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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 150 July 19, 2015

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1. nigel harris price - July 19, 2015

A little bit of personal expectation was with me, as I crossed the pond, just before Christmas 1981, about being able to learn and ply my trade in America and, perhaps, through my employers (or, if the right woman came along, by marriage) to become an American citizen. What did I find ????? ……

Incompetent immigration lawyers (lazy enough to do f**k all)
Unscrupulous employers who saw a naive European coming
The ‘cult’ had huge payments/donations compared to the UK

(The list of disappointments could go on, but just to mention one – whenever I became interested in a ‘potential mate’ – single, at least a little good looking, not a fading wallflower and not too much baggage – they became interested in someone else – A loves B but B loves C, as Gurdjieff said)

Also, I realized that I was being paid peanuts ($7 per hour and falling, compared to those computer guys and gals being paid around $35 an hour). Aghast I was, desperate, going into debt, hardly ever able to ‘attend meetings’ and relying more and more on the help of ‘life people’. I really cannot tell where my allegiances lay. I did however get to visit around the country, when my parents visited every 2 years and thought one aspect beautiful …..

The Statue of Liberty, a hand-wrought copper plate and rivet structure, donated by the French (something about Fighting for Freedom during the French Revolution ….. were the Americans handed too much on a platter ?). I could understand how it was made – it is not very high.

Now what is Freedom in the USA ?

First, cults are free to recruit, sexually abuse and make their members impoverished and subservient.

Everyone, from the President down, has the right TO LIE UNDER OATH, bribe people who ‘might help them’ and sleep with other women than their wives.

Through f**king greedy lawyers, anyone can sue anyone else for the most ridiculous reasons.

(The list goes on)

As a guy who was made an illegal immigrant, through lack of money and high standards in choosing women to court – a marriage of convenience would not do – I can look back and say with relief ……

I SURVIVED MODERN AMERICA !!!!!

2. Linda Jo - July 19, 2015

P144 – #207. Bryan Reynolds – January 19, 2015

Re: “. . .I read everything I could find about cults and several were very helpful. Idries Shah famous Sufi makes several statements about Gurdjieff-Ouspensky groups and student/teacher relationships which helped a lot. To paraphrase he says that the teaching of Gurdjieff was a teaching for people at a certain place and time and place and was not designed to be replicated 30 years later in the hills of California. He also explains that a teacher would evaluate students and accept and reject people based on their capacity to learn not based on whether they could pay. What stands out years later is the inner conflict that I still experience trying to reconcile things which I learned, some great people I met, the energy that was there, and the inner states that I experienced which contradict all of the negative experiences. Another source of helpful information is several lectures on how to distinguish a cult from a real spiritual organization by Arthur Deikman on you-tube.”
. . . . . . . . .

From “Sufism and Psychiatry” by Arthur J. Deikman, MD (reprinted in The World of the Sufi, published by The Octagon Press, London, 1979)

The questions ‘What is the purpose of living?’ and ‘Why do I exist?’ haunt modern Western civilization, and the absence of an adequate answer to them has given rise to the ‘illness’ of meaninglessness or anomie. Psychiatrists themselves are afflicted with this same illness, partly because the problem of the meaning of life is solved by a special type of perception rather than by logic; psychiatry is trapped by its commitment to rationalism.
    Sufism, on the other hand, is a tradition devoted to the development of the higher intuitive capacity needed to deal with this issue. By taking advantage of the special science of the Sufis, Western civilization may be able to extricate itself from its dilemma and contribute to the development of man’s full capacities.

    ‘I think it not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it has never seen but is to be – that man may have cosmic destinies that he does not understand’.

                Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

http://www.deikman.com/sufism.html

And during my weekly sessions with Dr. Deikman (1976 – ’78), he often quoted Sufi Masters – especially Rumi:

There is no cause for fear.
It is imagination, blocking you
as a wooden bolt holds the door.
Burn that bar!

After weeks of watching me weep and double over in despair, pain, shame and humiliation, fear and sorrow (too deep for words), while trying to describe the strange so-called “school” and read letters aloud, addressed to the strange couple – incomprehensible actors, directors and so-called “teachers of ‘the Work’” – Deikman finally exclaimed, “The handwriting is on the wall so thick, it’s falling over, Linda! Can’t you see what’s going on there?! Since you seem so interested in mysticism and metaphysics, why not study the work of a real Teacher? Read The Sufis . . .

            There is nothing more important than
            the development of a human being.

                                    Idries Shah

So during the early 80s, I joined The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK), directed by Robert Ornstein in Los Altos. I also joined The Society for Sufi Studies, directed by Idries Shah, and attended small study-group meetings in the bay area, every other week, for almost two years.

3. shardofoblivion - July 19, 2015

#2 “By taking advantage of the special science of the Sufis” I think you’ll find the sufis are mystics not scientists, a small point perhaps. Science is distinguished by asserting that the current model should be examined, tested and if found wanting discarded for a new model. As a result of this simple method it stands head and shoulders above all other methods for finding out about the world. On the other hand it has little or nothing to contribute to the questions that sufis are engaged with, how best to live our lives and worship Allah.

4. Bryan Reynolds - July 19, 2015

2. Linda Jo – July 19, 2015

Thank you for your post. I am trying to organize some thoughts to respond.

5. nigel harris price - July 19, 2015

For me ….. I have gone beyond -ists and -isms. Robert (P)Earl(sucker) Burton said something (or stole the phrase !!!!!)

“Use words to go beyond them to a wordless state.”

Where is the MAN or WOMAN behind the psychiatrist ?
Where is the TRUE MYSTIC behind SUFISM (or Buddhism, Hinduism for that matter) ?

As I have been put through a LIFE OF HARD KNOCKS, you may say, IN OR OUT OF CULT, I no longer believe things AT FACE VALUE. I am usually tested by BANKS, FELLOW SO-CALLED CRAFTSMEN, MY FAMILY, SO-CALLED FRIENDS, NEIGHBOURS (ALL THE BLOODY TIME !!!!!).

I would say you have to fight for your serenity, your state of grace, shared only by angels.

Nigel.

6. nigel harris price - July 19, 2015

Matthew 13:44

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

7. Cathie L. - July 19, 2015

#2. Linda Jo

Thank you for bringing that post up. I was trying to remember where I’d seen that reference to Gurdjieff’s teachings being meant for a certain place and time, and about evaluating people based on their capacity to learn. In the Evans-Wentz biography of Milarepa I’m reading, there’s a similar idea regarding “esoteric transmission” in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition:

“If these Truths be exchanged for worldly vanities or for the currying of favour, thereby will the displeasure of the Deities be incurred, and dire will be the effect; therefore guard them with the utmost care. If any shishya [disciple] manifest innate aptitude for receiving these Truths, let them be given him, although he be unable to present any worldly wealth as the offering….The method…will not be very suitable for degenerate beings of the future, who will be narrow of heart, and incapable of understanding the sublimest of the Truths.”

Also it’s mentioned that these teachings are never committed to writing, but are only handed down orally (“ear-whispered”).

8. Linda Jo - July 19, 2015

7. Cathie L.

Re: “esoteric transmission”

A few months after their beautiful boy was born, I sent the following message to my son and daughter-in-law:

4/14/2013

Subject: baby talk/soul talk

Dear Mark and Carol,

While searching for something in The World of the Sufi tonight, I came across this chapter (p. 210) which, of course, reminded me of baby Felix and his human destiny:

    Ibn El-Arabi wrote, ‘The Teacher is he who hears you, then unveils you to yourself’. And Rumi tells us, ‘Soul receives from soul that knowledge’. An inner capacity has to be developed; it is, in other words, not like learning a language, but like learning to talk. The baby is surrounded by people who have long known this skill, and it lies within him, too, in undeveloped form. For month after month, aided by the encouragement of parents, by their love and patient little tricks, he struggles to reach the part of himself where that skill lies. His lips move, he blows bubbles, he gesticulates, he gurgles: one day he says a word. He has made his breakthrough. He, too, is on his way to joining the elite who have learned to communicate with each other.
    Yet no intellectual element entered into the teaching, rather he was coaxed and prompted, he was influenced and rewarded, until on his own account he discovered the ability that took him one more step toward becoming fully human. He had seen, by observing those more advanced than himself, what was possible. In his struggle to be like them, they had helped. But above all, there had been in him and in them an overwhelming desire that he should be as they were, able to speak, a conviction that this was part of his human destiny. Everything that was done, by him to achieve the goal and by them to aid him, was because of this overriding imperative. It was the medium in which their instruction and his learning came together. They were taking part in a drama that had to end well, in the child’s victory, because it was part of the wider drama of the human race. Defeat would have been a set-back for humanity as a whole. This element of the relationship was never articulated and probably never became conscious. But because of this element, conscious or not, there was an urgency in the adults’ efforts and the baby’s struggle that would not have been there otherwise. An essence, the essence of the race, of what it means to be a human being, was being directly transmitted, and the child’s learning to speak was a function of that transmission. It is at this level, above all, that the teaching of a Master and the learning of a novice take place. ‘Soul receives from soul…’ — the transmission is direct.
    For good or ill, we are not when adults as intellectually uncluttered as babies. Our heads are filled with ‘knowledge’, a knowledge that in some areas pre-empts our seeing anything at all; or being truly aware of any part of the world that surrounds us. Everything arrives in our understanding already packaged and labeled. How are we to take the wrappings off and test the truth of the labels? The fact is that we are in no condition to do so: we are helplessly hidden from ourselves, even when we attempt to discover what we really are, since the imperfections that we are trying to seek out exist in the very perceptions with which we search for them. It is as though we looked for the color red through spectacles fitted with a red filter. Until the filter is removed we cannot see what is certainly there, but hidden from us. It is the task of the Teacher, not to remove the filter, but to make us so aware of its presence that we remove it ourselves.

from chapter 6 – THE PRACTICE OF THE SUFI – Learning and Teaching, by Peter Brent

9. nigel harris price - July 20, 2015

It is not about systems, cults, religions, psychiatrists – and all their invented “waffle”. The point is to find, by any way that makes itself known, the initial ‘spark’ or ‘impetus’ FOR YOUR WORTHWHILE LIFE’S JOURNEY. Otherwise, believe me, you will go from TRAP TO TRAP, needing one of those mentioned on the first line of this post to soothe the ‘scars you allowed yourself’ from one of the others on the first line ….. TEACH YOURSELF TO SERVE FROM YOUR SELF …..

(You wanna be a mini-Burton ?)

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

From, ‘Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’, by William Shakespeare

This most famous speech – in a dreary play that leads to almost the entire major cast dying … watch out; Nigey’s about.

10. Ill Never Tell - July 20, 2015

Humor on topic of: teaching and learning and the teacher/learner relationship:

The next time your children, or grand children, laugh at you when they have to show you how to use the computer, or other electronic devices, please gently remind them that it was you who taught them how to speak, how to use the telly and how to use the toilet.

11. nigel harris price - July 20, 2015

Yes Folks ….. it gets weirder !!!!!

I thought the person on the “Lloyds Bank Debit Card Fraud Line” was an Indian (from India) woman. When I asked for his/her name, the still-very-high-pitched voice said “Edward”….. some people will be on any old payroll, saying any old s**t. And tha tgave prelude me into laying into the “fraud perpetrator” – Customer Savings, allied with my discount rail ticket seller – http://www.thetrainline.com. Seems anyone now can break moral rules. Did not some guy in caftan and sandals 2012 years ago say – “The love of money is the root of all evil”. And his ‘people’ today are causing “the biggest hoot” of these times, Burton included …..

12. shardofoblivion - July 20, 2015

#11 Nigel, wasn’t Edward just some guy trying to earn his crust, probably in some high pressure, out-sourced, open plan office in Mumbai.

13. Parson Yorick - July 21, 2015

#9. Can you name one tragedy that’s not dreary? It’s merely a story about a Danish princess’s “radicalization,” as I see it. Beware of anyone who dresses all in black – especially if it’s Richard Petty!

14. Linda Jo - July 21, 2015

@Nigel

While searching for music to your ears the other day, I googled Doris Day and discovered many old favorites had been published on youtube – that very day – bringing back all my fond memories of playing hooky (skipping school) during the ’50s, just to sing, dance and dream alone at home with that Earth angel and her “Star Dust”

Thank you, Nigel, for posting so much beautiful music here to my ears.

xoxo
Linda

15. nigel harris price - July 21, 2015

Thanks all ….. just to say I am working with it (as the old saying goes)

trust in the police

nigel price
Attachments4:38 PM (1 hour ago)

to cso
Dear Ruth

I just wanted – through you – as a police officer known to me, to thank the force for some more work I have had to offer up.

Over the past two weeks or so, I have had to deal with cases of internet debit card fraud and found my local bank (the bank manager swans around from meeting to meeting with rich customers, asking them about their latest global holiday – get the idea ?) very unhelpful.

The http://www.police/action/fraud.com officers were polite, concise and respectful of my condition, as I would expect you would be, seeing me ‘dash across the road’ from the bank to the CAB in a raving Type 1.

I am calm now, working with it all I can, yet knowing I have to leave the situation in the hands of those WHO KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE THINGS.

Again, many thanks …..

Abergavenny
5:41 PM (10 minutes ago)

to me
Dear Nigel,

Thank you for taking the time to tell me that you have had a positive experience of Action Fraud. It is always nice for officers to receive the occasional “pat on the back”. It does wonders to boost morale!

Good to hear that you are approaching these setbacks with aplomb, and making use of the appropriate services out there.

Kind regards,

Ruth Moyse

16. aarrgh me buckos - July 21, 2015

This blog is showing itself to be tolerant to a fault of the current most frequent poster. I don’t think he needs any encouragement and I don’t think this line of therapy is helping.

17. Linda Jo - July 22, 2015

7. Cathie L.

Re: “esoteric transmission”

Today, while re-reading Peter Brent’s chapter in The World of the Sufi, I noticed that the first paragraph in my email message to Mark and Carol had been shortened. This is what Peter actually wrote:

Ibn El-Arabi wrote, ‘The Teacher is he who hears you, then unveils you to yourself’. And Rumi tells us, ‘Soul receives from soul that knowledge, therefore not by book nor from tongue’. What is to be learnt is not knowledge, but a means of gaining knowledge. An inner capacity has to be developed [Etc.]

If you have any questions, let me know.

18. Bryan Reynolds - July 22, 2015

if you believed you had escaped this plane of existance. Accountabilty on this level would not be your problem.

19. brucelevy - July 22, 2015

18. Bryan Reynolds

And what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

20. Linda Jo - July 22, 2015

18. Brian Reynolds

Re: “If you believed you had escaped this plane…”

 
    BELIEF and KNOWLEDGE

Knowledge is something which you can use.
Belief is something which uses you.

Idries Shah, in Reflections

Hero or Ignoramus? in The Commanding Self (p. 245):

    The major difference between Sufis and ‘believers’ is that belief is conviction, certainty without proof, while Sufi knowledge is factual. This is often disputed by theologians because they regularly confuse knowledge with belief. This is easy to demonstrate. If I know that it is ten past ten in the morning, or that there is a fly on the wall, it is absolutely unnecessary, lunatic, even, to describe this as a belief. On the other hand, the people who [simply] believe that something is true do not know it in anything like the same way. Why? Because if they knew it as a positive, objective fact, they would not manifest any emotion about it: neither would they be so keen to make others believe. All human experience shows that it is only things about which there is doubt which are believed in this characteristic manner. Facts, true ones, are not subject to either emotion or proselytization. The theologically-centered people, then, are not wrong or deluded [as much as] they are feebly informed as to the difference between, say, “I know that this is a pencil’, and ‘I know that there are spiritual beings, because I have felt that it is true.’
    A useful illustration of this is seen in a certain tale. There were once three men in an aircraft which was losing height, and the pilot asked one of them to jump out to lighten it so that it could land safely. ‘I cannot jump,’ said the scholar, ‘because I am too valuable, as the instrument of education, to risk my life.’
    ‘I shall jump,’ said the priest, ‘because I have faith that I shall be saved.’
    ‘There is only one parachute left,’ said the Sufi, ‘and I shall use it, because I know that the pilot will ask for another volunteer in a minute, and I shall land safely.’
    ‘But,’ said the scholar, ‘was the priest not a hero for believing that he would land safely?’
    ‘He was more than that,’ said the Sufi. ‘He picked up your rucksack, instead of the parachute, and strapped it on . . .’

21. Cathie L. - July 22, 2015

This must be the Rosencrantz and Gildenstern comic relief phase of the blog.

22. Bryan Reynolds - July 22, 2015

19 brucelevy

When I was in the FOF I was told the teacher had escaped. That he existed on a higher level. I was following the logic that if you beileived that you had escaped you would not feel responsible for sexually exploiting your students..

23. brucelevy - July 22, 2015

22. Bryan Reynolds

Yes, that’s one of many sociopath’s justifications.

24. Ames Gilbert - July 22, 2015

Nigel Harris Price,
Many years ago, I decided I would not interact with you anymore on this blog. Anyone who remembers this history knows my opinion, that you are at heart a selfish time-waster, whose output consists largely of ‘copy and pasting’ stuff that has attracted your attention on the internet, in prodigious quantities. And most of the rest is about you, you, you.

If I was the moderator of this blog, I would have banned you long ago; you have no self-control, and despite your promise to post no more than three times a day (!), you continue to clog up the works. However, I held my peace.

But now I have to call you on your shit.
On the last page 149, post #203, you say (using the full names, which I have starred out),
“Dear All
HELP !!!!! I think I have fallen ‘head over heels’ in SERIOUS LUST with L***** F******, my Monmouthshire Housing Association Personal Officer. At the first two meetings, when there were other officials present – my Community Psychiatric Nurse and then at the other meeting Community Support Officer PC M****, both of whom are extremely intelligent and worldly wise – L***** maintained a ‘certain sort of distancing’ by posture and the remarks she made – she was Ms F****** at those meetings …..
Today, it was “Please call me L***** – I am as much a friend as was Paul, your previous CPN” – Ah! A stirring in the whirring, if ever there was !!!!! And, as our conversation went on – how to circumvent the ‘goings on’ of the multi-drug addict in the apartment above – point-to-point sparring of equally-matched duelists ….. my psychology and the help she will get me ….. she thought some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Assertiveness Training would help ….. she seems to think I am not so naive as ‘too much of a nice guy’ – another ‘boinger in the groiner’ – on to what she does to relax – HEAVY METAL MUSIC !!!!!
This woman is (I suspect) in her early 30’s, built svelte-junoesque, has straight, shoulder length reddish hair, ‘lumps and bumps’ in the right places, is as tall as I am and …… ARGGHH !!!!! has a boyfriend.
I am not (or am I ?) getting into trouble with what might be a Cardiff Rugby Club player. Major Claire was a major disaster with her ‘swear like a trooper, drink like a trooper’ antics. This one is softer !

And later on #205 you go on to say, “Cathie…..to tell you the truth…..I am ‘heartily tired’ of semi-worthwhile , semi-relationships……I want Godamn Luv Ya Babe with all the bodily ‘goings on’ that should go on…..I have passed into Rodney Collin’s Uranus Come Back Alignment and ‘me wedding tackle wants some REAL action’.”

Gosh, Nigel Harris Price, what an asshole you are, to be sure! You inform us of your lustful feelings—as if I (and probably most readers, gave the slightest damn—then give the full name, in a public place, of the object of your lust. This is a woman who is trying to help you and is paid by UK taxpayers to do so; she officially has to put up with your stuff, and I pity her. Do you have the slightest understanding of what using her name like this on the internet exposes her to? I’m sure that you, in the full glory of your lust, don’t give a damn.

This is not the first time you’ve done this, sharing the names of innocents with us. And, we get exposed to your self–pity in numerous ways, life is so unfair, and no one wants to be in a relationship with you. Who can blame them? On this blog, you behave and talk like a sixty–year–old virgin, or as near as makes no difference. How about some real introspection on why this might be the case? Have you considered the possibility that you talk too much, that you are physically unattractive, and that anyone who stays in your presence more than a few minutes is doing so only because you are buying the drinks (on your mother’s credit card, which you stole), or it is their job to do so, or because they are way too polite and don’t want to hurt your precious feelings.

You tell us you are mentally unstable—I believe you; anyone looking at your history on this blog would agree. But you are not insane, and you have some latitude and control over your life. You simply refuse to take responsibility, and the poor folks delegated to clean up after you have to take your shit. I happen to think that it is a good thing that society helps those who cannot help themselves. You are very lucky to live in the UK, which still provides some help; you would most likely be on the streets here in the US. But it is quite apparent that you are abusing the system, as you abuse your family, as you are abusing those who reach out to help you, as you are abusing us. Somehow, you feel entitled to our pity, and besides, you are such a misunderstood artiste!

Please fuck off and give us a break. This blog has once again become the Nigel Harris Price Show, and once again you are using up most of the oxygen. You have no self–control, your promises mean nothing, so please, just go away.

25. Cathie L. - July 22, 2015

Good call Ames.

26. nigel harris price - July 22, 2015

24 Ames Gilbert

Aah ! The good student in the FOF, who now uses expletives, who never talked about how brilliant HE WAS. We had to listen to your stories (never out of control AG, except with Ayuhuasca) and the difference being – I can and have to go through my states – you ARE BORING – WAS WHEN I MET YOU AND IN CALIFORNIA AND YOU HAVE NOT CHANGED NOW (AND YOU DO NOT GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT ABOUT ‘REPEATING’ WHAT I JUST POSTED).

This will be my last post to you (remember last time, when you won ?)

Da-da-da-da-dah and two films …..

Lust for Life (van Gogh)
The Agony and the Ecstasy (Michelangelo)

P.S. Do you still have those ‘darling’ GF get-together s ?

27. Ames Gilbert - July 22, 2015

#26
I rest my case.

28. Fee fi fo fum - July 23, 2015

26 nigel

I’m with Ames on this one, especially on his pointing out that you name innocent people on a public blog.

29. Robert Stolzle - July 23, 2015

Dammit, I was hoping to get some insight into the workings of the manic-depressive mind…. …..and maybe I did. But, you’re right, it had turned into the very-self-centered NHP blog.

Whoever tried calling regarding my collection of Fourth Way and other esoterica, I’m sorry, but they can be had at the “Friends of the Library” used book room at the Wichita, KS Public Library——probably for about $2.00 each; including two like new boxed sets of Beelzebub. I never did get through that slog. Was anyone posting here determined enough to plow through it and did you get anything from it? I’ve said before that I am personally convinced that Gurdjieff was determined to see how far he could push people and having them try to make sense of gibberish is one way to do that……or maybe I just wasn’t dedicated enough.

Cathie, the Sufi’s are a mystical branch of Islam, right? I’ve read and appreciated some of Idries Shah’s books, but I have no idea how the ideas he presents fit into that religion’s beliefs. I know there are many interpretations of Mohammad’s writings, but few seem to deal with transcendental magic and I’m a bit doubtful about Mr. Shah’s credentials, too.

Bob Stolzle

30. fofblogmoderator - July 23, 2015

I have communicated with Nigel in private

31. Parson Yorick - July 23, 2015

#29 Bob, Yeah, I got through Beelzebub more times than I should admit. I even read it aloud once, and that was in the 1970s, before I joined the FOF. Am I any wiser for having done so? Not in any way I can notice, except that I don’t think I’m ever gonna do that again. I’ve slogged through many texts that most people find unreadable. Not that Proust is unreadable (he’s just wordy & long-winded) but I read his entire opus titled “In Search of Lost Time” and then went back and re-read my favorite volumes, the first, second and last novels of the cycle. I guess i just like to read & don’t watch much TV. Back to Gurdjieff: after all that, I no longer accept the claim that his impossible style was to discourage the unworthy from learning his secrets.

32. Cathie L. - July 23, 2015

#29 Bob

While still in “the school” I got through Beelzebub once. I probably skimmed parts of it. I got the gist (my typical approach) then moved on to something more palatable (Plato?) Years later, while getting rid of books, I tried re-reading it and tossed it aside after a few chapters. What struck me then was what a misogynist he seemed to be. That whole “food for the moon” line of thought is laid out in that book. Maybe there’s a grain of truth in there somewhere, maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors.

As for Sufism, I love the poetry of Rumi but never really got into the philosophy or practices. Years ago I heard Coleman Barks read his translations of Rumi, accompanied by some excellent musicians playing Middle Eastern music, and a whirling dervish dancer who was mesmerizing, incredibly beautiful. It was one of the high points of my life…yes, I suppose that evening of poetry, music and dance could be called “transcendental magic.”

33. shardofoblivion - July 23, 2015

I remember the allure of the “Beelzebub’s Tales” from before I met the FoF. There was a concordance that would allow a scholarly cross reading that I treasured, it’s rarity signalling to my young mind its worth as a secret key to unlock those baffling rambling sentences. It is in the spirit of Gurdjieff’s teasing style of teaching, pretending that he has access to special knowledge that he can bestow if we prove ourselves worthy as his students.

It has a Sufi vibe, Beelzebub is a Muhammad figure, and his grandson Hussein is involved in the great rift twixt the Shia and Sunni, which plagues the world to this day.

Wikipedia:
Successors of Muhammad
Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad’s wife Aisha, was Muhammad’s rightful successor and that the method of choosing or electing leaders (Shura) endorsed by the Quran is the consensus of the Ummah (the Muslim community).
Shias believe that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali Ibn Abi Talib (the father of his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali) in accordance with the command of God to be the next caliph, making Ali and his direct descendants Muhammad’s successors. Shias believe that Muhammad quoted this, in Hadith of the pond of Khumm. Ali was married to Fatimah, Muhammad’s daughter by his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.
Aisha endorsed her father Abu Bakr as the successor to Muhammad. In the Battle of the Camel (656), Aisha opposed her step son-in-law Ali outside the city of Basra, because she wanted justice on the assassins of the previous caliph, Uthman. Aisha’s forces were defeated and Muhammad’s widow was respectfully escorted back to Medina.
Sunnis follow the Rashidun “rightly guided Caliphs”, who were the first four caliphs who ruled after the death of Muhammad: Abu Bakr (632–634), Umar ibn al-Khattab (634–644), Uthman ibn Affan (644-656), and the aforementioned Ali Ibn Abi Talib (656–661).
Shia theology discounts the legitimacy of the first three caliphs and believes that Ali is the second-most divinely inspired man (after Muhammad) and that he and his descendants by Fatimah, the Imams, are the sole legitimate Islamic leaders.

34. Ames Gilbert - July 23, 2015

Fofblogmoderator (#30 or thereabouts),
Thank you.
I understand that NHP cannot always help himself. Trying to put myself in his shoes, I can imagine sometimes feeling powerless, particularly when some circumstances are beyond one’s control. But, trying to re-establish a feeling of control by what is in essence cyber–stalking someone who is an unwitting, unknowing, and therefore completely powerless object of his fantasy is beyond the pale, whatever the individual circumstances. It might feel good to find someone who has even less power and abuse them, especially in front of an audience, but IMO this is not legitimate.

I don’t know your detailed philosophy about the blog, and certainly going back and altering posts is a terrible idea in general, but I’m wondering if ‘just this once’ you might consider deleting or altering the names that NHP put out there in public? If you did so, and acknowledged on the blog that you had edited the names to protect the innocent?
Because this is such a remote corner of the internet, it might be enough; the search engine indices and catalogs might not yet have got around to associating the names in question with the contents of this blog.

Anyway, thanks for your work moderating the blog. I appreciate your many efforts through the years.

35. Linda Jo - July 23, 2015

@Nigel

My dear stepsons were both diagnosed with bipolar disorders 8 or 9 years ago. After 5 full-blown psychotic episodes, Dusty is finally stable and functional, as opposed to completely out of his mind, unstable, disordered, delusional and dysfunctional. Although his older brother is back in the hospital, for the fourth time, Brian’s psychiatrist does care and can see what’s essential there, i.e., paying close attention to Brian, talking and listening to him on a daily basis, adjusting and correcting his “cocktail” of medications. Thus, Brian is doing and feeling much better today than last week, month and year.

Not only have Sam and I been through hell with Dustin and Brian, we’ve also been totally terrified, stressed out and helpless, between a rock and a hard place, with “mental health experts” and “patient rights advocates”, “doctors” and “case managers”, “rules and regulations”. . .putting our psychotic kids at risk, out of the hospital (within three days) and on the streets. (OMG – what a nightmare – over and over, again!)

Feel free to contact us, Nigel.

Best wishes,
Linda (and Sam)
libertybelle@toknow.us

36. Tim Campion - July 24, 2015

Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards. This is one of the most comprehensive reviews of Renaissance Vineyard and Winery that I’ve seen, and it gives high praise to the efforts of former Fellowship member and winemaker Gideon Beinstock. Unfortunately, the author misspells Gideon’s name (“Bienstock”) throughout.

37. ton2u - July 24, 2015

re: the terroir of the situation…. thanks for the article Tim.

38. Robert Stolzle - July 25, 2015

Tim, et al –

Ya’ gotta love the descriptions–pine duff, leather, broken rocks, graphite, river mud, etc.–Oy!

So why did RB decree that all but a small portion of the vineyards be torn up; to make room for the future beach? Has anyone here partaken of these wines? Anywhere near as good as the glowing assessment?

A more pertinent question—-aside from a few who like burton style sex, how do so many people stay on for so long? e.g. the woman now making the olive oil. Are they paid for their work or is their position sufficiently exalted as to gratify their egos and trudge along? I suppose it is also possible they really do believe everyone is going to be “food for the moon” or that RB is really in collusion with “C” influence.

Thoughts?

Bob Stolzle

39. Bryan Reynolds - July 25, 2015

people stay in because they hope the things they have been promised will come true. They stay because they fear the punishment they have been told they will receive. They have invested a big part of their lives and they want the reward. Having cut ties with family and freinds they are afraid of being alone.

40. shardofoblivion - July 25, 2015

#38 Bob Stolzle muses: “I suppose it is also possible they really do believe everyone is going to be “food for the moon” or that RB is really in collusion with “C” influence.”
Yes they probably do. I reckon they believe more in C influence than the moon food ideas. But remember it is not so much they believe Burton is in collusion with C influence, but rather that they themselves have verified “by observing co-incidences that defy the odds” that C Influence are a reality, and are writing the play THEY are living. Once they have convinced themselves of that “fact”, there is little that can rock their faith.
If they at any point have some “opposite I’s” about the divinity of Burton, then the social bonds, and the fact they have rendered themselves friendless, estranged from their families and with out of date job skills pushes them back towards the comforting mind set of the “true believer”.
There are probably a few hypocrits as well.

41. paul gregory - July 25, 2015

36. Tim Campion – July 24, 2015

“One of the basic characteristics of the Fellowship,” said Bienstock, “is that it is not a business. It is not an organization that has materialistic ambitions of any kind. They try something, and then two minutes later they say, ‘no we’re not trying that.’ When you try to run a business in that context, it’s quite challenging.”

I’ve read three reviews of fof wines on this blog. One was selling them, and at the bottom of the article was a list of restaurants selling them. Why not write to these restaurants and tell them, this wine is ‘filth?’ I’m not going to, because I don’t live in America.

I looked for examples of Gideon’s work, but strangely, all I found was homo-erotic imagery, originating from the elissa rolle website, like this one:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Gideon+Bienstock+art&client=firefox-a&hs=Iby&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIzszvoIf2xgIVKkrbCh07xAX-&biw=912&bih=509#imgrc=611Oonb3otBw2M%3A

Meira Bienstock has produced a fascinating novel about a magician called Gideon Masters, however. I wonder if the two are somehow related?

42. paul gregory - July 25, 2015

this was the image I was referring to. It seemed strangely apt to the blog.

43. Robert Stolzle - July 27, 2015

#39 Bryan & #40 Shard-

Thanks for the insight. Fear, as was mentioned earlier regarding Krishnamurti’s writing, does drive a great deal of people’s behavior. It seems to me to be very primal: Chickens, kept inside for a couple of days after hatching will not leave the nasty confines of their giant house even when later given the opportunity to roam outside. Some ways we don’t seem to be much different. Jesus’ calling people sheep was not meant as a compliment.

While the “C” influence idea was always a Fourth Way notion to be “verified”, I gather that RB made it much more of a focus after I left in 1977. That style of “verification” is, I believe, what creates zealots in any organization, especially religious ones. Isn’t “God” always on “our” side? I might further imagine that this belief can be grown into something like a schizophrenic’s invisible “friends” (or tormentors) who dispense advise with as much authority as any real person. Lucky for us that there are drugs for most of the “prophets” these days

Re. #42 That is undeniably GREAT ART! Does RB have the original?

Bob Stolzle

44. aarrgh me buckos - July 27, 2015

Oh my name it means nothing
My age it means less
The country I come from
They call the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And the land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young then
With God on its side.

The Spanish-American
War had its day
The Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I’s made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I’ve learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side.

In many a dark hour
I’ve been thinking about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m as weary as hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war.

Words & Music by Bob Dylan

Note: Written about 50 years ago, the next war was not stopped, nor the next, and so on.

45. Robert Stolzle - July 27, 2015

Re: #44

I’s a big fan of Mr. Dylan, but wasn’t familiar with this little ditty. Which album is it on? Great poem, it does beg the question of why we “blame” God or feel it necessary to assert supernatural support for our side. Then again, we didn’t get “control” of the planet by being shrinking violets, either. We be’s “killer monkeys”…….good name for a group, no?

Bob Stolzle

46. Cathie L. - July 27, 2015

#44

It’s on The Times They Are A-Changin’ released in 1964.

47. Bryan Reynolds - July 27, 2015

#2 Linda Jo

On Belief: I was part of the Lake Tahoe Center in the mid seventies. One of the student teachers who has

since passed away at the time she had a gambling problem.The belief she had was that her luck would turn at

some point.If she could waether the bad streaks the good luck would come. What was interesting is that she

was a black jack dealer who saw peoples luck change all the time.By believing her luck would change she

could justiy spending the rent money or borrowing money to gamble. This example clearly showed me the

relationship between belief and justification.

# 29 Robert Stolzie

On the Beelzebub Tales: I read the series obsessivley for several years.I will say there are ideas presented

that I did not find anywhere else. A few of the topics include. Religion, War, Plantary influence, Sex,

Evolution, Vegetarianism, The passion of Jesus Christ, Drugs. I set them aside to read Idres Shah and Sufi

classics.I think a lot of people who were in the FOF would appreciate the material presented by Idres Shah.

For exammple in his book “Learning How To Learn” there is a whole section on attention. I wrote a letter to

the Society for Sufi Studies inquiring about local groups and they replied I should continue to read the

books.

48. paul gregory - July 28, 2015

Thanks Bob. I don’t know what Robert has but I hope it’s not infectious. I think it has been. I feel as though I am living in a world in which everyone is drinking wasp-honey, or a ‘shit-sandwich’ as Steve Hughes eloquently puts it.
Am planning on becoming a newspaper baron in maybe six months. I’m a bit slow. Nice to read Dylan, 44.
I associated to a song I don’t think I’ve ever posted here, and found my first name against a text belonging to it, but in relationship to this thing that’s been on my mind off and on for years, so that there is actually a precedent for it in the world. I suppose a bit like when you wanted to share an ‘angle’ and someone else did before you did (I did), because I was so slow or cautious or whatever. Cool, I think. But I can’t post it right now (the new version) due to my browser being f*cked. These things both are and are not important, and that is what makes it so wonderful. Never mind, it seems absurd. Even as I’ve written this, I now realize I can’t in anyway reveal the connection, because that would obstruct the creation of my first genuinely visual work publicly seen since 2001, or 2004 at a pinch.
It’s all I personally need to end a fun-packed day.
Best wishes to all, px

49. shardofoblivion - July 28, 2015

Idres Shah is given short shrift in this article by James Moore. Reading it I was struck by how important being able to trace back ones teachers is to people in the spiritual traditions, which seems to betray some lack of confidence that the ideas / teachings speak for themselves.

http://www.hermes-press.com/S_shah.htm

50. nigel harris price - July 28, 2015

From a modern-day Buddhist practitioner…..

“In all non-Buddhist cultures, even the most highly gifted teachers imagined gods and other unprovable causes for the world and its events. Among them, only Buddha, and his great contemporary Heraclitus in Greece, came to the unique, logical and conclusive view that space is in itself pregnant and brings forth all outer and inner worlds: that iit is joyfully at play and that allpossibilities reside within it.”

51. Ames Gilbert - July 28, 2015

If anyone who has had no connection to the FoF, but is interested in that organization reads this, I’m writing just for you. And of course, the following is just my opinion.

If you want to join a group of people who mostly (but not all) started off as sincere, nice, well–meaning folks, but whose entire ‘spiritual’ center of gravity is based on faith, know that in advance—and accept the consequences. Look through earlier pages of this blog for posts by folks like ‘Daily Cardiac’, or in later pages by ‘I in the sky’ for excellent representations of the typical follower’s point of view. Know that many of us (I dare say, probably most) who have ‘been through the mill’ have concluded that the leader, Robert Burton, is a sexual predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and that having sex with large numbers of the heterosexual young men who depend on him for spiritual guidance is his chief occupation—and has been for more than forty years. Know that if you are a young, even moderately good-looking young heterosexual male who enters his orbit, you will most probably end up having sex with him. Know that your fellow followers will approve of this, encourage this, and the less than good-looking ones will envy you (though these are few, Burton’s tastes are very catholic). In other words, in their world–view, this is completely normal and expected. Know that he has no control in this matter, and has never demonstrated will or restraint; he is a complete slave to his lust. Know that his followers excuse and even justify this ‘supersex’ (as he terms it) because he is a ‘conscious being’.

Know also that Burton is a life–long misogynist. He has no use for women, unless they have money or influence. Moreover, he states that they cannot ‘awaken’ as women in this lifetime. This means that if you are a woman, you will (according to Burton) definitely have to wait for a ‘role in a future lifetime as a man’ (with the sole exception of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, for some reason) to be able to ‘awaken’, whatever that is.

If you happen to be here because you are interested in the Fourth Way, know that, apart from words freely borrowed from books about the Fourth Way, this cult has no connection with the Fourth Way whatsoever.
The Fourth Way terms are bait, pure and simple. There has been no transmission of knowledge or energy from Alex Horn to Robert Burton. Nor was there a transmission from J.G. Bennett to Horn (whose entire experience of the Fourth Way in the direct line was as a three–week drop–in at the end of one of J.G. Bennett’s courses in England). Horn had no contact with Rodney Collin, whatever Burton claims or insinuates. The rest came from books or odd meetings with others interested in the Fourth Way. Whatever the level of Horn, Burton failed miserably to fulfill the task given to him, to cease his sexual pursuit of male fellow ‘students’. And, Burton himself is openly proud of the fact that he has never read any work of Gurdjieff. His quotes of Gurdjieff’s words come from his brief encounters with Ouspensky’s books and what he has picked up from his more organized or intellectual followers. He has yet to explain the vast gap between his being a self-proclaimed Man number 7.9, or whatever, and the next and only ‘conscious product’ of his organization, the infamous Girard Haven, official hagiographer, Man number 5 point something. Remember the Fourth Way idea that one has to help put someone in one’s place before one can ‘move on’?

As a particular example, the meaning of the word ‘verification’ has been turned on its head. As you inevitably reorient yourself to the Fellowship groupthink (your new friends are so nice, so helpful, so knowledgeable, and you are so eager to learn, to please, to fit in…), you will be persuaded that ‘testing’ hypotheses according to reason and the scientific method is faulty thinking, emanating from your ‘lower self’, the Devil. Instead the major part of your ‘work’ is to first accept given/revealed articles of faith as true and then strive to find evidence for them. Failing that, you are to ‘observe and record’ and put any doubting thoughts ‘on the back burner’, or, as you become more advanced, dispense with them altogether because they are generated by your ‘lower self’. When the back burner is full, you will be kept so busy you won’t notice the older thoughts ‘to be worked with later’ permanently falling into oblivion. Know that the many general ‘exercises’ given out by Burton are a miraculous one–size fits all. Any individual attention that each follower may need is farmed out to one or other of the 45 angels, the discorporate remains of (mostly) white, male Europeans who have left a historical record. More than strange, huh? Almost all the personal exercises given by Dear Teacher are of the “C-Influence wishes you to externally consider me, give up your body for my pleasure” type. Though, for variety, there are the never–ending requests for more money, gifts, favors of all kinds, or “Marry this person or that”.

Know that Burton is probably the most superstitious person you will ever hear of or meet. This ‘conscious being’, having lost his own internal way, relies on external signs of every type, from chance license plate numbers to a grotesque numerology and symbology, whose significance is supported and ‘researched’ by the members themselves, and as stated above, always seeking ‘proof’ to support the pre–conceptions. One example among literally thousands: Burton interprets the number of rhino poops in prehistoric cave drawings as messages the artists intentionally left for him across hundreds of centuries! Based on this rare sensitivity, Burton continually makes prophecies, whose record of complete failure (including highlights such as the drowning of California in 1998, nuclear Armageddon in 2006, the end of history in 2012, the production of seven ‘conscious beings’, and so on) he petulantly explains in terms such as, “C–Influence has humiliated me”. At the same time, mirabile dictu, Burton claims that every jot and title of existence is preordained, a ‘play written by the angels’. In his universe, he supplies the ‘crazy’ while his followers infer the ‘wisdom’, so all in the narcissistic dance are happy.

Oh, and you’ll be glad he has made improvements to the Fourth Way apart from inventing 45 angels whose sole welfare is those who write checks to Burton, and who will organize and attend the complete destruction of the rest of humanity. For example, unlike Gurdjieff, Ouspensky or Bennett in whose teachings conscience is as important as, and inseparable from, consciousness, Burton has little use for the former. In fact he claims:

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

One less thing to worry about, huh? And as strong an indicator as any that he doesn’t have conscience—and hence, consciousness—himself. You will also be interested to know that he and his followers discarded the Fourth Way for a few years, until declining membership made it necessary to bring out that particular bait again.

If you indeed value the Fourth Way, then before you consider joining the Fellowship of Friends, you owe it to yourself to find out everything you can about them. There is much more in these pages and elsewhere. I know, it is quite an effort to go through them. But the time you invest doing this is miniscule compared to the time you will waste and the harm that may befall you if you join the cult. I’m not claiming you will learn nothing if you join, just that you can achieve better results in far less time elsewhere, without paying the ludicrous price the greedy and literally insatiable Burton demands.

So much for the Fourth Way. How about if you are interested in the Second Way?
If you take a masochistic satisfaction in being told what to do in all areas of your life, have blind trust in authoritarian structures, have faith in revealed truths, and desperately need to cultivate obedience, you’ll certainly be interested in some form of the Second Way. But why not just join the Carthusians or some other group with a good record? For a start, they are much quicker and more efficient. You have the possibility of reaching salvation during or at the end of this lifetime. Not so in Burton’s religion. He claims you will need many lifetimes of unremitting toil and devotion to counter your built–in weaknesses and achieve ‘immortality’. Meanwhile, Mr. “Do as I say, not as I do” trusts NOT to the future, but lives the life of a spoiled potentate right now. He will use your money to live luxuriously. If you are a young male, he will likely use your body for his sexual pleasure. He will travel widely at your expense. He will dress in the finest and most expensive clothing, silken underwear, drink wine worth hundreds of dollars at every meal, drive the best cars, travel first class everywhere, and give rich gifts to his lovers—while he favors them—all from your earnings. His followers exist to hang on every word, gratify every whim, and worship him as, in his own words, “the brightest light in 2,000 years”, the self–claimed equivalent and successor to Christ. Not so incidentally, he is ‘beyond Judeo–Christian morality’ (though he has yet to formulate a successor, though we do know there will be no minimum age of consent).

Why would you want to dive into the fantasy world of this twisted, lying madman, who seems to exist solely for the titillation of the nerve endings in his penis and anus—and for shopping? Rather, go join an order of nuns or monks. If you are interested in experiencing the state popularly known as consciousness, study Zen or become a Buddhist.

Otherwise, please stick around back here with the rest of us and try to do the best you can for yourself and your fellow humans with love and integrity, living and enjoying life in all its juicy mess, ups and downs, accepting the need for risks, facing the unknown and unknowable with all the courage you can muster.

52. leaf - July 28, 2015

Thanks, Ames Gilbert.

—-
If you believe that you cannot evolve without conscience, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you think it’s “all just ‘I’s,” you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re working on yourself, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re becoming more awake, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re working against buffers, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re seeking awareness and self knowledge, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you realize the facts actually don’t “lie,” you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re seeking the truth about yourself and the organization you have joined, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re working against inner considering, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re trying not to be afraid, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re trying not to “be in imagination,” you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re trying not to be vain or egotistical, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you open your eyes and recognize that something is wrong, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re seeking self knowledge, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you believe that awakening includes an awakening of compassion for others, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you question the health and wisdom and sanity of the cult leader, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you see that people are being hurt, and if that concerns you, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re trying to think more clearly and more intelligently, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re trying to feel with the “kings of hearts,” you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you have critical thinking, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you’re trying to be intentional, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you see the “negativity” in viewing yourself as superior to more than 7 billion other humans, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you see that you’re wasting time, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you believe in gods or angels or spiritual beings, and if you believe they might actually be guiding just about everyone (not just you, and not just this small group of people), you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
If you question the sanity in thinking that the gods are only guiding you and the other followers in this group, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave
If the world seems less like a vast wasteland, and more like a land of mystery and adventure and beautiful uncertainty, you’ll eventually decide it’s time to leave.
Eventually, the decision will be now, in the moment, in the present. You’ll be safe. You’ll do OK. You’ll find what you need, and who you need.

53. ton2u - July 28, 2015

“If you want to join a group…” and “if you decide it’s time to leave” –

https://freedomofmind.com/Info/SpiritualResponsibility/

54. WhaleRider - July 28, 2015

55. Robert Stolzle - July 28, 2015

#51 Ames and #52 leaf-

Great summaries of the entire misadventure and trap called the FoF.

The blog master here should post both pieces at the start of each new page so that any possible new victims can’t help but read them. I know we are largely “preaching to the choir” here, but can they be posted anywhere else?

Bob Stolzle

56. nigel harris price - July 28, 2015

51 AG

Meher Baba – “A jolly, devil-may-care fellow may have more in him than a hardened ascetic” ……………….

“Too Much Love Will Kill You” by Brian May (Queen)

I’m just the pieces of the man I used to be
Too many bitter tears are raining down on me
I’m far away from home
And I’ve been facing this alone for much too long
I feel like no-one ever told the truth to me
About growing up and what a struggle it would be
In my tangled state of mind
I’ve been looking back to find where I went wrong

Too Much Love Will Kill You
If you can’t make up your mind
Torn between the lover and the love you leave behind
You’re headed for disaster ‘cos you never read the signs
Too Much Love Will Kill You – every time.

I’m just the shadow of the man I used to be
And it seems there’s no way out of this for me
I used to bring you sunshine
Now all I ever do is bring you down
How would it be if you were standing in my shoes
Can’t you see that it’s impossible to choose
No there’s no making sense of it
Every way I go I have to lose

Too Much Love Will Kill You
just as sure as none at all,
It’ll drain the power that’s in you
Make you plead and scream and crawl
And the pain will make you crazy
You’re the victim of your crime
Too Much Love Will Kill You – every time

Too Much Love Will Kill You
It’ll make your life a lie
Yes, Too Much Love Will Kill You
And you won’t understand why
You’d give your life, you’d sell your soul
But here it comes again
Too Much Love Will Kill You
In the end……
In the end

(and, by the way, LF of MHA (“Power of a Woman”) and I are on congenial speaking terms about the way she, AW – an ex-police officer, doing ASBO interviews for MHA, and I have worked ‘the triple’ on ‘damping down’ the noise nuisance’ and un-neighbourly disrespect of my fellow tenants, for the sake of LAW AND ORDER…..there are Laws, as we read, that come down from the Absolute and reach the reasoning of common courtesy…Nigel)

P.S. On a note that discusses the running of the blog – Steve, the moderator – has asked that a minimum of video and other ‘big-byte’ articles/items be posted, lest we ‘slow down’ the site…..

“Courtesy and Passion” – W. B. Yeats

57. nigel harris price - July 28, 2015

…..just wanted to recommend, for those of you who want to understand, the Celtic Heart (“Everything Stems from Goodness”) and how it translates in the Celtic Heritage (Google it !!!!!) …..

“Wild Theme from Local Hero Film – Mark Knopfler”

58. leaf - July 29, 2015

55. “I know we are largely “preaching to the choir” here…”

That’s the conventional wisdom here, but I believe there’s more curiosity than is generally supposed. (Considering people break rules all the time in the Fellowship, I’m sure there’s enough interest to check in occasionally.)

However, my guess is that people tune out when the discussion gets weird, or extremely far off-topic, or they use it as some sort of confirmation that ex-students are crazy, or whatever. Hopefully a few checked in to see Ames’ commentary, which was a direct hit. If even one person paused to think, I think Ames would agree that it’s worth every sentence.

Robert, thanks for your measured commentary and your wise takes, and for your “angles” of thought.

59. leaf - July 29, 2015

53. ton2u

From the website:

“7. Phobia indoctrination : programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader’s authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.

a. No happiness or fulfillment “outside” of the group

b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: “hell”; “demon possession”; “incurable diseases”; “accidents”; “suicide”; “insanity”; “10,000 reincarnations”; etc.

c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.

d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group’s perspective, people who leave are: “weak”; “undisciplined”; “unspiritual”; “worldly”; “brainwashed by family, counselors”; seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.”

60. Ames Gilbert - July 29, 2015

I received a letter from Nigel Harris Price today, sent by old–fashioned mail. Yay!

It reads:
Dear Mr Gilbert,
How about this for “plain old letter stalking” via your 1984-style White Pages!? If you wish to be rude and denigrating about problems (that believe me) others who post on the blog face, then stop being a control freak for the blogmoderator just because you do not like me for the following reasons—
(1) You are a pompous public school boy toad
(2) You managed to find “the right woman” in the FOF and luck/fate has kept you together (in and around Isis). You dare not move from your material world, your material friends, your family ties and the only job that will pay enough for your petty demands of life.
(3) Perhaps you were so jealous that I produced major silverwork, despite the problematic financial demands of being a craftsman forced to become an illegal alien.

With this in mind I believe you owe me an apology.
(signed) NH Price BA Hons Cert Ed MIFL

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NHP, I am entirely neutral about you as a person. I can only recall talking to you a couple of times; when you asked to borrow my silversmithing tools, and when you returned them. I had no idea at the time what you wanted to use them for, nor do I care now; I was in a position to help, and did so gladly.

You have not addressed the main complaint that I raised, so I will spell it out so that it will be only your extraordinary wilfullness that prevents you from misunderstanding.
When you use names of people and provide details about them without their permission on a public forum, you place them in danger, and this is especially true of females. That is, you have provided enough information that others can find them in the same way you just found me. And, there are lesser inconveniences for these innocents. Just one example: the majority of employers now use Google, Facebook and other troves of information to perform searches on their employees and potential employees. Anyone doing a search on the unfortunate women you have named will now find links to your admissions of admiration and lust, for the rest of their lives, or as long as the internet and search engines last. Do you not understand, you stupid man? Do you feel no shame? Do you think they will be grateful for your attention? Or is this your clumsy way of courting them? Or, are you imagining that when they find out, they will rush into your arms?

The secondary complaint is also still valid. This blog is the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog. I can think of no reason why it should be a repository for whatever has haphazardly struck your fancy as you cruise the internet today. Kindly start your own blog for that.

The third complaint is also still valid. I do not want to know about whatever or whoever gives you an erection. I do not want to know about your correspondence with officials you have known. I do not want to know the trials and tribulations of your life unless they contribute to and further the Discussion about the Fellowship of Friends. I do not want to know about your medicines, or what your therapist recommends, or how you are doing today, or what you did when you last ran amok. And frankly, unless other readers chime in and demand these details about your life, I think you would be safe in assuming that they are also as deeply uninterested.

So, no, Nigel Harris Price, I do not apologize. Rather, it is for you to apologize to the innocent women (and men) you have exposed to harm. It is for you to apologize to those who are trying to find out information about the Fellowship of Friends, but are turned off this website by your wholesale dumps of irrelevancies.
But, I won’t hold my breath.

61. Robert Stolzle - July 30, 2015

I agree with Ames. There are circumstances when a quote or a verse or a poem suits the subject (see #44, above), but mostly my interests are in reading of ex FoFers thoughts and experiences pre, during and post cult, not the full recitation or performance from the latest, greatest pop icon. Now, if someone wants to comment on “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe, all mimsy were the borogroves and the momraths outgrabe.” i.e. the strange Mr. Carroll and his possible ties to the FoF; I’d be glad to know your thoughts…….. I think he was a closet pedophile.

Time flies,
Bob Stolzle

62. nigel harris price - July 30, 2015

60,61

We recollect what was done, learn and move on…that is all that can be done.

63. nigel harris price - July 30, 2015

Dear blog moderator…..I do not want to incur, nor have and argument recur, here on the blog.

64. nigel harris price - July 30, 2015

60 Ames Gilbert

I, personally have no more to say, but post this from “The Guardian) newspaper, so that equal be equal …..

Does copyright apply to letters? If I send a letter to a friend, can he or she publish it without my permission?

COPYRIGHT definitely does apply to personal correspondence and private records such as diaries and family photographs. The copyright legislation of countries such as England, Australia and the United States (to name just three) specifically protects ‘literary and artistic’ works, as well as musical and performed works (although the law is more complicated with respect to these.) Judicial cases have consistently held that works need not be of great aesthetic or intellectual value to warrant copyright protection: they merely need to be original to the author, artist or creator. For this reason, it definitely would be a breach of copyright for a friend to publish the letters that you had sent him or her, and you could seek an injunction to prevent such publication, or damages if the publication had already taken place. The friend would have a defense, however, if he or she could prove that you had given ‘licence’ (permission). Such permission may be explicit or implied. There have been many notable cases of the kind mentioned in the question. For example, Prince Albert successfully sought an injunction to prevent a printer from reproducing and selling private engravings of himself and Queen Victoria.

Paul Martin, Sydney, Australia

65. GoldenVeil - July 30, 2015

Nice of Ames to attempt the knight in shining armor role regarding the Fellowship of Friends blog. But it’s clear that for N.H.P. this blog is his own personal horn to toot as he wishes and that those who were hoping to read about the Fellowship of Friends issues may be damned for expecting relevancy. N.H.P may end up being apologetic himself, but in no time at all will no doubt be back to lengthily expound more upon his personal, intimate life details, music vids, poems, etc. Have you not heard about FaceBook, Nigel? Why not write there about your crushes, medication, etc., or as Ames suggests, on your own personal blog? R.E.B no doubt LOVES what you’ve been doing here; he would much prefer that lunatic musings and/or ravings dominate this blog. Then, current member fence sitters that are considering leaving the cult, recent former cult members looking to seeking to cult-decompress, etc. with ex-fofers, and the introductory talk attendees who’ve decided to research the cult a bit online ~ can all take a look at the drivel that is spewed out here and decide it is completely irrelevant to their Fellowship of Friends interests or hope of assistance with recovery. Thank you very much, N.P.H.

66. shardofoblivion - July 30, 2015

I agree with GoldenVeil, it would be great if Nigel were to use facebook to air his views. Do you have a facebook page those who wish to, could subscribe to Nigel?

The blog is nothing other than what we all do with it, so I appreciate the “meta” discussion of what it is best used for. I take note that I have been remiss in sharing off topic videos in the past, and I can leave that out in future. I agree with Robert Stolzle ” my interests are in reading of ex FoFers thoughts and experiences pre, during and post cult”, the gold dust here, is hearing about particular experiences and their consequences for individuals, that resulted from our time in the FoF.

67. nigel harris price - July 30, 2015

Sufism, anyone ?

68. nigel harris price - July 30, 2015

65 Golden Veil

And please list, if you think I ever posted it, my medication. We all go off key, don’t you think ?

69. nigel harris price - July 30, 2015

I have decided, AND LET IT BE KNOWN THE DECISION IS WITH ME (it took 1/2 hour after the last post – 68 – to realize how futile it would otherwise be) TO REMOVE MY PRESENCE FROM THE FOG-BLOG, for that is all it is – a place for people to salve their FOF wounds, then scratch them again and around and around and around you go. No aim – just Ames as ‘shown’ moderator, with his intellectual property infringement (civil crime!) against my impropriety – no I am not going around Mamhilad flashing at voluptuous women. The purpose for me has always been MENTAL HEALTH, NOT ILL-HEALTH, NEEDING PSYCHS AND NURSES ALL THE TIME…..

I think MAGNANIMOUS is such a beautiful word, especially being Latin in derivation,,,,,an encompassing mind, able to take the negatives as well as the positives, to transform and grow through experiences (OH! BUT THE FOF WAS SO NAUGHTY TO ME!).

On Sunday, I had the most beautiful experience …..

A Japanese Grand Origami Master came to the Community Centre in Abergavenny and gave a demonstration, then taught, the art which he had learned over 10 years. He gave his time for free, and all in the audience made a paper crane bird (good luck, prosperity and fertility) to go towards 1000 cranes (a Japanese fairy tale) to celebrate 70 years since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August the 6th and 9th). Talk about a RECONCILIATION WITH THEMSELVES !!!!! And you guys want to bitch and moan – have it.

Diolch yn fawr

Many thanks for Steve and his time ….. Nigel

70. leaf - July 30, 2015

66. shardofoblivion

FWIW, I like some of the videos, and some of the exchanges that go off-topic. It’s just a matter of balance. I think this site is pretty tame compared to some of the trolling and negativity you see on many blogs and discussion groups.

But unfortunately it just takes one or two participants to steer things really far off-course. And I have no doubt that interest plummets when these pages go off the rails. I agree with GoldenVell that Burton loves it. The more weird and incoherent ramblings on this page, the better for him. He wants less attention paid to his own little world of insanity. He prefers that people nod with agreement that the blog is filled with “negative ex-students.”

Don’t know what Ames is referring to with regard to Nigel above as I don’t read everything that closely, but it seems pretty simple — treat people with respect, don’t take up too much space, try to say something that makes sense, etc.

I was watching a Louis C.K. stand-up routine recently. He noted how people will say the most astounding things when driving — like opening the window in their car and shouting at someone at an intersection — “You suck! I hope you die you idiot!” Imagine, he said, if you were to take the same attitude in an elevator when someone bumps you, and then you get right in their face, “You suck! I hope you die you idiot!”

The internet is sort of the same thing. There don’t appear to real consequences, so people say things they wouldn’t otherwise say. Not good, and unfortunately the judgments coming from devote FOF followers may not be too far off-track when that happens. “Sheez, I’m glad I’m still in the school, where everyone is completely sane.”

71. shardofoblivion - July 31, 2015

before we get too serious, here’s the list of medication:

72. Linda Jo - July 31, 2015

@fofblogmoderator

Please delete all my previous posts on this page except for (#2) my response to Bryan Reynolds’ post P144 – #207.

. . . . . . .

@Ames, et al.

Re: Robert Earl Burton and his “Fourth Way” cult leader

Sam and I are still slowly but surely designing and redesigning pages on our Survivor’s Handbook. At this point, the Q&A page (Part 1) includes some high-flying scenes and “God” delusions, cosmik debris and diatribe, “clever” insincerity and “cocky” insipidity, antics and theatrics from Horn’s first dismal play and failure to convince “the world” that he was “a REAL Man” and “Superman” – “great teacher” and “spiritual leader, philosopher, playwright and director, mystic and prophet” – “conscious man” and “conscious lover” – “conscious tyrant” and “benevolent dictator” – with “a conscious belly!”.

Although Bobby Burton may have been in the audience, watching a few plays (between 1973 and ’78), he was never a member of Horn’s little cult/”school”, Everyman Theatre or Theatre of All Possibilities in San Francisco.

Furthermore, “Mr. Horn” never “conducted a group based on the [so-called] Gurdjieff-Ouspensky ideas that used theater as a form of work on oneself”.

And, needless to say, “Mr. Horn” was never a student, much less a teacher of “the Work” and Fourth Way, except in his own imagination and delusion situation, charade and masquerade.

. . . . .

Between 1967 and ’69, Bobby Burton was apparently among the most gullible and easily conned, duped and deceived, brainwashed and indoctrinated “students”, entangled in Horn’s elaborate web and “esoteric” scam, bait and switch, carrot and stick, free labor/slave labor operation, fascist regime and rip-off scheme, pain, shame and rape factory, vicious circle and cycle of abuse, “work shocks” and “super efforts” on Red Mountain (aka “the Gurdjieff group” and “living hell”, “esoteric boot camp” and “school of hard knocks”): violence and cruelty, crime and punishment, supposedly “for your own good” and “higher consciousness”, “aims and objectives” – “working on yourself” and “growing a soul” – “awakening” and “evolving” – “observing and remembering yourself”.

Apparently, Bobby B. was kicked out of “The Group” for being an incorrigible homosexual hustler, pervert and predator, status seeker and attention monger – harassing, hustling and rustling Horn’s prized possessions and livestock, “stupid sheep” and “soft-hearted Jewish boys”, “new recruits” and “older men students”, “young bulls” and “big bucks”, cash cows and care takers, slaving away for their psychopathic cult leader and so-called “teacher of ‘the Work'” in the Sonoma hills.

. . . . . .

Of course, Bobby B. would want his own prized possessions and prey, captives and slaves to believe, honor and obey, pamper, please and placate, support, promote and pay, serve and “service” him, as well, worship him like a god and treat him like a king, “conscious teacher” and “conscious lover” – “perfect Angel” – “Savior” and “Supreme Being”. . .

Excerpt from http://livingpresence.com/who-we-are/Robert-Burton.html

Robert Burton founded the Fellowship of Friends on New Year’s Day, 1970. The school grew so rapidly that in 1971 its students collectively purchased the land that became Apollo. Over the decades the external form of the school—Apollo, the Fellowship centers, and the teaching—took shape and flowered from Robert’s conscious vision.

Basing his teaching on Peter Ouspensky’s Fourth Way writings, Robert focused relentlessly on “self-remembering”. [etc.]

How to describe a conscious teacher? His only true credentials are his own presence and his effect upon his students. He does what no one else will do or can do—teaching the most unpopular of all truths: that our illusory sense of “I” must die before presence can be born. He is the living reminder that it is possible to awaken, and that presence means humility, acceptance, and conscious love.

. . . . .

“Glowing Head” wrote on Facebook Fourth Way blog
July 24, 2015 at 12:49pm

Gurdjieff – Becoming Conscious: There is a level at which the devil cannot enter. The whole idea must be to get there. If we cannot, we must at least remember that such a level does exist.

***

The devil is a homosexual pedophile who inspires his flock to unprecedented lows of self-righteousness while spending his spare time buggering a teenage boy. The devil is a flock of followers who shrug and suggest that the buggered boy was lucky to have been buggered by someone so great as the “brightest light in 2000 years”. The devil is in these delusional pockets of fanatics who believe they are so right that they can do no wrong.

. . . . . . . . . .
For example

HigherM Says:
April 22, 2007 at 4:50 am

Dear Sheik,
I suspect that you are only publishing 1% of the letters that you receive in praise of the FoF. I hope that you will at least begin to re-balance your blog by publishing this.
——————————————
As an advanced member of the FoF i must redress the balance that the weaker people who use your site have created.

The problem with so MANY small thinkers who write to you is that quite simply, they do NOT understand the FACT that Robert IS AN ANGEL and therefore far removed from the silly ideas of ‘good’/’bad’/right’/’wrong’ ‘truth’/’lie.’

Robert simply can do no wrong. It was many years ago that Robert ‘opened’ me, both physically and spiritually. YES, he has enabled me to build my soul and truly appreciate how dead are the poor lost souls around me. How the rest of the world outside The Fellowship is a nightmare full of dreaming people living in their imagination.

If Robert called me to turn myself inside out and follow him into the fiery furnace I would gladly follow, knowing that he could save me.

SO MUCH complaining about sexual encounters! I was happy to share my body with Robert. Fourteen years ago he gave me his higher love, causing me to awaken with his beautiful conscious energy, just as I now share myself with the many women who are grateful for my spiritual fluid, my divine energy to help them awaken, divinity created by Robert’s own divine energy still inside me. His golden fuel for eternity inside my soul.

Robert guides us to live with delightful presence. How can all those life people complain? They know NOTHING!

YES Robert shows us sexual and other excess but, ‘THE ROAD OF EXCESS LEADS TO THE PALACE OF WISDOM!’ An angel CANNOT spread disease.

Every day as I cycle to work, in and out of the zombies, past all those dead faces and eyes living in their imagination, 99.9% of the population just bags of bones that jostle around this ant hill of London, soulless people as in all the other cities around the globe, I give thanks! I sing a hymn of light for the Crouch End Teaching House and all the other Teaching Houses that ROBERT has founded around the globe.

Praise the Gods! Thank God for Robert!

If you care enough to repent your negativity, then email me and i will reply, once only, to help you back onto the true path, the path that leads to salvation of the soul, away from the bag of bones that is you! You have your chance, be strong!

highercourbet@yahoo.co.uk

. . . . . . . . . .

While watching an old Russian documentary last month, I wondered how various “Fourth Way” pirates and cult leaders, devils and dictators (e.g. Alex Horn, Anne Horn, and Sharon Gans-Horn, Cesareo Pelaez and Robert E. Burton, James V. Randazzo and Thames Walker) would interpret this:

“I am Gurdjieff. I will not die!”
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nljcpS62cg

73. Tim Campion - August 1, 2015

An interesting overview of cult dynamics, including recruiting and retention techniques:

Cult Attraction is Not a Problem of Logic

74. brucelevy - August 1, 2015

72. Tim Campion

Great one, thanks.

75. Tim Campion - August 1, 2015

Bruce, it’s really not necessary to address me as Great One. Goodness will suffice.

(I wonder where RB came up with the appellation “goodness”?)

76. Robert Stolzle - August 1, 2015

Tim-

Like anyone else RB couldn’t remember every person’s name—-and the emperor can’t be ordinary. Also, there is quasi-religious Southernism, “Oh, my goodness.”, used in exasperation, that I always assumed was where he co-opted the term.

When I joined the FoF, the Fourth Way idea of “verification” helped persuade me because it posits a certain confidence, I thought. Then, when it was incumbent on the “students” to verify RB’s status as Man #5, I could never see it, but decided that any teacher only has to have a little more knowledge and “understanding” than the student, to be able to help the student. But, the less I heard about “false personality” and “body types” and the more about “C influence” and the magic number 44, the closer I came to leaving. Reading the postings here, it seems, to me, that the FoF moved steadily from a quasi-psychological study group to religious cult, but slowly enough so that, like the “boiling frogs” analogy, no one really noticed…….and RB’s utterances just kept getting stranger. The story, recounted here, of him pointing out the Rhino poop in a cave painting as a “C influence” communication and not being laughed at sounds like bad science fiction, No? Pass the Koolaid!

A passing curiosity: How is Asaf’s “Online School of Higher Consciousness” doing? Doesn’t that whole idea fly in the face of the “personal teacher, face to face transmission” notion of how such knowledge is to be passed along? Maybe next the FoF can rope in some game designers to work up another way of making a buck with the first person, devotee version of “The Art of Conscious Fraud” with unlimited “angles of thought” and a guarantee of higher consciousness if you can win the game. They are probably working on it now…….

Bob stolzle

77. Fee fi fo fum - August 1, 2015

74 Goodness

Whatever was on REB’s mind with that word, accompanied by that tone of voice of his, it all ended up being part of the control-package. It’s a good sign when it becomes an inside joke.

78. brucelevy - August 1, 2015

76. Fee fi fo fum

The lowered head, the clasped hands, the false smile, the feigned humility, the nod of the head, the “thank you goodness” just allowed him to play the little princess trapped in a man’s body. I remember him, in the boy cottage, coming out in his silk kimono trying to do jetes across the living room of boy toys. I threw up in my mouth a little and got the fuck out of there.

79. nevasayneva - August 2, 2015

Re 74.
Nice article O Great one of the Blog, though its a bit depressing, since prolonged membership in FOF and consequences resulting from that seem to be a matter of bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

80. fofblogmoderator - August 2, 2015

#72 is a new post.

81. thomas judd - August 3, 2015

Regarding posts 51’52 other than being overly dark gloomy and lengthy can’t dispute but might add that speaking for us that somehow avoided situations of sexual and financial inappropriateness my time (2 years)and money reaped value.can’t rightly say I would recommend fof .but learned much more from observing than “instruction”.

82. leaf - August 3, 2015

81. Hey, if keeping things light helped you to leave after two years, I congratulate you. Whatever works.

But your money “reaped value,” you wrote. Since you’re a man of few words, i’m guessing you mean that you learned how not to spend your money?

Meanwhile you apparently have no concern about where your money was going and what it was actually paying for, and how it was enabling a sociopath. As long as YOU get something out of it (or believe that you did), these concerns are unimportant.

Your response is similar to the typical retort given by any indoctrinated member of the fellowship: Any criticism is negative (“dark and gloomy”) and/or includes unnecessary talk (“lengthy”).

Real examination of the situation does show some darkness and gloominess, don’t you think? Realizing this is one reason people find the courage to leave. It’s exactly why any criticism of the school is deemed negativity… “Cheer up old chap! You must have a gloominess feature!” [laughter and smiles]

83. Robert Stolzle - August 4, 2015

Re: #72—The repeat of the “HigherM” posting from 4/22/07—-

This is a joke, right? There isn’t really anyone so delusional in the FoF, is there?

The last paragraph of that posting lists some of the pretenders to Gurdjeiff’s throne. One James Vincent Randazzo, aka Jim Vincent, I know about. He was the “student teacher” in Tahoe when I joined and could run a clever line of B.S. He was an oily, ingratiating thief (Mercurial type, doncha know) who kept new students from going to the Berkeley meetings for a couple of months on the pretense that one needed to be prepared to meet “THE TEACHER!”. Of course, he pocketed their monthly payment until they were “officially” introduced. His people manipulation skills were nowhere near as subtle as RB’s;, but he quickly understood the focus of the FoF.

An aside—- didn’t RB personally approve or appoint the student teachers back then? How could a “conscious being”, even a piddly #5, make such a mistake?????? Maybe because he wasn’t f–king conscious!

Randazzo’s scheme went on for over a year and then when he was found out, he took his leave and RB announced a minor crime had occurred in the Tahoe center and that it would be closed indefinitely. I was in Carmel by then. Mr. Randazzo landed in Creede, Colorado and set up the “Spiral of Friends”…….a supposed Fourth Way group that specialized in consciousness, cocaine and young women. He was eventually sent to the penitentiary for the cocaine, so occasionally a “conscious being” does get his just rewards.

Bob Stolzle

84. shardofoblivion - August 4, 2015

#83 Robert Stolzle, do you think Randazzo himself during that time sincerely believed the possibility of entering a higher state of consciousness by following certain disciplines, albeit “augmenting” them by feeding his higher centres with hydrogen 6 directly through drug fueled sex, or do you think he was running a money scheme from early on – that latter seemed to be your drift. I am wondering if it is even more diabolical if he was a sincere believer most of the time?

85. brucelevy - August 4, 2015

84. shardofoblivion

He was quite simply a sociopath. There have been quite a few who’ve traveled through the FOF, picking up technique and theory of running one’s own cult. Most of the people who left and started “teaching” are all of the same bent. Sociopaths and narcissists. They can’t help it. It’s like flies on shit. A few have even appeared here to bestow their wisdom on the flock. Generally they’re called out for the assholes they are pretty quickly. Although, occasionally, the magnanimity (read that as gullibility or just stupidity) of the blog allows them to overstay their welcome. But eventually they leave.

86. GoldenVeil - August 4, 2015

There’s a dark, gritty film out, available to stream on Netflix, called “Faults” (2014) about a cult expert who is hired to de-program a young woman. It’s an excellent portrayal of manipulation and brainwashing, and very mysterious. I don’t recommend watching the trailer.

72. Linda Jo – July 31

It’s pretty clear that HigherM was being facetious when he wrote that April 22, 2007 post.

87. leaf - August 4, 2015

84. shardofoblivion
“I am wondering if it is even more diabolical if he was a sincere believer most of the time?”

I think the answer is yes. Successful cult leaders (gurus who are good at attracting many followers for a considerable length of time) have a type of multiple personality disorder:

— One personality knows they’re deceiving people, that it’s all a scam, that it was all about the money and greed and being a predator from Day 1.

— Another personality believes their own bullshit just like everyone else in the cult. THIS personality is “even more diabolical” as you put it, because it presents a facade that makes the cult leader seem more believable to followers.

On a somewhat related note: The Fellowship has quite a few long-time members who share a peculiar trait with Burton: They pretend they don’t take the cult too seriously. Ironically, this is a key mechanism for keeping everyone in line in this particular cult. It’s a type of self-deception. Because there’s joking around (“Haha, my track record on predictions is horrendous, hahaha…”), there must be a lack of identification and therefore any notion that the cult is insane or extreme or weird, etc,. can all be dismissed.

88. jomopinata - August 4, 2015
89. Ames Gilbert - August 4, 2015

Those words (#72 above, Linda Jo) by ‘HigherM’ are truly chilling, aren’t they?
I remember reading them when they first appeared on the blog, page 7 #92 (https://goo.gl/M2CO8W), and to be honest, my first thought was they were a parody. I also expected there to be quite a furor about them, so I was surprised that there was so little reaction. The consensus of those that did comment seemed to be that though these kinds of thoughts may have not been openly expressed that often, that at the same time this was not some aberration. And on further reflection, I realized that I myself could think of several who could have written such words—and I didn’t know all that many people in the Fellowship of Friends. I guess I hung around with a less ruthless crowd; certainly we all left in the end.
My question is, who would want to be like Burton? A total slave to his desires, 24/7. And if angels are like that, who would aspire to be like them? Burton claims that the discorporate remnants of 45 ‘conscious beings’ (now including Alex Horn, of course) speak to him and guide him and his followers, as they supposedly prepare the rest of humanity for destruction. Who would want to be like them?

It has been over six years since ‘HigherM’ wrote those words. I wonder what has happened to him? He claimed he was an ‘advanced member’ of the Fellowship of Friends, going around sharing his “divine energy” with lots of women there in London, spreading the meme that Burton is an angel and can do no wrong. Judging by the tone of his offer to the Sheik (the moderator at the time), he’s more than likely still at it.

90. WhaleRider - August 4, 2015

Leaf:
Your post resonated with my experience. I do remember that sense that I didn’t take the cult too seriously either…until I got closer to burton. I agree, in the beginning that did enable me to buffer any notion that I was involved in a cult.

Once I gravitated closer to burton, my impression was that he took the cult and himself very seriously, along with the others with whom he surrounded himself. I did not get the sense at all that he consciously knew he was ripping people off.

He would never say or even hint that, “ha, it’s just a game, look at all the poor fools who fell for it”. He wanted those around him to take him very seriously, too, and were expected to take notes. I was asked at the end of one European trip to submit my notebook for inspection…

burton still carries the immature entitlement (archaic narcissism) and expectation that he is sooo wonderful that other people should adore him, pay his way, and wipe his ass for him.

Although among peripheral followers there was joking and banter about cult practices and its leader, burton never in my presence would make light of the group or his role, even in private, unless it was to reinforce the status quo. Narcissists are very sensitive to ridicule from others. He never dropped the “act”; which is totally understandable, since his livelihood was at stake.

Laughter occurs to relieve the cognitive dissonance of a positive thought and a negative thought about the same subject…for a narcissist they do not entertain negative thoughts about themselves, they unconsciously project them upon others to idealize themselves and devalue others…thus burton doesn’t tolerate laughter…only cognitive dissonance.

I get the sense asaf operates in the same manner, judging from his website.

This is what makes the personality of a sociopath and psychopath so successful…and diabolical, IMO; they are 100% invested in their narcissism, completely walled off to any other reality but their own, and they will react defensively to any dissent.

So I don’t agree with you on the “split personality” idea. For them it is not a ruse. To reflect upon the suffering and harm their behaviour causes others would indicate the presence of conscience, which is certainly not the case here.

IMO, the rampant and addictive use of drugs and sex of both Randazzo and burton was/is a means of repressing any self doubt, in order to maintain a semblance of equilibrium in a faltered and corrupted ego state.

91. robertschelly - August 4, 2015

Whalerider … that is the best explanation of the objective purpose of laughter that I have found anywhere. Well done.

92. shardofoblivion - August 4, 2015

#72 I agree. At first I was SURE it had to be a provocation by an ex Fofer along the lines of the associated press spoofs, as the claims were risible, but then there was an icy feeling in my chest as it dawned on me this was one of those, who steamed off to live at Renaissance months after joining, then were insufferable later when they return, as they felt they “knew” something.
Whoever they are, they inhabit an entirely different universe to the one I live in.

93. ton2u - August 4, 2015

@ 89 AG

“My question is, who would want to be like Burton?”

Someone with a malfunctioning or nonfunctional conscience… someone with delusions of grandeur… a malignant narcissist… a sociopath…. etc. There are altogether too many rip-off artists, scammers, sociopaths and psychopaths in various disguises – “guru” being but one – apparently a relatively common one. That’s why I’ve said and say again… the FOF is a garden variety cult… there’s nothing special or unique or “chosen” about it or those who support it.

shard, leaf, whalerider, et. al….

IMO It makes little difference what you call it… “split personality” or “delusions of grandeur” – the parasitic effect on others is what it is.

Bears reposting IMO :

http://www.quantumfuture.net/store/sanity_1.PdF

94. Robert Stolzle - August 5, 2015

I don’t recall ever hearing Randazzo comment on burton’s operation per se, other than the Man #5, exalted leader B.S…..and that suited his purposes. I pretty well know that “Jim Vincent” was only a con man, pure and simple, and knew a good scam when he saw it. I don’t believe the notion of helping someone would even enter his thinking unless he might profit from it in some way…….that much he shared with RB. And, I would say that any of his claims of “higher consciousness” were only advanced to suck in his next victim……unless he got really strung out on coke. I wonder, now, if any of the poor souls from the “Spiral of Friends ever graduated to the Fellowship of Friends?

It might be because of that early FoF experience that I always wondered if burton believed his B.S. or if he was just a very good actor. I wasn’t close to the inner circle, but was around him often enough and never saw him display any other personality; he was in his “silence task” for over a year of that time, though. None of my inquiries of other “student teachers” or the “cognoscenti” ever led to any suggestion of contradictory behavior. I trust those here who say RB is fully invested in his fantasy. I wonder if he was at the start in 1970?

The apparent truth of RB’s beliefs makes me wonder if his deep sociopathy isn’t akin to, or perhaps one step removed from, full blown schizophrenics who live in a world of their own making with unseen friends and their own versions of cause and effect…..kind of like the 44 (now 45?) angels and C influence he is prone to tout. Both are delusional, but one lives a fine lifestyle, catered to by minions and the other is catered to by nurses with meds in an institution or maybe live on the street.

I do hope that burton will promise, like Houdini, to communicate with Asaf or someone else from the great beyond and that day can’t come too soon. If there is a God, perhaps the Great Burtoni will have a serious stroke and spend his last ten years or so in a drooling daze. After that, the minions can get the Russians to pickle him and put him on display at the farm, sort of like Lenin in the Kremlin. He deserves nothing less.

Bob Stolzle

95. brucelevy - August 5, 2015

You have to remember tha RB deified Randazzo in the FOF until he fucked RB. Just like all the potentail men #5 until they left. What a fucking history of mistakes and bad calls. One would think all the members are fucking ASLEEP. Wouldn’t one…goodness?

96. GoldenVeil - August 5, 2015

I’m not buying that the HigherM April 22, 2007 post is sincere. Come on, guys! Someone was just playing with the blog readers.

Excerpt:

“SO MUCH complaining about sexual encounters! I was happy to share my body with Robert. Fourteen years ago he gave me his higher love, causing me to awaken with his beautiful conscious energy, just as I now share myself with the many women who are grateful for my spiritual fluid, my divine energy to help them awaken, divinity created by Robert’s own divine energy still inside me. His golden fuel for eternity inside my soul.

Robert guides us to live with delightful presence. How can all those life people complain? They know NOTHING!”

That’s got to be nothing more than pure malarkey. There may be students who kiss REB’s a** but they’re not going to write that stuff.

97. ton2u - August 5, 2015

In reading today I came across this quote… corresponds somewhat with what Whalerider writes @ 90 and Bruce @ 95:

“An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.”
Jung — Psychology and Alchemy

98. Tim Campion - August 5, 2015

Regarding the controversial “HigherM” post, I tend to agree with Golden Veil that it was a prank. (And at the time Sheik indicated the poster was an impostor.)

I have little doubt there have been a few “false flag operations” here and there. Perhaps this was one.

99. brucelevy - August 5, 2015

96. GoldenVeil

I agree. I think it was an attempt at satire by someone with a bad sense of humor and an even sicker mind.

100. nevasayneva - August 5, 2015

Re 96-99.
No that post is real. I know who the person is. Their thinking at that time at least when they made that post – 2007- was a bit extreme, but I was at Apollo in the same decade as them. It was kind of extreme time- CA was supposed to have fallen into the sea in 1998, then it was a bit late, then there was some end of the world in 2006, nothing happened- but one was supposed to order ones cappucino at Apollo D’oro and carry on. And sometimes Oregon house/FOF etc brought out the more messianic/extreme traits in some personalities – fruits & nuts in CA, etc. As far as I know this person is still in the FOF. As with some people whose writing and inner beliefs seems a bit fevered, their appearance and actions were much more moderate.

Anyway- lol, It was one post over 8 years ago- maybe just some extreme thoughts…who cares?

101. Tim Campion - August 5, 2015

Thanks, nevasayneva. You make a good point. Wasting time on this is kind of like trying to interpret 40,000-year-old cave paintings.

Better to stick to the present.

102. Someone - August 5, 2015

Hi…long time.
After being detached from having any thoughts on the FoF for almost two years, I just met a former member who lives in OH and he told me that RB is hardly involved with sexual activity.
I asked him how he got this information and he said that one of his best friends and a neighbor is a member and he knows what’s going on.

I don’t know if this is true or not, but from age perspective it might make sense. I don’t remember exactly how old RB is, but he must be over 75.

103. Thomas judd - August 5, 2015

Amen to that.apologize I do if I step on toes but like the Donald I shoot from the hip and hit my own toes on occasion. Being interested in achieving something higher most of adult life and blundering into an organization full of people one would assume are of the same interests the fof provided value.I do feel naive for not discovering the depth of cesspool of the inner circle but before this blog seems only way to verify would be to step in it.

104. nevasayneva - August 5, 2015

re 103:
I don’t completely agree that back in olden pre-blog…..even pre-cell phone days, that there was no way to know about the cess pool without jumping in. Well, I can only speak for myself- I was naive.
I could have asked more questions : How do you know teacher is conscious? What do you do with the money? (well I did ask that one- the moderator merely gestured at the fine china of the tea set and the furnishings of the old Victorian teaching house- they did have a point- the question I should have asked was “why so much money?”). Do you know any former student I could talk to so that I understand the organization better? What is your connection to Gurdjieff/Ouspensky teachings etc?
Even back in those days there were books you could read about cults/organizations etc etc.
Anyway no use crying over spilt milk.

Things I learned from FOF:
I don’t know if this would be a very short list or a very long list.

One thing I was appreciating the other evening was that old idea of the looking and listening exercise.

105. Tim Campion - August 6, 2015

Robert Stolzle,

I don’t know how Asaf Braverman’s latest project is doing. It was just launched in May.

I am, however, fairly certain that Asaf and his compatriots have found that recruiting via social media is far more work than was anticipated.

From the Fair Observer article mentioned above, Braverman is clearly attempting to bring viewers “into the range of influence of the group, where retaining members is about creating loyal, obedient followers.” Borrowing “Shard of Oblivion’s” words, Asaf is “…pretending that he has access to special knowledge that he can bestow…”

The challenge is in taking casual viewers of “tutorials” (accustomed to such YouTube material being free) and coaxing them to become paying (excuse me, “donating”) customers. The challenge is convincing these people that he, and the Fellowship, offer a rare and valuable product. How he and his co-workers undertake this conversion will be interesting to watch.

The majority who have been introduced to the Fellowship of Friends have concluded membership is not worth the price. And, of those who were intrigued enough to join the group, more than 90%  eventually arrived at the same conclusion and left. (This figure is especially significant, since Burton proclaimed that any member leaving his flock shall be doomed to Hell.)

Despite unprecedented worldwide marketing efforts, Fellowship membership has in recent years hovered around 1,500, a level it had already reached within its first 15 years (when the majority consisted of white, upper-middle-class Americans.) 30 years later, it is far off its peak membership of about 2,200 (achieved following the opening of the former “Eastern Bloc” nations through the creative use of incentives such as reduced donations, American religious visas, and expense-paid memberships in Burton’s male harem.)

Burton prophesied, “Our ark will be composed of ten thousand people in the year 2006, and then the doors will close.” (Those whom the Fellowship could not save would be left to perish in Armageddon, during September 2006, which – by the way – was rescheduled to December 2012, then rescheduled again to a future date, TBD.) Yet another fantasy proved to be the ruminations of a “madman” (as Ames described Burton above.)

Lawsuits that sucked Fellowship coffers dry, increasing financial demands on a shrinking flock, Burton and Braverman’s invention of “The Sequence” and the short-lived move away from Ouspensky & Gurdjieff, the “esoteric keying” of archeological artifacts, the appearance of Sheik’s blog (and this subsequent blog), and a host of other websites, all served to chase away long-time members and prospective “marks” alike.

The odds are against Braverman. I’d suggest he instead focus on tourism.

106. Cathie L. - August 6, 2015

Funny, I’ve been recalling that looking exercise too. It does seem to help cut down the mind chatter and unproductive thought loops.

107. WhaleRider - August 6, 2015

Cathie L:
About two years ago, I had the luxury of attending online traffic school.

In the section on safe highway driving tips, there were suggestions for how to avoid “highway hypnosis”…AKA operating on autopilot.

The key to avoid slipping into a trance, getting lost in a daydream or becoming “sleepy” while performing the repetitive and automatic motions of driving, according to the online traffic school…is to not let your eyes remain fixed on one spot ahead of you….keep your eyes on the road, but don’t let yourself stare off into the distance and defocus…keep your eyes moving around, taking in the scenery.

Which by cult standards means the more you do this exercise while driving, the sooner you will become a man number 7.

Ah, the song of the open road…

108. Bernadette o'callaghan - August 6, 2015

Hello, I was in the fellowship for 2 years at the very beginning of this millenium. The best was meeting great people (some) the worst was losing great friends, partly through my own fault. I’d love to get in contact with Karen from Austrailia, who was based in the London centre, its a long shot but miracles do happen! Kind regards to all who knew me then….

109. Tim Campion - August 7, 2015

Robert Stolzle wrote:

I do hope that burton will promise, like Houdini, to communicate with Asaf or someone else from the great beyond and that day can’t come too soon.

Bob, here are a couple quotes from Burton about his intention to communicate with Fellowship members after his death:

One positive aspect about the completion of my role, that is, the dissolution of this body, is that I feel I will be able to communicate to students information I could not give them here, particularly about their next roles. Mr. Ouspensky was able to communicate with his students after his passing; this information is in Rodney Collin’s Theory of Eternal Life.

When my task is complete I will continue to work with our school, and communicate to my students the wishes of higher forces for our new civilization.

110. brucelevy - August 7, 2015

109. Tim Campion

No delusions or narcissism there.

111. leaf - August 7, 2015

103. “I do feel naive for not discovering the depth of cesspool of the inner circle but before this blog seems only way to verify would be to step in it.”

No, there are other ways. Another way to verify is to simply open your eyes.

I used to believe what you’re writing here — that I never would’ve known the “depth of the cesspool” had I not joined the school. But more recently I’ve come to realize that most people see the “cesspool” from a million miles away. They don’t need to experience it, or read a blog or hear any details and testimony. They just take one glance and it’s obvious to them.

The question I eventually asked is, “Why wasn’t it obvious to me?” There are many answers. But think about it: I joined a small group of people professing to be “higher” and closer to heaven than all of the rest of the earth. Apparently, I had some delusions of grandeur, too.

Burton hooked many of us because many of us could relate to his delusions — “awakening” and eternal life for a select few (only those who happen to be in this cult), building a new civilization in Oregon House, and more. It’s truly insane. Acknowledging anything less than that is sugar-coating it — what we used to call a “buffer.”

112. nevasayneva - August 7, 2015

I don’t remember the threat of eternal damnation or “food for the moon” being held over one as a deterrent to leaving. Aside from the intolerable humdrumness of “living a mere biological existence”, once one was out of the school, the more subtle psychological deterrent was that one was told that “no work could be done alone”, that immediately upon leaving second and third lines of work vanished and on ones own out in the big bad world, any work one would do would just go around in circles. Ouspensky goes on at length about this. Of course it all depends what is meant by “working on oneself” and whether one actually wants to do that, and if it leads anywhere anyway.

113. Just the Facts Ma'am - August 7, 2015

108. Bernadette o’callaghan
‘I’’d love to get in contact with Karen from Austrailia, who was based in the London centre, its a long shot but miracles do happen!’

There was one Karen in London Centre at time you were in. If you remember her last name, try emailing her at: lastnamefirstname(at)hotmail.com. That was her email at the time. She does not appear to be a member now.

114. leaf - August 8, 2015

112. nevasayneva”I don’t remember the threat of eternal damnation or “food for the moon” being held over one as a deterrent to leaving.”

Huh? I do remember. Maybe you had a different experience, and (wisely) tuned him out. I’m happy for you, if yes.

However, Burton was always, always referring to the unfortunate fate of those who “lose Influence C” or who “leave the school.”

One anecdote about “food for the moon” was a reference to the Mormons. Like any religion/cult, the Mormons have their fair share of weirdness and criminal behavior and bizarre theories that reveal their own level of insanity. But to many people, they may appear to be notch above the rest — fairly happy, healthy and competent as a group of people. Good god, a LOT happier, healthier, and more competent than the Fellowship.

Burton was well aware of this perception. So his comment about the moon and the Mormons was something like: “They’re dessert.”

Cute.

115. Robert Stolzle - August 8, 2015

I just heard a radio interview with a writer who knew Christian Gearhartsreiter, a native German, who most famously claimed to be Clarke Rockefeller, one of the scions of that clan. He started his masquerading after committing the gruesome murder in 1985 of the son of a wealthy woman who had put him up in her guest house (in CA, I think). He managed to get into some of the wealthiest and most exclusive clubs in the Eastern U.S., always had money and never worked.

The point is, he fooled some intelligent, well educated and suspicious people and did so for a long time. He kidnapped his daughter during a custody fight and that proved his undoing. To me, the greater story was that he knew all along precisely what he was doing and was not delusional in any normal sense of the term.

Does this sound like anyone we all know? When I left in 1977, I’d have bet that RB knew exactly what con he was running.

Thanks, Tim for the info; it is good to know that RB will still be running things from the Great Beyond.

leaf, I think you’re exactly right, none of us would had been roped into the FoF without some delusions of grandeur.

Bob Stolzle

116. ton2u - August 8, 2015

Leaf @ 114
I know from experience and freely admit that if you buy into a delusional system, it implies you’re delusional – by association if nothing else. But there are degrees of delusion – vanity is one degree and a main factor in this case, IMO vanity is the lure and the hook used by the FOF. Membership in the FOF appeals directly to the vanity of members who believe they are the “chosen few” – an “elite” and exclusive group seemingly selected by “invisible forces” to “evolve” while the rest of humanity slumbers. When you buy into these ideas you’ve become part of “conscious” bob’s delusional system.

117. leaf - August 8, 2015

116. ton2u.
Agreed. Many people buy into it a lot less than others. Some more than others.

Regarding vanity: That’s maybe true for all religions and cults. It’s the pride in identifying with a particular group that professes to have the all of the answers. However, many people who encounter the FOF, and who don’t join, also have vanity. Despite that, they still immediately recognize that it’s just another cult. It’s obvious to them as soon as they receive a small amount of information about it — maybe even hearing the name of the group is enough, and learning that they have a “retreat” up in the Sierras. They just look at their friend like their a little nuts for being curious, and change the subject. So in addition to the vanity that we’re both describing, there’s something else.

I think part of what hooks people is not necessarily bad. It’s sincere. Some people who join the FOF want to know more about the mysteries of the universe, and find answers to deeper philosophical questions. People want validation that the answers they’re getting are legit, and there may be a tendency to join a group where everyone nods in agreement. Therefore, we have religions and cults.

Sociopaths and psychopaths have long realized that religions and cults are an opportunity to gain control over others — sometimes on a national and international scale. Burton is small potatoes since he (thankfully) never had an army at his disposal, but he causes real suffering on a smaller scale.

118. Parson Yorick - August 8, 2015

Re #117 “….Despite that, they still immediately recognize that it’s just another cult. It’s obvious to them as soon as they receive a small amount of information about it — maybe even hearing the name of the group is enough, and learning that they have a “retreat” up in the Sierras. They just look at their friend like their a little nuts for being curious, and change the subject. So in addition to the vanity that we’re both describing, there’s something else.”

Those of us who joined tossed out our ability to think critically – for a shorter or for a longer time. When I found myself secretly congratulating those who left or who didn’t join in the first place for their good sense, I guess I must have known my days in the FOF were numbered. One of the people I never expected to stick around for very long was Abraham Goldman. Boy was I wrong!

119. Tim Campion - August 8, 2015

nevasayneva,

“The Hell Letter” was probably the most famous example of Burton’s threat of eternal damnation. But back in my time (mid-70s to mid-80s) references to souls who “lose the school” going to hell, and being “food for the moon” was fairly commonplace.

You’re right that there is, and always has been, a variety of tactics to discourage members from leaving, up to and including physical force (used rarely, to my knowledge.)

120. ton2u - August 9, 2015

Though difficult to recognize when you’re in the cult, after you step outside of cult programming, its use of mind-control techniques becomes all too obvious.

For example the “eternal damnation” meme is already deeply embedded in the collective psyche of “western” (judeo-christian and including muslim) cultures. This idea is a control mechanism that’s been used by religions for hundreds of years – along with belief that the only way to avoid damnation is to adhere to the religion and to follow its dictates. burton adopts and uses this idea with the threat of one’s soul “going to the moon” should you “lose” the school – it’s the “4th way” equivalent of “eternal damnation.”

Another mind-control technique has to do with the nature of burton’s numerous false prophecies, there’s always a prediction of some cataclysmic event hanging in the air, threatening all those who are not part of his “school.”

Whether the “prophecies” are true or false isn’t the point, nor the effect…. these “prophecies” are simply designed to scare those who are fooled into believing.

Psychological fear tactics act as part of the invisible fence which keeps the “flock” in their pen.

121. shardofoblivion - August 9, 2015

#120 nice image 🙂
” you have to trusted – by the people that you lie to …”

Dogs (Waters, Gilmour) 17:06

You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you
get older.
And in the end you’ll pack up and fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man,
All alone and dying of cancer.

And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw
around.
So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone,
Dragged down by the stone.

I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused.
Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.
If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this
maze?

Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone’s expendable and no-one has a real friend.
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
And everything’s done under the sun,
And you believe at heart, everyone’s a killer.

Who was born in a house full of pain.
Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
Who was told what to do by the man.
Who was broken by trained personnel.
Who was fitted with collar and chain.
Who was given a pat on the back.
Who was breaking away from the pack.
Who was only a stranger at home.
Who was ground down in the end.
Who was found dead on the phone.
Who was dragged down by the stone.

Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying “keep on digging”
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find?
When you’re down in the pig mine
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry.
Bus stop rat bag, ha ha, charade you are
You fucked up old hag, ha ha, charade you are
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel
You’re hot stuff with a hat pin
And good fun with a hand gun
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry.
Hey you Whitehouse, ha ha, charade you are
You house proud town mouse, ha ha, charade you are
You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street
You’re nearly a real treat
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?

You gotta stem the evil tide
And keep it all on the inside
Mary you’re nearly a treat
Mary you’re nearly a treat
But you’re really a cry.

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out
There may be dogs about
I’ve looked over Jordan and I have seen
Things are not what they seem.

What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem
No, this is no bad dream.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green he leadeth me the silent waters by
With bright knives he releaseth my soul
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
He converteth me to lamb cutlets
For lo,m he hath great power and great hunger
When cometh the day we lowly ones
Through quiet reflection and great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we’ll make the bugger’s eyes water.

Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead!
You better stay home
And do as you’re told
Get out of the road if you want to grow old.

122. Robert Stolzle - August 10, 2015

I read back a ways to the letter where a FoF lawyer was resigning and saw a reference to a “Ming settlement”. I am guessing that someone took the FoF with some fakes, but does anyone here know the rest of the story?

I read the “Hell Letter”, too and have to say it is a fine topping for the turd pie that is burton. It is unconscionable at one level and absolutely laughable that confronted with death, dying and any notion of transcendence of same one is expected to be current with the FoF dues payments or become “food for the moon”. Perhaps there is no limit to his avarice.

May he suffer a long and painful death.

Bob Stolzle

123. Bryan Reynolds - August 10, 2015

122. Robert Stolzle

The “Hell Letter” was particularly painful for me to read as I knew the person it was directed at. She was a decent person who helped me a great deal.

Bryan Reynolds

124. paul gregory - August 10, 2015

120. ton2u – August 9, 2015

That sums it up nicely, ton. The image is terrifying to contemplate. Cool. If I haven’t already said it, the conman thing you posted was superb. It really inspired me and I’d like to try and use it somehow creatively.

By chance I ended up twice at Hatfield House last week. On the second visit, I was sure they were there. I was assured ‘they weren’t building a death star’ by a kindly gentleman walking with a shady guy.

I think they were there because of this – it was nice to see, and completely lifted the place out of it’s association with the past.

125. Robert Stolzle - August 11, 2015

Sorry, but where and what is Hatfield House. I like the light show, it reminds me of the Pink Floyd “Dark side of the Moon” shows that occasionally come through town. Is it supposed to have some esoteric meaning?

Bob Stolzle

126. shardofoblivion - August 11, 2015

#125 The London Centre main teaching house in the mid/late eighties was “Lawn House” an outhouse in the grounds of Hatfield House. Burton was pleased when he discovered the London Centre was to be located where Queen Elizabeth the First grew up as a girl. There is a tree in the grounds where she was sitting when a messenger came to inform her she was Queen.

127. Associated Press - August 11, 2015

REB in wolf’s clothing in sheep’s clothing:

128. shardofoblivion - August 12, 2015

#127 Doesn’t he look horrible?

129. Robert Stolzle - August 12, 2015

Scary resemblance, the eyes (and perhaps I’s) look nearly the same, but, I’d bet on pinky and against the wolf.

130. GoldenVeil - August 12, 2015

Angela Conner’s Janus Arch and many beautiful sculptures – wow! Thanks, S.o.O.! http://www.angelaconner.com

131. Linda Jo - August 13, 2015

117. leaf

Re: “Sociopaths and psychopaths have long realized that religions and cults are an opportunity to gain control over others – sometimes on a national and international scale. Burton is small potatoes since he (thankfully) never had an army at his disposal, but he causes real suffering. . .”

. . . . .

The predatory pedophile is as dangerous as cancer. He works as quietly, and his presence becomes known only by the horrendous damage he leaves. . . . He (or she) may be a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, a judge, a scout leader, a police officer, an athletic coach, a religious counselor. And he is protected not only by our ignorance of his presence, but also by our unwillingness to confront the truth.

Andrew Vachss

           Confusing Ideation with Criminal Action
The difference between a pedophile and a predatory pedophile. . .

http://www.vachss.com/av_dispatches/predatory.html

132. paul gregory - August 14, 2015

This chick seems really cool. I thought I’d turn you guy’s onto her. She’s like: ‘Wow. Amazing’.

133. Ames Gilbert - August 14, 2015

Someone (#150-102 or thereabouts),
As I’ve noted before, to me you appear to be either a shill or a ‘useful fool’, and here you are again, this time attempting to soften Burton’s image, implying that because he is so old, he is somehow becoming harmless. Maybe Burton can still penetrate young men, maybe he can’t; I heard rumors of possible impotence twenty–five years ago. But, as testimony on previous pages attests, this doesn’t slow him down much. He just loads up the young men with Viagra and gets them to fuck him, or fuck each other for his entertainment, always ending with him drinking their sperm. It is still the naïve and weak heterosexuals that he uses his psychological power to dominate and coerce and abuse, so whatever law and convention may call it, I call it rape, both physical and psychological.

Moreover, apart from being a sexual predator, he still loots the resources of a non-profit organization. He still steals from other spiritual traditions to bait his trap and legitimize his own ravings. He is still mentally ill. And he still causes great harm. Maybe Asaf Braverman, Benjamin Yudin and others of that ilk have taken over the propaganda mill, and are arranging to take over other aspects of the organization, but while he is alive you can be certain he is the dark center and lodestar of the enterprise.

It may be ‘over’ for you (as you’ve claimed previously), but it is not over for the young Russians and Eastern European boys lured over here by false pretences, that are undergoing the selection, grooming and the overwhelming psychological pressures to submit right now. For many of the young men Burton has raped in the past, it is not over. And it is definitely not over for those who are aiding and abetting him right now. It is inconceivable (to me) that there is any present member of the Fellowship of Friends who has been a member more than a few months who does not know what is going on, which means that every one of them is complicit to some degree in the crimes of spiritual rape and inurement. Moreover, every one of them that foregoes warning a new victim, that ‘passes by on the other side’ commits a crime against him or herself, destroys their own integrity and humanity. This especially true of the organizers and leaders, such as the ‘Center Directors’, and members of the ‘Spiritual Council’. And every single board member of the Fellowship of Friends in addition commits a serious crime when he/she does not act against Burton’s looting/inurement and does not live up to their legal obligations and fiducial responsibilities.

134. thomas judd - August 15, 2015

not sure either of us is seeing the big picture clearly.Surely after reading this blog for some time now and little things I came across in my time with fof the inner circle and then some are beyond a reasonable doubt guilty of moral crimes and should be guilty of legal crimes.But it is not as if it is common knowledge to the average member.One who is a member of a foreign or even American center would not have reason to know about the shit.The perplexing thing is that with a little examination it is obviously a cult but at the some time the fof has all the outward appearences of a 4th way school.The only way the fof will ever correct itself is if a truly sly man makes it so.I am sorry for all the lives that have been ruined.

135. Cathie L. - August 15, 2015

#134 thomas judd

Me too (sorry for the lives ruined.)

The “bigger picture” to me is that the ancient drama of victim/perpetrator/rescuer continues to play out on the world’s stages, great and small. Darkness vs light…which one will prevail? I suppose it must be the light, otherwise humanity would have destroyed itself eons ago.

Those who know from personal experience about this particular sordid drama may feel obliged to warn others. The damage, pain and outrage are well documented in this blog. Hopefully we’re shedding some light.

“One who is a member of a foreign or even American center would not have reason to know about the shit.”

That was more true when I was a member (1978-1985), but there is no excuse these days. It’s all over the Internet.

The sly man steers clear.

136. leaf - August 16, 2015

I also feel for those whose lives are ruined by this cult, whether it’s because they spiral into mental illness, commit suicide, or just never quite recover from the experience.

However, a very small percentage of lives are actually ruined by Burton and the Fellowship. Maybe it’s worse than that:

People are taught their lives will be ruined if they leave the Fellowship.

This weird dynamic is something that affects almost everyone in this cult. It’s a widespread illness. It’s pernicious and destructive. What’s ruined are not “lives,” but the opportunities in youth (or relative young age) for a normal, healthy, and productive life. Time is profoundly wasted.

A lot of people try to focus on the positive. People do learn something during the experience, or from the experience. But prison is still prison.

The good news is that most people have the option to recover once they leave, even if it’s very late in life. It’s just that every year wasted in the cult is one more year that a person doesn’t recover. More time wasted.

137. Thomas judd - August 17, 2015

Well said Leaf.for myself being middle aged plus when I joined probably helped me from stepping into the shit.I can see that if I had joined in my youth I probably would have compromised my values.my time spent did provide value in that I satisfied my curiosity about 4th way school.after reading ouspensky and gurdjieff and finding a bookmark that lead to the fof I thought how fortunate was i to find so many like minded people except that I never shared their God worship of rburton.I thought him to be very knowledgeable of esoteric ideas but I saw a red flag waving when he and his minions put him equal to and above….this is not to say everyone felt that way but on a number of occasions having conversations about 4th way ideas with other members if rbs ideas conflicted with gurdjieff or ouspensky then I was I informed that rbs word was the final word.the main thing learned after leaving fof is that to achieve a connection with a higher self will begin and end with my efforts.will let you know when I get there so you can send me your thithe.10% choi

138. leaf - August 17, 2015

137. Thomas judd.
I think you were probably one of the many comrades who i appreciated for having more independence of thought — a lot more than I did — and who sooner or later would inevitably leave. Imagine a “school” where every idea is open to challenge, and every teacher and student is questioned freely. New, “outside” ideas are allowed. There are checks and balances. People challenge the old and new ideas, argue back and forth about them, express their agreement or dissent, and then go out for beers. If someone is suffering, many are there to listen to them and reach out to help. If someone has reason to celebrate (for example, leaving for new opportunities and adventures), everyone celebrates with them. i.e., something more normal, and more inspiring.

139. Linda Jo - August 18, 2015

133. Ames Gilbert

Re: “It may be ‘over’ for you [Someone], but it is not over for the young Russians and Eastern European boys lured over here by false pretences… For many of the young men Burton has raped in the past, it is not over. And it is definitely not over for those who are aiding and abetting him right now.”

135. Cathie L.

Re: “Those who know from personal experience about this particular sordid drama may feel obliged to warn others. The damage, pain and outrage are well documented in this blog.”

136. leaf

Re: “I also feel for those whose lives are ruined by this cult…”

. . . . . . . .

238. Rabbi Burns Says:
February 27, 2007 at 7:57 am

Seems like the general trend in this blog is now acceptance and sweetness (always popular), but there’s a lot that hasn’t been said yet. So here’s another disturbing concept: white slavery.

Most of us (maybe not FOF students) are aware that there’s a trade in women from poor villages in eastern Europe who are told that they will get a well paid job as a waitress if they move to, say, Austria, but when they get there, they find [out that] they are compelled to work in a brothel until their expenses are paid off, and those expenses seem to increase rather than diminish. In other words, they find themselves in a living hell.

In the FOF, “traveling teachers” visit FOF centers around the world, and if they are truly members of the “inner circle” look around for attractive young men whom they think “the teacher” might find useful for his sexual activities. They send photos of a desirable young man to “the teacher”, thereby gaining points in his favour, and if he likes the photos he pays for the airfare of the unfortunate youth (generally from Russia these days) to California. The youth arrives in Oregon House with the belief that he has been honored by “the teacher” for his outstanding spiritual potential, but soon discovers that sexual favors are expected. So what happens then? He calls for a cab and escapes to Yuba City? Unlikely. Probably he doesn’t speak English at all, or only a little. He has a “religious visa” provided by the FOF, which does not entitle him to work outside the FOF. There’s no way he can pay his own airfare back. He becomes a sexual slave.

What goes on at the Galleria (Robert’s home) has only been hinted at here so far. The obsession with blow jobs is only the tip of the iceberg. Some very strange sexual perversions are practiced there. This is not the place to go into the disgusting specifics; just ask any current or former student who lives at “Isis” and who is well enough connected to know about these things. I was not directly involved myself in these activities, but I have spoken one on one to students who were, students who were, unsurprisingly, seriously psychologically traumatized.

All you FOF members who sit on the fence on these issues, or in some cases offer “psychological counseling” to the victims, are indirectly supporting these activities, like the Germans in WW2 who preferred to believe that atrocities were not happening in the camp down the road.

Please try not to buffer this.

. . . . .

112. Bares Reposting – June 7, 2015

Excerpt from Tales of a Zany Mystic [aka Lance B. White]:

. . .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.

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”.

http://zanymystic.tripod.com/id10.html

. . . . . . . . .

In The Way of Life, according to Lao Tzu

False teachers of life use flowery words
And start nonsense.

A sound leader’s aim
Is to open people’s hearts,
Fill their stomachs,
Calm their wills,
Brace their bones
And so to clarify their thoughts and cleanse their needs
That no cunning meddler could touch them:
Without being forced, without strain or constraint,
Good government comes of itself.

If I had any learning
Of a highway wide and fit,
Would I lose it at each turning?
Yet look at people spurning
Natural use of it!
See how fine the palaces
And see how poor the farms,
How bare the peasants’ granaries
While gentry wear embroideries
Hiding sharpened arms,
And the more they have the more they seize,
How can there be such men as these
Who never hunger, never thirst,
Yet eat and drink until they burst!
There are other brigands, but these are the worst
Of all the highway’s harms.

(Translated by Witter Bynner)

140. Mick - August 18, 2015

“A man cannot recognize his bondage until he acknowledges that he has been deceived.” – L. Reiter

141. Robert Stolzle - August 19, 2015

Here is a question: If you had not succumbed to the charms of the FoF, would you have joined another cult or wasted time on some other “false teaching”.

Speaking personally, I was ripe for the picking and a couple of friends who were enthusiastic new members of the Tahoe center talked me into a prospective student meeting with Jim Vincent. The supposed “scientific” approach to nirvana and communal living appealed to my psychedelic induced ideas of spirituality. Drug use in the FoF, even among some of the old coots, was a given in those days. Although I met RB a few times at the Berkeley meetings and at the Nut House, I dined on the Meissen only once. I was, thank God, apparently not his type.

So, the terrible experiences that damaged so many missed me, but I essentially wasted four years that would have been better spent pursuing a career or doing almost anything else. It is difficult to say that I learned anything from the early “Fourth Way FoF” that has proven to be particularly beneficial. However, it is my opinion that regret is a form of self pity and pretty destructive in itself. That said, I have no idea how anyone experiencing RB’s sexual predation might work through that trauma. Perhaps, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Your accounts make me sorry I ever contributed to or participated in the FoF.

A good bit has been said about the dire effects of ever leaving the FoF, but those always seemed weak to me since Gurdjieff, whoever, Horn and RB all had to defy their teachers to launch their own operations. The threat of eternal damnation seemed more like a dare. More than one “mystical teaching” and science too, for that matter, say that it is a poor student who doesn’t surpass his teacher. Thanks to your postings, I am now confident that I have cleared that hurdle many times over……and without ever mentioning the “Fourth Way”.

Bob Stolzle

142. J.D. - August 19, 2015

143. Parson Yorick - August 19, 2015

Re 141: I’d have eventually figured out how to approach and join the Gurdjieff Foundation. I was really into those 4th Way books at the time, and not much into drugs. But that was 40 years ago, and I think my interests have, at long last, shifted in other directions.

144. WhaleRider - August 19, 2015

14-Point Criteria for a Religious Organization

An agency which is a Church, but is not incorporated as such or has not applied for 501(c)(3) status or has not had the Internal Revenue Service revoke its 501(c)(3) status, still qualifies for exempt status if they are indeed a Church. The following 14 criteria are used by the IRS to define what a Church is. Their purpose is not to be rigid guidelines, but instead to filter out potential tax-avoidance schemes. Considerable leeway is involved in their interpretation. For example, an independent church would not be part of a larger denomination – churches may or may not have schools for training their ministers – and Friends Meetings found within the Quaker denomination will not have a minister.

Their purpose is instead to determine if a Church meets these guidelines ‘in spirit’, if not necessarily the letter.

After you recreate this list on your church letterhead (we can email it to you, please check all that applies to your organization:

(1)​​A Distinct Legal Existence
(2)​​A Recognized Creed and Form of Worship
(3)​​A Definite and Distinct Ecclesiastical Government
(4)​​A formal code of Doctrine and Discipline
(5)​​A Distinct Religious History
(6)​​A Membership Not Associated with any (other) Church or Denomination
(7)​​A Complete Organization of Ordained Ministers Ministering to their Congregations
(8)​​Ordained Ministers Elected After Completing Prescribed Courses of Study
(9)​​A Literature of its Own
(10)​​Established Places of Worship
(11)​​Regular Congregations
(12)​​Regular Religious Services
(13) ​​Sunday Schools for Religious Instruction of the Young
(14)​​Schools for the Preparation of Its Ministers

Note: At least nine of the above 14 points must be checked.
Please send supporting documents, such as your church bulletin, brochure, newsletter, church mission, or history and/or any tangible documents you can provide. Thank you for your cooperation. The following information needs to be included at the bottom of your letter.

145. Robert Stolzle - August 19, 2015

Re: #142
Thank you J.D. With the exit of Jon Stewart, John Oliver is one of the last best voices of reason and sanity left. I love his rants and can only hope they have some impact on the necessary fools.

Just to pick an argument—the existence of blood suckers like RB, the televangelists, conmen, hucksters and false prophets of all sorts is one very large reason I have difficulty seeing any God in the human end of this world. Their continued existence and prosperity, at the expense of all the sheep, is so counter to any way I can think of justice, let alone divine justice, that I am forced to assume that any “higher power/C influence” is just not interested or perhaps is even inclined to encourage “evil” just as well as “good”. I can actually “understand” wars and killing better than these termites that continually undermine anything beneficial on the third rock from the sun. And, yes, I understand of the Biblical explanation of evil, it just encourages our acceptance now in return for some presumed divine retribution later on.

WOOF! “Good boy, now go back to sleep”.

Bob Stolzle

146. cat's whiskers - August 19, 2015

“The things that seem to be, are not and seek to consume the things that are” – The Bible

147. cat's whiskers - August 20, 2015

I think if you can see the FOF as yet another tip-to-base pyramidal system of society, where power, sex and money are governing factors – what the participants think they rule but, in fact, are what rules them – then from REB down to the most inconsequential – are all involved. This petty cult may be what most of us have ‘crawled from’ but we will be encountering ‘different flavors’ of the same factors all our lives.

148. leaf - August 20, 2015

147.. “… but we will be encountering ‘different flavors’ of the same factors all our lives.”

Your comments are vague, but it sounds like you’re suggesting it’s “out of the frying pan and into the fire,” when a person leaves the FOF?

Nope.

There’s an alarmingly large number of sociopaths/psychopaths out there, but most “ex-students” won’t have such a profoundly direct encounter with any of them after they leave this cult. If they join another cult, that’s a different story. But bullshit detectors tend to be well-tuned after some time in this one. Most people tend to be a lot less naive.

As far as comparing the FOF to “tip-to-base pyramidal system of society, where power, sex, and money are governing factors,” keep in mind that the FOF pretends to be something “higher” and “finer” than all that. While pretending to be something “higher than life,” the FOF and Burton accomplish something that would have seemed unthinkable to me about 20 years ago: It’s actually one of “life’s” most atrocious examples of deception and evil.

149. Robert Stolzle - August 21, 2015

Re: #146

I’d interpret this quote as being made to support a belief in the metaphysical. That is, the necessities of everyday life require (consume) so much effort that there is no energy left to devote to a “spiritual” life. After all, Jesus was a mystic who tried to help the average Jew living under the thumb of the Roman Empire and got crucified for his trouble. The sexual predator we know as RB is a narcissistic psychopath who preys on the gullible and idealistic…….it is amazing he is still alive, but that should change soon; he looks old and tired and feeble

Bob Stolzle

150. Parson Yorick - August 21, 2015

#146: Just where exactly in the Bible is that? It’s not in that “Apocrypha” is it? When it comes to stuff in the Bible, it’s always worth investigating the context from which it was taken, cuz you can find just about anything in there! Like how to use circumcision to win a battle.

151. Cathie L. - August 21, 2015

#146, #149, #150,

I don’t think it’s from the Bible either. But there are so many translations and versions, who can say?

It’s hard to disagree with the basic idea though, that things are not always what they seem to be. Appearances can be deceiving. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, and all that.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25512/25512-h/25512-h.htm

THE WEASEL AND THE MICE.

This way of writing seems to you facetious; and no doubt, while we have nothing of more importance, we do sport with the pen. But examine these Fables with attention, and what useful lessons will you find concealed under them! Things are not always what they seem; first appearances deceive many: few minds understand what skill has hidden in an inmost corner. That I may not appear to have said this without reason, I will add a Fable about the Weasel and the Mice.

A Weasel, worn out with years and old age, being unable to overtake the active Mice, rolled herself in flour, and threw herself carelessly along in a dark spot. A Mouse, thinking her food, jumped upon her, and, being caught, was put to death: another in like manner perished, and then a third. Some others having followed, an old brindled fellow came, who had escaped snares and mouse-traps full oft; and viewing from afar the stratagem of the crafty foe: “So fare you well,” said he, “you that are lying there, as you are flour.”

The Fables of Phaedrus

152. cat's whiskers - August 22, 2015

In everyday life, it is well known that there are those of ‘high self esteem’ and those of ‘low self esteem’. I believe superiority/inferiority complexes have been attached to such people. Various of what were called in FOF speak ‘features’ would have been linked to these. Perhaps, one of the painful outcomes we are seeing/have seen of the cult is that what could have become normalized in people through maturing in life’s healthy roller coaster and with the support of decent friendships and family ties, has, through the FOF, become distorted, worsened and exaggerated in a negative sense. And both types mentioned above are useful to REB – the first, by ‘wielding his sword of power’ and the second by being willing victims to his proclivities.

I should think that those ‘some way out’ have gained a more positive foothold in their life, whereas, if we are trying to reach the ‘victims within’, we will perhaps only touch those with cognitive dissonance arising in their life. Abraham Lincoln stated –

“You cannot permanently help people by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

153. cat's whiskers - August 22, 2015

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

154. leaf - August 22, 2015

152. I agree with the first two paragraphs of your post — well said.

Regarding the Lincoln quote, a lot depends on what your expectations are. The early years of the blog helped hundreds of people take a positive step. There’s a good chance that many of them were already thinking about leaving — they really didn’t “need” the blog. But the ideas and discussion and arguments in the blog were a catalyst for many. I doubt anyone expected that, and I doubt there’s any expectation right now. The main thing is that people are having a discussion that’s not possible in the cult. For some, maybe a door swung wide open because they had no clear idea how bad things were.

Whether the blog is “helping” anyone today, and whether anyone is reading, who knows. I generally think the odds are pretty good that at least one FOF member is reading at any given time, if only because they’re curious and it’s easy to access via the internet. Like many people, they’re still working it out, maybe sitting on the fence. They see through the craziness on the blog, are not deterred by it… and occasionally they acknowledge something that stirs some deeper thinking on the topic.

Everything begins with a thought, an idea — starting your own company, starting a new career, doing a work art, even leaving the school. An exposed truth has a way of changing your thinking.

155. Robert Stolzle - August 24, 2015

Re: 146 &150

I’ve hunted some now, too, and don’t think “the things that seem to be”….. quote is from the Bible, either…….maybe the RB bible in his head.

Re: 152

It is axiomatic that every person is different and each moment of time unique, but how any of us assess others’ experiences is at least partly dependent on whether the observer/analyst is a “lumper” e.g. “we’re all machines” or a “splitter”, e.g. “each individual is unique”. The old axiom of walking a mile in their shoes is, I think, a pretty good standard. In spite of everyone here having been in the FoF, each person’s experiences and their responses to those experiences were very different and illustrating this is one of the greater benefits of this blog. Not everyone came away traumatized, but we all wasted time, talent and tithes on a fool’s quest there.

Bob Stolzle

156. cat's whiskers - August 24, 2015

Much has been said, recently, concerning the cult, the individuals in it (and maybe seeking a way out) and those ‘out’, wanting to ‘find their ‘life legs ‘ …..

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm

157. Bryan Reynolds - August 24, 2015

154. leaf – August 22, 2015

“Whether the blog is “helping” anyone today,”

I am grateful for all of the posts here because I feel former students and some who may still be in understand better than anyone the tragedy and frustration that a group of people who claim to be serious
about human development could scar people and ruin lives, waste so much potential in the name of some unexplained higher right.
Bryan Reynolds

158. Robert Stolzle - August 24, 2015

It’s okay because God is on our side!

159. GoldenVeil - August 24, 2015

142. J.D. August 19, 2015

Thank you for the edifying, tremendously funny video of the John Oliver’s show segment on U.S. fraudulent but legal cult leader money shakedowns of devotees. I especially liked the second half; beginning at 9:10 about the ins and outs of the IRS and church non-profit tax exemption status. It completely explains why the Fellowship of Friends has gotten away with their non-profit status re: federal taxes for decades.

As for the the two video sections after that – In the next one, it’s interesting to find out that there are a multitude of naive spiritual seekers out there, vulnerable to church leaders who are wolves in sheep’s clothing – whose audacious greed exceeds even that of avaricious R.E.B. and urge their followers to “plant a seed” (send money.)

In the last section, the host reveals details of his successful application to register an entirely invented, bogus religion, “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” (!) in the state of Texas where he’d never lived. All hilarious and on the mark!

160. cat's whiskers - August 25, 2015

Tenet of the FOF – the idea of a completely elevated society – yes, that is the idea being sold. But think about who are the ‘members’ and why do they join ? The phrase ‘dysfunctional’ has been bandied about on this blog – but not recently. It is one thing to not fit in – with one’s family (early, youthful joiners?), not feeling included in society (feeling above; feeling below one’s surrounding ‘friends’?). I do believe many do not question themselves and what they are doing (both inside and out of the FOF). What ‘grates’ is when innate values, principles and qualities start wanting to make themselves apparent …..

Something uplifting makes itself heard in that little voice to which you may sometimes listen …..

Max Ehrmann
“Desiderata”

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

161. ton2u - August 25, 2015

cat’s whiskers… thanks for the poem!

162. Associated Press - August 26, 2015

“And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side.”

With God on Our Side Bob Dylan 7:04:

(official version)

Oh my name it ain’t nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that the land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War, too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I’s made to memorize
With guns on their hands
And God on their side.

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fightin’
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side.

The Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now, too
Have God on their side.

I’ve learned to hate the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side.

Through many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for ya
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
That if God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war.

163. cat's whiskers - August 26, 2015

To examine, for purposes of foresight in case of … to study one’s psychological ‘position’ while immersed in … and, in hindsight, for bloggers, such as here, and for all other cults …

http://michaelbluejay.com/x/how-cults-recruit.html

A great deal of material, but quite specific.

164. Thomas judd - August 26, 2015

RE post 146 still wondering what the.cat w you seem to be firing off a lot of quotes.are you ex fof and perhaps repeating a rb misquote.I am curios yellow

165. Ames Gilbert - August 27, 2015

thomas judd (#159-134 or thereabouts),
You say, “The only way the fof will ever correct itself is if a truly sly man makes it so.”

If you are serious about your reference to a ‘sly man’ somehow rescuing the Fellowship of Friends, I assume there are any number of psychopaths who would love to get their hands on such an obedient and unquestioning flock and do as they please. A sufficient number are probably already there, making their plans for succession; I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Asaf Braverman is not elbowed aside by one such when the time comes.

Maybe you meant an altruistic savior? So, as an exercise in advanced imagination, assume that Burton is out of the way, and also assume for purposes of argument that someone, a veritable Bodhisattva, wanted to attempt such a rescue.

(My mind is positively boggling, but let us press on!)

Honestly, could there be worse material to work on? The members of the flock have self–selected for passivity and compliance for over forty years, and are in every meaningful way, corrupt to the core. Furthermore, they don’t want to be rescued, and they (as a group) have rendered themselves incapable of being rescued. A bunch of folks who are convinced they are special and more advanced than any other on the planet, with a hierarchy and management structure put in place by Burton. A management of weak yes–men and –women incapable of coherent thought, unable to question, unable to do anything but transmit orders in the most servile fashion.

Also this proposed saint would be surrounded from the get–go with the professional courtiers that abound, the ones that will do anything to get closer to a source of power and feed on the crumbs of authority. People like Braverman, or Yudin, who are presuming at this very moment to go out looking for followers of their own, but who have not yet managed to graduate themselves, who indeed have no individuality or capacity for individuation, who sold themselves long ago, whose potentials are exhausted. These are the people who would be loudly vying for attention and positions of power. Not to mention the rest of the sheep, who would be desperate for no only for attention, but for guidance to the minutest detail, who would require 24–7 confirmation of their specialness, or reconciliation to their grief over losing Burton. And who would be competing to demonstrate the completeness of their deference, conformity to the rules, and their obsequiousness.

IMHO, anyone with any sense, ‘sly’ or not, would never even consider taking on the responsibility for such a crew!

166. ton2u - August 27, 2015

“Having sex with one’s disciples, whether secretly or openly, is a betrayal of trust because the guru is putting his own needs and pleasures first, which is exploitation. “Honoring” a disciple with sex is a form of unabashed dominance—how can a disciple refuse who is committed to serve and obey?

“Gurus who preach celibacy while secretly engaging in sexuality present the latter as an esoteric initiation ritual or advanced spiritual exercise that must be kept hidden. This makes the disciple feel special while colluding in an enormous lie and manipulation that has severe emotional repercussions…. The lie indicates the guru’s entire persona is a lie, that his image as selfless and being beyond ego is a core deception…. Lying here as elsewhere is done to cover up self-interest.”

etc…

https://freedomofmind.com/Info/articles/guruPapers.php

167. Robert Stolzle - August 27, 2015

Re: #165

I think Ames is spot on with his assessment of anyone saving the FoF flock. So far as I can observe, no one can be saved from themselves. Addicts, suicides, devotees all pursue a “chosen” path. Regardless of any notions of “free will” we are all buffeted around by circumstances and make ad hoc decisions that might last a lifetime……..we are still dealing, in some measure here, with our personal decisions to join and then leave the FoF. In this regard, we do live “in imagination” and are almost always woefully inadequate in discerning where any given path might end——-and there are “wasted” lives everywhere. I see the problem with the FoF and all cults as wasting members “time, talent and tithes” on the lifestyle of the exalted leader and his chosen minions with no real benefit to either the member or the greater society and, all the while doing real psychological harm to those members by inculcating maladaptive, anti-social behavior.

Ames’ post also led me to wonder about the current, or as current as anyone knows, demographic distribution of the FoF membership. anyone posting here have any guesses as to age distribution, ethnicity, wealth, sexual orientation or other factors that might define the current FoF membership? We here can agree they are a bunch of brain washed, passive, compliant people dwelling in a fantasy land of their own imagination. But, when RB loses his control—-and he will—- do any of the sheep have the legs to jump the fence; will any of the flock leave the hen house? What will become of the Oregon House Asylum?

Bob Stolzle

168. Thomas judd - August 27, 2015

Mr. Gilbert for the most part I agree with your assessment. I’m not ready to damn the whole flock for the sins of the ruling class.I still feel a good percentage are unaware of the shit.
as I sit here drinking my kool-aid I want to believe a sly man is gathering evidence that will force the fof to be the groundwork for advancement it thinks itself to be.

169. leaf - August 27, 2015

I totally agree with Ames– not in part. I’m not sure it’s an accurate representation to suggest he’s “damning the whole flock.” However, I do wonder how deeply ingrained their indoctrination must be… given the amount of evidence that’s available over the internet. It makes you think they’ll stick with it no matter what they hear, no matter what they learn, and no matter what Burton does.

Regarding what will happen when Burton “completes his task”:

No doubt, someone will step forward and try to take over. A percentage of people will stick with it for a while, as many of them will fear the consequences of giving up on something they wasted their entire adult lives on. But really, how many will follow whoever it is? And for how long? It’s unlikely that anyone will have the same amount of guile and sociopathic charm that Burton has exhibited. He’s pretty high on the sociopathic scale, and he struck at the right time with the right group of people. He has the uncanny ability to cast a spell, and it’s something that no one will be able duplicate in my view.

For many, the spell will die with him. A few will find comfort with the various pictures and statues that are placed around the compound to remind everyone that’s it still the Blessed Church of Burton. Maybe they’ll have meeting or parties where they view old videos where Burton describes how important it is to remain in the school and make those teaching payments before you pay your rent, etc.

I once thought there could be a healthy future for the Fellowship of Friends. Like many others, I have woken up since. The FOF has a terminal disease that goes beyond just Burton. Where I see everything totally crumbling is when someone claims to have a special connection with Burton in the afterlife. Good luck with that.

The final chapter may be like crows gnawing at the scraps. Maybe someone will grab the property and do something worthwhile with it, or maybe not.

170. cat's whiskers - August 28, 2015

Doomsday cult

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doomsday cult is an expression used to describe groups who believe in Apocalypticism and Millenarianism, and can refer both to groups that prophesy catastrophe and destruction, and to those that attempt to bring it about.[1] The expression was first used by sociologist John Lofland in his 1966 study of a group of members of the Unification Church of the United States in California, “Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith”. A classic study of a group with cataclysmic predictions had previously been performed by Leon Festinger and other researchers, and was published in his book “When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World”.[2][3]

Referring to his study, Festinger and later other researchers have attempted to explain the commitment of members to their associated doomsday cult, even after the prophecies of their leader have turned out to be false. Festinger explained this phenomenon as part of a coping mechanism called ‘dissonance reduction’, a form of rationalization. Members often dedicate themselves with renewed vigor to the group’s cause after a failed prophecy, and rationalize with explanations such as a belief that their actions forestalled the disaster, or a belief in the leader when the date for disaster is postponed.

Some researchers believe that the use of the term by the government and the news media can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, in which actions by authorities reinforces the apocalyptic beliefs of the group, which in turn can inspire further controversial actions. Group leaders have themselves objected to comparisons between one group and another, and parallels have been drawn between the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy and the theory of a ‘deviancy amplification spiral’.

171. Thomas judd - August 28, 2015

P.s I apologize for the stone I threw a couple weeks meaning to hit NH price but landed on u and leaf.also jd post 142 thx much hilarious

172. leaf - August 28, 2015

171. Thomas judd
Don’t know what you’re referring to. I generally don’t paid close attention or take this too seriously, so it’s ok.

173. leaf - August 28, 2015

“Everything terrible is something that needs our love.”
– Rilke

174. cat's whiskers - August 28, 2015
175. Bernadette o'callaghan - August 29, 2015

Thank you Just the Facts Ma’am for your reply. Unfortunately, I don’t remember Karen’s surname. On the off chance, anyone else is in contact with Karen or, if she is reading this blog and would like to get in touch, my email remains the same as it was then, just changed the server to Yahoo.com. Thanks again,

176. cat's whiskers - August 29, 2015

I thought about a similar quote about saving – can we save people – who is trying to save whom (or otherwise) – saving on the blog (maybe ?) ….

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”

Buddha

177. aarrgh me buckos - August 29, 2015

cw=NHP?

178. Thomas judd - August 29, 2015

I was thinking same.

179. shardofoblivion - August 29, 2015

#177 and #178 yes – maybe holding himself in a bit. At first I thought it unlikely as Cat’s W always refers to Burton as REB whereas NHP would use a variety of monikers, but when I went back to previous pages NHP does indeed use REB on many occasions.

180. Ames Gilbert - August 30, 2015

thomas judd (#150-168 or thereabouts),
sorry I didn’t make myself clear enough. I meant that the organization known as the Fellowship of Friends can’t be saved. The group as a whole. Individuals are another matter. I subscribe to Whalerider’s dictum, “draining the victim pool”, whether the victims are past, present or future—and that can only be done one person at a time. I can do my best to warn potential prey, reach out to present followers who have misgivings, or comfort those who have been wounded by the experience. That is all the change I could hope for.

181. Robert Stolzle - August 30, 2015

Re: Aarrgh #177

I be’s ponderin’ de same ting. Dey’s boff gots lots ‘o po’try an’ links an I doan mean de hot kine.

Bob Stolzle

182. cat's whiskers - August 30, 2015

To refer to the ancestors of the cult and, consequently, to refer to the blog and posters, Gurdjieff remarked to Ouspensky – “In order ro know a little, you need to know a lot and in order to know a lot, you need to know a little.”

Are we asking ourselves what we know now – forget whether it is life-wise or esotera-wise – and are we aiming to be of service 1) to those in the FOF considering escape, and 2) those on the blog who might listen (there is an awful lot of blah-blah-blah-ism that goes on “to puff up the personality, you might say) ?

183. leaf - August 30, 2015

Whoever this poster might be, the bullshit is persistent..

One thing Burton loves is when the blog goes off on incoherent tangents, and he’s no longer the subject of the discussion. He should hire some of these people.

184. Thomas judd - August 30, 2015

The ism reference eliminated any doubts. He actually makes good points and insights now and then.if he could just stay on track and not post every thought that comes to mind he will do himself and this blog a favor.

185. Thomas judd - August 31, 2015

Sir Gilbert I endorse your efforts to warn potential members and help persuade present members of the shit that happens. I take issue when you and others insinuate and infer that anyone having spent any time in the fof is at least aware of the shit and continues to allow and support it.

186. leaf - August 31, 2015

re: 185 Thomas Judd

Many people don’t know the entire truth. However, everyone is eventually aware of the truth to one degree or another.

The bigger question is not whether or not people are aware, but why some people take no action (i.e., ask questions, converse with fellow students about it, confront “Robert”, leave the school, etc.)

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

Cognitive dissonance

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency (dissonance) tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance—as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it.

———–
Reducing
Cognitive dissonance theory is founded on the assumption that individuals seek consistency between their expectations and their reality. Because of this, people engage in a process called dissonance reduction to bring their cognitions and actions in line with one another. This creation of uniformity allows for a lessening of psychological tension and distress. According to Festinger, dissonance reduction can be achieved in four ways. In an example case where a person has adopted the attitude that they will no longer eat high fat food, but eats a high-fat doughnut, the four methods of reduction are:

* Change behavior or cognition (“I will not eat any more of this doughnut”)
* Justify behavior or cognition by changing the conflicting cognition (“I’m allowed to cheat every once in a while”)
* Justify behavior or cognition by adding new cognitions (“I’ll spend 30 extra minutes at the gym to work this off”)
* Ignore or deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs (“This doughnut is not high in fat”)

187. cat's whiskers - August 31, 2015

Planets: Earth: Sun – Process of Regeneration, Re-Creation, Change of Nature, Art.

“In this last process, form, giving order to matter, itself becomes life or spirit. The creature emulates the creator, and itself creates. Planets are but the forms or reflections of solar influence. But they too may in some way aspire to be suns, and with Jupiter and Saturn we see their transformation already far advanced. The planet, organizing the earth or matter available to it in imitation of its sun, becomes sun to its own satellites and system.So, in the world of men, great artists, poets, or musicians strive to organize their material, whether paint, stone or words, in an order which imitates the order of cosmic creation. By creating an order similar to that created by a higher power they acquire in little the nature of that power.”

– Rodney Collin ‘Theory of Celestial Influence’. –

188. shardofoblivion - August 31, 2015

#187 that quote reminded me again of Rodney Collin’s tone of voice. It’s kind of worthy and blessed at the same time.
” Planets are but the forms or reflections of solar influence.”
And scientifically illiterate.

189. Robert Stolzle - August 31, 2015

Re: #187

Aside from the metaphor about human organizations and the solar system, there is no substance to RCS’s blather about higher power and man’s attempts to acquire same. Gravity is the organizing principle for the galaxy and pretty much all matter in it. Gravity affects humans too, just not in the way Smith implies. Whatever the human condition is that wants to be something “higher”, it isn’t caused by gravity. This is a great example of the type of quasi-scientific malarky that sucked me into the FoF back in the 70’s. It all sounds so reasonable and logical and insightful……….and it is dead wrong.

Man can make beautiful music; the “music of the spheres” is all imagination.

And, if you think Saturn is calling you, get thee to a physician.

Bob Stolzle

190. cat's whiskers - August 31, 2015

Science has limits: A few things that science does not do …

Science is powerful. It has generated the knowledge that allows us to call a friend halfway around the world with a cell phone, vaccinate a baby against polio, build a skyscraper, and drive a car. And science helps us answer important questions like which areas might be hit by a tsunami after an earthquake, how did the hole in the ozone layer form, how can we protect our crops from pests, and who were our evolutionary ancestors? With such breadth, the reach of science might seem to be endless, but it is not. Science has definite limits

People make moral judgments, not science.
Science doesn’t make moral judgments

When is euthanasia the right thing to do? What universal rights should humans have? Should other animals have rights? Questions like these are important, but scientific research will not answer them. Science can help us learn about terminal illnesses and the history of human and animal rights — and that knowledge can inform our opinions and decisions. But ultimately, individual people must make moral judgments. Science helps us describe how the world is, but it cannot make any judgments about whether that state of affairs is right, wrong, good, or bad.

People make aesthetic judgments, not science.
Science doesn’t make aesthetic judgments

Science can reveal the frequency of a G-flat and how our eyes relay information about color to our brains, but science cannot tell us whether a Beethoven symphony, a Kabuki performance, or a Jackson Pollock painting is beautiful or dreadful. Individuals make those decisions for themselves based on their own aesthetic criteria.

Science doesn’t tell you how to use scientific knowledge.
Science doesn’t tell you how to use scientific knowledge

Although scientists often care deeply about how their discoveries are used, science itself doesn’t indicate what should be done with scientific knowledge. Science, for example, can tell you how to recombine DNA in new ways, but it doesn’t specify whether you should use that knowledge to correct a genetic disease, develop a bruise-resistant apple, or construct a new bacterium. For almost any important scientific advance, one can imagine both positive and negative ways that knowledge could be used. Again, science helps us describe how the world is, and then we have to decide how to use that knowledge.

191. ton2u - August 31, 2015

@ 189

“Man can make beautiful music; the “music of the spheres” is all imagination.”

Your biases are showing.

192. Thomas judd - August 31, 2015

RE 187 although I suffer from cdd whether Rodney c is scientifically or grammatically correct I like the feel of the analogy between the solar system and man’s condition and behavior.I would suggest a further analogy to rb and the fof but I shan’t for fear of being stoned.that reminds me

193. Robert Stolzle - September 1, 2015

CW @ 190 –
No arguments from me, but what is your point?

My personal moral judgment is that the Fourth Way pseudo-science is constructed by taking sound science and cleverly distorting it to support various self-serving metaphysical claims. This trick is especially easy when something as poorly understood as human psychology is the subject at hand. The failings of science and the limits of our knowledge are not a good reason to adopt various cultish beliefs and practices.

ton @ 191
Me? Biased! Perish the thought…….I’m at least as objective as any Man #7!

Thank you for the link. I had heard of this phenomenon and never really looked into it. The movie “Contact” starts with a pretty accurate depiction of our human generated electromagnetic radiation flying into space and so far as I can suppose this radiation is what is being used to generate the various sounds for the video. Mozart it ain’t! There is all manner of crackling, hissing and sputtering in the cosmos, but it is a leap to suggest that any of this noise is some form of communication or that there is some intelligence in the celestial orbs. Might be, but we can’t even communicate with the other animals here on earth. The suggestion that the inanimate matter of the universe is somehow “alive” in any way we might comprehend is one small step away from “cult speak” IMO.

“I want to believe.” is not a scientific principle.

Bob Stolzle

194. shardofoblivion - September 1, 2015

#190. All good points regarding the limits of science. It cannot arbitrate in the subjective cultural realm. I am with the existentialists that we each create a moral law for ourselves. Those who derive a moral authority from a Deity make the same mistake as those who wish to reduce ethics to science. If we act in a certain way from fear of punishment by an all seeing God, we are not really acting morally at all.

But that science has limits hardly affects the problem that Rodney Collin claimed to have found scientific support for the crack pot theories of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, whereas really his book “the theory of celestial influence” is a text book example of confirmation bias blinding the true believer.

#192 If I had to choose an analogy for the FoF from nature I think the Termite colony fits best, Burton was grossly fat in the seventies.

195. Ames Gilbert - September 1, 2015

Cats Whiskers (# 150-190 or thereabouts),
Please make it clear when you have lifted stuff from the Internet by using quotation marks or directly stating such.
This whole passage is plagiarism unless you make that clear, which you failed to do.
And what is the point of this wholesale, unattributed copying? The people that run the University of Berkley “Understanding Science” website would sure like to know.

196. Ames Gilbert - September 1, 2015

Thomas judd (#150-185 or thereabouts),
hey, you may well be right. My peculiar history in the FoF included: moving to Renaissance in 1978, just a few months after I joined in London, and living there until I left, except for a little under four years in Sacramento. So, really, I had very little experience of ‘living in a distant center’, which I assume from your protestations of ignorance about what was really going on was true for you. Also, my history was from a long time ago. Even living at ‘the heart of the school’, I had no idea what was really going on, or rather, I refused to confront the evidence or the import of the evidence seriously, until shortly before I left. Amazing to say, my wife did happen know what was going on in 1976, well before we were even married, but thought it ignoble and gossipy to share what she knew (she was close to one of the victims in real time as events unfolded) with me until the 1990’s!

So, I can believe that anyone in ‘distant centers’ had no idea. In fact, even some of the earlier Center Directors that I’ve spoken to say had no idea, and I believe them (though one of the London Center Directors, Peter Bishop, outright lied to me when I joined; he claimed that Burton was celibate, but he confessed to me in 1995 that he had been having sex with Burton before and during that very time!) The wall of silence was pretty much absolute for the first two decades, as far as I can tell. The majority of the victims were too ashamed, oppressed, depressed, frightened, or bewildered, to speak up. The few that did, like Bruce, were simply not believed, or their claims belittled. Stella Wirk told me that a number of victims approached her over the years, and she stated that she would not, could not believe them until the evidence overwhelmed her defenses. Believing, for most of us, would have turned ‘everything’ upside down, so it was more convenient, and certainly more comfortable, to disregard the signs.

I will amend my claim to: IMO, anyone living at Renaissance/Apollo/Isis for more than a few months, from the middle 1980’s onwards cannot have failed to know what was going on. Looking at the FoF membership list for a year ago, I find that the majority of U.S. followers (600 or so) live at Apollo; just a dozen or so live elsewhere in the U.S. So, the other 1,000 or so live elsewhere, far distant from the evidence and probably much of the gossip. However, I would strongly expect that any center directors—and many followers—in the so–called Eastern European countries, the Latin American countries, and of course Russia, have a remarkably good idea of what is going on, since they are the main recruiting agents for fresh flesh for Burton. They arrange visas, tickets and travel money for the chosen, and themselves travel as often as they can back to HQ to refresh their belief systems, and are certainly plugged into the channels of informal communication. Burton surrounded by an entourage of young, good–looking, pliable males was and probably still is a normal sight, and their role has not been hidden in any way since the mid–1980’s. In fact, so normalized had this become that there was a meeting about it in the Town Hall in September 1994 which I attended, where some of Burton’s former partners took the stage and held forth on how very wonderful and spiritually enhancing it was to have had sex with him.

197. cat's whiskers - September 1, 2015

Plagiarism Today (Author cited)

Copyright Infringement, Plagiarism and Fair Use

Posted on October 6, 2005 by Jonathan Bailey • 11 Comments

Contrary to popular belief, the word plagiarism is not synonymous with copyright infringement. Not every incident of plagiarism is copyright infringement, especially when public domain works are involved. On the flip side, not every incident of copyright infringement is plagiarism, such as the alleged infringements of file sharers.

On a related note, not all reuse of copyrighted material is copyright infringement or plagiarism. Some uses are perfectly legal and ethical, thus getting them dubbed “fair use”.

198. Ames Gilbert - September 1, 2015

cats whiskers (#150-197 or thereabouts),
What does forwarding these opinions from the internet about copyright and fair use have to do with anything?
Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s creations (in this case, words from the UC Berkley website) as your own.

P.S., when you do use your own words, as in #182 above, you might want to hire an editor. As they are, they have little or no meaning.

199. cat's whiskers - September 1, 2015

The ultimate test (Mrs. Cat’s Whiskers M.C. will be represented in court by the Hon. Abraham Goldman [deceased] to come from another angel).

“Although plagiarism is not a criminal or civil offense, plagiarism is illegal if it infringes an author’s intellectual property rights, including copyright or trademark. For example, the owner of a copyright can sue a plagiarizer in federal court for copyright violation.”

Plagiarism: What is it, Exactly?
legalzoom.com
https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/plagiarism-what-is-it-exactly

200. ton2u - September 1, 2015

193
“I want to believe.” is not a scientific principle.

But you believe in science…

It seems people need something to believe in, something to hold onto… it seems to be part of the human condition.

But I would question any permutation of blind faith – whether it be burtonism, the ‘4th way,’ religions in general, or scientism – which ironically, does create / contribute to a closed mindedness.

Belief in burtonism or belief in scientism may simply be degrees of the same type of mentality – although the content is different, there is a similarity… that is, fanatical belief in anything (meaning a belief that excludes other possible perspectives), whether it’s burtonism or scientism, leads to the conclusion that your ‘world view’ is the one and only truth absolute, or in the case of scientism the only method for discerning “truth.”

Keeping an open mind sounds simple enough, right ? But I think it’s all too easy for some folks to fool themselves into believing they have all the answers based on doctrinaire conditioning – conditioning which one is probably mostly unaware of.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An individual may or may not be able to speak for himself, but you can’t expect to accurately represent or speak for others in your opining here… you surely don’t speak for me… what sort of a supposedly “adult” mentality thinks it’s amusing to make fun of african american speech patterns ? as @181 ?!

It might help clarify things – if not for others, then for yourself – if you were to think more in terms of “I” rather than the ‘royal we’ – as in “we can’t even communicate with the other animals here on earth…”
This may be your “truth,” your reality…. if so, I’m sorry that you’re so closed off from the rest of creation. It would be more accurate to say, or write: “I can’t even communicate… etc.”

My wife is a wonderful cat herder for example.

🙂

201. James Mclemore - September 1, 2015

200. ton2u

Nice post.

202. Robert Stolzle - September 2, 2015

Re” #200

ton-

Everyone is entitled to believe anything they want, so long as it doesn’t adversely impact others. I might be rightly accused of “scientism”, depending on what you mean that to be. I am a geologist, the fuzziest of all the sciences, except perhaps psychology. However, my diatribe regarding Mr. Smith and his metaphysical theories is intended to suggest that just because his or other Fourth Way beliefs can be persuasively presented doesn’t make them either real or true. A little more skepticism would have kept me and perhaps a few others out of the FoF; hence the “I want to believe.” quote borrowed from the X Files television series.

All of the failings of modern science, and there are many, do not justify embracing ideas of journeying to alternate universes or C influence or any of the strange and unproven ideas put forth by various cults. And, although I am no fanatic, I am not aware of other valid methods of discerning “truth”, at least physical truth, other than the “scientific method” or some variation on that process. The consensus of a thousand or more current FoF members is that RB is a Man #7, does that make it true?

The “royal we” is simply a reference to mankind in general and “we” have certainly manipulated, but fail to even understand let alone communicate with the other residents of our little rock. Our simple stewardship of planet Earth leaves much to be desired. Mankind’s espoused “higher” aspirations are mostly hubris.

Never, in my opining here have I presumed to speak for anyone other than myself. When I use “we” it is only as a member of Homo sapiens and to present my fairly jaundiced view of mankind……and it is just my personal understanding and not intended to be some pronouncement of some “universal truth”. I don’t even know what that would look like.

Finally, I wasn’t making fun of African-American speech. They speak like that in Louisiana where I lived in my childhood and I tried to write in that dialect as a change in the dead serious writing and ideas that are usually presented on this blog. I apologize if I offended anyone else.

What do you believe in?

Bob Stolzle

203. shardofoblivion - September 2, 2015

#200. re your use of the term Scientism. Though an unthinking and dogmatic belief in science is a little unenlightened, I am not sure any very grave errors result. So, people beset by scientism are close minded and when new discoveries come along they are the last to accept them, but in the end the truth seems to have time on its side.

Or maybe you are making the more radical assertion that science is just another model of the world and all the other myths and legends ever cooked up are broadly on the same level as regards truth. That relativist approach. I would disagree on that point.

204. leaf - September 2, 2015

Right, I think the comparison *might* be a type of false equivalence. Science goes only so far, but it goes a lot further than dogma, in my opinion.

If a scientist adopts a world view “to the exclusion of other viewpoints”, which is the definition I found for “scientism”, I’m not sure why that’s a problem. That’s what we all are capable of doing — we embrace what resonates with us, and dismiss what doesn’t. Where there might be a problem is when science actually is not science, but a type of agenda driven disinformation campaign — i.e., there’s no man-made climate change, American football doesn’t cause lasting brain disease, etc.

Sometimes I think atheists are closer to God (if there is a God) than those who profess the belief. Similarly, I think many scientists are closer to something grand and mysterious (if there is something grand and mysterious about this world) than those who profess to be (religious leaders, new age gurus, etc.).

Ames, nice posts. Glad you have time to be here occasionally and let ‘er rip. Bob Stolzle, nice response. ton2u, very cool about your wife and cats.

205. ton2u - September 2, 2015

You’re right Bob, everyone is entitled to believe anything they want… or as the wiccans might say: “harm none, do what ye will.” In that regard It appears from the way things are headed that “stewardship” of the planet is going to be left to less “successful” species. It may be hubris to even think in terms of “stewardship” – as opposed to a ethos of “living with.” I can see why a geologist might view the planet as an inanimate “rock” but it’s much more than rock – view as a whole it’s a living being… you me and everyone else are as microbes.

If you expect a monkey to stand up and start speaking english to you then you don’t know the first thing about communication. I’m reminded of a few lines from a Laurie Anderson song:

“…All of nature talks to me. If I could just
Figure out what it was trying to tell me. Listen!
Trees are swinging in the breeze. They’re talking to me
Insects are rubbing their legs together
They’re all talking. They’re talking to me. And short animals–
They’re bucking up on their hind legs. Talking. Talking to me
Hey! Look out! Bugs are crawling up my legs!
You know? I’d rather see this on TV….”

I think we’re crossing into some grey areas again, but central to the idea of cognition / perception, individual “truth,” reality and belief. When it comes to questions about what is “real or true” for the individual, and what is reality, (Shard may accuse me of “relativism” here but IMO) there is some validity to examining a relationship between: human perceptual capacities, “truth” / reality / realities, and belief(s)… For example are Fourth Way beliefs not real and true for those who believe them?

Leaf, re: false equivalence – the comparison is to say there are similarities when it comes to belief, “realities,” perception, and what some may hold as “sacred truths” – regardless of the ideology, the “ism” – i.e. the lens through which the world is viewed. That’s not to say in comparing they are the same thing, that’s not to imply equivalence.

Adopting a world view to the exclusion of other viewpoints is not a problem ?

Hmm.

Is vivisection not a problem for those beings in the same position as Descartes’ dog ? (As the story goes, he nailed his dog to a board and proceeded to dissect as he ignored the shrieks of pain because of the common belief that animals have no ‘soul’).

The exclusion of other viewpoints not a problem ? Why is there continuous war across the planet ? Why is “humanity” responsible for rubbing-out whole cultures ? Why is there a mass species extinction occurring as we speak ? For starters I think all may have something to do with the exclusion of other ‘viewpoints’…. human, animal, and tree alike.

206. cat's whiskers - September 2, 2015

ton2u … as a continuation, I am a little ‘jaded of hearing’ the ‘reductionist theories’ of well-known scientists, as though having a brilliant mind (so-called), having the theorems, quantumising the physics (to go over the top) and not being TOTALLY WOWED by a Night Sky full of Stars – for the sake of vision alone, and being amazed BY WHAT VISION IS !!! – do they think that these ‘tags of scientification along the way’ denote a worthwhile discipline or career?

If a simpleton (backward or learning difficulties person) can utter a few ‘slobbered’ words and then describe through their vision what they want put to paper – is that not a miracle?

207. shardofoblivion - September 2, 2015

#206 “do they think that these ‘tags of scientification along the way’ denote a worthwhile discipline or career?”

208. leaf - September 2, 2015

ton2u – You and I have a different connotation of the word “exclude.” My take on the word is that it simply means “disagree.” We “exclude” other world views that don’t make sense to us, that we believe waste our time, that are clearly insane, and so on. Everyone does this. People routinely hear viewpoints that they don’t seriously consider. For that reason, I don’t tune in to Fox News, not because I’m close-minded to other views, but because it would waste my time and would fail to inform me in any way.

However, it’s one thing to disagree. It’s another thing to attack others who disagree with us. If a person decides to launch a war because others disagree, that’s a different take on the word “exclude.” At that point, you’re entering the realm of insanity. Or if a person excludes every other viewpoint or world view, and therefore listens to no one, that’s another aspect of insanity. So if that’s your connotation of the word “exclude,” then I agree wholeheartedly.

Not sure this was your point, but I agree that scientists are not above the world of belief and dogma. At that point, the concern is not about science, but about the scientist. A concern about science is that many who practice it fail to consider morality and ethics, and therefore the application of science often becomes monstrous. When scientists take their research in the directions that you describe above, it’s the darker/insane side of science. Similarly, when cult leaders manipulate and exploit the weaknesses of their followers, it’s the darker/insane side of “spirituality” and religion.

As usual, it’s a question of balance or imbalance. People often buy into science to the “exclusion” of morality. People often buy into religion to the exclusion of science. It’s an apparently uncomfortable realm to find a balance between these things — the right brain and the left brain, the moral and the clinical, logical and emotional. Instead, humans tend to fly off in one direction or another, start wars, treat others inhumanely, spread hate, and so on.

Most of our schools and “teachers” are obviously imbalanced toward science to the “exclusion” of moral, philosophical, and emotional principles. Schools try to teach other disciplines, such as philosophy and art, but the emphasis is clearly science. And then you have religious institutions that are obviously imbalanced toward religious dogma to the “exclusion” of scientific principles and logic. So there’s an imbalance.

Getting back to Thomas judd’s suggestion that something could be retrieved from the ruins of the FOF (sorry if I’m not describing your view accurately or completely), here’s my take: The only way that could happen in the FOF is if the people in the cult started an honest discussion about morality and science. At that point, it would render Burton powerless and the cult would evaporate. Burton knows this. Therefore, all honest discussions about anything related to morality and science are strictly controlled or disallowed. No one, for example, is likely to point out the scientific flaws of predicting the future, or “men number 7” or whatever.

For the purposes of this discussion, I’m much more concerned about viewpoints that “exclude” science then the other way around. That doesn’t mean that I’m not concerned about how humans practice science, but the imbalance in religions and cults is clearly toward dogma. Scientific scrutiny and questioning is what’s missing.

209. cat's whiskers - September 2, 2015

One finds this quite cosmic, dude!

Review of ‘Molecules of Emotion’

By Paul Trachtman

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE | SUBSCRIBE
SEPTEMBER 1998

Molecules of Emotion
Candace B. Pert (Scribner)

“Candace Pert is a brilliant molecular biologist who was a key figure in the discovery of the endorphin molecule, the body’s natural form of morphine. She is now widely regarded as the mother of a new field of science known as psychoneuroimmunology (Smithsonian, June 1989). Her research into brain biochemistry at the National Institute of Mental Health contributed to a radically new understanding of mind and body. In the 17th century, the philosopher René Descartes split mind and body into two spheres, with the body belonging to science and the mind left to metaphysics. Now Pert and her peers are rejoining what Descartes put asunder, by looking deeply into the molecular level of life.

In Molecules of Emotion, Pert offers a clear and often riveting account of her research on the frontier of a new kind of science. She also writes as an insider caught up in the politics of science, offering a rare glimpse of the ruthless competition for prizes and money that sometimes obscures the pursuit of truth. And, throwing aside the caution that is customary among scientists, she applies the new facts of psychoneuroimmunology to everyday life, discussing everything from drugs and disease to dreams and the molecular biology of hugs.

There are enough new facts, metaphors and speculations in this book to astonish (and sometimes raise the hackles of) many readers, just as Pert’s research has often been met with initial disbelief. The field of psychoneuroimmunology, although based on exacting research, has had a hard birth. Its core idea is that the surfaces of cells are lined with many specific “receptors” to which only specific molecules can attach themselves. These molecules, in turn, are messengers through which the body and mind, as well as our neurons, glands and immune cells, are all constantly sharing information.

The work of Pert and her colleagues showed that a variety of proteins known as peptides (including endorphins) were among the body’s key “information substances” – and each of them could affect our mind, our emotions, our immune system, our digestion and other bodily functions simultaneously. For scientists and doctors trained to focus on one system in isolation from the others – a neuroscientist doesn’t study white blood cells, for example – this came as a shock. Their first reaction was to defend their turf, and also to deny the new evidence.

When Jesse Roth, clinical director at the National Institutes of Health, discovered in the 1980s that insulin (which was supposed to be produced only in the pancreas) was also made in the brain, as well as in one-celled organisms outside the human body, his papers were at first rejected by every reputable scientific journal. A reviewer sent back the comment: “This is preposterous, you must not be washing your test tubes well enough.” When Ed Blalock at the University of Texas showed that immune cells were secreting endorphins (which Pert had discovered in the brain), he met the same kind of response. When his work was confirmed, the leading journal Nature warned scientists to beware of “radical psychoimmunologists” who would use Blalock’s work to suggest that body and mind were in communication. Thereafter, Pert and her colleagues proudly called themselves radical psychoimmunologists.

Pert’s own career has often been as controversial as the new science she’s helped to create, and she writes of this with candor. She discovered endorphins as a graduate student, according to her account, only by secretly pursuing an experiment her professor had ordered her to drop. When he was later given the prestigious Lasker Award for work she had contributed to mightily, Pert was left out of the prize. She refused to keep quiet about it. The ensuing scandal made her something of a pariah to the establishment.

More recently, Pert and her husband, immunologist Michael Ruff, have devoted years of research to a potentially nontoxic cure for AIDS based on psychoneuroimmunology. They synthesized a peptide that would mimic the part of the virus that attaches to cell receptors and thus block the virus from entering a cell, instead of using toxic conventional drugs to destroy it. But their work has been dismissed, like other early advances in psychoneuroimmunology. It has only lately begun to gain interest and garner some backing among mainstream AIDS researchers.

At its best, Molecules of Emotion is a lucid explanation of new research on the way peptides work to connect all aspects of body and mind in a network of shared information. To cite only a single example, Pert explains: “For decades, most people thought of the brain and its extension the central nervous system as an electrical communication system . . . resembling a telephone system with trillions of miles of intricately crisscrossing wires.” But new research techniques for studying peptides and receptors show that only 2 percent of neuronal communications are electrical, across a synapse. In fact, she writes, “the brain is a bag of hormones.” And those hormones affect not only the brain, but every aspect of body and mind; many memories are stored throughout the body, as changes in the structure of receptors at the cellular level. “The body,” Pert concludes, “is the unconscious mind!”

The central theme of Pert’s book is that the peptides that flood our bodies are, in fact, the molecules of emotion. Emotions, largely ignored within the traditional confines of science and medicine, are actually the key to understanding psychoimmunology’s emerging picture of how body and mind affect each other. For example, it’s through the emotion-modulating peptides that an embarrassing thought can cause blood vessels to dilate and turn a face beet red. In the same way, the molecules of emotion can mobilize immune cells to destroy an incipient tumor. Techniques like meditation or visualization may also act as forces to set those molecules in action.”

210. cat's whiskers - September 2, 2015

“I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”

― Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman’s Camden Conversations

211. Parson Yorick - September 2, 2015

This seems a lot like the old “angles of thought”: Mr. Ouspensky said…, or Mr Gurdjieff said…, or Rodney Collin said…, The Bible says…, or The Buddha said….or the Teacher said…. It was what we called thinking, and what a pathetic lot we were. Paying through the nose, and pretending to possess some kind of wisdom that we clearly lacked.

212. shardofoblivion - September 3, 2015

#208 Leaf – I do like your idea that science could break out in the FoF and like a mad disease start to infect members with doubt and honest reappraisal of the direction of their lives. What a nightmare that would be for the embattled true believers, barricaded up inside the Galleria with its pornographic murals for comfort. What could they use to fight science? Maybe an intellectual colossus of the stature of Asaf Braverman could see off the plague of scientific thinking, or maybe Burton would in the end cave in and accept non dualism including its awkward conclusion that we are all already awake and enlightened, so he isn’t the only one anymore.
Perhaps we could arrange to leaflet bomb the Oregon House area with science papers showing the moon has no discernable effect on our emotions. 🙂
How did the arab spring start again?

213. Thomas judd - September 3, 2015

4 me I liked the angles of thought. Short,to the point,usually voicing a higher truth.one just has to know to separate the wheat from the shaft.i.e.rb would throw an angle and add something like we are wining with the subliminal message as long as you are a member with current dues. I’m aware that it is fanciful thinking to believe that the fof will become what it pretends to be,a 4th way school.actually all the workings are there it’s just that the company management has corrupted itself to a point that only a mutiny or some kind of Saul-Paul type person I read about in a book the name of which escapes me at the moment.please don’t throw too many stones at my fantasy.

214. leaf - September 3, 2015

My fantasy isn’t too far away from yours — someone acquiring that property and turning it into something worthwhile. Maybe something akin to the Fourth Way will be a topic of discussion, but it wouldn’t be the driving force. Whatever it becomes, there’s a healthy, inspired, energized view of the world, where people are open to new ideas, reject despots, and where it actually does become a “city of friends.”

215. leaf - September 3, 2015

212. shardofoblivion

Nice post, and love your idea about leaflet bombs, if only in jest.

Too bad there couldn’t be an inside job – a type of leaflet ground attack.

216. brucelevy - September 4, 2015

213-215

Dream on.

217. leaf - September 4, 2015

Kiss my ass, Bruce.

218. Thomas judd - September 4, 2015

Leaflet ground attack,brilliant and easily do able I would think with a little cunning. Not sure how difficult it would be to find a disgruntled current member willing to go out in a blaze of glory even if caught leaving leaflets on cars places of gathering and such.leaflet should probably be not to lengthy and list things that can’t be logically disputed i.e.failed prophecy, lawsuits,sexual misconduct. Just firing off the top of my head here

219. cat's whiskers - September 4, 2015

I wonder what would happen if a man/woman of exemplary behavior, proper, discerning taste in literature, music and art (not this ‘gluey’ Burton stuff), fresh ideas about humanity – and A GOOD TRACK RECORD IN SEXUAL RELATIONS i.e. a polar opposite to Burton, should arrive on the Isis scene ? This would be both a ‘shock’ and a force for good.

220. Robert Stolzle - September 4, 2015

With apologies to Flatt & Scruggs & The Beverly Hillbillies—-

The time has come to say goodbye to Tim and all his friends,
and I want to thank you all for letting me chime in.

In two years now, I’ve failed to find old Friends,
from the Carmel days, way, way back when.

It might be a while, but I guess I’ll see
if in the future this blog has any rationality.

Bye, Bye and,
Be Happy!

Bob Stolzle

221. Cathie L. - September 4, 2015

Bob:

Fare thee well, and rock on!

Cathie

222. leaf - September 5, 2015

218. Thomas judd.

“Leaflet bomb ground attack” etc. etc.
My remarks were off-the-cuff and not serious.

—–
Bob, I would assume you’ve tried the Greater Fellowship site? These pages are more of a free-for-all and aren’t the best avenue toward reconnecting or making friendships. I don’t think anyone ever pretended they were.

—–
Bruce, a “city of friends” (also a passing thought and not something I seriously believe) is something I have sometimes imagined two or three decades hence, when all of the current people have moved on. It’s not something I would ever expect in most of our lifetimes, but when I think of that land it’s occurred to me that someone might someday do something special with it.

223. Parson Yorick - September 5, 2015

You realize, don’t you, Mr. Stolzle, that leaving the blog is a very serious move, and that in doing so you lose all your possibilities in this or any other life. At any rate, good luck to you in your endeavors. 🙂

224. ton2u - September 5, 2015

Bob Stolzle,

225. Thomas judd - September 5, 2015

Py forgot to add better you were never born.

226. cat's whiskers - September 6, 2015

I am not sure if the blog can, anymore, trumpet “horrors” in the ears of those inside the Fellowship of Friends, especially those at Isis, who, I should expect, firmly believe they are “working towards the New Civilization”, with their – classical music, classical (with erect penises of course) art, classical literature and fine dining and fine wines (God knows what is happening to the vineyard – mixed messages I hear – though fine wines they imbibe). Burton near death, but “the show must go on”.

My own feeling is this. The set-up can go only two ways – when Burton DIES – YES, CEASES, BREATHES HIS LAST BREATH ! Anyway, he will no longer be commanding a commune (with satellites) of automata, some power-hungry, some having become grovellingly subservient. When the last knoll sounds, the hungry to continue – the Braverman’s and Yudin’s and such will “step up to the podium”, ready to take the reins of “The Primed Beast” – you know, the one they just can’t kill (Eagles – ‘Hotel California’) – Burton, on his deathbed, will issue them the tools and honor them with ‘prestige pies’ (gifts more useful than money, though you bet that will come later!). And ‘the show will go on’.

The second scenario – the one I think blog-posters wish for – is that “The Last Breath and the Funeral Patch” will issue to those who have at least a little human sense the signal to turn tail and run, since the ‘upper echelons’ of the Fellowship at Isis will be bitching and moaning at “fairy tale roles” whose volume will reach screeching level within a couple of weeks.

I see these two ‘plays’ being quite plausible.

from…”Song of the Open Road”

(BY WALT WHITMAN)

“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.”

227. Ron aka Renald - September 6, 2015

I too was a male trapped in a female body

until my mother gave birth.

228. cat's whiskers - September 6, 2015

translation into modern English from a Buddhist text on ‘action’…

“For example, one should not envy rich people, unless it is for their generosity, which makes good karma for their future lives. Otherwise, too many possessions simply make the owners into slaves of their things and rob them of their time and mental peace. After a certain point many of these people actually work full time to protect their money, hiding it from the taxman or other greedy people, and the fun of being rich is definitely over. Mind is then trapped and the owner will have the dubious final honor of leaving the problems behind for ungrateful heirs and their grateful lawyers.”

…hmmm…I wonder, now ?!?

229. Ron aka Renald - September 6, 2015

@114-Leaf- At the turn of the millenium my partner Gerda was banned from Apollo for one year and condemned to not speak to students for that time as well. I would be permitted to leave with her if I so wished, I was informed that I could accompany her. Her sin?
She dared to question Burton at an Academy dinner about what he meant by the ¨ Food for the moon ¨ idea. Here deafness in one ear, if not both, was implied as the reason for not answering and the result was the early morning telephone call announcing her banishment. So from the small picture perspective that was pretty awful. However from the larger perspective, looking back at the last 15 years, it was a genius move which superbly facilitated her future joyous manifestations. It could not have been better planned consciously or not.
Now not only was that the case for her but it also nudged me in the direction that my tree fell and that also was and is wonderful. We do create our reality no matter what but like I said nudges do exist. This reminds me about the Irish saying which we often used ¨ Nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more ! ¨ which we used to chuckle with.

Now that I am on this roll I might as well include in this rant my experience-led knowledge that contrary to many posts about life in the fof at the headquarters, the students which came into my life and there were many during those 12 years were not as hoodwinked and gullible as what is often described. It was not a hook, line and sinker situation. My proof of this is that whenever I discussed non-fof thoughts and whenever I mentioned to my friends my plans to attend non-fof events, all without exception expressed interest and attended these events with me. Further, groups were started within the community delving into those ideas and still to this day exist. An example is the Abraham-Hicks Law of Attraction group. Fifteen years later this group still exists and attracts, lol, both members and non-members as well. Other such groups also have been spoken about in this blog as well.
Victimhood tends to exagerate views for the purpose of blame and sometimes justification. That is not to say that stalking did not exist. Of course it did but it clearly did not apply to all. It exists outside the fof as well, don´t you think? I seem to recall the saying ¨ Your Being attracts your life. ¨ from inside the fof or I could be wrong on that one. Doesn´t matter.
See y´all next time, maybe around Christmas time.

230. leaf - September 6, 2015

229. Ron/Renald

Since you addressed me (I have no clue why, maybe because you realize how completely different my viewpoints are), I have to say your statement is predictably incoherent and lacking any discernible meaning or point. You throw in a few “formatory phrases” and an interesting tidbit or two, but you say nothing that fits any clearly defined context.

But one word that does stand out is “victimhood,” whatever that means.

If by that you mean, “playing the victim,” then keep in mind that this is exactly what a person does when none of these topics are addressed, discussed, argued about, and shown the light of day. The fear of open conversation is victimhood. The fear of leaving is victimhood. Being a sycophant is victimhood. Being an enabler is victimhood. Questioning nothing and saying nothing are victimhood.

One alternative is empowerment. Empowerment grows out of taking an honest inventory — realizing the inherent evil of the Fellowship, warning others, and moving on to a healthy, happy, and productive life. Being an apologist for the Fellowship — I’m not sure what that is, but I know it’s pretty bad.

231. Thomas judd - September 7, 2015

Leaf you ignorant slut,if you’re not patting someone on the back for sharing the same viewpoint as you,you throw stones and call them incoherent and pointless.if you had referenced@114 you would know exactly why you were mentioned and the reason.you would do yourself and us a favor to drop the baggage you have carried for decades.Always look on the bright side of life.nudge,nudge,wink,wink,say no more,say no more.

232. brucelevy - September 7, 2015

231. Thomas judd

Yup.

233. Golden Veil - September 7, 2015

Touchy, ain’t we? Maybe it’s that moon everyone’s talking about…

234. Thomas judd - September 7, 2015

Sorry for going off.I think I caught the virus where we just attack first then maybe entertain the thought of someone else’s viewpoint later.Ron aka reG thx for the rant about your friends from fof that had not fallen hook line and sinker.I knew some had to exist in an organization as large as the fof full with intelligent people.I spent about 8 months staying at various places around the home ground.Had no reason to even have an inkling of the sins of the inner circle.2 or 3 red flags convinced me of rbs sexual interest but nothing to indicate the extent and manipulations.As AG indicated in an earlier post @196 the wall of silence was and presumably still is intact.Any inquiries even approaching a touchy subject were mechanically shot down as off subject or gossipy.I remember being at a friendly get together and I made inquiry about Asaf b thinking he was some kind of bible scholar as that was the theme at the time.An elder immediately shot down my question followed by about 2 minutes of silence.For the most part I found meetings and get togethers to be an uplifting experience but the tact and being of too many elder members to be lacking.That’s my rant for now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

235. shardofoblivion - September 8, 2015

Here’s something I recall from the late seventies/early eighties when the next big things were

1. A global Depression

2. California would fall into the ocean – something seismic involved.

It was reported that Burton had been asked about his feelings about the death of millions of Californians in the inundation, and he was reported to have replied that it would be the moral equivalent of tossing some transistor radios into the sea.

Rather than concluding he was a psychopath, we compliant students took this strange viewpoint to be evidence of how very far ahead of us Burton must be. Higher Intellectual centre or some such nonsense.

I reckon I can stand to listen to Zappa delivering his message about cosmic debris one more time 🙂

tasty licks alert 4:41 onwards

“I wrapped a newspaper round my head, ta make it look like I was Deeep”

236. cat's whiskers - September 8, 2015

This term, “individuation”, was used some posts ago. I have never had recourse to use it, always using “individual” or “individuality” in conversation or writing (essays, for instance). It would seem to suppose that someone, like a scientist, is studying one thing from another. However, in the form it was used in the post above, it meant that “chosen path or qualities” of an individual were occurring or apparent, by their own nature, and not subject to superior scrutiny. I think this blog has trouble with “blurred” descriptions. This would lead to many misapprehensions and misunderstandings. But the blog goes on.

“Individuation”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“The principle of individuation, or principium individuationis, describes the manner in which a thing is identified as distinguished from other things.

The concept appears in numerous fields and is encountered in works of Carl Jung, Gilbert Simondon, Bernard Stiegler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, David Bohm, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, and Manuel De Landa.

The word “individuation” occurs with different meanings and connotations in different fields.

In philosophy

Philosophically, “individuation” expresses the general idea of how a thing is identified as an individual thing that “is not something else”. This includes how an individual person is held to be distinct from other elements in the world and how a person is distinct from other persons.

In Jungian psychology

In Jungian psychology, also called analytical psychology, “individuation” names the process in which the individual self develops out of an undifferentiated unconscious – seen as a developmental psychic process during which innate elements of personality, the components of the immature psyche, and the experiences of the person’s life become integrated over time into a well-functioning whole.

[In the media industry

The media industry has begun using the term “individuation” to denote new printing and online technologies that permit mass customization of the contents of a newspaper, a magazine, a broadcast program, or a website so that its contents match each individual user’s unique interests. This differs from the traditional mass-media practice of producing the same contents for all readers, viewers, listeners, or online users.

Communications theorist Marshall McLuhan alluded to this trend when discussing the future of printed books in an electronically interconnected world.”]

237. Parson Yorick - September 8, 2015

Re: 235: “It was reported that Burton had been asked about his feelings about the death of millions of Californians in the inundation, and he was reported to have replied that it would be the moral equivalent of tossing some transistor radios into the sea.”

Such statements got added to the mental column with the heading “reasons to leave.”

238. cat's whiskers - September 8, 2015

Today I bought 2 versions of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5 “The Emperor”, both with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and 1, Alfred Brendel playing and 2, Vladimir Ashkenazy playing – pure adherence to the composer in 1, then impulsive musicality in 2. This was how I inferred “individuation”, in that the composer ‘reigns above’ in his/her realm, while the player ADDS INDIVIDUATION – not calculated by the first thread of composition.

Strange how music ‘plays upon our play’ (don’t squirm in opposition to the phrase anyone ! – did any of you choose the way you would be acting throughout your life ?). If it be our music teacher at infant school, our personal tutor in our teens, or – skipping on – Istvan Nadas in the Town Hall, despite his ‘penguinosity’, were we not in some awe ?

ACT I SCENE I

DUKE ORSINO’s palace.

[ Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and other Lords; Musicians attending ]

DUKE ORSINO “If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.”

by William Shakespeare – “Twelfth Night.”

239. leaf - September 8, 2015

231. Thomas judd

That’s pretty weird. Where did that come from?

Is it because I dared express some annoyance with someone’s potshot? Or is it because I tend to have a strident take on things and occasionally don’t mince words? Or is because I dare to express my disagreement with you? All in one fell swoop, you seemed to disapprove that I both express my agreement with people and also express my disagreement with them. Honestly, that doesn’t sound like a problem to me. Sounds fairly normal and honest.

“you would do yourself and us a favor to drop the baggage you have carried for decades.Always look on the bright side of life.nudge,nudge,wink,wink,say no more,say no more.”

Baggage? Now THAT I can agree about. There’s a ton of baggage that I carry with me, and I doubt I’m going to be “dropping it” any time soon. I doubt you will either. No one here has “dropped” it. There are hundreds of pages of baggage here — anger, frustration, confusion, elation, healing, and working through it all, like we couldn’t in the Fellowship. Maybe it’s too preachy or verbose at times, or too negative. But all that really matters is that it rings true and uplifts someone, somewhere.

Look, I really don’t think I’m spoiling your fun, or at least I hope this isn’t where you go for fun. Nor do I think I have any need to “do you a favor” by being someone more silent a compliant. This isn’t always a light-hearted discussion over afternoon tea — It’s a fairly serious topic to me. So I address it in a serious way. Take it, leave it, go somewhere else, do whatever you want with it. But I find the tone of your post really strange.

The Fellowship is where they ask people to “say no more.” Believe me, it’s definitely occurred to me that I’ve said enough. Don’t need your urging in that regard.

240. Thomas judd - September 8, 2015

I realize u and many others have a lot of baggage and this is a place for yuns to work on it.logic would dictate that there’s probably some good baggage mixed in with the bad or u would not have spent so many years in fof.I don’t know just try to be a little more open minded.sorry u didn’t catch the SNL or Monty python reference.

241. cat's whiskers - September 8, 2015

… and, of course, the page could be renewed … sort of TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF WITH A JUDD ATTACHED somewhere …

242. cat's whiskers - September 8, 2015

…the Living Presence site…

“The key to all problems is the problem of consciousness.”
– Inscription on an Egyptian Temple –

Just watch your functions, BOYS !!!

243. leaf - September 8, 2015

240. Sure thing. Wishing you well.

244. brucelevy - September 8, 2015

“The key to all problems is the problem of consciousness.”
– Inscription on an Egyptian Temple –

I’m pretty sure this actually was pulled from someone’s ass rather then an Egyption temple.

245. Parson Yorick - September 9, 2015

244. +1 as they say.

246. Cathie L. - September 9, 2015

#244 Pretty much.

Apparently the quote is from an mid-20th century fictional book of ancient Egyptian esoterica by Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, who, under the direction of her husband and teacher, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, lived for fifteen years among the temples and tombs of Luxor and Karnak, in order to try and “penetrate the secret symbolism of the hieroglyphs.”

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2108017/proverbs-from-the-ancient-egyptian-temples

247. brucelevy - September 9, 2015

246. Cathie L.

Her-Bak. I remember reading and enjoying that book.

248. brucelevy - September 9, 2015
249. brucelevy - September 9, 2015

I didn’t know he started an esoteric group that included Rudolph Hess (Hitler’s Hess).

250. cat's whiskers - September 9, 2015

de Lubicz … this one will get some mileage …

251. cat's whiskers - September 9, 2015

I actually thought with this “problem of consciousness” quote, we would perhaps be covering Burton’s “conscious flesh-plunging” to not be obvious. It seems that, as Haven would have it, we are identified with de Lubicz, the finger pointing the way. Actually, even Haven could only use “consciousness”, not knowing what he was talking about – the ageing automaton.

252. Linda Jo - September 10, 2015

246. Cathie
Thanks so much for the link to “Proverbs from the Ancient…”

What’s more:
“Rene Schwaller de Lubicz and the Intelligence of the Heart”
by Gary Lachman
http://www.unitedearth.com.au/lubicz.html

Lachman also wrote A Secret History of Consciousness and
In Search of P.D. Ouspensky: The Genius in the Shadow of Gurdjieff

253. Linda Jo - September 10, 2015

 
@90. WhaleRider – 8/4/2015

Re: ‘burton still carries the immature entitlement (archaic narcissism) and expectation that he is sooo wonderful that other people should adore him, pay his way, and wipe his ass for him.

Although among peripheral followers there was joking and banter about cult practices and its leader, burton never in my presence would make light of the group or his role, even in private, unless it was to reinforce the status quo. Narcissists are very sensitive to ridicule from others. He never dropped the “act”; which is totally understandable, since his livelihood was at stake.

Laughter occurs to relieve the cognitive dissonance of a positive thought and a negative thought about the same subject…for a narcissist they do not entertain negative thoughts about themselves, they unconsciously project them upon others to idealize themselves and devalue others…thus burton doesn’t tolerate laughter…only cognitive dissonance.

I get the sense asaf operates in the same manner, judging from his website.

This is what makes the personality of a sociopath and psychopath so successful…and diabolical, IMO; they are 100% invested in their narcissism, completely walled off to any other reality but their own, and they will react defensively to any dissent.’

. . . . . .

In Special Illumination: The Sufi use of Humour
by Idries Shah (London, 1977)

“If you want special illumination, look upon the human face:
See clearly within laughter the Essence of Ultimate Truth.”

    This important statement by Jalaluddin Rumi, one of the greatest of all Sufi masters, directly contradicts such numerous sourfaced religionists as, in all persuasions, find that humour disturbs the indoctrination which is all they usually have to offer.
     It is not even too much to say that the distinction between the deteriorated ‘Sufi’ cults and the real message is found in the answer to whether the supposed mystic has a sense of humour and works with humour.
     Although this position is, through the proliferation of bigots, hardly credible to their numerous victims throughout today’s world, it was not always so. Plato, if you remember, said:

“Serious things cannot be understood without humorous things
Nor opposites without opposites.”

     Looking even at relatively superficial aspects of the sixty jokes which follow will certainly bear this out.
     The ease with which a humourless bully — wearing the appropriate expression and wielding the necessary terminology — can convince unreflective people that levity is next to blasphemy is one of the causes of this situation. This is very far from saying that such a horror can actually be right.
     I recently came across a ‘justification’ for humourlessness in religion from a distinguished prelate who expects his audience to be so obtuse that they will believe that Christianity should be approached with misery merely because there is “no surviving record of Jesus ever having laughed”. This aberration — known as proof by ridiculous assumptions — was not challenged by his audience, it is true. But the proverbial child in the crowd might well have wondered whether he could not therefore do anything which Jesus was reported to have done, including cursing. . .
     Luckily, in more contemporary and therefore better documented systems, there is ample information: [etc.]

     Let us look at some of the spiritual and psychological traditions of humour, and note how they work. If we do so, I think we will find that the real reason why certain humourless individuals try to prevent the investigation of humour in religion, by claiming that it is not there or is antipathetic to it, is that they themselves are insecure characters who dare not enter into the area of laughter. . .
     Spiritual studies, people are saying, are far too specialized to leave to the professionals. Where those professionals have turned such studies into morbid charades, this is undoubtedly true.
     Traditionally it has been noted by genuine mystics that the professionals, those who have no enlightenment but plenty of obsession, can be easily discovered because they lack a sense of humour. Humour, here, be it noted, is not to be assumed in those who merely giggle a lot, or those who understand only the banana-skin variety: indeed, these two forms of behavior are the types most often found in pseudo-mystics.

Etc.

254. cat's whiskers - September 12, 2015

…from the – “Robert Earl Burton – Unauthorized Biography” blog …

It seems very strange, that this is recent – a ‘descending octave’ ? cw

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16, 2015

“Life people” say the darndest things.

[ed. – Fear- and ignorance-induced tales such as this perpetuate a few of the myths surrounding The Fellowship of Friends. In the 70s, some locals (non-members, also called “life people” by the Fellowship) described the group as “devil worshipers,” offering as evidence the Fellowship’s large bronze sculpture of Poseidon. It is highly improbable the library described below actually contained books that were “ALL of satanic/cult subject matter.” Even without satanism added to the mix, the truth about the Fellowship is horrifying enough.]

“Anonymous” wrote on the Religion and Child Abuse News blog, August 16, 2015:

“I lived in Dobbins [neighboring Oregon House] for several years and I had no idea ‘the fellowship’ existed, until the last month I lived there. Off of Marysville Hwy, on a side road, there was a very small market/gas station that everyone went to. Every time I went there, inevitably, there would be these well dressed people, in linen clothing, wearing handmade shoes for comfort, they spoke Swedish, and other foreign languages, many were very blonde, they’d drive up in BMW’s, Mercedes…and they really looked OUT OF PLACE. They looked drugged up, always seemed nervous, or paraniod [sic], and they avoided eye contact. They gave me the creeps! You could spot them instantly because 98% of the true local guys were missing teeth, wore snap button plaid shirts, that they bought at that same little store, smelled faintly of goats, wore dirty ball caps, and drove up in dirty, banged up trucks, pulling metal fishing boats.. I found out about them from a co-worker after I had invited her & her husband to come visit. She happened to tell her mom, who was retired, WAS VERY WELL READ, was an artist, and a world traveler. She and her husband decided to end their travels by driving across the entire USA, staying at all the Thousand Trails campgrounds, BUT ONE, they had missed on the catalog. The one in/near Dobbins. So, they went camping there, and saw the signs for ‘the winey’ [sic]. My friend’s mom and husband went to visit it. They meandered through the garden, and then they went inside, and they noticed a door in one of the rooms. It wasn’t locked so they went inside. It was a small library. My friend’s mom started looking at the book titles, and her being so well read, could see that they were ALL of satanic/cult subject matter. It startled her, but not as much as the foreigner who caught them inside the room, and started screaming at them, at the top of his voice, for them to get out! Screaming questions about what were they doing there, who were they, what did they want, what were they looking for…The man called for reinforcements and they all escorted them off the property, with a warning to never come back. So, my friend’s mom decided to do a little research on this winery and found out quite a bit of ugly truth, like child molestation, tax evasion, physical punishment, group sex, …the USUAL depraved cult activity. To me, they seemed like a bunch of really nerdy wall flowers, you know, like the ones in high school that were drab, self conscious, and blended into the walls, didn’t go to the proms, and whenever you look at your year book you wonder who that is. Losers [sic], who are now together with other losers [sic], and now they finally have MANY someones they can have sex with. They have horses and dress up in their English riding costumes, and jump, build their own tennis courts, and THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE NOW COOL, and they now allow themselves to do all the dirty things they think we do, like molest children. They believe that DOBBINS [ed. – more accurately, Apollo in Oregon House] WILL BE THE LAST PLACE STANDING ON EARTH, WHEN IT’S ALL OVER EVERYWHERE ELSE…I had gotten 2 bottles of their wine, as a gift, and my friend and I poured it down the drain! ME, I just wonder why they don’t use their full name: The Fellowship of Friends, of The Devil.”

255. Bryan Reynolds - September 12, 2015

254
This post reads like an episode of “The Simpsons”
Bryan Reynolds

256. cat's whiskers - September 12, 2015

You are correct. This is more ‘apropos’ and deep

257. Associated Press - September 13, 2015

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”- Part 1 6:41:

Thanks to WhaleRider for video

258. Associated Press - September 13, 2015

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”- Part 2 7:34:

Thanks to WhaleRider for video

259. Associated Press - September 13, 2015

Poseidon:

260. shardofoblivion - September 13, 2015

#254 CW – those who pedantically point out other people’s spelling mistakes with the use of [sic], should take the trouble to check using a dictionary first.

“Losers [sic], who are now together with other losers [sic], and now they finally have MANY someones they can have sex with.”

http://loseloose.com/

🙂

261. Parson Yorick - September 13, 2015

Kudos to whoever put together those “Don’t Ask…” videos. I had not seen them before. – PY (1978-1982)

262. cat's whiskers - September 13, 2015

The problem with sex in Buddhism (and this is from that text, Mr Gobble-it !!!!!) – I mean Gilbert…..

“It seems these days in Los Angeles, it’s OK to do or be anything you want sexually… And if you’re lucky enough to find your true sexual identity, you will be happy and fulfilled the rest of your life.

Well, in this world of *Samsara it just doesn’t work that way.

The Buddha more than anything else was a man, who went from childhood to manhood, got married, and at the age of 29 had his first child. He went through all the stages men go through sexually, but at the age of 35 ended his sexual desire forever in *Nirvana.

The big question today is… Does the desire for sex always lead to suffering? The answer is, Yes! But the reason may surprise you.

The Buddha in everything he said about sex implies… The activity of sex will never ultimately satisfy the desire for sex.

Now this is a real bummer if you think about it. You can have sex a 1000 times, and want it a 1001. You can be 90 years old… Blind and cripple… Still want to have sex, and not be physically able to. You will never get rid of your sexual desire by having sex. In fact, it seems the more sex you have, the more sex you want.

I think sex is a lot like hunger… And to be honest with you, I’m so tired of being hungry. I have been hungry every day of my life. I’m hungry in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. Think of all the time and money I could save if I gave up eating!”

“It is time to be counted, let us stand up.” – Walt Whitman-

Two things happened to reveal my identity, as some of you had guessed at – Nigel Harris Price – this much-repeated sort-of YouTube of ex-FOFfers stating the obvious (and, may I say, delighting in their off-screen audience) – AG was one of them, and every word he has written about me, snarled from his snivelling fissog (Sc.). He is probably still as proper in his life as an OUT-ter as he was an IN-ner, not ‘letting his domestic incapabilities’ have sway on how he shows himself in a public forum. You can look up his family’s ‘indiscretions’, shall we say, on http://www.TruthFinder.com, if you have a few dollars to spare !

Second, 2 people have been in contact with me – one about dealing with the bipolar ‘afflictions’ that they have in their family, the other about my George Solomons Wellcome Trust Art Award, which has had to be put back, due to technicalities of the award process. But that allows ‘rethinking’ and reflection and critical analysis – the chance to offer something both ‘cutting edge’ and ‘fundamentally nourishing’ in a humanistic way. Patience, patience, patience – there is still time ! There was one blogger whom I sent scripts about bipolar, who left the blog (para fortissimo!), who, when the blog went ‘resonating’/excited when I was working up to the tete-a-tete with LG from MHA., I got banned (BUT I STILL SEE THE LOVELY LADY IN A PROFESSIONAL WAY – I stated a little accolade to her from ‘Field of Dreams’ – “A warm and gentle voice of reason in a time of great madness”).

Some of you will have degrading things to say – some will ‘awaken’ to the facts I have offered and laid out. I doubt if a middle-ground attitude is possible. It is time to leave the Fellowship of Friends Discussion (if that is all it pertains to be!) blog FOR GOOD. Apologies, Steve, for extenuating the circumstances, but I am sure you knew there was a ‘cat’s whiskers’ among the pigeons.

Celtic translation of name – “Champion of the House Ruler out of an Impetuous Man”

263. Tim Campion - September 13, 2015

Shard,

In the original post and the article CW quoted, “losers” was spelled “loosers.” Perhaps CW’s spell-check caught the error. As for pedantic, guilty as charged.

Tim

264. Ames Gilbert - September 14, 2015

cat’s whiskers aka Nigel Harris Price (#150-262 or thereabouts):
Promises and lies. You keep promising to forego blogging here forever, but you never do. Why should we believe you this time?

And more lies; you were not banned, you voluntarily (and unfortunately, very temporarily) stopped blogging, so stated by you earlier on this page. Why lie about it? And in the circumstances, coming back under another name was also a lie by omission.

More lies: you have found nothing about my life on your quest for damaging material at the Truthfinder website. They are a scam, and, I’m pleased to report, they are very difficult to disengage from should you sign up for their ‘services’. They will keep on draining the credit card you so very foolishly gave access to until you cancel the card. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person! Moreover, even if they were legitimate, they cannot provide any more information about me (or anyone else) that you can’t find for free, just Googling around. And lastly, neither you or anyone else can use the internet to find out about my supposed ‘domestic incapabilities’ or ‘family indiscretions’ that you odiously infer because there aren’t any.
Not only that, you have e-mailed me (and my wife) on the Greater Fellowship site and amongst other things, threatened me with words such as, “I will, in all ways, rip you apart”.

All this shows that you are a pathetic piece of shit. This fact has nothing to do with your mental illnesses (which, BTW, include a severe case of narcissism), it is just that when all the excuses are peeled away, what is revealed at the core is basically a venial—and very stupid—little creep.

265. shardofoblivion - September 14, 2015

irreconcilable differences twixt cw & ag …

but here’s a mashup between paradise, broken dreams and wakefulness to listen to. In Gurdjieffian terms not sure which is the third force in the triad.

266. aarrgh me buckos - September 14, 2015

To creepy I would add kooky, boorish & mean. In short – worthy of being banned.

267. WhaleRider - September 16, 2015

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-relating-existing/201110/the-meaning-and-the-rhetoric-evil-auschwitz-and-bin-laden

Dr Stolorow writes, “Often traumatized people try to restore the lost illusions shattered by trauma through some form of what I have called “resurrective ideology”…Through such resurrective ideology and its rhetoric of evil, Americans could evade the excruciating vulnerability that had been exposed by the {9/11} attack and once again feel great, powerful, and godlike.”

Recently I have appreciated Dr Stolorow’s ideas of “resurrection ideology” and the vulnerability to the “rhetoric of evil” in the context of being a survivor of burton’s cult. (I think Jomo may have introduced this topic earlier).

In the oft mentioned analogy regarding cults, as the temperature slowly rises in the pot of water, frogs don’t instinctively realize they are in imminent danger of being cooked and fail to jump out as they would if they were thrown into a pot of boiling water.

Such is the case in the slow indoctrination into a cult, in that the trauma to and annihilation of a follower’s selfhood is inflicted slowly and methodically as the follower’s selfhood is eventually eclipsed by burton’s, only to be “resurrected” in his warped ideology as one of HIS so-called, “students”.

I submit that when a person such as myself elects to join a cult, it is often as a result of some form of identity crisis, wherein for various reasons the person feels repelled, alienated and disconnected from society or culture in which they find themselves, as I did. Thus upon joining, a person’s selfhood is already in a compromised state. This is why “love bombing” is such a powerful cult indoctrination tool.

In a process sometimes spanning many years, a follower is placed in a position whereby their membership is leveraged against their will and selfhood, revivifying the original crises of identity that caused them to join. This tactic is imbedded in the fourth way as a “necessary step in the path to evolution”.

To avoid the emotional trauma of leaving the cult’s social and sometimes financial support network and suffering the pain of abandonment, the follower will do trauma to their own selfhood by adopting burton’s resurrection ideology whereby their selfhood is bifurcated into evil “lower self” and grandiose “higher self”. (Such a division of one’s selfhood is indeed rhetorical at best and IMO, downright unhealthy.)

So to remain a member and continue to reap the emotional benefits of cult membership (safety, security, identity), and given that philosophically speaking, will = consciousness, the follower must surrender their will and hence their consciousness and become wholly and psychologically dependent (physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually) upon the will, desires, and whims of the cult leader, which despite his claims, is acting out of his own self interest at the (soul) expense of others.

It is in this context that burton preys upon and exploits his followers in his exalted rape factory, however he may choose to call it.

268. James Mclemore - September 16, 2015

267. WhaleRider

Excellent.

Moderator – I suggest we turn the page on Nigel and reprint WhaleRider’s post at the top of the new page.

269. fofblogmoderator - September 17, 2015

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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