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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 135 January 12, 2013

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1. jomopinata - January 12, 2013

A note to newcomers: Try thinking of this discussion as a bunch of people sitting around a campfire. We’ve been sitting here a long time, telling stories, listening to stories, commenting on stories, sometimes making up new stories (let’s not forget The FOFion). Go get a stick and help yourself to a marshmallow. Have a slice of watermelon. Don’t bogart that joint, my friend; pass it over to me. Bearers of water balloons and phantom farters are considered antisocial. Be willing to join hands with us and sing a round of Kumbaya.

Unless you have no respect for others’ suffering. In that case, fuck you. You know who you are.

2. paul gregory - January 12, 2013

1. jomopinata

‘Unless you have no respect for others’ suffering. In that case, fuck you. You know who you are.’

Best blog 135 contribution award winner. Wish I could sing Kumbaya.

3. shardofoblivion - January 12, 2013

some music round the campfire? Here’s a pair of duduk players giving a magical rendition of one of the tunes Mr G hummed to De Hartmann back in the 1920s:

4. Tempus Fugit - January 12, 2013


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


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


Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through current page


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

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

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

5. Fee fi fo fum - January 13, 2013

Page 134, #183 Tim Campion said a few days ago, “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.”…”

If you engage in sex as commerce (aka prostitution), then it’s a job of work. It is understood at the outset that you want sex with me and will compensate me for it. We agree on what you want, and if your demands are within my boundaries and the payment is fair, then it’s a deal.

This kind of transaction is not about betrayal of trust in one’s “Teacher.” It’s commerce. You may not like that your body is the object for temporary sale, but if that’s what you’re asked for or what you choose to offer, and the price is right or it’s the only job you feel you can do for money, then you may do it. It often breeds deep cynicism on the part of the seller of his/her body. However, as with my comments about rape in the last page, when the user/payor is a stranger, it’s usually more tolerable, because it emphasizes the commercial aspect of the act. But when it’s someone you trust and should look up to (the “Teacher”), then you’re being asked to compromise any feelings of goodness and doing the right thing by yourself.

What’s morally wrong in the FF is that some of the “older students” spot out victims for REB, and then groom and persuade these young men with the standard FF lie: that the “Teacher” is a goddess in a man’s body and maybe some of his fine energy will rub off on you and enhance your evolution. It is presented as a privilege, that you would be special. They are henchmen and -women to a morally corrupt leader. Of course, they believe in the lie, so they justify their actions.

6. Golden Veil - January 13, 2013

5. Fe fi fo fum – January 13, 2013

“They are henchmen and women to a morally corrupt leader. Of course, they believe in the lie, so they justify their actions.”

Or, some would say that it’s just part of the Fellowship of Friends brainwash. The Centre Directors and older students that assist with the procuring of young attractive males believe that they’re “externally considering” their teacher. They’re okay with the sexual human trafficking because “the lower cannot understand the higher…”

Happy Birthday to that old dog, Gurdjieff!

7. Golden Veil - January 13, 2013

Teacher or Psychopath?

“Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.”

Robert D. Hare, Ph.D, expert on the psychology of psychopaths.

8. shardofoblivion - January 14, 2013

Back on the previous page at 134-175 Terra Nova quoth thus:

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

It recalls to my mind the words of Malvolio to Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, and I do so enjoy Sir Toby’s vigorous riposte:

9. Terra Nova - January 14, 2013

Thank you for making my opinion available on this page too.

10. Golden Veil - January 14, 2013

Speaking of opinions…

I think that the following one by Ames Gilbert, a former member
of The Fellowship of Friends, is enlightening on the subject of Robert Burton. The following is an excerpt from his post no. 4 from page 134, written on November 29, 2012.


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.

11. Pranidhi - January 15, 2013

RE: 135/9
It seems certain, Mr. Land New, that you are in league with “The Fellowship.”

12. Pranidhi - January 15, 2013

As pointed out in 135/1 you should learn to hold them farts in when attempting social interaction.

13. Terra Nova - January 15, 2013

I’m not in league with anyone. I’m just trying to be objective.

14. freeman - January 15, 2013

A better effort would be: trying to listen.

15. Terra Nova - January 15, 2013


16. jomopinata - January 15, 2013

The effort to be “objective” is the effort to disregard the marrow of your own experience.

17. freeman - January 15, 2013

First of all, the word “objective” is your old Fellowship-ese showing through. Just try listening. The premise is that somehow you *can* be “objective.” Another premise is that any commentary directed at Burton with strident language is somehow *not* objective?

All any of us can do is try to piece things together by not being afraid to listen, and by not being afraid to tackle topics that are off-limits. That’s the status quo in the cult. Burton keeps the information under wraps by encouraging a culture of fear around certain topics. There is no fear around those topics here.
Now I don’t know exactly what your view is (because you haven’t said much, other than people are childish here, and you seem to imply that this gives “comfort’ to cult members for some reason). But it seems rather odd — given everything said here — to comment about that when there’s a lot of other information to listen to, and to process.

I personally agree with you that sometimes it does get fairly childish here. Welcome to the internet. But that’s not the thing that concerns me, or gains most of my attention here (when there’s plenty of articulate and informative commentary on each page about Burton and his cult), so I certainly wouldn’t make it my primary focus as you’ve done so far.

18. Robert Schelly - January 15, 2013

I am going to offer an apology to certain people here as I believe I was out of line back on Page 134 or so.

19. Terra Nova - January 15, 2013

I make it my primary focus because it’s what I find most striking about this forum – a puerility that largely defeats its purpose. If FoF members can talk in an outwardly mature way about things you now see as illusory, surely you people should be able to reflect on the nature of and causes of those illusions with real maturity.

20. Golden Veil - January 15, 2013

Reflecton on the Nature and Causes of those Illusions…

21. Robert Schelly - January 16, 2013

Terra Nova, I am going to state this and hopefully no one will read anything hostile into it … I do not think you or I have any business here. I left the Fellowship in 1991 and don’t need a debriefing. I paid up and went my way and am glad for my time there.

OTOH, while there I dodged a few invitations to what appears in retrospect to have been a really bad scene. I have read a few dozen sheets of this blog and find the rationalizations of long-time students to be quite frankly madness. The contortions of common sense in the effort to justify this behavior, is remarkable and nearly comic.

But then, the main subject matter in this particular room I do not consider my business so it’s a moot point. I heartily disagree with the board residents’ assessments of the efficacy of what we have here, this exposition starting from G. That teaching is very valuable; very imho.

Now I have successfully made enemies in both camps; a reverse Yojimbo!

22. Tempus Fugit - January 16, 2013

In response to:

“177. Nevasayneva – January 10, 2013 [page134]
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.”
Thanks, Nevasayneva, I’ve been wanting to talk more to the topic of recovery.

In the end, my experience in the FOF was highly traumatic.

You see, as I’ve said a few times and even recently, I was a TRUE BELIEVER.

I accepted fully that Burton was a “conscious being” and I had been blessed to find the “Teaching of the Age.” For the first few years I lived in this generally satisfying delusion.

Life got increasingly stressful and unhappy during this time but I did my honest best to handle my life and make my membership in the FOF work. I hoped my efforts would gain the “Teacher’s” attention and I might be invited into some more prominent role that would establish the I had entered the “Inner Circle” and was clearly on track to “create a soul” and achieve “immortality.”

That dream never materialized. Instead, I struggled more and more to support myself and make my “teaching payments.” But I couldn’t keep up. Eventually I ran out of money and was prohibited from attending meetings. One day soon after I was so far behind in “teaching payments” that I crossed the invisible line between member and ex-member, one day still in by a thread and the next day out.

No one pleaded for me to return. No recognition of my years of hard work or payments was given. I was simply out.

I felt this as a profound personal failure. I was sure, as Burton had guaranteed, that “C influence” would arrange a horrible fate for me.

One of the lowest points of my post FOF life, and a turning point, came just a few months later. When I left I lost contact with everyone in the group except for two close friends. Many members at that time took the “no contact with ex-students” very seriously.

So in an attempt to rebuild my life I called up “life” friends not seen in years (and tried to make new ones). One friend, who lived out of state, invited me to visit. Getting getting out of town and having some fun with an old friend sounded great so I booked a flight.

But on travel day my mood turned anxious. Constantly in the near background of my mind was Burton’s sadistic curse. As the plane taxied on the runway I was seized with panic. Clearly the promised punishment was about to be delivered. I looked around the plane with horror. Not only would the plane crash and kill me, but all these innocent men, women, and children would die too. Die because I had failed the “Conscious Teacher” of the “Teaching of the Age.”

Now, with the perspective of time and maturity, I’m amazed I really believed such nonsense, but then again, it makes perfect sense. As I said, I was a “true believer,” and took the “teaching” as it was presented, a matter of life and death.

Well, of course the plane didn’t crash. My friend greeted me warmly when I arrived, and the Light inside burned through the shell of Burton crud and announced Itself. My Spirit lived, as did my personal direct connection with God. The FOF delusion was cracked.

Sometime soon thereafter I connected with Stella Wirk and other old friends who were now “ex-students” (i.e., regular people!). Through them I found out the truth about Robert Burton that anyone can read in these pages.

But a few conversations were not enough to get well. The depth of deception Burton had perpetrated, my own naivete in believing his lies, the loss of a decade of youthful life, the loss of outside friends, the loss of many opportunities for timely education and professional growth, the pain caused to my family, the shame I felt at having proudly proclaimed my wonderful new spiritual life now crushed with the truth of the horror and degeneracy of the cult.

Perhaps that last sentence was not too elegant, but many of you know what I mean.

And I had to take responsibility for my own life and choices regardless. My personality and predispositions are what I brought to the table. Burton is not responsible for who I am – he is responsible for taking advantage of my youthful idealism and honest spiritual aspirations.

Many people say that no suffering is lost if we are capable of transforming it. I believe this is true, but sometimes that process takes decades and lots of hard work, support, and personal honesty.

This blog provides some of that support, and I am grateful for all of you who are willing to share. I hope my comments have helped some of you in return.

And speaking of bloggers I have appreciated, where is Nigel? Speak up man, long time no write…..

23. jomopinata - January 16, 2013

Bravo, Tempus Fugit.

24. Fee fi fo fum - January 16, 2013

Tempus Fugit, thank you.

25. WhaleRider - January 16, 2013

Just how puerile is the Puer Aeturnus Complex?

Puer Aeturnus
is Latin for ‘Eternal Youth’. It is a concept from the psychology of Carl Jung and applies to those men who, even though they’re in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s have retained the emotional characteristics of an adolescent.

Many of these men, referred to as Puers from now on, had fathers who were partially or totally absent. Others had fathers who were weak and passive, which left the upbringing to the mother.

All Puers have an inappropriately strong tie to the mother, positive or negative. If there is no essential differentiation from the mother, there is no masculinity.

Puers are known for their wandering, their many relationships and sometimes Don Juanisms. This has to do with seeking the perfect mother in every woman who will give them everything- always to be disappointed.

They are drawn to women who will admiringly reflect and not disturb their narcissistic self-image. When the ‘in love’ stage is over and the Puer discovers that the woman is not a ‘goddess’, but quite mortal and human, the fascination with her vanishes. The ‘goddess’ of old is now seen as a devouring and cold witch who wants to enslave him. Events get even more complicated when the projection fits.

Many Puers are charming and attractive, but there is also a concealed sadistic streak one would hardly guess was there until it strikes- many women will attest to that. Charm might make a great first impression, but intimacy, commitment and involvement are needed in relationship.

The more excessive the Puer’s ‘nice guy’ and charming Persona, the more brutal and cold becomes his shadow. At parties he stays long enough to enthrall and perhaps make a castrating remark to the man of the house before he exits.

The Puer’s main pursuit in life is ecstasy, many times at the expense of everything else. This can be externalized in a highly symbolic fashion in fascination with flying or climbing mountains. Many are drawn to drinking, gambling, pornography and drugs to get that rush.

Without consciousness, men with a Puer Aeternus complex always become victims to their impulsiveness and self-destructiveness or collective movements like pathological materialism; political extremism or religious fanaticism sweep them up.”

~Dr. Peter Milhado, PhD

26. Robert Schelly - January 16, 2013

Interesting Whalerider and I did not know the concept started with Jung. I remember the ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ in 1970’s pop psych and thought they were related.

I think Milhado is mashing a lot of concepts together, king of a messy sandwich there.

I know the concept because I AM one; a Solar-Lunar straight male, awaiting the parent’s arrival to indicate what’s supposed to happen next. The constant adolescent. Chief Feature.

27. WhaleRider - January 16, 2013

Robert Schelly:
I believe in the Fellowship it is known as the Peter Morrow Syndrome. Didn’t he name his airplane “Tinkerbell”?

28. waskathleenw - January 16, 2013

p. 134, 177. Nevasayneva (re moving on)
22. Tempus Fugit

Tempis Fugit, thank you for your post. I could re-post much of it as my own experience, although my exit was different.

I’ve been out for 29 years, so why in the world am I still here? Why haven’t I moved on? I thought I had moved on when I left, after hanging out with S*am S**ders and learning some of what was going on. Then I thought I had moved on after connecting with Stella and Harold and after talking with one of Robert’s “boys” who left around the time I did. A couple of decades went by, and then I thought I had moved on after the early days of this blog and learning how much worse things were than what I already knew.

Moving on isn’t an event. It’s a process, and it’s ongoing – layer by layer by layer. In recent years, it’s less about the Fellowship of Friends and more about what in myself allowed me to so naively accept all that absurdity, to feel so special, and to think so uncritically. I’ve had to admit that I wasted time and money.

Getting to this rather than believing a sugar-coated, more comfortable, self-written explanation of what happened puts the experience into the context of my life rather than in an isolated bubble that I can make up stories about. The bubble and the comforting stories would probably still be in place had I not been reading this blog all these years and if I’d stayed with the belief that I moved on years ago.

The bubble and the story that I maintained for a long time was this: “I joined a spiritual group with a real teacher. Later, it turned into a destructive cult, and as soon as I saw this I left. I had an amazing experience that I couldn’t have had anywhere else, even though it ended badly. It was all worth it, and I left when I realized that things had changed.”

That story locked things down for me for a long time. It was comforting, but it wasn’t the truth, and I hadn’t even begun to truly move on.

Lest this sound like a bleak accounting of a wasted life, throughout all this, I maintained a now 39-year marriage, have had satisfying work, made lots of friends, have been spiritually engaged, and still remember where to put a salad fork.

29. Shard_of_Oblivion - January 16, 2013

Still swirl your water in the glass as if it were wine?

I do


30. waskathleenw - January 16, 2013

29. Shard

No, but I still have a tiny, covered Meissen bowl, bug pattern. It’s perfect for paper clips. 🙂

31. Fee fi fo fum - January 17, 2013

The FF contained a bit of a “finishing school” aspect for many of us. People who join tend to be young. Very few come from so-called aristocracy, where one presumes they learn certain social graces like how to set a table properly (or rather, their servants do). They hold a wine glass by the stem and not the bowl (or get so drunk they don’t care).

I think the FF gave some people a general education of the world that their earlier upbringing didn’t include or touch on. And because REB was, and is, addicted to a warped and exaggerated idea of European aristocracy, that atmosphere of “refined” living – the dining accoutrements, the restrained behavior at table (no food fights, there!), the artwork (that we all paid for), the Grand Tour through Europe, gentle speech, (yawn)…..

My point is, that aspect of the FF is part of what bonds us, because as Shard and waskathleenw’s examples show, we all know what they’re talking about. It’s like an “in” joke; it’s part of our shared background. And that’s part of what gives this blog some of its energy.

But what I remember is that the FF adopted an attitude that what we “had” in the FF’s lifestyle was special and unique, that it was something we couldn’t find anywhere else. It’s amazing how insulated we were. Frankly, that kind of self-congratulations feeds on itself. FF members, especially the long-term members, are afraid to leave, because they’ve harbored an attitude that they’re special and waking up and everyone else is not.

32. Fee fi fo fum - January 17, 2013

22. Tempus Fugit

“No one pleaded for me to return. No recognition of my years of hard work or payments was given. I was simply out.

“I felt this as a profound personal failure. I was sure, as Burton had guaranteed, that “C influence” would arrange a horrible fate for me.”

Of course no one in the FF recognized your years of hard work or monthly donations. No one sympathized with any student who couldn’t keep up with the incessant financial demands. I remember being one of those non-sympathizers. The FF value system was that if you valued “being in the ‘School’,” then you would do whatever it took: hold 2 jobs, eat substandard food, keep asking your parents for money even though you’d never visit them ‘coz they were “life people” – just to make those payments. There was no genuine compassion for anyone’s financial suffering, and the sad part is, most of us had very difficult periods, financially. REB, especially, had no sympathy for our financially suffering. People who’ve been “on salary” for a long time at the upper tier have just as much callousness towards the ordinary student struggling with payments, because they’re in an artificial FF cocoon.

Your mention of “C influence” reminded me of how hard it was for me, when I left the FF, to pursue and evaluate other spiritual avenues. We were so brainwashed with the idea that anything other than what we had found in the FF is “only B influence.” Thus, there was a good chance that we viewed other spiritual disciplines, teachers and groups with great suspicion. (Perhaps rightly so, after being so burned by REB and the FF!) We also had years of FF programming that our “magnetic center” had led us to the FF, and had served its purpose by leading us to the FF. To return to some of those “magnetic center” interests might have been like reconsidering second-best items. That’s the lingering effect of mind control.

33. WhaleRider - January 17, 2013

These many years away from the cult, it’s hard for me to disguinsh the difference between “magnetic center” and “mark”.

34. Terra Nova - January 17, 2013

I have no complaint about the financial demands that were made. It was those demands that initially caused me to question whether or not I could manage without the Fellowship, and I’m glad that something made me question it, and consequently to question all my reasons for wanting to stay or being afraid to leave.

35. Tim Campion - January 17, 2013

22. Tempus Fugit and 28. waskathleenw:

Wonderful posts. Taken together, I think they describe what many of us experienced. Certainly it rings true for me (minus the plane crash scenario, that is.)

And what does “moving on” mean, when the cult many of us supported and promoted still persists, while corruption and abuses (whether to a greater or lesser degree) continue? As I see it now, coming to terms with our complicity, and the responsibility we share is part of the discovery process.

36. Pranidhi - January 18, 2013

When you’re afraid to leave it’s time to go. I think all the membership is afraid of life, C-influence and secretly ashamed. Why else are the names of the Board of Directors not public? What were the contents of Abraham’s suicide note?

37. David - January 18, 2013

In response to the posting about the Puer Aeturnus, which is a description of a personality type that is the result of certain circumstances of upbringing we have the following; “I know the concept because I AM one; a Solar-Lunar straight male.”

This is a good example of the kind of low level category based thinking that the Fellowship engenders. Ignore that one idea is from a psychology of personality and the other is a cobbled together Horn/Burton mishmash idea about Essence. Instead focus on the fact that they both talk about a child state, again ignoring that one refers to a childish state, and the other a child-like one.

By lumping these two things into the same category, making them the same thing, the chance to understand the concepts of either is lost. It is muddy thinking, like lumping birds into the same category as ‘things that have beaks’. Suddenly a crow and an octopus are the same thing!
This is how Robert Burton can see “40 complete” on a piece of paper and decide that he is a Man Number 5… It goes along with the ‘science’ of rhino poop and license plates.

I can understand, slightly, how people in the FF can go on like this because everyone from the top down reinforces such mental laziness. But it disturbs me to hear people who have left still stuck in that mode. Parting of moving on should be relearning how to think critically.

38. Robert Schelly - January 18, 2013

More intellectual chest-thumping. That was a casual shortcut to how I get the ‘concept’; which is garbled and overcooked crap anyway, a stone soup of a half-baked concept. It wasn’t meant to be all-encompassing; unlike your omnivorous negation towards any ideas whatever emerging from the F. Sorry to disturb you, old bean.

39. WhaleRider - January 18, 2013

Excellent point. Thank you for posting.

I believe you are right; anyone can have the Puer Aeturnus personality style, regardless of their “body type”.

Maybe that is why there are so many so-called “solar” this or that types in the Fellowship…myself included.

What we are seeing here is really an immature personality style based upon environment and upbringing, not necessarily based upon genetic traits or a “body type” over which we have no control.

It is important for personal growth, IMO, to understand the difference.

I certainly have climbed my share of mountains, haven’t you?


40. jomopinata - January 19, 2013

> What were the contents of Abraham’s suicide note?

This could probably be ascertained by means of an appropriate request to the Sheriff or other law enforcement agency which came to the scene. Assuming there was an investigation into it, and that it has concluded, I would think the records of that investigation are public documents.

41. Tim Campion - January 19, 2013

When we have passed through a cult, and have gotten well beyond, we owe it to ourselves to re-examine everything that was learned in the cult.

In my opinion, the continued use of cult language, short-cuts, and stratagems for promoting “presence” (mental, emotional and physical habits) impedes and delays making the shift from the cult paradigm. If we are thinking in the old ways, our analysis will be full of ambiguity, use of “the system” being merely an endorsement of the status quo.

Yes, this process may lead to the negation of Burton’s entire teaching, our past understandings, and presumed “verifications.”

And what’s so terrible about being a beginner?

42. Tempus Fugit - January 19, 2013

28. waskathleenw – January 16, 2013¬
32. Fee fi fo fum – January 17, 2013
35. Tim Campion – January 17, 2013
and others…….

Thanks for your support and comments.

To say more about recovery I need to go further back in my story to the years of my youth, before the FOF. Please be patient if I give a historical context that may be obvious to those of you from my generation; younger readers and younger FOF members may not be conversant with those times.

From a very young age I had an interest in God and spirituality. Clearly the psychic foundation for this interest came from being raised in a traditional Christian church. As I entered young adulthood I rejected this religion as rigid and primitive, but I was left with a desire to find God in my own way.

The late sixties in the US were, to myself and many others, marked by an interest in the discovery of the inner God. A young magician I met, Alice D., stopped the flow of time long enough for me to see Him in myself, others, the world – indeed, everywhere I looked. I know that many of you have met Alice on the trail. She is quite beautiful, intense, and dangerous for those naive enough to think she is easy!

The late sixties also saw a burst of interest in Eastern religions. Official leaders of major Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) came to the US along with many offshoots and self proclaimed enlightened leaders of all kinds. Homegrown “gurus” were popping up everywhere. A unifying theme promoted by many of these groups and gurus was the reality of the inner God and the need for a better path to find him than the promiscuous and flighty Alice.

This message appealed to many of us who had already started on the inner path.

As the counterculture Dream of the Imminent Birth of the New Age descended into substance abuse, violence, and laziness, many discouraged seekers “headed for the hills,” and joined the great diaspora that took shape in the communal experiment of the seventies. “If we can’t change society maybe we can create Eden in small groups of like minds,” we thought.

So in this cultural context the young seeker I was met the FOF and Robert Burton. The FOF seemed to be that small group of like minds to me and the path to the new Eden. Brutal mistake.

Thus a major trauma of my FOF experience was the discovery that I had put my youthful spiritual aspirations into the care of a man I thought was sincerely devoted to my evolution only to find he was really a greedy, narcissistic sociopath whose main interest was to enrich and indulge himself at my expense.

Once I was free, this truth led directly to three major challenges in my recovery:
– could I learn a new way to trust others?
– could I learn a new way to trust myself?
– who was my God, who had delivered me into the hands of a monster?

Finding the answers to these questions has taken many years, and is ongoing.


Just before I posted these remarks I saw your last comment, Tim (Post 41).

For me, “starting over” was simply necessary. I certainly was not going to give up on myself – that was not even possible.

My Spirit is indestructible, and so are all of yours. Burton’s madness can wound our spirits, but cannot kill them. We are far tougher than that, and far stronger than him.

A sociopath can be very dangerous to our physical selves, however, especially when he can organize committed followers to evil causes.

In my opinion, Robert Burton is heartless and mentally ill, and he is certainly capable of organized mass murder like Jim Jones. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking he has a conscience that protects you. As he becomes old, sick, and impotent, he may decide to kill himself and take many of you with him.

This is why I strongly urge current members to get out while you can.

43. Tim Campion - January 19, 2013

Golden Veil, jomopinata and others have previously referred to the work of Dr. Robert J. Lifton. This talk, from March 2000, to an extent supports Tempus Fugit’s concern about Robert Burton. Though Lifton focuses on Aum Shinrikyo, notorious for their 1995 sarin gas attacks on Tokyo subways, you will find much here in common with The Fellowship of Friends.

44. Fee fi fo fum - January 19, 2013

I picked up Robert Jay Lifton’s book, “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism” the year that I was actively questioning REB and the FF, back in the late 1980s. It was an immensely important book for me in my “exit” process from the FF. He discussed brainwashing and thought-terminating cliches in that book, and I kept thinking, “Yes, that’s what it was like for me in the Fellowship!” It was like a doorway opening into a free world, and I felt that he understood what it was like to have my mind and existence controlled by REB’s directives and the FF. Among Lifton’s key concepts, which you can find in Wikipedia, “loaded language” and “doctrine over person” resonated very much with me at that time.

45. Terra Nova - January 20, 2013

This forum is not exactly free from brainwashing.

46. silentpurr - January 20, 2013

“Brainwashing” on this forum, Terra Nova, in what way?

47. Opus111 - January 20, 2013

FOF next recruit…


48. jomopinata - January 20, 2013

45/Terra Nova

> This forum is not exactly free from brainwashing.

“Unclear on the concept.” Learn before opining so you don’t look silly.

49. Tim Campion - January 21, 2013

Opus111 –

Now that’s a useful “work I” when confronting the Lower Self!

50. Pranidhi - January 21, 2013

To those opposed to [Fellowship] slavery :
“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
– Abraham Lincoln, 1860

51. Terra Nova - January 22, 2013

As if anyone here would be quoting Lincoln if they had not been in the Fellowship!

52. Pranidhi - January 22, 2013

I have a newsflash for you, silly boy – “Lincoln” is now a major motion picture. And, in other news, “The Fellowship” is a warped cult with no redeeming social values. However, the story line might be appealing to people like you who are attracted to gay porn.

53. Terra Nova - January 22, 2013

Sorry, Mr Mainstream.

54. jomopinata - January 22, 2013

A friend has asked me to post this link, indicating that Asaf Braverman seems to be associated with it:


55. Fee fi fo fum - January 22, 2013

51 Terra Nova

In addition to the Spielberg movie, Pres Obama was inaugurated for his second term on Sunday. Obama has been said to have an affinity and respect for Lincoln. Both of them presided over “a house divided.” Different situations but similar stalemates and struggles for the country. The movie was loosely based on DKGoodwin’s “Team of Rivals.” The public inauguration yesterday also coincided with MLK Jr Day, which ties in with Lincoln’s anti-slavery efforts.

I’m mentioning this to indicate that some us knew about Lincoln’s importance before REB decided to put him on the list of 44. How about lessening the slavish FF belief in this magic list and engage with the outside world?

56. Pranidhi - January 23, 2013

Oh no! My witty comeback app isn’t working.

57. Golden Veil - January 23, 2013

54. jomopinata – January 22, 2012

The page “Gurdjieff’s Teaching Today” that you posted the link
to clearly demonstrates Asaf Braverman’s aim to capitalize on Gurdjieff’s name as a means to fish for prospective students. When you open the link, scroll down to the TEN tiny links at the bottom of the page. They all lead to internet sites, social networks, blogs, and micro blogs, all in the name of Gurdjieff or GGurdjieff: FaceBook, Google+, Hub Pages, Live Journal and Squidoo blogs, Vimeo for videos, Pinterest and Flickr for photographs, and Twitter.

“Gurdjieff’s Teaching Today” also has links Braverman’s network of 8 “pillars of the Ark in Time”: Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Ancient Wisdom, Consciousness, Know Thyself, Mysticism, Spirituality, and As Above so Below.

On at least two of the sites Braverman quotes P.D. Ouspensky:
“The Fourth Way is waiting for workers.”

Beware, my friend, of this fisherman!

58. David - January 23, 2013

Looking at the site; Like looking at the birth of a Black Hole.

59. fofblogmoderator - January 23, 2013

Braverman comments on the Gurdjieff site about Burton receiving criticism- mostly from former students. To that I say;
“you’re welcome”. What would you guys do without friction?

60. Golden Veil - January 23, 2013


Fabrications, or?

“Horne learns more about the Fourth Way… as well as from Rodney Collin himself, whom he visits in Mexico.”
~ It is generally thought that Horne never met Rodney Collin.

“Upon Collin’s death, Horne is dissatisfied with the condition ‘in which’ he finds the Gurdjieff Foundation (now ‘institutionalized without its founder). He recommends that Lord Pentland disband it.”
~ If Horne ever actually ‘recommended’ the above, with what authority did he do so? Besides, though Lord Pentland was the first president of the foundation in New York and a co-founder of the Los Angeles branch, Jeanne De Saltzmann was the student of Gurdjieff who founded the Gurdjieff Foundation and was at its helm at this time.

“Robert Burton… reads the extensive literature left by Gurdjieff…”
~ Fellowship of Friends students have asserted for some time that Robert Burton has never read “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson – All and Everything.”

What is certain: accuracy and writing in a concise manner may not be his forte, but A. Braverman has a gift for redundancy (“Horne is a dramatist and playwright.”) and a vivid imagination.

61. jomopinata - January 23, 2013

He spells Horn wrong. Once someone starts putting on airs and adding the letter “e” to the end of words, there’s no end to the mischief.

62. brucelevy - January 23, 2013

51. Terra Nova

You’re an unintelligent, narcissistic dick who obviously believes his own bull shit. And you have yet to add something useful here after all your abbreviated pronouncements. Why not sit down and have a nice tall glass of go fuck yourself.

63. Terra Nova - January 23, 2013

Talk about unintelligent…

64. brucelevy - January 23, 2013

Oh, snap.

65. silentpurr - January 23, 2013

I am often struck by the appearance of Robert’s supporter’s need to come to this forum to practice “debate” when debate is practically non-existent in the Fellowship structure…
As I recall, Fellowship brainwashing begins with the active encouragement by the group for new students to align their thinking/understanding/personal style/family relationships/parenting and career choices with Robert’s proclamations to almost every detail. Older students most definitely ACTIVELY participate in that process until the individual is absorbed into the “group-think”, leaving very little of the original seeker.
Terra Nova, you do not realize it, but you’ve been consumed.

66. freeman - January 23, 2013

“…unintelligent.” (one of the posts above.)

Actually, just the opposite. A good bullshit detector is a type of intelligence that people lack in this cult.

Followers in the FoF pretend they have a bullshit detector — mainly by directing it outward away from the cult (“Look at me, and how my critical thinking is so well developed. Look how normal I am, and how normal all of us are!”). Or they’ll criticize Burton in fairly inconsequential ways (for example, by occasionally snickering at the palm trees or the ballet or the art, etc.) to create the illusion of critical thinking.

But it’s a completely different story when people use their bullshit detectors to question the core values of Burton and the FoF. They are already getting ready to say good-bye.

Silentpurr: Really good points. I think debate is completely non-existent in the FoF when it comes to important issues that affect people’s lives, their futures, and their health and well-being. There are no discussions that deal with the negative psychological, emotional, and spiritual consequences of participating in a cult.

67. freeman - January 23, 2013

“Spiritual consequences…”

Well, that’s a topic that’s up for debate right there. (e.g. maybe you don’t believe in spiritual consequences). But if you do believe in “karma” or “awakening” in one form or another, it’s a worthwhile debate topic with regard to the FoF: Does the FoF have a negative karma around it? Does is actually prevent you from self-realization? Prevent you from awakening? Who knows for sure, but it’s obviously a debate that will never occur there.

68. shardofoblivion - January 23, 2013

Terra Nova, are you a current member of the Fellowship?

69. James Mclemore - January 24, 2013

Re: “Bearers of water balloons and phantom farters”
(from jomo’s post at 1)

I was thinking of the various voices that sometimes appear here that stop by the campfire just to point out the “childishness” and “un-intelligence” that they are so sure they are witnessing. Or sometimes they want to tell us that we’ve built the campfire in the wrong place, or that it’s too hot, or that the marshmallows are old and stale.
Voices such as “someone” and “Terra Nova” seem to see the bloggers as locked in a basement or some type of dungeon where they are hopelessly chained all day long, shackled to a computer and leading dreary lives, sadly tied to the blog where they post the same things over and over.
Now that picture is so incredibly far away from what I perceive that this campfire and the people sitting around it is all about, that I wondered just what is going on with these potential “bearers of water balloons”. I think it might be what in psychology is called ‘projection’. They are stuck on something inside themselves about the FoF and are having a hard time letting go of some kind of “Specialness” that is quite dear to them, and that they acquired as members. The blog acts like an abrasive which churns up images that then rub against this sense of ‘specialness’. Instead of seeing this “rubbing” and the uncertainty it causes as a possibility for learning just where they are stuck, they try to project it onto the blog.

70. brucelevy - January 24, 2013

69. James Mclemore

Eggs Akley.

71. shardofoblivion - January 24, 2013

#135-60 and thereabouts, discussion of Asaf Braverman’s web erructations.

I had another look at Braverman’s attempts at presenting a balanced and historically accurate narrative that would bolster his Malvolio-like sense of the greatness that has been thrust upon him.

At first I was offended by his shoddy scholarship. He writes like someone who never presented his ideas in an academic environment, never had to defend a paper in a conference. But then I thought, “what would I prefer – that he has an impressive intellect and penetrating insights? He is recruiting for a sex abuser after all, so it’s for the best that his arguments and spelling are flawed, that way he’ll only manage to attract nincompoops”

72. Golden Veil - January 24, 2013

Yes, but although seekers (or nincompoops, if you prefer) might notice the silly redundancy or misspelling, they might not be aware
of what is inaccurate or fabrication.

73. Ill Never Tell - January 24, 2013

‘spiritual consequences’ is exactly:
The (FoF) Sequence is a con job (con-sequence); as in a confidence game:
‘A confidence trick (also known as a scam) is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual operating alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty, honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté, or greed.’

‘The perpetrator of a confidence trick is often referred to as a confidence (or “con”) man. . .’ [and also may be a CONvicted criminal.]
from Wikipedia
more at:

‘he’ll only manage to attract nincompoops’

Maybe some rhino poops, too.

74. shardofoblivion - January 25, 2013

A close look at the way Asaf Braverman uses language, and what that shows us about his rhetorical technique. The main opening splash for his asabovesobelow.com website consisted of just 13 sentences, and I found examining each sentence carefully to be most revealing.

1. When modern science extended the reach of its observation to the galaxies above and the microbes below, it made a surprising discovery: an atom proved strikingly similar to a solar system.

“modern science” is a strange phrase. why not simply science? Is he hinting in his irritating coy way that he knows of other “sciences” – ancient sciences perhaps? The sentence has a very children’s science program tone, and when you look carefully is mistaken in a mild way. It wasn’t when science first hypothesised galaxies or managed to image microbes that the shape of the atom was proposed by Rutherford. So a sentence starting with the word “when” turns out to be inaccurate regarding the timing of the three events, they were neither causally related nor simultaneous. Really nothing was added to the solar system/atom analogy by dragging in galaxies and microbes. And why does he characterise this as surprising. Who was surprised? (well OK the billiard ball theorists were probably surprised how empty atoms turned out to be)

2. Both were comprised of particles kept in orbit by the gravity of an energetic core.

Sentence two and already we have a gross inaccuracy. It is simply NOT true that gravity holds the electrons in place, they are held in place by electromagnetic forces. What could possess someone to put up a web site purporting to teach, and not check this very simple fact? http://webs.morningside.edu/slaven/Physics/micro/index.html

3. Modern technology had reiterated the wisdom of the ancients, who coined the very same discovery in the adage: as above so below.

This sentence has a mild purpose I believe, it uses the simple technique of using a sexier name for the system he wishes to privilege in terms of authority and truth. “modern technology” versus “the wisdom of the ancients”. As opposed to using terms such as “science” versus “ancient mythology”

4. Knowledge is universal.

Has he actually said anything in this sentence? There is in fact a debate in cosmology as to whether it can be assumed that the laws of physics are universal, that is so say it is still an open question as to whether there could be dimensions or locations where what we consider fundamental laws of physics might operate differently. I don’t for a moment believe that Braverman is aware of this debate or remotely interested in it. I think it is just empty words.

5. What one learns benefits all.

This way of simply flatly stating his opinion as facts, reeks to me of the way a guru operates in a cult. Burton does it all the time. Funnily enough the statement itself goes against the traditional esotericism that the Gurdjieff teachings claim to derive from. They explicitly claim that knowledge is concentrated in an inner circle of humanity, and they already know, they don’t rely on “modern science” to find answers, they know because they learnt from people who themselves were taught. (It is unclear in esotericism how far back this nonsense thread of guru/chela is supposed to go) Esoteric means hidden.

6. Universal knowledge is also timeless, and what is learned in one age benefits any other.

So he flatly states, and in fact I do broadly agree if he were talking about real knowledge, scientific knowledge, but he isn’t, he is talking about gnostic and poetic utterances by ancient philosophers, which are singularly devoid of content compared to science. Their statements generally do not contain any falsifiable predictions.

7. This site compiles the various expressions of Hermeticism by eminent authors of all times.

I just don’t like the grammar in this sentence. Why use “This site” as the subject of the verb compiles, surely a human or humans did the compiling, then presented their findings on this site.

8. The variety of our compilation proves the universality of man’s quest for wisdom and shows that no age was necessarily closer to it or farther from it than any other.

He uses the word “prove”, so misunderstood by non scientific people. It is in the fields of mathematics and jurisprudence that the word prove has power and relevance. In matters of science what can generally be achieved is to disprove any particular theory, it is not possible to prove a theory correct, because another objection to it might always be found in the future. But the abuse of the word “prove” is my little hobby horse. More amusingly he makes a statement in this sentence which he himself contradicts in sentence
10… we have “no age was necessarily closer to it or farther from it than any other” and then “Modern man’s understanding of his place in the world and his relation to it are equal or inferior to those of previous ages” So which is it Braverman, equal or inferior? Personally I would claim that with the benefit of science, a rare example of a truly cooperative enterprise, modern man’s understanding of his place in the world is far superior to those of previous ages.

9. Despite the technological headway characteristic to our times, our age stands in the same relation to this challenge.

So he states, but I disagree, we are much more advanced now, we now have the concept of geological time (a very recent breakthrough) and critically galaxies were not described until Hubble’s work in the early twentieth century, which means when you look at “In search of the miraculous” it is missing the galactic scale, it knows nothing of the trillions of galaxies out there. In my opinion the gurdjieff system was cooked up by a bunch of theosophists in the late nineteenth century, and they shamelessly plundered the current scientific theories of their day, but since they claimed the system came from “higher mind” there was no room to update it as astronomy made advances which they had not included in their world view.

10. Modern man’s understanding of his place in the world and his relation to it are equal or inferior to those of previous ages.

This sits ill with sentence 8 as discussed above.

11. We here draw from the ancient wisdom of our ancestors primarily for the benefit our age.

The use of the word “primarily” is unnecessary and begs the question what other motives led him to draw from ancient wisdom apart from ‘for the benefit of our age’. He just included the word because he is a muddled thinker.

12. If you’d like to delve deeper into man’s quest for meaning and his struggle to better understand his place in the universe, subscribe to the newsletter of Ancient Wisdom through the sidebar on the right.

This is straightforward enough, he has more like this if you want it.

13. We will send you email updates on a contemporary attempt at building a metaphysical Ark that would preserve and transport the whisper of ancient wisdom to our age.

A metaphysical Ark? I can just imagine his inner glow because he is privy to the secret knowledge that in actual fact “C influence” have invited him aboard their very physical Ark, currently moored miles from the sea at Oregon House, in order that he should survive armageddon. O lucky him.

75. Golden Veil - January 25, 2013

74. shardofoblivion – January 25, 2013

Overall, a good analysis of the writings of this would-be humanist philosopher, Shard!

We know the real aim of this Fellowship of Friends follower / carrier of the mantle and his drivel. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing and his intention is euphemistically stated in the last sentence you quoted.

“13. We will send you email updates on a contemporary attempt at building a metaphysical Ark that would preserve and transport the whisper of ancient wisdom to our age.”

A flowery way of saying, “We’ll send you email updates on the cult.”
Or, in other words, “The cult welcomes you!”

76. jomopinata - January 25, 2013

Bravo, shard!

77. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 26, 2013

74. shardofoblivion:

‘2. Both were comprised of particles kept in orbit by the gravity of an energetic core.

Sentence two and already we have a gross inaccuracy. It is simply NOT true that gravity holds the electrons in place, they are held in place by electromagnetic forces.’

According to the decades of my personal experience of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) cosmology of the microcosm and macrocosm, FoF belief system holds that the solar system and atomic/subatomic cohesion are due to feminine dominance. (This vantage point was, as best I can remember, expressed directly by Robert Earl Burton.)

78. shardofoblivion - January 27, 2013

Feminine Dominance holds the atomic structure and the solar system together – utterly priceless!

It recalls for me a moment in the “Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy” where Arthur Dent asks how a huge tea cup is held suspended miles above a planets surface, and he is told it stays up by the power of Art.

79. Terra Nova - January 27, 2013

Robert said that feminine dominance keeps the planets in their orbit, but the one about it holding the atomic structure together is a fabrication designed to make it seem even more absurd. You see, everbody resorts to lying in order to make their point.

80. shardofoblivion - January 27, 2013

Ah, so feminine dominance holding the planets in their orbits is quite sensible, but it holding electrons in their orbits is patently absurd?

(those pesky distortions that ‘everbody’ resorts to huh?)

81. Terra Nova - January 27, 2013

You seem to have misread what I wrote.

82. shardofoblivion - January 28, 2013

OK, yes I reread your post, and you did imply that FD holding the planets in place was also absurd, you were pointing out that everybody lies to make their point. But can YOU be sure the atomic structure attribution was a fabrication? I see two other possibilities. Burton DID say that, only you never heard about it, or WYLTK didn’t remember clearly. WYLTK did temper their remark with the phrase “as best I can remember” after all.

I do agree with the general point that Burton’s ideas are so absurd there is no need to exaggerate, the unvarnished truth clearly shows he is demented.

83. Pranidhi - January 28, 2013

“You see, everbody…..”? Did you mean everybody else resorts to lying?
“At an annual final assembly of the monks before they were to resume their wanderings Lord Buddha looked round over the silent company and said, “Well, ye disciples, I summon you to say whether you have any fault to find with me, whether in word or in deed.” And when a favorite pupil exclaimed, “Such faith have I, Lord, that methinks there never was nor will be nor is now any other greater or wiser than the Blessed One,” the Buddha replied:
“Of course, Sariputta, you have known all the Buddhas of the past.”
“No, Lord.”
“Well then, you know those of the future?”
“No, Lord.”
“Then at least you know me and have penetrated my mind thoroughly?”
“Not even that, Lord.”
“Then why, Sariputta, are your words so grand and bold?”

84. Terra Nova - January 28, 2013

His words were so grand and bold because he had no doubt of the truth of what he was saying.

85. shardofoblivion - January 28, 2013

Good point Terra Nova, so the lesson in the story is all about how being in ‘no doubt’ about something is no guarantee of its accuracy. A lesson Burton has yet to master unfortunately.

86. Fee fi fo fum - January 29, 2013

Buddha’s disciple Sariputta had conviction, but when he was questioned, it was shown that his conviction was based on faith rather than on knowledge. In spiritual matters, faith often wins out over reason. REB and the FF take advantage of that. But when something’s rotten in the organization, it’s time to look at what’s producing the rot.

87. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 29, 2013

79. Terra Nova:
‘Robert said that feminine dominance keeps the planets in their orbit, but the one about it holding the atomic structure together is a fabrication designed to make it seem even more absurd. You see, everbody resorts to lying in order to make their point.’

My bad. Yes, perhaps there was some extrapolation in conveying this Fellowship of Friends cosmological interpretation/idea and the attribution of a quote to His Holiness (REB), Terra Nova. However, I did say: ‘as best I can remember.’

Also, have you come across the expression: ‘As above, so below,’ that would certainly apply in this situation. Try to think for yourself a little, Grasshopper. We are not in FoFland anymore.

88. Terra Nova - January 29, 2013

The expression ‘As above, so below’ is too esoteric to apply to this silly little situation. It’s not about authority, either real or imaginary, in this world.

89. Golden Veil - January 29, 2013

90. nigel - January 31, 2013

22 Tempus Fugit

Obviously, you deserve some answer to your question as to why I had not been posting recently. It takes a little explanation. In late November, we had our annual exhibition, which always stresses me, since I put so much effort into it. Then, at the end of that, my step-mother died and it was difficult dealing with the whole step-family visiting from New Zealand, since I did not want to stay overnight not in my own bed but a little bumpy bed and having my dog in a strange house. I certainly did not want to come for Christmas. Also, towards the end of December, I was running out of money and food, although I was able to have soft drinks at the pub and seemed to be flirting with pretty girls who were calling me the ‘Prince of Cosmic Consciousness’ and such things, persuading me to do outrageous things. On 12 December, I decided to take my dog to my friends on the quay, for safe-keeping, and call in the Crisis Team, since I knew I was becoming out of control, whilst trying to make my change from Olanzapine to Quetiapine. The head of the team, Dr Tanya Nelson came on the Thursday and ‘upped’ the Quetiapine dose to what she considered a therapeutic level. She also promised that someone from the team would visit on Friday, which, although I called them repeatedly, did not happen. That evening, I took my meds, as prescribed, including extra Haloperidol. An hour after having some sleep, I woke up and ‘went wild’, pacing around the apartment, doing stupid things and, in the morning, chucking things out on to the street for psychotic reasons. A police car arrived and the officer asked me why I had done this and then told me to clean it all up. On the Saturday morning I was walking through Heavitree and saw someone I considered a racial-bigot. He said ‘Hello’. I said ‘ Fuck off’ and pushed him over. I made my way down to the Bishop Blaize Pub where I feel safe when things like this happen, but even Nicky, the landlady, knew something was wrong. When she said she was going to call the Crisis Team, I went ‘ballistic’ and refused to talk to them. She was in a very shakey state when she called the police and they said they were looking for me for ‘common assault’. Two policemen arrived and hand-cuffed me and carted me off to the police station. I guess I was in the cell for 3 hours in a terrified state. Having done their investigations and bringing in 3 doctors who cleared me for the ‘nut-house’, it was another 1/2 hour before I was taken to the local asylum, although I had to be in another holding cell for an hour (very hot!). So, from the 16th December until 21 January, I have been under the care of the Head Psychiatric Consultant and the Nurses for the biggest episode of mania I have ever had. One more thing…..I did write posts to Steve, the Moderator (which he said was extreme) and another to Shard of Oblivion. I am not sure they were not obliterated.

Not wanting to be disappointing, I feel that my time on the blog had reached a natural conclusion at Christmas and, judging by the continuing ‘same old stuff’ being ‘churned out’ by just about everyone, I want to move on with my life. With my new website http://www.exesilver.co.uk, I have brought in a great deal of new clients and I am also buying a saxophone and learning from a lady I have met in supermarket.

Thanks and good luck to you all…..Nigel.

91. Shard_of_Oblivion - February 1, 2013

Good to hear your voice again Nigel.

92. Pranidhi - February 1, 2013

“He said ‘Hello’. I said ‘Fuck off’ and pushed him over.”

93. We Were There - February 1, 2013

Thanks, Nigel, all the best to you.

Meanwhile, back in Oregon House…

Did anyone learn what, if anything, Abraham Goldman said about the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton in the note he left?

94. Tempus Fugit - February 3, 2013

Thank you Nigel. I know you have had recurrent battles with flare ups of your mental illness, and have been frank here about your struggle. I admire your courage and persistence.

Sadly, many people still stigmatize such problems as personal, but we know now they are biological. Some with your challenges are unwilling to accept the hard work of managing their disease with the help of professionals, or they deny and hide behind some kind of delusion.

Others, like you, meet it head on like any other problem of life, and get back up every time it knocks you down.

I hope you read this blog a little longer to catch the various appreciative comments coming your way.

As I’ve been pleased to say before, you have been one of the strongest voices warning others about the dangers of the Fellowship of Friends. I feel confident saying your efforts have helped many former members to understand their FOF experience better and even helped current members to escape.

Godspeed and good luck wherever life takes you Nigel. Well done!

95. Tim Campion - February 4, 2013


Tempus Fugit expresses it more eloquently than I, but I share their sentiments. Best wishes to you, mate.

96. silentpurr - February 4, 2013

And in 1870, James wrote,

I think that yesterday was a crisis in my life. I finished the first part of Renouvier’s second Essais and see no reason why his definition of free will—”the sustaining of a thought because I choose to when I might have other thoughts”—need be the definition of an illusion. At any rate, I will assume for the present—until next year—that it is no illusion. My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.

97. silentpurr - February 4, 2013

William James, that is…

98. Terra Nova - February 4, 2013

When life is too easy, anything can be a crisis.

99. WhaleRider - February 4, 2013

Time flies like an arrow,
Fruit flies like a ripe banana.

100. shardofoblivion - February 4, 2013

children may smile, the wise will ponder

William James is gets a reference in Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy thus: “William James describes a man who got the experience from laughing-gas; whenever he was under its influence, he knew the secret of the universe, but when he came to, he had forgotten it. At last, with immense effort, he wrote down the secret before the vision had faded. When completely recovered, he rushed to see what he had written. It was: “A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.”

Here is a quote from Wlliam James’s masterpiece “The Varieties of Religious Experience” on a similar topic: “Nitrous oxide and ether, especially nitrous oxide, when sufficiently diluted with air, stimulate the mystical consciousness in an extraordinary degree. Depth beyond depth of truth seems revealed to the inhaler. This truth fades out, however, or escapes, at the moment of coming to; and if any words remain over in which it seemed to clothe itself, they prove to be the veriest nonsense. Nevertheless, the sense of a profound meaning having been there persists; and I know more than one person who is persuaded that in the nitrous oxide trance we have a genuine metaphysical revelation.

And here is the original trip report from Oliver Wendell Holmes that caused Russell’s little anecdote: in his book Mechanism in Thought and Morals, an Address, with Notes and Afterthoughts,” London, 1871. pp. 54 – 55: “I once inhaled a pretty full dose of ether, with the determination to put on record, at the earliest moment of regaining consciousness, the thought I should find uppermost in my mind. … The veil of eternity was lifted. The one great truth which underlies all human experience, and is the key to all the mysteries that philosophy has sought in vain to solve, flashed upon me in a sudden revelation. Henceforth all was clear; a few words had lifted my intelligence to the knowledge of the cherubim. As my natural condition returned, I remembered my resolution; and, staggering to my desk, I wrote, in ill-shaped, straggling characters, the all-embracing truth still glimmering in my consciousness. The words were these (children may smile, the wise will ponder): ‘A strong smell of turpentine prevails throughout.'”

101. WhaleRider - February 4, 2013

From what I understand Rajneesh was quite fond of nitrous oxide, too, and had a tank next to his bed.

Anyone catch the Scientology commercial during the Super Bowl?

Talk about space aliens invading our brains!


102. jomopinata - February 4, 2013

William James and Oliver Wendell Holmes, JUNIOR (the son of the ether-sampling fellow referenced above) were friends. They formed a small conversation society they called “The Metaphysical Club”: http://www.nytimes.com/books/01/06/10/reviews/010610.10stroust.html

103. jomopinata - February 4, 2013

Whalerider, I watched the Scientology commercial this morning. Great commercial, until you get to the very end where it says “Scientology.com.” One half expects to hear a raspberry and see a subsequent sign that says, “APRIL FOOL!”

104. Golden Veil - February 4, 2013

Another “selling with sex” commercial… gorgeous young women and men all, their attractive faces with larger-than average eyes. The end shows references to ancient civilizations, much like all the current Fellowship of Friends online marketing style and used to suggest the cult’s authority to tap into ancient knowledge…

105. Tim Campion - February 5, 2013

Follow Scientology’s advice and soon they (and The Fellowship of Friends) will be out of business.

To the curious. The inquisitive. The seekers of knowledge.
To the ones who just wanna know.
About life.
About the universe. About yourself.
Not cute questions.
Big questions, ones that matter.
To the rebels, the artists, the free thinkers and the innovators.
Who care less about labels and more about truth.
Who believe non-conformity is more than a bumper sticker.
That knowledge is more than words on a page.
You’re young.
You’re old. [There was a token senior in the ad.]
You’re powerful beyond measure and the fuel of that power is not magic or mysticism, but knowledge.
The things you see.
The things you feel.
The things you know to be true.
Sure, some will doubt you.
Let ’em.
Dare to think for yourself.
To look for yourself.
To make up your own mind.
Because in the eternal debate for answers, the one thing that’s true is what’s true for you.

After all, Robert Burton does everything he can to keep his followers from thinking for their selves.

106. silentpurr - February 5, 2013

They (Scientology) were doing a talent search on Actor’s Access here in LA a few months ago…

107. Terra Nova - February 7, 2013

Well that was obviously a conversation stopper.

108. Golden Veil - February 7, 2013

Sometimes criticism begats criticism.

109. Pranidhi - February 7, 2013

It’s obvious that association with the “Fellowship” has some not-so beneficial psychological effects on people. Good Luck.

110. silentpurr - February 7, 2013

Yes, Pranidhi, especially when one believes the ‘advertising’.

111. Opus111 - February 7, 2013

A name from the past, familiar to many of us:

Rose Kennedy passed away on Feb 2 (lung cancer).

112. Tempus Fugit - February 8, 2013

“111. Opus111”

When I read your post the smiling face of Rose Kennedy appeared in my mind after all these many long years. I remember her as kind and loving.

Now she is in the other world lit by God’s presence, a place where the sickness found in Robert Burton doesn’t exist. Now she is free.

In the seventies or early eighties Rose was married to Raymond Kennedy, a psychiatrist.

Rose and Raymond planned a trip to Bali and Burton told Raymond not to go. They went anyway and Raymond drowned while swimming in the ocean. Burton said Raymond had been punished for disobeying him because whatever Burton said to do was the will of “C influence.”

What incredible conceit and what incredible nonsense! I’ve been out of the FOF for decades but if I died today (instead of whenever, because we all die), and if Burton knew of my death he would say – “Just like I predicted, C influence punished him for leaving the teaching.”

My friends, don’t be foolish and don’t be a fool. Real life is far away from the ravings of a madman, yet as close as one turn and one step.

113. Fee fi fo fum - February 8, 2013

Rose Kennedy Shafer’s obituary is in today’s SF Chronicle online.

114. Opus111 - February 8, 2013

Here is the link to her obituary:


Interesting to note that not a word of reference to FOF is to be found in the obituary, although both she and her husband were members when she died.

115. Fee fi fo fum - February 8, 2013

I noticed that too.
When we were in the FF, we thought we were part of the Chosen People. And yet, even when we were members, did we proudly and openly tell people (“life people”) that we had found “a real school”? No. We acted as though we were hiding a secret. It’s as though we subconsciously knew we were in a cult. How would we have justified paying those large, monthly payments that left so many of us in dire financial straits? How would we have explained REB’s strange behavior without lying to ourselves? We made peace with ourselves when we were members by pushing the hypocrisy away.

116. Golden Veil - February 9, 2013

115. Fee fi fo fum – February 8, 2013

yes, Yes, YES! although when I “met the school” was a special time
in my life… ALL that you have said above is true for me. You have spoken also for me. But, maybe it was not so “sub” conscious… we got “cookies”… at least for a while. The intensity of attention, the appreciation for my “talents” was an awesome feeling… but, I think that my group leaders were groomed for leading and procuring, were masterful manipulators… uh oh, have I gone too far?

117. Golden Veil - February 9, 2013

“Have I gone too far?” What I meant is… maybe they believed it, their mission was to look out for seekers with a “magnetic center” and mine was awesome, right?!

118. Pranidhi - February 9, 2013

Poof! It’s magic! It’s fun! Instant Results! You too can learn to transform lying to onself into “verification.”

119. shardofoblivion - February 10, 2013

135-117 Golden Veil mentions their awesome magnetic centre.

Which I think many of us would recognise.

It led me to pondering, and I could see that for those of us who had what the work books called a magnetic centre, it was a very very attractive feature when we encountered it in others. I think it was bound up with sexual attractiveness, we would find others with magnetic centres sexy.

I think I can see this tendency magnified and given unlimited licence by Burton. How he must drool over a fresh young man with an awesome magnetic centre, just waiting to be enlightened by the Goddess of the San Andreas fault.

120. Golden Veil - February 10, 2013

What’s in your “magnetic center?”


121. Golden Veil - February 10, 2013

What about Bill? There are aspects of his story that may resonate with some… the isolation, living under the authority of a self-proclaimed prophet, self-blame and guilt, the difficulty of recovering and creating an independent life, etc.


122. idanevasayneva - February 12, 2013

“115. Fee fi fo fum – February 8, 2013
I noticed that too.
When we were in the FF, we thought we were part of the Chosen People. And yet, even when we were members, did we proudly and openly tell people (“life people”) that we had found “a real school”? No. We acted as though we were hiding a secret. It’s as though we subconsciously knew we were in a cult. How would we have justified paying those large, monthly payments that left so many of us in dire financial straits? How would we have explained REB’s strange behavior without lying to ourselves? We made peace with ourselves when we were members by pushing the hypocrisy away.”

Well of course we did not say anything to anyone outside of FOF. We had joined and were in an esoteric school. By definition we were in something that was to be hidden, something secret, explosive information that might shatter the very fabric of everyday life was being given to us. We saw behind the sham and hypocrisy of the everyday and into the hopelessness of life – what is that phrase about the ordinary man? – how he lives in quite despair or something like that? Oh I just found it – TG for Google : “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” Thoreau. We understood the very slim chance that we might have, but only if we made great and consistent efforts. It was and is heady stuff. We read about Nietzsche superman and now for some unfathomable reason – later ascribed to sheer luck, tainted with mildly shifting-in-the chair-kind-of -uneasiness-that-there-might-be-something-awry-in-that-logic-but-you-can’t-put-your-finger-on-it, but still compensated by a sort of slight cozy smugness – we had been given the roadmap. Rather difficult to convey this to your bar – hopping girlfriend/boyfriend, soccer chum, and mother or father mildly concerned as to why you suddenly seem to have an instant set of new friends and dropped the denims for a smart outfit. I mean rather hard to convey and there was a huge intellectual justification to stay mum about the whole thing.

Just remarking that I do not think that one was necessarily ashamed that one was in a cult, and kept quiet….one was a believer or at least a seeker.

For me personally, I stopped seeking quite a bit ago while still in FOF. Then I stopped believing pretty much anything.
It is quite a bit less of a gilded lily my everyday now. It just is what it is.

123. Pranidhi - February 13, 2013

Please be advised that it will take several years or more (proportionate to the time spent in the Fellowship) to be able to evaluate the experience and that of others with proper perspective.
Time is a tractor and it will run you over.

124. WhaleRider - February 13, 2013

The thought occurred to me today that the reason Gurdjieff spoke about the difficulty for the average person in determining the difference between a psychopath and a guru is:

there is no difference, IMO,

… despite the psychopathic person wanting you to believe there is, which would be in his interest that you do.

The minute you believe there is a difference, often due to inexperience and naivety, then he has you in his power, and you’ll be asked or be made to kneel to feed his sickness.

Both the guru and the psychopath set themselves apart from others or above the law, they manipulate others to meet their needs, and they deal ruthlessly with dissent.

Psychopaths also need a large pool of vulnerable victims in which to operate and have great difficulty being alone.

Although psychopaths can be quite successful in their enterprise of exploiting the loop holes and grey areas of finance, morals, and the law, they have lost or never had a huge chunk of their humanity… the ability to empathize with others… especially their victims, which they view only as collateral damage to their greater cause:

The silence of the lambs.

125. Dennis Larson - February 13, 2013

A letter from my brother Claude about “Community” (not necessarily living together) with no agenda, except the agenda of trying to have no agenda.

> Time for me to fess up and ’splain myself.
> Everything that I have been doing has been leading to, and setting the stage, for This.
> This is my, “I Have a Dream” speech. I am so emotional about this that little teardrops may appear on your screen while you are reading this.
> Before I reveal what this is about, I would like to clear the air on something. Some have suggested that I am trying to start a spiritual teaching, to have followers and devotees, seeking adulation and reverence, to feel Important and Special because of whom I am. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of that stuff makes my gall bladder ache. To think someone is Important because they know who they are, or to think that someone is Special because they know that they are the Consciousness they have always been seeking, is baffling. To believe that someone is superior because they are a “Conscious Being” (because all Being is Conscious), is no different than feeling superior because you are a pooping mammal, and the last time I checked, all mammals poop.
> Also, I am glad that I don’t want to be a spiritual teacher because apparently I am not very good at it, being that the hordes are not exactly beating down my door. But, in my defense, a relatively prominent spiritual teacher once told me that if people actually heard what I was saying, they (the spiritual teachers) would be out of business.
> Next, for the sake of discussion, I would like to simplify and consolidate two basic concepts. First, the “Ultimate Human Experience” has many names; from Enlightenment, Realization, Awakening, Nirvana, Consciousness, to Reborn and Saved. I am going to call it all “Clear Mindedness.” Secondly, all the terms for “Higher Power” like Consciousness, Oneness, the Tao, the Absolute, God, and Source, I am going to call “It”. So we have “Clear Mindedness about It.”
> OK, time for the reveal. Are you ready? Wait for it …”Community”. And, I mean a totally, completely and unabashedly nondenominational community. No systems, no strategies for specialness, no affiliation with any methods, no dogma. This is for those who are “Clear Minded” and those ready to Be. A community based on “Being” rather than “Becoming,” and, for those partaking in the miraculous rather than searching for it.
> I see a Community based on “Unconditional Love,” because Love is the absence of conditions. Yet, almost all spiritual traditions set up a series of Conditions that must be met or overcome in order for unconditional Love to be. ? I am talking about conditions like a certain amount of Health, Mindfulness, or sometimes Mindlessness, Purification, Cleansing, Self-Remembering, Being Present, Refinement, Control, etc. There is nothing right or wrong about any of these things, it’s just not what this community is about.
> I also envision the community to be beyond belief. For example, maybe you are a Western kid who believes that Santa Clause comes down from the North Pole and delivers Christmas presents, and that the Easter Bunny hides colored eggs in your back yard on Easter, and that you have a separate, personal savior who is guiding you and helping you with your life. Now spring forward to adulthood, and if you still believe that Santa is your personal Christmas shopper, and that the Easter Bunny is your colored egg distributor, you would be considered to be nuts. But, if you still believe that there is a power “separate” from you, helping you out, you are not only considered sane but often of good character, even though there is absolutely no evidence of its separate existence. This is what I am talking about. The Consciousness is not separate. It is built into everything.
> Okay, I can already hear, “Aren’t you just presenting another belief system?” The answer is “No.” This community is about knowing what is knowable, rather than believing. I recently heard that, throughout history, over 3.5 Billion people have been killed in wars. It is my guess that almost all perished because of someone trying to convince someone else that their beliefs were correct.
> This is a view of the human condition. There is something in us that knows who we are, that we are “The Consciousness” because everything and everyone is It. Leonard Cohen even wrote a song about it called, “Everybody Knows.” After a few months of life our first belief is that we are separate, and from then on, we have to fend for ourselves. From then on our life is a play of make-believe. Beliefs become absolutely acceptable. At that point, everyone is a seeker trying to find their way back Home. The dilemma is that there is no separation at Home, yet we believe that we can use our separation to get there. Separation cannot un-separate itself and what becomes apparent is that Home is not “there” but is right “here”.
> Next, this community must be a passive force. No sales, no proselytizing, no trying to convince others that your beliefs are correct. The only time that stuff is shared, is when someone asks. I have known for some time that my activities have been actively pushing for something that can only be passively presented. Also, I would like to offer a sincere apology to those I have offended with my pushing the un-pushable.
> I would have thought this all a pipe dream if not for something that happened a few years back. I went to a 5-day gathering in Europe for like-minded people. And, yes, there was a notable presenter, although he does not consider himself a teacher, and, yes, it was loosely connected to Non-Duality & Advaita, but that is beside the point. There were about 80 attendees, 20 of which were clear-minded. Of the other 60 present, about 20 were very muddle-minded, not happy about the condition of the World and their place in it, so there was a lot of bitching and moaning about everything. Somehow, most of the muddle-minded ended up hanging out with the clear-minded and never once did I hear anyone trying to correct someone else’s thinking. Completely passive, yet through osmosis, the muddle-mindedness, each day, began to clear up so that at the end of the 5 days it was a bit of a Love fest. I do not remember the presenter ever introducing a subject. It was all passive, waiting for questions or comments. It was never “This is what you need.” But, “What do you fancy?” (He was British.) Fortunately, this guy was very entertaining so that the gatherings were more like stand-up comedy with lots of humorous audience participation.
> This took place in a beautiful park/resort setting in the Dutch countryside, a gorgeous place with good food and drink and lots of real good participant-provided music in the evenings, yet no rules. There was a group who would go off and do yoga in the mornings, and another group that would do Tai Chi in a gazebo in the garden. There was a Reiki practitioner offering her services, and whatever else you wanted to do. Now, I am not suggesting something like this in this community. It’s all about the osmosis. It is a beautiful thing to watch. My vision for this community is Big, Worldwide, and a resource for everything that one could possibly want. From people meeting up on “My Face” to Gatherings, Travel, and Adventures on Land and Sea, Family Participation, Vacations, Study Groups, Music, partners, (personal or business), mutual assistance of all kinds, plus anything else that we can think of. Why not?
> How fun would it be to have lots of Clear-Mindedness around for whatever we wanted to do? As an example, I have always wanted to visit Cuba. To engage with the people, the culture, the music and dance, the colors, the Hemingway mystique, are all very appealing. The Cubans have been held back for over 50 years. It is like a really, really, really long version of Ravel’s “Bolero”, with the tension building and building and yet, with no resolve. From what I am hearing, it may open up soon, and what could be more fun than being there and celebrating with the Cubans, surrounded by other clear-minded people? It takes my breath away.
> It has to be about Being vs. Becoming, Unconditional Love, not believing in stuff that is not knowable, with a passive approach.
> I see my part in this as being involved in the initial set up and operation. One of my favorite things is to organize and arrange fun, loving stuff, whatever it might be. I even have a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration. Also, embarrassingly, I must admit that I am not computerized. My Mac hates me and never misses an opportunity to let me know. My excuse is that I have always had someone with me who is willing and able to handle my computer needs, so I will definitely need technical, organizational and operational help. Also, I see possible employment and business activities in this.
> I like Pro Baseball as a metaphor for all of this. First, it is one of the few games where you start at Home, and end up at Home, and the whole adventure in life is the journey that you take around the bases, always with the aim to get Home. The best players are the ones who spend the most time, on the bases, away from Home. Striking out is considered a bad thing, but maybe it is not so bad after all, because you don’t ever have to leave Home. Also, think of pitchers as your spiritual influences throughout life. The Starting pitchers are usually very good and pitch the longest until they start “losing their stuff”. They would be your original religion or teachers. Then there might be a series of “Relief” pitchers to get you to the final inning when the Closing pitcher comes in. Right now there are some very good closing pitchers in the spiritual world, yet they are still pitching to someone who still thinks that there needs to be more journey. I see this community to be more like “Post Game Commentary,” where the competition is over, and the game starts again, just for fun. So, what do you do if you still want to play Baseball? Well, you join a community team and still get to have the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat without your life depending on it. I have had the opportunity to speak with quite a few Clear-Minded people over the years and I have yet to find anyone who claims to have succeeded in their spiritual quest. They all say the same thing; that they tried, and tried, and tried, to no avail, and then stopping happened, surrender occurred, and Voila! the beginning of everything being revealed.
> Please let me know what you think.
> With Love,
> Claude
> “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,
> but in having new eyes.”
> – Marcel Proust

126. Tempus Fugit - February 14, 2013

Claude – you sound quite sincere in your vision.

I suggest you study intentional communities here in the USA, some of which have been successful since the 1960’s. An internet search will bring up descriptions of many groups right away.

After all, no need to reinvent the wheel, right? People have been finding out what works and what doesn’t for a long time.

Good luck and may your dream come true!

127. shardofoblivion - February 14, 2013

135-125 Dennis Larson posts a letter from his brother Claude which suggests a way of living together for “Clear Minded People”. It has a very post Fellowship feel, the feeling I get is of someone who is trying to be good, and examines their lives quite closely, which we all did a lot of in the Fellowship. I was a bit surprised by some of the vagueness and cite the following except:

‘This is a view of the human condition. There is something in us that knows who we are, that we are “The Consciousness” because everything and everyone is It. Leonard Cohen even wrote a song about it called, “Everybody Knows.”’

Well Leonard Cohen’s lyrics are sometimes ambiguous in the good way that poetry is, but still I think there is not much doubt that he was talking about Aids and other bad stuff going down rather than asserting that we all know that we are ‘It’. Great song. Some monumental covers such as Concrete Blond, but let’s listen to the old Zen monk himself, and try to puzzle out what he can possibly mean 🙂

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

128. Golden Veil - February 14, 2013

124. WhaleRider – February 13, 2013

WhaleRider, your assertion that “Gurdjieff spoke about the difficulty for the average person in determining the difference between a psychopath and a guru” is remarkable and I would very much like to know the source of this reference.

But, this claim may be over generalization:

“Both the guru and the psychopath set themselves apart from others or above the law, they manipulate others to meet their needs, and they deal ruthlessly with dissent.”

Not all gurus are unethical, lawbreaking, or ruthless manipulative Narcissists. Some “bad” gurus may be just plain old opportunist
con artists, not psychopaths. But the U.S. especially seems to have a large number of crazy messed-up gurus and people willing to follow them.

127. shardofoblivion – February 14, 2013

Shard, you probably knew that

“In 1994, Cohen retreated to the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, beginning what became five years of seclusion at the center. In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk and took the Dharma name Jikan, meaning “silence”. He served as personal assistant to Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi.” [Wikipedia]

The irony of it all…

“Everybody knows that’s how it goes” sings Leonard Cohn in the lyrics you posted above. Perhaps the sexual improprieties of Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, Leonard Cohen’s Zen Master, played a part in the singer’s coming down the mountain from his 5 year retreat. Read about his horny guru here:


129. Golden Veil - February 14, 2013

“This did not even happen. I know him personally and he is very kind. Even if it did, they are all grown adults and can have sex if they choose. If something was really forced it would have gone to authorities right away.”

The above was written by a commentator in response to the article “Zen Master Molested Students in N.M.” To read the article, click on the link at the bottom of my last post. Apparently, naivety regarding gurus is not exclusive to supporters of the strange “Teacher” or “guru” at the helm of The Fellowship of Friends…

130. Robert Schelly - February 14, 2013

The Roshi looks to have been a Martial type.
Martials will tend to have a higher sex drive.
I guess after all those years he didn’t master it,
thus was not a master in my book anyway…
But I’m Lunar
and it’s easy for me to say.

I don’t get why these guys don’t just get themselves a devotee or two or three
and leave it at that; rather than grab after it
Which fucks things up.

In any event, and notwithstanding,
Americans of a certain generation are hopelessly, irretrievably excited and uptight on sexual matters
and unfortunately that certain generation is seated very much in power and influence
at this point in time.

They will continue to throw the baby out with the bathwater
and this country will continue toward its fate
as an obese, finger-wagging, Nanny-State, spiritual wasteland.

The Mi12 / Si12 distinction is just so garbled
among so many people

There are of course many exceptions,
seeds, if you will.
But it is winter
and not the time yet.

Look for instance at the carnal temple carvings in India
How far we are
from that shore
How utterly impossible
that level of freedom
has become.

And funny how
The enactment of the Ark Drama
is of even greater reality and urgency now
than it was
When Burton and Bennet and De Ropp were talking about it
40 years ago
There are many roles
and fewer players
and the next act
is upon us.

131. WhaleRider - February 14, 2013

Golden Veil:
Thank you for your post. Here’s what came up for me.

I’ll check the exact reference to psychopaths vis a vis gurus when I get to my office later; I don’t keep any fourth way books at home any more; I believe the quote is second hand from Ouspensky’s In Search.

The argument that there must be or have been genuine, ethical gurus somewhere out there begs proof… which leads us back to the fake Rolex analogy, doesn’t it?

Couldn’t the perception that there seem to be an uncanny number of fake, unethical gurus in the US speak to the fact that gurus who set up shop here cannot so easily hide their behind the scenes activities in our modern, diverse, and open culture as they might in other cultures?

Don’t we all believe in the fundamental rule of law no matter what our religious beliefs?

IMO, “schools of higher learning” are now called universities; currently you have to attend one to be hired as a teacher of the young and inexperienced. And if you fuck around with the students and/or their money, you get fired.

Couldn’t an unfounded belief that there are such angelic gurus out there be driven by the unconscious need to project a kind, beneficent, selfless, all-loving, idealized father (or hugging mother) image?

I prefer the belief that anyone in our community at any time could function as a shock to awaken our inner guru, which makes us all equals in my view, and why we need communities to stay healthy.

I don’t ascribe to the antiquated spiritual hierarchy that places gurus at the top, immune from scrutiny.

First, cause no harm.

132. shardofoblivion - February 14, 2013

135-130 Robert Schelly suggests “I don’t get why these guys don’t just get themselves a devotee or two or three and leave it at that; rather than grab after it
Which fucks things up.”

I liked the sound of that and it reminded me of how amazed I was when I discovered that Burton had had myriads of what he called “lovers”. If only Burton had held to that idea of two or three, I mused. But then I realised that a meaningful relationship with his sex partners was always very unlikely for Burton, because he believes he is having sex with machinery, not sentient beings who in any way could be his equal.

133. Barbara - February 16, 2013

Page 134 / 9. WhaleRider – November 29, 2012.

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

“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 for your considerations WhaleRider! With your knowledge and -to the point observations- so well written (at least for me) you have been of great psychologically support in dealing with this fof mess.

Many times I do want to share my story but it takes more than being brave…
Would you be willing to contact me directly? I have a couple of “back-stage-questions”.

134. Golden Veil - February 16, 2013

131. WhaleRider – February 14, 2013

“Couldn’t an unfounded belief that there are such angelic gurus out there be driven by the unconscious need to project a kind, beneficent, selfless, all-loving, idealized father (or hugging mother) image?”

I think that your theory, could be applied as well to those who are praying to “Our Father Who Art in Heaven.” I’m one of those who believe that, if anywhere, the “Kingdom of Heaven” is definitely within oneself.

Some ex-FoF members have related here on these pages, though, that they’ve indeed identified the lack of father figure as part of their impetus to follow Robert Burton. As for myself, I’d read the work books and serendipitously met some FoF students, who by their friendliness and seductive mysteriousness, drew me in to the introductory talks, etc. As Robert Burton’s personal fiefdom was in another country, I never met him until much later. He seemed strange.

As for who the benevolent “real” gurus are that show “The Way” on a path that works for them and might work for others, I really couldn’t say. I’ve never followed one except for my time in the FoF when the closest I got, for the most part in those days, was pondering the antique press printed sayings of Robert Burton on fancy folded 100% rag paper sheets with the works of European Old Masters tipped on them. But so far, I haven’t heard anything bad about Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, who although now long gone has left a very well run and seemingly positive organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, as his legacy. There must be a few gurus out there who aren’t power mad, sexually perverted, or super materialistic.

A friend told me yesterday that years ago she was at the Indian ashram of a guru who was a student of Muktananda (M. had a bad reputation for molesting under-age girls) and that as the end neared of her one year stay he developed a penchant for lying on top of her for extended periods unclothed while lying on the temple floor. She was confused by this but said that she thought that he might have been proving to himself or her that her nubile young body was not a temptation as he didn’t get an erection; but, she never really knew why he was doing it. Her brother had been at the same ashram for 10 years and when she told him about the guru doing this, he was very surprised.

Now, how does that old song go?

135. Golden Veil - February 16, 2013

“Sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson long ago said that the impulse to believe in God is “the most complex and powerful force in the human mind…(and) an ineradicable part of human nature.” When we funnel that force down to a single religious teacher, we rebel against the very freedom we fought for from the start.

Eventually, most of us wander free again. Luna Tarlo says she has given up the possibility of enlightenment; in its place has come religion with a small “r”. “One has these moments of religious feeling,” she says. “Sometimes I go birdwatching and look at the variety and beauty of these wonderful creatures, and whatever created us, and a sense of awe brings tears to my eyes. How can any of us presume to rise above it? I don’t know where we come from. I don’t think we ever can know.””


“Crimes of the Soul” by Jill Niemark,
Psychology Today, March 1, 1998


136. Shard_of_Oblivion - February 17, 2013

Because of a few songs
Wherein I spoke of their mystery
Women have been exceptionally kind
…To my old age
Look at me Leonard, Look at me Leonard
Look at me one .. last … time

137. nigel - February 18, 2013

I wanted to add a little continuum to my reply to Tempus Fugit and others who have wished me luck in my ‘battle’ with bipolar and my wish to go forward from my very frequent postings on this blog into my artistic life and my close friends around me.

You may like to know that I went from my discharge from my worst manic episode into a terrible experience with the recovery medication (Clonazepam) and ending up one recent afternoon feeling so suicidal (luckily, recognizing it) that I had my workshop landlady drive me down to the asylum. For some reason, if you are arrested under any kind of order or section by the police, inspected by 3 doctors then driven by ambulance to the asylum, you are ‘in’ in 5 minutes. My request for a ‘place of safety, being a risk to myself’ took 4 hours to implement. At least I was admitted and able to get medical and nursing treatment. I am now ‘on the way out’ and told to not do any extensive teaching work for 3 months. Now I will be receiving a whole lot of financial nagging from my brother and father.

One beautiful thing – I now have a deep-feeling, sophisticated Irish girlfriend, who cares about my well-being. That is all I really need to say as a goodbye to you all on the blog and you will probably hear no more from me…..Nigel.

138. Golden Veil - February 18, 2013

Love is the way. I’m so happy for you, Nigel!

139. Terra Nova - February 19, 2013

Good luck, Nige. All’s well that ends well.

140. Tempus Fugit - February 19, 2013

Yes again, all the best to you Nigel. Your work here helped me and many others.

Onwards and upwards on the great path! I mean that, you are certainly on it. Your time in the FOF was just a minor pothole in the road. Now your shoes are dry and you continue on, still whole.

And still helping others wherever you go. Have a great life!

141. shardofoblivion - February 20, 2013

“Bay Area media outlets said the fireball was reported to have been seen from an area stretching from Gilroy, about 80 miles south of San Francisco, to Sacramento, about 90 miles to the north east.”

Surely the soothsayer of licence plates and Rhino pooh will have some wise words for his faithful followers on these portents in the sky?


142. brucelevy - February 21, 2013

Watch the trailer


There’s a sucker born every minute.

143. brucelevybooklab1 - February 22, 2013
144. Golden Veil - February 22, 2013

I want to see this movie. What a brilliant concept to inspire the questioning of “Authority.” I think that most guru devotees are about as thrilled about having their idols smashed as Scientologists are about The Master. They won’t see that movie…


145. Golden Veil - February 23, 2013

143. brucelevybooklab1 – February 22, 2013

Thank you so much for putting in the link but when I went to download the film they wanted my credit card information – movies aren’t accessible without it and they said it was to make sure of my location.
I did finally agree to give it to them but during the enrollment process they then said the service was $49.95 a month and only the first 5 days were free. Then the movie wasn’t there! I followed the directions as closely as possible to download Kumare. But there are numerous links on the page and the one I selected ended up not even having the movie! With your link I started at filmikz and downloaded their software and then had to select one of the “Watch full movie” providers. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else try this. Now when I go back to the link it says I have messages (Walmart offers) and there are silly video games popping up. I cancelled my credit card to protect myself. I wonder if there was a particular provider you selected? The one I selected was a bad one.

By the way, the below link is a safe site, free, and no need to enroll. No Kumare but wonderful documentaries… a website on the order of T.E.D. quality!

Top Documentary Films


146. brucelevy - February 24, 2013

145. Golden Veil

I don’t know how that could occur. I’ve been using that site for a couple years and I’ve never been charged anything.

147. Golden Veil - February 24, 2013

Bruce ~ If it’s been that long you may not recall how you accessed it for free but if anybody else feels daring enough to try their hand at it and can jot down the steps to do it, I’d love to see that movie. I must have taken a wrong turn on the digital highway!

148. ton - February 24, 2013

here’s another excellent film… highly recommended. this might be a bit of a stretch, nevertheless, one interpretation for the context here; calls into question the state / government as de facto “cult” inasmuch as it attempts to control the minds / actions of individuals… the implications (my take on it) have to do with compliance and complicity vs the importance of individuality in relating to an authoritarian control.


149. brucelevy - February 24, 2013

147. Golden Veil

Try the “nowvideo link”. Then click on one of the red “x” in one of the two boxes. Then start the video. You may have to let it buffer for a bit.

For a couple of the other link options you need to have the Divx program, which is free and I think worth having.

150. shardofoblivion - February 24, 2013

Thanks Bruce – the nowvideo link worked for me, though it did pause to buffer a fair amount. But I noticed on the same site the program ilivid being pushed, and I have had bad experiences with ilivid. So seems the best thing for our PC safety and identity security would be to watch it streaming and put up with the buffering. Here’s some comments from the norton community on the ilivid software:

I enjoyed the film immensely!

151. brucelevy - February 25, 2013

Many of the sites push programs that are better to stay away from. Divx sites, putlocker, Nowvideo are pretty dependable and don’t install malware.

152. Golden Veil - February 26, 2013

I persisted and finally got to watch Kumare, though calling
it “putting up with the buffering” is an understatement! I recommend seeing the movie. It’s very interesting because besides it being a documentary of how an American film school graduate with a modicum of self help knowledge, the ability to mimic his Hindu grandmother’s accent, and yoga expertise was able to fool people and gather a spiritual following, it shows that he was able to convince himself… this kind of self delusion may be what enthralled “The Teacher” Robert Burton of the Fellowship of Friends and propels him still in his long term spiritual con game with sexual gain.

153. Robert Schelly - February 26, 2013

Check out the etymology of the Guru/devotee relationship
What can we say we know for sure?
Starting with the premise that there can be Good ones
as well as Bad ones, here goes:
It is quite ancient
it requires a certain level of collective peace and quiet – so the students aren’t getting pulled off to fight wars nor the gurus getting slaughtered for fomenting revolt …
For instance, there is no longer the possiblity
In Tibet or Tibetan Sichuan or Gansu Provinces
for unadulterated transmission
Because the P.R.C. has their boot perpetually in the face
Of the monks there
Their ranks intersticed with spies
Their rituals reduced to human zoo exhibitions
For the spiritually-starved tourists,
Their every move catalogued.

Small wonder many
reach for the aganizing culmination of self-immolation.

There needs to be space for a teaching to be transmitted.

Point is,
In the current West, particularly in the U.S.A.
which is among the most spiritually oppressed nations
I would argue, the Guru role is played out; a dying star

Iit’s already over
and if you want a more accurate parallel
Try Gurdjieff putting the pilgrims together
to get the hell out of Russia
We are in a later stage now, for this particular drama
(Call it, the Migration of the Species)
then in 1971
when hippies had the youth and the time
and the relative freedom
and the cheap abundant fossil fuels
and the reasonably healthy economic environment
by which to create communities more or less
sorta free from the Panopticon.

There are good ones and bad ones
and bad ones born from the good and good from the bad
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Look at these conditions
You could buy the Fourth Way in airport bookstores in the 1970’s
What serves as B-Influence nowadays? Computer games.

This phase is DInosaured; mere survival of the light may be
the next act
if we are lucky.

154. shardofoblivion - February 27, 2013

Robert Schelly seems a little despondent about the spiritual state of the world. He says “Look at these conditions
You could buy the Fourth Way in airport bookstores in the 1970′s
What serves as B-Influence nowadays? Computer games.”

I am not so downhearted, it seems to me that there are just as many opportunities to find spiritual teachers, if that is what one wants, as there ever were, and the contemporary world has better information sharing systems than ever before. Printed books were good, but wikipedia and the internet are even better.

Here’s an amusing trope that popped up on my facebook page yesterday, an example of the free thinking modern mind having fun.

“If I were the Devil, I would manifest myself inside of a virgin, say that I am the Son of God and convince everyone that that they can now be forgiven for every sin just by asking, thus opening the floodgates for an unprecedented and unending torrent of sin.
I would start with the uneducated and the poor, I would impress then with some magic tricks, teach them to eat my flesh, drink my blood and always, ALWAYS, use MY name when speaking to God.
I would assuredly use my immortality to fool them into thinking I came back from the dead as proof of my divinity.
What better way is there to channel souls away from God and straight into Hell?” Lance.A.Sievert

155. Robert Schelly - February 27, 2013

Not despondent in the least, shardofoblivion; but your point is taken!

156. Robert Schelly - February 27, 2013

Shardofoblivion, you quote Wittgenstein in your profile. Quite an interesting and brilliant man. I would recommend Norman Malcom’s biography.

157. shardofoblivion - February 27, 2013

Thanks Robert Schelly, I will search for Malcolm’s biography, I understand it includes letters written to him by Wittgenstein which sounds intriguing. I also admire Wittgenstein, though I would not put myself in the category of a follower of his.

His early stuff had a robust realist colour “The world is everything that is the case”, but he also allows for what he calls “nonsense” statements that go beyond what can be seen as representing pictures of the world, “Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent” “It is not how the world is that is the mystical, it is THAT it is”

Then in later life he moves away from seeing words as representing facts, and prefers to see words as defined by the way they are used, nicely anticipating the post modernists.

One place I take issue with him is in the queer notion that it is not possible to use language to communicate internal sensations that could not in principle be verified, but maybe I have misunderstood his Private Language ideas in the Philosophical Investigations.

158. thirdlurker - February 28, 2013

Ya mean like the sound of one hand clapping or the space between your tongue and the back of your teeth?

159. silentpurr - February 28, 2013

RB’s Fellowship and the Papal State share several flaws; a penchant for young men, a disregard for women and the problems of moral relevance and internal governance.

160. Bares Reposting - March 1, 2013

Scenes we would like to see with Robert Earl Burton and Fellowship of Friends:
Pope Benedict resigned to avoid arrest, seizure of church wealth by Easter
Issued by the Legal Advisory Committee of the International Tribunal
into Crimes of Church and State (itccs.org)

Posted on February 13, 2013 by itccs:
Diplomatic Note was issued to Vatican just prior to his resignation
New Pope and Catholic clergy face indictment and arrest as “Easter Reclamation” plan continues.
A Global Media Release and Statement from The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State:


The historically unprecedented resignation of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope this week was compelled by an upcoming action by a European government to issue an arrest warrant against Ratzinger and a public lien against Vatican property and assets by Easter.

The ITCCS Central Office in Brussels is compelled by Pope Benedict’s sudden abdication to disclose the following details:

1. On Friday, February 1, 2013, on the basis of evidence supplied by our affiliated Common Law Court of Justice (itccs.org), our Office concluded an agreement with representatives of a European nation and its courts to secure an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict, for crimes against humanity and ordering a criminal conspiracy.

2. This arrest warrant was to be delivered to the office of the “Holy See” in Rome on Friday, February 15, 2013. It allowed the nation in question to detain Ratzinger as a suspect in a crime if he entered its sovereign territory.

3. A diplomatic note was issued by the said nation’s government to the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on Monday, February 4, 2013, informing Bertone of the impending arrest warrant and inviting his office to comply. No reply to this note was received from Cardinal Bertone or his office; but six days later, Pope Benedict resigned.

4. The agreement between our Tribunal and the said nation included a second provision to issue a commercial lien through that nation’s courts against the property and wealth of the Roman Catholic church commencing on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. This lien was to be accompanied by a public and global “Easter Reclamation Campaign” whereby Catholic church property was to be occupied and claimed by citizens as public assets forfeited under international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

5. It is the decision of our Tribunal and the said nation’s government to proceed with the arrest of Joseph Ratzinger upon his vacating the office of the Roman Pontiff on a charge of crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy.

6. It is our further decision to proceed as well with the indictment and arrest of Joseph Ratzinger’s successor as Pope on the same charges; and to enforce the commercial lien and “Easter Reclamation Campaign” against the Roman Catholic church, as planned.

In closing, our Tribunal acknowledges that Pope Benedict’s complicity in criminal activities of the Vatican Bank (IOR) was compelling his eventual dismissal by the highest officials of the Vatican. But according to our sources, Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone forced Joseph Ratzinger’s resignation immediately, and in direct response to the diplomatic note concerning the arrest warrant that was issued to him by the said nation’s government on February 4, 2013.

We call upon all citizens and governments to assist our efforts to legally and directly disestablish the Vatican, Inc. and arrest its chief officers and clergy who are complicit in crimes against humanity and the ongoing criminal conspiracy to aid and protect child torture and trafficking.

Further bulletins on the events of the Easter Reclamation Campaign will be issued by our Office this week.

Issued 13 February, 2013
12:00 am GMT
by the Brussels Central Office

161. Terra Nova - March 1, 2013

In or out of the FoF, the love of scandal never ceases.

162. shardofoblivion - March 2, 2013

at 135-158 the thirdlurker deftly shared
‘Ya mean like the sound of one hand clapping or the space between your tongue and the back of your teeth?’


163. shardofoblivion - March 2, 2013

By happenstance I watched this video shortly after watching the Kumare video, and it made me smile.

Spot the shepherds crook that Dizzee sports? Little bit Kumare eh 🙂

164. Shard_of_Oblivion - March 4, 2013

This web page is a stonking good read, and it is clear to see where Burton is coming from.


“I remember the joy of running into people from The Group, say in public, on a busy street corner perhaps, then us standing there looking into each other’s sparkling eyes, jabbering Work jargon in a state of Gurdjieffian bliss because “we” were so privileged to be awakening! We were better than the dull sleepers moving around us on the street. And it was good to know we were better. We were not supposed to feel guilty about being better. We were holders of the Secret! They were not. And we loved it! And we were full of shit!”

165. Golden Veil - March 5, 2013

We called it “Imagination” and the term still serves now…

166. idanevasayneva - March 5, 2013

Re 164. Shard of Oblivion

I also remember meeting fellow students for coffee a drink etc. It did seem very “special”. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with that feeling. It did give an intensity to interactions which is now totally gone. But it was built on something that is in the least somewhat questionable and at most maybe a bit dangerous- the feeling of being a special someone picked out of the crowd for this unique destiny. All very well, but It seems like it is not true.

After I left for about 6 months and was having the usual struggles that seem to be a part of daily life, a friend who had never been in any group told me that since I had had a compass for so many years, – something to steer by and set my course to – that now I would not have that and it might be a bit rough for a while. Well, perhaps they were not being super kind, for basically they told me that they had learned to deal with the slings and what-do-you-call-its of outrageous fortune and pick themselves up off the floor 20 years ago, and now I would have to learn how to do that 15-20 years later than most people….

Can’t beat Developmental delay…..

167. Pranidhi - March 6, 2013

“What can I say about a leader’s vanity? Too much of a good thing always spoils a man. To raise one to the seventh heaven and to cry out ‘Mahatma Ki Jai’ has made a man like Gandhi vain and brought him down. Shaukat Ali has bitterly remarked, ‘These things have gone to his head and made Gandhi mad!’
Besides, his immediate attendants put up a great show and fuss in every activity, which shows that Gandhi may have a taste for it. But it is the natural outcome of too much praise and adulation. This daily exhibition in all functions, public and private, has reached its limit. It is too prominent to conceal from a shrewd observer or a sincere soul, who never likes or desires such a show. Hence, there is dislike of him by many who, in spite of their admiration for him at one point, have left and are leaving him in numbers.”
– Meher Prabhu, Vol. 4, Pg. 1386

168. Tim Campion - March 8, 2013

I think anyone who participated in the Fellowship of Friends will find many parallels in Lawrence Wright’s recent book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief .

Coincidentally, L. Ron Hubbard issued his “Flag Order 3434RB” in January 1974, when our very own RB, Robert Burton, was 34. The infamous order outlines punishments for infractions of his organization’s rules.

Hubbard called his flagship the “Apollo,” the name Burton gave to his “ark.”

Following 1977 FBI raids to uncover evidence of a Scientology plot to infiltrate government offices, Scientology began “a deliberate campaign to provide religious cloaking for the church’s  activities.” The Fellowship of Friends incorporated as a non-profit a year later, and in 1980 issued its “Canons,” an obvious “religious cloaking” of the cult.

For years, Scientology waged a war against the IRS after that agency “had ruled that the church was largely operated to benefit its founder.”

“I was in a cult for thirty-four years. Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t” – Hollywood director Paul Haggis, as quoted in Going Clear.

169. Golden Veil - March 8, 2013

“Anyone within a group like this has to choose to be blind.”

said Paul Haggis in an interview, aired on January 13, 2013.
Click on the above link (his name) near the end of post 168.

If the film “The Master” is any valid reflection of L. Ron Hubbard,
it’s clear that extreme ethical and philosophical hypocrisy exists
in Scientology as much as it does in The Fellowship of Friends.

170. ton - March 9, 2013

If you haven’t already, see this movie… imo especially for the freddie quell character (portrayed by j. phoenix)… depicts a type of mentality motivating the cultist in his/ her beliefs… some aspect of myself from my time in the cult was reflected back to me in the character of freddie… disturbed and disturbing.

171. ton - March 9, 2013

re: 170

“this movie” refers to

“The Master” —

youtube trailer link didn’t post here.

172. Golden Veil - March 9, 2013

173. ton - March 10, 2013

172 golden veil

trippy !

174. waskathleenw - March 11, 2013

For those who knew Mark Smith, he passed this afternoon from liver disease/failure. Greg and I met him in the Palo Alto center in 1980 or so, lost touch for a few decades and reconnected when we moved to Portland in 2008. He had been living in Vancouver, Washington for many years and was teaching computer technology at a local community college until he retired this past year. Until he got too sick, he was in the process of translating Beelzebub’s Tales from the original Russian. Journey well, Mark.

175. Robert Schelly - March 11, 2013

I knew Mark in Los Angeles, circa 1987-1990 when he took up studying Russian. I also recall his decency, how he took me for dinner the night I bailed out of Westwood County with a DUI in 1988. My sentiments are the same. he has found the peace.

176. Tim Campion - March 11, 2013

Regarding my post above, it has been brought to my attention that two dates I quoted are incorrect. The Fellowship of Friends was incorporated as a non-profit in 1971 and the “Canons” were officially published in 1986, not 1980.

Thanks jp.

177. Bo Burlie - March 16, 2013

An article from the NY Times’ Arts this week:

“Lisa Pulitzer specializes in writing books with women who have broken free from religious sects and cultlike groups.”


178. Bo Burlie - March 16, 2013
179. Pranidhi - March 18, 2013

Guess what? Recently a Living Presence/Fellowship of Friends bookmark (copyright 2012) was found in New York City. They’re still using Gurdjieff/Ouspensky & have added the I Ching symbol as bait. I thought they had curtailed that activity since the lawsuit, but times are tough.
“Never give a sucker an even break.” – W. C. Fields
“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” – H.L. Mencken
Also recent encounters at funeral services for the departed indicates certain people are understandably uncomfortable with their membership status. Not so for ex-members who seem happy not to be associated with once admired Burton & cohorts. Turnabout is fair play.

180. ROBERT MAURER - March 18, 2013

Dear Friends – I’m new to these discussions, so please bear with me if I fail to follow any established protocols.I left the FoF in 1981 or 1982, after only a few years of membership. Toward the end of it, I had a very deeply distressing experience stemming from the behavior of other FoF members. This resulted in the end of a 23 year relationship with my best friend…my wife. It also caused me to doubt my own judgement about everything. Not one “friend” in the FoF responded to my requests for emotional support. I quit the FoF shortly thereafter. For at least ten years, I called myself an asshole for my believing in another person (wife) more than I believed in myself. One day it came to me that it wasn’t myself that I needed to forgive, It was someone else. I believe that I truly understand the pain of those betrayed by their belief in REB. It seems from some of these comments that the pain persists. As stated by another in these comments, it is a process to recover from severe emotional distress Please consider forgiveness as an efficient antedote. It worked for me.

181. Just the Facts Ma'am - March 18, 2013

179. Pranidhi – March 18, 2013:
‘Guess what? Recently a Living Presence/Fellowship of Friends bookmark (copyright 2012) was found in New York City. They’re still using Gurdjieff/Ouspensky & have added the I Ching symbol as bait. I thought they had curtailed that activity since the lawsuit, but times are tough.’

Lawsuit refers to a constraining order issued around the time of the initial release of Meetings with Remarkable Men film in 1979. As I best remember it: Dutton, publisher of several Gurdjieff – Ouspensky type books (work books), and the Gurdjieff Foundation, sought to prevent the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) from bookmarking these books for the recruitment of cult members and profiting from the interests arising from the film release. Fellowship of Friends used/uses placing promotional bookmarks in ‘work books’ in book stores, libraries, etc., as a major means of gaining new members; prospective students. An internal FoF document was issued around that time with specific instructions about which books could not be bookmarked.

From a legal point of view, I think one might see that any books are the property of the publisher until they are bought at retail and therefore bookmarking is the equivalent of trespassing.

jomopinata, and others, may have some perspective on this topic.

BTW, Pranidhi, what do you mean by ‘I Ching symbol’ and could you Google Image search for the likeness, and post the link to it on the blog, so that a clearer illustration can be made?

182. fofblogmoderator - March 18, 2013

#180 is new

183. fofblogmoderator - March 18, 2013

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