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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 119 March 11, 2012

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

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence from the discussion.

Participants require 1 moderated comment before they can start communicating in real-time. (ie. if you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear about 1 day after it has been posted, any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously).

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. nigel - March 11, 2012

Read this and ask – “Is this an honest assessment?”

Why do people join a group?

People join groups for a variety of reasons. Some group members are motivated by task concerns and others are motivated by interpersonal attraction to other group members.

Group Synergy
Group synergy refers to the idea that two heads (or more) are better than one. You may have also heard the phrase, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” which also refers to group synergy. Put simply, groups are often capable of producing higher quality work and better decisions that can an individual working alone.

Support and Commitment
A group may be more willing to take on a large project than would an individual. In addition to its increased ability to perform work, the group can provide encouragement and support to its members while working on a big project.

Interpersonal Needs
Individuals often join a group to meet their interpersonal needs.

William Schutz has identified three such needs: inclusion, control, and affection.

Inclusion is the need to establish identity with others.

Control is the need to exercise leadership and prove one’s abilities. Groups provide outlets for this need. Some individuals do not want to be a leader. For them, groups provide the necessary control over aspects of their lives.

Affection is the need to develop relationships with people. Groups are an excellent way to make friends and establish relationships.

2. nigel - March 11, 2012

…..I remember, at a Palo Alto Center meeting, one BIG ROLE lady director saying that it was possible to be ‘sincerely naive’…..

How many of us joined the Fellowship of Friends, hoping that awakening was possible, rather than being told – “Not in this lifetime, dear”?

How many of us were led to believe that Burton was a ‘gay gentleman’ with feelings and empathy/sympathy for his ‘special entourage’, let alone his students, rather than a sexually voracious, sociopathic narcissist?

How many of us joined the Fellowship of Friends, knowing that we would have ongoing financial obligations to the group, but not that the ‘escalating teaching payments’ might lead us to financial ruin?

How many of us exited (in whatever way) the cult and were able to ‘find our feet out here in “life” (as Burton called it)’ without help from family and/or psychiatric services?

Let’s face it – the Fellowship of Friends bankrupted us financially, psychologically and physically – God knows how many of the ‘staunch insiders remaining’ manage to live with themselves, thier so-called ‘friends’ in the group and their CONSCIENCE!!!!!

3. Golden Veil - March 11, 2012

con·science noun \ˈkän(t)-shən(t)s\

Definition of CONSCIENCE

1a: the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good

b: a faculty, power, or principle enjoining good acts

c: the part of the superego in psychoanalysis that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego

2 archaic: consciousness

3: conformity to what one considers to be correct, right, or morally good : conscientiousness

4: sensitive regard for fairness or justice : scruple
— con·science·less adjective
— in all conscience or in conscience

5: in all fairness

Examples of CONSCIENCE

The thief must have had an attack of conscience, because he returned the wallet with nothing missing from it.

… it is a politician’s natural instinct to avoid taking any stand that seems controversial unless and until the voters demand it or conscience absolutely requires it.
—Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006

Origin of CONSCIENCE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin conscientia, from conscient-, consciens, present participle of conscire to be conscious, be conscious of guilt, from com- + scire to know

First Known Use: 13th century

~ From the Meriam-Webster dictionary

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conscience

4. not - March 11, 2012

“When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken, or cease being honest.”

anonymous

5. Tempus Fugit - March 12, 2012

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 119 (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.

6. sallymcnally - March 12, 2012

Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.

Albert Einstein

7. Joseph Nachumovitch - March 12, 2012

“Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best.”

Woody Allen

8. Des - March 12, 2012

Worth re-posting this re-posting.

15. Ames Gilbert – September 8, 2011
“I was reading through some of the rest of page 16 of the blog (lots of good stuff there!) and I came across this, from “Life Person”. IMHO it’s a perfect summary, so I’m going to post the whole darn thing instead of just the link.”


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

9. Golden Veil - March 13, 2012

8. Des

I think that this post merits being re-posted at least once a page.
Some might say that this point of view is looking through a glass darkly… but this glass is truly dark! Whoever “Life Person” is
that wrote this is, they are truly exceptional at gathering FACTS.

10. Bares Reposting - March 13, 2012

‘at the level of a precocious junior high schooler’
no,
at the level of a precocious fourth grader

‘fancies himself an aesthete, of impeccable taste, yet whose taste is classic nouveau riche’
but,
you have to grant it that he has an almost life-sized?
near full-length? oil portrait of himself painted depicting
many of his beloved baubles that he surrounds himself
with.

‘Rolls Royces and Mercedes’
description might be dated, more likely,
Lexus these days, I think;
probably leased, not owned.

You did not mention the zoo (animals of various kinds; presumably to enter the Ark at the appropriate time).

What! Palm tree collections not in that description either?

11. Des - March 14, 2012

“What! Palm tree collections not in that description either?”

Right, there’s a lot of material to cover. (I hear there’s a blog that runs over 100 pages with personal testimonials, comments and warnings about this cult.)

But post number 8 above offers one of the better snapshots — he’s not mincing words.

12. nigel - March 14, 2012

I think we are at a point in the blog where those who have ‘escaped’ are wondering – “What can we do to help those inside the cult called the Fellowship of Friends who are not convinced of the cause of the leader, Robert Earl Burton, to ‘wash away the gum from their eyes’ ” as Walt Whitman would have said.

I admit it is so easy for us who have found a grounding in ‘life’ as they like to call it and know that no amount of ‘collective-think’ will lead to an individual awakening (since awakening is an individual experience – maybe we awaken to our true possibilities – there does not seem another way to phrase it).

I have heard, on this blog, almost too much of the self-torture of FoFfers who cannot seem to prise themselves away from cult doctrine. The question I now ask all posters is “What can we do?”…..Nigel.

13. nigel - March 14, 2012

Brainwashing, Thought Control and the Cults
Psychological and Biblical Overview

brainwashing / n. 1: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas 2: persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship. (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary)

When someone speaks of religious brainwashing, we might think of a victim forcibly held in a room while his old belief system is systematically destroyed, which is then replaced by a new, radical belief structure. However, this method has not proven to be especially effective in the last decade or so by cults, and has been largely replaced by more subtle forms of mind control.

There are similarities between mind control and other forms of persuasion, such as is found in advertising and modern sales techniques. Both the religious cult and, let’s say, a door-to-door salesman are offering a product (the religion offers God’s approval and a future reward). Both exert persuasion to “try it out”, as time is supposedly short or limited; soon they won’t be able to choose. It is emphasized that they must make a decision. High pressure tactics are used, with an attempt to overwhelm their listener with positive statements regarding their product or organization. This is done in an attempt to rush the decision before all angles can be considered, or before someone can come along who can effectively challenge the product or organization.

The differences, however, are important. A salesman is out to make a buck and is usually not interested in the person he is speaking to except to make a sale. If, after his or her presentation, the customer is not interested, the salesman goes on his way. A cultist, on the other hand, will usually be interested in the person for more than just their money, and the recruiters are quite sincere in showing affection towards the potential recruit. For the most part, the recruiter STRONGLY BELIEVES deep down that what he has to offer is the best thing going, and he may go to great lengths to convert the person. Sincerity comes through accepting their program as “God’s program”, thereby adding an element of fear and mystery to it; fear that if you don’t join, you will meet the wrath of God, and mysterious in that it is for a select few who meet the qualifications.

Additionally, the religious cult will seek to establish themselves as the sole channel to God, and will warn you that the devil is very real, and he is out to deceive you by means of all the other religions. Their particular approach is slanted to prejudice you against other beliefs before you can investigate them. You learn to fear those who do not agree with you, and will run from them or avoid a confrontation with them. Because religious cults are seen as “extreme” in their methods and behavior, they are often maligned by others, and the recruiter capitalizes on this by claiming he is being persecuted for his faith. So from the start, the recruit develops “tunnel vision” when it comes to investigating all the facts. He is led to believe that the recruiter can be trusted to possess the truth, but the rest of the world cannot.

This can be referred to as “intellectual myopia.” Many will have dropped out of the program once they recognize how they are being programmed by the recruiter, but a few will remain. They are enticed by what is offered, and cross the barrier of their own common sense to get more involved. They desire to live in the imaginary world of the cult. As Deborah Davis, a former member of the Children of God says,

When a cult recruit crosses the invisible barrier in his mind when he enters the world of the cult and its doctrine at some point during his flirtatious sampling of the culthe is tripping the switch of his voluntary suspension of disbelief. Brainwashing or mind control then occurs naturally, sometimes effortlessly. In many cases the new cult member will struggle hard to brainwash himself. He must do this in order to balance the guilt he feels. When doubts rush in like a flood, he tells himself, “I am following the truth. The rest of the world may be going to hell, but I am following the truth!”

14. Arthur - March 15, 2012

Robert Earl Burton is a “tar baby” lucky are those who wrenched away with only skin rash.

15. paul gregory - March 15, 2012

I’m astonished to realize, embarrassingly, that Robert Earl Burton, Second only to Christ (THOU sayest it), has not only failed his test as Prophet, but also that he has singularly failed to prophesy any positive and helpful understanding of Humanity or Technology or Art or Politics, and that consequently, and in addition to this, his benighted and bled dry flock of faithful one’s have fallen into a bizarre re-interpretation of a 19th Century Salon, with additional psychological adaptations and impudences thereof.

This is in contradiction to Taste. The Taste of the Fellowship is for him and his world of Camels and Palm Trees, Yellow Slacks, numbers, weird disciplines, financially crippling outlay and God Awful, spiritually barren Mimicry.

He has failed to understand the Power of the Sun, the Power of Rain-Forest Medication, the Power of the Occupy Movement, The Power of Individuality and Intuition.

He has failed to invest wisely in his financial assets, failed to see enormous potential benefits, as Gurdjieff succeeded, except in the conceptual art of outworn and tired people, living now in an unpleasant and unrealistic frot of false perceptions. He has failed and destroyed himself with Greed, Lust, Sexual Fantasy and Luxury.

Privilege is by it’s very nature, ‘in capable’; this does not immediately suggest the right to greater benefits.

His monumental ego and Personality Disorder manifest that ‘Every Thing is Perfect, Even Tragedies are Perfect’. That which is perfect is the pure but blinkered heart of his fascinated victims, handcuffed to the failed Vinyard and monstrous plough of ‘Us and Them’, Psycho-spiritual, Pseudo-spiritual self-righteous spiritual craving.

Unless the best of the worst can demonstrate their perfection, this experiment will have failed utterly in my opinion. I wonder if anyone thinks the same way?

16. paul gregory - March 15, 2012

i meant impedance, but it works…

17. paul gregory - March 15, 2012

Privilege is by it’s very nature, ‘in capable’; this does not immediately suggest the right to genuine status or ‘monarchy’.

18. paul gregory - March 15, 2012

He is a corrupted agent, of Homunculus incubi and succubi.

19. paul gregory - March 15, 2012

Q. What truly wonderful and glorious historical, technological and creative improvements to human life has ° failed to discern to the detriment of his flock?

20. paul gregory - March 15, 2012

apologies. I meant the best of the best, the true Inner circle that connects to Reality Regardless of Robert.

My last post of the day!

21. nigel - March 15, 2012

FRONDES AGRESTES
By Ruskin

Section 1

4.
Had it been ordained by the Almighty that the highest pleasures of sight should be those of most difficult attainment, and that to arrive at them it should be necessary to accumulate GILDED PALACES, tower over tower, and pile ARTIFICIAL MOUNTAINS AROUND INSINUATED LAKES, there would never have been a direct contradiction between the unselfish duties and the inherent desires of every individual. But no such contradiction exists in the system of Divine Providence; which, leaving it open to us, if we will, as creatures in probation, TO ABUSE THIS SENSE LIKE ANY OTHER, and pamper it with SELFISH AND THOUGHTLESS VANITIES, as we pamper the palate with deadly meats, until THE APPETITE OF TASTEFUL CRUELTY is lost in its sickened satiety, incapable of pleasures unless, CALIGULA LIKE, it concentrates the labour of a million lives into the sensation of an hour, – leaves it open to us, BY HUMBLE AND LOVING WAYS, to make ourselves susceptible of deep delight, WHICH SHALL NOT SEPARATE US FROM OUR FELLOWS, nor require the sacrifice of ANY DUTY OR OCCUPATION, but shall bind us closer to men and to God, and be with us always, HARMONISED WITH EVERY ACTION, CONSISTENT WITH EVERY CLAIM, UNCHANGING AND ETERNAL.

22. nigel - March 16, 2012

…..excerpt from “What Purpose Do Cults Serve?”, by Google-ing ‘cults and feeling special’…..

“Cults exist because most people want to feel part of something bigger. However, by virtue of their association with a cult, members who started out feeling uncomfortable with the cult/group—perhaps they didn’t want to be perceived as “different” or were asked to forsake unbelieving family members early on, or didn’t want to be part of the cult’s aggressive sales force—soon find that they end up feeling uncomfortable with everyone outside the group. The need to fit in never really dissipates, for involvement with the cult creates its own brand of exclusion. That’s the oxymoron of cults.”

23. nigel - March 16, 2012

…..by the same Google-ing…..

American Family Foundation (source of information)

– 14 Characteristics of Cults –

1.The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.

2.The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

3.The group is preoccupied with making money.

4.Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

5. Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

6.The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).

7.The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).

8.The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.

9.The group’s leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).

10.The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).

11.The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.

12.Members’ subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.

13.Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.

14.Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

These points have been described by bloggers as reffering to the Fellowship of Friends, by their own experiences with the cult, but it is useful to realize that ALL CULTS can be described by them…..Nigel.

24. Whale Rider - March 16, 2012

As I was having a frank and open discussion with a friend about how the narcissistic personality structure is often used as a defense against depression and anxiety, and is an obstacle to deeper relationships, I happened to mention that I was a “cult survivor”.

I had not referred to myself as a cult survivor before.

To my astonishment, I noticed the shame and embarrassment that I have felt associated with the topic in the past was not there.

25. Des - March 17, 2012

Congratulations Whale Rider. Congrats to all of you. This is all more common than our society wants to admit, which in no way excuses the insanity of the “brightest light since Christ.” (Are you kidding, Bob?)

Do a google search, by the way, for “cult survivor.” The amount of material that surfaces is astonishing.

26. nigel - March 17, 2012

24. Whale Rider

Yes…..’cult survivor’…..brilliant term!…..Nigel

27. Ill Never Tell - March 17, 2012

I survived a doomsday cult (Fellowship of Friends, Pathway To Presence, Living Presence, Gurdjieff Ouspensky Centers, Renaissance, Apollo, Isis, etc. – whatever you want to name it.) and live to tell about it.

28. Ill Never Tell - March 17, 2012

One name I forgot to mention:
CHURCH OF ROBERT EARL BURTON

29. nigel - March 17, 2012

25. Des

I googled ‘cult suvivor’ and did not come across much pertinent material. I would consider it a favour, should you be able to post articles here on the blog…..Nigel.

30. Another name - March 18, 2012

Congratulations Whalerider
With your head held high
congratulations for all of us cult survivors.

.

31. Tim Campion - March 18, 2012

We could have some bumper stickers printed up:

I SURVIVED
Fellowship of Friends
Oregon House, CA

32. Whale Rider - March 18, 2012

I think it’s fair to say that given the backdrop of doomsday predictions embed in the cult and preoccupation with death, that eventually cult members are indoctrinated to feel that leaving the svengali-like cult matrix is akin to death.

The breakthrough for me in the process of healing my cult narcissism (Gosh, I guess I am just like everyone else) is learning that one can survive the passage from cult death to life after the cult. It may seemed overwhelming and insurmountable at first, but one can survive. Our voices are a testimony to that.

Another realization came in the healing of the cult higher self – lower self split. If we demonize our bodies, the instinctive center, we cut off access to our inner truth meter. We learn to distrust ourselves. This paves the way for cult dependence.

The body doesn’t lie, the intellect does.

And people with a sociopathic personality structure are also good a lying. (As the writers of Seinfeld remind us, “it’s not a lie if you believe it.”)

Sure, through the intellect we can be guided to apprehend the spirit world of higher dimensions, yet to think so on a continual basis we must disassociate from our bodies, and we’ll unzip our flies easier.

On the other hand, literally, the body is an instrument as well as a vehicle. It is through our somatic experiences, our bodily functions, including our emotions, feelings and sensations that guide us. How else would we know what a “higher state” is without experiencing it in our physical bodies?

I imagine the cult might say of the “I survived” bumper sticker, “Yes, their lower self survived.” Thus projecting their split off lower selves onto us and associating any hint of individuation as a lower, baser need to be repressed.

I take the “I” in “I survived” as the necessary component of any healthy “I, Thou” relationship.

It’s not all about Thou, Burton.

I rhymes with occupy

Occupy your mind.

Take control of your life.

33. Aristmus - March 18, 2012

Keys to a Successful Cult
1. No initiation fees.
2. Accept all comers.
3. Co-option of established religious beliefs.
4. Propaganda.
In other words don’t worry about FoF, it’s pretty much DOA (Dead upon arrival).

34. nigel - March 18, 2012

32 Whale Rider

I understand your idea of ‘somatic experience’. From my experiences with what I have, in the past, called ‘soft serendipity’ and also connections with ‘higher worlds’ (I find it difficult to use this phrase, since cult doctrine will think I have seen da Vinci flying around the room, as Burton would claim – I have not had anything like that!) all the senses are involved – sight experiences things when sound provides ‘support’; smell and taste produce memory of past intense expeiences and touch is as involved with ‘the present’ as all other senses.

What I find interesting is that I seem to have been given time to ‘aggress’ my way away from the ‘cult doctrine’ through what may have seemed ‘a waste of time’ (for God’s sake – there is not much to do in an asylum other than work on householder – do your laundry; tidy your room; sweep up the cigarette butts from the communal area; try not to be annoyed by the ‘hard-line nutters’ etc. etc.) and having to contend with the sense of failure my parents felt when I could not bring myself to a place of ‘worthiness’.

I truly believe my mother would have been proud of my little ‘Academy of Precious Metal Arts’ in the way an Aquarian would be proud of her son giving of Him Self to others – I am really pissed-off at Burton by the way he TAKES, TAKES, TAKES and has no ‘generous soul’ to share with/give to others. Collin said that “at a certain point we have to reconstruct all our connections in our past life, in order that we may be new men and women.”

I believe that Burton has never worked on himself for the entirety of his adult life. I don’t think Whale Rider had an easy time after exiting the cult, but I truly believe that he has found ‘peace in his spirit’ and is still working on himself with his profession and his personal/family life. May the Fates work with all true Pilgrims…..Nigel.

35. nigel - March 19, 2012

25. Des

If you Google ‘cult survivors’ (plural), there is plenty of material. It is interesting to note that there is much psychiatric help for ‘survivors’ and some of the specialists have been through the ‘cult experience’ themselves…..Nigel

36. Des - March 19, 2012

I sometimes think the answers and solutions are much simpler than I once believed. A person joins a cult that’s imbalanced and dysfunctional. The solution? Become more balanced. Become more functional. Contribute to society. Donate money to a good cause. Volunteer for a good cause. Welcome new ideas. Go to graduate school. Study a new language. Be kind to people. If they think you are insincere, be kind anyway. Travel abroad. Think critically. Listen to others but think for yourself. Encourage open dialogue. Follow authority, but question it. Ignore dogma. Enjoy art and beauty, but don’t use it to separate yourself from others. Enjoy animals. Enjoy the trees. Beware of some people, connect with others. See a crowd of people as being alive and passionate and filled with life, and wide awake (not as a group of sleeping people).

I really liked the entire post by Dick Moron on page 118. Not exactly the same topic, but I think there’s a hint in there about how to become a cult survivor.

37. Des - March 19, 2012

Nigel, yes, one “s” makes a difference in those search results. Gracias.

38. more history needed - March 19, 2012
39. nigel - March 20, 2012

…..on Google-ing ‘cult survivors ptsd’ – Trauma/PTSD…..

1. What is trauma?

The psychiatric definition of “trauma” is “an event outside normal human experience.” Trauma generally leaves you feeling powerless, helpless, paralyzed. It tends to be sudden and overwhelming; it “owns” you. You cannot think clearly during and after a severe trauma; at the same time, you are forced to focus your consciousness in an attempt to deal. One author defines trauma as “any sudden and potentially life-threatening event.”
This refers to one-time traumatic events, but most of it applies to prolonged, repeated trauma as well.

2. Some instances of one-time trauma.

natural disasters (earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc)
rape
assault
muggings
robbery
accidents (automobile, airplane, train, etc)
fires

3. Some instances of prolonged trauma.

physical or sexual abuse as a child or spouse
war
life in a prison camp
life as a refugee
hostage situations
life in a concentration camp
life in some religious cults

4. What are the immediate effects of single-instance trauma?

Emotional –

Shock, including numbed emotions, questioning of perceptions, memory disturbances
Denial, which helps reduce terror, helplessness, and fear of dying or being abandoned to manageable levels
Confusion and disorientation
Numbness
Panic
Weeping
Extreme anxiety and insecurity
Inflexibility
Dissociation, feelings of unreality

Cognitive –

Disbelief, another protective device
Disorientation and confusion
Difficulty thinking and concentrating
Unwanted thoughts — traumatic memories may intrude on everyday living and in dreams, leaving you feeling out of control.
Perceptual problems
The world may seem unsafe, unsteady, unpredictable, and unfair
Traumatic memories — intense, clear, vivid images
Forgetfulness

Hyperarousal

Trouble sleeping
Trouble concentrating
Heightened vigilance
Easily startling
Being wary
Sudden tears or anger or panic
Increased alertness and anxiety

Body

Gastrointestinal symptoms
Headaches
Allergy symptoms
Menstrual problems

The inevitable review –

Trauma survivors spend a lot of time thinking about what they could have done differently. Truth is, they couldn’t have done it differently — the body takes over. And the important thing is not what you did — it’s that you survived.

40. nigel - March 21, 2012

This cut-and-pasted post occured from an incident at my studio class where a student was depressed because where he works as Head of Science he has encountered his subordinates not acting ‘in unison’ to achieve productive goals. To use ‘cult-speak’, he is a 10-of-Spades Mercury-Saturn with the chief feature of dominance. I did not have much personal experience of when Burton, in the FOF, used dominance to achieve aims, or whether, when he found his aims thwarted, became depressed. It has been postulated that Burton uses prescription anti-depressants and I would suggest that he uses his sex-life for the same reasons. Perhaps Whale Rider and others could provide insight into Burton’s ‘machinations’ in this area.

Dominance hierarchy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A dominance hierarchy (in humans: social hierarchy) is the organization of individuals in a group that occurs when competition for resources leads to aggression. Schjelderup-Ebbe, who studied the often-cited example of the pecking order in chickens, found that such social structures lead to more stable flocks with reduced aggression among individuals.

Dominance hierarchies can be despotic or linear. In a despotic hierarchy, only one individual is dominant, while the others are all equally submissive. In a linear hierarchy, for example, in the above cited pecking order of chickens, each individual dominates all individuals below him and not those above him.

Dominance hierarchies occur in most social animal species that normally live in groups, including primates. Dominance hierarchies have been extensively studied in fish, birds, and mammals. Dominance hierarchies can be simple linear structures, which often arise from the physical differences among individuals in a group in relation to their access to resources. They are also influenced by the complex social interactions among individuals in the group.

41. Des - March 22, 2012

A few years ago I was standing in line outside the academy waiting for the doors to open for a Sunday morning meeting. The weather was warm, birds were chirping, and people were waiting patiently as they practiced the sequence and tried to remember themselves. A few people exchanged gentle and knowing smiles and there were some hugs here and there. Most people looked forward and didn’t say much. Conversation was hushed. No loud laughter or anything else that might reveal a low level of being.

I was roughly the 30th or 40th person in line. As I was standing there, two or three men started walking backwards along the line, looking carefully at almost everyone in line. To a large degree, they were staring people up and down, almost like the Secret Service looks at people (although these guys were too short for that assignment).

But something seemed rather odd about it.

Why were these guys walking along the line and checking everyone out? Were they just acting cool? Trying to recruit some young dudes to fill Burton’s afternoon fun? Looking for cute girls? Was Burton feeling a little more paranoid that day? Were they afraid that some ex-student was crashing the party and was going to shout, “You’re all members of a cult you fools! Wake the fuck up!”

Maybe all of the above.


Another memory that entered my consciousness in the last few days:

The expression: “having ‘I’s”
For example:
“I’ve been having a lot of ‘I’s lately.”
“I’ve been having a lot of ‘I’s about Robert.”
“I’ve been having a lot of ‘I’s about leaving the school.”
“I’ve been having a lot of ‘I’s. Gotta stop having those ‘I’s. Gotta stop thinking, observing, feeling what I’m feeling, and sensing what I’m sensing. Separate from the ‘I’s.”

Just one of those weird memories of the Fellowship of Friends. Nothing too traumatic to think about it. But it’s still weird to think that I ever listened to such an idea. But I guess I was “just having ‘I’s” then, too.

42. nigel - March 22, 2012

…..no empathy/love with sex and Burton…..

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

“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.”

43. nigel - March 23, 2012

…..what Burton is, or is not, doing – think for yourself…..

“Sacred Sex and the Awakening of Your Soul”

by Amorah Quan Yin

“In most ancient spiritual cultures and mystery schools, the role of tantra, or sacred sex, was understood as vital to spiritual awakening. Today numerous spiritual traditions still practice tantra. In the hieroglyphics of the Luxor Temple in Egypt you can still find symbolic depiction of sexual initiation. Mayan elders speak of sexuality as what orbits the planets and stars and connects us to the Milky Way and the universe. The Incan acknowledge the entire second stage of their mystery school as that of developing sacred sexuality in which both partners lovingly assist one other in moving toward “Christed consciousness.” Buddhists, certain Hindu sects, ancient Essenes, and others also hold sacred sexuality as key to their paths. The Dolphin Star Temple Mystery School, of which I am the founder, divides its teachings into three primary stages. The first is awakening your Ka: ego transcendence, adapting a spiritual identity, and embodiment of your Higher Self. The second stage is awakening your Ba: healing and awakening of your soul through tantric sexuality. The third stage is awakening your Mer-Ka-Ba: union of your Higher Self and soul into your multidimensional hologram as held in place with sacred geometry.

As you begin to understand the indispensable relevance of right use of sexual energy to spiritual awakening, the focus turns inward to, “What can I do to make myself capable of and available for this aspect of awakening?” Some of those who practice tantra today have forgotten the major keys for this aspect of awakening which are surrender, love, and sacredness. There are those who practice tantra who have omitted these ingredients while doing all the techniques accurately. The end result will eventually be the attainment of power that is devoid of surrender to love and sacredness. And I believe we have enough history behind us to understand the dangers implicit in such attainment.

44. nigel - March 23, 2012

…..thought I would give you a taste of the author of the post above. Sounds a bit ‘naff’ and ‘Burtoney’? I am not sure who can judge, what with all these (genuine? or psychopathic?) cults. I suppose we could apply that old saying – “By their fruits, shall ye know them.”…..good hunting…..Nigel.

Are you ready to transcend false negative ego Identity?
Are you ready to become your “True Self”?
Are you ready to become the Ascended Master Self?

(Amorah Quan Yin) – Pleiadian Lightwork….. is the name given to the healing, spiritual activation, and ascensions techniques which are part of the Dolphin Star Temple Mystery School. This mystery school system is essentially the resurrection and contemporization of the ancient Lemurian, Atlantean, and Egyptian systems. Its chief purpose is that of assisting in bringing about the second coming of Christ en masse, when a minimum of 144,000 humans attain to Christ consciousness on Earth. This will trigger an enlightenment wave through the Earth and all her people, and planetary ascension. The time of the great planetary spiritual awakening is now. By learning to live impeccably, anchoring Higher Self in our bodies, restoring our souls, and aligning multidimensionally with the Great Central Sun, the Source of All That Is, we shall be victorious!

45. Golden Veil - March 23, 2012

Heading into murky waters here…

“This mystery school system is essentially the resurrection and contemporization of the ancient Lemurian, Atlantean, and Egyptian systems.”

Yes, the Living Presence / Pathway to Presence / Fellowship of Friends “Teacher” is not the first to devise a golden line of bullshit from ancient times to the present day.

Bottom line:

Drop your drawers, boys, and the blowing / reaming / sick orgy crap will only reap you regret.

46. nigel - March 23, 2012

45. Golden Veil

You’re right! I went further into the ‘Dolphin’ website – a fat, allergic, Jovial lady surrounded by Asian Venus-Mercuries (mainly women!). Also charging $2,000 for a month’s worth of tuition. How about…..

Just be your NATURAL SELF (the way you feel among your day-to-day activities and with DEAR, REAL FRIENDS)…..cults go fuck themselves (as they probably have found all sorts of ways of physically, mentally, financially and psychologically doing)…..

My bottom line :

You never know until you know…..BUT…..don’t make the same mistake twice!!!!!…..Nigel

47. Golden Veil - March 23, 2012

45. Golden Veil

“Yes, the Living Presence / Pathway to Presence / Fellowship of Friends “Teacher” is not the first to devise a golden line of bullshit from ancient times to the present day.

Bottom line:

Drop your drawers, boys, and the blowing / reaming / sick orgy crap will only reap you regret.”

Did I really say that!? The truth is so ugly sometimes! But looking back on what I wrote, I must say that there are many other equally damaging elements of the cult that have nothing to do with sex.
A few of them:

1. Living as though walking on a tightrope with your “friends.”

Having to be guarded about your feelings and opinions, or having
what the Fellowship of Friends call many “i”s or manifesting “feminine dominance.”

2. Submitting yourself to constant judgement, “photographs” by other students and their comments about your “center of gravity” and “chief feature.”

3. Giving up autonomy in many ways. Experiencing the intense
mind control, that begins as a slow brainwash… dealing with the many “suggestions” and “directions.” Giving up freedom of choice in many matters… where you live, who you may openly talk to and consort with.

4. Designating loved ones who are not “in the school” as not being as essential in your life, as not as deserving of your time… how can they be when they are, after all, just “life people?”

The list goes on; I’m sure that you can think of more…

48. Another name - March 24, 2012

Golden Veil thanks.

Or knowing that you live here but never will be invited to “their” houses? Never will be part of the community even if you like students? Because you are a non member.

Or being so busy hardly time to spent with your family and “non members”.

The locals know the fellowship members. Sooo different and special.

49. brucelevy - March 24, 2012

Interesting study of psychopaths and sociopaths

50. nigel - March 24, 2012

…..have just run a check on myself…..

I have posted 17 out of the 49 posts on this page. I do not say that this is inordinately selfish or space-taking, just that we are approaching Easter and my Spring-Pagan-Christian rites energy goes a little ‘wobbley’ at this time of year. I am going to ‘bow out’ of the blog for at least a week as an experiment to see whether I can cope with my hypo-manic energy so that I do not become a potential public liability…..take the pills…..take the extra pills if necessary. Just to say I am so grateful for those who are patient with me and understand that I want to be a force for the ‘common good’…..Nigel.

51. Shirley - March 24, 2012

50. Nigel, thank you for trying to be self-aware.

52. brucelevy - March 25, 2012

53. silentpurr - March 25, 2012

Is that Jesus I see?

54. brucelevy - March 25, 2012

…said the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw.

55. Golden Veil - March 25, 2012

I suddenly recollect that one of my center directors once told me
that Robert Burton said the port wine stain high on the forehead of Mikhail Gorbachev, general secretary of the former Soviet Union, indicated that the Soviet Union would suffer the first strike in an imminent future nuclear engagement with the United States of America. More fantastic malarkey… the former Russian leader ended up being instrumental in actually dissolving the Iron Curtain and letting countries like Czechoslovakia be free and independent.

Robert Burton’s prediction was entirely wrong.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/8418789/Tourists-head-to-Gorbachev-birthmark-archipelago.html

56. Tim Campion - March 25, 2012

55. Golden Veil

From “Robert Earl Burton: An Unauthorized Blogography”:

“The new Russian premier has a birthmark on the top of his head. He looks as if he has been clubbed. It is one of the worst omens I have ever seen. He is an actor appearing on the stage of hydrogen warfare.” – Robert Burton

57. sallymcnally - March 26, 2012

#48:

I have found that living in the Oregon House community made me physically ill from ‘the power of unacceptance’ that FOF members had over me.
One must wear heavy armor around ones heart living in the area and not allow that armor to permanently adhere to one, hence one becomes vulnerable to that energy oneself.

I could not do it and left. My heart was too vulnerable at the time and it was too painful.

58. sallymcnally - March 26, 2012

#48: I re-read my post and wanted to make a little adjustment.

In the second paragraph what I meant to say was that one becomes more vulnerable to becoming heart-less oneself by remaining.

And I might add that I am only speaking from my own experience and cannot know what others have experienced or are experiencing.

59. Tim Campion - March 26, 2012

57. and 58. sallymcnally

Sally, I think you make a powerful observation. Your final statement, however, feels like a remnant of Fellowship of Friends programming:

“I am only speaking from my own experience and cannot know what others have experienced or are experiencing”

In the cult, we were taught to qualify and condition our observations, so that there was always an element of self-doubt introduced. Certainly, we cannot know in any absolute sense, but are such devices, which dilute our observations, necessary? (Perhaps they provided an instructive exercise, but these “tools” can outlive their usefulness and actually interfere with critical thinking.)

Did we ever hear Robert Burton speak such words? (Not that I can recall.) He spoke with such certainty, and many of us accepted as truth whatever he uttered. In this way, he managed to disable and subdue his followers.

I think you can be confident that your experience is not unique. We humans have much more in common than Robert Burton would have us believe.

60. Golden Veil - March 26, 2012

From what I have read here, it seems like ex-Students of the cult that live in Oregon House who are still in close touch with current Students socially tend to be apologists or even somewhat champions of the cult. Some seem to be successful at maintaining relationships with current cult members once they’ve left. Or, maybe there is a common currency of interests or they are popular artists or service providers that just continue cultivating their cult clientele.

I would think that for someone who does not fall into one of those groups with a business or a public profile but has left the cult and
still lives in Oregon House ~ knowing actual acquaintances and
friends who can support each other is very important in order
to not feel isolated and shut out. It might be really difficult to suddenly go from organized friendships to having no friendships.

I think that there are unofficial support groups in Oregon House and one way to find out who these people are might be to contact known ex-Students who are local business owners. It think that the California varietal lily growers are willing to be a touch stone to ex-Students trying to find their way outside of the cult.

Just think what a breath of fresh air it would be to bring a dish of home prepared food rather than $100 (or more) to a dinner party…
With time it must get better socially. But to be away from any current cult members at all might be the best way for many that want to move on with their lives in a different direction.

61. hhjones - March 27, 2012

Hey, does anyone know a Julian Branston? Fantastic writer – wrote the Eternal Quest, which I purchased. Anyway, he’s now become one of the Fof’s motley crew! Lol! But he is sorely missed by folk in the real world -especially by me -Peter. We used to dig Elton John’s earlier albums – .i.e. Levon wears his war wound like a crown – just like me actually. Lol! Julian lived at 5 Banchory Road, Charlton, London in the seventies, and knew writer John Pudney. John thought, rightly that Julian was the cat’s whiskers! Mieouw! Hey Julian remember Eve? And the Bishop of Liverpool? And that hippy priest – what’shisface? And that holiday in Corfu? You were really handsome then. I read that Julian was brought up in South America?
What’s that – publishers’s hype?

Anyway, don’t be a stiff neck – get in touch.

Your old friend and appreciator of your genius.
Pete

62. Fee fi fo fum - March 27, 2012

59. Tim – That was so true, regarding the self-doubt and qualifying our observations: At meetings, it was common to hear, “From one angle of thought…” That was meant to emphasize how subjective “the machine” was. We’d be reminded that, given our body type, center of gravity, alchemy and chief feature, we always saw “through a glass darkly,” half asleep and imprisoned by our “mechanics”. There’s nothing wrong with recognizing your own subjectivity. However, it was all part of the slippery slope of making us constantly doubt ourselves, and trust only Robert who, conveniently, had such a high level of being that our very subjective selves could never verify it.

63. Another name - March 27, 2012

For
Golden Veil.

More then 200 people on the non attached.
Enough space to grief in OH
No shame, just what is
Some ex students moved back
Many ex students moved to Grass valley
Much healing is and has happened
Some students are still leaving
Grieving is a fact and can be experienced after Leaving the Fellowship or Pathway to Presence.
Nature is gorgeous in OH
Culture, nature and wonderful people.
And tears….part of life.

64. fofblogmoderator - March 27, 2012

#61 is new

65. sallymcnally - March 28, 2012

#63: Obviously quite different from my experience. It needs to happen and it’s great that some people like you are trained to help others going through the process, as you go through your own. Thank you.

66. Ames Gilbert - March 29, 2012

hhjones (#119-61 or thereabouts),
I doubt that the Julian Branston I knew reads this blog…
He’s been an enthusiastic member of the cult since 1982, and attracted Burton’s lustful attentions soon after.
Try writing to him at Box 500, Oregon House, CA 95962.

67. WhaleRider - March 30, 2012

By what means does Robert Elmo Burton use to transport his young male victims into his web of lies?

A succubus.

68. Aristmus - March 31, 2012

If at first you don’t suck seed, try until you do suck seed.
Elmo?

69. nigel - March 31, 2012

…..returning to the blog from where I left off last week…..
…..having tried to ‘step back from myself to see myself’…..

That old subject of ‘sexual energy’ keeps arising…..or is it ‘hydrogen 12 or 6’? You see, the thing is, I take ‘downers’ (very necessary this time of year – spring energy and all that) which cause erectile semi-dysfunction – not that it has a practical problem to surmount, since I do not have a special lady in my life (lots of lady friends, though)…..

I think what I am trying to say is that one has to be able to contain those higher energies so that one is not hypo- or hyper- manic. I think the trouble with Burton is that lust and narcissism have caused him to become a deranged, self-centred ‘hasnamuss’. I am sure that the difference between Burton and myself is that I am prepared to question my human frailty, whereas Burton represents himself to himself as the ‘greatest thing since sliced bread’ (an Englishism).

It took me many years to come to my social, moral and ethical balance which I still carry with me. Burton will never reach that ‘space’ and my only hope is that as many FOFOLLOWERS, in ‘his clutches’, as possible, will WAKE UP to their PRISON and LEAVE THE CULT…..Nigel.

70. more history needed - March 31, 2012

Julian Branston?

Did you try facebook or Po box fourtwofour OH?

71. nigel - April 1, 2012

55. Golden Veil / 56. Tim Campion

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

Sunday, November 14, 1982

Robert Burton speaks about Armageddon

“Graduates” posted the following on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 13, 2007 at 5:32 p.m.:

[ed. – I’ve taken the liberty to insert this in the time line where these events occurred.]

Burton on Armageddon (from a circulated memo):

“Revelations: “…the seventh angel…” After the seventh conscious being appears, Armageddon will come.” – Florence, Italy, Nov. 2, 1982 (Burton believes that his teaching will produce seven conscious men.)

“C-Influence will ensure that all that is left of culture will be taken to Renaissance [the Fellowship compound] for posterity.” – Nov. 3, 1982

“Florence, Venice, Siena will probably not be bombed. C-Influence has indicated to me that Naples (home of NATO), Rome, and Milan will be bombed. Neutron bombs may be used. (Neutron bombs destroy only humans.) ”- Nov. 3, 1982

“We are founding a new civilization.” – Nov. 4, 1982

“Armageddon has wrung a school out of the gods.”- Nov. 4, 1982

“The only error in Christ’s teaching was the statement “my yoke is mild.”- Nov. 4, 1982

“My role is to predict the fall of California and Armageddon.” – Nov. 9, 1982

“People must come to us for souls.”- Nov. 9, 1982

“Don’t put money into banks after Dec. 1983.” – Nov. 9, 1982

“The depression will work to our advantage, we will go through it unscathed.” – Nov. 9, 1982

“We are very well prepared for the coming depression in 1984.” – Nov. 9, 1982

“California is the artichoke capitol of the world…It means it will choke in 1998.” – Nov. 9, 1982

“Haley’s Comet is going to ruin it all, this whole decade is not a good decade.” – Nov. 9, 1982

“We are a very high school on earth, Rembrandt and Goethe are in a higher school. There are angels at this table right now.” – Nov. 11, 1982

“The 44th president of the US will be in office at the occurrence of Armageddon, 2006.” – Nov. 11, 1982

“After the year 2006, Genoa may be the port where art is taken by ship to the East Coast – from there by existing highways to Renaissance [now called Apollo].” – Nov. 14, 1982

“We are the greatest school since Christ’s.” – Nov. 12, 1982

Make up your own mind and draw your conclusions about how accurate/inaccurate Burton can be with his predictions (and other comments about angels etc.). Personally, I go along with the Book of Common Prayer – “…..world without end, Amen”…..Nigel.

72. Whale Rider - April 2, 2012

“I Am Fishead”

AWESOME MOVIE!!!

Thank you, Bruce!

We are all in this together! What Burton is doing is wrong!

73. Des - April 3, 2012

Peter Coyote narrates. See his 1-minute commentary about the movie here: http://www.fisheadmovie.com

“In a time of Universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
– George Orwell

74. Whale Rider - April 3, 2012

Psychopaths Find Legal Protection in US

CRAZY HOUSE, CA (USA)-There were no tears of joy or any real feelings expressed for that matter from members of the American Society of Psychopaths (ASP) today, only smug smirks and fake smiles in the courtroom as the US Inferior Court ruled in favor of continuing to grant legal immunity to psychopathic leaders of corporations and religious organizations who wantonly break the law, leaving a wake of emotional and financial carnage in their paths.

ASP’s position is that self-centeredness, pathological lying, promiscuity, lack of empathy, and manipulation of others is not illegal, and that relatively few psychopaths actually cause bodily harm to their victims. Those who do and are stupid enough to get caught deserve to be put in jail.

“Most of our members like myself provide a valuable educational service to society,” said ASP member and serial rapist, Robert E. Burton. “We help cull the herd of the young, vulnerable, sleepy, and naïve. It’s their own fault for trusting us in the first place. People who don’t like what we do are just jealous.”

Over the course of nearly three decades, the controlling and charismatic Burton has derived unbridled sadistic pleasure and enjoyed legal protection while raping countless young heterosexual men in his pseudo-religious organization, the Fellowship of Friends, AKA Living Presence, by successfully exploiting the gap between church and state, and becoming quite wealthy in the process. He routinely teaches his followers that having a conscience is a weakness to be resisted. His victims are lead to believe that he is on a mission from God and eventually submit to his sexual advances or they are summarily kicked out of his group, often left destitute to fend for themselves. Several have committed suicide.

75. Golden Veil - April 4, 2012

A psychopathic narcissist thrives in “Crazy House”…
not so unusual…

‘ Cult leaders have an outstanding ability to charm and win over followers. They beguile and seduce. They enter a room and garner all the attention. They command the utmost respect and obedience. These are “individuals whose narcissism is so extreme and grandiose that they exist in a kind of splendid isolation in which the creation of the grandiose self takes precedence over legal, moral or interpersonal commitments.” ‘

~ The above from the book “Captive Hearts, Captive Minds”,
by Madeleine Landau, excerpted here:

http://www.anandainfo.com/cult_leaders.html

76. nigel - April 4, 2012

75. Golden Veil

Gurdjieff said – “You would not believe how many ‘dead’ people rule our lives” – I think he meant psychopaths…..Nigel.

77. nigel - April 4, 2012

Wikipedia definition of psychopathy

Psychopathy (/saɪˈkɒpəθi/[1][2] from the Ancient Greek ψυχή “psyche”, -soul and πάθος “pathos” -passion) is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights of others and the rules of society. Psychopaths have a total lack of empathy and remorse, and have very shallow emotions. They are generally regarded as callous, selfish, dishonest, arrogant, aggressive, impulsive, irresponsible, and hedonistic.

There is no consensus about the symptom criteria for psychopathy, and no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis of “psychopathy” itself.’

78. nigel - April 4, 2012

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?

79. Des - April 4, 2012

Nigel, in addition to the occasional comment here, have you thought about starting your own blog? Just a suggestion. I’m sure you would do a great job with it, and I would gladly check in occasionally, as I’m doing with this one. Here, I feel like you’re standing on the park bench with people walking by ignoring you. With your own blog, it’s a smaller audience, but at least the people who check in will be listening more intently. You have a lot to offer.

80. Tempus Fugit - April 5, 2012

Okay Des, I agree with your last sentence. Nigel does have a lot to offer – so why are you telling him to go away?

I wonder how many silent readers of this blog never post anything here. They take something for themselves but do nothing to help the hundreds of people that might read their words and be inspired to leave this horrible FOF cult or recover from their experience as a member.

Don’t like what Nigel writes or what Nigel quotes?

Then just skip over it and don’t read it. But please don’t try to silence someone who is trying to save others from this garbage cult.

Look. In my opinion Nigel consistently speaks the truth about Burton, and that’s the most important reason anyone can have for writing on this blog. Nigel, I think you should just ignore your critics. As Dale Carnegie once said: “Nobody Kicks a Dead Dog.” In other words, most criticism comes from envy.

In my opinion Burton is a sociopathic criminal. This truth needs to be spoken over and over so those still trapped have a chance to escape.

In my opinion this blog is not about having an elevated intellectual discussion about spirituality and esotericism. It’s about opening the lid on the toilet of spiritual pretension that is the FOF. In that toilet is the stinking shit of theft, rape, and abuse.

Our job is to help people smell it.

81. Aristmus - April 5, 2012

I didn’t hear anybody say “go away”. Tolerance, yes; sympathy, OK; but I don’t understand why any encouragement is called for, unless you’re just being subversive.
Dilution is the solution to pollution.

82. Golden Veil - April 5, 2012

Things haven’t changed, have they?

“You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

[ Abraham Lincoln ]

83. Aristmus - April 5, 2012

Nice sentiments Ms. Veil, but the correct quotation speaks to fooling not pleasing.
“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.”
Nigel is to be commended for candidly confessing his mental weaknesses, but that doesn’t make him a shining example.

84. Whale Rider - April 5, 2012

Burton Files Chapter 13

Vacant House, CA (USA)-Robert E. Burton, corrupt leader of the now morally bankrupt Fellowship of Friends, AKA Living Presence, is seeking protection from his ever increasing number of detractors by shielding himself from the court of public opinion and shifting all responsibility for his actions to his God delusion and to his remaining ardent followers.

“There’s nothing left,” said Burton. “I owe too many people apologies. My continued survival depends solely upon the good faith of others.”

Burton has always profited from using the quotes and pithy sayings of people smarter than him, as well as from the financial donations of his captive audience members, not to mention their sperm. But now with the emergence of the internet and a more informed public, his victim pool may be shrinking as his debt to society grows larger. Apparently he is running short on time and a conscience.

85. nigel - April 5, 2012

I thought of defending my position on this blog but it seems to have been done for me. Des – why create another ‘outlet’ when this is a pivotal site for FOF-attrition? Also, I do not know how to ‘manage’ a blogsite, let alone be a moderator on my own site. No – this is the place I must be – ‘defenders’ or ‘enemies’ of my position. I also tried to find the quote by Rodney Collin about the expression of ‘truth through time’, but it did not become ‘retrievable’. However, there is this beautiful passage, which was made a song in the early 1970’s…..

(You got it – I am becoming ‘high’ and needing my additional ‘meds’)

Desiderata – by Max Ehrmann

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Max Ehrmann c.1920

86. nigel - April 5, 2012

83. Aristmus

No-one is trying to be ‘the bees knees’…..Nigel.

87. Golden Veil - April 5, 2012

83. Aristmus

It turns that that both of these pithy sayings quoted by both you and me as being by Abraham Lincoln are no more than hearsay, as far as him actually having said either of them. I spoke to Lincoln scholar Dr. Rodney Davis today by phone at Knox College (see link regarding his authority) and there are no contemporary written records of Lincoln actually saying either quotation. Dr. Knox said that he may have said something like these quotes (no preference of one over the other) in a campaign speech in Clinton, IL in 1860, but there are no written records. He said that although people often use these “Lincoln” (or some say P.T. Barnum) quotes in speeches, the Lincoln scholars do not even discuss them.

My quotation is the “pleasing” version; that meaning is my point.

The “fool” quote is about deception, not my point.

http://www.lincoln-institute.org/symposia/sym2008/videos/davis.htm

88. Golden Veil - April 5, 2012

Two previous postings from the blog worth re-posting:

Anna wrote on April 30, 2008 at 8:40 pm:

Somebody (342)

A couple of Robert Burtons’s insightful photographs:

here’s one he gave me, via of course a boy follower, was “Robert sends you his love and wishes you to know that he’s noticed you’ve put on weight”.

The first challenge of course was to turn this in to something ‘esoteric’ I spent about a year on that.
~
Oh yes… he asked my husband to “only wear black underpants from now on.”
~
Of the fifteen thousand students who have left the school quite a number have already described their experience on the blog. Many had been in ‘denial’ about it for years. You would get statistically more accurate descriptions from here. It is terribly difficult to confront the awareness that you have participated in something degrading…

One of my ex-husbands told me that he loathed it. He said it was totally unemotional and unpleasant. That Robert would just wait there for him with the lower half of his face covered with KY. He could not even arouse himself by closing his eyes and imagining women, so Robert insisted that he took Viagra.

Around Robert you enter this strange world in which heartfelt reposes become very confused. Disgust is translated into ‘third state’ It is very difficult to admit that you are disappointed, or repelled especially when you have sacrificed so much, dignity, your family’s happiness, and ultimately perhaps your soul…

How many ‘events’ have you paid dearly for and then nothing really happens; you don’t have the fourth states and verifications you have craved. So what do you say when asked “how was it?” How do you elaborate…

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

from a post Sea wrote on April 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm:

“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…”

89. Aristmus - April 6, 2012

87/Golden Veil
My source was Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, but you are right in that this remark was attributed to Lincoln by Alexander K. McClure in a book written in 1904. Both are true, as we used to say.
My point was that certain all too frequent posters make this a dull blog and I question the motives of those who encourage them.

90. nigel - April 7, 2012

…..dedicated to ‘Whale Rider’…..Nigel.

…..from “The Dialogue of Soul and Self”, by William Butler Yeats

My Self. A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;

The finished man among his enemies? –
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what’s the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?

I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.

I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

91. nigel - April 9, 2012

…..can anyone tell me/us if the RVW is now a ‘crumbling ruin’ or if it is still a ‘going concern’? Perhaps it was ‘put on the back boiler’ in favour of The Theatron. What other elements are involved? Does Burton’s downward-spiraling derangement have any influence?…..Nigel.

…..quote from Official Renaissance Vineyard and Winery site…..

“Renaissance Vineyard

The Renaissance Vineyard was planted in 1975-1982. Varieties are planted in carefully selected microclimates and soil combinations to maximize their potential. We practice organic viticulture, and use no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides other than elemental sulfur. The combination of poor soils and old vines limits our yields to well below 1.5 tons per acre on average. (In comparison, Napa Valley averages about 4 tons per acre.)

What makes our wine distinctive

Our unique terroir leaves its unmistakable signature in each of our wines. Regardless of the variety, all tend to be concentrated, intensely flavored, with pure fruit aromas, a marked spicy/minerally side, and a powerful structure. Consequently, Renaissance wines have outstanding aging potential, and increase in complexity and harmony over the course of many years in the bottle. Even our white wines age exceedingly well, developing rich honeyed, nutty flavors with extended cellaring.”

92. Whale Rider - April 10, 2012

Thanks for the Yeats poem, Nigel. I particularly enjoyed the reference, “frog spawn of a blind’s man ditch”, which I repeated to myself in my best Monty Python voice, and it was delicious.

As a cult survivor it’s the issue of survivor’s guilt for me, in light of somebody’s quotes just above, knowing that my silence meant others would have to suffer needlessly at the hands of Burton.

Remorse aside, we are dealing with someone whom is a sadist at the core, and people like that need to be contained or they will continue to prey on others.

IMO, to mature, grow a self, and heal our personality quirks it takes both adequate introspection and an empathic mirroring transference relationship with another person, one whom lacks the need to feel omnipotent whom you can trust to mirror back to you your strengths and not just your weaknesses.

A self-centered person with a malignant narcissistic personality lacking a conscience and calling themselves a guru would have great difficulty tolerating this level of empathetic relationship with others; his personality is fused with his one-sided self-concept, rendering him unable to empathize with “other” people or points of view, including his own shadow side, which he projects or transfers onto other “sleeping life people” in a mask of authoritarian power.

A successful psychopath will operate within a network or culture of “self-less” masochistic people he can control through his persona and false mirroring, through mimicking back to his network what they want to see in him.

Secretly though, he envies others and displays covetous behavior. He cannot operate successfully alone and has difficulty forming deep, meaningful, long-term relationships. They rarely cry.

A person lacking an appropriate amount of narcissism, with a skewed, “self-less” nature, might easily gravitate toward such a personality or an environment where someone else takes all the credit.

A successful psychopath will master certain “acts” which have predictable effects on those around him to manipulate his “servants” into believing just about anything about him. He knows that people with a conscience or whom operate on good faith will tend to give him the benefit of the doubt, which he uses to exploit to his benefit.

It seems to me a person with more compensated narcissism and some personal integrity would gravitate toward “cleaner”, win-win situations more often than not and head for the exits when they end up too many times on the losing end or the situation gets overwhelmingly messy and lop-sided.

Happy Re-birthing Day to everyone!

93. Aristmus - April 10, 2012

Qwazy Easter Bunny Wabbits

“The word soul or spirit is man’s ultimate symbol. In Jesus’s words,
“What is it if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul?”
A man who has lost contact with his soul (suffering a madness) is truly in a monstrous state; this is seen in the egomaniac, the megalomaniac, the world dictator and in the false saint.”
-Lawrence Reiter, July 2000

94. Another name - April 10, 2012

versus the stranger.

2. Is about happy pills like prozac and paxil etc.

3, Is a solution a life enhancing principle to help ourselves and the one’s we spend time with. .

Amazing, Robert Burton, Gerard and laywer was/is on Prozac Maybe many others where on prozac as many would go and see the psychiatrist or psychologist.
So when people numb there feelings is this a precursos for insensitivity and possible causing others more hurt?

Fellowship members be aware. Any blind follower be aware and ask your leader which medication he/she uses.

Enjoy.

95. nigel - April 10, 2012

94. Another Name

Fluoxetine (also known by the tradenames Prozac, Sarafem, Fontex, among others) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. Fluoxetine was first documented in 1974 by scientists from Eli Lilly and Company.[1] It was presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 1977, with Eli Lilly receiving final approval to market the drug in December 1987. Fluoxetine went off-patent in August 2001.

Fluoxetine is approved for the treatment of major depression (including pediatric depression), obsessive-compulsive disorder (in both adult and pediatric populations), bulimia nervosa, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.[2] In combination with olanzapine it is known as Symbyax.

Despite the availability of newer agents, fluoxetine remains extremely popular. In 2010, over 24.4 million prescriptions for generic formulations of fluoxetine were filled in the United States alone,[3] making it the third most prescribed antidepressant after sertraline (SSRI; became generic in 2006) and citalopram (SSRI; became generic in 2003).[3]

(Hey – I take Olanzapine!!!!!…..Nigel)

96. nigel - April 10, 2012

94. Another Name

Paroxetine (also known by the trade names Aropax, Paxil, Seroxat, Sereupin) is an SSRI antidepressant. Marketing of the drug began in 1992 by the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham, now GlaxoSmithKline. Paroxetine is used to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, Posttraumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder[1] in adult outpatients.

In adults, the efficacy of paroxetine for depression is comparable to that of older tricyclic antidepressants, with fewer side effects and lower toxicity.[2][3] Differences with newer antidepressants are subtler and mostly confined to side effects. It shares the common side effects and contraindications of other SSRIs, with high rates of nausea, somnolence, and sexual side effects. Unlike two other popular SSRI antidepressants, fluoxetine and sertraline, paroxetine is associated with clinically significant weight gain.[4] Pediatric trials of paroxetine for depression did not demonstrate statistical efficacy better than placebo.[5][6][7]

Discontinuing paroxetine is associated with a high risk of withdrawal syndrome.[8][9] Due to the increased risk of birth defects, pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant are recommended to consult with their physician.[10][11][12][13][14]

97. nigel - April 11, 2012

Emotional Capacities and Sensitivity in Psychopaths

Willem H. J. Martens, MD, PhD

Director of the “W. Kahn Institute of Theoretical Psychiatry and Neuroscience.”

“Although psychopaths demonstrate emotional abnormalities such as shallow affect, lack of empathy, incapacity for love, lack of guilt or remorse, lack of fear, and emotional processing and response deficiencies they may show normal emotional responses or emotional hypersensitive in other areas. The correlates of emotional incapacities, emotional hypersensitivity, and normal emotional activities in psychopaths are studied and discussed in this paper. Emotional hypersensitivity might be linked with: a history of neglect, rejection and abuse; insult; changes which are forced or not under control of the psychopath; obstacles that prevent the psychopath to do what he or she wants to do; narcissistic injury; broken friendships or relationship. Normal emotional functioning might be associate with grief, warm relationship, adequate attention, disease, academic and/or occupational success, impressive events, confrontations, contemplation and maturation, hidden suffering (also as a result of neurobiological determination).
——————————————————————————–
1. Introduction

According to Cleckley (1984) the psychopath is able to reproduce the “pantomime” of emotions, without experiencing the emotions itself. But, the author suggests that adequate reproduction of pantomime of emotions requires understanding of the meaning and logic of emotions in specific contexts, and that this is quiet remarkable for someone who is not experiencing the emotions itself. The processing of emotional expressions is fundamental for normal socialization and interaction. Adequate emotional functioning requires a) self-consciousness, b) a Self that evaluates changes by means of self-observation and reflection, and c) a cognitive ability to observe, discern, associate, compare, and revoke (Hales et al., 1994). Emotional condition refers to internal processes, which are connected with somatic and physiological activity. It correlates also with observable changes in face, voice, body and activity levels that occurs when the central nervous system is activated by emotional salient stimuli (Lewis & Michelson, 1983). Psychopathy is characterized by emotional deficiencies and correlated neurobiological dysfunctions (Martens, 2002), and abnormal internal and intrapsychic processes (Martens, 1997, 2002c), and severe socialization problems (Martens, 2000; Cleckley, 1984). Martens (1997, 2000) revealed that a history of rejection; neglect; physical and sexual abuse; parental antisocial behavior, – substance abuse, and – divorce; adoption; and a bad and unsafe neighborhood might be linked to emotional deficits in psychopaths. It is argued that different forms of aggressive emotions that are significant in psychopaths may be related to disparate facets of psychopathy such as impulsivity, irritability, social-emotional, and moral incapacities (Martens, 2003a), and that these relationships may be mediated by common dispositional factors (Patrick & Zempolich, 1998) such as negative experiences in childhood and adolescence (Martens, 1997) and neurobiological and genetic determination (Martens, 2002a).

Eidemiller & Yustitky (1987) discovered that following factors may contribute to abnormal emotional development in juvenile psychopaths a) expansion of the sphere of parental emotions, b) preference for the child qualities in an adolescent, c) lack of educational self-confidence, d) parental fear of losing the child, e) underdeveloped parental feelings, f) projection of the parent’s unwanted qualities onto the adolescent, and g) introduction of spousal conflicts into the educational sphere. Moreover, the emergence of abnormal moral emotions later in life may be linked to temperament and attachment deficiencies in early childhood of the psychopath (Saltaris, 2002).”

98. Mick Danger - April 11, 2012

One day the new Director at the mental health asylum was being shown around the facility by the retiring Doctor when he noticed a building surround by a high security fence. The old doctor explained to the new doctor “Even in this business every so often we come across what are called “hopeless cases” where all the treatments we have tried have failed.”
The new Doctor was intrigued and wanted to meet with these special cases, and so the gates were unlocked and they went to meet inmates.
The first room was filled with every sort of athletic and exercise equipment. The new doctor asked the patient how he was doing and he responded: “Well Doc, I figure I’m going to be here for a long time so I might as well improve my body.”
The second room was like a library with books and papers everywhere. Upon inquiry this guy said: “Well Doc, I figure I’m going to be here for a long time, so I might as well improve my mind.”
The last room was filled with cans and jars all kinds of nuts; and in the middle of the room a naked man was lying on a table with a peanut balanced on the tip of his erect penis. The new doctor asked him what he was doing and the man replied: “Me? I’m fucking nuts.”

99. WhaleRider - April 12, 2012

Mick Danger:
Thank you! I laughed out loud! That joke works on so many levels.

Early in his career, Dr. Milton Erickson, MD became the head of a psychiatric asylum in Rhode Island. Upon touring the facility he noticed one of the inmates, a middle aged man standing aloof, wearing a white robe with long hair and a beard. He was told the man was under the delusion that he was Jesus Christ, and that he refused to participate in group therapy, content to wander aimlessly around. He managed to stay out trouble and was considered hopeless. Some time later Dr Erickson approached the man and said to him, “I hear you have experience in carpentry.” The man was soon put to work doing small carpentry jobs around the asylum. To the astonishment of all, eventually his psychosis was broken; he was able the leave the asylum and enter the work force as a carpenter.

100. Golden Veil - April 12, 2012

My dad was a police detective who, after working in vice, homicide, etc., ended up in investigating car theft rings and even making a film about it. There was one serial car thief my dad put behind bars more than once until he introduced him to his best friend, Al, who owned a firm that repossessed cars for banks. The thief became Al’s star car repossessor.

101. nigel - April 12, 2012

Here is a Cult Mental Health joke…..

Q. What do you call a Jehovah’s Witness in a lunatic asylum?
A. A commited Christian!

102. WhaleRider - April 12, 2012

I feel the measure of how “advanced, evolved or civilized” a society is can be seen in how that society treats its mentally ill and elderly.

Where did the first asylums originate? Undoubtedly from monasteries dedicated to spiritual growth, the antithesis of what Burton has created.

The pejorative meme of “stupid saint” is, IMO, used by Burton and his ilk as a narcissistic, dehumanizing envy attack against a person who still possesses compassion and a conscience.

103. nigel - April 12, 2012

Asylum (Latin) – meaning ‘place of safety’…..

Just like WhaleRider states, it is the opposite of the cult environment, where those of ‘the higher positions’ (I hate to use the phrase ‘higher level of being) tread all over and manipulate those who have come and joined for humane (artistic, cultural and dare I say it, altruistic) reasons. The likes of G—-d H—n, L—a K—-n and H—a M—–r are so entrenched in their own self-importance (inflated by Burton’s methods of operation and his use of the ‘pyramid’ method of power/control) that they diappear up their own arses trying to rearrange other folks’ lives.

In my experience of lunatic asylums, along with aggressive persons and people unable to change their lives by approaching their own psychological scars, there are so many souls who have been crushed by life beyond what they can bear and need a ‘break’.

To lead a small, but noble life should be our aim…..Nigel.

104. Whale Rider - April 13, 2012

nigel:
All joking aside, I am happy you find asylum here and impressed that you can talk frankly about such challenging conditions as pharmaceutically induced erectile dysfunction. You still have balls!

Take it easy on yourself.

Keep this a safe environment for yourself, nigel, and let’s all work to keep it an asylum by respecting each other’s boundaries with as much compassion we can muster.

BTW, nigel, I wouldn’t recommend making the effort to see the “I am Fishead” movie, there are some disturbing images the filmmaker repetitively throws at your retinas that you might just find unsettling later and that IMHO could possibly fuel a bout of paranoia.

The movie paints a very demonic portrait of people with psychopathic, shark-like behavior, and rightfully so. Some people leave a wide swath of human suffering in their wake as they move through life, not to mention great ecological damage.

It also raises the issue of overuse of mood altering pharmaceuticals, “happy pills”, in our modern culture, thus creating a victim pool of apathetic, compliant, individuals with narrowed emotional affect ranges who will endure the yoke of control and collude with the psychopath at the top pulling the strings, as long as there are mere promises of ego rewards…which has been found to alter dopamine levels in the brain, which in turn, as demonstrated in nature, inhibits negative learning and that causes individuals to ignore the obvious evidence to the contrary that the psychopath is always acting in their best interest. This is how entire corporations like cigarette companies and cults become corrupt.

nigel, just to be clear, no one is saying here that you take your medications just to be happy, comfortably numb, or for shyness. You have a serious condition.

Given your condition, if I may ask, is taking the meds to better function in your life, be able to pursue your career choice, and help you avoid involuntary intuitionalization seem worth enduring all the medicine’s negative side effects? Can you imagine what life would be like without your meds?

Let’s also invite Des to take up some space here on the blog, too. Hey, why not?

There’s plenty of room for all.

Des, if nigel took a break from posting, what would you like to post or read about in the space that nigel creates?

105. nigel - April 13, 2012

104 WhaleRider

Yes – I can imagine a life without my anti-psychotics and mood-stabilizers (funnily enough, I have been recalling, over these past weeks when I would normally have a hypo-manic episode, how I have acted in the past, not having taken my medication) – it’s that old area – sex energy. One time I was sectioned, rather than arrested for ‘remote control sexual harrassment’ when I was acting strangely in a city pub. You see – I do not trust myself – my experiences and my life-style have left me ‘psychologically raw’. I am as much ‘me without buffers’ as I could possibly be.

Again, I am going to stop posting until Sunday 22 April to deal with my life and give others a chance to participate…..Nigel.

106. Another name - April 13, 2012

Dear Nigel,

You have a email address? As you need support? So people could email you if they wanted?

107. nigel - April 13, 2012

106. Another Name

Yes. That sounds like a good idea. I am sure bloggers have heard enough of my difficulties in the mental health arena – unless it can benefit others having ‘psycho-wobbles’. My email address is…..

nhprice@gmail.com…..it would be good to communicate…..Nigel

108. Des - April 13, 2012

Whale Rider wrote: “There’s plenty of room for all. Des, if nigel took a break from posting, what would you like to post or read about in the space that nigel creates?”

I didn’t suggest that he “take a break from posting.”

What I wrote was, “Nigel, in addition to the occasional comment here, have you thought about starting your own blog? Just a suggestion. I’m sure you would do a great job with it, and I would gladly check in occasionally, as I’m doing with this one. Here, I feel like you’re standing on the park bench with people walking by ignoring you. With your own blog, it’s a smaller audience, but at least the people who check in will be listening more intently. You have a lot to offer.”

THe spirit behind my suggestion is that it might provide a creative outlet for healing that would complement and balancethis outlet, and actually I would suggest the same to anyone who needs to openly express their feelings as they come to grips with their experience in this cult, or any cult. Starting a blog is not hard, and Nigel might be surprised how much it helps:

https://en.wordpress.com/signup/

It may lead to some greater balance, both inside and out. It could help someone deal with inner struggles and savor the triumphs, but also would allow this page to breathe a bit. It doesn’t need constant participation and contribution. It just needs to breathe, in and out.

One of the main symptoms and causes of cult behavior and cult thinking in my opinion is imbalance. The imbalance expresses itself in many different ways. Thinking in extremes: it’s all here, or it’s all there. There’s nothing out there. Everything is here. We are blessed. They are cursed. All is good here. All is bad there. All ideas here are good. Ideas out there are suspect. Don’t trust them. Don’t allow anything in from the outside. But trust the cult completely. We’re in the cult and we’re blessed, so anything we do must be blessed, and so on.

It’s an unhealthy view of the world. It’s dysfunctional. It’s thinking and acting in extremes. And ironically, the cult pretends to be balanced (“right work of centers,” etc.)

These imbalances were in some ways brought into the cult by many of us, but for the most part, one of the real tragedies of this cult is that most people entered it healthy, and left it unhealthy, or with some unhealthy symptoms at least — with the expection of those who ran for the exits as soon as they joined. I can’t diagnose anyone in particular, but it would be helpful if each of us in our own way would seek balance and healing. Part of that may mean just breathing in and out. Enjoying the silence, and then enjoying the sound, and then enjoying the silence again.

Again, it’s just a suggestion, just a hunch — that’s all. I know almost no one who is contributing to this discussion, including Nigel, so I could be completely wrong. Obviously it’s up to him to figure it out. He can ignore, or he can give it a try. Maybe the idea was already there, and I’m just pointing something out that he had already considered.

By the way, Nigel, I suggested you would have a “smaller audience” with your own blog. I could be completely wrong about that, too. You never know. You obviously enjoy writing very much. Why not?

109. Golden Veil - April 14, 2012

Everyone has their own opinion, of course. For the most part, I agree with what Des has written above. We differ a bit though on our thoughts about what a certain multi-poster selects to put here.

Cutting and pasting, and posting links ~ there’s always going to be some useful things that someone finds and posts to help with understanding the strange man at the helm of the Fellowship of Friends. Sometimes just naming an evil helps remove some of its power. There’s a lot of that going on here on this blog. But I do think that post after post of cut and pastes of wordy definitions, along with poetry and songs that can be a stretch to find relevance in, can “clog the blog” a bit.

I feel that the most important posts are those of the former members who were deeply engaged with the cult and its founder, and those of long time former members who discuss their feelings, rather than post the encyclopedic, repetitive wordy cut and pastes.

These words from Des ~ my edit ~ describe:

“… a creative outlet for healing… anyone who needs to openly express their feelings as they come to grips with their experience in this cult, or any cult.”

an appropriate use of this blog for the person writing it, the former members and others who read it, along with current members who are curious, the fence sitters, and the seekers who just might be doing a little research before they make their final decision on whether or not they’ll embark on attending a certain trio of introductory meetings.

110. Fee fi fo fum - April 14, 2012

109. Golden Veil

I agree.

111. nigel - April 14, 2012

109. Golden Veil / 110. Fee fi fo fum

…..mmmph…..Nigel.

112. Des - April 15, 2012

109. “We differ a bit though on our thoughts about what a certain multi-poster selects to put here.”

I agree with you more than you know. I’m suggesting a positive (trying something new) rather than a negative (trying to stop something old).

113. Des - April 15, 2012

On a different topic, it’s become clear to me that the expression “leaving the school” was just another example of cult speak. It framed the action as something negative, and implied there was actually something there to leave behind — as though it was a terrbible loss and filled with sadness. In reality, there’s nothing “there” to leave behind. It was always an imagined entity filled with superstition and fear. The Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence cult prevents someone from actualizing their possibilities and fulfilling their potential (amongst other things).

What sadness is there in leaving that? And what loss?

If the sadness was in leaving friends behind who would no longer be a part of your life, then: What kind of friendship was that? Leaving behind the madness would be a more apt expression for what happens. It’s true that much of the world is filled with madness, and that each of one of us may occasionally contribute to it in our own way. But a person can definitely try to remove themselves from negative environments, and place themselves in an environment where they are more likely to fulfill their potential, where they are more likely to live a healthy and strong life, and where they are more likely to thrive and contribute something positive to society and serve the common good, whatever that may be.

But if a person does believe that the world is filled with madness and that the universe is “brutal” (Burton’s word), then what an absurd and dreadful mistake to believe that the Fellowship of Friends was anything close to an island of sanity. And come to think of it, the word “brutal” is getting pretty close to a good description for the madness that this cult contrives.

114. Mick Danger - April 15, 2012

Best Freudian slip so far – “Terrbible”, although certain Christian sects may not appreciate the humor. “Many a truth is spoke in jest.”

115. Des - April 16, 2012

Good one, Mick. TerrBible is about right. Terrible fiction, and many scenes of terror and violence. The Bible is not rated PG-13.

It’s amazing that people are able see (to some degree) that the Bible is fiction, and bad fiction at that. It’s fairly obvious that it generates lots of superstition and fear. But when it came to the Fourth Way, we weren’t able to see the same fiction and same superstition. The “Fourth Way” and “The Ark” (as described by Robert Burton) are just strange bits of *science* fiction — with lots of numbers and planets and diagrams (that makes it seem more believable for some) and strange theories about the past and the future, and then you have strange monstrous beings that are attacking mankind and wreaking havoc (the moon, world 96, etc.). And then there are the chosen few who will escape the attack and emerge unscathed, saving humanity for future generations. Sounds like it’s straight out of Hollywood, but that’s exactly what we were taught. And yet we didn’t see that as fiction?

116. brucelevy - April 16, 2012
117. brucelevy - April 16, 2012

One can pretty accurately assume that anyone who presents as a teacher or guru is ,at best, a borderline sociopath, and at worst a psychopath.

118. silentpurr - April 16, 2012

I think it was Robert’s fear based intent from the start, to create a life for himself entirely free from the “law of accident”.
A comfortable life “buffered” from what could be a potentially hurtful, annoying world.
I don’t believe Robert can face life without his padding of entourage, which also serves as the ongoing audience.

119. Dennis Larson - April 17, 2012

A video by Claude Larson on the Fourth Way and FOF

http://vimeo.com/40325247

120. Arthur - April 18, 2012

That video was amazing, and to me what is more amazing is just an hour before I stumbled upon somebody called “Samael Aun Weor” born Victor Manuel Gomez Rodriquez in Bogata, Colombia.

I went to wiki and read a little bit then I went to the Rick Ross cult network and read a little more. At Rick Ross they have comments that sound similar to this blog.

The reason I mention this is because while reading, I was thinking this sure does sound like the fourth way, Gurdjieff and Burton.

It’s interesting and he has a slightly different spin on the above.

121. Des - April 18, 2012

Walt Whitman wrote:
“The sun and stars that float in the open air;
The apple-shaped earth, and we upon it—surely the drift of them is something grand!
I do not know what it is, except that it is grand, and that it is happiness…”

——

Thank you, Claude and Dennis. Your video is fantastic. This may not completely mesh with your theory, Claude, or maybe it does, but you’ve inspired me to write a bit on the topic.

My current view of the Fourth Way is that “system” is not the right word. “Invention” is a better word. It’s a story, a fictional account that attempts to explain the universe and our place within it. And to a large degree the fourth way is no different from any of the other inventions that are available to us — such as the beliefs of scientology or the beliefs of mormonism. Like any work of fiction, maybe the fourth way has some truth in it that made it seem more plausible (to us, anyway), and therefore like any novel or work of science fiction, it engaged certain listeners or readers more than others. We thought it was true and wonderful. We believed in it, and felt we were involved in something exciting and special.

But our minds, thanks to the power of imagination, can make almost anything seem to be true or wise, and we can even take a belief and add another layer of belief on top of it — the belief that we actually KNOW and have “verified” what it is we believe. It leads a person into some unhealthy territories. The ego believes that “I am special. I am one of the chosen few. I am blessed while others are not blessed, and I know something that others do not know, and I am separate from others and therefore luckier than them.” All of these are concepts of the ego, and they were all taught in the Fellowship of Friends, and the door to these ideas was opened wide by the fourth way and the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

The important thing for the ego is to DISPLAY our supposed level of expertise to others as an attempt to separate ourselves from them. Connecting with others is irrelevant. Separating ourselves from others is what the ego needs. The ego, in its fully developed state, has no qualms about using people, abusing them, and then discarding them summarily without a thought. After all, the goal is to be separate, and any genuine connection or feelings of love will just get in the way of that objective. And yes, that sounds like the attitude of a cult leader.

I sense there are certain simple truths that we do know and can verify, and this is one of the reasons that I’m drawn more to the non-dualistic ideas that Claude describes. Speaking for myself — I know nothing about the afterlife, and I know nothing about the future, and cannot begin to grasp the all-compassing meaning of life, and our definite place in the universe. I can imagine these things, that is all, and I can live my life with a sense of mystery. No matter how many diagrams and psychological buzzwords that I present to others, or that others present to me, and no matter how many mathematical problems I solve, and no matter how many puzzles that I believe I have solved, why we are here and where we are going are just beautiful mysteries — mysteries that silence the mind and strike wonder in me. But they are mysteries.

Within that sense of mystery, I believe we have been given a very clear choice — we can choose to see the universe as a universe of shortages, where there’s only a certain very small amount of “good stuff” to go around, a brutal place with horrible fates that await all but the chosen few (which is a very typical world view of religions and cults, including this one) –or– we can choose to see the universe as a universe of abundance. One universe appeals to the ego, and the desire to be separate and “better” than others. The other universe appeals to something quite different.

Bernard Berenson wrote: “The older I get, the more the mystery thickens.”

I think he was on to something.

122. nigel - April 18, 2012

Sorry – I could not download the Claude Larson video and I have no sound anyway. However, I feel that no-one needs any type of religious or philosophic system in order to live a worthwhile life. All principles should come from within – conscience, kindness and human worth. If the Big Bang Theory is anything it is that something Innately Intelligent exploded and created diversity – we need to climb back to that Principle by connecting with other humans in a humane way and break down the barriers that race and ethnic aggression create.

To Des….. I am thinking, as of your suggestion, of hosting a wordpress blog, calling it – allinthemind.com. It will cost me some money, but may be worth it in the long run. Its subtitle could be – ‘psychological approaches to recovery from mental trauma’. What do you think…..Nigel

123. Des - April 18, 2012

Nigel, I really like your thinking in the above post, as well as the way you articulate it. Thank you for sharing.

Regarding the blog… If money is an issue, you can also go to blogger.com and I believe you can do one for free. There are probably some other free blog sites out there as well.

“All in the Mind” sounds good to me! Above all else, enjoy and have fun if you decide to launch the site. Pictures and personal and humorous anecdotes, quotes from the so-called experts, and just let it fly. Best wishes…

124. Whale Rider - April 18, 2012

Des:
“The ego, in its fully developed state, has no qualms about using people, abusing them, and then discarding them summarily without a thought…The ego believes that “I am special. I am one of the chosen few. I am blessed while others are not blessed, and I know something that others do not know, and I am separate from others and therefore luckier than them.” All of these are concepts of the ego…”

First of all, thank you for posting your thoughts. I urge you to post more.

BTW, it irks me that you are using the word “ego” above to describe narcissistic personality or as it were, ego run amok. A “fully developed ego” is far from the mark.

If one dog bites you, it doesn’t mean all dogs are bad.

These technical terms, ego and narcissism, or “psychological buzz words” as you might describe them, are not synonymous.

Yes, our ego (or personality) separates us from others in part through maintaining healthy ego boundaries, starting with, “I” am not my mommy or daddy, and that is extremely important for growth and for maintaining a healthy equilibrium in the psyche. When those boundaries are weak or get abusively violated psychic equilibrium is compromised and mental illnesses can ensue. One of the most common denominators for mental illness is childhood abuse or neglect.

And at the same time, a person with a strong sense of “Self” (as separate from the ego and a mysterious entity we all share) has the flexibility to relax their ego boundaries, which in its most human display allows us to express compassion for others.

So “ego” is your consciousness of your Self, and “Self” is that which comprises both your consciousness and unconsciousness. According to some, when the ego is fused with the Self, the result is a narcissistic personality structure. Think about it.

Also, notice how many edits there are in Claude’s video? Apparently, he had to stop, collect his thoughts and then continue talking in what we are led to believe is in a linear fashion. Why, do you think he had to do that? So he could go answer the phone ringing in the background? Nope. It’s because, IMHO, talking about duality vs. non-duality is a bit like attempting to describe water to a fish. Thinking about duality vs. non-duality and using flimsy language to describe the paradox causes the mind to start getting unclear, imprecise, and a bit confused. IMO, the snake bites his tail not because he is unified, but because he doesn’t know himself…it hurts to do that…or maybe the snake is attempting to eat its own shit…?

Personally, I don’t believe that adopting a “non-dualistic” approach to the world is the antidote to life’s problems nor the answer to the questions, “who am I?”…never mind the question, “Am I free?” Suggesting, as Claude does, that one can be “free in one’s neuroses or addictions” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, and just so happens to work great as a technique for trance induction. That is trance logic at work, IMO. Been there, done that, not going back.

What was Claude “doing” (…or “not doing”?) by flashing his eyes and looking so intently into the camera? He was making an “effort” while talking about how “effortless” it all is.

Sorry, I didn’t get the feeling that he was addressing the deeper mystery in me…more like a weakness. Which is OK, I can share my weaknesses, too, as long as he is willing to share his and not edit them out.

125. Des - April 19, 2012

Whale Rider wrote: “Yes, our ego (or personality) separates us from others in part through maintaining healthy ego boundaries, starting with, “I” am not my mommy or daddy, and that is extremely important for growth and for maintaining a healthy equilibrium in the psyche. When those boundaries are weak or get abusively violated psychic equilibrium is compromised and mental illnesses can ensue. One of the most common denominators for mental illness is childhood abuse or neglect.

And at the same time, a person with a strong sense of “Self” (as separate from the ego and a mysterious entity we all share) has the flexibility to relax their ego boundaries, which in its most human display allows us to express compassion for others.”

Sure, I agree completely. The distinction is this: When people suggest that “we are all one”, this is very different from maintaining a connection with others, or a feeling of connectedness.

You can maintain that connectedness with others, or with nature, or with the universe, however you want to describe it, and still maintain a healthy sense of self. They are not opposed to each other. The “ego” (yes, another one of those buzzwords) is — by my definition — taking one’s sense of self and imagining yourself living and breathing in separate and higher realm than others — whether it’s the realm of, ‘I have more money than you,’ or ‘I have more consciousness than you,’ or ‘I am better than you.’

What I hear you saying is that the concept that “we are all one” is akin to removing those healthy boundaries that you describe. But I’m not suggesting that “we are all one” (assuming this is what you meant). I’m suggesting that “the ego” is trying to be one-up on everyone else, and everything else — a constant struggle to gain superiority and control.

In short, I believe you can gain a sense of connectedness without surrendering those healthy boundaries that you describe above. In fact, I think the two often are part of the same thing.

126. WhaleRider - April 19, 2012

To be more precise: a fully developed ego can relate to the unconscious aspects of the Self with objectivity, i. e. owning their unconsciousness or shadow side without The need to project it onto others (including the inner guru), while a less developed ego that is fused with the Self falls in love with only what they can see reflected about the Self that they like and feels threatened by negative aspects of the unconscious, which can overwhelm and destabilize the ego, thus compelling them to transfer their unconsciousness onto the “sleeping masses”. Sound familiar, mr burton? Notice how burton even transferes responsibility for raping his followers as not his will, but the will of “influence C”.

Think of ego as simply the central nexus of an emotionally charged group of subjective memories, thoughts and images within the field of consciousness, a small part in the context of the of the mysterious greater Self, which we all share.

127. Des - April 19, 2012

Well anyway, my posts are stuck in the moderator’s queue. WR: Thanks for rightfully questioning my use of the word “ego”.

In the FOF, people would contend that we had it better than everyone else when it came to communicating because we all spoke “the same language” — i.e., the fourth way vocabulary — and FOF language was supposedly clearly defined and more precise than the language used by those lowly non-students, who would fumble around in their conversations because they didn’t speak in the secret code, and also of course because they had an imprecise understanding due to their low levels of being (after all, they didn’t join the Fellowship). The FOF is a group of people pretending to be precise when in fact the conversations never venture into difficult, honest territories. If they do, the person who initiates that conversation is summarily removed and dumped on their butt on Rice’s Crossing Road. Ideas were never questioned — only parroted. It’s easy to repeat the catch phrases and ready-made terms and pretend that there’s “understanding” when no one is pushing back.

128. fofblogmoderator - April 19, 2012

123, 125 and 127 are new. Not sure why they were hung in moderation, but here they are….

129. Des - April 19, 2012

It was my bad. Just realized I used a different email address when posting the comments. Thanks for your work in maintaining this.

130. We Were There - April 20, 2012

126. WhaleRider – April 19, 2012

To be more precise: a fully developed ego can relate to the unconscious aspects of the Self with objectivity, i. e. owning their unconsciousness or shadow side without The need to project it onto others (including the inner guru), while a less developed ego that is fused with the Self falls in love with only what they can see reflected about the Self that they like and feels threatened by negative aspects of the unconscious, which can overwhelm and destabilize the ego, thus compelling them to transfer their unconsciousness onto the “sleeping masses”. Sound familiar, mr burton? Notice how burton even transferes responsibility for raping his followers as not his will, but the will of “influence C”.

Think of ego as simply the central nexus of an emotionally charged group of subjective memories, thoughts and images within the field of consciousness, a small part in the context of the of the mysterious greater Self, which we all share.

——-

Huh?

131. WhaleRider - April 20, 2012

We Were There:
Let me ask you, back in the day, when you were in the throes of attempting to “remember yourself”, can you describe exactly what you were making all that effort to recall?

132. We Were There - April 20, 2012

131. WhaleRider – April 20, 2012

We Were There:
Let me ask you… can you describe exactly what you were making all that effort to recall?

———

WR,

I think I was more trying to stop mind activity than to recall anything.

I usually find your postings resonate with my experience; your 126 above seems to make perfect sense to you but really I don’t understand the language you use. For me this is a good example of how difficult it is to understand each other once we leave a ‘common language.’ No criticism is intended, just an observation.

133. WhaleRider - April 20, 2012

We Were There:
Thank you for your honesty. You are absolutely correct about understanding and language. And you make an interesting point about ceasing “mind activity” in the Fellowship…”don’t ask, don’t tell, and most of all, don’t think”.

The idea (not mine) that I am processing here is that one of the healing stages of (my) narcissism is to begin to separate the ego from the self. That is not to say one needs to be egoless, as in a follower of eastern spirituality, but to
put the overinflated ego on a diet. And IMO one needs adequate ego boundaries to maintain inner equilibrium, otherwise fear, anxiety and paranoia set in.

Remember the archetype (we all share) of Narcissis in love with his reflection, with the nymph Echo in the background? Here is a person’s ego fused with the self. All they can hear is what others echo back to them. But Narcissis is in love with an incomplete picture of himself, only the image of what he sees in the mirror, and not his unseen, shadow self. He is captivated; he cannot move or change lest the image he holds of himself falters.

People I’ve encountered in this fused state are self-absorbed with their own problems or grandiosity, are extremely sensitive to any hint of criticism, and surround themselves with people content to “shut up and listen” and only echo back what they want to hear. Their weakness is that they are afraid of their shadow side and will go to great lengths to avoid taking responsibility for it.

I’d say I’ve enjoyed the freedom of expressing some aspects of my shadow side here on the blog!

134. Wouldnt You Like To Know - April 20, 2012

Narcissus or Narkissos (Greek: Νάρκισσος), possibly derived from ναρκη (narke) meaning “sleep, numbness,” in Greek mythology was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty. He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis saw this and attracted Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the waters and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died.
More at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_(mythology)

135. Des - April 20, 2012

” For me this is a good example of how difficult it is to understand each other once we leave a ‘common language.'”

This is a myth. Keep in mind that this is a common assertion by people in the Fellowship of Friends, and that it was drilled into us as fact. I would add one more word to the sentence… For me this is a good example of how difficult it is to PRETEND we understand each other once we leave a ‘common language.’

When you use the same terms and same catch phrases, this doesn’t mean we understand each other. It simply means we are not venturing beyond the usual terms and catch phrases into more challenging discussions and questions. For example:

Is Robert’s frequent references to “femimine dominace” simply a way to divert attention away from his abusive behavior with his followers? When we talk about “being in imagination,” why don’t we reference this idea when we talk about the assertion that we are “higher school on earth” and that we are an “ark”? The two concepts never seem to be articulated in the same discussion, though.

There are no catch phrases and no ready-made terms to answer these questions, and persisting with this topic and this line of questioning would be cause for dismissal from the cult.

We then end up regressing into the same sorts of conversations and angles that meet the specifications: “When one is identified with one’s body type, one is unable to listen to new ideas that may be useful for one’s evolution. The Teacher and the School do not flatter our false personalities.”

All of us can say that we “understand” the above, and can nod in agreement. But try the following: “When one says that one has verified that Robert is a conscious being with one’s best interest at heart, one is in imagination. One is saying what one wants to believe, because the truth would be too painful to bear.”

136. Whale Rider - April 20, 2012

Des:
I applaud your candor about imagination in the cult.

You are so right, it is truly absurd that on the one hand FOF cult followers claim to be resisting imagination and on the other hand entertain the delusion that they are secret agents on a mission for a “higher school on Earth”. Now there’s a disconnect! (one of many)

I want to address your post above about the apparent “duality vs. non-duality” paradox regarding your belief that “you can gain a sense of connectedness without surrendering those healthy boundaries that you describe above.”

Sure, the higher self/lower self dualistic paradigm is bullshit! But forget about having to imagine operating from some “higher dimension of non-duality” where we are all connected, where we are all one in the Absolute. Notice we don’t dream in a non-dualistic manner, because the fact is, we live in a pluralistic world, with way more than just one or two sides to everything.

The question remains, “How then are we all one…all connected?”…when we can’t even agree on the definition of “ego”.

IMO, it is our shared myths, motifs, and archetypes that inhabit our collective unconscious that connects us…across time, space, and every culture. These we all share as humans. Joseph Campbell speaks of this theme in his work, “Hero of a Thousand Faces”.

You don’t need to surrender your ego boundaries in order to perceive archetypes at play in your psychology; you need only surrender your grandiosity for compassion and humility.

137. Tempus Fugit - April 21, 2012

In response to Post 119 on this page from Dennis Larson, referring us to the video by Claude Larson.

I watched this video with interest but I think Claude’s analysis misses the fundamental nature of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, and he is also mistaken to deny the possibility of taking action to produce change in ourselves (and the world).

However, I commend Claude for describing his own vision of the bizarre and irrational FOF “spiritual teaching.” I’m also glad he escaped and I hope his words inspire others who are still trapped in the FOF to find the courage to leave.

In my opinion the story of Robert Burton and the FOF is not the story of the misunderstanding or misuse of spiritual principles but something far more simple and primitive. It is the story of a clever sociopathic criminal who abuses the sincere spiritual search of others for personal gain.

One of the great mysteries of life is the diversity of human beings and human experience, especially regarding those personal or social characteristics that determine the basic quality of physical existence.

Sometimes Eastern philosophies are interpreted to equate social inequality as evidence of spiritual level, and even worse, justification for lack of compassion. For example, such thinking may suggest if other people are starving it must be their fate or karma so why should their suffering touch us or call us to action?

In my judgment Burton and the FOF promote this type of distorted thinking and the crassest and most selfish elitism – the denial of our common humanity with everyone.

I know that I am incredibly privileged, and I believe the majority of people who read this blog are as well. To me, the only sane response to the realization of privilege is gratitude and a determination to help others.

When I look back those many years ago, I see now how immature I was to accept a teaching that told me I was already better than everybody else and with hard work could get even more superior!

So I finally grew up and realized that my privileged status was not only a great mystery, but also a great challenge – not to simply accept “what is” but make real efforts, however small, to make the world better.

The truth is we all have free will and we all know it. Free will may be influenced by many things, but it is not a delusion. Our understanding of ourselves and our circumstances is imperfect, however, and we all make decisions we think are sound but later find to be mistakes.
This includes big decisions like joining the FOF. When I joined I truly believed I was joining an authentic spiritual teaching led by a conscious teacher. Now I know the FOF is an anti-spiritual group and Robert Burton is a true sociopath.

Sociopaths are experts at confusing us into making poor decisions by leading us to believe we are acting in accordance with our values and by presenting themselves as people with values similar to our own. Once we commit ourselves to their influence the voice of our conscience is gradually muted. We learn to justify actions and attitudes that oppose our values, and our sense of right and wrong is weakened.

I believe the voice of conscience still lives in many people now slaves to Robert Burton and the FOF delusion. It may be weakened but it is not dead. That voice can be strengthened by hearing the truth, and eventually lead them to freedom.

The main reason I post here is to help these people. I think all who post here share this desire, and I appreciate everything you write, even if I sometimes disagree with you!

138. nigel - April 21, 2012

Dear WhaleRider

I have an understanding, albeit limited, of your psychological approach (in your profession?) – is it faintly Jungian? I also believe that you direct us here towards harmony with ALL ASPECTS OF OURSELVES – the ‘ego’ which seems to protect and filter our experiences, the ‘shadow self’ which rests in our ‘unconscious’ (as you state it) and may be more apparent in our dreams (?) and may lead to actions which we do not intend but which may be both beneficial and/or detrimental to our Fate; finally our (Inner) Self which grows through harmonizing and breaking down cultural, ethnic and racial barriers and propelling us to our Universal Fate. I had a serendipitous experience while having a soft drink at a local pub…..

The song playing was…..

“The Shelter of your Eyes”, by Don Williams

In the shelter of your eyes
I have finally learned the song
It took so long to realize
I just can’t make it all alone

Words are only what they say
But this feeling isn’t wrong
I’m so glad I found my way
It’s good to be where I belong

And I’m gonna stay
right here ’cause I’m
In rhythm with your mind
Tune out the world
and rest my head
‘Neath the shelter of your eyes

Words are only what they say
But this feeling isn’t wrong
I’m so glad I found my way
It’s good to be where I belong

And I’m gonna stay
right here ’cause I’m
In rhythm with your mind
Tune out the world
and rest my head
‘Neath the shelter of your eyes

139. 2012 - April 21, 2012

I feel I have to set the record straight, especially for any current members reading this. Robert Burton never said we (FOF members) were any better than the rest of the humans on the planet. He seemed to make a point of emphasizing this. He said we are luckier. Is there a difference? You tell me….

140. WhaleRider - April 21, 2012

2012:
Thank you do much for setting the record straight! I think we got it now. In the Fellowship, it is not better to be luckier.

You have to leave the Fellowship to get better.

141. WhaleRider - April 22, 2012

Nigel:
You nailed it. First, do no harm. Resist that which divides you. Your fate is ultimately in your hands.

BTW “the shelter of your eyes” for me conjures up images of the “Acute Diversion Unit” psychiatric half way house I worked at for 6 years post-FOF. I feel frickin’ lucky no one ever died on my shift, although at least one person tried. What did the song conjure up for you?

142. nigel - April 22, 2012

141. WhaleRider

We all know there are many ‘places of safety’ for us – where our family is; where our friends are and (for me) my little apartment. This blog, indeed, shows us that we do not ‘go it alone’ – I believe that there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman – we have all progressed WITH HELP. That is what I recieved from the ‘shelter’ song…..Nigel.

143. Des - April 22, 2012

“2012” (a few posts up)
“I feel I have to set the record straight, especially for any current members reading this. Robert Burton never said we (FOF members) were any better than the rest of the humans on the planet. He seemed to make a point of emphasizing this. He said we are luckier. Is there a difference? You tell me….”

It sounds like you’re trying to obscure the record, not set it straight. When Burton states that “we are not better, just luckier,” it’s just a PR attempt on his part to pretend he’s magnanimous, and to soften the negative tone he’s used so many times when describing people who don’t join his cult (or who leave it).

Burton has stated numerous times that “FOF members” are better “than the rest of the humans on the planet, and in many different ways. He may not use the word “better,” but here’s a very small sample of what he does say:

— Life people wish to be flattered, so they cannot hear the truth.
— Life people are in imagination.
— Life people are food for the moon.
— Life people are wasting their lives.
— Your life begins when you join the school.
— You go to the back of the line when you leave the school.

And much, much more. No matter what phrasing or terminology you choose, Burton says that everyone is screwed who is not following him. Everyone who follows him is blessed. He’s no different from so many other cult leaders — delusions of grandeur while abusing his followers.

Speaking of words such as “luck” and “better,” the word “victim” comes up every now and then. My take: As long as you stay in this cult, you are a victim, whether you wish to believe it or not. By leaving, you create the possibility of changing that.

144. nigel - April 22, 2012

…..from the “Rick Ross Cults Forum” site…..

…..this is a post from an ex-member of some other cult…..

“One of the major changes for me post-cult exposure is my change in my view of others.

I’ve been incredibly earnest most of my life; truly believing that people will take the high road when push comes to shove – because that’s what I am like.

It’s such an eye opener realizing most people function on facades – not so earnest. If I’d been less naive about people, I could have protected myself better in so many circumstances in my past; abusive relationships I’d been involved in prior, for example. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the abuser was behaving badly – would have arguments with the abuser about it – now I see that the abuser was a manipulator – it was my perception of the abuser’s character that was off, the abuser wasn’t “mistaken” and needing a good discussion on the subject.

Is being naive / wanting to believe the best about people a common characteristic of victims in cults? I’m thinking that there are two types -the naive people, and people who are interested in power/manipulation. Perhaps it’s sometimes a combination of both?

What are your thoughts on the subject?”

145. jomopinata - April 23, 2012

2012/139

>not better, luckier

Yes, he may have *said* these words, and even had them hand-printed on fine rag acid-free paper using an Albion press, but since he lies as easily as he breathes, I don’t understand why his having said these words would matter to most rational observers. It’s not what you say, it’s what you *do*.

146. nigel - April 23, 2012

145. jomopinata

Think of these “octaves” that have gone awry…..

Bookbinding – ‘octave’ leader left FOF for ‘life’ commission.
Theatron – planning permission infringements.
Vineyard – vines neglected into an unusable state.
La Cucina – redeveloped into FOF office.

I am sure there are other, minor, areas where original ‘noble’ aims were diverted into more utilitarian processes. If you have knowledge of these, please post them…..Nigel.

“By their fruits, shall ye know them”

147. Dick Moron - April 24, 2012

139. 2012.
I have to set the record straight. Bobby Burton was not referring to FOF members. This observation was made after Superbowl XIX and he said Joe Montana was not any better than Dan Marino. He seemed to make a point of emphasizing this. He said Montana was luckier. Is there a difference.. hell yes, Montana won 4 Superbowls while Marino won zippo!

148. WhaleRider - April 24, 2012

Nigel:
You have to admit, burton’s sacrosanct Homosexual Octave is proceeding right on schedule, though, just like clockwork. You have to give him some credit. Let’s set the record straight. Uh-uh, no stoppage there.

His efforts are presently focused and directed at taking in enough cocks to bridge all the intervals.

149. The FOFion - April 24, 2012

Burton finally admits it: ‘We are better than Life’

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — In a rare public press conference Tuesday morning, Robert Burton finally set the record straight on the Luck vs. Better debate.

“Look,” Burton said. “There’s no doubt about it: We are better than Life. We’ve been given the severe friction that only Influence C can hand out, but here we are: doing the work and serving the School. Life people suck. We’re just better than them.”

Burton added: “However, we’re lucky for being better. Or — wait — maybe we’re better for being lucky… Oh, never mind…”

150. Mick Danger - April 25, 2012

Speaking of a better life, is there any word on Elan? Is he still a virgin (if that’s not too personal a question)? Technically, is he a legal sexual victim? Any grounds for a lawsuit? Or was it the usual courtshipped, sodomized, blewed & tatooed?

151. nigel - April 26, 2012

I remember, in The Forum Magazine, many years ago, that someone asked the question – “What is the role of community?”. I do not recall many clever answers except a long, pontificating article by G—-d H—n which was so ‘formatory’ and not leading to any useful conclusions, that I am not sure what FOFfers thought community served ‘in their evolution’. Being, ‘in essence’, an artistic Solar type – where do we fit in, you other Solars? – I was satisfied just following my craft and doing the occassional ‘little deed’ for the ‘School’. I had no aim to make as many friends in the FOF as I could and, indeed, had so much friction in the FOF ‘social area’ that I ‘kept my head down’ and got on with my life as best I could.

All I can think that community offers current FOF members is a sense that they are personally bolstered by the people around them, what with the art/music/culture available, and the fear of ‘being food for the moon’ should they leave the cult…..Nigel.

152. Golden Veil - April 26, 2012

Not the “King of Hearts” “Center of Gravity,” not a “Solar type,”
and “Essence”… Schmessence! “Formatory” ? B.S.!
I don’t go for that “School” crap anymore.

Former “Student” and
“Food for the Moon”?
Ha!!!

153. nigel - April 29, 2012

152, Golden Veil

I agree that you may be totally disgusted with the whole Fourth Way System, but think for a while…..

Was there anything you found useful in your time in the FOF in trying to ‘develop’ yourself (your evolution)?

Were there ways in which you were able to described things to yourself or others that you found made sense?

A poster also wrote some pages ago that The Bible was a total act of fiction but there are some beautiful, poetic, sustaining passages in it.

The all or nothing approach to systems of spiritual development or pieces of spirirtual literature restrains your ability to wring worthwhile and useful ‘food’ from them…..Nigel.

154. silentpurr - April 29, 2012

In the Fellowship, the ideas of Body Type, Center-of Gravity, Alchemy are worn as “appellations”, like badges of perceived levels of refinement and control.
What seems to have been forgotten is that we each embody it all and that there no “advantages”

155. nigel - April 29, 2012

152. Golden Veil

…..just to ‘add fuel’ to YOUR CASE…..

…..from “The Free Dictionary” (on Google-ing ‘cult systems and totalitarianism’)…..

cult (klt)

n.

1.

a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.

b. The followers of such a religion or sect.

2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.

3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.

4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.

5.

a. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.

b. The object of such devotion.

6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.

(You see – you are correct in being disgusted by the FOF)…..n.

156. nigel - April 29, 2012

154. silentpurr

…..a good comment!

157. Golden Veil - April 30, 2012

The name “The Fellowship” of “Friends” is quite a misnomer. I do have fond memories of dear friends (who for the most part, probably have no recollection of me.) But as taken as I was for a time with the various magical modes of FoF categorizing and explaining, I think this kind of psychological labeling was only a misguided means of gaining what we cultishly described as “Understanding.”

The organization is ultimately more about the division of people rather than the bringing together of them. As silentpurr has so aptly put, “In the Fellowship, the ideas of Body Type, Center-of Gravity, Alchemy are worn as “appellations”, like badges of perceived levels of refinement and control.”

I think that his kind of self focus is psychologically debilitating.

158. Golden Veil - April 30, 2012

Well, a Freudian slip! You know, of course, who “his” would be!

I meant to write:

I think that this kind of self focus is psychologically debilitating.

159. Ames Gilbert - May 1, 2012

Re. the observations above (#119-152 to 158 et al.), although I appreciate being reminded “not to throw the baby out with the bathwater”, this is not always appropriate. In the case of the Fellowship of Friends, there was no baby in the bathwater. Probably no bathwater either, let alone a bath.
Because the FoF was founded on and continues with lies and wholesale deception and self-deception, on the part of the leader and the followers both, anything associated of accidental worth is by definition contaminated. If one could take the ‘body types’ information by itself in whatever original form it came, there might be value. But in the deeply corrupted context, it could only be misused, as I believe Silent Purr suggests. Same with all the other stuff presented as ‘esoteric’ in the FoF, it would take a kind of genius to separate any possible good from the slime, and why bother, there are plenty of worthwhile things in this generous universe that don’t require such effort to glean.

160. nigel - May 1, 2012

157. Golden Veil

“The organization is ultimately more about the division of people rather than the bringing together of them.”

I think that this is a very valid point about the organization called ‘The Fellowship of Friends’. Many of us struggled to find our way in the cult – ultimately defeated by the impositions of money, power and sex. It is a sad fact that ‘religious groups’ are really, underneath, the opposite of what they purport to be. And the more bizarre the behaviour allowed, the more the ‘underlings’ suffer the consequences of the cult’s machinations. I am hoping that Robert Earl Burton will be brought before a Court of Justice to account for his actions. He is not, technically, a private citizen, but a leader of a cult that has gone drastically wrong in its direction…..Nigel.

161. nigel - May 1, 2012

159. Ames Gilbert

Ames ….. I am totally behind you on this one…..Nigel.

162. Tempus Fugit - May 1, 2012

I whole heartedly agree with Ames Gilbert (post 159 this page).

Clever sociopaths are experts at stealing the good work of others and presenting it as their own. Assuming a person who speaks of grand ideas has the character to match is at best naive. I know, I made that mistake and suffered accordingly!

As my grandmother was fond of saying, “Beauty is as beauty does.”

In the case of Robert Burton and the FOF, ugly behavior puts the lie to all the beautiful pretensions.

163. Tim Campion - May 2, 2012

In the next few days, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is hosting a conference in Fort Myers, Florida. A glance at the conference abstracts clearly shows that topics we have shared throughout this Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion blog are hardly unique to our situation.

The Fellowship of Friends promotes isolation and a perception of impotence in its members, thereby weakening the individual’s will and disrupting potential lifelines. Conferences such as ICSA’s may provide an opportunity to see that, as members of Robert Earl Burton’s cult, we are/were like so many other unwitting victims of a con. Cults being but one of a myriad scams in this world, we certainly have plenty of company on this ship of fools.

This conference might help establish bonds to a community, not of victims, but of actively involved citizens.

164. Golden Veil - May 3, 2012

The Fellowship of Friends continues to link up with the success
of Eckhart Tolle to reach new fools. Have you seen the YouTube video that has a link to the Living Presence website? Since it’s called “The Power of Now is Being Present,” the video comes up in YouTube searches made by Eckhart Tolle fans. A link on it brings viewers to the Living Presence website, now available in 8 languages.

165. nigel - May 3, 2012

163. Golden Veil

Although I have no sound for YouTube, I played the video…..

…..at least 2 “Now-ists” I recognize from 25 years ago – Good God!!!!! How trite and unarguable – “The Power of Now is Being Present”. The trouble is – it matters who you are and what you do…..

…..it matters whether you are firmly devoted to the betterment of your fellow human beings through what you can achieve from the depths of your being, or whether you wish to be part of a ‘rich persons’ country club’, devoted to the ‘brown-tongueing’ of REB and his enablers…..

I think anyone who is having trouble grasping the reasons why they should stay involved with the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence CULT should question their motives through those aspirations with which they joined it…..Nigel.

166. nigel - May 3, 2012

…..hey!!!!! WhaleRider, if you are tuning in…..

I have been wondering recently…..

The ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ of Robert Earl Burton has effects of which we can recognize the results…..

…..but can we compare this with, and discriminate this from…..

A healthy sense of self-worth/self-esteem/ the ego (am I getting the point across?)…..

I have been particularly ‘high and capable’ these past few days and feel beneficient towards my friends, and, indeed ‘humanity’. For me, when you feel self-worth, you feel worth for your fellow-humans (and my West HIghland Terrier, who looks oh! so smart after his spell in the ‘pooch-parlour’). These days are a far cry away from when I was depressed – not getting undressed to go to bed any time of the day and not bothering to get out of bed to piss – yes! it really got that bad. Nowadays I have a shower every day along with clean clothes and go about my ‘daily rounds and common tasks’ with an air of gratitude and simple happiness.

I wish you and I (and all who have escaped/exited the Cult of the Fellowship of Friends) could get the message across…..Nigel.

167. nigel - May 3, 2012

163. Golden Veil

…..Jean Chapman and Kevin Brown look old and grizzly. Frances Thompson is dead and gone…..Nigel.

168. Golden Veil - May 3, 2012

Earth to Moon! That is, let’s be ‘down to Earth’ about the Moon…

This Saturday, May 5th, the “Flower Moon” will arise on the west coast of the United States in the early evening and be fully illuminated a few hours later. It’s one the rare occurrences that happen about every 14 months when the time that the Moon is in perigee (closest to the Earth in its orbit) coincides with its full lunar phase… the full Moon will look very large! Many flowers will be in bloom and thus the term “Flower Moon.” To find out when you can view this beautiful Moon, check the Moon Rise schedule for your location here:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/moonrise.html

169. fofblogmoderator - May 4, 2012

163 is new

170. fofblogmoderator - May 4, 2012

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