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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 152 October 9, 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://beingpresent.org/

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1. fofblogmoderator - October 9, 2015

INDEX TO THE BLOG

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

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

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

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

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

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

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

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

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

2. Ames Gilbert - October 10, 2015

Reviewing Ollie’s post of Burton’s words again (#113-135), isn’t it amazing how inefficient, how constrained, how unimaginative these supposed C-Influence characters are? Advertised as angels, mighty and powerful beyond belief, able to bend the laws of physics to make California plunge into the sea on a whim, able to bring on Armageddon, supposedly tasking Burton and the Fellowship of Friends to start a new civilization— they can’t find a better way to communicate with Burton than by arranging various license plates or mailbox numbers or T–shirts or lightning strikes or whatever–the–fuck to appear before him or his followers? And this method, beneath the dignity of an average three–year–old, has been written in the Great Play since the Beginning of Time?

Between them, these angels and Burton keep getting it all wrong anyway, they can’t even settle on a date—for anything, important or not. Plus, they seem to spend the majority of their time working out how to wrong–foot and humiliate him—him, the one–and–only Robert Earl Burton, the self–described brightest light in 2,000 years! Those mortifications have been their only successes so far, but Burton is too obtuse to take a hint.

Judging by their methods and the results to date, these 45 beings collectively don’t have the intelligence of a grasshopper.

3. Ames Gilbert - October 10, 2015

Hello to any seekers interested in finding out more about the Fellowship of Friends and the fraud Robert Earl Burton. Please think on the following:
Tens of thousands of people have passed through the organization in the last 44 years, and some of them were damaged, shattered for life, or even committed suicide. About 1500 or so, passive, obedient, compliant, and entranced remain. Some of them have been there for almost the entire time!

Although Burton has pronounced over the years that half a dozen would become ‘conscious’ (how the heck would he know?), most of even those recognized and marked by the self–described ‘conscious being’ have left as well. What does it say for the efficiency of Burton’s method that the culmination of all this effort and as much as $200 million in donations has produced one sorry specimen labeled ‘conscious’, that is to say, Girard Haven. The guy who recommends that followers obey Burton ‘like a dog’. The one whose idea of ‘verification’ is to take the insane Burton at his word, then desperately look for any evidence to support it. The one who has never spoken out about Burton’s abuses and rapes, or the way he has lived like an emperor at the expense of his followers decade after decade. Who has not shown not the slightest sign of independent thought or action after 42 years on the leash— this is the sole product of Burton’s “school”, which is advertised as the one and only way on earth to help one develop ‘consciousness’?

Do you really want to spend a lifetime (just a down payment, according to Burton) giving your sweat, effort, sanity and treasure to charlatans like Burton or Asaf Braverman, and their ilk? Please, do yourself a favor and look elsewhere, take our word that there is nothing there of value to any decent, thoughtful person.

4. WhaleRider - October 10, 2015

To anyone whom might be in awe of burton’s many “accomplishments”, you might ask yourself:

What would a psychopath with a genus level intellect be like?

“Psychopaths run the same range of intelligence as the general population, contrary to what horror movies tell us. Which of course means that there are genius psychopaths. Unfortunately (for them), one overwhelmingly common trait of psychopaths is poor impulse control. They just aren’t good at delaying gratification; if they want something, they go for it. Add on an extremely egocentric view of the world and you get a person who can’t hold a job, no matter how intelligent he is. They rarely get a higher education (takes too much studying), and usually make a living by mooching and manipulation. So, you would have someone who is very charming, but has a pattern of lying to and using people, and throwing them away when they aren’t useful. This extends to friends and romantic partners. Anything that goes wrong, they blame on someone else, making themselves look like the victim.”

Glen Taylor, Graduate Psychology Student
Quora, Jan 5, 2015

5. linda - October 10, 2015

Girard Haven – ‘conscious’ – LOL … he was Director at the London school and at the time I thought he was more ‘machine-like’ or ‘robotic’ than any of the others….. HHmmmm. what about his wife – or did she not make the grade…

6. nigel from wales - October 10, 2015

5 linda

All in all ….. I think he got through three ….. now he is headed for re-election. (Power, sex and money ….. every little helps!)

7. nigel from wales - October 10, 2015

Actually, Linda’s post stirred more than a puerile quip in me …..

Girard Haven was (and probably still is) one of the biggest ‘fitter-inners’ of the Fellowship of Friends. As far as anyone has told me, he rose, very quickly, to the role of Director of Center and, by maintaining a YES-MAN approach to Pope Robert Earl Burton the Only, soon got to ‘swan around’, by pompously leading meetings all around the globe and ‘uttering Burtonisms’ that the ‘cow-towers’ of the FOF would nod at in approval – all this comes back to me in a ‘visual and auditory(witness his Kermit the Frog voice!) microcosm of memory’.

The reason for putting my post below in, a day early (I am composing and biding time these days, rather than ‘sparking off’, to avoid hmm-hmm, you can guess what). The above paragraph is probably to say (and to echo Linda), that imitating brings greater ‘sleep/mechanicality/cultliness’ AND NOT REALITY/INDIVIDUALITY and, if you like it, in those terms – AN AWAKENED SOUL.

The ‘problem’ with this blog, and thus its strength, is that IT IS NOT THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS. The purpose of the blog is to expose the ‘surface uniformity’ of purpose, aim and action that was the cult (for almost all of us) and yet, we find ourselves needing to approach life, now out for some years – or decades – with a personal/individual flair, using our skills to raise families, train for all areas that our ‘life jobs’ might require, or to nurture an art form.
So you see, the FOF Discussion Blog is probably one of those social media sites where individuality and, perhaps, a sense of self-worth (finally, free from the FOF) bring about differences in points of view, frenetic opinions and acrimony. Gurdjieff stated that “we are thrown together (in a school) with those whom we would rather not meet in life”. Without being sarcastic, this brought about (in the cult), in one form or another, HEAVY PHOTOGRAPHING. I suppose, the one thing that ‘oiled the wheels of conviviality’ was the shared culture (not exactly a bad activity) and the ass licking towards those above us – center directors, Officers of Renaissance and His Royal Highness of Disgustingly Low Tastes, Robert Earl Burton.

Can we actually suppose that it is going to be easy to post on the blog – to tell truths about ourselves and our interactions, before or after leaving the FOF – without being judged and almost always having the possibility of being ‘shot down in flames’ by one character or another, if he/she hide behind an alias or no? For myself, it matters little that I be liked, provided I am not ‘shot in the back’ for standing my ground, once I have made a point clear, but to always apply that Teaching Precept …..

“Critical analysis and reflective practice.”

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgebern386923

8. Ames Gilbert - October 10, 2015

To make life easier for anyone who is interested in the Fellowship of Friends, Robert Burton, Asaf Braverman, Benjamin Yudin, William Page, and others interconnected with the above, here are just a few of the immortal words of Robert Burton himself for you to study. This fool never stops talking, is an expert on everything (because he is ‘conscious’), and has friends in high places (Influence-C) who support everything he does and says:

“Ollie” wrote:
Just got some more recent material. Apologies, it’s very long, but I thought it might be worthwhile…

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“On September 5, 1967, I met Alex Horn. This date marks the moment when angels from Paradise descended upon us, and our quest for divine presence began. We could say that on this day: ‘It has begun.’ Here [referring to a photo] we see a photograph of Alex Horn, showing four fingers on each hand. This [referring to a photo] is the Claremont Hotel and the Berkeley Tennis Club, where I played tennis. I met Influence C hitchhiking because it was just fashionable in the sixties; one would hitchhike from Berkeley to Carmel, and such things. 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. Incidentally, the sequence is a ‘Song of the Self.’ It is four words. This is where our journey began. A doctor picked me up and gave me a ride. He would later turn out to be payment for Dr. Ethan Ha_s. So we did very well! The doctor was on his way to a prospective student meeting on Page Street (like William Page) in San Francisco. This [referring to a photo] is the house at 350 Page Street where I had my prospective student meeting. It is eight – three plus five. This [referring to a photo] is the interior. The owner was quite gracious about inviting us in. Here [referring to a photo] I am before the gated entrance. … I am looking up in gratitude to Influence C. I was just like you, one of many, one of seven billion. There was no particular reason on the surface they would give any of us this gift, but we are exactly the ones they wanted. And now we are all present and we can see why they wanted us.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Soon after I met Influence C on September 5th, forty-four years ago, one of my first observations was that life after death was not a theory. In a sense, this was our school’s first verification. Because before meeting Influence C we had all read literature about life after death, but our faith is a result of our verifications. We have the privilege of verifying that life after death does exist. … This [referring to a photo] is a road sign for Modesto, where I had a car accident. About three months after I met Influence C I had approximately a hundred stitches in my head. 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. I made a left-hand turn. The driver behind me stopped, but the driver behind him decided to pass, and I was hit broadside and shoved under a parked truck. I heard a horn (like Alex Horn), and an ‘I’ said, ‘Well, it’s not for me.’ That is the most wrong about anything I have ever been in my life! I woke up and the nurse was saying, ‘Doctor, you did a beautiful job with those stitches.’ They rolled me out of the operating room and I just stood up and walked out. I took a taxi and then a Greyhound bus to my little one-room apartment. It was then that I realized how serious Influence C are about helping us. Of course, we have students who have experienced much worse than that. The Miata is a nice little gift, coming almost forty-four years after the Volkswagen. I also soon realized that I was under the guidance of Leonardo. Very early on I wondered who was helping me and they started signaling Leonardo. Leonardo and I are very different, but also very similar from the point of view of presence. Later I will say a few things about why we are so different. If we survive the Last Judgment then many things will become self-evident.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote by Dave Archer – once a member of Alex Horn’s group – is read: “Alex used to say we were not in the ‘work,’ meaning the Gurdjieff Work. Repeatedly he described our endeavor as a small ‘preparatory school’ at best, saying that if we worked exceedingly hard on ‘growing being,’ one of us MIGHT join the ‘Real Work’ . . . someday.”)
“Patricia Ch_r, who read the angle, studied with Alex Horn for a little while. I studied with him briefly also, for eighteen months. Then he closed the group, leaving ten of us there, and Influence C removed me – they would not give me employment. Finally, I found employment cleaning a woman’s house – and she died unexpectedly. At that point they briefly made me a homeless person. Alex once came up to me with a tiny little Christmas bell about two centimeters tall. His little higher emotional center was working and he rang the bell in front of my third eye, meaning that we have a little school here – he and I. Of course, we have four large bells from a French foundry above Apollo d’Oro now. Inscribed on one of them are the words: ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ We put it there without knowing what we know now. Anyway, even today we are a school in our infancy. During my time with Alex he openly spoke about my role and his role as being conscious roles. Also Influence C did not reveal themselves to anyone else in his group, but in our school everyone verifies Influence C to enter the Way. The inner meaning of ‘entering the way’ is reaching long BE and completing the sequence – entering the way to presence. … This [referring to a photo] is a view of the ranch that Alex owned for a few years. Patricia, would you like to speak about this?”
(Patricia Ch_r: “Yes, it is a functioning vineyard now. Sharon and Alex owned the property and they brought students up there on the weekends to work. You went, did you not?”)
“Yes, I did. I was in charge of the refuse. I remember that Alex once drove by in a red Jaguar that he enjoyed, which had a big dent in the hood. He was watching me in a very sweet way as I worked with the refuse. It was a touching moment in our play.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“In 1967, someone saw something no one else did, a celestial influence coming to make men immortal. Once again, in 1971, the same miracle occurred and the school (Apollo) was started by the grace of Influence C.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Here is a photo of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Rodney Collin, and Alex Horn. Of all of them, we learned the most from Ouspensky. Before the sequence Ouspensky was the most quoted figure by far, but now we rarely mention his name. Why? At the end of his life he said, ‘If man was made to remember himself there must be some simple method. I’ve been looking all of my life but it was never given to me’ – by Influence C.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“As a young person I did not have a desire to teach, but I did it because Influence C asked it of me. Others had a strong desire to become teachers, and that was their downfall.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“From the beginning, I knew I was following the directive of angels. … This [referring to a photo] is a Meissen urn decorated with ascending cherubim. It is now in Anthony and Patricia Ch_r’s collection. We used this image on our bookmark. Did any of you meet the school through this bookmark? (Many students raise their hands.) Very nice! Maybe we should bring it back.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote, supposedly by Alex Horn, is read: “If ever a conscious being is produced from one of my students, then my role as a teacher is complete.”)
“We are expecting to see several conscious beings produced here in our lifetime. This [referring to a photo] is my crystallization celebration at the Lincoln Lodge in 1976; it was quite sweet. … Influence C gave me the date of March 15, 1976 for my crystallization. I went to Phoenix and stayed at the Arizona Biltmore in the desert waiting for it to happen. The astral body was breathing, but the crystallization did not occur. So I returned to Apollo a few days later and my last thought before I went to sleep was ‘Well, it’s not going to happen tonight.’ That was about at 11 pm; then I woke up at 4 am and it was upon me. It was March 19th and world six immediately rose to handle it. I was facing Mount Apollo at the time with my back turned to California.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“I came from so far back to go so far forward. Robert Ma_c used to work with my life sister, Betty Burton, at a restaurant called Saluto in San Francisco. Robert was a waiter and he was carrying a dessert called The Great American Disaster. He and my sister encountered each other in a swinging door and he spilled the dessert all over her. Subsequently, her lover, who owned the restaurant, died, leaving her fifteen million dollars. Curtis said that the Ming screen we once owned was recently sold at auction for a record high and was the only piece of Chinese furniture to ever sell for more than a million dollars. He said that it is now worth fifteen million dollars, so we have fifteen and fifteen – incomparable wealth: presence. My sister is leaving her inheritance to the ASPCA – the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ouspensky said something like, ‘Cats eat rats and rats eat cats.’”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We are destined for immortality – eternal life – and this is what makes Paradise so sweet: it is a deathless place. Also, everyone is conscious and immortal there. Here everyone is mortal and unconscious, except for us.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Our press is the temple of literature for Apollo and civilization. Our presses do not require electricity. We know how to make paper and vellum as well. … Here [referring to a photo] we are planning the new press building… this temple of literature. Here [referring to a photo] is our Petrarch Press this year.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Apollo’s cemetery could be called ‘conscious passage. We can also call it a ‘paymentorium’ – a place of payment.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“Apollo is Mecca for ascending souls in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is here that Influence C will take their stand against the Last Judgment. This is the only safe haven.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“For forty years our school kept going forward, until we finally arrived at the greatest ally of presence – the sequence. Never could I detect the nature of the lower self until the sequence came – I could only speak about it philosophically. But now with the sequence we know exactly what we are facing and precisely where this intestinal figure is located.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
(A quote by a Fellowship member is read: “Our school is truly a golden chain of love that began when Robert was most graciously accepted into the ranks of the angels.”)
“Who wrote this, dear? (Thomas F_n.) It is very sweet. This [referring to a photo] is Asaf giving the toast at the Crystallization celebration in 2010. Here [referring to a photo] are the four of us at the Getty Villa in the order of appearance: myself, Asaf, Dorian, and then Sasha. It is quite a beautiful sight.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“It is possible that the survival of humanity may depend upon Apollo. This is what having Influence C in one’s life may mean. This [referring to a photo] is our Bactrian camel Rembrandt and his mother… This [referring to a photo] was our animal parade during Journey Forth… A few ibexes will be arriving at Apollo later this month… It was a major step when Influence C began bringing the animals.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“We have a beautiful conscious society at Apollo and our inner circle around the globe. The centers are points of light in humanity. … Here [referring to a photo] I am teaching in [our] Grand Pavilion with a statue of Shiva behind me. We are truly becoming immortal here.”

Robert Burton on 09/21/2011:
“The [live] broadcasts of the meetings are one the most important events in our school’s history. Influence C accelerated everyone’s evolution.”

9. nigel from wales - October 10, 2015

from (aeon) “Exodus”, by Ross Anderson

“I had come to SpaceX to talk to Musk about his vision for the future of space exploration, and I opened our conversation by asking him an old question: why do we spend so much money in space, when Earth is rife with misery, human and otherwise? It might seem like an unfair question. Musk is a private businessman, not a publicly funded space agency. But he is also a special case. His biggest customer is NASA and, more importantly, Musk is someone who says he wants to influence the future of humanity. He will tell you so at the slightest prompting, without so much as flinching at the grandiosity of it, or the track record of people who have used this language in the past. Musk enjoys making money, of course, and he seems to relish the billionaire lifestyle, but he is more than just a capitalist. Whatever else might be said about him, Musk has staked his fortune on businesses that address fundamental human concerns. And so I wondered, why space?

Musk did not give me the usual reasons. He did not claim that we need space to inspire people. He did not sell space as an R & D lab, a font for spin-off technologies like astronaut food and wilderness blankets. He did not say that space is the ultimate testing ground for the human intellect. Instead, he said that going to Mars is as urgent and crucial as lifting billions out of poverty, or eradicating deadly disease.”

“‘I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,’ he told me, ‘in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. It would be like, “Good news, the problems of poverty and disease have been solved, but the bad news is there aren’t any humans left.”’”

10. ryanopoo - October 10, 2015

“Did C influence signal back to us yet about the 6 zodiac signs, what they are and why, “life” has 12?

Not yet Robert,

12 eggs in a dozen?

Not yet Robert,

Pop tarts in a carton?

Not yet, though the research team has unearthed a precious fragment from a, “Boys Own Annual” dated 1976, the year of Your Crystalisation.

Yes Dear.

“How do you get 6 rhinos inside a Volkswagen bug?”

Robert; (Puzzled pause, beatific, quizical look) …..Yes Dear?

The answer They gave was,”Two in the front and four in the back” Robert.

Lovely, is it not, two and four, – six, Breakfast All Day, a completed sequence.
Who was that Dear?,

Desperate Dan Robert,

Desperate Dan, the King of Clubs?
Yes Robert.

He ate the Cow Pie, did he not?

Yes Robert.

The Munchies – back – step four in our sacred sequence.
The intestinal Lower Self.

Yes Robert.

And Popeye ate the spinach did he not?

Yes Robert.

Pop – the father,
Eye – real I, –
Pop-eye, Steward, the Sailor Man, the Father of Real “I”, who ate his spinach, – intentional suffering – and stayed strong to the finish, Long Breakfast,- a completed sequence.

Yes Robert.

Assup Dear, Have the team research more of these annuals and send them my conscious love.

Yes Robert.

It has been another wonderful event my dears. C-influence chose a simple child’s book, written in 1976, the year of my crystallization to communicate profound truths to us all here tonight and educate our darling essences, in preparation for what may well be the terrible events coming soon. BE like Popeye, who transformed his suffering and stayed strong to the finish, a completed sequence. I look forward to seeing you all at, Long Breakfast tonight, after Lunch and Dinner Again this evening.”

from, “The Munchies – Back” 2011 a fundraising meeting held between breakfasts, Wednesday morning

11. ton2u - October 10, 2015

Outer form and cult “packaging” varies but “ways, means and objectives” are basically the same…

“Cognitive dissonance

Festinger… studied groups that predicted the end of the world. He found that most members became stronger than ever when the prophecy failed.

His investigation revealed that members had to find a way to cope psychologically with the failure. They needed to maintain order and meaning in their life. They needed to think they were acting according to their self-image and values.

Festinger described this contradiction which they had to overcome as what has become known as the ‘COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY.’ The three components he described are:

CONTROL OF BEHAVIOR
CONTROL OF THOUGHTS
CONTROL OF EMOTIONS

MYSTICAL MANIPULATION — The Mystique of the Organisation.
This seeks to provoke specific patterns of behaviour and emotion in such a way that these will appear to have arisen spontaneously from within the environment. For the manipulated person this assumes a near-mystical quality.

This is not just a power trip by the manipulators. They have a sense of ‘higher purpose’ and see themselves as being the ‘keepers of the truth.’ By becoming the instruments of their own mystique, they create a mystical aura around the manipulating institution… They are the chosen agents to carry out this mystical imperative.

The pursuit of this mystical imperative supersedes all considerations of decency or immediate human welfare. The end justifies the means. You can lie, deceive or whatever to those outside the organization. Association with the ‘outside’ is only to benefit their own cause in some way… Members believe in the ideology to such a degree that they rationalize these deceptions.

‘The psychology of the pawn’ — This person feels unable to escape from forces he sees as more powerful than himself. His way of dealing with this is to adapt to them…. the person who has been in the organisation long enough, knows something is wrong, is on the verge of leaving then suddenly becomes very loyal…

Absolute ‘Truth’
Their “truth” is the absolute truth. It is sacred — beyond questioning. There is a reverence demanded for the leadership. They have ALL the answers. Only to them is given the revelation of ‘truth’…
This gives a sense of security to the member. They are confident they can get the answer to the most difficult problem or question.

LOADING THE LANGUAGE — Thought terminating cliches.
Everything is compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed.
There are ‘good’ terms which represents the groups ideology and ‘evil’ terms to represent everything outside which is to be rejected. Totalist language is intensely divisive, all-encompassing jargon, unmercifully judging. To those outside the group this language is tedious — the language of non-thought.

This effectively isolates members from outside world. The only people who understand you are other members. Other members can tell if you are really one of them by how you talk.

This narrowness of the language is constricting. The individual is linguistically deprived because language is central to the human experience and his capacities for thinking and feeling are immensely restricted.

While initially this loaded language can give a sense of security to the new believer, an uneasiness develops over time. This uneasiness may result in a withdrawal into the system… It may also produce an inner division and the individual will publicly give the right performance while privately having his own thoughts.

Either way, his imagination becomes increasingly disassociated from his actual life experiences and may even tend to atrophy from disuse.

Doctrine supersedes human experience. The ideological myth merges with their ‘truth’ and the resulting deduction can be so overpowering and coercive that it simply replaces reality.”

http://www.reveal.org/library/psych/totalism.html

12. Bryan Reynolds - October 11, 2015

Robert Lifton From “Thought reform and Psychology of Totalism”
On denouncing family and friends/
By denouncing all those with whom they had associated in their lives. They are effectively denouncing all that their lives had been up to that point. They were not so much betraying friends as being forced to betray the vital core of themselves.

13. nigel from wales - October 11, 2015

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2011

From the Italian blog “Il Credino”

“Incessantly pouring into the ears of his own members sermons based on his certified experiences, leaving out the superfluous practical example, for years Robert E. Burton has created around him a true “Spiritual Militia.” His teaching started with his own version of the Fourth Way of G. I. Gurdjieff ending in the creation of his own personal gem: the sequence, a nursery rhyme composed of English monosyllables that should evoke presence. According to the testimony of the first Neanderthal murals appeared on the planet, this practice it’s truly ancient.”

14. Ames Gilbert - October 11, 2015

Ton (#152-11 or thereabouts),
thanks for that. My personal experience validates the points that Festinger is making, and IMO he is spot on.

People like me joined and still join the Fellowship of Friends to become ‘more awake’ or even ‘conscious’. Most of us picked up the idea that this would be a good—though very difficult—thing based on what we’ve read about the Fourth Way. And the languaging constantly reaffirms that that is what is happening. But… after a decade as a follower, I came to the realization that I had actually become more ‘asleep’.

Despite the incessant busy–ness, the dinners, the galas, the concerts, the meetings, the artificial glamour and excitement of the never–ending series of ‘events’, the constant affirmations by Burton and subtle reassurances by the nice folks I lived amongst that I was ‘on the way’, in reality I was becoming more diminished. The truth was, I was actually less thoughtful, less considerate (especially of ‘life’ people), less open, less spontaneous, and less creative (gotta surpress that evil imagination thingy). I found I was running out of both emotional and physical energy, and in the most important ways, becoming more constrained, more withdrawn and <I less alive</I.

Just the way Burton likes his followers; passive, unquestioning, obedient, and on–time with their ‘teaching payments’.

15. ryanopoo - October 11, 2015

“Frightened though they were, some of the animals might possibly have protested, but at this moment the sheep set up their usual bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad”, which went on for several minutes and put an end to the discussion.”
George Orwell in “Animal Farm”

After six or seven hundred people left the cult a few years back, the concentration of die hard zealot crazies, those more or less entirely adaptive to the endemic psycopathy, increased proportionately among those who remained, such that the cult has, as a percentage of it’s population, way more crazies now than it ever had.

.

16. ton2u - October 11, 2015

@ 14 Ames

Yes, especially the on-time with ‘teaching’ payments part… after all, “payment is a principle.” This FOF catch-phrase is still stuck in my craw, even after all these years. The passive, unquestioning, obedient flock of sycophants is of course a ‘helpful,’ if not a necessary antecedent to timely, regular and ongoing ‘teaching’ payments.

After reading that gibberish uttered by burton (posted @ 8),
it made me wonder (again) whether burton is running a “conscious” con and knows that he’s just flinging shit at the walls to see what sticks… or if he himself really believes this nonsense…. I don’t know the answer, but I suspect it’s the latter. To quote again from the above: “This is not just a power trip by the manipulators. They have a sense of ‘higher purpose’ and see themselves as being the ‘keepers of the truth.’ ”

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

It’s difficult to leave a cult, it may be the single most difficult thing a person does in a lifetime, depending on circumstances and the individual. It takes courage and fortitude to leave the “certitudes” and structure provided by a cult… and jumping alone, into the unknown may be too difficult for many, and so they hang on to what they know.

To anyone ensnared in a cult who’s reading here, know that you’re not alone, others have escaped before you, know that there is support beyond the confines of the trap in which you currently find yourself. Know that there IS a way out, and that with effort and courage you will find a greater degree of personal freedom once you’ve escaped the cult. Only you can change your situation, and you CAN do it – but only if you choose to.

“I have had people tell me that they walked away after 10, 15, 20 years in certain groups… They did not know where they were going. They just had known for a long time they were going to leave. And the opportunity was there, and they left….

There are many walkaways… the first stage for walkaways is this stunned feeling of ‘I left a whole organized life back there. Now what do I do?’

…So the first stage of being stunned is then followed by ‘How do I go about making a plan of any kind?’ …that second stage of ‘How do I make a plan?’ comes after the stunned stage…”

etc.

http://ex-cult.org/

there is a way out…

17. nigel from wales - October 12, 2015

from “Psychopath Victims”, by David Masters …..

“What I learned, was that there are people who are devoid of particular mental, emotional and spiritual components that compromises their humanity when integrating with other persons, we call these people psychopaths, sociopaths and the recent, more political correctly referred to as being on the Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum.

That said, there are thousands of variables and no two psychopaths are identical, but they do share many similar characteristics.

So, how can you tell if you’re dealing with a psychopath? Here are some common signs that would indicate that you might be dealing with a psychopath in your life:

1. CHARISMATIC

Psychopaths are charismatic and are able to attract supporters easily.

They are wonderful speakers who are able to engage their audience and can easily engage the emotions and attention of those fortunate enough to be in their presence.

They exaggerate stories skewing the truth for their self-serving benefit, and will go as far as to lie and place themselves in someone else’s story and claiming it is their own.

2. SMART

Psychopaths are intellectual. They have a gift of having incredibly sharp wit and intelligence enabling them to masquerade as highly-educated as they bob and weave socially in live situations.

This also makes them excellent con artists able to conceive, plan and execute elaborate schemes, while staying one step ahead of the authorities.

3. NO FEELINGS

Psychopaths have no feelings. They do not grieve, are incapable of feeling guilt, shame or remorse, empowering them to easily victimize anyone. They will enthusiastically engage in anything that bolsters their position at someone else’s expense.

They do not love. They are incapable of giving or receiving love, but terribly acute at acting as though they are madly in-love, if it will help them achieve a desired result.

They are great actors/performers giving them the ability to create any perception of themselves that will achieve for them their desired result.

Even though they can appear to have emotions and use them as tools to manipulate their victims, let there be no doubt, they have no real feelings whatsoever.

4. IMPULSIVE

Psychopaths are impulsive, often acting or speaking without thinking through potential consequences of their words or actions, and are more likely to spontaneously take risks.

They are free of repercussion, since they see themselves as above the law or the constraints of the social norm. No social filters, consequences or guilt.

5. WINNERS

Psychopaths never lose. They will dominate anyone who gets in their way, will viciously defend their position, often by telling lies and spinning wild tales in an effort to discredit anyone with the inclination to disagree with them.

If you are naïve enough to challenge them, be aware that they will wield their powers of persuasion to make you look like a fool for questioning them. Which presumes that they believe themselves to be:

6. NEVER WRONG

Psychopaths are always right. They never apologize; do not feel remorse for hurting others and are incapable of feeling guilt.

If asked to apologize, a psychopath will often strike out and attack their victim, rather than admit they may have made a mistake or misstep.

Now ask yourself, is the person you’re dealing with a psychopath?

Are they charismatic, smart, have no feelings, impulsive, always the winner and never wrong?

Chances are, you’re face-to-face with a psychopath.”

18. linda - October 12, 2015

Yes it is very difficult to leave and it may take a little time to adapt but it is the right decision – and you may be pleasantly surprised, like I did, to find there are more signs you are on the right path ‘outside’ than inside a false ‘so-called’ school with a monster as a leader.

19. linda - October 12, 2015

sorry, grammar – like I was

20. nigel from wales - October 12, 2015

Many folk have posited this thought – “Does Burton know he is fooling his followers or is he firmly in the grip of his own lies?” I think he started off knowing, as a psychopath, that he could take advantage of people (for money, sex and power – which makes the world go round) and it worked so well that he continued well past the point of BEING HIS OWN LIE. ANYTHING HE SAYS IS LAPPED UP BY GULLIBLE FOLLOWERS and it FEELS GREAT to him.

21. nigel from wales - October 13, 2015

This would not have been a (slightly) self-referential post, were it not for the fact that I had to visit my GP, today for PRN Amitriptyline, which, for me, if other mood-stabilizers and anti-psychotics were not taken, I would be “Don Quixote, a la Whizoo!” Yes, I suffer from a mood disorder, which some of you would ‘pigeon-hole’ under the ‘umbrella terminology’ – mental illness. You guys are going to have to think that through, long and hard, since I devote myself, these days to de-Burtoning the FOF fuse …..

The main percentage in the consensus of opinion surrounding Robert Earl Burton is that he is mentally ill. As far as anyone knows (does any blogger, or blogger’s friends or neighbours know)? if he is being treated for the illnesses of…..

Psychopathy
Narcissism

Would this treatment be? …..

One-to-one therapy
Anti-psychotic and associated medication for the disorder.

I would be more inclined (from memory – the blog some years ago) to think that he takes heavy doses of anti-depressants and, possibly, pain-killers to ‘cotton wool’ the EFFECT THAT HIS ACTIONS HAVE BACK ON HIM !!!!! As far as taking in hand his behaviour, there is no need – his followers all know that the ‘crazy wisdom’ and keeping his ‘students’ in a ‘fog of cultural and sexually charged delusion’ is what makes them fawn on him and believe that he is (Oh…yes, folks!) a CONSCIOUS BEING OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

In terms of coercive pathology the only difference between Burton and Charles Manson is that Burton goes for the male genitals (in, out or roundabout, however the play-ground unfolds), whereas Manson proposed brutal murder as a way that his followers might be placating his wishes. The similarity is that both Burton and Manson are animals that WANT THEIR OWN WAY AT ANY COST.

Oh, and if Burton wants to get hooked on a ‘dirty and difficult drug’ as a ‘solve all’ then he could try Amitriptyline ….

A tricyclic anti-depressant (and, incidentally, a strong painkiller for those who cannot take, internally, Ibuprofen or Paracetamol, due to effects they have on liver and renal function caused by parallel use of other anti-psychotics and mood-stabilizers). The fool might take it (not PRN, but as regular doses, every day – per dia/per nocte) and find himself addicted to a Pleasure Pill which should last him the rest of his life, so that he can go – “Cosy, and gentle into that goodnight”.

Yes, we all wish you goodnight, Burton – to your epic scheme – The Fellowship of Friends, your ‘bloated ideas of culture’, your ‘entirely disgusting sexual deviance’ and the calculating, clod of slime that you call yourself.

Signed ….. another (careful) drug user.

22. nigel from wales - October 14, 2015

This one is ‘creepy’ too…obviously, elsewhere in the site, they are ‘selling techniques’…MYSTICAL POWERS CAN DO ANYTHING !…from telekinesis to (Gurdjieff did this apparently) giving orgasms across the room. I really do not know what ‘joiners and followers’ want from Burton and the FOF, but psychopathy has to be rife…

from…”Psychic Superstore” (whoo !…even anyone can do it !)

“It is critical to utilize your new found and budding capabilities in little things first before attempting to achieve larger things with your mystic capabilities. There are few mystic power tests for telekinesis, and most involve moving or floating on object without any physical contact. Starting to develop your mystic capabilities can be as easy as coaching your intellect to recollect the names and face of 25 to 50 folks after seeing them once. Precognition is when an individual can give details about an event which has not yet occurred. Most individuals instantly think about Nostradamus when this field is discussed. Some people that have demonstrated precognition explain they’re restricted to only taking information regarding express subjects, times, or places, and others glance transient moments and events in no given order or pattern.

That isn’t REAL mystic capability! If your definition of mystic power only exists in the area of the unaccountable, then you won’t totally appreciate the size of power you really possess. The doorway to the unknown lies inside the world of the KNOWN, from there, we start to find out potentialities that replace the boundaries of our capability to explain them ( yet ). Here’s another example : the human mind is simply the strongest PC on Earth ( so far… ). Our brain has over 100 bill neurons or nerve cells. If we were to compare these to a PC system, each neuron is sort of a little microchip, working in cooperation with each other neuron in the body to get, process, and broadcast info in the guise of electrochemical, or bioelectrical, signalling. This implies that it utilizes both electric signals and biochemical signals.”

…decipher this ‘crap’ at your peril !

23. Associated Press - October 14, 2015

Architects of the New Paradigm Conference Series:
A World Gone Mad? The Who, How and Why of Psychopaths
& Mind Control in Our Lives
http://anpconference.com/#about
Saturday, October 24, 2015 – Petaluma, CA

24. Associated Press - October 14, 2015

The psychological manipulation we experience throughout our lives is easy to miss until we start noticing it. Salespeople, institutions and the media use tactics that we’ve come to expect, but is there an even more sophisticated effort secretly conducted to condition our thinking and behavior? The evidence suggests there is, and that it’s more pervasive and far-reaching than we realize.

It also appears that many of the people behind the effort to control our thinking and behavior are psychopathic. Psychopaths are typically charismatic master-manipulators who crave power and act upon others without the limitations of conscience. If we can grasp the reality of psychopaths both in our lives and in positions of influence, we can protect ourselves from their hidden agendas. Join this panel of experts for a blinders-off, down-the-rabbit-hole exposé of psychopaths and their mind control programs, and its disturbing effects on our world and us.

The Three Key Takeaways from this Event:

1) Mind control is a vast and legitimate area of study that goes much deeper than is commonly believed. Propaganda and mind control in all its forms are very real, very personal, and not to be dismissed as mere conspiracy theories, especially in today’s society. This knowledge is fundamental to a deeper understanding of our World’s problems.

2) Antisocial Personality Disorder (psychopathy) is an under-recognized psychological condition that exists to varying degrees throughout society. There are differing opinions regarding the exact indicators and frequency, but the significant feature is an absence of conscience or remorse, with a keen ability to manipulate and control people. Without moral and ethical “restrictions”, psychopaths (also known as sociopaths) are typically extremely narcissistic parasites who act primarily for self-gain, and with no regard for the people they hurt. Statistically; you are very likely to encounter people like this frequently throughout your life.

3) Because of their insatiable lust for power, psychopathic people are singularly motivated to manipulate and control others. Consequently, they aspire to, and frequently achieve, high positions of leadership. Thus they become concentrated in the enclaves of the world’s major power structures, e.g. corporations, media conglomerates, educational institutions and other positions of mass-influence with their own nefarious controlling agendas against the rest of us!

While there is a long history of psychopathic societal influence, its relevance and prevalence is seldom recognized or acknowledged. To reach a comprehensive, big-picture analysis of the challenges facing our World today, we need this part of the picture. For otherwise well-informed people, not recognizing the occurrence and effects of psychopathy and mind control on societal functioning is a major barrier to a complete understanding of the many puzzling circumstances we face today. As many people eventually discover: it is the quintessential “missing piece”.

Venue/Hotel:
Institute of Noetic Sciences –
EARTHRISE Retreat Center
101 San Antonio Road
Petaluma, California

Copy and paste this PDF link into browser address bar:
anpconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ANP_2015-10-24_EVENT_POSTER.pdf

25. nigel from wales - October 15, 2015

It seems, the case for wanting to return to the FOF/Discussion blog for the reasons of:-

1) Not wanting to be ‘shot in the back’ for ‘tangential and maybe irrelevant remarks’.
2) Perhaps, be of use in the fight against the Crime of Burton…

are, literally, of very little use, it seems to me. I am not:-

1) In the environs of Grass Valley, Nevada City, Marysville, where close proximity to the only gas pump in the area can bring about ‘gossip worth talking about’.

2) I do not have a bunch of friends who are ex-FOF, on-blog or within visiting distance.

I know I took sail for Wales in attempt to be ‘out from under the thumb’ of NHS Direct in Exeter, their atrociously run Crisis Resolution Team – to not be stuck in the Cedars Hospital Hell Hole every time I tried to deal with something – and to get fresh air for my soul. All this has happened and I have reached the ‘One Year Out’ mark and still going strong. There is no need, with the help of the MHA, the Good Police and my psychiatric support team, why this should not continue on an even keel with hope for coming off state benefits and developing my jewellery/silver business to proper self-employment status.

I cannot influence the FOF, Burton or bloggers and I am content to be with true Welsh friends, socially and in town commerce. To you all, do what you have to do and good luck…Nigel

26. Cristalclear - October 15, 2015

27. Tim Campion - October 15, 2015

Cristalclear,

Interesting song. Is there a story behind your posting it here?

In 1978, Fellowship members were discouraged from listening to rock ‘n roll. I don’t recall ever hearing this song. When I left in the late 80s, I had to do a lot of catching up with “popular culture” which, contrary to Burton’s characterizations was not empty or dead, but naturally rich in creativity, dynamic, and clearly evolving faster than anything in the psychologically, if not physically cloistered Fellowship.

28. Cristalclear - October 15, 2015

Tim 27
Listening to this song today, I found a kind of echo of my fof experience in it,so I decided to share it with you all.
“Lost dreams and found dreams in America”!
Some of the lyrics of the song are quite inspiring.
Despite the exercise I never really stopped listening to rock’ n roll,actually I had trouble with some of the exercises that I found stupid or not useful.
As I wrote before,I was never a fan of burton and some of his “suggestions” seemed just a way to keep us under his spell.
Rock ‘n roll was useful,it reminded me I was still alive.

Change come over, now
Change, change, change come over
I’m gonna walk down the street
Until I see
My shining light

This is for all our friends that are still living under the spell,I hope they will see the light of freedom.

29. ryanopoo - October 17, 2015

The true story behind the miraculous appearance of the Sequence.

Braverman was given the book “A Lasting Freedom” by Francis Roles, – a close student of Ouspensky’s and within a few months, the prototype versions of the sequence began to emerge. By 2011 as the quote below demonstrates, the sequence had become folklore.

Here’s Dr. Roles quoting Ouspensky from, A Lasting Freedom

…. “Something was missing in the system. If man is meant to remember himself there must have been some simple method. But it has been lost. I could never find it. Once in India, I heard an echo of such a method. If you find the method you may find the Source.”

and here’s Conscious Bob on 09/21/2011:

“Here is a photo of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Rodney Collin, and Alex Horn. Of all of them, we learned the most from Ouspensky. Before the sequence Ouspensky was the most quoted figure by far, but now we rarely mention his name. Why? At the end of his life he said, ‘If man was made to remember himself there must be some simple method. I’ve been looking all of my life but it was never given to me’ – by Influence C.”

Ouspensky and his close associates, including Roles and Rodney Collin, were convinced by the latter part of O’s life that, “The system” didn’t work, Ouspensky said it needed to be recreated from scratch. Collin took a stab at re-creation with his book, Celestial Influence and Roles went off in search of the method and the source. They understood that dividing attention and Gurdjieff’s third state, was not self-remembering, (nor could it ever lead to it), in the deepest sense of unity consciousness – Turiya, the fourth state – in which it is meant.

Collin came up with three forces in self-remembering and Roles came back from India with a method of meditation using Mantra.
Roles understood about the 4th state, unity consciousness in which the Self with a capital “S” is remembered and the sense of being a seperate someone is absorbed within it. It very definitely is NOT, the so called third state and the third state is not and never will be, the means to it.

Bob found in Ouspensky’s quote, a simple method to amplify his own glory, while Assup found a reason to wear that stupid Bow Tie, very often indeed. Also Bob needed something to distract the sheep in between failed predictions. So Ouspensky was demoted to, “D list” conscious being, while the cosmic cowboys, Braverman and Burton went about inventing the lost method.
Before long, they are unearthing it everywhere, – paintings, poems, Rhino shit, it was there all along, now we are blessed to see it, halelujah.
Now just a bit of jiggling with the quotes here and there, to make them a bit of a closer fit to the truth, – as Laurel and Hardy now see it, and voila, Conscious Bob’s your uncle. Horseshit, 120 bucks a plate, for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner until humanity is finally once and for all, expunged. Amen
Bob heralded his invention as the newly revealed gift of C-influence, proof of his being way more important than Ouspensky and very obvious proof that the now 43 angels like him much more than the Russian guy.

What the dynamic duo came up with and then endlessly pumped down the throats of good people, is a guaranteed method for never entering the fourth state, 6 canine commands to bark at oneself. The poverty of Bob’s being is revealed here, in all it’s delusional, manipulative, deperate, lying glory.
And If you’re open enough to look, and if it doesn’t make you wince too much, you may get a glimmer of a shocking but definitely dawning realization. – Conscious Bob doesn’t really understand about Self-remembering, his speciality, does he, – I mean how could he, right?

Don’t worry though comrades. I bet within a few months you’ll be hearing all about the 4th state at a breakfast near you and how Bob was always in it all along.

30. brucelevy - October 17, 2015

Bobby was never really very bright.

31. Ames Gilbert - October 17, 2015

Ryanopoo (#152-29 or thereabouts),
thanks for the history of the ‘Sequence’. It is amusing and disheartening at the same time.

The Amazon summary of the ‘Lasting Freedom’ book says, “Two New York lectures given by Dr Francis Roles as an introduction to meditation and non-duality.
These two lectures provide an introduction to the system of meditation and the non-dual teaching of His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, which Francis Roles discovered to be the source and completion of the Fourth Way teaching he inherited from P.D. Ouspensky.
With extensive notes, references and commentary.”

I have to admit two simultaneous reactions. The first is critical, along the lines of, “His Holiness—plus a lot of titles, wow!—what the fuck?” or, “Francis Roles discovered the source and the completion… yeah, yeah, more unverifiable claims”, or, “I thought non–duality was a ‘no–no’ within the FoF”, and so on.

The second is a small frisson of excitement, “Wow, maybe I should look into this, maybe there are some answers here—my experience with the FoF was very unsatisfactory, but I am still interested if there really are some answers…”. Precisely the kind of thinking that got me into trouble all those years ago! Nevertheless–I’ll probably download the Kindle version of the book anyway.

I guess my big things with Asaf Braverman are a) that he learned whatever he knew at Burton’s feet, and I am really, really sure that Burton is a fraud, and, as you say, doesn’t even know what self–remembering is. So, how can anything Braverman claims have meaning or value or pertinence? Then b) he is still a follower of Burton and intimately connected with him, which means that he has not graduated, and certainly has no business instructing others, unless he also is running a ‘school with no graduation’, like Burton (e.g., not a school in any sense at all). And c), he is running his shtick on the same authoritarian lines as Burton, that is, an unvarying teacher–student relationship with one–way transmission. If anything is an indication of bogus, it is the inference that a ‘teacher’ has nothing more to learn, let alone from a lowly ‘student’, IMHO.

You seem to know something of Asaf Braverman. I never met him, so everything I know is some degree of hearsay. Maybe you can answer a couple of questions. First, when did he join the FoF (or arrive in Oregon House), and second, did he have a sexual relationship with Burton? If your answer to the second is, ‘yes’, then maybe you could share why you believe that to be so.

Hey, if you have any more information on how this invention came to pass, how the ‘research octave’ that supports it is directed, and how Asaf’s finances vis–à–vis the FoF (does he charge for his meetings, lectures, breakfasts, whatever with FoF followers, and if so, who gets the $$, and, is he on retainer/salary, things like that), I’m sure readers would be interested. Thanks!

32. linda - October 18, 2015

A man who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool – shun him

33. linda - October 18, 2015

or is it … A man who knows not and knows that he knows not …. either way – shun him.

34. Cristalclear - October 18, 2015

Ames asked Ryanopoo if he had information about Asaf Braverman.
I never met him (I believe I was long gone when he arrived) but I knew he lived in Milan for a couple of years so ,out of curiosity
I googled his name and Milan to find out if he still had a connection with Italy and I found that

http://guarigionericonnettiva.com/gurdjieff-sullessere/

The site is “Guarigione Riconnettiva” translated “Reconnecting Healing”
On the first page there is an article about Gurdjieff signed by Asaf
Braverman.
There is no mention of the fof or reb, it’s all about healing people with a kind of pranotherapy,they are holding seminaries in London, Milan, Rome and Bruxelles in November 2015.

What the hell is that? Did anyone know of this other “branch” of the fof? Is this connected?
I looked for the same site in English and I found “The Reconnection”
http://www.thereconnection.com/
There is no mention of Assaf on that one, but it is the same organization. You can see pictures of the “teaching team” from all over the word included Italy and Russia.I don’t know them but maybe some of you may be able to find out if they are “students” of bob.
It just looks like another big scam.
I will look deeper into the site to see if I can find out something more.

35. Cristalclear - October 18, 2015

I can see my post on the page, but I can’t see it on the recent comments list. Can you see the post? Did I do anything wrong?
Sorry, I don’t know how it works.

36. ryanopoo - October 18, 2015

Hi Ames,

You asked about the Fellowship’s, “Research team” and a few other things I’ll try and get to.

When I was there, this was a bunch of people, “doing third line”, trawling through books from any and all traditions with a magic marker, looking for sixes and sequences and lower selves and extracting nuggets out of context. The nuggets were then served up at meetings and meals, sometimes having been tweaked a tad to help people understand the blatantly obvious insinuation, that the sequence had been everywhere all along and used by saints and sages and cavemen throughout history.
It played directly into the magical thinking, “chosen few” bias, of all infected with Bob’s psycho memes. Lent him an air of authority and equality by contrived association.

One has to remember Bob’s teaching is sort of, Conspiracy Theory Awakening. According to Conscious Bob, there’s always been a grand secret conspiracy of angels, including, Elizabeth the 1st, hell bent on expunging bestial humanity. They’ve been depositing references to the sequence, in art and architecture and Rhino shit for millenia, preparing them all for Bob to find and carry with him onto the Ark, just in the nick of time, before 6 billion sleeping machines are wiped out in a nuclear holocaust.
The seeds of the new civilization will be a few hundred nut jobs including him in Oregon House, sludgeing around, intoning their sacred sequence. As someone once wrote here, they can’t even make soap! It’s the Da Vinci code on acid, and guess which angel is moving Bob’s tongue while he babbles? Yup, Leonardo Da Vinci, that’s what he tells us anyway.

Research team is of course a euphemism. If we agree that research is, “the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.”

Then
The FOF team systematically investigates sources and material without study, in order to support mumbo jumbo and reach only old pre-established conclusions, i.e. those of Bob and Assup.

The Fellowship of Friends is a Doomsday Cult. Like many crank groups around the world, predicting an Armageddon which they will survive. This one is a, designer label, expensive cabernet swilling, doomsday sex cult, an expensive hybrid, but then this is California and this is the 21st century.

p.s. You can access the first 85 pages of Francis Roles’ book on Google Books. Search, with title and author.

37. Tim Campion - October 19, 2015

34. Cristalclear,

Did your post contain multiple links?

Usually that happens when you have two or more links within your post. It automatically goes into moderation. Even though you may see your post, the blog moderator must approve it before everyone else sees it, and it appears on the recent comments list. (This helps block spammers from the blog.)

If that’s the problem, it should appear within a day or two.

38. Tim Campion - October 19, 2015

ryanopoo,

That essentially characterizes the Fellowship’s “science of living in the present.”

Over 45 years, their “scientific method” hasn’t changed a bit.

39. Cristalclear - October 19, 2015

37 Tim Campion
Thank you very much Tim,for answering my question.
I never posted anything with a link before and I didn’t know that.
I also tried to email your blog the weird information I found,but I couldn’t find a way(not so good with computers).
Do you receive the messages on the Greater Fellowship?The place seems almost dead,the posts are very old.
Please take a look at the sites I found,I confide in your great BS detectors to help us find out something more.
Thank you for the great job you do on your blog, to help unmask the fof and reb.
When I left in the late 80s ,there were no blogs, no support,no more friends,nothing; the first blog I found was your one but much later.
I suppose that’s the reason I post here now,to try and process things I have never truly forgotten or forgiven in myself and others.

40. Tim Campion - October 19, 2015

Cristalclear,

Thanks for your compliments. The REB blog is primarily derived from material found in this Fellowship of Friends Discussion, and from Veronicapoe’s Internet Archive, The Fellowship of Friends Wikispace (no longer active), Wikipedia, the Fellowship’s own publications, and various news articles.

Asaf Braverman engages in many online discussions, on topics that interest him (and where he might also recruit followers.)

“Guarigione Riconnettiva” (or “Reconnective Healing”) offers “Il Tuo Blog” (“Your Blog”) which is open to contributors writing on related topics. It appears Braverman’s Gurdjieff article is one such attempt to draw attention to his Fellowship-sponsored blogs.

Just skimming through their various websites, I don’t see any other obvious link between the “The Reconnection” organization and The Fellowship of Friends.

(And while reading “Dr.” Eric Pearl’s material and watching some of his videos, the needle on my “BS detector” was definitely jumping.)

41. Cristalclear - October 19, 2015

Today I found a movie on the Internet made by the fof!
Julius Caesar 2014 directed by Nicolas Walker
Starring Michael Golding,Asaf Braverman and many others you know well.
Google it and you’ll find it very easily.
That’s how they spend the money.To fulfill the stupid ambition of becoming move stars?
Enjoy.(I’m joking)
p.s.I hope it was ok to use the names because the movie is public.

Tim ,if you need some kind of help with the translation or explanation of the Italian site I volunteer, even if my English is not that good, I hope at least you can understand me.

42. Cristalclear - October 19, 2015

Thanks for the explanation Tim,and also for engaging in a conversation with me and giving me a chance.
I have a kind of weird feeling, about everything that happened on the previous page and I don’t know what to think anymore.

43. Ames Gilbert - October 19, 2015

Ryanopoo (#152-36 ota),
thanks for the suggestion. That is a generous preview!

Cristalclear(#152-34 ota),
It looks to me like Asaf Braverman wangled an invitation to speak at one of the conferences organized by the Reconnection people in Italy. IMO, they were probably looking for speakers on ‘spiritual matters’ to pad out their get–together, and in return Asaf was hoping to dangle his bait in front of a captive audience. Other than that, I doubt there is any deep connection.

44. nevasayneva - October 19, 2015

Re the sequence etc # 29

I was in FOF at that time the sequence was put on there, like a new born animal it was a bit shaky on its legs at the beginning, but once it got going, it sure can run. Maybe it really does not matter how they came up with it of “found” it. FOF emphasizes a lot at least when you first join the idea of “verification”.

Aside from all the rather unpleasant side -effects of cult membership, one can verify that the methods to self remember and achieve “third state” do not work. If there is a road to that place, FOF methods may not lead there, at least not for me, they did not.

If you have been to that place, I was there a few times and for me it was almost always purely accidental and with zero planning and importantly with ZERO effort. The ego-striving-trying-efforts-aims etc etc, all Ouspensky’s good stuff does not lead there. There are several hints from what he told people towards the end of his life, that he realized that.

45. brucelevy - October 19, 2015

” Reconnection”…I can smell the cult bullshit right through the computer.

46. Associated Press - October 19, 2015

From Asaf Braverman YouTube channel
Introduction to the “Be.” Pyramid
~10 minutes:

“Published on Apr 23, 2015
Asaf Braverman – This is a newly arranged system for the practical development of consciousness. For those wishing to practice the principles of this system, I offer free weekly videos on beperiod.com. For those wishing to understand the theory behind its construction, I invite questions in the “comments” section below”

About:
“Description

We break down the evolution of man’s consciousness into topics and spread them on a pyramid to convey their varying importance and relation to each other.

The Pyramid is divided into five steps: the realization of man’s undeveloped consciousness at the base; the self-study needed for developing his consciousness above that; and the disciplines that actualize its development at the top. The summit heralds conscious man, a man able to be himself, able to be conscious, able to “Be.”

All ancient teachings expressed this conscious evolution of man, allegorically, symbolically or literally. This pyramid synthesizes these many expressions into a single whole.”

47. Associated Press - October 19, 2015

More at:
Asaf Braverman YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/ggurdjieffvideos/

48. nigel from wales - October 20, 2015

“Your Dharma is your calling. It is the work that’s supported by your surroundings, circumstances, relationships and gifts.”
—- Deepak Chopra —-

49. linda - October 20, 2015

cc 39
When I left in the late 80s ,there were no blogs, no support,no more friends,nothing; the first blog I found was your one but much later.
I suppose that’s the reason I post here now,to try and process things I have never truly forgotten or forgiven in myself and others.

I know exactly how you felt and feel now – I left early 80’s and didn’t find this blog until 2004 … reconnecting to people who have experienced the same and even with an old friend from that time. I hope you are able to ignore the ‘crap’ and filter out what you find helpful and useful for you….

It was particularly hard being told by ‘friends’ that if I left “it would be better that I had never been born” and that “I was now food for the moon” ….but now I wonder ……. is it not really those who are still trapped inside and don’t escape that will really suffer …

50. Cristalclear - October 20, 2015

Linda 49
I agree with you,we are the lucky ones!
I was lucky to escape the trap after a relatively short amount of time,but the consequences lasted for long.
We were two in the “school”and that was good and bad at the same time,we supported each other but we were also feeding each other’s habits and fears.
The” fof language” is a great trap,you have to get rid of it to start thinking strait again and when you live with another “ex student” it gets even harder.Same for the thought process,the superstitions,and other things that are stuck in your mind(body types, center of gravity …)
The way you look at the world has to change drastically to get rid of all the crap they have planted in your head.
It took us a few years to free ourselves completely but we did it together and we are still married after 30 years.
Nevertheless, a few questions are still bothering me:why did I join?why did I stay?what did I gain or loose in the process?why am I still angry?
Writing and reading other people’s comments helps to get a new perspective on things,so I’ll try and do as you wisely suggest.

nevasayneva 44
If you have been to that place, I was there a few times and for me it was almost always purely accidental and with zero planning and importantly with ZERO effort. The ego-striving-trying-efforts-aims etc etc, all Ouspensky’s good stuff does not lead there

I fully subscribe.

51. Cristalclear - October 20, 2015

It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago
Janey was lovely, she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playlng low
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
Till there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove

And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then

Against the wind
We were runnin’ against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin’
Against the wind

And the years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searchin’
Searchin’ for shelter again and again
Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind

Well those drifters days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out

Against the wind
I’m still runnin’ against the wind
I’m older now but still running
Against the wind
Well I’m older now and still running
Against the wind

52. Tim Campion - October 21, 2015

cristalclear, linda, nevasayneva,

Of the over 40,000 comments on this blog, this post by “Anna” is one of the most beautifully written and compelling that I’ve read.

Perhaps you knew (or still know) Anna?

53. Bares Reposting - October 21, 2015

For those who might have trouble getting to the
post that Page152/#52, Tim Campion – October 21, 2015
links/points to, as I had, here it is entire:

“Anna on July 27, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Since leaving the school a month and a half ago some friends have asked about my story about and why I left. As you will see it has proven difficult to give a brief answer. If this was a “How are you?” type question that didn’t require a significant answer I am sorry and please scroll down as quickly as you can.

I’m not sure what putting all this down on paper has achieved for me personally… There’s a wish to record this internal revolution, to get things straight somehow.

If you are a current or former member you will probably recognise a lot of what’s been written. At the moment it looks like a sketch of a certain type of human’s frailty. Perhaps you have been that type of human too…

Last Summer I had breakfast at the Apollo D’Oro for what I did not know then would be the last time. I sat outside on the deck with a friend and we looked out across our little swathe of the foothills as the last strands of morning mist evaporating into another impossibly yellow California day. I ate as many of Herve’s croissants as I could and we had a funny, warm, affirming conversation. There was only one unpleasant moment: my friend who was prone to sensationalism started telling about an anti-Fellowship article that had just been published, I hadn’t wanted to hear “No, you must read it” he insisted “the guy is smart and absolutely right about some things; he went to an open meeting in London last year lead by RT and he said some interesting things about arrogance.” I felt a surge of indignation: how could someone come to one of our meetings under false pretences like that, and then no doubt distort everything to fit his agenda? It felt like a betrayal. I imagined the writer; he would be a sort of pale grey colour and slightly rat-like, someone who made a living by undermining and demeaning the things that other people loved…No I wouldn’t read his article.

After a while we were joined by B who had just been reading the article too, he was shaking his head and saying “This is serious, this is really serious”. No it’s not I said to myself, why trouble yourself, don’t even think about it, and I had hoped we could change the subject.

Before I said good bye my friend he squeezed a copy of the article into my bag. I didn’t read it until the 28th of May this year and by then it was too late anyway.

The Background
That August I had no inkling that I would leave the school, it was the most precious, most sacred place in my life and there was no question of departing. I had joined 22 years earlier, had effectively dropped out of university, had put no energy into developing a career, my only ambition was to support the esoteric heart of the school, to communicate my conviction to others. I was penniless and all my friends were members. Every Summer I would spend a month at Isis visiting inspirational friends and trying to fill in gaps in my understanding of the work and Robert’s teaching.

I had always considered myself a sceptical person as far as ideas were concerned. I had been expelled from Christian Sunday School at the age of five for loudly disbelieving the stories, and despite wishing desperately to believe in God I had never found anyone who could convince me of the existence of anything supernatural. When I was twenty someone gave me an article about quantum physics which seemed to prove that other dimensions existed. I was awestruck; could it be that the seeds of those religions and mysticisms which I had despised before lay within the folds of these other dimensions? A few weeks later a student POL showed me In Search of the Miraculous; its rightness seemed impossible to dispute.

Until I was 18 I had been at boarding school. It was a hellish experience. I was bullied, the boys would spit and jeer at me, they would trip me up and kick me and laugh when I cried, and they even beat me up once. Often the girls would not talk to me so as not to be infected by my unpopularity, and years stretched by without friends. I was terrible at sport and good at poetry; I didn’t swear, wept constantly, had spots and was despised. At university I had my first taste of peace: I just read and read and read falling in love with dead writers and the productions that had emerged from their tormented lives.

Once in the school I discovered that my love of literature had been my Magnetic Centre, Other students seemed to actually like me, I was told I was a King of Hearts which was an acceptable thing. People hugged me and I gradually learned to hug them back. I threw myself totally into this new paradise. Instead of studying for college, I did Second and Third Line work, I studied the workbooks, wrestled with ideas I didn’t understand begged other students to help me understand, to help me Verify. When I couldn’t Verify something I learned how to Suspend my Disbelief.

When I failed my degree my Life family went into a panic. Unbeknownst to me they launched an investigation into the Fellowship with the help of another family who’s child Anne Rodney had been abducted from the School and de-programmed by an experienced anti-cultist.

I remember the day that my Uncle confronted me with his findings. He had obtained a huge stack of newspaper articles about the Fellowship and when he gave them to me with his hands were shaking and his face was red. He told me that Robert Burton was a charlatan and that I had been taken in hand by the Devil. I looked at him trembling there, so full of Negativity, and said to myself “He’s a fanatic, a Christian zealot, this is an inquisition” The first article on the stack was about a girl who had cancer, apparently Robert had told her that she must pay her teaching payments anyway and if she didn’t she would lose the School and go to Hell… The article didn’t touch me. My happiness and my conviction were unswerving.

The challenge of the Sequence
Twenty years later the Sequence emerged; it was heralded as ‘the answer’ the ultimate tool that would bring us all to consciousness. I was accustomed to my Lower Self resisting Robert’s idea’s, it would try to call them “absurd” and “useless” and it was difficult not to be able to substantiate them by going to a workbook. Instead I was forced to struggle to convince myself… or find someone else to convince me to the contrary.

I felt quite grateful to Robert. He seemed to like me in his way. Sometimes he would buy tickets for me to come to Isis, and invite me to come to events without paying. Occasionally he would send encouraging messages and he seemed to wish me to move to Isis.

I wanted desperately to prove that Robert’s tool was not “a weak minded invention” as my Lower Self proposed “a vain-glory in which he was revelling simply because it was his own creation;” that he was not “wrong” as he had been with his predictions of apocalyptic events…

After repeatedly questioning other students who applauded the tool, and remaining unconvinced, I eventually willed myself to Separate from such thoughts as they clearly did not lead anywhere; and to focus instead on my own Work and my own Presence. After all what could be lost by entrusting my awakening to Robert… I was not yet conscious, and as the years had worn by my initial optimism about my chances had proven naive to say the least.

At that time (and now too) I could say that I was ‘in love with Awakening’. Four years earlier after a final crushing disillusionment with relationships the entirety of my longing had transferred itself to the pursuit of consciousness. But again this was proving a path of heartache; during the day the constant numbing pain in my chest which I had normally acquainted with the pain of a failing relationship, now seemed to be connected to the feeling that I was ‘not doing enough’ in the Work. Even though I would immediately attempt to transform this Self Deprecation into a ‘Sequence’ the sadness endured and was exacerbated by the measurable failures at doing it. At night I would go to bed heavy hearted because I felt had not done enough Sequences; in the morning I would wake up and begin again, promising myself that I would do better, that today was a new day, that there were new chances.

I was the Centre Director and spent every minute of my free time engaged in Fellowship projects. At the beginning of this role I had hoped that I would be able to bring greater emotionality to the centre; I had hoped that former directors were being overly rigid about the instructions they were receiving from Isis, and that Robert didn’t really want meetings to be as dry and rigid as they had become. In fact the guidelines and materials emerging from Isis turned out to be even more sterile than I had imagined.

As often as I could I read the Thoughts (transcripts of Robert’s meetings) and attended at least two meetings a week. Time and time again Robert stated that if we repeated these six words and ‘did’ what they asked we would at the end experience ‘divine Presence’. He also emphatically and repeatedly stated that the Lower Self (described also as the King of Clubs, a crocodile and various other monstrosities) was what prevented us from doing it.

Yet when I tried to use the tool it ended nowhere in particular. Even when I did manage to complete a sequence or two it did not bring me to what the Fourth Way called Higher Centres. It seemed like rather cumbersome way of being Present, but I saw that I was much more often Present, using the old tools. I felt that I must be missing some esoteric point. I regularly called a friend who was one of Robert’s right hand men and the chief researcher, in the hope of revelations. But even he who had daily access to Robert and who orchestrated the research which proved the sequence, could not himself illuminate it; he recommended that I move to Isis and that then everything would then become clear.

Eventually I explained to myself that the Sequence was a sort of Prayer, a ‘tuning in’ to some heavenly music… Rodney Collin’s music of the spheres perhaps. I hoped that one day it would become a constant background to my life, a beautiful stream into which I could connect and reconnect.

I would try to do it, if it was not immediately musical or poetic or logical or resonant, surely this was just my own Lower Self rebelling as Robert had insisted it would.

In November I received a number of shocks at the same time.

Predictions and Photographs.
Robert sent a message asking me to apply for a religious visa and to move to Isis, because he predicted that the apocalyptic event of 2006 would actually occur at some point later that month. When called by a friend at Isis about an application I explained that it would be impossible for me to move so quickly. I had a child and no means to do so.

I sent Robert a note thanking him for his attention and received back the message from him that my King of Clubs and Lower Self were holding me back… and I cared too much about my child and my apartment in Amsterdam. Robert’s diagnosis was not particularly shocking or mortifying to me. I considered what he said and tried to find the truth in it. Yes for sure I was in my Lower Self most of the time, and yes I didn’t hold my work in great esteem, but on the other hand I didn’t feel especially pre-occupied with lower things; I was immersed in the three lines of work and had never given any energy to the acquisition of material property.

At that moment I couldn’t in all honesty find a way to agree with his diagnosis; if I was going to be struck by the magnitude of his insights that would happen later. In the meantime I trusted that he would forgive any temporary lapse on my part.

I asked other students what they thought of Robert’s words: some said that I was lucky to have received an invitation and attention from him; some assured me that my work was strong; others said that it must be a blow to receive such a strong, and by implication truthful, photograph.

During these conversations I registered that other students became very ‘sensitive’ There was a discomfort about the possibility that I might be ‘questioning’ Robert’s diagnosis; no matter how neutrally I presented the story they tended to pre-suppose that I was Negative or resentful about it.

But I was not upset, just curious.

During one such conversation a student MJ (who incidentally is very reserved and disarmingly beautiful) told us about a photograph that Robert had given her. She used to wash dishes in the Academy kitchen as often as possible so as to be closer to the heart of things. Her husband (who incidentally was an overtly sensual and extrovert type) saw her struggling through the task and massaged her shoulders in passing. Robert happened to walk through the kitchen, and a few moments later sent back a message to her stating that she was extremely lustful and that he did not want her to work in the Academy anymore.

Her story was well stunning. We sat there silenced for a moment; we did not allow ourselves to say his photograph was untrue, because we wanted him so much to be meaningful, yet we knew his diagnosis to be impossible, and his treatment of her so unfair.

I asked myself “Does Robert really know her? Does he really know me?” Quite suddenly a quiet space inside me had opened up in which it was possible to admit that Robert could not see things as they really were; that he could be wrong.

Expulsions
Cycling home one day MJ called saying that Charles and Angela Taylor had been asked to leave. Charles was a good friend, we had both joined in London, we had directed the centre in Hungary together. When I made my annual pilgrimage to Isis I would always seek him out, we would wrestle with the ideas and try to come to terms with aspects of Robert’s teachings which seemed obscure. He really wanted to understand, and his mental precision, his integrity, individuality and commitment had always been inspiring.

I called him immediately. He told me he had been called on Robert’s behalf because he had been attending meetings led by an Advaita teacher named Adyashanti who according to Robert was a “B influence virus” and Charles was asked to either stop seeing him or leave. Charles answered that he did not want to stop and was expelled.

In the past I would have wept when a friend left, and the friendship would have been over. Now there was just this ‘open’ state… There was no interruption from the usual tapes, there was no analysis of what must have ‘gone wrong’ with Charles’s work, and there was no attempt to justify Robert’s strategy.

In this new openness it occurred to me that the Fellowship seemed very much like a religion; Charles had been excommunicated. At the same time four other students had been asked to leave and Robert had requested that various people be ‘questioned’ and encouraged to inform on other dissenters. It was an inquisition; I felt surprised by this observation but not upset.

But I didn’t spend much time on pondering about Robert, what excited me now was the prospect that there might be another ‘way’ to awaken. Charles had said that Adyashanti was definitely Awake and that other so called Advaita teachers were emerging everywhere. They claimed that awakening was a very real possibility for every one.

Higher Centres revisited
Charles’ words prompted me to look back at my own success rate in the Work. I had had only two prolonged and miraculous Higher States in the school and both of these had occurred more than 19 years ago. Since then there had been Presence yes: a gentle state which was not coloured by imagination or identification or negativity, I nurtured in it every way I could; it was peace, it was relief, it was sanctuary compared to the panic and strain evoked by the brutal world. I had believed that it would eventually lead to those miraculous states for which I pined, but thus far it had not.

Being Awake though… having Higher Centres in operation was different from Presence. The first time it had happened for me in the School was about 21 years ago. One day while I was climbing the steps to my office everything sort of reeled inside me, Anna had receded, I could see my hand but it did not feel ‘mine’ anymore. Every footstep, that was taken was extraordinarily meaningful, and powerful and symbolic, all things and movements were connected, every action, every object no matter how mundane was alive and vivid and profound: turning the key in the lock, extending a finger across the keyboard; the dark dustiness of the passage to my room, a piece of litter… all these things were permeated with a kind of glory and a kind of silence.

Where had Anna been during this experience? I’m not exactly sure. My awareness seemed to have been coming from her but there was none of the usual ‘interference’ there had been absolutely no Negativity and no personal agenda at play; rather there had been total acceptance, total understanding, and all was imbued with this extraordinarily impersonal, yet gloriously powerful and intimate emotion.

This brief examination revealed two startling things. First of all what we called the Lower Self or the Lower Centres, clearly had absolutely nothing to do with Higher Centres, because once in Higher Centres they insignificant, irrelevant, of an utterly different Dimension, another World…

We had learned from Robert that ‘Consciousness had degrees’ and I had believed despite my own experiences that there was a gradual progression between the Second State (a characteristic of the Lower Centres) and the Third (a characteristic of Higher Centres). I had believed that if I made the right efforts my Presence would gradually and swell to become a full blown Higher State, to be Consciousness. However in reality this had never happened.

Presence was clearly just behaviour of the Lower Self, a pleasant one yes, but it was not the Third State and it did not ‘swell’ to become it; Presence was actually part of Sleep; Consciousness was a quantum leap.

I could envisage that the Second State had degrees if one measured it in terms of the level of Negativity circulating or the amount of Presence. Possibly also Higher centres had their own levels, I wouldn’t know. But clearly the one did not run sequentially into the other.

From this perspective the Sequence was absurd. Admittedly it was a way of marshalling the Lower Self and of quashing passionate outbursts (the Queen of Hearts) and other undesirable behaviour but it it’s usefulness stopped there. Its stated purpose was to prolong and deepen Presence. Perhaps it did prolong a certain temporal slither of the experience of Presence, but it also severely narrowed my experience of the moment, reducing it into a long, cold, disciplined line.

Most importantly I remembered that Presence serene though it could be, had not been my ultimate goal; Consciousness was. From this perspective any effort to do something different was simply tightening the grip of a ‘spiritual seeming’ version of Lower Centres.

I tried to think of an analogy and came up with this: Imagine that you are longing to go swim in the sea, you stand at the water’s edge and then instead of leaping right in, believing that it’s not possible to enter directly, you take six steps parallel to the waters edge, at each step you say something like: Splash, float, cool, refresh, cool, Splashhhhh…, believing that at the end of these steps you will be actually be in the water, but of course you are not… you remain on the hard hot sand, to get in would involve dropping the notion of a prescribed route there, and this would be ‘wrong’ it would be contrary to your teacher’s instructions, so you persist in walking next to the waters for which you long, step, step, step, step, step, step… perhaps you will feel disheartened and defeated and give up in the end, or perhaps you will continue for ever, eternally failing, eternally missing your goal.

At this point a second radical question presented itself: Was Robert actually living in Consciousness? Based on my experiences of it the Lower Self was so diminished as to be irrelevant… it couldn’t have expressed itself in large terms such as greed, or lust, or fear, or the need to protect and insulate oneself, it would not have required material comfort or impressions because in that state there were no requirements; all impressions were glorious, even litter, and dirt; all were right, all was perfect as it was.

I knew a fair amount about the ‘behind the scenes Robert’ because I had been in relationships with people in his entourage. Apparently in the 80’s and nineties he had been frequently depressed and negative, his energy was often very heavy. His state had dramatically changed when ‘the Russians’ joined his entourage; he had become electrified and invigorated and emerged from seclusion to begin teaching and travelling on a tremendous scale.

At the same time more and more items were arriving from my past and placing themselves in the foreground. First hand reports of his anger and his jealousy, his irrational rages, and punishments and banishments, orgies with young men who did not want them… Birthday treats of 60 men… and so on; they all arrived and settled in full view. The first time I heard these things I had not flinched; I had simply admitted that I did not understand them and re-focussed on ‘my own’ Work so as not to be pulled down by possible unpleasantness. But this time I did not change the subject…

It wasn’t that I was revelling in indignation or anything, in fact at the time, there was only one emerging memory that really hurt. It was the fact that Robert had said that he did not enjoy the meetings and the teaching events, and that he only did them so that he could be with the boys…

I did not feel much blame towards Robert for his behaviour. Was it possible that I had in some way been supporting it? When Robert expressed an interest in owls I would go out and buy an owl card for him, and send him owl quotations; I had wanted to attract his attention, had believed that if I had more exposure to him I would be more likely to awaken. I had arranged introductions of young men to him…

Robert’s assistants were very good at anticipating his needs, I knew because I had been married to two of them. The whole of his life was organised for maximum smoothness and efficiency. Perhaps they anticipated his sexual needs as well; probably to please him they devised new logistical methods to improve everything…

What really moved me now was the excitement of recovering Higher Centres. I immediately went out and bought an Adyashanti book. I liked it, the writer seemed Awake and informed and kind and clean; but the book was hard to understand… on this first reading I raced through it trying to find what he recommended us to do, he spoke about Higher Centres which he called ‘Oneness’, but he didn’t tell me how to get there… I wanted some concrete lessons, a formula, help.

TH and Truthfulness
At the end of November a newer student called me. TH was 19 and had joined six weeks earlier after reading In Search of the Miraculous. His mother was friends with a student who had given the book to him.

He said that something very strange had happened to him and he wanted to talk about it so I invited him over.

For about two weeks he would visit me daily. I’m not sure how to present the episode and do it justice. It shook up everything; it was brilliant, and sad.

He asked me how he had appeared at the centre dinner two evenings earlier. The conversation went like this:
“Did I behave normally?”
“Yes”
“Oh… It was very difficult to hold myself together, I feel as if I will fall apart at any moment”
“Why?”
“I was sitting on the train, and ‘TH’ disappeared”
“What does it feel like?”
“Now my consciousness is everywhere, some times it is outside my body looking at it from a different spot, and sometimes it is as big as the room or as a field, or as an ocean”
“Is it nice?”
“Yes, but I am surprised that I can still do things like walking and talking and just living, and I’m afraid that soon I won’t be able to, I have not been able to sleep”
“How long has this been going on?”
“Three days”
“How did it start?”
“I was doing the sequence”
“How long had you been doing it for?”
“About two days.”

As an Older Student I felt obliged to come up with some kind of explanation, some kind of advice. But I found myself quite unable to speak. I realised that he had gone quite beyond the realms on which I could theorize. After a long pause he asked me another question:

“Do you think everyone wants to Wake Up?”

“No of course not” I began answering “only very few people have magnetic centres… even then the magnetic centre would have to be mature enough. Believe me I am always on the look out for magnetic centres but in all my years of interacting with many, many different Life people I have never…”

I suddenly noticed my voice. It sounded awful, my words hollow and insubstantial, I just stopped speaking. After another pause I asked him “What do you think?” He answered:

“Everyone longs to wake up, they just don’t call it that. They long for better cars, or for more money, or for varieties of sexual experience, for security, or for awakening… it’s all the same”

His words were not like mine. They had a profound ‘truth’ about them, they did not carry the charisma of conviction, and they revealed mine to be just shallow opinions; ideas which I been able to believe in and which I had just repeated and repeated and repeated.

As he spoke I kept remembering Rumi poems; they seemed so relevant. Eventually I recited one and as the exquisite words emerged I felt almost as if in some strange way I was lying again. At the end he said quietly “Do you really understand the poem?”

I asked him another question. “At meetings, you had been asking about the 2nd conscious shock, what does it mean to you now?”

“It’s the heart” he answered.

When he left I was in a state of shock. It seemed that this boy had Woken Up, but the implications of this were phenomenal… I couldn’t begin to comprehend them… and he had only been in the School for six weeks…

The next day he came by again. I asked him what he had been doing and he said “de-contracting my heart”. I did not know what he meant but it sounded very familiar; just like in fact something that Adyashanti would say. Over the next few became clear that although he had never read Adyashanti he was what Adyashanti described, and other things.

I learned that he was someone who had a lot of ‘will power’, in the past he would go climbing in the mountains without equipment, and sleep without a tent in the snow. And he had been unusually persistent with the Sequence. Eventually I asked him if he thought Will was necessary for awakening and after a pause, he said:
“No. What you call Will is not Will for me. I could do those things because I wanted to, for other people they would be difficult because they do not want to do them.”

“The Will exercises about eating from the Fellowship were interesting for a while” he said and smiled “but not necessary”

“Ouspensky was mistaken about Will and many other things”

I asked him about Robert Burton.
“Something is very wrong with him” he said.

On another occasion he asked me “Is it necessary to have a Teacher?”
I began answering him with the usual tapes about needing someone who had already escaped to show one the way out… when again I was forced to stop myself in disgust at what was revealed to be my ‘lying’. After a while I admitted that I didn’t know. He said that perhaps different teachers were necessary.

Although he never at any point suggested that he was special or important, in fact he was adamant to the contrary, it did emerge that he had developed a number of ‘supernatural’ powers: he could see vast distances and ‘read’ people. He could also read and assimilate huge amounts of information in short periods of time. He knew or rather was things that Ouspensky and Colin had pointed at and could refer back to exact pages in their texts.

Yet the experience was becoming increasingly difficult for him.

When told him that I wished I could be awake as he was, he told me that I was awake, even if I couldn’t see it. He also said that he would never wish what he had on anyone; sometimes it was wonderful but sometimes it was terrible and it paralysed him with fear.

Over the two weeks he did in fact disintegrate outwardly. He stopped washing and gave away his money, his telephone and as many of his clothes as possible to poor people. He began running very long distances sometimes 50 km at a go. Although it was winter he would plunge in to canals, and he was at times frantically afraid of the experiences that were overwhelming him.

Strangely I was never afraid or repulsed by him, on the contrary I felt the most profound gratitude and awe; between bouts of fear he was so very pure and in his reflection I saw how very impure I had become.

Two Sundays later a stranger called me who had been sheltering TH after he had dragged himself out of a river. They asked me to come and pick him up from a spot fifty kilometres outside the city. When I couldn’t find him, I became very worried and called M, the student friend of his mother. I asked her if he had any history of mental illness. She told me absolutely not, and that he had been in every sense a normal teenager, albeit rather independent. I called his parents and ask them to help. Later that night he arrived on my doorstep stricken with terror. The next day he was taken away.

The Sequence, my Directorship, and Self Deprecation cease
I stopped trying to do the Sequence… Presence continued to arise, bursting through swathes of Imagination and Identification like balm.
All Self Deprecation ceased.

Christmas with the centre was very odd. I was the centre director but I had stopped believing in anything that was being said. I saw people talking about their verifications and knew that they, as I had, were actually talking about their beliefs. I saw students quoting poetry from Conscious Beings instead of expressing their own beings, I heard them using work language to fortify frailties and inconsistencies in their own limited understanding, but I couldn’t say anything. I saw them using classifications such as Body Types and Centre of Gravity to avoid experiencing more fully the wholeness that was before them. I saw all these things in myself of course too, but bit by bit these tendencies were dropping away in me, not because of any new found virtuousness or strength, but because I didn’t want them anymore. I had seen my lies and it was repulsive to reproduce them.

The most painful times were meetings. The quotations that we were forced to read were appalling. I allowed myself to register that exquisite pieces of poetry were in fact being butchered and moulded to fit the lengthy interpretations which followed them. The constant theme was the necessity of doing the Sequence. At the end of the Sequence was Divine Presence. If we did not do the Sequence we were in the grip of some scaly many toothed monster, images of which were projected onto a wall simultaneously. There were so many words to understand, so many complicated mental connections, so much Disbelief to Suspend, so much failure to separate from. The form was in itself confounding our attempts to simply be. Why couldn’t our teacher see this?

In January a friend in the Council called on behalf of Asaf. He had heard rumours about TH and wanted to make sure that there was no danger of the Fellowship being sued. I reassured him, but was struck by the implicit assumption that I would not find this question tasteless and cold. For Theo’s parents his apparent madness was a tragedy akin to death: their beloved son who had been musical, bright, self-disciplined, energetic and with a wealth of potentials ahead of him had been reduced to a silent almost vegetable existence.

A week later I resigned as director.

Preventative dismissal
Being free of the Director’s work load was wonderful. My domestic life was in a shambles there were business letters that had gone unanswered, and bills that had been accumulating interest for the entire duration of my directorship, there simply hadn’t been time. I took a rest from meetings for a while.

Concern for TH plunged me into reading materials that I had previously spurned as A and B Influence. I wanted to understand the relationship between what seemed clearly an Awakening and what also at least outwardly had deteriorated into madness. I read about Kundalini about Meher Baba’s Masts, about supernatural powers and about psychosis. I wasn’t able to come to any conclusions. TH became mostly silent and he stopped eating or washing without assistance. But in his lucid times he had never focussed on ‘himself’, there was no Narcissism, no hallucinations, no angels, no visions; for him it seemed the brilliance of the Real had been just too much.

My sister called me from Isis. She was worried; apparently two of my friends from Amsterdam had called her to find out where I was. As I told her about my new understandings and felt her stiffen.

I started to receive other calls from friends at Isis. They had heard that I was “having a difficult time”, I tried to explain that it wasn’t difficult but exciting. I tried to explain about the Sequence and was told that without doubt it was my King of Clubs and my Lower Centres that were resisting it. One person photographed me for using the word “utterly”; another sent me an exquisite poem from Rumi about not being troubled by doubt; but I wasn’t “troubled” I felt liberated.

Another Student asked me why I took the Sequence so seriously and that Robert would be sure to have another phase sooner or later. I answered that Robert was my Teacher and that he expected his teachings to be taken seriously, why else would he have a school?

They asked me how I felt about him and I answered that based on my own experiences of Higher Centres it seemed unlikely that he was living in them. Talking about Robert was challenging; I wondered if they would revere him so if they knew how he manipulated his entourage into compliance, if they knew how Negative he was in private. When I tried to describe this their voices became calm… and removed… it was as if somehow they equated me with the outrageous behaviour I was describing; as if I was somehow sentencing myself as dismissible.

“It is clear” one person said, “That Robert is no longer your Teacher, why don’t you just leave?” I was stunned at first by this, it was so brutal: how could I “just leave”; for 23 years Robert had told us that the Fellowship was our real family. My friends were all members… and we had an exercise not to speak to ex-students.

I began to wonder about Conscience. Ouspensky and Gurdjief had said that it was imperative part of Awakening, yet Robert had never spoken about it. Why? In the past I had always imagined that he considered us not ready for the topic, perhaps it was too ‘advanced’; perhaps we were too much under Feminine Dominance to understand it correctly.
Now it struck me that Robert was the one who had coined this term. It wasn’t in the workbooks. Other systems spoke of morality or socio-cultural conditioning. But they had never suggested that going beyond these things meant abdicating from goodness and kindness and helpfulness and consideration, these were different, they were not disposable. Perhaps Robert had quietly and gently become the predator that Gurdjief had warned about in those who didn’t develop conscience? And perhaps we had helped him.

But no matter what new picture of Robert was taking shape in me, it was a new excitement about Awakening that was moving me.

One day as I walked through the park chatting with an erstwhile friend I sense the greenness of the place gently pressing itself into view. An avenue of trees lining up in the corner of my eye… a fragrance, an attendant peacefulness…

I heard my friend saying “But don’t you find the thirty work ‘I’s useful at all? I mean take the ‘I’ ‘Walk’ doesn’t it help you to be Present now…”. I looked at her quizzically and without irony answer “No, the word ‘walk’ is not particularly magical to me.”

In that moment I realized that I had never ‘done’ Presence, it had always just ‘arisen’. I had never tried, the trying would come a split second after, Presence would be recognised and named and called my own and there would be a scrambling to prolong… which would obliterate it utterly.

Meetings with more remarkable men
One Saturday I bought a book called the Open Secret by an English Advaita teacher called Tony Parsons. It was short and I read it in one sitting. It was perfect; he described his first experience of Higher Centres, he called it ‘being realised in oneness’; It was joy, peace silence, complete aliveness, total acceptance, unconditional love. He explained that he knew immediately that he had done nothing to deserve this state and that it had simply happened to him. Later he had become permanently ‘realised in oneness’. He explained that any ‘teacher’ who claimed that Awakening was a process which needed to be taught by himself and learned by his students, must have his own agenda for doing so.

When I got home I found his telephone number in England and called him. An answering phone said “Hello this is the home of Clair and Tony Parsons, please leave your message after the tone” after some hesitation (he was a conscious being after all) I left my number. Tony called me back, he had a friendly, ordinary voice.

I told him that I had experienced ‘oneness’, but that it had not happened again for the last twenty years. I told him that for all this time I had been in a school in which we practiced Presence and strove to Awaken. I asked him why I had not succeeded, and what his secret was, I was desperate… what could I do…?
Nothing he answered, there is nothing you can do. You can’t find something which is already there. “But why can’t I see it; what is in my way?” When you were a baby he answered, you lived in oneness, but your parents and those around you called you ‘Anna’, they told you you were separate from everything else and eventually you believed them. As soon as you left oneness you felt the pain of separation and longed to return. “But how?” I pleaded, “How can I return?”
Everyone is longing for oneness he answered, but they project their longing onto other things: cars, money, relationships, being a spiritual seeker… it is the seeker in you which is standing in your way.

A few weeks later I went to visit my yoga teacher, although she was busy she squeezed me in between two of her classes. I asked her if she was religious in any way. “Yes, I suppose I’m a Christian.” I asked her if she went to church… believed in Jesus and the bible. “Oh no” she answered. Well what do you believe in then? “Love” She answered. What is Love for you I asked. “Interest” she replied.

In February I received two messages from Robert. In the first he said that it was my King of Clubs and my Lower Self that were resisting the Sequence (this was a similar message to the one he had sent when he heard that it was painful for me that he was having sex with my husband). In the second message he sent me his love.

Is Robert interested in me? I asked myself, or is he simply attempting to align me, with the minimum possible personal involvement.

A farewell
Just before the end of the month I stopped all payments to the Fellowship. I could not bear to pay Robert another penny.

I did not feel anger towards him; I did not know who he was really. It was as if he had been some type of mirage. My teacher had been a dream, the sum the sum of my projections, my hopes and hopefulness.

I knew that he was not awake, but could not imagine him to be particularly malevolent: deluded seemed to be a better word, and hadn’t we all supported him in his delusion?

On May 28th I finally read the Sheik’s first report on the Fellowship. On May 29th I left.

One of my friends wrote to me and said how could you have left your friends of 23 years? I told her that it is so clear that if there is any leaving to be done it will be they who leave me.

It has not been as difficult as I imagined. There has not been as much shunning. Those of us who leave now are lucky.

And what about the work? There’s a certain type of certainty now that nothing can be done. The beautiful things like Presence simply arise, because we want them to; the ugly things I try not to avoid. Occasionally I force myself to read the blog; it is both wonderful and harsh.

For while I was surprised to hear Robert described as ‘evil’; I maintained the idea that we his students had been equally to blame. But two weeks ago I watched ‘What the Bleep do I know?’ The narrator explained that what we perceive in the present is collected from memories from the past… there’s that moment when you see a Shaman standing on the beach perplexed and looking out across what for him is a vast and empty sea. In reality a fleet of armed ships are looming over his cove; but because has never seen a ship before these are invisible to him…

And I know that I have been Naïve. Shards of anger cut through my day.

Consciousness… Oneness, of course is something else. The search for it was the beginning and perhaps the end of all this. Knowing and almost accepting that Anna can do nothing to achieve it has been so very liberating and so very humbling.

If there is anything to be done I suspect it will have something to do with the heart, with grasping for that fine thread of conscience that might have been lost… and with holding on to it no matter what; with allowing that organ to breathe again, to bound back from poor to pure.”

54. Ames Gilbert - October 22, 2015

Thanks, Tim, for reposting Anna’s words.
I agree with you, some of the finest, most meaningful and most heartfelt words on the blog.
If the blog were to close down this very moment, that would be the perfect requiem.

In many ways, though it goes up and down then up and down, my personal feeling is that the blog is rather past its prime.
I certainly believe that it has little to no effect on present members, the majority of which are happy with their faith–based religion, the Church of Robert Burton. Reason appeals to one part of the psyche, faith appeals to quite another.
Maybe the blog helps some people to heal, but I’d guess that its most useful function nowadays is to warn some seekers off the Fellowship of Friends, and a static website might serve that purpose more efficiently (100% signal, no noise). Tim’s website comes much closer to doing that, IMO: http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com

I’m starting to pay more attention to the offshoots of the organization, the ‘next generation’, the recruiting efforts of people like Asaf Braverman. And I’m thinking that the blog is not that effective when warning about or criticizing his numerous websites, or those of Benjamin Yudin, Gilbert Moore, William Page, and others of that ilk. So I’m experimenting with something different, and maybe something will come of that.

55. Thomas judd - October 22, 2015

Anna post while compelling and extremely well written, maybe it’s just me but when someone freely admits to sending lambs to the slaughter without statements of remorse……

56. Cristalclear - October 22, 2015

Tim 52
I can not say I know Anna,I met her on three different occasions and know something about her story in the fellowship.
I have read the post before,it really takes you through her personal process of leaving “the school”.
It’s interesting to see how our single experiences can be similar and very different at the same time,how difficult can be the process of unraveling all the knots.
I know she had to go through a lot and I’m really glad she was able to escape after so many years.

57. Cristalclear - October 22, 2015

Ames 54
There is a conversation going on on the Italian blog “Il Credino” about Asaf Braverman and his school on line.

58. Cristalclear - October 22, 2015

Ames 54
I read the posts on “Il Credino” and I have to agree with you , it is difficult to shake people when they are content with the things they want to believe.

It would be very useful to warn possible victims about this “new generation”of scums that are burton’s offsprings ,but they have so many names and forms, it becomes difficult to keep up with them and people who don’t know about the fellowship can be easily confused.

I also have to accept the fact that the blog seams to be on a descending path at the moment and maybe doesn’t have the energy to help people heal anymore.
When a conversation becomes a monologue, it gets a little difficult to unravel any doubt or question you might have.
I’m sorry I arrived to late for that, but I’m even more interested in exposing burton asaf and others of that ilk and I hope you will find the right way to do it, if the blog is not sufficient.
Thanks for everything you have done

59. Ames Gilbert - October 22, 2015

Thanks, Cristalclear (#152-57 ota),
I studied a few semesters of Italian, but that was a long time ago, but luckily there is a Google Translate button up at the top to help me.

Further down the home page, there is a link to a hilarious site, which hosts a New Age Bullshit Generator:
http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/
Each time one clicks the “Reionize Electrons” button at the top, it generates a new page with fresh insights.
This is much higher level stuff than Asaf or Burton produces, and it’s free!

60. another former student - October 23, 2015

another former student

re: Ames 54

Hey it’s been eight good years and probably has reached and helped many, but I’d say this “octave” has successfully run its course.. Be good to close it down and be thankful that the Sheik got it started.

61. ryanopoo - October 23, 2015

#60….A malodorous shill methinks.

62. Bryan Reynolds - October 23, 2015

54. Ames Gilbert – October 22, 2015
Personally I think there are a lot of people out there who have something to say and choose not to. Not sure why. I do not want to assume I know why people read and post. As for the http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com It has great content but I for one could not figure out how to post to it.
Bryan Reynolds

63. linda - October 23, 2015

Don’t post much and wrote this before the latest postings which I have not read yet … but here goes:

50 cc It is special that you and your husband are still together despite the school – someone who has shared all the good and bad times. I also joined with my husband but our relationship didn’t survive living in the centre in London. He was asked to leave the school and I left the UK to open a new centre in Denmark. We did meet up again though many years later when I returned to the UK and we still talked about Gurdjeff’s teachings. I do not have any anger anymore – in fact my anger was towards Burton and not the teachings – I realised fairly early on that I was meant to be a part of that journey of finding out what was not a real school and even moving country – if I had not, I would not have been in Copenhagen which remained my home for 20 years and was where I found my new path with UNICEF (through a chain of ‘cooincendences’ ? magic ? all related to Gurdjieff and his teachings. I travelled the world and have seen humanity at its best and worst and I have always tried to be present and practice some of the teachings of The 4th Way. I still do today, now retired and back home. The problem was and always has been is that Robert Burton is not a true teacher and has perverted the teachings…. which leads me to:

52. Tim- thank you so much for sharing Anna’s post. No, I didn’t know her – I don’t think there was centre in Amsterdam at the time. It is beautifuly written and I tend to agree with a lot she says about Burton having “quietly and gently become the predator that Gurdjieff had warned about in those who didn’t develop conscience”. And, yes, that we maybe have played a part in supporting his delusions but we are more awake now and trying to warn those who are still doing it – even now when his depravities have been exposed by so many. We are the lucky ones.

The link to Anna’s letter led me onto earlier parts of the blog and then to the beginning so it ended up to be quite a marathon of reading. The memories came flooding back … some good … some bad and quite shocking ….. I remembered that I suffered from bulimia whilst in the school … it started with the new rule of NO EXERCISE (1980)…which didn’t combine well with the amounts of rich food and good wines being served every day… I kept it well hidden and now I remember it, I realise that it was the beginning of my journey out of the school.
One thing I memorised from those days, and is what I try to start my day off with, is a quote by Marcus Aurelius …

“Every day think steadily as a Roman and a man, to do what though hast in hand with perfect and simple dignity and feeling of affection and freedom and justice … and to give thyself relief from all other thoughts … And thou whilst give thyself relief if thou doest every action of thy life as if it were the last, laying aside all ………..”

I will leave it up to you finish it while I continue to catch up on the blog. Please let me know if there are parts I should look at more than others – the suggestion so far is to read Parts 1 and 2, then 13 and 14.

64. Cristalclear - October 23, 2015

Bryan Reynolds 62
Just like you,I believe there are people out there who have something to say,and personally (and selfishly) wouldn’t like to see the blog come to an end.
From my short experience,I have to say that posting here can be a bit scary , because of the criticism you can possibly receive,but it surely gives everybody a chance to re-elaborate their personal journey in the fof.
I hope new and old posters will continue to share what they have to give with us.

65. linda - October 23, 2015

Maybe the octave is ending for some but only beginning for others

66. James Mclemore - October 23, 2015

Cristalclear –
A few posts back you said, “..a few questions are still bothering me: why did I join?why did I stay?what did I gain or loose in the process?why am I still angry?

Those are really good questions that, in the end, can probably only be answered by oneself. By that, I mean simply that our own life unfolds in a manner that has never happened before to anyone else. Just like the pebbles on the beach or snowflakes – no two are exactly alike. The answers will be slightly different for all of us. All I can offer you is just a few results of my own investigation into those same questions.

Just a few points of view on why we might have joined and why we might have stayed for a while…………..

We were all seekers of some sort. Even before joining the FoF we had probably already become what is known as a “spiritual seeker”. An innocent longing that can become easily misled because we really didn’t know exactly what we were looking for and more importantly we did not know who “we” were. When we joined the FoF we immediately met a whole bunch of other people who were also longing for something. It might have felt very good and almost a relief to finally be around “like minds”. There were some great people with nothing but good intentions that I met there. Burton appealed almost immediately to the narcissist that resides in all of us to some degree or another. Burton sold us a feeling of being very “Special”. A part of that “Specialness” was that we were far, far different than almost anybody else on the planet Earth. We had a magical “magnetic center” and were, at the very least, beginning “Men Number 4”. Our “specialness” included that we were no longer strongly attached to those “lower” “A Influence” things. We were above all that materialistic stuff. We thought that our “longing” was “special” and did not see that the longing for money, or for a special relationship/soul mate, or for just the right occupation in life, was actually, at the bottom, the very same longing, just expressed differently. We were told that we were a “select” group of people that were now passing beyond even those “B Influence” things that probably brought us there in the first place. I mean, how “special” was that!!
We probably did not even notice when the true scientific examination of an idea or concept was replaced with a strange belief system. It was kind of like the con man’s “bait and switch”.
One of the first ideas that was presented told us that we had a “lower self” and a “higher self”. This “lower self” was described, you might say, as kind of like the Devil. This “lower self” would try to impede and stop all of our efforts to try and reach “Higher Centers”. Burton always reminded us that we needed to make more and more and more efforts to defeat this “lower self”. Once that idea was taken in by the mind, a division was automatically set up. A part of our mind was now fighting against both itself and the body; a body that supposedly held a boogie-man, who was some kind of monster called “The King of Clubs” that was explained as being something that actually resided somewhere inside of our very own body.
It looks to me now, that once a small part of the mind has begun to fight both against itself, as well as that most innocent part of the us, the body, well…., the mind has then begun a war that can never, ever be won. It is endless. However, that war, once it is engaged in, will certainly keep you quite busy for a while, especially if it is thought of as being some kind of a “Holy War”.

p.s. – There has been quite a few times over the years where there were posts saying that the blog is almost over and finished, or that it has become too negative, or out of date etc, etc. Yet…., at least for today, it is still here.

67. Cristalclear - October 23, 2015

Linda 63
I’m glad you have found a new path in life that works for you,and I hope you will continue posting on the blog ,while you are catching up on the old posts, which IMO are very interesting.
I spent a whole year reading old posts and I think it is better if you read them on the blog, to follow the dynamics of the conversation,but if you want, there is a link at the top of this page called “it speaks for itself”, that contains relevant comments.

The fof affected our lives in many different ways,and relationships became really challenging;you had to confront your bulimia,others had problems with alcohol,others …with burton.
I understand very well that reading old posts by old friends can be shocking and bring back painful memories,it was the same for me.

Reading Anna’s post brought back a memory of a warm summer night in Tuscany…a beautiful ancient house in the country with painted ceilings and marble floors.
I stand at the bottom of the garden facing the house and I feel happy because I am with my friends,and we are surrounded by little flickering lights,hundreds of fireflies moving in the grass.
A perfect moment in time.
Then Robert arrives,I look at him from afar, I see a beautiful young girl in a white dress and a some handsome boys.
They appear as if they are on display for us to see, to show how powerful “the teacher” is.
I feel uneasy,I turn my face to the garden and follow the little lights that are glowing in the dark.

68. Tim Campion - October 24, 2015

63. linda,

Your experience delving into the early pages of the blog is the primary reason I used a link to direct others to Anna’s post. Unquestionably some of the most remarkable exchanges took place in 2007, when the blog was being discovered by so many, and the Fellowship was experiencing a massive exodus. And reading posts in the context of those exciting times is very interesting.

55. Thomas judd,

A point Anna makes, and something I personally experienced, is that in the Fellowship, conscience (as commonly understood) is stifled, and (as Ames has often reminded us) even considered a weakness by Burton.

To varying degrees, followers mimicked the behavior of a psychopath. It takes time, perhaps many years, to undo the influence of that spell. Anna’s statement appears to be just the beginning of that process.

For me, “remorse” came decades later, when I began to learn of the Fellowship’s dark secrets, and realize my own complicity in the fraud.

57. cristalclear,

Thanks for pointing out the Il Credino discussion concerning Asaf Braverman and the Fellowship’s online school.

Another former Fellowship member, Claudio Albanese, is mentioned in the comments. Is this his “Fourth Way school”?.

(By the way, you can contact me through the Greater Fellowship site if you’d like.)

62. Bryan Reynolds,

The REB blog was not intended as a discussion forum, but a blog which primarily gathers and organizes previously posted/published material into an historical timeline. (There is of course some editorializing!) That said, like WordPress (the host of this blog), Google’s Blogger (the REB blog host) does allow comments. However, as you’ve discovered, Blogger’s comment submission form is less “user-friendly” than WordPress’. If you need help commenting on the REB blog, or wish to discuss a post for that blog, you can reach me through the Greater Fellowship.

54. Ames Gilbert

Ames, thanks for your continuing support of this blog, and the REB blog. I look forward to your new project focusing on Asaf et al.

69. Tempus Fugit - October 24, 2015

“52. Tim Campion – October 21, 2015
Of the over 40,000 comments on this blog, this post by “Anna” is one of the most beautifully written and compelling that I’ve read.”

Thanks Tim, for linking to Anna’s eloquent statement. I had not read that post for a long time. To me it speaks well to the grief many of us felt discovering that Burton and the FOF are a lie, and years of our life were spent supporting a fraud. At the end there’s also a hint she was beginning to get in touch with her anger about being deceived and used.

A little ways down on the same page is this great, previously re-posted account from “Life Person,” who eloquently expressed the incredulity and anger that comes when the whole sordid mess is finally seen for what it is:

https://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-16/#comment-4335

As for:
60. another former student – October 23, 2015

You bother to post only to say that posting should stop? Please, how pathetic. FOF shills in the past at least had a little sophistication!

I think this blog has plenty of life left, as long as people need help and others are willing to give it.

All of you have been tremendously helpful to me. Thank you!

70. ton2u - October 24, 2015

The document here may be of interest to some… or not:

http://www.docs-library.com/doc/1/3/mystical-secrets-for-manifesting.html

71. Cristalclear - October 24, 2015

James 66
Thank you James many things you describe are similar to my own conclusions.
We were “seekers” of some sort, many ideas were truly appealing, we met great people that shared the same
interests , the same longing for something unknown and the feeling of being “special”was very captivating

My questions come mostly from the fact that I had strong feelings about something being deeply “wrong” with reb and his teachings from the very beginning ,but I joined anyway.
The first question we asked ourselves after the third prospective meeting was:”Is it a cult?”
Despite that, we joined because we thought it could do no harm,we could leave at any moment and the people seemed nice.
And it was true in a way,people were sincere (most of them )and committed and we could leave at any moment,if we wanted to.
But here comes the problem, to leave becomes more and more difficult the more you get involved.

The “work books””were very fresh in my mind when I joined and many aspects of the teaching didn’t match very well
with “fourth way”‘s ideas.
We couldn’t verify anything we were told about reb ,it was all faith based
C influence was a completely different concept
The fourth way suggested to observe the “machine”,not to change it,
and I could make many similar examples.
The ideas were twisted and distorted to fit reb’s delusions
The more you stay ,the more confused you become and you can’t really express your doubts because,if you do you will be shunned… so you stay longer…
It’s like a mind trap
When you finally leave it takes some time to sort things out.
I don’t like to think back at the fact that I have supported reb with my money and my efforts, leading prospective meetings and putting bookmarks in O&G books so now I feel I have at least to try and warn others not to fall into the same trap.

72. nigel of wales - October 24, 2015

…from “Psychology Today”

Sex and the Psychopath

Why so many fall for psychopaths, and how they can begin to heal.

Posted Oct 07, 2014

Source: gpointstudio/Shutterstock

By definition, the psychopath doesn’t have successful relationships. Actually, the truth is more about capacity than quality. With the psychopath, there is an absence of emotional connection and true empathetic feeling. The psychopath simply isn’t capable of trusting and depending on another individual. To sit with them and assess them as I have in forensic settings, it’s as if you’re talking with someone who’s part ice. Though they engage in sex (and other trappings of relationships), their experience of sex is vastly different from their non-psychopathic peers.

First, let’s quickly review the most disturbing traits of the psychopath: According to the Antisocial Personality Questionnaire (Blackburn & Fawcett, 1999), primary psychopathy is characterized by hostility, extraversion, self-confidence, impulsivity, aggression, and mild-to-moderate anxiety. Though the psychopath may commit illegal crimes, a psychopath can go through life wreaking harm on others and yet never commit an actual crime. The traits of the psychopath are deeply troubling when applied to sex and relationships.

Sex is never a mutually emotional experience with a psychopath.

Conventional wisdom suggests that sex should be an emotional and intimate experience. Think of any popular ballad on the radio, and you know what I mean—songs about idealistic, perfect love in which both partners love and trust, and make love until dawn because their emotional connection is so strong. Simply put, a psychopath would be the last person in the world to have that kind of lasting, sustainable connection. Psychopaths are chiefly oriented around getting their most important needs met, regardless of the expense to others.

Because psychopaths don’t have mutually dependent and respectful romantic relationships, they can’t have a healthy sex life, either. The psychopath is often a pro at seducing and getting someone into bed, but the process is more a calculated game than an organic emotional—and then sexual—experience.

What turns on the psychopath?

The psychopath is sexually motivated by power—everything is a means to an end. If having a sexual relationship with a woman means that she will then trust him more or give him more money, he will perform the sexual task with Herculean bravado. Some of the women I have worked with who have gotten involved with psychopaths actually share how amazing sex can be with them.

How could this be so?

Like much of their behavior, psychopaths have mastered the art of performance. They perform in areas of their lives most people wouldn’t even imagine—saying “I’m sorry” with the right sensitive tone, having seen an actor do it really well in a movie; professing love as if the world were to end the next day, reminiscent of lyrics from a popular song; and always dressing the part wherever they may be, understanding that image and first impressions can lure others into their lair. When it comes to sex, psychopaths perform, too.

The psychopath who seeks to drain the bank account of a vulnerable but wealthy individual will have as much sex—or provide the best sex possible—if it helps him or her achieve that goal. Similarly, another psychopath who has sexual urges seeks a willing partner on whom to force himself and have sex as rough as necessary to discharge the dysregulated, hostile energy.

Promiscuous behavior, and multiple short-term relationships.

The psychopath frequently engages in promiscuous sexual behavior or has many short-term marital relationships, both items on Robert Hare’s seminal Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (1991). Ali and Chamorro-Premuzic (2010), for example, found that primary psychopathy was positively associated with promiscuity (e.g., psychopathy meant more promiscuity) and negatively associated with commitment (e.g., psychopathy meant less commitment).

Psychopaths don’t engage in promiscuous sex because they love sex so much; it’s more about boosting their ego when they feel rejected, obtaining power, or defending against the boredom psychopaths often feel. Plus, sex—especially with a stranger—allows the psychopath to get incredibly quick access to another person at their most sexually intimate and vulnerable. Because psychopaths constantly have their eye on a goal, getting someone in a vulnerable position allows them to take more advantage of them. If someone is lonely, they may be more susceptible to the sexual advances of a psychopath—even if their instinct tells them something about this new person seems off or, as is sometimes the case, they seem “too good to be true.”

(the site contains more…)

73. Bryan Reynolds - October 25, 2015

46. Associated Press Oct 19

After watching the Asaf Braverman video. To me it not surprising that they would come up with something like this. Even in the seventies there was no structure or curriculum as such. We were expected to kind of make it up as we went along. If you were having a hard time understanding Ouspenky or Gurdjieff no problem try Whitman or Rilke. Pick what appeals to you and mash it together. This was fresh when Ram Dass and Stephen Gaskin did it in the early 70’s. I can picture them putting this together and going “how about a fake Russian/Gurdjieff accent?” Brilliant! Or what about astrology ? I’m a Virgo etc. Several words to sum up. Embarrassingly pathetic, painful and lame. Bryan Reynolds

74. ryanopoo - October 25, 2015

I recall a telling comment made by Conscious Bob to a close confidant of his, around the time that Richard Busby was making his story known.

Bob apparently said and I have no reason to doubt the source;

“Anyone in the Ming House after midnight is fair game.”

That’s a student he’s talking about.. maybe your husband or son…..fair game – a chicken or wild animal that’s there for him to trap and torture.
If anyone is in doubt about the predator mind set, how he actually thinks about his darling students, you might do well to ponder.

75. Cristalclear - October 25, 2015

Tim Campion 68
I wasn’t sure if you were asking me a question about Claudio Albanese because it was a link .
Yes,this is part of a blog La Quarta Via :Punto di Partenza” where you can find something more.

http://www.gurdjieff-quartavia.com/search/label/Quarta%20Via

I don’t know if you and Ames are interested in Italian scums,but if you are, there are a few more around.
Patrizio Paoletti is quite popular, he started putting bookmarks in G&O’s books a long time ago,I think I found some in the 90s.
He is hiding behind other labels,communication,education even yoga,
but “ex students” in blogs describe his “school” as similar to the fof.
He started a Foundation now,the school was called S:A:C:S:A:U

http://www.sviluppoarmonico.it/attivita-e-seminari/risveglio-interiore/

I’m not sure he has a direct connection with the fellowshipf,but Albanese was a member and so was Salvatore Brizzi, mentioned on “il Credino”,he founded his own “school”

A honorable mention goes to this group
http://www.hke.it/enneagramma-di-herskovits/

His founder was in my center when I joined and left shorty after (in all he stayed less then a year) I saw him on national television in the 90’s talking about a method he had created called Herskovits Enneagram,based on 7 types, 4 centers and an alchemy(how strange)
He claims to have discovered this method “in a Tibetan monastery where it was used as a scheme for the monks dance.”(quote)
He claims the method allows you to understand people’s personality in ONLY TWO MINUTES. (quote)
I didn’t know I had visited a Tibetan monastery!

What a jerk! He was one even then,but he surely learned from burton how to be a complete fraud.
I was stunned, especially because he is selling seminars about this crap to University’s students for 4 or 5000 Euro and promises them jobs they will never get, as experts in human resources.
My daughter is studying at University now and I was outraged when I found out about him on a site she often visits called Studenti.it
I really wish there was a way to expose these frauds.

76. ryanopoo - October 25, 2015

Had to laugh looking at the first shot of, “The Be Pyramid”, Strikes me as Asaf Braverman’s attempt, to scoop up all of Conscious Bob’s Rhino droppings, stick it in the blender with the 4th Way and hey presto, “A New Muddle of the Universe”, if you missed the video, check out, #46 Associated Press above.

There’s Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and Rodney Collin.and somewhere hoovering above them must be Bob and Assup bringing it all up to date in the tradition of, The 4th Way…

Wait up now, let’s look at this tradition;

Ouspensky denounced Gurdjieff and warned everyone that the mischievous Armenian was incorrectly crystalised, Later abandoming the 4th Way, something he’d cobbled together from Gurdjieff’s teaching. He definitively announced, “We tried it, it does not work”
His group continues at, Colet House in the beautiful building he used to occupy just around the corner from Barons Court tube station in Hammersmith, London, it’s called, The Study Centre or The Center for Non-Duality.

There’s Gurdjieff who said Ouspensky was, “nice to drink vodka with, but a weak man.” never had a system, said he offered, “A compendium of methods”. His peeps started the Gurdjieff foundation and far as I can tell are building the equivalent of a Cathedral for Gurdjieff.

Rodney Collin, Ouspensky’s pupil, hard to say. Don’t mean to cast aspertions, but he died falling out of a bell tower in Mexico. Seemed sincere to me, but caught up in the 4th Way, Holy Grail delusion. There may be some straggling remnants of a group in Mexico.

Then there’s a few fringe crazy groups like the Fellowship of Friendsthat sprout up. There was James Randazzo, a student of Conscious Bob, he’s in jail now I believe, then there’s conscious Bob and Braverman.
Bob should have been sent to live by the sea a long time ago for his own good. He’d be happy with a knotted handkerchief on his head, counting the waves in multiples of three and ordering them, “Back”.

Braverman, seems happy in his, “folie a deux” – soon the madness for two will be all his.

So, there’s no “Tradition” of the 4th Way, just in case you’re looking for one. The “Be” pyramid video above, is an invitation to work with others in a shared psychosis. for the benefit of guess who?

77. ton2u - October 25, 2015

@ 74
“Bob should have been sent to live by the sea a long time ago for his own good.”

More importantly, for the good of others, you know, people like us, the unsuspecting who might wander into his snare.

The ‘game’ burton et. al. play, is based on and relies upon deception… self-deception, deception of others.

Speaking of “the grail” this comes to mind:

“…when a man lies he murders some part of the world…”

78. Ames Gilbert - October 25, 2015

Ryanopoo (#152-74 ota),
along the same lines, when I was in the throes of leaving and no longer was ‘giving a damn for the consequences’, I summoned up the courage to ask some questions of those who knew more than I did. Several people formerly close to Burton mentioned that he had told them, “Influence C provides these young men as a reward for my hard work”.

!!

It is true that I don’t know much about any of the later cohorts of young men known by some as, “Robert’s boys”; some of them may indeed have hidden depths of character. I base my opinions about them on what I observed (in my day) appeared to be common weaknesses of character. As far as power is concerned, I try to avoid being pedantic and claiming that all healthy relationships are based on exactly equal power, but I do claim in my own experiences and from what I see around me that any imbalance can’t be too extreme, or at least manifest too extremely, if the relationship is to be healthy. For example, males are stronger, on average, than females, but males generally agree (and manifest) to not rape their partners, don’t they? But, one could ask, what is happening in a stable submissive/dominant relationship? I’d say is that it is healthy if there is a negotiated agreement, including freedom to leave with no physical or psychological consequences; unhealthy if not. It’s a big subject, with lots of shades of gray.

I do think that overcoming the reluctance of straights is part of Burton’s power play and adds to the thrill of conquest. In the general population, some sex partners voluntarily use an aspect of this (mock rape, bondage, role playing) to add an extra layer of erotic excitement. For this to work, there must always be an infallible “out”, that is, the trust that the “out” (for example, a ‘safe’ word) will be honored. But, I don’t believe that there is any prior agreement in the case of Burton and his ‘boys’, and I never heard any evidence of an “out”.
I use the word satyriasis in my posts as a sort of reminder, because amount is indeed an important indicator, IMO. Satyriasis is a mental illness, and combined with narcissistic personality disorder, makes a potent combination. This is a difficult area, because who can help being mentally ill? But, that certainly doesn’t excuse the behavior, whose consequences are unacceptable. And it certainly doesn’t excuse the condoning of Burton’s behavior by his enablers, or worse, the feeding of his needs and excesses, or writing off the damage as merely collateral.

79. ryanopoo - October 25, 2015

Ames you are entirely correct about Bob’s diseased belief, that a band of disembodied poets and painters provide him with scooby snacks, er sorry… people, as sex gifts and toys.

There is a post somewhere back along the line here, where someone recounts the story of travelling with Burton. Carlos C at one point says he no longer wants to have sex with Burton, to which he responds, “You are a gift to me from C influence, take two weeks off” He definitely believes that people are gifted to him to possess, seduce and use for sex until he’s bored.

Anna’s post reminded me of the story of Bob’s Valentine Day blow job marathons, apparently after each munchkin in the parade has been molested, he offers them a chocolate from a heart shaped chocolate box, only one. It sends a neat message that sucking them off is equal to one candy for him. Bob gulps down the equivalent of a whole wine bottle of semen on Valentines Day. I’m broadminded, but sorry that’s kind of creepy.

Bob believes that C influence sends him snacks, sexpresso is or was one of his funny euphemisms, but sometimes the angels tease him, like when his predictions for mass extermination don’t come when he says. He has to hunt the prey down maybe, or give them illegally prescribed Viagra when they go all hetero on him.

Heard the story of a recent departee from the compound. He’d been around for a couple of years without being devoured and was finally given the ultimatum. Get a good job and make teaching payments or have sex with Bob. Nice choice, job and pay Bob or 100 bucks a week on salary as paid prostitute for Bob. I believe he left.

Another someone I know has returned expressly to get money for sex.

Conscious Bob wakes each day and gets a hard on just from being Conscious Bob. He intones his sequence and is stunned by his own conscious magnificence, then gets hornier than a hound dog, all day.

Business as usual in, Neverland.

80. Tim Campion - October 26, 2015

ryanopoo,

Were you referring to this post by “foolofit”?

On the same page, also see this earlier comment by foolofit, “a night guard for 8 years at the galleria.”

81. ryanopoo - October 26, 2015

No not that one Tim though like Conscious Bob, it’s a cracker. I think it’s from around that period. If I have a moment outside of time I’ll look for it.

Bob likes to load up his bus with six or eight boys and go shopping. Reminds me of an alcoholic who has to travel with a six pack. It’s a story from a journey along those lines. Unless you mean the story of Richard Laurel, he’s the one prompted Bob to pronounce that anyone in the Ming House, (the house where he lived) after midnight, was fair game.

There’s so much back in the annals of the blog that would make a sane persons hair curl. What manner of mental gymnastics must a person perform to be present to all that and ignore it at the same time?

82. ton2u - October 26, 2015

@ 78 Ames, thanks for another thought-full post.

re: “common weaknesses of character” – what we all have in common here is that we were fooled by ‘conscious bob.’ No doubt about it, the FOF was, and is a ‘ship of fools’ – actually more of a raft… nevertheless, perpetuation of the FOF depends upon an available and ready supply of fools to support burton’s follies. We all were fools of one sort or another – stupid, naive, gullible, silly, unreasonable, stubborn and steadfast, unbending, arrogant, vain, etc… all “weaknesses of character” – one no better than the next… and sadly, all together adding up to complicity in floating the FOF boat.

The good news is that change is not only possible – it’s inevitable… some catch-on to the fact sooner, some maybe later.

83. ryanopoo - October 26, 2015

It begins to become apparent that Conscious Bob has lost a wingnut, that his behavior is that of a sick, broken person, now having trouble remembering all the weird shit he’s said for decades.
Bob’s puerile fantasy, the conscious prophet who always gets it wrong seen in light of his slavishly obsessive recreational activity is no longer plausible, try as you might, you cannot stretch the elastic band of the mind any further around the incongruities and obvious absurdities. Round about here, there’s a creeping feeling that Bob and the Followship are toast.

It’s hard to accept at first that the Fellowship really is a crazy little doomsday cult and nothing more, Harder still to accept that you’re in it, maybe have been for decades, expressing your tacit approval with every dollar you forked over, heart and soul in the hours you labored to enable a crazy man in his delusion.

Ouspensky said,”Conscience cannot grow in restrictive groups”. Not that I’m a fan of Ouspensky any more, the Fourth Way reads like a bunch of whack-a-doodle to me these days. But when you get out of the very restrictive Fellowship of Friends, run by a whacko with no conscience, you begin to regain integrity and conscience.
The battle of nothing with the evil, homunculus, king of clubs lurking in your intestines has been won. You can divide your attention long as you want and it’s free.
It may take some time to fully register that it really was you, the chosen one, getting shafted while you shafted yourself in a cult. No longer a man number four point eight, head full of Rhino poop. But you’re out and it feels good to reclaim your life and know it was not entirely defined by Burton’s madness.

Short pee, Hold, Clench Buttocks, Fart, Clench buttocks tighter, Long pee.

Ooooh, it works when you know how to use it.

84. Just the Facts Ma'am - October 26, 2015

71. Cristalclear
‘The more you stay ,the more confused you become and you can’t really express your doubts because,if you do you will be shunned… so you stay longer…
It’s like a mind trap’

What you describe is what some of us, once in Fellowship of Friends (FoF), at one time called ‘Catch 44.’ This is a play on the phrase: ‘Catch 22.’ Here, copied/excerpted from Wikipedia, is explanation of: ‘Catch 22’ [especially good for non-english as primary language readers]:

“Catch-22 is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953; the novel was first published in 1961. It is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. It uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from the points of view of different characters. The separate storylines are out of sequence so that the timeline develops along with the plot.

The novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944. It mainly follows the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th Squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they may return home.

The novel’s title refers to a plot device that is repeatedly invoked in the story. Catch-22 starts as a set of paradoxical requirements whereby airmen mentally unfit to fly did not have to, but could not actually be excused. By the end of the novel it is invoked as the explanation for many unreasonable restrictions. The phrase “Catch-22″ has since entered the English language, referring to a type of unsolvable logic puzzle sometimes called a double bind. According to the novel, people who were crazy were not obliged to fly missions; but anyone who applied to stop flying was showing a rational concern for their safety, and was sane.”

So, in this regard, ‘Catch 44’ means a double bind double bind. (That is not a typo, nor are you seeing double.) ‘Catch 44′ means you are caught coming and going by your circumstances. There is no escape from the mind trap. And, in FoF, you are double bound twice over, hence the 2 x 22 = 44. But, as additional meaning, the ’44’ of the conscious beings are holding you in your place in FoF and on the ladder of evilution as practiced by conscious Bob’s school. Even the term Catch 44 has, at least, a double meaning in it.

Get out while you can, or die trying. Otherwise, you are damned if you do, and, damned if you don’t, stay associated with the Fellowship of Friends, Robert Earl Burton, Asaf Braverman, and company; the evilution rape factory in Oregon House, California, and its associated centers throughout the world.

A bit Kafkaesque, no?
Explanation of: ‘Kafkaesque’ [especially good for non-english as primary language readers] copied/excerpted from Wikipedia:
“Kafka’s writing has inspired the term “Kafkaesque,” used to describe concepts and situations reminiscent of his work, particularly Der Process (The Trial) and “Die Verwandlung.” Examples include instances in which bureaucracies overpower people, often in a surreal, nightmarish milieu which evokes feelings of senselessness, disorientation, and helplessness. Characters in a Kafkaesque setting often lack a clear course of action to escape a labyrinthine situation. Kafkaesque elements often appear in existential works, but the term has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical.”

85. nevasayneva - October 26, 2015

I thought there were maybe more than one mind control techniques at work in FOF I suppose “electric fences” for the mind. Some I see discussed here, some never seem to be discussed, off the top of my head I think of the following things which keep FOF members thoughts and behaviors along a beaten track:

1 ) Bodytype/centers of gravity model of human behavior.
There was a rather amusing article recently about the Myers-briggs model of human behaviour, also a “typing” system.

I was surprised to find out that it had just about as much background is just about as arbitary and mumbo-jumbo as the body type /center of gravity system the FOF uses. These systems can be used to verify or not verify just about whatever it is you want to verify or not verify. Very handy.

2) The whole wizard of Oz/mystical teacher business- you can never really verify how conscious he is because he limits access to him sacred presence very tightly. A whole group of peoples career in the FOF could be characterized as spending money and trotting about to get close to him. That can be a 24/7 effort.
This article is not about this but it is a good read about a much much much more influential teacher who created a cloak of mysticism around himself.

http://blog.longreads.com/2015/10/08/the-teachings-of-don-carlos/

3) The whole thing about impressions/king of hearts – seems like FOF thinks that they cornered the market in that area.

4) Kind of similar, but the heavy emphasis on the Arts and importance of the Arts in FOF, at least lets say pre-1920 or so Arts. I think this is also used to keep the flock on the straight and narrow.

5) the Conscious 44 and all those quotes. Well I suppose the 44 are demoted quite a bit and are no longer what they were. But all these quotes are used to condition the mind to thinking that the full weight of several religions as well pretty much any eminent philosopher who ever lived give their stamp of approval to FOF and their direction or lack of direction. This occurs at meetings and pretty much any FOF gathering. I suppose it would be called indoctrination. Another way of trapping the mind. Just reading more can help in freeing the mind from that one. There is quite a bit out there that show that the 44 and many of the other eminent philosophers quoted in FOF were solid atheists

http://www.amazon.com/The-Portable-Atheist-Essential-Nonbeliever/dp/0306816083

86. Cristalclear - October 26, 2015

84. Just the Facts Ma’am
I am familiar with the term “Catch 22″( and with the novel) but I had not heard of the term “catch 44″before.
Great definition and great explanation,thank you
.It perfectly applies to the kind of mind trap I was talking about
and the coincidence with robert’s 44 friends makes it even better.

We probably experienced many different Kafkaesque situations wile we were in the fellowship, until we reached a breaking point, realized we couldn’t take it anymore and left.
The Kafkaesque situation that kept people in the fellowship has now become more similar to a horror story or a hardcore movie,
judging from what I read in ryanopoo’s posts.
More grotesque than Kafkaesque. Horrible ,cruel and remorseless.
Everybody now has the opportunity to know what kind of monster RB is,thanks to the blog and the people who had the courage to share their stories,and there can be no more excuses for supporting him.

87. Bares Reposting - October 29, 2015

Page 4/#193:
“Vena Says:
March 26th, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Re: coot #178:

“But, Robert behavior overwhelm Teacher – much larger scale (number of male students, most not homosexual) than people here may suspect. With those who seem stable, and with those who seem not so. Often, after in FOF only short time. RB may not true homosexual, indicates to many that real gender is female. (But also does not like female).”

From “Gnosis” by Boris Mouravieff,(Vol.III, Chpt XXI, page 205):

“Besides the positive types of allegedly polar couples we have just studied, there are other types of partial, negative polarity of a pathological nature. ………..”

“As long as the two partners are alive, their activity is limited to the horrors of the crimes which fill the forensic news. But, in certain cases, the discarnate woman survives after death and takes on the demonic form of a succubus. The man, who is still alive, then combines the presence and strength of the two Personalities in his being… The total assurance he has of himself then doubles his strength, which becomes demonic.”

“This type represents the pathological phenomemon of the negative androgyne. Through a large usurpation of dual sexual energy, a black androgyne of this kind becomes extremely strong and wicked.”

I don’t take all of this strange and interesting theory as accurately describing RB but he is definately controlled by his passions and is absolutely indifferent to the suffering he causes others in his relentless efforts to satisfy those passions.”

Succubus:

88. Bares Reposting - October 29, 2015

Page 17/#383:
cyclops
on 05 Aug 2007 at 12:49 am

“Dear confused.
burton is taking advantage of your confusion in order to gratify his lust.
Dont be confused about this any longer! many of us have been exactly where you are now and as soon as you deny him you will be excreted. And he wont send you a christmas card, you will be dead meat to him. There are much better ways to get to the same state. He may be present a lot but its not in higher centres If you get deep enough inside your own conscience you will see this.
You could also try having someone push nails into your hand or having sex with a goat, Im sure it would create the same state for you, its also doing what the machine doesnt want to do, but you can see that it would be a stupid way to go …..you can ….cant you? jeez I hope you can.
run like hell the succubus is sucking on your soul.
love to you unconditionaly. Cy”

Page 18/#282:
Ames Gilbert
on 12 Aug 2007 at 7:01 pm

“The recent post about Burton’s breath smelling of sperm reminded me that I had my own ideas about why Burton has so much sex (and what invisible energies, if any, are connected with the large quantities of sperm he ingests, and what control he has over those energies) around the time I got the Big Boot in 1996. So, I made a mock-up of a “Dear Abby” column, which I didn’t share then, but I will now, seeing it is a Sunday, and any readers are hopefully mellowed out and open to the off–beat. Is there any truth buried in the (alleged) humor?

(The heading was:)
_____________________________________________
Dear Abby Answers from way, way out there in ‘left field’…

“ …a certain degree of goofiness is the legitimate excretion of mental activity. However, what follows is patently ridiculous, and Abigail van Buren in no way condones this kind of drivel. In fact, she disassociates herself from it entirely. Stand by for a lawsuit!”
______________________________________________

Dear Ames,
I really enjoy stupid questions. They give me a chance to shine!
In answer to your question, “What is Robert’s purpose in having so much sexual activity?”, I have two theories to offer.

Theory 1
Robert is gathering energy from every source he can to try to break through the barrier of Kundabuffer. He believes that if he can break through it by force, he can gain access to energies (on a scale that can destroy planets) of world 6 that he does not have legitimate access to. The two main sources of energy, in addition to his own legitimate access to world 12 energy, are these:
Firstly
He is presently attempting to concentrate the power of haverno, by acting strongly to ensure obedience and belief and a more complete subscription to his world view or vision. This energy comes from students who supply it in three main ways:
a) they wholeheartedly subscribe to Robert’s vision, and give various grades of energy in the form of adoration, obedience, or abdication of responsibility or will. The main energy they give him is their birthright of creative energy, but there is also a substantial contribution of the energy of fear.
b) They are disillusioned, and abdicate responsibility in the form of blaming him. They also give him creative energy, thought energy, and fear.
c) They may not knowingly do either of the above, but are still unwilling to take personal responsibility for their part of the tragedy. Thus they still give Robert energy, the energy of thought.
Secondly
He is also gathering sexual energy, and somehow accumulating it for a giant blow against the barrier. Have you noticed that the general sex exercise serves to concentrate sex energy? This is especially significant in young males because they are more likely to be enticed to give him the surplus energy (hey, even the army knows how horny young males can turn to each other for relief!). Robert gives them permission to have sex only with him, and uses fear and domination to prevent them from ‘wasting’ the sex energy elsewhere.

Theory 2
Not necessarily in conflict with theory 1. This one says Robert is actually possessed (he himself has mentioned his inability to control his appetite. Some students who have had sex with him have photographed a sense of his helplessness). He has given in so heavily to self–indulgence that some (malevolent?) energy has taken advantage of his weakness. The succubus (which may indeed have the energy/manifestation of a minor goddess) is drawing this huge amount of sexual energy to itself for its own purposes. This implies it cannot get that energy by other means. In return, it feeds Robert with certain powers of its own and with pleasurable illusions. And, the succubus/Robert combination may be trying to break through the barrier (establish local godhood, or climb higher in the ranks of gods).

In answer to your second question, “What karma is involved in the relationship between Robert and his students?”, I’m sorry to say the news is bad, so brace yourself.
Here is the answer in a nutshell. There is one Robert. There are presently 1800 people who give him energy of one kind or another. There are probably 10,000 people who have or have had some kind of involvement with the Fellowship. Thus, the ratio of responsibility is many thousands to one, though there may be different scales karmically. Sorry’ but neither the passage of time nor physical movement from the vicinity diminish this karmic connection. Only those who have discharged their full responsibility for the results of their actions can be free. The first step is to recognize exactly what has taken place, and admit full responsibility. The second is to start discharging your personal responsibility, by studying then acting to regenerate the situation. If you want to do advanced work, I suggest you study the idea of transfer of merits. Work to discharge the obligations you have incurred. And, don’t buffer. Heavy stuff, huh?

Ames, I hope these ideas help you. I had an awful lot of fun making them up, so thanks for the inspiration!
Warm regards,
(signed) Abby
Abigail van Buren

P.S. Ames, the law of three wishes applies to questions, too. Think before you ask. Do you really want to know the answer? Beware the situation which leads to the question, “How can I get back to where I didn’t want to know anything?!”

That was from 14 years ago. As an aside, there is a fascinating theory that may connect with all this, proposed in the book, “Thinking and Destiny” by Harold Percival. I briefly summarize: it says that if groups of humans set up ‘belief fields’ about an entity, they actually start to create it. For example, the tribes of Israel set up the entity “Yahweh”; their belief set this local god in motion, and the power of this god waxed and waned with the strength of their belief. If it became strong enough, a local god could take over other local gods and become a regional god; this happened frequently in the Greek and Roman civilizations. And, some gods could become entirely forgotten, and lose all their power. An interesting extension to Gurdjieff’s ideas about ‘haverno’, the power of kingship, huh?

With love to all, ‘in’ and ‘out’,
Ames”

Page 58/#87. lauralupa – December 9, 2008
“YB 72
Thanks Baba,
how timely! I am really grateful you stepped in to fill my niche market. I think you will do very well.
In fact, judging from my personal experiences, women over 35 seem to be the strongest demographic segment within most of the spiritual and self-exploration groups out there. it’s really sad to see some of theses ladies (among them a few old friends, although luckily most have gotten out by now) still follow a misogynist, sick, heartless, deeply anti-female sexist teacher such as Burton. Maybe a Witch, possibly a Succubus, surely a Queen, but definitely NOT a Goddess in a man’s body!”

Page 100/#47. Wouldnt You Like To Know – February 21, 2011

“27. Golden Veil – February 18, 2011:

‘How does he sleep at night?’

The point is, he does not sleep at night.

Here is the theory:
For man 5, 6, 7, consciousness shifts over from being weighted in the first and second states to the other end of the spectrum of being weighted toward the third and fourth states of consciousness. Although, it is said, that states are additive, that is, second state is added to the first, and third added to first and second, etc., a conscious being spends less and less time in first state and more and more time in higher states. I hope this paints the picture.

In the subject’s case, they do not enter first state easily, or for too long, for various reasons, not the least of which are: obsessive-compulsive behavior where the bed clothes/linens must be ironed and intentionally used even when in first state, old age and perhaps a bad conscience (if there is one), and at night, while others are asleep (first state) and inhibition are compromised, the subject is busy preying on the unsuspecting vulnerable targets of the rampant sex addiction (satyriasis), where the objects are heterosexual men, in order to suck their penises to ejaculation.

This information could be dated with respect to the subject person, given that they are now somewhat seriously ill. I am not in a position to know at this time, but that is the way it was.

The above describes the covert mode of operation but there was also the less covert, as well: the large dinner/sex parties that, for instance, took place once or twice weekly in Oregon House, or on the road somewhere, and especially on such occasions as St. Valentine’s Day or his birthday. Once one was initiated by the covert or not-so-covert process, you are sure to be invited as a regular participant at the bacchanalia.

Yes, at its worst, it could be called succubus in a man’s body – sexual vampire.”

Page 123/#80. WhaleRider – August 9, 2012

“Someone:
Thanks for posting your story.

It seems to me that from your viewpoint the Nazis weren’t all bad either. Some where excellent engineers, creating great cars and fast airplanes.

It’s what those in power did with the cars and airplanes that was criminal.

IMHO, the same goes for the FOF.

Sure, it engineered a “nice” environment, with “nice” impressions and attracted “nice” people, “living a simple life” with “no financial worries, access to culture, nice women from different cultures and…no shortage of romance…”

It’s what those in power do with the product of our labor that is criminal…all engineered to feed burton’s insatiable lust and delusions of grandeur…while exploiting nice, well-meaning people like you.

For what? So followers can end up fucking themselves or worse..hanging themselves?

Despite what I may have enjoyed myself doing in the FOF prior to being asked to “snuggle” in his bed, as he put it…all that nicety very quickly became a living abusive nightmare for me when I finally saw what was behind the veil of smiles and hugs…a self-serving succubus…the engine of the rape factory.

Not only are there shades of grey between black and white…there is always more than what meets the eye, my friend.”

89. nigel from wales - November 1, 2015

From Abracadabra to Zombiest

“A delusion held by one person is a mental illness, held by a few is a cult, held by many is a religion”. –(source unknown to me)

“The term ‘cult’ expresses disparagement and is usually used to refer to unconventional religious groups, though the term is sometimes used to refer to non-religious groups which appear to share significant features with religious cults. For example, there are some who refer to Amway and Landmark Forum as cults, but I think the term is best reserved for groups such as Scientology, the Order of the Solar Temple (74 suicides in 1984), Heaven’s Gate (39 suicides in 1997), the Raëlians, the Urantians, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation program, the followers of Sathya Sai Baba or Prem Rawat, and the group that followed the Rev. Jim Jones to Guyana where more than 900 joined in a mass murder/suicide ritual in 1978.

Three ideas seem essential to the concept of a cult. One is thinking in terms of us versus them with total alienation from “them.” The second is the intense, though often subtle, indoctrination techniques used to recruit and hold members. The third is the charismatic cult leader. Cultism usually involves some sort of belief that outside the cult all is evil and threatening; inside the cult is the special path to salvation through the cult leader and his teachings. The indoctrination techniques include

1) Subjection to stress and fatigue
2) Social disruption, isolation and pressure
3) Self criticism and humiliation
4) Fear, anxiety, and paranoia
5) Control of information
6) Escalating commitment
7) Use of auto-hypnosis to induce “peak” experiences

[Kevin Crawley]

Of course, there is a positive side to cults. One gets love, a sense of belonging, of fulfilling a special purpose, of being protected, of being free from the evils of the world, of being on the path to eternal salvation, of having power. If the cult did not satisfy needs that life outside the cult failed to satisfy, cults would probably not exist.”

90. Parson Yorick - November 2, 2015

From #88 above: “That was from 14 years ago. As an aside, there is a fascinating theory that may connect with all this, proposed in the book, “Thinking and Destiny” by Harold Percival. I briefly summarize: it says that if groups of humans set up ‘belief fields’ about an entity, they actually start to create it. For example, the tribes of Israel set up the entity “Yahweh”; their belief set this local god in motion, and the power of this god waxed and waned with the strength of their belief. If it became strong enough, a local god could take over other local gods and become a regional god; this happened frequently in the Greek and Roman civilizations. And, some gods could become entirely forgotten, and lose all their power. An interesting extension to Gurdjieff’s ideas about ‘haverno’, the power of kingship, huh?”

I’m not familiar with “H. Percival” but this sounds something like Rupert Sheldrake’s “morphic resonance.” (See his book titled “The Presence of the Past.”) Yes, it’s a fascinating theory, but then, if I’d ever had a lick of sense about stuff like that, I’d never have joined the FOF.🙂.

91. nigel from wales - November 2, 2015

…from “Full Gospel Businessmen’s Training”

(need we sometimes look at ourselves and what led us to a cult?)

“The Eight Most Common Characteristics of a Dysfunctional Family

Far from the idyllic families that were portrayed on radio and television fifty years ago, families that are depicted in media nowadays are more realistic, in the sense that they often exhibit characteristics of dysfunction. While the term “dysfunctional family” is thrown around somewhat carelessly nowadays, there are certain hallmark characteristics of dysfunctional families that are common. Does a family that has one of these characteristics automatically qualify as “dysfunctional”? Of course, it depends on the severity of the problem and the way in which it cascades to cause other problems. Here is a list of some of the most common qualities of a dysfunctional family.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #1 – Addiction

One of the most prominent characteristics of a dysfunctional family is addiction on the part of one or more of its members. This addiction need not be to drugs or alcohol, but it typically manifests itself by making it difficult for family members to communicate, and may affect the family financially. Typically addiction is a problem suffered by the adults in the family, though adult children and teenagers may suffer from addictions in various forms.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #2 – Control

Another hallmark characteristic of dysfunctional families is control. Control means that one member of the family exerts his or her will on some or all of the other family members. This may manifest itself, for example, as a husband not permitting his wife to see male friends, or as a parent not allowing their child to go to reasonable school events, such as football games and dances. Control usually occurs from spouse to spouse or from parent to child in a dysfunctional family. This control usually results in emotional “stunting” and may make people feel as if they are not entitled to an opinion or to a life of their own. Control may be overt, or it may be in the form of causing people to feel guilty for wanting to “step outside the box.”

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #3 – Unpredictability and Fear

Unpredictability and fear are two common signs of a dysfunctional family. Typically, fear results from the unpredictability of a single or multiple members. This may be unpredictability with regard to financial matters, emotional state, or reactions to novel situations. This affects a family by making its members fearful of the actions of a single or multiple members. Typically an adult plays this role, and may be a spouse or parent.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #4 – Conflict

A more obvious indicator of a dysfunctional family is conflict. While a certain amount of conflict is expected in a normal family, constant, heated conflict is not. If a serious argument erupts over slight misunderstandings on a frequent and unyielding basis, there is a good chance that there is a certain level of dysfunction within the family. Likewise, undertones of conflict and resentment can also be an indicator of a dysfunctional family. The conflict may also take place in passive-aggressive terms. Conflict may occur between any member of a family, and affects the family by increasing tension and resentment among its members.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #5 – Abuse

Abuse, whether physical or emotional, is another characteristic of a dysfunctional family. The way in which abuse affects a family is obvious, as it punishes and diminishes a single or multiple family members. Abuse typically occurs from one spouse to the other, or from a parent to a child. Sometimes children also abuse each other, whether through physical or emotional means.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #6 – Perfectionism

Although it may not seem to be a characteristic of a dysfunctional family, perfectionism very much is one. Perfectionism can be a reflection of unrealistic expectations towards other family members, and may also be an indicator of the areas in which the perfectionist family member feels that he or she is inadequate. Perfectionism may result in low self-esteem in other family members, and may be self-perpetuating. Typically, perfectionism occurs in parents towards their offspring.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #7 – Poor Communication

Poor communication is another hallmark of a dysfunctional family. Communication may be strained, ineffective, or nonexistent. Family members may have difficulty communicating their wants and needs to other members, which can result in misunderstandings and little self-expression. Poor communication often occurs throughout the entire dysfunctional family.

Dysfunctional Family Characteristic #8 – Lack of Diversity

A lack of diversity in a family is a sign that a family may be dysfunctional. Diversity, in this instance, refers primarily to differences in interests and beliefs between family members. If all of the family members share the same interests and beliefs, there is a high probability that one member of the family is acting to control and manipulate the others. An example of this would be several children from a family that all have the same interests and aspirations as one of their parents. A lack of diversity usually occurs in families where there are children, though some people may be emotionally quashed in romantic relationships to the point where they adopt all of the interests of their partner.”

92. Bryan Reynolds - November 2, 2015

People who are in the FOF or people who are considering joining
Might do well to examine possible assumptions they may be making.

Are you assuming?
1. People in nice clothes who drive expensive cars could not be involved in a cult.
2. You will receive personal instruction that will help your development.
3. Programming yourself to be aware will lead to creation of being.
4. The promise of safety or salvation is not just an appeal to your greed.
5. That you are considering others when the whole orientation is on your self.
6. That other students are working with knowledge even though things are never really explained.
7. That dropping names of great people in the past somehow gives the group credibility.
8. Of all of the many people who have left after having a negative outcome that your experience will be different.
9. That if you decide to leave at a later date you will not experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, isolation, fear.
Bryan Reynolds

93. nigel from wales - November 2, 2015

94. nevasayneva - November 2, 2015

# 92
good list.
I would add
10) That you are free to leave whenever you wish without any censure or disapproval from other members.
and even
11) That you have finally found a group of people that you can communicate with and understand you and the craziness of the world.

95. GoldenVeil - November 3, 2015

The description “Doomsday Cult” has such a crass ring to it… but it has been an apt description for “Living Presence” aka “The Fellowship of Friends.” How many times, what are the dates, and what are the kinds of apocalyptic catastrophes that Robert Earl Burton has falsely predicted over the decades? There are a few of those! I wonder, will his impending death be an apocalyptic catastrophe? It will be for him, personally…

A friend recently brought to my attention this online article about the “Benjamin Franklin Effect.” Near the end of the article there’s a description of the role of cognitive dissonance in the ability of an another “Doomsday Cult” to retain its members ~ after an end-of-the-world prediction didn’t come to pass as the cult leader said it would.

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/10/05/the-benjamin-franklin-effect/

The similarity of the above referenced false prediction to the many made by Robert Earl Burton to the Fellowship of Friends members has me wondering ~ are he and the other cult leaders making these predictions because they’re schizophrenics who hear voices ~ and are charismatic types that attract believers?

96. nigel from wales - November 3, 2015

this is from an older email I sent to Steve …..

There seem to be two – almost – parallel, streams on the blog…..those who want to delve deeper into the “Conspicuous Mess” that is/was the Fellowship of Friends and those who think that a ‘re-run’ over the FOF experience is going to bring healing. What is needed is a complete transformation of character AND THAT CANNOT HAPPEN BY CONTINUALLY SCRATCHING A WOUND. I think it was either Buddha or Mandela who stated…..

“Feeling resentment and wishing revenge is like taking poison in the hope it will kill your enemy”

97. WhaleRider - November 3, 2015

Nigel:
Scratching a wound…

You might also think about it like having the difficult job being curator of the holocaust memorial museum…only for cults.

Recounting the experience has to hurt in order to break through the walls we erect that shield us from the suffering of others.

But it’s not about pain, it’s about pathos.

Be thankful it’s not you, just a part of you…the humane part.

http://nyti.ms/12qbiRE

98. ryanopoo - November 3, 2015

“Preacher and evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping has announced that Jesus Christ will return to Earth this Saturday, May 21, and many of his followers are traveling the country in preparation for the weekend Rapture. They’re undeterred, it seems, by Mr. Camping’s dodgy track record with end-of-the-world predictions. (Years ago, he argued at length that the reckoning would come in 1994.) We’ve yet to learn what motivates people like him to predict (and predict again) the end of the world, but there’s a long and unexpected psychological literature on how the faithful make sense of missed appointments with the apocalypse.

The most famous study into doomsday mix-ups was published in a 1956 book by renowned psychologist Leon Festinger and his colleagues called When Prophecy Fails. A fringe religious group called the Seekers had made the papers by predicting that a flood was coming to destroy the West Coast. The group was led by an eccentric but earnest lady called Dorothy Martin, given the pseudonym Marian Keech in the book, who believed that superior beings from the planet Clarion were communicating to her through automatic writing. They told her they had been monitoring Earth and would arrive to rescue the Seekers in a flying saucer before the cataclysm struck.

Festinger was fascinated by how we deal with information that fails to match up to our beliefs, and suspected that we are strongly motivated to resolve the conflict—a state of mind he called “cognitive dissonance.” He wanted a clear-cut case with which to test his fledgling ideas, so decided to follow Martin’s group as the much vaunted date came and went. Would they give up their closely held beliefs, or would they work to justify them even in the face of the most brutal contradiction?

The Seekers abandoned their jobs, possessions, and spouses to wait for the flying saucer, but neither the aliens nor the apocalypse arrived. After several uncomfortable hours on the appointed day, Martin received a “message” saying that the group “had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.” The group responded by proselytizing with a renewed vigour. According to Festinger, they resolved the intense conflict between reality and prophecy by seeking safety in numbers. “If more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly, it must, after all, be correct.”

When Prophecy Fails has become a landmark in the history of psychology, but few realize that many other studies have looked at the same question: What happens to a small but dedicated group of people who wait in vain for the end of the world? Ironically, Festinger’s own prediction—that a failed apocalypse leads to a redoubling of recruitment efforts—turned out to be false: Not one of these follow-ups found evidence to support his claim. The real story turns out to be far more complex.

What Festinger failed to understand is that prophecies, per se, almost never fail. They are instead component parts of a complex and interwoven belief system which tends to be very resilient to challenge from outsiders. While the rest of us might focus on the accuracy of an isolated claim as a test of a group’s legitimacy, those who are part of that group—and already accept its whole theology—may not be troubled by what seems to them like a minor mismatch. A few people might abandon the group, typically the newest or least-committed adherents, but the vast majority experience little cognitive dissonance and so make only minor adjustments to their beliefs. They carry on, often feeling more spiritually enriched as a result.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2011/05/prophecy_fail.html

99. ryanopoo - November 3, 2015

After Unconscious Bob’s most recent failed prediction, he confided to a friend of mine that he felt like he’d been thrown on the scrap heap. He told others when asked why his prophecy had failed that, C-Influence were teasing him.

Some justifications I’ve heard from those who stayed after 7-800 people left are;

It works for me,
It’s not perfect, but on balance, the good outweighs the bad,
You ex-students only focus on the bad things.

All I can say is, if institutionalized abuse works for you, you’re in the right place.

100. Cristalclear - November 3, 2015

Pathos,empathy,understanding,being able to sense other people’s emotions are an essential part of the human nature and the lack of it is a typical feature of psychopaths.
Describing humanity as “sleeping machines” was a very useful tool to use, to separate “Us” from “them”and even to separate oneself from the “evil machine “that was keeping you asleep.
In spite of the name “fellowship of friends”people are taught to be selfish from the very beginning,to care only about personal evolution, personal gain,personal work.
A friend leaves,he’s not your friend anymore,he’s not real anymore and so is his suffering,and that makes it a lot easier for everybody.
Your family is suffering? Who cares, they are machines. Humanity is going to be canceled from the face of the earth,but we are going to survive,so who cares, they are just machines.
If you stick to this mentality you will soon find yourself estranged from the rest of the world,a selfish, lonely human being.
What kind of “evolution” is that? What is “consciousness” without a conscience?
To depict the” lower self “as evil, is also very useful to keep you under the spell, because you learn not to trust the part of you that can sense
there is something wrong,the gut feeling that suggests you to run for your life.
So I thank my Lower Self everyday now,for helping me escape this madness.

101. nigel from wales - November 4, 2015

RICHARD Burton, perhaps the greatest British-born, English-speaking actor, gives a powerful explanation, of GREAT MAGNITUDE…..

102. GoldenVeil - November 4, 2015

New movie recommendation, streaming now on Netflix:
“Manson Family Vacation”
No, the Griswolds are not in this movie! If you like enigmatic, quirky little films, this is one. I liked the film. It’s applicable here, in a way, if you know about the Manson Family. One of the most infamous cults of all time that, like the Fellowship of Friends, was born in California. What is similar betwixt the two cults? Both have charismatic leaders and utilize mind control techniques and perpetuate an atmosphere of cognitive dissonance. Both male cult leaders gathered a group of followers to have sex with them and said that only by remaining with the group would their followers escape an end-of-the-world scenario. This clip IS NOT from the film, but is an excerpt from an interview.

103. nigel from wales - November 5, 2015

I wondered about WhaleRider – what he had experienced. I wondered about those, surrounding other folk, those who seem in a polar depression to me, and issue forth about it and what they had experienced. This week, I went VERY LOW – over money and trying to deal with deadlines (yes! I am not always the happy space cadet).

However, I have the greatest team of ‘social workers’ (psychiatric/OT) in Wales that was never there for the 24 grueling years in Exeter. People ‘in the profession’ here actually care. I am doing a 6-week course, in conjunction with a book …..

“Self-Management of Long-Term Health Conditions” – “A Handbook for People with Chronic Disease” … (excerpt)

“Nobody wants to have a long-term illness. Unfortunately, many of us will experience chronic illness during our lives…..You can’t avoid managing a chronic illness in some way. If you do nothing but suffer, that is a management style. If you take only medication, that is a management style. This book presents a third possibility. You can make a positive choice to be an active self-manager. ACTIVELY PURSUING YOUR OWN WELL-BEING IS A HEALTHY WAY TO LIVE. This book puts forward suggestions for action to support you in your decision to do so.”

P.S. There is no individual author cited, but it is published by Bull Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado, USA

104. nigel from wales - November 7, 2015

As we approach, what I now dread, 11/11, why poppies are sold and why humanity never learns from the past, because inhumane acts can still be glorified, I hear the end of Wilfred Owen’s poem…..

The old lie;
Dulce et decorum est,
Pro patria mori.

…..it always brings to mind a class I ran for a Northern German, Micha (Michael Portas), for him to make an 18 ct gold wedding band for his wife, Ana. Obviously, talk turned to WWII, and the evil Herr Fuhrer. It may not be well known, but towards the end of the war, the Germans were just as willing to be rid of Mr H.and the Nazi regime as were the allies, to avoid a reign of terrible darkness in Europe. Micha was a Martial type and an electronics/mobile phone inventor who refused to sell designs to be used for military purposes (mostly wanted by the Americans). How many other people would have sold out instead of being a harbinger of peace? As he said goodbye, I was reminded of, perhaps the only, memorial poetry that meant anything to me…..

“Easy days of peace may come and go,
And tide and time may drift us far apart;
But you who shared our savage yesterday
Shall have the highest places in our heart.”

105. nigel from wales - November 8, 2015

…apologies to Klein and Hoffmann; I think some wiseing up is necessary, by at least a few!

You’re not a kid anymore
You’re not a kid anymore

When people ask of me
What would you like to be
Now that you’re not a kid anymore
(You’re not a kid anymore)

I know just what to say
I answer right away
There’s just one thing I’ve been wishing for

I want to be Bobby’s boy
I want to be Bobby’s boy
That’s the most important thing to me

And if I was Bobby’s boy
If I was Bobby’s boy
What a faithful thankful boy I’d be

Each night I sit at home
Hoping that he will phone
But I know Bobby has someone else

Still in my heart I pray
There soon will come the day
That I will have him all to myself

I want to be Bobby’s boy
I want to be Bobby’s boy
That’s the most important thing to me

And if I was Bobby’s boy
If I was Bobby’s boy
What a faithful thankful boy I’d be
What a faithful thankful boy I’d be

106. invictus maneo - November 9, 2015

to 99 ryanopoo “After Unconscious Bob’s most recent failed prediction,…”
Which one was that? There have been so many wildly failed predictions, going back so many years, who can keep track? I’m well out of the loop regarding what happens at codependent heaven.

107. Bryan Reynolds - November 9, 2015

On Commitment: More usually people tend to see ‘commitment’ as something very personal, emanating from within. Psychological research would show that it can actually be engendered and maneuvered from without. Hans Toch, in The Social Psychology of Social Movements.

108. jomopinata - November 9, 2015

107/Bryan Reynolds

http://bit.ly/1Mk7Aew

109. jomopinata - November 9, 2015

Commitment and Consistency:

http://bit.ly/1MGYNT6

110. nigel from wales - November 9, 2015

111/112 jomopinata/110 Bryan Reynolds

Both these articles seem to relate to the ‘social animal’, the ‘non-extraordinary entity’. Do we assume that the same modes of thought can be applied to those whose commitment is to innate skills or qualities (what used to be called ESSENCE in FOF talk)? I would suspect that for them, their lifetime commitment is a sheer ‘labour of joy’. Bryan actually makes it clear there is a difference. I shall try to read Hans Toch.

111. nigel from wales - November 9, 2015

It is a pity you cannot copy and paste from the book by Hans Toch. I sense he is another Girard Haven, taking the precept that “Robert Knows Best and All”, then making as much historical crap as possible fit into a book full of pages. I am not going to bother with it – I will stick to reading and writing poetry.

112. ryanopoo - November 10, 2015

“……….The celebration was somewhat marred, at least here in the U.S., by a leading Republican candidate for president, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who confirmed a statement he’d made in 1998 — that he believes the Egyptian pyramids were grain silos, not tombs.

The collective reaction from archaeologists and historians, who have command of literally centuries’ worth of research into the artifacts and literature of the ancient Egyptians, is… Wait, what now?

Carson said in his 1998 talk at Andrews University, a Seventh-Day Adventist-affiliated university, “And when you look at the way that the pyramids were made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for various reasons. And various of scientists [sic] have said, ‘Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that’s how, you know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you.’”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2015/11/05/archaeologists-to-ben-carson-ancient-egyptians-wrote-down-why-the-pyramids-were-built/

Republican front-runner for president. Does he have the sequence too?

113. Bryan Reynolds - November 10, 2015

109. jomopinata
Thank you for these links. Thought you might find this interesting. Stanley Milgram who conducted the famous shock experiment conducted another experiment where he asked students to go up to a person on a subway and request that person to give up their seat without giving a reason as to why. The student was supposed to repeat this performance on twenty occasions and gauge the reaction of the people he asked. But the student backed out before he had finished because he said, the assignment was one of the most difficult he had ever had to do in his life. So Milgram decided to take over himself and he soon came to understand his student’s unexpected reaction. He approached a passenger on a train and then found himself sweating before he could even speak. But the man did surrender his seat. In Milgram’s own words “Taking the man’s seat I was overwhelmed by the need to behave in a way that would justify my request. My head sank between my knees I could feel my face blanching. I was not role-playing. I actually felt as if I were going to perish. As soon as I got off the train all tension disappeared.(Psychology Today June 1075)

114. invictus maneo - November 11, 2015

113. Bryan Reynolds
A sociopath or psychopath would have no problem with this exercise, other than saying ‘Why? What’s in it for me?”

115. nigel from wales - November 11, 2015

Having to get through some difficult time of not having – money, food etc, but also realizing approaching winter – some of the things that can defeat you if you do not remember LOVE …..

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV Bible) – something about objectivity …..

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

116. Just the Facts Ma'am - November 11, 2015

On the thread about commitment and bonding despite the cognitive dissonance:

“Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly eight percent of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.

Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.”

Read more:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

I would propose that Stockholm Syndrome is more prevalent than the 8% mentioned.

115. nigel from wales:
Thanks for the reminder and Midler YouTube

117. nigel from wales - November 12, 2015
118. nigel from wales - November 14, 2015

This insert comes from the work of Kay Redfield Jamison and was posted on the Longreads/Wordpress site, to which I subscribe, so there was no intent of searching – it just came up. Ms Jamison, as both a psychiatrist and a bipolar sufferer herself, gives great insight into the disorder, with a balanced and compassionate view. It seems to me that, when contention arises on this site, it may be the ‘opposed armies’ of manics and depressives who try to battle out an untenable quarrel. Ms Jamison has many books available on Amazon…..

“For individuals who live with moods that change often and intensely, life is a tempestuous experience. The manic-depressive, or cyclothymic, temperament, carries with it the capacity to react strongly and quickly; it is, in a biological sense, an alert and excitable system. It responds to the world with a wide range of emotional, perceptual, intellectual, behavioral, and energy exchanges, and it creates around itself both the possibilities and chaos afforded by altered experiences and fluctuating tempos. In a sense depression is a view of the world through a glass darkly, and mania is a shattered pattern of views seen through a prism or kaleidoscope: often brilliant but generally fractured. Where depression questions, ruminates, and is tentative, mania answers with vigor and certainty.”

119. nigel from wales - November 16, 2015

Would the people with the symptoms listed below be more likely to join cults? This is not meant to “point the finger” but just to postulate on why cult members cannot leave the cult, or, if they do, find difficult finding footing in “life”.

SYMPTOMS OF ADULTS FROM DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES

1. Adults from dysfunctional families guess at what normal behavior is.

2. Adults from dysfunctional families have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.

3. Adults from dysfunctional families lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. They lie out of self preservation and usually about their feelings.

4. Adults from dysfunctional families judge themselves without mercy. Children in alcoholic/abusive families develop a fear of making mistakes or being “invisible.” They walk on eggs in fear of results of doing something wrong.

5. Adults from dysfunctional families have difficult having fun. They have difficulty relaxing because of the hyper-vigilance of “being safe.” Sometimes they are control of entertainment activities.

6. Adults from dysfunctional families take themselves very seriously. They tend to be overly sensitive because of brain structural changes (cingulate gyrus and amygdale) from the trauma.

7. Adults from dysfunctional families have difficulty with intimate relationships. Because of frequently emotionally destructive enmeshments in the alcoholic family, they develop “roles” that furthers the enmeshment and loss of self. The roles of “hero,” “scapegoat,” “lost child,” or “clown” creates an image to maintain. Thus there is loss of being one’s real self. They fear getting close to others for fear of abandonment.

8. Adults from dysfunctional families overreact to changes which they have not control.

9. Adults from dysfunctional families constantly seek approval and affirmation.

10: Adults from dysfunctional families usually feel that they are different from other people. Terminal uniqueness is the disease were one feels that “certainly no one is going to understand my behavior or problems.

11. Adults from dysfunctional families are super responsible or super irresponsible and sometimes both. They become hyper vigilant in response to their chaotic environment, again believing that their actions determine the behaviors of others. Children, who have an inordinate sense of self, feel that they are responsible for what goes on around them. Sometimes they give up an responsibility because nothing they do will ever be good enough. They often develop 2 patterns in early childhood of trying to gain self-esteem from the outside world, seeking applause in place of love (overachievement), sometimes giving up and isolating, getting ill, beginning their own substance abuse patterns or “dropping out” (underachievement).

12. Adults from dysfunctional families are extremely loyal even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.

13. Adults from dysfunctional families are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self-hatred, and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess. Because of the turmoil and unpredictability in their early lives and subsequent survival roles developed, they frequently find themselves more comfortable with chaos than with quiet times. Keeping the chaos going or involving themselves in professions where turmoil exists, frequently staves off unresolved grief of the past.

14. Adults from dysfunctional families develop patterns of placation, seek approval, or isolate when faced with conflict because of fears of destructive anger or threat of violence experienced in childhood and also because of fear of their own unexpressed rage.

15. Adults from dysfunctional families often grew up in family systems that were unpredictable and unresponsive to the needs of children. Children grew up trusting themselves more than others in terms of self-care. Sometimes addictive behavior results from this “self-trust” and “self-care.”

16. Adults from dysfunctional families often grow up with a sense of total helplessness or a total sense of togetherness. Frequently these children gain control in their lives by believing that they cause the responses and behaviors of others. They may feel the victims feelings and try to rescue one parent from the other. This creates both a sense of helplessness as well as an inordinate sense of control over their environment. Example: “It’s my fault that mom and dad drink. If I was only better…”

17. Adults from dysfunctional families develop the attitude early in life that I have no needs; I can do it myself, thank you. When needs are repeatedly not met or parents “aren’t there” emotionally or physically, children learn to stop needing and in fact fear times of normal dependency.

18. Adults from dysfunctional families need to be in control. Fearing normal feelings leads to compulsive needs to control and live life as Sharon Wegsheider-Cruse states, “in a constant rehearsal for living.”

19. Adults from dysfunctional families have difficulty hearing the positives. Because of poor self images developed in childhood, either discount positive feedback from others, feel a sense of distrust for those complimenting them, or feel a deep feeling of pain or loss upon hearing positive things about themselves.

20. Adults from dysfunctional families living in a black and white world. It is as if the addiction kills all the grey cells in the brain, leaving on the black and white. Rigidity and black and white thinking is learned from their parents.

21. Adults from dysfunctional families have poor self images and struggle with self worth

22. Adults from dysfunctional families have compulsive behaviors and addiction. Often in attempts to continue delayed grief and pain from the past, they compulsively work, spend money, eat, exercise, sex, gamble, become addicted to relationships, or behave in other compulsive ways. Sadly, many adult children begin their own patterns of compulsive drinking or drug use.

23. Adults from dysfunctional families have a compulsive need to be right. Life is thought in terms of “right” and “wrong.” Often the need to be always correct, appropriate, and “right” replaces an original desire to be loved.

24. Adults from dysfunctional families suffer from denial. It used to be thought that only the alcoholic was in denial. What is realized today is that all members of the alcoholic family suffer from denial. Denial is about unawareness. While being “unaware” protects them from the pain, it also keep the dysfunction going.

25. Adults from dysfunctional families have a fear of feeling. Expressing feelings or allowing feelings often was not safe or comfortable in an alcoholic’s family. Children often were only allowed particular feelings –“happy,” “fine,” etc. If other feelings are expressed, they risked abandonment or angry outbursts from parents. Because they learned to numb out feelings in early childhood, they have lost the ability to feel or express emotion. Frequently good feelings, such as excitement, joy and happiness are sacrificed as well as feelings of anger or sadness. Some can cry but never allow feelings of anger, others can allow anger but never risk tears.

26. Adults from dysfunctional families have frequent periods of depression. REPRESSION. Anger that is repressed can make us depressed and frequently all feelings of anger are turned against the child inside. Some show signs of depression in early childhood, difficulty sleeping, over or under-eating, nightmares, shoplifting, sleepwalking, difficulty in school, etc. and have chemical depression as well as delayed grief.

27. Adults from dysfunctional families have a fear of being their real self. If a person is like, they feel that “I’m fooling YOU,” because children from dysfunctional families early on learn to please and relate to the world with acceptable images rather than true selves. There tends to be a felt discrepancy between what is felt inside and what is shown outside, thus leading to a belief that “if others really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.”

28. Adults from dysfunctional families are hypersensitive to the needs of others. Survival in a dysfunctional family frequently meant being constantly aware of the most minor shifts in moods of adults leading the child to be far more aware of what others were doing and feeling than what was being felt inside.

29. Adults from dysfunctional families have repetitive relationship patterns in their adult lives. Internal beliefs and filters lead them to pick spouses and friends that replicate the childhood interactions with parents. They frequently they find themselves recreating the painful experiences of their childhood. Why? They are drawn to what is familiar and to what is known. There is a sense of need to overcoming, “trying to get my father to not drink or to love me.” So, they pick an alcoholic to marry. Children from healthy families work out childhood traumas in the playroom while children from dysfunctional families find themselves working out painful traumas of the past in real life.

30. Adults from dysfunctional families have an inability to relax, let go and have fun. While other children were busy learning to relate, compete, play and develop social skills, children of dysfunctional families were learning the tough lessons of survival. Living becomes more difficult than continued survival and playing or having fun becomes terrifyingly stressful. The child inside is terrified still of making a mistake or doing it wrong. Letting go means being out of control. After you reading this list, you might feel depressed because you identify with some of these symptoms. The point is not to label yourself and become a victim, but to identify and to work toward healing from the trait. As the trait is soften, transformed and even removed, one gains freedom.

Erik Bohlin, M.A. LMHC
New Hope Counseling Service
430 91st AVE NE, STE 8
Everett,
WA 98205
425-334-8916
Website: http://www.erikbohlin.net

120. nigel from wales - November 17, 2015

Not to gloat over initial personal reactions, the sumptuous Ms F, whose name ‘I slapped all over the blog’, has been in contact about how my living and attempts at ‘return from the dead’ metal work are all coming along (no, I did not contact her first!). I mentioned that I was on good speaking terms with my former two troublesome neighbours and enjoying the camaraderie of other guys at Abergavenny Men’s Sheds Cymru (newly formed into a REAL CHARITY – FOF GO TO HELL!).

L has offered to give me one-on-one-counselling about how to work with my bipolar in the workplace, assertiveness and empathizing with my fellow shedders (Google this if you want to see the set-up need). Also, she wants me ‘on the panel’ for the housing association (this is not council property, where f*** all gets done about ASBO’s).

I feel a quiet warmth, now, not the initial thunder, about the possibility of working with this “Warm and gentle voice of reason in a time of great madness.” The fact that she is corporeally stunning, is icing on the cake (please, you guys, no press releases!)

121. aarrgh me buckos - November 18, 2015

“Hillary worries me. I worry she might want to become the first woman president to drop a fucking nuclear bomb on somebody. There’s something scarily hawkish about her.”
– Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

122. brucelevy - November 19, 2015

Roger should stick to what he does best.

123. brucelevy - November 19, 2015

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

124. Ill Never Tell - November 19, 2015

123. brucelevy:
‘Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.’

Some people have more than one.

125. aarrgh me buckos - November 19, 2015

Speaking of 2nd opinions & assholes (from the same interview):
Q: Howard Stern accused you of wanting Jews to “go back to the concentration camp.” Do you have any response?
A: I wouldn’t waste a single one of my precious breaths on that asshole. I guess I just did. That was a waste of breath, so let’s move on.

126. aarrgh me buckos - November 19, 2015

My apologies to Bruce (and to Roger), I shoulda given the full quotations:
Q: Let’s talk about Donald Trump. Are you horrified he’s doing so well in the polls?
A: You can’t look at any of the Republican candidates and not be horrified. They are so charged up with wanting to murder everybody in the world. I’ll get into hot water for saying this, but their attitudes are so fascist. Trump thinks he’s clever because he made a few bucks and [had] a crappy TV show.
Q: Do you like Hillary Clinton?
A: She would be a better alternative than any of the Republican candidates I’ve seen by a long, long way. But the only person I can see who has any credibility for me is Bernie Sanders. If I had a vote, and I don’t, since I’m not a citizen, I would cast my lot with him. Hillary worries me. I worry she might want to become the first woman president to drop a fucking nuclear bomb on somebody. There’s something scarily hawkish about her.
Q: You live in New York. If Trump becomes president, will you leave the country?
A: No. If Trump wins, all of us of good heart need to stay here and organize and get rid of him as soon as possible, before he destroys the world.

127. nigel from wales - November 19, 2015

Donald Trump is definitely a psychopath – climbed on everyone’s back to get ahead – I don’t know Hillary Clinton’s history. One thing I do know is the cult of ME-ISM is rife and stinking in the USA. It was pretty well seeping in, in Exeter, and was bubbling up through the jewellery industry when I left – “The Backstabbers” seems an appropriate song on leaving there in April.

What I find in Wales, and Abergavenny particularly, is the strong community ‘feel’ – everyone determined to look after family, their neighbour and the betterment of the town. I was particularly struck by the attitude of an Evangelical Christian at the Foodbank – I have had to use it six times. Although I do not attend church, she was appreciative of the – almost karmic – attitude of my being involved in the Men’s Sheds Cymru (a registered charity). I do not know what an Epiphany is, or whether I experienced on, but later, there was certainly a sense of “being together under the panoply of heaven.”

“Social cohesion is a necessity, and mankind has never yet succeeded in enforcing cohesion by merely rational arguments. Every community is exposed to two opposite dangers: ossification through too much discipline and reverence for tradition, on the one hand; and on the other hand, dissolution, or subjection to foreign conquest, through the growth of individualism and personal experience that makes cooperation impossible”
― Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy

128. nigel from wales - November 19, 2015

129. invictus maneo - November 21, 2015

US politics seems a distraction from the topic of Fellowship of Friends corruption.

130. invictus maneo - November 21, 2015

I was traveling in Europe with the REB entourage. One morning REB told me he would be busy with other things, so I should spend some time with BF, a student living in that city. BF struck me as a very nice, gentle soul. We had some interesting discussions. BF mentioned he couldn’t go for a coffee because he had no money. I asked how he paid his rent. He replied he didn’t know; he had no money for anything, and wouldn’t have any coming in for some weeks. I asked why not. BF told me every time REB came to town, REB told BF to give all the cash BF could scrape up to REB, and BF did so. I asked whether REB knew BF had no money for food, no money for rent, and no money for anything else. BF replied yes, REB definitely knew this. I asked why BF did this. He replied one must do whatever the teacher requires.

Is this how a student would be treated by a loving teacher, or by a blood sucking parasite?

131. ton2u - November 21, 2015

invictus @ 130

Burton is one part of the FOF equation – the other parts have to do with those who for various reasons, are drawn into his web and by their actions enable his operation. Burton’s m.o. is to prey upon those with a poor sense of boundary… boundary issues have antecedents – something in childhood and family of origin is often at the root.

“There is almost always an unconscious reason for continuing to put another person’s life ahead of your own, and often it is because of the mistaken notion that self-worth comes from other people.

For those involved with a person with narcissistic personality disorder, values and boundaries are often challenged as narcissists have a poor sense of self and often do not recognize that others are fully separate and not extensions of themselves. Those who meet their needs and those who provide gratification may be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and expected to live up to their expectations.”

http://www.guidetopsychology.com/boundaries.htm

132. nigel from wales - November 21, 2015

131 ton2u

I was unsure about this problem until finding these boundaries in the text you posted…..

“Examples of Healthy Boundaries”

“Refusing to break the law.

The law is absolute to a particular city, state, or country.[1] Breaking the law is not just an act of hatred to authority, it is a criminal act with unpleasant penalties. If you break the law, even if others manipulate you into doing it, you are the one who has to pay the price. Getting yourself into trouble like this harms everyone.

Refusing to bend the rules.

Unlike the law, which is absolute, rules are relative to a particular social context. Rules allow things to function smoothly because everyone within a particular context agrees to them. Rules can refer to a game, to office procedures, to family conduct, or even to the conduct of psychotherapy. But if rules are bent, then the whole social context suffers—and making someone suffer is an act of hatred.

Refusing to betray your moral values.

Your moral values provide your own internal guidance about what is wrong to do, even if it might be legal or even if social rules permit it. Moral values derive from an abstract sense of the “good,” which often has a religious component to it. If you betray your moral values, such as by allowing yourself to be pressured into doing something immoral, you hate the good.

Refusing to allow someone to get too close to you emotionally.

We do not live in a world of true love; we live in a world of selfishness, where others try to get their needs met even at the expense of your needs. People will try to get you to “open up” when you don’t feel like it, and they will try to get you to “spill your guts” when it can be used against you. Allowing yourself to be pressured like this defiles love.

Refusing to allow someone to get too close to you physically.

We are physical creatures. Our bodies are made of bones and flesh. Each of us, therefore, has a physical presence that makes us unique and contributes to our sense of individuality. Allowing your body to be touched when you don’t want to be touched, or allowing your health to be threatened (for example, breathing second-hand cigarette smoke or riding in a car with an intoxicated driver) defiles your soul.”

133. ton2u - November 21, 2015

132 Nigel,
I’m sure you’ve made the connection between ‘boundary issues’ (vis a vis burton / FOF), and your list of “SYMPTOMS OF ADULTS FROM DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES” @ 119

134. nigel from wales - November 21, 2015

133 ton2u

It is for me ….. and I do not know how many others ….. recovering from “abusive systems” – the FOF and So Called Psychiatric Treatment – that has caused the Drive To Aloneness ….. hence needing further boundary issues to find “Fresh Air For My Soul”.

135. Mick - November 21, 2015

“I think a con man can fool anybody and the first person he fools is himself.” – Marlon Brando

136. nigel from wales - November 22, 2015

137. Parson Yorick - November 25, 2015

#135, Mick: was Brando referring to the FOF in particular with that remark? The word was he’d attended one or more prospective student meetings.

138. Mick - November 26, 2015

Parson: The quote is from the 2015 Documentary “Listen to Me Marlon”. Although it describes REB to a “T”, I’m sure he was referring to acting & showbiz. I never heard the Brando rumor but I did hear a Dylan one. It would be a good bet that rumors of celebrity interest in the FoF were phony-baloney.

139. brucelevy - November 26, 2015

I heard that Marlon sent one of his surrogates to the prospective student meeting. And he neverfollowed up after that.

140. nigel from wales - November 26, 2015

141. Parson Yorick - November 26, 2015

139. He showed good sense.

142. aarrgh me buckos - December 2, 2015

The following is an excerpt from a letter and is Not My Story:

“Now, on a lighter note, I recently had an encounter with Robert Burton at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I was sitting on a bench at the far end of one of the big rooms, waiting for R**** to return from one of the heads. I saw a small person turning the corner into another room, caught a part of his profile, but thought he was way too small. Then I noticed that three young men were following him with their hands in the “protect your gonads” position. Finally I decided to check it out. So, I walked through one room, not there, walked in the next room, and there they were, but the little man still had his back to me. I walked on, turned around and came back and he was facing more towards me so I could definitely see it was him. So somehow the whole thing tickled me. I started stalking him, moving towards him, and when he would turn, I would go sideways and get closer, and when he would turn again, I would keep going sideways and keep getting closer. I became aware that his three companions were aware of my movements, and were watching me closely. They were lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, with their hands in position, and they looked like soccer defenders waiting for a free kick. That tickled me even more. Finally I got within about three feet of the little fellow, and he was finally alerted to my presence and looked at me. He was pale and gaunt, and his eyes looked confused and slightly maniacal. He said, “My age and my memory…”
And I said, “I’m ****** ******.”
And he said, “Yes, of course.”
I put out my arms and we had a hug. I stood back and he went into the same act that I remember from 40 years ago. He bowed his head slightly, squinted, looked off into middle-distance and said, “Conscious influence is still working with us and there’s more to be revealed.” This tickled me even more. And when he finally looked back at me, I was starting to laugh. So I put my arms out again, we had another hug, this one a little longer than comfortable, so I stepped back, turned, and walked away. He said, “Say ‘hello’ to your brother,” and without turning, I waved my hand back at him.
I went back and sat down; at about the same time that ****** rejoined, and I said, “Robert Burton is in the second room there. Do you want to say, ‘Hi’?” And she said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Again, the amazing thing was how small he was, maybe 135 – 140 pounds, and I swear, I was looking down at him. End of story.”

143. WhaleRider - December 2, 2015

“…there’s more to be revealed.”

Probably the one prediction that burton got right…thanks to the blog.

144. jomopinata - December 2, 2015

Guy was like 6’5″ before age-related shrinkage. Even assuming normal loss of an inch by 70, and another inch between 70 and 80, that only takes him down to 6’3″, which is hard to reconcile with this account, even though I don’t doubt the account. From the weight estimate, it sounds like wasting.

145. invictus maneo - December 3, 2015

I don’t see how he was ever 6’5″ / 1.95m though people kept talking about how tall and dominating he was. I’m not quite 6′ and from 1982, when I saw him for the first time, he never seemed taller than I. Whenever I saw him standing next to DL, later known as DS and an inch or so taller than I, REB seemed slightly shorter. I never felt like he was looking down on me in a literal sense. Haven’t seen him since about 2005 so don’t have any idea how wizened and Gollum-like he might be now.

Maybe people who almost never got near him thought him was bigger than life, or maybe I was not so impressed and thought him smaller than life.

146. nigel from wales - December 3, 2015

Is there a ‘buddy system’ on the FOF/Discussion blog? Were those who, whilst in the FOF, clinging to one another’s’ company – mini-cults? – now, finding themselves desperate for ‘cosmic approval’, cheering a post from an ‘post-inmate comrade’. It seems obvious to me that there are ‘pockets of posters’, intent on bolstering egos (I am sure some still live in close proximity to one another near to the ‘compound’).

Personally, I find it extremely difficult broaching a topic, or adding a post to an askew conversation, when you know some bright spark will offer forth a tirade or volley of insults, intent on staying within their small-minded prison. I know Robert Burns would have said “Would some power the giftee gie us, to see ourselves as others see us.”

I think the matter is this …..

The Fellowship (Robert) directed us to high ideals, through, mainly, literature (reading is a strong teacher) yet many fell short of either personal or general objectives in that direction. Most of us would agree that FOF ‘interns’ of 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years are carrying much psychological baggage and would benefit themselves by transferring allegiance from Burton to a qualified quality psychiatrist. Maybe the bottom would fall out of their world, but they could work strongly against cognitive dissonance and get sound footing in a new and social world.

There are many (out of the FOF many years) who do not know their place in life – you can gauge this for yourself by social circles, career prospects and paths – many areas of life – who should be getting intense counselling and occupational therapy. They show themselves on the blog by tearing down ‘revelations’, twisting facts into barbed hooks to catch the unwary. I, personally, think they are those who suffer from a depressive illness – they talk about risks, but take none; they talk about friendship, but have a hollow heart; profess compassion, but see every other person’s weakness but their own.

Having had the chance to move from a county that offered little support for my ELATED ILLNESS (having negative aspects), from 1990 to 2014+, I can say that it does matter who you spend time with (some so-called friends will take advantage at every turn – give not your heart away, as the poem goes), it DOES MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE – a congenial setting where you have the chance to see yellow leaves fall from birch trees or view a winter mountain swathed with heather – and it does matter to what principles you adhere.

I cannot say that I formed binding friendships through my 11 years in the cult – I was always unnerved by the ‘inferiority clause’- but I may say that, 25 tortuous years away there is some substantial beauty in my life, the world around me and the new friends I make almost every day.

A bit convoluted, but an interesting part of a post

149-24 Ames Gilbert

“After all, the majority of those who joined the FoF were persuaded that the best way forward, the Work, consisted of ‘re-programming oneself’, and worked very hard at it. How long did it take to learn to see the world in these recommended new ways? Did we learn just one skill, or many? Were these skills spread across many parts of our minds? How hard were we willing to study exactly what was happening, the process—while it was occurring? What were our chances of successfully reversing this after we left if we hadn’t studied how the original changes were made at the time, or had accurate memories from that time of the process? What were the chances we had ‘caught everything’ (covered every area of change) if we did try to ‘de-program’ ourselves? And does it matter, anyway?”

I am interested in post 145 – aargh me buckos – where the story teller relates the posture of the “three young men” in the Palace of the Legion of Honor. This “whisks me back” to 1978 – the postures we “innocents” were taught for standing, sitting and walking.

It was said that Robert Burton crystallized. I thought, from the teachings of Rodney Collin, and here I think I quote verbatim – “We must hope that crystallization does not overtake us!” – the inference I have that we must be forever reinventing ourselves for our roles, adapting and refining our behaviour for whatever comes. The overall feeling I get from posters here is that REB, from the off, was and still is a psychopathic, sadistic pervert, charlatan and any such terms that we could “chuck into his bottomless pit.”

There is a beautiful passage from W B Yeats: …..

(The theme of renewal is the most constant thread connecting the many facets of Yeats’s life and his work. He wanted to renew for his country what he imagined as the lost mystical freedoms of Celtic antiquity. He wanted to renew the Irish theatre, to revitalize its sense of ritual and save it from the artistic death of becoming light entertainment. Most of all Yeats wanted to renew himself, the better to serve his country, his art, and his own soul. Defending the infinite pains of composition and revision poetry cost him, he wrote

“The friends that have it I do wrong
Whenever I remake a song,
Should know what issue is at stake:
It is myself that I remake.”

147. Just the Facts Ma'am - December 3, 2015

Robert Earl Burton (REB) is a good candidate for ‘Consumption Disease.’ That is not what you might immediately think consumption disease is. You might think it is a disease of uncontrollable consumption; which he does display. However, it is this consumption disease:
‘Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis

I say this because, in my humble experience, I have found that the Saturnine type is especially subject to respiratory type diseases in their older years. But, also, that type is a good candidate for bone and joint type disease(s) in their elder years. (Each type seems to have a propensity for certain types of ailments and often die from them. The endocrine system seems to have its influence that way.)

So, the discussion of someone seeing him recently, above, is certainly a possibility.

I am about 6 feet tall and had plenty of direct contact with REB and can say that our eye levels, while standing and facing each other, were pretty much on the level. Perhaps, it is/was the Saturnine over bearing brow and feature of dominance that gave the person an appearance, in one’s mind’s eye, a greater stature than the physical actually was/is. Or, perhaps the role he plays can do that, too.

148. nigel from wales - December 10, 2015

The Constructivist and the Reductivist ….. as they span the spectrum of communication.

As this blog goes into a ‘lull’, I have had the chance to go back a few pages and see where some posts were made that caused applause by posters and decried by others. It is not difficult to see from what literary neighbourhoods these folk come ….. having been firmly in the FOF for some years, now out with tales of Robert Burton to tell; or those of a few years membership, not scathed by the experience, yet willing to exchange ‘illuminating commentary’ on it.
It may not necessarily be the case, but it does seem that negative types veer towards that type of experience and write about it in a negative way, whereas someone positive tends to the enjoyable, the elated and writes that way.
I have found this to be a useful way to not judge Reductivists, as I tend to come from the Constructivist direction.

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the begin- ning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always sex,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.

To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.

Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entretied,
braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.

(Walt Whitman “Song of Myself”)

149. invictus maneo - December 11, 2015

I often wondered whether the Fourth Way was nothing more than the sly man’s method of training sociopaths to become more skillful and ruthless at preying on people. Gurdjieff’s stories about sheep, and all. It sure seems to explain who rises to the top in spiritual organizations. (To be honest, organizations, period.) This appears to be what the most advanced students in the FOF are studying, and it appears they have learned well.

150. Golden Veil - December 11, 2015

When I was in the FoF there was always talk of Being, increasing Being, etc. The thought of being Photographed when around others seemed to challenge everyone’s Acting ability. It really did a number on those who craved attention.

151. ton2u - December 11, 2015

invictus maneo @149

re: “…method of training sociopaths to become more skillful and ruthless at preying on people. Gurdjieff’s stories about sheep, and all. It sure seems to explain who rises to the top in spiritual organizations. (To be honest, organizations, period.)”

http://wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com/2008/07/review-of-snakes-in-suits-when.html

152. ton2u - December 11, 2015
153. nigel from wales - December 13, 2015

154. nigel from wales - December 15, 2015

Ms LF, of former amorous liability, came at 11.10 am today, to offer counselling, not of the psychiatric variety offered by Mrs DJ, from M**nd*ff C**rt Hospital, but of a type that seeks to integrate the disadvantaged, and any skills and talents they may have, and to bolster up all weakness that show, to bring them to be a harmonious element in the South Wales community. This was the gorgeousness I saw shining through two meetings ago, and the elemental beauty that her carriage portrays; this was the beauty of a woman who had read “Miss Orchid” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” and rolled up her sleeve to show a delicate and poignant tattoo of a geisha woman with stripped wisps of blue hair. She also had a tattoo above her left breast of a camellia which L said needed a deepening of the red pigment. Ooh! Then the conversation turned – she and her boyfriend of (on and off) 3 years, me with my never-getting-hitched quasi loves (but I learned something everytime – you do not keep splashing your feet or swimming in mud) – astrological compatibilities – she is Virgo, her boyfriend is Leo and I am Sagittarius/Scorpio with Virgo Moon and rising – Mr OCD in all I undertake ….. we bailed out of this area of indulgence before the lifeboat sank, with coo looks and nervous cackles about where we were – not in a counselling session, but a slide towards admitting we were leaning on each other’s weaknesses.
You see, Gilbert, sometimes people see things about other people that are far from HAVING a woman, HAVING a trailer in the woods, HAVING a successful female offspring, MAKING an arable living out of Cute Californian Botanic Bulbs (don’t you just love Dylan Thomas?) and generally being Commentator-in-Charge of FOF/Discussion/Pathway to Presence blog.
Your ability to think you are The Best Thing since the Inception of The Statesman magazine is surpassed only by your vain attempts to belittle those who know that you sometimes have to ‘fall apart’ and ‘die’ to gain a SELF that can appreciate a ‘bombshell of an opportunity’ in the arrival.

155. brucelevy - December 15, 2015

154

This is the kind of shit you don’t need to post here.

156. Cristalclear - December 15, 2015

154

This is becoming more and more ridiculous.
And I don’t mean “funny”.

157. nigel from wales - December 15, 2015

And I thought a psychopath was green with white lines on it (post 154).

158. brucelevy - December 15, 2015

Are you aiming to be banned, then begging to come back, and then doing the same shit over and over?

159. nigel from wales - December 15, 2015

161 brucelevy

How many sub-moderators back each other up (kindly read about ‘buddy system’ – my post above). I am not intent on aggravating anyone, just standing up for when ‘first impressions with some people develop into something unstoppable for all concerned’. I do not know how many “outers” need counselling for their negative outbursts (read – NOT – attitude or body type). I am not in the mood to be belittled or backed into a corner until I “snarl”. Life is positive and abundant for me and all those I work with – friends, MHA’s, businesses and even National Institutions like universities and museums. I have no idea who thought I was a ‘misunderstood artiste’, but I suppose some people get their kicks any which way. Not my problem – I will not break in anger

Diolch yn fawr.

160. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 15, 2015

Why is your particular life worth reporting?

161. Cristalclear - December 15, 2015

This is The Fellowship of Friend Discussion.
It has turned into a personal space were a single person can rant about anything and anybody posing as an expert psychologist and putting labels on everyone.
Having mental issues doesn’t mean you have a PHD in psychiatry.
Most of the posters on this blog have kept silent for a long time now,or they have tried to move on avoiding very carefully to get involved in a conversation or confrontation with this person.
I can understand why because I did the same,probably for similar reasons.But it didn’t work out.
Post 146 148 152 show an escalation, an attempt to arouse a reaction.Having no reactions the posts become more mean,and more personal.Post 157 is very mature for a five years old.
It’s like a child seeking for attention and getting none.
Shall we all give up posting ? Shall we just shut up and let the blog become the NHP blog?

162. James Mclemore - December 16, 2015

159. nigel from wales

“I will not break in anger”

NIgel – My perception is that you are already angry. You just don’t seem to realize it.

You say, “I am not in the mood to be belittled or backed into a corner until I “snarl”. “, yet…, that is exactly what you are doing as you try to bait someone into backing you into a corner.
I would be willing to bet that there is absolutely nothing in your post at 154 that anybody here gives a shit about except for you. It’s like some kind of narcissistic verbal masturbation.

163. brucelevy - December 16, 2015

That’s exactly what it is.

164. ton2u - December 16, 2015

re: walking the lines amongst grinding axes, self-reflection, therapeutics… consider the context here in particular – the limitations thereof…. and (consider) the limits of any given / particular ‘therapeutic technique’… etc.

http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/journal-therapy

165. ton2u - December 16, 2015

166. GoldenVeil - December 16, 2015

154. nigel from wales – December 15, 2015

Excerpt:

“This was the gorgeousness I saw shining through two meetings ago, and the elemental beauty that her carriage portrays; this was the beauty of a woman who had read “Miss Orchid” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” and rolled up her sleeve to show a delicate and poignant tattoo of a geisha woman with stripped wisps of blue hair. She also had a tattoo above her left breast of a camellia which L said needed a deepening of the red pigment. Ooh!”

Nigel, this is really beautiful writing ~ about a woman that you’re obviously enamored with. But, I don’t think that this kind of writing will find a suitable audience here.

May I suggest that you 1. Begin a blog ~ title it something like, “The Adventures of one of the Last Romantics” or something like that, and if you have a FaceBook account, you could 2. publish terse excerpts like the above for your FaceBook friends and include a link to your blog ~ so that those interested could read the whole story.

If you decide to do this, once you get it going you could post a link here so that interested parties could peruse your continuing adventures ~ there.

167. fofblogmoderator - December 17, 2015

Nigel has been removed from active participation but I told him that if he does start his own discussion blog I will post a link to it here in case anyone would care to check it out. If you would like to communicate to Nigel directly, let me know and upon his approval I will forward you his email.

168. ryanopoo - December 18, 2015

My last “I” before retiring on the eve of my crystallization was: “It is not going to happen tonight”. Then I woke up at 2 A.M. I was facing the mount Apollo, with my back to California. I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby. It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and world 12 were there. It lasted for about fifteen seconds. The smoke then vanished. My world 6 was looking out unperturbed, like the sphinx, with a timeless gaze. It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved. I realized it was impossible to destroy my higher centers. They are immortal.

– From “30 Years of Apollo”

This [referring to a photo] is my crystallization celebration at the Lincoln Lodge in 1976; it was quite sweet. … Influence C gave me the date of March 15, 1976 for my crystallization. I went to Phoenix and stayed at the Arizona Biltmore in the desert waiting for it to happen. The astral body was breathing, but the crystallization did not occur. So I returned to Apollo a few days later and my last thought before I went to sleep was ‘Well, it’s not going to happen tonight.’ That was about at 11 pm; then I woke up at 4 am and it was upon me. It was March 19th and world six immediately rose to handle it. I was facing Mount Apollo at the time with my back turned to California.”

Ollie’s post 9/21/11 see Ames Gilbert #8 above.

Interesting how the legend shifts over the years. What a load of old bollocks though!

“I experienced a conscious birth like a woman delivering a baby”. That would be through your ass Bob right? You would know.

“It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and world 12 were there. It lasted for about fifteen seconds. The smoke then vanished.”

Funny how this bit is starting to vanish out of the story? Bolt of lightning, smoke, earthquake? Any aliens Bob, rayguns…? What a pathetic f—–g liar.

169. ryanopoo - December 18, 2015

Here’s, “A Former Student” on this blog August 15 2007

And here’s what actually happened instead of Bob’s heralded implausable crystalisation.

“I remember the “crystallization party” pretty well. I was living at the “farm”. Burton had gone to Arizona so he could “crystallize” at the Arizona Biltmore (tells you a lot right there).”

I was in Phoenix with Robert at the Arizona Biltmore the evening he was to crystallize. I spent the bulk of the day with him. I met him at the Airport with Mildred Smith and Vincent Bell the center directors. We spent the day at the Biltmore and in Scottsdale. I think he had been attracted by the opportunity to buy a very large set of Meissen [German porcelain dishes] in the Red Dragon pattern at a good price. After a long day I was with him and other students in the evening and I can recall having a drink in the lounge after dinner of Johnny Walker black label scotch something rare for me and accompanying him to his cottage where he proceeded to talk me into letting him have oral sex. He used the “externally consider your teacher” line and negotiated a deal or bribe by offering to transfer me from Phoenix to another center.

I travelled to Renaissance with Mildred Smith and other Phoenix students for the crystallization party. I had mixed feelings about seeing Robert after my experience at the Biltmore. Even today the evening at the Biltmore is a very blurry memory. It is oddly disjointed as I can recall things like what shoes and socks I had on, Burgundy Gucci’s with Cashmere socks both gifts from Robert, my suit, a Cream Colored Italian silk I got for myself and a floral silk tie I still have. I can remember the decorations on the furniture and carpets of his room , all designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but only the vaguest dark image of Robert having oral sex. The image in my head is always like a dark angel or demon.

I seriously have questioned whether this was not a moment of choice for Robert, In that instead of crystallizing he chose to indulge himself and continue his lying sexual behavior. This experience stunned me. It was an ultimate betrayal. I did not speak to anyone about it until I disclosed it to my psychiatrist last week. I had buried the memory.

170. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 18, 2015

The craziest conspiracy theory is that there are supernatural forces somewhere in an unseen realm making sure that your life and death will mean something.

171. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 18, 2015

172. ton2u - December 18, 2015

He’s back…. reminds me somewhat of something I read somewhere:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/godwins-law

173. James Mclemore - December 19, 2015

172. ton2u –

“He’s back….”

********

“Now his nurse, some local loser
She’s in charge of the cyanide hole”

–Bob Dylan

174. nevasayneva - December 19, 2015

I never spoke up at any time during all those tedious meetings with images and quotes. I wonder if they are still going on. I used to wonder every time I went, whey nobody ever stood up and just said “This is ridiculous”, or at least “This may not really be leading to awakening”.
I was silent eventually voting with my feet, but not my voice. Too bad.
I think I developed more courage after leaving FOF than when I was in. Did anybody ever speak up?

175. WhaleRider - December 19, 2015

This article illustrates why FOF cult followers are not jumping in to express their views in public.

The video in the story documents how this cult follower was rehabilitated from an esoteric Christian cult via exposure to a diverse audience in social media.

As a follower her relationship to others not in the cult was particularly revealing. She was taught not to care if what she said hurt others. She was one step away from becoming a sociopath, until she spoke up….and actually listened to others.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/conversion-via-twitter-westboro-baptist-church-megan-phelps-roper

176. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 19, 2015

Those purporting to sell wisdom in exchange for money are always frauds. Wisdom can’t be exchanged at any price. Wisdom is only bought at the price of understanding your many inevitable mistakes to such an extent that you can eventually anticipate what will certainly be a mistake.

177. ryanopoo - December 19, 2015

174 Nevasayneva.

One brave young woman piped up at a meeting in St. Petersburg. She asked Bob why he had sex with so many of his students. Struck me as a reasonable question since he’d just seduced her husband or fiance. Bob was celestially flumoxed, never having had a real question to deal with. Told her she was poison. The video of the event was destroyed, she was booted out later that day, though Bob kept her husband……..and after that, all his events were scripted, people read quotes from sanitised cards thereafter which he would interpret in unhindered, puerile magnificence.

There were many who finally saw the transparency of the charade, but to my knowledge only that one person who had the guts to ask “What are you doing to us?”

178. ryanopoo - December 19, 2015

One particulary bizarre memory of, “The sequence” occurs to me. Bob had begun revealing the latest messages he’d been receiving from C influence through the fillings in his molars. The meetings were video’d and the DVD’s carried to outlying centers by the next available courier stooge, who guarded them as if they contained something valuable, with all the borrowed authority of a parking meter attendant.

Apparently, at one of Bob’s recent, pretentious, pay per view, secret sauce, revelation events, Mitoshi was heard playing the harp in another room as he does, the celestial, sonic Ambrosia poured in and came upon Bob. After which it became for a time, the heavenly soundtrack to Bob’s sartorial inanities

So now the message came down, we had to hire a live harp player, put her in another room and ignore her while she played and we watched the new episode of, “Horseshit Happens” starring Bob the Knob Polisher It was like taking a cold jacuzzi with Liberace as he chanelled a deceased, demented circus clown.

179. James Mclemore - December 20, 2015

ryanopoo –

Thank you for your posts. It makes me so glad that I got out of there when I did.

180. ryanopoo - December 20, 2015

“It came upon me” – from the lost crystalization myth #168

Bob’s decription of his encounter with the Absolute

181. brucelevy - December 20, 2015

178

Motoshi Kosako was/is in the FOF?

182. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 20, 2015

Ridiculously hilarious to see one of Bob’s thousand bunghole boys, Asaf, posting Youtube lectures on the subject of the right functioning of the sex center. There’s some blinding compartmentalization at work.

http://beperiod.com/en/

183. Cristalclear - December 21, 2015

nevasayneva 174
Did anybody ever speak up?

It would have taken a lot of courage to do that.
Even saying no to a request that was coming from robert was almost impossible.
I experienced that when I visited Renaissance.I was working in the kitchen at the Lodge when robert’s secretary arrived and asked to talk to me.
We went outside and he told me “the teacher”wanted me to prepare an Italian dish for the symposium.
At the time, I barely knew how to cook a simple meal for my family,
I had found out only a few days before what was going on at “symposiums” and was still in shock,so I thought about it for a while and said no.
He was astounded and told me I couldn’t say no to the teacher,I couldn’t miss a great opportunity to work on myself
The discussion went on for some time,but I didn’t change my mind.
After that, everyone I knew on the property (and others I didn’t even know), tried to convince me I was making a big mistake.
The pressure was great,it looked as if they didn’t know how to report my negative answer to robert.The secretary looked worried and my center director looked stunned. I finally gave up and went to the Academy.
When the symposium was over the boys came into the kitchen to thank me,they looked very young and very drunk.
The whole experience really helped me open my eyes.

184. Ames Gilbert - December 21, 2015

brucelevy (#152-181 ota),
Yes, Motoshi Kosako is indeed a member of the Fellowship of Friends, and has been for a while. Plays at various venues near you from time to time. Some of his YouTube videos feature the FoF property and other local scenery.

185. invictus maneo - December 21, 2015

168 et seq ryanopoo

I joined some 5 years after the supposed crystallization, but heard the story from REB on many occasions at many events. He told it at almost every dinner and meeting I attended. The imaginary lightning, smoke and thunder were always prominent features, as was the Sphinx imagery. He would always lean forward, lift his eyebrows and open his eyes widely at this point, then interlock his fingers to demonstrate his imagined higher centers fusing. It would be interesting for the smoke and lightning to be released from the wardrobe as no longer necessary.

Look at it as a well-rehearsed story, one he wasn’t likely to flub up too much, the way he did with almost everything else in his teaching. While teaching, he was constantly asking whoever was his secretary things like, “Is it water that’s understanding or wine?” And that was many years ago. The crystallization fairy tale takes quite a while to tell. It’s a good way to run the clock on a dinner you don’t want to attend, talking to a bunch of rubes you don’t want to be with, so you can send them home, in order to adjourn to the parlor with your best boys and have a few creamsicles.

186. brucelevy - December 21, 2015

184. Ames

Thanks buddy. Yeah, he used to play at the 5 mile house until they closed. Haven’t heard from him since. Interesting.

187. brucelevy - December 21, 2015

I should have guessed…a Japanese, male harp player in the foothills.

188. brucelevy - December 21, 2015

I’m sure it wasn’t the Lumerian energy vortex that drew him here.

189. Associated Press - December 21, 2015

I was a member of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) for a few decades during the periods described recently on this blog. I also lived about half of that time in Oregon House, with close view of the four-ring circus. (Or, is that ‘for-wring circus;’ as in the place where all your money (and other matters) are wrung out of you by four separate (sometimes entertaining) processes. – Leaves you laughing when you go, if you are not crying hysterically.) And, I can corroborate much of what has been posted of late.

There were others that spoke out over the years. (Perhaps not as blatantly and directly at Robert Earl Burton (REB) as the Russian event. – Russians are so good at talking truth to power, when given the chance. Don’t try it on Putin, though, you might land up with a gift of polonium-210.) There was Miles, SS, S & HW, RL, DL, etc., to name a few. (FoF discourages whistleblowers as aggressively, if not more aggressively, as the current U.S. administration.) Also worthy of mention is 1990’s era meeting, lead by LK, et al, where Ames, and others, spoke up. Heads rolled (people where expelled from FoF) after that fresh air event in the meeting hall.

190. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 21, 2015

Trying to convince cult members that they are living in a fantasy about their importance in the world is equivalent to trying to cure psychotics of their delusions. Initially it likely requires the intervention of medication.

191. ryanopoo - December 21, 2015

Asaf explains “the true meaning of sexual abuse” in his latest tutorial.

The hypocrisy is astonishing.

Wonder if he ever has an inkling he’s a stooge, groomed, compromised and worked by a serial liar?

http://beperiod.com/en/

192. invictus maneo - December 22, 2015

191 ryanopoo

My impression, from talking to a few upper levels, is that they are all hanging on, waiting for the Pharaoh to make the great journey, so the money and power will fall into their laps like boys into the Pharaoh’s. The boys will probably accompany the Pharaoh. I suspect AB may already be viewed in the city of love as a scheming reptilian hassnamuss rather than a dupe, and may be strongly resented for having pushed to the top. I would be surprised if axes are not already sharp and ammo ready. It may be the first intermediate period will be as tumultuous for this eternal civilization / thousand century Reich as it was for ancient Egypt.

193. Just the Facts Ma'am - December 22, 2015

Asaf Braverman is an Hasnamus, plain and simple. He pursues these tendencies (see below) with all the military zeal (read: zealotry) that ‘his national service in the Israeli Army’ prepared him to do. One attribute not listed below is: The insatiable desire to kiss any form or part of anatomy that leads to personal perceived advancement in the eyes, minds, and hearts of themselves and others. (Look who he learned from!)

‘Gurdjieff described these qualities of the Hasnamuss:
1. Every kind of depravity, conscious as well as unconscious.
2. The feeling of self-satisfaction from leading others astray.
3. The irresistible inclination to destroy the existence of other breathing creatures.
4. The urge to become free from the necessity of actualizing the being-efforts demanded by Nature.
5. The attempt by every kind of artificiality to conceal from others what in their opinion are one’s physical defects.
6. The calm self-contentment in the use of what is not personally deserved.
7. The striving to be not what one is.’
From:
http://gnosticteachings.org/glossary/h/2399-hasnamuss.html

‘One of the first things about a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering, just for his own personal ambitions. How a ‘Hasnamuss’ is created is another question. It begins with formatory thinking, with being a tramp and a lunatic at the same time. Another definition of a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he is crystallized in the wrong hydrogens. This category cannot interest you practically, because you have nothing to do with such people; but you meet with the results of their existence.’
The Fourth Way, Peter D. Ouspensky

Sounds like pretty good description of socio/psychopath.

194. In charge of the cyanide hole - December 22, 2015

Gurdjieff was a criminal buffoon who invented reasons why other idiots needed to come to him and psychologically (and even sexually) enslave themselves. The only people carrying on this tradition a hundred years later are also criminals and buffoons.

195. ryanopoo - December 22, 2015

Invictus Maneo 192

Thanks for the insight, all positively Shakespearean. The plight of the semen donors holds great promise for tragedy. Perhaps a rehab program or “orientation to usefulness” scheme will be established.

Simple stuff like, how to buy your own clothes, how to choose for yourself, (though more importantly, how to actually know) what you would like from a restaurant menu. How to tell if a weird old guy in a lavender colored jacket who says he’s special and wants to give you a blow job, is actually lying to you and what to do if he dies.

Burton’s 76, could have another 10 years slide into dementia. He’s been working the, “Armageddon’s coming/No wait, there’s still more secret sauce to come” routine for a long while.
I’d guess he might be able to rally grudging, half-hearted support for a new end of world fantasy, last I heard, the moving goalposts were set at 2016 for the new, end of the world celebration.

He’s more likely to try and go for the revelation of the super-sequence or some barmy crap like that, as he slides from last vestige of human into dribbling vegetable on his way to Mineral, his actual birthplace.

Can’t see many people accepting Asaf as a spiritual guide, but then again, they seem to accept a delusional, lying, predator without any qualms, .

196. ton2u - December 22, 2015

for some folks it seems that it doesn’t matter whether or not a “prophecy” fails:

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

197. ton2u - December 22, 2015

indication of characteristics, if not an explanation addressing the question of “why?” – or not:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True-believer_syndrome

198. ton2u - December 22, 2015

then again, being “rational animals” we humans can rationalize almost anything:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalization_(psychology)

199. ton2u - December 22, 2015
200. nevasayneva - December 23, 2015

Thanks for responses as per anyone who actually piped up at a meeting/formal event. I saw only one occasion myself where someone piped up or disrupted the flow of a formal teaching event and that has been already very well described by Renald B in these pages. that was when Gerda decided that she was going to paddle her canoe directly against the current quite towards the beginning of a teaching dinner. Must have been around 1998-1999. REB was able to shut her down, he told her she had “poison on her tongue”. Its amazing – It created such an energy that she had the cojones to try that it made an electric energy in the room- the main salon- for a few minutes. I remember it right now as if I was there, that few minutes >15 years ago. I guess I can thank Gerda for that. Now that I think of it, there were others as well, of somewhat smaller intensity.

201. fofblogmoderator - December 23, 2015

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