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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 161 January 27, 2018

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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/

Comments

1. crossroads - January 28, 2018
2. Pyewacket - January 28, 2018

This post on the Esotericism blog makes sense:

Dec
4

Esotericism (X): Esotericism (Β’)

Nikodemos

1. What is esotericism?

The word comes from Greek, the adverb esō ‘inside, within’. From this is generated the adjective esōteriko ‘inner, internal’ and from this the English esoteric which then gives esoteric-ism ‘study, subject, system, thinking connected with what-is-internal, not obvious’.

This applies not just to anything but religion, psychology and philosophy. The esoteric aspect of a religion focuses on a teaching that is not immediately or directly apparent in the official and general setup of the particular religion. E.g in Christianity the official main doctrine is that one believes that Jesus Christ was the one and only Son of God and worships him and thereby obtains salvation; it helps if one applies the ethic taught by Jesus to love and forgive others, not to kill, or steal and the like.

The esoteric aspect of Christianity is that by applying rigorously Jesus’ commandments and following certain practices of austerity like intensive prayer, fasting and the like, one rises mentally or psychologically to a higher level of consciousness, knowledge and being and acquires new out-of-the-ordinary powers like healing, telepathy etc.

2. Philosophical schools/systems like Platonism or materialism and psychological ones like those of Freud of Jung do not strictly have an esoteric aspect but there is a large, non-academic thinking which is both philosophical and psychological, which is ‘esoteric’.

As with esoteric Christianity, this fairly broad study termed “esotericism” examines the possibility of man’s rise in consciousness, knowledge and being and the manifestation of powers that are latent but not accessible in our usual state.

In higher states of consciousness (higher mind, knowledge and being) manifestations are much more frequent and lasting and can even be produced at will, if one has reached a very high state.

3. These higher states and their powers are not things a man may acquire like implantations of teeth or kidneys or prosthetics of arms and legs.

These states are natural to man and latent within everyone. But to have them established permanently like the states of sleeping and being awake, the man must undergo a discipline and re-education in moral and spiritual values in a Group or School under the guidance of a teacher who has some knowledge about this having himself gone through such a discipline and received permission from his own teacher to teach.

The process can be long and at some points may seem difficult and painful as the aspirant begins to see several sides of his character that he does not like at all. He has no inner unity and consistency, no will and control over most functions; he lies to others and to himself about everything; his feelings change frequently, suddenly and intensely; his thoughts run on and on incessantly; he decides one thing only to change a few minutes later; and so on…

4. Here one should beware of pseudo-esoteric organizations. In our days they are legions and thousands of people flock to them allured by the promise of higher states and new powers. And because of this propensity to lying, people invent spiritual experiences, visions, communication with spirits and all sorts of self-delusions.

Often, a man drops out of a school for various reasons and decides he will form his own “school” and use whatever published material he can find. He deceives people, perhaps for very long, pretending he has esoteric knowledge and can do things. The more acute students soon see through the pretence, the others continue to be deceived and may even imagine that they “develop” and “evolve” into higher beings.

Some start their enterprise for money, others for power, self-aggrandizement or self-glorification. They change the little knowledge they acquired and their imagination invents astonishing fantasies about superhuman beings and extraordinary paradisiac worlds.

The genuine aspirant will not be deceived for long. A genuine teaching would make him/her face useless habits of thinking and feeling and dissolve them; also and mainly face egoism and false notions about oneself thus leading to a truer and larger feeling of oneself.

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Jan
26

Esotericism (XXVI): A note on measure
Nikodemos

1. I write this Note because one will search in vain in the G/O teaching to find some guidelines for a measured day in the common life. The Śankarācārya Śṛī Śantānanda Sarasvatī said in 1971 (to Leon MacLaren, Head of the School of Economic Science, London, in Conversations, 2nd day): “The whole creation runs through laws and measure”. Only the utterly ignorant and insane would deny this proposition.

Hesiod in Works and Days advises his brother Perses to live in measure following the seasons, months and days, working with attention. Later the Pythagoreans will also follow a measured life, according to all available evidence, and Plato (Philebos, Republic, Statesman etc) insists on measure or the mean (metron, metrion).
1

Jan
24

Esotericism (XXV): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (E’)
Nikodemos

1. In the previous paper Esotericism (XXIV): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (D’) I commented upon Ouspensky’s sliding over his displeasure with G, this time in Constantinople and hiding the true turn of events in his In Search of the Miraculous (p 383) regarding the sudden stop of translating the Persian dervish poem. I had to consult other sources.

O treats with evasions and omissions G’s visits to England also after he himself had settled in London (pp 384-5).
Jan
19

Esotericism (XXIV): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (D’)
Nikodemos

1. I could write much more about the 3 Circles of Humanity with more details on the Esoteric Circle and the connecting bridges it constructs in the form of special Schools created in the mass of the Outer (or Exoteric) Circle. But enough has been given. One will find more in several sections in Ouspensky’s Α New Model of the Universe.

Let us turn once more to G-O, this duet of the 20th century.
2

Jan
17

Esotericism (XXIII): The Inner Circle? (3)
Nikodemos

1. I may in the preceding paper have given the impression that the Inner Circle of Humanity, the Circle of Unity and Understanding is located in India. This was not my intention.

It is a fact that humanity is divided in three very large Circles reflecting the structure of the human embodiment which has three bodies – the spiritual or causal body of Nature, the mental or psychic and the carnal or gross body.
Jan
12

Esotericism (XΧIΙ): The Inner Circle? (2)
Nikodemos

1. It may be thought by superficial readers that I belong to a group of students in the tradition of Gurdjieff and his successors and I am criticizing Οuspensky. This would be untrue. Many decades ago in England I had some sporadic contacts only with John Bennett who was a Gurdjieff adherent and these ended by 1962. On the contrary, my own involvement in esotericism was with groups that followed the line of O. And I have not cut myself off from that line.
Jan
10

Esotericism (XΧI): Inner Circle?
Nikodemos

1. For us, people of the outer Circle of confusion, of non-understanding, mechanicalness and disunity, it is impossible to recognize a man of the Inner Circle except perhaps feel vaguely that the man has certain qualities like confidence, reliability, stability, knowledge and practical wisdom to a degree above our normal.
1

Jan
3

Esotericism (XΧ): Ouspensky’s break with Gurdjieff
Nikodemos

1. As I mentioned in the previous paper Esotericism (XΙΧ): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (C’), W.P. Patterson, without denigrating Ouspensky at all and often praising O’s honesty and integrity, pinpoints the start of O’s break with Gurdjieff in August 1916, a year after their eventful meeting, when they were in Finland and G induced in O the ability to have temporarily telepathic communication (p 36 ft, The struggle of the Magicians 1996 Community Publications, Fairfax, Cal).
Dec
31

Esotericism (XΙΧ): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (C’)
Nikodemos

1. In my youth in England, I got acquainted with Krishnamurti’s and Ouspensky’s writings and, shortly after, Gurdjieff’s. Krishnamurti was very much alive then (late 1950’s) and I attended some of his talks. But he had no “school”, no practical, methodical system of teaching – only the practice of non-interfering “watching” or “self–awareness”.
Dec
28

Esotericism (XVIΙΙ): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (Β’)
Nikodemos

1. In this paper I examine another incident which reveals O’s awareness that G was of superior knowledge and being but also his own resistance to this fact.

In the immediately previous paper of this series I examined the highly significant event in Finland which was the telepathic communication which G set off between O and himself thus giving to O proofs of his own [G’s] superior ability.
Dec
25

Esotericism (XVIΙ): Gurdjieff and Ouspensky
Nikodemos

1. In this paper I focus on one particular event in the early period of the acquaintance of the two occultists which is for me very important in gauging the relation between them. It is narrated by Ouspensky in ch13 of his In Search of the Miraculous and concerns their stay in Finland in August 1916, some 15 months after Ouspensky began to study with Gurdjieff.

Ouspensky had wanted then (p23, ch1) to see “facts”, i.e.
Dec
22

Esotericism (XVI): Ouspensky and Yoga
Nikodemos

1. Ouspensky used to expect of his prospective students to have read at least his New Model of the Universe (1931 Routledge & Kegan Paul, London). I wonder if anybody had noticed and told him straight of the inadequacies of the chapter on the New Testament, if nothing else. I don’t, of course, mean the Gnostic side of Christianity which would have been a matter of few experts, but the contradictions, discrepancies and inconsistencies in and among the Four Canonical Gospels.
Dec
19

Esotericism (XV): Modern esotericism ignorant of Gnosticism
Nikodemos

1. No system of knowledge, no teaching can be trustworthy that relies on mainstream Christianity (Catholic, Protestant etc) and its basis, the NT (=New Testament). The 4 Canoninical Gospels, as I demonstrated in Es(V): The New Testament (B’) and Es(VI): H. M. Nicoll: The New Man (A’), are full of contradictions and discrepancies. They cannot serve as sources for Jesus’ life or teaching.
Dec
16

Esotericism (XIV): Esotericism & Gnosticism
Nikodemos

1. J. C. Pearce is not an esotericist or occultist, as far as I know, but he is a practical philosopher and an expert on child psychology. In his Biology of Transcendence (2002, Rochester, Vermont), he wrote: “We invariably build religions around our spiritual giants, or use them to support a religion to avoid a shift of mind and disruption of culture these rare people bring about” (p 6).
Dec
13

Esotericism (XIII): Gnostic and Upanishadic parallels
Nikodemos

1. Let me start with phonetic exercises. Every cult or religion has its hymns and psalms. But here we have the sounding of vowels aaaa, iiii, eeee etc as found in the Gospel of the Egyptians (Robinson The Nag Hammadi Library 1988: 44:2ff) and Marsanes (Robinson, 28:20ff).

We find similar phonetic exercises in the Chāndogya and other Upanishads.

2. There are powers that impede man’s striving for liberation.
Dec
10

Esotericism (XII): Gnostic Christianity
Nikodemos

1. It is now certain that apart from the 27 documents in the NT (=New Testament) there were c 100 CE (=AD) many other writings expressing Jesus’ teaching. These did not make it into the NT. Some of them, now categorized as “Gnostic”, were known and their titles were mentioned by ancient writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. In many cases fragments of them survived in the writing of the early Church Fathers, like Irinaeus of Lyon or Clement of Alexandria.
Dec
7

Esotericism (XI): Esotericism (C’)
Nikodemos

1. The series of these brief papers started after I read the book Ouspensky’s Fourth Way (2015, Starnine Media and Publishing Ltd, Oxford) by G. de Symons Beckwith.
Dec
4

Esotericism (X): Esotericism (Β’)
Nikodemos

1. What is esotericism?

The word comes from Greek, the adverb esō ‘inside, within’. From this is generated the adjective esōteriko ‘inner, internal’ and from this the English esoteric which then gives esoteric-ism ‘study, subject, system, thinking connected with what-is-internal, not obvious’.

This applies not just to anything but religion, psychology and philosophy.
Dec
1

Esotericism (IX): Esotericism (A’)
Nikodemos

1. In the previous papers of this series, I examined some errors in Ouspensky’s (and some followers’) thinking, particularly with regard to the Four Canonical Gospels that purport to be one of the primary bases of Christianity, its Church and its morals.
Nov
28

Esotericism (VIII): Ouspensky & Amis: A different Christianity
Nikodemos

1. R. Amis also follows Ouspensky’s “psychological” method in his work A Different Christianity (1995/2003 Chicago/South Brent (U.K.) Praxis). As he exhibits knowledge of the Gnostic texts and actually refers to The Gospel of Thomas (in pages xix, 32,73), one might at first think that he would be treating the Gnostic aspect of Christianity.

He does not. Instead of actually examining (some of) the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts, now readily available in J.
Nov
25

Esotericism (VII): H. M. Nicoll: The New Man (B)
Nikodemos

1. Jesus did, of course, speak many parables, many pithy tales or analogies with symbolic expressions and an inner signification that is not readily understood by the masses (even some clergy) of Christians. But this lack of understanding is not due to any special symbols or arcane expressions but to limited intelligence or limited application of intelligence on the part of the hearers/readers.
Nov
22

Esotericism (VI): H. M. Nicoll: The New Man (A’)
Nikodemos

1. Ouspensky’s partial and unsatisfactory examination of the FCG (=4 Canonical Gospels) were followed by some other attempts at interpreting Christ’s teaching by some of O’s followers. The most notable one is M. Nicoll’s The New Man (1972 The Penguin Metaphysical Library but first published in 1950). MN was a student of Gurdjieff and then Ouspensky for several years and was given permission by O to set up his own groups and disseminate the “system”.
Nov
19

Esotericism (V): The New Testament (B’)
Nikodemos

1. Ouspensky does not, like so many other occultists or theologians, notice the grave discrepancies and contradictions in the FCG (=Four Canonical Gospels). He thinks they are great works of conscious art. Let us now examine this issue.

Mark and John give no genealogical table for Jesus’ ancestry but Matthew and Luke do. The Gospel of Matthew and Luke have more similarities with each other than with the other two.
Nov
16

Esotericism (ΙV): The New Testament (A’)
Nikodemos

1. Ouspensky is certainly a major figure, if not the most important one, among modern occultists or esoteric philosophers/psychologists, as many would have them. Despite my own disagreements, I still regard him a great benefactor and authority in esoteric matters.

O wrote: “In the New Testament the esoteric idea occupies the chief place in the four Gospels.” These, he continued, “are written for the very few, … pupils of esoteric schools.
Nov
13

Esotericism (ΙΙΙ): Crisis of the early 1930’s
Nikodemos

1. In the Preface to the 2nd edition of A new Model… (1934) Ouspensky draws a distinction (valid in my view) between “higher mind”, which is generally unrecognised, and ordinary mind which has several gradations but in generally recognisable in people from street-cleaners to elect specialists in all academic and scientific disciplines; he draws a distinction between the “psychological method”, which accompanies higher mind, and the “logical method” which, accompanies ordinary mind.
Nov
8

Esotericism (II): Ouspensky & Gurdjieff (B’)
Nikodemos

1. I first met Ouspensky as a young student back in a summer of the late 1950s in London in his book In Search of the Miraculous. My English was about good enough then to manage to read it in a few days. It shocked me, it enthused me, it filled me with wonder and longing. That was it! I recognized the main ideas as what I had been searching for throughout my previous years of puberty. But I also felt that perhaps I was not ready for such work.

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3. trenchant - January 28, 2018

I presume the reason FOF costs so much, in dollars, grief and huge efforts, is it is incredibly high in the esoteric value of things.

4. Ames Gilbert - January 28, 2018

Pyewacket (2, above),
could you provide a link, please? I’ve done the best searches I can, and nothing remotely similar comes up.
Thanks!

5. Pyewacket - January 29, 2018

http://www.vigla.gr/…/esotericism-x–ouspenskys-break-with.html/

I hope this helps Ames. tried to copy it, but unable to paste link. I found the blog on facebook. Also, I apologise for the overly long post, I only intended to include the first bit about esotericism.

Kind regards…

6. trenchant - January 29, 2018

“It’s all Greek to me, and your follower, Pyewacket, on FOF/Discussion, seems intent on producing ‘flak’ around attempts at incisive thinking and descriptive unravelling of the FOF.”

(comment left on URL/link left by Pyewacket – above – which brought only text in Greek…in the words of Mohammed, the Prophet – “What is the point” – I really think Pyewacket is trying to take up space and ‘lead us a merry dance’).

7. WhaleRider - January 29, 2018

Crossroads:
I gave the above link a read and had a hard time parsing out anything of value (or truth?) from the article’s mystifying language. It strikes me as similar to the ramblings of delusional paranoia imbedded in cult indoctrination…that someone is out to get us, be it the moon, inter-dimensional beings from other galaxies, or the Illuminati. Tell me what do you think about it?

However, I do feel there is an element of truth to the hypnotic promotion of consumerism and racism in the form of advertising and propaganda, but that’s about as far as I go in that direction.

In a similar vein, I will say that in my recent readings of Jung and his deep study of Alchemical symbology as related to the human psyche, it seems clear that the FOF has no idea what Alchemy is about.

As Jung writes, one of the basic tenets of Alchemy has to do with the union of opposites…not the splitting of the psyche into lower and higher parts…or humanity into conscious or asleep…copper, silver or gold alchemy…or leader and follower for that matter.

When applied to the human condition and architecture of human consciousness, Jung and subsequent writers like Schwatrz-Salent utilize the alchemical process as a symbolic means to experience and utilize “negative” states of mind that the FOF seeks to avoid, like depression and anxiety…as necessary processes for growth and personal transformation. (This also speaks to the over-prescription of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds in our society today.)

In other words, in the quest for creation of a Self to remember, especially as it relates to relationships with oneself and others, an alchemical approach seeks to include the natural rhythm of going in and out of states of expanded or contracted awareness, “consciousness and unconsciousness”, conjunction and disjunction…as a necessary part of the never-ending process of psychic transformation and personal growth

The reality is, one is neither fully conscious nor fully unconscious, contrary to what the “guru” who claims to have achieved “enlightenment” would like his or her followers to believe.

In order to ‘Individuate” as Jung puts it, a person must accept, include, endure, and in a sense learn to profit from their unconscious parts instead of denying or projecting their unconscious parts onto “life people” not in the cult or group identity.

8. crossroads - January 29, 2018

We must recognize the evil in each of us. Satan is in the mirror.

9. Mick - January 30, 2018

“How about some positive news?
Today a young man on acid reallized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciouness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.
Here’s Tom with the weather.”
– Bill Hicks

10. trenchant - January 30, 2018

My apologies to Pyewacket (post # 5). My mistake was based on his omitting to inform us of how to translate the text from Greek to English – upper right tool bar; type in english and press ‘Enter’. There are interesting stories and this comparison…

“The basic fact is that both men tried, each in his own way, to help people who wanted it to raise their level of consciousness and, at the same time, realize aims of their own. Judging by their writings, one cannot but conclude that they were very different characters and consequently their methods and their version of the teaching would be quite different.”

I think it all leads back to…

Do we need a ‘school’ to evolve?
How can a ‘teacher’ be seen to act consciously?
What are our aims?

11. trenchant - February 1, 2018

Further to ‘Crossroads’ (post # 8)

‘ Of the good in me I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good, tortured by its own hunger and thirst. When good is hungry, it seeks out food in dark caves. And when good is thirsty, it drinks of dead water. ‘

Israel Regardie – Writer
– born 17th Nov 1907

12. Insider - February 3, 2018

Information has been leaking out from the FoF mind-control prison this week about many very unhappy Burton followers. It seems that Robert Burton has expressly forbidden the viewing of tomorrow’s Super Bowl football match in the company of any other followers. One may view the match by oneself, alone, and without expressing any emotion (not that anyone will be there to notice). The long-standing Super Bowl get-togethers amongst old friends must either cease entirely, or take place clandestinely in a bar or restaurant far from the prying eyes of Burton’s spies. Some are saying that this just might be the last straw for them. We’ll see. Hopefully I’ll have an update early next week.

13. Ill Never Tell - February 4, 2018

Don’t ya know, FoFers have a task not to watch TV? And, for that matter, FoFers have a task not to contractions, abbreviations or slang.

14. Ill Never Tell - February 4, 2018

#13 above should read:
‘task not to use contractions, abbreviations or slang.’

15. trenchant - February 4, 2018

Just read this tragi-comic ‘request’ from an enabler, 2007…

“Traveler” wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 5, 2007:

A search on my old email called this up. This is exactly how it was posted to members. Read it and weep.

K_r_ J_hnst_

To: students@apollo.org
Date: 8.12.2004 19:45
Subject: [Students] A Dedicated Amount?

Dear Friends,
This email is to all of us, but in this case, let us separate ourselves in terms of the amount of income the Gods currently allow us to earn or that we are simply given each month to put to use at this time in our lives. For this division among the groups of us, there is no “life” connotation of what this means; only that for now, the Gods arranged our plays such that we have this current income.

Let us also surmise that Robert wishes us gradually to take over the building of our city (although he would continue to direct it), so that he would not have to have fund-raising events in order to “pay” for the building of Apollo, but he would be able to use the funds that he raises exactly as he wished because we had taken over the responsibility of paying for the building of our city ourselves.

For this to happen and slowly, slowly, through the auctions, it is already in the process of happening, we would need some of those with the higher levels of income at this time, to commit to themselves to spend a certain greater amount on each auction in order for us to make our goals. For example, if our total auction goal for this holiday is $188,000, how much would I as an individual need to commit? How much could I personally pay of that total amount?

If, going down in income, we each commit to that amount, even those on salary (a prize drawing ticket and one “give a gift, buy a gift”, for example), we could perhaps take over this responsibility from Robert. I am certain that we can do it if we realize we are helping him meet his task to build our city. It is even becoming very enjoyable as the beauty begins to surround us.

Can more of us come to the auctions with this in mind? I say, more of us, because many of you are already doing this.

Thank you for reading this and for thinking on what more personally each can contribute if we set our minds to it?

See you this Sunday, December 12th after the meeting for our Holiday Auction. We invite you all to come, even if you have failed to bid a hundred times. Come again, come!

Best in presence,

16. Insider - February 5, 2018

15. Trenchant.

Thanks for digging this up. So, for over 13 years Fellowship members have been building their “city.” I wonder how that’s going. It must be something invisible, since I have not seen or heard of anything visible and tangible. No buildings, stores, workshops, roads, or infrastructure. Where is the $188,000 that was raised in that Dec 2004 auction? Or the many hundreds of thousands (millions?) raised in the many auctions since 2004? Don’t tell me Robert Burton has been using the “our city” money “exactly how he wished.”

17. WonderingWhosWatching - February 6, 2018

Pissed away in golden showers in the bad room.

18. Insider - February 6, 2018

15. Trenchant

“See you this Sunday, December 12th after the meeting for our Holiday Auction. We invite you all to come, even if you have failed to bid a hundred times. Come again, come!”

Please, please come to the auction this Sunday, even though you have been burned a hundred times before. Yes, I know every fund-raiser in the past, regardless of its stated purpose, has ended up in Robert Burton’s pocket, like e.g. the money raised to rebuild the Bistro after it burned down just a few months ago (June ’04). But, I promise, this time will be different. We will use this money to build our city. We will keep it hidden from Robert. I swear. So, be like Charlie Brown (remember, from the “Peanuts” cartoon): forget the past; run as fast as you can up to the ball; I promise to hold it firmly until you kick it; I will not, I repeat NOT, jerk it out of the way like all the times before and laugh while you fall flat on your back. Trust me. Pretty please.

19. Wouldnt You Like To Know - February 7, 2018

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
By now all Fellowship of Friends members should know better and should be considered fools that are members of the Fellowship of Fools. Wake up people. It’s not too late. Perhaps you need another doomsday prediction, that fails to happen, to convince you?

20. ton2u - February 7, 2018
21. Nevasayneva - February 8, 2018

RE 20 Ton2u
Thanks. Amusing article. Yet again the presumed exceptionalism of FOF is disproved and in the area of prophecy prediction, it also follows the same pattern of other groups. While you might wonder why people persist with such a group, not too long ago we were all there, putting on our duds for the next meeting/reception/auction, pulling out the checkbook. It was a close call, that’s for sure!

22. crossroads - February 8, 2018

Yes 11., its all allegorical. For example, for some alchemists, the first step in transformation is CALCINATION or when a substance is reduced to ashes, – “a step beyond ego and personality”.
It reminds me Bennet and his ” love of the third kind”.
Before that, “it’s all preparation”, and maybe, it is where all the pseudo esoteric takes place…?

23. crossroads - February 8, 2018

18. Insider. Rebuilding the Bistro was not in the plan, not even before it burned…

24. ton2u - February 8, 2018

21 Nevsayneva

I’ve said it before here and it returns to mind again: the FOF is a “garden variety” cult. The irony is (as you allude to), a common psychological trait for those in cults is that they feel “special,” a select and “chosen few” who are the keepers of some secret or sacred “truth.” This is based on vanity and delusions – IMO.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/garden_variety

25. Insider - February 9, 2018

19 WYLTK

It’s not too late yet, but getting close, for people to “wake up” and see the hypnotic-like mind-control trance and belief system they have agreed to be under for many years, thanks to the psychopathic persuasiveness of Robert Earl Burton. At the heart of the Burton belief system is the idea that Burton himself, being a “conscious being,” has the power to determine who gets to follow him to “paradise,” and who gets relegated to “the moon.” Of course, Burton will claim that “Influence C,” “the gods,” “44 angels,” or “the Absolute” have written “the play,” and that Burton merely follows their wishes.

But my point is that, unless a person wakes up enough to see through this imaginary veil of “knowledge,” and “consciously” walks away from Burton, they will never become free of the Burton influence. They will not miraculously be released upon Burton’s death. Now is the time, perhaps at the next meeting, to observe and listen as objectively as possible, and to come to see clearly that Burton and his whole contrived belief system has nothing whatsoever to do with consciousness, enlightenment, or whatever. It is a prison, the very prison everyone connected with the “4th Way” read about and set an aim to escape from. It’s Burton himself that the Fellowship followers have to free themselves of.

26. Golden Veil - February 9, 2018

The Fine Art of Baloney Detection by Carl Sagan

Useful for anyone with an intellectual bent, whose life is steered at all by Robert Burton and his crew – rather than be self-determined

http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/pmo/eng/Sagan-Baloney.pdf

27. trenchant - February 9, 2018

I was as fooled/allured by the ‘surface beauty’ in the FOF. It bonded, and still binds, the FOF masses – somewhat of a drug (for the masses) (paraphrase from Karl Marx). People tend to escape singly, like addicts…

“Ooh, that lovely Meissen Dragon pattern!”
“But Blow Job Bob is buggering with 17 year-olds next door!”
“Shut up and eat your Chicken Kiev…consider yourself photographed.”

veneer
vɪˈnɪə/Submit
noun
1.
a thin decorative covering of fine wood applied to a coarser wood or other material.
“a fine-grained veneer”
2.
DENTISTRY
a crown in which the restoration is placed over the prepared surface of a natural crown.
verb
1.
cover (something) with a decorative layer of fine wood.
“a veneered cabinet”

28. trenchant - February 9, 2018

Just when REB thought it was ‘under lock and key’…..

Burton: Do you like my cerise pink handkerchief, goodness?
Young Male Student: Why is it on your zip?
Burton: So you can kiss an Absolute Dick!

29. J.D. - February 11, 2018

Personally, for what is worth, I think the point is that we allowed ourselves to agree to any of such belief systems. We gave ourselves permission to fall victims of our own “hypnotic-like mind-control trance” that we ourselves bestowed upon us.
R.E.B. is just an empty hologram, he is just a sick twisted image personifying our own belief. Unfortunately the joke is mostly on us, because R.E.B. is only an actor whom we considered perfect for the role. We are the ones responsible to have given him the part of yet another carachter playing in the movie we project in our mind: “Consciousness, Enlightenment, or Whatever” aka our imagination.
The prison is our own belief, and we have built it for ourselves. In our cells we have hung pictures of Consciousness, Enlightment, the 4th Way, R.E.B. and other imaginary “heroes”.
The point is not really to walk away from Burton (Although it’s a good point, a good start.) but to walk away from lying to ourselves, lying intended as in talking and thinking about things we do not know as though we did. We indulge in lying to ourselves in the shape of this imaginary veil of “knowledge” about “Consciousness” or “Enlightment” or “Whatever” in which we snuggly wrap ourselves in. Unfortunately we cannot decide when it’s time to “wake up”, nobody can: it happens, it just does… Or doesn’t, who knows…

30. Insider - February 11, 2018

To current Fellowship of Friends members, as well as anyone thinking about joining, consider the following:

How is it that Robert Burton, the self-proclaimed “brightest light in 2000 years,” the most enlightened being on planet Earth at this time, has such a miniscule following? Why is he not influencing millions of people by now, especially given the fact that he has been becoming increasingly enlightened for almost 42 years, following the “crystallization of his higher centers” back in 1976? His following and influence should be “off the charts” by now.

But it’s not off the charts by any stretch.

(Even Gurdjieff, whom Burton proclaims to be such a low-level individual that he only managed to have a “group,” not a “school,” and thus refused ever to read Gurdjieff, nevertheless had an enormous influence and impact on millions of people. Match that, Burton.)

Burton can barely maintain a following of 1500 people who generally fall into one of these categories:

1. Old members (65+ years old; many past 75) who began following Burton over 40 years ago, who are now “crystallized” in the social network of the Fellowship, and can’t imagine a life outside of it.

2. Children of old members who, like their parents, enjoy the social community and activities, but who otherwise have little or no spiritual aspirations. They do their best to avoid meetings and other Burton “teaching” events.

3. Male members from foreign countries (some with a spouse) who were brought to the US by Burton, supported by Burton, had marriages arranged by Burton, and who remain dependent on Burton for work, money, and visas.

4. Wealthy members living in places like Mexico City, India, Russia, and with Burton at Apollo. They stay because Burton is a master of flattery, especially towards those with $$, and because their desire for recognition is huge, especially as they compete with each other for Burton’s attention. (Actually one of the more amusing spectator sports within the Fellowship)

5. Members who want only religion, not real spiritual growth, who are quite content to follow blindly Burton’s belief system, dreading the post-Burton days when they will have to find somehow else to tell them how to live their life.

6. The ubiquitous politicians. (Aren’t they everywhere?) They like power. Enough said.

Meanwhile, over 15 thousand ex-Fellowship members came, worked, studied, observed, and eventually left Burton, many to pursue more meaningful paths and/or teachers.

In all seriousness, is all of the above really compatible with, supposedly, the most advanced spiritual being now living, or during the past 2000 years? A virtually invisible, non-existent, teaching never extending beyond the provincial monastery known as Apollo? A rag-tag following of dependent hero-worshippers, and competitive power-seeking beings?

In truth, Robert Burton’s Fellowship of Friends, as many others have observed, is an entirely common religious cult, including the belief by most members that they are special and unique. Rather than the “brightest light in 2000 years,” Robert Burton is entirely ordinary (in the sense of an ordinary, manipulative socio/psycho-path), destined to be forgotten a decade or two after his passing, other than an occasional honorable mention in an article about 20th/21st century cults.

31. crossroads - February 12, 2018

Students love him no matter what, that’s why they stay.

32. crossroads - February 12, 2018

Some comments by Jung:

-Consciousness naturally resists anything unconscious and unknown.
-The unconscious contents of the mind behave as if they were conscious.
-Unconscious -subliminal- material can consist of all urges, impulses and intentions, all perceptions and intuitions, all rational or irrational thoughts, conclusions, inductions, deductions and promises and all varieties of feeling. Any or all of this can take the form of partial, temporary or constant unconscious.

So, the little bit of consciousness that we experience here and there is just as if the tip of the ice berg right?

33. Nevasayneva - February 12, 2018

re 30. crossroads

You are right. There is a strong “no matter what” contingent in FOF. He is their teacher no matter what.

34. J.D. - February 12, 2018

Personally, for what is worth, I think the point is that we allowed ourselves to agree to any of such belief systems. We gave ourselves permission to fall victims of our own “hypnotic-like mind-control trance” that we ourselves bestowed upon us.
R.E.B. is just an empty hologram, he is just a sick twisted image personifying our own belief. Unfortunately the joke is mostly on us. R.E.B. is only an actor whom we considered perfect for the part. We are the ones responsible to have given him the role of yet another carachter playing in the movie we project in our mind: “Consciousness, Enlightenment, or Whatever” aka our imagination.
The prison is our own belief, we have built this prison for ourselves. In our cells we have hung pictures of Consciousness, Enlightment, the 4th Way, R.E.B. and other imaginary “heroes”.
The point is not really to walk away from Burton (Although it’s a good point.) but to walk away from lying to ourselves: lying intended as in talking and thinking about things we do not know as though we did. We indulge in lying to ourselves in the shape of this imaginary veil of “knowledge” about “Consciousness or “Enlightment” or “Whatever” in which we snuggly wrap ourselves in. Unfortunately we cannot decide when it’s time to “wake up”, nobody can decide that: it happens, it just does… Or doesn’t, who knows…

35. trenchant - February 13, 2018

About the aim/purpose in individual striving – I came across my first edition copy of Tennyson, which my mother willed me in 2001, when she died. These passages sum up what I want to achieve and would, hopefully, stir emotions that would help others, as above posts indicate…..

from ‘Ulysses’…..

How dull it is to pause, to make an end, 
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use! 
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life 
Were all too little, and of one to me 
Little remains: but every hour is saved 
From that eternal silence, something more, 
A bringer of new things; and vile it were 
For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
And this gray spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge like a sinking star, 
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

Come, my friends, 
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 
Push off, and sitting well in order smite 
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ 
We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

36. Insider - February 14, 2018

“44 personal stories of Robert Earl Burton’s abuses”

A new posting at robertearlburton.blogspot.com.

37. Associated Press - February 16, 2018

34. trenchant

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot

38. trenchant - February 16, 2018

36 Associated Press

I was thinking – the seekers – after knowledge and new being…what was achieved by/for them. I believe this was rarely possible for all but a few in the FOF. Power, dominance, vanity and greed would take hold so quickly – forcing themselves to the frontier of manipulation and enabling. Those striving for a development of ESSENCE AND LEADING TO ENLIGHTENMENT would waiver and fall away…food for the moon my ass. Yes, we could transcend a system – at the cost of falling foul of monetary and cult-like demands. It is true – we tried to follow a teaching and Burton abused it for selfish and perverted ends. Finally, we go beyond ‘group think, doctrine and system’ to self-experience. Maybe to see AP in another aspect…

“To greet each day afresh as if it were your last – and first!.

39. Associated Press - February 18, 2018

37. trenchant

Indubitably!

40. trenchant - February 20, 2018

I wondered at those times – on the Greater Fellowship and here on this blog – why commemorate a life with RIP (rest In Peace)? Why work if not to keep on working as a spiritual being? I had cause to view the life work of Quan-Yin, the Buddhist nun who devoted her life, much like Buddha, to understanding suffering and ItS RELIEF FOR HUMANITY. Apparently, she was offered Buddhahood at death but preferred Bodhisattva (a transformed soul while, yet not in the material world, working for sincere spiritual aspirants) and is revered as the Ultimate Feminine, mostly in Eastern cultures.

My belief is that awakened work has no end, that a spiritual master survives and survives and onward, lifetime or the non-visible ones.

If anyone can add to this – support or nullify – I would be grateful.

41. John Harmer - February 21, 2018

#39 Trenchant, I find it most likely that our consciousness does not survive the death of the body, it seems on the evidence to be generated by the living brain. Work for me, is to pay attention to how we can maximise the benefits for our own and others conscious experience. Some may find that works best using an existing religious tradition, whatever works for each of us, we can judge.

42. trenchant - February 21, 2018

40 JH

You may find the work/research of Sam Harris, an atheist, into consciousness as a concept, interesting. He talks of ‘the conscious stream’ (Buddhists talk of the Ever Mind, Mindful Of Itself) into which we can ‘usefully’ flow. To set you up, as it were, what is the point of ‘is’ and ‘not is’, when everything that can be, cannot be destroyed into ‘not being’, but transmutes? It would seem a phenomenon of a pointless universe and surely would indicate that there was no point in the creative spark/big bang occurring. Primal ooze would remain unchallenged (who provides the shoes in which you walk and how do you obtain them?) I am no ‘-ist’ but seek to discover why I bother thinking at all, how I can be compassionate yet discerning (so I do not get burned ANOTHER TIME!).

43. John Harmer - February 21, 2018

#41 Trenchant, I like Sam Harris a lot, and agree with most of his ideas. I disagree with you about whether being mortal inevitably results in the universe being pointless though. Each moment of awareness throughout space and time, can be seen as having a point to the entity experiencing it. Maybe the universe as a whole doesn’t have a point, that doesn’t upset me at all.

44. trenchant - February 23, 2018

45. Patricia Thomas - February 23, 2018

I feel that it is now the time for me to make my experiences as a student of the Fellowship of Friends from 1978 to 86 public. I joined the School with my husband, and it was he that was the driving force. But I was drawn to the ideas of the Fourth Way and I made it clear that I would like to become part of an organisation working with the System.

Pretty soon, the School became my way of life, even though my husband and I separated not long after we became members. I must emphasise that our problems existed long before before 1978.

As a student, I was generally very content, and made many close friends. I was part of the London centre, I worked as a civil servant in Middlesex. As time passed, for the work became more and more important. At the same time, due to circumstances, I had a first spell of psychosis in Autumn 1979, when I had what I now know to be my first experience of accessing a higher level of existence. Forunately, I recovered far more quickly than was expected. In 1985, I had another “episode” and this time received a label: bipolar ( it was known then as manic depression) and is characterised by mood swings, which can vary very much in intensity. The one consistent feature for me is that if I experience the manic side of the condition, a depressive period will follow.

Part of the reason for my illness in1985 was the breakdown of my second marriage. I was invited by Robert to go to Renaissance,on salary at that point.

I had never really had much to do with Robert by then. I thought I might see him more at Renaissance, but I was not overly concerned that this was not the case. Somehow I understood that if I wanted to reach a higher level of consciousness, it was my sole responsibility, and the work had to be from within me. I had intuited Robert’s sexual leaning, and it did perturb me a little that men were what he focused on.

Whilest at Renaissance, I became close to another student. At the same time I realised that by summer 1986, I needed to have a strong connection to C Influence to proceed further with my work. My “friend”,I became aware had come to Robert’s notice and I I had the feeling that I was “trespassing” on his domain. I was told, a short time later that it was “time for me to come back to the UK” . I didn’t, by then have any option but to return to where my family lived, in Edinburgh, as I had no job, money or home.

Despite this, I was determined that I would become conscious, even though we were told that there was no possibility without School. But also, there was the idea of going “beyond the system”. So I continued to try and be present and remember myself. I started to focus on finding a way to come into a relationship with God, and kept on just trying to follow wher I was led.

At first, it was hard, but as time went on, my goal came closer. My life was quiet and focused, but as time passed becam richer and more rewarding. The system, I recognised was the foundation of my life, and what drove me onwards was the certainty that I had a strong connection to higher forces. It was not easy. There were long interval when I despaired of reaching my goal. But I write compulsively, and through my own writing, I could see the consistency of my work.

I read anything that comes my way that I think will help. And then a few weeks ago, I read a book where it was claimed on the back cover that the reader’s level of consciousness would be advanced by reading it. My level of being was apparently sufficient and my consciousness was indeed advanced.

I believe that I have crystallised as Man no 6.

There is so much more I could say, but I have time constraints.

I just wanted it clarified that the problems with the Fellowship were not from Esoteric nature of the School, but abuse of a privileged position on the part of Robert Burton.

46. trenchant - February 23, 2018

Decimation of the Essence of North America…

47. trenchant - February 23, 2018

Dear Patricia (44)
I believe Bach, Blake and Goethe all share your diagnosed condition.

48. Bryan Reynolds - February 24, 2018

44 Patricia

Thank you for sharing your story. For everyone’s benefit perhaps you could elaborate what being man number 6 means.

BR

49. trenchant - February 25, 2018

A hint may help…

Peace Chant of Brigit

(The Eric-Fine of Lugh)

complied by Ella Young

“Peace up to Heaven,
Heaven down to Earth.
The Earth under Heaven;
Strength to everyone.”

50. Bares Reposting - February 25, 2018

This was posted about a year ago on here and has been updated and rebroadcasted:

Anne Hamilton-Byrne: THE FAMILY: A CULT REVEALED:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/48-hours-inside-the-family-cult-australia-anne-hamilton-byrne/

“CBS: 48 Hours:
The Family: A Cult Revealed (~44 minutes):
Air Date: 04/29/17 [re-aired: 02/24/2018]

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.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/48-hours-inside-the-family-cult-australia-anne-hamilton-byrne/

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.”

Several additional segmernts on the topic are in the right side panel on the page:
– The Family: A Cult Revealed [Part 2]
– The Family cult: A true believer’s story
– Former detective on investigating an apocalyptic Australian cult
– Bill Hamilton-Byrne, the man behind Anne
– Behind closed doors of an elusive cult
– Could you be lured into a cult?
– Grown children of The Family share mixed emotions about cult leaders

51. Bares Reposting - February 25, 2018

“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.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-identify-a-cult-six-expert-tips/

‘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.””

52. Ames Gilbert - February 25, 2018

Hello Patricia, (# 44),
Congratulations on getting the results you wanted from your hard work.
You joined the London center at the same time as I did, and we overlapped at Renaissance as well, but my aging memory fails to recall you.…

You said, “And then a few weeks ago, I read a book where it was claimed on the back cover that the reader’s level of consciousness would be advanced by reading it. My level of being was apparently sufficient and my consciousness was indeed advanced.
I believe that I have crystallised as Man no 6.”

Please share the name of this book you reference. And, like Bryan Reynolds above, I would welcome any more information about being a Man #6. For that matter, a Man #5. If you would be so kind, refrain from quoting the usual 4th Way ‘sources’, but instead, if possible, make your testimony personal. What was/is your individual experience before, during and after?

Anything in common with Burton’s claims in connection with his crystallization? Or Girard’s, for that matter?

The 4th Way claims (or at least J.G. Bennett does, and I trust him more than most other ‘authorities’) that at the moment a person crystallizes as a Man #5, he/she must make a choice whether to put the new powers to the service of others or the service of personality. Was this your experience? Bennett also goes on to claim that if one does not put oneself at the service of others, no possible further evolution is possible, with the implication that this ‘wrong’ choice pretty much ensures a future as a hasnamuss. What do you think of those claims?

I have dozens of other questions, but value your time.

Thanks very much!

53. trenchant - February 25, 2018

44 Patricia

I had a long time thinking and reading over your post. There is the etymological use of a word you phrased that makes me wary, and it should do for you…..

Psycho-logy
Psycho-sis
Psycho-path

Everyone on this planet (human, mainly) receives ‘influences’ that turn them towards seeking something – all sorts of things – money, power, fame, recreational hallucinogens or upper and downers – or combinations of these things THAT WOULD ACTUALLY VEER THEM AWAY FROM COMPASSIONATE, EMPATHETIC, HONEST AND NOBLE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS.

If you read into Icarus and Daedalus (Ovid – Metamorphoses) the same ‘transformation’ that you claim, you can see that ‘wax solid enough to resist the Sun’ would be formed by, as you say, crystallizing AND FORMING A CULT OF YOUR OWN!

Yes, psychosis brings states, but psychopathy makes a Burton, and the two are nanometres apart in the scheme of PSYCHIATRY! A label such as you claim is a mere flag to either gather the troops or ‘keep the peasants revolting’.

I believe you have a choice – EITHER GROUND YOUR IDEATIONS WITH COMMON FOLK AROUND YOU(PEOPLE REACT TO INSPIRATION) or ‘fly beyond your limits’ and have a ‘huge crash’ – yes, they can commit for life (doubles-entendres intended).

54. John Harmer - February 26, 2018

#44 Thanks Patricia for sharing your story. I remember you at Hall Farm very well. I no longer find the Gurdjieff system useful to guide my like, but I was struck by you saying you are a man number 6. I suppose that means the states of consciousness you inhabit these days give you joy, and for that news I am very glad.

55. trenchant - February 26, 2018

“You see, the point is that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”
― Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

56. trenchant - February 26, 2018

An Irish Airman foresees his Death

I KNOW that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross, 5
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds, 10
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind 15
In balance with this life, this death.

57. Nevasayneva - March 2, 2018

re 56. Trenchant.
mmmm….don’t you think Yeats sometimes crosses over a bit into sentimentality sometimes? I am trying to think of a poem where he does not stray into sentimentality

OK
Sailing to Byzantium: Stanza 1 and 2 – no sentimentality, but Stanza 3 and 4, he travels way into sentimentality

Sailing to Byzantium
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon‐falls, the mackerel‐crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing‐masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

And another of his most famous:

Lake Isle of Inisfree- nope its bit sentimental

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

58. trenchant - March 2, 2018

57 Nevasayneva

Yes, romantic, I agree – almost always, but the poem I picked… confusion between whom he defends and those he fights and the old FOF life/death trick…we could go back to how to be a ‘numbered man’?

59. Insider - March 3, 2018

Why Robert Burton will not, cannot, ever change:

http://www.businessinsider.com/psychopaths-cannot-be-cured-heres-why-2018-2

Like many personality traits, psychopathy is a spectrum. About 1-2% of men and 0.3-0.7% of women in the general population are estimated to be true psychopaths, but for the rest of us, we fall on the scale somewhere lower down.

People who experience psychopathic traits, such as ruthlessness, charisma, impulsivity, and persuasiveness, tend to get through life just fine. Even full-blown psychopaths can be very successful — they just won’t ever be the same as everyone else.

What sets a true psychopath apart from the rest of the population is a lack of empathy. They will never be able to sympathise with someone else’s feelings, or care that someone else is suffering while they thrive. In fact, sometimes a psychopath will enjoy feeling superior while they cause chaos for other people.

Lacking empathy isn’t a problem for a psychopath, and they won’t ever believe there’s anything wrong with them. By this logic, if you’re ever worried about being a psychopath, that means you cannot be one.

It also means a true psychopath can never be “cured.”
“From what I’ve read, what I’ve heard, what I’ve seen and experienced so far, people with dark triad personality disorders cannot and will not change,” said Perpetua Neo, a doctor of psychology and therapist, in an earlier article for Business Insider.

She added that people with these traits — narcissism,
Machiavellianism, and psychopathy — are usually good at pretending to be something they are not. For example, even if they were coerced into going to therapy, they would be able to manipulate and trick their therapists.

“They orchestrate this show, put on a false self in front of the therapist, and they know how to push the buttons of their partner, so their partner looks extremely unstable in these situations,” Neo said. “The therapist may collude unknowingly with the dark triad person against the partner who really has been the one suffering.”

A paper by Nigel Blackwood, a forensic psychiatrist at King’s College London, explains that psychopaths do not fear punishment or social stigmatisation. They don’t feel the need to fit into social norms, so expectations of society have no impact on their behaviour.

This is why, if they are convicted of crimes, the punishment seems to have no impact on them. As a result, Blackwood explains, it’s incredibly hard to rehabilitate an adult psychopath in prison.

Reward-based treatment, such as giving them their favourite food or video games if they behave, is considered the best course to manage psychopaths who are incarcerated. But even by keeping them calm, this is a means of control, not a cure.

Not all psychopaths will become criminals, and many will get through life without anyone knowing what they are. But whether they end up causing trouble or not, there’s no evidence their personality will ever change.

60. John Harmer - March 3, 2018

Just saw this article about James Livine. It struck me as very reminiscent of the situation Burton created for himself. In this case there was no totalitarian magical spirit system being used to enforce the cult like position of the leader, so it seems that Burton’s setup was and is founded on Burton’s own domineering personality rather than the misuse of the Gurdjieff system. I had previously been of the opinion that it was a characteristic of the ideology, and that nearly all religious closed groups would end up as a personality cult, but maybe it is more the man or woman at the top.
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/02/590282661/new-details-emerge-in-abuse-allegations-against-conductor-james-levine?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social

61. trenchant - March 4, 2018

57 Nevasayneva

Those stanzas you chose from Yeats – so touching the mark and nibbling at the soul. It is the Fate of The Individual to Awaken – not cult-like Political Maneuvering…sweeping of the years and standing/wilting, Truth-Like in tears of horror and joy of old age…not to look down on, nor patronise the Innate Intelligence of The Young…but to give them that high bar beyond reach, that only a Leap of Faith can allow their Snap Finger Curl to demonstrate-to-their SELF…THE I AM.

62. trenchant - March 4, 2018

Mentally leave, before ACTUALLY DOING IT…

63. crossroads - March 8, 2018

Somewhere in the books it is said by Ouspensky that, three brained beings have the capacity of imagination to evolve…
Visualizing new ways, dreaming, desiring…

I think Gurdjieff said something like “if you want to change something you must put something in the place of the exchanged thing.
In other words like in ” Reality trans surfing”, its about swinging the pendulum or changing tracks instead of “changing things”.
What you want to do with your precious life!

64. ton2u - March 10, 2018

Once upon a time, long long ago, as if in another life, when I was still young I read a book wherein I thought I’d found the answers to the mysteries of life… I showed the book to my father, he looked it over and handed it back to me saying: “I don’t believe in living life based on recipes found in a cookbook.” At the time I thought he was missing out on the “miraculous” discovery I’d made in my search for “truth.” Now, these decades later, I can see the wisdom of dear old dad as a free thinker who realized that living life “by the book” – any book – will at best only take you so far – it’s no substitute for life-lessons learned through living.

65. Mick - March 12, 2018

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around, but when I got to 21 I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in 7 years.”
– Mark Twain
P.S. “When I was 10 I thought my parents knew everthing.”

66. crossroads - March 14, 2018

Rumi said…
What matters is how quickly you do what your soul directs

67. ton2u - March 14, 2018

I will say… it’s not about doing things quickly, it’s about doing things well.

68. trenchant - March 15, 2018

67 ton2u

Your simple truth made me search…..

https://byrslf.co/life-lessons-on-doing-things-well-48be02c5f6fb

69. trenchant - March 16, 2018

From positively patting our ‘escapee selves’ on the back, spare a thought, with gratitude to ‘Anonymous’ for posting in REB blogspot…

MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2007

The “Robert’s Boy” Trap

“Anonymous” wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:
Several people posting have questioned the veracity of [Page 1, Post 294], posted by “Inner Circle Facts,” detailing the sexual activities that are rampant in the Galleria. I have heard similar things from a number of sources I would consider reliable.

“A number of people have asked, “Why don’t they don’t just say no?” “Why don’t they just leave?” From what I understand, the answer seems to be twisted up with a lot of strands involving the upbringing and programming in the poorer nations of the world. Some of this is involved with the economics of international prostitution, as described in [Page 1, Post 238] by Rabbi Burns.

Unless you have spent some time in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia, you may not understand the post-Soviet fear of authority. You don’t go to the police unless you want your problems to escalate exponentially. You don’t go to the government agency unless you want more trouble – a lot more trouble. English-speakers may also not know the barriers that exist for those who don’t speak English – after all, everywhere we go we can find someone who speaks English. It’s not the same if you speak Russian, or Ukrainian, or Romanian.

I recently spoke with a young foreign woman who described how the young men from Eastern Europe, and now around Robert, often don’t have fathers, or had abusive or alcoholic fathers. Sex, authority, and dad gets mixed up into one package in the Fellowship.

She later wrote me: “I actually know personally the poor Russian kid who performed the ‘fisting.’ He was used because of his miniature fists, poor thing. He left the school.”

She wrote: “These guys ARE looking for an escape, they just don’t know how, and there are too many inner contradictions and entanglements. The fact is, these guys are asking other friends whether they could
provide them shelter or help them to find work if they dare to run away. People who are voluntarily engaging in sex will not be so messed up, confused and looking for an escape.”

She was afraid to post online. I am posting for her. Her letter:

“There is something I wanted to say, certain facts that may be we should not buffer. First of all, any one’s behavior, sexual or whatever, is just their behavior, and not to be judged. As some one said here, no one is a saint, we all are quirky in some ways or another.

There is a line however, when others get emotionally and physically hurt or even damaged by one’s destructive behavior. Again, we all get offended and hurt here and there by someone’s cruel words or actions. But sometimes there is long-term harm, corruption and infliction of large amounts of pain deliberately and repeatedly done to innocent others out of selfish sexual desires, and that’s where the line for me is drawn. That’s when buffering stops. I will not look at another “sheep” being killed and tell comfortable stories to myself why it is not my business. These are my friends, I care.

Some of them I love dearly. We came to this school with a desire to awaken and not to be controlled and told whom to date, and not to turn into indifferent zombies who simply don’t care when our friends are hurt or abused.

I used to date a young man who was a “R’s boy” at that time. He told me in all-too-graphic details how he was seduced, and how he didn’t want it but succumbed under heavy pressure. He wasn’t gay and it was incredibly uncomfortable for him to be handled by an older gay man. He told me how he was covering his face and closing his eyes and the only thought flashing in his mind was, “He is sucking me! He is sucking me!” I was very, very shocked at that time. That doesn’t seem to me like an act of love and compassion. There is just something very wrong with the picture. Later this young man developed a buffer why he allowed such abuse, he even came up with an explanation that it was an “exchange of a sacred sexual energy” and that he was getting it from R. and then transferring it to me. I too soon learned to buffer things, and every time another piece of disturbing news would come, I simply say: “It’s not my business. I came here to work on myself.”

Another young man, a friend of mine, another “R-boy”, confessed that he hates doing this, and he hates going “on duty.” It is like a bitter punishment. He said that the nights he is “off” he feels so happy and relieved. I asked, “Is it like this for most of you?” And his reply was that mostly they all hate it, but the pressure to do it is so high that they comply.

It is difficult and uncomfortable, against his nature, and he has to buffer it every time he has to go “on duty.” I asked, “Why do you go then, why not say ‘No’?” He said he feels totally obligated, because the visa was made for him by FOF, the tickets were bought for him, everything he eats is paid for, everything he wears is paid for, he is given jewelry and expensive gifts and he even doesn’t have to work at all… He owes everything to R. at this point. His whole life is paid for by him. I said: “Run then, escape!” He replied that he will not be able to run far since he has a religious visa and no legal means to support himself. He is completely, totally screwed, poor soul. This was a confused, scared, very unhappy nervous young man to whom I felt so much pity and compassion. Some desperate guys did run away in the past, as I’ve heard, and later most of them had to return. Basically, to me it looks like this young man was “bought” to perform sexual things he hates and that are unnatural for him… He tried to start a relationship with a lady which was brutally terminated by R., leaving both him and the lady heartbroken. He is made dependent legally and financially, so he cannot flee or object in any way. Does this seem right to you? Does this seem OK with you? Do you feel anything towards this guy or guys like him? Oh yes, by the way, he developed buffers, too. He thinks he is being “helped” or “saved”. He thinks he would never had made it in life, anyway. In fact, he says he is almost happy! Well, his body’s nervous movements and his eyes scream opposite. He can’t hide what he really feels… Poor, poor man.

And ladies, how many of you were told to terminate your love relationship, because the object of your love (even if the feeling was totally mutual) was R.’s boy? Wasn’t it an area of long pain and tears for so many of us? How can anyone decide for someone whom to love, whom to be with, why do we think it’s OK to let anyone no matter how conscious to ruin our relationship? When I was in a relationship with a “boy”, he told me how he was asked many times by R. not to trade a love of a conscious teacher to a dirty meaningless sex with an asleep woman, a machine, his girlfriend. Women are nothing but competitors and trouble. So my boy would stay with the conscious, telling the asleep one that she’ll be home alone this night. That was not good news to hear. How many relationships were destroyed by this? Does this seem right, does this seem compassionate and externally considerate, is this OK with you too? This is an intrusion on your lives, this destructive cruel acts are based on selfish interests only. This person teaches us compassion and external consideration, he speaks of presence and love.”

70. crossroads - March 18, 2018

I have heard from two close male friends:
“When i think on Robert i can only take him as a demon…”
Yes, there are many many stories about split couples and many many deeply affected forever men and women, feeling like a lifetime wasted!
What a mess!
Devastating, very painful.

My friend’s statements are the same. “I hate to be on duty”, its not easy, you have no idea”.

Btw , “the guy that performed the fisting ” is current and active Member!

I was also thinking that many members benefitted from the “sounds like human trafficking to me” that -somewhere back in previous page- Whale Rider mentions… The benefit of a spouse for the lonely ones.
So, – trenchant, do you think any of your friends would speak out and fresh?

After all, the FOF seems to be, quite “an experiment of influence C”.
If you follow my drift!

Another friend told me: hey don’t be sdo troubled. The most he asks us is that we penetrate him. (Wow)

I guess for some people sex magic is OK.

Another friend told me recently that the more senile he gets the more dominant he is behaving… And demanding.

I think/feel that – “quick” – is the sense of resolution, the decision..
Souls already know… And the Universal Soul its watching.

But what if the “inter-dimensional beings” actually have a hand on this?

Hey! does this sound like a fairytale?

71. trenchant - March 18, 2018

70 crossroads

I have no friends still in the FOF and I was always on the fringes of the cult, TRYING TO BE A PAID UP MEMBER, an occasional visitor to (Renaissance, then), the hubbub of activities and I was never even lured into a ‘close encounter oi the turd kind’ with REB.

As I was progressing and friendships became more tenuous, I kept my aim to develop Essence (the real, real, Real “I”). On exit from the FOF I tried, with many dismal failures to ‘find that creative place’ – the Alone-Self, not hindered by the nay-saying of others nor the raucous applause of those who would take financial or other advantage of me.

Becoming mature, while growing old, I am astonished at how REB can get away with this ‘stuff with the boys’, yet feelings are comparable with Syrian refugees losing their lives trying to escape a war-torn country – a war for which no one takes the blame.

And here comes the philosophical part…..when we are ready to take the blame for ALL WRONGS WE HAVE COMMITED, up to the hilt, “chewed, swallowed and digested”, then purity, will and courage are terminally ours.

72. J.D. - March 20, 2018

Yes, it’s true: many relationships were forbidden or destroyed by R.B.
Yes, it’s true: such actions were not compassionate or externally considerate but they were just destructive cruel acts based on selfish interests from someone who pretended and pretends to teach compassion, external consideration, presence and love.
Yes, it’s true. R.B. was and is a hungry, nasty, manipulative bitch.
These are facts.
On the other hand, please don’t forget the fact that those ill decisions and orders were ultimately accepted by all parties, reluctant agreements that for the sake of ‘evolution’ haunted most of them for the rest of their lives.
Behind our beliefs, resides our own permission.
The belief, or the ‘buffer’, of the “exchange of a sacred sexual energy” while being sucked by R.B. is the same exact belief, or ‘buffer’, in which we allowed ourselves to give in from the beginning when we “recognized” a higher power, a higher consciousness, a higher self, a higher teaching, a higher authority.
The belief, or the ‘buffer’, has been there from the start, blind to the coarse double standards set by the special and exclusive “knowledge” known as “consciousness and functions”, “awareness and sleep”, “higher-self and lower-self”, “A-B-C-Influence”, “essence and personality”, etc.
By accepting the bullshit of the “exchange of sacred C-influence energy”, the “bla, bla, blas”, the “yada yada yadas” and all that 4th way hocus-pocus, we accepted to join the FOF and listen to R.B. and fellow ascending peers: we accepted to be sucked by it.
Allowing and justifying these coarse double standards enabled us to close the loop and ‘resolve’ the deep cognitive dissonance born from this poor, desperate reasoning.
We have to accept our fair share of responsibility of indulging in such foolishness inside and outside the cult. If one buys into the spiritual delusion, one may also get a nasty, craving, manipulative, vindictive cunt for a ‘teacher’… You get what you pay for.

73. trenchant - March 21, 2018

This is somewhat ON the subject, somewhat ASIDE. Those who know, mostly those first-hand, have experienced Burton as a RAMPANT, DOMINEERING, SEXUAL PREDATOR. In Burton, the need for perverted, UNLOVING sex has taken this man into the realm of ‘a man of a physical desire/requirement/satisfaction cycle’, that is, ADDICTION. He has become the sex which needs more from others and others (heterosxual young, pretty men) have become the objects over and over and over the years. His lust is basically unstoppable.

There is, however, a way of sex being used to augment one’s daily life and to not be tormented by cravings nor the need to ‘plunder another’s body’. We could call this ‘the sexuality of the day spring’ (my terminology). This includes the enjoyment of the senses “And rolls through all things” – (Wordsworth)and seems to be an ever-feeding-on-its-own-nourishment type of fusion/fission.

If the subject area of The Kundalini Force (which Gurdjieff said was dangerous) is studied and controlled for creative purposes (the dragon or serpent, coiled at the base chakra). this ‘delight in being alive, this delicate whiff of being’ and THE SHEER JOY OF INTERACTION WITH OTHER HUMANS IS SCINTILLATING, comes into force/being…

Walt Whitman

FULL of life, now, compact, visible,
I, forty years old the Eighty-third Year of The States,
To one a century hence, or any number of centuries hence,
To you, yet unborn, these, seeking you.

When you read these, I, that was visible, am become invisible;
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me;
Fancying how happy you were, if I could be with you, and become your comrade;
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with you.)

74. ton2u - March 21, 2018

J.D. @ 72

Re: “…You get what you pay for.”

I agree, and I’ve said it here in the past – an honest examination of the situation will include taking responsibility for personal culpability as part of the equation…. (I think a Jungian would call it “withdrawing projections”). I would add that blame of self, or of “other” is not the answer, it’s a path that ultimately leads nowhere, it’s the proverbial dog chasing its tail. The blame game offers little in terms of real progress, learning, or “evolving.” After all, I think for most WHO fell under the spell of the FOF, part of the allure was the possibility of personal “evolution” – in joining the FOF wasn’t that originally at least partly the point, the aim, and a goal to strive for? In coming to terms with experience of the FOF one needs to look at it from a variety of perspectives – this is effectuated with the course of time. In so doing, speaking personally, one perspective providing a degree of resolution and a way to think about the situation in moving forward, the old adage applies: “fool me once shame on you… fool me twice shame on me…”

I’m speaking here for myself – but I think it may apply more generally – I was young, naive, searching for meaning in life, easily lead and therefore easily mislead. The FOF placed a baited trap for those with a similar mindset, in a similar phase of life – and that part is no fault of mine…. but I did make choices and have to accept the facts and consequences…. you live and you learn… once upon a time I was young, with all that implies – that’s my fault… it’s a phase of life many go through in one form or another…. some survive, others don’t. What I “paid” for through the experience is a series of life-lessons, both directly and indirectly related to my time in the FOF…. and generally living life in the old “school of hard knocks”…. I think part of the lesson has something to do with this: it is BECAUSE I was fooled once that I wasn’t fooled twice… won’t get fooled again.

“The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all…”

75. Golden Veil - March 22, 2018

There is a new, 6-part documentary on Netflix about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho, whose teachings became meaningful to some former Fellowship of Friends students.

Here, a review and the trailer.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cult-wild-wild-country-netflix_us_5ab2b37de4b054d118df49c1

76. ton2u - March 22, 2018

@ 75 Golden Veil

Watched the first two parts of WWC… Having been through the cult experience one can infer that which falls through the cracks in the narrative… in a sense I feel I was there, I shared in the experience if only in terms of the mindset and interrelationships which a cult requires and engenders. (The center director where I “joined” the FOF years later, along with his then wife, left the Followship to join the Rajneesh project up in Oregon… a case of “fool me twice” ?).

In watching the documentary, especially interesting to me are the briefly depicted interactions between Rajneesh and his followers, it’s obvious that he’s a hypnotist, the followers hypnotized. A question for myself is; who is susceptible to hypnosis and why…? I know I certainly was during that phase of life. People, being people, want to, need to believe in something, someone – a person, a cause, ideas, dreams, principles, science, dogma, god… people seem to need a sense of certainty as it lends to the sense of security…apparently it’s difficult to live in the void of uncertainty and so people search for ways to fill it.

“…Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion. The term may also refer to an art, skill, or act of inducing hypnosis. Theories explaining what occurs during hypnosis fall into two groups. Altered state theories see hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary conscious state. In contrast, nonstate theories see hypnosis as a form of imaginative role enactment. During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration. The person can concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction. Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions. Hypnosis is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestion…” etc

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

77. trenchant - March 22, 2018

I wanted to take posts # 72, 74, 75 and 76 as somewhat of a platform for the questions…..

“What did we think we were joining?”
“What attracted us towards furtherance in the FOF?”
“What became too difficult for us to bear (seeing ourselves)?”

Cults exist on many strata in society – it just happens that the FOF was supposed to be a ‘religious group’, but is so obviously a cult. Your local gym, with the ‘lycra babes’ and ‘muscles from brussels’ are all about an image attracting people, letting them pay for a fitness program and developing a ‘social sect’ among members. This is simple to see.

When it comes to the FOF, the Rajneeshees, the Heaven’s Gate adherents, the ORDER IS WRIT LARGE – LEAVE HERE AND YOU DIE. Necessary therapy, PTSD and suicides have all resulted from ‘exiting’.

Ouspensky is purported to have quoted Gurdjieff…

“The Fourth Way takes place in Life, since this accelerates the balancing of all four lower centres, making access to the two Higher Centres.”

None of this is or was happening with Robert and his aspirants. All is politics, perverted sex, plodding platitudes and the hint that a “shriveled wreck of a mechanistic prattler” had become conscious. Now, this fall, will come the enthroning of one of REB’s girlie-boys, complete with the ability to ‘mouthpiece’ Burton, while Burton is getting his own mouth around a ‘fresh piece’.

As for forgiving ourselves, yes, entirely necessary after much unraveling and not ‘hacking up the evolution pie into a botch job’.

78. J.D. - March 22, 2018

“It’s obvious that he [Osho] was a hypnotist…”
No he wasn’t.
The “followers hypnotized”.
Yes, sure, but It doesn’t mean that he hypnotized them.
They were hypnotized as in: they were already hypnotized, self-hypnotized. He [Osho] just encouraged them and cashed in on their condition.
He [Osho] was just the alleged impersonation, the embodiment of their hypnosis, their fantasy in a robe… Just like R.B. and the FoF were for us.
In some posthumous random gatherings (few years back), some former-students kept saying that R.B. was “charismatic”, as if stating so would mitigate the fact that they fell for it.
Then the same people watched some (then) new current videos of dinners/meetings.
They watched R.B. very closely and… Ta-da!
No charisma. Nothing. He wasn’t charismatic… At all!
He was just an old man, telling stories to a bunch of people in a trance.
The effect of the anesthetic had worn off.

It’s true, “Cults exist on many strata in society”. Business companies, football teams, political parties, gyms and fitness programs are “simple to see” because they focus on the outside image.
Cults, religious groups (potato potato) they focus on the inside image, making it more tricky to detect, but the M.O. is the same.

O., G., the 4th Way, Higher centers… Ahhhhh… The finest opium.

If one keeps smoking it, one is certainly ready to be fooled once, twice, three times and the more the merrier.

“None of this is or was happening with Robert and his aspirants.”

Where do you think this actually happens?

79. Insider - March 22, 2018

77. Trenchant.
I’m curious about your comment, “…the FOF was supposed to be a ‘religious group’…”

Maybe we joined at very different times and, more likely, had different expectations. To me, the FOF was “supposed” to be a “school” wherein I might learn a thing or two about myself, psychological and cosmic laws, different “states,” and even as a bonus, the great questions surrounding “the meaning of life.” If I had thought the FOF was supposed to be a “religious group,” I would never have joined, and in fact had already rejected other groups that were obviously “religious.”

But even if (IMO) the FOF was not supposed to be religious, in fact it was; I just didn’t see it for a long time. I failed to see, what is now so obvious, that the cardinal rule of many other teachings, of accepting nothing and trying to verify everything, was conveniently disregarded when it came to Burton being “conscious;” Burton being a “goddess in a male body;” deceased humans becoming “angels” assisting the FOF; a “conscious play” written by “the oldest angel” regarding every aspect of Burton’s life and FOF members; that 44 specific “angels” are on hand at every FOF event to direct “the play;” the 9 “lifetimes” it takes to “become conscious” and enter “Paradise;” and “the Absolute” being an actual individualized entity who, out of the nearly infinite number of universes, galaxies, stars, planets, and souls, specifically “visits” Burton on a regular basis.

Burton once said, when he was ready to introduce the idea of “Influence C” to his followers, that he wondered if they would accept it as, apparently, he had when he was with Horn. (Yes, I know the other, sanitized, version of this story: that he wondered if “Influence C” would use the same methods on Burton’s followers as “they” had on Horn’s.) Were Burton’s followers sufficiently hypnotized back in the first couple years of the FOF to swallow this idea? Yes, they were. And once that was believed, Burton could add anything he wanted in the ensuing years. And he did.

80. ton2u - March 23, 2018

J.D.

“It’s obvious that he [Osho] was a hypnotist… No he wasn’t.”

Have you looked at the documentary linked above ? The images of interaction between guru and chela is very telling… even on a non-verbal level.

I don’t think it’s as “cut and dried” as you imply…. you can’t simply deny that this is a two-way street. I agree that “followers” – those who are susceptible to this sort of suggestion, are possessed of preconceptions, an inner image or ideas which are projected onto a character who comes along who seems to fit the ticket… these followers are more or less “willing” subjects for “hypnotic” suggestion…. someone like a Rajneesh or any other cult leader fills in the projections on the part of followers and takes full advantage of what you’ve properly identified as “self-hypnosis”…. in that sense to a large extent it is a situation fueled by “self-hypnosis” or a type of auto-suggestion… but there are active maneuvers and manipulations by a cult leader which are calculated to foster and deepen the state of hypnotic control – mind control if you don’t like the term “hypnotist.” Suggestions made to the suggestible, even physical gestures, or physical appearance or “conscious acts” on the part of the “guru” all contribute to and reinforce the condition of auto-suggestion in followers. What ultimately keeps sheeple in a cult ? An invisible, self-created fence….

81. trenchant - March 23, 2018

I always noticed Burton had a ‘drowsy’ connection between his softly-squinting eyes and powdery-puff hissey voice. The old nodding gestures (humility at the profound crap he was uttering) and the paced pauses in his oratorio (should it be orificio?) were probably learned whist training as a teacher (in elementary education).

As many above have stated and posited…..

How long do you keep on falling for this crap, when you realize it is for SHEEP, not EVOLVING BEINGS?

82. Nevasayneva - March 23, 2018

Re 77 Trenchant

“What did we think we were joining?”
“What attracted us towards furtherance in the FOF?”
“What became too difficult for us to bear (seeing ourselves)?”

These are fair questions.

For myself, it is good not to beat myself up too bad for having fallen for FOF. In hindsight which is always excellent, I was foolish,naive, and most of all lacked a strong sense of my own self. FOF provided an answer to all these issues, a strong appeal to vanity of course, some international sprinklings of glamour and etc etc, most of all I was young- early 20’s – the classic time to be caught.

These questions remind me of the article by the Ouspensky follower Marie Seton. She does point out that it is not all that unusual to fall for a guru and get further and further ensnared, until at last one does begin to take a critical stance towards ones involvement and support of the organization.

http://www.gurdjieff-bibliography.com/Current/t_seton_case-of-pdo_2004-07-04.pdf

“What became too difficult for us to bear (seeing ourselves)?”

This is at least for me your most difficult and interesting question. In my last years in FOF I did not like the sort of person I was becoming,
-cynical, jaded, sort of peripheral. LOL FOF oldie timers maybe would see that I was seeing myself the way I really was and I just could not bear it!

But I was happier after I left, more clean.

The world for sure is a more stark, colder brutal universe than the cotton candy universe offered by FOF.

But it is what it is.

83. Golden Veil - March 24, 2018

Whether it be the teacher of an esoteric school, a rabbi or Christian minister, etc. all these “leaders” seem to want others to buy into their dream – and pay for it. If the form and timing just happens to be right, it appears that almost anyone can get bamboozled into joining a cult.

84. trenchant - March 24, 2018

Definitions of

ALLUREMENT
1 n the power to entice or attract through personal charm
Synonyms: allure, temptingness
Types: invitation, a tempting allurement
Type of: attraction, attractiveness, the quality of arousing interest; being attractive or something that attracts
n the act of enticing a person to do something wrong (as an offer of sex in return for money)
Synonyms: solicitation
Type of: enticement, temptation, the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire
n attractiveness
“its allurement was its remoteness”
Type of: enticement, temptation, something that seduces or has the quality to seduce

DISCERNMENT
dɪˈsəːnm(ə)nt/Submit
noun
noun: discernment
the ability to judge well.
“an astonishing lack of discernment”
synonyms: judgement, taste, discrimination, refinement, cultivation, sophistication, enlightenment, sensitivity, subtlety; insight, perceptiveness, perception, perspicacity; astuteness, acumen, shrewdness, ingeniousness, cleverness, intelligence, sharpness, wisdom, erudition, awareness, sagacity; raresapience
“each object in the room spoke of his taste and discernment”

Taking these two nouns 1) as Ouspensky urged us to guard against in evolutionary terms/studies and 2) the Maharishi Yogi urged students to work with in the ‘path of love’ (i.e. you cannot love everyone, agape or not), this might help would-be members, current members and former members of FOF to ‘cut-the-crap’, ‘go-for-the-jugular’ and actually derive benefit from digested experiences.

Taken at face value, beaute a la Burton is VERY ALLURING and can lead you on an endless journey of SELF LOSS. Discernment could prevent MANY TRAGIC ENDINGS.

The trouble is, as many philosophers have stated in antiquity and their modern day counterparts do these days – there is no free will. HOWEVER, THERE ARE CONSCIENABLE REACTIONS TO SITUATIONS WOVEN INTO OUR PLAY – LEAN ON THOSE!

85. ton2u - March 25, 2018

The documentary Wild Wild Country about the rajneesh cult is worth a look-see… but the feeling here is, even though it’s almost 6 hours worth of viewing, much is left out of the narrative…. curiosity piqued, I did a little additional research….

“…Rajneesh became an anti-theist, took an interest in hypnosis…

Sannyasins who had “graduated” from months of meditation and therapy could apply to work in the ashram, in an environment that was consciously modelled on the community the Russian mystic Gurdjieff led in France in the 1930s. Key features incorporated from Gurdjieff were hard, unpaid work, and supervisors chosen for their abrasive personality, both designed to provoke opportunities for self-observation and transcendence.”

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

86. Golden Veil - March 27, 2018

86 ton2u wrote: “Key features incorporated from Gurdjieff were hard, unpaid work…” Whoa! Thanks for sharing your research!

I’ve only watched the first and part of the second of the 6 episodes of Wild, Wild Country, but I was struck by the rapid building program facilitated by the red garment wearing followers at Rajneeshpuram. I think it was said in the documentary that the building program included shifts of people working around the clock.

When I first met the Fellowship, I remember one long time student I met telling me about working on the Farm or Renaissance building octave. It’s been about 33 years since our conversation but I still remember the look on his face when he was speaking about the work he did. He had a really hard look on his face of deep regret as he spoke about the long hours and implied physical suffering; he was injured.

That whole thing about the coarser becoming finer via friction, what a bunch of opportunistic phony baloney. It’s a religious belief in the Fellowship that suffering + refined physical culture bring about psychological evolution.

And this, also from Ton2u’s research “… supervisors chosen for their abrasive personality…”, well I think we all remember that… or are maybe experiencing it now. Wake up! people for whom Apollo (or whatever it is called now) is the center of your universe, current students who may be reading this forum of predominately former students. Wake up!…

87. Golden Veil - March 27, 2018
88. trenchant - March 27, 2018

86 Golden Veil

Gurdjieff wished that people would apply this phrase to the efforts they were making/suffering they were enduring…

“I wish the RESULTS of this suffering TO BECOME MY OWN. FOR BEING.”

GV, I do not know where the idea of suffering for Burto-God giving you anything worthwhile ever came into it…if only as an invention along the lines of the REB of The Donkey Toothed Grin uttering something like…

“You do not know how much love I emit to you and, as above, thus C influence does also, when you suffer for the School”. Spoken like a True Narcissist and swallowed like the Naive, Vain and Foolish Aspirants we were.

Looking back, and having unravelled The Real from The Borrowed, I realize there is or are elements of my being that are CONSTANT AND RELIABLE, something I can really say I achieved myself.

I find it pretty disgusting (and I am well out of it!) that Leader of The Pack, Dorian Mattei, is to be made an ‘honorary conscious being’ for the sake of group politics. Maybe he will die of the HIV virus before the next political leader comes along.

We all love a good disaster movie…cyanide would be nice.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/actionleaguenow/images/1/1b/Armageddon_Outta_Here.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/300?cb=20130511190827

89. brucelevy - March 27, 2018
90. trenchant - March 28, 2018

Cults (or nearing 100% of them) have DOMINEERING MALE FIGURES AS LEADERS. What does this say about those who succumb to becoming members, partake in the love-bombing offered them, then continue for shorter or longer periods of time, until they can abide the cognitive dissonance no longer, conscience takes root, common sense prevails over the insanity of belonging to something evil, AND THEY LEAVE? However, some, as some have gone on to in the FOF, remain the rest of their lives and become eulogized ‘in memoriam’.

Sex is almost always a binding factor in cults and the more weird the sex, the more ‘idiots’ are bound. Does this factor (and that of the first paragraph) lead us to conclude that there may have been experiences (the role of a dysfunctional family comes to mind) that overrule normality and somewhat exacerbate the ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’ psychological traits to which humans adhere.

I think, if you have not reconciled your relationships in your natural family, in everyday life, the family you may issue forth yourself, your very ROLE IN LIFE, then putting yourself under the auspices of a guru/teacher is the worst thing to do.

91. Golden Veil - March 28, 2018

90. trenchant – March 28, 2018
You have some good points but your first assertion, “Cults (or nearing 100% of them) have DOMINEERING MALE FIGURES AS LEADERS.” Here are just a few examples of female led cults including some rather well known ones.

https://listverse.com/2017/04/30/10-female-cult-leaders-youve-never-heard-of/

92. trenchant - March 28, 2018

91 Golden Veil

Thank you for the ‘enlightening’ information. It would certain cause most to readjust an assertion that folk were looking for a ‘father figure’ (God substitute). The one female figure who ‘stands so strong’ in your list is the founder of the group devoted to Quan Yin. That (Zen) Buddhist Bodhisattva is highly revered in the East (making inroads in the West) and I, for one, found it curious that a cult, with marketing techniques, could be ‘assembled’ around the almost religion.

GV, if you have more sources on female gurus, I am sure female members (to be, current and past) of the FOF would benefit from the knowledge. The mere fact that women were demeaned by Burton, apart from the H*l*a M**llers, R**m*ry McD***lds, J*n A**ens, etc., who helped the ‘flow of power’ that Burton still wields today and took the role of ‘Queen Bee’, often multi-marrying (though not all), needs special scrutiny and almost dissection on these pages.

I feel that not only were the ‘Burton’s boys’ subjected to tortuous harm but many women had their essential roles as healers and nourishers taken away.

93. J.D. - March 28, 2018

Definitions of:

OBLIVIOUS

Lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness; unmindful; unaware of. not aware of or not noticing something, esp. what is happening around you: (Usually followed by to or of)

Example:
“She was oblivious to her own belief.”

DELUSION

A rigid system of beliefs with which a person is preoccupied and to which the person firmly holds, despite the logical absurdity of the beliefs and a lack of supporting evidence.
Delusions are symptomatic of such mental disorders as paranoia and schizophrenia. They vary in intensity, extent, and coherence and may represent pathological exaggeration of normal tendencies to rationalization, wishful thinking, and the like.

DELUSIONAL

1. Having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions:
2. Maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts.

Example:
“People who think that what G.I. Gurdjieff claimed is real and true are delusional.”

DENIAL

A psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.
The choice to refuse reality.
A mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is denied and kept out of conscious awareness in order to prevent them from causing anxiety.
An unwillingness to accept that something unpleasant is true.

Example:
“She’s still in denial about the groundlessness of awakening and spiritual evolution.”

94. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 29, 2018

In ancient Greece, pretty much every female deity had a following that was a cult (just like the male deity followings). One of the most significant of these was the Cult of Demeter that gave rise to The Eleusinian Mysteries, which was a fertility cult of considerable influence in that society,

95. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 29, 2018

Perhaps the most significant of cults in ancient Greece was the Delphic Oracle. The Delphic Oracle was actually women who served Apollo by providing him voice and were called Pythia (priestesses). This influence lasted for centuries and was central to religious/spiritual and all life of those times. Recommended reading:
The Delphic Oracle: Its Responses and Operations with a Catalogue of Responses
University of California Press, 1978
by Joseph E. Fontenrose
Here is a good summary of the topic, which includes an image depicting the Pythia giving divination:
https://www.coastal.edu/intranet/ashes2art/delphi2/misc-essays/oracle_of_delphi.html

96. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 29, 2018

For those who would like a video on the topic of The Delphic Oracle:

97. Insider - March 29, 2018

94-96. WYLTK.
As a reminder, the Oracle of Oregon House has divined two major predictions for 2018: (1) a calamity of some sort for October with a loss or disruption of electricity for 2 weeks (followers are now preparing) and other world-wide effects; and (2) Dorian Matei becoming a “conscious being.”

Curiously, Dorian has been preaching “non-duality” for the past few years in meetings he has led. (He no longer leads meetings, nor does anyone else, as Burton is fully in charge of any and all so-called “teaching events.”) In those branches of Vedic teachings, there is no concept of “becoming” conscious (consciousness being out of time, thus timeless), because everyone is already fully conscious, just veiled from knowing this. But don’t expect Dorian or his handlers and entourage to reveal this secret to the masses. The “I-am-a-Conscious-Being-and-you-are-asleep-on-a-less-than-9th-lifetime” meme worked great for Burton, and probably will do so also for Dorian.

98. Mick - March 30, 2018

“People now want religious doctrines to suit their own ideas of life, and the crafty leaders who observe all this and fulfill their wishes find thousands of followers.”

99. brucelevy - March 31, 2018

Interesting for the point that here’s another cosmic asshat guru and his sycophantic slave/mini-master talking and talking and saying absofuckinglutely nothing. This is the cult of the rich and Hollywood bound drones who don’t mind being literally branded and then become sex slaves.

100. trenchant - April 1, 2018

Not exactly trying to find “The Golden Key” that opens the door to answer “The Turgid Ocean of Questions” that many are posing here – who are the people who join cults? what is the distinguishing feature of a false guru? (are there any legitimate gurus?) why do we allow acts of unlawfulness, sexual depravity or power-mongering to happen to ourselves or others?

For me, and this works on a daily basis, through life’s routines, disappointments and even ‘the golden moments’…

Try to find “The Little Special One” in Yourself and for Yourself

I will not elucidate nor try to decipher this phrase, since I feel, like poetry, the aim is to rise to it, not bring it down to the common level.

I will, however, state that I think it was a lack of having that ‘special state’, able to carry it around in life, before joining the FOF that led us/sucked us/dragged us into the clutches of the REB SHOW, so that we may ‘star’ in ‘the greatest show on earth, directed and produced by REB and THE 44 CONSCIOUS BEINGS.

There is nothing wrong with being admired by your loved one; there is nothing wrong in being looked up to by your children, peers, social groups or local bodies.

Something goes totally askew when we want to STEAL or BORROW affection or admiration, as, for instance, being revered for being part of Burton’s harem. It is like giving applause to worm’s shit. The false smiles, the nervous titters of achievement indentured by Burton, nay, the very ‘play of falsehood itself’ which pervaded most corners of ‘the enneagram of the west’ (although littles pockets of truth prevailed, were destined to exit, already or sooner or later, head bludgeoned but unbowed, to fight the fight we see here, to be in healthy mental/emotional situations) although I see, as REB reaches demise, how much structure in the FOF will ‘fall apart at the seams’. I should think haphazard fiscal legislation will ‘punch a hole right through it’.

It is fitting, on this day we commemorate the Risen Lord, that He said…

“You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free”.

101. Golden Veil - April 2, 2018

Two scientist ladies in the rural South ponder Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. Podcast on January 6, 2018

“A winery, olive oil, and a creepy old man guide members through the fourth way…it’s not the start of a bad joke but our episode on Fellowship of Friends.”

About One True Way ~

“Have you ever been curious about cults but were afraid to ask because of the social taboo? Well, we sit down and answer as many questions as we can about a different group each episode. We’re not experts, we’re actual scientists.

Jodi and Jess are both scientists. Between the two of them, they have degrees in all of the hard sciences-Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. They both currently work in academia and live on a small family farm in the rural south.”

http://www.blazingcariboustudios.com/fellowship-of-friends/

102. trenchant - April 2, 2018

101 Golden Veil

It is hopeful that the Fellowship of Friends and the ‘activities’ of Robert Burton are being ‘covered’ by more than the site you have listed. I must say the presentation was not impressive and would do little to sway a would-be initiate from joining. If you look at the sites the Fellowship churns out to lure the naive, gullible and, should we not remember how we were, the vain, the quality of ‘trap’ is far superior to the anti-cults – artistic leanings, pithy spiritual sayings and a whole host of cultural activities to whet the ‘heartfelt appetite’.

Perhaps we should hope that, not only in The South (near Atlanta, as was said), but growing over North America and in other countries, a whole body or movement, tired and disgusted by the activities of cults and their leaders, will ‘well up’ to counter the scourge we are all afraid too many more will fall into.

Since nothing stays the same, either cults of all descriptions will meet their demise and sanity restored to earth dwellings or else the horror of a planet of robots dominated by psychopaths will ensue.

http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/us/2017/08/31/manson-follower-to-get-hearing-on-young-age-during-killings/_jcr_content/par/featured-media/media-0.img.png/876/493/1504231093691.png?ve=1&tl=1

103. Golden Veil - April 3, 2018

102. trenchant – April 2, 2018

The link you put shows only an image and I can’t tell what it is about. Re-post?

The folksy commentary by Jodi and Jess gets heatedly critical near its end. I don’t know who they interviewed, but notwithstanding their “scientific” mindsets, it’s a pity they didn’t see evidence of the sex abuse lawsuit that was settled out of court by at least one underage male member. I had never heard of REB’s own, rather unimpressive website until listening to the podcast.

http://www.robertearlburton.net/

104. Associated Press - April 3, 2018

Re: robertearlburton.net
More FoF drivel.

105. trenchant - April 3, 2018

103 Golden Veil

My attempt was to get a ‘scary image of a cult member’. The one shown in the link of mine above is a Charles Manson follower, indicted/convicted(?) of murder under the persuasion of Manson. I think the ‘solid flesh’ of the face and the crazed eyes show much.

106. trenchant - April 3, 2018

104 Associated Press

The one thing I ‘cringed inside’ about whilst in the cult was the definition of Essence – like the powder-puff, wide-eyed, unobservant creature that Burton would have us believe. The term ‘essencey’ was bandied about, as though there were some way to act to invoke what Burton calls the ‘little child’ in his site. Maybe this is all part of the preparation for the physical and mental/emotional rape of young males. As we know, psychopaths break rules to their advantage.

This said, it seems fitting to state Gurdjieff’s description that Essence is What a Man/Woman really Is – someone is a good cook, someone is a good sailor and all diversities. It is, in fact, Personality that wears the clothes of esoteric fashion on embarking in The Work – learning the ropes, as it were. Essence that can grow starts small, but is certainly tangible, recognizable and, ultimately, bursts through ‘in ripened kernel state’ when a cosmic blow cracks open the husk of Personality.

I felt it necessary to define as I have, since the site alludes to Burton following the Gurdjieff/Ouspensky lineage, whereas, in fact the opposite, downward direction away from angelic realms is taken in the Fellowship – showy baubles and petty politics masking gaping illegalities and perverted practices (not just the Burto-Carnal!).

107. Insider - April 3, 2018

103, 104.
This site was not designed to say anything useful, truthful or profound, which is why it does not. The plan, hatched a couple of years ago, was to flood the internet with pro-FoF sites, so that someone searching for the FoF or for Burton would have a decreased chance of finding this discussion forum (fofdiscussion.wordpress.com) or the “REB blog” (robertearlburton.blogspot.com).

As we all know by now, once a fish is reeled in and given their introductory meetings, nothing further is said about Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, or “the 4th Way.” There is not a trace of the G-O system or teaching coming from Burton, Matei, Haven, or anyone else. Instead the gullible fish is taught the real secret of eternal life: orbit Robert Burton forever; mindlessly repeat Burton’s ridiculous “Sequence;” pay, pay, and pay some more; then follow Burton to Paradise.

108. Golden Veil - April 4, 2018

The former students posting on this blog will continue. This site and Robertearlburton.blogspot.com will remain prominent in search engine results.

These are the results I just got by typing Robert Burton Fellowship of Friends in the search engine Duck Duck Go:

Robert Burton at Amazon® – Amazon Official Site

Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends
https://robertearlburton.blogspot.com

Robert Earl Burton – Being Present- The Fellowship of Friends
beingpresent.org/

Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion …
https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com

Sadly, even after learning what REB does with young men in the Galleria, some students will choose to continue, year after year at this secretive “school”, putting up with his strange rules and affectations. They squander their own lives to bend to the will of this weird, living Dorian Gray. After decades in the Fellowship of Friends, they know what is going on yet continue in some way to be participants in the negative psychological and physical perversions of REB; they are self-coerced and complicit. Some will never wake up and die under REB’s dominion and be buried on the property in the Oregon House soil.

109. Golden Veil - April 4, 2018

I meant to say the top 4 Duck Duck Go search results, and they arrived in that order!

110. fofblogmoderator - April 7, 2018

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