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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 159 July 6, 2017

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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;

http://livingpresence.com/

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1. Insider - July 7, 2017

“Each conscious moment must contain three elements: A realization and awareness of C Influence; the emergence of one’s Third Eye; and the mastery of one’s lower self. The lower self can fake the second and third but not the first. The Sequence and the Four Worldless (sic) Breaths accomplishes (sic) all three when done successfully.”

The above quotation was from a meeting led by Linda K*pl*n last November. She shared this quote, and the entirely of her meeting notes, with FoF members following the meeting. It was not copyrighted.

What I find interesting is how so many “older students” have given up all pretense of understanding and verification in favor of drinking the Kool-Aid and eating the cotton candy that RB has served up. Not only does the above quote contain nothing of spiritual value, or even of any truth, but in fact does great harm by the attempt to convince others that Ms. K is nearly a “conscious being” with “all the answers,” while everyone else will just never get it.

Breaking down the quote:

“Each conscious moment…” – What a lie told to oneself, and what a burden demanded from oneself, to expect that a “conscious moment” contains all this. But then Ms. K’s motive here is set up an impossible aim for the “young students” following her (in her imagination), and for them to believe in Ms. K’s superior “being.” How about: A conscious moment is one in which “we” (whoever “we” are) are, for whatever reason, more awake (as happens from time to time), and more aware than usual of what we are doing, saying, hearing, feeling, thinking or sensing. I wonder if Ms. K has ever experienced a “conscious moment.”

“…the emergence of one’s Third Eye…” – as if this is under our control.

“…mastery of one’s lower self.” – I wonder if Ms. K has any idea of the scope and scale of such a statement. And is it really “mastery” that is needed, or knowledge of the “machine,” especially the “psychological” aspects? Is Ms. K master over her emotional reactions and other buffers? If not, she really should not be making statements that imply she is.

“The lower self can fake the second and third but not the first.” – Without any doubt the “lower self” can fake the “awareness of C Influence.” FoF members, led by Ms. K, claim to have a constant connection and communication with “C Influence,” so as not to appear stupid and unenlightened. And then look at RB faking the “visitation” of “The Absolute.” Yes, people in the FoF have been faking their “verification of C Influence” for as long as the FoF’s existence, or at least since RB implanted that particular belief into everyone’s psyche way back when. (Not to say or imply that my world does not include entities or beings from who knows where, existing somewhere, with varying levels of “vibration,” for who knows exactly what purpose. But that’s my reality, no longer borrowed from someone else.)

“The Sequence and the Four Worldless (sic) Breaths…” – The experience of being more awake, especially the quantum leap of actually feeling ourselves suddenly and literally to have awakened, has to be one of the profoundest and most mysterious of all human experiences. To trivialize it by claiming (as Burton and Ms. K do) that anyone can awaken merely by intoning a mantra of 6 particular words in a very specific sequence, following by 4 breaths without words, is either (1) never to have known the experience of (I’ll call it) “higher centers” suddenly waking up, or (2) flat-out, intentional, criminal lying to the flock in order to be thought of as more conscious than anyone else.

2. brucelevy - July 8, 2017

1. Insider

I knew her for many years. She was an officious asshole then…she’s much worse now. She believes her own myth, although her vanity has always been epic.. She is an abomination. The present membership fully deserves her. And she deserves herself. No matter where she goes, she wakes up in the morning, and there she is. She would be her own punishment if she actually had the capacity for self awareness, shame, empathy…you know…all the human traits that raise us above the level of a snail.

3. Insider - July 8, 2017

If anyone has the stomach for it, the July 4 festivities can be viewed on Facebook, including Linda K giving the toast, and some shots of RB (no pun intended). There is also a performance by some children singing songs like “This Land is Your Land.” Total “jack of hearts” of course. But for the first time I observed the hypnotic effect of those mass emotions, including a most comforting feeling of sharing emotions with lots of other people.

4. WhaleRider - July 8, 2017

The “lower self”

…a convenient receptacle to contain a follower’s self-doubt and critical thoughts about the FOF.

Also it is a great tool to internally “divide and conquer” followers, convincing them to mistrust themselves, trusting only those who place themselves in authority positions in the cult.

It’s no wonder the FOF demonizes the unconscious part of the psyche…one of the only ways to spot the hidden agenda of a charming sociopath is to trust your gut feeling.

“Awareness of Influence C”

…a superstitious belief, not an “awareness”, instilled by magical thinking and ideas of reference.

The original definition of Influence C was influence that came directly from a living being, instead of from books (B Influence).

burton has used a “bait and switch” strategy to form a cult of spiritualists who believe in beneficent ghosts and spirits (but apparently not malevolent ones).

It’s noteworthy to me that the criteria of a “bona fide conscious moment” must include “awareness” of “beings” outside of one’s self.

IMO, this because of the autonomous and unseen nature of the unconscious part of us.

For me, that indicates if a person entertains beliefs of “supernatural beings”, then their self concept has not extended beyond the level of personality to include their inner guru…they project it outward.

“The third eye”

In an attempt to map the psyche, Freud called this the “super ego”, or the theoretical part of the psyche watching over the ego or personality, often chastising the ego or personalty with “should” or “shouldn’t”.

IMO, the “third eye” and super ego concepts are derived from having had parents and caregivers watching over us when we were children. Over time we incorporate the voices and hovering presence of our parents, then rebel in order to individuate, effectively relegating the voices to the unconscious.

A better name for it would be “the evil eye”.

I pity anyone who considers the “third eye” is the “higher self”, for in my experience this aspect of our psyche can be cruel and unforgiving…as evidenced by the cult’s inhumane behavior regarding silencing dissent among followers.

5. Ames Gilbert - July 10, 2017

From the Fellowship of Friends website:

In 1967 Robert Earl Burton attended a meeting led by Alexander Horn, and immediately knew that he had found what he had been seeking. Mr. Horn conducted a group based on the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky ideas that used theater as a form for work on oneself. Burton devoted himself to studying the Fourth Way and to participating in Mr. Horn’s group. After eighteen months, however, Robert Burton found it necessary to part from his teacher, realizing that Mr. Horn’s teaching methods were no longer serving his aim.

Euphemisms, euphemisms!
Yep, I’m sure Burton “immediately knew that he had found what he had been seeking”.

Indeed:
• How to control a flock of sheep and the means to shear them—practical examples of how to run a cult…
• Big lies work much better than little lies.
• One can convince people of the biggest whoppers by mixing in a little bit of the truth.
• One can convince people that the most unlikely things are true if spoken with intense, unflinching conviction.
• One can persuade otherwise intelligent people that the evidence in front of their lying eyeballs is false if you can say so with complete certainty.
• Think big: claim ultimate authority—claim you are chosen to be the exclusive messenger of powerful angels and sole interpreter of the signs they deign to reveal.

“Burton devoted himself to studying the Fourth Way…”
…And the arts of just how the most successful wolves disguise themselves in sheep’s clothing.
And how to persuade followers that psychological abuse was the same as kindly guidance, and self-abuse was indistinguishable from legitimate efforts to work on oneself.
And how to cherry-pick from the ‘fragments of an unknown teaching’ the bits and pieces that suited his agenda, and disregard the rest.

“After eighteen months, however…”
Yes, Horn wouldn’t share. He was making $40,000 a month in 1970*, according to one follower. He fucked the women in the flock, but wouldn’t let Burton fuck the men. Remember, Burton’s aim was also to gratify himself and make a luxurious living off his followers. And Horn certainly wasn’t going to share in the loot, or even put him ‘on salary’! Besides, because of unnecessarily brutal and public physical abuse, the turnover was way too high. How about being more cunning about it? Why not borrow some phrases from the San Francisco flower children of the time and claim this is a ‘school of love’?

O.K., Burton struck off on his own. He had learned to recognize needy people, reflected their needs back to them, reformulated and voiced their concerns, and convinced them he innately understood their inner worlds. After applying what he had learned, let them convince others in their turn. But that would still limit the dollar and sperm ‘donations’, so he invented 44 (later 45) invisible, all–powerful helpers, able to justify and help handle any number of followers. Now we’re rollin’! For a greedy, grasping literally insatiable hasnamuss, nothing succeeds like excess.
It was a good gig from the start, but it seems reasonable to infer that Burton was not absolutely certain of continuing his excesses until 1978. We can reliably infer this because he kept on renewing his school teaching credentials until then (thanks, Veronicapoe). That was also when what were formerly ‘suggestions’ became absolute commands.

And no–one permitted in their turn to part from this charlatan, when they realized that Robert Earl Burton’s ‘teaching methods’ were no longer serving their aims. No siree, only damnation and darkness and gnashing of teeth for those reaching for their freedom.

* $40k in 1970 had the same buying power as $256,161.27 in 2017 dollars, according to an inflation calculator I found on the ‘net.

**** Demagogues, Solzhenitsyn reminds us, are stunted and shallow people. “Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.” *****

6. wallis - July 10, 2017

Whilst headed towards the obvious result for all of us – the big d – has there ever been any evolution for any of us – ins or outs, short term or long term. Do we secretly suspect that Burton will come to a sickly, squishy demise, bringing tears of joy, firstly from OH and environs ‘outties’ and then ricocheting around the globe where many have in any manner made a life out of life for themselves, have advanced in compassion, life skills and the ability to be in harmony with their neighbor, unfettered by the rules of a cult? This is all postulation,

7. Bryan Reynolds - July 11, 2017

One of the outstanding memories from time spent in the FOF was the constant reminder of how, at the time of death there would be nothing there. So the solution which was recommended by the leaders and other students was to do more of what had been suggested… being present, dividing attention taking in impressions etc. The pressure to do more evoked fear that not enough was being done and paranoia which drove more “efforts” which only increased the fear and paranoia. This is the dark side of obsessive Compulsive behavior when you start to believe that if you do not practice some ritualistic behavior something very bad will happen. This is the danger of closed group programming. The group view becomes the only respected view and everyone else is misguided. The solution was to stop these ritualistic behaviors slowly to see that nothing bad happens. There has been a lot written on obsessive compulsive disorder which can be very helpful. It is unfortunate that at this time the term OCD is used in a casual way. It can be very serious and frightening experience.

A bit about Miles Barth who passed away. I liked Miles a lot and he was very helpful to me on several occasions. Once when I was sick with ulcers from a self imposed eating disorder and again when I was well… going nuts. The last time I saw Miles I had just spoken to RB. Miles asked me why I wanted to speak to RB and I said “to thank him for his efforts”. Miles asked what did Robert say? I told him I wanted to take in what had been said. MIles was not happy that I would not share what was said. He told me if I did not tell him what RB said I could not be in the school. I corrected him and said “you mean the Fellowship”. I had a veiw of “school” being much greater than this group of people. That was the only time I saw him drop that “I am in control and awere” personality he maintained. I left the FOF soon after this exchange. I understand his leaving helped others to decide to leave but that was long after I left.

8. ton2u - July 12, 2017

Bryan,

I realize this may be getting too personal, if so I apologize – but I’m wondering if after these many years you would feel comfortable relating the discussion between yourself and Burton? It sounds like you left the FOF soon after this interaction with Burton (and a subsequent exchange with Barth), so I’m wondering if your interaction with Burton might be germane to general discussion here? Or maybe your decision to leave had more to do with the interaction with Barth ? Did your interactions have to do with an intention to leave the FOF? Or had you already made up your mind ? etc, etc. I think any insights along these lines could be a useful addition to the “record” kept here… if you’re comfortable with relating the story.

9. jomopinata - July 12, 2017

Every time someone says, “it was not copyrighted,” I think, they do not understand how copyright works. Since March 1, 1989, the effective date of the United States’ adoption of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, if you create an original work of authorship in the United States (and in many other countries), it is protected by the law of copyright from the moment you created it . Registration confers additional rights over and above those you get automatically by operation of law when you create an original work of authorship. But any original work of authorship you create is automatically protected, and this has been true for more than a quarter century.

10. jomopinata - July 12, 2017

According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Burton renewed his teaching credential in 1975, for the period 1975-1980. Not 1978.

11. Bryan Reynolds - July 12, 2017

8. Ton2u
I will respond as soon as I can.
Bryan

12. Bryan Reynolds - July 14, 2017

8. Ton2u

It was not my intention to be dramatic or suspenseful in my last post.

My meetings with Robert for the most part were not very interesting like the time I told him I thought I should seriously consider going to Tibet. I was a repenting stoner, “deeply in a feature” as we would say back then. The last time I went to him I had spent a lot of time formulating a “real question”. The question was, in our student-teacher relationship “was the effort made?” As in the were the required efforts to assure eternal life made?. I think I had read somewhere that this is the only real question. Somehow this made sense to me at the time. He said “you are over self indulging” “Bryan thinks too much” “You need to listen to the music and look at the flowers” He then kind of dismissed me and said something like go up to the Lincoln Lodge and sweep the kitchen floor. This was around 1974 or 1975 I was around 22 years old and I thought he was celibate.

13. J.D. - July 14, 2017

Rumor has it that RB had two cardiac procedures on the 11th and the 12th: two stents were placed in two arteries of his heart.

“Robert is smiling and in good spirits. He will stay around much longer and share his Presence with all of us.”

14. wallis - July 14, 2017

Many recollections of interactions with Burton – the emptiness of Burton – the ‘being’ who would only respond via the emptiness of his moments.. He was hungering for the next ‘young heterosexual man episode’, of course. When I look back, how trite were the little phrases that issued from his major facial orifice – how much we doted on his weedy words, his sinuous sentences and how the whole thing was about his ‘worthiness’ and who would enable him. I doubt whether anything from Miles Barth would have changed the scenario. Burton will probably go to his grave (or will they build a mausoleum?) totally assured that the lies in which he believed – which never pertained to the evolution of anyone else – were gratified and verified.

15. Insider - July 14, 2017

13. Yes, correct information. Sanitized emails, one even including a video of RB in his hospital bed, are being sent daily. Real information, of course, is impossible to obtain. There should be a spike in donations this month.

16. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 14, 2017

Robert Earl Burton (REB):
rotten at the coeur (core).
(Coeur is the French word for heart.)
Yes, rotten at the heart;
as evidenced by the reported surgery.

Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them,
to men’s eyes.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 2

17. brucelevy - July 15, 2017

16. Wouldnt You Like To Know

In the end, he will slip away, unrepentant, having fucked up innumerable people, having no regrets. And people like Linda, or the current Butt Boy will crawl up his dead ass like a slug and emerge from the fetid chrysalis as the new hope. The “school” will lose most of it’s losers and there will be a core left who will try to climb the unfettered ladder of psychopathic dysfunction that remains.

I wonder, were the stents 18k gold Hermes stents? Did they use KY to help with the insertion? He is not unlike Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Only the Baron had more integrity and substance.

18. Insider - July 15, 2017

I can’t guess at the real numbers, but there are many “students” I know who will bolt at the first opportunity; i.e. when they can justify leaving because RB has retired or died. But they won’t/can’t leave before that. They are stuck in the circle and can’t get out.

Somehow, anyone who remains a member until RB’s end, no matter how little they think they are paying, never actually separates from him. Waking up from the trance, it would seem, has to happen during RB’s tenure, so that there is a real struggle to become free. There’s some parallel here in regards to becoming free from the programming of one’s family. It’s a lie to wait until RB is dead to proclaim one is free from him.

19. Ill Never Tell - July 15, 2017

Bruce, This
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen?:

20. Bares Reposting - July 15, 2017

159/18 Insider:
‘They are stuck in the circle and can’t get out.’

Consider these two accounts of a Gurdjieff story.
(This one and another in my next posting.)

“In 1888 the 16-year-old Gurdjieff witnessed a strange incident: he saw a little boy, weeping and making strange movements, struggling with all his might to break out of a circle drawn around him by other boys. Gurdjieff released the boy by erasing part of the circle and the child ran from his tormentors. The boy, Gurdjieff learned, was a Yezidi. He had heard only that Yezidis were “a sect living in Transcaucasia, mainly in the regions near Mount Ararat. They are sometimes called devil-worshippers.” Astonished by the incident, Gurdjieff made a point of telling us that he felt compelled to think seriously about the Yezidis. Inquiring of the adults he knew, he received contradictory opinions representative of the usual, prejudiced view of the Yezidis. But Gurdjieff remained unsatisfied.”

http://www.gurdjiefflegacy.org/40articles/yezidism.htm

21. Bares Reposting - July 15, 2017

Continued:

“Escaping magical circles!

In his book Meetings with Remarkable Men, George Gurdjieff describes a strange event he witnessed as a young man. He recounts being deeply involved in his studies when he suddenly heard a boy’s scream. As he ran over to investigate, he saw a Yezidi boy trapped inside of a circle drawn on the ground by a group of mischievous youths.

Gurdjieff asked the boys who had drawn the circle what was going on. They told him that when you put a Yezidi inside of a circle, they cannot get out. Gurdjieff went over to the circle and rubbed out part of it with his foot. The Yezidi boy saw the opening through this “magic” circle and fled through it. This dumbfounded Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff learned that Yezidis are a sect living in Transcaucasia, mostly in the area around Mt. Ararat. Gurdjieff was so blown away by the incident he witnessed of the magic circle that several years later he conducted his own experiments. He had drawn a circle around a petite Yezidi woman and it took two strong men to pull her out of the circle. But taking her out of this circle by force caused her to go into an immediate swoon or state of catalepsy. Gurdjieff also learned that the women’s mental state returned to normal as soon as she was brought back into the circle! Otherwise, it took many hours outside the circle before she could return to normal. Apparently there was a very strange force more powerful than one’s normal strength that kept such a person imprisoned in such a magic circle

Gurdjieff ultimately discovered the mechanism behind this strange phenomena of the human psyche and offers clues to its understanding in his various books. But one has to make real effort not only towards intellectually grasping the mechanism and power of a magic circle, but also to becoming personally alert to recognizing similar forms of its manifestation in daily life. (Otherwise there is no practical lesson to be learned.)

This happened to me while attending a church service one Sunday. Being bored with the ritual of worship I happened to look out a large window for some new experience and began to meditate on “deep” subjects. Suddenly, I felt an elbow jab me in the ribs.

I turned in the direction of the jab and saw that a fellow member of the church had noticed that I wasn’t singing along with everybody else and offered me a hymnal book, thinking that I was unable to find one on my own. The person in question was well meaning and full of good intention, but became a little uncomfortable when I waved off the book and continued to look out the window.

Later, after the church service, there was a “fellowship hour” where people could strengthen bonds while enjoying food brought in by all the members. Sometimes I would be so inspired to have conversations about important spiritual topics during this allotted time that I would completely lose my appetite for terrestrial food. I began to notice that both my persistence in having deep discussions and not choosing to eat the food, so artfully displayed on the table, made most of the congregational members uncomfortable with me. I was not conforming to their established customs and conventions—drilled into them over long periods of time.

Finally, I realized that I was outside their “magical” circle of automatic behavior. It would be naïve of me to expect other members to escape this difficult situation since this weekly routine was “fixed” and “hard-wired” into their consciousness and there was no need to question it. Besides, a person would not be considered “normal” acting outside the accepted procedures of this circle. Thus “normalcy” is a powerful and strange force that keeps people within their magical circle.”

https://thegodguy.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/escaping-magical-circles/

If you want to get out of the circle, all you have to do is wish to be out of it.

22. wallis - July 15, 2017

Some of the characteristics thought to pertain to a Man 5 thru 7 – awakened to fully crystallized…WILL, ABILITY TO ‘DO’, REAL ‘I’, ABILITY TO KEEP AIM…As we know, Burton has DESIRE OF WHIM, CANNOT ‘DO’ ANYTHING FOR HIMSELF AND EVEN NEEDS OTHERS TO GIVE HIM AN ERECTION, HAS A WARDROBE OF…A JEWELRY BOX OF…AND OTHER RECEPTACLES OF…THE SEMBLANCES THAT MAKE ‘THE MANY, MANY, MANY ‘I’S’ AND AIMS AT THE NEXT FOREIGN CITY AND ELITE RESTAURANT FOR HIS NEXT DALLIANCE.

As for followers, they gave up any self-esteem and little will they had to become a herd of (well, sheep are smarter!) and , for them, leaving would show them their own nothingness handed to them by Burton and enablers.

23. Ames Gilbert - July 16, 2017

jomopinata, thanks for correcting those dates in #5.

24. Ames Gilbert - July 17, 2017

It’s a ghastly thought. Burton, the wrinkled, pale slug, oozing out of his hospital gown, lying there in the bed, wallowing in self–pity (it used to be an act, but I came to believe thirty years ago that some part of him truly believes he really is hard done by, lives a life of noble self–sacrifice ‘for his students’).

Surrounded by the lucky chosen, puffed with self–importance, half eager, half fearful:
-What if he conks out right in front of me?
-Can I remember CPR from that movie three decades ago?
-I might be the one who hears his last words…
-Am I supposed to do the Sequence right now?
-Did I hear that right–he wants me to go to the bathroom, wank off and bring me the sperm in a cup?
-What if he appoints me to be his successor on his death bed? He’s always told me I’m the special one…

25. wallis - July 17, 2017

“You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny.”

― Upanishads

26. Ames Gilbert - July 17, 2017

Re–post from years ago. Needs to be updated to include meetings with the Absolute, invention of the Sequence, yet more failed prophecies, etc.
And yes, I did send a hard copy to Burton himself at the time…

Open Letter to Robert Earl Burton:
You have quite a load on your back, don’t you? For example, you once told me that one of the burdens of being a ‘conscious being’ is that you make about 500 decisions a week concerning your ‘students’ and your ‘school’. Quite an obligation, but I guess it helps that you know all the answers and are such a decisive fellow. How lucky for your followers that you spend so much time minding their business for them. I suppose it’s for the best; they don’t have to think for themselves, and thinking for themselves is dangerous for you.

And what do you expect in return?
On the surface, just the usual adoration or fear, endless opportunities for sex, and of course the unlimited shopping. I say ‘endless’ and ‘unlimited’ because, you being immortal and all that, the need is going to continue, in one form or another, forever, isn’t it?

So, let’s have a look underneath the surface. What drives you?

It would be nice if everyone would just acknowledge you as “the brightest light in 2,000 years” wouldn’t it? You say this so often, it must be really important to you. But I have to ask, though it is so obvious to you, why isn’t it obvious to everyone else? I know you claim that you are so elevated that we mere mortals cannot appreciate your lofty ‘consciousness’, but all the other reputed ‘conscious beings’, including most of the 44 who are supposed to be your friends and allies, left behind significant traces when they exited this plane. At this rate, you will have left behind a worthless, mostly ghost–written book and some unofficial and also worthless sexual records.

It would be nice if you could stop being so needy for sex, huh? Then you could get on with the rest of your day and your life without constantly thinking about how you’re going to get more dick. It is a bit sad that the never–ending quest is permanent, since you are already ‘crystallized’, together with all your baggage. Some baggage! And it is sadder that the next orgasm isn’t going to provide the relief you seek, let alone the next thousand or ten thousand. And sadder still that your need is going to continue when you drop your body, and your nerve endings are no longer available to stimulate.

It would be nice if you could live your life without the support of drugs, wouldn’t it? It must be awful knowing that none of your partners actually desire you, that they only have erections because you make them take Viagra or because they stimulate themselves to simulate desire. And imagine being truly calm inside, instead of the fake calm of tranquilizers. Imagine having self–control, to not have to reach out for this pill or that to mask your emptiness, imagine not having pills control you.

It would be nice if you could bear to be alone and live with yourself and your thoughts, wouldn’t it? You’ve never slept alone in forty years, and you surround yourself with human company every waking hour, yet you’ve never reached another human, nor has a human reached you. But, you are going to die alone. And at the moment of death (not before, because in my opinion you are a coward), you will have to face the truth. You will be dying never knowing the difference between being adored for your position and being loved for yourself. You will be dying having never loved another human unconditionally, and so you will have lived a worthless life. Less than worthless, because you have left behind many people who have suffered as a result of your stay on earth, who have suffered because of your mental illnesses and colossal weaknesses. Less than worthless, because you have left behind a body of deluded followers, who must suffer needlessly as they in turn have to rediscover the truth about themselves and their situation. Less than worthless because you never earned your keep, you fed off others your entire life, and you never repaid the debt you owed for the gift of your life. Less than worthless because you led the life of a parasite and never contributed anything to the common weal. Less than less than worthless, because you not only never tried to repair the immense damage you caused, but you never even acknowledged it, or felt pity or remorse.

It would be nice if you could face death with equanimity, wouldn’t it? Then you wouldn’t have to build monuments to your ego. You wouldn’t have to keep on and on and on with the story that you are the founder of the next civilization, that your memory will be revered, your prophecies were useful and accurate, that you had access to secret wisdom, and that humanity will be grateful for your contributions. Wouldn’t that be a relief?

You know, if you could drop that “brightest light in 2,000 years” gig (a.k.a. I’m the most important person in the world, and if only everyone would recognize that, then I’d be happy), then you could see yourself as you actually are:
Empty, lonely and frightened. A complete slave to your weaknesses, needs and lusts.

The truth is, when all is said and done, very few agree with your opinion of yourself after they have had a close look at you. And since there is no way to quench your fears or satisfy your desires, you’ll never, ever be happy.
Actually, you’re no different from the rest of us poor shmucks, deep down you want love, approval and appreciation, but your gigantic ego will not countenance being so ordinary and human.

If you ever come to realize this before your death, it will be some meltdown, won’t it?

27. Golden Veil - July 18, 2017

Re: REB’a illness and treatment

Stents do not last long, nor are they efficacious.

http://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/how-long-does-heart-stent-last-do-they-need-be-replaced

The only way to truly make a positive change in heart health is to remove the fat from the diet that has coated the interior walls of the arteries. No dairy products, no more oils. Limit fats to whole fats: avocado, walnuts, flax, hemp, chia seeds.

http://nusci.org/

Insider, Bruce – Yes, so much of the FoF is an act.

28. Ames Gilbert - July 18, 2017

Golden Veil,
My information is that Burton had an actual heart attack (rather than angina), so the stents were placed as an interim measure after the initial panic abated and he was stabilized.
The article you linked to quite correctly points out the high failure rate of stents and the rather higher risk that the stents were not optimally placed, and that there will likely have to be further interventions in the relatively near future. The underlying facts are that Burton has severe coronary artery disease and should have changed to a healthier lifestyle decades ago. Hard to imagine him taking time from his endless vacation and his endless self–indulgences to take care of his body… My guess is that he will go the drug route and choose to take lots of pills rather than change his lifestyle in any meaningful way. And doubtless Leonardo will whisper some advice in his ear, and he’ll let the faithful know that the angels, and even the Absolute, are rooting for him. Whatever, the narcissistic dance will continue until he drops.

29. Insider - July 18, 2017

The FoF membership is being conditioned for some imminent changes. More over at robertearlburton.blogspot.com.

30. wallis - July 18, 2017

https://chopracentermeditation.com/about-us

Healthy mind…healthy body

31. WhaleRider - July 18, 2017

Heart Disease as a Risk Factor for Dementia

“This article exposes the link between dementia and heart disease in all its forms, including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, valvular disease, and heart failure.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641811/

Should be interesting to witness the spin on burton’s inevitable dementia, unless his heart craps out first.

32. Insider - July 19, 2017

31. WhaleRider – Not too much of a spin needed. The faithful rationalize the dementia as the behavior of a conscious being. Case closed.

33. Ames Gilbert - July 19, 2017

Yeah, how can you tell the difference between someone who says, “I am a 900–million–year–old goddess trapped in a man’s body” and someone with advanced dementia? That quote is from twenty–five years ago, and things have gone downhill from there…

34. wallis - July 19, 2017

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

35. Mick - July 19, 2017

Q. What is the difference between God & a doctor?
A. God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.

36. jomopinata - July 20, 2017

“If I come back as an animal in my next lifetime, I hope it’s some type of parasite, because this is the part where I take it EASY!” — Jack Handey

37. Ames Gilbert - July 20, 2017

Mark your calendars: 23 July 2017, 10 a.m. PDT (U.S. Pacific Daylight Time).
In case it wasn’t clear to anyone, Asaf Braverman is now quite open about his organization. He is offering an introductory meeting with the bold title “How BePeriod functions as a fourth way school”.

As “the brightest light in 2,000 years” fades out, one of his protégés thrusts himself forward to claim his mantle.

The following is mostly for anyone who happens to have landed here looking for more information about Asaf Braverman…
So, here we have it—Asaf Braverman has set himself up as a Fourth Way teacher with a Fourth Way school. For Fourth Way purists, it is worth examining his lineage. His teacher for twenty years was Robert Earl Burton, charlatan, liar and rapist, a hasnamuss. Burton’s teacher in turn was Alex Horn, another charlatan, liar and rapist, also a hasnamuss. There the trail ends. Horn just cobbled together a bunch of stuff from Fourth Way books and his new wife, plus whatever else struck his fancy, and made his preposterous claims. His point of desire was power over credulous followers, money and sex, and he attracted them in abundance. One of those he attracted was Robert Earl Burton, who studied the setup and decided he could go one better. Burton’s point of desire was also power over credulous followers, money and sex, and he also attracted them in abundance. And he also inevitably attracted would–be psychopathic predators who wanted the same, and who came to learn how to run a scam; hence the spin–offs, such as Spiral of Friends, etc. And so it goes, more links in the chain of pain.

Back to Asaf Braverman. I’ve listened to his presentations, recorded both before he left the Fellowship of Friends, and after. That is, I’ve forced myself to watch videos people have sent me of him leading meetings, some in conjunction with Burton, some alone. When one watches these videos through time, one can see Braverman’s progress, as he gains more and more confidence. Remember, Burton anointed him, and foretold, with his usual impeccable accuracy, that he was the next Man #5. Watching the videos, when he is with Burton, he is notably fawning and obsequious. When alone, he is quite, quite certain of himself; anyone looking at his BePeriod videos (there are several free ones on YouTube) will note his complete certainty about whatever the subject is. Just like Burton.

Apparently Braverman quickly ascended the ranks of the ‘intellectuals’ in the Fellowship of Friends. Not only was he physically attractive to Burton, but it turns out he was doubly useful, he could provide an intellectual veneer to the nonsense. Which he did, in several ways. Some of the videos I have seen show him interpreting for Burton. Burton utters some inanity, then looks at Asaf, who, if nothing else, has a remarkable capacity to make up bullshit on the spot. In milliseconds, he opens his mouth and a steady stream of soothing associations to the topic flows forth, and any restlessness in the audience of followers is mollified. Imagine what he could do if he had more time… wait, we don’t have to, we can watch the Beperiod videos and see that he is one smooth, smooth operator.
One can also see the development of the ‘new knowledge’, especially the keys. All the Beperiod videos make use of these interpretations, both by analogy and directly. This way, in the minds of his audience, he encourages conflation of past teachings with his own. Just like Burton. Watch how he intersperses his own ideas with those of Gurdjieff or other Fourth Way luminaries. There is even a faux–Gurdjieff or faux–Ouspensky voiceover from time to time. Just like Burton, the quotes are cherry–picked to suit. Just like Burton, he drops pithy quotes and one–liners from past philosophers here and there, even poetry from the likes of Walt Whitman (he, like many famous philosophers of yore, is one of the 45 angels supposedly supporting Burton’s ascent to Man #8+++).

I don’t know if Braverman came up with the idea of the modern Fellowship meetings, wherein the leader presents a series of short thoughts and simultaneously projects some graphic to support each thought in turn, but he has taken that idea and run with it. No longer just static slides, we now have videos with clever dissolves and Ken Burns effects to hypnotize the audience. Sometimes Braverman himself comes forward to earnestly pontificate, sometimes other supporting imagery is in the foreground, but the words just go on and on and on, in a continual, persuasive stream.

Without joining his organization, and of course, never having met him personally, I can’t say whether he claims ‘consciousness’ or not. But the implication is clearly there. There is a ‘teaching’ and he is the ‘Teacher’, however he dresses it up by welcoming comments and questions. He has superior knowledge, and is willing to impart it. In fact, he NEEDS to impart it. He has invested a significant amount of time and money into this project, so it is obviously very important to him. Does he see himself as a spiritually advanced being, able to bring answers to the difficult questions that beset seekers? Or is he one of those setting up the sheep for shearing? Whatever it turns out to be, he is being driven by an extremely strong NEED. A need for recognition, a need for attention, a need for fulfillment, I have no idea. The question is, will sufficient followers come forward to fulfill those needs? For anyone who has landed here as a result of searching for more information on Asaf Braverman—the bottom line is, I advise you to stay away. If you feel that Asaf Braverman is a valid teacher, then at the very least ask him (or anyone you are considering as a teacher) the questions I listed on previous pages: goo.gl/3xW6Ma

Here’s a sample answer to get you going. The very first question I invite you to ask any ‘teacher’ is, “When and what was your last paying job?”. Hint: you might want to ask for a little history as well, to get context. If Asaf were honest, he would certainly include the following. Answer: I’m the scion of a wealthy family which has paid many of my living and travel and legal expenses since I left the Israeli army. I was generously paid for many years by the Fellowship of Friends to lead meetings, do research, travel from center to center internationally to align the thinking of Burton’s followers, and provide moral and intellectual support to Robert Earl Burton and his organization, the Fellowship of Friends. I have also received many valuable gifts and favors from Burton for my various services. Nowadays, I also make money from those who pay for entry to my website and my ‘teachings’.

If you have read this far, you may be saying to yourself, “Ames waffles on about certainty, but obviously he can’t see that he is projecting quite a bit of certainty himself, the f—ing hypocrite! Well, sorry about that, I don’t mean to. What I’m trying to encourage is questioning and more questioning and still more questioning. And verification, real verification, not received wisdom, and certainly not, ‘wait and see, things will become clearer in due course’. And recognizing the tendency towards magical thinking. I’m actually rather uncertain, believe it or not. So, for the record, of course all this is just my personal opinion. An opinion somewhat based on experience; years of seeking, sixteen years in the Fellowship of Friends, twenty-two years to digest that experience. Now I’m a lot closer to seventy than sixty… And of course, I have needs as well. Among them: I want to make useful contributions to my fellow men and women, and in this particular case, feel satisfaction knowing I’ve done my best to warn idealistic seekers to be careful.

Note: I’m preparing a missive about what I consider the misconceptions about self–remembering within the Fellowship of Friends. This (something between mis–understanding and outright fraud) is central to the ‘teaching’ of Robert Burton, and inevitably the ‘teaching’ of his prize student Asaf Braverman in turn. Please have a little patience and consider what I have to say about that before you waste your time and money on the Fellowship or Braverman. Coming soon, I hope.

38. Mick - July 21, 2017

Q. What is self-delusion?
A. A person who imagines himself what he is not.
“This imagination is so strong that the self-deluded man does not doubt he is what he thinks himself to be! He feels he really is this or that person. This delusion is very positive but it is, after all, delusion. And although these men are not hypocritical, they are dangerous, but not so seriously.
“Self-delusion is unfortunate but hypocrisy is inexcusable. The self-deluded doesn’t know, but thinks that he knows. The hypocrite knows that he does not know, but pretends that he does.”


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