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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 137 July 11, 2013

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

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

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

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. Tim Campion - July 11, 2013

Steve,

As always, thanks for your continuing management and support of this site. Do you know if links can be added to the page so that readers can share or recommend this page via Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc.?

2. WhaleRider - July 12, 2013

FYI, if you hit “reply” to a post from a WordPress new blog post notification email, your post will not be assigned a number on the blog.

Rest assured, it’s nothing personal, nor is it a sign from Leonardo DaVinci.

Your post will only be assigned a number when you post directly from the blog…if numbers are important to you.

3. Tempus Fugit - July 12, 2013

INDEX TO THE BLOG

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

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

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

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

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

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

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

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

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

4. fofblogmoderator - July 12, 2013

Re; Post #1. Tim I don’t know, but I’ll look into it….

5. freeman - July 12, 2013

Ton, thank you for the links on the previous page. Here’s an excerpt from The Psychopath Test:

——

It wasn’t only Bob who believed that a disproportionate number of psychopaths can be found in high places. In the days after Essi Viding had first mentioned the theory to me, I spoke to scores of psychologists who all said exactly the same. One was Martha Stout, from the Harvard Medical School, author of The Sociopath Next Door. (You may be wondering what the difference is between a psychopath and a sociopath, and the answer is, there really isn’t one.
Psychologists and psychiatrists around the world tend to use the terms interchangeably.) They are everywhere, she said. They are in the crowded restaurant where you have your lunch. They are in your open-plan office.

“As a group they tend to be more charming than most people,” she said. “They have no warm emotions of their own but will study the rest of us. They’re the boss or the coworker who likes to make other people jump just for the pleasure of seeing them jump. They’re the spouse who marries to look socially normal but inside the marriage shows no love after the initial charm wears off.”

“I don’t know how many people will read this book,” I said to her. “Maybe a hundred thousand? So that means around a thousand of them will be psychopaths. Possibly even more if psychopaths like reading books about psychopaths. What should my message to them be? Turn yourselves in?”

“That would be nice,” Martha said. “But their arrogance would hold up. They’d think, ‘She’s lying about there being conscience.’ Or, ‘This poor dear is restrained by conscience. She should be more like me.’ ”

“What if the wife of a psychopath reads this?” I asked. “What should she do? Leave?”

“Yes,” said Martha. “I would like to say leave. You’re not going to hurt someone’s feelings because there are no feelings to hurt.” She paused. “Sociopaths love power. They love winning. If you take loving kindness out of the human brain, there’s not much left except the will to win.”

“Which means you’ll find a preponderance of them at the top of the tree?” I said.

“Yes,” she said. “The higher you go up the ladder, the greater the number of sociopaths you’ll find there.”

“So the wars, the injustices, the exploitation, all of these things occur because of that tiny percent of the population up there who are mad in this certain way?” I asked. It sounded like the ripple effect of Petter Nordlund’s book, but on a giant scale.

“I think a lot of these things are initiated by them,” she said.

“It is a frightening and huge thought,” I said, “that the ninety-nine percent of us wandering around down here are having our lives pushed and pulled around by that psychopathic fraction up there.”

“It is a large thought,” she said. “It is a thought people don’t have very often. Because we’re raised to believe that deep down everyone has a conscience.”

At the end of our conversation she turned to address you, the reader. She said if you’re beginning to feel worried that you may be a psychopath, if you recognize some of those traits in yourself, if you’re feeling a creeping anxiety about it, that means you are not one.

——

6. Deprogrammer - July 12, 2013

It is impossible for a narcissist to self-remember or experience higher consciousness. A narcissist is a personality that due to some form of emotional trauma has hardened out of defensiveness far beyond the usual degree of everyday, run-of-the-mill personality. Narcissists have survived some form of early abuse or trauma and have developed a kind of quasi-conscious personality. It is quasi-conscious in that it never allows its guard to drop in even the most relaxed circumstances. The narcissist is in a constant state of alertness, ever ready for an unexpected assault on its buried, highly sensitive emotional inflammation. Every moment of existence is a test of the narcissist’s self-worth and as each narcissist grows older equipped with an ironclad personality that most people cannot even imagine then he or she becomes ever more self-certain of his or her ability to control life. The narcissist must strive to control a life that in its mind is always potentially out of control and subject to sudden and unexpected assaults on one’s sensitive self-worth without cause. The narcissist also recognizes how weak people are and how perplexingly unmotivated they are to demonstrate their innate worth. It seems strange to a narcissist that others are apparently unconcerned about being thought of as something special. This is the narcissist’s lifelong obsession, to prove his or her deeply offended self-worth to, first, him or herself and secondarily to everyone else. The narcissist must prove that his permanently offended self-worth has been vindicated in the eyes of the world.

In order to self-remember the personality has to willingly give up control to the state of simple emotional openness, a willingness to fully experience anything and everything that life brings forward. All emotional defensiveness has to be relinquished, all fear has to be dismissed, all pretence has to be dropped in favor of just soaking up the wind, the rain, the sun and the influx of unpredictable impressions that the world delivers to the windows of the soul. For a narcissist this is impossible. When a narcissist “remembers himself” he in fact uses the increased powers of perception brought on by amplified attention to further augment the somewhat extraordinary defensive perceptiveness of his hardened personality. Rather than an “open heart” the narcissist is able to accurately perceive the emotional vulnerability of everyone else. The narcissist remembers himself only for crime, for a heightened perception of the vulnerabilities of everyone else.

Some narcissists prey on the perceived vulnerabilities others because they have been rendered conscienceless and utterly selfish and some narcissists choose not to do so because they still possess a modicum of human integrity. This is a fact, the malignant narcissist Robert Burton never in his life remembered himself in such a way that his personality dropped aside and his agenda-freed heart emerged into honest life.

When narcissists become gurus they mistake the hardened qualities of their permanently fixed personalities for an immortal soul. They become gurus because that vocation tends to reinforce the illusion that the “master” has attained everything there is to attain, both materially and spiritually. Finally, everyone believes in his or her desperate self-worth.

7. Pranidhi - July 12, 2013

How to spot a fake guru: No one worth their salt ever charged money for spiritual guidance.

8. Deprogrammer - July 12, 2013

No genuine guru ever tried to give spiritual guidance to another. Everyone has to figure it out for him or herself. A real guru simply inadvertently acts as a worthy example to others.

9. Tim Campion - July 12, 2013

Deprogrammer,

I’m not a psychologist, but the above declarations concerning narcissism strike me as somewhat dogmatic. What is the source of your expertise on the subject?

10. brucelevy - July 12, 2013

9. Tim Campion

Not to mention narcissistic.

11. freeman - July 12, 2013

Regarding the excerpt from The Psychopath Test above, which is concurrently a fairly entertaining book at times, but also disturbing…

Where I found it interesting is in the claim that psychopaths are much more common than most of us want to believe, because most people want to believe that everyone has a conscience. According to the author, many researchers believe that 1 out of 100 people are psychopaths, while some excerpts suggest it’s an even larger percentage of the population.

For me, one of the primary reasons that I remained in the FOF was my inability to see or believe that Burton and his enablers were doing harm, or that they meant to do harm — It was hard to believe they were psychopaths. It seemed like such a crazy idea that my I didn’t even “go there.” Part of the deception is that psychopaths tend to be charming and are very good at studying people’s emotions so that they can imitate those emotions and gain people’s trust.

Like me, I think many people remain in the cult because the idea of Burton being a psychopath seems too far-fetched to them. But if people in the cult were to read this book, they might see that it is not only not far-fetched, but that it is very likely. Burton has all, or almost all, of the psychopathic traits that the author describes. I also think it’s possible he has several psychopaths working close with him to keep his activities and motives from becoming common knowledge within the group.

Based on the math that some of these researchers suggest, there could easily be as many 15 or 20 psychopaths in the cult. And potentially a lot more if you consider that psychopaths might be drawn to an organization where people are likely to be vulnerable.

12. Deprogrammer - July 12, 2013

9. Tim Campion – July 12, 2013
Deprogrammer,

I’m not a psychologist, but the above declarations concerning narcissism strike me as somewhat dogmatic. What is the source of your expertise on the subject?

**

The piece I wrote is my own nonprofessional view. I have no psychiatric training, other than life experience.

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

Description[edit]

Persons diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder are characterized by unwarranted feelings of self-importance. They have a sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behavior. They have a strong need for admiration, but lack feelings of empathy for others. These qualities are usually defenses against a deep feeling of inferiority and of being unloved.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism#Traits_and_signs

Traits and signs[edit]Life is a stage, and when the curtain falls upon an act, it is finished and
forgotten. The emptiness of such a life is beyond imagination.[5]

—Alexander LowenA 2012 popular book on power-hungry narcissists suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:[6]

An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)
Difficulty with empathy
Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)
Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
Haughty body language
Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
Pretending to be more important than they really are
Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
Claiming to be an “expert” at many things
Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
Denial of remorse and gratitude

Aggressive narcissism[edit]

This is Factor 1 in the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, which includes the following traits:

Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying
Cunning/manipulative
Lack of remorse or guilt
Callous/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Collective or group narcissism[edit]

Main article: Collective narcissism
Collective narcissism (or group narcissism) is a type of narcissism where an individual has an inflated self-love of his or her own ingroup, where an “ingroup” is a group in which an individual is personally involved.[34] While the classic definition of narcissism focuses on the individual, collective narcissism asserts that one can have a similar excessively high opinion of a group, and that a group can function as a narcissistic entity.[34] Collective narcissism is related to ethnocentrism; however, ethnocentrism primarily focuses on self-centeredness at an ethnic or cultural level, while collective narcissism is extended to any type of ingroup beyond just cultures and ethnicities.[34][35]

13. Deprogrammer - July 12, 2013

The piece I wrote is my own nonprofessional view. I have no psychiatric training, other than life experience.

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

Description[edit]

Persons diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder are characterized by unwarranted feelings of self-importance. They have a sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behavior. They have a strong need for admiration, but lack feelings of empathy for others. These qualities are usually defenses against a deep feeling of inferiority and of being unloved.[6]

14. ton2u - July 12, 2013

Thanks Freeman for breaking-down the ronson book and extrapolating some of the data to the FOF…. interesting figures… given that there are various gradations of psychopathy it makes “intuitive” sense that burton’s hard core “inner circle” (the ones pulling the levers) might consist of about 15 – 20 “students” — and I imagine there is a large percentage ‘aspiring’ to be in that position… fledgling psychopaths. this sort of narcissistic ‘aspiration’ helps prop up the house of cards.

The book reads anecdotally with a good sprinkling of “factoids” — not “scholarly” but imo entertaining… “an easy read.” Generally the dire implication therein is that psychopaths and the wanna-be psychopaths are running the whole show… it’s not just the FOF that’s run by psychopaths, based on ronson’s book these “people” are endemic in society and they create an epidemic because of their effect on the rest of the populace….

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/books/the-psychopath-test-by-jon-ronson-review.html?_r=0

15. Deprogrammer - July 12, 2013

10. brucelevy – July 12, 2013

9. Tim Campion

Not to mention narcissistic.

**

What is wrong with being narcissistic? Generally, it happens to people before they are old enough to resist the involuntary mechanism that comes forward to cope with extreme conditions. It is not as if a grown adult decides to become a mugger rather than an employee at a carpet cleaning company and spends a few minutes a day selecting out victims and breaks pedestrian’s jaws on the streets in order to grab their cell phones for the resale value. A narcissist was emotionally traumatized by some kind of lower economic upbringing, perhaps, maybe some kind of alcoholic, white trash scenario, or any kind of abusive conditions, a weakling, perhaps, who was routinely bullied at school. In order to remain vaguely functional and able to take part in life, as an alternative to simply becoming a babbling loon or a catatonic, the individual develops a hardened steel exterior devoid of normal emotional responses. What is wrong with being a narcissist? Everything that threatens the self-worth of the individual, for instance the intelligence of others, produces a stimulation for hatred, envy, malice and typically a passive-aggressive assault.

Normal people keep their irrational hostility born of personality resentment in check to some degree. The narcissist cannot refrain from lashing out toward others from the motivation that something in another threatens the self-worth of the narcissist.

In society this irrational aggression is sometimes referred to as competitive spirit. For those who are born inherently weak competitors then the only compensation for the perception of being made to feel inferior is to rally group condemnation toward the offending party. Some narcissists, weakling narcissist, become consummate artists at rallying the group/pack instinct to savage outsiders who somehow seem to threaten an ensconced beta dog who constantly worries about his place in the pecking order of rudimentary emotional acceptance.

Let’s face it, people are messed up in general. We do not live in the world we live in because there are a majority decent people. People are deceptive. They lie to themselves. They behave without integrity for the most part.

This is the psychological constant that governs human beings at all times in all ages:

“People are shit.” ~Gurdjieff

This is the one thing in life that has always proven true, in my experience. In addition, the finer each person believes him or herself to be then typically the shittier that particular person actually is. Meaning, the less self-insight, the less self-awareness, the less self-consciousness the self-admiring individual actually possesses then the more he erroneously imagines himself to be something exceptional. The more morally superior a specific asshole believes himself to be then in general the more morally corrupt the creep actually is.

Anyway, that’s my philosophy based mainly on my own experience.

16. brucelevy - July 13, 2013

Unfuckingbelievable

17. freeman - July 13, 2013

Depro: “Let’s face it, people are messed up in general. We do not live in the world we live in because there are a majority decent people. People are deceptive. They lie to themselves. They behave without integrity for the most part.”

Actually, as described in The Psychopath Test and The Sociopath Next Dorr, and other books on the subject, many people believe that psychopaths have a disproportionately negative effect on the world, and are generally the catalysts for wars and other destructive events, and the primary perpetrators of all sorts of crime.

What you wrote above doesn’t sound like anything new or extraordinary. We’ve heard this in so many words countless times. This is pretty much the worldview of the FOF: “People are messed up. It’s a horrible universe. You’d better stay in the cult where it’s safe.” This is one of the biggest hooks, or deceptions, about this cult: If you feel like there are no people of value “out there” and nothing of value in the world in general, you’re more likely to join the cult, and stay in it.

In my opinion, psychopaths love it when people adopt this world view.

If enough people in the cult believe ALL people are “just as bad,” and “people are messed up in general,” and that everyone has suspect motives, then it’s a lot easier for the psychopath to hide their own motives and intentions.

The Psychopath Test and other books on the subject imply that it’s not black and white: with psychopaths over on this side, and all normal people over there. The level of the illness varies in people quite a bit. While all people potentially have some amount of dysfunctional behavior in them, the extent of the insanity in a psychopath appears to be something quite a different level. Their behavior is destructive and criminal, and both harmful to people near them, and to society in general. We met one in Robert Earl Burton.

18. wildz - July 13, 2013

I agree, Bruce

19. Tim Campion - July 13, 2013

Bruce, I think it’s twine time.

20. freeman - July 13, 2013

How can you not agree with Bruce here. The troll nonsense was fairly obvious from the first post.

21. Mick Danger - July 13, 2013

What’s the matter with you, Bruce? Do you have a problem with humble pronouncements about all human beings at all times in all ages?

22. brucelevy - July 13, 2013

21. Mick Danger

Don’t make me smack you.

23. brucelevy - July 13, 2013

It’s no different then waving your little dick around in public.

24. freeman - July 13, 2013

If you’re reading this page and have no idea what people are talking about sometimes, I’m with you on that.

25. Associated Press - July 13, 2013

GG is back.

26. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

Steve, regardless how well these people kiss your ass they are not your friends. Their friendship is worthless. You only have one friend in the world: yourself. The only ally you can ever count on is your own understanding and that understanding, if it is worth much, is always going to oppose the mentality of most of these kinds of people. People who form superficial alliances among themselves based on the dishonesty of emotional superficiality, people who fall into rotten codependent cliques, do so only to mutually buttress the psychological corruption that is inherent in 99% of all human interactions. People love to get rotten together. That is, people who believe they need the approval of everyone else in order to avoid the imaginary terror of being forced to become entirely psychologically self-reliant. People fear being alone, outside the glad-handed, backslapping stink of primitive camaraderie. Don’t fall victim to the whispering worms of the mindless communal tongue. The only approval a person ever really needs is his own conditional approval. An approval that is conditional on struggling to be ruthlessly honest with oneself. There is never any other company worth keeping.

27. ton2u - July 13, 2013

26
“Grandiose sense of self-worth” is one of their notable traits….

28. ton2u - July 13, 2013
29. brucelevy - July 13, 2013

21. Mick Danger

23 wasn’t directed towards you, if you didn’t already know that.

30. Golden Veil - July 13, 2013

26. Deprogrammer

Where do I sign up? Just kidding!

You may be taking this forum a little more seriously than necessary. Our moderator is very capable here; even with his demanding career (for which he has artistic critical acclaim) he manages to moderate this discussion. The time he spends is appreciated and some like to acknowledge his efforts. Your interpretation of it being ass kissing is a bit on the negative side of the looking glass. Take it easy…

The internet may be the main source of social interaction for some people that are isolated for various reasons. Your treatise on self reliance is extreme. It’s common knowledge that social interaction is important for emotional well being, health and longevity.

31. brucelevy - July 13, 2013

30. Golden Veil

Personally I feel it’s more that Deprogrammer is enthralled with himself and his brilliant thinking and can’t get enough of his magnificent intellect, in the face of humanity’s abject inferiority. But, as I’m clearly part of the inferior, I could be wrong.

32. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

“It’s common knowledge that social interaction is important for emotional well being, health and longevity.”

If it is “common knowledge” then it is a lie. Why? Because, commonly people are shit. They are liars.

The opinions from the ‘collective wisdom’ are all patently wrong.

Before there can be any health whatsoever in a person’s life there has first to be an interaction with the individual’s latent soul. Few there are who enjoy such a relationship. None of those who do enjoy such a healthy relationship gives any credence to “common knowledge.”

Steve is a very poor moderator. Whenever anyone gets the baboons who frequent this blog stirred up he feels compelled to delete them so he does not have watch carefully and make sure the local mindset is undermined. He’s not a moderator, he’s the local censor–the propaganda minister.

Before I’m removed in the next few minutes here’s this:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/605114212832937/

33. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

31. brucelevy – July 13, 2013
30. Golden Veil

Personally I feel it’s more that Deprogrammer is enthralled with himself and his brilliant thinking and can’t get enough of his magnificent intellect, in the face of humanity’s abject inferiority. But, as I’m clearly part of the inferior, I could be wrong.

**

It is not anyone else’s fault that you are dumb. The fault lies in the fact that you are so dumb you can’t keep your mouth shut. Most normal dumb people just keep quiet.

34. WhaleRider - July 13, 2013

From what I read and experience dealing with full blown narcissistic personality disorder, the chief emotion they fall prey to is…envy.

IMO, to “become entirely psychologically self-reliant” is an idealization.

Even the Unabomber, living all by himself in rhe woods needed others; with a low pain threshold, he needed a target audience to express his pain.

35. freeman - July 13, 2013

Fwiw…

This has come up more than once here, but if I were Burton and his enablers who are trying to keep people from reading this forum, I’d love it when the conversation veers off into vague philosophical generalities and descends into, “You’re an idiot,” and “No, you are.”

While I’m sure the most recent troll just loves the virtual attention, I also think he’s the perfect instrument for dragging the conversation into the abyss. Doesn’t really matter whether he’s a paid operative or not — it definitely serves the purpose.

Have fun everyone…

36. Ames Gilbert - July 13, 2013

Deprogrammer/Greg Goodwin:
Wow, you are in full flow now, aren’t you? Unable to control yourself—again. Trying desperately to dominate the blog and take your revenge on us because no-one took much notice of the many blogs you’ve created. You attack people like me for being too attached to this useless blog, but neglect to mention that you’ve spent literally years of your time attacking it and stalking the posters here on your various blogs in almost daily monologs composed of thousands of posts. Basically a quarter-million-word or more paean of praise to yourself and your superior insights.
Poor baby, we are too obtuse to recognize your superiority, your incomparable mastery of the principles of the Fourth Way, and no-one wanted you as a moderator of this blog, so you are going to throw tantrums—again.
If we only spent the time we waste here learning at your feet, we’d be three-quarters of the way ‘there’ (wherever you imagine that is) by now, wouldn’t we?

And now, ‘before you are removed’, you have advertised your latest monolog on Facebook.
Greg, people have shied away en masse from your outpourings on your multiple, monotonous blogs, for so many years. Have you ever thought why that might be? And, have you ever wondered about your compulsion to come back to this particular discussion time after time? Have you wondered about your helpless mechanical behavior in this regard, ever? Why you repeat this cycle over and over again, with exactly the same results each time? Your level of wisdom and capacity to learn is on display, yet again.

I wrote to you once, years ago. The same basic message still applies, even if you have hidden some of your many of your blogs from the public for now: http://tinyurl.com/c2s26cv

37. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

I tried making a convincing case that Burton is a fraud, but Tim thought it was “dogmatic” and Bruce thought it was narcissistic. They veered the conversation away from Burton and on to me personally. Now you insist I’m the one trying to sidetrack the issue.

Your friends couldn’t possibly be blamed.

38. ton2u - July 13, 2013

Ames, your link doesn’t seem to work.

g:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superiority_complex

39. Tim Campion - July 13, 2013

Freeman,

Don’t be too quick to dismiss Deprogrammer as the latest troll. They are likely someone who is carrying their own burden from falling under Robert Burton’s influence. In their own words,

I write on the subject of the FOF simply as an exercise to experimentally sort out my thoughts and feelings about the cult I was once in. I’d like to see Burton go entirely broke before he dies, but that is not likely. Instead of ‘revenge’ I’m trying to get the satisfaction of ‘non-identification’ by attempting to find an ordering of words that finally explains what actually happened to me when I was so convinced that I was immersed in the miraculous, even though ordinary “life-people” around me casually explained to me point-blank that I was being a naïve idiot.

And, I suppose, they deserve the same consideration as any contributor here.

40. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

36. Ames Gilbert/Girard Haven – July 13, 2013

Deprogrammer/Greg Goodwin:

Wow, you are in full flow now, aren’t you?

**

I just tear the incurable vanity right out your living guts, don’t I?

Someone told me you are less than 6′ tall. Is that right?

41. freeman - July 13, 2013

Tim, you’ve missed my point. I’m not suggesting they don’t “deserve the same consideration,” and I sense we could go in circles a bit here trying to explain ourselves. The overriding effect of this poster is to add to the chaos, and to change the subject from Burton to anything else. Their more thoughtful comments don’t prove otherwise. Engaging with them just adds to the noise, and the end result is a conversation that’s not very productive or informative.

I’m not suggesting there’s anything that can be done about it. They have a right to post like anyone else. I’m just calling it as I see it, though.

42. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

39. Tim Campion – July 13, 2013

I’m walking along the main road that runs through the landscape to the Fellowship property in the afternoon. I come around the bend and there is a young guy sitting on a backhoe with the bucket of the contraption pointed at a 50 year old guy futilely poking at the rusted, compacted soil of Northern California with a hopeless little shovel. The backhoe is off and the younger person is sitting there issuing orders to the older man who is inner considering and stabbing feverously at the unyielding soil on the side of narrow road. The younger guy is trying to widen the roadway so that he can get a building permit to build a retirement community near the cult grounds. Everyone knows it is a hopeless task. Everyone but the “boss” pointing adamantly at the embankment while the poor old guy who is just trying to “evolve” is sweating profusely in the heat.

In the distance a bulldozer is ripping up scrubland pointlessly. It is creating an environmental eyesore in tribute to the lunatic “third-liner” busy obsessing over a fantasy. The bulldozer operator is covertly drawing on Fellowship diesel fuel to get the destruction done. He gets caught and is none too happy. I don’t know if he ever got paid for turning the ecosystem into a mud hole. No buildings were ever constructed.

43. Tim Campion - July 13, 2013

Freeman,

I understood your point. And I found your discussion of the psychopath/sociopath very interesting. We might actually be witnessing a demonstration of this pathology right here, right now.

I do see it as relevant to the subject of Burton and the Fellowship.

44. Deprogrammer - July 13, 2013

43. Tim Campion – July 13, 2013

Freeman,

(paraphrasing) This person just delivered a bone crushing picture of myself from 20 years ago. It hurts to see myself. He is a psychopathic, child killing, sociopathic, demoralizing, cannibalizing, dangerous and unpredictable menace to everyone’s vanity. He must be demonized by all us phony, self-worshiping patriots right away. Agreed?

The moderator should not only shut him up by removing him from the “OKAY TO POST” list, but also send hit men to cut his fingers off with pruning shears.

45. Tim Campion - July 13, 2013

…and he deserves our consideration. (Did I actually say that?)

46. freeman - July 14, 2013

Tim, thanks for your commentary, here and on your website: http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/

The information and the perspective that you provide can be great assets for people trying to escape or recover from this cult. Knowledge is powerful.

47. freeman - July 14, 2013

Ton (14), I’m finding a lot of the ideas in The Psychopath Test (and other books on the topic) exciting and empowering in a strange way. For me, the topic of psychopathology provides some new insights into human nature and to many events throughout my life that — in the past — may have seemed bewildering or unexplainable.

One of the insights is that we are not “all the same,” and that we don’t all contribute equally to the insanity in this world. What I’m discovering is that psychopaths/sociopaths like Robert Burton would like us to believe that we are all equally insane (or “asleep”, “mechanical”, “dysfunctional”) because believing this is part of the web they weave to confuse, discourage, and manipulate people.

A shorter excerpt from the book:

“I don’t know how many people will read this book,” I said to her. “Maybe a hundred thousand? So that means around a thousand of them will be psychopaths. Possibly even more if psychopaths like reading books about psychopaths. What should my message to them be? Turn yourselves in?”

“That would be nice,” Martha said. “But their arrogance would hold up. They’d think, ‘She’s lying about there being conscience.’ Or, ‘This poor dear is restrained by conscience. She should be more like me.’

The above excerpt might remind a few people of Burton, who has downplayed the importance of conscience on numerous occasions, and in so many words has called it “feminine dominance.”

We can believe that we’re all the same in our shortcomings — but to lack conscience, and to be completely without compassion and feeling for others (although potentially skillful at pretending these feelings), and to live one’s life trying to deceive others and use them for your own selfish purposes, is a completely different realm of human psychology.

We were conditioned in the FOF to believe that all people have suspect motives for everything they do, largely tracing back to their “instinctive centers”. We were taught that humans lack anything that is inherently good, although supposedly they have the potential to increase their level of awareness through a lifetime (or “lifetimes”) of internal habits or mental exercises.

Some of us may look back and believe that these are concepts we “verified” in the FOF. But in my opinion, one of the most decisive steps in recovering from this cult is the acknowledgment that its ideas are suspect at best for the way they discourage and disempower people and prevent them from reaching their potential as human beings.

Another important step is to recognize and acknowledge that Robert Burton is a psychopath. Short of violent means, psychopaths tend to lose their power over people when they’re exposed for what they are.

48. ton2u - July 14, 2013

Freeman, thanks again for some thoughtful insights regarding the Psychopath Test in relation to the FOF… and especially in pointing out that there is a way forward in recovering from cult experience. In recovering I think it’s important to strike a balance… the experience requires processing and reflection but it’s important that perceived “mistakes” from the past do not become like slow poison. One way we humans learn is from “mistakes” — in so doing it’s necessary to revisit and untangle thoughts and feelings from the past and while going through the process it’s important not to get eaten up by the past.

I think vanity, pride and arrogance make it difficult for some folks to accept the fact that as human beings we all make “mistakes,” that this is part of life. When a person makes a mistake, the healthy thing to do would be to learn from it, move on and when possible to help others not to make a similar mistake. But as we’ve seen here on full display, when some folks make a what they think of as a mistake, vanity, pride and arrogance can enter in to beat up on the self. When wounded vanity/pride/arrogance dwells for too long on what is perceived as a mistake it can lead to self-loathing — but this self-hatred can’t be contained forever, it needs a release, an outlet and so it gets projected onto others… which leads to… well let’s just say it leads to generally unhealthy outcomes.

49. ton2u - July 14, 2013

re: self-loathing — the simple solution is self-forgiveness… simple but not easy. By this we might begin to forgive others and to become more humane, more human.

50. Deprogrammer - July 14, 2013

Robert Burton and company are no longer the least perturbed about anything anyone says on this blog. They check in here and laugh. Even the cult members understand that this blog has become more formatory than they are.

51. ton2u - July 14, 2013

burton and his fakakta cult be damned, like pigs in shit he and the “die-hards” will ride their little ‘gravy train’ straight to hell — why should he do anything differently it’s worked so far. IMO he is beyond help or helping.

IMO if this serves a purpose it’s as a warning for the naive neophyte looking for something to join, and it’s for cult escapees and wanna-be escapees who may need help / support in some form… everybody needs help from time to time and everybody SHOULD help one another, at least from time to time — “no man is an island.”

If any one is interested there’s plenty of information out there on the effects of PTSD in relation to cult experience.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735898000932

52. James Mclemore - July 14, 2013

50. Deprogrammer

If it is so laughable and “formatory” then why do you come here? I feel sure we all appreciate the pity you must feel towards us as you try your best to “deprogram” us from our horrible fate of being the poor unfortunate ones that “never select the correct tune on the tabletop Wurlitzer”, but aside from this unselfish act, I would think a mind of such great magnitude would certainly have better things to do.

53. Deprogrammer - July 14, 2013

52. James Mclemore – July 14, 2013

Precision. Sweet.

54. brucelevy - July 14, 2013
55. freeman - July 15, 2013

50. “They check in here and laugh.”

Laughing nervously perhaps.

But look, if Burton is so amused I’m sure he’d love to share all of this with his followers. No? Then he’s not amused.

56. ton2u - July 15, 2013

James, here’s a take on the situation: there’s a deeply rooted sense of self-loathing, a form of hatred which he projects onto others — “people are shit.” etc. Vanity, pride and arrogance cause him to hate himself for what he perceives to be the “mistake” he made in joining what turned out to be a cult… and by extension he hates all the other “dupes” who he sees as having made the same “mistake.” Now, these many years on, pride, arrogance and vanity will not allow him to forgive himself or others for the past and this leads to what we see here…. over and over again.

57. Deprogrammer - July 15, 2013

Typically each citizen’s home-grown philosophy, usually assembled from bits and pieces of opinions and hearsay, is an effective ideological bubble used to maintain and justify his or her lack of concern that there just might be more demanded by the obligation of life than simply enduring it until the end. For most distraction itself is effectively their religion.

58. Deprogrammer - July 15, 2013

56. ton2u – July 15, 2013

James, here’s a take on the situation: there’s a deeply rooted sense of self-loathing, a form of hatred which he projects onto others — “people are shit.” etc. Vanity, pride and arrogance cause him to hate himself for what he perceives to be the “mistake” he made in joining what turned out to be a cult… and by extension he hates all the other “dupes” who he sees as having made the same “mistake.” Now, these many years on, pride, arrogance and vanity will not allow him to forgive himself or others for the past and this leads to what we see here…. over and over again.

**

The problem with this is that it is based on just a few comments and doesn’t have the advantage of access to other sides of my life and mind. Here is what I would rather have happened (which of course is irrelevant): that I had acquired what I acquired from the Fellowship somewhere else, so the stink of place would not follow me around.

59. freeman - July 15, 2013

I sense you’re resentful or judgmental of the blog because — in so many words — many people suggest that what you “acquired from the Fellowship” isn’t quite as valuable to hold onto as you believe it is?

But even stating that you could have acquired it “somewhere else” seems like a good thing to me. Part of the cult mindset is that we couldn’t have possibly learned what we learned in the FOF anywhere else. Because how could we? It’s a conscious school, etc. The mind fuck is so deep that it may be hard to see that the FOF is nothing extraordinary or new. It has a cult leader, and cult followers who are blissfully asleep about his activities. It suggests a way to enlightenment. It suggests that its way, only its way, is the one true path to enlightenment.

It wasn’t all negative. But many of the seemingly positive things that we bring out of the FOF can be experienced elsewhere in healthier environments with healthier results. Or we might come to same road but in an entirely different way.

60. freeman - July 15, 2013

Or we might come to *the* same road, but in an entirely different way.

61. Associated Press - July 15, 2013

When you come to a fork in the road. . .Take it!
Yogi-ism, as in Yogi Berra.

Fellowship of Friends (FoF) has been called ‘The Fork Way’ because so much of its activities revolve around food and dining. But, also, if you want to be forked over, you know where you can go. May the forks be with you.

62. WhaleRider - July 15, 2013

IMO, there is a big difference between “vanity” and healthy self-esteem; yet immersed in the cult experience, with the blatant competition between followers of who can appear the most “self-less”, it would be difficult to see that difference.

It seems to me that in the FOF cult the term “vanity” (along with “false personality” and “inner considering”) was systematically employed in a corrosive manner to disassemble a follower’s self-esteem, rendering them submissive to cult authority and dependent upon the cult leader for validation.

burton exploits his followers with low self-esteem knowing from years of experience that they will allow themselves to be exploited in order to belong to a group of “lucky, chosen ones” who have been granted the exclusive privilege of working on their “vanity” to literally crawl through shit in order to be noticed by burton, only to be summarily dismissed for the new flavor of the week.

Is there an exercise against irony?

63. Deprogrammer - July 15, 2013

59. freeman – July 15, 2013

I sense you’re resentful or judgmental…

**

I appreciate your taking the time to reach out to me. First, however, let’s address the condescending attitude.

I don’t know who you imagine you are or what you think you know, or what you and your blog buddies have decided on over coffee at Starbucks while discussing this week’s reading project, but it is far more likely that I’m the one with the grasp on reality and you’re the one with his “free” head up his ass.

Why would I be so rude as to say so? Everything you’ve posted that I’ve read seems to be borrowed right off the shelf of the most rudimentary echelon of the mind’s capacity for reasoning. This indicates that you have developed no or little “self-consciousness.” Typically, people with some self-consciousness possess the capacity for thinking for themselves.

I certainly am not permanently conscious of myself, but I am more conscious now than I have ever been. I’m conscious enough to know that people speaking from the formatory apparatus using ideas borrowed from other formatory apparatuses do not know anything practical about reality–any reality. The flawed assumption you reveal about yourself when you speak using a condescending attitude actually shouts: “My group of cohorts has decided we know what’s going on around here due to careful consensus and I am enjoying all the self-confidence that group narcissistic delusion affords me.”

You, those who agree with you and the experts who wrote the books that informed you of your present opinions, together, do not understand more about existence than I do.

You may have taken the “The Psychopath Test” and passed, but you do not pass the groupthink, cliché, fallacious logic test.

“…many people suggest that what you ‘acquired from the Fellowship’ isn’t quite as valuable to hold onto as you believe it is…”

‘…many people suggest…”

If you are trying to convince me of my mistaken values by using the fallacious argument of “arguing from authority,” that is, employing sociological coercion through asserting an assumption of the infallibility of majority-consensus to bolster your opinion then I’m afraid that argument tends to have the opposite effect, in my particular case.

64. Charles Steiner - July 15, 2013

“I’m conscious enough to know that people speaking from the formatory apparatus using ideas borrowed from other formatory apparatuses do not know anything practical about reality–any reality.”

That is so fucking true!!!

65. freeman - July 15, 2013

63. “I’m the one with the grasp on reality and you’re the one with his “free” head up his ass.”

Hey, whether you think I’m condescending or not (or maybe just expressing a viewpoint that challenges your own), I’ve never unleashed this kind of abuse on you or anyone else on these pages.

If your goal is to get people to stop posting, and stop reading, I’d say it’s working pretty well. Congratulations, and have fun!

And by the way, Charles, thanks for your kind support. I think one exclamation mark would have sufficed.

66. freeman - July 15, 2013

3. Tempus Fugit – July 12, 2013

Thanks for your words and insights on these pages:

“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 Fellowship of Friends you may find your path to freedom.”

67. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

“Hey, whether you think I’m condescending or not (or maybe just expressing a viewpoint that challenges your own), I’ve never unleashed this kind of abuse on you or anyone else on these pages.”

Don’t be so ridiculously sensitive.

68. Tempus Fugit - July 16, 2013

First thanks to “freeman” for complimenting my posts here – much appreciated! He also reminded me that I fail to thank all of you often enough. Your writings here have helped me understand my FOF experience more deeply and supported my ongoing healing.

This is also a good time to repeat my support and appreciation for our blog moderator – thank you.

Further up on this page Tim Campion spoke up on Deprogrammer’s right to post here (39. Tim Campion – July 13, 2013). I agree and think we should be very open about participation.

I joined this blog for three reasons: to warn others against joining the Fellowship of Friends cult, to help current members see the truth and escape, and to help myself in my own recovery.

After blogging for a couple of years I would add a fourth reason: maybe something I say helps you in your recovery as you have helped me.

In fact, I now regret that I supported banning “I in the Sky,” because reading her/his posts put FOF cult thinking on full display and allowed us to point out the insanity and immorality of his/her position.

If current members are questioning their involvement and checking out this blog for help, perhaps such direct confrontation of cult dogma is useful. Perhaps we should welcome FOF posters with the same openness shown almost everyone else.

After all, each of us has a lot of control over how the blog affects us. For myself, if someone writing something I don’t want to hear I just skip over it. I also don’t feel obligated to reply to anyone or reply to any topic that is raised.

Also, unless expression of “negative emotions” to others is truly abusive, why worry about it? Here I again appreciate the moderator’s patience and caution.

During my years in the cult I was told that anger and other harsh feelings were unacceptable, part of the “lower self,” “expressions of false personality,” “keeping us asleep,” and “blah blah blah,” and all of these arguments were untrue and dishonest.

Anger is part of being a full human being. When I listened to this nonsense and accepted the denial of my own humanity, I closed my inner ear to the voice of my intuition, which was trying to tell me that my well intentioned decision to commit to the FOF had been wrong, that the “school” is a fake, and Burton is a charlatan.

Thank God I live in America, and can still speak my truth. When I was in the cult I voluntarily gave up my right to freedom of speech – that was a huge mistake I will never make again.

69. freeman - July 16, 2013

So, is this what it’s come down to for you? Throwing a few insults across the internet at some unknown recipient? Over and over and over, looking for a target?

Long ago, you apparently believed in something higher and noble. Later, you knew something and understood some things. You believed you met some people you could relate to and connect with. It wasn’t about winning — not about competition, not about having anything to prove to anyone anywhere, not about looking good or appearing strong. Moments of consciousness for you alone to experience, and not for anyone else to observe. Nothing to gain, no money, no notoriety, no power, no fame. Just you, and your soul. Sometimes connecting with other souls — not competing with them, just connecting.

What happened to that for us? Has it landed here — on this unremarkable internet page, dying a slow death? Just as it did in the Fellowship?

70. freeman - July 16, 2013

Tempus, enjoy your freedom. If the abuse is directed at you, maybe your perspective will be slightly different. Have fun everyone!

71. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

70. freeman – July 16, 2013

If the abuse is directed at you, maybe your perspective will be slightly different. Have fun everyone!

**

You are one thinned skinned adult.

“If there is anything in a man able to resist external influences, then this very thing itself may also be able to resist the death of the physical body. But think for yourselves what there is to withstand physical death in a man who faints or forgets everything when he cuts his finger?” ~Gurdjieff

72. freeman - July 16, 2013

Yes, heaven forbid that anyone stand up for themselves, or disagree with you. Isn’t that what we were taught in the cult? Don’t stand up for yourself. Don’t say no. Don’t object.

As much as you throw out these occasional criticisms of Burton, it doesn’t appear that you ever left the cult in earnest, especially given your willingness to throw out quotations by Gurdjieff, including: “People are shit” further up the page.

Don’t you think (assuming G. said that) it provides evidence that something was seriously wrong with the man? Instead, it has become your personal anthem, uttered in almost all of your posts in so many words.

Your presence here seems utterly motivated by pride and anger — looking for one target after another to express your rage. Or, in some ways, just to disrupt things.

“You are one thin skinned adult.” But having said it, you can’t seem to realize that you are speaking to yourself.

73. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

“And by the way, Charles, thanks for your kind support. I think one exclamation mark would have sufficed.”

freeman,

I like to support what’s true, not any individual here. Deprogrammer wrote something true and I highlighted that. That’s all I did and that was all of my intention. I wasn’t targeting you or attacking you or showing you lack of support. I aimed elsewhere entirely, and I will apologize to you if I gave you that impression. Again, it was not my intention. I don’t know you so I couldn’t possibly support you.

In the passage I quoted earlier, what Deprogrammer wrote wasn’t targeting you in particular. He was addressing the B-influence nonsense that too often gets espoused here on this website (by you perhaps but also by a great many others).

It drives me nuts to read all this blah-blah-blah opining about what is or is not spiritual/psychologically healthy/enlightened, etc. Almost all of the stuff typed here IS formatory, and I was glad to hear someone shout that the Emperor has no clothes here, although why Deprogrammer sees Burton for who and what he is and yet remains and insider is mystery to me.

Just to note here, freeman: Deprogrammer did say something else that definitely targeted you earlier, and I wanted to highlight it as well because I found it too was also a true statement worth highlighting, but I omitted doing so at the time because the statement most emphatically was directed at you, came out of a context targeting you, and by quoting it, it would have served as an flagrant attempt to flame you — harmfully and needlessly. I know what it’s like to experience ridicule by a troll or another anonymous online commenter, and I knew enough not to threaten harm to someone else for my own selfish delight in a nonetheless true statement.

What Deprogrammer wrote that I found pretty special was: “My group of cohorts has decided we know what’s going on around here due to careful consensus and I am enjoying all the self-confidence that group narcissistic delusion affords me.”

Apart from you or why he said it to you, freeman, what this perception encompasses is a true and accurate conception about how group-think works, and it occurs not only on this website but on a whole lot of other controversial websites. It’s actually so obviously true, the only way it might harm you was if you couldn’t respect what’s true.

It’s not formatory to acknowledge the truth by someone speaks the truth, even if that truth comes from someone we would regard as a clone or a self-deceived slave within a cult. Whoever he is, he’s bright and sharp and has got his own story; that’s for sure.

Postscript: I also liked how he reported here that everyone in the Fellowship laughs at this blog. He really was helping us perceive the “magical” world of the Fellowship of Friends through his eyes. Deprogrammer did not give you or anyone here so much an answer to your and others’ many questions or assertions regarding the validity of the Fourth Way or Robert Burton or the Fellowship of Friends, etcetera. He offered only laughter and ridicule as his final answer.

What he thus essentially said, with his laughter and with his sense of ridicule was: “My group of cohorts has decided we know what’s going on around here due to careful consensus and I am enjoying all the self-confidence that group narcissistic delusion affords me.”

He was contradicting himself, but he couldn’t SEE IT. He can see the flaw in others but not in himself or in his attachment to his own group.

“And when the photograph was taken, we were in it.”
— Gertrude Stein

74. brucelevy - July 16, 2013

It never ceases to astound me how a significant segment of society consistently addresses pathology as “normal”, and then expects something “normal” in return. I guess that’s the pool that the sociopath prefers to feed from. There’s certainly no dearth of self imposed victims.

75. Tim Campion - July 16, 2013

(You guys may have to define “formatory” for anyone under 50.)

76. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

Tim Campion,

After I wrote my comment to freeman, I wondered if I had miscommunicated by using the word “formatory.” This is the only place where the word can be used appropriately, but, you’re right. Age is a factor here — and remembrance of things past like the books “In Search of the Miraculous” and “The Fourth Way” by Ouspensky, works in which the term “formatory apparatus” was first introduced.

What formatory means, in the context I was using it — and the way I think Deprogrammer had used it earlier, too — was, in non-4th Way language: “received ideas,” no different from Flaubert’s criticism of the way a bourgeois gentleman thinks, i.e, borrowed terms, borrowed phrases, slogans, cliches, status quo ideations that, for an adult mind, are no better than a child reciting her ABCs; or to say, an unvarying, steady and complacent data stream of quotidian information that has never been truly tested, tried, vetted, and/or examined deeply in any way and found out to be true but rather is simply accepted as knowledge and/or fact because it was given — by an expert or other authority — and then received as fact, almost without any questioning at all; unthinking and rote acceptance of ideas and information, which, lastly, involves no creativity, no innovation whatsoever. It is completely formulaic thinking.

Formatory is really such a deep and good and economical word and so full of meaning, too, that I wish it could be put into the dictionary for everyone to use since it would speed up communication wonderfully. I use it in my thinking whenever I perceive someone taking pleasure in the recitation of mere fact without connecting it to specific contexts to give the data deeper meaning or if I hear history buffs and sports fans spit out facts and data from books and records as if this data itself were intrinsically interesting — and I want to describe these individuals and remember them for what they say or said. I think to myself, “They have an active formatory apparatus.” and then I remember them and what they said, too. I do.

It’s a grand and useful concept. It’s like the word “furniture.” The concept furniture comprises many individual and distinct chairs, tables, and sofas of all kinds and more, and it would be difficult to describe what you see quickly without this useful word and concept. The concept “formatory” functions in the same way, subsuming many details all at once. It’s definitely a practical, helpful, smart concept.

77. freeman - July 16, 2013

With formatory thinking (so the theory goes), a person tends to think in black and white, or all or nothing. They’re incapable of deeper, long thoughts, and incapable of seeing the nuances in the truth. With formatory thinking, a person is more likely to spew out ready-made phrases and terminology when making an argument.

A person was usually “photographed” for formatory thinking when they questioned Burton’s activities, or even hinted at flaws in the Fourth Way philosophy. In general, the use of the phrase “That’s formatory” was a ready-made response to describe anyone who strayed from the party line.

Someone might also use the term if they disagreed with someone and really didn’t have a strong argument in return. They could always throw the word out there for effect.


Bruce, I may be misinterpreting, but I see your point.

78. freeman - July 16, 2013

Charles, now that you’re on the subject, to truly go beyond “formatory” commentary, it might help to describe several examples on this page that you believe are formatory (You wrote: “Almost all of the stuff typed here IS formatory”), and explain how those examples fit the description. Otherwise, attaching the label without an explanation, and without examples, sounds a little “formatory” to me.

By the way, I think you’re confusing the expression of opinion and the citing of other sources to support that opinion, as being formatory. If that’s what it is, then maybe formatory isn’t so bad after all.

79. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

“Robert Burton and company are no longer the least perturbed about anything anyone says on this blog. They check in here and laugh. Even the cult members understand that this blog has become more formatory than they are.”

Another aspect of Deprogrammer’s confession not mentioned thus far is how well it conforms to and recapitulates how lesbo Margaret Anderson, to mention one exalted Gurdjieffian student from the past, treated lesbo Gertrude Stein when the latter once came to Fountainbleu in order to talk with Gurdjieff and perhaps become a member of The Rope, Gurdjieff’s group of gay gals. (It’s all written in Anderson’s journals.)

Oh, how Margaret Anderson tittered and laughed at Gertrude Stein’s pomposity and audacity!! To even THINK SHE, OF ALL PEOPLE, might aspire to gain entrance into the Work! Oh, the sheer nerve and gall!! The giggles were enormous.

Margaret laughed and the others in the group laughed with her, too, mocking Gertrude Stein and her “vanity.”

Gertrude Stein left happily too, because she concluded, after her interview, Gurdjieff was a fraud — or, at best, a cruel fool. She was not a fool, and she said so.

Gurdjieff has always had a suspect aura about him (despite his great wit and aphoristic insights), but with Burton, there’s actual documentation that he’s a genuine stinker and a plagiarist to boot. His genius lies in deceiving others and thereby acquiring loot.

Ridicule and laughter are just a very common, unenlightened phenomenon, particularly for the catty gay insider versus the (gay) outsider (as found in Margaret Anderson’s journals about Stein and Gurdjieff) and there’s nothing noble or special in it certainly: “My group of cohorts has decided we know what’s going on around here due to careful consensus and I am enjoying all the self-confidence that group narcissistic delusion affords me.”

It’s really just best to say away from groups altogether.

Back in the early Seventies, I had a friend who told me all she learned from her experience of “being in the Work” was how to take herself much too seriously; she joined Subud instead and stayed for decades after marrying and having children, too. It was well after I left the Fellowship of Friends that I remembered my friend’s experience and realized what a really great message she had given me so many years before.

80. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

freeman,

I think you quoted me out of context just a tad. What I wrote was:

“It drives me nuts to read all this blah-blah-blah opining about what is or is not spiritual/psychologically healthy/enlightened, etc. Almost all of the stuff typed here IS formatory.”

Perhaps to be more plain, I should have written “Almost all of the kinds of stuff I’ve just mentioned IS, here, formatory.”

I have already posted the meaning of formatory on this blog and the context I used it in. I think I provided ample examples for you to see what is and is not formatory on this blog. I think you can use your brain to match the species with the genus.

I was also specific in mentioning opinions revolving around psychological advice, enlightenment advice, etcetera, stuff of that sort which abounds on this blog. That is mostly all formatory. This blog ought not be the Ann Landers of Esotericism.

There really is no psychology. There’s biography and there’s autobiography, and that’s about it. The so-called “science” we have is miniscule and impotent.

If you are asking me to flame somebody for saying something formatory, then you are asking me to do the very thing you dislike having done to you. I have no beef with you. I haven’t really been paying much attention to you at all really. Deprogrammer got my attention instead – as he has most of us here.

Citing of sources has nothing to do with anything I said or want to say or thought to say. Honestly, citing of sources can be formatory or not. Genuine research is not commonly done on automatic pilot, so finding the sources and the citations for the research is part of that effort and some citations are difficult to decode, so, no, it wouldn’t be formatory to cite sources necessarily. However, if you just keep a list of citations in a bookmark and then pull them out each time automatically as an “answer” to someone’s question or argument — that would indeed be formatory.

Arguments from authority, on the other hand — no matter how well they are cited — are logical fallacies pure and simple — as Deprogrammer has already mentioned. To use logical fallacies does require the formatory apparatus. To know logic and to discern fallacies is not a given; therefore, it is not formatory. It requires thinking.

Again, I’m not taking sides; I just took a little jouissance out of someone saying something true . . . no matter who it is — and expressed it.

I hope this response puts the matter in perspective. Well, I write I’m not taking sides, but perhaps I am a little. Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is a very dull story without the Devil. Deprogrammer serves as the Devil here, and I suppose I like when the Devil says something true or when he stirs shit up to make us think more clearly.

81. freeman - July 16, 2013

Charles,
Because you haven’t stated any examples, you just wrote several paragraphs with no clear argument to back up your claims. It’s a lot of words and concepts but with no focus and no coherent statement. What is clear is that you’ve evaded the question. You’re unwilling to state examples because you don’t want to “flame” someone? Are you serious with that one?

And you characterize it as “arguments from authority”? What I’m seeing on these pages are arguments from experience and direct observation. There’s no “logical fallacy” in that, nor is there a logical fallacy in quoting from others.

“Deprogrammer serves as the Devil here, and I suppose I like when the Devil says something true or when he stirs shit up to make us think more clearly.”

The problem is, “stirring up shit” is exactly what Burton would want here, and I think anyone who believes this is somehow productive in this forum is either misguided — or is with Burton.

Look, I’m sure you’re having a lot of fun with this, Charles. But before you admire the Devil too much, be careful that he doesn’t turn on you.

82. freeman - July 16, 2013

And by the way guys, if the statements that Depr. is delivering on this page are not “excessive abuse” as described at the very top, then what is? (“head up ass” etc.) It sounds like I’m in the minority in seeing it that way. Strange: I recall the same sort of feeling when I left the Fellowship.

83. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

Should the world of words be the only safe, protected place on a planet where people get blown to pieces while participating in routine sporting events? What kind of hyper-sensitive, competition-shy, utopian-demanding gentlemen are we becoming? You’re sitting in your living room with the doors locked where the only thing that can possibly invade and ruffle your sense of security and propriety is a formatory phrase from some blogger (“head up your ass”). This is what you’re protesting? An uncreative, predictable slight to your ego? I’ve almost come to physical blows with two belligerents half my age in the last year alone. What would an episode like that do to your sense of emotional continuity?

You might be just a bit too insulated from the realities of everyday, “down on the street” existence. If I thought the mildly jolting and yet nevertheless routine phrase “head up your ass” would throw anyone into a panic attack I would have certainly refrained from using it. I have no wish to do serious damage to anyone’s emotional wellbeing.

84. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

Is an active interest in the Fourth Way a sure sign of a cult mentality?

I believe Gurdjieff was a crank, but one who delivered a significantly valuable body of knowledge to the conscientious and responsible Ouspensky in Russia in the early part of the 20th century. I am an ongoing practitioner of that knowledge and yet do not belong to any group.

Burton met a psychotic con-artist, Horn, had the methods of psychotic manipulation beaten into him, and continued the tradition of stealing money, sex and control over fools using contrived Fourth Way ideas distorted beyond any positively directed service. In my view that does not diminish the value of the Fourth Way knowledge.

85. ton2u - July 16, 2013

re: the “the devil” and shit..
It’s true, “he” and it (shit) are part of life as it turns out, and being part of life “he” has something true to say but as for stirring up shit, it doesn’t always help to “make us think more clearly” — sometimes the stench is overwhelming, overbearing… that being said, it does stimulate things when someone plays the role.

It goes without saying (but I’ll ‘say’ it anyway), the ‘esoteric cookbooks’ are only indications of something… what? “THE” way ? maybe it is for you, and I have to respect that, I am happy if you have found YOUR way…. but you can certainly be “formatory” about so-called esotericism — thinking in terms of “Gurdjieff says…” etc. In fact cult programming relies on this type of thinking to a large extent, and you don’t need to be in a cult to be influenced by this sort of thinking. On the other hand, IMO, along with the dross and the “shit” there’s plenty of human wisdom out in the “mainstream” today, it takes searching and discrimination to get the nuggets but truth is where you find it and what you make of it. To some folks here, “common sense” is seen as “beneath” their “sensibility” and treated with contempt and disdain.

The “survivor” of cult experience is not on the same level as a war survivor, nevertheless in both cases, depending on the individual, some degree of trauma is the result…. this is my experience. I don’t think it’s going too far to say that the effects of PTSD are often experienced by cult survivors… in fact I think we witness it here. Of course there is the whole individual biography to consider and what went into the individual make-up prior to joining a cult is a part of the picture…. so how to deal with past experience in the present and into the future is a question.

One cult “survivor” — and it’s still a question as to whether or not some of us have actually survived the experience, even though we may be outside the cult:

“Here is what I would rather have happened (which of course is irrelevant): that I had acquired what I acquired from the Fellowship somewhere else, so the stink of place would not follow me around.”

How does this “survivor” deal with the “stink” — partly it’s by hanging on to what was “acquired.” But the “stink” remains, so how to deal with it ? I can only comment on what I see here, I don’t know anything about the rest of a blogger’s existence but it appears that lashing out at others who remind him of the ‘stink’ is how he’s been dealing with some of HIS issues. I don’t know that there’s any resolution that way, it’s the old dog chasing tail.

Here’s a recent talk by a man named Bessel Van Der Kolk — some will consider this sort of information “formatory” or too “Ann Landers” and therefore beneath their sensibility and will ignore the information… otherwise you can click “RESTORING THE BODY” link if you’re interested in how PTSD is being treated in some circles:

http://www.onbeing.org/

Thanks to all for your input.

86. Golden Veil - July 16, 2013

I see. A practitioner of knowledge ~ the reason for your participation on this blog is clearly to educate. Now, where do I sign up? At the FaceBook link?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/605114212832937/

DeProgrammer, is your handle there Moniker Trebuchet? Then all becomes even more clear…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet

87. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

Blog definition of psychopath: anyone able to effectively challenge and expose your mindset, especially if they are even mildly rude while do so.

88. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

freeman,

Yawn.

89. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

Deprogammer, “Is an active interest in the Fourth Way a sure sign of a cult mentality?

No.

90. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

88. Charles Steiner – July 16, 2013

“No.”

Good. I was getting worried.

91. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

Charles, you seem to have thought things out rather extensively so I wanted to ask what you make out of the phenomenon whereas current Fellowship of Friends members exhibit the following attitude: “One of the powerful verifications of our school and influence C is the great art produced throughout the history of civilization. The life people merely appreciate it as decoration or as a relic of the quaint beliefs of primitive societies. The material was preserved in museums and onsite to a large extent, but mainly it was more or less forgotten only to reemerge in all its majestic glory as a living affirmation of our leader’s teaching. Before the Teacher the great art of the world languished in misunderstood obscurity. Robert has given every great piece of artistic expression a new life. The real life it was always intended to live! As each new expression of the living teaching unfolds then suddenly a new aspect of ancient art is discovered that entirely affirms the fact that we are the only real school!”

What do you say to such a frame of mind?

92. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

Deprogammer,

That quotation is one massive generalization and contains no specificity. It says nothing and seems to say everything, because it contains a single grain of truth, so it’s easy for the lie or the propaganda to be swallowed.

The grain of truth I find in the quotation is that (life) people appreciate great art as decoration or a relic of quaint beliefs. This is true by observation about most people, but not for everyone. Bernard Berenson and others like him are exceptions. Art historians and serious art collectors are the exception. Everything else in the quotation consists of a massive claim without support of any kind.

The quotation also reflects thinking that was not dissimilar to what I encountered when I was a member nearly 40 years ago. I was hopeful that C influence was guiding Burton to build a new civilization or was guiding him to save civilization. Lord knows the signs of deterioration of civilization were visible in the Seventies but now it clearly surrounds all of us. War, war, war, war upon our minds and upon all peoples.

However, the assertions in this quotation rely upon faith, not verification, about Burton and C-influence and the kind of ancient art that is spoken of here. I think Egyptians have left clues in their art as to how their civilization was constituted and what their beliefs were in terms of astronomical signs, and decoding the signs does require great knowledge, hard work, and intelligence, but “the Teacher” does not own the access to such understanding through intuition or “higher centers,” if he can even possess any real knowledge of that arena at all. The quotation doesn’t even specify Egyptian art.

I might even be tempted to go with the claim as a member of the Fellowship of Friends on mere faith that Burton is doing something marvelous since he has managed to build something like a society if not a civilization for more than 30 years, and it seems to have a certain permanency after all the obstacles that have been erected against him and his organization. However, the prospect of going with the claim on faith crumbles like the Twin Towers in New York because I know his system lacks all morality save “I will survive” and “because I say so.” No civilization can be built on such simple-minded, amoral strategies. It’s barbarism covered in beautiful trappings.

93. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

Is the world at all in fairly immediate danger of “ending?” Could a nuclear war break out at any minute?

94. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

Deprogammer,

I would suggest you read “The Next Million Years” by Charles Galton Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandson, a rich eugenicist and scientist.

In that book, Darwin describes how civilizations are built: mastery and control of the physical, material world: water, earth, fire, food. Art is a byproduct of civilization and only of certain civilizations. Sparta had little art at all. And art springs from a certain unity, a certain racial integrity among a tight-knit group of people with really tightly shared values.

The book also reveals that the people who make civilization are usually way wealthier than Burton could ever dream of and it’s a coordinated effort among privileged family members. (Twas ever so: look at the Medicis, for one example; the Rockefellas, the Rothschilds, for other examples.) Nobody knows exactly how Crete got formed before Greece but one thing everybody knows and is certain of: there were tons of gold and gems for trading with familiars and outsiders.

What kind of economic system is Burton creating? Hello? (ha)

That quotation you asked me to respond to clearly puts the c(ART) before the horse’s ass. It’s a complete inversion of how civilizations are created — or perhaps we might view it as a perversion, if you will. I certainly don’t want to be staring at that Fellowship painting that exposes or flaunts the secrets of Priapus or anal enlightenment.

“The Next Million Years” was written more than fifty years ago, but you will see fairly quickly that Burton cannot be the master of anything, except his little temporary fiefdom. Others have bigger plans that easily can wipe him out and likely will, in time, say by 2040.

95. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

Deprogrammer,

Your question is what a lot of people are asking — and with good reason. The best I can say in terms of my own answer is that there is a plan to destroy everything we’ve become familiar with and so, in that sense, there is an immediate danger of “ending” the life we’re familiar with.

Obviously, our food is being poisoned and that’s no accident; same for our air; our media is nearly nothing but propaganda and sickening perversion; our educational system is a joke, and the major emphasis is on dumbing-down everyone and rewriting history.

Bertrand Russell wrote about this stuff coming back in the Fifties and the Sixties, and it’s now here. Russell said there will be a scientific (quasi-scientific) technological totalitarian one world government, and, he said, he was ALL FOR IT!!

Russell thought a one world totalitarian government would force people to be peaceful, and so pharmaceuticals have been introduced to control people’s minds to make them docile, and fluoridation is on the rise making people more compliant, and the TV lies to you so that you will believe what it says rather than what your eyes see. You will be frightened by man-made global warming, a “scenario” invented in the mid-Nineties by the Club of Rome (a group of very wealth individuals) in order to scare people and control the environment.

I lived with the threat of a bomb in the Fifties. There’s always been these scare-tactics, games employed by the Elites to intimidate the herd.

If you’re thinking of running for the hills, say the Fellowship of Friends, I wouldn’t blame you exactly, but for myself I’ll take my chances on my own just yet.

I wish the Fellowship of Friends was more like the Shakers back in 1776 — where everybody contributed by physical labor to make a self-sustaining community — with food, friendship, and faith. That’s not the Fellowship of Friends by any stretch. The Shakers didn’t allow a Boogie Gay Man into their beds either.

96. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

“You will be frightened by man-made global warming, a “scenario” invented in the mid-Nineties by the Club of Rome (a group of very wealth individuals) in order to scare people and control the environment.”

You dismiss that there is actual global warming?

97. ton2u - July 16, 2013

93/ 95 etc

ah yes, the good old days of 1776…
deprogrammer, it sounds like you are looking for yet more predictions… didn’t you get enough of that already ? predictions may help to confirm concerns and therefore alleviate fears/ concerns if / when delivered in the ‘right’ way… that is the way YOU need to hear them. “Predictions,” when presented by a perceived / projected “authority figure” give a sense of control over the unknown to the “hearer”…. of course the world as you and I know it WILL end, it’s ending as we type… but it’s possible to activate yourself based on a concern, whether it’s nuclear annihilation, global warming, or whatever… movement / activation is a way to work with concern / anxiety…. of course here in the blogosphere this is more likely simply ‘ivory tower’ philosophizing between two “like minds.”

ps. sorry to interrupt the love-fest between you and charlie but glad to see you’ve found a “blog buddie”

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

98. ton2u - July 16, 2013

88. Charles Steiner – July 16, 2013
Deprogammer, “Is an active interest in the Fourth Way a sure sign of a cult mentality?
No.

Unless of course,
like anything else,
you make it your sole “frame of reference” —
or should I say “it makes you…”

99. WhaleRider - July 16, 2013

Watch out, fourth way peeps, if the global warming, nuclear war or super viruses don’t getcha, the big bad moon will.

There’s nothing but the now (or new under the sun, as the case may be.)

Just sign right here and now on the dotted line, with presence, please.

And don’t forget.

100. Tim Campion - July 16, 2013

Can someone point me to the popcorn concession?

ton2u – Thanks for your posts. They have an integrity that too many here are lacking. I know you speak from experience.

101. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013
102. Deprogrammer - July 16, 2013

100. Tim Campion – July 16, 2013

Can someone point me to the popcorn concession?

ton2u – Thanks for your posts. They have an integrity that too many here are lacking. I know you speak from experience.

**

On the other hand, I have very little faith in the integrity of either of you.

Some people get a taste for and then take on a permanent kind of cult-conspiracy, a back-alley pledge-of-confederates of convenience so long as they are at the direct business of some rank agenda or another and that preference never seems to leave them. They practice a sort of ‘office politics’ wherever they go.

103. Tim Campion - July 16, 2013

Yes, Deprogrammer, some people may. I think by now there have been enough examples of “formatory” statements. It’s time to move on.

Charles, climate change theory predates the internet-fueled conspiracy by decades.

104. Charles Steiner - July 16, 2013

103. Tim Campion

I’m willing to listen. You’ve only made a counter-assertion whereas I offered you proof. It was thought up in a think-tank deliberately. Where’s your evidence for your claim? Did you read the Club of Rome’s own book? No, I’m sure you don’t even know about it. This book was written before the Internet took off. Show me the evidence, and I’ll be willing to do the research. The weather has been weaponized for a very long time.

Your turn.

105. ton2u - July 16, 2013

102
“Some people get a taste for and then take on a permanent kind of cult-conspiracy… blah blah blah” and etc.

that’s funny programmer, i was thinking the same thing about you…. yes, “deprogrammer” there’s a “blog/cult conspiracy” against you here… it’s all because you’re just so fucking important…. (self-important).

106. Tim Campion - July 17, 2013

Quite right Charles, I made an assertion. That particular discussion is best left to a site such as Alex Jones’, not a Fellowship of Friends Discussion. Yes, I was aware of the Club (probably thanks to Alex.) No, I didn’t read the book, and am unlikely to read it. But I do find the dynamics of many conspiracy theories and their respective adherents to be remarkably similar to the dynamics of the cult we know and love. Long on faith, short on science.

107. fofblogmoderator - July 17, 2013

Everybody take a deep breath and relax. Deprogrammer, you need to chill out.

108. Charles Steiner - July 17, 2013

106. Tim Campion,

Let me get this clear: you were aware of the book but chose not to read it because . . . ? you didn’t want your conclusions, imbibed from your years of TV-watching, a propaganda device that predates the Internet to be disturbed. Do I have that right?

You cite Alex Jones as if I somehow you know I am a part of his clownish circus. You need to check your assumptions.

I do find that people who deny the fact that there are terrible genocidal conspiracies in the world (look at the Boers being destroyed in South Africa) and have always been there — forever — are the very people who hear from fellow members without an agenda that Robert is a predatory faggot but who continue “being present” and pay their dues just the same.

Some people have to have the boot (or dick) right in the mouth before they wake up to what’s going on.

What you glimpse only partially in your comment is that your experience in the Fellowship of Friends — and mine — is, in a manner of speaking, totally symbolic or a mirror. The same shenanigans and techniques used on you and me and on Deprogrammaer and ton2u and freeman and on everyone else — are the same ones being used in the larger world. You think apparently that because you got free from the Fellowship of Friends that you’re free from programming period and that your owners really want to take care of you.

You are a victim of the larger propaganda espoused by those who own you as you were owned by Burton. It’s really that simple. You don’t stop questioning or verifying once you exit the Fellowship and you don’t limit your fact-finding only to the Fourth Way. Well, I don’t. Maybe you do.

109. Tim Campion - July 17, 2013

Charles, maybe we can compare government files and see who has the bigger dossier. I’m rather proud of my record.

110. Charles Steiner - July 17, 2013

I’m not interested in showing you mine while you show me yours.

111. ton2u - July 17, 2013

you two, get a room….

112. WhaleRider - July 17, 2013

Actually, even the Flat Earth Society believes in climate change:

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/flat_earth_society_believes_in_climate_change/

113. Deprogrammer - July 17, 2013

107. fofblogmoderator – July 17, 2013

Everybody take a deep breath and relax. Deprogrammer, you need to chill out.

**

None of us are taking any of this seriously. Why should you?

114. Fee fi fo fum - July 17, 2013

107 fofblogmoderator

Nice to hear from you. Thank you for your efforts on this blog.

115. David - July 17, 2013

Charles you really should stop drinking; or at least drinking and posting.

Deprogrammer , are you so angry because you are still a loser, or are you angry because it is so apparent to those around you?

Little life tip: Packing as many meaningful words into a sentence as possible does not actually make your sentences filled with meaning.
“If you are trying to convince me of my mistaken values by using the fallacious argument of “arguing from authority,” that is, employing sociological coercion through asserting an assumption of the infallibility of majority-consensus to bolster your opinion then I’m afraid that argument tends to have the opposite effect, in my particular case.”

Looks like something the Infinite number of Monkeys might have pounded out in the first thirty seconds.

So when is the next Starbucks meeting? The next reading project is going to be a hoot!

116. traceyash - July 17, 2013

I would like someone to get in touch with me- ex- member- assault on my life. He is still involved with the ark project. Be warned operating in new ways- in Egypt.

117. brucelevy - July 17, 2013

This happens every time Greg starts espousing his pschopathic, narcissistic bullshit, and some moron encourages him with a sympathetic ear. Every fucking time, without fail.

118. freeman - July 17, 2013

“This happens every time…”

I assume you mean the unreadable, chaotic nonsense written above?

I have to hand it to both of them — they did exactly what they set out to do. (I don’t know about Burton laughing, but they certainly are). Meanwhile, “the truth about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends” (as stated near the top of the page) is buried a mile deep. So, assuming a discussion about Burton and the FOF is really the goal here, I suggest someone take a more realistic view of their motives.

They’ve definitely stirred up the conversation and have helped all of us have some fun throwing some insults back and forth. But who’s listening? Don’t hold your breath that fence sitters or “prospective students” will spend any time wading through all of this.

119. Deprogrammer - July 17, 2013

117. brucelevy – July 17, 2013

This happens every time Greg starts espousing his pschopathic, narcissistic bullshit, and some moron encourages him with a sympathetic ear. Every fucking time, without fail.

**

118. freeman – July 17, 2013

“This happens every time…”

I assume you mean the unreadable, chaotic nonsense written above?

I have to hand it to both of them — they did exactly what they set out to do. (I don’t know about Burton laughing, but they certainly are). Meanwhile, “the truth about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends” (as stated near the top of the page) is buried a mile deep. So, assuming a discussion about Burton and the FOF is really the goal here, I suggest someone take a more realistic view of their motives.

They’ve definitely stirred up the conversation and have helped all of us have some fun throwing some insults back and forth. But who’s listening? Don’t hold your breath that fence sitters or “prospective students” will spend any time wading through all of this.

**

The campaign to discredit Burton and cut off his money supply, frustrate his sexual conquests over heterosexual men and release his hold on hypnotized zombies has officially failed.

Burton has more money, more squirrely men willing to submit and nearly as many zombies as ever. The considerable powers of elucidation focused by yourself and the stunningly sober minded Bruce have been expended for not.

The Psychopath Test: “The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (SSSP) published a statement regarding the book stating that certain interviews in it were exaggerated or fictionalised and that they “… think that Ronson’s book trivializes a serious personality disorder and its measurement, which is not helpful to those who have the disorder or to their unfortunate victims”. The statement was signed by many of the scientists featured in Ronson’s book, including Robert D. Hare and Essi Viding.

“Robert D. Hare has also released a longer article about Ronson’s book, stating that it trivializes the work of clinical professionals and presents psychopathy in an unrealistic and overly simplistic manner. Hare states that his books entitled ‘Snakes in Suits’ and ‘Without Conscience’ are better.”

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

Why are frightened little men always so worried about psychopaths, the term used in much the same fashion as the term “witches?” “Psychopaths have taken over the reins of power and nearly control the world!” This is their excuse for being “normal” little nobodies who never got anywhere. Weak, cringing little social cowards blame men with balls who manage to force the world to move in the direction they want it to go by explaining the innovators’ will to assert themselves as something psychopathic. The end result of the debate is that the psychopaths, for instance Henry the Eighth, enjoy power, prestige and a place in history and the Bruces and the “Freemans” of the world eventually drop dead and no one ever has a single thought about them again.

If either of their names somehow randomly comes up in conversation the agreement about them is this: “All he ever did was complain about people who could do what he could never do.”

120. Deprogrammer - July 17, 2013

115. David – July 17, 2013

Little life tip: Packing as many meaningful words into a sentence as possible does not actually make your sentences filled with meaning.

**

“…make your sentences filled with meaning.”

There is something wrong with the sentence.

…make your sentences full with meaning.

Packing as many meaningful words into a sentence as possible does not actually make your sentences full with meaning.

Little life tip: When you are going to criticize another amateur’s writing style don’t use awkward grammar in the criticism.

121. ton2u - July 17, 2013

http://www.hare.org/

(in case you missed the link… posted on this page at 28 or thereabouts)..

122. Golden Veil - July 17, 2013

121. ton2u

Thank you.

I did miss the link to that website. Of special interest is a page of a compilation of many articles, organized in alphabetical order, by various authors related to psychopathy.

http://www.hare.org/references/main.html

I clicked on the first one, entitled “Sexual assault perpetrators’ tactics: Associations with their personal characteristics and aspects of the incident” an abstract of an article from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. It seems especially pertinent to this blog in that it discusses tactics that have been used by the sexual assault perpetrator, REB, who has been discussed in detail here, and strategies that he has used, aspects such as isolating and controlling behaviors, the use of impairment tactics (wine) and verbal coercion.

http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/26/14/2866

The below excerpt is from a prior page of this blog. It was written by sea on April 29, 2008 ~ From this page linked here: http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-33/#comment-16004

‘Robert Burton uses manipulation. Over time his followers are groomed for this experience: he continually tells them that their lower selves will resist any thing that will bring them closer to awakening, he plies the males with luxury and ‘beauty’ has them floating in an unreal bubble, in which conscience and personal integrity are gradually dissolved and rejected as ‘feminine dominance’.

Women are groomed to allow their husbands to comply.

Eventually Robert pounces. If the follower rejects him he will threaten them with having to work out doors in the serf roles that those he is not having ‘sex’ with generally perform. Or he will tell them that they have to return to their home-lands which are often impoverished. He is prone to extreme jealousy and has been known to banish current ‘sexual’ partners simply for falling in love. He railed at my dear friend his most devoted and loyal follower for half an hour with out stopping and then banished her from his sight at events.

The sexual activity has been very unpleasant for most males that I have spoken with. The ‘loving’ experience is a myth. I did once meet a follower who applauded the experience briefly; but he suffered years of disgust and despair afterwards. The degradation is very difficult to absorb. You make excuses for it: it is so weird and ugly and cold and bewildering, and you are so desperate to believe that Robert holds the key to your higher centres that you re-describe what is happening to you in terms which make it bearable.

I know one follower who has been close to Robert for years, and who says that Robert is very ‘gentle’. But he has to do this… saying anything else would mean facing the full tragedy of his situation, facing himself.

One of the characteristics that enables Robert is that he does not mind if his boys absolutely hate the experience, as long as they comply. They have asked him about this but he somehow shakes their questions off. He sometimes makes their orifices bruised swollen and bleeding and mildly insists that they are being forced to let go of their lower selves. He tells them that it’s only their bodies, their ‘King of Clubses’ that reject it.

In the beginning Robert also manipulated his female followers in to having sex… there is testimony about this on the esoteric archives. It was disturbing reading: he had no interest what so ever in their pleasure.

I do not judge the students who submit to this: I know that they comply because their hope and longing is so desperate. I am so sad though that this ghoul has exploited (and necessarily obstructed) their search.

The sick reality only began to press against the boundaries of my bubble when Robert told a follower that he did not enjoy the teaching events and meetings, the follower had to press him to continue, reminding him of the money they made; so Robert did continue but reluctantly, saying “I only do it for you boys…”’

123. Deprogrammer - July 17, 2013

“The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (SSSP) published a statement regarding the book stating that certain interviews in it were exaggerated or fictionalised and that they “… think that Ronson’s book trivializes a serious personality disorder and its measurement, which is not helpful to those who have the disorder or to their unfortunate victims”. The statement was signed by many of the scientists featured in Ronson’s book, including Robert D. Hare and Essi Viding.”

So here we have Ronson, the hero of every bashful little daydreamer, the messiah for every backward little wannabe who imagines he would be democratically elected into the high echelons of power on the virtue of his honest little heart if only it weren’t for the unfair advantage of evil psychopaths who end up with all the money and all the movie stars, and suddenly it turns out that the main cheerleader against aggressive, competent, ambitious men is himself a sociopath inventing interviews in order to sell his book. That’s got to discomforting for the underachieving nerds.

124. Golden Veil - July 17, 2013

Robert Hare’s compilation of articles by researchers studies on psychopathy is a very useful source.

http://www.hare.org/references/main.html

125. WhaleRider - July 17, 2013

Traceyash:
Please tell us more, and if you want anyone to contact you, provide us with an email address. If confidentiality is an issue, use a secondary email address.

126. Tim Campion - July 17, 2013

Depreogrammer,

It was helpful to cite the Hare statement. Singing the praises of the psychopath is not a logical extrapolation from Hare’s commentary.

127. WhaleRider - July 17, 2013

Deprogrammer:
Yes, you seem to envy psychopaths.

Look, if you really want to devolve into a rich, powerful, notorious psychopath like burton instead of remaining just an angry borderline or a complaining “nobody” with a conscience like the rest of us…first you’ll have to learn to be nicer to the people whom you want to exploit.

You’ll need to be less “psychologically self-reliant” on your inner troll and groom your inner parasite instead. Then maybe you can claim your place in history like Hitler or Bernie Madoff.

It seems you have the ‘me against the world’ paradigm down pat…you in the center of the universe while the earth rolls around you. But that was crystallized long before you joined the cult, right?

Wasn’t that the main teaching of the Fellowship…how to be polite and demur to those you place beneath you whom you are abusing?

FYI, the reason psychologists who write books about their work are “motivated” to use fictional characters is because of strict patient-doctor confidentiality laws, not because they are frauds. It is a common practice.

128. Golden Veil - July 17, 2013

This excerpt from page 125 of the blog was written by Ames Gilbert on August 25, 2012 and is well worth re-posting:

“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 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 claim of being a 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’. 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 (for more, see http://tinyurl.com/bv2prbu). 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 44 angels, the discorporate remains of (mostly) white, male Europeans who have left a historical record. More than strange, huh? Almost all the personal spiritual 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 ‘You should marry this person or that’, or ‘Have an abortion’, or ‘Give up your children’.

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 (example at: http://tinyurl.com/cco5372, bottom of page) 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 1998, 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, according to his claim, are planning the complete destruction of the rest of humanity, while saving members of the Fellowship of Friends “to start a new civilization”. For example, unlike Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Colin, Nicol, or Bennett in whose teachings conscience is as important as, and inseparable from, consciousness, Burton has little use for the former. In fact he claims:
“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 if you join, 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 join the Fellowship of Friends? 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. The leaders are subject to some system of accountability for their actions. Not so 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, be driven in the best cars, travel first class everywhere, and give rich gifts to his lovers—while he favors them—all from your earnings.
And he is completely unaccountable, the few protests are treated as crimes. His followers exist to hang on every word, gratify every whim, and worship him as he claims to be “the brightest light in 2,000 years”. Not so incidentally, he claims he is conveniently ‘beyond Judeo–Christian morality’ (though he has yet to formulate a successor). So, you are to abandon ethics and morality without having a replacement to guide you, other than his whim of the moment.

And if you leave, you are supposedly doomed to something worse than hell, and you will be shunned by all your former friends. Typical childish cult behavior, but none the less powerful blackmail and devastatingly hurtful emotionally (one list of cult characteristics is at: http://tinyurl.com/622x9g)

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 (see post #4, above, or: http://tinyurl.com/8q5gay7)? 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, 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.

P.S.
If you happen to be here because you are interested in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, know that, apart from words freely borrowed from his books, this cult has no connection with Eckhart Tolle whatsoever. The terms borrowed by the Fellowship of Friends are bait, pure and simple.
Search keywords I have found that the Fellowship of Friends uses as bait in their advertising are:
Self Remembering · Fourth Way · Eckhart Tolle · Spirituality · Meditation · Consciousness · Gurdjieff · Ouspensky · Nisargadatta Maharaj · Presence · Self Realization and Service to Humanity · Self Realization · Byron Katie · Adya · ET · Gangaji · Ruiz . There are probably many others.
Beware!”

129. Deprogrammer - July 17, 2013

“FYI, the reason psychologists who write books about their work are “motivated” to use fictional characters is because of strict patient-doctor confidentiality laws, not because they are frauds. It is a common practice.”

**

This refers to interviews in the book that were supposedly with researchers and scientists.

“…certain interviews in it were exaggerated or fictionalised…”

You need to pay attention, before you pop off.

130. Deprogrammer - July 17, 2013

127. WhaleRider – July 17, 2013

Deprogrammer:

Yes, you seem to envy psychopaths.

Look, if you really want to devolve into a rich, powerful, notorious psychopath like burton instead of remaining just an angry borderline or a complaining “nobody” with a conscience like the rest of us…first you’ll have to learn to be nicer to the people whom you want to exploit.

You’ll need to be less “psychologically self-reliant” on your inner troll and groom your inner parasite instead. Then maybe you can claim your place in history like Hitler or Bernie Madoff.

It seems you have the ‘me against the world’ paradigm down pat…you in the center of the universe while the earth rolls around you. But that was crystallized long before you joined the cult, right?

Wasn’t that the main teaching of the Fellowship…how to be polite and demur to those you place beneath you whom you are abusing?

**

You never learn do you? Every time you try to spar with me you end up licking your wounds, crying in your beer for a year and requiring the moderator to remove me in order to protect you from observations about yourself that will certainly lead to suicide.

This is the sign of a disturbed personality disorder: they never learn even from their painful mistakes.

Also, your overly sensitive tone is that of a viciously outraged queen trying to repay an insult, a gay guy with a long-standing narcissistic injury. You seem just a tad too dramatically inclined for the psyche of a manly sort. You might want to look into your lifelong repressed homosexuality. (Not that there is anything wrong with that)

131. ton2u - July 17, 2013

Re: 121 — reposting the Hare site,
I would have added “draw your own conclusions….” ‘singing the praises’ of another psychopath shouldn’t be a surprise considering the source of the singing. The prevalence of psychopaths and their influence in society is one point in recent blogging around the subject…. this segues neatly into the fact that variations on burton’s little operation are commonplace, the cult phenomenon is pervasive and burton’s scam is a “garden variety” cult, it’s nothing “special” as the ‘zombies’ are lead to believe… and I thought we, here on this site might relate things at least tangentially to burton and the FOF scam… rather than admiringly imagining the size of Henry the VIII’s scrotum… for example.

but whatever….

thanks to all and keep on chirping.

132. ton2u - July 17, 2013

a troll
spreads bait
lies
in wait

133. Tim Campion - July 17, 2013

REMINDER

The Fellowship of Friends (aka Apollo Performing Arts aka Apollo Arts aka Friends of the Goethe Academy aka Shakespeare Community Theater Festival) is for the first time inviting the public to attend its summer Shakespeare Festival (July 22nd and 23rd).

To help make this a possibility, the Fellowship of Friends is asking the community to donate $5,000 to help cover production costs. For the Fellowship, this is an insignificant sum, and cult leader Robert Earl Burton could, with a snap of his fingers, divert the monies for the production. But in true form, he would rather reach into others’ pockets. Rest assured, all donations will help preserve and safeguard Burton’s personal expense account.

134. freeman - July 17, 2013

http://www.psychopathysociety.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=115&Itemid=132&lang=us

Regarding the commentary above on Ronson’s book by Hare and others in the psychiatric profession: The book includes a few passages that are embarrassing to the psychiatric community, including Hare, although I don’t believe Ronson was singling him out in particular. It’s no surprise that a few psychiatrists, including Hare, would issue a statement in response to the book. Some of the book could be construed as a scathing criticism of psychiatry — including a few examples (allegedly) of psychiatry being misapplied to the detriment of patients, as well as some descriptions of strange experiments that went awry.

Who knows… I read the book recently and posted some excerpts about the qualities of a psychopath because I felt that those excerpts (“at least tangentially”, as ton stated) relate to Burton and the FOF cult, and were thought provocative. I wouldn’t dismiss the book solely based on the above statement by Hare, if that’s what some people are implying.

135. brucelevy - July 17, 2013

This has once again become Greg’s personal toilet bowl. I’ll check back in a month or so to see how long you put up with this asshole.

136. WhaleRider - July 17, 2013

Deprogrammer:
“You never learn do you? Every time you try to spar with me you end up licking your wounds, crying in your beer for a year and requiring the moderator to remove me in order to protect you from observations about yourself that will certainly lead to suicide.

This is the sign of a disturbed personality disorder: they never learn even from their painful mistakes.

Also, your overly sensitive tone is that of a viciously outraged queen trying to repay an insult, a gay guy with a long-standing narcissistic injury. You seem just a tad too dramatically inclined for the psyche of a manly sort. You might want to look into your lifelong repressed homosexuality. (Not that there is anything wrong with that).

Yes, maybe I’m really a goddess trapped in a man’s body!

Actually, now that you mention it, with borderline personality disorder which doesn’t usually make you a lot of close friends, you are more at risk for suicide than I am, which is why I am glad you are still posting here and not isolating yourself in your negativity.

Turning all that self-loathing back at your self could prove fatal, so keep the insults down to a minimum, and you might be able to stay.

I had to laugh at the repressed homosexuality bit. I’ll keep it in mind.

Not that I can do anything about it…along with Ames’ height and David’s spelling…I have many latent abilities that I could explore, if I had the time.

I did appreciate the dialog you initiated with (Charles before the Flat Earth Society excommunicated him) about how to respond to an ardent FOF follower when they start spewing their warped beliefs about art symbolism…that was constructive.

It speaks to the difficulty of addressing the Gordian Knot of an air-tight delusional system. Know what I mean, jelly bean?

137. Mick Danger - July 18, 2013

It’s time to flush.

138. Tim Campion - July 18, 2013

Mick, Bruce, ton2u, and freeman: I (finally) agree with your assessment. (I’m always slow on the uptake.)

37. Deprogrammer

I tried making a convincing case that Burton is a fraud, but Tim thought it was “dogmatic” and Bruce thought it was narcissistic. They veered the conversation away from Burton and on to me personally. Now you insist I’m the one trying to sidetrack the issue.

You really didn’t try very hard GW. And making a case against Burton is obviously not why you took on yet another disguise to infiltrate the blog (despite, as Ames reminded us, having been banned many times before.)

Though provided a modicum of consideration and plenty of space to present your thoughts, you predictably revealed your true nature, attacking nearly everyone (even the moderator, who took no part in the discussion.) I personally think it’s time you be shown the door. It’s what you have come to expect, and indeed what you seem to desire for yourself: to be the perpetual victim.

139. freeman - July 18, 2013

133. brucelevy
“This has once again become Greg’s personal toilet bowl. I’ll check back in a month or so to see how long you put up with this asshole.”

135. Mick Danger
“It’s time to flush.”

I have to agree with both. I’m sure a lot of people avoid the blog just for this reason. Most people wisely don’t want to subject themselves to outright attacks, and especially they won’t come here if the general consensus is that he’s entitled to deliver any abuse he wants.

If people are afraid of seeming too much like the FOF itself, which quiets any “dissent” or “negativity” by booting people from the cult, keep in mind that what you’re witnessing on this page is not an honest attempt at “dissent”. The goal is to drive thoughtful commentators from the blog by making as much noise as possible, and by delivering as many attacks as possible.

I still think the blog has its value. Who can say that someone didn’t tune in today and wade through all of the bullshit to find some commentary that helped in some way. But given the noise and the preponderance of negatively charged words directed at other posters, it’s very unlikely that the blog will attract new participants — or keep the current ones.

Adopting a fatherly, level-headed attitude and delivering your ideas with a calm voice is certainly admirable up to a point — but it’s not so admirable if you deny the very real effects that an abusive poster can have on the page.

140. ton2u - July 18, 2013

138 Tim,

Re: “Deprogrammer” — Even if he doesn’t acknowledge it, clearly the man needs help…. I think at a basic level that’s why he keeps coming back. But this blog or his other ‘projects’ in ‘cyberspace’ can’t provide the type of help he needs… in fact this avenue seems only to fuel his already high frustration level and it doesn’t untangle the deeper issues that haunt a tortured soul. For the record, although I called him out on the previous page, I have not called for his banning(s) because I realize he does need help… and I’ve “hinted” at ways he might begin to approach working with HIS issues… but he’s not good at picking up the hints…. in fact his defenses go up at the suggestion. Unfortunately he needs more than a few hints and attempts at support here in ‘cyberspace’ — what he needs is to get off his ass, go out and seek professional help, including some type of therapy that will help him with the demons that are slowly eating away at his soul… it’s obvious (to me) that this forum does not help him, apparently it makes things worse for him by ‘reinforcing’ certain preconceptions… of course when a person thinks he knows everything, is too proud, too vain, too arrogant, and so lacking in humility to even be able to admit he needs help, much less seek it out, it makes it all the more difficult to do the leg-work in finding an effective therapy (there are a lot out there)… he has to start somewhere in dealing with HIS issues and apparently the blogging does not work for him… or only in the sense that he’s able to temporarily blow-off some steam and vent his frustration by lashing out at others… but this doesn’t change his problems, it’s simply a dog chasing tail… may he finally realize.

141. freeman - July 18, 2013

ton2u,
The people who may sometimes need help are those who subject themselves to abuse, and have trouble extricating themselves from destructive environments, and toxic individuals. That would be anyone on this site, who for whatever reason is willing to endure the onslaught that’s directed at them here. This blog is sometimes a mild analogy to the harmful, destructive environment we experienced in the cult — with many of the same dynamics.

We find something wrong with the cult. We mention it to others. They ignore us. Then we think: “Maybe I’m the one with the problem. And besides, I do love Robert. The school has done so much for me.” We’re unable to take action in fear that it may seem strident or appear negative. Everyone else seems very acceptant of “Robert”. We end up thinking about “Robert’s” needs, and not our own, and we focus on all of his positive traits. So we stay and continue to endure. What we should be doing is running away from him.

142. ton2u - July 18, 2013

Freeman,
not sure i agree with the analogy… we are after all no longer in the cult — right ? and this forum is not a cult or an extension of this particular cult, right? (I hope not)…. and “deprogrammer” is not burton…. I would be careful about viewing other situations through a lens colored so much by cult experience.

Look, we all need varying degrees of help and support, that includes you me and everyone we know… the cliche’ quoted earlier is true: “no man’s an island”…. cult experience has an effect on the type of help and support… nevertheless, as stated, some folks need something different than any sense of support or ‘community’ they’re looking for or encountering here — “deprogrammer” is a case in point. IMO, I don’t think it necessarily helps to think in terms of “running away” — especially from bullies — but that’s just me.

143. freeman - July 18, 2013

ton2u,

Of course it’s an extension of the cult experience! That is, if we let it be! If there’s not a parallel to the cult experience here, where the topics revolve around the cult, and where the responses to others’ views are very similar to what we experienced within the cult, then where would,/b> there be parallels? It’s our attitudes about the cult experience (expressed here) that often colored our decision making process when we decided to join, stay, and leave.

One of those attitudes is a type of “stay calm” approach to the information we’re getting. Within the cult, people are discouraged from jumping to conclusions or making rash judgments. But to really escape, people needed to do just that — draw conclusions, and make judgments! That was healthy. It’s sometimes healthy here, too.

I think people have spent way, way too much time giving thoughtful consideration to this poster (who by the way, has done this on multiple occasions).

And I’m not saying you should ONLY run away. I’m saying that’s step 1. Remove yourself from the environment if that person doesn’t remove themselves. You will not win when you encounter someone who delivers this kind of abuse; but then again, you don’t need to play the game either — and a game is all it is.

144. Tim Campion - July 18, 2013

freeman,

While I appreciate and often share your sense of propriety, references to the blog’s “chaos” and the “onslaught” above feel hyperbolic and alarmist. As noted at the top of the page, for a long time this forum was titled “Free speech is a dirty business.” That said, I do vote for flushing the bowl, as Mick suggested. At some point the filibuster must end.

145. ton2u - July 18, 2013

i didn’t write “an extension of the cult experience” I wrote “an extension of the cult” that’s a different sense, we are no longer in the cult, right? at least not physically… I don’t like to think of processing “the cult experience” here as an extension of the cult… it could be different for others, depending on perspective. We don’t have to agree.

re: previous thread — this is not intended as a stigma or a sign of weakness, needing the help and support of others is obviously part of the human condition… and round and round it goes — we are helped as we help others…. etc. so in terms of “help” and helping… an ‘issue’ with the experience of many kinds of trauma is ‘dissociation’ — a ‘feature’ of which involves problems being fully ‘incarnated’ into one’s own body…. talk therapies can be useful to a point but there are (for me) more effective types of therapy; see w. reich, a. lowen and ‘Bioenergetics’ as an example. Otherwise, I think a person can do much on their own, something as simple as regular exercise or a yoga practice can help with the process of re-inhabiting the body… a ‘soft’ martial art like tai chi, or a good akido dojo can offer much in terms of better integration into the body… and there’s the ‘bonus’ of a small supportive sense of community… this is coming from experience — these are a few of the things that have helped me along the way, but of course everyone is different and has to find their own way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(psychology)

146. ton2u - July 18, 2013

Freeman, first part of my previous post was to address your 143 or thereabouts… for what it’s worth.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56982.Coming_to_Our_Senses

147. freeman - July 18, 2013

Tim and ton, got it. I appreciate both of your efforts here. I’m sure many people appreciate your commentary, and have gained a lot of benefit from your perspective. I’ll have a closer look at your links, Ton, thanks.

(Tim: I hope your site is getting some decent-sized traffic. It’s the best resource that I’m aware of for getting a clear picture of the FOF.)

Take care, everyone, and keep posting!

148. Mick Danger - July 18, 2013

It’s been said that true happiness can be found in making others happy. What can be said about those who cause others pain? Miserable sons-of-bitches, I say.

149. ton2u - July 18, 2013

re: the human condition and the process of needing help / support of others, while helping others…. obviously some take advantage of this condition and help themselves at the expense of others… burton and his FOF scam would be a prime example. It takes a kind of “common sense,” self-reflection, and at least a degree of empathy to avoid taking advantage of others in the process of being and becoming human…. these things are obviously ‘foreign’ to burton…. he might say it’s not part of “the system.”

150. David - July 18, 2013

Ton2u 140
I too was wondering why he keeps coming back. I don’t think it is out of any “unconscious” need for help.
The trick with someone like Greg is to engage once and then watch what happens. The reply you get will be designed to evoke a response (preferably a negative one). You are not having a discussion. You are engaged in an exchange with someone whose sole desire is to manipulate your responses and get off on feeling in control.
The physical analogue to this written exchange is rape. Rape is not about sex, it is about power.
So there is no reasonable discussion of ideas, and certainly no one is “helped”. It is just a power game.
Best to “flush” as Mick said.
And don’t be concerned about hurting Greg’s feelings. He has none. This sounds harsh, but it is the nature of sociopaths.

151. ton2u - July 18, 2013

150
David, thank you for your perspective. Even in the recent past some have ‘argued’ here in favor of keeping examples of the ‘extreme’ points of view around in order to expose some effects of cult-indoctrination… I’m not advocating for this but it is a point of view. nor am I necessarily advocating another banning… there are after all a lot of crazy people in this old world, some happen to land here… they are part of the fabric of things, like it or not. but it seems that the pattern would indicate another ‘banishment’ and I understand the reasons… stirring things up can be a good thing but if it turns into a shit cloud and a pissing contest then it’s probably time to flush.

152. freeman - July 18, 2013

David, amazing post — beginning to end. I wish I had taken your advice a few days ago, btw.

153. Golden Veil - July 18, 2013

The Fellowship of Friends ~ On the beginning and the end…

Re-Posts for your consideration

179. Ames Gilbert – August 11, 2011 (excerpt from post)

” Here is something to consider: the founding ‘do’ of the organization was based on lies, exaggerations and fantasy. This means that every single part of the subsequent octave is corrupted for the entire life of the organization. It also means that it is literally impossible to correct the way the energy flows, the initial corruption infects the time-body of the organization until it ceases to exist, no matter what efforts might be made to clean up the mess. Of course, there have been no attempts to do so because the founder is still there, continuing to corrupt, but even if there were in theory some heroic attempts by well–meaning folks to try to save ‘the best’ in some way, it would be impossible. I mention this because apparently some followers hope that if Burton dies or is persuaded to retire, some successor could revitalize the organization and set it on a new path. ”

180. Golden Veil – August 11, 2011

“If the universe, life itself, is really such that events unfold in a pattern as organized as “The Law of the Octave”, then we are all screwed. How intentional was your own conception, for example!? As far as the Fellowship of Friends goes, I don’t think that there’s any hope, whether or not the “Law of the Octave” is really the underlying structure. The judgmental and restrictive environment seems to serve to hinder the “Students” real growth, doesn’t it? Even when “The Teacher” dies, do you really think anybody that has been long- time brainwashed to think and move in those weird restricted ways will suddenly wake up? Well, I guess there are all the former students to answer that question. In a way, “The Teacher” has already died for all those that have intentionally (and some, unintentionally) already left “The School.” ”

Pondering what Ames wrote two summers ago, I wonder if he’s right: “followers hope that if Burton dies or is persuaded to retire, some successor could revitalize the organization and set it on a new path.” If they do, maybe they’d be looking at creating just another new age kind of school. Robert Burton watered down and diluted the core Gurdjieff / Ouspensky / Collin core teaching with his various obsessions ~ Egyptology, interpretation of “Influence C” via cultural ephemera, and phrenology (Gorbachev’s birthmark), ancient poop, etc., long ago. What could they teach? Mythology and fairytales? Robert Burton’s Imaginative mularkey (probably), or go back to the Fourth Way reading circles?

After Robert Burton dies, what actually might happen is that the Apollo property and all its rich effects would be sold, the money divided, and “The Work” could go on as a real non-profit without the exorbitant dues. The Center Directors could finally teach the system without the sexual traffic and money grubbing ~ but is there a real system for them to teach, minus the “finishing school?” Without the retreat fro “Life” and the painting of specialness, the “Ark” dream?

154. brucelevy - July 19, 2013

153. Golden Veil

“After Robert Burton dies, what actually might happen is that the Apollo property and all its rich effects would be sold, the money divided, and “The Work” could go on as a real non-profit without the exorbitant dues.”

As I’m sure somebody pointed out when this was originally posted, that’s not how California Nonprofits are allowed to dissolve or function.

155. freeman - July 19, 2013

Regarding David’s post 151:

In the interest of trying to avoid the same in the future (assuming the blog continues for quite a while longer, and assuming people do want to avoid this):

Greg’s general operating procedure is to enter the blog with two or three relatively mild paragraphs.

It may not be immediately clear that it’s him, so it draws people in — like bait. People will start to engage with him like he’s any other new poster. Within about one or two days, a few posters will disagree with him on some part of this commentary. At this point, he will identify his targets and go on the attack. Others, who are not the direct recipients of his abuse, may not notice what’s happening very clearly, but instead will focus on some of his seemingly more thoughtful paragraphs. In a sense, though, everyone for a certain amount of time enables his presence here — those who engage with him, those who ignore him, and those who defend his right to be here.

I was a little of all three during the past week.

Assuming people who continue to participate here want to avoid a repeat of this process for the umpeenth time, it would help to pay attention to this, and identify what’s occurring as early as possible.

156. ton2u - July 19, 2013

I won’t bother relating the content of the first post in this ‘go-round’ with ‘deprogrammer’ — it begins on the previous page (136):

149. Deprogrammer – July 8, 2013
“blah blah blah & etc”

I suspected before posting this the next day :
156. ton2u – July 9, 2013
I think greg is back…

his pattern is pretty clear, (thanks freeman), he comes here expecting to get exposed… ‘waving his little dick in the air’ to paraphrase Bruce… and of course expecting to get ‘banned’ again… this feeds a ‘martyr complex,’ his inflated sense of self-importance, and what seems to me to be ‘paranoid delusions.’ that being said, when I feel like ‘engaging,’ I do… when I don’t feel like it, I don’t engage… apologies if some here feel it’s gumming-up the works….

Based on what he presents on this site and elsewhere in ‘cyberspace’ I think this is a disturbed individual who should seek ‘professional help’ his blogging here is not helping himself or others.

157. WhaleRider - July 19, 2013

David:
“And don’t be concerned about hurting Greg’s feelings. He has none. This sounds harsh, but it is the nature of sociopaths.”

I wouldn’t go so far to say he has no feelings, nor, IMO, has he slipped further along the narcissistic-borderline-antisocial-sociopath-psychopath spectrum to full blown sociopath like burton.

He’s probably hovering around borderline-antisocial realm.

IMO, he returns here to defend the fourth way at our expense in defense against his unconscious fear that the fourth way is a sham as many of us here believe.

His pattern seems to be an attempt to rally support for the fourth way, but since so much of the fourth way cannot be scientifically validated, once his delusional system is confronted, he resorts to making personal attacks that become abusive.

This is what a person with a personality disorder does, they attack anyone around them with self-esteem, because they unconsciously want others to feel the self-loathing that they don’t want to feel about themselves. If the other person doesn’t collude with him, then the other is “asleep”.

The borderline personality is particularly adept at finding the weaknesses in others. For some, the fourth way is a perfect storm.

And if you look back at this incarnation of his re-entry, those of us familiar with his “tone”, knew it was him pretty early on.

So, until he can understand how his mental issues diminish him, he will find a way to keep coming back to reveal our “weaknesses” and he will get banned again, until he learns.

Life is full of challenges to our humanity and compassion, and it is appropriate to have limits.

158. Tim Campion - July 19, 2013

David and freeman,

I agree that we must be firm in dealing with the likes of GWG. His behavior is disruptive and his tactics insidious. And I know of only one other individual who, in deceiving fellow bloggers, has resorted to more pseudonyms.

159. Golden Veil - July 19, 2013

156. ton2u

“I think this is a disturbed individual who should seek ‘professional help’ his blogging here is not helping himself or others.”

Such mean spirited bitterness could be because he’s mentally ill or in fact may be because like many, he was sucked in by Robert Burton during his time in the Fellowship of Friends and like some, because of post traumatic disorder or another victim related disfunction, acts out bitterly and meanly.

154. brucelevy

Thank you. Good point. I’m sure the Fellowship of Friends is getting their “ducks in a row.” As illustrated here, Asaf Braverman may be in the process of setting up as the next “Teacher.”

160. Golden Veil - July 19, 2013

This is the site I referred to that is the figurehead of Asaf Braverman’s “Ark.”

http://asafbraverman.com/

161. Associated Press - July 19, 2013

In a word: diabolical

162. Josiane - July 19, 2013

157. Whalerider
…”the fourth way is a sham…”
The Fourth Way may work if one is looking for a way to classify human beings through their mechanical behavior. But that’s about it. It doesn’t tell us about the nature of consciousness, imho.

About Asaf’s upcoming novel: sounds like a Nancy Drew novel for young teenagers but without an ending.

163. Josiane - July 19, 2013

…or…maybe the next Dan Brown’s best seller.

164. David - July 20, 2013

Whalerider, ton, freeman and Tim. Whatever his true motivations are it is unfortunate that his actions represent a breach trust. A trust that allows space for people to be sincere about their experiences past or present.

Golden veil. 160 The photo of Asaf in the black circle, imitating the cameo-style photos of G. and O. I find to be pretentious in the extreme.

165. brucelevy - July 20, 2013

Asaf Braverman, give me fucking break. He’s a litle weasel. Anyone who would follow him has got their head firmly planted up their ass. But then again…He may believe his own bull shit. And there’s no dearth of fucking spiritual morons.

166. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 21, 2013

It appears that Deprogrammer has been deprogrammed;-)

167. Golden Veil - July 21, 2013

164. David

You’re not alone in noticing Asaf’s vain affectation with his portrait. Maybe a talented student could paint it and then someday the Fellowship of Friends could include it on a special “Trinity Bookmark” to commemorate his inauguration.

165. brucelevy

Someday former students may be writing in detail from their own personal experiences about Asaf Braverman…

Since Yelp hasn’t a category for cult leaders, I think that these pages are crucial. They’re an important resource where esoteric school seekers can learn what to expect and former students can forewarn others of a Fellowship of Friends cult teacher’s sham methods and personal defects.

168. WhaleRider - July 22, 2013

Several issues strike me as significant regarding Mr Braverman’s convoluted “Ark” network of websites.

Firstly, in Braverman’s brief biography, he doesn’t appear to have any secondary or post secondary education.

Without a higher education, IMO, his intellect would therefore be susceptible to both superstition and confirmation bias.

For example, apparently Braverman went “in search of the alleged ancient origins of the Fourth Way” to confirm his bias that the fourth way exists after being exposed to fourth way books as an impressionable “late teenager”, and making the unsubstantiated claim that, “it’s source extending as far back into antiquity as pre-history, was a perfected system for the evolution of consciousness in man.”

Braverman appears to have had military training, which of course is based upon an authoritarian hierarchy quite similar to a cult, which he apparently joined right after completing his military service.

Secondly, Braverman seems to be operating in an intellectual bubble, to put it nicely.

In his section on ancient wisdom and myth, he never mentions the amazing work of the late Joseph Campbell, author and renown teacher of comparative mythology, who I highly esteem.

I remember how delighted I felt discovering Joseph Campbell and heartedly recommend his books and “Power of Myth” DVDs to anyone who has recently departed from Fellowship cult mentality. He is truly a gifted man with vast insight into ancient wisdom spanning through antiquity and across many cultures.

Thirdly, and most importantly, in the section on “consciousness” Braverman states, “We deem consciousness a luxury that most people do not possess. It is not mind activity: scholars may use their minds to philosophize about self-consciousness without being self-conscious themselves. Neither is it emotions: artists may experience elated feelings and produce beautiful works without being self-conscious. And neither is it a function of the senses: mystics may experience extraordinary visions – such as can be induced through drugs or alcohol – and yet, still not experience self-consciousness.”

It is remarkable to me that in Braverman’s discussion of the self and consciousness he neglects to mention the field of psychology!!

In fact, students of psychology who wish to pursue the profession are required to undergo many hours of therapy themselves with the explicit intention of fostering increased self-awareness and self-understanding. This process takes place years prior to the sharing their understanding of the nature of the self with their patients and for years thereafter.

So IMO, to borrow Mr Braverman’s fabricated axiom, “as within, so without”: despite Braverman’s grandiose claims, his so-called “ark” stays afloat only because of its inherent emptiness.

For a more educated, deeper treatment of mythology as a vehicle of personal growth see “Becoming an Adult”, part of the Bill Moyers’ Interview of Joseph Campbell:

169. Golden Veil - July 23, 2013

168. WhaleRider

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Joseph Campbell and the accompanying video.

Your noting that Asaf Braverman appears to be a former soldier (compulsory for most all Israelis ) with a penchant for authoritarian regimes, who seems to have had no formal education beyond the Israeli equivalent of high school, may be spot on.

As for the meaningfulness of what Asaf Braverman writes on his websites, I think that it’s all mainly just window dressing to get you to buy the Fellowship of Friends brand of b.s.

170. ton2u - July 23, 2013

re: a. braverman “ark”

“Braverman seems to be operating in an intellectual bubble…”

Confuse-us say, “road of false proposition go only in circle.”

Thanks Whalerider, gotta love old Joe C.

171. James Mclemore - July 23, 2013

WhaleRider and Golden Veil –

I am certainly no fan of Braverman, and would agree he is “operating in an intellectual bubble…”, but the idea of not having any higher education automatically making a person more susceptible to bias or superstition seems like stretching something a bit. Maybe in regards to superstition I can see that to some extent in some areas, a little science would certainly be helpful. However in relation to bias, I just do not see it. Higher education could minimize certain types of bias in some people, but seems like it could easily produce more bias in other people.
In the FoF I would bet more people had some sort of higher education than those who did not, and it did not seem to help them much.

p.s. I’ve been a big fan of Campbell for a long time. Thanks WhaleRider

172. WhaleRider - July 24, 2013

James:
Thank you for your post.

I think we can both agree that burton’s followers become more superstitious the longer they are exposed to the various FOF cult indoctrination techniques regardless of their education or they are simply kicked out.

Your point is taken, time and proximity are the determining factors there, not higher education nor age for that matter.

I agree with you; higher education is no foolproof guarantee against confirmation bias. Academics and scientists alike can fall prey to confirmation bias, especially if his or her personality is invested in a particular outcome or if there is a conflict of interest. That’s why there is peer review and supervision.

Yes, attending Harvard might make one biased against its longtime rival Yale, especially if one plays sports. (Many biases like that are innocent.)

Yet, IMO, superstition and confirmation bias go hand in hand, so to speak, one amplifying the other, since the process of confirmation bias can apply to both a personally held bias (often unconscious and emotionally charged) and a consciously derived scientific hypothesis.

So to be clear, “bias” and “confirmation bias” are different.

Bias, of which there are many forms, is a belief or hypothesis (usually associated with bigotry and prejudice); confirmation bias is the process by which one selectively confirms the bias in an ongoing manner…to oneself and others. (see Wikipedia)

This is why braverman’s website has been described as “diabolical”; it is an exercise in confirmation bias…with an agenda.

My point is that one is more likely to have one’s superstitious beliefs and unconscious biases uncovered and challenged in the diverse setting of a college or university-as opposed to a seminary school, or than by autodidactic means, or within a cult surrounded by colluding followers who are coerced over time by a cult dictator into believing in a single doctrine.

It’s what happens when confronted by contrary evidence that is at issue here…i.e. burton’s lack of compassion, his lies, and his failed predictions.

As you well know, it’s a question of integrity, honesty, and maturity.

173. James Mclemore - July 24, 2013

172. WhaleRider

Wonderful post. I agree completely with it all. I just thought that one small point that I drew your attention to, might need to be clarified a bit. Your clarification was thorough and well done, or at least I thought so, but then, I have not had any higher education either. Maybe that is why it stood out to me. Either way – Great Post.

174. Golden Veil - July 24, 2013

“confirmation bias is the process by which one selectively confirms the bias in an ongoing manner…to oneself and others.”

Take Center of Gravity or even better, Body Types, for example…

175. WhaleRider - July 24, 2013

…or take burton’s bias against women.

And just how did he set about “confirming” no woman would become “awakened” in his cult?

Was it because the sex he had with his first follower, Bonita, didn’t go very well?

176. ton2u - July 24, 2013

or his relationship with mommy and ‘unconscious memories’ from childhood…?

177. Golden Veil - July 24, 2013

‘And just how did he set about “confirming” no woman would become “awakened”…’

Regarding publicly (as in a meeting with many students and “The Teacher” present) asking questions such as this, many students have been banned and told to pack their things and leave for questioning Fellowship authority. There have been points made here on this blog that banning is about preserving the status quo in the cult and that from the start, students are not encouraged to follow the usual Fourth Way process of “verifying for oneself” but instead are introduced to a Fourth Way system that has been shanghaied and radically modified by “The Teacher” of the Fellowship of Friends.

But what about questioning him privately? You may as well question a drunk or insane person. Don’t expect a rational answer.

178. brucelevy - July 24, 2013

177. Golden Veil

Actually, if you’re male, and he wants to get in your pants, you have much more leeway in questioning him. He doesn’t like it, but if you haven’t gotten to the point of saying a definite “no” he won’t throw you out, he’ll just tell you “When you’re level of being changes you’ll see that I’m right.”. Once you say no you’re either removed from the FOF or sent to an outlying center. If you’re a woman, and not wealthy…buhbye.

179. WhaleRider - July 25, 2013

It dawned on me last night that there is something intrinsically missing from braverman’s so-called “Ark” of esoteric knowledge…besides scholarly treatment of his topics.

He states that the aim of his “Ark”, is “to inspire and instruct man to fulfill his potential as a human being.”

In his “Ark” he draws from “ancient wisdom” across many centuries and cultures ,and apparently for a person to fulfill his or her potential as a human being, braverman continually refers to the axiom, “Know Thyself”.

So what happens after one does gains this self-knowledge?

In other words, how does one conduct oneself among other human beings with lesser or greater self understanding?

The only answer vis a vis “enlightened” behavior, besides the grandiosity of “go build an “Ark for humanity”, seems to be the section about “Guard Your Heel”….or be mindful of your weakness, for that will be your downfall. (Too bad burton doesn’t appear to agree with him.)

Ok, fine, and what about one’s behavior in relation to others? How does one fulfill one’s full potential in that regard? Go make others painfully aware of their weaknesses? (thank you, deprogrammer)

Here’s where the braverman and his ilk display their blatant shallowness of character…there is no discussion about the ethic of reciprocity…i.e. THE GOLDEN RULE…found in virtually every major religion and ethical tradition.

Why is that missing from both braverman’s and burton’s “Ark”?

IMHO, this how we fulfill our potential as humans: we treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated…and not because that’s how our cult leader treats us.

180. WhaleRider - July 25, 2013

The Golden Rule is about empathy for others.

181. Wondering Who’s Watching - July 27, 2013

If you want to get acquainted with Asaf Braverman, and the Asaf Braverman type person the Fellowship of Friends fosters, read this:

From: Res Ipsa Loquitur
Post #142 unoanimo writes
on 01 Aug 2007 at 7:34 am
“Fraud, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Wrongful Discharge. . .

Fellowship of Friends indeed.
Banishes its own when they become an unpleasant impression. . .

This ‘wrongful discharge’ relates to the deeper picture of such lines as “Banishes its own when they become an unpleasant impression.”

For instance ~

Take the S. Milton situation; here’s a guy who has a legally classified ‘eye disease’, had been working outside for a large part of the day, went to one of Robert Burton’s lunches the same day, was facing the hot sun and had the need to close his eyes from time to time in order to rest them from the strain of looking with bright sunlight in his face…

Later, he was asked to leave the Fellowship of Friends for ‘sleeping’ or ‘dozing off’…

I believe you can thank Asaf or some ‘boy’ for that hawk-eyed, un-conscience-able perception of S. Milton…

Who brought it to Robert Burton’s ‘attention’ is hearsay, yet, the fact of his dismissal on these grounds is not… stay tuned for the REST OF THE STORY; on a train coming to your neighborhood soon.

And, no, Steven D., your part won’t be left out of this story…stay tuned for a conscience near you.”

Matthew [KJV] 6:22-24: ‘. . . if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.’

Asaf and Robert Burton were leading an afternoon outdoor tea/meeting at Steven D.’s residence, in Oregon House. As Fellowship of Friends members know, having left-eye eye contact with Robert Burton during these events is important; so wearing sunglasses on a bright sunny summer afternoon is not really an option – even for a person who is legally blind with an eye disease. After this meeting, S. Milton was called by Linda T., the then president of Fellowship of Friends, who related this: After the meeting Asaf told Robert that S. Milton was ‘closing his eyes too much during the meeting.’ [And, thereby, disrespecting Robert.] Robert replied, ‘Have Linda T. call S. Milton for a two month leave-of-absence.’

Linda T. called S. Milton to convey the above and that: S. Milton ‘was serving the wrong master.’ That is, not serving Robert as Robert saw fit. S. Milton was given a leave-of-absence, told to leave Oregon House in 48 hours, and made homeless. S. Milton was instructed that they were to have no contact with any Fellowship of Friends members, except for Linda T., for two months. S. Milton was legally blind, could not drive, had no transportation available and lived in a very rural located home that had only Fellowship of Friends members living there – and these facts were things they all were aware of.

S. Milton was a member of Fellowship of Friends for 30 years and served the Fellowship of Friends, and Robert Burton, above and beyond the call of duty.

Later, after the leave-of-absence, S. Milton was compelled to sell property they owned in Oregon House, if they wanted to continue being a Fellowship of Friends member, and, to basically, effectively, spend the proceeds on going to meetings with Robert Burton.

This was not the first example of abusing the blind (or crippled) in Fellowship of Friends. About 10 years earlier, similar, as to the above, happened to G. A. So, it is a pattern that probably continues.

Definitely ‘un-conscience-able’ behaviour.

182. brucelevy - July 27, 2013

Linda is, and has always been a fucking abombination.

183. brucelevy - July 27, 2013

Linda, no dick? Take a letter.

184. Lygeia - July 27, 2013

I think this phrase from Gurdjieff (if, it is indeed truly accurate to attribute it to him) that people are “sh@t” is the root of the problem.

Every human person has dignity, even if it is terrible difficult to ascertain.

Gurdjieff and Ouspensky were beatified by the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches, but not made saints. And this is because, while their teachings were incredibly helpful, they forgot the importance of respecting the dignity of the human person, which is intrinsic and inviolable.

If the women who were followers of Robert Burton who were forced to have abortions had understood that nothing stands in the way of the dignity of the human person, they would have stood up to Robert and refused to abort their babies. They did this because there is a flaw in the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky teachings.

This flaw is to view people (“life” people in the Fellowship of Friends lingo) as “sh@t.”

Our duty as human beings is to respect life and promote the dignity of the human person. The inability to understand this lies at the root of the problems of the Fellowship of Friends

185. David - July 27, 2013

I am going to tell a little story. Please bear with me as the point will become clear at the end. But to get there requires the “suspension of disbelief”.
If we start with the idea of Man as a machine for the transformation of substances and follow it to a logical conclusion it becomes clear where the mistake entered that created the excesses of RB, both sexually and materially.
If sex is the highest use of the energies refined by the human machine in ordinary existence, we can see that there are a number of ways that it can be expressed. Things don’t stay the same for long, so it has to go somewhere. First there is abstinence, which can lead to all kinds of repressed urges or be channeled into creative pursuits. Next there is masturbation which is simply using the energy for self-pleasure only. Another kind of self-pleasuring involves sexual relations with either a partner many times or with many partners. Lastly there is the use of sex for creation, either physical (new life) or emotional (in the sense of bringing two people closer together in a relationship).
Now add the creation of additional fine energies (on the same level as sex, though perhaps having a different “sensation”) that are produced as a result of being present. In theory this is possible for anyone, including let us say a young Robert Burton. This new influx of sex-like energy needs to go somewhere and this is where the problems begin.
How a person has experienced and dealt with their sexuality in their “normal” existence becomes a factor in how they deal with this extra energy. I think RB was from the beginning very screwed up sexually (and aspects of his history and relationship with his mother seem to bear this out) which lead to the habitual misuse of whatever energy his body produced as a result of his attempts to “remember himself”. That misuse has resulted in the extreme and bizarre sexual behaviors (and physical excesses) that exist today. I think the whole of his emotional life has been subsumed by his desires and he has no ability to control those desires any longer.
The line of his original aim of Awakening has been deflected and instead of being a slave to external influences he is now a slave to his own desires. But a slave is a slave and he has nothing to teach anyone sincerely looking to awaken because he has lost his way. All a person could hope to get from him is a pathway to the same perverted existence; and a close look at some of his older students bears this out.
(G.H’s porn addiction for example).
If you are still in the FoF and reading these words, think about them and observe the people and events around you. Get out before you go too far down the wrong path.

186. Ames Gilbert - July 27, 2013

Hi Ton,
sorry that link didn’t work. Here’s another shortened url from a different service:
http://goo.gl/OriTf

So, I come back from a very nice trip to the North Coast and the redwoods to find that Greg has vanished once more in a puff of smoke.
Thanks, David, for a very clear possible explanation of this particular phenomenon. I find it convincing. As to the cause, I would not be the first to speculate that he may manifest anger in this form for cycle after cycle (starting many years before this blog existed, judging by the trail he’s left in cyberspace) because he was in fact raped by Burton, and is suppressing the memories. Whatever the cause, he is still responsible for his manifestations and the consequences.
Anyway, I wanted to point out that a central part of his philosophy, and apparently that of many others who’ve had contact with the ‘Fourth Way’, is the precept that every living human is doomed to end up as ‘food for the moon’, and that the only way out is to ‘create a soul’ and becoming permanently ‘conscious’. It’s quite funny to have someone highlight the fallacy of ‘appeal to authority’, then quote Gurdjieff or Ouspensky or something from the internet as authorities. It’s even funnier to note that the whole thing comes from books, not one of which could be written outside the human consensus trance.

To my knowledge, there is not the slightest proof that there is an afterlife, all the ‘evidence’ is anecdotal, all the way back to Plato and other ‘authorities’. Ditto hierarchies of consciousness, escape from cycles of reincarnation, etc., etc., etc. It all comes out of books or from the mouths of charlatans like Burton. And if you believe any of this to your core, you end up like Greg, thinking that the whole experience of this life is just a ‘vale of tears’, a step or mis-step on the way to something else, and all efforts must be put to ‘escape’. That there is nothing intrinsically good or worthwhile about this life except to garner brownie points (such as, ‘total moments of self-remembering’) or to please cruel gods that, though all-powerful, nevertheless depend on humans to serve, fear or worship them.
I prefer to live this life on the very reasonable assumption that what comes before or after, if anything, is unknown—and thus irrelevant. So, I say, enjoy the drama and mine it for all its worth while I can, be as decent as I can to my fellow man, and be grateful for the incredible gift.

187. Fee fi fo fum - July 27, 2013

181 Wondering Who’s Watching

REB never displayed much common sense or true compassion for those who suffered real physical ailments, such as KK or SM. His spokespersons reflect that indifference. REB is only out for himself and his indulgent tastes, and if it makes you broke, that’s your tough luck. In many ways, those who were edged out of the FF through such circumstances were lucky, because REB’s and the FF’s promotion of “loyalty at any cost” probably overrode our own common sense when we were FF members. It will be interesting to see how the FF treats its members as the old-timers become old in years, aged and infirm.

188. brucelevy - July 28, 2013

185. Ames Gilbert

Hi Ames. I could be wrong but knowing what I know of RB’s tastes, he tended to avoid “lunatics” and people who lived in emotional extremes like Greg. And he’d sometimes ask them to leave. We don’t REALLY know why Greg left (though we do know the stories). I have the feeling he wasn’t one of RB’s sexual victims. I think Greg’s probelms probably go back way before the FOF.

There were quite a few extreme people who “tried” to get close to RB, but when their pathology bacame obvious he put a lot of space between them and himself. Even he could be repulsed. Of course if you were relatively “normal” and “pretty” he didn’t mind fucking you up in a whole new way.

189. fofblogmoderator - July 28, 2013

#184 is a new poster

190. Golden Veil - July 28, 2013

184 Lygeia

“Our duty as human beings is to respect life and promote the dignity of the human person. The inability to understand this lies at the root of the problems of the Fellowship of Friends”

Yes, I agree. The exclusionary mind set is the black heart of the Fellowship of Friends. You must lock step with authority and subscribe to the current angles on “being present” or serve as pretty ass or be rich and show your money in this little esoteric country club.

191. Lygeia - July 29, 2013

Golden Veil – it seems so very sad that is has come to this. I gained so much from Peter Ouspensky’s writings. And we may very well be “food for the moon” unless when we die we have lived a life filled with real things that has helped up build a soul.

When I was 11 years old I read Colin Wilson’s “The Occult” and he wrote about Gurdjieff. For years before I went to bed, I would read a scrap of paper reminding me to find a book, any book, by Gurdjieff.

This was before the Internet where you could just go to Amazon.com and find these books.

Finally, when I was 14, I was in a Waldenbooks (they have since closed) and I saw a wall of books, all by Peter Ouspensky. I was, at first a little disappointed that there weren’t any books by Gurdjieff. Now, I realize how lucky I was to read Ouspensky, as he wrote a lot more clearly than Gurdjieff about the work ideas. I chose Ouspensky’s “A New Model of the Universe.” I knew it was a little too advanced for me. I used my babysitting money to buy it.

When I 15, I was finally able to read it and spent the summer of my 15th year reading the book very carefully, hoping to find a school (even though at that age I knew human nature makes these things very unlikely).

It is so very disheartening that the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (despite their flaw of not truly grasping the innate dignity of the human person) were used by a man who convinces people to give him extraordinary amounts of money so that he can live in incredible luxury while having no compassion for those who are injured, disabled, crippled, or old.

I think we heal this thing by remembering to promote life and respect the dignity of the human person, even if it is hard for us to see, because it is always there.

192. ton2u - July 29, 2013

Ames, thanks for the link… your insight and clarity of expression are always appreciated…. re 186: “because he was in fact raped by Burton, and is suppressing the memories….”

IMO regardless of whether or not there’s physical sexual contact, burton ‘systematically’ — utilizing what he calls ‘the system’ — rapes all of his “students.”

193. robertschelly - July 29, 2013

Wow, the precious prancing and preening in that clip – the Nine of Hearts in a liquid sugar compote.

As to the fate of the FoF after Burton’s passing – that is a prime piece of land with a lot of potential. For starters, you finish the winery (that must have been a tax dodge not to, all these years), keep the Town Hall (I see in the video that it’s still there, always my favorite building on the prop), piece off the Goethe Academy right down to the parquet floor and gold faucets, and uproot/sell the palm trees and the statues. But that is probably not how it will play out.

Absent a Deus ex Machina, the deed and the charter will be voted (stacked) to the coven, who will take the reins and ensure the environment remains unbearably effeminate. The FoF will then whither and die in fairly short order, much like Krishnamurti’s place in Ojai.

The best case is what is interesting, if you have the valuation. If you think (as probably most here do) that the teaching itself is a corruption, or a broken model, then nothing further will be of interest.

The FoF advanced and set back the general agenda, which was the successful conveyance of the kernal of G’s instruction to “the West”. Ouspensky had the whole case in line and what he accomplished was beyond value. Burton was a wrongly formed Man No. 5 but they occur. I wasn’t pulled into his inner circle so I don’t have the axe to grind here. He was wrongly crystallized, that’s all I need to know.

A current member or team, if there are any with the remaining mass, energy and sanity, needs to step up and take the helm. It will take a plot, the crones are not going to give up lightly.

Good luck; and you know who I am talking to. Right Girard, John C., Kevin W.; those who remember and are patient.

194. robertschelly - July 29, 2013

And by “that clip” I meant the Shakespeare video, not Hannah et al.

195. Associated Press - July 29, 2013

Want to be Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton’s bitch in the prison of organic life on Earth? Go here:
http://bit.ly/1c4NHds
Prospective students being accepted now!

196. freeman - July 30, 2013

193. robertschelly

“Burton is a wrongly formed Man No. 5…”

Burton is a well-formed psychopath/sociopath.

It may be hard to acknowledge the possibility that Burton never attained a “higher level of consciousness” — i.e. if we also believe there are humans who supposedly become Men No. 4, 5, 6 etc. Speaking for myself, it makes me realize how unintelligent and misguided I was to follow this man.

What Burton did “attain” was an ability to deceive a limited number of people, and to make use of them for his own selfish desires for a certain amount of time, with no qualms about who he stepped on along the way. He knew how to say just the right things — to the right people — at the right times. He had the distinct advantage of acting with no conscience. He possessed the classic superficial charm that many psychopaths possess, which enabled him to deceive and gain a following. There’s no higher intelligence in that, no higher consciousness, no acute awareness or heightened powers — any more than a person who holds a gun has a higher level of consciousness. He has a weapon, and he uses it.

197. WhaleRider - July 30, 2013

From the FAQ section of the FOF web site:

“When we speak about imagination, we are speaking about the mindless chain of thoughts that incessantly occupy space within our internal world…Imagination is a much more serious foe than many of us realize. It is not simply that we tend to dream and like our dreams—there is actually something inside of us that actively resists the effort to be present to one’s own life.”

Just curious, does anyone else here experience this? Personally, I don’t, maybe because I do so much “active listening'” in my profession.

I have certainly met anxious people who may talk or work incessently in a neurotic way to block out or avoid painful truths, but I don’t experience my mind as a radio show blaring in the background, thankfully.

And I don’t consider my internal world as occupied by “chains” of imaginary “thoughts”, but as very real thoughts, fantasies, intuitions, memories and feelings…and seemingly vast empty space that I find peaceful.

And what of the imaginary picture of oneself as an exclusive member of the “chosen few”?

Also, when I’m asleep and become aware of being in the dream state, I am invariably awakened by a part of me that wants to wake up out of the dream, not stay in the dream as the above quote suggests. This happens even when the dream is pleasant one. I have the thought, oh this is nice, and then I want to wake up and jot it down!

Although I can understand that each of us may contain a part that actively resists being spoon fed some else’s warped or delusional belief system!

198. WhaleRider - July 30, 2013

This sweet little song went through my head this morning, which put me in a pleasant mood:

I’ll probably whistle the tune to myself a few times throughout the day to extend the pleasant effect it has in my internal world.

199. Mick - July 30, 2013

Damn you and your happy little cartoon diddy. Sounds a little like McCartney to me.

200. robertschelly - July 30, 2013

Freeman, good points and part of me does resist the possibility that RB had ‘nothing at all’. The best I can say, considering that I spent perhaps a total of 1.7 hours in his presence (1.5 hours of which was a teaching dinner wherein I realized he was stark mad then tried to squelch the thought) is that he said some things through the years that indicate to me he was in higher centers a lot, at least in the early years. I think this can happen even if the underlying individual is badly distorted. Now this is going to act like a psychic emetic to a number of people here. I don’t have any particular axe to grind, so there it is.

Valuation of the teaching, any sort of respectful discussion of it, also often gets a projectile response on this board; but here goes … what’s a wrong Man No. 5? A crystallization (will, unchangingness) resulting in a singularity of purpose that can negate denying force within and without. That characteristic does not have to come with a conscience or anything else we consider good. It’s just power. And as you indicate, those are also often the characteristics of psychos.

RB, as a homosexual King of Hearts, had a mechanical potential, a gift so to speak, to wield an exquisitely tuned perceptive apparatus; he used to manipulate. Maybe that’s all it is. Nothing against gay men, just stating a fact.

Having steered clear of a personal relationship with him, to me the thing he did most wrong was hijack the teaching, making it difficult if not impossible to work here in the U.S. in our current surveillance state; creating a major denying force with his notoriety.

It is ironic how one of his most interesting concepts, the theory of Feminine Dominance, came to be his operating system; which will probably succeed him if the FoF keeps going, a shadow of what it could have been, in the U.S. nanny state. I hope things transpire differently but it will take a major effort.

201. Golden Veil - July 30, 2013

200. robertschelly

You’ve made some good points, but as far as your assertion that Robert Burton “said some things through the years that indicate to me he was in higher centers a lot…”, I think that whether or not someone is in “higher centers” cannot be ascertained by someone else hearing or reading their ‘words,’ or ascertained by any means, in any case.

What you wrote about homosexuality is a bit of the mark, in my mind. All indications lead to his sexuality as being perverted in the direction of an unusual sexual predator who calls himself a “goddess in a man’s body” and prefers sex solely numerous partners that are heterosexual men. That’s not “gay.” And all gay men are not natural interior decorators who like to dress up, enjoy fine dining and fine art, nor are grand manipulators. That abilities to charm and manipulate are more the marks of a psychopath.

202. brucelevy - July 30, 2013

200. robertschelly

It’s understandable that in an environment like the FOF the intrinsic and inate “intution” and charm of a psychopathic personality can easily be minconstrued as a higher state. That’s why there is never a shortage of victims for sociopaths. A significant segment of society is attracted to the misanthropic behavior as if it’s a form of real “power” and ability (as it is but only in a perverse sense). People are attracted to power.

203. WhaleRider - July 31, 2013

robertschelly:
I appreciate your candor in expressing your views despite the intellectual nausea it might cause those who spent a great deal more time close to burton, such as myself.

Part of cult indoctrination hinges upon followers not sharing the fragments of persona the cult leader exposes to each in an effort to keep any one follower from seeing the “bigger picture” until years pass and the follower is fully emeshed in their designated role. This was evident with Jim Jones as well.

The cult leader’s success is in direct proportion to his or her ability in showing his or her followers only what they want to see.

The cult leader knows from years of experience that his or her followers will fill in the rest with their fantasy and projection.

Thank you for sharing yours.

Regarding a person overcoming so-called “denying force” as a sign of their personal growth, I’d love to hear more examples of what you mean by that.

Given burton’s proclivities for manipulating others to meet his personal needs regardless of the effect it has upon others, I don’t understand how that can possibly convince you of his advanced level. That seems to me like an internal obstacle burton is unable to surmount.

204. ton2u - July 31, 2013

to borrow from eastern philosophy, “siddhis” is a term to describe “powers” related to so-called “super-normal” states… if nothing else burton demonstrated his “powers” through influencing and manipulating others… and I have to acknowledge being drawn in by these “powers” like the proverbial moth to flame…. but you live and learn. imo burton got sidetracked and lost along the way, his “powers” became a means to attempt to satisfy insatiable vices — greed, lust, gluttony — and strictly ‘ego-centric concerns’… all at the expense of others.

“Traditionally, aspirants have been warned of the dangers inherent in the siddhis. Although the siddhis are said to develop spontaneously during the course of one’s practices, the recommendation is that one should not seek these out, pay special attention to them, or cling to them, but rather, one should treat them as natural byproducts of one’s psycho-spiritual work and move forward in that work. For instance, Ramakrishna is said to have discarded his attained paranormal powers as futile, vain, and heaps of rubbish (Prabhavananda, 1969, p. 259), and Buddha is reported to have said “…It is precisely because I see the peril of the practice of the mystic marvels [i.e., siddhis] that I execrate and abhor them and am ashamed of them” (Dîghanikâya, I, 212 ff, cited in Eliade, 1975, p. 174).
In an often cited sûtra (III:38), Patañjali advised that “these” are obstacles to samâdhi, but they are accomplishments or powers in the waking, worldly, outwardly-turned state of mind. It is curious that Patañjali placed this warning in the middle, rather than at the end, of his listing of the various siddhis. In the Yoga-Sûtras, the referent for “these” is unclear. Some maintain that all siddhis listed in chapter 3 are obstacles, others argue that only those siddhis mentioned prior to Sûtra 38 should be considered obstacles, and still others contend that this obstacle warning applies only to the siddhis in the immediately preceding Sûtra (i.e., spontaneous [supernatural] intuitive flashes based in hearing, touching, seeing, tasting, and smelling). The siddhis might become obstacles because they could shift one’s attentional focus to outward things and because they might call attention to egocentric concerns. Both of these emphases could tempt and sidetrack the aspirant from the major aim of yogic practise …”

http://www.inclusivepsychology.com/uploads/PatanjaliYogaAndSiddhis.pdf

205. WhaleRider - July 31, 2013

ton2u:
I can admit that as a younger man I too was lured by the promise of “special powers”, particularly in regard to perceptions of higher dimensions of time and space attained without the use of drugs, as set forth in the writings of Mr O.

The irony is that I feel so much more in touch with my personal power now than I ever did giving away my power to burton and his cult.

I can now say unequivocally that burton seeks power over others not because of his personal strengths, but because of his personal weaknesses.

I may be wrong, but I am relatively sure that Alex Horn had a different view of interpreting “shocks” from the higher dimension of so-called “c-influence” than burton currently does, in terms of burton’s grandiosity and delusions as supported by his ideas of reference from license plates and magical thinking.

I have learned that my personal power is not derived solely from my conscious mind, nor through a fervent, mind-numbing loyalty to a guru, nor by making the claim that I am more advanced than anyone else on tne planet, but from becoming more consciously attuned to my intuitive unconscious mind, which IMO, is the gateway to higher dimensions. This is why my dreams are so important to me, and why I had to “abandon the system” in order to grow and evolve.

In the dream state, my conscious mind acts mostly as a witness; it is therefore impossible to lie to myself or “buffer” my inner truth. IMO, this is where the fourth way misses the mark by a wide margin and becomes merely a “mask of authoritarian power”.

206. ton2u - July 31, 2013

Whalerider (and others), why does burton target straight males for sexual seduction? a “youth” (usually) makes for vulnerable /easy prey, it’s a ‘demographic’ of not yet fully formed individuals, naive to many things… but why the straight boys? I wonder if it has something to do with burton not being able to come to terms with his own sexuality? he’s described himself as a “goddess in the body of a man” — or words to that effect. imo deep down, in this paltry soul, there are unresolved sexual issues which contribute to resentment of natural, youthful, “healthy” and so-called “normal” sexual impulses in other males… and so he attempts to divert and change the impressionable ‘neophytes’ into something more closely resembling himself…. a narcissistic imperative at work to be sure.

http://www.wilhelmreichtrust.org/passion_of_youth.pdf

207. robertschelly - July 31, 2013

ton2u, my spidey sense is that getting a straight guy to give in is a higher high for people like RB. Burton was a vampire and the inner struggle and concomittant shame many of his partners felt probably got sucked up into his trip. For want of better words. A subtle sadism, maybe fueled by rage since he was purportedly molested by his inbred sis and mom.

Whalerider, here we have someone who is the last of the big-time cult leaders in the U.S., who fashioned a life exactly the way he wanted it, to serve his every desire. Tiberius comes to mind. That’s the singularity I mean. It served him very nicely. Ouspensky once said of G, “He only has two ‘I’s, one very good and the other very bad.” Sorry I don’t have a cite. O may have considered G a malformed Man No. 5. I’m out of my depth, I only know what I got via that school. I prob would not have got it elsewhere.

208. freeman - August 1, 2013

207. robertschelly

I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I think the POV that you probably would not get elsewhere what you received “via the school” is an attitude or belief that gets to the heart of the matter — and that largely explains why people don’t leave, or why they delay their departure. I see where you’re coming from. I also learned something and experienced something in this cult that I would not have learned or experienced elsewhere (not just via ‘the work” but also via the proverbial school of hard knocks).

But I also strongly believe that I would have learned something else, and gained something else that would have been equally valuable — and probably more valuable — had I not joined the cult.

Someone might say that’s just speculation on my part — the would’ves and could’ves — but what I do know is that the FOF fed me the notion that “there’s nothing out there.” For some people, myself included, this meme persists for several years and makes it difficult to escape from the cult. It takes a while to recover from it, and for a person to “advance confidently in the direction of his dreams.”

Notice the immediate reaction to the word “dreams”? The FOF taught us it was foolish to dream, but everything of value in this world began with someone dreaming it.

– – – –

203. WhaleRider

“Regarding a person overcoming so-called “denying force” as a sign of their personal growth, I’d love to hear more examples of what you mean by that.

“Given burton’s proclivities for manipulating others to meet his personal needs regardless of the effect it has upon others, I don’t understand how that can possibly convince you of his advanced level. That seems to me like an internal obstacle burton is unable to surmount.”

– – – –

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

209. robertschelly - August 1, 2013

Whalrerider, I don’t think it was an advanced level with respect to conscience; quite the opposite. I recall Eye in the Sky going through all kinds of contortions here trying to explain why RB was above conscience. RB got what he wanted. He doesn’t have anything I want. That’s my personal distinction when I contemplate these types.

Put a man at a pinnacle and he can see in all directions regardless of whether he ‘is good’ while there or not; and he can give (and possess) the illusion of vision while actually indeed HAVING a certain amount of it. I am kind of pounding the desk here but the FoF worked for a lot of people. The system works, for some. RB had the wireless assembled and was tuned in and transmitting, for a while.

210. freeman - August 2, 2013

“…the FoF worked for a lot of people. The system works, for some. RB … was tuned in and transmitting, for a while.”

A lot of today’s FOF followers agree with you word-for-word, and use this reasoning to rationalize and prolong their membership. And it’s common for former members of all sorts of cults to believe their cult “worked.” They hold on to that idea for years after their departures.

One of the things that helped me leave was the realization that Burton lacked even the most basic qualities of a good man, let alone someone with wisdom, being, and understanding.

211. fofblogmoderator - August 2, 2013

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