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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 128 September 13, 2012

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

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

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

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. fofblogmoderator - September 13, 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.

2. I in the sky - September 13, 2012

175. Shard_of_Oblivion

Thank you for answering my question regarding whether you would have stayed in the FoF.

Of all the former members who have responded to my comments I find you to be the most comfortable in your own skin and one of the least insecure. This is evident by the fact that you actually address my comments in a way that is not condescending or evasive but reasonable and to the point.

I also found it refreshing that you answered this particular question honestly. I do believe you when you say that T.E.’s story was the tipping point to your departure. I also see that not having verified the life beyond this life would make staying an uphill battle to say the least, seeing that so much in the FoF is geared to making efforts for the next life, the results of which are only apparent to oneself.

Anyway, thanks for answering.

3. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 13, 2012

2 “I in the sky”

you say
“I also see that not having verified the life beyond this life would make staying an uphill battle…”
which I find very interesting. It seems to imply that you have yourself verified “the life beyond this life”. I am skeptical, and would be interested if you were able to indicate the methods you use to verify “the life beyond this life”.

Thanks for your friendly comments.

I do feel that even if strongly opposed in viewpoints, if two people are honest in a discussion, that discussion can be very interesting. To the extent that you as a single individual can give your honest reactions and experiences in your replies, everybody gains.

I believe the anti FoF faction have the right answer, and that our being right will inevitably be plain for all to see who read the blog in the times to come.

4. Opus111 - September 13, 2012

I in the sky

For what it is worth, I am very comfortable in my own skin (unlike most of FOF members I occasionally come across and suddenly remember that they have to pretend they did not recognize me) and not the least bit insecure about my decision to leave the FOF. But I guess part of your mission here is to try and label most of the blog participants who are ex FOF members, either enraged, delusional or insecure. Good luck with that!

5. WhaleRider - September 13, 2012

I in the sky:
“This is evident by the fact that you actually address my comments in a way that is not condescending or evasive but reasonable and to the point….I also see that not having verified the life beyond this life would make staying an uphill battle to say the least, seeing that so much in the FoF is geared to making efforts for the next life, the results of which are only apparent to oneself.”

From your posts it is apparent you are very qualified to identify comments that are condescending, unreasonable, and evasive.

This seems to be your pattern; you project your issues onto us and then turn right around and display them in the next paragraph…completely oblivious.

This because you live with a divided self.

What kind of reasonable discussion can one expect to have with a person who doesn’t seem to have any morals about life after death?

By all means, keep posting!

6. Fee fi fo fum - September 13, 2012

Talk about “evasive and condescending” (pg 128, #2). That’s “the pot calling the kettle black” (RKK). Most of their questions have been disingenuous.

Adab’s post 189 on pg 127 was good: the FF is sorely deficient in its truth in advertising. Here’s an extract from that post:

“Three fundamental items any prospective student needs to know about the FoF are

1. The teaching may or may not include the teacher’s sex requirements
2. You must reserve roughly 20-30% of your income for school needs
3. The teaching has no actual relationship to the Fourth Way (as I pointed out in post 80)

It’s a matter of transparency or plain honesty – just saying what membership means.”

7. I in the sky - September 13, 2012

Shard_ of_ Oblivion – 3

“you (I in the sky) say:

“I also see that not having verified the life beyond this life would make staying an uphill battle…”

SoO: “which I find very interesting. It seems to imply that you have yourself verified “the life beyond this life”. I am skeptical, and would be interested if you were able to indicate the methods you use to verify “the life beyond this life”.

I doubt I could adequately indicate the methods. It requires reaching a state high enough to “pick up their frequency.” If I could indicate “how” that is done, everyone on the blog would have no choice but to find the nearest prospective student meetings.

However a big part of it is in the transformation of suffering, which is different than “to suffer” or “to experience suffering.” Transformation is to embrace it, to literally become one with it. And then while inside you it “transforms” into a rarefied fuel.

Some of this happens on its own, without special efforts, like in the death of a loved one. Everyone can understand the finality of death so to accept it on its terms is possible for everyone, but this is not transformation in its pure form. This will not reach critical mass. Critical mass will only be reached by accepting that which we least wish to accept and that which we are not required to accept. It’s the suffering that “falls into our bowl.”

You spoke of reaching states through drugs so you understand how expansive those experiences were. Where were you? You went through a door into another reality, another dimension But it was artificially induced and as such was only a faint echo of the real state. The drug induced version is only a compressed facsimile for the reason that we did not get there on our own. We are only shown everything when we go there on our own. When someone makes the right efforts to get there on their own the complete state is shown and the beings who dwell there become a reality. Eventually we know the way there and we know the way back there. When we are there anything can be transmitted and anything can be understood.

I will say that the afterlife is verified simultaneously with the verification of those who dwell there (a Deity.)
The two cannot be separated.

8. Golden Veil - September 13, 2012

7. I in the sky – September 13, 2012

This is all very interesting… that you believe that the chief method to verify what you call “life beyond this life” and “Deities” is to “reach a high state” by “transforming suffering,” especially suffering that has reached a “critical mass,” and that “critical mass” is best reached “by accepting that which we least wish to accept and that which we are not required to accept. It’s the suffering that ‘falls into our bowl.’”

This concept must be how Fellowship of Friends students (who are either a victim or simply knowledgeable) rationalize what “The Teacher” is doing with the married and single young male heterosexual students he compulsively seduces. After all, he has been quoted as saying to these young men, “The Gods want you to do this [for me.]” when they are repulsed, shocked, or non-compliant.

Talk about suffering reaching a “critical mass”… I think those perverted seduction scenarios would qualify! And, as you have said many times, these young men are “not required to accept.” They do receive a lot of pressure, though, don’t they, in either a negative sense, for example the loss of “The Teacher’s” “love,” being demoted from the “inner circle,”or positively, by the promise of various benefits, such as a green card, luxurious suits or international travel; or also by their own befuddled judgement, distorted by the using drugs or alcohol with “The Teacher”…

9. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 13, 2012

New page, same old %$&£!

10. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 13, 2012

7 “I in the sky” replies about how they have verified the life beyond this life.

OK your gist seems to be that certain strong emotional experiences lead you to conclude there is a deity and as a corollary to that you accept the survival after physical death as a possibility. You mention that my experiences with drugs will have given me a taste of this, but incomplete in some way. I still am of the opinion that you have made a fundamental philosophical blunder in confusing some experiences you have as corroboration for a total world view that includes God and the spirits of the dead.

I will relate an experience I had a few years ago. There is a tradition in south america of taking a drink called ayahuasca to have spiritual experiences. In fact there are a couple of christian churches in Brazil who use ayahuasca as their equivalent of holy communion, apart for the longer tradition of shamanic use for divination.

I tried some ayahuasca and had a very powerful trip. The most numinous period of the trip began with me having the very strong feeling that there are immense intelligences hidden behind everything in the world we usually inhabit. In particular I became convinced that the sky was a message from the immensity to we tiny human sparks of awareness. So visible in daily life but generally ignored. The experience then deepened so that I was held by a feeling of awe and the feeling of a huge godlike being enveloping me was palpable, and very comforting, as I sensed a benevolent energy in this immense being. I could reach out and touch God, if I dared to. But at that point I also became aware of a second awareness which knew that I had just taken a very powerful hallucinogenic drug, one of whose properties was to induce in its takers the feeling of being in the presence of God. I was able to hold both experiences at the same time, and could examine the God rapture in minute detail. If I had had the same experience without having taken the drug I may not have kept insight, and might have believed I really was in the presence of God, it was the certain knowledge that the effect was something caused by a chemical in my brain that allowed me to see the truth of the matter. Which is that the miracle in all this is the human brain, it can give us the experience of God, and other states that induce wonder and awe in the person. We ARE our bodies, the consciousness we experience is somehow (still a mystery to science how) created by the nervous tissue in our brains, and that miracle is the pearl of great price.

I cannot tell you how beautiful the sky looked that day.

I listened to Talk Talk “Return to Eden” after this revelation, and the music and voice penetrated the deepest corners of my heart.

11. ton2u - September 13, 2012

9 joseph

why not try changing it instead of ‘carping’ ?

it sounds like HAL aka pie in the sky has all the answers… makes me wonder when she plans to finally graduate from burton’s little cult to start her own… i think if she’s looking for prospective students on the blog she’s fishing in the wrong pond… most folks here have been there done that.

12. Agent 45 - September 13, 2012

Yes, you can easily see and it must be admitted that the existence of the Fellowship of Friends provides material wealth and a livelihood to a very few people (abeit one of them very lavishly) and maybe not so many benefits, spiritual or otherwise, to anyone else.
The fact remains (you can look it up) that there are far more (at a 10:1 ratio) pesky dissatisfied customers than happy campers.
But hey, butt hair, what ho. Stupid Blog.

13. WhaleRider - September 13, 2012

Wasn’t our aim with the “fourth way” to become more internally unified…not more deeply divided within one’s self…and disconnected from one’s conscience?

Isn’t the purpose of believing in the afterlife to inspire a person in this life to behave in a just and moral manner toward others so that a person gains entry to paradise based upon that person’s actions having successfully passed the Final Judgement?

14. brucelevy - September 13, 2012

9. Joseph Nachumovitch

Joseph, why not try a nice tall glass of go fuck yourself.

15. Adab - September 13, 2012

I think IITS’s comments about reaching a ‘critical mass’ are right. If your thoughts follow the same pathways for long enough, or you strengthen the same emotional associations repeatedly, you will reach some kind of tipping point where a change becomes inevitable.

Presumably the blokes who were christened ‘men #5’ in the Fellowship attained that critical mass. What happened to them after that? Two left the FoF completely, one suffered a paralysing stroke and the other still seems to be exiled with no hope of a return to California.

You can draw two conclusions from these results. The first, that higher intelligence has not looked too kindly on Burton’s attempts to surround himself with a group of advanced disciples who ‘picked up the frequency’ more regularly – any more than it’s honoured his prophecies.

The second, that attaining this critical mass in the Fellowship produces a serious rupture of the existing personality. Serious enough to make you leave the organisation entirely, or be kept away from it for your own good in another part of the world. If you stick around, ignore the messages and try to transform your suffering, you’ll reap your reward – via a breakdown of basic physical functions.

These are the only outcomes we know about. They don’t look much like an evolution, do they? ‘Trauma’, an inner crisis which could only be resolved outside the influence of the school, seems far more apt.

That’s all we know for sure – the Fellowship is good at creating crises which it is in no position to resolve.

The Athenians used to have an old saying, “To those the gods seek to destroy, they first grant all their wishes.”

16. nigel - September 13, 2012

“Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow –

(What about it, Burton?????)…..Nigel.

17. I in the sky - September 13, 2012

Golden Veil – 8:

“This concept must be how Fellowship of Friends students (who are either a victim or simply knowledgeable) rationalize what “The Teacher” is doing with the married and single young male heterosexual students he compulsively seduces.”

One large limitation with the former members posting here is that many of them left at different times; some as long as 30 years ago or more. One regular poster recently stated he left in 1979; that’s probably before half the membership was born.

But in their posts they refer to the FoF that they were in, or the one they read about here (similar information offered by others who left an equally long time ago.)

Circumstances are not even remotely similar to what they were when you were in. Robert is much more involved in the day to day attended activities and events now as opposed to then. And there are many more events now. He has a small core of people, men and women, who help him prepare for meetings and other teaching events, which take hours to prepare for aside from the time the actual events are going on.

He has a very small group of friends who travel with him when he travels. There has hardly been any change in this group for the last several years. When I read your words I see you are speaking about a reality that does not exist.

Adab – 15

“Presumably the blokes who were christened ‘men #5′ in the Fellowship attained that critical mass. What happened to them after that? Two left the FoF completely, one suffered a paralysing stroke and the other still seems to be exiled with no hope of a return to California.”

To be proclaimed on the path to become conscious in this life by your teacher can be a trap of course. That may very well be all part of a cosmic plan and part of the ongoing test for the individual.

I don’t know who you refer to as being “exiled with no hope of a return to California.” And I don’t see how having a stroke would disqualify someone from evolving spiritually. If anything that would seem to be a good example of accepting what “falls into your bowl.”

As far as M. B.’s case that’s an interesting one to ponder. As someone who left because of matters of conscience and someone who had a loyal following of 300 leave the FoF outright with him or consider leaving, he was a prime candidate to start something relevant on his own. Throw in the fact that he was by far the most articulate in communicating Fourth Way ideas.

And he did try to start his own group, however he could not sustain it more than a few months. M. B.’s attempt, if anything, shows how difficult it is to start, much less sustain, even a small (300) group of followers when he had everything going in his favor on the surface.

18. Toby - September 14, 2012

3. Shard O’blivion

“I do feel that even if strongly opposed in viewpoints, if two people are honest in a discussion, that discussion can be very interesting. To the extent that you as a single individual can give your honest reactions and experiences in your replies, everybody gains.”

You’re pretending to have a discussion with a person who has no interest in discussing anything honestly. Their entire reason for posting on these pages is to evade, misdirect, and deny. The above post is yet another example.

When someone hits a particularly powerful note on these pages, you can count on “I in the Sky” delivering yet another bizarre set of non sequiturs. It’s robotic, emotionless, pretentious, and disingenuous nonsense. It’s a cacophony of buzzwords with no real connection to the commentary on this page.

You also wrote: “I believe the anti FoF faction have the right answer, and that our being right will inevitably be plain for all to see who read the blog in the times to come.”

And what answer is that? I would be careful with the words “our” and “anti FoF faction”. You definitely don’t speak for me, and I don’t see myself as being a member of any “faction” — anti-FOF or otherwise.

The truth (which doesn’t belong to anyone) will inevitably be plain for all to see — that I agree with — although — hmm — Burton sees the truth, too. That doesn’t seem to affect him in any way.

Which brings up another topic, sort of, with regard to whether or not a person has a conscience: Does the truth have an effect on them? Or do they walk right past it as though it never existed?

Have a look at “I in the Sky’s” posts from that angle. You’ll see an example of a person who is not affected by the truth. They barely notice it, if at all. If they do, they pretend they don’t see it. It’s irrelevant to them.

19. brucelevy - September 14, 2012

Really, you people are even indulging this douchenozzle. Unbelievable. It’s hard to kick the habit of being a suck nose.

20. Tim Campion - September 14, 2012

“I in the sky”,

If we’re going to speak of Miles B., the only member besides Girard to be elevated by Robert to “Man Number 5” status, it might be enlightening to hear some thoughts from Miles. The following excerpts are from a letter Miles wrote four years after leaving Burton’s cult.

Though I view RB now as a truly evil person, and his group as a pathetic caricature of a “school”, my real interest has focused on the characteristics in both my personality and in human nature in general that were responsible for my remaining in FOF as long as I did.

Though I learned much while in FOF, and much more by leaving it, it has been very hard to acknowledge that I was a fool to remain with it for as long as I did, and that I had to remain because I was a fool. RB did not fool me; he fooled himself, and I fooled myself. He exploited our weaknesses because we were there with them, and he could not do otherwise because of his own twisted belief system.

I do not judge him now for being homosexual, since I believe that we do not have conscious choice as to our sexual orientation; I judge him evil for the callous abuse of his power over people and his distortion of the 4th Way to serve his selfish purposes. I see my responsibility now as being to understand why I was so susceptible to accepting his distortions, even with reservations. This aspect of the journey has been much more shocking and disconcerting than anything I learned while a member. Anyway, the point of the paragraph, and really of this letter as a whole, is that for me the acknowledgment of my own foolishness was the necessary first step in growing beyond it.

I admire your effort to communicate some of your personal truth about RB to members of FOF. I have occasionally contemplated doing something similar, but for various reasons have not. Don’t be surprised if none of them reply; it is still not a wasted effort, because it may help to plant the seeds of doubt in whatever remaining critical faculty a few of them might have. But we can only hear what we are strong enough to bear responsibility for; the rest may as well be in Sanskrit.

I left FOF (March 1985) because I no longer believed that RB was a “conscious being”, or any such thing in a positive sense, and because I had come to view FOF as being an insuperable obstacle to the very process it was purportedly to promote. Furthermore, I felt that my membership in FOF gave support to RB, enabling him to continue his game of illusions and seduction. Though there are a few aspects of the lifestyle that I miss (such as the concerts), and a few people whose association I would have preferred to maintain, I have not regretted the decision, ever.

You undoubtedly heard that I conducted groups for a period of time after my departure, and you may have also heard that I discontinued doing so over two years ago. Part of the bargain I made with myself at the beginning was that I would not conduct groups past the point where I felt that I had nothing more to impart, which was what happened. After my experience in FOF, I knew that I could not just repeat the same old jive until my teeth fell out.

21. WhaleRider - September 14, 2012

I in the Sky:
“Circumstances are not even remotely similar to what they were when you were in.”

Well, isn’t that the truth!

From what is described on these pages, Robert E. Burton and his rape factory the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence has far gotten worse, not better!

-Illegal human trafficking of followers from Eastern Europe using religious visas to become employed by the church as burton’s sex slaves and laborers.

-Elder neglect and abuse of infirm followers.

-Money laundering and fraud.

-Sex with a minor.

-Herpes on the Ark

-30 canine commands

-c-influence dabbling in rhino shit on cave paintings!

-A commissioned ceiling painting in the Galleria of the erect penis of a favored young male follower.

-Imported camels in the foothills.

-Giant lawn sculpture.

These are not remotely similar to the circumstances of the cult when I was in either and all this craziness happened after I left, when burton could no longer hide behind Miles and Girard.

You must have buffers of kryptonite to have stayed this long.

For the record, my impression of why Miles could not sustain a following with a clear conscience is because he had more pressing matters in which to attend, high rent in Pacific Heights, a new daughter, no steady job, and a drinking problem.

burton’s cult had a more robust and weathered infrastructure to sustain him by 1985 with many wealthy followers; Miles had to start his cult from scratch with a few hundred followers and without an apocalypse-ark prophecy to provide the field of intensity in which to keep his followers busy and distracted.

His hidden drinking problem largely stemmed from enduring the years of cognitive dissonance as burton’s front man, covering for burton’s extracurricular activities that were undetected by the majority of the group.

But Miles knew what was going on behind the scenes from the reports of burton’s victims he counseled. He was conflicted about having to tell the boys to suck it up, so to speak. He hit critical mass and left.

Miles’ chief complaint was that burton displayed no discrimination about who can join the group and seemed more concerned with “teaching payments” and “donations” than whether a person might benefit actually from membership, especially in light of what was happening to poor Brian Sissler at the time with his gradual slide into mania and psychosis.

“To be proclaimed on the path to become conscious in this life by your teacher can be a trap of course.”

Well, that is so true too!

That’s what sociopaths do for fun. They set traps for their victims.

ton2U is right.

The whole cult is a mental trap!

22. I in the sky - September 14, 2012

Toby – 18:

In responding to Shard_of_Oblivion you said – “You’re pretending to have a discussion with a person (I in the sky) who has no interest in discussing anything honestly. Their entire reason for posting on these pages is to evade, misdirect, and deny.”

If anyone has been following the dialog between Shard_of_Oblivion and myself on the last two or three pages they would immediately see the lack of truth in what you say. He has asked some direct questions to me which I answered directly. He has offered some of his own observations and understandings which I have commented on directly and I’ve offered some of my own in reply which he has commented on. We actually had a discussion. I’ve also been direct and to the point in my dialogs to others.

You mistake disagreement with evasiveness, and conviction with denial.

What you have done in post 18 is you’ve “said” I “deliver bizarre sets of non sequiturs.” You’ve “said” I’m “robotic, emotionless and pretentious” and offer “disingenuous nonsense” that represents “a cacophony of buzzwords with no real connection to the commentary on this page.”

You’ve “said” these things but you have not “shown” one instance of this being a fact. You haven’t “shown” one instance of me displaying any of the traits you stated. The truth is you want me to be the person you describe because I support the FoF and you oppose the FoF. So If I’m what you describe that serves your cause. If I’m what you describe that reinforces your own correctness.

It’s obvious we both can’t be entirely correct since we are on opposite ends of this spectrum. One of us has missed the mark by a good deal. So if you just “say” what you want me to be, you probably figure that no one will notice that you haven’t shown anything really.

Toby: “Which brings up another topic, sort of, with regard to whether or not a person has a conscience: Does the truth have an effect on them? Or do they walk right past it as though it never existed?’

Conscience is the organ that can distinguish truth from falsehood, or put another way, right from wrong. So a person in touch with their conscience would not “walk right past” truth. Truth would be the end game. But when Pilate asked Christ “What is truth?” Christ remained silent.

It’s extremely difficult for an individual to stay in touch with their own conscience for any duration. To think we can determine when another is in or out of touch with their conscience is folly.

Being in disagreement with someone is not an accurate indicator of them not being in touch with their conscience; unless of course you cannot err.

23. nigel - September 14, 2012

Matthew Chapter 7

King James Version

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

(Eye, aye – “I”)…..Nigel.

24. nigel - September 14, 2012

…..with regard to 21. Whale Rider…..

Mania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is an expansion of a section entitled Mania from within the main article Bipolar disorder. For other uses, see Mania (disambiguation).

Mania is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels. In a sense, it is the opposite of depression. Mania is a criterion for certain psychiatric diagnoses. The word derives from the Greek “μανία” (mania), “madness, frenzy” and that from the verb “μαίνομαι” (mainomai), “to be mad, to rage, to be furious”.

In addition to mood disorders, persons may exhibit manic behavior because of drug intoxication (notably stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine), medication side effects (notably steroids and SSRIs), and malignancy. But mania is most often associated with bipolar disorder, where episodes of mania may alternate with episodes of major depression. Gelder, Mayou, and Geddes (2005) suggest that it is vital that mania be predicted in the early stages because otherwise the patient becomes reluctant to comply to the treatment. The criteria for bipolar disorder do not include depressive episodes, and the presence of mania in the absence of depressive episodes is sufficient for a diagnosis. Regardless, those who never experience depression also experience cyclical changes in mood. These cycles are often affected by changes in sleep cycle (too much or too little), diurnal rhythms, and environmental stressors.

Mania varies in intensity, from mild mania (hypomania) to full-blown mania with psychotic features, including hallucinations, delusion of grandeur, suspiciousness, catatonic behavior, aggression, and a preoccupation with thoughts and schemes that may lead to self neglect. Standardized tools such as Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale and Young Mania Rating Scale can be used to measure severity of manic episode. Because mania and hypomania have also been associated with creativity and artistic talent, it is not always the case that the clearly manic bipolar person needs or wants medical help; such persons often either retain sufficient self control to function normally or are unaware that they have “gone manic” severely enough to be committed or to commit themselves. Manic persons often can be mistaken for being on drugs or other mind-altering substances.

(Still taking the medication!!!!!…..Nigel.)

25. Adab - September 14, 2012

22. IITS

The one in exile is AB. Not ever officially anointed as a ‘man #5’ to my knowledge, but fully prepared as Burton’s successor and chief right-hand man.

As far as Miles goes, he left for the reasons outlined in Tim’s letter. He wound down and returned to normal (as in, a place he could really live from) and stopped the conscious being/fourth way act. If he’d started his own school, he’d have just been multiplying Burton’s folly.

GH tried harder than anyone else to make Burton’s teaching work. But even he had to go to Mexico to receive physical therapy and convalesce after his stroke – well away from OH. From what we know he’s been nowhere near as active, or favoured as before since returning.

Add in DmcD leaving the group early on and it’s a lot of unhappy accidents. Every time Burton has said or implied that one of his top experiments is succeeding, it has quickly been shown to be unsustainable.

26. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 14, 2012

18 Toby.

You pick me up for speaking of factions and sides, which I agree with you was not useful. I agree we all here can speak for no one but ourselves, and I certainly do not speak for anyone else.

When I spoke of the right answer, I had in mind the truth that Burton’s actions display a lack of conscience, which is an opinion expressed by many separate posters recently.

When is a discussion not a discussion? When one or both parties are not listening and thinking carefully before replying I guess. I have not given up all hope of having some kind of discussion with current FoF members on these pages, and though I strongly disagree with the viewpoint expressed by “I in the sky”, I am still willing to debate with them.

27. Toby - September 14, 2012

Shard, this is not a “current member.” This is a mouthpiece for the organization — a shill. This is a game to them. Their only reason for being here is to take up space and try redirecting the conversation away from uncomfortable specifics about Burton. If you ever confront them directly on some of the specifics that are outlined in detail in all of these pages, they will either ignore you or issue a denial. A debate about God or drug experiences or the deeper meaning of life — without including any specifics about Burton — simply indulges them. Have fun!

– – –
http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/

“Our ark will be composed of ten thousand people in the year 2006, and then the doors will close… The school will make elaborate plans to retrieve objects of art for posterity after Armageddon occurs during September, 2006. The gods work openly with us, and this is the theory they have transmitted to me.” – Robert Burton

28. WhaleRider - September 14, 2012

I in the Sky:
“I support the FoF.”

Thank you for finally admitting that. It has been obvious from the start that you were not here “just expressing your views” as you previously stated.

“To think we can determine when another is in or out of touch with their conscience is folly.”

You are talking out of your ass again, quite frankly. This is exactly what sociopaths like Bernie Madoff would like you to assume, too.

Sounds to me like a rationalization for burton’s aberrant behavior. For a follower it certainly would be folly to determine that in fact burton is operating without a conscience because you’d leave or if you expressed your questions or doubts, you’d get kicked out.

Are you by chance drawing upon the years you have spent in the Fellowship bubble to come to such a conclusion or is that just you were told by burton?

Have you had to do jury service?

It is relatively easy to determine whether or not a person is operating with their conscience intact,
or if their conscience is damaged or missing, in other words, if they are lying.

Here are two ways:

1) Their actions…not what they say, but what they do. Sociopaths are expert liars and make a career out of exploiting the weak.

2) If they show no remorse and don’t take any personal responsibility for their actions…assigning blame to their victim(s) or to a higher power are good examples.

It is a far and away greater folly to assume a sociopath has a conscience just because they have a prestigious title, dress well and have a pleasant demeanor.

You need to have your “king of clubs”
instinctual wits as well as the ability to set firm limits, even to the point of verbal harshness, or like in a prison setting sometimes even brute force to contain full blown sociopaths or psychopaths.

Another way to describe what I in the sky is displaying in her dispassionate, and robotic writing manner is called: blunted affect.

At the same time, most of the communication between two people in the same room is non-verbal. I am certain I in the sky has a wide range of non-verbal tactics she uses to keep her job as head of the KGB.

29. Agent 45 - September 14, 2012

Attention Campers!
Wake up and please turn your stink-o-meters on.
I think the marshmallows are burning.

30. WhaleRider - September 14, 2012

Must be the new moon agitating our lymphatic fluids.

The ocean tides follow the moon regardless of what time of day the moon passes overhead or phase the moon is in. High tide isn’t just at the full moon once a month, it’s everyday at different times.

People living inland may not be so aware of that fact.

Therefore, if the theory of the moon having an effect on our bodies were true, the pull would be greatest and lunacy more pronounced whenever the moon is overhead, even though you might not see it, and not only at the full moon when it is brightest and most visible.

31. nigel - September 14, 2012

…..from “Foreword to – “Self-Remembering”, by Robert Earl Burton”

Self-remembering presents the promise of mystical states of consciousness, direct connection with the underlying reality of existence, PERSONAL FREEDOM OF ACTION, awakening of an OBJECTIVE HUMAN CONSCIENCE, REAL POSITIVE EMOTIONS OF LOVE, and the possibility of existence on some higher level after the death of the physical body.

In talks to his students Robert Burton shows how to use this ancient practice of self-remembering to fully penetrate the elusive present.

(Hmm…..makes you wonder, folks and sociopaths…..Nigel)

32. WhaleRider - September 14, 2012

Now I’m not suggesting any correlation between ocean tides and “lunatic behavior” since tides can vary depending upon location on the planet.

Some locations even experience two high tides per day. Tides are also influenced by the gravitational pull of the Sun as well as the moon.

But if you look at a schematic of the earth with the moon on top, there will be a “sub-lunar” high tide on earth directly underneath the moon, and another “antipodal” high tide on the opposite side of the earth underneath, like the curving period of a wavelength.

Suffice to say regarding the moon’s force of gravity upon the fluid systems of the earth, regardless of the moon phase, if the moon is at it’s zenith directly overhead, which varies each day, then generally that’s when there will be a high tide that day due to the moon’s closer proximity when its pull is the strongest.

The next high tide, generally and depending upon location, will be about 12 hours later when the moon is directly under your feet at it’s nadir and farthest proximity, due to wave physics and the properties of a fluid system, but not due to the moon’s direct gravitional pull.

So again, if the theory of lunar influence upon our lymphatic fluid were true, then there would be a spike of “lunacy” once a day and night, sometime around when the moon is directly over your head at its closest proximity to your lymphatic fluids, regardless of the ocean tide at your particular spot on the planet, and not just when you can see the moon at night during a full moon or can’t see it during a new moon.

Personally, I’ve noticed a greater correlation with “lunacy” and “lunatic behavior” in myself and others relative to blood sugar levels than gravitational pull of the moon.

33. WhaleRider - September 14, 2012

I’ll make one grammatical correction above:
“…then there would be a spike of “lunacy” once a day or night” since the moon passes through its zenith only once a day in a progression.

In the same vein, why not consider how temperature, sunlight or barometric pressure influences our mood and thinking?

There is Seasonal Affect Disorder, a condition that effects people in the winter during diminished sunlight causing depression.

There is humidity, that can make a person lethargic.

Oddly enough, warm wet weather is low barometric pressure which is less weight of air pushing down on our bodies per square inch-warm air expands so it is lighter, but can carry more moisture and therefore signal rainy weather…and high barometric pressure which is colder, dryer air-since cold air is more condensed and heavier, pressing down on our bodies more per square inch.

A barometric headache is a headache, which is triggered by change in weather conditions like high or low temperature or humidity, cloudy skies, etc. In such conditions, the atmospheric air pressure changes suddenly, which in turn alters the level of oxygen in the human body. As a result, the blood vessels undergo expansion or contraction in an effort to adjust with the lowered level of oxygen. This change in the diameter of the blood vessels is often held responsible for a barometric pressure headache.

Then there is healthy diet, sleep, and exercise which the lack of can influence our mood and thinking to a significant degree.

Why howl just at the moon?

34. Golden Veil - September 14, 2012

17. I in the sky – September 13, 2012

“Golden Veil – 8:

“This concept must be how Fellowship of Friends students (who are either a victim or simply knowledgeable) rationalize what “The Teacher” is doing with the married and single young male heterosexual students he compulsively seduces.”

One large limitation with the former members posting here is that many of them left at different times; some as long as 30 years ago or more. One regular poster recently stated he left in 1979; that’s probably before half the membership was born.

But in their posts they refer to the FoF that they were in, or the one they read about here (similar information offered by others who left an equally long time ago.)

Circumstances are not even remotely similar to what they were when you were in. Robert is much more involved in the day to day attended activities and events now as opposed to then. And there are many more events now. He has a small core of people, men and women, who help him prepare for meetings and other teaching events, which take hours to prepare for aside from the time the actual events are going on.

He has a very small group of friends who travel with him when he travels. There has hardly been any change in this group for the last several years. When I read your words I see you are speaking about a reality that does not exist.”

So, I in the sky, he travels with “friends” – you mean his Fellowship of Friends students that are his moveable harem? He has had the same harem for the last several years? Are these younger men that, as he does, wear luxury threads and wander the world to Europe, Asia, and exceptional World Heritage sites? Does he pay for this “Inner Circle” of men to travel with him and buy the clothes on their backs and wine and dine them using the funds donated by his “students” ~ funds donated to his non-profit “religious” organization?

What exactly would you say is the reality of his relationship with these “friends”?

You mean he no longer has sex with his students? Is the Viagra no longer enough? No more orgies? No more young men sleeping in a room in his private residence ready to submit to his sexual beck and call? What about retaining a personal silk under wear launderer?

I will assume you might further dissemble, or in the words of Toby. “evade, misdirect, and deny.”

35. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 14, 2012

27 Toby warns about the tactics “I in the sky” is using regarding topics on the blog. In particular he says “If you ever confront them directly on some of the specifics that are outlined in detail in all of these pages, they will either ignore you or issue a denial.”

Yes I also observed “I in the sky” using that tactic, and surely it is plain for all to see who read the blog. Indeed “I in the sky” openly admitted they wished to keep the discussion general.
Page 124, #169 – I in the Sky: “You are correct, I am speaking in generalities, which I said I would do in one of the first posts. The general often encompasses the specific.”

It was for that reason I challenged “I in the sky” to address a specific case, and I took the opportunity of relating the story of Thomas E, which happens to be the case that I know the most about. I thought the answers “I” gave regarding the sexual exploitation of TE were very revealing.

1. I would have spared TE but I am not the absolute

2. TE will have benefited from the experience

3. Everything that happens to a student as a result of actions by Burton or his agents, is the best possible thing for his spiritual progress, and we can know this because the play is written by C influence

4. We know C influence control every detail of a student’s life because Burton tells us it is so, and I had a mystical experience involving a sudden loss of worry on a park bench once.

I can see no other place or mechanism apart from this blog that could extract those answers from someone (no not you someone) who speaks as a senior member of the school. And though “I in the sky” does continue to gravitate towards more general topics, we in our replies can always repeat a more specific issue that has not been addressed in the answer, so it is unlikely to be a specially effective way to divert attention away from Burton’s crimes.

36. I in the sky - September 14, 2012

Golden Veil – 34:

I answered your comments in # 8 because it was clear your renditions of FoF life were quite dated. Now you come back with a series of questions that are either nonsensical “Is the Viagra no longer enough?” “What about retaining a personal silk under wear launderer?” Or not answerable as worded “He has had the same harem for the last several years?”

Harem is a derogatory term you introduced. I already said he has had the same very small group of friends travel with him for years. So when you say “Harem” you are forcing me to answer a straightforward comment I made with your pointed coloration added to it in the form of a question. If you want to use derogatory terms in a question format you can’t expect the one they are directed at to play along. If you want to use those terms you can word it differently and not as a question – “I’m sure the Viagra has stopped working by now!”

To you the FoF is a cult, to me it is a School of Awakening. When we converse you can’t expect me to adopt your designation when I don’t share those views. You understand, it is possible for you to say everything you want to in this forum and not expect me to adhere to your designations. When former members say “Why do you stay in a cult?” the answer is obvious. As I experience it it’s not a cult, it’s a School. When I say this people like Toby say – “What did I tell you, he’s taking us off topic. Our topic is to keep repeating that the FoF is a cult.”

That might be his topic but it’s not my topic. And for him or others to not understand I have the same rights to say what is on my mind as he does is disingenuous and more than a little narcissistic, if I may appropriate a favorite blog term. There is such a thing as a civilized protocol in a discussion format. You can make your points and if you want to use terms like “cult” or “harem” fine. When you become irritated or angry or indignant because I come here with another viewpoint it really does reveal something about your own inner conflicts. If you want to deny that you also have to deny mounds of psychological studies which have confirmed the contrary.

Here is the truth from my side: I am extremely grateful to Robert Burton for what he has given to me and some of my loved ones and closest friends in the way of spiritual development. His private sex life is not of my concern. His private sex life has been a concern to some and they have expressed that concern in various ways, leaving being a common option. If you call my not feeling obliged to answer questions as you worded them in #34 as being evasive or being in denial I can certainly live with that.

37. Wondering Who’s Watching - September 14, 2012

Moon Phase and Celestial Influence, etc.

I distinctly remember, like it was yesterday, an FoF meeting at Skyline Church in the S.F. Bay Area around the early 1980’s where this subject was a question. ‘Angles’ were given on Moon Phase, Meteorite Showers, Solar Flares, Comet activity, Planetary Alignment (Big alignment around 1984, (Jupiter Effect? Google it.), that was supposed to cause the major financial collapse around that year.), etc. The supposed affect and effect of these things was also brought up. So many things going on that could have adverse influence on us; and make your head spin.

Then a quiet shy and retiring Lunar type, who was an amateur astronomer, and was seldom heard from, gave an ‘angle:’ ‘When is there NOT something of Celestial Influence happening?’ Of course, that statement never made it into the published ‘transcripts’ of these meetings.

38. WhaleRider - September 15, 2012

I in the sky:

“To you the FoF is a cult, to me it is a School of Awakening. When we converse you can’t expect me to adopt your designation when I don’t share those views. You understand, it is possible for you to say everything you want to in this forum and not expect me to adhere to your designations…To you the FoF is a cult, to me it is a School of Awakening. When we converse you can’t expect me to adopt your designation when I don’t share those views. You understand, it is possible for you to say everything you want to in this forum and not expect me to adhere to your designations…I am extremely grateful to Robert Burton for what he has given to me and some of my loved ones and closest friends in the way of spiritual development.”

You have to ask yourself, what “in the way of spiritual development” would inspire a person to show up in support of a cult and its leader on a blog exclusively populated with cult survivors…some of whom have been brave enough to share their personal pain in detail…attempting to cast doubt on the legitimacy of their suffering?

Despite what entrenched and vested long-term followers like you may say otherwise, the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Presence qualifies as a cult by a wide margin. The facts don’t lie, people do.

So given that were true, and our suffering real, then what you are doing here, I in the sky, is the moral equivalent of showing up on a blog for rape victims in shameless support of the rapist.

And you wonder why we use such “derogatory” terms and cannot seem to have a pleasant “discussion” with you….and you think the problem is that we won’t play your insidious word game anymore while you are not willing to think outside your gilded cage.

Sometimes a cult is just a cult.

39. Fee fi fo fum - September 15, 2012

This campfire should be called I in the sky’s traveling teacher show. Giving I in the sky the spotlight feels very familiar. Don’t forget to give her the nicest bedroom in the teaching house, take her to the art galleries and the gold alchemy restaurants. Oh, and pick up the tab.

All of the insults against ex-members who are blogging are intended to make them feel invalidated and bad about themselves. It implies, “what do you know?” Well, we do know. We know what we experienced when we were in the FF and we know why we left, and it’s important not to allow this insidious form of undermining to succeed.

I find it interesting that the moral aspect of the sex question never gets anywhere. The latest “buffer” is that RB’s private life is not their concern. I’ve heard that from other current FF students who are in the FF primarily for social reasons, and who are uncomfortable with RB’s bedroom shenanigans but can’t bring themselves to confront it or discuss it. It’s a way of hiding from something, and that “something” is enormous and ongoing.

40. Associated Press - September 15, 2012

36. I in the sky:
‘I am extremely grateful to Robert Burton for what he has given to me and some of my loved ones and closest friends in the way of spiritual development.’

Please enumerate what that ‘spiritual development’ was/is.

41. Golden Veil - September 15, 2012

8. Golden Veil – September 13, 2012

“This concept must be how Fellowship of Friends students (who are either a victim or simply knowledgeable) rationalize what “The Teacher” is doing with the married and single young male heterosexual students he compulsively seduces. After all, he has been quoted as saying to these young men, “The Gods want you to do this [for me.]” when they are repulsed, shocked, or non-compliant.”

17. I in the sky – September 13, 2012

“He has a very small group of friends who travel with him when he travels. There has hardly been any change in this group for the last several years. When I read your words I see you are speaking about a reality that does not exist.”

34. Golden Veil – September 14, 2012

“So, I in the sky, he travels with “friends” – you mean his Fellowship of Friends students that are his moveable harem? He has had the same harem for the last several years? Are these younger men that, as he does, wear luxury threads and wander the world to Europe, Asia, and exceptional World Heritage sites? Does he pay for this “Inner Circle” of men to travel with him and buy the clothes on their backs and wine and dine them using the funds donated by his “students” ~ funds donated to his non-profit “religious” organization?”

36. I in the sky – September 14, 2012

“Harem is a derogatory term you introduced. I already said he has had the same very small group of friends travel with him for years.”

“Here is the truth from my side: I am extremely grateful to Robert Burton for what he has given to me and some of my loved ones and closest friends in the way of spiritual development. His private sex life is not of my concern. His private sex life has been a concern to some and they have expressed that concern in various ways, leaving being a common option. If you call my not feeling obliged to answer questions as you worded them in #34 as being evasive or being in denial I can certainly live with that.”

39. Fee fi fo fum – September 15, 2012

“I find it interesting that the moral aspect of the sex question never gets anywhere. The latest “buffer” is that RB’s private life is not their concern. I’ve heard that from other current FF students who are in the FF primarily for social reasons, and who are uncomfortable with RB’s bedroom shenanigans but can’t bring themselves to confront it or discuss it. It’s a way of hiding from something, and that “something” is enormous and ongoing.”

I in the sky, dissemble as you will, but though a group of desirable men kept nearby and even sleep adjacently to “The Teacher” and to be “at the ready” is not the usual definition of a harem, the bottom line sensibility of a harem, a group that serves One man sexually leads me to use the word (and I am not the first.)

It’s clear to me that my questions regarding whether or not a group “Student” ~ “Teacher” sexual relationship prevails is of no interest to you and thus you will not answer (though I think you must know.)

Moving on, the claim by I in the sky that “When I read your words I see you are speaking about a reality that does not exist.” makes me wonder, are the “Student” ~ “Teacher” sexual relationships over? No more, “The Gods want you to do this.” ?

42. I in the sky - September 15, 2012

WhaleRider – 38:

“So given that were true, and our suffering real, then what you are doing here, I in the sky, is the moral equivalent of showing up on a blog for rape victims in shameless support of the rapist.”

First of all, rape has a legal definition which doesn’t comply with your definition. If it did there probably would not be an FoF.

But to address your comment; this is not a closed private forum. It is an online blog. The ex members like yourself who post regularly represent about 20 or so in number. There is probably a larger audience of individuals who have not ever been in the FoF viewing from time to time and they are entitled to hear a current member’s experiences, as well as your experiences. You seem testy tonight. Just so you are aware, tomorrow is the new moon..

43. Tim Campion - September 15, 2012

“I in the sky”,

The members like yourself who post regularly represent about 1 or so in number. Why is that? (Oh, that’s right. Others are not allowed to post.)

44. Bares Reposting - September 15, 2012

15. Adab
‘The Athenians used to have an old saying, “To those the gods seek to destroy, they first grant all their wishes.”‘

Sounds good to me, however, the quote you may be thinking of is:

When gods in anger seek a mortal’s harm,
first they deprive him of his sanity,
and fashion of his mind a baser instrument,
that he may have no knowledge wherein he errs.
Lycurgus c.396-c.325 B.C.
From ‘Against Leocrates’
the only extant writings of Lycurgus

There’s an old Greek adage that dates back to Lycurgus: ‘When falls on man the anger of the gods, first from his mind they banish understanding.’ Or as Longfellow put it, ‘Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.’ The theory is that, once driven to the point of insanity, the protagonist commits some foolish act that brings about his own destruction. Classical tragedy is built on the same principle: The tragic hero, despite his heroic virtues, is brought down by a tragic flaw – usually hubris.

Lycurgus son of Lycophron of the deme Boutadae (ca. 390-324) belonged to one of Athens’ most distinguished families, the Eteoboutads. Rising to prominence after the battle of Chaeroneia, Lycurgus administered the Athenian state treasury from 336 until his death. During his tenure he increased revenues, enlarged the fleet and renovated its dockyards, and oversaw a public building program. In addition, he may have reorganized the ephebic system, under which Athenian men in their first two years of adulthood underwent military training and patrolled the border of Attica.

An extremely pious man, Lycurgus legislated often regarding religious cults and festivals. He also saw himself as a moral reformer; as such he involved himself in numerous prosecutions, favoring especially the procedure of eisangelia (impeachment). His sole surviving speech, Against Leocrates, was delivered in an impeachment for treason. Some of his contemporaries, including Hypereides, objected that Lycurgus was overly zealous in his use of eisangelia and impeached men for petty offenses. So vigorous was Lycurgus in his prosecution of wrongdoers that it was said that he anointed his pen not with ink but with death ([Plut.] Moralia 841e). In 307/6 the Athenians honored Lycurgus’ memory by erecting a bronze statue of him in the Ceramicus.

Lycurgus was a man of action; his orations, of which fifteen were published, are criticized by the ancients for their awkward arrangement, harshness of style, and the tendency to digressions about mythology and history, although their noble spirit and lofty morality are highly praised. The one extant example, ‘Against Leocraies,’ fully bears out this criticism. After the battle of Chaeroneia (338), in spite of the decree which forbade emigration under pain of death, Leocrates had fled from Athens. On his return (probably about 332) he was impeached by Lycurgus, but acquitted, the votes of the judges being equally divided.

Verify Verity Says:
March 26th, 2007 at 5:00 am
Concerning post 4/165 by David Dalton:

. . .

This psychological view of our condition applies to anyone who wants to ‘know them selves.’ That is, that critical thinking about one’s own thoughts is a good idea to do regularly and to check-in with your gods, as you may know them, regularly, too, as well as your trusted friends. ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

But, the above material, found on the net, speaks volumes about exactly what is going on in FOF and particularly w/RB; The Tragic Hero that he might Be.

Most posters to the blog certainly open themselves to critical examination of their thoughts, presuming that what they write is a reflection of their thinking and not just mechanical spewing forth of words. Words can very well be a multifaceted sword. Those that live by the sword must be prepared to die by the sword.

Verify Verity

P.S.: To the extent that the predictions were/are metaphor (as some FoFers would now have you believe), Robert Earl Burden being a conscious being is also a metaphor.

P.P.S.: The contents of this entire blog, all pages included, is perhaps the best possible photograph of the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton that can be delivered by humanity as a reflection. It makes one wonder how the photograph is being taken/processed. But, as the law of photograph is, the photograph is delivered from a third force place without the expectation of any specific result and the rest is left to higher forces.

Verify Verity.

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.
Wm. Shakespeare
Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.
Gloria Steinem

45. ton2u - September 15, 2012

what follows is a brief factual account of events in my life, this account involves other people named and otherwise, and as it relates to actual events and experiences, it is written into ‘the karmic record.’

i moved to mt. renaissance with my “high school sweetheart” M.
we were both on salary and living in a tent in the woods when burton approached me about moving into the blake cottage. being young, naive, vain and foolish, i thought it an honor to be asked. i imagined it would be a way to accelerate my ‘evolution.’ it was difficult to separate from M but we both agreed that it was a ‘rare opportunity,’ we both believed that burton was ‘the only conscious being’ on the planet, and ‘the brightest light in 2000 years.’ M and i agreed to continue seeing each other but we moved out of our tent and i moved into the blake cottage.

i soon discovered burton’s shennanigans behind closed doors in the blake cottage — i had unwittingly become part burton’s male harem. i extracted myself from that situation and moved back in with M, we rented a room in a house off property and soon thereafter we had a fellowship marriage. M became pregnant — when burton found out he gave me the ‘task’ of telling M to abort our unborn child. the ‘rationale’ from him was that ‘the child would not be born onto the ark’ — the child would be born before the predicted calamities befell humanity. my ‘instinctive’ gut-reaction to this directive from burton was that it came of jealousy and a desire for revenge… ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…’ i had moved out of ‘goddess’ burton’s ‘harem’ and returned to what i felt to be my ‘true love’ — i believe he hated seeing that.

i went to miles b for counsel… i told him my concerns about burton’s motives, i told him that M and i wanted the child and that we were both having a great deal of difficulty with this ‘task’ given by ‘the teacher.’ miles said in effect: “the teacher knows what’s best for the ark…” and he reassured me that burton knew what he was doing. and so with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, M and i were shipped off for a few days to the LA teaching house… the unborn child was aborted at a local hospital there and burton’s jealous vengeance was slaked by the sacrifice.

it was never the same between M and i afterward… i left the school within a year. realizing my complicity in this horrible act, my betrayal of M’s trust and love, i literally lost the will to live. when i left the ranch i didn’t have anywhere to go — contact and connection to family and friends had been systematically cut off by fof programming — so when i left the ranch i lived on the mean streets of san francisco for a time. (it was there i ran into kimo beech, shared a bottle of whisky with he and his companion… he’d left the cult sometime prior and had already been living on the streets for a long time by then — he looked it. i heard he died sometime later. i think that would have been my fate as well, i had given up… but fate intervened and so this cautionary tale).

it’s no wonder that miles tried to drown himself by crawling into a bottle of booze…. the pain must run deep in realizing his own complicity in the ruination of lives while working as a shill and yes-man for burton.

46. WhaleRider - September 15, 2012

ton2u:

Thank you for bravely sharing your painful story about your experiences in the cult and afterward.

I’m glad you survived.

47. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 15, 2012

45 Ton2U

Thank you for posting your story, it is a powerful and telling condemnation of Burton and his complicit followers.

The simple truth told honestly, magic!

48. Fee fi fo fum - September 15, 2012

ton2u

Thanks for sharing your story. The feelings of conflict and disbelief that we had (at having been asked to do certain unreasonable acts, by common sense standards), often remain in our memories and come out in our stories.

It’s important not to let this part of our lives get dismissed and trampled. And it’s not just the stories themselves, but how we’ve processed what’s happened to us since, and how we’ve moved on.
James McL. had posted a very heartfelt story on the previous page 127, and he just got slyly dissed in a recent post by the campfire’s traveling teacher via a snide reference to someone having left as far back as 1979. His story, itself, was not dissed, but the implied reference to him was to effect an undermining of his credibility. It is important not to let that happen.

49. Fee fi fo fum - September 15, 2012

I’d like to backpedal and stop calling her the campfire’s traveling teacher, because it misrepresents what she’s doing. As Toby said, they are a shill. In some ways, what Shard has done is draw out in black-and-white, for all to see, what happens when someone who is firmly ensconced in cult-mentality tries to have a “conversation.” It is only the outer semblance of a conversation.

50. WhaleRider - September 15, 2012

What kind of person would barge into a forum of people attempting to come to terms with the pain of their past and systematicly challenge the truth of their suffering by supporting the perpetrator?

How spiritually advanced is that?

51. nigel - September 15, 2012

Lots of talk about family and responsibility recently…..

Householder (Buddhism)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

householder

In English translations of Buddhist literature, householder denotes a variety of terms. Most broadly, it refers to any layperson, and most narrowly, to a wealthy and prestigious familial patriarch. In contemporary Buddhist communities, householder is often used synonymously with laity, or non-monastics.

The Buddhist notion of householder is often contrasted with that of wandering ascetics (Pāḷi: samaṇa; Sanskrit: śramaṇa) and monastics (bhikkhu and bhikkhuni), who would not live (for extended periods) in a normal house and who would pursue freedom from attachments to houses and families.

Lay disciples (upasaka and upasika) are householders and other laypersons who take refuge in the Triple Gem (the Buddha, his teaching and his community) and practice the Five Precepts. In southeast Asian communities, lay disciples also give alms to monks on their daily rounds and observe weekly uposatha days. In Buddhist thought, the cultivation of dana and ethical conduct will themselves refine consciousness to such a level that rebirth in one of the lower heavens is likely, even if there is no further Buddhist practice. This level of attainment is viewed as a proper aim for laity.

In some traditional Buddhist societies, such as in Myanmar and Thailand, people transition between householder and monk and back to householder with regularity and celebration. One of the evolving features of Buddhism in the West is the increasing dissolution of the traditional distinction between monastics and laity.

52. nigel - September 15, 2012

…..we are all connected…..Nigel.

Yggdrasil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Yggdrasil (disambiguation).

Yggdrasil ( /ˈɪɡdrəsɪl/; from Old Norse Yggdrasill, pronounced [ˈyɡːˌdrasilː]) is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology, on which the nine worlds existed.

Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at their things. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the wyrm (dragon) Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór.

Conflicting scholarly theories have been proposed about the etymology of the name Yggdrasill, the possibility that the tree is of another species than ash, the relation to tree lore and to Eurasian shamanic lore, the possible relation to the trees Mímameiðr and Læraðr, Hoddmímis holt, the sacred tree at Uppsala, and the fate of Yggdrasil during the events of Ragnarök.

53. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 15, 2012

42. “I in the sky” – September 15, 2012 photographs whalerider for mooniness, in the midst of a discussion about the gravitational or other causes for the moon’s purported psychic influence.

“You seem testy tonight. Just so you are aware, tomorrow is the new moon..”

Cute move!

But then the full horror suddenly hits home – “I in the sky” actually believes that this is literally true, even while jesting here on the blog, the mindset inside “I in the sky” believes that whalerider might be feeling testy because it is a full moon today, and believes that most sincerely.

Check out the evidence “I in the sky”, there is no lunar influence that sticks out above the noise, its all down to self corroboration and wishful thinking. If there was an effect, statistical methods would certainly have discovered it. Looking that fact full square in the face will take possibly more “being” than you have at your disposal, “I in the sky”. You perhaps feel so sure of your personal verifications of the lunar influence in yourself that you think you would consider it a waste of time to look seriously at the scientific evidence on this simple easily tested effect. But that would be you “buffering” to use FoFspeak, because deep down you are not certain anymore, you just wonder if the scientific evidence might be correct, and that you have been making placebo type verifications all these years. But that would be humiliating, so you would rather avoid it by not following up the evidence for yourself.

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

54. Ill Never Tell - September 16, 2012

I – In the Sky:

55. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 16, 2012

The sesame street “I in the sky” song – what glory!

at 0:18 “rubbing it here….and scrubbing it there” ooh missus!

56. Tim Campion - September 16, 2012

Capital I in the sky!

Polish on. Polish off. That’s all you need to know, Grasshopper.

57. WhaleRider - September 16, 2012

29. Agent 45: September 14, 2012 3:34 GMT
“I think the marshmallows are burning.”

30. WhaleRider September 14, 2012 4:44 GMT
“Must be the new moon agitating our lymphatic fluids.”

42. I in the sky September 15, 2012 5:15 GMT
” You seem testy tonight. Just so you are aware, tomorrow is the new moon..”

I in the sky: I GET TESTY WITH EVERY POST OF YOURS I READ, regardless of the moon phase.

This blog is a healing place and you are not helping.

Yes, I admit, I did welcome you at first, famously in fact, but now I have to confess, IT WAS A TRAP!!! My bad.

Thanks for posting. Your participation here has been invaluable.

From Shard_of_Oblivion’s EXCELLENT Wikipedia link above on the “Lunar Effect’ (or lack thereof):

“Believers often support their claims by noting that many police officers and nurses have observed a lunar effect in the course of their work.

To the extent that nurses and police officers do indeed claim to observe patterns, this is most likely to be explained in terms of confirmation bias.

People notice if something dramatic happens during a full moon, but do not notice when nothing dramatic happens; furthermore, dramatic occurrences that do not occur during full moons are typically not counted as evidence against the belief.

Believers are further bolstered in their belief through communal reinforcement.

The more people talk about the effect, the more people notice spurious relationships.

Here’s a great definition of Girard’s Faith-Based Verification>/i>:

Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or my-side bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.

People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way.

The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.

They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.

Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (or magical thinking-when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).”

from ~Wikipedia

Like I said before, the non-existent “Lunar Effect” is a Fourth Way-Fellowship of Friends gateway meme.

Once a follower suspends their disbelief (and critical thinking) and starts believing in this magical thinking moon crapola, the foot is in the door for compounding more empty delusional beliefs one on top of the other like wooden Russian Matryoshka dolls…and pretty soon you are wearing a pointy aluminum foil hat, attempting to tune into the frequency of your favorite spiritual deity.

58. nigel - September 16, 2012

Guru

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation).

Guru (Devanagari गुरु) is a Sanskrit term for “teacher” or “master”, especially in Indian religions. The Hindu guru-shishya tradition is the oral tradition or religious doctrine transmitted from teacher to student. In the United States, the meaning of “guru” has been used to cover anyone who acquires followers, especially by exploiting their naiveté, due to the inflationary use of the term in new religious movements.

59. nigel - September 16, 2012

57. Whale Rider

I agree with Whale Rider, that this blog is a place for healing, whether it be ranting at Burton and the FOF or offering positive alternatives for ‘cult doctrine’. Others than myself have had more ’emotional distress’ in the FOF and especially at the hands of Burton and I dearly thank them for their courage (albeit having to use pseudonyms to protect themselves from retribution all round).

When I am having instinctive friction, it makes me feel angry about what I allowed the cult to do to me, and, after the cult, that 14 years of ’emotional loss’ that I had to go through before coming across the ‘second most happy time of my life’ (the first being at art college) -where I am teaching my beautiful craft to others (Walt Whitman – “Devote your labour and income to others”).

I do not know what it would take to ‘persuade’ one, or a few, current members to ‘make the jump’ out into the REAL WORLD – REAL LIFE, but I can guarantee it is worth it. You will have REAL, not borrowed, emotions, REAL friends and REAL aims and achievements. I am devoted, as I feel Whale Rider is, to exposing Burton for the charlatan he is and the FOF as a cult.

I do have time in the evenings (I live in England) and in the mornings at weekends to communicate with bloggers. I can be contacted at nhprice@gmail.com…..Nigel.

60. nigel - September 16, 2012

…..to “I in the Sky”, whoever he or she is…..Nigel.

Frondes Agrestes 1.2 by John Ruskin, the Evangelist

“The temper by which right taste is formed is characteristically patient. It dwells upon what is submitted to it. It does not trample upon it, – lest it should be pearls, even though it looks like husks. It is good ground, penetrable, retentive; it does not send up thorns of unkind thoughts, to choke the weak seed; it is hungry and thirsty too, and drinks all the dew that falls on it. It is an honest and good heart, that shows not too ready springing before the sun be up, but fails not afterwards; it is distrustful of itself, so as to be ready to try all things; and yet so trustful of itself, that it will neither quit what it has tried, nor take anything without trying. And the pleasure which it has in things that it finds true and good, is so great, that it cannot possibly be led aside by any tricks of fashion, or diseases of vanity; it cannot be cramped in its conclusions by partialities and hypocrisies; its visions and its delights are too penetrating, – too living, – for any whitewashed object or shallow fountain long to endure or supply. It clasps all that it loves so hard that it crushes it if it be hollow.”

61. Arthur - September 16, 2012

Whatever happened to Elena Haven? She is the only one that can stick a knife in her husband’s anus and have it come out Burton’s mouth.

62. nigel - September 16, 2012

I do not know who posted this originally, but it seems timely in the oncoming of the ‘self-inward-turning’ of Autumn…..Nigel.

“The sixth chakra is located in the forehead. Its energy is light. Its color is often seen as indigo. And interestingly enough the Sanskrit word for this center is called ‘Agna’ or the ‘command post’. And this is very significant for it insinuates that the ‘command center’ – the director of our drama – is not in the power center. It’s not in the emotional center. It’s coming from a very high source – the intuitive center – which is what the sixth chakra is about. Note the sixth chakra has more often than not been discussed in very occult ways as place for super-consciousness, visions, clairvoyance and clair-audience. And that may be well and good, but for your life’s work it’s helpful to understand this as a flow of the intuitive cosmic intelligence that is not occult at all, but maybe very natural.

For example, I often ask groups: have you ever had a time in your life when mysteriously or in some way that you could not understand some force came in and guided you, helped you make the right decision, pointed you the right way, helped you out of danger? And generally a large majority of people raise their hand and said ‘yes’. So this is not a hidden secret experience, it is something that most people at one point or another in their life have had happen to them! But then I ask a question: ‘how many of you felt this was extraordinary?” And again the majority of people raise their hand. Now, what if this experience was not extraordinary at all? But what if this is the way it’s supposed to be? What if you are actually aligned to the intuitive flow direct perceptions available to you 24 hours a day? This is a possibility of the sixth chakra.

To perceive and be open to dimensions of experience that are often invisible to people not because they are so high and mighty, but because most of the time we’re just too busy. You see, we live in a culture that is vibrating primarily on the first three chakras. Occasionally we move into a heart energy. Occasionally we move into a creative energy. But the opening of a direct intuitive intelligence is something that is neither taught nor supported in popular culture. Therefore it is thought to be fantastic.

The vocational issue around the opening of this ‘command center’, if you will, is intuition on one side and inflation on the other side. You see, you may have a fantastic revelation, a fantastic opening (and that is a beauty of the sixth chakra) but then when you begin to think that ‘Oh! I must be special’ or “If everybody did this in this way they may have this” – you move into inflated side of the sixth chakra. And it can get very very heady when the person begins to experience what Henry Davis Toro called “the higher laws”. That’s why it is so important that we work from the bottom up, that we have a strong ground, that our feelings are open, that our power center is clear, that we are working towards contributions, and so on and so forth.

So, what we want to do is open to the higher laws. Not to be someone special, not to move out of the world, but literally as if you are reeling a kite in from the sky to bring them down into the market place. Because the market place is the great democratic leveler of everything. If you can bring your intuition, if you can bring your inspiration into the market place – then you’re sharing it with other people. That is your life’s work.

When you’re inflated – you shy away from the market place, you want to keep things secret. Because then your self-delusional bubble might burst. So the opening of the sixth chakra has to do with the opening of intelligence, with the opening of intuition, with the opening to guidance from sources that we cannot fathom, but that we can experience and work with on a daily basis.

After all in the last twenty years we have seen remarkable healing of all sorts – through healers, through assemblies, through groups, through prayer. We have seen a power of spirit cure cancer, leukemia, diabetes, we have all seen incredible transformations. Well, if the power of spirit can do this then the same power should be able to get me a job. This is “bring it down home”. And this is very important: this work is a work of alignment – it’s not a work of escape. The whole purpose of creating the work you love and moving into our life’s work is to bring the heaven and the earth together. To bring the intuition and a practical together and to take that deep intelligence and apply it to day-to-day situations.

So we ask in the sixth chakra that we can open to the unknown and bring into the known. And that will generally guard us and guide us against the inflated delusional position.”

Rick Jarow “The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide”

63. nigel - September 16, 2012

61. Arthur

Unfortunately (or maybe, fortunately) Elena was banned from this blog for taking up too much space. Personally, I think she had some mental health issues to address…..Nigel.

64. Arthur - September 16, 2012

Robert Burton has mental health issues, Nigel admitted he has some form of mental issues, Whalerider admitted he worked his out , and I’m influenced by today’s new moon. In other words, I admit to unverified lunacy.

65. Arthur - September 16, 2012

Thanks, Robert Burton for your unwavering nutty influences.

66. nigel - September 16, 2012

64. Arthur

There is a difference between having ‘mental health issues’ and coming to terms with them – realizing that you cannot stay in ‘uncontrollable delerium’ and yet you are able (with appropriate medication and mental health authority folks) to be within limits of your ‘nuttiness’. I have a friend who is schizophrenic and who stayed with his mother recently and started to ‘have voices’. The mental health authorities got him a council apartment in a week and he has his sanity back again.

Burton is a narcisisstic sociopath who cares nothing but what he can get for himself – in all manner of ways.

And YES – I suffered under the new moon – feeling very tired and unable to do anything worthwhile until I tidied my apartment for the week. Keeping going is the key…..Nigel.

67. nigel - September 16, 2012

“PERSEVERE – Nothing in the world will take the place of perseverance. Talent will not – Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not – Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – The world is full of educated derelicts.

PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONE ARE OMNIPOTENT.”

Written by Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States.

68. nigel - September 16, 2012

Don’t know who originally posted this, but it seems appropriate…..Nigel.

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

69. nigel - September 16, 2012

Les adieux de Marie Stuart

Language: French

Adieu, charmant pays de France
Que je dois tant chérir!
Berceau de mon heureuse enfance,
Adieu! Te quitter c’est mourir!

Toi que j’adoptai pour patrie
Et d’où je crois me voir bannir,
Entends les adieux de Marie,
France, et garde son souvenir.

Le vent souffle, on quitte la plage,
Et peu touché de mes sanglots,
Dieu, pour me rendre à ton rivage,
Dieu n’a point soulevé les flots!

Lorsqu’aux yeux du peuple que j’aime,
Je ceignis les lis éclatants,
Il applaudit au rang suprême
Moins qu’aux charmes de mon printemps.

En vain la grandeur souveraine
M’attend chez le sombre Écossais;
Je n’ai désiré d’être reine
Que pour régner sur des Français.

France, du milieu des alarmes
La noble fille des Stuarts,
Comme en ce jour, qui voit ses larmes,
Vers toi tournera ses regards.

Mais, Dieu! le vaisseau trop rapide
Déjà vogue sous d’autres cieux;
Et la nuit, dans un voile humide,
Dérobe tes bords à mes yeux!

Adieu, charmant pays de France
Que je dois tant chérir!
Berceau de mon heureuse enfance,
Adieu! Te quitter c’est mourir!

(Te quitter c’est mourir – “To leave you is death”)…..Nigel.

70. Tempus Fugit - September 17, 2012

45 Ton2U –
Your story made my heart hurt for your suffering. I hope that time and God’s grace is bringing you peace.

I also have two questions for “I in the Sky” based on her/his recent comments and my own beliefs.

Gurdjieff said the Earth is a pain factory, an assertion still quoted on official FOF web pages and recently here by I in the Sky.

But in my opinion Gurdjieff was wrong.

Being alive brings suffering to all, as well as joy, and one of the great spiritual tasks of human life is to reduce the suffering of others, while knowing it can never be completely eliminated.

People who intentionally hurt others without the pain of conscience are mentally ill. In the modern world we call them sociopaths.

There is an old spiritual tradition that gurus may produce suffering in followers to help them awaken. This may be true, but the guru must be legitimate. To me that means the guru must have a conscience, and the influence of that conscience must be apparent in their behavior.

Ton2U’s story is one of many that, in my opinion, prove the lie in Burton’s claims to higher consciousness, because they show the actions of a man apparently without a conscience, the actions of a sociopath.

So I have two questions for you, I in the Sky, if you would be so kind to answer them.

1) Can you assert Burton does have a conscience and discuss behaviors you have witnessed to support that assertion?

2) Can you explain how, having such a conscience, Burton could have ordered a young married couple to kill their unborn child?

Please do not simply offer your faith in Burton or the intentions of invisible “C influence” as explanations, rather discuss actual behavior you have witnessed.

I realize these questions are difficult ones, and I appreciate in advance your effort to make an honest response.

71. Tim Campion - September 17, 2012

For those who recall “Vinnie the Fish”, a staunch defender of the Fellowship of Friends through thirty pages of this blog (May 2007 through July 2008), a comment on the Robert Earl Burton blog today suggests that Vinnie has moved on with their life. Good luck Vinnie!

Thanks Ames,

I’m flattered you include me in your list of articulate, wise and erudite posters from the FOF side.

I’ve since left mind you, but consider my time in the FOF as well spent. I came and went of my own free will, learned a lot, and didn’t lose anything except the minimum monthly payments.

I still hold the position that if you allow another person to dictate your important actions in life, like giving up children, having abortions, moving house, or giving up careers, you’d better be prepared to take responsibility for them yourself, because there’s nobody else to blame on your deathbed.

– Vinnie The Fish

72. ton2u - September 17, 2012

from my post above:
“…i left the school within a year. realizing my complicity in this horrible act…”

vinnie was right on this account, and i for one do acknowledge my own complicity and take my share of ‘blame’ and responsibility for what was done. i’ve written here before: “it’s something i will take with me to the grave…”

73. nigel - September 17, 2012

I regard Gurdjieff and Ouspensky as the ‘two black Russians’ – the first and second forces of the Fourth Way triad, whilst Collin seemed to be the ‘illuminating and healing’ third force of the 4th Way. I know that some have ‘damned’ Ouspensky as a luxury-seeking guru, but one thing struck me about a passage in ‘In Search of the Miraculous’. O. recounted how, when he had achieved ‘facts’ and was about to leave G. that he had a strange feeling of an insuperable ‘I’ that would be able to withstand anything that was put in front of him as denying force.

Strangely enough, despite my financial difficulties, I seem to experience that same, powerful ‘I’ in my life and I have the WILL to ‘press on’ as my pub landlord, David Chadwick, would say. I am indebted to all of you on this blog, for allowing me to experience ‘personal evolution’…..Nigel.

74. nigel - September 17, 2012

Tears For Fears “Sowing The Seeds Of Love” Lyrics

Songwriters: ORZABAL, ROLAND/SMITH, CURT

“High time we made a stand and shook up the views of the common man
And the lovetrain rides from coast to coast
D.j.s the man we love the most
Could you be, could you be squeaky clean
And smash any hope of democracry ?
As the headline says you’re free to choose
There’s egg on your face and mud on your shoes
One of these days they’re gonna call it the blues

And anything is possible when you’re sowing the seeds of love
Anything is possible – sowing the seeds of love

I spy tears in thier eyes
They look to the skies for some kind of divine intervention
Food goes to waste !
So nice to eat, so nice to taste
Politician grannie with your high ideals
Have you no idea how the majority feels ?
So without love and a promised land
We’re fools to the rules of a goverment plan
Kick out the style ! bring back the jam !

Anything…
Sowing the seeds
The birds and the bees
My girlfriend and me
In love

Feel the pain
Talk about it
If you’re a worried man – then shout about it
Open hearts – feel about it
Open minds – think about it
Everyone – read about it
Everyone – scream about it !
Everyone
Everyone – read about it, read about it
Read in the books in the crannies and the nooks there are books to read
Chorus !

(mr. england sowing the seeds of love)

Time to eat all your words
Swallow your pride
Open your eyes

High time we made a stand and shook up the views of the common man
And the lovetrain rides from coast to coast
Every minute of every hour – I love a sunflower
And I believe in lovepower, love power, lovepower !!!

Sowing the seeds
An end to need
And the politics of greed
With love”

75. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 18, 2012

It’s interesting how knowing about Gurdjieff’s negative attitude towards his own students and condemnation of everybody else didn’t stop us from wanting to join a school based on his teachings.

76. brucelevy - September 18, 2012

Yes, it is interesting goodness. And maybe it would be good for your personal work to take a long walk off a short pier.

77. I in the sky - September 18, 2012

WhaleRider #57:

“People notice if something dramatic happens during a full moon, but do not notice when nothing dramatic happens; furthermore, dramatic occurrences that do not occur during full moons are typically not counted as evidence against the belief.”

It seems the topic of the moon still interests you. I only referenced the moon the last time because you and others did not seem to want to let it go.

But to address your comment –
“dramatic occurrences that do not occur during full moons are typically not counted as evidence against the belief.”

Dramatic occurrences, as you call them, do not stop occurring in between moon phases; they always happen. The world is a pain factory 24/7. Moon phases only enhance the mischief. The insane will always be insane, the moon causes the borderline insane to participate in the insanity more fully from time to time.

WhaleRider quoting another source: “Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or my-side bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.”

I’m glad you brought that up. All people are subject to “Confirmation bias.” To digress from the moon for a few thoughts – The operative word in the term “Confirmation Bias” is Bias.

“Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.”

The last part of the definition is particularly revealing for the fact that almost without exception no biased person considers their bias to be unfair. The biases are almost always justified because people think that their particular bias is connected to truth. Now it’s a fact that individuals have the potential to recognize truth and be on the side of truth. You could say that truth would then become their “bias” (probably the only useful bias to have.)

The few former members active on this blog have a decidedly strong bias, in some cases qualifying as a hatred, for Robert Burton and the FoF. Whether that bias is aligned with truth has not been determined and is unlikely to be determined in this arena. So all we can say at present is that it’s a bias. And a condition of the biased person is that they have ceased weighing an issue. They are no longer evaluating. For them the verdict is in and if it’s a bias “against” someone or some organization the verdict is guilty.

This is clear to see on the blog. No post by a former member condemning RB or the FoF has ever been refuted by another former member. And no post favorable towards RB or the FoF by a supporter has ever not been refuted. The odds that truth is the reason for these astronomical odds is very unlikely. The odds of a bias being the reason for these astronomical odds is extremely likely, as that is precisely how biases work. A person who has a strong bias usually is not aware of it because he or she is focused on the object of the bias and has developed iron clad justifications for why it is correct to support this bias. (The object of the bias is deserving to be reviled, hated, scorned, brought to justice.)

When former members refer to events or experiences concerning RB or the FoF or when they re post or refer to events or experiences by others they express a disbelief that someone like myself would not believe these stories verbatim, as they do, or that I would attach a different meaning to them. That denotes a lack of awareness that there is even a bias in play. A person deeply entrenched in a bias is not even aware another viewpoint is possible; theirs is the only valid viewpoint, so the other person’s views are marginalized or attributed to a faulty mind or character.

Shard_ of_ Oblivion – 53

“I in the sky” actually believes that this is literally true, even while jesting here on the blog, the mindset inside “I in the sky” believes that whalerider might be feeling testy because it is a full moon today, and believes that most sincerely.

Check out the evidence “I in the sky”, there is no lunar influence that sticks out above the noise, its all down to self corroboration and wishful thinking. If there was an effect, statistical methods would certainly have discovered it.”

Statistical methods have discovered it, or uncovered it to a significant extent. After a little googling it’s apparent that many studies have been conducted about the effects of the moon on human behavior. Most of which have been deemed inconclusive, or to lack any merit whatsoever.

Here’s how it works. One individual or team of individuals will launch an investigation into some aspect of the effects of the moon. Let’s say they suspect there is some effect. Once they publish the report other individuals or groups within that field of study who may have a confirmation bias against the effects of the moon will then examine the report and try to discredit it with their own counter arguments. So the end result is often a stalemate.

One prominent study found that during full moon phases pets were injured 23% more often. This study was refuted on the logic that because there is more light during full moons more people walk their pets at night and because the pets were out more the chance for injury increased. So the hard statistical data was ignored for the very unscientific conclusion. One can assume confirmation bias played a hand in it.

Here is an excerpt from much larger article:

“At the University of Miami, psychologist Arnold Lieber and his colleagues decided to test the old belief of full-moon lunacy which most scientists had written off as an old wives tale. The researchers collected data on homicide in Dade County (Miami) over a period of 15 years, 1,887 murders, to be exact. When they matched the incidence of homicide with the phases of the moon, they found, much to their surprise, that the two rose and fell together, almost infallibly, for the entire 15 years! As the full or the new moon approached, the murder rate rose sharply; it distinctly declined during the first and last quarters of the moon.

To find out whether this was just a statistical fluke, the researchers repeated the experiment using murder data from Cuyahoga County in Ohio (Cleveland). Again, the statistics showed that more murders do indeed occur at the full and new moons.

Dr. Lieber and his colleagues shouldn’t have been so surprised. An earlier report by the American Institute of Medical Climatology to the Philadelphia Police Department entitled “The Effect of the Full Moon on Human Behavior” found similar results. That report showed that the full moon marks a monthly peak in various kinds of psychotically oriented crimes such as murder, arson, dangerous driving, and kleptomania. People do seem to get a little bit crazier about that time of the month.

That’s something most police and hospital workers have known for a long time. Indeed, back in eighteenth-century England, a murderer could plead lunacy if the crime was committed during the full moon and get a lighter sentence as a result. Scientists, however, like to have a hard physical model to explain their discoveries, and so far there isn’t a fully accepted one. Dr. Lieber speculates that perhaps the human body, which, like the surface of the earth, is composed of almost 80 percent water, experiences some kind of biological tides that affect the emotions. When a person is already on psychologically shaky ground, such a biological tide can push him or her over the edge.”

The word Lunatic refers to someone affected by the moon. Of course the limitation of these studies is that they are based on data that was collected, and not on first hand observations which, if a person knew what to look for, would yield even more evidence.

And if you’re still on the fence about it I would refer you to John Fogerty, who is trusted by all:

I see a bad moon a-rising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earth quakes and lightnin’.
I see bad times today.

Don’t go ’round tonight
it’s bound to take your life,
there’s a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes a-blowing,
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Don’t go ’round tonight
it’s bound to take your life,
there’s a bad moon on the rise.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Don’t go ’round tonight
it’s bound to take your life,
there’s a bad moon on the rise.

Don’t come around tonight,
Well, it’s bound to take your life,
There’s a bad moon on the rise.

78. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 18, 2012

76. brucelevy – September 18, 2012

???

79. WhaleRider - September 18, 2012

I in the sky:

It seems like the topic of the truth still interests you.

The gravitational pull of the moon on the earth remains fairly constant and has its greatest effect on the tides when the moon is at its zenith overhead, which happens once a day.

The reason the tides are more effected by the full and new moons is because the gravitational pull of the moon is combined with the gravitational pull of the sun.

So if you are intent on pointing the finger, it’s the sun that is the culprit, not the moon, despite popular belief.

Bad sun!

80. Tim Campion - September 18, 2012

“I in the sky” wrote:

No post by a former member condemning RB or the FoF has ever been refuted by another former member. And no post favorable towards RB or the FoF by a supporter has ever not been refuted.

They have made this absurd declaration several times. Their point could easily be made without lying. I haven’t been through all of the roughly 36,000 posts on this blog, but have seen enough to easily disprove the claim.

81. Golden Veil - September 18, 2012

About these discussions on the beautiful moon…

“He wishes it was about almost anything other than what it really is, and then tries his best to develop conversation about other topics. This blog is about the Fellowship of Friends that presents itself as spirituality but is actually a cult full of deception and fraud. This blog is about the abuse of power.

This blog is a lot simpler than he wishes it was.”

James Mc Lemore speaking about Daily Cardiac, a Fellowship of Friends member and supporter, quoted from about 3 years ago.

82. I in the sky - September 18, 2012

Tim – 80:

I’ve read through less than you still I don’t remember one.

“Their point could easily be made without lying.”

That is the point – that there hasn’t been one post doing one or the other from the examples stated. If there are one or two out of 36,000 pertaining to the two examples I mentioned that still doesn’t detract from the point that truth would not track that accurately with former members comments. Keep in mind that 3% of former members are sociopaths, if you believe in the law of averages.

83. Golden Veil - September 18, 2012

A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances.

A complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise.

Baha ‘u ‘llah

84. Tim Campion - September 18, 2012

“I in the sky”,

Yes. Lying does detract from the point you are trying to make.

85. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 18, 2012

The sleep referred to in the ‘system’ is the same sleep referred to in the NewTestamant, and although the system can help us to see our sleep, it is too egotistical for actual awakening, which requires Christianity itself.

86. Nevasayneva - September 18, 2012

Re “I in the sky post # 77”

Maybe logic is not my strong point but I am not following. You say:

“This is clear to see on the blog. No post by a former member condemning RB or the FoF has ever been refuted by another former member. And no post favorable towards RB or the FoF by a supporter has ever not been refuted. The odds that truth is the reason for these astronomical odds is very unlikely. The odds of a bias being the reason for these astronomical odds is extremely likely, as that is precisely how biases work. A person who has a strong bias usually is not aware of it because he or she is focused on the object of the bias and has developed iron clad justifications for why it is correct to support this bias. (The object of the bias is deserving to be reviled, hated, scorned, brought to justice.)

Why are the odds astronomical that truth is the reason for this bias?

Lets take an example that has nothing to do with FOF. A bit extreme but lets take Bashir-Al-Assad in Syria. So for the past year, many many opposition groups withinn Syria, & independent news organizations etc have reported that Al-assad has been using the military to attack opposition groups within his own country. Al-assad says, no – he has been just dealing with some terrorist groups and armed thugs which have infiltrated his country.

Okay lets say of the 600 reports about Syria in the last 9 months, 599 report that it is most likely that Assad is using the military to attack and kill opposition groups. That is pretty astronomical odds. In that scenario you can say only about 0.2% of reports say that maybe Assad is not doing that.

As per your logic you say that when the odds are astronomical- or when the % of reports/comments are negative- it is very unlikely that that scenario is true?

That it is more likely that all of these reports are biased against Assad, rather than they are reporting what is happening.

I understand there is a bias – presumably the pro-Assad faction do not have the time (busy presumably saving their skins) or ability to report pro-Assad stories in the media, so their voice is under-represented. However I am afraid that I do not follow the logic that says that because the % of reports negative against Assad is so high, it means that it is very unlikely that that is true. It is more accurate to say that it is not known if it is true or not…no?
I think a bias means that the truth is not known or not able to be discerned.

87. Barbara - September 18, 2012

45.+ 72. Ton2U — 70. Tempus Fugit — 71.+72. Tim Campion

It will be awesome when the “inner circle” take responsibility for their actions

88. I in the sky - September 19, 2012

Golden Veil – 81:

I would say it’s all connected. The Fellowship of Friends is being characterized as a cult. Some suggest that part of the proof it is a cult is it’s adherence to ideas such as the moon phases affecting man’s psychology. So I don’t think talking about the moon is taking the blog off topic. If you are reading along other former members seem to have a lot to say on the subject, like WhaleRider in #79:

WhaleRider: “So if you are intent on pointing the finger, it’s the sun that is the culprit, not the moon, despite popular belief.”

Well since the sun serves so many useful purposes we’ll have to ignore it being the culprit in this instance.

“Sunshine go away today, I don’t feel much like dancing.”

89. Dennis Larson - September 19, 2012

I in the sky, I haven’t had the time to follow this blog much but would like to offer a couple thoughts. I apologize for just popping in and out.

The effect of the moon, type, enneagram, and all the ideas that we learned during our FOF days, and years, are basically irrelevant to the main issues of this blog and most of the former students participating here. Whether they have any validity or not has nothing to do with what I see as the two most important issues. Does RB have a delusional Narcissistic Personality Disorder and can trying to Self Remember produce awakening? It is pretty clear to most of us who are looking at the FOF in hindsight, that RB was, and is, delusional. And unless you have some personal experience, or clear evidence that Self Remembering produces awakening, my experience is that it does not and my understanding is that it probably can not. I see Self Remembering as just one of many Mindfulness Techniques and what they all share is that they are trying to “do” something to cause awakening, or allow awakening. My understanding, and limited experience, is that awakening happens precisely because we are not “doing” anything, usually in very emotional and humiliating moments of complete surrender, the giving up of being able to “do” anything. And then we are just here but with no separate-sense-of-self functioning.

90. Associated Press - September 19, 2012

I in the sky, you said:

36. I in the sky:
‘I am extremely grateful to Robert Burton for what he has given to me and some of my loved ones and closest friends in the way of spiritual development.’

Could you, please, enumerate what that ‘spiritual development’ was/is.

91. fofblogmoderator - September 19, 2012

#86 is new

92. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 19, 2012

Being in the School was part of our fate. Those who find the School by accident leave soon afterwards and forget about it.

93. Agent 45 - September 19, 2012

Hmmm… Let’s see if we can calculate the odds.
3% of no more than 30 people who are crazy enough to post here, rounded to the nearest whole number, equals approximately, more or less… ?
Hey! That means at least one of you guys is a no-good rat. Or you could be more enlightened than the rest of us, depending on your point of view.

94. ton2u - September 19, 2012

what the pot says to the kettle:

“A person deeply entrenched in a bias is not even aware another viewpoint is possible; theirs is the only valid viewpoint, so the other person’s views are marginalized or attributed to a faulty mind or character.”

95. Opus111 - September 19, 2012

Being in the School was part of our fate. Those who find the School by accident leave soon afterwards and forget about it.

???? Bizarre logic. Old Joe forgot to define accident. I know someone who attended introductory meetings some 40 years ago because he was accompanying a friend. He still stuck in.

Mu guess this is another example of tautology that FOF is fond of. If you stay in the FOF, it was your fate to find a conscious school. If you leave, it was an accident that you found it and will not change your fate that you will end up on the moon.

96. Golden Veil - September 19, 2012

Food for the moon? Don’t worry!

The below definition for “Moonstruck” covers The Fellowship of Friends or Living Presence Gurdjieff “Food for the Moon” theories as well!

According to the Merriam – Webster dictionary:

Definition of MOONSTRUCK

: affected by or as if by the moon: as

a : mentally unbalanced

b : romantically sentimental

c : lost in fantasy or reverie

To think anything more of it is obviously just a goofball “bias.”

97. I in the sky - September 19, 2012

Dennis Larson – 88:

“The effect of the moon, type, enneagram, and all the ideas that we learned during our FOF days, and years, are basically irrelevant to the main issues of this blog and most of the former students participating here.”

This is true to a degree, but “most of the former students participating here” do not constitute the blog in its entirety. Anyone viewing (whom we know nothing about) or writing (including myself) would also constitute the blog.

“Whether they have any validity or not has nothing to do with what I see as the two most important issues. Does RB have a delusional Narcissistic Personality Disorder and can trying to Self Remember produce awakening?”

I feel my posts do address the two issues you mention either indirectly or directly in some cases, but obviously from my own perspective. If I say RB is conscious it will just illicit a barrage of posts saying he is a fraud and referencing his sexual mores as “proof.”

In those cases nothing is really settled except a few former members get to repeat their mantra without any scrutiny or challenges applied to it. My own perspective as someone who contends that presence/self-remembering has worked for me, and that the FoF is a school, does take issue with the status quo on the blog. How can that, in itself, be anything but healthy? I am, after all, 1 contrasting viewpoint against perhaps 20 similar viewpoints. I guess if people here wanted to take a vote they could vote that only comments disparaging of RB and the FoF will be accepted. Then your above comments would have more relevance.

98. WhaleRider - September 19, 2012

I in the sky:

If I say RB is conscious it will just illicit a barrage of posts saying he is a fraud and referencing his sexual mores as “proof.” “

You conveniently neglected to mention “his sexual mores” not just with anyone, but exclusively WITH HIS FOLLOWERS, taking advantage of his position of power as a clergy (which in the state of Arkansas qualifies as 3rd degree felony rape), and claiming that sex with is followers his is mission from god.

But what I am hearing you say is that from your perspective, that is none of your business, because the cult works for you…never mind the fact that the cult just so happens to pay you well and provides other fringe benefits.

You believe the world is a pain factory, so it might as well be a rape factory, too, as long as you get paid for your unwavering loyalty.

How spiritually developed is that?

99. Nevasayneva - September 19, 2012

I in the sky has a point in post # 97 and they have stated their position and I think it is reasonable to respect that. As per post # 97

“My own perspective as someone who contends that presence/self-remembering has worked for me, and that the FoF is a school, does take issue with the status quo on the blog. How can that, in itself, be anything but healthy?”

Self remembering and FOF has worked and is working for them.

For me it reminds me of a point made by “Life person, post 32, September 3

“Burton took from Gurdjieff the notion of a sort of enlightened selfishness and made it into a centerpiece of his teaching. The Buddha taught that life is like living in a burning house; we must prioritize getting out before we burn. But in Burtonism, getting out oneself is all that matters; everyone else is a prop or an obstacle. If you step on a baby on your way to the exit, tell yourself that its screams are those of a soul destined for the moon anyway; separate from the “feminine dominance” or “king of spades” that is masquerading as conscience or morality, and head for the door. The more aware we are, the more we can help ourselves, but also, the more we can help others. Burtonism confines this to “other dues-paying members, for only as long as they remain such.”

The langauge is a bit charged in that extract, but the point seems to be that self-remberin/spiritaul development via FOF is being suggested to be a sort of enligtened selfishness by “Life Person”.

IS that true? Are all fourth way teachings or derivatives of them basically froms of “what is in it for me”?

If that is what they are, and that is what one is after, I guess that is fine. If not….well that is another story I guess.

Dennis Larson - September 19, 2012

I in the sky – 97

Thanks for your reply.

“My own perspective as someone who contends that presence/self-remembering has worked for me,”

I would be truly interested in what it means, to you, that presence/self-remembering has worked for you. I can say that it also worked for me, and continues to do so, but as a Mindfulness Technique, not unlike others like watching my breathing. What has your experience been? Has it produced awakening experiences for you?

You say that you think RB is “conscious.” What does that mean to you? Do you think that he is in a state of oneness all the time?

My awakening experiences have been limited in time, which of course does not mean that they can not be permanent for others. Mine have lasted from a few seconds, to one that lasted about half an hour. That longer experience was the result of my son threatening to commit suicide, an event which he hardly remembers, but that was such an emotional shock to me, with the realization that I was completely powerless, that I was just left, in those moments, in a state of presence and oneness, with no separate-sense-of-self functioning.

I have a sister who was a Buddhist monk for many years. Her first kensho experience lasted about a week. She remembers exactly how the experience ended, as the fears and identifications gradually returned.

Here is my theory about RB. He told us that he became conscious because he did exactly what his teacher asked. My understanding is that he was asked to leave Alex Horn’s group because he could not do what the teacher asked, which was to not sexually harass the men in the group. One possibility is that the humiliation and emotional shock of not being able to do what was asked of him, may have produced a surrender that left RB in an awakened state. He used to tell about driving around Northern California, in an old car, stopping along the road to help anyone in need. Then he relates that he realized that C influence was causing peoples cars to break down, so he stopped helping others. He used this to justify his idea that it was not useful to help “life people.” My theory is that the transition from lovingly helping others from his state of oneness, to not helping them because C influence was doing it, was the transition from being awake to being back in his delusional separate-sense-of-self.

Also, the fact that he can blatantly lie about obeying his teacher is a characteristic of a personality disorder. He is not lying. He actually believes everything he says. That is why he is so disarmingly believable. He doesn’t know the difference between what is true and what is a lie. It is all fully truth to him. That is why so many of us naively believed so much of what he told us.

100. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 19, 2012

What you learn from a person is what you learn from them. Belief doesn’t come into it.

101. Opus111 - September 19, 2012

What you learn from a person is what you learn from them. Belief doesn’t come into it.

Strictly and semantically speaking this may be true. We are talking here about concepts that some say they have learned in FOF and held as true and yet, concepts the majority realize are at worst incorrect, at best unsubstantiated.

102. WhaleRider - September 19, 2012

Dennis Larson:
Sorry to hear about your son, even though it was so long ago. That must have been quite a shock.

In that vein, I think parenting and committed relationships are a much better vehicle for personal growth than cults.

Another way to look at it what you are talking about is that burton’s narcissism undoubtedly became malignant from what he learned in horn’s group…in a relatively short amount of time, burton saw how easily “seekers” can be misled and how much money can be made simply telling people what they want to believe.

I don’t believe burton is any more “awake” than you or I. He is a mimetic exploiter and I in the sky his his vector.

I have a friend who was in the Everyman’s theater group named Jim. He told me that older cult followers used to beat the shit out of the new ones in order to create “higher states”. So I seriously doubt burton did “exactly what his cult leader asked”.

As far as “conscious-awake” versus “unconscious-asleep”.

Have you ever seen a stage hypnosis show? I hope you do one day. It is a hoot!

You will also understand why people stay in cults for as long as they do.

Do you think the people up on stage quacking like ducks or calling their mothers on their shoe telephones are conscious-awake or unconscious-asleep?

I mean, how could they be aware of themselves up there looking like such idiots?

I can guarantee you, they are conscious!

They are just up there having all the fun, while the audience is sweating bullets wondering if anyone could ever have that much power over them.

So who is hypnotized?

Everyone is, INCLUDING the audience.

You will notice that the stage hypnotist will dismiss anyone from the group of volunteers up on stage whom is not cooperating.

Sound familiar?

This reinforces the desire to please the hypnotist in those who want to be successful at being “hypnotized”…and allowed to stay on stage.

Once the person on stage has suspended their disbelief, they start acting out the funny stuff the stage hypnotist asks them to do, because it also makes the audience laugh, which also reinforces the silliness in a double binding reinforcing loop.

(This is what gets young men in burton’s bed.)

From the audience’s perspective, it appears incredible that the hypnotist seems to have such “control” over the “hypnotized” people on stage.

To create that “awe” effect in the minds of the audience members, the hypnotist uses the fear of losing control, along with the fear of embarrassment in their spiel.

Hypnosis is not sleep, it is simply a state of narrowed and focused attention, like “applied meditation”, it has nothing to do with “level of being”.

So at burton’s freak show dinners, with all eyes focused on him and with no laughing, no cross talk, nor eating allowed, all burton has to so do is keep repeating the same crap over and over to his hypnotized audience and in due time the cult beliefs become embedded…people like I in the sky start believing the moon is out to get them, when really it is the sun that causes any increased gravitational pull during the full and new moons….but that doesn’t quite fit in the fourth way house of cards, does it?

To keep a person in a constant state of fear, you need a foe like the moon. Only then will they “willingly” make decisions that are not in their best interest or comply with what they are told to do.

103. Tim Campion - September 20, 2012

WhaleRider,

You and I in the sky are each only partly correct in describing gravitational influences within the Sun-Earth-Moon system, which is probably better left to an astrophysics forum.

104. WhaleRider - September 20, 2012

Tim C:
What appears as astrophysics to one may appear like the devil to another. Like you said, paranoia runs deep.

IMHO, debunking the “devious fourth way moon myth” is crucial step in waking up out of FOF cult indoctrination.

What is more important to me, once the science is known, is getting to what the moon symbolizes.

If you have more accurate information that would better describe the “gravitational influences within the Sun-Earth-Moon system” as it relates to ocean tides or theoretical effect our lymphatic fluid system or human behavior, than what I have presented on my side of the fence, then by all means please direct me there.

I would honestly like to know the truth to the best of my ability so I can admit if I am incorrect.

105. Adab - September 20, 2012

On the topic of selfishness in the fourth way – and how your own work fits in with your life….

“You are not tail of a donkey. You have responsibilities, a family. All your family, past and future, depend on you. Your entire family depends on the way you repair the past. If you repair for everyone, it is good. If you do not repair for everyone, it is bad….. Justice is not occupied with your little affairs, unredeemed pledges, it is occupied with big things…. You are obliged to have a position of responsibility in the line of your blood, you must work more to repair the past.”

[Gurdjieff at a 1944 meeting]

Pretty much the opposite of everything we learned in the FoF – to reject your family and all ‘life ties’ and pretend your work has nothing to do with them. It’s a lie.

As far as Bias goes… Once I made a contribution to a Fellowship blog was reasonable and articulate, but did not agree with most of the sentiment expressed in that forum. I was asked to leave the forum.

Has anyone here asked for IITS’s removal? No. So which is the more biased?

106. I in the sky - September 20, 2012

Nevasayneva – 86:

“Why are the odds astronomical that truth is the reason for this bias?”

I’ll try to be more clear. However your example of what’s going on in Syria with Bashir-Al-Assad is a bit extreme as you yourself noted. There are elements of your analogy that do not apply to the circumstances I was describing. In your case there are scores of eye witnesses in the form of journalists reporting they actually observe Syrian troops and tanks, etc. firing on civilians. There are real deaths being reported and photographed, real buildings being blown up. Real executions being documented. The Syrian government is not denying those things are happening they are just claiming it is all being done by foreign terrorists. My analogy was quite different. Here it is from another angle.

Let’s say that a group of people are brought into a room. Some are given an A and told to put it in their pockets. The rest of the group is given the letter B to put into their pockets. All the people have been screened for this ‘test” so the organizers know certain facts about them but they do not know the organizers know these facts about them. Then both groups are asked a question which can be answered truthfully or not. When they tally up the results it quite by accident turns out that all the people who had an A in their pocket answered the question truthfully and all the people who had a B in their pockets gave a false answer. The odds of something like that happening (everyone given an A answered truthfully and everyone given a B did not) would be astronomical.

But on the blog former students concur that what they and other former students say about the FoF or RB is always substantively true and they also concur that everything said by FoF supporters about the FoF or RB is substantively false. This fact can be gleaned by simply reading large numbers of entries. So, in essence, what is being said is this: People are people. We know all people are capable of lying. We know all people are capable of distorting facts. We know all people are capable of misunderstanding the facts. But in spite of these human traits shared by all, on this blog all those with an A in their pockets (having left the FoF) are only capable of telling the truth, of not distorting anything they say or of not misunderstanding the facts, while those who have a B in their pockets (being a current member of the FoF) are incapable of telling the truth, are guilty of generally distorting the facts or of misunderstanding the facts.

And any reasonable person will understand that for this scenario to play out 36,000 times is not likely to happen. But if one simply reads the posts this is the reality the former students who participate regularly would have everyone believe occurred over the 6 year span of the blog.

So this is just one aspect of getting at the truth: Are former members who post here capable of lying, distorting, misunderstanding, omitting? And are current members incapable of telling the truth, not distorting, not misunderstanding, not omitting?

A deeper layer involves “motive” which is even harder to ascertain than “fact.” RB asked TE for sexual favors. We’ll take TE at his word. Why did RB ask? Was it because of a wanton disregard for TE’s well being and simply for self-gratification? Or was there more to it? Did RB see that through this act TE would be put into contact with aspects of his own inner world, the knowing of which, would ultimately accelerate his spiritual growth?There are many precedents in spiritual traditions for aspirants to be tested in various distasteful ways.

Then there is a third level of truth, the hardest to prove or disprove? To quote Dennis Larson – “Can trying to Self Remember produce awakening?”

107. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 20, 2012

Self-remembering is too instinctive, which is why Robert wisely began to teach more in terms of being present (which is also relatively instinctive if one is not remembering something higher than oneself, and hence the need for religion).

108. Adab - September 20, 2012

Joseph 107………… A typical response of someone who only knows the FoF way of doing things.

109. Agent 45 - September 20, 2012

The court of opinion hereby rules in favor of admitting as prima facie evidence:
Exhibit “A” – Robert Earl Burton; and,
Exhibit “B” – The Fellowship of Friends.
Those deliberating are instructed to consider and concern themselves with the above examples before reaching a decision.

110. Nevasayneva - September 20, 2012

# 106 I in the sky

I understand that you see the blog as a pretty much biased forum where all of the former students and anti-FOF bloggers feel they are holding the higher moral ground and see themselves as telling the “truth”

& anyone posting pro-FOF is accused of lying distorting, misuderstanding etc.

Its tough. Seems like human beings will always be anti or pro.

My point was unfortuantely that even though you clearly see a bias on the side of the anti-FOF party. it still does not mean that the truth is not on their side.

Detection of a bias just means that you do not know where the truth is. It does not mean that the biased results are “false”. you just know they are biased – not dead on the truth.

Re the bedroom…well…thats a hot potato…..

111. We Were There - September 20, 2012

‘I in the Sky,’

Robert Burton used to quote Matthew – ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ Does he still do that?

Probably all of us, ‘I in the Sky,’ can agree that the physical fruits of the Fellowship of Friends / Living Presence / Pathway To Presence are sad, if not depressing.

Moving to the inner world, Robert Burton used to assure followers that under his leadership seven members would develop full consciousness. Does he still say that?

After 40 years of ‘painted cakes,’ time is running out.

112. nigel - September 20, 2012

106. I in the Sky

What a load of obfuscating bollocks!!!!! Something even weirder is being hidden here and I think one of us bloggers will discover it…..Nigel.

113. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 20, 2012

108. Adab

Calling a response typical has in itself become the typical response to anything that is not anti-FoF.

114. Adab - September 20, 2012

Joseph, sophistry sophistry. I am simply pointing out that you don’t have any outlook on the Fourth Way that isn’t Fellowship-based. Do you really have any idea what ‘instinctive’ means? Or why it has become such a negative in your Fellowship vocabulary?

115. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 20, 2012

I mean ‘instinctive’ in the same way that C S Lewis, for example, used the term, and he wasn’t in the Fellowship.

116. Tim Campion - September 21, 2012

To the current Fellowship of Friends functionary “I in the sky”:

Whoever you are, posting from behind this pseudonym, I am addressing much of this post to your role, and not to you, personally.

As you know, since early 2007 (despite repeated statements to the contrary,) The Fellowship of Friends has periodically assigned a representative (derogatorily called a “shill”) to this blog. Some of us will recognize your voice in Howard Carter, Daily Cardiac, and presently “I in the sky.” The ploy is fairly transparent. (Really, how many here quote Shakespeare and O.J. Simpson in the same post?)

Like that of your predecessors, your task is clear: defend, distract, obfuscate and even recruit. “Any reasonable person” will recognize your arguments (e.g. post 106 above) as tortured straw men. Facts should never stand in the way of a good argument.

Appearances can be deceiving. Conveniently overlooking the actual premise that launched this blog, you express shock at the overwhelming percentage of posts critical of The Fellowship and of Robert Burton. You have portrayed that pro- and anti-Fellowship posters are equally free to participate, but that Fellowship defenders have been brutally silenced by negative outbursts from ex-members. You will not acknowledge that Fellowship members have been instructed not to participate. The early days of the blog (see Part 1), before The Fellowship Council got involved, featured a much more lively debate.

As the official Fellowship of Friends voice, you hardly represent the Fellowship membership and the wide spectrum of attitudes and opinions to be found there, just as I do not represent 15,000 former members.

You misrepresent all former members as holding similar attitudes about the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton, a straw man that is patently false. “Someone” and “Joseph Nachumovitch” are but two former members who clearly demonstrate this.

It also serves your “performance” that the reader believe you are only speaking on behalf of yourself (an oft-repeated claim among Fellowship shills, by the way.) You are one of the few reasonable voices amidst the howling wolves. You seek sympathy by personalizing this solitary, yet noble against-all-odds effort. How can ex-members so viciously attack you?

But I see no “real person” on the page. In six years, what have I learned about the individual(s) behind this role? Virtually nothing. (Though Daily Cardiac did admit having difficulty achieving an erection under certain circumstances!)

What readers witness here is the impersonal, insentient, unresponsive Fellowship of Friends mouthpiece. And considering who, or rather what many non-members are confronting, it is little surprise that responses elicited are overwhelmingly critical and often tinged with exasperation.

Unlike The Fellowship of Friends, “we” (whoever we are) don’t have a coordinated campaign, with a designated spokesperson. Non-members come and go for reasons only they know. Can you claim the same? Non-members can (and do) simply walk away from the forum. Do you have that option?

As others have suggested, the bias inherent in your role is powerful. Your position is official defender of The Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton. No one else has such a stake in the game. Probably no one else here appreciates how truly dire The Fellowship’s situation is, and the fear that drives this singular effort.

Like all good shills, part of your role is to trivialize the opposition. A frequent bit of hyperbole (“intentional insincerity” to you) is to misrepresent the number of blog participants, “20” being the latest estimate. It’s another straw man. (You might claim that I am doing the same, but I can easily prove the number is far higher than 20, while you would have difficulty pointing to another Fellowship member posting.) More importantly, is the quality of truth dictated by number of participants? If that were the case, your argument would be even more precarious.

Since we both assume casual readers will only visit the current page, I see your intention as occupying a certain amount of real estate on each page, with the stated objective of introducing “balance.” You will offer an “angle of thought” on any subject, presenting the cult’s unique spin. After all, it’s just more real estate, more air play in your political campaign.

As spokesperson you will summarily dismiss any allegations of crimes and abuse directed at Robert Burton and other Fellowship officials. The common refrain is that Robert Burton has never been and will likely never be tried in a court of law because there is no proof to support the allegations. You will assert that victims’ testimonies on the blog and elsewhere cannot be proven, and you dismiss grievances as little more than hearsay. (And you will never acknowledge legal cases that were settled out of court, at great cost to Fellowship members.)

At the same time, you will point out that the conduct of Robert Burton and The Fellowship of Friends can only be evaluated in a spiritual context, as they are above man-made laws.

So, from your perspective, perpetrator and victim must be judged according to different standards and criteria, and we must leave the matter of Robert Burton’s guilt or innocence to a “higher court,” inaccessible to mere mortals. (And apparently, the crimes and abuses we rail about on the blog aren’t even recognized in this higher realm!) It sounds like an air-tight defense. The victims, of course, have no remedy. (Well, they have a blog at least.)

In any case, the reader will judge. And that is absolutely fine with me.

Finally, to the actual person writing under the pseudonym “I in the sky”: Robert Burton obviously feels no obligation to defend himself. What compels you to defend a Teacher and a School that are by definition beyond reproach? (Do you unconsciously question that assumption?)

Yours appears a lonely duty, willingly embraced for years now. I must admit, your tenacity is remarkable. My wish is that you recognize you are playing a part, and this is not who you are. You are not the subject of criticism here – it is your role that draws the fire. I do believe you have a choice in the matter, and can exercise that choice each day.

When you write that you have personally verified the existence of C Influence, that The Fellowship of Friends is a real school, that Robert Burton is a conscious being subject to higher laws, who is speaking? If it’s the voice of the corporate shill, then we can easily understand. This is what’s necessary to promote the product, recruit naive seekers and replenish the Fellowship’s depleted coffers. All the nonsense about verifications is simply artifice to support the official narrative.

If, however, it’s a moment of candor expressing your personal views, so be it. Then your position, to the extent you acknowledge the limits of this understanding, is really unassailable.

Only you can know which voice is speaking.

117. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 21, 2012

116 Tim lands a solid right to “I in the sky”‘s body.

a hit a palpable hit.

Will “I in the sky” be able to convince the crowd that they are being sincere?

118. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 21, 2012

Extract from: (for some reason the link seemed to stop the post going up online, I would normally post the link)
Bad Physics
Copyright © 2001 Mikolaj “Mik” Sawicki. All rights reserved.
Misconceptions about Gravity and TidesArnold L. Lieber on tides in a human body.

(Arnold L. Lieber, M.D. The Lunar Effect. Biological Tides and Human Emotions.
Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1978 ISBN: 0-385-12897-5)
In his interesting book, Dr. Lieber presented a compelling evidence of a relationship between the lunar phase and violence, based on homicide records kept by coroners of Dade County (Miami, Florida) and Cuyahoga County (Cleveleand, Ohio), and spanning 15 and 13 years, respectively. In addition, Dr Lieber dicovered a similar correlation between lunar phase and psychiatric ER visits and fatal traffic accidents.

Unfortunately, Dr. Lieber went on to speculate about a possible mechanism for such a correlation and wrote:

“I believe the gravitational force of the Moon, acting in concert with the other major forces of the Universe, exerts an influence on the water in human body – in you and in me – as it does on the oceans of the planet. Life has, I believe, biological high and low tides governed by the Moon.”

“When the Moon�s gravitational pull upsets our fluid balance, the result makes us tense and liable to emotional outbursts.”

Physicist’s comments: See below.

Physicist’s comments: I have extensively discussed the origin of tides and popular misconceptions about tides in my article “Myths about gravity and tides”, which is available here. A short and simple explanation of the source of tides is also available on Phil Plait’s “Bad Astronomy” site here.
Here I only give the main idea in a nutshell:

Tides arise because of differences in the lunar gravitational pull at different points in the Earth. Remember, the gravitational force of the Moon decreases with the distance, so a rock on the side of Earth closest to the Moon feels slightly stronger gravitational pull than an identical rock at the Earth’s center does, while yet another identical rock on the side of the Earth that faces away from the Moon feels slightly lesser gravitational pull than does the one at the Earth’s center. These tiny differences in gravitational pull of the Moon are called tidal forces.
The Earth is not just sitting in space – the Earth is in free fall toward the Moon, i.e. it accelerates toward the Moon, because the Moon is pulling on it. (At the same time, the Earth pulls on the Moon, so the Moon accelerates toward the Earth. Fortunately for us, the Earth and the Moon do not crash head-on because each has also a sideway speed, so they just end up orbiting the common center of mass (the barycenter), located (on average) some 1710 km below the Earth’s surface. The Moon orbits the barycenter with average orbital speed of 3675 km/h, while the Earth’s center orbits the barycenter with average orbital speed of only 44.9 km/h.)
Under the force of lunar gravity, the rock on the side of Earth closest to the Moon should accelerate faster and get ahead of the center of the Earth, while the rock on the side of Earth facing away from the Moon should accelerate less and be left behind the center of the Earth. Fortunately, the Earth’s own gravity easily overcomes these tendencies of both rocks, so the net result is that the Moon’s gravity tries to deform the Earth into a football shape. Since the Earth is quite rigid, it can’t deform much in response – in fact the resulting tidal stretch of the Earth is only about 2 ft.
Unlike the Earth’s crust, the water in the oceans is not rigid, and it can flow. For simplicity, imagine that there is only one big ocean on the Earth, that covers the whole planet. The water would flow unobstructed by continents, and the ocean would take a football shape, with one tip of the water football pointing towards the Moon, and the other tip pointing away from the Moon. As the Earth rotates, a point on the ocean floor periodically gets under either tip of the water football, only to emerge from it a while later. This is the origin of high and low ocean tides. (The model for real tides is much more complex, as one has to take into account the shapes of the continents, the effects of winds and atmospheric pressure etc.)
The Sun also generates tidal forces, as the Sun pulls a tad harder on a side of the Earth closest to it, and a tad weaker on the side of Earth away from it, as compared to the Sun’s pull on the center of the Earth. Note that the Sun’s pull at the center of the Earth is about 178 times stronger than the Moon’s pull. However, because the Sun is so far away from the Earth, the differences in Sun’s powerful pull on various parts of the Earth are actually smaller than differences in much weaker gravitational pull of the Moon. As a result, the Moon is responsible for some 70% of the magnitude of tides, while the Sun contributes another 30% (a contribution from Jupiter and other planets is simply 0%).
Note that just as the Moon exerts tidal forces on the Earth, the Earth exerts tidal forces on the Moon, deforming the Moon into a football shape with one tip pointing toward the Earth. The Moon was initially molten some 4.6 billion years ago, but retained this football shape when it solidified, and the Earth’s tidal force keeps the long axis of the lunar football pointing toward the Earth. To keep the long axis always pointing towards the Earth, Moon spins once on its axis as it makes one revolution around the Earth. That’s why we the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth.
By now you should see that there are no tides in your tummy, your body, a swimming pool or a small lake, simply because the water at different locations within each of these reservoirs is still at the same distance from Moon, so no difference in gravitational pull exists.
If you want to read more about this fascinating subject, see “Myths about gravity and tides” available here.

119. Fee fi fo fum - September 21, 2012

Tim, that was a great post. It captured so much.

When I in the sky first posted, she pretended to be a disinterested participant with no stated FF affiliation or background, whose ostensible purpose was to simply critique the blog. Because of that, she had to remain elusive, and the topics remained overly general and as we’ve noticed, she often answered a question with another question. I think she enjoyed spinning people around and around for awhile. Or better, trying to play the marionetteer. Let’s see, if there are fake gurus, then certainly that means there are real gurus, because if you look at fake Rolex watches….ugh. The topics themselves might have been interesting, but the intent in introducing them was disingenuous.

However, as the weeks progressed, some humor erupted and she dropped her guard. The FF persona emerged, and soon, an onslaught of FF dogma and party lines showered down on the blog. Even when some of the bloggers realize this is what’s happening and tell her they’re tired of her, she returns with long, nonsensical posts occupying, as was said above, blog real estate.

People with personal stories that describe remorse and feelings of betrayal by RB and the FF, such as James’ and ton2u’s, are ignored or dismissed with comments like how they left the FF before half the current membership was born, or how bias informs our outlook. So now we’re having half a page discussing the topic of bias. Or shall we change the topic and talk about the moon? Who gives a shit about the moon?! Someone is telling you what it felt like to be betrayed by RB and the FF. It doesn’t matter if that happened yesterday or last year or 10 or even 30 years ago. It happened, it was important to the person and it affected them.

120. Agent 45 - September 21, 2012

Alto cinco, Timoteo. Mucho respecto. Vaya con Dios! Andale! Arriba!
Su amigo, Miguel

121. Adab - September 21, 2012

Tim 116

I’m sure you’re on the right wavelength here. IITS is simply here to occupy space with overlong theoretical discussions. There is no need for balance on the blog – none of the FoF websites would consider posting comment from ex-members. Over there is the ‘story’, over here is the ‘under-story’. They balance themselves, at least as long as the blog remains near the top of the Google search!

However there is one clear benefit to IITS presence here. A living voice from the FoF, even if it is half-dead, brings attention back to the essentials of the situation, through IITS’ inability to address sincere personal accounts like those of James and Ton, and the most basic questions a prospective member might ask –

“Is sex used as a teaching tool by the teacher?”

“Is the true financial cost of joining more than 10% of your income?”

“Does the FoF have any real relationship to Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way teaching?”

“Can a group with such a prominent market profile on the web be called ‘esoteric’?”

“What happened to all the graduates [supposed men #5] of the School in the last 40 years? Are they still thriving in the group environment?”

“Is there any objective evidence – via his prophecies – that RB’s interpretation of signs is correct?”

No doubt there are other questions that also call for objective responses, not IITS’ opinions. All are quite easy to answer for any independent witness who spends perhaps half a day researching the web. Most can be answered with a simple Yes or No.

All of IITS’ answers derive from his/her position already within the Fellowship, and strenuously avoid either Yes or No. To an outsider they make no sense – which I guess why IITS was so reluctant to admit their allegiance at the start.

122. Dennis Larson - September 21, 2012

I in the sky

One more post before I crawl back under my rock.

Many of us joined the FOF because we did not know what consciousness was, or is, and we believed RB when he said he knew and could teach us.

I would like to submit that consciousness is unknowable, unbelievable, unimaginable and incomprehensible. We can not know RB’s level-of-being or what he truly knows but we can know some things about him by the “fruits of his labors.” That is a judgment that each of us has to make for himself, or herself. I want to only speak about one or RB’s main offerings, self-remembering. He told us that he knows what consciousness is and that it can be obtained by doing exactly what he asks of us and by self-remembering. I would like to offer the possibility that consciousness is the entirety of what is happening in this moment, without a separate-sense-of-self functioning. I would also like to suggest that no mindfulness technique, including self-remembering, can produce this state because the doing of anything “is” the separate-sense-of-self manifesting. Serious seekers-after-truth, like yourself and those of us on this forum, may have more awakening experiences than the general population simply because we try so hard to do things to awaken, that occasionally one of us has an emotional realization that none of our efforts are working and we just give up. We are left here, in this moment, with no ego functioning, for a period of time.

The mistake that all of us made was to “believe” that RB understood the “unbelievable.”

123. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 21, 2012

Those who still think in terms of consciousness and the self may as well have stayed in the FoF.

124. Golden Veil - September 21, 2012

~
Adab, I think that you’ve compiled a great list of questions for any “prospective student” to ask at their first meeting. Avoiding asking these questions is definitely a sign of complicit imaginary play acting.

‘“Is sex used as a teaching tool by the teacher?”

“Is the true financial cost of joining more than 10% of your income?”

“Does the FoF have any real relationship to Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way teaching?”

“Can a group with such a prominent market profile on the web be called ‘esoteric’?”

“What happened to all the graduates [supposed men #5] of the School in the last 40 years? Are they still thriving in the group environment?”

“Is there any objective evidence – via his prophecies – that RB’s interpretation of signs is correct?”’

125. brucelevy - September 21, 2012

Those who think in terms of irrelevant “one liners” have proven themselves to also be irrelevant.

This is my second line.

126. silentpurr - September 21, 2012

I believe a great flaw of the Fellowship is Robert’s inability to ‘let go’.

From the very beginning Robert disparaged people who left.

Maybe it’s because for him a ‘truth-seeking’ student is a fine possession, something to not be parted with easily – something useful, like a sheep,
HIS sheep.

127. nigel - September 21, 2012

122. Dennis Larson

Sort of a ‘can we discuss this?’ statement…..

“Could consciousness be a state where the temporal touches the eternal, the mundane touches the sublime and the Self touches Higher Forces?”

I am only proposing this, since it has a ‘rightness’ for me and what I experience (including my bipolar states – obviously, mainly mania). I can foresee this statement being ripped to pieces and ridiculed by bloggers on both sides of FOF in/out, but thought it might be a ‘gateway’ to approaching how we can see Burton for what he really is…..

Gurdjieff said you had to become normal before you could become super-normal. Can we say this of Burton’s steep nose-dive into insanity, with all the activities this includes…..Nigel.

128. Adab - September 21, 2012

I feel you’re right Nigel. To try to become your higher self would be of no greater benefit than becoming your lower self. Normality… the ability to pass between the two without objection.

“Occasionally one of us has an emotional realization that none of our efforts are working and we just give up. We are left here, in this moment, with no ego functioning, for a period of time.” Isn’t that the entire point Dennis?

129. nigel - September 21, 2012

…..from – “Fellowship of Friends – In Their Own Words” website…..

Quote from Robert Earl Burton…..

April 6, 2003
“It is within my power to make my students immortal, and it cannot be achieved in any way other than that which the Gods dictate. Immortality is yours—you just have to accept their methods. You cannot expect to have a normal life with Gods in your life, because it is already abnormal to have Gods in one’s life.”

130. WhaleRider - September 21, 2012

Dennis Larson:
Please don’t crawl back under your rock!

It saddens me to hear that coming from anyone.

You deserve better than that.

Now on the one hand you say:
“I would like to submit that consciousness is unknowable, unbelievable, unimaginable and incomprehensible.”

Then on the other hand you say:
“I would like to offer the possibility that consciousness is the entirety of what is happening in this moment, without a separate-sense-of-self functioning.

This to me is a symptom of how exposure to toxic cult indoctrination leaves us with a divided self

Exploitative narcissistic predators like Robert E Burton would like you to believe that no one cannot possibly be at his level and will do everything in his power to make you feel below him. Membership in his group requires that you “submit” to his authority. Narcissists are very adept at continually raising the bar to make others around them feel inadequate. burton has made a successful career of it, surrounding himself with masochists willing to collude with his delusions of grandeur.

You have an idea and intuition about what consciousness is, go for it dude!

For me, consciousness is a given. Even when I’m asleep in my bed, there are valid and important parts of me that are still conscious. If I wasn’t conscious, I’d be dead.

Personal growth, however, means that I have learned to exist with both a sense of separateness and connectedness, AND am flexible and wise enough to balance my needs with those around me.

131. nigel - September 21, 2012

128. Adab / 130. Whale Rider

This is proving more fruitful than I thought!!!!!
Anyone seen IITS ‘turning up’ at this juncture?????
Too near the TRUTH!!!!!
…..Nigel.

132. nigel - September 21, 2012

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

Thank you, Ellen.

133. nigel - September 21, 2012

“This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun, and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men; go freely with the powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and mothers of families: read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life: re-examine all you have been told at school or church, or in any books, and dismiss whatever insults your soul.”

Walt Whitman – Prologue to ‘Leaves of Grass’

134. Tim Campion - September 22, 2012

nigel,

What a wonderful statement of purpose from Whitman! It represents such a contrast to the selfishness embodied by Robert Burton, and magnified through his message.

135. Shard_of_oblivion - September 22, 2012

122 Denis Larson says:

“Many of us joined the FOF because we did not know what consciousness was, or is, and we believed RB when he said he knew and could teach us.”

Yes this for me hits the nail on the head. I didn’t know what consciousness as defined in the 4th way books really was, and in fact if I HAD supposed I knew, I would have been photographed for lying by fellow students. I knew that my own consciousness had varied, and that I preferred some states to others, and I guess that was the hook that drew me into the tangled web of actions and beliefs we take on as students in the FoF.

But now I very much question the initial idea that there is a specific thing that we can call awakening or being conscious. My current take on it is that some individuals have entered states and reported on them, and these tales have become enshrined in cultures as religious truths. But the states they enter are just different not better, and it is a matter of taste which each of us prefers to cultivate.

Personally I am content to live a life that the system would describe as identified and in imagination, with occasional moments of being in the moment.

If I want to asses my own life and its value I look to things like have I been a good father to my children, and do I listen to my friends when they speak to me, and do I cherish my partner and feel the love I get from her. Things generally relegated to a lesser importance in the FoF where the single test of value is how good one is at the frankly rather masturbatory practice of self-remembering, which is basically about one’s OWN bliss.

It seems to me that within the culture of self improvement that religious people engage in, it often really boils down to helping others in order to advance one’s own “spiritual” progress, not a terrible thing, after all the people are indeed helped by these actions.

But compared to most established religions, where helping one’s fellow man is usually high on the list of virtues, the FoF adopts a particularly selfish approach to life.

136. I in the sky - September 22, 2012

Dennis Larson:

“I would be truly interested in what it means, to you, that presence/self-remembering has worked for you. I can say that it also worked for me, and continues to do so, but as a Mindfulness Technique, not unlike others like watching my breathing. What has your experience been? Has it produced awakening experiences for you?

“You say that you think RB is “conscious.” What does that mean to you? Do you think that he is in a state of oneness all the time?”

When I first read the Fourth Way I considered it a revelation, a life altering discovery. Two understandings immediately came, 1) that I needed a conscious teacher as a guide, otherwise I did not trust myself to interpret and apply the ideas correctly and even if I did interpret them correctly I sensed I did not have the will to apply or incorporate them into my life. The other understanding was that self-remembering was the hub around which all the ideas and concepts turned.

I agree with you that presence/self-remembering can be related to meditation or mindfulness techniques, but there is a place where it diverges from all techniques. I would say the techniques have their place but fall short of SR. That’s not to say they can’t be used to elicit SR. I just don’t think most want to go that far with it.

Self-remembering differs in that it is all encompassing. It is meant to be entirely integrated into one’s life, and not meant to be a respite or a diversion or pause. Nor is it meant to be a form of relaxation or stress relief. It actually brings one into direct contact with the causes of our stress.

I also don’t think that one can be truly successful with self-remembering unless it can be linked to other concepts or principles, such as the principle of an active, all powerful deity (what the Fourth Way calls Influence C) and to the principle of “transformation of suffering.” Transformation seems to have been behind your experience –

DL: “That longer experience was the result of my son threatening to commit suicide, an event which he hardly remembers, but that was such an emotional shock to me, with the realization that I was completely powerless, that I was just left, in those moments, in a state of presence and oneness, with no separate-sense-of-self functioning.”

There was a time when I experienced an intense emotional shock and I felt like I was literally drowning, being pulled down into an abyss. And the only thing that kept me above the abyss was to self-remember. Whenever I could do that it was like being able to breathe and feel the sunlight. To remember myself was the only relief. There was really no choice for me.

The abyss was nothing more than self-pity, fear, sadness, whatever the inner turmoil and chaos of the moment was. However one is not in those intense moments very much. Even without being present time lessens even the deepest emotional wounds. But the principle remains vital. One can take the memories of those larger experiences and transfer them into small ordinary moments.

For me it’s imperative that I remain present in small nondescript moments, when many distractions and temptations serve to relentlessly entice one away from the moment. When we can endure these small, in between, moments then we are fortifying ourselves to withstand the significant sufferings, including the sufferings connected to our own death. I do believe, from my own experiences, that self-remembering can reach back into the past to heal old wounds because we can look back at them with more understanding and less judgment and see the cause and effect, the connectedness of every experience we live through. See how events could not have been different because we needed them to be exactly as they were in order to learn from them. This is where sensing a connectedness to higher forces is important. Otherwise what is there to learn and what will we do with this learning? If we are not working for a higher existence the only option is to evade suffering and attempt to make our lives as pain free and tolerable as possible; which is the opposite of being present to our lives.

Self remembering implies there is a self to remember. It also implies there is some intelligence other than the self that inhibits SR. If not we would be in that state of oneness always. This seems to be a big stumbling point for a lot of people. I think what tricks many involved with Mindfulness approaches is they become enticed with this “other intelligence” which is not the self, but which can emulate the self and produce a suitable replacement for being present. This replacement state can be a quiet uncluttered place in us that serves as a restful pause from the everyday toil. But this place does not fortify us in the way necessary, it just serves as a temporary refresher.

DL: “You say that you think RB is “conscious.” What does that mean to you?”

It means I trust him. It means I have looked for consciousness in him and have seen it there, time and time again. I will make no attempt to give specifics because what I consider consciousness is related to the sum total of my experiences, who I am, what my aims are, and many other things I could not articulate to you. I can only say if someone is sincerely looking for consciousness they will recognize it when they see it in another and they will not settle for less. Many people are intrigued by consciousness but find the trappings of consciousness more affordable so they settle for that. Mindfulness methods, meditation, how one dresses or talks, what company one keeps, can all be part of the trappings of consciousness.

DL: “Do you think that he (RB) is in a state of oneness all the time?”

I think he is quite advanced in this regard. There are understandings he imparted to me years ago that are still resonating and feeding me.

I personally feel that a big disconnect former students have had over the years is an unwillingness or inability to separate the man Robert Burton from the teacher Robert Burton. This stems from an imaginary idea of what a teacher, or an enlightened person is or is not? They are not perfect. They have flaws, sometimes ample flaws. No matter how advanced they are they themselves are still learning.

I wasn’t in Alex Horn’s group and I assume you were not either. I will never know what transpired there. I will only know the versions that filter down. But my understandings are that the gods can arrange plays that we are not meant to overcome. They, being the authors of our lives, can create circumstances which we cannot overcome because, let’s say in Robert’s case, it was imperative he leave Alex Horn’s group to experience his own fate. So, a play was arranged to take him away. We do not need to master all circumstances, we only have to master the ones They deem necessary for us to master. For me these “failings” have nothing to do with mastering one’s internal state; making the efforts to be present. In fact, if they wanted to crush any of our icons, Christ, Buddha, anyone, they could have easily brought them down. They have that ability and that right. If I had to put up with Robert’s ways and got nothing for it it’s not an exchange I would have settled for. But as I got so much of what I was looking for his off beat, unconventional, methods were and are easy to accept.

137. Adab - September 22, 2012

“When right behaviour becomes normal, a powerful inner urge makes it seek its source. The candle of the body is lighted and all becomes clear and bright.” – Nisargadatta

Again, nail and head Nigel. All we can say is that a kind of alignment within us occurs, and consciousness arises. It’s not something we can ‘do’, however great we think our methods are [e.g. the Sequence etc…]

Just to add to what Dennis said, I don’t feel the ego disappears when experience puts it in the back seat. It’s still there, we can still see thoughts and associations going about their business. It’s just that they are no longer the point.

138. Adab - September 22, 2012

IITS.

“I personally feel that a big disconnect former students have had over the years is an unwillingness or inability to separate the man Robert Burton from the teacher Robert Burton. This stems from an imaginary idea of what a teacher, or an enlightened person is or is not?”

This is your own imaginary idea – that the two have to be separated at all… Why would you want to separate what a teacher teaches from the way he behaves. If you end up acting as two different men in two different contexts, what is there to trust?

I have met teachers who are trustworthy, where this separation doesn’t occur… so I don’t need to make one in my mind. What the teacher is, influences what a student can become – directly.

“I agree with you that presence/self-remembering can be related to meditation or mindfulness techniques, but there is a place where it diverges from all techniques. I would say the techniques have their place but fall short of SR.”

Do you actually have any thorough experience of any other way, or is this pure speculation based on the need to make the FoF #1?

139. Golden Veil - September 22, 2012

129. nigel – September 21, 2012

…..from – “Fellowship of Friends – In Their Own Words” website…..

Quote from Robert Earl Burton…..

April 6, 2003

“It is within my power to make my students immortal, and it cannot be achieved in any way other than that which the Gods dictate. Immortality is yours—you just have to accept their methods. You cannot expect to have a normal life with Gods in your life, because it is already abnormal to have Gods in one’s life.”

How can anyone follow this loopy, nutty man? It could be the refined seduction by students making “intentional efforts” in “Second Line of Work” (it was for me)… the gradual brainwash.

140. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 22, 2012

Such things were believable because the School really is so different from ‘life’ that it seemed that anything could be possible.

141. Tim Campion - September 22, 2012

Fed pot raid in Oregon House on September 20:

Feds raid 8 Yuba foothills properties in pot bust

142. Ill Never Tell - September 22, 2012

Thanks Tim.

From:
Feds raid 8 Yuba foothills properties in pot bust:
A. Jewers, J. J. Domingo, E. Stefani. . . arrested
all FoF members at one time; possibly still.

What a great way to enhance FoF cash flow: grow cannabis for sale. Not saying that that is what happens – just hypothetical.
Such an original idea!

143. Golden Veil - September 22, 2012

If any of the 8 properties involved are owned or occupied by known members this cultivation could be for personal use only… (50 – 100 plants at each location) rather than a money making scheme. There’s too much at risk for them to do something as hare-brained as selling to the public to make money, don’t you think? Wait a minute, unless they sold pot exclusively to members and for exorbitant rates… like the jewelry and special Teacher event schemes. I think that the lady at 00:53 looks like a farmer…

144. silentpurr - September 22, 2012

Influence C wouldn’t be involved with anything like that.. would they?

145. apostate - September 22, 2012

how do “we” criminalize a plant that grows?! waging war on mother nature is another symptom of ‘institutional’ insanity. anyone with a shred common sense knows that criminalizing the stuff ‘creates’ the crime… so there arises a question: who or what is the real criminal, the real crime…?

146. nigel - September 22, 2012

135. Shard_of_Oblivion

“My current take on it is that some individuals have entered states and reported on them, and these tales have become enshrined in cultures as religious truths. But the states they enter are JUST DIFFERENT NOT BETTER, and it is a matter of taste which each of us prefers to cultivate.”

(If you are in hypo/hyper mania, you cannot function PRACTICALLY and any elation – seemingly positive – has the equal chance of turning negative – aggression to those who wish to ‘contain’ you. Best to continue with a state of ‘human feeling’ – if you know what I mean…..Nigel.)

147. Dennis Larson - September 22, 2012

136 I in the sky

Great post! It’s nice to know a little about who you are. It all sounds very familiar and I would enjoy exploring some of the areas where I see things somewhat differently than you do. I feel that I am open to changing some of my relationships to the FOF and RB through a sincere understanding of where you are coming from.

As I mentioned before, I can not know RB’s level of being. I am open to the possibility that he knows what he is doing and is trying to do things for what he sees as the “good of his students.” I also see the possibility that he had a deep realization that everything is perfect, exactly as it is, and lives a life that is totally out of control. No need for conscience if it is all perfect, exactly as it is. But what seems the most likely to me is that he was, and is, a very dysfunctional man, with a very difficult childhood, who suffers from arrested development and a narcissistic personality disorder. And the reason that we were, and are, so completely fascinated by him is that he is not putting on an act, he totally believes all of his, what I now interpret as, delusions.

148. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 23, 2012

Any current member of the Fellowship who even reads this blog is going against their teacher’s wishes, which says more about their relationship to him thany anything that they write.

149. Golden Veil - September 23, 2012

It’s fun to be a rebel, though, isn’t it?

150. Associated Press - September 23, 2012

89. Dennis Larson:
‘I see Self Remembering as just one of many Mindfulness Techniques and what they all share is that they are trying to “do” something to cause awakening, or allow awakening. My understanding, and limited experience, is that awakening happens precisely because we are not “doing” anything, usually in very emotional and humiliating moments of complete surrender, the giving up of being able to “do” anything.’

138. Adab:
‘IITS.

“I personally feel that a big disconnect former students have had over the years is an unwillingness or inability to separate the man Robert Burton from the teacher Robert Burton. This stems from an imaginary idea of what a teacher, or an enlightened person is or is not?”

This is your own imaginary idea – that the two have to be separated at all… Why would you want to separate what a teacher teaches from the way he behaves. If you end up acting as two different men in two different contexts, what is there to trust?

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to
do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s
cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine that
follows his own instructions: I can easier teach
twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the
twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may
devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps
o’er a cold decree: such a hare is madness the
youth, to skip o’er the meshes of good counsel the
cripple.
William Shakespeare
Merchant of Venice

This is why, despite the megalomaniacal narcissistic personality disordered aims of FoF and, more particularly, Robert Earl Burton, most have proven unsuccessful and unsustainable, if not actually wrong, fraudulent, and/or criminal. The ones that remain are the ones that directly feed Robert Earl Burton’s creature features, of which there are many insatiable ones; for someone supposedly working on them selves.

’90. Associated Press – September 19, 2012

I in the sky, you said:

36. I in the sky:
‘I am extremely grateful to Robert Burton for what he has given to me and some of my loved ones and closest friends in the way of spiritual development.’

Could you, please, enumerate what that ‘spiritual development’ was/is?’

151. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 23, 2012

141 Pot raid in Oregon House:

What dreadful spoilsports those Feds are. Good luck to those rumbled by the helicopters! Still the quantity of bushes going into the skip looked like more than personal use to me;-)

With its catastrophic experience of prohibiting alcohol, which boot strapped organised crime into its current dominant position, it surprises and saddens me to see the authorities in the USA still fighting the “war on drugs”. If they legalised and taxed it they could make loads of money and control any social damage much better than the anarchy that results from prohibition.

152. Dennis Larson - September 23, 2012

136 I in the sky

You wrote: “There was a time when I experienced an intense emotional shock and I felt like I was literally drowning, being pulled down into an abyss. And the only thing that kept me above the abyss was to self-remember. Whenever I could do that it was like being able to breathe and feel the sunlight. To remember myself was the only relief. There was really no choice for me.”

I’m wondering if you are not confusing the presence of being in an awakened state, with no ego functioning, with the mindfulness technique that we call self-remembering, where the ego is still functioning, i.e. doing something, being present? Were you actually doing presence or was it happening to you? Were you actually producing presence or were you just noticing it?

Two of the features of being in a state of oneness seem to be complete presence and unconditional love, with no ego functioning. The “no ego functioning” is the important part because with the ego still functioning, it is the ego’s attempts at imitating presence and unconditional love. I don’t think the ego is capable of the kind of love that Shakesphere describes as, “Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no, it is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.” And I similarly don’t think that the ego is capable the kind of presence that you and I experienced in our altered, might I suggest awakened, states.

I see the possibility that your experience, and my experience, were exactly the same as Christ’s experience and Buddha’s experience, and perhaps RB’s experience, “this” happening in no time and no space to no one. Yours and mine did not last very long. Shakesphere again, “Even so my sun one early morn did shine, with all triumphant splendor on my brow. But out, alack, he was but one hour mine. The region cloud doth mask him from me now.” And I’m assuming that if RB had awakening experiences, that he, like you and I, after a period of time, came back into his regular life.

One more point I would like to offer is that unconditional love seems to be as much a part of awakening as presence. I don’t see that being emphasized much in the FOF.

153. Tim Campion - September 23, 2012

Shard of Oblivion,

This film is to be released October 5th: The House I Live In

I in the sky,

Did you notice Associated Press has asked you a question (three times?) They are being very patient.

154. Adab - September 23, 2012

Dennis..

I get the feeling from your posts that you’re struggling with the part of yourself that’s still attracted to the FoF and Burton and can’t decide where he fits in with your thinking about what ‘an awakened state’ is.

“Two of the features of being in a state of oneness seem to be complete presence and unconditional love, with no ego functioning. The “no ego functioning” is the important part because with the ego still functioning, it is the ego’s attempts at imitating presence and unconditional love.”

To me, this is an exact replica of Fellowship thinking about what it means to awaken.

Where do you think the ego goes when this is happening? Do you really believe it ceases to exist?

It would certainly be true to say that the ego becomes passive during such experiences, but to say it stops functioning entirely strikes me as dangerous escapism.

Sooner or later, we come back to the ego – but it can be more open or closed to the experiences you describe. That to me is a far more interesting juncture than the higher state itself.

In one sense, you are figuring the essence of the whole debate about the FoF : the lack of relationship it encourages between ego and ‘Self’, states and actions, experiences of oneness within the Fellowship and fragmentation in the ordinary world.

It’s quite an eloquent testimony.

155. Dennis Larson - September 23, 2012

The reason that it is especially difficult to positively identify a Personality Disorder in a cult leader, and I’m including here all religious leaders, is that they are dealing with belief, which by it’s very nature is unverifiable. If oneness is unknowable, unbelievable, unimaginable and incomprehensible, then it is not surprising that it is hard to definitely identify an person who’s Personality Disorder involves those unknowable phenomenon.

Let me give you an example of an obvious Narcissistic Personality Disorder who I know. We are the managers of a luxury apartment complex in Toluca Lake, California, the center of the movie studios. One of our tenants is the daughter of a very famous movie director. She is a complete “diva” even though she has never had any fame herself, only the name and fame of her deceased father. She has a bedroom dedicated to rows of beautiful outfits with shelves of purses, shoes and hats lining the walls. Several times a week a limousine picks her up to take her to some opening of other “important” event. She calls me about once a week to replace a light bulb that is burned out. She keeps all the many lights on all the time. She greets me at the door in silk pajamas, with her hair in curlers and in high heels. She tells me that she is not dressed but that I can come in. Now this is obvious mental illness but she is still able to function in society. RB, the Pope, and other cult leaders are more difficult to identify because of the unknowable nature of consciousness.

156. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 23, 2012

What is Robert Burton? Not an easy question to answer I reckon.

I get the feeling he is himself pretty convinced that the “ideas of reference” symptoms he displays so prominently, are messages from a higher power, and that he has been chosen by these forces for a special mission here on earth. That in itself is evidence of a lack of a firm grip on reality, but there is something else going on with him isn’t there.

I remember a time back in 1982, Burton was travelling in Europe and several of us traveled to Munich to meet him. He was staying at the teaching house, and I remember seeing him sitting in an big alcove where a log fire was burning. This was evocative for me as one of his prettier quotes mentioned that one day he was looking into the depths of a fire and suddenly higher centres were there, looming hugely behind the everyday moment. I felt something looking at him, and I know many of us have had a similar experience. I don’t know now if that is entirely a projection of the “guru” archetype by us, or if indeed there was something emanating from him that propels bystanders into a heightened state. If the latter then he may have something that is generally called charisma.

What I am sure about is that he is morally corrupt. I know this because of the way he treats others whom he comes across in his life’s journey, based on the many reports by individuals whom he has used sexually.

157. Golden Veil - September 23, 2012

~
How lies, fantasies, and moral corruption end up prevailing in a closed feudal society… here, death is the ultimate threat. In the cult, the threat of expulsion and shunning do the job quite well… for a while, anyway.

158. nigel - September 23, 2012

156. Shard_of_Oblivion

One of the characteristics that sociopaths have (going by medical definitions) is, as you say of Burton – CHARISMA. For myself, with the brief times I spent in his presence, there was both an instinctive ‘overbearingness’ about him and, yet, charm (?).

For some strange reason, this post coincides with experiencing myself in a hypo-manic state last night and causing ‘positive frenzy’ among my friends (and newly met young ladies) at my two favourite pubs in my home city of Exeter. I was wary of this state since, as I have earlier explained on this page, aggressiveness and uncontrollable, irrational behaviour can ensue.

I am not sure how Burton maintains his charisma – maybe it is the art-form of the sociopath and part of his/her psychological make-up – a constant attractiveness, however insane and disgusting his/her verbal outpourings and actions may be.

I have had the good luck (?) to experience higher states and synchronicitous moments so can see where Burton might find his ‘powers’ – yes, he may have had ‘awakened moments’ but you can bet your bottom dollar that YOU DO NOT USE OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES TO FEED YOUR ‘HIGHER CENTRES’ – IF ANYTHING YOU REFRAIN FROM SEXUAL ACTIVITY EXCEPT IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL…..Nigel.

159. Agent 45 - September 23, 2012

Of course there are harmless psychopaths and those not so harmless, Dennis. But if such delusional personalities say that they know the unknowable (as you say) and proclaim themselves to be religious or spiritual guides, all the while exploiting others for material wealth and indulging in all sorts of vices and pleasures, then I say they are hypocrites and (as someone else suggested) “it is no sin to cut them to pieces”.

160. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 23, 2012

On the Fourth Way, everything has to be verified, so lies and exaggerations can’t do any harm.

161. WhaleRider - September 23, 2012

“It really is a message that would resonate well if they [Latinos] could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community.”

Ann Romney speaking at a Latino Coaltion luncheon yesterday.

162. silentpurr - September 23, 2012

161
What Ann Romney doesn’t realize is that it’s not about caring or not caring.
It’s about her party’s inability to govern well.

163. PaleRider - September 24, 2012

We’re life people to the Romneys.

164. WhaleRider - September 24, 2012

I will note that I in the sky has successfully turned our focus away from the initial topic of “confirmation bias”, which is the tendency to favor information that favors a hypotheses (or even verifabricate the information), such as “the lower cannot see the higher”…and onto the less complex term, “bias”, which is an inclination to present or hold a one-sided point of view, which is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry.

Now I don’t consider myself prejudiced against the Fellowship due to the fact that I was a member fro more than half a decade.

I consider my point of view to be informed, based upon my direct experience of Robert E. Burton and his rape factory known as the Fellowship of Friends, AKA, Pathway to Presence.

There is a huge difference.

It also seems that currently, from the Fellowship cult point of view, the Federal I in the Sky is providing wonderful opportunities for local Fellowship pot growers for being present.

.

165. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 24, 2012

163 Whalerider on “I in the sky” and the idea of bias.

From the evidence presented by “I in the sky”‘s posts, they simply do not understand “confirmation bias”. For them to truly grasp that concept would inevitably result in a strong cognitive dissonance, which we know generally simply results in a cult follower being even more convinced of their world view, than they had been before the invalidating evidence came to their attention.

“I in the sky” appears (or gives the impression of appearing to) dismiss scientific methods as a way to get closer to the truth, preferring the more direct method of taking the hints and directions of someone they consider more advanced than themselves, and “verifying” them by looking for confirmatory examples in their lives.

Watch out there “I in the sky” because your method critically depends on the infallibility (in the matters you follow him on) of your teacher. And your method doesn’t have a good way to tell if he indeed is infallible or not, because your method states that the lower cannot see the higher. So the feeling you have that you have found your true teacher is essentially a leap of faith. That’s sort of OK if you are right (though very dis-empowering), but disastrous if you have chosen wrongly.

166. I in the sky - September 24, 2012

147 – Dennis Larson

“As I mentioned before, I can not know RB’s level of being. I am open to the possibility that he knows what he is doing and is trying to do things for what he sees as the “good of his students.” I also see the possibility that he had a deep realization that everything is perfect, exactly as it is, and lives a life that is totally out of control. No need for conscience if it is all perfect, exactly as it is.”

This is one way to interpret events. This explanation for RB’s actions / methods has been given numerous times. Part of this conclusion comes from a misapplication of the concept that ” if everything is perfect, I’ll do whatever I want.” This is a mis-characterization of the larger principle that the “play is written.”

As I understand it those writing the play are perfect. Man experiencing the play is fortunate to truly experience it as “a play” but that knowledge or understanding does not lead to “living a life that is totally out of control.” It leads to being more under control; under the control of a higher order of creation.

Consequently one feels more responsibility to adhere to that higher order’s dictates. People who don’t believe in an afterlife are more apt to abandon control, for who is there to punish one when it’s all over? It goes without saying that in a state of communion with the higher a man understands the parameters of his own activities and does not exceed the scope of his role. Others may not agree with his actions but it’s imperative that he is fully aware of what is sanctioned or not.

That the play is written also does not exonerate a man from his mistakes. These are all taken into account. If anything the mistakes of an enlightened man would generate harsher consequences than the mistakes of a man asleep. And if nothing else the enlightened man would feel the pangs of his mistakes more fully as he would be more awake to them.

To describe everything that was and is the FoF as being the result of a man who is on one hand charismatic and on the other hand without a conscience does not add up. That notion has holes in it and doesn’t fit neatly into any entirely believable explanation.

People with extreme NPD are out of touch with normal limits and because of that they sooner rather than later cross those limits and alienate all those who once trusted them, or they break laws and they are put away. Sociopaths are even more apt to cross the lines.They believe they are allowed to do anything so they eventually try to do anything and that is their downfall.

Teachers have a way of exposing the ego / false personality / lower self (pick your term) and when a person is exposed in that way but is not willing to work against what is being exposed it can cause extreme discomfort. It backs them into a corner. And for implementing that discomfort a teacher can be reviled. Morality is a mask that society lives behind, which is all well and good for the masses; they need such restrictions. But if a person wants to go deeper into his or her existence and attempt, as we say, to awaken, then mechanical morality will only hold one back. It has to be replaced with a more conscious morality (which may vary from person to person) that comes from being true to one’s real self. Replacing one morality for the other is not as easy as changing one’s clothes. It’s a day to day, moment to moment endeavor.

150 – AP

“Could you, please, enumerate what that ‘spiritual development’ was/is?”

It’s knowing where one was able to go on one’s own and how much further one was able to go with a teacher and a community of like minded individuals, several which are contributing here as former members but who, in past times, gave and received while in the FoF.

But it’s fruitless to try to give a detailed catalog of experiences in this case. How does one describe “being” with words? One previously lived a lie that one thought was a real existence until one began living a more real existence. Then it’s possible to look back and see it was a shadow life.

However one person’s reality is neither here not there in terms of another. I would guess these words are pretty meaningless to someone who ultimately did not connect in the same way.

167. nigel - September 24, 2012

165. I in the Sky

“People with extreme NPD are out of touch with normal limits and because of that they sooner rather than later cross those limits and alienate all those who once trusted them, or they break laws and they are put away. Sociopaths are even more apt to cross the lines.They believe they are allowed to do anything so they eventually try to do anything and that is their downfall.”

Burton alienated anyone who had the least sense of self-worth and whose conscience did not allow them to stay within the bounds of the FOF. Burton has also cleverly surrounded himself with power-hungry, self-serving semi-sociopaths who only want to be told how wonderful they are in the light of what Burton has to ‘teach’ them.

Burton careers towards his moral and physical demise, believe me…..Nigel.

P.S. And by the way, your method of deduction disappears up its own ass – Haven-fashion. Have you been consulting him?????

168. nigel - September 24, 2012

165. I in the Sky

“One previously lived a lie that one thought was a real existence until one began living a more real existence. Then it’s possible to look back and see it was a shadow life.”

Touchez!!!!! And back to you…..from an ex-member who has found his true role in life…..Nigel.

169. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 24, 2012

165 “I in the sky” says:

“To describe everything that was and is the FoF as being the result of a man who is on one hand charismatic and on the other hand without a conscience does not add up.”

Actually it does add up, it adds up perfectly, thank you for expressing it so succinctly.

170. David - September 25, 2012

I in the sky 165
You need to ask yourself whether the changes of which you speak would have occurred simply as a result of getting older and wiser in the company of “like-minded” people, or whether they are the result of a supernatural interaction you have had with your teacher.
If you look at what is possible in the way of development for Man as described by various traditions you will see that your teacher has given you none of that. What people gain in the FOF is simply whatever they see learn and understand by the efforts they make in the presence of other thinking people.
What Robert HAS given you is a diminished expectation of what a real school could give. He has given you the dream of something that will only happen in some far flung future or lifetime, just as he has given you prophecies that are always far enough away to never be realized. (Or, when time catches up and they don’t occur he simply throws them forward in time again).
The sad thing is that you have come to believe that things which are available to all people who sincerely think and ponder the meaning of their existence are actually mystical secrets given to you by a greedy old homosexual man with Nouveau Riche American taste.

171. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 25, 2012

Ultimately everything adds up. It has to.

172. WhaleRider - September 25, 2012

Confirmation bias ultimately adds up to superstitious beliefs, such as a black cat crossing one’s path indicating an ill omen, or passing under a ladder bringing bad luck, or that one requires a guru in order to be more self-aware.

Consider how difficult it was for Galileo to convince the church of like-minded people that the Earth was not the fixed center of the Universe when to the naked eye, the stars traveled across the night sky and the Earth seemed still under foot.

It took a brave person to look beyond the visible world with a telescope at the anomalies, the “wandering stars” called planets, which appeared at times to move in opposition to the direction of the stars and at differing speeds.

He allowed his mind go where the evidence lead him…to the unconventional truth.

Now in my circle of friends, the degree to which a person is more or less self-aware is in direct proportion to the ability of that person to take responsibility for their weaknesses, which we all have, and their mistakes, which we all make.

Addiction is one indicator of low self-awareness.

It takes courage and maturity to maintain healthy ego boundaries, healthy self-esteem, and be honest with one’s self.

A clergyman evoking a “powerful deity” or “fate” as a ploy to manipulate young heterosexual men to have gay sex with him IMO does not indicate advanced spiritual development, maturity, nor self-awareness, but quite in the opposite direction.

It is those anomalies in Burton that speak volumes to those brave enough to open their minds to the truth that he is not who he claims to be.

Let us also not neglect the fact that the basic human need to belong to a group of like-minded people with similar backgrounds and experiences is very, very strong, whether that is a sense of belonging to one’s family of origin, nationality, ethic background, profession, political party, or sporting team.

This is difficult to do in a modern population of such diversity as America.

So intense is the need to belong, that an individual will sacrifice ANYTHING to belong…their own individuality, safety, financial security, close friends, family of origin, career, health, well-being, values, morality, or sanity…even their own born or unborn children…in order to maintain that sense of belonging.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how clever sociopaths such as Alex Horn, Sharon Gans or Robert Burton can exploit the need to belong in their followers.

173. I in the sky - September 25, 2012

Shard_of_Oblivion – 164:

“From the evidence presented by “I in the sky”‘s posts, they simply do not understand “confirmation bias”. For them to truly grasp that concept would inevitably result in a strong cognitive dissonance, which we know generally simply results in a cult follower being even more convinced of their world view, than they had been before the invalidating evidence came to their attention.”

There are assumptions being made that lead you to these comments; chief amoung them is the assumption that the FoF is indeed a cult. That has not been determined in any objective way and in fact cannot be determined on a blog. The only thing that can be determined on a blog is that some individuals have written comments that propose it is a cult. (It cannot even be determined that they actually believe it is a cult with the whole of their being.) And others have offered the possibility that it is a school of awakening.

Assuming it is a cult you would have a valid hypothesis regarding cognitive dissonance. But I don’t remain in the FoF because I can’t exist outside of it, or because my friends are here, or because of inertia, or any other reason other than it has changed my life for the better in countless ways. So there is no cognitive dissonance and there never was any. If there was any cognitive dissonance it would be that there are always more efforts one could make.

As far as confirmation bias goes I get the impression you feel that somehow former members of the FoF are granted an immunity from it when they leave. To be biased is in the human DNA. It is not a question of whether someone will develop a bias, it’s a question of what form it will take and will that person be objective enough with their own inner work to see it and work against it. This regards the harmful kinds of biases, like race, religious, gender, etc. Many biases are more or less harmless, such as, do you like conventional or kinky sex, chocolate or vanilla ice cream… and on and on.

SoO: “I in the sky” appears (or gives the impression of appearing to) dismiss scientific methods as a way to get closer to the truth, preferring the more direct method of taking the hints and directions of someone they consider more advanced than themselves, and “verifying” them by looking for confirmatory examples in their lives.

Science certainly has its place in the classroom but when it comes to verifying spiritual truths one has to prepare a foundation (there is an enormous canon of spiritual writings) and then one needs to go out and observe. The laboratory is the world.

174. Golden Veil - September 25, 2012

166. I in the sky – September 24, 2012

“Teachers have a way of exposing the ego / false personality / lower self (pick your term) and when a person is exposed in that way but is not willing to work against what is being exposed it can cause extreme discomfort. It backs them into a corner. And for implementing that discomfort a teacher can be reviled.

Morality is a mask that society lives behind, which is all well and good for the masses; they need such restrictions. But if a person wants to go deeper into his or her existence and attempt, as we say, to awaken, then mechanical morality will only hold one back. It has to be replaced with a more conscious morality (which may vary from person to person) that comes from being true to one’s real self. Replacing one morality for the other is not as easy as changing one’s clothes. It’s a day to day, moment to moment endeavor.”

I in the sky, all kinds of immoral behavior could be justified with this kind of thinking… take another charismatic, Charles Manson, and his little harem. Yes, sociopaths have their own “personal morality” that is not restrictive… Charles Manson said, “I never told anyone to do anything other than what they wanted to do.”

175. fofblogmoderator - September 25, 2012

163 & 170 are new

176. WhaleRider - September 25, 2012

“There are assumptions being made that lead you to these comments; chief among them is the assumption that the FoF is indeed a cult. That has not been determined in any objective way and in fact cannot be determined on a blog.

The 10 non-assumptive, objective warning signs of a cult:

1) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. Check

2) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry Check

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

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

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

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

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

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

9) The group/leader is always right. Check

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

If it looks like a cigar, smells like a cigar and tastes like a cigar, it’s probably a cigar.

One would not expect an intrenched, salaried, vested, long-term cult follower to have an open discussion about whether or not their particular cult is a cult, vigorously denying all evidence to the contrary and attacking the speaker.

The cognitive dissonance would be too great for them to take on such a deep level of inner work, having projected their own divinity outward and onto the cult leader for so long and counseling others to do so.

For them, it is what it is, and screw everyone else.

“As far as confirmation bias goes I get the impression you feel that somehow former members of the FoF are granted an immunity from it when they leave. To be biased is in the human DNA. It is not a question of whether someone will develop a bias, it’s a question of what form it will take…”

Here again she confuses confirmation bias with bias.

Confirmation bias happens when one is told something is true, and then that person goes out to confirm or “verify” that truth by favoring information that supports the theory, denying all evidence to the contrary.

The favored information is repeated over and over until the subconscious incorporates the belief.

Cults like the Fellowship of Friends pressure their followers to conform to their theories through peer pressure and the fear of getting kicked out….not to mention the fear of burning for eternity in hell.

Bias is different.

Let us take the example of Green Eggs and Ham from Dr Seuss.

The main character has a preconceived bias. He claims he doesn’t like green and eggs and ham, probably due to the color. His is not an informed viewpoint. He refuses to try green eggs and ham under any circumstances. This is how he confirms his bias.

It is not until he finally tastes green and ham does he realize he does he indeed like it.

(Superstitions like the moon myth are even harder to remove.)

Does that automatically mean he is now biased against all normal colored eggs and ham? Most certainly not.

Just because a person leaves the Fellowship doesn’t necessary make them automatically biased against it unless they have an informed viewpoint about the harm it causes.

Entrenched followers cannot possibly understand the nature of cults anymore than a fish can understand water until they flop onto land and over time, grow their own lungs and legs.

When I was in the Fellowship of Friends, I scoffed at the notion that it was a cult. I was biased in favor of the cult, having succumbed to multiple instances of the Fellowship process of confirmation bias known as verification.

This shielded me from the “harmful” truth for many years.

Not until I left the cult after being exploited and repeatedly raped by Burton, as legally defined in the state of Arkansas, disgorging myself of cult indoctrination, did I understand the nature of cults and the fact that indeed the Fellowship of Friends meets all the criteria for being a cult by a wide margin.

“Self-remembering” did nothing to heal myself from the past.

That was the point when I started working on myself in a more profound and real way, particularly in connection with healing my relationship with my father. This is how I empowered myself.

To a large degree, it was my strained relationship with my father that made me vulnerable to the cult.

177. Adab - September 25, 2012

155 Dennis

I don’t think it is difficult to identify a personality disorder, whether it’s in an ordinary person or in a cult leader. The difficulty with the latter is that it’s hard for people [like ourselves] to reconcile the apparent access to higher energies with the flawed behaviour. One thing looks startlingly evolved, the other utterly undeveloped. Especially while you’re still in the Fof, the urge to justify it all by splitting man away from teacher and consciousness away from functions/ego is overwhelming.

If I’m honest about the FoF as a group of people – of whom we were all once part – I saw them as sensitive and able to respond to finer energy flow, but their personalities remained basically the same. I didn’t meet anyone who developed in that respect. In more typical cases, they became both highly ‘magnetic’ and more depraved, erratic or unreliable at the same time, as the energy available fed into the existing channels of expression. There was a certain disdain for Life and morality because it suited the way they were developing as people. With Burton as he is at the top of the pyramid, how else could the people below him change?

I felt that this is what I was becoming too, so it was a principal reason for leaving.

178. nigel - September 25, 2012

…..something to apply to Burton…..

FRONDES AGRESTES by John Ruskin, the Evangelist

Section 1.

5. A great Idealist never can be egoistic. The whole of his power depends upon his losing sight and feeling of his own existence, and becoming a mere witness and mirror of truth, and a scribe of visions, – always passive in sight, passive in utterance, lamenting continually that he cannot completely reflect nor clearly utter all he has seen, – not by any means a proud state for a man to be in. But the man who has no invention is always setting things in order, and putting the world to rights, and mending, and beautifying, and pluming himself on his doings, as supreme in all ways.

179. nigel - September 25, 2012

“To a Friend whose Work has come to Nothing”

W B Yeats

“NOW all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honour bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours’ eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.”

180. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 25, 2012

173 “I in the sky” says:

“There are assumptions being made that lead you to these comments; chief amoung them is the assumption that the FoF is indeed a cult.”

Well for me personally it is a matter of very little importance whether the FoF is described as a cult or an esoteric school (However I always found the term “church” didn’t seem to sit right somehow). Funnily enough I remember when I was still a member I was happy to describe my membership as “being in a cult”. It expressed the extreme steps that I felt I was prepared to take in order to awaken. Obviously at that time I was very happy to have found the school, and didn’t see the term as pejorative. But your remarks do remind me of what Miles B told me after he left. He said that Burton had given him the task of reading up on cults in order to enable the FoF to point to why it wasn’t one. Miles said he found himself more and more uncomfortable as he discovered that things he had thought were particular and special about the FoF were in fact common enough in cults, and the more he studied the topic the clearer the fact that the FoF WAS a cult became to him.

By the way, what do you think is going to happen on 21 December 2012?

181. jomopinata - September 25, 2012

21 December 2012 is, I believe, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. So it’s safe to say, if history is any guide, thereafter the days will get longer, and the nights shorter.

182. Tim Campion - September 25, 2012

…in the Northern Hemisphere.

183. Tim Campion - September 25, 2012

“I in the sky” may not understand “confirmation bias,” but that doesn’t prevent them from using it.

While bias rules this blog those biased natures are nevertheless blind to it. At the same time it is extremely transparent to those witnessing it that are free of that particular bias. Therefore, many outside readers will discount much of what is “reported” because it is so obviously coming from a slanted viewpoint. They will simply see abusers of the FoF’s rights moaning about their own past when they were abused by the FoF. In other words, they will see the pot calling the kettle black…

…I understand that the usual cast of characters will also respond to this post. Their words will be insulting, abusive, dismissive, coarse and indignant. They will be operating from their bias but they will not see it. It takes some degree of separation from a manifestation to see it. They, as usual, will simply be it. And it will feel good and correct.

Daily Cardiac, July 3, 2009

184. Ames Gilbert - September 25, 2012

I in the Sky (#128-173 or thereabouts), you say you have no cognitive dissonance, and I say ‘baloney’. For example, we point out the harm that Burton has caused as he rapes his unwilling homosexual followers, and you then point to the theoretical benefits that might accrue to the victims, and the theoretical viewpoint of Burton, as you imagine the theoretically conscious Burton’s viewpoint to be. That is cognitive dissonance at work, I in the Sky. You have no idea if there are any benefits, you have no idea what Burton is thinking (even if he were to report his thinking to you) and you cover up your ignorance or discomfort by inventing a fairy tale* to cover up that ignorance or to comfort yourself. That’s cognitive dissonance.
Plenty more where that came from.
* aka, lying to yourself and others
____________________________________

I in the Sky (#128-173 or thereabouts),
no, no, no. I’m not biased, nor am I making assumptions. I spent 16 years as a follower in the Fellowship of Friends. I followed the (pitifully few) actual practical instructions about how to be present, and obeyed every exercise, including the sex exercises. I was sincere and worked extremely hard at all three lines of work as promulgated by Burton and the Fellowship. I knew and know very well the differences between self-remembering and meditation, because I have practiced both, over many years, before, during, and after my time in the Fellowship. I know that many ‘mindfulness’ techniques and self-remembering are synonymous, because I have studied and practiced both. And, I have seriously studied cult dynamics and the dynamics within the Fellowship of Friends. So, I am very far from biased, I in the Sky, I am knowledgeable from my direct experience and explorations. And finally, I have a rich set of experiences to draw from that you cannot possibly have, those I have accumulated since I left the cult. In other words, it is probable that I have a wider range of material than you to work with, because I have looked at both sides of the question for a long time, have actually tested the hypothesis, “The Fellowship of Friends is not a cult”, have the experiences of before, during, and after, which you do not have. Finally, I am willing to take the risks of being wrong, and face up to the consequences, as proven by the intentions, decisions, commitments, and actions of my life, not mere observations (reference to your words, “and then one needs to go out and observe. The laboratory is the world.”).
______________________
According to one dictionary:
Bias
2. a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice.
Assumption
1. something taken for granted; a supposition: a correct assumption. Synonyms: presupposition; hypothesis, conjecture, guess, postulate, theory.
2. the act of taking for granted or supposing. Synonyms: presumption; presupposition.

185. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 25, 2012

We lie only to ourselves. Lying to anyone else is irrelevant.

186. Ames Gilbert - September 25, 2012

Joseph Nakumovitch (#127-177 or thereabouts),
you say, “The root of the problem we never tire of discussing is the Fourth Way itself. If it is based on Christianity, then it is Christianity drained of emotion and compassion, and refusing to acknowledge anything higher, which it does by dismissing it with the term ‘C Influence’. It’s hardly surprising that corruption exists in a school that teaches such a system.”
On the other hand you say, “On the Fourth Way, everything has to be verified, so lies and exaggerations can’t do any harm.” (#128-160 or thereabouts). Is the first just something you thought would sound good, while in the second you choose to reveal your sociopathy? If not, how are you able to believe both at the same time?

187. Ames Gilbert - September 25, 2012

Joseph Nachumovitch (#128-185 or thereabouts),
you said, “We lie only to ourselves. Lying to anyone else is irrelevant.”
So, never mind, you’ve more than answered the question in my last post.
Also, apologies for misspelling your name in my last post.
____________________
In other news . . .

Hearing reveals impact of clergy abuse
The sentencing hearing for a former Southern Baptist evangelist convicted of video voyeurism offered a rare public glimpse into the emotional, marital and spiritual impact suffered by victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
http://tinyurl.com/9aqpanu

188. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 26, 2012

173 “I in the sky” ends their post with the words:

“Science certainly has its place in the classroom but when it comes to verifying spiritual truths one has to prepare a foundation (there is an enormous canon of spiritual writings) and then one needs to go out and observe. The laboratory is the world.”

OK let’s unpick this shall we?

You acknowledge that science has its place which you characterise as “the classroom” This I find encouraging, there is an area of discourse where you would admit science is effective.

But you go on to say “when it comes to verifying spiritual truths” and suddenly I find a tightly knotted set of assumptions that I would question. It seems to imply that there are “truths” of a spiritual nature, and that they have already been discovered and written about by previous truth seekers, and our task as spiritual beings is to experience these previously discovered “truths” for ourselves – to make them our own as it were. But can you see that you have hereby completely bypassed the question of how anyone, you, me or anybody else, can know whether any of these “truths” are correct. It really ignores completely the possibility (which I reckon is the most likely) that all spiritual teachers who claim to have a divinely inspired vision, are deluding themselves, and mistaking a very strong emotional/psychic experience which THEY find to be completely convincing, for objective truth.

You then say “(there is an enormous canon of spiritual writings)” and indeed there is. And as any student of comparative religion can attest though there are many similarities in the “enormous canon”, there are also many contradictions, strong enough contradictions that one can safely say they cannot all be the truth.

Now a diversity of opinion is also found within the body of work that we call science. And there are often competing and contradictory theories. But no scientific theory has the status of final objective truth (as spiritual leaders so often claim), they are only provisionally accepted as being the best theory anyone has come up with so far to explain the facts. Various theories compete for acceptance within the community, and there is broad agreement over what constitutes evidence, and how to resolve disputes, and so over time our knowledge grows.

Whereas spiritual teachers think they have short circuited the need for a joint enterprise, the gathering of evidence and debating their theories with peers. They reckon to have miraculously arrived at a final and incontrovertible truth.

I also must admit I find their “truths” generally to be childish and banal. “God is love” and suchlike drivel.

But you finish on a high note, with words which I applaud and agree with, though its pretty clear we understand them slightly differently “one needs to go out and observe. The laboratory is the world.”

189. Joseph Nachumovitch - September 26, 2012

186. Ames Gilbert

I know both to be true, and if there is a contradiction then so be it.

190. brucelevy - September 26, 2012

You people are so easily sucked in to forgetting the point. Linda’s still got you by the balls. Congratulate yourselves. She’s chewing you up like she chewed up her mates, when she turned around and bit off their heads.

191. I in the sky - September 26, 2012

WhaleRider:

“Not until I left the cult after being exploited and repeatedly raped by Burton, as legally defined in the state of Arkansas…”

But you weren’t in the state of Arkansas.

Is it an example of confirmation bias to appropriate the laws of one state into another state in order to validate your claims?

In my opinion by holding on to claims of rape all these years you are inhibiting your chances of moving on in your life. The overriding emotion in your life seems to revolve around “getting even” rather than putting an experience behind you that you regret having engaged in.

192. I in the sky - September 26, 2012

Ames – 184:

“I in the Sky (#128-173 or thereabouts), you say you have no cognitive dissonance, and I say ‘baloney’”

I was under the assumption that I since I was commenting on my own reality I was in the position to comment accurately, having a ring side seat and all. Forgive me for being so naive.

Ames: “So, I am very far from biased, I in the Sky, I am knowledgeable from my direct experience and explorations.”

I guess I’ll never get used to the rules on this blog.

193. brucelevy - September 26, 2012

I rest my case.

194. Shard_of_Oblivion - September 26, 2012

“I in the sky” – It is possible you are being deliberately obtuse, but on the face of it you consistently misinterpret two terms being used here on the blog, so here are some definitions:

Cognitive dissonance.

This is a term that refers to the observed behaviour of members of apocalyptic cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Contrary to what one might expect not everyone leaves the cult when a prediction date arrives and the prediction fails to occur. Some do leave, but those who stay are thereafter more committed then ever. Specifically cognitive dissonance is how they pull off this trick of self deception, generally viewing the non occurrence of the prediction as a test of their faith.

Confirmation bias.

This is a tendency that all humans seem to be prey to, whereby we tend to give greater weight to evidence that confirms our theories, than to evidence that falsifies them. It is in no way restricted to members of cults, however it does help to explain how otherwise well educated and intelligent people can end up thinking they have “verified” spurious and bogus knowledge.

195. Adab - September 26, 2012

193. Bruce

You’re right. There’s simply no point in trying to match up frames of reference with IITS. All the key issues will remain un-addressed.

196. WhaleRider - September 26, 2012

I in the sky:
“In my opinion by holding on to claims of rape all these years you are inhibiting your chances of moving on in your life. The overriding emotion in your life seems to revolve around “getting even” rather than putting an experience behind you that you regret having engaged in.

Thanks for your feedback.

Actually, I hadn’t considered my sexual experiences with burton to qualify as rape until I started sharing them here about three years ago, which where also confirmed by an “outside” source, a licensed psychotherapist.

The fact that you are still a member with a vested interest in the continuance of the cult makes your opinion biased in favor of the cult and less than objective anyway. Not only do you have a ringside seat, you are recruiting players.

Whether the rape occurred in Arkansas or Alaska is immaterial, it is still rape. Although prostitution may be legal in the state of Nevada, it is still prostitution.

I’d also like to point out that you make a huge assumption about “the overriding emotion in my life”.

I can honestly say that the overriding emotion in my life is my love for my children.

I’d say that being a parent and having vulnerable and impressionable individuals in my care makes me sensitive to protecting them from exploitation by sociopaths. But you wouldn’t know about that would you?

197. Adab - September 26, 2012

“In my opinion by holding on to claims of rape all these years you are inhibiting your chances of moving on in your life. The overriding emotion in your life seems to revolve around “getting even” rather than putting an experience behind you that you regret having engaged in.”

…….

“I was under the assumption that I since I was commenting on my own reality I was in the position to comment accurately, having a ring side seat and all. Forgive me for being so naive.”

IITS:

These two statements occur within a few posts of one another. When challenged, you always insist that no-one can possibly know your state-of-mind, and yet you presume to know WR’s from the inside – even though he’s made reference to his family and the positive feelings they evoke a number of times. Don’t you feel his ringside seat qualifies him to comment accurately on his own life?

This is the ‘quiet bully’ of the Fellowship in action. It’s happened repeatedly in your posts, always lurking just below the surface civility.

Far from having a ringside seat, you are ‘inside’ your own drama more completely than anyone else who contributes to this blog,

“I can see everyone else, but I’m invisible to their eyes.”

I thank you wholeheartedly for offering up this living example of Fellowship conceit.

198. Associated Press - September 26, 2012

128/173. I in the sky
‘it has changed my life for the better in countless ways.’

Could you, please, enumerate what that ‘changed my life for the better in countless ways’ was/is?

Will I have to ask three times, say ‘pretty please,’ kiss your a$$ (or, other parts of your anatomy), and still get a non-answer of obfuscation, like the last time I asked something? Please try to be a little less disingenuous this time. Thank you.

. . .

Linda who worked closely with the teacher told us in Amsterdam in 1980 that she was “only following orders” when she told women members to have abortions! (She was a member since the early 1970s, and still is as far as we know.)’
Stella Wirk

199. paul gregory - September 26, 2012

Robert Burton cannot save you from the judgement of God, or from the judgement of death, or from the judgement of sanity.

Why not study the devil? The Golden Calf?

Isn’t he Golden. Lovely and Golden.

And the teats! So sweetly intoxicating. So nearly divine.

Robert is stuck in the Subtle Plane and cannot get beyond it. Even when he dies, some of you will not discover this and will remain faithful to the end. Like Nazi’s. Because you are Nazi’s. You want to be the hero’s. He tells you you are. You are disposable items to him. Him is not a Him, or even a him, but an It/hypnotic ‘event’.

You want to be more meaningful. You want more and more. You try and try. You cannot get up. You are hobbled in conceit and fairy charms.

To get beyond the subtle plane you need to like things like God and Selflessness. He is enchanted by himself and is, in my opinion, U44.

He takes hours to prepare a dinner? Oh fuck off.

He is second only to Christ. That is the unredeemed crook on the cross. That is his immortality – eternal infamy and shame.

Is this the american dream? To save us from ourselves, at a cost?

You will wake in nightmares soon.

200. paul gregory - September 26, 2012

and ‘it’s’ round the U bend.

201. Agent 45 - September 26, 2012

Bruce 190 & 193
It is rather astonishing isn’t it? Despite how much she is reviled these seemingly intelligent people have proven themselves to be unable to ignore a single posting of her drivel. It’s an unmerry-go-round.

202. WhaleRider - September 26, 2012

Agent 45:

I seriously doubt that I in the sky is speaking just for her own benefit, and neither am I. She is the tip of a very large iceberg.

203. Ames Gilbert - September 26, 2012

Bruce, Adab, and Agent 45,
consider me well and truly ‘photographed’. Sure, arguing with spokespersons for the FoF may be useless on the individual level, and I’m certain there is a part of me that enjoys seeing itself ‘in print’, etc. Nevertheless, as I’ve said before, I think the good (exposure of official FoF arguments for what they are, the clear avoidance of certain subjects, and so on) outweighs the bad (it irritates you, the arguments are futile and repeat themselves endlessly, it clutters up the space). So, sorry, but I’ll continue, hoping that a larger audience finds it useful, now and in the future.
_________________________________
It’s true that the classic example of cognitive dissonance, where cult members reorganize their thinking to deal with a failed prophecy, as in Leon Festinger’s book, “When Prophecy Fails” (recommended reading for any member of the Fellowship of Friends). However, Festinger later expanded the idea in his book, “A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance” for a more general use.

One of the valuable concepts I took away from all this was the common use of rationalization to reduce anxiety about conflicting sets or family of thoughts or beliefs. Why? Because I could see that is exactly how my mind works, and, judging by conversations on the subject with others, it is how many minds work. These rationalizations act as a warning bell to the observer, and the more ‘far-out’, the clearer the warning.

So, I in the Sky, I am not claiming to read your mind, I am looking at your own words on this blog, accepting them at face value (that is, I assume you are telling your truth as best as you can) and analyzing them. We have on the one hand the narrative that Burton is a mentally ill, delusional, incredibly greedy sociopath who abuses his power to gain immense amounts of sexual gratification with heterosexual male followers. On the face of it, most normal people would look at the evidence and draw similar conclusions, and abhor the inevitable harm that follows the rapes. Then along comes a far-out rationalization, a theory that claims that at some ‘much higher level’ these actions are somehow good for the victims, that many times a day Burton donates precious time and energy to enhance the spiritual evolution of the lucky recipients of his attention, and that the spirits of 44 dead, mostly white males labeled ‘conscious beings’ not only heartily approve of these actions, but arrange circumstances to enable them. That amazingly ‘far-out’ rationalization is what leads me to suspect that cognitive dissonance is occurring, I in the Sky. If you are from the ‘older’ phase of the Fellowship, then you will recognize the concept of ‘buffers’, as used in the system of thought called the Fourth Way. If I’m correct, that part of you that sees Burton’s actions as I do, revolting, debased and coercive, is separated from what appears to be the shriveled remains of a conscience (which, if mine is anything to go by, would be calling for action against the abuse) by the justifications this family of thoughts provides.

I in the Sky, I freely acknowledge the (remote) possibility that Burton may be ‘right’ (whatever that means), and in every particular, and by extension, you also. That would mean that my birthright of powers of reasoning and observation, my so-called conscience, every concept of right and wrong, my observations, the results of the experiments I have performed, are all snares and delusions, another pre-ordained failure written in to the ‘play’ you so fondly espouse by playwrights of extraordinary power. Rather like the way the Creationists posit their worldview, that evidence like the fossil record and carbon dating are snares and illusions built-in by the old white-bearded man in the sky to test our faith in the Word of God as written in the Infallible Bible. Well, if so, so be it, but (of course) I don’t think so.

204. I in the sky - September 26, 2012

Shard_of_oblivion – 188:

“It seems to imply that there are “truths” of a spiritual nature, and that they have already been discovered and written about by previous truth seekers, and our task as spiritual beings is to experience these previously discovered “truths” for ourselves – to make them our own as it were. But can you see that you have hereby completely bypassed the question of how anyone, you, me or anybody else, can know whether any of these “truths” are correct. It really ignores completely the possibility (which I reckon is the most likely) that all spiritual teachers who claim to have a divinely inspired vision, are deluding themselves, and mistaking a very strong emotional/psychic experience which THEY find to be completely convincing, for objective truth.

In some ways arriving at a spiritual truth is no different than arriving at a scientific truth. If someone wishes to be a physicist they would prepare themselves for that field with a foundation of preparatory studies like math and chemistry and related subjects.

Then they would enter into the world of physics. They would be taught by qualified teachers. They would study known laws and formulas. They would study those who mastered this science. The same if they wanted to be an engineer. They would not be asked to re-discover existing laws of that discipline, nor would they be cast adrift to start from scratch on their own. Once they mastered their field of choice they would enter the field and put their learning to practical uses and they would add to their understanding and “being.” If they excelled in their field they might even uncover new applications of old laws, or advance existing theories. They could have a productive career like many or they could be a trailblazer like a few.

The same is true with regard to a spiritual life. But here I am not talking about studying religion or theology. I’m talking about living the words, living the laws. For the sake of discussion we would also eliminate many priests and monks, shamans, professors of spiritual studies, anyone engaged in the outer form only, the trappings.

The spiritual aspirant, like the budding scientist, would also adhere to studying known laws handed down through centuries. These would be the spiritual canons I refer to. The difference between spiritual studies and scientific ones is that with spiritual pursuits the results are largely inner results, as one is trying to perfect the soul. The laboratory is largely within; it is “know thyself” and by knowing oneself one knows others to the same degree.

SoO: “But can you see that you have hereby completely bypassed the question of how anyone, you, me or anybody else, can know whether any of these “truths” are correct.”

In the same way a mathematician would know the answer to an equation.

Why would man be given the ability to know the truths to outwards studies, such as the sciences – observing phenomena outside of himself, yet not have the ability to know, verify, his own inner states and understandings, or truths?

Granted, all people are not interested in the study of oneself. It won’t necessarily lead to a better job or success at marriage or sports, or anything material or physical. It will only lead to a more developed soul. And most of your fellow humans may not notice or may even be repelled by a more developed soul in their mist..

SoO: “It really ignores completely the possibility (which I reckon is the most likely) that all spiritual teachers who claim to have a divinely inspired vision, are deluding themselves, and mistaking a very strong emotional/psychic experience which THEY find to be completely convincing, for objective truth.”

Most of them are indeed deluding themselves, for the very reasons just stated. Who can tell if someone else has dedicated themselves to the study of knowing themselves, much less mastering themselves? Charlatans know this much and capitalize on this convenient situation. They can make many claims which many people must take them at their words for. But just like those who are really determined to be an engineer or biologist find their way to professors who can assist them in their studies, in the same way a spiritual student will weave their way through a muddled field and find the right teacher, or keep looking. Or they may may not and, in that case, they would continue on their own with only the manuscripts of past masters and their own powers of observation as their guide. Apparently some have awakened in that fashion.

With regard to the possibility that – “all spiritual teachers who claim to have a divinely inspired vision, are deluding themselves, and mistaking a very strong emotional/psychic experience which THEY find to be completely convincing, for objective truth.”

That would seem to preclude the existence of the spirit or objective truth – which is what some believe. This illustrates a point mentioned before; when speaking of consciousness, Influence C, paradise, souls, higher states, objective knowledge and the like, nothing can proved or disproved. We are all expressing opinions, beliefs, feelings, intuitions, personal verifications, etc.

And yet a truth or The Truth exists, independent of what any one individual may experience or believe in a given moment or on a given topic. You can say that is Objective Truth. Whether we are connected to it is another story.

205. nigel - September 26, 2012

204. I in the Sky

“The same is true with regard to a spiritual life. But here I am not talking about studying religion or theology. I’m talking about living the words, living the laws. For the sake of discussion we would also eliminate many priests and monks, shamans, professors of spiritual studies, anyone engaged in the outer form only, the trappings.

The spiritual aspirant, like the budding scientist, would also adhere to studying known laws handed down through centuries. These would be the spiritual canons I refer to. The difference between spiritual studies and scientific ones is that with spiritual pursuits the results are largely inner results, as one is trying to perfect the soul. The laboratory is largely within; it is “know thyself” and by knowing oneself one knows others to the same degree.”

What is so ‘inner’ about fucking Burton’s Inner Passage – or being commanded to, by the infering that it is the will of the Gods. ‘Perfecting the Soul’ by perfecting the sick homosexual act. Sorry – but I do not buy this ridiculous convoluted connection to ‘Higher Laws’…..Nigel.

206. nigel - September 26, 2012

204. I in the Sky

“It will only lead to a more developed soul. And most of your fellow humans may not notice or may even be repelled by a more developed soul in their mist.. ”

A more developed HOLE, more like…..Nigel.

207. Ames Gilbert - September 26, 2012

Going back through the posts I’ve missed, I have to thank you all for your contributions, and in particular:
• Boogie Street (#127-151) for so clearly showing that I in the Sky’s ideas about conscience are theoretical—though to give her credit, she does not dismiss the concept out of hand like her master.
• Tim Campion for his excellent rebuttal of I in the Sky’s propositions (# 128-116). BTW, IITS, I am aware of that particular feeling that accompanies confirmation bias when I read posts like Tim’s, and try to take it into account.
• I in the Sky for providing such excellent examples of the thinking of a typical follower of Burton
• Bruce, Joseph Nachumovitch and others for continually getting me to rethink my premises and why I’m here.
___________________________
In other news, Nate Phelps, who escaped from the cult started by his father (Westboro Baptist Church), explains something of his life in the cult, how he felt when he left, how he feels now, and why he tries to undo some of the harm the cult has caused. Some interesting parallels and insights:
http://tinyurl.com/8q792uj

208. James Mclemore - September 26, 2012

It took me a while to see that Bruce is correct. Back in the days of “Daily Cardiac” I used to think I could actually enter a discussion with them and make some sort of headway. It is not possible. It is possible to pick out things they have said and use them as examples, whether they be examples of a certain narrow type of thinking, or examples of just plain ol’ faulty logic; and there are plenty of examples of both in “I in the sky’s” posts. But entering into a discussion with them leads nowhere, and gives them chances to digress into philosophy and their stunted logic about all sorts of subjects. I will have to paraphrase this, but Bruce once asked me long ago, after I had posted something addressed to “Daily Cardiac”. He asked me, “If you wanted to talk about something that was meaningful to you, would you do it with a fucking circus clown?”.

Still, when the “I’s in the sky” and the “Daily Cardiac’s” appear, they do bring out some of the most powerful rebuttals and deconstructions of their words. The last 3-4 pages have once again been a testament to that.
(Note to Ames) – many of your posts on this blog are, at least in part, the inspiration for me to keep following along and post myself from time to time.
If and when people find this blog, and they are serious about investigating the Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence, and read even a few of the stories posted here, and check Tim’s site on Robert Earl Burton, they can see the warnings loud and clear. It will make no difference to them, as Fee Fi Fo Fum pointed out, what year someone had left or how long ago someone suffered, or how many people have posted here. And if they should read the parts where “I in the sky” or “Daily Cardiac” is actively posting and read the context in which they are trying to defend the organization, they will see for themselves what the apologists are up to. Part of the apologist’s posts might possibly mislead some people to some extent, but serious seekers if they read enough of the blog, will see the issues which the apologists skirt and try to misdirect, and will see them as the real issues which causes us all to be here as a warning to those readers and seekers.

On the last page at 186 “I in the sky”, in a response to WhaleRider, said,

“If you are writing for someone who has not ever been in the FoF and has found this site because they are considering becoming part of the FoF then they have no reason to see me as a sociopath..”

But the actual answer to that is, ” YES”, they most certainly will have reason. Anyone willing to look at the whole context of the blog will see the lack of human compassion and the robot-like mentality and the sociopathy in their statements, especially in relation to Burton’s own behavior and the resultant suffering it has caused. All they will have to do is to read with an open mind.
“I in the sky” has had their mind on ‘lock down’ and ‘hold’ for over 40 years. In their defense, it does not appear that they have any idea what its actually like for someone / anyone, who is not in their very tiny mind set, to read their words. All they can do is to repeat over and over and over the reasoning and justifications that hide for them the ugliness of what the blog is consistently pointing to. They probably will not and cannot see what has possibly become a terror for them without them even knowing it. They cannot look directly at it because it would mean the very deep loss of a type of ‘specialness’. A loss which can sometimes all but obliterate a personalty. One can certainly hope for it, but they may never catch a glimpse of that bottom line which points directly to the Fellowship of Friends and its leader Robert Burton as just one among many ‘two-bit’ con jobs, run by a delusional sociopath which is harmful to peoples health in all respects, and that is doing business as a yet another pseudo “spiritual school”.

209. Agent 45 - September 26, 2012

Just to be make sure we’re speaking the same language folks –
Sociopathic is defined as: of, relating to or, characterized by asocial or antisocial behavior.
Psychopathic is defined as: of, relating to, or characterized by psychopathy; which in turn is defined as: mental disorder; esp. extreme mental disorder marked usually by egocentric and antisocial activity.
So I think psychopath is the more correct word to use when describing Burton and/or his henchmen.

210. WhaleRider - September 26, 2012

I in the sky:

“Why would man be given the ability to know the truths to outwards studies, such as the sciences – observing phenomena outside of himself, yet not have the ability to know, verify, his own inner states and understandings, or truths?”

You really need to get out more. It’s good that you are here.

In one fell swoop, (again) you continue to disregard the entire field, study, science, and practice of modern psychology, which IMHO, has far surpassed the archaic fragments of your cult’s so-called “spiritual truths”, supposedly “handed down” obviously in hierarchical form in order to mask authoritarian control over others.

What you are implying here is that not everyone has the ability to “know” and “verify” YOUR CULT”S understandings of inner states, or “truths”, which are “known” primarily through the process of confirmation bias, or as you say, “faith-based verification”, fueled by peer pressure and fear of abandonment.

The reason why most people don’t have this ability of which you speak is that what your cult has to offer, IMHO, is quite frankly delusional and leaves one bankrupt on every level.

Part of your delusion is you believe that everyone else on the planet is not “remembering themselves” and only you and a hand full of cult followers are…and that since you personally don’t trust yourself…only by subjecting your will to the will of another person with no real, tangible qualifications other than they claim to be more self-aware than you does that qualify you as more spiritually developed than everyone else.

These are a pretty big assumptions on your part.

You also “verify” this lack of self-awareness in others through observing their mannerisms from afar and by the company they keep, but strangely enough, you also “verify” this one person’s greater self-awareness (Robert Burton’s) in the same way, but come to this conclusion though something you think you lack, and not through their actions which harming others, giving him license to continue to do so.

And you initially arrived at all these conclusions from reading a book!

Wow.

I’ll remind you that the nature of people suffering from delusion is that they are incorrigible…which happens to be the feedback you are consistently getting here.

But of course, you see this as not your problem, it’s our problem….which now posters here are beginning to feel about themselves, too!

Great job!

I’ll also remind everyone reading this…that feeling of getting nowhere…that is the present…and it is still sweet.

Thank you for posting everyone!

211. fofblogmoderator - September 26, 2012

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