jump to navigation

Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 117 December 5, 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/

Comments

1. Tempus Fugit - December 6, 2011

INDEX TO THE BLOG

Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals, and Fellowship of Friends Discussion
Part 1 through Part 10

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

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

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through Part 115 (current page)

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

These links will allow you to access every page of this blog from its beginning in 2006.

Read with an open mind and you will find out the truth about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

And if you are a member of the FOF you may find your path to freedom.

2. Jomo Piñata - December 6, 2011

116/144 For the record

let’s see [Apollo Olive Oil] put it’s money where it’s mouth is, and require everyone to leave the Fellowship / Living Presence

Such an action would be religious discrimination in employment, which is against the law in the United States.

Sorry for the bad news.

3. For the record - December 6, 2011

correct you are. strike that portion.

4. nigel - December 6, 2011

I still think any criminal action to be taken against anyone in the FOF is for sexual exploitation/assault by Burton on his ‘young men’. All it takes is for ‘one brave lad’ to come forward to the authorities (without fear of recrimination by the cult) and to ‘tell his story’. A multi-million dollar lawsuit in the present state of the FOF’s financial circumstances would strike the cult to the core…..Nigel.

5. nigel - December 6, 2011

…..from – Walt Whitman – “Song of Myself”…..

“Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

(The sexually maladjusted museum of people that makes up the Fellowship of Friends is ultimately doomed to failure – no ark, no school, no evolution and no humanity…..n.)

6. nigel - December 6, 2011

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). Responsibilities and Other Poems. 1916.

The Coming of Wisdom with Time

THOUGH leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.

7. nigel - December 7, 2011

4th and final (for today) post from me…..

Jo, my Celtic Warrior Princess (just the way she looks) student, who is a holistic therapist by profession and knowledgeable in the Way of the New World Order – the sign of Pisces changing into the sign of Aquarius for our world and astrologically speaking – gave me some beautiful insight into how the world is today…..

Pisces is about heirarchy and dominance whereas Aquarius is about harmony and flexibility…..

Cults take advantage of so-called predictions of the New Age by being doom-mongers and forming elitism-bound, money-making groups. They are to be avoided, since Mankind is to be saved by each individual becoming harmonious with the healing energy from within, and grow out gently in their work and friendship, so that a sound harmonious base is achieved…..

Globalism and governments will fail – individuals will make peace with one another…..

Maybe our hope for the season coming upon us (and 21st December 2012)…..

…..Nigel.

8. nigel - December 7, 2011

…..sorry – just thought I would include this Google-ing…..

Pisces Feb 20 – March 20 Ruling Planet: NEPTUNE

The God in charge of delicious dreams, dangerous deceptions and sexual fantasies Sexually speaking, Pisces is putty in your hands. Anything you want, anything, is only a question away. If you’re looking for someone who will go the extra mile to discover all your secret moan zones, then Pisces is for you! When a typical Pisces’s makes out, it’s an act of romance rather than pure pleasure. Pisces is the sign of love itself. They are so romantic and want satin sheets and candles, poetry and a full moon. Music also gets them in the mood. One of their least appetizing traits is their ability to become very, very jealous. Sometimes they are so scared of losing the fairy-tale romance that they ruin the happy ending themselves. FAVE POSITION Pisces is all about Oral affections! BEST SEX TOY A copy of the Kama Sutra, since your fish is into almost anything PISCES MALE IN BED He is romantic and has the reputation of being a womanizer. The girlfriend of a Pisces’s man should keep her eye on the ball as he can be a bit flighty. But he does make an excellent lover. He’s from the old school that sex should be an almost out of body experience, and if he’s showering his attentions on you, you’re in for a hell of a good ride! PISCES FEMALE IN BED She needs romance. It’s the very air that she breathes. She needs to be held gently and whispered sweet nothings to but when it comes to between the sheets action, she’s never happy doing the same ol’, same ol’ when she knows there are more exciting options at hand. THE BEST WAY TO TURN ON PISCES The Pisces Zesty-zone is their feet! If you want to make Pisces your Love Slave, start with a warm, scented foot bath and soak their feet for 10 minutes. Then sit in front of them, cross-legged, and rub their feet firmly through the water. Use kneading motions that run from their ankles to the tips of their toes. After 5 minutes, get a scrub brush and clean their tootsies with lots of TLC, dry them off and lightly massage peppermint oil all over their feet, paying close attention to between their toes. Pisces REALLY gets off on this! Once oiled up, gently kiss each toe, one by one. Then let your tongue take over and you’re in baby!!!

(Very Burtonesque activity, if you ask me…..Nigel)

9. Tim Campion - December 7, 2011

In case Robert Earl Burton has misinterpreted the signs and Influence C indeed intends to exterminate all non-believers on December 21, 2012 (as originally planned), this seems like a small price to pay for peace of mind:

Mystic Mayan Power Cloak

10. Tempus Fugit - December 8, 2011

Thanks Tim. I ordered several cloaks so that my whole family will be protected.

Who said this blog is humorless!

11. Golden Veil - December 8, 2011

I ordered a cloak, too, for myself and my cat Kiki. (wink, wink!)

The below quotation regarding 2012 is from Adrian Cooper:

“First and foremost we still do not know if anything at all will happen on December 21 2012, or at any time in 2012, or indeed at all…
but quite simply, if, and only if the prophesies are true, then one of three fundamental situations will likely result immediately before, during and after the 2012 event based upon what we know to date:

1. Human beings will undergo a massive Spiritual evolutionary transition whereby true, Divine, Spiritual reality will be realised and experienced. Focus and abilities will no longer be materially based, but rather Spiritually based.

If this comes to pass, humans will still inhabit a physical body, but the body will assume its true identity as a vehicle of learning. Material things will be seen for the illusion they truly are, and the emphasis will be on “service to others before service to self”, and the building of the biblical “kingdom of heaven on Earth”, a paradise where selfishness, war and disharmony will be a thing of the past.

2. The Planet Earth, a great, living planetary Spirit, will evolve or “graduate” to the 4th density, the next evolutionary level on His/Her own path of return to The Prime Creator. In this case all organic life on Earth will cease to exist, and will also transition to the 4th or 5th density, the Astral or Spiritual worlds, where life will continue as ever in the Astral or Spiritual body, depending on Spiritual progress.

3. Earth will experience some massive cataclysmic physical trauma which will destroy most if not everything on the planet. If this happens the result will be the same as in possibility 2. above but will happen in a different way. It is likely that all life will transition to the 4th or 5th densities, again depending on Spiritual evolution, before this cataclysm strikes, so there will be no suffering.

We are not intended by the Universe to suffer; all suffering is a direct result of the actions and thoughts of humans.

The most important potential outcome is the evolution of present day human beings; Homo Sapiens, to the next level: “Homo Spiritus”.”

12. nigel - December 8, 2011

11. Golden Veil

…..and not forgetting that cetaceans, as having an evolution ahead of mankind, will be a species from which to learn…..Nigel.

13. brucelevy - December 8, 2011

Actually, the truth is, the Mayan calendar just starts over again from the beginning.

I know that’s boring and not too titillating, but that’s what happens. Live with it.

14. nigel - December 8, 2011

Evolution of cetaceans

The cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are marine mammal descendants of the artiodactyl family Raoellidae, a group of land mammals characterized by an even-toed ungulate skull, slim limbs, and an ear with significant similarities to that of early whales[9]. The terrestrial origins of cetaceans are indicated by their need to breathe air from the surface or the bones of their fins, which resemble the limbs of land mammals, including the vestigial remains of hind legs inherited from the four-legged ancestors.

The question of how land animals evolved into ocean-going leviathans was a mystery until discoveries starting in the late 1970s in Pakistan revealed several stages in the transition of cetaceans from land to sea….. (please read yourself on Wikipedia – cetaceans)…..Nigel.

15. nigel - December 8, 2011

13. brucelevy

…..and, most of the time, life is boring and, sometimes, shit is flung at you…..but hey, you just live with it and work through it…..Nigel.

16. nigel - December 8, 2011

“An Apocalypse (Greek: “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”) is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted.” — Wikipedia

“Both the Hopis and Mayans recognize that we are approaching the end of a World Age… In both cases, however, the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The message they give concerns our making a choice of how we enter the future ahead. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine whether the transition will happen with cataclysmic changes or gradual peace and tranquility. The same theme can be found reflected in the prophecies of many other Native American visionaries from Black Elk to Sun Bear.”
— Joseph Robert Jochmans

17. Golden Veil - December 8, 2011

This may be the reason the Mayan Calendar ends at 2012…

http://velocicrafter.tumblr.com/post/8521797729/loverwife-image-description-comic-of-two

18. brucelevy - December 9, 2011

17. Golden Veil

Eggs Ackley

19. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 9, 2011

Here is what I predict will happen in 2012:
Everything is going to happen all at once,
but Time will intervene and stop such nonsense.
For this you are going to need one of those cloaks.
(You’re not going to want to see this.)
Chronos will step in in case Time croaks.
That’s not so good ’cause Chronos eats
all of its progeny only to regurgitate them later.
When Chronos regurgitates progeny,
a whole new pantheon will come into being.
Look out or look within will all be the same.

20. Tempus Fugit - December 10, 2011

Near the end of the last blog page, #116, pi wrote:

147. pi – December 3, 2011
I’ve been reading this site on and off for a few years having been in the FoF and in America. I think of people still. So in the thanks for this site and my old friends in america. (and even though we’re not family and therefore can dismiss easily) I’d like to acknowledge that i ran from the pain of existence to escape to a half baked way out. However I still think there is something in the fourth way. It maybe lacks a bit of definition of what we as human beings are lacking. But this may be purposely understated because we all need something higher than our selfish needs being satisfied. I’ll miss my children again this christmas but where’s the healing? Can I suggest that the FoF would not have been a healthy school even if RB wasn’t sexually abusng his position? That we were partaking in a cop out of the reality of a cruel environment? That we escaped responsibility and duty? I know I did.

Pi, you said a lot in your post. I wanted to respond to your thought that joining the FOF might be seen as a “cop out” from reality, but first allow me to express my sympathy for your separation from your children.

Regarding the FOF of course I can only speak to my own situation. When I joined I was seeking a spiritual community and a spiritual method, and the FOF seemed the answer to my search.

So in that sense I didn’t feel I was abandoning ordinary responsibilities of life – rather my spiritual development was more important than anything else and I was being responsive to the need to cultivate my spirit.

It was only much later I realized I had been deceived by a false teacher, but that deception only damns him. Few crimes are as reprehensible as taking advantage of other people’s spirituality for financial gain and sexual abuse.

Our spiritual aspirations originate in the spark of God that lives in each of us, and in my opinion the sincerity of my spiritual search (and all of yours) remains honorable and forever untarnished.

21. Golden Veil - December 10, 2011

20. Tempus Fugit

Some of us, like you, knew what we were seeking. Others were not intentionally seeking anything, but, like me, serendipitously found the Fellowship of Friends. I remember what the picture framer from the National Gallery told me… the “why” he was a member; it was something like, “Well, you you know everybody needs to belong to something.” He was seeking community, and in a way, that was what I found, too. At the time I “met” the Fellowship I was kind of a stranger in a strange land, studying abroad, and lonely. I think that loneliness is a bit like depression… it’s a state of being that one might not recognize in oneself.

I met friendly, interesting people in a surprising way; I had read the work books and was recruited to join. Bit by bit I was told things that were extraordinary. Some things, like the reasons why payment was important, and how I would be excommunicated if I stopped making payments and left the Fellowship, all made sense, and still do, in a way… it’s all about valuation of “The Work”, isn’t it?

Anyway, the truth of the matter is really more complex; the materialistic needs of Mr. Robert Burton are extravagant. He was astute in his policy of excommunicating, for how else could he keep the funds flowing in to fund his golden lifestyle and many paramours, if he gave his “teaching” and membership in his exclusive international cultural/spiritual country club away for free?

By the way, I never thought of the Fellowship of Friends as a spiritual community. For me it was more like a “psychological boot camp.”

22. nigel - December 10, 2011

22. Golden Veil

Just a thought about ‘payment’ – how many of us believed that we were paying for REB? – gifts, impressions octave, winery building etc. Did we ever think we were paying for ourselves and our connection to C-influence? It certainly became apparent to me, when my life was saved from a suicide attempt by C-influence through another (now former) student. I still feel that the Gods/Angels have reverted from setting up Burton and his insidious behaviour to aiding humanity in the time of the Apocalypse…..Nigel.

23. nigel - December 11, 2011

(Sorry – 21. Golden Veil)

Having reviewed the ‘Pathway to Presence’ site, I am not surprised that no-one in the Fellowship of Friends is spiritually awake – most of all, Burton…..

…..Burton promoting suffering (whether transformed or not) as a tool to make ‘students’ feel belittled and insignificant (no sense of individuality), then…..

…..Burton promoting ‘high level’ impressions and experiences to ‘get his followers high’…..

From my experience, the development of Essence, which grows towards full Selfhood by application of its talents and abilities through one’s entire life has little to do with the ‘lifestyles’ and ‘posing’ that seems to be happening in the cult…..Nigel.

24. Golden Veil - December 11, 2011

Yes, Nigel ~ lots of “posing” in the cult of The Fellowship of Friends. Lots of pretending, wishful thinking, and myth making, real story telling; and lots of “acting” going on to “portray” wisdom, and so-called “Being.”

It’s kind of like Disneyland… a fun place to visit; to be entertained
and escape reality ~ but most people wouldn’t want to live there. The Fellowship of Friends ~ a Disneyland for students of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Rodney Collin (and whomever else is on Robert Burton’s current metaphysical hit parade,) for spiritual seekers, new age aspirants, scientists of psychology, the sad, the lonely, the victims of child abuse and neglect, the misunderstood, the rebel daughters and sons ~ there is room for all. And with time (and enough money, like a trust fund or a high paying job,) some decide to stay forever, at this Sleeping Beauty Castle in the California High Sierras…

25. nigel - December 11, 2011

24. Golden Veil

…..and why call ‘sleep in the presence of ‘high impressions’ awakening’? Seems like hypocrisy to me, on the Grand Scale of promoting REB’s opulent lifestyle…..Nigel.

26. nigel - December 12, 2011

For Collin there was only one way to keep the system pure, and that was by becoming pure oneself.

“To remember oneself, to become free from egoism, to be kind, to be understanding, to serve the Work and one’s fellows, to remember oneself and find God…”

(something Burton has forgotten…..Nigel)

27. Whale Rider - December 13, 2011

Rare, Never Before Seen Home Movies Recently Discovered of Young Robert E. Burton and His Father at Bedtime!

28. nigel - December 14, 2011

Pineal gland
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The pineal gland (also called the pineal body, epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis, conarium or the “third eye”) is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions. Its shape resembles a tiny pine cone (hence its name), and it is located near the centre of the brain, between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies join.

Location
The pineal gland is reddish-gray and about the size of a grain of rice (5–8 mm) in humans, located just rostro-dorsal to the superior colliculus and behind and beneath the stria medullaris, between the laterally positioned thalamic bodies. It is part of the epithalamus.

The pineal gland is a midline structure shaped like a pine cone, and is often seen in plain skull X-rays, as it is often calcified.

Structure and composition
The pineal body consists in humans of a lobular parenchyma of pinealocytes surrounded by connective tissue spaces. The gland’s surface is covered by a pial capsule.

The pineal gland consists mainly of pinealocytes, but four other cell types have been identified. As it is quite cellular (in relation to the cortex and white matter) it may be mistaken for a neoplasm.

29. nigel - December 14, 2011

Thymus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The thymus is a specialized organ of the immune system. The thymus produces and “educates” T-lymphocytes (T cells), which are critical cells of the adaptive immune system.

Each T cell attacks a foreign substance which it identifies with its receptor. T cells have receptors which are generated by randomly shuffling gene segments. Each T cell attacks a different substance. T cells that attack the body’s own proteins are eliminated in the thymus. Thymic epithelial cells express major proteins from elsewhere in the body, and T cells that respond to those proteins are eliminated through cell suicide (apoptosis).

The thymus is composed of two identical lobes and is located anatomically in the anterior superior mediastinum, in front of the heart and behind the sternum.

Histologically, the thymus can be divided into a central medulla and a peripheral cortex which is surrounded by an outer capsule. The cortex and medulla play different roles in the development of T-cells. Cells in the thymus can be divided into thymic stromal cells and cells of hematopoietic origin (derived from bone marrow resident hematopoietic stem cells). Developing T-cells are referred to as thymocytes and are of hematopoietic origin. Stromal cells include thymic cortical epithelial cells, thymic medullary epithelial cells, and dendritic cells.

The thymus provides an inductive environment for development of T-lymphocytes from hematopoietic progenitor cells. In addition, thymic stromal cells allow for the selection of a functional and self-tolerant T-cell repertoire. Therefore, one of the most important roles of the thymus is the induction of central tolerance.

The thymus is largest and most active during the neonatal and pre-adolescent periods. By the early teens, the thymus begins to atrophy and thymic stroma is replaced by adipose (fat) tissue. Nevertheless, residual T lymphopoiesis continues throughout adult life.

History
The thymus was known to the Ancient Greeks, and its name comes from the Greek word θυμός (thumos), meaning heart, soul, desire, life — possibly because of its location in the chest, near where emotions are subjectively felt; or else the name comes from the herb thyme (also in Greek θυμός), which became the name for a “warty excrescence”, possibly due to its resemblance to a bunch of thyme.

Galen was the first to note that the size of the organ changed over the duration of a person’s life.

Due to the large numbers of apoptotic lymphocytes, the thymus was originally dismissed as a “lymphocyte graveyard”, without functional importance. The importance of the thymus in the immune system was discovered in 1961 by Jacques Miller, by surgically removing the thymus from three day old mice, and observing the subsequent deficiency in a lymphocyte population, subsequently named T-cells after the organ of their origin.Recently, advances in immunology have allowed the function of the thymus in T-cell maturation to be more fully understood.

30. fofblogmoderator - December 14, 2011

#27 was hung in moderation

31. nigel - December 14, 2011

…..from “How Stuff Works – How the Sun Works” website…..

When’s the last time you gazed upward and marveled at the mysterious, life-giving force that is the sun?

If you believe the whole staring-at-the-sun-makes-you-go-blind thing (which is actually true), you’re probably not doing a whole lot of sun-gazing. But it’s a real marvel: The sun warms our planet every day, provides the light by which we see and is necessary for life on Earth. It can also cause cell death and make us blind. It could fit 1.3 million Earths inside its sphere . It produces poem-worthy sunsets and as much energy as 1 trillion megaton bombs every second .

All of this, and our sun is just a plain old average star, by universal standards. It’s really just proximity that makes it so special to Earth. We wouldn’t be here if the sun weren’t so close.

So, how close is the sun? And how much space does it take to hold 1.3 million Earths? And while we’re at it:

•If the sun is in the vacuum of space, how does it burn?
•What keeps all that gas from leaking into space?
•Why does the sun send out solar flares?
•Will the sun ever stop burning? (And if so, when? And what will happen to Earth and its inhabitants?)

The sun has “burned” for more than 4.5 billion years. It’s a massive collection of gas, mostly hydrogen and helium. Because it is so massive, it has immense gravity, enough gravitational force to hold all of that hydrogen and helium together (and to hold all of the planets in their orbits around the sun).

We say the sun burns, but it doesn’t burn like wood burns. Instead, the sun is a gigantic nuclear reactor.

(thought this would bring some scale to the blogsite…..Nigel)

32. nigel - December 15, 2011

Winter solstice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the astronomical and cultural event of winter solstice, also known as midwinter. For other uses, see Winter solstice (disambiguation), Midwinter (disambiguation) or also see Solstice.

Dec
day time day time
2007 21 18:06 22 06:08
2008 20 23:59 21 12:04
2009 21 05:46 21 17:47
2010 21 11:28 21 23:38
2011 21 17:16 22 05:30
2012 20 23:09 21 11:12
2013 21 05:04 21 17:11
2014 21 10:51 21 23:03
2015 21 16:38 22 04:48

Winter solstice on northern hemisphere

The winter solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet’s polar hemisphere is farthest away from the star that it orbits. Earth’s maximum axial tilt to our star, the Sun, during a solstice is 23° 26′. More evidently from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest. Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as midwinter, the longest night or the first day of winter.

The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice usually occurs on December 21 to 23 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 to 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.

33. nigel - December 16, 2011

…..just watching one of my favourite DVDs – “Braveheart”…..

Malcolm Wallace: “Your heart is free; have the courage to follow it”

William Wallace: “We all end up dead, the question is how and why.”

I live by myself (at present, though that may change shortly) and only have my West Highland Terrier, so I have to ‘bolster my state’ with music and movies and, sometimes, with poetry. My mother, who was a Wallace, did not like Braveheart too much (she called Gibson – “That damn Yank” – although he is Australian by birth) but it made me think that there are very few of us who have seen and felt injustice and really gone out to combat it…..”Augh, Wallace!!!!!”

34. nigel - December 16, 2011

I found this passage, written to the memory of Walt Whitman, and yet another exponent of Humanity’s Freedom, closer to those who have ‘endured’ the Fellowship of Friends, and who have survived to the ‘Calling of their Freedom’…..Nigel.

“Like the Sun Rising”

–Offered to Walt Whitman, poet of the people, on the
centenary of his passing, with affection and respect–

Like the sun rising
shattering the dark
of old restraints–
with new words, new forms
the soul’s liberator,
lauds a new world, a new humanity;
sings out democracy’s dawn.

Walt Whitman, poet of the people–
you raise your voice
in sonorous praise
of the common people, unknown and unnamed.

America in “the middle range
of the nineteenth century”–
echoing with hammers
pealing the song of construction.
Into the chaos and hope
emerges a man
in his hand a small quarto of poems–
the scant ninety-five pages
of Leaves of Grass.

Marking departure from
the civilizations of the Old World,
heart athrob at the thought
of a birthing New World,
prophet of a new age
prolocutor of new ideals.

In your own confident words you are
“Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos,
Disorderly, fleshy and sensual–
eating drinking and breeding”–
Intensely human embodiment
of America’s freedom,
you are buoyant and rustic,
filled with compassion.

Thick-chested with tempered steel-like arms,
sunburnt face framed
by wildly tousled white hair
and the untrammeled flow of your beard;
beneath thick rich eyebrows
in your clear bright eyes
burns a piercing untamed light–
intelligent and caring.

Your breast’s crucible
overflows with the
bright red passion to build
a democratic future.
Your penetrating gaze takes in
the vast universe within
and the signs and promise
of a shining tomorrow.

Everything in the universe
is the subject matter for your poetry–
sky, ocean, mountain, river–
even a single grain of sand, even a solitary leaf
the stillness of the wild, the noisy bustling city–

You sought out your muse
in ships, in railroads, in tall buildings
in all things everywhere.

You applaud and praise all people–
the young, the old, men and women.
Those whose sweat builds the future,
the widowed wife,
the defeated revolutionary,
the prisoner in jail–

You sing the song of,
you sing in praise of
every person on our planet,
the unadorned, the natural
human being.

“Camerado, this is no book,
Who touches this touches a man.”
Just so! Your poems flow from
your own overbrimming soul–
they are your very life!

But ah! the critical gales
that beset pathfinders, those who go first.

Because of their revolutionary newness
Leaves of Grass
the songs of your soul
are showered with ridicule and abuse–
“Nauseating drivel,”
“As unacquainted with art as a hog
is with mathematics,”
“Monster.”

The only words of support and praise
come from the philosopher Emerson
and a handful of people
of discernment and courage.

To you, however, soaring mountainous
the critic’s clamorous attacks
were only the murmur of the wind
passing at your feet.
Unheeding of the animadversions
of literati clinging to vain authority
the poet spends his days
quiet and composed
conversing with nature on Long Island.

You do not sing to please the critics;
you sing for the common people
sinking their roots like weeds
into the rich American earth,
secret possessors of vibrant
powers of birth and renewal;
the people, despised and trampled
driven from history’s visible stage.

No one is another’s master
no one another’s slave–
politics, learning, religion, art
all exist for the human being
for the sake of the people.
To undo the prejudice of race,
to break down the walls of class,
to share freedom and equality with the people–
it is for this that you sing
to the last limits of your strength.

Your songs–
the Declaration of Humanity
for a new age.

You are the greatest lover
of the common people,
were yourself one
of the proud uncrowned mass
throughout your life.

Your elder brother ill in spirit,
at age eleven you entered the world
and began to work–
as a waiter, a printer, a teacher, reporter–
These arduous years
amidst the bitter realities of society
pushed out your bark and
swelled your timber-girth.
From those days of trial and enduring
you learned life’s preciousness,
gained nutriment to grow
into a lofty tree of humanism.
Truly only he who has shivered in the cold
can know the sun’s warmth.

Ah, your noble selflessness!
In the agonized vortex
of the Civil War
you rushed from place to place
nursing the wounded
equally, without distinction between
the soldiers of the North
and those of the South.

Regal in your humanity,
august and proud
like the sky-traversing sun–
smiling, you walk the orbit
of your conviction.
Your verse is like
a clear and optimistic sky
without a single sentimental cloud,
like cresting billows dancing
across an ocean plain–
expansive, energetic, free–
Unfettered by the past
you move forward, always
forward toward a future
resounding with hope.

True cheer, true brightness
is the flash of an illumined spirit
resolved in its convictions
piercing the dark night of grief.

Behold Whitman after the war!
Forced to witness
corruption and decay
gnawing at the heart
of the young democracy;
listen to his maddened wail and lament
at the cruel betrayal of event.

But still you kept faith
with your ideals.
Still you sought out
the highest value of the human being.
Still you believed–
in the character of men and women
who would fill the world
with the brilliant glittering
of jewels and pearls;
that the floral gardens of democracy
would continue to spread.

You lived true to your words:
“Liberty let others despair of you–
I never despair of you.”

Fanfare of flight
performed by a soul erupting
from the abyss of pain!
The poet sets sail
on the journey home
across the spirit’s great and fertile sea–
towards the eternal, the essential source
that extends behind all nature.

Living through turbulence,
exuding the bright beams of your love,
you never ceased your seeking
for the font of life’s light.

Walt Whitman, explorer of the spirit–
you are the friend of my heart!

How can I describe the raptures
inspired in my mind
by this one book of poems
encountered in the midst
of the sufferings of youth!
Leaves of Grass–
the very title echoes with
freshness, beauty and strength.

On that day our dialogue began–
the sheer and solitary
nobility of your spirit
fanned within me flames of courage;
your vision of a light-filled future
brought up surging energy and hope.

The utter overflowing freedom
of your soul
struck me like a bolt
of empathetic lightning–
sundering the dark,
making bright the path of my progress,
inviting me toward the great way
of humanism.

Walt Whitman, giant star of freedom!
It is already one hundred years
since your passing–
but I have been with you.
Like a bird bathed in
the sun’s light as it
flies through the sky,
like a sailor speaking to stars
on a night sea,
I have spoken with you
of humanity’s tomorrow,
sung songs of praise to life,
pondered the laws governing
the boundless universe.

The curtain is falling
on the twentieth century;
the evening sky is shrouded
with perplexed fog.
But, look closer! Look harder!
In the depths of the thick haze
is the powerfully flowing
current of the age
toward a new dawning
of democracy.

This spiritual tide,
this thirst for freedom,
has borne the assaults
of raging militarism;
it has writhed in the spume;
its progress has been blocked
by the stagnant reefs of decadence.

But time has grown to fullness
and the tide now rises;
with the joyous booming of waves
–the exult of ordinary citizens–
it washes all the world’s shores.

The democratic ideal you espoused
has survived the trials and selections
of more than a century;
it has been passed on
in the conscience of the people
of countries everywhere;
it cracks open the door
on a new age of democracy,
brilliant and eternal in the night
of an uncharted era
bereft of all philosophy.

Walt Whitman, my friend–
it is just as you believed,
just as you proclaimed:
freedom has never betrayed you
humanity has never betrayed you.

The century’s twilight
is prelude to the dawn,
the daybreak of the new age,
the beginning of new hope.

Look! My friend–
I will take up the banners
of democracy and freedom
which you held so proudly aloft;
I will fight on and will advance
along the path of the poet,
pioneer of the spirit’s wilderness,
on a journey of infinite mission,
forging paths of friendship
to all corners of the Earth,
joining with people heart to heart
ringing out humanity’s victory song.

You live within my breast–
like the sun brimming with
compassion and fight;
the rush of your blood’s tide,
the thunderous pulse of your heart
courses hotly through my veins.
Walt Whitman, my sun!
Light my way, shine on forever!

–March 26, 1992

[The above poem by Daisaku Ikeda was dedicated to the memory of Walt Whitman on March 26, 1992–the centennial of the death of the great American poet–and was read at a commemoration ceremony held on the same day by the Walt Whitman Association in Camden, New Jersey, USA, where the poet is buried.]

35. Tim Campion - December 17, 2011

Submitted today:

TO: Mr. Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil

Dear Mr. Mueller,

I have enjoyed hearing your recent interviews on WHYY’s “Fresh Air” and on APM’s “Marketplace”.

I write this with some hesitancy, as I am loathe to condemn a product with a fine reputation. However, you should know that one of the acclaimed olive oils from California is indeed intimately connected with a cult of dubious moral standing.

The Fellowship of Friends, an authoritarian cult, began the undertaking that would become “Apollo Olive Oil”. The Fellowship of Friends headquarters in Oregon House, CA is called Apollo, and all personnel listed on Apollo Olive Oil’s website are (or were until recently) members of the cult. (Stephen Dambeck has in fact been a Fellowship of Friends officer and minister.)

According to accounts (please see the below websites for further discussion), the leader of the Fellowship of Friends, Robert Earl Burton has been charged on a number of occasions with sexual abuse, and at least in one instance, the alleged abuse involved a minor. I can speak with some authority about the nature of the cult and the leader’s abuses, as I was a member for thirteen years.

I was their Purchasing Manager, and went on to become Purchasing Manager for Chateau St. Jean Vineyards and Winery and subsequently Director of Corporate Purchasing for the Robert Mondavi Corporation. (My profile is on LinkedIn.)

As my career in purchasing developed, business ethics became a paramount concern. It was essential that I develop an understanding of those with whom I dealt and hold both myself and them to the highest ethical standards. Only then could I endorse a supplier or product, and encourage others to trust them.

Apollo Olive Oil is using the occasion of your new book release to promote their own products, and at the same time deny any connection with the Fellowship of Friends, which has been recognized as an inconvenient liability in the marketplace.

In the spirit of your investigation into corruption in the olive oil industry, if the occasion should arise for you to endorse, or otherwise speak favorably of Apollo Olive Oil, I hope that you will have first done some research into their story, and have asked the difficult questions about their true affiliations, exact location of their orchards, source of their labor, organizations which they support, etc.

Thank you for your attention.

Tim Campion
Santa Rosa, CA

Further Reading:

Robert Earl Burton: An Unauthorized Blogography


Fellowship of Friends Discussion

36. Aristmus - December 17, 2011

Sponsored by “People for the Ethical Use of Olive Oil and Against Exploiting Other People for Perverse Pleasure”

37. nigel - December 18, 2011

A song, maybe…..

R.E.M. “Losing My Religion”…..

Oh
Life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream, try, cry, why, try
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream
Dream

38. nigel - December 20, 2011

…..the opposite of what Burton practices…..

al·tru·ism (ltr-zm)
n.
1. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.
2. Zoology – Instinctive behavior that is detrimental to the individual but favors the survival or spread of that individual’s genes, as by benefiting its relatives.

39. nigel - December 20, 2011

…..from ‘Google-ing’ – do you sometimes feel you are a failure?…..

——————————————————————————–

Feeling Like A Failure, What Can You Do to Regain Happiness?
by Debbie Takara Shelor

“Every now and then a person has to feel like a failure in order to turn it around.

Sometimes you have to have a break down before it can turn into a break through.

Several years ago I started noticing that I wasn’t happy. I was ill more often than was O.K. with me and I seemed to only find pleasure in writing.

I began asking, “Whatever happened to my joy? I must have had some joy in my life at some point. But where has it gone?”

(The remainder of this site is lengthy, but worth reading. I only curtail the post in deference to our moderator…..Nigel)

40. nigel - December 20, 2011

…..from – Sleepless.com website…..

PERSEVERE – Nothing in the world will take the place of perseverance. Talent will not – Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not – Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – The world is full of educated derelicts. PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONE ARE OMNIPOTENT. Written by Calvin Coolidge. (How ’bout that?!)

41. nigel - December 21, 2011

…..this book was advertised to the right of some blurb about Burton on the “Unauthorized Blogography”…..

The Path to our Essence: Practical Spirituality for our Time
Selim Aissel (Author)
Description
Publication Date: October 15, 2010
A practical path of awakening for men and women of today, integrating the heart of the great spiritual traditions of yesterday such as the Sufi Way of the Heart, Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way, Krishnamurti’s pathless path, and the immediacy of Zen. Selim Aissel clearly explains concrete methods for realising our highest intention and raising ourselves to a higher level of being in our everyday lives, in this way becoming a gift for the people around us through who we are. Powerful, passionate, and engagingly written, Aissel’s latest book is a truly inspiring and practical guide, speaking directly to our essence and unveiling a path toward what is most profound and true in each of us. “You need a strong inner intention to be at the highest level of yourself. Without this intention, you won’t reach it since you’ll be overtaken by the automatic movements of the past. If you have a strong intention of who you want to be and if you repeat it constantly, this is who you will become. It is impossible not to.”

42. veramente - December 22, 2011

43. 2011 - December 23, 2011

The Fellowship of Friends in an hour and thirty two mintutes.

Class dimissed.

44. Sockpuppet - December 23, 2011

I can’t believe I fell for this cheesy stuff!

45. Tim Campion - December 23, 2011

42. veramente

Thanks for posting the Apollo Olive Oil video. Clearly, there’s no connection between A.O.O. and the Fellowship of Friends – even though the olive groves shown are on top of Dixon Hill (Fellowship of Friends property.) And aren’t they processing those olives inside the Fellowship’s winery? Sure looks like it to me!

43. 2011

I couldn’t get past the first 12 minutes of his mangling basic astronomy (which, in the Age of Wikipedia, is kind of inexcusable.)

44. Sockpuppet

Ha! I would never fall for anything that cheesy. I mean, never again…

46. nigel - December 23, 2011

42 – 45

I seem to remember that we were encouraged not to lie, and that mechanicality was the process of lying…..where does the FOF now stand with regard to that?! All that I have heard on this blog that were ‘eye-openers’ for me – about Burton and his enablers – makes me think that, up until now, at the present time and into the future – all was/is/will be lies, damn lies, and certainly nothing to do with an ‘esoteric tradition’…..Nigel.

47. Aristmus - December 23, 2011

Good tidings and rumors to all.
The dress-up party worked, and 17 yr. old E.G. was successfully recruited. Any bets on how this will play out?
Ho, Ho, Ho.
Brought to you by “Ho’s-for-Christmas.”

48. nigel - December 23, 2011

…..with regard to my post 46…..Nigel.

…..first insertion in – “Robert Earl Burton, an Unauthorized Blogography”…..

[ed. – Robert Burton inculcated in his followers a contempt for “life people”, also known as “sleeping machines”. Burton has often stated that he is above man-made laws. This manifests in a disregard for laws, attempts to avoid compliance, misrepresentation and outright dishonesty in dealings with “life”. Burton’s instructions that members walk away from debts and commitments, especially in the face of predicted calamities (such as a depression, the Fall of California and Armageddon), are examples of this behavior. The “errors of omission” in promoting Apollo Olive Oil appear to be another example of this culture of dishonesty and contempt.]

49. nigel - December 23, 2011

…..same site – “Children’s Stories”…..Nigel

Linda [Linda T.] who worked closely with the teacher told us in Amsterdam in 1980 that she was “only following orders” when she told women members to have abortions! (She was a member since the early 1970s, and still is as far as we know.) Burton wanted children to be a certain age at Armageddon, for which he claimed, “I will bridge the gap for humanity at Armageddon.” Ack! People were believing this! If one *believes* this, one MUST obey. Fear of “higher forces” was instilled in members, and most easily introduced into people who did not actualize the Work ideas within themselves by personal observation so they could see what was going on and avoid the pitfalls.

Children were frequently spoken of as being a considerable waste of “higher energies,” and some women were convinced to give their children away!

50. nigel - December 23, 2011

…..my last post of the day, on more of Burton’s lies…..

Robert Burton uses manipulation. Over time his followers are groomed for this experience: he continually tells them that their lower selves will resist any thing that will bring them closer to awakening, he plies the males with luxury and ‘beauty’ has them floating in an unreal bubble, in which conscience and personal integrity are gradually dissolved and rejected as ‘feminine dominance’.

Women are groomed to allow their husbands to comply.

Eventually Robert pounces. If the follower rejects him he will threaten them with having to work out doors in the serf roles that those he is not having ‘sex’ with generally perform. Or he will tell them that they have to return to their home-lands which are often impoverished. He is prone to extreme jealousy and has been known to banish current ‘sexual’ partners simply for falling in love. He railed at my dear friend his most devoted and loyal follower for half an hour with out stopping and then banished her from his sight at events.

The sexual activity has been very unpleasant for most males that I have spoken with. The ‘loving’ experience is a myth. I did once meet a follower who applauded the experience briefly; but he suffered years of disgust and despair afterwards. The degradation is very difficult to absorb. You make excuses for it: it is so weird and ugly and cold and bewildering, and you are so desperate to believe that Robert holds the key to your higher centres that you re-describe what is happening to you in terms which make it bearable.

I know one follower who has been close to Robert for years, and who says that Robert is very ‘gentle’. But he has to do this… saying anything else would mean facing the full tragedy of his situation, facing himself.

One of the characteristics that enables Robert is that he does not mind if his boys absolutely hate the experience, as long as they comply. They have asked him about this but he somehow shakes their questions off. He sometimes makes their orifices bruised swollen and bleeding and mildly insists that they are being forced to let go of their lower selves. He tells them that it’s only their bodies, their ‘King of Clubses’ that reject it.

In the beginning Robert also manipulated his female followers in to having sex… there is testimony about this on the esoteric archives. It was disturbing reading: he had no interest what so ever in their pleasure. [ed. – see Bonita Hightower’s “History of the Fellowship of Friends”]

I do not judge the students who submit to this: I know that they comply because their hope and longing is so desperate. I am so sad though that this ghoul has exploited (and necessarily obstructed) their search.

The sick reality only began to press against the boundaries of my bubble when Robert told a follower that he did not enjoy the teaching events and meetings, the follower had to press him to continue, reminding him of the money they made; so Robert did continue but reluctantly, saying “I only do it for you boys…”

51. Mick Danger - December 23, 2011

Nigel, Nigel & more Nigel.
It’s obnoxious and uninteresting.

52. Tempus Fugit - December 23, 2011

RE: 51. Mick Danger – December 23, 2011

So who are you, Mick Danger? A member of the FOF? Does your criticism of Nigel perhaps betray your true loyalty?

Nigel is helpful and appropriate in his contributions and comments. He is one of the stalwarts of this blog, keeping it going with interesting and appropriate quotes and comments at times when other posts are infrequent.

In his latest posts Nigel reminds us of perhaps the most important reason to support this blog – so others still trapped in the delusion of the FOF may have a chance for freedom.

In my opinion the Fellowship of Friends is a scam and Robert Burton is a criminal and sexual predator. If anyone doubts this read the blog. Links to other pages can be found in post #1 on this page, dated December 6.

It is not too late for you either, Mick, if indeed you are a member of the cult. Your master has deceived you but you can awaken to the truth.

When you accept the truth the power to escape comes naturally; you need only make the decision to act.

But remember, life is not infinite, and time flies.

53. Tigersmate - December 23, 2011

In re: RB still targeting little boys…..how very very sad…..my best hope is that the pain of these “plays” can SOMEHOW be transformed.

54. Bares Reposting - December 23, 2011

‘In my opinion the Fellowship of Friends is a scam and Robert Burton is a criminal and sexual predator. . . Your master has deceived you but you can awaken to the truth. . . When you accept the truth the power to escape comes naturally; you need only make the decision to act.’
Page 117/#52. Tempus Fugit

Acceptance is a bitter pill to swallow, but there is magic in it.
Transform your years of FoF experience and then get the hell out of there. Tempus Fugit or lickity split!

55. fofblogmoderator - December 23, 2011

#53 is new

56. Tim Campion - December 23, 2011

(Thanks to Tempus Fugit and Tigersmate for adding some Christmas-y color to this rather subdued blog!)

51. Mr. Mick Danger

Just to clarify: in #49, Nigel was quoting Stella Wirk and in #50, he was quoting “sea” from this blog. (Which doesn’t alter your point.)

While Tempus Fugit is being VERY patient with you, Santa will ultimately judge whether you’re really naughty or nice.

57. Fee fi fo fum - December 23, 2011

“It was neither the quality nor the quantity that was at fault – it was the mixture.” (S. Flyte)

However, sometimes excessive quantity from one poster imbalances the blog, and drives away other contributors.

58. Tempus Fugit - December 23, 2011

56. Tim Campion – December 23, 2011
Tim: “Christmas-y color?”

I’m sure Tim means this as pleasant humor (or shall I say I read it as such), but the colors of the FOF are all shades of black.

As we who are free celebrate the holiday with friends and family I remember those who are still enslaved.

This day is a little longer than yesterday here in the northern latitudes, as the earth slowly aligns itself more directly with our star.

My Christmas prayer is that the new year brings the light of freedom to Fellowship members who still suffer in the dark – not slowly, but as quickly as possible!

59. Tempus Fugit - December 23, 2011

57. Fee fi fo fum – December 23, 2011
“However, sometimes excessive quantity from one poster imbalances the blog, and drives away other contributors.”

I think this comment is well intentioned, but perhaps short sighted.

In my opinion the blog is not “balanced;” it has a shifting structure that fluctuates depending on participation.

You don’t mention Nigel, but he’s been posting a lot recently and I think that’s whom you refer to. Personally I appreciate Nigel’s comments, and yours, and anyone else who is posting sincerely.

As far as “drives away other contributors” I think people who blog here are not that fragile. They can post whenever they wish regardless of what others do and generate new directions for the discussion.

Or, like me, mainly bring it back to the theme I think is most important – how can I make comments that help others realize the true nature of Burton and the FOF and help them escape?

60. Sockpuppet - December 24, 2011

Not “fragile,” necessarily, Tim. But maybe not interested in fighting for space among verbose and trigger-happy strangers, who often have their own agendas. People do have other things to do.

Tempus (#58), may your prayer be answered. However, current ‘Shippers: The doors are open. All you have to do is walk out. Start the New Year right!

As BP said in #54, “When you accept the truth the power to escape comes naturally; you need only make the decision to act.”

61. nigel - December 24, 2011

…..basically, yes, thank you Tempus Fugit…..

“In his latest posts Nigel reminds us of perhaps the most important reason to support this blog – so others still trapped in the delusion of the FOF may have a chance for freedom.”

62. fofblogmoderator - December 24, 2011

#57 was hung in moderation

63. nigel - December 24, 2011

…..my Pacifica friend, George, sent a reply to my email…..

I looked up the Benny (he meant Gerald Benney, the goldsmith) work and found it pleasing. But I think it’s wonderful that you actually get to ply your trade, although the living is modest. The thing is to live and not sleep while time passes. What opportunities you had you made the best of. And you managed to escape that absolute nutty cult. That in itself is a wonderful achievement. Continue living and enjoying life. When you’re not rushing toward nowhere, you get to stop and appreciate the details.

(again, when you’re not rushing toward nowhere, you get to stop and appreciate the details.)

64. Aristmus - December 25, 2011

I got a question. In a room crowded with people, is it rude and uncalled for to ask the noisy ones to pipe down?

65. nigel - December 25, 2011

I have a funny feeling, Aristmus, that you are a Fellowship ‘in-nie’, judging by your decrying of useful material that would halt Burton and his enablers. Your moniker is pretty snobby too, something to do with Ancient Greece…..

“It is related that Philadelphus sent Aristmus, a man whose wisdom had gained his friendship, and Andrseus, a captain of the guard, both of them Greek Jews, with costly gifts, to Eleazer the high priest of Jerusalem, and asked him to employ learned and fit men to make a Greek translation of the Bible for the library at Alexandria.”

66. veramente - December 26, 2011

#35 Tim Campion
Thank you for writing to Tom Mueller about the origins of the Apollo Olive Oil. I hope he will understand that the producers of this oil can be rather shady after all. I remember how we were all trained in the FOF to sometimes carry acts to deceive ” life people” , often with the intention to have them almost fall in love with us especially if such people were influential in some circles.

Splendor on the outside,
rotten core in the inside.

67. Wondering Who’s Watching - December 27, 2011

“47. Aristmus – December 23, 2011
Good tidings and rumors to all.
The dress-up party worked, and 17 yr. old E.G. was successfully recruited. Any bets on how this will play out?
Ho, Ho, Ho.
Brought to you by “Ho’s-for-Christmas.””

E.G. presumed to mean: El*n G*ldm*n, son of (God rest his soul) Abraham and Susan G*ldm*n, has, based on the above quotation, joined the sex cult Fellowship of Friends, also known as: Church of Robert Earl Burton (REB), Living Presence, Pathway To Presence, Gurdjieff Ouspensky School, Fourth Way, etc.

Recently I watched a film: ‘The Bible: In the Beginning is a 1966 Biblical epic film recounting the first 22 chapters of the Book of Genesis. It was a joint American production conceived by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by John Huston.’ (I never saw this film before, that I remember.)

In this film, George C. Scott plays the role of Abraham. Abraham, as the bible tells us, made many sacrifices at the request of his God. One of those was to sacrifice his son (first born with Sarah, his wife), Isaac. Isaac was conceived by them when Sarah was well beyond child bearing age (90?) and Abraham was 99! This was unbelievable but God made it possible and therefore, Isaac was a gift from God; in a way, an immaculate conception – immaculate conception literally meaning: spotless, as in the woman having no menses. Other interpretations could be possible. (Maybe REB would like to ‘key’ the story.)

Biblical scholars say that Isaac was at least in his teens at the time the sacrifice play took place. Abraham and Isaac journeyed three days to reach Mount Moriah, site designated by God. At the moment Abraham is to sacrifice Isaac, Isaac is, of course, spared by the intervention of God. Isaac goes on to father Jacob, later to be called Israel. Jacob was father of Joseph, the first, chronologically, of the conscious beings – according to FoF belief system.

So, here is the interesting part: Ignoring, for this writing/reading, what we know of the Bible/Old Testament about what happened, the film unfolds in such a manner that Abraham and Isaac arrive on this mountain top and do various ceremonies prior to the execution. Abraham is around 120 years old. Isaac asks Abraham, ‘Where is that which is to be sacrificed?’ At this point one wonders whether Abraham, having meditated deeply upon his sacrifice task and full of angst, may decide to sacrifice himself (kill himself) instead of Isaac.

George C. Scott’s acting and John Huston’s direction is beautiful in this film. The Abraham/Isaac story is at the end of the film as it is described in Book of Genesis, chapter 22.

68. silentpurr - December 28, 2011

-a poem by N. Cherkovski

Before Dying

….find your

dinosaur tracks and your animal eyes

before it’s too late take the road

to the higher camp by the glacial pond, stare

at the clear night sky in your

fist, go down to the Pieta,, touch the

obdurate stone, light a candle in the

catacombs of your head

go into the night with these animal feet

find your center in the clearing

make your mind into wild seed

as canyons of the sun

call to you and the vast solar

gods don their clown uniforms….

69. James McLemore - December 28, 2011

69. silentpurr

Thank you

70. Tim Campion - December 28, 2011

67. veramente

You’re welcome! I wrote a similar letter to the Whole Foods corporate headquarters, as some of their stores reportedly carry Apollo Olive Oil.

Regarding “life people”, Robert Burton certainly saw the wealthy and talented individuals he befriended as “feathers in his cap”, adding to his own (imagined) stature. Only much later did I realize how desperately he tried to sever his humble roots.

71. Tempus Fugit - December 28, 2011

67. veramente – December 26, 2011

Thank you for acknowledging Tim’s efforts to inform olive oil sellers of the FOF link to Apollo olive oil.

71. Tim Campion – December 28, 2011

Tim, your letters to olive oil dealers are really wonderful direct efforts to weaken the FOF when so few direct efforts seem possible. I hope the sellers care enough about the quality of the companies they do business with to find out what the FOF really is. In my opinion, evil.

69. silentpurr – December 28, 2011

Beautiful poem by Cherkovski. Thank you. It reminds me of the aspirations that brought me seek a spiritual school to begin with – aspirations that are still present despite the corruption of the FOF.

I enjoy when others post poems here too, and other interesting quotes on spiritual topics.

Nigel, this is one reason I hope you will not be driven away; your various contributions add much to the blog. But most importantly you share the example of your successful life, and people still trapped in the cult need to know they can do the same when they escape.

Burton and the FOF failed to kill us. Sometimes I am amazed that I am still alive inside, that “canyons of the sun” still call to me. Others were not so lucky, and were emotionally and physically destroyed.

Odd, is it not, to see the violence done in the name of spirituality? How well it can be hidden behind smiles and beautiful things.

But not forever.

72. nigel - December 28, 2011

Don’t worry, TP. I will still keep posting – when my energy is right and I think the blog needs it. Right now, there are plenty of posts by others, so I do not need to ‘fill in’, as it were. A Happy New Year’s to all…..Nigel

73. nigel - December 28, 2011

…..from Google-ing ‘what the aquarian age will mean…..

Age of Aquarius: Age of Holy Breath

“This age will be an age of splendour and of light, because it is the home of the Holy Breath; and the Holy Breath will testify anew for Christ, the Logos of the eternal Love. At first of every age this Logos is made manifest in flesh so man can see and know and comprehend a Love that is not narrow, circumscribed. Twelve times in every revolution of the sun this christed Love of God is made full manifest in flesh upon the planes of earth, and you may read it in Akasha the wondrous lessons that these Christs have taught to man.” — Dan Costian (Ph.D), Bible Enlightened

The gospel described the beginning of the Aquarian
(= the one that bears the pitcher of water) Age as
follows: “And then the man who bears the pitcher will
walk across an arc of heaven. The sign and signet of
the Son of man stands forth in the eastern sky. The
wise will then lift up their heads and know that the
redemption of the earth is near” (157.29,30.) And
the accompanying footnote explained: “From the
beginning of this age, i.e. from this moment on,
more and more people will try to understand the
spirit of the Gospel instead of merely following its
text. When the largest part of the human race has
been penetrated by this spirit, to which this book
makes its contribution, mankind will undoubtedly
be in the Aquarian Age. That’s why the Aquarian
Gospel was given its present title.” – Dan Costian

“So, now a New Age has started which is called the
Age of Aquarius, meaning the pitcher carrier of
spiritual holy water that is the work of Kundalini.”

The Paraclete Shri Mataji
The Paraclete and Aquarius: the Age of the Holy Breath

“Rudolf Bultmann … calls the coming of the Redeemer (Paraclete) an “eschatological event,” “the turning-point of the ages”.” – George Eldon Ladd

“The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world’s reaction was to Jesus.” – Berard L. Marthaler

“But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete …—will teach you everything.” – Danny Mahar

“The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15… are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree.” – David Fleer

74. nigel - December 28, 2011

69. silentpurr

“find your center in the clearing

make your mind into wild seed

as canyons of the sun”

…..the most beautiful lines of the poem you quoted, I feel…..

72. Tempus Fugit

“But most importantly you share the example of your successful life, and people still trapped in the cult need to know they can do the same when they escape.”

Dear TP…..Just wanted to add that the success (and it is not worldly nor financial success) was hard fought for – in terms of both the time (in years) it took and the aggressing through extricating my (still) being attached to the FOF (emotionally/intellectually) after I had physically left it. However, I feel that living with (not, for) bipolar affective disorder and the need for medication and ongoing psychiatric help is better, by far, than to be Robert Earl Burton – a sad, hurtful psychopath with a disgusting sexual twist. I am 55 years old and have finally found a quirkily pretty little Martial Irish young lady called Nuala Clooney (no relation to George) on whom to quietly lavish my emotional attentions. She works free-lance as a community arts proponent and that involves mental-health areas. So determined and so endearing. Just be yourself, Nigel – leave the rest to Fate!!!!!?????…..

75. nigel - December 28, 2011

…..just an after-thought to 74 (and my last for today)…..Nigel.

Jesus said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Paraclete (the Advocate) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16: 7-8

76. Another name - December 29, 2011

Leaving 4 years ago Dec 31…Now a different person and will have to live with the joy of leaving and the sorrowing youngsters are still recruited as are the Russians.
Members seem open and kind to ex students in Oregon House?
Some are leaving? What a blessing.

Happy new year and hope the light will enter into students hearts what FOF is all about and the courage for them to leave, grief and find themselves again.

77. Fee fi fo fum - December 29, 2011

76. Another name – Glad you’ve reached an anniversary and feel like a different person. I was in the FF for way too many years, and I remember when I had finally been out for as many years as I had been in. It was like a personal milestone, and it felt really good.

78. Shirley - December 29, 2011

51 and on, regarding Nigel’s many posts:

It seems that there are 2 different issues at hand, and a bit of logical fallacy is manifesting. One issue is quantity of posting by the same person, often many posts one after the other. The second issue is the content of the posts.

For the first, it wouldn’t matter if it was Nigel or me or any one else: when one person posts non-stop, and all we see is the same avatar at the top, it gives the blog the feel of a running monologue dominated by one person. It also dilutes some of the conversations that arise in between these many run-on posts. As for “filling in” the silences when the blog has no other posts coming in, there is no need to compulsively fill up the blog as though it were an empty stomach that needs food every few hours. Maybe we’re afraid that the blog will die out if no one posts for several days. My own feeling is that when something significant or crazy happens in the FF and with RB, the blog will liven up again.

Regarding content, that is a matter of taste. Whether I like or read Nigel’s posts or not isn’t important. Everyone here scrolls past certain people’s posts, and dwells on other’s. That includes my posts. (At this point, feel free to scroll down to the next person’s post.) However, what I find interesting is the jumping to conclusions about whether a person is pro-FF or anti-FF or maybe in-the-FF, based on one’s opinions about Nigel’s posts. If x likes Nigel’s posts, which are appropriately anti-cult, that means x is anti-cult, too. If y dislikes Nigel’s frequency of posting or his posts’ content, then that means y is pro-cult? I’m sorry, but it does not follow.

Of course, what encourages so much speculation is the use of pseudonyms. There are various reasons why any individual uses a pseudonym on this particular blog. Unfortunately, its use encourages unnecessary speculation about the person, or draws us to, sometimes, false conclusions.

79. wingsspread - December 29, 2011

Gosh, Shirley, you’re so….. rational.
Thank you.

80. brucelevy - December 29, 2011

Yup, what Shirley said.

81. Another name - December 29, 2011

Agree with Shirley.

82. Tim Campion - December 29, 2011

78. Shirley

Thanks for this honest analysis. And I agree: the void does not always need filling.

83. Mick Danger - December 29, 2011

It’s hard to believe that rationality would be more effective than sarcasm and criticism. You may have won this round Ms. Smarty Pants.

84. not - December 29, 2011

shirley you jest

85. Transmogrified - December 29, 2011

Shirley: “My own feeling is that when something significant or crazy happens in the FF and with RB, the blog will liven up again.”

There’s always something crazy happening in the FF. Sometimes it just more outwardly apparent.

But I agree; it’s like any newspaper. Bigger headlines bring bigger readership and interest, and more letters to the editor. The blog is a lot more interesting to read when something new is happening.

It’s too bad there’s not some secret follower acting as a reporter who could frequently feed the blog with the latest news. Problem is, that reporter quickly begins to realize that they are part of the story, in other words a participant in the same insanity. Because of their new awareness, they leave. But each and every day, even the most boring realities about the FF would be shocking in what they reveal about its insanity.

We’re all still part of the story, by the way, to some extent greater or lesser. Repeated posts to the blog, or excessive arguments or criticism or sarcasm or silliness or less “rational” thinking — not a surprise. I’m sorry to say it’s a life-long recovery process for anyone who spent more than a couple of years there.

The FF is years of living in an imbalanced state. It’s a place where causing others suffering (or where having someone else cause you suffering) is considered a good thing for “evolution.” It’s a recipe for illness. All of us who walked through those doors share a little bit of that madness. Some of it follows us out here.

For me, it’s been a constant attempt to find the right balance of acknowledging the evil and illness of Burton (not being in denial about it) while simultaneously finding a way to place the weight of my own recovery on my own shoulders. Sometimes, that means being silent and not complaining, and sometimes it means articulating the truth about the FF and shouting out loud. But we were definitely not taught how to find such a balance in the FF. Balances were not considered relevant. Balancing forces, such as encouraging people to land on their feet and feel safe when they leave, and encouraging openness to ideas outside of the group, are not allowed there.

But in a sense, it all comes back to balance vs. imbalance. And after years of being taught imbalance, each of us in our own way struggles to recover from that.

86. fofblogmoderator - December 29, 2011

84 & 85 are new

87. brucelevy - December 30, 2011

84

…and don’t call me shirley

88. not - December 30, 2011

87

ok, surely

“…a true interiority (where higher temporal dimensions may be).
So it seems ‘Teacher’ got people who obviously and understandably didn’t really know what these things that were referred to in the books, got them to follow him, and others to follow them and so on, IN HIS INTERPRETATION of the refinement referred to in the books, which turned out to be mostly the refinement referred to by his mother, and by this, starting with basically nothing, made a million-dollar corporation –‘refinement of the force’ being what is referred to, that is, the actual force manifested through the individual, synthesized of celestial and terrestrial influences and foods of solid, liquid, air and light and sound and sense, some of which are subject to interior self-modification and intelligent control of habits for refinement of the force. There is an aspect of ‘refinement of the force’ that tends to be reflected in taste, preference, choice, surroundings, cleanliness, order, etc., but these are individual matters not to be codified let alone dictated and are, to begin with, only a natural indication of an interior alchemic state, the object of the effort. The purpose of this refinement is to allow or foment an alchemic process which builds the interior or congruent body operating at the higher level of vibration. This is to relate the understanding of the individual with the wide world and eventually to….” etc.

Another name - December 30, 2011

85 Transmorigfied

A recovery it has been for me and many others and I am sure that many are not done and it might take years more to recover. I have asked myself many questions and seen patterns in my life and looking for why this in my life. Still marveling and I am not asking for statement/ advices as I have decided for myself to life this question for a long time.

I ask myself many more questions and sit with the questions. For example is there a God and each day, I question this , I do not (yet) have the answer.

My concern with Burton and the FOF is how many more young men will Burton “molest” under the name of higher energy and how much his behavior resembles a pedophile. When I: hear boys and girls joining, I worry and fear the pain they have to go through in future recovery.

When I hear, children and grandchildren of students joining, I get nervous of so much naivete and such a repeat of patterns.

Unbearable.

89. nigel - December 31, 2011

…..from “Cults in Our Midst” (book), by Margaret Thaler Singer…..

“Education and Health Care

The role of professional services, in particular medicine and psychology, is important in postcult adaptation. Some cults put down modern medicine and psychiatry and psychology, along with education in general.

Cult doctrine preaches that if they only follow certain instructions, they will never be ill, never feel blue, and will save the planet, attain nirvana, and become spiritually or politically perfect. Meanwhile cult chores and practices keep them tired, worn down, and often ill. But they have to hide these conditions and keep smiling and working.

When it comes to education, many cults teach that members should “get out of the mind,” stop thinking, and get into the heart or the everyday work of the cult. Some leaders preach that we are born with “natural knowing” that has been impaired by school, parents, and society, and that followers should reject “old thinking” and live by the dictates of the leader. Afterward, former cult members of almost any age and background need some sort of education or training to update knowledge and skills and to expand their training.

After years of neglecting their minds and their health, former cult members feel odd and possibly even guilty about their concern with illness, health issues, and their psychological states after leaving the group. They soon realize, however, that their education stopped when they joined the cult, that they have neglected their health, and that they are in emotional turmoil. Yet they have been turned against the very support systems they now need. As they struggle to sort out their personal views about education, medicine, and mental health care, often they may need urging and explanations about what happened in the cult to create their negative feelings and attitudes.”

(There is more in this web page that is interesting, but I wanted to keep it pertinent to recent posts…..Nigel.)

90. Tim Campion - December 31, 2011

A New Year Prophecy

A few days ago, I noted a license plate (for this is how Influence C communicates): “7APL412”

The significance was not immediately apparent until, in a dream, my guiding angel Elvis revealed its hidden meaning.

On July 4, 2012, calling themselves “Occupy Apollo”, a loose affiliation of ten-thousand former Fellowship of Friends members will descend upon the sleepy town of Oregon House, California, and take over a sprawling 1,200-acre rural compound that serves as headquarters for The Fellowship of Friends.

(Elvis was more sober and coherent than ever before!) He said the “Occupiers” will demand authorities take the following actions:

The State of California shall rescind the Fellowship’s “church” classification and any benefits accruing to legitimate religious organizations
The State of California shall revoke the corporate charters of The Fellowship of Friends and all subsidiaries
The Internal Revenue Service shall eliminate the Fellowship’s tax exemption
The property currently known as Apollo shall be turned over to the State of California for disposal, proceeds to be placed in a State-managed fund for the victims of Robert Earl Burton’s alleged abuses
Robert Earl Burton shall be barred from “teaching” and, as a flight risk, be held at a Black Ops site, pending the outcome of official investigations
County, State and Federal agencies shall further investigate claims of private inurement from non-profit funds, services and property; improper sexual conduct with a minor, child abuse, rape, illegal immigration, money laundering, tax evasion, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, polygamy, theft; health, safety, and environmental code violations, and many other categories of complaints.

Finally, he reminded me, “Remember. There’s only one King.”

91. Shirley - January 1, 2012

Tim, that’s great. Thank you.

92. wingsspread - January 1, 2012

“The property currently known as Apollo shall be turned over to the State of California for disposal, proceeds to be placed in a State-managed fund for the victims of Robert Earl Burton’s alleged abuses”
That would be great, but unfortunately it’s not the law – it’s my understanding the property would be turned over to another non-profit of similar type, i.e. another cult. Too bad, it’s a nice idea.
And if they assessed a big fine, you can bet the State of California wouldn’t be using the money for anything but its own needs. It’d still be worth it.

93. Tim Campion - January 2, 2012

92. wingsspread

Like Robert Burton, Elvis is not subject to man-made laws, so he may have glossed over some of the legal fine points.

Happy New Year bloggers and blog readers!

94. brucelevy - January 2, 2012

92. wingsspread

Wouldn’t it would be given to another non-profit “by” the State and “through” the State.

95. nigel - January 2, 2012

…..from ‘Google-ing’ – the self and a sense of identity…..

Wikipedia – “Identity”

Description

“Identity” may be defined as the distinctive character belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group. The term comes from the French word identité which finds its linguistic roots in the Latin noun identitas, -tatis, itself a derivation of the Latin adjective idem meaning “the same.”The term is thus essentially comparative in nature, as it emphasizes the sharing of a degree of sameness or oneness with others in a particular area or on a given point. “Identity” may be distinguished from “identification;” the former is a label whereas the latter refers to the classifying act itself. Identity is thus best construed as being both relational and contextual, while the act of identification is best viewed as inherently processual.

A psychological identity relates to self-image (a person’s mental model of him or herself), self-esteem, and individuality. An important part of identity in psychology is gender identity, as this dictates to a significant degree how an individual views him or herself both as a person and in relation to other people, ideas and nature. In cognitive psychology, the term “identity” refers to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self (Leary & Tangney 2003, p. 3).

Sociology places some explanatory weight on the concept of role-behavior. The notion of identity negotiation may arise from the learning of social roles through personal experience. Identity negotiation is a process in which a person negotiates with society at large regarding the meaning of his or her identity.

Psychologists most commonly use the term “identity” to describe personal identity, or the idiosyncratic things that make a person unique. Meanwhile, sociologists often use the term to describe social identity, or the collection of group memberships that define the individual. However, these uses are not proprietary, and each discipline may use either concept and each discipline may combine both concepts when considering a person’s identity.

96. wingsspread - January 2, 2012

@ brucelevy – not sure what your point is?

97. brucelevy - January 2, 2012

I thought you were implying that the state doesn’t have the power to dispose or reassign the assets of the FOF as a Calif. non-profit.

98. wingsspread - January 2, 2012

no, Bruce, not at all.

99. wingsspread - January 2, 2012

to clarify, yes, the State of California has that power, but it’s my understanding they don’t have the power to set up a victim fund – just to turn the property over to another similar non-profit (i.e. church). Of course, I’m no lawyer, just what I remember reading a couple of years ago when this came up on the blog before.

100. brucelevy - January 2, 2012

I thought that the “victim’s fund” thing must have been mentioned originally tongue in cheek. . Sorry for the misunderstanding.

101. Mick Danger - January 3, 2012

You wouldn’t know tongue in cheek if it licked you.
Feliz Ano Nuevo, Putzo.

102. brucelevy - January 3, 2012

You too buddy.

103. nigel - January 3, 2012

101. Mick Danger

Sorry mate, but I think you are an ‘anti-ist’. There is no dictionary definition for this, but my meaning is…..

Anything that comes up on the blog that has no distinct relationship to a topic but is a ‘slight’ on someone where a ‘point of character’ is being questioned – you pounce upon and show yourself to be shallow and inconsequential. Come on – show us something with substance…..Nigel.

104. Mick Danger - January 3, 2012

Touché. Turnabout is fair play, mate.

105. Shirley - January 4, 2012

I know y’all can take care of yourselves, but:

Nigel, you misread the interchange above. You read the words but missed the tone.

106. brucelevy - January 4, 2012

You are correct Shirley.

107. nigel - January 4, 2012

105/106

Sorry for being Mr Serious…..Nigel

108. nigel - January 4, 2012

…..this was the lawyer who represented Troy Buzbee in his case against the Fellowship of Friends…..

Ford Greene, Esq.

Ford Greene, Esq. is a practicing attorney in California, who has specialized in cult related litigation for more than twenty years. Greene is a graduate of the New College of California School of Law and is a member of the bar for the State of California.

Greene litigated and won the landmark appellate court decision, Molko v. Holy Spirit Association (1988) 46 Cal.3d 1092. In this decision the California Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not bar civil causes of action for fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and restitution when a cult uses deception, which subsequently leads to an unsuspecting individual’s exposure to thought reform techniques that cause suffering and damages.

In 1998 Greene won a $1.6 million jury verdict in Bertolucci v. Ananda against The Church of Self Realization led by Swami Kiyananda in California for fraud, coercion and sexual exploitation.

The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice named Greene a finalist for its 2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year award. He was chosen by the Washington-based organization for his 22-year legal battle against the Church of Scientology, which resulted in a $8.6 million settlement, paid to a former member for personal injuries.

Greene’s experience with cults began in late 1974. He went to a camp run by Rev. Moon’s Unification Church to rescue one of his younger sisters, but was instead recruited. Eight months later he walked out.

Before entering law school Greene assisted families through interventions, helping to free others from the Moon organization. His work was the subject of a book Moon Webs, which became the basis for the feature film “Ticket to Heaven.”

109. Mick Danger - January 4, 2012

Oh Great, now we got Mr. Serious & Ms. Smarty Pants.
I respectfully decline to be a party, thank you.
As always, Good Luck.

110. Transmogrified - January 4, 2012

Mick,
If you leave, you will lose all possibilities, or at least you will be sent to the back of the line.

We’re not sure exactly where the line is going, but you will be sent to the back of it.

111. silentpurr - January 4, 2012

….ahem it feels good to poke the fat underbelly of the Fellowship beast but be mindful lest ye step on an ego in the process, including one’s own, then elbows fly

112. Opus111 - January 4, 2012

“One’s outer life is spent in a solitude haunted by the masks of others. One’s inner life is spent in a solitude hounded by the masks of oneself.”

This quote by Eugene O’Neil seems to fit many a FOF experience, especially at the (very) top of the totem pole…

113. not - January 5, 2012

confuse-us say:
drain victim pool and be mindful of ocean

http://sanders.senate.gov/petition/?uid=f1c2660f-54b9-4193-86a4-ec2c39342c6c

114. Golden Veil - January 5, 2012

108. Nigel

Wow, what an attorney! Some qualifying former FoFers should get aboard this Gravy Train ~ hire this guy to file a class action suit.

115. nigel - January 5, 2012

114. Golden Veil

Always remembering the Statute of Limitations – lawsuits must be brought against the party responsible within two years of the incident (as far as I know). It is really just a matter of enough people being unafraid of Burton and the FOF to realize that they will not incur repurcussions if they act as a group against the cult. Some trouble may be that the suing party may be illegal aliens…..Nigel

116. nigel - January 6, 2012

…..Google-ing ‘robert earl burton lawsuits…..

…..from “Yuba Church or Cult”, by Katherine Seligman…..

The fellowship’s retreat, which has legal status as a church, might have continued to flourish in solitude if it weren’t for the public controversy surrounding founder and leader Robert Earl Burton, a former Bay Area school teacher whom members call “The Teacher.” Last year an ex-member sued Burton and the Fellowship for $5 million in damages, claiming Burton had brainwashed and sexually exploited him from age 17.

The lawsuit claimed the Fellowship was being used to further Burton’s prime objective, his “voracious appetite for perverted sexual pleasure and elegant lifestyle.” Burton is portrayed as a leader who considers himself “singularly blessed as being ‘a conscious being,’ an ‘angel,’ and a ‘god'” who prophesies that only his followers will survive an upcoming Armageddon.

The lawsuit ended in November but neither side is allowed to discuss the settlement.

Fellowship officials have dismissed the charges as lies, but some former members tell stories with details that mirror those in the lawsuit.

117. nigel - January 6, 2012

…..from “A New Model of the Universe”, by P D Ouspensky…..

Infra-Sex

Taking all this into consideration, before attempting to define normal sex it is necessary to determine lower sex, or infra-sex. A beginning has to be made with infra-sex because an understanding of super-sex can be arrived at only through the elimination of everything that is determined first as infra-sex, and second as normal sex.
It is comparatively easy to establish infra-sex if we takes as its chief characteristic arrested development or a degeneration which has begun or is beginning.

But the detection of infra-sex is impeded by the variety and contradictory character of the forms in which infra-sex is manifested, and especially by the fact that some of these forms, from the ordinary point of view, appear to be a strengthening and an exaggerated development of sex energy, sex desires, and sex sensations.

Therefore from the very beginning, infra-sex must be divided into two categories: obvious degeneration and hidden degeneration.

To the first category of infra-sex belong most declining forms of manifestation of sex such as all obvious sex abnormalities: that is, underdeveloped sex; all perversions in the sense of either abnormal sex desires or abnormal sex abstinence; disgust of sex; fear of sex; indifference to sex; interest in one’s own sex, though the latter has quite a different meaning in men from what it has in women, and in women is not necessarily a sign of infra-sex.

To the second category of infra-sex belong cases which are often connected with heightened intensity of sex life which, while externally appearing to be normal, though exaggerated, in reality also point to inner degeneration. This category of infra-sex will be dealt with later.

For all categories of infra-sex, the fundamental characteristic is the absence of co-ordination between the idea of sex and the ideas of other normal functions of man. Sex always leads people of infra-sex either into “temptation”, or “sin”, or insanity, or debauchery.

118. Golden Veil - January 6, 2012

Someone described an awful lot here on the Flog sounds like quite the virtuoso when it comes to this so-called “infra-sex” described by
old P.D. Ouspensky. And to think that they are called “The Teacher!”
What a role model!? Isn’t that said to be the best way to teach… by one’s example? Well, it doesn’t seem to be working out that way in many spiritual and esoteric schools. A lot of fakirs are really fakers!

119. not - January 6, 2012

Potential for harm: In the opinion of Benjamin Zablocki, a professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, groups that have been characterized as cults are at high risk of becoming abusive to members. He states that this is in part due to members’ adulation of charismatic leaders contributing to the leaders becoming corrupted by power. Zablocki defines a cult as an ideological organization held together by charismatic relationships and the demand of total commitment. According to Barrett, the most common accusation made against groups referred to as cults is sexual abuse (See some allegations made by former members).

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

120. nigel - January 7, 2012

…..on Google-ing ‘robert earl burton history’…..

Beliefs and practices

The Fellowship of Friends was founded as a school for spiritual development in the Fourth Way tradition, which has been transmitted in this century by George Gurdjieff, Peter Ouspensky and Rodney Collin. The organization believes that since the Fourth Way is based on individual verification and understanding, as well as on personal transmission, each teacher reinterprets it anew. The doctrines of the Fellowship of Friends are based on esoteric religious teachings about how to develop consciousness. These esoteric religious teachings include Sumerian and Egyptian texts, Greek philosophy (the schools of Pythagoras and Plato), the Old and New Testaments (including the Essenes and Gnostics) and certain Sufi and Buddhist teachings from the 9th to the 19th century. The pivotal teaching is the development of consciousness through presence. Different esoteric traditions have expressed this same teaching in different ways (e.g., the Sufis called it Divine Presence, the Philokalia describes it as Ceaseless Prayer); the Fellowship is currently studying these forms and using these terms interchangeably, as they all not only reflect the same aim but also show the hidden meaning of life on Earth.

William Patrick Patterson, argues against the authenticity of some Fourth Way advocates, such as Boris Mouravieff and Alexander Horn in his book. He states that Robert Burton never had a genuine Fourth Way teacher, claiming his knowledge was gained from books and Alexander Horn. Patterson claims that Horn based his own understanding on books and that of his first wife. Since Burton is not part of Gurdjieff’s teaching lineage, Patterson considers Fellowship of Friends “a decided distortion” of the Fourth Way. Burton was also criticized for his promotional efforts, which Patterson saw as contrary to Fourth Way teachings.

Fellowship of Friends has strict rules of behavior and health for its members. Author Robert L. Snow states that former members and detractors have criticized Burton for alleged sexual abuse, excessive control, and brainwashing. He also asserts that the organization controls the lives of members, including diet and sex life. For example, smoking is an offense which can be punished with fines. Burton has also been accused of forbidding members to dye their hair, have mixed-breed pets, or ride bicycles.

(And, of course, the greatest presence one can achieve, as a young, good-looking, man in the Fellowship is that of being present to having your member in REB’s mouth…..Nigel)

121. nigel - January 9, 2012

…..from ‘Mystic Madness’ website…..

Definition And Meaning Ethical Behavior

Today’s society seems more and more out of touch with the basic principles of honesty and fairness. It seems that all we see today on the news is violence and corruption. The definition and meaning ethical behavior seems to have been lost along the way. Ethical behavior is acting in ways that are consistent with what a person and the society consider as being good values. Ethical behavior consists of respecting some basic moral principles like: honesty, fairness, equality, respecting the dignity, diversity and rights of other people. Basically, acting ethically means doing the right thing in any given situation. Everything we do is a choice, so ethical behavior is always choosing the right thing to do no matter what the context is. Of course the line between the right thing and the wrong thing can be very sketchy in some situations, so a broader definition, with every principle explained seems to be in order.

So, ethical behavior consists of sticking to these values that are commonly accepted as being good:

Honesty.
The definition and meaning social behavior wouldn’t be complete without the term of honesty. It basically means to always be truthful, but it also entangles other virtues such as integrity and straightforwardness. Confucius defines three levels of honesty starting from shallow to sincere. The first level consists of being honest for your own personal gain. The second level is based on the idea that you will be honest because that’s how you would like to be treated by others. The last level and the most sincere consists of feeling empathy towards everyone no matter of race color or creed.

Fairness.
This is the quality that consists of treating everybody as they deserve to be treated. The way you treat somebody if you are fair, should reflect how that person has treated you and what the person’s behavior is in general towards other people. It basically means that you shouldn’t have prejudices about anybody and treat them based solely on the merit of their actions.

Equality.
In the definition and meaning of social behavior equality takes center stage, because it’s one of the most common things that people don’t respect in our modern society. It’s hard to treat everybody with the same measure because we can only be subjective and our relation with somebody can sometimes affect our judgment. Equality is based on the fact that you shouldn’t be bias towards anybody.

Acting scrupulously.
This means that you should be very careful in how you choose to stand up for what you believe. It means that you shouldn’t do things half-heartedly, things that are important to you should be treated as such. It shows a lack of character if you don’t stand up for what you believe in and more importantly, if you don’t really understand what it is you care about. Most people just hear something that they think should be part of their moral code and leave it as such. They don’t think in depth about it and don’t really feel passionate about it. It’s just something that they have the impression that it would fit them. These are the cases where it becomes really hard to take a stand for what you believe in because you aren’t even sure that that is what you believe in and it shows.

Empathy.
This is the quality of acting with concern for other people, being able to put yourself in somebody else’s place and trying to feel what they feel. If you can do that, you will probably treat everybody else fairly and honestly.

Respecting everybody else’s diversity.
Being able to understand that everybody is different in their own way isn’t something that most people can do easily. The comfort of being part of a group and feeling that you belong to that group will turn some people into fanatics, and it will make them lash out at everybody else that isn’t part of that group and doesn’t believe in what he believes.

Of course there are other concepts that can be used in the definition and meaning ethical behavior, but these are the most important. Ethical behavior is closely related to the education a person receives in their childhood, to that point where they understand the difference between right and wrong. It’s very hard to teach someone ethical behavior after they become mature, because the basic principles that govern his life have already been deeply embedded. The basic rewards of acting ethically are not so easily seen at first, so it is possible that some people will feel that everybody else is corrupt so why would they try to be different. But in the bigger picture trying to act according to the intrinsic values of the society can only lead to a better understanding between people.

(But a ‘conscious being’ such as Robert Earl Burton is above all these principles?????!!!!!…..Nigel.)

122. nigel - January 11, 2012

…..from Google-ing ‘can psychopaths love?’…..

THE PSYCHOPATH – The Mask of Sanity

Special Research Project of the Quantum Future School

——————————————————————————–

Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.

You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.

In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.

You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.

How will you live your life?

What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)?

The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people – whether they have a conscience or not – favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites.

Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.

(Guess to whom this article could refer?????!!!!!…..Nigel)

123. paul gregory - January 11, 2012

Oh fuck off

124. paul gregory - January 12, 2012

From Googling ‘Pressure of speech’

125. paul gregory - January 12, 2012

Pressure of speech
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Other speech disturbance
ICD-10 R47.8
ICD-9 784.5
Pressure of speech is a tendency to speak rapidly and frenziedly, as if motivated by an urgency not apparent to the listener. The speech produced, sometimes called pressured speech, is difficult to interrupt and may be too fast or too tangential for the listener to understand; it is an example of cluttered speech. It can be unrelating, loud and without pauses. (Videbeck 2010) It is a hallmark of mania and is often seen during manic periods in patients with bipolar disorder. The pace of the speech indicates an underlying thought disorder known as “flight of ideas” where the information going through the person’s head is so fast that it is difficult to follow their train of thought.[1]

People with schizophrenia, as well as anyone experiencing extreme anxiety, may also exhibit pressure of speech. Pressure of speech usually refers to the improperly verbalized speech which is a feature of hypomanic and manic illness.[2]

Psychostimulants such as cocaine, dextroamphetamine, Adderall, etc. may cause “pressured speech” in individuals with pre-existing psychopathology and produce hypomanic or manic symptoms in general.

Cluttering is a speech disorder that is related to pressure of speech in that the speech of a clutterer sounds improperly verbalized, but cluttering is a distinct language disorder, whereas pressure of speech is a symptom of mania, anxiety, or schizophrenia. Even though cluttering sounds almost identical to pressure of speech, it differs in that pressure of speech is rooted in anxiety, where cluttering is not.

Pressure of speech is an instance of tachylalia, or rapid speech. Pressure of speech is also variously related to agitolalia, agitophasia, tachyphasia, and verbomania.

It may also lead to the development of a stutter. The person’s need or pressure to speak causes them to involuntarily stutter. Therefore the person’s need to express themselves is greater than their ability to vocalise their thoughts. If a stutter is persistent it may become chronic. [3]

[edit]See also

Cluttering
Cluttered speech
Tachylalia
Logorrhea
[edit]References

^ Lesley Stevens; Ian Rodin (23 April 2001). Psychiatry: an illustrated colour text. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 24–. ISBN 9780443057038. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
^ Pressure of Speech – General Practice Notebook
^ Einer Boberg (1 January 1993). Neuropsychology of stuttering. University of Alberta. p. 226. ISBN 9780888642394. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
[edit]External links

Pressure of Speech – Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

126. paul gregory - January 12, 2012

127. paul gregory - January 12, 2012

…..from ‘Mystic Madness’ website…..

Definition And Meaning Ethical Behavior

Today’s society seems more and more out of touch with the basic principles of honesty and fairness. It seems that all we see today on the news is violence and corruption. The definition and meaning ethical behavior seems to have been lost along the way. Ethical behavior is acting in ways that are consistent with what a person and the society consider as being good values. Ethical behavior consists of respecting some basic moral principles like: honesty, fairness, equality, respecting the dignity, diversity and rights of other people. Basically, acting ethically means doing the right thing in any given situation. Everything we do is a choice, so ethical behavior is always choosing the right thing to do no matter what the context is. Of course the line between the right thing and the wrong thing can be very sketchy in some situations, so a broader definition, with every principle explained seems to be in order.

So, ethical behavior consists of sticking to these values that are commonly accepted as being good:

Honesty.
The definition and meaning social behavior wouldn’t be complete without the term of honesty. It basically means to always be truthful, but it also entangles other virtues such as integrity and straightforwardness. Confucius defines three levels of honesty starting from shallow to sincere. The first level consists of being honest for your own personal gain. The second level is based on the idea that you will be honest because that’s how you would like to be treated by others. The last level and the most sincere consists of feeling empathy towards everyone no matter of race color or creed.

Fairness.
This is the quality that consists of treating everybody as they deserve to be treated. The way you treat somebody if you are fair, should reflect how that person has treated you and what the person’s behavior is in general towards other people. It basically means that you shouldn’t have prejudices about anybody and treat them based solely on the merit of their actions.

Equality.
In the definition and meaning of social behavior equality takes center stage, because it’s one of the most common things that people don’t respect in our modern society. It’s hard to treat everybody with the same measure because we can only be subjective and our relation with somebody can sometimes affect our judgment. Equality is based on the fact that you shouldn’t be bias towards anybody.

Acting scrupulously.
This means that you should be very careful in how you choose to stand up for what you believe. It means that you shouldn’t do things half-heartedly, things that are important to you should be treated as such. It shows a lack of character if you don’t stand up for what you believe in and more importantly, if you don’t really understand what it is you care about. Most people just hear something that they think should be part of their moral code and leave it as such. They don’t think in depth about it and don’t really feel passionate about it. It’s just something that they have the impression that it would fit them. These are the cases where it becomes really hard to take a stand for what you believe in because you aren’t even sure that that is what you believe in and it shows.

Empathy.
This is the quality of acting with concern for other people, being able to put yourself in somebody else’s place and trying to feel what they feel. If you can do that, you will probably treat everybody else fairly and honestly.

Respecting everybody else’s diversity.
Being able to understand that everybody is different in their own way isn’t something that most people can do easily. The comfort of being part of a group and feeling that you belong to that group will turn some people into fanatics, and it will make them lash out at everybody else that isn’t part of that group and doesn’t believe in what he believes.

Of course there are other concepts that can be used in the definition and meaning ethical behavior, but these are the most important. Ethical behavior is closely related to the education a person receives in their childhood, to that point where they understand the difference between right and wrong. It’s very hard to teach someone ethical behavior after they become mature, because the basic principles that govern his life have already been deeply embedded. The basic rewards of acting ethically are not so easily seen at first, so it is possible that some people will feel that everybody else is corrupt so why would they try to be different. But in the bigger picture trying to act according to the intrinsic values of the society can only lead to a better understanding between people.

‘Strive to be your own hero’.
Susan Hiller

128. Whale Rider - January 12, 2012

The Lower Can Finally See The Higher

MYOPIC HOUSE (CA)- After decades of annoying invisibility, Supreme Master of his Universe Robert KaChing Burton has taken extreme wardrobe measures in order to be more visible to the multitudes of lowly followers of his carnivorous cult that flock to him for their daily fleecing.

Shunning the symbolic high frequency shades of violet and lavender of more traditional clergymen, the meat eating cult leader has had to resign himself to wearing rare pinkish shades of infrared red in a much lower frequency.

“It is an unquestionable law of my universe that the lower cannot see the higher. It’s a heavy burden.” Supreme Master KaChing Burton was quoted as babbling incessantly.

The truth is he had to start wearing brighter colors so his followers would keep from bumping and running into him at social events. Now he stands out, and they keep their rightful distance.

Said one lowly follower, “I was clueless why he was such a flashy dresser. I always thought he wore pink because he was gay and so in touch with his feminine goddess side, but the longer I follow him the easier it is for me to see how hard our shadowy Supreme Master labors invisibly behind the scenes and late at night liberating us from the hidden bonds of our money and conscience. In the past he would have gone unnoticed.”

129. Des - January 13, 2012

“Liberating us from the hidden bonds of our money and conscience.”
—-
“Over a portal’s lofty arch inscrib’d”

130. nigel - January 13, 2012

125. paul gregory

“Pressure of Speech – Bipolar Disorder Symptoms”

Let me first say – I feel this is your addendum, and nothing to do with what you pasted.

Secondly, let me say – I have had an agreement with Steve, the moderator, due to his emailing me in person, for at least ten days now, that I would not write more than two posts per day, to the which I have adhered, whether you have noticed is or not.

Thirdly, I feel your post number 125 was a direct attack on my mental health ‘condition’ (it is not a terminal disease, although I will be dealing with it for the rest of my life, with medication and psychiatric team help). You may like to know that I have not suffered from ‘rapid speech disorder’ since May 1992, when I was admitted for 4 months to the local ‘asylum’ for HYPER-MANIA (which differs in magnitude from the milder HYPO-MANIA, which I have experienced from time to time since). I will admit to ‘pressure to write’ – please note the turn-of-phrase – again, from time to time, mainly because my mood is a little elated and I had wished to share things with people on the blog.

I often feel the need to discover what kind of ‘-ist’ a blogger is – whether a current FOF member, a fence-sitter or a shortly-left or a leaver of long standing. I do not appreciate – either for myself or sincere other posters – bloggers who write with a destructive tone and would dearly like to know what you would like to offer to the site.

Yours respectfully…..Nigel Harris Price BA Hons, Cert Ed, MIfL

131. nigel - January 13, 2012

Deadly Cults

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Author Robert L Snow
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) Cults
Genre(s) Non-fiction
Publisher Praeger Publishers
Publication date November 30, 2003
Media type Hardcover
Pages 248
ISBN 0275980529
OCLC Number 52602822
Dewey Decimal 209/.024/364 22
LC Classification BL65.C7 S66 2003

“Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers” is a book on the subject of cults by Robert L. Snow. It was published November 30, 2003 by Praeger Publishers in hardcover format. Snow, a retired police captain and former commander of the homicide branch of the Indianapolis Police Department, has authored several other books on crime including SWAT Teams and Technology and Law Enforcement.

Snow primarily relied on published material for reference, but also includes quotes from witnesses and experts. The book includes nine chapters and is structured by type of group. Snow discusses how individuals are led to conform to the “rules” of the groups, and a chapter of the book includes advice on how to avoid joining them. Deadly Cults received a positive review in Booklist, and a reviewer for Library Journal said it “belongs in all public libraries”.

132. WhaleRider - January 13, 2012

Nigel:
How about posting maybe once a week instead of twice every ding darn day?

If you need your own daily blog to relieve some of the internal pressure you experience, you might feel more supported if you start your own daily blog, or do some journaling so you won’t be exposed to such harsh criticism, which can be detrimental to your mental state given your condition.

Otherwise, this forum turns into your monologue, Nigel, which IMHO dampens dialogue between others, and you won’t get the daily validation you are seeking. Your efforts will net the opposite of your intended result.

I am asking you politely, Nigel, please make some room for others.

A little quiet in this forum will encourage others on the fringe to come forward. Isn’t that important to you? It’s important enough to me that I, too, am confronting you on this issue…in the most respectful manner I can muster.

Time to switch channels.

I hear just months after his suicide, AG’s underage son has joined the cult (or has been sucked in, so to speak) and is traveling with Burton these days.

Can anyone corroborate? Current photos are always nice to post.

133. Fee fi fo fum - January 13, 2012

131.
I heard something about that, too.

134. Des - January 13, 2012

132 That’s good advice. People do get it, and appreciate it, and they understand, but they will also tune out. Even Beethoven is hard to listen to if it’s 90% of the radio station. Changing things up is not a bad idea. I like Beethoven. Looking forward to hearing more sometime. Thanks.

135. fofblogmoderator - January 14, 2012

129 & 134 are new

136. nigel - January 15, 2012

132. WhaleRider
134. Des

Whalerider…..clinically put…..
Des…..artistically put…..

Will try to work with both…..many thanks…..Nigel.

137. 2012 - January 15, 2012

I am in the middle of getting ready to move into a house and while packing found some of Fellowship telephone directories. One of them had some hand written notes that I had jotted down in 1998. One of the notes indicated that Robert’s role was to interpret “shocks” and provide direction for the “school”. To use a FOF term, Robert’s job description sounds like dominance to me. That’s how it was manifested. He is one dominate individual.

138. silentpurr - January 16, 2012

I would say that Robert’s greatest personal failure is to”believe” in his unfounded ability to interpret “shocks”, especially for other people. Had he been capable of discerning his mistakes and weaknesses Robert may have evolved psychologically. Instead, the Fellowship drips downward into a stalagmited infamy and spiritual disgrace, led by his direction.

139. Josiane - January 17, 2012

138.
Cults will be cults and cults members will believe that their leader has all the answers.
I would agree with you-having known Robert Burton in the early years (1977) up to 2008-that he seemed to have potential (others may disagree). I followed him for over three decades and only gradually noticed the change in him and his M.O. That’s how it works: like the frog slowly being boiled in the pot… Doesn’t notice that the water is getting hot, or maybe it doesn’t care.

140. Des - January 17, 2012

Just the opposite. If you recognize him as a sociopath, you can see that It didn’t start with a single ounce of sincerity. It started as a scam all along, but like any actor who gets wrapped up in the part, one of his multiple personalities started to believe his own schtick. A good con artist can act the part and assume a personality that serves his selfish purposes. Eventually this act may have created a certain aura about him. People followed when they became fascinated with it. Silly us for believing the fantasy.

141. surelyujest - January 17, 2012

The scam goes deeper … all the way to Gurdjieff and the so-called 4th Way.

You are told to verify everything. The next thing you know, you are believing that you do not possess a soul, but self remembering will create one … that people who don’t self remember end up on the moon … that the moon is an “infant planet” (that is easy to verify — it’s ridiculous) … on and on.

It is so easy to believe when you are told that YOU are the hero in the story. Lucky you, out of all the billions.

142. Fee fi fo fum - January 18, 2012

A lot of us joined when we were young, trusting and naive. I was thinking about the big meetings in the Bay Area led by REB in the 1970s, where he sat flanked by the revered “older students”. After the main segment, we’d break up into small groups.

Very often, the angles given in the small groups began with, “Robert said,…..”, “Miles said,….” and so on. If you attributed the angle to one of the exalted ones, you probably wouldn’t be contradicted. It also meant you weren’t experiencing and verifying what you said, and taking a risk that someone would challenge your statements. It was starry-eyed hero-worship. How much do we know about ourselves and life, when we’re only in our early 20s when we join?

Speaking of being young and naive, how astute is the judgement of someone who joins the FF that is only a teenager? Part of leadership is behaving responsibly. Why is there so much “looking the other way” in the FF?

143. wildz - January 18, 2012

142

Part of leadership is behaving responsibly.

Which part?

144. WhaleRider - January 18, 2012

Fee Fi Fo Fum:
Why is there so much “looking the other way” in the FF?”

The Law of Distraction working in conjunction with the Law of Subtraction.

145. wildz - January 18, 2012

Sorry Fee Fi Fo Fum, misunderstood the comment. Thought you were referencing FOF leadership, not leadership in general. I get it now.

146. Fee fi fo fum - January 18, 2012

wildz – Yes, I meant something like, “One aspect of leadership, or being a leader, is to behave responsibly towards those whom one is leading.”

Part of the problem in the FF is that we were led to not expect the most basic standards of care by someone in REB’s position of leadership. We joined, thinking we had found a teacher who was conscious. Wasn’t a conscious being supposed to be an amazing “find”? Gee, what luck! And because we, the lower, were told that we could not see the higher, we couldn’t even listen to our own, innermost doubts about REB or the FF. Any doubt was called “negativity,” and that was “bad” and suppressed. Plus, didn’t we all want to be “on the Way” and part of the Inner Circle? It got so that we couldn’t see REB or the FF clearly. The FF’s all-embracing, 24/7 lifestyle made sure of that. For those of us who worked “in life,” the Us vs. Life attitude guaranteed a psychological wall that kept us in.

147. paul gregory - January 18, 2012

Hello Nigel, I’ve been very busy and haven’t been able to spend the time to check the blog.

Your right, it is a direct attack on your condition. There is nothing particularly holy about the varieties of mental extremes called currently, mental health conditions. I do not associate them with the people they are attached to, but often there is a kind of symbiosis and joint accommodation and collaboration, even, with the condition.
Now, what I have just said is dangerous ground for me, as it consists of what I regard as verbiage, words and concepts I do not have a full grasp of…

My feeling is that regardless of your intention, your mental health condition itself (which I separate from Yourself) can have the quality of intimidating and harassing others who do not know or have not experienced such terrible difficulties. They give way to it, I believe, out of doubt and compassion, or at worst, fear and sympathy. Meanwhile, you are taking up space, huge amounts of it, whether you agree to that or not, with nonsense culled from googling things. You post them in a kind of blind selfishness, as who would want to read such things? You repeat yourself, and that is really hard not to do at this stage of the blog for anyone who has contributed their hard won freedom and clear hearted intelligence. It is an inevitability, so why add to that with these god-awful quotations and googlings? No one, or very few, at least, read your contributions. And frankly, I doubt if you do, either.

In this respect, with respect, it seems to me that you might of well of been working for the asylum, and not the freedom it should promote and encourage with love and joy.

What do I have to offer the blog?
The blog doesn’t really exist – it occupies a place called ‘cyberspace’, and I am not particularly interested in that as a concept in itself. Nor do I have the intellectual chops I wish I had to utterly dissect every aspect of b’s psychology/pathology/perversion. But I have as much to offer as the next person when I see a clarity and focus that is frequently lacking due to your logorrhea. I cannot find a way to contribute to the blog when real intelligence is subverted to verbiage of googlings and limp quotations. I cannot even find a way to read the blog, when it is so spread with Elizabethan poets and Milton and fuck knows what else.

Here’s one, off the top of my head:

‘When we suffer a man to be a guest in our house, we know him.’
Goethe

paul gregory, BA Hons Fine Art Drawing, 2:2 2001
‘O’ level English Lit, grade B 1985

148. nigel - January 19, 2012

132. WhaleRider/134. Des/147. paul gregory

Having worked with the suggestion of the blog moerator, Steve, and then trying to put into practice WhaleRider’s suggestion, I was confronted (my choice of phrase) by ‘paul gregory’ in his latest post.

Dear Paul

I do not know whether you have been a long-term blogger on this site, but you should know I have been contributing (my choice of phrase) on fofdiscussion/wordpress for several years and have not, until now, had my ‘overflows’ of posts attributed to my biploar illness. I do agree with you that mania could contribute to this occurence, but I have been, quite regularly, taking my medication and had no intention of ‘hitting the blog hard’ these past few weeks. My intention at times which do no include those when I am seriously ‘out of my tree’ is to offer material that may point the way for FOF-fers and ex-FOF-fers to make decisions or, in the case of bloggers, to discuss topics that may be of interest.

Yes, you tread dangerous ground when discussing mental health topics, unless, like WhaleRider, you have to personally deal with them. I do not want to wind up ‘doing an Elena’ and being banned, so I absorb, deal and work with suggestions. Your latest post was an affront, not a suggestion.

Yours…..Nigel.

149. fofblogmoderator - January 19, 2012

Let’s leave Nigel alone please. He is obviously trying to comply with people’s wishes that he contribute less often. I think the topic can be put to bed.

150. paul gregory - January 20, 2012

I have personally dealt with them.

151. Ames Gilbert - January 21, 2012

Regarding #117-147 and those related,
I guess it comes down to something we have discussed several times on past pages, along the lines of, “What is the purpose of the blog?”

Personally, I find it more useful to have direct discussions about Robert Earl Burton and “Fellowship of Friends” / “Pathway to Presence” / “Living Presence” / “Being Present.org”, what led us to become involved in such, and what enabled us to leave, rather than about Nigel Harris Price, and details about his life and mental conditions, unless directly relevant. IMHO, apart from the fact that he was a member for a while, there is little relevance in total and so, for me, little interest. So I come to the same conclusion that Paul Gregory and others have reached, that the sheer volume of Nigel’s contributions mostly just clog up the works and are tiresome even to scroll past. Something I don’t understand is, if he is compelled to share everything he has found on the internet, why can’t he just offer the links and leave it at that. Even better, a week’s worth of links in one weekly post, even if it has to be moderated (there is little or nothing of such urgency it can’t wait a day Steve to moderate it). That way, those sympathetic or interested can plough through them, folks like myself can skip them. I think the suggestion that he start his own blog is excellent; Elena did the same, and she is running a very successful monolog running to thousands of entries (ninety percent of which she has also copied from the web), and seems perfectly happy.

In a former post, I put forward what I felt were the purposes of this blog. I made this list trying to imagine what would be immediately useful to someone who was doing due diligence about the Fellowship, or would be useful to someone thinking about leaving the Fellowhip.
• First, to alert present and especially prospective members that there are alternate viewpoints; examples being the sleight of hand where the FoF presents itself as a 4th Way ‘school’ while actually proselytizing ‘Burtonism’.
• Second, how crime and corruption spread from the center to permeate the organization, including the indulgence of Burton the sexual predator.

• Third, to collect human stories about experiences, positive and negative, in the Fellowship.

• Fourth, to show present members that there is indeed ‘life after the Fellowship’, with practical examples of how people have moved on, healed, or found new pathways.
• Fifth, as a very limited medium to help healing, and within reason, a venue for occasional venting.

152. Golden Veil - January 21, 2012

I agree with several of the above posters, especially Ames Gilbert, that if a seeker, a “prospective student” is Googling Robert Earl Burton and “Fellowship of Friends” / “Pathway to Presence” / “Living Presence” / “Being Present.org,” it would be great if they find this blog on topic rather than finding it a forum of numerous posts of poems, etc. On topic means discussion about The Fellowship of Friends and related issues, personal experiences and personal writing to initiate healing, along with postings to set the record straight regarding The Fellowship of Friends history and policy.

It is a very big step, to join a cult like The Fellowship of Friends (now hiding behind other names.) Life within a cult is all consuming. New members eventually find that like the life in many cults led by a charismatic leader, they have given themselves over to the authority of a cult that is led by a leader who many consider a kooky charlatan and sexual predator. They have pledged themselves to a leader who has beguiled some members even to lifelong membership ~ some members have lived the “party line” for so long that they can no longer act on their own conscience and must stifle normal human reactions to the knowledge of the deep sexual depravity and misuse of non profit status and member’s donations.

I think that it’s an important public service that is performed here on the blog, and that service is to focus on making a cult world transparent as much as possible and publicize that although it may be initially seductive, it’s big trouble if it becomes one’s life.

There who are posting here can give first person histories of their own cult experience, the good and the bad. It’s not the talks about The Fourth Way, philosophy, one’s Soul, fine dining, wine and beautiful impressions that drive members away ~ it’s another side,
the dark side that is the impetus that propels people away from The Fellowship of Friends.

What is happening now in The Fellowship of Friends? How did it affect your life in the past as a member and what was it like leaving?
These are the kinds of posts that are especially appropriate here.

153. paul gregory - January 22, 2012

Once in the ff for a certain time, the blinkers and blindingly false lights, school days off and mass hypnotism ensure that it is highly difficult to persuade a student to part with their reality. As a student I regarded myself as having found something wonderful, and in part, still do. Persuading those potentially interested in this limiting and potentially highly damaging group must, for the time being, be the most significant aspect of the blog. It seems no amount of shocks can persuade current students to try their own lives out.

I would be grateful for a refresher course on what is happening now in the ff, as it has really shocked me to here that lack of personal contribution and intelligence encouraged. Thank you Golden Veil and Ames for your renewing clarity!

154. paul gregory - January 22, 2012

I meant, hear! ‘hear of that lack…’

155. Aristmus - January 22, 2012

“On topic”? “Within reason”?
That’s asking a lot, but maybe participants should at least try.
What’ve you got to lose?

156. nigel - January 22, 2012

151 – 153

I appreciated these posts. I think it is essential that present members of the FOF are alerted to ‘all the nasty little things’ that are going on, if they do not know about them, and this would also alert prospective members (be it known that Burton is personally taking part in these ‘evils’).

Also, as Ames suggested, it is good to hear from past members about their (even little) success stories now they are out of the cult – so many present members are scared about becoming ‘food for the moon’ should they leave the cult, and it sometimes takes many years of help – from family, newly reunited, and sometimes psychiatric treatment – all sorts of help – so that formers members can reclaim their proper sense of Self.

I do not think too many restrictions should be put on what the blog stands for, as there are always opportunities for broaching subjects that are helpful. I would personally appreciate material for open discussion.

Yours…..Nigel.

157. Golden Veil - January 22, 2012

Here, we see a new name crowning the old school:

The Art of Divine Presence

The introduction has a focus on “religion” and “spiritual”, a new
emphasis from the days of my experience with the Fellowship
of Friends. In fact, it says, “our spiritual path” and our “spiritual teacher.” It’s possible that this repetition of the word “spiritual”
and use of “religion” is to bolster the idea that The Fellowship of Friends is a “church” and “religion” and thus continue to qualify
for a nonprofit church status for tax purposes. That’s what I think.

http://www.beingpresent.org/

158. paul gregory - January 22, 2012

Actually, Nigel, yes, the nasty little things need to be pointed out. But do they care? They have accepted semen drinking in quantity as a means of continuing enlightenment – a relative awakening – actually: in that sense, a most abhorrent form of spiritual incest, paid in dollars and emotional insensitivity, perversion and callousness.

159. Tim Campion - January 23, 2012

There are three notable “chapters” in my life where I had a front row seat as delusional leaders self-destructed.

The first was in the military, when the captain of my ship suffered a mental breakdown resulting in loss of his command and his removal on a stretcher, under sedation.

Another spectacle, this one in Corporate America, was the dissolution of a family dynasty, the Board of Directors finally taking the reins and excluding family members from the decision-making process.

And then there is the story of Robert Earl Burton and the decades-long arc of his descent into madness. For years I watched from up close, then later as a dispassionate outside observer.

Most organizations have action plans in place for dealing with such failures in leadership. The military has its clearly-defined chain of command. In the corporate world, Boards of Directors and shareholders are empowered to deal with incompetent leaders. But in the religious arena, perhaps due to our Constitutional guarantees, oversight is nonexistent and remediation more challenging. This is a weakness Robert Burton and many other pseudo-religious charlatans have exploited.

In each case, those of us serving the above leaders routinely observed instances of incompetent, inappropriate, irresponsible, and even delusional behavior. We would smugly critique our leaders, sometimes joking and mocking them behind their backs. Content that our power came from simply acknowledging these buffoons, we were thankful for not being so handicapped.

Most of us did nothing. And gradually, almost imperceptibly, it was too late and the damage done: a ship and crew endangered, a corporate empire dismantled, thousands of lives and livelihoods subjected to an insane cult leader.

To influence the minds of his followers, Robert Burton (intentionally or not) followed a well-established formula, described throughout this blog. He was a charismatic and intelligent, if not particularly competent leader. His flaws were many, and not well-hidden. He has had legions of followers talk behind his back.

So, I am astounded that his “church” yet survives. (It deserved to be dismantled decades ago.) The Fellowship of Friends has a Board of Directors, but it has always been a sham, carefully selected from the most indoctrinated and loyal of followers: “family members” dedicated to serving their “teacher”.

Now it is deeply troubling to learn that another generation is being groomed and conscripted (even before the age of consent) to serve in Burton’s harem. I am saddened that a parent would commit their child to this same immoral path. (Do they see this as some validation, or perhaps forgiveness, for their long-ago choice to shun their own parents and family? Does having their child enter this path – where group-think and fear are powerful controlling forces – bring comfort, knowing the child will find it more difficult to stray?)

When I think of my contemporaries who joined the Fellowship in the 1970s and 1980s, and who to this day follow and support Burton, despite all that has been revealed about his sociopathic behaviors and criminal activities, I must accept that we each have made our decisions. In many cases, even when confronted with the truth about Burton, that decision was to do nothing. Each must live with the consequences of these choices. Those who escaped the cult can do little more than commit their stories to the record and encourage others to follow them out of Burton’s nether world.

Cult-like behavior pervades our society. It is not something that is hidden and beyond the normal experience. On the contrary, it is on display wherever we look: in our churches, in sports, throughout the fanatical political arena now dominating the news cycle, underpinning revolutions across Northern Africa and in the Middle East, at the heart of our consumer and media culture, and reinforced with every “God Bless America”.

It is not enough to question our leaders. It is imperative that we act upon the knowledge we have painstakingly acquired, and take responsibility for what we have indeed understood. At some point we must cease being merely followers, and begin to think for ourselves.

160. Golden Veil - January 23, 2012

“It’s an evil organization. It has nothing to do with spiritual growth. It’s a cult. Everybody who’s there is abused in some way on some level.”

Sincere words from a strong film made by former students of The Fellowship of Friends. Prospective student beware!

161. Ill Never Tell - January 24, 2012

Scenes we’d like to see with
Robert Earl Burton (1):

162. Ill Never Tell - January 24, 2012

Scenes we’d like to see with
Robert Earl Burton (2):

163. Ill Never Tell - January 24, 2012

Scenes we’d like to see with
Robert Earl Burton (3):

164. nigel - January 25, 2012

“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” –

— Edmund Burke

159 Tim Campion

I have always appreciated Tim’s contribution to our blog, with his well-balanced posts and commentary style. This particular post was so succinct and compared aspects of misuse of power so that readers could not help but notice, and not overlook, what is wrong with our society today. Cults are but a microcosm of society, with the ruling core elements of money, sex and power playing havoc with any good intentions with which ‘ruling faculties’ may have started their ‘ascent’. This blog has so much to offer, despite altercations which occur between posters – these altercations are natural events based on differing types with differing experiences and differing personal psychological make-ups – altercations are quickly quelled in the cult-arena by the ‘power-pyramid’ – so unnatural to human aspirations of equality and the rights of personal expression (freedom of speech, no less). In my teacher-training, I learned the methods of ‘critical analysis’ and ‘reflective practice’. I apologize if I have imposed lately and need to step back to ‘hear’ others, but sometimes we can only learn about ourselves when we get things wrong so we can put them right (Paradise Regained). I would like to learn from Tim…..Nigel.

165. nigel - January 27, 2012

Just thought I would draw attention to ‘Robert Burton – The Unauthorized Blogography’ – it contains wonderfully put-together ‘snippets’ from what people have written, over the years, (from 1970 on) of Burton’s ‘descent into madness’ (as some have put it). It is incredibly easy to navigate through the site, with years, subjects and writers clearly available on the scroll bars to the left-hand-side. For anyone who has an interest in REALLY UNDERSTANDING BURTON and what he represents, this is the site…..Nigel.

166. nigel - January 27, 2012

Sorry – more specific – ‘Robert Earl Burton An Unauthorized Blogography’…..Nigel.

167. Tim Campion - January 28, 2012

164. Nigel

Nigel, thanks for the (very) generous praise. Though there may be few contributing at this stage, as you and others have noted, the contents of this blog will continue to provide a powerful resource for anyone inquiring about Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

It is not even essential that we keep writing. As long as people like Steve Lang are willing to contribute their energy to maintaining the site, this history will stand, and will appear in relevant web searches.

This discussion is as much a part of Burton’s legacy as anything archived within the confines of Apollo (aka Isis, Renaissance, Mt. Carmel, The Farm, The Ranch).

168. Ames Gilbert - January 28, 2012

I personally feel that one of the hallmarks of a maturing mind is to not be afraid of silence. I have learned a lot from being silent, and to not be afraid of silence. I am grateful when I can discern the need to fill silence with meaningless jabber, because something more valuable often enters instead.
Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think the same applies to this blog. Who cares if days or weeks go by without an entry? Why feel the need to fill the silence? What remains if we refrain from filling the pages with random thoughts becomes more valuable, IMO. It adds to the value for anyone landing on these pages for whatever reason, makes it easier to search through if anyone is seeking information or help, allows folks to more easily raise questions and have them answered.

All IMHO, of course.

And Tim, I also thank you for your superb efforts to organize the salutatory records of Robert Earl Burton and “Fellowship of Friends” / “Pathway to Presence” / “Living Presence” / “Being Present.org”.

169. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 28, 2012

164. nigel :

‘. . . a microcosm of society, with the ruling core elements of money, sex and power playing havoc with any good intentions . . .’

The way to hell is paved with good intentions.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
1090 – 20August1153

* * * * * *

Facilis decensus Averno;
Noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;
Sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras;
Hoc opus, hic labor est.

Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro
15October70 BC – 21September19 BC
Aeneid VI.126-9

Translation:
Easy is the descent to Hell
Night and day the gates
Of black Hades lay open;
But to take back your steps
And escape to the heavenly air;
That is a task, that is work.

* * * * * *

Long is the way
And hard,
That out of hell
Leads up to light.

John Milton
9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674
Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 432

* * * * * *

This is the rugged path the toilsome way
That leads to immortality’s fair heights
Which none e’er reach
Who from this path do stray.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
1547 – 23April1616
(same day Shakespeare died.)
Don Quixote

Por estas asperezas se camina
[It is by rugged paths like these they go]
De la inmortalidad al alto asiento,
[That scale the heights of immortality,]
Do nunca arriba quien de allí declina.
[Unreached by those that falter here below.]

* * * * * *

Alma felice che sovente torni
a consolar le mie notti dolenti
con gli occhi tuoi che Morte non à spenti,
ma sovra ‘l mortal modo fatti adorni:

quanto gradisco che’ miei tristi giorni
a rallegrar de tua vista consenti!
Cosí comincio a ritrovar presenti
le tue bellezze a’ suoi usati soggiorni,

là ‘ve cantando andai di te molt’anni,
or, come vedi, vo di te piangendo:
di te piangendo no, ma de’ miei danni.

Sol un riposo trovo in molti affanni,
che, quando torni, te conosco e ‘ntendo
a l’andar, a la voce, al volto, a’ panni.

Francesco Petrarca
20July1304 – 19July1374
Sonnet XIV

Translations:
O Blessed Spirit! who dost oft return,
Ministering comfort to my nights of woe,
From eyes which Death, relenting in his blow,
Has lit with all the lustres of the morn:

How am I gladden’d, that Thou dost not scorn
O’er my dark days Thy radiant beam to throw!
Thus do I seem again to trace below
Thy beauties, hovering o’er their loved sojourn.

There now, Thou seest, where long of Thee had been
My sprightlier strain, of Thee my plaint I swell –
Of Thee! – oh, no! of mine own sorrows keen.

One only solace cheers the wretched scene:
By many a sign I know Thy coming well –
Thy step, Thy voice and look, and robe of favour’d green.

Francis Wrangham
English Poet, Essayist
and translator of Greek and Latin literature.
11June1769 – 27December1842

When welcome slumber locks my torpid frame,
I see Thy spirit in the midnight dream;
Thine eyes that still in living lustre beam:
In all but frail mortality the same.

Ah! then, from earth and all its sorrows free,
Methinks I meet Thee in each former scene:
Once the sweet shelter of a heart serene;
Now vocal only while I weep for Thee.

For Thee! – ah, no! From human ills secure.
Thy hallow’d soul exults in endless day;
‘Tis I who linger on the toilsome way:

No balm relieves the anguish I endure;
Save the fond feeble hope that Thou art near
To soothe my sufferings with an Angel’s Tear.

Anne Bannerman
Scottish Poet
1765–1829

170. not - January 29, 2012

“I believe silence to be the only sensible form of expression.”

171. nigel - January 30, 2012

Silence of the soul

09/02/2011 by jonas

One weekend I shared a couple of silence and fasting days with some friends when a funny little Zen story kept popping up in my mind: There once were four monks that lived in a small monastery. One morning they decided to remain silent for the rest of the day and spend it meditating. They entered the meditation room, placed several candles around themselves, closed their eyes and submerged into meditation. After a couple of hours some candles began to go out. One of them remarked: “Look. The flames are dying out.” The monk sitting next to him immediately replied: “ssssh! We are not supposed to break the silence today so we shouldn’t talk.” With a loud voice the third snapped at the second: “Don’t you see you break the silence yourself by saying so?” The last monk waited two minutes but eventually said: “Imbeciles, I’m the only one who hasn’t spoken.”

What occurred to me during my fasting was the psychological and spiritual depth underneath the typical Zen humour as the monks not only broke the external silence, but each of them, in turn, broke the inner silence as well.

The first one lost his inner peace when he got caught in his own indecisiveness. Had he gotten up and had he, instead of worrying, simply lighted the candles again, he would have had no reason to break the silence with words.

The second broke his inner silence by getting stuck on the rules. The remark of the first wasn’t that problematic after all. So he could just as well not have cared about it or could have helped the first to light the candles again.

The third fell into the trap of anger. He could also have kept his thoughts to himself, and he could have talked to the second in a soft manner the next day. Harsh reproaches weren’t necessary at all.

And the fourth in the end showed the most treacherous social poison: arrogance. He could have preserved the silence both for himself and others, but he felt it necessary to distinguish himself from the other three with cutting words and he saw the need to underline his own importance.

Clearly and in a recognisable manner the story thus goes beyond the joke and shows the four human traits that break the silence and peace of the soul in all relationships: indecisiveness, rulerust, anger and arrogance. Under the first three a whole lot of fear is hidden: fear to do the wrong thing, fear to deviate from the known path and fear not to be the best. Under the last trait something far more ugly can be found: pure egocentrism.

The one who seeks to retain the silence of the soul, therefore, does well by shaping the opposite traits in his or her relationships: independence, authenticity, forgiveness and humbleness. They preserve inner rest when living and working together with others.

Under independence, authenticity and forgiveness, in fact, the opposite of fear is hidden: acceptance – acceptance of reality, acceptance of one’s own being and acceptance of the stream of life. And underneath humbleness something far more beautiful can be found: love for the transcendent.

172. Golden Veil - January 31, 2012

“… For some of us the Blake Cottage was simply an upgrade from sleeping at the Lodge under a dining table. When I moved in there I had no idea that Robert would do what he did. I think it happened less than ten times to me altogether. This covert sex life was emotionally stressful for me, but not unbearable. During my time in Robert’s entourage I received only three gifts that I can remember: a rosewood pen & pencil set, a special-press edition of the Rubaiyat, and an Hermes cashmere jacket. The jacket had actually been purchased for another student but didn’t fit him, so someone had the idea it might fit me. I was married in that jacket less than a year later. Not difficult to do the math in hindsight. There were no orgies back then, at least that I am aware of. There were no Russian students hoping to get green cards, or sex for vouchers either. I worked with a chain saw clearing land in advance of the vineyard landscaping and planting. Lots of poison oak. I remember distinctly that I did not want undue gifts for what I did. The pervasive sense of service, shared conviction and shared affection was very satisfying, probably addictive. We would work hard during the day and take turns serving each other at night. My evening job was providing wine, which strangely has remained my profession to this day. It’s hard to say exactly when I realized that I was not the one and only lover Robert had, but at whatever point I did realize this fact, I also assumed there were probably no more than a few others. I also had no awareness of people getting hurt at the time. I never talked about it, nor did my housemates. In hindsight this seems incredibly naive, even at 20-something. What needs to be understood is that the men close to Robert were envied by many in the community, and continue to be today. Not because of the sex or the gifts, but because they were allowed to be close to the teacher. This is important to understand because when you envy someone it is extremely difficult to think of that person as a victim. And when you are envied by others it is also difficult to think of yourself as a victim. This dynamic has become even more acute lately, as Robert has substantially withdrawn himself from personal contact with most of this run of the mill students.

“… It has only been one month since I left the FOF, and 31 years since I joined. Consequently I have many friends in the FOF today. Some are probably reading this. If I had known what Ames or Charles or Miles knew, I may have left earlier. But I did not know everything they knew. Even now I think many FOF members do not know, and some absolutely do not want to know. Although no longer an FOF student, some of the revelations of this Blog have been shameful and horrifying to me, and I agree with the many comments regarding conscience as a glaring weak spot, both within myself and in the FOF. In my own case it was not the sex or the abuse of power that provoked me to leave the FOF. I left because I lost all respect for the teaching. It has no integrity for me now. The “real school” I thought I joined in 1976, the practical school that urged me to verify everything and remember myself always and everywhere, that valued being over knowledge, has been turned into a weird circus of revisionism, numerology and inane ritual. With four children at home I simply could not justify paying $15K to $20K per year merely to attend concerts, community markets and potager lunches. Going to a meeting or dinner with Robert had become a dreaded experience for me; and yet I tended to blame myself for no longer being able to connect with my teacher or with his obtuse and increasingly delusional teaching. Being free is an unexpected relief. I am happy and grateful to find myself in the role of a beginner once again.”

written by Joseph G. a Fellowship of Friends member 1976 – 2007
in his 5/9/07 post located here:
http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/the-fellowship-of-friends-scrapbook/

173. nigel - February 1, 2012

172. Golden Veil

I went to the link you posted above but probably did not scroll down enough to get the post of Joseph G. What I did come across was (part of) a post from Ames Gilbert, which somehow seems pertinent to our blog. I hope Ames does not mind my posting it…..Nigel.

“What were we after when we joined the Fellowship? For me it was an environment that would allow me to wake up as soon as possible. And what does that mean? It means waking up my conscience and learning to distinguish its voice from the surrounding rubbish. Why wake up conscience? So I can listen to it and act on it, making it my internal master, the only valid and real master. If this happens, and it is the only reason to me for living, there becomes no need for an external master. There is only one valid objective for temporarily hiring an external master and borrowing his will, and that is to speed the waking and learn to serve one’s own Ideal the quicker. If I dedicate the perceptions and fruits of my Self to an external master and to an external ideal, no matter how noble, then all I am is a noble slave. This is for me one of the few absolutes.”

174. Golden Veil - February 1, 2012

And there came a point when one became courageous enough to say in the presence of all that they were no longer buying the lie
that their fellow students had bought into ~ and “bought into” is no
misnomer!

175. Golden Veil - February 1, 2012

What happened to the building (damaged by fire around 2005) that held La Cucina? Was the building fully restored but repurposed?

“Misappropriation

‘La Cucina’ the restaurant on the property that was burned down a couple of years ago. First, put aside the fact that it was originally paid for by FOF ( our donations ). The insurance money from the fire.Where is it? It was spent on gods knows what.
So, you will have been aware of the ‘auctions’ held over the past couple of years specifically to raise funds so that ‘We’ can rebuild our beautiful La Cucina. ….well over $100.000 was raised.Then it kind of ‘went quiet’ So, where is that money ? and where is the new restaurant ? ‘We’ have now paid three times over for a restaurant that does not exist.
Care to comment ?

16/17/Mole

This event was also used as a sales ‘gig’ by RVW for nearly 6 months; the sales calls by RVW Telemarketing would start off like this ~

“Oh, hello Mary, did you hear about it; Oh! No, don’t worry no one died, but… Can you please… We really need your help with rebuilding our restaurant, etc. RVW spun this story hundreds of times and by this dramatizing effect sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wine… the proceeds never rebuilt anything concerning the restaurant… and although it was said that RVE lost the whole restaurant, this was not true, only 40% of the building was lost.”

The above was written by Unanimo and posted on 7/29/07
at this location:

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/res-ipsa-loquitur/

176. Tim Campion - February 2, 2012

175. Golden Veil

Accountability is so….World 48 (or is it 96?)

Gods (and Goddesses) aren’t burdened with such morality. Recently, I was talking with someone who joined the Fellowship in the early years. He said that members were told that the Fellowship’s finances were transparent, and the books open to all.

One day, while visiting the business office in Carmel, he casually asked the treasurer if he might see the books. Somewhat surprised, the official replied “you can’t see the books!”

It went downhill from there.

177. nigel - February 3, 2012

…..from “San Diego Union-Tribune” – March 1995…..

BLIND FAITH!!!!!?????…..

Nevertheless, Girard Haven, who recently resigned as president of the Fellowship but remains a key leader, noted: “We believe Mr. Burton is a (fully) conscious being, and has an understanding that we do not have. He’s a very active force in directing and providing guidance.”

That guidance includes the prediction that California will be stricken by a massive earthquake in 1998, followed by a nuclear war in 2006-yet another idea that isn’t presented to prospective members until after they have committed themselves to joining the Fellowship.

“Our position as a group is that we are preparing these things, although we don’t know if they will actually happen,” Haven said.

“I would discourage people from setting a great deal of faith in it. And yet it is realistically a possibility, and we can see that Mr. Burton understands things that we don’t understand.”

178. nigel - February 4, 2012

…..from ‘Living Presence’ website – An Interview with Girard Haven…..

Q. “In the school you are part of they speak of the “transformation of suffering.” Can you explain what this is?”

A. “Suffering results from a wish that things could be other than they are, which is, of course, impossible — what is, is. This is true even of most instinctive discomfort or pain: one does not object to the “suffering” of a long, hot drive if one really wants to get where one is going and there is no choice — and one does not have imagination about air conditioning!

Thus, the first level of gaining freedom from (in contrast to cessation of) suffering is acceptance of what is, that is, the first step is presence. But true transformation is more than neutral acceptance; it is actually wishing things to be exactly as they are. This requires, first, enough will with respect to one’s emotions to disallow any other emotions, and second, a sufficient verification and understanding of higher forces to have a complete and unquestioning trust that they have arranged everything for the greatest good. In this way, what we call suffering can be transformed into the state of divine love.”

…..in my view, this is an insidious attempt to keep himself, and others, in check, in the Fellowship of Friends. Things can be different – and, again, in my view, the FOF caused rigid mechanicality and the opposite of Human/Divine Love – like hitting oneself on the head with a brick – “IT HURTS” IS A VALID EMOTION AND MAKES US QUESTION WHETHER WHAT WE ARE INVOLVED IN IS WORTH THE PAIN. I feel we cannot borrow a feeling of ‘awakening’ – awakening means awakening of ESSENCE possibilities with the aim of achieving the Self in Service of Others…..Nigel.

179. Tim Campion - February 4, 2012

178. Nigel

And Robert Burton’s students receive these lessons in creating “will” and “divine love” from a person with a penchant for pornography?

180. nigel - February 5, 2012

Another thought…..

How many of us were ‘swayed’ by the ‘lecturing’ of prominent lady-students? – R——y M——-d; L—a K—-n; H—a M—–r; F—–s
T——n to name but a few. Again, another ploy by Burton to keep us ‘in check’. I remember a quote by REB – “The school is on line and off balance”. Were we ever allowed to feel some iota of confidence in what we were doing? Did we feel inadequate in our efforts? (especially if we had trouble financing the ‘school’?).

Could Burton be feeling desperation (this would be unusual for a psychopath) or could the ‘inner circle’ of the FOF be putting up with compromise? Burton’s death will show something – his arrest and imprisonment would show something far more spectacular…..Nigel.

181. James McLemore - February 5, 2012

“Did we feel inadequate in our efforts?”

The feeling of inadequacy seems to be intrinsic to, and almost ‘written-in’ to the fourth way system and almost every other ideology that presents itself as methods/schools for ‘spiritual growth’.

182. Threshold - February 6, 2012

Keeping the majority of people confused and lacking in confidence and afraid of thinking outside the confines of the group is one goal of every despot.

“There you go man, keep as cool as you can.
Face piles and piles of trials with smiles.
It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave
And keep on thinking free.”

183. Alider - February 6, 2012

In response to 175. Golden Veil – The remains of La Cucina have been transformed into the new FOF office – so to speak it is the FOF administrative headquarter.

184. Des - February 6, 2012

182. Alider…

So in other words they’ve moved the FOF office there. No disrespect intended, as the info is appreciated, but the word ‘transformed’ sounds a bit fellowshipese or euphemistic.

It’s interesting that they would place the headquarters in a location that’s relatively hidden and remote (down in a valley with no through traffic). Maybe the next step is to build a bunker. Do they keep huge paper shredders handy like Enron?
______
176. Tim Campion

“Accountability is so….World 48 (or is it 96?)

“Gods (and Goddesses) aren’t burdened with such morality. Recently, I was talking with someone who joined the Fellowship in the early years. He said that members were told that the Fellowship’s finances were transparent, and the books open to all.

“One day, while visiting the business office in Carmel, he casually asked the treasurer if he might see the books. Somewhat surprised, the official replied “you can’t see the books!”

“It went downhill from there…”
_______

There’s a recent movie called “Inception.” Most of the movie takes place in a dream. The main characters quickly find that everyone in a room filled with 30 people will stop what they’re doing and stare at them if they bring up certain topics. They have to quickly change the subject or they’ll be attacked.

185. nigel - February 6, 2012

Just a little thought for today and to whomever may be listening…..

“Behold, I am become a reproach to thy holy name, by serving any ambition and the sins of others; which though I did by the persuasion of other men, yet my own conscience did cheek and upbraid me in it.”

William Laud

186. fofblogmoderator - February 9, 2012

#182 is new

187. Fee fi fo fum - February 9, 2012

Michael Goodwin died on Tuesday in a car crash. There is an online article about him in the Sacramento Bee.

188. Eric Richardson - February 9, 2012

LOVE…never mentioned nor felt..

everything one “knows” from the light,

to turn from Burton, his preceptors.

189. Tim Campion - February 10, 2012

187. Fee fi fo fum

(Here is a link to the article “4F” mentions. And here is another, an announcement the Auburn Symphony will give a concert in honor of Michael Goodwin.)

Genius in service of evil should not to be celebrated. It is not the circumstances of his death that are tragic, but the circumstances of his life. For over thirty years, and with full knowledge of Robert Burton’s crimes, Michael continued to serve his master. In a very real sense, he glorified Burton and helped create a polished and civilized veneer for this rotting cult.

With Michael’s passing, another will pick up the mantle and continue the pageant. The blind leading the blind.

190. nigel - February 10, 2012

…..on ‘Google-ing’ – “spirituality and money” – of prime importance to belonging to the Fellowship of Friends…..

Q. Please talk about money and its significance to those of us on the spiritual path.

A. How you torture yourselves about money!! Money is nothing but your willingness to take up space. Your relationship to it is a reflection of your relationship with yourself. You may consider it manifest ‘self esteem’. This is not to say that there are not those who have money who also have issues of esteem, self worth and self hatred. But for those of you who practice spirituality and feel poor, the lack of money represents your unwillingness to be fully embodied.

Understand, we speak to western culture, to the nations of wealth and power. The issues in poor nations are different. But since, in your cultures, money represents ease, flexibility, opportunity, the issues that we are pointing to are relevant here.

Money, in America and Europe, is the power through which the universe can support you. If not the coin itself, then the wherewithal to lead a life of joy and connection to spirit.

The issues that arise around money for those on the path are two: worth and guilt. For many the willingness to be embodied, the risk to be visible that is life, the unraveling of conditionings around self value, are all reflected in ‘living on the edge’ financially. Coupled with this is an understanding of the injustice of modern economic systems, a love of all mankind that refuses plenty in the face of poverty. In the first case, regarding self-value, many strategies are available through modern psychology and modern teachings to confront and heal these wounds. In the case of the latter, misunderstandings abound.

Recognizing the injustices of your system, the poverty of many in the face of the few, is not a reason to eschew money. In doing so, you simply line yourself up on the side of the victim and perpetuate the duality of haves and have-nots. It is, of course, easy to fall into moral righteousness when you have nothing. But this is not either useful of productive. Poverty is not useful unless it is a reflection of clarity and truth. In other words, there are those who, on awakening in consciousness, may choose to live a life of poverty or abstinence, but this is a different issue. For most people it is a question of preferring to be on the side of the underdog – choosing the moral superiority of the victim.

Understand this: when you are at peace, the universe supports you. And supports you in ways that are most appropriate for your life. In the west, this is the experience of money coming easily. When you are open and in self-acceptance and in alignment with spirit in your life, then money can enter as universal love. This is not to say that all who have money are in such alignment. We speak only of possibilities and to bust myths.

Understand this also: money is power in your world. If you wish to change things, you are more likely to have success if you have money than if you do not. Therefore to revile wealth is in some cases to abdicate power. From a spiritual perspective this is like telling spirit that you refuse it entry.

Having said all this, we see many of you begin to berate yourselves: “Oh, I have to get into alignment, I have to find peace, or I’ll never have money or spiritual success.” This is the opposite of what is needed. Know that your relationship to money can be used as a gauge or reflection of where you are on the path at this very moment. Know that to see and understand this reflection is helpful, to resist it is not. When you struggle around money you are often struggling with yourself. Seeing this, you can explore that which is unconscious. To live in hardship is a lack of love for yourself. That does not mean that you cannot live simply, but if you are strapped from week to week for that which makes life flow, then there is a self-karma unravelling. Look into it. As you become willing to do what it takes to take care of yourself, to offer yourself a life of ease, to move into trust and let go of the fear that holds you in your suffering, then the universe can enter.

For many there is a misunderstanding: ‘If I am truly spiritual I will not have to deal with the world.’ But you are spirit manifesting as form on the material plane, and therefore the opposite is in fact true. If you are truly spiritual, you will celebrate the world and find ways to live that reflect your joy. That which reflects your joy is not necessarily that which your ego craves. You may not necessarily become a healer or a teacher or an artist or poet. You may be a checkout person for Cost Plus or Safeway. And this may serve you and society. You may do great healing simply by being present in this work. And this may be your joy – not necessarily the work itself, but the life you live, the who you are. Do you understand? Many believe that “if the universe supports me I will become all that I can be and this means I will earn my living doing something magical, effortless, ecstatic.” Sometimes the magic and the effortlessness and the ecstasy describe the style of being, rather than the activity. When they are present, all aspects of the life are a celebration. Earning a living becomes a means to a good life. Self expression IS and need not be sought.

These issues are complex and multidimensional. We have only touched on them.

© Rochelle Pratima Freeman, January 2002

191. Wondering Who’s Watching - February 11, 2012

189. nigel – February 10, 2012
‘…..on ‘Google-ing’ – “spirituality and money”‘

Spiritual materialism or spiritual narcissism are terms used to describe mistakes spiritual seekers commit which turn the pursuit of spiritualism into an ego building and confusion creating endeavor [read, in FoF speak: false personality]. This is based on the idea that ego development is counter to spiritual progress. Chögyam Trungpa coined the term spiritual materialism with his book Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism from talks explaining Buddhism given while opening the Karma Dzong meditation center in Boulder, Colorado. He expands on the concept in later seminars that became books such as Work, Sex, Money.

Conventionally, it is also used to describe capitalist or commercial efforts such as “new age” bookstores and wealthy lecturers on spirituality. Also it might mean the attempt to build up a list of credentials or accumulate teachings in order to present oneself as a more realized or holy person. Author Jorge Ferrer equates the terms, though others draw a distinction that spiritual narcissism is believing that one deserves love and respect or is better than another because one has accumulated spiritual training instead of the belief that accumulating training will bring an end to suffering.

Read more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_materialism

Oh!, how enticing and seducing it is to think and feel that one is amongst the people chosen by a Higher Power to enter The Way.

192. nigel - February 11, 2012

Osho on Psychic & Spiritual Exploitation by Fake Gurus

Question – Is Psychic Exploitation possible in the name of Shaktipat? How is it possible And how is the Meditator to guard against it?

Osho – It is possible. Much spiritual exploitation is possible in the name of shaktipat. In fact, where there is a demand, a declaration, there is always exploitation. When a person declares that he will give, he will take something in return also, because giving and taking go together. Then whatsoever form it is in – in the form of wealth, in the form of reverence, in the form of trust – he will take. Where there is giving with insistence, then for sure there is taking.

And he who claims to give is bound to take more in return, or else there was no need for him to shout in the marketplace. A fisherman puts a worm on the hook of his rod because the fish does not eat the hook. Perhaps someday the fish may be coaxed into swallowing the hook directly, but it is the worm that attracts the fish to the rod and it swallows the hook with the intention of eating the worm. It is only after swallowing it that it comes to know that the hook was the main thing and the worm was only a bait. But by then it is caught.

So whenever you come across anyone who claims to do shaktipat, who claims to give you wisdom and take you to samadhi, who makes a thousand other claims, beware. Be aware, because he that belongs to the realm of the beyond makes no claims for himself. If you tell such a person, ”Because of you I experienced grace,” he will say, ”How can it be? I do not even know. You must be mistaken.

It must have happened by the grace of God.” So your thanks will not be acknowledged by such a one; he won’t even acknowledge that he was a medium for the happening. He will insist that grace descended because you were worthy of it – that was God’s compassion falling on you. Who is he? Where does he stand? What is his worthiness? He does not come in at all: that is what he will say.

Jesus was passing through a town. A sick man was brought to him. Jesus embraced him and he was cured of all his ills. This man told Jesus, ”How can I thank you? You have rid me of all my woes.”

Jesus replied, ”Do not speak thus. Give thanks where it is due. Who am I and where do I come in?”
The man said, ”But there is no one else except you here.”

Jesus said, ”You and I are not. You are unable to see he who is – and all happens through him. He has healed you.”

Now, how can such a man exploit? The hook has to be covered with the worm in order to exploit. He is not even ready to own the worm, let alone the hook. So wherever a person claims results, be on your guard. When he claims to do this for you and that for you, he is only covering the hook with the worm.

He is raising your expectations; he is inciting your hopes and desires. And when you are possessed by desire and you say, ”Oh, beloved master, give…!” he will begin his demands. Very soon you will come to know that the worm was just on the top and the hook was inside. So watch your step wherever there are miraculous claims. It is dangerous territory. Avoid the path where someone waits to be your guru. There is fear of entanglement there.

So how is the seeker to guard himself? He should guard himself from those who make big claims, and thus he will save himself from all evil. He should not seek those who claim wonderful results; otherwise he will be in difficulty, because such men are also seeking. They are on the lookout for those who will fall into their trap. There are persons such as these going about everywhere. Do not ask for any spiritual gains and do not accept any spiritual claims.

What you have to do is entirely a different matter. You have to prepare yourself from within. And the day you are ready the happening is bound to take place. Then it will happen via any medium. The medium is secondary; he is like a hook. The day you acquire a coat the hook is ready to hang it by. Then the hook is not very important. If there is no hook you can hang your coat on the door. If there is no door you can hang it on the branch of a tree.

Any hook will work; the main question is of the coat. But we do not have the coat, while the hook calls out: ”Come here! I am the hook.” You will be caught if you go. You do not have the coat so what will you do by going to the hook? There is every danger of your hanging yourself on it. You have to seek your own worthiness, your own capability. You have to make yourself ready in order to be able to receive grace when it comes.

193. Someone - February 11, 2012

189. Tim Campion
I rarely enter this blog and I almost never post anything here. But, your post (189), has really pissed me off. I am sorry I need to get down to a personal level, but what you wrote prove you are a real scum. I also left the FoF and I have my own accounts with them and RB. Still a tragic event like Michael’s death can leave some room for simple impartial human empathy. Coming to think of it, you have always been an arrogant heartless person and I can see now that leaving the FoF hasn’t changed much in you in that respect. The mal deed of RB does not make the malicious things you wrote about Michael Kosher.

194. brucelevy - February 11, 2012
195. Tim Campion - February 11, 2012

193. Someone

You speak as though we’ve met, but I don’t think we have. I left the Fellowship over 25 years ago and, at the time, knew few Israeli students. I assume then you “know” me only from the blogs. (Of this I cannot be certain, of course, since you are incognito.)

Six months ago, you actively engaged here in trying to defend Abraham Goldman’s reputation as well.

My post above was intended to outrage, or at least evoke a response. I consider Michael (like Abraham, like all of us who were drawn into Burton’s web) a victim.

For years now, the truth about Burton’s pathology has been out in the open. Michael, Abraham and others who, despite all the revelations, continued to faithfully serve Robert Burton’s perverse appetites have dishonored themselves.

I did not know either Michael or Abraham that well. I don’t know that it really matters. It is the role they played in defending Burton – to the very end – that disturbs me.

It is a failure in courage and conscience that saddens me. (And this, in no way, is unique to the Fellowship of Friends.)

Like you, I guess, I’m pissed.

196. Golden Veil - February 11, 2012

I agree with Tim Campion that genius in the service of evil should
not be celebrated. However, tonight’s memorial concert for Michael Goodwin is clearly in honor of his being a beloved conductor. He is remembered and celebrated tonight for his multi-faceted long time service, and passionate devotion to the Auburn Symphony.

197. not - February 12, 2012

194 “Everyone’s a fucking guru.”

here’s another:

“a deluded, aging narcissist who uses sexuality to combat an almost crippling sense of loneliness. 2 ½ stars out of 4”

http://www.clevelandmovieblog.com/2011/01/sex-magic-january-15th-at-capitol.html

198. Ames Gilbert - February 12, 2012

Someone (#117-193 or thereabouts),
come on now, get off your high horse, and explain what ‘impartial empathy’ might look like, and whether empathy of any kind is going to affect Michael, who is dead, one way or another. Maybe you could review your post to Tim; I don’t see much empathy there for the living . . .

Not that Tim needs defending, but if you follow his reasoning, it leads to the conclusion that Burton is nothing without the contributions of all the nice, regular, middle-class folk who have paid enormously in every way for decades to support and enable Burton and his lifestyle, and protect him from the consequences of his actions. Michael Goodwin, Tim, you and I and all the others involved, past and present, we all made our contributions to the enterprise. So, why does Tim pointing this out offend you so much?

Is it possible that you are offended because your ego imagines that someone might not remember you kindly after your death?

199. not - February 12, 2012
200. Fee fi fo fum - February 12, 2012

We can admire Michael Goodwin’s contributions to the music scene, both in the FF and in the neighboring community. That should be recognized and appreciated. A lot of FF members treated members of the community as lowly “life people” to be tolerated. Instead, he gave back.

However, if he was a procurer of hetero young men for REB’s bedroom, then that should lead to questions of what, exactly, he enabled.

We can try to hold uppermost the talented, professional musician. But let’s not forget how seedy some of REB’s “needs” are, and if someone actively played a part in enabling those “needs,” then we can acknowledge that. Being dead, he cannot defend himself, so there’s no need to vilify him. But let’s not turn a blind eye to the ongoing corruption.

201. Tim Campion - February 12, 2012

196. Golden Veil
200. Fee fi fo fum

The people of Auburn, and of so many other communities Michael enriched, are innocent in this matter. As Ames points out, those currently in the “Apollo Compound” and we who were once there share responsibility.

When I first met him in 1981, or so, I was in awe of Michael’s accomplishments. His talent and contributions to society dwarf anything I shall ever achieve. My concern is with that side of Michael the public likely knew nothing about.

202. Golden Veil - February 12, 2012

Michael Goodwin had a terrible accident. He was obviously a gifted musician and a caring community member, outside of whatever contributions he made within the Fellowship of Friends. As far as vilifying him; alluding to or even publicizing with absolutely certainty that he played a role as a procurer for Robert Burton, or some other damnable thing, that is to me a bit like casting the shadow of a vulture.

203. Aristmus - February 12, 2012

Don’t be silly. Who can meet the standard of “absolutely certainty”? Anyone who supports, defends or apologizes for the likes of Robert Burton and/or his minions, devotees & followers has got some serious karmic dirt on their hands.

204. nigel - February 12, 2012

Karl Werner…..excellent wine-master
Abraham Goldman…..excellent legalist
Michael Goodwin…..excellent musician

All had prominent roles in the Fellowship of Friends.

This time – with Michael’s passing – I had waited until others had posted to give my ‘nickel’s-worth’. You see – it does not matter about life and death – they take care of themselves. What the FOF cult represents is a glorified facade with a rotten core – art, music and culture on the outside with a psychopathic sex-maniac on the inside. All of us gave approval to what was going on (and still does) with our monthly checks, whether we had ‘roles as enablers’ or not. I see the blog, for myself, as a way of facing my karma, since I was in the FOF for 11 years – enough to have experiences that were both elevating and miserable – and hope that I reach those who can escape or those who may be thinking of joining…..Nigel.

205. Fee fi fo fum - February 12, 2012

202 Golden Veil

“alluding to or even publicizing…”

This is not about being mean or small-minded or vulture-like. In some ways, it “comes with the (Fellowship) territory”, that when someone in the Fellowship dies, their participation in that organization has been woven into their life. Part of the price we pay and paid for being in that organization is that each of us probably did something we were ashamed of or were not proud of supporting or, at best, felt foolish about. At the very least, we regretted paying large teaching payments to a wasteful organization that fed the non-stop appetites of its leader. And as we know, some women were encouraged to have abortions when they would rather have borne the baby to term; individuals were sometimes forced to marry people (another sleazy story); some hetero young men were blinded by the twisted arguments of a male teacher being a goddess and engaged in sexual activity that they otherwise would never have done. That’s part of what I mean by “it comes with the (Fellowship) territory.” It is part of our collective history, and each one of us, who were members, somehow participated in it. What are the consequences of all of this strange activity in our individual lives? Some people have reacted very strongly to it. Others less so.

There are a lot of Fellowship students who led, and still lead, low-key, non-public lives. When they pass away, and each of us will pass away, there may be nothing much to say about them. It’s not that their individual lives don’t matter, but that their lives may not have directly affected other students, whether for good or bad.

But as Nigel points out, there are students who led prominent public lives, and excelled in their professional fields. Part of that means that most of us remember that person or had contact with them. It also means more is known about them. In an organization as hierarchical as the Fellowship, which is led by someone who seems to have few moral qualms regarding sex and money, all sorts of unwarranted activities take place behind, as Nigel says, the glorified facade with a rotten core.

206. Another name - February 12, 2012

Recent video from Michael Goodwin.

207. Another name - February 12, 2012

After leaving the Fellowship of friends/ Pathway to be presence, No I understand much more why it was a fit for too many years.

My hopes to belong were so promising in the first 5 years and from there it was only giving and giving….

The following website taught me a lot why I stayed as long as I did and still does.

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/IF/innerfam2.htm

“When you believe in an imaginary figure that only you can see or hear, it’s called a psychological problem. If you believe in an imaginary figure that even you can’t see or hear, it’s a religion.”

208. Another name - February 12, 2012

“Religious wars are basically people killing each other over who has the better imaginary friend.”

And many more of these pearls of point of views.

http://www.gdargaud.net/Humor/QuotesReligion.html

209. Ames Gilbert - February 12, 2012

117-151 (January 21, 2012)
We’re all a mixture of light and dark.
Here’s a video tribute to Michael Goodwin that was posted immediately after his death by people who cared:

That’s just one aspect of the light.

And at the same time, he supported Burton wholeheartedly from when he joined in Munich in early 1979 until he died. There is no possibility that he did not know what was going on. For a start, he was gay. When he joined, Burton was publically claiming that homosexuality was a ‘major impediment to evolution’, that gays were ‘too self-absorbed to evolve’, and certainly the official line was that gays should not have any sexual relationships in or out of the Fellowship of Friends. And all the while Burton was forcing himself on heterosexual male followers. Imagine working with that. I didn’t speak to him about this, but I did speak to others in this predicament in the same period, and it was a horrible time for them. Even more horrible when the news came out that Burton had indeed been setting new records for lying and hypocrisy. Yet Michael continued to support the circus, and obviously felt that his role was important, that “the good outweighed the bad”. For thirty-two years.

That’s the dark.

210. brucelevy - February 12, 2012

206 Another name

I watched the video, and then the second one of Konstantin Soukhovetski performing in Auburn. He’s an adequate pianist and pretty boy with a large jeweled necklace who obviously loves himself. I thought, my God he’s just RB’s type of conquest. So I did some more digging. He’s doing lectures and concerts at Apollo. I would guess that when Michael showed RB his dossier RB’s eyes lit up and he urged him to bring him west so he could be groomed and seduced like other “cultured” prey of the FOF past. So, from one point of view, the idea of Michael acting as procurer is not so far fetched.

Aside from his musical talent (which extent one could dispute) I remember Michael as the typical follower who “would not hear” any negative comments about “his teacher (another words, just anopther sycophant). His longevity in the FOF speaks to his self imposed insulation from reality. His untimely death is certainly sad, but death being used as a tool to rewrite one’s character is an unfortunate and all to often used charade.

211. Ames Gilbert - February 12, 2012

I need an editor!
In post #117-209 or thereabouts, the date at the top has nothing to do with the subject, or anything else for that matter. Sorry about that.

212. brucelevy - February 12, 2012

I need an editor also apparently. Too many mistakes to mention.

213. Someone - February 12, 2012

195. Tim Campion
I joined FOF in 1980… I wouldn’t embarrass you by publishing your admiring “angles” of the “work” and of RB. It is all printed in the old FOF journals.

214. brucelevy - February 12, 2012

213. Someone

I know you can’t see it, but you’re way over your head.

215. brucelevy - February 12, 2012

I meant “in” way over your head.

216. silentpurr - February 12, 2012

… like the rising water temperature of the frog-ed pot indoctrination is gradual, gentle.

217. Tim Campion - February 12, 2012

Apparently, we all need an editor. And that’s where Linda K./R./T. came in.

As you should know, Someone (213), in those journals, you were likely reading Robert’s or Linda’s words, or at best, some reconstructed version of our own. But I was a Fellowship and Burton supporter, as much as anyone, and in my own way expressed adoration and devotion to the “work” and the “teacher”, mostly in the form of working long hours at the Farm/Ranch/Mt. Carmel/Renaissance.

Your search through the journals would be a waste of time. Not that I didn’t want to see my “admiring angle” on the page, but I rarely spoke at meetings. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. (And thank you for not doing so.) But the silence came at a cost: very sadly, few of “my” angles ever appeared in the journals.

I should add that I left the Fellowship, not because I struggled with conscience after witnessing Robert’s immoral conduct (for I didn’t know then what he was up to behind closed doors.) Instead, I left for more mundane, primarily financial reasons. I was impoverished and falling even deeper into debt while “on salary”.

So, at the time, I never had to deal with the profound personal and moral conflict that so many tortured souls did. (Bruce, Ames, Elena, “ton”, “Dick Moron”, “Whalerider”, “Innernaut” and many others here have told us about those horrors. Michael Goodwin probably could have as well. He didn’t get the chance.)

218. nigel - February 12, 2012

…..prompted by Ames, post #209

Shadow (psychology)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus and the persona. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.

According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized “The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object–if it has one–or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power.”These projections insulate and cripple individuals by forming an ever thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world.

From one perspective, ‘the shadow…is roughly equivalent to the whole of the Freudian unconscious’;and Jung himself considered that ‘the result of the Freudian method of elucidation is a minute elaboration of man’s shadow-side unexampled in any previous age’.

Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.”;so that for some, it may be, ‘the dark side of his being, his sinister shadow…represents the true spirit of life as against the arid scholar’.

219. Golden Veil - February 12, 2012

209. Ames Gilbert – February 12, 2012

“… he supported Burton wholeheartedly from when he joined in Munich in early 1979 until he died. There is no possibility that he did not know what was going on. For a start, he was gay. When he joined, Burton was publically claiming that homosexuality was a ‘major impediment to evolution’, that gays were ‘too self-absorbed to evolve’, and certainly the official line was that gays should not have any sexual relationships in or out of the Fellowship of Friends. And all the while Burton was forcing himself on heterosexual male followers. Imagine working with that. I didn’t speak to him about this, but I did speak to others in this predicament in the same period, and it was a horrible time for them. Even more horrible when the news came out that Burton had indeed been setting new records for lying and hypocrisy. Yet Michael continued to support the circus, and obviously felt that his role was important, that “the good outweighed the bad”. For thirty-two years.

That’s the dark.”

Ames ~ Yes, you’re absolutely right. And, “Imagine working with that?” Well, it seems that all my old colleagues from those days that now live at Apollo (really, THEY were my teachers, my former Centre Directors) must be rather split inside – something like what must happen to someone who stays in a sexual abuse situation out of fear, vulnerability, or a sense of personal powerlessness – usually children, but, as we have discussed on these many pages, over the years, it comes to some thousands of full grown adults. Many men and women in the Fellowship of Friends have the terrible knowledge of “The Teacher’s” depravity, moral, psychological, and financial criminal acts, yet somehow keep on paying to be a member, toasting their wine, and as I was once seduced (really,) seduce others to climb into the pot that silentpurr describes, and bit by bit come to a boil in a froth of filth in a golden pan.

On this blog, as we have said before, people will not always process what they need to heal from their own painful personal damages incurred, or recover from their complicity in this grand deception, in a pretty way. In fact, many will do quite the opposite, and with absolute intention. They are fed up with the painted and gilded facade that covers the Fellowship of Friends / Living Presence and are instigators of the real waking up!

“And you know that it’s right!”

220. Ames Gilbert - February 12, 2012

A friend contacted me about my post #117-209 or thereabouts, asking, “Why mention that Michael Goodwin was gay?” So, just in case any other reader is also wondering why, I’ll explain.

I asked many gay or bisexual followers of Burton, male and female, when they first realized that Burton was some species of gay (I say that because it is still unclear to me whether it is really sexual attraction or some pathologically extreme form of power trip that motivates his conquests of male heterosexuals). The females divided sharply into two camps. One camp thought that he was just a very sensitive, caring person; this they attributed to being an aspect of ‘consciousness’. The other camp realized he was gay very early on, but gave it more no thought because he claimed he was celibate. Amongst men, every one I spoke to immediately recognized he was gay.

Almost invariably in these conversations there arose the question of homosexuality and its place in the Fellowship; after all, this was an exceedingly important question, and almost all knew about Gurdjieff’s opinions on the subject. Burton, in every case, gave this reply or the equivalent: homosexuality is cosmically wrong, a question of wrong wiring, and was the gravest impediment to evolution. And, all homosexual relationships were forbidden, within and without the Fellowship.

Next: in every case, new homosexual followers quickly found others like them, and discussed the matter with these others. And very quickly after that, usually within a matter of months of joining, they had found out about the fact that Burton was forcing sex on male heterosexual followers. So, according to what I heard, there was actually quite a few people who knew what was going on, from the earliest years, but feeling themselves apart already as a group of gays, they did not share these observations outside the group. Most could only stand the strain for a few years, then left. Some stayed until Burton could no longer keep the lid on the facts. Some, like Michael, stayed for life.

Thomas Paine, in his treatise, The Age of Reason, said these words:

. . . it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.

I stayed for years after I discovered that Burton had been a liar from the start. And I didn’t understand what Paine did, that to defend Burton in front of others, as I felt compelled to do to maintain my world view and justify my choices, while simultaneously knowing that he was indeed corrupt, harmed me and any audience immensely.

221. Another name - February 12, 2012

If Robert Burton is gay then I do not understand his need for trying to have 100 blow jobs with different men, preferable looking as young as possible on birthdays and or valentine’s days.. IMO he is stuck in early childhood issues/ trauma and I see him as a pedophile.. as he repeat his pattern habitually,/compulsively.

He is also not able to grief or mourn and will replace every boy/man if needed without showing much emotion.

222. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

In recognition of the death of Michael, and for that matter, the death of Abraham, or the death of anyone, I am posting here a few post about The Egyptian Book of the Dead (Book of Going Forth by Day) which has been very closely studied in recent times in The Fellowship of Friends (FoF). In particular, the scene: Judgement of Osiris – The Weighing of the Heart. [FoF preferred version: The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, Papyrus of Ani, Raymond Faulkner.]

1.
A scene from the Papyrus of Ani
at the British Museum’s
Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead 1:39:
[This one may need the sound volume turned up.]

‘Curator John Taylor on a scene from the Egyptian King’s scribe showing a day of reckon in the 13th century BC, presented as part of the British Museum’s brilliant Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead’
[a.k.a: Book of Going Forth by Day and (this version) The Papyrus of Ani] [Take note of the alarm that sounds (start 0:26 and ends 0:48, when ‘heart of the dead person’ is mentioned.)]

223. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

2.
Egyptian Book of the Dead at British Museum 3:47:

‘The Egyptian Book of the Dead exhibition is currently on [ended 6Mar11?] at the British Museum, and is well worth a visit if you are in London. Books of the Dead papyri were buried with deceased Egyptians, and contained numerous spells to assist their passage into the next world. The passage involved ge[t]ting past the monstrous guardians of various gates which had to be overcome by magic. It culminated in the court of Osiris where the deceased would profess his innocence of various things, and his heart would be weighed against Maat, the feather representing truth. [Called: Judgement of Osiris – The Weighing of the Heart; shown at 0:44, 1:08, 1:44 in video.] Unforunately the heart could speak independently, and might not be relied upon not to testify against its owner. But never fear – there was a spell to shut it up! This fact somewhat undermines the morality of the Egyptian religion, if the gods could be fooled, and also presumably means that the beast who devours guil[t]y souls usually went hungry.

224. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

3.
Judgement of Osiris – The Weighing of the Heart 2:12:

‘The usual weighing scene shows the dead being lead by the hand by Anubis – it is Anubis who will perform the weighing, the heart is placed on the left scale, the feather of Maat on the right. The god Thoth stands ready to record the result, an interested AMEMAIT (the \’Devourer of the Dead\’) waits for the decision – if the heart is heavier than the feather of truth then she will devour the heart and the dead / deceased with suffer the final complete death.

Spells included with the \’Book of the Dead\’ enable the dead to plead with its own heart \’not to oppose [the dead] in the realm of the dead\’. In the very top part of the scene the dead also makes offerings to 12 of the major gods who sit in judgement.

Declaration of innocence before 42 gods

The trial is not over yet – the deceased then has to make a declaration of independence before a tribunal and divine advisory board:

Behold, I have come to You,
Bringing Justice to You,
Repelling evil for you.
I have not done evil against men.
I have not improvished my associates.
I have not acted crookedly in the Place of Justice.’

‘TEMPUS FUGIT , ERGO CARPE DIEM’
[Time flies, therefore, seize the day (moment).]

In short, the weight of your heart speaks volumes about the actions of your life even after the death of the body. So, all sentient beings take note: Your time will come.

225. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

Additional resources:
Still image of plate/scene:

226. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

Another still image of plate/scene:

227. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

One Wikipedia page on subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_of_Ani

228. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 12, 2012

Another textual site on subject:
http://www.crystalinks.com/bookofthedead.html

And that’s all folks.

229. Threshold - February 12, 2012

Tim Campion’s comments on this page about Michael Goodwin absolutely resonate with me.

The way I see it, the topic is largely about innocence, or the lack thereof.

What makes everything possible for Burton is the belief by enough people that Burton and the fof — and by extension, those who help lead the organization — are innocent and harmless. My simple advice is that people question that belief. And, when someone else questions it, listen to them. There may be still more to learn.

230. fofblogmoderator - February 13, 2012

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: