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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 126 August 28, 2012

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Comments

1. Ames Gilbert - August 28, 2012

jomopinata (#125-194 or thereabouts),
that’s very interesting, thanks for ferreting that out.
I can’t believe how incompetent the investigators were. The whole time, they allowed the gatehouse, Goldman and Ms. xxx to phone ahead? They let themselves be taken on an extensive tour while the minions got rid of the evidence? They let minions substitute one interviewee with another, without protest? They can’t have been very interested in actually getting actionable evidence.
If I were ‘I in the sky’, I’d find the fact that there is no mention of the investigators being plied with wine and tidbits in the Tasting Room to be very significant!

Anyway, how do we find out what happened next? I’m already looking forward to ‘The Rest of the Story . . . ‘

2. fofblogmoderator - August 28, 2012

INDEX TO THE BLOG

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

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

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

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion
Part 34 through Part 124 (current page)

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

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

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

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

3. jomopinata - August 28, 2012

Ames, tell me why you think the investigators would have had any authority to prevent anyone from using cell phones to call ahead.

4. WhaleRider - August 28, 2012

I in the Sky:

Your teacher claims to be enlightened and yet confuses and confounds you with his manifestations.

Got it.

That doesn’t quite makes sense to me either, but maybe you subscribe to what Charlie Manson once said, “No sense, makes sense.” I don’t.

You know, my experience with all the other living teachers I have encountered was that if they presented me with a perplexing problem, it was to inspire me to think independently of them and critically of my suppositions, not just to swallow (gulp) everything I was told.

Ah, but your so-called teacher, or your “Master” as you say, (more like master-baiter, IMO) attempted to teach me the opposite…not through inspiration, but through fear…how to obey his doctrine and how to think magically through ideas of reference…on random license plates and the like.

Although a great motivator, we know that fear inhibits critical thought…and magical thinking is the root cause of superstition.

Hmmm…superstition…that doesn’t sound too enlightening or evolved to me.

Superstition…”is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, etc., that contradicts natural science.

Opposition to superstition was a central concern of the intellectuals during the 18th century Age of Enlightenment. The philosophers at that time ridiculed any belief in miracles, revelation, magic, or the supernatural, as “superstition,” and typically included as well much of Christian doctrine.”

~Wikipedia

Now maybe you have witnessed burton’s many acts of defying the laws of natural science during your long career; I personally have not.

IMHO, magical thinking and ideas of reference don’t qualify as indicators of advanced level of human development, sorry.

I mean, what would Voltaire say?

What I have witnessed in burton’s manifestations fall within the laws of human nature, which I will grant you, are quite complex.

Thank you for posting. It really helps.

5. Tim Campion - August 28, 2012

An update from the Medical Board of California on the case of Fellowship of Friends doctor Thomas Neuschatz: a hearing is set for August 5, 2013 to September 13, 2013.

California Watch

Medical Board of California Complaint

6. Ames Gilbert - August 28, 2012

jomopinata (#126-3 or thereabouts),
I have no idea, of course, not being an investigator for the IRS, or a lawyer. So, I’ll turn the question around and ask one who is familiar with the law. How on earth can ‘any’ official investigating authority do its job and get evidence that will hold up in a court of law if they cannot get reliable evidence, which might include sealing a building or crime scene, sealing records or prevent warnings being sent out before they start their investigations? Warnings that might result in the disappearance of suspects or alteration of evidence? Isn’t surprise of the essence if they want to find things as they actually are, not as those with other interests would have them be? For example, doesn’t a search warrant provide one with that very advantage of surprise? In your document, there is nothing that I can find that mentions any search warrant, but if they didn’t have one, why not, if someone had provided them with reasonable suspicion of a crime? What did they expect in the way of results by acting in the amateurish (IMO) way they did?
Etc.
Maybe I watch too much TV. Except that I don’t have a TV.

7. jomopinata - August 28, 2012

Just to be clear, Ames, the April 13, 2007 visit to the Fellowship property was not a search pursuant to a search warrant or an arrest warrant. I know of no reason why a law enforcement officer would have authority, absent a warrant or an observation of plainly unlawful activity, to command anyone to refrain from using a cell phone or of warning others that law enforcement is inspecting the premises.

8. jomopinata - August 28, 2012

The federal Constitutional standard, by the way, set forth in the Fourth Amendment for issuance of a warrant is not “reasonable suspicion,” but a much higher standard, “probable cause.” Law enforcement can’t just barge into someone’s residence, or onto private property, and search based on a “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity. Say what you will about the erosion of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, the reality is, the Fourth Amendment’s not dead yet.

9. jomopinata - August 28, 2012

By the way, Ames, it looks like they *did* get evidence they could use, i.e., that workers on religious visas were engaged not in religious work, but in menial labor at negligible wages. Direct questioning of foreign nationals on religious visas yielded this evidence. Perhaps someone directly knowledgeable about the outcome of the ICE investigation will weigh it.

10. jomopinata - August 28, 2012

Weigh IN.

11. Golden Veil - August 28, 2012

Last two words on the report:

Investigation continues.

It looks like someone dropped the ball on that one, doesn’t it?

12. jomopinata - August 28, 2012

I’m not ready to conclude that. Why would you?

13. Tim Campion - August 28, 2012

One month before the Immigration Services visit, the renowned “Howard Carter”, showed up on the blog. Their first post sounds familiar, another example of “cult thinking.”

I remember Rita well. She first appeared at Isis in 95 or 96. There was a genuine sweetness about her.

It seems her experiences since that time have soured her considerably.

To paraphrase Gurdjieff, if the universe were a large city the earth would be in a very bad neighborhood of that city. If you live there any length of time you are bound to get roughed up, even mugged a few times.

Sometimes the police (RB) will even mug you just to motivate you to depart (do not identify) and find a better habitat. That works for some, but for others it just drives them into their rooms. They are temporarily safer there, but what they don’t understand is that their rooms are still in a house in the same bad neighborhood, on the wrong side of the tracks.

Eventually they will have to come out and find themselves at the same point on the spiritual path.

Rita and others, you cannot progress, with or without FOF until you transform your suffering which has produced all this loathing of Robert as a by-product. Not only loathing, but hubris, in being so sure you are right about all this. How can you, me or anyone else have the whole unadulterated truth? As Christ asked Pilate, “What is truth”?

My understanding is that Robert is only doing his job, and doing it well. Its a dangerous occupation to judge a man who has escaped. He is so far on the other shore his actions are incomprehensible to us. Some of us can only verify for ourselves that his methods work and then try to hold on when things get messy.

14. I in the sky - August 28, 2012

Ames – 195 (exactly)

You said, “Regarding RB and his unconventional, confusing, confounding manifestations I can only say – had I not witnessed his many acts of consciousness I would not have stayed. For me he is a real teacher.”

“You’re getting down to the heart of things here. ‘Acts of consciousness’, forsooth! What you mean is that his visible ‘acts’ match what you imagine the actions of a ‘conscious teacher’ should be. His acts match either the pre-conceptions you came with when you joined, or (more probably) the conclusions from circular reasoning (I believe his claims that he is ‘conscious’, so all his actions must be those of a ‘conscious being’). If you are claiming that somehow you can observer his internal world and know what impels each of those acts, you should be the teacher, not him. But in fact you’re lying, to us and more importantly to yourself. You are just sprinkling your imaginary magical fairy dust on everything so it glows to your satisfaction.”

By acts of consciousness I meant it in the sense of a deed, or a demeanor, not in the sense of someone “acting” like they are sincere. One can observe many things about a person just by watching them from a distance.

There is an old saying – It takes a poet to know a poet. If someone is sincerely looking for consciousness in themselves, if they have become disillusioned with that which is not conscious in themselves, they will be more inclined to see traces of consciousness (or larger indications of it) in another. If a person is looking for the real thing, “acts” of it in the sense you mean (pretending) will only be more obvious and more repelling to one.

Ames: “If you are claiming that somehow you can observe his internal world and know what impels each of those acts, you should be the teacher, not him.”

There was a time I wanted to learn a trade so I looked for people who were reputed to have mastered that trade. One person stood out to me so I applied to be his apprentice. Just because I recognized his mastery that did not mean I was a master.

15. I in the sky - August 28, 2012

125 – #188. Shard_of_Oblivion

Thanks for the comments – one of the first instances here of feeling like someone was talking to me and not at me. You interpreted my words fairly accurately. The area of fate was addressed a little more in #14 to Ames.

16. Toby - August 28, 2012

14. I in the Sky

Did someone run that post through a buzzword generator? Amazing.

Let me try it:

If one sincerely examines one’s motivations for joining the school, and for defending it, then one will eventually understand that one is in imagination about Robert and the school, and that one is identified with it. One believed one was verifying everything, but because of one’s imaginary picture of oneself as someone with a higher level of being — one was instead in imagination about everything.

The thought of leaving the school becomes unbearable, not because of any real suffering that may occur by leaving it, but because with each passing year one is more identified than ever. One cannot let go of this imaginary picture of oneself, because one believes that one’s entire world would evaporate by leaving.

To achieve true understanding, one must transform this suffering and acknowledge that the school is not real. To do this, one must be willing to see one’s tendency to buffer. One’s inability to leave the school is merely another manifestation of one’s identification and imagination.

The chief features of fear and vanity are present in all of us, are they not? Without making efforts in this area, one runs the risk of wrong crystallization. Because of these features, self-remembering can easily turn into its opposite — self-absorption. And by not being present to the suffering of others, we are unable to attain emotional consciousness, which Mr. Ouspensky once referred to as conscience.

17. nigel - August 28, 2012

W B Yeats

“In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;”

18. nigel - August 28, 2012

W B Yeats

“Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting, “

19. apostate - August 29, 2012

pie in the sky 15

“Thanks for the comments – one of the first instances here of feeling like someone was talking to me and not at me.”

this person’s ‘buffers’ are so pronounced (in other words, her head is so far up her ass), that when i address anything she posts i don’t bother to address her directly — you see i have no illusions about anything really getting through to her…. i bother at all because i feel that the bullshit which comes from the brainwashing needs to be scrutinized and exposed for what it is.

20. WhaleRider - August 29, 2012

I in the Sky:
“One can observe many things about a person just by watching them from a distance.”

Really? What things?

I hate that word!

It’s one of the most imprecise and over-used words in the whole frickin’ English language!

IMO, using the word “thing” is a sign of a flabby intellect.

If ever you want a word exercise that will actually cause you to become more “real”, then omit the word “thing” from your vocabulary!

What pray tell are you presupposing in that statement about watching people…that a person’s inner development can be determined by their external demeanor?

Seems shallow to me, given the exquisite complexity of human nature.

You might get an impression about a person from watching them from a distance, yet isn’t that judging a book by the surface of its cover…or are you referring to observing their…”aura”?

If that’s what you believe, spend some time watching Stephan Hawking from a distance, and then have a conversation with him.

“If someone is sincerely looking for consciousness in themselves, if they have become disillusioned with that which is not conscious in themselves, they will be more inclined to see traces of consciousness (or larger indications of it) in another.”

Here’s the part that really irks me….the flawed logic behind…If one has “become disillusioned with that which is not conscious in themselves”..whatever that means….conscious of my every heart beat?….how on earth does that make one “more inclined to see traces of consciousness or larger indications of it in another…”

I don’t believe that reasoning has any basis in reality, frankly.

So only if I am disillusioned about myself can I see the strengths in another? Why can’t I just be accepting of my unconsciousness and focus on my strengths?

That just sounds like made-up bullshit cult indoctrination to me.

If that were true, why then can you not “see” the conscience behind our moral outrage at colluding with burton’s sociopathic behavior?

So by your reasoning, I should go out and spend my entire life totally dependent upon the strengths of another?

Is that evolution? Paying someone to read tea leaves for me? I don’t think so.

You know, you really ought to pay more attention to your dreams.

Isn’t it interesting, given your role in the cult…that dream you had about throwing the rock at someone (maybe you, Someone?) to get them to shut up so you can have the floor. I’d say that pretty much nails it.

That rock is your illusion of power, granted to you by burton.

“If a person is looking for the real thing, “acts” of it in the sense you mean (pretending) will only be more obvious and more repelling to one.”

There is that word thing again!

Why not just say “if a person is looking for the TRUTH, for goodness sake!

If a person is looking for the truth, then when people lie to them or pretend to be someone they are not, it will be more obvious and repelling to that person.

Well, that all depends where said person is looking for the truth, doesn’t it?

Just looking for the truth, no matter how sincere one’s search, does not automatically make one more wise than one who has found the truth, grasshopper.

21. Moon Dweller - August 29, 2012

If a person was “enlightened” they wouldn’t need to control their impulses. They wouldn’t have those impulses. That is what “makes” that person enlightened. And there are many enlightened beings in this world that would never, never, consider these anything less than acts of evil. Also I have read many stories of manipulation on the blog and many of the young men did say no, but that didn’t stop him.

He crosses a line and abuses his position as much as he possibly can. This is the height of disrespect, manipulation, and cruelty of his students who TRUST him. And there is always the “disclaimers”. He’s Concious, he’s the Teacher, we can’t see what he knows …….etc. He blindsides them, he wins their trust and exploits them. The intention is to confuse. Meanwhile he benefits from all of it.
There’s no secrets here, nothing to ponder. A person’s actions say all.

“We don’t take anything with us except our Karma.”

22. Fee fi fo fum - August 29, 2012

The rationalization of anything and everything by entrenched FF members, no matter how horrible or how deep the suffering by others, boggles the mind. There is an emotional hollowness instead of any real feeling. Mentally, there is a justification for whatever happens. Some of the comments aren’t even laughable. They’re horrifying. And many of us were there. We can put ourselves in that automaton-like mindset, from when we were in the FF, and know how lucky we are to have left that world of mind control.

In what way is it honest to talk about the men whom RB has preyed on as their having a choice in saying no, that maybe it’s a test of inner considering? What a load of shit. You know that’s not the dynamic at all with RB. If it were, he would have had so few sex partners that he’d practically be celibate. Instead, men are wheedled into having sex with him with the path to heaven line. Say, how about them pills? Don’t like RB’s looks or body? Well, tough, just close your eyes and pretend. He makes men hate themselves for what they did in bed with him. So what’s the FF line, “just separate.” Is that it?

If RB wants to have sex, let it be honest sex. But it’s not. It never has been. It’s about power. If his victims were women instead of hetero men, it would have been obvious, a long, long time ago. Instead, the convoluted excuse of “man in a goddess’ body” has gotten everyone all confused and looking the other way. Maybe the young men from the poorer parts of the world who knowingly or semi-knowingly prostitute themselves to RB for however long they can milk the situation for subsidized travel, dinners and jewelry, are simply being realists. Maybe they’re laughing at him behind his back. Even if RB knows it, why should he care, because he can get new guys, and it’s everyone’s teaching payments that funds those subsidized trips, dinners and jewels. Nice use of teaching payments, eh?

In the FF, there is a rationalization for everything: “It’s the play.” No feel. No think. Good going.

23. Prospective Student - August 29, 2012

Blinded By the Light 1980

(kristy was so hot!)
maybe this movie had an impact on my little adolescent brain.
i should have joined a cult by now….
those darned made for tv movies.
-the beginning, and 51 minutes in, are pretty funny-
i wanna play the role of one of “Father’s” bodyguards.
:-p

24. I in the sky - August 29, 2012

Toby & FFFF:

Did it ever occur to you that things are not always what they seem?
That the Way out is more convoluted, more obscured than it’s imagined to be. Let’s just assume that Consciousness, or Enlightenment, Nirvana, whatever you call it, is why we are here, is our purpose for being here?

Wouldn’t that make it the most valuable and sought after commodity on earth? If so it’s not too difficult to comprehend that it would also take the most arduous of feats to accomplish that goal. The Way would be fraught with twists and turns and steep precipices.

One of the first wrong turns is to stop at the place called “Morality.” Don’t get me wrong, morality is fine, is excellent as long as you wish to stay on the safe road. That’s what most people want and it works fine for them.

We don’t set the price or the terms to our awakening. How could we? We can only follow what is laid out to us. But if someone wants it more than anything the terms will be laid out to them, moment by moment. I can’t say what’s laid out for you, or for RB. I can only look into my own existence and follow what I see.

25. Golden Veil - August 29, 2012

24. I in the sky – August 29, 2012

“One of the first wrong turns is to stop at the place called “Morality.” Don’t get me wrong, morality is fine, is excellent as long as you wish to stay on the safe road. That’s what most people want and it works fine for them.”

“as long as you wish to stay on the safe road”…

It’s true that without a moral compass (conscience) you’ll lose your way from what I think would be more aptly called the virtuous road. It’s not an easy road to stay on, if you’ve lost your moral compass!

I think on the words once said by the Italian Renaissance philosopher architect Leon Battista Alberti ~

“Be brave and courageous, for adversity is the proving ground of Virtue.”

26. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 29, 2012

24 “I in the sky”

you say:

One of the first wrong turns is to stop at the place called “Morality.”

This is a substantial area where I fundamentally disagree with your position.

I believe that there is a fundamental level of lets call it “ethics”, that cannot be broken for the sake of one’s personal evolution.

It has been said in many ways, many times by many thinkers. Emmanuel Kant put it thus:

Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.

This was his categorical imperative in it’s second formulation, and surely you would agree that it would be wrong for me to use another human for the sake of MY increased consciousness, which made the other human the poorer through pain or other suffering?

It would be selfish in the extreme.

In the case of Thomas, I took it that your defense was that in some fateful way it WAS to his overall evolutionary advantage to have suffered the way he did in Burton’s bedroom. Not that it is OK for Burton to treat other humans as objects, since his level of consciousness means his pleasure counts for more than a sleeping machine’s suffering?

27. Agent 45 - August 29, 2012

OK, I’m willing to listen. What good works has Burton done?

28. TARDIS - August 29, 2012

The way is “convoluted”.

translation: I can trample on people however I Iike as long as I fulfill my aim, even if it is an imaginary aim that I have constructed in my own mind.

I wonder what type of Nirvana that would be. A tramples B on the way to the gates of heaven. C then tramples B, and then D tramples both B and C. D then sits back and relaxes to a Bach concerto, but E comes along and unleashes machine gun fire on D (although with intentionality) because E needs D’s stereo system in order to awaken. Fortunately it was good for D to experience this.

See FFFF at 22.

29. apostate - August 29, 2012

more pie 24

“Did it ever occur to you that things are not always what they seem? That the Way out is more convoluted, more obscured than it’s imagined to be.”

not sure exactly what she’s talking about here: what “things” ?
and of course she’s coming from a thought control environment where cognitive dissonance is employed so it’s only ‘natural’ for her to think of “things” in terms of “not as they seem” and as being “more convoluted, more obscured than imagined.” imo this pie in sky is making less and less sense with every posting… what she doesn’t realize is that the “convolution, obscured, imagined thing” is a product of her own mind…

“Let’s just assume that Consciousness, or Enlightenment, Nirvana, whatever you call it, is why we are here, is our purpose for being here?”

ok, let’s assume… so what does she imagine “consciousness, or enlightenment, nirvana” is ? these are concepts in her imagination, let’s find out a little more about what she’s imagining:

“Wouldn’t that make it the most valuable and sought after commodity on earth?”

no, this is a primary error with burtonism… yet another example of spiritual materialism. she conflates and equates something of a non-material nature with a “commodity” — a “thing” that can be bought and sold… this is a key piece of the ff scam, that burton can sell you “consciousness” if you follow his rules and pay monthly dues to support his habits. pie has bought this sales pitch hook line and sinker… i know, i was there too.

“If so it’s not too difficult to comprehend that it would also take the most arduous of feats to accomplish that goal. The Way would be fraught with twists and turns and steep precipices.”

this is a fairy tale pie in sky has bought into, it’s a “myth” or a story about “consciousness” which involves the archetypal “Hero’s Journey.” she doesn’t yet realize there are other ways to get to “our purpose for being here.” there are many other ways, but as long as she believes it has to be “most arduous” and “fraught” with difficulties, i’m sure burton will be only too happy to accommodate her sadomasochistic needs in this regard. (i keep thinking about the line by gurdjieff — words to the effect: ” where’s the best place to hide something ? on the end of her nose.” pie doesn’t seem to be aware of her own consciousness… this state of mind is what burtonism depends on).

there’s a strong ‘puritanical’ element at work here, she believes one MUST suffer in order to become “enlightened.” this way of thinking feeds a very deep seated martyr complex.* this culturally implanted mythos or “meme” is utilized by judeo-christian religions, burton, and others of his ilk, in controlling a flock for the fleecing.

pie says:

“One of the first wrong turns is to stop at the place called “Morality.”

spoken (written) like a true sociopath.

“Don’t get me wrong, morality is fine, is excellent as long as you wish to stay on the safe road. That’s what most people want and it works fine for them.”

this is how she rationalizes her ‘teacher’s’ misdeeds and her own involvement and complicity. in her terminology it would be called a ‘buffer’ — something she cannot see which protects her from the ‘terror of the situation.’

“We don’t set the price or the terms to our awakening.”

this is more commodification — materialism is what she understands, it’s the lens through which she perceives, materialism and commodity is what burtonism is all about, and so the ff brainwash necessarily involves conflating ‘spirituality’ with materialism… this is what makes sense to her.

“We can only follow what is laid out to us.”

spoken (written) like a truly and thoroughly brainwashed sheep.

“But if someone wants it more than anything the terms will be laid out to them, moment by moment. ”

this clearly indicates the mind control environment she is operating from.

“I can’t say what’s laid out for you, or for RB. I can only look into my own existence and follow what I see.”

and all that she is able to see is what burtonism puts in front of her… she’s made her bed.

* “In psychology, a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term victim complex, desires the feeling of being a martyr for his/her own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it feeds a psychological need.
In some cases, this results from the belief that the martyr has been singled out for persecution because of exceptional ability or integrity. Theologian Paul Johnson considers such beliefs a topic of concern for the mental health of clergy. Other martyr complexes involve willful suffering in the name of love or duty. This has been observed in women, especially in poor families, as well as in codependent or abusive relationships. It has also been described as a facet of Jewish-American folklore.

The desire for martyrdom is sometimes considered a form of masochism. Allan Berger, however, described it as one of several patterns of “pain/suffering seeking behavior”, including asceticism and penance.

30. Golden Veil - August 29, 2012

29. apostate – August 29, 2012

[On] more pie 24

Yours is certainly the moral voice of Reason and Virtue.

Bravissimo!

31. Golden Veil - August 29, 2012

I just perused photos 3 – 70 on the Greater Fellowship Page of Dom–ic Mit–elof Fellowship of Friends members at the Oregon House compound. What an array of glowing faces in theatrical performances and imbibing celebratory glasses of fine wine… friends I once knew as Center Directors, etc. I find myself wondering, do these happy faces all share the very same mindset expressed by I in the sky…

32. brucelevy - August 29, 2012

24. I in the sky

The credo of the true sociopath and narcissist.

33. WhaleRider - August 29, 2012

“”Wouldn’t that make it the most valuable and sought after commodity on earth?”

If you really want to comprehend how aquiring the most valuable and sought after commodity on earth” affects our human nature and the toll of suffering it causes, do a little reading on the conditions in which gold, diamonds, and oil are extracted from places like Africa.

I have to agree with Bruce’s assessment.

Sociopathic behavior, which can be taught to or instilled in others, requires that the student depart from the road of virtue and morality.

Is that what Jesus taught, to disregard the poor and trample on human dignity on the way to heaven?

Keep posting, I in the Sky, your story must be told.

34. Ames Gilbert - August 29, 2012

I in the sky (#126-14 and many, many more),
once again you couldn’t be more clear. Just as in your incarnation as Daily Cardiac (and probably others), you make the perfect mouthpiece for Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, and particularly for the new morality that will guide the survivors of the catastrophes he successfully keeps on failing to predict.

So, I rest my case.

IMO, any normal person will run like hell, which is my purpose for being here. Any psychopath landing on these pages is going to tingle with anticipation as s/he contemplates the juicy potential, but for those I have a warning, too. Burton is a jealous god, and you will have to content yourself with the leavings after he has picked over the juiciest morsels. And, even if you are potential management material, you will have a lot of competition for sheep fleecing. So maybe you should look elsewhere as well.
Good luck to any normal person who is persuaded by the likes of I in the sky, Daily Cardiac, Siddiq, Howard Carter, Golb, Baleful Bedouin, and so many other apologists. You’ll need it!

35. Ames Gilbert - August 29, 2012

Toby (#126-16 or thereabouts),
perfect! Everyone, ‘in’ or ‘out’, should read your post really carefully.

And to all of you who are interested in the issues, whatever your viewpoint, my thanks as well.

36. Tim Campion - August 29, 2012

The answer is disarmingly simple.

Robert Earl Burton

Burton is a sociopath and narcissist.”I in the sky” would have us believe something “more convoluted, more obscured” than the glaring truth.

37. WhaleRider - August 29, 2012

““We can only follow what is laid out to us. But if someone wants it more than anything the terms will be laid out to them, moment by moment. ”

I also concur with apostate. This is the essence of the FOF thought control environment.

Imagine a row of soldiers standing at silent attention, their gazes fixed forward, focused on a spot ahead of them, completely in the moment.

One move out of line, or display of personal “attitude” and you get whacked. There is not much room for individualism.

They are dividing their attention…intensely aware of their Sergeant, their commander in the moment….issuing orders, congratulating them, for their valuation and dedication, instilling discipline, and dispensing punishment (often in an abusive way that one might consider castrating and demeaning), and aware of their intense fear that they might be the next example.

You speak only when called upon.

There is chanting…one two three four I love the marine corps….and structured activity involving hard labor and sleep deprivation.

And there is commitment to a greater cause, with the explicit agreement that each places his life in the hands of their superior, their master.

Each order is carried out in that moment to moment state of presence, without question or complaint.

There is no time to stop and reflect on the consequences of your actions when your life is at stake.

There is little or no free choice either, it is a rigid and controlled environment, with strict rules of conduct; although volunteers can leave any time wish…but without their “honor”.

Those who can endure the most pain in silence are favored over anyone who complains. Those who complain are publicly castrated and/or kicked out.

Those whom are the most compliant and can stifle or suppress their humiliation will move up in rank and become the next abusive sergeant…to make others feel his humiliation for him.

In this environment of mind control, boys are transformed into soldiers of war.

It is also the same environment in which young men are transformed into FOF sex slaves for Robert E Burton.

38. Golden Veil - August 29, 2012

“Robert Burton has also advised his students that if their conscience troubles them or speaks too loudly within them, then they should leave his ‘school’. To leave his school, according to his vast output of recorded quotations, is to lose all possibilities of growth and meaning: ‘ When a student leaves, all the light that was available to them disappears down a black hole and is forever lost.’ ”

This and more at blogspot “Fellowship of Friends Cult”

http://robertburtonpervertrapist44.blogspot.com/

39. apostate - August 29, 2012

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader. 



1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. 


2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. 


3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.


4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. 


5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.


6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances. 


7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader. 


8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”. 


9. The group/leader is always right. 


10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

rick ross

40. Pie in the Face - August 29, 2012

1. Check.
2. Check.
3. Check.
4. Check.
5. Check.
6. Check.
7. Check.
8. Check.
9. Check.
10. Check

41. Fee fi fo fum - August 29, 2012

24 I in the sky

Good example of divine fallacy. The various premises are assumed (but not proven) to be true, and where they are especially shaky, they get kicked up to heaven, where the “pain factory’s” mysterious ways can be rationalised.

The paragraph on “morality” reminded me of how anesthetised we became in the FF towards anyone not in the FF, including our parents and children.

Anyone trying to leave the FF really should look up some of the terms Jomopinata suggested on an earlier page having to do with thought reform and mind control. If not, at least read the short paragraph in Wikipedia on Robert Jay Lifton in the subsection called Theory of Thought Reform. Each item applies to the FF.

42. silentpurr - August 29, 2012

1. Robert’s interpretation of “C influence events” is held tantamount.
2. “The lower cannot see the higher.”
3. Do not be in imagination about affairs which do not concern you. nothing to see here…
4. The Arc, something you may someday step aboard but won’t, if you leave.
5. The Fellowship as an “investment” ; good riddance to the “unproductive”!
6. The blog.
7. Thanks to sound investigative reporting and the internet.
8. Shunning former students for “their own good” can briefly remedy.
9. What level is he now?
10 … running away from priests and bishops into the waiting clutches of father Robert!
People! Try to remember what you originally ‘came for’.

43. nigel - August 29, 2012

Did Burton perhaps read this quote from Groucho Marx?…..

“Those are my principles; if you don’t like them, I have others.”

44. apostate - August 29, 2012

golden veil 30
thanks to the MANY voices of ‘reason and virtue’ here

silentpurr 41
thanks for contextualizing… spot on!

pie in the eye
in general, thanks for the fodder… keep it coming.

lifton on thought reform:

Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.

Mystical Manipulation. The manipulation of experiences that appears spontaneous but is, in fact, planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority, spiritual advancement, or some exceptional talent or insight that sets the leader and/or group apart from humanity, and that allows reinterpretation of historical events, scripture, and other experiences. Coincidences and happenstance oddities are interpreted as omens or prophecies.

Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.

Sacred Science. The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.

Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.

Doctrine over person. Member’s personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.

Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group’s ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also.

45. fofblogmoderator - August 29, 2012

#40 is new

46. Fee fi fo fum - August 29, 2012

40 Pie in the face

I’m glad we haven’t lost our sense of humo(u)r.

I in the sky, though, is only allowed “gentle mirth”. And remember, don’t show those teeth when you grin. Too “instinctive”. (Which “genius” invented that suggestion?)

Bruce and Agent 45: Thank you for injecting the blog with some common sense and recent belly laughs.

47. I in the sky - August 29, 2012

Rich advises us that in the month of August weekly hits have doubled. I’m OK to keep things as they are for now but if the popularity persists I’m alright if the blog wants to install a Pay Pal button under “I in the Sky.”

Like I said I’m not insisting, but if you suggest it I’m open.

Love you guys, I

48. WhaleRider - August 29, 2012

I in the Sky:

I’m fine with that. I certainly value your contribution here.

I should warn you, if we install a PayPal button, then your real name will be printed on the payee’s next credit card statement.

So…what’s the minimum you’d make a person pay to reveal to them who you really are?

How much for a photo of your tits?

49. I in the sky - August 29, 2012

Shard_of_Oblivion – 26

“you say:

One of the first wrong turns is to stop at the place called “Morality.”

This is a substantial area where I fundamentally disagree with your position.

I believe that there is a fundamental level of lets call it “ethics”, that cannot be broken for the sake of one’s personal evolution.

It has been said in many ways, many times by many thinkers. Emmanuel Kant put it thus:

Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.”

And Buddha said something to the effect of:

“Grab onto those ahead of you on the path, and forget about those behind you.” Sounds pretty hardhearted to me. Morality says “Help those less fortunate than you.” It’s not a contradiction however. Buddha is speaking of spiritual matters and Morality is speaking of earthly matters.

It’s possible for an individual to serve both causes, but it’s clear which supersedes the other. Humans on the spiritual path are sometimes put in the position where the two worlds diverge and hard choices are required.

Christ said “Let the dead bury the dead.” He was not speaking in the literal sense as no dead person can bury another dead person. This also sounds hardhearted in its original context.

Morality can be as blind as Faith. Mores change with the times. Just 50 years go it was moral to exclude African Americans from many privileges experienced by Caucasian Americans. Today many acts considered moral will be rejected by generations of the future. Listen to a debate amongst Liberals and Conservatives in American politics on issues like abortion. They are each accusing the other of being immoral. They each believe they hold the truth. As Pilate said – What is Truth?

SoO – “I believe that there is a fundamental level of lets call it “ethics”, that cannot be broken for the sake of one’s personal evolution.”

I couldn’t agree more with these words.

SoO – “In the case of Thomas, I took it that your defense was that in some fateful way it WAS to his overall evolutionary advantage to have suffered the way he did in Burton’s bedroom. Not that it is OK for Burton to treat other humans as objects, since his level of consciousness means his pleasure counts for more than a sleeping machine’s suffering?”

Yes, that’s what I meant. The only thing we don’t know for sure and only RB does know for sure is: Was he purely putting his pleasure ahead of Thomas’ suffering, or was he interested in preserving Thomas’ evolution more than preserving his inherited morality?

50. I in the sky - August 29, 2012

WhaleRider – 48

I said “Hits” not “Tits”

51. WhaleRider - August 30, 2012

I in the Sky:
LOL!! Glad we got that cleared up.

For a second I thought you were overstating your development…that you’d doubled the number of tits you had…but you really meant hits.

I get it now.

So how much would you charge a person to reveal who you truly are?

52. Agent 45 - August 30, 2012

Blog like Linda. Just don’t get smart, sweetheart, we like you just the way you are.

53. 2012 - August 30, 2012

it is very useful for I In The Sky to be here. They are displaying clearly and for all to see how entrenched in the brainwashing they are. As Ames said earlier, the advantage we have is that we have left the FOF. I can verify that “work on yourself” does not stop because you are no longer a member. By quoting Buddha or Christ and putting your interpretation on it as well as your judgement of “hard hearted” it only shows that you believe deeply and without regret all that Burton has exposed you to in the way of suspending your common sense and belief in attaining spiritual growth through “normal” means. You have willfully chosen to find your spiritual growth through bizarre means. The FOF is not a 4th way school. It’s an eclectic collection of people who have decided to resign from life because they can hide out in the sierra foothills. The FOF only uses its different centers around the globe as travel spots and to be able to advertise it’s wide reaching influence to prospective dupes. Face it, Oregon House is considered the ultimate destination and this is where you can hide from life. 4th way indeed!!

BTW, in 40 years who besides Girard has supposedly attained a higher level? Sounds like you have a teacher that likes to play musical chairs all day and isn’t concerned with real learning. It’s endless exposure to “refined impressions” and words from eminent men and women that Burton can then put his far fetched spin on as well as breaking codes and find hidden meanings. A recent article I read talks about people who think they are able to break codes. It said; “they are altruistic, since they think they’re uncovering truths hidden from the the public. For them believing is seeing.

54. Tim Campion - August 30, 2012

One hundred boys would not be enough.

Robert Earl Burton (boasting of his sexual appetite)

55. apostate - August 30, 2012

re: pie in the eye 49
what can be said except “unfuckingbelievable.”
thanks has to go out again to this fool for reminding me how very grateful i am to be out from under the spell of the burton mind fuck.

“The only thing we don’t know for sure and only RB does know for sure is:”

this grandiose asshole really needs to learn to speak for herself instead imagining she can speak for everyone else — instead of resorting to the royal “we” she should more accurately say: “The only thing I don’t know for sure….” honey, there’s plenty you don’t know… and that’s for sure.

“Was he purely putting his pleasure ahead of Thomas’ suffering,”

fuckingunbelievable… this person has her head so far up burton’s ass that she’s oblivious to the obvious, so she needs a little help — the answer to that question is “YES of course he was putting his own pleasure ahead of any consideration of Thomas.” she doesn’t understand that burton is a narcissistic sociopath, that’s what narcissistic sociopaths do, it’s all they CAN do — burton doesn’t care about anyone except himself.

“or was he interested in preserving Thomas’ evolution more than preserving his inherited morality?”

she has to be joking right? what morality? burton doesn’t care about anyone except insofar as they might somehow serve in the feeding of his own insatiable cravings.

and what about the victim’s point of view in all of this… that obviously doesn’t matter to her and it certainly doesn’t concern the perpetrator. everything she says here seems to be an attempted imagination of burton’s point of view. it’s a wretched fate to live much of life vicariously through burton…. so grateful to be out of that mind fuck.

this is the problem with these people who come here and attempt to defend burton, they say that the facts lie, that we can’t really know what motivates burton… but burton has a spell on these poor souls, they exist in a mental and emotional fog. once outside of the fog it’s really a very transparent and obvious situation… burton is a sociopath, he only cares about himself, he’s motivated solely by greed and UNENLIGHTENED self-interest.

56. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 30, 2012

49 “I in the sky”, you say:

“Buddha said something to the effect of:

“Grab onto those ahead of you on the path, and forget about those behind you.” Sounds pretty hardhearted to me. Morality says “Help those less fortunate than you.” It’s not a contradiction however. Buddha is speaking of spiritual matters and Morality is speaking of earthly matters.

It’s possible for an individual to serve both causes, but it’s clear which supersedes the other. Humans on the spiritual path are sometimes put in the position where the two worlds diverge and hard choices are required.”

OK, I think we are getting to the heart of the matter here.

You recognise both morality as understood by the masses, and a special ethics derived from your spiritual quest. And in any instance where there is a conflict between them you will choose the option that most progresses your spiritual advancement (as understood by you and your teacher)

So, looking again at the specific case we are considering. I can see how you might have no ethical problem with hearing about the suffering that Burton caused Thomas, as long as you believe (as I think you really do) that this is a case where earthly morality concerning conventional sex manners, are trumped by the higher spiritual ethics that has its law – “Do with energy and zeal everything that the teacher suggests that you do, the weirder it is the more the spiritual benefits that are to be accrued”

It’s not that I need to get you to feel a response to the story of Thomas, because you do in fact already feel a response, you still have those feelings inside you. However this other hardhearted part of you, which values your own personal awakening above all else, takes over and uses the emotions of pity and sympathy you are feeling as raw material for you to transform by the process of separating. You observe from a still small place deep within you, which watches your emotions as if they were those of an interesting stranger.

My position is this:
As we each live our lives we are confronted by choices which will affect our lives and those around us. The choice we each make is something that defines us, we ARE those choices we make, and we learn through life and culture what seems right and what seems wrong. The day we stop trusting that part of ourselves (flawed as it often is, its the best we have) we open ourselves to horrors.

57. WhaleRider - August 30, 2012

Shard:
“You observe from a still small place deep within you, which watches your emotions as if they were those of an interesting stranger.”

As much as you’d like for I in the Sky to have normal emotions like the rest of us, they are in the minority who don’t, which makes them good at their job as head of the FOF KGB.

There are no emotions of empathy for their inner homunculus to “watch”.

58. Opus111 - August 30, 2012

It’s possible for an individual to serve both causes
[the moral/earthly and the spiritual/lofty one], but it’s clear which supersedes the other. Humans on the spiritual path are sometimes put in the position where the two worlds diverge and hard choices are required.

This the (not-so) novel explanation to explain Burton predatory sexual behavior, among other questionable ones of his. It must be hard for him to make the hard decision consistently, sometimes many times a night and lay in muck for the lofty spiritual benefit of his victims.

I feel much better now that I know why he does that.

59. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 30, 2012

Let’s imagine that Jimi Hendrix is an awakened soul. And his acolytes would spend many hours in solitary worship at the shrine of his records, honing their meagre skills to be able to emulate their great master. Then one day Hendrix’s old mate Randy California gathers the acolytes together, to worship at the shrine of the mighty Hendrix!

Sound unlikely? Hang on a sec, what’s this?

60. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 30, 2012

And this is what all the fuss was about.
“Two riders were approaching…”

61. I in the sky - August 30, 2012

2012 – 53

“it is very useful for I In The Sky to be here. They are displaying clearly and for all to see how entrenched in the brainwashing they are. As Ames said earlier, the advantage we have is that we have left the FOF. I can verify that “work on yourself” does not stop because you are no longer a member.”

Are you aware you used the V word on the blog? That’s like shoving a cross in the face of a vampire. Maybe I’m softening you guys up a little?

62. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 30, 2012

61 “I in the sky” quoted 2012 as saying:

“I can verify that “work on yourself” does not stop because you are no longer a member.”

and smirks in reply

“Are you aware you used the V word on the blog? That’s like shoving a cross in the face of a vampire. Maybe I’m softening you guys up a little?”

Well yes, 2012 used the term “verify”, but you fail to notice that the example you chose to mock just so happens to be an excellent use of the word verify. The statement “2012 will continue to work on him/herself after no longer being a member of FoF” is exactly the modest category of statement that CAN be verified, and has been by 2012.

Whereas if you tell me you have “verified C influence”, we are in very different logical territory, something much more prone to confirmation bias (thanks Ames)

63. Agent 45 - August 30, 2012

The campfire became dim for a moment and then mysteriously brightened as the children sat wide-eyed and slack-jawed. One of them raised her hand and asked innocently “And then what happened to poor little Tommy?”
A devilish grin appeared on Tommy’s face as he embraced his fate and calculated what this unwanted advance might really mean. Tommy realized that he could ride this opportunity right to the toppermost along with William Wurlich & Peter Bishop. He and Bobby engaged in many, many acts of fellatio and sodomy behind closed doors. As far as the rest of the peons knew the Queen was perfectly chaste and Tommy was chosen because he was obviously more advanced. Tommy loved his new status among the group and the shiny baubles and privilage and attention he was getting. For years this strange act continued and little Tommy began to enjoy having his cock sucked by a goddess and getting fucked in the ass. Eventually, like all the others he grew a little too old and was a little too familiar with the true nature of his goddess and Tommy was discarded and replaced.
The end except for a lawsuit that I don’t know how turned out. Tommy lives somewhere in the mountains now and does his art work and only practices safe guru worship.

64. TARDIS - August 30, 2012

It’s odd to me that anyone would attempt to connect with this poster as though its possible to have a normal conversation with them. I’m not sure what you’re hoping to accomplish. Theres not much to say when the insanity is so jaw dropping.

Apostate at 55 and WhaleRider at 57 sum up my thoughts really well, as well as the numerous other posters who have responded in kind.

Likewise, there’s not much that can be said to this guy, other than that his comments are unfuckingbelievable: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/father-benedict-groeschel-teens-seduce-priests_n_1840900.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

65. apostate - August 30, 2012

agent 45 thanks for the ‘fable.’ complicity is an aspect of the story but the situation is set up by burton… it’s akin to the “entrapment” techniques practiced by law enforcement agencies in that it’s a set- up which preys on human weaknesses… burton is looking for a few flies to land in his web, he dazzles them with baubles, trips to europe, an imaginary status within the organization… but it’s burton who creates the situation, it”s a calculated lure which depends on the naivete’ and the vanity of youth.

pie in the eye says:
“Are you aware you used the V word on the blog? That’s like shoving a cross in the face of a vampire. Maybe I’m softening you guys up a little?”

shard replied:
“if you tell me you have “verified C influence”, we are in very different logical territory, something much more prone to confirmation bias”

lifton calls it “Loading the Language.” The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.”

this notion of “verification of C influence” is THE thought-terminating cliche’

66. apostate - August 30, 2012

agent 45:
“Tommy began to enjoy having his cock sucked by a goddess and getting fucked in the ass.”

i can’t speak for “tommy” but speaking from experience, blowjob bob played catcher, the boy-toy pitched… remember, burton is a “queen” and a “goddess.”

then again, one could say “we were all fucked in the ass by conscious bob” — metaphorically speaking.

67. Fee fi fo fum - August 30, 2012

61 I in the sky

What with all this talk yesterday about tits and ass, I thought I in the sky’s buzz on the “V” word was re “vagina”. Instead, it was “verify.”

The last time I checked the dictionary, the Fellowship didn’t invent the word “verify.” What the FF did do, however, was try to give “verification” a special significance, so that you knew from experiencing something (say, C Influence) that it was no longer a theory, but something real for you. The concept of verifying something isn’t owned by any community, whether scientific or mathematical or other. It’s one of the many words and terms that the FF used to “load the language”, so that its members felt like they were/are in a special club.

Neither did the Fellowship invent the number 44, but by associating “44” with “conscious beings,” FF members get a buzz whenever they see that number. It’s just another way that RB and the FF condition its members.

First, just because people leave the FF doesn’t mean all of the conditioning drops away right away. Depends on the degree of the conditioning.

Second, it is a mistake for entrenched FF members to assume that former members “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” This may be one reason that it’s hard for current students to leave the FF. They think that their entire inner world will become empty and devoid of meaning and connection.

68. Fee fi fo fum - August 30, 2012

53. “2012”

My paragraph on “First” was not meant to suggest you were still “conditioned” by the FF. That was meant as a general comment on the process of leaving the FF.

The exit process can be long and complex, but entrenched FF members incline towards a simplified view of the world: You’re either in/with the FF or not.

69. apostate - August 30, 2012

agent 45
the “baubles”, material trappings, and imagined elevation of status in the organization are undoubtedly part of the lure in the case of bob’s boys… but speaking personally, the main attractor was the idea of being able to get closer to ‘the source’ of all “wisdom,” the one and only “conscious being” on the planet, the “brightest light in 2000 years.” that belief is what drew me into the web… ironically, being closer to the ‘source’ helped me to recognize the deceit and this is what freed me.

70. brucelevy - August 30, 2012
71. WhaleRider - August 30, 2012

I in the Sky:
“Are you aware you used the V word on the blog?”

I think you might be confusing V words.

One can easily verify the existence of magical thinking and ideas of reference in delusional FOF followers in how they verifabricate the existence of “influence c” through random license plates.

My direct experience with Robert E Burton enabled me to verify that vampires suck more than blood.

72. silentpurr - August 30, 2012

And speaking as a female and former ff’er, as I recall, the word vagina was not part of the ‘vocabulary’,and if used at all, whispered.

73. apostate - August 30, 2012

on rape:
COMMODIFICATION THEORY: Some theorists have posited rape as a crime of property, in which sex is a commodity which is stolen by a rapist.

CONTROL THEORY: Examining rape not as a matter of sexuality, but rather as an expression of control, scholars have challenged current understandings of rape law to change the focus to acknowledge the control issues involved.

POWER THEORY: Rape becomes a way to compensate for underlying feelings of inadequacy and feeds issues of mastery, control, strength, authority and capability.

Evidence about sexually coercive men supports the narcissism hypothesis, such as by showing self-serving cognitive distortions, an excessive concern with being admired, an inflated sense of entitlement, selectively low empathy, and a broadly exploitative approach to relations.

Psychopathy from the Ancient Greek “psyche”, -soul, mind and “pathos” -suffering, disease, condition is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.…although psychopathy is associated with and in some cases is defined by conduct problems, criminality, or violence, many psychopaths are not violent, and psychopaths are, despite the similar names, rarely psychotic.

74. I in the sky - August 30, 2012

SoO: 62

“Well yes, 2012 used the term “verify”, but you fail to notice that the example you chose to mock just so happens to be an excellent use of the word verify. The statement “2012 will continue to work on him/herself after no longer being a member of FoF” is exactly the modest category of statement that CAN be verified, and has been by 2012.”

From my vantage point one would verify Influence C first and then work on oneself would have true meaning. That’s how it was for me.
If there is no Influence C, where is all that “work on oneself’ going? To the grave to end there? It’s also curious that you take 2012 on his or her word that they are “working on themselves” post FoF.

I don’t doubt the possibility, just curious you that it would become a fact simply by them just claiming it is so. This kind of points back to the content vs. affiliation issue.

What do they mean by “working on themselves?” Trying to be a good householder? A decent person? Trying to be present to the living moment and thereby out of imagination? Work one oneself can have as many meanings as people to describe it.

But my main question is – Why would it be possible to verify anything and not the most important thing, that there is a deity that orders our world and that there is an afterlife? Seems ludicrous to me.

FFFF – 67

“The last time I checked the dictionary, the Fellowship didn’t invent the word “verify.””

This is progress. Several here in the past have called the term a “Burtonism” and of course it’s not. WhaleRider even coined his own term to mock it – Verifabrication.

FFFF: “What the FF did do, however, was try to give “verification” a special significance, so that you knew from experiencing something (say, C Influence) that it was no longer a theory, but something real for you.”

Wouldn’t this be the case in general, whether the term was used by Fellowship students or otherwise – to take a truth out of the realm of theory and into the realm of reality for oneself?

FFFF: “Second, it is a mistake for entrenched FF members to assume that former members “throw the baby out with the bathwater.””

We must not be reading the same blog.

75. Tim Campion - August 30, 2012

Here’s a vignette of “I in the sky’s” conscious teacher, as told by “unoanimo” a while back. (Unoanimo was answering “Fat Boy’s” defense of Robert Burton’s behavior.)

It is worth noting, that if “I in the sky” is female, they likely have no “first hand” knowledge of what takes place in Robert Burton’s bedchamber, Galleria wine cellar, vacation home, hotel room, etc. They would also find themselves in the role of a “second-class citizen”, in a purgatory with no prospect of “awakening” in this lifetime. According to Burton’s misogynistic worldview, women can only escape the bonds of sleep in some future lifetime, when they will inhabit a man’s body.

A boy (young man) gets a call from Dorian; Dorian says “Robert would like to get to know you better. Would you like to meet with the Teacher tomorrow after the meeting?”

The boy says ~ “Sure, thank you for the invitation.”

(Thinking that “get to know you better” somehow refers to knowledge and the partaking thereof, maybe some hug, hug, coffee table talk, casual stuff, you know… nothing graphic, nothing nude.)

So, Sunday meeting is over, boy is shown to the study where he is seated by Dorian, (similar to how a detective on duty might seat a man wondering where his kidnapped wife was to be found); the boy is wondering a little, ‘being present’…

Robert Burton walks through the library/study, passes the boy, saying nothing as he makes fleeting eye contact with him as he’s walking and darts (Bee line) straight into his bedroom and disappears from sight, so far as the library couch-view from the left is concerned.

The boy sits, stays right where he was seated by Dorian, waits for the “Get to know you better” to start…

Maybe some shared reading, a little walk in the garden, perhaps a good (one) glass of wine together discussing this or that casual student-teacher thingy, whatever that is or is to be…

Robert Burton appears in the bedroom doorway and says ~ “Dear… (blah, blah, something about a recollection he had of the boy, yet, the boy, has not a chance to say anything to this, when, right after the blah, blah, ‘The TEACHER’ says to the boy ~

“Come in here dear”.

So the boy shyly walks into the bedroom and the TEACHER immediately closes the door, locks the door with a key, puts the key in his left pocket and (as cold and routine as a pair of surgical “scrotum scissors’) says to the shy, a bit confused boy ~

“Dear, take off all your clothes and hang them there on the back of the door, on those hangers.”

The boy is dumbfounded, so quick, so little words, yet plenty of presence, right? (No, not right, though presence, yes.)

Robert Burton quickly proceeds to his bathroom and begins to wash his hands.

The boy is standing stunned, cold, nervous, mind is racing about 117 mph, heart somewhere near the tonsils he never had taken out as a child, then something snaps, all the being of a fairy tale demi-god raises up inside him and he looks at THE TEACHER, looks with a sort of knowing clarity that precludes the marriage of the Sperm and Egg… sees where the winterly clamminess atmosphere is getting its fuel…

He goes to the teacher, takes him by the hand and looks him straight into the eyes and says

“I cannot do this Robert; I do not want to hurt your feeling, but, I did not know it would be THIS, like this, involving getting naked with you, etc., etc.”

Robert starts to say things like ~

“You don’t have to do me.”

“You don’t have to do anything for me.”

“I just want to lay with you.”

The boy says to Robert ~ “Robert, this is much more than just getting to know me…”

The boy is interrupted, Robert says “You know my lifestyle, etc, etc”.

The boy begins to walk to the locked door, Robert moves in front of the door and says ~

“What is it?”

The boy says ~ “Robert, But I am in a relationship…”

He gets interrupted again, Robert says ~ “What? Is it a woman? (with a very negative, spiteful stress on the word ‘woman’)

The boy admits (and is made to feel like it’s a religious confession in a Catholic confession box).

“Yes, it is a woman.”

Robert swirls his eyes and starts pontificating and saying such things like ~

“There’s six billion sleeping heterosexuals on the planet, these are mechanical relationships, they are not conscious, not conscious love, these are asleep, I am a conscious being, I am your teacher.”

The boy is still with his state of being so sure of the connection between consciousness and conscience he senses that he is truly slicing time with a butter knife, so easy, so smooth, as Robert Burton’s impression simply begins to peel off, like a billboard sign during an oncoming hurricane…

The boy says ~ “Robert, I am not going to play the justification game with you, but what about my feelings, the feeling of ‘her’?”

He is interrupted again (the door is still locked and THE TEACHER is less than thirteen inches away the whole time) ~

Robert Burton says ~ “You said ‘But’, (But) is inner considering… Feelings? Hafiz said ‘Get out of the way Hafiz, you’re standing in my way’.”

This the boy takes as meaning that ‘feelings’ are mechanical, worthless, an obstacle to awakening; yet, everything is crystal clear that Robert is speaking to himself, a reflection in the mirror, not the one, the boy now standing behind the reflection; the boy starts to feel a bit odd, in that he’s being seen as a mirror, a thing, and not his standing behind the mirror-ness. After all, this guy is supposed to be an angel in a man’s body and he can’t see another swan (?)

The boy repeats, “Robert, I cannot do this…”

He is interrupted again, yet this time THE TEACHER is a bit more desperate, irritable, slightly panicky in his tone of voice, Robert Burton says ~

“You do not know what you are saying, you are missing an opportunity to have a relationship with a conscious being, this may be your one and only chance to have this opportunity.”

The boy feels for a duration of time in the moment, smallness, threat, a sort of ‘your going to be out if you don’t’ implication, a sort of ‘I don’t want Dorian to see my failure in this, I don’t want to fail at having had you’ sort of moody static in his tone of voice, his body language, etc.

The boy says ~ “Robert, would things be different if we get together?” (The boy says this because he’s wondering what all this is really about, where’s it leading, if his answer will reflect some consequence in his saying ‘No’?)

Robert says ~ “More meetings, going places with me, more times like this, etc., etc.”

The boy replies, “Robert, No, I cannot.”

Robert gives the ‘pretty pissed off behind the scenes’ look and says ~

“That’s alright dear, I’ll transform it… maybe we’ll get together in some more spontaneous way later. Don’t worry, I’ll transform it. You may go now.”

Robert unlocks the door and says ~ “Alright dear, you can go.”

The boy walks through the library and goes to sit down in the Galleria main room. The door to the library is closed, 1 minute passes and the door to the library opens, it’s Robert, he asks the boy to go downstairs and get Dorian (the responsible party?)

So the boy does ‘fetch Dorian’…

As the downstairs bedroom door opens Dorian looks a bit stunned to see the boy he had not so long ago lead into the library (back before the usual time?)

Dorian does not follow the boy upstairs right away, but closes the door and begins talking to Mehia (spelling?) the boy goes back upstairs and sits back where he was prior to the ‘go fetch order’.

Dorian appears, then disappears into the library alongside/with the TEACHER and the door closes… end of story (in more ways than one).

The ‘role’ the boy had for nearly two years abruptly ended in a very ‘subtle’ way; certain people simply stopped calling him for ‘regular third line duty’ and he was ostracized, not exiled by just the TEACHER, ostracized with the fullest meaning and depth of the word from the Fellowship of Friends, nothing would ever be the same, for on this day BELIEF was annihilated by love and LOVE replaced ‘mind-games’.

76. WhaleRider - August 30, 2012

I in the Sky:

“If there is no Influence C, where is all that “work on oneself’ going?”

My work on myself is being invested in my community, my clients, and my children…c influences of the healthy sort…the babies you threw out with the bath water staying in a cult.

77. Fee fi fo fum - August 30, 2012

75 Tim

Thanks for posting the story, which shows, at the end, how the community itself (the FF members) enforced the pressure to conform and obey. Whoever doesn’t conform, gets shunned by being excluded. Still a technical member, but treated as a fallen one. It is common sense to know that in any small and restricted-membership community, that to be ostracized or excommunicated was a kind of death. In earlier times and in some cultures, it was a literal death, because your life depended on personal connections.

There lies the key to RB’s control, and by extension, those who are given the reins of power in the FF.

“Who shall guard the guardians?”

78. 2012 - August 30, 2012

#74-

FFFF: “Second, it is a mistake for entrenched FF members to assume that former members “throw the baby out with the bathwater.””

We must not be reading the same blog.

Dear I- Again I thank you for being here to show everyone that reads this that you have clearly and intentionally blinded yourself in so many areas of your life due to your affiliation with the Fellowship. Of the 15,000 (or whatever the true number is) people who have realized the FOF is not a 4th way school and left the organization maybe 2% have posted on this blog. The fact that you are willing to equate 2% to equal 100% is very telling in how you process information.

Regarding “influence C” and “work on yourself”, let’s just say that if influence was working with me in the Fellowship, they have never left me. In fact it’s my contention that influence C are responsible for this blog and are determined to see the Fellowship dissolved. It’s just a matter of time.

79. Fee fi fo fum - August 30, 2012

75 Tim, 72 silentpurr

Further to Tim’s mention of women being second class in the FF and silentpurr’s mention of her being a female, and reminding us that “vagina” was not said openly: May I mention that in the practice of female cirmcumcision / mutilation, or the old practice of feet-binding of Chinese girls, that the perpetrator was, primarily, the culture, but very often, it was the girl’s own female relatives who helped. They helped because they thought they were doing the young girls a favor by making them “attractive” and marriageable. I thought I’d mention these 2 examples, because so many western women don’t understand how “a girl’s own mother and aunts” can inflict such lasting damage on the girl. Yet it happens.

The FF students who ostracize their fellow students, when one of them declines RB’s advances, or engages in other unacceptable behavior, such as attending satsangs led by Adyashanti, are likewise mindlessly obeying the FF’s cultural values. The word “sheep” is an understatement.

80. Ames Gilbert - August 30, 2012

I in the sky has laid out perfectly why the Fellowship of Friends is such a dangerous place to be and why Burton is a false teacher. Burton does not have a conscience, so why would he value conscience? Conscience, the higher emotional center in Fourth Way terms, is present in all of us—except for sociopaths. Burton has no experience of it and cannot understand it, so he derides it and devalues it, as in his claim:

“Conscience is just a collection of I’s. Anyone accumulating too much should leave the school”.

IMHO, this is the key to understanding Burton’s imaginary ideas about the esoteric, which is why I keep emphasizing it. And this is what I in the sky has learned as she absorbs everything she can from Burton, and replaces her values and her interests with his, as almost all followers mistakenly attempt to do for a while.

When I in the sky spouts on about morality, she is partially correct; morality is particular to the place and time of society, so it is indeed subjective and subject to change. Unfortunately, following her teacher (who can only teach what he knows), she thinks conscience is a synonym for morality. However, conscience is quite different, is not changeable with time and place, and this relative permanence is emphasized in the Fourth Way. That’s why it is so important to learn to recognize this most precious gift of the “still, small voice”, separate it from the voices of morality and one’s upbringing, and learn to trust it—the ‘Master within’. IMO, the whole darn point of joining a Fourth Way school was to develop higher centers, one of which is conscience.
Moreover, this must be done in life, immersed in the daily dealings of the society one lives in. The reason? Because the whole thrust of development is to not to become some ‘god on earth’, but to become more fully human, to recognize the godhead within, to realize the potential that is within us all. So, one must plunge into life in order to become more sensitive to one’s plight, the plight of others and the plight of humanity. One cannot do this isolated from life, one has to be fully engaged in life to develop compassion and love for oneself and the gift of life, and thence compassion and love for others, even strangers. It is the godhead within recognizing the godhead in all.

Burton is the ultimate solipsist, the one true love of his own life. Other people aren’t real to him, they’re bundles of traits to be manipulated or stimulated, toys to be used in his games. Burton does what he wants, then provides justifications, or followers like I in the sky hasten to provide them for him. I’ve seen it happen that they do such a good job that Burton adopts them for himself, while the follower swells with pride to have any connection at all with Dear Teacher.

81. Man Number Zero - August 30, 2012

A Moment in the Life of a Conscious Being

Robert put down Hafiz’s file. He’d studied Hafiz’s history, his state of spiritual development, and his personal alchemy. There didn’t seem to be any doubt about it, the only way for Hafiz to break out of his current sleeping state would be for him to come in Robert’s mouth. Robert gave a slight shudder at the thought. How he hated that taste! But if it were the only way to bring humanity towards consciousness, he would have to put up with it.

He looked over to his invisible friend, Queen Elizabeth I of England. She could tell what he was thinking, of course, she always could.

“You know what you have to do, Robert,” she said, “Your personal preferences don’t come into it.”

“I know,” he agreed sadly, “It’s just that I get so tired of it. We’ve had, what, 1142 boys arrive here looking for spiritual growth, and according to you and Leonardo, it’s always `Go on, give him a BJ.’ Couldn’t we try something different? It’s not like the BJ method has ever worked.”

“You must have faith,” said Elizabeth. “Remember that Leonardo and I are on a higher plane. Have we ever steered you wrong before?”

Robert wondered whether he should bring up the Californian earthquake predictions or the 2006 nuclear war, but decided this was not the time. It was never wise to get on the wrong side of Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots had verified that.

“What’s the use of being the only conscious being on the planet,” he asked himself, “If I never get to do what I want?” He thought of that happy week, more than a year ago now, when he’d been able to escape his duties at Apollo and visit Mary Sue, his childhood sweetheart, back on her farm in Kansas. How good it had felt to get out of the silk shirt and bow tie into a set of denims, and raise a sweat shoveling manure out of Mary Sue’s barn! And Mary Sue had appreciated it, not like some of the ingrates he had to put up with here.

82. Ames Gilbert - August 30, 2012

Burton claimed to me, and others, that one of his ‘tasks’ was to replace Judeo-Christian morality with a new morality. He never told me what that would be, but one can infer by his example what it would be. Here’s a stab at the mores of the new civilization, starting December 22nd, 2012. Your contributions welcome.

Ladies and Gentlemen!
Replacing the so old-fashioned, out-of-date morality of Christ, briefly summarized as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, we proudly announce the new, hip, up-to-the-minute morality, brought to you by no less than the God-Emperor of Oregon House, Robert Earl Burton, ably assisted by assorted angels:

• Might makes right
• The weak are the natural prey of the strong
• The ends always justify the means
• Right is when something works to your advantage
• Hard work is the province of the weak
• Enjoying the fruits of other’s labors is the province of the strong
• Enjoying unlimited sexual access to the weak is the natural right of the strong
• There is no minimum age of consent
• Lack of money is the root of all evil

For dessert, a quote from one of the biggest assholes of them all, ‘saint’ Paul:
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.
6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
Ephesians 6:5-6

83. silentpurr - August 30, 2012

I in the Sky asks:

“where is all that “work on oneself” going?”

Real Work for Robert’ would have expanded out into the body of the “school” healthfully enriching all.
But his due to his contractive narcissism and madness, the Fellowship the is what it is ; a tragic contortion. Which is why we are here.
Robert’s reckless vanity regards satisfying his erotic desire to be on a higher transformational perch than the Love of of his students (Agape/ School).
And although he may claim to Love his students dearly, his actions show the immature “love” of the privileged preteen.
Spurned and vengeful.

84. Golden Veil - August 30, 2012

78. 2012 – August 30, 2012

“In fact it’s my contention that influence C are responsible for this blog and are determined to see the Fellowship dissolved. It’s just a matter of time.”

That’s one way to look at the Fellowship of Friends Discussion Blog ~ a “play.” Sorry, “Teacher.”

85. Ames Gilbert - August 30, 2012

I think Whalerider felt, after reading Conscious Being Girard Haven’s words, below, that the word ‘verification’ as used in the FoF had changed enough that we needed a new word, hence, “verifabrication”, and I agree with him. That way we can leave ‘verification’ for use in its regular sense by those not lucky enough to share in the new understanding, exclusively available to those who write checks to Burton.

I’m sure that ‘I in the sky’ believes Girard’s pronouncements on the subject are as valid and beyond her understanding as any other Conscious Being of her acquaintance. And she knows that Girard Haven is ‘conscious’ because both Burton and Girard say so. Ditto for all followers. So, without further ado, here are the words of Girard Haven (my emphasis in bold type):

From “Creating a Soul”, page 73

…I suddenly found myself making a distinction between ‘verifying’ and ‘testing’…
In the way I mean it, ‘testing’ is essentially a negative process. It refers to the attempt to disprove something or to make it fail, as when an automobile door is tested by a machine which opens and closes it thousands of times, or when a child tests his parents by deliberately going where he is not supposed to go. In the Fellowship, testing usually starts from negative attitudes towards school disciplines, attitudes such as “Why should I have to do this?” These attitudes lead to efforts to discover what is wrong with a request, what is beneficial about its opposites, and what one can get away with, although all this often occurs in the guise of thinking for oneself, finding one’s own expression for the work, etc. In any case, it is easy to see that testing embodies the attitudes of opposite thinking.

Verification, on the other hand, is a positive process. It begins by adopting the attitude that the thing to be verified is correct, and then uses observation of the results of acting according to that attitude to determine the validity of the original assumption.

As an example, consider a child who is told that fire is hot. He tests this by putting something into the fire; he verifies it by trusting his parents and by observing. Although this may seem a trivial example, there are people all around us (as well as many ‘I’s within us) who insist on sticking their hands into fires, particularly when the emotional center is involved. We even refer to such people as being ‘burned’ in, for example, a bad relationship.

The dangers of testing are compounded by the fact that our emotional centers are so underdeveloped that we are often unable even to realize when we are being burned. This is especially true in relation to the School. We have only a very limited understanding of what actually serves our evolution, and that understanding is restricted to a very small part of our machines, that part of the king of hearts which has been trained by the School itself. The rest of the machine does not understand awakening and so easily adopts a negative, testing attitude which, if not recognized for what it is, can lead one out of the School.

This, then is why it is so important to learn to verify rather than to test, to develop an ability to trust the wisdom of Higher Forces and to affirm and strengthen that trust by acting on it, as the Teacher does. Essentially, the attitude that one must test in order to verify betrays a lack of understanding of our relation to Higher Forces. In our sleep, we act as if we were their equals, and set ourselves up to test and judge their requests. When we get away with it, as mechanically as we sometimes will, this illusion is reinforced. Consequently, no matter what one may finally learn from it, testing always feeds false personality.

Verification, on the other hand, can be seen as the process of intentionally deciding to adopt attitudes which presumably come from higher beings, and then confirming those attitudes, and hence their origin, by action and observation. It is an ongoing process, the method by which knowledge is brought into being to create understanding.

Moreover, because verification involves setting aside one’s own ideas to adopt the ideas or attitudes one is verifying, it runs counter to the illusion of self-importance, and so is relatively free of false personality. Instead, it is a manifestation of true personality, embodying the understanding that one cannot test Influence C, set conditions for them, or make demands of them. One cannot even ‘prove’ their existence: one must accept them, and in doing so, verify their presence.

86. apostate - August 30, 2012

checks you write to burton are one thing but the real price paid for membership is your conscience:

“If the belief system originates primarily from the group’s leadership, then the group’s leadership are also the ethical preceptors and moral arbiters. They act as both law maker and judge, and can therefore make up the rules as they go along. The danger is that their ethical standards may become fungible, if they succumb to the temptation to deflect any criticism of themselves or their behavior, by adjusting definitions of right and wrong to put themselves in the right. If the moral arbiters are unwilling to modify their behavior, they can instead modify their moral codes to justify their behavior. “

87. apostate - August 30, 2012

then again, membership has its “privileges:”

Summary of Advantages Enjoyed by Cult Organizations

1. Legal criticism is ineffectual, firstly because freedom of belief laws largely protect cults from outside investigation or regulation, and secondly because of the subjective, non-provable nature of personal belief itself.
2. Moral criticism is ineffectual, because a cult belief system can set its own self-justifying moral codes.
3. Philosophical or theological criticism is ineffectual, because a cult belief system follows its own internal logic, which is impenetrable to an outsider.
4. Empirical or scientific criticism is ineffectual, because the tenets of a cult belief system are non-falsifiable.
5. Criticism by ex-members is ineffectual, because apostates tend to lack credibility for a variety of reasons.

http://www.fwbo-files.com/CofC.htm#Outline

88. Golden Veil - August 30, 2012

85. Ames Gilbert – August 30, 2012

These words you have quoted from Girard Haven’s “Creating a Soul” are word’s of a true cult enabler…

89. Golden Veil - August 30, 2012

85. Ames Gilbert – August 30, 2012

The pronouncements of Girard Haven in “Creating a Soul” that you have quoted are the declarations of a true cult enabler…

[revised!]

90. Ames Gilbert - August 30, 2012

Sorry, in my quote from Girard’s “Creating a Soul”, above, I meant to also highlight a paragraph lower down, but got the bolding tags wrong.
So, here are both paragraphs that I meant to stand out:
Verification, on the other hand, is a positive process. It begins by adopting the attitude that the thing to be verified is correct, and then uses observation of the results of acting according to that attitude to determine the validity of the original assumption.
and. . .
Verification, on the other hand, can be seen as the process of intentionally deciding to adopt attitudes which presumably come from higher beings, and then confirming those attitudes, and hence their origin, by action and observation. It is an ongoing process, the method by which knowledge is brought into being to create understanding.

Girard has made a career since 1973 of being the official hagiographer and following Burton around, trying to justify Burton’s whimsies and pontifications of the moment. And Burton has accordingly rewarded him with the title of Man Number Five. If Girard ever came to admit to himself that the sounds that come out of Burton’s mouth are actually just triggered by random bursts of neurological activity in the brain of a drugged nutcase, he would have the mother of all breakdowns.

91. I in the sky - August 30, 2012

2012 – 78

“Dear I- Again I thank you for being here to show everyone that reads this that you have clearly and intentionally blinded yourself in so many areas of your life due to your affiliation with the Fellowship. Of the 15,000 (or whatever the true number is) people who have realized the FOF is not a 4th way school and left the organization maybe 2% have posted on this blog. The fact that you are willing to equate 2% to equal 100% is very telling in how you process information.”

Dear 2012, This is a good point. I am not equating the baby and the bath water to all those who have left the FoF, but only to those regular posters who frequent this blog who comment to the effect that they do not believe in Influence C (or that it can’t be verified), or do not believe in Enlightenment or Presence (aside from what they already have in the second state) or verifying work ideas, or the ideas of the Fourth Way, etc.

I calculate the percent heard on the blog at any one time to be around 1/3 of 1% of former members, as for the last few years at any one time there are around 20 to 30 regular posters.

2012: “Regarding “influence C” and “work on yourself”, let’s just say that if influence was working with me in the Fellowship, they have never left me.”

This is true. In fact just this year around 12 individuals have re-joined, but that’s not the only indication they continue to work with a person, it’s just one indication.

2012: “In fact it’s my contention that influence C are responsible for this blog and are determined to see the Fellowship dissolved. It’s just a matter of time.”

They are most certainly responsible for this blog; and they are most certainly responsible for the FoF. And if the FoF is what it claims to be all is well regarding its fate. If it is what the blog claims it is all is well for the blog.

92. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 30, 2012

74 “I in the sky”, concerning verification, says:

“It’s also curious that you take 2012 on his or her word that they are “working on themselves” post FoF.”

OK, let’s unpick this, as verification is a very important concept, and much rests on it.

I mentioned that 2012 was in a position to verify that they had continued to work on themselves post FoF. I did not thereby mean that I accept their verification – they may well have a reason to dissemble, I have no way to check their words. You have misunderstood what I take verification to be. 2012 can verify for THEMSELVES that they continue to “work on themselves” whatever that phrase means to them. This is because they have direct access to the relevant parts of the world, that is their own mind and their life history. The fact they verify that fact for themselves does not thereby force others to accept their verifications, that would involve another step whereby trust in 2012’s honesty would need to be established.

To find out what “work on oneself” meant to 2012, we would have to ask them, but surely we might reasonably guess it included ideas like, understanding oneself better, actualising our full potential, setting personal aims that involve increasing ones awareness, knowledge or skills. The definition of “working on oneself” was not the critical matter. I am surprised you focused in on that, in your reply.

The critical matter was that 2012 is in a privileged position with regard to his/her inner subjective world, and can therefore indeed to his/her own satisfaction, verify that “work on oneself” does not end for them when they left the FoF.

Let’s imagine why you might have wanted to question 2012’s statement, given your position. It seems you object to 2012 using the term “work on oneself” after they have left the school, since FOR YOU “work on oneself” is irretrievably entangled with your concepts of C influence and being in a conscious school with direct access to a conscious teacher. Given this interpretation of “work on oneself” you see it as unlikely that someone so feckless as to have had the rare good fortune to meet the real thing (a conscious school), and then to carelessly discard it, would be able to “work on themselves” in your sense of the phrase.

Well yes if you define “work on oneself” with concepts such as C influence and conscious schools woven into its very fabric, 2012 will not be able to “work on themselves” according to that limited definition, but you know that what 2012 probably meant was that as far as THEY were concerned work continued after leaving, and only they are really in a position to judge this, in my opinion.

Verification to my mind is not the same thing as use of the scientific method to build up the most accurate possible picture of the world. The scientific method has a great potential to establish reliable and repeatable knowledge of the world, and how it achieves this is a large discussion in itself (one I would be happy to enter into to).

Verification it seems to me refers to personal truths, things we live through and which enter our worldview through direct apprehension of the matters involved. It does not, as a matter of strict philosophical rigour, guarantee the truth of the matter. I am yet to be persuaded that we can EVER be totally certain of the truth of any statement. We live in a subjective world, how could it possibly be otherwise? The best we can do is to put together a worldview that takes account of the accumulated wisdom of humanity, but remember that it is most likely to be approximate, and therefore be ready to update our view when new information is obtained.

It seems to me that the word verification as I remember it being used in the FoF, was really just a pretty word for a strongly held belief. Let’s take as a concrete example the thing that used to irritate me the most when I was a member. All members of the school as an act of deliberate mental control, are required to “verify” that the phase of the moon has a spooky effect on our emotional state. It is almost comical the level of evidence that otherwise intelligent people accept will “verify” this ludicrous theory. Someone (could even be you Someone) feels a bit irritated or peeved about something, a fellow student pipes up “hey it is 2 days to a full moon, the moon is affecting you”, and the first student gratefully accepts a diminished responsibility for their negative emotions. So far so “confirmation bias”. The real fun would be this oft repeated FoF vignette.

“O I am feeling a bit negative, is it a lunar phase I wonder?”
“No it is just about halfway between the 2 lunar phases”
“Oh well, it must be some other planetary alignment then!”

Can you see that using this process of “verification” will never allow students to arrive at the simple truth: Despite numerous studies over many years, prompted by the oft mentioned myth that the police have noticed affects, no hard evidence for an effect has yet been found.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_effect

I take this relatively trivial example, on which nothing much rests really, to show you how thousands of students have managed to bamboozle themselves over this matter, when a very short amount of research would have revealed the truth. So if FoF students can’t figure out that the moon is not controlling their emotions, what chance using this tool of “verification” that they will be able to succeed with the more substantial question of whether C influence as described by Burton exists, and is working with them?

Now the problem is this. You and no doubt others, are using your “verification” that C influence exists, to claim that anything that happens is OK because inscrutable and wise entities arranged it, neatly exempting yourself from any ethical responsibility.

93. apostate - August 30, 2012

ames 90:
“If Girard ever came to admit to himself that the sounds that come out of Burton’s mouth are actually just triggered by random bursts of neurological activity in the brain of a drugged nutcase, he would have the mother of all breakdowns.”

girard is a combination of accumulated “tapes” implanted by the drugged nutcase ‘herself,’ and his own self-reinforcing delusions…. clearly the author of “creating a soul” is deeply brainwashed and attempting to spread his own conditioning to those who are susceptible… (Hillman would argue that soul is larger than the individual, that soul creates us…. the hubris of the author is encapsulated in the title of this trivial bit of ff programming / propaganda). imo girard need not fear a “breakdown” — he’s been broken for a long time.

for pie in the eye… “People can react to the term ‘delusion’ as if it is an insult or a terrible stigma or a psychiatric disorder or a sacred gift that should never be questioned or many other things… however strictly speaking, a delusion is a false belief or opinion and a self-reinforcing delusion is one that creates conditions that reinforce that false belief or opinion”.

94. Tim Campion - August 30, 2012

“I in the sky” (up there in the ether),

Wow! Over 40 days on the blog (this time). Are you sure this is the highest, best use of your precious energy?

I’m here as I presume others are; as an individual expressing my own views. I think some here have a tendency to overestimate the blog’s scope and / or effectiveness if they believe the FoF would feel the need to send an agent to infiltrate these pages.

If the FoF is what it claims to be it need not fear a blog of public opinion. And if it’s not what it claims to be it should fear a lot more than this blog.

If you read my posts I don’t mention the FoF (except here to reference your comments.) Nothing I’ve said strictly pertains to the FoF, but are fitting responses to the remarks of others.

I in the sky , August 16th

We might presume, since Fellowship members have been asked not to participate in the blog, that someone in your position acts only with their master’s direction. (Indeed, is it any surprise that, with rare exceptions, yours is the only Fellowship voice to be heard on the blog in recent years?) Yes, paranoia runs deep.

You’re quite a study in deception, “I”.

95. James Mclemore - August 31, 2012

92. Shard_of_Oblivion

Excellent!!!

96. WhaleRider - August 31, 2012

I in the Sky:
“They are most certainly responsible for this blog; and they are most certainly responsible for the FoF. And if the FoF is what it claims to be all is well regarding its fate. If it is what the blog claims it is all is well for the blog.”</i

Here's more circular, thought terminating cognitive dissonance, a la Joseph N.

I do detect a pattern at the end of your posts, my dear!

So with your "thinking" everything is fine the way it is, as long as nothing changes, and burton is allowed to continue his soiciopathic behavior.

Now, it is not too difficult to comprehend whom benefits most in this regard…the narcissist at the center of that delusional system!

Consider this, grasshopper, if you're wrong, then burton has helped more people awaken from delusion if he is a fraud, than he did if he is who he claims to be.

If we were to consider the evidence, then odds are 10 to 1 in our favor since more people have left than stayed.

And so, by supporting burton's claims, you do him a disservice, because then he will have helped awaken far fewer people who are hanging onto the cult than the majority of people whom have left his cult and feel better for it.

And to tighten your grip, you employ mr haven's prescribed "reasoning" and attempt to "verify" burton's claims with a predisposed bias that burton is right, disregarding and denying all evidence to the contrary.

Then of course the outcome will be in burton's favor; he gets his fresh meat. Otherwise you are branded and sent to Siberia.

The follower's mind is coerced into fabricating evidence in order to conform to said doctrine, not to prove or disprove a theory as the evidence might suggest, and thus a person's mind departs from rational thought and into realm of superstition.

IMHO, superstition is the opposite of enlightenment.

Voltaire would agree.

The conundrum you are in is that burton would rather have his fresh meat more than enlightenment.

97. Shirley - August 31, 2012

Mr. blog moderator,

Thanks for continuing to maintain the blog. It serves a useful purpose, even for those people who are reading these pages but staying in the background.

98. Life Person - August 31, 2012

I haven’t checked out the blog for several years, but a friend mentioned to me that one of my earlier posts had been reposted recently, so I checked in to find out the context.

I’m amazed that, in this day and age, there remain people who continue to believe the Fellowship narrative–Burton as Conscious Being, the organization as Vessel of “C Influence,” members as the Earth’s Elect, the whole thing. Back when I joined in the 70s, cults were sprouting up like mushrooms everywhere, and I for one hadn’t heard very much about how common it was for leaders of such cults to be outright frauds, how abusive they could be, etc. I didn’t even know there were other “Fourth Way” groups out there. Burton was completely unknown–his image was never shown until after a person had joined the cult. But that was decades ago.

Now, anyone can easily find out that Burton’s been sued up his well-traveled wazoo; that he’s a compulsive sex addict who preys on heterosexual men in his thrall; that the Fellowship as an organization has essentially failed–the vineyard, into which I and thousands of others poured effort and cash, left as a fire hazard and symbol of the founder’s folly covering the hillsides; membership slowly sinking; predictions exposed as pretentious twaddle. Anyone who wants to can discover that there exist countless reputable groups practicing “presence,” as well as other practices, using methods that have been taught for centuries, but without the culty baggage–the abusive butt-fucking; the endless “donations” to have your picture taken next to the Great Man (what next? a smaller donation to rent a blow-up Burton doll for photo-ops?); the vain self-regard of the pseudo-Elect peacocks sipping their wine; the pathetic sun-scorched compound with its faggy Apollo-topped columns and ejaculating palm trees; the paranoid delusions about the End of the World; the sad spectacle of aging, impoverished, disappointed hippies slowly discovering they’ve wasted their lives and now are impoverished and have been kicked to curb by their cherished Leader; the embarrassment of chasing members by trying to hitch its wagon to passing fads like Eckert Tolle, or waving green cards at third-world seekers, or changing its name and the name of its Exclusive Compound every few years; and most ludicrous of all, the outright stupidity of what now passes for “teachings.”

If a person who’s actually heard those “teachings” can’t recognize them as bullshit, who’s seen Burton up close but still can’t see him for what he is (or isn’t), with the benefit of forty years of easily-available history, just accept that the person is a self-deluding fool. In my experience, most people stick around the Fellowship for long periods of time not because they’ve been duped, but because it feeds their “features.” They like feeling special. They like–or aspire to–the relative power of being more senior to someone else. They’re afraid of life on its own terms, afraid that the C Influence Boogeyman will take away their evolutionary chances, afraid to admit they’ve been duped, afraid of having to support themselves. And so on.

Don’t you remember how it was when you were a member? No one could tell you squat. You’d found the One Conscious School. Everyone else was sleeping, food for the moon. Your former friends, your family, other spiritual teachers–all idiots, now that you’d found the Fellowship. Criticizing the Fellowship was the unassailable proof that a person didn’t Get It.

Until, eventually, you realized just how ridiculous the whole thing was, and were willing to deal with all of the propaganda in your head designed to keep you making teaching payments. Until you were willing to admit to yourself that you’d made a mistake, willing to grow up.

You can’t force a person to grow up, you have to trust that they will, or accept that maybe they won’t.

99. 2012 - August 31, 2012

I am not here to convince anyone who is a current member of the Fellowship club to leave. You already have all the info you need to weigh your position in the organization. I am here to let those that are thinking about joining and might stumble on this blog in their google search to learn as much as they can before joining. Those who have stayed or rejoined are obviously happy to be “luckier than life people”.

100. Shard_of_Oblivion - August 31, 2012

Another devotee of the awakened master Hendrix, at her solitary devotions in her bedroom in Paris. His spirit lives on in the hearts of his army of passionate followers.

101. fofblogmoderator - August 31, 2012

#98 is new

102. Boogie Street - August 31, 2012

When looking at the last several pages of the blog, I am beginning to see more clearly that it’s impossible to dialogue directly with “I in the sky”, It appears to be very similar to trying to have a conversation with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come by occasionally. But I really appreciate the posts by ‘apostate’, ‘WhaleRider’ ,’Ames’, and ‘Shard of Oblivion’ and others as they point out and deconstruct the strange belief systems of the FoF presented or reflected by ‘I in the sky’. If any current or would-be members have even the smallest opening in their minds and courage left in their hearts to truly investigate for themselves what the labels and beliefs they are wrapped up in, and they could read this page over several times, they might walk easily away from the dead end they find themselves, or may find themselves in.

I would like to add a few thoughts that arose when I read ‘apostates’ wonderful post at around 29, especially this part about “consciousness”.

“I in the sky” – “Wouldn’t that make it the most valuable and sought after commodity on earth?”

“apostate” – “no, this is a primary error with burtonism… yet another example of spiritual materialism. she conflates and equates something of a non-material nature with a “commodity” — a “thing” that can be bought and sold… this is a key piece of the ff scam, that burton can sell you “consciousness” if you follow his rules and pay monthly dues to support his habits. pie has bought this sales pitch hook line and sinker… i know, i was there too.”

Yes, I was there too, and this “primary error” is huge and far reaching, and when uncovered encompasses both the erroneous idea that “consciousness” is a ‘thing’/ a ‘commodity’, and the equally erroneous idea that there is something that is somehow separate from “consciousness” i.e. (the ‘seeker’ and a ‘teacher’) that can then buy it, sell it, trade efforts to get it, or to pass it on. The whole thing is a false premise. A premise seen in various “spiritual” circles and religions and methods and gurus world wide. It was an idea that may have already been so prevalent in the mind of seekers (it certainly was in mine), that It is one of the belief systems we may have bought into and accepted, without even noticing, without any investigation. It is a belief system certainly encouraged by Burton, who didn’t know or care one way or the other about it, he only knew it certainly suited his purposes as the ‘special one’ who had this some ‘thing’ and that every-‘one’ else did not have this some ‘thing’.

103. nigel - August 31, 2012

76. Whale Rider

My (passionate!) work on myself (not ass-licking plodding to nowhere!) is C-raft (the influence of REAL people on what is right in front of them – back to our primal roots of ‘hands-on’ work). It suits my essence (the smith was third in rank in the Celtic heirarchy) and brings ‘little joys’ to all those who participate – both myself and my students…..Burton’s ‘intentional suffering’ system of abusing others should be thrown out the window!!!!!

On another note…..

Just last night I had another vivid dream…..

I was working my way through a colourful tunnel backstage of some show or other (could it be the ‘show of my life – my play’?) and found myself able to fit through tiny holes that I thought would never ‘take my body’ (is this the ability to deal with all the difficult periods of my life, now I find myself in the second phase of extreme happiness in it? – the first being my time at art-college)…..

You are the interpreter of such things…..Nigel.

104. Golden Veil - August 31, 2012

A man pays 6.5 million dollars for no. 5 license plate… really!

“Teacher” could emigrate to Dubai and set up license plate Fellowship of Friends interpretation there…

105. Golden Veil - August 31, 2012
106. Agent 45 - August 31, 2012

I like that for a title – The Well-Travelled Wazoo
I’d keep an eye on them re-joiners and a herd on them newcomers if I were u. You never can tell and you can’t trust ‘em.

107. Joseph Nachumovitch - August 31, 2012

By coming to conclusions you close your mind to the truth.

108. nigel - August 31, 2012

I am not an expert on relationships (except professional ones) and what ‘goes on’ in ‘mechano-bilogical’ diversities (if you get the meaning?), but thought this a good article – about the Maturing of Lust to True Love…..Nigel.

Sex or Attachment: Why Do We Fall in Love, Really?
By Bonnie Williams

——————————————————————————–

Poets have tried to describe it with rhymes, romance novelist attempt to emulate it with written emotion and seduction, and songwriters have tried to create it with melody and lyrics. Now, scientists believe they have identified parts of the brain, which are linked to feelings of true love.

So, why do we fall in love?

We don’t need scientists to tell us that love makes us feel good. But because we are an inquisitive species, we are always asking the question “Why?”

Experts believe that by understanding the neurochemical pathways that regulate social attachments may help to understand why certain individuals possess an inability to form relationships and permanent attachments to others.

Dr. Helen E. Fisher, author of “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love” did ask this question. And she got her answer.

Dr. Fisher, a researcher anthropologist at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, has made it her life’s work to try to understand romantic love and has been studying the evolution of human sexuality, marriage and divorce, gender differences in the brain, as well as the behavior, and the future of men, women, sex and family life since 1983.

Her recent studies have focused on issues of gender, sex, and romantic love.

Dr. Fisher and her team of specialists conducted a study by scanned the brains of people who were acutely in love.

What she found was that there are three very distinct stages of love: sex drive, romantic love, and attachment.

1) Sex Drive / Lust
Lust is driven by sex hormones-testosterone and oestrogen-that involves the craving for sex. According to Jim Pfaus, a psychologist at Concordia University, these hormones are what get us “out on the pull.” Dr. Pfaus states that the aftermath of lustful sex is similar to the state induced by taking opiates. A heady mix of chemical changes occurs, including increases in the levels of serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin and endogenous opioids (the body’s natural equivalent of heroin). “This may serve many functions, to relax the body, induce pleasure and satiety, and perhaps induce bonding to the very features that one has just experienced all this with,” says Dr Pfaus.

2) Attraction / Romantic Love
After lust comes attraction. This is the love-struck phase; the time when we lose our appetite, can’t sleep, and can’t concentrate. This is what we know as falling in love.

Attraction, or the state of being in love, what is sometimes known as romantic or obsessive love, is a refinement of mere lust that allows people to home in on a particular mate. This state is characterized by feelings of exhilaration, and intrusive, obsessive thoughts about the object of one’s affection.

When we fall in love, our palms sweat, we can stutter and become breathless, we can’t think clearly and it feels like we have butterflies in our stomachs. This is all due to surging brain chemicals called monoamines. They are called dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Norepinephrine and serotonin excite us, while dopamine makes us feel happy. These love chemicals are controlled by a substance which is also found in chocolate and in strawberries, called PEA or phenylethylamine and it is PEA which controls the transition from lust to love.

Arousal comes naturally. But long-term success in mating requires a change from being naive about this state to knowing the precise factors that lead from arousal to the rewards of sex, love and attachment. For some, this may involve flowers, chocolate and sweet words.

The body builds up tolerance to these chemicals therefore requiring more of the “substance” to get that special feeling of infatuation. People who jump from relationship to relationship crave the intoxication of falling in love and may be “attraction junkies.” In the case of romance readers – This may also explain the reason fans of romance novels may feel they have an addiction to the feeling they get after reading a romantic scene from a novel. The sub-conscious brain can’t distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality. These feelings are still very real to the brain because it creates the same chemicals rather if they are created authentically or not.

In the case of enduring romances, the continued presence of a partner stimulates production of endorphins which are soothing substances and natural pain-killers.

Dr. Helen Fisher, states, “We believe romantic love is a developed form of one of three primary brain networks that evolved to direct mammalian reproduction.”

Dr. Fisher explains that “Romantic love is one of three basic brain circuits that evolved for reproduction: the sex drive motivates all of us to look for a range of partners. Romantic love, the elation and obsessive thinking that is produced when you first fall in love, focuses our mating energy on just one individual. Following that, attachment sets in, the calm and security you can feel with a long term mate, enabling you to sustain your relationship to rear your children as a team.”

She continues to say that “Romantic love is the most powerful, and the beginning of the cascade. And what we found in our brain scanning experiments is that romantic love is a drive, an instinct that arises from primitive parts of the brain associated with dopamine, a powerful stimulant.” Romance is a chemical high, which is why your beloved begins to take “special meaning.”

3) Long-term Attachment
The third stage of love is attachment—staying together. Attachment takes over from the attraction stage and is the bond which keeps couples together.

Wonderful though it is, romantic love is unstable-not a good basis for child-rearing. But the final stage of love, long-term attachment, allows parents to co-operate in raising children. This state, says Dr Fisher, is characterized by feelings of calm, security, social comfort and emotional union.

Because they are independent, these three systems can work simultaneously-with dangerous results. As Dr Fisher explains, “You can feel deep attachment for a long-term spouse, while you feel romantic love for someone else, while you feel the sex drive in situations unrelated to either partner.” This independence means it is possible to love more than one person at a time, a situation that leads to jealousy, adultery, and divorce. Additionally, the possibilities of promiscuity and polygamy may occur, with the likelihood of extra children, and thus a bigger stake in the genetic future, that those behaviors bring. As Dr Fisher observes, “We were not built to be happy but to reproduce.”

•The sex drive evolved to motivate individuals to seek sex with any appropriate partner.
•Attraction, the mammalian precursor of romantic love, evolved to enable individuals to pursue preferred mating partners, thereby conserving courtship time and energy.
•The brain circuitry for male-female attachment evolved to enable individuals to remain with a mate long enough to complete species-specific parenting duties.

The stages of love vary somewhat between the sexes. Lust, for example, is aroused more easily in men by visual stimuli than is the case for women. This is probably why visual pornography is more popular with men. And although both men and women express romantic love with the same intensity, and are attracted to partners who are dependable, kind, healthy, smart and educated, there are some notable differences in their choices.

Men are more attracted to youth and beauty, while women are more attracted to money, education and position. When an older, unattractive man is seen walking arm-in-arm with a young and beautiful woman, most people assume the man is rich or powerful.

Dr. Fisher believes that several forces play a role in whom we fall in love with. Timing is important; you tend to fall in love when you are ready. Proximity is crucial; we fall for people we interact with. Both men and women are excited by those who are mysterious-probably because mystery triggers the activity of dopamine in the brain. And both sexes tend to fall in love with those of a similar background and values, which anthropologists call “positive assortive mating” or “fitness matching.”

We also fall in love with someone who fits within what’s called your “love map.” This is an unconscious list of traits you seek in your ideal partner that you build as you grow up.

But there is even more to falling in love: biology. We are unconsciously attracted to those who complement ourselves biologically, as well as socially, psychologically and intellectually. We fall in love with someone who has a different chemical profile for dopamine, serotonin, estrogen and testosterone that complements our own.

Essentially, each stage is a separate and distinct phenomenon, with its own emotional and motivational system, with accompanying essential brain chemicals. This system of stages has evolved to enable mating, pair-bonding and parenting to ensure the continuation of the human race.

Scientists have even concluded that the female orgasm may have evolved to help women distinguish Mr. Right from Mr. Wrong.

Love lights up the caudate nucleus because it is home to a dense spread of receptors for a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which Dr. Fisher came to believe as part of our own endogenous love potion. In the right proportions, dopamine creates intense energy, exhilaration, focused attention, and motivation to win rewards.

Sex drive, attraction, romantic love, timing, proximity, biology, brain chemicals… So why do we fall in love? More importantly, does it really matter? As a true supporter of romantic love and as a romance novelist—I believe love is it’s own reward and need not be analyzed anywhere but in our own hearts!

Oh… and here’s the fun part: According to research, the more couples have sex together… the more likely they are to bond. How’s that for motivation!

Love and Romance, etc.©
Bonnie Williams
Copyright © 2006-2008

109. nigel - August 31, 2012

107. Joseph Nachumovitch

“The Truth is not in Your Mind; it is in the Way you Live Your Life”

– Nigel Harris Price, 2012 –

110. nigel - August 31, 2012

108. nigel

I remember that famous FOF enabler, M–k L-sk-n, saying that Burton “falls in love with young men to whom he is attracted in order to experience ‘suffering in separation’ when the relationship is over.”

I think we have heard enough of Burton’s actual intent to know that
L-sk-n is talking a load of bollux…..Nigel.

111. WhaleRider - August 31, 2012

Nigel:

Great dream! And you are doing fine interpreting them for yourself by writing them out…instead of disregarding them.

“working my way through a colourful tunnel backstage of some show or other (could it be the ‘show of my life – my play’?) and found myself able to fit through tiny holes that I thought would never ‘take my body’”

These strike me as dramatic birthing experiences as you enter a new phase of your life.

Your subconscious remembers how even though it was scary as you were pushed out of the tight little birth canal (unless you were born by cesarean), there was a big bright new world waiting outside the womb.

IMO, the most important part of this dream to remember is that your creative imagination can help you go beyond your perceived limitations.

In the face of an insurmountable obstacle, it is your creative imagination that scales the wall first.

Memories of how one can be helped by this amazing inner resource which we all share can help mitigate the fear of the unknown which inhibits one from taking the next painful step.

112. nigel - August 31, 2012

111. Whale Rider

Are there any books you would recommend on dream interpretation? Or have you written on the subject yourself? I have so many psychadelic and memorable dreams (yes – even about still being in the FOF!!!!!) that I am ready to explore the area…..Nigel.

113. nigel - August 31, 2012

111. Whale Rider

You are so correct about ‘creative imagination’!!!!! My friend in Pacifica – George – when I was ‘brought back’ to the UK in 1989, recommended the movie – “Field of Dreams” – and I still have it in my collection…..

Memorable lines…..

“If you build it, he will come”

“Ease his pain”

“Go the distance”

Whale Rider stated, to reiterate…..

“IMO, the most important part of this dream to remember is that your creative imagination can help you go beyond your perceived limitations.

In the face of an insurmountable obstacle, it is your creative imagination that scales the wall first.

Memories of how one can be helped by this amazing inner resource which we all share can help mitigate the fear of the unknown which inhibits one from taking the next painful step.”

114. nigel - August 31, 2012

“Let the River Run”, by Carly Simon, especially for the movie, “Working Girl” (in my interpretation – ‘Aspiring Soul’)
(Again, in my interpretation, and echoing William Blake, I feel that the New Jerusalem is the ‘Awakened Pineal Gland’)

Let the river run,
let all the dreamers
wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.

Silver cities rise,
the morning lights
the streets that meet them,
and sirens call them on
with a song.

It’s asking for the taking.
Trembling, shaking.
Oh, my heart is aching.

We’re coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

We the great and small
stand on a star
and blaze a trail of desire
through the dark’ning dawn.

It’s asking for the taking.
Come run with me now,
the sky is the color of blue
you’ve never even seen
in the eyes of your lover.

Oh, my heart is aching.
We’re coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

[guitar]

It’s asking for the taking.
Trembling, shaking.
Oh, my heart is aching.
We’re coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

Let the river run,
let all the dreamers
wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.

115. Ames Gilbert - August 31, 2012

Re. the ’12 who have rejoined since the beginning of the year (#126-91),
I have the lists that include this time period, but, you know what? I can’t be bothered to go through them. Let’s assume the figures are true (and I do know that some have indeed rejoined); here is my ‘guesstimate’ of why they rejoined. Four rejoined for economic reasons (live in Oregon House, clientele almost exclusively FoF prior to leaving, lost most of these after leaving), four rejoined because they miss their friends and the ambience, and four said to themselves, “But . . . but . . . what if Robert’s right?”

Well, to those also I dedicate the essay I wrote a few pages back on why people rejoin. Luckily, the odds are excellent that nine of them will have left again within three years.
And the joy of the sheep that remained over the sheep that strayed and returned, reinforcing their sense of rightness and specialness amongst sheep, must be something to witness. Must call my broker and invest in champagne . . .
Just remember the role of the shepherd, sheep, and your final destination!

Mark (now Marcus) Laskin’s justification of Burton’s rapes, “Burton falls in love with young men to whom he is attracted in order to experience ‘suffering in separation’ when the relationship is over.” is a classic, and I bet that when it got back to Burton, Burton realized he had invented it. And when Laskin heard those words from Burton (who, if he acted according to form, repeated it dozens, no, hundreds of times in the years ahead), he probably nearly came in his pants with joy at having that unique connection to Beloved Teacher.
As someone else pointed out, the trouble is, Burton never leans over and winks.

116. jomopinata - August 31, 2012

Nigel/112

You asked Whalerider, but I hope you don’t mind my chiming in here. These are two books I enjoyed about dreams and dreaming:

Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill: Using Dreams to Tap the Wisdom of the Unconscious, by Jeremy Taylor

http://amzn.to/Sil0J

Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys, by Phillip M. Bromberg

http://amzn.to/O1p0UE

117. sallymcnally - August 31, 2012

#109 – how to tell a false prophet from an emotionally healthy teacher helping others try to evolve is not by his words but by his deeds. Denial of this is really unconscious fear displaying itself by ignoring this truth and covering it up with pretty words.

118. Life Person - August 31, 2012

#99 – 2012:
“I am here to let those that are thinking about joining and might stumble on this blog in their google search to learn as much as they can before joining.”

I can’t know what may be motivating you, 2012 (and I don’t mean to single you out), but are you sure about this? Are you sure that you’re not mostly just pissed off at Burton, frustrated that he continues his ways with minimal scrutiny and apparent impunity (at least with respect to man’s law; karma is another matter), disappointed at having wasted some of your time and money, enjoying an opportunity to vent a bit and stick it to the smug members who post here like bear-baiters? Nothing wrong with any of that, of course, if it happens to be the case, but it’s good to know ourselves.

It’s also good to see how effective our efforts are likely to be. Because if you’re really interested in dissuading potential members, my two cents, as someone who is sympathetic to your point of view, is that a person who has some discrimination and is looking for information before taking the leap would want to read maybe a couple of pages of rational, factual, pertinent statements about the teachings, Burton, the Fellowship’s practices, the member experience, maybe some history, and so forth.

Where exactly is that information posted?

I saw a video a couple of years ago of Burton”teaching” in front of an audience of what looked like courtiers at Versailles, mumbling about “keys” in works of art, and I thought, “Holy Mother of God, how low the mighty fall! If anyone saw this, the Fellowship wouldn’t get another member, ever.” So where is that video posted?

Such a person probably isn’t going to want to comb through page after page after page of indignant rhetoric and debate about whether Burton is really a sociopath, or an enlightened teacher who just happens to be a compulsive sex addict lavishing himself with luxuries at members’ expense, whose “teaching” has degenerated into risible gibberish. And frankly, if a person does read it, he’s likely to come away feeling that the Fellowship may not be what its website would have it appear, but a lot of the people who are warning people away are cranks.

Take a step back and ask yourself: Who other than the blog posters care what one or another individual here means by the term “verify”? Who cares about Nigel’s dreams? Who cares who I in the Sky is, or what he or she thinks? How many posts does it take to illustrate I in the Sky’s point of view, for better or worse, for the benefit of the naive public?

Compassion for yet-to-be-members is admirable, but identified carping seems counterproductive to that goal. Post the good stuff, make it available easily, and let’s go about our business of living what’s left of our lives.

119. Ames Gilbert - August 31, 2012

Life Person (#126-118 or thereabouts),
good to have you around, and I appreciate your fresh point of view.

One trouble is that the FoF lawyers usually jump on video that they have copyrighted. Just one complaint to YouTube, and the video is taken down. A couple have escaped the notice of FoF lawyers, but they are usually on private sites, not accessible to Google . . .
The same thing happened when David Springfield’s letter to the Board was published here. One complaint, and WordPress demanded that it be removed. The moderator has no choice, there is no legal fund to fight these demands.

And you are perfectly right about the extraneous matter, but what can one do? The blog is open to all but the most extreme outbursts. And you are right about the constant repetition. How many times can Ames and others say the same thing in slightly different ways? Not many. The trap here is that unless there are a certain number of hits, the blog falls off the radar when one does a search. I’ve followed it up and down, and there is no doubt about it. Maybe you can think of a solution. The same would happen, I believe, with a ‘Best of the Blog’ site; the traffic count would be so low it doesn’t register. In a way, Tim’s site, Robert Earl Burton blog, is trying to get the meat and the highlights, from a different point of view.

If you have constructive answers or ideas, but don’t want to publish them here, feel free to contact me at:
nancyames (at) spiralemail (dotcom).

Again, thanks for telling it like it is.

120. Bares Reposting - August 31, 2012

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

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

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

(Sound familiar?)

‘The main reason it, the Fellowship of Friends, still exists is that so many people have bet their entire lives on it and cannot bring themselves to the above realization.’
(Realization of the corruption/abuse.)

Res Ipsa Loquitur
(It speaks for itself):
http://bit.ly/PHZmyT
Thanks to unoanimo.

121. apostate - August 31, 2012

life person 118,
thanks for adding a voice of reason here.

and to the ‘cranks,’ keep it up!

“…The trap here is that unless there are a certain number of hits, the blog falls off the radar when one does a search….”

122. apostate - August 31, 2012

“…unless there are a certain number of hits, the blog falls off the radar when one does a search.”

crank it up

123. Life Person - September 1, 2012

#119 – Ames Gilbert

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Ames. Your rationale makes sense to me. As for there being nothing to be done about “extraneous matter,” that may be true, but perhaps those who post here regularly might consider whether their posts are actually contributing anything productive, or are a form of self-indulgent “Look, Mommy, I made a poopy” that undermines others’ efforts. Apostate’s subsequent posts suggest there may be no consensus about this, and that some feel that any post is better than none, especially since it helps maintain the requisite number of hits, but there may be other forms of therapy or self-expression available.

I had no idea that Tim’s site existed until you told me, Ames, and it’s a goldmine. Whatever can be done to publicize it seems like a good idea.

124. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 1, 2012

94. Tim Campion:

‘“I in the sky” (up there in the ether),

Wow! Over 40 days on the blog (this time). Are you sure this is the highest, best use of your precious energy?’

‘We might presume, since Fellowship members have been asked not to participate in the blog, that someone in your position acts only with their master’s direction. (Indeed, is it any surprise that, with rare exceptions, yours is the only Fellowship voice to be heard on the blog in recent years?) Yes, paranoia runs deep.’

and:

102. Boogie Street:

‘When looking at the last several pages of the blog, I am beginning to see more clearly that it’s impossible to dialogue directly with “I in the sky”, It appears to be very similar to trying to have a conversation with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come by occasionally.’

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

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

125. 2012 - September 1, 2012

#118-

I hadn’t posted here for months until this week. I have said what I wanted to say and don’t participate very much.. I read I’s posts and I wanted to offer my opinion of the post since their words convey a side of the fellowship that i don’t think really exists. I’m sure everything that needs to be said has been said and the blog could be shut down with no dire consequences, but in today’s cyber world keeping things up-to-date (as far as activity) goes a long way. When I search yelp for a restaurant review and they say the place sucked, but the review is from 2010, I think; maybe they got their act together now. That review is from 2 years ago. If they really sucked, they’d be closed….

126. Fee fi fo fum - September 1, 2012

123 Life Person

Former members also need a centralized place to communicate about their experiences of RB and the FF. This blos is also a bulletin board, of sorts. One ex-member who left the FF recently and lives in Oregon House said they check this blog (as well as GF) for news about the FF and RB. Considering they live near many current members and Apollo, that’s a meaningful statement about this blog. An example would be the discussion about Abe’s suicide, which they said was invaluable to them at the time.

The RobertEarlBurton website is great, and complements this blog in many ways, especially by organizing the information in categories, along with photos.

The many testimonies and stories, the deconstruction of posts by Fellowship apologists, are useful. Just because the big exodus from the FF happened 4-5 years ago doesn’t make this blog irrelevant. I don’t think the blog needs to be perceived as suffering an”empty nest” syndrome. I like JomoP’s description of it being like a conversation around a campfire. Personally, I think I in the sky’s persistence this month has reminded many people of what they themselves thought like, and were able to break free from.

I’d forgotten about the increased hits as being important. Someone once suggested that one access this blog through a search, rather than always getting to it through Favorites or Bookmark, to keep the site higher up in the placement when people search certain words.

127. Ames Gilbert - September 1, 2012

Life Person, thanks for your thoughts.

Well, I was being simplistic when I said that the rankings depend on hits. Sure they do, but also on thousands of other factors, most of them proprietary to each search engine.
However, some other factors, apart from number of hits over the day, week, and month that are known to be very important are:
• quality of links—this means that if there are links to other sites that rank highly, the site improves its position
• the quality of the site you just came from
• whether you use a link within the site to go to the next site or not
• the quality of the site you go to next (BTW, the official FoF site is a quality site, but of course going there increases their page rank; once a year as a reminder should be enough for anyone!)
• how many pages within the site you visit (I don’t know if previous blog pages count, in this context)
• how long you stay within the site
• trends: are the number and quality of hits tending up or down (a sophisticated deduction of ‘fashionable’)

What you can do to help:
• As FFFF said above, access the sites in the Blogroll at the top of every page through a search engine
• access this blog through Tim’s site or the Fellowship Wiki, they both have RSS feeds showing the latest activity here, and you can click on those feeds to get to the latest post. Of course, have a look around those sites before you do that, if you find them interesting. Tim is building up a great base of articles based on year, which I find useful.
• Use the links provided in the blog, and provide links if you reference posts in other pages.
• Go to other pages in the blog after you’ve finished here.
• Etc.

There are also, apparently, lots of ways for the search engines to determine scams, such as excessive visits within a short time, robo-linking, linking to link ‘farms’, and so on. There’s a kind of arms race going on out there in that regard, and Google is at present losing.

128. Agent 45 - September 1, 2012

That’s the trouble with this stupid Blog – there’s no place for apathetic people to express their feelings.

129. Ill Never Tell - September 1, 2012

54. Tim Campion:

‘One hundred boys would not be enough.
Robert Earl Burton’
[Referring to his oral sex addiction.]

That should be a daily card given out at Apollo d’Oro, the dining facility on Fellowship of Friends property in Oregon House, California.

80. Ames Gilbert :
‘she thinks conscience is a synonym for morality.’

Isn’t ‘synonym’ what you put on french toast along with maple syrup?

130. Golden Veil - September 1, 2012

There’s a forum that was begun on the Greater Fellowship site
on August 29, 2012 ~ Topic: Time Lost to a Cult

I just spent a week on retreat. One thing in the inner atmosphere is the impact of the time wasted chasing the promise, as I saw it, for the results of the FoF version of The Work. I spent far too much time for far too little. [M.N.]

Your time and money wasted in the cult were beneficial to those running the cult. The sole purpose of any cult is an extraction of resources from its members. Cheating you is what they do for a living.These are professional conmen who hide their true identity behind false pretense. It takes some balls to admit your own gullibility and naivety and admit that you were cheated but this is how we get wiser, learning from mistakes. [S.B.]

There’s a lot to be said about this. I was thirty when I joined, forty-five when I left. I’m now fifty-seven, thirteen years out, and still digesting exactly what happened. There is a certain haunted feeling I can’t quite shake…more later. [M.L.]

What happened? Well, you have been defrauded for 15 years of your life by a charlatan who promised you eternal life for lifelong payment. I don’t see how one can digest something like that without a pain. But to receive that pain means to heal it, while making up stories like ”that was worth it and I made some friends”, will only postpone the healing process, deepening the scar even more.
Truth is a bitter medicine but a good healer. [S.B.]

131. I in the sky - September 1, 2012

SoO said: “74 “I in the sky”, concerning verification, says:

“It’s also curious that you take 2012 on his or her word that they are “working on themselves” post FoF.”

OK, let’s unpick this, as verification is a very important concept, and much rests on it.

I mentioned that 2012 was in a position to verify that they had continued to work on themselves post FoF. I did not thereby mean that I accept their verification – they may well have a reason to dissemble, I have no way to check their words. You have misunderstood what I take verification to be. 2012 can verify for THEMSELVES that they continue to “work on themselves” whatever that phrase means to them. This is because they have direct access to the relevant parts of the world, that is their own mind and their life history. The fact they verify that fact for themselves does not thereby force others to accept their verifications, that would involve another step whereby trust in 2012′s honesty would need to be established.”

Agreed.

SoO: “To find out what “work on oneself” meant to 2012, we would have to ask them, but surely we might reasonably guess it included ideas like, understanding oneself better, actualising our full potential, setting personal aims that involve increasing ones awareness, knowledge or skills. The definition of “working on oneself” was not the critical matter. I am surprised you focused in on that, in your reply.”

As I understood 2012, due to the context in which the term was used, they meant it in a similar way as it is meant in the FoF; making efforts to see oneself, to observe one’s inner world and begin to bring order to it, perhaps to make efforts to self-remember. Of course all these activities are subject to interpretation. One person’s idea of self observation may be vastly different from another’s. But generally there are accepted definitions that can be used as a guide.

SoO: “The critical matter was that 2012 is in a privileged position with regard to his/her inner subjective world, and can therefore indeed to his/her own satisfaction, verify that “work on oneself” does not end for them when they left the FoF.”

True.

SoO: “Let’s imagine why you might have wanted to question 2012′s statement, given your position. It seems you object to 2012 using the term “work on oneself” after they have left the school, since FOR YOU “work on oneself” is irretrievably entangled with your concepts of C influence and being in a conscious school with direct access to a conscious teacher.”

No, that’s not my belief. I feel certain environments are more conducive to promote “work on oneself” than others. Obviously I feel the FoF is one such place. But there are several scenarios whereby a person might discontinue their connection with the FoF and still value the practice of “work on oneself”, as it is practiced in the FoF.

SoO: ‘Given this interpretation of “work on oneself” you see it as unlikely that someone so feckless as to have had the rare good fortune to meet the real thing (a conscious school), and then to carelessly discard it, would be able to “work on themselves” in your sense of the phrase.”

Anything is possible but if someone willingly leaves an environment that is conducive to an activity and removes themselves to a place less conducive to that activity then they are giving themselves added obstacles to overcome. Consider a person devoted to writing and he or she realizes that certain conditions will stimulate their writing, like renting a house by the sea and doing yoga every morning before writing. Let’s say that has been proven to work for them. So one willingly gives that up to live closer to a friend in a congested city. Well maybe in that case the friendship thrives but the writing suffers. So it all depends on one’s aims and valuations.

SoO: “Well yes if you define “work on oneself” with concepts such as C influence and conscious schools woven into its very fabric, 2012 will not be able to “work on themselves” according to that limited definition, but you know that what 2012 probably meant was that as far as THEY were concerned work continued after leaving, and only they are really in a position to judge this, in my opinion.”

I agree.

SoO: “Verification to my mind is not the same thing as use of the scientific method to build up the most accurate possible picture of the world. The scientific method has a great potential to establish reliable and repeatable knowledge of the world, and how it achieves this is a large discussion in itself (one I would be happy to enter into to).”

Yes, this is a large area for consideration; personally I feel science is not equipped to “dissect” components of the spiritual world in a direct way. It would be like trying to use a microscope when a telescope is needed. They are both extraordinary instruments but the applications rarely overlap. But one area where science is useful is in an indirect way; that is, studying the physical world as a reflection or an echo of higher worlds. We know there are many repeating laws in our physical world; like the duplication of the planetary world as seen in the atomic world. Many spiritual or cosmic laws also find expression in the material or physical world. For someone who has scientific leanings but was also interested in the cosmic world (as distinguished from the planetary) many correlations could be found through an inspired study.

SoO: “Verification it seems to me refers to personal truths, things we live through and which enter our worldview through direct apprehension of the matters involved. It does not, as a matter of strict philosophical rigour, guarantee the truth of the matter. I am yet to be persuaded that we can EVER be totally certain of the truth of any statement. We live in a subjective world, how could it possibly be otherwise? The best we can do is to put together a worldview that takes account of the accumulated wisdom of humanity, but remember that it is most likely to be approximate, and therefore be ready to update our view when new information is obtained.”

We do live in a subjective world, but the theory that’s presented is that through certain ordered efforts a person can move away from the subjective towards the objective. This is the promise of enlightenment.

SoO: “It seems to me that the word verification as I remember it being used in the FoF, was really just a pretty word for a strongly held belief. Let’s take as a concrete example the thing that used to irritate me the most when I was a member. All members of the school as an act of deliberate mental control, are required to “verify” that the phase of the moon has a spooky effect on our emotional state. It is almost comical the level of evidence that otherwise intelligent people accept will “verify” this ludicrous theory. Someone (could even be you Someone) feels a bit irritated or peeved about something, a fellow student pipes up “hey it is 2 days to a full moon, the moon is affecting you”, and the first student gratefully accepts a diminished responsibility for their negative emotions. So far so “confirmation bias”. The real fun would be this oft repeated FoF vignette.

“O I am feeling a bit negative, is it a lunar phase I wonder?”
“No it is just about halfway between the 2 lunar phases”
“Oh well, it must be some other planetary alignment then!”

Can you see that using this process of “verification” will never allow students to arrive at the simple truth: Despite numerous studies over many years, prompted by the oft mentioned myth that the police have noticed affects, no hard evidence for an effect has yet been found.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_effect

Personally, this is what I consider the place where science cannot directly look into the spiritual / cosmic world. It’s simply the wrong lens.

SoO: “I take this relatively trivial example, on which nothing much rests really, to show you how thousands of students have managed to bamboozle themselves over this matter, when a very short amount of research would have revealed the truth. So if FoF students can’t figure out that the moon is not controlling their emotions, what chance using this tool of “verification” that they will be able to succeed with the more substantial question of whether C influence as described by Burton exists, and is working with them?”

First of all, in your above example of a conversation regarding the effects of the moon on our psychology, several considerations need to taken into account. One consideration I’ve pointed out is directly related to your example. Very often on the blog people attribute behavioral patterns amoung FoF students to be the specific domain of the FoF, when in reality what they are observing are human traits found in every culture and every walk of life. I may be wrong but I believe you attribute the irritating conversations noted as something that is specific or inherent to the FoF.

It’s true some students whether it’s knowingly or unknowingly will mimic or imitate RB. If you were to listen in on a group of teenagers in an inner city school they would display speech patterns, intonations, beliefs that mimic each other and also their “heroes” or role models (using the term loosely.) If you were to remove one of these teens from that setting and put this one into a military school and come back one year later you would find this lone teen to have completely adapted his or her speech patterns and values to fit the new military environment. People do the same when they join the FoF or any specialized organization for that mater. They speak in the same way as their peers. Some of the people you overheard may have been pretending to have verified the effects of the moon, while all along they were just “adapting” to their environment.

The key point in the process of verifying something like the moon’s effect on our psychology is that one has to suspend both belief and disbelief about that which one is attempting to verify. For instance if you are attempting to verify the moon theory and there is an attitude in you already that it is a lie then everything you observe will be colored by your preconceived belief. So you will not verify anything, you will just collect observations that support your intact belief. If you assume the moon theory is true you will also not be able to verify it for you will color you observations in a positive light and you will be mimicking someone else’s beliefs / verifications.

Something else to keep in mind about your reminiscences is that in all likelihood most of the people you have observed referring to the moon are not in the FoF any more, they are former students who no longer believe the conversations you are relating and that they were participating in. This point exposes the falsehood that people, when they join the FoF, are enveloped by some evil force field that substantially alters their behavioral patterns, when in reality many are adapting to their new environment, trying to fit in if they are positively aligned with it.

It’s also true that some others are not merely adapting but have embraced certain theories because they have actually verified them through a correct process. For myself I do feel that the moon has a definite sway over our psychology. Myths like the Werewolf are cannily aligned with this theory, but for me that’s not a verification although it can be seen as a confirmation of previous verifications.

So0): “Now the problem is this. You and no doubt others, are using your “verification” that C influence exists, to claim that anything that happens is OK because inscrutable and wise entities arranged it, neatly exempting yourself from any ethical responsibility.”

Not at all. Many things that are verified cannot be changed or altered; one just verifies “a law” for instance, during the course of observing it. anyone really doing the work will not exempt oneself from ethical responsibility. The point of working on oneself is to grasp the responsibility.

But here we come back to the beginning, to what Shakespeare calls “the rub.” Verification is ultimately the most personal of endeavors. If someone is being true to their own understandings that doesn’t mean their actions will please anyone else in particular.

132. I in the sky - September 1, 2012

125 – 2012

“When I search yelp for a restaurant review and they say the place sucked, but the review is from 2010, I think; maybe they got their act together now. That review is from 2 years ago.

If they really sucked, they’d be closed….”

Exactly my point. 42 years is a long time to exist without one redeeming quality.

133. Golden Veil - September 1, 2012

132. I in the sky

McDonald’s has been open since 1954 and has sold over 247 billion hamburgers. McDonald’s really can can boast about its longevity and popularity and maybe the fact that it offers “fast food” is its one redeeming quality…

134. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 1, 2012

131 “I in the sky” answers point by point my post regarding verification. Thanks for that.

The place where I am most surprised by your reply is where you dismiss science as a possible way to determine if the phase of the moon has an effect on human behaviour. Surely this, of all the FoF dogmas, is an ideal candidate where a carefully conducted statistical survey will reveal the truth of the matter.

You go on about how a prejudiced attitude on my part might have prevented me from verifying that effect. Not at all, I was a very good student for my first 5 years, and did my best to keep an open mind and record what was really happening. It was only gradually that I realised that I myself was subject to “confirmation bias” and once I saw that, it seemed clear that others were also experiencing the same bias.

You know how it is, when we first join the FoF we are given the moon effect theory as an example of esoteric knowledge, and once we have “verified” that simple truth, we can go on the “verify” more advanced truths like the fact that co-incidences around the number 44 and being in the right place at the right time for a moment of profound presence to happen, allow us to “verify” that C influence are real and operating in our own lives.

It seems you are rock solid in your “verification” of C influence. I know it is something personal, but would you be willing to disclose what it was that allowed you to verify “C influence”? I would understand if you declined, as the posters on the blog would likely look to find ways to dismiss it, but if you were to share in that way, I would be very interested.

135. jomopinata - September 1, 2012

I think Karl Popper’s essay, “Science as Falsification,” at http://bit.ly/13m5FL, really demonstrates the fallacy of “verification” set out in the Girard Haven apologetics quoted above. Short, and a good read.

136. jomopinata - September 1, 2012

“But as it was not the example of astrology which lead me to my problem, I should perhaps briefly describe the atmosphere in which my problem arose and the examples by which it was stimulated. After the collapse of the Austrian empire there had been a revolution in Austria: the air was full of revolutionary slogans and ideas, and new and often wild theories. Among the theories which interested me Einstein’s theory of relativity was no doubt by far the most important. The three others were Marx’s theory of history, Freud’s psycho-analysis, and Alfred Adler’s so-called “individual psychology.”

There was a lot of popular nonsense talked about these theories, and especially about relativity (as still happens even today), but I was fortunate in those who introduced me to the study of this theory. We all—the small circle of students to which I belong—were thrilled with the result of Eddington’s eclipse observations which in 1919 brought the first important confirmation of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. It was a great experience for us, and one which had a lasting influence on my intellectual development.

The three other theories I have mentioned were also widely discussed among students at the time. I myself happened to come into personal contact with Alfred Adler, and even to cooperate with him in his social work among the children and young people in the working-class districts of Vienna where he had established social guidance clinics.

It was the summer of 1919 that I began to feel more and more dissatisfied with these three theories—the Marxist theory of history, psycho-analysis, and individual psychology; and I began to feel dubious about their claims to scientific status. My problem perhaps first took the simple form, “What is wrong with Marxism, psycho-analysis, and individual psychology? Why are they so different from physical theories, from Newton’s theory, and especially from the theory of relativity?”

To make this contrast clear I should explain that few of us at the time would have said that we believed in the truth of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. This shows that it was not my doubting the truth of those three other theories which bothered me, but something else. Yet neither was it that I nearly felt mathematical physics to be more exact than sociological or psychological type of theory. Thus what worried me was neither the problem of truth, at that stage at least, nor the problem of exactness or measurability. It was rather that I felt that these other three theories, though posing as science, had in fact more in common with primitive myths than with science; that they resembled astrology rather than astronomy.

I found that those of my friends who were admirers of Marx, Freud, and Adler, were impressed by a number of points common to these theories, and especially by their apparent explanatory power. These theories appear to be able to explain practically everything that happened within the fields to which they referred. The study of any of them seemed to have the effect of an intellectual conversion or revelation, open your eyes to a new truth hidden from those not yet initiated. Once your eyes were thus opened you saw confirmed instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory. Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the manifest truth; who refuse to see it, either because it was against their class interest, or because of their repressions which were still “un-analyzed” and crying aloud for treatment.

The most characteristic element in this situation seemed to me the incessant stream of confirmations, of observations which “verified” the theories in question; and this point was constantly emphasize by their adherents. A Marxist could not open a newspaper without finding on every page confirming evidence for his interpretation of history; not only in the news, but also in its presentation — which revealed the class bias of the paper — and especially of course what the paper did not say. The Freudian analysts emphasized that their theories were constantly verified by their “clinical observations.” As for Adler, I was much impressed by a personal experience. Once, in 1919, I reported to him a case which to me did not seem particularly Adlerian, but which he found no difficulty in analyzing in terms of his theory of inferiority feelings, Although he had not even seen the child. Slightly shocked, I asked him how he could be so sure. “Because of my thousandfold experience,” he replied; whereupon I could not help saying: “And with this new case, I suppose, your experience has become thousand-and-one-fold.”

What I had in mind was that his previous observations may not have been much sounder than this new one; that each in its turn had been interpreted in the light of “previous experience,” and at the same time counted as additional confirmation. What, I asked myself, did it confirm? No more than that a case could be interpreted in the light of a theory. But this meant very little, I reflected, since every conceivable case could be interpreted in the light Adler’s theory, or equally of Freud’s. I may illustrate this by two very different examples of human behavior: that of a man who pushes a child into the water with the intention of drowning it; and that of a man who sacrifices his life in an attempt to save the child. Each of these two cases can be explained with equal ease in Freudian and Adlerian terms. According to Freud the first man suffered from repression (say, of some component of his Oedipus complex), while the second man had achieved sublimation. According to Adler the first man suffered from feelings of inferiority (producing perhaps the need to prove to himself that he dared to commit some crime), and so did the second man (whose need was to prove to himself that he dared to rescue the child). I could not think of any human behavior which could not be interpreted in terms of either theory. It was precisely this fact—that they always fitted, that they were always confirmed—which in the eyes of their admirers constituted the strongest argument in favor of these theories. It began to dawn on me that this apparent strength was in fact their weakness….”

137. jomopinata - September 1, 2012

(From the Popper essay linked above. The rest is worth a read.)

138. apostate - September 1, 2012

life person,
i’ll play crank-advocate for a minute… there are (of course) other forms of ‘therapy and self-expression’ but imo using this forum for these purposes can be in a sense “productive,” if not ostensibly. you may disagree, i know there are others who disagree, and this is not a new topic here… some would like to see things ‘cleaned-up’ on the blog in the name notions like ‘productivity.’ but imo, if a person feels they need to come here to play in their own “poopy” then good for her or him, that’s what the space is for as it turns out… there’s enough ‘room’ for all who want to sit ’round the campfire… even would-be ‘toilet trainers’ and ‘trainees.’

‘self-indulgence’ may not appear to some to be ‘productive’ — and if it turns into the ‘dog endlessly chasing it’s tail’ it may not be… but as a form of catharsis, some ‘self-indulgence’ (ideally) can lead to resolution and new perspectives on life and living. of course this is not in every case true… the ‘indulgence’ is not an end in itself. but imo ‘regression’ back and playing in the ff shit phase of life might be a way to ‘work some things out,’ a kind of catharsis, and a way to self-knowledge through self-reflection. if a person uses this forum to vent their frustration and anger, then for her or him, that’s what it’s for… and in a sense it can even be ‘productive’ if it leads to a degree of self-realization and concomitant resolution of ‘issues.’

it’s good you point out that this use of the blog is not so likely to change anything in the “outside” world– i’m not sure even a “purified” and “productive” blog would… and it’s important not to fool oneself into thinking that one’s ‘self-expression’ here — it’s all self-expression in any case — is something other than what it is, or that “self-expression” here is going to reform an unjust situation, or that one is performing some imagined act of altruism by posting…. maybe, maybe not… it depends. but even the most “rational” person here shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking their posts here are not a form of ‘self-expression’ and maybe even ‘therapy.’

IF, imo, after all is said and done, ‘therapy’ and ‘self-expression’ are all this forum is “good” for, that’s plenty. “we” shouldn’t fool ourselves about our own motives and intentions here as you point out… thanks for the ‘reality check.’ but i will say to those who imply or suggest some type of eugenic approach to the blog, and to those who would discourage or try to marginalize the “undesirables” here, and to those who post here in the name of an imagined “productivity”– y’all might check your own motivations in this regard. imo the “cranks” add flavor and color to the blog…. so i say by all means, and to all, keep posting “the good stuff.”

agent 45, thanks for the irony :
“That’s the trouble with this stupid Blog – there’s no place for apathetic people to express their feelings.”

139. Agent 45 - September 1, 2012

And thank you Apostate. Things often work out better if you aren’t concerned with results.

140. I in the sky - September 1, 2012

Boogie Street – 102

“I would like to add a few thoughts that arose when I read ‘apostates’ wonderful post at around 29, especially this part about “consciousness”.

“I in the sky” – “Wouldn’t that make it the most valuable and sought after commodity on earth?”

“apostate” – “no, this is a primary error with burtonism… yet another example of spiritual materialism. she conflates and equates something of a non-material nature with a “commodity” — a “thing” that can be bought and sold…”

Boogie Street: “Yes, I was there too, and this “primary error” is huge and far reaching, and when uncovered encompasses both the erroneous idea that “consciousness” is a ‘thing’/ a ‘commodity’, and the equally erroneous idea that there is something that is somehow separate from “consciousness” i.e. (the ‘seeker’ and a ‘teacher’) that can then buy it, sell it, trade efforts to get it, or to pass it on. The whole thing is a false premise.”

In this entry by Boogie Street via apostate we can observe a few interesting tendencies. When disagreement arises due to strong, even overwhelming, biases people will first try to deconstruct the thoughts. If that is not possible what happened in apostate’s 29 and picked up in Boogie Street’s 102 is a common ploy.

What they have done in an effort to diminish the posting is isolate the word “commodity” and intone that if I do not even know that consciousness is not a “commodity” then you can be sure the rest of the content is meaningless.

Interestingly it shows that when some ex members feel cornered they will even elevate consciousness to heights too lofty to be besmeared with such a utilitarian term as “commodity.” We could take this part as a progress of sorts.

But for the rest of it, if anyone without this strong bias would read the original post in full they would understand the word “‘commodity” was used as a “figure of speech” and not to imply consciousness is a material thing. Definition: “A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning.”

But the more it was pondered the more I realized that “commodity” is a most apropos term.

Consciousness can be bought, traded for and it can be sold. And it most definitely needs to be paid for. We sell it for many things, but most often for the trifles that supplant it in our lives. If we wish to buy it the cost is dear; the coin is our illusions – illusions of ourselves, of the world and of other people. We cannot keep consciousness and our illusions at one and the same time. With this commodity there are no short sales.

141. nigel - September 1, 2012

“I in the Sky”

Sorry mate, or is it darling? I have given up reading your posts as of today (1 September) – boring arguments aimed at people who are offering ‘substantive material’. You obviously do not know that a sense of Self cannot be gained just by being in a ‘high alchemy cult’. I think many of us who blog with personal insight, rather than ‘borrowed esoteric information’ (distorted by Burton and enablers and down through the ‘false heirarchy’), offer much more to others who need help in ‘crossing the street’ from cognitive dissonance to a place of communal/social, personal and spiritual self-worth. Yours, in the hope that you will disappear soon…..Nigel.

142. nigel - September 1, 2012

138. apostate

You brought up this word – EUGENICS – interesting and worth the Wikipedia explanation of the term…..Nigel.

Eugenics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eugenics is the “applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population”, usually a human population. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance, and the theories of August Weismann.

Eugenics was a controversial concept shortly after its creation. The first major challenge to conventional eugenics based upon genetic inheritance was made in 1915 by Thomas Hunt Morgan, who demonstrated the event of genetic mutation occurring outside of inheritance involving the discovery of the hatching of a fruit fly with white eyes from a family and ancestry of the red-eyed Drosophila melanogaster species of fruit fly. Morgan claimed that this demonstrated that major genetic changes occurred outside of inheritance and that the concept of eugenics based upon genetic inheritance was severely flawed.

Eugenics was widely popular in the early decades of the 20th century. By the mid-20th century eugenics had fallen into disfavor, having become associated with Nazi Germany. This country’s approach to genetics and eugenics was focused on Eugen Fischer’s concept of phenogenetics and the Nazi twin study methods of Fischer and Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer. Both the public and some elements of the scientific community have associated eugenics with Nazi abuses, such as enforced “racial hygiene”, human experimentation, and the extermination of “undesired” population groups. However, developments in genetic, genomic, and reproductive technologies at the end of the 20th century have raised many new questions and concerns about the meaning of eugenics and its ethical and moral status in the modern era, effectively creating a resurgence of interest in eugenics.

143. Tim Campion - September 1, 2012

In addition to Ames’ suggestions above, those on Facebook can link the Fellowship and Robert Earl Burton blogs on their Facebook pages.

Steve, could you add a Twitter link to this page?

144. Tim Campion - September 1, 2012

Regarding “I in the sky”, they have passed 40 years devoted to Robert Burton’s dogma. You’ll have as much luck reasoning with them as you would trying to convert the Pope.

145. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 1, 2012

#136 JomoPinata quotes Popper musing about how there are different forms of verification of theories, and how that difference affects the weight that we should accord those theories.

Absolutely beautiful!

It is so clear and honest, this is how the truth sounds, gentle, calm and modest.

146. Life Person - September 1, 2012

Apostate’s 138

The only reason I made the point about “self-indulgence” in the blog was that some had said their purpose in posting was to alert potential members. It’s true that that may not be, and need not be, the only purpose, just that to the extent it is, some types of posts are counterproductive. I found posting on this blog and GF therapeutic, as it allowed me to see and express thoughts and feelings that had lain dormant for many years, to others who’d had similar experiences. I don’t know any other way that could have occurred, and I’m grateful for it. Eventually, I found that expressing hostility toward the FOF reinforced negative patterns rather than cleared them, so I toned it down. That doesn’t mean I no longer consider Burton a sick and unscrupulous man, just that I don’t want to keep paying a price for having crossed his path.

As for I in the Sky, what I see is a valuing of consciousness without a a valuing of conscience, or of the well-being of others. This, I believe, is the Fellowship’s fundamental downfall. It trains people to be aware as an end in itself, as though nothing else matters. As though any concern for others is a form of weakness, notwithstanding giving lip service to “external consideration” or “second line.” Jesus and Buddha taught compassion. Burton has no sincere compassion, and his followers therefore have been trained to view it as weakness, or simply not view it at all. The emotional energy that rightfully is harnessed to serve others and uplift them instead is viewed as a source of energy for more self-awareness at best, or most often, a source of self-regard that one has a refined sensibility.

147. apostate - September 1, 2012

as ‘life person’ so aptly put it… just another “bear-baiter.”

rooooaaar! (sound like a bear)?

earth to pie in the sky…
apparently she completely misses the point… it’s sad really, she’s invested so much of herself into the idea of her own “unconsciousness” and that she can “purchase” consciousness through adherence to this doctrine of her own “unconsciousness,” she’s invested so much into this notion, that it’s now impossible for her to wake from the dream she’s dreaming.

burtonism relies on self-deception — to recognize and acknowledge her own consciousness, right here and right now, would certainly ‘blow her mind’ — so she’s constantly erecting barriers and buffers to avoid this possibility, the buffers and barriers protect from ‘the felt presence of immediate experience’ (to borrow a phrase) while at the same time safe-gaurding her self-reinfoced delusions.

she really, truly believes the brainwash and so it’s impossible for her to admit the possibility of her own consciousness, right here and now. but of course it’s her prerogative if she wants to continue to pay burton for something she already has. the price, sadly for her, is her very soul.

148. apostate - September 1, 2012

life person

“Eventually, I found that expressing hostility toward the FOF reinforced negative patterns rather than cleared them, so I toned it down. That doesn’t mean I no longer consider Burton a sick and unscrupulous man, just that I don’t want to keep paying a price for having crossed his path.”

well put, thank you… and your address to the bear-baiter is beautiful:

“The emotional energy that rightfully is harnessed to serve others and uplift them instead is viewed as a source of energy for…”

narcissism leading to sociopathology.

consciousness without conscience creates the narcissistic sociopath.

149. Tim Campion - September 1, 2012

Here is the official September 2012 message from The Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence. In a cult that fosters faith and acceptance, the cult defines what constitutes “verification”. It becomes one of those “loaded” words that has little in common with a more rigorous application, such as might be used in a scientific setting. And in the cult, challenging “verifications” is considered a subversive activity.

Outside Help

Success in anything we do relies on a perfect alignment of three forces: talent, strong desire, and luck. To have talent is to have a natural ability in a given area. To have strong desire is to want something badly enough for a very long time; strong desire is the source of stamina and this enables the necessary discipline that allows us to hone our skills.

But luck. Ah! That is the one thing we cannot buy, we cannot steal, we cannot conjure. Why? Because luck does not exist on the same level as our lives; it is something outside of us. Luck opens doors when we are pressed to the wall, allows new possibilities to enter when we have exhausted all resources and gets us to a place beyond ourselves. Luck truly is outside help.

Let’s consider the master game of awakening. It’s not uncommon for a person to be present in the moment. Great athletes call it “being in the zone”; where their focus is on what is before them and they are not distracted by anything outside of their goal. But then what? After the achievement, they’re thinking about future ones or reveling in past ones. To them, being present in the moment simply helps them reach their goal. It is not the goal itself.

But what if it is the goal, to be present to your life always and everywhere? Many of us have the ability to be present, but do we have the desire to do it always and everywhere? Do we want it badly enough for a long time? Most of the time we don’t. We see presence as a tool that heightens whatever moment appears to be special. We want to be present to our wedding, for example—we don’t want one moment to go by without remembering it, without savoring it. Why? Because we value that moment. But few people value every moment.

Let’s say we do have this strong desire and ability to be present. Yet we still find we can only remember ourselves occasionally, no matter how much we want to be present to everything. Something else keeps pulling us away, distracting us from our aim. This is more difficult than we thought: to be present to our lives, always and everywhere. Then what do we do? Do we give up? Do we become content with partial awakening, just turning on presence occasionally and only in those moments we value? Or is our desire stronger than that because we have tasted something beyond what the moment can offer: We have tasted our Self, and we want to BE it.

We have touched something deep inside that longs to exist and come into being. Once this longing has been established, we cannot return to sleep in the same old way. We know there is another reality. This is a new dilemma. We have gone as far as we can on our own. We need help if we wish to go further. But where and how do we find it?

This is where luck enters. Luck finds us, we do not find it. From luck’s higher perspective, it is fate. From our perspective, it manifests as chance or coincidence; we stumble upon it at exactly the right moment in our lives and it appears to come out of nowhere. But is there a way we can attract it? Strangely enough there is. It’s as simple as reaching the point in our lives where we recognize we desperately need help. Then this luck—this magic help— may reveal itself to us.

For those who want to awaken fully, this outside help brings with it Conscious Influence. Literally it influences our conscious development in the most mysterious and miraculous way. How do we recognize it? We recognize Outside Help—Conscious Influence—by the subtle and very personal way it guides us to being present in the moment whether or not we value that moment at all. Suddenly we are awake while brushing our teeth, for instance. Our consciousness has been influenced by something outside of ourselves. Like a magic wand, Conscious Influence sparks our divine Self and we recognize it instantly. And something inside of us wants more. It increases the desire to be present, and that in turn makes us want to learn how to bring more presence to each moment. Learning HOW is school work: only through school work directed by Conscious Influence, can our ability to be present grow, our desire increase and our luck abound. Outside help makes itself more and more manifest the more awake we are, the more we recognize the intervention of Divine Influence in our lives. The three forces support each other, and this triad opens the path to full awakening.

L. L. K. (Hmmm. Could that be “I in the sky”?)

We could just as easily argue that everyone on the planet is “conscious” and is always and everywhere “present” (however you choose to define the terms), and “I in the sky” would be unable to prove the contrary. Under such an assumption, the pursuit of presence would be meaningless.

150. Pie in the Face - September 1, 2012

140. “Consciousness can be bought, traded for and it can be sold.”

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/001/582/picard-facepalm.jpg?1240934151

151. Tim Campion - September 1, 2012

Priceless.

152. I in the sky - September 1, 2012

133. Golden Veil

“132. I in the sky – McDonald’s has been open since 1954 and has sold over 247 billion hamburgers. McDonald’s really can can boast about its longevity and popularity and maybe the fact that it offers “fast food” is its one redeeming quality…”

Yes, with McDonald’s people are getting what they want, so they keep going back.That’s what we humans do since we are comfort driven. If an individual shifts their priorities to the spiritual they will seek “comfort for the soul” – the real version of Soul Food you could say.

However black eyed peas and collard greens are not bad either.

153. Fee fi fo fum - September 1, 2012

People go to McDonald’s because they *think* they are getting what they want. Just because it’s called a hamburger doesn’t mean the product is a good quality rendition of its label. And maybe the fries taste good because of additives. The low price is what low income people can afford, and if you were living off of almost no money and had a bunch of kids to feed, you might be frequenting McDonalds, too. MCD is out to make money, and what they advertise and say about their food products (“happy meal”, yeah, very happy) is about profit for MCD.

It’s about distortion and advertising to sell a product and make a profit. It’s not about the truth. Your post was another display of after-the-fact justification to support a pre-existing belief. Sort of like liking a shoe and stuffing your foot in it to force it to fit, because you want the shoe so much.

It’s what the Popper essay was saying.

154. Life Person - September 1, 2012

The post from Linda that Tim quoted illustrates my point, that the Fellowship views being present as the one and only spiritually worthwhile activity. No one seems to ask what they might be present to, except pretty pictures, tasty food, etc.–the same things any non-spiritual person without much heart or soul enjoys, if he can afford it. The idea that being present is the one and only purpose of spiritual effort is a reflection of Burton’s lack of inner experience. One might say that it’s a reflection of sociopathy, in that it creates license to do anything as long as one can be present to it, but we need not even go there. Although the Fellowship touts its teaching of presence as evidence of its ancient lineage and higher connections, its omission of true service, not merely to disembodied spirits or “the Teacher” or “the School,” but to one’s fellow people, members or not, to the earth, to God through service to God’s creation, reveals it as an incomplete fragment of a true teaching, and a sophisticated form of spiritual masturbation.

155. sallymcnally - September 1, 2012

fascinating guy here. Knew Castaneda, Fritz Perls, gurdjieff work, enneagram work, created Ecstacy and MDA. This is an amazing interview for anyone interested.

http://conscious.tv/consciousness.html?bcpid=2439355001&bclid=18673093001&bctid=718589826001

156. Boogie Street - September 1, 2012

140. I in the sky said
“Consciousness can be bought, traded for and it can be sold. And it most definitely needs to be paid for. We sell it for many things, but most often for the trifles that supplant it in our lives. If we wish to buy it the cost is dear; the coin is our illusions – illusions of ourselves, of the world and of other people. We cannot keep consciousness and our illusions at one and the same time. With this commodity there are no short sales.”

I see no opening in the barricade of ideas you have surrounded yourself with to offer you anything in response.
I am not sure what it is you are speaking of in the above quote, but it is not what I would call “consciousness”. I am left thinking that in addition to what you call a “figure of speech” and a “commodity”, you have turned the concept of “consciousness” into some mystical or ethereal ‘thing’, which is somehow outside of yourself, but can be reached. I would say that while “consciousness” appears to be by its nature, indescribable and certainly a mystery, there is nothing mystical about it. To think of it as something outside of yourself is truly remarkable.
What you list above about buying and selling and the illusions you speak of, all arise in your mind, courtesy of consciousness.

I leave you with an old Chinese saying I found posted on the GF site.

A dunce went out looking for fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.

157. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 1, 2012

“I in the sky”.

I asked a very big thing of you in asking you to tell your personal story of how you originally came to verify C influence, and experiences since that time that have re-inforced that view. I do believe you are sincere when you say you have verified C influence, and that your whole life since that realisation has been based on following up on the implications.

You speak about how consciousness has a price, so I have had a think and I am sure you would set a very high price indeed on an honest, personally specific, full disclosure account of the experiences you have had, that mean you have absolute confidence in your verification of C influence. I value that information, and I would like you to share it on the blog, where I can examine it.

I think it would be obvious to all readers if you really opened up and told the full personal story.

So I am prepared to offer you a trade, considering these revelations as commodities.

The most equal trade would be if I also had verified C influence for me to tell that story here in the blog, but since I have NOT verified them I have nothing of substance to offer there. So I offer you this.

I will answer honestly and however embarrassing or compromising the answers might be, 2 questions that you put to me. You can put one question, then I answer, and you can then ask a follow up question. whatever you like, and I promise to answer both honestly and fully.

I know you have no way of knowing for sure that I will be honest, it depends on mutual trust. But imagine how I would feel in myself, I who take the moral high ground about Thomas E, so full of my categorical ethical imperatives, and feeling things “just aren’t right”. How would I feel if I wasn’t totally honest.

So I offer you a trade, 2 secrets about me, for your full story of how you verified C influence.

158. Ill Never Tell - September 1, 2012

153. Fee fi fo fum:
‘Sort of like liking a shoe and stuffing your foot in it to force it to fit, because you want the shoe so much.’

4th Way/FoF approach:
If the shoe does not fit, wear it any way.
Or, is that?:
If the foo sh!ts, wear it any way.

159. Ames Gilbert - September 2, 2012

I in the sky (#126-140 or thereabouts),
you said, “Consciousness can be bought, traded for and it can be sold. And it most definitely needs to be paid for. We sell it for many things, but most often for the trifles that supplant it in our lives. If we wish to buy it the cost is dear; the coin is our illusions – illusions of ourselves, of the world and of other people. We cannot keep consciousness and our illusions at one and the same time. With this commodity there are no short sales.”

Excellent example of truthiness *, thanks!

One part of me wants to remind you of the first law of holes; “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging”. Another part is fascinated in the same way as one watches an oncoming accident while helpless to stop it. And yet another part wants you to continue to display the shallowness of the official Fellowship of Friends philosophy (as dictated to and demonstrated for the followers daily by Burton for forty-two years), and it says, “Keep digging!”.

* Stephen Colbert, who invented the word, “truthy” a few minutes before the first episode of the Colbert Report, explained why we needed the new word:

We’re not talking about truth, we’re talking about something that seems like truth – the truth we want to exist.

and:

It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that’s not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It’s certainty.

and:

I was thinking of the idea of passion and emotion and certainty over information.

160. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 2, 2012

154. Life Person:
A very good post, thank you.

‘it creates license to do anything as long as one can be present to it, but we need not even go there.’

You might be able to make a person more present with the use of a weapon, (or applied ‘shocks,’ as favoured by REB/FoF and Influence C?), but does it produce the right and lasting results? This may explain why so many adventures lead an endeavor astray.

‘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 [six processes] 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.

. . . . . .

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.’

From 4th Way, P. D. Ouspensky

161. Agent 45 - September 2, 2012

Blog feeling prophetic. Time is running out for poor Bobby & Cupcake.
But first this humorous incident relating to the unspoken “V” word –
A little girl was standing next to her father watching him get a haircut while eating a snack cake. The barber warned her “Watch out. You’re going to get hair on your twinkie.”
To which she retorted – “Yes, and I’m going to get boobs too!”

162. apostate - September 2, 2012

163. nigel - September 2, 2012

Some sort of reposte to “I in the Sky” since he/she does not seem to be listening…..

Ouspensky stated – “Self awareness is all very good in the beginning, but sooner or later it must be linked to one’s aim, what one wants”

And Rodney Collin stated – “It is necessary to get from ‘consciuosness’ what one wants on a grand scale”

To state it, in my own words – “Consciousness is about finding one’s inner motives and living by them – it is not just mind activity”…..Nigel.

164. Fee fi fo fum - September 2, 2012

This excerpt from today’s New York Times on the hate-crime trial of the Amish man Samuel Mullet Sr. reminded me of aspects of the FF:

“…Mr. Mullet created a cult with decidedly un-Amish traits, including sexual favors for the bishop (himself), unheard of methods of discipline, such as forcing miscreants to ponder their sins in a chicken coop, and festering anger at those who quit his church…

“…the jurors got a quick education in the Amish tradition of shunning, or excommunicating of individuals who defiantly stray from the path. ‘It’s a last resort’ and “a heartbreaking thing to do.’ “

165. Golden Veil - September 2, 2012

162. apostate

Feminine Dominance (Misogny)

166. nigel - September 2, 2012

On the power of womanhood…..Nigel.

Billy Joel – She’s Always a Woman

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes,
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies,
And she only reveals what she wants you to see.
She hides like a child but she’s always a woman to me.

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you,
She can ask for the truth but she’ll never believe you,
And she’ll take what you give her as long as it’s free,
Yeah she steals like a thief but she’s always a woman to me.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants,
She’s ahead of her time.
Oh, and she never gives out and she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.

And she’ll promise you more than the garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleeding,
But she brings out the best and the worst you can be.
Blame it all on yourself cause she’s always a woman to me.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants,
She’s ahead of her time.
Oh, and she never gives out and she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.

She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel,
She can do as she pleases, she’s nobody’s fool,
But she can’t be convicted, she’s earned her degree,
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she’s always a woman to me.

167. Associated Press - September 2, 2012

We’re not in Kansas anymore!:
Is the chicken local?
(Aliki/Portlandia Prequel): 2:44:

168. Golden Veil - September 2, 2012

167. apostate

The oddest O/C and other mental disorders can lead the naive and vulnerable to join a cult!

162. apostate

Cult membership sometimes is preceded by a parade of seductive attractions… before you know it, you’ve “hitched your wagon to a star!”

165. Golden Veil

Wouldn’t it be something… if the spontaneous release or instantaneous “awakenings” from mind control programming and brainwashing always occurred upon the death of cult leaders?

169. Golden Veil - September 2, 2012

167. Associated Press (not apostate!)

170. Golden Veil - September 2, 2012

A cult is a cult is a cult.

[after Gertrude Stein’s ” A rose is a rose is a rose.”]

171. James Jay Young - September 3, 2012

Are any of grateful for FOF experience? I am.

172. I in the sky - September 3, 2012

134 – Shard_of_Oblivion

“The place where I am most surprised by your reply is where you dismiss science as a possible way to determine if the phase of the moon has an effect on human behaviour. Surely this, of all the FoF dogmas, is an ideal candidate where a carefully conducted statistical survey will reveal the truth of the matter.”

Science usually steers clear of Religion / Spirituality. Science is interested in the world of matter, not the world of spirit. It likes to identify and classify into neat groups of yes or no. Spirituality is founded on faith. Science has no use for faith, even if it’s faith based on verification. Faith of any kind means nothing to science. Science would be at a loss to know how to begin to sort and classify facts and information to determine the effects of the moon on human psychology..

How would they begin to chart data? Would they send a survey to a test group and ask questions like – Were you more negative during the last moon phase? Did you gamble or drink more? If so, how much more? Less than 15% – more than 30 %? If you were in a good mood did you laugh more than normal, louder than normal?

I’ve noticed patterns in myself where I like to reminisce during moon phases. So, I’ll catch myself thinking about an old girlfriend, or find myself humming old rock and roll songs. How do you quantify that? Do I also do that at times when it’s not the moon? Yes. Do I do that on each moon? No. But there are clear patterns regarding those tendencies. Am I less patient around moons? Yes. Am I more impulsive? Yes? How much so? Enough to notice.

The closest I could offer to a scientific approach of the moon’s effect on people’s behavior would be this argument: We all know of the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth, by the ebb and flow of the tides. The human body is composed of 60% water. So if the moon can cause the movement of oceans why could it not have an effect on the water in the human body? We know our mental state can change drastically simply because we are too hot, too cold or too tired. It’s not a stretch for me to see that the subtle pull of body water would produce subtle or not so subtle effects in our thinking or perception and thereby cause us to react differently to others or to circumstances.

SoO: It seems you are rock solid in your “verification” of C influence. I know it is something personal, but would you be willing to disclose what it was that allowed you to verify “C influence”? I would understand if you declined, as the posters on the blog would likely look to find ways to dismiss it, but if you were to share in that way, I would be very interested.

It’s not a question of declining, but one of trying to describe a process that clearly falls outside the boundaries of language. And I’m not concerned about the blog dismissing anything I say. When people comment dismissively they are actually recruiting for the FoF. If anyone comes to these pages checking out the FoF because they are attracted to the ideas on their website, in all likelihood they are looking for how to connect with what we call C influence, or higher consciousness. So when people looking for that read the sarcastic and dismissive posts they are more likely to disbelieve most of what is claimed here since the posters do not even believe in or promote core spiritual ideas or values.

I don’t know what I could say to someone about verifying Influence C, as it is the most personal verification of all. I can say what it is not though. It is not even remotely like depictions in the bible where God appears to someone in vivid form. Those depictions are not meant to be taken literally. Writers from the past and most recently Hollywood do take the bible stories literally so they, in their depictions of verifying Influence C (God or angels), will also suggest it to be a real, sensual, vision, or a clear verbal message, but it is neither. They do not have voices, or forms, or they choose not to inhabit one, so they have to communicate with man by different means; by speaking through other people or through circumstances or signs (even License plates.)

The responsibility of the seeker is to have a clean, open, state, poised to receive any shocks if they come. From a higher state, even a slightly higher one than normal, individuals who are looking for this kind of contact can receive it. For others it suffices to just look around at the world and everything in it and deduce that this creation was no accident and could not happen without the participation of a higher mind.

I would also suggest reading or re-reading your countryman Rodney Collin’s book – The theory of Celestial Influence, which might shed some light on the effect that bodies like the moon can have on the human level.

173. Opus111 - September 3, 2012

Aye Aye Aye!

You are so transparent! Must be the 60% water you are made of…

174. niko navi - September 3, 2012

Yes, FOF was helpful & necessary. RB is not and never was the FOF.

175. Tim Campion - September 3, 2012

New members of The Fellowship of Friends were usually asked early on (and repeatedly) if they had “verified C Influence”. It was one of the most common and recognizable mind control techniques, firmly suggesting what was to be believed, in a setting surrounded by peers.

From the Via Del Sol Journal, October 26, 1971:

Students were asked how many have verified that C Influence is a reality. (Several raised hands.)

“Help from (C Influence) is given in the amount it is appreciated and valued.

 “Just about all the people who raised their hands are on the ‘way’. Some are on the ‘way’ who did not raise their hands.” – Robert Burton

The following “answer” from Burton sounds like L.L.K. in the Fellowship newsletter above.)

Q. What about other groups? They are studying the same things we are?

A. If you think anyone in life is on the same path, you don’t yet know what you have met here. There are people who could be here, but do not have the luck (good fate).

This is the same journal in which Robert Burton provided his followers with this memorable wisdom:

“Do not try to save anyone here who tries to commit suicide. They shouldn’t be here. And they will strangle you just as some drowning people drown someone who is trying to save them.

“For women, watch the hens on the farm – no insult at all intended – just observe a female species, wants chicks…after raising a brood, they’re right back at it again.

“What holds most women back from evolution is that they are more attracted to males and children than to their selves.

“Overall is it best to have children in private homes on the ranch. They are lucky not to be in public schools.”

“I in the sky” does not understand that being dismissive in the face of cult programming might be an appropriate response.

176. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 3, 2012

165. Golden Veil:
‘Feminine Dominance (Misogny)
(Aliki Dies)’
166. nigel:
‘On the power of womanhood…..Nigel.
Billy Joel – She’s Always a Woman’

Customers Only – Portlandia on IFC: 4:41:

Women & Women First
(From Portlandia: Feminist Bookstore)
More at:
http://www.ifc.com/portlandia/videos/portlandia-women-women-first
Also see:
Portlandia: Cool Wedding:
http://www.ifc.com/portlandia/videos/portlandia-cool-wedding
Portlandia – She’s Making Jewelry Now:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg6H0Cd1_Jc
Portlandia: We can pickle that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYey8ntlK_E
Portlandia – The Knot Store:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfLu7GRMR7g

177. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 3, 2012

sorry, video link should be:

178. niko navi - September 3, 2012

On the Gurdjieffian Lunar Myth:
It often seems that intellectual work in the Fourth Way is not so much
sitting with knitted brows to “get to the bottom” of something but
but instead resisting the formatory minds’ propensity for finding
quick or stock answers, and also knowing the difference between
useful speculation and misleading imagination.

Here are a few definitions, if you please. ( I intend for this to be a
useful and lively discussion and hope it does not degenerate into
an unworthy arguement. I am seeking help and hope to be
helpful).

analogue (noun)
1 : something that is analagous or similar to something else.
2 : an organ(s) similar in function to an organ(s) of another animal
or plant but different in structure and origin.

Soul (noun)
1 : the immaterial essence, animating princple, or actuating cause
of an individual life.

Myth (noun)
1 : a traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to
unfold part of the world view of a people or practice, or explain a
belief, or natural phenomenon.

Parable (noun)
1 : fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitute or a religious principle.

Superstition (noun)
1a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the
unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.
1b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural,
nature, or God resulting from superstition.
2 : a notion maintained regardless of evidence to the contrary.

As an exercise and without reference to “work” books, except in
memory, I present the following synthesis. (here again I suspect
that some of my thinking may be faulty and welcome who those who
have the capacity to make corrections, necessary for the benefit of all)
to do so.

Of the many fundamental principles of the 4th Way as manifest
through Gurdjiefff(G), Ouspensky(O) and Collin(C) is the following:

Ray of Creation-The Moon is the growing tip of the Solar System.
The Moon is a planet in embryo.

The Earth(a Solar System in embryo) is its’ mother.
The Sun (a Galaxy in embryo) is its’ father.
There is an invisible umbilical/placenta analog (u/p a) feeding the
Moon. This imagery is ,of course, supported by analagous
reference to mammalian biological reproduction.

There is on the surface of the Earth a thin film of vital activity the
function of which is, in terms of the analogy, to transform the
energy of the Sun into a substance(s) suitable for the sustenance
of the embryonic Moon. This substance is the stuff of the Soul(s)
which is released and made available for transport to the Moon
upon the death of an organism(s) vis the (u/pa).

179. niko navi - September 3, 2012

continuation : On the Gurdjieffian Lunar Myth

This sythesis barely hints at the Law of Three & the Law Seven,
which of course are germane to the study at hand. But, nonetheless
it is sufficient for the purpose of this discourse.

By analogy one might verify certain similarities in the reproductive
cycle of plants & mammals by examining an orange. It has a
naval as does the mammal. This, of course is an indication of the
recent presence of the (u/pa). One might then postulate, using the
evidence at hand, that there are certain similarities in the
reproductive cycle of plants and mammals. Therby initiating an interesting study, with verification at each step of the way. This
is of course science.

In terms of verification, one is hard pressed to find the Earths’
naval or any evidence of the (up/a) as regards the the Moon.
It seems that the verification of the Ray of Creation cannot be
verified scientifically. Many scientists more worthy than myself
agree.

The Gurdjieffian Lunar Myth resonates well with me. I have spent
many hours in speculative imagination watching the Souls of the
recently departed parading to the Moon, answering the call of
Holy Fate.

Some are driven by the fear of going to hell, “if you don’t eat your
carrots and peas”.

Believers will believe anything. The most fantastic myths, the
impossible miracles, simply because the spiritual authority of
choice tells them that such myths and miracles are true.

Discarding the “Lunar Myth” in no way disables the study of Man
as a Microcosm and the attendent effort to engage the “Process
of Regeneration”.

The(G) (O) (C) System as it comes to us today is practical and
down to Earth in its’ description of the forces and habits which keep man asleep. And as such there is no room for belief but rather
verification and understanding. Verification of the four obstacles
to awakening is the Work at hand. The Moon as an overriding
denying force is speculative and tangential at best.

Once upon a Time, while meditating, I was pondering the Lunar
Myth,(“shape up or the Moon will eat your Soul”).

I had been in conflict with it for a long time. But this time I was
determined to make some headway. Then it occurred to me.
I saw the Lunar Myth as a tongue in cheek device to attract and
perhaps help those driven by the fear of going to Hell. Such a
device provides the unwary and the insincere the opportunity
to exchage one superstition for another, and many do.

Wishing y’all the best.

180. fofblogmoderator - September 3, 2012

171, 174, 176, 178 and 179 are new

181. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 3, 2012

172 “I in the sky” shares some more thoughts about verification in relation to the lunar effect theory promoted in the FoF.

Well your first paragraph is very strange. You say “Science would be at a loss to know how to begin to sort and classify facts and information to determine the effects of the moon on human psychology”. This is very wide of the mark, the lunar effect would be a very easily testable hypothesis, its not at all vague or woolly. Devising elegant and simple tests of theories is one of the creative joys of doing science, and psychologists having been at it a while, and their tests are getting very subtle.

You then offer the fact that we are composed of 60% water as the most “scientific” argument you can muster. Yes the tides are currently well understood, and the gravitational effect of the moon is the established explanation. This does not imply that the effect of the moon’s gravity is especially focused on water. The moon’s gravitational influence acts on all matter equally, can you not see that. The reason the tides are such a visible effect is that the water can be pulled across the surface of the earth, it is a fluid. That Rodney Collin concluded that the phenomenon of the tides show the moon has a special effect on water is simply a schoolboy blunder on his part, this example of his reasoning is frankly risible.

Regarding your personal verification of C influence, you tell me what it is not, which is useful, and seems to indicate that there was not a particularly impressive moment in your life that your belief depends upon. You offer the classic argument from design for the existence of God.

“For others it suffices to just look around at the world and everything in it and deduce that this creation was no accident and could not happen without the participation of a higher mind”

I would phrase a similar thought in a slightly different way. We currently are unable to answer the question “Why is there anything at all? Why isn’t there no matter, no energy, no consciousness, no space, no time?” If the question turns out to have any meaning (some philosophers argue it is ill posed) then whatever the answer to the question is, I am willing to call God.

This does not necessarily imply a higher mind though, and theories of cosmic origins and evolution are hinting that there is not a requirement for a higher mind to explain the processes that so amaze you and which you feel cannot be accidents.

I can see we are poles apart on this, and it is unlikely that either of us will persuade the other, so let’s agree to differ on the C influence question.

182. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 3, 2012

Dragnet 1951:

183. jomopinata - September 3, 2012

Funny how James Jay Young and niko navi have the same WordPress icon. I’m trying to figure out which one to imagine speaking in falsetto.

184. niko navi - September 3, 2012

183 jomopinata might discover an harmonious note to sing by googleling “Ad Hominem”

185. Golden Veil - September 3, 2012

“Good science, by definition, allows for more than one opinion, otherwise you merely have the will of one man, which is the basis of a cult.”

“He’s making this all up as he goes along…”

[ Dialogue from “The Master”, a new film by Paul Thomas Anderson]

Last year, an article in The New Yorker, “The Apostate” (Feb. 14, 2011) included interviews with film director Paul Haggis, a former member of the The Church of Scientology cult. Well, it looks like the article has inspired someone (not you, Someone) to write a movie screenplay. This is not the first time a film adaption has been inspired by a New Yorker article; remember “Adaptation”, the movie inspired by “The Orchid Thief” article/book?

This just in on the forthcoming movie “The Master”, from the online Hollywood film industry magazine, The Wrap:

“The church, long criticized for some of its practices, was the subject of an investigative article in the New Yorker last year that accused some leaders of physically abusing adolescent members and beating adults. The article included interviews with director Paul Haggis, a former Scientologist who has come out as one of the religion’s fiercest critics.

Anderson, who is still completing the film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, wrote and directed the story about a charismatic leader Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman) – referred to as The Master – who creates a cult-like movement called The Cause.

The similarities to Hubbard include the post-World War II time frame and Dodd’s taking a trip on a boat during which he arrives at a new philosophy and creates a faith-based movement.

Phoenix plays a troubled drifter seeking a path who becomes Dodd’s right-hand man.”

It also says in the above article that Tom Cruise, for whom the movie was screened, was critical with several issues in the film.

186. jomopinata - September 3, 2012

Those Gurdjieffians. Such a barrel of laughs!

187. Golden Veil - September 3, 2012
188. jomopinata - September 3, 2012

When I encounter, as I have above, pedantic pronouncements about the “Ray of Creation” and the ulterior purpose of the “food for the moon” idea, I am inclined to imagine young entrepreneurs speaking in hushed, reverent tones about “the teachings of Mr. Ponzi.”

189. apostate - September 3, 2012

another look at cult involvement, the difficulty of leaving and ‘post traumatic syndrome’ which can result — disturbing film but worth a look:

190. apostate - September 3, 2012

another reason the sheep return to the flock:

“In the absence of alternative sources of emotional nourishment, a believer can develop a psychological dependence on the feeling of enhanced self-confidence associated with being accepted as a member of an elite group. Like any addict, they may become dependent on their supplier. A believer can become dependent on the granting of recognition and appreciation by the believer’s adoptive peer group, and by its leaders and hierarchs. This appreciation and recognition can usually be earned, like brownie points, by supporting the group financially or by working for the group in various ways. In general, believers feel a pleasant ego-utopia or hubris so long as they remain in favor with the group, and an unpleasant ego-dystonic guilt if they are out of favor.”

191. apostate - September 3, 2012

from “the culture of cults” —
“cult belief systems have two additional characteristics. Firstly, they tend to be strongly hierarchical in perspective, revolving around ideas about lower and higher levels of personal insight. Secondly, cult belief systems also tend to be dualistic and bi-polar, in the sense that they make a clear distinction between lower and higher, between the mundane and the ultimate….”

for example — from “living presence” website:

“The special conditions that a school provides are: A conscious teacher who can guide us through the deceptive maze of the lower self. A teacher helps us to see ourselves and to distinguish what is real from what is false. A teacher is also the living reminder of what a human being can achieve.”

192. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 3, 2012

171. James Jay Young – September 3, 2012
Are any of grateful for FOF experience? I am.

Yes I am certainly grateful for the FoF experience that I had (1978-1989).

When I met the FoF I had become fascinated by the higher states referred to by mystics including Gurdjieff. To taste them for myself I had been experimenting with LSD and other hallucinogens, to the detriment of my mental health. I was looking for a way to reproduce those high states without the damage my drug use was doing to my sanity. Both Peter and Christina impressed me at my prospective student meeting as people who knew something I wanted to know, and ‘were’ something that I wanted to be, so I joined up. The discipline and rules of the FoF probably saved my sanity, and the encouragement to students to develop their talents led to me renewing my piano practice for which I will always be grateful.

I met some of the most wonderful people I have ever met, and my criticism of Burton and the superstitious nature of the FoF credo, in no way remove my gratitude for the benefits I gathered.

From where I sit now, I would say that the 4th way teachings are flawed, and they do not produce the states I was looking for, nor any other real benefit. The problem is with the 2 main exercises or the 2 conscious shocks.

1 self remembering as practiced in the FoF involves removing day dreaming and identification from our lives as far as possible, and increasing the percentage of our time when we exist in a state of wordless wonder. I now think we need a mix of all three of these states for a healthy life.

2 transforming negative emotions is even more damaging. I saw that most students find it hard, and in my opinion they are the lucky ones. I found this easy, but guess what happens, if you use the technique of “separating” to avoid not just the expression but the experience of negative emotions, over some years you end up not really feeling anything at all. You are in complete control, but you are dead inside.

I left as a result of several factors, but one was hearing first hand a story of sexual exploitation that I could immediately see threw doubt on Burton’s claims to be a good man. The other was that after 15 years abstinence I tried LSD again, and as I tripped I could suddenly see the emptiness of the 4th ways claims, and the damage the exercises were doing to me personally.

193. Golden Veil - September 3, 2012

Apostate, can you please give the source for the above quotation.

The M,M,M,M film was really scary, I thought. She definitely suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from losing herself and being psychically and physically raped by the cult/cult leader.

194. apostate - September 3, 2012

“However, this type of belief can be insidious, like a Trojan horse, because it carries the hidden corollary that the believer’s present level of awareness and understanding is inferior to the ideal to which they newly aspire. Aspiration has its shadow, self-doubt: It is this ego-dystonic undertow, this artificially created self-doubt, that is characteristic of cult-type belief systems. Essentially, cults undermine members’ confidence in their own judgement, or more specifically in the judgement of their unreformed old self, so that they find it difficult to make decisions for themselves, independently of guidance from the group’s teachers and preceptors.

“Cult belief systems promote a utopian vision in which any individual, through following the group’s teachings, can begin to realise their own higher potential, and can ultimately transcend the mundane. As outlined earlier, believers begin to aspire to a ‘new life’ or a ‘new self’, one which embodies the ideals and insights of the belief system. Simultaneously, believers begin to see their old self, their pre-cult personality, as having fallen short of these ideals. They begin to see the thoughts and opinions of their old self as flawed and unreliable, and may even begin to see their recalcitrant old self as a drain and a hindrance.”

the culture of cults

example from “living presence” website” —

“We have all made sincere attempts to change our behavior or emotions. Yet because the lower self has no unity, the results are often disappointing. Who is “I”—the person who wants to rise early, or the person who prefers to stay in bed? But the Higher Self that appears when we are present brings a single, unified point of perception. The Self takes its rightful place, and instead of reacting to our lives in automatic, habitual ways we begin to experience them, and to respond more spontaneously and freely.”

and:

“Higher school exists for a single aim: To provide tools and conditions that help us establish and sustain a connection with our Higher Self. While benefits to our lower self may result from that connection, they are not the goal. School is for people who realize that long and sometimes difficult work is required, and that they need outside help and direct guidance to do that work.”

195. apostate - September 3, 2012

“From the ego-utopian side, a cult-type belief system presents a vision of an ideal new self, and this vision can become a source of vicarious pride for believers, as they identify with the ideal and bask in its reflected glory. Believers can begin to experience a feeling of intoxication with the ideals of the belief system, and a sense of pride in being associated with these ideals. As their commitment is recognised and acknowledged by the group’s leaders, they may also develop a sense of pride in being admitted into an exclusive coterie. Often, established cult members will tend to divide the world into the saved and the fallen, and seeing themselves as members of an elect, will look down compassionately upon those not yet fortunate enough to be initiated into their belief system. This vicarious pride or hubris-by-proxy may possibly be one of the most attractive and even addictive aspects of cult involvement.

From the ego-dystonic side, a hierarchical cult-type belief system, combined with the aspirational and idealistic ethos of a community of believers, tends to create an ego-dystonic dynamic within the group. Ego-dystonia tends to perpetuate itself given the two necessary conditions, which are a hierarchical, bi-polar belief system and a community of believers. The doctrines of a hierarchical belief system encourage ego-dystonia and also define the community; the community perpetuates the doctrines, and the aspirational nature of the doctrines consolidates the community’s appeal as a refuge for ego-dystonics. In other words, the belief system both creates a problem (ego-dystonia) and simultaneously offers a solution (ego-utopia). Like the proverbial chicken and egg, the whole thing can tend to become a self-perpetuating symbiosis.”

the culture of cults

196. apostate - September 3, 2012
197. niko navi - September 3, 2012

191 Shard-of-Oblivion
My practice of the Laws Principles and Facts of the 4th Way are
remarkably different than yours or anyone elses’, for that matter.
It appears that we are grateful for the journey of Self discovery
subjectively experienced at the FoF.
I went there and found what I was looking for, paid my dues and
departed.
I stopped day dreaming and learned to practice intentional imagination.
I stopped expressing negative emotion and use the energy, otherwise
wasted, for creative ends.
Born into a conversation dominated by confusion, hypocrisy, deceit,
and fear, as I’m sure we all are, my practice of the “Objective system
of Understanding” has led to understanding, integrity, truth and
courarge. I don’t care jot if the FoF is determined by some to be a
cult or anything else for that matter. I also am not concerned with
RB’s behaviour.
I just wish to continue being sucessful in the struggle against A influence and become a Real Man.

198. niko navi - September 3, 2012

191 Shard-of-Oblivion
I meant to say – struggle against identification with A influence.

199. Agent 45 - September 3, 2012

The only “good” to come out of the Fellowship is entirely incidental and coincidental. Same goes for what I regard as 4th Way Crap. The opposite might be proved if you could point out a person to serve as an example.

200. Fee fi fo fum - September 3, 2012

161 Agent 45: “Blog feeling prophetic. Time is running out for poor Bobby & Cupcake.”

The head of the Moonies (Rev. Sun Myung Moon) died today at the age of 92. Yes, even self-proclaimed “humanity’s savior, messiah, returning lord and true parent[s]” die. (From an obituary) What will former FF members do when RB shuffles his mortal coil? One long-time member was heard to say with an uncomfortable laugh, “I guess that means we’ll ALL be former students.”

The obituary said that Mr. Moon’s Unification Church claimed up to 3,000,000 members worldwide, but “historians of religion dispute that number, estimating a membership of 50,000 at the church’s height.” Why do cult leaders have such a need to exaggerate their influence in the world?

A book called “Dark Side of the Moonies” by Erica Heftmann (1983) describes one woman’s experience of having been recruited and brainwashed by the Moonies. When I read it, I found parallels to my FF experience.

It’s odd how members of a cult think that they are in the lucky group that has found the one, true savior/teacher/leader, and look down on other groups that feel the same about their own true savior/teacher/leader. It’s striking how similar these groups and leaders are in their various exaggerated claims, and the need to control their members’ lives.

201. Fee fi fo fum - September 3, 2012

Correction: my first paragraph above should have been two paragraphs.

The head of the Moonies (Rev. Sun Myung Moon) died today at the age of 92. Yes, even self-proclaimed “humanity’s savior, messiah, returning lord and true parent[s]” die. (From an obituary)

What will former FF members do when RB shuffles his mortal coil? One long-time member was heard to say with an uncomfortable laugh, “I guess that means we’ll ALL be former students.”

202. Ames Gilbert - September 3, 2012

Shard of oblivion, you said, “it creates license to do anything as long as one can be present to it, but we need not even go there.”
I think you meant to say, “We create license plates to mean anything as long as you give us presents, but we need not even go there.”
_________________________

Re: Verification of C-Influence
This is a re-write of my post # 42- 196

Towards the end of my sojourn in the Fellowship of Friends, I was at a meeting when Linda Kaplan/Tussilo/etc. actually asked the members of the audience to raise their hands if they had verified C-Influence. About 95% raised their hands. I did not, and I looked around to note those others who did not, as well as noting those people I felt I could trust who did raise their hands.
At the time, watching Linda’s smirking face—and beady eyes looking hard around the room—I was very aware that another step had been taken down a dark path; the crazy was being normalized. And incidentally, it seemed to me, there was a great deal more freedom afterwards in using the term ‘C-Influence’ in conversations amongst members.

For several days after, I asked some of the people who had raised their hands (and whom I trusted not to blab to some ‘authority’ about my obvious concerns) what exactly did they mean when they raised their hands. Almost every one said they raised their hands because of peer pressure in that moment. I asked them what they understood about C-Influence. Every one replied in the standard (at that time) rote explanation, some variation along the lines that there were too many coincidences in their lives to ascribe to chance. I asked if they had come up with that for themselves. Here’s the kicker. Every one said they originally heard the explanation from an older student (a couple had heard directly from Burton).

This is how the meme was spread, and a good example of the level of verification, and also a good example of the kind of self-referential or circular argument most followers like ‘I in the sky’ use. Verification consists of finding reasons for accepting and internalizing the explanation at face value. One becomes aware of new coincidences by looking for them, and one assigns the unfortunate events or marvelous synchronicities that naturally happen in one’s life to the workings of C-Influence—so now one has verified C-Influence. ‘I in the sky/Daily Cardiac’, I put it to you that the same is true of your references to Burton’s consciousness, or that the ‘play is written’.

Note: Of the people I asked who had not raised their hands, most said they didn’t raise their hands because they felt manipulated, and that it was inappropriate, and one said that the whole subject was bullshit, the meeting was bullshit, and Linda was spouting bullshit! I’m glad that person felt comfortable confiding in me.

I was told many things when I joined the Fellowship. One was that C-Influence had arranged things so I could join. Another was that C-Influence actively helped advance the evolution of students in the school, mostly by arranging ‘shocks’, but also by speaking directly to Burton, who alone could recognize, interpret and pass on their messages. And I was told that one could verify C-Influence by paying special attention to the number of coincidences that occurred in my life. I was also primed by being told that the number and type of coincidences would be improbable, that if I paid attention and noted these coincidences (such as, the number ‘44’), I would be able to see that there were far more than chance would produce. The trouble was, I found no more coincidences than before I joined. The number of coincidences before I joined, while I was a member, and after I left were and are about the same, and of the same quality.

I never found a single person who claimed to my face that they had ‘verified C-Influence’ for themselves in any other way than the above—except for Burton, who regaled us with references to actual conversations with Leonardo.

I can’t think of any reason why readers would not let us know how they have verified C-Influence. While you’re about it, why not let us know how you have verified the play is written? And who writes it.

203. niko navi - September 3, 2012

198. Agent – September 3, 2012
Might as well try to prove the sky is blue to a person who is born blind

204. brucelevy - September 3, 2012

196. niko navi

Really? Seems to me that all you’ve developed for yourself is a pathological narcissism and complete lack of capability to objectively see yourself as others see you. But hey, fap on.

205. Agent 45 - September 3, 2012

Sky not always blue. Sometimes it’s red, yellow or dark.

206. jomopinata - September 3, 2012

196/Niko

“I just wish to continue being sucessful in the struggle against A influence and become a Real Man”

Real men and women don’t hide behind ideologies. Real men and women live with uncertainty.

207. Agent 45 - September 3, 2012

And real men and women are very cautious when they bend over to pick something up.

208. apostate - September 3, 2012

209. niko navi - September 3, 2012

Truth is not stimulating enough to those who depend upon the
character and lives of their neighbours for their amusment.
George Bancroft

The slanderer is like one who flings dust at another when the wind is
contrary; The virtuous man cannot be hurt and the misery that the other would inflict comes back on himself.
Buddha

Real Men don’t hide behind anything, save the blindness of those
who cannot see the Truth.

210. Agent 45 - September 3, 2012

You should be pleased that others regard your diet as twaddle. This leaves more of that limited commodity for you to consume.

211. Life Person - September 3, 2012

Like so many, I was mightily impressed by my experiences of synchronicity upon joining the Fellowship. After leaving, I found that other groups and teachers, such as Muktananda, also taught that meaningful coincidence was evidence of divine guidance. I found that my girlfriend often had such experiences, yet she had not been a member of any group, and had not been aware that any claims had been made by anyone about the significance of such experiences. I don’t think it was a coincidence, meaningful or otherwise, that she’s an anxious, hypervigilent person. I found when I entered a new relationship, I experienced an upsurge of synchronistic events, seemingly telling me that it was, or wasn’t, a good idea. I conclude that synchronicity is largely a function of a person’s desire, or need, to find confirmation in his environment, to resolve some deep sense of uncertainty, and that it operates as a Rorschach-like revelation of one’s own psychology. In the case of the FOF, it seems to respond to the member’s need to feel that he’s found something special, rather than what the evidence otherwise indicates.

212. Tempus Fugit - September 3, 2012

In response to:

“171. I in the sky – September 3, 2012

I’m not concerned about the blog dismissing anything I say. When people comment dismissively they are actually recruiting for the FoF. If anyone comes to these pages checking out the FoF because they are attracted to the ideas on their website, in all likelihood they are looking for how to connect with what we call C influence, or higher consciousness. So when people looking for that read the sarcastic and dismissive posts they are more likely to disbelieve most of what is claimed here since the posters do not even believe in or promote core spiritual ideas or values.”

If people come here after reading information from the official FOF site they are probably trying to get a more complete view of the group, not just the official line.

I think if anyone takes the time to read just a few pages of the blog they will see various writers discussing spiritual ideas and values they consider central to their lives.

Yes, people also express many reactions of anger and disgust they have as a result of their FOF experience, especially their experience with Robert Burton.

Wouldn’t these be natural reactions to dishonesty, theft, and abuse?

Dishonesty. Theft. Abuse.

If an unbiased person reads this blog would they not conclude these are the core values of Robert Burton?

213. niko navi - September 3, 2012

Tramps, lunatics, theives and fools abound. Confusion, hypocrisy,
deceit and fear prevail. What are your core values?
Physician heal thyself.

214. sallymcnally - September 3, 2012

thanks for introducing me to Robert Anton Wilson, apostate whoever you are

215. sallymcnally - September 3, 2012

#210 great post

216. sallymcnally - September 3, 2012

here’s another one from robert anton wilson

217. fofblogmoderator - September 3, 2012

#187 was hung in moderation

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