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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 134 November 29, 2012

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.
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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 might result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence from the discussion.

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

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. Tim Campion - November 29, 2012

I in the sky asked me “Could anyone utter a more narcissistic statement than your above quote?”

Well, yes.

I expect not to be martyred, but to die a passive death. I will have eight years after the destruction of humanity to assist in rebuilding a civilization. I am immortal, and death does not exist for me. – Robert Burton

When my task is complete I will continue to work with our school, and communicate to my students the wishes of higher forces for our new civilization. – Robert Burton

Our school is the fulfillment of the scriptures and is designed to survive Armageddon. – Robert Burton

And there are hundreds more where these came from.

2. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 29, 2012

Just a quick thank you to FofBlogModerator for the years of work he has put in. I get a lot from the blog, and he is a cool and fair moderator, not overbearing at all, and his good sense has allowed the discussions to flourish for many years.

3. WhaleRider - November 29, 2012

“The characteristics of grasping manipulation and insincerity can lead to a person being labelled “a Uriah Heep” as Lyndon Johnson is called in Robert Caro’s biography.”

~Wikipedia

Yeah, that’s me alright, a real snake in the grass.

4. Ames Gilbert - November 29, 2012

Thank you, Mr Blog Moderator, for all your hard work maintaining this blog. You are the one who has to make the tough decisions!
In the spirit of thanksgiving . . .

Today, and every day, I am thankful that I’m no longer a member of the cult called the Fellowship of Friends. I feel lucky.
I in the Sky/Daily Cardiac and 1550 or so others are thankful that they are followers of Burton. They feel lucky—and special. And so they should. They believe they have been chosen by angels from nearly 7 billion doomed humans now alive to become ‘immortal’ (whatever that means). And in less than a month from now, on December 21, 2012, they will have front row seats as those angels kill off the rest of humanity. Now, that’s special!

Thank you again, IITS/DC, for laying out your belief system so directly. Anyone interested in or considering joining the Fellowship who does due diligence will appreciate your efforts, and hopefully see them as they are. Your post #86–73 http://tinyurl.com/9x4k55u could hardly be clearer; it is a catalog of your articles of faith. If anyone who has had no connection to the FoF, but is interested in that organization reads this, I’m writing this for you.

If you want to join a group of people like IITS/DC, mostly sincere, nice, well–meaning folks, but whose entire ‘spiritual’ center of gravity is based on faith, know that in advance—and accept the consequences. Look through these pages for posts by Daily Cardiac, an excellent representative of the typical follower’s point of view. Know that many of us (I dare say, probably most) who have ‘been through the mill’ have concluded that the leader, Robert Burton, is a sexual predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and that having sex with large numbers of the heterosexual young men who depend on him for spiritual guidance is his chief occupation, and has been for forty years. Know that if you are a young, even moderately good-looking young heterosexual male, you will most probably end up having sex with him. Know that your fellow followers will approve of this, encourage this, and the less than good-looking ones will envy you (though these are few, Burton’s tastes are very catholic). In other words, in their world–view, this is completely normal and expected. Know that he has no control in this matter, and has never demonstrated will or restraint. Know that his followers excuse and even justify this ‘supersex’ (as he terms it) because he is a ‘conscious being’.

Know also that Burton is a life–long misogynist. He has no use for women as women, unless they have money or influence. Moreover, he states that they cannot ‘awaken’ as women in this lifetime. This means that if you are a woman, you will (according to Burton) definitely have to wait for a ‘role in a future lifetime as a man’ (with the sole exception of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, for some reason) to be able to ‘awaken’, whatever that is.

If you happen to be here because you are interested in the Fourth Way, know that, apart from words freely borrowed from the Fourth Way, this cult has no connection with the Fourth Way whatsoever.
The Fourth Way terms are bait, pure and simple. There has been no transmission of knowledge or energy from Alex Horn to Robert Burton. Nor was there a transmission from J.G. Bennett to Horn (whose entire experience of the Fourth Way in the direct line was as a three–week drop–in at the end of one of J.G. Bennett’s courses in England). Horn had no contact with Rodney Collin, whatever Burton claims or insinuates. The rest came from books or odd meetings with others interested in the Fourth Way. Whatever the level of Horn, Burton failed miserably to fulfill the task given to him, to cease his sexual pursuit of male fellow ‘students’. And, Burton himself is openly proud of the fact that he has never read any work of Gurdjieff. His quotes of Gurdjieff’s words come from his brief encounters with Ouspensky’s books and what he has picked up from his more organized or intellectual followers. He has yet to explain the vast gap between his being a self-proclaimed Man number 7.9, or whatever, and the next and only ‘conscious product’ of his organization, the infamous Girard Haven, official hagiographer, Man number 5 point something. Remember the Fourth Way idea that one has to help put someone in one’s place before one can ‘move on’?
As a particular example, the meaning of the word ‘verification’ has been turned on its head. As you inevitably reorient yourself to the Fellowship groupthink (your new friends are so nice, so helpful, so knowledgeable, and you are so eager to learn, to please, to fit in…), you will be persuaded that ‘testing’ hypotheses according to reason and the scientific method is faulty thinking, emanating from your ‘lower self’, the Devil. Instead the major part of your ‘work’ is to first accept given/revealed articles of faith as true and then strive to find evidence for them. Failing that, you are to ‘observe and record’ and put any doubting thoughts ‘on the back burner’, or, as you become more advanced, dispense with them altogether because they are generated by your ‘lower self’. When the back burner is full, you will be kept so busy you won’t notice the older thoughts ‘to be worked with later’ permanently falling into oblivion. Know that the many general ‘exercises’ given out by Burton are a miraculous one–size fits all. Any individual attention that each follower may need is farmed out to one or other of the 45 angels, the discorporate remains of (mostly) white, male Europeans who have left a historical record. More than strange, huh? Almost all the personal exercises given by Dear Teacher are of the “C-Influence wishes you to internally consider me, give up your body for my pleasure” type. Though, for variety, there are the never–ending requests for more money, gifts, favors of all kinds, or “Marry this person or that”.

Know that Burton is probably the most superstitious person you will ever hear of or meet. This ‘conscious being’, having lost his own internal way, relies on external signs of every type, from chance license plate numbers to a grotesque numerology and symbology, whose significance is supported and ‘researched’ by the members themselves, and as stated above, always seeking ‘proof’ to support the pre–conceptions. One example among literally thousands: Burton interprets the number of rhino poops in prehistoric cave drawings as messages the artists intentionally left for him across hundreds of centuries! Based on this rare sensitivity, Burton continually makes prophecies, whose record of complete failure (including highlights such as the drowning of California in 1996, nuclear Armageddon in 2006, the production of seven ‘conscious beings’, and so on) he petulantly explains in terms such as, “C–Influence has humiliated me”. At the same time, mirabile dictu, Burton claims that every jot and title of existence is preordained, a ‘play written by the angels’. In his universe, he supplies the ‘crazy’ while his followers infer the ‘wisdom’, so all in the narcissistic dance are happy. Oh, and you’ll be glad he has made improvements to the Fourth Way apart from inventing angels whose sole welfare is those who write checks to Burton, and who will attend the complete destruction of the rest of humanity. For example, unlike Gurdjieff, Ouspensky or Bennett in whose teachings conscience is as important as, and inseparable from, consciousness, Burton has little use for the former. In fact he says, “Conscience is just a collection of I’s. Anyone accumulating too much should leave the school”. One less thing to worry about, huh? And as strong an indicator as any that he doesn’t have conscience—and hence, consciousness—himself.

If you indeed value the Fourth Way, then before you consider joining the Fellowship of Friends, you owe it to yourself to find out everything you can about them. There is much more in these pages and elsewhere. I know, it is quite an effort to go through them. But the time you invest doing this is miniscule compared to the time you will waste and the harm that may befall you if you join the cult. I’m not claiming you will learn nothing, just that you can achieve better results in far less time elsewhere, without paying the ludicrous price the greedy and literally insatiable Burton demands.

So much for the Fourth Way. How about the Second Way?
If you take a masochistic satisfaction in being told what to do in all areas of your life, have blind trust in authoritarian structures, have faith in revealed truths, and desperately need to cultivate obedience, you’ll certainly be interested in some form of the Second Way. But why not just join the Carthusians or some other group with a good record? For a start, they are much quicker and more efficient. You have the possibility of reaching salvation during or at the end of this lifetime. Not so in Burton’s religion. He claims you will need many lifetimes of unremitting toil and devotion to counter your built–in weaknesses and achieve immortality. Meanwhile, Mr. “Do as I say, not as I do” trusts NOT to the future, but lives the life of a spoiled potentate right now. He will use your money to live luxuriously. He may use your body for his sexual pleasure. He will travel widely at your expense. He will dress in the finest and most expensive clothing, silken underwear, drink wine worth hundreds of dollars at every meal, drive the best cars, travel first class everywhere, and give rich gifts to his lovers—while he favors them—all from your earnings. His followers exist to hang on every word, gratify every whim, and worship him as, in his own words, “the brightest light in 2,000 years”. Not so incidentally, he is ‘beyond Judeo–Christian morality’ (though he has yet to formulate a successor, though we do know there will be no minimum age of consent).

Why would you want to dive into the fantasy world of this twisted, lying madman, who seems to exist solely for the titillation of the nerve endings in his penis and anus—and for shopping? Rather, go join an order of nuns or monks. If you are interested in experiencing the state popularly known as consciousness, study Zen or become a Buddhist.

Otherwise, please stick around back here with the rest of us and try to do the best you can for yourself and your fellow humans with love and integrity, living and enjoying life in all its juicy mess, ups and downs, accepting the need for risks, facing the unknown and unknowable with all the courage you can muster.

5. brucelevy - November 29, 2012

Like a breath of fresh air after being trapped in an outhouse.

6. Ames Gilbert - November 29, 2012

Mr. Moderator,
I can understand why you think I in the Sky doesn’t lend much to the discussion, but I ask you to reconsider.

Obviously those who have had the experience of coming to their senses and leaving the Fellowship of Friends disagree strongly with the arguments, if they can be called such, of a still indoctrinated and hypnotized follower, but in my opinion, having them out in public for all to see, has an inherent value. Someone trying to find out more about the FoF can do so—without having to join. They can read for themselves the typical (and, from her perspective, sincere) viewpoint of a very long time member, a viewpoint they are unlikely to get from the organizers of the tightly-scripted performances known as ‘Introductory Meetings’. And such explorers will get a much stronger feeling for the “Robert knows best about everything, big and small” mentality, and what it would mean in practical terms if they were to give up their possibilities of individuation, if they hear it from a current member.

Another benefit of being liberal is that it saves the blog from a conforming homogeneity of its own. So few voices are heard from the Fellowship POV, because they are strongly discouraged to participate, so it seems to me we could make extra allowances for those who do come forward.

If you think that I in the Sky attracts too much attention per se, and the messages of warning are being lost in the noise, it seems to me that the onus is on the rest of us to be more economical in our responses.

Anyway, my two cents. And this in no way detracts from my sincere appreciation for your hard work over many years, and for making the hard decisions.

7. brucelevy - November 29, 2012

My two cents…Ass In The Air has spilled enough bull shit, and it’s visible to those who want to see it over the last several pages. I think you done good. Fuck em both.

8. freeman - November 29, 2012

Tim, perfect response at the top of the page. For most reasonable and intelligent people, reading those quotes would be enough. Sometimes the analysis and arguments aren’t needed. The insanity just speaks for itself.

Moderator, thanks for all of your hard work. You absolutely made the right decision. At some point, it becomes obvious when people are just trying to disrupt things. Unfortunately, they’re sometimes pretty clever at it.

Bruce, at first I thought you wrote “nuthouse,” but that works too.

Love you all…

9. WhaleRider - November 29, 2012

Frankly, I could do without I in the sky’s callousness and obsequiousness for a while.

I am sure someone (maybe you someone?) will step up to fill his or her shoes.

Sometimes the Alexandrian Solution is the appropriate means to contain the endless Gordian knot of delusion and madness…sometimes you have to isolate a virus to contain it, too.

Good work blog monitor!

One of the big inhibitors of ex-followers disclosing their personal stories here is being exposed to the sociopath’s defenses, which include character assassination and blaming the victim.

And without a borderline troll running amok clubbing people, the blog becomes a safer place again for people like Barbara.

Thank you, Barbara!

I agree with Bruce, if the blog needs a dose of masochism, there’s plenty of i in the sky to fall back on.

I say let Burton’s own words speak for themselves, I’ve heard enough spin for the time being.

Great warning post, Ames!

10. freeman - November 29, 2012

Ames, first of all. thank you for all of your hard work as well — for writing from your heart and soul. I think you have helped so many people in the last few years, myself included.

You wrote, “…So few voices are heard from the Fellowship POV, because they are strongly discouraged to participate, so it seems to me we could make extra allowances for those who do come forward.”

During the most recent presidential debate, a similar sort of dynamic ensued in my opinion. On one side, you had someone more or less expressing their viewpoints about how things should be done. On the other side, you had someone who spent a great deal of time avoiding the expression of their viewpoints, while pretending they were expressing them. In other words, they did not really express their views or their agenda, because if they did it would discourage a large segment of the population from voting for them. Now, I’m sure people will say that it was happening on both sides, which is probably true. But in my opinion, one of the candidates took it to an extreme.

When that happens — when the person you’re talking with is using obfuscation and misdirection — it’s very challenging to have a substantive discussion with them. The conversation will go in circles, and the issues that you wanted to bring forward will be lost in the confusion.

i think we’re dealing with something similar here in this blog, and this is where I probably have a different viewpoint than you: I in the Sky is not being sincere or direct about what she thinks or feels. She’s simply trying to knock things off course, and I hate to say it but she’s been relatively successful at it. I don’t know if she received training in public relations or not, but she definitely has a knack for showing up when the blog is running on all cylinders, or when bad news hits the Fellowship of Friends, which is fairly often these days.

I wholeheartedly agree with David on the previous page, and with you, that learning to be more selective and clever with our responses would be helpful, but unfortunately, that’s not what happens. Things start going downhill fast when she or “nevermind” join in, and that’s their objective from the start, maybe for different reasons.

I’d love to see people from the FOF actually tune in and express their opinions, and respond to the difficult questions. Problem is, that’s not what they’re doing. There’s rarely if ever any acknowledgment that any problem exists at all. For most people who post here, it’s an effort to expose the problem, and to help people avoid the effects of that problem. IFor I in the Sky, it’s a steady stream of denials that any problem exists. Maybe when that changes, we could have a discussion that doesn’t simply raise the noise level.

11. Golden Veil - November 29, 2012

The post by “Daily Cardiac (I in the sky in another guise) that Ames Gilbert references from Part 86, post 73 was in response to my post 59 on the same page. Below I re-post the main section of my post “Daily Cardiac” was responding to since they edited out my explicit sexual references…

“It must be real ignorance rather than an inconsiderate nature that leads you to continually assert to the readers here that the FACT that Robert Burton has sexually abused and misused his followers, the ‘students’, time and time again, is only “opinion”. The abused and misused relate their own personal experiences. The FACT is, the sexual abuse and misuse IS their experience. Also, these are not just a few isolated instances. There are many. And these people have ugly, disturbing memories of experiences they surely wish they had never had, and that they find impossible to forget. They want to contribute to the edification of ‘prospective students’ that might find this blog. They want to inform ‘prospective students’ of the dangers of being seduced by ‘Pathway to Presence’ (Fellowship of Friends /
Living Presence / Fourth Way School)

* * *

If anything be “Spiritual”, it must be the aim of the ex-’students’ who
write the postings here. They are a like a lighthouse showing the ‘prospective student’ that the rocky shore is not the place to sail and especially not to put an anchor down.

* * *

“When one is pretending the entire body revolts”

[Anais Nin]”

12. Agent 45 - November 30, 2012

I’m surprised at you, Ames, for appealing the moderator’s ruling – most people don’t or even shouldn’t give much thought to the Fellowship of Friends.
Of course, if a mind-control cult was right there in your own backyard it might be a different story.
PS RE: 45? What does that make me? No. 46? What do you have to do to get on the list? Die?

13. nigel - November 30, 2012

I hope this post is not too indulgent. These last two days we have said goodbye to my step-mum, Mary, with the family and all her friends in Budleigh Salterton, where she and my dad, Peter (the rock), have lived for the last ten years. As I mentioned before, she was instincively centred and there was contention between us at the start, But her ability to buy me nice gifts (beautiful sweaters, a chromium-plated kettle and a sweet little dog-bed for Ferdy) soon softened the rift. My step-family is now closer than that – my step-cousin, Sarah, said she was closer than a step away, so we stepped on the ‘step’. I left the get-together at my dad’s house to come back to Exeter to prepare for my teaching day ahead tomorrow. I put the Beth Nielsen Chapman CD on, with his track…..

“How We Love”…..

Life has taught me this
Everyday is new
And if everything is true
All that matters when we’re through is how we love

Faced with what we lack
Some things fall apart
But from the ashes new dreams start
All that matters to the heart is how we love

How we love, how we love
With the smallest act of kindness
In a word, a smile, a touch

In spite of our mistakes
Chances come again
If we lose or if we win
All that matters in the end is how we love

How we love, how we love
I will not forget your kindness
When I needed it so much

Sometimes we forget
Trying to be so strong
In this world of right and wrong
All that matters when we’re gone
All that mattered all along
All we have that carries on… is how we love

Love to the Obviously Kind Ones, the Careful Put Together Reminding Ones of why we are on this blog and The Sarcasm To Make Us Think Ones…..Nigel.

14. Nevasayneva - November 30, 2012

why ban them?
Were they not the whole fun of this?
Their pro- FOF arguments and poor logic helped me to clarify and put into words a lot of what I”felt” was wrong during my time in FOF.

Also with all due respect, telling them that they are free to write to you personally but that you will not read their e-mails is a bit funny.

IITS was forever announcing their imminent departure from such lowly pursuits anyway, but I feel sad to see their final twirl around this little stage cut short.

15. WhaleRider - November 30, 2012

Nigel:
If I am understanding you correctly, it seems your step-mum has past over.

I am sorry to hear about your loss. It sounds like you’ve made peace with it, which is heartwarming.

The other night I watched a documentary on you tube about the Tsunami that killed 250,000 people around the rim of the Indian Ocean in 2004.

The event happened over the course of about 2 hours after the earthquake that caused the great wave. Many were swept out to sea and never found. Two thirds of those whom perished were children.

The story had a deep personal impact upon me, since my wife and young son had just three years prior visited one of the islands, Koh Pi Pi, off the west coast of Thailand that had been completely wiped out. Thousands were killed there, including the nephew of the Thai king.

We stayed in a cottage right near the beach.

The film includes the story of one American newly wed couple who survive after being rescued at sea on a pile of floating debris. He had a broken clavicle, a deep gash on his head, and her pelvis had been crushed in the ordeal. She was unable to move from the waist down.

Despite their severe injuries, it was incredibly inspiring to witness the joy they felt to be alive and together. I wept.

For the past few days, I’ve felt lucky to be alive, too, and see my son grow up to be almost as tall as I am. I am sure he will soon surpass me, since he’s now just 12. And I have a daughter, too.

Do I need the horror of hydrogen warfare hanging over my head to help me to be present?

I don’t think so.

Nigel, the best “going away” gift you could give your step-mum is to enjoy life while you can.

What a relief to be spared of cult insanity and the deformed logic that followers use to recruit others!

16. fofblogmoderator - November 30, 2012

#14- I sent you a personal email to the address you use for the blog

17. freeman - November 30, 2012

14. Nevasayneva – November 30, 2012
“Were they not the whole fun of this?”

No, they were not any of the fun of this.

I thought the blog was going gangbusters earlier this year without them. News was flowing in, people were expressing their different points of view about what was happening, and there were lots of relevant links to youtube videos and news articles. People were cracking jokes, and others were writing beautiful passages from the heart.

18. nigel - November 30, 2012

15. Dear Whale Rider

It is not a cheap enjoyment that I seek. The reading I gave at the ‘Thanksgiving Service’ was 1 Corithinians 13. Love – I have felt and engaged in Eros – physical Love. Somehow I skipped ‘caritas’ – the human love of one soul for another. But ‘Agape’ – how I feel that in immense proportion! Compassion for all my fellow humans and other sentient creatures. I believe the FOF will never achieve that kind of True Feeling. I also believe that, before my demise, I may be able to love a single woman, deeply and greatly…..Nigel.

19. nigel - November 30, 2012

With tears welling in my eyes, I am humbly proud to post…..

1 Corinthians 13

New International Version (NIV)

1. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10. but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

20. brucelevy - November 30, 2012

Yeah, I didn’t see it as fun in anyway. In fact I thought the exchanges were pretty ludicris demeaning and it showed how easily a group can be manipulated . JMO.

21. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 30, 2012

Nevermind was a liar and a nasty bit of work.

“I in the sky” was uninteresting to debate with as it was too dull to follow the simplest argument, and in addition displayed a complete lack of basic human sympathy.

22. James Mclemore - December 1, 2012

Although they generated a lot of posts to combat them, IMO the blog is better without them. The air is clean once again. In the case of IITS, as Shard said, it was both intellectually boring and emotionally repulsive. She put out enough party-line and sociopathic drivel to last a lifetime if bloggers wish to refer to it. In Nevermind’s case, if that was Greg and I feel pretty sure it was, and we go by what has happened in the past, it was only going to get uglier and uglier.

23. Tim Campion - December 1, 2012

On a serious note, there is still time to protect you and your loved ones with the Mystic Mayan Power Cloak. Order now to be guaranteed delivery before December 21st, Armageddon!

24. Fee fi fo fum - December 1, 2012

Mr blog moderator, thank you for maintaining this blog.

I’m glad IITS was banned. Although I think I understand where Ames is coming from (#6, above) about saving the blog “from a conforming homogeneity of its own” because “so few voices are heard from the Fellowship” point of view “because they are strongly discouraged to participate,” I feel in the case of IITS, the benefit of banning her outweighs the harm. The benefit is that readers can see, first hand, what it means to be so totally immersed in FF doctrine and slavishly devoted to RB, no matter what he says. If anything is a warning sign for prospective students to stay away from the Fellowship of Friends/Living Presence, that’s it.

I felt she was disingenuous much of the time. That made it discouraging to conduct a productive conversation with her. I initially wanted to engage in direct dialogue with her, but quickly sensed that her appearance on the blog was a kind of ploy or mindfuck trap, a kind of “let’s play marionnette string manipulator with these disaffected ex-members.” For those few who persisted in conversing with her, it was painful to read many of the interchanges. It was like watching us waste our breath. In addition to a constant recitation of the FF party line, she displayed a marked lack of ordinary, human sympathy, no matter how personal and painful and insightful the teller’s story.

We were there, but we left. Now we are on the other side, on the outside looking in. She is still trapped in it, thinking she’s free. It’s not a good place to be. I think if she had shown any inkling at all that she was questioning the FF or RB, the entire conversation in these past many pages would have been much more invigorating and exciting and productive.

25. Tempus Fugit - December 1, 2012

Personally, I support the blog moderator’s ban of IITS, etc., simply because the waste of time and clouding of the truth was getting tedious.

To me the FOF blog is not simply a forum for an interesting philosophical discussion, but an opportunity to reveal the enormous and real human suffering caused by this cult.

I’m reposting the INDEX below; some may find it revealing. The very first entry, by a man named Pavel, is dated 04/16/2006.

Pavel started this blog after attending one, and only one, “Prospective Student Meeting” in London. Afterwards he concluded:

“The leader is quite definitely insane, a paedophile, brainwasher and manipulator. And he’s good. He likes people to dress up nice and smart, he doesn’t like people to joke, he hates smoking and, just for good measure, he dislikes pre-marital sex and homosexuality. That’s coming from a man who has had several lawsuits filed against him for forced homosexual acts. He also believes that he talks with 44 angels – including Jesus, Franklin and Goethe. Rock on Burton!!! Sadly enough this madman has managed to attract around 2000 followers.”

The early blog attracted immediate and active participation by both current and former members.

I think it would be great if current FOF members would comment here, and engage in honest debate. A few have, and we should welcome them.

Meanwhile, it’s wonderful knowing that some people are definitely helped, as exemplified by the recent comments from “Barbara.”

P.S.
Tim, I ordered several of the Mystic Mayan Power Cloaks, but they never arrived!

When I contacted customer service they said my order had somehow disappeared. I just can’t see why…..

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/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through 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.

26. jomopinata - December 1, 2012

As concerns IITS, I was struck by a comment Nathan Schwartz-Salant made in the Dharma Café/William Strange interview linked here a few days ago, to the effect that the narcissistic character is unable to relate.

27. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 1, 2012

4. Ames Gilbert:

‘And in less than a month from now, on December 21, 2012, they will have front row seats as those angels kill off the rest of humanity. Now, that’s special!’

Perhaps you mean: front row center or special box seating.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

‘“C-Influence wishes you to internally consider me. . .”’

I think it is: “C-Influence wishes you to EXternally consider me. . .”, that Robert Earl Burton says, in order to, nevertheless, actually cause ‘internal consideration,’ or leads to internal consideration, in the person he says it to. He knows their weaknesses.

Simply and briefly: internal consideration is based on identification (attachment) and is about internally being concerned with how other people think or feel about you (identification with your imaginary picture of yourself as others may see it).

External consideration is about thinking/feeling about other people by, say, placing yourself in another’s circumstances and trying to help them.

From some place in cyberspace:
‘External considering is very different from internal considering, which is based on identification with other people’s behaviour towards you. It is mechanical and consumes a lot of energy.

On the other hand, external considering is based on a completely different relationship towards people. It is not based on making requirements of others and expecting them to treat you in a certain way. Unlike internal considering, it is anti-mechanical and requires conscious effort and self-remembering.

Externally considering can be practised in many different circumstances. It can mean taking into consideration people’s circumstances, putting oneself in their position. For example, if you’re among a group of people of all ages, it’s easy to forget that someone in their seventies has perhaps less physical endurance than younger people. You can externally consider them and their age, by ensuring they have a comfortable chair to sit on, that you take them tea or coffee and don’t leave them to serve themselves. You enter into their postion, think how you might feel if you were their age and how you would like to be treated.

You can externally consider in your job too. If you hope to establish contacts with a person who is useful to you in your work and could help you in the future, it might be necessary to speak to him or her in a certain way, in a certain tone and to create a favourable impression of yourself. P. D. Ouspensky said:
‘In relation to other people, you must not act without thinking. Think first, then act. If this person would prefer you to act in some manner and not another, it is all the same to you, so why not do what he likes?’

This requires a knowledge of the other person, of his/her preferences, what he/she wants, and watching what impression you make on him/her. To do this requires a lot of control over yourself.

However, doing what another person wants does not mean self-sacrifice, that you do things for the other person and cease to exist for yourself. Generally, this form of external considering turns into internal considering, as eventually you become resentful that you do everything and they don’t consider you enough. Before acting, it is necessary to consider what is better for you, what is better for them, and if it doesn’t make any difference to you, then do what is necessary.

Another example of external considering is if someone you know is feeling depressed and is in need of cheering up. In this case, external considering would not be telling them they have nothing to be depressed about and to look at the bright side of life. It would be to really make an effort to sincerely listen to them and their state, and to find the corresponding state in yourself. In other words, to remember when you felt the same way at some time. By doing this, you do not blame but accept the other person and this helps them to change. However, to do this requires knowing yourself from self-observation, having observed your own states.

External considering can extend into small daily tasks, for example, if you’re sharing reading a book, hold the book where the other person can see it clearly too. So often we only think of ourselves. Externally considering another person’s needs is the start of working on the emotional centre, developing one’s heart by feeling not just for ourselves, but for another person.

Again, if someone is particularly bad-tempered towards you one day, instead of internally considering them for their behaviour, if you externally consider them and remember that they too are a machine like yourself with their own obstacles, then you enter into their position.

External Considering and Work on Oneself

External considering is very important for work on oneself, as it leads to self-remembering, particularly remembering someone else apart from one’s many small selves. To me, it also seems an important key for transforming situations which mechanically would lead to inner considering, i.e. wishing someone would treat you differently and not feeling valued enough by them. But by trying to take in the impressions of the event consciously and externally considering someone else, you may avoid the usual energy-wasting, mechanical reaction.

P. D. Ouspensky said that people in the work often make the mistake of thinking that it is only necessary to externally consider people in ordinary life, and that with work people you have a right not to consider. However, it is necessary to do whatever is successful for work on oneself, and because externally considering is useful in this respect, you need to externally consider ten times more than in life. When asked why, he said:

‘Because only external considering shows his (a man’s) valuation of the work and understanding. Success in the work is proportional to his valuation and understanding.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

‘drowning of California in 1996’

That should be 1998.

28. Ames Gilbert - December 1, 2012

Tim (#134-23 or thereabouts),
that’s a bargain for assured survival, and those cloaks have that certain classic flair that is never out of fashion!
Followers of Burton reading this blog should take note. Maybe you’re feeling guilty because you know that you could always have made more efforts? Or, maybe you are not quite, quite, quite certain that all you have to do is be current with your ‘teaching payments’ to survive the coming catastrophe on December 21, 2012? Or you just need a boost in your never-ending battle with your Lower Self? For complete confidence, you should certainly buy one of these cloaks, designed by angels with you in mind “when the play was written”, all that time ago!
____________________________
Wouldn’t you like to know (#134-26 ota),
thanks very much for the corrections. I appreciate you looking over the warning so carefully.
____________________________
Thank you all who have shared their thoughts about the banning of I in the Sky. I have to admit to a palpable sense of relief myself, so maybe I should have listened more closely to that!

29. ton2u - December 1, 2012

“When my task is complete I will continue to work with our school, and communicate to my students the wishes of higher forces for our new civilization.” Robert Burton

old bobby just can’t seem to get enough… even now he plots and plans to keep his necrotic hold on the flock from ‘beyond the grave.’ when the inevitable finally happens i can imagine a crop of mediums sprouting up in the aftermath and a pissing contest over the channeling of ‘communication.’ it’s really a sad legacy.

thank you blog moderator for your good works in undertaking what is mostly a thankless job.

30. ton2u - December 1, 2012

link to the video mentioned above by jomo… well worth the time/effort imo.

31. WhaleRider - December 1, 2012

Although I agree that it is important to be considerate of others, I cringe when I hear anyone regurgitating the fourth way meme about internal vs. external considering.

The supposition, at least in my mind, is that these two concepts are diametrically opposed to each other, leaving little room for a person to value being considerate of their self.

IMO, when these ideas are employed in a cult environment, followers are taught to disregard their own welfare in the interest of appearing or acting more “evolved”.

And this paves the way for a cult leader like burton to manipulate his followers into having sex with him. The language suggests, “Don’t consider yourself, consider me first.”

Why not just be “considerate” or compassionate toward others as opposed to worshiping the god of what other people think?

It seems to me that in a cult with these ideas floating around, it is very likely that followers would be “externally considerate” of others because of what other people think about them, since everyone is tracking everyone else’s external behavior as a barometer of their “level of consciousness”.

That seems like a double bind to promote the very internal “considering” that being “externally considerate” is attempting to void.

For cults to flourish, cult leaders need followers willing to suppress their own interests and self care.

That’s exactly the point at which I left the Fellowship, when I was expected to compromise myself in order to belong.

I much rather now practice random acts of kindness to complete strangers, like just being polite AND take care of myself in the process, without being obsequious…without acting nice to people because it makes me feel superior to them.

32. fofblogmoderator - December 1, 2012

#25 was hung in moderation

33. nigel - December 1, 2012

Sort of resolved my ‘world view’ with Shard of Oblivion…..

He said that he believed in this Wondrous Universe. Gurdjieff said that there was nothing lost in the economy of the Universe. For me, the idea that, after death, we are welcomed to Paradise, with God in his kingdom, seems a bit absurd. Maybe, if we have developed Spirit in this Life, then, perhaps, the Spirit ‘whirls into the Electrical Realm’ and is able to make choice. I do not see the point of Producing Being, only to have it extinguished. I do not wish to contend with Shard, but I cannot think of a time when I was not. Scientists say that, in this Universe, energy cannot be destroyed but can only be transmuted…..

Burton’s idea that, after 9 lifetimes, one goes to Paradise, is equally absurd…..

The Spirit Body drops the ‘Corporeal Body’ and…..

“to fly through the endless rings
And never be quiet again”

– Walt Whitman –

I encourage strong thinking…..Nigel

34. nigel - December 1, 2012

Spirit body

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. No cleanup reason has been specified. Please help improve this article if you can. (November 2008)

A spirit body is the organization of the spiritual element, made into the spiritual form of man, which according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was made in the same likeness (shape and form) of God the Father. This likeness (shape and form) apparently gave rise to the phrase and meaning of, “like father like son,” which means the son is in the likeness of the father, which provides meaning to the claim that humanity was made in the likeness of God.

When a spirit body enters into the mortal body and framework through the process of mortal birth, a temporary joining occurs, creating what is called a “soul.” Upon mortal death, the spirit body of a person leaves the mortal body and returns to the spiritual realm to await the resurrection. The resurrection is where God raises the mortal body the spirit personage had lost in mortal death, and converts the mortal body from flesh, bone and blood, into immortal bodies of flesh and bone, then rejoins the two, never to be separated again. This is the meaning of the scripture “…It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:” (see “incorrupt”) (1 Corinthians 15:42 – King James / see First Epistle to the Corinthians)

Generally, people in the world have commonly used the word “soul” to denote this spirit body.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all things created for this Earth, including humanity, had a pre-existence or pre-mortal origin. This means that each person, animal, insect, plant and the earth itself, was first made in the spiritual realm in the same form in which they exist on this mortal earth.

This doctrine of pre-mortal existence, the manner of how mankind existed before entering mortality, is one of the important doctrines of the Church, and is believed to support the existence of separate and distinct personages as seen within their doctrine of the Godhead (Mormonism). To begin to understand this teaching, an explanation of “spiritual element” is required.

Joseph Smith, Jr. (founder and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) taught that there is no such thing as “immaterial (incorporeal) matter,” that all spirit is matter, which is spiritual element. The difference is that spirit matter is far more fine and pure than the gross form of it here in mortality. It is not possible to see spirit matter from our mortal perspective. This spirit matter always existed and is co-eternal with God. It is this spiritual matter that makes the Holy Ghost. This spiritual matter is also called “intelligence” or the “light of truth.” God the Father organized the “intelligence” to make personages or “spirit children,” which includes Jesus Christ. (This shows to support the general belief of Christians that all humanity are all brothers and sisters.)

Not wishing to be obtuse, I hope this is food for thought…..Nigel.

35. David - December 1, 2012

In the early 90’s there was a counterfeit vine-style Newsletter that was circulated which gave an exercise proclamation. The exercise went something like; “Robert has asked that women purchase Antique underwear as a way to be more refined, and that they should wear it outside their clothes so that other students would know the exercise is being followed”.
While that is the gist, it was stated much better in “fellowship-speak”. Does anyone have a copy of this that they could publish?
It turned out to have been written by a soon to be ex-student, but before that became known there were a lot of the more ardent followers who were engaged in mental gymnastics trying to make sense of what was a patently absurd exercise.

Years later an accidental Daily Card printing had a similar effect. It read “Socks are all around us, we just fail to notice them”.
I wonder if the banning was a sock to IITS and Nevermind…
Thanks Moderator for your tireless work.

36. Tim Campion - December 1, 2012

David,

An ex-member sent me copies of some of those Vine spoofs: Renaissance Vine

37. Ill Never Tell - December 1, 2012

Perhaps if Robert Earl Burton tried a different line than, “C-Influence wishes you to externally consider me. . .,” when wanting to perform oral sex on his male heterosexual followers, like: “C-Influence says, ‘suck it to me, baby!’,” there could be more humor in the interaction?

Nope! Not going to happen.

38. Ill Never Tell - December 1, 2012

Yeah, “Sucks are all around us, we just fail to notice them”:

39. Ill Never Tell - December 1, 2012

Wasn’t Robert Earl Burton’s mother’s maiden name Shock, or something like that? She shocked it to him, I guess?

40. freeman - December 2, 2012

Inevitably someone is probably thinking, “Isn’t banning someone from the blog a lot like kicking someone out of the school for not walking perfectly in step with the party line?”

The answer is no. There’s no comparison. In Burton’s cult, where controlling the flow of information is the number-one priority, a person is kicked out of the cult for simply questioning anything he says. If you doubt that, try it during one of Burton’s dinners, or meetings, or in front of one of his more indoctrinated followers or enablers.

The moderator of this blog, as well as many of the participants, have shown an enormous amount of patience with these trolls. Honest disagreement is one thing. But if you do want to compare, compare it to someone standing up and interrupting one of Burton’s meetings, changing the subject, scoffing at the “angles”, and telling everyone they are fools — and then doing it again at the next meeting, and then again at the next meeting.

This is a wide-open forum for discussing the Fellowship of Friends, and anyone — anyone — is welcome to post here as long as they are sincerely trying to advance the discussion and enlighten people, and to express their point of view, and maybe even have some fun.

But let’s be honest — because the facts are not on his side, embedding trolls and trying to disrupt the conversation is all Burton has for countering the onslaught of information posted here.

41. Fee fi fo fum - December 2, 2012

I don’t think banning someone from the blog is like being kicked out of the FF. I saw IITS and Nevermind’s being banned as being akin to a basketball game where a player consistently plays dirty or doesn’t observe the stated rules or breaks into a fight. They get sidelined. The blog is kind of a self-policing group.

I think common sense dictated that IITS was dragging the blog down. There was a semblance of communication, but that was only superficial. They were a walking billboard for the FF and RB. That was fine with some or many of the posters here, but what was not fine was their persistent disingenuousness and their exhibiting no true sense of inquiry and curiosity about the experience of former members. You know, you can only take so much of that, especially when it’s coupled with a hardened veneer of inhumanity. I kept thinking, “Enough already.” I’m glad that our blog moderator finally threw in the towel on IITS.

The banning of Nevermind was for a different reason. As was mentioned several posts ago, he’s probably Greg, and thus, it would only get uglier and uglier. It was already getting nasty. Why let that slide into a morass of name-calling?

I’ve often thought that one of the faculties that the Fellowship of Friends / Living Presence robs from its students is common sense, and the ability to heed the voice of conscience in each of us. IITS exhibited that very quality, where a rigid stick-to-the-dogma overrode any shred of common sense and humanity in her. Maybe she’s different in person, but that’s how her posts came across. What we regain, when we leave the FF, are some of those human faculties, like common sense and kindness.

42. Shard_of_Oblivion - December 2, 2012

#(134-33 ota) Nigel shares some ideas about possibilities of survival after death. Since immortality is used as a big juicy hook by the fellowship, I think it is not wildly off topic.

If by survival we are happy to include “things that follow our demise that would not have happened if we hadn’t lived and loved as we did” which is what I think your “perhaps, the Spirit ‘whirls into the Electrical Realm’” could be construed as, I follow your thinking and agree. I think that will be in the form of any work we produced in our lives, and the effect we had on others (and I’ll happily include animals in that) when we were alive.

But here’s the question someone asked me that changed my thinking on reincarnation etc. He asked “what would it mean that you had lived before if you can’t remember it?” This caused me to spend many years looking into what I consider my fundamental identity is, and that personal research is an ongoing project.

My current answer is, that our self is a combination of our memories, our physical body (which includes all genetically inherent propensities and the ‘timeline’ of our bodies) and in particular for me the part of my body that is just behind my upper teeth and in front of my tongue (that’s where I have discovered I live!) and to a lesser degree my name. So using that account of identity, to say that my current life was in some way affected by or caused by some previous unremembered lifetime is an attempt to include reincarnation in the family of events that predate my birth that materially affected my life, of which there are myriads.

Nigel you quote the conservation laws of physics, but they do not guarantee the conservation of information unfortunately. To make a concrete analogy, if you burn the books in a library, the laws of physics will conserve the energy and the momentum, but not the thoughts that were encoded in those magical things.

The current scientific model of the world points very strongly to consciousness being “produced”, in some way they haven’t exactly figured out yet, by the brain. As imaging techniques increase in sophistication, it confirms more and more that it is in the brain tissue that the miracle occurs. Consider those very sad cases of people trapped in a vegetative state. It is their brain’s failure that leads to that unconscious existence within the living body.

I hope you don’t take this as a negative thing, to my way of looking at it, this truth makes the very fact of our consciousness at this moment all the more amazing and precious.

43. brucelevy - December 2, 2012

39. Ill Never Tell

Actually, it sucks to have been her.

44. brucelevy - December 2, 2012

36. Tim Campion

Hilarious, and exactly right on.

45. brucelevy - December 2, 2012

Really? Are people having second thoughts about banning the two sociopaths? My second thoughts are…Fuck them six days to Sunday.

46. Shard_of_Oblivion - December 2, 2012

A breathless bit of brain research porn:

http://directorsblog.nih.gov/the-symphony-inside-your-brain/

yay, go get ’em, scientists! only 100 billion neurons, each with 10,000 connections, to map, buy some computers and get cracking!

47. Tim Campion - December 2, 2012

Apparently, Robert Burton’s sister Betty passed away November 21st:

Betty Joyce Burton

Born in Arkansas on Jul.7, 1930

Departed on Nov. 21, 2012 and resided in Redwood City, CA.

Visitation: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012  8:30 am

Mass & Christian Burial: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 11:00 am, Holy Cross Cemetery

Betty J. Burton

1930 – 2012

Our loving sister Betty passed on the morning of November 21st following a battle with pneumonia. She was predeceased by her domestic partner of 50 years, Lawrence (Larry) Geraldi (2007).

Due to wartime shortage of workers, Betty began her lifetime restaurant career at age 14. She attended Berkeley High School then settled in San Francisco where she worked with Larry in his restaurants, most notably the Domino Club and later, at Salutos in Burlingame.

Betty is survived by her sister, Frances Carter, brothers, Robert and William (Clara), nine nephews and their extended families and Cora Cruz, her dear friend, affairs and care manager.

Arrangements are done by Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City where viewing will be held on Wednesday, Nov.28th at 8:30 am and the Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Angels Church at 11am followed by Committal at Holy Cross Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Red Cross.

Robert mentioned Betty in a meeting September 21, 2011 (See Page 113, Post 135).

48. nigel - December 2, 2012

42/46. Shard of Oblivion

Shard – you bring powerful thought and compassion to this blog – two qualities I admire in anyone…..

You’re right, though…..perhaps we have to live with the ‘just-not-knowing’…..Nigel.

49. nigel - December 2, 2012

Somebody on this blog once postulated that “maybe there is just us and the Universe”. If we put aside the pseudo-Christian idea of a great-father-figure-in-the-sky, perhaps the following makes sense…..Nigel.

from ‘Wikipedia’…..

“Namaste is derived from Sanskrit and is a combination of two words, “Namaḥ” and “te.” Namaḥ means ‘bow,’ ‘obeisance,’ ‘reverential salutation’ or ‘adoration’ and te means ‘to you’ (dative case of ‘you’). Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow to you,” translated as “I bow to you.” ‘Namaskar’ is derived from Sanskrit and is a combination of the two words, “Namaḥ” and “kaar.” As noted above, “Namaḥ” is a salutation. “Kaar” means ‘form’ or ‘shape’ and refers to the phenomenon that the other entity (person) presents. Thus, the older salutation essentially means “I salute [your] form,” which implies an understanding that all beings in this existence are part of the surface phenomenology of Maya and that beyond the surface, so to say, all beings are part of Brahman, or the One ultimate essence that underlies all.”

50. Shard_of_Oblivion - December 2, 2012

#(134-49 ota): I like this formulation:

“Thus, the older salutation essentially means “I salute [your] form,” which implies an understanding that all beings in this existence are part of the surface phenomenology of Maya and that beyond the surface, so to say, all beings are part of Brahman, or the One ultimate essence that underlies all.”

For myself, I do love that surface phenomenology of Maya!

In Wittgenstein’s words in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:

1. The world is everything that is the case

6.44 Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.

7. Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent.

51. ton2u - December 2, 2012

“…what you don’t have you don’t need it now,
what you don’t know you can feel it somehow…”

52. David - December 2, 2012

36 Tim
Thanks!
Humour has pinpoint accuracy when it comes to targeting hypocrisy and absurdity.

53. WhaleRider - December 2, 2012

Apparently Robert Burton’s second cousin, Ebenezer McCoy Burton, 94, sneezed today a way up yonder in them there Ozark Mountians of Arkansas.

Ebenezer is one of Burton’s thirteen dozen or so second cousins twice removed, interbred with his eldest uncle’s son’s niece.

The sneeze could be heared echoing through the valleys and briefly interrupted Sunday services at local churches, causing one pastor to grin like a opossum shitting peach seeds.

Another whopper-jawed pastor was so katty-wonkered by the shocking sound, he stated, “My tongue twisted around my eye teeth and I couldn’t see what I was saying!”

A local man, a Hatfield, stated, “Don’t make me no nevermind, them McCoys always makin’ a stink. I could tell it wuz a McCoy that done did that. I jest a holler’d back, Ain’tcha got arry one better’n that un, dag nab it! Better watch out for them marsh rabbits, too. They might take yer leg off, if th’ had a mind to!” He shrugged, “Hey, that meanness dun’t happen overnight, ya know!”

One local woman who was clearly not the sharpest tool in the toolshed and with a butt that was reported to be two axe handles wide claimed, “Thir I wuz, a shuckin’ corn, busier’n a cat buryin’ poop, when I done herd it. Came down the valley slicker th’n snot on a glass doorknob.”

Life soon returned back to normal after the startling interruption, as back over in Northern California, Robert Burton began to set up his schedule of tasty young men for the day.

Burton was reported to have sneezed once in a meeting in April 16, 2009 (See Page 98, Post 119).

54. Tim Campion - December 2, 2012

53. WhaleRider

(In other words: “who gives a shit?”)

55. WhaleRider - December 2, 2012

Just sayin’

8)

56. WhaleRider - December 2, 2012

I’m depending on you, Tim, to make me laugh at myself in return. C’mon now. It’s only fair. I know you can do it.

Ding dong the blog witch is dead!

It’s a beautiful day! Take me to the other side! (I love that song.)

57. Tim Campion - December 2, 2012

WhaleRider,

What struck me in Betty’s obituary was to see Robert referred to merely as a family member, not a god, not a “conscious being,” and to see actual names of family members he devalued as “life people.” It just seemed so ordinary. Another peek at the wizard behind the curtain.

For someone considered by his followers the most important being on the planet, except for the few anecdotes he has volunteered about his encounters with “C Influence,” precious little is known of Burton’s pre-Fellowship personal history. Yet, as someone mentioned (not you Someone, but maybe you WhaleRider), these early years likely had a profound influence upon the future cult leader.

When he mentioned Betty last year, it was the first time I heard of him referring to a sibling by name, actually acknowledging their existence.

Many of us followed his example, and early exercise, breaking off contact with our “life families.” (At the same time, while Robert clearly distanced himself from his family, Fellowship students were called upon to provide his mother various services – housekeeping, gardening, delivery, etc. – when she resided in Sacramento.)

So now we have Thelma Shock, Betty, Frances, William. As far as I know, for us, his father’s identity remains a mystery.

58. jomopinata - December 2, 2012

Supposedly he was a butcher. Stella had Burton’s birth certificate. Maybe the Arkansas birth records are online now. (I know that West Viriginia, for example, has scanned its big handwritten folio volumes.)

59. Bo Burlie - December 3, 2012

23 Tim C.

re: Mystic Mayan Power Cloak

Thanks. That was hilarious.

Today’s New York Times had a front page article called about the Dec. 21, 2012 rumors:

“In Panicky Russia, It’s Official: The End of the World is Not Near.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/world/europe/mayan-end-of-world-stirs-panic-in-russia-and-elsewhere.html?emc=eta1

‘You get the sense that the end of the world is a commercial project,” Mikhail Degtyaryov told the newspaper Izvestiya. “Just look at how many swindlers are trying to make money on this affair, starting from the pseudo-magicians, ending with people selling groceries and other rations.” ‘

60. Golden Veil - December 3, 2012

More salient thoughts from Robert Burton, reprinted from the previously referenced former student’s compilation in post no. 135, page 113 of the Fellowship of Friends Discussion. Real crazy talk… I’m so glad my wagon has been long unhitched from this kooky cult!

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Apollo is Mecca for ascending souls in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is here that Influence C will take their stand against the Last Judgment. This is the only safe haven.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“For forty years our school kept going forward, until we finally arrived at the greatest ally of presence – the sequence. Never could I detect the nature of the lower self until the sequence came – I could only speak about it philosophically. But now with the sequence we know exactly what we are facing and precisely where this intestinal figure is located.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote by a Fellowship member is read: “Our school is truly a golden chain of love that began when Robert was most graciously accepted into the ranks of the angels.”)
“Who wrote this, dear? (Thomas F_n.) It is very sweet. This [referring to a photo] is Asaf giving the toast at the Crystallization celebration in 2010. Here [referring to a photo] are the four of us at the Getty Villa in the order of appearance: myself, Asaf, Dorian, and then Sasha. It is quite a beautiful sight.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo. This is what having Influence C in one’s life may mean. This [referring to a photo] is our Bactrian camel Rembrandt and his mother… This [referring to a photo] was our animal parade during Journey Forth… A few ibexes will be arriving at Apollo later this month… It was a major step when Influence C began bringing the animals.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We have a beautiful conscious society at Apollo and our inner circle around the globe. The centers are points of light in humanity. … Here [referring to a photo] I am teaching in [our] Grand Pavilion with a statue of Shiva behind me. We are truly becoming immortal here.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“The [live] broadcasts of the meetings are one the most important events in our school’s history. Influence C accelerated everyone’s evolution.”

61. brucelevy - December 3, 2012

Makes me gag.

62. freeman - December 3, 2012

“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo.”

The survival of humanity may depend upon people being able to recognize sociopaths and malignant narcissists when they encounter them, and not follow them, and not allow them to gain power.

63. WhaleRider - December 3, 2012

Tim:
I’m ok with a little mystery.

His father’s in abstentia speaks volumes anyway.

If dad wasn’t around, then mommy became a two-headed beast, meting out both love and punishment, and probably bobby had to go out and incorporate an idealized father image from somewhere instead, one without clay feet, possibly based upon a pastor or teacher he had growing up, thus setting the stage for his narcissism…always placing himself above others in a way that no one can ever measure up, and then constantly raising the bar. That’s my best guess.

Maybe bobby’s dad was a nice guy, maybe he was an axe murderer, maybe he dumped Thelma for one of his customers…we may never know, unless someone out there is willing to make a phone call, what matters more (at least in my mind) is that his dad didn’t seem to be in rhe picture or bobby would probably have mentioned him, one way or another.

One might ask did he care more about his mom’s garden than caring about her?

What we do know is bobby has made a lot of people suffer to compensate for the fact that unconsciuosly he probably never felt good enough, otherwise daddy would have hung around more and played frisbee with him, and that loss wounded bobby deeply, and then some mean girls teased him at school.

Or maybe bobby blames his mother for making daddy leave. He no-showed at his mom’s funeral. Why? Maybe If he did show up in his mercedes and his siblings found out how much money he’s making, they’d hit him up for a loan or want to come over for dinner.

Who knows?

So bobby went off, develops a taste for boys, gets beat up by Alex Horn, starts his own cult, and ends up having hissy fits about his gold cuff links.

Love,
Dad

64. Agent 45 - December 3, 2012

Absent father; dressing up in girl’s clothing; childhood homo-erotic experiences (Arkansas style, if you get my meaning); and, being the object of ridicule. I’m no psychologist but it’s all starting to make sense.

65. Agent 45 - December 3, 2012

“Squeal like a pig.”
Improvised line from the movie “Deliverance”, spoken to Ned Beatty’s character Bobby. Is this just a spookey coincidence or yet another example of C-influence humor/horror?

66. Agent 45 - December 3, 2012

Contrary to popular belief those were not the backwood character’s famous last words. I think he said “Sure has got a pretty mouth” to Jon Voight just before Burt Reynolds shoots an arrow through his chest. The corpse is buried and almost everyone lives happily ever after.

67. nigel - December 4, 2012

Dysfunctional families…..now there’s a subject…..

I did not know how many of the FOF members relied upon Burton to substitute their ‘dysfunctional parents’ for Burton as a ‘rotten to the core’ father figure. Anything abusive was allowed in their former families and therefore Burton was allowed to get away with abusive behaviour.

Personally my parents were morally ‘above board’ and were firm but fair – I was not physically abused and neither was I made to feel inferior. I often wonder whether Burton ‘steered away’ from me as a well-raised child.

And speaking of children, there are those in the FOF who ‘cow-tow’ to Burton in a ‘syrupy’ fashion and there are those who adore positions of power. Food for thought?????…..Nigel.

68. freeman - December 4, 2012

http://www.naturalnews.com/036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html

How to Spot a Sociopath
Natural News
June 8, 2012

One of the more offensive duties of being an investigative journalist is taking out the trash — exposing liars, fraudsters, con artists and scammers for the people they truly are. Each time we investigate a sociopath, we find that they always have a little cult group following of spellbound worshippers who consider that particular sociopath to be a “guru” or “prophet.”

Sociopaths are masters at influence and deception. Very little of what they say actually checks out in terms of facts or reality, but they’re extremely skillful at making the things they say sound believable, even if they’re just making them up out of thin air. Here, I’m going to present quotes and videos of some legendary sociopaths who convinced everyday people to participate in mass suicides. And then I’m going to demonstrate how and why similar sociopaths are operating right now… today.

Why cover this subject? I’ve seen a lot of people get hoodwinked, scammed or even harmed by sociopaths, and it bewilders me that people are so easily sucked into their destructive influence. I want to share with NaturalNews readers the warning signs of sociopaths so that you can spot them, avoid them, and save yourself the trouble of being unduly influenced by them.

Much of this information is derived from the fascinating book, The Sociopath Next Door (http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/0767915828), which says that 4% of the population are sociopaths. The book is a fascinating read.

10 signs for spotting a sociopath

#1) Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a “glow” about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.

#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. They tend to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most regular people wouldn’t do. They are unbound by normal social contracts. Their behavior often seems irrational or extremely risky.

#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. Their brains simply lack the circuitry to process such emotions. This allows them to betray people, threaten people or harm people without giving it a second thought. They pursue any action that serves their own self interest even if it seriously harms others.

#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. They wildly exaggerate things to the point of absurdity, but when they describe it to you in a storytelling format, for some reason it sounds believable at the time.

#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.

#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.

#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving. They may feign love or compassion in order to get what they want, but they don’t actually FEEL love in the way that you or I do.

#8) Sociopaths speak poetically. They are master wordsmiths, able to deliver a running “stream of consciousness” monologue that is both intriguing and hypnotic. They are expert storytellers and even poets. As a great example of this in action, watch this interview of Charles Manson:

#9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.

#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it! Charles Manson, the sociopathic murderer, is famous for saying, “I’ve never killed anyone! I don’t need to kill anyone! I THINK it! I have it HERE! (Pointing to his temple.) I don’t need to live in this physical realm…”

Watch Charles Manson saying this at the 3:05 mark of this video:

How to dispel illusion and get to the truth

Sociopaths are masters at weaving elaborate fictional explanations to justify their actions. When caught red-handed, they respond with anger and threats, then weave new fabrications to explain away whatever they were caught doing.

A sociopath caught red-handed with a suitcase full of cash he just stole, for example, might declare he had actually rescued the money from being stolen by someone else, and that he was attempting to find its rightful owner. He’s the hero, see? And yet, in reality, he will simply pocket the money and keep it. If you question him about the money, he will attack you for questioning his honesty.

Sociopaths are masters are presenting themselves as heroes with high morals and philosophy, yet underneath it they are the true criminal minds in society who steal, undermine, deceive, and often incite emotional chaos among entire communities. They are masters at turning one group of people against another group while proclaiming themselves to be the one true savior. Wherever they go, they create strife, argument and hatred, yet they utterly fail to see their own role in creating it. They are delusional at so many levels that their brains defy logical reasoning. You cannot reason with a sociopath. Attempting to do so only wastes your time and annoys the sociopath.

Tip for exposing sociopaths: Start fact-checking something they claim

One simple method for dispelling sociopathic delusion is to start fact checking their claims. Do any of their claims actually check out? If you start digging, you will usually find an inconsistency. Confront the suspected sociopath with the inconsistency and see what happens: Most sociopaths will become angry or aggressive when their integrity is questioned, whereas a sane person would simply be happy to help clear up any misinformation or misunderstanding.

Beware of fact-checking the sociopath by asking other people under his or her influence. A sociopath will usually have a small group of cult-like followers who not only believe their fictional tales, but who actually internalize those fictions to the point where they rewrite their own memories to be consistent with them. If a guru-style sociopath talks about his “levitation sessions” over and over again, some of his believers will sooner or later start to form false memories in which they imagine seeing him levitate off the floor. So if you ask those people, “Did you actually ever see this person levitate?” They will enthusiastically say, “Yes!” Because in their own minds, that illusion has become something indistinguishable from a vivid memory.

That’s why fact-checking a sociopath requires evidence from outside his circle of influence. Does anything he say actually check out in the real world, outside his sphere of direct control? If not, you’ve probably spotted a sociopath.

Sociopaths never answer facts; they always attack the messenger

Another very valuable red flag to recognize when trying to spot a sociopath is to see how they deal with attacks on their own integrity. If a sociopath is presented with a collection of facts, documents and evidence showing that he lied or deceived, he will refuse to address the evidence and, instead, attack the messenger!

As an investigative journalist who exposes some of the most despicable sociopaths on the planet, I’ve been attacked on every front imaginable: I’m a secret government agent, they say. Or I’m an alien from planet Zorg. I’ve heard it all, and while the accusations vary wildly, the pattern is the same: Attack the messenger but refuse to answer the documented allegations.

If you really try to nail a sociopath down to answering a documented allegation, they will quickly turn on you, denounce you, and declare that you too are secretly plotting against them. Anyone who does not fall for the brainwashing of the sociopath is sooner or later kicked out of the circle and then wildly disparaged by the remaining members of the cult group.

Inventing bizarre tales

One of the easiest signs to spot is how sociopaths exaggerate things to an irrational absurdity. In the sociopath’s world, every explanation is more intense and more heroic-sounding than the way it really went down. Where a normal person might say, “I vomited last night,” a sociopath would say, “I vomited up a 27-foot tapeworm!”

And a truly psychotic sociopath might even add details such as, “And then the tapeworm climbed up the wall and jumped on me and tried to strangle me!”

You might laugh at such an explanation, but I know lots of similar examples that have been believed by irrational cult followers.

Every story the sociopath weaves, often on the spur of the moment, is impossible to either confirm or deny. No one can prove him wrong, since they weren’t there, so he can spin whatever details into the story he wants. “After eating this, I had a three-hour ejaculation!” Or, “The Dalai Lama wanted to anoint me as a spiritual leader, but I declined, telling him that I only needed faith, not any official recognition.”

How can anyone disprove such a claim? They can’t. So the sociopaths relies on these un-provable, unsubstantiated claims to build up a false aura of authority, spirituality or knowledge. This creeps up on followers like a serpent, slithering into their brains and taking hold of their belief systems before they realize what has happened.

As a survivor of the Jim Jones “Jonestown” mass suicide says in a PBS documentary video (see link below), “Everything was plausible [at the time], except in retrospect the whole thing seems bizarre.”

That’s how sociopaths operate. As they’re speaking, they capture your imagination and sound reasonable, even authoritative. But in the clear light of day, what they are actually saying is absurd… even dangerous.

But no matter what fictions are presented by the sociopath, they always present him in the light of a hero — sometimes even a saint — who sacrifices his life for the good of others. He often talks of “healing” or “detoxification” or being “cleansed.” When he is exposed by truth-tellers, he merely accuses the truth-tellers of being secret undercover agents. When he is accused of sexual assault by one of his own followers (a common occurrence in these circles), he denounces her as an enemy or a spy.

The ultimate destination of a sociopath is to destroy himself and take as many willing victims with him as possible. This is the Jim Jones scenario: Drink the Kool-Aid laced with poison, and thereby prove your worth to your entire cult group.

A common theme of poison, sainthood, redemption

Interestingly, many sociopaths do indeed center their actions around a bizarre food or drink theme, often demanding their members eat or drink poisonous or highly offensive substances that no rational person would otherwise consume. The Heaven’s Gate cult, for example, was led by a classic sociopath named Marshall Applewhite. He managed to convince 38 followers to kill themselves by eating applesauce laced with phenobarbital.

Watch the fascinating video of Applewhite here and ask yourself: Would you follow this man to your own grave? (Other people did!)

Notice how Applewhite speaks with authority, clarity and some level of charisma. Notice the intensity of his eyes? This is another common trait among sociopaths (including Manson, above). Remember, this man gained such influence over his followers that they voluntarily killed themselves in order to maintain his approval!

As Wikipedia explains: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven%27s_Gate_%28religious_group%29#Ma…)

On March 19–20, 1997, Marshall Applewhite taped himself speaking of mass suicide and asserted “it was the only way to evacuate this Earth.” The Heaven’s Gate group was against suicide but they believed they had no choice but to leave Earth as quickly as possible. After claiming that a space craft was trailing the comet Hale-Bopp, Applewhite convinced 38 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could board the supposed craft. Applewhite believed that after their deaths, a UFO would take their souls to another “level of existence above human,” which Applewhite described as being both physical and spiritual. This and other UFO-related beliefs held by the group have led some observers to characterize the group as a type of UFO religion. In October 1996, the group purchased alien abduction insurance to cover up to 50 members at a cost of $10,000.

The cult rented a 9,200-sq.-ft. mansion, located at 18241 Colina Norte (later changed to Paseo Victoria), in a gated community of upscale homes in the San Diego-area community of Rancho Santa Fe, California from Sam Koutchesfahani, paying $7,000 per month in cash. The thirty-eight Heaven’s Gate members, plus group leader Applewhite, were found dead in the home on March 26, 1997. In the heat of the California spring, many of the bodies had begun to decompose by the time they were discovered. The corpses underwent autopsies, where cyanide and arsenic were found. The bodies were later cremated.

The suicide was accomplished by ingestion of phenobarbital mixed with applesauce or pudding, washed down with vodka. Additionally, plastic bags were secured around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their own bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” (one of many instances of the group’s use of the Star Trek fictional universe’s nomenclature). The adherents, between the ages of 26 and 72, are believed to have died in three groups over three successive days, with remaining participants cleaning up after each prior group’s death.

This episode speaks directly to the mind-altering power of sociopaths. Their delusions can be so convincing that followers will even kill themselves in order to stay in alignment with the expectations of the group. I know of a fringe health sociopath operating right now who has killed several of his own followers, but of course he always blames them for their own deaths. It’s never his fault, you see.

Sadly, even when one sociopath kills himself (and takes a few of his followers with him), there is always another sociopath waiting to take his place, seeking power, influence, and sometimes fame. It is common for sociopaths to strongly desire to be on television shows or to desperately seek out opportunities for short-term fame, often from engaging in bizarre acts or staging strange events. This is one of the ways in which they recruit followers to join their cult.

Jim Jones and drinking the Kool-Aid

The most horrifying master of sociopathic delusion was, of course, Jim Jones who convinced 900+ people to kill themselves by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid.

And people loved him for it! They felt inspired, excited, healed and guided. Jim Jones was their savior, their prophet. They believed his every word, and they paid for their foolish belief with their lives.

Watch this powerful PBD documentary video about Jonestown:

As Jim Jones proved, people can be easily swept up into an irrational belief in a guru or prophet who quite literally plans to murder them. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown)

This is the other dominant factor we see in dangerous sociopaths: An odd obsession with dead things, rotting things, putrid things… things that would cause a normal, mentally balanced person to shrink away in horror. Jim Jones, for example, was fascinated with death and would reportedly murder small animals and then hold funerals for them.

Jones was a master at invoking spiritual concepts and presenting himself as spiritually evolved. This is another common theme among sociopaths, and you see it among Applewhite, Manson, Jones and even present-day sociopaths who are operating in America right now.

Historically, perhaps the best example of a delusional sociopath was none other than Adolf Hitler. He showed all the classic signs: A brilliant orator, a congenital liar, a complete lack of compassion for others, a dominant, aggressive personality, and the invoking of spirituality to justify his actions. The Nazi Swastika symbol, in fact, is a derivation of the Flower of Life symbol derived from sacred geometry. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KMxmJVtp2Y)

The modern sociopath: A threat to us all

Sociopaths aren’t just a relic of history; I see their kind operating today, in 2012. A surprising number of people continue to fall for the delusional (but convincing) web of lies spun by wordsmithing sociopaths who may operate in almost any area of society: Science and physics, New Age circles, fringe health, self improvement and even “pop” spiritual development.

People from all walks of life allow themselves to be fooled by these sociopaths, buying into their false narratives, toxic products and destructive behavioral patterns, all driven into their heads through a complex web of social engineering, linguistics and emotional influence. Most people are completely unaware they have been mesmerized into these cult groups, just like the Jonestown people were completely unaware… or the Heaven’s Gate crowd.

There are people today, right now, who are zealous members of fringe cults that advocate drinking toxic metals dissolved in sulfuric acid, eating rotten meat festering with deadly bacteria, playing with poisonous snakes or even dehydrating yourself in a sweat lodge to the point where you suffer hallucinations that are then interpreted as “spiritual guidance.”

These cults are operating right here in America, and they are led by sociopaths who follow in the footsteps of monsters like Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite. Some of today’s cult followers will pay for their misplaced faith with their lives. Others will eventually come to their senses and wonder how they could have been so completely blinded by a false prophet.

Seven rules for personal empowerment (without joining a cult)

The most shocking realization to take home from all this is that people who live under the spell of a sociopath almost never realize it until after the spell has been broken. Just as the worshippers of Jim Jones believed his organization to be based in love, life and light, people today who worship sociopathic, charismatic leaders usually have no idea they have already surrendered their will to someone who does not have their best interests at heart.

This is why, here at NaturalNews, I have always taught people the following authentic principles of responsibility and power:

#1) Think for yourself. Be skeptical of everything. Most people, corporations, governments and institutions are lying to you. There is much good in the world, but there is far more selfishness and greed which is falsely presented as that which is good.

#2) Follow your inner truth, not some external guru. Any guru who demands your obedience is a false prophet. A real teacher is one who empowers you and sets you free to explore your life experience with complete freedom tempered by a code of morals and personal responsibility.

#3) Serve in the protection of life, with or without a church or spiritual group. You can protect life every day in your own garden. Resist the seduction of profit and power that comes from serving darkness (i.e. working for Big Pharma). Seek to protect life, which is sacred and precious.

#4) Value all living things, including animals and plants. You are their shepherd. Protect the diversity of life and the integrity of the continuation of life. (For example, resist GMO and plant only non-hybrid seeds.)

#5) Live an authentic life. Practice what you teach. Walk your talk. Do not speak with one face and then secretly act out another. Spiritual strength comes from spiritual authenticity, and even if the world isn’t aware of what you do when no one is looking, God and the universe most certainly are. Karma counts.

#6) Defend the innocent. Stand your ground against bullies. Resist tyranny. Promote freedom, liberty and justice. Help others when you can, and seek to empower others with the skills and knowledge they can use to support themselves rather than creating dependency.

#7) Tell the truth. It is powerful… perhaps the most powerful thing in the universe. The truth unfailingly outshines lies and deceptions. And even when the people around you may not see the truth, the greater universe does. By telling the truth, you empower yourself in all areas of your life, and you bring yourself closer to true spiritual understanding.

69. Golden Veil - December 4, 2012

Noted on the Living Presence FaceBook page ~

“It is hard to contend with passion, for whatever it desires to get,
it buys at the cost of the soul.”
Heraclitus

How ironic, considering Mr. Robert Burton’s inclinations…

https://www.facebook.com/Living.Presence?fref=ts

70. nigel - December 5, 2012

68. freeman

“Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a “glow” about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.”

This is a highly important point when it comes to Burton. Not everyone who was in contact with him fell for his sexual allure but I am certain this was one of the things that led people to continue to want to follow him and be around him. The young Russians etc. who formed part of his harem may have been ‘helplessly attracted’ to his charisma and then lured into obscene sexual acts.

The longing for power is also one of the things that is attracted by such a ‘charismatic leader’. Burton’s dominance feature, coupled with his ‘sexiness’, provides a huge lever for those who want to ‘kick corporate arse’ in the Fellowship of Friends. I mentioned above that folks in the FOF can be roughly divided into three groups…..

1. Those who are sincere ‘seekers after truth’ and apply the ‘work ideas’ to work on themselves.

2. Those who are ‘impressed’ by a father figure, such as represented by Burton, and will do anything to ‘adore and be be recognised’ as a member of a spiritual group.

3. Those whose power, dominance and vanity makes them swiftly ‘climb the corporate ladder’ of the Fellowship to positions where their features can ‘have full sway’. We can see this in people such as G—-d H—n and L—a K—-n.

I believe that post 68. by freeman is worth reading over and again, to realize that we are not dealing with a normal spiritual group but a ‘teeming hive’ of dysfunctional people led by a highly dangerous, narcissistic, greedy sex maniac…..Nigel.

71. bluesaphire - December 5, 2012

Maybe, this video´s will answer some questions which are discussed here in this forum!

Krishnamurti – Saanen 1980 – Talk 04 of 12

Krishnamurti – Saanen 1980 -Talk 07 of 12

72. freeman - December 5, 2012

I agree, Nigel.

Here’s something Tim posted on his website recently:
http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-did-you-leave-school.html

73. Tim Campion - December 5, 2012

freeman,

Could that be the most important lesson to take away from The Fellowship of Friends experience?

74. cristalclear - December 6, 2012

Talking of sociopaths and delusions…
An “old student”‘,back in the 80’s ,told me she had seen rb’ s third eye open up ,while he was talking to her.
Later ,she also told me she had seen him appear silently and suddenly in a room on different occasions, and that was because he was an angel and he could walk through the walls, if he wanted to.
I recently found out reading the blog, that this person is still in the FOF and is part of the “inner circle” of burton’s enablers.
Not a big surprise, really.
How could I listen to that bullshit and not leave immediately?
This blog is helping me to find an answer, and I thank you all for that
Thank you moderator, for banning the two psychopaths, the air is cleaner now.

75. freeman - December 6, 2012

73. Tim Campion

Yes, I agree, and Traveler described it perfectly.

76. Tim Campion - December 6, 2012

A few days ago, I was listening to a radio interview on climate change, featuring photographer James Balog, whose new documentary Chasing Ice shows glaciers around the world disappearing due to climate change.

Balog describes a challenge similar to ours when faced with “cult-deniers” on this blog:

HOST IRA FLATOW: Do you have any confidence that people in this country – or at least in the government, or the Congress – are going to believe that this is real, or come to think of it as not a hoax?

BALOG: …I try not to even use the word believe. I try and get people to speak about the knowledge, to think about the evidence that’s in front of them. I worry that, particularly on the climate-denier side, this whole story has been turned into a question of ideology and doctrine and dogma instead of an issue of using a rational human brain and looking at the evidence around you rationally.

So I prefer to think of it in terms of, yes, people, when given the proper evidence, proper information, proper emotional response to events in the world around them or images like ours, they are plenty intelligent to say yeah, this is real, and we have to do something about it.

One purpose of this blog is to provide evidence that The Fellowship of Friends is a destructive cult led by a sociopath and his enablers.

77. Agent 45 - December 6, 2012

Another view by a contemporary (6/26/1926):

“Krishnamurti, a New World Teacher? God forbid!
You cannot compare the Sadguru Ramakrishna of Calcutta with Krishnamurti. Ramakrishna was Rama and Krishna personified! Krishnamurti is living in all majesty and splendor, pomp and power, and moving about England in aristocratic, fashionable circles, playing tennis and golf, leading a most comfortable life. He does not have the slightest idea – not even a wisp – of the Real Truth.
So it is also with these funny, showy theosophists. Their greatness lies only in editorship – writing and speaking with high-sounding words about planes, powers, colors, secret doctrine, society and caste. Truth is far, far beyond this.
If you desire to aspire for Realization, you should hold your very life in the palm of your hand, ready to give it up at any moment! Then alone will you be deemed worthy and be able to experience Truth.”

78. brucelevy - December 6, 2012

77. Agent 45

Yup. To my way of thinking the first test a teacher or “guru” faces is to not be corrupted by the sycophants that surround you, not to believe your own myth, to maintain your humanity and humility, to not be awash in one’s narcissism, and not to exploit one’s “followers” to assuage one’s pathology. And they ALL fucking fail, every fucking one of them. Or as an old buddy used to say “All gurus live in splendor”. If you can “see someone’s work” you can be sure they’re full of shit.

79. shardofoblivion - December 7, 2012

#(134-71 ota) bluesaphire posts talks by Krishnamurti, suggesting they may answer some questions. I have listened to the first 16 minutes of the first talk, and this is my experience.

Krishnamurti seems to be a very disappointed man, he thinks there is some huge problem to be solved, that our thoughts have caused misery and suffering and war, and the world is most definitely not the way Krishnamurti would like it to be. I think he misses the point, it is as if he thinks the universe owes us all a pleasant ride. But the world is as we find it, and in its fullness offers us such wonders I sometimes find it hard to contain my joy. Yes, there are also great injustices, pain and misery, which give a moral impulse to each of us to do whatever we can in our lives to help each other out, but I reject his dreary and gloomy analysis that there is a problem about living together we haven’t yet solved.

I think our brains are just wonderful. Here’s fascinating little talk about the way scientists these days approach the thorny topic of the divided cerebral hemispheres. At 03:20 his remarks about attention may even throw some light on the area Ames referred to (132-69) “Along the way I realized that self-remembering came in two classes”

80. Bo Burlie - December 7, 2012

An article in today’s NY Times about a Missouri sect called the International House of Prayer contained a few comments that reminded me of certain aspects of the Fellowship of Friends. Usually, religious sects and cults don’t get newspaper coverage unless there’s a crime or mysterious death, which happened to this Missouri sect.

Excerpts that caught my eye that were reminiscent of the FF:

“In interviews with detectives, several men who lived in the house said they had been involved in “secret” sexual relationships with Mr. Deaton.”

“..in neighborhoods where students and worshipers from the International House of Prayer live, often crowded together in houses and apartments,”

“They tend to attract people who are already naïve,”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/us/twists-in-bethany-deaton-murder-case-put-spotlight-on-charismatic-sect.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

81. paul gregory - December 7, 2012

Teacher’s Angles 091376.41

A teacher does not have to be present to be teaching. This is a misconception that students have. Rodney Collin expired when he was forty-seven because he did not pace himself. He died of a heart attack, although he was more fit than Mr. Gurdjieff or Mr. Ouspensky. Some of you will come to understand that you have established a link with the teacher that is out of time. This link can be reconnected thousands of years from now. It is also a law that what the teacher gains, all gain. Few of you also know that it is fated to make an enormous payment for you. Much will be divulged later that cannot now be communicated. The facts will not be pleasant. Also, some students, with the best of intentions, will drown a teacher. If this occurs, it is a result of the teacher’s own blindness. One must protect a teacher, but one must not cater to a teacher, just as a teacher must protect students without catering to them. Instead of asking, how can I receive more, one should pose the question, How can I appreciate what I have received? I am thirty seven years old, and sometimes I muse, How is it that a person thirty years old would have to think about other people so much? The main reason that I have been so consistent with the Fellowship is that the reward is great. When it is time for my role to expire, which is just moments away, when I am seventy-two years of age, I do not wish to have the feeling that I could of done more. I do not wish to deprive people of their selves. Sometimes you need to forgive me when I lapse into periods of thinking about myself. For I have sacrificed my life for you. I also puzzle why I read such divine wisdom of men that are seventy years old, such as Plato and Johann Goethe. Why do I seek that knowledge? Why do I try to be seventy when I am thirty-seven? I also could not ask more from my students than they give because I would not be worthy of what I received.

Teacher

010182.39

82. paul gregory - December 7, 2012

010182.39

Students must learn the school is their school. It is their duty to protect humanity and to build a school and an ark. Someday no one will leave Renaissance as there will be no place to go.

Teacher

83. freeman - December 7, 2012

Paul, care to share your thoughts, and/or provide some context that you think is relevant? We all had the chance to read this nonsense unchallenged for years as cult followers. No one stood up and said, “This guy is insane.”

But since you bring up the topic:

“When it is time for my role to expire, which is just moments away, when I am seventy-two years of age, I do not wish to have the feeling that I could [have] done more.”

And another prophesy bites the dust.

84. jomopinata - December 7, 2012

According to the 1940 census record of Mineral Township, Pulaski County, Arkansas, Bobbie Burton’s parents were Velma E. Burton (32) and Edgar Burton (34). The children listed in the 1940 census are Bettie (10), Billie (8), Fannie B (5) and Bobbie (1/2). The record list Edgar’s occupation as stock dealer, and indicate that the the family owns a farm.

http://archive.org/details/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_542

85. jomopinata - December 7, 2012

According to the 1940 census record of Cook County, Illinois, Alexander Horn (10) is listed as an inmate of the Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home, South Albany Avenue, Chicago.

http://archive.org/details/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_665

86. jomopinata - December 7, 2012

I take Edgar’s occupation of “stock dealer” to refer to livestock, which lines up neatly with the “butcher” information that was published somewhere.

87. jomopinata - December 7, 2012

By the time Horn was 10, he had lived at the orphanage for five years, according to the census record.

88. jomopinata - December 7, 2012

An article about Alexander Francis Horn, then five years old, appeared in the Chicago Tribune on February 9, 1935. The child Horn was alleged to have spread the alarm for a fire that broke out in his home.

89. nigel - December 8, 2012

Bruce Levy wrote somthing like this…..

“We should learn to live with humanity and humility”…..

Some examples of what may constitute this…..

1. There are more stars in the Universe than there are grains
of sands on every beach on Earth.

2. When the corporeal body dies, there are 29 grams of ‘matter’
that ‘disappear’ and cannot be acounted for.

3. Maybe there is only Us and the Universe (Shard of Oblivion).

4. “Self-remembering is useful in the beginning for self-awareness,
but, after a certain point, it must be connected with our aim, what
we want to achieve” – P.D. Ouspensky

5. “All religious teachings lead toward Presence” – O.K. So what is
being present? – A computer programmer or corporate
headhunter who makes buckets-loads of money and supports
the FOF, while going cross-eyed with ‘self-awereness’?

6. The Pineal Gland is the Root of the Soul (4th Way Teaching).

I think a little controversy is useful for widening our vision, strengthening our thought processes, developing our Essence Possibilities and leading us towards the Natural State of Selfhood.

I would like to hear more voiced on this topic…..Nigel.

90. shardofoblivion - December 8, 2012

#89 Nigel posts a list. Two of the items popped out at me immediately.

“2. When the corporeal body dies, there are 29 grams of ‘matter’
that ‘disappear’ and cannot be acounted for.”

No this isn’t true.

http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.co.uk/2007/03/does-soul-weigh-21-grams.html

“6. The Pineal Gland is the Root of the Soul (4th Way Teaching).”

The pineal gland produces the substance melatonin, which has a role in the sleep cycle. The myth that it is the seat of the soul may be traced back to Descartes, whose philosophy proposed that there are two fundamental categories of existence, mental and material, but this caused him a logical difficulty since we can all see that by exercising our minds, we can make changes in the physical world for example we can decide to move our hand and it moves. But for Descartes explaining this was awkward, since he held that the mental and physical are so different they do not interact directly. So he thought there had to be a nexus where the two worlds communicated, and decided to nominate the endocrine gland called the pineal body for this role. This has been latched onto by various superstitious people in the centuries since. It hardly surprises me that this myth crops up in 4th way lore since the 4th way, as we have it from Gurdjieff and his followers, is full of absurdities and spurious knowledge.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pineal-gland/

91. Fee fi fo fum - December 8, 2012

81 Paul Gregory

I remember hearing RB talking like that at meetings. Seems to have been the mid 1970s. That heavy, ponderous air, everyone sitting rapt, expectant attention, and he’d have that odd look about the eyes and sort of squint and say the martyrish things that you can read in Paul G’s post, above.

Someone who met RB once (and only once) in A Horn’s group said that RB was intense and in-your-face. I don’t remember the early RB in the 1970s as being in-your-face. It makes me wonder why there was a behavioral change, but I’m not interested enough to really figure him out. It’s because it doesn’t matter anymore. No matter what his intentions were, back in the early 1970s when the FF began, he’d say things like he’d give his right arm (or was it his left arm?) if it would help one of his students awake. It was always said in a certain semi-pained, earnest tone of voice that was meant to move his listeners.

But as I look back, he seems to have done nothing but indulge himself in the most sybaritic and greedy way. And he would be aware of it, which makes that behavior completely lacking in conscience and decency. He got a taste of the good life, combined with reverence and adoration, the flow of money, and he became corrupted by it. Any student who benefited from that flow of attention and material goods knows how tempting it is to continue living that way. However, there are students who are conflicted and uncomfortable supporting the FF, but can’t seem to find their way out, out of fear, and out of long habit. RB counts on that.

92. jomopinata - December 8, 2012

Edgar Burton died in June 1967, less than three months after Robert E. Burton’s forced resignation from Springhill Elementary School on March 17, 1967. Edgar was 61-3/4 years old. His Social Security Number was 430-40-4912.

93. Tim Campion - December 8, 2012

jomo,

Great work. This clears up a few things. Mineral Township and Stanley Road reported on the census no longer exist as such.

The fact that his birth certificate stated Mineral, as does this census (where “Bobbie” is reported to be 11 months old) suggests that his claim that he was born in Enola, Arkansas (30 miles to the north) was a fabrication. The 1930 census also shows his family in Mineral Township (and neighbors to two other Burton families.)

Curiously, many Burtons (including his father Edgar R.) are buried in the nearby Gibson Cemetery (a mile or so from Mineral), including a 20 year-old Robert Earl Burton, who died less than four years before “Bobbie” was born.

94. Tim Campion - December 8, 2012

81. and 82. paul gregory,

“It is also a law that what the teacher gains, all gain.”

Well that made me chuckle. Just another law that Burton has chosen to ignore.

Paul, thanks for the flashbacks. I agree with Fee fi fo fum. His words ooze hubris and self-pity. But at the time, I no doubt thought them profound.

Can you tell us the source of these quotations? (And are those the quotation dates you referenced: September 13, 1976 and January 1, 1982?)

95. nigel - December 8, 2012

…..just thinking about the Nature of this Blog and how This Great Universe Makes Itself Manifest…..

Maybe the greatest phenomenon that we witness about the Universe, through the stars in the heavens, through the planets in our solar system, invested in the nature of our planet – Nature Itself – animals, fish, insects and more – the Varied Nations, the variation of body type throughout the nations, professions, wealth and poverty and the beauty of language and dialect is…..

“INFINITE DIVERSITY”

It seems healthy, to me, that, on this blog, there are individuals who offer ‘angles of thought’, based on their own understanding, gained through great trials, for the most part, and also those who contribute extracts from other sites and sources for our contemplation and nourishment. It also seems natural that there are sometimes fierce disagreements that offer us the chance to review our points of view, question our limited thought and expand our understanding. This is all part of what makes a ‘great forum’ to approach questions such as – “What is consciousness – does it exist?”, “Do we need spiritual teachers – do they abuse their ‘stations’?”.

As someone who has reached A Sense of Belonging in Life (and. dare I say it, not a little natural wisdom), I can look back on those FOF days…..

A power structure from Burton on down through his enablers.

Brainwashing based on a ‘fairly dodgey’ 4th Way teaching.

Rules galore, to inhibit individuality and personally-empowering activity.

AND, THE LAST OF ALL…..

The concept of an ‘ark of culture’ that will survive a nuclear holocaust, that can only belong to those in the Fellowship of Friends and, most definitely, those who are current in the (disgustingly high) ‘teaching payments’ – have you ever thought what you were being taught by that sex-crazed, greedy, narcissistic, insane lunatic, Burton?

FINALLY…..

When “I in the Sky” and “nevermind” were banned, I allowed myself some time to see what other bloggers would have to say, having an opinion myself, but wanting to absorb ‘the whole thing’. Now I am pleased that Steve made a sensible decision – there is only so much energy that constructive enablers can expend on addressing, shall we say it – destructive posts from literary automatons. We have already seen our blog spending time and energy on subjects that address the key issues with which this blog was started.

Having looked back and realized that I could have been banned myself at various times, I am happy to contribute to a healthy, stimulating and intelligent body…..Nigel.

96. nigel - December 8, 2012

For some reason, I was trying to find the Greater Fellowship In Memoriam page – maybe idle curiosity about those who have passed over, but we who remain must advance…..Nigel.

In Memoriam
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
(1809-1892)

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;
Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, thou.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.

We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see;
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,

But vaster. We are fools and slight;
We mock thee when we do not fear:
But help thy foolish ones to bear;
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.

Forgive what seem’d my sin in me;
What seem’d my worth since I began;
For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.

Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.

1849

97. shardofoblivion - December 8, 2012

Tennyson’s In Memoriam.

He has a fine grasp of language, but I couldn’t help noticing the poem is addressed to God, in whom I personally do not believe, which somehow dilutes its power for me.

I feel like shaking him by the shoulders and saying “Grow up man, when we die it is the end for each of us, deal with it!”

98. nigel - December 8, 2012

95. nigel / 97. shardofoblivion

Like I mentioned, there may be fierce contentions…..

Personally, I see no point in creating something, then destroying it, rather than transmuting it…..

The soul, I don’t know, but I am working towards that goal…..Nigel.

99. James Mclemore - December 8, 2012

97. shardofoblivion

“He has a fine grasp of language, but I couldn’t help noticing the poem is addressed to God, in whom I personally do not believe, which somehow dilutes its power for me.”

What about some of the poems of Rumi and Hafiz that are written to “The Beloved”? Would the power of those poems also be diluted for you?
How can you be sure that the word “God” Tennyson may be addressing from his heart is the same as the conceptual idea you have no belief in?

100. shardofoblivion - December 8, 2012

99 James Mclemore asks if Tennyson’s God is the same concept as the one I have no belief in.

Well OK of course I cannot be sure what he was referring to, but since I believe in no God, I am sure I don’t believe in the one he believes in. We have his words to go on, here are some I reacted to:

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

This seems pathetic to me. He is asserting (because he has just lost his good friend) that God will not leave us in the dust. He doesn’t know that, it is culturally accepted in victorian britain, and he followed the herd thinking, and unquestioningly accepts this comforting nonsense (thanks to Ouspensky for that phrase).

How does he know God made man? He doesn’t, it was simply what he was taught in sunday school, and he never questioned it. Then he continues by saying that Man himself doesn’t think he was made to die, which to my mind is just tough shit for man really. And the final phrase is the most objectionable to me.

Thou art just.

He has no idea, just children’s stories in the bible to go on. And anyway if there were a God it is obvious he isn’t just, if he existed in the christian sense of a creator then he created cancer for heaven’s sake, how just is cancer?

I still admire him as a poet for his command of the language.

I am not too familiar with Hafiz and Rumi, but if they also believed they had an imaginary friend, then that will be the least interesting aspect of their thinking to me.

101. James Mclemore - December 9, 2012

shardofoblivion

“Well OK of course I cannot be sure what he was referring to..” and then you go on to sound pretty sure of just what he was referring to. And, I might add that you may be right-on as to what his belief system certainly might have been.

Don’t get me wrong Shard. I don’t really like that sort of poetic writing to “God” much myself. My post was not a defense of Tennyson or his point of view, as I have no idea what he was experiencing or what he may have experienced in Sunday school. That poem was one of the very few I have ever even read of his and I didn’t find it particular uplifting.
Like you, I also do not believe in God as some entity which you can petition and which is separate from this experience I am having called ‘my life’. I hold no belief in “magical friends”. I agree with you totally that the “29 grams” is bunk and the writing about the pineal gland is probably the stuff of somebody else’s imagination. I agree with and find thought provoking several things you have written in different posts. I do however, sometimes get the feeling you are trying to sell someone something or convince someone of something.

My post was more about “words” in themselves, words like “God”. Words that seem to point to ‘something’, ‘something’ not necessarily beyond or outside or separate from ourselves, but ‘something’ beyond thought and its conceptual view.

102. James Mclemore - December 9, 2012

I might add that I almost never use the word “God” myself, It just seems to have so much baggage attached..

103. nigel - December 9, 2012

95. to 102.

Dear Shard

Forgve me if I am wrong, but was it not you who took ayahuasca and experienced “God in everything”? Personally, I have experienced this state without any drugs, but with my ‘natural brain chemical imbalance’. Certainly, I am very sceptical of any ‘nice, benevolent old man in the sky’ – a separate figure who looks down on us and judges our actions as to whether we deserve ‘heaven or hell’ after death, but I go along with Whitman inasmuch as he states – “I exist, that is enough” – and that existence holds the key to any self-awareness (not mind-numbing FOF presence, I might add) and consequent self-knowledge. Like you, I believe that the Universe is ‘unfathomably beautiful’, but I do not believe that the “light gets switched on at birth and is then extinguished at death”. No Universal Intelligence (sorry, but that seems to be the only phrase I can use here) makes things out of nothing, then takes the Ultimate Life Force away. If so, what is the purpose of the Universe itself. Did that get ‘switched on’ in the Eternal Past and then will be ‘extinguished’ in the Eternal Future’?

We are all ‘mutations’ of energy (E = mc, squared – nothing is lost in the Universe, only transmuted). I do have a question of you, if, as I infer, you were at one time a member of the FOF, what you were aiming towards in joining, why you left and what turned you into an agnostic/atheist? I must go along with your right to ‘make a spiritual stand’ for yourself, but do not negate anyone else’s belief in what they find workable for this life.

Yours…..Nigel.

104. nigel - December 9, 2012

…..from “Thought on Heavenly Death” from ‘Leaves of Grass’, compiled by Horace Traubel

WHITMAN pronounced the last yes about death. He pushed aside the curtaining doctrines and sciences and said: Look. With him immortality was not an argument. It was a vision. Life does not answer the questions of reason. It answers the questions of sight. There was no because or therefore in Whitman’s revelation. Everything about Whitman was this: See. See life. See love. See the soul. See the continuance of identity. See the past. See the future. See the sympathies. See. See. That was the Whitman attitude. What Spinoza said concerning God, “to reason about God is to deny him,” Whitman said about immortality, to reason about immortality is to deny it. I have heard him say to a skeptic: “If I tried to prove things to myself I, too, would deny things. I do not prove things — I see things. Seeing is enough.” He said to Ingersoll once in my presence: “Robert, logic is well enough, figures are well enough, but when I look at you, at myself, at anybody, I seem to see something better.” The best things, the final things, the essential things, cannot, anyhow, be proved by a process but by vision. Whitman refused to be reasonable because of reason, as Schiller refused to be religious because of religion. He was not to be trapped into arguments and ballotings. He knew that after the heat of discussion, after the vote was in and counted, everything still remained unproved. What could authentically report on death? He claimed that death could be realized as life again only when the farthest removed from controversy. This is what he said to a disputant: “You prove that death is empty and then I see that it is full of life.” “Death, mother,” he said to an old woman we both knew, “death, you see, is not something that stops us but something that helps us on.” A man of science asked him: “Do you think, Mr. Whitman, that immortality will ever be proved?” “Proved — in reality proved: yes. Proved as you understand proved: no. There are certain sorts of truths that may yield their own sort of evidences. Immortality is not speculative — it does not come in response to investigation — it does not give its secret up to the chemist: immortality is revelation: it flashes itself upon your consciousness out of God knows what.” If you asked Whitman whether he had reasons for his belief he would reply: “No reasons whatever — reasons would spoil it all.” Whitman always quoted death like a man who stood way up somewhere and dared to speak of things that he saw. I remember that on one occasion he reflected fervently out loud in my hearing: “The best of what I have seen about death came once, long ago, all of a sudden.” I never knew him at any time to consent to submit the question to any formal court or jury, scientific or metaphysical. He felt distinctly averse to the cross-examination involved — to the pros and cons, “the destructive confusions” as he called them, that resulted from the eagerness of counsellors to win their case. “You might just as well take love before a magistrate and have it committed for trial.” He was perfectly willing to confess that his best faith would be convicted and sentenced in any court of formal logic. Yet the best faith would remain the best faith forever. “I know that I would go down under the first fire of attack. Any smart lawyer could make me contradict myself.” He was rather impatient with an inquirer who declared that he “always insisted upon proofs “for his beliefs, whatever they were. Whitman replied: “So do I. But what are proofs?” Finally he asserted with great vehemence: “I see! I see! I see! Seeing is enough!”

105. shardofoblivion - December 9, 2012

103 Nigel asks about the ayahuasca experience and why I joined the FoF.

The experience I had of God so close I could reach out and touch him, was in my opinion an illusion. The fact that I had taken a drug and was tripping at the time made it easier for me to see that. I can imagine a similar experience for someone in their right mind would be much harder to dismiss.

Yes I joined the FoF, after having read Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, I wanted to experience the higher centres they spoke of for myself. In the end after 10 years pretty assiduous following of the FoF recommendations, I felt I had not really got what I came for. Someone gave me some LSD near the end of my time as a member, and when I took it, I saw that I had been lying to myself for years, and that really Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and Burton did not really know what they claimed to. I was attending Open University courses at that time, and the contrast between the so called knowledge in the 4th way system, and western scholarship was stark. Then I met Thomas E and his description of what Burton had subjected him to made the decision to leave the school very easy.

The LSD acted for me on that occasion as a kind of truth drug, allowing me to see where I had distorted things and lied to myself about things. That experience coupled with studying the picture of the world provided by physics and astronomy confirmed me in my agnostic/atheist views on God. It felt like a little personal Emperor’s New Clothes story playing out. Once I saw that it was possible for otherwise intelligent people to completely fool themselves about survival after death and the existence of a benevolent deity, it wasn’t possible to go back to the illusion, even as I related 15 years later when I took the ayahuasca, and felt the presence of God for myself.

But there is a sense I do find a meaning to the word God. If there is an answer to the question “Why is there something at all, why isn’t there no time, no space, no matter, no energy, no consciousness?” then I would be happy to call whatever the answer to that turns out to be, God. I don’t think any humans have come remotely close to answering the question yet. It may turn out that the question itself is in some way self contradictory or ill posed or something.

Regarding survival of physical death, I never believed that even when I was in the FoF, it wasn’t what I came for, and mostly I found no-one asked for my opinion. But of course it meant I never understood what Burton was on about with his disembodied entity interpretation of the term C influence. In retrospect it is hard to explain to myself why that didn’t cause me more of a difficulty, but I seldom saw him, and no-one else I met in the school claimed to be getting messages from dead people, so I just didn’t think about it that much.

The day I kind of realised death is final was when I was about 11, and went to the dentist for a tooth pulling that required total anaesthetic. I tried to stay awake as long as possible (didn’t want them to start before I went under) and I can clearly recall the blackness coming at me like a fast train, and smashing into my little mind, and completely obliterating it. When I woke up, I realised that my mind was TOTALLY dependent on my brain, because there had been nothing I could do in the face of a gas being administered to me. How much more final would be the experience of having my brain crushed by a steamroller (I was 11 so had a dramatic imagination) I thought. And nothing I have learnt in the years since has shown me any different.

106. nigel - December 9, 2012

105. shardofoblivion

Thank you for sharing that. I respect your reality…..Nigel.

107. nigel - December 9, 2012

Maybe if we see our experiences as ‘states’, that would bring us closer to some understanding of our human condition…..

The pseudo-Christian idea that ‘believers’ pass from this human existence to a ‘paradise home’ with God, after death, is very comforting, especially for those who never question the faith in which they have been raised and share their adult life with other ‘believers’. My ‘personal take’ on this is that these folk are so used to security – a sound, unquestioning childhood, education leading to a ‘good job’ (make your own interpretation on what this means), becoming married and completing the ‘raising a family’ cycle, coupled with moving from ever-improving home situation to home situation – that there is little need to think any different in what they may expect after death. After all, we have had dominant father figures as the ‘norm’ for century after century, with all the negative aspects of misogyny and pedophilia that this has sometimes entailed, so why not think that ‘His Great Daddyship’ is going to take care of you after the demise of the corporeal body.

Burton said two contradictory statements that go something like this…..

“The Son of Man (higher centres) hath not where to lay his head”

“I lead my followers to Paradise”

Mind you, ‘gurus’ like him will say anything to make his ‘students’ feel comfortable with putting up with all the EXTREMELY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES that he ‘dishes out’ (his enablers have learned to take advantage of the situation for their own psycho/physical comfort, but what of the helpless ‘boys’ in the harem, who have direct experience of emotional/sexual ‘soul-plundering’ and the vulnerably open followers who have a ‘stupid saint’ appraoch to Burton’s directives).

I am perfectly prepared to ‘go along’ with Shard in acknowledging that we do not know that much about our reasons for ‘being here’, and that all we can do is live a life that is empathetic and compassionate with our fellows, working hard for worthy and noble causes, being honest and not-too-protective in the raising of our children and just hoping that our lives have contributed something to the Common Good…..Nigel.

108. nigel - December 9, 2012

Variation on the theme of CONSCIOUNESS, by Bobby-Pooh…..

“Perhaps Robert Burton’s greatest contribution to the Fourth Way tradition is his unerring ability to grasp the core of the teaching. Although the system offers an array of theories, he has resisted all temptations to deviate from its highest application: the creation of higher consciousness within its students. He has never ceased to repeat that this work is simple, although it is not easy. Out of the great storehouse of knowledge in the Fourth Way, he has extracted and exalted two principles above all others: self-remembering and the transformation of suffering.

Self-remembering is the attempt within a specific moment to be more conscious, more aware, more present. It is a form of active meditation that may take place in any moment and in any situation, in which the student works to be aware both of himself and of his environment simultaneously, rather than being immersed in his internal world, or lost in his reactions to the many stimuli around him. Repeated efforts to self-remember lead to higher states of consciousness, and a quite new understanding of humanity’s place in the universe. This private, internal struggle to witness one’s own life is the process through which one creates one’s soul.

Tirelessly, tenaciously, Robert Burton has placed self-remembering at the heart of his school. Although he has urged his students to experience the best that life can offer and to develop their own talents and skills, he has never lost sight of the fact that even great genius pales before simple consciousness; that, as he has said so often, “There is no greater activity than presence in silence.”…..”

(from the Preface to “Self-Remembering”, by Robert Earl Burton)

109. Agent 45 - December 9, 2012

Mystical poetry? Bah, humbug! Let us pray.

“You are Parabrahma; Paramatma; Allah; Elahi; Yezdan; Ahuramazda; God Almighty and God the Beloved.
You are named Ezad, the Only One Worthy of Worship.”
– A.M.B. (8/13/1953)

Happy Birthday, Jesus, and Merry Christmas to all.

110. nigel - December 9, 2012

Analysis of The Magi by WB Yeats
The Wise Men, According to Yeats
SLL, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Although no other story is more widely known than the life of Jesus, no other story from any other religion has caused more debate to arise. In The Magi, Yeats focuses on the birth and death of Jesus’ life. Written in 1914, The Magi follows the journey of the “unsatisfied ones” and their unrequited search for meaning in the “uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.” Yeats uses the wise men (the “unsatisfied ones”) to allude to his belief that mankind has yet to discover meaning and fulfillment in Jesus’ time on earth.

The religious imagery in The Magi helps convey the themes of desire and dissatisfaction. According to the Bible, the magi (who were known as wise men from the East) followed a bright star that led them to the birth of Jesus. They worshipped him and gave him gifts of gold, myrrh and incense. In Yeats’ The Magi, the wise men are the “unsatisfied ones.” Not only do they witness the birth of Jesus, but his death as well at Calvary, which is the hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. Although they see these miraculous events, they are left unfulfilled, “being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied.” The “uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor” could be pertinent to the birth of Jesus on the stable floor that he was supposedly born upon. But knowing the ideology of Yeats and his belief in the Second Coming causes us to infer another meaning. The Second Coming, which he wrote in 1920, is based on the theory that the birth of the Anti-Christ will come at the start of the millenium. So the “bestial floor” most likely refers to its literal meaning, which is “belonging to beasts”, and the “uncontrollable mystery” is the birth of the Beast, the Anti-Christ. This foreshadows the conclusion of The Second Coming: “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” As the wise men in The Magi are waiting with their “eyes still fixed” upon the bright star, they won’t be satisfied until they are led to the “uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.”

Although The Magi is a short poem, it is riddled with plenty of diction and syntax to amplify its meaning. The magi seem almost otherworldly as they “appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky” and are constantly in the poet’s head (“Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye). Yeats’ descriptions of the magi drill the words into the reader’s head. For example, he describes the wise men as “unsatisfied” twice in lines 2 and 7. He uses a series of s-sounding words such as: stones, stiff, still fixed, helms of silver hovering side by side, and unsatisfied. These are the characteristics of the magi, who are unchanging with “stiff, painted clothes.” This could pertain to the depiction of the wise men in religious art, who are usually shown wearing fine, rich clothing. They are weary and “pale” with “ancient faces” that resemble “rain-beaten stones” and are forever waiting, “all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more” the events that will satisfy their quest for meaning.

Yeats’ repeats the word “all” when he describes the magi, which may allude to humankind as a whole (“With all their ancient faces”, “And all their helms of silver”, “And all their eyes still fixed”). Perhaps Yeats is pointing out the fact that despite our progression into each new century or era, mankind is still baffled by religion, which has yet to be resolved into one solution for everyone. Christ’s coming to earth has left us even more dissatisfied and more fervent in our search for meaning. We won’t be fulfilled until “the uncontrollable mystery” arrives, or the emergence of the Anti-Christ, which according to the Bible, is when the world will begin to end.

Yeats wrote The Magi in conjunction with The Dolls: “I looked up one day into the blue of the sky, and suddenly imagined, as if lost in the blue of the sky, still figures in procession. I remembered that they were the habitual image suggested by blue sky, and looking for a second fable called them ‘The Magi,” complementary forms of these enraged dolls.” He placed The Magi before The Dolls in his Collected Poems, even though he had written it afterwards.

This is probably due to the fact that the idea behind The Magi helps the reader comprehend The Dolls more easily.

Yeats uses the plight of the magi to point out the plight in mankind. Even though Christ embodies the prophecy of the warrior king in the Old Testament, his time on Earth was one of peace and love, instead of destruction. This is perhaps why many are so befuddled about why Christ came in the first place. Those who are searching for resolution in something that wasn’t supposed to have been a resolution, but an example, are left dissatisfied and continually looking, like the magi. Yeats explains that the Second Coming, if anything, will be a time for resolution to come to the Earth, even if it’s by means of destruction.

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

111. nigel - December 9, 2012

The Magi
by William Butler Yeats
(1865-1939)
——————————————————————————–
Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

112. nigel - December 9, 2012

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

113. nigel - December 9, 2012

I wish to apologize to Steve, the moderator, mainly, for having to put up with my ‘more than usual’ posts, which have probably overstepped the decorously acceptable mark…..but I do feel that the blog should be stimulating and thought-provoking. Will we go through another Turkey and Mince Pies Happy Christmas without wondering what Humanity is having to Endure in the Name of Religion…..standard or ‘esoteric’? I will sign off now for a week or so to allow others to post their own thoughts on whatever…..Nigel.

114. jomopinata - December 10, 2012

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2009

Self-proclaimed Spiritual Advisor Convicted of Domestic Violence

Santa Rosa, CA (February 5, 2009) – District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua announced that Benjamin Anthony Horn, age 39, of Santa Rosa, was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence on Wednesday, February 4, 2009. The jury deliberated for just over 2 hours before returning a guilty verdict on the lone count. Today, the Honorable Rene Chouteau sentenced Horn to serve 1 year in county jail with credit for time served, placed him on 3 years of formal supervised probation and referred him to Domestic Violence Court for monitoring and reviews.

The charges in this case arose out of an investigation which began when the victim arrived at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Roseland substation on December 23, 2008. The victim told deputies that she previously had a romantic relationship with Horn, who was living in a barn on her property, and that he was currently acting as her spiritual advisor. She explained that on December 21, 2008, Horn used a pitchfork to “beat the evil” out of her. Horn repeatedly struck her with the pitchfork about the shoulders, hips and buttocks while she kneeled on the floor. He said she had been using her negative energies to attack him and he had to “correct” her. Before she came into the Sheriff’s substation, the defendant had threatened to beat her again. The victim had several large bruises on her shoulders, hips and buttocks.

On January 6, 2009, after the evidence was presented at a preliminary hearing, Sonoma County Court Judge Lawrence Antolini reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Deputy District Attorney Mark Urioste was the prosecutor assigned to the case.

Contact Information
Contact:
Terry Menshek
Media Coordinator
District Attorney’s Office
County of Sonoma
Address:
600 Administration Drive, Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Get Public Transit Directions
Get Driving Directions
Phone:(707) 565-3098

——————————————————————————————–

I believe this person is Alex Horn’s son.

115. jomopinata - December 10, 2012

The apple, apparently, does not fall far from the tree.

116. David - December 10, 2012

105 etc Shard and Nigel

You might want to check out DMT: The spirit molecule and also Supernatural (by Graham Hancock).
Your body does not produce LSD, MDMA, Mescaline or Psilocibin.

It does however produce DMT; ALL the time.

Perhaps Shard, you were more “in your right mind” taking Ayahuasca than you are as you read this… Who knows?

Worth a closer look though.

117. shardofoblivion - December 10, 2012

#(134-116 ota) David gently proposes:

“Perhaps Shard, you were more “in your right mind” taking Ayahuasca than you are as you read this…”
🙂

118. jomopinata - December 10, 2012

Here’s another recent glimpse of another child of the Fourth Way, Maurice Andrew Horn, who is also Alex Horn’s son:

Last arrested in San Rafael, CA on May 31, 2012.

Inmate Name: Horn, Maurice Andrew

Inmate #: P00197402

Last Arrest Date: May 31, 2012

Sex: Male

Race: Unknown

Age/DOB: 49

Height: 6′ 1″

Weight: 198

Charges Resulting from Arrest on 05/31/2012
Detention Facility: Marin County Jail

1. 23152(a) Vc — Dui Alcohol/drugs
Counts: 1
Bond: $100,000.00

2. 23154(a) Vc — Dui Alc/.01 While On Probation
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

3. 14601.2(a) Vc — Drive While License Susp For Dui
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

4. 14601.1(a) Vc — Drive With Suspended License
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

5. 14601.5(a) Vc — Drive W/susp Lic Refuse Chem Test
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

Charges Resulting from Arrest on 02/02/2012
Detention Facility: Marin County Jail

1. 11550(a) Hs — Use/under Infl Of Contrld Sub
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

2. 23152(a) Vc — Dui Alcohol/drugs
Counts: 1
Bond: $100,000.00

3. 148.9(a) Pc — False Id To Police
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

4. 23154(a) Vc — Dui Alc/.01 While On Probation
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

5. 14601.2(a) Vc — Drive While License Susp For Dui
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

6. 14601.1(a) Vc — Drive With Suspended License
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

7. 14601.5(a) Vc — Drive W/susp Lic Refuse Chem Test
Counts: 1
Bond: $0.00

119. Fee fi fo fum - December 11, 2012

jomopinata – They sound like a bunch of yahoos who think they can operate however they want. Sounds like someone else we know who partook of the apple tree.

120. shardofoblivion - December 12, 2012

A sweet little song from popstrelle Katy Perry. I like the satisfying thunk when she baffs the chump with her fist, I would have loved to do the same to Burton when I left, but sadly the opportunity never presented itself.

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down

121. WhaleRider - December 12, 2012

So is the end of the world supposed to happen at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time, today, 12/12/12?

(I don’t think the Mayans accounted for daylight savings time.)

I better get to the store for some spare batteries and koolaide.

122. Ames Gilbert - December 12, 2012

Whalerider (#134-121 or thereabouts),
you’ll be relieved to know that you still have time to stock up on essentials, but I remind you that you have to be a member in good standing and current with your ‘teaching payments’ for this to do any good.

The Date with Destiny: December 21, 2012
The messenger: Robert Earl Burton, chief honcho of the Fellowship of Friends, “brightest light in 2,000 years”, best buddy with…
The architects: 45 assorted ‘angels’, who have spent all their spare time until now orchestrating…
The plan: The completed destruction of all humanity, except for the 1560 or so members of the Fellowship of Friends.
How: either by ‘hydrogen warfare’ or the sinking of California west of Oregon House, CA 95962, the headquarters of Burton’s cult.

123. Tim Campion - December 13, 2012

Heard on “Marketplace” this afternoon:

Religion history professor Philip Jenkins says end-of-the-world prophecies spring up all the time. People quit their jobs and give away all their earthy possessions. So what happens the next day, when this pesky world is still around?

“Rather than abandon all the huge investment they’ve put in, plus they don’t want to look stupid, they adjust, and form, often, a new kind of religion,” he says.

In Robert Burton’s case, you invent THE SEQUENCE.

124. nigel - December 13, 2012

I am just recovering from a bi-polar ‘nadir’, as most people on the blog, especially Steve, the moderator, and Whale rider, would have expected would happen. I have things to write, that need composing in a well-modulated fashion on states and the human condition, but that can wait. I thought I would come back with a little passage from the Richard Branson site. Richard is one of my business heroes, who cares for the littlest people in his organization. this is his latest offering…..Nigel.

Big Idea 2013: This Year, the War on Drugs Ends

Richard Branson
Founder at Virgin Group
December 11, 2012

If a business strategy were failing and instead of curbing a problem made it worse, would you keep it going or would you stop and consider an alternative course?

Strangely, the trillion dollar war on drugs has persisted for 40 years even though it is the most dismal global policy failure of our time. Why do I care and why should you?

Millions of otherwise productive lives are wasted and lost in jail for marijuana possession and other nonviolent drug violations. California could raise an estimated US $1.4B in annual revenue if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana – so imagine the revenue that is keeping the underworld in business.

I’m a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and we have been looking at this issue for the last two years. There are countries – such as Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Netherlands – that have adopted alternative strategies with promising results.

I’d like the business community to help figure out what can be done for countries to take a hard look at the failures of the drug war and adopt humane solutions that focus on education and health care rather than criminalization and incarceration. Let’s make 2013 the year we Break The Taboo.

125. Shard_of_oblivion - December 13, 2012

I was mortified to discover that I had a posted a link to “Wide awake” that had chopped the video about and made Katy’s voice sound like a chipmunk. As I looked for the full video I came across this example of “keying”. This guy is an illuminati conspiracy theorist, and finds symbols in the “wide awake” video (the video makers may well have put them there with intent). He easily outperforms Burton of Rhino Pooh fame. The main public exposure for the Illuminati was Robert Anton Wilson’s fictional trilogy, but there probably were in history free mason’s who used that name. For Burton’s C influence we are on much shakier ground. The disembodied spirits he communes with didn’t even acknowledge that they were part of some school. But Burton and TheGroxt share the madman’s attraction to apocalyptic near future’s.

I must admit I enjoyed the video even more after listening to TheGroxt’s crazy theories. (He seems to believe Perry and others are part of some huge supernatural army poised to sweep aside the rule of Jesus, and usher in something much darker and bleaker).

So here’s the link to the esoteric interpretation of “Wide Awake”

followed by a clean, good sounding link to the song itself. (For the sake of balance I should say I reckon the song is about Perry’s recent split with Lothario husband Russell Brand)

126. nigel - December 13, 2012

O.K. Shard

Solar inkling and a-tinkling into full-powerful thymus (the little sun) protecting the corporeal system in my state (the thymus is the ruling gland – not the pituatry; motherhood and fatherhood – and also Saturn is, according to Gustav Holst, the Bringer of Old Age and Death – watch out Burton – your Immortality Myth will Take You down the Endless Cosmic Plughole, pretty darn quick, if my working things out with The Cradling Soul of Humanity – my friends and my most beautifully astute and caring Psychiatrist, Dr Tanya Nelson have ILLUMINATED ME correctly)

“But, do I dwindle” Falstaff, Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare

With that prelude, back to Shard, from your post above, I am pretty damn sure you reside in Britain. You know I like your ample thought and would dearly like to make personal contact. If you feel likewise, you can be less ‘bloggy’ and email me at nhprice@gmail.com.

Never wanting to be intrusive, the way I am…..Nigel

127. Agent 45 - December 14, 2012

Classic Monty Python

M: Oh look, this isn’t an argument.
A: Yes it is.
M: No it isn’t. It’s just a contradiction.
A: No it isn’t.
M: It is!
A: It is not.
M: Look, you just contradicted me.
A: I did not.
M: Oh, you did!!
A: No, no, no.
M: You did just then.
A: Nonsense!
M: Oh, this is futile!
A: No it isn’t.

128. nigel - December 14, 2012

To emphasise the abstract of the season…..

“That we be instruments of Light in the Mastered Darkness”.

129. WhaleRider - December 17, 2012

Dear Members of the Fellowship of Friends:

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for all the self-remembering, moments of presence, repetitions of the sequence, the endless ballets you had to sit through, the flower arranging, the cooking, cleaning, gardening, all the blow jobs, the food you didn’t eat, all the rhino poop you had to wade through, the golden showers, the suicides of your friends, the missed family events, and the exciting trips to Egypt you have had to endure on our behalf so our lives once again won’t end so horribly and suddenly as predicted by your great spiritual leader, the dear Mr Burton.

I am quite certain it is only because of all your obsessive hard work that the angels will have once again decided to spare the world of nuclear holocaust or some other divine calamity and renew our lease on the planet a little longer, like they did the time before that and the time before that.

Since you all spend most of your waking state in the present, I’ll remind you that, according to your uber leader’s ethereal outside sources plus a few license plates, our lease was up way, way back in 2006, and it was only because of all your hard work on yourselves and gag reflexes that we got this last 6 year extension and kept your great leader’s great hubris in check.

Good job swallowing, you guys!

We all hope you enjoy the holidays with your newly adopted family in the manner in which you have been made to feel is appropriate, with all the trimmings, legal firearms, controlled substances, and festivities which align with your wondrous leader’s particular point of view.

We seem to be able to have our own mass slaughter of the innocents without the angel’s help anyway. Hopefully that was enough for now.

Sincerely,
The other 6 billion of us, minus 26.

130. Shard_of_Oblivion - December 18, 2012

Here is a bit of fun. A recording of Mr Gurdjieff a year before he died, telling a story to his students. It is about a turkey that he says featured in a newspaper story in Chicago ten years earlier. A turkey that was discovered in a refrigerator after being stored for 83 years. The way he tells it, it sounds like he is simply telling a true story, and asking his devoted students if they recall the story from ten years earlier. However Gurdjieff himself was 83 years old when he told the story, so he was probably doing that middle eastern teaching thing of using stories as parables. However his students don’t sound like they twig this, and he doesn’t seem to be put out that they take him literally (maybe he is used to his students being a bit literal minded, or the wised up ones aren’t speaking on the recording).

The following comment on the youtube page suggests a possible hidden meaning:

MastersofWisdom 11 months ago in playlist The Fourth Way

83 is his age in 1949, he was born in 1866,
a “turkey” means a Russian, a person between East and West,
“frozen” means Gurdjieff preserved a old teaching and brought it to the West!

131. shardofoblivion - December 20, 2012

So how will Burton’s devoted followers react when the apocalypse fails to happen tomorrow?

will they:

a) Conclude that Burton misfiring once again on his predictions throws some doubt on his oft repeated claim to be in touch with time travelling spirits who tell him things.

b) View the whole non event as a test of their valuation for a real school, and carry on regardless.

132. James Mclemore - December 20, 2012

Shard –

Maybe for the FoF it will turn out to be something invisible to the mere followers and where only Bobby in his infinite wisdom can give it the true hidden meaning. Perhaps something along these lines………….

“What has now happened is known, in the very inner-most esoteric circles, as the “Secret Quetzalcoatl Triple-Mayan Crystallization”. This is where I as the Brightest Light in 2000 years, finally made, the never before seen in this universe, a full transition into a ……………. MAN NUMBER 9.”

He will then go on to tell them how incredibly painful it was but that he did it just for their benefit.

133. freeman - December 20, 2012

Jame, Mc. — I think you just stole Burton’s thunder. He probably had it all worked out (“I’m a man No. 9”), but now you’ve ruined it. That would be perfect.

Or — Burton may have implemented a fallback plan. From what I recall, he’s been hinting that something may actually “occur” (a favorite word during these past four decades of predictions) in the year 2019, if not tomorrow. He may have changed the year and the details since he said that — but the details really don’t matter.

The typical response to a failed prediction is something like, “We are a conscious school, and the predictions were never the most important thing.” That’s despite the fervor with which he announces them, and with which many people act upon them. He will tell people eventually to get ready for the year 2019, when the end of civilization begins in earnest. And if not 2019, 2025, and onward until he dies — keeping everyone suspended for as long as possible.

—–
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the entire idea of cults and religions and why people follow them and join them. Often people join cults and religions because they ask the question. “But then what?”

In other words, they may have loved ones, and friends, and money, and good health and tremendous joy in their lives, but then what? What happens when they lose all of that?

What happens is that we are left with the realization that we really don’t have the answer. Our efforts, whatever they may be, don’t guarantee any results, other than the effort being the result — whether it’s an act of kindness, an act of courage, or an act of love as we connect with our fellow travelers.

We don’t know the future. We don’t even REALLY know the present, and sometimes we only imagine that we know the past. We don’t have an answer to the question, “But then what?” There is no crowd of spectators cheering our attempts at consciousness, or our earnestness in trying to awaken, or our attempts at reaching a higher realm. We invent cults and religions to imagine that there is an answer — something we can know, and especially something we can know that others don’t, because cults are about separating ourselves from others, or pretending that we are separate.

That’s an uncomfortable realization for that part in us that wants to , to be superior to others. Without religions and cults, and cult leaders, we lose that sense of superiority and separateness that makes us feel comfortable with the not-knowing. People join cults because they want to gain attention, notoriety, to be recognized, and to dispel the discomfort of not knowing the future, and not knowing what will happen when our time is finished.

Predictions are another way to replace the feelings of not knowing with the feelings of being special, unique, superior, and knowledgeable — and especially about things that we cannot possibly know. While many people may try to downplay the importance and the significance of Burton’s failed predictions, they are actually a symptom of the core problem.

134. brucelevy - December 20, 2012

I think he’d just say …”Periodically C Influence humbles a teacher even further, and I suffer this for my dear students. Now put this in your mouth.”

135. silentpurr - December 21, 2012

Behold the Transcendental Object in hyper-space!

136. David - December 22, 2012

132 James
Maybe he will come out in drag and proclaim himself “Goddess Number 9”.

137. shardofoblivion - December 22, 2012

A number nine you say? Well then, there’s no getting away from it, we’ll have to listen to #9 Dream won’t we?

So-o long ago
Was it in a dream?
Was it just a dream?
I ha know
Yes I know
Seemed so very real
Seemed so real to me
Took a walk down the street
To the heat whispered trees
I thought I could hear
hear
he-ar
he-ar
somebody call out my name “john”
I just “john” started to rain “john”
Two spirits dancing so strange …

138. Ames Gilbert - December 24, 2012

I guess ‘I in the Sky’ and other apologist members of the Fellowship of Friends are busy telling themselves and others that Burton’s latest prophecy, the extinction of mankind this past December 21st, was not that important, or was a metaphor, or some other species of cognitive dissonance recycled from his 100% record of failed prophecy over more than forty years.

Here we have ‘the brightest light in 2,000 years’, in constant communication with ‘45 angels’, impelled over and over again to claim that he has a window into the future. And here we have 1560 or so followers, some of whom have been listening to, believing and obeying Burton for twenty, thirty or even forty years. Burton has been spouting lies from the very beginning, about himself, his role, his organization, its purpose, their collective futures and his and his followers’ exclusive connection to a group of invisible but very powerful beings supposedly running the show.

It seems to me that the followers fall mostly into two groups. The first are the kind that just give up, and instead rely on the hope that a beneficent universe will forgive them for absolving their responsibilities to themselves and their fellows, and somehow let them have a free pass. Basically, that they deserve forgiveness because they meant well.
The second must spend increasing amounts of energy and time trying to convince themselves that Burton’s lies do not affect them or the core of his message. But they do. These basic lies, whether overt or covert, corrupt every part of his being and his ’teaching’, and the fact that he apparently has come to believe his own lies matters not the slightest. An observer may come to pity him, imprisoned in his fantasy, helplessly addicted to pleasure, power and control, a slave to his passions, but he is entirely responsible for the results of his actions and the harm he does to his followers (though of course they also have their own inescapable responsibility for their own actions). This means, one cannot do what appear to be the right things for the wrong reasons, and the fruits of goals accomplished by the wrong means must turn to ashes.

If ‘I in the Sky’ or any other member of the Fellowship of Friends is reading this, understand that there are consequences, and magical thinking does not protect you from them. Burton is a master liar, and when you give credence to his lies, or encourage others to give credence to them, you are harming yourselves and those others. Burton’s prophecies are not metaphors, they are designed to bind you to his fantasy. If you still believe that these particular lies are other than egregious lies, whose purpose is to inculcate awe or fear, that somehow you have the capacity to disregard the lies yet the discernment to sift out some truth in his other pronouncements, then you are still fooling yourself. And if you do come to see these lies for what they are, then you must disregard everything else that Burton says, and begin again at the beginning. Every claim he makes is suspect, and the fact that he believes his own lies makes this only the more so. His claims to be in communication with ‘higher forces’, his claims for ‘consciousness’, his claims that the organization is an esoteric school, that it has an important higher purpose, that you have an important purpose, that you are somehow earning ‘salvation’ or ‘immortality’—all lies, all random firings of a neurotic brain. The clues are all around you, they have always been around, they are not subtle, there is no such thing as ‘crazy wisdom’. When you see the actions of a selfish, debauched lecher seeking sex from unwilling males, that is what you see, it is the unvarnished truth. When you see the tantrums of a spoiled brat whose latest whim or conquest has been denied, that is what you see. When you see a person addicted to acquiring costly possessions, no matter what the cost to his followers, that is what you see. And when you hear repetitive nonsense spouted at the meetings, that is what you hear. When you try to provide explanations or interpretations for all this, when you try to change the crazy into wisdom, that is you defending your worldview, attempting desperately to make sense where there is, in fact, none.

Burton’s failed prophecies are not some aberrant happening that it is your duty to try to explain away. It is certain proof that something is badly wrong at the center, at the core. You don’t have to wait and find explanations, you just have to get away from the influences that try to persuade you that you can feed on corrupt fruit and yet somehow prosper.
For your own sweet sake, please leave now, and, try to take someone you care for with you.

139. brucelevy - December 24, 2012

Brightest light? I consider him one of the dimmest bulbs in 2000 years. Or perhaps one of the low hanging fruits of gurudom.

140. Golden Veil - December 24, 2012

Robert Earl Burton, you Humbug!

141. Tempus Fugit - December 25, 2012

“138. Ames Gilbert – December 24, 2012”

Thanks Ames, for the thoughtful post.

So here we are on Christmas Day. Christians around the world celebrate the birth of a man whose life has deeply influenced Western civilization for over two thousand years.

Hundreds of years ago His followers chose to mark His birthday near the Winter Solstice to symbolize the turning of the days from darkness back into light.

And in the little town of Oregon House another man continues his false claims of enlightenment while leading a small group of confused followers ever deeper into darkness, even trying to steal a touch of Christ’s glory by claiming some kind of spiritual kinship.

Sociopaths and criminals often hide behind beautiful lies, and in my opinion this is what we see in the Fellowship of Friends.

When a man pronounces himself to be a god, binds people to him by claiming to have the answers to their deepest aspirations, and then feeds on them to create a life of self-indulgence – what kind of man is he?

If this same man uses his followers for sexual gratification and calls it part of his “spiritual teaching” – might not a reasonable observer question both his honesty and his morals?

And if this same man warns followers who choose to leave him that they are cursed to a horrible fate – could it be those former followers have actually escaped a horrible fate?

Our words show who we claim to be, our actions show who we are.
So isn’t this the central question? Does Robert Burton’s behavior remind you more of Jesus or more of a narcissistic charlatan?

142. shardofoblivion - December 26, 2012

#(134-141 ota) Tempus Fugit poses the central question: “Does Robert Burton’s behavior remind you more of Jesus or more of a narcissistic charlatan?”

More of a narcissistic charlatan is the clear answer.

Whilst I have my arguments with Jesus on philosophical grounds, by all accounts he seems a thoroughly nice chap.

Burton on the other hand is a particularly creepy and cruel little cocksucker, possessed of the most spectacularly appalling taste in shirts, art work and man jewelry.

As they say, there’s no comparison.

143. 2012 - December 27, 2012

Did you ever notice how when you were a member of FOF there was not any measurement to see how “far in the work” you might have gone? There was only a measurement of much you were devoted to Burton and the school.

I saw countless examples of “students” who in a public forum displayed all kinds of “level of being” and understanding of the “work” who behind the scenes were a complete mess. Had I seen any real measurement of success I might have bought into Burton’s idea that he was a goddess trapped in a man’s body, or that our current morality was quite staid and out-of-date and having sex with your students was an evolutionary act.

To abstain from expressing negativity in public is no great feat. Anybody can do it if they want.

144. Agent 45 - December 27, 2012

Jesus Christ – Messiah?; thoroughly nice chap?; Philosopher?, or dangerous political subversive? Happy Birthday/Advent anyway.
I hope this message comports with your current belief system.

145. Tim Campion - December 28, 2012

Well, I just emerged from my bunker. What did I miss?

Weird. It looks like nothing’s changed. We’re still at the edge of The Fiscal Cliff.

(Could this be what He meant by “The Fall of California” and “Armageddon”? Were they merely budgetary references? After all, it has been traumatic for Burton in the past, when shopping expense accounts were curtailed.)

146. Wondering Who’s Watching - December 28, 2012

Page134/Post143 2012:
‘I saw countless examples of “students” who in a public forum displayed all kinds of “level of being” and understanding of the “work” who behind the scenes were a complete mess.’

‘To abstain from expressing negativity in public is no great feat. Anybody can do it if they want.’

Supercelestial thoughts; subterranean actions.

Quicksand years that whirl me I know not whither,
Your schemes, politics, fail,
lines give way,
substances mock and elude me,
Only the theme I sing,
the great and strong-possess’d soul, eludes not,
One’s-self must never give way–
that is the final substance–
that out of all is sure,
Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life,
what at last finally remains?
When shows break up
what but One’s-Self is sure?

Quicksand Years
Walt Whitman

What appears in the common quiet unassuming moment
shows what a person is really made of.

Witness Robert Earl Burton have a hissy-fit over some cuff links, or other bauble; speaks volumes as to the true nature of the being.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So what does this phrase mean?:
Supercelestial thoughts; subterranean actions.
Here is what other posters said over the years:

FoF Blog page2/post88:
George III Says:
March 9th, 2007 at 9:25 pm
‘Is the soul really formed from accumulated moments of presence? Or by “states”? How can we know — know other than by “feeling,” which is subjective? They feel good, and why wouldn’t one wish to be present? But what kind of people has it turned us into? “Happy as the Day Is Long” quoted the intimidating Gurdjieff citation about the deterioration of people who leave the “Work” – but I’ve seen so much deterioration in the people who stayed! They certainly have an ability to be intentional, but the trade-off has been in a singular lack of courage (can anyone still express an honest opinion to Robert, anymore?), a split personality characterized by “supercelestial thoughts and subterranean actions” (Montaigne, remember? we’re one person at the meeting and another behind closed doors), a mind-numbing conformity of thought, an endless grovelling and toadying (when you believe a chain-of-command has a divine origin, is any brown-nosing too much?). My goodness, just look at the subtle and not-so-subtle intimidation featured in the Fellowship missives cited above. I know it’s not the favored approach right now, but shouldn’t one take a few moments to stop and think about results to date before one heaves decades more into this process? (The usual answer is “No! Be present! Be present!” But surely “being present” isn’t meant to be a drug?)’

FoF Blog page53/post176:
Bares Reposting – October 29, 2008
‘Concerning morality (and other standards of living).:

What ever happened to the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton professed idea expressed as: The School will attain to the highest levels in life and go beyond them. Hmmm? Supercelestial thoughts; subterranean actions. [Why settle for a spiritual leader/teacher that couldn’t even make it as a fourth grade elementary school teacher?]’

FoF Blog page72/post16:
Bares Reposting – May 5, 2009
‘“having one’s own spiritual advancement as the focus of one’s life is totally self-absorbed, and hence self-centered at a more hidden level.”

I remember, back in about just before 1998, there were these crisis meetings at the Fellowship of Friends headquarters in Oregon House, California, because there was a resource shortage and a Ming furniture collection that was not selling, worth tens of millions of dollars, supposedly. Ming rich, cash poor. (Ming ming ming ming ming ming ming ming ming!) Lincoln Lodge/[now]Apollo d’Oro was closed. (How were people going to eat?) And other problems, like law suit(s) settled out-of-court for millions of dollars. Apollo Operations Group (AOG) meetings trying to find ways to combat the Olivehurst Gospel Assembly (OAG. Read more here:
http://www.rickross.com/reference/fof/fof11.html)
actions – was one way to look at it. California’s fall was imminent. There were these meetings to get prepared, where people talked about how we would pull through helping each other and being generous, etc. (More of the usual ’supercelestial thoughts; subterranean actions.’ In all honesty, there were some well meaning and acting folks.) We were not a selfish bunch of people that, when really bad times came, it would not be a ‘me-first’ (a play on the mi-fa) interval. So, one truth speaking quiet person got a chance to chime in, as suggestions from all and anyone were sought. Seldom did that person say anything. They said something like: Pretty much everyone in the Fellowship of Friends came there with the primary purpose of getting consciousness for themselves. (Little did they know what that meant!) At least that was the way it was for the speaker (honestly), and in many many years, the way for almost everyone that they had met there. These people did not come to give consciousness from themselves (as if they could) to others. In other words, first line of work was paramount, and second and third lines were subject to falling by the WAYside, so to speak. Prime directive: selfish purpose ‘at a more hidden level.’ (Ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching! Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. It’s a Wonderful Life. (Where’s my Baccarat wine glass?)’

FoF Blog page87/post25:
Ill Never Tell – December 13, 2009
‘An open post to DC:

Hey, DC, just because certain actions may not be illegal, or that the ability to prosecute successfully is a very remote possibility, or that other legal action is very unlikely, does not mean that it is just fine to do as you please. Or, in short, just because you can get away with something does not mean you should do it – very juvenile behaviour, IMHO. Or as it used to be said: supercelestial thoughts; subterrainian actions.’

FoF Blog page101/post152:
Ill Never Tell – April 19, 2011
‘‘I wished RB would speak more about the light at the end of the tunnel. . .’

RB’s ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is not the exit from the tunnel; it’s the LOCOmotive coming right at you.

‘Look out kid
Don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes
Don’t try “No-Doz”
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows.’

Subterranean Homesick Blues
Bob Dylan

Supercelestial thoughts;
Subterranean actions
.’

FoF Blog page113/post177:
Shirley – September 28, 2011
‘135 Ollie’s reportage

After thinking some more about RB’s somewhat unimaginative comments reported above, it struck me that there was the usual adulation and never ending preoccupation with opulence and material wealth. Students take their cues from their teacher. If the teacher (note, no capital “T”) takes great delight in auction house activities (something I vaguely remember him asking a few students to do in NY in the 1970s, on the FF’s behalf), then students will emulate that admiration. I assume it is still the case that many students who join are relatively unsophisticated; I don’t mean that students may not have “street smarts”, have college degrees (or whatever), a profession that they chose or are good in. Rather, that most students were not born into aristocracy (although some were; I’m sure there are many tales to tell, there) or great family wealth (and that was also true). That kind of background and upbringing brings with it a kind of ease in exactly the strata of society that RB seemed to want to belong to (but of course, not “of it,” since “it” was “Life”). But my recollection is that many students were somewhat in awe of the expensive restaurants, auction houses, rare book dealers, and so on. I’m mostly referring to social behavior, here, because those are some of my memories of “going around” with students at RB’s behest, or occasionally with him. The FF was like a finishing school. If nothing else came from our experiences in the FF, at least there was a bit of exposure to what money can buy, even if it’s your own teaching payment that’s subsidizing those extravaganzas.

My point is twofold: that, for a spiritual group (sorry, a “school”, with a capital S. Never to be confused with a mere spiritual group), the FF sure panders to A Influence: Money; wealth; privilege; luxury. I hate to say this, but great wealth is usually made on the backs of the working poor (that was not meant to be a double entendre, but you can read into it what you’d like). If we who left the FF (thank god) were kind of honest with ourselves, wouldn’t we admit that we, too, sort of, kind of, enjoyed that atmosphere when we were in the FF? Even if we never got to ride in his Rolls Royce, even if we were only allowed to wait on his tables (I didn’t do either; doesn’t seem like I missed anything, either), we were around it, and we were given the blatant message that we had The Best of The Best. We were somehow preserving the most beautiful representatives of culture. That seemingly glamorous lifestyle of constant “refinement” is very much on the surface, like pressboard. It’s not solid through and through, like hardwood. It’s nouveau riche aspirations gone amuck, paid for by people holding two jobs (that’s the way it was when I was paying my dues).

And that is my second point. I have no complaints about economic security. Frankly, having a modicum of financial security is important; otherwise, you spend your waking hours stressed out over how you’re going to make ends meet. Half of the world lives like that, or worse. But in the FF, for all of the FF’s admiration for Meissen, Mercedes Benzes (or whatever cars are now the vogue in the FF), Hermes scarves — many students live(d) hand to mouth, scraping together their monthly teaching payments as a priority, rent second. Xray’s posts, several pages ago, about having to pay 50 cents for olive oil at lunch, when it used to be free, and the consequences of the Lincoln Lodge kitchen being shut down and its effects on salaried members, is a direct case in point. Class stratification doesn’t get more separated than in that kind of example, where the person at the apex lives how he wants, gets what he wants, and doesn’t have to think about how it will be paid for, and the people doing manual labor all day and need to eat properly and get $400/month are having to count their nickels. The stunning thing is that FF members accept it willingly. We all did, but now we’re out of the FF, and we can feel good that we’re not subsidizing that anymore.’

FoF Blog page113/post183:
Ill Never Tell – September 28, 2011
‘177. Shirley – September 28, 2011:
Good post. Summed up:
SuperCelestial thought; subterranean actions.’’

FoF Blog page120/post67:
nigel – May 16, 2012
‘Burton…..

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

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

FoF Blog page120/post68:
Golden Veil – May 16, 2012
‘Very good point, Nigel, but I wonder if indeed the “super celestial thoughts” are more wily super celestial “lies” to ensnare the gullible Students? I doubt that The Teacher actually believes these so-called “supercelestial thoughts” himself.

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

147. Tempus Fugit - December 31, 2012

So I’ve been musing about how different the FOF seems to be now from when I was a member, which may explain some aspects of how the group is able to attract new members and why more don’t leave.

“I in the Sky” made the point several times that some of us (like me) have information about the FOF that is decades old.

For one thing, the fact that Burton is homosexual is most likely of no importance to most people given the decades now of acceptance of homosexuals in our society. Actually, it wouldn’t have been big news in the seventies if Burton had revealed it. Except of course, that he preached against homosexuality as a barrier to awakening, lied about being sexually abstinent, and had an active homosexual sex life.

If Burton is as promiscuous as some posters have alleged I still think many people would question how such behavior jibes with his claims of higher spiritual nature. I wonder what older members tell newbies? Maybe just the same old “lower cannot see the higher” crap? Does anyone know how the group handles this?

It also sounds like certain restrictions like associating with former members are not enforced, so maybe the general atmosphere is more relaxed and thus the pressure to commit to a radical remake of one’s life is no longer there.

As far as the “teaching” goes I’m struck by how much the “intellectual” side of the group has apparently changed since I was a member. Before there was a strong emphasis on Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Collins as primary sources – now it seems like the list of acceptable traditions is much larger.

Almost as if so-called “C influence” has become “A influence”……..

If even these few points are true it may explain why people joining now don’t feel so much pressure to conform or have so much fear of leaving.

I’m curious to know what the rest of you think.

148. Agent 45 - December 31, 2012

Has anyone given any thought about Bobby’s tomb? (Maybe pyramid shaped w/ high security fencing.) How long will they continue to worship his corpse? (Maybe scattered ashes is the way to go.) Good luck and may the gods smile upon your enterprises.

149. shardofoblivion - December 31, 2012

Perhaps Bobby would like to be enthroned in a tasteful sculpture of a Las Vegas slot machine, except the output is esoteric number plates rather than three bars etc. Then the faithful could enter the “Tabernacle of Eternity” every year on his crystallisation anniversary, and the senior student would pull the arm (fashioned of course as an exact replica of Bobby’s all time favourite erect phallus) and he could “communicate” with the living by the tried and tested method of number plate interpretation.

150. brucelevy - January 1, 2013

No, no. He wants to be buried and entombed at the Madonna Inn. In one of the copper walled men’s bathrooms. The only reason for the existence of the Madonna Inn, is RB’s connections with C Influence.

151. brucelevy - January 1, 2013

http://www.madonnainn.com/rooms/137.php

Hey Linda, I’ll bet you’ll never find yourself ass-up in one of these rooms with RB.

152. shardofoblivion - January 1, 2013

Well, room 137 does have that special tasteful ambiance that Bobby is famed for far and wide. However I couldn’t see any Rhino Pooh depicted on the walls, so how is he to interpret the messages from ancient schools? (+ only 2 primates in the room – would that be enough for him to get his jollies off?)

153. Bo Burlie - January 1, 2013

147. Tempus Fugit

I would take, with a huge grain of salt, I in the sky’s point about some people here as having information on the FF that is several decades old, where being outdated = out of touch. Her comments were meant to discredit what people experienced back in the 1970s and 1980s. Most of her comments were meant more to undermine than to illuminate.

In fact, some people felt the opposite. I clearly remember talking to a student in the mid 1980s who said, “I think the teaching has become diluted since we joined in the 1970s. There isn’t much teaching going on, and we don’t see Robert almost at all anymore.” Her point was that we experienced something dynamic and special in the 1970s, and it became dissipated by the 1980s. What, then, of the 1990s, never mind how bizarre RB and the FF became in the 2000s.

But you raise an interesting point, in conjunction with your comment on whether “C Influence” has become “A Influence” in the FF. It presumes that the FF once might have had “something higher” working with RB or the FF, and that the organization is now akin to something much more ordinary. Did it? Ever?

First, maybe we should question the premise that there is something called “C Influence”. Is there? If there is, do we mean human beings who once were “asleep” and have “awakened and escaped”? Or do we mean something more nebulous and inexplicable? If there is a God, and I am not disputing the concept, would such a being or force necessarily care about us on this planet?

Maybe simply trying to be a better and kinder and more insightful person during our time on this planet is a worthy endeavor, without our feeling we’ve fallen short of some goal of “awakening.” If we look at RB’s life and behavior over the past 4 decades, what is he an example of? He is the ultimate of a self-indulgent, selfish, manipulative and deluded person.

Second, re: your comment on “A Influence”: Everything I’ve heard of the FF these days makes it sound like a “come one, come all” organization that is desperate to be relevant in the age of popularized eastern spiritual influences. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” seems to be the FF direction. As we noticed in I/Sky’s many posts, the FF is still dilettante-ish in its spiritual and cultural aspirations.

154. Agent 45 - January 1, 2013

The Madonna Inn!
Isn’t that where Bobby used to check out prospective penises at the famous waterfall urinal?
Cool, he can be remembered when you take a piss.

155. Tempus Fugit - January 2, 2013

“153. Bo Burlie – January 1, 2013
147. Tempus Fugit”

Bo, thanks for the follow up comments.

After I had left the FOF and was in contact with other former members in the early eighties, I remember speculation that maybe Burton really did achieve some advanced level of spiritual awakening and then lost it.

This is not a new idea in spiritual thinking. Meher Baba, in his book “God Speaks” talks about the danger of ascending souls getting inebriated with powerful and magical experiences on subtle planes. Sometimes, he said, they misuse this power and lose all they have gained.

I also seem to recall Gurdjieff or Ouspensky had some idea of “awakening” that goes bad and makes a person into an “immortal thing.”

In hindsight, I wonder if all these speculations were/are just ways to reduce cognitive dissonance and make us feel better; meaning, we can tell ourselves that when we met the group there really was something special there, and we were not actually conned.

I know I bought Burton’s act completely. As I’ve written here before I was a “true believer.” Everything about the FOF and Burton felt right, and I didn’t know I had been deceived until after I left, and even then in stages.

Now I understand that the FOF and Burton presented a perfect screen upon which I projected my hope for a spiritual family, a spiritual father, and a true path to awakening.

I now doubt if Burton ever had anything other than a successful act – a successful con man.

We cannot see directly into another’s mind and heart. If we know someone closely for a long time our vison is perhaps better, but what really reveals us is our behavior.

No one can behave like Robert Burton and make any believable claim on advanced spiritual achievement – it’s just not possible, and you don’t have to be a “sat guru” to see the truth of my words.

So I might revise my last post and say that “apparent C influence” has become obvious A influence, and evidently rather ugly A influence¬.

156. paul gregory - January 4, 2013

Hello Freeman and Tim and Fee Fo, in regard to the above quotation:

I took the trouble of double photocopying ‘The Teachers Angles’ when I had the opportunity years ago as it was part of my ‘Third Line of Work’ for the London Centre. I volunteered. We had books of angles and I only got to around E. Mervyn nicked the D’s and E’s from me later, unfortunately, so I have never really had a chance to look at them.

Recently I dug them up again, and looking through all this nonsense was enough for me to conclude that the only way to dispose of this filth was with rubber gloves and fire. But in the end, they went into the bin. It was a relief to get rid of them. I kept the angles on war, the last posted angle, and ones on ‘Ark’.

Thinking about the angle at post 81, I eventually decided that it ‘stood up in it’s own right’ without further commentary from me. It’s insane and unsanitary.

‘Some of you will come to understand that you have established a link with the teacher that is out of time. This link can be reconnected thousands of years from now. ‘

I wonder, if you put it to students, if you do really well, you will have a link with Robert Burton that will last for thousands of years! Does that make any sense? Does it look like a bargain deal of a lifetime?

I’t is also a law that what the teacher gains, all gain.’

Apollo (a chicken)/Rob has sucked up oceans of cash and is still not in any way self supporting. Students broke their backs and bank balances on building this ersatz eurotrash vanity project. It is just a foil for the imbeciles vampiric lusts.

‘The facts will not be pleasant. ‘

‘Also, some students, with the best of intentions, will drown a teacher. If this occurs, it is a result of the teacher’s own blindness. One must protect a teacher, but one must not cater to a teacher, just as a teacher must protect students without catering to them.’

Well, that’s news. The Fellowship is nothing but ‘catering to the teacher’. What is caters in is semen and money, mostly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Bob caters to his students ignorance and studied blindness, falls over backwards to make himself the spectacle of something that looks a bit like ‘awake’.
But your only as good as you last teaching payment.
It is a result of the teachers blindness.

‘Instead of asking, how can I receive more, one should pose the question, How can I appreciate what I have received?’

By taking it back from the cum/money vampire and it’s retinue.

Will never happen.

‘I am thirty seven years old, and sometimes I muse, How is it that a person thirty years old would have to think about other people so much? ‘

So it’s how old? One hundred and forty years old? And the best thing is, it feels sorry for itself. It is not even really enjoying being the most important living being on the planet. It would rather, sometimes, just be a regular guy. This is what you pay for.

‘The main reason that I have been so consistent with the Fellowship is that the reward is great. ‘

The main reason he has been so consistent is because it is his personality. It is all he exists for: the act of victory in the jaws of realities inevitable defeat and humiliation. As he is immortal, he will have a long time, first to enjoy, post death, the inevitable horror of students actually thinking and feeling about rape and theft and the awful myths they have subjected themselves to.

‘When it is time for my role to expire, which is just moments away, when I am seventy-two years of age, I do not wish to have the feeling that I could of done more. I do not wish to deprive people of their selves. Sometimes you need to forgive me when I lapse into periods of thinking about myself. For I have sacrificed my life for you. ‘

‘I don’t think anyone particularly asked for this sacrifice. Bob sacrificed himself for an incomplete and financial viable ‘evolution as a conscious being’. In the end it is his corruption that has sacrificed ‘him’. He has been eaten out by the evil of his personality disorder and can only now suffocate people at dinner and hope abortion comes back into fashion.

‘I also puzzle why I read such divine wisdom of men that are seventy years old, such as Plato and Johann Goethe. Why do I seek that knowledge? Why do I try to be seventy when I am thirty-seven? ‘

Bob has never genuinely sought ‘that knowledge’. He has only sought it as a means of self validation and extortion. And that means he has not even sought it to that degree. There is no ‘he’ in this crime. Crime has eaten him up entirely. It is sweet to somehow imagine he had a heart but unfortunately the evidence is to the contrary.

‘I also could not ask more from my students than they give because I would not be worthy of what I received.’

All students are giving machines for the perpetuation of a crazy lie. All they have is more to give. They are ‘the catering’. They are the frugal repast in the wee small hours. The ungrateful crumbs at the table. Failures. Failing to be good enough for anything but another payment and failing to graduate for fear of failure/piercing the veil of an expensive and worthless illusion.

157. paul gregory - January 4, 2013

Considering that students are the only thing saving us from total annihilation of paintings and furniture and other important things post the much anticipated annihilation of billions of human beings, you’d think he could cut them some slack from time to time.

158. freeman - January 5, 2013

156. paul gregory: “Thinking about the angle at post 81, I eventually decided that it ‘stood up in it’s own right’ without further commentary from me. It’s insane and unsanitary.”

I agree — thank you, Paul. At some point, it doesn’t require any analysis… just looking.

– – – –
155. Tempus Fugit: “… “apparent C influence” has become obvious A influence, and evidently rather ugly A influence.”

One of the more under-used terms when describing Burton and the Fellowship is hypocrisy. People touch upon all of the other weird qualities of this cult, rightfully so, but let’s not forget hypocrisy. Sometimes it’s easy to think this is a relatively benign state of being, but your basic everyday hypocrisy is one of those cornerstones that makes everything else possible — including the insatiable pursuit of money and riches at the expense of others, while telling everyone around you that you do not have the insatiable desire for money and riches.

159. shardofoblivion - January 5, 2013

It’s a weird thing that he managed and manages to hide himself while at the same displaying himself in full view. I remember when I was just a few months in the school, Peter Bishop in that warm resounding voice of his, told us that “The teacher has a chief feature of greed”, and we all nodded sagely, imagining how he must have fought with that over the years. The huge efforts he must have made to arrive at his current state of selflessness and modesty!

Peter Bishop commanded great affection from his new students, we had pretty much zero contact with Burton, and got our inflated picture of his qualities from Peter, who clearly worshipped the ground Burton trod on. Peter himself came across as a very honest, diligent and perceptive guy, so we took him at his word.

160. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 5, 2013

159. shardofoblivion:
‘Peter Bishop commanded great affection from his new students, we had pretty much zero contact with Burton, and got our inflated picture of his qualities from Peter, who clearly worshipped the ground Burton trod on. Peter himself came across as a very honest, diligent and perceptive guy, so we took him at his word.’

My experience of Peter Bishop was quite a bit different than you describe; hypocrisy would be an understatement. But, I prefer not to speak ill of the dead by elaborating. They bare witness to them selves at the pearly gate.

161. shardofoblivion - January 5, 2013

#(134-160 ota) WYLTK relates that Peter Bishop exhibited excessive hypocrisy.

That sounds right. He knew the truth about Burton, but there was no way that we would learn of it from him as new students in an outlying centre. When I left the school 11 years later I wrote him a letter. In his reply he stated that as a conscious being Burton was “a law unto himself”. In my reply to him (which he never responded to) I pointed out that we are all laws unto ourselves, else we are not moral beings at all, but merely conformists frightened of the consequences of our deeds in the social sphere. But being a law unto oneself in no way legitimises actions that hurt or demean others. I don’t suppose he was much impressed by my argument.

162. Someone - January 5, 2013

156. paul gregory – January 4, 2013

When I read the part about throwing away those papers, I thought to myself Oh! Finally there is an ex-member who can let go of the FoF.

But then I was reading the rest of the SCROLL and I realized that the bin is still inside your mind and it is full. That is FoF captivity.
You were able to get out of the FoF, yet you still cannot get the FoF out of you.

If I could let go after so many years, anyone can.

Recently I noticed that I haven’t had a single thought about the FoF for maybe 6-7 weeks.

Why waste so much energy on graining that old dust again an again?

163. Freeman - January 5, 2013

“Recently I noticed that I haven’t had a single thought about the FoF for maybe 6-7 weeks.”

Sure. It’s a lot easier to write the checks when you don’t think about it.

Those pesky thoughts just get in the way.

164. Fee fi fo fum - January 5, 2013

“Why waste so much energy on graining that old dust again an again?”

The people who post here who left the FF 15-25 years ago are in a different part of the “exit process” than those who left the FF since the 2007-08 exodus. Those who left a long time ago are probably not actively dealing with current anger about RB’s betrayal and having forked over so much money in teaching payments. It doesn’t mean they haven’t forgotten some of what they experienced in the FF, whether good or bad experiences. It’s not about “not letting go.” In some instances, it’s simply about sharing questions, opinions and stories.

By analogy, if you were sexually abused by a family member when you were a child, and you are now an adult, you might not be actively disturbed by those incidents. But it doesn’t mean you have forgotten what happened to you. It doesn’t mean you haven’t moved on with your life. Talking about the past is often a freeing experience, not an unhealthy return to dredging up incidents that are best left buried.

RB’s sexual activity was shrouded in secrecy since the beginning. Even in the 1970s, when some of the FF old-timers remember the FF as being more dynamic and special, RB hid what he did with the hetero young men. Even then, that activity produced conflict in members who suspected something but wanted to support him despite all, out of loyalty. (I am thinking, especially, of those FF members who were in their 40s and 50s back in the 1970s, as opposed to the majority of people who joined in their 20s and were more idealistic and trusting.)

The money demands were difficult back in the 1970s, and they continued to escalate over the decades in the craziest ways. Inflation meant that the FF simply added more zeroes to the amounts requested. There has been no genuine acknowledgement of the financial hardship to students. How could RB or the FF hierarchy acknowledge that? It would mean undermining the premise that students ought to sacrifice everything – family, “life” friends, job, financial and retirement security – all for the FF.

165. WhaleRider - January 5, 2013

Dang, I’ve been so busy the last several weeks that I haven’t been present to President Bashar al-Assad and what’s happening to the people of Syria.

I thought I was able to let go of the suffering of others, but it is just sooo difficult to stay focused on myself and how great my life is!

Maybe I need to stop reading the news…

166. Coming Storm - January 5, 2013

It has been said often by RB and his brainwashed follows, that in order to become conscious, that a seeker of such a prize needs to have a school of consciousness. It is important to ask: What does a school of consciousness really mean? After all consciousness is a relative term. On one level some so called school may serve you as such, but on another it may obstruct you. A persons journey toward enlightenment is more like that of a hitchhiker, where there are different vehicles that can bring you closer to your goal but no one vehicle will bring you to your final destination. You still have to make the executive decisions about you life along the way. Any person or organization that tells you to stay with them to the bitter end is exactly that, a bitter dead end.

The path to enlightenment, for whatever reason is truly a lonely one. At a certain point, Not only is there is no school or friends, family or mentor to cheer you on, nor sayings of religious and philosophical tombs to lead you to the nest step or love or external higher influences whatsoever. There are even those who scream at you that you are doing the wrong thing or that you are not worthy. You find your whole sense of self is in an complete vacuum and all you have to push or pull you forward is what you know is “not” to be true and some deep indescribable internal force to simply be able put one foot in front of the other to go on, without the slightest glimmer of hope and know you have no other choice but to continue.

Why this is and why this has to be, is unfathomable, but it is, nonetheless.

167. paul gregory - January 5, 2013

Thanks for your heartfelt advice, Someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

The reason why I think it is a good idea to sift through ‘the old dust’ from time to time is because it is part of a toxicity that many are still subject to. I support anyone wishing to free themselves from a cult in which rape and theft are considered small faux pas on the way to ‘civilization reborn’.

Sorry you had to think about the fellowship again in your reply to my post. Your criticism makes no sense to me. Why criticize someone for posting by posting when you prefer not to think about the subject? Why did you waste your time?

Here is some more dust:

010182.39

Students must learn the school is their school. It is their duty to protect humanity and to build a school and an ark. Someday no one will leave Renaissance as there will be no place to go.
Teacher

010182.71

We are the phoenix rising from the ashes of humanity.
Teacher

010182.73

Our school is the fulfillment of the scriptures and is designed to survive Armageddon.
Teacher

010182.47

It appears as if the essence of the school will be philosophy, that is, literature. Mr. Nicoll said that new scriptures were being written. It will be not be as important as our role of preserving culture. It is probably more profitable to pursue something that affects the essence of the ark. Possibly we would add books to the Old and New Testaments.
Teacher

010182.411

One of the reasons influence C form arks is that they do no wish to lose time by having to create certain things over again. The earth is a stage for the Gods; its face, the mask of tragedy.
Teacher

010182.58

We are located near the town of Rough and Ready. It will be rough, and we will be ready. It shows how incredibly practical influence C is.
Teacher

010182.74

The Fellowship has a tremendous rendezvous with fate; we are on a collision course.
Teacher

010182.76

We are preparing for a non-electrical age. We could perpetuate electricity, but it is not the wish of higher forces to retain that advancement.
Teacher

010182.78

A nuclear holocaust will be coming, and a difficult trial we be asked of all of us, yet it is a trial that we will submit to with understanding. In the Bible, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son and then higher forces spared him, we will be asked to release our life families, for they will not be spared. The main reason is that they are not prepared people, and this would defeat the purpose of the ark.
Teacher

010182.79

Our ark will be composed of ten thousand people in the year 2006, and then the doors will close.
Teacher

010184.1314

We will leave the earth a better place than we found it.
Teacher

010184,23

We are a new people being born: a holy family.
Teacher

013184.36

The Fellowship is on a collision course with tragic events, and yet we shall prevail.
Teacher

013184.37

Our task is so huge that sometimes one can hardly believe it. Difficult events are coming, and we will be ready.
Teacher

011582.910

One needs to remember that we are the ones who have been fated to enter the way, to become immortal, and that self-remembering is not the station of life; that the ark is designed to ennoble humanity but also to return it gently to sleep. We are hardly supposed to know what we know. A way owe can pass on self-remembering to humanity is to speak of being present to each day of one’s life and not mention self-remembering.
Teacher

021582.95

Women have made large gains; It is one of our aims to protect these advances in our new civilization.
Teacher

021582.99

I expect not to be martyred, but to die a passive death. I will have eight years after the destruction of humanity to assist in rebuilding a civilization. I am immortal, and death does not exist for me.
Teacher

021582.911

When my task is complete I will continue to work with our school, and communicate to my students the wishes of higher forces for our new civilization.
Teacher

010184.13

We must move rapidly to make Renaissance as European as we can in the time that we have.
Teacher

010184.1212

Humanity’s end is near. There could be no greater tragedy to bear from life’s viewpoint since it will be expunged. Only we few shall be left. We have self-remembering, and our hearts can bear the great emotional upheavals.
Teacher

010184.134

We are people destined to survive the Last Judgment, and so we cannot be naïve.
Teacher

010184.135

The ark could not be cast into greater denying force than the Last Judgment.
Teacher

010184.138

To identify with the tragedy of life reduces of chances as well as posterity’s.
Teacher

010184.1311

It is wonderful that our students are having children so that we can bequeath Renaissance to them.
Teacher

010184.1312

(In reference to the Spring of Moses on Mount Renaissance)
The spring is bountifully flowing. After 2006, the spring will be necessary, as it is a natural source of water.
Teacher

051584.613

California is a magical place, especially since influence C is making its stand here. The state which has always represented home will fulfill its promise. There are more Angels hovering around Renaissance than any place on earth.
Teacher

010184.1310

Influence C has established a network for centres around the world for people to board the ark.
Teacher

013184.38

Mr. Gurdjieff spoke of what ten conscious beings working together can achieve. It will require seven conscious beings plus forty-four angels and the inner and outer circles working together in order to survive the Last Judgment.
Teacher

013184.39

Noah was laughed at when he built his ark. No one is laughing these days because many people believe that hydrogen warfare is probable.
Teacher

013184.312

We have a great responsibility to posterity. To posterity, we are everything; to present humanity, we are nothing.
Teacher

100184.84

What is the point of having children if one is going to lose oneself in them? In right order, however, they bring another dimension to one’s life. How wonderful it will be to be able to give the ark to our successors.
Teacher

168. paul gregory - January 5, 2013

013184.39

Noah was laughed at when he built his ark. No one is laughing these days because many people believe that hydrogen warfare is probable.
Teacher

These days I am laughing, but it is a sad kind of laughter.

169. paul gregory - January 5, 2013

Someone!

Now it is a happy kind!

170. fofblogmoderator - January 5, 2013

166 is new

171. Golden Veil - January 5, 2013

166. Coming Storm

I know not at all of what is the ‘true Way’ but I like the aim
that Ram Dass and Mother Teresa set for themselves…
the way they chose was that of serving those in need;
to better the lives of those with less. It seems a good way.

172. Fee fi fo fum - January 5, 2013

paul gregory – I’m glad to see those old sayings by Robert, because it reminds us of how presumptuous and fatuous he was and still is. It’s too bad that he doesn’t limit his harm to only himself.

173. shardofoblivion - January 6, 2013

Thanks for collecting together those quotes Paul Gregory in #143-167 ota. They make an impact concentrated in that way.

I still have a niggling question in my mind, that I can’t resolve. Did Burton believe those sayings himself when he said them?

The easier answer is that he didn’t really, but knew somewhere inside himself that they were the right thing to say if he wanted to create a certain emotional state in his followers.

But if he honestly believed them when he was saying them, he must be fucking gutted that pesky old humanity just keeps on keeping on. He’s all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Still he can always console himself by sucking another cock.

174. paul gregory - January 7, 2013

Fe fi and shard –

Bob is the single most important living being on the planet. He believes it. He is going to save the important six-fingered paintings of the world and his school is going to rock the world back gently to sleep following mass annihilation.

Whoopee!

Bob was ‘in imagination’ when he said those things. It reveals the fact that, above all, he is the most important thing on this planet, and his main concern is in saving his own skin from this daydream of holocaust. Everyone else is expendable according to their teaching payments.

Presumably this noble effort will be achieved by teaching the survivors the waltz and the significance of not eating the food on your plate, but wasting it in mute awe at the Goddess in the ‘man’s’ body.

Someone. What do you think?

175. Terra Nova - January 9, 2013

The puerility of many of these comments must be reassuring to members of the FoF.

176. freeman - January 9, 2013

Possibly another troll, or maybe not. But I’ve noticed that the FoF really can’t stand the silence on these pages. It gives people a chance to read. And to think.

I suppose the premise of the above comment is that many “members of the FoF” were starting to believe Burton was a cult leader with nefarious intent. But now they are “reassured” that he’s a cool guy, because former members have obviously descended into sophomoric humor? Really? That’s all it takes?

If they do feel “reassured,” I doubt it was because of this post by Paul Gregory. Not reassuring:

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/fellowship-of-friendsfourth-way-schoolliving-presence-discussion-page-134/#comment-45672

177. Nevasayneva - January 10, 2013

People who write in these pages have had a lot of experience of FOF – the good, the bad and the ugly.

People must also have experience of putting it behind them and moving on.
I don’t see it so much.

Anyone want to share some observations about that process, particularly as regards friendships and realtionships but also just about anything in the post FOF world?

178. freeman - January 10, 2013

177. Nevasayneva

You wrote, “I don’t see it so much.”

But these pages are filled with material that helps people move on. One of the first steps to moving on is the brutally honest acknowledgement that you have joined a cult, and that you wasted your precious time there. And then there’s the need to deprogram all of the nonsense that we were fed as cult members — that life is asleep and doomed, that we are superior to life people, and that “life” has nothing to offer. Until you learn to see the foolishness in such thinking, “moving on” is virtually impossible.

These pages are packed with ideas for learning to live a productive and fulfilling life, ideas for healing and thinking differently, and putting all of this bullshit behind.

179. shardofoblivion - January 10, 2013

#134-177 ota Nevasayneva suggests sharing experiences about how to move on from the FoF experience.

I would imagine we all will have a unique story to tell, but I can also see that by sharing those stories we may help each other.

When I left I was working at a place where more than half the employees were members. Luckily several of us left around the same time, and that did help me a lot, as we were able to chat together and support each other. Unfortunately my wife at that time remained a member, which caused a big problem for me. We split up, and I had to leave the family home and my two children. I found myself looking for something to substitute for the all encompassing direction, meaning and sense of community that the FoF had provided me during the previous decade. I starting looking for a new partner, which was exciting as well as a bit scary. I also joined a semi pro rock band, which was more directly a substitute for the community feeling that the cult gave its members. The others in the band were younger than me, but I threw myself into it, and it indeed gave me the feeling of belonging. I contacted by letter Miles Barth who had left the FoF 5 years earlier, and he was a real human being. We had hardly known each other, but he wrote me two very long and thoughtful letters that helped me a lot. One of those letters was quoted by someone (not me, in fact I am puzzled as to how it ended up in their hands) in the early days of the blog. I found that the most useful thought he shared was that there was no such thing as “objective knowledge”, when I read that I had an “aha” moment. I had been much taken with the idea of higher mind, objective art etc etc, and his common sense helped me free myself from that mindset. I went back to study, and again the contrast between university study and the cult was sharp and salutary. Academics challenge and question each other in a continuous struggle to understand the world. Whereas in the cult everything is fixed, dead and unquestionable. There are some lingering effects of my time in the cult which I suppose I’ll never free myself from. I still shy away from hugging people socially, because of the huge emphasis placed on that in the cult. It took me a while to lose the feeling that there was something special about the art that originated from the 44. Bach, Leonardo, Whitman etc. But I embraced Beethoven, Dali, T.S Eliot and art by many other “sleeping beings”, and now I find it is of no great moment to me whether or not Burton and his cultured older students had nominated them as C influence or not. I still for the most part prefer not to make contact with ex students, and that may never change. I particularly abhor the work language, funnily enough more in ex students than in current students (when my first wife died recently some current students turned up). I guess purging my language of the work terms was part of my therapy. When I first left I was very very angry at Burton, and wanted to do him harm, now I don’t care what happens to him, time was the healer there.

180. Golden Veil - January 10, 2013

Nevasayneva – January 10, 2013

“People must also have experience of putting it behind them and moving on.

I don’t see it so much.”

People write all sorts of things here…
funny things, at times – laughter can be healing;
some of the joking may be a releasing of pain.

Regarding post Fellowship of Friends life, “putting it behind,” I’ve noticed that people will write about their work, craft, or. a new “Spiritual Path” or “Way” that they’ve found, more than relationship issues.

A lot of people find it psychologically healthy to just relate their FoF experience and yes, “the process” of leaving and separating from FoF attachments and then keep writing in order to be of service to prospective students and fence sitters who may benefit from an “after the FoF” or “outside” perspective.

What is moving on? It’s different for different people. Some don’t look back. Some feel compelled to help others free themselves or help hem heal from the cult. And some find it therapeutic to keep exploring the layers of what led them to come, stay, and leave the FoF cult in a forum and exchange views.

Your idea “to share some observations about that process, particularly as regards friendships and relationships but also just about anything in the post FOF world” is a good one, Nevasayneva. I wonder how you would begin?

181. Golden Veil - January 11, 2013

The swift trajectory to FRIENDS and then NOT FRIENDS that I experienced in the Fellowship of Friends was painful to me. I felt cared for and then abandoned. Post FoF I find that I sometimes want to rein in my delight at meeting someone new, especially if they’re very warm. I find myself wondering whether or not the interest and feeling a connection is real…

182. freeman - January 11, 2013

If I were to offer a suggestion to anyone who asked, I would suggest taking advantage of the internet to meet people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Meetup.com is fantastic for hiking or walking groups, or for other activities — art museums, sports, wine tasting, dinners, movies, attending lectures, and finding new cults (kidding). It’s not perfect, but then no one suggested it would be. I’ve met numerous people with whom I’ve maintained a connection. Some of them are more superficial than others. Some could be life-long.

Start your own meetup group if you don’t see enough of them that you like. You may be surprised how successful and enjoyable it is.


180. Golden Veil.

Beautifully expressed, GV.

183. Tim Campion - January 11, 2013

I heard a powerful interview on WHYY’s “Fresh Air” today, in which author Barry Lopez recounted his childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted doctor and family “friend.” (The story appears in the January 2013 issue of “Harper’s.”)

Though, technically, Robert Burton may not have engaged in pedophilia, the testimonies from victims in such cases sound very similar to the accounts of Burton’s early abuse of young male heterosexual followers. Whether the victim of a rape is a nine-year-old or a nineteen-year-old, the psychological scars are enduring.

Learning from early miscalculations (and from a series of legal threats) Burton now imports willing, legal-aged young men (many from Russia,) compensating them in a variety of ways for their “personal services.” Of course, these illicit activities are financed by tax-deductible (mandatory) donations to his sham “church,” and through other fundraising schemes.

As Lopez describes, Robert Burton is a psychopath, unable to understand, much less control, his destructive behaviors.

The question becomes: will Burton’s enablers ever have the courage to confront him and end the abuse at the heart of The Fellowship of Friends?

184. brucelevy - January 11, 2013
185. WhaleRider - January 11, 2013

Bruce:
Interesting link!

Even more interesting are the all too familar shills commenting below the article.

At the end is this link for more information about the specific techniques used by shills and trolls:

http://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm

I find it difficult to “move on” (read:ignore)
when I have personal knowledge of a psychopathic sexual predator on the loose in my community…

186. Robert Schelly - January 11, 2013

Reading this thing is like watching someone tend to a suppurating, never-healing wound.

Ok, someone step up and beat their breast at me for around eight paragraphs as to how wrong and insensitive I am. Y’all are throwing away a brilliant teaching and wading in the bilge room of the psyche. Good luck with that.

Here are a few examples:

1. Body types – undeniably brilliant; nothing close out there;
2. Adapting the centers to the deck of cards – ditto
3. Alchemy – nothing remotely as well organized in any canon that I can read anyway.

There is only one thing to do with a creeping meatball – cut it loose. Men, you either gave it up to REB or you didn’t. Face up to it and cut it loose.

Robert Schelly

187. Nevasayneva - January 11, 2013

GV 180 & others.
Thanks for the responses. My own experience has not been particularly dramatic. After I left, friends who were members whom I expected to stay in touch with me did, those whom I expected to drop me pretty much dropped me. I was not hugely surprised. I don’t live in OH so its not really in my face. I found and find it fairly easy just not to think at all about FOF and get on with my life. And that works more or less pretty well. But I would not say that that is really putting it behind me. It works for me right now.

I am still mad with myself about the carelessness in my thinking that led me to join FOF – well maybe that was ok for a while- but the sloppiness in my approach that led me to stay in FOF for so long.

188. paul gregory - January 11, 2013

Yes. And Sir Jimmy Saville gave an enormous amount to charity.

189. Terra Nova - January 11, 2013

Body types, centers, and alchemy are ideas that are not only secondary in the Fourth Way but totally dispensible to it.

190. Robert Schelly - January 11, 2013

NOT defending REB; suggesting there is more out there – wrong board.

191. Robert Schelly - January 11, 2013

Two more thoughts before I disburden you with my presence – if Burton was straight his activities, though admittedly excessive, would be held in a great deal less repulse; and you were all well over child-age, as I recall. To use another teaching’s language (Castaneda’s) you are indulging. Chronically.

192. Golden Veil - January 11, 2013

191. Robert Schelly – January 11, 2013

Sorry, I disagree. Consorting with “Students” in the way he does, using his so-called non-profit “church” elders to procure fresh partners for his twisted selfish sexual use and orgies would still
be perverted and unethical. Succumbing to his assertion that
“the Gods want you to do this” would still be a memory filled with repulsion, and for some, self-loathing; most participants would be just as regretful.

193. Ill Never Tell - January 12, 2013

191. Robert Schelly:

‘I disburden you with my presence’

That would be lovely, dear.

How about disBURTONing us of his presence?

194. shardofoblivion - January 12, 2013

So post #186 by Robert Schelly immediately follows posts #184 and #185 that point to links about the techniques employed by shills.

How thoughtful of you to illustrate the points made in those links in your posts.

Here are the classic techniques you are illustrating for us.

You suggest that if Burton was heterosexual there would have been no fuss. This is the technique of asserting something not widely said, and thus deflecting attention from the real issue, which was not the gender of those he pressured into sex, it was the fact that he pressured vulnerable and good hearted people into sex. OF COURSE it would have been just as odious if Burton’s taste had been for any other gender or age group, but young men happen to be Burton’s predilection. (another word much used by the notorious liar Carlos Casteneda)

In your opening gambit the phrase “an open suppurating wound” is clever. It produces a sort of instinctive reaction in the reader, preparing them to distance themselves from the subject.

You then list some of the aspects of Burton’s bogus teaching that he lifted fully formed from his 18 months in Horn’s group, choosing the trivial classification scheme that Horn (following his brief spell with Bennett and other Gurdjieffian’s) had cobbled together. In this you are appealing to a weakness that many members and former members were prey to. Classifying people using these schemes makes little people feel big, special and possessed of secret knowledge. People in the FoF for the most part enjoyed pigeonholing each other and their “life” acquaintances. If you are honest with yourself you will see that it appeals to the same low motive that allows racial prejudice to thrive, looking down on others to make oneself feel big. “But you have missed the point Shard, those are tools for self knowledge and discovery” you might say. Yes and that is true, they are, and thereby lies their diabolical aspect, bits of the system do correspond to reality, it’s the package as a whole that adds up to spurious “knowledge”

You then say you are leaving us, having delivered your little bit of poison. Another classic shill technique.

Very useful to have you displaying these techniques in such a brazen way that we can all learn from them.

Thanks

195. WhaleRider - January 12, 2013

Nevasayneva:

I don’t think it was intellectual sloppiness on your part that kept you or anyone in the FOF cult any longer than they could have stomached.

Some people are better than others at overcoming their gag reflex for swallowing so much rhino shit for the sake of fitting in and feeling special.

As much as I dislike sophistry, I have found the following to be true of human nature:

“When the imagination and will power are in conflict, are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception.”

~Emile Coue

To put it another way, if you give your will power over to another, like to a cult leader or an older cult follower, you will be ruled by your imagination…and not the kind of imagination that creates art.

196. David - January 12, 2013

191
That should read “disburden you OF my presence”. You burden us WITH your presence. The pompous tone was funny however.

197. David - January 12, 2013

In case anyone was wondering where he popped up from this is part of a reply on a site called “The Gurdjieff Con”.

ROBERT SCHELLY said,

07.13.12 at 11:41 am

In the Fellowship we heard about Mr. Burton’s teacher, Alex Horn; who apparently condoned a lot of rough stuff. Burton said, “Alex crystallized in a chilly place”. The Fellowship didn’t go in for overt activity of the sort you describe above; Burton stating on the same subject that he thought life was already harsh enough…

198. Tim Campion - January 12, 2013

Thanks to all you crazy people who, together, sustain this unique and stimulating conversation, and especially to Steve for keeping this site running.

199. Fee fi fo fum - January 12, 2013

Somehow, it feels wrong to throw the blame on the young men who get pulled into Robert’s sexual needs and misdeeds, especially in the earlier years when it wasn’t such a cheap commercial transaction.

It’s like telling women who get groped and raped that it’s their fault, because they provoked the men with their tight clothes. Wrong. Rape is about power, not about a sexual relationship with that person. Many of the women who are raped are dressed in ordinary, unrevealing clothes. Some of them are your grandmother’s age.

We make exceptions for children and say that it was not their fault, because they were too young to accept responsibility. But rape and sexual abuse of the kind that leaves psychological, if not physical, scars, is primarily the fault of the aggressor and predator.

I don’t think the men who speak on this blog about their actual experiences with Robert, or make, as Mr Terra Nova says, puerile comments, are whining. Nor do I think they have not moved on in their lives. It is like a women past the age of childbearing who still cares passionately about abortion issues. She will no longer get pregnant and thus will not be affected, directly, by abortion becoming restricted in her home state or country. But she can still care deeply about a woman’s right to control whether she bears a fetus to term or not.

I’ve talked to a few people who have suffered sexual abuse as a child or teenager. They’re fine, as adults, in terms of daily social interactions. They don’t disclose details to any Tom Dick or Harry. But when they do confide those details, and they often do when they are in the company of someone else who has suffered abuse, it is obvious that there are scars and hurts, and it has, in fact, affected their perceptions of themselves.

Two friends and I were sitting one night over dinner and wine, recounting some of the sexual events that had happened to us when we were young. Our experiences were quite different from each other’s. But what they said was that they were convinced that no one would ever love them in a sexual way, that they felt incapable of knowing what true intimacy was, and they knew it was from the early experiences that had been forced on them. These are people with lots of (platonic) friends who crave physical intimacy, but feel that something or someone interfered with that segment of their lives. Yet, knowing them very well, I wouldn’t say that they have not moved on. They have let go of their abusers, and have tried to forgive those people as best they could.

If it hasn’t happened to you in some form or other, then you really won’t know what some of the people here are talking about.

I am also reminded of the recent reportage of the 23 year old woman in India who died as a result of being brutally gang-raped, where a metal rod was used. What excuse is there for that kind of behavior? And yet, there is a lack of sympathy and support in that country for sexual abuse towards women. I’m glad to see there was a massive public protest. India still has a long way to go. In fact, they have a euphemism for men’s groping and abusing women: “Eve-teasing.” Sounds like fun, doesn’t it. It isn’t.

The Fellowship of Friends is like that. They and Robert don’t refer to his sexual predatory activity as “eve-teasing”. But they do something similar by buying his ridiculous line, that he’s a goddess in a man’s body. What angers many ex-members is Robert’s dishonesty. If he were up front about his homosexuality, if he tried to develop a true loving relationship with a man (as in, serial monogamy?), we could understand that. But we know that that is not what he does. It’s about power and abusing power.

200. Agent 45 - January 12, 2013

It’s a pity that some folks can’t just let obvious hypocrisy and massive abuse just pass by without comment. Last time I checked though, Burton wasn’t asking for forgiveness so why should he have it?

201. shardofoblivion - January 12, 2013

Too true agent45, he can find no meaning in seeking forgiveness from sleeping machines, it would be like me asking for forgiveness from my laptop.

202. Fee fi fo fum - January 12, 2013

Many of us felt betrayed. It is a combination of feeling that REB betrayed us in a very personal way (the hetero men with whom he persuaded to engage in homosexual acts with him), combined with doing something with intimate parts of your body that you are not desirous of doing with that person: That, to me, is part of what offends so many of us.

But why rest the case, there? Stories have been told on this blog about the girlfriends and wives of the men that REB chose, who were publicly shunted aside at REB’s lunch and dinner tables. I’ve seen it happen at the Lincoln Lodge. It’s humiliating to the woman. It confuses not just her and her boyfriend or spouse, but it confuses everyone else, too, that witnesses it. Why? Because it subtly affects your opinions of that couple, and it also affects your value system, as a whole. You start to think, well, REB can do what he wants, and no one will stop him. You also think that men – especially a certain attractive sort of young man – have a leg up over you (no pun intended), whether you are a woman, full stop, or a man who is “not REB’s type.” After awhile, everyone in the FF accepts this value. We all let REB get away with it – the bedroom antics, all shrouded in high secrecy; and the separation of husband and wife at REB’s dinner tables, which of course, was made worse by the fact that FF students were desperate to be invited to sit at REB’s table.

But the betrayal did not stop there, at the sexual distortions. (Having grown up accepting gay men in my environment, I really don’t think it would have bothered me if REB had simply come out honestly (no pun intended) as a gay man from the beginning, in the early 1970s). How many of us, when we left the FF, guesstimated how much we had given to the FF over a period of years with our teaching payments and special donations. The amounts asked always escalated over time. Anyone who argues that we volunteered to pay them, each month, so “suck it up”, is only partially correct. The counterargument is that when REB tells his students that there is nothing out there outside of the FF, that if they leave, they might as well be dead, do you really have a truly free choice to reconsider your monthly membership donations? No. And if you rejoin, there’s a fine that was prohibitively high for most members who were already impoverished by those monthly payments. Also, REB is clever: From the very beginning, he encouraged students to live together in teaching houses, ride to meetings and Renaissance/Apollo together, work in the same offices together, if possible, and of course, only marry within the FF and, by the way, abandon your family ties. You’d have to be blind to not see what he was encouraging: Total dependency on him and the FF for all emotional and psychological sustenance.

So when we left the FF, it’s not that most of us have not “moved on”, “taken responsibility for our actions as adults”. It’s that we felt we were not given a true option to leave when we began to feel impoverished, or taken advantage of, or betrayed by “the Teacher” in whom we had put so much trust. He encouraged a rigid hierarchy of mucky-mucks to enforce his power. Part of the disease was spread by those in power, as well.

203. Fee fi fo fum - January 12, 2013

And since I’m on the subject of rape, Jimmy Saville is back in the news. What makes his story somewhat similar to ours, as opposed to what happened to the 23 year old woman in India, is that children and teenagers trusted Jimmy. And the adults working with Jimmy (the TV producers, for example) should have known better, or if they did know better, should not have supported Jimmy’s abuse by remaining silent.

Most men who are raped were raped as boys, such as what happened at the Horace Mann School in NY, or by church priests. They felt betrayed by their teachers or priests. The important point is that they *knew* the abuser. They allowed it to happen because they probably were, or felt they were, powerless. Grown men are usually not victims of rape by a fellow teacher or priest, because they can fight back or tell the man to fuck off.

Most men are not raped by strangers in the street, as happens often to women. Perhaps that is why some of the people on this blog who complain about the “whiny” men who post about REB’s direct abuse of them, don’t realize that it’s not like the rape on the street where a woman does, in fact, try to forget it and move on.

Women are sexually overpowered so often that there is a gradation that men don’t experience, as the recipient. For women who are raped at knife- or gunpoint, having a penis violate your vagina becomes the least of your worries. You just hope that you aren’t killed or maimed in the process. The transgressor was a stranger, and thus, the issue is not betrayal, but terror and fear of the unknown consequences of violence. (That’s the case with the Indian woman.)

But there is date rape and marital rape, and this is something that doesn’t get discussed much. Men are almost never the recipient of rape by their “legitimate” partners, but women are. You have to experience it to know why it’s so offensive, harmful and repulsive. Historically, marriages have been for economic purposes. The 2 people married to raise a family and survive as a household, not out of love. Sex was an act to tolerate by the woman, in many cases. It has been so different for so long, in the west, that we can’t appreciate what that meant. Again, if a man, today, can put himself in that mindset, he could understand better what some of the men posting here are talking about who have had firsthand experience with REB’s sexual demands.

204. fofblogmoderator - January 12, 2013

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