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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 175 May 25, 2019

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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. Cult Survivor - May 25, 2019

This blog is about the Fellowship of Friends cult, his founder Robert Earl Burton, and the off-shot organization BePeriod founded by Burton’s main disciple for 20 years, Asaf Braverman.

According to the paper “Cult Formation” by Robert J. Lifton, MD (“The Harvard Mental Health Letter”, Volume 7, Number 8), these are the three characteristics of cults:

1. A charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power.

2. A process called “coercive persuasion” or “thought reform”.

3. Economic, sexual, or other type of exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling elite.

The Fellowship of Friends and Beperiod have all three characteristics above plus a fourth one that classifies it as a “doomsday cult”:

4. Proclaiming that people in the organization are the only ones that will survive an impending catastrophe, global war, apocalypse or Armageddon.

If you are interested in joining Robert Burton’s Fellowship of Friends or Asaf Braverman’s BePeriod, make sure you read the material on this site and the one below before making a decision.

https://robertearlburton.blogspot.com

Please feel free to ask questions if you need more information.

2. brucelevy - May 25, 2019

97. warpage – May 25, 2019

“There is, perhaps, more or less some validity in posting one’s FOF personal experiences. There is, perhaps, less validity in the links to other cults with similar power, sex and money crazed leaders.”

I ask with humility, who the fuck died and made you God/

3. Cult Survivor - May 25, 2019

2. brucelevy

Please be gentle, Bruce, warpage is a new member. Remember we are all former members of a cult that is based on vanity (“we are the only conscious beings in the Universe besides the angels in the celestial city of Paradise”) and that here vanity has an audience.

4. brucelevy - May 25, 2019

3. Cult Survivor

Yet he, she or it steps in and immediately suggests how this be be run. Fuck he, she or it. Don’t drag the fof shame bullshit in here. You can smell it through the screen.

5. warpage - May 25, 2019

2. brucelevy

With similar humility, I am not sure what the question you are asking is, beyond your seeming dislike of how I framed an opinion of the FOF cult and other cults as they appear here. Am I to assume we are not here to ‘shoot the breeze’ but to implement ways of alerting people to cults and malicious people in society?

6. Cult Survivor - May 25, 2019

4. brucelevy

I have the same feeling — I was just suggesting for you use a bit of Vaseline 🙂

7. brucelevy - May 25, 2019

6. Cult Survivor

Got it CS.
Warpage. It’s called a rhetorical question. Your opinion was actually about the posts here. Are you again suggesting the aim of a blog that has been extant for years before you graced us with your wisdom? Because as my grandmother use to say “Fuck that shit.”

8. brucelevy - May 25, 2019

Oh, and here’s the vaseline…

9. warpage - May 25, 2019

What prompted me to post here were the recent posts of ton2u and Whalerider…it is interesting that we can interpret dreams and, in the case of posts towards the end of the last page, the division of animus from anima…Burton appears to me in many guises (characters) and I am almost always still a member, although not paid up for years.

Gurdjieff said that dreams were the centres eliminating and making sense of past events.

10. Cult Survivor - May 25, 2019

5. warpage

First of all, welcome to the family! I was in the Fellowship of Friends for 28 years (1988-2016) so we probably know each other… you may be the best man of one of my marriages!

Here are my two cents…

“There is, perhaps, more or less some validity in posting one’s FOF personal experiences. There is, perhaps, less validity in the links to other cults with similar power, sex and money crazed leaders.”
This is your opinion about this blog, not “the FOF cult and other cults as they appear here” as you said above.

Am I to assume we are not here to ‘shoot the breeze’ but to implement ways of alerting people to cults and malicious people in society?
As I understand it, the main purpose of this blog is to inform people that are interested in Burton’s Fellowship of Friends and Braverman’s Beperiod. Additional purposes are the healing of former members of those organizations, catharsis, sharing news about the FOF and Beperiod, etc.

This blog is over 13 years old, feel free to browse older pages to get a feeling.

11. brucelevy - May 25, 2019

Oh boy.

12. Cult Survivor - May 25, 2019
13. warpage - May 25, 2019

10. Cult Survivor

Thank you for ‘holding the rudder’ through that initial squall.

I will attempt to hone my comments to your given parameters.

14. Tim Campion - May 25, 2019

12. Cult Survivor

You’re being a VERY bad boy/girl!

Good work.

15. WhaleRider - May 25, 2019

warpage:
Welcome. So I gather that you too, like a few of us here have had the reoccurring dream of still being in the cult despite the fact you haven’t paid the so-called “donation”. Interesting…

Please correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t recall Gurdjieff speaking about dreams as a means “to make sense of past events”, as you say. It doesn’t seem to me either he or Mr O provided a context for understanding the symbolic language occurring in the so-called, “first state”, other than it being a “mechanical” process and lumped in with the imaginary, a testament, IMO, as to how shallow a metaphysical “system” the fourth way really is. (I do, however, recall burton mentioning having apocalyptic dreams, which he used to reinforce his nightmarish predictions that never happened.)

IMO, Gurdjieff might well have promoted dreams to be worthless waste products because his aim was to introject himself into the psyches of others as an authority figure in an effort to make others dependent upon him to show them their unconscious rather than they seeing it for themselves disguised in the symbology of their dreams…but the fact is gurus will lie to you and your dreams will always speak the truth.

As a cult survivor, I now trust the crazy wisdom of my dreams to teach me about myself before I would ever again trust a guru like burton, or frankly, anyone else.

16. ton2u - May 26, 2019

reposting:

Apollo Education Group in Talks to Buy Fellowship of Friends Retreat in Oregon House

OREGON HOUSE (YUBA COUNTY) March 25 (UPX) – Apollo Education Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, is in talks to purchase the Fellowship of Friends luxury retreat in Oregon House, California, also called “Apollo.” “We are hoping to leverage not only the name, in which we are already heavily invested, but also the business model,” reported Apollo Group CEO Greg Cappelli. “Burton’s business model is similar in some respects to ours, but his enterprise is, student for student, more profitable. The key difference is that our students can graduate, while Burton’s cannot. We can offer courses of dubious
value over a period of several years, but eventually we have to confer a degree and our ability to extract tuition from a particular financial resource ends. Burton’s enterprise is not subject to such limitations. Our due diligence audits show some of Burton’s students are still paying monthly tuition after thirty years,” Cappelli said. “Now that’s brand loyalty!”

Fellowship of Friends spokesperson Ed Dematous was equally sanguine. “While the current generation of students makes teaching payments on a monthly basis (plus semiannual mandatory donations), Apollo Education Group gets large tuition payments from its students every semester financed by federally guaranteed student loans,” Dematous said. “We want in. The University of Phoenix’s experience shows the government is not really interested in educational legitimacy, and Apollo Education Group’s cash flow is much better than ours. Robert has indicated that wealth is an indispensible element of the quest for consciousness and immortality,” Dematous added, “and Apollo Education Group has shown it knows where the big money is.”

Cappelli and Dematous both expressed relief that the retreat has stopped using the name “Isis.” “The name “Isis” is getting some pretty bad play in the press these days,” Cappelli said. “Its continued use would have been a deal-breaker.” Dematous indicated that the Fellowship had approached the Islamic State about licensing the name, but they were unwilling to recognize Robert as a Conscious Being, or even as a human being. “Besides,” added Dematous, “unlike the current purveyors of the Isis brand, our school has never decapitated anyone, let alone students current with their teaching payments. Castrating them figuratively has always been sufficient for our purposes.”

The buyout proposal will be outlined in detail at Apollo Education Group’s annual shareholder meeting on April l.

17. Tim Campion - May 26, 2019

Freudian slippery? Find the Fellowship’s Socrates Education and Lubrary Foundation on Charity Navigator.

18. warpage - May 26, 2019

I was not in the FOF when ‘Lower Self’ and ‘Higher Self’ were the phrases bandied about. From what I gather, these were two sets of ‘acts’ anyway which denoted how one was closer to what the Teacher required or otherwise…another FOF invention, I believe. I had always found Eassence and False Personality easier concepts to embace and True Personality the ‘Work Tool’ which led to the development of a Mature Essence. I believe Gurdjieff and Ouspensky both talked of these latter denotations.

19. Cult Survivor - May 26, 2019

18. warpage

We don’t use “Work language” here, except in an ironic way (an inside joke, if you will). Using a language that is specific to the FOF would alienate people that are arriving here looking for information and would also delay the deprogramming process of former members.

20. Insider - May 27, 2019

warpage: By now you may have gotten the impression that Cult Survivor is the arbiter of rules and regulations that pertain to this blog. Unless I have missed something, he is nothing of the sort, except in his “imagination.” I know of no rule or agreement that “We don’t use ‘Work language’ here.” Write what you wish and how you wish. And thank you for being here.

21. warpage - May 27, 2019

20. Insider

Actually, I gave a span of a day and a good night’s rest and thought quite a bit…

19. Cult Survivor

I am a ‘survivor’ of a day of quandary leading to a feeling of being stymied.

New ‘seekers’ and FOF leavers/having left alike are faced with a dilemma. If, as you say we should, use Crystal Mark/Non-Legalize language to reach our readers, surely the terribly overused ‘baby/bathwater’ syndrome will pervert (meant) our efforts. Are we to assume that no thinking person reaching the blog has heard of ‘consciousness’ or ‘being’? Do these words, bandied about by Sam Harris, Deepak Chopra and other such money spinners (themselves pertaining to be gurus), have some sort of ‘bad taste in the mouth’ of aspirant and ex-FOF person alike.

I have not studied the recent blog colloquialisms enough to be ‘au fait’ with being understood. I do believe that people are more intelligent and able to flex thought muscles than you – Cult Survivor – think.

By the way, ‘warpage’ denotes strange thought, not being on a page to wage war.

22. ton2u - May 27, 2019

I’ll echo insider @ 20… adding: freedom of ‘speech’ is your right so feel free to write…. and depending on what you write you can expect some ‘blowback.’

Consider this: language contributes to forming ideas, shaping perception. Some distance in time away from the cult experience changes perspective, allowing clearer examination of the effect of “the work” and associated jargon – how it functions as a reality-filter and tool for cultic mind control.

Write what you will, don’t feel constrained, expect various responses/ non-responses from readers… consider that constraining freedom of thought and expression here may ‘unconsciously’ be attempting to create an anti-cult cult…. seems like this could be an after-effect of years in the cult, still under the influence of cultic behavior programming…

23. Cult Survivor - May 27, 2019

21. warpage

When I used the expression “alienate visitors to this blog” I was not referring to the fact that they wouldn’t be intelligent enough to figure out what we are saying, I was more concerned that they would think that we are weird.

I apologize for saying “We don’t use ‘Work language’ here” instead of “In my opinion we shoudn’t use ‘Work language’ here”. Photograph taken.

24. Cult Survivor - May 27, 2019

20. Insider & 22. ton2u

Thank you for the feedback.

25. John Harmer - May 27, 2019

I see use of work language as an important indicator of the distance I have traveled away from the thrall of the school and Burton’s domination of our lives. After I left the school I began to see how the 4th way was by no means unique in adopting a special jargon by which members of a club recognise other true believers and cement their feeling of belonging to a special family group. I see it in politics, professional circles, art cognoscenti and musical trends. When I was still a member and not in opposition, I remember another member mentioning he had been with a good friend who had recently left the school. He told how he had felt offended by his old friend’s continued use of the work language – he had enough insight to know this was a somewhat irrational reaction – since it felt to him that his old buddy should realise that by leaving the school he had lost his “right” to blab on about chief feature, body types etc etc. There are people who leave the FoF but who retain their faith in the insights of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Fair enough. I am not of that persuasion. It was a conversation I had by letter with Miles Barth who had left several years before me that allowed me to see that the 4th way was the real problem. I had used the phrase “Objective Knowledge” and he picked me up on it, saying all knowledge is clearly subjective since it comes from humans, whose view of the world is by definition subjective. After that time I made a big effort to remove the work language from my discourse, and after a few years had almost forgotten the old ways of looking at things that the work language enables. It is an all encompassing view, that treats us as children who need to be told how to live and what is good. This is not to say that there is no truth in the descriptions we get from that way of thinking. Chief feature, centres of gravity, body types, etc probably all have a kernel of truth in them. But the 4th way dogma (that falsely claims to require no faith, only verification) is not advanced as a scientific hypothesis, but certain knowledge granted us by Higher Mind, there lies the rub for me.

26. Cult Survivor - May 27, 2019

25. John Harmer

I see use of work language as an important indicator of the distance I have traveled away from the thrall of the school and Burton’s domination of our lives.
It took me a good 2 years after I left the FOF to clean my speech (and thinking) from “Work language”.

Chief feature, centres of gravity, body types, etc probably all have a kernel of truth in them.
I agree. It’s the use of those ideas as instruments of control and judgement that is abominable.

27. WhaleRider - May 27, 2019

Question: Is it possible for a person to be “present”, but not “self-aware”?

28. warpage - May 27, 2019

27. WhalerRider

To my mind, it matters little if one is not listening (finally!) to ‘the inner voice’, the call of conscience…somewhat to say…

“What does this moment, this situation, do these people require of me now?”

We do not plunder a state of consciousness but become into it.

(that seems to be the only way I can describe it)

29. Artemis44 - May 27, 2019

27. WhaleRider

I don’t know if is it possible for a person to be “present” but not “self-aware” but I do know that my 2 cats are permanently “self-aware” but not “present”.

30. WhaleRider - May 27, 2019

Cult Leader Claims Most Animals Enter Heaven Except Cats

Dog House, CA-In a stunning announcement today, camel cult leader Robert E Burton revealed to his faithful followers that most warm-blooded animals meet all his criteria to be allowed into Paradise, with one exception…cats.

“Because an animal like a dog or a chimp or an aardvark is always present and remains in their essence no matter what, you can do anything you want to them”, Burton said after finishing his meat-based dinner, “they just stay in the moment and take wordless breaths because they know they are going to Paradise when they die, even if you eat them. Except for cats. You can never get a cat to do what you want them to do, and they are so full of themselves, so willful, they can’t possibly be present.”

When asked how cats are able to control their impulses, like when they lie in wait to sneak up on their prey, Burton responded, “Impulse control is not consciousness, that’s just feline dominance!”

31. Artemis44 - May 27, 2019

30. WhaleRider

Brilliant!

Robert Earl Burton and his 3 successors (since Asaf is gone, he has been replaced by Darling).

32. John Harmer - May 28, 2019

#31 Artemis – what a fantastic photo!. The guy on the right has the best self remembering act, just the right amount of “I’m in my higher emotional centre, and NOT in imagination at the moment”. But the dog is the only one I would want to play with. (Burton looks like a psycho killer)
🙂

33. Cult Survivor - May 28, 2019

34. Cult Survivor - May 28, 2019

I apologize for the large picture — click to see.

35. ton2u - May 29, 2019

C.S. re: “click to see” – no thanks, seeing photos of this psycho- predator literally makes me feel ill… when someone posts these images I scroll past and avoid.

36. Golden Veil - May 29, 2019

Welcome to all newcomers. There is not a single focus, strict party line here.

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion serves in myriad ways: it’s an alternative view of the worldwide cult that masquerades as a “Fourth Way” school (also known as the Fellowship of Friends) helmed by Robert Burton from its headquarters in Oregon House, California and online at livingpresence.com. It’s a source for seekers vetting / researching what they think is a Fourth Way School. It’s a place for new ex-Fellowship of Friends students to learn about what they have actually been a party to and find out more about who they have been bamboozled by.

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion is a campfire for new former members and old timer ex-members to tell their own stories, the stories of friends and others. Some come here to report about and wonder at the audacity and prevalence of the many other cults out there that share destructive or abusive traits with the Fellowship of Friends. It’s also a place for those who share a unique interlude in their life to heal, express pain or sometimes just have a laugh.

Welcome!

37. Artemis44 - May 29, 2019

35. ton2u

Some people arriving here may not know who Burton is and, as they say, a picture is a thousand words.

38. Insider - May 29, 2019

35. ton2u

Agreed. I don’t see how this image adds anything of value, other than showing off the Photoshop skills of (presumably) Cult Survivor. In fact it lowers the credibility of the blog, making me wonder (not for the first time) about Cult Survivor’s motives for being here. Yes, a picture may be worth a 1000 words, but not if it’s a total fake, and ends up turning off the “people arriving here.”

39. warpage - May 29, 2019

33. Cult Survivor
35. ton2u
38. Insider

I have nothing against Cult Survivor, as a blogger. I do have something against the use of Photoshop to emphasize the point he/she is trying to make.

After my own consideration and after the two comments countering the ‘bad taste’ of inclusion of such a picture and how it may deter the required effect of people engaging with the theme of warning against the FOF, or at least giving food for thought for those happening upon the blog, I have this to say…

35 years ago, when Burton had an acceptable appearance, I let him kiss me on the forehad (which had no thrill or fourth state to it). Now I just wish him…Death In Van Nuys.

40. brucelevy - May 29, 2019

39. warpage

Better death in Pacoima.

41. Cult Survivor - May 29, 2019

OK guys, no more Photoshop.

42. ton2u - May 30, 2019

C.S.
I’m not suggesting what you “should” or shouldn’t post, I’m just saying, the images of this disturbed individual are disturbing to me, so personally I avoid them….

Van Nuys or Pacoima, or anywhere else will do.

43. warpage - May 30, 2019

I was just wondering – yes I believe Burton has always been disturbed from childhood by the sound of things – do people who have had childhood trauma, abuse or some such, have difficulty with love and intimacy in relationships? I may not be putting this well, but does perversion take revenge on board? I am sure there are gay men and women who manage stable, mongamous gay relationships in which love binds them together. All the excuses I have heard about Burton – super sex, overcoming feminine dominance, gorging down spermatozoa to increase life expectancy – you name it, he has an answer for it – I am not surprised ton2u experiences disgust at images of Burton – probably the stories, too.

44. WhaleRider - May 30, 2019

It appears to me that burton’s obsessive emphasis on fostering so-called “presence” in others, (which for the self-deprecating follower in practice translates as incorporating into a heightened awareness of their surroundings the thought layer of belonging to an exclusive member of HIS cult, coupled with externalization of disembodied spirit guides hovering overhead) may be in compensation for someone, possibly burton’s father neglecting him or being totally absent from his childhood, who to my knowledge burton has never mentioned…a cry from burton’s unconscious for others to pay attention to him…hence his idealized father Leonardo, his grandiosity, the entourage, huge statue of David, pink suits, and all the bling.

If he was treated as a narcissistic object by an unloving mother, (and undoubtedly by an abusive surrogate father like Alex Horn) he’s likely to treat others in the same manner, IMO, creating a delusional system to justify his actions in defense of his damaged, underdeveloped ego.

45. warpage - May 30, 2019

44. WhaleRider

Excuse a stupid question, but how does he and others (not just cult leaders) GET AWAY WITH IT ALL? Obviously, a fly-paper hung from the ceiling attracts errant flies and they stick and die…so…where does the attraction to a cult leader (in and beyond the cult itself) come from?

We all know, in the world of false values by which we are surrounded, power, greed and money rule the roost and more so in a cult.

But, and this is important for me, since I never confronted it before in myself, what of the idealist led in by tales of mystical states not experienced before?

Are these too many questions to answer in one post?

46. Cult Survivor - May 30, 2019

45. warpage

Excuse a stupid question, but how does he and others (not just cult leaders) GET AWAY WITH IT ALL?
Money talks, specially in USA (remember O. J. Simpson?). You can’t get away so easily in other countries — there is an arrest warrant for Burton in the European Community (that’s the reason why he hasn’t been in Europe for more than a decade).

47. Golden Veil - May 30, 2019

Do you mean the entire European Union? I thought that only France was off limits.

If anyone has documentation on what exactly the arrest warrant is for, could they please share that information here? Or if possible, can we see a copy of the arrest warrant?

I imagine Mr. Burton is a staunch supporter of Brexit!

48. Cult Survivor - May 30, 2019

An important fact about Burton’s sex life that is often overlooked is that he never used any protection. A close friend of mine that became one of Burton’s lovers — the same one that ran away from the Galleria in the middle of the night and came to my home, as I mentioned in a previous post — told me that he asked him why he didn’t use protection and Burton answered “I use a celestial condom”. I guess celestial condoms don’t protect against herpes — my friend told me that Burton has it and most of his lovers got it from him.

A psychopath’s sex life invariably shows 3 peculiarities:

1. They are incapable of love.
2. They don’t experience guilt or remorse.
3. They can be very impulsive without much consideration of the consequences of their actions.

Hervey Cleckley, “The Mask of Sanity”

49. WhaleRider - May 30, 2019

Warpage:
burton has not totally gotten away with it. He has had to settle several lawsuits out of court, effectively silencing his victims for large sums of money who are bound by the settlement not to disclose to anyone what transpired.

Preying upon heterosexual males, some of whom are married, he silences them with shame.

burton’s ardent followers comply and collude rather than face the fear of abandonment or having to admit they have been duped, IMO.

50. warpage - May 31, 2019

Wow! Was I naive!

Looking back on the times I saw Burton at the ‘compound’ (whatever name) surrounded by pretty, passive boys, I thought it was a co-homosexual teaching experience. Other ‘students’ would tell me he had a ‘special relationship’ to them.

When I look over the related experiences of WhaleRider (I realize he had to be so brave to tell us!) I now see in ‘cleared focus’ what a scam the whole of the FOF has been, is and will be…it is for the predatory pleasures of a psychopathic maniacand no other reason.

High art…go fart!
Presence for the peasants (on pitiful wages)
Can’t go wrong with Viagra for your dong

etc. etc.

51. Insider - May 31, 2019

45. warpage; 49. WhaleRider

Two more reasons why Burton has “gotten away with it:”

1. He shares just enough of the power, money and sex, all of which is highly addictive, to pacify those who know too much. Thus many members of the Board of Directors have their little power/$$ fiefdoms, which they would have to give up if they took any action to stop Burton. This includes those Board members, and other older, influential members, with a major conflict of interest, as they are also “on salary,” i.e. employed by the Fellowship (thus dependent), and clearly unable to make sound, impartial decisions.

2. Burton has many circles of protection, including the armed militia I wrote about a couple of pages back, each of whom is ready to give his life defending Burton. One “old student” said recently that, should Burton ever have to go to prison, she would like to be able to volunteer to take his place. Another snowflake is letting people know that, when Burton passes, she can’t see any reason why she would want to keep living (and I can’t either). There’s almost an uncountable number of people, from Fellowship officers, accountants, those in the Galleria inner circles, Burton’s secretaries, etc., over many years and decades, who have committed crimes of their own to cover up Burton’s. Burton has created many layers to this onion.

52. Artemis44 - May 31, 2019

51. Insider

Great post, lots of “inside information”.

53. Pyewacket - June 1, 2019

47.Golden Veil.

Hi, the following may be of interest or information to anyone on here who hasn’t heard of an EWA (European Arrest Warrant). Basically, any one of the 28 European Union member Countries can issue such a Warrant for someone’s arrest for a reported crime that then becomes enforceable should the alleged perpetrator set foot in any other EU country. That is the whole of Europe, from it’s Atlantic coast upto the borders of Russia and Turkey. I’ve had a go at trying to search the EWA website, and typed Burtons full name into their search bar, which came up with over 800 results ! Since then I’ve not had any time to delve much further. If indeed an EAW has been issued, there will be a record, hopefully, publically available one somewhere. Do we definitely know that France was the issuer ?

54. warpage - June 1, 2019

I hope this is not way off target…

Perhaps 30 years ago, my FOF flatmate and I just happened to be watching an interview by Oprah Windbag on Michael Jackson (not then deceased but very much defending the accusations of child sexual abuse). Ms Windbag was obviously making a huge amount of money out of airing this interview through her TV company – Harpo.

Now that the ‘already’ dead Mr Jackson has deceased (and gone to his private black hole, one would have thought), Ms Windbag has made more money just recently with the follow-up…the molested parties (it was clear to start with but, hey, Jackson was a whinger/whiner and had stage presence – clutching his crutch no less) are suing the Jackson remaining families (who obviously have the MJ hoard and treasure – not sure what happened to Neverland?).

All sorts of subjects arise…

‘Coming out’ as a victim.
What do they want the money for?
Do they sell their stories into the bargain?
Why did they agree to go on the Oprah show?

And, of course, twin-coordinating with the FOF situation…

Would Oprah do a good ‘going-over’ on the Burton debacle?
Who would tell theit stories ‘under the spotlight’
Is fear of reprisal a factor?

I feel there is a way to get Burton in jail before his role goes ‘a la mausoleum’. Spoil his last thrill and the FOF might fracture into a ‘hell of power-grabbing’ with no follow on and ‘piss on the wicked’.

55. Golden Veil - June 1, 2019

53. Pyewacket – June 1, 2019

Thanks for your response. I have searched this: “European Arrest Warrant” and I think that the specific website you describe has not come up. I tried searching Robert Earl Burton on this website:

https://e-justice.europa.eu/home.do?action=home&plang=en

and there are no search results.

Pyewacket, could you please give the link here to where you describe you “had a go at trying to search the EWA website, and typed Burtons full name into their search bar, which came up with over 800 results.”

54. warpage – June 1, 2019

Probably the issues of false religious visas, money laundering for income tax fraud, false qualifications as a non profit organization, etc. are more likely than sexual abuse to reach an organizational or individual conviction. A real insider would need to be a whistle blower.

56. WhaleRider - June 1, 2019

Brain Invading Parasitic Host Discovered in Northern California Cult

Escargot House, CA-California health officials are warning the general public to avoid a cloistered group of people mainly of Russian descent in the Sierra foothills who have contracted an infection of
gurdjieff zombieitus
otherwise known as “mindless sheep disease” from ingesting toxic ideas from the parasitic host, Robert E Burton.

The tiny worm resides in the drivel issuing from Burton’s mouth and enters through the ears of those who listen to his gibberish, eventually burrowing into the brain, causing swelling of the ego, atrophy of the conscience, and a zombie-like state of wide-eyed wonder, with bouts of paranoid delusions of persecution from the outside world.

Often victims have no clue they have been infected as it takes years for the parasitic ideas through a coded “work language” to become deeply embedded.

The infected victims are rendered into a mindless state of what Burton terms, “divine presence”, whereby they have no thoughts of their own, pay him large sums of money, readily perform sexual favors for him, and will believe anything he says, including his many failed apocalyptic predictions and that heaven is reserved exclusively for them and the herpes virus.

Some unfortunate victims have been known to arm themselves for fear of being invaded by the truth and will defend Burton’s lies at any cost, making the parasitic condition extremely difficult to treat.

The only known cure involves distancing oneself from Burton and other infected individuals, completely purging the “work ideas” and associated “work language” used to communicate with each other, relearning how to think critically and act with empathy and compassion for others.

It can sometimes take decades to recover from the debilitating, demeaning, and parasitic condition, and sadly, many of whom remain within close proximity of Burton never do.

57. Nevasayneva - June 2, 2019

re 45 Warpage how does he GET AWAY WITH IT ALL?

I think one of the great achievements of any cult leader is by force of their personality will and nerve, they get others to accept and support something as “normal” and in the best interest of the person, when in fact it is not normal at all and is not at all in the best interest of the person.

It sounds v exotic to go off to the foothills of Northern California and become secluded and emotionally dependent on a cult for a significant portion of ones life, and yet many people do and did including me.

One is led little by little so that each step appears normal reasonable rational and in ones best interest, when it is step by step getting further away from that.

Cults work, there have always been people who get their kicks from controlling others and situations. And bitter pill it may be to some of us, there are always people who sought that control and that certainty, in a very uncertain world.

In my observations of REB over the years one of his great strengths has been his absolute conviction that he is correct no matter how crazy the assertion. That 100% self confidence has served him well.

Cults seem exotic, but if you look around at your workplace, your workout club, your social club…whatever, its not that hard to find little mini cults people following the absolute certainty and sheer nerve of some self appointed source of knowledge.

Such is the Human Condition.

And now for something completely different:

A man and a woman were travelling on a Train.
Woman: Every time you smile, I feel like inviting you to my place…
Man: Awww!….. Are you single?
Woman: No I am a dentist…..

BTW if you read this post and are still in the FOF, LEAVE NOW, you will not regret it, and its never too late, GET OUT. Don’t live all your life there, its not healthy. Join the great Unwashed…We are fun!…:-)

58. warpage - June 3, 2019

Those who adapt…..SURVIVE.

59. warpage - June 5, 2019

I hope you feel this is worth viewing…abstractedly, it encompasses many of the thoughts of recent posts…it starts a little slushy, but ends poignant and courageous…much like our lives ?

60. Artemis44 - June 5, 2019

59. warpage

Law of accident is a bitch.

61. WhaleRider - June 5, 2019

No one is above the law of accident.

62. Golden Veil - June 5, 2019

Down the rabbit hole…

A serendipitous search of “Law of Accidents” brought up a link to FourthWaySchool.org which has an inactive forum and may have been created by former Fellowship of Friends students, if the authors of the advertised book are connected to the website.

Under the Community button there is an inactive Forum (where this Discussion is described) and under the Tools button, a page devoted to how one can identify “False Teachers, Fake Schools, and Sham Religions.”

http://fourthwayschool.org/accident1.html

63. Cowbell - June 5, 2019

Interview #34 Zurich, 1934 – A man who has read yoga books, and is a pupil of one who proclaims himself to be a leading master.

Q. Is he right to call himself such?
B. Everyone has a right to call himself what he likes. It is for others to accept or challenge it. It depends on his living, rather than his teachings.

64. John Harmer - June 5, 2019

#59 I am not sure I could derive a coherent message from that TED talk. She seemed to want to reject the mantra “everything happens for a reason” but retain a belief in a God. Does she believe a God would let her, her husband and her son suffer, or has she perhaps come to a modified idea of God that He simply initiated the universe and leaves it to run without any ethical monitoring or intervention on His part?
Her message that she felt loved was sweet, and I hope it sustains her over whatever time she has left.

65. warpage - June 5, 2019

64. John Harmer

The “actual message” I heard from her was…

“Love leaves an imprint”.

66. Cult Survivor - June 5, 2019

64. John Harmer
The message I got from the video that warpage posted is that people want to make sense of their lives, specially when something very negative happens to them, and they take refuge believing that “everything happens for a reason”, “it’s God’s will”, “it’s bad karma from previous life times”, “my suffering showed me how much I love my family”, or whatever helps them endure the suffering.

60. Artemis44
The concept of the “law of accident” is very disturbing because it challenges what our mothers told us: “be a good person and good things will happen to you”. In the FoF we used to call that “feminine dominance”.

67. warpage - June 5, 2019

O.K. All…

What is the factor that makes us continue?
(we could “bare bodkin” it!)

68. warpage - June 5, 2019

To proceed with another question…

Do we ‘crystallize’? (i,e, freeze in a form of our psychology)
Do we ‘move’ in ourselves and change for the better?

I believe these questions help go beyond the impasse of love/being loved, being good to expect good outcomes…hey, do we inure wisdom?

69. John Harmer - June 6, 2019

#68 warpage poses the question
“Do we ‘crystallize’? (i,e, freeze in a form of our psychology)”

What I can see is that both myself and those I know tend to settle into certain habits as we get older. Habits that have served us well over the course of our lives. However the world around us doesn’t stop changing, and presenting new stimuli for us to engage with. I guess there is a balance to be struck between desperately trying to stay current and up to date with things, and being an old fuddy duddy. My daughters tease me for trying too hard to be “down with the kids” (They are in their thirties BTW)
As the reality of our own deaths become more tangible, we may acquire a certain wisdom I suppose. Seeing what still matters in the face of our extinction, and what becomes trivial. Not sure I can claim to have changed for the better, be nice if it happened though. 🙂

70. warpage - June 6, 2019

Excuse TEDding again, but, truly, I think WhaleRider should best interpret this first…

71. WhaleRider - June 6, 2019

Warpage:
Thanks. That was not what I expected.

David Brooks comes from a politically conservative perspective which is usually about exclusion rather than inclusion. It seems he’s had a change of heart as a result of some soul searching and alone time.

I agree that relating to others as equals is far more humane and healthy than defining oneself at the expense of others.

I will say all careers are not as unfulfilling as apparently his was, especially if the job is about empowering others to make positive changes in their lives, which now seems to be the course he’s on, and the one I eventually chose for myself.

72. warpage - June 8, 2019

71. WhaleRider

I am supposing here that you, like I do, work with some sort of therapeutic medium. I think it is fair to say that the majority of FOF leavers, who gave and took of a genuine nature – the power, greed and vanity mongers tend to just find a different playing field – have ‘battle scars’, thus causing a need for some sort of deprogramming, although that is of many natures and has implications. Having been in one cult, I see little point in jumping out of the FOF into a group of different hue or flavour.

Many ancient philosophers and all the way up to modern day will attest to the overall benefits of realising your individual skills/strengths, offering them in your family, further to one’s community, country and the world (if that is possible – I see no reason).

“Drop a pebble in a pool?”

73. Cult Survivor - June 8, 2019

72. warpage

I think it is fair to say that the majority of FOF leavers, who gave and took of a genuine nature – the power, greed and vanity mongers tend to just find a different playing field – have ‘battle scars’, thus causing a need for some sort of deprogramming, although that is of many natures and has implications.

Even if I chose the name “Cult Survivor” for my “persona” here, I don’t believe that most ex-FoF members here have many “scars”. I must say that I was lucky enough not to have sex with Robert — I came very close and was saved by the bell so to speak. That would have changed my experience, that’s for sure.

Let’s be honest, we were not members of a cult like Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple or Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven Gate. The word “cult” is used very broadly these days.

I don’t repent of my experience in the FoF from 1988 to 2006 — I learned to observe myself, had some very powerful higher states, traveled to many places around the world, lived in Teaching Houses, met some very interesting people, harvested grapes and was educated about wine, learned to appreciate the arts, sang in operas, acted in theater plays,… In summary, the FoF improved me in many ways. I also liked the Fourth Way system very much and the FoF was a laboratory where I could see the ideas put into practice, and that made my life more interesting. True, a baggage judgement and “spiritual vanity” came with the refinement, but after leaving the FoF those side effects became obvious and they are almost gone by now. No scars you see.

In 2006 Burton abandoned the Fourth Way and started the “crazy teaching” (the Sequence, Short Be, Middle Be, Long Be, squares, circles, 6’s, 4’s, etc.) and it became almost unbearable to attend his events. I wish I had left in 2006, not 10 years later. Why did I stay? Inertia, friendships, and the feeling that there was nowhere to go. I was making the minimum donation and was a guest at most events because I was friends with a couple of people that were close to Burton, so it was not expensive to stay. Again, no scars.

One day I couldn’t take it any more. Burton was becoming more and more paranoid about his predictions and his dementia was evident, so I decided that it was time to leave.

After I left I felt the freedom of being able to choose the clothes I like to wear, to gesticulate at meals without having a “Guardian of Presence” watching me with a stern look, reconnect with my “life family”, have friends that are not “students” and, most importantly, be responsible for my life. I don’t see any scars, do you?

74. WhaleRider - June 8, 2019

Cult Survivor:
Let me ask you, if you had a son, would you encourage him to join the cult when you did, knowing that he was likely to be recruited into burton’s entourage?

75. Cult Survivor - June 9, 2019

74. WhaleRider

If I had a son that wanted to join the FoF and he were old enough (like the age of consent) I would tell him what I know about Burton and the FoF and let him decide for himself. That’s what parents should do in my opinion. By the way, that’s what my father did.

You see, my father joined the FoF a few months after me. I discovered about Burton’s sexual life before he did but I didn’t tell him, mainly because of “inner considering” (shame) and “feminine dominance” (morality). He left the FoF a year later because it was not what he was looking for.

When I moved to Apollo, my father came to visit me and found about Burton’s sex life. I remember that I was taking him to the San Francisco airport and he suddenly became very serious and said “Son, I have something to tell you. Do you know that Robert has sex with young male students?” I replied, “Yes, dad”. He continued, “I just wanted to make sure that you knew. Mom and I are very happy with your changes since you joined the Fellowship, and I don’t think that Robert’s sex life is a reason for you to leave. I just wanted to make sure you knew.”

I’m not condoning Burton or the FoF — you know my opinion from my posts here — I’m saying that I believe that after a certain age people should be responsible for their decisions.

76. warpage - June 9, 2019

75. Cult Survivor

Everyone has a different story…

Mine is mixed, since I was involved with my career (vocation) almost all the way through my ‘tenure’ in the FOF. Cognitive dissonance arose with…

My mother had a friend who worked at our country’s embassy in San Francisco and so had ‘streamed information’ on the negative effect of cults on a psyche.

I could not understand that Self Remembering began with employment that earned you $30,000 per annum (i.e. I was fleeced and out on a limb).

Also, I could not understand the jollity of ‘ranch hands’ for themselves and one another each infrequent time I visited ‘the compound’. The froo-la-la Essence Act was disgusting in my eyes. (I think WhaleRider will concur that one is balancing positive WITH NEGATIVE – discernment in a useful life).

Maybe, Cult Survivor, you drifted into the FOF, spent your time engaged in this or that activity, then drifted out, on some kind of premise that you made a decision.

As I reach this last paragraph, I realise we are grafting the ethical with the cultic so that not just a few, but many bloggers, can make decisions on the FOF. I feel this is a healthy stage.

77. Cult Survivor - June 9, 2019

76. warpage

Maybe, Cult Survivor, you drifted into the FOF, spent your time engaged in this or that activity, then drifted out, on some kind of premise that you made a decision.
Nope, it was just the law of accident (just like this blog).

78. warpage - June 9, 2019

77. Cult Survivor

Let me get this?!?

You were attracted to and joined the FOF by the Law of Accident (you infer). You enjoyed Higher States (intentionally or accidently?). You travelled the world (intentionally or accidently?). Your dad was glad for you being in the FOF (how many joyful father figures would you say?). Then you left on the Accidental Addition of The Sequence to an Accidental/Intentional Cult?

If I were you, I would strongly look at YOUR reasoning, no one elses.

79. WhaleRider - June 9, 2019

Cult Survivor:
You didn’t answer my question: would you encourage your son to join, possibly even recruit him, knowing full well that he would likely eventually be seduced by burton with alcohol and Ferragamo shoes, only to be sidelined or booted out and shunned if he resisted?

Never mind your father, an older man, would you want that for your young son? Probably not, but apparently others have.

Ok, so oddly enough, I take it your father did happen to join the cult after you did…and you neglected to inform him (consciously or unconsciously, either by resisting the “feminine dominance” of your conscience and/or as a result of “internally considering” what he would think of you) that he was joining an organization that will use his so-called, “donations” (membership fees) to engage in immoral and illegal human sex trafficking, enabling the leader to shamelessly manipulate his young heterosexual male followers (just not you) into having sex with him…and your parents were happy with the changes they saw in you…?

Let me remind you that the nature of cults is to keep the illicit and unethical activity of the leader secret, and you played your part well as a “good student” at the time, colluding with burton’s hidden agenda, just like everyone else.

So your argument that “at a certain age people are responsible for their decisions” doesn’t apply when the person making the decision is not fully informed. That’s fraud.

There’s an outside chance your father may not have joined had you listened to your conscience and disclosed to him the truth of burton behind the scenes; and had he been informed, I strongly suspect he would have shared with you his opinion of you remaining in the cult, as I would have were you my son. That’s good parenting, too.

Of course I don’t know for sure, but it is plausible one of the reasons he may have joined was to make sure you were ok.

BTW, the fact that you currently feel unscathed (to the great relief of your parents, I’m sure) and now endeavor here to minimize the cult for others (“it could have been worse compared to other cults”) doesn’t help those whom have been scarred to heal, IMO, it shuts them down.

AND, I am glad you and your dad made it out!

80. Cult Survivor - June 9, 2019

79. WhaleRider

You didn’t answer my question: would you encourage your son to join, possibly even recruit him, knowing full well that he would likely eventually be seduced by burton with alcohol and Ferragamo shoes, only to be sidelined or booted out and shunned if he resisted?
I thought I did answer, forgive me if I was not clear. Let me try again. I would not encourage anybody to join the FoF these days, much less recruit anybody. If my son tells me that he wants to join the FoF I would tell him everything I know (and I would advise him to read Tim’s site, since this blog is too convoluted) and let him make his decision. I would not lock him in a room, pay Rick Ross to do an “intervention”, tell him that if he joins I won’t talk to him again, etc. I would want him to decide by himself.

Never mind your father, an older man, would you want that for your young son? Probably not, but apparently others have.
My father was in his early 50’s and I was in my late 20’s when he joined the FoF. I have no idea what you mean when you say he was “an older man”. I just turned 60 and if I had a son that was 18 and wanted to join the FoF I would do exactly what I said in the paragraph above.

Ok, so oddly enough, I take it your father did happen to join the cult after you did…and you neglected to inform him (consciously or unconsciously, either by resisting the “feminine dominance” of your conscience and/or as a result of “internally considering” what he would think of you) that he was joining an organization that will use his so-called, “donations” (membership fees) to engage in immoral and illegal human sex trafficking, enabling the leader to shamelessly manipulate his young heterosexual male followers (just not you) into having sex with him…and your parents were happy with the changes they saw in you…?
As I said, I was in the FoF for a few months when my father joined and, as a “young student”, I didn’t know how to work with “inner considering” (shame) and “feminine dominance” (morality). If he had joined a few years later I would have been able to tell him right away about Burton’s sex life. About the “sex trafficking” aspect, I’m not sure I would use that expression. I checked the definition of “sex trafficking” in the dictionary and found this:

“The action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another for the purpose of sexual exploitation.”

In the almost 30 years that I was a member of the FoF I was a friend of several of Burton’s lovers and not a single one told me that he was transported to the US against their will — on the contrary, they looked very happy to be in the US (one of them even told me “I love America!”). We may say that there was abuse of power or manipulation, but for me sex trafficking is a different thing.

Let me remind you that the nature of cults is to keep the illicit and unethical activity of the leader secret, and you played your part well as a “good student” at the time, colluding with burton’s hidden agenda, just like everyone else.
As I said, I didn’t tell my father about Burton’s sex life because I was ashamed, not because I was “colluding with Burton’s hidden agenda”. If I had been in the FoF a couple of years more I would have told him right away, as I mentioned.

So your argument that “at a certain age people are responsible for their decisions” doesn’t apply when the person making the decision is not fully informed. That’s fraud.
Repeating myself once again, I would fully inform a person about the FoF and then let the person make his or her decision. More than that is coercion IMO. By the way, that’s one of the reasons I am on this blog: to inform people interested in joining Burton’s FoF and Braverman’s BePeriod about what I know about them and then let people make their decision.

There’s an outside chance your father may not have joined had you listened to your conscience and disclosed to him the truth of burton behind the scenes; and had he been informed, I strongly suspect he would have shared with you his opinion of you remaining in the cult, as I would have were you my son. That’s good parenting, too.
Yes, there is a chance that my father may not have joined if I had disclosed to him about Robert’s sex life but, as I said, I was only a few months in the school and I was still working with the idea myself (I hadn’t met Burton at the time so I was very confused). I believe that point is clear now.

Of course I don’t know for sure, but it is plausible one of the reasons he may have joined was to make sure you were ok.
My life changed so radically during the first few months I was in the school that that is very possible. At the same time, he stayed for 18 months and that seems a bit long to check if a son is doing fine. I didn’t mention that my father introduced me to the Fourth Way and that he participated of other groups before and after his experience in the FoF. I think it was probably a combination of real interest and the necessity to check if I was doing fine.

BTW, the fact that you currently feel unscathed (to the great relief of your parents, I’m sure) and now endeavor here to minimize the cult for others (“it could have been worse compared to other cults”) doesn’t help those whom have been scarred to heal, IMO, it shuts them down.
When I feel that there is a strong tendency to demonize the FoF and Burton here I try to “minimize the cult”, as you said, to bring relativity. On the other hand, when I feel that there is here a strong force to “minimize the cult”, like when contributors like Solartype join, I try to demonize the cult, again to bring relativity. My aim is to have a balanced discussion about the FoF (after all this blog is called “Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion“), not an extreme one (“Burton is an angel” vs “Burton is a demon”). It’s a fact that Burton has the capacity to evoke extreme reactions in people (a kind of a love/hate relationship) — I personally feel he is somewhere between but closer to the demon end (where he is on that scale depends on the person’s experiences in the FoF and if the person is a current or former member). Regarding the “healing of those that have been scarred”, as you said, I believe that demonizing Burton and the FoF doesn’t help the healing — on the contrary, it reopens old wounds. I believe that forgiveness is essential for healing.

AND, I am glad you and your dad made it out!
I’m glad we both joined and I’m glad we both made it out. We are the result of our experiences, and the 28 years I was in the FoF definitively contributed to what I am today (the last 2 years out of it and the 8 months on this blog too).

Just to end on a humorous note, I just had the idea that you are a “conservative ex-FoF” and I am a “liberal ex-FoF”… We can agree to disagree right?

Thank you for this debate, is definitively helping me to see some things more clearly.

81. Cult Survivor - June 9, 2019

76. warpage

You said: Maybe, Cult Survivor, you drifted into the FOF, spent your time engaged in this or that activity, then drifted out, on some kind of premise that you made a decision.
I replied: Nope, it was just the law of accident (just like this blog).

I would like to add a quote that helps me to deal with the law of accident: “Not being able to govern events, I govern myself” (Michel de Montaigne)

82. WhaleRider - June 10, 2019

Cult Survivor?
The idea that you are compelled to minimize the cult by sharing your wonderful cult experience here in order to bring “relativity” here is your scar, it just doesn’t feel like a scar to you, and that is part of burton’s game…allow enough followers to have a good time so that they wear blinders, stand up for him when their particular cult experience is challenged, claim everyone has a choice, and thus justify his spiritual crimes against humanity because not everyone was harmed, it wasn’t all that bad…for you.

I hope you realize that very same argument was used here by cult members! What is it you think you survived, a country club?

Predators are adept in creating a diversion from their victim’s stories to discredit them by creating a counter-narrative in those who only see one side of the predator’s character.

In cults one is slowly and methodically manipulated into a position of colluding with the leader’s hidden agenda without realizing it by staying on due to inertia, as you say, and continuing to pay membership fees which in turn support recruiting efforts and makes the cult appear legitimate…all because the pain of leaving to create a life for yourself is greater than staying and allowing your conscience to atrophy. You are taught to only think of yourself, just like burton.

Do you honestly think those whom feel it is their “duty” to service burton’s sexual obsessions are proud of themselves and their actions, that they would willingly choose to do so if they were presented with viable alternatives? If they complain, they are booted out, don’t you get that?

Does it seem worth it to you that others are manipulated into the position they are in as burton’s sex slaves so you can learn about wine, act in plays, and learn to wear nice clothes?

What burton is doing is morally wrong, and although you had a great time, the FOF is a rape factory, IMO, and continuing to use cult language only furthers the delusion that one must join a cult to evolve.

A person does not have to be brought to another country against their will to be trafficked, that’s kidnapping.

Sex slaves brought to America and then manipulated into having sex for fear of being sent back to their homeland also love America, too, are glad to be here and want to stay.

That’s why they came in the first place and endure having to prostitute themselves: their situation back home was often worse. They live under the threat of deportation so they are lead to believe this is their only choice.

I hope this provides you with more clarity. There is no need to demonize burton, that’s certainly not my aim here, his behavior speaks for itself.

83. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

82. WhaleRider

I’m deeply sorry for the suffering and trauma that Burton created in you, but that’s not my personal experience and the experience of the dozens of Burton’s lovers that I met during my almost 3 decades in the Fellowship of Friends. Once again, I’m not condoning Burton — on the contrary — I’m just relating my experience.

Would it be possible that your story is a personal experience? Why is it that only a handful of people comment on this blog when, according to you, the FoF is a “rape factory”?

Let me ask you a question: for how many years have you been demonizing Burton and the Fellowship on this blog? Do you think that your contributions to this blog helped to “heal your scars”?

84. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

82. WhaleRider (cont.)

I just checked and saw that you were in the FoF from 1979 to 1985 and that you started posting on this blog in May of 2007. That means that you left the FoF 34 years ago and that you have been posting on this blog regularly for 12 years. Amazing!

I’m curious what changed in you in the 12 years that you have been posting on this blog.

85. warpage - June 10, 2019

PERSONALLY!

I was really unaware of the coercion, trafficking and grooming – I thought people (students) made a decision to say – YES! – to the wiles of Burton’s Willy, Ass, Earlobes and any other errogenous part of him.

I actually thought he was a ‘gentleman’ homosexual, gay not gruesomely predatory like others than WR have commented on. We are dealing with a psychopath here, intent on INFLICTING SUFFERING ON OTHERS AT HIS WHIM AND PLEASURE!

86. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

85. warpage

Sorry, I’m a moderate ex-member (an “ex-FoF liberal”, as I said), that’s why I don’t use terms like “sex trafficking” and I don’t use capital letters. I see you are an “ex-FoF conservative”, like Whalerider, that’s why you become offended with the opinions of a moderate like me. Once again, we can agree to disagree, can’t we? (classic liberal expression).

By the way, I don’t expect any support here from moderate ex-members like me — they left the FoF, moved on with their lives and don’t care about this blog (we are talking thousands of people). It’s mainly a handful of conservatives that post here.

So why am I in a conservative blog if I’m a moderate ex-member? I’m starting to feel that after 2 years of leaving and 8 months contributing here my healing process (and when I say “healing” I’m not referring to deep traumas or “scars”, I’m talking about ending a relationship of 28 years, much like a divorce after 28 tears of marriage) is at its end and I don’t see staying here for much longer. I can’t imagine doing this for 12 years, like Whalerider.

87. warpage - June 10, 2019

86. Cult Survivor

You could rejoin and save the marriage.

88. warpage - June 10, 2019

and consequently…

I am not a fence sitter. I spent two years in ‘failure mode’ over my exit, with “if only” my most uttered phrase…some of us were destined for a catharsis and total rebuild (|transformation, I guess?).

89. Insider - June 10, 2019

80. Cult Survivor

You said:

“When I feel that there is a strong tendency to demonize the FoF and Burton here I try to “minimize the cult”, as you said, to bring relativity. On the other hand, when I feel that there is here a strong force to “minimize the cult”, like when contributors like Solartype join, I try to demonize the cult, again to bring relativity. My aim is to have a balanced discussion about the FoF…”

So you have a self-imposed duty to “bring relativity.” How noble. How enviable. How phony.

Will the real Cult Survivor please stand up?

Are you still in the cult? Are you working with Greg H and/or Rowena to return on a white horse when Burton is out of the way? Do you fancy yourself as the leader of your own cult some day?

90. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

87. warpage

I’m happier single.

91. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

88. warpage

I also spent 2 years in “failure mode” over my exit from the FoF, as you said, but after 8 months contributing to this blog my “catharsis, total rebuild and transformation” is almost finished, as I mentioned before.

You joined this blog recently and you are in the initial stages, something I call “FoF bashing”. Check my initial posts from last October and you will see how caustic they are.

With transformation comes forgiveness and acceptance. Of course, feminine dominance (morality) and the queen of hearts (fanaticism) get in the way — those need to be dropped for transformation and healing to occur. Not very different from a divorce, that’s why I used the analogy.

92. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

89. Insider

Are you still in the cult? Are you working with Greg H and/or Rowena to return on a white horse when Burton is out of the way? Do you fancy yourself as the leader of your own cult some day?
I knew this was going to be thrown at me at some point. No, I’m not a member of he Fellowship of Friends, I’m not associated with Greg Holman, Rowena Taylor or any member of the FoF (nobody talks to me after I left) and I’m not looking forward to rejoin. Regarding staring my own cult… Well, I’m too old and lazy for that 🙂

PS. I’m the one that re-created the Wikipedia FoF article. Does that seem the work of a secret agent of the FoF? Think.

93. warpage - June 10, 2019

“Cry praise and glory on his head” – Henry V

94. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

Where is brucelevy when you need him?

95. WhaleRider - June 10, 2019

Cult Survivor:
Thank you for the sentiment. I would say that what has changed in me after about the first year of posting and reading the book “The Guru Papers”, that I believe my friend Jomo Piñata suggested here is that I have become radicalized with the aim of draining the victim pool.

I stayed silent for 22 years too long and deeply regret not taking a stand sooner, and I disagree with the stand you are taking; for me it’s not a question of whether a person chooses for themself to join a cult or not to join, because cults operate with deception.

Personally, I think all cults should be closed down and cult leaders exposed for the harm they cause others. Just because some slaves were treated well doesn’t mean the institution on slavery should have been allowed to continue.

Read the blog from the beginning, I’m not the only one, I just happen to be in a position to articulate in this public forum and for posterity what happened to me and continues to happen to others without the mystifying language of the fourth way or burton’s cult speak.

Where there is no truth, there will be no reconciliation.

I am confident that you will find upon review of my posts that rather than demonize burton, I confront burton’s behavior in modern psychological terms and sometimes through caricature and satire, without resorting to vulgarity, name calling or as an evil person. I believe even a person with a psychopathic personality, although incarcerated, should be treated as humanely as possible, despite how they treat others.

BTW, I refer to him as “burton”, which I think I picked up from ton2u here in order to switch the frame of how followers have been indoctrinated to address him.

96. Nancy Gilbert - June 10, 2019

Cult Survivor, warpage, WhaleRider, Insider:

The commentary at the website below sums up my views on this ongoing blog discussion/battle far better than I could. All this bantering about whose POV is the right POV about their FoF experience seems like the battle between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to me. If you enjoy it, have at it, but in reality, each of us has to do our own work to peel back the layers of the onion of personality and indoctrination and see deeply into our selves. There is not one, right path to self- awareness, but many unique pathways to the grail of ‘authentic spirituality’.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/10/on-authentic-spirituality/

97. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

Great article, Nancy, thank you.

My favorite part: “Authentic spirituality is perfectly comfortable with not knowing and not pretending to know.”.

98. Cult Survivor - June 10, 2019

95. Whalerider

I was talking to my wife (that was a member of the FoF for 12 years) about our exchange and she made an interesting comment: “The reason why Whalerider and you have a different opinion about Robert’s lovers is because when he was a member Roberts’s lovers where mostly American so he had to use more manipulation and things like “I’m a goddess in a male body” to seduce them. You joined after Robert started getting his lovers from third world countries like Russia and Romania and those people were happier because they were leaving poor countries to have a better life in America”.

Point taken.

99. WhaleRider - June 10, 2019

Cult Survivor:
Thanks for sharing that. I appreciate your honesty, feedback, and willingness to share your experience, even if it makes waves. These are not easy topics to process.

Peeling back the layers of this onion takes a village, IMO.

100. Insider - June 10, 2019

Focusing only on sex is missing the much larger picture. Yes, for those who were forced into having sex with Burton, i.e. were raped by him, that aspect of Burton and the Fellowship may always be the most important with the deepest scars.

For me the bigger picture is Burton as the lying, manipulating, opportunistic cult leader who, at some point in his cult career (whether from before the FF was founded, as I believe, or during the early years of the FF) understood how great, easy, risk-free, and lucrative this cult/religious business would be, and how much fun, in a sick way, it is to lie.

How easy? In those days (early 70s), with “a Guru on every corner” (from Thomas Farber’s “Tales for the Son of My Unborn Child”), anyone lacking conscience, and with an ounce of “stage presence,” could organize a meeting, and tell the most outrageous lies about him/herself (“conscious being,” “Man No. 5,” whatever), and see how many in the audience bought it. There’s always a small percentage (think Bonita and Linda Kaplan, for example), who would hopefully form the nucleus of a “conscious school.” But no worries, even if no one bites, nothing is lost, except the cost of a few flyers, and the guru-scammer can try again somewhere else. How many people did Burton try to scam before he hooked Bonita?

Not only is Burton not, and never was, anything he has always claimed about himself, it is highly likely that many of the key concepts of the 4th Way itself are erroneous and impossible, such as “becoming a conscious being,” i.e. creating consciousness out of matter. (Not to open a can of worms here. Just sharing a personal belief/understanding that Burton is, at best, a novice in matters he professes to be the highest, greatest expert in.)

101. Insider - June 10, 2019

98. Cult Survivor

Really?

You said you joined the FF in 1988, and very soon after visited Apollo and had an “encounter” with Burton. The first Russian center opened in 1991, and it would be at least a year or two before the first Russians came to Oregon House. You had several years to speak with men who had been raped by Burton before the compliant Russians arrived.

At least make up a theory that fits the facts.

102. Just the Facts Ma'am - June 11, 2019

“Unmasking the Guru
Our new digital world has made it impossible to believe in infallible teachers. What comes next is up to us.

Interview with Bernhard Pörksen by Ursula Richard
SUMMER 2019 [Tricycle]

Changing cultural attitudes are not the only. . .reason that public revelations of institutionalized sexual abuse have been at the forefront of mainstream consciousness. Abuse is nothing new. What is new is the way it is being revealed to the public—and what the public is doing with the information.

Bernhard Pörksen is a professor of media studies at the University of Tübingen in southwest Germany, with particular research interest in the new media age. His writing regularly appears in both scholarly and popular science publications, and two of his books have been on the bestseller list in Germany. He has written or co-authored books on topics such as journalism, constructivism, and communications and systems theories, and he has received accolades for his direct and engaged appearances as a speaker, talk show guest, interview moderator, and discussion partner on radio and television as well as at conventions and public events.

In the following interview, Ursula Richard of the German magazine Buddhismus aktuell discusses with Pörksen the exposure and aftermath of scandals in Buddhist communities today and how we can understand the emerging role played by digital media.
—The Editors”

https://tricycle.org/magazine/bernhard-porksen/

Or, in print, at a newsstand near you.

103. 44th Way - June 11, 2019

Some thoughts. Opinions welcome.

Clearly some left with few scars and some with many and deep. The experience of one does not negate the experience of the other.

I claim that it is possible for a genuine student to learn something useful from a false teacher.

Why the FoF is not a genuine school of awakening:

The claim that immortality is a fact is false and the immortality of the soul is at best unproven;
Group think, which is avoiding having different views from the Teacher prevents honest enquiry;
Awakening is in the present, not in the future, hence the idea of men numbers 5, 6 etc. is at best a distraction;
Belief that one is saved or chosen and somehow more important than ‘life’ is false;
The idea of founding a new civilisation in the ashes of the old is unfounded and not credible in view of manifest unpreparedness and lack of scale, moreover it distracts from genuine efforts we all need to make to prevent global climate catastrophe;
The behaviour of the Teacher shows that he is not awakened and his claim to love all his students is refuted by the evidence.

What awakening is and how to achieve it:

The acceptance of now and all that it contains; this can be practised at any time and the idea that awakening may be made permanent is both unproven and irrelevant;
Some kind of effort is necessary, and that effort includes separating from the internal dialogue;
A genuine distinction can be made and experienced between the active mind and the observing consciousness.

104. WhaleRider - June 11, 2019

44th Way:
A genuine distinction can be made and experienced between the active mind and the observing consciousness.”

Can you give an example of when this is not the case?

“The acceptance of now and all that it contains…”

Are you referring to the past as well?

105. fofblogmoderator - June 11, 2019

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