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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 131 October 21, 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/

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1. fofblogmoderator - October 21, 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. James Mclemore - October 21, 2012

THE BOOGEYMAN

“King of Clubs”
Burton says,
“It is a grotesque creature, …. All crocodiles are alike, and all think they are different. It is astonishing to cohabit with such a creature.”

Two somewhat different directions of thought arise from reading this. (Thank you Ames)

In the “King of Clubs” Burton seems to offer up his still held childish belief in the boogeyman. My guess is that it is no different than the common christian belief in the devil that blossomed into Burton’s fertile imagination and became the “King of Clubs”. He has given it, in his magical thinking, a ‘location’ as being somehow and somewhere inside of the body itself. And just like the boogeyman of Christianity where converts are told to be “very afraid” of what keeps them from the salvation they seek, it is the same old song and dance sold to the fellowship converts, and has the extra added benefit (to Burton) of not only explaining what is holding his followers back from the desired “evolution”, but can equally frighten them by telling them that this make believe entity will try to remove them from the “school”.
No matter what context it is told in, it takes a wild belief system and a lot of magical thinking, to come to the conclusion that your very own innocent body has such a “creature” embedded within it.
***

It is also interesting that Burton has described this being out of his own imagination, a being that seems to have properties (my apologies to real crocodiles) much like we think of belonging to a sociopath. “It is a grotesque creature, …. It is astonishing to cohabit with such a creature.”

3. nigel - October 21, 2012

2. James Mclemore

Thanks for reminding us of Burton’s ‘scare tactics’ to keep followers in his cult. As for the ‘king of clubs’ – I think he is talking about all the negative attitudes coming from having to bear his imposed HUGE FINANCIAL DEMANDS, putting up with OUTRAGEOUS BODILY DISCOMFORT (read, maybe, not having the money to pay medical bills that would give a degree of ‘workability’ to one’s daily life) and coming across people that one would either (1) not, in most circumstances, want to deal with and (2) be the sycophants and enablers that help Burton maintain tight control in the cult and offer ‘angles’ about how dissenters are being influenced by their ‘lower selves’ and, of course, the ‘king of clubs’.

I am not sure about others being like myself, who joined the FOF in their early twenties, but it was far easier to put up with instinctive friction in those days – sharing rooms/floor space in which to sleep at night and working furiously without much rest. Nowadays, I value my one-bedroom apartment, which is my little nerve/operations centre, my ability to provide regular food for myself and my little doggy friend and having friends who do not impose unnecessary demands upon me.

My question to pose, that I had thought about during the day, this Sunday, was – IS PERSONAL (SPIRITUAL?) EVOLUTION POSSIBLE IN ONE’S LIFETIME?…..HAS ONE ARRIVED AT A CERTAIN DEFINITENESS ABOUT ONE’S PLACE IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS?…..HAS ONE REACHED A PLACE WHERE ONE’S ACTIONS CORRELATE TO SOMETHING ONE COULD OFFER TO HUMANITY?

I believe that there are many questions to be asked of the validity of Burton’s cult, the reasons why people stay in his sick group and the, often sound, reasons that people leave and, through sometimes horrendous journeys of self-building of their spiritual/essential selves, arrive at a point where they can go back and ‘rescue the lambs bound for slaughter’.

I would, honestly, value anything that people can share in this important area…..Nigel.

4. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 21, 2012

Evolution is not about reaching a particular place but going in a direction that feels right.

5. nigel - October 21, 2012

4. JN

Do explain…..Nigel

6. Golden Veil - October 21, 2012

2. James Mclemore – October 21, 2012

“It is also interesting that Burton has described this being out of his own imagination, a being that seems to have properties (my apologies to real crocodiles) much like we think of belonging to a sociopath. “It is a grotesque creature, …. It is astonishing to cohabit with such a creature.”’

Yes, I agree, and you could say he’s more a “Crocodile Queen”
rather than any kind of King…

7. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 21, 2012

When you feel that you are going in the right direction, you know that the destination is beyond your imagination. It’s only the dead ends that are predictable.

8. ton2u - October 21, 2012

joseph, do you write for a fortune cookie company ? if not you should look into it, you have real potential.

9. Avenging Angel - October 21, 2012

4-JN

“Evolution is not about reaching a particular place but going in a direction that feels right.”

How can one feel that a direction is right, if one does not know where is going?

10. James Mclemore - October 21, 2012

Nigel –
” IS PERSONAL (SPIRITUAL?) EVOLUTION POSSIBLE IN ONE’S LIFETIME?…..HAS ONE ARRIVED AT A CERTAIN DEFINITENESS ABOUT ONE’S PLACE IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS?…”

I can be of no help with your question. I have no idea what the labels “PERSONAL”, or “SPIRITUAL”, or “EVOLUTION” even mean anymore. To me, they just sound like layers of vague descriptions that the mind makes up to try to bring a sense of order to something that simply will not be ordered about.
I also feel to have arrived at just about any kind of “CERTAIN DEFINITENESS” is somewhat dangerous. Can we live with not knowing? Anything beyond that simple knowing of ‘not knowing’ may quickly become metaphysics, about which the author Robert M. Persig said,

“Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a thirty thousand page menu, and no food.”

11. James Mclemore - October 22, 2012

ton2u –

I like the fortune cookie idea.
I used to think Joseph’s aphorisms were some kind of strange oracle that he sincerely thought would help us, both by overseeing and to straighten-up our quite obvious wayward thinking. But I am beginning to get the definite feeling that he is trying to convince himself of something, although what that something is, I have no idea.

12. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 22, 2012

in #3 Nigel poses some questions to the blog:

“My question to pose, that I had thought about during the day, this Sunday, was – IS PERSONAL (SPIRITUAL?) EVOLUTION POSSIBLE IN ONE’S LIFETIME?…..HAS ONE ARRIVED AT A CERTAIN DEFINITENESS ABOUT ONE’S PLACE IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS?…..HAS ONE REACHED A PLACE WHERE ONE’S ACTIONS CORRELATE TO SOMETHING ONE COULD OFFER TO HUMANITY?”

I can offer my subjective views on these matters, though conscious that in these matters we each have to come to our own conclusions.

IS PERSONAL (SPIRITUAL?) EVOLUTION POSSIBLE IN ONE’S LIFETIME?
For me to get traction on this I need to define evolution perhaps more modestly than I previously did, or the questioner may. My answer is a resounding yes if by evolution we can mean things such as
1) Taking our talents and making the most of them
2) Learn more about our own motivations, and capacities
3) Find ways to connect with others we meet, in ways that are pleasant and enriching for both parties
4) Searching out great works by others, and finding those that resonate in us, thereby deriving an enlarged personal world view as a result

If by evolution is meant ‘something that allows us to cheat death’, then no.

HAS ONE ARRIVED AT A CERTAIN DEFINITENESS ABOUT ONE’S PLACE IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS?

Only subjectively, but given the vast accumulated knowledge that mankind has assembled there is plenty of raw material from which to fashion our personal understanding. Here is my current take on it all. We are humans – which is a tremendously lucky fate, as we have language, a rich history, and the earth is a wonderful place to play the games we like to play, in the brief time we have in this incomprehensible universe.

HAS ONE REACHED A PLACE WHERE ONE’S ACTIONS CORRELATE TO SOMETHING ONE COULD OFFER TO HUMANITY?”

I am more sure of the answer to this one. Yes indeed. Humanity is composed of individual humans, and we have a chance each day to offer the best of ourselves to our friends, work colleagues, family and lovers. Sometimes a smile and a kind question can be just what another needed at that moment.

13. Fee fi fo fum - October 22, 2012

9 Avenging Angel, in response to 4 JN

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don’t know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.”

This became one of my favorite Lewis Carroll quotes, when I left the FF. I didn’t want to waste a lot of time feeling badly about how many years I’d spent in the FF, how infiltrated my mind had become by FF dogma, and how much money I’d poured into the FF coffers. I decided to give myself some practical goals to work towards, and it really helped.

14. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 22, 2012

Brevity is the only reason for any aphoristic impression that my posts might give. They are no more intended as aphorisms than yours are intended as examples of semi-literacy.

15. Tim Campion - October 22, 2012

So Joseph, in what ways would you say Mitt Romney fits the profile of a sociopath?

16. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 22, 2012

I don’t know anything about Mitt Romney, I don’t have any particular knowledge of sociopaths, and I don’t inderstand why you are asking me.

17. Agent 45 - October 22, 2012

I was rereading the search warrant (Page 130, Post #150 – Just the Facts Ma’am). It seemed to me that the agent, Brian, went above and beyond to include a reference to a 40+ year old conviction for marijuana cultivation by a current member and to include some seemingly extraneous information about the Fellowship & Burton.
It is well established that each and everyone in the Fellowship is under the thumb of Burton and that the monies “donated” are mostly used for his personal material upkeep and extravagances. It is also known that the organization and its leaders put themselves, by their own admission, above the laws of all other governments and hold “Life” in general in contempt.
When you think about it just a little though, the Fellowship having organized itself as a tax exempt religious organization, is an excellent medium and cover and may function as a distribution network, what with centers all over the United States and the world and regular visits from headquarters. Also, it’s a pretty good way to launder money. Can you say conspicuous consumption? We’ll see what comes out in the wash as the case works its way through the legal system. It’s CYA time and every Man#4 for him or her self.

18. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 22, 2012

#17 I thought CYA meant see ya, but that didn’t fit, so I looked it up and it can also mean Cover Your Ass, now that does make sense.

I wasn’t there, it wasn’t me, I never knew, I don’t even smoke, it’s good for cancer, we use it for rope, must be wild weeds just started growing, we are licensed by a medical distributer, we were away at the time, I thought it was ornamental maple, we can’t weed everything that grows here, I was just following orders, they told me C influence had written it into the play, Arnold Swarzenegger told me it would be OK. oh you mean THAT marijuana plant, must be the previous residents.

19. freeman - October 22, 2012

Whatever happens in the long run, the apologists must be having a hard time spinning any of the past decade as good news:

– Burton becomes increasingly incoherent in his so-called teachings.
– More people than ever are aware of his cult-leader shenanigans.
– Mass departures occur, with few people joining to fill the void.
– A suicide by the group’s top attorney.
– Federal agents are now investigating the cult.

So in recent years, the school does seem to be “accelerating” (Burton’s own words). Towards what exactly, is the question.

20. silentpurr - October 22, 2012

Joseph, do you know what it means: to have drunk the kool-ade?

21. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 22, 2012

20. silentpurr – October 22, 2012

“Joseph, do you know what it means: to have drunk the kool-ade?”

You need to either remove the colon or change the wording.

22. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 22, 2012

Do you know what it means to have sex with someone other than yourself?

23. James Mclemore - October 22, 2012

Nigel – Just in case you thought I was attacking your question and thus you, I assure you I was not. I was attacking that part of my own mind that still thinks it needs to accumulate more knowledge. The “not knowing” I was speaking of, and still seeking, may be expressed much better here in these words from Eliot.

For you Nigel, because of your obvious love for poetry

from “Little Gidding”
by T.S. Eliot

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.

24. James Mclemore - October 22, 2012

Nigel –

And something for your Gaelic roots that dwell in me also.

25. freeman - October 22, 2012

Question(s)… Has Robert Earl Burton written anything that goes beyond short, separate comments here and there? Has he written anything more extensive than a few words strung together in a sentence or two. Has he written anything that goes beyond the usual “daily-card quotes” or quick-hitting comments?

In other words, has he written an essay? Has he written a page with connected paragraphs? Has he written anything more extensive that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion? Has he written a book?

It may not seem significant to the average indoctrinated cult follower. However, one thing I’ve noticed about short sentences: You can hide many things in them. You can hide that you’re not very intelligent. You can hide that you lack practical knowledge. You can hide that you don’t have a heart. You can hide that you lack compassion and empathy for others. You can hide that your ideas are suspect, or even insane. You can hide that you’re incapable of speaking with any depth about most topics.

For a group of people who repeatedly talked about “having long thoughts,” I sure would like to know more about what those “long thoughts” are. I think in the final analysis, we’ll never hear those “long thoughts” from Burton because it wouldn’t be a very flattering picture of him. It might reveal way too much about who he is. So much better, he probably figures, to just stick with the short ready-made sentences.

I’m guessing a few people may think back to some of his early meetings in the 70s, or to some of his smaller dinners. But from my own experience, can’t recall one time where he spoke at length and coherently about any topic. If he ever did, I would love to hear what he actually said, or what he actually wrote, and would be very curious just what type of insanity is evident within it.

26. nigel - October 23, 2012

23/24 James Mclemore

Many thanks. Number wise – 23 is my mother’s birthday – 23rd January. She loved poetry and was a profound teacher of it for me.
24 – unfortunately, I cannot run Utube sounds but appreciate your beautiful sentiment. You are one of life’s givers. May you live in all our hearts. Yours…..Nigel

27. Golden Veil - October 23, 2012

25. freeman – October 22, 2012

“Question(s)… Has Robert Earl Burton written anything that goes beyond short, separate comments here and there?”

If you look at excerpts from what I believe is Robert Burton’s sole published book, “Self-Remembering,” at the below link, it does appear to mainly be a collection of his brief “Daily Thoughts”….

http://www.selfremembering.org/foreword.htm

28. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 23, 2012

Robert Burton is not a writer and has never pretended to be, and his book is simply a collection of his words taken down over the years by his students. Does that now make him some kind of literary fraud on top of everything else?

29. Agent 45 - October 23, 2012

Ha! What has Burton not pretended to be?
Only the High Priestess of the Fellowship organization and almost anything else he can get his greedy hands on.
By the way, the identity of the CS (Confidential Source) has yet to be revealed. Obviously, that person has an insider’s view and is probably gathering intel as we speak.

30. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 23, 2012

#29 The identity of the confidential source should never be revealed. Despite Burton’s description of his sick harem as a “School of Love” I would seriously fear for their safety if their identity was revealed.

31. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 23, 2012

#28 Joseph Nachumovich says:

“Does that now make him some kind of literary fraud on top of everything else?”

No, it simply reveals him to be a shallow thinker.

32. freeman - October 23, 2012

31. Shard, yes, that was largely my point.

Burton is also afraid to expand on his thoughts because it would reveal too much about him. Maintaining control depends on deception. If he can hide most of what he’s thinking, it keeps his followers at a disadvantage.

Burton is not a “literary fraud”. He’s just a fraud, period.

Personally, I like short compact sentences, or even zingers, if they have a clear point, and if they are occasionally accompanied by longer comments that elaborate a bit. Burton doesn’t elaborate because it would expose him to be a fraud. I never expected him to be “a writer” or a good speaker. What everyone should expect out of someone who holds a position of responsibility (and Burton does, although in a twisted way) is that they share what they are thinking. This is one of the reasons that leaders are questioned — so that people can be aware of what they’re intentions are, and then make informed decisions about whether they want this person to remain in a position of responsibility.

I often hear people say that “the Fellowship is not a Democracy.” The more important question is whether or not he should be held accountable for his actions. Whether he will every be held accountable, remains to be seen. But what we do know is that he is doing everything he can to escape accountability. One part of that is that he doesn’t elaborate on his thoughts. He doesn’t need to be “a writer” to do that. He just needs to be someone who has nothing to hide. The more he talks, the more the lies are exposed.

33. Golden Veil - October 23, 2012

32. freeman – October 23, 2012

I see the Fellowship of Friends cult in a sort of reverse “The Emperor has New Clothes” syndrome ~ the “students” see all the gold, jewels, and other fine elegant trappings surrounding their “Teacher”… but in reality it’s all a facade ~ there’s nothing really there underneath all the frippery. Yes, he is a fraud, a “Fourth Way” fraud, who has one
particular “student” beginning to weave an “esoteric legend” to elevate his own roots in order to perhaps “take the helm” and guide the floundering “Fellow-Ship” once the elderly “Teacher” is gone…after all, someone’s got to inherit his materialistic bastard legacy.

According to this “student,” “Gurdjieff’s Ark of Wisdom Sails On.”
But in reality, the Fellowship of Friends is about as far from being “Gurdjieff’s Ark of Wisdom” as a silk purse is from being a sow’s ear. Especially if you think of the Fellowship as a gaudy silk purse with nothing of value inside of it and the sow’s ear as part of a real animal…

http://ggurdjieff.com/backstage/

34. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 23, 2012

#33 Golden Veil:
Love your analogy! You had me thinking “He’s written it out the wrong way round hasn’t he?”, and then the master stroke – The fellowship is not as high as a sow’s ear – it’s an empty silk purse, priceless!

35. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 23, 2012

#33 “Gurdjieff’s Ark of Wisdom Sails On” – a line by line examination:

The pages and posts on ggurdjieff.com are written by Asaf Braverman.

– never met him, after my time.

The portrait of Gurdjieff shown to the right was painted by Emily Gordon.

– I was at the London Centre when she painted them. She had a wonderful technique and expressed it in the miniature form.

The biographical outlines shared on this site were researched and written by Hugh James.

– then I have a bone to pick with Hugh James.

Beyond these, Asaf takes responsibility for any points of view expressed in ggurdjieff.com, originating as they do, from his own experience with the Fourth Way and his own study of ancient wisdom.

– Ok Asaf I’ll hold you responsible for any inaccuracies then.

Gurdjieff’s Ark of Ancient Wisdom Sails On…

J.G. Bennet | William Nighland | Lord Pentland

After the deaths of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, students in Washington and New York continue, as best as they can, experimenting with Fourth Way principles.

-true.

America now enters the post World War II era, characterized by the breaking down of form and the emergence of the Hippie movement.

-I like the capitalised Hippies, they were the best thing about the sixties for sure.

It is a decade ripe for esotericism. Gurdjieff’s student William Nighland connects with the young generation of people reacting to the increasingly materialist values of the postwar world.

-not heard of Nighland before, will look him up later.

Alexander Francis Horne

-OK, I HAVE heard of Horne!

William Nighland’s circle includes Alexander Francis Horne, a teacher of theatre, dramatist, and playwright. Horne learns more about the Fourth Way from J.G. Bennet’s New York groups,

– I briefly joined Bennet’s son’s group in London in 1977 – Ben Bennet chucked me out for turning up late and stoned one time – and he was right to do so. It did mean that when I met the FoF I was determined not to fuck up and lose the school.

from the Gurdjieff Foundation, as well as from Rodney Collin himself, whom he visits in Mexico.

– I can see this “transmission of the sacred flame” underlying theme is designed by Braverman to appeal to those for whom the line of transmission is important, indeed Gurdjieff and Ouspensky both emphasised the lineage as giving legitimacy to the teachings they followed.

Upon Collin’s death, Horne is dissatisfied with the condition in which he finds the Gurdjieff Foundation (now institutionalized without its founder). He recommends that Lord Pentland disband it.

-I dare say he did.

Horne establishes the Theatre of All Possibilities and incorporates Fourth Way principles into his theatrical work. Horne’s methods are severe, forcing his students to work on themselves by subjecting them to pressure and charging them with large demands.

– Now Asaf, that is a bit thin isn’t it? The Theater of all possibilities
was extreme, their ex-students have been graphic in their descriptions of life under the control of Horne. I have to suppose you have checked their descriptions out before penning this article, in the spirit of research? http://theaterofallpossibilities.blogspot.co.uk/

His plays In Search for a Solar Hero and Ponderings of a Citizen of the Milky Way sum the ideals of the sixties, ideals which that decade never fully attains. Yet in so doing, Horne translates and transports Gurdjieff’s work to a new generation.

-OK

Horne moves his group to San Francisco, where he meets and marries actress Sharon Ganz.

-I like her in Slaughter House 5, captured by the Tralfamagorians. Glen Gould Bach is on the soundtrack as well.;-)

The Theatre of All Possibilities is eventually taken over by Sharon, forcing Horne to return to New York. As the ‘flower children’ turn into the increasingly materially prosperous baby-boomers, the spirit of the sixties is extinguished.

– what a tired generalisation, a sign of a lazy mind, one that is happy with broad stroke sweeping statements

Alexander Horne’s teaching splits, his wife taking the more active role with the groups, while he continues working with a smaller circle of students until his death in 2011.

– yep

Robert Earl Burton
😦

Robert Burton joins the Theatre of All Possibilities in 1967 in San Francisco. He dedicates himself to Alexander Horne’s work, in which he learns the principles of the Fourth Way as expressed by Horne, as well as reads the extensive literature left by Gurdjieff, Ouspensly and Collin.

– OK that is just plain wrong. He has told many people that he hasn’t read Gurdjieff, why would you lie on such a simple point?

Burton leaves Horne in 1969, and establishes the Fellowship of Friends in 1970. In 1971, Burton purchases property in the Sierra Foothills and establishes the heart of his school. Outlying centres spring up in Carmel, San Francisco, Los Angles, San Diego, and then throughout the United States. In the 1980′s, he sends his students to open centers abroad, and the Fellowship draws students interested in the Fourth Way internationally.

-yep all true.

Burton departs from Horne’s severe methods.

– this is subtle. Horne used physical violence, and Braverman probably feels that justifies his statement. But I suspect some of those Burton kept in thrall for his sexual delight would claim his abuse was more insidious, and in the end worse than Horne’s.

He uses, as his foundation, the Fourth Way as expressed by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Collin. In the 1990′s his teaching gradually assumes its own hue,

– so I hear – a rather amusing colour as I understand

as he blends it with earlier expressions of ancient wisdom.

-this must be the famous “Rhino poop interpretations”, fabled pinnacles of human oracular achievement

His work and organization grow to an international scale and attract more students, as well as criticism, mostly from former members of his organization.

-hey he gives the Blog a shout out! Hi Asaf!

As of 2012, the Fellowship of Friends still resides in the Sierra Foothills, under the direction of Robert Burton.

-yep

Gurdjieff’s Legacy in the 21st Century

And so ends the arguable history of the Fourth Way as it manifests in the 20th century. Arguable, I say, because many will claim that it ended with Gurdjieff’s death in 1949, denouncing even Peter Ouspensky from the title of heir to its spirit (let alone giving any credit to the later generations of Nighland, Horne and Burton). History is, inevitably, an inexact science, one subject to the interpretation of the historian.

-God this guy is so wise!

But since those interested in Gurdjieff – who has passed away – may find interest in his influence – which stays on – I have here given its outline as best as I could.

-I think you could have tried harder mate.

I encountered the Fourth Way in 1995, joining Burton’s Fellowship of Friends, and am still a member of that organization.

-Do a Miles, listen to your conscience and leave

I moved to the California headquarters in 2000 and began working closely with Burton on his teaching. In 2007, I was forced to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom

-brought you in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom, surely not, surely the origin is in the ancient past, some wacky dudes who painted their caves in the evenings after they had killed their supper.
that I had been previously studying in theory. I traveled to all the major ancient sites of the world, spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America.

-nice

Those two years of travel were an odyssey – a genuine encounter with the miraculous – which is always bitter-sweet and involves as much payment as it bestows reward.

– poor diddums

The experience was proof, if any were needed,

-I think some proof would be helpful, yes

that the spirit of ancient wisdom is as alive and accessible today as it ever was in previous days. The spark didn’t leave with Gurdjieff’s departure nor had it arrived only when he set foot on the stage. But to tell more than this would require telling a whole story – which I am in the process of writing.

-will it contain nudity, strong language, sex and violence?

If you’d like to follow the progress of my book, join my mailing list through the wooden box on the upper right of this site.

-I’ll just wait till it’s finished I think, thanks all the same.

36. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 23, 2012

Sharon Ganz in Slaughter House 5. Because of the principle structural idea in the film – that Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time, I think the 4:32 of the Trailer works very well.

Bach, Gould, Vonnegut – examples of deep thinkers.

37. Opus111 - October 23, 2012

Alexander Francis Horn (horny perhaps, but not Horne) is said to have died in 2007 (9/30/07). Mr Braverman wrote he died in 2011. May be Horn lived a few more years at the ranch…

38. WhaleRider - October 23, 2012

Asaf Braverman:
“In 2007, I was forced to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom that I had been previously studying in theory. “

So the orgin of ancient wisdom is a place?

39. WhaleRider - October 23, 2012

Asaf Braverman:
Apparently, this wisdom is found at the “….major ancient sites of the world, spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America.”

Amazing. All that wisdom…just lying around…right next to the magical thinking.

40. silentpurr - October 23, 2012

Joseph, 20-21, Sorry for the confusion. I meant to ask you if you’d heard of the phrase “to have drunk the Kool-Ade”.
Kool-Ade was the drink to which the poison was mixed and drunk by loyal followers of the Jones-town cult back in the late 70’s in defense of their leader Jim Jones.
“To drink the Kool-Ade” connotes one’s willingness to sacrifice everything to someone or something seen by history and the rest of the world to be destructively false.

41. Tim Campion - October 23, 2012

Asaf Braverman wrote:

In 2007, I was forced to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom.

This September 5, 2007 post by Ames Gilbert may suggest what precipitated that journey:

Dear 2bits (#288, or thereabouts),

Re. Asaf’s recent doings… For what it’s worth, at a party last weekend I spoke with some folks who made their break quite recently, and I’m assuming that they have good contacts. I hope I’m reporting their words, or the gist, correctly; no guarantees!

They told me that Asaf indeed married A. P., the young daughter of present followers, here in the U.S., quite recently. They then traveled to Israel to meet with Asaf’s family. When trying to leave that country, the authorities looked he and A. up, and found he was already married to someone else. This apparently is a ‘marriage of convenience’ so he can obtain a “Green Card” (Alien Registration card, conferring most of the rights of citizenship on the recipient, for those not up with the details of U.S. immigration).

My understanding is that the Israeli and U.S. authorities share quite a few details about travelers. The upshot is that he seems to have blown his chances with the Green Card, since one of the conditions of obtaining a Green Card through marriage is obviously that the marriage be legitimate. So he and A. are apparently setting up shop in Italy, where he will run the “Journey Forth by Day” octave, whatever that is, and the peons can continue to support him (and her) in the style to which he has become accustomed.

I suppose his I.N.S. file now includes a false declaration of marriage, lying to the immigration judge, and bigamy. Both easily provable crimes, here or abroad. I’d also guess that A. herself and the parents of A. knew that he was committing bigamy, as did the FoF minister who married them, the guests at the reception if any, and a host of others, including good old Abraham Goldman himself. All accessories to actual crime, with the minister who married them and Abe actually criminals in their own right. Just a guess, of course. I’d also guess that other laws were broken. For example, the requirement for blood tests before the marriage, the registration of a false marriage in the county court, and so on. And I’d hazard that Italy doesn’t approve of bigamy, either.

The other person attracting trouble would presumably be the bride in the ‘marriage of convenience’. I’m sure the I.N.S. are not going to be moved by her tears, or the professions of anyone involved that it is the wish of C–Influence, or the ‘conscious beings who did the cave drawings’, or whatever.

Apparently Dorian has taken over the role of helping Burton formulate and articulate further deep thoughts in the meetings. And so the criminal saga continues…

Ames

42. Ames Gilbert - October 23, 2012

Opus111 (#131-37 or thereabouts),
you know and I know that Asaf Braverman is an unquestioning, devoted follower of Robert Earl Burton, and has entered the fantasy. Burton discovered that Alex Horn was dead in 2011. Funny how Alex, now supposedly an angel, never get around to communicating his new status to Burton for years and years. Burton, after all, was his prize pupil—according to Burton—and pretty much the whole point of Horn’s life.
Never mind, they found out about his purported death, and purported date thereof, and Burton, predictably, pontificated about it at length, claimed Alex Horn was now an angel (in communication with him at that very moment, natch), thus creating another a big sensation inside the walled garden. More circular proof positive that Burton is ‘conscious’, and that his ‘teacher’ must have been ‘conscious’, so Burton must be ‘conscious’, etc.

For Asaf, this is ‘verification’: Burton spouts, so Asaf, a future ‘Man Number Five’, takes it all in as objective truth, using the method and standards of appointed ‘Man Number Five’, Girard Haven (I quoted quite a lengthy excerpt that he wrote about verification on p. 73 of his book, “Creating a Soul” here:
http://tinyurl.com/8g484hc

According to Social Security death records:
HORN, ALEXANDER
565-36-0399
Birth: 14 Aug 1929
Death: 30 Sep 2007
Last residence: New York 10011
Death certificate observed (P). Issued in California

I’m sure ‘C-Influence’ intended Robert Burton, Asaf Braverman, and Girard Haven to look as stupid as they are. After all, “the play is written” . . .

_______________________
More on Asaf:
Asaf Braverman may have ‘had to set out on a journey’ because he committed bigamy. He married the young Ansley Pierce (on Burton’s instructions) while he was still married to Elisabetta Da Ros (another arranged marriage, for purposes of obtaining a green card—according to the “David Springfield Letter” posted by Black Marker: “It was our diligent monitoring of the blog that put us on notice that Asaf Braverman’s arranged (by Fellowship officers and/or agents) fraudulent marriage to Elisabetta da Ros was being exposed to the world. “)

The way I heard it, Asaf and his new ‘wife’ set out on their honeymoon, which included Israel. The Israeli border exit authorities contacted U.S. authorities about discrepancies in their records, and the U.S. refused him re-entry. His Israeli family is rich and influential, and after a lengthy absence during which they were based in Italy, the happy couple are said to have been able to finally return to the U.S. At least, someone reliable told me that they had seen them fairly recently in Oregon House.

43. Ames Gilbert - October 23, 2012

Oops! I had no idea that Tim had just posted pretty much the same information just before me. Déjà vu all over again!

44. thirdlurker - October 23, 2012

Hey As If,

Ya gotta name for that book yet?
Here’s a suggestion:

‘Meetings With Remarkable Flim-Flam Men and the Flims That They Flammed’
(How my dreams became pseudo reality)
an Autobiography

45. NewLife - October 23, 2012

(#131-42 or thereabouts) Ames states:
“Burton discovered that Alex Horn was dead in 2011”

Robert knew of Alex Horn’s death in 2007. At a meeting in October or early November 2007, he related to those at the meeting that Alex had passed away. He did seem surprised that he didn’t know about his death until after 3-4 weeks had passed.

I think he found out from a student in New York who had seen Alex’s obituary in a NY newspaper. (Not certain of this).

He didn’t say much more at the time other than that Alex was now an angel.

46. fofblogmoderator - October 24, 2012

44 and 45 are new

47. Tim Campion - October 24, 2012

NewLife, Ames:

“Ollie” provided an account of the February 10, 2008 meeting in which Robert discussed Alex Horn.

48. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 24, 2012

I find these two videos go together quite well:

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/video

49. Ames Gilbert - October 24, 2012

Newlife and Tim,
you guys are right and I was wrong about the date of Burton’s talk. I had checked Asaf’s site to check what he had written, “Alexander Horne’s teaching splits, his wife taking the more active role with the groups, while he continues working with a smaller circle of students until his death in 2011” and that got stuck in my mind.
Thanks for keeping me straight!

If Ollie was correct (and he has always been reliable in his reports, as I’ve checked with other sources), then it seems that Burton did actually have a good deal to say about the death of Alex Horn. Including not finding out about his ‘teacher’ becoming promoted to angel until well after Horn shuffled off this mortal coil.

50. Tempus Fugit - October 24, 2012

So Alex Horne has gone to dust with apparently no greater notice than any ordinary man.

Will Burton leave a greater mark?

After more than forty years what is the legacy of the FOF?

No one was enlightened, no one was saved. No great art, no great music, no great books – nothing.

Instead, lies, greed, suffering, and death – these are the true children of the Fellowship of Friends.

A rotting corpse in a Brioni tuxedo.

51. James Mclemore - October 24, 2012

After reading the link at 47 where Burton is speaking about Horn, I found myself shaking my head and trying to picture the people in the room listening to him and wondering what they could possibly be thinking as their supposed “teacher” wanders all over the place in his mind making almost no sense. Besides the sociopathic and pschopathic tendencies, and the obvious narcissism, I wondered just how wacko is this guy?

Here are some bits and pieces from an article in “The Skeptics Dictionary”…

apophenia

There is currently a controversial debate concerning whether unusual experiences are symptoms of a mental disorder, if mental disorders are a consequence of such experiences, or if people with mental disorders are especially susceptible to or even looking for these experiences. –Dr. Martina Belz-Merk

Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena. The term was coined by K. Conrad in 1958 (Brugger).

Soon after his son committed suicide, Episcopalian Bishop James A. Pike (1913-1969) began seeing meaningful messages in such things as a stopped clock, the angle of an open safety pin, and the angle formed by two postcards lying on the floor. He thought they were conveying the time his son had shot himself (Christopher 1975: 139)

Brugger’s research indicates that high levels of dopamine affect the propensity to find meaning, patterns, and significance where there is none, and that this propensity is related to a tendency to believe in the paranormal.

In statistics, apophenia is called a Type I error, seeing patterns where none, in fact, exist.

Those of us who have had the pleasure of spending some time with a person having a psychotic episode have often been asked to see the significance of such random things as automobile license plate numbers, birthdates, and arrangements of fallen twigs.

52. Ames Gilbert - October 24, 2012

Tempus Fugit (#131-50 or thereabouts),
you said, “No one was enlightened, no one was saved. No great art, no great music, no great books – nothing.
Instead, lies, greed, suffering, and death – these are the true children of the Fellowship of Friends.”

Jesus said, according to Matthew, Ch. 7 in these verses:
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits . Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down , and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(KJV)

53. Adab - October 24, 2012

Asaf.

As most of the main voices on the blog, like Ames and Tim, haven’t had any contact with Asaf, I’ll throw in what I know.

He’s a genuinely likeable bloke, there’s no doubt about it. The times I’ve met him, I’ve never been impressed by any great depth of understanding. However he was encouraged to treat his enforced exile from the U.S as a kind of esoteric tour along the lines of Ouspensky’s world visits described in ‘A New Model of the Universe’ – and now he’s writing up a book about them. When Burton dies, he will probably take over – he was being groomed as a man #5 when I left in 2006, and he already charged a hefty amount for dinners/events in OH then.

All the Fourth Way stuff is pure guesswork. No-one has any idea who the hell William Nighland is, and Horn was never in a group in the Gurdjieff Foundation, so whatever judgments he made about it were from the outside. So the ‘line of transmission’ such as it is, is from someone unknown to someone who never entered the Fourth Way or ‘found’ it as Asaf describes, to someone who left Horn’s group under ambiguous circumstances only a year after he joined it. Not a ringing endorsement, at least if you believe someone has to learn about something before they start to teach it.

Meanwhile the Jimmy Savile scandal grows in the U.K.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nspvr/Panorama_Jimmy_Savile_What_the_BBC_Knew/

The latest documentary above. The resemblances to the FoF are quite disturbing. Savile’s practices were institutionally protected, so his victims always felt they had ‘no choice’ when they were approached for sex by Savile. Most of them were described by one contemporary of Savile’s as “under-age sub-normals”, and he sourced his victims from hospitals and mental institutions. They had no voice and no-one cared enough to give them one at the time. The documentary also shows Savile returning home to his house number 22, which is half of 44 – if someone would like to key that…

54. Golden Veil - October 24, 2012

William NYLAND was a student of Gurdjieff. Although he died in 1975, two of the groups he founded gather to this day in open
meetings in San Francisco and New York.

http://www.nyland.org/nyland.shtml

55. Golden Veil - October 24, 2012

Correction: there are numerous groups still operative!

56. Golden Veil - October 24, 2012

More information on the Alex Horn / Robert Earl Burton connection
according to Rick Ross:

http://rickross.com/reference/theater/theater21.html

57. Ill Never Tell - October 24, 2012

48. Shard_of_Oblivion:
Macaw / Parrot cursing [on YouTube]

My parrot says,
‘What fools these mortals be!’*

* William Shakespeare
A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Act III. Scene II.

Aerial, my parrot’s name,
is learning to say:
‘The play is written.’*

* You can attribute that as you like.

The play is written!
The play is written!
The play is written!

Õz¤ trayãßñÞ Ÿkhul ƒ¥šoñcøß😉

58. Adab - October 24, 2012

54 Golden Veil

Thanks for that correction – any other info on the alleged connect between Nyland and Horn?

59. Shard_of_oblivion - October 24, 2012

So it turns out Braverman’s article is even more riddled with inaccuracies than I first noticed!

1. Misspells Nyland as Nighland

2. Misspells Horn as Horne

3. Mistakes the year of death of Horne [sic]

4. Omits to mention bigamy as the cause of his own exile

5. Fails to note that Burton tried but failed to read Gurdjieff

6. Says “The spirit of the sixties was extinguished” but as we all know the spirit of the sixties will live forever. All together now “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to where some flowers in your hair”

This guy badly needs an editor, I dread to think of the half baked mish mash of new age nonsense he will be promulgating in this forthcoming book of his.

60. Shard_of_oblivion - October 24, 2012

#52 Adab links to the BBC Savile documentary.

A particularly chilling instance was where he withheld his “Jim’ll fix it Medal” from a 9 year old boy scout, and then used that bauble to bribe this innocent into giving him oral sex in his room after the show.

It called to mind descriptions of how Burton buys his Russian boys with silk shirts and trinkets.

61. Shard_of_oblivion - October 24, 2012

#59 supplemental:

I almost forgot, he misspells Bennett as Bennet. All in all reveals an untidy mind, for whom accuracy is unimportant.

62. Ames Gilbert - October 24, 2012

Well, IMHO, Asaf may indeed be charming, but that doesn’t alleviate his support for Burton’s charade, including the dark and ugly side. It’s not looking good, as he derives his authority and gravitas from Burton and takes advantage of the flock to charge a mint for his ‘teachings’.
Of course, as Adab points out, I don’t know him, but I can survey some of his fruits that are accessible.

Let’s see; websites that are completely unoriginal, and derivative without even the virtue of accuracy. This is the persona he presents to the rest of the world, trying to suck in recruits. Co-creator of ‘keying’, the most important feature of the new religion, helping to confuse and hypnotize the laity, rendering them even more helpless and unlikely to individuate. Vanity and certainty oozing from every pore, both in videos and in his writings (note to self: watch out for that in my posts!). Allows another to act as intermediary between himself and ‘higher forces’, and to dictate and prophesy his ‘level of consciousness’, without protest (http://tinyurl.com/8wp5x2d). Allows another to dictate his relationships and marriages to women who are not even consulted in the process.

Well, Asaf, I wish you the best, truly. You are clutched deeply in the coils of a remorseless sexual predator, are embedded in the fantasy of a narcissist, reflecting admiring images back and forth to your mutual satisfaction. You’re going to have a hell of a time digging yourself out, should you ever be interested in doing so. The fates of the other chosen by Burton to be ‘future conscious beings’ have not been good, at least while they remained in the Fellowship. Good luck—but even more to those who cross your path and whom you influence as you follow in your master’s footsteps and put what he has taught you into practice. The harm you are doing and will do to yourself and others as you chart this course is your responsibility alone.

If you have any contact with your conscience, listen to it now. Chuck the whole thing up today, withdraw from the fantasy, make any reparations that you can, go back into life, earn your own independent living, and try to become a normal, decent, compassionate human being.

63. Just the Facts Ma'am - October 24, 2012

41/194. Ames Gilbert – July 23, 2008:
‘I have to feel sorry for the Asaf and Dorian. They have “a tough row to hoe”.’

Could you also mean: They have “a tough hoe* to row”.

* As defined at: urbandictionary.com:
‘H-O-E
(444 up, 248 down)[website scored value]
-short for whore.
-the skank everybody knows in town especially at school, work, social area, etc.
-sleeps with whoever, whenever, and whatever.
-letting the partner hit it raw.
-everybody has a name for.
-they either get offended or laugh it off because its true.
-homewrecker and player.
-closet hoe or known hoe.
Look at that skank hoe walkin like she has a dick up her ass. Or looks like she just got off a horse.

What a closet hoe! Dancing and grinding on everyone..we all know she/he ain’t innocent behind closed doors.’

I remember going to a formal dinner with REB and Asaf was sitting next to REB, as usual. I was sitting very close and could see REB grabbing Asaf’s crotch and fondling him under the table. They had this expression on their faces like they were in heaven (world 12 and/or world 6, or whatever, circulating) ‘Oh, isn’t it so lovely, we are in love.’ And many of the other guests just gushing about how adorable it all was.

REB could not keep his hands off his boy toy.

64. Ames Gilbert - October 24, 2012

Joe Average gave us more details about Asaf and his rise to prominence here:
http://tinyurl.com/8eyfboc
Gives you an idea of where he’s coming from.

65. Nevasayneva - October 24, 2012

#63 Just the facts
“I remember going to a formal dinner with REB and Asaf was sitting next to REB, as usual. I was sitting very close and could see REB grabbing Asaf’s crotch and fondling him under the table. They had this expression on their faces like they were in heaven (world 12 and/or world 6, or whatever, circulating) ‘Oh, isn’t it so lovely, we are in love.’ And many of the other guests just gushing about how adorable it all was”

I attended many many many a formal dinner myself where Asaf or another of REB entourage was by his side. I really really really really doubt if you could see waht you describe- what did you do? drop your fork and dive under the table for a clear examination? So personally I don’t think it happened. REB is known to hold hands and be quite emotional with the people on either side of him – No crime in that.

if thats what you saw, thats what you saw.
I just want to record that I never saw anything like that.

I am not an apologist, but I think that readers -especially those who have never been in FOF and are perhaps concerned family or friends- are ill served by making things too sensational and lurid. It is not necessary.

The bare facts are sufficient. No need for extra hot sauce.

66. Golden Veil - October 24, 2012

63. Just the Facts Ma’am – October 24, 2012

64. Ames Gilbert – October 24, 2012

65. Nevasayneva – October 24, 2012

Yes, with those formal white table cloths draping everyone’s laps, dining Fellowship of Friends students and their teacher could do all sorts of things with each other, sight unseen, couldn’t they? So, is this indeed a true story; students have actually ducked underneath the table cloth and seen the above described fondling, or what? Why, Robert Burton is old enough to be Asaf Braverman’s grandfather… it’s awfully hard to imagine a young man at 18 or in their 20s welcoming the fondling of such an old man… unless he had some sort of father issues, a very distant father, or something (mind control?)…

67. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 24, 2012

Sounds like the last days of the Roman Empire down there on the farm! I guess it comes from believing there are only a few weeks left before Armageddon?

The beautiful Russian voice over brings to mind Roosevelt’s words “Speak softly and carry a big stick”

68. freeman - October 24, 2012

65. Nevasayneva

There are numerous things written on all of these 131 pages that I wouldn’t have believed back in, say, 1985 or 1990.

It’s 2012, though, and I’ve learned a lot since then. Mostly I’ve learned to open my eyes. It helps to have people telling their stories — as opposed to the standard operating procedure of NOT telling their stories because they would be kicked out of the cult.

This is just a rhetorical question, but was the story (grabbing someone’s crotch under the dinner table) really all that shocking and unbelievable given everything else that’s been reported?

If it is still shocking to someone, then there are still some layers of denial and indoctrinated thinking that need to be peeled away. I’ve been there — on more than one occasion listening to someone explain the situation to me, and on more than one occasion being in denial about it. There’s no gentle way to press home the truth other than to tell it.

69. Golden Veil - October 24, 2012

Nevasayneva ~

Regarding the under-the-table crotch-area fondling:

Maybe it’s, as you say “sensational and lurid,” and

maybe it’s also, as you say, not “all that shocking

and unbelievable…”

Maybe it’s true.

70. Just the Facts Ma'am - October 24, 2012

65. Nevasayneva

Yeah, you’re right, Nevasayneva, they were just holding hands, how innocent.

71. brucelevy - October 25, 2012

Incidentally, Mihai is now the general manager at The Stone House in Nevada City.

72. Nevasayneva - October 25, 2012

Okay sorry I did not wish to open a can of worms. I never saw what “just the facts, ma’am” described. I am just saying i never saw it. I am not saying it happened or did not happen on the occasion or occasions that Just the facts ma’am describes. I don’t know.

Ok I said more than that- I gave an opinion that I doubted it happening. I would like to retract my opinion and stick to the facts that I just did not see it and I don’t know.

73. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 25, 2012

At least I’m not the only one who his asking himself what is the relevance, considering all the other accusations, of what went on under the dining table.

74. Golden Veil - October 25, 2012

73. Joseph Nachumovitch – October 25, 2012

Well, this is just conjecture, of course, but I suppose for posterity’s sake, one day someone might look back and be able to note where and when the (possibly) new teacher might have begun to receive the manifestations of C Influence from his master, the founding teacher. Find out exactly how and when this lineage or “sin-age” began to be transmitted. If one looks carefully, evidence of C Influence is ever present, yet somehow never fails to surprise…

75. WhaleRider - October 25, 2012

“Right now there are angels hovering over the dinner table…”

(The hands are quicker than the I’s.)

76. Tim Campion - October 25, 2012

Whalerider,

Do you mean he actually said that to distract the diners from what was going on under the table? (Naturally, no one would dare drop their fork at such a moment.)

77. Adab - October 25, 2012

Ames, thanks for the Joe Average link.

I don’t think Asaf is the same kind of creature as Girard or Dorian. At one level he is an earnest young man who takes all the philosophical bilge seriously – the same as we all once did… He’s also had his problems with Burton, particularly when he fell in love with a girl while also being Burton’s ‘lover’ [or whatever else you want to call it] at the time. This was documented earlier in the blog by Paola G.

The difference is that while I believe GH and DM will try to perpetuate the FoF when Burton passes on, I don’t think Asaf will try that hard – I doubt he has either the will or the desire, despite the fact that so much energy and faith has been invested in him. Girard is so invested in the FoF as an organisation that he’d probably make the effort despite his physical condition, and Dorian is the sort of scam artist who will try to keep a good thing going – but IMO Asaf will just drift on to something else fairly quickly… He might make a token attempt but that will be about the limit of it.

78. freeman - October 25, 2012

76. Tim Campion

“Whalerider,
Do you mean he actually said that to distract the diners from what was going on under the table? (Naturally, no one would dare drop their fork at such a moment.)”
——

I realize both of you are joking, but this would have been a vintage Burton “inside joke” — grabbing someone’s crotch under the table while he’s pointing everyone’s attention to the “angels hovering above the table.” He loved to poke fun at people’s lack of awareness. That’s largely what sociopaths do — take advantage of people not noticing the obvious.

For Burton, fooling people and deceiving people is fun. He gets a charge out of it. It feeds his twisted sense of superiority. I frequently noticed him getting a laugh at someone else’s expense. In general, people would just think, “He’s just pointing out that people are asleep,” but his propensity to make fun of people was one of the first signs to me that something was off. (especially with all of the bullshit “exercises” about not expressing humor and sarcasm, etc.)

Ironically, if there was anyone in the FOF who deserved to be the subject of people’s jokes, it was him. People learned to stop just short however — it generally didn’t go over well.

79. Golden Veil - October 25, 2012

For those who may be (or have recently been) in a sexual relationship with the Teacher, or be a man or woman who is in a sexual relationship with a current or recent Fellowship of Friends student, I re-post this (qualifying income revised):

1. Golden Veil – June 25, 2011

For your information ~

The below information was first posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog on June 14, 2011, shortly after the following statement was posted:

“I heard from a reliable source that Robert has AIDS.”

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

Let’s hope that Robert Burton’s sexual partners and their sexual
partners have the good sense to get a free HIV test. Are you at
risk for having contracted HIV? If you have been sexually active
while being a Fellowship of Friends Student with another Student,
even if in a non-monogamous relationship*, why not get tested?

The closest FREE HIV TEST for women AND men nearest to
Oregon House is 35 miles away (via CA 20 E) in Grass Valley.

The Clinic at Women’s Health Specialists
120 Richardson St . Suite A
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800) 714-8151

This location offers a walk-in, no appt. necessary, free HIV test

Mondays 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
and
Wednesdays 12 pm – 6 pm

Qualifications for the free test:

(If single) Income under $1,862 a month

Under age 55

Men – Have NOT had a vasectomy

Women- Have not had a hysterectomy or ‘tubes tied’

* If you are part of or have been associated with a Fellowship
of Friends centre in another city and think you may be at risk,
try Googling Free HIV test and the name of your city. Call
and ask for a referral for a free HIV test clinic.

May everyone test negative and be HIV free! Good luck!

* Not everyone shares with their partner, girlfriend, boyfriend,
wife, or husband who they’ve had sex with. Sometimes one
is not told.

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

80. Golden Veil - October 25, 2012

By the way, the person that was quoted above, if at all correct, probably should have worded their assertion more like this:

“I heard from a reliable source that Robert has tested HIV Positive.”

81. Nevermind - October 25, 2012

On Asaf’s website it is stated that Ouspensky was a student of Gurdjieff for 10 years. Wrong again. Ouspensky was a student of Gurdjieff for 3 years. For 1915-1918.

“In Russia, I met in Moscow a small group, and very soon saw that it was a school. I began to work in it about 1915 and got many ideas there. The first principle of this school was to do nothing until you understood, and the result of every effort was measured by understanding. Understanding was the chief principle. One other principle was that one must not believe anything; everybody must verify everything, accept it or not accept but never act on faith.

“Another condition was that those conducting the school must keep people reasoning; not produce infatuation.

“I worked there till 1918. There was a constant communication between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and then we all went to the Caucasus. In 1918 I parted with Gurdjieff because something changed. He changed the first principles and demanded that people must believe, and must do what he tells them even if they don’t understand. All people left him with the exception of four, of which three were new.” –Ouspensky

82. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 25, 2012

Curiosity about the Gurdjieff lineage after reading Braverman’s bogus account led me to this simple and clear site. Nyland gets a mention, but sadly for Braverman, Horn and Burton are absent.

http://www.gurdjieff.org/pupils.htm

It does seem to be a constant theme among the various main world religions to get very concerned with lineage. There are enjoyable accounts of how the ZEN tradition was passed not to the obvious second in command but to a butcher, when everyone in the monastery was invited to pen a short poem to express their understanding of ZEN.

The Catholics are very pleased with an unbroken line from St Peter to the current pope.

The cause of huge conflict currently in the middle east between Shi’a and Sunni traditions can be traced back to when Mohammed died and 2 different people reckoned they were the rightful heirs to his ministry.

I think it will be most amusing to watch the factions and power struggles after Burton dies.

Note the contrast between religious authority and scientific authority. It would be absurd for a scientist to say you must accept my theories because I was taught by Einstein, instead he or she has to describe their experiment in sufficient detail that others can reproduce the results for themselves. That’s the way to get real knowledge of the world.

83. jomopinata - October 25, 2012

Interesting collection of lineage quotations here: http://www.esotericfreedom.com/Lineage.html

84. WhaleRider - October 25, 2012

Lance Burton Stripped of Seven Title

(Beleva-SWITZERLAND)-American evangelist Lance Burton was stripped of his man number seven title and banned from life by the international spiritual community Monday following yet another report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accusing him of leading a massive doping program in his cult. Several of Burton’s cult team members have also been recently arrested for large scale marijuana cultivation in and around his Northern California headquarters.

In Paris, religious director Christian Prudhomme said at a news conference he no longer considers Burton a man number seven. Prudhomme called the decision “totally logical and rational” and said “Lance Burton is no longer a goddess in a man’s body; he is a sociopath.”

Former cult team members said Burton should be banned and stripped of his number seven title for “the most sophisticated, institutionalized and successful doping program that quasi-religious groups have ever seen” within his Fellowship of Friends and Pathway to Presence Homosexual Octave team.

The newest report said Burton and his octave team leaders employed Darvon, OxyContin, the erection booster Viagra, and infusions of alcohol to artificially heighten performance and alter the mental states of hundreds of young heterosexual male team members.

The report alleges the drugs and alcohol helped suspend the young men’s critical faculties in order to pave the way for the elderly Burton to seduce them into having sex with him.

The report includes a petition with statements from hundreds of former teammates who wrote sworn testimonials against Burton, who allegedly fondles the genitals of his victims under the table during the dinners he hosts, teaching them to think with their dicks instead of their brains.

Burton continues to deny doping or fraud, despite having settled several lawsuits against him out of court. He always chooses not to fight the charges in public, arguing the world is biased against him.

Former Burton team medical director Thomas Neuschatz is also facing doping charges for supplying the homosexual octave team’s drugs, but he is challenging the Medical Board of California’s case in court sometime in August-September of 2013.

Burton also stepped down last week as chairman of Journey Forth, the fundraising charity program he founded 15 years ago for himself after surviving an IRS audit that had him by the balls.

The astonishing financial success of Burton’s cult placed him at the summit of moral depravity, offering an inspirational story for other aspiring sociopaths that transcended the cult ruse.

However, his downfall will end “one of the most sordid chapters in cult history”, the spiritual community says in its 131-page blog that is published daily.

85. jomopinata - October 25, 2012

BEGIN QUOTE

Newsgroups: alt.consciousness.4th-way
From: henr…@aol.com (HenryK8)
Date: 29 Oct 1994 10:05:04 -0400
Local: Sat, Oct 29 1994 10:05 am
Subject: Re: Cults and Questions

Regarding lineage and a polled Horn:

A friend in the work pointed out to me that although “lineages,” and for that matter, “certificates” and “diplomas,” don’t guarantee ability, they do indicate what someone may have been exposed to in passing. This may provide insight into what the someone has or lacks, what may be present or absent in a teacher.

I knew Horn and was present when Pentland visited TAP on Bleeker St. in New York City on May 1, 1966. I didn’t know all the behind-the-scene details, but I clearly saw that Pentland disapproved of what he saw. Horn seemed a supplicant. Within a few months that group ended and Horn left New York.

As of the moment I type these characters, I believe the Pentland-Horn connection was minimal–so tenuous that no connection in the sense of lineage existed.

Regards,

Henry Korman
henr…@aol.com

END QUOTE

86. Ames Gilbert - October 25, 2012

Adab, you’re welcome.
A couple of years ago, someone on the blog offered a collection of Fellowship of Friends videos and CDs they were throwing out. I accepted the offer, so I have gems like, “With Robert in Egypt”, “Dinner in Cairo”, “Galleria Teaching Meetings”, and so on, from 2004-2005. It took a while, but I forced myself to watch those two; I haven’t got around to the others yet.

“Dinner in Cairo” is 52 minutes of exactly what Joe Average was describing. There is a big opulent room, long tables arranged in a square. Most seated, some standing. Burton introduces the theme, “To Be”, and pontificates for a while. From then on, Asaf reads out one-liners from various traditions (mostly Egyptian sounding) or from Burton himself. While he is reading, Burton rolls his eyes skyward. When he’s finished, Burton turns hi eyes downward and interprets. Almost every ‘angle’ concerns ‘The Thirty Work I’s” and being present. Sometimes there is a loose relation (that I can fathom) to what Asaf has said, sometimes not. Then he pauses, shifts his body towards Asaf, signaling him to bring forth another. And so it goes, for the entire time. Few of the followers eat much or at all from the dishes in front of them, though some scoop in a mouthful when Burton pauses to eat or drink. As an aside, he does mention that he has done over 300 ‘events’ that year so far. Big money in that . . .

“With Robert in Egypt” is a sort of travelogue, interspersed with dinners like the above, walks to pyramids and temples. One very interesting scene is towards the end, on an internal air flight. Burton is sitting next to the window, his current ‘boy’ (young, somewhere between 18-22, I’d guess) next to him, and Asaf next to the aisle. The cameraman is shooting over the seats in front. Everyone who can crowd around in the seats next door do so. Asaf reads one-liners from a printed sheet across the ‘boy’ to Burton, who again does an instantaneous interpretation, just as in the dinner. Simple, and no matter what Asaf says, it is always all about “The 30 Work I’s”. Asaf makes brief notes on the printout. While this is happening, the ‘boy’ is looking weird and terrified, eyes bulging, very much like he doesn’t want to be there at all. He is facing forward, but with his left arm sticking straight out sideways. Burton has the boy’s hand trapped between his thighs, near his groin if not on it, and is stroking the top of it with his fingers. For the entire time. The actual footage goes on for many minutes, and then ‘looks around’ at the followers in the aircraft, then pans back every now and then to Burton and Asaf, and one can see that the scene is still the same; Asaf, the ‘boy’ and Burton, just as they were. It is extraordinarily creepy! This frightened young man and the guy old enough to be his grandfather, as Golden Veil pointed out.

And remember, this is on a DVD that is widely circulated amongst the laity. This is all normalized for them now.

Adab, Asaf Braverman may have started as you say, but I put it to you that if enough people around him believe he is something special, he will come to believe it himself. Just like Burton. It happens all the time, enough that you could call it ‘guru syndrome’, an occupational hazard that very few are mature enough to avoid. He is already ‘teaching’ (and charging for the privilege), he’s on that track, and on his way to being trapped. Put it another way, what could there be in him that would resist? He’s already been taught, in word and deed, that ‘conscience is just a collection of I’s’, and that he is something special. What else could anchor him as the currents around him swirl him towards becoming the next ‘Man Number Five’?

87. The FOFion - October 25, 2012

Apollo Olive Oil ends contract with Lance Burton

OREGON HOUSE, Calif. (ARK) — Apollo Olive Oil ended its advertising contract with Lance Burton on Thursday after hearing the shocking news earlier this week that the World Spiritual Community had stripped Burton of his Man Number 7 title.

For years, the olive-oil industry heavyweight had denied any close ties to Lance, so the announcement was puzzling to most onlookers. Others took the announcement in stride.

“I didn’t believe there was any connection, and I thought it was ridiculous to suggest that proceeds were being used for Lance’s activities,” said one loyal customer. “If Apollo Olive Oil says they have no connection, then by golly I believe them. But you know, if it turns out that I was wrong in believing that — and if there actually was a close connection — then good for them for finally severing their ties and moving on. That shows a lot of integrity.”

88. Golden Veil - October 25, 2012

84. Ames Gilbert – October 25, 2012

Please find out how to upload the video. I think that it would be especially edifying for young, male “prospective students.”

89. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 25, 2012

#86 #84 I agree with Golden Veil – apart from the noble motive of warning young potential victims, it will give me a good laugh. You can setup a youtube account with a mickey mouse gmail address, and upload 15 minutes at a time, I think it best to have the videos as unlisted as then you are not really publishing them, and put the URLs here for our delight and amusement.😉

90. Golden Veil - October 25, 2012

On “Air Fellowship”…

It’s likely that when issued, this DVD cost a pretty penny to own,
and many films uploaded on YouTube are copyrighted.
I’m not sure about privacy rules, but if it was offered for sale
at one time, at least it couldn’t be considered a private home video, could it?

91. Ames Gilbert - October 25, 2012

The DVDs are copyrighted. I can’t put them up in full. The FoF does monitor this blog. They have taken down lots of FoF videos before this. But the “Doctrine of Fair Use”, if I understand and apply it correctly, would allow me to put up excerpts, along the lines of ‘educational commentary’ or ‘in the public interest’, I believe. Jomo would know more about that, probably. Anyway, you wouldn’t want to look at more than a few minutes, I assure you. Dull, highly repetitive, vain and empty stuff, IMHO.

The big issue is that I have an old Mac, pre-Intel, 8 years old. I have the dickens of a hard time finding software, especially what I’d call ‘minor software’ that works on it, like DVD still grabbers, YouTube translators, and such. Anyway, I’ll explore the issues.

In the meantime, any of you lurkers who want to contribute to the library (video and photographs only, I already have quite enough books and journals, thanks) can quietly and anonymously mail your unwanted stuff to: 14499 Lower Colfax Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945. If it will cost more than you can afford, then you’ll have to trust me with at least an address so I can reimburse you.
And, anyone local who can help with the technical issues, by all means call me at (530) 272-4775 . . .

92. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 25, 2012

#89 technical stuff for Ames:
I believe even with an old MAC you should be able to download a copy of Realplayer that will work on it. If so that will give you an easy way to make excepts. The free version of realplayer has a function called trim, so when you play a video using it, there is a toolbar near the bottom and trim is one of the boxes. When you click on trim it opens the video in another window, and you move the bars on the timeline at the bottom to select the bits that you want, then it creates a new smaller video when you save from that. You can only do one extract at a time with realplayer, but obviously you can repeat the process to get a selection of excerpts.
8 years is very old for a computer, when you look for a replacement I would recommend looking at what Lenovo offer, their laptops are solid and well built – it will change your life.🙂

93. Ames Gilbert - October 26, 2012

You know, guys and gals, on second thoughts . . .
I’m thinking that videos such as the one showing the young man with the ‘deer in the headlights’ expression with Burton on that aircraft shouldn’t be put ‘out there’. General scenes of the membership, yes, Burton and Asaf, the honchos such as Kevin Brown or Linda Kaplan/Tussilo/etc., who are public figures, yes. But this young fellow and others like him are most likely going to bitterly regret their relationship with Burton at some time. Having their images be out there in such a position seems to me to be unwarranted. I can try and put myself in their shoes; I’d be so ashamed. They have and will have enough to deal with without that, they were and are victims. So, if I put stuff ‘out there’, I am going to delete those scenes. I’ll just describe them without naming names (except that of Burton, of course).
I know, I know, the entire membership of the Fellowship of Friends knows who they are, the DVDs are widely distributed in case anyone actually didn’t initially know they were part of the harem, but that is different from any old person coming across them on YouTube, such as former and future friends, employers, or, God forbid, their relations or parents. Imagine their pain!
Sorry about that, but there you are, someone else may do it, but I’m not going to be the one . . .
On the technical note, Shard, neither RealPlayer or Quicktime will let me hear or take samples of audio at the same time as video. But thanks for the thought.

94. fofblogmoderator - October 26, 2012

81 and 85 are new

95. James Mclemore - October 26, 2012

93. Ames Gilbert –
“You know, guys and gals, on second thoughts . . .”

I really like your “second thoughts” Ames.

From your description of it, we can probably be sure that there were many on that plane that also saw his look of bewilderment. Unfortunately we can also be somewhat sure that no one went to see if they could help him,………….. until you just did.

96. Golden Veil - October 26, 2012

93. Ames Gilbert – October 26, 2012

Absolutely excellent point!

97. Adab - October 26, 2012

Ames.

“Adab, Asaf Braverman may have started as you say, but I put it to you that if enough people around him believe he is something special, he will come to believe it himself. Just like Burton. It happens all the time, enough that you could call it ‘guru syndrome’, an occupational hazard that very few are mature enough to avoid. He is already ‘teaching’ (and charging for the privilege), he’s on that track, and on his way to being trapped. Put it another way, what could there be in him that would resist? He’s already been taught, in word and deed, that ‘conscience is just a collection of I’s’, and that he is something special. What else could anchor him as the currents around him swirl him towards becoming the next ‘Man Number Five’?”

Everything you mention would certainly have an effect on him, and it’s obviously very flattering for his ego to be looked at as someone special.

But ultimately, he doesn’t have the same remorseless network of obsessions as Burton, which have up to now driven things forward in the Fof. He doesn’t have the same set of inner demands. He likes the attention and the flattery, but he hasn’t got the sheer drive to sustain an organisation on his own. He’s along for the ride, but he’s not driving the horses.

The resistance is the lack of basic need to perpetuate the Fellowship. He doesn’t need it to give him sex [he has a real wife] or money – maybe a bit of power, but his family background already assures him of that… At root he’s a drifter, and he’ll drift away from the FoF too.

Good call on the vids, I don’t think you should expose the identity of those boys.

I was on a couple of those ‘Robert in Egypt/Turkey’ trips. In fact I went for the full Monty, which meant travelling in a small bus with just a dozen or so of the closest retainers plus the boys.

I remember picking up a newspaper from a shop somewhere in Anatolia, and starting to read it at the back of the bus. It related to my job but I wanted to read it anyway. When I looked up everyone was staring at me, then someone leaned over and said Robert thought that a newspaper was ‘life pollution’! It was at that moment I realized that “feminine dominance” – if it existed at all – was stronger in the Fellowship than anywhere else. I kept on reading, because it was necessary for my job…. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s…” I suppose at little moments like that you’re ‘leaving’ internally.

98. Fee fi fo fum - October 26, 2012

97 Adab

“…Robert thought that a newspaper was ‘life pollution’!”

Back in the early years (mid 70s), it was understood that we would not read newspapers, watch t.v., go to the movies, etc. I can’t remember how RB or the FF made it clear that all of that was forbidden. By the early 1980s, that atmosphere slowly let up, and some of us bought television sets. That media blackout atmosphere reinforced the isolation of FF students from the outside world. I’m sure there were many who somehow kept up with what was going on in the world, especially as the 1984 prediction of the next Depression caused some FF students to want to gain from a possible market crash.

In fact, I thought about the FF aversion to keeping up with world news and business news when I in the sky commented, several pages ago, about how s/he “suffered a little” about the children of (I forget which countries were mentioned, Iraq and Syria?). Aside from rolling my eyeballs up that someone so steeped in the FF mindset could possibly feel true sympathy for so-called “life people”, I wondered whether the FF attitude about keeping fully abreast with what’s going on in the world had changed. From RB’s reaction to the newspaper, evidently not.

On a previous subject, the Jimmy Savile scandal continues to occupy a full page of the NY Times almost every day. The ripple effects are about accountability, and “what did you know and when did you know it” type of questions. There are a few parallels to our own comments about RB, such as, how is it possible this happened since the 1960s (Savile) and 1970s (RB), but no one did anything? And one BBC Channel 4 reporter said dismissively that the victims were teenagers and therefore not that young and what happened to them, sexually, was not that extreme. She missed the point of someone in a position of authority and public acclaim having forced or imposed himself on them. In the FF’s case, the men are not minors (except for TB), but again, that is actually not the point.

99. Nevermind - October 26, 2012

Clearly what the Fellowship is trying to do here is establish a connected between Gurdjieff and Asaf Braverman through Ouspensky and Rodney Collin:

From Braverman:

Alexander Francis Horne

William Nighland’s circle includes Alexander Francis Horne, a teacher of theatre, dramatist, and playwright. Horne learns more about the Fourth Way from J.G. Bennet’s New York groups, from the Gurdjieff Foundation, as well as from Rodney Collin himself, whom he visits in Mexico. Upon Collin’s death, Horne is dissatisfied with the condition in which he finds the Gurdjieff Foundation (now institutionalized without its founder). He recommends that Lord Pentland disband it.

Horne establishes the Theatre of All Possibilities and incorporates Fourth Way principles into his theatrical work. Horne’s methods are severe, forcing his students to work on themselves by subjecting them to pressure and charging them with large demands. His plays In Search for a Solar Hero and Ponderings of a Citizen of the Milky Way sum the ideals of the sixties, ideals which that decade never fully attains. Yet in so doing, Horne translates and transports Gurdjieff’s work to a new generation.

Horne moves his group to San Francisco, where he meets and marries actress Sharon Ganz. The Theatre of All Possibilities is eventually taken over by Sharon, forcing Horne to return to New York. As the ‘flower children’ turn into the increasingly materially prosperous baby-boomers, the spirit of the sixties is extinguished. Alexander Horne’s teaching splits, his wife taking the more active role with the groups, while he continues working with a smaller circle of students until his death in 2011.

Calculation:

Alexander Francis Horn (14 August 1929 – 30 September 2007)

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

Was Horn ever in Mexico with Collin?

Horn born 14 Aug 1929

Collin dies in Mexico 3 May 1956

Horn would have been 27 when Collin died.

Horn is spotted in NYC ten years later

New York City on May 1, 1966 Horn is sighted with Pentland.

Horn is 37 at the time.

Obviously it is not impossible that a 27 year old Horn, ten years before establishing his “school,” somehow heard about an obscure group founded in Mexico in 1948. Somehow he finds out where it is located and travels there to be welcomed by Collin.

Off the internet:

“In 1948 Rodney Collin and his wife Janet moved to Mexico, together with a few followers, where they lived for two years in Tlalpam. His book The Theory of Eternal Life was published anonymously in 1949, at which time he wrote Hellas, a play depicting different stages of Greek civilization. At that time he continued his work on his book Theory of Celestial Influence, published in 1953 in Spanish and in 1954 in English.”

Collin’s book was published in the US in 1954, so he could be discovered by Horn through the book.

Information found on internet:

Alex Horn and protegés David Daniels and Robert Burton

By the time David Daniels obtained a high school diploma at 20 years of age in Chicago (1953) he had been Horn’s frequent companion for four years; Horn and Daniels came across Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” (ISM) at this time. After a year at the Art Student’s League NYC, Daniels went back to Chicago. Horn was leading an ‘acting class’ there which included Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Ed Asner, David Daniels and Robert Burton. The group took an “esoteric” trip to Mexico, on account of Horn’s interest in Ouspensky biographer Rodney Collin, who had settled there.

In December 2007, Daniels posted the following about his relationship with Horn:(url posted later)

Collin had also been at Ouspensky’s Farm in Mendham, New Jersey. Daniels claimed to have been given authority at Mendham and The Gurdjieff Foundation, however Foundation head (Lord) John Pentland wrote that while Daniels had had nothing to do with the Foundation, he remembered seeing him and his wife Sally at Mendham sometime during the years 1959 to 1961, after which Daniels was institutionalized in Hillside Hospital Queens NY for year, where he learned about the structure of therapy groups and ’supervision’.

In 1966, Horn introduced Daniels to his NYC group, including Robert Burton, as “someone who knew about Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and would show and teach them about their work.” According to a member “In the fall of 1966, Horn disappeared for a month; returned confused, contradictory, and incoherent; then, In 1967, under threat from members, Horn disappeared for good, handing over the group to Daniels and moved to London, then Berkeley/Oakland. When Daniels took over, he moved the group from a loft on Bleeker Street to meetings in people’s apartments.” Said a member, “Horn’s NYC meetings focused on Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous.” He picked ideas from this book and “harangued on subjects.” Horn was cruel and oppressive at times; so was Daniels. Neither gave straight answers. Horn had a number of ‘wives’ and ’screwed around’ with members of his group.” While Daniels continued his role as ‘teacher’, Robert Burton left this scene and by January 1970, he was in California, where he founded the Fellowship of Friends with ISM as a prop.

In 1971, Horn visited Daniels at the Elizabeth Street building in NYC. Shortly, Daniels had shaved his head and was requiring his temperature and pulse to be checked frequently. He later described having been visited by NY police who suggested that members of his group were extremely angry with him and that he might do well to leave town as quickly as possible. He persuaded teenager Sue Liebowitz, to travel with him and immediately left by train with her for Boston, where he quickly gained a following by repeating his Village Voice ad in the Boston Phoenix: “Ideas of Gurdjieff, Shah and their source.”

It looks possible that Horn, Burton’s teacher of 14 months, could have spent time with Rodney Collin.

100. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 26, 2012

#93 (or thereabouts) Ames, your real feeling for your fellow man is inspiring, and contrasts so clearly with the conscienceless thrust of Burton and the FoF.

101. Wouldnt You Like To Know - October 27, 2012

Lineage in the 4th Way is so much mythologisation and there is no way to actually know what took place and when – and whether anyone advanced spiritually, or otherwise, from their involvement. On the personal level, you know what you know, understand what you understand, and experienced what you experienced.
Ultimately:
‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’
Matthew 7:15-20 KJV

102. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 27, 2012

#99 Nevermind posts interesting history of the precursor cults to the FoF. One of the sources is a post by anonymous on this blog

http://defenseagainstevil.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/ten-warning-signs-of-a-potentially-unsafe-group-or-leader/

I note that other posters on that site question some of anonymous’s details, (dates of death from Aids of some teacherettes etc), so it looks like anonymous was relying on his/her memory for the facts of the story. I was surprised that that narrative suggested Burton was with Horn and Daniels in both NYC and possibly also Chicago (it’s a bit ambiguously phrased on that point) in the early sixties, as I had always heard he met Horn around 67/68 in the Bay Area. Also if Horn did organise his trip to Mexico before Collins’s death in 56, surely Burton would have proudly pointed to an unbroken conscious line from G to O to C to H to himself, but I don’t recall that ever being mentioned.

There was a link in anonymous’s post that suggested Daniels had posted info himself on another blog, but though it is interesting reading, I didn’t see anything from Daniels himself. It seems some people found these teacher types to be lovable rogues, others were scarred for life by them.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3225379245169244270&postID=2945426880804067124

103. Ames Gilbert - October 27, 2012

Adab (#131-97 or thereabouts),
you knew Asaf, I’ve never met him in my life, so your actual experience far outweighs any opinion of mine!
Since he is a major star in the cult I’m most familiar with, I’ll view his future progress with considerable interest. And I’m sure he will continue to bear visible fruits from time to time to help any evaluation of what’s going on.

104. Nevermind - October 27, 2012

What is it that some people want so badly that they feel they need the help of a teacher in order to get it?

For one thing, while young, there is an inherent feeling of psychological insecurity for some people. Some feel empty or they feel that something is missing.

What is it that is missing?

Many intelligent people sense that the day-to-day personality each develops in order to meet the requirements of life is an inadequate psychological expression for experiencing real meaning in life. Especially since the personality habitually complains, criticizes and judges much of what happens. Many people feel like they are stuck in a near permanent sense of disillusionment and discontentment as embodied in this sense of “myself” as irritated critic of all that takes place. There are also many very good external reasons for feeling dissatisfied with and critical of life. The continuous news reports coming through the electronic devices deliver endless daily details of the insanity, violence and corruption happening in every part of the world. The incoming facts seem to prove that civilized life is very far from ideal and utopian and it seems that an idealistic utopia was the original point of civilization in the first place. Clearly civilization has failed to become a utopia.

Some people are near permanently dissatisfied with life and dissatisfied with themselves, or at least dissatisfied with the self that constantly mutters to itself inside the restless and annoyed mind.

Most people find a coping mechanism in order to deal with the obvious insanity of life. Most find motivation enough in their personal lives that all that seems wrong with the world is far secondary to their own personal interests. Such an arrangement is considered normal.

For some this coping motivation of self-centeredness just does not work and they live in a state of dissatisfaction with themselves and the entire disordered world. Naturally they want to find a place and a state of mind that is reasonably sensible.

This is the first deceptive hook: the people introducing the prospective student to the cult are highly practiced at the role-playing charade of pretending to be self-satisfied, self-contained, pleased with themselves and unperturbedly content. The cult actors are in fact none of these things internally, but they have been trained to pretend to be “untroubled and positive.”

The prospective student observes these self-contained and positive caricatures of human beings and concludes that he needs whatever these people have that has evidently brought them peace.

It is only later that the naiveté wears off and it becomes clear that the cult is a place where seriously disturbed sub-humans scurry around pretending to one another that they are unaffected, happy, self-fulfilled super-humans. Meanwhile the absurd and squalid dramas play out in semi-secret as the real energy of the “psychological improvement” focuses on the frenzied gossip circulating between highly entertained and distracted sullied cretins.

Hook number two: there is reportedly a legendary all-knowing authority figure intelligently directing the overall purpose of the micro-society. He is spoken of in loving and reverent tones. He is quoted and venerated. There is a strange universal impression of unanimous awe toward the enlightened one existing at the heart of the micro-society and it is thoroughly hypnotic.

The initiate has arranged within his mind all the required attributes that indicate the presence of a holy man which he has gathered from years of accumulated bits and pieces circulating in the mythology of the general culture. All of these impressions concerning what it is that a saint entails are spring-loaded in the heart of the desperately dissatisfied seeker ready to be projected on anyone clever enough to feign the kind of external signs of grace-filled indifference that serves as a willing silver screen for the reflection of the student’s expectations.

Hook three: the initiate rejects the ordinary world for the contrived reality of the cult’s group fantasy world. Here is the entire thrust of the so-called “work”: convince yourself that the spiritual fantasies of the cult are real and that what you would normally consider real is in fact false. In other words brainwash yourself, if you want to be accepted as an advanced sage in the pecking order of cult politics.

Hook four: the teacher is a master manipulating malignant narcissist and to him other human beings are mere insects meant to be used and disposed of when finally drained and utterly disillusioned. No one dares believe that it is possible that the central figure of all these eager and dedicated people is an emotional vampire feeding his futile and insatiable sense of importance on the lifeblood of everyone who comes near him. The eternal hook is that the follower is constantly trying to achieve the impossible, he is trying to become of value and consequence to someone that he mistakes as a man of ultimate understanding and fairness.

People plainly, naturally and innocently want out of the oppressive state of mind produced by their own corrupt personality which they have involuntarily developed in a life where there is more or less constant negativity and neurosis. Unfortunately in many cases they end up in the oppressive state of mind produced by the corrupt cult-of-personality circling the psychological drain around a hyper-selfish madman.

105. ton2u - October 27, 2012

106. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 27, 2012

Yes, lying to oneself is definitely a problem…

107. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 27, 2012

another little anti-dystopian tonic for a fine saturday evening

And if you see, don’t make a sound
Pick your feet up off the ground

108. nigel - October 27, 2012

103. Nevermind

So brilliantly put (where do we find meaning in life, beyond the cult?)

Walt Whitman, from “Song of the Answerer”

“A young man comes to me bearing a message from his brother,
How shall the young man know the whether and when of his brother?
Tell him to send me the signs. And I stand before the young man
face to face, and take his right hand in my left hand and his
left hand in my right hand,
And I answer for his brother and for men, and I answer for him that
answers for all, and send these signs.”

My brother, Richard, (Rule Hard – in German, but does not, since his dominance feature is softened) built my website – http://www.exesilver.co.uk – I have so much to be thankful in life at this time with the beautiful blossoming of my business after years of not knowing where my ‘awkward psychology’ would lead me. I think we all know, who have been through the Fellowship of Friends, survived and moved on (Ames, Whale Rider and others) that there is beauty in contributing to community and the basic common good. I am almost tearful with thanks for the way the Gods have ‘offered up my fate’ to me and would hope that all who have survived the cult come to a point of re-defining themselves. With all blessings on us all…..Nigel.

109. nigel - October 27, 2012

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

The Coming of Wisdom with Time

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

110. ton2u - October 27, 2012

thanks shard — classic floyd… and thanks to all who care…

If you didn’t care what happened to me,
And I didn’t care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain.
Wondering which of the buggars to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.

You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me.
So I don’t feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I’ve found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.

111. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 27, 2012

#108 cool website Nigel, the silver jug looks simple and classic. You are making things that will last and give great pleasure, unlike Burton whose legacy will exude the malodorous stink of lies, corruption and greed.

#104 Nevermind’s analysis cuts to the heart of the matter.

#105 ton2u, “What’d’ya got to lose, you know you come from nothing, you’re going back to nothing, what have you lost …. Nothing!”😉

112. Maple - October 28, 2012

I just found this blog while I was searching for information about a person who used to hold a high level position within the FOF. How would I go about finding more information about Dr. Frank Annis? He was my aunt’s psychiatrist and I believe he is guilty of unethical transgressions.

113. Tim Campion - October 28, 2012

Familiar Fourth Way School “Non-Profit Organization” recruiting on facebook.

Upcoming open meetings in Moscow, Kiev and Nizhny Novgorod offer an opportunity for reverse bookmarking!

From the Moscow meeting announcement:

Esoteric School of the Fourth Way holds a series of introductory lectures on the principles and methods of conscious human development. Meetings will be held in Moscow on 10, 11 and 12 November 2012. Beginning at 19:00. Admission is free. Registration by phone: 8 (926) 210-9367

114. Golden Veil - October 28, 2012

Dear Moderator,

“The Fellowship of Friends” also known as

“The Art of Divine Presence” and also by

the name “Living Presence,” is now called by

the misnomer “Fourth Way School” in Russia.

It appears that we need to add to our header

Fourth Way School ! I would suggest we list:

Fellowship of Friends / Fourth Way School
Living Presence / Art of Divine Presence

* Currently, there doesn’t seem to be any marketing
under the name “Pathway to Presence” we have listed.
“Pathway to Presence” is the name of a page for Audrey Mairi !

115. fofblogmoderator - October 28, 2012

102 and 112 are new. Golden Veil @114, I will get to making that change

116. WhaleRider - October 28, 2012

Maple:
I believe Frank Annis was known in the Fellowship as Frank Heartwell.

117. Ames Gilbert - October 28, 2012

Maple (#131-112 or thereabouts),
the Dr. Frank Annis who was in the Fellowship of Friends left the organization in July 1995. His ex-wife is still a member. I didn’t know him well, but from what I can remember, he was probably only important for his donation potential. There are plenty of pay services on the internet that claim they can find him for you, but you need to carefully check their offerings, and also that whoever they bring up is indeed the one you’re looking for. Surely your aunt has more direct information, like his office address and such?

118. Tempus Fugit - October 28, 2012

The Medical Board of California lists a Dr. Frank Lloyd Annis and can be found here:

http://www.mbc.ca.gov/

This may be the doctor you are looking for, although it’s possible it is someone else.

Consumers can also find instructions on the Board’s website on how to file complaints.

119. Maple - October 28, 2012

My aunt has alot of info about Dr. Annis from her sessions with him. She told me some of the things he said to her so I started looking him up online. I found that he was part of 2 lawsuits in the Fellowship of Friends covering up rapes of children. At least that is what it sounded like from what I read. I think he has alot of skeletons in his closet and by exposing some of them to her I hope to get her to realize he and his questionable advice should not be heeded. I think he brainwashed her and hopefully this will help restore her life back on track.

120. E.L. Kramer - October 29, 2012

I knew Frank Annis from the very beginning. In fact I knew him and Dara for about a year before we all joined the Fellowship. At the time I was married to Debbie. I think that no one knows him better then me. Before the FOF, we all did acid together and had many common friends. In those days Frank was not at all what he turned into in the FOF. They even held orgies. After we joined, myself, Frank and Dara shared an airstream together at Renaissance. Debbie was still in LA. Debbie and I were having marital problems (OF COURSE IT THE FOF) at that time I found years later that Frank tried to have sex with her even in her vulnerable state. Also once in the FOF, our friendship became strained between me and both Frank and Dara. I was getting a lot of attention from Robert because I was the Renaissance Architect. In fact when I first got there it was called the farm and RB changed it to Renaissance to pander to my vanity. In any case Frank and Dara got jealous of this, because in their minds, here they were introducing me to Robert and all of a sudden I was getting all of the attention. The went from hippies to anal retentive policeman with instead of guns, they used the FOF karate chop indicating the photograph of features, like they were having a squirt gun fight in the desert. After Frank and Dara divorced, because they we stepping on each others power features. Frank started to use his Psychiatric practice as a dating vehicle. I don’t know how many women he screwed on his couch, but he did get into a relationship with several of them. I designed a house for him at one point and in the middle of that he married Diana Kay. As the house was under construction, she would, at her own whim, make design changes and add windows in structural walls. I tried to talk to Frank but he was too busy and She would intercept our conversations anyway. I finally had to write him a letter, holding me harmless from the illegal dangerous changes. He and I did not speak again until 2002. After I had been out of the FOF for 21 years or so I looked Frank up. We got together with my new wife at the time and his new wife, we all had diner. We all wentt in my car and on the way, he and his wife were having a whispering argument, like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. It was a bit hilarious. I asked him why he left the fellowship and he said that he had a big disagreement with Robert, because he believed in “Us Remembering” and RB of course only said their was only self remembering. Again I had to chuckle to myself, because that was not only a goofy idea, but to use that to leave instead of all the other crap that has happened, that is well discussed to death on this site and others, was mind baffling.

Maple, tell your aunt that Frank is a very smooth talking nut case. He had and has his own selfish agenda and she should disregard everything he has said. He is not the guru, you may have thought him to be.

121. We Were There - October 29, 2012

Although we were not close, in the 20 plus years I knew him in the Fellowship, Frank A. seemed to take his responsibilities as a physician seriously, and I never heard him accused of malpractice.

At my request, another physician friend and former member has checked and advises that there are no active complaints recorded against him.

Maple, if you have any knowledge of unethical or illegal behavior, your responsibility is to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities.

Otherwise, your unsubstantiated public accusations amount to slander.

E.L. Kramer - October 29, 2012

First of all, I don’t know Maple or who her aunt is. Second, all of what I knew of Frank and his misconduct, it was over 30 years ago and as far as any prosecution is concerned, 1. It is past the statute of limitations 3. Couldn’t remember the names of women in some cases and never learned the actual names in other cases, only know the story from him. 4. not worth my time, these many years anyway.

As far as a record of misconduct is concerned, that means nothing. Sadusky looked clean as a whistle for many many years.

Also to accuse Maple or myself of unsubstantiated slander is not only a ridiculous threat, it is evident that who ever you are, you are seems suspect in defense of him and trying to bully Maple to not get help.

Lastly, my story is true, and people who know me can verify my Friendship with Fran A. They know that I have no reason to make up a story about this and have absolutely nothing to gain. But what is important is the Maples Aunt can get some kind of release from some psychological damage, she may have suffered as we all have from the Fellowship.

Who ever you are, If you wish to challenge me personally with some slander accusation, have at it, I welcome the challenge and besides my lawyers need something to do these days.

Last but not least, Maple, don’t let this mystery person bully you to not get the help and resolution to your aunts needs and speak your mind freely.

122. Golden Veil - October 29, 2012

E.L. Kramer – October 29, 2012

You’ve really misinterpreted We Were There’s post… your reading and comprehension skills need improvement.

E.L. Kramer - October 29, 2012

I had to read back a few posts to get your comments more into context, so I apologize.(Full Moon and all)

For more clarifications. Frank Annis was also called Frank Heartwell and he was the FOF president for a few years and that is where he may have been involved with some cover ups. He is easy to find if anyone wants his contact info, he works in Los Altos Ca.

288 Quinnhill Rd
Los Altos, CA 94024
(650) 949-4433 (Office)

123. Ames Gilbert - October 29, 2012

Maple (#131-119 or thereabouts),
you said, “I found that he was part of 2 lawsuits in the Fellowship of Friends covering up rapes of children.”
Can you share the links where you found out about this or otherwise direct us to this information?
Thanks very much.

124. Nevermind - October 29, 2012

Where is your atmosphere of highly charged emotional energy? It is rather difficult to surround yourself with the continuous antics of an esoteric carnival twenty four hours a day all on your own. This is another allurement of the cult, the addiction to the perpetual condition of shared delusion reinforced by everyone around you. At a certain point the emotions no longer care that it all seems bizarre and insane, the entertainment value seems to exceeds the value of dealing with plain, flat reality. Wouldn’t you rather live in a Federico Fellini movie than the low voltage, logical predictability of your life out in the dreariness of ordinary civilization? It depends. Do you value directly facing the often stark conditions of ordinary life or the delirious intoxication of shared pretence while adrift in the haze of a collective fantasy?

Today, my children, we will be doing the sequence. It’s the latest thing and all the Gods are doing it.

1. Pretend
2. Defend
3. Contend
4. Commend
5. Extend
6. The End

Four wordless breaths. Everyone should experience 100 wordless breaths a day.

Fantasy world.

In a book it was written: “There is consciousness, but only a very few have it.”
People read the book.
Predictably some people agreed and declared: I am one of those who has consciousness.

Unconsciousness—consciousness.

Pick one.

This is the problem with making esoteric knowledge public, there will always be a group of nuts who instantly believe they are conscious. What’s consciousness like? Well, let’s see, it must be something out of the ordinary, something weird, right? If we create a place of extreme weirdness then it will be a conscious school, right?

“Share the fantasy.” The motto of a perfume advertisement.

Only sane people are able to share reality.

Sane—insane.

Pick one.

125. Ill Never Tell - October 29, 2012

Man No 5:

There you are – CHANEL N°5

126. Wondering Who’s Watching - October 29, 2012

Eye In The Sky:

’13. During August and September of 2012, I arranged for the DEA Airwing, the California Highway Patrol, and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department to all conduct aerial surveillance of 9305 Sweetwater Trail, Oregon House . . . I examined the video and the photographs from this aerial surveillance and observed there were ongoing outdoor marijuana gardens . . .’

’18. During August and September of 2012, I arranged for the DEA Airwing, the CHP and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department to all conduct aerial surveillance of 9156 Nadowa Trail in Oregon House and 13691 Concord Trail in Oregon House . . . I then examined the video and.the photographs from this aerial surveillance and observed that there were ongoing outdoor marijuana gardens . . .’

’21. During August and September of 2012, I arranged for the DEA Airwing, the CHP, and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department to all conduct aerial surveillance of 9500 Yuba Ranch Way in Oregon House . . . I examined the video and the photographs from this aerial surveillance and observed that there were ongoing outdoor marijuana gardens . . .’

’25. During August and September of 2012, I arranged for the DEA Airwing, the CHP, and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department to all conduct aerial surveillance of 8146 Sunnyside Lane, Oregon House . . . I examined the video and the photographs from this aerial surveillance and observed that there were ongoing outdoor marijuana gardens . . .’

’26. During August and September of 2012, I arranged for the DEA Airwing, the CHP, and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department to all conduct aerial surveillance of 8146 Sunnyside Lane in Oregon House . . . I examined the video and the photographs from this aerial surveillance and observed there were ongoing outdoor marijuana gardens . . .’

’29. On September 8, 2012, Yuba County Deputy Heath conducted aerial surveillance of Yuba County APN#048-170-068 and Yuba County APN#048-170-041 (13233 Dixon Hill Road, Dobbins, California). Deputy Heath observed outdoor marijuana gardens in this same area. I examined the photographs from this aerial surveillance and observed that there were ongoing outdoor marijuana gardens . . .’

127. ton2u - October 29, 2012

nevermind, well put… what’s truly bizarre is not so much burton’s delusions but that the fof sheep continue to participate, support and share in the same. this shared delusion originates with burton’s attempts to satisfy his own petty narcissism — i get the point in referring to fellini, but burton’s imagination/mentality is not even in the same ‘ballpark.’ burton’s little charade is second rate, low grade twaddle.

128. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 29, 2012

#127 at 0:52 we catch a glimpse of Burton in his eighth life!😉

129. Maple - October 29, 2012

@E.L. – I want to truly thank you for being REAL and honest. Your comments and support of my quest to help my aunt and your ability to see it is not fueled by any slanderous/malicious intent is greatly appreciated.
@ Ames – You need to search on google to find references to court documents such as this one: On June 6, 1984, Case Number 36937 was filed in Superior Court of California, County of Yuba, by Samuel L. Sanders, Plaintiff, versus Defendants: Fellowship of Friends, Inc., a corporation; Robert Burton; Miles Barth; Frank Annis; Gerard Haven; Helga Ruth Mueller; Abraham Goldman; Charles Frank; Charles Randall; Clair Bowan; …. Then going into the SC of Calif archives you will get more details.

130. ton2u - October 29, 2012

maple
for what it’s worth: unlike e.l. kramer, i only ‘knew’ frank anus in passing (our paths did cross years ago in the late 70’s and early 80’s) but on a visceral level he ‘impressed’ me as just another of the many sycophants which burton surrounds himself with… a legend in his own mind, a poppycock… and at the time i thought i heard ducks quacking when he spoke:

131. nigel - October 29, 2012

The Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths comprise the essence of Buddha’s teachings, though they leave much left unexplained. They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. More simply put, suffering exists; it has a cause; it has an end; and it has a cause to bring about its end. The notion of suffering is not intended to convey a negative world view, but rather, a pragmatic perspective that deals with the world as it is, and attempts to rectify it. The concept of pleasure is not denied, but acknowledged as fleeting. Pursuit of pleasure can only continue what is ultimately an unquenchable thirst. The same logic belies an understanding of happiness. In the end, only aging, sickness, and death are certain and unavoidable.

132. nigel - October 29, 2012

The Fourth Way focuses on the ability to constantly perform “conscious labors” and “intentional suffering.”

Conscious Labor is an action where the person who is performing the act is present to what he is doing; he is not absentminded during his act, and neither is he “remembering himself.” At the same time he is striving to perform the act more efficiently.

Intentional suffering is the act of struggling against the desires of the physical body such as daydreaming, pleasure, food (eating for reasons other than real hunger), etc… In Gurdjieff’s book Beelzebub’s Tales he states that “the greatest ‘intentional suffering’ can be obtained in our presences by compelling ourselves to endure the displeasing manifestations of others toward ourselves”[25]

Gurdjieff claimed that these two acts were the basis of all evolution of man.

The Fourth Way’s focus is on raising the level of consciousness a person can experience, with the ultimate aim of creating a permanent higher level of consciousness. Specific methods are employed to achieve this aim, some of which are described below.

133. nigel - October 29, 2012

131/132…..

Just juxtapositioning two teachings in which it seems Burton has ‘adhered pleasure’ to himself and used the suffering of others to bring this about. He is a self-seeking sex-maniac and deserves to be behind bars for the remainder of his stinking existence. May he be ‘buggered senseless’ by other inamtes until his anus splits in a million pieces…..Nigel.

134. nigel - October 29, 2012

Sorry…..inmates…..n.

135. Ames Gilbert - October 29, 2012

Speaking of ducks,
all these ducks have been convinced by their keeper that they are special, far superior to other ducks:

It has been suggested to them that the grass is greener on the other side—whichever side they are currently on. They have become convinced they cannot fly, and the others are noisily telling them they are being stupid for even thinking about it. Though some of them feel the need to flap their wings from time to time, they don’t put much effort into it, and soon stop. They can see no purpose in it, because the sensation is ‘just a collection of I’s’. They are also convinced that if they spend many lifetimes of effort as a duck, their final lifetime will be in the role of a drake, and maybe from thence even rise to the level of a keeper themselves. In the meantime, it is very difficult to cross the road, so they should continue to put their trust in the wise keeper who guards the way; indeed it is so difficult and fraught with danger that they will never be able to cross by themselves. And any ducks who do stray away or learn to fly around are doomed because they have no one to guide them. Certainly, any ducks they see flying above them are just in imagination.

136. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 30, 2012

#135 Ames deftly uses ducks to illustrate the plight of FoF students – nice one.

Of course if these ducks are in Thailand I’m pretty sure they each had a little snip of a critical muscle to prevent them from flying. I know its a small thing, but I was appalled when I heard that Burton had ordered some swans to grace his lake, and had also ordered a snip so that they couldn’t fly away. I didn’t know at the time that he was also running a sex farm, where those poor boys are held in thrall in just the same heartless and selfish way he kept the swans tethered to a tiny bit of water in a dry landscape. Now of course it all fits together, you can tell a lot about a person from the way they treat animals, who are entirely within our power after all, and have no way to complain to others. A story I heard years ago was that when Burton lived in the Goethe cottage he thought a puppy would be a good idea, nourishing essence or something, but that the first time it widdled on his carpet it was ejected never to be returned. Burton no doubt congratulated himself on maintaining a high level of alchemy, but in fact he just revealed himself to be crippled inside.

137. Shard_of_Oblivion - October 30, 2012

#131 Nigel accurately summarises the four noble truths that the Buddha offered the world.

Of all the world religions I find the Buddhists the least offensive, and their aim of Nirvana is far more attractive than eternal life, which frankly would scare me shitless if I thought there was the slightest chance it is true.

But in the end I reckon the Buddha missed the mark. He felt life was suffering, and that was because we become attached to impermanent things which will inevitably disappoint us by dying or changing. But that is in fact the beauty of existence. Yes it is sad when our love turns sour, or our parents die, or our bodies become diseased, but his answer of never becoming attached to anything in case it causes us pain is weak and lacks fire. It is exactly because of the risks involved in committing ourselves to another, or dedicating our lives to a cause that make it worth something. Life is a messy, confusing glorious thing.

138. nigel - October 30, 2012

137. Shard of Oblivion

“It is exactly because of the risks involved in committing ourselves to another, or dedicating our lives to a cause that make it worth something. Life is a messy, confusing, glorious thing.”

139. info@ap.org - October 30, 2012

The epitome of man’s arrogance (hubris):

70s Mother Nature *Chiffon* Margarine Commercial

140. ton2u - October 30, 2012

It is you (oh yeah)
It is you, you (oh yeah)
It is you (oh yeah)

Cause a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you
I say a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you

I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it
Know that you were doing wrong.

Hmm hmm hmm, yeah…
I say a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah, pressure drop a drop on you

141. ton2u - October 30, 2012

….But I’d rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave…

142. Golden Veil - October 30, 2012

For some, freedom of choice is not so desirable…

How interesting that so many men claim to be Christ; meet Vissarion.

143. Golden Veil - October 30, 2012

Just another “Brightest Light in 2,000 Years”

“I’m Jesus” he says, “deal with it.”

144. ton2u - October 30, 2012

even a seemingly gentle and benign ‘religion’ – such as buddhism appears to be – can be manipulated to serve the malignant narcissists among us:

“Matthew, a talented Oxford graduate who rejected careerism in the mid-1980s joined a controversial Buddhist movement. Seven years ago he killed himself. Now the British-based cult is engulfed in allegations that it manipulated vulnerable young men into becoming homosexual… Sangarakshita persuaded Mark that in order to develop spiritually he had to get over his anti-homosexual conditioning, which was blocking him from devoting his energies to the spiritual life. He offered to help Mark. ‘He would want to have sexual contact about twice a week on average. He usually said something like; Let me just lie beside you for a while. I dreaded hearing this but felt mean and selfish if I thought of refusing. It was distressing, but some of the other Buddhist practices I had recently learned were themselves strange, such as meditation, but there were apparent benefits…”

(i’ve tried posting the article here a couple of times but for whatever reason it doesn’t pass ‘moderation’ — maybe too many links attached? for sources, interesting files — at least somewhat germane to the situation: ‘google’ THE CULTURE OF CULTS and FWBO FILES

145. ton2u - October 30, 2012

😉

146. ton2u - October 30, 2012

after surviving hurricane ‘sandy’ — an offering of thanks to ‘great nature’ on behalf of those who were so fortunate while offering up prayers for those who were not:

147. E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

Maple,
You are welcome and i hope you find some resolve for your Aunt. I know there was a lot of abuse of people with the highest intentions, by people with the most selfish intentions in the FOF with RB at the top of the heap. I also want to add, that after I left the FOF, I went to a Psychiatrist, (Not Frank) , he told me: “I can see that your childhood was fine, I just think you are having and abused adulthood.” Oh By the way here is my bill for $5oo dollars.

The point I am making is that we are for the most part born innocent and the rest of our lives seems to be about learning ho to protect and nurture that innocence, in the face of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Be it the Fellowship, ass hole drivers, bad relationships and the like. t seems that the more innocent and loving we try to become, the greater the wolf that shows up ready to devour our soft underbelly.

I don’t know why this is so and it also seems to be the way of nature, but it is and in the end it is a great part of the challenge when we strife for enlightenment. It makes one wonder who is really pulling the strings of humanity and their real intentions. This notion from Robert that “C” influence wants us to wake up, is Roberts take on it and not necessary an objective one.

Here is what I know:

1. There are funny forces and coincidences that we have all experienced to one degree of another.
2. These experiences were not necessarily pleasant, nor did they bear any positive fruit, unless Robert tweaked these experiences to look so.
3. No one I know or ever heard of actually became conscious through these experiences.

I also feel that life on the planet earth is nothing more than a genetic repository, run by some more advanced beings and not gods. That the treat us like a rat experiment and as long as we go along with the experiment, some good things happen and some bad. Some get a big piece of cheese and others starve. How we behave in these situations are part of the experiment. Without getting into too much detail at this point, most people go along with the experiments and because they get a big piece of cheese, that think they did a job well done. (Ahhhh C-Influence is happy with you). But hardly anyone questions the experimenters. One you start to do this all kind of obstacles are thrown in your way. Things don’t happen so automatically for you and we have to do more work just to stay even. But if we still persist to question, we have the most insidious obstacle placed in front of us and that is some so called spiritual teacher that takes our good intentions and cleverly turns them back into the fears and features we came to be rid of in the first place.

Who Robert of any other Guru that we see leading people in to the ocean to drown are a tool for these higher forces and not our friend as RB lead us all to believe. You know even Gurdieff talked about alien forces.

I have been doing a lot of research on this over the years and could elaborate to ad nauseam on it, but the point I am making here is that: We are all trying to find the purpose of us being here and how we can escape the prison we are in. Although I don’t know how to truly and complete escape, I feel that it is vitally important to truly understand the full nature of this prison. Maybe then someone may come along a show us a way out, that doesn’t take us down another dead end path like Robert and all the other so called gurus that make promises of health, wealth and happiness.

In my last conversation with Robert, we were discussing at that time who was going to become conscious in the FOF. He said, you know Miles is close and then Gerard…. I was sick of hearing it
And said to get his reaction: “You know Robert, I feel really close too.” He smirked and said, you know goodness, consciousness is a gift.” To which the words came out of my mouth from somewhere, maybe my being and said; “No Robert, consciousness is not a gift. Being dissatisfied with the consciousness you think you may or may not have is the gift. All the rest is conscious work and if you don’t know how you got there and can’t show others in an determinable method, then you don’t have the consciousness that you think you have and maybe something else is at play here.”

At that point and after seeing a rare shocked expression on Roberts face, he said, “Well goodness, maybe it is time for your to find your own way.” This is when and why I left. He knew if that idea got passed around, his whole dynasty (Die Nasty) would begin to crumble.

Anyway, food for thought you all.

148. Ames Gilbert - October 30, 2012

E.L. Kramer (#131-147 or thereabouts),
as I understood it, the Fourth Way claims that C-Influence is the ‘true’ or ‘objective’ knowledge that can only be transmitted from school to school and from teacher to student. Hence the emphasis on lineage.
I came to the Fellowship of Friends with the idea that some changes were possible for me as an individual, with the guidance of someone more experienced who could set me on the right path; again, an individual path. I assumed that once on that path it would be up to me to make the most of the opportunity. Burton proceeded to change this Influence-as-superior-knowledge into some kind of external forces, the 44 angels and such, but at the same time, kept part of the original idea—with the twist that he was the necessary and vital and sole intermediary between his followers and these external forces.

My guess is that when he told you, “Consciousness is a gift”, he meant to imply that it was his to bestow, or that he would be the intermediary. In that respect, it is pretty interesting look back on how he tried to drag Miles B. deeper into his fantasy. First, he told him he was destined to become the next ‘conscious being’. Miles seemed to accept that (which would mean that he also accepted that another could see his present ‘level of consciousness’ and predict a future level of consciousness; but that was a red flag did not register). The next step was when Burton told Miles that he was now a ‘Man Number Five’. Miles reportedly said (I never dared ask him directly) that nothing had changed for him, and that he didn’t feel any different in that regard. Then Burton claimed that Miles was indeed conscious, but that “C-Influence had chosen not to reveal that to him”. Another red flag, not only for Miles, but for all of us, which most of us also did not acknowledge at the time.

It is also interesting to remember how most of us treated Miles, as if he was indeed something special. Actually, this continues with some to this day. If he comes up in conversation, I can sometimes see a certain sappy look on someone’s face that shows that not much has changed in that regard, even after twenty or thirty years.

Mr. Kramer, I was told that after you left, you tried out the role of Teacher yourself. Is that true? If so, what became of that? Are you still doing it? Curious minds would like to know.

149. ton2u - October 30, 2012

148
(or thereabouts)
“It is also interesting to remember how most of us treated Miles, as if he was indeed something special. Actually, this continues with some to this day. If he comes up in conversation, I can sometimes see a certain sappy look on someone’s face that shows that not much has changed in that regard, even after twenty or thirty years.”

indeed… how true, how true…

and

“…with the guidance of someone more experienced who could set me on the right path; again, an individual path. I assumed that once on that path it would be up to me to make the most of the opportunity.”

and now you are, (and ‘we’ are more experienced). after all is said and done ‘we’ got it partly right at least…. leaving/graduating seems ‘of the essence’ in this regard.

150. Golden Veil - October 30, 2012
151. Golden Veil - October 30, 2012
E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

It is not true that I tried to have any such role as teacher. Why do so when I clearly knew it would be both a sham idea for others and especially myself. I challenged Miles and all the others for buying into that, I challenged Robert himself for being that. My goal was and still is finding truth and putting myself up on any pedestal was not going to get me there in any way shape of form. It was all that I was against and not very Zen

I is true that I would meet with other students when I left in order to discuss and figure out what the hell just happened to us, just as these Internet forums provide. It is true that in my last year in the FOF I would meet with other students on meeting nights in San Fransisco to discuss how ridiculous the exercises had become and the moral standards they tuned into. In fact at one meeting we all decided to say I, Really, Very, Get, Oh and even OH Shit. I guarantee you there were more conscious moments that were shared in that meeting that anything you could get at a sanctioned FOF meeting.

After I left I would meet frequently with Stella. I also helped a few new students that left to be deprogrammed from the FOF initiation. After a few months, I simply went my own way, raised my family and tried to be the words, experimented with things on my own and rarely talked with anyone about work ideas for about 20 years.

Later on I got involved with improvisation theater and directed a large group in Las Vegas. At that time I discovered a method of teaching people how to use both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, which i call holographic thinking. I also learned how to truly be in the moment with divided attention, because when performing in improv you cannot cheat and have to be in the moment, be in the moment, be in the moment.

There are a whole host of other things that have come to light since that time and how it is possible to teach that to others and i wrote a book on it. “The Creative Quotient”

As of this date as far as being some kind of teacher, the whole idea makes me sick, but that doesn’t mean that like everyone, I don’t have anything to share. In improv we learned how more than one person can channel an idea or truth simultaneously and it was like how musicians improvise a jazz piece. This is more interesting to me that this Teacher B.S.

I would very much like to know who is spreading the false rumor of me trying to be any “Fourth Way Teacher.” However i did teach art and design at the Academy of Art University.

152. WhaleRider - October 30, 2012

E.L. Kramer:
“…in the end it is a great part of the challenge when we strife for enlightenment.”

Perhaps the walls of the “prison” we create for ourselves…is acquiring the belief that consciousness is something that we must strive to attain and in believing so, causes us much unnecessary strife…to basically arrive at the same place where one started…how to believe in one’s self despite one’s unconsciousness…as Burton does…but without having to denigrate others and exploit their weaknesses.

Crawling back into the prison-womb doesn’t seem like the answer to me.

153. ton2u - October 30, 2012

el kramer 152:
with deference to the credentials you’ve listed here and with all due respect, after reading your last post, it seems (to me) you’re sending ‘mixed messages’ regarding status and self-peception as ‘a teacher.’ — or maybe it’s simply a question of what you’re teaching… here and elsewhere…. the agenda, curriculum and etc…

?

154. Ames Gilbert - October 30, 2012

E.L. Kramer (#131-147 or thereabouts),
thanks for answering. The rumor was spread within the Fellowship after you left in 1982. Perhaps it was just another protective mechanism, a way of denying anything positive about you leaving, part of the process of ‘self-calming’ and reinforcing the groupthink of the time. After all, each person who leaves the Fellowship of Friends is a challenge to the status quo, and especially to those with the most investment in the fantasy, such as those with a visible role, status or authority. I simply took the opportunity to ask you directly, since you were ‘here’, and you’ve kindly given us a very clear answer.

I perfectly agree with you that we all have something to share. After all, we all have a unique viewpoint on the universe and unique experiences. My own take is that we can exchange the role of ‘teacher’ and ‘learner’ all the time, even within the space of a short conversation or working with someone on some task. We can learn from anybody, so anyone can be our teacher. I say, beware of the kind of teacher who has nothing more to learn . . .

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

Ames,

There is a lot of jealousy and competition that was fostered in the FOF. It was maddening. Even now with these posts, you can still read into them as such. Subtexts like: Who do you think you are? What makes you a teacher? You are so vain. I like the exchange that Captain Kirk was said in response to the question: “Who do you think you are to judge.” and his response was : “Who do I need to be?”

I appreciate you asking directly and giving me the opportunity to respond.

As far as ton2u’s comments”

I don’t know who you are, but your confusion as to what I stated baffles me. Are you saying that I have no right or qualification to teach, art, design and improvisational theater? Are you confused that I held a forum for students to get a grip on the brainwashing in the fellowship was some for of vanity and an attempt for me to be a guru? Does it bother you that I wrote a book on creativity? Does it it bother you that I discovered an interesting tool on divided attention?
Does it bother you if anyone does anything that maybe you don’t know how to do yourself? I don’t get it? What is your point? We all have something to share, but maybe you don’t and want to bring anyone down to your level of mediocrity. I don’t know. What I do know is we all have the opportunity to teach and learn and teamwork is a great way of doing both at the same time.

Besides, how in the heck do you know if what I do teach on any level has any value anyway? You don’t know me. Maybe it just all part of your holiday Witch hunt.

WhaleRider

The age old question is “To be or not to be.’ It is a personal choice. I choose to be more consciousness, for two reasons. One is because we are in a prison and sometimes the actual meaning of prison needs to be redefined. Second, I can’t not stop questioning everything all the time anyway. Maybe you think I walk around thinking I am more conscious that others. Is that what you got out of what I wrote? Look, at this point I simply try to report what I see and am not involved with any kinds of level of being competitions of clarification. As far as arriving at the same place where we started; That is exactly what happens to us time and time again, but hopefully each time we have a different perspective. The is the message of Ouspenski’s book: The Strange Life Of Ivan Osokin.”

155. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 30, 2012

blah…blah…blah…

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

very clever and judgmental

156. ton2u - October 30, 2012

el kramer,
jeezus, you’re right, i don’t know you but my impression so far is that you seem to be very defensive… otherwise you’re absolutely right again, we all have something to share, so thanks for clarifying “your level of mediocrity…” I get it.

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

Well people do tend to defend unmitigated accusations. As far as you not knowing me, your attempt to do so is very negative and judgmental and If the best you can do is be cynical and try an mock me, then that is sad for you. You know sometimes it is a better idea to just simply apologize for stupid comments that you have made, then keep digging the hole you are in deeper.

157. brucelevy - October 30, 2012

Larry, you just submitted a litany of how you see yourself as a teacher and illustrated all the ways you’ve tried to teach, even offering the view that the “states” you created in your little groups exceeded the “states” produced in the FOF, and in the same breath deny and denigrate the the notion that you present yourself as a teacher. I’m surprised you don’t see the blatent hypocracy.

I remember you as a very self-important person in the FOF, and your present writing both here and at the GF site doesn’t seem to differ much from my past experience with you at the Ranch.

These days you “pronounce” much the same way as you did in the 70’s and 80’s. I’m just telling you how I see you. Take it or leave it.

158. brucelevy - October 30, 2012

The Following is the one comment/review on the amazon page pertaing to E.L.’s book. May or may not be valuable as the writer him or herself is clearly an asshole:

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Author is a self-entitled Pratt September 10, 2010
By Maeven
This review is on the author specifically, not his book. If I could give him zero stars, I would.

I run a Mystery School where I train students in shamanism and psychic development. I have devoted students and a set curriculum of material to cover. They know me and have been working with me for months and some for years, learning how to harness and develop their own natural skills as they unfold on their path. I have already proven myself and these people trust me. They come to train with me specifically because of my skills, and they have been doing so regularly for some time, which says a lot about my dedication to their growth and their dedication to their path. Obviously, I am authentic and they are getting a lot out of training with me. I do not abuse my role as teacher for flagrant self-promotion even though I have a practice in what I do. The focus always stays on their life, training and growth.

Laurence just attempted to hijack my school, take over my classes, and use my students and mailing list as tools for his book promotions. I refused him membership explaining that the school is for students serious about study, and it is not to be used for anyone’s book promotions. His response was that he’s not selling used cars, so why do I have a problem with it?

I emailed him a second and final time citing the application questions and his responses to them. He failed to even acknowledge the topics or material the questionnaire asked about. Instead, all of his answers to the application questions were links to his books and YouTube videos (which don’t even address the questions and are not relevant to them). He showed a complete disregard and lack of respect for an already existing school with a teacher, curriculum and students. He had zero interest in what was going on in the school or what we are doing there, and all of his focus was on himself and promoting his books. I suggested he try local book stores that host author events, that he consider starting his own MeetUp group if he feels inspired to teach, and that he use normal channels for book promotions. At this point I told him I was done speaking to him about this and blocked his email address.

He then used a different account to email me again, claiming that I was being controlling of my classes (huh? They are MY classes–I’m the teacher!) and have a fear of letting another view point other than my own be heard. (His books aren’t even directly about shamanism, magick or psychic development, despite his belief that he is an esoteric guru–so they aren’t even relevant.) He then proceeded to tell me that I’m not a very spiritually developed person for not allowing him access to my school, students and email list, and that I would only be a wise teacher if I allowed myself to learn from him, too.

I cannot even BEGIN to say how outrageous, immature, and spiritually underdeveloped this man is. He acts like a diva and expects everyone to treat him like one. The only reason I’m writing this review is because I, too, am in the field of spiritual enhancement, and am concerned about the effects this man’s lack of morals (as one who touts himself as a spiritual expert) might have on others sincerely seeking spiritual development. He exhibited nothing but emotionally retarded, narcissistic, self-entitled prattish behavior with me. He clearly does not walk his talk, respect any one other than himself, or even pay attention to what’s going on in the conversation. I am shocked that he writes about “common sense”, “tools to get past disagreements”, “accepting criticism”, “teamwork” and “stretching one’s mind,” as he exhibited none of these even once in any of our interactions. Plus, he didn’t seem to understand the very general metaphysical terminology used in the application he filled out for my school.

In truth, he is soliciting MeetUp groups to create a book tour. It has nothing to do with joining a community, learning or mutually sharing with others. The graceful way to do it would be to ask first and get permission to speak at an event or solicit someone’s school. Approaching with a self-entitled attitude that condescends everyone else and insults the school’s founder is not the right way. I strongly encourage prospective readers to judge authors on their ability to effectively demonstrate what they preach. Are they writing to share authentic experience, or to justify the story they built up around their ego?

Remember the saying about opinions…everyone has one? Putting one’s opinion in a book doesn’t make him or her an expert or a guru. If he really were properly trained and spiritually enlightened, he would have been respectful and appropriate when dealing with me. For true seekers, be aware that this man is nothing like what he spouts in real life. Just because he thinks he’s a diva, doesn’t mean anyone else is compelled to agree.

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

Bruce,
I haven’t pronounced anything except that I haven’t stayed stagnant. I don’t know how teaching in a formal university setting figures as me creating little groups. Its funny cause I remember you feeling so important cause you were in Roberts entourage. What made you so great about that? As far as what I am pronouncing, what exactly is it that I am pronouncing? I never said I was a teacher of the fourth way but that doesn’t preclude me teaching other things. As I remember in the FOF we hadn’t exchanged but maybe three words and you were off to your very important projects. Bruce, you are simply no one to talk about self importance. Also if I did help people create higher states, so what? What should that bother you? You wouldn’t know if it were true or not anyway, so take you little mercurial camera and crawl back in your hole.

159. WhaleRider - October 30, 2012

E.L. Kramer:

Despite his lofty words, Hamlet was unable or unwilling to take action at the opportune moment, probably due to an inner conflict with his Oedipus success, which lead to his tragic downfall at the end.

He preferred to live the question instead of his life…such as the question Fellowship followers entertain, “what if Burton is who he claims to be?”

This is the same dystopic cognitive dissonance, IMO.

Ok, what is the prison you still feel you are in?

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

That comment about my book is a complete lie and now you have entered into true slander

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

That comment on my book was written by someone completely unknown to me and all the things I wrote in my book was about dispelling all kinds of phoney schools and has nothing to do about starting a school myself. If you actually read the book you would see. In fact one quote from my book was about Gurus, “Keep you eyes in your sockets, he got his hands in your pockets.”

160. E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

OK, i did some research and found out that the person who wrote that review was from the “mirror of light” which was about a student of Roberts in England who left the FOF started his own group, imitated the Fellowship down to it’s images. He got upset cause i wanted to attend his meetings and his comments were the result. I had no intention of doing anything and you can ask Elena and Denis Larsen as they also knew about what was going on and we were all going to show up at their meeting for fun. So take you half baked accusations Bruce and you know what.

161. Golden Veil - October 30, 2012

E.L. Kramer ~

I easily found your 2009 book “Why Anything Anyway: The Unified Theory of Conscious Enlightenment” on Amazon, and its companion blog – links in posts 150 and 151 above – but I cannot locate the book “The Creative Quotient.” I found the blog but not the book. Is it a forthcoming book to be published soon?

E.L. Kramer - October 30, 2012

Here is a link to the book:
https://www.createspace.com/3452377

162. Opus111 - October 30, 2012

EL Kramer

You were definitely very successful at pissing this person off! I see some skills here.

E.L. Kramer - October 31, 2012

Here is a link to the fourth way rip off group
website which includes the person from the FOF in England who started it. You be the judge:

http://www.academyofeuropeanarts.com/?page_id=2

163. ton2u - October 31, 2012

el kramer,
wondering why you seem so easily bothered… so easily disturbed by ‘mediocrity’ as you put it… i don’t know you but it seems apparent you’re very impressed with yourself. now it also appears (to me) that you’re here to ‘toot your own horn’ and to ‘hawk your wares.’
thanks for sharing.

E.L. Kramer - October 31, 2012

All I did in the beginning of all this was try and help Maple and her aunt. All the rest is about your tempest in a teapot. If you find me so fascinating that you have to spend so much time criticizing me, you need to get a life.

164. Nevermind - October 31, 2012

[Kramer’s managed to hitch another ride, this time with a van full of drugged-out hippies. Kramer is telling them a story as they go down the road… ]

KRAMER: And then, the evil ogre took back the magical keys from the handsome young prince.

HIPPIE #1: Oh no. He didn’t take back the keys, no way.

KRAMER: Yes! And then the handsome young prince was cast out into the cruel, cruel world.

HIPPIE #1: Oh man, what a bummer. That ogre dude’s pretty cold, huh?

KRAMER: Oh, he’s cold.

HIPPIE #1: Lemme tell you something, Kramer. If that ogre dude pulled that crap on me (pulls out a knife) – I’D STAB HIM! I’D CUT HIM IN HALF! I’D GUT HIM LIKE A FISH, MAN! That’s what I’d do!

KRAMER: Yeah, yeah…that’d be funny. (To driver) Hey, you can drop me here!

HIPPIE #1: Hey, what’s the rush, man?

KRAMER: Well, you know, I gotta be goin’ now.

HIPPIE #1: Hey, Kramer – have you ever killed a man?

KRAMER: What do you think, junior? You think these hands have been soakin’ in Ivory liquid? (mimics choking somebody)

HIPPIE #2: Don’t leave, Kramer, stay with us. You know so much about the world, we need you, please Kramer! (they all start chanting) Please, Kramer! Please, Kramer! (Scene ends with Kramer trying to escape their clutches.)

http://www.seinology.com/scripts/script-40.shtml

E.L. Kramer - October 31, 2012

“Nevermind”

OK, now you have gone too far. First of all I have never written using my name of Kramer, nor have I even written about a Kramer, nor has anyone written of me referring to me as Kramer. You have just posted a totally slanderous post. If you don’t retract this immediately, I will not only be forced to purse legal action against you for slander, but this whole blog for supporting it.

E.L. Kramer - October 31, 2012

“Nevermind”

Secondly, It is apparent you cannot wage a resolvable discussion of any actual fact and value, so you have to result to cynicism.

165. brucelevy - October 31, 2012

This is amazing.

166. Nevermind - October 31, 2012

Unexpectedly entertaining, Kramer:

167. We Were There - October 31, 2012

And on another subject –

I have just finished a book entitled ‘Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain,’ which presents new (to me) and interesting observations from the cutting edge of brain research. The book is by David Eagleman, Director of the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston – this is not junk science.

One of the passages I found fascinating –

And don’t forget that the long list of influences on your mental life stretches far beyond chemicals – it includes the details of circuitry as well. Consider epilepsy. If an epileptic seizure is focused in a particular sweet spot in the temporal lobe, a person won’t have motor seizures, but instead something more subtle. The effect is something like a cognitive seizure, marked by changes of personality, hyperreligiosity (an obsession with religion and a feeling of religious certainty), hypergraphia (extensive writing on a subject, usually about religion), the false sense of an external presence, and, often, the hearing of voices that are attributed to a god. Some fraction of history’s prophets, martyrs and leaders appear to have had temporal lobe epilepsy. Consider Joan of Arc, the sixteen-year-old girl who believed (and convinced the French soldiers) that she was hearing voices from Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Margaret, and Saint Gabriel. As she described her experience, “When I was thirteen, I had a voice from God to help me govern myself. The first time, I was terrified. The voice came to me about noon: it was summer, and I was in my father’s garden.” Later she reported, “Since God had commanded me to go, I must do it…” Although it’s impossible to retrospectively diagnose with certainty, her typical reports, increasing religiosity, and ongoing voices are certainly consistent with temporal lobe epilepsy. When brain activity is kindled in the right spot, people hear voices. If a physician prescribes an anti-epileptic medication, the seizures go away and the voices disappear. Our reality depends on what our biology is up to.

In sum, Dr. Eagleman’s research has shown that persons with temporal lobe epilepsy often hear voices attributed to a god and experience a feeling of religious certainty.

Does Robert Burton suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy?

‘Incognito’ presents many other examples of how our ‘conscious’ mind is constantly tricked by parts of our inner world that we do not and cannot know.

Recommended!

E.L. Kramer - October 31, 2012

You know Bruce, since you can’t specifically find any real issue that you can debate me on, you need to result to name calling and erroneous reports about who I am. Its a tricky mercurial tactic but anyone who is observing what is actually is going on can see it is nothing but pure judgement. prejudice and negativity on your part. Believe me, if I chose to go after your weaknesses, you would wish your mouth was sewn shut so everyone would know for sure where the escaping sounds would be coming from

168. brucelevy - October 31, 2012

I don’t need to say anymore. You are saying it all yourself. Enjoy yourself. Rant on. Actually, I’m enjoying it.

E.L. Kramer - October 31, 2012

Again you have nothing specific to discuss other than your spineless character assassination.

169. Ames Gilbert - October 31, 2012

We Were There, (#131-167 or thereabouts),
that is fascinating research.
I have found out the hard way that having very high fevers when one is young can leave scar tissue in the brain. This scar tissue can become the focal point for seizures later on in life, from months to decades down the road. Someone close to me started having a very unusual kind of seizures in her sixties, for no apparent reason. These seizures were preceded sometimes, but not always, by an aura. For years previous to having actual seizures, she experienced the aura alone. Sometimes this was a ‘higher state of consciousness’, and sometimes a strong sense of doom. MRI imaging has shown that she has scar tissue in one parietal lobe from the childhood fever, and EEG tests have shown that this is indeed the focal point. Luckily for her, some simple medication seems to have taken care of the problem for the time being, medication being necessary to stop the seizures becoming life-threatening.

170. Golden Veil - October 31, 2012

Sometimes we get carried away, don’t we?

171. jomopinata - October 31, 2012

I remember that episode of Seinfeld involving Kramer and the hippie. A classic!

172. Joseph Nachumovitch - October 31, 2012

168. brucelevy – October 31, 2012
I don’t need to say anymore. You are saying it all yourself. Enjoy yourself. Rant on. Actually, I’m enjoying it.

E.L. Kramer – October 31, 2012
Again you have nothing specific to discuss other than your spineless character assassination.

You two are playing into the hands of anyone who is against this forum, and I, for one, am glad of this.

173. David - October 31, 2012

El Kramer.
For a polymath I am surprised at how many errors your written English contains. Is English your second language?

174. brucelevy - November 1, 2012

172. Joseph Nachumovitch

Bite me.

175. Fee fi fo fum - November 1, 2012

172 Joseph N

They are not playing into anyone’s hands. They knew each other in the FF, and they’re having a conversation, of sorts It’s simply out in the open. At least it’s not a bunch of faux daily card-style comments. And that’s one of the problems in the FoF. There’s so much pretense, repression, false positivity in an attempt to not manifest negativity.

176. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 1, 2012

#162 (or thereabouts) E.L. Kramer posts a link to Mervyn Brady’s website.

I remember Mervyn when he joined the London centre. He had a very literal way of understanding the work, for example he went to work in the glamour photography industry after reading in the work books that sex energy was H12, which led him to suppose that spending as many hours as possible looking at naked models would advance his work.

His website must pose an interesting puzzle to the FoF. It is such a complete rip off of the FoF philosophy, that they can hardly criticise it on doctrinal grounds. Brady swallowed the Burton view of the Universe hook, line and sinker, then peddled that well market-tested product to the benefit of himself. I was amused to hear that he used the old Rennaisance journals as his source materials, but made sure none of his students got to see them, so he could pass off Burton’s “wise” words as his own. Though the philosophy that Burton promotes is in my opinion based on bogus premises and riddled with errors, the imitation that Brady comes up with is even more risible.

177. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 1, 2012

#161 (or thereabouts) E.L Kramer posts a link to a website about a book he has written.

The blurb on the book includes this quote “You will also develop a healthy attitude about accepting feed back without feeling attacked.”

The author describes himself thus: “He is an Architect, Designer, Inventor, Musician, Writer, Artist, Actor, Director and Teacher”

Hey!

178. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 1, 2012

#167 We Were There discusses information about Temporal Lobe Epilepsy:

“In sum, Dr. Eagleman’s research has shown that persons with temporal lobe epilepsy often hear voices attributed to a god and experience a feeling of religious certainty.

Does Robert Burton suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy?”

Well whenever I saw him he had a characteristic little twitch of the head every few seconds. I think I remember being told he had said that this twitch was because Leonardo was prodding him to keep him awake. If in actual fact he is having a micro epileptic seizure specifically located in the brain matter of the temporal lobe at those moments – he WOULD feel like his favourite voice was contacting him as he felt the twinge of extra excitation in those neurons. He certainly acts like he is utterly and completely convinced of his own convictions.

So if by some chance that IS the cause of Burton’s delusions, the whole problem could be cleared up by someone daily slipping him some http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_valproate for a while without him noticing, and normal reality will be restored to him and to about 1000 hapless followers.

179. Golden Veil - November 1, 2012

177. Shard_of_Oblivion – November 1, 2012

The thrust of your observations are overtly judgmental and I, for one, do not get the point. Now, I suppose my observation is as well!

180. Golden Veil - November 1, 2012

178. Shard_of_Oblivion – November 1, 2012

Now, THAT’S an interesting explanation for so much!

181. shardofoblivion - November 1, 2012

#179 Golden Veil gently chides me for what appears to them as a pointless post. Well OK, maybe it was a bit unfriendly, but here is my take on it. E.L. Kramer starts posting to help out Maple who is trying to help a relative, giving a bit of background. Seems a great use of the blog to me. Once here, he also joins in the general discussion about life, the universe and everything – he has a theory of his own, and shares some links to his work. As such I took it we were invited to have a look at his stuff and comment if we had any thoughts.

Now I did notice that he seemed to be quite high on the prickly scale compared to other posters here, reacting pretty forthrightly to ton2u’s comments, and threatening legal action against “The whole blog” when Nevermind quotes some Seinfeld.

“You have just posted a totally slanderous post. If you don’t retract this immediately, I will not only be forced to purse legal action against you for slander, but this whole blog for supporting it.”

That seemed strange given that he has written a whole book one of whose benefits for the reader is to enable them to take feedback gracefully. So I pointed that out.

I am with him all the way if he mischieviously disrupted Brady’s little rip-off scheme, it’s the approach I would like to take to cause disruption to Burton’s mother of all scams, the Fellowship of Friends.

182. brucelevy - November 1, 2012

179. Golden Veil

I don’t see any judgemental observation in this post. Just a reference to E.L.’s book link using it’s own words. Where’s the judgement?

E.L. Kramer - November 1, 2012

After having a day or so to think more about what transpired on this blog, I want to state a few things and then that is it for me. I am not retuning to it and am shutting off any responses, so you can say all you want and I’m not going to waste my psychic energy on this shred mill of souls.

As far as the question about whether I tried to form my own group after I left the FOF: I just want to reiterate that I didn’t, but more importantly, so what if I did? What exactly are you people implying about me or anyone who does so? You have no idea of who I am, what I can or cannot do. Besides, are you saying that no one can leave the FOF and actually have gotten something out of it, that is worthwhile sharing? It’s insane jealousy on your part. What does it matter what anyone does in their personal lives? How does it affect you or anything that anyone has to offer as substance on any particular subject? What is the difference between your attitude about someone having their own group and those who want to stop gay marriage, cause they are afraid it will affect their own. It is the same stupidity.

As far as my book, “Why Anything Anyway” and the one reviewer who accused me of trying to take over his group: I have put into motion a defamation of character suit against this person yesterday. If any one actually reads my book, it is about discharging such groups and giving tools for those in or about to enter into such groups for seeing how exploitative they are. I found that group on “meetup,” who that person was that ran the group and simply signed up to attend one of their meetings, with the intention to just see what they had to say and nothing more. In fact I planned to go with Elena and Dennis Larsen and we discussed our intentions, so if anyone wishes to verify my story, ask them. (We never actually went because of our schedules) When this person found out about my book, it hit his panic button and he has tried to do anything he could to discourage anyone to read it, because it would expose him. By the way, this group was started in England by a former fellowship student who imitated everything about the FOF. If there is any witch hunt of value, that is what should be looked at, not my quest to simply attend one of their meetings. In fact i bet a lot of you would like to be a fly on the wall of one of those meeting to see what would transpire. Also, I really had not much prejudgment about going to the meeting and thought there might be a slim chance that it wasn’t another cult.

Now about Bruce Levy:
I was in the FOF for about a year before he joined. My friends were Stella and Harold, Donald McDonald, Don Birrell other older founding students that left long ago and a few others, that were slowly figuring out that Robert was not all there, before most of you reading this blog even joined the FOF. Bruce was one of the “Believers” that we all used to joke about. I have had few words with him when in the FOF because he was so full of himself being part of Roberts entourage. Let me just say that the price of being part of that and what a person had to pay to be in that, was nothing to be proud of. I always wondered why the students in RB’s entourage walked so strangely, until I found out years later what went on in his bedroom. He has no idea of who I was then and who I am now and is purely a judgmental jerkoff, that has nothing better to do then monitor this blog. like it is his own little fiefdom. (Pretty sad)

If you look at what he writes on this blog, it has no uplifting redeeming qualities. It is always negative, judgmental and bullying. He is the troll that lives under the bridge. He is a little man of body mind and spirit and has nothing of value to offer except contributing to others negativity and makes this blog a waste of time, because anyone who actually wants to contribute something of value is attacked by him and his cronies, that think it is intelligent to attack people for something as simple as a type-O. You know any ignorant fool can find something negative about anything. It takes actual intelligence to find value in what people have to offer, than pick it apart. I am sure there will be those who will find some contorted way to take what I am writing right now and do so. But for those of you that aren’t of that state of mind, I’m sure you can get the gist of ideas expressed.

Its too bad that there are people like Bruce on this blog that are hell bent on character assignation. Think about it, instead of talking humanely about what I have written and trying to find the truth out about anything, he actually went out of his way to actually do some research to dig up dirt on me, even though it was false.

Bruce, you might consider that everyone is not like you and may actually have a bit more depth and still needs to actually find out how to be more conscious. Some people don’t fear someone picking their head up over the crowd to see and offer something of value to others without your egotistical projection on them. But before you can pick your head up over the crowd, you fist need to take it out of your ass.

183. The FOFion - November 1, 2012

Blog forgets what it was it was talking about again

NEW YORK (ARK) — After a flurry of long, drawn-out commentary coming out of nowhere, The Blog once again went through a long spell of forgetting what it was talking about, sources said Thursday.

A spokesperson at Blog Headquarters confirmed the report:

“What was it we were talking about again?” she said in a prepared statement.

Numerous commentators have contributed to The Blog in recent years who — intentionally or unintentionally — distract everyone from from the main subject: The strange happenings at an address on Rice’s Crossing Road.

“Oh, that’s right,” said the spokesperson. “It was something about investigations related to illegal pot farming, doctors getting in trouble with the law, abuse of power, lack of accountability and transparency, brainwashing, fraud, sexual abuse — issues like that. I remember now.”

184. Golden Veil - November 1, 2012

185. Ames Gilbert - November 1, 2012

E.L. Kramer (#131-182 or thereabouts),
I’ve already ordered your book, “Why Anything Anyway . . .” (yay for your bank account!) and when I’ve read it, I’ll post a review here and on Amazon. Several other former followers have also written books, and I enjoy finding out where their different paths have taken them.
The Amazon reviewer that panned your book goes by the name, “Maeven”. If you follow the link, it is apparent that Maeven is a ‘she’, that she presently has cancer, and that she was still alive in May, 2012. That fits in better with the review, written September 10, 2010, where she states, “I run a Mystery School where I train students in shamanism and psychic development.” Does she sound like someone initiating or attending an “Academy of the Arts” recruitment session?
If Maeven has muddled you up with someone else, you can always make that clear in the ‘Comment’ section under the review. Maybe if she realizes she has made a mistake, she will retract the review, but at least you’ll have made your case clear to those who read it. Wouldn’t this serve your purpose better than lawyering up?
My two cents . . .

In #164, Nevermind was quoting the exact words of a script by Jerry Sienfeld. He added nothing, subtracted nothing. One of the characters just happened to be called, ‘Kramer’, and I guess it triggered an association that appealed to him. I’m no lawyer, but I don’t see how you could sue a blog, let alone an anonymous person who posted an unaltered quote and provided attribution (the link at the bottom of the post). If you could, I don’t think you’d get much satisfaction, and it would all go to lawyers anyway.
Maybe time to take a couple of deep breaths?

Besides being the resident curmudgeon and bullshit spotter, Bruce has written, IMHO, many useful and penetrating posts on this blog. Those longer thoughts and essays appear on earlier pages, and I think you’d find them pertinent in their context. As I say, IMO.

186. Ill Never Tell - November 2, 2012

To address the particular mental illness (psychotic) that REB suffers, it is recommended that a special form of lobotomy be performed called: Robertomy:

Robotomy 02 – Bling Thing 11:15

187. James Mclemore - November 2, 2012

As regards the blog E.L. Kramer said,

“I am not returning to it and am shutting off any responses, so you can say all you want and I’m not going to waste my psychic energy on this shred mill of souls.”

There may be a God after all.

It does not appear that Mr, Kramer has any idea of his transparency. I think the old saying in Texas is…….. “big hat – no cattle”.

188. fofblogmoderator - November 2, 2012

#181 was hung in moderation

189. I'm outta here. - November 2, 2012

E.L. Kramer

Your defamation lawsuit is a waste of time. Mervyn Brady is dead.

190. brucelevy - November 2, 2012

“All hat, no cattle.”

191. Fee fi fo fum - November 2, 2012

Nice post, Ames (#185 above).

There was no need for E.L. Kramer to take every comment surrounding his posts so personally.

The following is not a comment on E.L. Kramer at all, even in the abstract, but the topic of ex-FF members starting their own 4th Way groups was once a topic of interest to me, having watched someone do so, first hand.

It was painful to see how much they copied the FF format, from monthly payments to meeting formats to refreshment breaks to so-called third line octaves. You could say that there is nothing wrong with copying the externals of the FF, if the person felt that they were offering “the best of what the FF had, externally” without RB’s corruption and the FF’s demands for very high teaching payments/special donations all year round.

But my deep antipathy towards the above was that I knew the flaws of the person who put themselves out as a teacher. They did not put themselves forward as someone simply imparting a bit more knowledge than the Average Joe Seeker. Rather, it was implied that they were more awake than you and I, a cut above the sleeping masses. I found that to be hubristic and insulting, because I knew the person well. They were like you and me, but with a much more inflated, well, ego. And no surprise, the group collapsed for who knows what reasons.

It wouldn’t surprise me that one reason why the FF simply doesn’t fade out or collapse on its own is because RB is so determined to keep it going while he’s still alive.

192. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 2, 2012

#190 Fee Fi Fo Fum speculates upon the cause of the longevity of the FoF.
I think it is because Burton is good at what he does – which is – pretend to be in a higher state of consciousness with access to resources inaccessible to everyone else. He may have the advantage of being certifiably insane. Or he may just be a convincing actor.

193. James Mclemore - November 2, 2012

I stand corrected.

194. Tim Campion - November 2, 2012

E. L. Kramer, in his own words.

195. fofblogmoderator - November 2, 2012

#189 is new

196. Ames Gilbert - November 2, 2012

Fee Fi Fo Fum (#131-167 or thereabouts),
it might be stating the obvious, but just as Burton learned how to operate a successful scam from Horn, then applied his own wrinkles, so it would follow that ‘students’ of Burton are likely to at least start out with their own offshoots using methods they know have worked. That said, I’m amazed that followers of Mervyn Brady haven’t worked out for themselves how much he copied from the FoF, though I find no evidence of predictions or even overt claims of consciousness. The cycle continues: Brady’s followers are now writing books, for example , “The Six Processes of Life, Love, and Awakening: And Other Esoteric Teachings Made Accessible – Including Body Types, Personality Types, and the Power of Presence” by Ray Jordan, available on Amazon.
I have no idea how Mervyn Brady conducted himself; I can’t find any exposés on the internet, at least. The fees for lectures, for example, don’t seem high. Maybe he actually helped some folks. From my outside point of view, it all seems fairly benign. Where I start to object is if there is a true rip-off at the scale of a Burton or Horn or Randazzo, which sanctions the burying of conscience, where rape and lawbreaking and inurement are not only condoned, but encouraged as examples of enlightened behavior or a superior morality.
_______________________________
We Were There, (#131-167 or thereabouts),
in my last post 169, I meant the temporal, not the parietal lobe. The actual diagnosis was, ‘Mesial Temporal Sclerosis’, e.g., scar tissue in the temporal lobe. This is often hard to treat with medication, but surgery is often successful. Luckily, in the case I wrote about, oral levetiracetam, one of the anti-seizure meds with the least side-effects, is working well so far. This might be a better bet for slipping into Burton’s meals than the sodium valproate that Shard playfully suggested in #178!

If Burton is having micro-seizures with the focus in the temporal lobe, and if this results in the ‘God talking’ illusion, that would explain some of his activity. But there have to be other explanations for the satyriasis, his other addictions to pleasure and control, his lawlessness and lack of conscience. Maybe scar tissue in other parts of the brain as well, maybe even from beatings by Alex Horn and other followers? That is—if Burton came on to other ‘students’, that would have not gone well, Horn apparently hated homosexuals. One can endlessly speculate . . .

Whatever, Burton is responsible for his actions, whether he can help some of them or not. Maybe he should be in a mental institution, maybe he should be in prison, who knows, but in my opinion he continues to do great damage, and would be better not only separated from society at large (which he already is, for all practical intents and purposes) but also from the 1560 or so enablers, who themselves are in psychological captivity.

197. nigel - November 2, 2012

…..from ‘Asaf Braverman – Consciousness’…..

“Ouspensky on Consciousness

Ouspensky first distinguished consciousness from functions. Emotions, sensations and thoughts were not consciousness. He drew a particular distinction between consciousness and thought, because of the subtle relation between the two. Although consciousness existed separate from mind activity, the one could spark the other:

Consciousness is something different from thought. You use thought just to give a push, and then it begins to move and you become conscious without thought.

In Ouspensky’s book “The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution”, Ouspensky ties the evolution of man to the evolution of his consciousness. The only progress that can be considered significant is increase in consciousness, which is synonymous with awakening.

Perception does not depend on our desire or decision, it depends particularly on state of consciousness, on being more awake.”

(I have a ‘bone to pick’ with Burton on his stating that…..”Consciousness is not functions”…..it indicates that you can do whatever you fucking well like as long as there is PRESENCE. What a load of shit he is talking…..if I were to apply that to my life, my profession would be ‘up the creek’, my ‘weird psychology’ would spiral out of control and I would not be able to deal with all the peripheral activities (social, medical and otherwise) that make up my life…..NO!!!!! IT REALLY MATTERS WHAT YOU ALLOW YOUR CORPOREAL BODY TO DO IN YOUR LIFETIME. I HAVE A KARMIC DEBT, WHICH INVOLVES TEACHING MY TOTALLY COMMITTED PRECIOUS METAL ART STUDENTS ALL THAT I HAVE LEARNED. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN ‘GROPE FORWARD’ IN MY BEAUTIFUL FATE, PRODUCING ‘LITTLE THINGS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE’ AND THE OCCASSIONAL ‘OBJET DE VERTU’.)

I am truly sorry for Burton’s followers, who have no idea what damage they are doing to themselves and their so-called friends by ‘toeing the party line’. May at least a few escape…..Nigel.

198. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 2, 2012

#197 (or near environs) Nigel posts some thoughts from Ouspensky and others on consciousness as opposed to functions.

It always seemed to me a subtle trick occurs at this point in the ‘psychology’ lectures. I can follow that we can see for ourselves the difference between thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. But the sharp distinction between consciousness and functions is less transparent. One can see consciousness varying in ourselves (and by implication in others) but I don’t see why this is not itself seen as simply another function such as emotions and thoughts. A much more interesting function I would agree, and one that looks like it will take much longer to reproduce artificially in computers (indeed if at all – though I am optimistic on that count), but given the first hand empirical evidence that our consciousness can be drastically altered by physical means such as brain trauma or drugs, it is perverse to claim that consciousness is something produced by the organism. There are recent studies using MRi imaging during real time scans as people’s states are varied, that give us tantalising clues as to how this all might work. It is quite obvious to neurosurgeons and others that, regardless of how mysterious its exact working is, it is somehow located in the brain.

Burton amusingly “inserted” an extra sentence when he himself read out the ‘psychology’ for a tape recording that I heard students play in the eighties. In that rasping ‘humble’ needling tone of his, he intones “And Consciousness can exist without functions” – ‘Which of course implies immortality’ he adds – no doubt smirking like a cheshire cat while he delivered this line.

I believe Ouspensky at this point in the lectures probably meant no more than that it is possible for a living organism to be aware without thinking or having a particular emotion or sensation.

I see the whole concept of a Conscious Being, as being fundamental. It is involved in an elaborate trick we played on ourselves when we bought into the FoF worldview.

I believe it is an artificial concept. There never has been and never will be an example of someone who fully satisfies the criteria Gurdjieff and others describe, and that includes Gurdjieff himself. But – I hear you cry – I have had serious tastes of higher consciousness, and to be a conscious being is just an extrapolation of these brief episodes. But this is really exactly my point. In as much as anyone can be conscious, we have all had our little moments of glory, and there is a spectrum of those experiences distributed across humanity, and it in no way correlates to what any mature human being would count as a life well lived. That surely comprises matters such as how much love we gave, the care we took in creating whatever it was we created, the way we listened to our friends, and the way we reacted to the needs of strangers whom we happened across during our lives. Not how high we were, taken as a average over our lifetime, that is unimportant – as trivial as how rich we were for example.

Once we enshrine the concept of the Conscious Being in our hearts, we are at the mercy of a smooth operator such as Burton. Since it is, as posed, simply unattainable, he knows no one can seriously claim to have achieved it, he will always be able to poo poo such claims, and offer some homily about the hubris and vaingloriousness displayed in even wondering if we might actually be awake. We are left feeling always and everywhere some sort of failure. After all, our aim is to be conscious and we haven’t yet achieved it. And he played this game on over 15,000 people, all failures, he wouldn’t say so of course, he’s too saintly to do that, but his mere existence is a damning indictment of our miserable inability to WANT it like he did, and to MADE THE FUCKING EFFORTS that he made. So as a result, we are sleeping machines, we can count it as a huge “improvement” and achievement that made us better than “life people” to have at least noticed that we lack something, that life is incomplete. But the best we can hope for is to at least recognise if and when we finally have the rare good luck to come across a real live Conscious Being, and if this does happen make sure we don’t annoy him, because we may be able to float out of our benighted slumber on his coat tails, him being such a Conscious Being an all.

Conscious Being

I see that special phrase as corrupting our minds and making cult fodder of us. If we had thought we were just trying to be a bit more fulfilled each day, the teachings wouldn’t have had such a mesmerising grip on us. It was this special thing, the being of a man no 5 or higher, it bewitched us, it had us in its thrall.

Lee Scratch Perry has his own definitions of a conscious man of course:

199. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 2, 2012

198 apologies for a typo (freudian slip?) it should have read –

it is perverse to claim that consciousness is NOT something produced by the organism

200. nigel - November 3, 2012

So…..consciousness is only for the noble?????!!!!!…..Nigel

The Donkey

By G. K. Chesterton 1874–1936

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

201. nigel - November 3, 2012

Norse Nine Noble Virtues

The Norse Nine Noble Virtues are:

(1) Courage (bravery in the face of difficulty);
(2) Truthfulness (honesty in all situations);
(3) Honor (noble actions reflecting respect for self and others);
(4) Fidelity (duty and loyalty to family, community, nation, and planet);
(5) Self-Discipline (self-controlled, lawful behavior);
(6) Hospitality (courtesy, kindness, and compassion for all);
(7) Industriousness (hard-working and striving to do the best one can do);
(8) Self-Reliance (responsible, self-sufficient, and independent); and
(9) Steadfastness (patient, resolute perseverance).

[This is a list of ideal moral traits identified by Asatruars from primary
sources, primarily the Haavamaal.]

The Mystic’s Wheel of the Year Calendar ~ http://www.WheeloftheYear.com

(Anyone see Burton displaying these traits?????…..Nigel.)

202. Adab - November 3, 2012

198 Shard

The feeling for conscious life is spoiled by the Fellowship, and the resentment occasioned by that goes a very long way down.

When you look at men who were [supposedly] conscious beings, like Jesus and Mohamed, the single abiding impression is that they were men of the people. They were comfortable in any company, and frequently preferred the company of people who were considered the lowest of the low – not pharisees or supposed men of God. They simply ‘lived with Nothing’, both internally and externally.

Apparently they found themselves in the centre of the mystery of awareness, and were found by others there too… And apparently, that awareness was able to nourish and enrich the sense of everyday life in them, and those who followed them.

The whole theory built up in the Fellowship from the ground of ‘Consciousness is not functions’ is a lie. Can Burton be considered a man of the people in any way? Does he really live with Nothing?

The mystery we’re all living is not found where consciousness is set apart from functions, but at the point where they meet – in the lives we really have to live.

203. Ames Gilbert - November 3, 2012

Do any of you over there in the U.K. remember Charles Duncan? Like Mervyn Brady, he decided to leave the Fellowship and set up shop for himself in London, and about the same time. He also wrote a book, “Self-remembering; A Teacher’s Thoughts” published in 1991 in London by New World Gurdjieff Ouspensky School, which seems to be unavailable through normal channels. He joined in 1972 and left in 1989. Tall, imposing, sandy-colored hair, if I remember correctly, seemed a decent sort.

But, as I’ve said before, being a Guru is one of the most dangerous occupations, and if one is corruptible (and who isn’t on one level or another?), then it is almost inevitable that one will be corrupted. The only way to avoid this seems to be, as Adab points out, to stay connected with fellow humans. An excellent way forward is to earn one’s own living and not succumb to the temptation to live off one’s students. My understanding is that most Sufi masters knew this. Staying connected with ordinary people also allows one to be compassionate about their problems, because likely one will have encountered the same oneself, and understand in the only true way possible, from personal experience. And since a true teacher (in any field) is continually learning, he or she would need constant, full contact with fellow humans to continue that learning. I’m with the thinking that becoming a better human and living this life (the only one we can verify exists) as fully as possible is the main purpose of the experiment. The idea is to explore the human potential. It seems ridiculous to be given this incredible gift and then exert the utmost efforts to escape it, like trying to fling shit off one’s shoe, or to spend the precious time looking forward to or preparing for some future paradise after death. All IMO, of course.

So, if anyone knows more about Charles, or Mervyn, and where their career paths took them, please share!

204. Joseph Nachumovitch - November 3, 2012

Charles and Mervyn were both ex-students who saw the possibilities of playing at being a ‘teacher’ and decided to have a go at it. What more is there to say?

205. Ames Gilbert - November 3, 2012

Joseph Nachumovitch (#131-204 or thereabouts),
Robert Burton was an ex-student of Alex Horn’s who also saw the possibilities of playing ‘teacher’ and decided to have a go at it, remember? He decided he was a ‘budding Man Number Five’, and that he was qualified, despite having failed the task his teacher set him, to be a Teacher in his own right, and despite being thrown out as unworthy because he couldn’t even maintain a basic control over his impulses or his appetites. Yet you find what happened next as significant, yes? You claim you learned important things from him, don’t you? Why not the same allowance or possibilities for Charles or Mervyn? From what I can gather, they were light years ahead of Burton in that regard, though that may not be saying much, I simply don’t know. That’s what I’m trying to find out. I’m asking questions like, did they or do they claim ‘consciousness’, did they or do they have sex with their followers, did they or do they live off their followers money and labor, and so on. So, do you actually know something about their careers as ‘Teachers’ or not, or is this one of your usual deep thoughts?

206. ton2u - November 3, 2012

re: joseph
greg ?
sounds like the less bellicose version previously heard on this channel.

207. Fee fi fo fum - November 3, 2012

Ames, post #189 by “I’m outta here” said that Mervyn is dead. On GF, Mervyn’s page on In Mem. said he died in April 2006 in Mexico. Charles helps with GF’s In Mem. pages, by the way. He hasn’t been in the UK for a long time. I think he stopped running his group a long time ago, but am not sure.

ton2u – Greg is an offensive combination of bellicose and poison.

208. Golden Veil - November 3, 2012

In light of the Fellowship of Friends emphasis on recruiting in Russia under the guise of the name Fourth Way School, and as there no longer seems to be any marketing under the name “Pathway to Presence”, I suggested a new masthead for this discussion in post 114 above.* Maybe we could utilize it with the next page:

Fellowship of Friends / Fourth Way School
Living Presence / Art of Divine Presence

* Art of Divine Presence is the name of one of the two English language websites. Currently, there doesn’t seem to be any marketing under the “Pathway to Presence” we have listed.
“Pathway to Presence” is the name of a page for Audrey Mairi !

209. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 3, 2012

This line in that first post:
‘Part 34 through Part 124 (current page)’
could read:
‘Part 34 through current page’

210. thirdlurker - November 3, 2012

re: joseph
noxious little twirp
what more is there to say?

ton2u, please make more efforts against mediocrety (is that spelled right?)

211. Fee fi fo fum - November 3, 2012

I hit the “post comment” button too soon. I should have said, Greg was an offensive combination of bellicose and poison, which Joseph is not.

Although Joseph, I am puzzled as to why you left the FF, when you seem to be such a staunch defender of it and of RB.

Ames, on the subject of ex-FF members who start their own 4th Way groups that imitate various aspects of the FF: It makes sense that that happens. The FF is a business and organizational model, of sorts. (The model hides the cult aspect of it, but that’s a different point.) On one hand, it’s understandable. Monkey see, monkey do. How unoriginal. On the other hand, it baffles me that they would repeat some of the main offenses of the FF, such as giving oneself airs that suggest one is less asleep than those who join their group, or the request for money from members.

Maybe some megalomaniacal individuals just can’t resist being viewed as being “more awake” than every one else. And to make money off of it — that must have an appeal of its own. I’ve never met Asaf or Dorian, but to hear on this blog that they were charging for meetings that they led, makes me think of how sheeplike the FF’s members continue to be. I bet the saying, “You value what you pay for” is one of the most abused concepts that is used to justify every request for the many fees in the FF.

212. Golden Veil - November 3, 2012

203 & 205 (or thereabouts) Ames Gilbert – November 3, 2012

I find myself very intrigued by the brain/nervous system malfunction – causing the calling forth of voices in the head and intense religiosity theories / studies that We Were There wrote about in post 167 and you expanded upon in Posts 169 and 196 – this could be one explanation for “self discovered” spiritual teachers. I wonder if some, like Robert Burton, or Vissarion in my post 142, have had this sort of inflamed brain delusion flare up, started their following, and only later after they have “come down” a bit and their brain begins to recover, and they find themselves a Messiah do they need to isolate… they no longer hear the voices, they need assistance from articulate followers, and this way they can keep status quo going… they don’t want to lose a good thing or the followers that have bought into their delusion. So, many of these teachers and gurus are perhaps a mixture of delusion and con.

213. Golden Veil - November 3, 2012

203 Ames Gilbert – November 3, 2012

” An excellent way forward is to earn one’s own living and not succumb to the temptation to live off one’s students.”

A great concept, but tell that to the guru with 96 Rolls Royces that his followers bought him. He has quite a different mind set about it all!

214. ton2u - November 4, 2012

re: fof ‘products’ who are out there hawking their wares in the ‘spiritual marketplace’ — don’t know about “charles and mervyn” — here’s a dude who passed through the fof… i worked with him briefly in the vineyard, seemed at the time (to me) like an egoist, nevertheless (also) light years ahead of blowjob bob… i’m assuming it’s the fof that’s mentioned obliquely here:

“Ted Nottingham is the author of twelve published books in a variety of genres, including nationally televised works. He is a publisher, television producer, translator and an ordained minister…

I entered a school which seemed very sophisticated and powerful in regards to the teachings. It is international now in scope, but overshadowed by serious misdeeds of the Teacher. This is where the really dark side came in.”

http://www.katinkahesselink.net/sufi/ginterviewo.html

215. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 4, 2012

When I joined the Fellowship I had hoped that one of the things I would learn would be the Gurdjieff Movements. They seemed exotic and something that would give some credence to any claim to a direct lineage from Mr G. However I soon understood that to hanker after the movements was to display a frankly shallow attitude to the teachings. And sure enough after a few months it didn’t seem to be relevant, and in fact in a perverse way the fact our school DIDN’T have the movements, was a sign that it had the real thing, and therefore could dispense with such obvious outward credentials.

So anyway here’s what we might have been doing in an alternate universe where Burton taught the movements – sweet.

216. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 4, 2012

194. Tim Campion – November 2, 2012
E. L. Kramer, in his own words.

“No one had any reasonable explanation for this except for my wiseacre friend who said ‘Maybe it was because of some bad sushi?’ ”

I’m with the wiseacre friend!

What was in that sushi, and where can I get some?

217. Fee fi fo fum - November 4, 2012

215 Shard of Oblivion, Do you remember M_x S., from Australia, in the London centre in the mid-late 80s? He offered to teach the Gurdjieff movements at Roger’s home to FF members. He was doing that on his own initiative (without FF sanction, so to speak). Within a few classes, he was asked by, I think the centre directors, to discontinue those classes. Indeed, I remember MS being asked to discontinue as being both puzzling (because after all, wasn’t the FF supposed to be a Gurdjieff-Ouspensky school?) and predictable. The FF is all about control. It is Orwellian. It controls what it deems to be fit for consumption by its members. If you stray outside of it, then you are branded a renegade. And as no surprise to anyone, MS & J, his partner, left the FF, some time after. Both of them were warm, genuine and kind individuals who didn’t want to put up with the FF’s conformist bullshit.

By the way, Ames, my impression of C. is that he has since been humbled by life and circumstances.

218. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 4, 2012

#217 Fee Fi Fo Fum and M_x S. from Australia. I don’t recall this M_x S though he sounds great. I wonder if I would have taken the Gurdjieff Movements up in the late 80s if I had heard about it, I think I might have taken the standard FoF line in disparaging people who just can’t let go of their old magnetic centres and recognise REAL C influence when they find it. (To my shame now of course)

I think I have fallen in love with the girl at the front of the dancers in the Sacred Goose movements after only watching the video a handful of times.

219. ton2u - November 4, 2012

194 and ‘me – diocracy’

220. Fee fi fo fum - November 4, 2012

218 Shard of Oblivion – It’s a reflection that the FF, whether deliberately or not via its centre directors and “older students”, weeds out students who are nonconformists and non-compliant. The FF may tolerate a bit of external nonconformity, but the main qualification for studentship is one’s not resisting the party line. It also makes me think about the FF’s currently touting itself as being a gleaner and presenter of “ancient wisdom” (and just how far back does it have to be to qualify as “ancient”?). But as we saw from I/sky, it is superficial, at best. In fact, that may be how the FF wants its students: superficial. Thus, such people can be satisfied by the dilettantish quality of the so-called Ark. The Ark was, and is, an excuse for many a misguided project.

221. James Mclemore - November 4, 2012

202. Adab

“The mystery we’re all living is not found where consciousness is set apart from functions, but at the point where they meet – in the lives we really have to live.”

Thank you for that.

222. nigel - November 4, 2012

Burton – the dog he had imported to his mansion pissed on the carpet. He got rid of it. Does that show patience, love of animals, or as Prince Guatama, the Buddha would have it – “Show compassion to all sentient beings”? Is Burton capable of showing compassion to any of his ‘students’, much less his ‘boys’ and much much much less any ‘lower beings’ such as that poor dog?

This very much relates to Ames’ post about why beings such as Christ, Mohammud and, I would venture to add, the Buddha himself, the teachings of whom I seem to be having more leanings towards (as the way of gentleness, the way devoid of greed and the way of empathy) veered towards mingling with the common people (R. Collin talked of ‘earthing with the unassuming folk’).

For myself, I cannot say what constitutes consciousness, although I do believe that Shard has it correct as a ‘corporeal’ function as natural, when it comes to its own as breathing and eating, only it needs to be given a ‘shove’ through excercising conscience, honesty and “natural love”. Give attention to your thoughts, feelings and actions, and the serendipity that Burton would like to sell you – in money and efforts – is yours, with the glory of presence (pulsing pineal, extending back and forth in time and the present).

I don’t know about these self-promoting gurus – what’s the point – I suppose if you are socio/psychopathic enough then you ride the ‘con-trick train’ either giggling to yourself that you are taking advantage of others or fully convinced that you are the ‘second coming of Christ’ (or whatever embodiment of higher planes) so that you become a demented, self-centred, tormenting-of-others-bastard.

Ames ‘hit the spot’ when he talked about ‘consciousness mixing with lowliness’. I can only answer for myself that I have a hard time dealing with my father and stepmother as church-going people and prefer to interface with my precious metal students and my pub friends (I happen to have drafted this post while ‘sipping a few pints’ down the Bishop Blaize Public House in Exeter).

I would forcibly like to say that Burton, morally-fraudulently, sets himself on the pedestal of ‘spiritual master’, while he is a depraved, ego-centric pervert…..Nigel.

223. nigel - November 4, 2012

MAGNANIMOUS

(Spelt correctly), magnanimous means having or showing admirable generosity of spirit towards another person or people; not spoiled by any mean or petty feelings.

224. nigel - November 4, 2012

PUSILLANIMOUS

Lacking strength and firmness of mind; wanting in courage and fortitude; being of weak courage; faint-hearted; mean-spirited; cowardly.

Proceeding from lack of courage; indicating timidity.

Synonyms
Poltroon, Dastard, etc. See coward.

Weak, feeble, timorous, spiritless, effeminate, dastardly.

225. Adab - November 4, 2012

Shard 218

Those guys in that movements class are pretty good. A lot of the time they end up in a mess, but they are a great way of learning about your body and its willingness, or otherwise, to translate ‘orders from above’ into action.

226. Ill Never Tell - November 4, 2012

216. Shard_of_Oblivion:
‘What was in that sushi, and where can I get some?’

Wasabi, man!

227. ton2u - November 4, 2012

ames, looking forward to your book review…

“This strange disease is manifested by this, that if the invalid is somewhat literate and his rent is paid for three months in ad- vance, he (she or it) unfailingly begins to write either some ‘instructive article’ or a whole book.”

putting the “me” in mediocrity:

228. ton2u - November 4, 2012

shard, i don’t know about these dancing ‘sacred geese’ but thanks for your image of the swan around 136…

The Swan
This laboring of ours with all that remains undone,
as if still bound to it,

is like the lumbering gait of the swan.


And then our dying—releasing ourselves

from the very ground on which we stood—

is like the way he hesitantly lowers himself

into the water.
It gently receives him,

and, gladly yielding, flows back beneath him,

as wave follows wave, 

while he, now wholly serene and sure,
with regal composure,

allows himself to glide.

229. Nevermind - November 4, 2012

Regardless all the bad press, the angry people and the growing general hostility, the only thing Burton regrets is that he didn’t swindle more money. Never imagine that Burton feels anything more then indifference, lust and greed.

230. David - November 4, 2012

215
Shard, the movements were taught again during the 90’s by a woman (SS) at the then Town Hall. It was a “sanctioned” activity for a while, but faded out due to lack of support from the hierarchy (and perhaps a change of heart from the big boss Bob). There had been some talk of getting together a group of people to tour the centers and put on performances.
Interestingly, she got involved with a so called “king of clubs” student who had been given a task by RB not to use his healing ability on other students. My personal opinion is that RB didn’t want any competition from someone who could actually “do” something, as it might detract from his (RB’s) imagination based authority.
Same with the movements. He neither knew, nor could do them. Thus anyone who could teach them was a threat.

231. nigel - November 4, 2012

…..from – “What Makes A Leader?”, by Abraham Zaleznik…..

“True leaders are rare in business.

Many executives, who were once potential leaders. have instead become absorbed by the managerial mystique. They have been seduced by a false sense of security: that running a business is like tending a plant nursery, where you prepare the soil, sow the seeds, apply fertilizer and water, and watch as Mother Nature works her magic with flora.

The mystique requires dedication to process, structures, roles, and indirect forms of communication. It discourages ideas, people, emotions, and direct talk – the stuff of leadership. The main credo of the managerial mystique is – act on form and hope that substantive solutions will follow. It deflects attention from the realities of business. It calls on executives to relinquish their ability to think, and adopt slogans and formulas instead of developing the art of self-examination that stimulates the imagination as well as toughening analytical thinking.

Leading is vastly different from managing.

Leaders grow through mastering painful conflict during their developmental years, confronting experiences that cause them to turn inward. Managers, by contrast, percieve life as a steady progression of positive events, resulting in security at home, in school, in the community, and at work.

Leaders are “twice born” individuals who endure major events and crises that lead to a sense of separateness – estrangement – from their environment. They turn inward in order to re-emerge with a created, rather than an inherited, sense of identity. The introspective capacity, which reinforces that sense of separateness, encourages deep thought about problems and methods for their solution.”

“…..the critical factor in the compact is the willingness of the leader to use their power in the best interests of their subordinates and their organization.

The leadership compact should never be confused with a managerial compact – in the form of golden parachutes and stock options – where an executive prospers whether the enterprise succeeds or fails.

The crucial difference between managers and leaders is their respective commitments. A manager is concerned with style: how decisions get made and communication flows. A leader is concerned with substance: what decisions get made and communicated.”

“WHEREAS MANAGERS FOCUS ON PROCESS, LEADERS FOCUS ON IMAGINATIVE IDEAS, DRIVING OTHER PEOPLE THROUGH THEIR COMPACT TO MAKE REALITY OUT OF THEIR DREAMS.”

(I first read the article a few weeks before my ‘separation’ from the FOF and find it rings true. Do you see Burton or Haven – or any of the enablers – doing anything other than ‘going through the motions’ required of a so-called ‘conscious teaching’? All style, pose and sycophancy, to my way of thinking…..Nigel)

232. nigel - November 4, 2012

…..from Wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham Zaleznik

Zaleznik was among the founders, along with Harry Levinson, of a school of thought that integrated leadership and organization studies with psychoanalysis. He published an article, “Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?” which established a theme he continued to explore throughout his scholarly career. He was a critic of what he called “the managerial orientation” which led managers and executives to focus on process, rather than on the substance of their work. He followed up this article with an important book, published in 1989, “The Managerial Mystique: Rediscovering Leadership in Business”, which explored this theme in depth. He did not subscribe to the idea that there were leadership competencies. Rather, he believed that leaders were animated by distinctive talents, describing them as various forms of “imagination” for example, the financial imagination and the marketing imagination. Theodore Levitt, a major theorist of marketing, was influenced by Zaleznik’s idea.

Zaleznik emphasized that character above all shaped how leaders took up their roles. He was among the few scholars who could link how leaders decided and what decisions they took to their character forming experiences. His case book “Learning Leadership: Cases and Commentaries On Abuse of Power in Organizations”, is based on many biographical essays of such historical figures as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Coco Chanel and Jimmy Hoffa. In his classic article “The Management of Disappointment” he argued that leaders are twice born, the second birth the result of their navigating a major career disappointment.

233. nigel - November 4, 2012

Many have read this post from “Unauthorized Blogography” several times, but I am just posting it here in the hope that there are ‘current students’ who NEED THEIR EYES OPENING…..Nigel.

Monday, October 15, 2012

“Inner circle facts”

[ed. – This was one of the earliest, and most shocking posts on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, describing the weekly (if not daily) “teaching” conducted by Robert Burton in his private chambers. I post it again, since many have likely overlooked it. There are similar stories to be found among the first hand testimonies on that blog. This post was written by a Russian member of the Fellowship, thus the grammatical errors. Reportedly, most of the young men who perform these “services” for Burton are now from Eastern Europe or Russia.]

“Inner circle facts” posted the following on March 1, 2007:

Are you ready for some brutal facts?

Who would like to know how its really happening in his bad room? OK folks, fasten your sit belts, the Kansas going Bye Bye…

Did you know that usual orgies are formed from 4 to 6 student?. Usually two of them are SIMULTANEOUSLY entering Burton’s anus. Third person is laying on his back while Mr.Burton is providing him an oral sex while two from both sides are subject to the masturbation by MR. Burton with his two hands.

Some time there is one more student who’s role is to hold Burton’s testicles in his mouth during the whole time. Prior to all, by Burton’s request Viagra pills are shared and swallowed between all members of the orgy which are constantly provided by Mr. G.

Some time you can hear Burton’s words during the sexual activities “How incredible! We are getting closer, aren’t we?”

Some of them are asked to suck his nipples and his toes. All sperm gets swallowed by Mr. Burton at the end of the act. But that is not all yet.

There are two students who had the most terrifying and most humiliating role to play (in my opinion). They have to enter with their hands by their elbows into the Burton’s anus. (Looking for Consciousness perhaps) ..both students are Russians. One of them had left the school and the other has been “shipped” back to Russia for disobedience.

And now get this:

Beside those depraved scenes there is another one which going to shake you all:

There is another act that Burton is preforming with a specific student of his own “inner circle”. This act of Humiliation is performed in his bath room while Burton is laying down and 3 students are urinating right on him!

And on the next morning, like nothing happened Mr.Burton is leading the meeting on Love?

How cynical indeed!

234. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 5, 2012

#233 Reportage on Burton’s orgies.

Not a pretty sight.

235. nigel - November 5, 2012

Guilt and Shame
——————————————————————————–
By…..Phil Barker

July 2003

What Is Guilt? What is Shame?

Guilt is a feeling that everyone is familiar with. It can be described as “a bothered conscience” or “a feeling of culpability for offenses.” We feel guilty when we feel responsible for an action that we regret. There are several types of guilt. People can feel ashamed, unworthy, or embarrassed about actions for which they are responsible. In this case, we refer to true guilt — or guilt that is appropriate. However, true guilt is only one form of guilt. People can also feel guilty about events for which they are not responsible. This false guilt can be equally destructive, if not more so. Feeling guilty for events which are out of our control is often unproductive and detrimental.

Although shame is an emotion that is closely related to guilt, it is important to understand the differences. Shame can be defined as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” Others have distinguished between the two by indicating that “We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.” Shame is often a much stronger and more profound emotion than guilt. “Shame is when we feel disappointed about something inside of us, our basic nature.” Both shame and guilt can have intensive implications for our perceptions of self and our behavior toward other people, particularly in situations of conflict.

Reactions to Guilt and Shame

Because of the differences between shame and guilt (who I am versus what I did), people respond to each emotion differently. Guilt, because it emphasizes what someone did wrong, tends to elicit more constructive responses, particularly responses which seek to mend the damage done. Guilt is tied to beliefs about what is right and wrong, moral and immoral. When we violate one of these moral guidelines, it causes us to feel guilty over our actions and seek to fix what we have done (see ‘cognitive dissonance’). As a result, guilt is an important tool in maintaining standards of right and wrong in individuals and society as a whole. As such, guilt can often be used as a tool to overcome conflict.

Shame, on the other hand, emphasizes what is wrong with ourselves. It has a much more inward focus, and as such, leads shameful parties to feel poorly about themselves, rather than simply the actions they have taken. The result is often an inward-turning behavior — avoiding others, hiding your face, removing yourself from social situations. Therefore, shame can be problematic, as it is often less constructive than guilt. In fact, shame can lead to withdrawal from social situations and a subsequent defensive, aggressive, and retaliatory behavior, which only exacerbates conflict, rather than alleviating it.

Shame can also lead to other types of behavior, many of which serve little or no constructive role. People cope with shame in many ways. However, few get at the actual source of the emotion. The following is a list of common shame-driven behaviors:

•Attacking or striking out at other people. In an attempt to feel better about their shame, people will oftentimes strike out at others in the hopes that they will be lifted up by bringing others down. While this behavior may produce short-tehrm relief from shame, in the long term shame is only strengthened — in both parties — and nothing is done to get at the root of the problem.

•Seeking power and perfection. Others attempt to overcome their shame by preventing the possibility of future shame. One way in which they do this is by aiming for perfection — a process that inevitably fails and causes more problems. Another manner in which people cope is by seeking power, which makes them feel more valuable.

•Diverting blame. By blaming our faults or problems on others, we can avoid guilt and shame. However, like the previous responses, doing this fails to get at the core problems and as a result, fails to achieve its purpose.

•Being overly nice or self-sacrificing. People sometimes compensate for feelings of shame or unworthiness by attempting to be exceptionally nice to others. By pleasing everyone else, we hope to prove our worth. However, this inevitably involves covering up our true feelings, which is, once again, self-defeating.

•Withdrawal. By withdrawing from the real world, we can essentially numb ourselves to the feelings of guilt and shame so that we are no longer upset by these sorts of things. Again, nothing has been done to address the core issues of the problem.

While each of these actions may provide temporary relief, the long term effects are often negative, and the result is the passing on of guilt or shame to others.

(What is my reason for seeking out and Google-ing ‘right use of guilt’ and posting this web-page?????…..4 reasons!!!!!…..Nigel.)

1. On Radio 4, on the way home in one of my students’ car, last week, was the ‘psychiatry programme’…..the subject was ‘guilt used as a motivating factor’ by business leaders, who have previously failed in their field of expertise and have, perhaps, lost a business and now want to ‘redress the balance’ and make their present enterprise more ethically/moraly/financially ‘correct’.

2. Tonight, my Mars-Jovial, Jack-of-Hearts lady-student, with ‘tramp feature’, asked if I had taken up smoking again (although I had tried hard to disguise the fact from my students). I asked if she had smelled smoke on my clothing and she said it was actually the stained second digit that she noticed (gold-alchemy perception or what?????). I felt shame, but it passed quickly. She did not press hard on her comment. In fact, my only reason for intitially trying to quit was that my psychiatrist implied that, if I continued smoking, I would have a 50/50 chance of losing one or both legs by the age of 60.

3. Whale Rider is one of my favourite bloggers. He has stated (and I hope he does not mind my posting it here) that he still feels great shame over his sexual involvement with Burton, although my take on the matter is that he was very young and impressionable to Burton’s ‘charms’ (i.e. dominance feature and using every megalomaniacal wile to trap young men in his enclave).

4. Burton himself can be no less described other than sociopathic or psychopathic – has no conscience (“If you spend too much time on those “I’s” you might as well leave the ‘school’ – [not verbatim]) and has set up an organization based on positions of power/dominance/vanity and producing fear – and, I would hasten to add – a total lack of ‘householder’ (not just financially, but emotionally – whence comes depression among followers, essentially – folllowers not allowed to follow professions that would nourish their innermost ‘possibilities’ [hey! what else leads to awakening other than being ‘True to Oneself’?????]). NO!!!!! Burton is (lower/instinctive) SELF-SEEKING, EGOTISTICAL and DEPRAVED.

I am hoping that these juxtapositions of ‘angles’ on guilt (or the lack of it in Burton’s case) should JOLT CURRENT MEMBERS OUT OF THEIR SELF-SATISFIED FALSE SENSE OF (UN)WORTHINESS (?????) and flee the ‘PAIN FACTORY’ that is not ‘LIFE’ (as described by the other charlatan, Gurdjieff) but the FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS ITSELF…..Nigel (The Free).

236. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 6, 2012

#235 Nigel, I may be wrong, but I suspect the majority of the readers of this blog are fellow ex-students. Of course we have evidence that others pass by here, including FBI agents doing research (yay!), and we might hope that some prospective students might check things out before committing themselves, but I would be surprised if many current FoF members read it. Just thought that is worth mentioning since you often seem to be directing your posts at current FoF members. In the post above, giving you some personal feedback as it were, the most interesting bit was where you related how you felt when your student guessed you had taken up smoking again – that was real and from your own experience, less interesting are long quotes from others who are themselves generalising and theorising about stuff.

I do like you signing off as Nigel (The Free) it has an epic quality to it.

237. WhaleRider - November 6, 2012

Cult Leader Predicted Storm

Twelfth House, CA (USA)- After several failed attempts at predicting catastrophes, Robert Burton, self-appointed leader of The Fellowship of Friends, has finally nailed one.

“The signs were there all along,” the illustrious leader claimed in a highly edited statement. “When the mortgages of my Followers were under water, it was c influence telling me there was to be a flood. And when the financial meltdown occurred on Wall Street, it was c influence telling me the flood would happen in New York City. The storm had c influence’s signature on it because the storm came from the “sea”.”

Inside sources say that after watching the Weather Channel, which Burton believes is a vehicle for higher forces to speak to him about the future, he was able to inform his media challenged flock of the storm several days before the storm hit land with surprising accuracy, and that the storm was a punishment to the American northeast for lagging donations and promiscuous critical thoughts.

238. fofblogmoderator - November 6, 2012

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