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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 140 February 1, 2014

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

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

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

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. ton2u - February 3, 2014

“like virgin snow” as a previous first post on a page here once said…

the application of magical thinking / in search of “the solution” to the riddle of life — ’tis part of the FOF equation…. looking for a “certain” ratio:

2. Shard of Oblivion - February 3, 2014

1. Eno

🙂

3. nigel - February 8, 2014

this just came back to me…..this little thought – “if you cannot do something with the least of joy, you are in the wrong j’ob’.”…..the fof was one huge, great boiling pot of unneccessary suffering, if we were all to tell the truth about it….AND PAYMENT WAS THE PRINCIPLE…..WHAT A LOAD OF BULLSHIT IT WAS!!!!!…..NIGEL.

4. Mick - February 13, 2014

You know, in all these many years I’ve never heard one story (even a made up one) about how REB demonstrated that he was more conscious than anyone else.

5. paul gregory - February 15, 2014

I can’t think of a story about him loving anything. I think it must be because he has got so much on his plate. Not a dog, not a cat, (unless he ‘experimented’ with pets), not a guy, not a gal. Not even a cactus or rock. Just the dream that he must somehow be preserved for posterity in the starry eyes of a few fortunate followers. But it’s all a commodity. Appearance without Value. The Fellowship and Robert Burton have commodified ‘consciousness’. The bubble is alluring, but false. They bought him a ring, presumably for his pointing finger, but all he points to is barren and unnatural.

He said he didn’t want to take ‘Star Wars’ with him to Eternity. Is he planning on taking rape there?

6. shardofoblivion - February 15, 2014

Burton will face complete nothingness on his death, as will we all. But the strange thing is, he will never know he was mistaken, as he slips into final unconsciousness he will imagine at any moment he will be ushered into a new life, but instead he will fizzle out like a damp squib.

7. Mick - February 16, 2014

Very few people claim to know what happens upon death.

8. ton2u - February 16, 2014
9. ton2u - February 16, 2014
10. James Mclemore - February 17, 2014

Thanks ton2u, and from a slightly different view, (from something I was just reading this afternoon), and not necessarily in my opinion, in any way in opposition to the Tibetans, from a man whose “cat:” became famous…………..

“Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.”
― Erwin Schrödinger

“Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown.”
― Erwin Schrödinger

11. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 17, 2014

“Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.”
― Erwin Schrödinger

Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare;
To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.
― Omar Khayyam

12. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 17, 2014

“Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown.”
― Erwin Schrödinger

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter’d, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.
― Omar Khayyam

13. Mick - February 17, 2014

It was 50 years ago (selected lyrics)
“She said ‘I know what it’s like to be dead'”
“I said ‘No, no, no you’re wrong.'” – Lennon McCartney

14. ton2u - February 17, 2014

James, Mick, et al.,
Just to be a little clearer, I’m not attempting to promote a point of view through the posted links…. my response was to Mick @ 7 :

“Very few people claim to know what happens upon death.”

which really isn’t true… there are many people of many different stripes out there claiming to know, and they may even believe the claims and they may even get others to believe these claims… and so we have a situation like the FOF repeated over and over again, endlessly, in so many different forms all over the planet.

As for my own point of view on the matter, I’m generally ‘agnostic’ — like the blind man so famously said “we’ll see.” maybe… maybe not.

15. Mick - February 18, 2014

You are correct, Ton, many people do claim to know, but I think they merely have some belief, not actual knowledge. The truth of the matter exists whether it is experienced or not.

16. silentpurr - February 18, 2014

I don’t think Robert cares about the afterlife. As I remember him, he’s busy heaping up the pleasures of a hedonistic ‘present’.

17. paul gregory - February 18, 2014

He is already in ‘hell’. He is ‘hell’. He’s doing tremendously well with the pretense of ‘consciousness’ and ‘divine presence’, but also must be aware that he is nothing but a failed interior designer. His ‘Gods’ have a stick and a wand. How very sad. They gave him a bit of stick presumably when they humiliated him about the whole holocaust thing. It’s all he said about it. ‘They humiliated me’. He feels the need for a holocaust to show everyone just what a great guy he is. Then he’ll be worthy, you’ll see. He has imagined that the harm of another being be to his advantage in the long run and wished it upon billions, as a form of ‘validation’ for him, his interests and hobbies. He imagines that the ‘God’s’ don’t like people or cat’s and dogs anymore because they don’t share his interests/hobbies, and the ‘gods’ are going to ‘expunge’ them, so we can once again return to Western Values in the Western Style and like classical music again and walks in the cemetery. Because he is the Saviour of Western Civilization and the herald of a new one based on the old one, minus electricity and say, five billion people. But he isn’t. He looks like he could sell bleach, but nothing else. ‘Oh holocaust, Oh holocaust, where art thou, oh holocaust?’
He counts number plates. He learns shit from them. He constantly and unfailingly seeks new rape opportunities because he cannot really know what a human being feels, or the divinity of it.
Sorry, I digress. What part of this is not hell?

18. shardofoblivion - February 19, 2014

#17 Paul Gregory, your portrait of Burton is slap bang on target!

19. Tempus Fugit - February 19, 2014

I see I’m a little slower posting these days and not quite keeping up with the conversation! Oh well. As far as death, I agree with those who say we will find out when we get there. I also agree with Socrates, who taught that a life lived with virtue was it’s own reward, whether or not the Gods or afterlife existed.

But I’m mainly writing today on another theme. Towards the end of the last page, Number 139, there were several posts of beautiful poetry. I enjoyed and was inspired by all of them, thank you.

At the time I joined the FOF Burton, like other cult leaders, declared himself the heir to various famous spiritual teachers as well as the creative greatness of many famous artists, writers, and poets. In fact, he claimed (perhaps still claims) that a number of these artists are working for the FOF as disembodied spirits.

Burton also told me directly I could only connect with the divine through him and the group and I would be damned I refused that connection. For years this is what I believed.

This hateful, anti-human dogma is characteristic of any religion that claims a unique path to God backed by threats of hell for nonbelievers. It is also a major component of a cult leader’s control over followers, and such control gives the unscrupulous leader the opportunity for abuse of all kinds.

When I left the FOF I initially felt cut off from my own spirituality and my own unique connection with God. I soon realized I needed to pick myself up and assert ownership of both of these essential domains of life.

For me one of the most moving passages about starting over was written by John Milton in Paradise Lost:

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven? this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail horros! hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor, one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th’ associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonished on th’ oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion, or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”

When I first left the FOF I thought I had lost paradise. I was out, but still a true believer. In those same early post FOF years, especially in connection with other former members, I found out the truth – the cult was a lie, and I had been fooled, and fooled badly.

Then I understood I had not, after all, failed a “true teaching,” but actually had been granted the incredible gift of freedom from a horrible cult. I had not lost Paradise but had indeed escaped from Hell. My spiritual self was intact and my connection with God only waited for me to claim it.

After all, what got me out? I’m not smarter or better or worth more than anyone else. Many, many others have suffered, and in some cases, gone insane or even died in this horrible cult. I consider my escape a pure gift from God.

Every human being has the right, and the ability, to have a direct connection with God. No other human being has the right to tell us what to believe. And if anyone says otherwise, they are, in my experience, deluded, lying, or both.

Others have asked, more than once, why former members like myself from so long ago write on this blog.

I write here for two main reasons, to understand myself and my experience more deeply, and to help you if I can. I don’t think I can speak more plainly – in my experience and in my opinion Robert Burton is deluded, lying, or both. If you associate with him, you do so at great risk.

If you are not convinced of that fact, read as much of this blog as you can. I recommend starting at the beginning and then perhaps selections of different pages moving forward to the present.

Burton and the FOF are supported in these pages as well as criticized, although most of the posts are critical.

A few negative reports might certainly be considered just “sour grapes.” I invite you to understand the central issues and themes that can be distilled from the experience of many.

I realize my time in the FOF is now many decades ago. Perhaps things are different now. I assume they are certainly different in many external ways, but have the core dynamics and teachings changed?

This is a question you can answer for yourself if you listen to your own conscience and intution. But you also need the information provided by your intellect, and perhaps the best plan, as Walt Whitman advised, is “to listen to all sides and filter them from your self.”

20. Tempus Fugit - February 19, 2014

Hello Blog Moderator.

Several days ago I attempted to repost the “INDEX TO THE BLOG” but it has not shown up and the system blocked me when I tried to post it again.

Could you please look into this and, if possible, simply copy and post the INDEX TO THE BLOG from page 139.

Thanks, and thanks again for your hard work.

You are lining up rich rewards in Heaven my friend!

(Or, at least, I hope, enjoying the appreciation of your peers and the thought that your work may indeed be saving some unknown people from a horrible fate.)

21. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 19, 2014

19. Tempus Fugit:

‘I also agree with Socrates, who taught that a life lived with virtue was it’s own reward, whether or not the Gods or afterlife existed.’

Not directly about this above quote, but about the subject of life and death: As I understand Socrates’ view of the ‘cosmos,’ what we experience as our life is but a shadow of some greater reality and, in that sense, is a death and when this ends we will enter a life only now seen, as it were, as: phantom figures on a wall.

Perhaps alluded to poetically thus:

For in and out, above, about, below,
‘Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.
by Omar Khayyám (c. 12th century)

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on Thee,
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Then Thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would Thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with Thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes Thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blesséd made
By looking on Thee in the living day,
When in dead night Thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see Thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show Thee me.
Sonnet 43, William Shakespeare (c. 16th century)

When Faith and Love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load
Of Death, called Life, which us from Life doth sever.
Thy Works and Alms and all thy good Endeavour,
Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But as Faith pointed with her golden rod,
Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on; and Faith, who knew them best
Thy handmaids, clad them o’er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes
Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest,
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.
Sonnet 14, John Milton (c. 17th century)
(On the religious memory of the death of a friend.)
More at:
http://bit.ly/1bl8URi

22. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 19, 2014

See Allegory of the Cave:
http://bit.ly/1jbsDDr

23. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 19, 2014

19. Tempus Fugit

‘The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.’

See image:
http://bit.ly/1bLeGfz

24. Tim Campion - February 19, 2014

Apollo Olive Oil is prominently featured in this photo from an Associated Press article published nationally yesterday. Unfortunately, organizations such as All Things Olive, the American Olive Oil Producers Association, and the California Olive Oil Council unwittingly serve Robert Burton’s Fellowship of Friends by promoting the cult’s products.

25. Tempus Fugit - February 21, 2014

A few thoughts:

Wouldnt You Like To Know – thanks for the thoughts and links.

And to add a little more about living “a life of virtue.” To me this is an aspirational goal only partly achieved, and always will be. I believe in treating others with respect, for example, but sometimes in the rush of life I forget and act with selfishness and immaturity.

But after all I am just an imperfect human being, faulty by definition. One of my lifelong spiritual goals is compassion for myself and trying to limit unproductive self criticism.

I’ll never be perfect but I will keep trying to become more consistent and thoughtful in my behavior.

When I was in the FOF I remember a great struggle to achieve some perfect state of awakening – to always be present, to never express negative emotions, to never be happy with myself just as I am.

And to keep up with all the damn exercises and rules!

And since I couldn’t be that perfect, I often existed in a state of self criticism (or denial when the sense of failure was too intense).

Maybe that wasn’t the intended message, but that’s what I understood. Key elements of the Fourth Way philosophy, as presented, were based on deficiencies – we were asleep, we were unconscious, we were machines, even our strengths were mechanical.

And “awakening” seemed like more good luck than effort anyway. If the “higher forces” favored you maybe they would gift you with higher consciousness; if not you just had a “bad fate.”

I don’t recall much discussion of the beauty of our humanity, I don’t recall that our efforts were honored, that progress was noted. Either you were proclaimed by Burton to be “in the inner circle” or not. Looking back it was pretty bleak, actually, and unpleasant.

I’m grateful now to be a regular human being again. I trust my higher power to take care of my soul; I just do my best to live my values every day. And on my best days even to celebrate being imperfect.

From Leonard Cohen:
“Ring the bell that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a hole in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

26. WhaleRider - February 21, 2014

I saw a PBS Frontline documentary recently called “The Undertaking” about death and dying from the perspective of a family run funeral home in a small American town.

In one segment, a man was shopping for a casket for his deceased mother.

The man decided on the expensive, air tight, stainless steel casket…because it was his mother’s wish to stay completely dry for eternity.

27. Fee fi fo fum - February 22, 2014

25. Tempus Fugit

“I’m grateful now to be a regular human being again.”

That comment rings very true for me and several other ex-members whom I’ve spoken to. The paradox is that by being a regular, or ordinary, human being, there is a wonderful sense of connecting to others and experiencing the richness of life (not “Life”).

One of the allurements of the Fellowship of Friends is that gullible prospective students are told that they have found a real school (capital S). It makes the prospective student feel they are about to walk on hallowed ground. They are eager to join this society where so much is kept secret. Most prospective students are young, naive and idealistic. What young person doesn’t want to feel special? By joining this so-called school, where the abominable, exorbitant monthly teaching payments are de-emphasized and even viewed as a privilege to pay, the person is made to feel lucky. So they join, and then realize that they are on an endless treadmill of paying high teaching payments every single month, where the cost of not paying is being told to leave. And what have they joined? A country club whose leader is self-serving, spends members’ teaching payments freely on his personal pleasures, and wastes it on quixotic projects. All with no teaching in sight. Ask some of the long-time members what they think of him, and many of them will say they’d rather not think about him. Why? Because they can’t bear the contradiction of supporting someone who is so hypocritical. They remain members because they’ve burnt their bridges over the decades and have no viable options that they can see.

It takes courage to leave and start a new life away from that mess.

28. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 22, 2014

27. Fee fi fo fum:

‘Ask some of the long-time members what they think of him, and many of them will say they’d rather not think about him. Why? Because they can’t bear the contradiction of supporting someone who is so hypocritical. They remain members because they’ve burnt their bridges over the decades and have no viable options that they can see.’

They are paralyzed by cognitive dissonance.* Hence a play on words of this well known and used FoF aphorism:

Many are called, but few are chosen.**
To:
Many are cold, but few are frozen.
Or:
Many are culled, but few are frozen.

* Cognitive dissonance:
In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

** Matthew 22:14

29. silentpurr - February 22, 2014

Many are called but phew are chosen.

30. shardofoblivion - February 22, 2014

Many are Balled, but few of those Chose Him

31. silentpurr - February 23, 2014

Many a bald butt…

32. Fee fi fo fum - February 23, 2014

Reading these comments, why would *any one* want to join the FF?

33. Golden Veil - February 23, 2014

A few poor souls, having read the workbooks, feel excitement over finding a “school”, maybe feel mismatched in a social milleu but are seeking connection with others, have an inflated sense of love for beauty, have a willingness to throw not only discernment but later, after finding out about REB, the moral compass out the window…

Then there’s flirtation, the desire to travel, lack of self esteem, remember “non-existence feature”? Well, if you were photographed with that, the other damn students gave you a certain amount of attention, stroke you – you exist! Students become master manipulators, all conspiring with REB’s grand scheme to encourage everyone to stay in the stupid school where the emperor has shit for clothes and no one says a word about it, publicly, anyway…

34. WhaleRider - February 23, 2014

At the flea market today I saw an antique American embroidered “Sampler” with the following poem stitched on it:

Time

Time was, is past; thou canst not it recall,

Time is, thou hast, employ the portion small,

Time future, is not; and may never be,

Time present is the only time for thee.

Jane Hurter, May 18, 1832

Jane Hurter probably wasn’t in a fourth way cult, and the FOF cult certainly doesn’t hold the patent on the present…nor the appreciation of the present.

35. Ill Never Tell - February 24, 2014

34. WhaleRider:

‘I saw an antique American embroidered “Sampler” with the following poem. . .’

Thank you for that.
You’re sure it wasn’t a Whitman’s Sampler?😉
http://tinyurl.com/pkd2zcz

Here is another take on the sentiments of the poem:

The past is history;
The future mystery.
This moment is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present.

36. bluesaphire - February 24, 2014

– higher states are possible, yes!
– dead is not the end, yes!

How can all of you forget here, what Mister G said (not RB) remenber yourself and do not express negativ emotions!!!

Maybe RB ist permanent present or not, it is not your problem.

Your problem is yourself – dont forget this!!!

Ask yourself what kind of men (1,2,3) you are!

MAYBE, FOF is only a scool for men 3
(but to know it exactly, is to know, is in FOF a deeper teaching about the lower emotinal center – than this in the books of G and O ?
What is the difference between men 1+3 and men 2 ?

Maybe someone of the older students can me anser this question´s in detail? But not things from the books, because reading can I by myself!

MAYBE;Gurdjief foundation with the main focus in dances for men 1

37. shardofoblivion - February 25, 2014

#36 bluesaphire you say

“- dead is not the end, yes!”

but here is a painful and inconvenient truth, as time goes on and more and more sophisticated instruments are focused on the living brain, the more evidence there is that conscious states are composed in some mysterious way of patterns of electrical current running between neurons. How this actually works is as present unclear, and may never yield its secrets. But what is in very little doubt is that our consciousness depends upon a living brain for its very existence. Indeed whilst still alive our brain can “shut down” consciousness each night as we sleep, that’s how much in thrall to the physical brain our consciousness is.

I mention this because it feels to me that a belief in the after life, puts one in a slightly more vulnerable position with respect to the allure of cults, than a thorough going hard boiled scientific outlook. It allows the cult or religion to picture rewards that you never actually see with your own eyes, to compensate for current privations. I would guess bluesaphire you harbour the fond hope that in some future life you will become a man number 5 (or even, gasp, higher), I would strongly advise you to base your decisions on how to spend your time on rewards you get in this life rather than the next.

38. bluesaphire - February 25, 2014

#37 shardofoblivion

You are rigth in all what you said!

Do not be angry, but I dont like to waste time on mechanical thinking.

39. WhaleRider - February 25, 2014

What is the difference between men 1+3 and men 2?

Maybe someone of the older students can me answer this question in detail?

But not things from the books, because reading can I by myself!

Do not be angry, but I don’t like to waste time on mechanical thinking.

I suggest you look deeply into the eyes of the acutal person in question and see if you can determine if there is any difference…as opposed to what you have verifabricated from reading enlightenment theory books.

40. Nevasayneva - February 25, 2014

re 39. Bluesapphire
“Maybe someone of the older students can me anser this question´s in detail?”

But most of the contributors here are not students, we are ex students. Many have abandoned the subject, so you may not find your answer here….

FOF or other Gurdjieffian groups may have answers for such specifics for you.

In FOF at one time I was interested in these things, but in the end I found divisions and categories Man #1,2 & 3, bodytypes Lunar Saturn, mercury etc,, centers of gravity somewhat cartoonish in their attempt to describe and define observations. So many observations did not fit. And what is the use of such classifications? They may give one the impression that one “understands” something one sees in someone else or oneself.

I agree with last poster, in the end for me looking at the actual person in front of you became more important than knowing whether you or they are a Man #1, 2 or 3, or # 479882.

41. Just the Facts Ma'am - February 26, 2014

40. Nevasayneva:
‘in the end for me looking at the actual person in front of you became more important than knowing whether you or they are a Man #1, 2 or 3, or # 479882.’

Could you mean: Man #428571?

42. Mick - February 26, 2014

1-4-2-8-5-7 (Inner circulation of the enneagram.) See how handy 4th Way information is!

43. Tempus Fugit - February 26, 2014

36. bluesaphire – February 24, 2014

Hello, welcome to our blog. I think your questions are reasonable, but I agree with Nevasayneva that you may not find the answers here.

You ask what kind of “Gurdjieff” school the FOF might be, or for what “type” of man (or woman). Well, in my opinion, the FOF is not a school at all, and never has been.

Instead, it is a sometimes clever fake, a pretender, and really quite dangerous.

Perhaps you could tell us how you know about the FOF? Are you a member? Thinking about joining?

Although direct experience is many cases is helpful to understand things, joining the FOF to verify its nature may trap you in something painful and damaging.

Please let us know more about your situation. There are many excellent people who post here, including those who have responded to you already, who would be happy to provide guidance if you wish.

44. bluesaphire - February 26, 2014

43. Tempus Fugit – February 26, 2014

Hello, thanks for welcome me in this blog. How you soon will recognice english is not my motherlanguage, but maybe this will help us, not to fall soon as possible in sleep.

To answers your question: No, I dont like to join the FOF,
I had leave FOF after a short time in (1 or 2 years) near 25 years before.

Why I visit this blog and wrote here is, because I can read in some posts that people sometimes suffer, because of leaving FOF, some express her hate, and many more negative emotions.

And for this I can only say this people:

I leave FOF but I´ve never lose the way, because C influence is still working, when the knowledge is absorbed and if the conditions are right!

This is the 4. Way you´ve to do it in real life, not under monastic conditions.

Real life offers enough suffering is needed for awakening.

And all of you are the owner of Ariadne´s thread (at least a part of it), and now you´ve to go into the labyrinth and fight against the Minotaur, like Theseus. And getting the thread is reward enough for a lifetime!

And as times are changing, the old way is not allways the best for the new. Maybe there where times in our history where teaching payment for knowledge where neccessary (wars, persecution, leaving your homeland), but beside this, as you know there is a payment without money. In case of the latter it will be the same since aon until now.

Some of the people here in this blog should ask her self in the deep of her heart, does any real conscious being need any teaching payments from you, what can you give them?
Has not buddha leave them all behind as he go into the wilderness!

It is allowed to sacrifice oneself, but not to sacrifice others or accepting that other sacrifice herself for you!

Also, Jesus has gone his hard stone way by himself and not to send Peter on the cross for him! Which kind of Love this would be.

“Love is patient and kind, love not jealous, love does not boast itself, is not puffed up with pride, nothing has dishonestly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices not injustice, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

For me, all of you in this blog are students (anyway ex-FOF or not), but it would be better to become seekers, nothing is hiden.

Men asleep thinks to call higher centers, its easy as to use her handy or make artificial some “mysterious way of patterns” in the brain. But there is no answermachine on the other side of the line!
To use the jungle drums (of our lower intellectual or motoring center) for reaching the internet, will be an very idiotic venture.

Now I will ending my dialogue,

Nothing is lost

45. Jomo Piñata - February 26, 2014

Don’t knock jungle drums until you know something about them. They were an incredibly sophisticated communication system: http://bit.ly/1h5cTUS

46. Tim Campion - February 26, 2014

44. blues afire

Your quote omitted the part where they say:

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

Happy motoring!

47. Associated Press - February 27, 2014

There is nothing in the sedular world
that compares with the corruption
possible in religious institutions.

PBS FRONTLINE: Secrets of the Vatican
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365187642/
An inside look at the scandals
that rocked Benedict’s papacy. (83:41)

48. Associated Press - February 27, 2014

PBS FRONTLINE: Secrets of the Vatican
More at:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-of-the-vatican/

What does this video show that Vatican/Roman Catholic Church has in common with the Fellowship of Friends?

49. ton2u - February 27, 2014

47 re: “worlds” — secular ? cellular ?

44 blue saphire (b.s.) — try thinking outside the box.

45 jomo — thanks for the article on drums and communication…. i’m making drums with the 11th grade right now…. this helps add content /context to the making.

50. Jomo Piñata - February 28, 2014

‘ton — Gleick’s book The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood is da bomb.

51. J.D. - March 2, 2014

This is the latest pearl produced by Robert’s third rear eye:

“The moon was new last night exactly at midnight only in the time zone of Apollo, which also was the end of February and the beginning of March. This amazing coincidence signifies that Apollo is the only place on Earth that produces World 12 in conscious form. It is also a positive omen connected with Crystallization on March 19.”

If you wonder what time it is at Apollo… it’s always bullshit time!

52. paul gregory - March 2, 2014

Fantastic. And people are actually renting this stuff.

53. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 3, 2014

52. paul gregory:
‘Fantastic. And people are actually renting this stuff.’

By ‘renting’ do you mean this sense of the word?:😉

1. to tear with violent force or to be torn in this way; rip
2. to tear or pull (one’s garments or hair, etc.), esp as
a manifestation of rage or grief
3. (of a noise or cry out) to disturb (the air, silence, etc.)
with a shrill or piercing tone
4. to pain or distress (the heart, conscience, etc.)

54. WhaleRider - March 3, 2014

The moon was new last night exactly at midnight only in the time zone of Apollo, which also was the end of February and the beginning of March. This amazing coincidence signifies that Apollo is the only place on Earth that produces World 12 in conscious form. It is also a positive omen connected with Crystallization on March 19.

Amazing, indeed.

World 12 in conscious form? More like World 96 in human form.

With a modern literal meaning of “midnight,” the term “witching hour” refers to the time of day when creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful and black magic to be most effective. ~Wikipedia

When the moon is new, it conjuncts the sun, meaning it passes between the earth and the sun. (During a full moon, the moon is in opposition to the sun, meaning the earth is right smack in the middle between the sun and the moon, which is why the full moon rises on the opposite horizon exactly at sundown.)

So, a new moon at the witching hour in your particular time zone could just as easily be interpreted as a “negative omen” as World 96 (moon-inert place of no possibilities) having its greatest influence at the absolute darkest hour (when both the sun and moon are on the opposite side of earth) as World 96 (moon) passes between a person in World 48 (earth-place where evolution occurs) and World 12 (sun-source of illumination).

So if burton happen to utter those vacuous words at the stroke of midnight to his enthralled followers, IMHO, he most certainly wasn’t shedding any light on the truth, but displaying a sticky vortex of thought terminating, soul deadening trance logic.

Therefore, I take it as a “positive omen”, that at the particular moment in question on March 1, 2014, I did not share the same time zone with the poor, unfortunate inhabitants of Apollo.

55. Golden Veil - March 4, 2014

53. Wouldnt You Like To Know – March 3, 2014

52. paul gregory:

“Fantastic. And people are actually renting this stuff.”

By renting… ?

The above line made perfect sense to me. The teaching payments and excommunication from the school if one stops paying them does seem to make taking in REB’s nutty thoughts as though one is “renting this stuff”… and what bogus malarkey this “stuff” is!

56. paul gregory - March 4, 2014

Hello Golden Veil and Wouldn’t You Llke to Know.

Yes, renting! As in, renting a house or a film. Renting things makes the thing a temporary experience. The FF relies on renting out ‘consciousness’ ‘gold alchemy’ ‘king of hearts’ experiences. How can you get a permanent state when you are renting it, and it makes no sense outside of your little circle?
Ultimately, Bobby B is a ‘rent-teacher’ surrounded by rented boys and rented images of the ‘mysteries’.
Everything is for sale in this wonderful opportunity to get lost in ‘group karma’, temporarily, while you have the money and are not, as yet, drooling in an offensive way at mealtimes or putting Bob off his dinner by your mechanical manifestations.
The consequences of one renting one’s consciousness is that you are rented from the genuine fullness of being, from what I call, in my new and exciting system of classification, ‘human beings’. But then, no one in the FF would disagree that ‘life people’ have their uses.

57. paul gregory - March 4, 2014

http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/debord/1.htm

12

‘The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: “What appears is good; what is good appears.” The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, its manner of appearing without allowing any reply.’

There’s a lot in Guy Debourd’s ‘Society of the Spectacle’ that rings true of FF experience.

58. Golden Veil - March 4, 2014

56. Paul Gregory March 4, 2014

Hear, hear! So true and well said! I’d like to know of a “Student” that could put that assertion rest. They do not exist…

59. silentpurr - March 5, 2014

It is, after all, ‘Robert’s Movie’…

60. silentpurr - March 5, 2014

I mean ‘Play’.

61. robertschelly - March 9, 2014

J.D. … that quote would be a few years old. REB doesn’t use that terminology any more and the March 2014 New Moon isn’t until the 29th; so why trouble yourself to dig it out? You appear to have correct ‘bent’ to be posting here, notwithstanding:

“Delving into arcane lore
That just don’t matter any more” — Baba Rum Raisin

Does anyone know the present status of the vineyard, i.e., what portion of it is in use, what if anything is being done with the fallow potrions, is the winery in use? Thanks in advance.

62. WhaleRider - March 9, 2014

robertschelly:

If the new moon was on March 1, 2014 (depending upon your time zone) and the phase of the moon is 28 days…March 29, 2014 for the second new moon sounds about right to me.

What is being done with the fallow potrions of prime FOF land and you ask?

Take a guess.

63. robertschelly - March 9, 2014

Thanks WR for your display of astronomical and arithmetical acumen. You truly are a polymath and one of the treasures of this Board.

Cannabis Sativa … ? That would probably be the Highest and Best Use as it requires a whole lot less water … that, or Tiberious is using it to grow fodder for his caprisoned elephants.

64. shardofoblivion - March 11, 2014

#63 Tiberious?

65. ton2u - March 13, 2014

64 “#63 Tiberious?”

Caligula more apropos?

66. brucelevy - March 14, 2014
67. shardofoblivion - March 14, 2014

As the online encyclopedia of roman emperors tells it “The reign of Tiberius (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. [[1]] In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships. His reign abounds in contradictions. Despite his keen intelligence, he allowed himself to come under the influence of unscrupulous men who, as much as any actions of his own, ensured that Tiberius’s posthumous reputation would be unfavorable; despite his vast military experience, he oversaw the conquest of no new region for the empire; and despite his administrative abilities he showed such reluctance in running the state as to retire entirely from Rome and live out his last years in isolation on the island of Capri. His reign represents, as it were, the adolescence of the Principate as an institution. Like any adolescence, it proved a difficult time.”

I do like ‘his reign abounds in contradictions’, though we know if anyone had the temerity to say that to his face, he would smile smugly and quote Walt Whitman back at them in that dreadful flat monotone his voice has. Not sure about ‘keen intelligence’ though, manipulative yes, but intelligence implies a self critical faculty, which he seems to lack.

68. Associated Press - March 14, 2014

NBCNews Dateline
PREVIEW: Danger on Diamond Mountain
Keith Morrison tells the story of Stanford graduate Ian Thorson and his wife Christie McNally, a leader of a Buddhist group. It is a bizarre and eerie tale of guru devotion, delusion, sexual ritual and much more.
http://bit.ly/1gk5hGZ

69. Associated Press - March 14, 2014

NBCNews Dateline
Reflections on Ian Thorson: Lama Lobsang Nyima
Lama Lobsang Nyima describes walking in on Ian Thorson’s devotional practice to Geshe Michael Roach.
http://bit.ly/1d33A0E

70. Associated Press - March 14, 2014

NBCNews Dateline
WEB EXTRA: Reflections on Diamond Mountain: Nicole Sanderson
Nicole Sanderson, a former member of Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally’ group, describes her disturbing experiences in the Diamond Mountain community.
http://bit.ly/1d34CcV

71. Associated Press - March 14, 2014

NBCNews Dateline
WEB EXTRA: Reflections on Geshe Michael Roach: Professor Robert Thurman
Robert Thurman, Columbia Professor of Buddhism, describes how easy it is for spiritual leaders to become “megalomaniacs.”
http://bit.ly/1oUYBEp

72. Associated Press - March 14, 2014

Death and Madness at Diamond Mountain
http://bit.ly/1fYhHdk

73. J.D. - March 18, 2014

61. robertschmelly,
yes, that quote was actually sent to fellowship students on March 1st 2014, and yes, that same day it was new moon, so… you were right!

74. shardofoblivion - March 19, 2014

#51 J.D. shares Burton’s recent thoughts regarding how anything that happens, happens because the play is written by higher school explicitly to encourage and fortify his delusions of grandeur – the moon was full apparently. But as it is the 19th of March today, I guess we should note the final phrase that Burton shared “It is also a positive omen connected with Crystallization on March 19”

I presume it was his own Crystallization in the past he was referring to, rather than a prediction that one of his ‘beloved’ students was about to experience the glorious process of their physical and astral bodies merging into some metaphysical wonderfulness. After all he is special, so so special, and everyone else is a bit ordinary compared.

75. paul gregory - March 20, 2014

61. robertschelly – March 9, 2014

‘REB doesn’t use that terminology any more.’

This reminds me that, from time to time, posters have said ‘but you can’t understand the fellowship now, it is not the same since you were a student, it’s entirely different from top to bottom.’ This is so laughable I wonder if those posters were not actually ex-students having a laugh. ‘We even get to listen to the Beatles, and sometimes women machines can wear short skirts to lower mid-thigh length in the meetings, with the proviso that they cover their legs tastefully with a shawl/pashmina, crossed.’

The FF hasn’t changed a bit. It can’t. It’s based on the idea, for example, that ‘payment is a principle’ when in fact, for the FF and any other cult you can think of, Payment is THE Principle. The bubble principle, which states that a kind of spiritually synthetic experience is real, is the only real in the world 12, and that which exists outside of it is false. It’s corrupted the concept of the gift into something that must be given or else you can fuck off. That’s not a gift, nor is it a ‘voluntary donation’, it is a form of extortion based on fear and ignorance.

As a student I recall that to use a term like ‘spirituality’ would of seemed impossibly naive and innocent. Maybe that was just me. I didn’t use the term, as far as I can recall. What does it mean, this so called ‘spirituality’? Is it born again Christianity, or trying not to step on insects? How does the fellowship understand spirituality, which must be something worth considering, surely? FF students regard themselves as businessmen of the ‘gods’, in a mutually sustaining effort to make something meaningful in the world, the meaningful meaning more world 12 presence-presence, and more creepy payments to stay in their good books, or in Bobby’s, or in their philia addicted peers.

Bob, Sideshow Bob, The Bob-O-Christ, uses the terminology of weirdo obfuscation, and quotable quips that have a sort of ‘powerful consciousy’ feel to them. But that’s his job and all he has to do. Throughout the day, Bob opines, and very often, he seems to say things that make sense. Particularly when you are paying for these things to make sense on an almost, though not quite, voluntary basis. The ‘school’ functions on FF Bobism, a certain presentation and style of being that makes no sense outside of the bubble. It is an obvious absurdity that renting consciousness cannot produce a ‘swan’, and that seems to be born out by the fact that there are no ‘conscious beings’ in the school. They would need to be approved, anyway. Even weirder is the probability that Bob must join Solon and Bach in their school, presumably, and that a time must come when people psychically interpret the presence of Bob as a sign that they are doing the right thing with their lives. That is what 44 is all about. You are in a ‘state’, or not, and you see the number 44, and that is like Plato giving the high five to your painstaking and methodical efforts to ‘awaken’. This is what Jesus does in his spare time, in ‘higher school’, or for homework. What were these pricks thinking when they put a well timed 44 on your bus ticket? Bob has turned these notable figures into whores for his stable, and they ‘pimp his crib’. Wankers.

Consequently, these 44 are nothing if not whores. Lao Tzu? Fucking whore. Meher Baba? Tart. Walt Whitman? Pussy for hire. But it’s not clear what they are actually doing, except through translation into yet more obfuscating cock-cheese by the Bob-O-Christ, hopefully as a prelude to them actually doing something about this terrible overpopulation situation we are indignantly suffering from, so that, in days to come, appropriately dressed students can stride out purposefully from their wine and olive oil stocked bunkers, (two lubricants one cannot survive without) in order to haggle over surviving Rembrandt and Leonardo paintings with the local chieftans of a post-apocalyptic age. (Paintings are easier to carry.) Because, apparently, that’s what Jesus really wants. He approves the rented bubble-o-vision of Bobby B. Everyone else is a fucktard doomed to eternal sleep and the gnashing of radioactive teeth.

Jesus Christ, what were you fucking thinking? Bob has managed to make the appearance of these ‘gods’ into ‘rent-gods’, though, if your lucky, they might still say ‘hi’ to you in the street without the bullshit of eternal payment slavery. After all, they have a reputation for being, all things considered, open-hearted peeps. So why have they put out a ‘hit’ on humanity in favour of the FF Bubble-O-Vision of the Bob-O-Christ?

Signed
confused of tunbridge wells

76. paul gregory - March 21, 2014

It would all be so funny, were it not such a joke.

77. Mick - March 21, 2014

The second nominee for biggest fucking lie of the 4thWay, Conscious Bob, Fellowship of Friends & the like:
That knowledge is limited & exclusive.

78. paul gregory - March 21, 2014

I suppose, in the FF, that is the lie, ‘we are making a new world’. In reality they are merely photocopying pictures of Rilke and posting them up on their own minds, which think alike. Just saw a tv show about guys who claim to cure same sexuality. Bob is looking at curing people of their life-peopleness/un44ness. With this old bollocks about how Jesus is his special friend and how he understands him better than you. More entitled. Less life-peopleness. ‘I used to be a life-person, but I’m better now.’
“I’m out about being a man number 4.3 1/2′ ‘I used to think I was a life-person, but now I’m comfortable in the rented identity of some other prick.’

79. ton2u - March 21, 2014

People — what have you done —
locked Him in His golden cage.
Made Him bend to your religion —
Him resurrected from the grave.
He is the god of nothing —
if that’s all that you can see.
You are the god of everything —
He’s inside you and me.
So lean upon Him gently
and don’t call on Him to save you
from your social graces
and the sins you used to waive.
The bloody Church of England —
in chains of history —
requests your earthly presence at
the vicarage for tea.
And the graven image you-know-who —
with His plastic crucifix —
he’s got him fixed —
confuses me as to who and where and why —
as to how he gets his kicks.
Confessing to the endless sin —
the endless whining sounds.
You’ll be praying till next Thursday to
all the gods that you can count.

80. J.D. - March 22, 2014

More news from the FOF media channel.

“Dear Friends,

We want to share with you that we are working with a new distributor in New York who placed a very large order with us at the first of this year. So far, they have placed our wines in 12 top-rated restaurants and 5 wine shops in the New York City area. A list of the restaurants and wine shops is attached and includes website links and addresses.

RESTAURANTS:

AUREOLE http://www.charliepalmer.com/aureole-new-york/ Aureole New York, One Bryant Park, 135 West 42nd St., NY, NY 10036

BARBOUNIA http://barbounia.com/ 250 Park Ave South, NY, NY 10010.

BENOIT BISTRO http://benoitny.com/ 60 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

COLICCHIO & SONS http://www.craftrestaurantsinc.com/colicchio-and-sons/ 85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

DEL POSTO http://www.delposto.com/ 85 10th Ave, NY, NY 10011 – b/t Avenue of the Americas & 5th Ave in Chelsea, Meatpacking District

ELEVEN MADISON PARK http://elevenmadisonpark.com/ 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
MARSEILLE http://www.marseillenyc.com/ 630 9TH AVENUE NEW YORK, NY

NOMAD HOTEL http://www.thenomadhotel.com/ 1170 Broadway & 28th St, NY, NY., 10001

PEARL & ASH http://www.pearlandash.com/ 220 Bowery, NY, NY 10012 – Our small plates are designed for sharing. We look forward to serving you and your friends a great selection of drinks and delicious dishes.

PORTS CAFÉ http://www.portscafe.com/ 4432 West Lake Road, Geneva

RESTAURANT DANIEL http://danielnyc.com/ 60 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065 – UPPER EAST SIDE — (Few New York chefs enjoy the kind of fame Daniel Boulud has earned over the past 32 years.)

THE LAMBS RESTAURANT http://thelambsclub.com/ 132 West 44th Street, NY, NY, 10036

WINE SHOPS:

24 HUBERT http://www.24hubert.com/ “Our highlights include the Rising Stars of California winemaking, …24 Hubert Street, NY, NY 10013

BLUE STREAK WINES & SPIRITS https://www.bluestreakwine.com/ 4720 Center Blvd, New York, NY 11101

CRUSH WINE CO. http://www.crushwineco.com/ 153 E 57th St, NY, NY 10022, b/t Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave in Midtown East

MORRELL & COMPANY http://morrellwine.com/ One Rockefeller Plaza, NY, NY, 10020

TRIPHAMMER LIQUOR http://www.triphammerwines.com/ 2255 N Triphammer Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

If you are living in New York City, visiting, or just passing through, we thought you might enjoy dining at one or more of these restaurants and being able to say, with panache,

“I understand you carry Renaissance wines. I’ll have a glass with my meal!”

Additionally, it is now possible to recommend our wines to your colleagues who could also visit the listed wine shops to purchase bottles or cases.

This large order was made possible because of the efforts that so many have made over the years to participate in and follow Robert’s vision ~

from building the vineyard and the winery ~
to harvest ~
to bottling ~
to selling and to buying our own wine.

Thank you for these efforts!

Your friends at Renaissance Vineyard & Winery”

So, for those lucky ones who are in the New York City area, you can go to those top rated restaurants and tell the management, with panache: “I understand you carry Renaissance wines… let me tell you where these wines really come from and to whom they are affiliated with.”

Robert’s vision:
from building the vineyard and the winery with blood, sweat, tears and money from the students ~
to harvest through efforts and time donated by the same students ~
to bottling by underpaid workforce ~
to selling and… buying our own wine by the same aforementioned suckers, just to add insult to injury.

Disclaimer: this comment has yet to be verified, approved and rated by fact-checking-robertschmelly.

81. Mick - March 24, 2014

For our Spanish speaking friends:
“panache” is translated as “faggito” or, in English, “flaming faggot”.

82. Parson Yorick - March 24, 2014

As a half-assed lawyer and former literature major, I am writing this first (and possibly last) blog post in the spirit of Lawrence Sterne’s lesser-known novel in which a tubercular English Parson travels through France and Italy in search of – well, whatever. But before I became half-assed lawyer and literature major, I was, for about four and a half years, a student in the F of F. I knew the late Abraham Goldman, Esq. when he first joined up, and I knew the late Michael Godwin when he formed the chamber orchestra. I knew Stephen Milton both before and after he changed his name to Stephen Milton, and I thought he was just about the most vexatious person I’d ever known. I briefly met Kimo Beech when he was having one of his breakdowns. I attended a meeting of the Los Gatos Centre led by the late Raymond Kennedy in which he shocked everyone who was there. I knew Miles and, like many others, I thought that Miles “had something.” When I visited Renaissance on weekends I was invited to stay at the Blake Cottage. I have to say, to Robert’s credit, that although he and I were alone in the Blake Cottage a number of times, he never laid a hand on me or made any sort of sexual advance. So I was spared “that.” Also, I never witnessed any of the debaucheries that other former students have reported. I did, however, see and hear things that led me to wonder if something “less than esoteric” was being kept secret. In the library at the old Lincoln Lodge there was a collection of handsomely bound classics that included Porphyry’s life of his teacher Plotinus. Paging through it one Sunday afternoon, while attempting to fend off “opportunities” to join the dishwashing octave, I came across a passage in which Plotinus was asked whether a student’s allegiance to his teacher extended even to the point of “carnal conversation.” I made a definite mental note of Plotinus’s Zen-like reply. I did leave the school eventually and afterward both my career and my bank account began to recover. I joined a couple of real Gurdjieff groups and even met a few people who were still living then who had been direct students of Gurdjieff himself. I also became a literature major (as I keep repeating) at one of the Cal State campuses and after that I earned my law degree. I can relate a few select memories from the last months before I left the school. In one, I had decided to hike up to the very top of the vinyard. I was at the top of the hill looking off toward San Juan Ridge and Grass Valley, wondering what was beyond those ridges when the ranch manager came bouncing up in a pickup truck and offered me a ride back down the hill. I felt afterward as though I’d been “apprehended.” In another I was with a group of people down on hands and knees weeding the garden while a helicopter circled around high overhead. I asked somebody what that was about. They said, “probably Robert and R.K. (a Korean businessman who seemed to be a friend of Robert’s at that time). Suddenly I knew what it felt like to be a serf. One final memory is in the form of an apology or regret that I’d like to offer to another student who possibly might read this. I hope that she does. She and I went out on a Sunday afternoon date in San Francisco 32 years ago, she looking quite memorable in a yellow dress and high heels. We ended up down at the Cliff House climbing on the rocks while the waves sloshed up around us. After I helped her safely down off the slippery rocks she stood a little bit close to me and whispered into my ear, “Pray tell, my Dear Sir; Are we breaking an exercise–”

83. shardofoblivion - March 24, 2014

50. Jomo Piñata – February 28, 2014
‘ton — Gleick’s book The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood is da bomb.

Thanks for that recommendation Jomo, that book is better than I could have possibly imagined!
🙂

84. Jomo Piñata - March 24, 2014

I give the Gleick book two big thumbs up, Shard. As I do to Paul Gregory’s wonderfully expressive post at 140/75.

85. fofblogmoderator - March 24, 2014

#82 is a new poster

86. Nevasayneva - March 24, 2014

Hi. I do have a question that baffles me sometimes. I understand or think I do “why” I joined FOF. AS so many have mentioned – young, idealistic, penniless, determined but somewhat adrift. Understand why I moved to Apollo and went on salary for 3 years- despite horror stories repeated here, I had in general a vivid, intense, time where the positive experiences outweighed any negative by 1000x. Got out after 3 years and joined the rat race, but stayed in FOF for another 12 yrs as an initially positive energy filled type and over time morphed to a rather cynical, here-for-the-socializing-but-believe-none-of-the-hogwash type.

Finally escaped withing the last 3-4 years and began to take life on its own terms.

Why on earth did I stay so long, even on the last 5-8 years when the cult-like character and the harm of the whole thing psychologically became evident?

What was that curious inertia that kept me locked in?
Even still I am somewhat amazed that I got out.

The power of that inertia is still somewhat scary to me.

87. Hello - March 24, 2014

That power of inertia you mention 86. is what has kept many in the cult. It is difficult to suspect that one isolates oneself when one is so much involved and so dependent on the social structures that dominate for decades the FOF. It is difficult for many FOF people to make new friends and reconnect with family. The reality depends so much on the courage one eventually displays when they manage to distance themselves for a period of time. But, again, all this applies to people who struggle and doubt. There are many who have found what they want in the FOF. I’ve grown to accept and respect that. It is amazing you got out, it is amazing so many of us got out. From what I understand so far, institutions where mostly vulnerable individuals try to give meaning to their lives, will always be there.

88. shardofoblivion - March 25, 2014

86 Nevasayneva ponders the wonder of escape from the FoF.

Yes it is a difficult thing to achieve, all our friends, and they can be great friends, are in the FoF, and whatever first brought us to ‘the work’ is probably still present within us. For each of us I guess there is a story to tell.

For me the following all added up. Miles Barth/Brighton left the school with the parting comment that it was his conscience that forced him to go. Thomas E visited the London centre and let us know that he had been very badly used by Burton when he was a relatively new student, including feeling that there was NOWHERE and NOONE he could turn to for help once he realised he was trapped in an abusive relationship with Burton. His descriptions of Burton’s grossly obese, over perfumed and revolting body, and how he had to “service” him, particularly struck home. Then I had started a course at the Open University and the contrast with Burton’s teaching ‘methods’ was sharp and telling. The final ingredient for me was that I took a tab of acid, and suddenly I couldn’t lie to myself any more. I realised I believed none of the superstitious nonsense that the FoF was built on – the 44 angels, an afterlife, the moon phase nonsense, and the prophecies of armageddon. I then phoned up Burton to put to him some questions, and his answers were so risible it was a short step to walk away at that point.
I was lucky to have just met a few people with whom I played music around that time, which acted as a social group for me to draw strength from. Even so it was a very isolating experience, and indeed chilling when I tentatively approached people whom I had considered deep and close friends, who offered me the cold shoulder.
Twenty three years have now passed, and I am so so glad I managed to get out.

89. paul gregory - March 25, 2014

80. J.D. – March 22, 2014

It starts with AUREOLE and ends with TRIPHAMMER LIQUOR.

PEARL & ASH.

Yes, that is correct.

CRUSH WINE.

These priceless pearls, JD!

90. Nevasayneva - March 26, 2014

Thank you Hello and Shard for your replies. It is useful and validating to have some people who had similar experiences.
You both make some good points, – that there are indeed many people who have found what they want and need in FOF and one can accept and respect that.

The drop off and reaction I received from friends (who remained in FOF) after I left was both expected and unexpected, and was both obvious and subtle depending on the connection. These were great friends, I shared memorable, exciting experiences with them. But as the song goes “I used to love you, but it’s all over now”.

The obvious (not subtle group) were those with whom all contact ceased. So that was straightforward enough I suppose.
The less subtle were those who professed a determination to stay in touch and maintain the connection. They and I were pretty sincere about it- we had known each other so long, had been around the block so much, could understand so well why I was leaving and why they were still in etc etc. So should be no big deal to see each other once in a while. However it never seemed to work out. I came to realize that they were often pretty busy and a subtly but inevitably I had dropped down on their list of priorities. Any coffee dates/lunches were rescheduled so much to a point of never actually happening that I suppose I realized that these friendships had also to be left go. 1 year out, I ceased being the active one in suggesting any definite meet-ups. I felt that we were heading towards once yearly christmas card friendship and so be it. I don’t think it was intentional in the least on their part. Being in FOF is pretty busy, one can always catch up with that ex-student friend later after all. But obviously it still hurt a little bit on my side.

I realize this is hardly the most burning topic on the blog. I did not have a horrific experience in FOF besides those may years of inertia that I do regret. ((What was I doing?? Was I asleep?? where was I? Hello!)) I had a cordial but quite limited interaction with Robert. There was nothing in the area of my finances, physical/sexual attractiveness or artistic talent that would lead to my gaining any attention over others.The few conversations I had with him seemed to walk so finely the line between the sublime and the ridiculous that I have to say they created a lot of memory although I am not sure if it was for the right reasons. And I think the reason one remembers something is important – as important as the memory.

Friendship was one thing that kept me in so long, and in general it is impressive how well FOF students maintain the exercise of not staying in touch with ex students even if they are aware that they are doing that or not.

91. paul gregory - March 26, 2014

I disagree about it not being a ‘burning topic’. There are a great deal of ‘burning topics’ and that is certainly one of them. One that you feel is burning should burn.

My mind keeps returning to this idea of the ‘Society of the Spectacle’ because I believe it pertains also to FF experience, including the extraordinary rented brand loyalty of the Royal Society for the Protection and Preservation of Robert Earl Burton. It is a metaphysical arc blown along by its own devotion, but every second of it is paid for, and every molecule of it’s teacher, rented on the basis of a hypnotic ‘spectacle’ of consciousness, but one that is ultimately lacking in value, and based on a subtle perpetual novelty seeking as mysticism. It claims to be without violence yet is full of it, because it must inherently be violent to live one’s life in a golden cage. Spectacle, Kerching. 44 Spectacle. $$ Spectacle. Self-Remembering. Spectacle. It’s all lit at the end of the day by the Spectacle of all Spectacles, Bobby B, Kerching, The Sequence, Kerching. Meetings. Spectacle! Kerching. Present-Present-Present. Spectacle. Kerching!
Spiritual Materialism. Spectacle! Kerching!

The Spectacle. Just makes sense to me on an intuitive level, that’s all!

92. Fee fi fo fum - March 26, 2014

90. Nevasayneva

Back when I left the FF, we were ostracized if not excommunicated, so there was no question of staying vibrantly in touch with current FF members. Two of my close friends disavowed me by letter. It took a long time to accept that loss. I reread one of those disavowal letters just now, and what it reflected was a breaking away from our shared values. Their letter basically said they were sorry that I had decided the FF was not for me; they were glad I went with my feelings (really?); and if I ever decided to return, they would welcome me back. That last phrase says it all. I had left their club, and until I returned, good-bye. In contrast, their letter from 3 years prior began, “Dear friend —“. We know that FF friendships are conditional, but people who are stuck in the FF don’t want to believe that.

Why do so many people stay for such a long time in the FF, even when they begin to sense that there’s something very wrong and rotten in its core? Well, look at the picture: You’ve cut yourself off from most of your family, friends and life. You’ve been convinced that there is nothing outside of the FF that is of value. So even though you go to your job and socialize with a few “life people,” you have internally shut them out. You feel separate from them, because your “real” life is with the FF and its members. The FF makes it attractive to stay in because of the external accoutrements. People like the pretty settings, Shakespeare plays, gentle language, unthreatening postures, pleasant dinners where nothing controversial or confrontational is every said.

You pay mightily for it through your monthly payments, and the FF makes it very clear that if you stop those payments, you are kicked out. So you end up with the psychology of a desperate person who begs to remain and will pay whatever you are asked, because you now believe that there is nothing “out there” to compare with the FF. Before you know it, your life is consumed with making enough money for those payments, because it shows how much you value the FF. Many of the FF members I knew lived hand to mouth, with little left over for personal luxuries. And yet, almost every one of us, when we were members, never complained about how REB squandered our hard-earned money. He shat on us that way. And what did we do? We kept feeling afraid to not make those payments. We were not “evolving.” We had become prisoners.

93. nigel price - March 26, 2014

can anyone help me with information on how YOU TUBE PARTNERS works, the ‘ins and outs’ of making videos, themesheets, the whole gamut, in fact…..it seems folks attack religion, politics, aliens – many subjects – but PSYCHIATRY has been left alone as sacred, untouchable and even USEFUL…..i and a friend want to examine the myth, tell true stories of destroyed lives and work on wholesome alternatives to self-empowerment and well-being…..

please write me on …..nhprice44@gmail.com…..thanks…..nigel.

94. Hello - March 26, 2014

The topic of friendship is of great importance. The fact that people hide behind the “exercise” is vital in keeping the FOF alive. People doubt and by staying in contact with ex members they have a constant reminder of their doubts and worries. The bubble needs to remain intact. I left during the large exit which found place five or so years ago. Most of the people I had a bit of a personal contact with had left. Many were sending letters to explain why they were leaving. The centres, in Europe at least, were emptying. I decided to leave at a very odd and personal moment as I was reflecting om how afraid and disconnected from myself I felt. The very young woman who had “found” the FOF in order to develop and get rid of her fears and insecurity was losing something vital. By lying to myself and others, I could not feel who I was and what I was becoming. Depersonalization for the sake of consciousness? I did not write any letters, I received some angry and unpleasant ones. “Friends” gave me the cold shoulder, but I knew (and now in retrospect I am sure of) that they were afraid to meet and look me in the eye. I was active in the FOF in many ways. They were and are aware of the fact that I had experienced issues that did not make sense and had nothing to do with improving as a human being or becoming conscious. They are at a place they decided to stay.

However, the FOF is part of my life. As they years pass and I regain my strength by the day, I can see that the period I passed in the FOF was very much related to a way of thinking. It was an experiment that failed as it did not give me what I wanted to. For the rest, I am the sole owner of my life and passing through the FOF was a station with its pleasant and less successful moments.

95. Mick - March 26, 2014

If the Fellowship members would acknowledge that they are afraid to leave, they would realize that it’s time to go. I wonder what their thoughts will be when they breathe their last breath. With luck Bobby will die first and maybe then….

96. Fee fi fo fum - March 26, 2014

82 Parson Yorick, 93 Hello

Your posts reminded me that another reason the FF was hard to leave was that it was a matchmaker’s heaven. The attractions between individuals and the “sex energy” (remember that term that got bandied about?) was all over the place. You think people went to meetings only to hear gospel?

In the FF’s early decades, members were mostly in their 20s-30s. There were several venerable “older people” (like the MacDonalds and Birrells) who had, in fact, made new matches. Ironically, many of us are now as old as and older than those “older-in-age” members were back then. When I joined, promiscuity was accepted. I remember staying overnight in the large living room of a teaching house where a bunch of FF students were also spending the night (en route to Renaissance), and waking up in the middle of the night to hear 2 people actively having sex. (They had not traveled up together, but seem to have “become attracted” a few hours before.) Back in those days, it was kind of acceptable. But then the restrictions and exercises against this freewheeling sex were introduced. Before you knew it, you had to think about marrying the person if you were going to have intercourse. Add the tuxedos and chiffon gowns at Town Hall on weekends, and you have a scene out of a Jane Austen novel.

So what does that line of thinking do? Not only have you cut off your family (except to ask mom and dad for money) and friends. You have also started to narrow your choices of sex and marital partner(s) to only FF members. But the FF made that choice easy for you. Because it promoted the idea that you were among the lucky, select few who were in a so-called conscious school, you believed that, why on earth would you want to mate with some loser “life person”? So again, you’ve narrowed one of your most important life’s choices to fit the FF’s belief system and confines.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the FF’s disgraceful interference in couple’s live regarding abortions, or leaving children from previous “life marriages”. I’ve also seen how REB would favor the young man in a couple in such obvious ways that the marriage eroded because the woman was clearly of no consequence.

97. Nevasayneva - March 26, 2014

93 Fee fo fi fum
Thanks for the response. I think you pretty much summed it up. I do not have regrets about my first 10 years in FOF. I was v young, v naive, etc. Perhaps I could have spent it in a worse place. There was a lot of growth in that time which would have course have occurred whether I was in FOF or not. I do have regret about the second 10 years, when I already fully “knew” how things worked. A “lost decade”. My regrets not only for myself- I am a bit ashamed that I supported it financially. It is not a way to live- really. I feel that people do not reach their full potential there at all- they are stopped.

However I try to look at my dog every day- an upbeat creature who certainly plans her adventures based on the positive or negative consequences resulting from previous adventures. But she does not seem to sit around too much with regretting having shredded a full compost bag, littered the yard and being banished compost-laden to her pen for a full evening. Nope – so signs of regret for past mistakes really….so better follow her I guess!

98. shardofoblivion - March 27, 2014

96 Nevasayneva – I like your dog based approach to existence – beats Burton’s methods by a long chalk!

99. WhaleRider - March 27, 2014

When I left the FOF cult, I was at a crossroad in my life…to be or not to be was indeed the question.

To stay, knowing full well through personal experience the exploitation that was at the cult’s core, meant that I was enabled to exploit others less “knowing” than me through my connection with the cult leader, as long as I allowed burton access to my body.

To leave, meant that I had to face the great unknown…and make a life for myself, but without being shackled with so-called, “teaching payments” in the guise of “donations”.

Luckily, I was clear about my sexual preference and had a girlfriend the whole time in whom I could confide; we left together, along with others who left shortly after Miles, with consciences intact.

I think to stay would have meant that I tacitly agreed that I too was corrupt at the core, which I was not willing to do.

I also refused to view others as depersonalized machines.

I believed in myself, stayed in touch with my power, and to this day experience ratification of that power in my dreams.

Last night I dreamed about the FOF…yet again.

I was at a meeting, lead by a female with a strong personality, who would not call on me to let me contribute. My “angles” were usually, let’s just say, atypical.

Without being able to speak, I remember in the dream becoming sleepy and struggling to keep awake during the meeting.

Later at dinner, during which we were seated at outdoor picnic tables, I recall the food looked unappetizing and the paper plate on which I was served was flimsy.

I felt disconnected from others and didn’t feel comfortable sitting with anyone, because inside I was hiding the truth that I really wasn’t a follower and couldn’t relate to anyone there on a meaningful level.

I realized I needed to leave; at that moment, I literally woke up from my dream.

From the dream I was able to understand that yes, I need validation, and yet by withholding that validation from myself (given that all parts of the dream are aspects of myself) and seeking validation from others, I put myself in a vulnerable state of dependence…which eventually lead to feelings of alienation and estrangement…which IMHO, eventually happens to cult followers.

Thanks for letting me contribute.

100. Jomo Piñata - March 27, 2014

WR/98
Thank you for sharing your dream.

101. WhaleRider - March 27, 2014

Doesn’t it make sense that in a cult designed to disempower its followers and keep them dependent upon the cult leader that there would be so much derogatory language around sleeping and dreams?

Are not dreams as much a part of our reality as what we perceive in our waking state?

Do CIA interrogators deprive their prisoners of sleep to enlighten them?

IMO, a sign of mental health is the ability to get a good night’s rest naturally and to dream.

Are the stars meaningless just because the sun comes out?

102. fofblogmoderator - March 27, 2014

#93 is new

103. shardofoblivion - March 28, 2014

#101 Whalerider – I love dreams so much, and this movie seems to catch the mood and paradox of the phenomena just right🙂

104. Fee fi fo fum - March 28, 2014

97 Nevasayneva

I resonate with what you said about your second decade in the FF, where you knew what was going on in the FF, yet remained in it and later felt regret about having stayed during that period. As you said, the first decade was different, because you felt you got something out of it. Regarding the second “lost” decade, maybe you would have felt better if that period of cognitive dissonance had lasted a much shorter time. But at least you left, and stayed out. I know one person who returned. Does it surprise anyone that they went from a flurry of effusively friendly emails and long distance calls to me, to cutting me off abruptly, once they rejoined? It didn’t surprise me, but it says something about what the FF had done to their mindset.

I think the feeling of regret at having stayed long past the time of useful learning is common for ex-students. That’s where I find it useful to understand why it’s so hard to leave the FF, where one is struggling with one’s conscience (which the FF squashes) and one’s wallet (which the FF wants more of).

The strong emphasis on friendship in the FF is a big reason why people stay in, even when they are deeply conflicted about REB’s behavior and upset at how the large teaching payments leave them financially impoverished. But we shouldn’t forget that the FF finds ways to make it hard for people to leave (aka mind control). They tell you that you’ve found a “real school” (so if you leave, you’re settling for something lesser). There is (or was) a monetary fine to pay if you leave and later wish to rejoin. There is the enormous social pressure of starting to be shunned when one starts to question the FF and REB. And the cutting off of family and friends outside of the FF encourages a terrible trap of an insular way of life.

105. Mick - March 28, 2014

Of course, somewhere up front the 4th Way does tell you that
“man is a lying machine” and proceeds from there.
Caveat Emptor

106. Parson Yorick - March 28, 2014

Fee-Fi: I think what the FoF did best was to play on my vanity. Salespeople in general are specialists at this, and my first centre-director made her living as a salesperson. We did have some great concerts, though.

107. Golden Veil - March 29, 2014

106. Parson Yorick

Yes, I agree about the “Playing upon my vanity!” Sales people…
grand manipulators….

108. robertschelly - March 30, 2014

I was a resident in the portentiously named ‘Chautauqua House’ in the late 80’s and was several times, through intermediaries which shall go unnamed, and once directly by the Man Himself, invited to join the festivities w/ REB. As fucked-up and affected as I undoubtedly was, extremely naive, I never seriously considered it. I knew where I stood sexually. I was under no fiscal pressure. I was in my mid-to-late 20’s, well into majority. And I am straight. So, end of story.

I have had a number of unpleasant sexual encounters but nothing earth-shattering in its odium. Nothing that changed my life. And I take credit for those because I chose to get into them during my years of majority.

The hidden third force behind many ex-student’s extreme and persistent bitterness is … all the money they spent. That’s it. And … they are bringing emotion to their instinctive distaste for same-sex relations. Wrong work of the emotional center.

Homosexuality occurs in nature – to quote Marcus Aurelious, anyone afraid of a natural process is a child. It’s just wrong work to festoon it with odium. It leads to all kinds of societal horrors. It is one of the misfortunes of a USA Xtian upbringing to do exactly that. As G points out, modern life produces legions of sexually damaged people.

I was walking down one of the hills in 1991 and REB pulled up and offered me a ride. I politely said no. He offered it again; again, no thank you. He photographed me for Lunatic (true) and drove away. He radiated like the full moon during that brief exchange. I left the school a few weeks later.

109. WhaleRider - March 30, 2014

@robertschelly:

The hidden third force behind many ex-student’s extreme and persistent bitterness is … all the money they spent. That’s it. And … they are bringing emotion to their instinctive distaste for same-sex relations. Wrong work of the emotional center.

That’s it, eh?

Speaking for myself, I don’t regret spending as much money as I did time.

I suppose you could counter then with the old adage that time is money…but I see it as time I could have spent cultivating meaningful and long lasting relationships with others independent of cult membership.

I went on salary about the time the “special monthly donations” were to kick in, augmenting the so-called “teaching payments”. After I went off salary and moved out of burton’s rape factory, I don’t recall I even made any payments at all; I just let my membership expire and pursued working on myself at a University. So money was not the issue for me, personal development was.

I think going to a few meetings as my membership was expiring is the genesis of many of the nightmares I continue to have these many years later.

I suppose cult followers would claim I lacked valuation for the cult. After witnessing burton’s exploitation first hand, indeed I did.

More importantly, I had a greater value for my self…otherwise, what is there to “remember”?

I can honestly say I bear no ill will toward homosexuals nor homosexuality; I have many gay friends and clients. They are lively people, and I enjoy their company.

What you are overlooking is the continued and condoned act of sexual, emotional and financial exploitation of his followers by a sociopathic, self-proclaimed messiah and pedophile…straight or gay, it doesn’t matter, the damage he has done and promulgates far outweighs his lofty aspirations, IMHO.

It seems to me that lack of compassion and dereliction of moral responsibility to warn others is a far greater “wrong work of the emotional center”, as you say, than speaking out against perceived spiritual injustice and crime.

There is a big difference between bitterness, my friend, and moral outrage and indignation.

So you may not have been harmed by the FOF. Lucky you. And yes, not all slave owners were cruel masters, either. House slaves had it pretty good compared to those whom worked in the fields, too. But that doesn’t justify the institution of slavery.

110. Tim Campion - March 30, 2014

For a heart-warming portrait of The Fellowship of Friends, see this 116-page document submitted to the Yuba County Board of Supervisors in support of the Fellowship’s latest Claim for Refund of Taxes Paid. Apparently the supervisors were not moved, and denied the claim.

111. WhaleRider - March 30, 2014

@robertschelly:

Let me give you a little insight into burton’s seduction of me and its consequences.

Now I was an eager follower. I joined the cult for one reason only, to work on myself. My parents had divorced two years prior to my joining, and I had interrupted my college because I was sold on the idea that the “highest” degree of learning was the pursuit of consciousness as defined by the so-called fourth way. After all, as burton put it, “There are Russian nuclear submarines patrolling the coast right now”.

Whereas you declined burton’s ride, I readily accepted, duped by my center directors, completely unaware of his extracurricular activities with his young male followers, and trusting that he alone held the keys to overcoming my mechanical defects.

I ended up only with the key to his bedroom instead, which I eventually gave back to him.

After two and a half years in the cult, I was primed and ready to be exploited.

That first ride I took in his tan 4×4, he didn’t say much. He asked me about my parents, and indicated to me that they had come together not out of love, but out of mechanically, the union of which I was a “product”. My depersonalization was complete.

The stage was set. Obviously his love for me was “higher” and more conscious, and that was my sole (ha ha) purpose for being in the cult, to gain more consciousness.

So despite my natural revulsion for homosexual intimacy, I went along with it anyway, completely cut off from anyone with whom I could reality test my choices.

At that time we were silenced by the “gossip exercise”.

So I “separated” from my “machine” to become burton’s plaything, his narcissistic object.

Sure, there was pleasure, but it did not feel good.

The result? Self loathing and a state of dissociation from my self. I allowed myself to be manipulated, played like a trout on a string, for about nine months, and then I’d had enough.

My sense of self was far from expanding; I felt I was imploding, which I now understand is the hallmark of disassociation.

It was a learning process alright; I realized the whole cult was a sham, designed for the pleasure of burton alone at everyone else’s expense, and to justify, in a sick way, his homosexuality which he seemed incapable of accepting openly. He was indirectly forcing me to accept it instead, exploiting his power as a spiritual leader.

Now granted, you were obviously smarter than me. You didn’t take the ride, and you left prior to getting burned. So be it. But there are others like me, vulnerable, alone, misinformed and ripe for spiritual exploitation from which it takes years to unravel and heal.

So fuck you too, and the horse you rode off on, if you don’t give a shit about me.

I’ll be damned if I let one day go by where I miss an opportunity to speak out against this criminal organization and its leader, mr robert earl burton.

That’s what moral outrage and indignation feel like. Bitterness? That’s just a bad taste in your mouth.

112. Just the Facts Ma'am - March 31, 2014

fofblogmoderator:
I have posted on this blog before and had no problem with delay of appearance or moderation, yet I posted recently several times and there is no show. Can you tell me what’s up?

113. Jomo Piñata - March 31, 2014

Posts which include more than one link get hung up waiting to be cleared by the moderator. Maybe that’s what happened.

114. Golden Veil - March 31, 2014

109. Robert Schelly

Great that you didn’t get the full brainwash. Yes, you should count yourself fortunate that you were not only sensible, but mature, and rational in those days. Or maybe it was an instinctive feeling, even, “Don’t get in that car; don’t go to the private meeting.”

110-112. WhaleRider

I empathize with your emotional pain and your disassociation. If I’d been a man, I very well might have been in your shoes. Fortunately I woke up from the spell of this exclusive little esoteric cult after only a little over a year of joining. By the way, when I went to see the art collection and meet with Robert at Apollo, his tall, rather fat, smirking bodyguard or footman pointed at some futons in an area exterior to the room where the art collection was, and said “That’s where the boys sleep.” That seemed odd to me at the time but I didn’t ask about it; I was already in a separate reality during my visit there. Also, I’d been told that Robert “was gay” by a long time member (still there) that was my first contact with the cult. I recall seeing a few extraordinarily handsome young men on the grounds, some of whom might have been part of that little harem of “boys.”

All of his heterosexual prey may not have been real lookers but they all were fairly brainwashed, at least for a time, and I understand that a few have committed suicide.

115. Nevasayneva - March 31, 2014

The RB issue which comes up v much in recent posts seems common in these type of organizations. Charismatic leaders who get in the pants of their followers. Goes back quite a ways as evidenced by Wikipedia:

Wikipedia
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase traditionally attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8), which is literally translated as “Who will guard the guards themselves?” Also sometimes rendered as “Who watches the watchmen?”, the phrase has other idiomatic translations and adaptations such as “Who will watch the watch-guards?” In modern usage, it is frequently associated with the political philosophy of Plato and the problem of political corruption.

116. Hello - March 31, 2014

One thing I learned in my professional life and by watching successful and happy/healthy people enjoying their jobs and lives is that real professionals, real leaders do not try to create followers, they try to share their experience and knowledge so that they can help to create better and more “leaders.” This is unthinkable in the FOF. There is only one leader who keeps his followers under strict rules and regulations. The followers are treated like children and as beings who are incomplete and in need of guidance.

117. Just the Facts Ma'am - March 31, 2014

113. Jomo Piñata:
‘Posts which include more than one link get hung up waiting to be cleared by the moderator. Maybe that’s what happened.’

There were no links in the posts

118. shardofoblivion - April 1, 2014

108 robertschelly uses the phrase “Wrong work of the emotional center.” And I was immediately struck by how much that seems to tell me about the general world outlook of the speaker. I remember using that phrase myself, quite clearly. So there is a class of folk who have spent some years using work language and then have stopped using work language long enough that it is no longer enough a faint hint in our thinking. From that perspective I can pick up a feeling of being someone who uses a phrase like “wrong work of the emotional center” in that stiff, clipped, no nonsense, statement of fact tone of voice.
It was a comfortable world of certainties and clear aims. I knew where I stood with respect to everything else. It subjectively feels to me that in order to think back to using that phrase, I have to put on that whole suit of clothes, viewing everything that happens through the lens of the fourth way system, and of course it all fitted in so neatly.
But now the fourth way feels like some extra layer of meaning laid on top of the world that serves to obfuscate rather than reveal.
The post where the phrase was used was discussing pitfalls of dwelling for years on hurts from the past. These are interesting questions about how best to cope with leaving the FoF and so on. It seems pretty clear to me, that there will be many different situations and for each of us there will be questions about how best to live. But the fourth way lens seems to imply there is really a simple solution to ALL these questions, and according to that dogma – to harbour resentment about hurts received in the past is simple “wrong work of the emotional center” and that’s that.

Life’s more variegated and interesting than the fourth way system might lead us to believe.

119. Fee fi fo fum - April 1, 2014

115 Nevasayneva

Yes, there is no one who has the role or authority to check or counterbalance REB. He has made sure of that by only installing loyalists in positions of authority. He also instills self-doubt in students with unverifiable statements like, “The lower cannot see the higher.” Has anyone ever asked REB how he knows he’s higher than anyone else?

120. archer - April 1, 2014

118. You’re just formatory, Shard.

121. Mick - April 1, 2014

Ignorant people! The lower cannot see the higher.

122. brucelevy - April 1, 2014

“When you level of being changes, you’ll see that I’m right.”

123. brucelevy - April 1, 2014

“Now bend over goodness.”

124. ton2u - April 1, 2014
125. fofblogmoderator - April 2, 2014

Re; Post 112. I receive an email from wordpress alerting me when a comment is hung in moderation. I have received nothing as of late but just went and checked the “pending posts” file and didn’t see anything from you there. I’m not sure what is happening…

126. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 3, 2014

fofblogmoderator:
I just tried to repost what I posted before that did not appear, as I saved a copy on my computer, and this is the wordpress response:
‘Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!’

127. shardofoblivion - April 3, 2014

120. archer – April 1, 2014
118. You’re just formatory, Shard.

Yes and No
🙂

128. silentpurr - April 3, 2014

Let us now practice our telepathic skills.

129. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 4, 2014

91. paul gregory:
‘It claims to be without violence yet is full of it, because it must inherently be violent to live one’s life in a golden cage.’

Many Fellowship of Friends (FoF) members become impoverished financially, and otherwise, from their experiences in FoF. That would be thousands of people.

Poverty is the worst kind of violence.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

130. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 4, 2014

92. Fee fi fo fum:
‘Many of the FF members I knew lived hand to mouth, with little left over for personal luxuries. And yet, almost every one of us, when we were members, never complained about how REB squandered our hard-earned money. He shat on us that way. And what did we do? We kept feeling afraid to not make those payments. We were not “evolving.” We had become prisoners.’

Impoverished by the closed society of friends in fear.

Impoverished consciences; impoverished souls.

131. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 4, 2014

109. WhaleRider:
‘the continued and condoned act of sexual, emotional and financial exploitation of his followers by a sociopathic, self-proclaimed messiah and pedophile…’

Religious freedom provides that you can believe whatever you want, however, it DOES NOT provide that you can DO whatever you want.

132. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 4, 2014

110. Tim Campion:
The linked document tries to claim that FoF is tax exempt (on the named parcel of land – parcel where Robert Earl Burton resides (or did reside when I was member), along with his entourage.) because ‘[NO] part of earnings of the entity inures to the benefit of any private individual.’ And other claims of exemption(s), like: ‘used exclusively for religious purposes.’ What a load of hog wash.

Years ago the claim was made that it was a museum and Robert Earl Burton, et al, actually moved out in furtherance of that claim; which failed.

To quote from page 30 of
The Canons of the Fellowship of Friends
attached in the document:

‘The more virtue is exercised,
the more radiant it is,
and the more ready it is to serve.’
Bernard of Clairvaux

133. Fee fi fo fum - April 5, 2014

139 Just the Facts Ma’am
“Impoverished by the closed society of friends in fear.”

Funny you should use the expression “closed society.” Karl Popper published a book called The Open Society And Its Enemies: Part I: The Spell of Plato. In it, for the first time in the history of philosophy (that I know of), Popper posits that people have been enamored with Plato and his concept of Ideas and Forms. Rather than being lovesick puppies of classical philosophy, Popper said that one should critically examine Plato’s political ideas in The Republic, where he presents the case for a static and closed society that, Popper felt, in light of WWII and the Nazis, Plato laid the grounds for a totalitarian society.

I don’t know how everyone else who left the FF freed their minds from its shackles, but I felt that examining totalitarian and repressive societies of the early 20th century was a useful exercise in seeing how mind control worked. Robert Burton and the FF are not unique on this planet. Look at the first third of the 1900s. Look at the religious conflicts of the 1600s. It has all happened before. REB and the FF use a combination of fear and fuzzy thinking to maintain its membership. REB is addicted to having total control over his minions and is equally addicted to luxurious living. Just look at the students who are still members, after 35-40 years, going into their retirement years and donating a percentage of their Social Security and pension checks. There is no ark. There is nothing except REB living off of Other People’s Money.

115 Nevasayneva

“Who shall guard the guardians?” Although Juvenal is usually referred to with respect to that quote (or similar rendition), it also gets attributed to Plato’s much earlier “Republic”. I read Plato’s “Republic” before I joined the FF, and enjoyed it. (Of course, the FF tried to make use of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, drawing parallels to man’s being asleep in needing to be conscious, and so on and so forth.) I find it helpful to remember that Robert Burton is a dilettante and thus, he sets a rather low bar of shabby chic, pretentious intellectual culture. There were, and are, very few scholars and so-called highly cultured individuals in the FF. That is one reason young and naive people are so enthralled with REB and the FF. If you can find a better reason why students are enamored with one-and-two-liner Daily Cards, please enlighten me. The idea of scholarship is foreign to the FF’s low standards. It is all about some vague “living presence.” Fine. Be present. Why do you have to pay REB and the FF up to 25-40% of your gross income?

134. WhaleRider - April 5, 2014

Why do you have to pay REB and the FF up to 25-40% of your gross income?

Otherwise the Emperor would have no clothes.

135. WhaleRider - April 5, 2014

@fee fi fo fum

Now that you mention it, I remember back when I left, and had some contact with Miles, he recommended a book which I found quite enlightening and helpful entitled, “Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception“, by Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence“, also a great book.

In “Vital Lies”, Goleman treats the subject of “groupthink” and its consequences occurring among closed social groups in a scholarly manner, drawing from recent experiments and history.

For me it was seminal in broadening and deepening my understanding of the nature of defense mechanisms, AKA “buffers”, and the vital lies we subconsciously employ to protect the ego from painful, yet simple truths.

He also introduced me to the concept of a “lacuna”, or blind spot within the mind, and how the mind dims awareness to protect itself from anxiety.

I highly recommend Goleman’s work in the arduous process of deprogramming from cult indoctrination and cult language.

136. Fee fi fo fum - April 5, 2014

135 WhaleRider

Like many others who knew him, I respected Miles. He was the plain-talking authority figure, in contrast to Robert Burton’s reclusive, Gucci-Hermes addicted, holier-than-thou goddess-in-a-man’s body persona. Of course, REB made it plain that Miles was not yet a Conscious Man Number Whatever.

Speaking of lacunae: My understanding is that Miles’ blind spot prevented him from viewing REB as a predator who forced himself on some of the straight young men. When that blind spot was removed, he knew he couldn’t stay. I don’t know exactly what Miles thought during his years in the FF, but many young men had gone to him for advice regarding REB’s sexual predatory behavior. Miles probably couldn’t reconcile in his own mind what was going on in REB’s psyche, but had the usual REB/FF rationales to justify it, such as, “the lower cannot see the higher.” My understanding is that he didn’t think REB would foist himself on an unwilling participant; so when one of these unwilling participants returned to MB to report that MB’s counsel had been wrong, MB realized that he couldn’t remain in the FF.

137. WhaleRider - April 5, 2014

@Fee fi fo fum

I believe that unwilling participant in burton’s sexual exploitation who sought Miles’ advice, who also was the tipping point for Miles, was Brian S.

I remember Miles specifically saying that the unreconcilable issue he had with burton was that burton would allow anyone to join his cult, regardless of their mental status, which Miles could no longer support having witnessed the corrosive effect burton had on Brian S’s sanity.

It is unconscionable that this spiritual crime is allowed to continue!

Sadly and tragically, others have followed in Brian’s shoes…

138. ton2u - April 5, 2014

It’s a bit mystifying to me that Miles Barth still seems to be held in high regard and ‘revered’ by some posters here… it seems like a carry-over / hangover from being in the cult. He was a dupe like the rest of us, and worse than that Burton played on Barth’s vanity, elevated him in the organization wherein he acted as Burton’s direct agent / facilitator and one of his main enablers. A ‘lacuna’ in the human psyche is an apparent need to create false idols.

http://www.strippingthegurus.com/

139. Fee fi fo fum - April 5, 2014

137 WhaleRider

I don’t know if the person was Brian S.

138 ton2u

You raise a good point, especially in regard to the FF tendency to “revere” certain individuals. MB had his flaws, but I only heard about some of them long after he left the FF. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m under the impression that unlike some of the long-tenured students who still turn a blind eye to REB’s corrupt behavior, MB left when his wishful thinking about REB was finally blown away.

There was someone else who was in a position of authority for a long time in the FF. During the period when I was starting to leave the FF, I asked him how he reconciled to himself REB’s behavior. I remember his saying that he didn’t know. The rest of what he said was speculative and iffy and an obvious attempt to explain something that he couldn’t explain properly. He also left the FF some time afterwards.

140. Barbara - April 6, 2014

THE TERRITORIAL DISPATCH ~ April 2, 2014 ~ Yuba County CA
Fellowship of Friends Tax Refund Request Fails.
By Elden Fowler

At the March 25th meeting, the Yuba County
Board of Supervisors denied a request by the Fellowship of Friends for property tax refunds totaling over $520,000. The Oregon House based group claims it is en titled to religious and welfare exemptions. JanFleener, attorney for the Fellowship, explained to
the board the group is a tax exempt church and has
been granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.
In further defining the group’s religious status,
Fleener said “The principles of the Fellowship are
based on universal mystical religious teachings that
transmit the art and science of recognizing and experiencing divine presence.” She continued “As an inter-denominational church, the Fellowship draws upon all major religious traditions including Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.”

She added “The teaching of the Fellowship is also
based on the works of eminent philosophers, writers, and artists including George Gurdieff and Peter Ouspensky.”

Fleener said the property taxes in question were
levied against the Galleria which sets on a small
parcel of land and is used exclusively for church
purposes. She argued the County’s tax assessor
cannot deny the exemption.

However, Assessor Bruce Stottlemeyer countered
saying the group has not obtained a Conditional Use
Permit for the property; therefore, no exemption
can legally be granted. He explained “just because
they are a church they are entitled to an exemption
doesn’t hold water.”

Stottlemeyer further explained the Fellowship
has never applied for a use permit for a religious
facility. He said “The property must be permitted
for its use.” Feener countered saying the Fellowship had obtained a use permit for a museum in the early 1990s
but it had expired after 18 months.

County Counsel Angil Morris-Jones countered
Feener’s statement with the explanation that the
permit was not temporary and “It runs with the land
and does not expire.” The Galleria is permitted as a
museum, not a church for religious worship.
In her written advice to the board, Morris-Jones
recommended the supervisors “Deny all the claims
for refund of Property Taxes of Fellowship of Friends,
Inc.” In her letter she stated “As to date, the Fellowship has failed to comply with the provisions of the Yuba County Code relating to their Conditional Use Permit. The Assessor has given them written notice
that they must comply before he can consider any claim for refund.”
When it became time to decide, Supervisor and Chairman of the Board John Nicoletti, along with Supervisors Roger Abe and Hal Stocker, voted to deny the Fellowship’s claim for a property tax re
fund. Supervisor Mary Jane Griego was absent.

Supervisor Andy Vasquez, ignoring the advice of
County Counsel, cast the lone vote in favor of the
Fellowship’s request.

This is not the first time a Fellowship property tax
matter has come before the board and suffered the
same results. In October of 2011, the Fellowship asked for a
property tax refund totaling over $570,000. In that
case, the group was asking for an additional two
weeks to substantiate their religious exemption
claim.

Supervisor Vasquez defied the advice of County
Counsel Morris Jones and made a motion to grant
the extension. The motion died for lack of a second.
A motion to deny the claim was initiated by John
Nicoletti and the supervisors voted the claim down
by a 4-1 margin.

Vasquez accounted for the lone dissenting vote in
favor of the Fellowship.

THE TERRITORIAL DISPATCH – OPINION
Send Letters to the Editor to:
Territorial Dispatch
412 4th Street, Marysville, CA 95901
Fax: 530-743-1489
Or: E-mail: territorial@sbcglobal.net

• Letters must include Name, Address and Phone Number.
Only Name, Town and State will appear with letter.
• Letters should not be any longer than 250 words.
• Letters are opinions; if facts are presented writer must be prepared to back up facts.
• There should not be more than one letter per week.
• Opinion Editorials should be of local interest and be no lo
nger than 800 words.
• For more information call 530-743-6643.
Please Note:
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Territorial Dispatch

141. Barbara - April 6, 2014

THE TERRITORIAL DISPATCH ~ April 2, 2014 ~ Yuba County CA

North Yuba Grown Is Neutral

North Yuba Grown is a grass roots California non-profit
organization promoting local agriculture in and around the
foothills of Yuba County.

As such, it must remain politically neutral and cannot endorse any political candidacy.

Recently, Jenny Cavaliere, a candidate for supervisor
of the 5th district, issued a press release to the Territorial
Dispatch, apparently on behalf of North Yuba Grown.
As a founding member and part of the publicity committee of
North Yuba Grown, I can state that this self serving release
was not authorized or sanctioned by the membership, nor
does it represent an endorsement by the organization in
any way.

Might this be an indication of how Ms. Cavaliere, as
supervisor, would put her own self interests before the
people of Yuba County?

In closing, I would like to commend John Mistler, editor
of the Territorial Dispatch, for giving all the candidates fair
and equal treatment. Charles Sharp Oregon House, Ca

THE TERRITORIAL DISPATCH – OPINION
Send Letters to the Editor to:
Territorial Dispatch
412 4th Street, Marysville, CA 95901
Fax: 530-743-1489
Or: E-mail: territorial@sbcglobal.net

• Letters must include Name, Address and Phone Number.
Only Name, Town and State will appear with letter.
• Letters should not be any longer than 250 words.
• Letters are opinions; if facts are presented writer must be prepared to back up facts.
• There should not be more than one letter per week.
• Opinion Editorials should be of local interest and be no lo
nger than 800 words.
• For more information call 530-743-6643.
Please Note:
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Territorial Dispatch

142. James Mclemore - April 6, 2014

I agree wholeheartedly with ‘ton2u at 138. We all got duped. We all acted out our “dupedness” in different ways according to our conditioning, no two alike. And everyone who is no longer duped, came out of that “dupedness” in their own way, no two alike. I don’t think it matters if one was duped for five years or twenty-five years, just be thankful you got the fuck out of there.

143. Associated Press - April 6, 2014

Group’s tax refund request shot down

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:00 am
Appeal-Democrat
http://tinyurl.com/jw68wtu
By Eric Vodden/ evodden(at)appealdemocrat(dot)com

For the second time in 2 1/2 years, Yuba County has rejected a property tax refund request from the Fellowship of Friends.

County supervisors voted 3-1 Tuesday to deny the group’s request for refunds for each of the past four years and part of 2009-10. The group claims it is entitled to religious and welfare exemptions.

The Fellowship’s claim does not specify an amount. But based on estimates of $30,000 a year for real property and $100,000 a year on personal property, the refund would total about $520,000, said Assessor Bruce Stottlemeyer.

Supervisors John Nicoletti, Roger Abe and Hal Stocker voted to deny the refund, saying there was no reason to reverse past county assessor rulings. Supervisor Andy Vasquez voted in opposition, saying the group merits an exemption. Supervisor Mary Jane Griego was absent.

Vasquez, after a long discussion of the pros and cons involving Fellowship and Yuba County lawyers, noted the matter will end up in court.

“I don’t know why we are continuing this,” he said of the discussion.

The Fellowship has described itself as followers of Mystical Fourth-Way Christianity based upon the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff. It was founded by Robert Burton in the 1970s and is based at a 1,250-acre site in Oregon House.

A similar 2011 refund request sought more than $572,000 for taxes paid from 2006-09. Then-Assessor David Brown rejected it on grounds the Fellowship property wasn’t exclusively used for an exempted purpose, such as for religious grounds.

Stottlemeyer said the Fellowship asked him to review Brown’s decision. But that process was halted when it was found the Fellowship doesn’t have a conditional use permit for a religious institution, which Stottlemeyer said is required to claim an exemption.

“The property has to be permitted for its use,” Stottlemeyer told the board. “This notion that just because they are a church they are entitled to an exemption doesn’t hold water.”

Fellowship attorney Jan Fleener told the board the Fellowship is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt church. She also said the assessor is legally precluded from denying an exemption based on use permit grounds.

“It has been quite puzzling to the Fellowship that it has been denied,” she said.

Fleener said the refund request is only related to the use of a building known as the Galleria for religious worship. She noted a use permit was granted for that building to be used as a museum in early 1990s, but that never happened and the permit expired after 18 months.

However, County Counsel Angil Morris-Jones told the board the use permit granted was not for a temporary use and is still intact.

“Currently the use is as a museum,” she said. “It runs with the land and does not expire,” she said.

CONTACT Eric Vodden at 749-4769.

144. Ill Never Tell - April 6, 2014

And what about that giant insane outdoor Greek-style theater that was built on Fellowship of Friends property without building permit(s) nor conditional use permit(s)? Also, rumor was that that Galleria museum (place for religious worship😉 was built using a building permit for a garage addition to a mobile or manufactured home that sat on that spot. Send some drones up there to watch over the doings.

145. Mick - April 6, 2014

Certainly Fellowship members can be categorized. Starting with “Student No.1” – Those who knew that Burton was unscrupulous and dishonest and a bit of a pervert to boot.

146. ton2u - April 6, 2014

142
Thanks James, being “duped” was only part of the point — and not the most important point… the other having to do with a penchant in people for “hero worship” and the seeming need to erect a pedestal and then to place someone / something upon it.

More specifically this is reflected from time to time here by some posters in reference to Barth, who was, through his own pride and vanity, manipulated and used by Burton for particular purposes. Barth’s collusion and role in Burton’s scheme as an enabler, spokesman and recruiting agent for the FOF (IMO) puts him in a different ‘category’ than the unsuspecting naive neophyte who was simply lured in — partially by the likes of a Barth or others of his ilk — then used, abused and tossed aside.

IMO when it comes to reflecting on Barth and others of his ilk, pity and outrage at his role in the FOF would be more appropriate emotions instead of anything approaching a high regard or respect. The damage he helped facilitate through his role / collusion is all too obvious — I suppose in his favor at least he eventually developed enough sense to get out which seemed to give others an excuse, or the ‘courage’ to leave. This was after my time there — by the time he and the other sheep who followed him did wake up and leave, I was already long gone.

147. Parson Yorick - April 6, 2014

For what it’s worth, Nathaniel Hawthorne joined a cult near Boston when he was 37 years old and wrote about his experiences there in his lightly fictionalized memoir titled “The Blithedale Romance.” It’s a good read for those who might be interested.

148. Barbara - April 6, 2014

141. Barbara – April 6, 2014 — “North Yuba Grown Is Neutral” (LOL)
Blurbs of a fragmented mind…Local politics getting nasty….

Charles Sharp-To E-post. Mar 24, 2014
(A local Oregon House Yahoo. group)

Randy Fletcher, candidate for the 5th district supervisor, will be hosting a series of informal gatherings on Monday evenings over the next few weeks at the Alcouffe Community Center in Oregon House.

When: March 31st, April 7th, April 14th
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Alcouffe Community Center, 9185 Marysville Rd, Oregon House

Drop by and get to know Randy.

ANOTHER ONE….

Charles Sharp-To E-post-Mar 25

Hear Yea, Hear Yea

I have been directed to DECLARE that the Alcouffe Community Center, run by the Dobbins Oregon House Improvement Foundation, a.k.a. DOHIF, consisting of a fifteen member board with one alternate and whose chair is Robert Longman, check ’em out at http://www.alcouffecenter.org/board.php

Does not endorsed any political candidate (being one of those a non-profit 501 (c) corporations and all that), because it could jeopardize their Tax Exempt Status should the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), so investigate participation in any political activity.

Why I should be chosen for such a declaration I am not quite sure. Suggest you ask the DOHIF board for clarification on this matter.

So do I affix my seal of truth (:) to this statement.

My note:

How about this 2 links here….

The March 12th Meet Your Local Farmers event, hosted by North Yuba Grown at the Alcouffe Center, was attended by well over 50 people. http://www.northyubagrown.com

and…

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/2013/06/north-yuba-grown-serves-to-promote.html

149. Tim Campion - April 6, 2014

Thanks Barbara and Associated Press.

In today’s Appeal-Democrat, Harold Kruger, the local journalist who has long reported on the Fellowship, offered this glimpse into the past:

Following the Fellowship

The recent coverage of the Fellowship of Friends’ request for a $520,000 property tax refund from Yuba County brought back some fond memories of strange things past.

Anybody remember the amphitheater the Fellowship built in Oregon House? The one that didn’t have any permits?

Yes, it was called The Theatron, and it went up without the county knowing about it. It was, at the time, the largest building ever built in the county without benefit of permits, county officials said at the time.

“The Fellowship wants to be a real good citizen and help out any way they can,” the late Abe Goldman, the Fellowship’s attorney back then, said at the time. “We can’t afford to make this a public structure because it would cost millions of dollars more in roads and things if the public could come to it. The Fellowship would be happy to share, but can’t afford it. It’s for members only. If there’s any way the county or the city wants to enlist our assistance in some fashion, we’re always open to that.”

The Fellowship of Friends has always had their Yuba County friends and neighbors’ best interests at heart. (And if they can find away to elect a more sympathetic supervisor to Hal Stocker’s seat, they may yet have a chance at that refund. Steven Dambeck, Charles Sharp, and Greg Holman are working that angle.)

The duping does continue.

150. Associated Press - April 7, 2014

THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS, INC.,
Plaintiff and Appellant,

V.

COUNTY OF YUBA,
Defendant and Respondent.

Civ. No. C007151.

Court of Appeal, Third District.

Nov. 1, 1991.

Religious organization sought
reimbursement of taxes paid for building
which housed collection of fine art and other
artifacts, alleging that the building was a
“museum” and thus exempt from taxation.
The Superior Court of Yuba County, No.
39021, Robert Lenhard, J., found that the
building was not a museum, and thus denied
reimbursement, and organization appealed.
The Court of Appeal, Raye, J., held that
building, which housed collection of fine art
and other artifacts, was not a “museum.”

http://tinyurl.com/qz2xt98

151. Associated Press - April 7, 2014

TO: Yuba County Board of Supervisors
FROM: Angil P. Morris-Jones, County Counsel
DATE: September 27, 2011
Matter Continued from Board Meeting of September 14, 2010
SUBJECT: Fellowship of Friends Claim For Refund Of Property Taxes

RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Deny all eight Claims for Refund of Property Taxes as the claimant fails to state any legal reason for granting the claims for refund as required by the California Revenue and Taxation Code.

DISCUSSION:
This matter came before you at your September 14, 2010 Board of Supervisors’ Meeting. The matter before you consists of eight separate petitions filed by the Fellowship of Friends as Claims for Refund of Property Taxes for 2006-2009 (Secured and Unsecured).
On September 14, 2010, a representative of the claimant appeared at your meeting and requested that all eight Claims for Refund of Property Taxes were pulled in order for the Fellowship of the Friends to amend them.
It has been over a year since the claims were pulled off your Agenda for action. To this date the claims have not been amended nor have they been withdrawn. As it has been over a year without any contact as it relates to amending their claims, the Board is advised to take action on the claims as filed.
The California Revenue and Taxation Code provides that a taxpayer may petition the Board of Supervisors for a refund of property taxes that have been paid. However, the Board of Supervisors is only empowered to grant such taxpayer’s claim for refund of property taxes when the claimant has stated one of the statutory reasons for granting the claimed refund.
The reason stated by the Fellowship of Friends in paragraph 7 of each of their written petitions is:
“To keep statute of limitation open for any future refunds that may arise from property tax Exemption.”
The reason cited hereinabove by the Fellowship of Friends is not one of the legal reasons provided by statute in the California Revenue and Taxation Code. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, in this circumstance no order for a refund can be granted by the Board of Supervisors.

http://tinyurl.com/o7grzo8

152. Wondering Who's Watching - April 7, 2014

Let’s see:
1. Anyone who donates to Fellowship of Friends (FoF) can claim a tax credit for that donation, therefore, government subsidizes FoF indirectly and makes those donations go farther.
2. FoF is mostly tax exempt on its tax returns and probably can claim tax credit for those property taxes mentioned recently.
3. FoF repeatedly requests county to exempt and/or return property taxes and puts administrative and legal burdens on county.
4. FoF puts continuous extraordinary burden of physical infrastructure in the county, like, for example, Rices Crossing Road, which has much more traffic on section used to access FoF property than would be the case if FoF were not in the area. The county maintains the road and did many improvements over the years.
5. Many laborers for FoF, et al, are paid poverty wages so workers, and families, have to get government assistance and benefits, which subsidizes FoF indirectly and makes living in the community possible.
6. FoF could be exempt from paying sales tax on certain purchases in their tax exempt status.

You might think that an attitude of gratitude would develop over 44+ years.

Is my thinking way off base here?

153. archer - April 10, 2014

152. WWW
“Is my thinking way off base here?”

Your thinking is way on base.

Must be that don’t-inner-consider-life-people thing.

154. Mick - April 13, 2014

To each his suff’rings: all are men,
Condemn’d alike to groan,
The tender for another’s pain,
Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.

-Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

155. WhaleRider - April 14, 2014

It is sadly ironic that burton requires his followers to give up their “imaginary” picture of themselves and subjugate themselves to his whims, thereby enabling him to feed his imaginary picture of himself as an enlightened being, exempt from scrutiny.

156. Tim Campion - April 15, 2014

According to this Appeal-Democrat article, Fellowship of Friends member Steven Dambeck has now been appointed the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce’s new director of visitor services. The conflict of interest seems inevitable as Dambeck works to promote Fellowship-connected projects including North Yuba Grown, Apollo Olive Oil, Renaissance Vineyard and Winery, Apollo Arts, Alcouffe Community Center, YES Charter School, etc. This, along with Dambeck’s efforts to install Randy Fletcher as the Fellowship’s district supervisor all point to a new level of activism by the cult.

157. Mick - April 15, 2014

The citizens of Yuba County need to be reminded time & again that Fellowship of Friends = Robert Burton.

158. Mick - April 15, 2014

Correction. The equation should be:
Fellowship of Friends = Robert Burton + Members.

159. brucelevy - April 15, 2014
160. Tim Campion - April 16, 2014

Three cheers for Steven Dambeck

(They took the words right out of Robert Burton’s mouth. Or maybe it was communicated telepathically.)

161. J.D. - April 16, 2014

Buckle up:

“Robert saw this license plate, above, NAE LUCK, one-half hour before reading the article.
[Nae meaning ‘no’ – License Plate meaning ‘No luck at all’]

He connected the article and the license plate to this quote from Goethe:

“I foresee the time when God will have no more joy in mankind, but will break up everything
for a renewed creation. I am certain that everything is planned to this end, and that the
time and hour in the distant future for the occurrence of this renovating epoch
are already fixed.”

Robert was also reminded of the big tsunami that happened in Alaska, in 1958.

The biggest tsunami recorded was 1,720 feet tall and chances are good it will happen again
http://qz.com/193139

Some elevations on the Apollo property:
Old gatehouse 1786 ft.
[Whitman Glen] Office 1750 ft.
Tennis court 1706 ft.

The height of the biggest tsunami (1720 ft.) falls somewhere between the
Whitman Glenn Office and the tennis court; the Galleria is above this altitude.

[March 27, 2014 was also the 50th anniversary of another large earthquake in Alaska in 1964.]

These shocks happened on the day of the new moon (Sunday, March 30, 2014, 11:45 AM)
meaning every (unconscious) thing goes to the moon.”

Got it?

162. brucelevy - April 16, 2014
163. shardofoblivion - April 17, 2014

#161 J.D.
reading personal significance into random coincidences is the flattery of morons

164. Opus111 - May 1, 2014

Some update on a FOF doctor, Dr. Neuschatz, who got in trouble for allegedly prescribing controlled substances, thereby having possibly contributed to the demise of several patients.

The DEA revoked his DEA license in Dec 13:

“http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/actions/2013/fr1217.htm”

Dr. Neuschatz had already voluntarily surrendered his medical license last summer.

“http://www2.mbc.ca.gov/BreezePDL/default.aspx?licenseType=C&licenseNumber=41964”.

The good old Burton will have to find a different source for some of the goodies he does not mind taking.

165. WhaleRider - May 1, 2014

@J.D.
Re: “NAE LUCK”

Personally, I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t feel the need to pay huge sums of money to someone for them to remind me how incredibly lucky I am.

This truth becomes increasingly SELF evident the longer a person is away from the cult, as he or she establishes safe boundaries beyond the reach of the wounding narcissist.
~*~
If a tsunami of that great a magnitude hits the West Coast, Oregon House probably wouldn’t be spared afterward as the oasis of culture the cult fancies itself to be, but, ironically, it would more than likely become the site of an enormous rancid pile of garbage, debris, mud, and dead bodies that is carried at the front of a tsunami as it surges inland.

It is only the truth that is swallowed up in burton’s apocalyptic vision and purged from the minds of his followers.

166. Tim Campion - May 3, 2014

The wine world has paid little attention to the Fellowship of Friends and generally judges the Fellowship’s Renaissance Vineyard and Winery product on its merits.

Similar to the Appeal-Democrat’s recent article, this reporter scratches the surface, comes up with a catchy title, yet clearly fails to do any substantive research. And again, the real story is overlooked.

Putting the “Cult” in Cabernet

167. Tim Campion - May 6, 2014

Fellowship Becomes Issue in Political Race

As it has been said many times, “Follow the money trail.” In this case follow the wine trail to Renaissance Vineyard and Winery, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fellowship of Friends, and there you will find the biggest supporters of Randy Fletcher, candidate for supervisor in the 5th district.

Do you remember all of the lawsuits that have been brought against the Fellowship and Robert Earl Burton? Do you remember what they were about? Please take the time to Google them or go to robertearlburton.blogspot.com.

According to this cult, all of us are walking dead people. Why do they want to get involved with us dead folks now, and what is their motivation to get a supervisor in their back pocket?

Read more at eTerritorial Dispatch.

168. Fee fi fo fum - May 6, 2014

167. Tim Campion

Good blog article by Louise Reid. It should be required reading in the local community. The FF does whatever furthers its own aims. It isn’t interested in the larger community. “Integrity” is not a working concept in FF.

169. Associated Press - May 6, 2014

In posting:
Page 140/152. Wondering Who’s Watching
listed six areas that the Fellowship of Friends (FoF), and its several non-profit and for-profit organisations, should be grateful for and suggests that a better attitude towards its surrounding community might be in order. Still, FoF’s insatiable consumption and dominance/power/vanity/greed, which reflects the insatiable consumption/dominance/power/vanity/greed attitude of its founder, Robert Earl Burton (REB), leads it to absorb the surrounding community outside of its membership. (This alternates with its recurring extreme reclusiveness episodes that typically comes as a result of bad press or legal actions against it.)

One area overlooked by Wondering Who’s Watching, is that cults and new age religious/spiritual organisations encounter considerable resistance from the established local communities and governments. This may be because many bad press situations have come to light over the years – so many ways that things can go wrong and so few ways they go right. FoF, for the most part, has not been expunged, as other organisations have. It has been in Yuba County since the early 1970’s. This is something they should be grateful for.

To get a taste of this dynamic, this one-hour video can be watched:
PBS Oregon Experience: Rajneeshpuram
http://watch.opb.org/video/2306839650/

‘In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from India, and thousands of his disciples, set out to build a new city, a utopian community in the desert — Rajneeshpuram — on what had been the Big Muddy Ranch in Eastern Oregon. Thousands of people from around the world gathered here to celebrate life and transform the landscape. But by 1986, they were gone.’

NOT IN OUR BACK YARD!

I, personally, know some Rajneeshees and they say that this video is a balanced reporting of the events.

170. Tim Campion - May 8, 2014

“…we made our way to Oregon House, in Yuba County. That’s where our adventure got weird.”

A Chico News & Review reporter visits Apollo.

171. paul gregory - May 9, 2014

Yup.

172. paul gregory - May 9, 2014

She hits the nail on the head by seeing that, ultimately, the wine is unnatural and lacking in ordinary human values and spirit. It’s rape wine, and every bottles buys a fraction of World 12 to be enjoyed by the Inner inner inner circle of a corrupted pervert and advocate of spiritual abortion. Not what the Teacher drinks. Yucky.
In extraordinary bad taste. Filth. Corrupted Wine.

173. paul gregory - May 9, 2014

‘In the Event of a Holocaust, (which is unfortunate for machines), drink Renaissance Wine and think of Bobbie B’s Arkestra of Enlightenment.’
‘A Hiroshima in Every Bottle!’ ‘Doesn’t taste like spunkrape!’ ‘The mouthfeel is Eternal!’ With lingering notes of rhino shit, obsessive 6’s and eternal appreciation without values. Buy now to support the best of all possible worlds.
‘Perpetuate the perpetual hogwarts of Burtonville, life persons, It is your play.’
Crazy Town Thunderbird. False Liquor.

174. Tim Campion - May 9, 2014

And, coincidentally, Apollo Olive Oil was also offered in the same tasting room on Fellowship of Friends property. “Rest assured, there is absolutely no connection between my Apollo Olive Oil and the cult that surrounds us here.”

175. Renald Brisson - May 9, 2014

RE. 164. Opus111 – May 1, 2014- Yes ! Too bad it took so long for this being to attract his life. I went to see Neuchatz and described my migraine symptoms to him way back when. He laughed at me and said that I could not have had those symptoms. i wondered then how he had gotten his license.

176. ton2u - May 9, 2014

167 thanks Tim:
“According to this cult, all of us are walking dead people. Why do they want to get involved with us dead folks now, and what is their motivation to get a supervisor in their back pocket?”

Maybe an all too obvious answer — GREED! “big green,” it’s all about the benjamins, money, money, money, gimme, gimme, gimme, more, more, more…. the thing about greed is that it’s insatiable. Money grubbing is but one symptom of greed, control is another — scheming to control local politics in order to aid financial interests of an organization is nothing new, it’s a ploy that’s been afoot probably since the inception of human politics and other organizations…. some things don’t change and the FOF certainly has no interest in a positive transformation of society, or of the FOF members. It’s a corrupt operation which corrupts those who are in collusion with it. Greed is but one of burton’s “chief features” and by extension this infects all members of the FOF… but greed is simply a symptom of a much deeper stream of evil.

In the article by Louise Reid she writes “according to this cult all of us are walking dead people” — this begins to get at the core of evil which pervades the whole FOF — it’s a meme that promotes and perpetuates a process of dehumanization. “Life people” are seen as “the other” they’re set against those in the organization and dehumanized at every turn, they’re seen inferior, having no possibilities for “evolution,” they are food for the moon, they are somehow less than human, the walking damned, and therefore fodder for burton and his “enlightened” organization which has no compunctions when it comes time to feed greed — using, abusing and disposing of others for it’s own purposes is a practice that’s (also) all too obvious since it’s applied directly to the FOF members themselves. (the best place to hide something has been said to be at the end of the nose… it’s so close you can’t see it).

An irony is that through dehumanizing “the other,” those who are doing the dehumanizing, in the process dehumanize themselves. By treating others as something less than human, the “dehumanizer” is behaving in a way that’s less than human. The process of dehumanizing “the other” is a meme which is at the source of so much evil that humans do on this planet… in this regard burton and the FOF agenda is not unique by any stretch, it’s simply a small part of a larger problem. Part of the irony of this particular case is that this so-called “enlightened being” who professes to be the highest individual since Christ, this burton and his carnival barkers who steal souls through selling the so-called possibilities of human of evolution, are in actuality simply adding to and multiplying the problems here on planet earth, and the FOF members who are in collusion with burton are devolving. burton’s bedtime stories have brainwashed the sleeping FOFlock to be afraid of the wrong things in life… here is one very ‘real terror of the situation’:

“Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil. Dehumanization is like a “cortical cataract” that clouds one’s thinking and fosters the perception that others are less than human. It makes some people come to see those others as enemies deserving of use, abuse, and even annihilation.”

P. Zimbardo http://www.lucifereffect.com/about_synopsis.htm

177. Tim Campion - May 10, 2014

A reporter tries to investigate the Randy Fletcher-Fellowship of Friends connection.

178. brucelevy - May 10, 2014

Thanks Tim. I posted the link to the article as a reply to shill letters in the Appeal-Democrat (the most recent 3 or 4), one, of course, being from Charles Sharp.

179. Tim Campion - May 10, 2014

Thanks, Bruce. Can you post a link to your letter? It appears several Fellowship of Friends shills are active on the yubafoothills.com website as well, where the recent stories about Fellowship links to Randy Fletcher have stirred some debate.

180. Barbara - May 11, 2014
181. Associated Press - May 11, 2014

Re: Randy Fletcher Yuba County District 5 Supervisor Candidate Linked to Cult [Fellowship of Friends (FoF)]

‘I really wanted to allow Randy Fletcher the opportunity to respond not only to these cult allegations, but also allow him to voice his plan for his community.
. . .
it has been my experience that when a candidate dodges a question or interview that there is something [they’re] hiding.’

This is not the first time that a candidate for Yuba County District 5 Supervisor was supported by FoF members. Previous opposition candidate to Hal Stocker, incumbent, then, have been supported, and failed to win.

FoF keeps trying.

182. brucelevy - May 11, 2014

Tim, if you dp a search at the A.D. for Randy Fletcher, the three most recent letters of support for him are followed by the link to the article. I didn’t write any comments…just the link.

In reference to yubafoothills.com , on Randy, , those comments in his defense are some of the stupidest fucking comments one can imagine.

183. Mick - May 12, 2014

Circa 1978 Fellowship members were asked to register & vote for Charlie Parker for County Supervisor. With their help he won, though he proved to be kind of a dud and nothing much happened.
The Fellowship has a long history of ignoring the community and the rules for civil behavior. They closed off Dixon Hill Road to the public which traverses their property for a couple of miles from North to South. My research indicates that the Right-of-Way for this roadway remains in effect until formally abandoned. (If the County were to vacate their interest there is a lengthy procedure to be followed and normally the County would be compensated.) Their massive earth moving for terracing the defunct vineyard caused a great deal of erosion and the state had to step in to enforce some mitigation and clean up efforts. They built their “Theatron” without permits. They continue to lavishly & wastefully spend huge amounts of money on landscaping, objects d’ art, lawyers and the finest jewels, trinkets, clothing & “companionship” for their (make no mistake) absolute leader Robert Burton.
Since this was a recent issue with the Board of Supervisors it would be appropriate to ask Randy Fletcher if he would vote in favor of returning some of their property tax dollars.

184. Mick - May 13, 2014

I wonder if the “book liberating octave” is still in operation, wherein books are stolen from public libraries. These folks are not upright citizens. Librarians beware.

185. Tim Campion - May 19, 2014

183. Mick

I believe that was the first time I ever voted, Mick. (I sure wasn’t interested in local politics.) We thought it was pretty funny that, with the Fellowship’s few hundred votes in and around Oregon House, we could determine the outcome of an election.

In retrospect, it was likely illegal.

186. Tim Campion - May 22, 2014

Letter to the Editor of the Territorial Dispatch (Marysville, CA) expressing concern about Fellowship political organizing, possibly in violation of 501(c)(3) regulations: View From Former Fellowship Member

187. Nick Spaulding - May 22, 2014

Tim: see IRS documents & regulations:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rr2007-41.pdf
see page 1422 “situation 5” There is plenty of latitude
for acceptable and allowable activity well within the law.

188. ton2u - May 22, 2014
189. Mick - May 22, 2014

Top Ten Numbers
1. 1
2. 3
3. 7
4. 2
5. 4
6. 9
7. 5
8. 6
9. 8
10. 0 (Is zero a number?)

190. Tim Campion - May 22, 2014

Nick Spaulding,

Thanks for link, and for pointing out the specific situation (5). With the possible exception in the case of an officially-sanctioned campaign, or use of church assets for the campaign, this certainly suggests that the political campaigning we are seeing is permitted freedom of speech under the law, not a violation of 501(c)(3) rules.

191. ton2u - May 22, 2014

Burton supporters arrive here periodically to defend their leader’s motives and behaviors, sometimes their defense is even based in pseudo/quasi legalese. One excuse used for Burton’s scam and his general depravity, is that he hasn’t violated any ‘written laws.’ To me that argument is a ‘straw man.’ What these Burtonists don’t seem to understand is that there are violations of unwritten laws which do pertain to Burton’s actions here on terra-plane. The unwritten laws to which I refer have to do with ethical and moral conduct based on an innate sense of common human decency. Unfortunately this is an area which Burton and his followers simply ignore in pursuit of narcissistic gratifications.

The realm of ethical morality is unknown territory to the defenders of Burton due to the fact that they, like their leader, lack a functioning conscience. The sad irony is that in spite of the fact that Burton lacks a functional conscience, the FOF scam and the entire operation has for decades hinged upon Burton’s role as a teacher and “spiritual guide” to those who, for whatever reason, he’s been able to bamboozle…. in this capacity he’s said that he’s the “highest earthly incarnation since Jesus Christ” (or words to that effect).

There’s a sickening irony in putting himself on par with the legendary figure of Christ, since anyone with a shred of insight into Burton’s actions knows that the only thing legendary about him is the depth of his depravity and that both he and his followers are controlled by his malignant narcissism… yet he poses and pretends to be a christ-like being, inhabiting lofty moral realms which ‘mere mortals’ cannot see nor understand, explaining away his depravity with the glib aplomb of a practiced bullshit artist: “…the lower cannot see the higher, dear.”

192. Golden Veil - May 23, 2014

Yes, the irony of REB calling himself “the brightest light in 2,000 years” when he’s just a selfish master manipulator, more a 21st century Priapus.

193. Mick - May 23, 2014

Well, hello Mr. Spaulding, it’s been a long time. Really? Page one thousand four hundred twenty two, situation 5? That’s digging pretty deep. Are you defending the actions of Robert Burton? In my opinion the Fellowship of Friends is not rotten through and through, but it has become morally corrupt at the core.

194. Nick Spaulding - May 23, 2014

Mick:
Not digging too deep, actually. Took about 7 minutes on the internet to find the details.

Not defending anyone. Folks can defend themselves. I had just noticed Tim’s letter in the free newspaper at the grocery store, and seemed simple enough to pass on to Tim what I found.

195. Tim Campion - May 23, 2014

Nick Spaulding is the very model of poise and nonchalance. In this regard, he reminds me of Linda Kaplan. If you recall, the last time Linda honored us with a visit, the Feds had raided Fellowship member Thomas Neuschatz’s Oregon House clinic, and the news was announcing the implication of Neuschatz in the deaths of numerous patients.

The last time Nick Spaulding appeared on this forum, in July 2007, the blog had just recently come to the attention of Fellowship members, and the organization was working furiously to stem a growing exodus. (They eventually lost approximately one third of their membership and, more importantly, the  revenue these members represented.)

So Nick’s high-profile participation in the current Yuba County election campaign (where he has unrelentingly attacked the opponents of Randy Fletcher, the candidate Fellowship members are backing) and his appearance here, suggest that for the Fellowship (and for Nick personally) the stakes are considerable. He has for years been the Fellowship’s political operative, Robert Burton’s bush-league Karl Rove.

But Nick appears more careless and hotheaded than Karl (and Linda.) Among other slip-ups, his casual reply to Mick above sounds factual, but if you read my Letter to the Editor in the Territorial Dispatch (see post 186) Nick’s comment appears completely unrelated. There is nothing in that letter that would elicit Nick’s IRS citation.

If, however, you had followed the dialogue between Nick and me on the yubafoothills.com forum over the past two weeks, you will see that Nick is answering a very specific question I asked there.(In that discussion, I am “alphanumeric1”.) As an example of Nick’s aggressiveness in defending Fellowship interests, after reading my Letter to the Editor, which by the way appeared alongside his own, and drawing the connection with my on-line comments, he immediately tried to “out” me on that forum, posting his attack in six different threads. Now that was hardly a model of poise and nonchalance.

Maybe, in a moment of confusion, Nick just forgot where he had read the question that prompted his “7-minute research” of IRS publications. My conclusion, this is just another example of the “intentional insincerity” (otherwise known as lying) Fellowship of Friends leaders employ with such ease and absence of compunction.

196. Nick - May 23, 2014

Tim:
You say “maybe in a moment of confusion Nick forgot. . .”
as if those moments are few and far between.

Fact Check: After reading your (Tim’s) letter about FOF, I simply “googled” “Tim Campion Fellowship of Friends” and that led to your website, where you mentioned non-profits and political activity. . .

Also, I don’t recall trying to “out” anyone, especially on a blog
where privacy is protected.

On the rare occasions that I posted on this blog, I have only used my own name, and as I stated years ago. . .to me. . . this blog belongs to you folks. For me it is inappropriate for FOF ‘ers to come on here repeatedly under some clever name and attempt to be an apologist for someone else.

As Tim noted elsewhere, the details on political activity were
appreciated.

As in years past, I take my leave.

197. Nick Spaulding - May 23, 2014

Tim & all:

“Maybe in a moment of confusion, Nick just forgot. . .”
Tim, you say that as if those moments are few and far between.

In order of importance:
I do not recall trying to “out” anyone. I respect blog privacy,
and have used my own name in my rare posts here.
Years ago, I expressed to you all that I felt it inappropriate for FOF
folks to come on here and debate or be apologists using clever names.

Tim, I simply read your letter to the editor on the FOF and googled:
Tim Campion Fellowship of Friends
and that led me to your own webpage where the non-profit political questions appeared right on top.

I now return to radio silence.

198. Tim Campion - May 23, 2014

Nick, I look forward to the continuing conversation with your doppelganger.

199. Tim Campion - May 24, 2014

Nick,

You’re making me work WAY too hard. Between the time the May 19th Territorial Dispatch was published, and the time you posted #187 above, I find no such visit (as you describe it) to the REB blog. If you’d like to provide the last couple octets of your IP address, I’ll double check.

Or maybe there’s another explanation?

200. paul gregory - May 24, 2014

Nicky baby. ‘Folks’. Folks can defend themselves. Folks can do this and folks can do that, you’d suggest folks keep their lips buttoned, but that is precisely the nature of the situation, that folks are mutely buttoned swans in a ‘C influence’ goldfish bowl floating on a metaphysical titanic with the best intentions. Going down with the teacher as the band plays einer kliner nacht musique. ‘just here to be friendly, folks, in a photographic way’. Doesn’t ring true.

201. Mick - May 24, 2014

Despite the old adage, Tim, “The best offense is a good defense”, some folks choose to disengage. I guess we won’t be hearing any justifications from the Goddess himself. In esoteric terms that is called “chickenshit”. Some folks love that stuff.

202. WhaleRider - May 26, 2014

A colleague of mine who knew I am a FOF cult survivor approached me last night and wanted more information about the cult.

By happenstance, they had a new client whom had been kicked out of the FOF…for claiming to be conscious and enlightened like the cult leader.

Much to the dismay of the individual, the FOF didn’t agree with this self assessment, and the individual was asked to leave.

It was suggested by top FOF brass that before the individual be allowed to return to the flock, they seek an evaluation by a mental health professional “life person”, for whatever they feel that’s worth.

I would be lying to say the FOF holds the professional field of psychology in particularly high regard, so obviously the FOF doesn’t really want this character back, and probably wouldn’t take them back even if the life person mental health professional thought the individual was mentally fit to do so, which no serious mental health professional would ever recommend doing anyway…because it could get them into serious trouble for sending a client to rejoin a cult.

Seems like a total mind fuck on the part of the FOF, if you ask me, on someone whom is probably close to a psychotic break.

But clearly, to the FOF, this sick individual needed help…the kind of help not provided by them in the practice of their so-called esoteric Christian religion, for this broken individual broke the cult’s cardinal rule.

In the cult there can only one person who can claim to be conscious and enlightened, and that is the cult leader.

Anyone else who claims to be enlightened without the approval of the cult leader is obviously suffering from a grandiose delusion, for it is the cult’s firm belief that everyone else in the entire world is asleep except the cult leader.

And only the cult leader can bestow consciousness status upon his followers; a cult follower may not bestow that upon themselves, nor do any self promotion within the cult, otherwise you are asked to leave. Followers must only promote the cult and its leader.

If a cult follower suddenly wakes up to the fact they are already conscious and have always been conscious, and feel entitled to be recognized for their advanced level of being by others, then they have a problem…a problem that is apparently best handled by a trained mental health practitioner in life and not by an older, more experienced cult follower nor the cult leader himself (whom many cult followers believe possesses magical powers but whom is also apparently unable to heal anyone).

I repeat. In a cult, only the cult leader can claim to be enlightened. Anyone else who claims to be enlightened is deluded….except for burton. He’s not deluded. He just sounds deluded.

Therefore, in order to be in a cult, especially as a long term follower, you must be…and remain…asleep and unenlightened.

How sadly ironic, since that’s the opposite of why a person joins and why a person leaves.

203. fofblogmoderator - May 26, 2014

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