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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 177 June 27, 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. Vinnie The Fish - June 28, 2019

Pretty gross stuff Whalerider, I can’t imagine what made you guys could stoop so low. I guess it starts gradually.

2. WhaleRider - June 28, 2019

Vinnie the Fish;
Really?

Imagine what it would be like if you were a young man again, locked in minimum security prison for life, far away from family and friends, stripped of your name and given a number, and to escape meant you faced certain death.

Since the prison was separated and isolated from the outside world, most of what went on was kept secret from the authorities, and you were lead to believe that to survive, you had better do whatever was necessary to make friends.

And on the inside there was an older gang leader who everyone seemed to revere, who appeared both generous and cruel, who controlled everything, and just happened to have had a sexual obsession for young men whom he lured into his gang with special favors, gifts, drugs, alcohol and even occasional furloughs to the outside world, which he constantly showered on the inmates closest to him. Those who didn’t follow orders were kicked out.

The gang members were always told how special and lucky they were to be part of this exclusive gang and would do just about anything for the gang leader, who many looked up to as a father, and in your case you hated yours.

As the days, weeks, and months turn into years, don’t you think you might change your mind about what you would do to survive or make your life seem a little better, given the right circumstances?

I remember once, several years after I left the FOF, I saw a man with medium long blonde hair at the flea market selling stuff, not antiques or anything, just household items. He was quite animated and had either his wife or girlfriend with him. She didn’t look like his sister.

It was a hot day, and he had his shirt off. I noticed on his back for some odd reason, there was a large, surprisingly detailed tattoo of a beautiful woman.

At first it didn’t make sense. Other guys would have tattoos of women on their arms that maybe they could admire, too, or scary looking tattoos of tigers, demons or gang symbols covering their entire bodies to project their masculinity.

But this guy had just one on his back that only others could see.

Then it dawned on me. This guy, with his longish blonde hair flowing down his back along with the image of a pretty woman from behind would probably be a hot commodity in a prison full of sex starved men after a long day working on a chain gang out in the merciless sun…it appeared to me that this individual may have set aside his dignity, found a way to adapt, and took advantage of his circumstances.

Ultimately, although I was in shock and numb to what was happening with burton, I was not willing to remain in the FOF prostituting myself at the expense of my dignity.

3. Vinnie The Fish - June 28, 2019

That’s pretty weird if he had that tattoo to attract men in prison, but it sounds like a feasible explanation. I’ve often thought how ridiculous back tattoos are, such obvious approval seeking.
I guess once you cross that line and let something homo happen to you, it could easily increase until you put your foot down.
I had one older man attempt it on me when I was young, but thankfully I got out of that car quickly.
A student from my old center got hit on by RB and left the school very soon after.

What happened when guys refused him, told him they are straight?

4. WhaleRider - June 28, 2019

Vinnie the Fish:
Before I joined that happened to me, too. I was hitchhiking on the highway and this creepy guy in a van picked me up, and after a few minutes out of the blue, he asked if I would pull down my fly, I told him that that made me uncomfortable and asked him to pull over and let me out, which thankfully, he did.

burton’s slow institutional grooming of me took several years, and started when I saw upon joining in an outlying center on the opposite coast that in the FOF, men kissed each other on the cheeks like in Europe and my Center Director had a male purse. That’s probably when my boundaries started eroding.

Later I saw at Renaissance men kissing each other on the lips, and sometimes burton did that, too. I think it was Peter B. I saw first, then people like Colin L. Breaking that taboo I thought was about not being “formatory”.

burton did tell me to inform him if and when I had a girlfriend, but I stayed silent, despite having one at the time.

The last time we were together I told him I was involved with a woman and that was when I went off salary and started the process of leaving Renaissance.

He didn’t try to stop me, he just cut off all communication, probably waiting to see how I would react. This was also about the time of Thomas E’s article in the SF Newspaper and Miles leaving.

At that point in the mid-1980’s he did not seem care about me personally because I now understand he had plenty of other young men moving up the ranks, waiting in the wings, and being conveyed to him from which to choose.

Later I understand he has become much more possessive of his sex slaves, and has speeded up the grooming process to the point that he has to gaslight his resistant victims by claiming it’s what “c-influence” wanted.

5. Insider - June 28, 2019

Page 176, #93-96.

The recent ex-communication of a 4-decades-long member (Ph*lipp* B) has brought out (on PB’s Facebook page) some excellent examples of brainwashing from current members virtually desperate to defend Burton from any possible criticism. Here is a gem from a current member (Nicholas Walk**) attempting to bring another member (Charles Sh***) back in line, member #2 not having been critical enough of Ph*lipp*:

“Charles, from one angle people in a Conscious School are under less mechanical laws; at least there is the potential for that, i.e., F.D., Inner considering, Expression of Neg., etc. From another angle they are under more laws, as they are under the law of a conscious teacher, whose job it is to steer his students along a spiritual path. This at times may include informing a student not to take a certain job, move to a certain city, enter a certain relationship. If one has verified the teacher is real then there is no choice but to obey (why would one not obey?) If one has not verified the teacher is real they they are free to do whatever they want.”

I won’t even begin to list NW’s “verifications” that are utter nonsense and pure belief in a fairy tale crafted by Burton over nearly 50 years. Beyond sad.

6. Vinnie The Fish - June 29, 2019

Whalerider, I’d heard he tells guys he is actually an angel in a man’s body, maybe so they can pretend he’s really a woman and so accept the experience. I was around too when men were kissing each other on the mouth, pretty yucky, but easy enough to turn the head, as you would with a prickly old aunt. I didn’t think too much of it, as an expression of love – some Arabs do that I think.
It’s quite a leap though, to giving him a blowjob or taking it up the ass.
As for getting horny with him looking at you, and participating in all make orgies… I can’t imagine how that could happen unless the participants are already that way inclined.

7. WhaleRider - June 29, 2019

Insider:
It appears Mr Walk is not offering “angles of thought”, but “circles of thought”.

1) One is under less laws and one is under more laws.

2) If one has “verified” burton is a “conscious teacher” then one must obey in order to remain in the cult. And “why not obey”? If one doesn’t obey, then one has not “verified” burton is a “conscious teacher” and one will inevitably leave.

In example 1), IMO, this seems to be an example of a classic double bind, which has a thought blocking effect in the listener….either way the listener is under more laws, however, the presupposition that without the guidance of a “conscious teacher” one has no choice whether or not to “express negative emotions”, adhere to morality (“FD”), or worship the god of what other people think (“inner considering”), which is simply false. In retrospect I feel these are weaponized concepts deployed against cult followers to prevent them from scrutinizing or being critical of the cult leader’s behavior, thus enabling his unethical treatment of others.

People decline to express negative emotions all the time, in relationships, at work, and toward authority figures. People also go against morality and break laws too, Trump is a great example. And anyone who joins the Peace Corps is “externally considering” of others. Are these actions not intentional? Are people who make these choices every single day somehow unaware?

From my perspective, the inevitable vicissitudes of life alone will raise awareness regardless of cult membership or despite placing one’s life choices in the hands of another whom claims to know what’s best for you.

Outside the cult, in order to give another person advice about relationships, parenting, career, or where to live, a counselor is required by law to have a license that can be revoked, is subject to scrutiny, and faces consequences for unethical behavior.

burton, like Trump, thinks he’s above the law.

In example 2), the listener is given two choices: either obey to remain in the cult and suffer the pain of loss…or disobey, leave, and face both the pain of abandonment and fear of the unknown.

IMO, the less painful choice for followers seems to be to give away one’s power, relinquish one’s sense of agency, join others in their misery (since as the saying goes, misery loves company) and obey the will of burton, (which in turn bolsters burton’s status, fulfilling his narcissistic needs at one’s own expense). It’s likely that choosing to follow burton’s demands will result in being rewarded with burton’s attention.

The more painful choice would be to leave the cult, be judged unworthy and shunned by cult members, face one’s fears of abandonment and the unknown…which in turn would restore one’s sense of agency and self-empowerment.

Now given the fact that humans are hardwired to seek pleasure and resist pain, which choice would be more “mechanical”, facing fears or acquiescing to burton’s demands?

It seems to me that if Phillipe is in love, which gives our lives meaning, the choice is obvious.

In fact, that’s how I did it.

Since falling in love is undoubtedly a big motivator for men to leave burton’s inner jerk-off circle, it’s no wonder why he concocted the meme “feminine dominance” to mask the male dominance of his herd of cash cows and bubble of sex slaves.

Vinnie The Fish:
Yes, burton did say to me the first night, “You’re with an angel now”, apparently to counter any reservations I might be having and to justify his behavior.

And yes, the meme of “a 2000 year old goddess housed in a man’s body”, did have the same effect. I personally did not participate in any male orgies.

I also think that the practice of “being in one’s essence” had the effect of regressing an individual into a more compliant, child-like state when one’s sexuality is more fluid.

It appears from your descriptions that homosexuality is repugnant to you. That’s understandable. Bear in mind that immersed in the right circumstances, with enough pressure, over time, humans are capable of being manipulated into or adapting to just about anything to meet their needs or just survive, despite their “inclinations” or morals, like in prison as I mentioned. Remember that sociopathy is a learned behavior.

8. brucelevy - June 29, 2019

6. Vinnie The Fish

Still the same vain jackass you’ve always shown yourself to be.. You haven’t evolved at all, but at least you’re a consistent little shit.

9. warpage - June 29, 2019

It is hard not to become embroiled when the subject of sexuality is foremost on the blog…but it seems most leavers have found a lifetime partner or somesuch even having been OVERPOWERED by Burton and brainwashed into submission by that psychopath.

I was never groomed to the point of a sexual request but asked for more and more of my time at (then) Renaissance, not relaxing with troops but given ‘octaves’ (stupid notation!) that brought me into the vicinity of Burton. I noticed about a year before being forced to leave by finances that I was unafraid of Burton, his acts, demeanour and vain-glory.

This reminds me much of overcoming the Father Figure in many tales (even such as Star Wars) and Whitman advised folk ‘to go beyond the teacher’…you either stay entrenched in the emotional molasses of the FOF until your demise or some shock decision helps you leave to a vulnerable, yet rewarding REAL LIFE.

10. Vinnie The Fish - June 29, 2019

Bruce I guess you’re defensive because you were one of RB’s bottom buddies, and still feel ashamed of it 40 or 50 years later. Understandable, but maybe therapy would help to resolve your bitterness and anger. Have you tried? I know it must be difficult to face.

11. Tim Campion - June 29, 2019

[My notes in brackets]

Cult Survivor – June 22, 2019

52. Whalerider

You said: I urge you to describe the details of how burton’s recruits and maintains his harem to others who were not members and note their reaction. Then you might be able to empathize with Bruce and I…and the hundreds of others burton has RAPED.

I don’t know the details of Burton’s modus operandi [emphasis added], but your description here should be sufficient IMO. I do empathize with Bruce’s and your suffering (and the hundreds of others), even if I don’t think it was rape as you call it.

Cult Survivor – February 22, 2019 [Note the use of the terms “sexual predator,” “victim,” “resist,” “cold feet,” “crisis,” “abuse,” “psychological abuse,” and “sexual abuse.”]

THE MODUS OPERANDI OF A SEXUAL PREDATOR

Below is a description of Burton’s current modus operandi (MO) based on my personal experience and conversations I had with a couple of close friends that became Burton’s victims.

1. Burton chooses the victim, an heterosexual young male from a third world country, typically poor regions in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and sometimes Latin America. Burton knows that the chance that a humble family from a third-world country will sue him or the FOF is slim (but not zero, more about that at the end).

2. Arrangements are made for he victim to travel to Apollo. The victim’s airfare and his visa are arranged by the FOF.

3. Shortly after the victim arrives at Apollo, Burton asks an assistant to invite the victim to a “wine cellar dinner”. When the victim arrives at the event Burton greets him effusively, usually kissing him on the forehead and on the lips.

4. Burton assistants tell the waiters to make sure the victim is served a copious amount of alcohol during the event. Burton gives the victim a great deal of attention for him to feel “special”.

5. After the event, Burton tells an assistant to take the victim to his bedroom. When he is alone with the victim, Burton tells him that “Influence C” wants him to be intimate with Burton, usually because of a “shock” that Burton received previously.

6. Burton tries to touch the body of the victim; if the victim tries to resist Burton tells him that the part that doesn’t want to be intimate with Burton is “the instinctive center and feminine dominance”, i. e., the “lower self”.

7. Burton manually stimulates the penis of the victim in order to get an erection and performs oral sex until the victim ejaculates.

8. After the first encounter, Burton asks an assistant to invite the victim to travel with him. During the trip, Burton gives a great deal of attention to the victim.

9. Burton has sexual intercourse with the victim during the trip. This way, Burton makes sure that his assistants will act as “counselors” if the victim gets cold feet or has a crisis after having sex with Burton.

10. When sexual intercourse occurs, Burton plays a passive role (he is a “bottom” during anal sex). Burton knows that it is easier for the victim — an heterosexual male — to consent to play an active role (“top”) than a passive one (“bottom”) during anal sex.

11. After the trip, Burton either invites the victim to move to the Galleria or asks an assistant to call the victim at his home to go to the Galleria 2 to 3 times per week for sexual intercourse.

12. The sexual abuse from Burton continues for a long period — often years — independently of the victim starting a romantic relationship or even getting married. During that time, Burton often sends gifts to the victim, tells the victim that he is “his favorite” and regularly asks the victim to sit next to him at events for the victim to feel “special”. The abuse usually ends when the victim moves back to his country because his visa expired or after developing psychological issues.

As a last note, I feel it is important to mention that in the case of the Troy Buzbee lawsuit, Burton departed from his MO when he sexually abused Troy and his father, both US citizens. Considering that that happened in 1996 and that to my knowledge there haven’t been any sexual abuse law suits in USA against Burton or the FOF after that, we can conclude that Burton learned the lesson and limited his sexual abuse to victims from third world countries. That would explain what was reported here: The real reason why Burton hasn’t traveled to Europe for more than a decade is not his decaying health — the real reason is that there is an arrest warrant against him in the European Union.

12. Nancy Gilbert - June 29, 2019

This link provides an ‘updated’ legal definition of ‘Rape’ per the DOJ. Although it is primarily addressing the violation of women, it could also apply to men, IMO. Perhaps this may help the bloggers define whether or not RB has committed rape?

https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape

13. brucelevy - June 29, 2019

10. Vinnie The Fish

You are a seriously disturbed, vile little homunculus. Think of the gene pool and get yourself neutered. Or you could wait until someone, preferably a woman, takes care of that for you.

14. brucelevy - June 29, 2019

Vinnie The Fish

And what is it I’m being defensive about? I’m not defending myself about anything, you fucking greseball. I just stated what a c**t you are. That’s not defensive. It’s a fact.

15. brucelevy - June 29, 2019

Vinnie The Fish

And yes, I was his butt buddy for about a week and then got the fuck out of there. Yet you, who have been there for many years still have your tongue up his ass literally or figuratively. But then you’re much more adept at eating shit then I am. I admit I made the mistake of believing his bullshit for a short while, but you are still munching on his diseased asshole for Jeebus.

16. WhaleRider - June 29, 2019

Warpage:
Your post inspired me to write this.

The Cult as a Journey of the Anti-Hero

“An anti-hero is a protagonist who typically lacks the traditional qualities of a hero. If he were assigned a color, it would be gray. Often, an anti-hero is unorthodox and might flaunt laws or act in ways contrary to society’s standards who will achieve their goals without regard to authority or law. Some even display qualities that are almost more in line with villains, traits like conceitedness, immorality, rebellion, and dishonesty, often acting primarily out of self-interest or in ways that defy conventional ethical codes.”

The traditional hero’s journey, spanning many centuries and cultures in various incantations is symbolic of the growth and maturation of an individual’s psyche. Elements often appear in stories, myths, visual arts, and movies..and dreams and visions in those whom care to pay attention.

As seen in Jungian terms it goes something like this:

The young protagonist-hero (Luke Skywalker) begins his quest for self-knowledge and good, but there is a darkness that pervades the land, cast by a more powerful evil force that impedes him, the negative aspects of his Shadow (Darth Vader).

Luke seeks and enlists the help of a guide, a magician-like person with special powers (ObiWan, Yoda) who teaches him how to develop a connection to his own inner guide (the Force).

He eventually uses his inner guide to overcome his Shadow, revealing his Shadow’s positive side, compassion, and true identity as part of himself. Doing so empowers him to achieve great deeds that surpass his guide, who is now resides within him. His journey has ended, the long and winding road leading back to himself.

In some incantations of the hero’s journey, there is a warning: the hero’s fatal flaw, hubris, puts him in the position of having to make the ultimate sacrifice, a disgraced death, for the good of the community that once held him in high regard.

At journey’s end, the individual’s youthful personality has fully matured, wisdom is gained though self-knowledge and inner light, and he enters into society complete, in a holistic state, unified, humble, with his unconscious as the source of his strength.

Joining a cult seemed like my hero’s journey of personal growth, and in my case, suffering from an identity crisis at age 21, it was…in the beginning.

I was made aware of my so-called, “false personality” (lower self-Shadow), instructed to overcome my “negative weaknesses” with the guidance of the “the teacher” whom I sought, and through the practice of “self-remembering” and perpetual group membership, create a “true personality-higher self”, and possibly even “awaken” in the next lifetime or two.

However…in the FOF, the Shadow (false personality-lower self) is only temporarily overcome on occasion and always remains a constant negative influence with no redeeming qualities, thus one remains at war with oneself within.

“Prophetic dreams and visions” are reserved exclusively for burton to have and interpret from license plates and street signs. Spirit guides abound, but apparently only manifest outside the psyche.

burton as my guide at first appeared like a positive force for good, but the closer I got, he soon transformed into a negative force instead by pursuing his self-interests at my expense and of his followers, who are kept in permanent stasis to feed his unconscious whims and hedonistic desires under the guise of “crazy wisdom”, selflessly shackled to the “divine present” of the senses.

He obviously shows no compassion for anyone who challenges his authority. In his universe the strong exploit the weak instead of protect them.

He further damages his follower’s psyches by engaging in demeaning, depersonalizing, and promiscuous sex with them, devoid of intimacy and love, not something I ever personally enjoyed doing.

IMO, burton’s followers, like himself, have become anti-heroes on their “journey forth”…immoral, unethical, conceited, dishonest, self-serving, full of hubris, who are put into the position of making the ultimate sacrifice: a meaningless death for the sake of burton’s grandiosity.

IMO, there is only one way to free oneself from the FOF cult’s golden cage, to grow up and finish the hero’s journey that one may have started so many years ago…to reclaim one’s power…one must sacrifice one’s false group identity, sacrifice one’s fair-weather FOF “friends”, sacrifice one’s hubris of being one of the “lucky, chosen few”, face one’s own morality, and for the good of one’s own inner community…walk away from the cult, bravely, into the desert of “life”, have love and compassion for others and for oneself, and be your own hero, discover your own inner guru…revealed in your own dreams and in your own visions!

17. I'll never tell - June 29, 2019

Where are my posts?

18. I'll never tell - June 30, 2019

Let’s try this again.

19. Vinnie The Fish - June 30, 2019

Tim Campion thanks that’s interesting. He probably also lures third world victims because they’re too poor and too far from home to run away easily, and the luxurious life on offer must be tempting. Very creepy shit! Glad I was never hit on. I still can’t imagine how hetero males could get excited enough to stick it in the rear end of the hideously sloppy body of an ugly old man. Receiving a bj maybe, if your imagination is powerful enough to dream that it’s really Jessica Alba!

20. I'll never tell - June 30, 2019

Robert Earl Burton revels in, and thrives on, making people do that which they do not wish to do. It is no different in this latest episode with Philippe B—-t.

And, were the nuptials of Philippe B—-t to be blessed by Robert Earl Burton instead, Robert Earl Burton most likely would have required Philippe to have sex with him after the ceremony and before the marriage consummation with his new spouse. If you do not believe me, ask around and see if that is a regular practice.

21. Vinnie The Fish - June 30, 2019

Wow that’s nasty,, what if the new spouse got AIDS from that!

22. WhaleRider - June 30, 2019

Warpage:
I came upon this version of the hero’s journey in my reading today.

The Secret of Bâdgerd Bath
(An old Iranian Folk Tale)

The great and noble Prince Hâtim Tâi receives orders from his king to investigate the mysterious Bâgerd Bath. When he approaches it, having gone through many dangerous adventures, he hears that nobody ever returned from it, but he insists on going in. He is received at a round building by a barber with a mirror who leads him into the bath, but as soon as the prince enters the water, a thunderous noise breaks out, it gets completely dark, the barber disappears, and slowly the water begins to rise.

Hâtim swims desperately round until the water finally reaches the top of the round cupola, which forms the roof of the bath. Now he fears he is lost, but he says a prayer and grabs the centerstone of the cupola. Again a thunderous noise, everything changes, and Hâtim stands alone in the desert.

After a long and painful wandering, he comes to a beautiful garden in the middle of which is a circle of stone statues. In the center of the statues, he sees a a parrot in its cage, and a voice from above says to him: “Oh, hero, you probably will not escape alive from this bath. Once Gayomart (the First Man) found an enormous diamond that shone more brightly than the sun and moon. He decided to hide it where no one can find it, and therefore he built this magical bath in order to protect it. The parrot that you see here forms part of that magic. At his feet lie a golden bow and quiver of arrows on a golden chain, and with them you may try three times to shoot the parrot. If you hit him the curse will be lifted, if not, you will be petrified, as were all these other people.

Hâtim tries once, and fails. His legs turn to stone. He fails once more, and is petrified up to his chest. The third time he just shuts his eyes, exclaiming “God is great”, shoots blindly, and this time hits the parrot. Suddenly there is an outbreak of thunder and clouds of dust. When all this has subsided, in place of the parrot is an enormous, beautiful diamond, and all the statues come to life again. The people thank him for their redemption.

23. Associated Press - June 30, 2019

177/21. Vinnie The Fish – June 30, 2019
“Wow that’s nasty,, what if the new spouse got AIDS from that!”

Robert Earl Burton would probably say. “Alas, ’twas Influence C, dear.”

24. ton2u - July 1, 2019

A.P. @ 23

Please don’t feed trolls

25. warpage - July 1, 2019

In all this melee, I suppose the ever-asked and ever-repeated question is…

“Why do you give your sense of self-worth, by some crazy deliverance, into the hands (and all other appendages) of an obvious monster, with his pink-parlanced, embroidered, honey-tongue manner?”

Many of us gave the sway against doubt and thought matters would improve…when we had reached a point on the ‘downhill slope’, when enough was enough…WE WERE OUT AND THANKFUL FOR IT IN THE LONG RUN!

Those who stay…

Linda (Nazi)Kap(lan) wearer
Ethereal and Hairies
Wank Mo(s)tt

and other such enablers…are stuck with the Power-and-Glory hunting, the Corporate Ass-licking, watching the minions squirm as Enablers Delight in The Dark of Their Deeds.

It is all so clear to many of us out now. The big JC stated…

“You shall know The Truth and The Truth shall set you FREE”.

26. Vinnie The Fish - July 1, 2019

23. Associated Press – it seems like conscience dies completely in a lot of cult leaders (and political leaders too), probably the ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ rule at work.

27. warpage - July 1, 2019

26. Vinnie The Fish

My belief is that humans (and probably many other mammals) have addictive tendencies…

Cocaine, amphetamines and other uppers, to be balanced by Seroquel and Merthadone when you come down.

Power, fame and far-too-much sex have addictive tendencies – the ‘trick’ here is to maintain the high by shitting on people, whilst informing them that you are working in their best interests.

Watch out for foods – sugar, protein for example, which give you ‘rushes’.

28. warpage - July 3, 2019

Harking back through REB Blog…thank you Ames…

“Ames Gilbert” wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, February 18, 2019:
I was reading through page 16 of the blog (lots of good stuff there from back in 2007!) and I came across this classic, from “Life Person”.

IMHO it’s a perfect summary, so I’m going to post the whole darn thing instead as well as the link above.

___________________________

After months of periodically reading and contributing to the blog, what most amazes me is the enormity of the disconnect between what is observed and what some people choose to believe.
Once the emotional charge created by the resurgence of memories that had drifted around for decades dissipated somewhat, and I had for some weeks left off reading the blog, which seemed to perpetuate that charge, and then came back to it, I find myself stunned and incredulous.

Taking away those things that he has said about himself, and those things that others have said about him, and looking only at the evidence before us, we see a man who, before he announced himself as a Teacher, was most easily described as a loser. Fired from his modest teaching position, kicked out of his brief stint in an abusive cult for the most pedestrian reason–being unable to keep his hands off the other guys–living with his mommy or in his van long past the age when we’d expect a man to have a halfway decent job. A man with modest formal education from a white trash background, with the middle name of Earl. Had never accomplished anything of note. Cannot write, paint, dance, or sing. Oh yes–he could play tennis, at the level of the average high school varsity player.

A man who has since lived an entirely parasitic existence, having declined to lift a finger on his own behalf since he was thirty, beyond walking, sitting, lifting fork and glass, talking, and having sex; a man whose muscles have atrophied from disuse. A man who cannot be bothered to pay his own bills, or drive his own car, or fix his own faucet. Can you imagine your father, or your neighbor, let alone Socrates, telling people to do manual labor, including labor that benefits only himself, year after year, decade after decade, while he simply shuffles around in thousand–dollar slacks and five hundred–dollar shoes, without ever contributing anything? Jesus was a carpenter. Dante wrote fantastic works of literature. Leonardo painted masterpieces. Others make shoes, grow food. Here’s a man who jots down notes and sayings at the level of a precocious junior high schooler, and gives others instructions in between efforts to satisfy his physical urges. We find the model for this in, say, Henry VIII, or more accurately, a pinheaded, inbred pharaoh.

Here is a man who has not, in at least 37 years, and most likely in his entire life, had an intimate emotional relationship with another man, woman, cat or turtle that would be recognized by anyone as normal, let alone mature.


Whose “teachings” are almost entirely unoriginal, having been cobbled together, first from the works of Gurdjieff and his disciples, a little later from quotes copied like a lazy freshman from the Harvard Classics, and now from a hodgepodge of sources that does not rise to the level of solid “B Influence”–stuff that, thirty years ago, you wouldn’t have picked out of the trash, like Chariots of the Gods and Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. He even tried his hand at National Enquirer–style prophecy, and was so spectacularly unsuccessful that he now claims he never meant any of it.

A man who fancies himself an aesthete, of impeccable taste, yet whose taste is classic nouveau riche, reflecting once again the lack of any originality, let alone artistic flair. Everything is copied, taken from others, like the pile of statues in the basement of Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu. Who considers a Greek temple plopped down in the Sierra foothills very classy, and cannot see that it is pathetic kitsch, like Las Vegas casinos featuring recreations of pyramids and Venice.

In any other circumstance, this man would be considered ridiculous. A buffoon. Laughed at.
And this, of course, does not address a level of greed and financial manipulation that would seem eye–rollingly incredible in a made–for–TV–movie about a New Age Guru. Who would believe a character who did all the running after cufflinks, the wine–guzzling, the pouring of rich food down his gullet, the endless supply of suits, shirts, shoes, Rolls Royces and Mercedes, watches, paintings, furniture, and on and on and on, while continually demanding more money from his followers, some of whom make extraordinary sacrifices, destroy themselves financially, to keep the man in silk, cashmere, and the umpteenth performance of Giselle. We’d turn it off in disgust, exclaiming that the movie showed an obvious intent to slander all nontraditional religious organizations and make their adherents seem imbecilic.

And then there’s the fellow’s peculiar sexual habits, which also are no laughing matter. His need to have his various orifices continually filled, not by people with whom he shares a deep emotional bond, but by desperate or naive people he has cajoled with pathetic fairy tales, who hide their faces in shame as he grunts and pants before showing them the door and calling in the next one. People who carry the diseases he has passed on to them, and perhaps their partners, for the rest of their lives, along with the burning resentment and humiliation of having allowed themselves to be so callously and pitifully used by someone they trusted. This sort of behavior is generally accepted everywhere as demonstrating a profound emotional disturbance.

And none of this even touches on the man’s treatment of others when they’re not coming in his mouth, his disregard of what would be considered decent, principled behavior in any culture, under any ethical or religious creed. His complete lack of genuine interest in the well–being of anyone who does not give him, or procure for him, money or sex, his willingness to act, without regret, as though a person he has known for twenty years or more, a person who has given him everything they have, has never existed the moment the individual stops giving him money or sex.

But, I suppose, none of this precludes his being the Light of the World, the Greatest Being Since Christ, and worthy of the highest lifelong devotion. And why? Because he says he is “conscious.” So that’s what being “conscious” means, does it? How could I have missed it? But some say they have “verified” that he is “conscious.” Oh, that changes everything. For quite a while everyone on earth was convinced the world was flat.

“But he teaches people to be present.” Indeed. Being present to eating too much, drinking too much, having sex with people who don’t want to have sex with you. Present to enjoying the fruits of others’ labors. Present to the sycophantic bowing and scraping of people without any self–respect or discernment. He teaches, by example, how to be present to treating others like shit.

How to account for his success? If a person without any useful abilities of his own sat down and decided to develop a way to allow himself to have all the money, sex, food, travel, power, fancy clothes, adulation, and sheer self–indulgent luxury an adolescent could possibly imagine–if a man embarrassed by his own sexuality and humble social status wanted to be treated like a god–what might he come up with?

And why is it that so many people whose wisdom is so much more easily observed, who are truly kind and compassionate, who genuinely value others simply for their inherent humanity, who find delight in simple pleasures and do not need to be continually praised, obeyed, fucked, fed, entertained, clothed, and carted about, who enjoy being useful, who serve others instead of claiming to serve disembodied spirits while leaving a trail of pain in their wake–why is it that such people do not have as many people trying to learn from them?

Might it be that some people actually want what they see this man has, rather than true wisdom, true compassion?

Might it be that some people cannot bear the thought that what is so obvious might actually be the simple truth, which would make them gullible fools?

29. Linda Jo - July 6, 2019

Re: “gullible fools”

Let’s Talk about The Gurdjieff Work

https://www.facebook.com/groups/realself/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.survivorshandbook.com/false-prophets-part-iii/

30. warpage - July 6, 2019
31. Associated Press - July 6, 2019

Robert Earl Burton’s mother’s maiden name: Velma Shock.
rb: “My—my mother’s maiden name was Velma Shock.”
(In a conversation with JH.)

32. WhaleRider - July 6, 2019

Associated Press:
IMO, it might be helpful to add context to the quote. Do you know the details of the conversation with “JH”?

This seems to me like a parroted line from the burton dinner script he would just drop out of the blue to let others make there own conclusions, like we were supposed to believe that somehow burton magically has preordained permission to do whatever he wants to others…when in reality it is his unconscious justification to indulge in his obsessive homosexual pleasure of giving his followers blowjobs as a warped means to “awaken them” through sexual assault or kicking people out for disagreeing with him.

33. Associated Press - July 6, 2019

177/32. WhaleRider – July 6, 2019
“Associated Press:
IMO, it might be helpful to add context to the quote. Do you know the details of the conversation with “JH”?”

Read it here:
https://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/search/label/Velma%20Shock

34. Nancy Gilbert - July 6, 2019

I personally heard RB mention his mother’s last name being ‘Shock’ at one of his dinners. I expect many others have heard him make this comment as well.

35. John Harmer - July 6, 2019

#31.
The context was that after 11 years in the school I had done some thinking about Burton’s claim to get messages from Influence C, and had concluded that the most likely thing that was happening is that he was subject to delusional thinking often described as “ideas of reference”. I wished to confront him with the possibility that he was deluding himself. His answer certainly shows he had spent no time wondering whether the simplest explanation, ie that these were spurious connections he was making in his own mind, best fitted the facts of the case.

36. brucelevy - July 6, 2019

35. John Harmer

He really is a fucking wanker.

37. WhaleRider - July 6, 2019

Thanks, AP and John H, for providing context.

It sounds like just as I suspected, burton using his mother’s maiden name somehow as a justification in his warped mind for sexually assaulting his followers under the guise of “awakening” them.

Thanks Nancy, do you remember at the dinner you mentioned what prompted burton to promote this delusion about his mother’s maiden name and/or what you thought he was talking about?

38. Nancy Gilbert - July 6, 2019

Whalerider:
I don’t recall many specifics, sorry to say.

I do recall RB was rambling on at this dinner at Renaissance about how rough life was/is for him and how many responsibilities he has/had as a conscious being/teacher. In that context, he mentioned his mother’s maiden last name was Shock, which apparently was meant to impress his gullible dinner guests as a sign from higher forces of his divine nature. I remember that I was having some seriously cynical thoughts at this point, such as: “Sure Robert, life is really rough for you living like royalty as you do!”

39. I'll never tell - July 6, 2019

35. John Harmer

Quoting Robert Earl Burton (REB) as in above video:
“because they have a heavy hand.”

Yes, REB has a heavy hand reaching for more penis, especially under the dining table, if you should be sitting next to him! What a SHOCK. Try to keep a straight (no pun intended) face when that happens.

40. WhaleRider - July 7, 2019

California will not get tossed into the ocean

The USGS calls the the idea that the state will be swept out to sea “absolutely impossible.”

https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/07/07/us/earthquakes-myths-and-facts-trnd/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2Fus

41. Nevasayneva - July 7, 2019

I was curious about one thing. I read here on the blog that there seemed to be an expulsion recently of a longtime FOF member and a REB fan, PB. I am not curious abut the details, but just that also these occasional “frissons” are also part of the game and happen every 2-3 yrs. They seem to be necessary to the survival of FOF. Does everything just become to staid and routine after a few yrs and REB create/generate these mini-scandals to shake everybody up? They often seem to take the form of either an expulsion or a leave of absence of a supposed pillar of the organization.

Perhaps REB is not some evil genius, maybe not even really conscious or aware of his actions and their consequences, just his psychological compulsions are playing out and due to his charisma and seeming lack of conscience they have entrapped many people.

He is someone who sleeps easy at night. I have met other people like that. For them many things are easier than for the rest of us. They do not have any self doubt. It is best to avoid those people. They have no accountability for their actions.

42. warpage - July 7, 2019

Burton’s uncle’s name was D. Onkey, which is why Burton likes it up the ass.

43. Insider - July 7, 2019

37. WhaleRider
38. Nancy Gilbert

It’s almost the wrong question to ask what prompted this or any other obscure comment from Burton. Regarding his mother’s maiden name, Burton has repeated this a thousand times, and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.

And there are hundreds more: as a boy, Burton’s wealthy friend with his own “car” on the family’s private road (early jealousy); “meeting Influence C” on Ashby Avenue (forgot what “ash” means to him); his millionaire sister dying and not leaving anything to Burton (BIG account); Samuel Prov… having a surgery, missing playing his regular numbers in the CA lottery, and those numbers coming as the winner (and Burton missing out on his cut); landing at the SF airport at the moment of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989; his car accident where he got a hundred stitches in the pattern of a “peace” symbol; and a couple hundred more.

Burton endlessly cycles through these “shocks from Influence C,” as constant proof that a massive “conscious play” was written for Burton and the Fellowship of Friends by a very ancient angel (as if such an entity still lives in a timeline), every minor detail carefully planned and executed.

I have no doubt any more that Burton completely believes in this nonsense. After all, wherever “Influence C” tell him to go, to drive, to turn, another “shock” is waiting to be noticed. A license plate with a “44” (angels), or a “39” (Burton’s year of birth), or a “64”/”46″ (the “sequence”); a car similar to one he once owned; a siren (warning of the next catastrophe); someone wearing a T-shirt with a really good “message” on it.

Of course, at the ensuing “teaching” event when these “shocks of the week” are shown to the flock, not a word is said of the hundreds of license plates, hotel room numbers, and restaurant receipts that were rejected because they lacked the “right” numbers, or possibly had a “message” at odds with Burton’s imaginary world or latest prediction.

Now, Burton is “working on” the next major prediction, tentatively set for this year or next, a really big one, so big that last year’s Oct 21 “fall of Calif” was postponed to make way for this one. He has begun “collecting shocks” that, when strung together with carefully selected quotes and images, will make it crystal-clear that “Influence C” is not joking around this time, trying to humiliate him, like they were the previous 10-20 times.

It’s also looking more likely that Burton learned this “art” of “verifying Influence C” by highly selective observation, aka seeing whatever you want to see, from Alex Horn. We know that Horn introduced to Burton the idea of “angels who were once humans” that still carried their once-earthly names like Shakespeare, Bach, Lincoln, etc. Burton’s contribution to the development of this idea was to fix the number at 44 of these being who were directly “assisting the Fellowship,” plus an additional 37 (and counting) who are floating around somewhere, but having other celestial work to do not involving the Fellowship.

Although I have not seen a direct account of Alex’s teaching in this regard, it would seem unlikely that he would introduce the idea without relating it to himself and his (Alex’s) mission. Who knows whether Alex got the idea from someone else, or just made it up. And who knows whether Burton fell for it immediately, or had to “work with it” for a few years before getting the hang of living his life, making every decision, and running a doomsday cult, based on a belief that “the play is written” and “every word I utter comes from them.”

44. Tim Campion - July 7, 2019

43. Insider

That’s Robert Earl Burton and the Fellowship of Friends in a nutshell.

45. WhaleRider - July 7, 2019

Insider:
Thank you for your invaluable contribution.

It is apparent to me that burton’s use of the words “shocks from c-influence” in the context you describe above, these “signs” designed by “higher forces” specifically for him, are evidence of his delusional ideas of reference which he mistakenly hijacks to feed his grandiosity.

(Of course, the next big impending “apocalypse” he will face is his own passing, which IMO will come as a huge shock for his ego indeed.)

Conversely, the meaningful coincidences that happen in life Jung called, synchronicity, is completely different.

“Jung also believed that in a person’s life, synchronicity served a role similar to that of dreams, with the purpose of shifting a person’s egocentric conscious thinking to greater wholeness.” ~Wikipedia

In other words, personal synchronicity happens, like symbolic dreams happen- regardless of our will; one cannot make them happen.

So burton’s mother’s maiden name is not synchronicity, IMO, it is confirmation bias.

One doesn’t intentionally go looking for synchronicity either, in street signs and license plates…as a means to exert power and influence over or to impress others.

No, synchronicity is simply a convergence of an individual’s unconscious and conscious, two events occurring, an internal and external one, that bear no causal relationship, yet to the individual seem related…and are not a validation of disembodied spirits hovering above the dinner table of which apparently only burton can see or sense. Archetypes, as I understand them, reside within all of us.

Personally, I find synchronicity in dreams and in life is self-empowering, but in a humbling way, because it is equally available to everyone for their own personal use and growth.

46. warpage - July 8, 2019

47. John Harmer - July 8, 2019

#45 Burton’s Ideas of reference and synchronicity.

Burton’s use of co-incidence is of such a kak handed and bungling nature that it makes the idea preposterous. He is clearly using the concept of influence C to manipulate his followers. However I am also wary of Jung’s theory of synchronicity. It is a serious theory with no lesser scientist than Wolfgang Pauli involved in the promotion of the idea with Jung in the 1950s. My objection is that it smuggles in a kind of spooky cosmic power to a secularised world view, which had found little utility in positing a God in efforts to explain the world as we find it. In the wiki article on synchronicity I found a quote by Jung that was uncannily similar to the words Burton would use in instructing his students about verifying Influence C.

From Wikipedia on synchronicity:

Jung believed life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order, which he and Pauli referred to as Unus mundus. This deeper order led to the insights that a person was both embedded in a universal wholeness and that the realisation of this was more than just an intellectual exercise, but also had elements of a spiritual awakening.[17] From the religious perspective, synchronicity shares similar characteristics of an “intervention of grace”. Jung also believed that in a person’s life, synchronicity served a role similar to that of dreams, with the purpose of shifting a person’s egocentric conscious thinking to greater wholeness.

The French writer Émile Deschamps claims in his memoirs that, in 1805, he was treated to some plum pudding by a stranger named Monsieur de Fontgibu. Ten years later, the writer encountered plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him that the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be de Fontgibu. Many years later, in 1832, Deschamps was at a dinner and once again ordered plum pudding. He recalled the earlier incident and told his friends that only de Fontgibu was missing to make the setting complete – and in the same instant, the now-senile de Fontgibu entered the room, having got the wrong address.[19]

Jung wrote, after describing some examples, “When coincidences pile up in this way, one cannot help being impressed by them – for the greater the number of terms in such a series, or the more unusual its character, the more improbable it becomes.”

In the end we each have to decide whether we believe in a greater power ordering the universe, and I admit I don’t know for sure one way or the other. But maybe as a reaction to 11 years in the cult subject to that way of thinking, I prefer to take the more hard boiled scientific approach, and ascribe co-incidences to co-incidence and nothing else.

48. WhaleRider - July 8, 2019

John Harmer:
Thank you for your post. I will point out that “an expression of a deeper order” is not necessarily a validation for some sort of paranormal “higher intelligence” doing the ordering for the sake of the “chosen few”, but IMO, speaks to a pattern of human connections from the fourth dimension of time…an enormous, unseen pattern which when revealed in small ways could easily spook a person both mired in ego-consciousness and focused on viewing time only by in the present, frame by frame, without regard to the past or ever stepping back to fathom what might be the bigger picture…i.e. how humans might be connected on the unconscious level…hence Jung’s theory of archetypes viewed as residing in our instinctual unconscious nature not connecting us through our particular religious beliefs, but like the survival instincts passed on generation by generation in the animal kingdom.

At the time in Western society, that bigger picture involving what might be our fate after death included the duality of heaven or hell, and apparently Jung was searching in himself and his patient’s psyches (or souls) for a reality that extended beyond questions of morality, having lived through the horrors of WW II and having had a father who was a pastor.

IMO, the plum pudding example is merely evidence of how humans are connected in ways that extend beyond consciousness, since in the final coincidence the subject, de Fontgibu, was senile.

As far as science goes, Jung points out in the book, Man and His Symbols, the study of psychology is the one branch of science that has to take into account an individual’s subjective feelings.

burton obviously does not.

What saddens me most is the extent to which burton’s followers pathologically accommodate his corrupted world view at their own psychic expense, disempowering themselves by projecting their own inner gurus onto him while he pursues his own self interest.

I think it is fair to say that synchronicity can be a means for an individual to grasp how we all might be connected to a larger pattern…as equals…since it can happen to anyone regardless of their mother’s maiden name.

49. warpage - July 8, 2019

48. WhaeRider

I somewhat keep my synchronicity to myself these days, as what pertains to my ‘cognitive reverie’ bears no import on the goings on of my friends and the people I meet during the day…

Counting my small change and those numbers mean something to me.
A duality or triad of colours on a person passing mean something to me.
The double echo emphasis in conversation means something to me.

Yes…it is a tickle about what goes on behind the ‘mirror of life’…and yet we live our lives…to the full…carpe diem etc. and never back down from the ‘noblesse humaine’…we matter, others matter.

50. John Harmer - July 8, 2019

#48 #49 Whalerider and Warpage

your ideas evoked this thought from Wittgenstein

“The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is”

51. warpage - July 8, 2019

50. John Harmer

Agreed on that point…never take the world, or yourself, for granted.

52. WhaleRider - July 11, 2019

Cult Leader Makes Startling New Apocalyptic Prediction

House of Horrors, CA-Last night, after an afternoon of carousing with his inner circle of compliant young males, Robert E Burton, the mentally deteriorating leader of the Northern California “school of self-love”, the Fellowship of Friends, made at dinner what his followers apparently hope and pray is his last failed prediction: “the world is going to end at 8:38am PST on October 23, 2030 from sudden climate change due to the stupidity of life people, but we are all going to be fine.”

Burton went on (and on) about “how serious c-influence was this time”, about how “Apollo”, formally known as Renaissance, “will soon be beachfront property when ocean levels rise as glaciers and polar ice caps melt”, how “increasingly devastating tornadoes and hurricanes will obliterate major cities, causing the stock market to crash”, how “wildfires will incinerate rural towns like hydrogen warfare”, and how “hoards of starving, destitute life people will soon storm their front gates searching for fine art to look at”.

“We must preserve our humanity and high culture by arming ourselves with weapons for the invasion of life people that will soon happen,” he mumbled as he glared at those at the dining table who dared to secretly nibble on their meal while he misspoke. “Any life people that c-influence sends us for comfort and sustenance during these approaching dark times will only be met with a hail of bullets.”

When one curious follower asked Burton how he knew c-influence was really, really serious this time, the follower was told that, “Curiosity killed the cat”, and was immediately asked to leave the cult, joining those who feel so grateful they left years ago.

“I hate life people”, another follower later said after swallowing hard, obviously struggling with the new “no burping” exercise, “they are destroying the entire planet. Robert keeps promising they will all die horribly. I can’t wait until they are finally gone and it’s just us left.”

One follower who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal for having his own viewpoint said that he “hoped this prediction came true, otherwise he might be deported back to Russia and face the consequences of abandoning his wife and young child to be with Robert.”

53. warpage - July 12, 2019

“discern. If you can make out, pick out, or distinguish something, you can discern it. This is a word for recognizing and perceiving things. Discerning has to do with being able to see or hear something.
discern – Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.com
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/discern

It is precisely the “overriding hypnotic feeling of goodness” in a cult that negates a necessary discerning and critical attitude towards one membership of it. Burton slings out those who are negative about the slightest thing he makes or allows to happen. It is worthwhile noting that this is common behavior for a cult leader.

Ah! the hushed voice…the gift of a sumptuous dinner…a Rolex…JUST THINK…WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS AND WHAT IS BURTON AFTER?

54. Linda Jo - July 16, 2019

Remembering . . .

55. warpage - July 17, 2019

Sorry, Linda Jo…I think Huxley is disappearing up his own asshole on this one…just words for the sake of him opening his own mouth…sounds like Burton and his recent demented rants…can we all discuss this?

56. ton2u - July 17, 2019

What is the guru’s word? What is he actually teaching? Usually, that his word is law! It would be bad enough if the process ended with adulation of the teacher, the problem is that the guru has a hidden agenda, which is power and greed – they seem to go “hand in hand.” The student is reprogrammed by the cult and given a fully prefabricated structure. But there’s a big difference between “revealed mystery,” and worshiping the “revealer” and his framework. The meta-curriculum with a guru is basically totalitarian… power and control to feed greed.

57. brucelevy - July 17, 2019
58. warpage - July 19, 2019

I followed this podcast last time (first time) and turned it off after five minutes, but coming again to the title – “Conscious” – this twisting of linguistics to arrive at some direct experience of that word, I leave you with the link to this podcast…

59. Artemis44 - July 19, 2019

Just noticed that Nick/Age of Gaia added 4 more audio recordings to his YouTube channel (‘Exposing the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton the Crook’).

Even if he sometimes seems a bit cuckoo he is very entertaining and articulate. There is also a lot of juicy information because he was part of Robert’s entourage for a while (may be that’s why he became a bit cuckoo).

Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiW8n7QTn8-vKEdVVyjFzA

60. warpage - July 20, 2019

Nick/AoG is certainly coming from a place of sincerity and understanding. I am not sure that his takes on ‘information from other disciplines’ add weight to his argument, yet his overall emphasis on Burton being a crook/charlatan/psychopath ‘homes in on the right target’.

WhaleRider seemed strangely distracted with going from sordid details of Burton’s perversions with groomed young men to off-the-wall takes on comical diversions about Burton and the FOF. Cult Survivor seems to have petered away, since his neutral stance on an obviously psychopath/victim relationship adds nothing to THE ACTUAL TRUTH OF THE ENTIRE MAKE-UP OF THE FOF. Personally, I think there is a ‘fuzzy delineation’ that encompasses trolls and shills. It is difficult to see when someone is genuinely offering a slant on their experiences.

For me, it seems important to…

1) Acknowledge when an organization is a cult (a broader spectrum than we may think).

2) Detect the personal characteristics of a leader/teacher/guru and why they have malevolent ends.

3) (this is a tricky one)…See, for certain, where we, as individuals, have been tricked/duped by the leader/organization and coming to terms with that – deprogramming/therapy/interating purposefully into real life.

I do understand that many may not see the purpose in one or all of these stages, but I offer them as ‘signposts’ along a road to personal understanding, self-reliance and empowerment.

Winston Churchill :. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.

61. John Harmer - July 20, 2019

#60 A comment on the third of Warpage’s criteria for recovery from the FoF experience.

“3) (this is a tricky one)…See, for certain, where we, as individuals, have been tricked/duped by the leader/organization […]”

I felt that I duped myself prior to joining the FoF. I liked the descriptions of mystical states I found in various books, and wanted them for myself. I tried getting them with LSD, but could see that it was a road to madness to base a life on those tools, and looked for a “safer” route to the states I coveted for myself. So I was ripe for the plucking when I attended the prospective student meetings and Christina Neilson held out the possibility of permanently changing my state from second to third (or even fourth). I believe the students I met were sincere in their offering of a community dedicated to raising the level of consciousness of its members. Burton is a vampire feeding off his students, it took me years to see that, that is true and somewhat shameful, but I still don’t feel he exactly tricked me. He lied to everyone about his true motives, and had a knack for offering devastating “photographs” to his students, which went some way to confirming that he was in a different state from the rest of us. My current viewpoint is that the quest for higher states is a childish aspect of my personality, and that most spiritual disciplines are based on mistakes about how the world is, and what our minds are capable of.

62. warpage - July 20, 2019

Sorry…integrating puropsefullyinto real life.

63. warpage - July 20, 2019

Forget the misspelt correction of a typo (post # 62)…

What John Harmer (post # 61) has to say is more to the point.

John says he experimented with LSD. Marijuana gave me altered states for a while. All these before ‘the school’. These are/were states for themselves but can have nasty repurcussions, as medical people who research these matters will tell you.

For the sake of conjoining high states to vanity, why not wear silk suits and ties, wear Ferragamo shoes and Rolexes or Baume et Mercier watches for the ultimate high…you will be well and truly groomed for Burtonism and tickled by the acid-tongue of a psychopath.

The whole cultural urge of the FOF is a disgusting parade of fickle fantasy – pleasing the goddess, preaning one’s goodness, ensuring one is bonded to a father figure who comes from the highest point of creation. Once treadmilled, the off points come fewer between – 30 or 40 years down the line, it is more comfortable to be part of the cult – one’s funeral plan for the Apollo Cemetery taken care of and one’s place in another lifetime – or this time Paradise ensured.

To be certain, one’s efforts refer to oneself and no one beside you. You are alone with your own reference to the Universe. Even one’s true family cannot make you live your life according to your innate dictates…always a struggle…never pleasing anyone.

There is this beautiful Greek word which I have shared with people along the way…be they my students, my close friends or professional acquaintances…

ACEDIA

“For everyone in this life, discipline often becomes the defining fire by which things like talent or goals become an actual ability. It is indifference and believing it will always be this way that keeps us stuck.”

64. ton2u - July 20, 2019

Warpage

Re: “acedia” – the rise of Trump in the USA and of “trumpism” worldwide is a symptom of ‘acedia’ which simultaneously feeds on, and fuels the malady itself.

An abundance of information out there on this “deadly sin” – much written from a theological perspective. An irony I find: a self-reflexive search for answers, solutions, understanding of the condition, motivated by a sense of malaise and general despair, along with hope for an antidote – renewal of meaning in life – in a sense this exercise of identification of the condition helps perpetuate it. The proverbial two edged sword – although one recognizes the trap one is in, that doesn’t necessarily mean liberation.

Theological overtones aside, this article presents some interesting philosophical and sociological perspectives:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0012580617751354

65. ton2u - July 20, 2019

Warpage

re: ‘acedia’ and its slightly more contemporary relative “nihilism” – I heard this today in a store while doing my weekly food shopping;
I’m sure you’re familiar – enjoy a blast from the past!

66. warpage - July 20, 2019

What THAT feels like…

67. warpage - July 20, 2019

The caveat, in this sticky situation, is, I would presume…

“At the discretion of the moderator” (you know the rest).

68. wouldntyou - July 20, 2019

The Gurdjieff Journal,
established in 1992,
is the first journal,
international-domestic,
devoted exclusively to
G. I. Gurdjieff’s teaching
of The Fourth Way.
Current Issue – 79 Volume 20 No. 3
Horn-Burton-Braverman —
The Pseudo Holy Trinity
Two Ex-Robert Burtonites
http://www.gurdjieffjournal.org/current-issue/

69. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 20, 2019
70. Artemis44 - July 20, 2019

That’s amazing. I can’t read the publication on the site, does anybody have a copy to share?

71. Artemis44 - July 20, 2019

An interesting detail is that the image they used for the cover is from the meeting in which Robert criticizes Asaf on Cult Survivors’s YouTube channel:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/QGPz7zQR2EmWsqnA7

72. Insider - July 20, 2019

70. Artemis44

I used to subscribe, and now just renewed it for 4 issues. It will come via a pdf file, and I will post it ASAP, unless someone else has already done so.

73. Artemis44 - July 20, 2019

That’s great, thanks Insider.

74. Rich - July 20, 2019

72. Insider : Great! I think I got a freebie copy of a Gurdjieff Journal
some time ago.

75. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 20, 2019

Taking With the Left Hand:
Enneagram Craze, The Fellowship of Friends,
& the Mouravieff ‘Phenomenon’
by William Patrick Patterson

The first book to examine the spiritual theft and appropriation that marks our time. A detailed and well-documented study, it illustrates how the enneagram movement commercialized an ancient alchemical symbol, how Robert Burton, founder of The Fellowship of Friends, arrogated The Fourth Way teaching, and how Boris Mouravieff plagiarized and tried to appropriate it.

“A lucid and compelling account of conflict and charlatanism surrounding one of the most important alternative spiritual movements of our day. Indeed, one sees the crisis unfold before one’s eyes, for the author does not hesitate to charge those he finds responsible for debasement of the message of George Gurdjieff with opportunism and self-inflation. This book is important as a ‘white paper’ for those concerned about the broader Gurdjieff movement, and as a case study for all students of contemporary spiritual movements.”
—Robert S. Ellwood
Chairman, Dept. of Religion, University of Southern California.

76. Artemis44 - July 20, 2019

‘William Patrick Patterson is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Gurdjieff Journal.

The Gurdjieff Journal, established in 1992, is the first and now only journal, international-domestic, devoted exclusively to G. I. Gurdjieff’s teaching of The Fourth Way. Published triannually, the intention of The Gurdjieff Journal is to observe and report upon the contemporary world “mercilessly, without any compromise whatsoever.” Through original research, timely feature articles, essays, interviews and book and film reviews, the principles, perspectives and practices of the teaching are explored and applied to everyday living.’

77. WhaleRider - July 21, 2019

Interesting. I smell something…a distraction, maybe? Bait and switch? Hold onto your wallet chakra, folks.

Apparently not unlike Braverman, Paterson has an “online school”, too…wait, what?…so the enemy of your guru can be your guru?

Not so fast, lefty.

78. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

Good point, WR. Why does Patterson give so much attention to the FOF and REB? Is he detracting a competitor? He looks like a wolf in sheep’s clothing to me.

At any rate, I’m curious to see what he has to say about the ‘Horn-Burton-Braverman Pseudo Holy Trinity’.

79. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

One more thought. Where does Patterson get information about Asaf from? Why did he use a picture from a video about REB condemning Asaf that was posted on this blog when there are so many (better) pictures of REB available online?

Hint: He reads this blog.

80. Insider - July 21, 2019

79. Artemis44

“He reads this blog.”

That’s one possibility. Another is that someone on this blog is in touch with Patterson, or even in Patterson’s “school.”

Maybe Artemis44 knows a way to get in touch with Cult Survivor to see what he knows.

81. Nancy Gilbert - July 21, 2019

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/07/21/743408637/how-microexpressions-can-make-moods-contagious

This article summarizes research on the phenomena of group feel and group think, which are shown to be part and parcel of human and other animals’ inherent neurological wiring. Very interesting in view of how friends, cults and other groups affect and convert our thoughts, feelings, POV, etc. A bit like the discovery that trees and other plants in an ecosystem are all interconnected by complex pathways with mycorrhizae in the soil.

82. John Harmer - July 21, 2019

#80 Insider says “Maybe Artemis44 knows a way to get in touch with Cult Survivor to see what he knows.”

I couldn’t help noticing they both have the same brown wordpress icon.

83. Tim Campion - July 21, 2019

82. John Harmer

Which indicates a shared e-mail address.

84. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

I contacted Cult Survivor and he says he has no connection with Patterson whatsoever confirming that Patterson reads this blog.

I downloaded a complimentary issue of Patterson’s ‘Gurdjieff Journal’, (the link is at the end).

I noticed that the free issue was no. 29. Since the current issue with REB on the cover is 79 and it’s a quarterly publication the complimentary issue is from 2009 or before. The first article is ‘Rosie, Sharon, Alex, Robert & The Work’ what indicates that Patterson has been in a crusade against REB for a while, probably to avoid competition to his online school as WR suggested.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UtNSK29JIfqUCyTnjouFXRD_JYF7q7Jg

85. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

82. John Harmer & 83. Tim Campion

I’m not Cult Survivor, I’m his wife. I was in the FoF for 12 years and we share the same computer.

86. Insider - July 21, 2019

84. Artemis44

“…Patterson has been in a crusade against REB for a while, probably to avoid competition to his online school as WR suggested.”

Is it not possible that Patterson “has been in a crusade against REB” because he believes Burton and the Fellowship are fraudulent and criminal?

And, no, I’m not supporting whatever Patterson himself is up to.

87. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

86. Insider

I believe is both: he is in a crusade against REB and the FOF because he believes REB and the FOF are fraudulent and criminal AND because he wants to eliminate competitors to his online school.

88. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

In my opinion the fact that Patterson is now adding Asaf to his ‘Pseudo Holy Trinity’ indicates that he is attacking competitors (Asaf has an online school like him).

Let’s see what he says about Asaf when we can get hold of his publication.

89. Associated Press - July 21, 2019

177/84 Artemis44:

“Since the current issue with REB on the cover is 79 and it’s a quarterly publication the complimentary issue is from 2009 or before.”

Stated in reliable source(s): The Gurdjieff Journal was established in 1992 and publishes 3 times per year. That would get to #79 around now, 2019. #29 would be around 2001/2002 time frame.

Also, in #79, as WYLTK posted above, was a listed article: “Two Ex-Robert Burtonites.” My educated guess is that there is definite contact with former members of The Fellowship of Friends (FoF). Assuming that there are 15,000+ ex-FoF members out there, there is plenty of sources for good articles (as well as good readers/posters on this blog).

90. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

89. Associated Press

Thanks that’s right, the free issue was from 2001-2002. Math is not one of my strengths…

I’m still curious where is he getting the information about Asaf from since to my knowledge there are not many former members of Asaf’s online group. We shall see.

91. Phutatorius - July 21, 2019

Re Patterson & the G-Journal: is he still publishing? I subscribed to the G-Journal for a while and attended a couple of Patterson’s weekend seminars. At one of them I met a former FoFer whom I recognized from the late 70s/early 80s but I can’t remember his name; he’d become a Patterson follower and he’d known Miles. I thought the G-Journal was filled with stuff gleaned from the internet with little original research. Doesn’t mean the Patterson is in-authentic. I can’t judge. Some of his books are very personally revealing. So I withhold judgement.

92. Tim Campion - July 21, 2019

A short excerpt about Robert Burton from Patterson’s 1998 book, Taking With the Left Hand and another anecdote about close encounters with Patterson’s group can be found here.

93. Artemis44 - July 21, 2019

The anecdote on Tim’s site about a person having a ‘close encounter’ with Patterson and members of his group reminded me of a close encounter I also had with them. A couple of years after leaving the FOF I was at a café with some friends and I saw a poster advertising Patterson’s group so out of curiosity like the person in the anecdote I wrote the phone number. I called a few days later and a person answered with a kind voice. She described how Patterson is one of the few ‘real Fourth Way teachers’ alive today, how he was directly connected to Gurdjieff, etc. I asked what was the process to join the group and she said that in 3 months a gathering with Patterson was going to happen in Arizona and that I could travel there and meet him personally. She said that if Patterson accepted me as a student I could be part of his school (really?). I asked if there was another way to join and she said no. Then I asked her how many students were in the city I was living and she replied that I was asking too many questions and that was not a sign of a real seeker. At this point the energy was so heavy that I thanked her for her time and ended the conversation. My experience is very similar to the person on the anecdote on Tim’s site, when she asked how many students were in the local area ‘they stopped, stared at the ground for a moment, looked at each other with a look I’m sure we are all familiar with, and told me they couldn’t answer my question’. I feel that Patterson’s group is a cult like the FOF but more ‘religious’. I also feel that REB is better at marketing. Like the ex-FOF member of the anecdote said ‘I came away from the experience thinking “Same shit, different bag.”

94. Phutatorius - July 21, 2019

“Same shit, different bag” I’m not disagreeing. One of the weekend seminars I attended was at a beautiful retreat center on the Potomac in Maryland 17 years ago. It was during the 17 year cicada emergence and those big bugs were everywhere. Like giant flies with red eyes, I was really impressed by them. Before the thing began (the whole weekend was “in silence”) as we were parking our cars and unpacking, I overheard one sturdy old lady who was attending (she had a big dent in her forehead) complaining, “can’t they spray?” They were the most impressive thing all weekend; the cicadas, but she found them annoying. Definitely “higher consciousness!”

95. WhaleRider - July 22, 2019

Nancy Gilbert:
Thanks for the link. Here’s another aspect of FOF groupthink that can cause a follower to remain a loyal follower, waste years of their lives serving burton’s narcissism and continue to recruit others to join the cult despite burton’s history of collateral damage and failed predictions: the Dunning-Kruger effect.

“In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.

People perceive confident individuals as competent and, as a result, promote individuals with higher self-confidence.” ~Wikipedia

“We argue that when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead…they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine.”

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e320/9ca64cbed9a441e55568797cbd3683cf7f8c.pdf

Direct lineage to Gurdjieff is neither a measure of intelligence nor competence.

Narcissistic, overconfident individuals who claim to be more “conscious” than others continue promoting the delusional ideas of the fourth way due to their own incompetence in the field of psychology and to compensate for their own lack of self-awareness, IMO.

96. Insider - July 22, 2019

Here is the link to Issue #79 of The Gurdjieff Journal:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yh9qe35tc0lcfgo/TheGurdjieffJournal79.pdf?dl=0

97. Artemis44 - July 22, 2019

Thanks Insider, good job. Here are some excerpts:

Where is Patterson getting information from:

‘Nine days after Braverman’s expulsion, Burton spoke to followers at a videoed meeting. The first four minutes of the video were posted to a blog. Here are excerpts…’

Patterson’s hidden agenda:

‘At some point, not too long into this, one of the two people attending these meetings brought a flyer he had received in the mail. It was for a seminar in California to be given by William Patrick Patterson, a name I had never heard. Yet as he held up the flyer for me to read, I knew immediately that I was going to that seminar. I read Patterson’s Taking with the Left Hand, and was especially interested in the chapter on the Fellowship, entitled “People of the Bookmark.” It ends by distinguishing between esoteric and pseudo-esoteric. Patterson concludes: The Fellowship of Friends has its place, its part to play, for as Gurdjieff said:“The very idea of esotericism, the idea of initiation, reaches people in most cases through the pseudo-esoteric systems and schools; and if there were not these pseudo-esoteric schools the vast majority of humanity would have no possibility whatever of hearing and learning of the existence of anything greater than life because the truth in its pure form would be inaccessible for them.” When I flew to California and attended that first seminar, I experienced that truth. I have been in the Work now for 20 years.’ (Ron Levitan, Robert Burtonite #1)

‘Eight years later, in the summer of 1999, I attended a local bookstore talk given by a teacher of Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way, William Patrick Patterson. I learned he was a former student of Lord John Pentland, who was a student first of Ouspensky and then Gurdjieff. I remember my immediate impressions when hearing him speak. “This man is no nonsense, no pretense. He speaks with authority. He is speaking from a place of real Being.” I had finally found my way to an authentic Gurdjieff Teacher firmly rooted in the lineage. There were many new experiences of body and mind, as well as meditation. Burton had never allowed it.I remain in The Gurdjieff Legacy Foundation to this day.’ (Geoffrey March, Robert Burtonite #2)

98. Golden Veil - July 23, 2019

Thanks, Insider, for giving access to a pdf of the current issue of The Gurdjieff Journal, #79.

I read three articles: the poorly researched, badly written cover story, “The Pseudo Holy Trinity”,\p and the pair of homogeneous personal accounts by two former Fellowship of Friends members and now apparent students and shills of William Patrick Patterson. Who, you may wonder, is the editor of these three gems? The journal’s masthead on page 27 gives the editor. You guessed it, William Patrick Patterson. I don’t want to be mean; I’m just embarrassed for all parties involved (but perhaps they are at least evolved!) If the readers of this post haven’t yet read these, I wouldn’t bother. I must admit, though, that there’s a very nice cartoon of Fellowship of Friends “Tasks”, etc., by the talented but now departed, Harold Wirk.

99. Ocean Tiger - July 23, 2019

Please enjoy these 47 previously unreleased photos of Robert Burton and his associates:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/abthx19b8eioq8z/AAA1VSNeJlwpusDsN3JJgyN7a?dl=0

100. warpage - July 23, 2019

Good entertainment, while it lasted.

101. WhaleRider - July 23, 2019

Patterson:
I guess you didn’t get the memo:

The internet is the place where cults come to die.

102. fofblogmoderator - July 23, 2019

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