jump to navigation

Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 158 February 1, 2017

Posted by fofblogmoderator in Uncategorized.

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

Here, you can share your thoughts, your stories, your own experiences as a former member of the FOF.  If you are considering becoming a member, you are invited to read the discussion to better know the organization you are considering joining; we welcome your questions. Participants in the discussion may post under their own name, or anonymously.

The first comment of all new participants will be moderated before they can start communicating in real-time.  You will need to register with a valid email address and be able to reply to the welcome/verification email you will receive. If you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear within a day after it has been submitted; any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, such as personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion anonymously will prompt a warning. Continued abuse will result in your removal from the discussion.

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;



1. John Harmer - February 2, 2017

I am reading Karl Popper’s book “The Open Society and its Enemies”. He draws a contrast between open societies and closed societies. The closed societies are either primitive tribal setups or more recent totalitarian states. They are anti democratic and enforce their rigid rules with strong discipline. He lays a lot of blame on Plato (not Socrates who he admires), and in particular analyses the Republic. In the Republic people are divided into different castes, the guardians, the warriors (who enforce the authority of the guardians and fight wars) and the ordinary people. He advocates the use of eugenics to preserve the purity of the castes. He also advocates the ruling caste should lie to the lower castes (though the lower castes are severely punished for lying) about the eugenics. They should be told that there is a random lottery to determine who each person should breed with, but really it is determined by eugenics controlled by the guardians. Popper is particularly exercised by the immorality of the proposed setup. It is what Popper describes as “collectivist” meaning that the individual’s happiness is less important than the overall happiness of the state. And for Plato the state is “happy” only when it most resembles his metaphysical ideal form of a state. He calls it Justice, and one of the many totalitarian ideas is that it is wholly against the rules for anyone to ever move from one caste to another. He says that if a carpenter became a smith it would be bad but not catastrophic, but if a carpenter became a warrior or guardian the state would thereby by in danger of degenerating, and therefore this must never be allowed. Popper contrasts this with Socrates’s humanitarian instincts, which call for justice for all under the same law. I was struck by how many of Plato’s suggestions for his ideal state (totalitarian in Popper’s eyes) are played out in Burton’s cult. Popper’s remedy is an open society, democratic and with checks and balances so that no leader can reign untramelled or hold power for too long. He recommends piecemeal social engineering, ie addressing the current problems and injustices and changing the approach if the policy has undesired effects. He is very worried by political systems that start by imagining a Utopia, and then strive to actualise it, as he observes this usually leads to people adopting the maxim spoken by Lenin “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”. Burton has broken a lot of eggs in his pursuit of his Utopia. (Of course Burton is worse than that, as his Utopia is largely concerned with satisfying his own sexual and luxury comfort needs, even Plato is repelled by that, which he calls a Tyranny).

2. Mick - February 3, 2017

Good aim, Steve.
“If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.
Happiness is a warm gun,
bang, bang, shoot, shoot.”

3. Fee fi fo fum - February 4, 2017

1. John Harmer

Thanks for your summary of Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies. I picked it up a long time ago and didn’t finish it, so you’ve encouraged me to look at it again. A professor I had, who specialized in Aristotle, said that there was a period when Plato’s ideas got a lot of criticism and fell out of favor. That might’ve been when the Popper book was written. I’m not surprised, given what was happening at the time.

4. Fee fi fo fum - February 5, 2017

1. John Harmer

I reread some of the Popper book yesterday, and liked his pointing out how there had been such an unstinting admiration of Plato and that this almost-uncritical admiration affected some of the translations from the Greek. (For example, the “Republic” is from the Latin translation. The Greek seems to be something like polity, e.g., city-state. Popper says these are not equivalent forms of government.)

REB and the FoF were fixated on characteristics one was supposedly born with, such as alchemy, body types, center of gravity and chief feature. You could “work on” your chief feature; you could “raise” your alchemy; but it was a class system that gold alchemy-kings of centers types basked in and copper alchemy-jacks of centers types were, well… Think about who the center directors and traveling teachers tended to “be,” in terms of those 4 grids.

5. crossroads - February 6, 2017

According to the Law Of Three and The Law Of Seven, RB lost The School. He became his opposite.

6. Tim Campion - February 6, 2017

Hi, crossroads.

Can you explain your statements a bit more? “RB lost The School.” Robert Burton lost the Fellowship of Friends? And how do you mean, “He became his opposite”?


7. crossroads - February 6, 2017

Most of us here did choose The 4th Way in our Search for The Miraculous, The Mystery School. We “found Robert’s School” which was based on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Many of us shared the same sense of miracle when we “found the School” (not acknowledging that we were already living the Mystery School of Life). Many of us participated with him for many years. I have recordings of meetings as far back as 1979 in which I can hear students giving great angles of thought. Our lives enriched as a result of our reflexions and experiences together. First line, second line, third line of work. In my personal experience, I found RB quite interesting sometimes. I’m saying all this because If I don’t give credit to Us, we are left empty, disenfranchised, and The Greater Fellowship is far from being empty. As for RB, it is obvious how he lost the original Aim. Not being able to bridge his own “intervals”. He and his school became its own opposite, his followers now are monsters rather than illuminated human beings. The damage caused and its repercussions are paramount. The Mystery School of Illumination has no vibratory match for any form or shape of fanaticism or fundamentalism. Our consciousness cannot expand if we are sectarian or dogmatic. I don’t know what happened; maybe an external force, totally foreign, dark and unexpected took advantage of the octave in one of those intervals…

“An Ancient Saying:
Only he will deserve the name of man and can count upon anything prepared for him from Above, who has already acquired corresponding data for being able to preserve intact both the wolf and the sheep confided to his care.
The question posed by this tricky problem is to find out how a man who has in his possession a wolf, a sheep and a cabbage, can transfer them across a river from one bank to the other, if one takes into consideration, on the one hand, that his boat can carry only the load of himself and one of the three objects at a time, and on the other hand, without his direct observation and influence the wolf can always destroy the sheep and the sheep the cabbage.”
Extract from: http://fourthwayschool.org/6processes91.html

“Everything in the universe is created and sustained by vibrations. Thoughts and feelings are vibrations. The whole of our life is vibration.”

“The Law of Three determines the character and nature of a vibration and the Law of Seven determines how vibrations develop, interact and change. An octave is a repetitive motion. A succession of waves may be building up or dying away — forming an ascending or a descending octave. Each wave is similar but different to the one before and the one after. The Law of Seven also shows the points in the scale where the rate of increase or decrease of frequency of any vibration slows down. Between Mi-Fa and Si-Do are ‘intervals’, where a different, extra energy is required to maintain the original impetus. These ‘intervals’ are responsible for the frequent unpredictability of human aims and endeavors. Different processes, according to the Law of Three, determine which intervals will be filled naturally, so that the progress continues uninterrupted to completion, and also reveal those that require an extra force to be given, without which the progress of the octave will halt or change direction. Many initiatives, fade away from lack of the right energy or turn into something quite different from the original conception.”
Extract from: http://www.ouspenskytoday.org/wp/about-teaching-today/the-law-of-seven/

“We are told that all events occurring in the Universe are resolvable into three `forces’, and arise from the meeting, accidental or otherwise, of these forces at a particular point in space and time. For an event to happen there must be present an `active’ force, a `passive’ force, and a `neutralizing’ force. These three forces together form a `triad’. All movement and change consists just of a linking of successive triads on different levels. A force can be said to have no movement in itself but the potential to create movement when suitably combined with other forces. In reality, of course, everything is in constant flux; strictly speaking there is no such thing as a force in isolation.”
Extract from: http://fourthwayschool.org/6processes91.html

Such harmony is in immortal souls,
But, while this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice, v. i. 54

8. jomopinata - February 6, 2017

It’s interesting to see your account, Crossroads. I especially like the notion that we have to “give credit to Us,” meaning, our experiences were as much about Us, our relationships to people and to ideas, as they were about the particular people or the particular social organization.

BUT I think your account of it is unfortunately crimped to conform to myth. The dominant myth is that the Fellowship was something true and beautiful but became corrupted. I understand the appeal of that myth and bought into it myself at one time. My experience is that a more thorough and searching look yields a huge trove of historical data that just doesn’t square with that account, even though that account seems at least initially to be true. The appeal to idealism and aesthetics is what helped to hook us into something which looked glorious and appealed to our narcissism, reflected back to us something we wanted to believe about ourselves. I think this is true of Burton also: a successful elementary school teacher who was forced to resign from his job because, according to him, there were claims that he “hugged the kids too much.” He had the misfortune to be picked up hitchhiking by Alexander Horn, who abused virtually everyone with whom he came into contact, and then to have an auto accident in Modesto in 1968 in which he apparently suffered brain damage that led to “acquired sociopathy.”

On New Year’s Eve 1969-70 he met Bonita, who was tripping on mescaline while alcohol further loosened his inhibitions, and he manipulated her relentlessly into believing that he was a deeply mysterious higher being. Soon he monopolized her time, even though she was married and a mother with young children, all the while extracting money from her. Think about it. It’s dishonorable by any moral standard. Within about eighteen months he seduced her and immediately thereafter told lies about it (claiming celibacy) which were published in the Via Del Sol newsletter Meg Gwynne (later called Stella Wirk) had taken to publish regularly. Once a small core group was established, deliberate efforts were undertaken to recruit new members who were friends and acquaintances of current members. (“How would you like to change your life?” recruits such as Doris Mack were asked.) Contemporaneous documents from 1971 indicate that the group could only be reached “by invitation.” A concerted effort was made to recruit wealthy professionals, such as physicians, because the group needed them to provide a veneer of respectability, as a means to obtain money.

Burton himself was buying gold coins. He pronounced himself “The Avatar of the Age” and announced that young men could avoid the draft (during the Vietnam War) by becoming ministers in his church. Pretty sweet deal, eh?

During this time a family of four had become involved with the group and then left. Shortly thereafter the mother of the family committed suicide, leaving a suicide note which talked about Burton and the school. Burton cautioned members not to help anyone who was suicidal, because “they will drag you down and they will strangle you just as some drowning people drown someone who tries to help them.” He remarked, on a piece of paper used to communicate during his “period of silence,” that “it is good when weak students leave as they are weight; it used to bother me but now it’s like a useless object being gone.”

Think about it. Don’t help suicidal people. People who are weak students are like useless objects. You can’t manipulate them as effectively. Good, true, and noble. Deeply spiritual. 1971.

Another person who left in 1971 told me that during the “period of silence” Burton used to blow kisses to people. He indicated that Burton was apparently envious of this person’s influence within the group, and when Burton blew him kisses “they were contemptuous.” Good, true, and noble. 1971. The person further reflected that his take on Burton was that he was sociopathic.

After this person left, Meg Gwynne’s Via Del Sol Journal included a question posed to Burton about why this person left. Burton’s answer was, “He cannot take responsibility.” Knowing what you now know about Burton, reflect on that explanation and let me know how that sits with you.

Later the gold coin octave yielded to the purchase, not only of the land in Oregon House, but of a Cessna aircraft. Understand, Burton went, in the span of less than two years, from a part-time tennis instructor and substitute teacher in Emeryville , who lived at home with his mom and didn’t have decent wheels, to a guy who lived in a new Volkswagen bus and who was being flown between LA and Northern California to “teach.” A young male student had the job of flying him back and forth. At least one student walked in on Burton and caught him in flagrante delicto with the pilot. This is 1972, the same year that Burton offered an account, at a meeting either in Oakland or Los Angeles, of how he slit the throat of a goat and the sound the goat made. Good, true, and noble.

Many people don’t know that Burton renewed his California public elementary teaching credential in 1975. If you are the Avatar of the Age, the torch having been passed to you upon Meher Baba’s death, what do you need with a license to teach elementary school? The natural explanation is, he thought the scam might fall apart, and he might have to go back to teaching elementary school.

I could go on and on but I’m not sure for my purposes it’s necessary. Many people take the dominant myth as a given. But a little digging shows that it’s just bullshit. It’s what people want to believe. But it’s false.

9. jomopinata - February 6, 2017

Most of us here did choose The 4th Way in our Search for The Miraculous, The Mystery School. We “found Robert’s School” which was based on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Many of us shared the same sense of miracle when we “found the School”

Here’s the difficulty with this piece of the account: it states that we chose, but it leaves out the context of the choice. First, many people found a bookmark. Those bookmarks illicitly harvested the reader’s engagement with a book; engagement with a book can be a very powerful thing. The bookmarks strongly implied a connection with the book’s authors when there was no such connection. Most of us assumed the connection. I remember asking, “when do we learn the movements?”

And that sense of miracle? It was engineered. Did you know that the FOF registered a copyright on the prospective student meetings as a dramatic work? That’s right. You thought they were meetings, but in fact it was a performance with you as the audience. The target. The mark. That “studied indifference” about whether or not you joined? It was part of the act and it was designed to intensify your desire for acceptance. You too could become a member of the elite, through your own efforts and the payment of regular “donations” (how do you like that oxymoron, “compulsory donations”). Those weird coincidences? That’s proof the angels are working with the School and that you are on the way. If you lose the School, better for you if you had not been born. Would you like a Milano biscuit?

10. crossroads - February 6, 2017

There exist visible and invisible manifestations of existence. The visible, usually obvious on our daily lives, and the invisible, ordinarily not accessible with our physical senses. We are not as insignificant as we take ourselves to be, but us, human beings in this planet, incarnate into an already sociopathic environment, immersed into a psychopathic dominated world. I bet we all here, were abused in many ways, long before we consciously searched and “found the school”. If you know what I mean. And yes, we need to take responsibility, “It takes two to tango.” In the FoF we never spoke about conscience. RB is accountable. We are all accountable, independently of him, though interconnected. Karma is for All.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.” “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” and “It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Prince

The Myth helps us to start realizing how extraordinary we really are and to decide to seek the expansion of consciousness. In the world and time in which we live, The machine is busy. Flesh, bones, blood, senses, is to be enslaved “Machines they are born, machines they die.”

Perhaps in a “planetary ascension” as the one they say “we are experiencing”, we could abandon the machine because it is no more needed. The myths, as experienced in the third dimension were just tools for inner, psychic, energetic transformation, to get us ready to this point. Who knows? The myth, the mystery, It is indeed.
What a creation! Whomever/whatever you are!

At the level of our community, well, we need action! Ideas and participation are welcome. Get up, get up, don’t’ give up the fight!
Stand up for our rights! (and watch out for “disclosure”. https://www.richarddolanpress.com/ad-after-disclosure)

“Que tu Corazon se enderece, aqui nadie vivira por siempre. Aun los principes a morir vinieron…” Nezahualcóyotl

11. crossroads - February 6, 2017

9. “Most of us assumed the connection. I remember asking, “when do we learn the movements?”

When I found the bookmark, I remember my conversation with the center director on the phone, asking “Is this a Real School”?

12. jomopinata - February 6, 2017

“You used a contraction. Did you notice? We try to work with these exercises because they show us the depth of our sleep. You were asleep just then. Try to divide attention. Lose the train of your thought. It was just an “I”. You used another contraction. We are sleeping machines.” Etc. etc. This provides some context. Whatever you think you “chose,” some degree of it was “helped along,” whether by implicit or explicit lies, or manipulative conduct ultimately designed to attract pliant people who could provide a reliable source of income and free labor.

13. fofblogmoderator - February 6, 2017

A quick reminder to those posting for the 1st time; before your comment can be approved I will send an email to the email address you used to post and you will need to email me back so I can verify that you are using an active/valid email address. Your identity can remain anonymous.
There are 2 comments sitting in moderation that have not replied to the email I sent.

14. John Harmer - February 7, 2017

in post #10 crossroads says ” In the world and time in which we live, The machine is busy. Flesh, bones, blood, senses, is to be enslaved “Machines they are born, machines they die.” ”

This I now feel is one of the most unhelpful doctrines of the fourth way and Burton gives it particular prominence in his “teaching”. It sets us up to hate a part of ourselves, and to not feel like our body is ourselves, no no we are higher, ethereal and float above the body with its lustful desires and negative emotions. My experience is that this division is unhealthy, and serves to reduce our openness to the good things that life has to offer.

On a philosophical level I am not appalled by the concept that we might fundamentally be machines, it is certainly a celestial machinery that could produce our awareness from the activity of the brain. Of course the rhetorical point in the fourth way is that we have no free will, but by dint of huge efforts we may one day aspire to that blessed state. Well in as much as it matters, we all already have free will. Sometimes we don’t follow through on our resolutions, but we do so freely, and I believe the more “spiritual” attitude would be to accept modestly that we are not supermen, and that we and all those we meet are doing the best we all can.

15. crossroads - February 7, 2017

I interpret “the most unhelpful doctrines of the fourth way” in a different way.

“Sometimes we don’t follow through on our resolutions, but we do so freely.”

Well, that is ok though, the ‘freely” part I am not sure. The machine is the machine and an invisible command takes care of it without us even recognizing it. That same “invisible commander” -so to speak- is the very same entity that we have no -spiritual- relationship with. Then, we just go on automatic pilot fulfilling our job schedule as smart as we can and pursuing the comforts and possible joys of everyday life… if we have money.

I remember comments from R himself about how he used to sit and watch us all around totally asleep – like machines. But inside of each of us -I hope- our own spiritual world developed independent of him.
“we and all those we meet are doing the best we all can.”

16. Mick - February 7, 2017

Personally I question the whole idea of the existence of so-called esoteric schools (particularly in the West) and the necessity for monetary payments.

17. J.D. - February 7, 2017

@ crossroads

Most of us here found (rather than chose) Robert’s “school”, and naively considered it a 4th way school.

Yes, many of us shared the same sense of miracle when we found the “school”. Maybe because it was a like-minded dreamers container; an instant illusory friendship compactor; a ready-made “verification” that finally we were living the miracoulous… We were not alone!

There were students giving great angles of thought. The same “quality” of angles of thought was given before and after our time.

We believe that our lives enriched as a result of our reflections and experiences together, mostly because those reflections and experiences were nourished and enhanced by our imagination.

In everybody’s personal experience, RB was quite interesting sometimes, and yet that might be true only from a sociopathic behavioural study perspective.

As for RB, it is obvious how he hasn’t lost the original Aim: cashing in on a far-fetched dream.
He and his school have stayed the same: his followers worship him now as they were before and will keep doing so after his death.
When RB used to sit and watch us all around totally asleep – like machines (and told us about it) it was just a petty, bogus put-down, and by putting us down he was pulling himself up, above us, safe from critique.

The Mystery School of Illumination has absolutely no vibratory value outside it’s own fan base.

“Maybe an external force, totally foreign, dark and unexpected took advantage of the octave in one of those intervals. We don’t know what happened…” Nothing happened, only the vantage point has changed.

An ancient saying… “What if the wolf is an omnivore?”

“Everything in the universe is created and sustained by vibrations. She’s giving me excitations; Oom bop, bop, excitations;
Good good good good vibrations; Oom bop, bop.”

“We are told that all events occurring in the Universe are resolvable into… Believing what we are told. We are told that we are machines; that the invisible can be visible; that the unknown can be known. We are told to expand our consciousness; that we are in a planetary ascension. Do we even know what all that means? Or we just repeat things like that to avoid that unavoidable emptiness of the miraculous loop of ascending whatever?

What kind of credit shall we give ourselves?
None, unless we stop making up stories and excuses and are willing to accept the fact that we were/are creedins for joining the FoF: own it and laugh about it.

18. crossroads - February 7, 2017

17. is now taking things out of context; changing wording and selecting phrases to crumble meaning into cynicism.

But, I appreciate you calling me -crossroads- which is my name, instead of “Crossroads”

I agree, there is a lot to laugh about…

19. crossroads - February 7, 2017

#15. correction in referencing #14:

“one of the most unhelpful doctrines of the fourth way” instead of
“the most unhelpful doctrines of the fourth way”

20. Insider - February 7, 2017

18. Agreed. J.D. seems unable even to make an effort to understand your point of view. #17 is textbook “opposite ‘I’s, as we used to say. Attempting to raise himself/herself up by bashing someone else, you in this case. Not very intelligent.

21. J.D. - February 7, 2017

@ crossroads

Same wording; same phrasing; same context; different meaning.

And what’s wrong with that?
Is it wrong to seek mental clarity or freedom from ignorance?

And what if it’s practiced shamelessly through challenging disagreement?
Is it spiritually incorrect?


So: if you think that someone’s ‘I’ is bullshit, you shouldn’t give an opposite ‘I’… Textbook FoF.

“Unable to make an effort… Bashing someone else… Not very intelligent…”

Thank you, that was hilarious.

22. Insider - February 7, 2017

Sorry for being too harsh in #20. The point I should have been more clear about is that Understanding results from seeing as many sides as possible of an issue or problem. By reacting with “opposite ‘i’s,” we not only invalidate another persons observations, but also limit our own possibilities of a deeper understanding (or “Relativity”). IMO, Relativity is one baby that should not be thrown out with the bath water.

23. Insider - February 7, 2017

#21. You’re doing it again. IMO. But I won’t mention it again.

24. brucelevy - February 8, 2017
25. Mick - February 8, 2017

Thanks to the suppression of opposition another fine dining experience passes without incident.

26. invictus maneo - February 8, 2017

Re #1 I never thought The Republic had anything to do with political science. It seemed clear to me it is a parable about mastering ourselves. I never studied philosophy at any level, so I’ve never read any scholarly material on Plato – I can’t be the only person to have thought this about the work?

27. crossroads - February 8, 2017

Re: #16 and #25

…interesting how some participants here continue focusing on RB pseudo esoteric school and his 4th way kindergarten that we so much fell into and continue ruminating on his fallacy, which we have established in numerous posts.

My point now is: Do you want to take action?
What road do you want to take?

I assume that participants here are aware of “ethics”.

Here is a quick simple refresh:

“standards (of behavior), value system, virtues, dictates of conscience”

“”a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures.”

“a project that attempts to use reason in order to answer various kinds of ethical questions.”

“What makes an inquiry a philosophical one is reflective generality and a style of argument that claims to be rationally persuasive.”

just a thought for the night…

28. crossroads - February 8, 2017

J.D., nothing wrong, I just felt overpowered and invalidated by your quick jump and your conclusions. You have a nice command of the language and a quick response that swipes my offering and makes me feel, as Insider says: A baby thrown out with the bath water…

You say: “Cynicism? And what’s wrong with that?
Is it wrong to seek mental clarity or freedom from ignorance?
And what if it’s practiced shamelessly through challenging disagreement? Is it spiritually incorrect?”

Nothing wrong but you have already taken A LOT of space in this forum and I’m just starting. I’m going along with Tim’s #6 invitation to:
“”Can you explain your statements a bit more? “RB lost The School.” Robert Burton lost the Fellowship of Friends? And how do you mean, “He became his opposite”?”

You already have clarity. You found your solution, your expanded your understanding, You made it! And you have a nice command of the written language. On the other hand, I am trying to expose my reflections and I’m a beginner in posting here. Besides, it takes me a lot of effort to compose my pieces. So again, I just felt invalidated with your superiority. Definitively the kind of attitude and “opposite I’s” that Insider picked up from your post.

You did take things out of context though, like a Mercurial type.
I never said “we choose RB school”. What I remember saying is:
“We did choose the 4th way system.” And that is what I am trying to focus on, because, although we know that it is just “fragments of an unknown teaching”, I actually can account for some “verification” in regards to my personal quest to unveil the Truth. I think this blog is good for that –

I have great memories from my experience related to “first line, second line, third line of work – and karma, for example.

RB’s aim is totally “exoteric” but still, he managed to implement the 4th way principles into his kindergarten curriculum and some of us got something esoteric out of it, regardless of your opinion. Maybe because there is something legit in our quest for Truth. That is the Mystery I was talking about…

Enough for now. I will post now before it gets deleted -by mistake- while hitting the wrong tab and not being able to recover my text. It happened to me 1/2 hr ago and I had to start all over.
(I’m truly getting into the habit of writing off-line and then paste into this window… but it takes more time and effort.
I think, somehow, it came out well. What do you think?

29. crossroads - February 8, 2017

Now reading again, it becomes more clear to me that RB’s kindergarten was different for me than for the regular long timer American student, many of them posting here.

In my case, I got paid a salary and got given lots of help in exchange for my labor. The trade -in materialistic terms was fair enough.
It was a personal choice. The “classic form” was very appealing to me because I was starving for that quality. I grew up in a classic and culturally educated environment but the economic disadvantages in my country made for me more and more difficult to live without that “food for my soul”. Sitting to intentional dinning with like minded people was really a life saver as well as other group activities. I actually made good friends that last until today and will last forever because they are based in very personal exchange, based on already solid understanding and verification. It is not that I just “found the bookmark”, it is that finally that book gave me hope after so much previous research. There is a lot of “B influence” in my country derived from centuries of influence from the Near East. I was not so new and naive.
My center director told me after I ask if this was a “Real School”: “Honestly, we are considered a Cult and there have been some accounts in this regard that point to that, but I, and some other here manage to still do The Work.

On my personal exchange with RB, I experienced that regardless of his background and hidden intentions, he was always sharp and well versed in The fourth way approach. I witnessed and shared with him personally, many questions. He gave me fair answers. I saw him sustaining philosophically huge interactive dinners all by himself and many a times I marvel. Then, indeed, something started to decay, C. C*runcho came into the picture and became his super friend… Then the time when Asaf showed up… And a little later, Dorian. One day he told me: “you may escape” and now I get it: he meant “escape the Cult”.
Later on, I got from my direct-reliable-sources that he was getting more and more gross and his bad habits really out of hand and I personally got more and more disgusted. and not being able to conciliate the information that got given with my Higher Self Aim. The time of wine and roses had ended and I departed. Maybe as he said “I did escape”.

I will depart with a question: how many of you here were brave enough to share with “new members” the wrong doings of RB?
For me I count at least five… and “we managed to still do The Work”.

30. John Harmer - February 8, 2017

#26 Invictus Maneo I also had learnt to view the Republic as being about our soul rather than a real political program and I agree maybe that WAS what Plato was doing. However, Popper’s analysis took the view that Plato’s blueprint had been actualised in totalitarian regimes, and Popper was warning the post world war two world not to be blinded by Plato’s venerable reputation to mistake his Republic for a good idea in practice. The reason I posted those ideas on this forum, was that as I read Popper, it struck me more and more that Burton had somehow hit on all the measures that enforce a closed society when forming his school, rather than the checks and balances that Popper argues for, to allow an open society to flourish. By all accounts Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and particularly Alex Horn also ran closed societies in their schools.

31. Ames Gilbert - February 8, 2017

Asaf Braverman is casting his net into the waters again…

This coming Sunday, Feb 12, 10 a.m. PST, he is hosting a free ‘live workshop’ open to anyone, in which “we will talk about the Be Community, its methods and its aims.”
Mark your calendars!
Registration page here:

Also, the general terms of entanglement have changed. Now the fortunate seeker can join free for seven days to try things out. Then the $50 a month fee applies. One assumes that during the trial period it is a full membership, that is, one can look at the trove of past webinar recordings, and fully participate in the ‘community’ projects, including contacting other members. Just an assumption.

32. Fee fi fo fum - February 9, 2017

26 invictus maneo

I read excerpts of The Republic a few years before I joined the FoF in a philosophy class. It was presented as an examination of Justice, not as a treatise on mastering oneself. I remember the cave analogy as being brilliant. Of course, the FoF liked using Plato’s cave analogy to describe how “man is asleep,” and so on. That’s fine, but what else have FoF students read in The Republic (which was not even Plato’s actual title, in Ancient Greek)? REB and the FoF were/are happy to be dilettantes.

One weakness (bad habit?) in the FoF is to view literary and artistic and musical output from the lens of, “Are they a conscious being? Do their works cause me to be in the King of Hearts?” We can let the works and output stand on their own merits.

30 John Harmer

When I was breaking away from the FoF, I read several books on totalitarianism, and I found analogies to how REB and the FoF were running our lives, so to speak. I only picked up the Popper book after I left the FoF. However, in looking through the book recently, it is, unfortunately, relevant to our times.

33. ton2u - February 9, 2017

Fee, John H, et. al… larger problems in the world today notwithstanding – comparatively the FOF is a “tempest in a teapot” -nevertheless, some of the ideas in the link below may tangentially relate to the modus operandi of the FOF…. and upon further examination one might find that it does concern all of us, since as Fee says – “… unfortunately, (it is) relevant to our times”

Click to access ponerology-political.pdf

34. WhaleRider - February 9, 2017

“Delusions are beliefs that are not open for discussion.” ~George Atwood, PhD

Folie à deux-
Shared psychosis, is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another…

When the love bombing ends and the devaluation and gas lighting begins, that’s when the “real school” will start to feel like a cult to those with eyes that see and ears that listen.

A narcissistic cult leader will usually have flying monkeys at his side to do his dirty work for him.

Trust that your own inner guru, appearing in many forms in your dreams, will always be there to teach you about yourself.

35. Ames Gilbert - February 9, 2017

ton2u, thanks very much for bringing this work to our attention. Folks, even if you think you can’t spare the time to read the whole thing right now, at least read the Editor’s Preface. Then, by all means, find the time to read the rest!

36. Golden Veil - February 10, 2017

Shall I trust myself to know what is right?

In psychology, Cognitive Dissonance is the mental stress (discomfort) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values, when performing an action that contradicts those beliefs, ideas, and values; or when confronted with new information that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, and values.*

* From: excerpt from Wikipedia article on Cognitive Dissonance (Festinger, L. (1962). “Cognitive dissonance”. Scientific American. 207 (4): 93–107)

“Most of us hadn’t previously realized it, but it has always been true that facts don’t matter in the realm of persuasion. It has also always been true that our biases cause us to attach undue significance to evidence we think supports our position, and to diminish or dismiss information that conflicts with our existing beliefs.” **

** From: “Donald Trump is Changing How We See Reality and That’s a Good Thing” by Jeff Norman

View at Medium.com

37. ton2u - February 10, 2017

Re: “… changing how we see reality, and that’s a good thing.”

It’s all too obvious that facts play a diminished role in the realm of persuasion, and it’s also obvious that bias functions based upon tacit or overt agreement with evidence which supports belief while eschewing evidence to the contrary… the part of this summation by “Dilbert” which is problematic is assigning a value judgement to the change in how we see reality. Whether it’s a “good thing” or “bad” thing or somewhere in between, also depends entirely upon one’s subjective (biased) perspective, i.e. belief.

38. crossroads - February 11, 2017

Re: #33

I became a little familiar with Laura Knight-Jadczyk and her work few years back and I have come across similar information, like for example the one that David Wilcock exposes with more science and proof, or the link I just posted referencing Richard Dolan who also brings in science and proof. Nevertheless, there is this link that speaks more about Laura K-J:


There is something interesting about those who speak relentlessly about psychopaths, that they may well be psychopaths themselves.

4 men in every 100 men is estimated to be Psychopaths
(10 women every 1000 (forgot the figure but is in the “every 1000”

Ok, I can spot at least 4 in the FOF quite easy!

I look forward to the reading of the 330 pages of this book, who’s Editor is Laura Knight-Jadczyk, who gets her info by consulting the “ouija”. Yes, the Astral plane… A salad of dis-incarnated beings… good and bad guys. As above so bellow.

The 7 Hermetic Principles: Mind, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause and Effect, Gender.

39. J.D. - February 11, 2017

@ crossroads

I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of clarity. I didn’t find any solutions, I just have a lot of questions and… My opinions.

For example, among other things, you said: “You did take things out of context though, like a Mercurial type.”

What does that mean? That I’m a Mercurial type? Do Mercurial types take things out of context? Does it mean that other “types” don’t do that?

You said: “There exist invisible manifestations of existence (…) ordinarily not accessible with our physical senses.”

How do you know that for sure? Are you able to see the invisible? Do you possess extra senses to sense it beyond the physical senses?

You said: “…We know that it is just “fragments of an unknown teaching””

I don’t know that. Do you know that? How? How do you know there is an unknown teaching if it’s unknown? How do you know that there are fragments of it? Do you know that because somebody told you? Do you just believe that? If you have knowledge of it, shouldn’t it be called “fragments of a known teaching”?

You said to me: “You have already taken A LOT of space in this forum.”
For real? A lot of space? Upper-case? I checked: since Dec 13 you posted 20 times. This is my 12th.

So, kudos to you for your efforts in composing your pieces in a foreign language, you are not the only one.
You have your “verifications” and they are all yours; don’t expect others to share them.

I’m sorry you felt overpowered and invalidated, but along your “personal quest to unveil the Truth”, if you feel invalidated and inferior everytime someone doesn’t agree with you, maybe you should consider joining an organized spiritual group that promotes “no-questions-asked-consent”.

@ insider 22

No need to apologize, you weren’t harsh at all,
I agree: your understanding results from seeing as many sides as possible of an issue or problem.
For example: if you close your eyes and run into a wall, you learn about bruises and concussions. At this point your understanding tells you: “When you run, please keep your eyes open” And also: “The wall is harder than you”.
Now, someone comes along and gives you a new possible side. They tell you, from their own experience, that you can actually run with your eyes closed without hitting anything or hurting yourself and, furthermore, a concussion is just a state of mind.
So, instead of reacting with the opposite ‘I’: “What the hell are you talking about…? Are you nuts?”
You should say: “Thank you, interesting point of view! I’ll keep that in mind.” …Just to avoid invalidating the other person’s observations, and limit the possibility of a deeper understanding.

Also IMO saying IMO gives my opinion a more gentle and detached connotation and a less of an attitude and opposite ‘I’ish tone.

@ insider 23

IMO You just did.

40. ton2u - February 11, 2017


LKj’s history and reputation as a ‘crackpot’ precedes her… this is not “news” but thanks for the info anyway. Because of her reputation I thought at I wouldn’t post the link to the text because the associations connected with Lkj would “taint” the research and conclusions reached by the author of the book… conclusions which apply to the political realm in general IMO.

But if another person found / finds it helpful then posting the link is not in vain. Ames, thanks for acknowledging the link positively – as opposed to cynically.

By the cynical tone in 38 I’d guess that you’re not interested enough to keep in mind that the editor and the author are two completely different people… is it possible to make that distinction? I would venture to say; not in your case.

Re: the sweeping critique of those who speak “relentlessly” about psychopaths – “that they may well be psychopaths themselves” – what is this statement based on ? Personal experience ?

I doubt that you’re familiar with the author in this case, his history and what he lived through…. ? At the least, a modicum of respect for his life experiences might be in order, instead of covering it with a dismissive blanket statement.

If you did take the time to read the 330 pages of the book, you might learn something… maybe even something about yourself… or not…


Despite the horrors he witnessed and experienced, including the loss of most of his family, Łobaczewski remained a courageous and gentle soul. His compassion, understanding, and tangible hope for humanity pervade his work, both clinical and written. He saw the condition of our world, and the disease which has plagued humanity for millennia. And yet he also saw the possibility of a better future. His work, Political Ponerology, embodies this hope, as the following words which conclude the book, show. It is up to us to see that his vision is remembered, and that his work was not completed in vain.

“It seems that, in the natural order of things, that those persons who have suffered the most from psychopaths or bearers of other mental anomalies, will be those called to do this work, to accept the burden. If you do, accept also, ladies and gentlemen, your fate with an open heart and humility, and always with a sense of humor. Cherish assistance from the Universal Mind and know that Great Values often grow from Great Suffering.”


41. crossroads - February 12, 2017

J.D, “Thank you, interesting point of view! I’ll keep that in mind.” …Just to avoid invalidating the other person’s observations, and limit the possibility of a deeper understanding.

Change of page for me 🙂

42. crossroads - February 12, 2017

#40 It is interesting how a part of human nature is to take things out of context and look for allies…

“By the cynical tone in 38 I’d guess that you’re not interested enough to keep in mind that the editor and the author are two completely different people… is it possible to make that distinction? I would venture to say; not in your case.”

Maybe you did not read my sentence:
“I look forward to the reading of the 330 pages of this book”

43. ton2u - February 12, 2017


re: “part of human nature….” “interesting” you ‘say’? (and you use the word “interesting” a lot, although it doesn’t really ‘say’ anything). But I digress – I suppose to “prove” the point of taking things out of context you proceed to quote me out of context @ 42 ? Or maybe you weren’t aware of doing so ?

Did I misinterpret the tone and “context” which you created @ 38 ?
Maybe…. but I don’t think so – the Project Avalon link about says it all in this regard… doesn’t it ?

My interpretation of 38 is that the “infamous” reputation of the editor is used by association and implication – to impune, discredit, or at least diminish the work of the author Andrew M. Lobaczewski. And I get the sense that the poster is trying to “prove” s/he is the “smartest” person in the room by citing Wilcock and Dolan as being more “authoritative” sources – this also to diminish or dismiss the work of Lobaczewski — without having bothered to read the text in question!

Even without use of a “ouija” board, I get the sense – from the context which you create in post 38 – that you have no real intention of reading the book…. after all as far as you’re concerned you already have it from more authoritative sources… and of course it’s o.k if you don’t read the book but there’s no need to dissemble. If I’m wrong in this – and of course I could be – get back to me here when you’re done reading the book and we can discuss possible applications of the ideas.

44. J.D. - February 12, 2017

It is official. Be. is presented as fourth way school, and Asaf Braverman is the teacher.

45. Golden Veil - February 12, 2017

My internet Avast security system (recommended to me by Applecare) notes “Not Secure” at beperiod.com/en/

Regarding this opening question and answer introduction on the Home page:

“What is the aim of this community?
To gather fourth way practitioners from around the world under the canopy of a practical teaching that will instruct and inspire them by revisiting ancient schools from a fourth way perspective.”

It appears that Asaf Braverman will continue to read everything from Goethe, the poetry of William Shakespeare, to ancient Egypt and Sumeria ~ as interpreted by Robert Burton’s slant of “The Fourth Way.” Asaf Braverman will be guiding seekers down the same make believe rabbit hole, won’t he?

Charlatanism is the new order ~ or maybe not, depending on your opinion of the writings of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Maurice Nicoll – and hey, what happened to Rodney Collin? No portrait medallion.

“Do I have to pay?
We aim to be inclusive and minimize barriers to participation and membership. Accordingly, almost everything here is free — this school is supported by voluntary contributions. That said, some of the more intensive activities, like online workshops and private tutoring, require payment.”

Well, of course you have to pay! I see 20 workshops that are a run down of what is taught in the Fellowship of Friends. Evidently the Fellowship of Friends teaching is not copyrighted. Still, there may be legal challenge by the Fellowship of Friends.

It is clear that the BePeriod.com school will not include acquiring the taste for fine dining, clothing, travel, and hearing those fateful words, “The Gods want you to do this for Me.”

The “new” school includes instruction in slowing down; remember that? At times, it could be quite a strange world in the Fellowship of Friends.

“We are driven to eat quickly, move quickly, interact quickly and think quickly. In most of these instances, haste is unwarranted. It is therefore a habit that must be understood and curbed.”

There’s something about the word “curbed.” I suppose it’ll be a bit more difficult to create an atmosphere of repression ~ online.


The “Not Secure” label is in my browser on every page of this website. I have not seen that before. what does that mean? I don’t think you want to enter your credit card information on this site. I doubt that their member’s credit card data is protected by encryption.

Thanks to Tim Campion for all the Asaf Braverman links – and including an archive of Asaf Braverman’s first generation of “Pillar” websites.


46. jomopinata - February 13, 2017

I think people sometimes leave and think they’re supposed to “teach the Fourth Way.” This activity can aim at reducing dissonance by validating the work, so called, that they see themselves as having been engaged in. Everyone wants to believe that “they have acquired something for themselves,” because that’s what they think they’ve been doing and that’s what the books, and the social surround, lead them to believe. And people sometimes cling to certain beliefs for reasons that have nothing to do with whether they’re true.

Ten or fifteen years ago encountered online a person I had known slightly back in FOF days who was later involved in another 4w organization. In our virtual interaction, which I initiated in the spirit of “hi, I remember you!” he greeted me “cordially” and communicated words to the effect that he would be glad to be my point of contact for The Work.

It is hard to express the effect his response had on me. I suppose it was comparable to extending your hand to another for a handshake, only to discover that the other’s hand was made of wood. It was like everything human was absent from his response, and what was extended was stiff and without nerves.

47. J.D. - February 14, 2017

@ jomopinata

Well, delusion and arrogance are the proud sponsors of the FoF.

Also, although extensively advertised, sensitivity and awareness are nowhere to be found.

@ crossroads

Yes… As expected.

48. Mick - February 24, 2017

Another man asked if a certain person, who claimed to be a leading Master, had the right to such a claim, to which the reply was that everyone has apparently the right to call himself whatever he likes.
“It is for others to accept or challenge it. The real rest is not what he teaches, but what he lives.”

49. ton2u - March 23, 2017

50. WhaleRider - March 23, 2017

51. Insider - March 24, 2017

For anyone so inclined, the latest Burton book being sold on Amazon, “Awakening. Quotations by Robert Earl Burton,” could use some additional honest comments.

52. brucelevy - March 25, 2017

51. Insider

Just reviewed Burton. Thanks.

53. brucelevy - March 25, 2017

When I went back it appears my “review” was eliminated.

54. ton2u - March 25, 2017

Bruce, I’d be interested in your “redacted” review – can you post it here?

55. Cristalclear - March 25, 2017

Bruce and ton2u
I’m not sure it is your review Bruce,but on amazon.com there is a review written on March 24th.
You have to look very well into the site to find it!
Go to the reviews and find the button “see all critical reviews”.

56. brucelevy - March 25, 2017

I basically stated that he was a sexual predator, and I knew this by experience. I said he had nothing of substance to offer and that people should google “robert burton, sexual predator, lawsuits, suicides etc.. I went back and my review WAS removed.

57. WhaleRider - March 25, 2017

Maybe someone can give burton a five star sexual predator rating.

58. John Harmer - March 26, 2017

The review by four breaths is a welcome breath of fresh air, and seems to have survived whatever policy amazon use to take down reviews. We could all register that we found that review “helpful”. Here is what is says:

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Recruiting for a religious cult 3 Dec. 2016
By Four Breaths – Published on Amazon.com
Let the buyer beware. This book is nothing more than a recruiting gimmick for a Northern CA religious cult known as the Fellowship of Friends. The cult is ageing; new recruits are few and far between; the leader and founder, Robert Burton, is exhibiting various symptoms of dementia; and the cult’s financial health is increasingly dire. For a more advanced spiritual seeker, there might be a valuable quote or two from this book. Otherwise there is zero spiritual instruction to be gained, and the Fellowship itself has been an evolutionary dead end for at least 15 years.

59. brucelevy - March 29, 2017
60. Golden Veil - March 30, 2017

59. brucelevy – March 29,2017

Thank you. I have to say that the exercise of not expressing negative emotions is one of the things that stuck with me the longest, after I left the Fellowship of Friends. The extreme form of the suppression of negative emotions is unhealthy. The research in the Scientific American article at your link supports this. I remember all too well “the act” of being positive that was prevalent in the Fellowship of Friends; there was much false behavoir.

61. fofblogmoderator - April 1, 2017

As a reminder, if you are posting for the first time you are required to use a valid email address and I will send you an email to complete the “vetting” process, There is currently a post hung in moderation due to the contributor using an invalid email address (it kicked back)

62. brucelevy - April 17, 2017

From the GF…thank you…http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/10/rape-victims-minnesota-cult-leader-victor-barnard-sexual-assault.html

They ( the “gurus”…they’re ALL the same eventually). None of them can pass the test of power over others. They all become corrupt by their own greed, avarice, sociopathy, gluttony, sexual perversion.

63. ton2u - April 17, 2017

“Anyone can fall into a cult under the right circumstances….Nobody joins a cult… You join a community that you believe will have positive benefits and goals.”

64. ton2u - April 28, 2017

65. wildz - April 29, 2017

I have not posted in a long time. Has anyone researched Urantia?

66. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 30, 2017

Sick sick sick!:

CBS: 48 Hours:
The Family: A Cult Revealed (43:21):
Air Date: 04/29/17
Part 1: Allegations of stolen children, drugs, abuse and a leader
who claimed to be the second coming of Christ — “48 Hours”
follows the trail of a cult that began in Australia and led the FBI
to New York. “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant investigates.

To some, Anne Hamilton-Byrne was a yoga teacher with a penchant for plastic surgery. To others, she was the evil leader of The Family — an apocalyptic cult with about 500 followers and more than 28 children. Some were the children of cult members, others were newborns that came from unwed mother tricked into thinking their babies were going to good homes, a few were out and out stolen, investigators say.

Now, some of those children are speaking out about Hamilton-Byrne’s attempt to build a perfect race through a collection of children — some of whom were forced to have their hair bleached blonde, were home-schooled on an isolated property, and were injected with LSD as part of an initiation ritual.

The harsh treatment was carried out by some of the women known as “Aunties,” loyal cult members who lived with and taught the children. The children believed they were brothers and sisters and thought Anne and Bill Hamilton-Byrne were their parents until they were rescued by police and the cult was broken up.

“The Family” is also the story of the incredible determination of a detective in Australia and an agent at the FBI who joined forces to bring the Hamilton-Byrnes before a judge.

“My whole life was wrapped up in this investigation,” says Lex de Man, a former detective with the Victoria Police Department in Melbourne, Australia. He tells “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant, “She is the most evil person that I’ve ever met.”

In the Catskills region of New York State, Lex de Man is far from home. He is here to retrace the steps of the biggest case of his career — hunting down a dangerous fugitive cult leader.

67. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 30, 2017
68. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 30, 2017
69. Just the Facts Ma'am - April 30, 2017

How to identify a cult: Six tips from an expert.
The groups are secretive,exploitive and closed
to outsiders – and they’re still with us.

‘So what constitutes a cult? Eichel listed several factors:

“Beware of any kind of pressure. That’s probably the single most important advice I can give anyone. Any kind of pressure to make a quick decision about becoming involved in any intensive kind of activity or organization.”

“Be wary of any leader who proclaims him or herself as having special powers or special insight. And, of course, divinity.”

“The group is closed, so in other words, although there may be outside followers, there’s usually an inner circle that follows the leader without question, and that maintains a tremendous amount of secrecy.”

“The group uses deceptive means, typically, to recruit new members, and then once recruited will subject its members to an organized program of thought reform, or what most people refer to as brainwashing.”

“Typically cults also exploit their members. . .mostly financially. Within the group, they’ll exploit members financially, psychologically, emotionally and, all too often, sexually.”

“A very important aspect of cult is the idea that if you leave the cult, horrible things will happen to you. This is important, and it’s important to realize. That people outside of a cult are potential members, so they’re not looked upon as negatively as people inside the cult who then leave the cult.”

70. Thomas Roy Judd - May 1, 2017

65 wildz.couple decades ago I did some research so it’s all a little purple hazy.Don’t even remember how I stumbled upon the book but it was an interesting read.I even gave one to a holy roller Jesus freak friend because of the many,many,many pages on Him.Lost much of its luster the more I learned.Origins were a little mysterious, as I recall a doctor perhaps psychiatric had a patient that was channeling some higher entity (s).giving info necessary for our betterment. Upon further investigation many of the ideas while good and sound where quite similar to already established sources. I looked into the organization a little but gave up pretty quickly as people were claiming to be this or that higher entity.

71. wildz - May 1, 2017

Thanks Thomas Roy Judd, they have popped up in my community, so was wondering.

72. Insider - May 2, 2017

Why are 99.9% of human beings so readily willing to give away their power to another person, a perfect stranger in fact? What does this say about the sorry state of human affairs, and especially human consciousness, in this age?

I hardly can blame the 0.1% for taking what everyone else is so eager to relinquish.

(PS: Don’t be misled by my moniker.)

73. Arthur Brooks - May 2, 2017

I wonder if Burton or any of his harem would give me a refund as I was scammed by them?

74. Thomas Roy Judd - May 5, 2017

72 insider.I think 98.6% of the reason is people don’t want to take full responsibility for making wrong,bad, ill-advised decisions. Always good to have a scapegoat be it god,guru,government, mother,etc.Far as I can see human affairs have been in a sorry state since Adam and Eve,or at least quite short of what they could be.Probably because as you say we are so eager to give away our power.

75. Insider - May 5, 2017

74. I have also been interested in another aspect of this, namely why so many people remain in the Fellowship when they freely admit they get nothing from Robert’s “teaching” or from being around him. Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):

–Some are employed by the Fellowship and are not ready, or are too old, to replace that income.

–Some are not ready to risk losing some or all of their friends. Even if they keep a few, they will probably be excluded from larger gatherings, like at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

–Some (quite a few, really) now have their own children in the Fellowship.

–Some can’t live with having people think about them (ex-members who have lost all “spiritual” possibilities) the way they used to, or currently, think about members who left.

–Some have businesses (housekeeping, outdoor work, carpentry) that might suffer if they lose member support.

–Some are 60+ years old and pay so little (compared to their earlier years), that it can be thought of, not as a “teaching payment,” but a modest membership fee to the local country club.

–Some want to stick around to see what finally happens to Robert and the Fellowship.

–Some imagine that they would have to sell their home and move away from OH, since OH is “Fellowship territory.”

–Some (especially the “kids”) find Apollo a fun place to hang out when they come home on vacation. (And they only have to pay $40/mo for the first 2 years, maybe longer if they are friends with Rowena, Dorian or Sasha.)

–Some are afraid of the unknown, including what they might come to see once removed from Robert and the FoF.

76. Wouldnt You Like To Know - May 6, 2017

Some have had their brains so washed for so long
that they cannot function without the crutch of FoF/REB.
As one early FoF student, now dead, put it so aptly:
‘A System or a Way is the thorn one uses to remove
the thorn of life from one’s side. If you are not
careful, you might get two thorns stuck in your side.’

77. Tim Campion - May 7, 2017


Thank you for illuminating some of the reasons leaving the Fellowship can be so difficult. It helps soften my judgment about those who stay on.

And I suspect some, like me, are more guided by inertia, simply finding it easier to remain where they are, until perhaps external circumstances force a change.

78. Insider - May 7, 2017

77, Tim.

Also, many people stay for no other reason than “Robert is a Conscious Being,” to which I respond (at least to myself), “Since when are you able to recognize if someone else is a Conscious Being, whatever that is anyway,” or “What benefit is it to you that someone else is supposedly a Conscious Being?” or “If that’s what you want for yourself, don’t you think you have to stop following him at some point and become that yourself?”

Next reason: Some people, if not all, are addicted to the flattery that Robert dishes out (and expects in return). “Nice to see you, dear.” “Nice to evolve with you.” “Keep doing what you’re doing (including making those ‘voluntary donations’).” “You’re all conscious beings now.” “I’ll be the first to greet you when you enter Paradise.”

79. jomopinata - May 9, 2017
80. jomopinata - May 9, 2017

About Dorota (Starr) and her late daughter Lorian.

81. volve - May 21, 2017

Clearly nothing’s changed since my last visit back in the Noughties I think it was when I left as promptly on reading Anna (Conboy’s) deeply disturbing narrative of Burton’s vileous practices.

82. Soccer player - May 31, 2017

I sure hope, that the soccer field I built in Renaissance, 21 years ago, is now a golf course, ornamented with golden angels, and not a potato field…

83. Soccer player - May 31, 2017

I turned over the 3,000 gallon water truck in the vineyard.
Almost got myself killed.

What did I “get” from the “fellowshipers”?

they took a photo of me and the damaged water truck and posted it in the Auto shop.

Robert said: “They are jealous of you.”

That was the Truth!

84. wildz - June 1, 2017

Oh Soccer player, your truth is almost too much to bear. I know I must know you, and my heart is with you. victoria@drz.org

85. Soccer player - June 1, 2017

The System does work! Has nothing to do with Robert.

To put it more correctly: “Using the fragments of this System does work”.

As Rodney Collin tried to explain: “We have to recreate the ‘system’ for ourselves.”

So true.

86. ton2u - June 1, 2017

87. brucelevy - June 1, 2017

155. ton2u

Haha. And there you have it. The efficacy of the FOF with a side order of narcissism, sociopathy and alcoholism. It doesn’t get better then that. A sure combination for consciousness.

88. Tim Campion - June 1, 2017

The system we followed is pseudo-science, poor and simple. The cherished “Fourth Way lineage” is nothing but a (continuing) string of charlatans, a few of whom eventually realized their error.

89. Just the Facts Ma'am - June 2, 2017

Soccer player, that field you mentioned is likely a pasture for camels, llamas, water buffalo, or some other exotic creatures, or possibly a nursery for breeding Jubaea chilensis palm trees. (If FoF is truly an ark, it has to be saving species two-by-two. 😉 ) But, I do not know for sure as it has been many years since I have been in Oregon House, California.

90. Arthur - June 4, 2017

If Burton or his troupe are smart the soccer field could be turned into a medical marijuana field. Since he loves money more than life then that’s it. Who knows maybe a first time smoker could gain insight into who awoke and who didn’t?

91. brucelevy - June 4, 2017

90. Arthur

RB told me once that he smoked pot once but stopped because he could control the “I’s”. Could be bullshit, could be that he never could control them…they were always on young straight dick.

92. brucelevy - June 4, 2017

That should be “couldn’t control the “I’s”.

93. Insider - June 5, 2017

90. With all the llama droppings no doubt still in that area, mj should do well in the former soccer field. But RB is clever enough to let his followers grow all they want on their own property, with RB getting his cut.

A couple of years ago, J*n*th*n F**ro*ks (a “big grower”) was busted when his wife was nabbed driving a carload of mj from CA to the east coast. They caught her somewhere in the Midwest, and of course easily traced the source back to J.F. His grow was so big and so hidden, the deputies had to hike in something like a half mile to arrest him. A few days later, there he was with RB at a formal dinner as if nothing happened.

When RB met Bonita at that New Years Eve party, was it only Bonita on LSD? I doubt it. A year or two later, RB lived at a “teaching house” in Carmel where people openly (i.e., in front of RB) took LSD. Did RB refrain? I doubt this also.

About 4-5 years ago, a son of a member, perhaps being a bit high in that moment, openly shared something with a number of FF members at his mother’s house for a party. He said that he used to obtain illegal drugs for Dorian to be used in the Galleria.

At the very least, it’s hard to imagine RB’s boys doing what they do night after night without being high. And some, for sure, are definitely regular users. Go back to the posting (last November?) about “The Absolute” visiting RB in 2014 (the first of the two “visits”). A young man was walking a dog in the garden when “it” happened. When this story from 2014 was told publicly last year, RB “delicately” and “sensitively” added that the young man was now in drug rehab.

There’s a good reason why RB keeps the doctors and other prescription-writers close to him (best seats at meetings, dinners, etc.). I have no doubt that RB is high nearly ALL of the time on a cocktail of drugs and caffeine. A year or two ago, one of RBs more trusted boys stopped him at a teaching breakfast from having a 7th espresso.

94. David Butcher - June 5, 2017

I recently saw a documentary called ‘Holy Hell’. It tells the story of the Buddhafield cult which has many interesting similarities to FOF. It started in the early 70s in northern California. The teacher was secretly gay and preying on straight male members. He hid his past from the members also. When word started getting out about his abuses he fled to Austin, Texas and eventually ended up in Hawaii. I would highly recommend this film to all former FOF members and would be interested in your observations about it.

95. Associated Press - June 6, 2017

Re: Holy Hell: see posts on that topic from September 2016 on this blog. World 96 (or even World 192) is upon us! Where World 96 is defined as false personality and 192 is even worse, like on the interstate highway in the fast lane combined with road rage or in a war zone somewhere.

96. Associated Press - June 6, 2017

Here is part of a review of Holy Hell I saw at IMDb:

“. . . If you are fascinated by cults or a fan of documentaries seek this film out. It’s a rare thing to have this much inside footage of a cult leader and his followers in action. To outsiders the machinations of this vain Svengali seem transparent and obvious. So vain that he was the one who had all of this footage shot. Meeting the members you gain insight, sympathy and understanding as to how and why seemingly intelligent, aware individuals can be swept up by someone and something like this.

The film is well constructed, clear, emotional and does have a point of view. That point of view is what gives this film it’s fire and passion. It’s made by ex cult members and boy are they angry. It doesn’t pretend to be a cold, objective view on what went on there and I think it is better for it. Imagine a film about Scientology made by angry ex-members or a film about the Manson family made by a disillusioned, embarrassed, remorseful ex-member. Oh the truths we’d learn!

My only complaint is that I wanted a cathartic confrontation with the cult leader at the end. There is a confrontation but it seems muted and sad rather than explosive and angry.

See this well made documentary if you can. . .”

97. Insider - June 13, 2017

Following is the current list of recommended reading for people possibly interested in joining the Fellowship of Friends:


-Self Observation by Girard Haven

-The Many I’s by Girard Haven

-The Fourth Way by Girard Haven

Books and Publications

-Awakening by Robert Earl Burton

-The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution by P.D. Ouspensky

-In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching by P.D. Ouspensky

-The Fourth Way, by P.D. Ouspensky

-Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson by G.I. Gurdjieff

-Meetings with Remarkable Men by G.I. Gurdjieff

-Life Is Real Only Then, When “I Am” by G.I. Gurdjieff

-The Theory of Celestial Influence by Rodney Collin

-The Theory of Eternal Life by Rodney Collin

-The Theory of Conscious Harmony by Rodney Collin

Pretty deceptive, to put it mildly. The Fellowship officially abandoned the “4th Way” (aka “Gurdjieff’s system”) some 12 years ago. These books are not read by anyone, not discussed, not quoted, not mentioned at meetings. Anyone joining the Fellowship thinking otherwise will be in for a nasty surprise, pure bait-and-switch. What they will be required to accept, without any requirement or possibility of verification, is “Robert Burton’s religion,” complete with magical incantations (the “sequence”), dozens of angels “working” exclusively with Fellowship members, special visitations from “The Absolute” himself, and of course nightly sex orgies with “special” boys Robert Burton has “consciously” selected for “accelerated evolution.” It will also be necessary to believe that Paradise awaits only those who faithfully follow and serve Robert Burton in whatever way, and for however long, Burton demands.

98. Tim Campion - June 14, 2017


Is there any way we can add this blog to the official list?

99. fofblogmoderator - June 17, 2017

Someone sent in a picture of the soccer field as it looks today..


100. Insider - June 28, 2017

From the “Yet-One-More-Reason-I-Am-Eternally-Grateful-Not-To-Be-Associated-With-This-Madness” file: A new tradition started this week with the celebration of the first “visitation” of “The Absolute” on June 25 (or 27), 2014. There was a “toast” last night, followed by dinner.

If anyone missed the moment, a fortuitously-positioned friend just happened to have his camera ready as Robert Burton offered his posterior to the Absolute while supposedly kissing the ground: https://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/2016/09/robert-burton-kisses-absolutes-feet.html.

(Hope this link works. If not, maybe Tim or someone can correct it.)

In case anyone’s wondering: Yes, current members actually believe this. As someone here might say, “Unfucking believable.”

101. Insider - June 28, 2017

Just to reiterate something I may have shared earlier: There was no mention of the “visitation” event, which supposedly happened 3 years ago, back in 2014. There was no photo. Nothing whatsoever was shared about what is now being called the most important event in the history of the Fellowship. Without someone currently in the Fellowship indicating otherwise, it is hard not to conclude that the photo of “Robert kissing the Absolute’s feet” was staged as recently as last September, when Robert also concocted the story of “The Absolute’s second visit,” on 9-2-2016, 800 days after the first visit.

102. Insider - June 30, 2017

101. After this posting, I had a slight doubt as to whether there really was no mention of the “June 2014 visitation.” Going back to the archive of complete email messages to members, indeed there is zero mention of this event. The very first email following “The Absolute visiting Robert” in the Rose Garden was the following:

“Robert wishes to minimize the presence of non-members on the property at Apollo.

“Specifically this means that non-members should not be invited to Apollo d’Oro meals, Flower Garden lunches, nor Grand Bazaars.”

With the exception of visits from the Absolute, of course.

If you are a current FoF member reading this, try to understand that Robert Burton is a experienced manipulator, and is playing you for a fool.

103. John Harmer - June 30, 2017

I am curious to know whether Burton is making it all up, or if he is subject to hallucinations which he himself believes to be real. So in the case of this experience in the rose garden, I wonder if he saw something. It is difficult to know how this question could ever be satisfactorily resolved. Burton himself will always claim he did (and moreover that is was real and not imaginary), and it seems many others believe him, whereas there is another body of opinion that the whole thing was staged.

A second thought, when he kissed the ground did he use his tongue? That’s not very hygienic is it? 🙂

I recently discovered that a case can be made that the concept of “the absolute” can be attributed to the German philosopher Hegel, whose ideas have been at the root of a lot of drivel and new age nonsense ever since he wrote The Phenomenology of the Spirit.

104. Insider - June 30, 2017

103. The main point for me is that the June 2014 “event” was not disclosed until Sept 2016. Robert did not even mention this “miraculous occurrence” to anyone at the time; if he had, “everyone” would have known about it with 3 hours. I’m convinced (unless someone in the FoF can prove otherwise) that the 2014 “event” was invented much later to go along with the 2016 “event,” also contrived. Leading up to these 2 “disclosures,” the Rose Garden photo was staged (or photo shopped). And now both “events” have been memorialized with an annual celebration.

105. Tim Campion - June 30, 2017


Do you think this all might have been orchestrated (by Dorian and others) to prepare for, and distract from, Asaf’s impending banishment? After all, how could anyone follow Asaf, when The Absolute has demonstrated its support for the only REAL higher school on Earth?

106. Insider - June 30, 2017

105. Although the disclosure of the 2 “visitations” occurred nearly 2 months before Asaf departed, anyone with eyes to see knew that Asaf had left “RB’s teaching” 1-2 years earlier, and would not last much longer (to the delight of Dorian and Rowena).

Based on a very strange meeting led by Dorian back in April/May 2016, where he “predicted” that big changes were coming soon, something that would “shake the tree,” either he knew about Asaf’s coming departure, or the coming revelations, or both.

It is also possible that RB/Dorian/etc fabricated the “Absolute visitations” as a form of shock therapy to try to revive the dying Fellowship. The Ace-in-the-Hole, so to speak.

107. WhaleRider - June 30, 2017


Oregon House, CA- The repulsive leader of a Northern Californian sex cult has recently instituted a new, bizarre, “spiritual enhancement” exercise for his followers he claims is guaranteed not only to raise consciousness…but also questions about the leader’s sanity.

In a widely circulated and celebrated photograph Robert E. Burton is pictured demonstrating how followers are to practice the new thought-terminating technique.

First a handkerchief is placed on the ground for the follower to knell upon, so as to not soil the knees of their pants and create the ugly impression that they were doing something useful for humanity.

Second, the follower is to kneel carefully on the handkerchief, place their face in the dirt, and extend their buttocks into the air, a common practice of the Inner Circle.

Third, the participant then makes the effort to relax the sphincter muscles of their anus, which is good training for the younger male followers who have been recently trafficked to the cult headquarters from poorer countries. In this sacred position, the anal cavity will naturally open and gulp in some air to equalize the air pressure.

Fourth, the participant is to retain the air in his (or her) anal cavity by tightening the anal sphincter muscles, also a useful practice for long-terminal followers, while they mingle with other up-tight followers at events and dinners. The air, with no place to go, eventually travels up the entire length of the intestines, causing pressure in the stomach and the urge to burp, which the follower also learns to repress, along with their other feelings and thoughts.

Followers are instructed to separate not only from friends and family members, but from any physical discomfort, cognitive dissonance, and emotional abuse the intentional anal practice creates, since farting or burping, or making any other “negative” sounds or disparaging comment, especially in the leader’s “presence” at dinners is grounds for immediate expulsion from the cult.

The follower, who is preoccupied with not being kicked out of the group and eventually having to face their fear of abandonment, is effectively unable to think about anything else that might distract them from their role of servicing the leader.

108. Associated Press - July 1, 2017

WhaleRider/107: Are you suggesting that those who remain as FoF members, loyal to REB, and practice the exercise you mention, are ‘anal retentive.’

109. Ames Gilbert - July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day, American readers. Nice to be relatively free, though I fear that in reality we have substituted one kind of tyranny for another.

Happy Dependence Day, members of the Fellowship of Friends, and members of any other similar organizations, in thrall to their leaders. Or should it be Happy Co–Dependence Day?
Have a good time at the picnic at Lake Nancy, or whatever it is nowadays. And by all means, take a few moments to think for yourselves. Here’s a possible subject: what is the difference between ‘revealed knowledge’ and something you have truly verified for yourself?

In other news, Asaf Braverman and his family are reported to have moved to Italy.
He seems to be doubling down on his online ‘school’. From what I can see, there is absolutely no change in flavor or presentation. A mishmash of 4th Way ideas, assertions about ancient ‘schools’ and knowledge, interpretations of symbols and signs in the same vein as before, when he invented them under Burton’s aegis. Apparently he has learned nothing from recent circumstances, certainly nothing seems to have tempered his projection of utter certainty and superior knowledge.

Now he is competing with the “Journey Fourth by Day”, the annual shindig of the Fellowship of Friends. In his own words: “We’re looking for a cameraman to capture an international BePeriod gathering in Rome. The event will occur from September 25th to October 1st and will encompass museum visits, site visits, meetings, a concert, and a theatrical performance — all of which must be captured on video. We’ll cover travel and accommodation. You must bring your own gear and be able to show us a portfolio of your work.”

Hey Asaf, you are following very closely in the footsteps of the charlatan, Burton. The trouble with emulating Burton is that you become more and more like Burton, and less and less like yourself. And you may attract the same kind of people that Burton attracts: weak, foolish sycophants. Those who do not take the trouble to verify, who think that talking about verification is the same as verification. And who believe and reinforce your fantasy that you have something worthwhile to offer, or who support your fantasy for their own nefarious reasons. Can’t you see the danger, you damned fool? It’s been right there in front of your face for twenty years! Burton came to believe his fantasy so strongly that he cannot escape. If you surround yourself similarly with those invested in your fantasy, then at some point you will also submerge for the last time, and there will be no saving you either. I’m sure you think that ‘you are different’ somehow, not subject to the temptations of power and money, but you are not—as you have already proved by your history with the Burton and the Fellowship.

The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self–administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.
Dresden James

110. Mick - July 5, 2017

“Weak, foolish sycophants”?
In the immortal words of Curly Joe: “Hey, I represent that.”

111. ton2u - July 5, 2017

I heard a rumor that Miles Barth passed away… can anyone confirm or deny?


(Hey Mick my recollection is: “…I resemble that remark!”).

112. Insider - July 5, 2017

111. Yes. Check out The Greater Fellowship for photos, comments, etc.

113. Insider - July 6, 2017

109, Ames.
What does RB really believe? Thinking especially of anything related to “higher forces,” gods, angels, “conscious beings,” etc. I know certain ideas came from Alex Horn, e.g. people who “became conscious” (Rembrandt, Shakespeare, etc.), then lived on as angels after the physical body died. Did Horn employ this as a scam to make his followers think they were special? Or that they had better behave? Where did Horn get this from? Did Burton simply imitate this scam, or did he really believe it himself? Or did Burton repeat it so often within the FF, than he ended up believing it?

Burton used to say that he wondered if “Influence C” would use the same methods on his students as they did on Alex’s students. I have questioned for some time if this was really what Burton meant to say: that he was really wondering whether he could use the same “Influence C” scam as Alex did, and whether Burton’s students would just as readily fall for it.

114. fofblogmoderator - July 6, 2017

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: