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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 154 May 30, 2016

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1. Renald 1989 - 2002 - May 30, 2016

A brief up to the minute expose of our reality from the perspective of a couple scientists. The urgency of this data is beyond my imagination.

2. Oscar - May 30, 2016


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


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


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


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.

This was reposted from another contributor.

For a site that consolidates many of the most interesting posts in one location, see:


3. brucelevy - May 30, 2016

1. Renald 1989 – 2002

Really “Renald” or whatever you’re calling yourself this year. You clearly think very highly of yourself and of what you perceive as your “journey” to be and to have been, and feel that it behooves others to share your enlightenment and self love and self image of yourself. Do you even realize that you come off as a narcissistc buffoon? Just curious.

4. Renald 1989 - 2002 - May 31, 2016

Actually I was not aware that you, Bruce have hooves.
I am so sorry if I offend you by posting what I consider to be worthwhile learning experiences. To each their own.

One would have thought though that if my posts have such a negative effect on you that after so many years you might have caught on to the fact that you can simply skip them, no?

5. brucelevy - May 31, 2016

I was giving you an observation from “outside”. Something that one most often misses when they are so focused on themselves. Especially when narcissism enters the equation.

6. WhaleRider - June 1, 2016


A brief up to the minute expose of everyone else’s reality from the perspective of a couple other actual scientists.

7. brucelevy - June 1, 2016

Sound familiar?
“It’s O.K., just max out your credit card.”


Burton University, where one never graduates.

8. ton2u - June 2, 2016

“the narcissistic type… especially suited to act as a support for others, to take on the role of leaders and to… impress others as being ‘personalities’….one reason may be that “another person’s narcissism has a great attraction for those who have renounced part of their own… as if we envied them for maintaining a blissful state of mind—an unassailable libidinal position which we ourselves have since abandoned.”


9. Renald 1989 - 2002 - June 4, 2016

10. Linda Jo - June 8, 2016

Re: SOBs

After finding this summary last week in Psychology Today, I included the following points in a long cult history summary/expose (still in progress):

Why “Macho” Leadership Still Thrives
Authoritarian, narcissistic leaders are on the rise.
posted Apr 4, 2016

Global economic uncertainty and the spike in terrorism has created a resurgence of the populist attraction to authoritarianism and male “macho” leaders. This trend is evident both in politics and in business.

Narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, and psychopathy have one thing in common: they are disorders whose primary personality trait is the obsession with control, domination of, and power over others, whether that is people, animals, the environment, systems, or organizations.

Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths, argues “Traits that are common among psychopathic serial killers—a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others—are also shared by politicians and world leaders. Individuals, in other words, running not from the police, but for office.” Such a profile allows those who have these traits to do what they like when they like, completely unfazed by the social, moral or legal consequences of their actions.

In their book, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, argue while psychopaths may not be ideally suited for traditional work environments by virtue of a lack of desire to develop good interpersonal relationships, they have other abilities such as as reading people and masterful influence and persuasion skills that can make them difficult to be seen as the psychopaths they are. According to their and others’ studies somewhere between 3-25% of executives could be assessed as psychopaths, a much higher figure than the general population figure of 1%.

Manifred Kets de Vries, a distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD has completed some research and published a paper on the subject. He calls the corporate psychopath the “SOB—Seductive Operational Bully”—or psychopath “lite.” SOBs don’t usually end up in jail or psychiatric hospital, but they do thrive in an organizational setting. SOBs can be found wherever power, status, or money is at stake, de Vries says: “They talk about themselves endlessly; they like to be in the limelight. In some ways they are like children, believing that they are the center of the universe, unable to recognize the needs and rights of others. They appear to be charming yet can be covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their “victims” merely as targets and opportunities; like master and slave, they try to dominate and humiliate them. For them, the end always justifies the means.

Populist authoritarianism can best be explained as a cultural backlash in Western societies against long-term, ongoing social change.

Over recent decades, the World Values Survey shows that Western societies have been getting gradually more liberal on many social issues, especially among the younger generation and well-educated middle class. That includes egalitarian attitudes toward sex roles, tolerance of fluid gender identities and LGBT rights, support for same-sex marriage, tolerance of diversity, and more secular values, as well as what political scientists call emancipative values, engagement in directly assertive forms of democratic participation, and cosmopolitan support for agencies of global governance. This long-term generational shift threatens many traditionalists’ cultural values. Less educated and older citizens fear becoming marginalized and left behind within their own countries. This fear spawns a desire for someone to take control.

In the United States, evidence from the World Values Survey perfectly illustrates the education gap in these types of cultural values. Well before Trump, a substantial and striking education gap can be observed in American approval of authoritarian leaders. The WVS asked whether Americans approved of “having a strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with congress or elections.” Most remarkably, by the most recent wave in 2011, almost half — 44 percent — of U.S. non-college graduates approved of having a strong leader unchecked by elections and Congress.

Many of today’s challenges are too complex to yield to the exercise of leadership alone. Even so, we are inclined to see the problems of the present in terms of crises and leaders. Our growing addiction to the narrative of crisis has gone hand in hand with an increasing veneration of leadership—a veneration that leaves us vulnerable to the false prophets, the smooth operators, the gangsters, and the demagogues” who say they can save us.

– Ray Williams


“You think you’re in heaven, but you’re really all in hell, and I’m the only man who can tell you how to get out!”
– Alex Horn

“Just remember, I am a conscious being and the brightest light in two thousand years.”
– Robert Burton

Sam heard this radio program (May 25th) while driving to Trader Joe’s:

Power Paradox

I found these videos yesterday – well worth watching:



“We tend to seek common ground, but people really are very different.”
– Doris Lessing (Bless her soul!)

11. Bryan Reynolds - June 9, 2016

10. Linda Jo – June 8, 2016

Thank you for posting this.
I have read The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton, and it has some very interesting information including the famous Psychopath test.

It is a story about a girl.

While at the funeral of her own mother, she met a guy whom she did not know.

She thought this guy was amazing, so much her dream guy she believed him to be, that she fell in love with him there and then … A few days later, the girl killed her own sister.

Question: What is her motive in killing her sister?

DON’T Scroll down until you have thought what your own answer is to this question!

*Answer: She was hoping that the guy would appear at the funeral again.

There is another section of the book where the author under goes some medical procedure which stimulates his some part of his brain so that he can briefly experience life as a psychopath. It occurred to me that this might become the drug of the future. No chemicals just direct brain stimulation of certain parts of the brain.

Bryan Reynolds

12. Linda Jo - June 13, 2016

Hi Bryan,
Many thanks to you for reminding me (back on Page 150) of that important chapter “On Attention” in Learning How to Learn, which is now under Shah’s Reflections (right side-bar) on A Cult Survivor’s Handbook. When I was re-reading various pages and chapters in The Commanding Self a few days ago, I was wondering if you had read that book (including Shah’s Section VI – “Questions”), containing and addressing oodles of questions in my mind and heart, decades ago.

While reading one book after another by doctors and survivors, teachers and sages, past and present, I was asking God and the Whole Heavenly Host for help, because I really needed help. I was alone, ignorant and “lost”. I was one among thousands of students who would be thoroughly betrayed, traumatized and abused, damaged, infected and indoctrinated, victimized, vandalized, scandalized, degraded and dehumanized. . . viewed and classified as “a worthless piece of shit”. Deep down, I was really worried, afraid that I would never “get over it” – could never “undo” it – never comprehend or understand it – never recover from all my traumatic experiences and totally horrifying, shocking, confusing, nightmarish ordeals with Alex Horn, Anne Horn and Sharon Gans-Horn (not to mention their blind believers, groupies and sycophants).

What’s more, I didn’t grow up with computers. Not only am I “technologically challenged” (as Sam politely put it), but I’m also old and “blog shy”. I’ve never been a blogger, known or learned how to carry on a conversation on blogs.

At this age and stage, I’m aware of the most destructive impulses, vices and defense mechanisms, overt and covert forms of abuse, hypocrisy and deceit, aggression, manipulation and intimidation, sickness and madness, malice and malevolence, displayed by self-important, self-righteous, self-assertive, self-centered, dogmatic, accusatory, judgmental fools and avaricious hypocrites, status and power-seekers, mad dogs, top dogs and gurus, SOBs and trolls, snipers, vipers and Think-They-Know-It-Alls.

I’m still “practicing” and “testing the waters” here, Bryan – learning how to be a blogger, learning how to post relevant comments, stories, quotes, links and information (however controversial and seemingly “insignificant”, “irrational” and “irrelevant”). As a matter of fact, I love this old FoF discussion blog and all the unique individuals, dedicated souls and genuine seekers, creative writers and in-depth researchers, fact-finders, truth-tellers and freedom-fighters. This is the best resource I’ve ever come across for “4thway” cult victims, exiles and escapees from around the world.

Here’s one personal response to a simple question addressed to me by a curious young woman and ex-fofer in the Greater Fellowship:

Well, among other in-born traits and peculiarities, I had an insatiable curiosity, combined with a genuine interest in humanity, beauty, creativity and authenticity – people and nature, arts and crafts, music, dance and poetry, psychology, history and science, physics and metaphysics. Asking simple, stupid, straightforward questions became a way of life, learning, knowing and understanding. I had an easy-going, positive relationship with most of my teachers in grade school, Jr. high and high school, together with most of my professors in the small-town teachers’ college (Greeley, Colo.), where I was an art major for four years, hoping and planning to become a great artist, painter and teacher.

My 9th grade English teacher was incredibly interesting, funny and uplifting, sensible, insightful and encouraging. Mrs. Fuche and several other terrific teachers, instructors and educators in my formative years reflected a certain standard of excellence, level and degree of competence, fundamental intelligence and ordinary human love, understanding and common sense.

And then, there was Alex Horn. . . and me wondering (of course), “What made you (of all people) decide to become a teacher?” and so on and so forth.

Shortly after Sharon Gans married her amazing dream guy, “REAL [macho] man” and “great [psychopathic] teacher” in San Francisco (Fall of 1972), I asked Horn’s gushing new bride a simple question backstage, to which she replied, “Alex is my best friend! It was love at first sight of my perfect partner and soul mate in a New York theater where I was looking for work and trying out for a play.”

Since you’ve brought it to my attention, Bryan, I will put The Wisdom of Psychopaths on my “must read” list.

13. Linda Jo - June 13, 2016

No, “great” is not the right word; I was hoping and planning to become a fine artist, painter and teacher, woman and human being.

14. WhaleRider - June 20, 2016

“I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.”


Apparently neither is burton, yet he applies a double standard to his followers, some of whom are unable to afford medical care because of high teaching payments.

15. Golden Veil - June 20, 2016

In one of the most bizarre twists ever, “Fourth Way” author / guru E.J. Gold appears to have completely gone off his rocker. Apparently he has achieved a certain amount of success by shilling his weird interpretation of “The Work” via the virtual world of Second Life. His avatar is Gorebagg and he has a penchant for donning sexually objectified female avatar alter egos (sound familiar?) He/she urges his followers to abandon the night club dance floors and seductive virtual hot tubs of the greater Second Life for “The Work” at his Prosperity Ashram, and to Donate Now! He recommends letting your Avatar do your spiritual work for you. His description of what doing “The Work” entails at his virtual cult club is incredibly outlandish:

“Here’s exactly how: you get all the advantages of living on an Ashram without the pain of having to walk away from house and home and family in order to carry out your spiritual path.

As I have said before, you can have some breakfast, walk around naked or in undershorts, sit down at your computer with a cup of coffee on a side-table, and place your Avatar into an Ashram Activity…say, a Circle Dance, have your coffee and donut, watch a little daytime TV, get ready for work, take your Avatar out of the Dance Circle and place it into a Movements Class, go to work, come home, have dinner, put your Avatar into the Plasma Tank for the night, and get some shuteye, so you can dreamwalk a while, still connected to the Ashram.

When you’re a member of the Ashram, you’re entitled to keep your Avatar there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some fun events at the Ashram are the Halloween Come-As-You-Were Reincarnation Costume Ball, the Christmas Pageant, and the New Year’s Eve Dance Extravaganza.”


In case you’re wondering, I discovered E.J. Gold’s residency on Second Life via a friend – whose friend is a current Ashram member and apparently fully under this charlatan’s spell. By the way, there are lots of E.J. Gold / Gorebagg You tube videos. He seems as avaricious as REB and the virtual world experience he offers takes what Rilke writes of “neglect the body” to new heights!

16. brucelevy - June 20, 2016

E.J. is clearly a fraud. I live up near him. Most of our two towns know him and what he does. He bulit his domain with money from his mother after she hit the California lottery super spin. He was a poor hack before, then he bacame a wealthy hack. He’s a very fine painter, but other then that he’s your run of the mill snake oil salesman. He used to have several children running around his house/castle that are the results of him fucking many of his female followers. These gurus are all the same…clinical narcissists and sociopaths and pathological liars. It’s as if the all took the correspondants course “cult 101”. But there’s never a dearth of fools ready to stick their noses up the guru’s ass (figuratively and literally).

17. brucelevy - June 21, 2016
18. ton2u - June 22, 2016

Bruce, just to emphasize the point… here’s another garden variety snake oil salesman – last I heard he also lives in the Nevada City / Grass Valley area). He’s a different Gold (J.Jay Gold) but the similarities are obvious…. e.g. the narcissism, the pathological lying and an ability to attract a coterie of sycophants…. as you say there’s no dearth of fools.

19. brucelevy - June 23, 2016

18. ton2u

He has absolutley nothing. He should be in an institution. He’s insane, and there are people sitting there listening to blather.

20. Oscar - June 23, 2016

From the 2015 documentary, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies

“Once you lie, you’re more likely to lie again, and probably the second lie will be bigger than the first. What we find in the brain is that, at the beginning, if you lie a little bit, there’s a huge response in regions involved with emotion such as the amygdala and the insula. The 10th time you lie, the response is not that high. After a while, the negative feeling is not there as much. You lie more and more and more.”

21. Mind Out of Rhyme - July 2, 2016

Is psychological coercion really just free speech? Court says no:


22. Mind Out of Rhyme - July 3, 2016
23. Golden Veil - July 5, 2016

See this link for more perspectives on Asaf Braverman – the long time inner circle companion of Robert Burton online Fourth Way websites, touting himself as a teacher who is qualified to answer Fourth Way questions from seekers.


Potential BePeriod.com members may Google Asaf Braverman and BePeriod.com.

24. Arthur Brooks - July 6, 2016

I don’t know the all, I know nothing.

25. Linda Jo - July 7, 2016

Re: “Once you lie, you’re more likely to lie again, and probably the second lie will be bigger than the first.”

Patricia: I was briefly with Alex Horne [sic] before I met Robert. When I advised him that I was leaving his group to study with a teacher in Berkeley, he asked me who it was. I said that I did not know the teacher’s name, but somehow later I understood what he meant, because he kissed me on the forehead and said, “If ever I produced a conscious being, my role as a teacher is complete.” And that was a message for Robert.

Robert: Alex brought us the sacred flame. It was he who introduced us to self-remembering.

———————– ———————————-

Parataxic distortion is a psychiatric term first used by Harry S. Sullivan to describe the inclination to skew perceptions of others based on fantasy. The “distortion” is a faulty perception of others, based not on actual experience with the other individual, but on a projected fantasy personality attributed to the individual.

As a defense mechanism, parataxic distortion protects one from the emotional consequences of a past event. A person may not remember a certain event, or be acting on it consciously, but will act a certain way to protect themselves from an outcome with the use of parataxic distortion. This behavior is a pathological attempt to cope with reality by using unreality.



Adolf Hitler said: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” Hitler also said, with equal relevance: “What luck for the rulers that men do not think.” And his propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, said: “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”

Natural News/Sociopaths and Cult Influence


“One gains immortality or suffers oblivion, or worse. Every second you remember yourself you pierce eternity.”

“Immortality is within our reach . . . self-remembering makes us immortal.”

“Each person who enters the way will become immortal—that is why the way exists . . . Sometimes one remembers with relief that higher forces are monitoring the school. We have the great privilege of understanding that higher forces do exist, and that life after death is a reality. Where does the way lead to? Immortality.”

“Rainer Maria Rilke said, “All angels bring terror”—terrible shocks to awaken one. To create an astral body they use unsavory methods. Influence C frequently plays the role of villain in our lives. With them, one just absorbs continually; it is the highest path. One tries to endure without self-pity. It is curious, but Influence C crushes us into immortality.”

“I was only three days off in the prediction of my crystallization, which over a period of ten years is quite good, and I consider that prediction accurate. If a depression occurs in 1984, if California falls in 1998, if Armageddon occurs in 2006, then I was correct. All of which means, I am correct regarding the other information I have been speaking about.”

“Actually, most of what I speak about is facts.”

“Human nature generally does not see the obvious, which is why esoteric truths have frequently been presented in the form of fairy tales . . . [which] begin with the statement, “Once upon a time,” indicating that the stories are unfolding in time, and end with a prince and a princess (World 6 and World 12) living “happily ever after,” that is, in eternity—immortality.”

“Awakening is an emotional process and friction must be emotional. The suffering we experience must be real because the states we create are real. It isn’t pleasant to verify this, and yet it is a blessing. Friction can seem like a curse until we begin to realize the great idea behind it. What is that great idea? Immortality. Can anything compare with that?”

“C Influence wants me to be a homosexual and have sex with my students so that I may have humility. It’s a beautiful experience . . . I’m very loving and careful with them.”

“I am the brightest light in 2000 years.”

“My students willingly have sex with me, I don’t force anyone.

“Remember that you seek immortality, and one can hardly pay enough.”


Veronicapoe – June 14, 2007

“In particular, if he [Robert Earl Burton] knows what he is doing and we don’t, we have no basis for judging or doubting him. Instead, we simply have to trust him, as a child trusts his parents, or dog trusts its master. If he asks us to do things which seem to have no connection to awakening–or even to be ‘wrong’–we have no choice but to do them anyway.”

Girard Haven, Page 576, Creating A “Soul”

“Loyalty not only in deed, but in character is demanded of you. Loyalty of character often demands no less heroic virtue than does loyalty in deed. Loyalty in character is unbreakable loyalty, a loyalty that knows no ifs or buts, that knows no weakening. Loyalty in character means absolute obedience that does not question the results of the order nor its reasons, but rather obeys for the sake of obedience itself. Such obedience is an expression of heroic character when following the order leads to personal disadvantage or seems even to contradict one’s personal convictions.

Rudolf Hess, The Oath to Adolf Hitler – 2/25/34


Rita Penfold – April 20, 2007

Dear All,

Yesterday I received a message from my close friend Kosta Dmitriev from St.Petersburg, which he sent to the students in Russia.

I thought that it was quite funny (if it wasn’t sad), and asked Kosta if I could translate it and post it on the blog, to which he agreed. If you have any questions, you’re free to ask Kosta directly, his email address is: shantiway@yahoo.com

To those who don’t know Kosta personally, I am pleased to tell that he is one of those handsome young Russian men who rejected Robert’s advances.

Dear friends, [excerpt]

Thank you very much for the time we spent together, it was wonderful.

As many before me, I decided to leave the school when I discovered the details of sexual ‘adventures’ of the teacher.

Of course, as everybody else in the school, I knew that Robert is a homosexual. So what? So many great people and even our friends were and are homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transvestites – nobody is shocked by this nowadays. Especially among the different kinds of ‘spiritual seekers’, where there are always many, let’s say, exotically oriented people.

Back to business, here are the results of my observations and investigations.

The school as organization and its exercises are intended to:

1. Attract sponsorship for the very expensive and exquisite erotic games of Robert and Co. Teaching payments are spent on expensive clothes, often made to order for the boys and the entourage; original viagra pills which cost $50 per tablet (completely identical ones in India cost $0.5). Air tickets and 5-star hotels for the harem; fake passports which are bought from Italian mafia, for the especially treasured lovers from Russia, and of course, for the new centres in developing countries, where new ‘members’ (‘member’ in Russian is the same word for penis – Rita) are so cheap. Also, 5-figure sums for the lawyers and parents of some of the ‘woken up’ underage victims of the teacher’s ‘mischievous’ activities.

2. Cover up the very fact that those orgies are taken place just before and after the meetings and are the main interest of the teacher in his school and the reason for its existence.

The cover-up is necessary in order to prevent students from thinking about how the teacher was using his mouth just before he kisses their foreheads. Many wouldn’t like to think about it at all. Of course, there will always be those who will work with acceptance and continue to be present to any sort of madness. But most students would leave the school to be present elsewhere.

Robert is interested only in young men, only straight (otherwise it’s not such fun to ‘get’ them), usually in financial need, preferably spiritually unripe and, what’s called in Russia, ‘without a King in the head’, and with high level of conformity of behaviour. That’s it.

Yes, my friends, it’s all about ‘members, members and more members’. Preferably big in size and several at the time. But if only that was all…

The stories of the participants are beyond even the most perverse sexual imagination.

One student has almost choked on the teacher’s penis while giving him a blowjob. He had to be rescued by his fellow orgy-participants from the unstoppable in his sexual urge teacher.

The ‘height’ of those stories is the ‘Fountain of Eternal Youth’. What do you think that would mean? Very simple. Students are pissing in the teacher’s mouth. One at the time, or all together. I asked about the next, you know, logical step… They said – yes! That step has been taken. Sometimes all would get smeared. And why? You won’t believe… Gurdjieff ordered from the astral plane!!! In order to be more present!

It’s understandable that such moments of presence will never be forgotten. You’ll be in the third state without any effort, and maybe even beyond third state, as many afterwards live their lives, wearing ‘horse faces’ forever.

You will ask me, what makes these people do this? It’s very simple, really: everybody does it, they say. It’s accepted behaviour. You know about ‘norms of group behaviour in the totalitarian sects’.

Strangely, but many continue to interpret what happened to them in terms of the enlightenment. As a special, mystical experience of presence, which they would not get anywhere else. And, at the same time, they hate Robert for what he’s done to them and cherish plans for revenge (usually blackmail of some kind). It’s understandable, because otherwise you’d have to admit that you’ve been simply ....

Some invested too much in the school, suffered, paid; some simply have nowhere else to go. Most students simply don’t know many things, despite the fact that all information is published on the Internet. And, except for the ‘special’ details, it’s known to the ‘old’ students. I didn’t know the details myself, so I was hoping that Robert’s ‘antics’ were simply ‘free love’ with a bit of tantra. But, according to the participants, the whole thing is completely rotten and Robert is a typical ‘post-traumatic psychopath’. Of course, you can continue as if it wasn’t true, but then you’ll have to pay him, and that is a question of moral standards which, as any case where one is trading one’s conscience, is deeply personal. For me, it’s simply too much. It’s your business now, think for yourselves.

I wish you with all my heart to wake up before, and not during, the time when you are asked to piss someone in the mouth, given the reason of working on the 3rd line of work.


TempusFugit – June 5, 2012

From the “Backstage” section of Braverman’s website on Gurdjieff:

“I encountered the Fourth Way in 1995, joining Burton’s Fellowship of Friends, and am still a member of that organization. I moved to the California headquarters in 2000 and began working closely with Burton on his teaching. In 2007, I was forced to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom that I had been previously studying in theory.”


Could this have something to do with allegations of bigamy noted by Wondering Who’s Watching in Post 6, Page 121 (current page)?

26. Renald 1989 - 2002 - July 11, 2016

Part One of Three of June 2016 Fireside Chat.

27. Mick - July 23, 2016

My experience & study has led me to the conclusion that the very idea of “Schools” where consciousness can be bought & sold is bunk.

28. Out of Time - July 23, 2016

Bunk and betrayal.

29. Renald 1989 - 2002 - July 25, 2016

Mick, maybe your idea of what consciousness IS could use an update. For consciousness to expand or grow in this reality experience is necessary, decisions must be made and the results then assessed. The same such experience can be productive for one person and not for the next. To be negaively judgemental has to have negative results and that is also okay because there is always the possibility of learning from our mistakes, whether in this lifetime or another. Those who cannot or who choose not to grasp this basic principle will non-the-less be given more opportunities.

30. brucelevy - July 26, 2016

Oh boy.

31. Linda Jo - July 27, 2016

While compiling a book list last week, I thumbed through Journeys With A Sufi Master and decided to post this:


From these stars, like inverted candles,
    from those blue awnings of the Sky

Has come forth a wondrous people, so that
    the Mysteries may be revealed

           Selected Poems from
           The Divan of Shamsi-Tabriz
           by Jalaluddin Rumi  


    This book contains selections from experiences on the Sufi path.  Although not to be considered authoritative, it occupies a place between the truly Sufi teaching texts and the outward works of observers. The author alone is responsible for the contents and treatment.
    Some conversations are reconstructed: both time and incident have at times been telescoped.  This has been done because of the linear and successive nature imposed by coherence.
    The Arabic radix from which the words 'book' and 'journey' are produced is also the triliteral form (from SFR) which underlies several other concepts.  These include the ideas 'to dispel clouds', and also 'provisions for travelling' — and even 'a mediator or ambassador'.  Hence the idea of a journey is used in this book both to signify specific travels and the other conceptions related to this radix.  According to English dictionaries, too, the word 'journey' and the word 'travel' both imply 'work or labour'.  Among the Sufis, 'the work' is often used for their activity, hence the continuation of the word 'journey' in this English translation.
    Although the book is entirely written by me and is as honest an attempt as I can make to give an account of 'working journeys', I would not have offered it for publication had it not been judged (by appropriate authority, acting without seeking any changes) to fill a gap in the current literature on the subject.

Bashir M. Dervish
London, January 1982


O Shah! Heaven portioned sovereignty to thee
And saddled power thy glorious steed to be;
And where thy charger sets his golden hoofs
Earth glitters like some golden tapestry.

      Omar Khayyam, Quatrains
      Translated by E. H. Whinfield

Practical joke – P. 214 – 217:

    Those of us who 'travelled' with Shah were for long unable to match his use of humour together with teaching: it was and is one of his hall-marks.
    But we did succeed in staging some practical jokes which were recognised as coming close: for they worked on the level of exposing triviality which masquerades as something deep.
    Of these, the 'Indian Rishis' hoax was our favourite.  We did several variations of it, with businessmen, scholars, self-styled holy people, and so on.
    The joke first came into being because Burke, Adil, Firoz and I were getting tired of a number of monks who had taken to visiting the house which had been lent to Shah for one Summer.
    In spite of the many ways which we used to try to discourage them, they came again and again.  We gave them lectures to expose their shallowness, which they took with dignity, admitting that they were far from perfect, and revelling in their confessions of inadequacy.  When we gave them food, they preached the bounty of God.  When we denied it to them, they claimed that they had had it in mind to fast that day, anyway.  In short, they were incorrigible sensation-seekers and dreadful hypocrites.  The Press and the pulpit, however, extolled their 'godliness'.
    Everything was interpreted on the most superficial level, association of ideas, and this was then regurgitated to us as a part of the great, cosmic, spiritual plan and teaching which had once been vouchsafed from on high.
    I have never known people anywhere who were so given to platitudes, and repeated them so much.  Firoz said they had been sent 'by the Father of all conditioning and brainwashing as his most triumphant samples'.
    They were very keen on 'facts'.  They ransacked the writings of the saints of the Middle Ages to provide 'facts' about holiness, about God, about revelation, about everything they could think of.  Shah, for some reason that escaped us all, treated them kindly but was heard to mutter: 'Some people's "facts" are so wrong that one can only hope that their fantasies are of better quality!'
    So we decided to provide some 'facts' of our own.
    Five of the monks, we agreed, were the worst.  Shallow intellectuals, with a repressed emotionality which they thought was religion, is the only way I can begin to describe them.
    So, one day, we invited them to meet some very holy men — Indian Rishis — who had arrived on a visit.  One of them, we said in a confidential tone, was really a saint.
    Their delight knew no bounds, and each one wanted to know which one would be the 'saint'.  Each of the monks was told separately 'in confidentiality', which of the visitors would be the saint, and he was asked not to tell the others.  The first monk was told that the 'man in the red turban' would be the great man, the second was tipped off that the saint would be the one in the blue turban, and so on.
    Meanwhile, we had got hold of five rather avaricious and down-market Sikh pedlars, who travelled the country with suitcases selling clothes, mostly women's underwear, from door to door.  We told them we had some Western customers for them who should be a pushover for a bit of salesmanship.
    The Sikhs arrived first and we seated them in front of a large rockery, on a plank covered with red silk.  Then the monks, eyes gleaming with heaven knows what expectation of holy revelation, were led from the house.
    We coached the Brothers to treat the Sikhs with the utmost respect, and then showed them onto the lawn which abutted the bushes in front of which the itinerants were settled.
    At the sight of the holy ones, the monks broke into a run.  Then, remembering our instructions, they fell to their knees and approached the Indians as best they could in that fashion.  When a short distance from their goal, each monk gave a small cry in Punjabi (which we had made them memorise and which really meant 'show me your wares please').  Then each took the hand of his appointed 'real saint' and kissed it.
    I will say one thing for some Sikh pedlars: it takes a lot to surprise them.
    Without turning a hair, each of the 'Saints' led his appointed monk by the hand, past the rockery and into the bushes.  There he gravely displayed, from his battered suitcase, his full range of largely feminine garments before the glazed eyes of the celibate fact-worshipper.
    Such arguments as were possible, given the extreme limits of communication, were not long in breaking out.
    The monks got the worst of it.  They lacked an understanding of the strong sense of injustice which assails the Punjab small businessman when he finds people failing to appreciate the necessity of making a purchase from him after showing interest.
    The monks left in high indignation and never came back.  The Sikhs were compensated for the deals that had fallen through.
    Shah was told of our deviation from the straight and narrow.  He said: 'One of these monks used to ask me to "describe a Sufi".  Describing a saint as a man you can recognize by a coloured turban is just about what they deserved.
    'As practical jokes go, this was a good one.  But, having savoured it, let us remember what Saadi says in the Orchard, and exercise our himmat (aspiration) that it should be so in this case: "One places a seed in the earth/So that on the day of need it shall give fruit."'
    Omar Burke, after the manner of the Sufis who use quotations to keep an event in the mind, cited one attributed to the Master Gharib-Nawaz: 'He is indeed in a prison-house who claims to be pious.'
    One of the fruits of this seed, breaking out of the prison of assumptions and hypocrisy, was the delight which so many Indians expressed when they heard this tale.  For them, it seems the burden of false gurus and equally false Western admirers, as well as of certain itinerant and sometimes rascally trading compatriots in the West, was becoming too much to bear.
    Indeed, I am still hearing of versions of this practical joke, which are perpetuated by members of the Indian immigrant community in Britain, 'to keep the ball rolling', to keep the process alive, as one of them recently informed me.
    But after this I spent less and less time in the United Kingdom, for my duties took me to the new and in many ways different field of America.

32. brucelevy - July 28, 2016
33. WhaleRider - August 2, 2016

DSM-5 Updated to Accommodate Man Who is Legitimately Being Ordered to Perform Fellatio by Angels

Arlington, VA (USA)- Saying that they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced on Tuesday they would update the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by angels to perform fellatio on his young male followers.

“After conducting extensive psychological examinations of the man in question, the board has determined that the man showed no sign of delusions or hallucinations and is in fact receiving regular transmissions from angels hovering overhead, instructing him to sexually abuse those around him, and the classification manual must be revised to reflect these findings”, said APA director Saul M. Levine, clarifying that the man’s affliction “would not be subcategorized as a schizophrenic or psychotic disorder, as the voices he hears ordering him to have sex with other younger men in fits of manic lust emanates from angels and not from within his own mind”.

“Based on our study of this patient, we will add the new entry, ‘Angel-Motivated Fellatio Impulse Syndrome’ to the DSM, which is characterized by regular communication with angels, obsessive tidiness, persistent uncontrollable homosexual urges, and manipulative behavior stemming from one’s efforts to appease the angels.”

Levine added that because the man’s mental state apparently did not derive from any detectable abnormal neurochemistry, standard psychiatric medications would have little effect on his condition, and thus his only course of treatment would be to cut out the small device that was implanted in his brain for receiving the transmissions.

34. Golden Veil - August 3, 2016

35. Bryan Reynolds - August 5, 2016

Beginning about 1960 masses of people in the west suddenly as if of one accord had ‘discoverved’ Eastern mysticism or what the west had thought was Eastern mysticism. Perhaps the decline of religion left a vacuum. Perhaps the dehumanising effect of modern technology had suddenly become intolerable. Whatever the reason millions of people in the west had tried to turn to the East – and to the past.People started to play oriental music. They developed a taste for kofkas and
kebabs tried to understand the Tebetian Book of the Dead, puzzled over the I-Ching. Then slowly at first then more rapidly it all started to look ridiculous. Fakes- rackets were unmasked. And suddenly there was nothing left. Or next to nothing. as the occultist tide receded and ordinary people lost interest, a number of societies groups, or cults became more or less stabilised around the ‘developmental’ idea. These groups had one concept in common: mankind has a potential for psychological or spiritual growth which is not realised in the conditions of ordinary life. Many of these groups had a leader who his
supporters beleived alone possessed the secret of how to activate and guide this inner development. The leaders of these cults were sometimes sincere: but even when they were, they were rarely much more than half educated in the subject they professed.

From Journeys with a Sufi master. H.B.M. Dervish

36. ton2u - August 9, 2016


Unhealthy narcissists need other people around them to sustain them and feed them resources and narcissistic supplies (Ransky:1998). Authors such as Tucker and Ransky have basically defined 3 levels of affected persons which come into the narcissists world:

1) A potential. A potential is someone who the narcissist has attracted into their world, and must be assessed for exploitation and utility value. Narcissists view everyone only in terms of what value or use does that person have for them. People with strong sense of self and boundaries are of limited use to the narcissist, and may be only relegated to a role of a colleague, customer, peer, a delegation point, or some ambivalent relationship in the narcissists constellation. They may however also be a potential for exploitation for future use and manipulation into one of the next two levels of affected persons. Co-workers in organisations are the primary source of “potentials”.

2) A follower. A follower is someone who has been groomed, seduced or manipulated into the reality of the narcissist, and will be supportive but not slavish to the narcissist. Narcissists work on these persons as they cannot trust another’s independence and free will in areas of concern to them. This level is in an enmeshed or deceived state but as a person is still a separate functioning identity. This may be a “loyal” co-worker and friend or boss in an organisation, or an industry mentor or contact as cultivation of these persons will aid in the “climb to the top” of the organisation.

3) “Sidekicks” or blindly loyal pawns. This inner most trusted group are co-dependently engaged with the narcissist, and are overly-loyal, compliant, passive, and unaware they are no longer operating from conscious free-will in areas of concern to the narcissist. They put up with whatever treatment is meted out and will collusively abuse with the narcissist out of acts of demonstrated “loyalty”.

They are under some form of emotional and/or mind control by the narcissist. They act for the narcissist when he summons them and are often used in organisational politics, rumour and disinformation campaigns, and to carry out acts on behalf of the narcissist that could see them come under legal or ethical sanction. The narcissist will establish a degree of separation from the “sidekick” such that if ever caught, the narcissist will disown them to their own fate.

Paul Babiak PHD, in his book, “Snakes in Suits”, notes that narcissists use a 3 phase game plan when engaging with victims. The first phase is selecting their victim or prey based on assessing the potential victims utility value, and identifying their psychological strengths and weaknesses. The second stage involves manipulation of the potential victims with carefully crafted messages plus using constant feedback from the potential victim to build and maintain rapport and control. Phase 3 occurs when the narcissist has finished “devouring” the victim and whose utility value has been exhausted. The drained and bewildered victim is abandoned without remorse as the predatory narcissist looks afield for new victims…”


37. Mind Out of Rhyme - August 11, 2016

Gurdjieff – Becoming Conscious We have really appreciated the positive feedback and admire the valuation of our community. Over 500 people have signed in to Beperiod and quite a few of them are active daily on the site. When we started this experiment four years ago, we were not sure if it would be possible. It seems that “the Miraculous” process of this Work is possible in the virtual world. We are glad to be part of this process for your Work and our own.

38. Out of Time - August 12, 2016

Evil is stupid.

39. Out of Time - August 12, 2016

…and wears a crown of clown.

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends

40. Golden Veil - August 17, 2016

37. Mind Out of Rhyme – August 11, 2016

” It seems that “the Miraculous” process of this Work is possible in the virtual world.”

This naive declaration reflects the magical thinking that is pervasive in the Fellowship of Friends doctrine.

41. brucelevy - August 17, 2016

It’s depends completely on magical thinking, with a side of clinical narcissism, with a sauce of sociopathology.

42. Renald 1989 - 2002 - August 18, 2016

In order to grow towards love one must intend to do so.

43. Insider - August 29, 2016

Photo of Robert Burton with Sasha Shalapanov

I will offer a few comments on this photo, as well as other related happenings within the Fellowship of Friends.

The young man with Robert is Alexander (Sasha) Shalapanov. He appeared from Russia several years ago, and was fairly quickly put on the “list of 7 conscious being to be produced by the school,” the others at that time being Asaf and Dorian. (Now there is another: Samuel Mercer, son of Maya Mercer who is the daughter of Maria Machado and former wife of David Springfield, the former Fellowship attorney. The last I heard earlier this year, Samuel was studying ballet in London. Why he was given “conscious being” status, no one seems to know. But Robert seems to have a special place in his fantasies for ballet dancers. (But then, who doesn’t?) The photo is from March 2015, but they have worn these costumes on other occasions since then.

According to a close friend who dined with Sasha several months ago, Sasha told everyone at the table that Robert had told him (Sasha) that Dorian would be assuming leadership of the FoF (no time frame given), and that Sasha should do all he could to support Dorian.

Sometime in April/May of this year, I attended a Sunday meeting Dorian led while RB was traveling in Mexico. Dorian was very much in command, both of the material he wished to present, and over the audience. It was a 1-hour presentation, no questions or comments permitted. He said that the FoF is ready for a new phase or cycle, the current one having lasted now for 10 years, clearly referring to the introduction/invention of the “sequence” in 2005. I would guess the “sequence” will be tossed out.

He told people the change would be difficult, and advised everyone to hold on tight, and that many people would “fall off,” or something close to that. He referred to the new cycle about 10 times. As an obvious low-blow to Asaf, he further mentioned that any “intellectual” aspects of the school or system would no longer have a place in the new order. He did not use the terms duality or non-duality, but was clearly describing the new phase in non-duality language. To me, this was really an admission that there’s no longer any practical work being done in the Fellowship; and any prior resemblance of the FoF to a practical “School of Awakening” is gone, entirely replaced by a religion based on worshiping and serving Robert Burton (soon to be Dorian Matei).

Up until recently, many of us “sideline observers” felt that Rowena Taylor (aka Renee Taylor, Rowena Lamb, etc.) was always the force behind Dorian. She helped him acquire and remodel his house (maybe even bought it for him), and lived there until recently. (Now she is apparently living back in her own house with her husband, Robert Taylor, who did not die as expected last year, nor is even ill, though they both played up this myth/hoax for a good year or so, for whatever reasons. Taylor has been predicting his death for the past 30-35 years, in part to manipulate Rowena. She seems to have fallen for it yet again.) The proposed takeover and makeover of the FoF Board, Administration, Council, and all leadership roles, going back about 5 years, is well-known, the ringleaders at that time being Rowena and Steven Dambeck. And that will surely be happening if/when Dorian assumes full command. In fact, Rowena is already Dean of the Fellowship Council, as Asaf resigned from that position around June 2016. This gives Rowena and Dorian enormous power and control over FoF members who live in the distant centers. (All centers and center directors report to the Council. The Council can set or alter the teaching payment formula for a given center. They can make donations exceptions for individuals as needed. They also hire and fire center directors.)

(It should be mentioned here that it is common knowledge, although second-hand for me, that Rowena used her position as director and mentor to the Russian centers, virtually since their inception in 1991, to screen and approve of candidates for Robert’s harem. With what she knows about Robert, coupled with what Dorian knows from having been in the harem and having lived in the Galleria for many years, the two of them can get just about anything they want from Robert and the FoF. They are two members you really don’t want to upset.)

Asaf is on his own with his websites, his “teaching,” the lectures and webinars, though there are more people behind the scenes. His writings are being translated into 10-12 languages. After resigning from the Council, it seems he no longer has a visible role in the FoF. He does not promote, and I don’t think ever has promoted, the FoF using his websites and teaching. He does not seem to support Robert’s current teaching religion, even though, ironically, he did more than anyone to get Robert to move away from Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and towards the religion that replaced them. It’s really not clear to many members why Asaf remains in the FoF, although of course social bonds are strong.

Finally, some thoughts about Dorian and Sasha, and the future leadership of the FoF. For now, Robert still controls the $$, and approves (with the Board’s rubber stamp) any substantial buying and selling of FoF property and assets. Obviously, no meaningful transfer of power will occur as long as Robert runs the finances. Whether to groom Dorian and Sasha for future roles, or merely to keep them occupied, they have each been put in charge of certain functions at Apollo and within the FoF.

Dorian (including Rowena) oversees the centers away from Apollo. This includes appointing directors, setting donation levels, and making special financial arrangements for “certain friends.” He controls the scheduling of events at Apollo. He is Robert’s prompter at meetings, and alternates with Sasha in this role at breakfasts and dinners. But perhaps his most important job is to cover for Robert’s increasing forgetfulness, errors in names, dates and places, and (as it seems to many) early (or late) stages of dementia. The fact is that Robert makes an absolute fool of himself on a regular basis. Dorian has a way of smoothing it over and making it seem humorous, normal, even intentional. But more and more, people shake their head and silently wonder if what Robert says has anything to do with anything “spiritual.” He confuses people’s names. He mispronounces words. He has to be reminded if, e.g., there’s a dinner following a meeting. And yet, when one of the antiques is mentioned, he knows exactly when and where it was purchased, as well as the cost.

Meanwhile, Sasha seems to be in charge of the physical aspects of Apollo, from buying and selling camels, to tree planting, to bench painting, and a number of other projects to maintain or improve Apollo. He helped turn part of the bathhouse into a Russian banya. He also produces, for Robert, a performing arts program that includes several fairly major orchestra concerts each year. To the consternation of many of the actors, he is beginning to “muscle in” on the theater (i.e., Shakespeare) productions (of which there are 2-3 per year), imagining he is some sort of “super-director” at large. He is also the “expert” in observing ballet (except for Robert, of course), in that he has learned to find the “sequence” in just about every ballet, thus proving the conscious, school origin of ballet, and making Robert very happy.

Overall, Sasha Shalapanov would seem to be unfit at this time for a major leadership role, primarily because he does not know himself, does not suspect that he has out-of-control power and vanity features. He pushes people around, knowing that Robert will support him, and does not care whom he steps on to gets his/Robert’s way. He is also entirely naïve regarding affairs of the world, legal matters such as always surround the FoF, managing finances, earning a living or starting a business, etc. At least one could say about Dorian that he manages a house, a family (1 kid; 1 more coming), and several agriculture-related ventures.

Clearly the most competent choice for Robert would be Dorian to take the reins. But will that ever happen? I know that certain Board members keep a constant eye on Dorian and Rowena, as they remember the attempted restructuring/takeover 5 years ago. They know that Dorian and Rowena are waiting for an opportunity to get a few seats on the Board, or in some other way to gain complete control. The roles of FoF President and VP, the Council Dean, and the head of Apollo Arts, are all automatically Board members. They have 1 of these 4 seats now.

Will Robert ever give up control of the money? And if Robert were to step aside, whomever he chooses to succeed him, would the donations keep flowing sufficiently to maintain Apollo and the FoF?

44. WhaleRider - August 29, 2016

What could possibly go wrong?

45. Renald 1989 - 2002 - August 30, 2016

Donations depend a lot on memberships. Any idea what the current numbers are?

46. Mind Out of Rhyme - August 30, 2016

What could go wrong?

Burton has been raking in millions in exchange for insane nonsense since 1970. He likely has tens of millions in a Swiss bank account and someone is quipping “What could go wrong?” Burton is in his 70s. He is retiring a multimillionaire. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong.

47. Oscar - August 30, 2016

It’s been satisfying to know that many thousands are now healthier, happier, and wiser after leaving all of this far behind.

48. ton2u - August 30, 2016

re: 43

“But more and more, people shake their head and silently wonder if what Robert says has anything to do with anything ‘spiritual.’ “

The sheep are finally catching on ? Oh well… better late than never.

(That ridiculous photo of blow-job-bob and his girlfriend in matching pajamas says it all).

@ 47 “Burton is in his 70s. He is retiring a multimillionaire. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong.”

If this is not intended as sarcasm you have a warped notion of “right” and “wrong.”

49. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 30, 2016

Robert Earl Burton, in eternal pursuit of youth

As the British might say, “Don’t forget the bloody underpants!”

50. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 30, 2016
51. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 30, 2016

52. WhaleRider - August 30, 2016

53. brucelevy - August 30, 2016

49. Wouldnt You Like To Know

I think that pretty much says it all. As far as “self consciousness”, well…

54. brucelevy - August 30, 2016

As far as Sasha, …if I had that photo spinning around the intertubz I’d fucking kill myself.

55. Associated Press - September 1, 2016

The sad part of that photo of REB and Sasha is that it is not meant to be funny; it is perfectly serious, right down to the outfit matching pocket squares (handkerchiefs), outfit matching ties and, of course, likely, Gucci shoes. (It looks like the exercise to ‘not show your teeth in photos’ is still being ‘worked with.’) 😉 It is sooooooo sweet – they are obviously being present and doing the sequence. It would only be more laughable were the suits covered with sequins.

Isn’t Dorian (Dorian M., the Romanian) the guy who was in a sham marriage (for U.S. residency) with Edith (Edith (from France), the one that was previously married to Peter B., took over Petrarch Press and is a button entrepreneur)?

Sounds like the same shenanigans are still going on in good old
Fellowsheep of Fiends! – the same pursuit of the ‘A’ influence of: power, money, influence, domination of the membership, human trafficing and slavery, etc., all in the guise of it being ‘C’ influence.

The ‘making special financial arrangements for “certain friends.”‘ of course is basically a sex for money scheme that has been going on for ages in FoF. That is where the supposed compulsory donations (that phrase, ‘compulsory donations,’ is certainly oxymoronic, as ‘donation’ implies ‘voluntary’ and, therefore, would not allow for
‘compulsory’) to the Fellowship of Friends, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization under United States Internal Revenue Code, would be waived for those individuals who consented to having regular sex with Robert Earl Burton and joined his harem. How ‘A’ influence is that?!

@ 49. Wouldnt You Like To Know stated:
‘As the British might say, “Don’t forget the bloody underpants!”‘
That, double entendre tongue-in-cheek humour, refers to a supposed account written in a book:
Strange Truth: A Horror Story (1983), which is an 88-page account of the author’s ten years in Fellowship and what she observed while acting as the founder’s housemaid. It tells about the many women in the Fellowship of Friends, and spouses (as long as they could endure it) to many of the men having sex with REB, who were employed at doing menial tasks of, as for instance, the laundry, and discovering bloodied underwear in the process – bloodied, presumably, from the sex that was going on between their husbands, and others, with Robert Earl Burton.

So, in the end, no pun intended, the pretty picture is not very pretty at all.

56. Associated Press - September 1, 2016

Correction in paragraph 2 of my last post above:
‘button entrepreneur’
should be:
‘ribbon entrepreneur’

57. Fee fi fo fum - September 1, 2016

43 Insider

Thank you for detailing the current goings-on. The photo is so revealing of how ridiculous REB is. Everything sounds so much the same as in the past, but worse. Regarding REB’s dementia: I know people with dementia, and none of them ever admit they have it. If they are caught short on mental lapses, they attribute it to “getting older.” I know plenty of people in their 70s and 80s who do not have dementia or even much short-term memory loss.

55 Associated Press

Re Strange Truth: A Horror Story – I worked alongside her for a few months a couple of years before she wrote that book. I had heard of REB’s shenanigans before then from one or two FF members, but only in vague, general terms, where it was all many degrees removed. When this particular person disclosed details to me, her descriptions shocked me. She told one of REB’s favorite buddies who REB liked to hang around with. When that person heard her descriptions, he left the FF. I remember him telling me he was going to do so. I should have left at that time, too, but did not.

58. Insider - September 2, 2016

The Fellowship, and especially Apollo, is nothing more than RB’s private version of Neverland Ranch. I believe everyone employed by the FF either directly serves RB (cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance, harem functions, etc.), or raises money for him (musicians, office staff, event organizers, etc.).

At one time, there was some notion of FF members/students working at Apollo, and in the centers also, in order to build something together, something bigger than any one individual. Now, it’s all about serving RB. Or giving lots of money. Or prescribing drugs. (The choice seats at all events are reserved for the doctors and shrinks.)

In exchange for his very comfortable lifestyle, RB merely has to give the flock a regular fix: At virtually every meeting and event, he reassures them that they are “Conscious Beings,” that angels are guiding them, and that they are on their way to “Paradise,” where they will be greeted by RB himself.

Regarding the thoughts about a successor to RB, I wonder if it really matters to RB. From what many of us have heard, RB has squirreled away lots of money, gold coins, jewelry, and who knows what else. I’m sure it’s very portable and liquid. About all he might still care about is making sure that his successor buries as much knowledge as possible about RB and his life and crimes in the FF.

59. ryanopoo - September 2, 2016

Interesting photo. This is what happens when you stand too close to the fan when the Rhino poop hits. They look like a two for one from Little Caesars, – white sauce, extra butterflies.

Now Dorian will teach non duality? There’s a dogs dinner in the making here as Dorian, (an execrable prick) instructs people they’re the same as him as the brethren divide their attention and wiseacre in controlled hyperbole about the undivided. Meanwhile Burton dressed like a buffoon impersonates Ronald Reagan impersonating a pizza.

The Fellowship is careening downhill ever faster thankfully and at last! It’s a Pizza Hut for civilization now, an ark for the tainted.

60. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 2, 2016

Imagine the hideous twist of fate required for life to turn you into something this:

61. ton2u - September 2, 2016

FOF = Fellowship of Fops ?

Why this ninny is so excessively concerned with appearances, clothing, luxuries, minor details, refined language, leisurely hobbies – seems all too obvious: the narcissist lacks empathy, compassion, and in general the qualities which contribute to emotional maturity reflecting a depth of soul. This malignant narcissist is overly concerned with appearances and superficialities because he’s dead on the inside, there is no depth, there is no soul – so to him it’s all about surface.

It’s truly ironic, absurd, that an individual so afflicted is able pass himself off as some type of “spiritual” leader – it says something tragic about the sycophants who continue to follow and support the fool…. the joke’s on you.

62. brucelevy - September 2, 2016

It’s also ironic that he’s obviously not long for this world. So what is the point of squirelling away money and treasures. It’s the pathology of greed.

63. Insider - September 2, 2016

For a fully-awakened, divine, goddess-in-human-form, RB has always seemed to me to be overly-obsessed with death, which regularly takes the form of predicting his own longevity. As my grandmother might have said, “he made such a face” when he tried to describe (at a meeting) the photograph that many of us have seen of Colin shortly before he passed away. Clearly, RB was staring at death, and could not bear it.

64. Amanda Raphaelson - September 2, 2016

This photograph seems to me as a man with his lover.

Period. I’m so very sorry that Robert Burton has completely separated himself from his original goals of producing a school for enlightenment. I’m also very sorry that so many “students” continue to hold him, and his officiates, in their high esteem.

65. Insider - September 3, 2016

64 Amanda

Yes, one of RB’s many lovers, but also someone whom RB completely dominates and controls. He is hardly distinguishable from one of RB’s KC Cavaliers being led on a leash.

I’ve noticed over the years that RB has always wanted a “double,” as close to a mirror image as possible of himself. It never worked with Carlos C, Dorian or Asaf. But he finally found it in Sasha. If they don’t mirror each other’s dress at more formal events, they at least are always complimentary. You see, being a similar size to RB, Sasha goes to the Galleria to dress with RB for the upcoming event. He gets to wear RB’s rings and other jewelry, the finest suits and ties, those Gucci shoes.

And so, one of the many messages behind this picture of RB and Sasha is “He’s mine. I own him. He will do whatever I ask, and this absurd costume proves it!”

Amanda, I agree with your comment about the original goals RB seemed to have had in the first decade or so of the FF, and how something got seriously deviated. Was it when the FF got too big?
When so much money began flowing in that RB did not have the Being to deal with?

66. WhaleRider - September 3, 2016

For a narcissist, the world is a mirror.

67. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 3, 2016

Watch CNN’s Holy Hell documentary. We are all cult fools wandering around loose and stupid looking to become exploited.

68. Bares Reposting - September 3, 2016
69. Bares Reposting - September 3, 2016

The search for a Speedo-wearing guru:
[video src="http://pmd.cdn.turner.com/cnn/big//tv/2016/08/26/cnn-films-holy-hell-ron-clip-3.cnn_cnn_iphone_cell.mp4" /]

70. Tim Campion - September 3, 2016

Mind Out of Rhyme and Bares Reposting,

It’s an excellent film. The Fellowship of Friends and Buddhafield cults, led by all-consuming narcissists, have followed very similar arcs. And both now appear near their end.

71. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 3, 2016

When you watch the CNN documentary Holy Hell you might find yourself perplexed by the spectacle of apparent orgasmic “mystical” reactions some of the cult members experience in the ritual called “the knowing”. What is happening is that a natural opioid in the brain called beta-Endorphin is being released under the pressure of the participants’ tremendous emotional anticipation. This chemical alteration of the brain is an involuntary evolutionary development originally employed by the organism to cope with life and death situations in the wild in pre-civilized conditions. When attacked by predators or other life threatening situations the brain releases beta-endorphins (25% more powerful than morphine) which blocks virtually all negative or pain registering neuron receptors and produces instead a euphoric feeling of ultimate elation. The condition can even stimulate hallucinations. Naturally the process differs from individual to individual.

This biological phenomenon of normally involuntary radically altered brain chemistry is at the root of all the mythology surrounding the legend of “higher consciousness” and “enlightenment”.


72. josiane - September 4, 2016

Haven’t posted here for a long time. First reaction to the photo: could this have been photoshopped? Nobody in their right mind would want to parade around the Galleria dressed like that.

73. Insider - September 4, 2016

72 josiane

Not photoshopped. They dressed like this for certain breakfasts and (maybe) dinners. Sasha even came at least once to the bazaar (market) still wearing the costume from breakfast. I remember seeing the photo for the first time in an RB Tweet, so it was seen by at least 500 members who receive RB Tweets.

74. ton2u - September 4, 2016

Insider, thanks for your input here… I assume that you’re still a dues paying member of the FOF ? If so, can you explain why you continue to support Burton and his “ark” hoax… which is really just a ruse to pay for an addiction to frivolous, ostentatious “fineries,” and a means to feed his sexual fetishism (?). How is it that his supporters never pause before making a teaching payment, to consider the lives that have been misdirected, twisted, stunted, ruined and in some cases literally destroyed as a result of the excesses of his appetites…. or doesn’t that matter?

75. Fee fi do fum - September 4, 2016

Mind Out of Rhyme and Bares Reposting and Tim Campion

Thanks for mentioning the CNN documentary Holy Hell. There were several similarities to the FF, including the leader’s persuading heterosexual men to have sex with him. Then there was the carrying of his large chair/throne, which was like REB’s having one of the young men carry his cushion around for him. REB can’t carry his own cushion? But of course, it’s all presented as the disciple/student/member being of service to the leader. So twisted. Other similarities were: how members were insular and cut off ties to their families and felt fine lying to them; drained their resources; were supposed to be celibate when the leader was anything but; extreme secrecy and misinformation; members having to take on a new name; obsession with appearance (like the FF’s obsession with “alchemy”). One Buddha field member said that it began with the Knowing, and then it became entirely about the leader. His preoccupation with his body and appearance of his face, including using false eyelashes and make-up is like the photo of REB and Sasha. One good point that was made at the end was that these cult abuses don’t happen in a vacuum. Cult leaders prey on vulnerable individuals who are simply seekers, but have certain weaknesses that get exploited.

76. Tim Campion - September 5, 2016

This review by Owen Gleiberman speaks about what may be obvious to viewers, yet members (and even ex-members) fail to recognize. (Italics added.)

By the time the film reaches its most disturbing revelation, it hardly comes as a shock, yet when we see clips of Michel in his secret former identity as a stud in gay porn films, it is shocking, because we register how totally false his guru persona is.

It isn’t clear that Allen [the director-filmmaker, and former member] entirely gets this. Holy Hell has a flaw, and it’s that the movie buys into the idea that the Buddhafield was a mixture of the good and the bad. The dark side of Michel is presented as the flipside of his role as wise teacher and guide. But most of the former cult members don’t seem to realise that Michel was a con artist even when he wasn’t exploiting or abusing anyone. His ‘teachings’ never lifted anyone to a higher place; they were just the early stages of brainwashing. By the time Holy Hell reaches its ominous final scene, the scariest thing about it is that Allen has made a movie about how he fell into a cult and then liberated himself from it, but at the end he still seems the tiniest bit under its spell.

Pretty perceptive for a “life person.” The question of whether Robert Burton was a con artist from the beginning has often been debated on this blog. We don’t have the porn video, but we have testimonies that suggest he was a budding con artist before the Fellowship’s creation.

77. ton2u - September 5, 2016

Tim, thanks for the review – he writes:

““Holy Hell has a flaw, and it’s that the movie buys into the idea that the Buddhafield was a mixture of the good and the bad…. By the time Holy Hell reaches its ominous final scene, the scariest thing about it is that Allen has made a movie about how he fell into a cult and then liberated himself from it, but at the end he still seems the tiniest bit under its spell.”

One poor soul who’s interviewed in the move at the end is choking back tears in trying to talk about “the mixture of the good and the bad” His difficulty in getting out the words revealed an inner conflict… there was an obvious contradiction between his words and the truth of his bodily / emotional expression.

Recent comments here by Amanda @ 64 and Insider @ 65 are an example of the “good / bad” rationalization referred to in the review:

64 “…I’m so very sorry that Robert Burton has completely separated himself from his original goals of producing a school for enlightenment.”

65 “…Amanda, I agree with your comment about the original goals RB seemed to have had in the first decade or so of the FF, and how something got seriously deviated. Was it when the FF got too big?”

This seems to me an attempt to rationalize away what Burton’s “FOF project” is about – any way you care to “slice it” – past, present, future – it’s all too obvious that it’s about HIM – and all that implies… period.

In a conversation many years ago with an ex-member who I count as a true friend, he quipped about the FOF: “I don’t suppose we’ll ever live it down.” That statement speaks to being at least “the tiniest bit under its spell.”

So as not to pick on Amanda or insider too much, speaking personally, re: my experience with the FOF “project” I feel that I am and likely always will be “the tiniest bit under its spell.” That I continue to read here and occasionally post is an outer manifestation of the fact.

78. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 5, 2016

If you are in a cult you will not believe these truths:

If you are paying money for enlightenment, higher consciousness or spiritual understanding you are getting ripped off and you are brainwashed.

If you are having sex for enlightenment, higher consciousness or spiritual understanding you are getting ripped off and you are brainwashed.

If you are donating your time and “service” for enlightenment, higher consciousness or spiritual understanding you are getting ripped off and you are brainwashed.

If you believe in enlightenment, higher consciousness or spiritual understanding you are brainwashed.

79. Golden Veil - September 6, 2016

About the Holy Hell film:

I agree with what many have said above. What struck me particularly were the similarities between cult leader Robert Burton and the cult leader Jaime/Michel/Andreas/Reyji. What an “act” these two came up with! Both are charismatic leaders with tendencies to divinify and glorify themselves, cross-dress, denigrate women who they see as competition for their young male sexual partners (see the “Femme Fatale” video in Holy Hell), have power trips over their sexual conquests (both manipulate followers to have sex with them), Both groups have apologists that call the sexual abuse “consensual sex”.

Robert and “Reyji” both like ballet, have their followers build them a giant theater, have members wait on them hand and foot, have created an atmosphere of being in a “special club.” Members hide their membership from friends and family (who wouldn’t understand), and the shunning of former members is espoused by both leaders.

Members of both groups are told to recruit a targeted segment of the population: people with “magnetic centers” in the Fellowship of Friends and “open” people in Buddhafield; siblings recruit siblings, members discredit or ignore negative criticism, both groups have survived long term by the sense of community its members feel towards one another – a dynamic that is apart from the group leader, an open letter to members initiate mass exoduses from both groups; the list of similarities goes on…

43. Insider, August 29, 2016

See magic in action (no. 44) and Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts scarf

55 ~ 56. Associated Press, September 1, 2016

Yes, Ribbons:

“Button, button, who’s got the button?”

78. Mind Out of Rhyme, September 6, 2016

Very well said!

80. Oscar - September 6, 2016

“The question of whether Robert Burton was a con artist from the beginning has often been debated on this blog.”

I always find it interesting that some people never buy into the scam from the beginning. We, the former members, can debate and argue about it all we want, but for many people who never joined or had any inclination to join, there’s no debate. To them, it’s now a cult, and always has been a cult, beginning on January 1, 1970 (or whenever it actually came into existence). To them, it was just obvious. We sometimes don’t want to admit that they were smarter and wiser than us when it came to recognizing the scam. Their egos weren’t stroked by the promise of being someone special or being part of something special.

Many of us would like to believe there was a time when something “real” was happening there — it’s a comforting thought. Makes us feel smarter, less naive, and better than all of these suckers today. But we — yes, all of us, “we” — were hypnotized just like today’s followers are hypnotized.

It’s always possible things have gotten worse, weirder, stranger, more imbalanced, and more criminal/corrupt. But there were never “the good ole days.” It’s always been pretty, weird, strange, imbalanced, and criminal/corrupt.

81. Insider - September 7, 2016

77,78 – Thanks for the thoughts. They are very helpful. The difficulty with going back to the beginning (1970) is that I wasn’t there at the time. But I’ve still been trying to go back to that time to get the whole picture. These comments, Bonita’s letter/memoirs, even the letter from Miles c. 1988, have all helped a lot.

It’s been said that the bigger the lie, the more readily it will be believed, because the average person, who tells only small lies and exaggerations now and then, cannot imagine other people telling really big, absurd lies, such as being a goddess in a man’s body.

Robert used to say that he wondered if “Influence C” would use the same methods in the FoF as they did in Alex’s group. It’s quite likely that what RB really meant was whether FoF members would believe the same lies that Alex’s students believed. And we did, beginning with “Influence C” itself.

82. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 7, 2016

Insider 81. You are merely one of a million refugees from one of a thousand cult groups who managed to narrow life down to a few hundred or even a few dozen people all of whom adopted the same delusion that they are chosen by divine providence to exist in a state of grace above the dismissible run of the mill. There is absolutely nothing special about this predictable state of ignorance found inside the bubble of mystical narcissism.

There is nothing special about people deceiving themselves (within the context of a closed group of lunatics practicing fantasy mysticism) into believing they are special. It is routine human behavior.

83. WhaleRider - September 7, 2016

i am grateful to have relinquished my superstitious beliefs from the FOF.

One of those beliefs was that “c-influence” was designing the “friction” I experience in my life specifically in order to awaken me.

Armed with that belief, anything that “happened” to me, good or bad, was for a reason, intentionally caused by the invisible hands of angels, and all for my benefit, as long as I paid my mandatory donations each month.

If indeed intentional and not arbitrary, I took that to mean that the bad stuff was supposed to remind me how asleep I was, and the good stuff was a reward for all my efforts at self-remembering.

I mean, c-influence certianly wasn’t sadistic, right? They were just doing their job looking out for me…implying that the same friction experienced outside the cult would somehow put the average person asleep because of all the negative emotion that can happen as a result.

Though, it didn’t really seem to matter how much self remembering I was doing, it was never enough, or how much negative emotion I didn’t express…shit happened anyway, which of course lead me to doubt myself that maybe I wasn’t self-remembering correctly or maybe I need to somehow give more…pay more…in turn destabilizing my psyche, and making me more dependent upon group membership for validation and identity.

How could I trust myself? I had joined because of an identity crisis. When we were all together in a group activity, a dinner, concert, reading, or meeting, I felt my attention was amplified in a way that was difficult to achieve by myself and that felt good, really good, compared to witnessing my parent’s divorce.

Consequently, I spent less and less time alone and more time surrounded by other cult followers…and became entrapped…and in a way addicted to the pleasurable intensity, which fed the exhaustive, hyper-vigilant state dubbed “self-remembering”.

I imagine that a narcissist finds it especially difficult to achieve that level of amplified attention by themselves without an audience…hence the mutually reinforcing glue that welds a guru to his followers and vice versa (or neurotic patient and their therapist).

Every so often, however, an old follower gets to play guru to a new follower, and the cycle of abuse and reality distortion repeats.

That is what is going on behind all the drama in OH, the snake chasing its tail, just rolling along, going in circles.

I think that burton used “c-influence” to give himself carte blanche and chalk up his moral failures as others of his dubious ilk do that “the gods work in mysterious ways”, thus abdicating responsibility for his actions. He has passed that delusion system onto his followers, who will pass it onto others, unless there is an ongoing, healthy, public counter-narrative…which I sorely lacked when I first joined.

Now when shit happens, I’ve learned not to take it personally…nor pass it onto others.

The remaining FOF group is an abuser of human rights; that’s when a church is not a church and should have their status revoked…and be disbanded. Period.

84. Bares Reposting - September 7, 2016


Barbara Bruno Lancaster, Former Cult Member

In 1972, I joined a study group. In 1984, I woke up to find that I had willingly given away my life for 12 years – under an illusion that I was making myself a better person and the world a better place to live in. This wasn’t a dream, I was in a cult.

That sounds pretty drastic. How could anyone let themselves get hooked into such a situation? I was then 27 (hardly a child). Now I must take responsibility for not having taken responsibility. I was a thinker, an artist, a reader who envied the people in history who were lucky enough to live in times where there were opportunities to become part of a movement that made a contribution to humanity. I wanted to understand “what makes us tick,” but found no answers in modern psychology. Perhaps there was an elusive ancient knowledge that I might discover today. I feared a wasted life, and doubted my ability to live self-directedly.

In 1972, I wished to study a psychology called The 4th Way, which is based on the early 20th century writings of George Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky. This philosophy proposes an esoteric system of achieving a permanent higher level of consciousness and stresses the need to find a “real” 4th Way school led by a consciously-developed teacher. After finding a bookmark from a group (I will call it the “SOS” [FoF]), I attended a series of prospective student meetings and came into contact with people who certainly acted esoteric. They were speaking knowledgeably on a subject of great interest to me. I was asked to try a few of the school exercises in behavior modification, and felt awkward and stupid around the students. I couldn’t believe that they wanted me to join! I made the first in a series of monthly donations, and then was directed to a silent, seemingly ineffectual man in the corner, whom they referred to as “The Teacher.”

Within a few weeks, I had moved from my home in Hawaii and was living with other students in a house in Carmel, California. For six months I had little contact with anyone outside of the group. The Teacher and his inner circle of leaders took over the house to work on a book and hold meetings. My activities centered on a constant exposure to his words and to carrying out the directions of his leaders. There were mental exercises to be followed in all waking hours, i.e., words that we were to eliminate from our speech; not using contractions; not crossing our legs and physically moving in a manner that indicated intentionality (we looked like robots). When one could begin to adjust to an exercise, it would be changed. I now spoke only in the special “work language” of the school. For five years I followed a word exercise that forbade the use of the word “I.” One was to refer to themselves only in the 3rd person. (Try ordering a meal without using “I.”) We were used to hearing each other speak, but our special language added to the discomfort of outside communication.

The aim was a heightened state of awareness in which one could regard oneself objectively as a machine-like being. Man existed in a state of walking sleep and needed constant shocks in order to awaken to his real potential. My words, reactions, physical appearance, and basic character were always open for discussion by the others. My behavior and attitudes were constantly observed and classified as indications of a “good” student or a “bad” student. This was always done as suggestions for my own good. I was not supposed to express negativity.

This environment was not all unpleasant. There was a strong feeling of community, a sense of purpose, of spiritual fulfillment, and a new state of awareness of the world that was exhilarating. There were times when I felt that I was losing control of my mind. This was taken care of by taking me for a walk where another student would softly remind me that this was simply a stage in my development, and that confusion itself was really a high state. There was a kindness and humility among the lower ranks of students that made me feel accepted. I was approaching all of this as a one-year experiment in self-knowledge.

Three months after joining this “study group”, a special meeting was called and it was announced that a woman who had left the school had committed suicide. This was seen as an example of what happens when students do not value the knowledge they have been exposed to. The school had become a lifetime endeavor! (Only for those who were strong enough to succeed.)

We were now told that there were invisible higher level beings, called “C Influence” that were around us constantly and would provide shocks to remind us of their presence. When something pleasant, or unpleasant, occurred it was said to be C Influence, providing shocks to awaken me from my lowly state. C Influence spoke directly through the Teacher, and to question this was considered a manifestation of a low level of being. We had been chosen to become the enlightened people who would found a new civilization after a soon-to-come nuclear holocaust. Please remember, this was said in an insulated environment. I began to think that I was constantly being watched and that even my thoughts were subject to judgement by these “higher forces.” Lifton refers to this as the “psychology of the pawn.”

When my savings ran out, I began working again in ordinary life and found that there was a profound distance between myself and my co-workers who were not part of the school. I was quiet and just did my work. My “real” life was elsewhere, and I was thoroughly committed to it.

Although the school control never succeeded in becoming absolute, my ability to measure reality and to maintain personal a[u]tonomy was greatly diminished. In George Orwell’s 1984, he saw this regulating restraint as being accomplished by means of the 2-way telescreen. But a mechanical device is not necessary when one is sufficiently surrounded by “human” apparatus.

The world became divided into black & white. Ideas, feelings, and actions consistent with school policy were praised. Inconsistencies were explained as a waste of my precious time and an incorrect valuation of the opportunities that had been extended to me. Policy was changed over the years, but an unwavering demand was placed upon me to strive permanently for a perfection which did not exist. I became guilty and depressed. I was no longer working for something – I was fighting against myself. Guilt always followed a self-observation, and my repressed negativity could be expressed through complaints about my attitudes. I wanted to “confess” my awareness of a personal failing before someone else could point [out] it out. The more I admit[t]ed to weakness, the easier it was to judge others.

I was the enemy! I began to think that I just wasn’t capable of knowing myself. Other people’s opinion of me was “real.” The school became a living being and I was just a cell in it. The group was more important than me.

I became a “master of justification.” Former cult members all say that they had doubts throughout their involvement. My misgivings became a closely guarded secret, unbearable to admit, even to myself. I developed subtle ways of rebelling, but outwardly I towed the party line. This core of doubt looked for an open door, and I lived in fear of finding it. It was Catch-22. [in FoF speak: Catch-44.]

I sided with the liberal-wing of the school, who felt that they could bring about a more humanizing element, and perhaps ensure their own survival. Yet, too often, I took no action against injustice, deceit, and outright bullying by the Teacher’s appointed leaders, whose power he supported. I watched children being given away when the Teacher decided they were unecessary distractions. Relationships and marriages were broken at his suggestion. The rich were courted and fleeced. The 10% of gross salary for monthly donations rose with an ever-rising list of required special donations. It was almost impossible (both financially, and as proof of commitment) to live outside of a communal situation. Within a “teaching house” there was little or no room for deviation or personal expression. We were an intellectual and cultural group, but the form this took was always at the whim of the Teacher’s taste. He wanted us to become an 18th century culture (imagine a woman’s place in such a society), and a large part of funds went to his antique purchases (the finest works went to his home).

Eventually the group had centers in most major cities in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. The Teacher got the school a State Charter as a Church. He established a winery on the school property in Northern California as a non-profit corporation. We were expected to spend weekends and vacations working at the headquarters. Those with especially high levels of “valuation for the work” lived and worked there full-time. There was no housing provided. People lived crowded together in houses outside the grounds, or in trailers, or slept under a table and kept their belongings in their car trunk. But on Saturday night, they wore tuxedos and gowns to the concert hall, where prestigious musicians would play to an audience who would overwhelm them with applause at the appropriate moments.

In the “SOS” [FoF] an attitude of them-versus-us prevailed. The outside world was dead. Apparently, people who knew too much about the secret activities of the Teacher had been given direct tasks not to tell the others. You were asked to leave if you broke a task. If you left the school you were ostracized.

I was happily married to another student, whom I trusted with some of my doubts. We had a little mixed-breed dog who was very precious to us. I came close to a nervous breakdown in 1980 when the Teacher declared that we could only have pedigreed animals. I began to realize how much control the Teacher had over anything I cared about. I saw only two choices: become quietly insane (as others had), or commit suicide. I could not imagine having the strength to leave the school. My husband Ronald suffered greatly in his fear that I was losing my commitment. He began defending me to people who were offering him advice about changing my behavior. We became part of a developing underground of discontent where small confidences were shared. In time, an ethical member of the Board of Directors [Samuel Sanders] discovered criminal actions and called for public censure of the Teacher. This information was strong enough to penetrate through to what was left of my self-respect, and I could not offer a single justification. Even then, I thought that things could now change for the better. A meeting was called, by a representative of the Teacher, to discuss the situation. I brought up my concerns: Students were not free to seek help from mental professionals; many were becoming alcoholics, and we were, generally, living in a state of fear. I was told that these problems were my imagination and the fear was only within me. I snapped!

I left the group – after 12 years. l felt helpless. I had no friends and was deeply in debt. I couldn’t explain the lost years. To the outside world a cult experience itself indicates a flawed mentality. I grieved for those left behind, imprisoned by their learned ability to accept the unacceptable. Ronald, myself, and a few others felt marooned on a strange shore, cringing, clinging, and finally, setting out to discover our new world.

Within a few months, we became part of a former cult members group at the Cult Clinic in Los Angeles. The Clinic was a flame burning in my dark night. I will always be grateful for their understanding. What has been most helpful is hearing that ex-members share the same experience even though the form of each group is different. What cults believe is not important (it may be truth or nonsense). The key indication of danger lies in an insulated organization that lacks a system of checks and balances.

l choose to believe that the positive things I retain from my experience are a credit to the sincere relationships I once shared, to my abiding faith in the goodness of God and nature, and to my own intelligence and self-respect.

However, I did not gain this from the “SOS,” [FoF] but rather, in spite of it.

Most ex-cult members do not speak out. Many never realize they were in a cult. They just leave one day, and eventually look for something else to replace it. My activities in cult awareness – reading, writing, lecturing, and creating publications – are looked upon as extreme by some of the people who left the school with me.

The most common reaction to my story is: “Well, that could never happen to me!” I’ve met with a lot of former members and they are not stupid. Most are highly intelligent. The newer groups are especially appealing to the well-educated. Recruitment is directed to the best, the brightest, and the most idealistic of persons. Every cult member is a recruiter whose sincerity is infectious. Please note: Because cult members can only associate with people inside the group, they will see outsiders purely as potential recruits or losers. I did not feel I “recruited” my mother and my life-long friend when they joined the “SOS” [FoF] at my encouragement – I wanted to “help” them down the one true path.

Mind control exists – – it produces an inability to act from one‘s own integrity. Brainwashing is spiritual rape. Remember: No one ever thinks they are joining a cult.
Barbara Bruno Lancaster

85. ton2u - September 9, 2016

Hey Whalerider, Thanks for posting the Zappa @ 52 – hadn’t heard that one before… been a fan since high school and he’s still one of my favorite composer / musicians… love his guitar work.

86. Bares Reposting - September 10, 2016

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold
is for people of good conscience
to remain silent.
Edmund Burke

* * * * * *
FoF Blog Page 5/#363:
‘Perpetua Says:
April 7th, 2007 at 8:42 am
I found this letter in Stella Wirk’s website.
I think some of you might like to know about it.

Samuel Sanders Tries to Help FOF

The following Letter to the Board of Directors, Fellowship of Friends, was presented by Samuel L. Sanders, one of the FOF board members, in an attempt to have the Board of Directors take appropriate action to censure the unethical and criminal behavior of Robert E. Burton, self-professed prophet of the Fellowship of Friends.

(Around this same time, a precedent was set for this by the San Francisco Zen Center which had done the same for their leader for similar activities, and had given their leader a year off as leader to get straightened out with counseling or whatever. This had given some hope to FOF members that something similar could be accomplished.)

It was not discovered until later that Burton’s unethical activity already had transpired unabated for fourteen years!

Samuel’s letter to the Board:

March 4, 1984

Dear Friends,

What is to be said can only be heard through your heart. Please try to listen from that part. For a long time we have been part of a criminal process which has hurt many individuals. Some of these individuals have been sacrificed because we have chosen not to listen to our conscience.

Robert has over the years pursued and sodomized young men. He has used his position to seduce these young men with the promise of immortality. His actions are simply that of a degenerate being no matter how refined. We in our blindness have allowed some dear individuals to be defiled and damaged by his appetites. Our ommission, and it is one in the strictest sense, is allowing it to continue.

Some of these young men have become seriously psychologically impaired through this process. Yet we go on minimizing it because it is safer not to know. These acts are a violation of Robert’s position. If we excuse this by saying that it is his privilege or his private weakness we are both accomplice and victim. If it is allowed to continue, the karma which we attract will bring down our school and leave very heavy stains on our being. It is simply not worth the contamination wrought.

There may be much discomfort which comes from these words. But please try to think of the anguish some of these young men have been subject to in the name of evolution; and ask yourself whether you would knowingly, as a higher being, conduct your life in this way.

Can you truly accept that one can enter higher worlds by such actions? Would you wish to enter these worlds by such acts? This reasoning leads to one final not-so-profound conclusion; the Emperor is indeed very naked and we sadly provide his mantle.

Robert is a victim also. The highest that one can extend him is compassion and help. If one becomes angered at him or oneself or me the cycle continues. He is and will be confused and hurt by these actions. Yet firmness and equanimity are what is needed. We do great harm to our school and our being should we choose not to act.

We have talked and preached an ethic of love and acting for the higher right. Now is the time to be the words. It would also be a solemn and humane act for us to help the young men who have been hurt and damaged by Robert. It would be a proper legacy to pass on to the next generation.

If you find in your solitude that fear and or the wish to defend has kept you from hearing what has been said, you lose a very dear friend. You lose yourself!

In friendship,
Samuel L. Sanders

Update within a day:

The Board of Directors would not discuss this letter or its contents and closed the meeting to “think about it.” The next day, unbeknownst to Samuel Sanders, the Board of Directors voted to remove Samuel as a Board member and excommunicate him from the Fellowship of Friends.

On June 6, 1984, Case Number 36937 was filed in Superior Court of California, County of Yuba, by Samuel L. Sanders, Plaintiff, versus Defendants: Fellowship of Friends, Inc., a corporation; Robert Burton; Miles Barth; Frank Annis; Gerard Haven; Helga Ruth Mueller; Abraham Goldman; Charles Frank; Charles Randall; Clair Bowan; and Does 1 through 50, inclusive.

The Lawsuit Complaints:
1. Fraud
2. Conspiracy to defraud
3. Breach of fiduciary duty
4. Conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty
5. Injunction
6. Damages

During this time, Stella Wirk still was publishing a small newsletter called “The WirkShop,” in which she had reported on the lawsuit and letters to the editor contained comments about the situation. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Stella and Harold were out of the group, the members of FOF who subscribed to the paper had subsequently cut off their subscriptions per FOF rules about not communicating with former members in any way. (Part of the conspiracy is that the usual line given members is “If you don’t communicate with former members, they have a better chance to come back into the teaching!” The “Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap” approach, and it works.)

Abraham Goldman, lawyer for the Fellowship of Friends, brought a copy of “The WirkShop” to court and asked the presiding judge to put a “gag order” on the case, and charged that Stella was “out to destroy the Fellowship” with gossip and slander. The “gag order” was ordered by the Judge, all this without any notification to Stella Wirk. The result was that none of the participants in the lawsuit were permitted to speak about it to each other or anyone else!

(Abraham Goldman has gone so far as to state publicly for newspaper articles that Stella is merely a “disgruntled former member” who is leading a *conspiracy* to destroy the FOF because of a personal vendetta against Burton! Stella finds it amusing that a lawyer would make such a ridiculous statement. A conspiracy to expose the truth?)

The outcome of the lawsuit, some three or so years later, was that it was settled out of court. That is, the Fellowship of Friends made a financial settlement payment to Samuel Sanders, and the case was over and would not go to trial. Samuel was not permitted to reveal the financial nature of the settlement, due to the “gag order” and Robert Burton told members of the Fellowship of Friends that the case was “dropped for lack of evidence,” or words to this effect, lying to the FOF membership.

It was considered by members to be a 4th Way Work effort to follow Robert’s task of not speaking about this issue among the members, which effectively gagged most of the FOF and thus insuring the secret life of Robert Burton would remain secret for several more years.


It was approximately two years ago that an upsetting event took place at a meeting held at the FOF farm at Oregon House. From information received, the meeting was led by Belinda Rockwood (formerly known as Linda Kaplan), who asked the members attending, “Are there any questions?” the standard opening for an FOF meeting.

Yes, there were several pointed questions about what was occurring with Robert Burton’s activities, to which Belinda would redirect the meeting by re-stating her required topic. Some people still tried to ask questions and Belinda abruptly ended the meeting. Those people who had stood at the meeting and asked questions were excommunicated from the Fellowship by the next day. Emily Gordon, Ramona Merryweather, to name two long-term members (Ramona from the 1970s!), thrown out of the group for no other reason than requesting truth!

Of course, people being ousted from FOF are not said to be “excommunicated.” The line for their removal is, “They were *released* by higher forces.” Mmmm Hmmm, sure. “Higher forces” are supportive of the life Burton leads, according to Burton, which is almost as absurd as Goldman’s remarks.

It was about this time in 1995 that approximately 250 members left FOF (although rumors erroneously report about 400 people left).

Last we heard, the farm, now called Apollo, is no longer open to the public one day a week and no tours are being made there. The restaurant, La Cochina, is closed to the public and only open once a week for the membership.

The Fellowship conspiracy to “cover up” Burton’s activities is not explained by weather balloons flying over Apollo, yet it may be becoming more clear that these terrible secrets may be coming out at long last.

If a board covers green grass on a lawn, the grass turns brown and all sorts of insects, worms and other wiggly things take up residence under the board. When lifting the board and allowing the sun to shine in that former dark spot, the grass immediately begins to heal in the sunlight, and the bugs, beatles and other insects scurry out of sight fast! Healing for the Fellowship requires that light be shed on all that has been kept in the dark for a quarter of a century and the group must return to adhering to the *original principles* of the Fourth Way!

Everyone in the hierarchy involved in keeping the membership in the dark certainly is responsible for supporting this unfortunate situation.’

87. Bares Reposting - September 10, 2016

The only thing necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

* * * * * *
1. black marker – May 20, 2009

Da..d Spring…ld, Attorney at Law November 19, 2007

To All Board Members of the Fellowship of Friends, Inc. and Giova.ni Bu.co [then CFO of FoF]

Re: No Further Legal Representation

Dear Board Members and Giova.ni

I am not sending this letter because I like writing of these matters or because I want to repeat what has already been stated repeatedly by both Abraham and me. This letter is written because of my professional obligations and my personal obligations to the School.

My professional responsibilities require me to send this letter to confirm again that I will provide no further legal services to the Fellowship of Friends, and have stopped working on all ongoing legal matters that I was involved with. This letter also advises you to immediately work with Abraham Goldman and/or other legal counsel to handle the legal work I was involved in and to address other ongoing and/or upcoming legal matters that I will outline in this letter.

The recent board activities have been covered in a number of letters and emails by Abraham and me. None of the communications were ever acknowledged or responded to by any board member.

As you know, Abraham and I were instructed to stop all legal work.

First, a directive was issued on November 3, 2007, via email, on behalf of Et..n Har..s, Chairman of the Board, through R.se Ke.n.dy S.afer Vice Chairman of the Board, without explanation, question, or discussion. My emails and letter of November 6, 2007, about this heavy-handed and improper directive were ignored by all board members.

Next, I wrote to Li.da T.li.so [then president of Fellowship of Friends] who ignored my question about what to do about the ongoing legal work but was ignored. After learning about the secret board meeting and illegal vote that took place on or about November 10, 2007, I talked with Li.da T.li.so the President in person at her office on November 13, 2007. Linda confirmed the secret vote of the Board (although both W.yne Mo.t and Al.n Sc.wa.tzbe.g lied that no other “crisis team” members voted at the secret Board meeting) and Linda instructed me to suspend all my legal work. I confirmed this in a letter dated November 13, 2007 that has also been copied to all of you. There was no response to this letter from anyone.

On November 18, 2007, I was voted off the Board of Directors. Now, no longer working as attorney, nor being able to act as a member of the Board, I will be unable to assist the Fellowship with any legal work or offer any oversight.

All of this occurred after one week of false and contradictory statements by W.yne Mo.t, Al.n Sc.wa.tzbe.g, Et.an Ha.ris and others about the secret board meeting where this was already decided in advance. Only G.eg Hol.an [presumed current president of Fellowship of Friends] acknowledged yesterday that the secret Board meeting was improper and that he wished that matters would have been done openly and correctly.

The failure by almost all of the Board members to even have the decency or honesty to acknowledge a secret Board meeting was held and a secret vote taken (to vote the lawyers off the Board), without any opportunity to address the issues by the persons involved is below the level of school work for any student, let alone a board member with responsibility for our church.

Al.n Sc.warzbe.g’s refusal to show the minutes of the secret Board meeting, and subsequent refusal to return my many calls and emails, is conduct that is highly irregular for the Secretary of the Corporation and the Board of Directors. To date, I still have not obtained a copy of the “RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS” that I personally saw when both Alan and Wayne in heavy-handed fashion informed Abe and myself, on November 12, 2007, we were voted off the Board.

It is my feeling that what occurred over the last three weeks is a combination of crime, gross carelessness and ignorance of almost all Board members.

In my opinion, serious crimes have likely been committed and are possibly continuing to be committed by current members on the Board. This should be addressed immediately. As I wrote about in my letter of November 6, 2007, the requirement of legal compliance and checks and balances within our organization needs urgent attention. The Board has been for some time but a passive “rubber-stamp” board without active or meaningful oversight. This almost complete inaction may create the impression of the Fellowship as a criminal organization that is functioning as the later ego of Robert Burton, involved in a conspiracy to engage in financial, tax and immigration fraud, and perhaps other illegal activities and/or tortuous conduct.

Responding to a call from Mr.Margalli? this morning, I gave him my impressions of yesterday’s Board meeting. Mr. Margalli? suggested I write a confirming letter and cover the ongoing legal work that you must all appreciate should be addressed immediately.

This list does not purport to cover all of the areas that need immediate and significant work, and you should immediately consult with Abraham and all other lawyers for the Fellowship.

The legal work I have been involved in covers the following areas:

1. Immigration. Ongoing assessment and evaluations of the needs and requirements of our religious programs/individual’s status and possible need to go back to their country of origin. I will notify Mr. Shusterman of the fact I will be no longer working with him on behalf of the Fellowship. I was also working with a number of individual students who would call with questions in the last months.

2. Financial Compliance. This is critical and should be a top priority. You have knowingly allowed having a system in place where the CFO [then: Giova.ni Bu.co] is made responsible but essentially helpless and without authority. The CFO is not being consulted in important decisions. The Fellowship’s financial activities, in my opinion, could be seen as criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud and private inurement benefiting Robert and a number of other individuals (including possibly some Board members) and could be considered a fraud on the government. The status as a non profit corporation could well be in serious danger.

3. Investigation/Monitoring of Blog?GF[Greater Fellowship social networking website]/PR, etc. Several times this year I have written to Youtube or other websites to have offending material taken off line. This has been largely successful. I also have conducted an investigation into aspects of the Blog and some individuals with the aim to allow us to file suit for defamation and/or invasion of privacy if and when appropriate. I have worked on obtaining PR consultations for which then no funding was purportedly available. (Nic.ol.s Spa.ldi.g who was helping in this area, was threatened by Et.an Har.is to stop working with Abraham and myself) This area should be a major concern for the Board which has been almost totally unresponsive.

4. It was our diligent monitoring of the blog that put us on notice that A.af Brave.man’s arranged (by Fellowship officers and/or agents) fraudulent marriage to Elisa.et.a da Ros was being exposed to the world. This finally stimulated action in this area but more is needed. I will no longer monitor the Blogs or any other sites, in any language, and will no longer assist with analysis and efforts to bring these matters into compliance. A lot more needs to be done in this area for many involved.

5. Insurance. We were working on a review of all materials from the Internet and other sources that could constitute a claim (including foreign websites). I wrote about this before as well. Insurance could possibly pay for some of the costs incurred, including legal costs. I will stop all my work on this claim process, including any work on the research into the bad faith claim aspect of the insurance which I wrote about before. TIme may be of the utmost essence. See my letter of November 6, 2007.

6. Other matters: There are outstanding million dollar judgments from the Ming litigation era that will need to be renewed in the next years, if the Fellowship wants to collect on them. I had this calendared for a review in January 2008, 10 years after the first settlements and judgments were obtained. Given the success we have had collecting from various parties, I would consider this an important item to follow up on. I will no longer take any action in this area either.

In short, the overall picture is in my opinion that the Fellowship itself, Robert, and a number of our friends, including several board members and officers, continue to be in potential legal jeopardy and liability.

With the information, according to what I gathered from my investigation, shared by certain former members to various agencies, I cannot envision that there will not be a government investigation and/or lawsuit in the planning/preparation stages with possibly serious consequences for the Fellowship, the Board of Directors, Robert and possibly a number of individual students, including possibly individual Board members.

A fully professional and active compliance team to put matters straight must be created. This team would need to be working daily, hands on, with the supervision and input from professionals. The existing irregularities cannot be hidden from the people that need to help bring us into compliance.

Again, I am no longer acting as the Fellowship’s attorney. Immediate attention is required to the numerous outstanding legal issues facing the Fellowship. You are advised to consult with legal counsel immediately.

Thank you for your time and consideration to these important matters. Do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.

Very truly yours,
Dav.d Spri.gfield

cc. Robert E. Burton ??? Abraham Gold.an, Esq.

88. Associated Press - September 10, 2016

89. Associated Press - September 10, 2016

Snippets from yubafoothills.com:

Randy Fletcher District 5 Supervisor Candidate tied to Cult 😦
Fellowship Becomes Issue in Political Race

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

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

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

Is it possibly because of events occurring around 2012 when the Fellowship lost most of their paying members? Prior to this time, their leader forbid them to get involved politically. The word is they had a meeting and decided to start reaching out to the community. Do they have a strategy? Why did they start getting members to register to vote (those who are legal)? We wonder why they began sending certain members out to schmooze with politicians
and worm their way into local politics. Some are writing articles to discredit the incumbent candidate and other candidates. Some of these were going to the Republican Party Central Committee meetings and interrupting spouting out their agendas. Was part of their strategy to put fear into people that the government was going to control their property rights and a lot of other rhetoric? Some of our citizens have bought into this nonsense and have taken the Kool-Aid. Folks, in case you haven’t taken a look at cults and how they operate, just one of their strategies is to put fear into people, brain wash them, schmooze them until they drain their life and finances.

Some of the Fellowship’s well known members are Charles Sharp, Nick Spaulding, Greg Holman, and Steve Dambeck. In an article in the April 30th edition of the Appeal Democrat, Sharp admits his business relationship with candidate Randy Fletcher. Nick Spaulding continues to write articles in the TD about Hal Stocker. Nick has attached himself to 1st district Supervisor Andy Vasquez. Where you see Andy, you will see Nick. Vasquez recently voted, not once, but twice to give tax money paid to Yuba County back to the Fellowship. Greg Holman seems to control the Alcouffe Center in Oregon House as do many of the Fellowship members. Dambeck has made it to the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce where his status will surely provide benefit to his partner Randy Fletcher and the Fellowship.

With one supervisor, Vasquez, seemingly in the Fellowships’ embrace, adding Fletcher as an ally seems to forward the cults’ objectives. A former cult member says “The Fellowship of Friends’ tentacles reach into every non-profit in the North Yuba area. The cult has long sought to exploit any channel of public funding available. In this endeavor, a sympathetic supervisor can be an important ally and valuable asset.”

The husband and wife that solicited Randy Fletcher to run are now considered hypocrites by the community. What happened to their conservative family values and government by the people points of view?

Folks, please verify this for yourself and let us stop the tentacles from choking the life out of this community. Protect our youth and innocent people and pray that we don’t wind up with another supervisor that is beholding to the Fellowship of Friends.
Louise Reid Brownsviile, CA


This is Randy Fletcher far left, in the middle is
Greg Holman (president with fellowship of friends) Another key figure is the man in the white shirt is -Charles Sharpe, a wealthy man who is also in the fellowship of friends. Both of these men are some of Fletcher’s financial supporters. Information proving this has been obtained through the county elections office 460 financial contributions records.

If you don’t believe it, don’t take my word for it!
Take the time and go to the elections office and ask for yourself, copies of these records are 10cents each and are undeniable proof of his involvement with the Fellowship of Friends.


This is Randy Fletcher with Steven Dambeck who is the President of Apollo Olive Oil, another Fellowship of Friends company here in Oregon House. Steven is another Fellowship of Friends campaign funder of Randy Fletcher.

*These pictures were obtained off Randy Fletcher’s own campaign page.



So the Appeal-Democrat reports that The Fellowship of Friends, Inc. has been trying for years to get a $520,000 tax refund from the county, and the Supervisors recently voted 3-1 to deny the refund. I would think that, for the Fellowship, that’s a pretty big deal.

And, coincidentally, we reportedly have four high-profile, long-term Fellowship members actively working with the campaigns of two candidates in the race for County Supervisor, including one candidate who hopes to unseat the 5th District incumbent (who just happened to oppose the refund.) And the 5th District just happens to be the Fellowship’s district.

You might expect the “fact” that Fletcher, Dambeck, and Sharp are, or at least were, business partners would raise some eyebrows. But apparently not. And “nightshift” says Randy’s not tied to any cult. (How about to a “church” that has been often referred to as a cult?) Well, how would you characterize his business partnerships? Are those “ties” to the Fellowship? . . .


“Visiting the farm puts perspective on where our money goes”
…After a few more stops in Bangor, including to the grand opening of Spencer Shirey Winery, we made our way to Oregon House, in Yuba County. That’s where our adventure got weird.

There was no mistaking where to turn to enter Renaissance Vineyard and Winery when we saw the gold statues atop white pillars at the main entrance. We stopped at the guard shack and were handed a detailed map to the tasting room, in a terracotta building atop the hill. We drove up the palm-tree-lined boulevard and through two roundabouts, each studded with another pillar and statue. Strategically parked cars barred us from going off-route. Along the way, we saw goats, yaks, French donkeys and camels. (After all, does anything say “Renaissance” quite like camels and gilded statues of David?)

At check-in, we were told that the property is owned by a nonprofit religious organization (the Fellowship of Friends) and that the winery is a for-profit benefiting FoF. The wines were decent, but the olive oils, by independently owned Apollo Olive Oil, also on site for tasting, were de-lish. We chatted up the Italian owner of Apollo and went home with a bottle of balsamic that was otherworldly.

A later Google search revealed our suspicions that Renaissance felt like a cult were well-founded. The Fellowship of Friends’ website explains that the group was started by spiritual teacher Robert Burton in 1970, and the 1,200-acre Oregon House property is the group’s home base. FoF’s goal is “awakening” and “being present” and further Web searches led to numerous references to it as a cult complete with sex scandals and end-of-days predictions.

No one tried to indoctrinate us during our visit. My inquisitive side enjoyed seeing the property, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy any Renaissance wines. It was so strikingly different from meeting the families at places like Hickman or Spencer Shirey. And I had to ask myself: Do I want to support a mysterious religious group, or a local family? Without going out and seeing for myself, I might never have known the difference.
READ: newsreview.com

90. Mad Cult Member - September 12, 2016

I want to ask the Insider how he/she keeps her sanity being exposed to the new “teaching”?

91. Out of Time - September 12, 2016

I second the question.

92. Insider - September 13, 2016

90,91 – First, why is that of interest to you? Second, why should anyone’s “sanity” (whatever that is) be affected by what anyone else says or does? Do you suppose that, if you walk through, and/or spend time in, a psychiatric ward, you will emerge “insane” (whatever that is)?

Not trying to evade the question. Just looking for clarification. You must know this subject is a huge “can of worms.”

93. brucelevy - September 13, 2016

92. Insider

Isn’t the more poignant question ‘Why are you still in?”

94. Insider - September 13, 2016

93 – Same question for you, Bruce. Why does it matter to you?

95. Mad Cult Member - September 13, 2016

For me it is important, because I am in FOF and I mad 🙂 The Absolute visited Robert and he kissed his feet and now we are so lucky because this never happened before. Our grandfather is the author of the Universe! And soon we will be having the brightest times because when Life will have the darkest hour it will be the brightest hour for the Schools. Life is an unsolvable problem, it only exists to realize Holly Scriptures: the end of the worlds. And we certainly deserve it because we were supporting Influence C for half a century. We can not overestimate this Gift! Christ said nicely it in 6 words: I’ve done what you asked – I completed the theme of the sequence: Be.

96. Ill Never Tell - September 13, 2016

Oy vey!!!!!!

97. WhaleRider - September 13, 2016

Hey, before one of us pisses you off and you leave in a huff, I wanted to thank you for your posts. They are invaluable to me and others I’m sure, and serve as a stark verification that I made the right choice for the direction of my life.

You are certianly welcome here if by reaching out and sharing some of the craziness in which you are currently immersed helps you to feel better, strenghtens your conscience, or helps to establish ties to an alternate consensual reality picture of the FOF; I’m sure you’ll find some of us will gladly play the devil’s advocate for you, and even still possess a sense of humor, which IMHO, is a requirement for living in this crazy world.

Granted, some, if not all of the shit that goes down in the FOF isn’t funny…and when I look at the pic of burton and his protégé in their matching pink pajamas, it makes me want to puke.

It’s just odd from my perspective. There is no rational reason to be in a fear based cult and give up your human rights. It’s masochistic. Unless you are the cult leader, in which case, you are the head sadist.

98. Out of Time - September 13, 2016

92: Insider

I, for one, am glad you are in. But my reason is selfish–I’m still hungry for information about the House of Horrors, and you provide it.

I don’t fear for your sanity, but for the contamination of what is best in you. I know, only too well, how hard it is to rip oneself away from friends and beliefs. But for me, when I saw behind the curtain, and realized the spiritual organization I’d given my life to was, in fact, an insidious cult, still soliciting and luring innocents into the big tent (literally), I couldn’t be a part of it anymore.

I wish you well on your path, and can’t pretend it’s easy out here. But it’s clean.

95: Mad cult member

You’re either joking, or you’re a joke. The best to you in either case.

99. WhaleRider - September 13, 2016

What no intro?

Is this “Mad Cult Member”‘s first post?

Or a person displaying troll-like behavior wearing a different mask?

100. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 13, 2016

Note that there is a compulsion among the population to insist that everyone else should be doing what I do (in order to help me validate what I’m doing). You have to laugh.

Note to website: Not crazy about my new color scheme.

101. WhaleRider - September 13, 2016

Correct me if I’m wrong, I get a sense you may have been a member for quite some time now, which would give us different perspectives regarding each of our FOF careers.

Despite spending six years in the FOF cult, in retrospect, I would have benefited if I had had some outside interaction with a person who left relatively soon after joining, or spotted the FOF as a cult even after the prospective student meetings, such as did our illustrious blog founder, the Sheik. As it is, the insular cult made sure I didn’t through the inhumane practice of devaluing and shunning dissenters (or “disconnecting” in Scientology lingo). Imagine the harm caused by cult parents shunning their children? Parents can expect their kids to shun them at a certain stage, but not the other way around! That’s fucked up, IMO.

I don’t know if you’re on a solo mission here, but leaving the cult as a group does have its advantages, though, and I am especially grateful to still have contact with those who left at about when I did. I also had the good fortune of leaving with my girlfriend at the time.

To put it in your terms, I left because I wasn’t willing to dedicate my life to the second and third line of work at the expense of my first line of work, as I understood it. And I wasn’t willing to allow anyone else dictate what the first line of work was for me, that was supposed to be my responsibility, as it ought to be, IMO.

I have to say, the thought of endlessly chanting the 30 canine commands to defeat my “self will” is ludicrous to me. I’m glad I missed that phase!!

Will is consciousness and consciousness is will. So IMO, to give up my self will is tantamount to both giving up my selfhood and choosing to diminish my consciousness, and not the opposite as the cult suggests. I had to learn that the hard way, for sure.

Although at times in the FOF admittedly there are what most people would deem enjoyable activities, such as dinners, concerts, and shows, and everything is so clean and orderly on the surface, which also helps relieve the subterranean atmosphere of anxiety, insecurity, depression, and angst, but that relief is only temporary and mildly palliative to all the crazy rhino shit that’s going on politically and spiritually in the FOF. So at some point, enough is enough, don’t you think?

But who said anything about leaving?Maybe you’re here just blowing off some steam or to piss someone off in the FOF, I can certianly get behind that, but if you are looking for a way out of the mental trap, that matters to me, and probably to others here, too.

If you are looking for reasons to stay in the FOF, well, you’ll probably find those here, too. Life is full of paradoxes. Yet, there are those who think you deserve to suffer for your closely held delusions, and all too many sheepish followers voluntarily willing to do so, hedging their bets out of fear of judgement in an imagined afterlife.

The main motivation in my mind that would drive me put up with such inane craziness over a long period of time is survival. I would put up with some measure of craziness if it was someone I loved, but not if they hurt me.

So I don’t blame you for being guarded when your survival depends upon it, or if you are stuck because someone you love is in the FOF, if that is the case. You could also have been born in the FOF, for all we know. You are certianly someone’s son or daughter, whose parents would hopefully want the best for you.

Thanks again for posting. I wish you well.

102. Mad Cult Member - September 14, 2016

@ whalerider
I am sorry I freaked you out to the point you wanted to expose me. Thanks to the moderator he was cool about it. I have a hope! So you think Insider has someone he cares about and I am just a peace of trash. Guess what, I do have a few people I care about and love. And if you made it out smooth, good for you. I wish I had my best friends agree with my point of you, but they don’t. They think I am loosing the school. And on my end I don’t know how to replace my life-long friends just because fucking Robert is gone crazy. You did not understand my sarcasm? Well, you did not come to the events recently, did you? I wrote word to word what Robert says. I couldn’t make it up if my life depended on it. Insider knows what I’m talking about.

103. Mad Cult Member - September 14, 2016

I was so mad, I deleted the daily card without reading it.

104. Mad Cult Member - September 14, 2016

The other day I passed the folks in Yuba City holding signs: Are you suicidal-here is the phone number, your life matters. I laughed. Who is suicidal? But after a few days I regretted that I did not memorize that damn phone number.

105. Golden Veil - September 14, 2016

86. Bares Reposting – September 10, 2016

The letter you posted – that was written by an attorney, Samuel Sanders, who was a board member of the Fellowship of Friends – is shocking to me. I have heard of this letter – but to read it in its entireity is a shock. I quote from the letter:

“March 4, 1984

Dear Friends,

What is to be said can only be heard through your heart. Please try to listen from that part. For a long time we have been part of a criminal process which has hurt many individuals. Some of these individuals have been sacrificed because we have chosen not to listen to our conscience.

Robert has over the years pursued and sodomized young men. He has used his position to seduce these young men with the promise of immortality. His actions are simply that of a degenerate being no matter how refined. We in our blindness have allowed some dear individuals to be defiled and damaged by his appetites. Our omission, and it is one in the strictest sense, is allowing it to continue.

Some of these young men have become seriously psychologically impaired through this process. Yet we go on minimizing it because it is safer not to know. These acts are a violation of Robert’s position. If we excuse this by saying that it is his privilege or his private weakness we are both accomplice and victim. If it is allowed to continue, the karma which we attract will bring down our school and leave very heavy stains on our being. It is simply not worth the contamination wrought.”

The above quote, for me, is the bottom line. I am no longer a student – a dues paying member of the Fellowship of Friends. But if I were, even though this letter was written 25 + years ago – these sordid, hurtful activities of the Teacher are not ones that I could support or condone. No, he is not above my conscience, the ‘Law”, however you want to put it – these activities are just plain wrong.

88. Associated Press – September 10, 2016

A is REB a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’? I think not – look at that clothing!

89. Associated Press – September 10, 2016

Yes, follow the money. One learns the truth !

90. Mad Cult Member – September 12, 2016 –

102. Mad Cult Member – September 14, 2016

Gentlemen, (and Ladies?) writing posts between There are numerous posts here between 90. Mad Cult Member and 102. Mad Cult Member regarding the new poster on the blog, “The Insider.”

Who do you think you are (psychic?) – to know that “The Insider” is still inside the cult, that is, a donation paying member of the Fellowship of Friends?

It is no wonder that more of the excommunicated – or self-excommunicated members of the Fellowship of Friends do not post here. They literally get jumped on.

106. WhaleRider - September 14, 2016

@Mad Cult Member
(530) 673-8255
Toll Free: (888) 923-3800

Be assured the Fofblogmoderator will not reveal your identity, but I believe he can tell us if you have posted here before under another name from the same IP address.

Often we have encountered troll behavior suddenly appearing out of the blue when a poster arrives with inside information.

Troll behavior is posting inflammatory statements and personal attacks just to piss others off or distract us from our main thread.

As you can probably tell, burton casts a long shadow in our lives, and it is plausible that spewing cult dogma like that could very well silence a FOF fence-sitter if they feel they are being watched by FOF minders here.

I am now sensing the split in you that could very well cause thoughts of suicide, and I thank you for posting how you really feel, as opposed to how you want us to feel reading the insane doctrine of an entrenched follower in your first post, of which it now appears you are skeptical.

If you indeed want to connect with us, I recommend telling us a bit more about yourself or the predicament in which you find yourself, or how you are truely feeling about the FOF, as long as you do not compromise your identity.

107. Tim Campion - September 14, 2016

Mad Cult Member,

Over nine years ago, after Robert and Asaf had introduced The Sequence, and Robert announced the move away from the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, there began a mass exodus from the Fellowship. This coincided with the discovery of “the Sheik’s” first blog (predecessor of this discussion blog) and a very public dialogue between members, ex-members, and those on the fence.

Perhaps you, and Insider, and Out of Time are the first in another wave of members shaken off by Burton’s escalating insanity and the rampant corruption that is consuming the organization.

We have witnessed numerous cult leaders take down their followers with them. I think it’s a good time to abandon the Ark. And bring your friends with you.

108. WhaleRider - September 14, 2016

Guru Tastes the Absolut, Raises Bar Higher

Orgone House, CA- Fellowship of Friends cult leader Robert Enough Burton recently said something that actually made sense last week when he revealed to his inner jerk circle of followers during the course of a late evening symposium in the exclusive, well-stocked, subterranean wine cellar of his posh mansion, that he had “tasted the Absolut and it was good”, especially as a jiz chaser, thinly mixed with freshly squeezed virgin orange juice…an alcoholic drink commonly known as a ‘Screw Driver’.

This inspired Steven Glenbeck, one of the Fellowship’s main spin persons, to rationalize to the slavish outer circle who foot the bill that the reason their Lord and Master seems to have lately become unfettered by the bonds of reason is that “when a person has an experience with the Absolut, it is so profound that it scrambles the logical mind and is difficult to talk about. So it’s fine not to discuss it with anyone”. Glenbeck also reminds them with a thought-terminating cliché, that as Charles Manson, another infamous Northern Californian cult leader once said, ‘No sense makes sense’.

Some of Burton’s vodka-loving Russian followers were unimpressed, faithfully overlooking Burton’s signs of alcohol induced dementia, and simple mindedly shrugged it off to the buckets of drivel that he regularly spews forth when his mouth is not busy performing his well known ‘enhanced spiritual techniques’ on hundreds of his young male followers, knowing full well that the poor 2000 year old Goddess imprisoned in Burton’s toxic body has had, among her other quirks, a long term drinking problem to compensate for such heavy task. After all, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky both had drinking problems, too.

Other ardent followers of the reclusive cult were more impressed and also expressed their relief when Burton recently commented that in support of Donald Trump, the cult will also build more walls and make others pay for it, apparently to more effectively block the cash cow herd of immigrants attempting to flee from the cult to freedom and a better way of life.

109. brucelevy - September 14, 2016

108. WhaleRider

One of your best.

110. Out of Time - September 14, 2016

to Mad Cult Member (102)

” I wish I had my best friends agree with my point of you, but they don’t. They think I am loosing the school. And on my end I don’t know how to replace my life-long friends just because fucking Robert is gone crazy.”

I had a lot of “best friends” saying the same thing. They even offered to keep me in the FOF for NO teaching payments. I now know they are insane. They are not friends. And when you, hopefully, make the break, and leave the FOF, this will become increasingly clear to you as well.

I wish you love and luck on your path, as I do to all the rest of us “blog people” who continue on as best we can. Please take heed from sincere souls who have been there…

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
Emily Dickinson

111. Fee fi fo fum - September 14, 2016

105 Golden Veil

Small detail re the reference to #86 — My recollection is that Sam S was a salesman, not an attorney. 87’s reposted letter was by an attorney.

112. Cristal (Cristalclear) - September 15, 2016

Insider,Mad Cult Member

Leaving the fellowship is a process and it takes time.
We have all been there,we have all been “fence sitters”or “sideline observers”at some point and we know that leaving can be difficult, for many different reasons.
We all had to take our time and make a decision.
Please don’t wait too long,if you can see the madness, it’s time to go.
I really appreciate your contribution to this blog,and the fact you are here gives me hope.
I wish you all the best.

Out of Time 110
Thank you, the poem is beautiful.

113. Oscar - September 15, 2016

“… we know that leaving can be difficult, for many different reasons.”

This line of thinking is one of the reasons that many people stay: a fear of everything that supposedly will happen to us if we leave. It compels many people to stop and think about it because there may be all sorts of dire consequences if they leave. After all, leaving is “difficult.”

It’s actually not that difficult to leave when you realize you’re trapped in an unhealthy, criminal environment that’s preventing you from taking positive steps in your life.

So, while your advice sounds sincere, I have a very different perspective on this.

“We all had to take our time and make a decision.”

Not true. For many, it’s as simple as walking away. If you look at the cult as a valuable and important part of your life, then it’s a challenge. However, if you see instead that it’s damaging and harmful, it changes your perspective entirely. Leaving is a lot easier.

A lot of the supposed difficulty in leaving is because of the cult brainwashing that it’s a valuable and important part of your life.

114. Cristal - September 15, 2016

Oscar @113
“This line of thinking is one of the reasons that many people stay: a fear of everything that supposedly will happen to us if we leave.
It compels many people to stop and think about it because there may be all sorts of dire consequences if they leave. After all, leaving is “difficult”.

I just wanted to clarify this is not my line of thinking and I surely don’t want to encourage the fof mentality of fears and superstition.
All I wanted to suggest is that leaving is a process,and I don’t know at what stage of the process Insider and Mad Cult Member are
They are writing on this blog and they can see the rotten core behind the surface so I believe they have started the process.
Personally,I don’t know anybody that was completely brainwashed and the next day simply walked away.
All the people I know went trough stages that took them to the decision to leave,but everything is possible even to wake up one morning and simply walk away.

Another fact is that not everybody is in the fellowship alone,many have a husband,a wife,brothers,sisters or children
and for them is not that simple to walk away and leave their loved ones behind.
It happened to me and believe me it’s not easy.
But I left and took others with me.
It doesn’t mean you have to stay for them,when you see the truth you have to go,but if you want others to go with you it can take a little more time and a lot more effort.

115. James Mclemore - September 15, 2016

113. Oscar
“A lot of the supposed difficulty in leaving is because of the cult brainwashing that it’s a valuable and important part of your life.”

That line just felt like it needed to be re-posted.

Insider / Mad Cult Member –
Try your best to take at least one of those supposed good friends with you when you leave. If you can do that, you may discover a real friendship outside the FoF. In my opinion, no real or true friendship can possibly exist in the FoF. You can already see where that sort of friendship goes whenever you express doubt. Their response is that they think you are “losing the school”.
Real true friendship goes much much deeper than that sort of response.

116. Cristalclear - September 15, 2016

Oscar @113
“This line of thinking is one of the reasons that many people stay: a fear of everything that supposedly will happen to us if we leave. It compels
many people to stop and think about it because there may be all sorts of dire consequences if they leave. After all, leaving is “difficult”.

I just wanted to clarify this is not my line of thinking and I surely don’t want to encourage the fof mentality of fears and superstition.
All I wanted to suggest is that leaving is a process,and I don’t know at what stage of the process Insider and Mad Cult Member are.
They are writing on this blog and they can see the rotten core behind the surface so I hope they are on the way out.
Personally,I don’t know anybody that was completely brainwashed and the next day simply walked away.
All the people I know went trough stages that took them to the decision to leave,but everything is possible even to wake up one morning and leave.

Another fact is that not everybody is in the fellowship alone,many have a husband,a wife,brothers,sisters or children
and for them is not that simple to walk away and leave their loved ones behind.
It happened to me and believe me it’s not easy. But I left and took others with me.
It doesn’t mean you have to stay for them,when you see the truth you have to go,but if you want others to go with you it can take a little more time and some more effort.
Just don’t wait too long,the sooner the better.

117. Out of Time - September 15, 2016

Words to the wise:

“Shams and illusions are esteemed for soundest truths…”
Henry David Thoreau

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
Blaise Pascal

“As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

118. James Mclemore - September 15, 2016


I am sorry if you felt like you had to repost what you had to say because of my post. We must have posted at almost the same time because your post had not even arrived yet when I posted mine, so my statement of “That line just felt like it needed to be re-posted” had nothing to do with what you said at 114, as I had not even read it yet. I like your posts and I am certain that there are situations that appear to make leaving much more difficult.

I wrote the above note to you because I remember once before where you thought some people were being argumentative with you for no good reason, and you found it a bit discouraging to give your point of view. I was not doing that.

119. Cristalclear - September 16, 2016

James Mclemore

Don’t worry james, my double post was just a mistake a made!
My post didn’t go trough so I copied it again and decided to add the last line as a conclusion.I didn’t see it was posted two times till now.
I probably messed up trying to change from Critalclear to Cristal, so now I will stick to the old nickname.

Thank you for your kindness and consideration.

120. Insider - September 16, 2016

(back to #98): Everything Mad Cult Member said in #95 is true. For the second time in 800 days, Robert Burton (by his own unbiased admission) was visited by The Absolute. Robert was told to “Be ready.” I didn’t hear about the kissing of feet, but there were around 9-10 events at which Robert spoke about this, to the exclusion of almost everything else, so the story had a chance to “evolve” over the course of the week following the “visitation.”

Naturally, everyone is talking about this. After all, it’s probably the most important event in the “school” since Robert’s “crystallization” in 1976. Here’s one (paraphrased) comment I overheard: Now it is probably necessary to identify which students continue to believe in Robert, and which ones are doubters; and we should think seriously about expelling the remaining doubters.

To say that the Fellowship is now 100% a religion is self-evident. But in a sense not much has really changed from 2 weeks ago, 2 years ago, or even 45 years ago. Robert (and probably Alex Horn before him) always mixed “religion” in with the knowledge brought by Gurdjieff to Russia. “Influence C” was being preached from almost the beginning of the Fellowship, even though it had almost no practical value to those members who, correctly, were focused on studying the basic “Fourth Way” ideas. The preaching of “Influence C” (and a few other related ideas) guaranteed that the Fellowship would always be a religious cult under the veneer of a “Fourth Way School.” Of course, even the veneer fell off a long time ago.

So now Robert’s hard-core followers blame/credit “The Absolute,” rather than “Influence C” or “Leonardo,” for everything that happens in the world or in the Fellowship. For the faithful, the past 10 days have seen little more than a swapping of words. And now “The Absolute” is all the rage amongst the Burton Believers.

121. brucelevy - September 16, 2016

120. Insider

Holy fuckballs. One has to be truly insane to be supporting this festering pile of bullshit. Is it even possible that the membership is even stupider then the general American electorate? These people are fucking insane. I can’t wait to see what happens when the old flowery queen kicks it and they have to go out into the real world.

122. Insider - September 16, 2016

121 – Lots of these people are already in the real world. They have families, careers, homes. The Fellowship is their religion.

123. Tim Campion - September 16, 2016

Mad Cult Member and Insider,

Thank you for sharing Robert Burton’s latest revelations. I’m surprised. This wondrous event doesn’t sound nearly so exciting as his crystallization (into a fully-conscious bean) 40 years ago:

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.

As before, I’m sure no one else was there to witness the miraculous visit.

This man and his inner circle have duped thousands before you (including almost every one who has ever commented on this blog), and he may live to corral a few more victims. Use your anger (or whatever you’re feeling) constructively, and move on. Invest in yourself, your family, your (true) friends, your (true) community and leave this fraud and his lackeys far behind. Ultimately, the task of cleaning up this mess will likely fall to the State.

124. Mind Out of Rhyme - September 16, 2016

125. Tim Campion - September 16, 2016

Come to think of it, my feet have been kissed by the Absolut too. Or maybe I’m mis-remembering…

126. Mad Cult Member - September 16, 2016

Robert went to his knees in the rose garden and kissed the feet of the Absolute. They showed a photo of this special moment at the Sunday meeting where Robert indeed is on his 4 points wearing white shoes. The story though was a bit confusing for me. It happened either at the same time or at the same place where the dog Apollo was taking his “big business” as Sasha put it. And it had something to do with Nicky, the young fellow responsible for walking the dog (who as Robert said, now is in the rehab because of drug addiction). After that special day Robert requested students to send him some thoughts about the meaning of it. And they do. Now at the meetings the messages from the students are shown on the big screens and are commented by the Teacher. He also requested that everyone should come to the meetings from now on. So there is an increase in attendance lately.

127. ryanopoo - September 16, 2016

Don’t drink the purple Gatorade and don’t don’t have doubts out loud.

128. ton2u - September 16, 2016

Bruce @121 “These people are fucking insane. I can’t wait to see what happens when the old flowery queen kicks it…”

It is insanity and “absolute” religious conviction which seems to keep the sheep believing in burtonism. This is a concern: burden knows he doesn’t have much time left on the planet, he decides for his final act to poison the punchbowl because he wants to take the flock with him… and they’ll believe some bullshit like: “tonight we’ll all be in heaven together dears…” and so the FOF faithful will dutifully drink the cool-aid to taste the “absolute.”

129. Out of Time - September 16, 2016

Insider and Mad Cult Member

It would be nice if you could help each other OUT…literally!

130. Tim Campion - September 17, 2016

120. Insider, you said

“Influence C” was being preached from almost the beginning of the Fellowship, even though it had almost no practical value to those members who, correctly, were focused on studying the basic “Fourth Way” ideas.

There is little evidence that The Fourth Way is any more sound, any more science-based than the rest of what Robert Burton (and Asaf Braverman via his websites) are presenting now, or at any time in the past. (And you’re right, it’s basically faith-based religion.) I found this old post relevant for those of us who question Burton, yet accept the foundation of his and Alex Horn’s schemes, that is, Ouspensky and Gurdjieff’s “system.”

“innernaut” wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 28, 2008:

132 Another Name [blogger]

Thanks for the Alan Clements video. It reminds me of something that happened very early in my FOF time, about 1981. I was in the Boston center, and at one point I was dispatched, along with two other students, to visit the Yale library in New Haven, Connecticut. Our assignment was to rifle through the “Ouspensky papers,” which had been donated to the university after O’s death. We drove down there, and signed in. We were ushered to a room, where we could select the boxes we were interested in viewing. There were about 50 of them, mostly meeting transcripts covering 25 years or so, right up to his death. We chose a cross-section, with various dates, and got a few boxes brought to us. We were not allowed to make copies. We had to write down whatever we were interested in, using only a pencil and paper the library issued to us. The boxes were crammed full of typewritten pages. Mostly just stuff that could have come from “The Fourth Way” — not terribly interesting. But there was one box — the last box, chronologically — that I was really interested in. I had read about O’s last, bizarre meetings, and I was wondering if they were transcribed. They were, so I spent almost my whole allotted time copying down the questions and O’s strange answers. The gist of what he said is known: he told his students to “abandon the system,” saying that it was basically BS. Even back then, I felt strangely liberated; not that I had the courage to chuck it all aside then, but that one day I would be free of it. I noticed this feeling then, but pushed it aside, because what did that say about the System I had devoted my life too, that I couldn’t wait to be free of it? After copying down many pages of this very interesting stuff, one of the students did a guilt trip on me, saying we shouldn’t be spending so much time on “unhelpful” material. Hmmm… so party-line Ouspensky is “good,” and Ouspensky when he finally sounds like he’s a human being and is telling the truth is “bad.” This experience was probably the beginning of the end for me, in terms of the System, though it would take many years before I had the courage to throw it all out — baby, bathwater, everything. One more thing, which Alan Clements mentioned — getting rid of the notion of enlightenment means being able to live without the certainty that a dogmatic spiritual framework provides. If it helps you live sanely, then more power to you.

131. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 17, 2016

I, too, had been to Yale Library to see O’s legacy:
I went several times while living in the neighborhood of the east coast in the 1980’s. The description copied above in Tim’s post is accurate.

I, with limited time allotted, concentrated on the unpublished manuscripts as first priority and, secondarily, published manuscripts.
It was interesting to see and experience the documents that O. actually wrote, corrected and handled. You could see the development of ideas, corrections and refinements made, and his handwriting. Also, they would be full of his emanations. Very interesting impressions as I remember – to this day.

Also, I wanted to see what more there was that I did not already know about. Since then, the more obscure matters have become published.

132. ton2u - September 17, 2016

@ 130 ” I found this old post relevant for those of us who question Burton, yet accept the foundation of his and Alex Horn’s schemes, that is, Ouspensky and Gurdjieff’s ‘system.’ ”

Hey Tim, I appreciate the old post… but I’m a bit confused by the context and maybe I misinterpreted – when you say “us” here it sounds like you believe in the “validity’ of the O/G system – in spite of how burden and horn used it ? Just curious… whatever the case, to each their own.

133. Just the Facts Ma'am - September 17, 2016

One other thing worth of note about seeing O’s papers at Yale:
They wanted to know why you wanted to access them. I said I was doing research for a forthcoming book: The Life and Times of a Conscious Being.

134. Tim Campion - September 17, 2016


I have encountered many ex-members who feel Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s teaching (or portions thereof) have validity, so I was being polite.

But “based upon 42 years of observation” (sadly, because this stuff is so ingrained) I can confidently state, in terms my parents used, it’s hogwash.

(And viewing Asaf Braverman’s online videos, only reaffirms this conviction.)

135. ton2u - September 18, 2016

Tim, I didn’t think you still held said beliefs, thanks for the clarification. Ya, some folks like to think there’s something more to the G & O ‘system’ than hogwash and horseshit… some ex-members like to think their time in the FOF fog represents contact with an “esoteric school” or some such malarkey… which in my opinion is a rationalization / justification for the time they wasted by being duped into following the “teachings” of a charlatan, their worship of a false idol….imo.

136. Tim Campion - September 19, 2016


Just to be clear, I clung to those rationalizations and justifications longer than I care to admit. This blog, sharing the words of so many who saw the truth long before I did, was instrumental in finally eroding my defenses.

137. ton2u - September 19, 2016

Tim, I can say freely and openly that I was bamboozled… and I think it’s safe to say that we all were… that’s life, shit happens… and to state the obvious – there’s a lot worse going on out there so it could have been worse, but thats not to downplay the negative impact of falling under the influence and control of a malignant narcissist – someone I now consider to be a sociopath. IF the negative effects of cult indoctrination and brainwashing can be undone (and I’m not sure they can be), it will probably take an entire lifetime.

138. jomopinata - September 19, 2016

The wound that helped us get hooked into the scam is at the center of our experience. But we can come to understand that wound, and reframe, and re-reframe, how we understand it, with each reframing taking in more. We cannot unlive the life we’ve had, but we can put our experiences through the sieve of our sustained scrutiny and extract what’s there to be extracted. It’s more than the “get on with it” crowd imagine!

139. fofblogmoderator - September 20, 2016

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