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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 139 October 29, 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/

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1. Tempus Fugit - October 30, 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.

2. Tempus Fugit - October 30, 2013

Okay, you tech savvy people, a riddle.

I posted Post Number 1 (INDEX TO THE BLOG) on this page (139) on 10/29/13 but its shows a date of 10/30/13.

The date function on my computer shows 10/29/13, which is the date where I am.

So where is the computer hosting the blog?

3. Tim Campion - October 30, 2013

The blog was apparently set up on Western European Time (UTC +0).

4. Tempus Fugit - November 1, 2013

Thanks Tim. I figured it was on the other side of the world. Either that, or the NSA is messing with us again. Oh well, looks like Big Brother knows everything nowadays anyway. Whether or not he cares is another matter.

When members of the FOF were busted for marijuana cultivation last year I wrote here on this blog that maybe those arrests would prompt a larger investigation of various allegations against the FOF.

If nothing else, I thought Homeland Security might be interested in potential violations of immigration law.

I see now my thinking was naive. More likely Homeland Security and the NSA already know about the FOF’s “dirty laundry” and have concluded the FOF is not worth bothering with.

That may be hard to accept for those of us who once considered the FOF an organization of supreme importance to ourselves and to the world, but I think the “world,” if it notices the FOF at all, sees only a small, weird, fading, insignificant seventies cult.

Just a little fish way too small to fry.

5. Arthur Brooks - November 4, 2013

On the previous page #129, Oct.3, 2013.

I remember Anthony ‘Somebody’s’ Fourth Way Lawn and Garden Service. He lived in an apartment on the corner of Lake and ‘something’. I believe the Kensington House was in Cerritos or El Cerrito ‘something’ like that.

On night Anthony asked me help him dump bagged leaves in a dumpster. We were caught and yelled at.

Then one night me and a married women who also had a boyfriend close-by were discovered generating too much heat on the couch.

I believe that discoverer was Anthony or whoever it was slammed the widow down behind the couch. The slamming caused an “awakening, shock, third state” or whatever terms are used now days for two drunks being jolted.

Then again it might have been Luke. He and Anthony were supposed to start a parts cleaning business-‘something like that’.

Luke offered to front me the money to buy Anthony’s Lawn and Garden but the married lady complained to Haven who then called me over and to paraphrase said,”hit the road Jack”. And also, “we’ll leave the light on for you and bring $2,500.00.

Too bad the window was slammed.

6. WhaleRider - November 5, 2013

Enantiodromia: everything turns into its opposite.

7. WhaleRider - November 5, 2013

The truth is we change without ceasing…there is no essential difference between passing from one state to another and persisting in the same state.

If the state which “remains the same” is more varied than we think, [then] on the other hand the passing of one state to another resembles—more than we imagine—a single state being prolonged: the transition is continuous.

Just because we close our eyes to the unceasing variation of every physical state, we are obliged when the change has become so formidable as to force itself on our attention, to speak as if a new state were placed alongside the previous one.

Of this new state we assume that it remains unvarying in its turn and so on endlessly.

~Henri Bergson, “Creative Evolution”, 1911.

Here, IMO, the French philosopher Bergson dispels the illusion that a megalomaniac cult leader like Burton or others promote of being “crystallized” in a “higher state of consciousness”.

It is Burton’s delusion that persists, not any particular “state of mind”. He simply lies to himself or pretends not to notice how his state changes, and is paid handsomely for it by his glossy-eyed, infantile, and dependent followers who believe him.

What he claims to have attained in heightened consciousness he surely lacks in self awareness.

In the process of inflating his ego while acting out the fake persona of an enlightened, “awake” being, Burton also has been unconsciously feeding his slimy shadow side behind the scenes all these years due to the process (law?) of enantiodromia, known first by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus.

Enantiodromia is the psyche’s automatic check and balancing system not unlike the anti-gay preacher who secretly uses meth and frequents male prostitutes.

In other words, burton is more than likely as “asleep” as he claims everyone else is out in “life”.

By “asleep”, I mean lack of self awareness, not lack of consciousness as in comatose. (The cult engages in mystification when it comes to words like consciousness, awake, asleep, imagination, and the self.)

IMO, a person cannot have self awareness if they are unconscious, but they certainly can lack self awareness while fully conscious.

Philosophy informs us that by voluntarily making an effort in any direction, a person automatically becomes conscious, but not necessarily more self aware.

I now undestand that self awareness is synonymous with wisdom, which only comes with age and experience…not by endlessly repeating 30 canine commands in my head.

In order to incorporate burton’s delusion and his idealized vision of “consciousness”, his victims become self-less followers not only by corrupting both their intellect with magical thinking and their ego through ideas of reference, but also by giving up their will which along with courage is intimately attached to acting in self interest by making choices and setting limits.

Followers also supplant their imagination (and imaginary pictures) with burton’s…or at best he amplifies an imaginary picture already in place, for example, the fear of impending nuclear holocaust or a belief in ghosts or an over-idealized image of oneself.

The cult’s propensity for superstition also hijacks a follower’s intuition, which as Bergson posits, is the function best suited in healthy, mature individuals for perceiving the truth.

Until they self graduate or are expelled, followers are leveraged to conform by a sense of special membership and feelings of belonging, then eventually manipulated to pimp in the interest of the cult leader’s shadow side and thus against their own conscience. This leads to an unhealthy compromise in their ability to empathize with cult victims, colluding with Burton’s shadow interests.

To succeed in freeing oneself from the cult’s traps (not to mention burton’s karma) a follower must learn to trust his or her intuition as an ally, and bravely use their creative imagination to picture how life can be better outside the confines of cult mentality.

One must have courage to be oneself.

Behind that which people say, behind that which they think of themselves, discover what they are by what they do.

~Karl Marx

8. Tim Campion - November 5, 2013

7. Whalerider

Harsh as it might seem, I think your analysis of the mechanics at work in the Fellowship are pretty much on target. “Presence” is not the all and everything Burton would have his followers believe. If Burton exemplifies “consciousness,” it is without conscience. And this is nothing I would wish to emulate.

In the news the past few days, the story of David Sullivan:

“The Life of a Cult Investigator”

“The Man Who Saves You From Yourself”

9. jomopinata - November 6, 2013

“Jung called it enantiodromia, the tendency of a person who has held one point of view exclusively to swing to the opposite extreme. Those who have dedicated themselves to the spirit are particularly prone to it. Suddenly, seeing all that they have missed, some become just as cynical and materialistic as they had been devoted and transcendental. Having once worshiped the guru as God incarnate, they now feel the need to smash him as a false idol. This encounter with the shadow marks the experience of very nearly every former believer who has left an ashram. It happens almost automatically, as if a scale tipped too far to one side were now simply righting itself.

Thomas Easley knows about enantiodromia. In 1989, as par tof the inner circle, he left the Fellowship of Friends, an obscure California-based group loosely based on the philosophical teachings of the Sufi mystics G.I. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky. For years, Easley was hopelessly dependent upon the group’s leader, Robert Burton, who was for him the model of all spiritual growth and personal development. ‘He made all the decisions for me,’ says Easley, ‘from what tie to wear to what car to drive, from what to eat to how to go to the bathroom.’ As long as he remained with the Fellowship of Friends, Easley handed over all the money he made selling paintings–to galleries, museums and wealthy European families–to Burton. In return, he claims, Burton seduced him into a sexual relationship when he was in his early 20s. ‘I don’t trust anyone.’ Easley says now. ‘When you find out that the man who was supposed to be the second coming of Christ is actually a sexual abuser, whom do you trust after that?’ Easley was actually thrown out of the group for making his accusations. After spending some time in India, he returned to the United States, where he lived quietly for a year and a half before escaping to India again. He felt out of rhythm in the U.S., too naive to function in the New York art scene, where he was trying to establish credibility.

‘I’m like a man who’s been released from a prison camp,’ he says. ‘How can you relate to people when you can’t even tell them what you’ve been doing for the past 20 years?'”

(from an article by Jean Callahan, “Leaving the Ashram,” Common Boundary, July/August 1992, at pp. 36-37.)

10. Shard of Oblivion - November 6, 2013

Enantiodromia🙂

I doubt if Burton even knows who Heraclitus is

11. WhaleRider - November 6, 2013

But where rigidity and subjection to ritual run rampant, I see the danger of empty, meaningless dogmatism, of the kind to be observed in the present-day proliferation of quasi-religious sects, where the recruitment of brain-washed cohorts of members exclusively for the personal enrichment and self-aggrandisement of their gurus has assumed the proportions of a contagion disfiguring the age we live in.

~Alice Miller, “Communication to my Readers”, 1995.

12. paul gregory - November 8, 2013

11. The fellowship is a personal enrichment cult, isn’t it? Everyone gets a taste of the wonderful ‘results’, living lives based on a constant ritual of presence and other mental meditational routines. Students now base their meditation around a six numbered sequence. And 30 work ‘I”s. For a school that is so mathematical, to miss the connections here is a bit weird. Judas was paid off by 30 pieces of silver. Students practicing the sequence are going 6 6 1 6 6 3 666 6 3 6 2 6 6 6 like this every day, measuring their lives in completed ‘sequences’ of 6 and 30 work ‘I”s. Students are attached to this ritual and it pays off for them. A hypnotic and costly ritual of self-seeking presence. The argument is that ‘it works for me’. A silk purse out of a sows ear.

The fellowship would be better called ‘The Royal Society for the Protection and Preservation of Robert Earl Burton’. Oh Isis. The holocaust that didn’t come, and the prophecies preceding it, had as it’s main function to tell everybody off for not being kind to Robert Earl Burton. He thought about it very hard and it didn’t happen, so the ‘gods’ humiliated him. ‘Damn those pesky ‘C’ influence!’

I believe intuitively that paying for something makes it conditional, temporal. It doesn’t last forever. It can’t. ‘There is no such thing as pepetual motion.’ Either when you leave ‘The Royal Society for the Protection and Preservation of Robert Earl Burton’ or when you die, that which you have paid for ceases to be current to you present reality. Which is why the only solution is to continue paying for it, like a drug.

Students have the option of leaving the fellowship three times. The fact that most long term students seldom leave once shows that they are bound, in their imaginations, to ‘the best of all possible worlds’. Instead they live in a constant state of manicure, afraid of their naturalness, power and dignity as human beings. Might get in the way of things.

13. paul gregory - November 9, 2013

‘Meditation has to serve but one purpose – to steady the mind of the aspirant, to make him think less of his life, and eventually to make him forget totally his false existence. If, on the contrary, meditation were to remind one of his/her self, then the purpose of meditation is not at all served. One has to beware not to become attached to any form of meditation, for meditation would then become a ritual!’

Eruch Jessawalla
Letter from the Mandali of Avatar Meher Baba
Compiled by Jim Mistry

14. WhaleRider - November 12, 2013

To me, it is the ego archetype (the “I”) which becomes “inactive” during meditation (and hypnosis), and not the Self archetype, per se.

In my experience, a meditative state allows dimensions of the greater Self to be more active and available.

(Gurus need self-less followers with weak egos and repressed narcissistic wounds, hence the mystification around terms like “ego” and “self”, and the emphasis on the present, never resolving the past.)

Although the ego is inactive, diminished, and relieved of exerting conscious control during meditation and while dreaming, it is still present as an observer, is it not?

With time, effort, and a little patience one can begin to apprehend the deeper, broader realms of the greater Self (the whole “me”), which also includes the unconscious “monkey” mind (the “not me”) with all its creative, destructive, projective, intuitive, emotional, self-healing, mythic, bonding and irrational aspects…that we all share.

Yes, it is unconscious processes that whisk our observing ego off on mental tangents during meditation as it can during our waking state or our dreams.

As the ego relaxes control and attends to moment by moment awareness by simply counting breaths for instance, at first the unconscious seems like an enemy to the ego, stealing our attention away from the present, especially when the ego is identified with being “conscious” and in control. IMO, a person who is solely identified with their conscious ego operates in an immature and fragile state of diminished Self awareness.

So is the upwelling and flow of tangents, fantasies, feelings, and dreams from the unconscious mind completely devoid of symbolic hidden meaning? Should the “lower self” be repressed at all costs as one’s ego fixates on meaningless ritual table manners and looks for hidden meaning on license plates, billboards, and street signs?

Contrary to cult belief, IMO, to integrate the unconscious rather than separate from it serves to increase Self awareness and also paves the way for having equal compassion and empathy for others, lowering feelings of alienation and separation.

The Guru may model what seems like detached, self-less compassion and caring, yet upon closer examination, it is often conditional, despite what the Guru and his or her followers may claim.

In addition, Jung believed the female side of a man and the male side of a woman are the wise “Soul” archetypes within each and are housed in the unconscious mind, along with the archetype of the Shadow side, our nemesis.

The Soul is what the Sufi poets describe so fervently and longingly as “The Beloved”, that whom completes us…our “soul-mate”.

Jung warned that to project one’s Soul archetype onto another person is to become hopelessly infatuated with them…and to literally lose oneself.

He also believed both the Soul and Shadow archetypes appear in our dreams, if our observing ego is present with enough intensity.

To find one’s Self, IMO, it’s best to start looking with the eyes closed!

Incidentally, since I am a man, Jung believed if a man appears in my dreams, he does so as my Shadow side. He held the converse occurs for women.

In fact, the last dream I remember having about Burton, he (my Shadow), myself (my observing ego) and a female follower (my Soul) were in his room engaged in attempting to “rationalize” or make Burton’s activities more conscious to him with the aim of teaching him more self awareness.

During the dream I remember feeling more mature and empowered (with ego strength) to compassionately set limits with burton (as with myself) in a way that I was unable to do in my younger days.

In the past, I just bailed, as I did from my friends and famliy by joining a cult, and as I did when I bailed from my friends in the cult when I left.

That dream was a healing experience, IMO, all produced and orchestrated for my benefit by my unseen and anonymous inner guru, for free.

15. brucelevy - November 14, 2013

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/14/the-shocking-scandal-at-the-heart-of-american-zen.html

“Yet in Shimano’s case, the facts are murkier. First, all of his “victims,” if that’s even the right word, were adults; this was not a case of predation of teenagers, as in the Catholic Church. Second, none were raped, in the narrowest (and legal) sense of the term. And while some sexual acts are alleged to have been coerced, most of Shimano’s reported liaisons were consensual—that is, if there can ever be consent within a power relationship such as that between guru and disciple, which perhaps there cannot. Finally, while Shimano was married, it’s not known what his wife made of the allegations, or when she knew of them. “

16. WhaleRider - November 14, 2013

Tim, or anyone? would you be willing to send the right honorable author of the new book, “Zen Predator of the Upper East Side” by Mr Mark Oppenheimer referenced in the above AWESOME article, THANK YOU Bruce, a link to your FABULOUS website?

Maybe Mr Oppenhiemer would be interested in writing about our dirty little secret cult and the Fourth Way Predator of Oregon House?

His email is: mark.e.oppenheimer@gmail.com

17. WhaleRider - November 14, 2013

Here’s what I wrote:

Dear Mr Oppenheimer,
Tears are welling up in my eyes as I write this.

I cannot thank you enough for your new ebook, “Zen Predator of the Upper East Side”.

You are illuminating one of the most sickening, shameful and destructive acts that a guru can bestow upon their most ardent followers. It is rape on so many levels!

I carry the deep shame of being subject to a sexual predator named Robert E. Burton, who is leader of a little known cult once called “The Fellowship of Friends”, now called “Living Presence.org” headquartered in Northern California in the secluded rural town of Oregon House.

The cult, which has morphed into many forms over its 30+ years of existence, has an incredibly lurid history of pimping young, sincere, and vulnerable male spiritual aspirants such as myself to satisfy Burton’s pathological sexual appetite for heterosexual males.

The cult also operates a once promising vineyard called Rennaisance Winery that employs followers, many of whom are here in the US on religious visas, catch my drift?

Sadly, the cult’s longtime lawyer and follower Mr Abraham Goldman, recently committed suicide by hanging himself, the third follower to do so.

Several other long time followers, all of whom are required to make large monthly “donations” were also busted last year for growing pot adjacent to the cult’s large property.

The cult currently extends its recruiting activity into areas of the world like Eastern Europe and The Russian Federation where religion is a growth industry due to the raising of the Iron Curtain.

Yes, both the cult and its detractors have a web presence and a WordPress blog; there’s even a short video on YouTube interviewing ex-followers done a few years ago.

But to date, the cult and its leader continue to exploit the gray area between religious freedom and legalized clergy abuse.

I will add that only in the state of Arkansas (ironically, where Burton was born) is it considered 3rd degree felony rape for any minister or priest to have sex with members of their flock.

In fact, not too long ago, Mr Burton had a civil suit brought against him in Yuba County, CA for “allegedly” having sex with a follower’s 17 year old son who contracted Herpes from the encounter.

Of course, the suit was settled out of court for a considerable sum to keep all parties silent.

I have done as much as I can to warn others and bring to light the pain and suffering of being exploited by a spiritual rape factory run by a serial sex offender.

We have contacted the local newspapers, the FBI, IRS, INS, and Justice Department. Nothing has changed.

Would you be willing to help us?

I appreciate any advice you have and ask that you keep my identity and our correspondence confidential.

I’d be happy to send you all pertinent web links.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for bringing this issue out of the dark and into the public forum.

18. Men In White Coats - November 14, 2013

14. WhaleRider

That’s a lot of jabber focused mainly on convincing someone (maybe yourself?) that you are cleverly conscious, while others are just kidding themselves. There is a lot of vanity in the mix.

Just as an experiment, is there anyone, anyone besides Whalerider, convinced that his superior self awareness (described above) is anything more than self-congratulating ego? Anyone?

19. Man Number Zero - November 14, 2013

In response to the Men in White Coats, I don’t notice any claims to superior self-awareness or any vanity in WhaleRider’s post #14, or in any of his other posts, for that matter. On the contrary, I notice that in post #17, for example, he admits to having fallen into a trap laid by a sexual predator — an admission that would surely be wounding to the vanity of a vainer man — in order to help others avoid the same fate. Over the years that I’ve been following the blog, I’ve always found WhaleRider’s posts to be sensible, unpretentious and insightful, though I don’t share his enthusiasm for Carl Jung’s theories.

20. Tim Campion - November 14, 2013

Whalerider,

I will send Mr. Oppenheimer a link to our Robert Earl Burton blog. I’ll write Alex Gibney as well.

Someone in White Coats, it’s always fun to have you around. “As an experiment,” you might forgo attacking the messengers and confront the actual charges leveled against Burton and the Fellowship over four decades.

21. Shard of Oblivion - November 15, 2013

in 18. Men in White Coats (hey nice name) casts aspersions in Whalerider’s direction for assuming a greater self awareness than he really has..

Now here is a funny thing, there was a post immediately preceding whalerider’s that quoted a mandali of Meher Baba, and on a gut reaction level I found it repulsive. It oozed that trying to please teacher, holier than thou, I can outparadox you ‘cos I’m so advanced, tone of voice that my 10 years in the Fellowship have made me shun like the plague.

Whereas I had a completely different reaction to whalerider’s post. Which was matter of fact in tone, but also not apologetic about benefits he thought he had gained by looking closely at his dreams, and backed up with personal anecdote to illustrate the points. Such a pleasant contrast to the Meher Baba yes-man’s bonkers advice about meditation.

22. Men In White Coats - November 15, 2013

“With time, effort, and a little patience one can begin to apprehend the deeper, broader realms of the greater Self (the whole ‘me’)…” Whalerider (a one time member of the Fellowship of Friends doomsday cult)

“The transformation of the fear of death can only happen by placing our sense of self in the emotions or in a higher state consciousness. In particular some higher states of consciousness can reach a scale of perception where it is possible to understand that physical death is not a finality. I have met many people who have had occult or mystical experiences that have allowed them to personally verify that consciousness can exist outside the confines of the body. I have had many such experiences myself.” Unknown Author (current Fellowship of Friends member)

http://bepresentfirst.com/transforming-the-fear-of-death/

Both these people speak about the higher and greater self with a straight face (according to their written tone) completely ignoring the fact that they spent or are spending some of their lives fully immersed in an absolutely nutty cult that is not world infamous simply because the leader has yet to give the order to drink the Kool-Aid. The beliefs of the FOF are just as absurd as the cults that resulted in suicide and murder.

I was in that cult too and I think long and hard when I find myself attributing my consciousness to a connection with a higher or greater self. Can ex-cult believers really speak of such things without a serious taint from the past clouding their perceptions. We paid money to be in a cult that actually believed it knew when the end of the civilized world would come. Now we blog about our “greater self”?

In the Fellowship of Friends the “conscious participants” once remembered themselves 100 times a day and counted those conscious moments using golf clickers. These cult participants are serious about themselves, but serious people have to laugh at the unbelievable nonsense of it all.

“..broader realms of the greater Self…”

Seriously? I laugh at myself when I have such silly thoughts–especially when I feel compelled to make a point of telling everyone else all about it.

23. Tim Campion - November 15, 2013

Men in White Coats,

My apologies. I thought you were “someone” else.

24. Ames Gilbert - November 15, 2013

Men in White Coats (#139-22 or thereabouts),
the ‘Be Present First’ website you linked to is operated by William Page, a member of the cult of Robert Burton since 1976, and who still lives in Oregon House. I can tell you from personal experience that he is quite terrified of ex-members like myself and my wife, and when we happen to meet him, he will not look at or acknowledge us. I point this out because it implies that his theories about consciousness and fear of death are just that, theories.

Separately, he devotes a whole page to the Student/Teacher relationship. There is nothing to indicate that he is aware of the gross inequality of power in such a relationship, and in fact he seems to put the onus on the follower to take all responsibility:

The teacher’s responsibility, and essentially his only responsibility, is to bring out, or feed, the student’s higher possibilities. But teachers are also human, and very few are beyond the need for human relationships. What this means for the student is that he or she must, if it is his or her privilege to have personal relationship with a teacher, to be able to distinguish the man or the woman from the teacher. The student must be able to recognize when he is required to act as a personal friend and when he is required to act as a student. If the student has trouble distinguishing between the two, it is probably better for him to ask to be removed from the teacher’s circle of personal friends and confine himself to a strictly student/teacher relationship.”

And so on.

The whole website is rather sad, and very much in the style of that leading Fellowship of Friends luminary and apologist for Burton, Girard Haven. In other words, intellectual masturbation. Then, with ‘teachers’ like Burton and Haven, what other form could it take?
IMHO, judging solely by his own words, he hasn’t realized much of his potential in the last thirty-seven years.

25. WhaleRider - November 15, 2013

Thank you, Tim, Man Number Zero, and Shard of Oblivion.

I think viewing the cult these many years later it is easy to verify that conscience can exist outside the body, but that’s about it.

26. WhaleRider - November 15, 2013

The transformation of the fear of death can only happen by placing our sense of self in the emotions or in a higher state [of] consciousness.

Huh? Placing our sense of Self in the emotions to transform the fear of death doesn’t make sense, since obviously fear is an emotion, too, and emotions can come and go quite quickly (along with the sense of Self??); although I do agree that it is possible for one emotion to eclipse another, which sometimes expressing humor can do.

I believe it is the ego (not the Self) that tends to garner a particular set of emotions around it and feels threatened when overcome by other unwanted or repressed emotions.

This unfortunate cult follower’s ego seems to be stuck cycling back and forth from an unsustainable, quixotic “higher state” into the fluid realm of emotions (which are part of the unconscious mind, I might add), with “the fear of death” driving underneath…the result: no real sustainable sense of Self at all.

I don’t know about “transforming” fear, but as far as overcoming fear, well, in my experience, often it has to do with confronting and working through irrational (or superstitious) beliefs.

As I believe Socrates once stated, since what happens after death is unknown, what is there to be afraid of? It might be very nice.

Personally, I settle for ambivalence about death and focus on living my life as fully as I can…without harming others.

The idea of “higher states of consciousness”, IMO, that’s just more cult mystification.

Volition begets consciousness; it’s really that simple. We all have it…to think that only cult members have consciousness is erroneous and frankly, grandiose.

Yes, there are different levels of self awareness…that we learn about as we grow and mature…and having more self awareness usually makes one more humble.

In particular some higher states of consciousness [one] can reach a scale of perception where it is possible to understand that physical death is not a finality.

Speaking of scale, I take the broader view that it is our human spirit that can have a life after our physical body dies, as opposed to our individual “soul”. (Isn’t it really the ego that fears death?)

One can experience the human spirit in music, art, architecture, literature and even scientific achievements, long after the author or creator dies.

I have met many people who have had occult or mystical experiences that have allowed them to personally verify that consciousness can exist outside the confines of the body. I have had many such experiences myself.

While I think a person may very well have the experience of imagining their consciousness can exist outside their brain through ego projection, as far as that externalized consciousness being able to display independent volition and will, that, IMO, is pure fantasy and superstitious magical thinking.

I don’t believe in ghosts, but I know for a fact that hallucinations seem very real to those having them.

27. Men In White Coats - November 15, 2013

There is something very democratic about our opinionating on the subject of reality. Especially grand realities like the nature of death. Everyone has the legal, constitutional right to speculate about what can’t actually ever be proven, and by logical extension ever disproven. The frame of mind of the opinionating intellect is something like this: Whosoever expresses an opinion with the most pithiness, stylishness and with the most convincing course of logic gets to pretend to define reality with the least number of objections. Even though everyone knows the opinion is just another fabrication that will fall by the wayside as practicality progresses.

A typical example of philosophizing from a random sampling taken in any restaurant:

Here is how I proceed through life coping with the issue of death (and you all know me and understand I am no one to be taken lightly), I toss my head back and inhale a big breath of air every couple of hours and shout: “Try and kill THAT you miserable asshole!” Then I flip the sky the bird. If God finds that offense then fuck him too. I take the goddamn bull by the fricken horns, damn it, and I take no prisoners as my true self tears the place up. You’d all do well to follow my example. After all I’m still far more alive than most aren’t I?

28. Shard of Oblivion - November 16, 2013

in 27 Men in White Coats says “Whosoever expresses an opinion with the most pithiness, stylishness and with the most convincing course of logic gets to pretend to define reality with the least number of objections. Even though everyone knows the opinion is just another fabrication that will fall by the wayside as practicality progresses.”

OK I can see what you mean I think – it is a big world with many mysterious aspects, and we flatter ourselves if we think we have anywhere near figured it out.

Nevertheless most of us DO have an opinion on the large questions such as whether we survive physical death in any sense, if there exists any higher intelligence that takes an interest in us, if it is possible to change our perceptions of the world by following some teaching or other. And subjective as our perspectives are, we enjoy discussing them with others who have also thought about them. Here we are sitting round the campfire of life passing the time of day.

Here’s my tuppence worth: We entirely depend on our bodies for our conscious existence. If there is an answer to the question “why is there a world at all?” it is probably stranger than we can possibly imagine. All the people throughout history who have claimed to know “the answer” have been mistaken. Burton is a very nasty piece of work indeed.

29. Tempus Fugit - November 16, 2013

In this post I simply want to express my appreciation for Whalerider and his important and consistent contributions to the blog.

Whalerider, I believe you tell the truth about your experience with Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. The facts of your experience are ugly, but your transcendence of them is admirable and inspiring.

When you state your truth you help me to face mine, and in addition, help unknown others to escape and recover.

So thank you and keep up the good work!

30. paul gregory - November 16, 2013

14. WhaleRider
Good to read this, a lot to digest. One ignores people like Jung, or any other decent human being, at one’s peril. The narrow prescriptions of student life and it’s prejudice against the 20th and 21st centuries is a bit of a mistake (IMHO). I remembered a quote of Carl Sagan: ‘If it can be destroyed by the Truth, then it deserves to be destroyed by the Truth’. May your Truth continue to be destructive of the inane insanity of group-think.

31. paul gregory - November 16, 2013

by the way, I met Eruch, and he was Cool.

32. Men In White Coats - November 16, 2013

30. “If it can be destroyed by the Truth, then it deserves to be destroyed by the Truth.”

Sentimental allowances, forgiveness, clemency and leniency — simply ignoring the corrupted aspects of a person’s personality which inevitably clandestinely and stealthily direct the reasoning capacity toward the direction of a questionable agenda, toward the direction of making it seem that the speaker is ultimately right, unimpeachable, highly perceptive and morally upright — is typically how the interaction of modern socialites works, because the underlying philosophy of modern interaction insists each be highly cautious, careful and tiptoe on eggshells in order to avoid directly causing dismay to anyone’s erroneous and delicately teetering opinion of himself. Yes, we all see the sad fallibility of a particular character, but as long as he supports me in my self-deceit then the current rule is that I support him in his self-deceit.

We have the modern custom of refusing to call one another liars, but rather indulge one another in our particular lies, in our particular shades of neurosis. Empathy toward the foibles of those we feel sentimental toward takes priority over getting at the truth and rejecting freshly devised fallacies and questionable agenda-driven opinions.

33. ton - November 16, 2013

yes, thank you to whalerider and all those who visit to read / write.

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but I know for a fact that hallucinations seem very real to those having them.”

if you believed you would percieve them… and visa versa. I think hallucinations ARE very real and not just seeming. the collective “dream” is a notion floating around in the noosphere too… another possible belief:

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/2/2227/1.html

34. paul gregory - November 16, 2013

32. Men In White Coats
I don’t think it’s possible to have ’empathy towards the foibles of others’. Empathy is a genuine value, as I see it. I used to think that sentiment was a dangerous thing in mysticism, I don’t think like that now. Sentiment is a beautiful thing when directed at something higher…

35. paul gregory - November 16, 2013

‘To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize’
Voltaire

36. Men In White Coats - November 16, 2013

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” -Voltaire

Does this still generally apply in modern countries with constitutionally guaranteed ‘free speech’?

I’m not as wise as a Voltaire so I have very little that is pertinent to say for or against his view of life. Still, I am not so unwise as to heedlessly adopt a wiser man’s view of life simply because he convinced himself of the truth of it. If it seems that I criticize Voltaire it is only because his truths are now redelivered out of context.

37. Fee fi fo fum - November 16, 2013

21 Shard of Oblivion, 31 paul gregory

Shard, although I also find ‘holier than thou’ attitudes to be off-putting, my reading of the quote in 13 didn’t find that. One teacher of meditation asked his students to count from 1 to 10, again and again, saying that the initial goal was to clear the busy mind (it was a little more complicated than just repeating those numbers, and clearing the mind paved the way for other things). I got the impression that he didn’t want to perpetuate via meditation a form of spiritual pride by way of chanting in Sanskrit or Tibetan, which subtly defeats the purpose.

38. Shard of Oblivion - November 16, 2013

37 OK Fee fi fo fum let’s look at what Eruch had to say:

“Meditation has to serve but one purpose – to steady the mind of the aspirant, to make him think less of his life, and eventually to make him forget totally his false existence.”

So he starts by telling the listener or reader than meditation has only one purpose. He doesn’t qualify that by saying “for me”, oh no this is the truth pure and simple – take it from Eruch he knows.

But hey, what if someone meditated for a different purpose, say to improve their concentration, or to reduce stress, or how about to understand more about themselves, say like Michel Montaigne. No Eruch reckons he knows the one and only purpose of meditation. Why does he assume this infallible pose? I can suppose it’s because he was taught by Meher Baba who claimed to be the avatar of the age, and whose style of pronouncements from a lofty height he would, possibly unconsciously, have imitated as a result of his no doubt deep and sincere love of his teacher.

And so let’s look at what this one and only purpose of meditation is. To steady the mind of the aspirant – not objectionable at all, probably most who meditate would recognise this aim. But look at what follows – “to make him think less of his life”. That’s what I’m talking about. This attitude that we are all too caught up with ourselves, and need to become selfless in order to fulfill our cosmic destiny. It’s bogus to my way of thinking. I think two different things have been entangled here. Most would agree that selfishness is an unattractive trait, and can in many cases cause real harm to others. But to claim that to evolve a person should think less of their life is much beyond advising to avoid selfish actions and attitudes. In my opninion, our lives are so precious, it seems simply misguided for these gurus to always bat on about how we must lose our egos completely. Why not use meditation to discover the wonders that lurk within ourselves, dive in and taste everything that we are and can be?

Eruch tops it off by ending his pontifical statement about meditation with the ghastly thought “and eventually to make him forget totally his false existence” What false existence is Eruch on about here? That one where it matters to people what happens. How their family fairs, how their sport team does, the latest work by some artist or performer they admire. Holy Eruch thinks we should transcend these petty things, and for what. We should trade these real existing pleasures and pains for some illusory fantasy that was fed for him by the megalomanical hubris of Meher Baba, with his risible delusion that he was the creator of this Universe.

39. Fee fi fo fum - November 17, 2013

38 Shard of oblivion

Thanks for your analysis. I have to admit that “forget totally his false existence” was a phrase that didn’t resonate with me, because a false existence implies a true existence, which is its own rabbit hole. But I took the first part of that sentence at face value and didn’t find it reeking of a high and holy tone of voice. My takeaway from the quote was that our minds are crammed with thoughts and preoccupations, and meditation might be a good way to quiet the din. Also, because we view the world from our own point of view most of the time (not to be confused with being selfish, per se), it helps to think about others and their needs.

Having said that, if your reaction was partly from what some of us experienced in the FoF, including degrees of blind devotion to REB and what he claims to be true and that we now know is barf, then I see what you’re trying to say. I simply took the quote on a simpler level.

40. Mick - November 17, 2013

Shard’s comments strike me as antitheist more than atheist. Meher Baba did not discourage opposition and in fact provided financial support to some detractors. Negative remembrance is still remembrance.

41. Shard of Oblivion - November 17, 2013

Mick, I am anti claims by humans to know the will of God. As for the bigger question, my position is this – If there is a coherent answer to the question “Why is there a world at all?” then I would be happy to call that God. I think humanity is a very long way from being able to answer that question at the moment though.

Fee fi fo fum, yes I agree that meditation can help calm the noise and allow something else to emerge, it was the advice to “think less of his life” that rankled for me.

42. WhaleRider - November 17, 2013

Thank you Tempus Fugit, ton and Paul. I appreciate your acknowledgement.

ton:
Thank you for the good read, “Reality is a shared hallucination” linked above.

I don’t quite agree with the author’s premise that reality is a shared “hallucination”, though, particularly because the experiments cited seemed to be centered more around the fluctuations and distortions in memory that we experience through our suggestibility, emotionality, peer pressure, and through the ‘observer-expectancy effect’ than what we experience in the present.

Did the study participants “hallucinate” the barn that wasn’t there when they recalled the film about the car crash? I don’t think they did. They imagined it was there in their memory, since, as Milton Erickson says, when it comes to recalling past events, there is little difference between memory and imagination.

Also, and most importantly, a barn plausibly fits within the context of driving down a country road. So, IMO, the belief in the imaginary barn’s existence is more of a delusion than a hallucination.

IMO, a hallucination is a different event. It occurs in the present, usually has a bizarre quality, will seem implausible to others, and is usually experienced by the person as separate from themselves.

For instance, a person hearing voices won’t tend to recognize the auditory hallucinations are coming from inside their own head.

A person can experience a tactile hallucination, like being touched, but they will usually attribute the experience as caused by something else, like a ghost.

Yes, an aspect of what we consider “reality” contains a great deal of memory, conjecture, belief, and shared common experiences with others, which is why, IMO, a person held in solitary confinement long enough can lose touch with reality…the same is true for closed societies like cults.

Shared delusions can also become compelling with enough social pressure to become hallucinations.

For example, not too many years ago, a number of people believed there was life on Mars, due to the “canals” which can be seen on the planet’s surface through the rudimentary telescopes of the time.

Word spread and soon, due to the above mentioned “observer-expectancy effect”, people concentrating their attention through telescope lenses for long periods of time (which put them in a trance) began hallucinating people and buildings on the planet’s surface!

(I bet that after burton dies, his ardent followers, after spending so many years focusing their attention upon him in a trance, will begin to hallucinate seeing him, like Christ’s disciples did.)

So, IMHO, reality is more like a shared belief system, sometimes based upon delusional beliefs, sometime facts, which is why we need reality testing with our peers, an open mind, and double-blind scientific studies.

43. Shard of Oblivion - November 17, 2013

Whalerider says: “I bet that after burton dies, his ardent followers, after spending so many years focusing their attention upon him in a trance, will begin to hallucinate seeing him, like Christ’s disciples did.”

I agree. And what’s more, the hallucinated Burton will be perfect and unencumbered with human weakness. He will shine forever and those who were with him during his lifetime and remained faithful to him to the bitter end, will count themselves among the luckiest people in the world.

44. Ill Never Tell - November 17, 2013

Here’s to you,
Men In White Coats:

45. Fee fi fo fum - November 18, 2013

41 Shard of oblivion

I took “to think less of his life” to mean: be less self-absorbed. But I can see that what might have irritated you was a tone that sounded like someone’s dispensing wisdom.

46. Mick - November 18, 2013

In the olden days (and sometimes today) claiming that you knew better than the King or the Pope or the High Priestess or the Government was a capital offense. Jesus knew this.

47. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

46. Mick: “Jesus knew this.”

When did the two of you last chat? How is the old screwball anyway?

48. Mick - November 18, 2013

I apologize for mentioning Jesus as if I knew what he knew. And now back to your regularly scheduled anti-cult program.

49. Opus111 - November 18, 2013

…to speculate about what can’t actually ever be proven, and by logical extension ever disproven.

I am not sure the second part of the proposition is the logical extension of the first one. In fact the essence of a scientific theory is that it can only be disproven (Karl Popper). Does this apply to philosophical statement? I do not know. It is a commonly accepted fact that the death of the human body is final. Can it be proven? No. Can it be disproven? Yes, it would only take one well documented instance.

50. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

50. Opus111 – November 18, 2013

…to speculate about what can’t actually ever be proven, and by logical extension ever disproven.

I am not sure the second part of the proposition is the logical extension of the first one. In fact the essence of a scientific theory is that it can only be disproven (Karl Popper). Does this apply to philosophical statement? I do not know. It is a commonly accepted fact that the death of the human body is final. Can it be proven? No. Can it be disproven? Yes, it would only take one well documented instance.

***

“There is something very democratic about our opinionating on the subject of reality. Especially grand realities like the nature of death. Everyone has the legal, constitutional right to speculate about what can’t actually ever be proven, and by logical extension ever disproven.”

Actually the subject was not death of the physical body and the possibility of its coming back to life but rather, obviously, the subject was speculation on existence of consciousness after the death of the physical body. “Speculate about what can’t actually ever be proven, and by logical extension ever disproven” applies to the reliability of opinions on whether there is life of consciousness after the death of the physical body.

Clearly if someone makes a statement such as, ‘there is life after death’, it does not mean that there is physical life after the death of the physical body, to surmise such as the intent of meaning is logically absurd if not literal to the point of some kind of pathologic distortion of comprehension, and the statement itself, ‘there is life after death’, can never be proven or disproven in the context of physically living people normally unable to generally communicate with the spirits of people who have died.

“Another source characterizes passive-aggressive behavior as: ‘A personality trait marked by a pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and characterized by passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to complying with expectations in interpersonal or occupational situations. Behaviors: Learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible’.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive-aggressive_behavior

It is likely the trait of passive aggression in you that insists on misinterpreting the context of my statement to be whether or not a dead physical body could return to physical life. Also, that particular kind of twist to the customary comprehension of usual meaning followed by the use of the twist of meaning to build an argument against what I said is called a straw man argument.

“A straw man or straw person, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.” (Google straw man argument)

51. ton - November 18, 2013

whalerider, thanks for deconstructing the article a bit….
I didn’t contextualize but generally it was intended as an example of possible another perspective regarding our notions of what constitutes “reality.” there are many assumptions in the concept of “reality” — something most usually either take for granted or just don’t bother thinking about. As for the article it stands / falls on it’s own and I’m not here to defend the point of view and in no way do I suggest that it paints a complete picture or is definitive… quite the opposite, it’s simply another perspective on the notion of “reality” and should be taken for what it’s worth.

but here’s an attempt at contextualizing for the content of this venue: “reality” is a concept, a state of mind, and as such it has to do with perception. reality is fluid and ever-changing, what it’s not is ‘monolithic’ and static. there are many possible realities and our biology, perceptual capacities, cultural conditioning – among many other factors – go into determining how we humans perceive “reality.” then there is something called “consensus reality” which is a kind of shared belief as to what reality is… we humans create part of our reality via consensus reality…. this again is conditioned by perceptions (biology) and to a large extent cultural conditioning.

The cult creates and uses it’s own subset of consensus reality, twists and distorts it for it’s own purposes, i.e. “mind control” so-called.
e.g. — adherents believe burton is “conscious” whereas they are not…. this belief becomes an ingredient in the reality of a burtonite and informs who / what they are and influences behaviors. to each their own. a point here is how much belief conditions and creates “reality” for the individual… the insular nature of the cult creates it’s own vessel for consensus reality through self – reinforced circular thinking, magical thinking, rationalizing behaviors… and sadly, all is based on belief in a false prophet and charlatan.

52. Shard of Oblivion - November 18, 2013

50 Men in White Coats thinks he detects passive aggressive behaviour in op111, whereas it looks more like MiWC simply misinterpreted op111’s words.

When op111 said “It is a commonly accepted fact that the death of the human body is final.” I had read the word “final” in that as saying that the death of the human body is commonly accepted as signalling the end of ALL existence for the subject. Also an unprovable statement of course.

My reading was that op111 was making a far subtler point about how according to Karl Popper (have you read him MiWCs?) it is possible to falsify a statement about the world by experiment, but never to conclusively prove it correct. All we can ever do is say that “so far, we have been unable to falsify this theory”

53. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

52. Shard of Oblivion

Karl Popper’s theory of Falsifiability only applies to science, not to common opinionating.

Example: “…if a scientist asks, ‘Does God exist?’ then this can never be science because it is a theory that cannot be disproved.”

Similarly the question of whether a consciousness exists beyond the death of the body cannot be disproved.

What Opus111 did was deceptive and manipulative. He asked if my statement (“…to speculate about what can’t actually ever be proven, and by logical extension ever disproven”) could be applied to the principle of Falsifiability, which it can’t, and then he went on to offer a straw man argument in order to influence the opinions of the readers. He applied Falsifiability to a dead body, insinuating that the same could be applied to my statement concerning “the nature of death.” I used that term in the context of the question of consciousness after death, which Opus111 understood or should have understood.

Opus111: “I am not sure the second part of the proposition is the logical extension of the first one. In fact the essence of a scientific theory is that it can only be disproven (Karl Popper). Does this apply to philosophical statement? I do not know.”

1. I am not sure
2. Does this apply
3. I do not know

Opus111’s only point was to try to taint the statements of a character he does not feel well disposed toward. His little post was manipulative and intellectually dishonest.

54. Opus111 - November 18, 2013

Opus111’s only point was to try to taint the statements of a character he does not feel well disposed toward. His little post was manipulative and intellectually dishonest.

I would say: get off your high horse before you get too deep in your own guru complex. Do you really think what you write is so profound the a commentary of sort (I was struck by the use of the term “logical” in a largely faith based topic) is at once deceptive and manipulative? I think you are tripping on your white coat.

Have a good day.

55. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

55. Opus111

One of the advantages of the scientific art of psychology is that even when a particular individual cannot be aware the motivations of his own actions others can. Even when you may not know what you are doing or why I can understand what you are doing and why. Can it be proven or disproven using a mathematical theorem that I know you when you don’t understand yourself? No. Psychology is a scientific art rather than a hard science.

Do people express themselves through logical fallacies under the influence of their irrational emotional reactions? It cannot be proven mathematically but most everyone is psychologically sophisticated enough to know that this is exactly what is usually happening.

56. Tim Campion - November 18, 2013

Exactly, Opus 111. Some Graduates never leave the campus.

57. WhaleRider - November 18, 2013

ton:
In defense of the “reality/hallucination” article, it does make a good case for how reality is a shared experience among us, rather than strictly an individual one.

‘The more complex the system, the more internal communication between the parts required to sustain it’ argument makes perfect sense to me and seems to apply both interpersonally and intrapersonally.

I don’t think it’s possible for one person to fully comprehend the scale or form of our collective and exquisitely complex, nuanced reality, as our planet hobbles along in the Universe of galaxies, our short term memory and attention span is too narrow. It takes a village…and Wikipedia. I’m ok with that.

It seems from the article that even our DNA, the most basic component of life, spends a great deal more time administering and defending our own status quo rather than getting down to the business of advancing the species, which ultimately may be our downfall in this rapidly changing environment.

The concept of shared reality gets murkiest when those among our human clan claim to have exclusive access to a separate “ultimate” or “objective” reality.

The fact is the reality distortion inherent in a closed delusional system like a cult can lead to hallucinations, especially in those predisposed, which may have been a precipitating factor in Brian S’s break from reality and others.

Ironically, many of us came to the cult (myself included) with significant hallucinogenic experience under our belts, looking for access to “higher” realities, and in my case, without needing drugs to get there.

I did not find what I was looking for, and the man I trusted to lead me there as somewhat of a father figure abused me.

I have also long lost the desire for induced hallucinogenic experiences and currently find what I need for personal growth in that regard from the symbolic dream state.

These years later, I also understand that magical thinking and ideas of reference are not a gateway to evolution and personal growth. More often this type of distorted thinking leads to pathological grandiosity and not to increased Self awareness nor to balanced development of critical thinking.

IMO, critical thought is one way we express our individuality, don’t you agree Men in White Coats?

Even sane people still have crazy parts, just like the blog. I can live with that, too.

58. James Mclemore - November 18, 2013

“Chumming” – is the practice of luring animals, usually fish, by throwing “chum” into the water. Chum often consists of fish parts and blood or just store-bought bait which then attract fish so that they can be caught.

59. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

58. WhaleRider

Sanity, if there is such a possibility, can only begin with the sincere development of reasonable self-doubt. The root of all insanity is over-confidence in the autonomous perceptions of a mind that is unconstrained by astutely critical and cautious self-appraisal.

60. WhaleRider - November 18, 2013

Men in White Coats:

Speaking of psychology, try this on, see if it fits:

The golem effect is a psychological phenomenon in which lower expectations placed upon individuals either by supervisors or the individual themselves lead to poorer performance by the individual.

~Wikipedia

I don’t get a sense, from your various incarnations here, that you have particularly high expectations for yourself or others here to begin with, am I right?

One could only surmise what would happen if a guru sincerely expected all his or her followers to awaken in this lifetime…

Voila, the Rosenthal effect!

But alas, then the guru would be out of a job and have to wash his own socks.

61. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

61. WhaleRider

Most normally psychologically alert people are naturally cautious of and even repelled by those who are too optimistic, delighted and pleased with themselves, because we intuitively and experientially understand that enthusiastic self-worth is at least in part an illness, a self-delusion perpetrated by the over-confident against himself in order to compensate for a barely concealed sense of inferiority. Too much self-esteem like too much self-deprecation is the externalized signaling of someone psychologically incompetent due to an inability to evaluate in a reasoned and sensible fashion. People who have an unrealistic view of themselves naturally have an unrealistic view of everything else.

62. WhaleRider - November 18, 2013

The root of all insanity is over-confidence in the autonomous perceptions of a mind that is unconstrained by astutely critical and cautious self-appraisal.

Oh, I don’t know about that. You may be overgeneralizing a wee bit. I have never met an over-confident paranoid schizophrenic.

As you probably know, there are several schools of thought about the genesis of mental illness and maladaptive behaviors, as either stunted psychological development, early trauma and abuse, unresolved Oedipus/Electra complex, unresolved inferiority complex, and/or genetic predisposition.

The opposite of what you suggest seems more aligned with my experience; for example, people with anxiety issues are often overwhelmed by self doubt and plagued by critical self appraisal, especially in light of the stigma associated with mental illness.

In fact, I once knew a person who would have anxiety attacks when she had self doubt about whether or not she took her anti-anxiety medication, even if she had taken it.

Yes, a person with narcissistic personality disorder may appear overconfident, but the longer you hang out with them, it usually begins to sink in that their confidence is expressed mostly at the expense of others, not from having too much unfettered confidence about their successes, but due to underlying feelings of low self worth.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend seeking the help of a professional in any sphere who did not exude a good level of confidence in what they do, would you?

The issue at hand is: expectancy. What are you expecting from us?

I’ll take care of my own self doubt, thank you.

63. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

63. WhaleRider

Not all insane people are insane to the point of complete dysfunction. There are degrees. There are insane people who are capable used car salesmen. There are insane people who are successful psychiatrists. There are insane people who are popular senators.

Everyone is more or less insane to one degree or another and those unaware of that fact by various degrees are the worse off by various degrees.

64. Tim Campion - November 18, 2013

WhaleRider,

Mark Oppenheimer said he would look into the Robert Earl Burton blog.

(Oh, and good luck with GWG.)

65. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

63. WhaleRider

“The issue at hand is: expectancy. What are you expecting from us?”

Why is it that insane people always assume their view of things is naturally shared and backed up by a mysterious “us?” It is a hallucination that people actually agree on even the simplest things when it gets down to the level of actual impact on the convenience of the individuals in the imagined collective. Especially if money is involved. When it needs to be tested by practical decision and there is anything remotely real at stake the imaginary “us” assumption backing up a person’s view of reality always goes right out the window. It evaporates in the face of necessary action.

66. Men In White Coats - November 18, 2013

63. WhaleRider

“Personally, I wouldn’t recommend seeking the help of a professional in any sphere who did not exude a good level of confidence in what they do, would you?”

Take as an example a heart surgeon who is about to do open heart surgery on you, any doctor that would assure you of a 100% positive outcome without even the slightest concern for failure is a quack. Always with competent people doing real things in the real world there is an awareness of unexpected obstacles and unforeseen circumstances. People who are unreservedly and causally confident of their ability and their knowledge are invariably cranks who will deliver disappointment.

67. paul gregory - November 18, 2013

Hmmm. I posted a quote. I had no idea it would be so taken to heart, or viewed as an absolute statement on everything all the time. It was written by a man in a letter some time ago. He was just: and this is remarkable – writing a letter to a friend. I thought so, anyway. I hardly read at all at the moment, so to come across a couple of quotes seemed timely. I had the audacity to quote some people, even though I’m not them.
‘Probably got help from their mums, who had help from their mums.’
Ian Dury & the Blockheads ‘Their Ain’t Alf Been Some Clever Bastards’.
And Relax.

68. paul gregory - November 18, 2013

Their Ain’t ‘Alf, Their Ain’t ‘Alf.

And now, Karl Popper, over to you.

69. paul gregory - November 18, 2013

Oh shit. And There.

70. WhaleRider - November 18, 2013

Why is it that insane people always assume their view of things is naturally shared and backed up by a mysterious “us?”

Let me guess…because we’re all insane, naturally.

Ok then, that makes “us” no better than “you”…or shall I say, Thou.

I happen to believe “we”, myself included, are all on the same level…which I have been saying all along…everyone has crazy parts.

And you and I certainly live in a mysterious world populated with people who act completely insane at times…some of whom are insane.

Why? Because people have varying degrees of Self awareness, IMHO, not because they suffer from pathological amounts of optimism.

Dost Thou feel better? I thought not…so round and round we go.

And I sure as heck wouldn’t trust or recommend a heart surgeon who did not display 100% confidence that he or she was going to do the very best job they can opening up your chest and repairing your heart. Get the difference?

71. Men In White Coats - November 19, 2013

“I’ll take care of my own self doubt, thank you.”

Trying to convince someone who has been habitually smug as their primary psychological appliance for the last 50 years that smugness as mode of expressive transaction is inherently unwise is a pointless and idiotic task.

72. Shard of Oblivion - November 19, 2013

71. Which begs the question, Men, of why did you try?

(because you ARE pointless and idiotic?)

73. ton - November 19, 2013

one thing which can be said of GG is that he’s predictable — ya’ll know well enough that ‘debating’ him is pointless and that the idiotic part of his act is soon to follow wherein he smears his own feces all over the walls here, which of course will be followed by yet another ‘banning.’ are we having fun yet g?

74. WhaleRider - November 19, 2013

I’d like to share a bit of my inner dialogue about the above:

Any feelings of hostility and anger generated by the exchange are his not mine.

Take time responding, stay in my power.

The challenge of counter transference is to use it as an opportunity to see unresolved issues in me.

I can acknowledge that he is adapting
by respecting a minimum of language decorum limits and sense a reoccurring effort to engage on the intellectual level.

I sense an unconscious need to participate, and the maladaptive double bind he is in: meeting a need for validation from others by informing them of their weaknesses.

If others lash out at him, it reinforces the bad object he has incorporated from childhood and resultant masochism, when the masochism and social isolation become untenable, he reaches out to others, trolling for anyone who agrees to collude with his masochism, in order to displace his, which in turn reinforces feelings of omnipotence…hence the “guru complex”.

My fantasy is that he was forced to love at least one of his parents or caregivers who constantly criticized him.

Another good example for how masochistic pain can be addictive if it was linked with early survival.

Any of my thoughts or fantasies about him are possible aspects of my shadow.

75. Men In White Coats - November 19, 2013

I’d like to share a bit of my inner dialogue about the above:

Vanity seems even more obnoxious when it is infected with naiveté.

Identification with proving to someone else that he is nowhere near as much as he thinks he is is pointless but entertaining.

76. Tim Campion - November 19, 2013

A blog has recently been created in Turkish, and is helping to spread the truth about Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends: Özgür Zihin.

77. paul gregory - November 19, 2013

75. Intellectually overwrought and somewhat pointless/self-defeating. Do you need a sit down, a hug? Have you tried medical marijuana? Can you get yourself free by using your teeth on the little bow ties?

78. Men In White Coats - November 20, 2013

You are beginning to awaken from delusions of insanity when it is realized that in this life you are a wriggling bit of remotely located flesh experiencing itself buried within the turmoil of a numbing universe. We seem important because the neighbor knows our name, because someone sits across the table at dinner. The tiny thing thinks to itself, “Here I am t home where the uninvited cannot trespass.” We look up at the deep blue perimeter of the fishbowl and consider the provider who went to the trouble build our world. Are his eyes watching? Are his ears hearing? We dream big. A giant made our little world. A world where our bones are finally planted in nice neat rows. Did you do something useful to keep the engine running? Did you help unclog the pipes? You weren’t lazy and neither were all the other literally unnumbered multitudes. You do your part and you pay your way. Eventually you are neatly planted in gratitude for your service. The power of your mind to understand all this is fittingly hardly the strength of a lit match. Your one little spark of understanding sputters in the harsh sun. Each calls out the same desperate message to the surrounding talking millions, “But, you see, I am different! Truly, my fate is special.”

You are beginning to awaken from the delusion of insanity when it is realized that you are no different and that your fate is the same. You are beginning to awaken, but so what?

79. Golden - November 20, 2013

80. Shard of Oblivion - November 20, 2013

78. “Men in white coats” offers us a lyrical and poetic picture of man’s place in the grand scheme of things. That was really good, Men. When you aren’t bad mouthing other posters, you can delight with your insights. Reminds me a little of Nietzsche at his best.

Though I am bit more of a “glass half full” guy, I see where you are coming from.

81. ton - November 20, 2013

thank you, that is golden.

78
a perspective containing less-than-zero sense of gratitude for this fleeting and minute existence does imply that living is hardly worth the bother…. so what? lack of gratitude seems to be your problem. you see, vanity and arrogance kill gratitude — the antidote to this slow mind-poison that is using you as a vector, is an intelligence of the human heart….. so I’ll say a prayer for you and all who may be similarly afflicted (there are many who have little or no gratitude in life): may you find the wisdom to overcome your own arrogance and vanity, may you find forgiveness and love, may you find something or someone to love…. that is, other than your own cynicism. amen

82. WhaleRider - November 20, 2013

Thank you, Men in White Coats, for openning up and sharing your existential angst at the heart of the matter.

If you allow me to step out of your shadow, as I have allowed you, then you will see that you are not alone.

83. Men In White Coats - November 20, 2013

82. WhaleRider

Puke. You haven’t clue about yourself, much less anyone else. This ‘buoyant’ self-certainty is a sub-routine built into the BIOS that operates your hardware. Predictable. Annoying.

84. Ames Gilbert - November 20, 2013

Some bridge on the way to Narcissiville is missing its troll.
Unfortunately, the troll is here, infesting this discussion, masquerading as Men in White Coats/Wild Idea/Hardtruth/Who Knows/Graduates/Deprogrammer and others I can’t recall…

So, Greg Goodwin, you are in full flow again, 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—again.
You attack people like me for being ‘asleep’, or too attached to this useless forum, but neglect to mention that you’ve spent literally years of your time attacking it and stalking the posters here and on your various blogs in almost daily monologs composed of, at a rough guess, 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 coming here 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?

Greg, people have consistently shied away en masse from your wordy, pointless and pathetic outpourings on your multiple, monotonous blogs, for so many, 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 predictability, 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 blogs from the public for now: http://goo.gl/OriTf

85. paul gregory - November 20, 2013

Dude, it’s crazy. Like Personality Disorder Crazy. Whoever you are, dude, lighten up for fucks sake. Be kind to yourself?

86. Men In White Coats - November 20, 2013

84. Ames Gilbert

That’s the spirit — maintain that competitive instinct regardless your lack of physical stature.

Here is the nature of the game: which opponent most burns the lining of his veins with bitter adrenaline while flailing impotently with mere (repetitive) words?

Who else in the neighborhood is afraid to look you in the eye? Very conscious, very Advaita.

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

87. Tim Campion - November 21, 2013

Ames,

With varying levels of confidence, the NSA associates the following aliases, on this site and others, with said troll. Of course, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of their search results.

100 Would Not Be Enough, A Seer, Absolutely Perfect, Bullshit Meter, conscience, Correction, Defeated, Deprogrammer, Different Laws, Ego Punisher, ESQ, Fake Conscience, Former Long-Time Student, Graduates, Greg W. Goodwin, hardtruth, Grace, Harpie, Higher Interpretation, I’m Corrected, itstwinetime, James Jay Young, King of Clubs, Lancelot, mannumbernine, Men in White Coats, Mildly-Retarded Envy, morgan le fay, Motorcycle Gangster, Nappy Headed Ho, Nevermind, niko navi, No Body is Going to the Moon, Parent, Point Blank, praybob, Reality Check, Reaping, Rogue Opportunist, Steel Gaze, survivor, The Bottom Line, The Third State, Wake Up, We Won’t Get Fooled Again, Wild Idea, Wrong With This Picture.

88. Men In White Coats - November 21, 2013

One part of the work of psychological awakening from the delusion of insanity is to resourcefully keep the routine ego which is always seeking narcissistic supply from getting hold of the moments of naked awareness and counting them as part of its many accomplishments. The real accomplishment is to disavow this relentless collector of desperate evidence of its specialness.

89. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 21, 2013

60. WhaleRider:
‘The golem effect is a psychological phenomenon in which lower expectations placed upon individuals either by supervisors or the individual themselves lead to poorer performance by the individual.

~Wikipedia’

Perhaps you may confuse with?:

‘The Peter Principle is a proposition that states that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, “Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.” In more formal parlance, the effect could be stated as: employees tend to be given increasing responsibility and authority until they cannot continue to work competently. It was formulated by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, a humorous treatise, which also introduced the “salutary science of hierarchiology”‘

~Wikipedia

‘Peter Principle’ is exactly what describes Robert Earl Burton;-) in more than one way. Even worse is that it was/is by self-promotion.

90. WhaleRider - November 21, 2013

The “Drowning Man” Principle:

If you throw a life ring to a drowning man who obviously cannot swim and he throws it back in your face, don’t jump in the water with him.

The “Fellowship Cult” Principle

If you think you are drowning because you don’t know how to swim, and a man in a nice suit offers you a life ring, but wants to get in it with you, try standing up instead.

91. ton - November 21, 2013

89 WYLTK
” ‘Peter Principle’ is exactly what describes Robert Earl Burton;-) in more than one way. Even worse is that it was/is by self-promotion.”

maybe not entirely by self-promotion in the sense that his status and standing relies on the support of, and ‘buying into’ the scheme by a group of devoted ‘followers.’ the element of complicity is a factor in the equation.

92. WhaleRider - November 21, 2013

Abraham believes that his God commands him as a test of faith to sacrifice his own son, in total defiance of ethics and social norms.

Abraham is now confronted by an existential dilemma, does he obey his crazy God so he gets to hang out with Him in heaven or does he defy his God to remain peacefully in the land of men but then spend eternity in hell?

Abraham decides to abandon his community and his worldly cares, and, thinking only of himself in narcissistic fashion, submits to his God’s crazy wisdom.

As Abraham is about to do the deed, he believes an Angel appears to stop him from killing his son, his own flesh and blood, for as the Angel points out, wouldn’t you really be killing a part of yourself, dummy?

Surely, that part of himself he was about to sacrifice to prove his faith was not his doubt, but his worldly human conscience…his ability to empathize with others.

Even though Abraham was a serious man, with Gods and Angels flying around in his head, when it came to his actions, he didn’t sacrifice his humanity for his faith.

93. Men In White Coats - November 21, 2013

Tell an insane man that what he thinks of himself is imaginary, inflated and detrimental to his possibility of experiencing sanity and he’ll think you’re trying to kill him. Vanity has to voluntarily die before any possible glimmer of sanity can emerge.

Those unable to willingly disengage from their vanity are unable to escape the formatory mentality sufficiently enough to begin to understand the real world that exists out beyond the distortion of the addictive gratification of self-admiration.

94. ton - November 21, 2013

tim 87 re: “the accuracy of search results” — it missed “trebouchet.” with so many on the list it would seem to be a type of mania/ obsession.

93 projecting what…? onto whom ?

a screen

95. Tim Campion - November 21, 2013

ton,

The analysts do confirm that Moniker Trebuchet and Siamese Twinge are on the list.

96. ton - November 21, 2013

medieval devices for flinging shit, offal, sticks/stones, etc….
used here by a mind still living in the dark ages:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet

97. ton - November 21, 2013

98. Men In White Coats - November 22, 2013

Are ‘we’ already just fine the way we are? Are we sufficiently blameless, decent, responsible and attentive to the subtle cues occurring in the world around us? Do we require improvement in order to better understand the meaning of life? Is there any meaning to life?

Yes? No? You’re just fine the way you are? This version of you IS the improvement?

If improvement is needed is it necessary to join others in order to effect the improvement? What could possibly need improving? Do people help one another become independent or convince one another that independence is not normal? Is there a condition of normal?

Is it true that we not only lie to ourselves, but most of the time we don’t even bother to lie to ourselves and just go along with the weaknesses and the corruption?

Do we have the intelligence and the will to proceed in any direction we deem beneficial? Is everything just happening while we watch in a state of increasing acceptance of the personal entropy?

Just wondering.

Think of the people who are still in the Fellowship of Friends cult all these years later, each believing that he or she is part of a conscious school with a man number 7 and several men number 5 teaching everyone to wake up and smell the sequence. Do you understand how lucky you are to have awakened from the delusions and escaped that carnival of lies and madness? So, is everything just fine now? Is your life an “ascending octave?”

Are you asleep? Is there such a thing as awake? Is the mind itself, the primary producing organ of judgments and assessments, ever awake?

99. Shard of Oblivion - November 22, 2013

rhetorical questions are posed in 98, but let’s answer them anyway🙂

yes, yes, no, man is a futile passion.

yes, yes.

no, nothing, neither, not really.

perhaps.

yes, possibly.

yes, yes, meaningless cult term

no, yes, yes.

100. ton - November 22, 2013

98
another list of negative platitudinous pronouncements masquerading as ‘conscience.’ after reading similar posts from ‘MIWC’ for years now, this sort of indulgence appears to lead only in circles…. but such is the nature of the guilt trip he’s on… and attempts to lay on everyone else.

101. Men In White Coats - November 22, 2013

Why innocent questions make people feel guilty: because something is wrong.

Our souls are asleep behind the curtain of dissatisfying personality, which futilely insists that it is all there is.

Just to be clear: I’m worried about me, not you.

102. ton - November 22, 2013

“Just to be clear: I’m worried about me, not you.”

that ‘sentiment’ is part of the problem — here, there, everywhere.

103. Men In White Coats - November 22, 2013

Quote: “Do people express themselves through logical fallacies under the influence of their irrational emotional reactions? It cannot be proven mathematically but most everyone is psychologically sophisticated enough to know that this is exactly what is usually happening.”

A man lives primarily in the thoughts of his head, which produces a distortion of reality by reinterpreting all the incoming stimulation and classifying it according to an insane filing system designed to maintain the illusion of “I am right.” A man lives in a cloud of lies.

A truth wanders into the cloud of lies and begins to cause disorder in the insane filling system. Does the “man in the mind” struggle to deal directly with the alien bit of unusual information? Does the man in the mind try to digest the truth? No. What the man in the mind does is to predictably employ a logical fallacy:

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

Even if a person has a deservedly bad reputation he might accidentally say something truthful, something useful. Something that flings all the files into the air.

It doesn’t matter, the man in the mind will inevitably attack the messenger in order to keep his filing system doing what it needs to do, that is, maintain the illusion of “I am right.”

104. ton - November 22, 2013

mirror, mirror on the wall….

105. Men In White Coats - November 22, 2013
106. Tim Campion - November 22, 2013

Indeed, they say even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

107. WhaleRider - November 22, 2013

Poor you, those mean nasty windmills are attacking you again! How dare they do that to you!

Yes, Man of La Mancha, you seem soooo worried about yourself…at my expense and everyone else’s!

What could possibly need improving?

If you don’t want the life ring of gratitude that might actually give you more buoyancy in the great ocean of existential angst you are wallowing in, then here’s another rock for your coat pocket: (which you are predictably likely to throw back at me like a hot potato so you neither sink nor swim but remain stuck where you are on the borderline of living)

Apparently your personality clad soul is having difficulty sensing in others the difference between pride and hubris.

I’ll give you a hint, one is based upon high self-esteem, the other is based upon low self-esteem.

How does one tell the difference, my fine feathered friend?

108. ton - November 22, 2013

103

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

and so round and round we go

109. Men In White Coats - November 22, 2013

Accuse a reasonable man of vanity and he apologizes, even if he is perplexed. Accuse a vain man of vanity and he is inconsolably insulted.

Only a fool squabbles when accused of self-importance.

110. ton - November 22, 2013

109

Only a fool squabbles when accused of self-importance.

111. WhaleRider - November 22, 2013

Round and round we go, like a windmill…grinding away at the inevitable and painful truth: that all we are is dust in the wind, eh, Man of Many Coats?

Underneath your colorful trappings,…you are just a tiny, meaningless speck…attaching yourself to nothing…independent of anyone…accomplishing nothing….free to let the wind carry you this way and that…while going nowhere in particular…and without a care…rising above the squabble of the vainglorious masses…yet irresistibly imbued with a vague memory of once being part of something seemingly larger and greater…and possibly even grandiose…leaving you both longing and dreading that one day…when a raindrop will encapsulate you…and bring you back to Earth…again.

112. paul gregory - November 22, 2013

109 ‘Accuse a reasonable man of vanity and he apologizes, even if he is perplexed. Accuse a vain man of vanity and he is inconsolably insulted’.

Only a fool squabbles when accused of self-importance.

You are. That’s the problem. I don’t get it. Am I thick? Nothing you say makes much sense. It’s contradictory. But perhaps that’s just my ’empathy for others foibles’.

Come Again?

Why?

It’s the you show, sorry, I forgot.

113. paul gregory - November 22, 2013

MIWC: Ever thought about liking something?

114. ton - November 22, 2013

“Secondary narcissism

….as a child grows, his ego develops, and he is constantly giving self-love to people and objects, the first of which is usually mother. This diminished self-love should be replenished by the affection and caring returned to him. secondary narcissism occurs when the libido withdraws from objects outside the self, above all the mother, producing a relationship to social reality that includes the potential for megalomania.

…while both primary and secondary narcissism emerge in normal human development, problems in the transition from one to the other can lead to pathological narcissistic disorders in adulthood.

‘This state of secondary narcissism constitutes object relations of the narcissistic type, (see ‘Mourning and Melancholia’).

…to care for someone is to convert ego-libido into object-libido by giving some self-love to another person, which leaves less ego-libido available for primary narcissism and protecting and nurturing the self.

When that affection is returned so is the libido, thus restoring primary narcissism and self-worth. Any failure to achieve, or disruption of, this balance causes psychological disturbances.”

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

115. Men In White Coats - November 22, 2013

Need to make a point without doing any thinking? Try posting hundreds of citations to a blog over the course of 10 (?) years. Don’t make a comment on the material yourself, just let the reader figure out how your citation is somehow relevant to the discussion.

http://chronicle.com/article/Citation-Obsession-Get-Over/129575/

The amount of cited material posted by just one contributor to this blog would fill a moving van if printed out. Has any of it really clarified anything?

116. Josiane - November 22, 2013

115. “Has any of it really clarified anything?”
This blog has been and continues to be useful to some people. Maybe it’s time to stop the pissing contest that’s going on at the moment and regroup and think what it is this blog was created for. Take a deep breath and consider what’s at stake. Namely that this blog is to warn potential naive people about the Fellowship of Friends, right? So, let’s do just that, because to me that’s when the best posts come from, a genuine desire to share the truth about FoF. Thanks for listening.

117. ton - November 23, 2013

115
talk about the kettle calling the pot…. the irony is almost too much…

“Need to make a point without doing any thinking? Try posting hundreds of citations to a blog over the course of 10 (?) years. Don’t make a comment on the material yourself, just let the reader figure out how your citation is somehow relevant to the discussion.”

above here I count 4 ‘citations’ made by this poster, in less than 24 hours….

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

118. Shard of Oblivion - November 23, 2013

re:118. I agree with Josiane, let’s concentrate on the Fellowship of Friends.

So what’s happening right now?

The over perfumed, sweaty, obese, monstrosity that is Robert Burton is pressing his vile genitals into the face of some long suffering catamite, who has been captured by his poverty or possibly his spiritual pride and greed and thus drawn into the service sector of Burton’s “inner circle”.

It is just as if a moral black hole is slowly growing in Oregon House.

119. Tim Campion - November 23, 2013

Josiane, bravo!

Shard, that’s precious. Behold the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Robert’s own claim.) After all these years, it’s shocking to hear his words and sense that, behind the facade, there is only emptiness.

In my Fellowship experience, I rarely, if ever, witnessed Burton challenged. (I certainly didn’t challenge his dogma until long after my departure.)

I would have been shocked were someone to confront “Our Teacher” so directly. These are the most innocent and logical of questions, and they clearly caused him great discomfort.

Thanks for sharing this.

120. Bares Reposting - November 23, 2013

Nowhere Man = Men In White Coats
Jeremy Hillary Boob PhD.

The Beatles- No where man 03:20:

Lennon:
There must be a word for what ‘e is.

Be’ les singing:

He’s a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere Man, please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing,
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.

He’s as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
Nowhere Man, don’t worry,
Take your time, don’t hurry,
Leave it all till somebody else
lends you a hand.

Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing,
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.

He’s a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Lennon:
Okay men, all aboard.
Let’s go somewhere.

Ringo:
What about ‘im?

Lennon:
‘e’s ‘appy enough going around in circles.

Ringo:
Aah! Poor little fella.

McCartney:
I don’t know.
Ringo is just a sentimentalist.

Ringo:
Aah, took at ‘im.
Can’t ‘e come with us?

Ay, ah, Mr. Bo
[short for you know who],
you can come with us
if you like.

Mr. Bo:
You mean you would take a Nowhere Man?

Ringo:
Yeh, c’mon, we’ll take you somewhere.

121. Bares Reposting - November 23, 2013

Jeremy Hillary Boob PhD.

‘Ad Hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo,
so little time and so much to know!’

122. Bares Reposting - November 23, 2013

Sunday Brunch à la FoF

(Alice in Pepperland – 202 – The Fool on the Hill 02:55)

123. ton - November 23, 2013

Apologies Josiane, when a troll shows up here I can’t resist poking it with a stick.

Thanks Shard…. words from the horse’s arse…. the problem is not so much that burton believes in the productions of his own mind, the problem arises when others believe in them. He still makes reference to that primary relationship (mother) in his circular “reasoning.” something traumatic happened therein, which goes into what he has become… did I hear he was raped by mommy dearest ? that would indeed be a traumatic “shock” which gave shape to this abomination.

124. paul gregory - November 23, 2013

118. Shard of Oblivion
That’s great. Psychotic ‘divine presence’.
The psychosis of a ‘metaphysical ark’ with Bobby B at the helm.
Does what it says on the tin.

125. paul gregory - November 23, 2013

123. ton
The goddess in a man’s body is the shape of the abomination, I think. Rapists, I guess, don’t have ‘sex’. They constantly seek it because they lack the ability to fully experience it. And it must be fueled by colossal rage, even if that rage is transformed by a ‘goddess in a mans body’. That seems to me to be his mum reborn in a crazy sort of way. It’s as close as the Fellowship can ever get to the ‘Divine Feminine’ precisely because it lives in the mind of a man who in his current actions justifies totally his rape as a child. His mamma made him do it. It made him who he is today, unfortunately. It is inconceivable what he has brought down upon himself by perpetuating the crime of his mother and sister. They were innocents next to the horror he is committing in this church where ‘the present is the only reality’.

126. WhaleRider - November 23, 2013

I am not in imagination about Influence C.

~Robert E Burton

127. Associated Press - November 24, 2013

Going Clear
Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Written by Lawrence Wright

Random House:
National Book Award Finalist
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

Synopsis:
Scientology presents itself as a scientific approach to spiritual enlightenment, but its practices have long been shrouded in mystery. Now Lawrence Wright—armed with his investigative talents, years of archival research, and more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists —uncovers the inner workings of the church. We meet founder L. Ron Hubbard, the highly imaginative but mentally troubled science-fiction writer, and his tough, driven successor, David Miscavige. We go inside their specialized cosmology and language. We learn about the church’s legal attacks on the IRS, its vindictive treatment of critics, and its phenomenal wealth. We see the church court celebrities such as Tom Cruise while consigning its clergy to hard labor under billion-year contracts. Through it all, Wright asks what fundamentally comprises a religion, and if Scientology in fact merits this Constitutionally-protected label. Brilliantly researched, compellingly written, Going Clear pulls back the curtain on one of the most secretive organizations at work today.

Author:
Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He is the author of a novel, God’s Favorite, and has also authored six previous books of nonfiction. . . The Looming Tower received many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is also a screenwriter and a playwright.

Praise:
http://bit.ly/1bM59OZ

Excerpt
[Plus more by following above link,
or the above ‘Associated Press’
name as a link, to the website.]:
Chapter 1
The Convert

Although he didn’t realize it, [Paul] Haggis was being drawn into the church through a classic, four-step “dissemination drill” that recruiters are carefully trained to follow. The first step is to make contact, as Jim Logan did with Haggis in 1975. The second step is to disarm any antagonism the individual may display toward Scientology. Once that’s done, the task is to “find the ruin”—that is, the problem most on the mind of the potential recruit. For Paul, it was a turbulent romance. The fourth step is to convince the subject that Scientology has the answer. “Once the person is aware of the ruin, you bring about an understanding that Scientology can handle the condition,” Hubbard writes. “It’s at the right moment on this step that one . . . directs him to the service that will best handle what he needs handled.” At that point, the potential recruit has officially been transformed into a Scientologist. . .

The zealotry that empowered so many members of the church came from the belief that they were the vanguard of the struggle to save humanity. “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology,” Hubbard writes. Those breathless aims drew young idealists, like Haggis, to the church’s banner.

To advance such lofty goals, Hubbard developed a “technology” to attain spiritual freedom and discover oneself as an immortal being. “Scientology works 100 percent of the time when it is properly applied to a person who sincerely desires to improve his life,” a church publication declares. This guarantee rests on the assumption that through rigorous research, Hubbard had uncovered a perfect understanding of human nature. One must not stray from the path he has laid down or question his methods. Scientology is exact. Scientology is certain. Step by step one can ascend toward clarity and power, becoming more oneself—but, paradoxically, also more like Hubbard. Scientology is the geography of his mind. Perhaps no individual in history has taken such copious internal soundings and described with so much logic and minute detail the inner workings of his own mentality. The method Hubbard put forward created a road map toward his own ideal self. Hubbard’s habits, his imagination, his goals and wishes—his character, in other words—became both the basis and the destination of Scientology.

From:
15 Scientology Revelations
From Lawrence Wright’s
‘Going Clear’
By The Daily Beast
January 16th 2013 4:45 am

Excerpt:
How It All Started
“I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is,” Hubbard is reported to have said on a number of occasions. He called it the Church of Scientology, and established it in 1954. Hubbard claimed that 4 quadrillion years ago, at the origin of the universe, there were godlike spirits called thetans. But a tyrannical overlord named Xenu imprisoned the thetans and shipped the frozen bodies to Teegeeack, a planet now called Earth. He believed humans were thetans who could regain their immortality through climbing the stages of enlightenment set up by Scientology. He also began refitting ships and recruiting children for his Sea Org. He was 56 when he set sail in 1967 and wandered the high seas, getting kicked out of foreign ports. Hubbard claimed to be recovering treasures he buried in some of his past lives, and even went looking for a space station. It was during this time that he showed a select number of followers his “research” about thetans. After reading the Xenu story, some, like Hubbard’s son Quentin, threw up violently. (Quentin later told a church officer that, “Personally, I think my father’s crazy.” The next day he disappeared from the headquarters in Clearwater. A few days later he was found in Las Vegas, in a car with a vacuum tube that led from the exhaust through the passenger’s vent window. Two weeks later, on Nov. 12, 1976, he died in the hospital. Hubbard’s reaction was reportedly: “That little shit has done it to me again!”)

* * * * * *

128. paul gregory - November 24, 2013

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-fellowship-of-friends-apollo-arts.html

I love the fact they just want $5000 to wear costumes and act out their second-hand ‘ancient’ fantasies. It’s so delightfully naive and godlessly white middle class. Within this fantasy, these are the class of students who might be told to euthanize (murder) their kids or give them away. Or their pets. Kids and pets are a distraction. Happily, the murder side of the fellowship seems now to of ended as there are two or three ‘child-machines’ present at their parents sickly sweet swiss cheese pretense of culture. Aryan Hygienic presents the past – but meaningfully.

The fact that they somehow found the gall to ask for $5000 to help them along, I guess, to do something ‘for the community’ clearly, these people have yet to be born.

129. brucelevy - November 24, 2013

128. paul gregory

Every aspect of that video makes me gag. The pseudo-sincerity aimed to shear the sheep…

130. ton - November 24, 2013

bruce,
know what you mean by ‘pseudo-sincerity’ — been there, done that so generally I know those who are ‘dyed in the wool’ really do believe in their “cause” and so it is for them, sincere. that’s not to justify a level of “sleep.” from outside the scam, with different perspective the whole thing is repulsive.

131. paul gregory - November 24, 2013

129. brucelevy
128.
Anodyne. Ersatz. Anti-Creative. Anti-Natural. Almost Swiss in it’s Ruthless Efficiency and Attention to Detail.
‘Behold the children-machines. They are playing. See how normal we are. They are Montessori educated and frequently travel with us, pre-metaphysical holocaust/jamboree.’

132. WhaleRider - November 27, 2013

I met someone recently, male age 25, who shared with me his secret delusional belief system that the top 1% of the population with all the wealth and power were actually alien lizard people from another planet, and that if you look closely at photos of Barack and Michele Obama, for instance, you can see their pupils are slits, not discs like the rest of us.

He was completely serious.

This poor guy was obviously spending a little too much time entranced while researching conspiracy theories on the Internet instead of looking for meaningful employment, IMO.

Apparently there are websites devoted to informing the other 99% of unsuspecting public of the alien lizard threat and worse. “They” are destroying our planet.

Unfortunatly for him, this young man seemed to derive a sense of belonging from being part of an “esoteric” cult of privy others on a mission of spreading the “truth”.

Yet, there was a small grain of truth in what he was telling me.

I had to agree with him that it seems like the US is run by “self” serving corporations acting like psychopaths with little or no regard for the common good, and reasoned that it is likely that some sociopaths might do well in certain corporations where having a conscience would be a liability, such as in the tobacco industry, for example.

And even though sociopaths and psychopaths appear to operate solely from the ruthless and self-centered reptilian part of their brains, causing them to act very differently than the rest of us whom can empathize with others…it was in this young man’s best interest that I convey to him with the utmost sincerity and confidence that the Obamas weren’t an alien species.

I told him that if he felt uneasy about sharing his beliefs with others, or if he felt isolated due to his beliefs, that that was an unhealthy sign.

However, I informed him that common everyday superstitions are basically mundane delusions, and he was by far not alone in having them.

I also let him know that if he didn’t start probing the symbolic meaning of his delusions and started hallucinating lizard skin on people or seeing people with slitted pupils on billboards (or angels hovering over the dinner table) then his delusion was graduating into full blown psychosis which could very well be dangerous to himself and to others.

Given the recent revelations of Mr Oppenhiemer’s new ebook, “Zen Predator of the Upper East Side”, and the history of drug and alcohol addiction among gurus like Robert Burton, it appears that gurus are a danger to themselves and others, too.

I wonder, what could be the symbolic meaning of entertaining the belief that one is the messiah?

The danger comes from acting on delusional and irrational beliefs instead of reason and intuition, especially when those actions are in conflict with one’s conscience and community.

Such was Abraham’s existential dilemma…although despite his strong faith, he still had an intuition that the thinking that his god would command him to kill a part of himself might be distorted, unreasonable, and just plain crazy (as it seems to most anyone else who hears Abraham’s story)…that intuition appeared to him as an angel of mercy, sparing him the horrific act of killing his own son to prove his faith to his god.

Had he acted upon his delusion and killed a part of himself, Abraham would have had to spend the rest of his life isolated from his community, which ironically, the bible tells us he chose to do anyway, just for entertaining the crazy belief in his god’s crazy wisdom.

IMO, this why cults like the FOF operate in isolation: sacrificing conscience and common sense to maintain the unchallenged stasis of the delusional belief system.

There is no “crazy wisdom” per se, only crazy people who believe there is….intuitive, common sense is way more trustworthy, IMHO.

However, that is not to say one might benefit from thought exercises involving apparent paradoxes.

The difference:

“Most logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking.” ~Wikipedia

133. Tim Campion - November 28, 2013

Today, an anonymous visitor to the Robert Earl Burton blog submitted the comment below. I think it honors all those who have contributed to this Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, whether they be ex-members trying to warn seekers to avoid this “cult,” or those who feel they have gained from the Fellowship experience and heartily endorse Robert Burton’s teaching. We humans are placed in the difficult position of desiring answers in a world that seems to only present more questions.

I came across Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s teachings fairly recently, and had been looking for other people interested in the same.

I found the “Fellowship of Friends” around a month back and was going to visit their Apollo school with my husband for an introductory meeting in early december.

Just came across this blog when I tried to search for “robert earl burton videos”. Interestingly, there were none, and this blog was the first google result.

As of now, I am not sure what I feel – I feel disgusted by all that people have posted about what goes on in the name of spirituality. And at the same time, wonder at how a person so demented could be behind all the ideas I read at the FoF websites? The newsletter articles, the archives, essays, the ideas of being present, they all do appear to be true. My only problem till date was that I was yet to meet someone who appeared to actually advance spiritually based on those teachings. And I was very hopeful that one day I would meet the “teacher” (RBE) who has advanced himself and whose example I would be able to follow…

I think I am still in shock, though glad I saw this side of story so early on, and not after 15-20 years of being a member.

Peace to all who suffered, I know words are not enough to bring back what those people must have gone through. My sincere thanks and blessings to those who have taken this step to warn others of going through the same…

134. Fee fi fo fum - November 28, 2013

Thank you, Tim. It is very encouraging to know that our many posts about the insidious aspects of the FoF and REB, both on this blog and on the RobertEarlBurton blog, are not wasted.

135. Maria - November 28, 2013

Please people. Don’t state opinions and theories and speculations as if they are facts. Here’s a big case in point.

We don’t know Robert Burton was molested as a child. We have no reason to think his mother or sister were involved in such a thing except for his say-so and a few much-repeated rumors, which I believe also originated with him. Why should we credit this more than anything else he says?

It could easily be a self-justification for what he became, which would be a wicked, passive-aggressive slur on the woman who gave birth to him. It also sounds like the kind of lurid mind activity of someone who has an unhealthy preoccupation with abnormal sex. Who knows? He might even believe it is true, because that’s the kind of world he lives in.

There is no reason for us to slander two women who are not able to defend themselves (his mother, at least, is dead) against such ugly accusations.

136. brucelevy - November 28, 2013

135. Maria

Word.

137. WhaleRider - November 28, 2013

Great work, Tim! Thank you for sharing that post and the gratitude.

138. paul gregory - November 28, 2013

135. Maria

I agree with what you are saying, but also disagree with some of it. You are suggesting a prohibition on speculation for the sake of decency. We do not actually know that Robert Burton is a serial rapist. We cannot enter the bedroom and watch with our own eyes. Few people have actually come out and said that from experience. But there is plentiful evidence for the fact. Would it be better to say ‘theoretically, I would like to speculate that RB is a serial rapist, for the sake of considering the possible corruption of this Conscious Influence School?’

We are not talking about a guy who lives down the road, here. Robert has set himself up as a Super-Jesus. He has made a couple of statements about his childhood, a few about the rest of his life subsequent to his becoming a ‘man no. 5’, and that is all. He cannot share. Why?

It is natural and normal, in my opinion, to speculate, and even, to speculate without constantly saying ‘theoretically’, ‘in my opinion’, ‘from one angle’, ‘provisionally, it might be, in part…’ It’s not fair on his mum and sister, but then again, ‘There is no Justice, there just is.’ There is no justification for his behavior, mum and sister or no mum and sister, as you say. Crime is inexplicable, but unless we seek to find out it’s roots, unless we seek to examine the psychology of someone who invents and perpetuates a system that is highly profitable from a rape/extortion of money point of view, then we are agreeing to look away for want of evidence and ‘decorum’. And that happens all the time, and frequently leads to further abuse – for example, abuse of children.

139. brucelevy - November 28, 2013

138. paul gregory

To my understanding, I took what Maria said as referenceing the speculation about “RB’s mother” … That we DON’T know about that specifically or factually, and any speculation about whether he was molested or not is basically pulling opinions out of one’s ass. We DO know what went on in his bedroom because we have direct testimony from many who experienced it. It’s two different things.

140. brucelevy - November 28, 2013

“We do not actually know that Robert Burton is a serial rapist. We cannot enter the bedroom and watch with our own eyes. Few people have actually come out and said that from experience”

That’s completely untrue. There have been numerous, almost identical accounts of what goes on…and spans from the 1970’s to the present.

141. paul gregory - November 29, 2013

brucelevy

I agree with your last statement totally, that was my mistake, and a callow stupid inaccurate thing to say.
If you believe that he has a Personality Disorder, that is frequently caused by inexplicable childhood abuse, during the time the brain is still forming. The idea of this abuse derives from something he said, it is not, in that sense, a fiction, and I’m not mentioning it to somehow to slander his mother or sister. He’s done that, not me. Whatever actually happened to him is a complete mystery, but it seems to me that something, like a horrifying and disgusting case of abuse, causing Personality Disorder, might reveal aspects of his behavior and the cult built partially or a lot in his own image. I think it might explain things like ‘Feminine Dominance’ for example, but actually, I think a lot of these sacred concepts and the way students are taught to apply the concepts and practices and shadowed by a flaw with quite deep roots.
Hitler was sexually abused as a child by his father, they say. I think that had an influence on him and his thoughts, which is significant to consider. I can’t prove he was sexually abused. Am I now pulling Hitler out my ass?
I don’t agree that speculation is pulling thing out of ones ass. I think it’s vital to thought and learning.

142. brucelevy - November 29, 2013

Then again, psychopathology is more genetic then subject to “nurture” People are born, live and die as sociopaths. Frequently no cause, and always no cure.

143. Maria - November 29, 2013

Nowadays, it’s fashionable to find “scientific” and “medical” theories for people’s behavior, which get reshuffled and redefined each year. And we twist ourselves into pretzels about how child molestation caused this and that, or how someone was spanked as a child, or had a drunken father. Whatever.

There is such a thing as evil. That’s all we need to know.

144. paul gregory - November 29, 2013

142. brucelevy
People with Personality Disorder are statistically more likely to of had traumatic childhood abuse from what I have read, and I believe that is probably scientifically proven as much as it is possible.
143. Maria
I think if we don’t spend time examining things from whatever perspectives we have to hand, we will perpetuate evil, possibly. Surely we need tools and experience to discern evil and protect ourselves?
‘There is such a thing as evil. That’s all we need to know.’
That sounds sort of medieval to me.
Thing about the possibility of abuse in Bobby’s childhood is that it in no way ameliorates or explains the crimes of his life. He’s not above the level of ‘life’, he’s beneath it.
What I’ve found, is that when I make something, a bit of me is clearly visible in it, and not necessarily a bit that I want to see or like. I believe traces of Bob’s ‘whole self’ and not just the Super-Jesus Conscious Self 8.4 are apparent in the construction of his special ark and special theories. In the scale of things, what happened to him as a child is piddly and insignificant next to the continually unfolding horror of his behaviours that also reflect in the weird shit that his students indulge in. Selling raffle tickets for sex, favours, and teaching opportunities, for instance. I just have to say, in the manner of an old english comedian ‘That’s a classic.’ Growing prohibition weed in California for profit and getting busted for it. ‘That’s a classic!’ Constant solicitations for money, living perpetually in the past and leeching of it for it’s now reserves… Safe. That’s a classic.

145. paul gregory - November 29, 2013

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
Tacitus

146. Maria - November 30, 2013

Medieval or not, he is responsible for his actions. No one else is. No psychobabble absolves him. The research will change in a year or ten. His responsibility will remain the same.

147. WhaleRider - November 30, 2013

Maria:
Nowadays, it’s fashionable to find “scientific” and “medical” theories for people’s behavior, which get reshuffled and redefined each year. And we twist ourselves into pretzels about how child molestation caused this and that, or how someone was spanked as a child, or had a drunken father. Whatever. There is such a thing as evil. That’s all we need to know.

Knowledge is often fluid, however, dogma never changes.

When you speak of evil, are you referring to “something” that exists apart from human behavior?

Are great white sharks and rattlesnakes evil?

If so, it seems to me equally “fashionable” then, as in some religious circles, to blame natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes on evil forces, too.

IMO, that’s just superstition.

So I don’t believe in evil demons hovering under the dinner table, either; it’s just Burton’s slimy hands.

It is evident that people do get pretty twisted up inside like pretzels if they have been molested or abused as children and such a person convicted of a crime may get leniency if they are mentally ill and request treatment.

But you are right, mental illness is not an excuse or justification for criminal behavior…nor is mental illness a crime.

148. brucelevy - November 30, 2013
149. brucelevy - November 30, 2013
150. paul gregory - November 30, 2013

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14712172
Robert may of been abused, or he may not of. I believe he was because he said he was. He castrates men and women by raping them, or by advocating abortion as a means of spiritual advancement, or by insisting that he is the highest of the high and therefore unquestionable.

‘RESULTS:

Seventy-eight percent of subjects met dichotomous criteria for some form of childhood trauma; a majority reported emotional abuse and neglect.’

Bob is a criminal because he is a criminal. If his ‘system’ or ‘systems’ worked surely he’d get time off from his constant search for self-gratification and self-justification? The Fellowship, as it indulges in hero-worship, allows it all to continue, partially in the name of JS Bach, Goethe, Shakespeare and all the other ‘conscious beings’ it has co-opted into it’s ‘consciousness’ scam.

151. ton2u - December 1, 2013

“….mental illness is not an excuse or justification for criminal behavior…nor is mental illness a crime.”

but mental illness can and sometimes does lead to criminal behavior… as in burton’s fof… a crime is sometimes not defined by the legal system and so (as in this case), go unrecognized and un-prosecuted.

152. WhaleRider - December 2, 2013

Fourth Way “School” Rejects Common Core

Vapid House, CA-(USA) Along with abandoning all standards decency, one northern Californian pseudo-religious school leader also dismissed the new federal guidelines for educational standards called, “Common Core”, claiming, “My students don’t need to think for themselves.”

At the core of the new standards is a reduced emphasis on memorization by repetition. Students now have to connect the dots and apply critical thinking. It’s what experts call higher-order thinking. Teachers say it’s preparing their students for life after they graduate from school.

When hearing the news, Robert E.Burton, deranged founder of the obscure cult, stated, “We have no standards; we have no core values either, other than being present…to new recruiting opportunities, dear. All the dots connect to me. I don’t allow anyone to graduate from my school, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to follow my teachings, which I have a hard time doing, anyway. Critical thinking is just seven of hearts feminine dominance of the lower self in disguise, whatever that means.”

153. Tim Campion - December 2, 2013

Speaking of “schools”, here’s a recent reflection on life in another cult (in the Alex Horn, Sharon Gans, and Robert Klein lineage.) This will likely sound very familiar to ex-Fellowship members: A little Survivor’s Handbook.

154. robertschelly - December 9, 2013

I don’t think MIWC is Greg G. Not the same style of writing.

“If you knew what you could gain by not expressing negative emotions, you would never express them.”

The system is a light year or two ahead of anything in circulation right now in this beleagured nation.

155. Shard of Oblivion - December 9, 2013

154 robertschelly suggests MiWC is not GG.

The standout thing for me was the fact that MiWC launched a bitter attack on Whalerider, which was also the first thing that I noticed about Nevermind a few months back. Could be there are two beings who find Whalerider’s dream analysis and so on irritating to such an extent they feel compelled to type venomous words on their keyboard and send them to this blog, but Whalerider’s positions are always calmly expressed, so it seems an odd coincidence.

156. WhaleRider - December 9, 2013

robertschelly:
The system is a light year or two ahead of anything in circulation right now…

Ironically, after leaving the cult and cult mentality I’ve come to believe, insofar as personal growth is concerned, it isn’t what’s ‘out there’ that matters.

What does it mean, “ahead”?

Does being “ahead” make you suffer less…or be able empathize more?

On scale of the universe, you might say, a light year or two doesn’t amount to much…what, maybe a couple of nanoseconds of your life and all of our lives combined.

157. James Mclemore - December 10, 2013

“What does it mean, “ahead”?”

WhaleRider –
I think your question is a great one and somehow hits a nonexistent nail on the head.

“Ahead” seems to point to being somehow “advanced”, which in this particular case just sounds like another of those strange mental concepts that tries to draw lines that don’t really exist, and to make divisions where there does not seem to be any advantages in trying do so,….. unless, of course, a person wants to feel “special” as being one of the “advanced ones” that is clearly “ahead” of somebody or something that this person then imagines exists somewhere else.

Not necessarily directly connected, but it also reminded me of a story –

The Devil was walking down the street with a friend, and they saw a man
pick something up, look at it carefully and put it in his pocket.
The friend said to the Devil, “What’s that?”
The Devil said, “He has found a bit of the truth.”
The friend said, “Isn’t that bad for your business?”
The Devil said, “No, I am going to arrange to have him organize it.”

158. Fee fi fo fum - December 10, 2013

157 James

Nice story. One can try to organize truth forever.

159. jomopinata - December 10, 2013

157/James

Love that story, thank you.

154/robertschelly

[laudatory comment regarding “the system”]

People love ideas that assist them to understand their experience and draw meaning from it. But it’s a mistake to attribute that assistance to inherent “objective” properties of ideas themselves. Always what’s at issue is the relationship of experience to ideas that are helping the person integrate experience. That relationship can change as the person comes to more comprehensive understandings.

A system of ideas may seem illuminating and inexhaustible for a time; after that it may seem finite; after that, confining. A seedling potted in rich soil may grow well for a long time, but at some point it has to be re-potted or it stops growing.

160. ton - December 10, 2013

re: lauding “the system” — specifically the “non expression of negative emotions” — one effect of this “exercise” in the cult is to stifle criticism and “critical thinking” and so “conscious bob” is able to continue holding sway over the flock… the sheep live in denial, don’t bother to question his behavior and instead “turn a blind eye.” in the context of the cult, the “non expression of negative emotions” is another aspect of mind-control.

161. Shard of Oblivion - December 12, 2013

#154 robertschelly says “The system is a light year or two ahead of anything in circulation right now in this beleagured nation.” I disagree.

I can remember the feeling of being let into some esoteric knowledge on joining the FoF. Here were a bunch of people using a scheme to classify themselves and everyone else, and as I learnt to recognise body types, centre of gravity, alchemy and chief feature, it felt like I had been given a secret key to self understanding. However after a year or so I did begin to feel a little queasy over the way I and others were using this knowledge. It felt similar to racial discrimination, the way people would be dismissed in a single quick phrase “Oh he’s jack of clubs” or “She has a massive vanity feature”. Of course the fact that we are machines is one of the systems big ideas, but I detected a smugness and superior feeling developing in me that I found distasteful. I do realise that these classifications would be counted as secondary by good students, simply tools to allow self observation. The heart of the system is the attempt to self remember and transform negative emotions. I now see these two disciplines as unhelpful techniques personally, they are no longer the way I want to develop my life. The transformation of negative emotions is a particularly destructive technique, which I feel led me to a state of depersonalisation, where I hardly “owned” my emotions at all, believing that “separating” was the way to accrue the special energy needed for awakening.

However even this is not to my mind the real problem with “the system”. The real problem with it is encapsulated by Ouspensky when he says that these ideas are not his own, they come from “higher mind”. That is the fatal flaw. Because once you follow a teaching that tells you that you are incapable of understanding how it was devised, who created it, and what led those mythical possessors of “higher mind” to the conclusions they came to, you are fucked. Because whenever you find something in the system that doesn’t fit with your experience or seem ethical, it is always your fault because you are mechanical and a lower man, incapable of grasping the celestial verities that the system is offering you.

162. James Mclemore - December 13, 2013

161. Shard of Oblivion

“I detected a smugness and superior feeling developing in me that I found distasteful.”

Yes, my experience was similar. That sort of “specialness” and narcissism, that I bought into also, and so permeated almost every facet of the FoF was one of the chief reasons I left. There began inside of me a deep inner sense that something was very wrong with the outlook about “life people”, and how students, following Burton’s example, could so quickly dismiss, as something sub-human, our fellow human beings on this planet. I also witnessed at times that same ugly smugness when a student would leave the FoF. An event that if it was brought up in conversation, was often dealt with quite easily with a shrug of the shoulders by some older student, along with the statement, that came from Burton himself,………”Some come to eat and some come to be eaten.”
I guess that as long as you were still there to hear that ominous statement uttered, you could then be assured that you must certainly be one of the “special” chosen ones.

163. James Mclemore - December 13, 2013

As far as the “non-expression of negative emotions” idea, I think ‘Shard of Oblivion’ and ‘ton’ just about wrapped that one up. If a person thinks the so-called negative things that arise in their own mind are the enemy, I think they will be in for a never-ending war with their own mind.

THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

164. ton2u - December 13, 2013

beautiful… thank you James.

165. Robert Stolzle - December 16, 2013

looking for former FoF members–was Man#4 between 1974-78 in S. Lake Tahoe and then Carmel center. rstolzle@gmail.com

166. jomopinata - December 18, 2013

D’oh!

167. ton2u - December 20, 2013

I would add:
huh ?

168. Fee fi fo fum - December 21, 2013

164 Robert Stolzle

Go to the Greater Fellowship link at the top of this page.

169. Someone - December 23, 2013

WhaleRider

Is there a reason why you haven’t sued REB?

I have been in the FoF for many many years and never encountered anyone who came forward and said “I have been abused” (till 2007). The fact that I never knew about it, does not indicate anything related to what happened behind closed doors. It is horrible.

Still, it is a shame that since 1970 no one has filed a criminal complaint. I cannot figure-out why!!!???!!!

I have no juridic knowledge, but perhaps most of these felonies are now obsolete according to statute of limitations.

I left because I was financially cowling in the mud serving others all the time (3rd line), yet not one “official” cared about me personally.

No-one has ever forced me to live the way I lived in OH. I didn’t have to work hard for the FoF in order to be a legit member. I just enjoyed this “free-of-cares” lifestyle.

Those considered as my friends knew how to earn their living, yet they never gave me a wake-up call and never told me that I need to take care of my financial life. I do not blame them for my laziness, yet they weren’t real friends. Two of them are still posting here…

Though I left at the beginning of the recession, I luckily inherited some money and managed to establish a successful business that surpassed my wildest expectations. In American standards (I wasn’t born in the US), I am a rich man and I intend to keep it that way.

A “small” financial advice: The US is going down big time. Expect devastating times in 3-4 years. 2008 will look like a joke in comparison to the coming crisis. I have already moved parts of my business and assets outside the US. Don’t be misled my the way the stock exchange is doing. It is a mere bubble.

170. WhaleRider - December 23, 2013

Someone:
Thanks for your post.

You are forgetting the more recent Buzbee civil suit against burton?

I can’t recall just how many times the Buzbee complaint has been posted here…maybe 10 times at least.

The Buzbee affair apparently occurred after my time, and when I heard of it through this medium, I was appalled and morally outraged, not only at burton and those whom currently support his rape factory, but at Troy’s parents as well, both known to me.

Subsequent to the suit you mention in the 1970’s, in the 80’s it was the Saunders civil suit alleging fraud, also settled out of court for an undisclosed sum…effectively silencing Burton’s critics, including relinquishing all rights to speak out and warn others in the future in film or print.

That was before the Internet and digital cameras.

I wish you a good night’s rest on all your money.

171. Mick - December 24, 2013

To my knowledge, every legal complaint against Burton/Fellowship has been settled without going to trial. That’s because they would likely lose in court and in any case they don’t want a public record of all the dirty, disgusting, immoral, rank, stinking stuff that they engage in.

172. Someone - December 24, 2013

WhaleRider
Money was a symbolic factor that turned me from a terribly poor guy to a Normal Person. I left OH with a genuine internal conflict on what to spend my last dollars: fuel for my rotten car that would last till San Francisco or food. Eventually I stopped in Sacramento, bought some groceries and a calling card.
I called a family member and he told me that I inherited money. I spent 3 nights in my car drinking water and cheap biscuits, till they sent me an advance payment of 5,000 dollars. I do not worship money, but I cherish the fact that it saved my life.

173. Barbara - December 25, 2013

Got Santa? ~ merry christmas friends…

So, why do people bring Pine trees into their houses at the Winter Solstice, placing brightly colored (Red and White) packages under their boughs, as gifts to show their love for each other and as representations of the love of God and the gift of his Sons life? It is because, underneath the Pine bough is the exact location where one would find this ‘Most Sacred’ Substance, the Amanita muscaria, in the wild.” –James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”

“To this day Siberian shamans dress in ceremonial red and white fur-trimmed jackets to gather the magic mushrooms. First they pick and place the mushrooms to partially dry on nearby pine boughs which prepares them for ingestion and makes the load lighter. This is why we decorate our Christmas trees with ornaments and bulbs, because the gatherers would always adorn trees with drying mushrooms. Next the shaman collects his red and white presents in a sack and proceeds to travel from house to house delivering them.”

Read more: http://thegic.org/profiles/blogs/santa-claus-the-magic-mushroom#ixzz2oW78YETw

174. Barbara - December 26, 2013
175. David - December 27, 2013

Tim. Thanks for a great laugh. You certainly called it back at 56 (Earlier too, but more definitively at 56). MiWC I mean, obviously. As far as Shards’ post at 118; I had an experience of confronting RB in person. He made a statement about the fall of California and then a few sentences later contradicted that statement. When I called him on it he brushed it off as “c-influence” saying every word that came out of his mouth. (They really do seem to love to mess with him it seems…). While that bothered me, what was the most shocking was the reaction of the rest of the people present, and the almost palpable weight of peer judgement. That peer regulation, a kind of peer shaming, is part of what keeps people stuck. It keeps people from questioning at least as much as Robert himself does, especially when it comes from people that you like and even respect.

176. Wouldnt You Like To Know - December 27, 2013

Barbara, page 139#173,4:

From Wikipedia:

The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (subtitled: “A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East“) is a 1970 book about the linguistics of early Christianity and fertility cults in the Ancient Near East. It was written by John Marco Allegro (1923–1988).

The book relates the development of language to the development of myths, religions, and cultic practices in world cultures. Allegro believed he could prove, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, as of many other religions, lay in fertility cults, and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants (or “psychedelics”) to perceive the mind of God, persisted into the early Christian era, and to some unspecified extent into the 13th century with reoccurrences in the 18th century and mid-20th century, as he interprets the Plaincourault chapel’s fresco to be an accurate depiction of the ritual ingestion of Amanita muscaria as the Eucharist. Allegro argued that Jesus never existed and was a mythological creation of early Christians under the influence of psychoactive mushroom extracts such as psilocybin.’

See Wikipedia for more.

Or, go here for pirated book as pdf:
http://bit.ly/K9iRp1

177. Barbara - December 28, 2013

This is what some call: “Informational Medicine”. Worth to know how to get rid of trauma (and other) instantly. Believe it or not, it exists and has been in use for quite some time….

“Using what some would call modern alchemy Jef is creating holographic intention sourced items that work on the scalar level and energetic fields of living cells. These devices can be used for everything from balancing trace elements in the body to 12 strand DNA activation.”

178. Tempus Fugit - January 2, 2014

Happy New Year to one and all! I hope the new year finds you healthy, optimistic, and, above all, free.

Since I escaped the FOF cult thirty years ago I have had good days and bad days but everyone one of them has been a day lived free of the delusional madness of the Fellowship of Friends.

If you are a member of the FOF looking for new information and other perspectives you have found a great resource in this blog.

Please read the stories and comments here as much as you can, old ones and new ones, thousands of posts going back for years. Listen to the voice of your inner self as you read and look for the truth.

Don’t be distracted by irrelevant comments and bad writing (some of which is certainly mine) but pay attention to the stories that speak directly to you and your situation.

In my experience and in my opinion Robert Burton is a fraud and a criminal. Do you truly believe he is a good man? Do you truly believe he is enlightened?

If you decide the writers here are wrong you will only lose a little of your time and have your faith in Robert Burton and the FOF strengthened.

If you decide the writers here are correct you may discover the courage and will to choose a new life.

My sincere hope that 2014 is the year that brings you freedom!

179. Upper Lobby - January 3, 2014

Hi fellow travelers and Happy New Year. Although I have heard of the FoF group and Burton over the years I have never had an interest in contacting anyone. A good friend linked me to your sight and I hope it is alright to comment here.

What fascinates me is the similarity between various faux 4th Way Gurdjieff groups. My own group, well, not mine, but the group I was involved with for almost 15 years existed in the Boston area. We all thought we were very connected with the Gurdjieff Foundation. We had been invited to visit Michel DeSalzmann in Europe on a number of occasions and he visited us. Turned out that by the mid-80’s he had vowed never to have anything to do with us ever again. If we only knew.

Considering that our “leader” was a homosexual predator, abusive and manipulative into most of the family relationships and we had ourselves the perfect 4th Way Group Storm!

I’m curious what charges may have been filed against Burton and on what grounds? Was there anything successful? There is a blog that outlines many of the abuses of our own little Gurdjieff group that has been around for about two years. We were a theatre group that performed the Le Grand David Magic Company.

At any rate, I hope it’s ok to comment here. I don’t want to crash your party but it’s nice to know there are other survivors who are seeking to make sense of all the non-sense. Peace.

Upper Lobby

180. Barbara - January 4, 2014

Is there a pamphlet “fof for dummies”?
Being local and active in the Arts, Yuba County etc. I have been asked for it quite often… it is becoming somehow annoying the automatic connection that some people make when told I come from Oregon House…

181. fofblogmoderator - January 4, 2014

#179 is new

182. WhaleRider - January 4, 2014

Welcome, Upper Lobby!

Thank you for your post and for joining us in the pit. Your eyes get used to it after a while.

How sad that you were involved with an obviously fake faux way school, a cheap imitation of daddy Alex Horn’s pain factory known as the Theatre of All Possibilities and a far cry from the very real rape factory spawn known as the Fellowship of Friends!

Despite all the time, semen and money you have wasted, at the very least you can use your experience as a verification that real gay sexual predators masquerading as gurus like Robert Burton do exist!

The very fact that fake faux way schools are out there proves beyond a shadow of reason that genuine, 100% faux way schools are real, but too bad for you, there can only be one.

Don’t be fooled, OUR teacher has sucked way more dicks than yours…60 on his 60th birthday! Can your teacher top that?

Unfortunately dear, you are probably only in your first or second lifetime. Try reading our blog from the beginning and maybe you can catch up…

BTW, how’s the troll situation on your blog? It’s going to get worse.

183. David - January 5, 2014

179 upper balcony
Thanks for sharing a parallel story. You are doing a good thing with your own blog/discussion. It is interesting how we, all of us, have put another person in a higher position in relation to ourselves. And, as the weight of their lies, deceptions or delusions begin to drag them down we bow, kneel, lie prostrate and finally try to dig a hole simply to keep the relation the same until one day, some of us climb out, stand up and wonder what strange power that small thing down there could have had over us for all this time.

184. Golden Veil - January 5, 2014

Evidently, apologists for abusing sexual predator cult leaders are not unique to the Fellowship of Friends blog. The below recent post is reprinted from the blog of aforementioned Upper Lobby at

http://upperlobby.blogspot.com/2013/01/many-are-called-but-few-are-chosen.html

Isn’t this amazing? Maybe these apologist posting former members like “Sam” are “junior psychopaths.”

Sam

January 15, 2013 at 7:03 AM

After reading your latest couple of posts, let me ask you something…

We can discuss, at great length, what we think was or wasn’t happening, whether the event had any value as an esoteric school, a place with the ultimate goal of disseminating esoteric knowledge to some who could make use of it. We can debate whether it had “real” connection to the Gurdjieff tradition or not but, yea or nay, what was the most important idea in Gurdjieff’s teaching?

That “man is asleep in a house on fire”, he is not properly conscious most of the time, he is almost always identified with one thing or another all throughout the day.

And while I agree that the, “we were here, you weren’t” mentality existed, occasionally feeling the pressure of it myself, I have to ask you, if inner development towards the aim of being more conscious was one’s goal, where else was one going to find such conditions? I could write books about what I saw both in others and myself and I say,

…. Thank God for Cesareo.

He cobbled together a band of misfits and created conditions where any who were so inclined could accelerate their education. Why some were there, I can only surmise. They seemed more interested in the path of obedience which my being found repulsive. But I was there, shamelessly, for my education and so spoke nothing of it (the disdain) to them. And while that might sound a bit selfish, it is the best kind – the one that says, “I can only best help others when I am at my best.”

And, there is a saying, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” You seem to be saying Cesareo had some that he never brought to market, but kept out of sight. Perhaps, but what I saw were multiple performances at the White House, entry into The Book of World Records, accolades from all the major magic organizations, respect from so many respected magicians, walls full of awards, crowds of pleased, grateful and smiling people with exceptions rare to the extreme, and the list goes on.

Does the Secret Service allow cults and, alleged, sexual predators onto the White House lawn to entertain families with children? Not just once, but 7 times?

Does the Guinness Book of Records give cults an award for longevity? Does the Boston Ballet seek out cults to help with special effects? Do thousands of people respond nostalgically and with huge smiles when you mention the magic show, because there is nothing better than seeing the magic show as a kid, then a parent, then a grandparent? Or do they scowl, as one would expect when referring to an entity that is, allegedly, a cult?

I can go on but I’ll spare you. Make no mistake, I am not admonishing, shaming or attempting to diminish anyone here. But rather I am providing another perspective and a few questions to think about more seriously.

Cheers

185. Dennis Larson - January 5, 2014

I thought some of you might appreciate this quote from Carl Sagan, Astro-physicist.

“One of the saddest lessons in history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge – even to ourselves – that we’ve been so credulous. So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.”

186. Dennis Larson - January 6, 2014

178. Tempus Fugit

You describe RB as a fraud and a criminal. That is certainly true, but without the element of mental illness, it really doesn’t make sense. One of the main reasons many of us were bamboozled by him was because he actually believed what he was saying. And because we were talking about consciousness, which we did not fully understand and we thought he did, we were doubly susceptible. Add to that Carl Sagan’s suggestion that, “It is simply too painful to acknowledge – even to ourselves – that we’ve been so credulous,” and you have a mix that had many of us bamboozled for many years.

187. Golden Veil - January 6, 2014

I think that secret sex with someone in power is probably much like incestuous or pedophiliac sex. The sexual target gets hit and boy, it takes a courageous individual with a well developed sense of self and one’s own boundaries to just say no. I have not experienced this dynamic myself but from reading about it, I am not surprised that an at risk individual may be an easy target for a sexual predator… if they are especially vulnerable in some way – away from home, has submitted to a gradual brainwash during the process of an elegantly clothed and speaking cult recruiters; if they have high psychological growth aspirations, and particularly if they have put their teacher on a pedestal with that justification for confusing behavior “the lower cannot understand the higher” b.s.

188. jomopinata - January 6, 2014

Dennis wrote,

One of the main reasons many of us were bamboozled by him was because he actually believed what he was saying.

I agree that this pathological self-certainty exhibited by Burton, in the face of the need for certainty desired by the seekers who latched onto the Gurdjieff/Ouspensky books during a period of cultural upheaval and uncertainty, was one of the things that fostered the establishment of the Fellowship of Friends cult during the first half of the 1970s.

The tendency to make ill-grounded claims that the claimer should know are ill grounded is a feature of many different disorders. Sometimes it is the result of brain injury. The review below describes a very interesting book about this phenomenon which I can recommend called Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation.

One of the notions discussed in this book is that one part of the brain is responsible for producing hypotheses and self representations, and a different part of the brain is responsible for reality checking these hypotheses and self-representations. In various disorders, the part of the brain responsible for reality checking the hypotheses or self-representations is damaged or otherwise impaired. Thus one meets a patient who has been confined to his hospital bed for two months, but will tell an elaborate story about the restaurant he dined in last night, down to the details of the meal and his conversations with his dining companions; or the sociopath who lies so adeptly that he comes to believe his own lies and will show no galvanic skin response while telling them; to the paralyzed patient who insists that he can move his arm, he just does not want to. This failure of the reality testing processes in the brain, accompanied by the self-certainty arising out of failure of reality-checking processes, contrasts with the overactivity of the those processes shown by the obsessive-compulsive person in the grip of pathological doubt, who knows full well that he has turned off the gas burner on the stove, yet feels obliged to check it six times despite such knowledge.

An interesting review of William Hirstein’s 2005 book Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation appears here:

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=178130

189. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 7, 2014

Dennis Larson Re: bamboozled

This is worth repeating:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Upton Sinclair

Fourth Way interpretation:
It is difficult to get a person to understand something when their self-image (read: imaginary picture of themselves) depends upon their not understanding it.

A couple more worth repeating:

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

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

190. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 7, 2014

Also worth repeating, excerpted:

‘Page 4/180:
Verify Verity Says:
March 26th, 2007 at 5:00 am

. . .

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

There is a long story about how this passage arrived in documentation for a prosecution, by an overzealous political figure, Lycurgus. It is reported to be the only existing document from Lycurgus, who was said to be, ‘one of the ‘ten’ Attic orators.’ It is too long and somewhat besides the point here. You can research it on the net. But here is one possible view of it found:

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

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

. . .

Verify Verity’

Look up the post for complete version.

191. Someone - January 7, 2014

Tempus Fugit,

You left the FoF in the early 80’s and you still have them in your mind. Why carry them inside for so long? They are not worth it.

The FoF are ~1500 people worldwide – they always have been around 2000 or less. Their average age in OH is probably 60.
RB is an old man and the number of member isn’t going to grow.
After I left I heard rumors that many young people are joining in other countries. Now I think they were mere rumors. Why waste time, thoughts, emotions and energy on the FoF? I am entering this Blog once or twice a year because I care about those who are wasting vital energy on the FoF. Though they are harshly against the FoF, it’s still a waste of life energy. I lived in OH for many many years and now I rarely think of it. This Blog was opened 7 years ago during the big leaving. Since then the FoF size stayed almost the same. Perhaps they managed to bring in 50-100 new members, yet more members died of old age. Taking into account Nature’s course, in 10 years time the FoF will be left with perhaps 500-600 members worldwide.

Why bother?

192. jomopinata - January 7, 2014

191/Someone

>> Why bother?

I’ve never thought that reflecting upon experience, in dialogue with others, was a waste of time or energy. One often brings something new to it; one often takes away something new from it.

193. jomopinata - January 7, 2014

191/Someone

Why waste time, thoughts, emotions and energy on the FoF?

Your belief that participants here are “wast[ing] time, thoughts, emotions and energy” is a value judgment which I encourage you to examine. Have you ever engaged in an activity you found meaningful, while others derided it as a waste of time? (“I’ll never understand why you kids waste your time and money on those rock ‘n’ roll records. What an infernal racket!”)

194. Tempus Fugit - January 9, 2014

191. Someone – January 7, 2014
Tempus Fugit,
You left the FoF in the early 80′s and you still have them in your mind. Why carry them inside for so long? They are not worth it.
….. Why bother?

Thanks for posing this question, although myself and others have addressed this topic before I feel it is an important one.

In some ways I think my FOF experience will always be on my mind. My experience was serious, lengthy, and traumatic. My psychological understanding of those years is still yielding important insights into who I am. After all, it’s not so much “them” that I carry inside, rather it’s “me,” and understanding myself is worth everything.

Why was I taken in by a charlatan? How could I deny and lie to myself for so long and stay in the cult for years and years? How do I learn to trust myself and my judgment after such brutal mistakes? How do I understand the truth of the FOF and Burton without being stuck in an anger and hatred which will only poison me? How do I take responsibility for my own decisions and choices and at the same time give proper responsibility to Burton and others who took advantage of my ignorance and naivete?

My understanding of that time has changed a lot over the decades, and the FOF is by no means the most important time of my life. Still the tree of suffering bears fruit, and I choose to pick it.

This blog has been very helpful in my recovery, and my thanks to all of you. The time I spend thinking and writing here is certainly well compensated in the knowledge that I gain about myself and my life. I hope my contributions have helped you in return.

And finally, again, I love the fact that this blog is a light to those still trapped in this horrible cult or even just in danger of the spider’s web, helping some to leave, and others not to join.

To think that relatively small efforts here may spare others from years of abuse is pretty cool. Really damn cool!

195. Upper Lobby - January 9, 2014

Hello again,
Upper Lobby here. Thanks for the welcome…I think. (Laughing.)

David, thanks for your comments. Yes you are right on. What the hell was that! Well, hindsight is 20-20! (And I particularly chuckled at the “upper balcony” reference!

Golden Veil, I’m in the room you know! Anyway, that troll, (the only one I’m aware of that penetrated my blog), has been sent to the corner for a time-out! He did send an apology letter (unpublished) acknowledging that people were just trying to heal. What a concept! Did you find anything interesting in my posts?!?

Whale Rider! There are ladies present! Sucking dicks? The pit? Comparing sexual exploitations? Oh, please!

I’ll tell you what I tell my former group mates on my blog; “Breathe.” So let me explain and respond. First of all, I am going through the threads of the past of the FoF Bog – although I feel no need to “catch up”. It will take a while. I don’t think this blog as a dark pit. I feel my blog is an illumination. I want people to see the truth and light – not dwell on the darkness. We were not a cheap imitation of the Horn “pain factory”. Our theatre show was actually well reviewed and quite successful. That may have been to our disadvantage! None of us, especially leader Cesareo Pelaez, ever heard of the rapist/fake Alex Horn. I encountered his name about three years ago. Most of the “former” members of my group are healing. I get very few comments on my blog, but many read my posts. I’m nobody – really. But if I can help even one former abused member heal, it’s all worth it!

What amazes me is that there are so many spiritual imposters! Never mind 4th Way fakes. Just look at the Catholic Church. What about the Maharishi? (See David Sieveking’s documentary “David Wants to Fly”.) Some happen to be heterosexual predators and some are homosexual predators. I had the misfortune of being involved with a homosexual predator – as some of you?

Our Cesareo is either in Hell somewhere or, he’s trying to do a lot of “splaining” to some enlightened beings! (I can see St. Peter yawning now!)

196. Opus111 - January 9, 2014

RB is an old man and the number of member isn’t going to grow.

Rumor has it to be stuck at 2.54 inches.

197. shardofoblivion - January 9, 2014

#191 Someone questioned the value of blogging about things in our past. #194 Tempus Fugit gave a magnificent reply which I feel reflects my own relationship with my past in the FoF, and why it is still worth thinking about, and sharing with others who have shared the experience. i would add that the blog gives ex students a chance to poke some fun at Burton, which was always strictly forbidden within the peculiar conditions within the cult.

198. Someone - January 10, 2014

194. Tempus Fugit
I truly appreciate your deep reply.

Apparently my overall personal experience in the FoF has been different from the experience of other ex-members. Surely it was totally different from the experience of those who were sexually hurt.

It is now more than six years since I left OH and the FoF (after being a member for 25 years). Being honest and true to myself, in many aspects and perspectives, I became a better person as a result of those years in the FoF. However my life circumstances have been so poor in so many ways that I was not able to enjoy and exploit any of those positive aspects. Only after I left, when I started living again, I saw how much I gained for the time I spent in the FoF. I am definitely more attentive and concentrated. I ascribe that to years of exercising my intentionality. I genuinely developed taste and affection for the arts and culture and broaden it later on. The ‘Non Identification’ training turned out to be quite helpful in my life, especially in business.

Yes!!! It is all morally contradictory. As I see it now, the FoF has totally failed as a society/community, yet it managed to provide many beneficial personal tools for people as individuals.

There is one thing I’m deeply sorry and angry about and that is the absence of an official complaint against RB. Unfortunately RB and the FoF unjustly!!! walked away freely and actually won this battle. Perhaps there is some consolation in the fact that they are definitely in their last decade. The FoF will gradually shrink and be dispersed.

199. Golden Veil - January 10, 2014

195. Upper Lobby January 9, 2014

Reading your “Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen” I was struck how similar your story was to others I’d heard, the dynamic between you and your teacher Cesareo, and also the responses to your story, the “…you do not completely regret your association with the Magi! Are you throwing out the baby with the bath water? Was there nothing that was worth salvaging from however many years…”

I think that it’s a good thing to relate these personal stories – for yourself and also to enlighten others who may be contending with similar feelings about a student – teacher relationship doesn’t feel quite right. You may be an inspiration!

Speaking of inspiration, I think that it would be appropriate to eliminate the last post on that page by the fundamentalist Christian evangelist. He has absolutely no business using your blog as a conversion platform or invite visitors to your page to visit his blog. He is without a doubt, an unscrupulous troll.

Bottom of this page:

http://upperlobby.blogspot.com/2013/01/many-are-called-but-few-are-chosen.html

200. Upper Lobby - January 10, 2014

> Golden Veil. Thank you for your comments. Yes, I quite agree about that Christian fellow’s comment. Additionally, I have often reflected on whether or not to delete “Sam’s” harsh comments too. Have you seen his rants? He also published under another pseudo name such as Constantine. I know I let him in for far too long, but… At least now he has been banned. Perhaps at the very least people can read his rants and realize how ridiculous his defense of our own, apparently amateur predator, Ceasareo Pelaez. “Sam” did send an apology letter to my email but did not want it published.

I wrote the “Few are Chosen” years ago and probably would be much more UNkind to our leader now rather than back then, when I still had the Kool-aid slogging around inside. If I (we) had only known. Well, peace and understanding and truthfulness to you all. Thank you again!

201. Barbara - January 10, 2014

194. Tempus Fugit
197. shardofoblivion

YES this blog is VERY USEFUL. I use it for reconciliation with life after the cult’s abuse, for healing, for company, for critical thinking, for relief, to poke some fun at RB and his angels… (I have experienced deep and long moments of laughter)

I VOTE YES to this blog.

BTW, I DO want to create the ‘FOF FOR DUMMIES” and pass it around…WHALERIDER (or any retired/time free friend here) can you help me selecting some of the key posts? It has to be 4 – 8 pages… I was thinking on creating some comics… Any comic artists volunteers?

202. shardofoblivion - January 11, 2014

#201 Barbara – sadly no longer with us, but the comic artist par excellence was Harold Wirk for example:

http://www.oocities.org/stella_wirk/new1a.html

203. Golden Veil - January 11, 2014

202. Shard of Oblivion – January 11, 2014

Great link / and links! Thank you! I remember many of those exercises. I would not have gone for the name changing. This:

An analogy that comes to mind that gives a good example of this phenomenon is the story of the boiling frog. I have read that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, he will jump out immediately. If you put him in cold water and s-l-o-w-l-y bring it to a boil, the frog will stay in the pot and boil to death! Sounds right (I didn’t really want to try this, so will take it with a grain of salt from wherever it was I read it!)

That analogy does explain how someone who might normally refuse crazy behavior gets sucked in by the slow brainwash of a cult. This whole link is a great picture of what a big jerk R.E.B. was / is.

204. robertschelly - January 12, 2014

One of the great pyramids in Egypt has an aperture opening to a shallow square space on a stone floor in a room.

The high priests would maintain a pool of water in this space. The aperture opened to a specific place in the heavens where a particular star formation was present. At night the stars reflected onto the pool and the priests tracked the movements of the heavens by that reflection.

Now, after eons having passed, the aperture no longer lines up to the original star system.

Old students – there is no way back here.
New students – there is now way forward here.

This portal is CLOSED. Look elsewhere. You might find someone who can teach you something useful but the old rule still applies … they will not come looking for you.

205. James Mclemore - January 13, 2014

204. robertschelly

“..but the old rule still applies … they will not come looking for you.”

Sounds a bit mysterious and ominous. Who exactly is this “they”?

206. jomopinata - January 13, 2014

202/Shard of Oblivion

I believe Harold is alive and well and living in Sparks, NV.

207. shardofoblivion - January 13, 2014

#206 very glad to be corrected on that point, and trust he is still using his drawing skills to amuse and enlighten.

208. Barbara - January 13, 2014

207. shardofoblivion – January 13, 2014

Looking forward to his reappearance.
In fact, it was this page which inspire to refresh the idea!

https://archive.org/details/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_362

209. Barbara - January 13, 2014

that is an archive download – here is a link to html
http://www.oocities.org/stella_wirk/new2.htm

210. Barbara - January 15, 2014

204. robertschelly

…you forgot the big 2012 zapping

and how about the introduction of the internet to the general population?

who “they” do you think is behind?

211. silentpurr - January 18, 2014

The saddest part for Fellowship people is that the very inner voice which could question the folly-of-it-all, is sanctimoniously neutralized, risen above, moved on from, ignored, repressed and condemned…

212. silentpurr - January 19, 2014

…as the enemy of “awakening”.

213. Wouldnt You Like To Know - January 20, 2014

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep –
No more – and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 1, lines 56 – 88
William Shakespeare

Noi very far from my earlier Shakespeare quote
at #189 on this page:

Line 188, Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 1:
Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.

214. nigel - January 21, 2014

Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

from “Ulysses”, by Alfred Lord Tennyson

215. Tim Campion - January 23, 2014

The following was a recent “Living Presence Daily Quotation”:

Conscience comes from consciousness. – Robert Earl Burton

According to Ames Gilbert, Burton has also stated,

Conscience is just a collection of I’s. Anyone accumulating too much should leave the school.

Take it straight from the horse’s mouth. “In right order” (as Burton was fond of saying,) those who successfully expand their consciousness, and presumably their conscience, are advised to leave The Fellowship of Friends.

Plain and simple.

216. nigel - January 23, 2014

Question, you guys…..did you follow or did you learn for yourselves…..given that you ‘paid through the nose’ for the so-called ‘hidden truth’? Did you, or have you now, grown up? I do not wish to belittle your efforts to unravel ‘the whole mistake’, but even I, as an unworldly Solar when it comes to psychological approaches, have moved way on from the FOF and live my life for my true life’s work and my true friends. The difficulty I have with my father and two brothers has deepened, but nothing I can do can change that. No success story…but definitely movement. Over to you…..Nigel

217. Ill Never Tell - January 23, 2014

Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits – and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Omar Khayyam

218. Shard of Oblivion - January 26, 2014

#216 Nigel asks “Did you, or have you now, grown up?” Which is quite a fierce question to ask, isn’t it? If one person says to another “oh, grow up!” they are effectively saying “you are overreacting to this situation, because you are taking a childish approach”. Still it’s fun to answer it.
Yes. I no longer take the childish attitude that there are awakened beings who are so much wiser than me I should follow their advice even if I don’t understand it. I no longer harbour the childish belief that physical creatures such as we humans, can in any sense survive the death of their bodies. In fact I have also lost the puerile notion that there is an overall purpose to our lives, given to us from outside ourselves.
I am glad to hear you have “moved way on from the FOF” and wish that blessing on all who get entangled in Burton’s sickly sweet web of delusion.

219. archer - January 26, 2014

218. Shard of Oblivion – “I no longer harbour the childish belief that physical creatures such as we humans, can in any sense survive the death of their bodies. In fact I have also lost the puerile notion that there is an overall purpose to our lives…”

Unhealthy is the word I would use.

The delusion is in stating that I know about the afterlife, not so much in stating that I believe in it. I don’t see anything inherently unhealthy in believing in the possibility of a spiritual and meaningful existence.

What is unhealthy, in my view, is any false certainty about the meaning of life and what happens to us after we die. Like a lot of religions and cults, the Fellowship promotes a lot of fear, shame and suffering around these topics. Some more than others. More in the Fellowship’s case.

220. nigel - January 26, 2014

218 shard of oblivion

here would be a good question…..is there a point to it all…..other than ‘mere oblivion’?????…..nigel

221. Shard of Oblivion - January 26, 2014

219 Nigel asks about the point of it all.

Yes there is certainly a point. It is to drink as deep as you wish from the wonder of existing.

It is made all the more precious for me by my belief that our time is framed both before and after by nothingness.

222. Wondering Who's Watching - January 26, 2014

219 Nigel asks about the point of it all.

The Point (1971) Part 1
😉

223. archer - January 27, 2014

“It is made all the more precious for me by my belief that our time is framed both before and after by nothingness.”

That is a beautiful belief.

Many people also believe our time here is a stop on our journey that we may never return to… made all the more precious by the uncertainty, the unknowing, the mystery. That’s a beautiful belief, too.

224. nigel - January 27, 2014

223 archer

hey…..you a sagittarius, too?
i see no point in the end to it all theory

“to fly through the endless rings, and never be quiet again.”
…..walt whitman…..

225. Tempus Fugit - January 28, 2014

Lots of good stuff lately, folks. I can’t keep up on a regular basis, or more honestly, I don’t make the time. I guess that’s an additional response to Someone’s recent question – this blog and the FOF are not the center of my life.

But I appreciate the blog and all of you. It’s really like the old fashioned “bulletin boards” that were popular at the very beginning of the mass use of personal computers 30 years ago or so.

When you post something it’s like tacking a paper note to a public corkboard or wall, and then other people come along and do the same, maybe responding to you or maybe to a post made last month by someone else (not you Someone) or maybe just saying something entirely new. Often disjointed but fun in it’s own way, and with a serious purpose.

So let me catch up a little. Sorry I can’t respond to everyone.

“133. Tim Campion – November 28, 2013”

Tim, thanks for passing on the post from the “anonymous visitor to the Robert Earl Burton blog.” Since I’ve been posting here this is the first time I recall anyone crediting the blog for giving them serious doubts about the FOF before joining. Thanks are also due, therefore, to everyone who has taken their time to warn others. It’s great to know our efforts are paying off.

I also appreciate the periodic “inside information” you get somewhere (not you, Somewhere) on the latest ravings and drivel inside the cult.

“163. James Mclemore – December 13, 2013”

James Mclemore – the Rumi quote was superb. One of the damaging consequences of the FOF for me was the promotion of negative self examination and rejection of many aspects of simply being human.

And dehumanization of followers is a key technique used by Burton and the FOF to control and manipulate members. After all, if you are just an unconscious machine and only the “Teacher” is “awake” your only hope is to obey him without question.

This is a good time to bring in another comment from Tim Campion:

215. Tim Campion – January 23, 2014
The following was a recent “Living Presence Daily Quotation”:
Conscience comes from consciousness. – Robert Earl Burton

So if Burton truly has more “consciousness” than anyone else he would also have the best developed conscience. He would exhibit the greatest personal responsibility, generosity, and kindness in his relationships with others.

That is not how I remember him. Do you?

226. archer - January 28, 2014

Nigel 220, 224…

I’m with you on that…

“Answer. That you are here – that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

227. fofblogmoderator - February 1, 2014

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