, especially the high achievers.

The narcissistic personality in its effort to elevate itself from others will go to great lengths to deny or silence any dissent that threatens the stability of its ivory tower built upon sand. This forms the foundation of “groupthink”, setting the stage for real harm to nonconformists. This is why burton has no tolerance for wit, unless it is his little witty remarks about “life people”.

Satire, such as political satire of those in power, is one of the only ways of humanizing the narcissistic personality, keeping its expansion in check.

Cutting off heads in the public square is another.

Take Gaddafi, for example. The only way that puffed up narcissist could be removed from power was by brutal force (and mind you, he was one weird narcissist), and yet there were those who would fight to the death to keep him in power and maintain the status quo of their position in his hierarchy.

That is why some of the first political satirists of the Roman Empire were pantomimes; they could not be silenced nor punished for speaking truth to power. In the Middle Ages, it was the court jester.

If you don’t approve of making fun of narcissists, then don’t do it. (Sadistically making fun of someone else’s suffering or disability is another matter altogether.)

Yes, satire can wound narcissism, yet think of it as a bruised banana…it makes the banana sweeter.

Thanks for being here.

122. Kid Shelleen - October 25, 2011

Always Remember:

“An unemployed jester is nobody’s fool.”

From the movie “The Court Jester” starring Danny Kaye.

123. surelyujest - October 25, 2011

122 Kid Shelleen

“From the movie “The Court Jester” starring Danny Kaye.”

That came from his Jack of Hearts, and look where he is now. He’s dead. Think about it.

124. WhaleRider - October 25, 2011

Surely You Jest:

“That came from his Jack of Hearts, and look where he is now. He’s dead. Think about it.”

You don’t actually believe the above trance logic qualifies as “thinking”, do you?

It’s a great example of a thought blocking ploy burton uses to indoctrinate his followers into his cult.

How does one think about the unknowable, grasshopper?

What you are asking is for us to think with our amygdala, not our cerebral cortex, leading us to make a fear-based conclusion substantiated with fallacious logic.

You are afraid of man-eating tigers. I am wearing special cologne that repels tigers. You don’t see any tigers around, do you? Therefore it must work.

Now let’s actually think about what Danny Kaye might have been saying.

“An unemployed jester is nobody’s fool.”

An unemployed comedian is not beholden, nor subject to anyone, nor is he a follower.

He is free…yet he goes hungry.

In order to survive, the comedian must find someone with enough self-awareness and self-understanding who will pay him to hold up a humorous mirror so the person can see themselves and their humanity, otherwise they will make avoidable mistakes based upon their inflated sense of themselves.

The question is: who is the greater fool, the person who knows themselves that well that they can laugh at themselves, the person whose employment depends upon finding an employer with such a high level of self-understanding, or the person who only surrounds himself with “yes men”?

Sounds like fairly sophisticated, thought-provoking humor, if you think about it.

125. brucelevy - October 25, 2011

Modus operandi very similar, and he even looks like RB

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/swami-bhaktipada-dies_n_1028953.html

126. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

I am pretty even tempered but my button is hurting others so don’t expect me to sit back and listen to humor at the expense of others and not say anything. It’s just not me, in or out of the Fellowship I think that it’s demeaning. And I believe or feel that my fellow students in or out of the Fellowship are fellow spiritual travelers. The ones inside the Fellowship just haven’t learned their guru lesson yet. And I’m sure when they do it will be as painful as the ones who have left and know better now. Luckily for them there are many people in the OH area that are there to catch them, invite them in and give them some heartfelt energy. As far as I’m concerned sometimes the blog just goes into the muck a little too far. I am not speaking from a place of judgment but rather empathy for all of us as I see in or out we are people that are just trying to understand what the ‘f’ is going on most of the time. :)))

127. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

And I might add that humor at the expense of others usually comes from a place of a feeling of superiority. Could it be that some folks feel superior BECAUSE they left the Fellowship? Hmm, I think I had enough of that already. Do not mean to single anyone out. I have done it too.

128. brucelevy - October 26, 2011

“I am not speaking from a place of judgment…”

Well, actually, you are.

“And I might add that humor at the expense of others usually comes from a place of a feeling of superiority.”

Not necessarily, and that’s pretty fucking close to right out of the FOF statement playbook, under “feminine dominance”.

129. Shirley - October 26, 2011

125

The NYTimes’ obituary today was very descriptive of Swami Bhaktipada’s excesses and nefarious behavior.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/us/swami-bhaktipada-ex-hare-krishna-leader-dies-at-74.html?hpw

Some of the silliness sounds like recent descriptions of Apollo: “…a live elephant, terraced gardens, a swan boat and bubbling fountains.” There is even an ostentatious structure called the Palace of Gold. But the silliness pales in comparison to the criminality of the community, including 2 murders and sexual abuse of children.

The writer points out the usual extreme divergence of a spiritual group from its original tenets: “The baroque frenzy of the place stands in vivid contrast to the founding tenets of the Hare Krishna movement…It advocates a spiritual life centered on truth, simplicity and abstinence from drugs alcohol and extramarital sex.” Instead, there was sexual molestation of “schoolchildren and …under-age boys” by staff members.

130. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

I guess I pushed someone else’s button!

131. The FOFion - October 26, 2011

Fellowship of Friends Removes the Words ‘Fellowship’ and ‘Friends’ from its Name

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — After years of sarcastic references to the Fellowship of Fiends, the Fellatioship of Friends, and the Followship of Fools, the Fellowship of Friends has removed the words Fellowship and Friends from its name.

“We now wish to be simply called ‘of’,” said an ‘of’ spokesperson Tuesday. “Besides, we believe the words ‘fellowship’ and ‘friends’ were chosen out of feminine dominance when the level of being of the school was lacking the depth that we now hold. As far as we know, awakening has nothing to do with friendship and fellowship — unless it serves our aim to awaken, of course.”

This is the first name change for ‘of’ in the last few months. The group has made concerted efforts in the past few years to disguise itself from negative commentary on the internet by frequently changing its name.

Pathway to Presence has also been changed to ‘to’. Since there is no connecting preposition, the name for Living Presence has been dropped entirely, especially now that Internet surfers are beginning to make the connection to ‘of’.

To more information, surf the internet for the words “of” and “to” or contact “of” to get answers to all of your questions.

132. Just the Facts Ma'am - October 26, 2011

‘“I think most of the residents found him [Swami Bhaktipada] extremely charismatic, like a loving father,” said Henry Doktorski, who was a member from 1978 to 1994 and who is writing a book about New Vrindaban. “That’s how I saw him, at least until I left. At that point I became convinced that he was not actually what he was claiming to be.”

‘According to court records, Mr. St. Denis [One who was supposedly target for one of the murder for hire (higher).] was believed to have raped the wife of a New Vrindaban member and to have been killed in retribution. Mr. Bryant [Second murder for hire (higher) target.], the most vocal critic among the community’s ex-members, had publicly accused Mr. Bhaktipada of condoning the molestation of New Vrindaban’s schoolchildren and of having had sex with under-age boys.’

Robert Earl Burton, in his passive aggressive manner, does not profess violence but certainly is capable of anything – Hasnamuss.

‘One of the first things about a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering, just for his own personal ambitions. How a ‘Hasnamuss’ is created is another question. It begins with formatory thinking, with being a tramp and a lunatic at the same time. Another definition of a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he is crystallized in the wrong hydrogens. This category cannot interest you practically, because you have nothing to do with such people; but you meet with the results of their existence.’
The Fourth Way, Peter D. Ouspensky

133. Golden Veil - October 26, 2011

127. sallymcnally

“And I might add that humor at the expense of others usually comes from a place of a feeling of superiority.”

Isn’t it rather from a place of inferiority, or low self esteem? Sometimes “mean” humor puffs up the instigator (they think) while they are putting down someone else. But, I think some of the humor on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion is plain old anarchy.

That first link to the article on the old con artist guru had a video at bottom on the “Keeper of the Forest”, a man that is pretty interesting.
Here is a link to the same video:

http://www.thatsfit.com/videos-partner/visiting-swami-vankhandi-in-the-ashram-495319756-210

Good on the name changes, FOFian!

134. WhaleRider - October 26, 2011

I am with you bruce, one of my buttons is hearing mixed signals from people.

I’ll reiterate:one of the only tools in dealing with full blown narcissism is well targeted satire. (Thanks again, FOFion!)

To the narcissist, everything is fine and the world which revolves around them is as it should be. They usually don’t seek help and will fabricate (or verifabricate) elaborate defenses or a morality around themselves to avoid the pain of seeing their weaknesses. They are on a mission from God and how dare anyone doubt their intentions.

And yes, to those in power, satire feels like the anarchist just rocking the boat out of their own inferiority complex, upsetting the status quo with that darn truth thingy, holding a mirror to the narcissist and displaying a side of the narcissist that they do not want to see…their humanity (or lack of it) and fallibility.

Satire has the distinction of leveling the playing field, but the narcissist will project their own need to feel superior onto the anarchist, imagining the anarchist thinks they are demeaning them and accuse them of acting superior to the narcissist, lashing out with stultifying morality against the anarchist (call it feminine dominance) when really the narcissist is only seeing themselves in the mirror-their own demeaning nature (call it gay man dominance) of liberal nonconformists…and thus the yin and yang of community is played out.

Communities are out of balance and people are hurt when the narcissists weld such power that all dissent is silenced, or when anarchy rules and the rebels take over.

On the other hand, deriving pleasure out of simply demeaning others is sadistic.

I don’t think anyone here is making fun of people in wheelchairs who just haven’t learned how to walk yet.

People’s lives are at stake here.

135. Agent 45 - October 26, 2011

All of you snakes are now officially on the ‘of’’™ shit list.
So mind your manners.
Ssssss.

136. nigel - October 26, 2011

…..PSY-TALK article…..

COMMUNICATING WITH A NARCISSIST
…When Listening A Lot Makes “Conversation”

Question from a psytalk reader:
How do you communicate with a narcissist?

G. B.

Response:
Dear G. B.:

Let’s begin with some basics.

My response to your question has four parts…

1.Words of caution.
2.A Narcissist’s Characteristics.
3.How To Talk To A Narcissist.
4.How To Get What You Want From A Narcissist.

Words of caution.
Before proceeding with details about how to interact with a narcissist, take a look at what you want out of the engagement. If you are looking for equal treatment, acknowledgement, recognition, or significance in his or her eyes, you might be well advised to simply move on. Chances are very good that you will invest excessive amounts of energy, time, and perhaps money, in striving to get what you want. In reality, the possibility that you will succeed is minimal.

However, if you are in a position where you feel you have little choice but to interact with a narcissist, read on.

A Narcissist’s Characteristics.

The reason for prefacing these comments with the foregoing precaution lies in the nature of the narcissist’s personality.

A narcissist exhibits pervasive grandiosity — sometimes through behavior, sometimes in fantasy. A narcissist needs to be admired and shows little or no empathy or concern for the problems, difficulties, or even the interests, of other people.

Narcissists hold (perhaps “embrace” would be a better term) an exaggerated sense of self-importance. They overrate the significance of their achievements and talents. And they expect to receive accolades for what they believe are outstanding personal attributes and accomplishments. They tend to be totally absorbed in fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, and other achievements and qualities. They believe they are special; as a result, they believe they can only be understood and appreciated by people who are — or organizations that are — also special.

Consequently, narcissists have unreasonable expectations of people and situations. They feel they are entitled to favorable treatment and unquestioning compliance with their hopes and expectations. Other people are supposed to acquiesce to their wishes.

Further, they exploit friends, acquaintances, and associates, taking advantage of others to secure their own desires. They tend to be haughty and arrogant, convinced that others are, or should be, envious of them.

While every narcissist does not display each and every one of these characteristics, every narcissist exhibits enough of them to be difficult to deal with.

Despite the difficulties, from time to time we all find ourselves having to interact with a person who is afflicted with narcissism. It may be a member of the family, a neighbor, someone with whom we work, or someone we dearly love. In cases where we must deal with them, it is a good idea to understand how best to do so.

How To Talk To A Narcissist

Hopefully, the above discussion about the nature of narcissism sets the stage for what follows.

Here are some rules that will make things easier for you to interact with a narcissist. (The aim at this point is not to provide comfortable guidelines. Interacting with a narcissist may not be comfortable, but it doesn’t always have to be a total loss.)

1.Demand little. Expect little. You will find your role is one of support, acknowledgement, and recognition. The narcissist may see you as a kind of gopher or aide-de-camp. If that is acceptable to you, you should have little difficulty.

(How to go about getting your wants and desires considered is discussed later in this commentary.)

2.Be willing to listen a lot and listen carefully.

3.Find ways to provide positive recognition frequently. It is important to check the narcissist’s reaction to be sure you have understood what positive recognition he or she wants at the moment. If you are on the wrong track, that fact will probably be made abundantly clear to you fairly quickly.

4.If it is at all possible to do so, be honest and sincere in your acknowledgement, praise, and recognition. Identify and note any and all of the narcissist’s endeavors or achievements you genuinely admire. Use them to provide recognition and acknowledgement. Insincere flattery may be tolerated by the narcissist, but keep in mind that deep down the narcissist usually lacks well grounded self esteem. Therefore, the more credible you can be, the better.

5.Don’t worry about making the narcissist become more self- centered — he or she became that way at a fairly early age and can’t now stop. Narcissists need help, of course, though they are usually very reluctant to seek it. If you think the narcissist in your life may want to alter his or her narcissistic outlook, consider making an intervention.

!!!!!Used adroitly, an intervention can be a profound psychological experience for all concerned. It is a carefully planned event that can begin a process of healthy redirection and personal growth!!!!! (my exclamation marks…..nhp)

(To learn more about how to effect an intervention, take a look at the two psytalk question-and-answer articles on that subject. One is about how to arrange a multi-person intervention. The other discusses solo intervention. Although those articles pertain to the problems of substance abuse, the process of intervention is basically the same.)

6.Avoid challenging the narcissist’s wishes or desires. Narcissists have a low tolerance for frustration or interference.

7.Failing these, smile a lot and keep quiet. While this may not put you in especially good standing with the narcissist, it avoids the risk of attack and leaves you still in the picture after others falter, fail, or flee.

These guidelines call for several qualities, among them, patience, forbearance, and focus. Patience will enable you to hang in when others may drop out. Forbearance will enable you to overlook the narcissist’s boorishness, selfishness, self- centeredness, and arrogance. Focus will enable you to keep in mind both what the narcissist wants from moment to moment and what your objectives are in associating with him or her.

How To Get What You Want From A Narcissist

!!!!!This is a question of motivation. If there is something you want a narcissist to agree to or provide, the following principles will prove helpful!!!!! (my exclamation marks…..nhp)

1.Be precise in what you want. (This is a good idea in all situations, but it is often essential in dealing with a narcissist.)

2.Know what the narcissist wants. (This is also a good idea in all situations, but, again, it can be essential in dealing with a narcissist.)

3.Persuade the narcissist that he or she will derive something significant from doing what you want.

Example:

It is important to determine whether the other person’s narcissism is primarily invested in beauty, intelligence, strength (meaning power or influence), or independence. As a rule, one of these will be far more significant than the others.

Begin your request by finding a way to validate the narcissist. Admire his or her appearance, use of brain power, display of strength or control, or the adherence to principle. Make sure the narcissist has heard and accepted the compliment before proceeding.

Link what you want to the narcissist’s preferred attribute. If, say, you want to go to a specific movie, you could offer persuasive observations such as the following…

“I understand all the beautiful people are rushing to see it.”

(Implication: going to this movie will make you one of the special people of the day.)

“The reviewers call it ‘a movie for quick minds’.”

(Implication: going to this movie will make you one smart cookie.)

“It is supposed to expose the dynamics of social power.”

(Implication: going to this movie is an opportunity to learn how to become more influential.)

“The story exposes the weakness of dependent people.”

(Implication: going to this movie will reconfirm for you that being a force unto yourself is the best way to be.)

You may be somewhat uncomfortable at first using this approach. You have probably always tried to be either more straightforward than this or hoped the other person would read your thoughts and decide to provide what you want. If so, remember…this technique gets easier to use as you become familiar with it.

If you find this approach seems too calculating and manipulative, keep two things in mind.

First, the narcissist is manipulative — often to the point of being downright coercive.

Second, you may have been taught to be passive, rather than assertive. If so, you are well advised to explore becoming more assertive. (See the psytalk article on assertiveness if you’d like to explore this consideration. Also, there are any number of good books on the subject. Keep in mind that psychological counseling usually encourages the development of an assertive outlook and assertive behaviors.)

Copyright 1996-2006 William W. Snow

137. WhaleRider - October 26, 2011

Hypnosis: The Key To Unlocking The Delusional Mind?

ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2008) — Researchers at Macquarie University have developed an original new approach to the study of delusions, using hypnosis to temporarily create typical delusional beliefs in otherwise non-delusional people.

With backing from the Australian Research Council and Macquarie University, a group of psychologists from the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS) have been investigating the effectiveness of using hypnosis as a technique for studying the delusion known as mirrored-self misidentification, and a range of other delusions also.

People suffering from mirrored-self misidentification believe that the person they see when they look in the mirror is not them, but some stranger who looks similar to them.

According to the researchers, one of the roadblocks to studying delusions is having access to research participants, as these delusions are not very common, and many who suffer from them are unwilling to participate in research.

Thinking outside the box, the Macquarie group – which includes Professor Max Coltheart, Associate Professor Amanda Barnier and Dr Robyn Langdon – teamed up with researchers from Leeds University, University College London and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, to trial hypnosis as a technique for creating transient delusions that are resistant to challenge in non-delusional subjects.

“In psychology and medicine, there is a long tradition of using hypnosis to study clinical conditions that are otherwise difficult to bring into the laboratory,” they explain. “It makes sense to use hypnosis to study delusions because they share many characteristics. Both involve distortions of reality, and in both, these distortions are believed with absolute conviction, are maintained regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and are resistant to rational counter arguments. We were confident therefore that hypnosis could help us to better understand the processes underlying clinical delusions.”

“This study has laid the groundwork for future experiments which will examine the features and parameters of hypnotic delusions, the impact of challenging the delusions, and whether role-playing participants display the same behaviour as genuinely hypnotised participants,” they explain. “Using hypnosis we expect to get a real sense of how to investigate, understand and confront delusional beliefs in a more effective way.”

**********
I am not willing to collude with burton’s rape factory by remaining silent or by self-calming myself with reading uplifting poetry to feel superior to those poor lost remaining souls who just don’t get it.

Confronting a person suffering from a delusion with overwhelming evidence to the contrary isn’t a very effective way to dispel the underlying delusional belief, no matter how absurd that belief is!

There are no children allowed in the cult who might blurt out that the Emperor has no clothes.

Somehow I don’t think cult followers would be all to willing to voluntarily step up to be hypnotized out of their delusions either. They take themselves way too seriously.

IMO, besides warning other would-be cultists, that leaves one choice to continue the draining the victim pool: well-targeted satire.

I say, let it rain. The joke is on them and their lemming leader in pink.

The only harm done is to their narcissism and their absurd rhino poop delusions.

138. nigel - October 26, 2011

…..from – ‘Living Presence’ site…..

“An Interview with Girard Haven”…..

Q. I heard that the stroke that you had in 2000, when you had been in the school for several decades, was an important event in your spiritual evolution. Can you say how you “profited” (as Gurdjieff called it) from this situation?

A. Before the stroke, I would awake in the morning, do what needed to be done during the day, and then go the bed. After the stroke, except for some changes in the details of what needed to be done, it was exactly the same. In other words, my body suffered a stroke, but I was unaffected. Whether I profited from the stroke or not, I do not know, as I have no idea what my life would be like if the stroke had not happened.

Q. The left half of your body paralyzed, is that right?

A. Actually, it is the right half of my body, and it is only partially paralyzed. To go back to your previous question, other people seemed to be more shocked by the stroke than I was. To me, it was merely another event in my life, and since the events of my life are the material I work with for my evolution, the stroke merely provided something else to work with.

At the same time, I am certain that everything is arranged by higher forces, and they provide the necessary material for me to work with. If it had not been a stroke, it would have been something else. Whether that would have been ‘good’ or ‘bad’ would depend on my attitude toward it and the way in which I used it, just as was the case with the stroke.

!!!!!TALK ABOUT A POSITIVE-SATURNINE, FORMATORY MECHANICAL APPROACH TO ILLNESS – AND HE STILL TAKES HIMSELF OH! SO SERIOUSLY, I AM SURE!!!!!…..Nigel.

139. nigel - October 26, 2011

…..you see, WR and others – satire is not always necessary – sometimes you have to ‘throw back in their face’ with high-poetry, no less, these Foffing Foffers!!!!!…..Nigel.

AUTHOR: William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

QUOTATION: But man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he ’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep.

ATTRIBUTION: Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.

140. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

127 Golden Veil, absolutely true, a feeling of superiority that is masking feelings of inferiority. The psychology of man is complicated to unravel and has many layers of personality to ‘buffer’ true feelings. I agree.

141. nigel - October 26, 2011

…..and my last post for today (Wednesday), (Google-d re. ‘glassy essence shakespeare’)…..

This essay, “A Sentence from Shakespeare” originally appeared in Time Must Have a Stop (1945).

Reprinted in “Huxley and God: Essays” edited by Jacqueline Hazard Bridgeman 1992

Published by Harper Collins, San Francisco

“If you say absolutely everything, it all tends to cancel out into nothing. Which is why no explicit philosophy can be dug out of Shakespeare. But as a metaphysic-by-implication, as a system of beauty-truth, constituted by the poetical relationships of scenes and lines, and inhering, so to speak, in the blank spaces between even such words as “told by an idiot, signifying nothing,” the plays are the equivalent of a great theological Summa. And of course, if you choose to ignore the negatives which cancel them out, what extraordinary isolated utterances of a perfectly explicit wisdom! I keep thinking, for example, of those two and a half lines in which Hotspur casually summarizes a whole epistemology, a whole ethic, a whole theology.

But thought’s the slave of life, and life’s time’s
fool,

And time that takes survey of all the world

Must have a stop.

Three clauses, of which the twentieth century has paid attention only to the first. Thought’s enslavement to life is one of our favorite themes. Bergson and the Pragmatists, Adler and Freud, the Dialectical Materialists and the Behaviorists-all tootle their variations upon it. Mind, we are told, is nothing but a food-gathering mechanism; controlled by unconscious forces, either aggressive or sexual; the product of social and economic pressures; a bundle of conditioned reflexes.

All this is quite true so far as it goes; quite false if it goes no further. For obviously, if mind is only some kind of a nothing-but, none of its affirmations can make any claim to a general validity. But all nothing-but philosophies actually make such claims. Therefore they cannot be true; for if they were true, that would be the proof that they are false. Thought’s the slave of life-yes, undoubtedly. But if it weren’t also something else, we couldn’t make even this partially valid generalization.

The significance of Hotspur’s second clause is mainly practical. Life’s time’s fool. By merely elapsing, time makes nonsense of all that life consciously schemes for in the temporal order. No considerable action has ever had all, or nothing but, the results expected of it. Except under strictly controlled conditions, or in circumstances where we can abstract from reality, ignore individuals and concern ourselves only with vast numbers and the law of averages, any kind of accurate foresight is impossible. In all actual human situations more variables are involved than the human mind can take account of; and with the passage of time the variables tend to increase in number and change their character. All this is a matter of everyday experience. And yet the only faith of a majority of twentieth-century Americans and Europeans is faith in the Future-the bigger and better Future which they know that Progress is going to produce for them, like white rabbits out of a hat. For the sake of what their faith tells them about a Future, which their reason assures them to be almost completely unknowable, men are prepared to sacrifice their only tangible possession, the Present. During the last thirty years about 50 million of Europeans have been liquidated in wars and revolutions. Why? The nationalists and revolutionaries all give the same answer. “In order that the great-great-grandchildren of those who are now being liquidated may have an absolutely wonderful time in A.D. 2043.” And (choosing, according to taste or political opinion, from among the Wellsian, Marxian, or Fascist blueprints) we solemnly proceed to visualize and describe the sort of wonderful time these lucky beggars are going to have. Just as our Victorian greatgreat-grandfathers solemnly visualized and described the sort of wonderful time we were going to have in the middle years of the twentieth century.

True religion concerns itself with the givenness of the timeless. And idolatrous religion is one which substitutes time for eternity-either past time, in the form of a rigid tradition, or else future time, in the form of Progress toward Utopia. And both are Molochs; both demand human sacrifice. Spanish Catholicism was a typical idolatry of past time. Nationalism, Communism, Fascism, all the twentieth-century pseudo-religions, are typical idolatries of future time.

What have been the consequences of Western man’s recent shift of attention from past to future time? An intellectual progress from the Garden of Eden to Utopia and the Classless Society; a moral and political advance from compulsory orthodoxy and the divine right of kings to military and industrial conscription for everybody, the infallibility of the local political boss and the deification of the State. Before or behind, time can never be worshiped with impunity.

But Hotspur’s summary has a final clause: time must have a stop. And not only must, as a prophecy or an ethical imperative, but also does have a stop, in the present indicative tense and as a matter of brute empirical experience, here and now, for all who so desire. It is only by taking the fact of eternity into account that we can deliver thought from its slavery to life. And it is only by deliberately paying our attention and our primary allegiance to eternity that we can prevent time from turning our lives into a pointless or diabolic foolery. Brahman, the Ground, the Clear Light of the Void, the Kingdom of God are all one timeless reality. Seek it first, and all the rest- from an adequate philosophy to a release from the compulsion to stultify and destroy ourselves-will be added. Or, to put the matter in Shakespearean language, if we cease to be “most ignorant” of what we are “most assured, our glassy essence”-the indwelling spirit, the principle of our being, the Atman-then we shall be other than that dreadful caricature of humanity who

like an angry ape,

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven

As make the angels weep.

********************

See Aldous Huxley’s : “Shakespeare and Religion”

142. WhaleRider - October 26, 2011

Nigel:
“…the play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.”

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 603–605

143. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

Nigel: !!!!!TALK ABOUT A POSITIVE-SATURNINE, FORMATORY MECHANICAL APPROACH TO ILLNESS – AND HE STILL TAKES HIMSELF OH! SO SERIOUSLY, I AM SURE!!!!!…..Nigel

Do you forgive him for his mechanicalness? What do you think is underneath all that?

144. For the record - October 26, 2011

114. Fee fi fo fum – “Some of FFion and Whale Rider’s fake articles are probably not too far off the mark from the real thing. That makes the FF look pretty sad.”

134. WhaleRider – “One of the only tools in dealing with full blown narcissism is well targeted satire.”

—–
When the absurd truth and humor overlap considerably (i.e., when it’s momentarily hard to tell them apart), it evokes a visceral response in the listener or reader. They realize just how bad things are. Direct criticism works, too, but sometimes not quite so well.

Not to go TOO far into analyzing humor (Zzzzzzzz…), but sometimes I think humor has a stronger impact on people when the “comic” can occasionally poke fun at themselves as well. We were there, so every time we crack a joke about Burton and the FOF, we are absolutely making fun of ourselves, too. Well, at least I’ll speak for myself on that one.

Sally, there’s definitely some mean-spirited BS here, and all over the internet for that matter. But I sense most of the humor on this page is coming from the attitude that recognizes that we were stupid enough to participate in this cult. I wonder sometimes just how much sooner people would leave if they would just openly and without fear make fun of Burton. Make fun of Girard. Make fun of Linda. Make fun of ourselves, too. It’s honestly one of the most absurd enterprises that any of us have participated in, if not tops on the list. Not calling to mind that absurdity, and not exclaiming it out loud, is partly what helps perpetuate it IMO. Anyway… Zzzzzzz.

145. Golden Veil - October 26, 2011

“At the same time, I am certain that everything is arranged by higher forces, and they provide the necessary material for me to work with. If it had not been a stroke, it would have been something else.”
[Girard Haven]

What wishful and magical thinking… la, la, la… oh my!

146. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

144: I agree with you. 🙂

147. WhaleRider - October 26, 2011

sallymcnally:
“Do you forgive him for his mechanicalness? What do you think is underneath all that?”

Oh, please! We are just not at your level, are we?

What do you think is underneath all that?

Nothing is there! As in..lack of conscience, foolish person!

Haven will say anything to protect his little niche in burton’s hierarchy. Isn’t that obvious to you?

He thinks burton’s followers are dogs for goodness sake! Lord knows what he thinks of us ex-followers! Worms? Bacteria?

Forgive a sociopathic predator, try to understand “where they are coming from”, and they will strike you again even harder. I don’t think you really grasp with whom you are dealing.

Now that is a pit of ruthless vipers if there ever was one…so yeah, we are all snakes, except for you, apparently.

Still, sallymcnally, I will defend your right to be here and fully express yourself in all your divinity. Show us some True Grit!

Now I am going to go find a way to poke fun at myself.

148. sallymcnally - October 26, 2011

Whalerider, there is no way to answer your last remarks without a battle of words or a confrontation. And your words seem to imply that I am weaker for not coming up to the plate for a battle. So be it..

And because I feel that I am not helping here any longer.I am not coming back.

Sooner or later this sham will come to an end. I am glad to have been able to help people, if I did. I have tried. It has been my intent. And as far as being divine, I think we all are.

149. Agent 45 - October 26, 2011

“No amount of prayer or meditation can do what helping others can do.” Call of Love p. 59.

150. Agent 45 - October 26, 2011

Addendum to Mind your Manners.
Watch your back and pass the ammo.

151. Tim Campion - October 26, 2011

147. WhaleRider

“Now I am going to go find a way to poke fun at myself.”

***

By all means! Step away from the lectern and show us what you’ve got. Maybe a little song and dance?

152. WhaleRider - October 27, 2011

Tim Campion:
Lyric Theater isn’t my strong suit. Yet, I deeply respect the medium.

Look at the power of the hit musical, “The Book of Mormon”. The irony is, the writers, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, didn’t have to make anything up, they just took it straight from the horse’s mouth. When they received the Tony Award, among others, they gave credit to Mormon founder Joseph Smith, too. That took balls.

Maybe we could do a musical about the Fellowship…

By all means, the lectern is yours. Thanks for showing up and chiming in.

For the Record:
Thanks for the feedback. Comedians and satirists just might differ in regard to how they view themselves. I’ll have to give it some thought.

Ahh, I may need your help poking fun at myself, though. It’s not so easy as I thought. I’ll get to work on it.

sallymcnally:
I am sorry if I have offended you.

I truly believe it is only your veiled narcissism that was hurt, not your soul, or I would not have gone to such lengths to confront your posts. It takes a narcissist to know one.

And thank you for restoring my divinity.

Now I feel like your equal again.

I, too, happen to believe that all beings are divine, including snakes, and that sociopaths ought to be treated as humanely as possible, while also protecting the public safety. They are not evil; they are sick.

From Wikipedia:

Snakes were regularly regarded as guardians of the Underworld or messengers between the Upper and Lower worlds. Snakes were also associated with wisdom in many mythologies and with immortality.

In other cultures snakes symbolized the umbilical cord, joining all humans to Mother Earth. The Great Goddess often had snakes as her familiars – sometimes twining around her sacred staff, as in ancient Crete – and they were worshiped as guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration.

153. For the record - October 27, 2011

WhaleRider, I really like your humor. It’s introspective and irreverent and unconcerned. It helps people open their eyes — George Carlin would smile. Did he ever poke fun at himself? Ha, he had so much material in this insane world to work with, he may not have had time for that.

I think the above conversation gets right at the heart of why sociopaths can victimize the unsuspecting — it’s hard for many people to imagine (let alone understand) just who and what they’re dealing with — you are absolutely right.

The thing with forgiveness: Make it about what I feel and not what the other feels. Send out the energy, just don’t expect anything back but the energy that is going through me. That’s all. Same with love and compassion and empathy and joy. People may or may not accept it, or share it, or send it back. But it’s in me, or it’s in you, and in Sally — the most important thing.

One thing we know with sociopaths and narcissists like Burton: You will get nothing in return. It’s a black hole.

Sally wrote: “And as far as being divine, I think we all are.”

I agree. Sort of. I’ve been wrestling with that question for quite a while now. Could it be that some people are so far gone (i.e., not a glimmer of conscience) that they take advantage of people who believe that all people are divine, whatever divine might mean? (I think that’s possible.)

Another set of questions: How does one avoid stepping on others while also avoid being the stepee? Or does one even need to avoid stepping on others? Survival of the fittest? I’ve been noticing in old age that people tend to think in terms of one or the other — we’re either getting stepped upon, or we’re doing the stepping on.

But why does it need to be one or the other? Why does it need to be either of these?

Cult leaders and cult followers assert that they have superior thinking, superior feeling, superior senses, superior spirit. Even their superiority is superior. The ends justify the means. What I’m sensing is that many people here do have this in common — a desire to escape that trap. I like Sally’s intentions, your intentions, Bruce’s intentions, Tim’s intentions, and a gazillion other people on the blog. We’re not perfect, but you know, it’s very weird to imagine that many people are out there who do not have an ounce of good intentions, isn’t it? And it’s weirder still that we met one of them. And to think that this one was considered by us to be divine.

I can’t know what his story is, or how he got there. But I knew that I had to warn people about him, and that I had to stop being the stepee. If I feel any forgiveness at all, it’s a state of forgiveness that I hold inside of me, there for whoever might be open to it.

154. For the record - October 27, 2011

http://livingpresence.info – awesome website.

Little experiment:
1) Everyone do a search for “Living Presence” at google.com.
2) Look for links to Tim’s site above and to the blog (which starts showing up on page 2).
2) Click the links, and do this repeatedly.

Theory: Eventually, the unflattering websites will start showing up on page 1 of the search results.

155. brucelevy - October 27, 2011

I’m completely confused Sally. This doesn’t sound like your voice. Has someone usurped your online handle. Is it really you? It sounds much more like Someone than it does you. Are you alright, is something going on we don’t know about? Just asking..

156. sallymcnally - October 27, 2011

Yes Bruce it’s me. I’m not the doormat I used to be. And yes, my sister had an accident on Saturday and has had severe injuries, so both are true. I’m a bit more sensitive today. Thanks for asking.

157. Fee fi fo fum - October 27, 2011

Sally, hold on and stay on. Looks like you shook the tree a bit, and some reflection came out of it for many of us.

158. brucelevy - October 27, 2011

Love you Sally.

159. sallymcnally - October 27, 2011

Bruce, that’s all anyone could ask for. Thank you.

160. Fee fi fo fum - October 27, 2011

154 For the record

Good suggestion.

I saw this quote midway down on the livingpresence.info website. I remember Robert saying it.

“It would be better one were not born than leave the School” – Robert Burton

When you hear it, it makes you do all you can to stay in, even if it means going broke, selling your sexuality down the river and cutting yourself off from your family. His encouraging members to ostracise those who leave is a terrible thing, because both sides suffer from the cut-off.

161. WhaleRider - October 27, 2011

Sally,
I am sorry to hear about your sister. I hope she pulls through alright. I had no idea you were under such stress. Forgive me.

Please don’t disappear.

162. sallymcnally - October 27, 2011

Thank you, Whalerider. I will think about it for sure.

163. Tim Campion - October 27, 2011

Sally,

My best wishes to both you and your sister! You triggered an interesting discussion. I hope you’ll stick around.

152. WhaleRider

I’d love to see “The Book of Mormon”. It sounds hilarious.

154. For the record

Thanks for drawing attention to the http://livingpresence.info site. (hhtp://robertearlburton.com and http://robertearlburton.org lead to the same site.)

I’m uncomfortable with people calling it my blog, since it is extracted almost entirely from the contributions to this discussion forum. You can call it the “REB blog”. The material is simply arranged into a general historical outline, and to a lesser degree into topics. (Additional material, suggestions, and corrections are welcome.)

164. Tempus Fugit - October 27, 2011

So what happened to the little boy Robert Burton?

I believe he was once a little boy as sweet as any. You or I would have tosseled his hair, thrown him the ball, nursed his injuries, encouraged his dreams of becoming someone famous, and loved him beyond telling – just like we did our own kids.

So what happened to little Bobbie? Was he beaten, raped, starved, or just told he was worthless and stupid until his soul withered?

Was he simply ignored, which can be worse than being beaten and raped?

What happened?

In my opinion Robert was born an ordinary child just like the rest of us, full of all the goodness and all the ignorance of any child, needing only mature love and guidance to become a decent adult.

Instead he grew up to be a man who deceived and abused many innocent people under the guise of spiritual leadership. He falsely seduced numerous young men, and robbed others, men and women, of their fortunes, health, and families.

So what monstrous crime was committed against the little boy Robert? Who stunted his growth? Why does he recreate his victimization on others over and over again?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know that Robert appears deeply unconscious and trapped. Sadly, I think it may be too late for him to escape.

If you still consider him your leader then aren’t you trapped as well? Is it too late for you?

165. Wondering Who’s Watching - October 27, 2011

Page115/#139. nigel
Thanks, Nige, for the reminder:

Page 45/#168. WonderingWhosWatching – August 16, 2008
Hey, folks, just catching up here. I blinked my eyes and 300+ posts appeared. So, sorry, if this may be a long post.

44/161. nigel harris price – August 12, 2008:

Re: Your Shakespeare quote:

Here it is Nige:

Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does,
Jove would ne’er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
nothing but thunder.
Merciful heaven!
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Split’st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Measure for Measure
Act II, scene ii, lines 137 – 150
William Shakespeare 1564-1616

– – – – – –

44/189. Daily Cardiac – August 12, 2008:

‘Girard, in an e-mail letter to other students mentioned that he did not intend to read the blog as he considered it not the best use of his time.’

Best use of Girard’s time is to view pornography. That likely is a better aim than cultivating critical thinking.

– – – – – –

44/208. Daily Cardiac – August 13, 2008:

‘I would reason that School on earth came from higher school, maybe those same prototype angles [should read: ‘angels’ not ‘angles.’ There are no angles (of thought (or view)) allowed any more in FoF.].’

Consider that one angel, very near to God, became a fallen angel, known as the devil or Satan. That is an example of a prototype angel gone awry. It also describes, very well, the circumstances of Robot Button; if he ever was any where near to God. And, that is the God’s honest truth, from God’s lips to my ear.

D.C., your description of The Sequence, while worthwhile, both in description and practice, could just as well be, for example, various sorts of mantras, or Hare Krishna devotees with their satchels of prayer bead strings. Can you possibly see that? Anything that promotes and prolongs presence is useful, I suppose. One could invent many different methods. The Sequence is, by no means, unique or special. Eventually, more than likely, it will become sleep inducing and some other method will have to be imposed/’invented.’ But, it is possible, that The Sequence + 4 wordless breaths has an infinite number of permutations and iterations and variability that makes it work forever. But, then again, if you are present, what is forever?

Come now, Daily Cardiac, you are really here just to take up space, aren’t you? By your 45/87. Daily Cardiac – August 15, 2008 it seems obvious (though on the other hand, you actually try to address, ad nauseum, questions put to you in your very circuitous manner). Well, there is the possibility you are here for comic relief. If DC is PI [P*t*r Ingl*], then he is not here to do PR, so much as he’s here to do PI: Private Investigation. If it is PI, PI is a GH (GH does not mean ‘gate house’ but certainly has to do with some sense of security) understudy. If you’re a CB (conscious being) you have to have understudies, as that role is too important to be expendable – that way avoids another Miles play.

– – – – – –

44/219. Ellen – August 13, 2008:

‘Every one who departs pricks at the conscience of those who remain.’

Yes, that is true and also, given the sex-for-hire (sex-for-higher) nature as practiced in that org and described on this blog, one could also say: ‘Everyone who is pricked may have their conscience and depart.’

– – – – – –

44/225. Draco – August 13, 2008:

‘My concerns about Robert’s sexuality are:- . . .’ [The punctuation seems symbolic in a way.]

Your six points are a sequence. It should awaken anyone in FoF and promote and prolong presence.

– – – – – –

44/234. nosridammus – August 13, 2008:

‘Anybody have any rollover seconds on their astral body they would like to sell? I am feeling a little solid this morning.’

I hear Karl W. has rollover seconds on his astral body. Or, is that: Karl W. has rolled over in his grave [given what has become of the vineyard and winery].

– – – – – –

44/271. Daily Cardiac – August 13, 2008

‘The first step in the journey towards consciousness is to attempt to know what is good for oneself and give up the illusion that one can know what is good for another.’

Daily Cardiac, this is a very good set of words the meaning of which is realized by practicing being the words. If everyone in FoF, from the leader to the outer outer circle, practiced that, FoF would be a very different place. Instead, FoF is made up of many people who insist on doing the 4th line of work. 4th line of work is where you work ON other people. The higher in FoF hierarchy (‘high ARK key’ that never can be reached) you go, the more you will find that. One other aspect of 4th line of work is that, for them who practice it, alas, it replaces work on themselves.

Summa summarum, that is, to sum it up, the above quotation from your post is a lie.

In this regard, I have company:

’45/114. brucelevy – August 15, 2008:

111. [113] Daily Cardiac

Your truth is a lie.’

Thanks, Bruce, it is a pleasure to call a spade, not a Card[iac], but a dirt shovel.

And:

’45/115. My4bits – August 15, 2008:

A fucking lie.’

And:

’45/121. Across the River – August 15, 2008:

You perpetuate lies, excuses and blame to cover serious wrong-doing. I can only hope for you that one day you may be allowed to bear that burden.’

And:

’45/128. Draco – August 15, 2008:

I’m not familiar enough with logical fallacies to identify the ones that you use, but fallacies abound i[n] your writing, and it’s all the more obvious because of your mode of using pseudological argument. . .

However, your writings are not characterized only by fallacious logic, but by factual error.’

And:

’45/138. elena – August 15, 2008:

Might you be giving us a divine lie convinced that you are in the bubble that won’t explode?’

Liar, liar; pants on fire!
[Take those pants off so Burton can have your prick.]

– – – – – –

45/2. Daily Lobotomy – August 14, 2008:

How many ‘Hail Marys’ did you say you did?

– – – – – –

45/5. James Mclemore – August 14, 2008:

‘Are you certain you are not making substantial, things that if looked at a bit differently, appear to be a little more like finding out the Wizard of Oz was not who they thought he was?’

The Wiz says, ‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.’

– – – – – –

45/22. paulshabram – August 14, 2008
45/47. paulshabram – August 14, 2008:

What you are describing, re: negative emotions, is the difference between negative emotions (where negative emotions have no right place in our organism and are primarily imaginary/artificial) and the correct working of the negative half of the emotional center/brain.

Also, modern science now accepts the idea that the mere observation of something does actually change what is observed.

– – – – – –

45/37. dream catcher – August 14, 2008:

Re: Recent expulsions:

‘Same powertrip as Adyadhanti last year’

Adyashanti expulsion event was not last year, 2007, as I remember it, but was November 2006. Time flies when you’re having fun.

– – – – – –

45/86. nigel harris price – August 15, 2008:

‘Rodney Collin stated in ‘ToCH’ – “If we were to receive a message from C influence, we would probably dismiss it as ‘something wrong’ with the TV set!”…..Nigel’

Nige, you got the gist close to the mark. I think it goes more like: ‘If an angel appeared to modern man, he would say, ‘What’s wrong with the T.V.?”

In FoF speak: If a ’44’ appeared to modern man, he would say, ‘May the fours be with you.’

– – – – – –

45/123. David Darby – August 15, 2008:

Daily Cardiac is so much in the present that the words that are written disappear and are meaningless. The only thing of importance is the current sentence; regardless of the truth of it, or lack thereof. Therefore, Daily Cardiac can say anything and it is certainly a surprise that it just doesn’t come out as pure gibberish.

– – – – – –

45/154. Opus 111 – August 15, 2008:

‘To suggest that having sex with his students is tied to Influence C plans boggles the mind. But I confess that I am unable to “see those higher plans”. And no, the word conscience did not once appear.’

Doesn’t anybody understand the very profound sacrifice that REB has made, is making, and will be making? All this sex stuff is about BIRTH CONTROL! REB intends to, single handedly (no pun intended), solve the world population problem and eliminate the 6-7 billion excess sleeping machines from the planet by, you guessed it, being the interloper that prevents any sexual contact between a man and a woman anywhere. What a megalomaniacal aim that must be!

[The above was a trip down memory lane. Now, back to our sponsor, the present.]
[BTW, Sally, wakeuplittlesuzywakeup, all the love we have been giving is only meant for us.]

166. brucelevy - October 27, 2011

163

“Signs of Sociopathic Behavior in Children

Although the sociopathic tendencies in children might be similar to the ones observed in adults, there are certain behavior which are increasingly observed in children. For example you might observe sociopath traits like stealing from another person or cruelty towards other children and animals in children. While some of the symptoms might just be a normal part of the growing up process, certain behavior, however, do indicate an antisocial personality disorder or sociopathy. In fact, psychiatrists believe that many people who are diagnosed with this psychiatric disorder may exhibit the signs during childhood itself. The sociopathic symptoms in children include:

* Consistent bedwetting after the age of five
* Pyromania
* Cruelty to animals
* Compulsive lying
* Stealing
* Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
* Hyperactivity
* Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
* Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
* Lack of remorse and indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
* Learning disorder
* Problems with retaining peer relationships
* Speech problems
* Manipulation
* Vandalism
* Dislike and anger towards authority”

167. WhaleRider - October 27, 2011

Tempus Fugit:

“It would be better one were not born than leave the School” – Robert Burton

Interesting that you should bring up the subject of burton’s childhood…(and the father he never talked about.)

After reading the above cult-binding quote yesterday so kindly provided by Fee Fi Fo Fum, I had the thought that this is strikingly similar to something a mormon or christian fundamentalist parent from Arkansas might say to a gay son or daughter…”it would be better not to have been born that to be born gay”…(or a pedophile, for that matter) something the young burton might have heard from his parent or quoted from the likes of Pat Robertson…which could very well have been an unconscicous motivation for burton to build a protective wall around himself.

168. nigel - October 27, 2011

143, sallymcnally

Do I forgive him for what he is?????…..an enabler for the Fellowship of Friends – someone with no compassion for those who are hurting; someone who can only think of HIS EVOLUTION?????…..NO, I DO NOT FORGIVE HIM AND I SEE NOTHING UNDERNEATH THE FACADE…..Nigel.

169. Tim Campion - October 27, 2011

136. nigel

Thanks for that comprehensible and practical article. In my opinion, something like that should lead off each page of this discussion. As WhaleRider and others have repeatedly pointed out, narcissism is the elephant in the room.

170. silentpurr - October 27, 2011

What is there to forgive or be forgiven?

171. For the record - October 27, 2011

I can’t be sure I understand your question, but my sense is that forgiving a narcissist or a sociopath is a lot like “forgiving” a natural disaster or an asteroid slamming into a crowd of people.

I doubt that’s what you’re saying, but (from that standpoint) what you wrote makes sense to me. The word “forgiveness” is loaded with a lot of connotations related to what we used to call the ‘jack of hearts’. I think a lot of people roll their eyes at the word “forgiveness” because of those connotations. It doesn’t need to have those connotations, but unfortunately it does.

If there is something to forgive (from your question), here’s what “forgiveness” is to me… It’s meeting a challenge. The challenge is not letting a narcissist steal your humanity — make you give up on life, and become a jaded, cynical person who hates people (because people are narcissists, you can’t trust them, etc.). So “forgiveness” is just another word for “love” and “courage” etc., and getting past that impulse that wants to retreat into bitterness and inner considering. By the way, Burton wants people to inner consider.

Forgive me for using that old term — To put this in other words, Burton wants people to not have confidence, to not feel good about themselves, to not feel empowered, to not think positively about their futures, to not feel independent and strong — all attributes of someone who escapes from him sooner or later.

172. fofblogmoderator - October 27, 2011

#163 was hung in moderation

173. Fee fi fo fum - October 28, 2011

170, 171

Without getting metaphysical (is there a “me” to forgive or to be forgiven?), forgiveness seems to be about a person’s actions towards you. You forgive someone for an act or attitude that results in actions that you think caused you harm or suffering. Can we really forgive people? Do we feel we “should” forgive people, because society tells us that’s the right thing to do? Would it better to be honest with our hostilities and accept that we may never forgive some people because of what they’ve done? Are we afraid that if we do not forgive even the worst of humans, that we are compromising our chances to touch the divine parts of ourselves?

I think there are degrees of forgiveness. It’s easy to forgive someone who inconvenienced you or forgot something. That’s more like excusing someone for just being human. You get pissed, but you move on. With friends, you probably take turns stepping on each other’s toes and hope they understand and forgive you.

How about the deeper transgressions, where forgiveness is supposed to really matter? Can we forgive those individuals who did not love us, or did not love us enough, but who should have? Or those individuals who betrayed us big time, and who clearly should have known better? For example, a negligent or abusive parent or partner. I’ve known people who said they forgave a severely abusive parent, but when you look deep down, there is a lot of buried hurt that doesn’t go away. When you feel burnt by someone’s abuse or criminality, is forgiveness really the right response? (First, run away from them as far as possible.) Where does this place Robert?

174. For the record - October 28, 2011

Whatever forgiveness is, when you try talking about it or define it, it often sends the conversation in circles. Maybe in the end it’s just a question that we each need to answer for ourselves, and with our own conscience.

I know for myself, the idea of subjecting myself to continued abuse is not forgiveness. Sometimes it’s been helpful to feel angry toward someone who does harm. Sometimes it’s helped to put the anger away. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be giving them a big hug any time soon. In fact, I may actively intervene and oppose them.

175. nigel - October 28, 2011

I never understood the idea of ‘higher level of being’ in the FOF. It seemed that it meant there that one person was superior to another. I rather like to think that it means to many of us now ‘being able to withstand’…..

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

176. silentpurr - October 28, 2011

I doubt that Robert would ask for forgiveness. I don’t think it exists in the “C Influence” contrived world where only what supports his delusion is admitted.
Forgive oneself? For what? Being duped?

177. nigel - October 28, 2011

…..by Google-ing – “What do cult leaders feel?”…..

Cult Leader Characteristics:

Mind Control: Manipulate subject by the use of coercive persuasion or behavior modification techniques advanced in hypnotic language patterns without subjects informed consent.

Charismatic Leadership: Claim special knowledge and or skills, demand unquestioning obedience with power and privilege, excessive discipline and expectations. Demand perfection at all times. Leadership may consist of one individual or a small group of core leaders or collection of friends and or lovers. Demonstrate integrity and charm with precision and congruency.

Deception: Learn the value of Recruiting and Fundraising with hidden objectives and without full disclosure of the use of mind controlling techniques; use “front groups, or business opportunities”. Display behaviors reflecting integrity and honesty in regards to honor and commitment. Give your best speech on your philosophy. Promise money or favors, but never in writing. Change the rules when it comes time to deliver your end of the deal. Always make use of the ” Hand Shake Contract”. Learn the art of lying congruently at will.

Exclusivity: Secretiveness or vagueness by followers regarding activities and beliefs. Intimacy and boundary issues with followers. Call one of your followers into the office and make sure to say “You are the best one of the team and are next to be promoted”. Make sure to tell everyone the same thing.

Alienation: All followers will naturally feel the need to separate from family, friends and society, a change in values and substitute the cult as the new “family” or “new criteria” evidence of subtle or abrupt personality changes occur. The best test of your success is when they leave their life behind with no understanding why or ability to explain why.

Exploitation: Can be financial, physical or psychological; pressure to give money, to spend a great deal on courses or give excessively to special projects. Expect to them to work excessive hours without pay and to engage in inappropriate sexual activities.

Totalitarian World view (we/they syndrome): Effecting dependence, promoting goals of the group over the individual and approving unethical behavior while claiming goodness.

Important Techniques Of Mind Control:

* Group pressure: Discourages doubts and reinforces the need to belong through the use of child-like games, singing, hugging, touching or flattery. Enhance their need for recognition by telling them “You just never tried hard enough”, or if they threaten to quit, “You were never truly committed enough anyway”, works very well.

* Isolation/Separation: Creates inability or lack of desire to verify information provided by the group with reality. Get them to live in your philosophy with few people supporting that reality. Never let them get close enough to others to really be known intimately. Works best if they create posters of their new philosophy and post them in every open space of their environment.

* Thought Controlling and Feeling Stopping Techniques: Introduce recruit to meditating, chanting, and repetitious activities which, when used excessively, induce a perfect state of high suggestibility. Teaching time control maintenance techniques should be intertwined with cults mindset for full effective results. When they are scheduling every minute of they’re life with you in mind, they are on they’re way. When certain emotions come up, have subject keep those feelings locked out with the use of “state control techniques” until they are ready to explode at the appropriate time for breakdown and surrender themselves completely to you.

* Fear and Guilt: Induced by eliciting confessions to produce intimacy and to reveal fears and secrets, to create emotional vulnerability by overt and covert suggestion or threats, as well as alternation of punishment and reward. Subject should easily “Fall In Love” with 1 or more fellow cult participants to ensure commitment to the group and each other. This makes it easy to get them to leave their old lives behind and follow you. Exercises requiring facing extreme fear or death defying “Metaphorical Breakthrough Experiences” helps in faster and easier conversions.

* Sleep Deprivation: Encourage under the guise of spiritual exercises, necessary training, or ” To stretch your personal boundaries” or in urgent projects. Works best when dance music is playing really loud. When they can’t stop dancing and are in complete physical exhaustion, they’re yours.

* Inadequate Nutrition: Sometimes disguised as special diet to improve health or advance spirituality, or as rituals requiring fasting. Require extreme changes in eating, such as “Vegan” or as part of the group or cult regime. Control subjects feeding times at unpredictable and unexpected times throughout the day and night, if at all. Result: They will not be able to eat eventually until you tell them to, and only if it is what you tell them they can eat. The ultimate result is when you teach them how to breath, and they think of you whenever they do.

* Sensory Overload: Forces acceptance of complex new doctrine, goals and definitions to replace old values by expecting recruit to assimilate masses of information quickly with little or no opportunity for critical examination. The perfect recruit will let go of all their past beliefs overnight to follow you.

How To Know You’re Successful

The truly converted will show signs of:

* The exact same goals and values as the cult leader

* Loss of free will and control over one’s life.

* Noticeably more visits to the dentist.

* Excess amounts of organic broccoli in refrigerator

* Loss of family and home.

* Development of dependency and return to child-like or teen-age behaviors.

* Inability to work or be responsible.

* Posting, and of cults philosophy all over environment.

* Noticeably ugly ties or snappy dresses.

* Loss of spontaneity.

* Compulsive audio tape listening.

* Loss of sense of humor.

* Ingestion of growth hormones and speed inducing pharmaceuticals.

* Inability to form intimate relationships or friendships.

* Physical deterioration and abuse.

* Psychological deterioration (including hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, disorientation, and dissociation).

178. Fee fi fo fum - October 29, 2011

154 For the record

If you Google the name Robert Earl Burton, Tim’s website is six down on page 1. Two anti-Robert websites are at the top.

Further down on page 1, there is a site called gurusfeet.com. Does anyone know anything about this site? It has Pro Opinion and Con Opinion boxes – but only if people contribute. The page on Robert has a Con Opinion from 2008 that mentions “there have been serious allegations over the years by former followers of Burton.” No Pro Opinions, which is just as well!

179. The FOFion - October 29, 2011

Fellowship of Friends actually may not be a conscious school

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — A 41-year study on the Fellowship of Friends was recently concluded, and initial reports indicate potentially unfavorable results for the religious organization, which has world headquarters in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

“At this point, we have to consider the possibility that the Fellowship of Friends is actually not going to produce seven conscious beings,” said a spokesperson for the independent think tank that conducted the study. “What’s more surprising is that there’s a possibility that Oregon House will not be the seat of a new civilization following nuclear war in 2006 and the fall of California in 1998. We can’t be sure, but some of the evidence we’ve gathered during the study has definitely led us in that direction.”

Additionally, the study concludes that the Fellowship of Friends may not be led by a benevolent leader who cares for his followers.

“He actually may not care if people are perhaps having difficulties from being members of his organization,” the spokesperson said. “And although there’s no clear way for us to know with 100 percent certainty, it appears he may actually be taking advantage of people occasionaly. It’s important not to draw conclusions — this is just our initial finding.”

180. Agent 45 - October 29, 2011

I got a question for participants and non-participants:

Is Robert Burton wrong to treat his followers like brainless fools?

181. Agent 45 - October 29, 2011

Hint: It’s a trick question.

182. WhaleRider - October 29, 2011

For Sallymcnally:

Man Hospitalized Frozen in Fetal Position

Orgasm House (USA)-A 54 year old man by the name of W. Hale Rider was admitted into a local hospital last night, his body paralyzed in the fetal position, apparently as the result of his bizarre auto-erotic spiritual practice gone painfully wrong.

“The truth is, I was attempting to give my inner guru a blowjob,” said Mr. Rider candidly, “but I ended up just hurting myself in the process”.

“I did it a few times when I was younger and more flexible, but now that I am older no amount of self-contortion could enable me to do it,” he went on to elaborate, much to the chagrin and embarrassment of those present. “My inner guru has been so nice to me lately, showering me with inner gifts, insights, higher states and pearls of wisdom; I thought he might like it. After a period of inner self-reflection in this position though, it turns out my inner guru didn’t require that of me at all. He just wants me to have peace and serenity. He loves me for my fallacies not for fellatio.”

The loquacious Mr. Rider was given a healthy dose of relaxants and his body soon returned to normal.

183. nigel - October 29, 2011

182. WhaleRider

Dear WR…..don’t talk to me about relaxants!!!!! I had Zopoclone depot injections for four years which had the side-effect of, when I had any excess of liquid and, especially if I embibed coffee, tea or alcohol, of making me pee at embarrassing moments – in the queue at the bank; at someone’s doorstep; in the high street. At the present phase in anti-psychotics and mood-stabilizers (a huge cocktail!!!!!), I lead a fairly ‘docile’ life, with only a huge JOVIAL pot-belly and having to emotionally/intellectually/physically ‘get myself going’ in the mornings. I don’t need altered states if they are going to lead me into trouble or, worse still, into the asylum…..Nigel.

184. Fee fi fo fum - October 29, 2011

182. Patient listed as Mr. W. Hale Rider

“Did you hear what the patient in room 440 said last night when they admitted him?” said the nurse’s aide to the floor nurse.

“No, was it kinky? You shoulda heard what they said he looked like when the gurney unloaded him. Like a damned pretzel.”

And here the nurse’s aide scratched his curly hair, “Well, it was jolly weird. He kept mumbling somethin’ about an ouroboros.” So I says to him, “Huh?” And patient Rider says, “The teacher once said he couldn’t make head nor tail of it all.” And I says to Rider, “Say what?” And Rider says again, like he’s got marbles in his mouth, ’cause his neck’s all bent outta shape from god knows where he was reachin’ with it, “The teacher used to say that we should ‘be the words.’ So I tried to make my head reach my tail. That’s ‘being the words,’ right?”

The nurse’s aide looked at the nurse’s aide with a “look” and said, “And then he goes on about some gold cufflinks shaped like pretzels, and that’s the shape of things to come in 2012. Those guys from Orgasm House up in the hills sure are a kinky bunch.”

————————————-

Wikipedia:
The Ouroboros (or Uroborus) is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; οὐρά (oura) meaning “tail” and βόρος (boros) meaning “eating”, thus “he who eats the tail”.

The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end…

185. nigel - October 30, 2011

…..from Google-ing ‘robert earl burton my evolution’…..

Tales of a Zany Mystic

Chapter Three

Gurdjieff-Ouspensky School

“The greatest man in the world has recently died. His name was Gurdjieff”

Frank Lloyd Wright

Malibu 1977. Shopping for an “esoteric school” is not like going to the grocery store. More care should be applied to finding what you need. Reckless romantic that I am, caution was thrown to the wind in my new found goal. It didn’t take long to find a bookmark in one of the “work books”, as they’re called by insiders, and I was effervescent to find a “Center” in Malibu. I called and spoke with a mysterious sounding person, adding fuel to the imaginary fire. There was a “prospective student meeting” that night. Several hours later, I arrived at an inconspicuous home, scared out of my wits. I never met people involved in “secret schools”. All I knew was that everyone there knew something I didn’t know. The question was, “Is it something I want? “. A small stage loomed in front where an attractive, commanding woman with red hair led. Her name was Helga Barth. Two others sat on either side, all austere. It felt like walking into a library with your zipper undone, spinach in your teeth and squeaky shoes. I was never to lose that feeling, no matter how “high up” the evolutionary ladder I climbed. An invisible hierarchy of ego is easily mistaken for wisdom.

http://www.gurdjieff.org/sharpe.htm

The basic ideas of the “system” were relayed; man is a machine, comprised of not one “I” but “many I’s”.

As a result, we are all machines, asleep at the wheel. To confound the problem, we imagine we’re “awake”. It is precisely this illusion which keeps us from actually “awakening” to our true condition and evolving out of it. The only way out is to become conscious, united within, with a permanent “I”. As it is, each “I” rules the moment, and to keep the illusion in place, our name doesn’t change, providing a sense of unity. Buffers, like those used to cushion railway cars, keep us from seeing ourselves. We compartmentalize our lives and often have no idea that we are doing something contradictory. A rageaholic says, “You’ll never meet a nicer guy”, and continues to be the only person who doesn’t know he’s a prick. I met “straight” and married men who would have sex while drunk, then not remember or would justify by saying, “Oh, I was drunk!”, if confronted. None of this was new, but there was a dramatic urgency to their delivery. The most unforgettable moment was when Susan rose and placed a bowl of fruit on her head. Walking across the stage she said, “We don’t remember ourselves. We only remember memorable moments” She was right. We broke for intermission.

Robert Burton’s “school” was called the Fellowship of Friends, now referred to as APOLLO. Didn’t that missile explode in space?

…..more follows on this site, though not particularly pertinenent…..Nigel

186. rock that boat - October 30, 2011

New movie, same story about ANOTHER CULT
Now in Theatres

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

What the writer and director, Sean Durkin, delivers here is
a troubled and insidious film about a cult.
extract from the New Yorker

….and so the truth about the farm begins to loom: it is a place to which the Marthas of this world—lost young souls, of whom there will never be a shortage—are invited to drift. Though run as a collective, where even clothes are shared as common property, it owes its being to an overlord. His name is Patrick, and the movie hangs on whether we believe, as the youngsters do, in his thrall: not a problem, in the event, because he is played by John Hawkes—as gaunt and as unkempt as he was in last year’s “Winter’s Bone,” but tautened here by a kind of electric wiriness in his frame and gaze. Like any good cult leader, he is a terrifying parody of a father figure, intent on making his kin feel at home. He has them fed, housed, and warmly encouraged—“You’re my favorite, and I won’t lose you,” he says to Martha. He also rapes them.

When this happens to Martha, she is given a bitter sedative and ushered into Patrick’s presence. (“I’d give anything to have my first time again,” another girl says.) Worse is yet to come, as she herself, many scenes later, guides another novice through the identical process, with the reassuring words “It starts the cleansing.” The source of Patrick’s power, in short, is not just violation but the rite of violation—the same pain being inflicted again and again, until it acquires the patina of the mock sacred. That is why the flashbacks work so efficiently: they enable Durkin to prove that what a cult requires, apart from a master and his slaves, is time—the chance, granted usually to totalitarian states, for a private crime to become a way of life. Even when the cult members get some free play of their own, in the shape of an orgy, what stays with you is the narrowed eyes of Patrick, as he watches from the foot of the stairs, pulling invisible strings.

187. nigel - October 30, 2011

…..thought this might start a wave of reviews by bloggers…..Nigel.

Films on New Religious Movements

Attack at Waco / produced by Kurtis Productions, Ltd., and Towers Productions, Inc., in asssociation with A&E Network. New York: A&E Home Video: distributed by New Video Group, 1995. 1 videocassette (ca. 50 min.). [U of Cincinnati]
A painstaking examination of the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. The federal authorities’ case is taken apart, with the timing, techniques and tactics that led to the gruesome outcome being thoroughly analyzed.

Buddhism comes to America / The Living Dharma Center; Hartley Film Foundation; producer, director, Elda Hartley. Cos Cob, Ct.: The Hartley Film Foundation, 1990.
Dr. Richard Clarke, spiritual head of the Living Dharma Center, talks about what attracted him and his students to Buddha and what Buddhism means to him.

Challenge of the cults. Part 1, The appeal of the cults / presented by Video Publishing. St. Paul, Minn.: Seraphim Communications, Inc., 1981. 1 videocassette (28 min.). [Wooster]
During the 1960s and 1970s, many young Americans left mainstream churches to join alternative sects and cults. Some cults are potentially dangerous while others are benign, and it is important to distinguish the difference. Dr. Skarsten lectures on the push and pull factors that push people out of churches and into cults. Push factors include the breakdown of the family, disillusionment with America, the scientific revolution, and the hypocrisy of mainline churches. Pull factors includes the spiritual vacuum of the 60s and the 70s, the spiritual awakening of the 70s, appeal of the new, alternative lifestyles, and idealism.

Children at risk. Ukiah, CA : Cavalcade Productions, [1992]. 1 videocassette (57 mins. 30 sec.). Cults, Satanism. [Pontifical Col Josephinum]

Children of God / A presentation of ABC News; producer, Alice Irene Pifer. Northbrook, IL: MTI Film & Video, 1988. 1 videocassette (30 min.). [Kent State U]
Originally shown on the ABC television program, 20/20. True life saga of Vivian Shillander and her quest to free her four children from the fanatical religious cult, “The Children of God.” Tom Jarrell narrates this documentary, examining the cult’s activities.

Children of Jehovah. Princeton, N.J.: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1996. 1 videocassette (60 min.). [OhioLink]
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a fast growing, media shy religious sect that believe that Armageddon is rapidly approaching. Children are often torn between the rewards of conforming to its laws and the freedoms of a secular world. This program focuses on the pressures adolescents and adults come under as they decide to stay in the church or leave, and on the impact of the terrible penalty faced by those who do leave.

Coming home: recovery from satanic ritual abuse. Ukiah, CA: Cavalcade Productions, [1992]. 1 videocassette (1 hr. 45 min.). [Pontifical Col Josephinum]

Cults, charisma, and mind control / Human Relations Media; [produced by] Word Image; writers, Justin Tavers, Ed Robbins. Pleasantville, NY: Human Relations Media, 1987. 1 videocassette (40 min.). [OhioLink]
Program that explores both the symptoms and the deeper roots of the spiritual search many young Americans have taken part in during the last decade. It takes the cults out of the newspapers and places the problem before students to be considered intelligently, maturely, and in light of their own experience

Cults: Heaven’s Gate & Branch Davidians / A&E Television Networks. New York: A&E Television Networks; New Video Group [distributor], 1996. [OhioLink]
Why would 39 people from all walks of life believe that committing suicide would open the door to a “higher reality” among the stars? Why would a militant religious group set fire to their compound, contributing to the death of 75 of their own? In the tragic tales of the Heaven’s Gate cult and the Branch Davidians, a window is opened to the enigmatic world of cults today. This video takes an unflinching look at these two cases through extensive CBS News footage and interviews with federal agents, law enforcement officials, and reporters. life, are they now more likely to go to extremes? See extensive footage of the raid on the Davidians’ compound in Waco, Texas, and hear from former members of Heaven’s Gate.

Cults: saying no under pressure / a production of Inservice Video Network in collaboration with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. [United States]: Inservice Video Network, 1990. 1 videocassette (30 min.). [Wooster]
Narrator: Charlton Heston. Focuses on practical advice for resisting deception, psychological manipulation, and mind-control techniques used to recruit cult members

Cults / produced by Bill Brummel Productions for the History Channel. [New York]: A & E Television Networks, 2000. 1 videocassette (ca. 50 min.). [OhioLink]
Originally broadcast on television in the series, “History’s mysteries,” by the History Channel in 1996. Host: Arthur Kent. From the Dionysian revels of ancient Greece to the tragedy of Heaven’s Gate, this is an illuminating look at cults and their beliefs.

Devil worship: the rise of satanism / Jeremiah films presentation. [S.l.]: Devilfilm Associates, 1990. 1 videocassette (VHS) (63 min.). [OhioLink]
A documentary to educate & to protect people against satanism. Satanists worship the Devil, hope to draw on the power of evil & destroy whatever is good.

Different paths: Shamanism, cults, and religion on demand / produced by La Cinquième & Vidéa. Princeton, N.J: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1998. Streaming video (57 min.) (Sects: 34 min – 45 min)
Shamanism, Millennialism, Astrology, the upsurge of New Age religions, and other less traditional beliefs, practices, and rituals are the topics of this program.

Different worlds: hippies & cults in America. New York: Produced by CBS News in association with A&E Network; History Channel: distributed by New Video Group, [1996], 1994. 1 videocassette (45 min.). [OhioLink]
Looks at alienated subcultures, from the hippies of the 60’s to such cult leaders as David Koresh in modern times. Examines the social impact such groups cause at many levels.

Divine Horsemen: the living Gods of Haiti / by Maya Deren. New York, N.Y.: Cherel Ito, 1985. 1 videodisc (52 min.). [Denison]
Documentary of the Voudoun religions of Haiti. Presents rituals performed by the Rada, Petro, and Congo cults, whose devotees commune with cosmic powers through invocations, sacrifices, and possession. The narration was adapted from the book by Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti.

Gods of the New Age / Jeremiah Films. Huntington Beach, CA: Jeremiah Films, 1988. 1 videocassette (103 min.). [Wooster]
Looks at the New Age movement from a fundamentalist Christian perspective.

Heaven’s Gate cult / ABC News. Princeton, N.J.: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1998. 1 videocassette (23 min.). [OhioLink]
ABC News Nightline, originally broadcast March 31, 1997. Ted Koppel uses the 1997 mass suicide of the members of the Heaven’s Gate cult as a starting point for a discussion among scholars and cult watchers about what differentiates today’s cults from the early days of our major religions. Includes footage of Heaven’s Gate followers. Chris Wallace interviews two professors of divinity and a cult watcher.

Iawo: initiation in a Gege-Nago temple / Sarue films and Mariana films. [New York: Cinema Guild, 198?]. 1 videocassette (42 min.). [OhioLink]
Shows the initiation of new priestesses of the Orisha cult in Brazil. Text inspired by The Nago and Death by Juana Elbein dos Santos.

In the name of God / Production, direction, editing, Anand Patwardhan. New York City, N.Y.: First Run Icarus Films, 1992. 1 videocassette (97 min.). [Kenyon Video 94.0050]
Discusses the current conflict in Ayodhya between Hinduism and Islam and the drive to build a Hindu temple to Ram where a mosque currently exists. Filmed prior to the mosque’s demolition, the video examines the motivations which would ultimately lead to the drastic actions of the Hindu militants. Also looks at the efforts of secular Indians, many of who are Hindus, to combat the religious intolerance.

Jonestown: The life and death of Peoples Temple / Firelight Media film for American Experience; produced and directed by Stanley Nelson; teleplay by Noland Walker and Marcia Smith. Arlington, VA: PBS Home Video, 2007.
A startling look at preacher Jim Jones, his life prior to the mass-suicides in Guyana, and the event that took place leading up to that fateful day in 1978

Knocking. Written and narrated by Joel P. Engardio. Independent Television Service (ITVS). [Harriman, NY?]: New Day Films, 2006.
Discusses the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including their views on medical practices, civil liberties, and the afterlife.

New Religious Movements (with Prof. John Simmons). Tullos, Jon M. (director).[videorecording]. NY: Insight Media, 1999. 1 videocassette (60 min.). [Wooster]
Discusses factors that can lead to the development of new religious movements, defining the cultic impulse as an institutional mutation that is a natural part of religious ecology.

Promise Keepers: the third wave of the religious right / Center for Democracy Studies (U.S.), 1997. 1 videocassette (12 min.).
Following Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, the third wave of the religious right’s assault on democracy was launched in 1990 with the creation of Promise Keepers. At this moment, Promise Keepers claims a $115 million budget, 400 full time staff, 8,000 small groups, and a vast network of regional and state organizations. Plans are underway to take Promise Keepers international.

The Cults [kit]: the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Unification Church, the New Age movement and more. Garland, Texas: Evangelical Films, c1984-1988. 6 audio cassesttes, 2 videocassettes. [OhioLink]

Waco: the inside story / produced for Documentary Consortium by WGBH Boston; produced by Michael Kirk, Michael McLeod, Kenneth Levis; directed by Michael Kirk; written by Peter J. Boyer, Michael Kirk. [Alexandria, Va.]: PBS Video, 1995. 1 videocassette (ca. 60 min.) [Wooster].
Investigates the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in April 1993, and the hostile interplay between FBI tactics teams and hostage negotiators. Originally broadcast October 17, 1995 as a segment of Frontline.

Waco: the rules of engagement / Somford Entertainment presents; the Fifth Estate Production; a William Gazecki film; producers: William Gazeki, Dan Gifford, and Michael McNulty; directed by William Gazecki; written by William Gazecki, Dan Gifford and Michael McNulty. Los Angeles, Calif.: Distributed by Somford Entertainment, 1997. 1 videocassette (136 min.). [Wooster]
A documentary film about the tragic series of events that occurred outside Waco, Texas in April 1993 in which 4 federal agents were killed along with 86 men, women and children of the Branch Davidian compound. Winner of IDA Feature Award 1997.

Zen Center / written and produced by Anne Cushman; directed by Lou Hawthorne. [San Francisco?: L. Hawthorne], 1987.
Examines Zen practice and philosophy, and the impact of American culture on Zen.

188. nigel - October 30, 2011

…..back to ‘our cult’ and more inane trash from the ‘Living Presence’ site – obviously Burton wants to inflict his ‘will’ on his students by making them suffering under him…..Nigel.

“To be present we have to learn to disbelieve our own thoughts and feelings, to understand that they are transitory and insubstantial, that they fill the space that presence is meant to occupy. The moments when we are suffering or unhappy are particularly challenging, because they are also the moments when our thoughts and feelings feel most valid, intense, and real. This means that suffering is our best alarm clock, and that the right use of suffering is one of the primary ways to awaken to the present.

We don’t actually transform our suffering, we transform ourselves—we shift our attention from the part of us that is suffering, resentful, or unhappy, and relocate it into the present. This process shows that much of our suffering takes place in imagination, and that things in themselves are not negative, only our attitude toward them. With a right attitude, we are open to receive help from a higher level, from presence itself, which allows us not only to accept our suffering, but to transform it into a completely different experience. Suffering helps us to be present, and presence transforms our suffering.

Suffering is woven into human life on earth. We cannot avoid it; indeed, without suffering, we could not awaken. It is a joy, then, to learn that true alchemy is turning the lead of suffering into the gold of our own presence, and to discover the internal tools that make it possible.”

Hee, hee, FoFfers – let’s all be happy being present…..n.

189. Shirley - October 30, 2011

185 Nigel

“Robert Burton’s “school” was called the Fellowship of Friends, now referred to as APOLLO. Didn’t that missile explode in space?”

I always thought the choice of Apollo was ironic. Far-seeing Apollo was also known for relentlessly chasing the nymph Daphne. He just wouldn’t give up, and when he got too close, she implored her father to either let the earth swallow her, or to change her form, so as to make her inaccessible to the god. She became a bay laurel tree. My point is the unrequited love, the unreciprocated desires, and Apollo’s selfish pursuit. (I can just hear Daphne saying, Yeah, thanks for ruining my life: I’ve always wanted to be a tree.) When Robert relentlessly pursues the endless stream of young, hetero men, it is a given that there is not a genuine reciprocity of desires. It’s about power, not love. This exertion of power is not just in the realm of his bedroom. Members are afraid to leave, because they have been told that there is no where worthwhile to go. It is not a good thing to let your life be ruled by fear.

190. Shirley - October 30, 2011

186 Rock that boat

“MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE” – movie about a cult

The NY Times’ review of the movie included a sentence that Fellowship members can relate to, and which is undoubtedly a very strong reason why fence-sitters find it hard to leave:

“And the cult at least supplied her with friends.”

Our friendships are some of the best things that came from our time in the Fellowship. The fact that some of those friendships survived our departure from the group should be a clear signal to fence-sitters that they wouldn’t necessarily lose that side of their life, if they leave. My impression from some long-standing members is that this is one of their reasons for staying.

191. rock that boat - October 30, 2011

Shirley you are right, great connections still exist between old friends. Our shared history FOF history, survival tactics to start anew … a few friends pulled me through, by example, and by being there, with compassion and understanding.
Those who fear they loose their friends have to learn what it means to be a friend first. Then they will loose that fear.

“Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition.”

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

192. Shirley - October 30, 2011

191 rock that boat

“survival tactics to start anew…”

Very true. Some people probably found it easier than others to adjust, after they left the Fellowship. No one said the adjustment would be easy or instantaneous. But to be able to think and feel and question – there’s no going back to all of that fear and control in the Fellowship.

193. fofblogmoderator - October 31, 2011

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: