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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 120 May 4, 2012

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1. Tempus Fugit - May 4, 2012


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


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


Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through Part 120 (current page)


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

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

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

2. nigel - May 4, 2012

…..from the ICSA site, as recommended by Tim Campion…..

A practical approach for law enforcement when dealing with cultic groups

Many people who have had an experience with cults because a relative became involved have been disillusioned when they have asked law enforcement for help. The response they usually get is that there is not much that can be done unless there is illegal activity. The concern is that the police may be interfering with the freedom of religion. In the present day, police departments are successfully using problem-solving models through the Community Policing model. This model can also be implemented when a questionable group comes to the attention of local police departments.

A simple approach that officers can take is to visit a group and let them know who they are and that they are there to assist them. They can let the group know that the department is there to protect them from those who might dislike the group or who possibly threaten to cause harm. The connection that results could possibly cause authorities to become aware of the group’s behavior, so that the authorities may be able to observe any changes that might occur relative to the group that could signal a violation of the law or even harm to the members.

Law enforcement, both local and federal, most often become involved with cults after a tragedy occurs, such as suicide, involvement in financial fraud, or a case that affects children through neglect or abuse, including sexual violations. Most of these groups probably will never do anything that attracts the attention of law enforcement. The problem is that illegal activities that are not known to anyone outside the group do go on because of the group’s isolation from the rest of society. This kind of situation is one in which officers become effective in gathering intelligence by getting to know the group. The result is that officers may become aware of illegal activities. I personally had members of a group in southern Colorado reach out to me because they did not know anyone one else outside the group. Through this connection, authorities learned that children had died, they believe, because medicine was denied as a result of the group’s belief that to take medicine reflected a lack of faith.

An article on cultic groups in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin of September 2000 stated accurately that the potential for violence on behalf of members of biblically driven cults is determined almost exclusively by the whims of the cult leader. Therefore, effective intelligence and analysis of such cults requires an extensive understanding of the cult leader.

To address the concern of authorities about violating the protection of individuals’ freedom of religion, officers need to be concerned only with behavior that may be harmful to people both inside and outside the group. Granted, the beliefs may be the cause of the harmful behavior, but only the behavior is the cause for concern.

3. Golden Veil - May 4, 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 readers of Eckhart Tolle. I think this hijacking of Eckhart Tolle by using the title of one of his books, “The Power of Now” is a deceitful bait and switch marketing technique.

Click onto the YouTube icon in the lower right corner of the below video to watch it there, where you’ll see the link just below it that will then bring viewers to the Living Presence website, now available in 8 languages.

Re: the eight languages, I wonder how much the translators were paid? They probably felt so privileged to be given this special “task.”

4. nigel - May 4, 2012

2. Golden Veil

…..”a deceitful bait and switch marketing technique”…..

Has this not been the aim of the FOF all along?…..

Looking good to the public – witness the ‘marketing’ of the winery.
‘Students’ looking good to one another – impressions etc.
Facade and sham would be more appropriate…..Nigel.

5. Whale Rider - May 5, 2012

The Kwakiuti Indians of the Pacific Northwest have a myth of terrifying, double-headed sea monster called Sisiutl that engulfs anyone he touches and rouses terror in anyone who sees him.

If you see him, you must stand and face him. Face the horror. Face the fear. If you break faith with what you know, if you try to flee, Sisutl will blow with both mouths at once and you will begin to spin. Not rooted in the earth as are the trees and rocks, not eternal, as are the tides and currents, your corkscrew spinning will cause you to leave the earth, to wander forever with him, a lost soul. Your voice will be heard in the screaming winds of the first autumn, sobbing, pleading for release.

When you see Sisutl the terrifying, though you will be frightened, stand firm. There is no shame in being frightened; only a fool would not be afraid of Sisutl the horror. Stand firm. First one head, then the other will rise from the water. Closer. Closer. Coming for your face, the ugly heads, closer, and the stench from the devouring mouths, and the cold eyes, and the terror. Stand firm. Before the twin mouths of Sisutl can fasten onto your face and steal your soul, each head must turn toward you. When this happens, Sisutl will see his own face.

Sisutl spends eternity in search of Truth. In search of those who know Truth. When he sees his own face, his own other face, when he has looked into his own eyes, he has found Truth.

He will bless you with his magic, he will flee, and your Truth will be yours forever. Though at times it may be tested, even weakened, the magic of Sisutl, his blessing, is that your Truth will endure. Your Truth will be found behind your own eyes and you will not be alone again.

(Cameron, pp.45-46)

6. James McLemore - May 5, 2012

Thank you Whale Rider

7. Jerome - May 5, 2012

#3. Golden Veil & video

The gentle, lovely friends in this video are among the reasons I stayed in the FOF/Pathway to Presence/Whatever years longer than I should have.

They are so persuasive and sincere. Especially when they reverently speak of love. I am so very fond of them still. So what I am about to say will sound harsh and judgmental. Forgive me, friends!

The years have told the story their words did not.

Not one of these people have sat by the bedside of their sick child – the child they passionately adored – and taken a temperature and fretted. Not one has longed achingly for that child’s recovery more than their own life.

Not one has watched a beloved spouse wasting away with cancer, or held the loved one’s head as they vomited in a hospital room.

Or (for example) stayed for months with a father suffering from humiliating dementia, no longer even remembering who you are, let alone being grateful for your efforts.

Hell, I’ll bet not one has worked in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or with drug addicts in withdrawal, not expressing thankfulness and a sense of hushed presence, but cursing and threatening. And then tried to love some more.

All three featured on the film are unmarried (one was married, I believe, for few years, years ago). All are childless. All three have lived in the isolated community in the foothills for decades.

Love, actually, doesn’t have that much to do with “being in the moment” after all. It has a lot to do with will, and commitment, and patience, and suffering. It has a lot to do with consistency over time – not little timeless moments, but staying working to support family through one’s labors, through thick and thin, sometimes long after it’s personally fulfilling or rewarding or fun or gives you “a state” (you know, when you have teenagers giving you sass, for example).

Love is not, after all, a state of passive receptivity. It is active and participatory. It is rough and tumble, and recklessly requires all we have and are in the end.

(And when you risk and lose it all, you don’t preserve the story in deathless meeting angles – you go out, and start afresh, again and again, over and over.)

I know they have their stories, their sufferings, their lost loves, etc. – and this reading may shortchange them in some ways, perhaps even in large ways. But I felt these things had to be brought up, because it’s connected to what happens out there, in the foothills.

There is some vital elan missing here, and in their worldview. It’s a worldview that allows outrages to occur while one quietly “separates” in one’s room. Staying “present” allows one not to connect one’s teaching payment with the bizarre activities behind closed doors, which is described as the “personal choice” of the foreign young men lifted from poverty. We all, after all, have our own “plays.” It lacks the courage to confront systemic abuse.

Where is the “love” in that?

I look at these lives now, the lives of these lovely people, and I am saddened. They seem a little … sterile. A little like a wasp caught in amber – the quiet gentle voices, earnestly telling us of perfect love.

8. not - May 5, 2012

another “angle” on the cult experience… outer forms may vary but the mentalities and interpersonal dynamics tend to be similar… it’s always creepy:

9. Tempus Fugit - May 5, 2012

Yes, thank you Whalerider (Post 5 above) for the beautiful Sisiutl parable.

I remember looking into Burton’s eyes when I was young. I thought I was seeing the gaze of an enlightened man. I thought the hardness and coldness I saw only reflected his seriousness of purpose. He claimed conscious love and compassion for us all while his actions demonstrated self centered calculation.

At the time I couldn’t understand this inconsistency, and explained it to myself as the blindness of my own “lower level of being.”

Now I know Burton considered us inferior and the gaze in his eyes was him looking down on us.

For years after I left the FOF I had nightmares of Burton (sometimes with a group of others) chasing me with knives through strange, ethereal landscapes or buildings.

Later, as I matured and awakened to the truth, these dreams stopped. Sometimes I still saw Burton in dreams but he was now ordinary and powerless. I was able to confront him and call him out for the charlatan he is.

And now I do that here in my writing. In my opinion and in my experience Burton is a charlatan, a criminal, and a thief. Like all fakes, he only has power over you if you let him. And I stopped letting him long ago.

If he still has power over you, why do you choose to let him? At any moment you can choose freedom.

I pray you will, and do it soon, because it’s true that time flies, and it’s your choice how to use the time you have.

10. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 7, 2012

Psychosis, Stabbing, Secrecy & Death at a Neo-Buddhist University in Arizona
by Matthew Remski.
May 4, 2012

‘Abstract for Media Outlets:

Ian Thorson, 38, died on the morning of 4/22/12 of apparent dehydration in a cave in southeastern Arizona, after having been banished by the administration of nearby Diamond Mountain University, which is under the leadership of “Geshe” Michael Roach. Thorson’s wife, “Lama” Christie McNally, was rescued from the death scene by helicopter. Thorson had for years exhibited signs of mental illness and violence towards others, including McNally, who had recently stabbed him, presumably in self-defense. The failure to fully report the couple’s violence to local authorities, along with the subsequent banishment of the couple from Diamond Mountain property without adequate psychiatric, medical, and community care, all raise stark questions about the competency of this secretive and autocratic organization, and call into doubt whether its Board is qualified to protect the safety of the remaining residents of Diamond Mountain.’

Read more:

11. Ames Gilbert - May 7, 2012

Golden Veil (#119-164 and #120-2),
yes, behind the soft words are worlds of deception. But, the ends justifies the means, right?
Here is what one of the Fellowship of Friends meetup groups has to say for itself . . .
We’re about: Self Remembering · Fourth Way · Eckhart Tolle · Spirituality · Meditation · Consciousness · Gurdjieff · Ouspensky · Nisargadatta Maharaj · Presence · Self Realization and Service to Humanity · Self Realization -Byron Katie/Adya/ET/Gangaji/Ruiz

They’ve certainly covered all the buzzwords, haven’t they? Anyone searching on any of those words has a chance of being hooked.

The video above features nice people who . . . have normalized rape in their worldview. Consider this. In the real world, heterosexual males do not go around looking for opportunities to have sex with other men. So why do they do so once they become members of the Fellowship of Friends? Because Burton, a person in whom they have placed their trust, exerts overwhelming psychological force to make them do what is not natural to them, by abusing that trust. And he could not do it without help from people like those in the video, who provide the milieu for Burton, and either condone or encourage him. By definition, forced sex is rape. It doesn’t matter even if the victims appear to agree, it is still rape, since under ordinary circumstances we can be sure that sex with Burton would not occur. I don’t know if this would be somehow clearer if the victims happened to be females, our society is pretty mixed up about what constitutes rape, and it seems there is a common attitude that somehow males can’t be raped.
So in this video, these people that seem reasonable, calm and normal are not. They know very well what is happening, that it has happened for years, and will continue to happen until Burton expires. To this degree, then, they are sociopaths. They have normalized rape, it is a given in their universe, and they approve. For these people, the ends always justifies the means.

For anyone landing on this site for the first time and thinking about joining the “Fellowship of Friends” / “Pathway to Presence” / “Living Presence” / “Being Present.org” / “Church of Robert Earl Burton” organization, be aware that if you are a ‘not ugly’ heterosexual male, and you come to the attention of the leader, he will exert every effort to have sex with you. Be aware that some of your new–found ‘friends’ are actually pimps, and will try to recruit you to be his partner. Be aware that he has a certain kind of charisma, and that most of your other new–found ‘friends’ will also encourage you to have sex with him, for the sake of your spiritual “evolution”. However, if you are a gay male, not so much; his sexual satisfaction is intimately bound with using force, so he very rarely goes for men who might voluntarily go for him. The fact that he also pays male partners for acts of sex (in cash or kind) is just icing on the cake for him; think of how gratifying it is for him, and how humiliating for you, to realize that you not only give your body to him, but that he also makes you into a kind of prostitute. Beware!

12. Golden Veil - May 7, 2012

11. Ames Gilbert

Thank you for pointing out in detail what “prospective students” especially MALE ones, really need to know before making their decision to attend even one Fellowship of Friends Introductory Student Meeting. Once you know that “The Teacher” is a serial heterosexual rapist, why attend even one?

“Burton, a person in whom they have placed their trust, exerts overwhelming psychological force to make them do what is not natural to them, by abusing that trust. And he could not do it without help from people like those in the video, who provide the milieu for Burton, and either condone or encourage him.”

Yes, and all those older “Students” are really the ones that exert the “overwhelming psychological force” that leads the trusting lambs to the slaughter. Shame, shame, shame!

Speaking as they do of “Being Present” in the video in post 2. is reprehensible. They all KNOW what goes on in the bedroom,
wine cellar, etc.

13. fofblogmoderator - May 8, 2012

#1 & #7 are new.
Sorry for being a little late in getting these in. I have been in the middle of relocating…

14. leonhardon - May 8, 2012

From Ames post above,

“Here is what one of the Fellowship of Friends meetup groups has to say for itself . . .
We’re about: Self Remembering · Fourth Way · Eckhart Tolle · Spirituality · Meditation · Consciousness · Gurdjieff · Ouspensky · Nisargadatta Maharaj · Presence · Self Realization and Service to Humanity · Self Realization -Byron Katie/Adya/ET/Gangaji/Ruiz”

I am beside myself in utterly gobsmacked incredulity. I have known for many years that the fellowship of friends has real, endemic and utterly ingrained difficulties in telling the truth about practically anything but especially about itself.
Have known for years that “trickle down” lying forms the consensus reality, and preferred modus operandi within the group, and that well,…….. you’re just a wuss if you’re not manipulating and deceiving, “life people” especially if you can con them into joining the cult. BUT, the snippet above from Ames post just takes the entire biscuit barrel.

The claim is that they’re about,

Self remembering – actually nobody in the cult really understands that properly, they got the beginning steps down, kind of.

Fourth Way – No, they abandoned it some years ago.

Eckhart Tolle – a decree came from on high not that long ago, asking cult members not to read him.

Spirituality – Ahem, the leader Burton, grooms heterosexual males for sex, telling them when they resist that it is the wish of higher forces and angels that they have sex with him. If that’s Spiritual, I’m Batman.

Meditation – No, that was derided and dismissed decades ago

Consciousness – mmmmm, not much of that about.

Gurdjieff – nope, most cult members found him unreadable, and awfully low alchemy. He became a “B” list celebrity a few years back. His comments about sexuality were not appreciated.

Ouspensky – nope, too intellectual, officially relegated to a lower division some years back. Cult members were asked to stop reading Fourth Way material.

Nisargadatta Maharaj – Whaaat???? The titan of non-duality now embraced by Burton the dwarf of dualism? don’t think so.

Presence, self realization – not a self realized person in the whole organization, that’s not what they claim of course, but……….. cult members are taught that they will awaken in another lifetime or two or three and that this life, of paying through the nose financially for the absurd but entertaining teachings of Robert Earl Burton, is preparation for that.

Now here’s a good one,

Service to humanity – Whaaaaat?………… I can only imagine this is some cryptic reference to Burton’s ridiculous penchant for truly dire, end of world prophecies. The Fellowship of Friends claims to be an ark for humanity destined to survive Armageddon. You can also make out a cynical attempt here to claim selflessness in service to others, like real spiritual groups actually do.

Byron Katie – The Fellowship now aligned with Byron Katie? That is truly, truly, hilarious. Can you imagine, no do please try and imagine, Burton and Byron Katie, together, having a good old chat about how the notion of a conscious being is by definition absurd.

Adya – That’ll be Adyashanti no doubt? Nice to know they’re on chummy terms. Anybody remember the 6 people ejected from the cult for seeing Adyashanti in the Bay Area?

Gangaji – Whaaaaaaaaat? Burton’s conceptual mumbojumbo would last approx 30 seconds in her company.

Who comes up with this stuff, do they sit in a room and brainstorm on the best way to catch and trick people? How else to understand such a gross and blatant misrepresentation of influences, such an obviously deceitful bait and switch routine?

15. We Were There - May 8, 2012

Current members – don’t miss 7. Jerome above.

16. Golden Veil - May 8, 2012

Right on, 14. leonhardon! These affiliations are either all lies or this “Fourth Way, esoteric school” has become as watered down as many of the local “Christian” churches who seek members. What next, rock and roll?

By the way, there isn’t much youth or beauty left in the man at the helm of the Fellowship of Friends, Living Presence organization, but due to his extreme hedonism and hypocrisy, the literary figure he reminds me of the most is Dorian in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It’s as though “The Teacher” has made some sort of Faustian bargain to achieve this semblance of beauty that surrounds him. Just imagine if he had a hidden portrait that expressed his true nature what sort of corruption it would depict…

17. silentpurr - May 9, 2012

I don’t think Robert would allow space for a truthful portrayal of himself because it requires a conscience to behold such a thing. And conscience is what is gradually erased in the Fellowship.

18. jomopinata - May 9, 2012

7/Jerome — an awesome post, required reading. Don’t miss it!

19. jomopinata - May 9, 2012


>”truthful portrayal”

I think the official painted portrait of Burton surrounded by expensive objets d’art, including a fawning dog, clearly demonstrates how he sees himself and would like others to see him. http://bit.ly/LNzN2a

Paradoxically, JUSTLY, it conveys an ACCURATE impression of his utter dependency on “narcissistic supply.” The reflection of himself which so mesmerizes him must include numerous expensive baubles, columned porticos and fawning dogs to confirm his grandiose sense of his own worth and importance. It can never be enough to produce anything genuinely satisfying, hence the need for more more more, and to discard and devalue anything which challenges the reflection of himself he wants to see in the mirror of his interpersonal relations.

20. jomopinata - May 9, 2012

I also think the famous 1980s “lesion on nose” portrait was in some respect a faithful likeness. http://bit.ly/KlURuh

21. Golden Veil - May 9, 2012

19. Jomopinata

The painting has a number of symbols that, of course, can be interpreted in numerous ways, especially the meaning of “Teaching,”
or as you say, narcissistic grandiosity and consummate conspicuous consumption, but, I see more the following ~

The painting depicts imagery appropriate to “The Teacher’s” true primary interest. The red of the rich fabric covering the chair and the drapery above symbolizes anger, sin, and especially lust. In the painting’s center, a white horse’s head represents, in the tradition of Greco-Roman symbology for the horse, the traits of dominance and virility. There are many phallic symbols, including the candles erect behind him, and the black iron fireplace andirons that depict male nudes. He clutches a small phallus, a bronze sculpture in the form of
a nude man. The classical painting in the background depicts an older man focusing on the object of his desire, a young male companion.
In the fireplace, the “fire of inequity” or, the “unquenchable fire” symbolizes his perverse sexual desire for young heterosexual men.

The fire in the portrait of “The Teacher” also brings to mind false teaching. “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by Hell.” James 3:6

22. Fee fi fo fum - May 9, 2012

7 Jerome

I was friends with two of the people in the video. Although I reconnected to one of them, briefly, there is a barrier up around him. Conversation was limited to a harmless greeting and update. There was no “opening” for me to ask him why he was still in the FF.

What I got from the video was a contentment with speaking about “being present” in uncontroversial, intelligent-sounding phrases. I’d done the same when I was at FF meetings. Even if one knows such talk will get one nowhere (after how many decades in the FF?), they remain in the FF. Why? It’s not like they are unaware of the corruption. And they have the intelligence to process it. Perhaps they have resigned themselves to living in a state of “suspended disbelief”, which is what happens when we read fiction.

In a review of “When God Talks Back”, the reviewer writes, “If evangelicals are expert at conjuring God, they are just as good at dealing with disappointment when God fails to show up. When his presence fades or he fails to answer a prayer, it means God has decided that your faith is so strong, you don’t need constant proof. ‘The concept of spiritual maturity allows people to reinterpret a disappointment as, in effect, a promotion.’ ”

Somehow those current FF members who stay, despite their knowing some of what goes on, means they are heavily rationalizing their decisions. Perhaps they view their endurance as an achievement in faith. Like a “promotion”.

23. Morning - May 9, 2012


It’s always enjoyable to make fun of evangelicals, but any evangelical worth his or her salt knows that prayer isn’t a gimme, and the “answer” to such prayers is often “no,” in any case. The ultimate point of prayer is union with the divine, not a presentation of shopping lists. Many great mystics – far, far greater than anything FOF has to offer – have written about “the dark night” when God “fails to show up.”

Similarly, in Pathway to Presence/FOF, I would add to Jerome in #7: Love is so much more than smiles and deep eye contact!

It’s not only the young men who get betrayed by the utter lack of valor, fortitude, and honesty. The man who hanged himself last summer is a reminder of the terrible isolation at life’s end, and the failure of smiling niceness to extend the courage, justice, and endurance that is love’s burden.

24. nigel - May 9, 2012

All the posts on this page are strong, incisive and to-the-point. I am appreciative of that…..Nigel.

25. nigel - May 9, 2012

…..from the ‘Rick Ross’ site…..

The Fellowship of Friends has been recognized by the state and federal governments as a tax-exempt, nonprofit religious corporation since 1971.

In other words, it’s a church.

“About the only thing required to obtain that status is to hold regular meetings and have a statement of religious purpose”, said Judith Golden, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service.

“You don’t apply to be a church. You’re a church if you say you are”, she said.

The Fellowship, in its unorthodox way, says it is.

Founder and leader Robert Burton, 55, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from San Jose State College in 1963. He taught elementary school in Lafayette and for the Emeryville Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area before studying the writings of various philosophers on his own.

He also attended a Quaker church in Berkeley off and on during the mid-1960s, which may have eventually inspired the name for his Fellowship of Friends.

26. fofblogmoderator - May 10, 2012

#23 is new

27. sallymcnally - May 10, 2012

#14 on self remembering.

Self remembering or the idea of observing yourself in the moment is a great idea and actually I still use it today. However, we were never trained in this and never given proper instruction on how to do it. It remained an intellectual kind of idea to most and we kinda, sorta did it sometimes. At least that’s the way I remember it. I personally was never given any instruction on how to do it properly, just figured it out for myself.

28. Fee fi fo fum - May 11, 2012

23. Morning

Yes, although my quoting from the review of T.M. Luhrmann’s book “When God Talks Back” was a way of looking at the rationalization process that goes on in the minds and hearts of FF members, especially long-time members such as are in the video. It seems that when someone is so deeply mired in the FF, that everything gets explained away and justified, including suicide. That process allows the person to remain in the FF, free of conflicts.

29. nigel - May 11, 2012

27. sallmcnally

Ouspensky stated that “Although self-remembering, in the beginning, is good for self-awareness, after a while it must be connected with your aim, what you want to get.”…..Nigel.

30. Whale Rider - May 11, 2012

For me, self-remembering is remembering my dreams.

My aim is to be whole.

31. Golden Veil - May 11, 2012

8. Not

32. nigel - May 11, 2012

30. Whale Rider

DREAM!…..perhaps the most under-rated word in the English language.

Gurdjieff and Ouspensky both talked about ‘dreaming’…..meaning those unabated daydreams that go on unattended and unnoticed in the un-self-remembered mind……

But think a little about the wider use of the word DREAM…..

“The Impossible Dream” – a beautiful lyrical song about pursuing perhaps unattainable goals and aims – sung in the movie ‘The Man of La Mancha’, about Don Quixote, a character in a book by Miguel de Cervantes (a conscious being?)…..

“Field of Dreams” – a movie about ‘seeing and hearing’ things that should not really be in the human consciousness – and seeing those visions through to bring about ‘heaven’ for ‘people (who) will come’…..

“Taking an idea, a concept, a DREAM” to the marketplace and making it work – Abraham Zaleznik talks about the characteristics that make up an entrepreneur, in his many books about business leadership…..

…..and, after all, who wants to dwell on one’s ‘inner navel’ in a cult that promises literally nothing emotionally substantial than ‘antiquated cultural bullshit’, when there are so many original ideas and concepts to pursue…..Nigel.

33. nigel - May 11, 2012

…..from “What Makes a Leader”, by Abraham Zaleznik (article on the book of the same name)…..

“In a book published in 1989, The Managerial Mystique, Zaleznik says that ”what Taylor proposed through his system of management lies at the core of how modern managers are supposed to think and act. The principle is rationality. The aim is efficiency.” Most importantly, Zaleznik believed that managers and leaders differ in terms of their personalities. Taking his lead from Taylor, Zaleznik describes managers as being cold efficiency machines who ”adopt impersonal, if not passive, attitudes towards goals.”

Further, ”Managers see themselves as conservators and regulators of an existing order of affairs.” He tells us that ”managers’ tactics appear flexible: on the one hand they negotiate and bargain; on the other, they use rewards, punishments, and other forms of coercion.” So, managers are only apparently flexible and they are coercive, even manipulative in Zaleznik’s eyes. In his 1977 article Zaleznik makes exactly the same claim, stating that: ”…one often hears subordinates characterize managers as inscrutable, detached and manipulative.”

Zaleznik would have us believe that, while managers seek activity with people, they ”maintain a low level of emotional involvement in those relationships.” They also apparently ”lack empathy”. Zaleznik expands on the emotional theme in The Managerial Mystique by telling us that managers ”operate within a narrow range of emotions. This emotional blandness when combined with the preoccupation on process, leads to the impression that managers are inscrutable, detached and even manipulative.

It is not clear what evidence Zaleznik has for these damning charges. He seems to be doing nothing more than extrapolating from Fredrick Taylor’s conception of management without ever asking himself whether management as a function is committed to Taylor’s characterization of it. Starting with Taylor’s worship of machine-like efficiency, Zaleznik has tarred all managers for all time with the same brush.

Zaleznik believes that leaders are creative and interested in substance while managers are only interested in process – how things are done, not what. For Zaleznik, ”leaders, who are more concerned with ideas, relate in more intuitive and empathetic ways.” No doubt leaders are more interested in ideas than how they get implemented, but there is no basis whatsoever for calling leaders more empathetic than managers.”

…..anyone care to read this article in the light of characters such as Burton or Haven (even others!)?…..Nigel.

sallymcnally - May 11, 2012

#29, exactly, yes that’s how I understand it and that’s how I use it now. thank you.

34. nigel - May 11, 2012

…..from Google-ing – “process of crime rodney collin”…..

“The process 3-1-2 means the triad in which the third force comes first, followed by first force, resulting in second force. In Rodney Collin’s useful terminology, it is described as the sequence form-life-matter: Form, applied to life, reduces it to matter. In its negative aspect, this is sometimes called the process of crime, or the process of corruption. An example is the work of a virus. The virus represents form, or the third force, and it acts on life, the first force, reducing it to matter, the second force. Third force always stands between second and first force in its “density of vibrations”, or intelligence. The virus is not alive, but hijacks the living, leaving dead matter in its wake.

Another example of the negative side of this process 3-1-2 is formatory thinking. Formatory thinking occurs when a pre-existing thought-form is applied to thought, essentially destroying the living process of thinking by forcing it to fit into the pre-existing form, which results in some lifeless result, for example, a slogan. In technical language, formatory thought occurs when the mechanical part of the intellectual center overrides the work of the intellectual part of the intellectual center. This is wrong work of centers, in this case, parts of centers. Right work of the mechanical part of the intellectual center is to return stored data, such as the response to the question “What is 2 + 2?”. It should not respond to questions such as “What do you think of this idea?”, or anything that one should think about.”

….anyone think of where we could apply this passage?…..

…..one of my (real) friends in the FOF, who overlooked my weaknesses whilst I was resident in her house with her (then) husband, and went on to spend many years in the cult, as the wife of a ‘high-up’, emailed me and noted…..

“You would not believe how much REAL EVIL there is in the FOF”

35. sallymcnally - May 11, 2012

I was told a long time ago mr b was practicing black magic. Since I have no idea exactly how it works, I have no way of verifying that it does although I do believe people can be manipulated on an energetic level (if they allow themselves to be).

36. ton2u - May 12, 2012

35 re: ‘black magic’

i remember a gathering at ‘the town hall’ — i was standing at the back of the room with elan (an israeli ‘student’ who died sometime later in a car crash)…. we were watching burton who was doing the hard sell of a cameo on one of the ‘female students’ — she was transfixed by the bauble and burton… elan commented: “he’s a hypnotist.”

somehow, for his own purposes, in a variety of ways, he was able to control the attention of his ‘students’ — through this control he was able to make them (us) do his bidding while making it seem like it would be ‘good for your evolution dear.’

there are different kinds of magic in the world, i consider ‘black magic’ is worked with only selfish intentions… on the other hand ‘white magic’ might be for the benefit of others…. then again, you know the old saying about ‘the road to hell’ — so the moral in any case would be to proceed with caution.

37. Whale Rider - May 12, 2012

IMO, mr b isn’t practicing so-called , “black magic”.

IMO, black magic is simply the process of one person setting up a negative expectancy (or belief) in another person through some kind of ritual or incantation that something “bad” is going to happen which seems like an “evil” or “black” intention…as opposed to setting up a positive expectancy through some kind of ritual or incantation that something “good” is going to happen, which also could be experienced as the miraculous healing process inherent in all of us or incredibly good luck.

And then when something does “happen” one way or the other according to one’s expectations, it could seem magical, n’est pas?

Back in the late 1700’s, Anton Mesmer made quite a lot of money in this manner manipulating his followers to believe that he possessed “animal magnetism” and could heal people through the power of his touch, until Ben Franklin as Ambassador to France exposed him.

Franklin found that any effect Mesmer caused upon others was dependent upon three factors: the follower’s imagination, co-operation, and expectancy.

So “black magic”, or any magic for that matter, IMO is dependent upon the relationship and perceptions of both the magician and the subject. IMO, magic does not exist in and of itself.

However, mr burton does derive his power from and in fact thrives upon cultivating magical thinking in his followers, i.e. if I do this unrelated activity…then that outcome will happen, even though there is no factual cause and effect relationship there other than a delusion belief in a follower that there is.

For example, if I force my mind into a hyper-vigilant state, I will get into heaven…or “ideas of reference” that if I see a certain number on a license plate, angels are personally speaking to me.

Obviously, the fact that none of burton’s predictions ever came to fruition despite the years of “signs” influence c gave him to that effect would indicate the depth of his delusion.

38. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 12, 2012

It was noticing that RB was clearly subject to the mental health syndrome “ideas of reference”, and also hearing that his sexlife was non consensual from one of his first victims, that led to me waking up to the reality, and leaving the school.
What is strange looking back now, is how I along with many others, though not ourselves innately subject to “ideas of reference”, were induced to join him in this childish game.

39. nigel - May 12, 2012

35. sallymcnally / 36. Whale Rider

Burton lies to ‘get his evil way’ – sexually, as about every way that he can. He does not care who gets hurt or who gets into physical/emotional/financial difficulties because of his ‘selfish fantasies’…..

…..does he know what he is doing?????…..i.e. is he in total control of his sociopathic/psychopathic behaviour or is he delusioned enough to think he is able to communicate with ‘higher forces’ and is ‘doing their will’?????…..

As Whale Rider points out…..his predictions do not come true (he says C-Influence wants to humble him when this happens)…..

…..how can anyone, with any semblance of conscience or real self-worth follow this madman down the road to psychical destruction?????…..Nigel.

sallymcnally - May 12, 2012

.#37 ‘how can anyone, with any semblance of conscience or real self-worth follow this madman down the road to psychical destruction?????…..Nigel.

I did for nearly 20 years and I didn’t know I didn’t have a conscience. I did know I had some self worth problems but I believed being in the Fellowship was helping that issue (at the same)
Denial of the truth about oneself and ones place in it.

I believe w are all equally responsible for giving someone power over us that did not deserve our respect, trust and love. At the same time not at fault for not seeing what we could not see. I have forgiven myself which is the first step towards healing a very painful truth about myself and that is that (I) allowed it. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of (again). Yes, a painful pattern for me to see about myself happening not once but many times in my life.

That was a pattern I brought into the FOF and I left 20 years later with that same pattern. I have since healed that part of myself but I did that on my own, after I left. And it’s an ongoing process, lots of personal work and still painful at times. Still a work in progress.

It was a great party at the time and I enjoyed most of my time there until I woke up to yes, my conscience and my continued lack of self-worth and self-respect issues not being healed, just pushed back into the darkness, too painful for me to see.

And on with the party, the wine, the dinners, the fun! Yeah, it was fun. I had fun. I left when it wasn’t fun anymore and I finally saw the painful truth about what I was doing (and not doing).

Because we are all human and we all are in denial about many things even now. It’s an ongoing process to wake up to these painful truths about ourselves and be grateful when it happens that we figured it out and can become a happier person because of it. It’s not like we’re ever done figuring it all out. We just have to learn to love ourselves first and then things start to get better.

40. Golden Veil - May 12, 2012

36. Whale Rider

“Franklin found that any effect Mesmer caused upon others was dependent upon three factors: the follower’s imagination, co-operation, and expectancy.”

I have been contemplating religion and prayer, and also atheism and positive affirmations ~ how they have affected my life. What is prayer but positive affirmation? What is faith but imagination and expectancy? Yes, there is power in what we imagine and expect.
As for cooperation, someone said to me a long time ago, “Take care regarding who you choose to spend time with. It rubs off.”

41. nigel - May 13, 2012

…..to those who have posted recently…..

I have derived great emotional sustenance from this particular blog page. I think it necessary that thoughts come ‘from all angles’, to use that old term. If we argue, we ‘come back on ourselves’ to see where another’s truth comes from. This would never happen in a cult – particularly the Fellowship of Friends, where personal and original thinking are shunned upon. It is no surprise that we see that video of ‘happy FOFfers’ explaining away the insistence on ‘being present, no matter what’…..

Rodney Collin said “All man’s possibilities rest in the Sun”…..

…..we know that the Sun emits light and warmth – Love in the symbolic and emotional sense…..

…..Robert Earl Burton is a human ‘black-hole’ who devours all the attention, love and possibilities of others…..


42. fofblogmoderator - May 13, 2012

36 & 38 are new

43. sallymcnally - May 13, 2012

The same person that told me he used black magic told me that ‘he’s an expert at this (guru) thing. He’s been doing this for eons of time and still hasn’t learned his lessons’. (meaning lifetimes, if you’re a believer of it.)

44. sallymcnally - May 13, 2012

I might add that somehow that made me feel ‘better’ that I hadn’t been as gullible as I thought and at least I had joined a cult that had an ‘expert’ at the wheel! True!

45. nigel - May 13, 2012

There is something about the ‘ominous’ that attracts us…..Nigel.

46. Golden Veil - May 13, 2012

“How to describe a conscious teacher? His only true credentials are his own presence and his effect upon his students.”

So they say… and so it is.


47. Golden Veil - May 13, 2012

Here, read the words of “Former student,” who became very familiar with the credentials, that is, the “presence” of
“The Teacher.” This is taken from the first page of this blog,
located here:



Former student says: Says:

February 10, 2007 at 8:14 pm

I was a member of the Fellowship of Friends (FOF) for 12 years, though that was over 12 years ago. Yet it has only been in the last year or so that I now feel free to speak about my experience(s).

I joined when I was a full blooded, testosterone active youth of 20 years old. My first two years were spent in a centre – a FOF outpost, where students lived together, or met up to discuss and practice the “Work”. These were times of joyful optimism, there was a sense of purpose and challenge, as I religiously read the required books and diligently performed the set exercises; all the time knowing that my attempt at Self-Remembering would produce the required results in no time at all… The only disappointment I felt was that I was stuck in this outpost of a centre. Where I really wanted to be was at the heart, where it all happened – close to the Teacher!

This desire was given extra impetus after the Teacher swept through the centre with his train of acolytes, as part of one of his exotic journeys which he was very keen on taking and of which I would partake, several years down the road. I followed everyone’s lead and bowed down in awe and made up my mind that I would up roots and move to Renaissance, as it was then called.

Indeed within a twinkling of an eye, I was soon laboring beneath a brilliant sun, building by day and burning by night! The days were long an tiring, the work hard, but the evenings were special: plenty of company, good food, lots to drink and an incredible star studded, night sky full of promise.

It wasn’t long before I got my first invitation to dine at the honored top table and soon began to feed on the attention I was being given by the Teacher. As the omnipotent, all seeing, conscious being he claimed to be, I naturally assumed everyone was the beneficiary of such cosmic affection.

So it came as a surprise when he invited me to join him on his next world tour. By this time my ego was up, I felt confident, I was definitely going somewhere. Of course I paid scant warning to the occasional asides I would receive advising me to be careful. Careful? What do I need to be careful about? I have sanctuary beneath the wings of grace.

The world tour went off without a hitch. It had it’s moments of course. Traveling with a small band of young men for eight weeks is not without it’s flash points. I for one would have certainly appreciated a bit more female company – and I don’t mean for the reasons you might be thinking. I just feel more relaxed in more balanced environment.

Anyway, after those eight weeks of high living, it was back to the vineyard by day and the wine by night. And it was probably as a result of the latter that I soon found myself proposing to a woman who I had been eyeing for awhile and had felt attracted to and which I felt was reciprocated. I suppose in a normal situation we would have simply had an affair, found out if everything worked and if we were really suited for each other. Only then made a decision about long term commitments. However, the rules stated no pre-marital sex and as I was observing the rules as this stage, there was little option; especially as there was something about this place which seemed to have the effect of boosting the sexual energy. Like the libido running on rocket fuel.

Of course marriage meant that my frequent invitations from the Teacher became less frequent. But then he had never been an open advocate of male female coupling in any form, I think he viewed it as one of the many “unnecessary necessities” that occur between the opposite sexes, children being the another. Actually I now believe women themselves fell into that category, unless they were old enough to be his mother and then he treated them like queens!

Anyway true to form I had child, after which life in the FOF became quite run of the mill, if ever it can be. Unfortunately, the marriage was not fated to last. Partly due to the artificial circumstances surrounding it’s conception, as it became evident we were not suited to each other and the child had only delayed the inevitable. Also there felt like an immense external pressure, largely due I’m sure to the active singles scene. After a long day in the field, it was sometimes too much to resist, for in spite of the rules, it was evident that students were hitting the hay left, right and centre. This was only further fuelled by a steady stream of younger, more liberally minded students making their pilgrimages from Europe and beyond.

So it was more or less back to square one. Well almost. I was now single again, eligible and yes, back on the high table!

You may be wondering what had happened to the “Work” within my life. Well I was still doing it – at least I was going to meetings, following the exercises, paying my way – if not financially, with the sweat of my brow, by working the land. But to be quite honest my main memories of this period was that I was the member of an exclusive social club, complete with all the allurements a youth in his mid-twenties could wish for.

I even fell in love again and this time decided to try out the relationship first, though I knew it involved tasting of “forbidden” fruits and liable to a hefty fine or worse. But the passionate union which followed, with its depths of intense feeling and emotion which two people encounter when trying to experience the moment, within the moment which the act of making love demands, seemed to justify my decision and still makes me shudder to this day. The only response I recall at the time was: this can’t be wrong – give me more!

In fact my wish was duly granted for it was at this point that things took a turn – not necessarily for the worse in the beginning, but certainly in another direction.

The most memorable moment occurred after one of the Teacher’s so called Symposiums, this was the name of the all male dinners he was in the habit of hosting each weekend. Indeed true to their title they mainly amounted to little more than drinking parties, taking more of the form of a Bacchanalia without the accompanying Maenads – though I was soon to discover there a sting in the tail.

After dinner it was the custom of the Teacher to retire while the rest of the young men hung around and chatted. I think I was trying to recall how much Cognac I had consumed, when the Teacher’s man servant came and whispered in my ear that the Teacher would like to speak to me. So I slipped out of the room, making my way along the hall to his study, where I knocked on his door.

When I entered he looked a little surprised, but then invited me to sit down on the couch next to him. This was all very cozy I thought. I began to wonder what words of wisdom he might impart, as I definitely felt in the mood for something insightful. So you can imagine my surprise when he reached over and started to undo my trousers. If fact, I was so taken back that I must have slipped into a kind of reverie, for the next thing I was aware of was the Teacher’s head between my legs performing fellatio.

Strangely enough I did not resist, which would have been the obvious reaction, as I had always considered myself very straight, finding the whole gay scene somewhat distasteful – at least not up my particular street! However, probably the combination of the cognac, with the fact that this was my all-knowing Teacher, plus the no doubt subconscious curiosity of what it might be like to do it with another man, permitted me to submit and allow the whole process to reach it’s natural conclusion – or unnatural conclusion, depending on which way you view it.

Anyway, obviously delighted by my apparent willingness and after taking a drink of water, the Teacher then confessed that he had not expected me to come, but another boy by the same name. So it seemed I had jumped the queue – for queue it certainly was. With my subsequent entry into the inner sanctum, not only did the concept of a “Man Number Seven” take on a whole different meaning, but I was soon to discover that I had become the member of what can only be described as a rather exclusive male harem.

As I was ushered out into the night air and mind played over what had taken place, the stars above which had once offered so much promise appeared to pale a little. Though part of me cried out violation, another part was quite frankly bewildered – almost intrigued. The sexual part wasn’t that much of a big deal, whether it’s a man or woman giving you a blow job it amounts to much the same, especially if you close your eyes, which I did. The worrying part was who was initiating it and why? It’s not as if the signals were not there. A few knowing, dare I say complicit, students had warned me, but I had either mocked them, or turned a deaf ear. Unfortunately I was unable to answer the question “why” and even if I had plucked up the courage to ask him I’m sure he would have given me some cosmic justification from higher forces. All I know is that the words and phrases he had uttered up until now and had once seemed so full of meaning and significance, had now lost their magic. For I was forced to contemplate the unthinkable: were they simply part of an insidious seduction strategy. Whatever the reason, my immediate concern was how was I going to handle this?

As it turned out, I did not have to worry, for I was quick to discover that the Teacher did all the handling for me. Indeed, the flood gates were now open and I was given a good handling at regular intervals, often without breaks in between. This man had a voracious appetite. Not only that, I was expected to put in my whole quota of daily labor at the same time.

However, far from being exhausted I also noticed that my sexual prowess toward the opposite sex began to manifest stronger than ever. It was as if the one sided clandestine rituals which were taking place within the Teacher’s study needed to be compensated by the intermingling of some good wholesome male / female energies.

And that’s what happened, for it wasn’t long before I found myself on what can only be described as a sexual rollercoaster ride. As the demands of my Teacher grew, I in turn sought refuge in the beds of willing females who would remind me of who I was, or who I thought I should be, though by this time all I felt was confusion. Worse still, I began to treat the women in the manner in which I felt I was being treated. It’s a fact that when one is seen to be close to the Teacher, one takes on a sort of reflected aura. Other students, especially newer ones, start to treat you as if you have something to offer (by proxy, as it were). This imaginary power is then yours to use, or given the quality of my immediate role model, to abuse. For a little favor on their part, I too could in turn offer them a hopeful word or two, especially if she was young and attractive!

Fortunately, I was awake enough to recognize how much I abhorred this kind of behavior. Even after many years I am still highly sensitive to this area and still regard it is one of the worst kinds of psychological abuses of power. To think it was a method that my former Teacher practiced on a daily basis, without so much as a scruple. I’m sure he still does.

So I have to pose the question once again, where had the “Work” gone in my life? Well, it had become smothered. The fire which had once driven my search for truth had all but gone out and I felt I was stumbling through a haze of thick smoke. One thing I did do was start observing the “Teacher’s actions with a new and critical eye. My proximity in his life gave me the opportunity to see things from the inside, so to speak, and often what I saw made me gasp. His outward persona was that of a powerful and charismatic leader – charisma is a quality irrespective of the person’s personality and can be found in everyone from depots through business me, to artists and has the power to attract, shock and awe! However, what I observed in private was an insecure, selfish man, with a raft of infantile tendencies, which were evident not only in his reactions to external events, but in his penchant for trying to predict the future – often catastrophes on a large scale. I even experienced moments where I felt sorry for this individual, as his inflated ego tried to provide an explanation for “everything and nothing”, while ascribing it to some higher force. (Much of this behavior only made sense later on when I became deeply involved with the works of Jung – part of my post FOF healing process.)

But now I sought ways out. First I tried confiding with a few close friends about what was taking place, but it was evident to see that even those people I regarded as my closest allies looked at me with disbelief, as I revealed the alter ego of their beloved Teacher. Such unsavory information was too much to swallow and they chose either not to hear, or to excuse his behavior in some fashion or other. Indeed, like I had been, they and 1500 other people were under his spell.

Next I decided to leave Renaissance and attempt to re-activate my work in some FOF outpost in the middle of no-where – at least that’s how it felt. But still the Teacher tracked me down and though I wasn’t physically with him, he made his physical presence known.

Finally there was one last recourse. I had to muster the courage to confront this man and express my feelings about the whole situation; something which I had until this point been unable to do with any conviction. I knew I had to prepare myself, as I was pretty certain what the reaction would be, having witnessed him deal with so called ‘rebellious’ students in the past.

I was not to be disappointed. In fact I only had to utter a few key words which appeared to question his behavior. At some point I must have made mention to a “moral deficiency”, which really put the cat among the pigeons. Anyway, it wasn’t long before the silent and overbearing wrath of someone who I can only describe as verging on fully fledged egomania, was threatening me with portents of hell and damnation, or words from some passage you could quite easily find in the Old Testament.

But I stood my ground, besides at this point I had little left to loose. In fact I began to grow in confidence as the initial burden fell away and a sense of relief crept over me. I began to sense the shallowness and immaturity of his words – those of a selfish child, who has been deprived of a handful of sweets. And that was that!

The days leading up to my leaving the FOF where very painful – the stars had now well and truly gone out. I just knew I had to go, but it was still the equivalent of emotional amputation. I had come to realize that I had over the years grown to become two separate persons, my work persona had gone one way, while who I really was had remained true. It was the latter which provided the chink of light through which I could make my escape. However getting my two parts to re-unite once again and work in some kind of harmony would take another twelve years of rehabilitative effort. Before this would happen, I would have to plunge very deep.

I left the FOF with nothing, or so it seemed. All my physical attachments were severed – my so called “friends”, family, home were pulled from under one’s feet, like some perverse party trick. I only had my thoughts, my recollections – which were to haunt me for years. Then there was the fear of what would happen to my during my return to “life*”. After all I had now passed beneath hell’s arch, which bore the inscription: “All hope abandon ye who enter here”.

However, this is the subject of another episode: of rebuilding, reaffirmation and re-gaining confidence and self-esteem, all of which had been pretty much knocked out of me. What I can safely say is that you only know you are brainwashed if you are fortunate to emerge from out the other side. Until then it is like a drug that slowly permeates you mind, as you become part of a small world with it’s crooked and twisted ways and utterly blind and deaf to the faces and voices of sanity on the outside.

I therefore dedicate the above to those who find the will or the way – or simply the luck – to make it out and so have the possibility of knowing what it is to taste true freedom.

* “Life” or “life people” is the name given to those outside the FOF and therefore effectively dead, or without possibilities. A wonderful piece of irony!


48. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 14, 2012

47. Golden Veil
This would be the link, I think, to post #72 of 301 on that page:

49. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 14, 2012

46. Golden Veil – May 13, 2012
“So they say… and so it is.”

And, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”

50. Shard_of_oblivion - May 14, 2012

The woman in the gold dress is a lot sexier than Linda Kaplan.

51. sallymcnally - May 14, 2012

Self discovery IS a valid way to becoming more aware of oneself in the universe. When I joined the FOF I was a mess, along with many of us who were in the same boat (so to speak). Disappointed with the world the way it was and with ourselves in it. Man #4? I don’t think so. Isn’t that the way you’re supposed to start ‘the work’?

So if you are supposed to be fairly well balanced and have already learned quite a bit about yourself going into a school, how could you possibly use the tool of self observation? You can’t. So I doubt very many of us did it. We were there for the socializing and fun of it all (and the nice impressions!) It was a great ride while it lasted.

Sometimes there is judgment and sarcasm regarding the people who remain in the Fellowship on these pages. When I was in the FOF I was judged by people not in the school and it didn’t feel very good. Just a reminder that it might not be too helpful for people ‘on the fence’ to feel it’s unfriendly and hostile on the other side.

52. silentpurr - May 14, 2012

53. Edgar - May 14, 2012

Sally: “Sometimes there is judgment and sarcasm regarding the people who remain in the Fellowship on these pages. When I was in the FOF I was judged by people not in the school and it didn’t feel very good. Just a reminder that it might not be too helpful for people ‘on the fence’ to feel it’s unfriendly and hostile on the other side.”

Often nothing is said or discussed in this cult because there is so much concern about leaving the impression of being “judgmental” or “negative” about Burton and the so-called school. Cults survive by instilling a fear that people will be branded with a “negative attitude” if they express any complaints. This is largely because cult leaders know that if enough people begin to openly express their complaints, it’s all over.

Regarding your comments: I agree that how one states something is important. You might get positive results (whatever that means) by stating something in an intelligent way. And you might get negative results (whatever that means) by stating something bluntly and without calculation. But if a person understands how easy it is to be brainwashed and influenced by group psychology, then I can’t imagine that the main point behind their dissent is to “judge” someone who is stuck there. What they’re hoping to do is to shed light on it. If they can by extension help them break the spell they’re under, that’s great — assuming there’s any part of them left that wants the spell to be broken. But articulating a dissenting opinion and stating constructive criticisms is not “judgment.” Most people are evaluating and critiquing the thinking of the cult, and part of that amounts to pointing out absurdities and contradictions, and/or outright lies and distortions. It’s sometimes impossible to do so with delicate language.

There’s no easy way to say, “These ideas are unhealthy,” without using the word “unhealthy.” It may hurt to hear it that way, especially if you still identify yourself with those ideas.

After a meeting many years ago, I remember someone asking me what I thought of “the sequence.” About five or six people standing nearby stopped their conversations momentarily and moved closer. Immediately I started calculating why this person was asking me. Did they think it was ridiculous? Were they fairly sure “Robert” was losing it? Were they testing my valuation?

And I also wondered why all of those nearby ears had perked up. Were they just curious? Did they too think the “sequence” was strange and delusional and just wanted to hear a viewpoint that would mesh with their own?

All of these thoughts popped into my head FIRST. But wouldn’t it have been great if instead of worrying about the impression I would leave, I’d just expressed my opinion? An honest answer that articulated what I actually believed?

“Good question. I began to have doubts about the teacher and the school many years ago, and the sequence is another huge red flag for me that something is wrong. It seems really pretentious to me, and I’m starting to wonder if the teacher is losing it, assuming he didn’t lose it many years ago.”

Instead, I said, “Well, I’m still learning about it so it’s hard to say.”

It was a complete lie on my part — trying not to be negative. Not to make waves. Not to offend anyone. And not to be branded as someone with a negative attitude.

54. James McLemore - May 15, 2012

51. sallymcnally

I agree with the direction I think you are taking. We were told we were “asleep”. We were instructed to try to “remember” our “self”. We were told to “observe”. Nowhere that I can remember did we really take into account and try to deeply investigate ‘who’ was being talked about. Who is asleep? Who is trying to self remember and what are they trying to remember? As to observation??? The observations that I think most of did was like a cat watching mice. These were mice that evidently needed to be watched. These mice we were told are the “me that is asleep” and they are going into “imagination” and “expressing negative emotions”, and lost in “inner considering”, and becoming constantly “identified”. The damned mice are keeping “us” asleep, without of course even questioning who the “us” were. The cat was given a variety of lofty labels , – “work I’s”, “deputy steward”, “steward”, and was hopefully on his way to becoming some kind of super-cat. I think it was the same as what WhaleRider has mentioned before, although the name he used has slipped my mind. What passed as observation in most of us was just a little programmed broken off piece of the mind, that we then imagined through magical-thinking would lead “us” to the famous “higher centers”. All the while still not investigating who this “us” was we were told needed to go somewhere. I think this is what often passed in the FoF for the true “self-discovery” you spoke of at the beginning of your post. It is not surprising that many felt like they were turning in circles in what was already a dead end street. The Fourth Way, at least as taught in the FoF, rather amazingly seemed to continually discipline and punish at every turn, going nowhere.
And I feel pretty sure they are doing the same old things and going down the same old mental path with all the non-duality ideas that they are now advertising and trying to integrate into their already mis-directed thinking, and then sell to the naive for money. Money that goes to to a sociopathic old man who cares nothing at all about any ideas. He only cares for the luxury they afford him and new young men to try to manipulate into having sex with him.

55. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 15, 2012

46. Golden Veil – May 13, 2012
“So they say… and so it is.”

So let it be written. . .

56. Just the Facts Ma'am - May 15, 2012

34. nigel – May 11, 2012
…..from Google-ing – “process of crime rodney collin”…..

One possible example of this triad, CRIME, is:
‘The ends justify the means.’

That is to say, much practiced in FoF, especially by REB, is: almost any technique, action, or behaviour, is justifiable as long as the intended outcome is to produce a higher state, presence, and/or self-remembering.

Fire, aim, ready. Not: ready, aim, fire.

Warning: long post.

‘Q. The difficulties are likely to be increased with time?

A. Yes, but not beyond a certain limit – beyond this limit it becomes an impossibility. It is important to realize, not in theory but through seeing facts, that people do not understand one another and that the situation is becoming more and more complicated. If people have machine-guns, it is more dangerous. And they have machine-guns in many senses. So each misunderstanding becomes more deep and more complicated.’

‘I WANT TO GIVE YOU SOME NEW MATERIAL TO THINK ABOUT. DO you remember the starting-point when the idea of triads was explained? It was said that every action, every manifestation is the result of the conjunction of three forces. This is the principle, and we must now try to understand how to begin to study it. In the study of triads and three forces one must be very careful and slow, using the principles given in the system and trying to apply and enlarge them when it is possible. One should particularly avoid hurry and invention.

The first point in understanding the meaning of triads is to remember that manifestations of energy, any kind of action, in the world, in man’s activity, inside the human machine or in external events always consists of triads. We spoke of six different triads comprehensible to the human mind, each representing a different combination of forces. In order to limit the question, not to make it too complicated in the beginning, we will consider only human activity. But here we come to a difficulty. We have never thought of activity itself being different. We know the difference between wood and metal, for instance, and we will not mix them. But we do not understand that one action can be as different from another as two different objects. For us, in ordinary thinking, actions are the same, only one starts with one aim and has one result and another starts with another aim and has a different result. We think only about motives, aims and results, but not of actions themselves.

Q. Is then motive less important than we think?

A. It does not determine the action. You may have one kind of aim, but your action may be of a different kind. This happens very often. People start doing something with a certain aim in view, but their actions are such that not even by accident can this aim be ever attained. It is necessary to co-ordinate aim with action, otherwise you will never attain what you want.

This is what we must understand in relation to our actions and we must try to find different categories of actions. When we begin to look at human activity from this point of view, remembering that there are different kinds of actions, independently of results, intentions, emotions, material and so on, we will begin to see it. It is not the capacity to see that is lacking, but knowledge of this principle, which is new to us.

We cannot begin at once to look for all the six different triads which can be found in human activity, for they will become mixed in our minds. We must find standards for two, three or four kinds, as much as we can see. Look at your own actions and at those of the people around you and you will see certain differences. It is good material for thinking. All the absurdities of life depend on the fact that people do not understand that certain things can be done with only one kind of triad. They use a wrong triad, a wrong kind of action, and are surprised that the results are not what they wanted. For instance, it is no good trying to teach by beating, or trying to persuade with machine-guns. Find your own and better examples of the wrong use of triads and you will see that certain results can be obtained only by an appropriate action. Observe yourself and life in general; if you turn this study on yourself, you will see, for instance, that if you wish to know or change something in yourself and if you approach this problem in a formatory way, you will never get anything. Formatory thinking is an example of an action that does not lead to understanding.

Q. Can you give an example of different human activities?

A. Take two simple examples in order to understand the idea. To build a house, effort is needed at every moment, every single brick must be put into place with a certain effort; no triad passes into another triad without effort. At last the house is built and furnished. Then, if you want to burn it, you just strike a match and put it to something inflammable, and the house is burnt. If you go deeper into it you will see that these are two different activities. You cannot build a house by the same activity as you burn it. In the second case one triad passes into another without any effort, automatically, after the first initial effort of striking a match.

Examples of the third kind of triad, in our experience, can be found only in conscious work, not identified work, or in some activity that has a peculiar quality of its own that cannot be imitated by others, such as artistic creation. Efforts at self-remembering and not identifying belong to this category. If you think about it you will understand that in order to paint a good picture, for instance, one must use a different triad from the one used in building a house or the one used for burning a house; something else is needed.

Another triad may be called invention, discovery, craft. If you think about these four
different activities, they will give you material for observing and comparing. Try to
see why and in what they are different.

Q. I do not see the distinction between craft and building a house.

A. In one case only energy, only effort is necessary; in the other something more is
needed, some knowledge or capacity for invention.

Q. Did you put efforts at self-remembering with art?

A. Yes, it is the same triad. Simple, blind effort, as in physical work, will not help in self-remembering. Neither will effort in the sense of invention, adaptation, help.

Q. I find it difficult to think of analogies to these activities.

A. Naturally, because you are not accustomed to think in this way. It is quite a new
way of thinking. You are trying to think in the ordinary, logical, formatory way, and
this is not sufficient. It is necessary to think not about words, but about facts. If you
find four different kinds, in what do they differ? They differ in the form of effort.’

Above quoting Ouspensky in the Fourth Way

Black magic could be seen as the substitution of the process (triad) of CRIME for the process (triad) of REGENERATION.

As in:

Planets: Sun: Earth: or, Form: Life: Matter:
Disease, Rebellion, Corruption, CRIME. 3,1,2

as compares with:

Planets: Earth: Sun: or, Form: Matter: Life:
REGENERATION, Re-Creation, Change of Nature, Art. 3,2,1

57. fofblogmoderator - May 15, 2012

#53 is new

58. Golden Veil - May 15, 2012

And here, the entire paragraph from the Living Presence website:

“How to describe a conscious teacher? His only true credentials are his own presence and his effect upon his students. He does what no one else will do or can do—teaching the most unpopular of all truths: that our illusory sense of “I” must die before presence can be born. He is the living reminder that it is possible to awaken, and that presence means humility, acceptance, and conscious love.”

In the above excerpt’s final words, “The Teacher is thus described:

“He is the living reminder that it is possible to awaken, and that presence means humility, acceptance, and conscious love.


When he holds fundraisers where students are exhorted to buy useless baubles at exorbitant rates; when he dresses in silks and cashmere garments of the very finest quality purchased with his
non-profit Church/Esoteric School donations? Is he humble when
he surrounds himself with gorgeous male acolytes whom he then kneels before?


When students who question his authority (or perversity, or false prophecies) are immediately banished? When he gathers the beautiful close to him and but asks the loyal student of many years
to be excluded from his dining table because he or she has now developed a disability?

Conscious Love?

When he encourages drunkenness and then kneels before his confused heterosexual acolyte and uses him for his own rapacious sexual gratification? That he causes the handsome student to be unfaithful to his beloved girlfriend or wife, and in former years, directed some female students to abort their very own babies?

The Living Presence author of The Teacher’s biography asserts that,

“…our illusory sense of “I” must die before presence can be born.

The Fellowship of Friends certainly has unique methodologies to achieve this aim. And remember that, as for The Teacher,

“His only true credentials are his own presence and his effect upon his students.”

And so it is written ~


59. WhaleRider - May 15, 2012

The term is: homunculus, or better yet, the homunculus fallacy…the snake biting its own tail…the mind attempting to know itself with the mind.

The idea is that to “observe oneself” one splits off a part of the mind in a vain effort to separate the conscious from the unconscious.

In doing so one falls into the trap of thinking this split off part of oneself is a true or more real or more conscious representation of oneself.

But in fact one has only created a humunculus (an inner person watching a movie) containing both the conscious and unconscious. Herein lies the snare: because the homunculus claims to be conscious and yet contains just as much unconsciousness as the other part it is observing, it can be manipulated by outside influences. It can be dressed up in any suit, be groomed to incite others to join its cause and become an inner demon that will never give you peace.

I read recently that a more accurate translation of the Greek axiom, “Know Thyself” is: “Know that you are not a God”.

60. Shirley - May 15, 2012

γνῶθι σεαυτόν.
Gnôthi seautón.
“Know thyself”
Aphorism inscribed over the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi. (The above is from Google translate.)

Although the literal translation from the Ancient Greek would be “Know thyself,” the interpretation may be what you mean. In Ancient Greek culture, there would probably have been an awareness of the difference between humans and the gods. Those who did not observe this were sometimes accused of hubris.

61. sallymcnally - May 15, 2012

The way I personally understand what I call a ‘silent observer’ is that yes, it’s a part of ourselves because our brain is used to translate it, but it receives information at a higher vibratory rate than the other parts being observed. It seems to have more of an emotional element connected to it although more impartial. This part when used notices more and makes impersonal observations or takes notes on what it sees rather than judging what it sees. It is an essential part of personal growth in my humble opinion.

62. James McLemore - May 15, 2012

61. sallymcnally

“This part when used notices more and makes impersonal observations or takes notes on what it sees rather than judging what it sees. It is an essential part of personal growth in my humble opinion.”

I agree.

63. James McLemore - May 15, 2012

WhaleRider – Thank you for the follow up.on “homunculus”,

64. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 16, 2012

Looking back on it now, it seems the critical flaw in my thinking that allowed the FoF and Burton to enthrall me, was to agree to the idea that there is such a thing as “Higher Mind”. This is not to say that I now believe there are no people who know more or who are more talented then me, of course there are. It is rather the idea that there are people or beings who are so far above we ordinary mortals that we must accept their knowledge without understanding how they themselves obtained it. I see this as the mistake at the core of all religions and cults. I now see all knowledge as subjective, partial and subject to revision in the light of further experience and experiments.
There is a certain deadness and predictability about unscientific thinkers, that is just so uninteresting compared to the vitality and beauty of empirical research results.

65. Jerome - May 16, 2012

58. “How to describe a conscious teacher? His only true credentials are his own presence and his effect upon his students.”

Excuse me, his “presence,” which cannot be verified by anyone besides Robert Burton (and is something that easily gives rise to imagination and fantasy in others), and his “effect upon his students,” which could be the result of fascination, imagination, hypnosis, delusion.

Other “effects” have been described by the people on these pages.

The Fourth Way was supposed to be practical.

66. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 16, 2012

I wonder if Burton knows how repulsive he looks in most of those pictures? The one where he is touching skulls with Nette Ornbak I find particularly disturbing, that hand he has behind her head – he’s used that move before huh? Still the photo 2 further on in the sequence with the white collar and weird black pattern shirt affords some light relief! Is the twit in a hole ridden panama hat the heir apparent Braverman, I left before he appeared on the scene.


67. nigel - May 16, 2012


…..spouting the aim – “Being Present” – while having extreme, perverted sex with young men…..

…..as one of his precious, ‘conscious beings’, Montaigne, would state – “…..supercelestial thoughts, couple with subterranean actions”

68. Golden Veil - May 16, 2012

Very good point, Nigel, but I wonder if indeed the “super celestial thoughts” are more wily super celestial “lies” to ensnare the gullible Students? I doubt that The Teacher actually believes these so-called “supercelestial thoughts” himself.

I think that some of his assertions about “C Influence” or “The Gods” are due to his devious aims. And, his ability to mesmerize and exert control probably comes from several sources, including Dale Carnegie and his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” … even the name of the cult!

69. nigel - May 16, 2012

…..stuff the pursuit of ‘just being present’ – what you are and what you do matters…..Nigel.

“As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.”

Denis Waitley

70. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 17, 2012

That is just beautiful Nigel!

Yes – what has Burton done? Words fail me.

And yes, let each of us follow our own deepest destiny, which for each of us will be far far beyond the appalling moral degradation of Burton. We are stars, while he is a foul smelling putrid flower, which thinks it still smells of roses. We shall shine, while he shall rot.

71. nigel - May 17, 2012

…..and one that I, obviously, like, from Johann von Goethe…..

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”

72. Whale Rider - May 17, 2012

“The way I personally understand what I call a ‘silent observer’ is that yes, it’s a part of ourselves because our brain is used to translate it, but it receives information at a higher vibratory rate than the other parts being observed. It seems to have more of an emotional element connected to it although more impartial. This part when used notices more and makes impersonal observations or takes notes on what it sees rather than judging what it sees. It is an essential part of personal growth in my humble opinion.”

Sounds like cultspeak, in my humble opinion.

Firstly, although there is a strong relationship, there is a bit of a difference, IMO, between the “brain” and the “mind”, is there not?

I did not mention the word brain in my post, but apparently that’s what you heard.

In my mind, so to speak, there is a difference between brain activity and mental activity. The very ability to discuss that difference is the difference of which I am speaking, distinguishing our cognitive functioning from the brain of a hamster, for instance, mindlessly running in its wheel.

Although there is also a strong relationship, like between mind and brain, I believe our personal growth stems from learning that our Self is different than our ego, the Self containing both the ego and he shadowy parts of ourselves of which we are unaware and unconsciously deny or project upon others, (including our demons and the resource of our inner guru) and the ego as the nexus of our conscious personality.

Secondly, there is no difference, IMO, in what is being observed in you and what in you is doing the observing, although you and mr b would like to imagine there is.

Both are the same entity, both are you, albeit mirror images of each other..it is still the mind observing the mind, not unlike Narcissus gazing into the pool at his reflection.

Narcissus’s issue is that he cannot “see” that he is only looking at what he wants to see on the surface of the water: he seeks to remember only his “detached” beauty, not his hidden shadow side.

He therefore does not grow to know himself; he remains in stasis, young and immature, eventually falling into the pool, and drowning.

Be honest, is not this “silent observer” in you…is she not beautifully formed…angelic, even, with a mona lisa smile?

If the “silent observer” had a shadow, ugly side, what would it be?

Silent! Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Just watch.

Thirdly, you say this “silent observer” part of you is impartial, impersonal and non-judgemental, yet you attach a value judgement to this part in that it is a receiver of “information at a higher vibratory rate”, as opposed to the part being observed which receives information at a lower vibratory rate, whatever that means.

(I think this is also where you and Shakespeare disagree on the intent and value of well placed satire, the play within the play.)

I’d say my experience is that we receive just as much “information at a higher (or lower) vibratory rate” all the time and at either end of the spectrum you are presenting here, whether we are conscious of it or not.

Didn’t Bush number two claim he heard the voice of God directing him to consciously invade Iraq?

Or take intuition, for example. IMO, you can receive intuition (or a premonition) whether you are “observing yourself” or not. You can’t make it happen, it just happens, magically, without any conscious effort or membership in a cult.

Dreams function the same way….no effort involved. They just happen, just like self-awareness happens. BTW, I feel we are always aware of ourselves on some level, there is no real effort involved there either.

For me, self-awareness is simply the human quality of being alive. But as I said before, if you really want to remember your SELF, make the effort to remember your dreams. Then you will discover your own truth.

So tell me, are dreams, intuition, and premonitions, which occur on the unconscious level at a “higher” or “lower” vibratory rate? Do they not contain judgements? Are they not emotional? And are they personal or impersonal?

IMO, this “silent observer” archetype or inner homunculus of which you speak is the mental Svengali cultivated by the FOF that keeps people trapped in the cult for years and years.

The cultspeak of “observing oneself”, IMO, is a mental yoke designed to keep one’s thinking and behavior in line with cult indoctrination when burton unzips your fly or pocketbook or both.

Personally, I’d throw that baby out with the bathwater; it’s really not a baby at all, just an ill-formed tumor with some hair and a few teeth!

“Observe me, do not judge me” is mr b’s imbedded message as he continues to exploit and rape his silent followers, whom are content to have crawled back into the womb in a vain search for their soul.

Remember in the myth that the magical pool that Narcissus is captivated by was placed there by his hidden shadow side, Nemesis.

IMO, the FOF vicitm pool was also created from the very start by burton’s shadow side to obscure and justify his predatory behavior. That’s why he was kicked out of Horn’s group in the first place!

Thirdly, if you happen to be lead to define your impartial and impersonal “silent observer” as your “true self”, your “higher self” or an aspect of your “true personality”, free from the bonds of feminine dominance, then IMO, this leads to blunting of the conscience and contributes to the static apathy that keeps one from taking compassionate action in the face of another person’s suffering or from making the hard choices in dealing with one’s own suffering.

How can that information be of a “higher vibratory rate” then if it keeps FOF followers running on the FOF hamster wheel? Had I been impartial about burton’s rape of me, I’d still be in the cult, for goodness sake!

Despite how charming they seem, psychopaths also internally operate on the impersonal, impartial and detached level, too. When your resources as their narcissistic object are exhausted, they drop you and move on. They could care less about you and your warm, fuzzy “feelings”. burton is a shining example of a successful psychopath. One of the brightest in 2000 years!

Now there is no question in my mind that SOMETIMES we need to examine ourselves (and others) in an impartial, impersonal, and non-judgemental manner, as in the upbringing of children or in viewing our mistakes in retrospect, but that is not always the case, especially in dealing with sociopathic and criminal behavior.

Our “higher” cognitive functioning requires judgment, coupled with an openness to admit when we are wrong. That takes personal growth. That’s also why there is a legal system.

Unfortunately for many, burton’s crimes are outside the reach of the legal system.

We whom have fallen prey have to warn others ourselves.

Thank you for posting.

And a warm welcome to the new posters!

73. jomopinata - May 17, 2012

Bravo, Whalerider, great post. The much lauded “silent observer” is not “the” self; it’s a dissociated fragment of self, perhaps one of many.

sallymcnally - May 17, 2012

In my experience my silent observer is closer to my intuitive mind. I am a firm believer that all things have a vibration and that higher vibrations are available to help us and can bring more clarity. This is the ‘heart’ of any spiritual practice and I do have one.

I am a true believer that what we experience here is humming at a pretty low vibration and the only way to access anything more is through a silent mind. There are many techniques to do that. It’s not unique to the FOF.

I do believe that yes intuition happens but I also believe we can experience it more often by developing a practice to silence the mind.

Many people through time have expressed their understanding of how intuition and a silent mind have helped them discover things about themselves and their understanding of the world has increased. Non-dualistic, dualistic, it really doesn’t matter what you want to call it and whether it’s part of us, not part of us. I really could care less. To me that’s just more intellectual rhetoric trying to pigeon hole the process.

I now question anyone who says they are ‘conscious’ or that they have ‘arrived’ at a place of superiority over another. I did learn that in the Fellowship and I thank the teacher, the expert in what not to do, for that huge lesson.

And the last thing I want to do on these pages is get into an intellectual debate about it.

74. nigel - May 17, 2012

72. Whale Rider

On the first reading of your post (this morning – mornings I am more energetic) I was a little confused. On reading it this evening (in a relaxed state) I had a little more ‘grasp’ of your meaning.

One of the problems lies in your symbolism and terminology (but hey!…..we are here to make efforts to understand one another on this blog, despite our backgounds and how we have escaped the cult and now find ourselves) but I do agree that there is BASIC AWARENESS in humans that ebbs and flows, yet gives us a basic difference from other creatures. My opinion is that the more REAL WE ARE i.e. existing from our more and more ‘core nature’ (what Gurdjieff calls ‘the Master’, real ‘I’ or the Self) the more our awareness is useful to us.

My teacher training was a wonderful experience – psychologically, emotionally and socially. Perhaps the most important passage of knowledge I still carry with me is this…..

“The true purpose of teaching is ensuring learning takes place”

(Do you think that Burton cares about whether his students grow and learn as real people? More likely he only cares about his ‘jollies’ – sex, shopping and student slavery)…..Nigel

75. James McLemore - May 17, 2012

73. jomopinata

“The much lauded “silent observer” is not “the” self; it’s a dissociated fragment of self, perhaps one of many.”


– sallymcnally

“And the last thing I want to do on these pages is get into an intellectual debate about it.”


76. nigel - May 17, 2012

Psychology of Self
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

“The psychology of self is the study of either the cognitive and affective representation of one’s identity or the subject of experience. The earliest formulation of the self in modern psychology derived from the distinction between the self as I, the subjective knower, and the self as Me, the object that is known.

Current views of the self in psychology position the self as playing an integral part in human motivation, cognition, affect, and social identity. It may be the case that we can now usefully attempt to ground experience of self in a neural process with cognitive consequences, which will give us insight into the elements of which the complex multiply situated selves of modern identity are composed.”

77. John Bennett - May 18, 2012

“If there is no wound on one’s hand, one can handle poison. Poison has no effect where there is no wound.” Buddha

78. nigel - May 18, 2012

sallymcnally May 17, 2012

I was a little dubious, at first, about the practice of ‘quieting the mind’. I have problems with that ‘cerebral buzz’ – that constant flow of unbridled thoughts – and, especially when high, racing thoughts. But I do agree that intuition is coupled to attempting to quiet one’s mind. I actually find that my craft work creates that state of ‘stopping the inner noise’. I can be perfectly happily occupied by myself for a whole day with a piece of precious metal and not need to think about anything else…..

…..I would welcome more of your posts on ‘quieting the mind’…..Nigel.

79. WhaleRider - May 18, 2012

“I could care less”

Wow, did you learn that from your so called “teacher”, too?

The practice of quieting the mind is not at issue here.

Anything that causes a state of narrowed and focused attention like working a piece of metal or simply closing your eyes and observing your breath can help to quiet the mind. And yes, I agree that with a quieter mind you can be more in touch with the inner resources of your intuition or inate wisdom or inner guru.

As you know, time becomes distorted in that state of absorption, causing an hour to seem like ten minutes. The blood pressure drops, the pulse rate drops, cholesterol levels are lowered and the pain threshold is higher. Attention span is increased, and the ability to manage stress is enhanced.

Quieting the mind once or twice a day is a wonderfully healthy process for mind AND body; I recommend it to everyone!

Attempting to attach one’s “true or higher” identity to the experience of silent inner peace is, in my experience and opinion, an exercise in futility…like chasing a dragon.

Here’s what usually happens for me. I close my eyes; I notice my breath. With eyes closed my sense of hearing and the sensations on my skin become more intense.

After a few minutes a thought appears which often generates a feeling, but not always. The thought or feeling soon subsides, and then I notice my breath again…this seems to me like a healthy ebb and flow of awareness without having to force anything.

Sometimes I get insights into an unresolved problem or issue I’m having, sometimes I experience intense feelings of saddness, sometimes I experience intense feelings of joy. I do not have to go looking for bliss, it comes to me.

And I also do not place a value judgement or verticle metric on what I experience. I simply accept what naturally happens.

For me this practice increases my powers of observation through having more free attention and allows me to be comfortable with silence. I experience three dimensional space without feeling the need to fill it.

As much as a so-called, “teacher or guru” appears to be in a state of permanent bliss, this is an self-serving illusion they promote in their followers: “A Mask of Authoritarian Power”. The clue is in the hierarchical language used to describe their practice or themselves, i. e., higher self/ lower self, man number 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, etc.

I am glad that you are skeptical of anyone claiming to be in any way more superior to others. We both had to learn that the hard way.

At the same time, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

IMO, the practice of stimulating the mind through open discussion and debate is just as important as the practice of quieting the mind. We have the Greek philosophers and the Buddha to thank for that. Even though they were counted among the 44, isn’t that what was missing in the cult…balance?

80. nigel - May 18, 2012

78. Whale Rider

Thanks, mate! I was in a shit mood all day until I read your post. It answered many questions…..Nigel.

81. nigel - May 18, 2012

…..to sallymcnally and Whale Rider both…..Nigel.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”


82. sallymcnally - May 18, 2012

Nigel, this one’s for you:

Einstein’s quote ‘You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it’.

To me this understanding comes from going to a place within, quieting the mind, and gathering data from a place that is closer to what some people call the ‘collective unconscious flow’ of information that is available to anyone who wants to go into the silence long enough to hear it. The collective unconscious flow is not a place but an energetic flow of higher vibratory information, just above our mind chatter. It’s also been called the astral plane or where intuitive mind comes from. Wherever it does come from there seems to be more objectivity there where answers received come from a more neutral or objective point of view.

Hypnosis is valuable because it brings the patient or client to a state of what some have called ‘alpha’ state where you have less of your mind chatter in the way and are able to obtain better understanding from this place.

Many techniques like ‘the Silva technique’ used back in the 60’s and still popular today under many other names, techniques of self hypnosis where you use silencing your mind to reach this more objective state.

I feel these techniques are all doing the same thing and that is to allow the state of silence long enough to gather information or understanding from a clearer place, and possibly from the collective unconscious so that we have more choices of how we think and can become more objective in how we make decisions about our lives.

I also believe that meditation does the same thing however meditation can bring one to higher states and bypass the collective unconscious. This brings one to what some call higher mind or higher states of consciousness. But I believe without the participant practicing the earlier techniques first the process can be dangerous for a participant who is not ready for that experience. Psychedelic drugs have been used for the same purpose, to reach higher states of consciousness.

That is what I liked about the techniques of the Fourth Way. It seemed so practical where you could take it into your daily life and use the method while things were happening, taking notes on how you were experiencing things along the way.

These are all viable techniques in my opinion.

However, the way we learned to use it lacked pure openness of the heart and compassion. We were learning to think of ourselves as special and exclusive, the exact opposite.

The Fellowship does not practice any methods to reach a true feeling of openness and love of all. Many so-called churches do the same thing so the Fellowship is not unique in that respect.

I think with all the many choices out there on how to silence the mind it is an essential practice in broadening the way one normally thinks about ones self, others and experience while being alive and having an open heart is a healthier way of experiencing it.

In m opinion, leaving the Fellowship is the healthiest thing one can do for ones personal growth.


83. WhaleRider - May 18, 2012

Bravo to you!

Although we might disagree on terminology, we can both agree that the healthiest step a follower can take in the face of cult insanity is to make the hard choice to walk away from it.

Great job. I trust your sister ( or sister in law, I forget which) is doing better, too.

84. fofblogmoderator - May 19, 2012

#77 in new

85. WhaleRider - May 19, 2012

A door in the back of the mind has swung wide open.

Dare we go through together?

What awaits us in the archetypical realm…

The great collective unconscious we all share?

Close your eyes.

Open your mind.

Hold my hand…and you and I are one!

As our vision adjusts…

To the exquisite darkness…

Shapes begin to form…

And move about us…and through us!

Ah, the terribly wonderous!

The frightenly beautiful!

The dangerously familiar!

sallymcnally - May 19, 2012

🙂 big smile and very big heartfelt hug to you whalerider!

86. nigel - May 19, 2012

…..just thought this might strike some kind of chord…..Nigel.

Kojiki – The Japanes Creation Myth…..

“In the begining before the seperation of In and Yo, this is the same thing as the Chinese concept of Yin and Yang, this also mean that heaven and earth, light and dark, male and female had not separated. The entire mass of existence formed an egg with the pure elements rising to the outside forming the heavens, and the impure elements congealing on the inside forming the Earth. The first generation of gods were born in the heavens, and they were called.

Ame no mi-naka-nushi (heaven middle master)

Umashi-ashi-kabi hikoji (sweet reed-shoot prince elder)

The next generation of gods and also the first god to touch the earth was.

Kuni-toko-tachi (land eternal stand of august thing), he formed out of a reed shoot that appeared out of the earth and grew into the heavens. Now I will skip several generation of gods, if you would like to know them consult a copy of the Kojiki or buy a copy of Myths and Legends of Japan by Hadland Davis. Most of the other generations of the gods were born as brother/sister/husband/wife pairs with each generation giving birth to the next generation. Now I will skip to the seventh generation of the gods, the one which has the most influence on Japanese Shintoism.

The seventh generation of the gods was a brother/sister pair called

Izanagi no Mikoto (he who invites)

Izanami no Mikoto (she who invites)

They stood on the floating bridge of heaven overlooking the impure germ which would become the earth, they wanted to find out what was below them so the thrust a giant jeweled spear into the ocean and pulled it out, the spears drippings formed an island called (Onogooro-jima) (some interpret this to be the main island of Japan). The pair then descended to the surface and erected a pillar to the heaven, then Izanami chased Izanagi around the pole and said what a fine male I have found, then they made love, and she gave birth to an monster and it was discarded into the void. Then Izanagi said I am the man and should have spoken first, so he chased Izanami around the pillar and said what a lovely maiden I have found, then they made love, and Izanami gave birth to islands, river, mountains, crops, birds, and so forth (some say that this version establishes the dominance of men over women). After a while they wondered if they should produce the future ruler of this universe, after a while Izanami gave birth to the Sun Goddess (Amaterasu), so great was her light, and brilliance that they sent her up into the high plain of heaven so her light could be spread over the heavens and earth. Next Izanami gave birth to the Moon God (Tuskiyumi), the parents thought he would make a mate for Amaterasu, but she disliked his pale nature, so he was sent to the other side of the high plane of heaven, so they could be separated. Then Izanami next gave birth to the God of Ill Omens/Wind God/Storm God (Susa-no-o), he was eventually banished to the land of the dead (I talk about that later). Later Izanami gave birth to the Fire God (Kagutsuchi) burning herself, and making her ill, so she departed to the land of the dead over the objections of Izanagi. She told Izanagi not to follow her into the impure land, but he missed her so much that he followed her there, she saw him looking at her impure and disfigured body, and grew very angry. She and some demons from the land of the dead chased him out into the world, and in her anger she killed many people, Izanagi told her to stop and that he was sorry, so Izanami returned to the land of the dead, Izanagi then gave birth to many more people than Izanami had killed. After this, Izanagi purified himself giving birth to many more gods, and his job being done he then departed to an island of gloom to hide himself away. In another version of the creation myth the gods (Amaterasu, Tuskiyumi, and Susanoo), are not created until after Izanami’s departure to the land of the dead. In this version the three gods were created as a result of Izanagi purification, with the three gods being created from is eyes, and nose. Thus ends the story of Izanagi and Izanami.”

87. WhaleRider - May 19, 2012

Interesting… what was your process around choosing to post a creation myth today?

“The entire mass of existence formed an egg with the pure elements rising to the outside forming the heavens…”

BTW The egg is one of those archetypical images that appears in creation myths across many cultures all over the world. Jung believed it to be symbolic of the process of individuation…the creation of the self.

88. sallymcnally - May 19, 2012

I believe it all started with the 12 cylons from Battlestar Galactica.

89. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 20, 2012

This may seem a strange thought, but surely creation myths are what humans came up with BEFORE we had the benefit of the advances in knowledge that science affords us? As such they seem to me to be blatant examples of how we humans cannot ever seem to admit that we have no clue, and instead make up all sorts of complete and utter nonsense to overcome the feelings of anxiety that not knowing tends produce in us. Those who created them I would deem to be liars, who deep down really knew it was all made up, whilst the majority of the population were duped and brain washed into believing they were the truth.

90. Golden Veil - May 20, 2012

89. Shard of Oblivion

This sounds like you’re talking about someone we all know who’s
a pretty good storyteller…

“Those who created them I would deem to be liars, who deep down really knew it was all made up, whilst the majority of the population were duped and brain washed into believing they were the truth.”

I think a lot of us that were or are involved with the Fellowship of Friends like high romance, fairy tales, metaphysics and philosophy; we love beautiful tales. What great stories did The Teacher tell.
And yes, the name it and explain away fear game could be part
of it, too.

91. WhaleRider - May 20, 2012

12 cylons you say? Hmmm…

So before anyone else starts having burton-esque “ideas of reference” about eggs and the number 12 appearing like I did a few hours ago when my subconscious spotted a dozen eggs in someone’s bicycle basket, (which i took as personal synchronicity for me only and not indicative of angels hovering overhead speaking only to me) let’s be clear about how symbols work in a healthy way.

Symbols and images are the language of the unconscious/subconscious mind. They are the gateway and currency of insight, transformation and healing.

And most importantly, they create memory, which is why logos and images are used extensively in advertising.

Jung worked with symbols that naturally appeared in his patient’s dreams, not randomly on television or on license plates. That’s the difference between therapy and superstition.

Symbolic myths were to used to explain the unexplainable, yet not necessarily to be taken as literal truth, except by fundamentalists with an agenda of power over others, like burton who uses fear to blunt critical thinking.

I read an article once correlating how the current fascination and belief in aliens with superpowers is symbolic of how people once believed in the Greek Gods.

92. Tim Campion - May 20, 2012

This page is fun. Kind of like an All Star game.

(But where is Bruce?)

93. brucelevy - May 20, 2012

I’m the silent observer (snark).

94. Tim Campion - May 20, 2012

Of course, goodness!

95. Shard_of_oblivion - May 20, 2012

Hey – I like the Lord of the Rings as much as the next guy – except when the next guy is George Bush junior.

96. nigel - May 20, 2012

…in the hope (and prayer?) that the recent postings of ‘sallymcnally’ and ‘Whale Rider’ shall ‘thrust us all forth into that realm that is only possible when we retire from our everyday/usual selves’…..Nigel.

(my upper case ’emphases’)…..n.

Intuition (psychology)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
See also: Insight

“Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the USE OF REASON. “The word ‘intuition’ comes from the Latin word ‘intueri’, which is often roughly translated as meaning ‘TO LOOK INSIDE’’ or ‘TO CONTEMPLATE’.” Intuition provides us with beliefs that WE CANNOT NECESSARILY JUSTIFY. For this reason, it has been the subject of study in psychology, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural. The “right brain” is popularly associated with intuitive processes such as AESTHETIC abilities. Some scientists have contended that intuition is associated with innovation in scientific discovery. Intuition is also a common subject of New Age writing.

Intuition in Jungian psychology

In Carl Jung’s theory of the ego, described in 1921 in “Psychological Types”, intuition was an “irrational function”, opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the “rational functions” of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious”, using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, WAYS OUT OF A BLOCKED SITUATION, by a process that is mostly UNCONSCIOUS.

Jung said that a person in whom intuition was dominant, an “intuitive type”, acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer INTENSITY OF PERCEPTION. An extraverted intuitive type, “the natural champion of all minorities with a future”, orients to NEW AND PROMISING but unproven possibilities, often leaving to chase after a new possibility before old ventures have borne fruit, oblivious to his or her own welfare in the constant pursuit of change. An introverted intuitive type ORIENTS BY IMAGES FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS, ever exploring the psychic world of the archetypes, seeking to perceive the meaning of events, but often having no interest in playing a role in those events and not seeing any connection between the contents of the psychic world and him- or herself. Jung thought that extraverted intuitive types were likely ENTREPRENEURS, speculators, cultural revolutionaries, often undone by a desire to escape every situation before it becomes settled and constraining—even repeatedly leaving lovers for the sake of new romantic possibilities. His introverted intuitive types were likely mystics, prophets, or cranks, struggling with a tension between PROTECTING THEIR VISIONS from influence by others and making their ideas COMPREHENSIBLE AND PERSUASIVE to others—a necessity for those VISIONS TO BEAR REAL FRUIT.”

97. nigel - May 20, 2012

87. Whale Rider

The Universe was and always is
There, as Whitman’s Pallid Float;
Our Mother Eternal.

God – not necessarily an
Afterthought, was thought about
At some Defining Moment.

Big Bang Intelligently Pursued
To Universe, Unfathomably
Full of itself,
Beyond Human Ken.

Being here, in Albumen Mind-held
We experience Forever.

(nhp 2011)

98. Tempus Fugit - May 20, 2012

I agree with (41. nigel – May 13, 2012) and (92. Tim Campion – May 20, 2012); this page has really been enjoyable to read.

As an old, old timer – and I do mean old 🙂 this page reminds me of more informal conversations in the very early days of the FOF. Sitting in a coffee shop or on the deck of the Lincoln Lodge perhaps.

Surrounded by attractive, bright people, some older and conservative looking, many young and long haired, all excited about personal growth, the school, and the hope of “awakening.”

Despite the focus on the “Fourth Way” people weren’t afraid to bring in their other spiritual interests and make connections. Many of us had met other teachers or been involved in other spiritual groups, and these experiences were discussed and compared freely.

Rules were modest and the deification of Burton was still in the future. He was seen as a bright teacher who apparently had obtained some higher presence. People obeyed him out of respect more than fear.

The horrors of his predatory sexual behavior were not public, and he presented himself as a noble figure who sacrificed sexual gratification in order to channel sex energy into the maintenance of higher centers.

We now know this was pretense, and Burton is a person of lower consciousness rather than higher. Why?

Because it is impossible for an enlightened person to knowingly abuse other people. PERIOD.

Luckily we are tough, and our souls are hard to kill. Those posting here show their souls are alive and still growing.

Some were not so lucky, and the back story of the FOF is the story of insanity, suicide, and addiction.

Personally I believe in the eternal nature of the soul, a loving God, and the law of karma. Our friends who are damaged may yet recover, and those who are dead have not really died – they are just invisible and in the care of a Great Power.

Meher Baba asserted that those who commit large spiritual crimes go down the evolutionary ladder, even to the level of a stone, but eventually, over millions of lifetimes, find their way back to God.

If true this means that even Burton will escape eventually…..

Meanwhile our free will demands right choices if we are to evolve with minimal delay. One choice we all make is with whom we associate.

In my opinion Robert Burton is a charlatan and a criminal. Read this blog with an open mind and I believe you will come to the same conclusion. If so, why would you choose to associate with him?

99. Tim Campion - May 20, 2012

98. Tempus Fugit

That’s a fine reflection on this day of the Annular Solar Eclipse of 2012. Today, the moon’s shadow shall fall over Apollo.

(Of course, the shadow will fall over a wide swath of the Earth. But doesn’t “the moon’s shadow shall fall over Apollo” sound prophetic?)

100. WhaleRider - May 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing your poem, Nigel. That was kind of you.

I asked you about your process regarding posting of the creation myth because, IMO, these pre-scientific forays onto the unknown give us insights not into the literal creation of the universe, which as you say so poetically might not have had a starting point anyway, but into the creation of the Self from the void.

Haven’t we always projected ourselves…Out There…onto the stars…before we understood what a star is?

And what if God were one of us?

Speaking of “Beyond Human Ken”…so I had this dream last night…terribly wonderous, frightenly beautiful and dangerously familiar!

In the dream there is a reoccurring theme of me on a boat that starts to submerge under the surface of the water…like a whale.

Only this time I was on this boat with my brother and dad. The boat was docked. I could feel myself becoming iimpatient because it was getting foggy, and we were going to go somewhere.

That’s when I had the memory of the dream within the dream of the submerging boat when I’m on the boat alone. So instead, to pass the time and remain together, I began to cut my brother’s hair. I was using a small comb and there where some knots in the hair on the back of his neck.

So for the first time, the boat I was in didn’t start to submerge because I wanted to stay connected to the “others” in the dream.

Lately I’ve been attempting to incorporate the other male figures appearing in my dreams as aspects of my shadow side, “teasing out” meaning hidden from view.

101. Shard_of_oblivion - May 20, 2012

I found this interesting recording, purporting to be a student questioning Burton in a phone conversation in 1989, about how Burton can be sure that Influence C isn’t just the product of his fevered imagination.

102. Fee fi fo fum - May 21, 2012

101. Shard of oblivion

Thank you for sharing. It’s good to hear REB’s mumbles and nonsensical semi-replies, and realize he no longer holds power over us.

103. Shard_of_oblivion - May 21, 2012

Thanks Fee fi, his mask of benevolence slips for a second when he says “apparently you’ve forgotten”, then he is back to his “Teacher of a school of love” persona, carrying his dear burdens.

I reckon he knew I was leaving the school when I opened up with “How many students have you had sex with?” Of course at the time I had absolutely no idea that he had had so many he probably couldn’t even remember.

104. jomopinata - May 21, 2012


>his mask of benevolence slips for a second

I’ve posted the following text before, about the mask slipping, revealing the deficiency of basic empathy that characterizes the psychopath:

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


sallymcnally - May 21, 2012

It’s usually some horror experienced from the past that creates psychopaths. Remember Dexter? And now the Afghan War? Physical, emotional or psychological trauma impossible to digest or to bear. And it’s not unusual for the person that becomes a psychopath to have been an extremely sensitive person to begin with.

The last time I had an experience with a psychopath at first I was taken in by his charm. (post-FOF) But then I started to see although he seemed very emotional there was nothing emotional within him. He was pretending to be sensitive and emotional and his actions later proved otherwise. I got myself out of the tangled web of lies he was creating before it was too late.

It was then that I started to have compassion for someone who cannot experience love. A life without love, and neither the capacity to receive it nor to give it. To me this is hell and I can’t think of a worse punishment living a life without the ability to feel, receive or give love.

And then I forgave Robert.

105. Golden Veil - May 21, 2012

101. Shard_of_oblivion
Thank you for the memory. Here, from the soundtrack of the 1991 film “Until the End of the World” by Wim Wenders, the beautiful song “Calling All Angels” by Jane Silberry accompanied by K.D. Lang.

106. Golden Veil - May 21, 2012

Sally, you’re fortunate to have come to forgiveness.
I think that’s what it takes to move on.

Robert Burton’s angels in alphabetical order. He may not have
been chosen, but he chose his angels well. What a club it was…

Hans Christian Andersen Joseph, son of Jacob
Fra Angelico Omar Khayyam
Aristotle Lao Tse
Meher Baba Leonardo da Vinci
Johann Sebastian Bach Abraham Lincoln
William Blake Marcus Aurelius
Buddha John Milton
Lewis Carroll Michel de Montaigne
Miguel Cervantes Moses
Geoffrey Chaucer Peter Ouspensky
Rodney Collin Paul (the apostle)
Dante Alighieri Peter (the apostle)
Elizabeth I Francesco Petrarca
Epictetus Plato
Ezekiel Rembrandt van Rijn
Benjamin Franklin Rainer Maria Rilke
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe William Shakespeare
Georg Ivanovich Gurdjieff Socrates
Hafis Solon
Homer Virgil
Horace Antonio Vivaldi
Jesus Christ Walt Whitman

107. Golden Veil - May 21, 2012

Whoops, my two columns have been combined!

108. Tim Campion - May 21, 2012

104.5? sallymcnally

“And then I forgave Robert.”

A profound realization. Indeed, what more can we do? His burden is heavy, and in this way he’s no different than any of us.

(Still, I think it is appropriate to steer potential followers clear of this cult.)

105. Golden Veil

Beautiful song! I recently watched the 4+ hour version of the film, a fantastic odyssey made even more memorable by the musical contributions.

109. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 21, 2012

The story I heard was that Burton concluded that there were 44 Conscious Beings helping him and us, using one of his typical bone headed leaps from what was in his line of sight when something else happened. He then he got his cultured older students to figure out who they might be. I dare say he would be the arbiter in some cases, which would again have been based on nonsense co-incidences. Didn’t he conclude Gurdjieff was working with him after a bullet went through the Blake cottage?

Oh what dear burdens he carried for us poor mortals!

110. Tim Campion - May 22, 2012

109. Shard_of_Oblivion

ShardO, do I detect a slight irreverence on your part?

111. Golden Veil - May 22, 2012

109. Shard_of_Oblivion

“He then he got his cultured older students to figure out who they
[the 44 Conscious Beings] might be.”

That could explain something I have wondered about…

“Didn’t he conclude Gurdjieff was working with him after a bullet went through the Blake cottage?”

Ha ha ha ha! Of course!

112. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 22, 2012

99. Tim Campion:

‘Of course, the shadow will fall over a wide swath of the Earth.’

Not quite a direct and centered path over Oregon House:
(nasa.gov website link:
Interactive map of pathway; zoom in on Reno, NV)

100. WhaleRider:

‘And what if God were one of us?’

And, what if God were all of us?

101. Shard_of_oblivion:

Video documenting recorded conversation between one JH and Robert Earl Burton, a.k.a. The Teacher.

Thank you for that. It appears to be new and I do not remember its appearance on the blog before.

113. Bares Reposting - May 22, 2012

105. Golden Veil:
‘Calling All Angels’
Thank you.
‘Oh, a man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries
and high above you can hear
the church bells start to ring
and as the heaviness, oh the heaviness, the body settles in
somewhere you can hear a mother sing

then it’s one foot then the other
as you step out onto the road of hope
step out on the road
how much weight? how much?
then it’s how long? and how far?
and how many times oh, before it’s too late?

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ and we’re hopin’
but we’re not sure how…

ah, and every day you gaze upon the sunset
with such love and intensity
why it’s ah, it’s almost as
if you could only crack the code
then you’d finally understand what this all means

ah, but if you could…do you think you would
trade in all, all the pain and suffering?
ah, but then you’d miss
the beauty of the light upon this earth
and the sweetness of the leaving

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ and we’re hopin’
but we’re not sure…

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ we’re hopin’
we’re hurtin’ we’re lovin’
we’re cryin’ we’re callin’
cause we’re not sure how this goes’

Page 88 post 145 & 146
hundredthousandangels – January 18, 2010

114. WhaleRider - May 22, 2012

Wouldn’t You Like To Know:
And what if God was in all of us?

…hovering unseen above a follower’s inner dining table, drunk, in an orgasim of pain, awaiting an apocalypse that never happens?

115. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 22, 2012

This always gets to me, even though I am an Atheist.

Or am I just an extreme agnostic?

116. WhaleRider - May 22, 2012

Shard of Oblivion:
Gets me too. Send shivers down my spine.

Just because you (and I) don’t believe in a god or gods “out there” pulling the strings, speaking through license plates, sending messages to people like burton about shit that doesn’t happen, that doesn’t negate the god or goddess we have within as part of us…after all, who came up with the idea of god in the first place?

117. Mick Danger - May 22, 2012

Hey Shippers! Don’t you realize that you are paying those assholes who run the Ship to lord it over you with their more-conscious-than-thou attitude and boss you around about how to be like them?
“That is the way – as happy leaving as when you came!”

118. Shard_of_oblivion - May 22, 2012

when she sings

“Just a stranger on the bus – tryin’ to make His way home”

I want to give God a big hug, pat him on the back and say

“OK, Cancer was a shit idea, but the guy who doesn’t make a mistake never made anything”

and see Him force a rueful smile.

119. Tim Campion - May 23, 2012

112. Wouldn’t You Like to Know, and 113. Bares Reposting

You’re a good team. Maybe you should work together?

120. Golden Veil - May 24, 2012

Maybe I’d be good on that team, too. And now for something completely different, a film recommendation!

121. WhaleRider - May 24, 2012

Maybe we could give the petition a bump with this site, under “Human Trafficking”.


122. Golden Veil - May 24, 2012

Well, Whalerider, what an idea! You could be the one to pen a concise petition… but is there anyone out there, a former Fellowship of Friends student, that could write their personal testimony; someone who was brought in from another country to be part of the boys harem? Someone who had been gotten a green card by the Fellowship of Friends?

123. Ames Gilbert - May 24, 2012

Regarding the lack of compassion in the Fellowship of Friends . . .
The FoF just indulges in mind games. Literally. There is nothing there that attends to the needs of the heart. How can there be? There is no heart at the center; all matters of the heart that do manifest are unofficial and unsanctioned. Burton claimed in my presence many times, as did his high priests, that we lower order followers did not know the meaning of love, let alone ‘life’ people. For many years, there was even an exercise to not use the word. And, he claimed, he alone among us knew what love was, and that he loved us all.
So one chooses one’s influences or examples. Does one admire or try to emulate someone like Burton, who fills so many hours a day attempting to slake his insatiable lusts, or someone like JC, who reportedly lived 2,000 years ago? Or the many uplifting aspects of the godhead closer in time or place? How about the following:
(I subscribe to a list called “This is True”. It always ends with an “Honorary Unsubscribe”, a tribute to “someone you wish you had known” who has recently died, a person that isn’t ‘famous’ in the general sense. Here is this week’s Honorary Unsubscribe, a tribute to Don Ritchie).

During World War II, Ritchie served in the Royal Australian Navy, and witnessed the surrender of the Japanese. After the war, he sold life insurance. But it was what he did on the side that he really made his mark. For more than 50 years he lived near “The Gap”, a cliff overlooking Watson’s Bay in Woollahra, New South Wales — a popular suicide spot. He saw plenty of people heading to The Gap to kill themselves, but said “you can’t just sit there and watch them” — he intervened. First, by holding them down as his wife called for police, and later by just talking to them. “I was a salesman for most of my life,” he said, “and I sold them life.” It added up: he is officially credited with saving at least 160 people, and the unofficial count could be as high as 500. “Never be afraid to speak to those who you feel are in need,” Ritchie said after one rescue. “Always remember the power of the simple smile, a helping hand, a listening ear and a kind word.” He’d often invite them into his home for tea and talk. In 2006, Ritchie, known as “The Angel of the Gap”, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his “service to the community through programs to prevent suicide.” He died surrounded by family on May 13 2012, at 85.

sallymcnally - May 24, 2012

What an amazing story. Thanks, Ames

124. Ames Gilbert - May 24, 2012

Sally McNally (#120-104 1/2 or thereabouts),
I had never heard of ‘Dexter’ before you mentioned the name, so I googled and found the show. A TV show seems rather slim evidence that psychopaths can be the result of nurture rather than nature. I’m just an amateur, but I’ve investigated psychopathy quite a bit, and the consensus of the research I’ve come across seems to be that they are born that way. Have you come across any real-life examples that disprove this?
BTW, just based on the Wiki article about the show, it sounds absolutely revolting, and I’ll avoid it as if it were poison. Apparently some people were so influenced by it, they became killers themselves. And the next season will be the seventh? Talk about normalizing psychopathic behavior in particular and violence in general!

sallymcnally - May 24, 2012

Ames, I really don’t have any scientific proof one way or the other whether psychopaths are born that way or that they learn the behavior through horrific experiences. Maybe it’s both, maybe it’s something they bring in from past lives, I really don’t know. But I still do believe the way of healing is through forgiveness and I would expect for each one of us the way of forgiving another is by forgiving ourselves first and in my personal experience I don’t believe a psychopath is capable of that due to the fact that they don’t understand they have anything to forgive. So they create their own hell. No need for prison, their prison is within themselves. They have a life sentence they they inflict upon themselves.

125. sallymcnally - May 24, 2012

And just to clarify I don’t mean they don’t belong in prison, I meant being in prison won’t help them heal. Certainly psychopaths belong in a place where they won’t hurt others if they are injuring people.

126. brucelevy - May 24, 2012

Sorry Sally, the only benefit of forgiveness to a sociopath or psychopath is that it’s a clear sign that the person forgiving is an ideal victim. Look at the research… there is no cure, there is no healing. These are congenitally damaged individuals, nurture can be a factor, but a almost insignificant one. Healing and forgiveness is a joke to these people, period. There’s no grey area except for those who are gullible, or who lack the faculty of discrimination, and don’t mind being a sponge to be wrung by these people.

127. Des - May 24, 2012

The word forgive/forgiveness is charged with connotations. So it’s hard to know exactly what someone means when they use the word.

To me, to forgive someone implies that I know something about that person, or maybe that I know enough about them, that I know what their motives or lack of motives are for hurting someone, and that despite those motives or weaknesses I’m willing to let it go, move on, and focus on that person’s better qualities. But to focus on that person’s better qualities still implies that I know them, and that I can know what their motives are — positive or otherwise. The problem with sociopaths is that what appear to be “better qualities” (a soft voice, a kind word, an aura of calm, for instance), could simply be different ways they try to deceive people.

And an additional problem with forgiving a sociopath or psychopath is that I really don’t know what they are capable of NEXT, nor am I really fully aware of what they have done in the past, because in general they are too good at hiding their deceptions and manipulations.

And, as far as I can tell, one of their primary goals is to take advantage of those who forgive them, because (after all) this is largely what followers are doing — either consciously, or by default — simply by allowing this man to continue having control over them. Every I wrote a check or allowed myself to be controlled by Burton, I was saying, “I forgive you, Robert.” This is one of the reasons I stayed for years despite the huge red flags and concerns: I “forgave”, and I focused on the apparently positive things that I “received,” or at least I held to the belief that I was receiving something positive.

So in my own subjective dictionary, what is forgiveness of a sociopath? Here’s the best way I can describe it:

Sometimes I think it’s possible to be defeated by a sociopath twice — first by the initial deception or harm that they do, and second by the control they exert over a person because of bitter hatred and resentment. To me, giving up the latter and learning to live a positive life without bitterness and hatred despite being victimized, is largely what forgiveness means. But it doesn’t mean forgetting all about the harm they’ve done, or being tolerant of their continued abuse.

My sense about this: Forgiveness is not something I do for someone else, or to someone else, and especially it’s not something I can do for a sociopath; it’s something I can do for myself. It’s giving up that gnawing and consuming hatred, but at the same time:

-Avoiding that person for my own good health and well being
-Helping others to avoid that person
-Avoiding the same mistakes with another person
-Being happy
-Living well

That last one, by the way, is not the “best revenge” as the saying goes. But living well definitely erodes some of the sociopath’s satisfaction. Every time someone says “no” to Burton is a little victory — and especially when someone says no while (hopefully) moving on to a better, healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

There’s that word: Life — ironic that we called it that. There was always a hint in that word that something was terribly wrong in the So-called Fellowship of Friends.

128. WhaleRider - May 24, 2012

I tend to agree with Bruce. Although forgiveness can help empower a victim out of helpless victimhood, it would be seen by the psychopath as a sign of weakness to exploit.

A psychopath is empowered by the silence of his victims.

This is why I confront the “silent observer” or “wordless breaths” motifs imbedded the cult.

Also, in my experience, people who are motivated by hatred to speak out usually don’t maintain a sense of humor about it.

sallymcnally - May 24, 2012

Okay, this is confusion of words here. I agree with Bruce and had previously mentioned that sociopaths cannot heal and don’t know how to forgive themselves. .

I am a firm believer that in order to truly heal one has to understand and forgive oneself and others. It’s a state of mind and not a form of gullibility to understand and be able to forgive others and to me it’s a sign of strength, not a weakness.

And I also did not mean that I would even have anything else to do with that sociopath or even have to say the words ‘I forgive you’. I was speaking about a state of mind within myself, which I find not only healthy but a relief not to carry that burden around with me any more.

129. Tempus Fugit - May 24, 2012

127. Des – May 24, 2012
“Forgiveness is not something I do for someone else, or to someone else, and especially it’s not something I can do for a sociopath; it’s something I can do for myself. It’s giving up that gnawing and consuming hatred…..”
sallymcnally – May 24, 2012
“I am a firm believer that in order to truly heal one has to understand and forgive oneself and others. It’s a state of mind and not a form of gullibility to understand and be able to forgive others and to me it’s a sign of strength, not a weakness.”

All the comments here are great and I especially resonate with Des and Sally.

Forgiveness of someone who’s harmed me is essential to my emotional health because it resolves my negative attachment to that person. That attachment exists inside me, not inside the other person.

And it doesn’t depend on any action from the other person. It doesn’t depend on their agreement with the need for forgiveness nor does it require their approval. They don’t even need to know about it and I am not obligated to tell them.

That’s because this kind of forgiveness takes place within myself alone rather than in the context of a relationship.

When I forgive my friends or family it’s different.

When I forgive friends or family I’m saying “I know you care about me and my feelings. I know you would have behaved differently or better if you could have and will do better in the future if you understand your effect on me. And even if you never fully understand how I feel I forgive you anyway because I love you.”

I am grateful I have a conscience. When I realize I have hurt other people it humbles me and motivates me to be kinder.

Does Burton have a conscience?

In my opinion another reason to forgive Burton is accepting his limitations. I believe he is mentally ill and therefore incapable of fully appreciating how his behavior hurts others. Therefore he deserves my pity and compassion – but not my time and money.

If you are still giving him your time and money, why?

130. sallymcnally - May 24, 2012

And actually the best and healthiest thing to do when you realize someone you are close to is a sociopath or psychopath is to keep your distance or leave if possible. Not ‘I understand you and I forgive you’. Just leave. ‘I understand you and I forgive you’ now that to me is being pretty gullible or not having a clear understanding of what you are dealing with.

131. sallymcnally - May 24, 2012

#129, yes, thank you. That’s how I meant it, experience it and feel about it.

132. Ames Gilbert - May 24, 2012

Re. forgiveness . . .
I recall conversations about this subject before on this blog. I remember ‘KA’ writing that he/she had forgiven an extremely serious abuser from the past, and that got things going. My take is that our vocabulary is simply inadequate. We use the word ‘forgiveness’ to cover too many situations. For example, Sally previously referred to some alteration of the internal state, whereby she arrives at a place where she is not consumed by the actions (or rather the results) that needed forgiving. An internal reconciliation within one person. In this case, Burton is not, and needs not be, a part of the process.

Another scenario is the situation where the perpetrator asks for forgiveness. This is a whole different matter, because now there can be an exchange of energies between the parties, and IMHO, the possibility of reconciliation between the two. A skilled psychopath could fake the words, but because by definition he/she cannot feel remorse, neither true reconciliation or healing could occur.

Someone who had learned enough about themselves, had experienced true remorse, and trusted their experience would be able to tell if they were being suckered. On the other hand, someone who ‘forgave’ the perpetrator from the basis of morality or religious misunderstanding (e.g., ‘turn the other cheek’) might actually make it easier for the next sociopath who came along.

For the second type of forgiveness mentioned above, Burton would first have to be given a conscience, then truly see where he is, sans filtering or support by his acolytes. Then he would have to feel remorse, then ask for forgiveness from an individuated adult. Finally, he would have to deal with the huge amounts of energy that would be unleashed, for which he has no training. That’s half¬–a–dozen true miracles in a row, which would seem to be stretching things a bit.

133. Ill Never Tell - May 24, 2012

125. sallymcnally:

‘Certainly psychopaths belong in a place where they won’t hurt others if they are injuring people.’

Yeh!, Like on the Moon colony where it is at least world 96 all the time, or possibly world 192, some of the time, all the while they are thinking they are world 12.

You cannot believe the nightmare it can be for a Fellowship of Friends follower to have the NEGATIVE attention of Robert Earl Burton(REB)/Fellowship of Friends(FoF) brought upon you. Just try to oppose the will of the Teacher (either intentionally or by accident) and find out.

Conversely, having the POSITIVE attention – as in his (REB’s) amorous attentions – is not all that great either, because it eventually leads to circumstances mentioned in the last paragraph.

I speak from decades of experience with the organization and the person.

I’ll Never Tell
(But, I guess I’m telling aren’t I?)

134. WhaleRider - May 25, 2012

Thought I’d share this comment today about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

“THANK YOU for posting this.
Sharon Gans is the Robert Burton of the East. Another COMPLETE FRAUD.
Sick, evil, demented, twisted people. Gans’ fake school is still in operation in NYC, Boston and Copenhagen.
Just google Sharon Gans there are at least 10 websites concerning her sick cult.
I hope soon lawsuits will begin against gans and her sickos.. “

135. nigel - May 26, 2012

…..to recent posters – about ‘forgiveness’…..

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that there are things that are right to be hated…..and, in this regard, I would say that sociopaths/psychopaths come under that category.

I truly feel that Burton has to be separated from the places where he does harm and damage to willing/unwilling victims…..PERIOD!!!!!

Some of us have paid deeply for our regained sanity (some of us almost did not make it – some of us have yet to make it) and Burton is part of our past, BUT PART OF FOF VICTIMS’ PRESENT WORLD.

I do feel there are enablers in the cult who will never change their attitude of ‘be present and fuck the circumstances/consequences’. At the other end of the spectrum, I feel there naive, trusting individuals who put their faith in Burton, Haven and all the high-ups that they are truly on a spiritual path.

I, myself, have developed true friendships with people who are not necessarily on a spiritual path, but adhere to deeply worthwhile human values and that is enough for me.

“He is happiest who finds peace in his home.” Goethe

136. sallymcnally - May 26, 2012

‘He is happiest who finds peace in his home’. Goethe. I always took that as peace of mind internally which one cannot have if one is giving ones power away to another through feelings of hate or by unrequited love.

137. Tempus Fugit - May 26, 2012

136. sallymcnally – May 26, 2012
‘He is happiest who finds peace in his home’. Goethe. I always took that as peace of mind internally which one cannot have if one is giving ones power away to another through feelings of hate or by unrequited love.

Just a quick response. I agree with you Sally but it’s challenging to give up the passion of romance or other exciting pursuits, because that passion seems essential to the experience. Sometimes “peace of mind” seems dull….

However, the attachment that comes with those passions has knocked me around enough that I’m beginning to think Buddha was right and I need less extreme feelings. It’s just hard to give up the rush!

Hatred and anger are harder to give up sometimes when I feel they are justified, but righteousness just makes the attachment stronger.

And as far as Burton and the FOF, why would I want to continue any attachment to them in any form?

On another note, Memorial Day wishes to all of you, especially those who are remembering the servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our freedom.

138. nigel - May 26, 2012

…..from – “A View on Buddhism – Buddhist Quotes and Sayings”…..

“The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.”


139. nigel - May 26, 2012

“Justice can never be developed while we judge others; the only way is by constantly judging ourselves.” – Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan

140. sallymcnally - May 26, 2012

#138 — thanks for that Nigel

141. sallymcnally - May 26, 2012

#137: A mystic once told me in feeling impersonal love or love of all (feeling as if we are all ‘one’) the heart feels more so giving up emotional love is not really giving anything up but ones idea of what love is So what is being given up here is an imaginary idea of what love is or putting limitations on something that is limitless.

142. Golden Veil - May 26, 2012

Occasionally I “get it” and it really brings a smile to my face ~ I feel a sort of blissful love and am just happy to be here ~ It has happened when I am walking alone with strangers around ~ all feels well in the world for a bit… it’s hard to describe.

143. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 26, 2012

>Sallymcnally #141

I find myself wanting to analyse your post line by line, as it has some interesting thoughts, but I found myself not being able to follow through to the conclusion (which appears to be that emotional love is something we have to give up in order to experience a higher form of love.)

>A mystic once told me

Yes I like knowing the source of any quote.

>in feeling impersonal love or love of all (feeling as if we are all ‘one’)

So we presume this mystic had first hand experience of this particular emotion. Yes I can see that being true enough.

>the heart feels more

OK, suddenly I’m not so sure, does the mystic mean his or her heart feels ‘more’ than my heart (how could they possibly know?), or maybe means ‘more’ than they themselves felt before the new improved all inclusive love feeling happened inside him or her?

>so giving up emotional love is not really giving anything up but ones >idea of what love is So what is being given up here is an imaginary >idea of what love is or putting limitations on something that is >limitless.

To which I feel myself wondering if this mystic ever experienced fully fledged all out head over heals love. When each second of each day she is in your mind, you taste her sweet smell. Any word she says is all you every wanted to listen to. The way she looks as she says those words, the way she smiles as you look into her.

I do not think we have to give that up in order to feel the oceanic feeling. I say – let’s feel both, and all the other emotions our lives will provoke in us. And drink it all in deep, for it will never happen again, and we are all witnesses to wonders.

144. sallymcnally - May 26, 2012


145. Golden Veil - May 27, 2012


146. nigel - May 27, 2012

“Let’s plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will – it’s only action that can make a man.”


147. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 27, 2012

Contemplating the current discussion and the levitation (floating) video:

‘Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.’
Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman

148. nigel - May 27, 2012

147. WYLTK…..

Thank you…..Walt Whitman was one of the deepest thinkers I met in the FOF…..Nigel.

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”

― Walt Whitman

149. Golden Veil - May 27, 2012

148. nigel – May 27, 2012

” …Walt Whitman was one of the deepest thinkers I met in the FOF…..Nigel.”

I always liked Walt Whitman.

Is this story related by Shard_of_ Oblivion true, I wonder?

109. Shard_of_Oblivion – May 21, 2012

“The story I heard was that Burton concluded that there were 44 Conscious Beings helping him and us, using one of his typical bone headed leaps from what was in his line of sight when something else happened. He then he got his cultured older students to figure out who they might be. I dare say he would be the arbiter in some cases, which would again have been based on nonsense co-incidences. Didn’t he conclude Gurdjieff was working with him after a bullet went through the Blake cottage?

Oh what dear burdens he carried for us poor mortals!”

It is almost as though Robert Burton wants his students to see him as a sort of Pope, an intermediary between them and the great thinkers of Civilization. He selects whose work merits their attention and veneration.

150. WhaleRider - May 27, 2012

Thanks for the laugh! I’ve seen this “levitation” trick before. I’m glad you still have your sense of humor.

Interesting how the mind will want to believe the impossible is possible, if you have had the post hypnotic suggestion “story” implanted enough times.

Now if mr swami there did manage to suspend the laws of gravity, as opposed to suspending your disbelief, and became lighter than air, then his floating body would be subject to air currents or other movements, like a bobbing balloon or an astronaut experiencing zero gravity.

Notice how rigid he is. That’s because, hidden from view, he’s sitting on a narrow plank from behind. Gosh, why don’t they video tape him in the process of “levitating”? Oh no, he’s already “arrived”, silly person.

151. Tim Campion - May 28, 2012

Five years ago on Memorial Day Weekend, at the schoolhouse in Columbia, California, there was a wonderful gathering of friends. It included current and former members of the Fellowship.

Those who organized the event created a small shrine to remember those friends we had lost. There were 64 names.

Ever since, an “In Memoriam” page has been maintained on the Greater Fellowship website. It began with those 64 names and now, five years later, contains 137 names.

From the original memorial:

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.

152. Tim Campion - May 28, 2012

(Correction: at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in Nevada City, California)

153. nigel - May 28, 2012

151. Tim Campion

Funny you should mention today is USA Memorial Day, and the gathering of both current and former students. I was wondering how I could broach the subject of ‘our memories’ – what we would rather have not done in our past, what we have learnt and what has made us who we are today – it was ‘welling up’ in my consciousness today, not necessarily because of the special day this is to Americans…..

Maybe current members can learn from our positive approach to ourselves, having remembered what we went through and survived to our, hopefully, now, emotionally rich lives…..Nigel.

154. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 29, 2012

151. Tim Campion:

Thanks for the memories.

For some we loved. . .

Might be good to mention source of the quotation:
Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Edward Fitzgerald translation

Here are a couple more quatrains that could apply:

And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch – for whom?

‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

155. Golden Veil - May 29, 2012

“Once the Game Is over, the King and the Pawn go back into the same box.” [Italian Proverb]

and such is Life…

156. nigel - May 30, 2012

“If beings knew, as I know, the results of sharing gifts, they would not enjoy their gifts without sharing them with others, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there. Even if it were their last and final bit of food, they would not enjoy its use without sharing it, if there were anyone to receive it”

-Itivuttaka 18-

sallymcnally - May 30, 2012

Just read a book ‘Self Observation’ by Redhawk, published in 2009, a student of a Gurdjieff Group in Paris back in the 50’s. Humorous, witty and brought me back to why I do it. For anyone interested.

157. sallymcnally - May 30, 2012

Correction on last post: Redhawk is actually a Princeton graduate and now a professor at University of Arkansas who lectures and workshops across the U.S.

158. sallymcnally - May 30, 2012

Prologue of The Teaching from Self Observation, an awakening of conscience

It is as old as the stones
It came with Humans to the Earth
and it offers them a way out
but at a price
we must observe ourselves,
our behavior, our
inner and outer responses,
objectively. This means
without taking a personal interest
or doing anything about
that horror
which self observation uncovers
like a bad boy with a stick
overturning a stone
and finding a mass of crawling things
beneath, but
he refrains from stomping on them

Redhawk, The Way of Power

159. Golden Veil - May 30, 2012

158. Sally McNally

Wouldn’t it have been better put ~ that one must observe the bad boy’s outer response of stomping on the helpless crawling things without self judgement?

Just kidding…

sallymcnally - May 30, 2012

he actually does that in the book. He’s quite a character and brings lightness and frivolity to what I remember as a somewhat grueling idea of work on oneself. He’s pretty damned funny!

160. Ames Gilbert - May 30, 2012

Tim (#120-151 or thereabouts),
it so happens that there is going to be another get–together first or second weekend of June 2013. That gives everyone who is interested a year to plan their schedule. Last time, it was arranged with just a few weeks notice, so folks from far away were caught unprepared.

Right now, everything is open. Venue, activities, etc. But, if anyone wants it to happen other than in N. California, be prepared to provide the leadership and energy to make it happen there. Of course, anyone has been free to organize a reunion at anytime in the last forty years, and that continues to be true (here have been many local or ‘in-country’ reunions at various times in various places).
In the meantime, send ideas and suggestions to me at:
nancyames (at) spiralemail (dot) com.

As with the previous two reunions I have been involved in, this will probably be self–organizing as far as possible and practical. A few good people take on areas of responsibility, they collect some interested helpers, and we all rely on ourselves to volunteer, clean up, provide first aid, research accommodations, and so on. Someone wants to provide music, they do so. Someone wants a fire ceremony, they organize it, etc. The primary aim is to have fun!
There will be an entry fee to cover costs; there are a couple of hundred dollars left over from last time. We charged $25 per person then, but costs have risen, and the charge for a suitable venue is unknown.

So, one year from now! As always, open to former and present members. Mark your calendars, tell your friends . . .

161. WhaleRider - May 30, 2012

“…a mass of crawling things”…goodness, this seems a wee bit trite to my gut!

(BTW, aren’t hawks winged predators, hovering over the dinner table?)

Instead of those horrible little sleepy, creepy indiscretions and faux pas we see about ourselves during the day or attempt to hide away under a rock…which might give us a bad case of the delirium tremens when we dwell on them…aren’t we really talking about inner mythic Titans…Demons…Dragons…Heroes…and magical giant trees under there?…a whole unseen micro-cosmos?

Somehow, “mass of crawling things” for me doesn’t quite capture the scale of our inner reality or speak to the great storehouse of the collective unconscious.

Jeeze, am I the only one who remembers his dreams, here?

(Last night’s was a real wild one in three volumes. It woke me up at 1:27am.)


I think the author reveals himself when we speaks of “a bad boy with a stick…”

To me, that’s what the fourth way eventually translates into, internalizing the image of a “bad boy with a stick”….a person who rebels against convention and carries the stick of “self-observation” with which they end up flagellating themselves and/or unworthy “others” not privy to the fourth way…

cuz at the end of the day,
no one is perfect any way.

(burton endowed the big stick with the sophistry of quoting other people smarter than him, and it seems to have stuck big time.)


Now, when I was a boy and I went into the woods to look under rocks, I’d often find lots of crawling things called, salamanders and snakes, which fascinated me!

I captured them with my bare hands, held them gently, and took them home as treasured pets.

Yes, I took a keen, personal interest in these creatures! They were more alive and more real to me than the characters in Battlestar Galactia. I didn’t tend to bury myself in books, either.

What kind of kid would stomp on the sweet little crawling beings I would discover? The neighborhood psychopathic bully!

But mind you, he was too scared to turn the rock over himself with or without a stick. And I needed that stick to chase him away!

Most of the girls in the hood would just run away screaming, “icky!!!”, and calling me, “gross”!!! (but not all of them)

So, yes, not running away, not judging “them” (or ones self) or just stomping on “them” to make “them” go away temporarily…is an important step in becoming a mature adult, having an embodied Self who shares the planet with others, both compassionately AND passionately!

And, yes there is horror under there…and exaltation and anger and guilt and sadness and humor and joy and irony and fear…and peaceful bliss….it’s not just in your head.

In a mosque, no one part of the structure is more beautiful than the whole, or any other part, inside or out. This gives the structure both aesthetic and spiritual integrity, IMHO.

Cathedrals tend to embellish the “sanctuary” at the head of the cross ground-plan with an ornate altar and a concentration of stained glass and large scale ornamentation…not at the heart of the cross, but where christ’s head would have been.

The public sat in the “nave” facing the sanctuary, which IMO, symbolizes the mind-body split in Christianity and the concept of original sin, indirectly leading to priests molesting choir boys and strict nuns torturing catholic school children with guilt and corporeal punishments…hence I’ll grant that burton surely practices “esoteric Christianity” in his rape factory church, too, due the mind-body split called, wordless “self-observation.”

But by all means, the longer you can do self-observation sans any rational discrimination or reality testing with others, then the longer the affliction will persist, the greater the mind-body gap will widen, and the exploitation in the FOF will continue…

162. Whale Rider - May 31, 2012

To be fair, the shadow side and folly of human efforts of striving for perfection found in mosque architecture (as well as in cults like the FOF), IMO, indirectly has lead to housing arrogant, controlling Islamic zealots, too, who inspire suicide bombers in an even greater mind-body split to lash out against the great satanic “other out there”, sacrificing themselves and innocent “non-believers” in an orgy of death for perceived personal gain in heaven.

How we come to worship and idolize those who cause such suffering in others, whether it be in the name of evolution, democracy, or jihad, saddens and angers me deeply, although I can accept this as part of our human condition and struggle outside the womb.

I am still morally outraged at what burton and those who support him have done…to me, it’s way bigger than “a mass of crawling little things” under a rock.

163. Golden Veil - May 31, 2012

162. Whale Rider


“I am still morally outraged at what burton and those who support him have done…to me”

As time goes on in the cult, called:

Living Presence
Pathways to Presence
The Fellowship of Friends

that likes to be thought of as an ” esoteric School,” vulnerable newcomers who thought that they were led to join by their “Magnetic Center” don’t know that what they have submitted themselves to is
a S L O W B R A I N W A S H. But prior to that happening, to bring Prospective Students to the jumping off point, a lot of heavy marketing has evolved that utilizes a lot of lying to oneself and others. The Fourth Way work books were referred to a lot when I came onboard. If anything, “The School” teaches less about “creating a Soul” and more about the utter stifling of it in subjection to rote acceptable manners, practices, cultural likes and dislikes.

I think that along with debriefing, so to speak, and healing by relating what has happened, this blog is important to counteract the cult propaganda machine.

I was seeking a reference and came upon this, another 4th way cult:


164. nigel - May 31, 2012

…..from – http://www.fourthway.com…..

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance.” Confucius.

“The biggest secret ever is that consciousness in its undeveloped state is not continuous. But that it can become so by the application of precise knowledge. Self Remembering or re-membering ones self by putting together the separate members in order to pursue the large self.

This is what the Sufi story of the conference of the birds represents. The birds hold a conference in which they decide to go in search of the bird of paradise or the Simurgh, later they find that the Simurgh was within them all the time guiding their steps.”

(Do we need to ‘go in search’ of a ‘fourth way school’ to find ourselves?)…..Nigel.

165. nigel - May 31, 2012

Sorry – link incorrect – should be http://www.fourthwaywork.com…..Nigel

166. nigel - May 31, 2012

Can’t blame it on the moon!!!!!…..www.fourthwaywork.net…..

167. nigel - May 31, 2012

…..from “Fourth Way – Wikipedia” – worth reading in a scrutinizing manner…..Nigel.

“The fourth way differs in that it is not a permanent way. It has no specific forms or institutions and comes and goes controlled by some particular laws of its own.”

“It always has some work of a specific import, and is never without some task around which and in connection with which it can alone exist. When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before it has been accomplished, THE FOURTH WAY DISPPEARS, that is, it disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the work which is being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They NEVER EXIST BY THEMSELVES as schools for the purpose of EDUCATION AND INSTRUCTION.”

168. WhaleRider - May 31, 2012

Golden Veil:
THANK YOU for that AWESOME link to http://www.fourthwaycult.net

Very well written site, especially the page on “influence”.

Someone please contact this person, JM, (by clicking on JM at the top of his webpage) and update him in on the fact that burton is an ex-student of Alex Horn and Sharon Gans, also with no real connection to G and O either. Maybe we can link the blog to this site, too.

“The biggest secret ever is that consciousness in its undeveloped state is not continuous. But that it can become so by the application of precise knowledge. (for a steep price, that is!) Self Remembering or re-membering ones self by putting together the separate members in order to pursue the large self.”

What utter bullshit! The biggest lie ever that people are indoctrinated to believe is that consciousness is not continuous. Of course it is! Otherwise we’d be a rock or dead.

The biggest secret ever is that people can be duped into believing this lie and pay you to bestow them with something they already have!

The trouble is that a narcissistic guru demands that his followers be constantly outwardly conscious of and focused upon him and not upon themselves, requiring them to be “self-less” and thereby stunting their growth as mature individuals.

The task in our personal growth is to be more conscious of “Self” and “Other” in a balanced way, otherwise one can become polarized in a back and forth flight into either narcissism or co-dependence.

Years go by in a cult and lives get wasted in this manner.

Nothing could be farther from the truth in the FOF….that by dividing one’s self into the “upper self” and “lower self” that one is re-membering oneself or “pursuing the larger self”. Give me a break here! This is a complete contradiction of terms.

If you really want to meet and develop a connection to your larger Self, remember your dreams…and I’m not speaking about anyone’s fantasy to become rich and famous!

People like burton lie to us. Our dreams do not lie. They are emblems of our personal truth, rife with hidden meaning and power.

Then go work at a homeless shelter once a month for free.

169. Shard_of_Oblivion - May 31, 2012

The recent thread has had me thinking about self observation.

I acknowledge its transformative power, it is surely able to completely change the inner psychic landscape. However I feel there are problems with how much self observation is healthy, and whether we use it to “make an object” out of ourselves.

We all live lives that swing between being unreflectively immersed in existence (the 4thway term ‘identified’ denotes this state), and moments when we stand back a step and watch ourselves.

If we use a camera as a metaphor for our conscious attention and where it is pointed, we spend most of our time pointing our camera at the world, sometimes we point it at ourselves and the world, and occasionally we indulge in a session of self examination where we point the camera back at ourselves.

Where the 4th way gets it wrong in my opinion, is in telling us to not say ‘I’ to the parts of ourselves that we can see, to objectify anything we can see, as ‘the machine’, and to only say ‘I’ to the camera itself, watching, watching, watching.

I believe there is a philosophical mistake in the 4th way description of the human self. Here is my alternative definition.

The self or ‘I’ is:

Our physical body,

All the memories that are stored in the brain in our body,

The conscious spark of awareness that registers the passage of time,

The effects of our past actions on the world we live in.

The extent to which each of us engages in the practice of self-observation is in my opinion a matter of personal taste. Currently I prefer to spend most of my life lost in the process of eating, playing with my cats, reading science fiction, chatting with other humans, playing the piano, watching telly, and stopping to drift off into a day dream any time I feel like it. Very occasionally I self reflect, maybe when I crack a joke in company and everyone goes quiet for a few moments – ever had that? – or setting some simple targets to give a structure to my day.

Everything we can see when we reflect is ourselves, we may not always like what we see, but to not say ‘I’ to it, that way madness lies.

sallymcnally - May 31, 2012

#169 I agree. The thing I liked about Redhawk’s book was he seemed to have come to realize the nonsense of it all and seemed to accept and love the parts of himself he had not accepted before, through this self observation. I found the book uplifting rather than heavy, that a person could reach the point in their lives that they came to a place of loving the simplicity of the moment rather than getting caught up on the drama of life all the time.

170. WhaleRider - May 31, 2012

Shard of Oblivion:
Thank you for your honest post! I am glad you are thinking about this, instead of swallowing the meme of “silent self-observation” wholesale just because of the way it sounds. Who likes to be constantly under a microscope anyway?

Please pardon my candor…for goodness sake, what makes you feel “lost” in your life processes? Do you not find enjoyment and rapture there?

burton and his high intensity/high control cult would like you to think you have to pay him to manufacture that rapture during his meetings and dinners, even when it comes so freely to us anyway when we accept ourselves as we are, without having to be on some grandiose mission from god.

And are “you” really lost in those moments of rapt attention, without a sense of direction home, like in psychosis? Is there not a shard of “you” there as well? I know there is, and I feel it in myself.

IMO, attention span is a continuum with the quality of sometimes expanding to include the fourth dimension or “long body” of time (otherwise known as self-reflection) and contracting into moment by moment awareness in a more narrowed, focused state of absorption, like when playing the piano or with your cats or watching a movie.

What a freedom to be able to experience enjoyment in both without feeling guilt!

You are so right, calling the wordless camera the “I” or “higher-self” in the FOF is a mistake.

No matter where you focus the camera of your conscious attention however, the camera itself is not wholly conscious…as much as the cult would like you to think; our attention contains a hidden, unconscious side that the camera lens does not and cannot capture of itself. This is known as the homunculus fallacy.

That hidden part, the “not-I” is also part of your greater Self, too. You will meet these parts of your Self in your dreams. You can also learn of these parts in your relationships with others.

Last night I had a dream of holding onto someone I knew who is still in the FOF, who was attempting to jump out a window. I grabbed their clothes as they were outside, upside down, and they wiggled out and fell anyway. But it was only a two story building. They landed smack on their face, naked on the pavement, but remained alive. I was relieved and had the thought right after that I am doing the best I can here, but if someone really wants to harm themselves, I can’t stop them. And yet, I had to accept that there is a part of me willing to take a leap of faith for what I believe in, too, in other areas of my life.

Yes, I can fall on my face and still survive.

171. Tim Campion - May 31, 2012

For those wishing to continue their studies. (Most of these sites are registered to Asaf Braverman):

as above so below
know thyself

172. nigel - May 31, 2012

My pub-friend, Amy, went into 23 hours labour, then had a baby boy, Kiran (an Irish name) by Caesarian section…..made me think…..we men have it easy in this life…..and REB despises women unless they have money to give…..that is all I have to say today…..Nigel.

173. Shard_of_Oblivion - June 1, 2012

Hi whalerider, To clarify terms – I am lost in a good sense. I am there, that is me, that is my life. I sometimes lose track of time, because I am enjoying it so much. I don’t bother with no ‘self remembrin’ malarkey. I gladly lose myself in the videogame that is life. Here is a video that has some of the mood I am after.

174. brucelevy - June 1, 2012

171. Tim Campion

Pretty fucking creepy.

175. Shard_of_Oblivion - June 1, 2012

171. The Braverman links.

He has developed a certain style in his web sites. Predominance of white, cool colours and stodgy rationalist use of language.

It can’t disguise the fact that the content is complete drivel.

176. nigel - June 1, 2012

175. Shard of Oblivion

Needless to say, Braverman reflects the style of the FOF/Pathway to Presence/Living Presence/Church of REB – a ‘classical show’ of, dare I say it, ‘outward aims’, which the members of the cult have no hope of achieving – and one of the obstacles in the way is MONEY! All the enlightened beings listed set a precedent in not allowing greed (which is Burton’s chief feature) or even (his) dominance and (the FOF’s) tramp to mar their spiritual path and their various ‘life’s works’.

Burton and his enablers – Haven, Braverman, Mueller and others – will leave no legacy in the few years of the FOF that will remain after Burton’s demise (is he not due to ‘pop his clogs’ in this, his 72nd year?). I predict that, because all in the FOF is Burton-ised, the cult will be no more 5 years after Burton’s physical death…..Nigel.

177. nigel - June 1, 2012

…..and the biggest load of crap is http://www.arkintime.com …..Nigel.

178. Golden Veil - June 1, 2012

171. Tim Campion
177. nigel

These websites sites are like brightly colored fishing hooks… all leading back to “The Ark,” a fishing vessel otherwise known as the Fellowship of Friends, Living Presence, or Pathway to Presence; a ship that has come from nowhere and is on its way to nowhere.
The fisherman at its helm has an insatiable appetite. His sharp hooks are tied with brightly colored flies to attract the fish that he devours again and again, never to be satisfied.

179. nigel - June 1, 2012

That ‘rectal orifice’ Asaf Braverman, is on Twitter to the max…..Nigel.

180. Tempus Fugit - June 1, 2012

In a recent post brucelevy references Tim Campion:

“174. brucelevy – June 1, 2012

171. Tim Campion
Pretty fucking creepy.”

Tim, I agree with brucelevy. I trust you were being sarcastic when you referred to Asaf Braverman and said:

“For those wishing to continue their studies…..”

From the Ouspensky link in Tim’s post 171 (http://gurdjieffouspensky.com/backstage/) Braverman states:

“Burton studies under Alexander Horne for a year and a half and leaves him in 1969 to establishes his own school. He calls it the Fellowship of Friends. In 1971, Burton purchases land in the the foothills of Northern California and moves his Fellowship there, while simultaneously developing groups in nearby cities such as San Francisco, Los Angles and San Diego. These develop and expand to other states, and then, in the 1980′s, Fellowship students establish outposts abroad and the Fellowship draws international interest.

Burton departs from Horne’s severe methods. True to the name of the ‘Fellowship of Friends’, he teaches through human relations, through working closely with his students and creating an environment of perpetual social interaction at the headquarters of his school.

In the 1990′s, his teaching gravitates from the traditional Fourth Way expressions of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky to earlier expressions of ancient wisdom. His work and organization grow to an international scale and attract more students, as well as criticism, mostly from former members of his organization…..”

And in the next section Braverman writes:

“I encountered the Fourth Way in 1995, joining the Fellowship of Friends through its center in Israel, and am still a student of Robert Burton. I moved to the California headquarters in at the turn of the millennium and began working closely with Burton on his presentations…..”

I hope no one who has escaped the horror of the FOF cult is fooled by this repackaged nonsense and its crude English. Based on my own experience I believe Robert Burton is a charlatan. What does your experience tell you?

Isn’t one dive to the bottom of the gene pool enough?

181. nigel - June 2, 2012

180 Tempus Fugit

On 11 June, 1989, I was ‘released’ from the Fellowship of Friends. On 31 October, 1990 (All Hallows Eve, when I was 33 years old), I ‘awakened’ to the fact that I had been duped by REB and his followers and embarked on a journey of trying to ‘rip apart’ my ‘old self’ (the FOF personality) from what was to emerge as ‘the real Nigel Harris Price’. This process caused havoc, tears and joy. I now work as the founder/tutor of a little jewellery/silverwork teaching and learning establishment with equity and love for all who partake. There is no pretense and no need for learners to stay any longer than they feel like doing. What is more, in some techniques, the students ‘outstrip’ the teacher. This is the way in which art progresses. Hope this brings hope for those who are foundering, outside the FOF…..Nigel.

182. Tim Campion - June 2, 2012

180. Tempus Fugit

I agree with Bruce. “Pretty fucking creepy.” (Of course, I’d never use such vulgar language.)

Apparently, there are additional sites, beyond those mentioned above and previously in this blog.

As Golden Veil suggests, these are fishers of men (women too, from reports about Asaf’s collaborator), just like someone else we all know.

If Asaf Braverman were to apply the same diligence in analyzing the sordid “backstage” history of the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton as he does to studying the ancients, he might realize that only through separation from Burton and the Fellowship will he awake to the web of deceit that ensnared him.

In so doing, he might avoid perpetuating the tragedy (and be truly worthy of his name.)

183. nigel - June 2, 2012

…..also on the Asaf Braverman site, to give people that ‘ooh! so special feeling’…..

Ouspensky on Esotericism

The definition of ‘esotericism’ is: “intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest”. Ouspensky’s early draw towards esotericism implies his acknowledgment that ‘truth’, ‘objective knowledge’, ‘self-knowledge’ and ‘self-development’ were not for all. Esotericism implies that humanity as a whole is not intended to evolve and improve. Rather, like seeds, most never develop their potential and degenerate back into dust, while only a few might germinate.

This implies that, alongside and beneath the general course of mankind’s history, there has run another storyline known by few but serving a purpose of utmost importance. This ‘esoteric’ history is closely linked to the present, and has served to preserve the ancient wisdom of schools and bring them to those that could use them in the present age. To quote from Ouspensky:

“If we take history in the ordinary way as a series of separate events, we shall not find proofs of esotericism. One thing will follow another, on the surface and without apparent connection. But if we know that things are connected, and look for connections, we shall find them hidden beneath the surface…” (From The Fourth Way, p. 395)

184. nigel - June 2, 2012

…..not sure who posted this on the ‘Robert Earl Burton – An Unauthorized Blogography’ site, but it ‘hits home’…..and the last post from me for a few days as I enjoy (our, British) Jubilee Weekend…..Nigel.

“Purchasing Awakening” posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 6, 2007 at 4:22 a.m.:

“Guys, I think FOF will collapse all by itself and probably sooner than we think… Teacher will teach only if he gets cash. The way things are going there is less and less of cash coming in.

Please keep shedding light, keep exposing the lies, keep telling your stories. Truth doesn’t need to be defended it just needs to be seen. FOF is so corrupted and commercialized but doesn’t show this ugly side to new seekers. The teaching became so clearly absurd and insane so all we have to do is simply post it without adding anything.

It speaks (screams) for itself!

I’ll continue to post the original stuff from FOF as it is – unaltered, and let it speak for itself. I encourage others to do the same. Let buyer beware. Hopefully those students who are still in doubt will make up their minds. Let us see the brainwashing, shameless money sqeezing, and purely delusional interpretations of various images being sold to students as “Sacred Teaching”. Let us see it for what it is and be honest with ourselves.”

185. Tempus Fugit - June 2, 2012

Nigel, enjoy your Queen’s birthday, and thanks for your steadfast efforts to help others still trapped in the FOF or thinking of joining.

Your voice and your example are important and I’m certain they inspire others in the way you intend.

Have a great Jubilee Weekend!!!!

186. pI - June 2, 2012

Without the three brains operating and only living in the thought world causes this view of life i.e. “as food for the moon.(lunacy) ” The video sums up this view.”A movie called life.” It’s cool and intelligent. I try to escape this head anxiety/refuge. To Have body and feel something.(as well as)

187. brucelevy - June 2, 2012

182. Tim Campion

Of course you must be assuming he’s a “normal” human being with the capacity for conscience, remorse, self awareness and lack of pathological narcissism, which I don’t assume, as he’s up there in the hierarchy of flying monkeys.

188. Tim Campion - June 2, 2012

187. brucelevy

Nope. That’s why I said “might”. It’s a long road back to normalcy.

189. not - June 2, 2012

pl 186 re: “to escape this head anxiety/refuge. to have body and feel something”

When I “entered the work” after interpreting gurdjieff, the aim (for me) was to reconnect with the somatic experience of life in the body and to get out of the abstraction of living too much in the head. (to jomo and other readers, if you haven’t already, here’s a book worth investigating):



190. WhaleRider - June 2, 2012

From the “Mysticism” BURTON PIMP site link above, Benjamin Yudin states:

“Perhaps the first and foremost teaching of mysticism is that man, as he is, is unaware or asleep to the divine realm that lies within.

And unless he comes in contact with someone who either has awakened, or is on a path of awakening, he will remain oblivious to this realm throughout his life.”

Ok…and then:

“A mystical source outside the body impregnates the heart with divine wisdom.”

So, on the one hand he states there is “a divine realm that lies within” and on the other hand one is supposed to receive divine wisdom from a “mystical source outside the body”.

There is precisely to point where Mr Yudin leads his followers astray.

IMHO, the “mystical source” of divine wisdom is derived from the “divine realm” within each of us and not from outside of us.

Once a follower is “taught” to go looking for divine inspiration “out there”, or in other people, or on license plates, they can be manipulated by whomever is directing the lens, in this case, Mr Yudin, burton’s pimp.

“In any given moment the physical’s body strongest tendency and weakness, imagination, is strong enough to suppress the still voice of the mystical heart.”

I think what Mr Yudin is attempting to suppress here is critical thinking.

How does one “develop the ability to traverse the Void between…the index finger of God and that of Adam….” by using one’s imagination…exactly what he is preaching against.

In as much as Mr Yudin would like to fill the Void of his own spirituality with his particular imagination in the form of repackaged burton rhino poop, let us not forget that the painting on the Sistine Chapel was painted by a man.

Although we are told in the bible that god made man in the image of himself…isn’t it more truthful to state that man made god in the image of himself?

sallymcnally - June 2, 2012

I’ve still got my eyes and ears on levitation man.

191. silentpurr - June 3, 2012

That road back to normalcy would be a bumptious ride for one so accustomed to riding the camel half-assed as Ass-hat appears to be.

192. I'm outta here. - June 3, 2012

@Nigel. 176

Nigel, please get over it. The people you felt bullied by are gone. Mueller was sidelined years ago, after she survived her usefulness. Haven is sad little wanker. You can still go past the lunch tables where he is going blah blah blah, yada yada yada to a bunch of has-beens, usually old-timers who remember what a brilliant future he had behind him, back when he was going to be a conscious being. He is old and crippled. Still jawing the same old jive. Yudin too. What else is left for them?

They can’t make a living. They don’t have any kind of a future. They’re uncomfortable in their own skins.

Robert, or what’s left of him after the drugs and wanking, has moved on.

The new generation of whiz kids are young foreign kids who have had their little willies sucked by Robert, and now feel like they are important and can throw their weight around. Especially when Robert is out of town and they can hit on the wimmen to try to repair their devastated sense of their own masculinity.

They are sad little wanker wannabes, sitting around in a wanking circle, talking to themselves and living imaginary lives.

You can see it from Asaf’s web pages above, all “communicating” in stilted, derivative gibberish, a bad imitation of the writers Robert once found “elevating.” Who reads this artificial, lifeless stuff and gets anything out of it? This once-promising young man is neither or writer or even a communicator. And in a few years he may be unemployable, too. (Did he get convicted on the bigamy thing? Is he a felon now, too?)

Nice thing about Twitter feeds is that you can “follow” anyone you want. All of you can follow Asaf, and send messages back to him. You can follow his followers, too. And talk to them.

Look at the people he follows. Look who follows him. Look at their descriptions of themselves, their imaginary pictures of who they are and what they are doing. It’s endlessly heartbreaking.

Never thought they’d do twitter. It’s too open.

Sad little wankers.

193. Ames Gilbert - June 3, 2012

Whalerider (#120-189 or thereabouts),
Right on!

The mysticisma.com site run by Benjamin Yudin presents his credentials thus:
Benjamin Yudin has lectured and taught classes on mysticism for more than thirty years.
Since 1979, Benjamin has been a member of the Fellowship of Friends where he received his training in keying the esoteric interpretations to sacred literature, legends, and myths.
Benjamin’s well loved and edifying museum tours attract people from all walks of life who are interested in his deciphering of the mystical message in art, sculpture, and architecture.
Benjamin has served as the keynote speaker on mysticism, body types, features, and other esoteric themes for both private and public organizations. This would include Intentional Development, Financial Focus, and the Association for Past-Life Research and Therapies.
When he is not traveling, Benjamin teaches, via Skype, individual and group classes on mysticism from his home in California.

What a load of bullshit!

If I was Benjamin Yudin, I’d not be quite so proud of receiving my ‘training’ from the sociopathic sexual predator Robert Burton. What is Burton qualified to teach? How to scam and hoodwink people. Check. How to exchange supposed spiritual benefits in exchange for sex. Double or triple check, Yudin has learned that one particularly well. How to expand random firings of neurons to great bundles of self–referential fluff. Check. His site speaks for itself, continuous drivel, semantic content not just zero, but far less than zero. Actually harmful for those who might take it seriously. How to grossly indulge in spiritual materialism. Check. How to look for external signs and wonders to cover up internal emptiness. Check. Etc, etc.

So now he has a Masters degree in Advanced Superstition. What a big deal he must be!

Has Benjamin Yudin graduated from the FoF after thirty years or more? Nope, Big Fail. He prefers to remain a big fish in a very small pond, really just a puddle, and muddy at that. What does that say for his qualifications to teach anyone anything? By his own admission, he has abjectly failed; he is still an infantile dependent and worshipper of Burton. He joined an organization that indulged his weaknesses, puffed up his vainglory and sense of importance, and now wants to pass on these valuable lessons to other idiots. What a shallow poseur!

Honestly, if anyone other than other present members of the Fellowship of Friends responds to him or any of the equally grandiose and self–indulgent advertisements on the Asaf Braverman websites, I ‘almost’ feel they deserve what they get. But not quite. So, any seeker landing on these pages, know that this whole proliferating mass of websites are just additional portals to entice you into Robert Earl Burton’s fantasy world. You have been warned!

194. brucelevy - June 3, 2012

191. Ames Gilbert

Isn’t it astounding how unselfaware narcissists and sociopaths are?

195. fofblogmoderator - June 3, 2012

189 and 192 are new

196. fofblogmoderator - June 4, 2012

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