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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 148 May 23, 2015

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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. fofblogmoderator - May 23, 2015

INDEX TO THE BLOG

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

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

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

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

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

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

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

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

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

2. nigel harris price - May 23, 2015

Having heard the ‘soft/lilting voice’ of John O’Donohue on this beautiful link – THE VOICE IS THE THING – NEARER TO THE PERSON – maybe a reunion would do us all good – County Donegal would be marvellous…..Nigel.

3. nigel harris price - May 23, 2015

“Stress is a perverted relationship to time.” – John O’Donohue

4. nigel harris price - May 23, 2015

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

5. ton2u - May 23, 2015

Nigel,
Thank you — and you’re welcome…. I’ve been listening to On Being on the radio for years…. now we have a wonderful archive of past programs available online… aside from John O’Donohue, if you take time to browse the deep / rich archives here – going back to 2001 – you’re sure to find many inspiring speakers and conversations…. enjoy:

http://www.onbeing.org/programs/2014

6. ton2u - May 23, 2015

re: ‘the supremacy of hard science’ – even scientists have beliefs… go ‘figuring.’

7. Bares Reposting - May 23, 2015

147/218. Tempus Fugit – May 15, 2015
‘And sometimes the discussion even returns to the FOF…

I especially appreciate those of you who periodically bring the focus back to the dishonesty of Robert Burton. I believe interested people still look here and on the Robert Earl Burton blog for information other than official cult dogma, and, because of that, we may occasionally save a life.’

posted on blog about 8 years ago:
[anonymized any personal data]

‘Hello all—

Learning about this blog reminded me that I had some detailed notes from a conversation with Robert thirteen years ago. It seems worth sharing in this wild west of free speech and truth telling. Some background: I had been in the FOF for twenty-one years when this conversation took place. My husband and I had led centers in xxxxxx, xxxxxx, and xxxxxx. We spent five years in Europe. At the time of this conversation, I was recovering from [serious life threatening disease] and couldn’t stand on FOF ceremony anymore; my voice—long absent—was waking up.

On [specific date/time in 1994], Robert called me at home. His call was a surprise, but there was a pad by the phone and I scribbled as we talked. Afterwards, I called my husband, xxxxxx, at work. “xxxxxx”, he said, “While this is so fresh, write it all down. Word for word if you can. Years from now, you will need to know that what you did was right and good and whole. Write it down and save it. For yourself.”

It is tempting to edit this now—to make Robert seem a little stranger, me a little more confident. But I’m not going to do that. The strength of the simple truth is that everybody gets to come to their own conclusions. People who have not had a long conversation with Robert in awhile may be surprised at his inability to do anything more than repeat decades old platitudes. See for yourself if you think it is really worth paying for this:

RB: I’ve just returned from Rome. There were many shocks this time. I missed xxxxxx, and of course, you. We are returning to European Art, we had to study Asian art for a time so that we wouldn’t draw a blank after 2006 when all the world’s treasures come to Renaissance.

[ME]: I heard some details of the trip from xxxxxx on her way back home.

RB: Yes, we had many shocks in Milan. A student’s mother had consumed some acid in order to end her life. I said that the shock indicated that acid rain would begin falling on humanity and two days later it rained, an actual acid rain. (more talk about the student and dinners in Milan. . .)

[ME]: I imagine that you are calling because you heard that I was thinking about leaving the school.

RB: Well, I really just called to see how you were doing and also I did hear that you were experiencing some difficulty. (mention of [literature] class, wondering if I was coming up over the weekend. . .)

[ME]: Yes, there are a number of growing conflicts in me now related to my commitment to the school.

RB: Well, what is your relationship to influence C?

[ME]: I believe that I have a connection to C influence now that is my own. I feel very connected to help from the gods. In this past year I have received such specific help that there is no question about it anymore.

RB: Yes, I don’t doubt that you have a connection. The thing is though that there must be three lines of work. You can’t just take, you have to give C influence something for their help.

[ME]: Robert, I deeply understand payment and efforts and the need to carve out an emotional life. Whether I stay or go I have to do this. But I’m not interested in all the prophesies and in the movement towards Renaissance being a closed community. It’s interesting to me that although C influence is deeply personal for you, it allows you to live in such a way that you don’t have to take any real responsibility for anything.

RB: We are not a closed community, people from Life come and go there a lot, especially to the Winery.

[ME]: That’s not the kind of closed I’m talking about.

RB: You are somewhat sentimental about Life. xxxxxx is like that too. You want to believe that C influence is for everyone, but they are not. The laws are very hard. Many are called, but few are chosen. (some other quotes about Life and how they are destined to suffer. . .)

[ME]: You gave me that photograph the first time you met me, I’m sure it’s true to some extent, however, I’m not a fool. You talk to me as though I was a fool. It doesn’t take higher centers to see that there are descending octaves all around us.

RB: (Some acknowledgement of that. . .some loosening up. . .) Yes, humanity will suffer. Russia and the U.S. have nuclear bombs, etc. . .(then the story of his mother’s death, ARK KAN C [Arkansas – ark kan saw – where REB was born], strange disconnect. . .)

[ME]: It’s very hard for me to continue to hear these things over and over again. You have been my teacher and you have opened my heart and my mind to hundreds of new things. Now, it’s almost like the repeat of all these stories is closing my heart to you. You know, opened it at one level and now closing it at another?

RB: Yes, it is odd, isn’t it? This may be the last conversation we ever have, so I need to say everything I can. I want to feel that, as a teacher, I have done all I can. However, I like the tone of this conversation. It’s like friends talking. You are calm. I am calm.

[ME]: I am trying to be present and I’m experiencing no fear.

RB: Good. Fear is not self-remembering, nor is power self-remembering.

[ME]: I want to ask you something important and personal for me. (pause to calm myself. . .). If I leave the school and discover that I have made a mistake, may I return?

RB: Oh yes, of course. You can pay the re-entry fee of $1,500.00 and return. But I don’t advise it, the odds are only one in forty of staying again. It’s very very bad to lose a school..(some heavy statements about Life People about to be expunged. . .). When Miles left, sixty people left the school, now this, some people will lose the way, but it is necessary to prune the vine to prepare for 1998.

[ME]: How do you know what people do when they leave? How can you be sure that they are losers?

RB: I am an experienced teacher and I have been working half of my life with influence C. I understand these things. It’s curious that the two centers that are having the most difficulty are xxxxxx and xxxxxx—places where people are concerned with their careers and with money. The instinctive center begins to take over.

[ME]: I don’t think this is about people’s instinctive centers. This is mostly an emotional process of loss of confidence in the way the school is working. I have talked to a number of students at Renaissance who would leave too, but they can’t. It’s a little like a poker game where the longer you sit at the table the more you resist folding and walking away—you have so much invested.

RB: That is a good analogy, I like it.

[ME]: For someone like me, it’s also hard to see that some of the people that I thinking are growing and evolving are leaving, like xxxxxx, whereas others like xxxxxx stay in a very narrow groove.

RB: The school is larger now than it has ever been. And our students [a]re doing so well. Girard is doing very well. xxxxxx and xxxxxx and xxxxxx [three persons who have now left and/or died.] are all here.

[ME]: Yes, you have your ark. You will always have enough people to keep your own ark afloat. I don’t know if it’s my ark anymore.

RB: (Becoming defensive) When you are offered a life boat, you don’t question the color of the raft.

[ME]: I want to change the subject as long as you have called me and I am very appreciative of the call. I wondered if you’d tell me what you see in me—I mean changes that you see after twenty years with you? This is such an emotional and positive time for me. This past year was the best and the worst of my life.

RB: Oh really? What happened?

[ME]: You did call me after surgery, remember? I had xxxxxx. You called me in the hospital. (really flustered. . .can’t believe he forgot. . .).

RB: I see. Well I’ve lost many of my women students to xxxxxx. The last time I saw you. . .(struggling to answer my question. . .), you looked healthy, seemed emotionally good and balanced, if anything I would say that maybe you seemed a bit, you know, too successful. Maybe too much A influence.

[ME]: (Laughter. . .couldn’t help it. . .) Well, they took that all away pretty quick, so I’m not nearly so successful anymore. And it wasn’t xxxxxx [disease]. Well anyway Robert, we pay all our teaching payments in advance, so if I have a re-entry fee, I’ll have a big credit.

RB: (Very surprised) You mean that you are still paying? So even though you don’t go to meetings now, you are still paying? Well, I didn’t realize that, that’s good then.

[ME]: Yes, you see, it’s not the instinctive center. There’s something else I want to ask you. I haven’t said that I’m leaving yet. This is not a trivial inquiry for me. Please let me do this in my own time.

RB: No one is pushing you out dear.

[ME]: No, but you have established an attitude about people leaving the school permeates throughout.

RB: I used to make jokes, but then I asked myself if that was necessary. Now I don’t talk about my former students, I just say that they have lost the way and that the instinctive center has won and. . .(more of the same.)

[ME]: This is what I mean. You have set the tone. It all comes from you. Robert, you may be able to keep more of your more mature people if you disallow this kind of talk about those who move on. This is just one thing, there are lots of things like that.

RB: Well goodness, I am running out of steam.

[ME]: I am too. Thank you for calling.

RB: Goodbye dear.

[ME]: Bye.

Following this phone call, Robert told people, “[ME] has left the school.” I didn’t get to do it in my own time because my friends wouldn’t speak with me.

Only Abraham G. called. He huffed and puffed and said I was fomenting rebellion; a junta. A junta?? I am not making this up.

Old friends, if any of you are wondering how you will ever survive leaving, you won’t know how strong you are until you do. There may be hard days; how does a person prepare for being “expunged?” But you’ll probably be okay. If you are like me, you’ll have the best days of your life. What is on the line is integrity, that and maybe some real unconditional love, if you are lucky.

I wish you all that and more.

See you down the road,

[ME]’

8. nigel harris price - May 23, 2015

7 Bares Reposting

I like this post, coming from a true, raw, humane angle…..and, yes, I would still like to see a ‘spontaneous combustion’ of the FOF, much as I ranted about pages ago (but my life is ‘passionately peaceful’ and suits my older age and ‘mind-jiggling’). But I feel the ‘supurating pleasant twee’ quality of Braverman’s voice, with whoever instals a utilitarian library behind the shots, will be forceful – IT’S GOOD ACTING TECHNIQUE propped up by someone with commercial advertising knowledge…..Nigel.

9. Robert Stolzle - May 23, 2015

Re: former students-

So far as I can recall, if anyone, of any consequence whatsoever, left the FoF it was considered to be “criminal”. I recall RB discussing Donald MacDonald’s leaving in those terms at a Berkely meeting circa 1974. I am sure there were plenty of “students” who left that didn’t matter to him, but the older students and student teachers departure was usually received by RB as a personal affront. So much for not being identified.

Bob Stolzle

10. WhaleRider - May 23, 2015

Bares Reposting:
What is sadly ironic to me about burton’s ruthless rationalizations, delivered with such arrogant confidence, knowing how effortlessly he simply rotates the newest crop of ripe neophytes he’s been holding at bay into his “inner circle” of victims to exploit with his time tested script of inanities…while projecting onto others fortunate and brave enough to liberate themselves from his perpetual rape factory…the painful truth:

it’s his “instinctive center” that has won.

11. Messages From Marconi - May 23, 2015

12. nigel harris price - May 24, 2015

…..-isms delineated…..try out this site…..

13. Ron aka Renald - May 24, 2015

My adopted Uncle Tom at his best and he sure is sounding familiar, lol

14. nigel harris price - May 25, 2015

…..no particular reason, but a beautiful song about true love…..I hop some of you get it……Nigel

15. Robert Stolzle - May 25, 2015

Am I the only one who finds the posting of links to this and that mostly uninteresting and not anywhere as useful as some personal comment? I you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything.

Bob Stolzle

16. nigel harris price - May 25, 2015

15 Robert Stolzle

Sorry…..my post was having just texted with my Army Major ‘friend’ (?), Claire. She is bold and intelligent and somehow ‘hunted me down’ in Exeter. Obviously, neither of us know ‘what in the world will happen to each of us’ – but for me – unlike the stupid, infantile relationships I had long ago in California…..this one is worth everything I have…..and I have no formulae for love…..

Considering your post, are we allowed to go BEYOND THE STODGE?????

17. Messages From Marconi - May 25, 2015

15. Robert Stolzle – May 25, 2015

Am I the only one who finds the posting of links to this and that mostly uninteresting and not anywhere as useful as some personal comment? If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything.

Bob Stolzle

***

Allow me to explain myself, if I can. The post I put up (post #11) had information about how “black ops aliens” are using Gurdjieff’s “neutralizing force” to plague the lives of ranchers living in remote locations as well as isolated military bases in the U.S. This may mean nothing to you, Bob, but I’m sure others find the information of vital significance.

Also, there is, of course, a rather disturbing “back story.”

Some years ago the genius behind the video was teaching his version of Gurdjieff’s science and mathematics on the internet and attracted the interest of an ex-FOF woman who at the time was married. The two struck up a friendship that eventually became overwhelmingly romantic. Impulsively the ex-FOF woman “ran away from home” for two weeks in order to rendezvous with the video genius in the remote corners of the wilderness with the agenda of discussing “sacred mathematics” and otherwise to “carry on.” Well, bye and bye the adventurous woman returned home to confront her rather worried husband. As it turns out she ran off without so much as leaving note. When she walked in the door and explained herself the husband threw her to floor and began choking her. She narrowly escaped and headed directly to the nearest police department to file a complaint of domestic violence against the cuckolded unfortunate. She then headed, one presumes, off to camp at Ma and Pa’s for a bit.

The husband was charged and arrested. He was fired from his job at a local college or some such. Then he killed himself. The adventurous ex-FOF adulteress eventually landed on her feet and ended up owning his house. She was last sighted promoting the live internet lectures of a Gurdjieff Foundation lunatic named Kevin L*****n.

Moral of the story: “Remember yourself whatever you do.”

18. Robert Stolzle - May 26, 2015

Nigel- Well!!! Stodgy?? Me!! I’ve been accused of worse, but it doesn’t really fit my self image very well. And, in my tiny circles, I’m often seen as being the provocative one…….I guess it isn’t so easy to jolt a bunch of reformed seekers of truth and wisdom and eternity. Oops, excuse me God is calling!

Back again—-that Hereafter is really something!

Marconi–Thanks for the back story; I feel quite enlightened now. but, the necessity of reading it just points out my essential weaknesses in understanding and interpreting the significance of signs, symbols and lyrics. I guess I always thought that the Hotel California was just poetic shorthand for prison and that “being identified” meant that a lot of people knew you……kind of like the easiest identified movie stars….No? Please DO NOT tell me that “self remembering” is anything more convoluted than using the potty at the right time and brushing one’s teeth before bed. Jesus H.! Nex’ one of you all gonna be sayin’ Mr. Robert Burton, esq. is really the true Second Coming an’ here I done already jumped ship! Hell!!

AND!, I been ‘identified’ since the first time I looked in the mirror,
Bob Stolzle

19. nigel harris price - May 28, 2015

…..as WE, the SEEKERS OF OUR UNIVERSAL SOLITUDE, and yet not that, as we grow together, even on this blog, and, hopefully, with our dear friends and colleagues (some have families and that is at least half a lifetime’s task), we may fail to forget ‘La Belle et le Bete’ balance and turbulence within us…..

…..this movie is not a Disney version nor Jean Cocteau surrealism – this is about as realistic as THE BRUTAL and THE INNOCENT can be depicted, in our past, present and future…..’PAN’S LABYRINTH’……figure out for yourselves and in yourselves what, only, has a right to GO ON…..

20. nigel harris price - May 28, 2015

…..Anam Cara…..

“To be natural is holy; but it is very difficult to be natural. If you are outside yourself, always reaching beyond yourself, you avoid the call of your own mystery. When you acknowledge the integrity of your solitude, and settle into its mystery, your relationships with others take on a new warmth, adventure and wonder.”

21. ton2u - May 28, 2015

22. Mick - May 29, 2015

The difference between students and ex-students can be summed up: The followers of Robert Burton consider him to be more advanced than themselves; whereas those who have rejected his influence do not.

23. ton2u - May 29, 2015

friday afternoon….

re: 22

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

24. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 30, 2015

Summer 2015 | Tricycle
Crazy Wisdom or Just Plain Crazy?
Obsession and Madness on the Path to Enlightenment
In pursuit of a story about the enigmatic death
of a Buddhist retreatant, a writer risks his own mind
as he digs into the heart of the mystery.
Scott Carney

http://www.tricycle.com/feature/obsession-and-madness-path-enlightenment

25. Messages From Marconi - May 30, 2015

Hideous Genetic Mutations

One of the detrimental effects of cults in the world is that individuals susceptible to similar types of delusions join these various psychotic cults, they invariably meet up with others of the opposite sex who share the same peculiar vulnerability for crazy ideas, and then begin to breed with one another. These misfits of civilization breed an unfortunate strain of human idiot that is particularly unwise and invariably turns toward the warped insanity of life. These hideous genetic mutations actively seek out the festering pockets of fantasy and then collect like the Greek word “tartar” in the cracks and crevices of society. It is these genetically produced cult unfortunates who populate the ancient Greek designation for that level of society which lives in a hellish delusion of psychological self-torture, that state of deranged existence known as Tartarus.

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

This is one of the genetic factors that keeps humanity ever suffering from the dysfunction that it so suffers from, the fact that people with broken psyches find one another in the basements of the cult underground and ill advisedly immediately begin to reproduce themselves, thus multiplying their inborn propensity to ignore the psychologically advancing edge of humanity in favor of populating the receding psychological edge of cultic delusional fantasy. Just imagine, after one hundred years of existence, how many defective Gurdjieffian cult lunatics there are in the world as a result of cult-collected ill breeding. How many offspring now share a permanent genetic predisposition to believe that “people are food for the moon” and other equally stupid and unscientific folktales? How many Gurdjieff cult baby boomers are there roaming the streets right now seeking the mythic psychic elixir of “hydrogen 12” in order to achieve the thrillingly elusive attainment of suddenly “becoming conscious?” In reality “becoming conscious” in the Gurdjieffian sense of the concept means in fact becoming psychotic.

Cult rabble breeding like rats, this is one of the many social diseases plaguing civilization that keep the rotten aspects of the population rooted to the lowest possible frame of mind.

26. nigel harris price - May 30, 2015

25 Messages from Marconi

I thought the idea of the blog was that, instead of indulging in CULTISM, we, as INDIVIDUALS, were sustaining an effort, through whatever means we have found available to us, to SUSTAIN AN EFFORT TOWARD SELFDOM, which is the very core of spiritual practice and application, nourishing each step we make towards the pinnacle of self-perfection…..

…..mate, you are ‘stirring waste matter’……Nigel.

http://www.disabilityartscymru.co.uk/

27. Robert Stolzle - May 30, 2015

Marconi-

That is how the Overlords want it to be……..

Really is there is anyone or anything driving the bus?

Seriously, for all you seekers of truth and wisdom:
Do you see or do you have any evidence for there being ANY purpose whatsoever for mankinds’ existence?

And I don’t mean the “to help each other or make the Earth a better home” kind of answers but, what is the “end game” of humanity’s existence—–assuming we don’t kill ourselves first.

A few parameters confining this question are our short lives and frailty in space…….a light year is a long, long way away. The Sun will eventually burn out and envelope the earth in the process and the only thing that we can throw into the cosmos is machine intelligence.

Bob Stolzle

28. ton2u - May 30, 2015

the article below says much more but given the context here and to satisfy those who insist the blog should focus on the FOF, I’ll contextualize it for you; the FOF is in fact just another “immortality system” — grok:

http://ernestbecker.org/lecture-texts/the-denial-of-death-and-the-practice-of-dying.html

29. Cathie L. - May 30, 2015

Brings to mind that great line from Woody Allen’s Manhattan, spoken by the lovely Mariel Hemingway: “You have to have a little faith in people.” In the context of the article referenced at #28 above — grok in fullness.

30. nigel harris price - May 31, 2015

May the light of your soul guide you
by John O’Donohue

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.

31. nigel harris price - May 31, 2015

John O’Donohue: “Because we live in time, each person’s life is a circle… The circle brings perspective to the process of aging. As you age, time affects your body, your experience, and above all your soul… This is one of the most vital questions that affects every person. Can we transfigure the damage that time has done to us?”

32. Cathie L. - May 31, 2015

Re: #28 “Denial of Death” article

In the fall of 1979, I was asked to move from Santa Barbara to the Chicago center, located in the small town of Ravinia, on the shore of Lake Michigan. I still remember that time in vivid flashes, now and again.

The house was spectacular, a grand old midwestern mansion with a formal dining room, gigantic kitchen, a grand staircase, library, servant’s quarters and attic. There was a vast basement with ancient plumbing and a decrepit heater that barely kept the place warm, consuming oil by the truckload (steam heat). One poor student’s sleeping quarters were down there, near the noisy beast!

The rest of us were crammed into every habitable nook and cranny of the house, from the attic to the servant’s quarters. My assigned room when I arrived was an upstairs “sun porch,” no doubt fine in summer, but a barren icebox in winter. After toughing it out for a few weeks, I begged for another room, and was offered the floor of a very large closet in the master suite’s dressing area. I gratefully unrolled my sleeping bag there each night for the duration of my stay.

Not that any of us had much time for sleeping. Most of us were working two jobs to meet the rent, utilities, food and teaching payments, as well as paying for elaborate “traveling teacher” dinners and other incidentals that arose. In the cold early mornings, some of us would walk to the train station and ride into Chicago together, often meeting up again late that night for the trip home.

I remember one train ride in particular, at the end of a long day’s work at my two jobs, as a proofreader at Ernst & Whinney, followed by a part-time night job at Northern Trust Bank, typing crop reports. I had brought a book to read with me on the train, probably inspired by one of the little “daily cards,” bearing a quotation from a “conscious being,” that were given out each week.

My book was Plato’s Five Great Dialogues, and I was reading “Phaedo.” I remember having the sensation of my mind being drawn up into a higher plane of thought, feeling the clarity and power of the ancient philosopher’s words reaching me across time and space. The existence of the soul was assumed. The light of the mind was self-evident. I felt the connection. At the time I considered it a “higher state,” and I still do.

So there’s a little gratitude story here, one of the finer moments in my life that happened as a result of the efforts of my fellow friends in the ‘ship…the ones who typeset and printed those daily cards on the hand presses, the ones who established the far-flung teaching houses and worked to “create memory” for each other, who walked with me along the snow covered streets of Ravinia in the deep winter nights….a reminiscence sing.

33. Messages From Marconi - May 31, 2015

32. Cathie L. – May 31, 2015

The existence of the soul was assumed. The light of the mind was self-evident. I felt the connection. At the time I considered it a “higher state,” and I still do.

So there’s a little gratitude story here, one of the finer moments in my life that happened as a result of the efforts of my fellow friends in the ‘ship…the ones who typeset and printed those daily cards on the hand presses, the ones who established the far-flung teaching houses and worked to “create memory” for each other, who walked with me along the snow covered streets of Ravinia in the deep winter nights….a reminiscence sing.

***

It is too bad you lost the School, dear. Now you are on your way to the moon, or worse.

We helped you and allowed you to experience the truth once or twice and even so you walked away to meet your eternal doom.

Let all prospective students who read this woman’s words note that she was in a real school with a man number 7 teacher and then lost it all. Now she pathetically reminisces about the golden days on this miserable blog.

All who leave are worse off than if they never lived, and Cathie just proved it. Join our School and commune directly with Plato himself!

34. Shard of Oblivion - May 31, 2015

#33 and #32 I think you are calling that one wrong Marconi. To vehemently reject everything that happened during our stay in the FoF as useless, would surely correspond to the early stages of leaving the school. I remember feeling like that at first. Maybe what Cathy L demonstrates by telling her Chicago story is that after more time, it is easier to recognise those things that happened which we feel were of some value to us, despite the corrupt nature of the “school” we were members of.

35. Messages From Marconi - May 31, 2015

34. Shard of Oblivion – May 31, 2015

Maybe what Cathy L demonstrates by telling her Chicago story is that after more time, it is easier to recognise those things that happened which we feel were of some value to us, despite the corrupt nature of the “school” we were members of.

***

Is this anti-Fellowship of Friends blog the place to sing the praises of the Fellowship of Friends? It seems there is a general motivation to dismiss the cult here, not give testimonials that it is in fact a consciousness generating “school.”

Let’s say a reader searching the Internet for information on the FOF was not very intelligent and because of that lack of critical mindedness might actually entertain the possibility that a slaving, over-paying cult member working two jobs while living in a closet in a rundown “mansion” could in fact experience nirvana on a bus in Chicago while reading something as tedious as Plato’s Dialogues, wouldn’t such a reader nevertheless ask the obvious question that even a dumb person might ask: Why would someone who got so much consciousness from the FOF leave it, and if they haven’t left, or if they’ve returned, why would they need to brag about that experience in public?

Just what sort of ego needs everyone to know that their “soul” was “existing within a higher state”? Other than the ruination of sheer vanity, the only reason to declare the successful mission of the FOF in this one instance would be to promote the Fellowship of Friends and the “daily card” generating “conscious teacher” as the place to go for higher consciousness.

Who knows what motivates a romantic dingbat, but the gushing revelation seems contraindicated considering the tone of the blog in general.

36. Cathie L. - June 1, 2015

Marconi:

37. Messages From Marconi - June 1, 2015

And in receiving such I’m:

38. nigel harris price - June 1, 2015

33 Messages from Marconi

I do believe you are a SHIT-STIRRING, ARGUMENTATIVE LITTLE JELLYFISH…..as far as I can tell from your excreta on this blog, you want to bring down anything that people have found and rebuilt for themselves, with, or without FOF experience…..can you not see it is only with a positive attitude to your life and enriching one’s soul again, that one can take a strong stance in life, one’s role in life as a whole and attitude to others…..

…..hence, I think, GREENSLEEVES was posted…..Nigel

39. Shard of Oblivion - June 1, 2015

“They’re Justified and they’re Ancient, and they drive an Ice cream van”

40. paul gregory - June 1, 2015
41. Robert Stolzle - June 1, 2015

Re: The Cathie L. vs Marconi “Fussfight Of the Century”

This is fun and maybe “off script” for once. It gives the usual blather some cred’. I got pilloried here early on because, having left in 1976 before RB’s behavior and demands became outrageous, I didn’t experience much of the anger that drives this blog. I avoided “the Farm” and generally thought that many of the devotees were more devoted to playing a oneupsmanship game than anything more serious. Some were insufferable……and, I hope, are still in the FoF.

Reading here, however, I have come to realize that RB causes more damage than good and that the FoF was never “about the students personal psychological growth”……or the Fourth Way. But, to be fair, that was never a claim anyone made—“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” etc. I am also satisfied that “The Fourth Way” of O & G was probably similarly farcical and self serving——“Ancient Wisdom” my fuzzy butt! I believe that is really an oxymoron comparable to “military intelligence” and has never existed except in charlatan’s pitches. The view from MY old age and wisdom suggests Gurdjeiff’s Fourth Way was a clever, ad hoc construction from the very beginning. If it ever helped anyone that was OK, but it was not the intent.

I thought the Marconi reply in #33 was spot on. It caught the proper tone of sad and dismissive that was proper when anyone took their leave of the FoF. “I fart in your general direction!” was the proper comeback, too.

I enjoyed reading Cathie L.’s post in #32 because I am personally still wanting to understand how the FoF devolved into the mess so many people posting here (and in the past) experienced. I found her historical account interesting. How do you think YOU WERE CHOSEN, Cathie? And what did you do in Ravinia besides work? The group I left still seemed to have the potential to help people. But “it is an ill wind that blows no one any good”, too. Humans are constantly trying to put a positive spin on their faults and travails. The accounts of how cancer helps people never end.

It seems postings here have covered most all the methods of creating “mystical experiences” already. That doesn’t diminish their personal relevance. Native American’s vision quests involved hunger and fatigue; isn’t it likely, Cathie, that your Plato experience came from that? I am sure that many of the FoF students’ higher experiences came from the fatigue and sleep deprivation of the “36 hour work octave”. I suspect this technique was built into the Fourth Way and the truth that, “Even a blind hog can find an acorn.” is the objective reality that has kept the FoF going all these years.

Blog on!
Bob Stolzle

42. Cathie L. - June 1, 2015

Bob,

I wasn’t chosen, I volunteered when they asked if anyone would be willing to relocate to the Chicago center. Or did you mean how did I ever imagine I was “chosen” to receive the help of C-Influence in a conscious Fourth Way school? Someone probably told me that, and it sounded good to me, romantic dingbat that I was.

I don’t remember doing much else in Chicago besides work and sleep. Museum trips? Socializing with my fellow “slaving overpaying cult members”? Sure, probably. I was only there for one winter, then it was back to California to join the slaving, practically unpaid cult members in the Renaissance office.

You might say that fatigue and hunger were involved in my experience on the train, but that would only be part of the story. I’ve been tired and hungry before and since, and not had mystical experiences. Maybe it was the rhythmic motion of the train (“out of the cradle, endlessly rocking”), and the repetitive sound of the wheels on the tracks, like a shamanic drumbeat lulling me into a trance. Maybe it was my desire to have a mystical experience, to taste Truth and consciously participate in the Great Mystery of being, to know why I am here, the nature of the soul, what happens when we die.

Maybe it was all a dream, signifying nothing. Maybe we’re all bozos on this bus. Maybe everything you know is wrong.

Maybe I found an acorn.

Thanks.

43. nigel harris price - June 1, 2015

We were all ghosting, prostrating before the calling-himself-Eternal-One.
Spanish names of an older empire given way to Latinate and Francophilic.
We twisted ourselves, in involuntary or decided upon on the rack of servitude.
Big guy said “A little more pain, dear – and did he mean it for our bodies and minds,
Or for his next orgasm. I think by now his body-numb has reached his head

44. Ron aka Renald - June 1, 2015

When asking the Universe, Source, God or whoever or whatever for anything, be specific. That may require some introspection.
Not willing to go through that process? Stop whining ! Complaining can only produce more experiences of the same bent or worse.
Deal with whatever comes ( no pun intended) and move on. Life is supposed to be fun.

45. Parson Yorick - June 1, 2015

32. Kathie L. I guess I just missed meeting you. I moved from the Chicago Centre to CA in the summer of 1979 at the same time the Centre moved from the Glencoe house to the mansion you describe. At the Glencoe house, which was right next to Lake Michigan, several of the men had to stay on a porch on the Lake side of the house through the winter, including me. We had to buy cardboard “wardrobes” to hang up our clothing. It was freezing! Though such things weren’t shared with most of the students living there, I suppose that we were evicted from the Glencoe house once the owner/landlord discovered that something was “fishy” there. (I don’t know this for certain.) Abe G. and the female centre director, pretending to be a wealthy couple, met the prospective new landlords and arranged for the new rental. Intentional insincerity. I don’t know why I put up with so many things that went against so completely my grain and my upbringing for as long as I did. I think it was due to the quite sophisticated brainwashing that was going on.

46. Cathie L. - June 2, 2015

45. Parson Yorick

We may have run into each other at Renaissance between 1980 and 1985, if you ever visited or lived there.

Yes, the brainwashing was insidious. That’s what cults (and culture itself) do.

One interesting point made in the “Denial of Death” article posted by ton2u at #28 above was that we remain at the mercy of such brainwashing techniques, until the inevitability of our annihilation is “tasted” and embraced.

“And it is this very experience, and no other, that enables a person to act with genuine moral freedom and autonomy, guided by morals and not just attraction and impulses.”

(And probably not fooled by convenient, self-serving ideas like “intentional insincerity” either!)

47. Bo Burlie - June 2, 2015

32 Cathie L.

Thanks for recounting those memories. It’s important to sift through what we endured during that intense time in our lives and know that some good came from it, despite REB’s greed and corruption and the many things wrong with the FoF.

48. nigel harris price - June 2, 2015

…..sorry about the lack of water, but The Ark is being prepared…..

…..SCREAMIN’ GLORY, THIS TRACK……

49. ton2u - June 2, 2015

Cathie,
I agree with Bo Burlie, it’s important because it’s healthy to reflect on some sense of the good and the true that came from one’s FOF tenure. A part of the truth for me is that it wasn’t the “school” that I thought I was “signing up” for – as it turned out, for me it was a school of “hard knocks” and I did learn somethings through the process… I think somehow it’s important to maintain a sense of gratitude and thanks for life in general and all experiences… this comes to mind again:

50. Parson Yorick - June 2, 2015

46. Cathie L. I got out in 1982, and never lived at Rennaissance. I lived in the Bay Area and worked in Silicon Valley. Although I left on my own two years before Miles left, if I hadn’t left on my own I’m nearly certain I’d have left with Miles.

51. Messages From Marconi - June 2, 2015

A contributor posts a vividly detailed message ultimately thanking the Fellowship of Friends for creating the conditions in which she experienced higher consciousness and then others pat her on the back for being bravely sincere, adding the laughable caveat that “It was not a real school, though.” This is ludicrous. The anti-FOF blog might end up delivering more recruits to Burton than Asaf Braverman.

Does every unconscious effort really end up becoming its opposite after all?

Birdbrained.

52. Robert Stolzle - June 2, 2015

Cathie L., et al.

Since you seem to be one of the few willing to recount some of your FoF history, please allow me to ask what changes you observed in the activity and governance of the FoF during your tenure. I hadn’t heard of “intentional insincerity” although it was generally OK to take advantage of “life people” since they were asleep. (Talk about creating an underclass to demagogue and prey upon.) Miles Barth had moved into the “RB’s successor” slot after Donald MacDonald took his leave, but Stella Wirk, in Carmel, was the senior student……and could talk the ears off a deaf mule. Her quitting time at Sambo’s was usually around 4:00 am. after about two packs of Salem cigarettes. Female students still had as much chance at evolving as males, then. How did that celestial sexual bias announcement go over? Why would any woman participate in the FoF now? The Hindu ideas of reincarnation had yet to be embraced. This was your one shot at immortality!

In 1976, the “word exercise” was still going strong and monthly “dues” were still $60.00 per month, with a once or twice a year “special task” of $200.00 or so. The majority of “students” lived in “teaching houses” with someone sleeping on the couch and, in the case of a good friend of mine, Valerio Biondo, in a dirt floored garden shed behind the “Vizcaino house”. But, individual rent was commonly in the $100.00 range which made it possible to make ends meet without working two jobs. What did the Chicago mansion cost?

A lot of Christian literature was being read, especially C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves”, in part because R.B. was conflating the Fourth Way’s Sun/solar crap and Jesus’ reference to the “son of man”, in his ascent to greater spending. It was announced that RB had verified there were 44 “conscious beings” in the history of the world but who they were was still being worked out. All the underlings were eagerly searching for “verification” that this Fourth Way business had some merit. Gurdjieff said “verify everything” and the evidence was everywhere! And, anyone with any sense at all wanted to be “in a higher state”. It didn’t help that all the music and much popular literature touted the same thing. “….but we all had a good time playing with the pencils on the bench.” Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant”.

Bob Stolzle

53. Parson Yorick - June 2, 2015

Cathie L. Regarding reading Plato’s Dialogues: that experience can be either tedious or luminous, depending on the mental & emotional state of the reader. Those moments when it was luminous may have been what kept me around for as long as I stayed, because staying was frequently a struggle for me. I acquired a book called “The Myths of Plato” by J.A. Stewart and I still have it. Uh, Marconi, why are you ranting so much?

54. Messages From Marconi - June 2, 2015

53. Parson Yorick – June 2, 2015

Uh, Marconi, why are you ranting so much?

*

Is it really “ranting” when suggesting that detailing one’s experiences of higher consciousness in an Internet location dedicated to the demise of the organization where all this wondrous higher consciousness took place contains a certain element of insanity?

The fact is that Cathie’s vanity is more important to her than the many years long aim of this blog. She would rather the world be aware of her wondrous experiences, of her romantic ride through life, than be aware of the psychosis that operates the organization she publicly expresses gratitude toward. And you are one of her enablers.

Whatever, between the drooling psychotic posting his disease every other post and those lost in some kind of compulsive need for nostalgia, I’ve about had enough.

55. nigel harris price - June 2, 2015

Goin’ TANGENTIAL/ASKEW with this cosmic flight, ladies and gentlemen…..we seem to have a ‘topical storm’ causing severe turbulence, resulting in somewhat PIQUEY ATTITUDES TO ONE ANOTHER…..

Some of you may find below boring – some an eye-opener, but it is government ruling on how charities IN THE U.K. MUST be set up run and wound down CHARITIES properly. May I suggest that the FOF has gone the way of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozcniak of “Apple”, by creating a business plan, attracting the capital investment, then throwing the plan away.

I had to do this research as NOMINATED DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS FOR PHASE 1 OF MEN’S SHEDS IN ABERGAVENNY

GOV.UK (2015)
Men’s Sheds (Abergavenny) will be set up as a …..
Community Interest Company
• Statement needed
• Asset-lock…..limits to money it can pay to shareholders
• Approval by CIC regulator
• Need forms from regulator
• It is a type of mutual
• Social Enterprise UK/Inspire2Enterprise
• Find trustees
• Charitable purpose for the public’s benefit
• Name for charity
• Structure for charity
• Governing document
• Register as a charity (annual income is over £5,000)
• Tax-relief – charity needs to be registered at HMRC
• Contribute to health
• Contribute to citizenship or community development
• Contribute to human rights
• Contribute to religious or racial harmony
• Contribute to the protection of the environment

______________________________________________

“MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING”
needed…..
__________________________________________________

• Name must not be similar to name of existing charity (Men’s Sheds – Abergavenny)
• Name must not be misleading
• Who runs the charity
• How the charity is run
• What the charity can do

Registration with Companies House
__________________________________________________
• Who runs it and how
• How trustees will be appointed
• Rule’s about trustees’ expenses
• Rules about payments to trustees
• How to close the charity
• If income is at least £5,000 per annum
• If based in England or Wales
CHARITY REGISTER WILL NEED …..
• Name
• Bank details
• Most recent accounts
• Contact details, including postal address
• Trustees’ names, D.O.B.’s and contact details
• Copy of governing document
______________________________________________

56. Parson Yorick - June 2, 2015

Marconi: I think it boiled down to whether or not the FoF could fairly be described as a cult. If so, then no amount of luminous feelings while reading Plato or while listening to or playing Bach could justify remaining. That’s why I got out. As to the purpose of this blog, whatever it is, I prefer reading about people’s own first-hand experiences over most of the other stuff I find on here when I drop by.

57. Messages From Marconi - June 2, 2015

56. Parson Yorick – June 2, 2015

Marconi: I think it boiled down to whether or not the FoF could fairly be described as a cult.

***

Maybe it boils down to: Were my moments of “luminous feelings” of higher consciousness really “higher” consciousness or were they more intensified moments of group-induced psychosis?

Well, let me ask you a few questions about those “moments” you reminisce about. Were you at the time of these experiences of “self-evident conscious soul awareness” a college graduate working two jobs and giving most all your money to an organization under the dictatorship of Robert Burton? As a consequence were you living in a closet?

No one voluntarily living in a closet, while freely giving the money earned from two jobs over to Robert Burton, ever experienced a “higher state” of consciousness. What was experienced was an intensified condition of mental illness, which was mistaken for something beneficial.

58. Parson Yorick - June 2, 2015

I liked and tried to play Bach for 10 years before joining the FOF. I especially enjoyed (but couldn’t play) his 2nd Partita for solo violin. I still enjoy it and now I even try to play it. Is that enjoyment a psychosis? Does it have anything at all to do with a cult that I was a member of for about 4 1/2 years more than 30 years ago? C’mon, Marconi!

59. Messages From Marconi - June 2, 2015

58. Parson Yorick – June 2, 2015

I liked and tried to play Bach for 10 years before joining the FOF. I especially enjoyed (but couldn’t play) his 2nd Partita for solo violin. I still enjoy it and now I even try to play it. Is that enjoyment a psychosis? Does it have anything at all to do with a cult that I was a member of for about 4 1/2 years more than 30 years ago? C’mon, Marconi!

***

Other than the fact that gay men of a certain generation (like Burton) are stereotypically fascinated with “high culture,” classical music, classical poetry and literature, ballet, fine paintings, decorative antique objects, etc., Bach has nothing to do with the FOF. Bach was a classical composer who distinguished himself as a musical genius more or less 270 years before the sick little cult known as the Fellowship of Friends came into existence. The FOF tried to adopt Bach as one in a whole pantheon of patron saints, but that is not Bach’s fault.

I’m trying to follow your logic here. I can only surmise that you are referring to Plato’s Dialogues as the stimulant for the “higher state of consciousness” described above and are somehow inferring that the cult surroundings were irrelevant to that experience of consciousness…? Well, the description of the higher state experience mentioned above at post number 32 expressly thanked Fellowship of Friends students for their efforts in informing the person in the form of a daily card of what to read. So there is a direct correlation.

I’m not sure what you are getting at.

Does playing Bach routinely awaken you to a higher consciousness?

My point is this: People in the Fellowship of Friends are not experiencing higher consciousness, rather they are experiencing a mental disorder that seems to them to be higher consciousness. Simply put: The Fellowship of Friends cult stimulates a lunatic mentality in its psychological detainees which is then mistaken for something beneficial, but in fact it is something quite detrimental. FOF members mistake ‘lunatic’ for consciousness.

60. nigel harris price - June 2, 2015

…..Whoa !!!!! ….. attention, ladies and gentlemen ….. HURRICANE LEONARDO APPROACHING !!!!! seems like some people have solved no personal problems since leaving the FOF.

My ‘nickel’s worth’ ….. thank you CULT for introducing me to Walt Whitman’s poetry.

As to the gentlemen above…..which, or is it both, of you have been in a lunatic asylum ? They do not wear posh togs nor swan about in self-glorifying postures.

Yes ….. practically all the world is psychotic, preferring the raiments of externality to true, essential being and doing, but, luckily, most people keep on an even keel ….. yet dying more dead than when they were born (and Burton is one of them – time will tell ! )

61. nigel harris price - June 2, 2015

“The Charismatic Cult Leader” – ONLINE

Someone asked about how one might “diagnose” the possible personality disorders on display in the person of Robert Burton.

Back in 1994, a couple of books on cults were making the rounds in the Fellowship (The Guru Papers by Kramer and Alstad, and Captive Hearts, Captive Minds by Tobias and Lalich) (OK, the rounds of some in the Fellowship). The writers of the latter book suggested that many cult leaders could properly be described as “psychopaths,” and provided a fifteen-point profile of a psychopath.

I remember being shocked at how closely the description of the psychopath fit; everything from self-serving manipulation based upon charm, to a grandiose sense of self and feelings of entitlement, to a complete lack of remorse, shame or guilt, to an incapacity for true love or empathy, to indifference to the harm they inflict on others . . . and on and on. If you haven’t seen it, check it out for yourself; it’s quite remarkable. I’ve quoted it below (parts of the book are available on the web).

What I’ve always found fascinating is that the qualities of seeming “strength” that many people are attracted to in a leader, whether of a cult or a nation, may merely be the pathological absence of normal human capacities for love, empathy, remorse, and concern for others. It is easy to manipulate someone who seeks relief from his own insecurities and uncertainties in the leader’s absolute lack of doubt in himself or his actions.

62. Cathie L. - June 2, 2015

52. Bob:

I don’t recall hearing much, back then, about how only men had the possibility of evolving. If I did hear it, it probably didn’t worry me too much, or I didn’t really believe it.

No recollection of the rent on the Ravinia mansion in 1979, sorry. I just know I couldn’t make ends meet with the one low-paying job I managed to land when I arrived.

I met Stella in person a few times. She was quite a force.

63. Cathie L. - June 2, 2015

59.MFM

“Simply put: The Fellowship of Friends cult stimulates a lunatic mentality in its psychological detainees which is then mistaken for something beneficial, but in fact it is something quite detrimental. FOF members mistake ‘lunatic’ for consciousness.”

64. Messages From Marconi - June 2, 2015

65. Bo Burlie - June 3, 2015

58 Parson Yorick

I think there’s an advantage to having been exposed to some of the cultural and intellectual icons that REB and the FoF co-opted, prior to having joined the FoF. It makes it easier to shake off the FoF’s claim to certain musicians, artists and thinkers. However, even if the first time one listened to Bach or read Plato was when one was in the FoF, we’re out of the FoF now. There’s nothing stopping any one from listening to Bach with a critical ear, or reading Plato with a wary mind. We should have been doing that anyway in the FoF, but REB and the FoF don’t encourage critical thinking or listening.

66. nigel harris price - June 3, 2015

Has REB this in mind ?

FAQ

How are you implementing the recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decision on the right to be forgotten?

The recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has profound consequences for search engines in Europe. The court found that certain users have the right to ask search engines like Google to remove results for queries that include the person’s name. To qualify, the results shown would need to be inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive.

Since this ruling was published on 13 May 2014, we’ve been working around the clock to comply. This is a complicated process because we need to assess each individual request and balance the rights of the individual to control his or her personal data with the public’s right to know and distribute information.

If you have a removal request, please fill out this web form . You’ll receive an automatic reply confirming that we have received your request. We will then assess your case – please note that this may take some time because we have already received many such requests. In evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about your private life. We’ll also look at whether there’s a public interest in the information remaining in our search results – for example, if it relates to financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions or your public conduct as a government official (elected or unelected). These are difficult judgements and as a private organisation, we may not be in a good position to decide on your case. If you disagree with our decision you can contact your local DPA.

We look forward to working closely with data protection authorities and others over the coming months as we refine our approach. The CJEU’s ruling constitutes a significant change for search engines. While we are concerned about its impact, we also believe that it’s important to respect the Court’s judgement and we are working hard to devise a process that complies with the law.

When you search for a name, you may see a notice that says that results may have been modified in accordance with data protection law in Europe. We’re showing this notice in Europe when a user searches for most names, not just pages that have been affected by a removal.

67. Cathie L. - June 3, 2015

64. MFM

It might surprise you to know that I watched the series and resonated with Rust’s nihilistic soliloquy in that scene. I’ve been there. I just didn’t stay there.

“He is not at home in the world, expects nothing from it, and has a fundamental mistrust of all discourse of hope. It is also likely that he sees hypocrisy as the norm and is attuned to delusion as the natural state of the human mind…

I would say he is passionate and sensitive to those he sees as being crushed by various forms of power, which is often sustained by moral hypocrisy. I wouldn’t say hopefulness is quite the right word, but I would say a nihilist could find drive, if not meaning, from undermining those with power.”

http://www.vulture.com/2014/02/philosopher-assesses-true-detective-characters-rust-cohle-marty-hart.html

68. Messages From Marconi - June 3, 2015

I’m sure your philosophical evolution is fascinating to someone somewhere, but you’re wasting your time trying to explain yourself to me.

This is a fact:

People in the Fellowship of Friends are not experiencing higher consciousness, rather they are experiencing a mental disorder that seems to them to be higher consciousness. The Fellowship of Friends cult stimulates a lunatic mentality in its psychological detainees which is then mistaken for something beneficial, but in fact it is something quite detrimental. Simply put: FOF members mistake ‘lunatic’ for consciousness.

69. WhaleRider - June 3, 2015

Cathie L:
I happen to share your philosophic euphoria reading Plato, but without the grandiose delusion that I am “communing with the gods”.

Yours is a humanist voice here I appreciate.

I also appreciate the friends I still have who are ex-members.

I found this article very informative, especially the last paragraph:

http://nyti.ms/1AHZ353

70. Cathie L. - June 3, 2015

WhaleRider, thanks. Enjoyed the article.

We are all inside each other’s heads somehow, it seems to me. Some have healthier boundaries than others.

The themes of trust and betrayal fuel many stories and motivations for posting here on the blog.

The art of investigating the truth of our own and others’ opinions seems worthwhile to me.

71. nigel harris price - June 3, 2015

This may be a little attenuated and involving Biblical Ideology, through to modern land-mongering, global financial backing, my lady-friend Claire now working for the foreign offIce TO SOLVE WHAT WAS MESSED UP to Daniel Barenboim, who has formed the Dryad Youth Palestinian/Israel Orchestra….a true hero !!!!!

http://free.messianicbible.com/

The term “foreign relations of Israel” refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries.[1] Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The close friendship with the United States has been the linchpin of Israeli foreign policy for decades. From the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey.[2][3] In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care.[4]

During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU, largely pro-Palestinian,[citation needed] would further isolate Israel in global affairs.[5][6] In the wake of a series of diplomatic rifts with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries.[7] During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Europe including Greece and Cyprus in the context of the Energy Triangle and in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel’s high-tech economy.[8] Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power there, while ties to Turkey remain minimal.

The term “foreign relations of Israel” refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries.[1] Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The close friendship with the United States has been the linchpin of Israeli foreign policy for decades. From the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey.[2][3] In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care.[4]

During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU, largely pro-Palestinian,[citation needed] would further isolate Israel in global affairs.[5][6] In the wake of a series of diplomatic rifts with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries.[7] During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Europe including Greece and Cyprus in the context of the Energy Triangle and in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel’s high-tech economy.[8] Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power there, while ties to Turkey remain minimal.
The term “foreign relations of Israel” refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries.[1] Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The close friendship with the United States has been the linchpin of Israeli foreign policy for decades. From the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey.[2][3] In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care.[4]

During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU, largely pro-Palestinian,[citation needed] would further isolate Israel in global affairs.[5][6] In the wake of a series of diplomatic rifts with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries.[7] During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Europe including Greece and Cyprus in the context of the Energy Triangle and in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel’s high-tech economy.[8] Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power there, while ties to Turkey remain minimal.

72. Messages From Marconi - June 3, 2015

The Fellowship of Friends…psychotic cult lies forced on members in order of appearance:

1. Theirs is the only school of conscious development on Earth and you are lucky to be a part of it.

2. If you ever stop paying them money you will be dismissed and your baby soul will be destroyed.

3. If the leader, Robert Earl Burton, likes your male looks then you have to become a homosexual or your baby soul will be destroyed.

4. If any elder member of the cult likes your female looks then you have to submit to him or your baby soul will be destroyed.

5. Regardless how insane the leader’s (Robert Earl Burton) “teaching’ sounds you have to sincerely believe it or your baby soul will be destroyed.

6. There is a coming world-wide nuclear war and everyone but the Fellowship of Friends “true believers” will be destroyed.

Does this sound like the kind of “conscious school” meant for you? If so, then you should fit right in.

Their Facebook propaganda page: https://www.facebook.com/ggurdjieffusa

73. Cathie L. - June 4, 2015

“Although it is possible for those who have left cults to integrate their experience into their lives in healthy ways, many are unable to.”

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/03/15/style/the-psychology-of-the-cult-experience.html?pagewanted=1

74. Messages From Marconi - June 4, 2015

The final insult to your own intelligence is to escape from the cult only to become an apologist for the cult out of embarrassment for your own past. Real escape means not only realizing that you were fallible and wrong, but understanding that you still are fallible and wrong. The ex-cult member was a cult dupe because he or she did not develop a normally functioning capacity for serious reasoning over the course of early development. Likely that defective propensity of the cult susceptible personality has not improved.

75. nevasayneva - June 4, 2015

The curious case of PD Ouspensky:

I like this article from quite some time ago of the experience that Marie Seton had with Ouspensky- I think I posted I here before. Although she was disillusioned, she still seems somewhat fascinated by him.

She does make the point that the “guru” or “teacher” is the creation of his devotees and students. In that way I suppose we are all responsible or were responsible for what FOF is and what REB is.

Article :
http://www.gurdjieff-bibliography.com/Current/t_seton_case-of-pdo_2004-07-04.pdf

excerpt:
“My attempt to take a relatively short period—a little less than six years altogether of his fairly long life—is not to discredit Ouspensky, and particularly not to discredit his writings. But rather to induce people who are uncritical of themselves in relation to
gurus to see that they themselves can unconsciously contribute to their beloved guru slipping, let us say, from ‘grace.’ Hero-worship is not necessarily respect. It can become slavish dependence which ends with an overwhelming temptation to the guru to lose
all respect for those who have made themselves his disciples. It should be remembered that since man is not super-human, it is only too easy for the well-intentioned person to either develop delusions of grandeur, or become a dictator provided they are
surrounded for long enough by people who say ‘yes, yes’ to them and their ideas irrespective as to whether or not their own conduct merits such awe. The political dictator has been the scourge of modern times as well as ancient. The rise of such
dictators, frequently believing themselves to be their nation’s saviour, and their entrenchment, is aided by uncritical passivity and adulation, the very thing that devotees of gurus are most prone to.
If the guru ends in exploiting his disciples, they themselves have contributed to the distortion of his power.”

76. Cathie L. - June 4, 2015

The final insult to your own intelligence is to escape from the cult only to become a compulsive crusader against the cult out of embarrassment for your own past. Real escape means not only realizing that you were fallible and wrong, but understanding that you still are fallible and wrong. The ex-cult member was a cult dupe because he or she did not develop a normally functioning capacity for serious reasoning over the course of early development. Likely that defective propensity of the cult susceptible personality has not improved.

It’s a hall of mirrors in here.

77. ton2u - June 4, 2015

IMO…
re: MtM stirring the shit, it started with Cathie L’s post @ 32 – and maybe it’s just me but after re-reading it, I still don’t get any impression of a FOF apologist. Reminiscence, positive memories, feelings and expressions of gratitude are a natural and balanced outcome of emotionally healthy adulthood. On the other hand MtM wants to keep a narrowly focused negative spin on the FOF – I understand that, there’s plenty of fodder in that regard – I know MtM likes to stir things up here, but accusation of being a FOF “apologist” sounds like more hyperbole from the sometimes hyperbolic MtM. The validity of another perspective, – “the other side of the coin” – based on personal experiences should at least be recognized, if not acknowledged…. it’s a question of balance.
Thanks again Cathy L, your voice is a fresh breeze here.

78. ton2u - June 4, 2015

Back to the mud… the great Stella Wirk was quoted after she left, referring to burton as “just another greedy guru”- so many greedy ‘gurus’ – the link below describes another….hmmm, thinking a ‘eulogy’ to burton might sound like…

http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/Da_and_his_cult.html

79. jomopinata - June 4, 2015

76/Cathie L.

The ex-cult member was a cult dupe because he or she did not develop a normally functioning capacity for serious reasoning over the course of early development.

I think that while this formulation captures something true, it also leaves out something equally important, because it boxes up the blame inside the recruit and leaves out the influence of social context.

People cannot reason seriously when

(1) they are actively attempting to induce trance by “dividing attention”;

(2) they are having their speech corrected every twenty seconds because it contained a contraction, demonstrating they were not successfully “self remembering,” ergo “asleep”;

(3) they encounter “thought-terminating cliches” intended to truncate attempts to think independently;

(4) they are simply behaving in an open and trusting way while they are being lied to (if not directly, then indirectly, including not only overt lies but lies of omission) and kept from considering relevant information that could influence their decisions in respect of their decision to support the group;

(5) they are trustingly led to behave in a way that is dissonant with how they see themselves (following “exercises,” etc.) , so that how they see themselves will change to reduce the dissonance (as shown by social psychology experiments of the late 1950s and early 1960s);

(6) they are led by specific and identifiable techniques to distrust their attempts to think critically (as originating from, say, “false personality” or in conflict with “right attitude”);

(6) they are being subjected to one of numerous mind games, such as “having a small shock administered to one’s ‘false personality'” or receiving a “photograph” that one is “in a feature” (two methods of shame induction), etc.).

The concept of a “thought-reform environment” is an attempt to capture in a single term a complex fabric of social influences upon an individual’s decisionmaking and ability to think critically in a given circumstance. Our ability to understand how we were led to become involved with the Fellowship is disserved by conceptualizing the process as an individual failure (we “did not develop the capacity for serious reasoning over the course of early development”), rather than as something that occurred among and between people, in a way that changes people without their knowledge and consent.

80. jomopinata - June 4, 2015

The most effective thought-terminating cliche I encountered in the Fellowship was “the ‘I’s are not real.” A conscientious aspirant sets aside any attempt to think independently and critically at the moment s/he encounters this ontological thought-squasher.

81. Messages From Marconi - June 4, 2015

32. Cathie L. – May 31, 2015

So there’s a little gratitude story here, one of the finer moments in my life that happened as a result of the efforts of my fellow friends in the ‘ship…the ones who typeset and printed those daily cards on the hand presses, the ones who established the far-flung teaching houses and worked to “create memory” for each other, who walked with me along the snow covered streets of Ravinia in the deep winter nights….a reminiscence sing.

76. Cathie L. – June 4, 2015

The final insult to your own intelligence is to escape from the cult only to become a compulsive crusader against the cult out of embarrassment for your own past.

***

Cathie (and her enablers) doesn’t like the fact that someone is using the blog to present unpleasant messages that paint the Fellowship of Friends (Oregon House, CA — Robert Earl Burton) in a bad light. She thinks such “crusading” is uncalled for, considering how the cult helped her to experience a “Plato moment.”

Well, seriously, what in fact was and is the primary engine (the mythic third force) that fuels the cult in the first place? Is it an organization that primarily promotes “Plato moments” for young blondes who live in closets?

Here is a somewhat fictionalized “satire” (based on information gleaned from this blog before it became a FOF promotion site) of what the actual aim of the “school” really was and likely still is…

BJBOB: I had you brought here tonight, Alfredo, because your teacher needs something from you. But, before you answer I want you to think about the new clothes I bought you, the fine automobile I let you drive, the trips around the world I took you on, the local FOF girls all willing to spread for you, all these dressed up important-acting people who treat you with respect and feigned affection simply because you hang around with me and I want you to think about where you were before all this was given to you. Remember the heat out there in the dusty hills digging ditches with all the other “earnest” lads? That was no fun, was it?

Alfredo: I would do anything for my teacher!

BJBOB: I want you to take a walk with me to the wine cellar and have a glass of $300.00 per bottle wine and then I will give you a little blowjob after which you will stick your dong up my rear. Got it?

Alfredo: But, but, I thought I was special–I’m going to be a conscious being! Not one of the hump squad…you said I was on my highest lifetime!

BJBOB: Here is what will happen, you will be back out in the heat and dust in the morning digging ditches. When you go to eat all the important-acting people in fine clothes will suddenly ignore you. You will have to live on a few hundred dollars a month and you won’t be able to get laid unless you get lucky in a bar in Marysville. Then in a short time you will be laid off and sent back to Sarajevo.

Now, what I want to know is if you are ready to sing your song of gratitude to your conscious teacher?

***

Really? There are people posting here, on the anti-FOF blog, who are “grateful” for their “Plato moments” while in the FOF homosexual rape factory?

82. Cathie L. - June 5, 2015

#79 jomo

I agree. I’m not sure if it was clear, but the “cult dupe” formulation was from Marconi’s post #74, which I was echoing back, changing a couple of words.

#81 MFM:

“Now, what I want to know is if you are ready to sing your song of gratitude to your conscious teacher?”

I’m probably wasting my time trying to explain myself here, but I never expressed gratitude to Burton. I expressed gratitude to some of my fellow students, sincere, kind-hearted folks (it seemed to me) who were trying to help each other.

Maybe that wasn’t part of your experience, but it was part of mine.

As for “real escape,” I think it means realizing you are free.

83. Shard of Oblivion - June 5, 2015

#81 You see Marconi you undermine your own position by exaggerating and distorting what Cathy L. in fact said. She thanked others who helped her, which you try to make equivalent to

“Cathie (and her enablers) doesn’t like the fact that someone is using the blog to present unpleasant messages that paint the Fellowship of Friends (Oregon House, CA — Robert Earl Burton) in a bad light.”

She never said that, in fact I can recall she herself cited instances that cast Burton in a bad light. eg 147#72. It is obvious that you are trying to put words in her mouth here, which tends to invalidate your arguments.

84. Tim Campion - June 5, 2015

Proud to declare myself one of Cathie’s enablers! Sing on.

85. brucelevy - June 5, 2015

You people are incredible. You talk to Greg like he is a normal person. I think many of you are as screwed up as he is. After all these years, and all the times he’s been banned on virtually every site he’s infected, you still converse with him like he is sane. You should be ashamed at your own stupidity, whether you call it magnanimity or not. You all apparently deserve each other.

86. James Mclemore - June 5, 2015

The people who have followed this blog for a long time have seen quite a few FoF apologists passing through. After a few posts they are usually pretty easy to recognize, just like Greg himself is pretty recognizable after a few posts when he shows back up under a new name.
I have personally seen nothing in any of Cathie L.’s posts that sound at all like an FoF apologist. She occasionally tells personal stories of when she was in the FoF. So what? We were all duped, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that you can learn things about yourself in pretty much any situation.

87. Messages From Marconi - June 5, 2015

Even though my point of view is outnumbered by Cathie supporters I am not the crazy one here. What is crazy is posting testimonials about how grateful you are for the Fellowship of Friends experience on a blog that has as its mission to dissuade people from joining the Fellowship of Friends.

I don’t know how long Cathie was in the cult, but anyone in the cult for more than few months, especially having lived in the Oregon House area, knew that Burton was buggering the boys and the boys were not enjoying it. Anyone in the cult in the Oregon House area also knew that Burton was the absolute, hands on, obsessive control-freak dictator running every aspect of the place. The attitude that (paraphrasing) “I was in a wonderful organization that helped me experience higher consciousness, and oh, by the way, I had no knowledge of Burton and nothing to do with him” is ridiculous.

No one can get away with trying to spread the public perception about oneself that she was utterly innocent of any wrong doing in a malignant cult where everyone else vied for attention from the grand wizard of madness, and even though others were corrupted by the place, all she experienced was higher consciousness. “I was so clever to not be despoiled while all those around me lost their heads.” Bullshit.

No one in the Burton controlled Fellowship of Friends experienced higher consciousness because the overriding “consciousness” prevalent in the minds of the paying customers (back then) was that there would be a world-wide depression, a massive California earthquake and then a nuclear wipe-out of everything but Burton and his chosen survivors. The only state anyone could be in under such conditions was group psychosis.

The fact that I seem to be the only one posting here who understands this should make it clear which group of enablers is crazy.

88. Robert Stolzle - June 5, 2015

Re: The above fussfight-

Since I joined and left the FoF rather early on, I experienced little of the craziness that others posting here did. My experience was closer to Cathie than Marconi, but I am persuaded that RB and the FoF do “students” far more harm than good and looking back have to admit that my FoF tenure was largely a waste of time and effort. Talking to friends, though, I could have just as easily joined the military (or some other tilting at windmills endeavor) as they did…..and could have had a worse result.

Like some of those friends, though, there is always some way of seeing one’s youthful stupidity with humor, insight and maybe even some useful learning (which, amongst friends should be shared); “once bitten, twice shy, baby”. No one change their past but, to disavow it or ignore it or demonize it suggests an inability to learn from it and to put those experiences in the past. We are not the same people who joined or suffered through the FoF. Joining it was unarguably a goofy, stupid decision and the FoF is a sick little cult that we should have ignored. But, it is axiomatic that everyone posting here learned something from the FoF, even if it was only that simple lesson. Even AA members have a sense of humor.

Bob Stolzle

89. ton2u - June 5, 2015

79 jomo writes:

“The concept of a “thought-reform environment” is an attempt to capture in a single term a complex fabric of social influences upon an individual’s decisionmaking and ability to think critically in a given circumstance. Our ability to understand how we were led to become involved with the Fellowship is disserved by conceptualizing the process as an individual failure (we “did not develop the capacity for serious reasoning over the course of early development”), rather than as something that occurred among and between people, in a way that changes people without their knowledge and consent.”

I remember sometime shortly after moving to the funny farm, burton instituted the “it” exercise wherein we ‘students’ replaced “I” with “it’ in the course of conversation…. reminded me of something I read recently:

“We can begin with what Buber calls an ‘I–it’ relationship, in which one engages with another sentient being simply as an object, to be manipulated in accordance with one’s own desires. In such a relationship the other’s existence as a subject, fundamentally like oneself, is ignored or minimalized. One views this person only in terms of how he or she (really ‘it’) may either be of aid in the pursuit of one’s own goals, be an obstacle in that pursuit, or be irrelevant. On that basis this individual comes to be regarded as a friend, enemy or as someone of no consequence. In an ‘I–it’ relationship there is effectively only one subject, oneself, but in explicitly dehumanizing the other, one is implicitly dehumanizing oneself as well.

“An ‘I–you’ relationship, on the other hand, is essentially dialogical in the sense of one subject truly engaging with the subjective reality of another person. While an ‘I–it’ relationship is fundamentally manipulative, an ‘I–you’ relationship is truly intersubjective and therefore based upon a sense of empathy. According to Buber, in the midst of an ‘I–you’ relationship, one may transcend the polarity of self and other and engage with a sphere of between-ness of self and other, in which both subjects access the ‘eternal thou’ that transcends individuality. This eternal thou cannot be accessed unless both subjects are involved in an I–you relationship. It is at heart a participatory experience that cannot be accessed on one’s own.

“While Western thought, inspired by the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions, is largely anthropocentric when it comes to intersubjective relationships, Buddhism, as mentioned before, may be deemed biocentric, for its central emphasis is on all sentient beings, and not on human beings alone. etc”

90. Ron aka Renald - June 5, 2015

Due to the fact that Teal was trapped in a satanic cult for over ten years this blog post of hers demonstates what is possible from a personal point of view. If this sample is not The Work, nothing is, imho.
http://blog.thespiritualcatalyst.com/a-volleyball-and-an-awakening/

91. Ron aka Renald - June 5, 2015

re 86 James, be careful, you are treading on dangerous ground there ole boy. Over-compensating hoofs are set to stomp on you in gang-banger fashion. However we ARE making progress. Not so far back in history my great-great uncle Barnabe was hung for simply coming from the wrong region of France and of course also for being at the wrong place at the wrong time when the gangbanger cycle swung like the proverbial pendulum to the bored side.

92. brucelevy - June 6, 2015

” James, be careful, you are treading on dangerous ground there ole boy. Over-compensating hoofs are set to stomp on you in gang-banger fashion.”

And what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

93. James Mclemore - June 6, 2015

92. brucelevy

“And what the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Bruce –
Thanks for asking that question. The same question came up in my mind also. I think I only let it pass because I continually have a hard time in figuring out what the fuck Renald is talking about in a lot of what he posts.

94. nigel harris price - June 6, 2015

Yes !!!!!…..we are all affected by CULT, ORGANISATION, CHURCH or even CORPORATION BACKWARD-LOOKING…..I admit that some scars go deeper for others and they hold to the fact that maybe A DIVINE FIGURE WILL SAVE THEM (AGAIN!!!!!). Therapy (good therapy) of any WORTHWHILE KIND, THAT RE-EMPOWERS THE SUBJECT is what is needed…..to take FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE’S LIFE (one’s tortuous past, even) one’s relationships with GOOD friends and family and working for a FULL AND GIVING FUTURE OUT OF A HUGELY POTENT PRESENT is the way to go/and grow…..Nigel

95. nigel harris price - June 6, 2015

Some blogger posted this pages way back, but for me it strikes in the gut and heart and inner mind…..NO EASY ANSWERS !!!!!

“Bible says” (a book on psychoanalysis, mainly), page 279

“Working through (Durcharbeit), the most important part of any analysis, is essentially an EDUCATION in the process of ASSUMING A TRAGIC RELATIONSHIP TO ONESELF by accepting the suffering that self-knowledge entails. Rather than seeking a MAGICAL SOLUTION to depression, one MUST SUSTAIN IT as that melancholy that Keats called “THE WAKEFUL ANGUISH OF THE SOUL”. BECOMING RESPONSIBLE FOR ONESELF depends on a singular circumstance: the concrete and BITTER IMMERSION in the PARTICULARS OF ONE’S LIFE in the recognition of ONE’S RESPONSIBILITY AS CAUSE. No Satanic agency produced one’s condition and no Messianic agency will come to blow it away – ONE MUST UNCOVER THOSE THINGS IN ONESELF that have shaped the SELF-LACERATING history of one’s heart. THERE IS ONLY ONE SOURCE OF INNER STRENGTH, and the way to it is full acceptance of the SUFFERING THAT IS THE DEEPEST ATTUNEMENT TO OURSELVES. Authentic self-analysis is based on the recognition that there is NO DELIVERANCE FROM DESIRE AND INNER CONFLICT.”

96. Shard of Oblivion - June 6, 2015

#95 that Durcharbeit process sounds rather grim. I know depression is difficult to live with, but that self lacerating approach surely only increases the feelings of worthlessness and pointlessness that depression gives us. I find spending time with a dog, gentle exercise and a cup of tea can help lift a low mood.

97. nigel harris price - June 6, 2015

96 Shard of Oblivion
…Quite topical for me that Christadelphia Omnia Stuffia !!!!! Without going into details about it happened, I now find myself ‘touching the hems’ of a Born Again Christian/Evangelical Church locally – and there are so many about in Abergavenny – you can choose from High Catholic to Rigid Baptist and any number of denominations between. And, of course, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are in town in the same spot everyday. Well, I am supposed to running a “Make Your Own Votive Candle” course for the Cornerstone Church at Deri View Primary School, locally. Trouble is, I am unlikely, as a professional designer/craftsman, to endure “sloppy workmanship” – What am I supposed to say? – Your sins are forgiven? or Do you think Christ would have joined wood like that?” MY Papal Commission in San Francisco catching up with me? THE cult etherics seeking revenge?

But I do like this quote –

“It takes courage to step enthusiastically into each day.”

98. nigel harris price - June 6, 2015

Found it by “Hitch”…

99. nigel harris price - June 6, 2015

Bugger me…..found out this woman prayed for the sick, gave them Aspirin and died with $250,000,000 in the bank……

100. nigel harris price - June 6, 2015

Something novel to some …..

101. Messages From Marconi - June 6, 2015

If Nigel Price is finished now someone else would like to get a word in.

It is one thing to shock oneself and escape the psychological sleep state of daydreaming. The shock of coming out the subjective thought-world of the mind into the real world is positive. It is quite another thing, however, to trap oneself in the ego-gratifying mystique of always reminding yourself that you are grandly ‘waking’ in order to climb a magic flying pyramid to Heaven. If you insistently remember to re-energize your vanity’s sense of self-worth with the superficial pretense of “being” every time your phone rings then you will go from the psychological sleep of simple daydreaming to the full-blown coma of narcissistic delusion. There is no workable one-size-fits-all formula for awakening, anymore than there is a workable generally available formula for creating an inspired work of genuinely original art. This bureaucratic, ‘office-furniture’ approach to “awakening for the masses” in exchange for monthly payments is a fraud. It will only increase the overall range of what in the world can be distorted, institutionalized and diminished into something formatory. There is no commercialized, infomercial broadcasted form of “higher consciousness” that does not in fact simply fortify the routine personality with a Brand X stimulation of vitamin B.

http://beperiod.com/consciousness/

102. Messages From Marconi - June 6, 2015

Jan Jar: “Actually Dave, this person Anjela-is an avatar-not a real person-and is being generated by a group started by by a man called Robert Burton-now dead but the organization goes on-Burton was known fro raping young men-some welder the age of consent–and controlling his followers through various psychological means-he and another evil person Alex Horn did a lot of damage and their followers–and new leader “Asaf Braverman’ are stilt there–yes it all sounds veronica-but it is designed to attract those who have a genuine impulse and longing for a spiritual life -as it attracted both you and Rodney and others here to ‘like’ it–Be careful such behavior-Fellowship of Friends, Ark in Time, La Teka–they will e found hanging out in sites that discuss G–and are very nasty people”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2220289475/

Note that Burton has died.

103. Shard of Oblivion - June 7, 2015

#102 Marconi says “Note that Burton has died” Since the only reference I can find is from Jan Jarvis on the gurdjieff forum, it seems more likely Jan is mistaken than that Burton has died.
Be nice if it were true though.

104. paul gregory - June 7, 2015

on a purely subjective, unconscious note:

105. paul gregory - June 7, 2015

associatively speaking, if that’s grammatically allowed

106. ton2u - June 7, 2015

@104 paul gregory

groovy!
(the tomato soup can pendant is hilarious – ironic iconic homage).

nigel, link here to a dialogue you might appreciate – this mornings sermon: “… the sufferings and the demons are often what instructs us…”

http://onbeing.org/program/pico-iyer-the-art-of-stillness/7615/audio?embed=1

107. Messages From Marconi - June 7, 2015

108. nigel harris price - June 7, 2015

106 ton2u

…..thanks for that link…..I suppose my perfect hermitage would be a Welsh Castle, slightly tumbling down , to be renovated with solar panels…..and living quarters and a smithing workshop…..somewhere in the countryside, by a stream, by a mountain etc. etc. let’s get romantic for Wales. See, the thing is I live in council housing where folks have used in the past or are using HARD DRUGS…..finding these things out 2 months into my tenancy. Luckily, I have advisors (and can also consult the police, if necessary)…..’Nige in the Middle, Part 2’…..

109. nigel harris price - June 7, 2015

Words of wisdom, regarding a beautiful artform…..

110. Robert Stolzle - June 7, 2015

MFM- #107 is another of your put ons, right? I hate to believe there is anyone as naive, gullible or just plain gushy as our Ms.Carol Darcy.

And the rumors of RB’s demise?? Pretty likely the FoF would be lit up far and wide, no? Nice to contemplate, but does it matter? That is, “the king is dead, long live the king”!

It wouldn’t be my first rant, but why do so many, including those posting here, having been burned so much, persist in clinging to all manner of metaphysical belief—–and that some sort of nirvana is within their grasp? I’m beginning to believe that the sheep really want to be shorn…….or turned into lamb chops. The FoF way is to convince them they are the wolves.

Bob Stolzle

111. Messages From Marconi - June 7, 2015

110. Robert Stolzle – June 7, 2015

“It wouldn’t be my first rant, but why do so many, including those posting here, having been burned so much, persist in clinging to all manner of metaphysical belief—–and that some sort of nirvana is within their grasp?”

Because spiritual fantasy is much less demanding than actually doing something in the world that makes some kind of positive difference to humanity. Metaphysical belief is a cheap substitute method of facilitating the wallowing of the mediocre and the incompetent in imagined glory. The pretend-realm of metaphysical Never Never Land makes the accomplishment of grand feats of success far more accessible than actually becoming a renowned contributor to human development with some tangible contribution.

In the spiritual realm everybody can pretend to be an Einstein because no math is required and no follow up corroborating experiments are demanded as proof. Each kook can scramble some words together, round up some underlings and pose as the king of his own localized realm of enlightenment. You don’t believe in the authenticity of a particular master’s reality, you say? Well, that’s because you are too asleep to understand. Prove to us that you are not too asleep to understand. The fantasy “reality” inside the magic bubble is irrefutable, infallible and anyone hostile to the group mentality is simply another evil King of Clubs…you know, the Devil!

112. Bares Reposting - June 7, 2015

In the spirit of ‘personal accounts,’

Sorry about this long post.
Scroll down if you don’t care to read it.

‘I stumbled across a book called “In Search of the Miraculous” by Peter D. Ouspensky, a Russian scientist, mathematician and philosopher, who described a mystical encounter with G.I. Gurdjieff. Mr. Ouspensky spoke to me.

No, I didn’t hear his disembodied voice in my head, I just knew he was speaking the truth: no spiritual progress was possible without a “school”. Not just any school would do, an esoteric school was required for man’s further evolution. That meant me.

I heard the “calling”, as so many do who travel to places far and wide seeking wisdom from this guru or that teaching. By the time I had read everything I could find by both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, I was ripe for the picking. I had to find a school.

From Ouspensky:

“Gurdjieff gave me many new ideas I did not know before, and he gave a system I did not know before. About schools I did know, for I had been travelling and looking for schools for 10 years. He had an extraordinary system, and quite new. Some separate fragments of it could be found elsewhere, but not connected and put together like they are in this system.” P. D. Ouspensky

I heard the “calling”, as so many do who travel to places far and wide seeking wisdom from this guru or that teaching. By the time I had read everything I could find by both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, I was ripe for the picking. I had to find a school.

Thus ends Chapter Two.

In Chapter Three, you’ll get an “insider’s look”, feel and detail about what it’s like to be in an “esotertic school”, studying the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. This is not something most people ever HEAR about, let alone EXPERIENCE.

During this time, which was approximately between 1975 and 1980, I was “asked by the Teacher” to help open a new center in St. Louis. My alcoholism continued unabated and I was to discover what it’s like to total not one, but TWO automobiles, sturdy and large.

I end up leaving the school “disenchanted”, to say the least, and quite alcoholic. Where did I end up? In Haight Ashbury, renting a room from a buffed Queen who was never home, had copper pots never used, living the “perfect gay life”. Right.

That, in itself, is an entire book…

Do read on, gentle reader, I promise you: IT GETS WORSE!’

‘Tales of a Zany Mystic [aka Lance B. White]
Chapter Three
http://zanymystic.tripod.com/id10.html

Gurdjieff-Ouspensky School

“The greatest man in the world has recently died. His name was Gurdjieff”
Frank Lloyd Wright

Malibu 1977. Shopping for an “esoteric school” is not like going to the grocery store. More care should be applied to finding what you need. Reckless romantic that I am, caution was thrown to the wind in my new found goal. It didn’t take long to find a bookmark in one of the “work books”, as they’re called by insiders, and I was effervescent to find a “Center” in Malibu. I called and spoke with a mysterious sounding person, adding fuel to the imaginary fire. There was a “prospective student meeting” that night. Several hours later, I arrived at an inconspicuous home, scared out of my wits. I never met people involved in “secret schools”. All I knew was that everyone there knew something I didn’t know. The question was, “Is it something I want? “. A small stage loomed in front where an attractive, commanding woman with red hair led. Her name was Helga Barth. Two others sat on either side, all austere. It felt like walking into a library with your zipper undone, spinach in your teeth and squeaky shoes. I was never to lose that feeling, no matter how “high up” the evolutionary ladder I climbed. An invisible hierarchy of ego is easily mistaken for wisdom.

The basic ideas of the “system” were relayed; man is a machine, comprised of not one “I” but “many I’s”.

As a result, we are all machines, asleep at the wheel. To confound the problem, we imagine we’re “awake”. It is precisely this illusion which keeps us from actually “awakening” to our true condition and evolving out of it. The only way out is to become conscious, united within, with a permanent “I”. As it is, each “I” rules the moment, and to keep the illusion in place, our name doesn’t change, providing a sense of unity. Buffers, like those used to cushion railway cars, keep us from seeing ourselves. We compartmentalize our lives and often have no idea that we are doing something contradictory. A rageaholic says, “You’ll never meet a nicer guy”, and continues to be the only person who doesn’t know he’s a prick. I met “straight” and married men who would have sex while drunk, then not remember or would justify by saying, “Oh, I was drunk!”, if confronted. None of this was new, but there was a dramatic urgency to their delivery. The most unforgettable moment was when Susan rose and placed a bowl of fruit on her head. Walking across the stage she said, “We don’t remember ourselves. We only remember memorable moments” She was right. We broke for intermission.

Robert Burton’s “school” was called the Fellowship of Friends, now referred to as APOLLO. Didn’t that missile explode in space?

Outside on the patio, smoking up a storm, laughing, and telling stories was the female version of “Jobba the Hut”. She looked like Phyllis Diller in drag with enormous bedroom eyes shadowed bright blue, pink lipstick and a “wrap” like a feather boa. This lady held court. Scared, shy and awestruck, I sat nearby to soak in some wisdom. Her name is Stella Wirk. She and her husband, Harold, were two of the first “students” in the school, run by Robert Burton.

I didn’t know it then, but they would become lifelong friends, in and out of the school. Though she has passed, her irreverent way of teaching can never be for-gotten or replaced. That meeting was 29 years ago. Harold’s impish humor and ability to poke fun at anything and everything remains intact. An accomplished artist, he paints murals, draws character sketches and creates hilarious “cartoons” with three precious dogs in Reno, Nevada. We remain in contact to this day.

Stella conveyed deep wisdom through humor. I learned more from sitting at her “round tables” shrouded in cigarette smoke, than I did from the “Teacher”. Oh, don’t get me wrong; he’s quite an imposing figure, and my contacts with him were all “interesting”. However, there’s more to this story, some of it covered with scandal like a filet mignon smothered in sauteed mushrooms. It felt like I was “auditioning” for entrance into an exclusive club. Prospective students were required to attend 3 meetings before they could join. At that time, entry would be discussed and payments, which were not optional, could commence. Getting in was easy. It was getting out that was a bitch! Of course, I joined. I drove to as many meetings in Malibu as possible, two or three per week. A blank page, a sponge soaking up every detail, I couldn’t get enough. My “addictive personality” had found a new home in an “esoteric school”. The school’s private ranch is located in Oregon House. I was shown the ropes and told I could go up there on weekends to be around the Teacher, and to work, a principle of payment. Slave labor is more like it. Imagine thousands of people around the globe who PAY to donate their time and energy by working on a ranch. What a racket. Hats off to anyone who can compel others to do so, and the Teacher was quite successful. In fact, he had high powered lawyers, physicians and a Wine Consultant leading the construction of a winery, now finished. The main house was called the Lincoln Lodge. Today the school is called “Renaissance”. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to discover it had been renamed, “Garden of Eden”. The Teacher, of course, was God…the ONLY God; aren’t they all?

My first visit was unforgettable. We arrived very late in the morning, about 2:00 a.m. Excitement mounted as we turned onto the property. Mysterious energies seemed to hover in the air. I was taken into the Lodge, and told I could sleep “wherever I could find a space”. Dozens of sleeping bags littered the floor so I cautiously crept upstairs, stepping over a couple of bodies. The heater kicked on, whirring a warm breeze. Carpets, thick and plush, squished underneath my feet. The perfect spot located under the front window guided my tired limbs. A fat cow of a moon streamed in, blending with the subtle glow of the room. In my cocoon of a bag, like a chrysalis waiting to emerge, romantic visions danced in my mind of conscious energies penetrating every cell. Regardless of the Teacher’s level, there was no question in my mind that conscious forces were at work, and I was at the heart of them.

Everything was new and exciting. Where to shower, when to eat, where I was “supposed to work”, all of it nestled firmly in the realm of the unknown. Gurdjieff used to go to great lengths to create this experience for those “working on themselves” by creating “shocks” and destroying patterns. This is called “being out of patterns”. It can be done as easily as changing one’s habitual activities, be they emotional, instinctive or involving movement. It may be as simple as driving or walking a different way to work each day. Learning not to express negativity is positive training for the emotions. Quantum physics is validating this simple truth: fixed behavior and thought become obstacles to accurate perception and to expanding the mind. However, the point is not to continue doing everything differently. As one awakens, it’s also important to have habitual patterns in place when higher energies are channeled through us. We are transmitters and receivers, like cosmic antennae. It would be unconscious behavior to awaken and then force yourself into some preconceived idea about what it’s supposed to be like. We are all at various stages in the awakening process.

The truth is so miraculous and astonishing that it will blow you away. We can only take so much at a time. Patterns dissolve as higher frequencies are tuned into. During those moments, which can be extremely intense, the energy must go somewhere. If it is a Kundalini Experience, which many have spontaneously, it’s vital to let the energy from the base chakra UP and OUT through the top of the head. Attempting to contain it can cause damage, insanity or death. In the past, only those who had studied a long while with a teacher and who meditated many hours a day could “get it”, and even then it was not guaranteed. Today, higher frequencies are beaming upon us continually and as we approach the shift in consciousness, whenever that may be, it’s vital to strive towards balance, integrity and love. The heart is the center, or key to all possibilities. Open the door to your heart and you will discover everything you’ve ever dreamed of – and more.

At daylight, the lodge took on a whole new appearance. The bottom floor was simply furnished. A spiral staircase wound upwards opposite the entrance, leading to a private room dubbed “The Meissen Room”. This was where the Teacher “held court” nightly, dispensing his brand of the teaching, which was a mix of prophecy, alchemy and self-aggrandizement. Twelve places were laid, including his own, no accident indeed. A feeling of opulence was enhanced with elegant antique cases filled with priceless Meissen figurines, hand-picked from sojourns around the world.

Original oil paintings graced rich paneled walls, balanced by a Roman urn in one corner. A scribe stood nearby, writing every word from the Teacher’s mouth, to be edited and published in journals. I had dinner there many times, asked a few questions, and felt very present at these uncomfortable meals. To say one “enjoyed” dinner with the Teacher would be ridiculous. There was no such thing as enjoyment. It was more like sitting on a pin cushion for an hour without being able to remove the pins. Heaven help you if the Teacher spoke directly to you. It has to be the most awkward experience of a lifetime, as designed. An excellent chance to see “false personality” in action.

I flew up to the “ranch” as often as possible. I lived to go there, work all day and continue most of the night. Meals were beyond anything served in the finest restaurant. One of the ideas developed by Robert was that of alchemy. Refining coarse matter into finer is the essence of transformation, turning base metals like lead into gold. Alchemy is about raising consciousness, not getting rich. He got the best of both worlds! Initially, I was assigned to work outdoors, performing physical labor. The Lincoln Lodge is located at the top of a gently sloping hill. Half way down there is a discreet spot created for older students who own matching silver Airstream trailers

Further down, a barn housed machinery, and at the base of the hill a small residence stands alone where Robert lived when not traveling. My favorite place drew me in like a magnet: the kitchen. I love cooking. Everything is done with attention and intention. Being present is key. Many wonderful conversations occurred over chopping vegetables attempting to “remember ourselves”. Wisdom and love expressed itself in that room, a greater teaching place than weekly meetings held in Berkeley. Various exercises were imposed by the Teacher for all, in addition to private “tasks”. All were required to follow the “word exercise” which entailed not saying “I”. Anyone who said “I” was reminded by a silent hand gesture, sometimes accompanied with a “photograph” of sleep by saying, “You used the word I”. As “self-remembering” was the purpose of these exercises, students would “photograph” each other when the task was forgotten. Most referred to themselves as “it”, which became as automatic as saying “I”. This was embarrassing and humorous when ordering food at restaurants. Rather than disobeying the word exercise, students would order by saying, “It would like a cup of coffee”. If you could see the strange looks some of the waitresses gave us! Older gals knew “the kooks from up North”, and shook their heads while rolling eye-balls the moment we walked through the door.

Life at “the Ranch” was a constant wonderland. One might go from pulling weeds to peeling carrots, to dressing in suit and tie to dine in the most magnificent room in California, the “Meissen Room”. Of course, that was over 27 years ago, and I suspect these descriptions are long outdated. Robert was truly “King” of this Empire, and everyone emulated his “self-effacing, humble walk”. Tall, broad shouldered, he carried himself as if he was but a lowly servant, slightly hunched down with a peasant’s shuffle. Of course, he wore silk suits and magnificent rings, not unlike Liberace, but a tad more elegant and “discreet” about his obvious penchant for the Divine Feminine. His Queen was safely tucked away inside, for private consumption only. With student donations pouring in, and “special donations” ranging from $400.00 and up, the man raked it in. By now, he must be a billionaire several times over. Before I left, the concert hall was completed. There were several classical concerts held in opulent elegance beyond description.

I wanted to move there, as others had done, to accelerate my “evolution”. A lot of bad press has been spun about Robert, but my experiences were magical. Regardless of anyone’s bitter opinions about him, there’s a lot of jealousy in “esoteric circles”, and most people that are “into” Fourth Way ideas are spiritual snobs. Many are effete intellectuals, for whom being superior consists of making everyone else inferior. Robert never had to work at that, his presence created the feeling that one was dramatically “less than”. I got permission to move there, and promptly did. At first, I slept in the Lincoln Lodge. To support myself, I worked at a local hospital in the emergency room. The head nurse was a Witch with a “B”. As “ward clerk”, my job was to register those seeking treatment. Two incidents created memory, both during full moons. The first was a dignified man sporting a scarf held in place with one hand. When asked why he was there, he peeled away the scarf to reveal a huge gaping slash in his throat, nothing short of a bloody hole. He’d attempted suicide, passed out after slashing his throat, and woke up in a pool of blood. Well, what’s a fellow to do? The other is a bit funnier. Two boys got to arguing at the bar, not uncommon, and started shooting guns at each other. One was grazed on the arm, the other had barely escaped with his genitalia intact. One more millimeter in either direction, and he would have been castrated!

Being present, “out of patterns” and self-observation were part of daily life 24 hours a day. The goal was to permanently attain higher levels of consciousness, complete our own evolution, and escape death. The “system” taught that man is capable of 7 levels of consciousness, but is born using only three. The first three apply to three dimensions of space and time, exemplified by the five senses. This is all considered a “sleeping state” in relation to being an awakened or enlightened being. The Fourth State is acquired through one’s own efforts, by “working on oneself’. One creates an “observing I”, then a Steward, and last a Master. The levels increase with dimension. In our ordinary state we have accidental moments of higher consciousness, or “4th state” experiences when brought near death or sufficiently shocked. As one cannot rely on shocks or death to achieve higher awareness, conditions for awakening are created by conscious schools. It is one’s own responsibility to verify the source is connected to “C Influence” or higher Celestial energies.

The most remarkable evening occurred when the Teacher claimed he was “crystallizing” as a “man number five”. He left the property and stayed in a hotel room with a few members of his “inner circle”. The entire Fellowship waited breathlessly for this “transformation” to occur. Finally, we were told it had not happened “on time”. Extravagant festivities were placed on hold. Finally, it was official: the Teacher had “crystallized”, meaning permanent transformation. Flowers were brought in by the truckload, white trellises were installed with hanging oriental lanterns. Fine wines, hors d’oevres and an elaborate “dinner” was planned and executed. It was an enormous success, and we all mingled, drinking voluptuously. Late that night, trellises interwoven with roses, greenery and tulips, lit Japanese lanterns gently blowing in the breeze, created eerie and unforgettable images as their shadows played in the wind.

I cleared a space in the mountains from scratch, and pitched my tent.

My best friend, Randolph Giddings, was a “sister”. For 3 1/2 years I was celibate. There were no rules to my knowledge that forbade sex with other students, but there was so much happening, it just didn’t occur to me. Alcohol was my best companion and Randolph was the funniest Queen I had ever met. He could be profoundly spiritual, then catty as a bitch in a nanosecond, like the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland”. I learned much from his “evolving soul”. He left the Fellowship as well, and I discovered that he became a successful chef at a high class restaurant in Carmel, addicted to speed and an obsessive relationship. He died of substance abuse. Rest in peace dear friend.

After a couple of years, many wonderful friendships and special moments wrote themselves onto the landscape of my soul. The school was expanding, not only to other countries but now to many states in the Americas. Eventually, I was asked to help open a “Center” in Saint Louis, Missouri.

The purpose of these centers was to spread the word, create opportunities to “work on oneself’, but I suspect the underlying reason was to make more money. Be that as it may, I would accompany 6 students who would travel there, locate a suitable “teaching house”, and begin offering prospective student meetings. My friend, Marcelle Bishop, was headed to Ohio, so we decided to “caravan” together. What a fun trip! It was “eye opening” to reach the dry states, where liquor was hidden behind the bar, and only members could stash their bottles. I had to bribe the bartender to serve us, as I was feeling “dry mouthed” and needed a stiff drink or three. The teaching didn’t discourage the consumption of “fine wines”, and some of us took that to mean any liquor. No one needs a license to become an alcoholic. A winery was being built as part of the “civilizing influence” Robert was creating for the fall of civilization. For me, it was an opportunity to get drunk every night. Being “present” could be very stressful.

Saint Louis was no picnic. I didn’t like the other students, so there were “personality clashes” from day one. The house we ended up with was beautiful. In the “better suburbs” of Kirkwood, our split-level ranch house included basement, pool table and wet bar. I spent a lot of time in the basement. My alcoholism increased exponentially. Having to work full time, hide being “gay” in the middle of Saint Louis, then come home and be part of a prospective student meeting was “trying”. I was also attempting to establish a career in the restaurant business. As alcohol was sold, and I was a manager trainee, many evening hours doing inventory included a few glasses of house wine. Another of my jobs included selling death insurance door to door in the country where the rednecks lived. One town had a rustic bar where I stopped for “reinforcements”. The “city slicker” had arrived. Locals, who witnessed shootings, proudly pointed to the walls riddled with gunshot. Someone asked if I ever had “ever clear”. Not knowing what it was, I said “no”. They looked at each other with Cheshire cat grins; the game’s afoot, Watson. A shot glass appeared in front of me with a clear liquid. I downed it. A bit rough, it hit the spot. Little did I know it was almost a hundred proof! The dudes were amply amazed when I polished off several in a row and was still sitting on my stool. Years later, I would do that in bars in the Castro District and not be so lucky. The floor became one of my better friends in the bar scene. Besides, you can talk to a floor and it understands you.

My career selling insurance was brief, and becoming a manager for a Howard Johnson’s chain seemed easier. That was “magical thinking’. Assistant managers are glorified slaves. They do everything. Expected to know each person’s job intimately, I was trained for two weeks or more on the grill, then as a dish-washer, as a waiter and so on. When someone called in sick, guess who would have to pull a double shift? Hell would have been more fun. At one of their “bashes”, a promotion which I thought was “in the bag” went to someone else. I reeked of self pity and disillusionment – didn’t they know I was the best man for the job? I drank myself into a stupor. It was Winter and the drive home was 15 miles away on a snow covered freeway that was as blitzed as I was. No one else was on the road around 2:30 a.m. What kind of self-hypnosis makes us imagine we can drive, no matter how plastered? I always thought I could drive drunk. After traversing several miles, I either “passed out” at the wheel, or thought that if I followed the car in front of me, I could “wing it”, or both. The car in front of me was actually someone who had a flat tire, whose who stopped for repairs. I hit him point blank going about 50 mph dressed in a three piece suit. A resounding BANG jolted me from unconsciousness. All I remember is the sound of glass breaking and an enormous “crunch”. My first reaction was to scramble out of the car before it blew up. I was able to open the driver door and stepped into the crisp night air. Horrified, I turned around to see the car bent in two, the engine completely flattened, pointing upwards, L-shaped. This was no compact car, but a rolling tank, a Pontiac LeMans. Steam rose. Terror struck. Had I killed anyone? Would I be arrested for drunk driving? What would become of me? The most astonishing aspect of this wreck was first, that I was alive, second that the other guy was not injured, and lastly that my 3 piece suit was perfectly intact, not one button undone. Being totally “limp” from booze no doubt saved my life. I walked away unscathed, but not from the “justice system”. I was arrested.

An angel must have been with me then, and the days which followed, since one of the new students was a lawyer. She advised me for free, and represented me in court. I got off with a minor fine. This was not my last drunken car accident. Eventually, the center was closed, while other centers remained open with “reinforcements”. Sounds like Iraq. I found a way to get back to California by driving a new car back for money. To be near the Berkeley meetings, I moved into the LaFayette House in LaFayette, California. At this point, I was a drunken mess. I made passes at all the other students, male or female, threw temper tantrums in my room, even tossed my pet parakeet, cage and all sailing in the air. She was uninjured, but the plates and glasses didn’t fare as well. We had a swimming pool, but I can’t remember much about it, being literally numb all the time. I do remember talking to my mother, estranged since my hasty departure from Santa Barbara. I told her it was her “fault” that I was gay. She snapped back at me, “Don’t try laying that on my doorstep!” admonishing that what I did was my choice. She was right, of course; layers of denial.

Back to a job I knew, I worked as a waiter. On Christmas Eve, someone called in sick, and I was called in. A chronic codependent, I said “yes”. My alcoholism dictated that I keep my job by acting normal at all costs, though inside I was in deep emotional pain, not wanting to face my own sexuality, or my unhappiness with the school. It was another dark night of the soul, and we were brain-washed into believing that those who leave an esoteric school are “dead”, doomed to repeat lifetimes of descending cycles of devolution. Those exact words weren’t used, but the emotional feeling was identical. I had turned into my own father, a blackout drinker. I hated myself.

Speaking of my father, it was precisely at this time that he wanted to visit me. We’d been estranged for many years, but I agreed. I remember him in my bedroom, trembling in fear, relaying his story about having to flee California. After I ran away, he became friendly with the neighbor kids, in particular two adolescent boys next door. One of them, Larry, approached him at 12 or 13 years old and told him he had a present, his hand down the front of his pants. My Dad says he asked what it was, and Larry coyly ran into the enclosed back yard, to be chased. Dad took the bait – it truly was “jail bait”. Thus began a “love affair” which lasted about a year. My father, in addition to being a reclusive alcoholic, was a pedophile. He encouraged the boys and girls to bathe in the outdoor pond naked. Pictures were taken. There was also a collection of gay male pornography. I know, because when I lived there I found it under his mattress! The neighbors saw kids coming and going, him making “wine runs” and Larry’s mother got suspicious. She wrestled enough information out of her boys to call the vice squad who stormed the house to discover homemade films, magazines and pictures. He was told, “You have two choices: either get out of town or go to jail. You have one week to decide”. He decided to leave. His visit to me, in Northern California, was his exit, stage left It brought us back together again. He ended up in South Carolina for many years.

It was Christmas Eve and I had only one table, a demanding group of twenty.

I jumped through hoops like a trained circus animal and they left me no tip. It was too much. If I could have committed suicide in that moment, I would have. Someone saw my plight and offered a mild muscle relaxant. I had one cocktail before leaving, but it must have been added to a vast repository of alcohol already stirring inside my body, for the mixture sent me into another blackout. I drove an enormous 1979 Lincoln Continental with reversed doors. I figured, from my last accident, bigger was better. I was right, of course. On my way home, I blacked out at the wheel again only this time I hit a granite lamp post, breaking it in two from the impact. I don’t remember anything, yet I walked over a mile to the house in a blackout, nose squashed into my head, unaware of severe injuries. It was shock commingled with blackout. Once again, angels must have been watching over me. The police traced my wrecked abandoned car to the house. Apparently, I argued with them about going to the Emergency Room and was told, like my father, “It’s either the Emergency Room or JAIL”. I left instantly. We become just like our fathers, eh?

The hand of Providence stepped in again. A plastic surgeon was on duty Christmas Eve in the Emergency Room. My fractures required facial reconstruction and a nose job. I had a big nose most of my life, causing no end of insecurity. The required surgery was performed that night. Had it been another day that passed, everything would need to be broken. I awoke looking like King Tut covered in white bandages around my head and one eye, the other eye covered by an inverted cup. I was blind for almost a week. At least I got a nose job out of it. The surgeon was from the Philippines, so all of his “noses” looked like Mrs. Cory Acquino. I hated it at first, but I was alive to drink another day, and that was all I cared about.

Life had no meaning for me.

At this time, I traveled back and forth to “the ranch”. One occasion, I got a ride with a tall, slender, good looking male, an architect. We stopped by his apartment before the final leg of the journey, and he made a pass at me. I wasn’t really attracted, and it had been years since I’d had sex, so frankly I didn’t know what to do. Besides, my own sexuality remained a mystery to all but me.

A day later, I was told “the Teacher wants to see you at the Lincoln Lodge”. Somewhat excited, yet apprehensive, I sat next to him in an overstuffed chair. He told me that my architect friend had asked if it was okay to have sex with another male and had spilled his guts. Bad idea. We were both given “the task” of not ever having sex with other males. Robert said, with a sweeping gesture in the air, “Can’t you see…there’s so much more…” and that was that. You didn’t argue with the Teacher. Period. Depressed, I felt that the school was becoming “too restrictive”. Slowly, like a society that is being modified and controlled, it goes largely unnoticed – until it’s too late. I felt the school was turning into, or already was, a cult. I couldn’t see why being homosexual should limit my spiritual advancement.

Not only that, I was one horny male, after years of celibacy. I told Randolph that I was going to leave. He hated to see me go, but understood completely. We embraced and said goodbye. It seemed “logical” to make my escape to San Francisco, a doomed failure and raging alcoholic.

I ended up living in the Haight Ashbury with a buffed Queen who was rarely home, living the “perfect life” of a fag: the gym, polished copper pots, and two alcoholic roommates. The bars nearby became my new home. Dealing with leaving a school, believing one is basically doomed, is a dark shadow from which to emerge. Many other students either left at that time, or were asked to leave, especially if they “knew too much”. My good friends, Stella and Harold, who had opened a center in Amsterdam, were asked to leave, having disobeyed the “no smoking” rule. Several years later I got in touch with Stella, and the truth came out. Robert had been blackmailing the straight male students, and their underage boys, into having sex with him. They were told point blank if they didn’t comply, they’d be out of the school. This had been going on from the beginning. Robert’s “inner circle” had nothing to do with level of consciousness. It had to do with who could do his bidding and keep their mouths shut. Those were the ones who ended up in “special positions” either traveling with him, sitting next to him at enormous meetings, or taking on “executive duties”. One fellow was used as his “boy toy”, which left indelible scars. He worked through it to eventually become a well-known artist. Those at the top seemed a bunch of arrogant scoundrels. One of the men who sat in front was a Doctor, who I bumped into at the San Francisco baths one night. He cringed and left upon seeing me. I was delighted to have left the school on my own terms, having taken what I needed. “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”, says Auntie Mame.

Stella, in the meantime, began a support group assisting those who left or were asked to leave. Many folks were suicidal. I joined the group, and more sordid details of Robert’s sexual machinations were revealed, including a class action lawsuit that ended up settling “out of court”. I had an opportunity to move to an apartment on Noe Street in the Castro District. Drinking heavily, I complained to a neighbor that I wasn’t having any sex. He said, “You don’t expect men to fall out of the ceiling, do you?” chiding me to leave my apartment once in a while. Truth is, I was terrified of everything. Riding the Muni was like contemplating bungee jumping with diarrhea and an upset stomach. It was all I could do to sneak out for liquor, which was purchased in “moderation” because I didn’t have a problem with drinking. Two nearly fatal car accidents, my own mother’s demise from alcohol poisoning, and Dad’s troubles with the vice squad taught me nothing. The problem wasn’t alcohol, it was life. I needed a job, a boyfriend, new furniture, and so on – denial isn’t a river in Egypt!’

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Read more, at the provided link above (and elsewhere), about substance abuse, gay life style, HIV/AIDS, EST, near death experiences, jail, angelic encounters and spiritual journey that entertains and inspires.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

‘Biography
My name is Lance B White. I was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1950. In 1983 I was told that I had contracted HIV. My journey has taken me to the depths and heights which is ultimately part of a spiritual journey. For over 29 years I have miraculously transformed the experience of living with HIV and AIDS on a Positive note! In 2007, I wrote an irreverent account of my journey called Tales of a Zany Mystic, offered at Amazon Books. One year prior, I was asked if I wanted to do a weekly radio show. This marked the birth of a weekly internet radio show on BBS Radio: A Fireside Chat With Zany Mystic. From Don Newsom, Owner:

Famed & gifted psychic healer, author, and exceptionally adept practitioner of question triggered channeling, L.B. White is Zany Mystic. An eclectic array of fascinating guests, fellow travelers and family, is guaranteed to enlighten, inform and delight! I can be found live and free each Saturday at 7:00 p.m. pst here:

afiresidechat.com

warm wishes,
zany mystic’

113. Out of Time - June 8, 2015

How much does Asaf’s new pyramid scheme cost?

114. brucelevy - June 8, 2015

“…Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pervasive grandiosity, an extreme desire for attention, a sense of entitlement, a willingness to exploit or mistreat others, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy. Yet narcissists can be fragile too and prone to outbursts of humiliated rage. Their grandiose self-beliefs are built on foundations as solid as quicksand, hence the need for constant admiration and attention, shoring up their unstable sense of self.

As the co-author of a recent study, Brad Bushman, explains, narcissism is the claim that you are superior to other people. From this core belief, bad things flow. “I’ve been studying aggression for about 30 years,” says Bushman, “and I’ve seen that the most harmful belief that a person can have is that they’re superior to others.” Narcissists “fantasise about personal successes and believe they deserve special treatment. When they feel humiliated, they often lash out aggressively or even violently.”

Psychologists warn that narcissism is on the increase. Invisibility is a central terror of the narcissist, and in our world of hyper-individualism, the competitive pursuit of attention produces winners and losers, those who painfully feel passed over and excluded. One response to the shame of exclusion and marginalisation is violence, which enacts revenge at the same moment that it lifts the person out of oblivion…”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/narcissism-terrorism-violence-monis-breivik-lubitz-jihadi-john?CMP=fb_gu

115. Messages From Marconi - June 8, 2015

116. Messages From Marconi - June 8, 2015

114. brucelevy – June 8, 2015

Bruce has a new boogieman to worry and obsess about: NPD people taking over the world.

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/paranoid-personality-disorder-symptoms/

Symptoms:

Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her

Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates

Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her

Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events

Persistently bears grudges (i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights)

Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others, and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner

Sounds like Bruce, right?

117. Robert Stolzle - June 9, 2015

Gentlemen-

Please fight amongst yourselves. I would like to know how the FoF vineyard/winery is doing? I was curious enough to want to try some “conscious wine”, but can’t even find it on the FoF propaganda websites. Perhaps another crime?

Bob Stolzle

118. nigel harris price - June 9, 2015

Wooooooh !!!!!

Watch out for today’s posts. I suspect Bruce has dropped a veritable ‘A-Bomb’ on the kind of nature underlying what Burton could be ‘all about.’ – though I doubt Burton went for hostages and threatening to kill. Marconi ripostes with the usual trite ‘stir it up, little darlin”. Should be interesting who is the more interesting though I suspect Bruce, being the more intelligent, shall lead us with more to say…..Nigel

119. Cathie L. - June 9, 2015

#117. Bob

Renaissance Vineyard & Winery has a website. https://www.wineweb.com/scripts/secure/order.cfm/renaissance

120. Cathie L. - June 9, 2015

#116.

LOL.
Textbook.

121. Robert Stolzle - June 9, 2015

Thank you Cathie; I took a look and started having reservations about lending any “material support” to the enemy. Actually, the prices for 10-15 year old wines are pretty cheap, are they any good? Any recommendations?

Why are we picking on Bruce now? #114 looks like a great definition of RB. #112 sort of wore me out, though. Is Mr. White still on the right side of the grass? His description of Stella was really spot on!

Bob Stolzle

122. Cathie L. - June 9, 2015

I haven’t tried the wines. The olive oil was good.

123. Mick - June 11, 2015

It all seems to me to be an elaborate game of ‘Dress-up & Pretend’.
Ladies & Gentlemen
C-Influence Presents:
Jenner v. Burton

124. nigel harris price - June 11, 2015

I have never actually, graphically, explained this but I ‘left’ the FOF in a depressed fit – hugely depressed that I was running out of time/money to throw at the cult…..cut off point Sunday, if I remember rightly…..if I was going to HELL better make it quick – 40 anti-histamines (did not work) then lacerating my wrists…..blood all over the office divan…..saved by some sort of intervention…..Cynthia Patrick telling that weird Fellowship shrink…..”No, of course I can’t control it!”…..parents notified…..$20,000 hospital fees in Marin General never paid…..stretchered back to the U.K. …..on Melliril and Anaprinil…..”fuzzed-brained” basically…..I wondered for a long time what bloggers meant by “cognitive dissonance”…..this must have been it for me…..the Gods give another chance combined with opportunities to grow stronger and withstand…..”social torture” sometimes…..All grace…..Nigel

It is useful to take a look at the CHILDPLAY PSYCHIATRIST, Virginia M Axline…..good reading is – “Dibs, in Search of Self”…..

“Dibs had had his dark moments and had lived for a while in the shadows of life. But he had had the opportunity to move out of those dark moments and discover for himself that he could cope with the shadows and sunshine in his life.

Perhaps there is more beauty and understanding in life when the glaring sunlight is softened by the patterns of shadows. Perhaps there is more depth in a relationship that has weathered some storms. EXPERIENCE THAT NEVER DISAPPOINTS OR SADDENS OR STIRS UP FEELINGS IS A BLAND EXPERIENCE WITH LITTLE CHALLENGE OR VARIATION OF COLOUR. Perhaps when we experience confidence and faith and hope that we see materialize before our eyes this builds up within us a feeling of inner strength, courage and security.

We are all personalities that grow and develop AS A RESULT OF ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND EMOTIONS. WE ARE THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL THE PARTS THAT GO INTO THE MAKING OF A LIFE.”

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
George Santayana

125. nigel harris price - June 11, 2015

Prince Gautama, the Buddha, declared…..

“The striving for enlightenment starts from a basically human standpoint”.

What qualities for this to occur ? …..

Humility…..Simplicity…..Gentleness…..Love for All Sentient Beings…..Compassion…..last of all – Empathy

What would stand against this ? …

Mechanical/forced/structured cults and institutions.
Hierarchical pyramids of power – i.e. no equanimity.
A greedy, perverted, false and charlatan guru/teacher.
Spiritual materialism – ‘paying for Heaven’ (and a defunct winery ! ).

It is not difficult to work with this way of thinking to gain a better perspective of our ‘lot in life’ (Buddha also said – “We must make the best of an imperfect, ill-dealt hand”). Something happens at a certain phase/age in Life that says –

“I cannot and will not exact revenge…..I accept my past – all my mistakes causing harm to others – also harm done to me by others…..I have a role or two, maybe to be played out to the best of my ability – in service to others and the Human Tapestry…..

NO ONE WILL MAKE ME CRY WITH RAGE OR PAIN…..
I WILL HAVE CLEAR VISION OF MY QUALITIES AND CONNECT ACCORDINGLY…..
IF THERE IS/ARE (A) HIGHER BEING (S), LET ME NOT DISGRACE THEIR HELP…..

…..and, finally, Nelson Mandela, who sought not for revenge, but integration and equal rights for ALL PERSONS UNDER HIS CARE …..

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

126. Messages From Marconi - June 11, 2015
127. Messages From Marconi - June 11, 2015
128. Messages From Marconi - June 11, 2015

129. ton2u - June 12, 2015

Nigel @ 125

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

This points toward an expanded (enlightened) concept of the Self… it goes beyond the merely personal, it’s not all about “I, me, mine.” Unfortunately for burton, his minions, and others of this ilk, they’re trapped in a narrow and contracted concept of self; it’s small-minded, egotistical, narcissistic, greedy, petty, frivolous, selfish.

130. leaf - June 12, 2015

On another topic:

“Is the moon to blame?”

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/is-the-moon-to-blame/

131. Robert Stolzle - June 12, 2015

“The fault lies not in our stars dear Brutus, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” W.S.

In Gurdjieff’s time some of the quasi-scientific B.S. might have sounded scientific and fooled some people. How did we slurp up the bait so easily?

I found the “body type” and “centers of gravity” pigeon holes useful, if contrived, but the “hydrogens”, the moon, “C” influence, 44 “conscious beings” and all manner of Fourth Way hocus-pocus was taken in with nary a critical thought. DUH on me, DUH on us!

Bob Stolzle

132. Shard of Oblivion - June 12, 2015

#130 #131 The prize bit of pseudo scientific buffoonery by Rodney Collin was the false logic of:

1. The moon affects the oceans through its gravitational pull

2. The oceans are made of water

3. Human bodies have a large proportion of water in their composition

4. Therefore the moon affects human emotions

A majestic bit of obscurantism

🙂

133. Messages From Marconi - June 12, 2015

Planetary types is scientifically annoying and likely scientifically unprovable, but then, there is a mercury and there is a martial. What do you do with something that is obviously there and yet is scientifically unsound? What do you do with illogical cult ideas like types that are apparently physically and psychologically valid? Do you really want to make such facts of life go away?

134. Cathie L. - June 12, 2015

The moon does affect human emotions, though. How else to account for the sense of awe and wonder I feel when witnessing a glorious full harvest moon rising on an October night, or the eerie feeling brought on by seeing a “blood moon” lunar eclipse? What about all the poetry and romance inspired by the moon?

I am not defending the beliefs about the moon we were expected to “verify” (by confirmation bias!) in the FOF, but it remains an interesting subject, and Rodney Collin was not the only one who thought there might be something going on, spurious logic and lack of scientific proof notwithstanding.

“The term lunatic derives from the Latin lunaticus which originally referred mainly to epilepsy and “madness” as diseases caused by the Moon… Philosophers such as Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full Moon induced insane individuals with bipolar disorder by providing light during nights which would otherwise have been dark, and affecting susceptible individuals through the well-known route of sleep deprivation.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunatic#cite_note-JAD-4

Scientific studies of the sleep deprivation hypothesis have not been conclusive.

“Belief that the full moon is associated with psychiatric disturbance persists despite 50 years research showing no association. This article traces the historical roots of belief in the power of the moon to cause disorders the mind, especially insanity and epilepsy. Putative mechanisms of lunar action are critiqued. It is proposed that modern findings showing lack of lunar effect can be reconciled with pre-modern beliefs in the moon’s power through a mechanism of sleep deprivation. Prior to the advent of modern lighting the moon was a significant source of nocturnal illumination that affected sleep–wake cycle, tending to cause sleep deprivation around the time of full moon. This partial sleep deprivation would have been sufficient to induce mania/hypomania in susceptible bipolar patients and seizures in patients with seizure disorders. The advent of modern lighting attenuated this lunar effect, especially in modern urban areas, where most 20th century studies of lunar effects on the mind have been conducted. The hypothesis presented in this article is open to empirical validation or falsification. Potential tests for the sleep-deprivation hypothesis of lunar action are discussed.”
The moon and madness reconsidered, Charles L Raison, Haven M Klein, Morgan Steckler, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, University of California-Los Angeles

http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327%2899%2900016-6/abstract

Then there’s this interesting bit from Wikipedia on “lunar effect”:

“Possible evolutionary explanations

Nocturnal carnivores are widely believed to have played an important role in human evolution, driving the need for nighttime shelter, the control of fire and our innate fear of darkness. We performed an extensive analysis of predatory behavior across the lunar cycle on the largest dataset of lion attacks ever assembled and found that African lions are as sensitive to moonlight when hunting humans as when hunting herbivores and that lions are most dangerous to humans when the moon is faint or below the horizon.

For some 3 – 4 million years, bipedal hominins in the East African Rift valley were evolving in potential conflict and competition with fearsome carnivores including sabre-toothed cats equipped with excellent night-vision. Using the largest data set ever recorded – 1,000 lion attacks on humans across Tanzania between 1988 and 2009 – Craig Packer and his colleagues showed that there is a peak of attacks by lions upon humans during the evening dark hours following full moon. According to Packer, this may help explain why so many myths and superstitions attribute fearsome dangers and nightmarish potencies to the moon. While not all archaeologists accept that lunar periodicity was ever relevant to human evolution, those favouring the idea include Curtis Marean, who heads excavations at the important Middle Stone Age site of Pinnacle Point, South Africa. Marean argues that anatomically modern humans around 165,000 years ago – when inland regions of the continent were dry, arid and uninhabitable – became restricted to small populations clustered around coastal refugia, reliant on marine resources including shellfish whose safe harvesting at spring low tides presupposed careful tracking of lunar phase. Against this background, if Marean is right, humans who ignored or misread the moon might frequently have been drowned….

With gradual offshore platforms during spring low tides, substantial areas of the intertidal zone are revealed, and these are the most productive and safest shellfish collecting times… Foragers should schedule visits to coastal residential sites at times during the lunar month when spring tides are present and then move slightly inland during neaps to broaden the size of the exploitable terrestrial area.”

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

135. nigel harris price - June 12, 2015

133 ….. don’t tie yourself up in mental/emotional knots trying to comprehend WHAT FOR YOU (!), YES YOU, MARCONI, is unworkable ….. and talking of work (leave alone that silly ‘Work on Yourself’ – looking like you are aware/separating/moving gracefully through the Galleria, pinot noir in hand at the right height to catch the light and for the esters to reach your gently quivering nostrils ….. I bet you – YES YOU MARCONI WERE GUILTY OF ALL THAT CRAP AND EXTEND IT TO A SENSE OF SUPERIORITY ON THIS BLOGSITE) ….. put it plainly, you are not very useful, even the ‘human lump’ you are ….. Nigel

136. nigel harris price - June 12, 2015

132 Shard of Oblivion

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken in the flood leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their lives
Is bound in shallows and in misery”

and, if you don’t like Shakespeare saying it, you could probably find something akin to that passage in The Bible.

137. Messages From Marconi - June 12, 2015
138. nigel harris price - June 12, 2015

137 ….. a clever little bit of twerpery ….. written by a condescending and patronising idiot ….. of course that stuff happened and still happens ….. especially, may I say, over the Head of the Valleys Pass from here in Abergavenny ….. giving rise to abject poverty, domestic violence, learning disabilities, lack of social confidence and any varieties of mental ill health …..the Welsh Government have tackled it ….. National Lottery money is being invested in the area, actually called The Valleys – towns like Ebbw Vale, Blaenavon, Rhondda.

Criticize if you like, Massaging your Martini…..but I bet you would not ‘get stuck in’ with any kind of compassion, empathy or a wish to raise the self-esteem of the individuals you happened upon in that boring article …. probably you have no transferable skills ….. or are you a realtor by trade ?

DisabilityArtsCymru and Head4Arts are exciting and challenging, putting the bettewrment of the disadvantaged first ….. we could see more Richard Burtons, Anthony Hopkins and Dylan Thomas’s

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

(if you have never been – THERE – you will never know, grow up!)

139. ton2u - June 12, 2015

@ 137 Nigel,

re: “Disability” and “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (I wouldn’t call it a “weapon” nevertheless I get the point).

Have you heard of this organization ?

http://rmt.org/

The work I do has some affiliation – I did a workshop in New Hampshire with Angus Gordon and friends a few years back.
I don’t know how close Ruskin Mill is to where you currently reside but it might be of interest – or not.

140. Tim Campion - June 12, 2015

The experts agree, Cathie (#122) is right.

Apollo Olive Oil Takes on the World and Receives Top Honors

141. Tim Campion - June 12, 2015

Robert Stolzle,

Speaking of J.C., this Fellowship of Friends production received some praise: Julius Caesar 2014

142. Robert Stolzle - June 13, 2015

Shard #132 & Marconi #133 + Cathie # 134

There are apparently limitless logical fallacies around which a good cult may be constructed. Compared to many of the bizarre ideas and groups in the world, the Fourth Way really doesn’t look too bad, but that doesn’t make it “right” in any sense of the word. The concepts and ideas of most cults are, in and of themselves, mostly harmless and might, on occasion, be helpful to their practitioners. The great harm comes from the craven,narcissistic predators who seemingly always wind up leading these operations. Psychopathy must be a job requirement. Don’t drink the Koolaid!

I think most everyone recognizes the general differences and similarities amongst humans. The planetary types idea seems to me to be framework that allows the pigeonholing of looks and behaviors in a way that allows easy recall. It is like the “memory mansion” recall techniques that mentalists and others use to accurately remember otherwise trivial events. It is certain that the planets have no influence, but people grow to different sizes and abilities and some of this is influenced by environment, genetics and even glandular activity. The Fourth Way body types technique comes up short because it easily overlooks the behaviors and characteristics that don’t fit the stereotype and it has the great failing of dismissing the strengths and weaknesses that make up our individuality. The snobbish dismissal of “life people” grows easily from this judgmental attitude. Anyone can set up his or her own criteria and framework e.g. “that one is an Oak and she’s a Willow, but he’s a Briar”, etc. and it will be just as useful and inaccurate.

The moon controls the tides and its light and gravity does influence a lot of life on the planet. This is not to say that your spirit goes there when you die as a poor #4 (’cause it wants to be a planet, don’t you know). I always assumed that this B.S. was Gurdjieff’s dismissive answer to a stupid question and the equivalent of him saying, “who the f__k knows?” I doubt it was meant to be something that was supposed to be considered seriously, like, say, RB’s “Giant California Earthquake” prediction. I think the most curious coincidence is the length of the lunar cycle and the length of human’s menstrual cycle. The way a house full of women can get “synched up”, apparently by pheromones, is strange and a bit scary, too. Because we human animals aren’t yet completely divorced from our environment and much of our behavior is poorly understood is not a good reason to embrace anyone’s metaphysical meanderings or some goofy-assed prophet’s omens of doom at the next lunar eclipse. It is wonderful to become emotional at the beauty of the world, but stimulating human emotions isn’t why the sunset was red this evening. And the night is dangerous because we don’t see as well in the dark as some other critters, not because of “bad vapors” and vampires. And, there is no “C” influence!

As Valerio Biondo would say, “Ciao”,

Bob Stolzle

143. Shard of Oblivion - June 13, 2015

#133 Marconi, I can see you could believe you have observed that the type information in the system literature is a good fit for humans. I consider it on a par with Jung’s idea that you can usefully view humans as either introvert or extrovert. But I would be surprised if you maintain that you have verified that the cause of these traits is some spooky influence from the planets themselves. That is basically astrology, which fooled many clever people over the ages with its fabricated knowledge, but it is no longer taken seriously by the scientific community.

#134 I found those quotes very interesting, and agree that the light from the moon and the tidal effects themselves are a fascinating study. Which is a long way from the way the moon theory is used in the FoF. Though I expect it might be denied by students, what the lunar phase theory does is give permission for students to behave badly, and blame it on the moon.

#136 Nigel, your quote puzzles me. Brutus says it to Cassius to persuade Cassius they should attack, where Cassius had been advising staying hidden and letting their enemy tire himself looking for them. The quote is well known and often heard, and I think it appeals to those who lust after power and influence in the world, which I don’t much really. Still I do agree timing is important, sometimes you only get one chance to say hello to a girl and see what happens.

144. nigel harris price - June 13, 2015

139 ton2u

That establishment is north from here in the ‘black country’, described by Blake – “Dark Satanic mils” ….. I am proud to be on the ‘threshold of propelling the aspirations of the downtrodden and deprived’ – you cannot know the ‘powerful joy’ it promotes for ALL CONCERNED …..

A Prayer of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

“Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.”

You guys, across the pond, should know this one…..

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

(and, if any of you are wondering where the hell I am psychologically these past few days – 7-8 on the psycho-richter scale, with mighty help from Community Psychiatric Nurse, Deborah Jones, Community Support Police Officer Ruth Moyse and Monmouthshire Housing Officer Lauren Francis – there is ‘trouble in the ‘hood and we seek for the good’ – no flare-ups from me by acting on my own initiative – just remaining courteous, yet aloof)

You do not need to be Nutty Nigel to attract such a play, but I do believe in that old phrase…..

“Your being attracts your life.”

May we all come to realize the dignity in having a role to play…..n.

145. paul gregory - June 13, 2015

http://www.rose-lynnfisher.com/tears.html

on the subject of water and all that, saw this.

146. ton2u - June 13, 2015

@ 144

Thanks Paul, these beautiful MAGNIFIED images of tears, to my eye structural elements appear, crystalline even. The captions point toward ‘transcendent’ reality via metaphor – imo ‘good art’ does this… and then there’s a lot of bad ‘art’ too. We know something (‘scientifically’) of the qualities and functionality of crystals, and of course said qualities are utilized in the current human techno-craze – the “information age.” One of the invisible gods is the micro-chip after all, right there behind the screen. A pause and a closer look at a ‘simple’ human tear reveals a bearer and transducer of emotive “information” – beautiful.

Nigel @ 143

“… you cannot know the ‘powerful joy’ it promotes for ALL CONCERNED …..”

Oh but I do know, as do others – of that I’m quite certain…. this is speaking from many years of experience. And so in this, you are mistaken.

147. nigel harris price - June 13, 2015

145…..stand corrected, guvn’r!

148. Messages From Marconi - June 13, 2015

143. nigel harris price – June 13, 2015

(and, if any of you are wondering where the hell I am psychologically these past few days – 7-8 on the psycho-richter scale, with mighty help from Community Psychiatric Nurse, Deborah Jones, Community Support Police Officer Ruth Moyse and Monmouthshire Housing Officer Lauren Francis – there is ‘trouble in the ‘hood and we seek for the good’ – no flare-ups from me by acting on my own initiative – just remaining courteous, yet aloof)

You do not need to be Nutty Nigel to attract such a play, but I do believe in that old phrase…..

“Your being attracts your life.”

May we all come to realize the dignity in having a role to play…..n.

***

Note that the patient’s sense of self-importance and his self-admiration are not diminished in the least by the fact that he has little control over his mind and the destructive actions it insists he embark upon. Keep in mind this is only one side of the coin, this happy-go-lucky state of euphoria. The cheerfully, happily mad phase will soon give way to the dark side where everyone else is blamed for the overwhelming foul mood. At such a point the patient enters into the now routine phase of becoming a danger to himself and others.

Remember, this is a character that attacked a man on the street knocking him to ground for no better reason than the patient had succumbed to the delusion that the entire world is beneath his dignity to feign courtesy toward.

Anyway, have a nice day.

149. leaf - June 13, 2015

“he has little control over his mind and the destructive actions it insists he embark upon…”

You’re referring to yourself here.

150. Messages From Marconi - June 13, 2015

148. leaf – June 13, 2015

“he has little control over his mind and the destructive actions it insists he embark upon…”

You’re referring to yourself here.

***

Actually I don’t get arrested for being violent and nuts. I understand that feel sorry for the drooling, self-admiring babbler and don’t much mind his name calling in my direction, but your comment is inaccurate.

151. leaf - June 13, 2015

133. Messages From Marconi – June 12, 2015
“Planetary types is scientifically annoying and likely scientifically unprovable, but then, there is a mercury and there is a martial. What do you do with something that is obviously there and yet is scientifically unsound? What do you do with illogical cult ideas like types that are apparently physically and psychologically valid? Do you really want to make such facts of life go away?”

—–
There’s evidence that certain “types” of people have trouble getting along (sometimes). There’s no evidence whatsoever that Mercury and Mars are influencing those behaviors. And if yes, that maybe it’s really Mercury influencing what we call “martials,” and Mars influencing what we call “mercurials.”

What’s more, people failed to point out during “prospective student meetings” that martials often have trouble getting along with martials, and mercurials often have trouble getting along with mercurials. People often don’t get along, especially when testosterone and ego enter it, because they just gotta be right and superior to others (whatever type they are) — nothing esoteric or magical in that.

People often accept ideas without questioning them. Even more in a cult.

152. leaf - June 13, 2015

About the Fellowship: It promoted abuse. It was fertile ground for the type of abuse we’re seeing above.

In most normal environments, you get fired from your job, you lose a friend, or a relationship is destroyed due to abuse. Not so in the Fellowship, where abuse victims feel compelled to endure it, and abusers feel empowered to continue it. Abuse and attacks were/are part of the culture — sometimes more subtle when people used the word “photograph,” which is a euphemism that makes it sound more conscious.

There’s the same vibe on these pages sometimes. That’s no surprise. Some of the thinking here remains a product of the FOF cult experience. Hard to put it behind.

But I think one positive step to putting it behind is learning how to treat others with respect and humanity.

153. nigel harris price - June 13, 2015

147 and 149…..Macaroni Cheese and CRACKERS (DEFINITELY!)…

If your head were not up your backside, I would suggest that were the orifice from which you excrete on to the computer system. Get it straight…..I do indeed take mood-stabilizers and anti-psychotics…

Make a fussy fuck on the blog about that (OOH! do I catch myself getting neggypooh like March-in-the-opposite-Direction would have me, or is it literary counterpoint – I detect other bloggers are aware!)

And, by the way, PSYCHIATRISTS CAN MAKE SOME PRETTY, DAMN-FOOL, OUTRAGEOUS MISTAKES !!!!!!!!!!!! Dr Tanya Nelson of the (Why Don’t We Create A) Crisis Team, twice misdiagnosed…

December 12th, 2012….was put on Quetiapine, to which I am allergic (in fact, I suffer from side-effects from almost all MY PILLS). Dr Nelson herself should have been, at least, reprimanded for my ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to Ray Denning, who built a woopee Fish’n’Chip Shop Empire in Devon and was forever saying – “Here comes the Looney Bin Escapee!” as I entered his ‘local’ pub. My action from my brain-state took milli-seconds (and some of the other pubbers said they wished I had killed him – now who has violent thoughts?)

June 2013…(Lorazepam – a derivative, stronger than Valium – again prescribed by Dr Tanya Nelson, the ‘lady’s garden’ – a polite turn on Waggy Gina)…..oh! it really helped my anxiety being 18 hours comatoze – mostly in my bed – per day. Oh!…..she forgot my workshop to be RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What did I do ????? Dumped all my drugs, to make a concerted effort to ‘claw back my business’…..going across the parking lot at full-tilt with my hound, the blood rushed DOWN FROM MY HEAD AND THE GRAVEL CAME UP AND HIT ME ON THE LEFT SIDE OF MY HEAD AND FACE…..I WAS RUSHED TO A&E THEN GUESS WHAT?????….Oh I do love those Sections at Delderfield (HELLDERFIELD) Ward in Exeter !!!!!

Lest my sarcastic streak overrule blog time. MARK-OH-KNEE, bow to your fate and squirm away and die somewhere obscure! No one here needs your DESTRUCTIVISM !!!!! Nothing rhymes with Nigel, so give up now trying to compete with ALL OF US !!!!!

154. Messages From Marconi - June 13, 2015

135. nigel harris price – June 12, 2015

133 ….. – looking like you are aware/separating/moving gracefully through the Galleria, pinot noir in hand at the right height to catch the light and for the esters to reach your gently quivering nostrils ….. I bet you – YES YOU MARCONI WERE GUILTY OF ALL THAT CRAP AND EXTEND IT TO A SENSE OF SUPERIORITY ON THIS BLOGSITE) ….. put it plainly, you are not very useful, even the ‘human lump’ you are ….. Nigel

***

Not a word of objection from the very concerned “leaf” when this and other abusive posts were directed at me. But…if you point a few unflattering facts out about the local village idiot she/he is goes apoplectic.

155. leaf - June 13, 2015

Applies to everyone, which is why I didn’t mention you by name specifically. Now that you mention it, you’re particularly good at it, though.

156. nigel harris price - June 13, 2015

153MFM

“The truth is oftimes hard to bear”
“Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free”
“Truth is the strangulator of F(r)iction” – that will get your brain cells, fiddling about with themselves, wondering where your synaptic gaps are and whether you can take the seratonin, dopamine and beta-endorphin levels of hypo-mania…..BIG THINK MATE….. no abuse, but I think YOU OUGHT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING when challenging someone who has spent over half their adult life discovering ‘what is their strangeness and difference’ yet can yield greater things BEHIND THE SYMBOLISM OF THIS PLAY CALLED LIFE…..

END OF ?????

157. James Mclemore - June 13, 2015

Marconi said, in a thinly veiled reference to Nigel,

“he has little control over his mind and the destructive actions it insists he embark upon…”

Leaf said, in response to Marconi,

“You’re referring to yourself here.”

I think Leaf is right Marconi, but the good news is, it’s not just you, and no one really has “control” in the way you might think of it.

If anyone thinks that only two choices are whether that sentence describes either/or only Nigel or only Marconi, I think they are mistaken. We have all experienced a lack of control and destructive habits at times. We would not even recognize that sentence as meaning anything at all if we had not experienced it. Those experiences come and go like everything else does, but they are not necessarily “attached” to anyone in particular. The “destructive actions” manifest themselves in, what seems like, an endless number of ways in different people, no two alike.

I think Leaf said it best when he said,

“But I think one positive step to putting it behind is learning how to treat others with respect and humanity.”

And I think the secret (if there is one) to doing what Leaf said, is in seeing that “others” might well be nothing but our own projections, and that these “others” are much closer to us than we might have originally thought.

158. nigel harris price - June 13, 2015

156 James McLemore

Phew! Relief by means of Common Sense.

159. ton2u - June 13, 2015

@ 156

Leaf: “But I think one positive step to putting it behind is learning how to treat others with respect and humanity.”

James: “And I think the secret (if there is one) to doing what Leaf said, is in seeing that “others” might well be nothing but our own projections, and that these “others” are much closer to us than we might have originally thought.”

Spot on !

James, imo you’re right to imply that it’s not a “secret” – but the seeming difficulty in actually doing what you’re talking about (recognizing and withdrawing / “owning” our projections), is the inability to resist typical automatic reactions and responses.
————————————————————————————-
In this regard… stopping to do a little self-reflection goes a long way toward treating others with respect and humanity… after all, what is the motive behind attacking others ?

Some folks seem to derive sadistic self-satisfaction through ad hominem and other forms of attack… and at times it’s like farmyard chickens “endlessly establishing” a pecking order.

imo attempting to create a sense of superiority for yourself here, in this tiny speck of a place, is a sure sign of self-delusion – on so many levels…. what are you trying to “prove” ?

we are the other people,
you are the other people too.

160. Messages From Marconi - June 13, 2015

156. James Mclemore – June 13, 2015

“And I think the secret (if there is one) to doing what Leaf said, is in seeing that “others” might well be nothing but our own projections, and that these “others” are much closer to us than we might have originally thought.”

*

Listen, Oh Wise One, Obi-Wan Kenobi, because that’s who you are imitating right?

Well, why is it that every self-controlling example of Composed Wisdom on the Internet invariably parades out the entirely refuted canard and urban legend known as “projection?”

This piece of psycho-babbling bullshit was invented by none other than the king of cult psychology, and originator of the now debunked confidence scheme known as the “talking cure,” Sigmund Freud:

https://artistresearcher.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/sigmund-freud-psychological-projection/

There is no such thing as “projection.” I know it sounds good and makes a fool feel wise when he repeats for the ten thousandth time the bit of mythology he picked up in an online chat-room, but it is not actually reality that people criticize others for what it is that they hide within themselves, but are too afraid to notice. No one looks at another person, symbolically sees himself, and then compulsively criticizes what he sees, meanwhile in doing so conveniently gives another blogging genius the opening to pull out the old Freudian “projection” fabrication. Naturally anyone with even a medium degree of accumulation of personal insight would understand that this reverse psychology ploy of “If you don’t like what you see in me it is only because you are looking into a mirror” is juvenile as a psychological tactic for turning the tables. Also, anyone with even a barely effective bullshit detector would recognize the ruse the first time a self-righteous old fool wheeled out Freudian projection as a flash of illumination within the discomfort of a dispute. Of course going the whole hog and repeating the nonsense with an ersatz air of “oh so terribly enlightened” is not only unoriginal, but is simply depressingly prosaic Internet banter.

Moral of the story: If you can’t create your own punch-line in the ambition to sermonize on the religion of behaving “moderately civilized” then repeating the same Internet new age clichés that you’ve been impressed with on other blog venues, without doing any homework on the subject, is — at the very least — unwise.

May the farce forever leave you.

161. ton2u - June 13, 2015

159

162. paul gregory - June 14, 2015

‘we are the other people,
you are the other people too.’

That’s so cool, ‘ton! But how am I going to pay therapy for all of them?

Bastards! They all look alike to me!

163. James Mclemore - June 14, 2015

Marconi –
I do not wish to debate definitions of words with you. I have nothing in particular to promote and no special psychological point of view that I am trying to sell. Other than some of the people that jomopinata and ton2u have mentioned and that really seem to be on the cutting edge of psychological studies, I am personally not all that interested in most of what passes for psychology or the terminologies they may use, and I know almost nothing about Freud. All I can say is that, in my opinion, you appear to have a rather small and outdated definition of the word “projection”, but I could be wrong about that. I see that word as encompassing something much much larger than what you seem to be talking about.

164. ton2u - June 14, 2015

@ 161 Paul, didn’t cite my sources – (intended for entertainment purposes only):

165. WhaleRider - June 14, 2015

There is no such thing as denial.
There is no such thing as denial.
There is no such thing as denial.

166. ton2u - June 14, 2015

Whalerider, yes there is, it’s a river in Egypt🙂

167. nigel harris price - June 14, 2015

Happy Sunday reading……

Religion and Child Abuse News

An archive of news items related to child abuse or neglect, or infringement of children’s rights, in a religious context. Copyrighted materials appearing on this blog are provided under Fair Use provisions to facilitate education and further research into the issues documented in these news reports.
25 Aug 2008
Critics call the Fellowship of Friends a cult; members say it’s a school of spiritual development

Appeal-Democrat California August 24, 2008

A former believer takes on the leader

by Ryan McCarthy

It’s not that the emperor wears no clothes at the 1,171-acre property in the Sierra foothills with a winery, cemetery and main building meant to resemble a French castle, says Elena Haven.

The old folk tale speaks of adults afraid to say their ruler is naked. But Haven, a former member of the Yuba County-based Fellowship of Friends, said silence surrounded the colorful clothes — the salmon pink silk suit, shiny blue shoes or bright yellow pants — leader Robert Earl Burton, 69, sometimes wore.

“It’s the picture of the whole phenomena,” Haven, 49, said of the religious group that she calls a cult and that she left in 2007 after 17 years as a member.

That Fellowship members don’t comment about Burton’s clothing during gatherings at the group’s headquarters in the foothills community of Oregon House is a symbol of more serious problems, Haven said.

The 6-foot, 4-inch silver-haired Burton, a one-time elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the unchallenged ruler of the Fellowship and doesn’t face questions, she said.

Not about his living like a king, not about a lifestyle said to rival a ruler in the last days of the Roman empire, not about the nuclear Armageddon that Burton proclaimed would happen in 2006, not about whether the Fellowship is following the “Fourth Way” system of spiritual development taught by two 20th-century Russian philosophers and mystics, Haven said.

“If you challenge him you have to leave the cult,” she said. “No one can understand how crazy this can get.”

A fresco-style ceiling painting that includes a depiction of a man with an erection is an example of the excesses of the Fellowship, Haven said.

Last month Haven did something other former members said no one had attempted since the Fellowship established its Sierra foothills site in 1971.

The 5-foot, 3-inch dark-haired Haven began picketing in July at the Rices Crossing Road entrance to the Fellowship property 29 miles outside of Marysville. Most members live in a bubble, unaware of what takes place in the Fellowship’s inner circle, Haven said. Her protests came as the group said members from around the world — the Fellowship has centers for students in many countries — were gathering.

“How many more boys, Dear?” read one of her signs, a reference to what Haven said are the half-dozen young men constantly in Burton’s company and known within the Fellowship as his boys. “Dear” is the term Burton uses to address members.

The Fellowship reaction to her signs was swift, Haven said. They photographed her, she said. They called the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. When Haven returned the next day to picket again, the Fellowship had put two trucks and a tractor to block the space where she had parked her car, Haven said. A member shouted several times at her, Haven said.

“I was shaking I was so afraid,” she recalled, puzzled by the strong reaction to one woman with a few picket signs. “One person standing on the side presents no threat to anyone.”

Before the end of the month Haven was in a Yuba County Superior Court courtroom arguing against a lawyer for the Fellowship, which sought a court order to keep Haven away from its headquarters.

When she spoke in court about what she said was Burton’s conduct, the judge said it sounded like Haven was accusing Burton of wrongdoing.

“I am not,” Haven answered. “I do not think being homosexual is a crime.”

The Fellowship more than a quarter-century ago did not allow such sexual behavior.

Homosexuality — along with smoking, firearms and hitting with fists — was prohibited for members in a 1980 guide. By then the group had been at its Yuba County property for nearly a decade. The Fellowship began in the Bay Area and, in 1971, looking for a nearby retreat, settled upon the Sierra foothills land in Oregon House.

Burton was the leader.

From elementary school to the Sierra foothills

In 1967, Robert Earl Burton was a 27-year-old teacher at Springhill Elementary in the Bay Area, coming to work in a coat and tie, carrying a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and talking about sports.

“He was kind of one of the stars,” recalled Carol Blackburn, who taught at Springhill when Burton was there. “Everybody loved him.”

After a school break he returned, transformed.

He was dressed like a hippie, complete with headband, recalled Blackburn.

Burton resigned his teacher job early in 1967 and in the book “Self-Remembering,” a collection of short statements by him, Burton said that six months later that “Influence C” – 44 angels who include Walt Whitman, Buddha and Abraham Lincoln — revealed themselves to him.

“Life after death instantly became a fact,” he wrote.

Within a decade Fellowship leader Burton had a blue Rolls Royce with the personalized license plate “Oracle.”

On March 19, 1976, a “crystallization” occurred, Burton declared.

“I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby,” Burton wrote. “It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished.”

“It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved,” he said.

Fellowship members and their children came to live in houses around the Oregon House property of the Fellowship and followed guidelines – since changed – on conduct that included wearing contact lenses rather than glasses, using an English accent when speaking and not using contractions in speech.

Bruce Wodhams, 58, now superintendent at the same Lafayette School District in the East Bay hills where Burton once taught, worked in the early 1980s as a school administrator in the Yuba County community of Dobbins near the Fellowship headquarters.

Wodhams remembers students whose parents were Fellowship members telling him the youths weren’t to use contractions when speaking.

“The point,” he said, was “to make you think all the time about what you’re saying.”

Haven joined as a 30-year-old in 1990 in London at one of the Fellowship centers after finding a bookmark of the group in a philosophical text she was reading about the Fourth Way — intended to provide the West with a system of spiritual development that develops the body, mind and the emotions.

The mind and its motivations had been a consuming interest since her mother shot and killed herself when Haven was 8 years old.

“I wanted to understand why people did that,” said Haven, who began reading philosophy as a teenager.

She said the Fourth Way philosophy is of value but that Burton and the Fellowship no longer practice it.

Haven agrees with a key assertion of a 1996 lawsuit filed against the Fellowship by a former Yuba College student who said Burton had seduced him.

“Fellowship of Friends is a cult whose sole purpose, despite its claims supporting its tax-exempt status, is to satisfy the sexual, financial and power needs of Robert Burton, the leader,” the suit stated. “Burton’s word is law and cannot be questioned because he is ‘awake,’ while his followers are ‘asleep’ and therefore cannot think for themselves.”

The 1996 lawsuit was settled before going to trial — the terms remain confidential.

The Fellowship family – and the biological one

Haven in 1998 made what she calls the biggest mistake of her life – deciding to leave her 11-year-old daughter Daniela with the girl’s father, whom Haven had separated from years earlier.

Fellowship members, Haven said, are told that “families are biological – that they have no meaning.”

Haven said she’d heard how hundreds of other women had done the same thing with family members. And she left her native country of Columbia for Oregon House without her daughter.

“Cults induce brainwashing — an inducement into an ideology that then gets practiced,” Haven said. “You are not supposed to be leaving your family, you’re supposed to be becoming free of your unnecessary ties.”

She regrets the impact her leaving had on her daughter’s life. “A child is a wonderful thing to have,” Haven said.

Haven’s later marriage to Girard Haven, senior minister of the Fellowship, ended because of differences the two had over the Yuba County-based religious group, she said.

In 2007, after three years of taking care of an elderly Fellowship member with Alzheimer’s, Haven said she asked for some help — and that the Fellowship banned her from speaking about the situation involving the 87-year-old woman.

“I was treated as though I was saying something wrong,” added Haven, who said she helped pay for additional care for the woman.

Haven said the Fellowship strips members of the lives they led before joining the Fellowship and leaves them in a cult where only their money matters.

Former member Susan Zannos, 74, who now lives in Southern California, said the financial demands on members – including such fees as $100 to be photographed with Burton — are constant.

“Every time you turn around you’re getting nickled and dimed,” Zannos said of requests for money that also include substantial teaching payments to the Fellowship.

Zannos, a member for three decades starting in 1976, said Burton is “the wizard behind the curtain.”

The Fellowship’s lure is simple, she said.

“Here’s this place where everything is spelled out,” Zannos said, “and everything is safe.”

Sid McCarty, 74, left the Fellowship in 2006 after 28 years as a member.

“It doesn’t have a heart,” he said of the organization. Departing meant, “I could be myself again.”

Another former member said many of those who stay in the Fellowship wonder what will happen if they leave.

Nikea Lea Erwin, 30, a member from 1996 to 2007, said true believers have invested their lives in the Fellowship story of conscious evolution and fear how they would fare emotionally outside on their own.

At the entrance in Oregon House to the Fellowship, Haven returned regularly in July to again picket after a temporary court order keeping her 50 yards from the property. Ames Gilbert, 57, a Nevada County resident who was in the group from 1978 to 1994, joined to picket with her.

“In the Fellowship there is no graduation,” Gilbert said, wondering about a school of philosophy that never lets go of its students.

The remote site of the Fellowship, in what’s been called the “hidden Sierra” because no major highway runs through the region, benefits Burton by keeping members close and away from communities where they could see life outside Fellowship, Gilbert said.

“The isolation in Yuba County really helps him,” said Gilbert.

Protester’s goal: ‘Be a huge pebble in their shoe’

While the Fellowship has its critics, 64-year-old Tom Richards is not among them. His family has owned 6,000 acres in the foothills since 1942 and the Fellowship property is next to Richards’ ranch in Oregon House.

He recalled a friend visiting from Redding and complaining that the Fellowship was a cult.

Richards responded, “They have a little tiny cult,” and referring his friend’s membership in a traditional religion, added, “You have a big cult.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Richards said.

Haven, however, does worry about the Fellowship – and was not looking forward to a return to court for a scheduled Aug. 8 hearing on the Fellowship’s try for a permanent order to restrict her picketing. When Haven called the Yuba County Superior Court late in July she learned the Fellowship had dropped its legal action.

Rick Ross, who heads a New Jersey-based institute that studies cults, said the group’s initial reaction to take Haven to court over her picketing shows the impact of her actions.

“It’s powerful, in particular, when former members do this,” said Ross, who testified in March in a civil case in federal court in Sacramento that he considers the Fellowship a cult.

Ford Greene, the attorney who represented the former Yuba College student in the 1996 lawsuit against Burton and the Fellowship, said Haven has stuck with her challenge to the group despite the legal action the Fellowship filed over her picketing.

“She wasn’t going to be buffaloed and intimidated and go away,” Greene said.

Haven has rented out her three-bedroom, two-bath home in Oregon House to provide her with some income and pays $250 a month to stay in a 20-foot-long, 7-foot-wide trailer.

She misses some of the comforts of her own home but is happy to be out of the Fellowship after 17 years.

She writes often on a Web site popular with many former Fellowship members who say the Internet can alert people intrigued by the group. Members once left without others knowing why they departed, Haven said, but now their reasons are posted for anyone to read on the Web site.

“The Fellowship cannot hurt me more than it has already hurt me,” Haven wrote in one post. “I may not be able to stop them but I’ll be a huge pebble in their shoe until the end of time.”

“Each prospective student who does not join in the next 20 years,” she said, “is worth all the trouble.”

This article was found at:

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/former_67878___article.html/haven_clothes.html
Posted by Perry Bulwer at 11:03
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Labels: apocalyptic, child custody, children’s rights, cult, exploitation, Fellowship of Friends, indoctrination, intimidation, isolation, occult, seclusion, spiritual abuse, totalitarian
18 comments:

Anonymous18 November 2010 at 06:57
Don’t people see this type of mental torture while they are in it? why does it take all these people years to see Robert Burton for who he really is? A manipulator to make money. Living in trailors and picking grapes for the rest of your life? Why? to find yourself? I too have an Ex, that is in this cult. Not in Californis yet, but his best friend is and has been in Apollo since 1996. They have not spoken since he left Toronto.
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Anonymous26 March 2011 at 00:50
Back in the 1980s the Fellowship was a wonderful institution. I received huge emotional and spiritual growth from The Work, despite living way off in Australia among a tiny population of dedicated students, and having only two brief visits to the Sierra Foothills property.

I feel it’s a highly incomplete depiction of the Fellowship to suggest that its only purpose is financial exploitation of the students and aggrandizement of the teacher. I witnessed countless small miracles of personal transformation in my brief time there, and a sense of transcendental beauty that is extremely rare in the outside world.
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Anonymous16 September 2013 at 10:18
Perhaps your geographical distance, being in Australia, and your relatively minor involvement, made it seem so wonderful to you. Simultaneous to your nice experience, others were experiencing something very different. I’ve heard former (adult) members describe the 70s and 80s as a golden time, before anything went bad. Nonsense. The FoF is a jewel-encrusted, gilded mass of maggot-infested, rotting-but-still-living flesh. Poke the finery, inhale the stench. There was no innocent time before corruption. And everybody was and is complicit. Richard Buzzbee handed his son Troy over to dubious strangers. All our parents did. He didn’t know? He should have. RB was “doing” him, and he was kind of ugly. His kid was cute. Didn’t know? Nobody knew. Everybody knew. Everybody still knows. When I was 10 years old, we big kids knew that the friendly guy who came around to the “kid’s house” was messing with the little ones. We let him ’cause the babies wanted grown-up contact so badly (their parents were off self-remembering and developing their higher states) and would scream if we tried to warn them off. So we let him. And we knew and we told ourselves we didn’t. Everybody always knows. We just choose not to so we can maintain an illusion of ourselves as good people, or evolved, or clear, or whatever our own deluded schema calls it.
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Anonymous25 August 2011 at 16:22
Farid said…

I agree with the previous comment.
It is all up to you what you find in Fellowship.
It can turn out that it is a cult, it can turn out that it is a School.
In my case it was a School.

If you came to Fellowship to have fun or to be happy then you made a mistake. It is about work, not fun or happiness.
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Anonymous10 February 2012 at 20:46
I am a 40 year old woman. I was in the Fellowship for 4 years, and then left about 10 years ago. My father was allready a member of the FF for 7 years when i joined.
3 years after i joined, my father killed himself…..

I can not stress enough how what is written in this article is accurate-
My experience of the FF was that it IS a cult, that you Are going through a very sophisticated and manipulative brain washing.
Most people coming to the cult are have weaknesses that led them to search for answers. The group gently and shrewdly plays on those weaknesses and gradually creates a state of dependence in the member.
Robert “recommends” that if someone leaves it is better to cut ties with them…Robert “recommends” that you be more and more involved in the group…Robert “Recommends” not to expect happiness, and that happiness has nothing to do with self development.
I see all these recommendations (and many more) at a sophisticated way of developing co dependency.

When i was there, i kept hearing stories about young guys that turned gay after Robert slept with them, or just guys that Robert slept with. This, and the constant demand to contribute more and more money (which had to do with the ruin of my family and my father), led me eventually to my leaving.
I can say allot more, but English is not my native tong.
I’ll just tell you this: there are allot of Narcissistic bustards out there that want to be your spiritual teacher.
Robert Burton is one of them, For sure.
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Anonymous16 September 2013 at 10:24
So sorry about the suicide of your father. Remember the recommendation that if someone was suicidal, we were to refrain from trying to intervene? I guess that’s why nobody “noticed” ligature marks on the neck of a twelve-year-old. RB may be a malignantly narcissistic sociopath, but he is supported by an entire organization of complicit minions. Nobody is innocent.
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Anonymous15 February 2012 at 09:54
Dear Elena Haven,

17 years – that’s a long time and you wasted it? Let me tell you something: YOU decided to join the fellowship. YOU decided to live in Oregon House. YOU decided to leave your daughter. That’s all YOUR sole responsibility. You didn’t found a deeper sense in this school, I see. But I wonder if you find it in another one. I’m not a member of the fof, but I know some members and all of them are friendly and on a better way than some Catholics.
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Perry Bulwer16 February 2012 at 10:07
Dear Anonymous at Feb 15, 2012 09:54 AM

You are a fool if you trust people just because they are friendly. Con artists, fraudsters and cult leaders don’t deceive people by being mean and scary, they deceive by being friendly, charming and charismatic. They make empty promises and offer phony deals which on the surface appear too good to resist.

You criticize Elena for her decisions. What your ignorance overlooks is the fact that the decisions she made were not fully informed decisions based on complete transparency and accountability of the group and its leaders. Furthermore, her decisions were made in an environment of emotional, psychological, and spiritual manipulation or coercion.

No one freely chooses to join an abusive cult. They are deceived, manipulated and indoctrinated to do so. That is not a freely and fully informed decision.
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Anonymous16 September 2013 at 10:36
Elena regrets leaving her child in Columbia with her father? Because “a child is a wonderful thing to HAVE?” Probably, it was the best thing she could have done. If she had brought her with, she would have been raised by these people. She would have been one of those perfectly dressed, smiling little ladies and gentlemen who can quote Shakespeare and waltz, but not protect themselves or say “no” and who are primed to become the next generation of abusers.

Anonymous12 April 2015 at 12:50
Good point. I hope she read this!

Then maybe she’ll feel less guilty about leaving her daughter. We do the best we can in a given situation.
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Anonymous9 July 2012 at 07:54
learning the principles of what this institution teaches wont do any good if they arnt applied and exercised outside the institution itself. the instituation can only teach a format of living spiritually but if your not exposed to the reality outside of the institution then the reality of what the institution has taught becomes useless. the sole purpose of school and institution is preperation and only by tests can you measure the degree of that preperation. anything other is systematic thought control.
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Anonymous23 December 2012 at 12:56
If one refers back to P.D. Ouspensky in “the Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution” he clearly states that ANY sexual deviation or perversion immediately renders the Great Work impossible. Ouspensky himself parted company from Gurdjieff for reasons he did not elucidate. I strongly support Elena Haven’s discontent over her experience in Burton’s cult. During the 8 years that I was a member, I never knew Robert Burton was a homosexual. I did spend time with him and as an attractive female was grateful he did not make sexual advance as other teachers had. When I found out he was gay, it was a shocking wake up call. What I thought was gentlemanly behaviour was simply homosexuality! In truth it is impossible to closely and consistently observe Robert in REALITY as he poses as a subdued presence. Truthfully he distances himself from most Students. Having been in the Arts nad living in Europe for many years, I had many gay men friends. But Robert was not transparent about his homosexuality and this is suspicious and deceitful. Only after leaving the fellowship, did I learn of the serious sexual crimes Robert committed against so many young male students. I felt a total sense of betrayal and loss. I realized that during the 8 years I was in the fellowship, I was totally deceived and betrayed by Robert. Again, P.D. Ouspensky was precise and clear about sexual perversion rendering the Great Work impossible. Young men were raped while all of us paid huge sums of money for Robert’s facade and his horrific sexual perversions. We “footed the bill” for Robert’s lavish pretentious lifestyle; his facade of nobility and dignity a complete sham for his true perversions! He has no ethics nor morality. When one learns the hard truth of his outrageous betrayal and deceit it destroys trust forever. Since leaving the fellowship, I have sought more sincere authentic Spiritual studies in Buddhism and Taoism, where I had originally developed my Magnetic Center. Be aware that though the Fourth Way is a wonderful System, there has an inherent flaw: it discourages students from questioning the teacher. Herein is Robert’s manipulation. But Ouspensky also emphasizes to VERIFY EVERYTHING. Do not accept “appearances” as Truth. The fellowship is based on extreme perverted lust and greed in excess. I wish everyone to heal from the masquerade of deceit and betrayal. Do not trust the fellowship of friends: they are not friendly nor do they have your best interests in mind. Run as fast as you can from this cult of deceit.
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Anonymous16 September 2013 at 10:57
While I do not want to minimize the trauma of being coerced into unwanted sexual situations, an adult young heterosexual man who submits to sex acts with an older homosexual for gifts of travel, Armani suits, jewelry, restaurant meals and other perks is not being raped. He is prostituting himself. I was associated with the FoF from pre-teen to late teenage years, when I was put out on the street in a big city with literally only the clothes on my back. So I know about survival sex. It was raining, and the smiling student who told me I was out would not even give me my coat, which was hanging in the closet behind him. Robert’s entourage knows what’s up. Everybody does. But they don’t. Everybody wants to be innocent, but nobody is.

Anonymous30 July 2014 at 12:13
Unfortunately by ascribing the actions of the young cult members to nothing more than cunning cupidity, you are in denial about the victimization they have suffered. Whether or not they were raped–and many witnesses are coming forward attesting to the rape of minors–they have suffered severe spiritual abuse by a trusted authority figure that they probably felt it was impossible to say no to, first because nobody else in the community would believe them or could be trusted, and second because they had been indoctrinated in the notion that this leader had all the answers and could be trusted implicitly.

But you should also examine your assumptions. It is quite common for child molesters and the rapists of teens to give their victims gifts, candy, money or privileges, both initially as part of the grooming process (so that the child will trust the perp or be reluctant to be clear with protective adult figures about what is going on (of course these folks often groom the parents as well) but also deeper into the abuse and violence as a way to control the victim by compounding the shame and confusion. It also provides the perp with some sort of internal justification for their actions.
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Anonymous7 December 2013 at 23:01
Are some of the members teachers in the local Yuba County public school system?
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Anonymous9 February 2014 at 17:58
Since this type of uncounsiousable behavior has continued without any accountability it would only be reasonable that members of the cult are also teachers as Mr. Burton was locally.
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Anonymous22 July 2014 at 07:36
In the name of Allah the all mercyfull all beneficent!

The teaching of the 4. Way was tought by Mr. G.I.Gurdjieff . Mr. Gurdjieff’s teacher was the 39.grandshaikh of the Naqshbandi order Abdullah Faiz ad-Daghistani.
The teaching needs to have a teacher which is connected to a cain of transmission. Gurdjieff was. Bennett was. Ouspensky was brilliant-but was not connected-wasn’t accepting Gurdjieffs guidance,which would have been neccesary-made himself a teacher and therefore was not connected. That is why he said to J.G. Bennett” you are the only one…” Bennett acceptet to be guided and made his connection with Shaikh Abdullah ad-Daghistani.
That is why Gurdjieff said at his deathbed: ”I leave you in a mess…” Bennet was sent by Gurdjieff to his own teacher,and Bennett sent many of his students finally to search for the Head of the Naqshbandi Order.

The Fellowship of Friends founder Robert E. Burton claims to have permission from above to transmit the teaching. He claims to have the autority from angels and even A.Lincoln which is a proof of distortion. A. Lincoln was not a wise man at all and cannot be considered a guide from above and also others in the list of Mr. Burtons encounter.
And what came to light of Mr. Burtons abnormal sexual activities,which he states it is ordered from C-Influence to humble him, is a clear sign that Mr. Burton,despite his knowledge,is not able to understand that he confuses the influence of his ‘inner devil’ and ego with the workings of C-influence. C-influence means influences from the world outside of life itself. Its the influence from the devine presence canneled through heavenly beings as there are angels,prophets,saints and spiritual guides(shaikhs). Mr. Burton often recites sufis but surely failed to take the saying ‘Who has no teacher (spiritual guide/shaikh),satan is his teacher” as granted. If it is true what came to light than he is no longer autorised to teach or represent the teaching. Gurdjieff himself would have cursed such a behaviour. He has to step back repent and beginn from the beginning. People have to leave him as quick as possible and serch elswhere if they consider themself as sincere.The shool is shot down,closed. It failed. Mr. Burton failed.
He had never and has no permission to use this teaching as he used it and uses it. There is no need for hailing luxury. No! Its rather to avoid luxury as much as possible. This fancy gay lifestile is never accepted in spiritual tradition. Never!! To be gay is no crime but one has to understand that he has to change or has to go. Its a hinderance to higher development. Gurdjieff wasn’t accepting it just because he was working with gay people. Its abnormal and remember God doesn’t like it but rather hates it. he destroyed a whole comunity in biblical times just because of that-so don’t come and tell stupid peaple that C-influence has ordered you to do such disgusting activities. Shame on you ,Mr. Burton,and followers that you go on with this. And shame on everyone supporting and assisting such a man.
Gurdjieff said that people which are involved in such -on their forhead is written:
‘Candidate for the mentalhouse’

168. nigel harris price - June 14, 2015

I somewhat wanted to see if we could discuss this – have we ‘ourselves’, or does some TWAT GURU NEED TO SELL US (IT) ?

Dictionary

innate

adjective in·nate \i-ˈnāt, ˈi-ˌ\

: existing from the time a person or animal is born

: existing as part of the basic nature of something

169. Shard of Oblivion - June 14, 2015

#167 “into this world we’re thrown” We each uniquely have a life, and are trying in whatever way to make sense of it. Some find help in this from a guru type, my take is that those who claim to have complete knowledge are often fooling themselves and are to be shunned.

170. nigel harris price - June 14, 2015

It was with no dismay that, when presented with the idea that Some Had Passed To The Level Of Gods, I was willing to ‘work with it’………

Walt Whitman is one of my favourites (and I do not mean ‘cuddly-like’)

“I will sleep no more but arise, You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you, fathomless, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms.”

― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

171. nigel harris price - June 14, 2015

I dedicate this youtube video, through the TOTAL HONESTY of Christopher Hitchens (I examine ALL POSSIBILITIES) to Shard…..

172. Robert Stolzle - June 16, 2015

If I may ask an importune question—-at the risk of offending someone’s delicate sensibilities:

It seems that the nature of the blog format and the subject(s) at hand here, that most of what comes through is, in old time psychobabble, EGO!

This is fine so far as concerns me, sometimes it is the only interesting part of the comment, but the question is WHY? And is it even possible to interact with people without the ego always being “in the way”? Mostly, we don’t know each other here and have the most tenuous of connections through the ether. So, why is it that I can’t call you a blankty, blank so and so (and vice versa) without raising the collective ire. There seems to me to be no reason for anyone to take offense at anything said here……it is never more than one knuckleheaded opinion for or against a similar, comparable proclamation. Is everything tribal?

Bob Stolzle

P.S. My reason for being here is because, given the commonality of interests and experiences that lead everyone posting here to the FoF (and out again), I am curious to see if anyone has a better or deeper understanding our human psychology than the public at large. The jury is still out.

173. Mick - June 16, 2015

Your comments are thoughtful and definitely in the better-than-most category, Mr. Stolzle. At the same time, why would anyone who has deeper understanding of the human condition post here of all places? I think the enlightening concepts you are hoping for are not conveyed in such a crude manner. Still the occasional gem shines through and sometimes it’s entertaining & humorous, though those aspects seem to be rare as of late.
For me Ye Olde Blog is best when it doesn’t take itself so seriously.

174. nigel harris price - June 16, 2015

172 Robert Stolzle

Not wanting to ‘be pedantic’, but definitely wanting to be definite, and hopefully expanding the blog material away from ‘cream pie fights’ (guilty, your honour ! )

CARL JUNG

carl jungOverview

Jung’s psychiatry is as much a myth as Freud’s, and no more successful in treating mental illness (i.e beyond providing a listening ear), but does provide a broader perspective. Artists are not seen as neurotics, and Jung’s archetypes resemble Lakoff and Johnson’s schemas.

Introduction

Carl Jung (1875-1961) rejected the mechanistic and reductive aspects of Freud’s work and broadened psychoanalysis to include art, mythology and the thought processes of native peoples. He was much closer to common sense than Freud, and gradually moved away from a causative model of personality. Psychic energy was not entirely or even fundamentally sexual in origin. Not all neuroses were rooted in childhood development: one needed to consider the present circumstances, and what hopes the client entertained towards the future.

Jung saw the psyche or total personality as several interacting systems. In place of Freud’s superego, ego and id, Jung recognized an ego, a personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. In the personal unconscious were to be found various complexes, and in the collective unconscious were archetypal dispositions to think, perceive and act in a certain way.

Details

Jung {1} regarded the psychic energy as a basic life-force which would manifest itself as needed (eating, moving, thinking, sex, remembering, etc.) not concentrating through childhood in various body zones (oral, anal, genital) as Freud envisaged. The psychic energy resembled physical energy: it could be exchanged with the external world in muscular effort or ingestion of food, but otherwise remained as a reservoir to be used for thought, sexual activity, artistic creation and so on.

The ego was a person’s conception of himself: his sense of identity, his memories, his understanding of his physical and mental makeup. The personal unconscious is interior to the ego, and corresponds to a mix of Freud’s unconscious and preconscious. Containing elements of the outside world and of personal experiences repressed by the ego, the contents of the personal unconscious can be accessed by therapy, art and cultural expression. Beneath the personal unconscious lies the collective unconscious, an obscure region inherited as a race memory and peopled by archetypes that appear in the same form in cultures widely separated in time and space: the child, hero, birth, death, numbers, God, etc. But the most important archetypes were the persona, animus, anima, shadow and self. The persona is the mask presented by each individual to society: it may or may not conceal the real personality. The anima is the feminine part of a man, which evolves as a result of a man’s experience with women but also recognizes the bisexual nature of all human beings. The animus is the masculine part of a woman. The shadow is the reverse of the outward personality we show to the world. The self is the most important archetype and holds all the other systems together. Achieving oneness and self-realization (individuation, Jung called it) is a long process and one not reached until middle age, if at all. Usually we avoid matters by projecting the contents of our personal unconscious onto other people or events. But first we have to confront and assimilate the shadow archetype, and then the anima (animus if we are women). The anima may have a positive or negative influence on us, but is always difficult to accommodate. Indeed there are stages, perhaps symbolized by Eve, Helen, the Virgin Mary, and the transcending wisdom of Sapentia. Few reach the last stage. {2}

An attention predominantly directed towards the outside world is termed extroverted, and when directed towards the inside is termed introverted. But the personality is always made up of exterior and interior elements, as the ego and personal unconscious operate in opposite directions. Elements which are not directed outwards are repressed into the personal unconscious, so that a strong extrovert attitude will be balanced by a strong growth in the repressed elements, which may become sufficiently extreme to escape and overwhelm the dominant attitude. The functions of thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting have their everyday meanings, though two generally predominate, the other two being repressed. A prophet therefore might be a feeling-intuiting introvert, and a politician a intuiting-thinking extrovert. But all functions and attitudes are needed to live successfully, and there are no pure types.

175. Robert Stolzle - June 16, 2015

Mick-
Thanks for the pat on the back. Part of my failing in joining the FoF was an enduring layman’s interest in psychology. I know this is at least partly a self involved exercise in “navel gazing”, but I also doubt there is anyone who can understand how the mind works without a little introspection. Chemistry is now ascendant as the driver for all our bad attitudes, but here is a lot of voluntary B.S. that got us all to read, and believe, “The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution”.

Nigel-
Thanks for the dissertation on Jungian psychology. I always thought Jung’s archetypes idea to be one of those quasi-mystical notions that seemed to have some basis in fact but mostly was a good device for justifying poor behavior……”I just inherited it”. It may be true, but it does little to help self understanding. What I really want from you or anyone else here was any insight into why, in this least meaningful of all spheres, we, exFoF bloggers, who might “know better” still throw our egos around cyberspace as if we, and our opinions here, were really important.

Bob Stolzle

176. nigel harris price - June 16, 2015

175 Robert Stolzle

I know exactly what you mean about “throwing our egos around”. I have seen myself recently, and in the past, “go at it” with other bloggers in an effort to be “top topical mind-mouth”. In my Type 1 Bipolar psychological make-up, the adrenals flaring for a “blog-boxing-bout”, will ‘kick back’ into the neuro-transmitter systems, causing a flurry of what could be deemed (by me) elevated thought, but which is seen, by others, to be non-lucid, literary “sheisterkeit”.

Obviously I cannot apologize for what I have been, since it was all I have had to say/write and meant the content at the time, I hope we are all maturing/evolving even in our twilight years – yet “Rage, rage against the dying of the light – (Dylan Thomas) and can be civil – “God, I hope even unto “Mishmash from Mytoenail”, despite his ability to ‘get up everyone else’s cosmic nostril’.” Shakespeare wrote, and it is one of HIS MIGHTY QUOTES –

“The pen is mightier than the sword”.

Perhaps it may be possible to remember that a sword may maim or dismember, whereas a hurtful, cruel or unconsidered flurry of words can…..

KILL THE TENDER SOUL ?!

P.S. I have today had a meeting with Lauren, my Housing Officer (who is gorgeous – body mind and spirit, as the holistic folk would have it !) hence my tender, fair-play side showing through…..n.

177. WhaleRider - June 16, 2015

Bob Stolze:
“…why, in this least meaningful of all spheres, we, exFoF bloggers, who might “know better” still throw our egos around cyberspace as if we, and our opinions here, were really important?”

How are we feeling today, Bob?

178. Cathie L. - June 16, 2015

Over the years I’ve posted comments on many blogs, forums, email groups, etc. Why should anyone care what I think? Aren’t I just doing it to boost my ego? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in moderation.)

Commonality of interest is one reason. Shared (although widely divergent) histories another. The value of different perspectives. The self-discipline of trying to write clearly and remain civil. The desire to offer something others might find helpful, thought-provoking, or entertaining.

Sometimes it’s like we’re meeting down at the local pub for drinks and conversation. Sometimes I imagine we’re gathered around a campfire, telling ghost stories. Or it’s like the group therapy sessions in “Cuckoo’s Nest.” Who’s our McMurphy? Chief? Nurse Ratched?

We’re all recovering from various slings and arrows, learning lessons from our past mistakes, healing from abuses small and large. And we do get inside each other’s heads, for better or worse.

One way or another, I think we’re all whistling past the graveyard.

“There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.”

– Robert Plant

179. James Mclemore - June 16, 2015

178. Cathie L.

Nice post. In my opinion you have captured the spirit of the blog very well when it is at its best.

180. Robert Stolzle - June 17, 2015

RE: #176,177 & 178

Thank you for the response and insight; it is sometimes difficult to find the common ground of understanding in writing as opposed to conversation. And, I didn’t mean to imply that there can’t be disagreement among the brethren gathered here. Really, the question wasn’t intended to “shut anyone down”. I see that people’s “ego’s”, including mine, often get in the way of their relationships (business, social and family) and often undermine their best self interests. Besides the Fourth Way background, it seems to me that our personal contact here is only slightly more involved than saying please and thank you to a stranger for refilling a water glass at dinner.

So, given the above parameters, why are we playing out our conversation here with what seems to me to be a considerable investment of our egos? It isn’t that the conversation here isn’t important or meaningful or relevant, but that none of us have anything to gain or lose in the conversation and yet the ego is still there….no?

There is nothing in Cathie’s post that I even vaguely disagree with. Her quote from “Stairway to Heaven” was very probably one reason that I headed toward sunny CA after college and the song is still in my “top ten” pantheon of the “best rock ever”. Not to wander off into the weeds, but have any of the audiophiles here ever listened to Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” album? Its a more recent favorite.

Thought for the day: “Good judgment come from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

Bob Stolzle

181. nigel harris price - June 17, 2015

I think I may have posted this a few times. Westlife for me do the most sumptuous version of “The Rose” which, shall I say, engulfs that UNCONTROLLED AND UNCONTROLLABLE EMOTION – LOVE. Maybe some of us, and I, who, in my latter years, have grown to an appreciation of this ‘governing factor’ in people I meet, need to think of this emotion to ‘mingle-mix’ in our posts…..

182. Messages From Marconi - June 17, 2015

180. Robert Stolzle – June 17, 2015

“So, given the above parameters, why are we playing out our conversation here with what seems to me to be a considerable investment of our egos? It isn’t that the conversation here isn’t important or meaningful or relevant, but that none of us have anything to gain or lose in the conversation and yet the ego is still there….no?”

I’m wondering exactly what you are going to do to reduce your own “considerable investment” in your ego. Or, did you actually imagine that you are free of that supposed impediment?

“Ego” is another Freudian construction in what is now widely considered by professionals as magical thinking or cult psychology. Most credible modern mental health professionals do not consider Freud and his psychoanalysis anything other than the delusional fantasies of a madman.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego#Ego

Psychology Today:

“In the previous post, I pointed out that Freud, despite his scientific pretensions, seems to have ended up on the mentalistic side of the two-cultures divide somewhere between poetry and story-telling. But a remarkable study (link is external) of 176 English-language novels published between 1813 and 1922 suggests that, far from starting out as a scientist and ending up as a story-teller, Freud was part of story-telling from the beginning.”

psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/201209/freud-fraud-or-folk-psychologist

Note: Get rid of the Sixties, already. It’s over. Get over it.

183. Robert Stolzle - June 17, 2015

Marconi-
I could have used the term “false personality”.

Another way of repeating the inquiry might be to ask why can’t the discussion here be a little more objective and less tightly bound to ones’ personal point of view?

I’m well over the sixties, but your barking orders is precisely the style of communication that is calculated to generate a comparable emotional response and, as such, a waste of time—–unless one just needs to vent.

Bob Stolzle

184. Messages From Marconi - June 17, 2015

180. Robert Stolzle – June 17, 2015

Her quote from “Stairway to Heaven” was very probably one reason that I headed toward sunny CA after college and the song is still in my “top ten” pantheon of the “best rock ever”.

183. Robert Stolzle – June 17, 2015

I’m well over the sixties, but your barking orders is precisely the style…

***

Bingo.

Call it what you will, but there is a psychological appliance in each “civilized” modern human creature that refuses the mere suggestion or appearance of somehow being legitimately vulnerable to even fairly inconsequential personal criticism.

What infuriates this self-defensive psychological appliance the most is when contradictions are made obvious by others that demonstrate that the defensive appliance is in fact wrong about its “vision” of itself as undeserving of ANY criticism whatsoever, constructive or otherwise.

This is your “ego”, Robert Stolzle (from his illusionary self-perception): “I’m well over the sixties!” However, the man said the following earlier on the same day: “Stairway to Heaven…is still in my “top ten” pantheon of the “best rock ever”. This is not a picture of a man “well over the sixties.”

Now, notice the heightened sense of emotion and the almost irrepressible urge to further defend yourself? Well, that’s YOUR “ego”, Robert. Yes, you have one as well as those lowly creatures existing below you in the depths of blogging ignorance.

185. Messages From Marconi - June 17, 2015

Note: Stairway to Heaven was published in 1971. Even so, the 1970s were simply a hangover from the more creative and dynamic 1960s.

186. Robert Stolzle - June 18, 2015

Marconi-

Ah, someone who likes a good argument! I never eliminated myself from any of the inquiries regarding your “psychological appliance” or my term, “ego”. But, I do stand by my initial questions and really don’t understand why there is so much of this “emotional energy” invested here (see 180, above). Feel free to reply if you have some personal insight to share.

How does anyone here assume one posting is more or less “lowly” than another? Since this is the only blog I have ever participated in and since I “graduated’ from the FoF in 1977 after four years I never suffered the injustices many others posting here did; my position here is pretty lowly.

There is a vast difference in being “over the sixties” and still liking some of the music. Give up with the “red herrings”, already. One’s past is always attached in some form or another. If it seems there is no baggage, one is in denial. Oh, yes, I like the Stones, Dylan, the Kinks, Quicksilver, J. Geils and Its a Beautiful Day if you’d care to make a comment on my geezer tastes in music.

Bob Stolzle

187. Fee fi fo fum - June 18, 2015

178 Cathie L.

Well said. Much of what you say in your post resonates with me.

188. Messages From Marconi - June 18, 2015

175. Robert Stolzle – June 16, 2015

“What I really want from you or anyone else here was any insight into why, in this least meaningful of all spheres, we, exFoF bloggers, who might “know better” still throw our egos around cyberspace as if we, and our opinions here, were really important.”

Bob Stolzle

***

Why is this an issue for you? The inquiry doesn’t really make any sense because everyone, without exception, has a so-called ego and because of that no one “knows better.” Your question and tone implies that you are above this kind of thing. Is that what you assume, that you do not do this “throwing of ego around cyberspace”?

Universal premise of life on earth: Adult humans are inherently rotten, some more than others. Adult humans are psychologically rotten, fundamentally dishonest, because of an acquired self-defensive psychological appliance that has an ideal vision of itself and its performance in life that actually has no basis in reality. This affliction is universal and widely understood, so it is somewhat bizarre that you show up and ask: “Why do bloggers still throw their egos around?”

The answer is, because no one can help doing so. Ego is a universal affliction of human beings and asking why such is the case is like asking why everyone is coughing in a tuberculosis ward while coughing your own head off. The reason is because you and everyone else is sick. The only reason you would ask such a question is because it has yet to come to your attention that you are as sick as everyone else.

189. nigel harris price - June 18, 2015

To Robert, WhaleRider and others, reaching out…

“The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”
― Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

190. nigel harris price - June 18, 2015

P.S. Forgot Shard !

191. Mick - June 18, 2015

Sorry Bob, that pat-on-the-back was actually a ‘KICK ME’ sign.

192. Robert Stolzle - June 18, 2015

Marconi-

You really are a combative soul—-at least here. Have you considered taking up boxing or maybe mixed martial arts to deal with some of the aggression? My question never had the intention of picking a fight here. And stop being so judgmental. You may know some people here, but you don’t know me.

The TB ward analogy was apt, but if you look back, I have never excluded myself as a patient. Once again, the question is whether there is anything to be done to get better and what better place than an artificial world (this blog) peopled by those who at least recognize their affliction (their egos). As you say, it may be an incurable affliction but your opinion,loud as it is, is only one opinion and not God’s Awful Truth.

We may all be imperfect, that is the human condition and inescapable, but we are not all sick………or apparently as miserable as you. Or are you playing Janus?

Bob Stolzle

P.S. I hope you are doing some sort of counseling. This blog can only
go so far.

193. ton2u - June 18, 2015
194. nigel harris price - June 18, 2015

Dear Bob

You know that some folks would rather be COMPLETELY AND FOREVER VENOMOUS. It probably does not matter if it be, in this case, that the blog can be an OUTLET FOR VITRIOLIC POISON, or his neighbours (examples of which I have seen) or, Lord help them if he has any, his family.

It is a sign of UTTER HUMAN MATURITY that one can step back from ‘one’s ego’ – the name you call it – and softly hear one’s ‘angelic inner voice’, then offer that. Personally, I have just been to an hour of gentle exercise with Toni from the Abergavenny Leisure Centre and do not feel like…..in top-to-bottom order…..

1. Clouting my taker/user upstairs neighbour who has been in prison and will not listen one whit to police or housing. If I let fly, it is a Section 136 or worse.

2. Having a ‘corridor-mouth-off’ with Foghorn Voiced Emma from The Valleys. I would run out of words and energy, anyway.

3. Being bothered with Moustache from M**turbat**n. He can go ‘toodle off the end of the cosmos’. At the moment I cannot even be bothered addressing his ‘few above quippy jibes’.

“Would some power the giftie gie us;
To see ourselves as aithers see us.” – Robert Burns –

195. paul gregory - June 18, 2015

At the risk of being repetitive, it’s your ‘psychological appliance’, Marconi. (Mains or battery?) It’s dialed all the way up to 11. That is not the recommended factory setting.
Turn it down and you’ll hear the birds singing. Keep it up at that level and you’ll lose all your fillings. YOUR MARCONI CHOICE, MARCONI. It’s entirely up to you.
And not all birds are tubercular, so there.

196. nigel harris price - June 18, 2015

I do not usually ‘delve’ into others’ url/links to find out but from “ton2u” I lifted this from his link above. As good English Grammar School teachers used to say…..”Read and inwardly digest.”

“The online world is a reflection of physical reality, distorted and sped up certainly, but even in a funhouse mirror you can recognize the particulars. We’ve all met real life trolls. They existed long before Tim Berners-Lee walked upon the earth. They have had different names down the generations, none of which I care to repeat.

Think of the obnoxious aunt who can’t stop bad-mouthing other relatives behind their back. The co-worker who alternates between being excessively friendly and absurdly inquisitorial. The passenger on the packed bus/subway/commuter train who just must, absolutely must, have the armrest or the three inches of someone else’s chair. These are people who live by provocation. They enjoy causing misery or annoyance in the lives of others. They derive some terrible satisfaction in crusading against a world clearly not as smart, noble, or wonderful as they imagine themselves to be.

There is more than a failure of charity or respect with the troll — there is a basic lack of humanity.”

197. Messages From Marconi - June 18, 2015

192. Robert Stolzle – June 18, 2015

“…but you don’t know me.”

***

Don’t be ridiculous, of course I know you. You are the self-defensive psychological appliance that imagines he is normal and more or less reasonably above reproach. You are the guy who quite innocently asked why others are doing something wrong.

1. “combative soul”

2. “deal with some of the aggression”

3. “being so judgmental”

4. “your opinion, loud as it is”

5. “one opinion and not God’s Awful Truth”

6. “as miserable as you”

7. “some sort of counseling”

Do you see this list of numbered quotes? That is “normal Robert” throwing his ego around cyberspace. Do you want to ask yourself why you are doing this? Or, in your particular case is it quite justified and normal?

198. WhaleRider - June 18, 2015

Trolls just want to have fun.

199. Tim Campion - June 18, 2015

After eight years on this blog, you’d think Greg could move beyond the question of whose appliance is bigger.

200. nigel harris price - June 18, 2015

197 Messy from Marks (on his pimpled butt?)

Aah ! I get it. If you cannot get even – GET VICIOUS !!!!!

201. Shard of Oblivion - June 19, 2015

#171 #189 thanks Nigel, both hit the spot🙂

202. Robert Stolzle - June 19, 2015

Marconi-

Of course you are right. Your out of context parsing of statements made by others here is really amazing. But to what point? Your intellect is so obviously above the peons posting here that we should be very grateful that you deign to visit your verbiage upon us.

We be beholdin’, Massa,

Bob Stolzle

203. Messages From Marconi - June 19, 2015

Ego — cyberspace — thrown around — know better — etc.

Now you know why and how, firsthand.

Can you figure out how to stop? The ego always has to get in that last dig, just one more face-saving counter insult.

“Jerk store, baby! I’m going with jerk store!” ~ George Costanza

204. WhaleRider - June 19, 2015

Chicken and egg.

205. Messages From Marconi - June 19, 2015
206. Messages From Marconi - June 19, 2015
207. nigel harris price - June 19, 2015

205 and 206 Molatovs From Mastication

Duuuhh!? And this pertains to which post, exactly ?????

208. ton2u - June 19, 2015

207… nigel, I’ll explain for you – the “molatovs” are “gaslighting” directed toward Whalerider… (see below if you care to bother).

192 Bob Stolzle “I hope you are doing some sort of counseling. This blog can only go so far.”

This is a long term entrenched pattern of behavior here in blogland… his “contributions” on other blogs are even more domineering, bombastic and vitriolic… you’re right, this blog can do nothing to change the pattern, in fact, evidence shows that it only feeds the behavior… (don’t feed the trolls). Counseling (as you suggest) would do him good, my sense is that the issues here are deeply rooted – going back into childhood, but with the disdain which he displays toward psychiatry or even the suggestion that he might need professional help, it’s unlikely he’s going to seek it out or change his tune.

199 Tim…”After eight years on this blog, you’d think Greg could move beyond the question of whose appliance is bigger.”

(LOL) re: comparing “appliance” sizes… something pasted here about the “apparatus” – though nothing about size…

196 Nigel… so that you don’t have to ‘bother’ or ‘trouble’ yourself with the “delving into” – I’ll cut and paste a few salient quotes from the link below… grok it:

Just to clarify a previous reference to “gaslighting” strategies utilized by blog trolls:

“The 1938 stage play Gas Light, known as Angel Street in the United States, and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944 motivated the origin of the term because of the systematic psychological manipulation used by the main character…

In an influential 1981 article Some Clinical Consequences of Introjection: Gaslighting, Calef and Weinshel argue that gaslighting involves the projection and introjection of psychic conflicts from the perpetrator to the victim: “this imposition is based on a very special kind of ‘transfer’… of painful and potentially painful mental conflicts.”
The authors explore a variety of reasons why the victims may have “a tendency to incorporate and assimilate what others externalize and project onto them,” and conclude that gaslighting may be “a very complex highly structured configuration which encompasses contributions from many elements of the psychic apparatus.”

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

209. Messages From Marconi - June 19, 2015

Remember when “ton” first come on the blog and immediately began posting reams and reams of internet articles until bloggers finally requested that he please stop with the infernal flow of “informational tedium”?

This is not a case of “gaslighting,” but I knew then that he was crazy right from the get-go. When thousands of words flow through the mind like watery diarrhea and it all seems to prove to the reader (and subsequently to the opinionating lunatic) that he is right about the extreme point of view he somehow manages to hold in his whirling and disorganized mind, then rather than an informed intellectual the nut is instead an informational addict.

The informational addict needs an incessant flow of externally published junk food rinsing through his mind on a continual basis because otherwise the internalized free-flow of loud chatter drives the individual in question into a state of catatonic eureka. Catatonic eureka is a condition that happens to certain minds existing in a state of disrepair over morning coffee when without the stimulation of the newspaper or the internet the eyes go out of focus and the internal thought machine takes over the body reducing it to a motionless state that amounts to an ecstatic, paralyzing realization that “Oh God, I am right about the conspiracy of deception that rules the universe.”

When the wife comes into the kitchen and sees “Tom,” let’s call the patient Tom, sitting staring at the wall with a bit of dribble on his chin and grinning manically in self-satisfaction she instantly knows to begin reading aloud in a matter-of-fact voice the daily headlines from at least six newspapers. This typically brings the patient Tom out of his delirium. Sometimes more is required; sometimes it is necessary to read aloud everything published in the last 48 hours by his cosmic hero Jeff Rense on the Rense Radio Network:

http://www.renseradio.com/

210. ton2u - June 19, 2015

There’s something known as a learning curve… then again some folks never learn:

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

“With respect to bad behavior, users on the Internet can frequently do or say as they wish without fear of any kind of meaningful reprisal. In most Internet forums, the worst kind of punishment one can receive for bad behavior is usually being banned from a particular site. In practice, however, this serves little use; the person involved can usually circumvent the ban by simply registering another username and continuing the same behavior as before. Suler calls this toxic disinhibition.”

211. Robert Stolzle - June 20, 2015

Marconi-

Yep, you taught me something alright! A polite non-combative discourse with you is impossible. You do understand that not everything is a competition, right?

What is your real name, where do you live and what do you do for a living? I promise to never visit your city.

None of the questions regarding why our egos are here have been answered, but you proved beyond doubt that they are prevalent.

Bob Stolzle

212. paul gregory - June 20, 2015

classy response, Bob.

213. Shard of Oblivion - June 20, 2015

Marconi – as Nevermind you reminded me of Carlos Castaneda, but recently I’m getting the high voltage messiah from the ruling class:

“Experiment 15” 1:25:55 to 1:34:18

“Earth is where I dump the excrement of the universe!”

214. Messages From Marconi - June 20, 2015

Turn it up to 11:

215. James Mclemore - June 20, 2015

It seems the blog has become a bit similar to a giant game of “whack-a-mole”. Personally, I will have to admit that I am not quite certain if I am occasionally one of the people playing the game or whether I am just a “mole” in Marconi’s game.
Just the thought of posting something to Marconi or making a remark about something he has written sometimes reminds me of that old political joke……It was election day and a reporter asked the elderly Mrs. Jones, as she was walking down the street, if she had voted yet. Mrs. Jones stopped and turned to the reporter and replied quite firmly, “Oh no, I never vote. I don’t want to encourage them.”

216. nigel harris price - June 20, 2015

From “Urban Dictionary” – a definition. This will probably ‘get through’ to those ‘dealing with Marconi (in terms of their emotional reaction, though I would think by now, most of us are ‘hardened’ and let it ‘go over their heads’)…..

TOP DEFINITION

Blog Troll

1.(n) -A pathetic and moronic person who maintains a blog with an unhealthy obsessive-compulsive drive, especially angsty goths (sorry to all the likeable goths out there). The content of their blogs usually includes events that no sane person would care about. Here’s sample of what a blog troll might write on their blog:
“today, I ate a sanwich. It bad – it was just ok, mediocre, I guess you could call it. After that I read a few chapters out of an Anne Rice book and was deeply moved by her erotic descriptions of gay vampires fornicating. . Then I took a nap.

2.(n) -A depraved individual who sits in front of a computer all day and posts flames of an idiotic or pseudo-intellectual nature on public forums and private websites. Many of these people actually become emotional about what is said on the afore-said mediums and feel it is their duty to punish those who disagree with them. They too may pursue this object in an obsessive-compulsive manner.

217. nigel harris price - June 20, 2015

This may be of ‘gloating evidence’ to Marconi (and others who may approach the blog in a similar way) but, yes, I do get help with my ‘mood disorder’ and, no, I do not hallucinate or ‘hear voices’ (ones that are not actually speaking, to put the matter straight !) The one quality I seem to share with schizophrenics is when I experience ‘delusions of grandeur’ – yes, Messiah/God complexes have been known (would it be true to say that Marconi is now compiling a ‘major tour de force’ of a post ?).

My Community Psychiatric Nurse, for my Community Treatment Order (name withheld, obviously – and none of Marconi’s damn business, anyway) will start our weekly sessions with perhaps the age-old psychiatric beginner – “Well, how have you been”. But there is not the usual – “Oh well you know” with long silences and not much nourishing ‘brain work’ done. There seems to be this willingness to discuss the ‘little’ successes – times when I could have confronted my neighbours about something that caused ‘angst’, but found myself ‘talking myself down’ from my negatively elevated state. The authorities have been involved anyway, so it is their job to set the ground rules of resolving the problem. My job, both for them and my own sense of balance is to stay calm and ‘out of the line of fire’.

Studying ones self and thoughts, emotions and body-language can reach interesting proportions (I found most of the ‘stuff’ we ingested in the FOF just plain aggravating) if applied to the way one can relate to ones fellow humans with empathy, compassion and dignity.

218. nigel harris price - June 20, 2015

And around we come to that ‘favourite of subjects (copied and pasted) . . . .

“How Do Hallucinogens Work?

Classic hallucinogens are thought to produce their perception-altering effects by acting on neural circuits in the brain that use the neurotransmitter serotonin (Passie, 2008; Nichols, 2004; Schindler, 2012; Lee, 2012). Specifically, some of their most prominent effects occur in the prefrontal cortex—an area involved in mood, cognition, and perception—as well as other regions important in regulating arousal and physiological responses to stress and panic.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Hallucinogens?

Ingesting hallucinogenic drugs can cause users to see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Their effects typically begin within 20 to 90 minutes of ingestion and can last as long as 12 hours. Experiences are often unpredictable and may vary with the amount ingested and the user’s personality, mood, expectations, and surroundings. The effects of hallucinogens like LSD can be described as drug-induced psychosis—distortion or disorganization of a person’s capacity to recognize reality, think rationally, or communicate with others. Users refer to LSD and other hallucinogenic experiences as “trips” and to acute adverse or unpleasant experiences as “bad trips.” On some trips, users experience sensations that are enjoyable and mentally stimulating and that produce a sense of heightened understanding. Bad trips, however, include terrifying thoughts and nightmarish feelings of anxiety and despair that include fears of losing control, insanity, or death.”

219. ton2u - June 20, 2015
220. Messages From Marconi - June 20, 2015

Why your life is meaningless and blogging does not make it better…

Nigel’s mental illness…

Whalerider’s dreams…

Ton2u’s hyperthyroid-inspired factoids…

Stolzle’s wonderings about the “false personality-ego” of others who should know better…

Mclemore’s carefully mild folk-wisdom…

Cathie’s closet consciousness…

Exactly what does the musing of these dysfunctional characters about themselves have to do with Bob Burton’s worldwide cult rip-off?

Nothing — just people obsessively trying to fill their psychological hole with the compulsion to explain themselves to an audience that is basically disgusted with each and every one of them.

Talk about fucking trolling.

Shut up about yourselves.

What’s Burton busy doing? Anyone have any news about that?

221. ton2u - June 20, 2015

220 re: listing “dysfunctional characters” – there’s one obvious omission.

and I could imagine what burton’s busy with but I’d rather not.

222. paul gregory - June 20, 2015

218. nigel harris price – June 20, 2015

I thought the picture Jomo posted here ages ago telling of the state, where different parts of the brain are talking to one another for what seems like ages in rainbow colours in a circle. As far as I can see, if it took a few sip’s of aya, or whatever known substance that works, over the current regime, then that must surely be preferable to the crap people have to go through with pharmaceutical drugs.
Ketamine, used in surgery and A&E, can revive a person in the depths of the hellish depression sometimes still treated by ECT, can instead be given a couple of minutes inhalation of it and be then in a treatable condition. But it’s not allowed because it works. Makes it impossible to study. And only creates crime and a kind of immaturity like that seen in the Prohibition. I think it is part of the punishment culture of the last 30 years or so.

Here’s a great thing too, because it shows common sense can still exist amongst a range of other wonderful things.

http://2015.breakingconvention.co.uk/

http://www.psychedelicsociety.org.uk/introduction

and, to be pedantic, this guy is interesting, and I haven’t seen him posted here before.

223. Cathie L. - June 21, 2015

#217 nigel:

“My job, both for them and my own sense of balance is to stay calm and ‘out of the line of fire’.”

Very well put. It’s an interesting game, the only intelligent move is not to play. (War Games movie quote)

#221 ton2u

Exactly. Thank you. Like a mythical vampire or ghost, when it passes a mirror, there’s no reflection.

Why would anyone still concern themselves about Burton and his sordid criminal antics? The fixation is pathological.

224. GoldenVeil - June 21, 2015

“Why would anyone still concern themselves about Burton and his sordid criminal antics? The fixation is pathological.”

The Fellowship of Friends cult “Teacher” Robert Burton ~ and any of his current “students” ~ would be very happy to see this comment!

I, on the other hand, think that it’s important to maintain another viewpoint ~ to counteract the bullshit Fourth Way web sites called “Being Present” and “Living Presence”.

At times, on this very blog, former students write about their experiences while a “student” in “The Fellowship of Friends.” I think that these various viewpoints and histories are invaluable as an antidote to the cult bullshit.

At other times, the same former students have tangential discussions that get lots of enthusiastic attention. Fine.

But is the continuing, albeit, occasional discussion about REB and his self-centered monarchial cult pathological? Hell, no! In fact, it’s a public service.

It’s been said before, and I’ll take this opportunity to say it once ~ if now and then this discussion blog makes even one person, think twice about joining ~ the sophisticated esoteric country club that garners new pieces of ass and gaudy baubles for REB ~ called “The Fellowship of Friends” or “Living Presence” or “Being Present” (or even Asaf Braverman’s flavor of the week, “Becoming Conscious” or “The Ark in Time Network”, hell yeah! This blog is useful. It performs, at times a service ~ extending another point of view on the Fourth Way cult experience ~ and perhaps saving someone else time and money.

And by the way, I’m sure that everyone here has fond memories of far flung friends they may never had met otherwise ~ or appreciation for their little etiquette lessons and world travel to “Centers” ~ but the bottom line is ~ REB is a kook, and I would never say, a harmless one.

By the way, there is another hotbed of pathological-ness here. If you, dear reader, have found this site while researching “The Fellowship of Friends”, you don’t want to miss this site:

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/

225. nigel harris price - June 21, 2015

I think that a blog site, certainly one like this where The Fairy Goddess at The Center of the Story is …..

1. A pervert
2. Incredibly greedy
3. An out-and-out liar and encourages deceit in his followers
4. Near enough, a psychopathic narcissist

the list is too long to be pertinent…..

And the blog is also about ALL OF US, how we were in the cult (with some stories!), how we wrenched ourselves out, got back on our feet and learned to walk again (some with great help) and how we are, hopefully, truly evolving now – “The Walk Of Life”, as the song goes. I have always liked to keep quotes – this one is from years ago …..

“Appreciating relaxation, silence and rest, but also recognising when vocalism and action and dissent are welcomed by the universe, and finding the answer to that question in our conscience – however difficult that is to define or describe.”

(IN2IT – BLOG FRIEND)

226. ton2u - June 21, 2015

Nigel, another quote to consider for your collection:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IMO this reflects how personal and social transformation are conjoined – the personal is one end of the stick – so to speak, the social is the other.

My recollection of “the work” as practiced by the FOF is that it strictly and solely emphasized the personal while intentionally ignoring wider social issues / context. In fact everything outside of the cult – so-called “life”- was believed to be doomed and damned.

Focusing strictly on personal “evolution” is a tool used by the cult to narrow the perspective of its adherents…. kind of like blinders on a horse. Think about the controlling effect of “institutionalized” myopic focus on personal “evolution” with the intentional shunning and disregard of larger social contexts.

IMO, based on the quote above, it occurs to me that relating to issues on this particular blog can be framed in a twofold way:

1) An ongoing awareness of and attention on the shenanigans perpetrated by the FOF is important and ostensibly a purpose of the blog – I agree with GoldenVeil, ideally this does serve as a public service, a potential source of information to help others avoid the mistakes ex-FOFers might have made. (What’s the adage about past history… “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it…” or words to that effect… anyway, in a sense the blog represents and serves as a potential reminder for those who are unaware and may be about to repeat some of our mistakes).

2) It is also important and healthy to engage in discussion of other, wider social issues – here and in general… contrary to cult programming it’s obvious that life and living is not all about the personal end of the stick… In this regard I agree with Cathie L – being overly fixated on burton et. al., can become pathological.

It’s always question of balance…

227. Messages From Marconi - June 21, 2015

If you have inside information about the Burton cult then please ignore the psycho-static emitted by the “regulars” and post the cult information. This was originally intended as a cult information site, not a perpetual encounter session. Please supply cult information.

The cult must be hopping with this new development of hostilities from Putin’s Russia. Are there any new predictions for the exact day of the end of the world?

228. ton2u - June 21, 2015

life’s what you make it… enjoy:

229. Cathie L. - June 21, 2015

223. GoldenVeil

I doubt if any current cult members would be “happy” to see my comment referring to their group’s “sordid criminal antics.” I doubt that they’d be much troubled by it, either, given the nature of their involvement.

I’m familiar with the Robert Earl Burton blog you mentioned at the end of your post. I consider it useful and effective (not pathological) because it is well organized and researched. It provides links to other cult awareness sites (including this one). It could very well convince someone to steer clear of the group, or at least think twice.

I really don’t know if it’s possible to prevent anyone from repeating our mistakes, though. It would be nice if someone were spared this “grisly cul-de-sac” cleverly disguised as an esoteric school, but I’m afraid they’d only end up stumbling into some other well-concealed rabbit hole further down the street. No harm in trying, I suppose, but at some point you realize that people have their own lives to live, mistakes to make, lessons to learn.

My experience in the FOF didn’t harm me deeply, as it did others, no question about that. What it DID do was immunize me against falling for similar con games and belief systems to the point of turning years of my life and piles of hard-earned money over to them. A costly lesson indeed, but one I’m grateful for.

230. Robert Stolzle - June 22, 2015

Tim Campion, et al.,

I would like for you and anyone else responsible for the origination and maintenance of this website to weigh in as to its purpose and use; the other bloggers who have not already made their positions known should, too. I don’t have any interest in the only subject of discussion here being the various pathologies and behavior of Burton and the FoF. Mr./Ms. Marconi’s apparent desire is to turn this blog into an imaginary weapon in his/her personal vendetta against them. The preferred method is to shout down any topic or discussion deemed unnecessary or irrelevant to his/her imaginary cause. So, if Marconi’s definition of this blog is indeed its’ sole intended purpose, good luck and God bless you all.

Although I really wish it weren’t so, the “cult information” that Marconi craves is that this blog and all the postings probably have a negligible effect of the FoF and less on Burton. I agree with Golden Veil, ton, Cathie and others that there is some potential for the discussions here to possibly benefit someone considering joining or leaving the FoF or some other cult. We all agree that RB and the FoF are bad, but the crazy rants by Marconi against anything but “cult information” are pathological.

Marconi-whoever you are and whatever you suffered, remember, “The man who sets out on a mission of revenge should first dig two graves.”

Bob Stolzle

231. Messages From Marconi - June 22, 2015

232. WhaleRider - June 22, 2015

Bob Stolzle:

At the present moment, gas lighting and bullying aren’t grounds for getting banned from this discussion group, unfortunately.

In a way, this is no different than the milieu of life…it takes strength and courage to participate. You get what you give, not what you take.

Originally this blog was started by a young man after attending a prospective student meeting, who just wanted to hear some feedback, freely expressed, from anyone on the web with personal experience about the FOF.

He had an intuition that the FOF was not what it appeared. Imagine that?

Lucky for him, with the advent of the internet, he was able to hear the truth about burton’s rape factory instead of being swayed by cult propaganda.

After reading our responses, the young man did not join, as far as I know.

He was also fine with hearing about the other paths people took in their personal growth on the blog and would share his experiences, too.

The young man then passed the blog moderation to an ex-follower…who chooses not to moderate the discussion too closely.

233. Just the Facts Ma'am - June 22, 2015

This page 148 now contains over 500 elements and is about 500Kb to load. This can be burdensome for those with poor internet bandwidth and/or have dial-up and/or have old computers. The whole page may take too long to load or not load completely. If the page does not load completely, a person cannot post to the blog or read the bottom end.

Oregon House (world headquarters of Fellowship of Friends (FoF)) is notorious for bad internet service. So, if you want to reach people there to influence them to leave FoF, a better job at pagination earlier is advised.

Generally speaking, turning the page by 200 posts is good. The length of individual posts and the various content of them contribute to the page size and length; so it is hard to say just how many posts per page are too many.

While the handful of regular posters here aggrandize their egos to see their smart posts appear in cyberspace, they are likely shooting themselves in the foot and missing the target altogether. Try to be a little bit more circumspect.

234. ton2u - June 22, 2015

233 JtFM… I hope the moderator will read your post and begin shortening page lengths. Thanks for your concern.

Bob @ 230,
Just to connect some dots: I didn’t come in at the beginning of the blog but during the years that I’ve been reading it, a number of people have posted expressions of gratitude for the content here. Reading accounts of FOF experiences led to their reconsidering and avoiding involvement in the FOF.

And, there have been others who’ve expressed their gratitude because they were on the fence about whether to leave or stay in the cult – reading accounts here gave a push and represented hope and a source of strength and support in their decision to leave.

(Maybe Bares Reposting or another archivist can put a finger on examples).

There is already a deep resource here in the back pages for those doing due diligence in researching the FOF. In that regard it’s not “necessary” to post another story from our past FOF episodes – there’s already plenty enough material here and admittedly, dredging up some of these old memories again can be like “beating a dead horse” – which may be one element of the ‘pathological.’

Personally, continuing to follow, click on the site and post, I’ve rationalized as follows – burton and the FOF are still out there actively recruiting the unaware and in general still operating a corrupt and criminal enterprise (IMO). In this regard as GoldenVeil indicates above, the blog serves in some capacity as a public service.

I don’t know the technicalities but I’ve heard the number of hits, i.e. the activity registered on a site will determine relevance when a topic is searched – so if someone does an internet search of the FOF and this site has more activity, then it will register higher on the list of sites that come up, thus increasing the likelihood of an interested / curious person visiting the site.

Again, it’s related to keeping some attention on the subject of burton’s con.

On the other hand, this blog is in fact whatever “we” posters make it through contributing. The idea (for me) of continuing a level of activity here is in the spirit of keeping an ember alive should anyone come along to warm up around the campfire – for whatever reason…

I think the anonymity here can make it a good place for “processing” experience. IMO there should be some tolerance for conversing about topics ostensibly unrelated to the FOF as the conversation does always come back around to the FOF.

IMO it’s refreshing and healthy to steer away from the beating of a dead horse – at least to take a few minutes to consider things other than the pathological side of life – “looking on the bright side” and positivity is important… unfortunately people sometimes get jumped on and discouraged for expressions in this direction.

Speaking of pathological, the recent incarnation here who calls himself MF Marconi, has used various other pseudonyms in the past… you see he’s been banned multiple times and continues with the pattern of returning under new aliases. What’s his m.o.? I think he simply gets some sort of perverse pleasure from flinging feces.

“With respect to bad behavior, users on the Internet can frequently do or say as they wish without fear of any kind of meaningful reprisal. In most Internet forums, the worst kind of punishment one can receive for bad behavior is usually being banned from a particular site. In practice, however, this serves little use; the person involved can usually circumvent the ban by simply registering another username and continuing the same behavior as before. “

235. Messages From Marconi - June 22, 2015

233. Just the Facts Ma’am – June 22, 2015

“While the handful of regular posters here aggrandize their egos to see their smart posts appear in cyberspace, they are likely shooting themselves in the foot…”

The problem is that the regular posters are not actually smart. What they for the most part do here is compulsively talk about themselves like they chronically do during their waking hours everywhere else. People with vanity compulsively talk about themselves, they cannot help it. When someone comes along and suggests that no one really appreciates a 500 page book written over a period of some years about all the petty thoughts, meaningless dreams and dysfunctional experiences a particular “sincere victim” is experiencing during his mediocre life, then, all hell breaks out.

Anyone who comes out and finally says, “Stop talking about yourself,” has committed the worse “trolling” crime of the century and is declared dangerous to the survival of the planet. When the compulsion to openly self-obsess about oneself is forced out into the general awareness rather than left as an unspoken artifact of every day neurosis then the neurotics cry foul.

Shut up about yourselves–no one but you cares at this point.

What’s the cult up to?

236. nigel harris price - June 22, 2015

234 ton2u

With regard to “Molluscs from Martinis” (post 235), we have a beautiful phrase in plain old Anglo-Saxon – “The chap is SHIT-STIRRING” – the funny thing is, he is incapable of humane, literally-structured phraseology. Most of us – and funnily enough, this has become oh! so apparent in recent posts, I feel he has huge resentment of other people’s “Tiny Victories” (Hue and Cry – ‘Ordinary Angel’). Usually, these people had their childhoods wrecked by adults, siblings or peers – AND ARE AFTER REVENGE !!!!! – he needs huge psychiatric help, if he would only seek it. The other, more homemade variation on his capabilities, is ingesting copious amounts of castor oil, wait a few hours, then insert longest digit up where ?!?!? and deal with the results himself.

Dr Nigel H Price (Psychologist by Nature, not Name)

237. nigel harris price - June 22, 2015

Sortta topical – was playing on the radio…..

238. brucelevy - June 22, 2015

As I mentioned before…you put up with this shit, you deserve it.

239. brucelevy - June 22, 2015

No different then remaining in the FOF after you know what is going on.

240. fofblogmoderator - June 22, 2015

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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