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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 151 September 17, 2015

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

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

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

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

Comments

1. James Mclemore - September 17, 2015

(a re-post from the previous page)

WhaleRider

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.

2. Thomas judd - September 18, 2015

My comments are mainly for current or future fof members.I joined as did most of you hoping to tap into and sustain something higher and Noble within myself. I was presented with many interesting and thought provoking ideas.On the surface everything seemed like one might assume a school to be.An arena where one can work with similar minded people witnessing their strengths and weaknesses and seeing them within oneself and hopefully making the proper adjustment toward evolving. I concur with the principal that the more you progress the more you must pay.Payment is many sided,could be sacrifice of good or bad habits,friends,family that stand in the way of evolution. But this we already know.I left after 2 years mainly because payment (financial )became kind of outrageous. Also the vibe just wasn’t right.it didn’t feel like a path with heart.it was a path with rbs heart with disregard to everyone else’s. In addition it was hard to be a free spirit amongst people who let rb et AL do the thinking for them.This isn’t quite coming out as clear as I would like but so be it.The main point is that after my departure I would have highly recommended the fof for someone looking for an arena to work on oneself. I was almost even proud to have been a member but years later and finding irrefutable evidence of rbs sexual crimes,failed predictions,misuse of our financial contributions,his obvious questionable sanity(reading signs and omens and messages into 40k old cave drawings etc.)I’m ashamed to have been a member.I can understand the reasons one might have for staying.For myself the only way I could consider remaining a member would be to find a way to make the fof what it should and pretends to be and make amends to those it has wronged.who knows could happen somewhere somehow.

3. Thomas judd - September 19, 2015

If I could repost page 114 # 19 from tempus fugis would help continue the theme.I don’t know how to repost

4. James Mclemore - September 19, 2015

2. Thomas judd

In a few ways my experience in the FoF was a little like yours. I knew in my heart there was something wrong with Robert and the FoF but I could not quite put a finger on what is was that made that feeling arise. Because I was trying to adapt and to be a “good student” I partially buried that ‘instinctive knowing’ for a while, almost five years.
In combination with some of what WhaleRider talks about in his post and because I was a “seeker” that was certainly bringing my own baggage with me that I had acquired from my own “family of origin” and this crazy culture that I came out of, I mistakenly thought that what was “wrong” was ‘me’ (and of course there is some truth to that statement about it just being me). But that original feeling of something wrong with Robert and the FoF kept coming back to me. (At that time in the mid to late 70’s I had no idea what was going on behind closed doors in the “cottage” or whatever it was called.) So anyway, this feeling that I had about “something is wrong here” persisted. I began to see that it had a lot to do with the term “life people” and all that that term came to imply. That feeling of “Specialness” that Robert was pedaling to us was most apparent to me in the manner in which these “life people” were talked about and sometimes treated, I mean you know, they were just machines anyway, machines who had no possibilities and didn’t have that “Special Esoteric Knowledge” like the “special men number 4” that we were had. Somehow I just knew in my heart that there was something very, very wrong about that whole idea and all that it seemed to encompass. So yes Thomas, the FoF did not feel like a “path with a heart”. Although I did not know it at the time I left the FoF, I can now see, thanks to this blog, that, ‘duh, of course it didn’t have a heart’, because empathy does not exist in a sociopath’s world.

There is however one thing in what you wrote Thomas that I would ask you to perhaps possibly look at again and see if you are absolutely certain that the idea feels correct to you, and that is where you say…..

” I concur with the principal that the more you progress the more you must pay.Payment is many sided,could be sacrifice of good or bad habits,friends,family that stand in the way of evolution. But this we already know.”

My own point of view on that, is that it is bullshit. I think the whole idea of “sacrifice” and “payment” is just another idea that filtered down from a terrible misunderstanding of some other idea that came down to us via religion, especially as regards Christianity. I mean just ‘who’ is it that needs to be paid or is demanding that some kind of payment must be made? And are you sure that something or someone is standing in the way? And in the way of what exactly?

5. Wouldnt You Like To Know - September 19, 2015

151/4 James Mclemore

‘Robert was pedaling to us’

‘pedaling’ is like what you do with a bicycle.

perhaps you mean:
‘peddling’ as in:
‘to go from place to place selling (goods, etc.)’

or perhaps:
‘pettling’ as in:
‘to fondle; caress; pet.’

I remember, to this moment, the first time I met REB in person and up close. It was in the 70’s and at the Skyline Church in Oakland, for a concert. Afterward, there was a reception. I was a new student (about a year), traveled from afar, for my first trip to draw near to the center of the teaching. I did not know who REB was; other than by the name. I was greeting, fellowship style, both the few people I knew and total strangers, with hugging. I hugged REB. At that moment there was a distinct impression on my psyche that there was an enormous black hole where his mouth was. I recorded this impression, as an observation I did not know what to do with, for some contemplation at a later time; back burnered it. He may have even kissed me on the forehead, as he used to do, but that I do not remember. After embracing REB, someone asked me how I liked meeting him. I did not realize that I just met ‘The Teacher.’ Years later, I came to understand that ‘first impression’ of REB and what the meaning was of that observation: fellatio mouth and uncontrollable consumption.

6. WhaleRider - September 20, 2015

James, well done, you make an excellent point. More fourth way dogma bites the dust!

I certainly do not value my nice pair of Wilkes Bashford trousers any less, just because I bought them at the flea market for a fraction of the retail price… Quite the contrary, I treasure them. Then again. I know what quality I’m looking for, I’m willing to be patient and flexible, and I don’t mind shopping.

People do, however, buy expensive snake oil promising quick results…and then fervently claim to others it works wonders…to avoid the embarrassment of paying such a high price for nothing.

Paying a high price for anything doesn’t necessarily mean you value it more, nor does it mean the commodity is inherently more valuable just because it is expensive.

It makes sense to do adequate research when paying a lot for something, unless of course if paying for status is more important to you than quality… Like being a paying member of the “greatest show on Earth” as opposed to the rest of us common folk.

And if you are rich, or want to appear rich, and sooo spiritually advanced that money means nothing to you, it won’t matter how much you spend if you think what you are paying for paves the way to eternal heavenly paradise.

As Jon Stewart says, religion helps sooth those living in a world fractured by religion.

7. James Mclemore - September 20, 2015

5. Wouldnt You Like To Know

Oops. Thanks for the correction. Yes, I certainly meant ‘peddling’ as in selling.

8. Ames Gilbert - September 20, 2015

Thomas judd (#151-3 or thereabouts),
you wanted tips on how to repost something from another page…
Just highlight the part you want, copy then paste it into your word processor or directly into the comment box at the bottom of the current page. Add your remarks and, for clarity, some quote marks, and it’s done. Like so:

On page #150-19 (September 21, 2011), Tempus Fugit wrote:

“I was a member of the FOF a long time ago. I moved on with my life and lost touch with people I knew in the group but was curious to know what had happened to them and the group after I left. I discovered this blog a few years ago and read parts of it occasionally but only recently explored it in any depth.

My motivation to write, at least at present, is fairly specific. In my opinion Robert Burton is a false teacher and the FOF is a false teaching. Other posters here have suggested that current FOF members may read this blog. I hope that’s true and it will help them make the decision to leave.

If you (the current FOF member) read this blog with an open mind I don’t see how you can fail to be convinced. This blog in various phases goes back to 2006 and contains many hundreds if not thousands of posts. I challenge you to spend a few hours reading as much of this blog as you can, from different years up to the present.

Certainly one or two or a dozen people claiming they were deceived and abused convinces no one. Any large group of any kind will produce a few disgruntled members. However, I believe the sheer mass of stories of deception and cruelty found here, along with their consistency, condemns Burton beyond any reasonable doubt. If you read with an open mind I think you will come to the same conclusion.

And it’s not too late to get out. I believe the Fellowship of Friends story will have a very sad ending. But your life can have a good one, and that starts as soon as you turn around and walk away.”

9. paul gregory - September 20, 2015

Hello gang.

Just a quick catch up?!

Wow, things are really hotting up, aren’t they?

May I just say though, on a personal note, that I am extremely, and boy, do I mean EXTREMELY,
erotically aroused in the trouser department today, and not merely in a fiscal sense, either, but in ACTUAL FACT,
delicately tantalizing and moist around the nipples, which were available in chocolate flavors,

PERIOD.

Columbus, the world wide property cartoon and element of fiscal probity, sailed today expecting plenty of seamen. It was a mostly moist day, with some wind expected. Showers of squally features developed in the Westerly Quarters, through to what extent, one can only Masturbate. Howlers developed round the northern quadrant, and so on and so forth. End Memo.

The Sydney Opera House Colonic Boys Choir of the Hungarian Chapterhouse of the variable clit, composed a minor movement.

End Memo, I hear you say? Nay, titter ye not. Scatter your rosebuds, it’s crystal clear, something had to give and my waters broken. I’m moist down there and I don’t know why.

What I could tell you I couldn’t begin to tell you. You can not imagine such horrors as I have seen, a songstress once say on the mighty wah-wah love tube, on the way to Hitachi-Wand spanish hideaway, located somewhere towards the rear of the department, where men’s ho·sier·y may also be purchased, along with Strawberry Mivvi’s, Duct Tape, Pall Mall’s and a variety of moistly tantalizing and erotic aromas featuring horses in a swimming advert for colostomy bags. Available in Mint Flavours, minor members of the Edutainment Gang, and may I say again, exetera, exetera. (but not in a small way).

In other important announcements today, it was beddy byes for the extremely, and may I say most finely tuneful, lah-di-dah’s and lah-di-dees. But don’t take it the wrong way. Unless you have to,

In An Emergency:

Drink the Bottle Down.

Look on the Bright Side.

Hope that the Police come.

Hope that the Doctor comes.

Know the Blindness of Horror.

As Princess Leila moistly aroused her Titty-Falou’s, Darth Vader stepped back and took a sneeky peek at the Financial Times. Not to-day, darling, he moistly said, and in a way, it was true – He had a Pork-Scratching to Attend.

In many way’s it was mildly delicious, like Black-Pudding with more flour/nitrous oxide solution that can ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be found in a spanish castle north of Dame Quote. You just gotta love a dame. Have a bar on me? Don’t mind if I do. Why thank you kindly sir. No, that is most kind. Of course I have toothpaste. Yes please and make it snappy, she moistly aroused, I have a tonsil to attend to and things to catch up on in the grooved out clit-fuck of my higher-emotional body.

The Strawberry Mivvi’s melted and the Wonderbread delicately flaked, and in a backwards time-capsule, Fox-Hunting was Finally Put on the Books again, and Judas Priest got a chat show on the Discovery Channel with Metal Mickey.

It was extraordinarily hard on the teets. But someone had to do it. It’s OK. It’s only lightbulbs and the sun’s coming out.

It’s not that I’m mad, don’t think that.

Only kidding, you know me. And that’s why, in a nutshell, I love the Royal Family.

Never Give Up. Never surrender to The Pigs. The Aliens, except when their The Aliens. Never Give Up Hope. Pray for the Day they find you. And now with the weather, from Tom.

It’s grim up North.
Viddy Ye Well, Viddy Ye Well. Oink Oink.

10. paul gregory - September 20, 2015

And that was taught to me by my art teacher.

11. paul gregory - September 20, 2015

12. Thomas judd - September 20, 2015

AG thx for the assistance.James M appreciate your comments. I agree that the ideas of sacrifice and payment have traveled a long road and become distorted and redefined to suit ones own purposes as with the fof.My take on the terms is partly regurgitation of things read but a good part verification that sometimes time with *friends* family, co-workers needs to be sacrificed or at least tailored and payment means losing something good for ones greater good.i.e.I had a great girlfriend many years ago that I gave up though she had many fine qualities (sacrifice )and now I’m alone(payment)but ultimately better.This was before fof time.that’s my take on it.

13. ton2u - September 20, 2015

10 paul gregory

And my science teacher taught me:

“They call me deranged. The hope is that they are right. It is of no greater or lesser import for another fool to wander the earth. But if I am right and science is wrong – then may Lord have mercy on humankind.”

Viktor Schauberger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
p.s.
Just so the blog police don’t get their undies in a bunch because of straying off topic, I’ll add a more “germane” comment:

The FOF mindfuck did get something right – outside of their self-reinforcing enclosure there is life. By following blow-job-bob burton, life is what you lose.

14. leaf - September 20, 2015

Thomas judd, you wrote:
“I can understand the reasons one might have for staying.For myself the only way I could consider remaining a member would be to find a way to make the fof what it should and pretends to be and make amends to those it has wronged.who knows could happen somewhere somehow.”

—-
There was a time when I was in the process of leaving the cult many years ago that I had a somewhat similar vision. I still believed the cult had some good in it, and that the primary purpose for the organization was something valuable and healthy for its participants; but I also began to realize that the leader of the cult had a serious mental illness or illnesses, that many people who enabled his behavior had their own types of mental illness, and that this made the experience clearly unhealthy for me and its participants. Despite this, I had this “dream” that there would one day be this reconciliation where “students and ex-students” come together to build their own school apart from the cult that Burton was leading, which — as you describe it — would be “what the fof pretends to be.” So I can relate to some of what you’re suggesting, but only up to a point.

Bruce rightfully pointed out on the previous page: “Dream on.”

You suggest it might be possible to stay in the “school” and attempt to “find a way to make the fof what it should and pretends to be and make amends to those it has wronged.” One fairly obvious problem with this: You would need to continue supporting the cult with many thousands of dollars each year and through any other types of support that are required to be an active participant, so rather than making amends you’re simply perpetuating the cult’s agendas. Another problem is that any attempts you made within the cult to reform things would be met with swift action on the part of the thought police — Burton, et al. — and you would sooner or later be kicked out if you didn’t stop spreading your ideas.

Another problem with this is the premise that there’s still something inherently good in the cult. This could be addressed from many different angles — for example, questioning the value of the so-called Fourth Way. But regarding the overall experience of being with friends and all of the cultural events, etc., there’s the reality that it’s all just a facade. The facade is sometimes very attractive, but that’s all it is — a facade, and nothing more. And sometimes, even the facade is pretty ugly.

One of the themes of your posts is that the FOF, despite all of its obvious evils, still provides valuable experiences, teaching, and friendships. It’s a type of fraternity or social club there, where people get together with a certain common bond. But in my view these friendships are built on the shakiest of ground when they require membership in this cult.

One or two people have suggested that the cult has changed so that former members and current members can congregate like there’s no problem at all and have a great time together. I know in certain circumstances there are “mixed” relationships, and working relationships where current and former members are spending time together. And I’m sure people in Oregon House occasionally rub elbows. But in my view, any suggestion that the FOF has reformed with regard to its attitudes about ex-students is simply wrong. It’s like any other cult — you leave, and you’re doomed. People try to walk around the elephant in the room, and there are varying attitudes within the cult about this idea of leaving, but the cult doctrine remains the same. And the fear of leaving because of the belief in this doctrine remains the same.

————–
Regarding the “principle of payment,” you wrote: “My take on the terms is partly regurgitation of things read but a good part verification that sometimes time with *friends* family, co-workers needs to be sacrificed or at least tailored and payment means losing something good for ones greater good.”

“payment means losing something good for ones greater good.”

Exactly — in this case maybe the principle of payment and the idea of sacrifice needs to be turned around. The sacrifice is to leave behind good friends, invite them with you, and move on to a healthier, happier, and more productive life.

There’s that word: “life”. It can actually be a very good word in certain contexts — including the context where it refers to the vast and wondrous world all around us.

15. shardofoblivion - September 21, 2015

#12 Thomas Judd says “I had a great girlfriend many years ago that I gave up though she had many fine qualities (sacrifice )and now I’m alone(payment)but ultimately better.”

That sounds strange. It called to my mind the story of Kierkegaard rejecting Regine Olsen. “that I gave up” sounds like she was a bad habit or something. How can you know that you are “better” as a result of this sacrifice. Maybe you could both have been happy together, and there’s not much better than that.

It seems to be a common theme in religions that suffering is a necessary part of spiritual progress. In my opinion it is a mistake to think the universe is organised so that our suffering stores up some spiritual credit, comforting though it is to imagine the world is like that.

16. Mick - September 21, 2015

Any meaningful attempts to reform or rehabilitate the Fellowship would have to occur while Robert is still alive, and time is running out.

17. silentpurr - September 21, 2015

” Think again, turn away.”

18. James Mclemore - September 21, 2015

15. shardofoblivion

” It seems to be a common theme in religions that suffering is a necessary part of spiritual progress. In my opinion it is a mistake to think the universe is organised so that our suffering stores up some spiritual credit,..”

I am in full agreement with you Shard. This “life” that we are living sometimes has the experience of pain and sometimes it has the experience of pleasure. However, the psychological suffering that we seem to be prone to, in my opinion, is a whole different matter. I think you are right that religion and “spirituality” is the culprit for this type of thinking. Perhaps the ideas behind it came from the Christian theology of “being born into sin and bondage” and the “Woe is me-I’m just a miserable sinner” stuff that goes along with it. And the suffering that blow-job Bob advocates for the “making of a soul” comes from the same sort of cloth. I don’t think that kind of suffering has anything to do with the universe as a whole and certainly not with some make-believe God or some make-believe “higher forces”.
If looked at closely, that psychological suffering seems to only exist in that part of the mind that “thinks” that it is somehow separate from “Life” itself.

19. shardofoblivion - September 22, 2015

apropos love and sacrifice:

Arthur Lee said

“Yeah, I said it’s all right
Well I won’t forget
All the times I’ve waited patiently for you
And you’ll do just what you choose to do
And I will be alone again tonight, my dear

Yeah, I heard a funny thing
Somebody said to me
You know that I could be in love, with almost everyone
I think that people are the greatest fun
And I will be alone again tonight, my dear

Yeah, I said it’s all right
Well I won’t forget
All the times I’ve waited patiently for you
And you do just what you choose to do
And I will be alone again tonight, my dear”

20. linda - September 22, 2015

Thank you for sharing the videos again Whalerider – it is the first time I have seen it and it brings the memories flooding back. I only pop in here from time to time but stopped after Nigel seemed to be on a rant constantly about himself. It is heartbreaking to read all this and know that people still remain in this cult of Robert’s with all the damning evidence against him …..
I joined the school late 70’s with Ames and was part of the London school ‘Hall Farm’ and was soon sent to Denmark to be involved in setting up a new centre in 1979…. under the leadership of Dale and Pamela. I met Robert a few times in London and was always a bit ‘anxious’ about the young men constantly around him…. I visited Renaissance in 1980 and I returned with too many questions and suspicions (particularly about a young male friend who had left the school suddenly). Amid all this, I was horrified to be asked if I would think about taking over leading the Copenhagen centre ……This all resulted in my leaving the school – I literally packed my bags one night and crept off into the night. I was alone in a strange country with only those ‘life people’ to help me. The worst thing of all was that my friends in the school cut me off …… with those words ringing in my ears about my fate for leaving a real school ….
The truth was that it was the best decision I ever made – I did not stop believing in the teachings of Gurdjieff – I just did not believe in Robert’s distorted version of his teachings..
After a really horrible year of doubting my decision and feeling sorry for myself, my world changed and a series of events took place over the next 3 decades which proved to me that higher forces had remained in my life ….. despite leaving Robert’s ‘so-called’ school !! …. starting with a new job, a new boss and a common link in a book “The Rose Garden”…

21. linda - September 22, 2015

Sorry, of course my message is – Get out while you can

22. James Mclemore - September 22, 2015

19. shardofoblivion

Wow!! Thank you shard. That brings back a few memories. I just fell in love with that piece of music when it first came out, somewhere in the late 60’s.

23. paul gregory - September 22, 2015

Thanks, Ton, but I’m recalling my 13th year, and not the Fellowship of Friends. Torture had already begun a while back, but after all, it was the good old 70’s.

voulez vouz

24. paul gregory - September 22, 2015

Why didn’t you tell me about Alan Partridge? Fuckwit. Your late again.
See what happens when your late, Ton? Cost’s a fuckload. Guess you’d know though if you’ve the face to prove it…
Have a claret on me.
Kerching!

25. paul gregory - September 22, 2015

Class! I’d stuck in a think in pointy brackets. what ? Oh yeah. Smily face, between fuckwit and your. Not you, obvously ton!

26. paul gregory - September 23, 2015

Yeah, so, you can be the dude with the bathroom, and I, ostensibly, for all we know, will be taking a hiking expedition somewhere in the Swiss Alps. (Thanks, by the way, for the lighter and the walking stick).

I’ve got a lot on my hands, as you can imagine, with Simone Weil and all that. Bitch doesn’t shut up for a moment.

Here she is again:

Simone:
Paul: Ok, Simone, I get it.

Simone:
Paul: Yes, hon, I know, but sometimes you just take things a little too far.

Simone:
Paul: Cunt. Can’t you fucking shut the fuck up about it for one single fucking moment?

Simone:
Paul: Your Hitler.

Simone:
Paul: OK, bitch, are you happy now?

Paul: Urghhh. Again with the sick shtick. You crack me up!
I”m Hitler!

Simone:
Nah, bitch, this is my schtick. Me da Hitler!
Paul: You da HItler? Everyone da HItler!

Everyone:

HITLERTIMES!

It’s like tellytubbies but they stay awake forever.

Now take your cyanide pill and fuck off, ‘Royalty Lovers’ one and all.

You cannot count to save your lives, and that is so funny, as the answer is Duckula.

27. Cathie L. - September 23, 2015

Great. Now Paul Gregory fills the void left by Nigel.

I’m out of here.

28. paul gregory - September 23, 2015

A Rumi quote would be appropriate?

29. paul gregory - September 23, 2015

Oh Sorry, didn’t see you there, Cathie. No, I was talking about how I was sadistically tortured from the age of 12 to 16. I can’t recall the exact date but guess it would of been around mid september, and I was upset, because I thought it would of been cooler to be 11. Maybe I was, it’s just too painful for me to contemplate. Math’s isn’t my strongpoint.

If I haven’t already made it clear, and you know Cathie, that I love you terribly and always have,

30. paul gregory - September 23, 2015

and Nigel too, of course. You live very near to where my mammy was born.

31. paul gregory - September 23, 2015

or maybe she just fucked around there for a laugh?

32. brucelevy - September 23, 2015

27. Cathie L.

It’s interesting, huh?

33. brucelevy - September 23, 2015

Maybe that’s what happens when people go off their meds.

34. Ames Gilbert - September 23, 2015

Well, if there is anyone landing here who is interested in learning more about the Fellowship of Friends, and its leader, Robert Earl Burton, I suggest you go over to:
http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com
which incorporates most of the salient points that have been posted on this blog in the last 150 pages. Also, the editor runs a tight ship, and extraneous material has no place on his site. Another great advantage is that the information is ordered, primarily by date. There is a search function, and also a tool that allows readers to translate the contents into any of about 70 languages. Judging by the translations for the languages I know, the translator does a pretty good job; some idioms don’t come through, but the sense is all there. You can also find out about Burton’s main squeeze, Asaf Braverman, and how he is applying the lessons from his master.

35. Thomas judd - September 23, 2015

Leaf you insightful git.#14 can’t really dispute.maybe some minor points.I echo #27 Cathie L.s sentiment.surely there’s got to be a way to bar or delete these psychotic ramblings.Makes us all look bad and sadly that is probably the purpose.

36. Bryan Reynolds - September 23, 2015

26. paul gregory – September 23, 2015

“Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”
Jack Nicolson, As Good As IT Gets

37. leaf - September 23, 2015

James Mclemore and shardofoblivion

I really appreciate your comments about suffering and sacrifice and the myths related to this (15 and 18).

shardofoblivion wrote: ”It seems to be a common theme in religions that suffering is a necessary part of spiritual progress. In my opinion it is a mistake to think the universe is organised so that our suffering stores up some spiritual credit,..”

The FOF sometimes discussed the idea of “transformation of suffering” — which always seemed like a noble idea to me, and it still does. However, in practice, the FOF has never been in the business of *transforming* suffering…. It’s clearly in the business of causing and exploiting the suffering of others.

Nothing makes it easier to be controlled by a sociopath than the belief that suffering and sacrifice are necessary for some sort of nebulous reward — whether it’s for high-fives with the angels in heaven, or to gain some sort of pretend status as a spiritually chosen one.

38. paul gregory - September 24, 2015

But that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I have always regarded you as fist-fucks. A handful of them, without a porpoise, on a one way trick to ponyville.

And that’s where you get off, isn’t it?

ONE IN FOUR CHILDREN ARE PHYSICALLY OR SEXUALLY ABUSED.

TAKE A KID.

THINK ABOUT IT CAREFULLY.

IS IT YOUR LITTLE GIRL OR BOY?

NICE, THEN, TO KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY.

IF YOUR GOING TO SMACK A KID, WELL, WHY NOT A LITTLE FOUR PLAY?

(she’s all fingers and thumbs recently).

a quarter of a little boy or girl, (sniffles) is being murdered as we speak. It’s all water under the bridge now, so what’s the porpoise?

Nah. It’s not the meds, is it?

It’s your finger fuck lick times that really turn you on.

(Insert the child into a small and portable device.)

Alarmed? Well, why would she? But let’s not be sexist.

(That’s where the money is…)

Is it not so, that cunt’s smell the blood?

(A napkin is provided with refreshments not including water.)

39. paul gregory - September 24, 2015

The Smiths play the Albert Hall. Fingers has a rub-a-dub.

It hurts, but not as you know it.

40. leaf - September 24, 2015

“…Makes us all look bad…”

As far as “looking bad,” I think the Fellowship of Friends is leading in that category.

41. leaf - September 24, 2015

34. Ames Gilbert

Thanks, Ames.

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com

42. Cristalclear - September 24, 2015

Nigel… for too many years… now Paul Gregory…

Please, give me a break…

43. WhaleRider - September 24, 2015

Maybe it’s time for more active moderation.

If Steve is not up to the task, he can pass the task to someone else.

When I go to this site, there are advertisements now appearing, which I believe indicates the moderator is getting paid for those ads, if I’m not mistaken.

So, if you agree, please send an email to Steve, and let’s have better moderation.

44. Ames Gilbert - September 24, 2015

Whalerider (#151-43 or thereabouts),
According to WordPress themselves, there are two kinds of adverts that might be appearing. The first kind are those that WordPress places; they do this to pay the bills. Blog software costs money to develop, maintain, keep secure, and update, and the servers that host the blogs cost money to buy, house, and run. So, that makes sense (to me, at least).
The second kind are placed by whoever runs the blog, IF they pay WordPress a premium to run such a site. See:
https://en.support.wordpress.com/no-ads/

So, Steve has taken on this rather unrewarding job for many years. Maybe he is tired of it, maybe not, but he is not getting rich on it!

Thanks, Steve, for all the hard work over these many years. And, if you are tired of it, then just say so. But, please don’t turn it over to Greg or Nigel or Asaf, for pity’s sake!

P.S. ‘cos I’m an old meanie and have advert blocking software, I never see adverts, on any site I visit. But if everyone did that, then a lot of folks, including WordPress, would go broke…

45. Linda Jo - September 25, 2015

Hmmm…

9. – 38. paul gregory – Sept. 20 – 24, 2015

Re: “What I could tell you I couldn’t begin to tell you. You can not imagine such horrors as I have seen…

…I’m recalling my 13th year, and not the Fellowship of Friends. Torture had already begun a while back, but after all, it was the good old 70’s.

Oh Sorry, didn’t see you there, Cathie. No, I was talking about how I was sadistically tortured from the age of 12 to 16. I can’t recall the exact date but guess it would of been around mid september, and I was upset… Maybe I was [only 11], it’s just too painful for me to contemplate.”

ONE IN FOUR CHILDREN ARE PHYSICALLY OR SEXUALLY ABUSED.

TAKE A KID.

THINK ABOUT IT CAREFULLY.

IS IT YOUR LITTLE GIRL OR BOY?

————————————————

I have never yet met an abused child (at whatever age) who was not crying to be heard…believed…validated.

When it comes to damage, there is no real difference between physical, sexual and emotional abuse. All that distinguishes one from the other is the abuser’s choice of weapons.

Emotional abuse is the systematic diminishment of another. It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event.

Emotional abuse is as painful as physical assault, with a pain that can last a lifetime. It leaves no visible marks, but it scars the heart and damages the soul.

Emotional abuse can be active. Vicious belittling and deliberate humiliation: “You’re fat. You’re stupid. You’re ugly.” “You’ll never be the success your brother was. You’re so stupid. I’m ashamed you’re my son.”

Emotional abuse is unique because it is designed to make the victim feel guilty and unworthy – unworthy of respect and friendship, love and protection.

Emotional abuse is repetitive and eventually cumulative behavior – very easy to imitate – and some victims later perpetuate the cycle with their own children. Although most victims courageously reject that response, their lives are often marked by a deep, pervasive sadness, a severely damaged self-concept and an inability to truly engage and bond with others.

Emotionally abused children grow up with significantly altered perceptions so that they “see” behaviors – their own and others’ – through a filter of distortion.

For victims with an idealized notion of ‘family,’ the task of refusing to accept the blame for their own victimization is even more difficult. For such searchers, the key to freedom is always truth – the real truth – not the distorted, self-serving version served up by the abuser.

When your self-concept has been shredded – when you have been deeply injured and made to feel that the injury was all your fault – when you look for approval from those who cannot or will not provide it – you play the role assigned to you by your abusers.

It’s time to stop.

Andrew Vachss, from his article, “Emotional Abuse: A Plea for The Wounded” in Sunday Examiner & Chronicle Parade Magazine, here.

—————————————–

On Safehorizon . . .

What are Rape and Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a general term that includes any forced or unwanted sexual activity, including rape, incest, sexual abuse, and molestation. Sexual assault includes any forced or unwanted touching of an intimate part of the body, such as breasts, buttocks, or genitals.

Rape, a specific type of sexual assault, involves any forced, manipulated, or coerced penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a penis or other object. Sexual assault/rape is not a crime of passion but a crime of violence, using sex as a weapon to overpower and to degrade the victim. A rapist can be a stranger or someone the victim knows…

46. Linda Jo - September 25, 2015

 
P150 – 166. ton2u – August 27, 2015

Re: ‘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

—————————————–

Excerpt

P142 – 15. paul gregory – July 31, 2014

I don’t get how rape equals sex, whatever kind of sex it is, or rape, for that matter. Rapists have preferences for a sex, his [Burton’s] preference is for the male sex, particularly that part of the male sex that doesn’t want to have sex with itself, or him…

The act of sexual violence is a negation of all of life’s values and meaning. Violence never makes sense.

Bob is a ‘goddess in a man’s body’. It does sound a bit gay, doesn’t it? The ‘A’ influence analog of bob would have to be the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest…

How is a rapist entitled to the term ‘heterosexual’ or ‘gay’? By committing an act of deliberate sexual violence and harm, surely you forgo the sex part of the sex act. Is rape sexy? Is rape ‘gay’? Is it ‘straight’? Gay is a word for same sex love and relationships. Love is nice. What bob’s doing isn’t. Where is the love in his actions? Where is the love of men in his ‘homosexuality’? How is it that malice aforethought towards others’ minds, hearts and genitalia on a mass scale can be regarded as being harmlessly, just a bit ‘gay’? or ‘gay’ at all? Maybe, for some, it’s ‘one of the expenses of being in this school’.

It is not merely promiscuous, but a deliberate violation of what should be sacred to every individual, by means of grooming, corruption, intimidation and insinuations, leading to sexual violence which can and almost certainly must have lifelong implications. Not gay. Not even remotely ‘homosexual’. More Holocaust.

‘You’re a wasted face
You’re a sad-eyed lie
You’re a holocaust.’

Alex Chilton

—————————————–

In The Mask of Sanity (p. 244)

     Fanatics and false prophets who show real but not so obvious signs of classic psychosis, as everyone must by now have learned, sometimes attract hundreds or thousands of followers who contribute large funds to projects founded on delusion. If news reports by many observers can be relied upon, even those showing plain evidence of very serious disorder, persons as fully psychotic as many on the wards of the state hospitals, also succeed in appearing to large groups not only as sage leaders or men with supernatural powers but also as God.

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

47. Linda Jo - September 25, 2015

 
Colin Wilson writes about “…Gurdjieff’s reputation for seducing his female students. (In Providence, Rhode Island, in 1960, a man was pointed out to me as being one of Gurdjieff’s illegitimate children. The professor who told me this also assured me that Gurdjieff had left many children around America).”

In the early 1930s Gurdjieff publicly ridiculed one of his pupils, Alfred Richard Orage [who wrote On Love and Consciousness]. In response, his wife Jessie Dwight wrote the following poem about Gurdjieff:

He calls himself, deluded man,
The Tiger of The Turkestan.
And greater he than God or Devil
Eschewing good and preaching evil.
His followers whom he does glut on
Are for him naught but wool and mutton,
And still they come and sit agape
With Tiger’s rage and Tiger’s rape.
Why not, they say, The man’s a god;
We have it on the sacred word.
His book will set the world on fire.
He says so – can God be a liar?
But what is woman, says Gurdjieff,
Just nothing but man’s handkerchief.
I need a new one every day,
Let others for the washing pay.

(Wikipedia/Gurdjieff)

————————————————–

From Episodes with Gurdjieff, published in 1973
by Edwin Wolfe (p. 24)

In 1939

     I was alone with Mr. Gurdjieff at a table in Child’s Restaurant on Fifth Avenue near 57th Street. It was almost dusk of a winter day. The Child’s Mr. Gurdjieff called his night office. Another Child’s over on Columbus Circle was his day office.
     We sat for awhile in silence. He seemed to be looking out the front window at the people passing by in the waning light. It was beginning to snow.
     “Wolfe,” he said, “tell. How your handkerchief?”
     “Mr. Gurdjieff,” I said, “I’m going to ask you to not speak about Dorothy like that. We are trying to live a good life together. A decent life. We are even trying to learn how to love one another. So, please, don’t call her my handkerchief. Please.”
     “I not promise,” he said.
     But he never called her that again.

——————————————————

From
Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way: A Critical Appraisal

Sexual Beliefs and Practices

Page 1 of 8

By all reports Gurdjieff was a vigorous, charismatic man with a robust sexual nature, described by biographer James Webb as “a sensual man who enjoyed the pleasures of the bed as much as those of the table.” (1) Gurdjieff’s sexual conduct shocked many people in the 1920s and 1930s, especially in conservative America. There were rumors that he had a highly varied sex life and was involved in unusual sexual practices. Some claimed he was a master of exotic Tantric sexual teachings learned in the East. While many of the stories surrounding Gurdjieff and sex were clearly fictitious or based on hearsay, there is a body of information on this subject gleaned from the written accounts of his pupils and research by biographers, scholars and academics that can be considered reasonably reliable.

Gurdjieff held many traditional conservative beliefs and attitudes about sexuality, probably based on his upbringing and cultural conditioning. He strongly condemned masturbation, contraception and homosexuality as affronts to the proper order of nature. At the same time he clearly [allegedly] possessed a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the role of sexuality in the process of spiritual transformation, and enunciated a complex model of the transmutation of sexual energy to a higher developmental level. Sometimes Gurdjieff created teaching situations which revealed to his students and others the hypnotic power of their conditioned attitudes and unconscious expression of sexuality.

Gurdjieff’s personal sex life appears from all accounts to be complex and sometimes contradictory, with varied expressions throughout his life. At times he was celibate, at other periods highly sexually charged. He fathered numerous children out of wedlock, including many with his own female disciples.

Critics have roundly condemned Gurdjieff’s sexual behavior as irresponsible and contrary to the actions of an authentic spiritual teacher. But teachers in many other spiritual traditions have engaged in exactly the same kind of sexual behavior. (2) The notion that spiritual masters must always be celibate and beyond the “base desires of earthly sexuality” is clearly an idealized myth and not congruent with reality.

However, the issue of a sexual relationship between a [supposed] spiritual teacher and his or her student(s) raises a number of important ethical questions: Is a sexual relationship between a teacher and student harmful or beneficial from a spiritual perspective? Is there an imbalance of power between teacher and student that compromises the authentic expression of a loving relationship between two equal partners? Is it possible to separate an intimate sexual relationship from an objective impersonal transmission of spiritual knowledge?

48. brucelevy - September 25, 2015

Nigel, go away.

49. Cristalclear - September 25, 2015

48. brucelevy -September 25, 2015

Nigel, go away.

Are you kidding me? Is it him again?

Seams like there is no way to carry on a rational conversation lately.

50. ton2u - September 25, 2015

@ 49

“…there is no way to carry on a rational conversation lately.”

Here’s a suggestion: go ahead and begin… that is, if you’re really interested in a “rational conversation” rather than throwing stones.

51. brucelevy - September 25, 2015

49. Cristalclear

Not Linda Jo.

52. ton2u - September 25, 2015

@ 50 re: “a suggestion…”

This blog seems doesn’t seem to be the best place for a conversation to occur, much less one that’s “rational.”

53. brucelevy - September 25, 2015

Sunk cost fallacy. The more one is invested…blah blah. Pretty right on re: FOF.

54. ton2u - September 25, 2015

@ 49 & 52

It seems we’re having difficulty with our ‘seams’ – and some here seem to be coming apart at the same…

My previous post has too many ‘seems’ – it should read:

“This blog doesn’t seem to be the best place for a conversation, much less one that’s ‘rational.’ ”

It seems that seeming is not always the same as actuality.

55. Cristalclear - September 25, 2015

What I meant was ,that every time there is something quite interesting going on , someone (not you someone) starts posting bullshit.
Personally ,I’m not very interested in crazy ,narcissistic speeches and I come to this blog to read about other people’s experiences in the fof and come to terms with my own experience in it.
I’m mostly a reader, but I must say that posting here is quite a traumatic experience! It reminds me of the good old times in the fof…you say something ,and immediately somebody jumps up
trying to belittle you and make you feel like a shit.
I wasn’t throwing any stones , just trying to interact.
A big mistake.

Bruce ,thanks for your reply.

ton2u ,If you believe a new poster will start a conversation after your
rude and aggressive response ,you are an incurable optimist!
I understand we are not here to make friends, but there is no need to be so rude.
Who knows ,maybe we where friends ,a long time ago in the nuthouse.

56. ton2u - September 26, 2015

@ 55 Cris…

I question how you misconstrue my post as “so rude” and “aggressive” ? Maybe it’s because I made a direct statement ? Maybe it’s because I directed it toward you ? I did intend to be direct, I didn’t intend to be “so rude” or “aggressive” – that’s a misperception, it’s not what I intended…. but I offer my apology if I offended your sensitivities.

I made the statement relating to sniping potshots that continue to be directed toward Nigel – even if he’s not posting – no matter ! More generally, it would seem there’s always gotta be a target, even an imaginary one will do. That appears to me, to be a little misdirected, if not just plain crazy.

57. leaf - September 26, 2015

Hi Cristalclear,

I’m sure you realize this already, but commentary on the internet tends to be fairly negative and sarcastic. The same is true here, although these pages are actually fairly mellow by comparison, and occasionally there are stretches that are more informative, thought-provoking, enlightening, and entertaining. I think I might be like you that way: I enjoy reading when that happens, and it’s disappointing when the weirdness goes up a few notches (ahem, or several notches). I hope that doesn’t dissuade you from reading and participating, and I hope the occasional sarcasm or directness doesn’t either.

My thinking is that maybe it’s better sometimes not to “converse” with people at all, but just describe what’s on your mind, and hope that it resonates with someone. It does help to get occasional positive feedback or you start to wonder if there’s any point to the effort. But while posting I’ve tried to imagine that at least one person is reading (who may or may not respond) who can relate to what I’m saying. It’s not completely out of the question given the enormous number of page hits on this site.

Despite all of the negativity and insanity (which I’ve contributed to myself), I believe many people have gained something positive from reading these pages. I will probably never connect with anyone (partly because of my distance from the epicenter), but I truly appreciate people here for their wisdom, insights, encouragement, and good humor — and for their well-tuned bullshit detectors.


The thing that concerns me (and probably most of us) about the strange rants and ramblings above and on previous pages is that the subject of the conversation shifts from “Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends” to “The Blog.”

This is what the best public relations campaigners are able to do when embarrassing or damning information comes out about their candidate, their corporation, their government organization, and so on: They shift the focus away from the topic. Using that tactic helps to control public perception. In most institutions, sending out a counter-campaign is the most automatic response to the emergence of the truth.

Burton and Company must smile a bit when “the blog” goes off the rails. Then, they can smugly believe that current followers will be turned off by all of this, acknowledge that “life” is a vast wasteland, and feel confident that this blog is just another example of former members “losing their understanding.”

I believe there’s always someone out there who sees through that. Hopefully some of them are members of the FOF, and also recruitees who will heed our warnings.

Best wishes all.

58. leaf - September 26, 2015

Moderator: Following up from Ames’ earlier comments, I suggest placing a more prominent link in the opening paragraphs at the top of this page to:

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com

Suggested text at the very end of the opening paragraphs, all in bold:

For a digest of many of the salient points from this blog, see Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends:
An Unauthorized Blogography of ‘The Teacher’ and His Cult
.

(BTW, I would understand if you wanted to hand things off to another person, but thanks much for all of your efforts!)

59. Cristalclear - September 26, 2015

56.ton2u

I understand you want to stand up for Nigel, and it’s ok for me.
I just asked because I couldn’t believe it was him.
How many aliases has he got?
I don’t have anything against him in particular ,and I understand your point.
However, I found your post a bit aggressive, and not just because it was directed toward me
.Maybe it’s a misperception, maybe it’ a language problem or a cultural problem.
Maybe I’m too sensitive, but I think you can be direct without being rude.
That said,apologies accepted.
Peace and love

60. leaf - September 26, 2015

You wrote: “Are you kidding me? Is it him again?”

You later wrote: “I think you can be direct without being rude.”

I agree. It’s easy to see these things in others, but not so easy sometimes in ourselves.

Best wishes.

61. Cristalclear - September 26, 2015

57.leaf
Hallo leaf
I’ve been a constant reader of this blog for a few years now ,and i know how the story goes, but this time I got a bit frustrated and posted a comment.
I truly appreciate your kind and wise suggestions and i will keep them in mind from now on!
I wish I was able to write what’s in my mind sometimes, but in a foreign language it’s to difficult ,so I’ll keep on reading trying to hold the frustration to myself.
I’ve gained something positive from the blog,and I appreciate the people, the sarcasm and even the humor,sometimes (when I get it).
What I find a bit sad is that the blog is not very “wellcoming” even to people that have shared a similar experience.
It’s a hard place to be(a bit to similar to the fof sometimes)and that can scare away new posters like myself ,that may have other stories to tell.

62. Cristalclear - September 26, 2015

60.leaf

You wrote: “Are you kidding me? Is it him again?”

I’ don’t understand a thing anymore..
Are you saying I was being rude? Is that rude in English ?

If so i give up completely.

63. Cristalclear - September 26, 2015

Sorry all,
I just realized I messed up in my previous post and quoted leaf that quoted my post number 49 , but it wasn’t clear.

What I wold like to understand,if any one of you can explain,is what is rude in my post 49 and why.
I tried to explain, I was surprised to read that Linda Jo and Nigel where the same person (according to Bruce).
What’s rude about that?
Anyway, I wold suggest to consider there is plenty of people in the big wide world, that are not English or American ,and maybe read this blog because they don’t have one in their own language,so they don’t have a voice.
If you judge people from a single word, it’s just a misunderstanding after the other.

Thanks to anyone of you who is willing to answer my question.

64. shardofoblivion - September 26, 2015

#48 Bruce says “Nigel, go away”

It appears to me that Nigel and Paul are NOT the same person.

NHP/CW displays classic manic symptoms. Bipolar is not under the control of the person coping with it, and results in a recognisable feeling of superiority and grandiosity. NHP has a story to tell, but I still reckon it would be best shared using something like facebook rather than here.

PG on the other hand already does have a facebook page. His use of foul language is unlike the word play of NHP. It reminds me more of William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, where the elliptical references and earthy imagery are being deployed in a knowing way. I find his posts a great deal more surprising than NHP’s were, and that is a good thing.

IMHO Burton is unlikely to be bothered about what happens on this blog, he probably looks on it as another of the cosmic filters that make sure only the precious worthy few stick with him, the meaningless chatter of maladjusted machines.

65. ton2u - September 26, 2015

@ 59 re: 56

You misunderstood the larger point I was trying to make… it was not necessarily about “standing up” for Nigel, it was about general tendencies here to “throw stones” – i.e. the targeting of individuals who may not conform to some idea of a “norm.” Recent responses to Nigel’s posts are an example of the behaviors I refer to, now it seems that Paul Gregory is becoming the next target.

More generally:
Personally, I think there’s room for anyone to post whatever they’re moved to post, I think of it as part of the processing experience and (personally) I think those who deviate from the “norm” and choose to stray off topic, add a bit of color to an otherwise sad and sordid state of affairs if you’re talking strictly about the FOF.

I agree with shard in the sense that burton couldn’t give a shit about what goes on here… not that it should matter to ‘ex-pats’ what burton thinks about us… IMO. And I agree with the whalerider, who for a time used the blog as his personal dream journal and when challenged about it replied that the blog is whatever we posters choose to make it…. or words to that effect.

Good, bad and ugly, the world is full of all kinds of crazy, and if you think you’re going to try to sanitize ‘crazy’ out of the blog, IMO you’re not being real, you’re not being honest, and you pass up a simple opportunity to practice a little compassion… or at least some benign indifference.

If you find posts “distracting” or “annoying” don’t get yourself in a snit over the “clutter” – it’s simple enough to just scroll past and get to whatever you may deem to be “the good stuff” – or better still, provide some of your own material toward a constructive, “rational conversation.” IMO that would at least be an honest attempt to “elevate” things to the level of “rational conversation” here – IMO the throwing of stones and piling on tends to be lazy, cowardly and a even little sadistic.

66. ton2u - September 26, 2015

And many thanks to Steve (the moderator) for your many years of dedication to a ‘thankless’ task.

67. ton2u - September 26, 2015

@ 64

Hadn’t heard of Nils Frahm… thanks for that I enjoyed it.

68. aarrgh me buckos - September 26, 2015

“Everybody must get stoned.”

69. leaf - September 26, 2015

62 and 63.
Cristalclear, I’m sorry, my remarks in that one post were probably too flippant and not helpful, and I wouldn’t take offense. I really don’t think what you wrote was too rude — probably expressed what many of us were thinking.

I’m glad some of what I wrote resonated. Stay well, and hope you’re having a good weekend.

70. leaf - September 26, 2015

Super moon on Sunday — a total lunar eclipse combined with the moon being at its closest point to Earth. Of course, rather than view this as an awe-inspiring celestial event that stirs wonder and curiosity about the universe, the Fellowship uses such events to suggest that the Moon is a sinister orb circling the earth like a predator. And that you had better remain in the Fellowship if you hope to escape its jaws in the afterlife. (This no exaggeration. It’s the precise dogma that the Fellowship articulates.)

For years, I’ve been around people in the cult who talk about “the moon cycles” (3 days before and 3 days after each full and new moon) as obviously having weird effects on human behavior. This viewpoint conveniently neglects the fact that weird things also happen constantly when it’s not “a moon.” So the conventional wisdom in the cult is that people have “verified” it. They are ever on the lookout for more evidence.

There are other views: http://www.livescience.com/7899-moon-myths-truth-lunar-effects.html

It’s our choice which world view we decide to adopt. But tomorrow night I fully intend to leave the fear and superstition far behind.

71. WhaleRider - September 26, 2015

leaf:
“..the Fellowship uses such events to suggest that the Moon is a sinister orb circling the earth like a predator…”

Unfortunately, it can take years for a cult follower to discover who the real predator is circling the earth.

72. ton2u - September 26, 2015

re: 70

“Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Poor decisions due to these biases have been found in political and organizational contexts.”

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

73. fofblogmoderator - September 27, 2015

Whale- I don’t see any advertisements on my end. Not sure what you are seeing. I’m definitely not making a dime on keeping this blog going. The blog is a responsibility I’m not necessarily fond of or have time for so if anybody wants to take over, send me an email and we’ll discuss it

74. WhaleRider - September 27, 2015

Thanks for the clarification, Steve. Ya, for some reason advertising starting showing up when I visit the site with my iPhone, despite the settings to block them, leading me to believe that you had elected to allow them, and I certainly would not blame you for having done so to pay for the time you spend moderating.

While the “hands off” approach may have worked in the past, it seems to have lately driven some from posting, such as Cathie, which saddens me.

So I propose we have more active moderation. If there is a way to receive some small income from allowing advertising, I’m all for it to compensate for keeping posts a bit more on topic.

I’ll toss my hat in the ring for making the suggestion as long as others agree.

Thank you, Steve, for all that you’ve done so far.

75. fofblogmoderator - September 27, 2015

Whalerider- I’m not sure what you mean by “more active moderation”. The only time I have “moderated” here is to keep people like Greg and lately Nigel from disrupting the general flow of topics and threads.

I receive :comments waiting for approval” quite often and a few of them I don’t let through because they seem, in my subjective opinion, to be frivolous. I read through the blog a couple of times a week (it used to be daily when it was on a roll a few years ago) and if I see a consensus from the blog community to intervene or alter anything I take it into serious consideration.

I just did some research on the ads you’ve been seeing and it’s something WordPress does on their own when you have a free site such as this one. If I want to pay their fee (not sure how much- they have multiple plans) you can get rid of the ads.

I’ve been maintaining the blog for over 6 years and as I mentioned last night, I don’t have much free time to turn pages, but it doesn’t take that long once you know the routine. I’d rather keep doing it than hand over the keys to someone that I can’t be sure of.

76. WhaleRider - September 27, 2015

Thanks for your response. I’m sensing a mixed message; you want to be moderator, but you don’t particularly enjoy doing it nor do you have the time to monitor the blog too closely.

Hey, life is short, my friend!

No need to martyr yourself about it, let’s make this work for all of us, including those of us here who make ourselves available to frequent the blog in a continuing effort to dissuade anyone from joining the cult…which given what we know is going on first hand, I consider my moral duty. By keeping this blog going it will rank higher in Internet searches.

To me, active moderation means making sure the page turns at 200 posts, introducing and welcoming new participants, filtering out ad hominem attacks, gas lighting, and commercial interests, protecting privacy, and keeping people on topic in a respectful manner.

A better index at the top might be nice with more archival links, too, as I believe others have requested.

Could we please make the blog a tiny bit more welcoming and hence more engaging? I think that will make us more effective in reaching the goal of draining the victim pool.

What do others think/feel?

77. Mick - September 27, 2015

I nominate Tim Campion.

78. Cristalclear - September 27, 2015

ton2u writes:

“If you find posts “distracting” or “annoying” don’t get yourself in a snit over the “clutter” – it’s simple enough to just scroll past and get to whatever you may deem to be “the good stuff” – or better still, provide some of your own material toward a constructive, “rational conversation.” IMO that would at least be an honest attempt to “elevate” things to the level of “rational conversation” here – IMO the throwing of stones and piling on tends to be lazy, cowardly and a even little sadistic.”

I find it interesting that many posters before me had made a comment about Nigel and even some on Paul Gregory but nobody said a word about that.

I counted five or six comments before mine on this page only. Not to talk about the previous page, where many complained about taking up to much space,

posting the names of innocent people and even threatening others to reveal information about teir family life.

I made an harmless comment like “give me a break”‘ and about the conversation beeing interrupted and you accuse me of “throwing stones”.

I don’t need you ,lecturing me about what I sould ,or Should’nt do on the blog ,I know that myself.is it because i’m not part of the “club”?

I’ve tried to contribute to the general conversation pointing out some things, that are quite important to me, and that is:

people from different countries may be reading this blog and even post on it ,so a little more tollerance may be needed abut the language .

readers of the blog are as important as posters are (why post if nobody reads?)

scaring away new posters doesn’t look like a very clever thing to do, from my point of view.

beeing aggressive doesn’t help new posters that want to open up abou themselves.

posting long boring posts and crazy rambling doesn’t help the blog and helps the fof,confirming that ex “students are nuts.

At this point I’m not even sure you read my posts.

I’ve tried to bee kind and polite,but enough it’s enough.

you say you speek “in general”, but you keep addressing me and use words like “lazy “,”coward” and “sadistic”.

Why didn’t you address one of the other posters that were throwing much bigger stones than mine?

I’ve seen enough bullies in the fof,and I didn’t come here to be bullied by you or anybody else.

What you think of that as “rational conversation ?

Have I contibuted enough to have the right to post on the blog?

WhaleRider wrote:

“Could we please make the blog a tiny bit more welcoming and hence more engaging?

I think that will make us more effective in reaching the goal of draining the victim pool.”

From what I have experienced now not many people on this blog give a damn about beeing “welcoming” and “engaging”

Some talk about “throwing stones” ,and then spend their time throwing them themselves (but only at new posters,don’t worry!)

Others simply don’t even aknowldege you or your questions.

79. Cristalclear - September 27, 2015

leaf,
thank you for your answer on post 69 ,it makes me feel better ,especially about my communication skills.
I started thinking I said something terrible without knowing it.

have a good day

80. ton2u - September 27, 2015

@ 78

Communication can be a difficult thing at times… I used the word “generally” because I was referring to a pattern of behavior here on the blog – not to YOU in particular. I hope you can understand this, and that you will continue to ‘speak’ your mind with courage.

81. Cristalclear - September 28, 2015

@80

Ok , you said “generally” but it seamed like I was the only target.
Anyway, you are right,communication is difficult ,and I would like to move on from this point,and start fresh.

I hope some of the things I said in my post make sense to you, if you try to look at them from the point of view of someone that is new here,(I posted only once before) .
I have my scars, you have yours, so let’s try not to put other burdens on people.
I just hoped I would be a little bit more welcomed, not immediately
judged, for an harmless comment.

Regarding my scars:
Maybe i’m a little to sensitive, when it comes to what I consider “attack” especially ,if they come from people that where on the same boat and say that are here to help others.
I didn’t find much kindness in the fellowship only exploitation of your labor and your money, betrayal,hypocrisy and lies.
People seamed nice only in the beginning ,so that they could trap you better, and when you where in it , it became more and more difficult to escape for many different reasons.
Fear of losing loved people that joined with me and where not ready
to leave.
Fear of “loosing everything”even your soul.
Fear of loosing the only friends that you had, because you had lost all your previous friends because of the fof.

If you want to talk about your scars and try to mend them this is the only place to do it, because you people lived a similar experience and are the only one that can understand what I’m talking about.
And that is ,loosing your innocence, loosing your trust in people, loosing confidence in yourself (how could I bee so stupid and
join this cult full of psychos?).
I understand my scars are nothing ,compared to many others that where in the fof ,but they are there and the blog can help healing them, just because it shows you that you are not the only one that got fooled.
That’s why I believe that a tad more of “welcoming attitude” could be
useful in this blog.
I’m just making suggestions,not trying to “sanitize”or “reform” anything, I believe not even the “Ghost Busters”would be able to do that!

82. ton2u - September 28, 2015

Cristal,
I understand the insecurity…. Can you tell “us” more about your history and experience with the FOF – where / when did you join? How did you manage to extricate yourself from the cult, and what kind of help did you in the process ? Do you have social support around you now ?

etc.

83. ton2u - September 28, 2015

re: 82

How many years were you in the cult ? How did you extricate yourself and what kind of help did you have? Were you reading this blog before leaving ?

84. GoldenVeil - September 28, 2015

76. Whalerider September 27, 2015

“To me, active moderation means making sure the page turns at 200 posts, introducing and welcoming new participants, filtering out ad hominem attacks, gas lighting, and commercial interests, protecting privacy, and keeping people on topic in a respectful manner.”

Whalerider, you have made very some good points, but it appears to me that for the most part, the moderator already does all of what you suggest. A few ideas, like turning the page as close as possible to 200 and attempting to consistently note newcomers are constructive (I think the blog participants already welcome the new posters themselves.) However, since the moderator (whom I have met personally) has a very demanding career yet does a pretty good job, I feel that it might be better to express more appreciation for what he presently does, rather than request that he do more work. Please, let us not drive him away by being overly demanding or critical.

There is an important aspect to his methodology that should not be overlooked: his style of moderation is of a lighter, more impartial involvement ~ and I think that this is very important. If someone (not you Someone) were to take the reins with a too active, heavy-handed approach, it could seriously mean the end of the blog. A lighter, more impartial touch is important; as much as possible, free speech should reign here. And, as you know, he does ban people as necessary, usually for an extended period of time.

By the way, I don’t see anyone else stepping forward and offering to take over moderator responsibility.

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”

Cherokee proverb

85. aarrgh me buckos - September 28, 2015

Cc=GWG

86. shardofoblivion - September 28, 2015

#85 Cc=GWG – surely only if GWG is deliberately using poor spelling and loose and unconstructed paragraphs, previously I felt he betrayed himself partly by his erudition regarding the system and world philosophy (with a bias on the “I’m surrounded by fools and imbeciles” aspects of these systems)

It could be acting I suppose. But another aspect of Cc is a very “free” use of spaces before and after commas, which we never saw with Men in White Coats, eg in this post, he/she spells “desperately” correctly, and this paragraph is very well constructed. (though largely mistaken IMHO)

139 88. Men In White Coats – November 21, 2013
One part of the work of psychological awakening from the delusion of insanity is to resourcefully keep the routine ego which is always seeking narcissistic supply from getting hold of the moments of naked awareness and counting them as part of its many accomplishments. The real accomplishment is to disavow this relentless collector of desperate evidence of its specialness.

contrast this page 81. Crystalclear
I understand my scars are nothing ,compared to many others that where in the fof ,but they are there and the blog can help healing them, just because it shows you that you are not the only one that got fooled.

Also Whalerider has been posting recently, and in the past GWG has always had a pop at him, the first moment his mask slips.

87. Cristalclear - September 28, 2015

Wow! Go on ,please .Nobody ever made a complete analysis of my use of language,my “uncostructed paragraphs” and “erudition regarding the system and world philosophy “before!
I’m impressed.
I’ m not as flattered to be compared to a troll like Greg .
I started writing about myself today ,but at this point ,I don’t think I want to share anything about myself on this blog anymore.

88. Ames Gilbert - September 28, 2015

Cristalclear (#151-87 or thereabouts),
Please DO, do tell your story. Personal stories are what makes this blog come alive, in my opinion. I’ve been posting on and off here for years, I’ve told everything I want to share a long time ago, and that leaves me trying to freshen up things I’ve talked about and warned about umpteen times before, and sometimes that is just not possible.

New people with new stories are vital, they always present a new viewpoint and give readers something to think about. And sometimes the comments on personal stories can be very helpful.

You sound like someone with something interesting to say, please go ahead—and be welcome. Posting here might help your healing, I know it has helped me and has helped others who want to be healed, or at least those who understand that actual healing is a process with an end, if not full resolution.

89. Cristalclear - September 28, 2015

Hallo Ames,and thank you for posting that comment.

That’s exactly what I think,but you said it a lot better.
I’ve been reading this blog for four years now.I started from the beginning ,and it’s a lot of stuff to read,so I can’t say I read it all but most of it yes.
I posted once at the times “I in the sky” was around,maybe you remember because you welcomed me.
I posted the lyrics of the song ,just because I noticed that nobody was making a connection Tim told me I had a good bullshit
detector.I wish others had one sometimes ,to detect their own bullshit.
I have been wandering for four years whether I should tell my story.
Recently , I was kind of testing the waters ,and they seemed quite dangerous to me, I tried and tried to say that it is difficult to open up
if you feel that nobody gives a damn about your story.
I think ,like you ,that personal stories are the soul of the blog.
At this point my, family told me not to post about myself anymore,because they can see it has a bad effect on me ,and i feel like I have to think that over very carefully .

Thanks a lot

and thank you ton2u and leaf ,the start was rough, but somehow we came to a human understanding.

90. WhaleRider - September 29, 2015

Really Ames? You expect people to open up in these shark infested waters?

#85 is great reason for more active moderation.

If I were moderator, I would have filtered out or deleted that comment ASAP to help keep us on track. It is a deliberate attempt to unmask a another poster. What good does that serve other than to side track us, no matter who it is? Going back after the fact and deleting comments is pointless once the damage has been done.

People like “CristalClear” and “aarrgh me buckos” have just shown up out of the blue, without seeing from the blog moderator that their first post had been moderated. Are they the same person just posting with another name?

I would have introduced each new poster, and request that they share something about their cult experience. How do we know these two are not the same person just playing a mind fuck game to pull us off topic and onto you know who?

Golden Veil: With all due respect, I feel your fears are unfounded.

I have always expressed my appreciation and respect for the blog moderator. I am stepping forward to relieve him of something he doesn’t seem to really enjoy doing anymore.

I am also expressing my unhappiness with the status quo, hands off approach, causing us to lose most recently people like Cathie L, whom I feel was sincere and had a lot to contribute.

What I am offering is to do more troll policing before people’s feelings get hurt and they leave, and to help make this forum a more hospitable environment in which to share and heal. Right now it is not.

Trolls like to poison the well, especially when no one is watching and make everyone’s life hell until they have limits set for them, which they are unable to do for themselves.

IMO, the blog could benefit from a bit more vigilance than Steve is willing or able to give.

Here’s another proverb: “when the cat is away, the mice will play”.

91. Cristalclear - September 29, 2015

Please,WhaleRiderder read the posts,I said more than once
IT IS NOT MY FIRST POS

92. Cristalclear - September 29, 2015

At this point I’m going ballistic!
stop thinking about this fucking trolls and START READING POSTS!!
I even told you when I posted so you ken check yourself !
Nobody gives a fuck about helping people .
Everyone is a troll!
I am Greg , than I am aarg me bukos,than NHP, maybe.
Why not blowjob bob in person?
You people are going crazy! Open your eyes !! you are poisoning your own well by doing that.
Stop blaming the moderator,blame yourself for sending REAL people away.
WhaleRider
First you talk about being welcoming than you talk about sharks and then you accuse me of being a troll .make peace with your brain and start reading posts.
MY POSTS HAVE BEEN MODERATED BEFORE.

How can you people help others, if you can’t even help yourselves?
Please stop this bullshit!

93. Ames Gilbert - September 29, 2015

Blogmoderator (#151-75 or thereabouts),
If you’re not tired of the job, then I for one am happy for you to continue.

Cristalclear, I guess there is something in the air. A fog of misunderstanding… almost willful misundertanding. Maybe you will reconsider later?

94. Tim Campion - September 29, 2015

cristalclear,

I’m sorry to see the rough “welcome back” you have received. You have told your story before and contributed many thoughts to this blog. I hope you’ll continue to read along and post.

(Those who wish to read a number of cristalclear’s earlier posts should see page 123 of this blog. You can follow the link, or just type 123 into the search box at the top of this page.)

95. ruf - September 29, 2015

“90. cristalclear – August 10, 2012

I ‘m new to the blog and feel a little scared to say anything ,but this talking about the aim and impact of the blog is really getting on my nerves. Who said it must have an aim or a mission? If it is so I’m in the wrong place.Trying to tell the truth about rb and his cult is a matter of conscience, not the aim of my life.
I thought we were here to share something,and if that can help people to leave, or not join ,it’s a good thing for me.
I wonder why so many different people keep pointing out how useless and pathetic this blog is ,,and yet continue to write on it .
I was not abused in the fof ,people were kind or nice or whatever, but that doesn’t mean we were not used.
They used me and everybody else.They used our goodwill ,our trust our youth, and our dreams,and I’m still angry for that.
If others are happy with it, it’s ok for me, but I really don’t understand why they are writing here.”

2 things may be happening here – 1) cristalclear has never become used to the blog (with its variant posters) as a means of strengthening the joint resolve to remain ‘out’ for the right reasons, or 2) he/she is a ‘profound’ case in need of mental health ‘adjustment’. I’m sorry, but ranting without the time taken to check spelling and grammar makes for very little sympathy, empathy nor compassion (whatever your country of origin – and I am not being racist!).

Actually, both of the above may be true, in which case – good luck !

96. GoldenVeil - September 29, 2015

90. Whalerider

“What I am offering is to do more troll policing before people’s feelings get hurt and they leave, and to help make this forum a more hospitable environment in which to share and heal. Right now it is not.”

Whalerider, it appears from the above that you do want to take over moderating the blog, and edit out perceived problems more quickly on a daily basis. I’m sorry; that was not previously clear to me.

I’m wondering if you do take on this task, if you’ll want posters who know who you are to address you by your first name, as you do in your above posts; you directly address and critique the moderator by name.

94. Tim Campion

That’s great that you put in the link to page 123 to see CristalClear’s earlier posts and remind us about the search engine that is on this very page ~ if we ever wonder if someone has posted before. There are also some great posts on that page directly below CC’s by Ames Gilbert, Tim Campion, Tempus Fugit.

92. CristalClear

Your frustration is understandable. Although you can post whatever you feel ~ without using family names or identifying characteristics, the current atmosphere is not conducive to that endeavor, is it? I’m sorry. Maybe later will be better. As Ames mentions, telling your story may help others think twice about joining the cult, or compel some to think about leaving.

97. WhaleRider - September 29, 2015

GoldenVeil:
If you type in the word “Steve” in the search window top right, you will notice that others before me have used his first name since page 105. So apparently that is not an issue for him as you know it would be for me, otherwise I assume he would have said something about it back in 2011 or deleted the posts with his first name to protect his identity.

And I certianly would not hesitate to delete any inappropriate post immediately if requested to do so, nor would I tolerate anyone calling anyone else here a “pathetic piece of shit”.

98. Mick - September 29, 2015

I’m not in favor of an active censorship and/or editing of the Blog. The current moderator’s limited involvement is fine with me.

99. ruf - September 29, 2015

And…..despite attempts to talk ourselves through, what drove us through, what got us through, what sees us reeling or steadfast in where we find ourselves, how we find ourselves, or if we find ourselves, it all comes down to descriptions of this…rotten Robert cumming (sp.) or going over tender heterosexual flesh and a froo-froo, arty-farty, costing too much in time, finances and our efforts, so-called institution of higher possibilities.

100. WhaleRider - September 29, 2015

Unfortunately, Mick, those in favor of more active moderation have probably long since departed the blog due to all the inappropriate comments, name calling, and personal attacks that are allowed here, despite the stated rules of engagement.

The current moderator has said time and time again that he doesn’t particularily enjoy the task, nor does he have the time to do it, yet no one seems to care, so as a result everyone suffers.

I’m sorry, calling another person here a “pathetic piece of shit”, especially if they are suffering from a mental disorder with a history of suicide attempts is not appropriate, period, and the whole scenario could have been avoided with better moderation, along with many other hostile interchanges that we all have endured.

My aim is to make this a forum in which they might feel safe to one day return and contribute in a meaningful way.

I think you’ll find my style of moderation respectful, attentive, compassionate and fair. Have I not earned your trust?

If there is consensus that I am being too heavy handed, or pursuing any other agenda other than what we agree upon, I will happily pass the moderation to another.

How can we expect a cult follower to make a significant change in their lives by leaving the cult, if we appear unwilling to change our status quo?

Are we mirroring the cult here…suck it up or leave?

101. Ames Gilbert - September 29, 2015

Whalerider (#151-90 and others), thanks for your offers to take over the moderation.

The present moderator is quite laid back, certainly compared to Pavel (Sheik of Esoteric Wisdom), who fairly regularly added his own comments, which I personally appreciated and thought contributed to the conversation. They actually led me to trust him, and hence the whole enterprise as it took off. I trust the present moderator for other reasons, including his consistency and neutrality.

But back to your candidacy. Obviously, from the example you just gave, you would have deleted at least my last post to Nigel, or demanded that I adjust it to suit your taste—actually I was a bit surprised that there were no negative comments at the time about my input in the spat with Nigel, only positive ones, (reinforced by several private messages sent to me), along the lines of, “it’s about time”. Anyway, I get the feeling that you would be pedantic about the rules that govern this blog. For instance, I think that your example of the post claiming, “Cc = GWG” is equivalent to unmasking shows you are not neutral; only an ‘insider’ with previous knowledge would have the slightest idea of what that meant. So my question to you is, since you’ve officially announced your candidacy, how would you have dealt with Nigel’s post identifying the full names of his case officers and their positions (you said nothing at the time), and exactly, in detail, how would you have dealt with my other posts to Nigel? How about the sheer quantity and randomness of Nigel’s posts? Are there any limits for you? How about your own numerous posts advocating—some would call it proselytizing—for the benefits of dream analysis? Or other pet subjects du jour. Any limits there?

Understand that I’m not attacking you. You’ve put yourself forward, and I feel that these are legitimate questions to ask any candidate. And if you don’t want to answer, don’t feel obliged in any way!

102. fofblogmoderator - September 29, 2015

#95 and #99 are newly moderated.

103. James Mclemore - September 29, 2015

98. Mick –
“I’m not in favor of an active censorship and/or editing of the Blog. The current moderator’s limited involvement is fine with me.”

I will have to say “ditto” with what Mick said, and also what Ames said to the current moderator at @93 – “If you’re not tired of the job, then I for one am happy for you to continue.”

I think the “limited involvement” is perfect for this blog.

WhaleRider – As much as I respect you and a lot of what you post, I would be quite reticent to see this blog fall under anyone’s guidance who feels like they know just how this blog should be moderated. Through 151 pages the blog has basically moderated itself with only a little help from the actual moderator just in case someone (not you someone) gets really out of hand.

The blog at various times has been pictured as “sitting around a campfire”. I for one, would not want to go to a campfire and find that it is micro-managed by someone who tells the other people just what the boundaries of the conversation should and should not be and censors people’s use of language. I would probably just roll up my sleeping bag and go on my way.

104. ton2u - September 29, 2015

My 2 cents…. I appreciate the hands-off approach of our current moderator. If he’s willing to continue, then he has my vote of confidence. IMO the most important quality of a moderator is NEUTRALITY – a quality which the current moderator embodies.

A cliche’ comes to mind: “S/he who governs least governs best… (or) s/he who governs best governs least.”

I want to say that I greatly appreciate Whalerider’s contributions here, this includes his passion, his demonstrated commitment to draining the pool of victims, and the impulse to help prevent the hapless from wandering into a cult unawares.

What Whalerider brings to the blog should be acknowledged and appreciated, but because of what he brings I would question his neutrality in a would-be role as moderator.

That’s not intended as a criticism, the blog needs non-neutral voices from those who are committed to exposing the cult for what it is… IMO Whalerider is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest and most consistent voice in this regard.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m speaking personally but I know and can appreciate that others might be repulsed with messy, chaotic situations or a seeming lack of “control.” I think of chaos and disorder as an essential part of life… and sorting through it all to find the meaningful threads is part of the creative challenge and intrigue – it’s one thing that can keep things interesting – to me.

105. shardofoblivion - September 29, 2015

I would prefer the lighter touch the current moderator uses rather than a more pro active moderation style. I would even have been inclined to let “I in the sky” continue. When GWG gets his stinger out and starts gis ad hominem attacks on posters, I agree with a moderator’s hand, though even then I would prefer to hear his voice as well if the toxic posts were removed. The moderator’s approach with NHP, the details are not know to me of course, seems to have been measured and reasonable.

It was exactly the strong feeling in the air in the FoF that certain things were unmentionable that allowed the sexual crimes to continue unopposed. If I were a current FoF member who came across the blog for the first time, I can imagine it is precisely the lack of control that would strike me as a contrast with the FoF’s strict control over the speech of its membership.

Cristalclear – I was sad to see you were offended by my textual analysis, and assure you that I welcome your contributions, however spelt or phrased. I was only trying to point out that it was unlikely you were GWG.

106. ruf - September 29, 2015

106 – ton2u

“I’m speaking personally but I know and can appreciate that others might be repulsed with messy, chaotic situations or a seeming lack of “control.” I think of chaos and disorder as an essential part of life… and sorting through it all to find the meaningful threads is part of the creative challenge and intrigue – it’s one thing that can keep things interesting – to me.”

Just an addition – I think it behooves all of us to watch where we initiate, and for what reasons, messy chaotic situations, who gets involved AND FOR WHAT REASONS, and how we defuse ourselves and the situation. There is little point waiting for repetition of a lifetime if we keep having these small, niggling, repetitions which make us “puffed up” (King James Bible).

107. ton2u - September 29, 2015

@ 106 ruf

Point well taken… I wasn’t referring to initiating a “messy chaotic situation” but there are those who seem to take some pleasure in the activity…. internet trolls a case in point. And messy, chaotic situations can be the byproduct of simple interactions sometimes, albeit not intentionally or “consciously.” And creating or adding to the “mess / chaos” of a situation can be an unintended or unforeseen consequence of simply being involved… attempting to deal with said situation sometimes simply adds fuel. Recognizing a situation for what it is and withdrawing can sometimes do more good than persisting in an approach that might have seemingly “good intentions” as the initial motivator… take joining a cult for a example.

108. brucelevy - September 29, 2015

I thought Ames’ use of the descriptor of “POS” was apt and accurate given the context of what came before, as his actions were both personal and virtually criminal on the part of Nigel, mental health issues or not. What Nigel did in the background ws designed to cause harm to Ames and his family…this out of his pathalogial narcissism and vindictiveness.

109. ruf - September 29, 2015

“Killer” quotes …..

“Don’t be so humble – you are not that great.”
– Golda Meir (1898-1978), to a visiting diplomat

“The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.”
– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

(and one for Bruce ! tee-hee)

“You proceed from a false assumption: I have no ego to bruise.”
– Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

110. Tim Campion - September 29, 2015

97. Whalerider

Typing “Steve” into the search box above does not return results for Steve Lang, rather Steven Hassan. The WordPress search function above does not search the “comments” sections of these blog pages. It only searches blog posts. The “boilerplate” introduction the moderator posts at the top of each page (which mentions Steven Hassan up until page 110) is essentially the only “blog post” on each page. The rest is commentary. (The reason typing the page number into the search works is that the page number appears in the title of each page’s “blog post.”) So, in the case of the Fellowship of Friends Discussion, the WP search function seems almost worthless.

On many websites the comments section is not moderated. Others censor only the most abusive of comments and obvious trolls. Still others (such as GF) identify and screen members before allowing them to post. Except for a few guidelines mentioned above, this blog tends to give commenters almost complete freedom. To post on “our” blog, I believe you don’t even need a valid e-mail address.

One weakness of this forum is that the WordPress comments section is not designed for threaded discussions like those found on many other discussion sites (e.g. the Greater Fellowship forums.)

The format compels us to follow a single linear thread, through which we somehow manage to weave our various conversations. It’s certainly not ideal, but for years we’ve made it work, bearing with the many twists, turns, detours, and noise the comments introduce.

Without moving to a completely different format, I don’t see a way to significantly improve the dynamics or the experience of this discussion.

(Still, after eight years of discussion, it would be nice to know the identity of the person with whom you are speaking. Hey, “ruf.” Do I know you?)

111. Cristalclear - September 30, 2015

Tim 94
Thank you for posting the links to my previous posts,I tried to find
them but I didn’t succeed. If you thought it was a rough “welcome back” I wonder how we should define it after “ruf”‘s post 95.

Ames, GoldenVeil
Tanks for your support.
I was seriously considering, if it would be wise to continue posting( I’m in a tug of war about it ,with my family and with myself, about it).
It’s a real effort for me, at the moment, to continue, but I’m not going to stop because of this new attempt of putting me down
I might be ignorant when it comes to grammar and spelling a language that’s not my native one,but I’m not an ignorant,racist and mean person.

WhaleRider ,
I am truly sorry,
you are a fundamental part of the blog and I respect and appreciate you. Let’s say ‘I had a bad day” ,and your comment abut me, playing
mind games, made me express my frustration in a bad way.
I hope you will forgive me, because when i posted a long time ago you said some really sweet and touching words to me,and I know you are a very nice person.
Shard,
misunderstanding again,
I wasn’t offended by your analysis,I was amazed!
You even inspected the spaces between my words and my commas,
as if you were writing an essay about Shakespeare!
I perfectly understood you didn’t think I was Greg,but the poster before you did ,and I was a bit upset because I expected others would jump in and start playing “find the troll” with me.
And I was right.

I don’t know if there is another kind of game going on right now.

112. WhaleRider - September 30, 2015

@Cristalclear:
Thank you for your kind words. I certainly meant you no harm, and was in fact defending you from being confused with somebody else. I hope you will stay for a while.

@Tim:
When I searched on “Steve” (on my iPhone, anyway) the earliest page that came up was page 105. When I scrolled down in the posts I came upon this one from you, ironically:

“9. Tim Campion – July 15, 2011
194. fofblogmoderator
“…I took over responsibility for keeping the blog open in August 2008 starting on page 44. We’re now on page 105.”

Dear fofblogmoderator (is it “Steve”?)”

Maybe I just got lucky, but it worked. It seemed to me that the fofblogmoderator didn’t mind.

ton2U:
Thank you for your acknowledgment of my efforts here.

“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those special people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.”

Howard Zin said it better than I. “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.”

@James Mclemore:
” I would be quite reticent to see this blog fall under anyone’s guidance who feels like they know just how this blog should be moderated.”

Is this not the case already?

@Ames:
“Obviously, from the example you just gave, you would have deleted at least my last post to Nigel, or demanded that I adjust it to suit your taste—actually I was a bit surprised that there were no negative comments at the time about my input in the spat with Nigel, only positive ones, (reinforced by several private messages sent to me), along the lines of, “it’s about time”. Anyway, I get the feeling that you would be pedantic about the rules that govern this blog. For instance, I think that your example of the post claiming, “Cc = GWG” is equivalent to unmasking shows you are not neutral; only an ‘insider’ with previous knowledge would have the slightest idea of what that meant. So my question to you is, since you’ve officially announced your candidacy, how would you have dealt with Nigel’s post identifying the full names of his case officers and their positions (you said nothing at the time), and exactly, in detail, how would you have dealt with my other posts to Nigel? How about the sheer quantity and randomness of Nigel’s posts? Are there any limits for you? How about your own numerous posts advocating—some would call it proselytizing—for the benefits of dream analysis? Or other pet subjects du jour. Any limits there?”

Ames, please understand that I would not have had to delete your post, because I would not have let the situation progress to the level of a pissing contest. Nigel’s threats to you were totally inappropriate and would have been dealt with ASAP. That interaction didn’t show the best side of either of you.

Long ago you complained about Nigel’s endless cutting and pasting, and tangental, self-serving posts; nothing seemed to be done about it. Wasn’t that about the time you had a break from the blog, which is totally understandable, given the dearth of oversight? I believe there was some attempt on the part of the blog moderator to limit Nigel, but it obviously didn’t work, due in part to the hands off approach or lack of time spent moderating. I’d like a chance to do better than that.

What I would have done is suggested to others that I limit Nigel to one post per day, since he had difficulty limiting himself due to his mental status, and if there was consensus, I would have set those limits and monitored him on a daily basis. If he was unable to comply, in his case, I would suggest he take a month leave of absence, which I believe happened, but to no avail.

Until now, what would have been the point of confronting Nigel about revealing the names of his case officers if the blog moderator does nothing about it? I have certainly been on the receiving end of a great deal of abuse on this blog, and have learned to choose my battles wisely. I do have my limits.

But if anybody had complained to me, I would have deleted those posts immediately to minimize any damage to the reputation of the parties in question. I would maintain a zero tolerance for unmasking others, and let the merit of any post of any particular person speak for itself. If we all agree that using initials are ok, I’m fine with that.

As far as advocating the benefits of dream analysis in great detail as I have in the past, I will say this…I did that in only the context of offering readers an alternative to outsourcing one’s power to a guru…in an effort to empower others instead of enslaving oneself to a sociopath.

(Bear in mind that after burton expires, his followers will be dreaming about him…and undoubtedly promoting the delusion that although burton has transcended the earthly plane, he is still in direct contact with his followers…)

Over the years here I have gone to great lengths to respond to other’s feedback in a respectful and mature manner. If I have made a mistake I have readily admitted it and have apologized.

I do believe in freedom of expression as long as it is not at the expense of others and would welcome the task of providing a safe environment here to the best of my abilities for people to share their personal stories without the fear of being personally attacked or shamed…and that includes current members…in the highly unlikely event that a follower might ever set foot here again.

113. Tim Campion - September 30, 2015

Whalerider,

It may have been coincidental that you found my mention of Steve Lang in the comments on that page. (If I type Whalerider into the blog’s search field, it yields no results. Of course we know you have been prolific on the blog. But I’ve never accessed the blog from a smart phone, so I’d be curious what you find.)

By his own admission, Pavel burned himself out after only about 18 months of actively moderating the Fellowship Discussion. (Of course, it was considerably busier back then!)

When he announced the blog hand-off to Steve, it followed a discussion about potential moderators (including Ames.) Steve was very open about his identity (and later, as moderator, provided his personal contact information.)

In my opinion, during the past seven years Steve has performed admirably as a more hands-off and selfless (in the good sense!) moderator. He has been responsive to questions and concerns I’ve privately communicated regarding the blog. Unless Steve desires to pass the baton, I don’t see a need.

That said, I join others in voicing a deep appreciation for all you have given us.

Thanks,

Tim

PS: I’m confident Cathie will be back!

114. GoldenVeil - September 30, 2015

I was looking over the Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends blog and just read the letter written by former Fellowship of Friends board member Samuel L. Sanders. I read the scan of the actual letter and then noted a transcription (easier to read) and commentary below. It is a good letter. Didn’t it precipitate a mass exodus, including Robert Earl Burton’s right hand man, Miles Barth?

The letter is pretty straightforward about REB preying upon young men and the subsequent mental imbalance many experienced. Apparently it was immediately suppressed. I wonder why it’s author was given money after he filed a lawsuit. If the Fellowship broke fiduciary laws, why would the author be awarded money, Was it simply to hush him up?

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/1984/03/board-members-letter-to-fellowship-of.html

115. WhaleRider - September 30, 2015

Tim:
My emails to Steve go unanswered. I emailed him a few days ago to talk about it privately, no response. I emailed him two months ago with a request to remove one of my posts, I was ignored. Periodically I have emailed him to remind him to turn the page as the blog gets wonky over 200 posts, no acknowledgement, maybe a day or two or three later, the page turns. I have also been respectful in my interactions with him, yet I have been consistently left with the impression he has little time for this, and as a result, troll behavior seeps in, feelings get hurt and people leave…so in the end those few of us with the thickest skin hang on and the cycle repeats. Am I the only one who notices this?

116. Cristalclear - September 30, 2015

shard 105
It was exactly the strong feeling in the air in the FoF that certain things were unmentionable that allowed the sexual crimes to continue unopposed. If I were a current FoF member who came across the blog for the first time, I can imagine it is precisely the lack of control that would strike me as a contrast with the FoF’s strict control over the speech of its membership.

ton2u 107
I wasn’t referring to initiating a “messy chaotic situation” but there are those who seem to take some pleasure in the activity…. internet trolls a case in point. And messy, chaotic situations can be the byproduct of simple interactions sometimes, albeit not intentionally or “consciously.”

WhaleRider 115
troll behavior seeps in, feelings get hurt and people leave…so in the end those few of us with the thickest skin hang on and the cycle repeats.

These are three important points,but it is difficult to find a good balance between them,and I believe a kind of “neutral approach” would be needed to be a moderator. Where is the limit between freedom of speech and hurting people’s feelings?
In my opinion when people are sincere,they will discuss, but they will come to understand each other, if they are not ,and come here just to hurt others,it would be possible to overcome the situation with some help and support from other posters.
A more active moderation may be needed only if things get really out of hand, involving personal attack on people, their families,their race or other similar things.
In my opinion the moderator is doing a good job ,considering how difficult it is.
I agree with WhaleRider ,you need a thick skin to hang on.

117. Cristalclear - September 30, 2015

GoldenVeil
Thinking this letter was written in 1984 is a shock for me.
Some people in my center,a little after that time didn’t have a clue about what was going on, others,like my center directors,that where and still are, first class enablers of rb where blatantly lying about the whole situation.

118. Tim Campion - September 30, 2015

One trend in recent years has been the increase in YouTube videos and other media uploaded to the blog. This significantly increases the time it takes to load a webpage in your browser (especially for those who have slow or poor internet connections.) So, despite overall improvements in server and computer performance, loading 200 posts may now require as much time as loading 300 on earlier pages.

Just something to consider when posting.

119. Tim Campion - September 30, 2015

(My comment 118 above, was in response to the moderator’s comment to Whalerider, which has since been removed.)

120. fofblogmoderator - September 30, 2015

#115 Whalerider- you emailed me Monday. It’s now wednesday morning. Less than 48 hours and you feel ignored? No, you are not at the top of my list but check your email. I responded a few minutes ago. When I did a search of my past emails I saw a clear response from me to your request from June 29th to remove a post,. I said I would do it for you and when I do a current search on the blog I don’t see it. If it slipped through the cracks and I forgot to follow through then you could have reminded me. I’m not really digging these inaccurate depictions of my behavior.

121. GoldenVeil - September 30, 2015

118. Tim Campion – September 30, 2015

“One trend in recent years has been the increase in YouTube videos and other media uploaded to the blog. This significantly increases the time it takes to load a webpage in your browser (especially for those who have slow or poor internet connections.) So, despite overall improvements in server and computer performance, loading 200 posts may now require as much time as loading 300 on earlier pages.
Just something to consider when posting.”

Yes, that is REALLY something to consider – the site loads quickly enough for me, but for people with older computers or slower internet servers the videos could greatly slow page loading down for them.

Is there a way to adjust the settings on the the blog moderator’s side so that when links are put into the comments they just stay links? I like seeing the preview images, myself, but for those with older computers (and I have friends here that definitely have those) having solely links appear instead of previews would be greatly appreciated. fofblogmoderator, could you please check that out?

43. WhaleRider – September 24, 2015

“When I go to this site, there are advertisements now appearing, which I believe indicates the moderator is getting paid for those ads, if I’m not mistaken.”

I finally saw the ads, too – when I checked into this blog last night on my iPhone for the first time. But, I never see the ads on my lap top or iMac. So, it must be a server thing going on.

117. Cristalclear – September 30, 2015

The letter was a shock for me, too. That so much time has gone on without any retribution other than costly lawsuits that not only drained the Fellowship of Friends coffers of its gold, but also forced the sale of what I knew as a museum quality collection of Italian Renaissance paintings. It’s likely that the loss of those funds was what propelled the constant tithing and fees charged for meet and greets and to dine with Robert Earl Burton. As a member of a european center I never met REB until I was invited to visit Apollo and see the art collection shortly before I left “The School”. There were no fees involved. For me, (and probably for many that attend now) my experience of the Fellowship of Friends was colored by the center directors and the wonderful students in my center. I don’t recall any students going to Oregon House. But, reading through the experiences of males and those related by their wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends ~ and former center directors ~ the secret rotten core at the heart of the Fellowship of Friends has for many years and does still definitely exist.

I think that the Fellowship of Friends is able to get away with charging all the special assessments (what are they called?) and procure young male companions for REB to indulge his propensity for being an admired and indulged esoteric queen ~ due to the seemingly nice people heading the centers; they excel in the psychological manipulation of the new students (and don’t want to lose “The School”, to rock the boat of their little ivory tower life). If the Law of Karma is real, these center directors are in big trouble. For the ones who have left years ago and are now reading this, I’m sorry for saying the above about the L. of K., but I assume that you have long since paid your karmic dues!

122. Thomas judd - September 30, 2015

Here’s my two cents.I have not been around as long as most but I give thanks to our moderator for donating his time and efforts. Not sure the outspoken candidate would be the best replacement judging from the tone of his postings and apparent distain for 4th way dogma.Question, was Paul Gregory a previous poster or did he slip through the cracks?observation Linda Jo 45,46,47,sure sounded nhp like.

123. ruf - October 1, 2015

122 fofblogmoderator

“I’m not really digging these inaccurate depictions of my behavior.”

HHmm…..campanology – that rings a bell !

124. Cristalclear - October 1, 2015

My center wasn’t very big when i joined,but it became huge in about three years. reb came to visit four or five times and he dined there in two occasions,that I can recall.
I dined with him twice,once at my center, once at Renaissance (we only had to pay for food and wine at the time)and many “students”I knew visited the property.
I disliked him at first sigh,t and the atmosphere around him was kind of toxic,but I thought it didn’t really matter.what mattered where the students.
What an idiot!
There were rumors about him being celibate,or being gay but we couldn’t imagine what was really happening.
After a short time in Renaissance I found out what was going on ,from friends that lived there,but in my center nobody ever said a word about it ,or warned anybody.
At least four students were very close to rb , but they were telling us a bunch of lies.

125. Cristalclear - October 1, 2015

Sorry, my post was in response to GoldenVeil

126. ruf - October 1, 2015

126 Cristalclear

This has an expressive and personal tone/touch to it – I like that. It somewhat, by those natures, ‘drives home’ points of view and events that have been experienced, whereas dry and factual precis or essay style reportage would, I think have a 50/50 chance of being ‘skipped’. Only one point that might shake the ‘whose language is it, anyway (?) tree’ – the grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes are repetitive and regular. As a foreign language teacher might have stated at high school – “Could do better if they tried”. I think we all know that observation works in two directions (never a GIG PDO first).

127. brucelevy - October 1, 2015

126. ruf – October 1, 2015

Are you fucking kidding?

128. brucelevy - October 1, 2015

Hey, anonymous assholes. Use your fucking real names or fuck off. You’re spineless pussies.

129. brucelevy - October 1, 2015

That includes EVERYONE not using their real names. Times past for the self protection bullshit. Nobody is coming after your life. Either declare who you are or fuck off forever.

130. brucelevy - October 1, 2015

I say anyone not using their real name is not worth listening to. Fuck the cowards, fuck the pussies, fuck the self-absorbed.

131. ashlandmuse - October 1, 2015

130. brucelevy – October 1, 2015

“I say anyone not using their real name is not worth listening to. Fuck the cowards, fuck the pussies, fuck the self-absorbed.”

I disagree. I think that there’s value in using a pseudonym. All former and current cult members and sexual abuse survivors that share here should have the right to choose whether or not to use their own name or post anonymously by using a pseudonym.

Everyone who posts here needs to be aware that what they write may be read by anyone in the world. If someone types their name in an internet search engine, posts they write here will most likely come up.

If they prefer to keep their communications “within the campfire circle” of the Fellowship of Friends Discussion and not make what they write accessible to friends, family, employers, or potential employers ~ they’d be wise to preserve their anonymity by using a pseudonym.

At times, people who are banned ~ or simply wish to shift gears and don a different identity for whatever reason ~ may even post under more than one pseudonym. That practice is the nature of the beast.

132. ruf - October 1, 2015

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
― Epictetus

133. Mick - October 1, 2015

There’s a Gary Larson cartoon depicting God in the kitchen. All the ingredients are on the shelves and in the mixing bowl is Planet Earth. The Chef appears to be adding the final spices to the mix from a shaker labeled “Jerks”. The caption says (God thinking to himself): “And, just to make it interesting…”

134. WhaleRider - October 1, 2015

“There are few stories from wives of RB boys for good reason – the shame involved is incredible. But, believe me, we are around in numbers. The shame is two fold, one at being a wife or serious girlfriend who’s beloved man is having regular sex with someone else. But the shame I most want to talk about is living with, witnessing, the man’s shame. My husband was with RB a long time ago and he is NOT homosexual and the sex was coerced (he was an ‘idiot’ type). He was shamed into it by not being a ‘high’ being as RB. After being shamed into the sex, it was incredibly shameful for him to have enjoyable physical sensations. It haunted him for years and impacted his manhood – his perception of his manhood. This is VERY IMPORTANT for a man, it goes to the very CORE OF HIS ESSENCE and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with feminine dominance or morality. RB shit on these men a festering scum cloud deep into their core. It takes extreme measures to heal from that and clean it out. I feel very sorry for you and very sorry for a woman who loves you – your cloud is still festering.”

16/331 That Girl

135. Cristalclear - October 1, 2015

ruf,who the fuck are you? The grammar police? The spelling inspector?Stop talking about me and,and start talking about yourself,you shitty little coward.

Are you worrried? Do I scare you? Oh,there is somone on the blog that might have a different story to tell,let’s shit on them and make them run away!

You are an asshole an ignorant bully ,a racist and an idiot.
No matter haw you spell the words.
Go fuck yourself.

136. ruf - October 1, 2015

135 (sources?)

Although a somber and excruciatingly difficult subject to breach, this is the very core of the “Unterweld” that is Burton’s Darkness. The piece above is beautifully and poignantly written – humane to the utmost – and does not lash out but raises the torch of awareness to the blog, observers from the FOF and penetrates, as it must, the innate goodness whereby all can heal. Thank you, WhaleRider, for finding this.

I would like to think in the last few days we rode out a maelstrom to find ourselves ‘dawned in conjoined harmony’ for posting efforts.

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

Robin Williams

137. ruf - October 1, 2015

136 Cristalclear

Clonazepam is good for anxiety.

138. fofblogmoderator - October 1, 2015

#131 is newly moderated but is not a new poster.

I have had some private emails with Nigel and he would like to try to return to the blog. I’ll keep this place closely monitored as the atmosphere is getting rather “charged”

139. fofblogmoderator - October 1, 2015

#135 – Cristalclear. Let’s all take a breath and step back. “Ruf”, you need to take a look at Cristal’s response to you and ask yourself what happened here?

The original purpose of this blog as I recall was to shed light on the crimes that were happening due to Robert Burton’s manipulation of people’s trust,etc. The lies and hypocrisy that were taking place needed to be brought into a public forum for open discussion. This seemed to be the spot to go. Pavel was more hands-on than I and he wound up leaving the blog, probably due to fact that he was never even a member. It’s not a big deal if a day or two passes without any new postings and I personally would like to the the posts stay more on topic, but I don’t thinking steering the conversation is the right move at all.

In any case, I have been as moderate as possible and like to give people here the benefit of the doubt. I personally think that “ruf’s” comment to Cristal did not warrant a response with such strong language, but related to what Bruce has observed, if you don’t use your real name (everyone knows mine) then the tendency to overreact and lash out seems to tend to increase (it’s just a theory).

140. Cristalclear - October 1, 2015

I wouldn’t mind telling my full name to the moderator and to many people on the blog,

if I get to trust them, but I don’t see a good reason to share personal information with bullies, trolls and cowards.

Most of the posters here use nicknames

Nobody uttered a single word about him trying to shut me up in every way possible,and trying to discriminate me,so I had to stand up for myself.

Now you are scolding me,for using words similar to the ones many people used in less stressful situations(see bruce,a few posts before mine ,and he uses his real name to do it)

I don’ regret a single word I wrote to this person, and this attitude of stepping aside watching people get abused, is the same one that allowed reb to do the same for too many years.

If so ,I don’t want to have anything to do with this blog anymore.
I’m out of here.

fof ruf 1 – abused people 0

141. ton2u - October 1, 2015

…moderator @ 139

“…if you don’t use your real name…then the tendency to overreact and lash out seems to tend to increase (it’s just a theory).”

Not sure I agree with this opinion / theory…. the immediate case in point is Bruce who does use his ‘real name’ along with a nasty bout of “out-lashing” regarding this very topic.

“I say anyone not using their real name is not worth listening to. Fuck the cowards, fuck the pussies, fuck the self-absorbed.”

etc.

I agree with ashlandmuse @ 131 – there’s more than enough negative social stigma attached to involvement in a destructive cult, and especially of being the victim of sexual abuse by a deranged homosexual “guru,” to keep me posting pseudonymously. How would one explain one’s “rational” decision making processes in this regard to a potential employer (for example), who’s done a simple internet name search…? I doubt there would be sympathy, or employment in such a case.

142. Ames Gilbert - October 1, 2015

It might have been better to just give you guys a link, but since I collected this review, the link has gone bad. Anyway, everything from the end of this sentence is a quote!

From the introductory chapter in Robert J. Gula’s book, “Nonsense”— Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How we abuse logic in our everyday language”

I just know that that doesn’t make any sense, but I’m not sure why.

It’s frustrating to know in your heart that what you’ve just heard is nonsense but not to be able to pinpoint why it is nonsense. If you’ve ever found yourself in that position, this book should help. It identifies and itemizes the many different guises that erroneous thinking may assume, and it explains some of the reasons for erroneous thinking. This book will not turn you into a skilled rebuttalist, but it will give you the ammunition to become one. And, even more important, it will put you in a position of strength in steering a discussion. You’ll find many of your friends and acquaintances throughout these pages, but you will also find yourself from time to time. None of us is immune to nonsense.

Are men and women by nature hopelessly muddled creatures? By nature, yes. Muddled, yes. Hopelessly, no. Men and women may be rational animals, but they are not by nature reasoning animals. Careful and clear thinking requires a certain rigor; it is a skill, and, like all skills, it requires training, practice, and vigilance. Before one can use one’s reason, one should know the traps that are always awaiting the untutored mind.
Hence this book—a book on nonsense, a summary of the devices that camouflage and subvert reason. If we recognize the pitfalls and ruses, we may be able to avoid them and we may be able to discourage others from relying upon them.

First, some general principles. Let’s not call them laws; and, since they’re not particularly original, I won’t attach my name to them. They are merely a description of patterns that seem to characterize the ways that people tend to respond and think. For example, people:
1. tend to believe what they want to believe.
2. tend to project their own biases or experiences upon situations.
3. tend to generalize from a specific event.
4. tend to get personally involved in the analysis of an issue and tend to let their feelings overcome a sense of objectivity.
5. are not good listeners. They hear selectively. They often hear only what they want to hear.
6. are eager to rationalize.
7. are often unable to distinguish what is relevant from what is irrelevant.
8. are easily diverted from the specific issue at hand.
9. are usually unwilling to explore thoroughly the ramifications of a topic; tend to oversimplify.
10. often judge from appearances. They observe something, misinterpret what they observe, and make terrible errors in judgment.
11. often simply don’t know what they are talking about, especially in matters of general discussion. They rarely think carefully before they speak, but they allow their feelings, prejudices, biases, likes, dislikes, hopes, and frustrations to supersede careful thinking.
12. rarely act according to a set of consistent standards. Rarely do they examine the evidence and then form
a conclusion. Rather, they tend to do whatever they want to do and to believe whatever they want to believe and then find whatever evidence will support their actions or their beliefs. They often think selectively: in evaluating a situation they are eager to find reasons to support what they want to support and they are just as eager to ignore or disregard reasons that don’t support what they want.
13. often do not say what they mean and often do not mean what they say.

To these principles, let’s add four observations cited by J.A.C. Brown in his book, “Techniques of Persuasion”

Most people want to feel that issues are simple rather than complex,
want to have their prejudices confirmed,
want to feel that they ‘belong’ with the implication that others do not, and
need to pinpoint an enemy to blame for their frustrations.

143. James Mclemore - October 2, 2015

Our moderator said,
“.. the atmosphere is getting rather “charged”.”

I kind of like “charged”.
I think that “charged” is one of the ways that the blog seems to moderate itself all by itself on-the-fly.

I think that the blog only becomes confusing when people mistakenly think of the blog as if it were some actual entity that exists beyond the posts that are written. Certainly you could say that the blog has a sort of “history” to it, but that history only exists as a record of individual posts. The blog is not anything in particular and truly cannot be made into anything in particular, at least not for very long. As Steve said, “The original purpose of this blog as I recall was to shed light on the crimes that were happening due to Robert Burton’s manipulation of people’s trust,etc.” The blog seems to always return to that original purpose sooner or later all by itself, and how it returns to that original purpose is brought about by individual posts that somebody feels compelled to write. As Tim reminded us, “The format compels us to follow a single linear thread, through which we somehow manage to weave our various conversations.” It may seem oversimplified but I think that is all there is to it. Just one linear post at a time whether you are the one writing it, or reading it, or skipping over it. There is nothing to be afraid of, especially if you are using a fictitious name anyway. They are just words printed against a background that appear on a computer screen. The moderator will take care of the truly vicious threats and ugliness that come up from time to time, but I don’t think that any of us are in any real danger here from other posters, although our egos may tend to disagree. I am not trying to oversimplify or make light of some the subjects that are discussed on the blog. Cults and sociopaths and their manipulation of other people and the abuse they generate, whether it be physical or emotional, demands a certain amount of seriousness because there is real pain in real people involved. I am only trying to say to maybe save the seriousness for the discussions but perhaps try not to get too serious about the blog itself in any given moment. If you do not like what somebody said about you in some post you can certainly tell them to “Go fuck themselves” if you want to, but just don’t get too riled-up over it. The blog itself is just the last post on the bottom of a page which will soon have several more posts below it and before long the page will be turned, and then it is almost as if it never even happened anyway.
As ashlandmuse @131 and ton2u @141 pointed out, there may well be a few good reasons for some people to post anonymously and I understand and respect that. I even heard there were a few women who changed the name under which they posted because Greg was following them into other sites on the internet and harassing them. However, I still think that Bruce hints at a bit different point, one that perhaps some posters might want to look into, when he says, “Times past for the self protection bullshit. Nobody is coming after your life.”

144. shardofoblivion - October 2, 2015

Oblivion obliterates the Shard 🙂

145. nigel from wales - October 2, 2015

144 ShardofOblivion

The key of resolution…..maybe a new, fresh “DO” of an octave…..for the blog. I have made promises to myself (at the very least, I should) and emailed to Steve, the moderator, realising I was allowing myself to ‘get in elated/aggressive – Type 1 rapid cycling energy’ – it is helpful to no one and no one wins arguments. I was moved by Whalerider re-posting from former time. Maybe if we all can remember ‘snippets of the past’ – encounters with Burton – the blog will serve its prime purpose.

All I can seem to remember of the (not too) many times I was in his presence, was the visual effect of a kind of “Jabba the Hutt” with lazy, hazy ice-cool, deception-filled eyes. Would I have actually have left the cult, having interpreted this scumbag teacher so quickly, yet holding on to some sort of ideal – based on paying, ultimately for myself ?

146. James Mclemore - October 2, 2015

Shard –
If there is enough left of you out there in space to hear me, I just want to tell you that the playing was beautiful and it was a very pleasant experience to hear that this morning.

147. fofblogmoderator - October 2, 2015

#145 is newly moderated. Nigel would like to try to to get back in the conversation

148. aarrgh me buckos - October 2, 2015

“A hostel for poor students was situated between the Grafton and Rosewood bungalows. When Baba walked by it daily, the principal and students would stand on one side of the road to offer salutations and were very drawn to him. But adjoining it was another student hostel whose students would ridicule them. Once, they surrounded Bhau and began questioning him. “You are a well-educated Hindu,” they said. “Why do you leave your religion and go running after this Parsi Saint?”
Bhau replied, “This in itself is a matter which has to be understood. I see in Meher Baba things that are beyond religion, and for that reason I am with him.”
The students would daily waylay and pester Bhau with questions, and pretend to show interest in Meher Baba. Thinking they were sincere, Bhau would take time to talk with them and tell them stories about Baba.
One day, Baba asked Bhau about the students, and Bhau described how he was trying to draw them to Baba. Baba corrected him, “You are a fool! If you plant a seed in a stone and water it daily, what will happen? Nothing. It will not germinate and all your labor will be in vain.
“So what is the use in telling them about me? They are like stones! Their time has not yet come. Do not waste your energy with them anymore.”

149. Tempus Fugit - October 2, 2015

Hi friends,
I decided to take a break from the blog a few months ago, but I’ve checked in periodically.

I think the blog is fine just the way it is. Steve is an excellent moderator and knows when to step in and when to stay out. This blog is an open forum that accepts posts from anyone in the world. This openness serves various good purposes, including providing a place for injured victims of the FOF to express their pain and find healing. This openness also comes with the occasional need to address those who abuse the privilege, and I think Steve does that well both publicly and privately (as evidenced on this page).

Former members who post here represent a range of experiences in the FOF. For some, joining the FOF was just another “new age” group. As I mentioned before, about a year after I left Stella Wirk contacted me and through her I had a number of encounters with former members in the 1980’s. I was actually surprised that some, who otherwise considered themselves serious “students,” never took Burton’s threats of damnation seriously and recalled their time in the FOF as simply another spiritual experience on par with similar things they had tried (i.e., other Eastern religions, gurus, meditation, etc,).

Unfortunately my attitude was that of the “true believer,” so after I left I initially felt I had failed completely and was going to hell. Then I became really angry when I realized I had been deceived by a charlatan and horrified when I understood the truth about Burton’s predatory and disgusting behavior. I’m still struck sometimes by the sheer weirdness of my experience – to go from believing Burton was a true enlightened being to knowing he is only a common criminal; and in my opinion an especially ugly and crude one at that.

It’s also still shocking and sad to realize I was luckier than many others. This blog is filled with testaments from members who were severely injured by the horrific criminal behavior of Burton and his gang. I wonder how many of Burton’s victims developed severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD? Recovery from trauma of this magnitude can take many years for those fortunate enough to recover.

Healing is not guaranteed, however, and may never come. Victims of abuse often try to hide their experiences, especially if they feel shame about what happened to them, but denial is usually unsuccessful because the psyche needs to expel the poison in the wound to heal. If the infection is not cleaned out the victim will continue to suffer and perhaps even die (substance abuse and suicide are two possible consequences of untreated abuse).

Also, if and when the wounds do finally open, the putrid substance of the unprocessed trauma may shock both the suffering person and those around them. If they don’t understand what’s going on they may think they are getting worse when in reality they have just taken a major and necessary step towards healing.

If any of you reading this think I am describing your experience, please take my advice: find a licensed counselor or therapist immediately and let them guide you through the rough times. Don’t think about it too much. Ask your friends, look online, or call the local psych association. Any experienced therapist can get you started, and you can always switch if you don’t feel a good match. Not only will you survive but you may happily discover you are much stronger than you realize. You may find joy and freedom, your natural state, restored to you. You see, criminals like Burton can hurt you but they cannot kill your spirit. They only have power over you when you give it to them. And you’re done with that, right?

So in light of these thoughts, when someone on the blog is angry and blaming or inappropriately sexual or rude and crude, I try to remember that I don’t know what they experienced. Maybe they were one of the unlucky ones harmed by Burton who still need to release their anger and suffering. Maybe when they post the ugliness here it means their wounds are opening and their Spirit is healing itself.

150. Parson Yorick - October 3, 2015

Now that everyone has had time to take a deep breath, so to speak… I wanted to say I’ve been watching but not posting. Things got kind of crazy for a while. PY (1978-1982)

151. nigel from wales - October 3, 2015

from…Wordpress “LongReads” blog site…..

just before my birthday–to come upon these lines in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson’s excellent 2012 memoir of coming to understand herself after breaking free from her religious fanatic adoptive mother, embracing her sexuality, and meeting her birth mother:

“I know now, after fifty years, that the finding/losing, forgetting/remembering, leaving/returning, never stops. The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance.”

Newly wrenched from the FOF, still entrenched in the FOF, miles away and Flying Free with Every Day A Huge and New Opportunity…n.

152. linda - October 3, 2015

nice to see you back Tempus Fugit and thank you Ames for your patience and endurance in remaining on this blog …..

153. nigel from wales - October 3, 2015

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV)l

“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”

A beautiful passage, from a much abused/maligned book. I feel this passage opens up to those who strongly or weakly strive, THOSE WHO GO ASTRAY WITH A TRUSTING HEART, and those whose innate good natures wait upon ‘that day’…awakening is possible, and so gentle when it comes in increasing waves.

154. nigel from wales - October 3, 2015

Just read this across from the Worpress:Quartz Blog:-

“Before pivoting to another story and resuming his signature sarcastic tone, Colbert concluded soberly: “I do know the definition of insanity is changing nothing and then pretending that something will change.” “

155. James Mclemore - October 3, 2015

152. linda – October 3, 2015
“nice to see you back Tempus Fugit and thank you Ames for your patience and endurance in remaining on this blog …..”

Yes. Ditto to that sentiment. It is nice to hear your voice again Tempus Fugit, and Ames does need to be especially thanked for a whole lot of patience. It seems to me that Ames stood up and gave voice to what myself and perhaps many others were thinking but not saying, and then ended being the recipient of what I would call an inexcusable amount of nastiness. Thank you again Ames.

156. nigel from wales - October 4, 2015

Lest we ‘go round again’, apologies are made by sustaining future actions (especially in light of my Type 1 [elated/aggressive] out bursts). That you may be assured – transcripts of my messages to Steve …..

1) Dear Steve

These past two days have seen the blog in turmoil. I believe I have ‘graduated’ from the ‘nasty backbiting’ that had been the cause of …..(?)

I was in my old city of Exeter yesterday, for both personal and business reasons and, at the end of the day, had a drink with old friends (mainly men), who had seen me through the ‘nasty patch’ of 13 December 2012 – 30 September 2014 – 8 Sectioned Admissions in 18 months. The pub is 300 yards from the asylum and yesterday was the first anniversary of my ‘outness’. There were strong visual memories of that tawdry, dirty, scummy building that is at worst – dangerous – at best – boring.

However, no need to feel threatened – or a threat. The LF stupidity is not going to be repeated – on the blog or anywhere. There are also other strong women who have helped me in Abergavenny – my Community Psychiatric Nurse, a Community Support Police Officer, who has a Degree in Psychology and is going to order some silverware and the Response (squad car) Police Women who have told me to call them on first name terms. It is all about “All of Us Attuning Ourselves to the Law”.

I feel the blog has its own little unspoken laws. Since I cannot deal with a face-off with AG, the best thing is 1) to not become embroiled and 2) to pretend he is not speaking to/at/about me. There are too many memories going back to schooldays that are irritated into ‘bringing my heckles up’. One thing I will say is that I would not ingratiate myself into seeking the approval of my fellow bloggers or my neighbours and friends about my personal revelations.

With that in mind, my aim – “Straighten up and fly right.”

2) O.K. Steve. That is really gentlemanly of you. Remember my 2 promises…

No interface with Ames (despite your action might ‘do’ something)
No rants about personal superiority and know-it-all psychology

As the centipede, falling off the branch, said “Earwig-go!”

3) Actually Steve…..

The greatest dark being before the dawn, as is said, I think, through all our turmoils, a new era of this blog will blossom. ALL OF US have been confronted; ALL OF US have reacted. Now, I believe, most of us are ready to start afresh. Krishnamurti stated –

“Be practical; expect a miracle.”

I seek to support and be guided by you.

Kindly

157. brucelevy - October 4, 2015

Really?Do we have to do this Nigel shit again. I’m outta here.

158. nigel from wales - October 4, 2015

“The truth is oft-times hard to bear” – William Shakespeare, I believe ?

159. aarrgh me buckos - October 4, 2015

RE: #147 & #157 Please have mercy and cut this experiment short. It has been proven time & again, for years & years, that letting him post is not beneficial to the Blog or for him.

160. WhaleRider - October 4, 2015

Moderation“is considered a key part of one’s personal development in Taoist philosophy and religion and is one of the three jewels of Taoist thought. There is nothing that cannot be moderated including one’s actions, ones desires and even thoughts. It is believed that by doing so one achieves a more natural state, faces less resistance in life and recognises one’s limits.”

161. invictus maneo - October 5, 2015

FOF members have known for a long time that REB is a voracious sexual abuser, a vicious predator, and relentlessly takes all the money his students have.

Members justify staying in. It comes down to them believing the FOF is the only way to “contact Higher Forces and evolve”, so they hold their noses and keep trying to evolve. They don’t feel any need to look the other way. And, a lot of them are relieved they are not sexually appealing to REB.

It is useful for this blog to continue educating readers about the nature of REBs sexual abuse. Some readers may not know this. But knowledge of REBs sexual abuse of students is clearly not enough to convince people to leave the FOF or never to join.

My post is already too long. Almost all the ones above that are not personal stories are too long. You’re not helping people leave or skip joining by rambling.

162. fofblogmoderator - October 5, 2015

#161 Is a new contributor.

163. invictus maneo - October 5, 2015

REB once told me his chief feature is greed. (He probably told other people other things at other times in his never-ending attempt to take money or sex from them.) I don’t think anybody is born a remorseless, vile predator, like him; I think this is learned behavior. But greed is an understandable starting tendency for developing an uncontrollable thirst for endless amounts of money, objects and sexual stimulation.

164. invictus maneo - October 5, 2015

I was in the FOF for 26 years. I would like to remain anonymous because I still work and I don’t want to show up in Internet searches. I would be happy to chat with the moderator privately. I don’t know how to write the moderator.

165. invictus maneo - October 5, 2015

By the way… I coined the term “Conscious Bob” back in 1991. Not saying other people didn’t also think of it on their own. Good night.

166. brucelevy - October 5, 2015
167. fofblogmoderator - October 5, 2015

#164- Invictus, my email for the blog is; nogurus@yahoo.com.
I just sent you an email to the address that you used when you sent your first post. If you don’t receive it you can email me at my yahoo address above.

168. ton2u - October 5, 2015

Invictus
Please tell your personal story… how were you drawn into the cult, and how did you manage to extricate yourself after all the years? Cautionary tales are always good fodder for the blog.

169. jomopinata - October 5, 2015

163/invictus maneo wrote:

I don’t think anybody is born a remorseless, vile predator, like him; I think this is learned behavior.

When I interviewed various people in the 1990s who knew Burton prior to 1970 what most surprised me was the absence of any indication of what came later, in terms of remorseless exploitative behavior. I expected reports of something “weird” or “off,” but that was not what people said; I was told (for example) that he was a capable, well liked fourth-grade teacher. So much for a theory that his psychopathy was “developmental.”

But later I read that damage to a region of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex can produce something called “acquired sociopathy.” See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-make-sociopath-through-brain-injury-trauma/ (which doesn’t actually mention the orbitofrontal cortex, but talks about how TBI can turn someone into a sociopath). It is commonly known that Burton was in an auto accident in Modesto in 1968 in which he sustained a serious head trauma. The notion of sociopathy acquired as a result of orbitofrontal cortex damage explains a lot. Maybe an autopsy report will tell us more (although I have every reason to believe Burton would sit up screaming on the end of the gurney if they tried to do one now).

170. nigel from wales - October 5, 2015

Ferdy was the most faithful friend I ever had. He went to ‘doggy paradise’ today. The diagnosis was a brain tumor. On Sunday, he had 6 seizures, one in the morning and the others early evening. Through all seizures, there was the helpless juddering of limbs, the foaming at the mouth, with the jaws stuck open, followed by relaxing, heavy, relieved breathing and then THE PURE WILL TO GET ON HIS FEET AGAIN, even though this meant his bumping into walls and doors and ‘doing idiotic circles’ until he felt recovered.

After the last seizure, he showed himself very dependent on me, following me from room to room and not wanting to settle in his bed, unless he was with me in the living room and, even then, not wanting to close his eyes (I have felt this many times whilst in unstable mood – not wanting to sleep unless the ‘death guys come for you’).

Now, most dogs give unconditional love…..this one was cleverer than that – he had sub-clauses and hidden agenda written into his contract. Witness: “Daddy, you know my unconditional love for you? Well, would my snuggling up to your thigh warrant a Green Pepperami Stick?

And he was a little bugger on walks, which belonged to him as an Alpha-Dominant Male ex-breeding champion. Many a Tug’o’War have we had in town…..it’s not over until the white dog piddles.
Some of you may have been present, when the attending vet administers the ‘lethal dose’. They give a sedative beforehand, but this does not do away with the ‘screaming fear’ which the animal has to go through. It is truly terrifying.

There are others, on the blog, I am sure, who have had their beloved pets taken from them – a pure force, emptied from void to void.

W B Yeats wrote:

“NOR dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone —
Man has created death.”

171. Ames Gilbert - October 5, 2015

jomopinata (#151-169 or thereabouts),
I’ve heard a reference to this Modesto car accident once before on the blog (maybe from you?) It’s been so long ago (‘78–‘94), but I can’t recall ever hearing about it while in the FoF. I was hardly in the center of things, but I would have thought that I would have heard at least as much fuss about it as the “tennis shoulder injury” which required so much massage and Darvon—and which was the prelude to a number of seductions by Burton—and I heard about that quite a bit, both directly from Burton himself and others.

Anyone else recall this rumor or have evidence for it?

172. Ames Gilbert - October 5, 2015

jomopinata (#151-169 or thereabouts),
Scientific American has been going downhill for years, but the article you cited reaches a new low, IMHO. Badly written and even more badly reasoned, starting with the first two paragraphs and heading down, fast.
As I say, IMO.

173. jomopinata - October 5, 2015

Ames,

I heard about it in the early 1980s from people who had been around since the early 1970s. Apparently Alex Horn made remarks about the head stitches which were a part of the story, although I do not remember what the remarks supposedly were.

The Scientific American article is simply a general interest piece on the subject of acquired sociopathy. I first read about acquired sociopathy several years ago in the book to which I link here. Start with the last two lines on p. 71, and proceed thereafter as long as you like:

https://books.google.com/books?id=_rkKxbevFZEC&pg=PA71#v=onepage&q&f=false

There are some pages missing, but you will get a feel for the argument.

174. Ames Gilbert - October 5, 2015

GoldenVeil (#151-114 or thereabouts),
Samuel Sander’s letter was so thoroughly hushed up that I didn’t get to see it myself until 1994. I knew that it existed, but was told it was extremely negative, and that the ‘powers that be’ had judged that there was no point in exposing followers to that kind of negativity.

The truth was exactly the opposite, as you know.

My understanding is that the lawsuit asking for reparations and damages was dropped before going to trial because the FoF (and, one assumes, their insurers) decided that making an offer was less expensive in time, money and reputation. Presumably Mr Sanders found the offer acceptable; he too had to consider his time and money.

I had high hopes for the Buzbee case, but that was settled as well, probably for the same kinds of reasons on both sides.

The professional apologists for the Fellowship of Friends regularly use the following—faulty—reasoning: “The cases were dismissed, this proves that Burton/FoF did nothing wrong, and the charges were false.”

175. James Mclemore - October 5, 2015

171. Ames Gilbert

“Anyone else recall this rumor or have evidence for it?”

I can only recall that Burton, while in meetings in the mid 70’s, spoke about the car accident on a couple of occasions . If my memory is correct it was always in the context of “C Influence” and how they arranged friction for us. Once again, if my memory is correct, he did make it sound as if something significant had taken place that day, but then you have to remember that he also thought that license plates and mail boxes could be quite significant.

176. nigel from wales - October 5, 2015

Although coming across a post about 2013 Flowers/Bulbs Company dissolving end of season, I just copy/pasted from the Scientific American article (source – Jomo Pinata) this little hint about where this scourge on society emerges – having been (in Exeter) set upon by an alcoholic sociopath and needing ‘understanding therapy about it’.

“Current thinking is that although certain genes may predispose people toward psychopathy, their environment seems to provide the ultimate catalyst. Thus, a person who possesses the particular genes associated with this malady and is brought up in an abusive or neglectful household will be at a higher risk of exhibiting the traits associated with this disorder.”

177. Cristalclear - October 5, 2015

Talking of C influence arranging friction for us:a friend at my center was talking with my center direction about a terrible accident that happened to her brother and his family.
The car went of the road and down a cliff, and they all died.
My friend was crying and the director was talking about C influence,telling her she should be happy to know that angels were very close to her in that moment,working with her and helping her evolve providing a big shock.
It really stuck me as something really cruel to say,but I realized later it was said very often to people and in a way it made us feel better,it made us feel important as if we were part of a bigger plan.

I apologize for lashing out,but sometimes when somebody is nagging you about your weaknesses, it bring out the worst part of you.

178. jomopinata - October 6, 2015

Ames, this is a better article about acquired sociopathy, a case study: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/brain/123/6/1122.full.pdf

179. invictus maneo - October 6, 2015

I do want to provide examples from my experiences in the FOF showing the REB has no connection to higher forces and is nothing but a predatory con artist. I haven’t figured out how I want to do that. I don’t want to post something just to make me look pious and holy. I want to keep the focus on REB not being a real teacher.

180. invictus maneo - October 6, 2015

nigel from wales, I am so sorry for your great loss. I have been in that position. I think you did the right thing by being there for your canine friend. You treated him much more humanely and lovingly than the leader and members of the FOF treat dying human beings they have “loved” for decades.

181. ton2u - October 6, 2015

re: acquired sociopathy reminded me of the story of Phineas Gage:

http://psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/a/phineas-gage.htm

Whether it’s nature, nurture, acquired, or hereditary – when it comes to burton I think it’s apparent that there’s something off… namely a fully functioning conscience.

182. nigel from wales - October 6, 2015

“Doormatitis: door-mat-i-tis noun; low self-worth. A learned behavior where the infected person allows others to walk all over them, blame them, treat them terribly, always giving the boundary crossers the benefit of the doubt. They make excuses for them, They will give in to guilt and intimidation and give the boundary crossers what they want again and again.” P.A. Speers Dictionary”

― P.A. Speers, Type 1 Sociopath –
When Difficult People Are More Than Just Difficult People

183. Tim Campion - October 6, 2015

Ames,

I too recall Burton speaking about the accident at large meetings in the mid-70s and, as James stated, always in the context of Higher Forces/C Influence providing friction for our awakening.

This post by Ollie provides a modern retelling. The details seem consistent with what I heard back then.

184. WhaleRider - October 6, 2015

Now who is the criminal element of humanity?

185. Ames Gilbert - October 6, 2015

jomopinata (#151-173 and more),
thank you, I didn’t mean for you to do my research for me. Although the number of subjects is small in these other studies (n = 1), which means statistically that they are not much more than anecdotes, the tests were very thorough, and I accept the conclusion that that the sociopathy was likely a result of an accident. And I accept the possibility that IF Burton had an accident that required 100 stitches, the same may have happened to him.
The disconnect for me is, if he milked the “tennis injury” story maybe hundreds of times (a dozen in my hearing or directly to me—he asked me to massage his shoulder eight evenings in a row, for example, when I “guarded” the Blake Cottage while he went to the Lodge to have dinner), why would he not milk the supposed “Modesto accident” at least as much?

Ollie’s report (thanks Tim, you have a great memory!) shows Burton had started telling the story again by 2011 (if he ever gave it up). But, is it true? Or maybe there is some substance (perhaps a fender–bender) and it has become, shall we say, embellished?

Look, I was an LVN and an EMT and have worked in emergency rooms. Head injuries are taken very seriously, even the most minor ones, and every one in a hospital is aware that seemingly the most minor bumps to the head can end in disaster or death, sometimes days later. That is why there is a very strict protocol, and tests of cognition before and after treatment. There is no way that Burton got released minutes after treatment. If he was rendered unconscious, even less chance. Not even nowadays, when pressure for hospitals to clear beds and make money is way more intense than the 1960s. This is especially true if he was not released into the care of someone willing to take responsibility for monitoring him, who would have been given the lowdown on symptoms to look for over the next 48 hours if there was deterioration.

Based on my knowledge of Burton as a world–class liar, who only tells the truth by accident, I’m going to opt for ‘maybe a small, superficial cut, maybe four stitches at most’ theory. Even minor scalp wounds often bleed profusely, maybe he was impressed by the amount of his own blood, who knows. Or maybe something like this happened to an acquaintance, or he read about it in the newspaper, and he decided to ‘borrow’ the story for effect.

And, thanks to those who added their recollections about Burton’s “Modesto accident”!

186. ryanopoo - October 6, 2015

Thanks Tim Campion for the link at 183, “This post by Ollie” from 2011. If you’re one of the truly fortunate, who escaped the thrall of Bob’s mad gibberish, you may get a chill reading this and a sense of your profound good luck. I was particularly struck by this little scrap from the dogs dinner of inanities, as it illustrates the effortless, meandering, madcap lying you will find in abundance in Ollie’s post;

” It is curious that a small group of students gave me a Miata as a gift last night. This is exactly the same as the car that I crashed in – a tan Volkswagen bug.” – Conscious Bob

Whutt? Let’s take a look at that for a moment

” It is curious that a small group of students gave me a Miata as a gift last night……….”

Right, agreed, it is curious that a group of intelligent people would stump up for a car and give it to a moron.

“This is exactly the same as the car that I crashed in – a tan Volkswagen bug.

Bobs techniques for conscious monologue;

#1 Making different things the same thing.
Any two things, roughly the same color may be called the same color and construed to be the same thing if they serve to illustrate a special story from the incredible life of Conscious Bob.

Don’t get hung up on the gibberish, just see where the gibberish is pointing and be grateful you were one of the lucky few, chosen by Placido Domingo, to hear it and leave.

187. ryanopoo - October 7, 2015

“I met Influence C in Berkeley on the crossing of Ashby and Domingo Avenues, like Placido Domingo, the singer. He was born in Spain and raised in Mexico, so it is an omen of my bringing the sequence – the Song of Solomon – to our school. ’” – Conscious Bob.

Right, let’s see if we’ve got this – Domingo Avenue = Placido Domingo = singer, born in Spain raised in Mexico, omen of conscious Bob bringing the sequence, which is the Song of Solomon written by the King of Israel.

So then, is Placido Domingo an Israeli after all? or was the King of Israel actually Mexican?, and is Solomon a lone, acappela, rastafari singer and why isn’t he on Spotify? I don’t get that part, though I do seem to recall, Lee Scratch Perry claiming to be the King of Israel. This all gets deeper, the further you dig doesn’t it?

188. nigel from wales - October 7, 2015

Not being one of ‘the great exposed’ to Burton’s whims, except being asked to polish the high-quality copper pans in the Academy every 6 weeks, as I was coming to Renaissance, until I was so behind in payments that I never caught up, I suggest he does much of this stuff to ‘instill humility’. The Papal Commission in September 1987 was high-profile (for any FOF student) but the effort almost killed me and led to my recognizing my bipolar for myself. Some students kindly lent me equipment for the Renaissance Communion Set in 1984 (my first big commission, and I was 28 years old, with robust training behind me). I have few photos of that set, which is probably just as well, since the fewer the visual reminders I have of the cult, the better. There was just another piece I did, personally, for Burton – a revamped knife, as a paper knife, with vine-pattern handle and crown cap, the handle being fine gold plated. I do not know why Burton had the Head of Galleria Household call me up and ask for a full run-down description, but he did. I suppose what was a simple exercise for me would have been difficult for a computer programmer, corporate recruiter or psychiatrist. But, through dark patches in my life, I have never entirely given up on my craft form. As the saying goes –

“Cobbler, stick to thy last”.

189. invictus maneo - October 8, 2015

During my first prospective student meetings, I was told the FOF is not a cult that attempts to prevent people from leaving. I was told people are free to leave any time they wish, and no efforts would be made to make them stay.

After I left, I got phone calls for some time asking me to return. I would be allowed back without paying the accumulated back payments I had missed. The normal penalties for re-entry would be waived. I am still asked about once a year to come back.

Maybe this has something to do with the fact I made larger teaching payments than a lot of other people. It costs a lot of money to slake the thirst of REB, who is a slave to his desires. Did anybody not notice students making larger teaching payments got a lot more attention? Almost as much attention than handsome young men.

How many other lies are told at prospective student meetings?

190. James Mclemore - October 8, 2015

189. invictus maneo

“How many other lies are told at prospective student meetings?”

Here is a small excerpt from the link brucelevy posted at 166.

“The Courtship Entices”
“We cannot emphasize enough how subtle the courtship process may be. Sensational stories reported by the media–of drugging or starving new recruits; subjecting them to hours of chanting, spinning, or meditating to produce heightened states; taking people off to isolated enclaves for weeks of love-bombing; or stripping them of their clothes in ritual–make it easy for the more sophisticated perpetrator to continue to fool himself and his captives into believing in the legitimacy of his less sensational methods of enticing his “courtship captives.”

Such a courtship begins when you attract the attention of the perpetrator or his representatives. How does this occur? Our group initially uses an impersonal method to attract new people. Primarily, prospective members find flyers or bookmarks that have been specifically placed in areas where people interested in philosophy and religion are likely to be found. These flyers contain local phone numbers of “centers”–groups of members sent out to cities throughout the United States and around the world. Or a potential recruit may see a newspaper advertisement for an open meeting. This impersonal approach reinforces the reigning idea that people are brought to the group by their fate or “higher forces,” that the members have little or no influence over who comes or who stays in the group. Interested people attend a small meeting (rarely, larger meetings may be held) led by more experienced members, but not too experienced: those at the enthusiastic, honeymoon phase of the involvement, before doubts begin to set in.

Leaders of these small groups were often naturally persuasive and perhaps charismatic in their own right; many used a decided “soft sell” at the meetings for prospective new members. We explained that our community was “not for everyone.” Appeals to narcissism were barely veiled, as we displayed an attitude of inaccessibility. Prospective members needed to pass certain “tests” to be deemed “right” or “fated” to join. The best prospects were attractive and attentive, often well-dressed, apparently established in the world. Toward these best prospects a fine- trained attention was directed; glances of recognition, approval, and knowingness would be exchanged, along with an attitude of studied indifference (akin to the clerks at Gucci’s or Cartier) about whether or not they decided to join.”

191. James Mclemore - October 8, 2015

WhaleRider –

If you like Nina and have not already seen it and you have Netflix, there is a documentary about Nina Simone. It’s called “What Happened, Miss Simone?” I have not yet finished the whole thing but so far it looks and sounds like it is really well done.

192. nigel from wales - October 8, 2015
193. Ames Gilbert - October 8, 2015

Ryanopoo,
good to hear from you again, and thanks for your insights.

More from Ollie’s post, where Burton says:

That is the most wrong about anything I have ever been in my life!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Burton, you damn fraud, you’ve never been right about anything. Not even self–remembering. Your version is just a variety of hyper–vigilance, a super–effort of the intellectual center. You’ve never mentioned that the awareness of observer and subject has to be simultaneously combined with gratitude and thanks to the Creative Force to loosen the control of ego (according to Gurdjieff, who, you proudly boasted to me and many others, you had never studied!). Far from that; instead of acting as a signpost, you substituted yourself for the goal, and demanded fear or adoration from your followers.
Not to mention that your call for internal battle, the unwinnable war on the instinctive center, is just pure hokum, and psychologically extremely dangerous hokum at that. Ditto your pronouncements about negative emotions, it’s pretty much all bullshit. You know nothing of value, and you have never learned the difference between price and value.

Now your so–called knowledge is being passed on to another generation of fools. But, what possible usefulness do any teachings by Asaf Braverman have, or any of the rest of the sorry crew like Benjamin Yudin or William Page, who are branching out to try their hand at conning gullible seekers—those who learned their sorry trade at your feet and can never unbind themselves from your spell because your dictatorship precludes graduation from your fantasy?

Anyone considering joining the Fellowship of Friends—be warned, STAY AWAY from these charlatans, for your own good!

194. WhaleRider - October 8, 2015

Thank you, James. I’m hoping “What Happened, Miss Simone” eventually makes it to the library.

Aside from Greylan, I don’t remember too many African Americans lining up to join the cult and give away their hard won civil rights and personal freedoms.

195. ton2u - October 8, 2015

196. Ames Gilbert - October 8, 2015

invictus maneo (#151-189 or thereabouts),
yes, we noticed the subtle yet intense wooing of those with money, influence or power. I was never a ‘power possessor’ myself, so was not privy to any actual formal instructions on how to do this, but there was an obvious agenda. Then there was the cluster of second–raters who buzzed around the privileged one—that jockeying was something to behold as well.
I remember that one such was even told that he would become ‘conscious’; he joined the select group who were told such by Conscious Bob and who then left.
Were you taken in by the flattery and attention? It must have been rather wearying after a while. And how would one sort out who were one’s genuine friends, and who just wanted reflected glory?
One advantage I saw was that, as far as I could see, Burton did not try to seduce such men.

What was also noticeable was that this was one area where women were truly equal. A woman with money, influence or power was courted equally assiduously, especially by Burton himself. He could really put himself out, created real connections in a certain way, and the women adored him and made extraordinary efforts for him.

197. ryanopoo - October 8, 2015

“Dear Friends,

We are attempting to understand the esoteric meaning of the Zodiac. Our aim is to understand how it relates to the sequence of six work ‘I’s-the essence of the system-rather than life’s psychological interpretations of the signs.

A few initial observations: There are twelve signs in the zodiac, roughly corresponding to the twelve months in a year. This suggests that they occur in time, in sequence, where one follows another. At this point, however, we do not know why twelve and not six……..” – Assup Braverman

Must be difficult waking up each day to face the challenge of finding, the number 6 in things. So many different numbers out there and only one of them is actually…….well, you know,…….six!

My two cents Assup, is that if it were 6 and not twelve, people would get old and die twice as fast

or maybe it’s because, half the population wouldn’t have a birthday each year and that would lead to fights and a lot of stores like Toys-r-us, would go bust.

Anyway, good luck and I’m sure you’ll be letting us all know what’s the correct reason when you figure it out.

198. ryanopoo - October 8, 2015

Assup, one more thought….

Why only three meals a day. Why not six?
Diner here in town serves breakfast all day, that’s got to be a reference to being conscious right there, is what I’m thinking, “Breakfast all day”, know what I mean?

Anyway, that’s a little jem fer you and Bob.
p.s. You don’t have to say it was from me xo

199. ryanopoo - October 9, 2015

Don’t mean to hog the space here, but I think I cracked it;

1.Breakfast (Be), 2.Lunch (Hold) 3. Dinner (Theme) 4. Munchies, (Back – the King of clubs) 5. Dinner Again (Theme) 6. Long Breakfast (long BE) or Breakfast All Day.

Short breakfast would probably be just some toast and coffee. Long Breakfast could have bacon, tomatoes, eggs, even beans. The point is, not to let the munchies, (4, Back(King of Clubs) put you off having 5,Dinner again, or letting it spoil Long Breakfast or Breakfast all day.

200. Tim Campion - October 9, 2015

ryanopoo,

You must start your own school!

What a crack-up (not assup.)

201. Ames Gilbert - October 9, 2015

ryanopoo,
thanks so much for decoding the Sequence for us. I’m still grinning, I haven’t laughed out loud so much while reading anything for lo! these many years. There is much, much more to decode, please keep it up! But take pity, no more than three interpretations a day, or I won’t be able to catch my breath!

202. invictus maneo - October 9, 2015

I don’t recall ever being told REB was a god. I do recall being told, during my first year in the FOF, that he never got sick and never came down with a cold. I traveled with him to Europe about six years after joining. He was sick with a cold almost the whole time. I have read reports of court cases accusing him of having sexually transmitted diseases and giving them to young men he coerced into sex. Him getting sick or infected didn’t surprise me – he has an imperfect human body. I also saw that an imperfect human body cannot avoid making intellectual mistakes, memory mistakes and judgment mistakes. Nobody with a body can avoid being imperfect.

203. ton2u - October 9, 2015

invictus… not a god, but a “goddess” – burton claims that he’s a “goddess in a man’s body.” Gender identity disorder leads to the confused state of mind reflected in his particular megalomania / delusional “system.”

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0376/abstract

204. ton2u - October 9, 2015

Bears repeating – imo:

“I don’t get how rape equals sex, whatever kind of sex it is, or rape, for that matter. Rapists have preferences for a sex, his preference is for the male sex, particularly that part of the male sex that doesn’t want to have sex with itself, or him, but wants to have sex with ladies, which we call ‘heterosexual’. When, to take an example, a ‘heterosexual’ has violent non-consensual sex with a ‘lady’, do we take that as the act of making love to a lady? The act of sexual violence is a negation of all of life’s values and meaning. Violence never makes sense.

Bob is a ‘goddess in a man’s body’. It does sound a bit gay, doesn’t it? The ‘A’ influence analogue of Bob would have to be the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. A person, with a beard, breasts, and a long glittery dress like starlight, provoking mingled confusion, fear and wonderment. A hallucination at the end of a rather long strange party – in this case, a fancy dress party where everyone came as accountants, librarians and university professors.

How is a rapist entitled to the term ‘heterosexual’ or ‘gay?’ By committing an act of deliberate sexual violence and harm, surely you forgo the sex part of the sex act? Is rape sexy? Is rape ‘gay?’ Is it ‘straight?’ Gay is a word for same sex love and relationships. Love is nice. What bob’s doing isn’t. Where is the love in his actions? Where is the love of men in his ‘homosexuality?’ How is it that malice aforethought towards others minds, hearts and genitalia on a mass scale can be regarded as being harmlessly, just a bit ‘gay?’ or ‘gay’ at all? Maybe, for some, it’s ‘one of the expenses of being in this school’.

It is not merely promiscuous, but a deliberate violation of what should be sacred to every individual, by means of grooming, corruption, intimidation and insinuations, leading to sexual violence which can and almost certainly must have lifelong implications. Not gay. Not even remotely ‘homosexual’. More Holocaust….”

paul gregory

http://www.survivorshandbook.com/q-a2/

205. nigel from wales - October 9, 2015

“The Impossible Dream”

from…”Man of La Mancha”

based on “Don Quixote”
by Miguel Cervantes

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
TO LOVE PURE AND CHASTE FROM AFAR
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star,
NO MATTER HOW HOPELESS, no matter how far
To fight for the right WITHOUT QUESTION OR CAUSE
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll ONLY BE TRUE to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man SCORNED AND COVERED WITH SCARS
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To fight the unbeatable foe, to reach the unreachable star

206. nigel from wales - October 9, 2015

from Best of the Blog, page 106, post 1

“According to the Living Presence website, the Fellowship currently has about 1,500 members worldwide, roughly the same membership it had nearly three decades ago, and far fewer than at its peak. The cult is clearly in decline. With the high cost of maintaining centers scattered across the globe, a less affluent base, rising legal defense and P.R. expenses, declining infrastructure at Apollo, escalating health costs for its aging members, Robert Burton is now receiving (pardon the expression) “less bang for his buck”.

Thus far, the Fellowship has been immune to the virtues of truth and honesty, and has been inadvertently protected by lax legal and community oversight; however it may ultimately be simple economics that undermine the kingdom. Though we’ll never know its full impact, this blog, by continuing to inform and to discourage would-be victims from entering Robert Burton’s sphere of influence, helps accelerate that demise.”

207. Ames Gilbert - October 9, 2015

invictus maneo (#151-202 or thereabouts),
this is just my claim, and unverifiable by you, but I attest that I heard Burton say that he was a 900–million–year–old goddess trapped in a man’s body at a formal dinner in 1994. This was during one of his monologs. He was mumbling along in a low voice, one had to strain to hear him, and there were frequent pauses, but he said these words quite clearly enough; others who had been present at the same dinner afterwards confirmed what I had heard. No one of the dozen guests around the table, including me, said a word in response. I had heard previously round that time that Burton was making claims like this, but thought there must have been some exaggeration. Despite wide experience of his inanities, I was deeply shocked to hear this assertion for myself.
When were you in the asylum?

208. nigel from wales - October 9, 2015
209. ryanopoo - October 9, 2015

“For Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” – Breakfast All Day, the Body of Christ, while 6 billion machines sleep, WE are having Dinner Again” .”

– from “Dinner Again” – 2011 (The second dinner on Tuesday), Journey Fifth By Night celebrations.

210. ryanopoo - October 9, 2015

“Breakfast All Day, the last supper. Curiously, last night a group of students chipped in and bought me Pizza, it was exactly the same as the Hamburger I ate before my car crash, a double whopper, like Luciano Pavarotti or anything I happen to say.”

-from, “Short Breakfast” 2011, the first, brief, fundraising breakfast Wednesday morning.

211. fofblogmoderator - October 9, 2015

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