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The Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 2(1)

 

This is the twentieth-first rebirth of the Fellowship of Friends Discussion. Enjoy your stay here and try to be at least vaguely civil and polite. And as always, have fun.

For previous parts of the discussion click on home and scroll away to find parts 10 – 20. For the oldest part of the discussion check out Animam Recro.

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761 Responses

  1. A great way to start off a new page. I laughed so hard I almost pee’d myself.


  2. Vena(585) and Elena 570, 578

    Well, the thing about contemporary art being insane, whilst seated intentionally in an ark awaiting 44 Hiroshima’s, then everyone, (self-remembering) coming out of the bunker, after much intentional dining and wine-imbibing to tiptoe through the baby-bones and mummy and daddy bones, brother and sister bones… to collect only the very best Madonna’s with the big boobies and pert-bottomed St Sebastians.

    Such grotesque conceit is enough to castrate anybody. Along with the justification – ‘Oh well, its just/was just a prophecy’.

    Isn’t that bad taste? I realized some time ago that there was alchemy, but there is also such a thing as taste, which, I think, is higher than alchemy. Because taste is a MORAL – learnt emotional quality; therefore, the men and women, in order to play their student roles, needed to castrate themselves emotionally, to censor themselves of their pasts and their ‘baser passions’ on the cultural octave – sayeth burton. He made an observation about Chinese art – that it lacked sufficient emotionality because of the emotional suppression inherent in that society, I think, commending Mozart as an example of ‘just-rightness’.

    Oddly enough, then, where you have people quoting much of the best of 4000 years or more of western civilization, educated and refined to the highest level about some of the greatest art and music of the past; there is also the most grotesque tastelessness and ignorance – so much so it would make any sensible person gag with disgust before forcing their hands down their throat – if only some angel could come down from heaven and remove those difficult kunst-a-buffers. Like the blind developing greater powers of hearing, so the fellowship students experience of more meaning, more presence, but all connected to more fellowship, robert burton, and so on – is a blind alley.

    ‘Students struggle to become present but deny the divine in front of them.’
    Elena 570

    4. The Minister’s indoctrination – from the sketchbook

    ‘But instead we decided to use the work against ourselves. Any decent emotion has to be “transformed”, not lived. Any questionable attitude has to be euthanized. Any genuine feeling has to be stifled. Any sense of wonder has to be squeezed to death. All this is “transformation”.’

    And on, and on, and on: this blog must resound with hundreds of similar quotes and reflections. The irony is that for all the senses you cut out, the more other senses come to sensitivity. Which is like a monks cell, like burtons world. How can you awaken under the conditions of a given ignorance and blindness?

    If you castrate yourself of your conscience, your intuition and your undifferentiated heart, you are nothing but a homunculus in a rather fishy old test-tube.

    Coming into the fellowship and wanting immediately to adopt and experiment with/experience that culture, embracing its concept of culture and all that had to offer, leads to a kind of modification in ones personality before self-observation. Ouspensky’s injunction is to observe oneself and change nothing, (to begin with) and I wonder what kind of self-remembering can occur when one has not accepted and integrated ones past and cultural experience. Before healing. Can you self-remember successfully when you haven’t accepted yourself fully? Or does it happen that by this cultural package, which is splendid and gorgeous to begin with, becomes a kind of symbol of oneself in which one is imprisoned, building up a ‘burton personality’ and moments of presence and delight that cannot find significance anywhere else but through the rarefied and generally pre-WW1 ideal of art, music and culture embodied in the fellowship.

    Its new, to me, to be able to say these things out loud, but truth cannot be stated enough, given that the current situation is one of spiritual corruption and mutation.
    I realized, having posted something about the karmic possibilities inherent with being a student and leaving as ex-student from the writings of Meher Baba, that this applies to myself also, and it is a process I am still ‘engaged with’. My conceit blinded me to the reality of my own situation, but also, that might be due to the fact that I’ve only recently found all the blog posts on this site.


  3. Innernaught

    That was fucking funny.

    there are many such august contributions on the following site – ie, salad fingers.

    http://www.fat-pie.com/salad.htm


  4. 626 previous page

    My understanding is that as a non-profit, all assets revert to the State of California.


  5. Sorry for more of this but I thought this fit in here – please don’t take it too personally

    THE NIGHTMARES OF ROBERT BURTON

    http://www.fat-pie.com/salad4.htm


  6. 609 unoanimo

    Hello ‘Daily Card’ ~

    Yes, your wonderment is a legitimate concern, I hope we both can keep those mirrors held up to one another and not be afraid (when the time is right) to run towards one another and shatter our reflections, so to meet on one looking-level, not two opinionated ones.

    Your quoting of Miguel De Unamuno seemed a bit ’sly’; at first I thought you had spelled my blog-name wrong, then realized that the initial assumption that you might be quoting me, something I wrote, was ‘off’…

    I read the quote; wow, if I ever make it to such a level of ‘bathwater ooze’ you’ll be the first I call to set my aging, old and warm-cozy body out in the arctic sub zero weather (like the Eskimos do for their suffering elders) so to get an attitude adjustment.

    BTW, that observation on Post five-ninety-eight to you was for me too, I am finished with making fun of evil, there’s another level, I am sure of it; evil does not gamble with cynicism and satire, it thrives on it’s smoke screen, it anticipates it’s creation and slinks ever so deeper behind the laughter, sinking under one’s shinny lotus blossom, depositing little wormy things in its seeds; similar to the mini-squids wiggling down Robert Burton’s throat, showing up inside his no-womb-mucus’d-stomach, to be digested as proteins, not love, not selfless experiences.

    _____________________________________________

    Hello Joseph G ~ 603 ~

    You wrote ~

    “My guess is that Burton, based on advice from his attorneys, is at the edge of legality but doesn’t cross the line. But you never know. After all, he’s been doing whatever it is he does for what, thirty-seven years? And so far there has been only a couple of lawsuits that were settled for cash, right?”
    __________________________________________

    Yes, it’s certainly in the “guess” category my friend, yet, it’s not the entire truth of the matter. For instance, based on the stories published on this blog (and available for anyone in the world to read at any time of the day or night)… Robert Burton has changed his ‘method of madness’ in dealing with the naiveté belonging to the psyches his erection preys upon;

    as of about a month ago, all ‘new boys on the block’ are ‘prepared’, i.e., told what is going to occur before they go into the ‘war room’, so as to not be able to say “I did not know” or “I was coerced into something I could not have known was going to occur.”

    Kinda gives a whole new flavor to “Prospective Newer Student Meeting” doesn’t it?
    __________________________________

    Love to you all.

    __________________________________

    Hey Laura,

    Beautiful post on the Back 20, could you re-post it here?

    Onwards!


  7. Laura
    Thank you for your beautiful letter to the bloggers on blog therapy! I also find fascinating how strongly we affect each other. Can you imagine what it would have been like if we had been able to share like this for thirty five years on other issues if we’ve gone this far in only nine, ten months? Not to dwell on the past but to take a look at the potential of community on the individual, and the individual on community.

    BRUCE, it was surprising to see that the attitude that most characterizes the Fellowship was the Islam. It’s a great way to see the degree of extremism that is being shaped by idolatry to Robert. I

    Islam
    If shit happens, it is the holy will of Allah the Unique, the Almighty, the Merciful – al Abdullillah !

    Robert, if shit happens it’s influence C.

    Also interesting that Girard’s indoctrinated response to the shit happening is:

    Stoicism
    This shit is not bad for me.

    What characterized Girard’s attitude and what he indoctrinated everyone to act by was precisely that stoicism that in his case meant he himself gave up the pursuit of any kind of personal pleasure (with one exception) to the point of giving up the protection of any personal well being. This is what is relevant here. He took it to such an extreme that it did not stop in just giving up pleasure it extended itself to giving up a simple standard of well being by denying himself and those around him of simple joys. Time for rest was misinterpreted as time for leisure and leisure was looked down upon. No rest but work, work, work is one of the greatest ingredients of Fellowship indoctrination in which even every beautiful event was taken to the extreme of overly decorated alchemy. So much pretense that the simple joy was raped away.

    The justification for this was “intentionality, effort, more effort,” but Robert and Girard robbed the students from the gift of life by convincing them and themselves that only one’s own self is responsible for everything that happens, only self remembering is worth the effort. It self centered students so selfishly that the possibility of reciprocation with the outside world became stagnant and the power of life itself to give of it’s own innate beauty was lost. They built a world of bonsais and forgot about the real trees.

    The psychological attitude that was implanted in us was similar to that of a gardener who thought that the only value of planting was his own work and forgot the harvest. The magic of the harvest is cannot happen without the Earth and we forgot the Earth. In the Fellowship the power of life to process the work of men and give of its own harvest was ignored. The sacred process was ignored, unrecognized, unfettered, and the individual was raised to a Godlike position without a heaven to plant in, making us fall in the hell of our individualism. We made a king of Robert and became his psychological slaves.

    One of the expressions of this individualistic behavior is in the attitude towards time. It is also an aspect of what I now understand as psycopathic behavior. This people, (of which I came very close to becoming one, working endlessly night and day for the past four years), cannot deal with “free” time. Something must be done all the time, something “usefull,” otherwise, time is being wasted. It is relevant to observe the connection between having to “do” all the time and not being able to ever harvest what was done. Not ever being able to sit and eat of the crop and be grateful to the world for the harvest. This is the worst expression of our illness. As I mentioned in a previous letter, Girard and I took one day off for ourselves after four years while we were at Isis. The other two or three weeks we might have taken off during those four years, were only in relation to a travellig teaching trip or some other fellowship work.

    I do not know how Robert lives but it would not surprise me if this pattern with time were very similar. Not granting any one more than a few minutes of his attention; using even the sex exchange as something that had to be pursued within a certain limit of time and as an “objective” service to the conscious being rather than an interchange between human beings; travelling to Egypt and all places as teaching events rather than the great joy of appreciating human culture in all its magnificence and for its own sake without using it to boost up his teaching.

    It is very similar to what happens to drug addicts. In drugs, the pursuit of high states slowly takes away the magic from life when one is not stoned; Life is perceived as “boring” and there is a powerful sense of the materiality without the magic in it. The “magic” is what one’s own state brings but when the energy of the “self” is consistently drained by drugged states, the self is much withdrawn when one is not stoned. Hence the feeling of depression. Depression is a withdrawn I and it is not surprising that Girard and so many other students suffered from severe depression. The blog helps us because it brings us down to earth and reminds us of our connections to life. Physical activity also helps in reestablishing those connections. Practicing Art, not just appreciating it and anything else that brings joy for its own sake can be healing. While I have now verified many of these things in theory, I am only beginning to be able to practice them.

    Something precious about the blog is the dialogue between us that was lost in the Fellowship. The dialogue in an open space without hierarchy, a pubic and public dialogue in which what we are saying is not determined by our predetermined position like in the fellowship or any other institution. The dialogue between human beings.

    Thank you for sharing


  8. 2 rain

    You make many good points. I too was very confused and a bit suspicious when I realized I was supposed to instantly become a different person when I joined the Fellowship of Friends. When I asked about it, I got some quote by Robert saying ‘C Influence doesn’t wait for those who can’t keep up,’ or some such crap. Also, there was so much vanity invested in being an ‘older student’ that it was hard not to want to play that part.

    It’s funny to think about now, because when I joined the FOF it was barely over 10 years old (1981), so anyone who was in 5 or so years seemed like an impossibly older student. By the time I was in 5 years it seemed absurd that anyone would think of me as an “older student,” but there you have it.

    I’m glad you liked the you tube video. That Salad Fingers stuff was seriously deranged.


  9. WHY I DON”T FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FOF

    I was a member for 27 years. I joined in London, quickly moved into the teaching house, did everything I could to enable myself to move to the U.S. Married an FoF student. Moved to Apollo/Isis after a few years. Built a large house there, designed by a FoF architect. At different times I was a center director, council member, traveling teacher, led prospective student meetings at which people joined the FoF. In other words, the whole disaster including the postage.

    I was never involved in Burton’s inner circle and had only a sketchy knowledge of what went on there. I read Troy Busbee’s letter and heard some strange rumours, but I was reassured by people I respected that it was all OK, the rumours were exaggerated, everything was consensual, there was a lot of love involved, and I believed what I was told, and in turn reassured others.

    I was very committed to awakening. I sincerely believed that Burton was a conscious being. I did pretty much everything that was suggested (couldn’t give up rock music though!). I tried very hard to remember myself year after year. When I was leading meetings I tried to be honest and only describe what I’d actually experienced, or make it clear if I was speaking theoretically.

    I admired the FoF leaders very much: Peter B, Girard, Collin, they all seemed wonderful, spiritually advanced people. In fact pretty much everyone I met was sincere, thoughtful, kind, admirable.

    After Peter’s death and Girard’s stroke a new set of leaders took over, much more harsh and intolerant, people for whom I had little respect. I began to withdraw. Around the same time Alison became influential and the emphasis on collecting money, money, ever more money became overwhelming. Burton’s teaching became more and more bizarre. The Fourth Way was abandoned. Nothing of any substance took its place.

    Eventually I left, principally because it became clear to me that Burton is not a conscious being, in fact he’s no different from you or me, and his teaching is a sham. I didn’t leave because of his private life, though the stories became increasingly disturbing and believable.

    So am I a bad person because I supported the FoF for so long? Personally I don’t think so. I did the best I could. I was mistaken about Burton but it was a genuine mistake. I learned a lot in the FoF and I’ve moved on. It’s happening to hundreds of us now. Personally I don’t think we have any reason to look back and wring our hands.


  10. 6 Elena

    I feel a deep connection with what you wrote in #6. Particularly the part about being unable to enjoy free time, and feeling compelled to work, work, work. This was really a big part of why I left.

    There was one of Girard’s ‘Fellowship Forum’ issues that brought this home for me. In it, he published Linda’s recipe for Jewish chicken soup to eat when you have a cold — she recommended making it and getting into bed to get better. Girard couldn’t help but place a comment after it. He said that for him, he would see getting into bed with a cold as a terrible defeat, that instead he would force his body to continue making ‘efforts, efforts, more efforts,’ or something like that.

    This really disturbed me deeply, because it touched on a core problem I was having with the Fellowship. I was feeling compelled to make constant efforts, but it came from guilt, not the desire to make efforts. I had seen this before, and it wasn’t just in Fellowship people — it’s called workaholism, where you feel guilty if you ever take it easy. There’s nothing conscious about it — it’s just a mechanical weakness like any other. The problem is, it “looks good” in the school setting.

    When I read that thing of Girard’s, another piece of understanding fell into place — that for many people, DOING LESS was the correct effort, not doing more. But there was no place for that approach in the FOF.

    So I left, and started learning how to have fun again. I highly recommend it.


  11. on September 17, 2007 at 6:44 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    589 Vena (previous page):
    ……………………………………………………..

    quoting from #584:

    “We are well past the point of describing the FOF as a “benign” organization that does no harm. The Fellowship of Friends does harm, both to its members and to society at large. And beyond simply leaving the cult, I often ask myself what I have done to oppose it. Honestly, almost nothing. Even if the FOF simply fades into the night, barely a footnote in anyone’s memory 100 years from now, my question is whether or not each of holds some responsibility in this. To answer my own question: Yes, we do hold responsibility — each of us — as long as we stay, as long as we say nothing, as long as we continue to deny.”

    This is a very alive question for many of us, but I for one, have not come to an understanding for myself of what I might do. What kind of action are you suggesting?
    ……………………………………………………..

    Charles T. (about #8)

    So am I a bad person because I supported the FoF for so long? Personally I don’t think so. I did the best I could. I was mistaken about Burton but it was a genuine mistake. I learned a lot in the FoF and I’ve moved on. It’s happening to hundreds of us now. Personally I don’t think we have any reason to look back and wring our hands.
    ……………………………………………………..

    Vena, Charles, I agree with what both of you have written, and I think we are each doing what we can. I’m with both of you on this. I certainly don’t feel primarily responsible for the actions of Robert Burton or his closest enablers. But as a long-time member of the organization, I rarely if ever asked serious questions. I rarely if ever delved into the details. I rarely applied skepticism or critical thinking — which are two essentials if you really want pertinent information. So maybe my posts are primarily directed toward those who are still in the organization.

    Not entirely, though. What I find interesting in relation to the “Aum” passage that I posted on the previous page is the similarity in attitudes between the Aum followers and the Fellowship followers, and between former members of both groups. We think we’re different. But are we? Were we?

    In previous posts, and in some discussions that I’ve had, a few people have expressed their objections to the word “cult” because they believed it was an inflammatory or exaggerated term.

    But I haven’t seen anything to indicate otherwise. The word fits. The Fellowship of Friends is a cult. My suggestion is that as former members we can more accurately point to the truth of this organization by using this word to describe it as much as possible, by not side-stepping it, by not being afraid of it.

    The use of certain words, and the avoidance of certain other words, is very important. It’s a cult. We were members of it. And by joining the cult and remaining a member of the cult, we made a serious mistake.

    ……………………………………………………..

    From “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche” by Haruki Murakami:

    “More or less all of us want answers to the reasons why we’re living on this earth, and why we die and disappear. We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”


  12. 10: Bistro: “The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”

    Yes, that certainly happened to me. When I look back now I find it very surprising that I believed what I did when in the FoF. Some kind of hypnotism took place and reality indeed became distorted.


  13. Bistro Fundraiser (around) 10

    From “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche” by Haruki Murakami:

    “The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”

    ************


  14. Bruce, I have the T-shirt (short guide to comparative religions, post #20-622). I have often wanted to make another with the FoF added to the list. How about…

    Fellowship of Friends: It is the wrong work of the King of Clubs when you think that gold–plated shit still tastes like shit.


  15. on September 17, 2007 at 10:01 pm Vinnie the Fish

    That’s great advice not to look back wringing your hands.

    I could see Robert was no more conscious than me from when I first met him, and don’t hesitate to ask the difficult questions at the risk of looking bad, and haven’t put on any student acts for anyone, and didn’t stop having fun by any means! None of those are mandatory requirements for being a member. The whole point for me is to be myself (to this above all else be true) and try to be present (and have fun), and I only stay in while the school is useful for these.

    Each of these things probably makes me seem a bad person in different people’s eyes, but people are subjective, so I have to run my own race.


  16. First post on any web site ever. Found this FOF discussion group recently and have read through many of the more recent posts.

    Former FOF student – circa 1982 to 1987. Was member of North American center far from Renaissance (as it was then called). Have had no contact with FOF or any of its members since that time.

    Glad to be able to make contact with fellow fourth way seekers. My sympathy goes out to all of you that have suffered in one way or another owing to your connection with the FOF. Posters appear to be in various psychological “places” owing to their individual experiences with the FOF (some of these being dreadful).

    For myself, I was spared any significant suffering owing to my involvement with FOF. Owing to the satellite nature of the Center that I belonged to, the “goings on” at Renaissance had little impact on me. It is disheartening to read about what the FOF has become – the great depths it appears to have fallen to. In order to balance the picture somewhat though, I give here my own account of my experience with the FOF.

    The FOF, for me, was the Center that I belonged to and the people who were members of that group during the time I was there. As a whole, the members of the Center were ordinary people with ordinary problems who differed from most “life” people only by the fact that they were seeking something “miraculous” that most life people do not believe exists. They were good people, sincere students of the fourth way each trying to work on themselves to the best of their ability and ready to lend assistance to anyone else who had the same goal.

    I visited Renaissance one summer during this time and it appeared to be, for the most part, what it was made out to be – a great place for sincere seekers to work on themselves. I worked in the construction of the winery, dined at the fancy eating place (I forget what it was called then), served as a waiter there, met many nice, ordinary people who shared the same desire to follow the “work” as I did. Had dinner with Robert at the main house there – my only contact with him ever. It was an exciting, exhilarating, at times strange evening but I did not leave the dinner that night with anything approaching a “verification” that I had met a conscious being.

    I promised myself not to make a long post and may not have succeeded so that’s all from me for now. My best wishes for all of you that are continuing with the struggle.


  17. 14 Vinnie the Fish

    “I could see Robert was no more conscious than me from when I first met him,”

    So you joined because…?

    ” and haven’t put on any student acts for anyone, and didn’t stop having fun by any means!”

    That IS your student act.

    “The whole point for me is to be myself (to this above all else be true) and try to be present (and have fun), and I only stay in while the school is useful for these.”

    And doing this in an extremely artificial environment rather than “real life”is useful to your awakening because…………?


  18. To Bruce#15
    Regarding your response to Vinnie:

    You are amazing Bruce. Nothing gets past you. You are a great reality check.


  19. From Huffington Post:

    “Igniting The Modern Mystic” Stacey Lawson

    “…Lest this sound trite, let me add that the mystic’s love is not blind to the complication and suffering in the world. It is all-embracing, using the full human experience as fuel for the raging fire of awakening. Our modern lives are difficult. We face social injustices, environmental crises, war, economic imbalances, poverty, hunger, a vast array of suffering across our planet.

    By comparison, it would seem rather easy to check into a monastery or convent and pursue a peaceful life of contemplative practice. In my quiet moments I’ve considered this path, but know it will never be. The hour is late and the crises of our world too great. We have a profound responsibility to awaken from our slumber and re-ignite our creative energies in service to a more sustainable (and ecstatic) human existence. We can do this through the substance of our everyday lives – in our work, in our relationships, in our politics, in our homes — if we are awake…”

    “This column is about the necessary commitment to conscious awakening and the resulting possibility of collectively re-imagining and repairing our world. It is a sacred journey born in the mystical fire of our modern lives – families, children, careers, health, relationships, finances – where our uncensored experiences are the fuel for the transformation…”

    “…How we can at once surrender to the greatness of the flow of life and find our power there, navigating the grand paradoxes – those that would have us believe we need to struggle, fight, and effort our way forward, when in fact our most powerful purpose emerges when we lay down that effort. How we can reside in the moment, being fully present with the creative currents that arise right now, and follow them without a plan for where they might take us.”


  20. on September 17, 2007 at 11:29 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    610 Peter
    You wrote: “I wonder if it is wise to attack any community. Communities need enemies to unite and to feel real. Even Adolf Hitler said in ‘Mein Kampf’ “if you don’t have an enemy you got to create one.”
    …………………………………..

    I may be misinterpreting, but most people who are trying to expose or unravel the truth about the fof are not attacking — they’re stating their concern about the ignorance and the hypocrisy within the fof, and the destructive path that RB is taking. Those who are “in” are not enemies to those who are “out.” We’ve been there. We sympathize, and we do understand.

    Up to a point, anyway.

    You also wrote: “The Fellowship of Friends is just a dream of the people in it, an illusion. Once you are out and dream other dreams it looks ridiculous.”

    I agree with that. But I think many people are replacing the fof dream with something that’s much closer to being very “real.” I’m convinced the possibilities “out here” are vastly superior — and much less delusional.


  21. Robert has “Escape” plan.

    Love Rolex

    Robert went to Europe to look for little place,
    to hide from angry members who paid for his events.
    His wisdom simple:
    “When wolf is on your tail,act quickly,put property For Sale”


  22. 19 Rolex- I know your heart is in the right place, but you don’t have Malcolm’s knack for humorous poetry.


  23. 18 Bistro: “many people are replacing the fof dream with something that’s much closer to being very ‘real’. I’m convinced the possibilities ‘out here’ are vastly superior — and much less delusional.”

    This is true for sure.


  24. 18 Bistro and 22 Charles T

    I would be interested in hearing about any such possibilities.


  25. Hello Bloggers,
    We have returned to the issue of our complicity in the pathology of the Fellowship, and, it would seem, many of us are in essential agreement that we brought our own several pathologies to our cult membership, and sustained and strengthened the rot and corruption during the years we remained within the bubble of delusion. It follows that many of us are not in such marvelous shape now, even though we have left and are struggling to heal.
    I would like, again, to thank you all for your postings, both those in direct response to my questions and all the others—the wacky, the scurrilous, the obscene, as well as the more sober and logical attempts to define and confront the issues we face. I thought, quite seriously, that something had died in me, that I had lost something irrevocable and would never again feel a simple joy in greeting an ordinary morning. I now know that this is not the case, and I credit this discussion, all you bloggers, as being a very important part of a process that I now trust. Life returns despite decades of rejecting it, denigrating it, despising it. What a small, foul, and totally inconsequential thing this and probably all other cults are after all.
    Nonetheless I am all for activism. Presumably it has been letters to the INS that have galvanized that agency into fairly effective action. Letters to various organizations—to the IRS to challenge the tax exemptions granted to churches for example—might also be effective. It is fairly certain that the press would be glad to mix in, but they need events and people to quote. If there were to be an organized demonstration in front of the Pyle, there would be all the press coverage anyone could hope for. Suggestions for such a demonstration have thus far been viewed as somewhat off the wall, but I think an organized protest could be quite effective.
    The preparations would of course require researching what the legal requirements are, setting a date, and having someone in charge of clearing slogans to be used on signs and banners. The only question is not one of feasibility but of will. Are enough of us interested in taking action? Or not? I am, and would gladly make the necessary trip to participate.


  26. Dear R.P.,

    the gift of your departure from the Fellowship of Friends is an atom bomb to the bowels of Robert Burton’s Cult of The Mirror Mirror on The Wall…

    My friend, may your extraordinary love of being seen carry your soul into the clearnesses available now, not later; may your deep love of being here not waiver, rather, wonder amongst all of us, like incense, new moss upon a kingdom undone, not by earthquake, war or disease… by one trumpet, one trumpet…


  27. I think you are right in what you are saying.


  28. Abigail,

    I agree with you that action must continue and yet picketing the pyle seems worth it if I could tell them how much I love them. How much the dream is still there just as strong. How sorry I am that we couldn’t manage it together.

    I guess I’m done with screaming. I don’t even feel angry any more and then I was only angry at Robert, a few women at the head of the Fellowship and my husband who was unable to stand up for us. As for the rest of students I feel great longing. So many opportunities to be together were thrown down the drain and yet we are still touching each other in the silence of our memories. I might still call you in my dreams.

    We might not have walked hand in hand but we saw each other stand like sheep in line for the sacrifice holding our ambition to the unforgiving lord who literally sucked it out from the most tender ones.

    Our love is still in our innocence, only our ambition has been lost. We at least were planted in the dream, the youth who treds our path is growing in the nightmare. Their pace is merciless. They’ll be biting at each other like sharks, terrified of their own dreams and when they’ve done enough harm they’ll look at the elders for answers that they cannot give. They keep beating a lame horse walking in a desert, but they’ll run out of water even before the horse dies.


  29. Hey All,

    Yesterday I posted information about a website, the Council on Spiritual Practices. As it was the end of that discussion, so some of you may have missed it? Anyway, there is an article on that site “A Question of Balance: Health and Pathology in new Religious Movements” by Dr. Francis Vaughan. Here is the link to the full article which is scholarly but quite informative. http://www.csp.org/communities/docs/vaughan-balance.html

    For those who can’t be bothered to read the whole thing, here are some extracts that pertain particularly to the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton:

    CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING SPIRITUAL GROUPS…
    “The manner in which the group or its leader handles the loyalty or disloyalty of members if often very revealing of group pathology. Some leaders overtly threaten potential defectors with physical violence; others threaten ideological or eternal damnation. Others simply withhold love, approval, and recognition. Although we may judge some methods as more reprehensible than others, the effects seem similar. When loyalty is coerced, the person’s integrity and sense of worth are undermined. Only when participation in group activities is clearly the result of free choice can it be expected to contribute to healthy self-esteem and development.

    MASTERS AND MASTER…
    “Practicing consciousness disciplines that aim at control of the mind can also contribute to the development of psychic powers, those powers of the mind commonly called “extra sensory.” These tend to become available at transpersonal levels of development. However, the attainment of psychic powers does not ensure either ethics or spiritual understanding, and such powers may be abused by someone who has not yet transcended egoic identification. In many spiritual disciplines extra-sensory powers are considered by-products of spiritual work and are traditionally eschewed as traps that can lead a spiritual aspirant to ego entanglements in the domain of occult energies, or subtle realm. While healthy transpersonal development demands eventual transcendence of ego, the actual process of growth to higher, more subtle and complex levels of development does not necessarily ensure immediate transcendence of lower levels. In attempting to assess levels of mastery, then, the display of psychic powers by one who has mastered them should not be considered an indication of spiritual mastery. On the contrary, the use of such abilities in the service of ego goals, such as attracting or intimidating followers, should automatically be suspect. A spiritual master who has truly transcended ego could be expected to disdain the use of special powers for purposes of manipulation and control.

    CHOOSING A TEACHER…
    “In addition to questions pertaining to self-awareness, anyone who is considering joining a group might be advised to consider the following: Does the group keep secrets about its organization and the leader? How do members of the group respond to embarrassing questions? (For example, does the leader have a Swiss bank account or indulge in sexual relations with group members? Do members display stereotypic behavior that emulates the leader? Does the group have a party line that does not permit members to express how they really feel? Do members see themselves as having found the only true way? Are members free to leave? Are members asked to violate personal ethics to prove their loyalty? Does the group’s public image misrepresent its true nature? Are humor and irreverence permitted?

    CONCLUSION…
    “Despite these limitations, we must somehow learn to discriminate between genuine and counterfeit spiritual teachers. In doing so we can bear in mind that transpersonal development beyond the conventional ego-identity is never a justification for the violation of basic human rights or individual dignity. In genuine transcendence the intrinsic value of individuality is affirmed and integrated in a larger context.

    In the final analysis, efforts at evaluation might best be guided by the words of Buddha: “Do not believe in what you have heard; do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations; do not believe anything because it is rumored and spoken of by many; do not believe merely because the written statement of some old sage is produced; do not believe conjectures; do not believe merely in the authority of your teachers and elders. After observations and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it is conductive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    Love,
    Bass


  30. Some idle random speculation.

    A good demonstration would be to host an event on a holiday weekend when Robert is in attendance. Maybe rent that hall and have a BBQ. Sure signs and stuff . The best demonstrations is simply a lot of people being together and by the way Crossing the road, walking on the road, even having conversations on the public road a lot.

    Those who live around Oregon house would know when and how to close down access to Isis and make it inconvenient.

    Wireless phones open up many possibilities for co ordinating different groups so that if one group is confronted by the sheriff they simply get out of the way and another out of sight moves onto the road. Yuba county will not be happy if a significant part of their limited resources are tied up in Oregon House.

    There needs to be a committee who are familiar with “civil disobedience” A small number of individuals who actually know the laws who can guide others in how to avoid being caught in a violation and also , Ahem, arrange for reliable “witnesses” to any infraction by either FOF “goons” or others.

    In San Francisco there is a once a month event called ” critical mass”. Bicyclists gather in a large group and cycle across the city. The numbers are so massive that it stops traffic and causes chaos. How many cyclists would it take to block the road?

    Another thought, when I was much younger , just for the hell of it I and some friends would go to LAX on a Saturday night and in the middle of the traffic circle , right in front of a busy terminal we would stop the car, get out and open the hood and looked baffled.

    The main difficulty is making an effort and sustaining it long enough to have an impact. 10 people for an hour would be significant but of only passing interest. several 100 people over the course of thanksgivings weekend would have a larger impact.

    A large number of people a few with camcorders, notebook computers and a high speed Internet connection and you could broadcast live world wide or if there is no high speed wireless up link hopefully a high speed connection at some nearby residence ( is there high speed Internet in Oregon House?)

    So that is one thought, organize a greater Fellowship event near Isis and plan a demonstration especially if there is some way to catch Robert or Fellowship leaders on camera and broadcast it on the Internet, first finding a way to set up an anonymous account to prevent any Fellowship legal action and asking as many as possible to download and repost the video on My space or something.


  31. on September 18, 2007 at 8:43 am Vinnie the Fish

    Bruce:
    “So you joined because…?”
    Strange question that seems to assume I joined because I thought Robert was ‘conscious’! Did you?
    I went to prospective meetings, like you I guess, and joined without meeting Robert, like you also? Did you join with the assumption that Robert was ‘conscious’ without even meeting him?!
    Reality check indeed. Thinking needs to map to real events.
    ‘Conscious being’ is just a fantasy anyway, we probably all know by now that consciousness comes and goes.

    ” and haven’t put on any student acts for anyone, and didn’t stop having fun by any means!”
    “That IS your student act.”
    If it is, it is what I choose to do, so I can have no regrets about selling out.. it is what I am and want to be.. unaffected.

    “The whole point for me is to be myself (to this above all else be true) and try to be present (and have fun), and I only stay in while the school is useful for these.”
    And doing this in an extremely artificial environment rather than “real life”is useful to your awakening because…………?
    You must have also known the answer to this yourself once… it is an environment, twice a week, that stimulates and strengthens that desire to awaken and be present – gives energy to that aim which would otherwise atrophy.

    The environment for meditation is usually ‘artificial’ too, but that doesn’t stop it being useful.


  32. #22 Abigail

    It is kind of funny you should make that suggestion. I was fantasizing about that just yesterday. It was just me and Elena outside the guard shack with picket signs and I was wondering what the hell I was doing there.

    What the heck is a Pyle? Did you mean to say Pile?

    It seems to me some of you alls are a little too close to the hurt to think objectively about the Pile. I could give a shit about the idiots still paying their money and living a lying fantasy trying to find the “present”.

    Gawd, anyone from the outside looking at this idiocy has got to be splitting a gut!

    My thinking about the picketing was trying to figure out (based on Joseph’s inquiries) how to drum up some fresh press coverage. It would seem to me it would be best to do it in Sacramento at the Capital or somewhere where it would be noticed by somewhat less brainwashed zombies.

    This would probably require a fairly large number of people.


  33. Vinnie the Fish 27

    Hi Vinnie,
    I am not going to discuss all your reasons for staying in the FoF. As you said, you have to run your own race, and only time will tell for how long your motivations will hold in place. I want to focus on something you wrote, which I consider a really big assumption on your side:

    “You must have also known the answer to this yourself once… it is an environment, twice a week, that stimulates and strengthens that desire to awaken and be present – gives energy to that aim which would otherwise atrophy.”

    Your fear of atrophy is simply unfounded, and if you have read the blog carefully you can plainly see that amongst the many posts denouncing Robert and the anomalies of his self-proclaimed school of awakening, there are many testimonials of the ever present aim, efforts and discoveries of ex-students as they continue in their spiritual journeys. No one has discarded the present, and I think all of us have discovered that the “twice a week” routine is just a poor substitute for the real work of digesting and transforming the all and everything, fully engaging in life as is with all its powerful challenges and contradictions. The FoF is not a stimulating environment in that sense, since most of its members are too self-obsessed, belief-driven and repressed to be able to experience and express the full range of human emotions and healthy behavior.

    Your own self-esteem does seem to run pretty low, since it leads you to think that your aim’s strength depends on your participation in a group of misguided people under the influence of a delusional man who thinks himself a teacher but in fact has very little useful knowledge to offer. Do you really have all that time, money and energy to waste?

    I suggest that at least you allow yourself to try different approaches, as you will most likely encounter more precise and effective tools to use towards your aim. In fact, you may discover that the kind of mental work people do in the FoF actually leads down a psychological path that has very little to do with real awakening. But this is something that only you can verify for yourself.

    All I can say is, we students have settled for crumbs instead of asking for cake, and the realization of how little good soul food is actually available in the FoF environment is a sobering one. You will be able see that once you step beyond the scarcity mentality that holds you back, and which is a by-product of your mind being steeped in fellowship programming. You may think yourself a free thinker immune from cult brainwashing, but to seriously verify that you’ll have to dare to actually challenge your current claims and assumptions. I wish you good luck and the gift of unclouded vision.
    with love,
    Laura


  34. on September 18, 2007 at 11:04 am Vinnie the Fish

    Well-written Laura.
    Of course I try different approaches, why not, the world is my oyster and I’m free that way.
    For me it’s not much money, time or energy, so maybe you had some assumptions there?
    I don’t think I have any claims or assumptions, only that I find it useful for me, but that’s not really an assumption is it?
    I have found that if I don’t feed the flame inside that wants to evolve or awaken or however you want to put it, and spend time with people interested in working in that direction, and helping each other see the obstacles that obstruct it, then the desire is submerged under the pyles :-) of daily worries.

    This is an important question, whether you need other people to evolve spiritually. Is ‘spiritual evolution’ an OK term to use, or is that whole idea totally uncool once you leave?

    What do you do now Laura, is this blog your contact with like minded people on the path? Or maybe some Buddhist group, or just reading?


  35. on September 18, 2007 at 12:06 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Yesri baba picketing… ‘I was wondering what the hell I was doing there’
    Yes it could be good to look at your motives.

    ‘I could give a shit about the idiots still paying..’
    So you want to destroy the FOF but you don’t give a shit about the idiots still in it.
    Why then? Just revenge?
    To get rid of those ‘victim’ feelings?

    PS. isn’t it ‘couldn’t give a shit’? Why do Americans always say ‘could give a shit’? doesn’t make sense.


  36. Hey Vinnie (and Laura),

    Nice dialogue forming here. Your assumption is that you need a School in order to awaken, to keep your inner fire stoked (and Laura’s fine rebuttal). Then your response that being with other like minded Friends helps one to strengthen the resolve to evolve. (or in so many words)

    Well, yep. That is my experience, too, sort of. I’ve spent the last x# of years trying to use the School part of the Fellowship for the Presence that we reflect back to one another and ignore the rest. My recent visit to Isis was primarily that Joy. Even now, the energy of it still fills my heart. But if I were to leave the Fellowship, will those Friends still wish to reflect Presence back towards me? A few good ones, near to my heart, yes, I do not question, but the others? I doubt it. I would have to realize that our connection is based upon a common belief that Robert Burton is a Conscious Being. I belief I no longer hold.

    On this trip, I went to a few RB meetings. This, after having spent the last six months or so reading Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, and the Bhavaghad Gita. It was clear to me that Robert did not understand even the Consciousness part of the quotations he was using for the meeting. Hmmmm…. His comments were simplistic and just in terms of the Sequence. Hmmm… Using images to wiseacre about possible obtuse “School” connections. Hmmm…

    You mention your experience is of the School twice a week? So many that means you are in a center and not at Isis? That also is a big difference in how one experiences the School. Centers have more flexibility, there is less domination from RB.

    Your donations are not so high? Well surely you do not exist in the School in America, unless you’ve got some kind of special “deal” worked out at Isis…

    To think that one cannot evolve without others may be true, however one gets further, faster if one does not surround oneself with others who decieve themselves, too – even if they do so unknowingly. You have the chance to wake up from THAT dream. Strange to say that that is what has become of our School of Awakening, but it has. It is up to you to verify that. Maybe reading some of the authors I just mentioned may help you?

    Cheers,
    Bass


  37. Dear Vinnie,

    #This is an important question, whether you need other people to evolve spiritually. Is ’spiritual evolution’ an OK term to use, or is that whole idea totally uncool once you leave?#

    If your desire is to be what you are and if we listen to our inner voice ( conscience ) we will attract people who will be spiritual friends and we get what we long for.

    “Needing other people”, first be your own best friend and be aware of dependency. Many of us were looking for somebody else, to tell us what to do….when you really see what this has brought you, you will have many revelations and hurt. Unpleasant? yes….unavoidable….grow up, become what you are. NOW

    For the physical it is scary “to be on your own”.
    For the non physical it is …”it is: you are on your own”.
    Robert made of the physical, the instinctive center. This is a misconception and has brought a lot of suffering.

    The non physical needs the physical to be in this world. Things will be taken care of in one or the other way.

    Maybe go to you tube and see Tony Parson. This will be mind boggling. He has an interesting one what teacher stand for in our psychology.

    Vinnie one more thing: What about your conscience…all the lies we have been given. Is it not time to stand up and go above the lies?
    Or are you one of those who is saying, “other students are trying to make the fellowship of friends look bad”?

    Good luck with your self.


  38. Hi Bass and vinnie,

    “I’ve spent the last x# of years trying to use the School part of the Fellowship for the Presence that we reflect back to one another and ignore the rest.”

    Aren’t you CURIOUS about what it might be like to grow up spiritually? To let go of the Queen’s hand and cross the street by yourself? Letting go, would you find your people – your second line? Wouldn’t it be truly fascinating to find out if you are man or woman enough to attract that on your own? If you let go of a rather superficial control over your spiritual life will it crumble? Does your spiritual self look like an insect – with the structure and strength all on the outside like a hard shell, or can it evolve to an interior bone structure where you can be soft on the outside – and strong too – and walk upright? Wouldn’t you like to find out? Wouldn’t it be a grand, terrifying, hopeful, imperfect, perfect adventure of your very soul?


  39. Awesome, KA.


  40. Vinnie

    There are as many processes going on in the fellowship as there are people and many, many students have their own process to live through before they can call it a lifetime.

    When things get worse, for they will inevitably, the blog will be an accepted reference for any one who complains of not knowing and continued to support the damages done to people. They will use it against each other’s claim for innocence.

    If the Fellowship stopped today it would allow the young people to recover their dream and life with less naivete and the older people to recover their life without having done any further harm. Time is a factor and to watch another generation go under the spell of the Fellowship without doing anything about it is unacceptable. The old people in the Fellowship are crystallized enough to hardly stand a chance but the young people are in danger of ruining their lives. They do not see this and think they can do it better than the older ones but they will be left a lot more corrupted and ruined in the middle of their adulthood. They are already very corrupted. People count. Try to consider this when you think about whether it is alright for you to be in the Fellowship or not. How old are you? You are probably in late adulthood and are much afraid of being out on your own but your own is what you’ve been looking for all these years. To carry yourself where ever you go.


  41. on September 18, 2007 at 4:55 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Bass, yes I’m in a centre.. I only heard yesterday that the US payments are 1000 a month… so that would be a different story for me.
    Yes I agree, I try to experience and reflect the presence and ignore the rest, especially the misinterpretations of great quotes.
    But that hasn’t changed much, ignoring prediction nonsense was the previous effort. I never had any ‘belief’ that Robert was conscious. I try not to have any beliefs in fact.
    It’s easy, I know what I know and don’t know the rest. :-)

    Another Name, my conscience tells me what to do or not do, and not to judge other strugglers along the path, including Girard and Robert. What lies have you been given?


  42. on September 18, 2007 at 5:52 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    “I try to experience and reflect the presence and ignore the rest.”

    Whoever you are, it’s odd that you use the word “ignore” as though it’s a strength — even thought it’s the root of the word “ignorance.”

    So your goal is to NOT BE AWARE? Is this a change in the form of the school? A change in the “teaching”?

    Or is the goal now to construct a mindset where you’re thinking, “Yes, things are fucked up in the Fellowship, and RB is full of –it, but I’m not leaving because I’ve convinced myself — and I’m trying to convince others — that it’s useful for me to stay, and useful for them to stay. And it’s a positive trait and strength for me to persevere despite all of the temptations to leave — temptations from numerous revelations of the inconvenient truth. How strong I am to not take these things seriously. Anyone who points out the serious problems here is simply judging us.”


  43. on September 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    From “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche” by Haruki Murakami:

    “More or less all of us want answers to the reasons why we’re living on this earth, and why we die and disappear. We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”


  44. 38 Bistro Fundraiser

    Yes, “head-in-the-sand syndrome”. One needs to have it to justify one’s presence in the FOF at this point. Sound like sleep and intentional blindness posing as effort.


  45. To Elena #36

    A moving post. You make a very good point here. I only hope some can hear. Many older members are heavily crystallized and have tragically become the opposite of what they were working toward. There is still hope for some younger members if they can only be reached. Unfortunately, many are refusing to read the blog and don’t want to know the truth. For many, many members the social and emotional aspects of the Fellowship become more important that the truth about the spiritual possibilities in the Fellowship. They just don’t want to know the ugly, dark side because for the first time in their lives they belong to a group that makes them feel safe and even important and special.


  46. Vinnie the Fish (around) 37

    I never had any ‘belief’ that Robert was conscious.

    ************

    And you are right not to believe that your teacher is conscious because he is not. He is a gifted psychopath, a lunatic that has enjoyed success manipulating people with esoteric ideas. You are not in a school, because that would require a conscious man, you are in a criminal enterprise owned and operated by liars, cheats and at the heart a controlling, manipulative sexual predator. The Fellowship of Friends is a school of the dead. Try to enjoy what you imagine is ‘consciousness’ while milling about among that collection of potentially spiritual dead men, but what you are experiencing is in fact a state of lunatic. There is no consciousness in a false school such as the FoF, there is self-delusion and an exaggerated state of self-importance. Stick around in that environment long enough and you will sleep with the fishes permanently. You are flopping around on the outskirts of Hell while telling yourself that it is not all that hot. Ask yourself why there is this tendency in you to be attracted toward the realm of Robert Burton, history’s current embodiment of the second death.


  47. on September 18, 2007 at 6:09 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    40 Bruce

    Yes, “head-in-the-sand syndrome”. One needs to have it to justify one’s presence in the FOF at this point. Sound like sleep and intentional blindness posing as effort.
    …………………………………………..

    By the way, saw a documentary recently about the rise and fall of Enron Corporation called “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” Available on Netflix.

    For those of you negatively affected by Enron in any way, it may evoke some anger. But I recommend the film for the uncanny parallels to cult mentality. The “ends justify the means” thinking. Head-in-the-sand syndrome. etc.

    Many parallels between the FOF and Enron.


  48. The Fellowship of Friends is a school of the dead.


  49. on September 18, 2007 at 6:28 pm Truth is Where You Find It

    I periodically come back to the blog for any “news” (thanks for the INS stuff) and to guage the current “tone” of the discussion. I now read the latest post first and work my way up. Interesting to read the responses first, and then see what inspired them. Seems that the content is becoming more “thoughtful”. Encouraging.
    Thank You All.

    BTW: Membership in the Greater Fellowship is now 538.


  50. on September 18, 2007 at 6:30 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    44 Graduates
    The Fellowship of Friends is a school of the dead.
    ……………………………………

    You are cordially invited to attend a dinner at the Academy. Reception begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Black tie optional. $375.


  51. Bistro Fundraiser 36

    44 Graduates
    The Fellowship of Friends is a school of the dead.
    ……………………………………

    You are cordially invited to attend a dinner at the Academy. Reception begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Black tie optional. $375.

    **************

    I wouldn’t show up for less than 5k. If they want to know what I have to tell them they will have to pay, as is the custom there.


  52. Vinnie,

    I get the feeling there are things in the fof school you really like and are feeding you plus you are having fun at the same time.
    Nothing wrong with enjoying yourself while evolving, but I wonder if you are looking a little further than that.

    I am not trying to criticize you, just pointing to the fact that you do not seem to be concerned about the other members who are not having fun at all and are getting further damaged by RB and the whole system in there.
    Is this not bothering you?
    I am not applying feminine dominance here, if this is what you may think; it is just a question: what do you do with the information that RB is hurting people in so many ways…

    Perhaps you are far removed from Isis and you may be fine and doing your work with some other students…but I think it is important to look at the whole fof organization and its core.
    Thank you for reading.


  53. on September 18, 2007 at 7:20 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Hi Vera,
    not sure how to respond, you seem nice… but how’s this: if you live in the US and hear that GW Bush is responsible for destroying a country and sending soldiers there to kill innocent families, and it was all to get at some oil, would you leave the US, if the country is useful to you, and you find it a lovely place to be.

    It’s important to live according to your own experience, not slam others for 3rd hand stories. Every person joined the fof of their own free will. I did and have no regrets so far, it’s been excellent. So your Mum didn’t warn you about satyriasis? It’s not MY problem. Bill Clinton was a good president, AND he enjoyed head. Cool, I forgive him. On another planet, or in another era, it could be considered normal. Subjective morality is just that, conscience is the only yardstick.

    Speaking of ignore… it’s necessary to ignore some people’s useless words.
    How did you people handle all the predictions, were you true believers? I was not. How is the current subject matter any different? I live by my own truth, and secretly despise all the false smiles and fake niceness, I think it destroys and covers up the real essence inside.

    Now people like Bruce jump on the latest bandwagon, they were probably the ‘Our Beloved Teacher’ types before, accusing non-believers of being untrue.


  54. on September 18, 2007 at 7:30 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    From the above… “It’s important to live according to your own experience, not slam others for 3rd hand stories. Every person joined the fof of their own free will. I did and have no regrets so far, it’s been excellent.”

    …………….

    The following excerpt is from the book by Haruki Murakami titled: “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche”…
    …………….

    They still believe that they are at a higher spiritual level than “ordinary people” and have a sense of being specially chosen… “If only he [Shoko Asahara] hadn’t gone over the edge we would have been able to pursue our religious goals peacefully and correctly, without bothering anyone.” In other words, “The results were bad, and we regret them. However, the basic aims of Aum Shinrikyo are not flawed, and we don’t feel there’s any need to reject them outright.”

    This unwavering conviction in the “correctness of aims” is something I found not only in the Aum followers I interviewed, but even among those who have left and are now openly critical of the Aum organization. To all of them, I posed the same question, that is, whether they regretted having joined Aum. Almost everyone answered: “No, I have no regrets. I don’t think those years were wasted.” Why is that? The answer is simple — because in Aum they found a purity of purpose they could not find in ordinary society. Even if in the end it became something monstrous, the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them and nothing else can easily replace it.
    …………….


  55. #47 Truth

    How does one get invited to become a member of the Greater Fellowship?


  56. Hey Sheik,

    My posts (#15, etc.) seem to be stuck in moderation purgatory. Is there a reason for that?


  57. Hi Vinnie,

    I think you should stay a devotee of RB and a member of the fof. You seem well suited. You sound like you need it and could not remember yourself without an occasional ‘meeting’. Your inner life does not seem very vibrant – even rather callous -, so the fof is a good place for you to continue on indefinitely. Nice and easy – and it won’t cost you too much it sounds like. And it is good you don’t “slam” others because you don’t seem to have a good discriminating faculty, so you should just keep it formatory.


  58. There is no need to replace what is positive and beautiful about any belief. It seems the question here with Vinnie is that he, like many others, is willing to allow for people to be harmed psychologically and economically because he thinks he is not directly involved in the procedures. He is happy to settle for not being totally involved in his community or his country. A bad teacher, that’s fine, a bad president? would you even vote for another one?

    Would you say Vinnie that what you’re expressing is the negative emotion of indifference? Not judging Girard or Robert means continuing to support them even if they are much deranged?

    Does it matter to you where your money goes? You’re also saying, really nothing matters to me except my own well being. You are certainly one of Robert’s best students for he also cares only about his own well being and Girard gave himself up to polish his role day after day for a whole of a lifetime. You think I married him to watch him drown in his ambition to dominate?

    You sure you really want that for yourself?

    What do you care about? I bet you’re not married, think that’s too much to respond for. Would you care if your children were in Robert’s path? Does it make a difference really whether it is your children or somebody else’s? Are they not human enough if they are not your children for you to care?


  59. The problem is not that there is much corruption in the world as much as that there are people who feel too helpless to deal with it. The helplessness you are expressing Vinnie in the attitude of laissez faire that you expose shows the degree to which you’ve lost a dignified sense of your self and others.

    Dignity is a positive emotion that has never even been mentioned in the Fellowship of Friends. It is a beautiful sense of being that does not allow for one’s self or others to be diminished.


  60. Hello ‘Vinnie the Fish’ ~

    Laura wrote to you ~

    “You may think yourself a free thinker immune from cult brainwashing…”

    ____________________________________________

    Well, there’s the rub Vinnie; if one has to ‘think’ one’s a ‘free thinker’ one most certainly is not; this is not to say that you’re thinking that you are, simply something to keep an eye on, if you know what I mean.

    To me, there’s plenty of ‘fish’ in the same pond as yourself; BTW, as a young boy I would discover ponds way in the middle of remote forests (with fish), I wondered how they got there, for these ponds were fed by underground springs flowing up from deep fissures, etc. (?)

    Some of these ponds looked like the rest of the forest floor when covered with autumn leaves, eventually these leaves would gain just enough ‘weight’ so to be turned under the pond’s surface, eventually giving way to the clear reflection again: sometimes I wondered if young deer spooked by some night foraging skunk or porcupine might have jumped straight into it, ‘thinking’ it was a firm surface in the light of the full moon (?)

    Many of my wonderments never came to fruition, though deep down in my heart I feel that I sorta ‘made up for these vacancies’ by creating some of those ‘new ponds’ myself, later in life, assertions and assignments that led me to scoop out in between a shallow mountain stream, some surprisingly dive-worthy belly buttons in the earth’s surface;

    what kind of ‘mother’ is your umbilical cord connected to?

    See, my friend, IMO, it will happen to you eventually; you’ll wonder in your head so much until one day your legs will finally feel the leaves brushing up against their ‘in the water a bit too long’ sensitivities, your feet will send agonizing signals to your heart, a sort of morris code that pauses heart beats, sculpts hummingbird tongues, and in the middle of a five thousand dollar meal, brings the tongue to a bland madness, as one begins to feel the blackness behind ones closed eyelids always swirl when its initiated by a conscience that simply cannot look at it anymore, whatever ‘it’ is for you, the belief-symbols rather than the sensually secret and loving deeds of Conscious Being.

    It’s not so much what keeps you in such revealed places (as the blog has uncovered entirely for all to see) as the Fellowship of Friends,

    the mind activity that’s prerequisite to believing you have a complete spiritual octave/triad occurring;

    it’s the quality of that SPACE, that SILENCE, where (more than you may currently know or have verified and forgotten about when ‘open’ as some children are) ‘things’ and ‘its’ go skirting around,

    painting mirrors in mud puddles,

    keeping the alcohol content in their bottles,

    sparking life fire-flies in a cancer patients ability to wait fifteen more minutes for it’s child to make it’s last hello to room #44,

    lifting an old woman off her chair to place her on the front porch, to see the traffic one more time,

    to give circumstance the pattern of coincidence;

    no matter those who claim the ‘rabbit and hat’, these ‘movers’ and ‘shakers’ do their work unmoved by trespassing, plagiarism and con artist’s:

    see, all disruption or corruption takes care of itself, the ‘I don’t’ will eventually have to repay the ‘I will’ for it’s existence, its proximity; have you begun to pay, do you notice the price innate of the silence, the blush of your conscience?

    It’s not the thoughts…

    it’s what one often, softly and a bit too quickly says, then brushes under the daily routine, the daily image-prompting of oneself and those static objects there-around, like, ‘Could give a shit.’ or ‘I am here for C-Influence, not Robert Burton’… the mind-affirmations that feed Belief, not Being…

    Yet, the “sly man’s pill” is missing from this picture,

    which is no surprise,

    for it is in the said “not” or the “don’t” or the “isn’t” that the SPACE and SILENCE resides its cause and effects, it’s inescapable prices, revelations and tests;

    it is here that the conscious ‘personal real’ unfolds (and molds),

    in the nearly gone peripheral vision,
    in the corners of our eyes,
    in that space where fifty feet ago one was determined to give the homeless person a dollar, until upon closer inspection you realize it’s someone who knows you or you them,
    then you make up something,
    perhaps the need for quarters to make a phone call,
    or put a thought in between yourself and them saying ‘They’ll just buy drugs with it, etc.’

    It is this ‘void’ that is not accounted for in your School of Relative Awakening,

    It is the air that Krishna exhales;

    you’re still caught up in dissecting his lungs,

    this is OK (sorta),
    it has it’s place too,
    yet, please do not ‘believe’ you’re anywhere beyond the smells of full bloom roses,
    whose brave openings have now set the clock ticking to their disappearances and dropping of petals for Robert Burton to grin towards,

    while he ‘thinks’ it’s a carpet for him to walk upon,
    a carpet of celebration and reward,
    a carpet made by the meticulously removed eyelids of thousands of his victims…

    I like my eyelids, they keep by eyeballs moist, it tells love-panthers that I am still alive, not yet dead meat:

    fish have no eyelids, I do not wonder why, the water that surrounds them does it for them, yet, the how is for you, it is all yours. For a time, fish can survive in numerous kinds of liquids other than water, even urine.
    __________________________________

    Love to you all.


  61. “Even if in the end it became something monstrous, the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them and nothing else can easily replace it.”

    —Murakami

    This strikes me as one of the saddest sentences I’ve read on this blog.


  62. #34 KA

    Very nice!


  63. on September 18, 2007 at 8:38 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    55 Kid Shelleen
    “Even if in the end it became something monstrous, the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them and nothing else can easily replace it.”

    —Murakami

    This strikes me as one of the saddest sentences I’ve read on this blog.
    ______________________________

    This is sad to me as well, although I think it describes the thoughts and feelings that allow someone to remain in the fof more than it depicts those who leave. As Elena suggested above, it’s an illusion that we need to “replace” anything we found in the FOF. Anything we found there of any substance whatsover, we found within ourselves — not through membership.


  64. on September 18, 2007 at 9:00 pm Vinnie the Fish

    I used to think Sai Baba and Muktananda might be good alternatives, but they say they are or were rapacious sexual predators too. And Gurdjieff was probably pretty rampant.. I wonder if there are any who are not that way inclined?
    Maybe it’s a requirement for a spiritual teacher.


  65. Vinnie the Fish wrote:

    “I used to think Sai Baba and Muktananda might be good alternatives, but they say they are or were rapacious sexual predators too. And Gurdjieff was probably pretty rampant.. I wonder if there are any who are not that way inclined?

    Maybe it’s a requirement for a spiritual teacher.”

    Let the games begin!


  66. Re: 58, Vinnie the fish

    Ouspensky was a decent person.
    Nicoll was a decent person.
    Collin was a decent person.
    Pogson was a decent person.
    Solange Claustres is a decent person.
    Wim van Dullemen is a decent person.
    Krishnamurti was a decent person.

    As for Gurdjieff, I do not feel able to defend him as he deserves, but here is what Mme Solange Claustres has to say about him:

    “My meeting with G.I. Gurdjieff surpassed all my expectations. I want to bear witness in my writing to my profound gratitude to this man who nourished me in such a substantial way.

    He alone gave me a deep feeling of security and trust, which no one else ever gave me. Through his quality of listening, I could be myself, and express myself. He summoned up and aroused my abilities, put them to the test, making me conscious of them, and enabling me to trust them; which is what I most needed.

    He both confirmed and guided my searching, my feelings and my intuition. My life took on a more precise meaning in a path that I was already following but only groping aorund in the fog, reading everything, questioning, wanting to know and understand everything.

    This relationship did not involve any sentimentality or mysticism. Even in feeling as if I was close to my father, there was never a gesture or attitude of fondness, neither on his part, nor mine. I never felt him to be in any way manipulative, dogmatic, paternalistic or egotistic.

    He was an honest and unpretentious man, profoundly good, with respect for all, full of knowledge, and good everyday common sense.

    He was a good, strict teacher, never unjust, whose ever wakeful attention never missed anything that was happening.

    There was no solemnity in his manner of being and speaking. He was always very simple, direct, going for the essential, without idle talk: his words were concise and precise. …”
    (Becoming conscious with G.I.Gurdjieff, p. 17)


  67. Bistro Fundraiser wrote:

    “Anything we found there of any substance whatsover, we found within ourselves — not through membership.”

    I will whole-heartedly second this emotion.


  68. “Maybe it’s a requirement for a spiritual teacher.”

    Vinnie, you are in the right cult for you. Way to go.


  69. There is no one out there in the future that can bring you to the now. No one can remember for you, only you can remember yourself. Life is not before or after because it is always right now, there is no one that can give you self-consciousness or take it away. Men take the possibility of consciousness away from themselves by not realizing that non-identification is the only thing that will satisfy their constant need for something more. Try to remember yourself. If you can’t discover what that means then you will always be begging others for something they will never be able to give you. There is no guru that can wake you up, you have to wake yourself.


  70. Funny, but true:

    Went to the Nick Lowe/Ron Sexsmith show last night and what is the guy in front of me in line reading: A Herald Of The Coming Good. I struck up a conversation with the guy and told him I thought Gurdjieff was the L. Ron Hubbard of his time. He’s a psychology professor and, of course, corrected me by saying, “No, Ouspensky holds that distinction.” He felt that Ouspensky took Gurdjieff too seriously(!?). Gurdjieff, to his mind, needed to be read like, and I’m not making this up, the Marx Brothers or the Three Stooges, “You know, with a sense of humor!” I laughed and changed the subject… “So, where did you say you teach?”


  71. on September 18, 2007 at 10:28 pm Vinnie the Fish

    I think he was right, you need some sense of humour to read All and Everything!
    Alice E, thanks that’s a nice quote, I don’t know that book.
    Of course you’d find people who would praise Robert similarly, and others who would slander G.
    Would be interesting to see the books around in 30 years or so, how Robert and others stand in posterity. Maybe not at all.

    KA did you used to write ads for Journey Forth By Day ;-) :

    “Aren’t you CURIOUS about what it might be like to grow up spiritually? To let go of the Queen’s hand and cross the street by yourself? Letting go, would you find your people – your second line? Wouldn’t it be truly fascinating to find out if you are man or woman enough to attract that on your own? If you let go of a rather superficial control over your spiritual life will it crumble? Does your spiritual self look like an insect – with the structure and strength all on the outside like a hard shell, or can it evolve to an interior bone structure where you can be soft on the outside – and strong too – and walk upright? Wouldn’t you like to find out? Wouldn’t it be a grand, terrifying, hopeful, imperfect, perfect adventure of your very soul?”

    hehe


  72. Well-written Laura._Of course I try different approaches, why not, the world is my oyster and I’m free that way._For me it’s not much money, time or energy, so maybe you had some assumptions there?_I don’t think I have any claims or assumptions, only that I find it useful for me, but that’s not really an assumption is it?_I have found that if I don’t feed the flame inside that wants to evolve or awaken or however you want to put it, and spend time with people interested in working in that direction, and helping each other see the obstacles that obstruct it, then the desire is submerged under the pyles :-) of daily worries.
    This is an important question, whether you need other people to evolve spiritually. Is ’spiritual evolution’ an OK term to use, or is that whole idea totally uncool once you leave?
    What do you do now Laura, is this blog your contact with like minded people on the path? Or maybe some Buddhist group, or just reading?

    Dear Vinnie,
    I think I can relate to your situation. Since I was the unwealthy mother of three small children, during my final period in the fellowship my teaching payments simply consisted in doing calligraphy work, and I was also mostly living my own life and having fun. In the end my departure was due to a number of big issues that became clear over time and that are clearly reflected in the writings of this blog.

    The vital question is: have you really verified that there are no better ways to invest your limited energy (time and money are just an aspect of that) in the sacred pursuit of something as precious as awakening? The assumption I was referring to was the idea that without the FoF environment your aim to awaken would atrophy. I dare say there is no reason to fear such a thing. The path is yours, the flame is yours, if your aim is true you will always find ways to nourish it. The FoF mentality feeds the most fearful aspects of our minds, and it creates an imaginary divide between the help we can get within its form and the possibilities outside.

    What if you discovered that this same mentality adds to the pyle by creating a depressive and stifled environment subtly permeated by feelings of guilt and shame, actually adding to your daily worries and weakening your inner potential? It isn’t that easy to see this as long as you’re in, and I remember clearly my panicky reaction when, even as I was in the process of leaving, a couple of friends told me how their spiritual life had blossomed since leaving the fellowship. It was hard to believe. I felt a subtle, deep, sharp pain, the dawning of a most inconvenient truth. Not only my School was not perfect or even ok, I MYSELF had been wasting a lot of my precious time following a sterile path. We can reason from here to eternity, but the proof is in the pudding, and I can smell no pudding in this oven. It’s all good if in the end you do come to your senses, but the humbling, oh the humbling hurts! As many here can testify, the feelings of remorse and regret can be a heavy burden to transform. I knew I had for too long betrayed my own dream and subjected to the burden of someone else’s fanciful nightmare.

    As to my own subsequent experience, I left feeling I had to find another group ASAP. After twelve years that event looks highly unlikely. For a few years I was indeed somewhat active in the local Mahayana Buddhist community, and am still at heart philosophically a Buddhist, although my understanding of its core teachings is continuously changing. But my deepest breakthroughs occurred during my experiences in holotropic breathwork. With the simple means of a few hours of music, controlled breathing, eyes closed, an empathic environment and a lot of trust I experienced some states, realizations, resurfacing of memories and energetical shifts that had very serious impact on my subsequent life. Naturally this experiences brought about some major changes in my perspective on the transformative process.

    I still believe that we need people to evolve, since they are our constant mirrors. But their help can take many forms. Maybe you need people who conscientiously follow one system of thought and who can gift you with impersonal photographs and a lot of good will (as long as you’re one of them). Or maybe you need a perfect stranger who is willing to hold your sweaty hand, give you water when you are thirsty and not judge you for dancing, crying and screaming your lungs out. Or maybe you need people to dance tribal dances with, or sing mantras in unison, or take magic mushrooms with, or stare at a wall together. You are the only one to know.

    Even without wanting to look at the big picture, one has to ask oneself why the FoF idea of work on oneself is so narrow and judgemental, why the constant indoctrination on being the one and only right way. That should be enough to scare away any serious seeker of the truth.

    But in the end, whether they are incited by words from someone’s lips, writings on a page or any other form of external stimulus, your awakenings can only come about as a result of facing your own inner self, can you see? You are ultimately the judge of truth, you are the one who can choose right from wrong, all the time you are the one in charge. Your daily worries are your own creation, and only by empowering yourself can you rise to find satisfying answers for the very unique dilemma that is your life.

    Whatever lovely feelings the school provides for you right now, one day you’ll likely come to understand that they are simply a reflection of the students’ inner beauty trying to make the best of a very sick situation. I give you credit for having the ability of projecting such powers on these shady impressions. But here is my present understanding: Robert and his teachings do hold tight grip on its subjects but their inner core is empty. Robert is so void of essential truth that he is the perfect receptacle of everyone’s fantasies. Where is the real man behind those cold blue eyes? Interestingly, real consciousness has no choice but to follow conscience. Instead, people like him, so good at toying with people’s minds, playing the angel and the villain, are the most unconscious and unconscionable amongst us. They are so disconnected from the life process that they live in self-serving alternate realities born of their imagination and entice others to believe in them. They are like dark holes, provided of immense centripetal force in proportion to their absolute lack of qualities. We provide the qualities for them. And what do we get in return, if not our own cheapened distorted reflection? I am convinced that all students would be gaining in health and energy if they continued their work away from Robert’s sphere of influence. Their issues would become clearer, their methods more effective, their ideas more intelligent.

    There is powerful image at the end of the Chinese movie “Curse of the Golden Flower”, that symbolically shows how when the core of the empire is poisoned, the whole empire heavily suffers. But I see I am getting carried away here, I hope I have made my point clear, and once again best wishes in following your path. As Ka so beautifully put it, let’s hope it to be “ a grand, terrifying, hopeful, imperfect, perfect adventure of your very soul”.

    Laura

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=RZenwBHCvvE


  73. on September 18, 2007 at 11:00 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Thanks Laura, nicely written again… and thanks for your concern… “The FoF mentality feeds the most fearful aspects of our minds”.. but I really don’t have a fof mentality, you can trust me on that one! For me the influence of such beauty (was truly striking at Isis at the recent events), and lovely people like you has opened me more to life and other people, and anyone who knows me would agree. You make it sound so dramatic, about the empire… for me it’s no big deal.. if it’s poisoned and dies so be it, I will continue to grow, the school is not my whole life. My grandmother often said ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’, so I have never excluded ‘life’ friends.. a crucial mistake of many of these ex-students I think, so they leave and have no-one to turn to.
    Common sense is a basic necessity.

    I’m curious, do people who leave go back to their previous way of talking and acting? Drop the soft voice and mild manner, the fake kindness and hint of a smile, the Dear Friends and In friendship from their emails?
    Am I the only one who found that utterly false?
    Now you’ve left you probably find it false but while you were in you probably complied.

    Friend is not a word I would use lightly, especially on someone who wouldn’t lend me $10 or talk to me if I left, like Bass complained about.

    But that doesn’t detract from the usefulness of other students.
    It’s all in the attitudes and expectations.


  74. on September 18, 2007 at 11:23 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    I would like to answer this one too from #67 Vinnie the Fish: ‘do people who leave go back to their previous way of talking and acting?’

    There is no going back because being in the Fellowship changes you. My experiences being in the Fellowship and the people I met there were all part of my ‘life’. Being in the Fellowship changes you as any life experience changes you. And being in the Fellowship is part of your life.

    So when you leave the Fellowship you are someone who has had a Fellowship experience and are now having another experience. But being ‘anywhere’ for 20+ years will have an effect on how you act, maybe how you talk, and definitely how you think, no matter where you are.

    I would say for myself upon leaving I tried to keep as much of the good and leave as much of the ‘false’ behind as my level of understanding realized at the time.

    Being in the Fellowship is not as special as you think. Life experiences are occurring whether you are in or out of the Fellowship. Welcome to Planet Earth.


  75. Whalerider ~

    I have some Whale-Jumper Cables if you need them, let me know; otherwise, what about Burning Man? Did you burn those trousers or what?

    :.)


  76. 49 Vinnie

    “Now people like Bruce jump on the latest bandwagon, they were probably the ‘Our Beloved Teacher’ types before, accusing non-believers of being untrue.”

    Yup, you got me pegged alright, I was the ideal student, everyone looked up to me, and came to me for advice. I was the quintessential supporter for RB.

    It’s amazing that someone who’s so selfless as you are can so accurately apprehend the depth and breadth of someone you never met. Simply amazing. And your humility and humanity, it’s fucking astounding.

    As others have said, you are where you should be. Few deserve it more.


  77. Hi Vinnie,

    Re your #49: “Now people like Bruce jump on the latest bandwagon, they were probably the ‘Our Beloved Teacher’ types before, accusing non-believers of being untrue.”

    When I met Bruce in 1976 very few people in the FOF were “Our Beloved Teacher” types, especially compared to today. On a more personal level I don’t think Bruce himself is capable of being a devotee…to anyone. He was certainly always the “bad boy” of RB’s entourage back in the 70’s, and would probably have puked just trying to say the word “beloved.”

    Funny thing is, from reading your posts I’m pretty sure you would have liked him, then or now.

    Which leads me to your comment in #67 that “Friend is not a word I would use lightly…”

    Actually you use the word “friend” lightly everytime you refer to the cult you belong to as the “Fellowship of Friends.” Friendship is not a core value within Robert Burton’s philosophy today, and seems to be viewed as essentially a distraction from more worthwhile aims (e.g. mumbling the sequence to oneself, or giving as much money as possible to the FOF organization rather than using it to enjoy time with friends and family). These days friendship in the FOF is mostly considered a necessary evil. Something that comes from the lower self and, like eating, is best kept in moderation. Of course people like you who ignore the actual substance of Robert Burton’s teaching may not notice such things; but take care with the ones who do.

    Wishing you well wherever you are, or want to go, and however you think you can get there,

    Joseph G


  78. Bruce:

    I wrote my post before seeing your #70.

    It’s really funny to imagine you that way. Maybe some of your earlier, more pious writings gave Vinnie the wrong impression.


  79. on September 19, 2007 at 1:24 am Old Fish In The Sea

    Hello Vinnie,

    As an aside, from one fish to another, there is no IN and OUT. There is no line. Robert invented an imaginary line, a circle around us, but it is truly just a line in the sand. Yes it does place some infintessimal limits on what part of the ocean we can swim in, or how many resources we have avaialble to our own discretion, but in fact we can both go almost anywhere – the ocean is huge and the FOF is very small. It is like an old sunken boat where several hundred tiny fish swim.

    It might be more correct to say that there are phases. You are in the IN phase. At some point, pehaps next month, perhaps in 10 years, perhaps when you are an old spent being, you will be ready for the next phase. Once you are there, you will either be repulsed by Robert or some aspect of the FOF form, or you will be excited about something on the outside that is difficult to attain while in. Or maybe you will be thrown out because you are growing something that others cannot understand. These are the signs of change. The result is that over a period of years you will distance yourself from FOF influence and you will begin to shed the dream. It is a little like when you discover the 3rd state and the 2nd state seems very two dimensional. As you see the dream more clearly, you will be amazed that you thought it was real. You will remember all the times you shut of the alarms and went back into the dream. You will be even more amazed that you thought you were free from it while you slept in the dream. You may experience some anger at Robert, others or yourself for over-sleeping. You will feel a desire to wake up your friends. You will be astounded that they want to keep the dream alive.

    You will see that the dream (the imaginary circle that Robert has drawn) limits the love that you can hold. It limits the excitement of the day. It limits your ability to express your essence and your creative possibilities. In short, it holds you in a lower state. This is fine as long as you are a little fish, but as you get larger, you want more – you want to experience more of the huge ocean. As nice as it is, you will have experienced everything you can swimming arround the little sunken boat. At some point you will have to venture out, even though you know you may be eaten. At some point there is little to lose.

    Some stay way to long. The result can be depression or alcholism or other addictions. In some cases, they stay past their blooming time.

    So now you are in the IN phase. Enjoy it and use it and continue to work to be separate from nonsense. Learn what you can from others and take in the beauty when you can find it. Ride the Fence, the imaginary line or climb right into the inner circle – do what feels right to you. But when you start to metamorph, do not be afraid of it.

    One morning, you will venture out swimming further away than you have ever swum before. Your eyes will be wide with anticipation. You will look back at the little sunken boat and see your old friends swimming around it. You may call to them or you may just keep swimming. You will know for sure that you can never again be limited.

    Old Fish


  80. on September 19, 2007 at 2:30 am Across the River

    It appears that Vinnie and Bass each have a tremendous need to hold onto what saves them from the loneliness they fear without the constructed FOF community. Surely many of us can remember our own passage through that phase of disengagement from the FOF. Whether it’s expressed with the romanticism of Bass or the cockiness of Vinnie, it’s the same flaw.

    Comfort may be the primary goal of those who still hang on as members of the FOF – it doesn’t matter how they present their reasons.

    Besides the question of conscience for those who continue to support Robert’s group, what about the wrong-headed idea that a spiritual aim can be pursued with a psychology bound and tied by fear of one’s own suffering? Attachment to the feel-good comfort of a group is not a spiritual aim. Facing oneself without buffers can surely be suffering, but where else would we expect to find our own spiritual work? It’s very personal. It may at times be a lonely road. There’s no way around this, fellas! Very sincerely, do you actually have a spiritual aim or are you play-acting behind the relative comfort of the FOF?

    You will find that “life” is indeed your teacher, not Robert Burton. If you’re paying attention, you’ll ask the key question of why you really remained so long under the nature of Robert’s influence. You’ll also recognize that influence as a red herring in the real spiritual work always waiting for you.

    P.S. Speaking of comfort, much gratitude for this rich ‘blog’ community built upon the heartfelt postings and the tireless efforts of our host, the Sheik. Thank you all.


  81. Let’s show gratitude to the Sheik by using the PayPal button. it’s up near the top on the right.


  82. Dear Vinnie,

    If I have to tell you the lies that are circulating in the fellowship of friends….

    A few: Robert is celibate
    Robert is so special that he needs special energy: semen.
    Asaaf is in Italy to take care of going fort by day ….”yes and he can not come back into the country see previous post for more details.

    In 1995 a few students left the FOF …lie it was 200. Small difference

    Now it is over 350…Nobody admits it from the fellowship of friends…..Holding you tongue is of course not lying.

    Dorian and Mihai have been send to not see students for 3 months (except the teacher at night).

    Nisagradatta states: You can fulfill your desires as long as you do not hurt other people…..
    All the young men who have had sexual contact with Robert Burton have been HURT. I spoke with several.
    HAVE YOU????
    HAVE YOU???

    Do you know the reason behind the skirt exercise?
    You think it was Influence C….Right. No it was Robert inviting a young “(wo)men in pants in the galleria. Oops it was a women. Yes we all believed in Influence C….
    Ask the B, the W, the Russians, ask the ladies who got herpes….(and men).

    Dear Vinnie, do what you like to do…And believe, listen to your mind activities. I enjoy listen to my inner silence.
    I once was an innie like you and believed….when I think of that it hurts so much……It might all be a matter of time.

    Good luck to you


  83. We have a beautiful inner circle and no shortage of dicks.

    Love Rolex

    When Artemis exposed her breasts Achilles was already stroking his hard long be.


  84. It’s worth bearing in mind that the FoF has changed dramatically for the worse in recent years. There were some wonderful places and times in the past. For example, the London Centre in the ’80s was a vibrant, exciting, spiritually stimulating environment, and it was by no means the only such place in the FoF. In some weird way, Burton, despite his own hopeless corruption and negligible ability as a spiritual teacher, attracted wonderful, sincere people who created a school that really worked in the Fourth Way sense, at least for a while. In retrospect and paradoxically it seems that the further away from Burton you were, the more likely you were to receive something positive from the FoF.

    These days Burton’s corruption and spiritual bankruptcy are apparent to all but the most hypnotised. Anyone sincerely interested in spiritual awakening or with a functioning conscience has either left or is in the process of leaving. Those who remain are the old and crystallised, as Laura pointed out, or the younger and more superficial, epitomised by Vinnie, or those restained by practical considerations such as finances or visas.

    It’s sad, but also perfect in that if Burton had not been revealed to be the sham he is many of us might still be hanging around in the FoF imagining that we were still achieving something.


  85. Vinnie, If you’re in a European center, it sounds like RB may be spending more time in your neck of the woods. If you have a nice lean body then you might have the chance to find out first hand what all (or at least some) of the fuss is about.


  86. on September 19, 2007 at 8:29 am Vinnie the Fish

    haha xena I’m not that way inclined thanks anyway!
    I’ll save my hard lean body and copious fluids for someone sexier. Post your pic you could get lucky. :P
    London is still pretty good, maybe not as fun as before but still OK. Joseph you’re right I probably know Bruce and like him – actually I’ve liked deeply or loved nearly all the people I’ve met in the school. That’s the great thing about it.
    How did you people get along before without ‘ignoring the substance’ of Robert’s teachings? Like when Charles was a ‘beloved teacher’ type (and he WAS very recently)? There was no substance then either, so how shallow was that? What has actually changed in the last 20 years, except the meetings became all quotes since a Russian stood up in a meeting asking difficult questions?
    Another Name.. those lies don’t sound too horrific. Yes I heard the celibate claim, ages ago, but Robert’s sex life has been common knowledge since I joined. Dorian and Mihai banned from seeing students except Robert? Well he’s not one.
    “I once was an innie like you and believed”
    By the way, I don’t believe anything. That’s what makes me different I think, you are all former believers turned non-believer. You believed all your silly thoughts and extreme feelings then, and do now too! :-)
    I have not lived a lie since I joined, like many of you did, I put on no false pretences.. I’ve had my eyes wide open and still find it useful for me. Not toooo much has changed lately, except the meeting format and a ‘few’ departures. ;-)
    Would it bother you all too much if I stay a while longer? If that’s OK with each of you?


  87. Vinnie the Fish (around) 80

    I have not lived a lie since I joined, like many of you did, I put on no false pretences.. I’ve had my eyes wide open…

    *********

    A Curse on Vinnie

    You are a paying member of a cult of sodomy, a resident of a spiritual criminal’s network of psychologically dead enablers and yet you have your eyes wide open? You are a member of a sect that is founded on a lie, that Burton is a conscious teacher of the Fourth Way, and yet you are not living a lie? You are nothing but a false pretence, mercurial and vain. You are sleeping below the level of ordinary life.

    Something unexpected will soon come your way from Circumstantial Influences and wipe some of the smugness off your face is my prediction. Besides resisting the influence of lies, being unswayed by falseness and living wide awake, you’re not superstitious are you?

    There’s something coming, probably an illness. You’re not a hypochondriac are you?


  88. Dear Vinnie,

    If I have to tell you the lies that are circulating in the fellowship of friends….

    A few: Robert is celibate
    Robert is so special that he needs special energy: semen.
    Asaaf is in Italy to take care of going fort by day ….”yes and he can not come back into the country” see previous post for more details.

    In 1995 a few students left the FOF …lie, it was 200. Small difference

    Now it is over 350…Nobody admits it from the fellowship of friends…..Holding you tongue is of course not lying.

    Dorian and Mihai have been send to not see students for 3 months (except the teacher at night).

    Nisagradatta states: You can fulfill your desires as long as you do not hurt other people…..
    So many young men who have had sexual contact with Robert Burton have been HURT. I spoke with several.
    HAVE YOU????
    HAVE YOU???

    Do you know the reason behind the skirt exercise?
    You think it was Influence C….keep dreaming. No, it was Robert inviting a young “(wo)men in pants in the galleria. Oops it was a women. Yes we all believed in Influence C….
    Ask the B’s the C’s and D’s, the Russians, ask the ladies who got herpes….(and men).

    Dear Vinnie, do what you like to do…And believe, listen to your mind activities. I enjoy listen to my inner silence.
    I once was an innie like you and believed….when I think of that it hurts so much……It might all be a matter of time, for many of us.

    Good luck to you


  89. Dear Vinnie.

    Quote of a student:

    I can not remember who said this, but it was somebody at the Grand Bazaar in August when the going Forth by Day was happening.

    “The London Center is very much a social club these days.”

    So when Robert will come to London he probably wants some extra cash to spend. Some men, to spent time with and confirm that you are all depended on him…..and that payment is a principle.
    Read Nisagardatta and see Tony Parson to start learning about dependency from Robert, father figure, Gods and other authorities.

    These aspect created so much freedom for me.

    Good luck to you.


  90. Vinnie, Dear, as I’ve said before you should stay in the fellowship of RB as a devotee for a very very -very- long time. You sound quite crystallized. Go forth into the sequence leaving the 4th way behind and key some poop and long be there for RB who actually prefers guys like you who are not ‘inclined’ ‘that way’. Hey, you might ‘get lucky’!

    this time The Sequence with Happy Music…(and, check it out – you can eat a banana while doing it!)


  91. 58 Vinnie the Fish

    You are a complete fool to think so.

    One has to overcome all desire to go beyond the existential world to go home into the unknown.

    For now goodbye


  92. #78 Charles T

    Thanks Charles.
    Aline


  93. A Few More Lies and Some Truth

    Lie: Students are being told that everything on the Blog is a lie- don’t read it because none of it is true (just negativity)

    Lie: Students are being told that Asaf is in Milan to help the Europeans understand the sequence and to create a ‘ European Go Forth by Day”. Oh, and he is also working on some minor inconvenience to resolve his not being able to get back into the USA.

    Truth: The R-1 visa holders are being told to return to their country of origin before the INS issues subpeonas and has them deported (after end of September).

    Truth: Some students are being given air fare to get them out of the country quickly (those who know too much or could create problems if interviewed by the INS).

    Truth: Br__n Car_ll_n is being paid a salary by the FOF to be the ‘official’ bouncer at meetings, dinners, breakfasts etc. His job is to escort anyone out, who ask uncomfortable or challenging questions during meeting, dinners , breakfasts etc.. So if you are seeing Br__n around more often – its not because he can’t get enough of the events – its his job to make sure everyone is kept in line. How’s that for paranoid?

    Lie: With the departure of approximately 70 R-1 visas, word is that some octaves on the property are being slightly inconvenienced. But it’s business as usual. Stay tuned to the next events coming up. Interesting, isn’t it? That 70 peoples lives are being significantly disrupted, but hey- that’s how influence “C” works isn’t it? Really nothing to do with the fraudulent basis that the ‘slave’ labor has been brought into this country.

    Truth: Abe G and David L are making good money advising those leaving what their options are. I guess they have to make a living, don’t they.

    That’s it for now. Any more lies/truths out there?


  94. Graduates (81) ~

    That’s odd; I was thinking of a suitable shaman ‘zap’ for Robert Burton this morning (really), still looking for a real zinger.

    In the meantime while Robert Burton is ‘out of town’ maybe someone in the galleria can do this ~

    Take a large bowl of salt and sprinkle a pinch or two over the exterior doorways and windowsills of your Galleria. Make certain you get each and every one, including the downstairs ‘boys rooms’ and ‘wine cellar’.

    Choose the room that has the strongest negative feel to it.
    (That won’t be too difficult.) Light the white candle. In a large fire proof bowl combine the following:

    1 tablespoon powdered garlic
    1 tablespoon peppermint
    1 tablespoon ground clove
    1 tablespoon dried/powdered thistle
    Handful or two sweetgrass, sage, or dried oak leaves

    Carefully light the mixture so that it smolders, giving of a aromatic smoke. Leaving the candle lit, carry the bowl into each room and repeat the following saying:

    In the name of the Eternal Lady and Lord
    I bid thee part.
    I consecrate and clear this space.
    Let nothing but joy linger here.

    When you have done each room return to the first and set the bowl beside the candle and wait for the remaining mixture to burn out. Take the ash outside and sprinkle it over the grass/flowerbed/etc. thereby returning it the the Mother.
    ‘From somewhere on the Net’
    _____________________________________________

    BTW, Don’t forget to sprinkle a little on RB’s bed too.

    :.)


  95. Gurdjieff was big joker!

    In “All and Everything” he tells story of guy who visits brothels all the time but never catch disease because he wash himself good with COLD WATER.

    This blog is cold water for poor souls still in fof. Wash yourself good so you don’t catch bad disease!


  96. My You Tube has stopped working. I have now officially discovered that I am an addict.

    BTW watch out for the heat Vinnie, I am afraid you’ll get burned and soon become past history for this blog like other bold students before you. Take care.


  97. on September 19, 2007 at 9:21 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Another Name, I’ve seen a coupla Utube Tony Parsons videos, he’s OK but pretty uninspiring isn’t he? Looks like the guy behind the post office counter. Nisagradatta seems good. Who else?
    KA you just prove that it’s necessary to ignore some people’s useless words.

    “85 Peter
    58 Vinnie the Fish
    You are a complete fool to think so.
    One has to overcome all desire to go beyond the existential world to go home into the unknown.
    For now goodbye”

    What was that all about? Who’s Peter? What’s his beef? I was a fool to think what?! :-)
    He’s right though, I’m a kind of fool, with no pretences, expectations, or fears… except death, but that’s reasonable…


  98. speaking of curse of the golden flower, I hope you like this video

    http://www.novestudio.com/KP/chrys.htm


  99. Dear Vinnie,

    “KA you just prove that it’s necessary to ignore some people’s useless words.”

    I used to have alot of patience for ‘fat boys’ like you. I’m getting “Brucier”.

    I’m sorry, truly…. I thought you would like my last post. Isn’t that how you perform the sequence?? When I was in the fof the thing was –self remembering– and we didn’t have the divine sequence. You asked what was different about the fof ?– you have a much more upgraded teaching than I had. We didn’t have ‘quote’ meetings and ‘keys’ and ‘the numbered work Is’. You are very lucky to get to hear RB’s interpretations of cave paintings and bring that into your life – would you care to share your love of the current teaching?


  100. Oh dear! I think I’m in love with Vinnie. What a peculiar development. Anyway, Vinnie, try John Sherman:
    http://www.riverganga.or/VideoSatsang/rope.shtml (John, clearly, would think it fine to be in the Fellowship or not or any other damn thing you happen to feel like doing or not doing)


  101. REVENGE?

    The topic of attempting to close down the FoF appears here fairly frequently. Why would we want this to happen?

    Because we realise Burton’s teaching is a sham? Yes, this seems obvious now, but for many years the FoF was a reasonably functional Fourth Way School – much could be learned. So, no hard feelings.

    Because we believe we’ve been conned into parting with large sums of money? Personally I don’t feel bad about this – it was my own choice to make the payments and at least until a few years ago it seemed well worth it.

    Because we were persuaded to believe, or at least to pretend to believe, crazy ideas like the fall of California? Surely we are responsible for our own credulity.

    Because of Burton’s private life? I have great sympathy with those who were personally part of this and suffered as a result. But we’ve read here that it was always (I think, correct me if I’m wrong) at least borderline consensual. (Admittedly I wasn’t there so I can’t really know.)

    Because something that once seemed so pure and wonderful has been revealed to have an empty, corrupt heart? Yes, that’s very sad.

    But is the continuation of the FoF such a terrible thing? The current members (ahem) are getting something out of it, or they wouldn’t remain. That’s their decision, not ours. In any case, these days dialogue occurs naturally between students and ex-students. It’s easy for students to find someone to talk to if they start to have doubts.

    Perhaps we could take responsibilty for our own sadness and anger, and move on.

    “Which is best: Bill And Ben or The Woodentops? Or are they the same?” Hairy Mart


  102. 95 Charles T

    “But we’ve read here that it was always (I think, correct me if I’m wrong) at least borderline consensual.

    You’re wrong. Period.

    If “borderline consensual” means no one physically held you down or put a gun to your head, and you accept that as your criteria, then I won’t even bother correcting you beyond this. Our spectrum of our conscience is far too different.


  103. 96 Bruce.

    I would hope our consciences are fairly similar. I defer to you and others who were there on this topic.


  104. 97 Charles T

    “I would hope our consciences are fairly similar.”

    To make the above assumption (95), even in ignorance ,shows that it isn’t.

    Why the fuck would 200, or 500 or 2000 straight males agree to have sex with that vile, repulsive queen if there wasn’t some significant degree of unusual coercion going on. I don’t think one has to be a genius to see that it was frequently non-consensual. Unless you have, in your mind, blocked out all that has been said and written and shown to be true for quite a few years, it should be very obvious. Unless one’s self also has some sociopathic tendencies, or a lunatic feature, or an excessively high image of themselves, all of which would keep one from seeing beyond oneself and be able to empathize with victims of what is so clearly crime on a level that supersedes the “law”.


  105. 95 Charles T ~

    Hummmm… You sound allot like Rhino Neal, are you impersonating Charles T or the other way around. I believe Charles T., that unless you’ve been face to face, or zipper to zipper with this Creature from The Black Lagoon (Robert Burton) then your voice on this matter is at the high watermark and at best a sort of hobby and nothing to be taken as the fine art of conscience… in other words, you’re in imagination and I am on the verge of spinning out a third deaf-rhyme, don’t make me do it; stay in the present and close to your karma, not others, unless they ask and know who they are asking, that’s my opinion BTW, nothing objective.

    On a silly rating, Charles T., you get a 9… the 10’s are reserved for those who have actually bent over and still do thinking it’s gets them closer to the essence of rhinoceros poo poo.

    It’s not about “revenge”, it’s about returning the demons from whence they came and getting them to agree to do so through understanding and change in level of being; there’s no better apartment for a demon than inside a confussed architect’s plans.

    _______________________________

    Love to you all.


  106. on September 20, 2007 at 3:06 am Old Fish In The Sea

    95 Charles T

    Thank you Charles.

    Certainly revenge does not help anyone, especially those that feel revengeful, and I believe that it closes the door to communication to those that are within.

    There are many fine people that choose to stay. Some stay because they feel that they need the pressure to continue to work. They want the constant reminders that life is about more than A influence. They want to be with others that also seek that pressure and they appreciate the intentionality that results. Finally, they want to be challenged to see the world in new ways, which the Fellowship can do.

    Unfortunately some of these fine people compromise their potential be accepting unhealthy behavior in Robert and the Fellowship.

    I believe there is danger and harm when students stay too long. Many are afraid to leave, or think they need pressure that at some point ceases to be useful and instead holds them in an unchanging relationship to life. They are examples of the Rodney Collin story of the student that works so hard that he walks right place his destination.

    Perhaps we can help these people to see when that time comes, that there is life on this side of the line. Displaying anger and revenge will not give them hope since they do not want to become an angry old man or woman.

    We also have the opportunity to help students differentiate between that which is healthy and that which is a bit sick.

    I don’t think sex can be consensual between a teacher and a pupil, a doctor and his patient, an adult and a child, etc. There are good reasons why this is considered to be immoral. I believe that breaching this has the very obvioius potential to destroy the teacher pupil relationship and the likely outcome of hurt, anger and a lack of trust.

    Robert decided to risk the trust that we had in him and as anyone might have predicted, the trust was diminished, even destroyed, and there is anger and hurt.


  107. >
    > Dear Charles,
    >
    > Perhaps we can take responsibility for our own sadness and anger and continue moving on to questioning the Fellowship down to the ground. I don’t think we’ve even started yet.
    >
    > While a few of us have been screaming our pain we haven’t even addressed the teaching. The teaching is no less untouchable than the practice. If we look a little further, we might learn something after all about what it is that we didn’t develop and why. We might not have developed a conscious
    > school but we developed enough unconsciousness for it to be worth a great look.
    >
    > The mechanisms of the fellowship are nothing but the reflexion of our beings put together and I do question anyone wishing not to look when there’s so much to see. What is it that those that question the questioning don’t want to see?
    >
    > While I much empathize with your tone and congratulate you for taking so much responsibility for your self I do not follow your feelings. I was in Oregon House last week and there was a feeling of sadness that the Fellowship is being badly shocked. Yes, the process of destruction is not easy to look at. And yet, while I respect any one’s right to do what
    > ever they want with their money and time, I equally claim my right to question a School that promised consciousness and raped our trust. The fact that it did it with a bouquet of flowers does not alter the issue. The bouquet was part of the indoctrination so that we would have shame to question it. Those are its sweet techniques.
    >
    > I have seen the mechanisms with which the Fellowship of Friends works too closely to not take it apart piece by piece.

    > Revenge? You could also call it love. It depends how we wish to understand it. For some, love is letting things be. For me that is tramp. Like Vinnie who never got really involved in being inside and can’t really get involved in being outside and cares less as long as he can keep paying to be in some kind of place that fits his feature. Indeed it fit our features and that is what I find worth questioning because I have not given up the quest for consciousness. If all I get from this experiment is the understanding of what consciousness is not, I will be much closer to what consciousness is.

    We’ve shown the worst of our selves. Maybe we can still show the best. That was not possible in the Fellowship. A few in the ranks allowed for another few to talk and participate if they liked them enough but there was never an open public square like this one in which to express our selves regardless of the rank or somebody’s sympathy. Those subjective sympathies, mechanical sympathies that make the world go around tied to the hierarchy without ever allowing people to participate because they are people. People. Common human beings that don’t have to keep proving themselves to anyone or anything to be.

    Dear Charles, I have seen a man crawl on his feet everyday of his being trying to hold the Fellowship together at the cost of his life. It is his life but don’t tell me I have to keep quiet so that another fifty men follow his path and a thousand like us pay for it.

    No, call me the courts that followed the nazis, call me the memory that will not forget, call it revenge if you will but if you look deeply enough you can also call it love. This is not a witch hunt to see how we hang Robert and Girard from the balls, it is much more a search for letting them hang off their balls. Some think they are doing people a favor letting them crucify themselves and others, I will destroy that cross if I can and let them build it again if they have the balls. Hopefully they’ll be too old to continue fucking themselves up.

    You might forgive me the language, but I’m done with King of hearts mediocrity. It was too much softness for too many years what allowed them to dress in silk ties and give us motherly sermons while in private they banged their heads against the wall and their penises against their consciousness.

    When the blog began, I thought almost every letter defending the Fellowship was from Girard. I recognised what I had been hearing everyday for four years. We are each one of us indoctrinated with the same mind. A few were wise enough to hold themselves far away from it but there are hundreds inside learning to live with a frame of mind that is sick. There is no life, no beauty, no love in it, just the madness of a man that chose to crawl and not walk, beg and not work, and undermine himself in adoration for another man just as sick who chose to live on the sweat of those who trusted him.

    I will take as much responsibility for my love and trust in Robert, Girard and the Fellowship as for my distrust of Robert, Girard and the Fellowship. I will not walk the middle path as you propose. If the Fellowship of Friends stops today, those who are hurt will have time to heal, and no more people will be hurt. Nothing of any real value will be lost. There is no integrity in the Fellowship of Friends. It is an institution of convenience, a rather sick one for that. All those who innocently think that the Fellowship is helping them, have not even began to question the human cost of that integrity that they are not willing to look into.

    It is not the money, nor the suffering or the past, it is that the human cost has been too great to disregard and there is no legitimate reason for it to continue.

    Tell me, what is there of any value still in the Fellowship? You talk as if brainwashing wasn’t harmful. As if paying for a conscious teacher that teaches one to undermine one’s self day after day, to loose trust in one’s beliefs, to become self conscious and not conscious, to accept that men be treated like dirt and women be used as pimps were of no consequence.

    Do forgive me Charles, but you and all like minded people have not even began to look at what it is that we’ve been doing inside.

    True, we did not kill people physically, thank God, but thousands were ignored psychologically. Ignored to the point that they came and left after fifteen, twenty, thirty years, without having ever had the chance to say, I am part of this community for the sake of my own being and not just because I pay.

    I suggest you read the blog again, read lady b’s letter and keep reading. Every letter is the reflexion of hundreds of students behind it, many of whom don’t even know that the blog exists and are still trying to figure out what it is that happened to them in the Fellowship.

    You have my full respect to your integrity, I am only questioning your thoughts and feelings. In relation to Robert, Girard and everyone else in the Fellowship I continue to question their actions besides their thoughts and feelings. Questions and dialogues in the hope that we’ll not let our lives pass unexamined.

    >
    >
    >


  108. Dear Charles (95)

    You acknowledge that RB’s teaching “is a sham” and I certainly agree with you there. However, your assertion that “for many years the FoF was a reasonably functional Fourth Way School – much could be learned” – I’m not so sure about that.

    Yes, much could be learned there. Much can be learned anywhere if one has the right attitude. As I’ve said before in this blog, I think that most of whatever real learning occurred in the FOF was in spite of Robert rather than because of him.

    Sure, I learned things while I was there. I learned about art, and poetry, and beauty from Rembrandt, Whitman, DaVinci, Bach, Hafiz, and many others. Not really from RB though. He just co-opted these imminent beings and lied about having some special connection to them. And even they were cast aside, or at least diminished in importance, once Robert got into the sequence and all that.

    The same thing could be said in regard to learning about the Fourth Way. There again, RB co-opted the teaching of others and falsely claimed to have a connection. Of course, I learned about and practiced the Fourth Way to some extent while I was in the FOF. But Burton’s version of the Fourth Way teaching is, at best, incomplete. And, of course, he taught all kinds of other crazy shit having nothing to do with the Fourth Way all down through the years, not just in the last couple.

    As I’m sure you know, his teacher, Alex Horn, had no legitimate connection to the authentic tradition of the Gurdjieff work. Horn was bizarre, abusive, and distorted the teaching to satisfy his own selfish ends. And as we all know, Robert has emulated, and even surpassed him in this regard.

    What I really learned about the Fourth Way while I was in the FOF was either from reading the books, or from working with other sincere students. But there was no need to pay RB the exorbitant sums to do that. There were, and are, a considerable number of sincere and legitimate Fourth Way students and organizations out there. RB totally lied when he claimed that the FOF is the only real school.

    In regard to the money, you say “it was my own choice to make the payments and at least until a few years ago it seemed well worth it.” I don’t think it was at all “well worth it”. Yes I learned some things while I was there, and it’s difficult to attach a price tag to those things. I probably spent at least 50k while I was there. I’m know you spent much more. But what did you learn during all those many years that you couldn’t have learned elsewhere with much less expense?

    I guess we could look at it as our inevitable fate or something and that makes it a little easier to accept. I sure learned to be more skeptical about people claiming to be teachers – and that’s worth alot. But I really regret that our donations helped to make possible all of Robert’s profligate spending and pederastic escapades. Don’t you have a problem with any of that?

    You say “surely we are responsible for our own credulity”. I know where you’re coming from on this, we are responsible to an extent. But there is a responsiblilty on the part of the one who claims to be the teacher, as well. Teachers who deceive and defraud should be exposed and brought to justice, not just left alone to do their thing, as you seem to be suggesting. So when you say ‘we are responsible for our own credulity’ I think it’s kinda like blaming a rape victim for wearing revealing clothing or walking alone at night.

    You say “But is the continuation of the FoF such a terrible thing? The current members (ahem) are getting something out of it, or they wouldn’t remain.” Well I think it is a terrible thing and I think the current members are both deceiving themselves and being deceived about what they’re getting, just as we did and were. I would like to see that stopped. Not out of revenge but out of justice. Perhaps some divine justice will one day be meted out. I hope so, but I wouldn’t necessarily count on it. I prefer not to wait for that, and will do what I can now to persuade others to avoid RB and the FOF like the plague.

    Best to you, Charles (and everybody)


  109. 99 Uno: “unless you’ve been face to face, or zipper to zipper with this Creature from The Black Lagoon (Robert Burton) then your voice on this matter is at the high watermark and at best a sort of hobby and nothing to be taken as the fine art of conscience… in other words, you’re in imagination”

    True. My (tentative) statement was a long shot based on zero experience. I hope it doesn’t detract from the main point of accepting and moving on.

    100 Old Fish: “Robert decided to risk the trust that we had in him and as anyone might have predicted, the trust was diminished, even destroyed, and there is anger and hurt.”

    Yes. In fact you’re putting it mildly.

    101 Elena. Thanks. Your posting brought tears to my eyes. I agree with almost everything you say. I admire you for taking a strong, confrontational stance. But please allow me not to be so strong.

    102 David B. I didn’t learn much from RB himself either, and for sure his version of the Fourth Way was feeble and incomplete. But still, I have no regrets. Call me Vinnie if you like. You and I had some wonderful times, right? “I prefer not to wait for that, and will do what I can now to persuade others to avoid RB and the FOF like the plague.” If current students ask me what I think about the FoF I tell them what I think, which is just what you say. It’s strange being here in OH, however, and meeting current students who still unquestioningly believe. It’s extaordinary to say this, but despite everything some students still are achieving something. What that means, I don’t know, it’s just the way it is (and always was).


  110. FREEDOM is feeling your pain.
    FREEDOM is being the pain.
    FREEDOM is seeing people leaving their dreams, their homes, the fellowship of friends.
    FREEDOM is knowing that you do not know.

    Words are in the way, dear Charles and Vinnie and others.
    All mind activity, are you in you rwon way?

    I have heard all the words in the world.
    Proud of my tears and what is now, amen,
    Proud of being, simple where I am.
    Open to what is
    And feel, feel, feel what is bubbling up from somewhere deep inside, which is called “me” in this life.

    FREEDOM, simply driving in the rainy night in California.
    Alone, Free, no words,
    Just me, myself and I.

    Sleep softly.


  111. “…but despite everything some students still are achieving something.”

    _______________________________________________

    Well, not “everything” Charles T.,…

    _____________________________

    Questioner to Russian Student ~ “What was it like having sex with Robert Burton?”

    Russian Student ~ “It was like getting raped.”

    _____________________________________

    Charles T.,

    I would advice you to take some deep breaths and find your center; I have always sorta loved you in a quizzical way, I like your shear ‘being your self-ness’ in the face of certain ‘odd forces’, yet, when one becomes for a time that ‘odd force’, methinks it’s time to interview a few rape victims and say to them ~

    ‘but despite everything some whom have not been raped yet still are achieving something. What that means, I don’t know, it’s just the way it is (and always was).’

    And see what happens: everyone has two sets of eyelids, I pray that both of yours are not shut to change, indeed, you do not know and do not know what it means, yet, who amongst us is so full of unholy indifference to say “it’s just the way it is (and always was)” and still admit that they have no idea what premise is theirs to say such?

    That’s just plain weird, though not a 10… As I said before, the Fellowship of Friends will fall in two years time, the coo coo clock is ticking and Robert Burton’s balls are the counter weights; go figure.


  112. the coo coo clock is ticking and Robert Burton’s balls are the counter weights

    ***********

    Cuckoo clock. Other than that the prediction is brilliant.

    This is the problem: an evil madman, a truly maliciously inclined lunatic, hell-bent on self-satisfaction at the cost of everyone else, is surround by, is buffered from direct observation by, what appears to be decent and sincere people. Their effect is that of ignorantly malevolent dupes, they are passively floating wooden decoys with carved smiles, enticing more innocent victims out of the skies and their only motivation for occupying such a position in life is a crumb of approval and recognition from a phony self-declared conscious being. Remember how self-righteous we felt when we talked one of our friends into the cult? It is only now that we fully understand how infectious and destructive the cult atmosphere of self-certain self-importance is. We wax apologetic and agonize with understanding about people still there, but just think back a few minutes to when we were there, remember how important and cosmically significant we felt? The degree of self-worship was truly disgusting and it is just that, the psychotic high of being a follower of the one and only prophet, that keeps the rest of the cult zombies glaring into the vacuum of one another’s eyes while recycling the hypnotic sequence through their abandoned brains. Admittedly we all enjoyed how exclusive that once felt, performing the particular phase of diversionary exercises Burton had devised to render the flock mindless, because we were so desperately empty of anything resembling integrity that we were willing to engage any madness if only we felt like we belonged to something important. The only thing that has changed for those of us no longer under the ugly influence of Burton’s poisonous version of polluted beauty and hideous heaven is that we now have the possibility of actually discovering something meaningful in this journey through existence. They are there because they believe they have been chosen to follow what they imagine is a prophet and that makes them criminals because their false prophet is a criminal.


  113. on September 20, 2007 at 8:19 am Vinnie the Fish

    Yes it must have been very unpleasant having sex with him. I know a few guys who just said ‘no’ though and that was the end of it. They didn’t get to hang in his group, but no big deal.

    KA, Robert’s words never had much substance, (it sounds sily to call it ‘teaching’ to me) except for the useful exercises like not interrupting, being intentional etc (there are endless examples) – it has been the excellent students who make it worthwhile, and that remains the case. But one’s intelligence can filter the wheat from the chaff.
    Robert just happens to be the one that keeps it together. Simple as that, and I have to give him credit for keeping such a fine bunch together for so long.


  114. on September 20, 2007 at 8:25 am Across the River

    Dear Charles T

    I agree with you that each of us must personally be responsible for working through our own regrets-hurt-sadness and actually it’s probably part of a necessary weaning process from the collective, so to speak – maybe an aspect of “graduation”.

    You suggest revenge as the motive behind various efforts to close down the FOF. To whatever extent that’s true, I’m very sorry for those twisting about in that turmoil. Although I’m not involved in the efforts along legal lines, revenge isn’t the motive I’ve read into these actions, but rather an earnest advocacy in action to stop a corrupted entity that preys upon naivety and feeds upon attachment.

    My impression is that this advocacy is altruistic in its aim, even though it is a harsh disruption of the status quo. Of course current members are there by choice but I think we all understand what holds them. I don’t suppose you imagine they are actually better for being there. There’s some of the “reformer” archtype in action these days, it’s true, but I think revenge is a wrong understanding. At least I hope so.


  115. Q. Why should self-remembrance bring one to self-realization?

    M. Because they are but two aspects of the same state. Self-remembrance is in the mind, self-realization is beyond the mind. The image in the mirror is of the face beyond the mirror.

    Nisargadatta “I Am That”


  116. 6, 16, 30, 55 and 56 are newly moderated.

    Still Trying: Each and every one of the people who write here have to have at least one post moderated before they can write in real time. This is so as to minimalize the number of people who would try to disrupt the discussion.


  117. on September 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Graduates – “Remember how self-righteous we felt when we talked one of our friends into the cult?”
    Says a lot that quote.. I would never talk anyone into joining, I know it’s not for everyone so have never even discussed it with an outsider in over 10 years. What different worlds we live in.
    I was thinking of making a list of all the benefits I’ve had from the school, and it would be a long one:
    understanding more what consciousness and mechanicality are; understanding and experiencing love, and opening the emotional part that is so closed off in fear in most people; appreciation of painting, classical music, art, literature; using small aims and intentionality to be more present and aware; learning to value beauty and focus on it ahead of other impressions to feed the essence; learning to value things related to the spirit ahead of bodily needs; good and intelligent acquaintances in so many countries, enabling interesting travel all over the world; speaking and being myself in front of groups of people.
    How is it after you leave? When you toast, do you avoid eye contact?


  118. Vinnie: “Robert just happens to be the one that keeps it together. Simple as that, and I have to give him credit for keeping such a fine bunch together for so long.”

    The Greater Fellowship reunion: People said several times; The only good thing that Robert has done is to bring a nice bunch of people together. There were more then 150 people there and 8 “innies” or fencers…..

    The price was big, Vinnie and I have said before and I feel this in my heart: If I knew what was really going on with the sex and money “disappearings” I would have left the fellowship of friends within a month. “Thanks center directors”

    Obvious you can not go to the place were the hurt is…the pain of 70 people who now have to move back.
    Of many men and women who have been hurt, physically, emotionally.
    Women who had to give up children, had abortions, had to take anti depressants and are still taking them.

    The real “innies” look at them, something is off, they can not realate in a two way conversation simple sharing, compassionate without some judging. They are “teaching” !.

    Yes, I move on as this is what has to be and yes, I have kicked myself why it took me so long. Part of the process and I am proud of it.

    But Vinnie, you in your London Social Club on your throne has no clue of the hurt in Oregon House and you would not be able. You think your mind is producing states….are you in for a joke as was I. Boy did this hurt and I am carrying this hurt and transcendent it with proud. No denial for me.

    You find Tony Parson not inspiring. I perceive him as clear as water, NO NONSENSE. Hurray, after so many years of mind clutter for me.
    The part about teachers is brilliant for me. Says it all.

    http://www.maharajnisargadatta.com/ Nisaragadatta with info as clear as water.

    Hicks : The DVD the secret behind the secret. As clear as water. With a practical showing of world 3……Wooooooh.

    Maybe Eckhart Tolle who has a strong intellectual element but he will tell you that enlightment is not achieved by doing.

    ARE YOU READY?…..all in due time.

    And you are paying teaching payments? Yes I did too for a looooong time. DEPENDANCY IT IS CALLED. DEPENDANCY.

    Now Freedom, for you too I wish and all who are reading.

    Enjoy


  119. Vinnie, nice list. I had a similar one. Aren’t you curious about what you are? Now that you’ve had the dependent/learning stage, aren’t you curious about doing all that list without the stifled (and corrupt) structure of the fof? I found that my list just grew and evolved. It was just a beginning. Don’t worry you can still make eye contact with friends and you will not forget how to read literature and your ears will still be able to listen to Beethoven.

    I know the easy part is so alluring and even addicting. Its all just so convenient to have houses available for travel with predictable nice people. Nice and easy. That started to bother me and it felt manipulative on an emotional level. I wanted something more real and more alive. None of your list is tied to the fof except for the convenience of travel. But get a job at a university and that will change too. You don’t need to close up and be afraid.


  120. VINNIE….IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU.

    What Vinnie learned in the fellowship of friends, despite the price he his paying. He can not see the bill yet! Is he in denial?

    Vinnie Says: I learned in the fellowship of friends: understanding more what consciousness and mechanicality are; understanding and experiencing love, and opening the emotional part that is so closed off in fear in most people; appreciation of painting, classical music, art, literature; using small aims and intentionality to be more present and aware; learning to value beauty and focus on it ahead of other impressions to feed the essence; learning to value things related to the spirit ahead of bodily needs; good and intelligent acquaintances in so many countries, enabling interesting travel all over the world; speaking and being myself in front of groups of people.

    VINNIE….IT IS ALL ABOUT YOUOUOU.


  121. 55 Still trying

    #47 Truth

    How does one get invited to become a member of the Greater Fellowship?

    ____________________________

    Still trying, watch for a post here from Janna or one of the others who are willing to post their email address. When you’ve made direct email contact with someone who is a GF member, you’ll receive an invitation from them.

    Janna may see this or you may need to wait for her occasional general invitation post.


  122. 114 Across The River: “Although I’m not involved in the efforts along legal lines, revenge isn’t the motive I’ve read into these actions, but rather an earnest advocacy in action to stop a corrupted entity that preys upon naivety and feeds upon attachment.”

    Yes, that makes sense. But I’ve for sure heard some ex-FoFers talking about their desire for revenge. I’ve also felt it in myself, sorry to say, which is partly why I raised the topic.

    115 Yesri.

    Brilliant quote. Thanks!

    117 Vinnie.

    We all experienced your list of benefits and I’m grateful for that. Most of them remain post-FoF. We still even make eye contact when toasting – it’s a nice habit. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater? The difference is that everything is so much more free and alive out here.


  123. 112 Graduates

    Great post, thanks.

    113 Vinnie the Fish

    “Yes it must have been very unpleasant having sex with
    him. I know a few guys who just said ‘no’ though and that was the end of it. They didn’t get to hang in his group, but no big deal.

    “- it has been the excellent students who make it worthwhile, and that remains the case. But one’s intelligence can filter the wheat from the chaff.
    Robert just happens to be the one that keeps it together. Simple as that, and I have to give him credit for keeping such a fine bunch together for so long.”

    Vinnie, you are a self-satisfied, narcissistic little creep. The FOF was made just for YOU.


  124. 117 Vinnie the Fish

    “How is it after you leave? When you toast, do you avoid eye contact?”

    Personally, I’ve come to understand that every “spiritual” event doesn’t have to involve alcohol to get through it.


  125. on September 20, 2007 at 5:49 pm Real Reborn Turbot

    Evolution in motion


  126. 2
    Vinnie the Fish (around) 117

    I was thinking of making a list of all the benefits I’ve had from the school, and it would be a long one:

    1) understanding more what consciousness and mechanicality are;

    ***

    That’s rich. Does anyone out here in the real world imagine for a second that this primping, self-satisfied idiot understands anything about mechanicality?

    2) understanding and experiencing love,

    ***

    Your prophet makes guys that feel like they have no choice because they are in a foreign country under a religious visa have sex with him, according to reliable reports he makes them do it when they tell him that they do not want to and you talk about understanding love while wearing that obnoxious smirk on your face.

    3) and opening the emotional part that is so closed off in fear in most people;

    ***

    All your emotional opening does is explain how clever and wise you are while enjoying yourself in a sodomy cult.

    4) appreciation of painting, classical music, art, literature;

    ***

    Yeah, that’s worth the price of admission to a cult that damages and distorts anyone that gets close to the lead lunatic.

    5) using small aims and intentionality to be more present and aware;

    ***

    You are about as present and aware as a common pimp. There is no consciousness without conscience.

    6) learning to value beauty and focus on it ahead of other impressions to feed the essence;

    ***

    All this FoF crap does is feed narcissism. The guy teaching you how to imitate the upper classes is the son of an Arkansas butcher. You are getting culture filtered through the ignorant tastes of a faggot character out of the movie “Deliverance”:

    7) learning to value things related to the spirit ahead of bodily needs;

    ***

    Here’s how your teacher reportedly does that:

    Inner circle facts Says:
    March 1st, 2007 at 8:25 am
    Are you ready for some brutal facts?
    Who would like to know how its really happening in his bad room? OK folks,fasten your sit belts,the Kansas going Bye Bye…
    Did you know that usual orgies are formed from 4 to 6 student?.Usually two of them are SIMULTANEOUSLY entering Burton’s anus.Third person is laying on his back while Mr.Burton is providing him an oral sex while two from both sides are subject to the masturbation by MR.Burton with his two hands.
    Some time there is one more student who’s role is to hold Burton’s testicles in his mouth during the whole time.Prior to all, by Burton’s request Viagra pills are shared and swallowed between all members of the orgy which are constantly provided by Mr.G.
    Some time you can hear Burton’s words during the sexual activities “How incredible! We are getting closer,aren’t we?”
    Some of them are asked to suck his nipples and his toes.All sperm gets swallowed by Mr.Burton at the end of the act.But that is not all yet.
    There are two students who had the most terrifying and most humiliating role to play (in my opinion).They have to enter with their hands by their elbows into the Burton’s anus.(Looking for Consciousness perhaps)..both students are Russians.One of them had left the school and the other has been “shipped” back to Russia for disobedience.
    And now get this:
    Beside those depraved scenes there is another one which going to shake you all:
    There is another act that Burton is preforming with a specific student of his own “inner circle”.This act of Humiliation is performed in his bath room while Burton is laying down and 3 students are urinating right on him!
    And on the next morning,like nothing happened Mr.Burton is leading the meeting on Love?

    8) good and intelligent acquaintances in so many countries, enabling interesting travel all over the world;

    ***

    Good and intelligent acquaintances found in a cult of sodomy operated by a criminal predator…somehow I doubt that’s possible.

    9) speaking and being myself in front of groups of people.

    ***

    Well, that is useful. You can stand in front of a 10,000 ex-members of a sodomy cult and explain to us the benefits you’ve derived from such an association.

    10) How is it after you leave? When you toast, do you avoid eye contact?

    ***

    How do you sleep at night? I’ll tell you how, you’ve got no fucking conscience you self-involved piece of crap.

    **************

    Now we know what little it takes to keep self-congratulating sociopaths in a psychologically destructive cult of sodomy.


  127. To all of you truly sincere posters,

    This forum seems to have become ted by a focus on tearing down and ultimately destroying the FOF and/or its leadership (however deservedly). In furtherance of this end, there seems to be a strong desire among many posters to silence the voice of anyone who is not in sync with this aim (Vinnie and others).

    To be clear, I don’t support the FOF and don’t think anyone should join it. Enough has already been said in this forum to give any current member of the FOF serious cause to reconsider their situation – but each of them has ultimately got to find his or her own answers.

    My own “wiseacring” speculation on the school is that the FOF started out on the right track, founded by mostly good people with good intentions, but somewhere along the line (fairly early on perhaps) an interval was not bridged, the FOF lost its aim and is now descending into perhaps the opposite of what it started out to be. In light of this view, I can’t dismiss the FOF as having been utterly wicked from the beginning and I can’t ignore the fact that there were many positives to take away from the FOF (as listed by Vinnie and others). As mentioned by one poster, I can’t see throwing out the baby no matter how muddied the bath water has become (at the same time, its hard to understand why anyone with a properly functioning conscience would continue to submerge themselves in such foul water).

    When I found this discussion group I was hoping it would serve me (and others in a similarly isolated situation) as a source of much needed second line work. I certainly get the impression that most of the posters here have not given up the quest. My hope is that we can move forward as a group and shift the tone and content of this forum to something more positive, more conducive to “man’s possible evolution”.


  128. 124 Graduates

    Yup.


  129. 125 Still trying

    Don’t be misled. Many here are continually seeking their right answers. Occasionally a schmuck will espouse seriously absurd pro-FOF crap, and that’s when they’re jumped on. Don’t judge the occasional spanking for the ultimate aim. You’d just be kidding yourself and showing your own tunnel vision.


  130. Hi Vinnie, just a few questions for you since you seem so eager to stand up for your self and the Fellowship. Congratulations, please don’t let us down, show us what to look back to with joy.

    understanding more what consciousness and mechanicality are;

    Do you think they are independent expressions of each other?

    understanding and experiencing love,
    What love did you experience? With your partner? Still good? With your friends? Will you loose them if you were to leave? With your teacher? I don’t believe you. With your self? Do you feel any more self sattisfied than you felt before joining?

    and opening the emotional part that is so closed off in fear in most people;
    Are you open and unafraid to speak in public to Robert?
    If he even allowed it? Why don’t you answer some of the questions that have been asked to you if you’re not that afraid?

    appreciation of painting, classical music, art, literature;
    Do you think “life” people don’t or do you realize we are able to appreciate them because “life” people have protected them?

    using small aims and intentionality to be more present and aware;

    To what are you more present and aware? I am sincerely asking you, I would love to know what you became more present and aware to.

    These are very easy sentences to say but can you fill them with meaning?

    learning to value beauty and focus on it ahead of other impressions to feed the essence;

    Beauty in the clothes, the flowers, the decorations or beauty in the way Robert treated you, respected you, appreciated you as a human being? Or do you not expect that from a man number eight? Is he too high for you to question why he treats you like shit? Or if he ever treated you with anything but indifference please share the good news with me. Did he ask how your children were once in seventeen years so that you thought he cared about you?

    learning to value things related to the spirit ahead of bodily needs;

    Do you think Robert’s or Girard’s sexual behavior is ahead of the spirit? Is yours similar to theirs that you feel comfortable with it?

    good and intelligent acquaintances in so many countries, enabling interesting travel all over the world;

    Interesting travel? Do you just use students all over the world or do you actually care for people?

    speaking and being myself in front of groups of people.

    Since when haven’t you been able to give an angle in a public square? Or is public to unelitist for you? You like the flare of being different to others, more priviledged, luckier? And you still think that is consciousness?

    You’ve answered most people but you’ve not answered me yet and I doubt you’ll answer this ones. Take the easy one’s and let your tramp take care of the rest?

    There are so many students like you in the Fellowship but those like you will not hold it in place. You’ll go looking for the show and become depressed when the show is nothing but a bunch of old students crystallized in holding the icing together but without the money or the glitter left. Then your tramp will tell you it’s time to move on and you’ll keep looking for the easy way, not the fourth way.

    You were in fact never a student and probably won’t manage to learn that in this turn. But you certainly were one of those who filled up the space and affirmed that you liked it fine, just as it was even if it crystallized from the beginning or as you say, never changed.


  131. Re: 125,

    Still trying, you might like to take a look at “What is the Work?”
    http://whatisthework.ning.com/


  132. Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Now theres a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the Steel breeze.
    Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, You martyr, and shine!

    You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the Steel breeze.
    Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper,
    You prisoner, and shine!


  133. on September 20, 2007 at 7:55 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Still Trying,

    Confrontation here on the internet in an open forum is inevitable and healthy, although not always pleasant. For example, I’m guessing the word “cult” makes many people cringe when the see it here, but to really understand the truth about the fof, the word “cult” must be used, or we’re simply “buffering” — one of those Fourth Way terms that I think applies all too well.

    The discussion here has led to a clearer picture of the truth — which is not to assume that everyone here is conveying the truth, or seeking it.

    But you rarely — if ever — experience such disagreement within the Fellowship, because the FOF discourages such discourse. And of course the fof discourages it, because this kind of discussion leads to uncomfortable truths that compel its followers to question the wisdom of remaining there. Not to mention, it’s a huge PR problem for Robert Burton and his closest enablers.

    I’ll take this forum any day to the staid and pretentiously “neutral” comments (or “angles”) that we were so accustomed to in the fof. Anyone straying too far from the party line was kicked out. Surprise, surprise.

    When I see a similar open forum within the fof that allows people to post their thoughts anonymously (i.e., without fear of reprisals or of being expelled from the group), then I’ll be a bit more open to the possibility that something of value remains there. The lack of open discussion and the close-mindedness to outside ideas is one of the main characteristics of any cult, and the fof is no exception.


  134. Hi Still trying

    “at the same time, its hard to understand why anyone with a properly functioning conscience would continue to submerge themselves in such foul water” Isn’t that the main point?

    I don’t think most are attempting to get Vinnie (and other Provocateurs who simply repeat the fof talking points without any deeper interaction) to not have a voice. But he can’t just say his stuff without others being able to react. Just because he is called to test his words that’s not a call to not participate. He doesn’t need to be babied. Others, like Bass, Charles T (many, actually) give the sense of intensely, deeply questioning! This is a blog – we are come to talk the difficult issues, actively yet safely pose difficult questions and watch YouTube.

    (have you tried the GF?)


  135. Bruce, Alice, Bistro,

    Thanks for your posts.

    Bruce (#127):

    In your fervour to deal out the “spankings” , be careful not to fall into the trap of becoming judge, jury and er.

    Alice (#128):

    Thanks, I am a new member!

    Bistro (#130):

    I don’t agree that confrontation is always necessary or healthy – at least not when the confrontation assumes the form of personal insults and/or crude language. I think that kind of discourse is coming from the wrong place (false personality). It seems to me that insults and diatribes passed off as open, self-expression share much in common with the repressed and censored expression of the FOF .

    I am not put off by using the word “cult” in connection with the FOF. However, I disagree with the pejorative sense that is commonly assumed when using the word. In other words, people (especially “life” people, for lack of a better word) associate the word automatically with something evil. While its true that the vast majority of cults may be evil, I would venture to guess that most of the great conscious schools of the past were “cults” in the more positive sense of the word.

    Regards to all.


  136. 125/Still Trying

    > My own “wiseacring” speculation on the school is that the
    > FOF started out on the right track, founded by mostly
    > good people with good intentions, but somewhere along
    > the line (fairly early on perhaps) an interval was not
    > bridged, the FOF lost its aim and is now descending into
    > perhaps the opposite of what it started out to be.

    This is the collective myth. It is an attractive belief but it is not evidence based. I investigated the collective myth and found it to be untrue. There was intentional deception and pathological narcissism and unconscionable manipulation going on from the very beginning of the Fellowship of Friends.


  137. 132 Still trying

    “I don’t agree that confrontation is always necessary or healthy – at least not when the confrontation assumes the form of personal insults and/or crude language. I think that kind of discourse is coming from the wrong place (false personality). It seems to me that insults and diatribes passed off as open, self-expression share much in common with the repressed and censored expression of the FOF .”

    We’ve been through this numerous times on this blog. People have voiced their opinions. You can either read back and see where it previously went, or you can just take off. It’s not going to change here, for YOU.

    If you want to be intellectually isolated and protected, then stay where you are and leave us to the mode of communication that we’ve evolved into on our own. I personally don’t need, or accept your advice on how to post.


  138. I get the impresion that those bloggers who consistently trash current FoF-members, describing them as conscienceless morons and the like, haven’t actually had a conversation with a real live FoF member for many years. The lack of personal emotional contact can produce a hardened one dimensional image.

    I meet current FoFers frequently. They are not morons, nor are they conscience-free. Most of them have questions these days about the path the FoF is taking. Fully grasping the levels of hynotism and deception in the FoF takes time.

    And then there are indeed a few who won’t even look at me, let alone talk to me. That’s sad.

    But generally speaking the situation is not so black and white as is often implied on the blog.


  139. Still trying (around) 132

    While its true that the vast majority of cults may be evil, I would venture to guess that most of the great conscious schools of the past were “cults” in the more positive sense of the word.

    ************

    You are a little out of touch with reality. We are not talking about great conscious schools of the past or the true meaning of the word ‘cult’, or how “life people” might react to the word; we are talking about a sodomy cult where the leader coerces straight men into homosexual acts. Do you see how that is far from a “great conscious school of the past?” You are not trying hard enough to get free from the brainwashing restrictions of the FoF that demand that you not “express negativity” by criticizing the cult or the cult leader. Snap out of it.


  140. 134 Charles T

    “But generally speaking the situation is not so black and white as is often implied on the blog.”

    “who consistently trash current FoF-members, describing them as conscienceless morons and the like”

    You know Charles, you’re pulling the exact same shit you did a few posts above. You’re taking specific instances, out of context, and broadly brushing the blog and the posters with a wider sweep than is warranted. Do you think we’re idiots? I’m well aware of the existence of wonderful people who are “in”. I’m also aware that there are people doing “work” whether in or out. Don’t talk to us, or at least me, like we’re children, or I’ll be on your ass every time.


  141. #125 stilltrying
    “the forum” – this group – IS something positive… a recent post (laura 20#615) mentions the therapeutic effect of the interaction that occurs here, i concur and agree and will add that therapy often involves a degree of discomfort. in this context that discomfort can manifest as…. many things, personal attacks for instance… i am still working out what this “bloggy thing” is about… for me. i can say presently that it’s partly a self-exploration into questions of culpability, complicity, responsibility, morals, ethics and mental health.
    i buried my fof experience many years ago… for a long time i had recurring dreams about the fof, always with similar themes, several years ago the dreams stopped and so the fof became for me as if “a previous lifetime.” i got an invitation to the site this past summer after visiting an ex fof friend… it has ‘stirred things up’ and caused me to re-examine my fof experience in a new light. i’ve blogged on some of the circumstances of my leaving the fof and the fact that for me, there was no support for any sort of a sane transition back into “life.” the site can serve as a support network for individuals trying to transition away from the fof as well as for those still “recovering” — or, as in my case, “uncovering” a buried trauma in a new context of support and community. the blog IS a form of “second line of work” as you put it.
    as for “man’s possible evolution” what about the other half of the human race and the planet in general? it might sound like i’m being trite or flippant but my point is that all the focus on “my evolution” is another aspect of the ‘i-me-mine’ mentality, it’s selfish. the evolution of “man” — in the broader sense (humanity and planet) — is well served by the patient efforts of those who seek to dissolve an “evil” or a damaging or an unjust situation. truth is a healer.

    as for vinnie and the likes… i for one welcome him here, he’s like an enzyme in the culture and that’s a good thing… what happened to fat boy ?

    “…the notion of mental illness has outlived whatever usefulness it might have had and that it now functions merely as a· convenient myth.  As such, it is a true heir to religious myths in general, and to the belief in witchcraft in particular; the role of all these belief-systems was to act as social tranquilizers, thus encouraging the hope that mastery of certain specific problems may be achieved by means of substitutive (symbolic-magical)  operations.   The notion of mental illness thus serves mainly to obscure the everyday fact that life for most people is a continuous struggle, not for biological survival, but for a “place in the sun,” “peace of mind,” or some other human value. For man aware of himself and of the world about him, once the needs for preserving the body (and perhaps the race) are more or less satisfied, the problem arises as to what he should do with himself. Sustained adherence to the myth of mental illness allows people to avoid facing this problem, believing that mental health, conceived as the absence of mental illness, automatically insures the making of right and safe choices in one’s conduct of life. But the facts are all the other way. It is the making of good choices in life that others regard, retrospectively, as good mental health! Our adversaries are not demons, witches, fate, or mental illness.  We have no enemy whom we can fight, exorcise, or dispel by “cure.”  What we do have are problems in living — whether these be biologic, economic, political, or sociopsychological…”   t. szasz


  142. 132, Still Trying:

    The best way to use the blog is to communicate on your own terms. If some seem overly abusive or obnoxious, ignore them. There will likely be some who respond more or less in the tone you hope for. Keep in mind, though, that the majority here are not pro-fof, so you will get an overwhelming response to your posts, and a lot of that response will smell pretty foul and will be personal, to boot! (If anybody felt the need for attention, this is a good place to park. :) )

    Once again: you don’t have to read or respond to anything here. You can very selectively respond only to those you feel like ‘talking’ to. I tend more towards the civil side of the fence, and hope folks like you stick around.


  143. Charles T (around) 134

    I meet current FoFers frequently. They are not morons, nor are they conscience-free.

    *********

    No? They are paying Burton money so that he can fly to Italy and fuck As-if in the ass. Where’s the conscience in that?

    “All we can do is to pass the time in the train differently–do something useful or spend it quite uselessly.” –last suggestion, The Fourth Way


  144. 136:

    “I’ll be on your ass every time”

    Taking a page from rb’s book? Hehe.


  145. 125 Still trying
    Check out the diverse forums on the Greater Fellowship and also “what is the work” on Ning


  146. 140 David

    Try not to diminish my sentiment :)


  147. on September 20, 2007 at 9:16 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Still Trying wrote: “In other words, people (especially “life” people, for lack of a better word) associate the word [cult] automatically with something evil. While its true that the vast majority of cults may be evil, I would venture to guess that most of the great conscious schools of the past were “cults” in the more positive sense of the word.”

    ………………………………………………………………………….

    When you say “life people” and “for lack of a better word”, You’re not serious are you? Good grief, there are dozens of better words. In fact, that one term underscores as much as anything else just how deep the cult mentality goes in the Fellowship.

    First step:Let’s find a better word for “life people.”

    How about “people who don’t subscribe to our peculiar set of beliefs”? Or simply… “people”.

    About the word “evil”, which you also seem very uncomfortable with…. Let’s start trying that word on for size, too.

    Earlier in the blog, someone posted some comments that were reportedly written by Miles B. several years ago. He used the expression “evil man” to describe Robert Burton, and he called his own time in the Fellowship “wasted years.”

    Wow, on both accounts, I was thinking at the time, “Well, that’s probably a little farther than I’m willing to go.” It’s a much more comfortable idea that I spent my years wisely following a good man who had my best interests at heart. Instead, what Miles was suggesting is that I really fucked up, that I was extremely naive and foolish to join the organization.

    Naive. Foolish. Evil. Cult. Robert Burton. Evil. Fellowship of Friends. Pretentious. Vain. Cult.

    Second step: Let’s try all of these words on for size, and start stringing them together in the same sentences, and in the same paragraphs.

    I find it increasingly ironic that during all of your years in the fof, we were constantly reminded of the so-called illusions and foolishness of “life people” — people who did not spend their time wisely, and who were completely unaware and ignorant of the true nature of their existence. Completely unaware of how they were being manipulated by invisible forces. Completely unaware that they were asleep to cold, harsh realities.


  148. Thanks for all of your posts whether we agree or not.

    For the sake of clarity, allow me to repeat that I am not an FOF supporter. I am, however, an adherent of the fourth way ideas as promulgated by Gurdjierff, et. al. (including much of what was focused on in the FOF of the early to mid 80’s). One thing is very clear to me and that is that there is no room whatsoever in the fourth way teaching for the expression of negative emotions. Anyone who justifies the expression of negative emotions for any reason whatsoever (including the vile behaviour of Robert B.) has lost his way.

    Former Student (#141):

    I understand that admittance to the Greater Fellowship is by invitation only. How does one get invited?

    Thanks.


  149. “One thing is very clear to me and that is that there is no room whatsoever in the fourth way teaching for the expression of negative emotions. Anyone who justifies the expression of negative emotions for any reason whatsoever (including the vile behavior of Robert B.) has lost his way.”

    And your proof for such a definitive sweeping statement is?…

    I trust you fully verified that this is true for everyone, either “in” or “out, because if you haven’t (and you can’t) than you’re not only a liar and kool-aid drinker, but you’re a fool.


  150. Still Trying:

    I don’t know where Janna is re The Blog these days, but if you want to receive an invitation to the Greater Fellowship site, you can send me an email: smheinz at comcast dot com.

    I suppose I would appreciate it if you would identify yourself in your email…


  151. i see fat boy is back, welcome.

    another “cultural moment” (hey the word cult is a ‘prefix in “culture”)… courtesy of utube and my irish soul… the weekend is almost here.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=DrBLqp-s__o


  152. This wonderful note that broke my heart, apeared on the greater fellowship….from a student at that time early 20….

    For you Vinnie, sleep well tonight.

    I left the fof 3 years after I returned from rennaisance. It took a while to sort out my strange experiences with robert, wich left me very mutch confused. But then it became clear to me that Robert was, contrary to what he pretends, persuing his own ‘worldly’ personal / sexual goals. An he tried to do that in a way wich was harmfull to me. In the end I even considered staying in the fof for the people at the Amsterdam Centre. But i could not bear the idea of supporting robert any longer. Leaving the fof and all my friends behind was difficult but I’m glad I can say that I never left the 4th way.

    This young man I remember, asked robert for his birthday party. (1992)
    Robert answered, I do not do birthday parties, but you can come and swim with me……
    At that time I thought this was so touching, now, i know so much better….

    He left and I stayed….o my God if I had known….

    I do not and can not want to reason this pain away as this is what IS, NOW.


  153. on September 20, 2007 at 9:57 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Still Trying,
    Part of the adherence that you mention to “the fourth way ideas as promulgated by Gurdjierff, et. al.” is having your eyes open to how outside forces affect your inner world. Included in that is how the use of some words — and the avoidance of others — can affect our thinking about the world. We’re asleep to that. It’s how GW gets elected president. It’s how RB once convinced you and me that we should join the fof and remain in it.

    I realize that your comments about negative emotions are sincere, and I do agree with you on that to an extent, but to others your opinion about negative emotions is just more of the same dogma that we experienced within the fof.

    Think about how perfect it is… If the expression of “negativity” is disallowed or discouraged, what type of opposition can anyone present to the “vile behaviour” that you mention above? Almost none as long as you remain a follower within the group.

    There are many, many different spiritual ideas being discussed on this blog, and not all of these ideas subscribe to your theory that we should avoid all negative emotions. And not all of them are Fourth Way ideas. It’s a vast, beautiful rich world with many possibilities. Some of those possibilities may include the ideas that we learned from the Fourth Way. But there’s more. Much more.

    My best to you.


  154. Still trying (around) 144

    One thing is very clear to me and that is that there is no room whatsoever in the fourth way teaching for the expression of negative emotions. Anyone who justifies the expression of negative emotions for any reason whatsoever (including the vile behaviour of Robert B.) has lost his way.

    ***********

    Famous story:

    Gurdjieff, Bennett said, had “ruthless methods of getting rid of those he did not want. He seemed to invite and yet to detest a kind of stupid adoration…One lady was particularly foolish about him, and he played a cruel trick on her that showed me how seriously we should take his warning to trust nothing and no one, and especially not himself.” At a formal tea one afternoon, Gurdjieff informed this particularly adoring follower that the best way to enjoy ice cream was with mustard. When she dutifully returned with the mustard pot he shouted “You see what is round idiot. She all the time idiot. Why you here?” The poor woman burst into tears, packed her bags and left.

    How’s that for a bit of negativity? You are naïve.


  155. ‘ton around #137
    dreams and synchronicities. read my post when it shows up.


  156. Bruce (#145):

    Whether or not I have made that verification is not important to the discussion.

    The non-expression of negative emotions is a fundamental tenet of the Fourth Way teaching no matter which author (Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Nicoll, et. al.) you choose to read. If you don’t accept that part of the teaching than you can’t say you are an adherent of the Fourth Way. One can’t “pick and choose” among the fundamental ideas of the Fourth Way system.

    It may be that you no longer consider the Fourth Way to be a legitimate path to personal evolution?

    Regards.


  157. 152 Still trying

    You’re a sheep. And you’re in the right pen.


  158. 152

    “Whether or not I have made that verification is not important to the discussion.”

    When you espouse that shit it’s VERY important to the conversation. And who the fuck are you?


  159. Graduates (#150):

    That’s a great story but I don’t accept that Gurdjieff was giving vent to negative emotions in this example.

    Gurdjieff has been characterized by those who knew him best as someone who consistently acted intentionally, with external consideration, to those around him no matter what kind of objective “idiot” they may have been. I prefer to believe that in this story Gurdjieff was meting out a little “tough love” and was acting with the intent of giving the wayward thinking lady (and perhaps others in attendance) a much needed lesson about the dangers of guru worship.


  160. Some reflections on conscience

    In reading posts by some former members there are certain forms of imagination that seem characteristic of the FOF. Some seem to fail to grasp that being in the Fellowship does indicate a lack of conscience and some basic reasoning skills. This is not cured by leaving the group. The idea of the “higher intelligence” of students fails to explain the gullibility of Fellowship members. Whatever intelligence Fellowship members have is distorted and one dimensional. This idea of the “higher intelligence” of Fellowship members has become one of the lies propagated in and by the FOF to make its members feel “better than” and “self satisfied” in the cult. They may not be morons but they also lack a lot in the development of critical thinking skills.

    It is necessary to go through a process to undo the damage of being in a cult and to restore or develop both right thinking and right emotional function. The blog now offers one forum as serves as part of this process. There are any number of bloggers who posts illustrate this.

    One part of conscience is to see ones own part in situations. This may mean to stop being a victim and make changes but this also includes accepting responsibility for harming others. Every center director and Fellowship officer has a part in the play of crime. Everyone who put on a “good student” or “older student” act and helped delude others has a responsibility for this. This may be a small role or a large one.

    The most common buffer is ” I didn’t hurt anyone”. Bullshit, Ignorant bullshit, as obviously anyone who believes such crap failed to learn anything about buffers in however many years they spent in their delusional state. Of course propagating a cult hurts people.

    The fact that one is able to come out of it emotionally and financially “intact” is not necessarily a good sign. At least from a spiritual perspective that is from the stand point of inner development.

    What if it is those who were the most superficial, the ones who most easily accepted and propagated the lies and distortions,who became part of the organization, the ones who existed comfortably for years and decades without any twinges of conscience that were the least personally effected. In other words those whose false personality found the FOF a comfortable environment.

    It is the “true believers” who gave up everything, family, career, jobs, and educational opportunities believing they were following the will of a conscious teacher in a conscious school who find their lives shattered. It is quite possible to reason that the potential damage is in direct proportion to the emotional importance of ones inner “work”.

    That one can comfortably leaves the FOF experience behind and “move on” without making amends is not a good sign. It is rather just one more aspect of a lack of conscience and any real inner development.

    For those who have not given up on the possibility of development and accepted a life of A influence conscience is a critical factor. Conscience is what would make a person want to make amends and also the understanding that emotional development stops right there at the point where I cannot see my part in the play of the Fellowship. Certainly not all owe amends. It is somewhat of a catch 22
    It is probably those who believe they are just fine and never hurt anyone who need to find a way to make amends.

    Those with a conscience know what to do.


  161. 155 Still trying

    You don’t have the slightest inkling as to why and how G. used that particular method with his particular group at that specific time. You have no idea of his thought processes, or how they were influenced by time and place. However, we DO know why RB uses it…to keep you fuckers quiet, asleep and pliant. You’re extrapolating your conclusions by pulling your quasi-verified facts out of your ass, as most blind adherents do. You’re preaching to the wrong choir here. If you were more “awake” you’d see that. But you’re not.


  162. Still trying (around) 155

    Graduates (#150):

    That’s a great story but I don’t accept that Gurdjieff was giving vent to negative emotions in this example.

    **********

    You are naive and therefore at present a waste of time. Naiveté is a worse form of false personality than expressing negativity, it is a far more dangerous form of sleep.

    A machine trained to appear unperturbed is doubly false. The legitimate work is genuine transformation, never masking or suppression. A man in personality hiding his identification is even more obviously in wrong work than a man in essence indulging his identifications.


  163. on September 20, 2007 at 10:43 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    “Gurdjieff was meting out a little “tough love” and was acting with the intent of giving the wayward thinking lady… a much needed lesson about the dangers of guru worship.”

    Bingo.

    But that doesn’t remind you at all of Bruce and Graduates and Uno and many others?

    And if you say, “No,” because, hey, Bruce and Graduates and Uno are no Gurdjieff…… that in itself is a form of guru worship, where no form of wisdom can be found outside the realm of the Accepted One.

    Gosh, this blog is packed with wisdom, with truth, with the potential to understand what-it-was-that-hit-us when we joined the fof, remained in the fof, and left the fof. There’s healing here, and growth, and there are lessons for those with an open mind. To hear that other people thought the same way as you did all along, that the cult known as the Fellowship of Friends was an insane journey, there’s much power in that no matter what form that it takes. And yet you’re unhappy with it?

    I find it interesting that you 1) Come on here to criticize the FOF (much like Vinnie), and 2) try to discredit the blog (much like Vinnie). Probably just me, but it seems odd.


  164. 159

    “I find it interesting that you 1) Come on here to criticize the FOF (much like Vinnie), and 2) try to discredit the blog (much like Vinnie). Probably just me, but it seems odd.”

    Much like the “assholes” who have been here from the beginning, ya think?


  165. on September 20, 2007 at 11:08 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Bruce wrote: “Much like the “assholes” who have been here from the beginning, ya think?”

    Yep… It seems like they’re using a different approach, but the goal is always the same: “This blog is so negative. These people have lost the way. Everyone should ignore them. Move along. Nothing to see here.”

    I think one thing they’re discovering (“they” being the people responsible for PR efforts to counteract the blog and to “cleanse” the fof wikipedia article) is that the Howard Carter types — who completely deny any wrongdoing or weirdness about the Fellowship — simply don’t work. If the denial is too strong, then they lose all credibility. So the current approach is to say, “Yes, the fof is bad, but the blog is bad too. Don’t read it.”


  166. David (#138):

    Thanks for your civil reply and the good advice on how to use this blog.


  167. still trying:
    the “non expression of negative emotion” as implemented in the fof is a very basic and effect means of mind / emotion and body control. transformation of the “brainwashing” takes time. speaking for myself, “mind control” is what got me interested in the 4th way… i thought of the 4th way i read about before joining the fof as a type of “western raja yoga.”
    then i found a book mark…

    “may the road rise with you…”

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=jPj-8_wOZcA


  168. 158 Graduates

    Interesting point. Are you saying that naivete is conditioned? (an aspect of personality) If so, would you say that it is unconscious,- a sort of intentional ignorance? Or maybe a conditioning (personality/ego formation function) that was for some reason left out. Perhaps it was left out also for one or both of the parents, or even culturally and therefor passed on to the personality. I’m not sure I agree with you that all naivete is conditioned, but do think that intentional ignorance is pernicious. It is just so hard to deal with – since we do it as an ego preservation strategy. And sometimes we do it just out of habit. I guess that is where the School Of Blog comes in. Good to get kicked out of our habits.


  169. posting this seperately attempting to avoid the spam filter…
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=SpGPdYeDuYg


  170. Still Trying:

    Did you miss my offer to invite you to the GR site, #146? Or does the need to identify yourself create a problem? I find it odd that you would ask about it, then ignore the offer.


  171. one more from the other side of the brain…
    science, religion…

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=38QK7pe_dOQ


  172. Whhops – its smheinz at comcast dot net
    not dot com
    sorry


  173. on September 20, 2007 at 11:38 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Here’s a short excerpt from a longer post by A Former Student (about 156): “One part of conscience is to see ones own part in situations. This may mean to stop being a victim and make changes but this also includes accepting responsibility for harming others. Every center director and Fellowship officer has a part in the play of crime. Everyone who put on a “good student” or “older student” act and helped delude others has a responsibility for this. This may be a small role or a large one.”

    I mentioned earlier the movie, “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” which follows the rise and fall of Enron Corporation.

    Speaking of drinking the Kool-Aid.

    This 2005 movie (which is based upon the book of the same title) indirectly conveys numerous similarities to the Fellowship of Friends and other cults — both in the way the leadership justified its actions and controlled any embarrassing information from “getting out”, but also in the way the company’s employees followed like sheep without asking any questions. One might be inclined to think that most Enron employees had no responsibility for the widespread suffering caused by this corporation, but it’s very clear that numerous employees looked the other way as the ship was sinking.

    I was one of those employees at one time — only it was a different “CEO,” and a different “company,” and a different form of suffering caused by the “company.”


  174. 2
    KA (around) 164

    158 Graduates

    Interesting point. Are you saying that naivete is conditioned? (an aspect of personality) If so, would you say that it is unconscious,- a sort of intentional ignorance? Or maybe a conditioning (personality/ego formation function) that was for some reason left out. Perhaps it was left out also for one or both of the parents, or even culturally and therefor passed on to the personality. I’m not sure I agree with you that all naivete is conditioned, but do think that intentional ignorance is pernicious. It is just so hard to deal with – since we do it as an ego preservation strategy. And sometimes we do it just out of habit. I guess that is where the School Of Blog comes in. Good to get kicked out of our habits.

    *****************

    Where it comes from is academic, what it does seems a predictable fact.

    Notes from about ten years ago:

    The chief feature of naiveté *believes*. Taking the world only at face value is certainly a way to miss many hidden psychological and even little known metaphysical aspects of our possible reality, but naiveté sees possibilities where they do not exist. An element of the chief feature of naiveté is imagination, believing and even pretending that things exist that in fact do not exist. Those with the chief feature of naiveté seem enveloped in an innocent, almost simple-minded aura. The feature has a willingness to accept almost anything without judgment or discrimination. Those with this feature are underdeveloped in their negative halves of centers, those suspicious nerve fibers that direct our attention to possible elements of danger are anemic in those with naiveté. They lack the skepticism that the rest of us rely on too heavily. Most people possess for the better or worse a native, if not pessimism, then at least a running sense of doubtfulness about the possibility of all kinds of minor miracles that might be possible to relieve the hardheaded dog-eat-dog conditions of life. Naiveté not only believes in these miracles, but almost lives for the sake of these impossibilities. The feature of naiveté shrinks in the face of the usual no-nonsense attitude that governs modern existence, particularly when it comes to money, naiveté is a definite disability. Because of this lack of critical guardedness, naiveté has an almost childlike receptivity to suggestions. Like non-existence it is highly suggestible. This chief feature seems to lack what we call common sense. The feature does not see from a practical point of view what is possible and what is not possible. It is possible to sell naiveté the Brooklyn bridge, so goes the old cliché. Naiveté has difficulty connecting experience with practice, those with this feature seldom learn from their bad experiences and mistakes.

    Naiveté has little sense of when it may be in harm’s way, yet it will be terrified of fanciful, imaginary menaces. The feature is easily manipulated into crime while being repelled by those who have well advised, although harsh advice. Naiveté does not know who to trust and can fall pray to the worst influences. It is easily manipulated and conned. Naiveté typically falls prey to those who sell “spiritualism.” All kinds of ‘phenomena’ from new age “channeling” to evangelic “faith healing” are commonly used by criminals to steal money from the gullible, from those with the chief feature of naiveté. Naiveté cannot understand that we really do not have any “psychic friends” waiting for us on the telephone. Those with this chief feature will rush in where the wise fear to tread. What seems too good to be true to the rest of us will seem just perfect to those who are naïve. Naiveté simply has little logical sense of reality, those with this chief feature need to train their logical half, their “left brain,” to be more active in the decision making. Oddly enough, naiveté needs to be at times more narrow minded. It is necessary to have a generally ‘positive attitude’ because a habitually negative attitude will certainly drive away many opportunities in one’s life, but the chief feature of naiveté is mechanically positive about situations that really have only a superficial veneer of optimism. Behind the smile-faced front of what naiveté is excited about is usually a human wolf hungrily feeding off innocent lambs. Most notably the many wrong and often criminal groups and schools claiming to be organizations of psychological development use those with the chief feature of naiveté to often perpetrate horrendous crimes. There is something about the seeming strength of a man crystallized in the condition of no conscience that particularly attracts naiveté, the feature mistakes the density of such characters. It believes those enormous lies that the rest of us simply laugh at.

    To resist the sleep of naiveté is difficult, how can an under developed child stop being childish? How can someone unable to assimilate experience into wisdom become “worldly?” There has to be experienced unpleasant episodes that awaken the weak, slumbering nerve endings that until now refuse to function. The developed connection between the upper reaches of the instinctive center and the upper reaches of the emotional center can always correctly see, hear and smell a lie or an ulterior motive issuing from a scoundrel. The development of this upper level connection of human functions usually involves a process of experiencing real suffering, quite often in the lives of the naive there arises times of suffering when it becomes obvious that one was used and manipulated. If the automatic buffers that support naiveté can be avoided, if one can look at what happened without excuses or the usual fairy tale moralizing, then perhaps it would be possible to eventually wise-up.

    Secondary Feature, Naiveté: Two characteristics of naiveté in the context of human relations are gullibility and immaturity. When naiveté is the supporting feature to the chief feature of vanity much of the social cunning and intuitive guile are removed from the personality. Rather than the continuous need to prove its worth and superiority to others, with the influence of naiveté the personality somehow assumes that others naturally sense the presence of an inherently important being. The inflated assumptions of vanity become a certainty under the influence of naiveté, a certainty that naiveté imagines is recognized and understood by the surrounding populace. Naiveté imagines that others somehow perceive the radiated light of quality that this unique entity illuminates the environment with and subsequently everyone is positively disposed toward it. Naiveté projects an optimistic, affirmative stupor over the feature of vanity, a condition of mind that creates a vulnerable blind spot when it comes to the predatory negativity that covertly operates the affairs of men. Vanity imagines that its inflated estimation of its importance in the world is an indisputable fact, with naiveté this minor insanity is then complicated when a further mistake is made in assuming that everyone will naturally agree with the self-estimation of someone so potentially important. The trouble is that somehow these two features together have almost unlimited patience when it comes to dismissing those who dismiss them. Regardless how meticulously, how accurately, how completely it is explained and pointed out that the individual with the two features is just a waitress in a coffee shop and not yet a waitress in a coffee shop who has been discovered by a famous Hollywood producer and therefore is just days away from fame and fortune, the features will resiliently ignore the “expression of negativity” from such an unimaginative critic. In the mind of vanity supported by naiveté not only do all endeavors naturally rise to complete fruition, but even the slightest daydream can and will become a brilliant reality. Naysayers are simply dismissed as people who have ruined, evil minds. These two features insist on a world of unlimited potential, a world where all the forces that would dissuade and inhibit are simply imagined by darkened people who for some unknown reason don’t want all goodness to triumph. In the mind of these features it is almost as if one had only to wish a desire and soon it will come to pass. Because of this unrealistic positive outlook, it seems nothing even so much as annoys these features. The features seem to go through life happy, enchanted and thrilled by all the successful creativity presented to the world simply for the sake of entertainment. If and when something unpleasant intrudes unavoidably, un-ignorable, into these feature’s lives, all that is evident of the misfortune is a few days of darkened emotional bruising around the eyes, and a slight relaxing of the perpetual smile. Naturally people with this combination of features are never taken seriously by those with real wealth and power, except to use them for sex and various exploitative schemes, but the stubborn positive programming of the two features never learns from these unfortunate episodes. Somehow the features always turn events around, rearrange them in the mind so that somehow the exploited party was the one who gained the most. Never does this combination of features, vanity and naiveté, come to the realistic conclusion that they are nowhere near as significant as they imagine themselves to be.

    Tertiary Feature, Naiveté: As a supporting feature to vanity the passive feature of naiveté will add a gullible influence. Vanity prides itself on its worldliness, no one puts one over on vanity. Vanity is shrewd, vigilant, sophisticated and on guard. Vanity familiarizes itself with all the tricks, all the scams, all the schemes and in general anything that creates a situation where it could be taken advantage of, no one gets anything for free from vanity. If it is suggested to naiveté that all that is required to achieve ‘higher consciousness’, ‘immortality’ and direct communion with saints is to completely submit to the greatest and only real guru currently alive on the planet, if this is presented within a social collective with serious enough pretensions, naiveté will probably become a willing, eager and enthusiastic slave. After the sexual, emotional and monetary exploitation is over and the feature is dumped in a ditch on the side of the road, it will get up, dust itself off and declare in an innocent optimistic fashion, “I sure learned from that!” But the truth is that it didn’t learn, it will be cautious of that one person, those particular circumstances, but add some creative variation and it is possible to pull the same swindle on the same feature again, and again. As the third feature to vanity, naiveté lowers vanity’s defensive postures, the hardened emotional indifference that vanity carefully cultivates under the gaze of strangers is rendered transparent and ineffective by naiveté. Suddenly the internal protective calculations of vanity become an open book to read and become manipulated by scoundrels.


  175. re: # 163
    i meant to write “transformation of brainwashing into understanding takes time…” leaving it at “transformation” makes it sound too mysterious… what type of “hydrogen” is it? etc… but we can understand “understanding” is a process.


  176. on September 21, 2007 at 12:16 am Bistro Fundraiser

    Graduates wrote: “A machine trained to appear unperturbed is doubly false. The legitimate work is genuine transformation, never masking or suppression. A man in personality hiding his identification is even more obviously in wrong work than a man in essence indulging his identifications.”

    Some people have pointed back to the (supposed) good-old-days of the Fellowship when people were (supposedly) doing real work and Robert Burton was (supposedly) doing real teaching. Yes, things are definitely sliding these days. But what Graduates describes here is something that’s been endemic in the Fellowship since Day 1… the Pretense of Being Awake.

    What we’ve been trained in the Fellowship is largely about how to appear wise and strong to others.

    IMO, this is really a key point… We join the FOF, and then we learn the behaviors that make us appear to be awake for others. But somewhere along the way, our spiritual existence (however you might define it) must go beyond this need for approval and praise by others — whether we practice the Fourth Way, or don’t practice the Fourth Way.

    We walk into Apollo D’Oro for dinner… The commotion is all around us. Robert Burton walks in with his entourage and sits down. The crowd admires and adores. You, meanwhile… You sit quietly with your friends laughing or sharing a bottle of wine, or not sharing one. Or you’re sitting there in the corner all by yourself… unimpressive to all. Just you — beyond the words, beyond the show, and quite often, completely invisible.


  177. Dear Charles,

    The tone of the blog is surely difficult and would almost impossible with present students most particularly because any still student and not so far gone is still trying to keep the king of hearts ideal that has become part of the organic indoctrination and anything outside that tone is rejected without it being considered. I think it is precisely that status quo what allowed Robert to get away with his far from human behavior and not have anyone question him. Present students are in a similar situation. They do not wish anything to disrupt their style of life that has become addictive. It is understandable because it takes a long time to adjust to living without that many buffers. That is all they are. That behavior and a hundred percent of the Fellowship alchemy is nothing but a buffer to bear with the underlying lifestyle Robert is leading. It is not about people being morons, it is about people being indoctrinated.

    Hello Vinnie,
    The attitude that you are expressing is so revealing of a certain aspect of the Fellowship. It is what Americans would call a healthy man, a sly man. It is not surprising that Abigail would be attracted to you. With all respect to both of you, let me observe that it also reveals the deep indoctrination of the Fellowship that believes any man has a right to do whatever he wants with his life and he is the sole responsible for it. It is so individualistic that it cannot conceive of individuals being influenced by their surroundings and in that it is apallingly limited in what it encompassses. That attitude is what made me initially respect Robert’s private life as something I was not entitled to question. The private, the personal, has become engrained in the western world in a realm in which the individual thinks he is totally disconnected from the rest.
    Human beings have never been as lonely as today. It is not surprising that we have developed into such individuals because the communities we grew up in life tended to be communities that did not embrace its individuals any more than the fellowship did. The Fellowship is a poor replica of mankind today. The saddest one. The greatest aims with the poorest practice. I sincerely do not think that Robert, Girard or even you Vinnie, consciously chose what happened to us. The more I live, the more it seems that we humans are like currents of forces spreading out and manifesting in the only possible way we managed to express them. It is not the consciousness of Robert’s malignity what is being questioned, it is the unconsciousness of Robert’s practice what has proved unacceptable.

    The voice you’re speaking with has that flavor of an individual who simply says, I am free to choose, so is he. But neither you nor he is that free. The Fellowship is under human laws and not under your particular laws. Robert’s excesses will be checked and everyone who condones them together with him. You are under his shadow, you chose that.

    Vinnie, just a few questions for you since you seem so eager to stand up for your self and the Fellowship. Congratulations, please don’t let us down, show us what to look back to with joy. You say:

    “understanding more what consciousness and mechanicality are;”

    Do you think they are independent expressions of each other? Please share what your understanding of those are.

    “understanding and experiencing love”,
    What love did you experience? With your partner? Still good? With your friends? Will you loose them if you were to leave? With your teacher? I don’t believe you. With your self?

    “and opening the emotional part that is so closed off in fear in most people;”

    Are you open and unafraid to speak in public to Robert?
    If he even allowed it? Why don’t you answer some of the questions that have been asked to you if you’re not that afraid?

    “appreciation of painting, classical music, art, literature;”
    Do you think “life” people don’t or do you realize we are able to appreciate them because “life” people have protected them?

    using small aims and intentionality to be more present and aware;

    To what are you more present and aware? I am sincerely asking you, I would love to know what you became more present and aware to.

    These are very easy sentences to say but can you fill them with meaning?

    learning to value beauty and focus on it ahead of other impressions to feed the essence;

    Beauty in the clothes, the flowers, the decorations or beauty in the way Robert treated you, respected you, appreciated you as a human being? Or do you not expect that from a man number eight? Is he too high for you to question why he treats you like shit? Or if he ever treated you with anything but indifference please share the good news with me. Did he ask how your children were once in seventeen years so that you thought he cared about you?

    learning to value things related to the spirit ahead of bodily needs;

    Do you think Robert’s or Girard’s sexual behavior is ahead of the spirit?
    Is yours similar to theirs that you feel comfortable with it?

    good and intelligent acquaintances in so many countries, enabling interesting travel all over the world;

    Interesting travel? Do you just use students all over the world or do you actually care for people?

    speaking and being myself in front of groups of people.

    Since when have there not been open meetings in which people talk anything but the indoctrinated keys or quotations from other more conscious beings?

    You’ve answered most people but you’ve not answered me yet and I doubt you’ll answer this ones. Take the easy one’s and let your tramp take care of the rest?

    There are so many students like you in the Fellowship but those like you will not hold it in place. You’ll go looking for the show and become depressed when the show is nothing but a bunch of old students crystallized in holding the icing together but without the money or the glitter left. Then your tramp will tell you it’s time to move on and you’ll keep looking for the easy way, not the fourth way.

    You certainly were one of those who filled up the space and affirmed that you liked it fine, just as it was even if it crystallized from the beginning or as you say, never changed.


  178. It’s like going out into the woods on December 26th and seeing Santa Claus deer hunting… WTF!?

    :.{


  179. “The lack of open discussion and the close-mindedness to outside ideas is one of the main characteristics of any cult, and the fof is no exception.”

    I’ve forgotten which post this came from but it is so true. I tried to speak with a current member recently and her position was that there is nothing wrong with the Fellowship. She believes the problem is just negative former members trying to bring the school down and that God has punished them by taking away understanding. She thinks the blog is just negativity and sarcasm. As I tried to ask some questions and encourage discussion she became very defensive and said that she did not want to talk and that she was choosing to observe the exercise not to discuss things with former members.

    I did mention kindly (not sarcastically) that it sppears to former members that it is current members who have lost understanding. I wished her well and just suggested that she at least try and keep an open mind. She seemed very closed and somewhat brittle.

    We have all seen this so many times and even in ourselves in the past. All we can do is to keep trying to share and communicate. Those who are ready may eventually hear and even begin to help others to see.


  180. “Successive rudeness leans on a wilderness panorama”

    from Knob Off by William Bloke


  181. It is very poor trade to sacrifice honesty for the mere appearance of decency.


  182. Gods send us shocks such as shortage of money and loss of students.

    Love Rolex

    When Hercules fell asleep, his wife overtaken by jealousy towards her
    sister, wanted to castrate him. But then she suddenly remembered that she
    just got pregnant from Hercules and therefore can get his inheritance. So
    she calmed down, and only cut off his hair.


  183. on September 21, 2007 at 4:31 am Skeptical Optimist

    125 Still Trying

    … the FOF started out on the right track, founded by mostly good people with good intentions, but somewhere along the line (fairly early on perhaps) an interval was not bridged, the FOF lost its aim and is now descending into perhaps the opposite of what it started out to be. In light of this view, I can’t dismiss the FOF as having been utterly wicked from the beginning …

    84 Charles T

    …Burton … attracted wonderful, sincere people who created a school that really worked in the Fourth Way sense, at least for a while.

    101 Charles T

    … but for many years the FoF was a reasonably functional Fourth Way School – much could be learned.

    Ohmigod. It’s a kind of zombie myth—no matter how many times you stab it in the heart, the f_cker just keeps coming back at you.

    Read the blog, everything is there. Bob meets someone crazy enough to actually listen to him (“my first student”). He promptly f_ucks her and then asks for a lot of money. She lends him credibility and the game is on.

    More suckers are quickly roped in. Remember people, the victims (“students”) are not the same as Bob—they are sincere, aspirational, longing for a commitment. Bob is none of those things, it’s so easy to give them what they want! He’s already learned how to do it from the wacko Horns.

    We bought it. Hey, our bad. But it was nothing but corrupt from day one.

    If you still think the Fellowship of Frauds is special, unique, that Bob is “different”, please go sit quietly in a corner with a pen and paper and make a list of all the people you can think of who combine “evil” and “charismatic”. Your list will not be short, if you’ve been paying attention. What’s so special?

    There was never a “school”. The FoF never had anything to do with “The Fourth Way.” Bob never had any understanding of any depth of “The Fourth Way.” It was just a tool, people. You think he knows or cares about “6 processes” or “organ kundabuffer”? Are you kidding?

    The FoF has nothing to do with spirituality, religion, self-realization, or even understanding yourself and your motivations in the simplest possible way. It is about one thing and one thing only: the self-aggrandizement of Bob.

    Instead of cult, call it a highly controlled, high intensity, closed group. What we got that seemed magical was a result of that very artificial (and not very healty) environment and our interaction with the other inmates. That emotional space was made possible by our agreement to “bend over and grab our ankles.” We all got f_cked by this guy, most of us only once.

    Our payoff was to be eternal dependents (please see “Girard Haven”), infantalized and emasculated, incapable of approaching life as any semblance of an adult, responsible, aware human being.

    “When the shit gets too deep, you’ve just gotta grab a shovel.”—old Jewish saying

    156 A former student

    It is necessary to go through a process to undo the damage of being in a cult and to restore or develop both right thinking and right emotional function.

    Amen.

    Thanks for reading
    JoelF


  184. 155 Still Trying

    “I am, however, an adherent of the fourth way ideas as promulgated by Gurdjierff, et. al. (including much of what was focused on in the FOF of the early to mid 80’s). One thing is very clear to me and that is that there is no room whatsoever in the fourth way teaching for the expression of negative emotions. Anyone who justifies the expression of negative emotions for any reason whatsoever (including the vile behaviour of Robert B.) has lost his way.”

    The non-expression of negative emotions is one of the fourth way ideas that did not get the sort of deep and subtle treatment in the FoF that it needs to be a good tool. There are some real truths buried in this seemingly simple idea – but if you just take it at its surface value you miss the point.

    The way I understand it, the non-expression of negative emotions is in no way a moral imperative. Nor is it true that avoiding all negative expression is either necessary or even useful. In fact simply putting a lid on the negative feelings we have in the wrong way is one of the things that will build a neurosis. So I think that when you say “there is no room whatsoever in the fourth way teaching for the expression of negative emotions”, you are simply mistaken. It is true, however, that in the fourth way as ‘taught’ in the FoF, “there is no room whatsoever in the fourth way teaching for the expression of negative emotions”.

    This is much too big a subject to go into in detail right here – but I will just say that the shallow and unsatisfactory handling of ideas like this was one of the many things that caused me to leave the FoF more than 20 years ago.

    My idea of a conscious school was that it would be a place where someone with a far more subtle understanding than my own could provide guidance by showing very clearly how ideas were being misunderstood, so as to create a proper understanding. Of course, what I saw happening instead was the creation of mass sleep through misunderstandings and very poorly applied techniques.

    How can it be, I thought, that a conscious teacher could introduce an exercise and leave it in place long after it had become a simple moral imperative that people used to catch others ‘being bad’? Of course, it took me a while to believe my own mind about this, since there was an awful lot of social support for this stuff, and I was just a slightly confused kid in my 20s. But the more directly I looked, the less of value I saw coming from Robert. I don’t mean this in a pejorative way – but he simply does not have a first rate mind.

    It is true that the Fellowship was full of very high-quality people – people that in many cases I still feel honored to consider my friends, but in the end that is not enough reason to stay. There are many more high-quality people outside the Fellowship than there are within, and you can and will find them if you want to.

    Best to you, Still Trying.

    R.


  185. 179 Skeptical Optimist.
    Thanks for laying it all out so clearly. No one wants to admit they’ve been thoroughly duped.


  186. on September 21, 2007 at 6:35 am Bistro Fundraiser

    Regarding Skeptical Optimist’s comments above… the following letter that was addressed to Robert Burton way back in 1982:

    http://ia350605.us.archive.org/3/items/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_523/January1982LetterToRobert.pdf

    (link provided by our friend Vernonicapoe.)

    Apart from the fact that it documents RB’s shenanigans going back at least 25 years, what quickly grabs your attention is how tentative the wording was. It presented a criticism, but the tone went back and forth between trying not to offend and trying to express their serious concerns.

    And yet at the time, I’m sure they felt like they were going way out on a limb, and risking expulsion as well as an uncertain fate in the real world, where people — we were told — would routinely descend into illusion and sleep upon leaving the fof, and would later fly to the moon upon their deaths. But even with that tremendous fear, they somehow worked up the courage to speak — maybe not to all of us, but at least they spoke up to RB. Must’ve been quite a set of negative events that precipitated their decision.

    We’ve been in denial. But what’s most important to me… Not you, not anyone else… It’s me…

    I have been in denial.


  187. 178 Rolex
    When Hercules fell asleep, his wife overtaken by jealousy towards her sister, wanted to castrate him. But then she suddenly remembered that she just got pregnant from Hercules and therefore can get his inheritance. So she calmed down, and only cut off his hair.
    —————————————————————————–
    Could you please explain what this story has to do with anything here. I seem to be missing something. Oh, and by the way, I believe the strong man who got the haircut was Samson, not Hercules.


  188. on September 21, 2007 at 8:16 am Vinnie the Fish

    Bruce: “Vinnie, you are a self-satisfied, narcissistic little creep. The FOF was made just for YOU.”
    Wrong on all 5 counts. Sounds like a grumpy old man’s ‘projections’.

    Still Trying, you’re right, ignoring some people is best, and Bruce qualifies admirably, having nothing interesting or useful to say. Where’s his Ig button?

    Any moron can be destructive and negative, but it sounds a great idea to try to use this forum in a positive and useful way, like the Foflist was, to intelligently discuss the subject that brought us all together in the first place.

    One thing I realised today as I toured an exotic European city, wondering what motivates me to bother writing here, was that I’m partly writing on behalf of your own selves.

    A lot of you spent decades and thousands of $ in the FOF, and at the time you must surely have appreciated the value to some extent. Don’t just write off those years as ‘wasted’, that’s ridiculous, you’ll never get them back. Whatever happens I won’t do that. A death or failed marriage is not a failure, it’s a learning curve. Accept that you used your own discrimination – a vital ingredient on the spiritual path – as best you could, and gained from the time. All time can be viewed as useful and well-spent, and the past is now written in stone so you may as well view it positively.

    I have had a wonderful life in the fof, travelling the world and being intimate in a very special way with numerous sincere and good people including many of you, while learning the true meaning of practical spirituality, which is not sitting on a mountain top meditating until I get light glowing out of my head as I might have imagined when I read Siddartha as a kid, it’s simply being present as deeply and completely as possible, and making aims for that.

    Instead of this life I could have been a regular Joe with 2.3 kids stuck in a boring life in the suburbs. Granted the leader is not the model of saintliness or intelligence, but maybe it can only work the way it has.. as someone once told me it would not work at all if he was hetero because a jealous boyfriend would do him in.

    Maybe you can learn that you have a tendency to be gullible if you believed things then, and don’t believe them now. That’s useful, helps to not trust the thoughts and feelings too much in general.

    It’s easy to feel hurt and hard done by, but better to accept the past as useful lessons, and look forward to a better future built on that foundation. Just overcoming and transcending the current hurt must be a great work for some.

    People I know in the fof are very sincere and earnest, and Robert and Girard are thrown into their unfortunate roles without malice or forethought.

    I’ve used my discrimination all the time in the fof, haven’t swallowed or repeated one word of bullshit, or put on any false fronts, have bared my soul and sometimes adhered to exercises I deem useful for awakening and ignored the rest, and I’ve gained immeasurably in my humble view. Maybe I’m just lucky, or maybe my conscience makes me lucky. If someone of the wrong gender put the hard word on me for a BJ, my conscience would prevail with swift precision. But I was even squeamish kissing my grandmother.


  189. on September 21, 2007 at 8:38 am Vinnie the Fish

    Joel, long ago I bought your Body Types book. I suppose I should throw away that load of crap from your FOF days?

    Are you still writing short shelf-life stuff or is it really real now, but from the other side of your imaginary fence?

    “Never trust an Arab” ~ old Jewish expression.
    “Never trust a Jew” ~ old Arabic expression.


  190. Charles T (#101) wrote

    REVENGE?

    The topic of attempting to close down the FoF appears here fairly frequently. Why would we want this to happen?

    ….Perhaps we could take responsibilty for our own sadness and anger, and move on.

    Hi Charles T,

    Yes, I want to close down the Fellowship, and am not ashamed to have my motives ascribed to revenge.

    This desire may well change, but for now it is honest and honesty has value. A fucking fantastic concept: honesty!

    Revenge does not need to be unlawful.

    Repeat: revenge does not need to be unlawful.

    This blog is revenge for years of lies, intimidation and extortion (i.e. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority). In our sixties-derived morality perhaps sexual perogative and the act of sex generally lost a great deal of value. What’s your own take on sex? Consider this: it may be fucking difficult for some unluckier, less enlightened creatures than oneself to fully appreciate the joy and beauty of sex once they’ve been raped.

    Wikipedia says about the history of revenge:

    “Interestingly, psychologists have found that the thwarted psychological expectation of revenge may lead to issues of victimhood.”

    Isn’t this precisely how one might best “take responsibilty for our own sadness and anger, and move on”…?

    Let me go on record: I am for revenge. Lawfully. Powerfully. Emphatically. Finally. If this means I may not be invited to somebody’s tea down the road, I am fully prepared to live with this fate. Why in the world would anyone not in handcuffs want to go to OH/Dobbins anyway?

    During the civil rights movement Dr. King’s words and actions seemed distasteful to most Americans. Do you want to look back on your life twenty years from now and realize you were the equivalent of a mild mannered southern bigotry-enabler while others showed conviction? Is this the true meaning of Advaita? Seriously, I don’t think so.

    Let me repeat:

    Yes, I want to close down the Fellowship, and am not ashamed to have my motives ascribed to revenge.

    Love to you and yours, (as you well know),

    Joseph G

    jog1954@gmail.com


  191. Hi Vinnie the Fish.

    Enjoy your side of the Atlantic, with its teensy tiny little teaching payments (for now). Obviously you’re getting your money’s worth. Oh, and keep writing. Then we can all see how long your shelf life is.

    “Never trust a twit.” ~ old Knitter’s expression.


  192. Vinnie the Fish

    “Vinnie” is a member of the London center presently traveling in Europe, if you know who he is then let us know.

    I have had a wonderful life in the fof, travelling the world and being intimate in a very special way with numerous sincere and good people including many of you, while learning the true meaning of practical spirituality…

    *********

    Inner circle facts Says:
    March 1st, 2007 at 8:25 am
    Are you ready for some brutal facts?
    Who would like to know how its really happening in his bad room? OK folks,fasten your sit belts,the Kansas going Bye Bye…
    Did you know that usual orgies are formed from 4 to 6 student?.Usually two of them are SIMULTANEOUSLY entering Burton’s anus.Third person is laying on his back while Mr.Burton is providing him an oral sex while two from both sides are subject to the masturbation by MR.Burton with his two hands.
    Some time there is one more student who’s role is to hold Burton’s testicles in his mouth during the whole time.Prior to all, by Burton’s request Viagra pills are shared and swallowed between all members of the orgy which are constantly provided by Mr.G.
    Some time you can hear Burton’s words during the sexual activities “How incredible! We are getting closer,aren’t we?”
    Some of them are asked to suck his nipples and his toes.All sperm gets swallowed by Mr.Burton at the end of the act.But that is not all yet.
    There are two students who had the most terrifying and most humiliating role to play (in my opinion).They have to enter with their hands by their elbows into the Burton’s anus.(Looking for Consciousness perhaps)..both students are Russians.One of them had left the school and the other has been “shipped” back to Russia for disobedience.
    And now get this:
    Beside those depraved scenes there is another one which going to shake you all:
    There is another act that Burton is preforming with a specific student of his own “inner circle”.This act of Humiliation is performed in his bath room while Burton is laying down and 3 students are urinating right on him!
    And on the next morning,like nothing happened Mr.Burton is leading the meeting on Love?


  193. [This is a repost due to image hosting expire.]

    Grand Bizarre Incident Detector
    [Or, was it just Influence C?]

    Is Asaf in prison yet?
    Is REB in prison yet?

    How can one not deceive oneself?
    In the second state one is deceiving oneself, because one is not present.

    What I notice is that as the shock is
    persisting, and as the time is advancing, we have to keep reaffirming
    not-resenting. …I remember that now
    it is our turn to undergo friction.
    Other students each have their own turn,
    and at times it is the teacher’s turn.

    Influence C have artificially applied them [shocks] into their and our roles to transform. One always has to take Influence C on their own terms, and that is how they will get us to Paradise. We are very lucky Influence C take the time to help us escape; who are we that they would take the time to help us? And why we of all others? One area you all have to watch is the group of ‘I’s that is concerned about myself in such situations. Remember that I will be doing my work.

    The machine judges by external achievements.
    Robert Burton

    Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 9:28 AM
    Subject: From Asaf: Our San Francisco Experience

    Dear Friends,

    Asaf’s computer has been stolen upon their arrival to London and with it his address book.

    He asked me to send this email, regarding their experience in San Francisco Airport, to you all.

    Please note that there is a picture attached:

    [Prior image hosting link expired. Link is to image where image is of Asaf and REB in upper class cabin on airplane.]

    With Love,
    Yoad
    yoadr….r@yahoo.com

    ‘These people are walking carelessly towards their gate. They do not suspect there is a challenge even to this moment–to be present to it.’

    We were making our way from the security check-point to the gate, and in this hall Robert called our attention to the dozens of passengers carelessly hurrying to their flights. We were a group of six travelers altogether; Robert, Carlos, Dorian, Mihai, Dmitry S and myself. Robert now being a senior citizen, he and I advanced to the head of the cue and pre-boarded. Our seats were almost at the back of the aircraft. The plane was scheduled to take off at 16:30, that is, in half and hour, and after working on some notes the fatigue caught up with us and we decided to rest for a while. I woke up suddenly, hearing my name being announced in the loudspeaker alongside the rest of our traveling group. We were asked to advance to the entrance of the aircraft. Dorian went first to check what the misunderstanding might be, and upon seeing that he did not return, as well as having heard our names called again, we all advanced to the front. There, we were greeted by the head stewardess, and politely asked to disembark the aircraft. We were lead to the same hallway through which we passed while boarding, but the atmosphere now swiftly changed, as we soon noticed that we were surrounded by police officers. After having been left in this peculiar position for a minute or so, the stewardess approached us and explained, ‘Our crew has discussed your group, and together we all agreed that we are unwilling to include you in our flight. Your behavior has been suspicious from the beginning, and we cannot risk flying you. We now turn you over to the police, and they will take charge of your case from this point onwards.’ ‘Miss, I understand your concern’ began Robert after stepping forward, ‘but there must be some misunderstanding. We take this flight four times a year, often using your airline. We are a religious organization based here in California, and in fact we have tickets for the Bolshoi ballet this evening in the Covent Gardens Theater.’ This last comment on Robert’s part seemed to surprise the stewardess, although to my perception she was already fixed in her decision, and events having developed to such an extreme point, it was clear that it would take a considerable effort of explanation on our part in order to clear this abrupt suspicion that had developed around us. The stewardess dismissed herself and we were now left by ourselves, surrounded by a dozen or so police officers. After five minutes had elapsed in this state of uncertainty, Robert turned towards us and said, ‘If Influence C took the time to give us this shock, we must take the time to transform it. At this point, the key is not to resent this shock.’ We gradually learned the causes of suspicion against us. First, Dorian had intentionally checked into the flight early and asked for six adjacent seats. Second, we were, indeed, a diverse group of varying nationalities and ages. Third (and this is where the hand of Influence C became more and more apparent) we unexpectedly met another student, Stepan K., who was on the same flight, although destined to continue from London to Athens. He approached us while we were on board, and this aroused the suspicion on behalf of the crew members even more. Additionally (and again, the hand of Influence C could be sensed) the upper luggage bins above our seat were broken, damaged by us (claimed the crew) while loading them with suspicious items. Finally, another two suspicious Middle-eastern looking men were detected on the plane, which naturally added to the crews paranoia. We would also learn (later) that this particular day happened to be one of a heightened terrorism alert, the flight crews nationwide having been specifically asked not to leave any stone unturned.

    After perhaps fifteen minutes still standing in the hallway, we noticed that the crew was now leading all the rest of the passengers off board. Quietly we stood there, as the passengers walked by us one by one, each inquisitively looking at us and probably asking himself what exactly it was that we might have been plotting against him.

    Within about half an [h]our into this play, we were lead to a nearby large room and were seated individually (each about ten meters apart from the other). We were asked to wait patiently until the inspectors would arrive. Fortunately I was allowed to stay seated next to Robert; perhaps his being a senior aroused some kind of understanding on their part. However, I had left my notes on the plane, and did not have what to share with him as far as knowledge goes. We recalled where we had left off before all this began. Robert had posed the interesting question ‘How can one not deceive oneself?’ ‘In the second state one is deceiving oneself,’ continued Robert, answering his own earlier question ‘because one is not present. The best thing is to be present, and if that is not occurring, the second best thing is to have intellectual parts promoting presence; the most undesirable position is to be in the jacks and the queens. In the queens one does not have any option. The queens are full of doubt, not suspecting that they are the problem.’ I recalled a thought of Albert Einstein which had always been practical for me (although Einstein obviously would have been referring to something else). ‘Regarding rising from the queens to the kings’ I said ‘Einstein said that the solution is never on the same level as the problem.’ ‘Yes that is very good,’ responded Robert ‘I have heard it before, but now I understand it better. The solution is also not to be found in words, the problem is in words.’

    Thus we spent three and a half hours seated in an abandoned room in the San Francisco airport, during which we were briefly investigated by the FBI, although mostly left to ourselves.

    At a certain moment we recalled a story of Gurdjieff being arrested by the French police. Foreign pupils of Gurdjieff’s, especially Americans, coming over to see him after World War II would bring him gifts of money, sometimes a thousand dollars or more. By law, however, these should have been exchanged at once for francs. But Gurdjieff liked to keep the foreign bank notes. Thus, one day he was warned that the police intended to raid his flat, and he was implored to make sure that he had nothing suspicious. He replied, ‘They can never find anything in my apartment.’ The same day the police came, looked under his mattress, and found a variety of foreign currency notes. He was taken to the police station and locked up with petty criminals.

    When brought before the magistrate, Gurdjieff skillfully played the part of a poor old man who understood nothing about foreign money, and could scarcely speak French. He was, on this account, eventually discharged.

    ‘This is also part of having outside help–these kinds of things too’ Robert explained. ‘What I notice is that as the shock is persisting, and as the time is advancing, we have to keep reaffirming not-resenting. It is the queens that are resenting. Also, in these kind of situations I remember that now it is our turn to undergo friction. Other students each have their own turn, and at times it is the teacher’s turn. As a school, we are getting farther and farther away from the queens, and this is another opportunity to practice this. Becoming old is by no means a hedge against receiving friction, neither was I expecting it to be so.’ One of the chief police officers entered the room at 22:30 and announced that they had finished their investigation and we had proved innocent. They had searched through our luggage (both carry-on as well as check-in) and had also visited our website. The site aroused respect on their part, and the FBI officer apologized for the inconvenience caused.

    ‘I also read your site’ said one of the minor officers. ‘This incident will only increase your faith in your faith’ he said, in a fairly proud tone of voice.

    ‘Strange play’ remarked Robert on our way to a nearby hotel. ‘This shock was all planned even before we arrived at the airport. I marvel the Absolute scripted it for us. Compared to what he has seen, it is very little. We all stayed away from our machine’s imaginary picture of what should have happened. It is good we recently read of Gurdjieff’s arrest. He would have been in his eighties when that occurred–and I trust his shock was more difficult to handle than this one. It helped me work with this situation.’ ‘We are very lucky that it was an artificial shock rather than some kind of brutal handling which past schools have indeed experienced. During the shock I had the ‘I’ that C. Frew (who is also receiving artificially applied friction from Influence C, although in his case it is terminal) would have been grateful to undergo this if it were all that was asked of him. These are all artificial shocks–Girard’s stroke, Peter Bishop’s untimely death, and even Genevieve from one angle–Influence C have artificially applied them into their and our roles to transform. One always has to take Influence C on their own terms, and that is how they will get us to Paradise. We are very lucky Influence C take the time to help us escape; who are we that they would take the time to help us? And why we of all others?’ ‘One area you all have to watch is the group of ‘I’s that is concerned about myself in such situations. Remember that I will be doing my work. The seven of hearts can work through these concern ‘I’s.’ We received complementary rooms in a nearby hotel and spent the night there. Since our flight was not to leave until 16:30, we decided to have lunch in San Francisco the following day. As we arrived in Union Square, Robert remarked, ‘The machine considers yesterday as time lost. But it was not time lost because there was a lot of presence and third state to it all. The machine judges by external achievements.’ Soon, we were back in the airport undergoing exactly the same check-in procedure as in the previous day. After passing the security area, and as we were advancing towards our gate once again, I recalled Robert’s comment of how no one was suspecting there was a challenge to that moment, and pondered how curious it was that as Robert made that remark the previous day, none of us suspected that we were about to encounter a challenge that would last until 22:30! Dorian insisted that Robert and I be upgraded to upper class. Schools always make a profit, and thus our story ends happily with Robert and myself enjoying a pleasant dinner sitting across from each other. We toasted to bearing the slings and arrows of our outrageous good-fortune.

    Scene we’d like to see: Asaf and REB in matching orange prison jumpsuits at upper class digs, Federal Penal Institution, Folsom, California, USA.


  194. Santa hunting deer?

    More like a pack of carnivorous reindeer munching on Santa’s rotting corpse.

    “..and I’ve gained immeasurably in my humble view.”

    You surely have you moronic flounder.


  195. O Vinnie,

    Congatulations with your wonderful life.

    No you could not do a boring life in the suburbs and dealing with 2.3 children……BEING PRESENT IS: WHAT IS.

    When you meet a women do you talk 80% of the time?

    Good luck I am done with you. And feel sorry for you. So self absorbed and uncompassionate.

    Have a happy life and call me when you are closser to the end of your life and let me know if you still have no regrets.

    You would be one of a very few.

    The ones who went THROUGH their regrets are really beautiful to watch.

    And about Nisagradatta….boy you must have been reading another book then me. Obvious we are from a different planet as you think Tony Parson is UNINSPIRING.

    So, got it out…can let you go. FREEDOM, FREEDOM FREEEDOM. YEAH.


  196. Thanks Joel and Vena and Joseph.

    Real emotions expressed, touching my heart.

    Maybe the way Vinnie and Charles are responding is very mind/ English words?

    At this time in my live that does not do it for me.
    Partially when I hear somebody going of in many words and their actions are incogruent I take another road.

    After so many years of the fellowship of friends talk and see what the actions were and yes “Vinnie” that does not sit well with me.

    It still hurts that I did not see it earlier and that it has caused so much pain and disruption to many people.

    No I can not easily move and travel and go ….I am stuck in OH for the time being. And guess what :

    I love what is and make the best of my situation.
    Stuck in the suburbs in OH with 2.3 children and a mortgage….ha, ha ,ha.


  197. Vinnie

    Yes I can feel others people pain and joy. You VINNIE seem to be only interested in YOUR experiences and WHAT YOU GET OUT OF THIS for your own interest.

    Not my kind of friends I am looking for. The fellowship has soo many of those already. Look how good I am and I have a special role and I can travel and I have gold alchemy, I am so busy.and on and on and on.

    Bruce keep writing, this is second line of work at its best, well besssssssst!
    You are sharp, Bruce and what a perception abilities, here on the blog.


  198. “Yes how long is your shelf life”, Vinnie

    You can not see that you hurt people huh,
    You are probably one of those guys when meeting women talks 80% of the time and really feel goooood about himself.

    Probably issues too with commitments, huh.

    God, Vinnie this is great for you, the blog, saving money on your shrink!

    Good morning to you


  199. O Vinnie one more thing,

    This is getting better as I go along. What a fun.

    And if you do not understand all this wonderful photopraphs, do not worry, remember:
    Understanding comes a year later. So do not hesitate to read the above free information, over and over again.
    Lets evaluate Sept 21 2008

    Love the one your with.


  200. Vinnie (I love myself soooo much) the fish,

    You have now taken 1st place as the greasiest, creepiest MF in the FOF that has infected the blog. It fortunate for you that your self-love is enormous enough to replace the distaste that those around you must feel in your presence.

    Traveling all over beautiful Europe? No one deserves taking it up the ass more than you buddy.


  201. 179 Skeptical Optimist.

    Yes, it’s now clear that Burton was corrupt from day one. I wasn’t saying anything different from that. But the people who joined were not corrupt (mostly) and in the early years, particularly in the centres, where Burton was less in evidence, environments were created where Fourth Way work was possible. This was partly because noone had a clue what RB was really like. Of course this is not possible these days now that the truth is out in the open.

    Maybe you didn’t have any understanding about the Fourth Way, Joel, but there were many students who did. I don’t include Burton in that category.


  202. For you Vinnie


  203. 185 Joseph G.

    Thanks for the reply. I totally understand and respect where you’re coming from. I have those feelings too. Part of me would take great pleasure in seeing the FoF shut down. I guess I don’t have a unified position on this and am still trying to see where the truth lies for me emotionally. Post 101 was a tentative attempt to lay out a stance that hasn’t been taken much on the blog, partly to see what reactions it evoked, to see if it would hold water.

    We really should get together and talk this through.

    love to you and family,

    Charles


  204. on September 21, 2007 at 3:10 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Charles T. wrote: “But the people who joined were not corrupt (mostly) and in the early years, particularly in the centres, where Burton was less in evidence, environments were created where Fourth Way work was possible… Maybe you didn’t have any understanding about the Fourth Way, Joel, but there were many students who did.”

    Charles T. and others,

    Please take a closer look at this if you haven’t read it already. Note the similarities. This is just one example of another cult where thinking of former and current followers is very similar to ours. I include myself in this group think. We believe we’re different. The followers in Aum Shinrikyo also believe they are different.
    ………………………………………..

    The following excerpt is from the book by Haruki Murakami titled: “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche”

    This is apparent when they are asked in court to clarify details of Aum doctrine and they quite often say something like, “Well, this may be difficult for ordinary people to comprehend, but…” They still believe that they are at a higher spiritual level than “ordinary people” and have a sense of being specially chosen… “If only he [Shoko Asahara] hadn’t gone over the edge we would have been able to pursue our religious goals peacefully and correctly, without bothering anyone.” In other words, “The results were bad, and we regret them. However, the basic aims of Aum Shinrikyo are not flawed, and we don’t feel there’s any need to reject them outright.”

    This unwavering conviction in the “correctness of aims” is something I found not only in the Aum followers I interviewed, but even among those who have left and are now openly critical of the Aum organization. To all of them, I posed the same question, that is, whether they regretted having joined Aum. Almost everyone answered: “No, I have no regrets. I don’t think those years were wasted.” Why is that? The answer is simple — because in Aum they found a purity of purpose they could not find in ordinary society. Even if in the end it became something monstrous, the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them and nothing else can easily replace it.
    ………………………………………..


  205. “I have had a wonderful life in the fof, traveling the world…

    Instead of this life I could have been a regular Joe with 2.3 kids stuck in a boring life in the suburbs….”

    I am a regular Joe with 2.3 kids stuck in a boring life in the suburbs. I have always wondered – where the students get so much money to travel and to attend all the events. Forget teaching payments – it is a small amount in comparison to all else. Just as Journey Forth by Day ended (how much was a passport this year? plus the airline tickets) we invited to Italy! $1200 for the tickets( plus 110 euros between the cities) 4 cities with 2 events a day each between 150 to 1200 euros. I believe after that we can plan trip to Egypt or Mexico… Where are the money come from, folks!?


  206. #179 Skeptimal Optimist:

    Thanks Joel for the plain truth – for the cold water in the face. It does take most of us a long time to finally see this. Initially we prefer to think, and even really believe, that it was a real school that just got deviated but as time goes on and illusions fall away it becomes clear that Robert Burton was never conscious and that the FOF never was a school and had little to do with the real Fourth Way. I think this understanding comes slowly because it would just be too painful and overwhelming to grasp all at once.
    It was one big, pathetic sham and we were pathetic for buying it for so long. It took me many years to get it.


  207. Vinnie (183) ~

    You wrote ~

    “If someone of the wrong gender put the hard word on me for a BJ, my conscience would prevail with swift precision.”
    _________________________________________________

    Vinnie, there’s nothing wrong with being a parent of Howard Carter’s, so please, look it straight in the face, rather than taking it out on us here on the Blog; nor is a BJ that big of a deal, people have been asking for Blue Jellybeans from one another for a long, long time.

    :.{


  208. Dear All,

    On a roll…
    Enjoying this process
    Fully, here on the blog.
    Yes I have regrets
    And I am proud to have them
    To admit them
    Had I know how Burton started the do of this octave
    I would not have joined
    His thrist for his desires.

    Yes I learned a lot of the fourth way
    Yes I learned a lot of nice people
    Yes I gave up my self will
    …This still hurts
    Did things which did not feel right
    ouchy, ouchy
    Much poorer, much more deliusioned
    Knowing that what I needed to learned could be done in a few years. took me many more years.

    Yes I have regrets and I am happy to share this
    Feeeels good.
    Loving what is and making the best out of every situation.


  209. thanks, Innernaut

    I’m having a think, now.

    I may be some time…


  210. 197 Bistro.

    Just to be clear, I certainly don’t think I’m “at a higher spiritual level than ordinary people” nor do I have a sense of being “specially chosen”, honest. Nor is it true that “the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them and nothing else can easily replace it.”
    Life is much better in every way since I left the FoF.


  211. 199 Vena: “Initially we prefer to think, and even really believe, that it was a real school that just got deviated but as time goes on and illusions fall away it becomes clear that Robert Burton was never conscious and that the FOF never was a school and had little to do with the real Fourth Way.”

    I guess you’re probably referring to me here. I agree that Burton was never conscious and that the FoF was never a school. But my experience was that real Fourth Way work did occur in my early years in the FoF and was supported by the students around me. There’s really nothing so mysterious about the Fourth Way, is there? You make efforts to remember yourself/divide attention/be present. Most of us had quite a bit of success with that. We understood the difference between second and third states and actually achieved the third state fairly frequently. Was that in same way unreal, in your opinion?

    respectfully, Charles


  212. 204

    “We understood the difference between second and third states and actually achieved the third state fairly frequently.”

    Do you pull this shit out of the air? Oh, sorry, you mean when we stood near RB and replaced our manhood (or womanhood) with that airy fairy essence act and subjugated our conscience to his smarmy, sleazy, salacious agenda. Oh yeah, I remember. Are you sure you’re not mistaking 3rd state for glazed-over, sycophantic and vain imagination? Are you REALLY REALLY sure.

    And please, in the future, try not to use “we”, because, well, you don’t no shit beyond your own experience, and you’re coming off like a real self-involved putz.


  213. Hi Uno, I am reposting (I hope this is the one you meant). At the end I added a later post which seems to have disappeared in moderation.
    I am just now realizing how much this “bloggy thing” is really affecting me. Allow me to project my personal experience for a moment, as I am convinced I am not alone in this process. As some of you have mentioned, what we have here is very interesting, very new. When trying to explain what I’m going through to my life partner, I say it’s like intensive group therapy, although I’ve never done intensive group therapy, so I really wouldn’t know. Maybe we could call it blog-therapy.
    Whatever its name, it does affect my moods, my thoughts, my daily schedule. It finally occurred that I’m slowly opening up to a new realm of interactions and introspections and photographs, a whole world of second line opportunities and very human inner catastrophies. And this changes and challenges my thought process in a way that could have never happened in solitude.
    For the past twelve years, most of my work has been solo. I’ve gone around, seen people, done stuff, but even with my closest friends I haven’t been able to share most of my deepest existential ecstasies and dilemmas. Solitude can be a way of life in the midst of humanity. Mind you, I love humanity very much, it’s just that sometimes I feel like I’m still desperately looking for “my tribe”, the people that can give me a great piece of advice when I need it, people that have been through some heavy psychological stuff and have somehow come down to something real, people who feel ill at ease with both naive idealism and worldly cynicism. Wounded but alive.
    So here we meet again. The womb this time is a web: no smiling faces, no pretty dresses, no classical background. Every image fading, what remains of our friendship? Buddhists and atheists, fourth way die-harders and wannabe poets, beauties and ogres, how are we affecting each other? Every day it’s a surprise, often something completely unexpected. Do I know so little of myself? Is this the effect I have on people when I really try to communicate? I mean, they actually dig me? And why do they get so pissed sometimes? Whow, I didn’t know that, now that’s amazing! And on and on…
    A very amazing feature is that it’s being recorded, so we can look at old snapshots of our collective states and thoughts, and maybe in two years time or less we will be shocked to look at the person we once were. It’s my dream come true! How many times, during arguments with my man, I had wished for a tape recorder, something to help my memory build a clearer picture of how we got stuck into that same old conversation again, the same old BS. How did we ever end up there again? And my life has changed for sure everytime I have been able to see the mechanism clearly, the glitch, waves of fear and rejection flooding the body, the stomach tightening, the locked jaw, the old wound reopening. Learning from the emotions, gaining from the pain, feeding from joy.
    Now I can hit replay any time I want, and get instant reaction. Do I want love? read this! Do I want laughs? read this! Do I want pain? read this! It all evokes an aliveness of feeling and thought that’s very refreshing and at times emotionally addictive. We push each other buttons in a desperate effort to cut through the mask, to get to the core of each other. Stripping to the bare bones, testing our ability to feel, to integrate. It’s a process, and it is not and should not become a form. Its beauty for me lies in its unpredictable, organic unraveling, in the fact that I go to bed with the idea for a post in my mind and the morning after it is already obsolete. This medium moves with the exciting rhythm of the present.
    Things are going quite fast, I feel. Sometimes we say some pretty silly things, we get lost, we freak out. Other times I amazed at the beauty of things people write. We are influencing each other, for better or for worse, and for the majority of us there is no going back to arrested development. It’s time to move on (or keep moving on), challenge our minds, open up some more, engage in understanding, go for broke, collapse and recover. It’s free, and it’s healthy.
    When I read the stuff I wrote a week ago I am puzzled to see that such interesting thoughts had never crossed my mind before, never so clearly, never so completely. I was blind. I did not realize the extent of the damage, the width of my foolishness, the depth of my mechanical goodness. I could have never seen these things without you, you are showing me my past and carrying me into the future. Gratitude for you, for myself to have made it here, for us all to be ready for something new.
    We have been working indeed, at times just to stay alive, and here we are, outies and innies, bags of bones with beautiful and horrifying stories to tell. But we are calling for flesh, and flesh we are given, and soon we’ll be swimming in the limitless sea. With some bread and some blood, and a crown of desire, and a net full of fish._Love to you all
    Laura

    You blogpeople are eloquent! Thanks thanks thanks

    Vinnie, I think that you and all the other lurking little souls out there are some lucky bastards. I was stuck with my own incomplete understanding for years, growing so slowly and lonely out of my shell-shocked unawareness. The other night I told a friend the recurring FoF dream I had for years. I was on the property, incognito, afraid of someone spotting me, someone who knew I was behind with my payments, who would tell me I didn’t belong there. One night the dream was slightly different, because this time it was ok, no more fear of being sent away. I woke up feeling extraordinarily good. That was my last fellowship dream.

    It’s all a process, me, you, everyone, we are all in it, living the stages. What is being transmitted here is a seed, a lasting impression, and like everything in the universe it brings results in time. One of the buddhists concepts that has most transformed my worldly view is that there is no such thing as a stream of consciousness that is just my own; the only existing “thing” is the one single current in which what we call “my mind” is immersed, and that can be defined as “the sum of all mental activity at work without any cognizable beginning”. It is a powerful idea, and it takes a while to sink in, at least I am still digesting it mighty slowly.

    The realizations that Another Name and others are so movingly striving to express, lovingly fertilizing your as of now thick skull, are due to bear fruit one day, and that will just be the beginning of an incredible process. But something is already happening, you are at present immersed in these tiny specks of light, particles of truth, emanating from our hearts and through these screens, incredibly pure, flying across the ether, aiming at you, reaching your senses, sinking into your body. Mind is slow, but something in you remembers. One day you’ll reap, and then it will be time for you to sow. And you’ll be able to see the subtle irony of this, paying for a fake teaching and receiving a real one absolutely free.

    Love is all around


  214. Exotic Vinnie,

    I have a book for you. Each page will fit in between Sequences and it will be at your level. It will be light enough for you to carry it while you trip all over happy land. It is called “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handey and it is special. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Instead of having “answers” on a math test, they should just call them “impressions” and if you got a different “impression,”so what, can’t we all be brothers?”


  215. Joel and others,

    Remember the Kurt Vonnegut notion about –what was it?– ‘karass’ ? Not sure of the word. It was a recognition of one’s people, one’s clan. Clan is like family – deeply and invisibly connected, but often argumentative and annoying. (Like families at Holidays when a political subject is raised!)

    We are involved with the calling forth of a spiritual criminal. We deal with RB and fof individually, and now collectively. Are we responsible, in the sense of blame? who knows. Are we responsible in how we react and handle our awakening to spiritual crime and degeneration? For the most part, up till now, we have dealt with this individually. But not thru anything planned and intended, we have found a collective voice.


  216. Vinnie Part 2~

    You wrote ~

    (64)

    “I used to think Sai Baba and Muktananda might be good alternatives, but they say they are or were rapacious sexual predators too. And Gurdjieff was probably pretty rampant.. I wonder if there are any who are not that way inclined?
    Maybe it’s a requirement for a spiritual teacher.”

    (184)

    “But I was even squeamish kissing my grandmother.”

    (117)

    “How is it after you leave? When you toast, do you avoid eye contact?”
    _____________________________________________

    Vinnie,

    Clinically speaking, some would have the person re-visit this Grandmother kissing-trauma; hey, if you can’t trust the whereabouts and intent of your grandmother’s lips than who can you trust, certainly not your own (?) So, therefore, the irreconcilable subconscious pressure is ‘self calmed’ by an idealistic projection-ism towards Robert Burton as the Grandmother Goddess one never had, no mention or thought to where his lips have been, that would be too risky for one’s personal mythology…

    ____________

    And about the toast thing. Yes, I do avoid eye contact when toasting, particularly if the toaster is prone to pop up unexpectedly just as I am peeking in to see how brown the sides have gotten.

    ____________

    l.t.y.a.


  217. on September 21, 2007 at 5:35 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    203 Charles T
    197 Bistro.

    Just to be clear, I certainly don’t think I’m “at a higher spiritual level than ordinary people” nor do I have a sense of being “specially chosen”, honest. Nor is it true that “the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them and nothing else can easily replace it.”
    Life is much better in every way since I left the FoF.
    …………………………………………………………….

    Hi Charles,
    I’m glad about that, and thanks, I feel the same. And I’m glad you’re here conributing to the discussion.

    Bistro

    p.s. Has anyone read the account of Barbara Bruno Lancaster in the book “Cults & Consequences”? The section is titled, “Barbara Bruno Lancaster, Former Cult Member”. Unless someone beats me to it, I’ll post a link and/or post some excerpts within the next few days. I actually can’t recall where I found it, although I’m guessing Veronicapoe posted it as a pdf file on the Internet Archives site.

    If we could somehow get a copy to every fof’er. ah yes, if, if, if…


  218. Vinnie,

    In re-reading your posts, including you grandmother thing, I can’t help but think how close you are to a sociopathic personality- self-referential, no conscience, no humanity. Then it became clear why you are so comfortable where you are. Like attracts like. Now, all you have to overcome is that teeny, tiny, insignificant narcissism and you can start your own school. Your logo can be that Dore engraving of Ruggiero gnawing on the head of whats-his-name in the Inferno. Or maybe Goya’s Saturn consuming his children. It would soften your image.


  219. Ah Vinnie, you really do us a favor posting here, you are a perfect sample of Fellowship dogma. You’re indirectly trying to answer my questions but ever so superficially I’ll pose another few.

    “Bruce: “Vinnie, you are a self-satisfied, narcissistic little creep. The FOF was made just for YOU.”
    Wrong on all 5 counts. Sounds like a grumpy old man’s ‘projections’.

    “Old man’s projections” Fellowship programming

    But I was even squeamish kissing my grandmother.” Life programming

    “Still Trying, you’re right, ignoring some people is best, and Bruce qualifies admirably, having nothing interesting or useful to say. Where’s his Ig button?”

    “Ig button” Life programming Fellowship adaptation to undermine others

    “Any moron can be destructive and negative, but it sounds a great idea to try to use this forum in a positive and useful way, like the Foflist was, to intelligently discuss the subject that brought us all together in the first place.”

    You’re avoiding the issues posted on this blog.

    “One thing I realised today as I toured an exotic European city, wondering what motivates me to bother writing here, was that I’m partly writing on behalf of your own selves.”

    You’re trying to save the side of you that has stuck in the Fellowship without doing any serious work, adapted to the form and lived a shallow life. It is wonderful you are here because it is actually the other side of you what is pushing you to serve yourself as meat for fish and consider another possibility. You’re not nearly as crystallized or convinced as you want to pretend. Your tramp is intelligent enough to throw baits and see what we do with them.

    “A lot of you spent decades and thousands of $ in the FOF, and at the time you must surely have appreciated the value to some extent. Don’t just write off those years as ‘wasted’, that’s ridiculous, you’ll never get them back. Whatever happens I won’t do that. A death or failed marriage is not a failure, it’s a learning curve. Accept that you used your own discrimination – a vital ingredient on the spiritual path – as best you could, and gained from the time. All time can be viewed as useful and well-spent, and the past is now written in stone so you may as well view it positively.”

    This is what you’re trying to save for yourself. There is a half truth in what you’re saying and yes, don’t worry, like in a marriage we grew immensely. It was all worth it like marriages are, so don’t be afraid of investing the last opportunity you have in growing with a woman and children in a suburb, and not just roam the world for impressions without giving your inner life a chance.

    “I have had a wonderful life in the fof, travelling the world and being intimate in a very special way with numerous sincere and good people including many of you, while learning the true meaning of practical spirituality, which is not sitting on a mountain top meditating until I get light glowing out of my head as I might have imagined when I read Siddartha as a kid, it’s simply being present as deeply and completely as possible, and making aims for that.”

    it’s simply being present as deeply and completely as possible, and making aims for that.

    My dear Vinnie, there are no other aims in presence. Aiming is a continued state of unrest. Presence is a state of appreciation in which gratitude is constantly fulfilled. Human lives matter in as much as they can process these hydrogens from their life experiences. It is good for you to travel and continually appreciate the wonder of human creations, they are our heritage, but don’t miss out on your intimate life. If you think a woman and three kids are too heavy to carry, do you just jump from brothel to brothel for a little more fun?

    “Instead of this life I could have been a regular Joe with 2.3 kids stuck in a boring life in the suburbs. Granted the leader is not the model of saintliness or intelligence, but maybe it can only work the way it has.. as someone once told me it would not work at all if he was hetero because a jealous boyfriend would do him in’

    Is it because of your jealousy that you’re afraid of committing to a woman? You’re afraid she’ll leave with someone else?

    “Maybe you can learn that you have a tendency to be gullible if you believed things then, and don’t believe them now. That’s useful, helps to not trust the thoughts and feelings too much in general.

    It’s easy to feel hurt and hard done by, but better to accept the past as useful lessons, and look forward to a better future built on that foundation. Just overcoming and transcending the current hurt must be a great work for some.”

    Couldn’t agree more with you, and when you’ve transformed all the hurts, you might be ready for an intimate rich life.

    “People I know in the fof are very sincere and earnest, and Robert and Girard are thrown into their unfortunate roles without malice or forethought.”

    True, they are kept in their unfortunate roles by people like you who really could give a damm what it is that is happening to them as long as you can keep your imaginary world together, paying them endlessly to sacrifice their integrity so that your own corruption looks decent.

    “I’ve used my discrimination all the time in the fof, haven’t swallowed or repeated one word of bullshit,”

    really?

    or put on any false fronts,

    really?

    have bared my soul and sometimes

    When? Which?

    adhered to exercises I deem useful for awakening and ignored the rest, and I’ve gained immeasurably in my humble view.

    humble?

    Maybe I’m just lucky, or maybe my conscience makes me lucky.

    Lucky: “We are not better than life, just luckier” Robert Burton.

    Yes, Vinnie, you swallowed the teaching word by word and have become the luckiest man on the planet. You and influence C working with you so that you can go around the world appreciating the beauty without having any commitments to others but feeling good about paying 15% of the tip and 10% of your income to keep your imaginary picture intact. No, you don’t spend your money in the quickly descending starving children of Angola on a direct flight to the moon, that is for the decadent mother Teresa’s of the world, because you belong to a conscious elite that spends its money on museums and Egyptian pyramids on a disinfected bus that will not bring them close to the third world egyptians = organic life on planet Earth feeding the moon.

    If someone of the wrong gender put the hard word on me for a BJ, my conscience would prevail with swift precision.

    So what do you do for sex, love? Do you find masturbation enough?

    But I was even squeamish kissing my grandmother.

    Indeed, your family already had the ingredients with you, they did not touch each other or help you feel their hands around you, you could not come close to your old grandmother, too much feminine dominance for you to bear with even today? Nothing human enough like a grandmother’s warm, old and wrinckled hands around your shiny boys face. It makes you squeam to think of that? A perfect product of our times in which old people and children are unwanted because they don’t produce anything but work on those beautiful men like you that are happy to go about life living a conscious life without commitments. A perfect Fellowship student.

    You remind me of Robert who asked Gl—-oria Cambridge to never go to dining events with him again because she ate one too many cookies in one of the teas we were attending. She was told that she was too instinctive. And Lucas and the rest of us were unable to stand up for a student who has been in the Fellowship for over thirty? years and has the greatest soul, conviction and love for Robert and the Fellowship. We just sat there and allowed for old people looking a little old to be extinguished out of Robert’s impressions because he cannot take anything but his imaginary conscious world in which only barbies model in and out. I puke for having ever allowed it.

    You remind me of so many in the Fellowship who called Dorothy a “shell” to be disposed off and didn’t give her a bath in a year because the uncle hadn’t had one in two. When she came to live in my house, her very long nails had not been cut for years and were black in dirt and after a year of not having a bath and wearing the same coat her hair smelled as if it was going to fall off. She screamed like mad when I gave her the first bath and then didn’t stop thanking me for half an hour after she got out into warm towels under the sun.

    Thank you for sharing Vinnie, hang in there love, we are all just perfectly damaged but we’ll get out of this one, and hold our immense shame with humility.

    My familiarity will surely annoy you, who am I to touch your hand? But start getting used to it love, you’ll never taste anything better than human contact.


  220. DEAR LAURA,

    Thanks for your beautiful letter. Stroke a cord with me.

    What an opportunity to share.

    Thanks.


  221. Dear Charles T

    Yes we learned the difference between state number 1, 2, an 3. For you it took 25 years and for me a little less. Great.
    We paid for something that is FREE, easily accesible, FREE.

    In the meantime we all supported a LIE, from early on, Read Marlan Dasman book…it was all there this was between 1974-1979 as I recall. He was playing a trick om us to benefit himself as he still does.

    Come on show your emotions,
    I want to see you upset, angry
    Empowered, live
    Take your space in the world
    You are worth it.
    Come on show your emotions.

    And especially for you and all the others here:… is Cecile Dion

    I’ve tried my best for so long
    To break down these walls
    But you build them strong
    So I stand here waiting, wondering why
    Oh why

    Why you don’t give a little bit
    Break down and give a little bit

    Show, show some emotion
    Open, open your heart, ooh
    Set free an ocean
    Only a feeling can save us now

    You say you’ve been hurt
    Well you’re not alone
    As you race through this life what you
    Keep to yourself
    Can turn you to stone
    All it would take is one kind word
    To be heard

    Come on and give a little bit
    Try to forgive a little bit
    Show some emotion
    Open, open your heart
    Set free an ocean
    Only a feeling can save us now

    [Solo]

    Show some emotion
    Open, open your heart
    Set free an ocean
    Only a feeling can save us now

    Show some emotion
    Open, open your heart
    Set free an ocean
    Only a feeling can save us now


  222. Bruce 205

    I’m sorry, I think you are way off on this one. There was a time in England when we were more or less on our own: RB was not “teaching” and very few had any contact with him in the centers. My memories are that we did, in fact, help and support each other and that we did experience higher states. For me, once the stupid distraction of the 1984 time had passed, this was a golden time in the school. You were not there, you have no means to measure your disdain for it.

    Your own experience in the FoF was all around RB, the great thief of efforts and corrupter of innocence. We didn’t all “stand near RB and replaced our manhood (or womanhood) with that airy fairy essence act and subjugated our conscience to his smarmy, sleazy, salacious agenda.” Those who did not experience RB, who did not know about his corruption, and who made sincere efforts should not have to have those experiences and attainments denigrated. And while I have to say that I had trouble from the beginning believing in RB’s consciousness, even as a center director in Germany (when we did have dinners with him a couple of times per year) he was quite good at hiding his essential rottenness of soul, at least from the naive.

    The personal issue that I still have is when we realized what RB is, how long did it take to get out? Charles was ahead of me there, but still, I do think we both took about 10 years too long. Still, I think Charles’ main point re revenge is valid. And at the same time, Joseph’s answer is also valid. I go back and forth between the two several times a day. Mostly, though, I beat myself for being so damn stupid.


  223. I think I would weigh in on the side of feeling that I really did get something from the fof. I spent most of my time in ‘far off’ centers, and was lucky to have fun, sincere, wacky, irreverent shipmates. I learned a lot about the ideas espoused by G&O, most of it, as I now think back, was the result of individual effort and work by me and my friends, referencing the workbooks. Robert’s influence was not direct, and anything we heard was dim rumour and didn’t impact much our lives. I don’t feel those times are anything I need to apologize for or defend — they are what they are.

    I had dinner recently with an old friend from those times. We see things very differently now — she says it all works for her, in spite of the ‘problems’ (which she says she is not blind to). Well, I think one really can’t do anything but keep an open heart and do what seems right.


  224. 144 Bistro Fundraiser

    Earlier in the blog, someone posted some comments that were reportedly written by Miles B. several years ago. He used the expression “evil man” to describe Robert Burton, and he called his own time in the Fellowship “wasted years.”
    ——————

    Does anyone remember which page of the blog this appeared on?


  225. on September 21, 2007 at 6:51 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    This is exactly it. We have these wonderful times and call them golden years and refer to our collective inner world as “higher states” that “we” had.

    But how do you actually know that “we” had “higher states”?

    This highlights one of the more common attitudes that all of us were indoctrinated with within the Fellowship — that 1) we could know someone else’s psychological state simply by being in their presence and 2) that the higher states that we’re supposedly having are rarely experienced by anyone else on the earth.

    I’ve never quite thought of the FOF has having Golden Years. What we experienced was a beautiful country club atmosphere with wonderful music and culture (at times) and friends (at times), but was/is that so unusual? The mass of people on this earth may not have read the books of G. and O. and/or practiced the ideas of the Fourth Way, but the world is filled with substantial and genuine spiritual knowledge — and understanding and being. What many “others” understand about their spiritual existence on this earth has nothing to do with the Fourth Way concepts that we supposedly learned, and nothing to do with the collective worldview that everyone learns in the fof. When we spend a good portion of our lives being sure that WE are the chosen ones, doing something that’s “one up” on everyone else in the world, it’s not surprising that it’s very hard for us realize this.

    When I read what Joel and Bruce wrote above, I’m thinking, “YES!”

    Their words are unpleasant, and full of daggers. They both are opening up a HUGE WINDOW to let a gust of wind into the Town Hall (or whatever it is they call it these days). Sharon, Uno, Whale Rider, Innernaut, and a several others on this blog are letting the air into the building.

    But the truth is unpleasant, and often full of daggers. All of you are speaking a truth that is very hard to hear — for me included — because I believed so much that we had found something very special.


  226. Graduates (112) ~

    Oh, about that coo coo clock spelling; according to my top left corner Google bar, it can be spelled both ways… thanks for the close eye though, it’s not every day that I get to look that one up and I guess that’s sorta lucky in a way, then again…

    _____________

    BTW, ‘Another Name’, you wrote ~ “Stroke a cord with me.”

    I think you may have meant ‘struck’, then again…

    ________________________________________

    :.)


  227. 215 sharon

    Point taken, except for Charles’ royal “we”. I personally don’t accept anyone else’s generalizations based on their own personal limited experiences. And, of course, states were created, though “frequently”, for me, diminishes the actual experience with non-relativity. Higher states include a myriad spectrum of scale.

    As for revenge, I’ve never personally wanted that. My play has been exactly what it’s supposed to be, and I’m happy with it. At the same time, the other shit is still shit.


  228. on September 21, 2007 at 7:03 pm Old Fish In The Sea

    I cannot say whether Robert was corrupt from the beginning. It does seem in retrospect that he always had some “closet issues” to deal with and that he did (intentionally or not) deceive and mislead himself and us. Perhaps you are right Joel. Perhaps you are right Vena that we were duped all along and that we tend to buffer this painful realization.

    But right or wrong, here is my current take on it. Robert tried to teach us about presence by creating environments that were conducive to it. I am convinced he also tried to be an example of presence when he was teaching us. Perhaps he was not conscious and on the inside a very odd and sick machine. Perhaps he was motivated by corruption. Perhaps he had some destructive identifications and wrong attitudes, but I believe there was also a sincere seeker inside.

    There was in the Fellowship, the hypnotic effect of group energies but this for me was more a connection with emotional and sex energies – it was not really a higher state. Very pleasant in itself, and certainly worthwhile from some points of view, but somewhat distant from the state where we know our infinitesimal relationship to all, and the raw energy of finding ourselves alive – immersed in a cosmos teaming with life energies.

    Despite the many angles from Robert and others, we were largely left on our own to try to work out what presence was and how to get there. The angles gave us ideas but we had to experiment on our own to see what worked for us. The struggle to find presence was a personal journey. Perhaps this is why we each have our own individual relationship to what it means or meant to be a student in the Fellowship.

    Yes there were exercises but for me they didn’t really take me to the states that I knew existed prior to joining. They did help to refine me a bit I suppose and they did serve as reminders. Unfortunately these reminders also served to fortify a “worker” personality: (an identification with being something special).

    I believe the exercises and eventually the sequence caused us to focus too much on state, too much on doing, and that for many of us it developed into a morality and an identification that distorted the state of presence. It made presence a duty and not a love.

    My journey to find real presence continues in its own meandering way. I am finding that it is tricky. The journey has to be private (in or out) and there comes a point when teaching or being taught is a distraction.

    It is difficult to truthfully formulate work but here are some questions that I am considering. I would appreciate any related ideas or comments.

    How to let go of learned and false concepts of what I should be, while balancing that with sincere motives to try to be a better human. How to look out and see the world as it truly is without all of the filters of fear and worldview interpretations. How to be present without the work personality conditioning the effort. How to learn to love, and let my love motivate all kinds of earnest activities. How to be unafraid to step out, expose myself, be honest and take a stand. How to develop my own principles for living independent from Robert and independent from the conventions that surround me. How to see my true relation to life, and based on this realization, take my own opinions less seriously.


  229. Still Trying,

    A not uncommon part of processing the FoF experience is to convince ourselves that it was mostly good, served its purpose, done now. I say this from personal experience.

    It took me many, many years to admit that I stayed too long and could have gotten the pearls of good stuff in much less time. I had to get some distance, perspective and more honest knowledge of myself before I could admit that.

    Admitting that required acknowledging that my own mechanics were thriving in the FoF rather than being worked on. I was a good student because that’s what I was mechanically good at. My greatest weaknesses weren’t photographed — they were encouraged by the culture and the form, and I couldn’t see that until much later.

    It took me a long time to accept, understand and admit to this.

    Perhaps nothing like this is true for you, but I offer it as a piece to consider. If something like this might be true for you, perhaps participation here will be the thing that blows your cover for you. It hurts, but it’s worth it.


  230. There have been a lot of simply amazing insights on the blog today. I just wanted to capture these two that particularly struck me:

    158 Graduates
    “A machine trained to appear unperturbed is doubly false. The legitimate work is genuine transformation, never masking or suppression. A man in personality hiding his identification is even more obviously in wrong work than a man in essence indulging his identifications.”

    206 Laura
    “And you’ll be able to see the subtle irony of this, paying for a fake teaching and receiving a real one absolutely free.”


  231. 219 Old Fish in the Sea

    “but I believe there was also a sincere seeker inside.”

    I agree with much of what you said, but not the above. The energy that existed at times could definitely be beneficial, and some real work was done by some, but RB had his agenda from the start. How cognizant of this he was at different times is up for debate. Or even if he delved inside himself to ask questions about it (and as a sociopath I doubt he ever questioned his motives-for him that option just doesn’t exist).

    I think whatever real work took place was in spite of RB, not because of him, and depended more on one’s personal apprehension of G and O’s ideas, which for many is precisely what drew us together in the first place. And now, not even that is there.


  232. “And now, not even that is there.”

    Meaning the sequence supplanting G & O.


  233. While we (ex-members) agonize over the past (our time in the FoF) many of those in the Fellowship are experiencing what Vinnie is experiencing, this moment in what they believe is a higher school. It almost does not matter that it is a thoroughly rotten psychological hellhole at its very core, because those on the outer fringes are experiencing good emotional moments in their ignorance. They prefer to preserve their emotionality rather than face the truth about the organization that they believe is helping to produce the emotional states. They do this because there is no alternative place where they can feel as though they are doing the Fourth Way work.

    If there were an alternative organization many if not most of the current Fellowship membership would likely abandon the obviously insane and corrupt Burton and join in the new experiment. Why should we ex-members demand integrity from current members, demand they leave the emotional atmosphere ongoing on the outskirts of Burton’s influence in protest of the selfish corruption, when we do not have the organizational ability to provide an alternative organization to work with ideas of the Fourth Way?

    At some point we will have to put up or shut up.

    Rather than a single individual as an inspiration point it might be possible to have the actual work ideas as the inspiration point that could develop the high emotional level necessary for a school. This is what Burton sells and has always sold: emotion. That is why the people there ignore his personal weaknesses and stay in place. Here we are insisting that they abandon that for an internet experience. It is not a reasonable request. Moral to the story: sustained positive emotion trumps any sense of decency. An unacceptable fact perhaps, but life is built on unacceptable realities.


  234. 223 Graduates

    “Moral to the story: sustained positive emotion trumps any sense of decency. An unacceptable fact perhaps, but life is built on unacceptable realities.”

    Very true. Thanks.

    Another school? Not so much.


  235. Dear Elena you make me feel

    (like a natural woman)

    I had saved this song for a special occasion. I was there that night, by far the best town hall meeting I have ever been to (just my personal taste).
    Thanks to you all for making me feel like I am talking with angels.
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=KC66wUcjqiA


  236. on September 21, 2007 at 7:51 pm Way.of.the.Slow.Man

    Vinnie: “A lot of you spent decades and thousands of $ in the FOF, and at the time you must surely have appreciated the value to some extent. Don’t just write off those years as ‘wasted’, that’s ridiculous, you’ll never get them back… is not a failure, it’s a learning curve.

    Joel, Bruce: ‘complete waste’ (paraphrase)

    I’m with Sharon, Old Fish, David, others– I got a number of things worthwhile: experience of intense (higher?) states, some cultural appreciation and a much better understanding of some of my personal psychological makeup.

    Most of that personal psychological understanding came AFTER I left the fellowship.

    If I was smarter and had a better understanding of my foibles: moderate self worth, desire to please, accepting authority and wanting to improve myself I might have been able to leave after a couple of years, instead of staying seven.

    Twenty years+ ago when I left, I –finally– understood Just Plain-Bob’s organization is a ‘school’ using psychological blunt-trauma lessons for those who needed that kind of school. That’s why the FOF is not for the Sly man, but the Way of the Slow Man.


  237. 226

    “Joel, Bruce: ‘complete waste’ (paraphrase)”

    I think if you go back to the first page of the blog and peruse all my posts up to now you will not find, anywhere, me expressing that sentiment. Many other sentiments, but not that one. I have repeatedly stated that I got what I came for, and things were, for me, the way they were supposed to be.

    Pretty slow, slow man.


  238. On 21 Sep 2007 at 4:52 pm204 Charles T
    199 Vena: “Initially we prefer to think, and even really believe, that it was a real school that just got deviated but as time goes on and illusions fall away it becomes clear that Robert Burton was never conscious and that the FOF never was a school and had little to do with the real Fourth Way.”

    I guess you’re probably referring to me here. I agree that Burton was never conscious and that the FoF was never a school. But my experience was that real Fourth Way work did occur in my early years in the FoF and was supported by the students around me. There’s really nothing so mysterious about the Fourth Way, is there? You make efforts to remember yourself/divide attention/be present. Most of us had quite a bit of success with that. We understood the difference between second and third states and actually achieved the third state fairly frequently. Was that in same way unreal, in your opinion?

    respectfully, Charles

    Dear Sweet Charles,

    I wasn’t referring to you at all. I don’t mean to negate the suggestions you have made either, it’s just that for myself I have understood that the process of leaving is a continuum and from where I am now it is clear to me that the whole thing was/is a sham. That does not mean that the sincere efforts that we made did not produce results and understanding but it was more in spite of Robert Burton than because of him. I can see that someone might take the position that if I/we gained understanding in spite of RB why should we try and take that possibility from others. I currently don’t feel that way because I see the FFellowship and Robert Burton as criminal but I can accept that as a point of view without agreeing.

    So, yes, I did come to understand the difference between the second and third states and experience the third often enough to know how to get there. We have a better understanding now through Advaita of its accessibility but I concur with your description of the results of efforts made while in the Fellowship.

    I truly respect and value your opinions and feel alot of affection for you. I just want to make it clear that my post was more a confirmation of Joel’s and not a negation of yours.

    Much love to you. Vena

    p.s. Different paths towards the same understanding or even different points on the same path can look contradictory at times. So, in the spirit of sharing and not to illustrate any particular point I am including some interesting thoughts from “The Way of Zen” by Alan Watts.

    In chapter four he mentions that …”there exists both gradual and sudden ways of awakening, the former by purification of the tainted outflows or projections of the mind (this was probably our approach in the FOF and accounts for the turgid, plodding type of effort) and the latter by an instantaneous “turning about” within the depths of consciousness whereby dualistic views are cast off.”

    “…in Zen there is always the feeling that awakening is something quite natural, something startlingly obvious, which may occur at any moment.”

    “There is , too, a clear connection berween the idea of immediate awakening and the teaching of the “Diamond Cutter Sutra”, on the fact that to attain awakening is not to attain anything. In other words, if nirvana is actually here and now so that to seek it is to lose it, a realization through progressive stages is hardly appropriate. “


  239. I really dislike when someone tries to put words in my mouth, especially when they clearly don’t have the depth to understand what I’m saying.


  240. BTW, Vinnie, hold on to your Vivaldi

    I will walk down to the ocean
    After waking from the nightmare
    No moon, no pale reflection
    Black mirror, black mirror

    Shot by a security camera
    You can watch your own image
    And also look yourself in the eye
    Black mirror, black mirror, black mirror

    I know when the time is coming
    All the words will lose their meaning
    Please show me something that isn’t mind
    But mind is the only kind that I relate to
    I never guessed how the mirror could ever break you
    Black mirror, black mirror, black mirror

    Black mirror knows no reflection, knows not pride or vanity
    Cares not about your dreams, cares not for your pyramid schemes
    Their names are never spoken
    The curse is never broken, the curse is never broken
    Un, duex, trois, dit miroir noir
    Black mirror
    Un, duex, trois, dit miroir noir
    Black mirror

    Black mirror, black mirror
    Their names are never spoken, the curse is never broken,
    Their names are never spoken, the curse is never broken,
    Mirror, mirror, on the wall, show me where them bombs will fall
    Mirror, mirror, on the wall, show me where them bombs will fall
    Black mirror, black mirror, black mirror, black mirror, black mirror, black mirror, black mirror

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=ejZ0on9Qeps


  241. Sigh. I really am in love with Vinnie, which may be a good thing, since I am Vinnie. And somehow I have to come to terms with that. Reading his postings have had an effect like a drug flashback. I spent 30 years being Vinnie, really. These last few days–thanks, Vinnie darling–I have been revisiting experiences during which I saw vividly, understood accurately, knew beyond any doubt that what I was witnessing and participating in was flat out wrong. Make it stronger than that. Flat out evil. And I can testify that it would take sometimes as long as a day and a half for me to marshall all the work angles necessary to talk myself out of what I knew for sure was the truth–because with the knowledge of what was good and true and beautiful would come the necessity of leaving the Fellowship. Boy, it was touch and go a whole lot. And I by God or the Devil was not about to relinquish the feelgood, magicstate, fairytaleprincess, liferejecting bubble of delusion. No way. I miss you, Vinnie.


  242. 205 Bruce: “Are you sure you’re not mistaking 3rd state for glazed-over, sycophantic and vain imagination? Are you REALLY REALLY sure.”

    Yes I’m sure.

    But you’re right, I shouldn’t have used the “we” word, to be pedantically accurate.


  243. 217 Bistro.

    Yes I agree. The Fourth Way is essentially ego-orientated and doesn’t really lead anywhere, particularly in the Burton version. Nevertheless, I feel it was useful to go through it. Most of it seems irrelevent these days, though it’s true that thoughts are not real and that everything just happens. Certainly there’s no need for the crazy FoF additions, particularly exclusivity.

    221 Bruce. Seems right

    228 Vena. Thanks for clarifying. I guess I was being a bit over sensitive! x Chas


  244. Charles T (around) 233

    217 Bistro.

    Yes I agree. The Fourth Way is essentially ego-orientated and doesn’t really lead anywhere…

    **********

    Do you always adopt the opinions of the last person that made an impression on you or do you ever try to think for yourself? You seem to change your view of reality a little too easily and a little too often.

    You were just explaining how much you got from Burton’s Fourth Way school, the third state and what not, now about a minute later you are explaining that how the Fourth Way leads nowhere.

    Stop.


  245. on September 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm Way.of.the.Slow.Man

    227 Bruce

    Apologies on 226.
    I mis-construed your 205, your scorn for the FOF and apologizers as scorn for all your experience in FOF.
    My bad.


  246. Joseph, there is a man behind each one of your posts but redemption is a much better word than revenge. Words like redemption and compassion are much tied to Christian hipocrisy but they are words worth redeeming. I do not seek revenge and do not wish to carry that word in my being even when it shows up at times like in Charles. Revenge will pull us down with the fall. No. Not revenge. The things that have happened in the Fellowship are terrible but they are human enough to be transformed. That is actually what I’ve been working for all these years. No harm to Robert’s or Girard’s or any student’s being, just the chipping of what is not part of our selves. We will separate the best from the worst at some point, like in any natural and miraculous process.

    The process of dismantling the Fellowship can be as painful and damaging as its construction. Any violence will crystallize the damage. Students need to meet every other day and talk with each other gradually and walk out of the nightmare with wide open eyes. We are not against each other. We are against our actions. Actions against actions even if they are legal actions but don’t let anything as dark as revenge come close to us.

    On a different matter and more connected with the latest posts, I do not agree with those who think that Robert does not have a considerable amount of work worth looking at.

    If I were to stand up for Robert after everything negative I’ve said about him, he would still be no less than a human being like any one of us. One must be able to see the beauty as much as the horror in every human being. Not one of our horrors is more than a scratch in the dimension of our compassion. We have loved what we have loved and those who were in the School without considering Robert’s teaching have their own opportunism to look into. No blame, no shame, just a fact. Robert incarnated a symbol and destroying the man because he did not live up to the symbol does not make us any better than him, who destroyed us in justification of the symbol. Or at least totally disacknowledged us. The question is not one of humiliation or demeanoring anyone with revenge or flagelating ourselves for what we loved. Our integrity is not integrity if we cannot bring Robert and the whole of the Fellowship within our being and place it in its appropriate context.

    It wasn’t all good nor is it all bad. That is what we are here to patiently look at while at the same time we simply sit in each other’s company and enjoy the silence in between. Patience too is a positive emotion.


  247. on September 21, 2007 at 10:56 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Charles T wrote: “Nevertheless, I feel it was useful to go through it.”

    Yes, I don’t think “complete” waste was true for me. I’m sure I also gained something from the experience despite all of the time wasted and the mistake that I made in staying for so long. Maybe there was a reason for it, a lesson in the mistake.

    As far as gaining something spiritually from the experience, I think the distinction is that we gained something “in spite of” the fof — as opposed to “because of”.

    What credit I gave to RB many years ago, I’m now realizing was totally and utterly my own imagination. And his imagination as well.


  248. on September 21, 2007 at 11:39 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Don’t worry Abbie I’m still here… did you say 30 years? hmm ok don’t bother posting your pics… but there’s a lot of bitter and twisted haters on this blog I can’t help notice.. they don’t like to hear another viewpoint than their own. So I hope you can all get over it and get on with your lives. It seems to be true what Gurdjieff said, that you can lose everything you gained – all idea of higher states and the possibility of immortality and enlightenment is buried in the mire of identification.
    Good to be in Rome.


  249. Graduates (234)

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I meant that I learned a lot about the Fourth Way in the FoF and that at the time there were some limited results, eg increased ability to be present, occasional higher states, etc. Eventually I came to the conclusion that this wasn’t enough and that nothing more would happen. I looked around for other teachings, and found Advaita to be 100% effective. Nevertheless, for me the FoF Fourth Way experiences were very useful as a preparation for what came next.

    But don’t get me wrong, I respect your continued involvement with the Fourth Way and agree that Burton’s version was not the real thing.

    I was just describing my own experience.

    BTW 223 was a good one.


  250. 238

    Oh God,… if I repent will C influence give me one more chance?


  251. Come on Vinnie (238), do you really think “the possibility of immortality and enlightenment” exist in the FoF? Be honest now!


  252. Vinnie, you sound very negative and horribly degenerate. I hope you can get into your life but in a more healthy way. Believe me, you could have a deep and fascinating life. I’m sorry that you choose your degenerate silly cultishness, with trampy muddled brains and sorry heart. The real world is actually a truly amazing place! The depth of emotion and intellect and states of mind that are available is greater than you imagine.


  253. irst, a moment to breath…

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=BgIm0x4mgIc

    “peas, luv and eternal cosmic wisdom…”
    the florescent leech — or was it eddy?

    vinnie, your recent post brought to mind something i read a while back concerning “the toxic nature of ideology.” in my reseach i didn’t come up with the exact quote but this instead… i hope you like to read… here’s to levity.

    “We can laugh about these things — we do laugh, we should laugh. It’s just too bad that some people off themselves in the process of struggling to try and figure out what’s going on. After the Heaven’s Gate thing, they were interviewing people on NPR, and people were saying, “Oh, I just can’t understand how these people could have worked themselves into believing such a bizarre group of ideas!” So then they buttoned that up and they said, “Well, now what’s happening with the White House Easter Egg Hunt?” [laughter] Yes. It turns out, you know, a lot of people are carrying a lot of peculiar intellectual baggage. I mean, I don’t have any problem with people having religious ideas, but I think they should be clearly labeled as “IRRATIONAL”, and those people should voluntarily recuse themselves from debates about the nature of reality. The spectrum of philosophical differentiation between the Resurrection, the Easter Bunny, and Heaven’s Gate is only a matter of taste and aesthetics. [laughter] Hey, it’s a hard truth, but something to consider….

    I think the idea that I’m coming to is that culture, in all of its offerings and splendor and artifactria, and especially in the form of ideologies, is not the friend of the life-prolonged, postmodern individual. Culture is not your friend. This is the vaguely-smelling-of-political-incorrectness message that continued drug use and philosophical abuse has brought to me. Generally the way the intellectual life is presented is that there are good ideologies and bad ideologies, and by a mixture of intuition, logic, education, master of the tools of the culture, we make choices between good and bad ideologies. But you can’t help but notice, at a certain point of alienation, maturation, boundary dissolution — it doesn’t matter what the vocabulary is you use — you can’t help but notice that culture is some kind of con game. It’s a scam. It’s a manipulation. It’s for the na√Øve. They can only work this limited set of tricks upon you three times, four times, six times, before you get it. You figure it out, you know? How many art openings, how many Next Great Novels by the geniuses among us, how many filimic triumphs, Nobel Prizes, Booker fiction awards, and on and on and on, can we tolerate in the illusion that we are moving into the truly new and exciting? It works for awhile, is the idea….

    The Heaven’s Gate thing — to me, all of this stuff is an intelligence test. Those people failed it. But my point in my main lecture was that they are not as bizarre as they are made out to be, in the sense that lots of people are running around with extremely bizarre ideas, that we have simply gotten used to because they are socially sanctioned. When Pliny the Younger first wrote his report to the Roman Emperor on Christianity (I was recently reading a book called The Christians as the Romans Saw Them) he said, “This is a cult. It’s a cult of Christ. Religions deal with the great issues of cosmic origins and final endings. This doesn’t deal with that; it’s a cult of Christ.” So we have built a culture around that cult, and yet the rantings of a Southern preacher suitably liquored up on Jim Beam and syphilis was convincing, I think, that these are the rantings of a diseased mind. So what I think people should do is learn to trust their intuition and develop their crap detectors to a little higher state of subtlety. Because as we approach — whatever this thing is — the narrow neck of happenstance that is constricting the end-of-the-century phenomena, there are going to be more and more claims upon our attention and our imagination, “wonder workers” moving among the people and on the networks. Do your mental calisthenics early, so that when they come knocking on your door, you will have the strength to tell them to keep on moving….

    Imagine if you were actually a free and responsible individual! Play with this idea; it has implications for you, I think. And it may not have been true in the past. As I look back to how I was raised and the people who raised me, everybody was living inside a cartoon, a sitcom of some sort. We’ve blown the whistle on that. That was what the work of the deconstruction that modernism performed on the bourgeois sensibility was all about, to tell you you’re more complicated than that, deeper than that, more dynamic, more self-surprising than that…”

    t. mckenna


  254. “brain police” are you still lurking?

    vinnie
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=uHOUJPtWVYM


  255. Could someone please post the telephone number of the London’s teaching house?
    I appreciate.


  256. this might be clearer,
    towards clarity….

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=M2ZokV22xgA&mode=related&search=

    for readers:

    The king’s taken back the throne
    The useless seed is sown
    When they say they’re cutting off the phone
    I’ll tell ’em you’re not home

    No place to hide
    You were fighting as a soldier on their side
    You’re still a soldier in your mind
    Though nothing’s on the line

    You say it’s money that we need
    As if we’re only mouths to feed
    I know no matter what you say
    There are some debts you’ll never pay

    Working for the church
    While your family dies
    You take what they give you
    And you keep it inside
    Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home
    Hear the solider groan, “We’ll cry alone”

    I can taste the fear
    It’s gonna lift me up and take me out of here
    Don’t wanna fight, don’t wanna die
    Just wanna hear you cry

    Who’s gonna throw the very first stone?
    Oh! Who’s gonna reset the bone?
    Walking with your head in a sling
    Wanna hear the soldier sing

    Working for the Church
    While my family dies
    Your little baby sister’s
    Gonna lose her mind
    Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home
    Hear the soldier groan “We’ll go at it alone”

    I can taste your fear
    It’s gonna lift you up and take you out of here
    And the bone shall never heal
    I care not if you kneel

    We can’t find you now
    But they’re gonna get the money back somehow
    And when you finally disappear
    We’ll just say you were never here

    Been working for the church
    While your life falls apart.
    Singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart
    Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home
    Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone”
    Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone”


  257. Gods want us to swallow

    Love Rolex

    As soon as Cleopatra realized that her slavery is inevitable, she opened her
    sacred basket, grabbed a vibrator with batteries duracell, took 4 deep
    wordless breaths, lay down and began the sequence “Move, Hold, Back, Move,
    Stay, More”


  258. yesri,
    re: picketing the place, (the pile or pyle?)… it has to have a different exposure. the “zombies” or “sheep” will view a public (or pubic) demonstration with the same sort of derision that used to be directed toward darota sp? whatever happened to her? she courageously held out there for so long… is she still around?
    we could rent a small plane and drop leaflets on it and alert the news media to the event, get the story out that way…. whatever the case, any “pubic” demonstration should have media coverage. something could be arranged with interested media… joseph’s contact ?


  259. The idea that the experience of being a member of the Fellowship of Friends is/was all good or all bad is equally formatory and equally impossible. Like anything else there is a spectrum of possibilities, a scale . If there is such a thing as a conscious school I would think that its nature would prohibit it from being defined in formatory terms.

    Each of our experiences fall along a line that represents a statistical distribution. There are some who had an entirely A influence experience. More than one person joined and stayed because of a relationship and finances. On the other extreme are There may be some who were drawn by the experience of and pursuit of consciousness. If there is any objective truth about the FOF it is not something belonging to anyone of us but rather something which imcludes all of our experiences. Our perception of and understanding of the experience are equally subjective. Time is a factor. My perception of my experience in the time I was a member has changed over time and as I am exposed to different viewpoints on the blog.

    I experienced much that was positive in my time as a member. I also experienced and was subject to much that was didtorted and damaging. I still find value in the ideas of the system. I still experience profit from making the effort to be present, divide attention and remember myself. It has become my first response to any shock. In fact my understanding of, definition of and understanding of self remembering has broaden and become more inclusive over time. I also don’t care that much whether this is true for anyone else.

    My own single greatest proof of the value of the ideas on a practical scale is in having survived many difficult life experiences and being able to go back to school and learn. To find that I still have the ability to learn, change, develop and grow.

    Part of self remembering in the context of this discussion is to remember how I felt, thought and experienced events in the past. To remember what degree of suffering and pressure it has required to learn certain things and to change attitudes. This helps put others experiences and currant understanding in perspective.

    I really have no idea what the future might bring. I accept that I am not done yet and there are new levels to explore in the future. I am able to act on my beliefs and opinions as if I believed them knowing full well they are just “I’s” and they are totally subjective.

    Whatever the faults of Robert and the Fellowship and whether because of or in spite of the experience one thing I took from this time was a permanent aim to awaken and to remember myself. It has takin a long time to overcome my own self doubt and be able to accept self remembering as a simple personal experience that it is not something you are recognized for from the outside, like being an “older student” or receiving a pension, degree or any other form of recognition. The 4th way is defined as a way of development done in life. It is further described as having no fixed form. I cannot say why the play of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends is the way it is. I barely have any opinions let along beliefs. on the subject.

    What I have learned and believe is that we each have exactly what we need , know what we need to do, and are exactly were we need to be. To believe that it is possible or in any way useful to believe otherwise is ” pouring from the empty into the void.”

    Oh, If you don’t know what you need to do it may mean you need to learn how to ask for help. Learning to ask for help can be difficult for our imaginary idea of ourselves but it is critical. Without it there is little possibility of future development.


  260. my most valuable lessons from the fof – i’m still learning – thanks former student….
    to trust intuition and develop a crap detector.


  261. Even though I was only a member for a short time of six months. I have to be totally honest with all of you. Of all the members I met in Isis there was only one I did not TRUST.

    Now comparing that to real life people who lie most of time, I have a harder time trying to work on my work at catching a second or two aday of being in the present.


  262. more nostalgia… i hope this isn’t too ‘twee’ or “gay” —
    blame it on “the times.”
    i’m, going to bed…
    sweet dreams bloggers and lurkers alike.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=urW5lfAcaM8

    All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, Worn out faces
    Bright and early for the daily races
    Going nowhere, Going nowhere
    Their tears are filling up their glasses
    No expression, No expression
    Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
    No tomorrow, No tomorrow

    And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
    These dreams in which i’m dying, Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles it’s a very very….
    Mad World, Mad World

    Children waiting for the day they feel good
    Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
    And they feel the way that every child should
    Sit and listen, Sit and listen
    Went to school and I was very nervous
    No one knew me, No one knew me
    Hello teacher tell me whats my lesson
    Look right through me, Look right through me

    And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
    These dreams in which i’m dying, Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles it’s a very very….
    Mad World, Mad World

    Enlargen your world


  263. Laura,

    The computer I’m borrowing is too slow for you tubes but I’ll look at it when I can. Thanks for the “special occasion” What meeting are you talking about?

    And where are you? Could we e-mail? Mine is ludoteka@succeed.net

    I need some friends, someone to have a beer with and laugh. Bruce where are you? Maybe you’re not so far since you were in the exstudents meeting if I remember correctly.

    I’m on my way out of the states and would like to celebrate with a few friends.


  264. Charles T (around) 239

    …Advaita to be 100% effective.

    ************

    It is 100% effective as a buffer.


  265. Hello Graduates ~

    You wrote ~

    “Why should we ex-members demand integrity from current members, demand they leave the emotional atmosphere ongoing on the outskirts of Burton’s influence in protest of the selfish corruption, when we do not have the organizational ability to provide an alternative organization to work with ideas of the Fourth Way?”

    ______________________

    IMO, I have yet to think of the word “demand” in regards to the ‘leaning on’ or ‘sitting under a sun lamp with some loose duct tape on’ that takes place during the blog;

    anyone demanding anything is usually the one who does not have it and needs it the most…

    If someone were to ask me how it is that I try to attempt to deepen the ‘tan’ of others, I would say this ~

    that the fourth way was born, somewhere for whatever reason, imprinted in all of us to some degree young, middle aged, old and perhaps even a bit futuristic and ancient; yet, all that romance aside,

    the fact remains that once the tools are gotten and you learn things like ~ Not to hold the saw by it’s teeth when cutting and that most power tools that have cords are not cordless, building and conscious living and giving can be done from the nucleus of alone-ship, solo (not Monk-style though)…

    “Now there’s the rub” (I like that phrase, thanks Will) ~

    how much will a person ‘pay’ for the tiny, tender sprout of their conscience to reach a practical horizontal line of reality and present now practice and mastery (relatively speaking; I do not ‘believe’ in this ‘I am a Master’ stuff), of sunrise and sunset, rather than staying in between the seed kernels?

    Once one really looks at what one wishes/believes and what one actually supports/does doing so concerning the Fellowship of Friends (if the criminal facts are known about and verified) a choice lawfully becomes present,

    yet, what is it that compromises this ‘present choice’, perhaps the part of us that prompts feelings of ‘no choice’, of ‘no where to go’, of ‘no one loves me’, of ‘no one will take care of me’?

    (Is this Big I? Can one live presently and ‘be’ a fearful hypocrite/a conscious contradiction simultaneously?)

    Is it not these very questions and all their ‘children’ surrounding us every day that “demand” from us what is not the fourth way, is not our truer spiritual wills, deeper love manifestations, truer revelations of our evolving feelings and hammering out of the atrophied muscles of our conscience?

    Does not the Fellowship of Friends “demand” the very opposite or at ‘best’ the repetition of the si-do interval belonging to a School of Relative Awakening, that milling-practice of being a Whisper-hypocrite and Believer and not a Doer with that which Belief points to;

    affirmations were always meant to be used as sign posts not new and improved crucifixions to adore and trust that someone else has ‘already done it enough’ and by doing so, some Christ-sweat may fly off him in the vacuum of the rapture, land thereon one’s dry cheek and be mistook at the Pearly Gates as a real ‘heaven-tear’, thus allowing one some ‘party time’ in heaven till you’re figured out as not a ‘real worker bee’, but rather a spirit who says ‘BE’ so much that in the dark you’re pretty close to seeming like one?

    Would I give up all my friends, my security, my home, my cars, my ‘good name’ (LOL), my family, my citizenship, to continue loving my friends (internally) because I felt so strongly that if I continued supporting an ‘IT’ who corrupts their essences and hurts them in the name of their most cherished hopes and beliefs, I could not love them by doing this, by supporting that which does not love?

    YES and I am doing it; it’s all falling apart and I am smiling in the face of a tornado and a hurricane making love while heading straight for me, ‘I’, most likely will become one of their cigarettes after all is said and done, so be it, better held in the hands of The Elementals love-wrecking aftermath, than that smoke who clings to the dark corners of Fear’s quivering, held lungs, like a thief’s hands round the jail cells bars, who loves prison-food and knows that to continuously have a home with the least amount of effort, he must rob those of others and even ‘kill’ his own deep smiles in doing so.

    Is not this ‘going’, this ‘real moving’ from ‘belief-idea’ to real ‘I’ what people came for when joining the Fellowship of Friends; how is it then that your ‘little i’ is held behind three grades every year, while your ‘Big I’ has been duped into (BELIEVING) that this is not it, not this lifetime?

    Schools are made to be left behind, not necessarily destroyed or abandoned by one’s individual version of conscious love, any preschool kid could tell you that;

    no conscious being or true spiritual seeker growing and becoming a conscious individual ever stayed in the same level of being school with a teacher who has not changed in 37 years; if there are those who have done so, it is not these spirits that I write for anyways, so, there’s no question (or answers);

    a true conscious teacher does not reject the experimentations of his or her students conscious applications towards their feelings being ‘let out’, by imprisoning them in a ego-maze made of his or her own inner rejection of what is ‘right’ and ‘true’ to the form of conscience and real individual progression…

    Robert Burton has broken no earthly swords, only sharpened.

    Perhaps the questions are for the playful-insincere, those who are simply where they are for other reasons than wholly themselves; I do not “demand” they be otherwise, yet, I will not dust my tracks for fear of being followed by demons, who, are most likely my own;

    for it is our own ancient footsteps that will lead us back into the arms of ourselves.

    ______________________

    Love to you all.


  266. Hello Elena ~

    Your ‘Daughter of Fire’ book is in. Where are you?

    :.)


  267. I have verified that by wiring a king sized down pillow to my cars front grill, this is a 100% effective buffer against 65mph gnats, mosquitoes, birds and at various weekly intervals, a stray Sunday newspaper.

    :.]


  268. 179 Skeptical Optimist,

    Thank you for that ‘wake-up’.I think this is one of the most difficult things to admit, that I continually looked the other way in the face of RB’s agenda.

    From the ‘early years’ it was obvious to many of us that he had his own aims,many of which included the debasement of his students,or at least some of his students.

    Yet, when questioning his obvious lies,I was frequently answered with the ‘trump card’-“this is higher forces wishes”.
    As if this was to make everything ok!

    What is the price of ‘evolution’? I have come this far in my search for the truth, to this blog(thank you all !).

    Where do we go from here????


  269. on September 22, 2007 at 7:18 am Old Fish In The Sea

    There is that moment,
    when everyone has gone to sleep,
    the house is quiet,
    and you are tired after a full day.

    And you think of all the love you have been given and felt.
    And you are happy, quiet, present.

    In this moment, there are no arguments, no disagreements, no mistakes, no tasks to be done, no fault, no philosophy, just the soft sound of the computer fan and the up and down of your chest.

    The past, with all its hurt, adventure, love and loss is done and cannot change. It remains a beautifully tragic painting in time – the foundation for new days with unknown potential, unknowable love, and experiences that we cannot guess.

    Our love lives on, existed before, connects us, and will outlive the Fellowship as we know it.

    Best wishes to all,
    And a warm good night,
    With love,
    Old Fish


  270. GRADUATES

    I think you are scared by the “advaita message” because it really is the death of ‘you’.

    Or probably you didn’t read well what it is said, or probably you have 100% buffer (always out of scare). Relax, take it easy, if you can…..It doesn’t not matter anyway….

    kisses


  271. Hi Elena,

    About revenge, my primary reference and interest is around the emotions this word reveals. They are frightening, but they are natural and exist in all of us. To pretend otherwise is just that: pretending. The Fellowship of Friends leadership hopes for and counts on the continuing likelihood of no one acting out their true feelings, because the FOF spent years teaching us to repress and mistrust our own feelings in exchange for a phony badge of sainthood. Think of the noble heroes in tales from ancient times. Did they question themselves when an intrinsically evil and harmful situation needed to be disarmed and destroyed? Did they second-guess their true motivations? Maybe I should think twice about killing that fire breathing dragon who is consuming the village page boys, since it might really be my own weakness that tempts me to follow through with what every muscle in my being wishes to do, and thus risk the emergence of rage or some similarly uncontrollable and dark emotion that may disrupt my life and tarnish my image around the castle. Better let the villagers be consumed. It’s just their fate after all. Isn’t the higher right really a question of working on my own attitudes, rather than fooling myself that my actions could make a difference on this material plane? Those suffering page boys are in fact just a test of whether I can control the lower self. (And then the hero walks away. No Darth Vader he, but not such an inspiring story either.)

    So what is the nature of this FOF dragon that no one yet has slain? The Fellowship of Friends means many different things depending on the context and one’s own point of reference, e.g.:

    1. Group of mostly well intentioned people trying to lead a more spiritual lifestyle, most of whom are harmless, and many of whom were or are personal friends

    2. Conscious school, with a conscious teacher (not!)

    3. Robert Burton’s personal cult of naïve, brainwashed weaklings

    4. Corrupt and criminal organization run be a harmful sociopath and his trusted and trusting enablers, that continues to prey on members to satisfy its leader’s carnal appetites

    5. Place where one enjoyed some rich experiences, as well as some painful ones, and from which on balance one came away intact, grateful to leave but also grateful for what one learned and who one loved

    My own interest in revenge applies only to #4 above. Obviously #2 does not have much credence here, but some readers may still believe this so it’s important to acknowledge it. Other more benign forms or remnants of the FOF will survive anyway. Already the GF may be serving as a receptacle or possibly even a rebirth for #1 and #5. Of course, there are probably hundreds of other thumbnail descriptions for the FOF, as diverse as its entire ex-membership.

    Most of the more active bloggers here seem to be virulently repulsed by the FOF as the criminal organization described in #4. It is no coincidence that their posts on the blog have done great harm to the FOF, simply by exposing the truth. Is this not satisfying? My sense — it cannot be called an idea or plan at this stage, and may never come to be one — is that more truth, revealed in a louder and more visible form to people with the power to act upon it, could be an interesting and almost poetic way to take revenge against the Fellowship of Friends as a criminal organization and cult. This is my revenge. A revenge that uses truth as a weapon. Simple. Elegant. Deadly.

    What is so terrible about this idea after all? That one may receive some personal satisfaction in the process? That it’s not noble? If we think it’s not noble, by whose standards are we judging? By the judgments of those who used to say “all the worse for you if you are right”…? The Scribes and the Pharisees?

    To tell the truth it was WhaleRider who pushed me over the edge, and I thank him for waking up my conscience, though only after I had already left the FOF for other reasons. His story made me very angry. Was I the only one? And I not only knew it was true, but I also knew it was just the tip of the iceberg. So many essences, so many beautiful friends damaged by this malicious and criminal organization and mind-control cult. How much emotional and spiritual damage has been catalogued here on the blog? More scary still, how much has not yet been mentioned? Rarely a week goes by that I do not hear of some fresh atrocity, both news to me and recent in its occurrence.

    Dear Elena, your concern for me is touching, if I can presume to call it concern. I am sincerely grateful to feel your warmth and hear your sisterly voice. But the cautious voice you are using now does not ring as true in my ears as some other voices you have assumed in the past. There is a time and place for resolve, for action without hesitation; not blindly or stupidly, but as well, never again with the immense self-doubt that was systematically imbued in us over many years by a corrupt organization and a manipulative man.

    It is also true that I am probably no poster child for Advaita, and never was a paragon of Robert’s limp-wristed brand of spiritualism. That said, I am the only one who can know whether I have a robust spiritual life going on under the surface and between the ripples of my superficially active and materialistic being. No validation from outside is required or welcome with regard to what’s happening behind my eyeballs, or beyond my heart.

    And maybe there is room for a more pragmatic and businesslike approach as to a level of action only possible outside the blog. Bringing down the FOF is nothing more nor less than a business proposition: imminently achievable if the ingredients and resources are in place. The old truism was never truer than now: revenge is a dish best served cold.

    Does this give you a better perspective of my notions on revenge, Elena? BTW, in closing, we live in Napa Valley and welcome friends to visit. Please do write or call anytime you like. We’re even known to speak Español on occasion.

    With love, Joseph G

    jog1954@gmail.com


  272. WhaleRider Says:
    May 5, 2007 at 9:52 pm
    Reading this blog has been a very visceral and emotional experience for me, which I am grateful to transform into presence, for I live the work every day of my existence. When reading it I perspire heavily. In the past week since I was informed of it and dived in, I have had many instances of energy shooting down my sides, and I am moved to tears several times a day when I reflect upon what I experienced in the FOF. Yet the sheer energy contained in this blog, both raw and refined is quite impressive as I am sure the venerable sheik and knight will agree, and I cannot stop reading it. I find myself hoping of recognize my story, only to realize that it is not there because I have not told it.

    I want to be clear that I do not wish to be part of any lawsuit against RB or the FOF. I am not motivated by any hope of financial gain, nor am I willing to join a crusade to end the FOF. It will undoubtedly collapse under its own excesses, or not, I could care less. Each person, in or out, must choose for themselves, which I believe is one of the reasons this blog is so valuable. I have built a comfortable, happy life and successful business post-FOF for myself and my family which I wish to protect. I ask anyone whom may recognize my identity to please respect my privacy and keep my name anonymous. Although current FOF members may wish to argue that in divulging my story I have violated the personal privacy of RB, that his public life is distinctly separate from his private life. My response is this: when a teacher brings his student into his private life and uses “work” language in his seduction, that distinction is gone. For each of us, no matter how long we have contact with the FOF; it is and will be a deeply moving and personal experience, not because of the man, but of the possibilites of growth within each of us.

    To Golb:

    Now that your tail is out of your mouth, you glibly strike at this blog-my air, at the children, and at me? You have no idea who I am and what I have been through, Golb, whatever the heck that name is supposed to mean. I am WhaleRider. I have ridden the BIG FISH into the deepest, darkest, coldest depths until my lungs have screamed for air, my soul choking in my throat, and I have survived. I let myself be swallowed whole, have kept myself intact, had my semen drained nightly by a sex maniac who gave the most wondrous, intentional, conscious blowjobs, had my essence gouged open as I lay resting on the Goethe Academy floor as a human shield for the precious artwork, the lights left on the LeBrun all night to keep my exhausted body in first-state deprivation, my king of clubs bound and gagged, unable to protect me from this terrible angel who would rouse me and lead me secretly, stealthily into the dark of his gilded bed-chamber to service his need for the good of us all, in this school of “shut up and be present”, this silk-lined labyrinth of luxury complete with the matching salt and pepper shakers, where I puke out his semen in the imported porcelain toilet along with the fine wine and pepper steak from the teaching dinner earlier that night and wipe my face on the Egyptian cotton towel just before I’d retire until dawn cracks open another day and he slumbers peacefully until lunch dreaming of sugar plums because they remind him of testicles…while the rest of us toiled in the searing hot sun the next day still weary from our lunatic efforts the day and night before…not once was I told that I was loved in this school of love, but he loved when I returned the favor-only to have to excrete myself one year later, quietly leaving in a gentleman-like fashion, not making a splash, barely a ripple, so as not to disturb anyone else who might be sleeping…to remain alive, and carry out my prophesized soul death sentence as a life-person-oh yeah, that’s right, there was no gun to my head…but thankfully his predictions don’t come true either, do they?

    And Howard, Girard, Golden Fleecer, the brave-new-man and miscellaneous moon angels…with your eloquent tongues and trite, text-book explanations for our suffering…I have seen 50 like you dis-“membered” by the insatiable Minotaur at the center of this perpetual labyrinth you call haven, home, Isis… do you have the balls to hear the truth?…the graphic truth?… the painful truth? The truth I paid for with my own hydrogen 12? Do know why he calls himself a goddess? You think an angel told him. Did you know the prostrate gland is the male G-spot? He would orgasm from anal sex without any penal stimulus, and think he had awakened his female side, just as a woman does during anal sex without ever touching the clitoris… He taught me that, he’s such an elevated and exalted teacher! Look it up on the internet, or better yet, try it for yourself sometime…

    And can you even FATHOM the nauseating, soul imploding disgust I felt the night he did “rimming” on me, without my consent, and then brought his fecal coated lips to mine and kissed me? Try separating from that. The Darvons he used to hand out were not enough to quench the pain, for this pain is exquisite and it leaves no visible marks! Think of me the next time he kisses your forehead…once those lips had been planted firmly on my asshole and probably countless others from all corners of the planet. And that’s the ultimate of all ironies; he kisses your third eye with those lips, coating the seat of your very soul with fecal matter from the seat of his inner circle. Please, by all means, stay in the Fellowship as long as you like! Stand by him! Support him! Bring him fresh new, exotic meat, he’s HUNGRY! Or if you like, have a look down the escape hatch he had installed in his closet just in case C-influence happened to be on vacation and he read the tea leaves wrong. Then you will know the darkness that resides under that silk suit. You might want to have your own plan B just in case the Earl has run out of man number five party hats that you have been so patiently waiting for him to bestow upon you…

    WhaleRider
    1979-1985


  273. on September 22, 2007 at 8:53 am Old Fish In The Sea

    Dear Joseph,

    I remember going with you and Sheila Grunwald (the elder) to San Francisco. Robert wanted to buy you a new cashmere jacket and had assigned the task of picking out a particularly nice one to Sheila.

    At the time I was happy for you, completely naivie to what you must have been going through. I trusted Robert’s judgement. I thought he must have seen some great potential in you as a student, and as a good leader, he wished to reward your efforts. We were so young. I remember that I was disappointed that he did not see such potential in me.

    What if he had come on to me? In those early years I was so completely devoted, so sure that the so-called-school was as special and pure as we all thought it was. So sure that Robert was exactly what everyone claimed he was.

    But as much as the idea of sex with him repulses me, I cannot say for sure what I would have done. I hate to think that I might have been frozen by the utter incomprehensibility of the situation. I am almost certain that I would have been unable to speak, so completely shocked. I think it is impossible to describe how naive we were then Joseph. So young and trusting and with so much promise. I am sure that it would have taken me a long while to even comprehend what was happening. It would have been so impossible and completely incongruent with my concept of Robert.

    We each have our individual experiences and it helps to condition how we react to Robert and the Fellowship.

    But when I think about this and about you as a young man, and about how completely naive we were about him, life, and the school, I understand the need to stop Robert. I am sure I will never feel it as you and so many others do, but I feel it nevertheless. It is dispicable to take advantage of children and at heart we truly were children back then. I guess many of the young men today are not all that different from how we were.


  274. Joseph G. 261
    I second that emotion. When I was writing post 20-25 at one point I envisioned myself as Michael Palin in that scene from A fish called Wanda where he is driving the big steamroller towards Kevin Kline stuck in cement and yelling “Revenge !”
    Such good fun…
    And I agree, thank you WhaleRider, you have really made an impact here and we miss you.
    Love, Laura


  275. #238 Vinnie the fish

    HaHaHaHaHa!

    You don’t have a clue do you?


  276. on September 22, 2007 at 10:44 am Across the River

    Dear Joseph,

    I remember being moved by the tempered tone of your first posts because I recognized in them something similar to my own initial posts, before the words on this blog day by day moved me to a much less tolerant position regarding the the FOF. I have no doubts about the need to expose and stop the crime of Robert’s activities, and there’s justice if taking action to this end serves best those who have suffered most.

    IMO we should allow our feelings, without censure, regardless of what they are. They can surprise us, be instructive, humiliating, etc, etc. They just arrive and I think it’s important to let them be. Many people, including myself, have been a little retarded in this area and have had to learn this on our own, but that’s another topic!

    The point I’d like to make is that the feeling of revenge is one thing and taking action from that feeling is something else.

    To take action for the purpose of revenge seems wrong in spirit, to me. It seems retro in terms of where we might hope humankind to eventually progress, one man’s efforts at a time. Look at what revenge reaps in our world today. There is no consciousness in revenge. You might feel revenge, but I believe acting from revenge is beneath you.

    I appreciate your reference to the noblity of the knights and I truly understand the glory of righteousness and the power in that response, to slay the dragon and triumph over evil. I think that’s something entirely different from revenge, though. You certainly don’t have to excuse or doubt your call to action! I believe the spirit in which it is done is most important and in the end will empower you or diminish you.

    My heart is with you.


  277. #248 ‘ton

    It’s all auto-pilot from here on in, baby.


  278. Dear Ton, 254

    It is in the eye of the beholder.

    if I can face the world and think every body is liveless and depressed.

    If I take a few minutes and concentrate on positive aspect in people the world is a must happier place…..

    Verified this thousand times at least.

    How?

    When you go to work. Take a minute and think that the day and the people around you will be negative (or positive take your pick). And observe and verify……i did and still do this for years.

    It does not dissolve all the crab ( yet ).
    Ha, ha, ha that is my next visualization to evaporate all the crab. Yahoo!


  279. 256 I know you graduates, you talk 80 % of the time and are a bad listener. Get real and try. Advaita 100 % might be to much. BUT

    Listen to fish in the see that is advaita right in your face.
    If you do not get it. SIT WITH IT FOR A WHILE AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Go insde and let your inner silence talk.

    Nisargadatta says: You want your mind at peace. There will be no end to it. MIND MEANS DISTURBANCE, RESTLESSNESS ITSELF IS MIND.

    Sit with this for a while. And be quiet.

    O after months
    Of anguish
    I lnow, love this blog
    The best therapist so far.
    I am so angry that I believed WORDS
    For so many years
    And now , now Graduate Advaita
    Or however you call it,
    What is in a name ( word)
    Ha, ha, ha
    If my little detector goes of
    When I hear (crab) words
    I act and it feels soooo good.

    Thanks for this to happen.
    Joy to the world
    Wooh it is not even Christmas


  280. yes , Yes, yes Joseph. So well said.
    I knew so much before i joined, and i gave it up …and i gave it up. Because it was self will. What a lie…..and i ate it for years…..what a karma and yes that hurts….and I do not wish that away, because it IS, NOW

    “They are frightening, but they are natural and exist in all of us. To pretend otherwise is just that: pretending. The Fellowship of Friends leadership hopes for and counts on the continuing likelihood of no one acting out their true feelings, because the FOF spent years teaching us to repress and mistrust our own feelings in exchange for a phony badge of sainthood. Think of the noble heroes in tales from ancient times. Did they question themselves when an intrinsically evil and harmful situation needed to be disarmed and destroyed? Did they second-guess their true motivations?”

    And I agree, thank you WhaleRider, you have really made an impact here and we miss you.

    Thanks Old fish in the see that is so wellput and so probably true…still happening , now as we speak…..

    Love to all and inner stillness


  281. Dear Old Fish,

    Thank you for reminding me of that time and our friendship then as (much) younger men.

    I agree with your thoughts about revenge, though my own words have arrived at a different conclusion. Let’s just call it “active response” instead of “revenge” and there will be less argument. I have only wanted to point out that our choice of words to describe our motivations and natural reactions to the ongoing damage done by Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends should not be allowed to prevent us from acting to stop it if we can.

    About the nature and scope of the crimes that motivate me personally, by now they go far beyond what happened to WhaleRider or, to a much greater extent, to myself. (My own experience was less psychologically damaging than his). The corruption and essential criminality that allowed these things to happen to so many young men has by now extended its influence across the FOF community in ways too numerous and repugnant to list again here. Stories like that of WhaleRider tend to be a focal point for why this crime should be stopped. If one is in a position to do so, or to contribute to such an effort, I believe one’s past culpability is beside the point. We are morally responsible regardless…which is why I referred to Dr. King in an earlier post.

    This is my position, and I am grateful that you have given it deeper attention in a way that shows your integrity and the valuation you hold for our friendship.

    With love,

    Joseph G


  282. Re #263 (or thereabouts)

    Actually he did not buy me a cashmere jacket. He bought the jacket for a more favored boy, but it did not fit him. Someone then had the idea it might fit me, so Sheila was commissioned to pick out some pants and a tie to match. I can’t remember the other fellow’s name. William something…I think I was so homophobic at the time that he’d get frustrated with me. How lucky in hindsight since my experiences in the bedroom were very limited as a result, as were my “perks” outside the bedroom.


  283. Elena

    I’m in Nevada City.


  284. Terminate with extreme prejudice.


  285. on September 22, 2007 at 5:28 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Charles: “Come on Vinnie (238), do you really think “the possibility of immortality and enlightenment” exist in the FoF? Be honest now!”

    Not a question that indicates accurate thinking: the 2 ideas exist, not as objects in an organization. But they could possibly be understood more while being a member of the FOF. If enlightenment can be understood as a higher (more conscious) state in the moment. Immortality is a bit more theoretical of course…

    But my point was that it seemed to me that for a lot of posters here the whole idea of spiritual evolution (which has at its core enlightenment and immortality doesn’t it, or else what’s the point, temporary pleasure?) has become buried in the morass of identifications about Robert’s behaviour, which would be understandable but a shame. I was probably wrong though, I just skim the posts.. I see there are a lot of more useful things said than just expressions of anger, loathing and partisanship. For example I agree with Brute and often photograph people who blithely use the word ‘we’, when I can only really know my own experience and states.

    When you think of the basic ideas of identification and separation, mechanicality and intentionality, 1st, 2nd 3rd states, the functions of the human machine, divided attention.. surely these are basic distinctions that we learned in the school regardless of who ran it and what he does, so it would be a pity to lose those understandings.. but up to the individual of course.


  286. Hello Winnie,

    if you have time read all the posts of ” no person” especially those in the first pages of the blog.
    May be you will find them interesting.

    Regards


  287. Dear Winnie,

    Your 1nd and 2nd and 3th are not it….

    All mind activity, keep you busy, this whole live.

    Where there is no mind activity…………..


  288. Joseph Friend,

    I am closer to you than I ever was in seventeen years in the Fellowship and we’ve been talking for only six months. I left the Fellowship on March 22, exactly six months ago. We know more than we ever knew about ours elves and our cult, school, kindergarden and prison for the soul.

    I have followed every word you’ve expressed as if it were my own and have been grateful for your standing high against the dragon.

    When I was in the rain forest in Colombia I heard the story of a shaman’s wife who had recently been bitten by a snake surprised where she washed the dishes. It was said that although the Shaman had cured many such bites, he had been unable to cure his wife because she had killed the snake with anger. She died.

    Haven’t I expressed so much anger that you could recognise the taste of revenge in my posts? And yet more than revenge and anger I have had frustration and pain. They are very different. Anger is a buffer and revenge is the sword of the buffer. You cannot kill a dragon with a buffer sword.

    The question has already been clearly presented by Across the River and to echo the water, while the action might look the same in the quest to kill the dragon, the hero is in the intent. One cannot carry revenge in one’s first line and not harm the second and third line. We have not left the work and our actions against people or humanity at large are equally subject to the laws we were unable to practice in the Fellowship, with our mouths and hands muffled by the form.

    Then there is another issue. The world has been built by people who held on to forms and continues to be created by people that can let go of them. We will separate naturally and miraculously and anger and revenge are expression of unfulfilled love. Tthe frustration of knowing that you cannot pull people out from the mud without their will. You can kill them but you cannot force their will. There are many instances in which death is the answer but not in this one. Close the fellowship with whatever action is necessary and I will stand next to you on any lawsuit against the institution but I will not extend my hand against any one of the people inside. We have enough knowledge and there are enough of us to sue the Fellowship but we need to understand the value of legal action as an expression of our legitimate will against Robert’s actions but not against Robert’s being. This is what self remembering has taught me. This is what Robert Burton has taught me. The consequences for Robert and others are not in our hands, the courts decide that and allowing for a different force than one’s own to enter the play is what allows the play to unfold objectively.

    The level of our maturity is not in the insults we can scream out at the students but in the objectivity with which we can close down the institution. Sometimes it is necessary to go a level above to catch the dragons throat. What happened to us was allowed by the California laws. Does that not make you wonder whether there is a bigger dragon to kill than the Fellowship and that both are aspects of the same one? That we are players in a bigger scheme in a land where cults are a norm and people are pushing to understand themselves and the horror of cults is that they are being treated with the same laws that private property is treated and people like Robert can steal souls without having to account for it? Do you see how the mixture of gay and cult are connected in California and the Fellowship? Do you realize that the way that goes will determine the attitude towards private property as well?

    Once one is clear the work follows. You cannot kill the dragon by avoiding his blows or running away from his flame. You have to stand with the whole of your being affirming what you know is true and let the battle decide for itself. You can be a martyr or a hero. The level of being of mankind decides that and learns from both, you just have to be willing to play the role without worrying about the consequences.

    We do not have much time to legally act against the Fellowship Institution and that at some point is what we need to look at now that we are clear about what the damages are. Maybe Whalerider and others like you more deeply touched by the hands of the dragon can reconsider your stand on not suing the Fellowship. It is clear to me that that stand has meant not wanting to go after the money but if we are too easy on ourselves by not wishing to suffer the consequences of legal action, the cost, the time, the energy, who are we
    to question why we allowed ourselves to be abused for so many years?

    The issue with legal action for me is that one can talk reason to students and teachers but when students and teachers will not listen to reason then they must reason with laws.

    Doesn’t any one know a decent enough lawyer with whom we could at least talk? I don’t think Mr. Ford is the man even if he successfully sued the moonies and of course, a few of us, as many as possible, would have to sit down and talk. This dragon is a little too big for one soul.


  289. Just sharing this quote from Girard Haven, which I think is a little too far fetch?

    Knowledge is hidden to preserve it until it is found. If I want that
    knowledge, and I know how to look, I am the one for whom it was hidden.


  290. Another Name 279
    Yes, how wise, of course I am also the one who did the hiding in the first place and then forgot where I put it.
    “I want that knowledge! Cautious, my precious! More haste less speed. We musstn’t rissk our neck, musst we, precious?”


  291. Vinnie 275: “When you think of the basic ideas of identification and separation, mechanicality and intentionality, 1st, 2nd 3rd states, the functions of the human machine, divided attention.. surely these are basic distinctions that we learned in the school regardless of who ran it and what he does, so it would be a pity to lose those understandings.”

    True. We learnt some useful bits and pieces about the way our bodies and minds work. We had some higher states. But everything was temporary. I’m as sure as I can be about such things that nothing I achieved in the FoF will survive the death of my body. There are, however, much more advanced and effective teachings available outside the FoF.


  292. Anomimou-Unoanimo, can we e-mail? I’m close. ludoteka@succeed.net

    And Bruce too? I woul very much enjoy meeting you for a beer and a laugh. Tomorrow I’ll be close to Nevada.


  293. Correction: Anonimou-Unoanimo


  294. Elena what do you mean by this?
    Can you explain Please.

    Thanks

    That we are players in a bigger scheme in a land where cults are a norm and people are pushing to understand themselves and the horror of cults is that they are being treated with the same laws that private property is treated and people like Robert can steal souls without having to account for it? Do you see how the mixture of gay and cult are connected in California and the Fellowship? Do you realize that the way that goes will determine the attitude towards private property as well?


  295. Drop the formalities. Ritualized activity in the pursuit of reality settles into a hypocritical self-righteousness in less than a day. It is insufferably ostentatious, the airs of butchers and schoolteachers listening to Mozart. Everyone at the opera is a lunatic, singers, players and spectators. No sane man would make it a point to celebrate melodrama, regardless how well it is performed. Men pretending to be refined do not in fact gradually become refined. Instead they become rehearsed, pretentious and increasingly artificial. There is hardly a more gratifying position of moral decline. Those idlers who spend their hours making up poetry by no means ever discover reality, instead they discover the hypnosis of self-flattery. Decent men hunt for the truth, they do not try to lure it closer with elegant niceties or effeminate paraphernalia. The walls littered with portraits and the halls scattered with statuary follows the blueprint of a mortuary conceived of for the interment of the vain. Basic human companionship, worthwhile deeds and solitary reflection lead to that world of the truly living. To disguise the simplicity of life with a grandiose, theatrical scenerama pays far too much tribute to the sociopaths’ self-indulgence. Imagine Christ in a gold embroidered Pope’s mitre. The awake always oppose cultural elaborations. They never indulge in them. To defeat sleep requires simple unadorned living, never ornamentation. There is nothing but charades enacted in the mock amphitheater, a circus of rotten pederasts. Little wonder they hide from the scrutiny of the courts. A man walks the streets, visits shops and strides among the pedestrians while entering his soul. The soul celebrates itself among the chaos of human folly. The soul does not celebrate the folly of self-congratulating, self-inflated misfits insulating themselves from honest judgment.


  296. 285

    “Those idlers who spend their hours making up poetry by no means ever discover reality, instead they discover the hypnosis of self-flattery.”

    idlers, yes, but there are others. There’s poetry and there’s Poetry. Song of Solomon, Blake, and a few others not written by idlers (also only my opinion). But for the most part yes, exceptions only prove the rule. But absolutes only further muddy the already stagnant pool.


  297. We abuse and use the filter of our center of gravity at the same time.


  298. Second ‘Submit Comment’ Attempt

    ___________________________________________

    Hello Graduates ~

    You wrote ~

    “Why should we ex-members demand integrity from current members, demand they leave the emotional atmosphere ongoing on the outskirts of Burton’s influence in protest of the selfish corruption, when we do not have the organizational ability to provide an alternative organization to work with ideas of the Fourth Way?”

    ______________________

    IMO, I have yet to think of the word “demand” in regards to the ‘leaning on’ or ‘sitting under a sun lamp with some loose duct tape on’ that takes place during the blog;

    anyone demanding anything is usually the one who does not have it and needs it the most…

    If someone were to ask me how it is that I try to attempt to deepen the ‘tan’ of others, I would say this ~

    that the fourth way was born, somewhere for whatever reason, imprinted in all of us to some degree young, middle aged, old and perhaps even a bit futuristic and ancient; yet, all that romance aside,

    the fact remains that once the tools are gotten and you learn things like ~ Not to hold the saw by it’s teeth when cutting and that most power tools that have cords are not cordless, building and conscious living and giving can be done from the nucleus of alone-ship, solo (not Monk-style though)…

    “Now there’s the rub” (I like that phrase, thanks Will) ~

    how much will a person ‘pay’ for the tiny, tender sprout of their conscience to reach a practical horizontal line of reality and present now practice and mastery (relatively speaking; I do not ‘believe’ in this ‘I am a Master’ stuff), of sunrise and sunset, rather than staying in between the seed kernels?

    Once one really looks at what one wishes/believes and what one actually supports/does doing so concerning the Fellowship of Friends (if the criminal facts are known about and verified) a choice lawfully becomes present,

    yet, what is it that compromises this ‘present choice’, perhaps the part of us that prompts feelings of ‘no choice’, of ‘no where to go’, of ‘no one loves me’, of ‘no one will take care of me’?

    (Is this Big I? Can one live presently and ‘be’ a fearful hypocrite/a conscious contradiction simultaneously?)

    Is it not these very questions and all their ‘children’ surrounding us every day that “demand” from us what is not the fourth way, is not our truer spiritual wills, deeper love manifestations, truer revelations of our evolving feelings and hammering out of the atrophied muscles of our conscience?

    Does not the Fellowship of Friends “demand” the very opposite or at ‘best’ the repetition of the si-do interval belonging to a School of Relative Awakening, that milling-practice of being a Whisper-hypocrite and Believer and not a Doer with that which Belief points to;

    affirmations were always meant to be used as sign posts not new and improved crucifixions to adore and trust that someone else has ‘already done it enough’ and by doing so, some Christ-sweat may fly off him in the vacuum of the rapture, land thereon one’s dry cheek and be mistook at the Pearly Gates as a real ‘heaven-tear’, thus allowing one some ‘party time’ in heaven till you’re figured out as not a ‘real worker bee’, but rather a spirit who says ‘BE’ so much that in the dark you’re pretty close to seeming like one?

    Would I give up all my friends, my security, my home, my cars, my ‘good name’ (LOL), my family, my citizenship, to continue loving my friends (internally) because I felt so strongly that if I continued supporting an ‘IT’ who corrupts their essences and hurts them in the name of their most cherished hopes and beliefs, I could not love them by doing this, by supporting that which does not love?

    YES and I am doing it; it’s all falling apart and I am smiling in the face of a tornado and a hurricane making love while heading straight for me, ‘I’, most likely will become one of their cigarettes after all is said and done, so be it, better held in the hands of The Elementals love-wrecking aftermath, than that smoke who clings to the dark corners of Fear’s quivering, held lungs, like a thief’s hands round the jail cells bars, who loves prison-food and knows that to continuously have a home with the least amount of effort, he must rob those of others and even ‘kill’ his own deep smiles in doing so.

    Is not this ‘going’, this ‘real moving’ from ‘belief-idea’ to real ‘I’ what people came for when joining the Fellowship of Friends; how is it then that your ‘little i’ is held behind three grades every year, while your ‘Big I’ has been duped into (BELIEVING) that this is not it, not this lifetime?

    Schools are made to be left behind, not necessarily destroyed or abandoned by one’s individual version of conscious love, any preschool kid could tell you that;

    no conscious being or true spiritual seeker growing and becoming a conscious individual ever stayed in the same level of being school with a teacher who has not changed in 37 years; if there are those who have done so, it is not these spirits that I write for anyways, so, there’s no question (or answers);

    a true conscious teacher does not reject the experimentations of his or her students conscious applications towards their feelings being ‘let out’, by imprisoning them in a ego-maze made of his or her own inner rejection of what is ‘right’ and ‘true’ to the form of conscience and real individual progression…

    Robert Burton has broken no earthly swords, only sharpened.

    Perhaps the questions are for the playful-insincere, those who are simply where they are for other reasons than wholly themselves; I do not “demand” they be otherwise, yet, I will not dust my tracks for fear of being followed by demons, who, are most likely my own;

    for it is our own ancient footsteps that will lead us back into the arms of ourselves.

    ______________________

    Love to you all.


  299. It’s not the dragon that the ‘real knight’ looks for first: the eggs dammit, the eggs!


  300. Curious the relationships of macrocosm and microcosm, larger world and corrupt little cult. This conversation about “revenge” is an interesting reflection of the movement to impeach the current president and vice president. “What sense impeachment when they’ll be gone next year?” “What good would punishment and revenge do?” It is not about revenge. It is not about negativity. It is quite simply about understanding that something is wrong and bearing witness. Actively. So that it will not continue happening or happen again.
    From the perspective of those within the Fellowship, when members leave they simply disappear (perhaps this is not quite so much the case now with so many former members still showing up at store and post office) so that it is easy to presume that the mythology is accurate, that the absent ones have begun their long slow instinctive slide to perdition and oblivion, crouched in corners wolfing down their food. I think it would be a positive thing to just show up (OK, scrap the placards and banners if that’s too much–we would be recognized clearly enough without them. I’ve just gotten into the habit of late of standing on busy street corners with placards and banners.) Just show up, maybe on a Sunday-go-to-meeting morning, smiling and waving. We could have one of those picnics that are evidently popular afterwards. I think that, the showing up, would have a positive and destructive effect. And, getting back into the jargon, I think the triad of destruction is definitely called for.


  301. ya elana, i don’t agree that anger is a “buffer” although anger is very often “buffered.”

    speaking (or writing) of poetry (lower case ‘p’)…
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=pNAmzsuJolk

    you see the connection.


  302. on September 22, 2007 at 9:07 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Charles, yes. who do you find useful? It would have to involve a fairly serious and dedicated effort to have such permanent results(!). Is Adi shanti just about listening to his Cds? Would be nice to find a real man no. N if such exists without the underbelly.


  303. Hello Elena ~

    About that lawyer; yes, he’s a bit head-strung, though call him and give him your story, if he’s too busy he’ll direct you to someone who can assist: also, you can get a Sacramento phone book, look up Civil Attorneys/lawyers, jot down some numbers and get fax #’s too, write a cover page concerning both a class action lawsuit and an individual claim, fax it to about 50 – 100 offices, you do not have to call all of them to get permission to fax, and BTW, you might accidentally fax a few to the State Governors Office and the District Attorney.

    :.)


  304. 288

    “Schools are made to be left behind”

    I agree.


  305. Leaving aside, for the moment, what I personally think of revenge or the word “revenge”… The voices of the men here are the voices of real men – sometimes loose cannons and unrefined. Weren’t we noticing that fof suppresses raw male expression? We are not used to it. But some of us are growing healthy in that essence is expressed. Now not all men or women have the same essence but to be honest about who one is is an inspiration. The realness of essence is contrasted by the foffishness of Vinnie (sorry Vin). And, actually, the inspired warrior can be male or female. Some of us women have a good dose of Aries.

    Abigail “Curious the relationships of macrocosm and microcosm, larger world and corrupt little cult.” – yes, I think it is very curious too!

    Listening to NPR in my car this morning I caught a bit about a man who long ago infiltrated the KKK and collected much information about the organization, code names, passwords and so on. He tried to pass it to law enforcement but they would not act on it being very infiltrated by the KKK themselves. So he gave all the information to a radio show about Superman. The fictional Superman radio show began to broadcast the actual information, passwords and all. The current members of the KKK were very nervous and humiliated since their kids were making fun of the KKK and the organization was broken. Can’t find the link to read more about it. Did anyone else here the whole broadcast or know a link?


  306. 295–KA Here’s a related link.
    http://cms.interculturalu.com/node/98


  307. Another Name,

    A lot of what was possible in the Fellowship happened because California laws are very lax with homosexuality. There is not that much difference in that context between Robert and a heterosexual who had had sex with many women. That background was there for me and probably many of us to put up with Robert’s homosexuality for years. I am myself a bisexual, who was I to judge him? If we were talking about a life person doing the same things Robert has been doing with his young men, there would be little argument against him under California laws. The problem of his homosexuality is a different issue, it is his having taken advantage of his position as a “Conscious teacher” in a “Conscious School” to have had sex with mostly heterosexual men who were under the pressure and support he got from the rest of us.

    We supported it and promoted it. The fact that the money we payed the Fellowship was used and misused without our knowledge or consent is apparently legal but there is nothing consciously legal about that and to claim the right of any member of a cult to know where the moneys go is a struggle that must come sooner or later. The laws that state anything different are against individuals conscious rights in the realm of religions or spiritual life.

    The parallel with life is not off. Laws are designed in the western world at least, so that the money making industries do not have to account for their assets and three quarters of humanity works for that quarter of people protected by the laws. I have not deeply looked into the regulations for cults but we allowed the Fellowship to function freely as it did because we are not even conscious of our rights as individuals. We, as individuals, have not claimed the extent of our presence in the functioning of our communities. Every one should study basic law in high school and everyone should be conscious of the fact that his being extends to the confines of where his money comes and goes, just as much as anything else he touches with his hands or mind.

    The Fellowship indoctrinated us to severe our connections with our practical life and by so doing robbed us from our right to participate as individuals and as a community in the distribution of the assets, physical, spiritual and economic that we produced. By so doing, it is consistently degrading the possibility of its students to develop consciousness and on the contrary it is promoting rampant detachment from them selves, that is, unconsciousness. As they become more and more separated from the integrity of all aspects of their life, they loose the ability to respond with anything but stereotype behavior, “programmed behavior” and react with fear to any questioning of their status quo.

    The mentality that has allowed for the phenomenon of the Fellowship to occur is no other than the mentality that impregnates humanity today in every level. Robert and Girard and the whole Fellowship is a product of our time. They are doing their best with the best they know but they know too little and cut themselves short. Pornography and homosexuality are thoroughly accepted practices, they thought they could cultivate consciousness by severing themselves from the sex center but to do that they had to severe the students from their practical lives and hence from practically manifesting consciousness in their actions. We developed a tiranny of spiritual slaves dressed in silk clothes. The students inside continue to be fooled by the silk clothes and have not yet grasped the extent of their spiritual slavery, while Robert has crystallized in his own head without being able to look at his genitals. All he can see about the world around him are other men’s genitals. He is starving for lawfulness. He is begging for manhood, but students cannot hear his suffering. They think he is enjoying his plea as if some humans, no matter how rich, enjoyed watching how others starve.

    Where we go from here matters. How we look at the bigger picture and deal with the small one is significant. We have not come here to waste our time. When we look into the regulations of cults it will be easier to finish exploring the whole of that sentence. Can we take that time?


  308. ka 295 “loose cannons and unrefined…” apologies, but i would like to dedicate this to you-know-who….
    WARNING: do not open this first thing in the morning.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=8z2M_hpoPwk


  309. Joseph G. & Whale Rider,

    Thank you for again reminding us all how much of a ‘slime-ball’
    R.B. is in reality.And to me much of the responsibility for his continued sexual abuse of fof students lies in those who knowingly protect his actions under the guise of being ‘spiritual’ counselors,i.e. the fof Counsel.I used to think that the Counsel was just a group of ‘mis-guided and brainwashed’ students who having reached a level of financial success to be noticed by ‘His Nibs’ were acting in what they believed to be the best interests of the fof. More and more I’m of the mind that thier’s is as grievious an offense as R.B.’s-continuing the charade in spite of their own feelings that something is definitely ‘rotten in Denmark’-how can many of these so-called ‘ministers’ not have any idea that the core is rotten?
    I think most of the students in the fof merely want to preseve the status quo-I know that is how it was for me.It’s easy for them to see this blog as ex-students attacking their beloved leader,since this is part of the hypnosis R.B. has projected for years-do any of you remember the ‘suffering Christ’, period in the fof when R.B. portrayed himself as the crucified ‘Christ-like’
    prophet?
    So,thinking of revenge then,who do we take revenge on-R.B.,the Counsel, the whole student body?
    What is responsible action now,for those of us like myself who knew what was going down but failed to do anything or enough at the time?


  310. To the Shiek,
    What does it take to get posted on this blog?


  311. on September 22, 2007 at 11:10 pm Vinnie the Fish

    KA: ‘The realness of essence is contrasted by the foffishness of Vinnie (sorry Vin). ‘
    You’re forgiven KA, I thought you were a man actually, I bet you’re covered in tats. :-)
    I agree, some of the males here do seem to devolve into redneck brutes when they leave, ranting at the enemy on the other side, which is attractive to some species of female with barely enough intelligence to walk on their hind legs. Maybe you’re right, it’s a reaction to their self-inflicted denial of self before. But then email can be deceptive, someone can be rough n tough on email but afraid to look people in the eye on the street.

    Being in essence is not putting on any false pretences and bravado like that, but being the same with people in all circumstances, as I am.


  312. on September 22, 2007 at 11:11 pm Truth is Where You Find It

    To 279-Another Name:

    How about this:

    The idea that knowledge is hidden is an illusion.
    Knowledge is everywhere,
    but is accessible to the extent, and to those
    who have the level of being
    to realize its value when they find it.

    Knowledge need not be hidden, or defended.
    IT IS ITS OWN DEFENSE.


  313. 292. Vinnie.

    If you’re in London you could check out Tony Parsons. He doesn’t claim to be a man # anything, but has been effective for some and is definitely uncompromising.

    good luck, Chas


  314. Vinnie the Fish (around) 238

    Good to be in Rome.

    *************

    Sucking Bob’s dick no doubt.

    ***

    Vinnie the Fish (around) 300

    I agree, some of the males here do seem to devolve into redneck brutes…

    **********


  315. #274

    What a movie and what a song, made for each other. Right out of the heart of darkness.


  316. Vinnie visits Paris:


  317. You’re forgiven KA, I thought you were a man actually, I bet you’re covered in tats.

    I get that ALL the time!


  318. 300 Vinnie

    “Being in essence is not putting on any false pretences and bravado like that, but being the same with people in all circumstances, as I am.”

    You’re a douche bag in all circumstances?


  319. #290 Abigail

    “…that the absent ones have begun their long slow instinctive slide to perdition and oblivion, crouched in corners wolfing down their food.”

    Is this bad? Oh my , I best get a knife and fork. Maybe a plate too. Is it wrong to play with your pee-pee while your eating?
    Starting tomorrow I am going to set an aim of going to the bathroom when I have to potty even if I if I am not done gnawing all the meat off the dirty corner bone.

    ————————————————————————

    As for the ocean metaphor: We become one with wetness not the waves.

    Isn’t that right mr. Fishy, you expert on enlightenment and immortality.


  320. #307 Bruce

    Dammit, stop reading my mind!


  321. In response to
    on 22 Sep 2007 at 7:39 pm 285 Graduates

    ��������� you are just smart enough to convince yourself that you are something special and just dumb enough to continue to believe it despite proof to the contrary.

    It is intriguing to watch you reject those portions of reality that refuse to support your self-satisfying, self-betraying worldview, there is a profound sadness in your attempt to laugh at the irrefutable information that unmistakably turns your ineffective philosophy into a joke.

    Stop talking before everyone stops listening.


  322. 297 Elena

    “Where we go from here matters. How we look at the bigger picture and deal with the small one is significant. ”

    The blog is not insignificant. It has caused more change in the Fellowship of Friends in less than a year than anything in the Fellowship of Friends previous history. I consider it a si-do interval.

    It is important to develop and publish the truth. Robert Burton and his lacky’s cannot survive the truth. It is current students who leave quietly who are now in a position to do something. Ask uncomfortable questions, refuse to make “voluntary ” payments, document what is occurring. Start trying to be the words.

    Now that the truth is readily available there is no longer a justification or excuse for accepting the abuses documented in the Fellowship.

    Also Robert is working on his “legacy” . It is important to provide an alternative to the lies that will be used to glorify this corrupt man and his misuse of noble ideas and loyal members.


  323. on September 23, 2007 at 3:55 am hardlyanafterthought

    Hoo Hah – who sees the sun coming through the clouds. How great are we .

    JohnF


  324. Hello Elena ~

    You wrote ~

    “The problem of his homosexuality is a different issue, it is his having taken advantage of his position as a “Conscious teacher” in a “Conscious School” to have had sex with mostly heterosexual men who were under the pressure and support he got from the rest of us.

    We supported it and promoted it.”

    __________________________________________________

    Elena,

    When I look at the blog (IMO) it’s always been a sort of power line perch, that place where we pigeons sit between A and B, just sorta lined up and wobbling in the wind, moving over for another landing or a take off, it’s a meeting place and a line of departure.

    Although it’s form and function will not change, it’s being has, for me… After reading your post I wonder if the word “We” truly applies to a group of people or simply yourself and all the selves you’ve been throughout your history in the Fellowship of Friends?

    Just about any of us can call ourselves a ‘We’ in retrospect, yet, in your article I sense you are including me and all those writing on the blog, I do not sense that this is correct or true to the form, at least, my form and my feeling of conscience, where I’ve been and where I am heading as a result and continuance thereof.

    This is what I have observed reading through and continuing to do so, thousands of blog articles, that, well, I have already read once or twice before; Gurdjieff was right, reading something more than once does bring about different results within oneself than that first response due to the initial (and most of the times) reading, reaction or retreat.

    That, often, when we include ourselves in another’s lifestyle (group or individual) we do not have one (lifestyle) of our own that’s strong enough to resist this sort of presumptuousness;

    it’s a hobby for many to take upon themselves the miseries of others as some form of self-initiated painted ‘mirror image’ happening out in ‘the real world’ of their unredeemed inner world automatic artistries,

    this ‘hobby’ buffers the getting to one’s own conscious lifestyle, it never ends, this ‘hobby’,

    it’s always looking out of the window, wondering how it is that it could have let this or that happen,

    to me, this is some form of spiritual trance or dream state, which undoubtedly is everyone’s material to work with, not only to point out and oftentimes speak of it as though it were not a mi-fa, but rather, a ‘do’ or some unredeemable condition, that’s an objective aspect of life, some sort of unavoidable or impenetrable curse of being ‘just a human’.

    I can say for certain that I never supported the emotionally brutal coercion that takes place inside Robert Burton’s bedroom; I am surprised actually that he has not had his ass beat by some right working king of clubs centered Alpha male by now… Perhaps he has, we would not know about it if he did…

    Maybe a few choice ones would know, those like Greylin, living a heritage of servitude through fear, dominance and manhood displacement through Robert Burton’s immaculately groomed pain body collection of canines and guardian cadavers, his hosting of them is impeccable and spooky to say the least;

    not to mention the right angled Robert T___lor who drives around like some green beret officer with the ISIS security admittance card stuck in his driver side front window (head height) like some military base commander’s flag, in your face like, a kind of mask, another affirmation smoke screen:

    not to mention #2, the Quote-policeman Michael G____win, whose always screening the meeting angles for anything that might cause “Formatory Opposition”… Would not want any of that happening outside the blog would we?

    Or maybe Markus L___kin who still smiles that same smile and waves that same wave, as if icebergs and Titanics go together like Peaches & Cream (?)

    Markus, get a job for god’s sake!

    And Mehai, a none-congratulation’s to you for finally getting down that Robert Burton tilt of the head thingy, it’s looks ‘good’ on you, particularly when you’re talking on the cell phone and walking at the same time… damn you’re good!

    Perhaps you’re speaking about these sorts of people, not those who found out and left, who did not know enough to make a move strong enough to uproot a very old and personal ‘oak tree’ without a flinch of doubt, tumbling perfectly good nest eggs out upon the ground, breaking open, for skunks to later that night, gratefully lick up and wonder off to the next fallen Goethe Oak.

    Whenever you say “We”, I nearly always get the willies, a kind of wormy feeling in my gut, I sense that you’re somehow claiming thousands of endorsements (that you really do not have) onto your banner,

    certainly you have many ‘real’ endorsements by all of us,

    yet, some of these “We(s)” I must say, go over the top and begin to sound a bit ‘hypnotic’ or ‘subliminal’;

    I can say that outright I do not support this idea of yours that there is any “We” that supports Robert Burton, first and foremost people support themselves and if Robert Burton happens to be in their closet trying to find their skeleton’s penis, well, then, go figure…

    The “We” does not start altogether with Robert Burton, it’s not that simple (IMO),

    some things are that simple, like lies, deception, rape, etc.,

    though the knowing of these facts by thousands and their continued support of the atmosphere where these things can and do take place,

    this is a deep mystery to me,
    a mystery that calling it a “We” only makes more confusing and subjective… a pain fest with no bottom, so to speak,

    one I cannot allow myself to contribute to a “We”, an “I”, or a “He”…

    there is a “They” though and this is working it’s way down the path, albeit a run away lawn mower at times, it will have it’s cliff edge and dry river bed…

    To me, in a war, there’s no good guy and bad guy, for the most part, showing up on the battle field is enough to show that deeper things are at work than Defense and Offense;

    Whitman said “tread lightly because you are walking on my dreams”…

    IMO, things are not as they seem, there may be an altogether ‘third party’ (and I am not talking about C Influence) at work here, that we have been accustomed to buffer for thousands of years, television and movies have even further smoke-screened their existence into such a fantastic realm, that, even if the clouds were to part and Jesus descended, someone would ask him to do it again so that we can get it on Youtube, I would…

    There is no doubt that I am working to transform something, to dismantle the Fellowship of Friends because it parallels work within myself that I am already doing, a two birds with one stone thing,

    yet, blaming is not one of these ‘things’; I find not one millimeter of action by Robert Burton that I can blame myself or any other for, because the choices are primarily his IN THE ONE AND ONLY MOMENT, not ours, not theirs;

    perhaps they choose (after the fact) to support or romance the fact, yet, the fact itself lies with Robert Burton and the karmic circumstances directed towards him and away from him by his victims, which is another book someone can write.

    To really know and feel what is one’s business on this planet is a great task and an immortal gift once got, I wish you this gift Elena, truly, though again, I must stress softly that many people blame themselves for Robert Burton’s actions for only to possess an ‘effect’, a sort of drug,

    that this ‘blame’ maintains an un-transformable painful material, a state of continued drama and pain food, for their drama-shopping pain-body-self-image to feed upon and make denser and denser, till even death may not dissolve it’s ‘crystallizations’, hence,

    perhaps we possess sponges (bodies) not to collect experiences, but rather to store them and read them again, till we ‘get it’ and can move on: I still have no clue ‘why’ I am down here, though the ‘how’ far supersedes it’s bastard cousin ‘Why?’…

    Why? used to be my favorite word, it took allot of demolition and termite-attraction-rituals, though finally I let it pass through me and keep going, like a dysfunctional Russian satellite does the earth. Not every emotional category down here is worth keeping.

    This blaming oneself, IMO, is nothing more than spiritual, King of Hearts superstition, it’s not real, it buffers the real situation which allows the ‘hobby’ to exist in the ‘Hobby-world’ in the first place, i.e., the root-self doing the whittling,

    the self that allows blame to seem valid, sad, depressing, angry, resentful, foolish and dumb. See, none of us are really any of these ‘things’, yet, we carry voices who are, do we truly know the difference between babysitting other people’s kids and giving birth to our own? I wonder.

    Perhaps one could say that there were supporting roles taking place within oneself that fed likewise aspects of oneself, similar to those possessed by Robert Burton, yet, likewise or similar does not mean ‘exact’ or directly connected to Robert Burton himself:

    are there ‘those’ who do support and promote the raping of unsuspecting coerced heterosexuals?

    YES,

    though, please, address them specifically in your heart of hearts and get rid of the “We”, unless you yourself were truly part of it knowingly and willingly;

    yet, even then, what you are in the now is not you-then,

    a smoke’s residue is not the house before its fire,

    so, the non-hobby of blame still stands; blame buries you alive, the ‘you’ that loves to be buried alive and thrives on it…

    I’ve never associated burying alive as something productive, yet, in another dimension, it’s equivalent to a rave party or a galleria Sunday:

    let’s not go there lovers, stay here and do not blame a self for anything, the one doing the blaming is the same one being blamed, it’s like talking to oneself without moving your lips and do we not all understand by now what this implies?

    _________________________

    Love to you all.


  325. The Vinnie 300
    _______________________

    The race started today with Vinnie, this year’s Nascar Announcer stating that ~

    “…but being the same with people in all circumstances, as I am.”

    ________________________________________________

    LOL ! Vinnie, you incurable Jovial you…

    When I heard you say that, I double clutched, staled, dropped my Swisher Sweet into my 32oz Budweiser and swallowed my Skoal all at the same time; damn boy, you’re good, I knew you were working for #44 on the sly!

    I am still gargling with salt water, trying to heal my having laughed so hard that I gave myself a self-inflicted tonsillectomy. Ice cream in September is a little strange, yet, well, I guess that’s what the effects of the fourth way has on us life people, we find ourselves having to heal from your quizzical esoteric work and enduring enjoying it too; well, some one has to do it, might as well be us Nascar drivers… vrooom vrooom vrooom!

    :.)


  326. 291 ‘ton
    ya elana, i don’t agree that anger is a “buffer” although anger is very often “buffered.”

    Ton! Hopefully there are hundred other things that you don’t believe because I or anybody else says them. We need to be beyond believing. I talk and if it resonates healthily in your being, smile and if it doesn’t, smile. I’m not here to convince you but to share. We’re no longer in a school and no one will grade you for not believing.

    My experiece with anger is that it is buffering the pain of experiencing the tragedy. The tragedy of Robert, the Fellowship and each one of us in different degrees. Revenge is more difficult because it is active in a way that involves the will. But these applies to many opportunities of anger. When you wish to stay quiet before a situation that produces great anger in you you might get a glimpse of the tragedy in its full blow and realize that you can bare it too. It opens doors to dignity and humility and allows one to see the other person’s suffering.

    Unoanimo, for me anyone who payed teaching payments supported Robert’s status quo and in as much as he/she did not try to take responsibility for what was being done with his/her money, he/she were responsible for supporting Robert blindly. This was “normal” but normal was sick.

    Still you do not need to identify with my “we.s’. In fact, the good thing about the blog is that most people keep a good distance and share completely different angles. I continue to ride my horse and enjoy your and their company without wanting to demeanor anyone by saying they did something worse than what I did. “We” have all been indoctrinated in different degrees, and it is painfull for me rather than something I am eager to point at individually. I have probably not hit anyone harder than my own husband, and that is because he is the one that matters most to me. If you don’t want to take action beyond the blog, good for you, no one is forcing you. It is not a pleasent enterprise for those of us who are willing.


  327. Dear Across the River (#266)

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. You probably already figured out that my subsequent post clarifying my POV on revenge (around #271) was mostly intended for you.

    Warm regards,

    Joseph G


  328. 314

    Elena,

    I am taking action beyond the blog, not sure how you wiseacre otherwise, I am sure you’ve got your reasons for putting more assumptions on top of the ones already swirling round your ‘We-Party’; there’s no such thing as holding a blind person responsible for not identifying a bank robber who was not caught on camera, though ‘did’ run by the blind man while he was crossing the street. This idea of yours, i.e., “responsible for supporting Robert blindly” is plain artistic license and makes no moral sense, it’s painful make believe that I for one am not in the least bit convinced that such very personal logic can survive outside the mirror, and then, even mirrors break from exhaustion. You’re fooling yourself Elena that people’s ignorance can be held accountable for being Intentionally Ignorant, to be intentionally ignorant implies that one already knows what one is choosing to avoid, plain ignorance is simply not knowing nor having the proper moment’s impetus to act on something contradictory to what one is seemingly living and so on…

    This “was “normal” but normal was sick” is boarder line hysteria and a massive leap forwards into holding people responsible for things that their level of being, conscience and personal subjectivities simply did not experience enough, in whatever moment you’re holding them responsible for being “sick”, of whatever it took to eventually bring them to understand and leave based on this understanding… To blame or hold a student of any esoteric tradition responsible for not learning their lessons quick enough to avoid being ignorant or sick, is truly a dark path to hew, one I cannot walk with you on, yet, out of I can, let me know…

    l.t.y.a.


  329. on September 23, 2007 at 8:31 am Vinnie the Fish

    Unamino, yeh I laughed too when I added the ‘as I am.’ Glad you’ve got a sense of humour, unlike some douche bags. What’s a douche bag anyway, like a colostomy bag?

    This line is classic:
    Or maybe Markus L___kin who still smiles that same smile and waves that same wave, as if icebergs and Titanics go together like Peaches & Cream (?)

    I like your thinking, it works around real events in the moment, rather than just making sweeping generalizations and black and white formatory labels which is all some defective head brains are capable of.


  330. on September 23, 2007 at 8:32 am Bistro Fundraiser

    Graduates wrote: “Decent men hunt for the truth, they do not try to lure it closer with elegant niceties or effeminate paraphernalia.”

    This is one of my favorite pages on the blog. I have many favorite pages. But this page is shifting gears a bit. Many of us inside/outside the FOF are asking a lot more than “What went wrong?”

    Many are now asking, “Wait — did anything ever go right?”

    We’re getting past the “elegant niceties.” We’re getting past the apologetic tone of, “Well, yes I realized that I had to go, and that I was no longer getting something out of the ‘school,’ but I had many wonderful times there and met many wonderful friends, and experienced such wonderful states, and experienced such wonderful wonderfulness.”

    Screw that.

    The blog is “rude, unbending, lusty” like a good Walt Whitman poem — who, by the way, left the Fellowship of Friends long ago like all the rest of us left it, and like all the rest of us will leave — one way or another, at one time or another. He presented us many hints, whether it was Song of the Open Road, or Song of the Universal — song after song after song helping us to question every minute we stayed there. He was opening the door, and lifting his hand to show us the exits. And he gave us an impatient wave when we stood there and hesitated.

    If the universe actually is such a wonderful place that a being such as Walt Whitman could actually guide us through our lives, then I sense he guided us long before we joined the FOF, and he guided us (and continues to guide us) long after we leave. He even guided us while we stayed in the FOF, but he also quietly shook his head with concern while doing so.

    The call for “active response” on this page is inspiring. When Joseph unleashed his words further up the page, the image that came to mind (for me) was of someone opening the door to Robert Burton’s bedroom a few minutes before one of the meetings, and dragging the man’s naked ass into the room for all to see. I pictured everyone in the room turning and gasping as they saw him lying there — not the supposedly wise and benevolent man who nourished our souls and cared for us all with “tough love,” but a pathetic man who has no qualms about harming anyone for a moment’s pleasure.

    The party line in the FOF is that the seeking of justice is merely the equivalent of “just ‘I’s” — note the clever play on words with that expression. And RB would also insist that everything “just is” and that anyone who focuses on these concerns is having “injustice ‘I’s.” Any serious concern for truth and justice was completely irrelevant or simply weak.

    Consciousness be damned. Love be damned.

    Not what you’d expect from a group seeking consciousness. And not what you’d expect from a school of love.


  331. Vinnie the Fruit (fresh from the sucking of Rome)

    …sweeping generalizations and black and white formatory labels which is all some defective head brains are capable of.

    ***********


  332. Vinnie the Fruit (fresh from the sucking of Rome)

    …sweeping generalizations and black and white formatory labels which is all some defective head brains are capable of.

    ***********


  333. on September 23, 2007 at 9:36 am Vinnie the Fish

    Graduates, try to get off Utube occasionally, it’s addictive like this blog! Too much fun. Do you know you can use it to learn things? Almost any song on guitar or piano, any skill, you can learn on video there. Improve yourself, you don’t have forever.


  334. unoanimo 312, 316
    Yes, yes, to go beyond blaming oneself for blindness is so important. As I mentioned in a previous post, in this context I am often reminded of Jesus’ words on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

    As Old Fish In The Sea reminded us in post 263, (we), well I for sure, was very young, naive and devoted when I joined the FoF. I am still working on retracing the steps that first locked me in, then led me out of the cage ten years later. I was blind, I was a child, I was definitely misled. The feature-enhanced, ego-based aspects of myself were fed instead of examined, the healthy voices, closer to essence, were discouraged from expression and did inevitably suffer. A process occurred which clouded my ability to judge and prevented me from trusting my own power of intuition. Still, I honestly wouldn’t know where to place blame, and I don’t think I am being too kind to myself. I only was an enabler inasmuch as I was a victim. I am still blind to so much that goes on around me, but that, as uno points out, is the “unavoidable or impenetrable curse of being ‘just a human’.”
    In Buddhist view, desire and ignorance lie at the root of all suffering. It’s life as we know it.

    As I was looking for the exact Luke 23:32-34 quote, I stumbled upon the following sermon. I remember that esoteric Christianity was one of Gurdjieff’s definitions of his teaching. I don’t think one needs to be a Christian believer to accept the simple psychological truth of these words: forgiveness is freedom.

    “Much of Jesus’ ministry had centered on forgiving, allowing, letting be, and tolerating. He had tried to show those around him that God’s love creates the space for the other to be. His life demonstrated that all are welcome to be a part of the community. Jesus consciously sought to eat and talk with those who were excluded from the Jewish community. Jesus welcomed everyone just as they were. This welcome without a requirement to change first allowed the people the freedom to be changed by God’s love.

    Luke understood the importance of the freedom forgiveness brings. That is why, in his account of Jesus’ final hours, he included these words from Jesus: “Father, forgive them.” Luke knew that his listeners needed to hear this message of forgiveness and freedom so that they would be able to understand what Jesus’ death meant and how it would bring them salvation.

    Luke’s message comes to us today to tell us the same thing: Jesus died to bring us forgiveness and freedom. Jesus continues to ask God to forgive today on our behalf. He asks so that we will have the freedom to turn toward God and God’s offer of reconciliation in Christ. All are welcomed by Jesus into God’s community. We are freed by God’s forgiving act in Jesus to recognize how we have turned from God. We are freed to amend our ways and to return to right relationship with God.

    Jesus Christ died so that we could live as forgiven people. Let us live our lives in joyful response to this amazing act.

    Let us pray…

    Holy and mysterious God, we come here today with so many questions. How could these events have happened? What do they all mean? How do they work for our salvation? Why did it have to happen in this way? And your answer is simply, “Love.” Your love offers us freedom to turn toward you; freedom to be in relationship with you. Be with us in these hours and the coming days as we witness the depths of your love for us and celebrate its power. Amen.”


  335. on September 23, 2007 at 10:22 am Crouching Tiger

    Unoanimo 312:

    ‘Tread lightly because you tread on my dreams’ btw, and it was Yeats not Whitman.

    I sense something familiar about you (to my mechanics). Are you some kind of ventriloquist by trade… a shape-shifter??


  336. Newly moderated comments:

    121, 125, 126, 131, 137, 175, 186, 189, 196, 198, 227, 229, 232, 270, 273, 314, 316, 320, 321, 328.

    So, after 3 weeks of doing two peoples’ jobs – working loads, sleeping a little, I get a mini holiday.

    A Tiger: sorry, you caught me at a time when I could not spend any effort on the blog so it took a while for your name to be added to the list, from now on you should be able to post in real time.

    Elena: How was Prague? I haven’t been back in almost a year now, so I am curious to hear what impression it made on you.


  337. the youtube doesn’t have to be addictive if you know what you’re looking for but
    i agree, this bloggy thing is “addictive” in the sense that i may be spending more time here than i “should” nevertheless… it’s always interesting. thank you sheik and fellowbloggers.

    and now for something completely different…
    it’s not for everyone as the man says in the interview, it is on the dark side, morbid, even disturbing but with a magical performance by “jeliza-rose” and great over-the-top acting from jeff bridges and meg tilly… joebob says “check it out.”

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=aUy9sQqTbUM


  338. “The problem of his homosexuality is a different issue, it is his having taken advantage of his position as a “Conscious teacher” in a “Conscious School” to have had sex with mostly heterosexual men who were under the pressure and support he got from the rest of us.

    We supported it and promoted it.”

    Unoanimo, I stand by my words. I think anyone who came to any of Robert’s events and watch passively at the denagrating show of a man behaving as if he were a king in front of his spiritual slaves, supported and promoted his behavior.

    It is not about blaming our blindness as much as assuming responsibility for it. I am talking to those of us who can feel that and it is fine if you are not one of them.

    You’re not my aim on this blog. Try to not let me become your aim although I thank you for paying any attention to me. Neither you nor I is what this is about. It is the things that are happening inside the Fellowship that I am questioning and trying to find solutions to.

    As for your doing anything beyond the blog, I do not know about it so hopefully you will not continue to blame me for that.

    Laura,
    As much as I enjoy wrting on the blog, I am not writing for my joy as much as to try to question an institution, The Fellowship of Friends, a Cult, that is damaging people inside. I will not forgive myself if I at least don’t try to stop what I think should not continue. Perhaps I have seen more harm than some of you so I respect our relative positions.

    I thank you for your input, your prayers and your songs. It would be a pleasure to meet you one day.

    Sheik,

    I wish I could fill your expectations on Prague but I was there only for a few hours in which I took a short walk from the teaching house into a beautiful European city, only because I did not feel well enough to go on the indoctrinating tour. We did not travel for pleasure or joy, not for the appreciation of the people’s culture we visited or the people. People only mattered in as much as they payed, made efforts, more efforts, for Robert and the Fellowship. We travelled to indoctrinate people like crusaders and found loving, open people every where, perfectly ripe for the indoctrinating Guru.

    We were sick people. That is why I am no longer there with my husband.


  339. on September 23, 2007 at 4:15 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    Denial
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimisation) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility (transference). The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction.

    The theory of denial was first researched seriously by Anna Freud. She classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality. Where denial occurs in mature minds, it is most often associated with death, dying and rape. More recent research has significantly expanded the scope and utility of the concept. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross used denial as the first of five stages in the psychology of a dying patient, and the idea has been extended to include the reactions of survivors to news of a death. Thus, when parents are informed of the death of a child, their first reaction is often of the form, “No! You must have the wrong house, you can’t mean our child!”

    Unlike some other defense mechanisms postulated by psychoanalytic theory (for instance, repression), the general existence of denial is fairly easy to verify, even for non-specialists. On the other hand, denial is one of the most controversial defense mechanisms, since it can be easily used to create unfalsifiable theories: anything the subject says or does that appears to disprove the interpreter’s theory is explained, not as evidence that the interpreter’s theory is wrong, but as the subject’s being “in denial”.

    A commonly-cited example of spurious denial is the psychologist who insists, against all evidence, that his patient is homosexual: any attempt by the patient to disprove the theory (as by pointing out his strong desire for women) is evidence of denial and thus evidence of the underlying theory. This tension can become serious, especially in areas such as child abuse and recovered memory. Proponents often respond to allegations of false memory by asserting that the subjects are genuine victims who have reverted to denial. Critics reply (some seriously, some less so) that it is the proponents who are in denial about the tenuousness of their theories.

    The concept of denial is important in twelve-step programs, where the abandonment or reversal of denial forms the basis of the first, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth steps. The ability to deny or minimize is an essential part of what enables an addict to continue his or her behavior in the face of evidence that, to an outsider, appears overwhelming. This is cited as one of the reasons that compulsion is seldom effective in treating addiction — the habit of denial remains.

    [edit] Types of Denial
    Denial of fact: This form of denial is where someone avoids a fact by lying. This lying can take the form of an outright falsehood (commission), leaving out certain details in order to tailor a story (omission), or by falsely agreeing to something (assent, also referred to as “yesing” behavior). Someone who is in denial of fact is typically using lies in order to avoid facts that they think may be potentially painful to themselves or others.

    Denial of responsibility: This form of denial involves avoiding personal responsibility by blaming, minimizing or justifying. Blaming is a direct statement shifting culpability and may overlap with denial of fact. Minimizing is an attempt to make the effects or results of an action appear to be less harmful than they may actually be. Justifying is when someone takes a choice and attempts to make that choice look okay due to their perception of what is “right” in a situation. Someone using denial of responsibility is usually attempting to avoid potential harm or pain by shifting attention away from themselves.

    Denial of impact: Denial of impact involves a person avoiding thinking about or understanding the harms their behavior have caused to themselves or others. By doing this, that person is able to avoid feeling a sense of guilt and it can prevent that person from developing remorse or empathy for others. Denial of impact reduces or eliminates a sense of pain or harm from poor decisions.

    Denial of awareness: This type of denial is best discussed by looking at the concept of state dependent learning[1]. People using this type of denial will avoid pain and harm by stating they were in a different state of awareness (such as alcohol or drug intoxication or on occasion mental health related). This type of denial often overlaps with denial of responsibility.

    Denial of cycle: Many who use this type of denial will say things such as, “it just happened.” Denial of cycle is where a person avoids looking at their decisions leading up to an event or does not consider their pattern of decision making and how harmful behavior is repeated. The pain and harm being avoided by this type of denial is more of the effort needed to change the focus from a singular event to looking at preceding events. It can also serve as a way to blame or justify behavior (see above).

    Denial of denial: This can be a difficult concept for many people to identify in themselves, but is a major barrier to changing hurtful behaviors. Denial of denial involves thoughts, actions and behaviors which bolster confidence that nothing needs to be changed in one’s personal behavior. This form of denial typically overlaps with all of the other forms of denial, but involves more self-delusion.

    [edit] See also
    Cognitive dissonance
    The closet
    Lie
    Disagreement
    Hostility
    Dismissiveness


  340. “The call for “active response” on this page is inspiring. When Joseph unleashed his words further up the page, the image that came to mind (for me) was of someone opening the door to Robert Burton’s bedroom a few minutes before one of the meetings, and dragging the man’s naked ass into the room for all to see. I pictured everyone in the room turning and gasping as they saw him lying there — not the supposedly wise and benevolent man who nourished our souls and cared for us all with “tough love,” but a pathetic man who has no qualms about harming anyone for a moment’s pleasure.”

    #337 Bistro Fundraiser

    It just may be something this extreme to get people to look at the facts and acknowledge the truth.


  341. on September 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Elena: “We were sick people.”
    Speak for yourself Elena, you’ve already been told! :-)

    I enjoy these beautiful cities full of beautiful people, and don’t indoctrinate anyone! You cut your own path in life and you’re still indoctrinating, from Foflist to blog your message is much the same, hysterical drama!

    “Full of beauty and love, that is what I see all around me.”

    Prague is still good Sheik, you know how it is, depends on your state and your outlook. Just watch out for the gypsy pickpockets!


  342. Shiek,
    Sorry about the impatience-I’m a little new to this ‘blogasphere’.
    ——————————————
    Little Suzy,
    Right on with the facts on denial.Speaking recently with an ‘innie’,I realized that the denial phenomenon is part of the mass hypnosis of the fof members. It’s certainly much easier to stick your head in the sands of denial that stand-up in the face of controversy and do whatever is necessary to make change possible.
    ——————————————-
    Laura,
    I’ve definitely enjoyed some of your posts,however I have to question your ‘love conquers all’ approach.Where does personal responsibility fit ?
    ——————————————–
    Vinny,
    Keep up the ‘good’ work-but to parapharase a friend of mine,’nothing leads to nothing’.


  343. Vinne the Fish (348)

    Okay, Vinnie, so you’re enjoying the ‘beautiful cities’ and ‘beautiful people’, and so on. And you’re not indoctrinating anyone. Great.

    Unfortunately, participation in the FOF is not so benign. Even if the amount of your teaching payment is not so great (you indicated in an earlier post that it was not a burden for you), you are still helping to bankroll the activities of a criminal. Don’t you see that?

    Even if you don’t recognize RB as an actual criminal who has violated state and federal laws, surely you can see that he is a spiritual criminal (which, in my view, is even worse). Or did you skip over the posts of Whalerider, Joseph G, Bruce, Inner Circle Facts, A Former Student, and the many others who have related their experiences with your ‘beloved teacher’.

    Robert is a fraud and a sexual predator. His abuse is rampant. His sorry excuse for a school, rather than creating men and women without quotation marks, to use a Gurdjieffian phrase, produces dependent, sycophantic children that rely on him to tell them who they are and what their lives mean.

    Of course he also tells them how to eat, how much to drink, what they can smoke, what music to listen to, etc. I think you have mentioned in previous posts that you don’t always abide by those rules and exercises; nevertheless, your donations enable the continuance of this debilitating influence.

    It is true that there are some ‘benifits’ to being in the FOF. Robert has created a cult which enables those with money to travel around the world and have someone to stay with in various cities. Perhaps it is also true that the FOF teaches certain aesthetic criteria that you find worthwhile or meaningful. Maybe you have even managed to satisfy your sexual appetites in the Fellowship by hooking up with other like-minded students in the various centers you visit.

    I’m sure you can list many other such ‘benefits’ that membership in the FOF makes possible. But do you realize the price you’re actually paying for such benefits? What do you have to say to the fact that your teaching payments, small though they may be, grease the wheels of RBs pain machine? You help make it possible for him to lure, bribe, exploit, and coerce. If his funding suddenly dried up, his entourage, his expensive clothes and jewelry, his plane trips, fancy cars, and all the rest of it would be gone. All the glamour and grandeur that holds his disciples in thrall would be no more. The great man number seven wouldn’t know whether to ‘shit or go blind’, as the saying goes, without all of his assistants around him to do everything for him.

    You say it’s all good for you. You don’t believe Robert is a concious being, but you’re getting your kicks, so why not stay there, right? Well, what about the harm being inflicited on others that are nearer to the soul-destroying vortex? Are you really that selfish and unconcerned about others? Are you really unable to find these so-called ‘benefits’ anywhere else except the Fellowship? Are the ‘benefits’ really worth being an accomplice to RB’s crimes? Are you really that big of a narcissistic jerk, Vinne?


  344. I think its interesting that Abe G. has morphed into foffish Vinnie. Can’t make threats so now the strategy is just to push buttons. Vinnie is all an act and a pretense – the official party line of the moment. This is not a person just a show.

    There was a newly moderated post which I can’t seem to find about the non expression of negative emotions. I thought it was very interesting and was wondering if the poster would re-post it? Thanks.


  345. It is an interesting and common tactic to discredit the victims of abuse. To claim that those who strive to shed the light of honesty on the hidden agenda of the Fellowship of Friends are motivated by “revenge” is such a tactic. In reality it is the only conscionable act possible. To simply present the truth as often and as clearly as possible.

    In the closing months of the European campaign during WW 2 as allied troops broke through the Rhine defenses and into Germany itself the first slave and death camps were discovered. despite stories and claims from many few in the Allied leadership had accepted the possibility of the degeneration of a western culture into such brutality and corruption. Dwight D. Eisenhower, allied Commander in Chief , European theater, personally ordered camera crews to visit the camps and film the horror. Local residents who claim to be unaware of the camps were made to come and view them and help in clean up. Dwight Eisenhower stated” that years in the future he didn’t want anyone to be able to deny these horror stories.

    Today amongst others Arab leaders pledged to destroy the “Zionist” state of Israel claim that the stories of the horror camps are false. Millions with no better access to information take this a fact on faith. Young men grow up convinced of lies and become murderers in the name of freeing their people.

    Accepting the corruption in the Fellowship is an indication of a lack of conscience, a symptom that the real ideas of the “work” have not penetrated. Self development cannot be based on lies and denial. To care enough about the Fellowship and the currant members to participate in the blog is one sign of conscience. To take an active part in trying to provide an alternative to being banished for seeking the truth is not revenge or even justice. It is part of a process of cleansing ones own being and beginning to heal from the damage done by the FOF. It is a part of actually being the words, to actually become the being one imagined possible at one time. Someone with individuality, conscience and will.

    Consciousness cannot be exclusive. To deny any responsibility for ones part in the play of crime and to deny the need to make amends is a sign of a lack of consciousness. Consciousness needs to include all that we are. It needs to be able to reconcile that we erred in seeking inner development. It also needs to be part of reconciling the incongruence truth that many of us did have genuine experiences of higher states. As others have indicated this is a sign not that we contacted C influence through the mediation of Robert Burton but that C influence was drawn to the Fellowship because of individual efforts.


  346. 351 KA

    What makes you think Vinnie is AG, or was that just a metaphorical comparison? I’m sure AG knows what a douche bag is (re 336), after all he’s probably called that every other day.


  347. on September 23, 2007 at 8:25 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    I think one of the largest contradictions in the Fellowship is that Robert’s actions can continually be dismissed, lessened, or denied by its members. As if members of the Fellowship can go on (and look the other way) have their consciousness, their awakeness or their work or whatever they want to call it.

    I think people that stay in an organization such as this and believe they are creating a life of integrity and self consciousness are damaging the true essence of what they came for.

    And it’s interesting to note that Robert puts fear into these same people that leaving this organization will cause them to lose the very same thing. But that’s the way denial works.


  348. profound idiot (around) 328

    In response to
    on 22 Sep 2007 at 7:39 pm 285 Graduates

    you are just smart enough to convince yourself that you are something special and just dumb enough to continue to believe it despite proof to the contrary.

    It is intriguing to watch you reject those portions of reality that refuse to support your self-satisfying, self-betraying worldview, there is a profound sadness in your attempt to laugh at the irrefutable information that unmistakably turns your ineffective philosophy into a joke.

    Stop talking before everyone stops listening.

    *********

    “Profound Idiot” is also “A Former Student” AKA Scott Duncan AKA Duncan Shockley, just so no one among the listening audience imagines that our mildly retarded, mentally ill, alcoholic, street musician and 12 step/Fourth Way philosopher has regenerated a considerable portion of his damaged brain note that the above comments are actually quotes from my website that the highly principled and outspoken critic of all things wrong failed to attribute to that location thus adding plagiarist to his many accomplishments in life.


  349. on September 23, 2007 at 9:18 pm Vinnie the Fish

    haha yes Abe would know for sure, it’s a popular US term of abuse I think. I bet Joel doesn’t think I’m Abe! ;-)
    KA, I only pay the minimum so it’s not too much, and I know a few of the ‘boys’. I can see that they actually benefit from being with Robert, hard as it may be for you to believe. They become more emotionally open, if that still means anything to you. And talking to them it is clear they love Robert, strange as that may seem. So this balances the other side of the story, which is apparently equally true. Some gain and others lose. But it is always voluntary, and anyone can leave at any time. Some overstay and then complain that it wasn’t their fault. Some submit to disgusting things and then suffer a long time. Sex is such a strong drive that there are probably not many people who could resist the opportunities afforded by absolute power. Like in war for example where there are no ‘consequences’, males become more like animals. Do you think you would be a saint in those conditions? Da Free John, Sai Baba, Maharishi, Muktananda, how many others?

    Nobody responded to my analogy of the USA.. if you don’t like the President because he takes advantage of young interns, do you leave the country, even though you find the country great? Your taxes pay his salary… You have every right to leave if you like, I don’t question that.

    How is is possible that you would voluntarily stay in the fof so long if you weren’t getting value? It seems that the “many i’s” just change direction entirely – like a big school of fish or flock of birds – and you block out all memory of useful experiences in the FOF. Otherwise what? Were you blind and stupid but now suddenly see clearly? Can’t the 2 co-exist – useful school, strange leader?


  350. 356 Vinnie the Fish

    For me, your false analogies, “straw men” and justifications are not worth responding to. If that is how you see things, then you’re fucked anyway. So why expend the energy.


  351. To the writer behind the blog mask of Vinnie – so that’s the party line now?

    Behind the curtain, the wizard of oz was just a small man.


  352. Tom Waits wrote “you’re innocent when you dream”. But when conscience is awakened, responsibility shifts, and in a sense, the clock starts ticking.

    For anyone to read the revelations of this blog, and not have their conscience stirred to action, even if only to question and re-examine, they may as well be dead.


  353. on September 23, 2007 at 10:06 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    #356 Vinnie: A whole bunch of justifications and vague analogies. I’m not sure why you’re here. You seem to be fine where you are.


  354. Dear Charlie and others

    Thanks for pointing out Tonie Parson for Vinnie. But Vinnie thinks he is not inspiring at all. Sooo, maybe he ill try again…

    And he knows about Nisagradatta ….nose in the air.

    Vinnie can not listen very well and ..guess what, he is Rome,….blogging can you believe it, this guy is in Rome blogging, has nothing better to do.

    Or, he is lying, or he can not see what is in front of him…

    Poor Vinnie, maybe he is blind.

    Vinnie I think your words are hollow and your deads……???

    And today, I love my opinion Vinnie. Gosh you have given me a laugh again.


  355. 356 Vinnie.

    Ignoring the sex for a moment, what is difficult to realise until you actually leave the FoF is the insidious corrupting effect it has on its members. Slowly but surely your ability to think for yourself is diminished, along with conscience and common sense. And men tend to become less masculine, as has already been pointed out.

    Vinnie, I can assure you that his is happening to you even though you’re unaware of it. You can’t see it because it’s part of the air you breathe.


  356. Dear All

    What is responsible action now, for those of us like myself who knew what was going down but failed to do anything or enough at the time?

    I find this a question worth repeating.

    I guess a few here ideas here:

    1. Keep posting on the blog and use fellowship of friends and Robert Burton a lot. We are now on page 1 of Ggoogle.

    Thanks Sheik

    2. Keep talking to students and ask questions and see how, you can help them to receive more information so they have changes for a more informed decision.

    3. Patience, time does a lot.
    Could you imagine what is happening with fellowship of friends 1 year ago?

    4. Talk to men who have been abused, harassed and ask them to get their story here on the blog. Of course many do not dare, are ashamed, feel uncomfortable….Information is a big eye opener. Support them and get it out, it is healing for them too.
    See Whaleridder and Joseph and others earlier on this blog.

    5. Somehow the fellowship is attracting negative attention and it seems it is not over. Hold your horses….TIME.

    Enjoy Sunday and the rest of your life.


  357. Vinnie ~

    BTW; I had my manual transmission changed to an automatic and hence no more double clutching and since I have had my tonsils ‘out’, well, I am fashioning a muzzle to wear while race car driving, so to ‘keep things in place’, keep posting your hilarious proofs that infra-sex-dictatorships still work to castrate conscience first, heart-valves, then the thalamus last; I’ve got to test this thing at least 10 times under various levels of spontaneous hernia causing laughter, so, again, keep up the good work, a few more titanium snaps and reinforced fiberglass diagonal straps outta do it.

    :.)


  358. Vinnie the Fish (356)

    Your analogy comparing the Fellowship to the United States government is invalid. You wrote, “if you don’t like the President because he takes advantage of young interns, do you leave the country, even though you find the country great? Your taxes pay his salary… You have every right to leave if you like, I don’t question that”.

    If the people of the United States don’t approve of the performance of their president they have several options other than leaving the country. They can vote to replace him/her at the next election. They can speak out against the current president. They can contribute money to the campaigns of candidates who oppose the current president. They can express their criticisms through advertisements, blogs, demonstrations, or any number of other constitutionally protected means.

    Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution provides for the election of a representative, legislative body, the Congress, who has the power to remove the president from office (by a 2/3 vote of the Senate).

    The FOF is totally different. It is run by a spiritual dictator, whose control over his ‘subjects’ is almost totalitarian in nature. Any substantial criticism of the leader is punished by expulsion. Any breach of the rules (which are, by the way, established solely by the leader) is punished by fines or expulsion. There is no authoritative body elected by ‘the people’ to serve as a check on the absolute authority of the leader. And there is certainly no means of removing the leader from power in the event that he commits a particularly egregious transgression. If there were, I’m imagine RB would be long gone.

    However, there is one aspect of your analogy that is somewhat valid. If the United States, or any country, was to be oppressed by a tyrant for a long enough period of time, the people would, no doubt, rebel against such a tyrant, depose him, and pursue a more just and equitable system of government. It is my hope that the more reasonable people in the FOF, along with those of us here in the blogosphere, will foment such a rebellion against the spiritual despot, Robert Burton, and bring him to justice for the crimes he has committed.

    I’m sure that would really bring you down, Vinnie, because it would mess up all your traveling around and all your beautiful impressions and everything.

    On another note, you say that all of Robert’s boys love him and have been helped by him (‘opened up emotionally’, I think, is how you put it). Although I never hung out with him (thank God!) I have known a few of his boys quite well. Although I have no direct verifications, my reason and intuition have led me to understand the phenomenon you describe as follows: I think their professed ‘love’ for him, and their assertions regarding how much he has helped them, are based on buffering the truth.

    Can you not see how a heterosexual man who has been coerced into sex with his exalted teacher would have difficulty pondering the possibility that, in fact, the teacher is NOT what he claims to be, and is, instead, a depraved sexual predator and spiritual fraud? They don’t even want to ponder this, let alone confront it as a fact. They deceive themselves in order to protect whatever shred of manhood is left in them. They can still live with themselves if they believe that it was, indeed, a ‘goddess in a man’s body’ that gave them a blowjob.

    But to confront the horrible truth of the matter is the burden of real men. The vain, delusional boys who succumb to RB’s advances, take his gifts, and deceive themselves into believing they have been specially chosen by C Influence to satisfy the sexual urges of the divine messenger can’t shoulder such a burden.

    By the way, I commend those former victims of Robert who have made their voices known on this blog, exposing his evil and creating healing possibilities for others. Good luck to you all.


  359. sheik,
    this is a second attempt to post, at the risk of repeating myself, i try again… i hope it doesn’t get posted twice… for what it’s worth…

    vinnie 356
    “And talking to them it is clear they love Robert, strange as that may seem.”
    it sounds like the queen is targeting gay men these days… is that because the heteros are too much trouble? maybe she’s “losing her game” as it’s said in sports… “it” played tennis many years ago… (i hope i don’t offend the women to refer to “it” as “she”). in this context, when reflecting on the exercise to substitute the word “it” in place of “I” you have to consider the source of the exercise.

    i agree that tax laws should be questioned and reformed to reflect the individual priorities of those who pay. thanks for reminding us of the bigger picture.

    you ask:
    “How is is possible that you would voluntarily stay in the fof so long if you weren’t getting value?”

    good question and something that is examined here. aside from the positive reasons for staying on (community), there are the negatives to consider, for example brainwashing… the “outies” are a village of the damned according to fof mythology. maybe with time you will see what held you in for as long as you “chose” to stay…. it’s unique to each individual situation….

    346 suzy thank you for the information… it is needed here. as i read, i couldn’t help thinking of a joke, not to trivialize a serious situation — isn’t denial a river in africa?

    350 david b. thank you… i would call it “spiritual rape.”

    352 thanks former student… as for the “c influence” con,
    a possible antidote in the words of jon from cincinnati:

    “See God now Kai.”


  360. Elena: I think I confused you with No Person, who sent me a message a couple of days ago telling me she was going to Prague. Thank you though for making some sense of it though.

    Vinnie: Sure, any city and its effect on you is dependent on your state and your outlook. But then again Prague has always had a very calming and soothing effect on me. London is extremely aggressive, arrogant and competitive and it breeds those ‘qualities’ in its inhabitants. Prague is a lot more chilled out, a lot more prone to let people think and digest before they are forced to move on. Every city I have ever been to has had a different effect on me, but Prague is still very special to me, as I spent the vast majority of my life living and growing up there. Not so long ago I was thinking of dropping everything I was doing in London and moving back to Prague with my partner. At the end the decision to stay has led to one of the most fruitful and stability inducing periods of my life.


  361. elana… inspired by you.
    for:
    “those to come…
    Eyeless in the morning sun you were
    Pale and mild, a modern girl
    Taken with thought, still prone to care
    Makin tea in your underwear
    You went out in the yard to find

    Something to eat and clear your mind
    Something bad inside me went away

    Quaking leaves and broken light
    Shifting skin the coming night
    The bearers of all good things arrive
    Climb inside us, twist and cry
    A kiss on your molten eyes

    Myriad lives like blades of grass
    Yet to be realized, bow as they pass

    They are cold,
    Still,
    Waiting in the ether,
    To form,
    Feel,
    Kill,
    Propagate,
    Only to die
    [x2]

    Dissolve
    Magically,
    Absurdly,
    They’ll end,
    Leave,
    Dissipate,
    Coldly
    And strangely
    Return”

    shins


  362. and the song goes…
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=s1AqRpCwGUM
    back into the ether… sweet dreams bloggers.


  363. You’re innocent when you dream.


  364. Robert loves to play with students testicles

    Love Rolex

    Bob said once “Dear,
    I want to make it clear
    I love when balls are near
    Please be so kind, “KNEEL”

    http://www.gaydemon.com/dicktionary/rimming/


  365. on September 24, 2007 at 1:45 am Real Reborn Turbot

    village sniper


  366. 372

    Brilliant


  367. Hey kids,

    Nobody tells what to do…


  368. (flubbed the punch line)

    Hey kids,

    Nobody tells you what to do…


  369. For those who may be concerned about the innocent religious visa holders that are returning to country of origin:
    Yes, it is rather disruptive of their lives. Colateral damage, alas. They are not necessarily being sent home as a preemptive move by The Fellowship of Friends and Abraham Goldman and Associates (the FoF lawyers).
    Although that would be a valid strategy in an effort to minimize the damages and cut the losses. Consider that
    Homeland Security has been privately individually interviewing visa holders, that FoF was instrumental in the
    process of getting the visas for, for 6 or more months now. And is probably revisiting all visa activity historically FoF related. Like MySpace, which law enforcement has found to be an excellent source of research material for criminal activity/evidence, so are the The Fellowship of Friends Discussion pages. The
    authorities likely have the goods they need (read: evidence and/or depositions) and an alternative scenario
    might be: get the innocents out of the way before the big guns are brought in. – You know, the scene where the women, children, old and the lame have a chance to get out of harms way before the worst of the combat comes into play. Wouldn’t want any of them to get hurt unnecessarily and certainly wouldn’t want any of them taken prisoner/hostage. The foreigners will be safe at home country where Homeland Security knows how to find them when court appearance may become necessary and the U.S. of A. will not have to host them further or they could disappear into the witness protection program under the guise of having gone home. U.S. of A has learned much since Waco/Branch Davidian, Ruby Ridge and Jonestown. So, the FoF scenario will likely not be so extreme; which otherwise would reflect badly on the government(s) and/or elicit sympathy from the general populace for the persecuted.

    Besides the immigration business, there are other agencies looking closely at FoF. Just follow the money; use forensic accountancy. Private inurment is rampant. What’s that mean you say?:

    ****** ****
    Private Inurment
    Private inurment occures when someone with a controlling interest in a non-profit corporation uses their position to influence the application of the organizations resources for their own or another’s personal gain.

    An example would be if leader X of Y, a nonprofit group, was able to influence Y’s board of directors to, say, award a construction contract to a company owned by X or Z. As a result of the arrangment, X or Z will enrich (inure) through the application of Y’s resources to a project that was profitable to X’s or Z’s company.

    Let’s say for example, an individual or contractor that attended a church performed work on the Pastor’s personal residence, or other property. In exchange for the work, the church provided free bible college tuition or school tuition. This arrangment, if it exists, is problematic for two reasons. 1) The Pastor has enriched (inured) himself by bartering the resources of the church (bible college classes and school) in exchange for work on his personal residence. The person performing the work has reportable income equal to the fair market value of the tuition received.

    Private inurment violations, have caused some organizations (religious included) to loose their tax exempt status with the IRS.
    ****** ****

    In 37 years there is surely evidence of regular and repeated acts of inurment; better check those Swiss bank
    accounts.

    Wouldn’t you like to know?


    Image link is to image:
    Asaf, Eliza &
    Robert Earl Burton
    tender moment.
    Looks pretty toothy; no?
    Could that BE
    the lower self showing?
    grrrrrrr!


  370. 376

    And Elena, you thought that ‘muscular’ means cellular mass?

    Word?

    Sister, this is a spiritual war, morals were left a long time ago, feelings are pure, not even Christ ‘itself’ can usurp this fact.

    :.)


  371. on September 24, 2007 at 7:08 am Wouldn't you like to know

    MORE


    Image link is to image:
    Fellowship of Friends
    Donation Slip 2006

    What responsibilities
    accompany 501(c)(3) status?

    While conferring benefits on 501(c)(3) organizations, federal tax law also imposes responsibilities on organizations receiving that status.

    Recordkeeping
    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are required to keep books and records detailing all activities, both financial and nonfinancial. Financial information,
    particularly information on its sources of support
    (contributions, grants, sponsorships, and other
    sources of revenue) is crucial to determining an
    organization’s private foundation status. See
    Publication 4221, Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3)
    Tax-Exempt Organizations, Publication 557, and the
    instructions to Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF for
    more information.

    Filing Requirements
    Annual Information Returns – Organizations recognized as tax exempt under section 501(c)(3)
    of the IRC may be required to file an annual information return: Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-PF along with Schedules A and B. Certain categories of organizations are excepted from filing Form 990 or Form 990-EZ including churches and
    very small organizations. See the instructions with each of these forms for more information.

    Unrelated Business Income Tax – In addition to filing Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF, an exempt
    organization must file Form 990-T if it has $1,000 or more of gross receipts from an unrelated trade or business during the year. The organization must make quarterly payments of estimated tax on unrelated business income if it expects its tax for the year to be $500 or more. The organization may
    use Form 990-W to help calculate the amount of
    estimated payments required. In general, the tax is
    imposed on income from a regularly carried-on trade or business that does not further the organization’s exempt purposes (other than by providing funds). See Publication 598, Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations, and the
    Form 990-T instructions for more information.

    Disclosure Requirements
    Public Inspection of Exemption Applications and Annual Information Returns – Section 501(c)(3) organizations must make their application (Form
    1023) and the three most recent annual returns
    (Form 990 or Form 990-EZ) available to the public, upon request and without charge (except for a reasonable charge for copying). The IRS also makes these documents available for public inspection and copying. Private foundation returns (Form 990-
    PF) filed on or after March 13, 2000, are subject to the same disclosure rules. These documents must be made available at the organization’s principal office during regular business hours. Upon request,
    an organization must furnish copies of the application and the three most recent annual returns. The requests may be made in person or in writing.
    See
    Publication 557 for more information.

    Charitable Contributions— Substantiation and
    Disclosure

    Organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC must meet certain requirements for documenting charitable contributions. The federal tax law imposes two general disclosure rules: 1) a donor must obtain a written
    acknowledgment from a charity for any single contribution of $250 or more before the donor can claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal
    income tax return; 2) a charitable organization
    must provide a written disclosure to a donor who
    makes a payment in excess of $75 partly as a contribution and partly for goods and services provided by the organization. See Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions – Substantiation and
    Disclosure Requirements, for more information.

    Exemption Requirements

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.

    The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary,
    testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the preventing
    cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of
    government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

    To be organized exclusively for a charitable purpose, the organization must be a corporation, community
    chest, fund, or foundation. A charitable trust is a fund or foundation and will qualify. However, an individual will not qualify. The organizing documents must limit the organization’s purposes to exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) and must not expressly empower it to engage, other than as an
    insubstantial part of its activities, in activities that are not in furtherance of one or more of those purposes.
    This requirement may be met if the purposes stated in the organizing documents are limited in some way by reference to section 501(c)(3). In addition, an organization’s assets must be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose. This means that if an organization dissolves, its assets must be distributed for an exempt purpose, to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose. To establish that an organization’s assets will be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose, its organizing
    documents should contain a provision insuring their distribution for an exempt purpose in the event of
    dissolution.
    Although reliance may be placed upon state law to establish permanent dedication of assets
    for exempt purposes, an organization’s application can be processed by the IRS more rapidly if its organizing
    documents include a provision insuring permanent dedication of assets for exempt purposes. For examples of provisions that meet these requirements, see Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.

    An organization will be regarded as operated exclusively for one or more exempt purposes only if it
    engages primarily in activities that accomplish exempt purposes specified in section 501(c)(3). An organization will not be so regarded if more than an insubstantial part of its activities does not further an
    exempt purpose.
    For more information concerning types of charitable organizations and their activities, see Publication 557.

    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net
    earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

    Wouldn’t you like to know?


  372. TONY PARSONS


  373. “Turn off your mind, relax, and float downsteam,
    It is not dying, It is not dying.”

    and

    “All play the game Existence ’til the end,
    Of the beginning, of the beginning.”

    Good Morning.


  374. My teacher was ‘thief penis mouth’
    Spunk bubbles floweth over:
    Buoyed up by all his creepy mates
    In blasphemous arrogance, crime, conceit…
    And all the fates await arrayed
    For the judgement of his later days,
    When heavens dome is rent with tears
    by the innocent souls he’s robbed for years.

    ‘Until the crack of doom, boys,
    Until the crack of doom, we’ll all
    Go down on burtons ark –
    Till Humanities expunged by Higher Forces,
    Or WE ARE (its still a lark)’.

    Two can play at crime, my dear,
    The puppets and the puppeteer,
    One by quite direct consent,
    The other by ignorance turned deaf ear:
    Less culpable, still,
    Accessories by proud ego, greed and fear.

    An understandable game to play
    When so much seems at stake;
    The stakes made high by all the lies:
    Diversion, trickery and conceit
    Make apt bedfellows for ‘conscious’ rape,
    Whilst all around the sheep do bleat
    Of higher forces and many ‘I’s
    The more so to trick you with,
    the more to reap.
    The cheques in the post, dear –
    Loves true awakening sleeps hypnotized –
    but sickness poisons so,
    soul-deep.

    ************

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
    and have not love,
    I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    And though I have the gift of prophecy,
    and understand all mysteries,
    and all knowledge; and though I have all faith,
    so that I could remove mountains, and have not love,
    I am nothing.
    And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
    and though I give my body to be burned,
    and have not love,
    it profiteth me nothing.
    Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not;
    love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
    Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
    is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
    Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
    Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
    Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies,
    they shall fail;
    whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
    whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    But when that which is perfect is come,
    then that which is in part shall be done away.
    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man,
    I put away childish things.
    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;
    but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three;
    but the greatest of these is love.

    ************

    The love which grows out of sensuality ends in sensuality; that which is of the spirit ends in the Spirit of God, and makes it grow.

    St. John of the Cross


  375. 378 Private Inurement, etc.

    The IRS is auditing a recent tax return of mine, and has requested proof (check stubs, etc.) documenting my charitable donations. I have heard I am not the only one.


  376. on September 24, 2007 at 4:25 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    Here’s a little clip on self empowerment I thought some may like.


  377. Vinnie, do you know people like me are particularly necessary in emergency rooms so that others can pay attention to the urgency of the situation and act with speed? and that people like you are particularly interesting for cults to help people continue in their hipnosis?

    We are all playing the role we offered ourselves for but it is very good to be clear about that because in the long run one cannot hide from the role one played and I wouldn’t like to be swimming as fast as you. Too old for that.

    Unoanimo, too many atrocities happen when people give up their morals in the name of Christ.


  378. on September 24, 2007 at 4:46 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Hi David B, you’re right, thanks for clarifying that. My analogy should be some dictator, maybe Marcus Aurelius.. :-) Not Nero, Robert’s not brutal, except maybe emotionally in some eyes. It’s easy to judge the sex life of homosexuals, of course it seems weird and disgusting to normal people, but that’s just what they do. Rimming and fisting are probably just a bit ‘edgy’ like doggy style for heteros. What would you consider ‘normal’ for a homo? The odd HJ? Given that homos are born homo (the current theory isn’t it?) and so they can’t help it… and they tend towards promiscuity don’t they? What would you expect from someone who can choose who he wants? What I would expect is that he would choose who he wants.

    So anyway, the sex life doesn’t necessarily preclude the spirituality, unless you think spirituality must include adherence to conventional morality.
    Like Socrates. Well ok not him, he got poisoned for corrupting youth… Walt Whitman? no. OK maybe Buddha and Jesus, but they’re a rare breed, and we don’t know what they got up to.

    I doubt that any act was done with the intention to hurt someone. Would anyone agree with that, or do you assume that every act is performed with malicious intent? Black and white thinkers that you are ;-)

    Understanding the whole picture requires lack of identification and objectivity. There are no devils or evil people, just normal people with different plays.

    Sheik, glad you are having a fruitful and peaceful time, you deserve it. I must check out Prague again. (Lucky you’re not submerged in this discussion eh? not much peace in here! aiiieeeik!)


  379. Vinnie. Dude! Where are you getting this stuff?

    The whole problem with your schtick is that you are lacking an emotional connection to the agony this has caused.

    Don’t you know people have committed suicide over some of this stuff? Don’t you know that there are plenty of people who are still trying to deal with the hurt that your ‘conscious teacher’ inflicted on them more than 20 years ago? If you ran square into the raw emotion of that, it would rock your world Vinnie, innocent that you are. The fact that you yourself have not been pulled into the vortex at the center does not mean you are better than those who were. Just that you are more naive.

    Your excuses and explanations are really objectionable, and do not reflect well on you.

    R.


  380. I think the person playing ‘Vinnie’ is trying to manipulate the terms of the conversation and the issues at stake.

    It is completely silly to say that the issues around Robert Burton’s sex life are those of his sexual orientation!

    And even more manipulative to attempt to equate the sometimes criminal behavior of an obsessive, shockingly excessive, destructive, sexual predator with normal healthy same-sex sex.

    ‘Vinnie’ is just flinging around party lines and playing word games to misdirect. The sad part is that some human being somewhere is actually writing the ‘vinnie’ posts.


  381. I find Vinnies participation extremely helpfull on this blog because it clearly reflects the mind frame that allowed and keeps allowing these things to happen in the Fellowship. Please keep talking Vinnie, most people like Girard and other students think what you think but are not so stupid to say it out loud for when they end up in court.

    I wonder how much other students reading you want to stand up next to you for the rest of their lives.

    Please keep talking your mind and give us a good look at it.


  382. 386 RobertC

    “The fact that you yourself have not been pulled into the vortex at the center does not mean you are better than those who were. Just that you are more naive.”

    Apparently even RB has some level of discrimination. Too many sociopaths in one room could rend the fabric of the universe.


  383. 387 KA

    “‘Vinnie’ is just flinging around party lines and playing word games to misdirect. The sad part is that some human being somewhere is actually writing the ‘vinnie’ posts.”

    Vinnie’s aim is to hear and see Vinnie’s words. No one could ever compete with Vinnie for Vinnie’s love of Vinnie.


  384. Re: Vinnie

    I too hope that Vinnie keeps posting.

    If his comments/opinions are so far off the wall than they should be easy to refute in a properly reasoned response.

    Unfortunately, what we have most of the time on this blog is emotionally driven, highly identified, formatory responses. Given the awful experiences in the FOF that some people have had, this can be understood. But at some point, anyone who still has a belief and interest in “the theory of possible evolution” as presented in the 4th way, has got to move forward. Perhaps it is not yet time.

    Imagine how far Socrates would have gotten if he had replied to anyone who had a different opinion than him.. “You are a frick’in idiot!”?


  385. Readers of this excellent blog, who may not be generally “privileged’ to witness the ‘teachings’ of Burton the degenerate, may like to know that that he is on his way to sunny England again soon!
    Burton will be appearing for a ‘teaching’ dinner on 3rd October, [by popular demand £!], at Bistro Aix, French Bistro. situated in Tottenham Lane in Crouch End.
    If you can stomach his performance, you will probably find the Beef Stew sublime, the Guinea Fowl, just perfect, the Duck to die for and the deserts works of art in both appearance and taste. . . . . However I’m pretty sure that the entertainment will be more unbelievable than the cuisine!


  386. Hello Elena ~

    I wrote ~

    “…morals were left a long time ago, feelings are pure, not even Christ ‘itself’ can usurp this fact.

    You replied ~

    “Unoanimo, too many atrocities happen when people give up their morals in the name of Christ.”

    ___________________________

    Elena ~

    I would like to end this thread for now; your repeated misreading of my posts is getting a bit to self serving for you, I sense… after all, in what I wrote I was issuing outwards a direction that (both) Morals & Christ cannot “usurp”… See, for me, the trouble begins when we take gut reactions and start talking too much about them, watering down the blood of our souls till we may bleed to death from a mosquito bite. I never said anything about giving up morals in the name of Christ, actually, I’d fancy giving up both so to return to a more direct honesty, based on percepts, not concepts; as children, whenever we had difficulties in our ‘club-house’ we’d find the quickest solutions so to keep the friendships together, (there were not so many ‘other children’ to choose from, so we had to make do with what geography and circumstance gave us)… Something gets inside of us eventually and carves out islands from what once was a sprawling meadow, fills it with swamp water, a few crocodiles, a bunch of pretty lotuses to ponder from the shores and a few messages in a bottle, just for hope… can we drain that swamp?


  387. 391 Still trying

    Out here, away from la la land, we express ourselves the way we want to, not the way that we are told, or the way that’s more convenient to keep dissent quiet with non-negativity.

    If you don’t like it, don’t open the page. We are not here for YOU.


  388. 391

    “Unfortunately, what we have most of the time on this blog is emotionally driven, highly identified, formatory responses.”

    Exactly like the above statement.


  389. on September 24, 2007 at 7:20 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Some person wrote: “But at some point, anyone who still has a belief and interest in “the theory of possible evolution” as presented in the 4th way, has got to move forward.”

    One definition of moving forward could be a direct confrontation with the reality of the world around you — and that includes the criminal and unethical behavior of Burton Burton and his closest enablers (which by the way, includes those who come on the blog and try to justify his actions, or divert attention away from them). If the Fourth Way is your thing, then I’d think you’d embrace the tremendous opportunity here on the blog to observe just how much how you and others can be manipulated by external forces.

    By “moving on,” you “buffer” the reality. You never see the depth of your sleep.

    But you know, the more you write here, the more you sound like the Howard Carters of the blog. “Move along everyone… There’s nothing of importance here. Avert your eyes!”


  390. Hi people, I was talking about forgivin oneself for one’s past sins. That is, in my opinion, of the outmost importance. Our responsibility is a given, because we NOW understand that something is to be done to bring about some justice, retribution, ideological revenge, end of evil deeds, revolution, regeneration, whatever you want to call it. The crime has to end and I stand very strongly for the as quick as possible demise of the FoF organization.

    I am also with uno in the perception “that this ‘blame’ maintains an un-transformable painful material, a state of continued drama and pain food, for their drama-shopping pain-body-self-image to feed upon”. It seems to me that to move beyond “unnecessary suffering” and be able to restore some of one’s energy, one has to come to terms with the fact that it is all a matter of sleep, and deeds done while asleep are somewhat insubstantial. This is not pleasant for what we used to call it the Queen of Hearts, our inner Drama Queen, which doesn’t want to relinquish that sense of “separate beingness” that keeps it alive.

    We all go through this process, and it is ok, but at this point I just don’t want to feed this sense of myself anymore. I was asleep, consequently at the time I was nor responsible. This is, at least, my understanding at present. As old man Gurdjieff used to say,
    “First of all it is necessary to understand that a Christian is not a man who calls himself a Christian or whom others call a Christian. A Christian is one who lives in accordance with Christ’s precepts. Such as we are we cannot be Christians. In order to be Christians we must be able ‘to do.’ We cannot do; with us everything ‘happens.’ Christ says: ‘Love your enemies,’ but how can we love our enemies when we cannot even love our friends? Sometimes ‘it loves’ and sometimes ‘it does not love.’ Such as we are we cannot even really desire to be Christians because, again, sometimes ‘it desires’ and sometimes ‘it does not desire.’ And one and the same thing cannot be desired for long, because suddenly, instead of desiring to be a Christian, a man remembers a very good but very expensive carpet that he has seen in a shop. And instead of wishing to be a Christian he begins to think how he can manage to buy this carpet, forgetting all about Christianity. Or if somebody else does not believe what a wonderful Christian he is, he will be ready to eat him alive or to roast him on hot coals. In order to be a good Christian one must be. To be means to be master of oneself. If a man is not his own master he has nothing and can have nothing. And he cannot be a Christian. He is simply a machine, an automaton. A machine cannot be a Christian. Think for yourselves, is it possible for a motorcar or a typewriter or a gramophone to be Christian? They are simply things which are controlled by chance. They are not responsible. They are machines. To be a Christian means to be responsible. Responsibility comes later when a man even partially ceases to be a machine, and begins in fact, and not only in words, to desire to be a Christian.”

    I see people around me beginning to in fact desire to be responsible. Now responsibility is indeed a possibility and it’s beginning its work upon us and to me that just feels wonderful.
    In friendship.


  391. BTW, I am not trying to imply I am not asleep anymore, just a tiny bit less mesmerised than I used to be.


  392. Bistro, Laura, 395 396 -you are awesome!


  393. Still trying (around) 391

    Re: Vinnie

    I too hope that Vinnie keeps posting.

    If his comments/opinions are so far off the wall than they should be easy to refute in a properly reasoned response.

    Unfortunately, what we have most of the time on this blog is emotionally driven, highly identified, formatory responses. Given the awful experiences in the FOF that some people have had, this can be understood. But at some point, anyone who still has a belief and interest in “the theory of possible evolution” as presented in the 4th way, has got to move forward. Perhaps it is not yet time.

    Imagine how far Socrates would have gotten if he had replied to anyone who had a different opinion than him.. “You are a frick’in idiot!”?

    *********

    Expressing negative emotions (though in a reserved fashion) about people expressing negative emotions is feminine dominance.


  394. We are not unique. Thought I’d drop by to post this: a closure to another blog that ran for 3 years before it exhausted itself:

    http://whatenlightenment.blogspot.com/

    Quote from April 2007 (just as the Fellowship blog was starting to take off):
    I hope it will not be regarded as overly dramatic if I say that I look back over what has occurred on this blog with awe, gratitude and humility. This blog’s truly collaborative, interactive and collective nature makes it, perhaps, unique in the blogosphere, on the Internet, and, perhaps beyond. I haven’t seen anything really parallel. I believe that, beyond the collaborative nature of the editorial work here, the collective intelligence, truthfulness and vulnerability of the contributions, responses, arguments and discussions have made this effort at healing and truth-telling unprecedented. I don’t think that so many have spoken out before with such rawness and honesty in an attempt to warn the unwary, comfort the injured and understand humbly how something they believed in so totally could go so wrong. For this effort and honesty, on behalf of all of the editors of this blog, I bow to everyone who has participated here, whether anonymously or named, and whether former student, interested observer or friend.

    Off traveling,

    Best to all…


  395. on September 24, 2007 at 8:31 pm Old Fish In The Sea

    Thank you Vinne for your post. I personally like the idea of being free from conventional morality. I understand that this is one of the things that interferes with presence. I am pleased to be more free in this way.

    I have seen the world the way you do. I have to some degree separated from my heterosexual view of the world and from my 20th century American upbringing so as to better understand Robert.

    I stayed in the Fellowship for many years, holding to the idea that what Robert did was strange, not wrong, and an opportunity for me to learn. I told myself that Robert was indirectly helping me to be free from conventional morality by openly stepping over the conventional moral boundaries. I told myself that my independence was in part due to the fact that Robert was impossible to worship. There is some truth in all of this, but it is at best only one side of the picture.

    You say that you think Robert’s actions were not meant to harm any individual. This may be true on one very shallow level but for a moment let’s swim deeper together. If I hurt someone by my actions, note it repeatedly, and continue it to satisfy my own desires (not needs), am I not responsible for some of the hurt?

    I am certain that Robert knows that his actions hurt people (he has hurt so many and he knows it). Furthermore he understands that his actions risk the well being of the Fellowship (he once said that sex, more than alcohol is likely to bring down an organization like the Fellowship). In the same thought, he blamed the fall of the Roman Empire on their inability to control their sexual desires. In this sentence he was encouraging us to learn to control sexual desires. He was afraid that sex might eventually be the reason for the end of his school.

    So even if Robert has not intentionally hurt any specific individual, he knows for certain that his actions have hurt students for over 30 years. He has received the letters. He has watched students leave the FOF literally from his bedroom. He has lived through million dollar law suits with all of the hurt, anger, bitterness and risks to the Fellowship. He has been told how his reputation has blocked winery sales. He has read the newspaper articles and paid money to try to shut them up. He has thrown people out of the Fellowship for no crime worse than wanting to openly discuss and learn from this issue. He has repeatedly taken away privileges from those that are not interested in sex with him. He has blocked open discussion of ideas at his meetings because he cannot risk anyone speaking about his sex habit and all of the harmful effects and hurt. He has repeatedly caused hurt to families and spouses. He has broken up marriages. The pain goes on.

    Can you still say that he never intentionally meant to hurt anyone? I think it may be more accurate to say that he was unable or unwilling to control his desires regardless of the ill effects that might result.

    My problem with Robert’s behavior does not have to do with my instinctive repulsion or my upbringing but it relates more to common sense and a practical relationship to useful and not useful.

    I personally find Robert’s behavior to exhibit poor judgment, a lack of consideration for individuals, and a lack of maturity with relation to the well being of the school. I don’t really want to call someone my teacher that has poor judgment and an immature relationship to selfish desire. Maturity sometimes means putting aside your selfish interests for the good of the whole.

    Every one of us makes mistakes but Robert does not seem to learn from his mistakes. He did not learn (or learned way too slowly) that he could not predict the future and that C-influence does not talk to him with license plates. He has repeatedly risked the trust we have in him, the financial stability of the Fellowship, and hurt of some that he presumably cares about. I have watched for years the law suits, the departure of sincere students, the effects on the success of the winery and other activities where the Fellowship borders the outside world, including an organization that I was personally involved with. The costs of Robert’s sex habits to the Fellowship including the law suits, loss of students, and costs to individual students is well into the millions.

    But you must think I am identified with A influence. Let go of that for a moment. Let’s both swim deeper. The overriding issue is trust. I cannot trust someone with my spiritual well being that does not reflect wisdom, maturity, and common sense in his own life. I cannot trust someone to spend the bulk of my expendable income wisely, that has repeatedly wasted so much. I cannot trust someone with my emotions that has hurt so many to satisfy his own sexual desires.

    As a teacher of kids, I know that I cannot let sex into my teacher-pupil relationship. The result would certainly be destruction of trust and the end of my teaching. What is happening now with Robert and the Fellowship was always predictable. When you break the trust, you end the possibilities.

    The young men with Robert are naive. They do get hurt. He tells them he is an angel in a man’s body. The gain to the Fellowship is negligible. There must be other ways to teach freedom from Feminine Dominance and psychological independence.

    I also believe that Robert’s lack of judgment continues to hurt others in other ways. Students are hurt that imitate his lack of frugality and common sense with relation to sex. The children are also hurt in ways that I am not comfortable discussing in this forum.

    Vinne, I like you. Can you see what I am saying? You like some things about the Fellowship. So do I. The issue is that Robert’s behavior jeopardizes what you and I love. It even jeopardizes what Robert loves and Robert is unable to stop himself on his own.

    It is my opinion that Robert must be stopped. He will not and cannot stop himself. It is in the interest of all, especially those in the Fellowship.

    I am an old fish Vinne. I can see it your way but I have seen too much, seen my naive friends get hurt and seen the ill effects of justifying behavior that is not useful. Our own development means learning not to justify our own weaknesses. How can we learn this honesty when we are justifying our teacher’s? Robert has blocked the dream that he once had for a great civilization based on personal evolution by setting up a wall between the Fellowship and life. The wall is fortified by his sexual habits. There are healthier world views and better ways to teach. Can you help stop this or at least quit supporting it with your payments?


  396. Dear Vinnie,

    In post #385 you where saying:

    “Understanding the whole picture requires lack of identification and objectivity. There are no devils or evil people, just normal people with different plays.”

    Thak you for speaking the true. You are 100% right in what you are saying here. Maybe one day you can work for me?

    See you soon,

    Jozef Stalin

    ps. greetings from Adolf


  397. Oh nicely said, Old Fish (401).

    We might also remember that Robert has said, from the early days, that his chief feature is greed (with dominance).

    It is pretty sad he has done such a poor job mastering it. It just seems to be rampaging out of control.


  398. have been enjoying all the marine and nautical metaphors going on here, so I thought I’d add this, my favorite poetess’ latest endeavor:

    I’ll tell it as I best know how
    And that’s the way it was told to me
    I must have been a thief or a whore
    Then surely was thrown overboard,
    Where, they say
    I came this way from the deep blue sea

    It picked me up and tossed me round
    I lost my shoes and tore my gown
    I forgot my name and drowned
    Then woke up with the surf a pounding
    It seemed I had been run aground

    Well they took me in and shod my feet
    And taught me prayers for chastity
    And said my name would be Colleen
    And I was blessed among all women
    To have forgotten everything

    And as the weeks and months ensued
    I tried to make myself of use
    I tilled and planted, but could not produce
    Not root, nor leaf, nor flower, nor bean
    Lord! It seemed I over-watered everything.

    And I hate the sight of that empty air
    Like stepping for a missing stair
    And falling forth forever blindly:
    Cannot grab hold of anything!
    No, not I, most blessed among Colleens

    I dream some nights of a funny sea
    As soft as a newly born baby
    It cries for me so pitifully!
    And I dive for my child with a wildness in me
    And am so sweetly there received.

    But last night came a different dream
    A grey and sloping-shouldered thing
    Said “what’s cinched ’round your waist, Colleen
    Is that my very own baleen
    No! Have you forgotten everything?”

    This morning, ’round the cape at dawn
    Some travellers sailed into town
    With scraps for sale and the saddest songs
    And a book of pictures, leather-bound
    That showed a whale with a tusk a meter long

    I asked the man who showed it me
    “What is the name of that strange beast?”
    He said its name translated roughly to
    He-Who-Easily-Can-Curve-Himself-Against-The-Sky.

    And I am without words
    He said “My lady looks perturbed
    the light is in your eyes, Colleen.”
    I said, “Whatever can you mean?”
    He leaned in and said
    “you ain’t forgotten everything.”

    “You dare to speak a lady’s name?”
    He said, “My lady is mistaken.
    I would not speak your name in this place
    For if I were to try then the wind
    I swear, would rise, to tear you clean from me without a trace.”

    “Have you come, then, to rescue me?”
    He laughed and said, “from what, ‘colleen’?”
    You dried and dressed most willingly.
    You corseted, and caught the dread disease
    By which one comes to know such peace.”

    Well it’s true that I came to know such things
    As the laws which govern property
    And herbs to feed the babes that wean,
    And the welting weight for every season
    But still I don’t know any goddamned “Colleen”.

    Then dive down there with the lights to lead
    That seem to shine from everything
    Down to the bottom of the deep blue sea
    Down where your heart beats so slow
    And you never in your life have felt so free
    Will you come down there with me
    Down were our bodies start to seem
    Like artefacts of some strange dream
    Which afterwards you can’t decipher
    And so, soon, have forgotten everything.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=RwybDAoYsIQ


  399. on September 24, 2007 at 10:11 pm Vinnie the Fish

    RobertC: your ‘conscious teacher’ inflicted on them…

    I never said he was ‘my conscious teacher’! Silly, I said the contrary was obvious from the start to me. Strange how so often my clear words get misinterpreted, or quoted with an absolute like ‘all’ added to distort the meaning. Amazing how the simple truth stated so clearly can be apparently misunderstood entirely – do you think your hyper emotional centres do the reading and writing instead of the intellectual centre?

    So anyway, can someone tell me what has changed in the last 15 years? Wasn’t it common knowledge way back then about Robert’s extreme predilections? I still haven’t heard what has changed and why it was OK for you lot to be members for so long but it’s suddenly not OK for others? None of this stuff is huge news, just that this blog lets you discuss it hysterically and get all worked up about it.


  400. Vinnie the Fish (around) 405

    RobertC: your ‘conscious teacher’ inflicted on them…

    I never said he was ‘my conscious teacher’! Silly, I said the contrary was obvious from the start to me.

    **********

    So you see no contradiction in being in a school established to teach consciousness when the teacher of the school is in imagination about his own consciousness?

    You’re not as clever as you might think, you’re trapped in a cult.


  401. Bruce (#393 & 394):

    Many of your posts reflect a person who is absolutely certain of the correctness of his own thoughts, attitudes and emotions and therefore feels no need to examine them or question them. In other words, the antithesis of someone who is attempting to do this “Work”. Perhaps it would clear things up for me (and others on this blog) if you simply state where you stand in relation to the Fourth Way ideas.

    I do have some regret for the rather course manner in which I tried to “hammer my point home” in the last line of my previous post. Perhaps some negative emotions and/or a bit of Martial body type showing forth.


  402. Bistro (#395):

    You wrote: “If the Fourth Way is your thing, then I’d think you’d embrace the tremendous opportunity here on the blog to observe just how much how you and others can be manipulated by external forces.”

    The Fourth Way is my thing. But I haven’t been a member of the FOF for 20 years, nor have I had contact with any FOF members or ex-members (until just recently when these blogs got going). What then are the external forces that are manipulating me?

    You wrote: “By “moving on,” you “buffer” the reality. You never see the depth of your sleep.”

    I have no issue with ex-members of the FOF who wish to take action against RB and FOF for wrongs done to them – but I don’t see any spiritual good coming out of it if the action is taken from the wrong psychological place ie. identification, negative emotions.


  403. Still trying (around) 407

    Many of your posts reflect a person who is absolutely certain of the correctness of his own thoughts, attitudes and emotions…

    *********

    This sounds like someone else as well, bet you can’t guess who.


  404. on September 24, 2007 at 11:18 pm Across the River

    Response to Vinnie (#385 or so) and associates:

    Regarding Robert’s use of young men to whom he’s attracted, you ask what is to be expected from one who “can choose who he wants”. Do you distinguish between a man assuming the role of a spirtitual teacher and one’s expectations of a degenerate? You state the sex life doesn’t necessarily preclude the spirituality as though that’s an objective fact. That’s a mind-game, Vinnie, helping you and others keep emotional reality at a convenient distance.

    Please don’t try to make homosexuality or even kinky sex the issue. You doubt that any act was done to intentionally hurt someone. What is the essence of choosing what one wants with utter disregard of others? At the very least it represents the psychology of a dysfunctional human being, and it has to sometimes spark as malicious intent.

    Robert has been well-fed and nourished by all, past and present, in his role as a teacher. He’s taken what we gave him. There’s tragedy all around, Vinnie, including the tragedy of Robert.

    “Understanding the whole picture requires lack of identification and objectivity”.
    Vinnie

    P.S. Although your posts are inappropriately glib, Vinnie, there are others (maybe you, too) who actually struggle with this issue, so thanks for raising the topic.


  405. Vinnie, you’ve asked this question (405) before and been responded to. And no one is hysterical. People have emotions other than lizard brain sensations. Sorry you don’t seem capable, but try to get over it.

    You are in an organization for the express purpose of gaining consciousness thru the help of a conscious leader/instructor. Participation in the Fellowship of Friends means that you are studying with Robert Burton. You are paying for his teaching.

    You are now studying poop and sequence and the numbered work I’s and have quote meetings- the predatory behavior of your teacher is now public knowledge. Many/most of the incredible ‘older student’ teachers have left so you don’t have the benefit of them – except maybe here on the blog. Please go back and reread responses to this question that people have gone to the trouble of posting to you before. Thanks.


  406. Graduates (#409):

    Hmmm ….. let me think. It’s a trick question isn’t it? I will get back to you on that – LOL.


  407. 405
    “So anyway, can someone tell me what has changed in the last 15 years?”

    vinnie,
    that’s part of the problem, things have not changed.
    your teacher is still a sexual predator who seems devoid of conscience.
    IF he is unaware of the well intentioned lives that have been ruined and lost as a result of his “teaching” — a teaching based on the gratification of his narcissitic excesses — that might indicate something about his state of mind. i suppose he can rationalize his negative effects with the delusion that he is “a conscious being” and the destructive aspect of the fof is an indication of “It’s” “power.” but IF he IS aware of the damage he has done and continues to do, what does that make him? the word “sociopath” is a kind way to put it… ‘hasnamuss’ comes to mind.

    “One of the first things about a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering, just for his own personal ambitions. How a ‘Hasnamuss’ is created is another question.”

    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:cccW_3CSCvoJ:www.kesdjan.com/exercises/np.html+hasnamuss&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=safari


  408. 407 Still trying

    I make a point of not explaining or justifying my life, beliefs, decision making and journey to anyone for their benefit. Especially someone who asks, such as you. And I am under no compunction to “clear things up” for you, while at the same time I think those that know me can answer that question for themselves fairly accurately, though I can’t see why it would matter to anyone. What I state here are my opinions on a varied spectrum of subjects. Take them or leave them.

    And as for your desire to clear things up for others, GFU.


  409. 407

    “Many of your posts reflect a person who is absolutely certain of the correctness of his own thoughts, attitudes and emotions and therefore feels no need to examine them or question them.”

    Actually you couldn’t be further off. But your definitive assumption to the above just shows how far up your ass your head is.


  410. Bruce (#415, 416):

    You are definitely a “hoot” Bruce. But it seems that you are far better at dishing out the “spankings” than receiving them.


  411. When it’s warranted, I readily reexamine what my present cosmology encompasses. It changes fairly often, and I hope it continues to throughout my life. But you haven’t given me anything tangible to question. You just emote the same tired pat lines and bull shit that we’re all pretty familiar with as justifications for the unjustifiable, while pretending relativity and magnanimity. Your sheep.


  412. 418

    …and every month is shearing time.


  413. Bruce (#418, 419):

    You said: “You just emote the same tired pat lines and bull that we’re all pretty familiar with as justifications for the unjustifiable, while pretending relativity and magnanimity.”

    I think we are now approaching the heart of our disagreement. Experience has now shown us that the 4th Way ideas (those “same tired pat lines”) are a very dangerous two-edged sword. They can be used for the highest purpose of personal self-development or, on the other end of the spectrum, they can be used for evil, selfish purposes, to control people.

    Your point seems to be that because, in your opinion, RB and the FOF used the Work ideas for egoist purposes, as a means of controlling students, the ideas should be assigned to the trash bin. The point I am trying to make is that the way the FOF used (or misused) the ideas and the damage that has been done thereby does not take away from the truth and the power of the 4th Way ideas when they are used for a higher purpose.


  414. 391 Still tryining

    If his comments/opinions are so far off the wall than they should be easy to refute in a properly reasoned response.

    You’re generalizing a little and the pretense of your objectivity is questionable. Are you a student in disguise? Why don’t you tell us a little more about your play in the Fellowship? Don’t take long or we’ll know you’re making it up. But besides those suspicions I like your tone.

    One of the problems with the slimminess of fish is that they think they are too slippery to get caught and you seem to be falling in his trap. But fish die by the mouth and Vinnie.

    Vinnie has been much questioned and not answered the questioning. The problem is not what he sees, it is what he neglects to look at.

    Roberts thirty years of sex with young students is not consensual sex but the result of a bunch of parasites known as enablers who played the role to put a bunch of young men who quickly adapted to the opportunity of being little princes in a rich environment in which they could not be touched by any body else.

    Presently, Robert is a sick man who cannot function without his court of opportunist and parasitic enablers exploiting a legion of naive students in centers and Oregon House convinced that the useless queen bee they are feeding is really a conscious being.

    There’s a moral that says, No one is more blind than those who do not wish to see. You probably call it something else in english.

    Uno, teach me english to read you or don’t bother to waist your time on me.


  415. 419

    Well, not monthly actually. More like any time one is defiled financially, sexually or spiritually. Maybe daily.


  416. 420 Still trying

    “I think we are now approaching the heart of our disagreement. Experience has now shown us that the 4th Way ideas (those “same tired pat lines”) are a very dangerous two-edged sword.”

    No, wrong. the 4th Way ideas, at least for me, have nothing to do with the “same tired pat lines” I am speaking of. Two distinctly different things.

    “Your point seems to be that because, in your opinion, RB and the FOF used the Work ideas for egoist purposes, as a means of controlling students, the ideas should be assigned to the trash bin.”

    Again, a completely specious argument. I, in no way, relegate 4th Way ideas to the scrap bin. Only the bastardization that has occurred at the hands of the demiurge named RB.


  417. on September 25, 2007 at 1:04 am Bistro Fundraiser

    Still Trying wrote: “I have no issue with ex-members of the FOF who wish to take action against RB and FOF for wrongs done to them – but I don’t see any spiritual good coming out of it if the action is taken from the wrong psychological place ie. identification, negative emotions.”
    ……………………………………………………………..

    Still Trying,

    This is not a new idea in the FOF.

    The attitude is that anyone who firmly expresses dissent toward Robert Burton is expressing negativity, and therefore their concerns are invalid. Additionally, these people are hurting themselves in the process. “Don’t be that guy,” is the party line.

    I do give you credit for expressing dissent in your own way. But I still sense a certain amount of “It wasn’t that bad” in your tone.

    This idea that we’re on the wrong path if we express any so-called “negativity” is very handy if someone’s goal is to silence the critics, or to discredit those who criticize them.

    You asked what external influences are affecting you. Well, even 20 years after you left the FOF, you are still using expressions such as “life people — for lack of a better term”, and you’re still articulating the old FOF message that all negative emotions are harmful. But many people interpret this idea very differently, or outright disagree with it, and one line of thought is that its’ part of the group think in the Fellowship.

    Since you asked for an example of what external influences are affecting you, I can’t think of a better one than the use of language. Not just in you, but in all of us. We’re all affected by these influences inside the FOF and outside the FOF. Our political beliefs, religious beliefs, and our self images are all dramatically affected by the words in the newspapers, movies, books, television, the Renaissance Vine, emails from Isis, this blog, and on and on.

    We all express negative emotions — Robert Burton included. You included. Me included. We sometimes pretend that we DON’T express negative emotions and pretend that we don’t act from identification. This, too, calls to mind a Fourth Way idea called lying to ourselves. We pretend to be something we’re not, and we pretend to know and understand something we don’t know. We lie.

    Burton often used the analogy of the life preserver — saying it would be foolish to be choosy when it’s thrown in your direction.

    Let’s turn that around. Active dissent, the seeking of truth, and the removal of buffers about the Fellowship of Friends — those are the real life preservers.


  418. My use here of demiurge is not the positive definition. By it I mean the literary definition, of a very minor god who’s grandiosity leads him to believe that he is actually the creator whom he serves, and can no longer recognize reality, and is given over to all the vices RB displays in his life.


  419. 424 Bistro Fundraiser

    Personally, I don’t believe that Still Trying is an ex-student. It smells of horse shit to me. It’s a convenient “beard”.


  420. Still trying (around) 420

    Experience has now shown us that the 4th Way ideas (those “same tired pat lines”) are a very dangerous two-edged sword. They can be used for the highest purpose of personal self-development or, on the other end of the spectrum, they can be used for evil, selfish purposes, to control people.

    The point I am trying to make is that the way the FOF used (or misused) the ideas and the damage that has been done thereby does not take away from the truth and the power of the 4th Way ideas when they are used for a higher purpose.

    *******

    I agree with the abridged quote above. Once you finally drop the artificial “king of hearts” good student of the Fourth Way act (also known as “intentionality” and actually a conditioning technique used to enforce a uniformity of mental blindness in the FoF) then we should be in much agreement about the nature of existence.


  421. Elena (#421):

    I have read some of your posts Elena and can see that you are suffering greatly owing to your long time commitment to the FOF. Please understand that I am not trying to minimize the extent of the suffering that you and others are experiencing. Despite what it may seem, I am trying to assist in the healing process by emphasizing the need to “separate” from the emotional pain (yes Bruce, the same tired pat line).

    I identified my “play” with the FOF on my first post on this blog (#16 above). I am not a “student in disguise” . I have not suffered to any significant extent owing to my 5 years as a member of the FOF. The subject of RB’s behaviour and that of his close associates is very distasteful but not a highly emotional matter for me personally. Perhaps that it why I am able to bring a more objective viewpoint to this discussion (I know, I know Bruce and the others – you don’t agree).


  422. Thanks to #401 Old Fish in the Sea.

    Should be circulated throughout the Fellowship membership.


  423. on September 25, 2007 at 1:28 am Bistro Fundraiser

    Bruce wrote:
    Personally, I don’t believe that Still Trying is an ex-student. It smells of horse shit to me. It’s a convenient “beard”.
    ………………………………………………….

    I do find it odd that an ex-student wouldn’t read the blog and think, “What a blast of fresh air! I’m glad this is happening. I’m glad people are speaking up. I’m glad people are waking up. I’m glad people are healing from this mess. This is absolutely great. It’s about time!”

    Of course, that’s me articulating how I feel. I think people are sometimes hesitant to criticize too vehemently because it invalidates a good portion of their lives. We’re reminded of what foolishness we’re capable of. We don’t want to be reminded of what foolishness we’re capable of.

    I do sense there’s some outside help, in the sense that the Fellowship has probably hired some PR guns to handle The Problem. That’s what every corporation does when the bad news starts leaking out.


  424. Hello ‘Still Trying’ ~

    You wrote ~

    “I have not suffered to any significant extent owing to my 5 years as a member of the Fellowship of Friends. The subject of Robert Burton’s behavior and that of his close associates is very distasteful but not a highly emotional matter for me personally. Perhaps that it why I am able to bring a more objective viewpoint to this discussion (I know, I know Bruce and the others – you don’t agree).”

    _______________________________________________

    LOL !

    1. You have not suffered to any significant extent…
    2. You find that Robert Burton’s actions are not emotional…

    You then ‘logically’ conclude that since these two ‘facts’ occur within your inner preschool playground, which is actually a mask for a nuclear missile silo, that taking part in a Blog discussion filled with the exact opposite level of Being-experiences, that you are able to bring a more objective viewpoint (?)

    Now that’s up there with the kind of silence one finds in ‘The Silence of The Lambs’; you know brain matter hides better in scrambled eggs than frying them easy over…

    Still Trying, if you’d get up off your ass and ‘try’ moving a little and not be so ‘Still’, maybe we’d take you more serious than some ancient dead mummy whispering Egyptian language lessons to Chinese immigrants accidentally washed up on the shores of wherever it was the Mayans disappeared to.

    Good grief Markus, you can do better than that or just stick to smiling and waving, at least then I can ‘transform it’ with my handy ‘I See Zen-O-Meter and Electric Hand Buzzer’.

    _________________________

    Love to you all


  425. Laura,
    Very nice words on ‘love’.What does this mean,in a practical sense?In the current context,for example,should I forgive RB for his abusive behaviour of the last 30+ years,thereby espousing the virtues of ‘love’?
    Do you see what I’m getting at?I know your lines from the New Teatament and Gurdjieff are well intentioned-I just feel there needs to be more than simply stating that as machines we cannot ‘do’. I’ve heard and read these words for many years.It’s a Catch 22-‘a machine cannot do,but a man can’.
    Well,we are all men/machines,so there you have it.
    I do like the poetry!

    Old Fish,
    Thanks for that-trust has always been the issue for me from the first time I saw the man.Of course,it is easy to delude oneself into thinking that ‘conscious beings’ fall under different laws than the rest of humanity.
    Also,the bigger issue for me is abuse of authority.Recruiting young boys from Russsia with the promise of Green Cards to have sex is the height of contempt for all the fof supposedly stands for,and definitely not the qualities of someone I’d buy a used car from let alone call Teacher!

    Vinnie,
    More and more you sound like Howard Carter-do you remember what happened to him?Yours is the same fate!


  426. 432 A Tiger

    “Vinnie,
    More and more you sound like Howard Carter-do you remember what happened to him?Yours is the same fate!”

    Do you mean Nick Spaulding smacking him on the snout with a rolled up newspaper and sending him back to his doghouse?


  427. Could Howard Carter have metamorphosed into Vinnie the Fish, the next step in the evolutionary ladder.

    The Shadow knows.


  428. on September 25, 2007 at 3:08 am Real Reborn Turbot

    Apparently Burton is looking for an alternative source of income. What he knows best is how to take folks to the cleaners.

    http://hidebehind.com/9A1D70


  429. Bistro (#424):

    To be clear, I believe that one can express dissent to the status quo without involving identification and negative emotions. In other words, although it is difficult to do, it is possible to express a contrary (even unpopular) view point without being identified with that view point and without considering the person expressing a countervailing viewpoint as the “enemy” (“If yer not fer us, yer a’gin us”). Therefore, I don’t support the FOF notion that any dissent from FOF views is, by its very nature, the expression of negative emotions.

    You said: “I still sense a certain amount of “It wasn’t that bad” in your tone.”

    Except for 1 month in 1984 when I visited Renaissance and worked building the winery among other things, I was nowhere near Renaissance or RB during my time in the FOF. I am in no position to comment on “how bad it was” or still is. I am however prepared to believe the testimony of many on this blog about the situation at FOF.

    But I believe that you are confusing the attempt to “separate” from the ugliness at FOF with trying to whitewash it. For instance, if we had the misfortune to witness a horrific train crash with many and ed people, right Work would be to “separate” some part of us from the turmoil while still acting to assist the victims in a practical and emotionally considerate manner.

    You said: “You asked what external influences are affecting you. Well, even 20 years after you left the FOF, you are still using expressions such as “life people — for lack of a better term”, and you’re still articulating the old FOF message that all negative emotions are harmful. But many people interpret this idea very differently, or outright disagree with it, and one line of thought is that its’ part of the group think in the Fellowship.”

    “Life people” or people in “life” is a 4th Way idea, not something that RB made up. The term took on a pejorative sense in the FOF which many members (including me) found offensive and hence my reticence to use the term (“for lack of a better word” – I note that you were not able to come up with a suitable alternative which retained the proper meaning of the term). The term “life people ” in the 4th Way is a neutral term meant to describe people who are satisfied with Influence A (and possibly B) and have no desire to seek out esoteric knowledge. My wife and entire extended family are “life people” and I say that without any judgment of them whatsoever.

    The expression of negative emotions is harmful (at least from a spiritual point of view) to the person expressing them – this is a fundamental idea of the 4th Way and there is no way to dance around it. Again, your point seems to be that the FOF used the idea to enforce the “group think” culture. That may be so but the FOF’s misuse of the idea to further its own interests does not negate the fundamental truth of the idea. What is does show us is that we have to very carefully discriminate how and for what purposes the Work ideas are being used – I believe that each of us has the innate ability to exercise the required degree of delicate discrimination if we let our Conscience (Socrates’ “Daemon”) guide us.


  430. unoanimo (#431):

    Wow! Whatever it is that you are smoking, I have got to get me some!


  431. “life people — for lack of a better term”

    *********

    WARNING: LIFE PEOPLE dance all night.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=zwwH-K59S1A


  432. 401 Old Fish in the Sea,

    What a lovely tone of voice in this often wild aria!

    Thank you.

    Uno, I meant waste and not waist. English!


  433. “Still trying” is on the greater fellowship.
    Look for Bob.
    He left the fellowship of friends in 1987

    Enjoy autumn where ever you are.


  434. This is only for people with a CONSCIENCE.

    Nisagradatta answer to a question about full filling your desires yes or no:

    Yes you can full fill your desires as long as you do not HURT others.

    For some people this must seem abacadabra.


  435. 436

    “The expression of negative emotions is harmful (at least from a spiritual point of view) to the person expressing them – this is a fundamental idea of the 4th Way and there is no way to dance around it.”

    All you can really know about this is what YOU personally experience. No more than that. It’s true that within a system sometimes called the 4th Way, non-expression of negativity is a technique and method used for several reasons. But to extrapolate that into a universal law, outside of the system that uses it, is self delusion and a plain lie. You don’t know what the implications of “negativity” is to anyone but you, period. You can speculate (intellectual masturbation) but to see it as anything more than your own conjecture is a lie you tell yourself, and when you express it outwardly, it’s a lie you tell others. The method can work within a certain context, and it can be irrelevant in a different context.

    You mistake the map for the journey. And take the detours on the map as hard and fast rules. That’s a lazy, limited and complacent mind that’s willing to make something into something else so as not tho have to expand one’s inner possibilities. It’s like saying the “I” exercise is a major necessity to awakening. You assume way to much, including your comprehension and apprehension of what the 4th Way is. You are the only one who sees through your particular filters. Who the hell are you to assume what you see is more real than someone else’s vision?

    As soon as you start spouting rules about awakening you show yourself as a fool.


  436. From Hicks in “You ask and it shall be given” page 192

    Rage gives you a feeling of relief from depression, grief, despair ,fear guilt or powerlessness.

    REVENGE gives you a feeling of relief of rage.

    Anger gives you a feeling of relief from revenge

    Blame gives you a feeling of relief from anger

    Overwhelment gives you a feeling of relief from blame

    Irritation gives you a feeling of relief from overwhelment

    Pessismism gives you a feeling of relief from irritation

    Hopefullness gives you a feeling of relief from pessimism

    Optimism gives you a feeling of relief from hopefullness

    Positive expectation gives you a feeling of relief from optimism

    Joy gives you a feeling of relief from positive expectation.
    ————————————————————————–

    Joy to all of you.

    Often looking back in the past the ” not expressing of “negative emotion”, was a form of getting bottled up, not able to express my emotions and as a result gave toxins in heart, soul and conscience. a result of not being true to my/ ourselves.

    The above process is much healthier and brought me to more silence, resulting in “hearing” my conscience better.
    Yes, my conscience and I love it.

    Emotions are part of the physical world and can be linked from the emotions to the non physical world.

    Am I glad I have lost the concept f not expressing emotions.

    Good luck with your conscience.

    Love mine


  437. 437

    You wrote ~

    “Wow! Whatever it is that you are smoking, I have got to get me some!”

    __________________________

    Well, Marcus, that’s going to be a little ‘ironically-tough’, after all, it’s not ‘smoke’, it’s more like ‘pollen in the air’, all the marrow from the bones of the living that Robert Burton has sucked out and tossed to the wind, blowing around in Oregon House gets a bit weirdy for us Shape-shifters (LOL) …

    I really don’t think you’d notice your own marrow if you were toking on it, yet, who knows, since you’re ‘Still Trying’, you might figure it out before your middle name becomes Marcus ‘The Magic Flute’ L____in.

    :.{


  438. A Perfect Candidate for Robert Burton’s Bedroom and The Fellowship of Friends Sunday Brunch
    ______________________________________________

    NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, so to speak.


  439. Hi Tiger,
    ’a machine cannot do, but a man can’. Right. So, am I “man” enough to act from conscience? Ay, there’s the rub…

    “To be or not to be, that is the question;
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to — ’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
    To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub,
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause. There’s the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life,
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
    The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
    The insolence of office, and the spurns
    That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The undiscovered country from whose bourn
    No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pitch and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action.”
    :.)

    In the current context I am of the opinion that we should kick Robert’s sorry ass as hard as we can, all in the name of love, of course.


  440. on September 25, 2007 at 8:36 am Vinnie the Fish

    “Bruce
    My use here of demiurge is not the positive definition. By it I mean the literary definition, of a very minor god who’s grandiosity ”

    Poor Bruce, trying to use big words to sound clever and then looking up their meaning later! lol! oops!
    It doesn’t work, ur still just a brainless brute with nothing useful to say, just insults. :-)

    Still Trying, don’t bother, do you think you can reason with a brute who only sees black or white? He’s a ‘shoot anything that moves if it’s not one of us’ type.

    KA:
    “You are in an organization for the express purpose of gaining consciousness thru the help of a conscious leader/instructor. Participation in the Fellowship of Friends means that you are studying with Robert Burton. You are paying for his teaching.”

    This paragraph is full of assumptions. Yes I’m in an organisation with the purpose of gaining consciousness. The rest is crap. There is a monthly fee. Robert is the leader. That’s it. See how you add false meanings to simple truths in life? The school is useful for me.


  441. Vinnie the Fruit

    Yes I’m in an organisation with the purpose of gaining consciousness. The rest is crap. There is a monthly fee. Robert is the leader. That’s it. See how you add false meanings to simple truths in life? The school is useful for me.

    *********

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=zFyBH-z6c1w


  442. on September 25, 2007 at 9:04 am Vinnie the Fish

    Graduate of what? PhD in Wit? Hey get off the utube, you’ve been told before!


  443. Hey get off the utube, you’ve been told before!

    *******

    Do the hypocrite:

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=K0K5wW3frBU


  444. Most blessed among Vinnies,
    I hereby award you the honorary prize of most insubstantial contributor to this blog, thank you dear, the hot air you blow our way helps to keep our balloons afloat…

    God guard me from those thoughts men think
    In the mind alone;
    He that sings a lasting song
    Thinks in the marrow bone.
    W.B.Yeats

    Remember, Vinnie, the marrow, where is the fucking marrow?


  445. Graduates 438
    LIFE PEOPLE dance all night.

    Most definitely we do! Let’s shake it some more and do the sand dance…

    All the bazaar men by the Nile
    They got the money on a bet
    Gold crocodiles (oh whey oh)
    They snap their teeth on your cigarette

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=QywmIOMXJcI


  446. #446

    “Yes I’m in an organisation with the purpose of gaining consciousness.”

    Nope. That’s crap too. See how you add false meanings to simple truths?


  447. Still Trying wrote:

    “Experience has now shown us that the 4th Way ideas (those “same tired pat lines”) are a very dangerous two-edged sword. They can be used for the highest purpose of personal self-development…”

    Really? Were are these self-developed people? Does Patrick Patterson have them hidden in a warehouse in San Rafael? Perhaps Jerry Needleman is leading them in a parade down Funky Broadway with Robert Fripp as Drum Major.


  448. on September 25, 2007 at 12:29 pm Vinnie the Fish

    yesri aka bruce:
    “I am in an organisation with the purpose of gaining consciousness”.
    This means that MY purpose is gaining consciousness. An organisation doesn’t have a ‘purpose’, it’s just a group of people, who have their own fleeting purposes, many i’s. It can have a ‘stated purpose’, but that’s just words, of no interest to me. So long as the organisation is useful for MY purpose, that’s what matters… so long as nobody is hurt (a moot point perhaps).

    As ‘ton insists: ‘things have not changed’…
    so if it was useful for you lot for 25 years or however long you stayed in, why not for me now? And why write off all your ‘wasted years’?

    I sense that a lot of the anger visible in this blog is externalised anger at your own selves, for letting yourselves be ‘tricked’. But a better attitude is to accept that your critical faculties are still learning, and let the lessons soak in. Rather than get angry at a car salesman for only showing you the highlights, or being angry at yourself for being fooled, accept the lesson to not believe your own or anyone else’s i’s. It’s a whole new paradigm, and the way to freedom. Take me for example, I don’t believe a word of what I’m typing.. any more than you do! bwuhhahaha! ;-)


  449. Kid (#453):

    Good point Kid.

    My belief in the effectiveness of the 4th Way system to guide us towards psychological evolution is based on the following:

    1. My own experience and the relatively short list of “facts” that I have been able to personally verify. I personally don’t know anyone that I would consider to be a highly developed being.

    2. The 4th Way is a rationale system. It can be studied and verifications can be made. One is not asked to submit and merely believe. In fact, just the opposite, the “prime directive” is to accept nothing, verify everything.

    3. My “intuition” (I realize that’s a fuzzy thing) tells me the System is genuine and Gurdjiefff was “the real deal”.


  450. TODAY’s DAILY CARD,

    this is total madness, it is scary!! and it really prevents any openess to presence….

    Combining movement with the sequence – such as
    timing one’s movements with each work ‘I’ when
    walking – helps prevent interference from the
    lower self. This is not the case, however,
    during the four wordless breaths.

    Love, Robert

    Symeon Metaphrastis: We can grow and move forward
    day by day, assisted by divine grace. Then the
    burden of fulfilling the commandments will appear
    light to us, and we will carry them out faultlessly
    and irreproachably.


  451. 401 Old Fish in the Sea

    —————–

    Thank you for taking the time to write and share this beautiful piece. I hope it is being printed and passed around.

    Arisha


  452. on September 25, 2007 at 4:48 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    Still Trying,
    Someone who uses the expression “life people” (with earnestness, as you did, as opposed to sarcastically) is either still drinking some of the Kool Aid, or has not completely removed it from their system. You are not the only one. We’ve all had our thinking colored by the FOF, and I’m not excluding myself from that.

    But the term “life people” is not some insignificant slip of the keyboard — it signifies something. It tells us something about your thinking, your attitudes, and I think more importantly, how your thinking was sculpted by your stay in the group. After years and years of using the term commonly, even people who remain in the FOF have learned to avoid using the term because it leaves such an odd impression to the listener or the reader.

    Terms become euphemisms and dysphemisms. Some terms help us to understand the truth, and others distort the truth. Words become habits, habits color our thinking, and our thinking influences our actions and inactions. Avoiding certain terms — for example, the word “cult” — also influences our attitudes and perceptions about the Fellowship of Friends. And avoiding the word is a result of those influences, too.

    For example, calling it a “religious organization” is much more palatable to the masses, and much easier to hear for current members of the group, and the term tends to divert our attention from the uncomfortable truth. Calling Robert Burton a “teacher” distorts the truth about him. Using the word over and over suggests the man is someone we should look up to and admire. It places him on a supposed higher level, and makes it more challenging to question him.

    You asked for an alternative to the term “life people.”

    How about simply “non-members.”

    Other usage…

    “Jim, a former member of the Fellowship of Friends, expressed his concerns about the use of money within the organization. When he finally posed questions to several of his closest friends, he received a call from the center director, who asked him to stop discussing the matter with other students.”

    “Jackie, who never joined the Fellowship of Friends, said she tried desperately to get her sister to listen to reason and leave the cult. But her sister eventually left her husband of 10 years, as well as her family of two children, and moved to the West Coast.”

    “Jane, a non-student, confronted her friend Janice with the truth about Robert Burton. It took Janice three years before she finally listened and gained the courage to leave the cult. One Saturday afternoon, she parked her car near the edge of the vineyard, looked up at the golden grasses flowing in the wind, and said good-bye to the land of many fond and confusing memories. As she drove off the property, she handed her entrance card to the person in the gatehouse, and calmly drove away for one last time.”


  453. 456 …daily card… well, that would explain vinnie. Hard to actually listen and then think with such ‘work’ at gaining ‘consciousness’.
    —————————–

    Laura, despite myself, initially, I watched the whole Bangles youtube and couldn’t help but just love it! Keep em coming!

    —————————
    “The expression of negative emotions is harmful (at least from a spiritual point of view) to the person expressing them – this is a fundamental idea of the 4th Way and there is no way to dance around it.” Still Trying

    I think your example of the train wreck shows what was for me a fundamental weakness — a weakness in the fabric of the 4th way, or more probably, a weakness in the understanding of it. Here’s my understanding… the act of separating is not an act of separation but an act of holding on and holding even closer the experience of the negative emotion. There is huge energy within emotions like grief and rage (for example) and they are extremely alive – we share them with all of life. When one does not push away an emotion like grief, but lets it work within one’s being, while staying somehow on the ground (as much as possible) then it deepens one, makes new connections, gathers intelligence and wisdom. One can see people who have suffered and have gained enormously from that. Of course, this is not ‘owned’ by any way – it is part of all ways. The rub is to stay somehow on the ground. To be present. And to bring all parts of one’s being into the present and to the experience – to re-member oneself. To put together oneself that has been split apart. The energy within the strong emotion (love works too IMO) is the binding agent, is the life force, and the grace. My experience is as the grief (or whatever) is embraced and is transformed slowly, the emotion that arises is gratitude. Shear amazed unformatory unexpected gratitude.

    The process of pushing away and separating negative emotions (which also then seems to automatically happen for positive emotions, …all emotions get tied together and are treated the same way) is a way that compartmentalizes a person even more. It is a dis-membering, …well, a further dis-membering. There is no real way to know that about another person. Even fake ones like vinnie, but a certain immaturity and non-dept grows and the buffers deepen. Deep buffers are different than deep wisdom.

    442 – Bruce, liked your comment about mistaking the map for the journey.


  454. Vinnie (454) “I sense that a lot of the anger visible in this blog is externalised anger at your own selves, for letting yourselves be ‘tricked’. But a better attitude is to accept that your critical faculties are still learning, and let the lessons soak in. Rather than get angry at a car salesman for only showing you the highlights, or being angry at yourself for being fooled, accept the lesson to not believe your own or anyone else’s i’s. It’s a whole new paradigm, and the way to freedom. Take me for example, I don’t believe a word of what I’m typing.. any more than you do!”

    Well Vinnie, as usual you manage to overlook the obvious. Most everyone posting here has already been through the ‘accepting the lesson and getting on with our lives’ thing for a long time.

    But you know, sometimes if you go back and look at something again and you find that it has just gotten worse and worse, and you discover that more and more people are continuing to get hurt by it, you may think it is time to speak up and to try to do something about it.

    After all, the idea that the non-expression of negative emotions means you can never point out or object to something evil is just silly, don’t you think?

    Anyway Vinnie – I probably won’t respond to you again. I think you are either a disingenuous Fellowship shill, or someone who is now simply getting pleasure from his position of opposition. So it’s time to stop watering you, and to let you dry up.

    Do be sure to stay away from RB though.

    Best,
    R


  455. on September 25, 2007 at 5:32 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Ah yes Old Fish I meant to say thanks for that piece too, was very good. Most is obvious truth without hyperbole.

    Just a couple of things: yes I’d discriminate between ‘intentionally hurting someone’ and ‘unable or unwilling to control desires’.

    Sex is a powerful drive, and I would GUESS that the intention is to have sex, not to damage the person emotionally.
    It is different to you teaching kids in that they are underage and illegal.

    Regarding your list of ‘mistakes’ and harmful effects such as lawsuits, loss of students, making predictions etc.. Yes true. But I don’t think Robert lives in that kind of common sense cause and effect world at all, or learns or tries to learn from ‘mistakes’. He seems to just have i’s and express them or follow them. Don’t ask me why.

    Yes Robert jeopardizes the FOF for sure but I don’t think he gives a damn, it’s not what he’s into caring about. I think even if he was locked in a cage at night hanging from the statue of liberty’s finger he’d be still pointing at some stars or counting fingers and saying ‘hmm there’s 6, I’d better do a sequence’.

    “Robert’s behavior jeopardizes what you and I love”
    Sure I love the FOF people sometimes, but all things come and go, so I can’t get upset about someone ‘jeopardizing’ it or I’d be upset at you lot! :-) Yep he ‘jeopardizes’ his own creation which wouldn’t even exist without him.

    “He tells them he is an angel in a man’s body”.. well yes I read that quote too, he might have said it once in his airy fairy fashion.. who knows. Good to be careful with 3rd hand stories – where did that one tale I’ve seen about 10 times now come from, about the 6 males and teabagging and fisting etc?

    “The young men with Robert are naive”.. yes maybe some. And Robert too wouldn’t you say?
    “ill effects of justifying behavior”
    I don’t ‘justify’ anyone, not even me if I can help it, but I do try to understand everything in a real way.

    “dream that he once had for a great civilization”
    You didn’t really believe the guff about ‘new civilization’ did you?? Even if he SAID it, doesn’t mean it was his dream. How about the ark? I don’t mean to tease you, but… pullease… you might also have a dash of naivety me ol fish!

    Thanks again for your intelligent posting. Respect. ;-)


  456. on September 25, 2007 at 5:39 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    By the way, even the term “non-student” falls short of the mark for me (even though I used it above), but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    On another topic, sort of, I copied Traveler’s post below from two days ago. It’s remarkable that we (current members and former members of the fof) think we are different or unique. Traveler comments on the topic below.
    ……………………………………………………………………..

    400 Traveler
    We are not unique. Thought I’d drop by to post this: a closure to another blog that ran for 3 years before it exhausted itself:

    http://whatenlightenment.blogspot.com/

    Quote from April 2007 (just as the Fellowship blog was starting to take off):
    I hope it will not be regarded as overly dramatic if I say that I look back over what has occurred on this blog with awe, gratitude and humility. This blog’s truly collaborative, interactive and collective nature makes it, perhaps, unique in the blogosphere, on the Internet, and, perhaps beyond. I haven’t seen anything really parallel. I believe that, beyond the collaborative nature of the editorial work here, the collective intelligence, truthfulness and vulnerability of the contributions, responses, arguments and discussions have made this effort at healing and truth-telling unprecedented. I don’t think that so many have spoken out before with such rawness and honesty in an attempt to warn the unwary, comfort the injured and understand humbly how something they believed in so totally could go so wrong. For this effort and honesty, on behalf of all of the editors of this blog, I bow to everyone who has participated here, whether anonymously or named, and whether former student, interested observer or friend.

    Off traveling,

    Best to all…

    ……………………………………………………………………..


  457. 461

    Unfuckingbelievable.


  458. Here’s a picture…On the edge of a cliff are a bunch of people who have gathered and are yelling “Hey wake up” (misread as ‘expressing negativity’) to those drivers who are blithely heading for the edge singing happy vinnie songs. Uh oh, there they go…..

    “I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you’re in midair, you still hit those brakes! Hey, better try the emergency brake!”

    -Jack Handey


  459. Bistro (#458):

    Re: use of the phrase “life people”

    As I stated before, the use of this term is a “neutral” term in the 4th Way system of ideas and, as such, I don’t attach negative connotations to it. I realize that some FOF members and ex-members do attach a negative connotation to the term and so, in order not to “set anyone off”, I will try to avoid using the term here.

    Your proposed replacement for the term (simply “non-members”) does not cut it though. Non-members, ex-members come in various types:

    1. Those that are seeking “the miraculous” (C Influence) in whatever form or shape they may encounter it – are not “life people”

    2. Those that are content to chase A (or B in some cases, but not all) Influences – are “life people”

    The term discriminates between two kinds of people based on what they hold most dear in their “heart of hearts” – those that pursue C influence and those that pursue A influence. There is no “judgment” in the term, no vanity except when we imperfect people bring our own judgment “I’s” and vanity into the mix.

    How about using “A Influence person”?

    Re: Use of the word “cult”

    “Cult” is also a neutral word that has developed a pronounced negative connotation in the world of A Influence, that is, society at large. There is good reason for this given how often it turns out that “cults” turn out to be evil organizations (eg. Jim Jones, and its okay with me if you want to throw in the FOF as well). But, on the other hand, Jesus was the leader of a cult and he paid a dear price for it. The status quo of “Society”, “Life” is gravely threatened by any cult, good or bad, and will stop at nothing to stamp them out.


  460. Bistro 424:
    “Burton often used the analogy of the life preserver — saying it would be foolish to be choosy [about the form, color, etc] when it’s thrown in your direction.

    Let’s turn that around. Active dissent, the seeking of truth, and the removal of buffers about the Fellowship of Friends — those are the real life preservers.”
    ===========

    He used that analogy very frequently. Platitude, I would say.

    The assumption in that phrase is that one is in some kind of grave danger, in danger of losing the wish to awaken or in a situation that is life-threatening. The other assumption is that the FOF is the life-preserver.

    So, with your indulgence:
    Analogy: You are floating lost on the open sea, along comes the Lucitania to rescue you. (It sank, during the era of the early superliners, as did the Titanic and the Mauritania, but you don’t know this yet). Ok, you are saved. Do you stay on the ship? You see the captain making questionable decisions, behaving more hedonistically than Marie Antoinette; he is charming, really charming, but those cabin boys look scared. You think maybe he was never trained to Be a captain. He keeps changing the ship’s port of call. Do you jump off at the nearest deserted island? Do you sneak off at the next port of call? Or do you stay on, loyally, because it’s sooooo nice there, someone has loaned you their tuxedo, there are lovely, intelligent people and elegant suppers and dances, great conversation? How else would you be able to so hobnob with the apparently rich? After all, the Captain says it’s the ONLY true ship, and it would be turning your back on the Ocean Gods for you to disembark; do you want to turn back into a Pumpkin? And, if you get off, you’ll never get picked up again until the last jellyfish in the ocean gets his chance first; or they will not let you back on unless you pay the usual charges. Since we saved you, how about giving us your inheritance; aren’t you grateful? This voyage isn’t free, you know; we’d like to upgrade the ship because its necessary for us to be in a rarified environment, and Payment is a Principal.

    Scenario 2: You are out there on the ocean in your own little sailboat, trying to chart a course for yourself. You know rather where you want to go, but maybe not how to get there or exactly where it is; you’re learning how to skipper this thing. Along comes a Big Yacht, the First Mate says: “We’re going there. Come on board for our perspective student meetings; see if you like it”. The Yacht has a captain, but you won’t see him until you have plunked down your 100 clams. You think this looks good, so you tie your boat to the yacht, and climb on board. The captain, charming man, smart, occasionally will deign to invite you to his table. (But you have to wear a tux). You feel unworthy, you try to appear refined. The crew says – cut your old sailboat loose – you don’t need it now. The crew is so suave and well mannered. It costs alot, but it’s a great party. You have found people who are “like you”. You’ve learned how to act, dine, maybe you’ve hung out with famous winemakers or world class musicians. Then the Captain takes an interest in you. Flattering. He dines with you, he asks you to his anteroom. He…. yikes! You decline the offer. You get assigned to the boiler room. After several years, you realize you aren’t anywhere near where you wanted to go, yet; but you have learned so much about the ocean, the weather, the currents, yourself, other people. But, it’s the only boat going there, they say; what are the chances of finding another boat like this?


  461. 464

    And when you go off the cliff, half way down, you look in the rear view mirror and say “so far so good”.


  462. KA #21/464

    “I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you’re in midair, you still hit those brakes! Hey, better try the emergency brake!”

    -Jack Handey

    To paraphrase others and extend on the same theme, ‘while in midair’:

    ” So far so good.”
    “Nothing bad is happening.”
    ” We are no better than anyone but luckier than everyone.”
    “It does not matter where the train/car is going, it is what you do on the train that counts.”
    “Concentrate on the positive.”
    “Could you put Pachelbel’s canon on? I have not listened to that in a long, long time…”
    “Is this water that I see down there? Water is truth!”


  463. 465 Still trying

    So are you stating that we should communicate using YOUR definition of what a phrase means? Do you acknowledge that your interpretations are simply that, and hold no real tenure on “truth” or reality? Or are you convinced you know what the hell you’re talking about?

    Once again, you’re speaking like you do know what you’re talking about. You’re defining the rules according to “Still trying”. I would guess the majority here (just a guess) would disagree with your personal understanding of some of the main ideas. There are quite a few people here who have a more comprehensive (and some less) idea of the interpretation of 4th Way ideas and methodology.

    For me, your present place on the spectrum of system ideas seems fairly simplistic and non-discriminating (formatory) in relation to the words and ideas.


  464. Tiger, there is a certain etiquette you might not be aware of.
    If you think Ni_ck S is/was Howard Carter then try to be discreet.
    Also give him the benefit of the doubt.
    You are using his name without any proof.
    You judge a human being here,
    a person who might be struggling just as much as you.


  465. 469

    I think you’re missing the point. It was the interaction HERE between NS and HC that was being referred to. They each used those names openly themselves. NS identified himself pretty readily, and HC never had the balls to identify himself. NS smacked HC on the nose and he disappeared, along with some other smackees.


  466. Indifference: One of the negative emotions essential to Fellowship Indoctrination.

    Thank you Vinnie for giving me a clear understanding of the negative emotion of indifference.

    In seventeen years in the Fellowship I had not been able to grasp how it worked and you’ve managed to show it to me in only a few days. It is a great thing to have you with us and I sincerely thank you for your participation.

    In the Fellowship, but for the few stereotyped phrases, nothing was seriously explored but we can explore now that we have such an ample common experience.

    It is good to look at the “integrity” of “false personality”. People who have crystallized or have a mature false personality appear very coherent and secure. I do believe the Fellowship is very effective in the dissolution of our life personality and every time I was faced with people outside I wondered why they looked so much more “integrated” than I felt, with my dissolving personality and not one to replace it since I had too much difficulty in developing the Fellowship one.

    The Fellowship both dissolves old personaltiy and creates a new one. What kind of new false personality is what is worth looking at.

    There are many areas worth expanding as we explore so other observations on these issues would be very helpful.

    – Robert’s rejection of student’s, his inability to embrace them as equals or even as students, his consistent running away from close contact with them, is disguised with the act of a conscious being not having time to spend with you who are less than him. The conscious being became an entity working only on third line and not with his students directly. His endless buying and selling, travelling and shopping was accepted at the cost of developing a community. This feeling of inferiority creates continued dependency and students become self conscious and tell themselves that the teacher’s lack of love or attention to them is justified, while Girard and others emphisize this with “Robert cannot take care of two thousand students at the same time. Robert only acknowledges efforts on deepning idolatry for himself or beautifying Isis. He never developed second line for himself or others, even the sex mates are serving the Angel and not the human being.

    .- Any personal interest within the Fellowship is labelled influence A, so students gradually shun their own personal and inner life and develop the Fellowship “personality”. There is a clear difference between personal and inner life.

    – Students who have put their personal lives away in the closet and adopted the Fellowship Personality develop a great false personality that works wonders within the Fellowship environment but reveals its inadequacy in regular life environment. They develop the act of being intentional, positive towards everthing within the Fellowship and forgive, have compassion, for every one of Roberts or his entourages’ weaknesses but develop increasing negative emotions towards life and people outside of the Fellowship, including fear, anger, judgement.

    It would be interesting to develop the connection between how personality shapes the inner life of individuals. The Fellowship of Friends stiffles the inner connections of the individual with himself and instead develops extreme external manifestations such as idolatry. It would be very good for us to get a clear view of how things turn upside down and backwards and many processes occur in our inner world in a similar way in which the function of the eyes works.

    – To be able to become insensitive about what happens inside the Fellowship, that is, the fact that students are treated en masse without any individual worth, they have to become insensitive to their own suffering, the one experienced by not having any self worth but being worthy only in as much as they support the imaginary ARC, third lineand the “conscious being” who has replaced their own worth. It is similar in fascism in which the individual gives himself up for the well being of the Nation.

    Third line is the line of humanity and every individual is called upon to sacrifice himself for its development just like cells sacrifice themselves for the life of the individual. (I do not mean sacrifice as a life of suffering for every one of us, a life of intense and joyful human creations is equally a sacrifice for the development of humanity) In the Fellowship, third line became washing dishes and serving them in the Galleria for thirty five years and beautifying Robert’s home. The vineyard was sacrificed for the palm trees and the roses. Humanity was replaced by the conscious being, the Angel Robert and every act against students was justified as a sacrifice to the conscious being and the Arc, humanity. An imaginary humanity because the real one were the six billion dead.

    Becoming insensitive to one’s own suffering quickly develops into becoming insensitive to any body else’s suffering and the negative emotion of INDIFFERENCE begins to rule relationships with people at large.

    It is very clear in Vinnie but it was very clear in every one of us who allowed for men to be used and manipulated by the environment to become Robert’s whores. They themselves have their own degree of insensitivity to their own suffering and often sincerely justify it through service to the Angel, Robert Burton. In some part of their being they know they are playing it smart to get around visas, comfort and so on but the Fellowship establishment allows them, stimulates them to look at it as the service to the Angel, conscious being.

    This same mechanism was very clear in Girard who in conversations expressed the feeling that he had failed Robert by not becoming conscious as he had predicted. In this emotion it is clear how Girard himself fell prey of Robert’s consistent INDIFFERENCE to him, which developed the feeling of always having to keep trying.

    This is relevant, because the mechanism was, is, that Robert does not get involved with students personally, that he allows students to be their own first force, to live their lives, but he establishes such a confined environment in which they can “do” it, that three quarters of student’s lives are not participating in the Fellowship life. Students go and work and make money for the fellowship and nobody cares about them but about the money they bring in. The other students who work inside Isis, matter only in as much as the work they do, not as people or individuals. That is why it does not matter who comes or goes, who joins or leaves.

    The form the Fellowship took is closely connected to the American programming that each individual must respond for himself. From one angle, the only line that worked in the Fellowship was the first line because students tried to work on themselves. That is what is still of value from the experience. The tragedy is that all the work on ourselves only served to develop individuals that supported prostitution as a legitimate form of second line and Robert’s self enrichment as a legitimate form of third line. Instead of consciousness to the world around us, students became indoctrinated to bear with idolatry.

    Those like Girard and others in the inner circle, were prompted to give up their personal lives for the sake of Influence C, third line, Robert. Giving up their wives or relationships because any compromise in that area is looked at as a weakness and overcoming it is a heroic spiritual achievement, is part of the programming just as Vinnie thinks he has accomplished something by not living in the suburbs with a wife and three kids or ‘marry” another male if he’s gay. Marriage, or commitment to another human being is undermined as influence A.

    -Another aspect that the fellowship personality developed is the tremendous egotism in which the only thing that matters is that you yourself become conscious regardless of any body else. Your state, your effort, your life, your problems, your suffering are your responsibility and only yours. You are not here to change the School (world) but to change yourself and adapt to its norms.

    Essentially, what we are talking about is the indoctrination of a mass of people towards a unidirectional commitment to higher forces, that separates from practical life as influence A. The fourth way is abandoned, life is abandoned as a Way of development. The way “Life” is dealt with in the Fellowship is the minimal inclusion of a few cultural events, concerts, ballet, that are more of a “candy” or pacifier while at the same time a dressing of noble aims. Students have sacrificed “culture”, that is, all of their human heritage, for a few concerts and trips to Egypt. The few honest artists in the Fellowship don’t realize the extent to which their honest work is misused to give the Fellowship legitimacy. This is true in other areas like the gardening. In the vineyard the few honest workers decided they gave a damm about the Fellowship vineyard or olive plantations and made their own little business out of them without hardly any participation in the community. They used the opportunity to make their lives more comfortable at the cost of so many other student’s work. The Gideons and the Steven D. of the Fellowship are no better than the young boys. They take the opportunity, just like the young boys. In Girard’s, Linda’s, and other students of that caliber, they exchange the material opportunity for the role. Everyone wants something for himself although they all pretend they are serving influence C. They use the mass of students and never give anything back. These enabler’s allow Robert to have his boys and he allows them to use the Fellowship for their own personal benefit. Some want material things others power but each one of them takes what belongs to the whole of the community at the cost of the community.

    In the meantime students become fanatic about their commitment to higher forces and indifferent about the lives they live always justifying their indifference with the amount of effort they are putting in, the amount of sacrifice they are having to endure, not sharing with anyone the tremendous suffering that they are experiencing (labelling it as a negative emotion) by being a money producing force in a community in which they don’t exist. How much money each student makes for the Fellowship states his value. No money, no value. So what talent? Sell your talent and the effort is valued. Not the person.

    Indiffirence is a very passive negative emotion and it is one of the keys of the indoctrination that conditions students to negate themselves to support the conscious being that is at the same time, indifferent to them. The snake bites its tail and the vicious circle is repeated over and over again, degenerating gradually in each turn.

    Robert and Girard have no friendship or contact and Robert never helped Girard’s inner work just as he did not help anybody else’s with enough commitment as a teacher. Whatever students achieved was due to their own inner work and the integrity that they lost was due to the Fellowship’s inability to value their work. The lack of valuation for each student as a human being, developed into idolatry towards Robert and indifference towards our selves and each other. First and third line thrived erroneously and second line was sacrificed.


  467. I want to die just like my Grandfather: peacefully in my sleep, not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.


  468. Bruce (#468):

    You said: “So are you stating that we should communicate using YOUR definition of what a phrase means? Do you acknowledge that your interpretations are simply that, and hold no real tenure on “truth” or reality?”

    When we use words it’s important, in order to communicate effectively, that everyone attaches the same meaning to them. This is a fundamental point that Gurdjieff makes about the use of language. That is why he “invented” a 4th Way language for people trying to do this “Work”. If we all attach are own subjective meanings to words then we get only confusion, the “Tower of l” effect.

    It’s clear that you don’t agree with my definitions but you have not offered any alternative definitions. A constructive response would be to set out your own definitions and then we could begin from there to see in what way we differ. If your definitions prove to be more useful than mine then there will have been something gained from the exercise.


  469. KA ~ 459 ~ Thanks for that one; beautiful description of the real tactility of your work, thank you.
    _____________________________

    Still Trying ~ 455 ~

    You wrote ~

    “…the “prime directive” is to accept nothing, verify everything.”

    “My “intuition” (I realize that’s a fuzzy thing)…”

    “I personally don’t know anyone that I would consider to be a highly developed being.”

    _________________________

    Well, Marcus, it’s no wonder you “don’t know anyone” when you’re not even looking at yourself, you “fuzzy” wuzzy, teddy bear you.

    I guess, since you “accept nothing”, that even your verifications are disputable too, yes?

    After all, are not the beliefs and theories used as ‘scaffolding’ by the Fellowship of Friends ‘school’, to put themselves back together again by conscience gnawing demolitions via “The friction needed to awaken in the next lifetime”, in the face of criminal hypocrisy and immoral turpitude, ‘keeping things up’ simply that,

    verifications by one man’s opinions based on his subjective experiences and self-calming excuse to graduate no one, but himself, now by using decimal points (Man #7.4), dragging along ever so slowly the bleeding anuses and the baby-less milking of the in awe struck posing daughters and not-so-good looking men’s wallets,

    sons and daughter of fathers and mothers who have either been excommunicated from their Robert Burton poisoned bloodstream of any degree of thankfulnesses and conscious external considerations (even on fundamental householder level) or simply gotten rid of,

    back to ‘the life people clan’ by one ‘man’, who jissims star dust – venereal disease under their eyelids, keeping them wide asleep to the subtler levels of the Expression of ‘Conscious’ Negativity, Angelic Friction, Angelic Bastardizing of the Womb of Conscience;

    your continued obvious level of adolescent being-spouting is not worrisome, it too will pass; there is no one writing on this blog who has not experienced the esoteric wet dreams you’re framing here for all to consider as fine artworks;

    in some odd way we’ve all been privy to some off the wall stuff issuing up from the depths of our vanity, need for control and security, the demons and wanna-be-angels using our psyches as portals of cause & effect, keeping the mill milling…

    personally I keep most of that stuff out of the public (or ‘pubic’, you choose) eye and away from my ‘real sense of self’, it’s mostly momentary insanity, which sorta goes along with the sort of ‘work’ some of us are doing;

    but when you make a lifestyle out of these insanities, when you harvest these ‘senior moments taking place in an eighteen year olds sexuality and automatic need to ‘belong to something that sees him or her as ‘born again, something opposite to where their parents tell them they’re from’ as progression and spiritual maturing, then,

    well,

    you get such phenomenons as the Fellowship of Friends cult, a “religious organization” whose primary business is to organize the un-interrupted affirmative ‘Burton on the Cross’ image,

    to organize the illegal distribution of funds to a man who ‘they think and believe (thanks to the man himself) deserves it more’ than those commonsense-needy in their conscious school,

    who knowingly support the possibility that a sly coercion may turn into a black as the fungus in the Renaissance Winery Barrel Cellar rape,

    a quick plane ticket home for the ‘raped’

    and some esoteric smoothing over of what really happened.

    A man who keeps the very substances in his bedroom, which he has placed the addict in a position to do without, unless of course the addict would care to cum and bend over for some Angelic Sodomy and ‘Second Line Work’ for a few swigs of vodka and a pill or two or three

    (and if you’re really ‘C-Influence Lucky’ you might even get a Panama Jack hat that did not fit the last bleeding anus).

    See, you guys (and girls) who wiseacre that your spirit does not automatically intertwine with that of Robert Burton’s finest of root-deeds are fooling your selves;

    every negative vibration issuing forth from this being you willingly support through the dysfunctional paralysis of Faith and Belief system barbed wire Conscience-fences

    (buttressed by fear and the insatiable desire for more pain, so to maintain an inner pain-self-image, so to ‘belong’ to a family of pain and not-good-enough yet Numbered and categorized)

    flows to your psyche and gathers there, like sediment,

    yes, some pretty fossils are created by such layers, yet, fossils as beauty dead, beauty frozen, beauty that when dropped, breaks and cannot return to become itself again…

    all of you Fellowship of Friends members are rolling around in a net, like a bucket of garden snails, wondering ‘Where’s the Beef-steak-tomatoes?

    You’re not walking the tightrope and the street is just below you… yes, the net, the net… no above, no below, simple suspension of being yourselves and un-being as well… suspended in a school who does not graduate, appropriate, yes?

    ____________________________________________

    Vinnie ~ 461 ~

    V., it is interesting to see what a School of Relative Awakening creates, relativity, though no passion, no being, no love, and most of all, no Vinnie.
    ___________________________

    Every day a hawk visits round my studio, sometimes two of them, they hunt little field mice; sometimes I fancy that the field mouse is some reincarnated lover who is still ‘working with’ the grandiose ‘idea’ of ‘Love over Evil’, who comes out of it’s little hole that it feverishly took so long to dig, looks up towards what it hears as the cry to the faithful to believe, believe, believe (not hunger) and smiles, stares in awe at the hawks majestic chest, it’s wide open, dilated pupils, it’s broad wings outspread, it’s razor sharp beak severing it’s skull in two halves, as it blithely succumbs once again to the relief of the splitting headache caused by its unfulfilled love and desire for hawks and not those of it’s own kind and scale of love’s most generous relativity.

    ________________________________________

    Love to you all.


  470. Unoanimo,
    What’s with the all “Marcus” stuff? Still Trying is not ML. He is BobP on the GF site, and acknowledged by his old friends there, which you could know if you were there yourself. You seem to have a very high opinion of your intuition, but don’t be quite so sure of yourself, and do your research.


  471. on September 25, 2007 at 8:36 pm 'I see' said the blind man

    465 Still Trying

    This cuts to the heart of the matter for me. Thanks for the topic.

    You write about the term ‘life people’

    “The term discriminates between two kinds of people based on what they hold most dear in their “heart of hearts” – those that pursue C influence and those that pursue A influence.”

    I would suggest the split is more like this

    Those that have subscribed to a world view in which the lives of the current members of the organization are the justification for the hopeless existence of the remaining 99.999 % of the earth’s population and – the 99.999%.

    The whole concept of A, B and C influence is deeply flawed. Robert Burton has ridden the idea of C influence into the ground with his corruption on the back of our gullibility.

    Amazing that the magician can be discovered as a fraud and yet the audience still believe his tricks were magic. This is a strange human phenomenon, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary, we cannot just disengage from a lies – we are too heavily invested. Same happens with the break up of a marriage or disenchantment with a political system where one previously trusted and attended rallies.

    What is our ‘heart of hearts’? Sounds like mumbo jumbo to me. You are ascribing an irrefutable value to something on no other basis than your most desperate desire to believe.

    How do you know that your sentimental projection is not what you term ‘A’ influence, it has all the trappings of it. You qualify this ‘higher power’ objectively like any of the millions of morons who believe Vishnu, Mary, Satan, Buddah, Zionism or economic and military power are the ‘higher power’.

    The biggest challenge is not to physically leave the school, but to get the lies out of your system, whereever you go. C influence as presented by Robert Burton is clearly a lie.
    I remember watching him walk around in the garden on his own for a while after a dinner several years ago. He later announced that the oldest conscious being in the universe had visited him and had given him the message ‘gratitude, gratitude, gratitude’. If he had experienced this most profound of visitations on that night, it did not seem to affect him much as I saw him when he came in from the garden too. At the time it struck me as very odd, but I was too accommodating and considered my own insights as dubious unless they supported the form of the school.
    Robert Burton has branded higher forces – absolutely brilliant. Not just a charlatan, but a highly accomplished manipulator who does not hold anything sacred, except our aim to awaken. He has carte blanche to use any and all means and we have nothing to counter this supra-dominance with, as the ‘aim to awaken’ trumps any of our reservations. This is how men gain power over others, by employing a higher ideal that they serve unreservedly. This makes it acceptable when much is asked of you, who follow them and your morality, intelligence, logic, humanity, conscience etc become obstacles to your purpose and must be dispensed with. This is a major ingredient in galvanizing your supporters. Just look at what George Bush has done, it is similar. Other ingredients are things like fear, greed, loyalty, service and of course ignorance, stupidity and weakness amongst the followers who are drawn into the maelstrom of deceit.

    We really are luckier than others aren’t we. We who have left the school – it is not that influence C has released us – it is that this is all part of the perfection of the play. We are getting what we need. If things weren’t the way they are they would have to be made to be like this. So hey ho for influence C. Let us toast to our great good fortune.
    I would fight to the death to avoid regressing into those weak-minded, shallow, petty, conceited, soul-less and just plain stupid attitudes.

    Do not be afraid of superstition and blaspheming against a lie. Take C influence and stuff it up back up Burton’s ass where it came from.


  472. #454 Vinnie

    Someone might say they were going dumpster diving for a fine dining experience. Chances are it is not going to happen.

    ps. Thanks for the compliment.


  473. Old Friend (Markus L.) ~

    You wrote ~

    “You seem to have a very high opinion of your intuition, but don’t be quite so sure of yourself, and do your research.”

    ______________________________________________

    Well, ‘Old Friend’ not having a high opinion of one’s intuition would be a bit counter productive, don’t you ‘think’?

    Of course I know that ‘Still Trying’ is not Marcus, yet, my intuition tells me that he or she might as well be, since the entire population of The Fellowship of Friends is ‘Still Trying’ to bend over and smell the roses at the same time.

    So there, ‘Old Friend’, intuit that.


  474. 473

    I’m not going to placate you and play that game. I have no desire or need to reach agreement with you. You’ve got your dictionary and I’ve got mine. With the FOF, during a certain period, it was useful, even necessary to agree on definitions to minimize the confusion and ambiguity . Between you and I, now, not so much. You are certainly welcome to chart your own maps, just don’t assume anyone else wishes to share or accept yours. I don’t think “jargon” is necessary here except to pigeonhole someone with a ridiculous argument.


  475. #472 Kid

    LOLOLOLOLOOL!!


  476. 476

    Good one. Thank you.


  477. 476

    “..that the oldest conscoius being in the universe had visited him…”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


  478. on September 25, 2007 at 9:55 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Bruce, Yesri, you’re a couple, right? Sweet…

    Still Trying, you’ve been told, stop trying. You’re labelled ‘enemy’ so you can’t talk any sense into bone heads no matter what you say. How can you expect one word to have one meaning??!? What a stupid concept, that’s ridiculous, everyone should have their own meaning for every word so we can all be like Bruce and disagree with anyone we label ‘enemy’. Like cave men. Hate kill destroy. ooga booga!

    Dumpster Diving? free dining? compliment… ooh lord.. wtf r u on about… I’m trying to help you with some objective reasoning but it seems to be useless. :-)


  479. 476

    You wrote ~

    “Take C influence and stuff it up back up Burton’s ass where it came from.”

    ___________________

    Well, at least that’s a bit of advice that’s supported by a very practical probability that they’ll all fit up in there just fine, like sardines in a can, something I am certain that the students can “work with” since it’s a beyond ‘faith’ and a ‘can do’ situation, verifiable in the now.

    :.{


  480. I think vinnie is a political operative for the fellowship of friends and Robert Burton, similar to a spam attack.


  481. Vinnie,

    You wrote ~

    “…but it seems to be useless.”

    __________________________

    That’s the first truth you’ve spoken on the blog so far, congratulations, I’ll send you one of my cracked titanium snaps you can wear as a charm to fend off evil smelling cereal boxes.
    And a balloon too, of course…

    :.}


  482. 485

    Not even the FOF would choose this jerk off as a spokesman.

    483

    By anyone’s dictionary, Vinnie, you’re a fucking moron. One might even call it objective knowledge.


  483. on September 25, 2007 at 10:12 pm Vinnie the Fish

    haha KA you’re a real conspiracy theorist wanker.
    Oh sorry you’re female. whats a female wanker?
    You;re right I’m a political operative.. sounds cool. I wear black sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, and carry an umbrella with poison tip. Yes I’m similar to a spam attack too. Except I write the utter undeniable simple plain truth if you read it slowly.
    I couldn’t just be a fockin human could i…


  484. #21/471, Elena

    In the vineyard the few honest workers decided they gave a damm about the Fellowship vineyard or olive plantations and made their own little business out of them without hardly any participation in the community. They used the opportunity to make their lives more comfortable at the cost of so many other student’s work.

    I will not speak about the “olives”, having not followed closely that story, but I would like to address the vineyard situation. I am not sure I understand the 2 sentences in “sequence”: the first one seems to indicate there were a “few honest workers [who] decided they gave a damn about the Fellowship of Vineyard, … without hardly any participation in the community” – the second goes on to say “they used to make their lives comfortable at the cost of so many other student’s work”. Which one is it?

    The vineyard and winery never made a dime to speak of since its inception. Instead, it cost a great deal of money to set up and keep up, and never became profitable before it was abandoned as a priority activity in the mid to late 90s. It was kept out of bankruptcy through the acquisition of farm loans, and eventually “outsourced” to a very small group of students headed by GB. To say that G. profited from that turn of event is close to lunacy. The place was in total physical and emotional disarray when he took over, and it is a credit to his dedication and thriftiness that it has become fiscally responsible. It still does not make a profit and is only able to cover its costs and service its debt, albeit barely. It has virtually no money to invest in the capital improvements that the enterprise badly needs.

    I for one would have much preferred that all “daily activities”, vineyard, the Lodge/restaurant, gardening, printing, book-binding, etc…, be “outsourced” to competent and motivated individuals. Time has proven in the FOF and elsewhere that centralized control of business lead to miserable failures more often than not. Thinking of it, it is time for the teaching part to be outsourced as well.


  485. Opus 111 ~

    You wrote ~

    Which one is it?

    __________________

    It’s both bro., both. It’s called ‘opportunistic’, something that the ‘ole dogs’ bark well, all the way up Robert Burton’s palm tree and curled up by his coconuts fireside hearth.

    :.{


  486. 488

    It’s amazingly perverse that someone would measure their self-worth based on how many people they can alienate and entice to dislike them, without actually having anything of value to say.

    Behind your narcissism you must really dislike yourself to keep building on the self-provoked animosity of others. This must be that new school called the “Way of Self Hatred and Self-destruction”, also known as” the Way of the Loser”.

    None deserves you more than you. Actually, no one deserves you period.

    It would be noble of you to reveal to your fellow FOFers who you are. Although on the other hand pomposity and inanity like yours is impossible to hide. I’m sure they all know who you are and think of you as the fool of the farce.


  487. Charles T,
    couldn’t help but read through your posts, amazing that it has displaced me some 10 years or so. I have great affinity with what you have said.


  488. on September 25, 2007 at 10:47 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Well done Bruce you actually strung 4 paragraphs together with no rude words! Be careful you were almost civil there, you’ll tarnish your manly gunslinging bravado image. :-) You’re the only alienated one, projecting your self hate on the world.
    What’s your story, why are you so bitter? Were you one of the inner circle?


  489. I’m done wasting photons on you Vinnie.


  490. on September 25, 2007 at 10:54 pm 'I see' said the blind man

    Vinnie the Fish, your tone and the style of your writing has changed since your first half dozen posts, so has your time zone, or are you a night owl?


  491. on September 25, 2007 at 10:55 pm Vinnie the Fish

    Sorry Sheik I suddenly felt disrespectful to your blog, I won’t indulge in mudslinging with the heroic gunslinger any more.
    I’ll just talk to reasonable folk.


  492. Vinnie UNMASKED, Part 1
    ________________________

    Vinnie, I hope I have located your true external identity, being a basketball player, fond of Ali and a son of a Baptist minister would explain allot of what’s going on in here and how it is that your psyche automatically ‘jives’ with the subterranean mildews of Robert Burton’s old underwear collection, piled up as a cushion at the bottom of the stairs leading down and away from his Galleria bedroom via his secret door get-away-hatch.

    Just for the ‘NBA (Newest Bullshit Artist) Record’, you have yet to reach the heights of Howard Carter, young grasshopper and who ever is your cheerleader’s squad commander, keep her to yourself and wear a condom.
    ____________________________

    “Vin Baker grew up in Old Saybrook, CT, the son of a Baptist minister. His three heroes have always been his father, his uncle who taught him to play basketball, and Muhammad Ali.

    A hard working, polite, quiet person, he attended Old Saybrook High School and became an All State Player and local sports hero in the shoreline community. At the conclusion of his high school career, he earned a scholarship to attend the University of Hartford, where he began to grab the attention of Pro Scouts. During Vin’s outstanding college basketball career, he became the schools All Time leader in Scoring, Field Goals, Free Throws and Blocked Shots, averaging 27.6 points per game in his junior year and 28.3 points a game in his Senior year which was second and fourth best in the country during each respective year. His efforts earned him All American Honors in his junior year and he was a top five scorer and top twenty rebounder in the nation during his senior year in college.

    That same year, Sports Illustrated referred to Vin as “America’s Best Kept Secret” in a feature story that came out prior to the 1993 NBA Draft, because of his incredible versatility as a 6’ 11” player. On Draft Night, the Milwaukee Bucks selected Vin with the Eighth overall pick, making him a franchise player as a lottery pick. By the conclusion of his rookie year, he became the first Buck to be named NBA Rookie of the Month and was later named to the NBA ALL Rookie First Team. As a member of the Bucks, he became one of the leagues marquee players and part of one of the leagues most feared scoring tandems, along with Glen “Big Dog” Robinson. During his years in Milwaukee, Baker was named to Three Consecutive NBA All Star Teams from 1995 to 1997. He was then traded to the Seattle Supersonics at the beginning of the 1997-1998 season where he was paired with fellow All Star, Gary Payton to provide a one two scoring punch that lead the Sonics to the Playoffs and Baker to his fourth Consecutive All Star Game. Immediately following that season, Vin was selected to represent the USA in the 2000 Olympics as a member of the third USA Dream Team. The team traveled to Sydney Australia in 2000 and Won the Gold Medal for USA. He has described winning the Olympic Gold medal as one of the proudest moments in his illustrious career to date.

    Off the court, Vin has established a philanthropic legacy that is matched by few in sports. He has consistently contributed his time and over 1.7 million dollars to the community through his Stand Tall Foundation which has donated money to a variety of charities including, The Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics, Doc Hurley’s Scholarship Fund, The Urban League of Greater Hartford, Old Saybrook High School, The Westbrook YMCA, Food Share and the CT Food Bank to name a few. He has also hosted a variety of programs that benefit kids and families throughout Connecticut and the various NBA cities were he has played. In addition, he has sponsored a variety of fundraising and community events including the Vin Baker Presidential Celebrity Golf Tournament which contributes to his Scholarship Program at the University of Hartford, Vin’s annual Skills & Drills Basketball Camp for kids throughout Connecticut, Vin Baker’s “Homecoming Weekend” Concerts and events, Vin’s Thanksgiving “Dinner on Me” Program, his Holiday “Grab Bag” Gift Program and Baker’s Dozens Youth Incentive Trips all designed to benefit children and financially challenged families.

    Vin’s latest venture, “Vinnie’s Saybrook Fish House” is the culmination of many years of dreaming, searching and planning to fulfill another lifelong dream. As a young man, he developed an appreciation for food while spending numerous hours in the kitchen watching his mother cook and later became an avid cook as an adult. Friends and family that have visited his home often benefit from the meals that he has prepared on almost a daily basis for many years. His cooking style reflects his appreciation for a wide variety of cuisines with some consistent hints of his favorites of Seafood, Steak, Chicken and Italian dishes.

    In preparation for opening his own restaurant, Vin has had the good fortune to travel extensively and experience quality dining throughout the world thanks to his primary profession of Basketball, taking notes along the way. In addition, he has hand picked and assembled an experienced staff of restaurant professionals to insure that the overall quality of the food, service and experience at Vinnie’s is the absolute BEST.

    Copyright 2006 Vinnie’s Saybrook Fish House. All Rights Reserved.”


  493. Opus 489.

    I think it has been clear to every one around Isis how little some students care about other students but still profit from Fellowship property in one way or another.

    In a community that property belonged to all of us. All the fourteen thousand students that left with nothing but their own work and frustration.

    The fact that even after knowing the facts, so many of these opportunists continue to belong to the Fellowship, work for it, show up here and there or not show up at all does not make them any less than opportunists.

    They may not be making money but they have it in perspective and they’re using a vineyard that was built by us.

    They are using Fellowship of Friends property just as Robert Burton is using The Work’s property, The Systems, to give himself credibility, but they are using something we built through whatever transaction and agreement they made with the Fellowship to make a business for themselves just as Robert made a business of hiring Russian, italian, and whatever country he could get whores from.

    There are big differences and yet the parallel is clear. They are not hiring whores but they failed to acknowledge and respect their own selves and other students when they decided to make an instinctive comfortable life with the spiritual energy so many of us had put in the Fellowship entity and land.

    Who knows exactly what these deals between students and the fellowship are?

    Why don’t we know?

    I may be guessing to a certain extent but things are so obvious if one does not play absolute oblivion.

    They are no different to the Linda’s and Girard’s who sold their soul to a role in which they dominated the life of the school being the only one’s to decide who participated, why, when and where.

    Gideon indeed has kept quiet and far but does that make him any less responsible for the community he would not look at? He would not interfere with? Is anyone who kept quiet not responsible?

    They all use Robert to keep their little lives running, at the cost of the lives they are stealing from true believers. Naive even stupid, but well meaning people.

    Steven participated as long as they let him copy Girard and tell the rest of us how to behave in his martial way. So did Meredith. They lead so many meetings with the belief that they were the saturn mars chosen to rule this and the other world that their features crystallized in the greed for power.

    Robert then took the power away from each one of them and gave it to the new generation of enablers. He gives a damm what happens to them. If they were smart enough to steal while he stole, good. If not, marry someone who can support you, idiots, after all, he think he’s been feeding them for thirty years.

    They will end up going at each other’s throats like wild beasts if we don’t protect them from themselves before they get there.

    Ours is the most ridiculous and tragic of stories. It is a play of greed, of ambition and spiritual poverty, so we might as well take a good look at the inner death that allowed for it to happen so that we at least bring some balance back to our lives before we are all gone.

    It is rather depressing but it is not my interest to make you depressed, simply to not buffer the facts. We look at the hell with all of our being because being that honest about who we are will give us a chance to remember our selves.


  494. vinnie,
    i’ve followed your posings for a few days… i have no idea of why you are in the cult ? you’ve denounced your teacher as a fraud and a fairy, you imply that you know what’s going on and feign a pseudo-conscious indifference, as if you walk above it all because you recognize the shennanigans… why are you there vinnie? and what will you do with the “consciousness” you are trying to buy?

    re 454
    ” so if it was useful for you lot for 25 years or however long you stayed in, why not for me now? And why write off all your ‘wasted years’?”

    i stayed longer than i should have because i didn’t want to lose all of the people i knew and loved… it was faith that kept me going for a time, faith in “the system” as we used to call it — there are many systems…. and i hate to admit it in public, it sounds sappy but, faith in your teacher kept me there longer than i should have stayed. i “woke up” to the con and did the only thing i could, i left.

    if we “take you at your word” here and you are hip to what’s going on over at the funny-farm, why then do you stay?
    but maybe it is wrong for me to take you at your word, you did write…

    “take me for example, I don’t believe a word of what I’m typing.. any more than you do! bwuhhahaha! ;-)”

    then what are you doing here?
    i would agree with some of the previous statements about your motivation in blogville… you are only interested in “vinnie the fish.” as a narcissist you’ve found the right teacher / cult.


  495. 461-Vinnie
    “Sex is a powerful drive, and I would GUESS that the intention is to have sex, not to damage the person emotionally.
    It is different to you teaching kids in that they are underage and illegal.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If you would do a little research into the facts about the FOF, you would discover that Troy Buzbee was underage when he was first approached by RB. There may have been others, I don’t know. He’s probably being more careful now. That was a very expensive mistake he made.


  496. sorry to repeat myself fellowbloggers;

    vinnie,
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=CHmAUODVaLY
    a ‘pretty’ song by a pretty ‘girl’
    so you don’t get the wrong idea, no malice toward you is intended.


  497. 21/497, Elena

    I hear your point. I was not addressing the issue of Steven/olives.

    I was pointing to the fact that to my knowledge, RVW is a subsidiary of FOF, a legitimate business with separate books and tax regulations. Everything else I wrote about them is, I believe, correct. None of these workers is building a comfortable life off that enterprise. It may come to that if they become successful, but they have yet to do so and the prospects are not good (out of about 800 registered wineries in CA, 600 are chronically fighting bankruptcy I was told recently). Additionally, at this time, the only benefit that FOF is reaping from RVW is that it does not have to maintain the land that RVW uses (as opposed to all the land where vines have been uprooted), and it may not have to pay the property taxes for that land if RVW makes enough money to do so.


  498. 488, Yes, spam attack … and political operatives look like Karl Rove or maybe Rush Limbaugh. You Could be a human, its your choice. (You might even turn out to be OK.)


  499. Xena, 21/499

    If you would do a little research into the facts about the FOF, you would discover that Troy Buzbee was underage when he was first approached by RB.

    I know this was the accusation. This would be a criminal offense, in legal parlance. Was it ever proven? You may settle a civil case (for money), but you could only plea bargain a criminal case, I think.


  500. Troy Buzbee won the court case and was awarded a nearly million dollar settlement; keep smiling M.L., Troy needs your money too. The entire criminal lawsuit details are on Res Ipsa Loquitur… The Fellowship of Friends and Goldman Associates attempted to get Troy to sign a paper admitting that he was mentally incompetent (not sure how you rationalize than one), etc. to avoid a court case, to annul Troy’s viability as a ‘normal’ person in the eyes of the courts; Troy refused to sign the paper and won the court case, the entire case was supposedly sealed off from public view, etc. Troy’s case is not the only one the Fellowship of Friends is still cutting pay-off-checks for BTW and the winery (RVW) was not privatized until much later in Fellowship of Friends history, so don’t go wiseacring that it was always a separate ‘thing’ from Robert Burton’s ‘thing’; and even so, if it were ‘legal’, the funds it generated went where? I’d love to be a forensic auditor checking out those piles of papers, there was so much private checks written, cashed, brought back into the Fellowship of Friends in the form of donations, that, such ‘mercurial-ness’ would make the fourth of July look like a flea fart in hell’s inferno.

    :.{


  501. Vinnie: “take me for example, I don’t believe a word of what I’m typing.. any more than you do! bwuhhahaha! ;-)”

    ‘ton: “then what are you doing here? i would agree with some of the previous statements about your motivation in blogville… you are only interested in “vinnie the fish.” as a narcissist you’ve found the right teacher / cult.”

    Or maybe Vinnie himself is a “conscious being”? Maybe he’s seen through the illusion of selfhood and separation?


  502. RVW: It generally ran at a loss and was subsidised by the FOF (ie donations), though the financial relationship between the two entities was somewhat murky.


  503. P.S.

    The Theatron was hidden from view when the refinance ‘officials’ came to ISIS, so that they would not count it as an added ‘value’ to the already descending RVW building, auto shop area, etc.

    I will never forget the crazy ant hill energy it took to cover that ‘white elephant’ in less than two days time; thousands of yards of canvas, hundreds of potted palm trees, dirt here and there… LOL… what a farce, as if the county officials were not taking satellite images of the whole process while is was occurring and if you ‘think’ satellites can’t see in the dark, think again.

    :.}

    BTW, Robert Burton, Man #7.4, all knowing and omnipresent, I guess you have always known that you’re little ‘oasis’ is less than 50 miles from one of three of the most sophisticated spy satellite receiving centers in the world, compliments of Beale Airforce Base; yep, now there’s some intentional conscious locating for ya, nice and secluded for sure… LOL

    :.{


  504. 506

    The millions of dollars gotten from the corporate barter program set up between RVW as the ‘raw goods supplier’ (trading wine for products, products that the Fellowship of Friends at large used, both privately and as an ‘religious intituion’ and the Fellowship of Friends as the beneficiary of said ‘traded for goods’ would be enough to connect the dots for a good ole roll in the IRS mud; Robert Burton, best look for some waterproof underwear or G-string (you’re conscious and have real will, you can choose), there’s an IRS wedgie coming your way.


  505. 507

    The Theatron was hidden from view when the refinance ‘officials’ came to ISIS, so that they would not count it as an added ‘value’ to the already descending RVW building, auto shop area, etc.

    I don’t know whether it was so much to hide the ‘added value’ as it was to hide the fact that it was not supposed to exist, since it was built without a permit. It cost a bundle, but does it have value to anyone outside FOF? Hard to say. Certainly not your typical mobile home… I do not think you would be able to recover the limestone, set in concrete, or it would cost more than it is worth.


  506. I am curious if anyone out there in Blog Land has actually contacted any of the various agencies and authorities (IRS, INS, etc) that might investigate the Fellowship. If so, what was the nature and result of the contact? There has been a lot implied in this regard but I don’t recall any specific, concrete, details, names, etc. I know Uno has done a tremendous amount of work on Res Ipsa Loquitur, but have any of the authorities been directed to read any of that? Have any of you that can substantiate charges against RB or the FOF taken any initiative by providing them with testimony or evidence? I sure hope so! Let us know.


  507. on September 26, 2007 at 1:48 am Real Reborn Turbot

    ‘Robert Earl Burton is a false prophet.’

    If anyone can cast reasonable doubt on this statement – I swear to pay them the sum of $1,000.00

    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/reasons/false%20prophetsnew.HTM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_authority


  508. DreamCathcher,
    (You’re in a daze!)
    Never named NS as Howard Carter(thanks Bruce!).But this is beside the point I want to make,which is the Horward Carter’s,the Vinnie’s are really a distraction to perhaps the main benefit of this blog which I see as HEALING.It is necessary to get out all the poison,all the ‘crap’ in order to quicken the healing process.
    Forget the Vinnie’s!

    Laura,
    Another great poem!Indeed conscience,and it’s growth is the main issue,in my opinion,and you are right-on-acting from our conscience,how can we not but kick RB’s ‘rimmed’ ass right out of the fof?


  509. on September 26, 2007 at 1:52 am wake up little suzy wake up

    #503, Opus 111: The reason that no criminal charges ever stuck was that by the time Troy decided to do something about it, the Statue of Limitations had run out. So the fact he got anything at all says something about the case.


  510. I thought there was no statute of limitations when a minor is involved? Was there ever, in fact, any criminal investigation, or only the civil lawsuit?


  511. Hello Opus 111 and David B. ~

    ___________________________

    Yes and yes, the theatron was ‘illegal’, yet (GOD, I love that word), the main issue was that the added value of such a construction would ‘add’ to the refinance loan (which would ‘interfere’ with the ‘humble look’ Robert Burton and The Fellowship of Friends were looking for) ~ A second ‘add’ would too, simultaneously ‘occur’ when the legality of said ‘asset’ was investigated by the bank issuing the refinance loan, etc., etc. No good either direction, so, hence, Man #7.4 decision to ‘cover up’ (similar to Greylin’s morning duties of washing Robert Burton’s shit stained sheets) the theatron in the broad daylight of Yuba County Officials satellite coverage of everything occurring in said Yuba Territories; whew! Has not one of the UP and CUMMING men #5’s ever visited the Yuba County auditors access point to satellite coverage? You’d think that the Russians would be able to add an edge to Robert Burton’s arsenal, I guess the being of the Cold War has it’s limitations.
    ____________________________

    David B.,

    So long as you do unto others as you would have them do unto the issues described herein surrounding the Fellowship of Friends, I would think that your own actions would answer your questions, after all, truly, in the World of Being Yourself, that’s the only shadow you need answers from, yes?

    Sure, it’s an emotional wonderment that crosses my inner un-sanctimoniousness sanctum every time I go at adding to the Res Ipsa Loquitur heap, yet, not to worry, a 30,000 foot mountain peak suffers not because no one has reached it yet, it stands, unmoved by the desires of men to climb something so much easier than allowing the feminine to prove that erections are not all that life wishes to receive from their automatic desires.

    Rock on fellow lovers, rock on.

    ________________________

    l.t.y.a.


  512. P.S.

    Do you guys ‘think’ for one moment that the leaving of the RVW structure looking so ‘UNFINISHED’ was not an intentional action?

    There’s no better smoke screen than a fire that has yet to ever see actual flame… yet, the proceeds from the RVW wine selling , 6 month telemarketing of its product to rebuild the Bistro went where?

    Robert Burton kept the winery ‘looking’ in disarray for a reason.

    Remember all you esoteric romantics, you can’t have silk G-stings without pouring boiling water over tens of thousands of wiggling silk worm cocoons.

    Word!


  513. on September 26, 2007 at 3:08 am wake up little suzy wake up

    Sharon #513:

    Criminal Prosecutions for Sexual Abuse
    For criminal cases, a prosecutor may file a charge of aggravated rape at any time, with no limitation (in California, an aggravated rape is rape that involves a weapon, more than one person, or seriously injures the victim). Prosecution for “normal” sexual assault has a statute of limitations of six years. However, there is an exception made for DNA analysis. Since it is a relatively new technology, if a DNA test can conclusively prove the identity of a rapist, prosecution can take place within one year of the discovery.

    In regards to child molestation, there has been a series of great upheavals regarding the statute of limitations in California. In the early 1990s, the legislature passed a bill that retroactively waived the statute of limitations for all crimes of child molestation, meaning even people who were previously immune to prosecution could suddenly be arrested. This law was overturned as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a recent case, so now the law’s retroactive provision is eliminated.

    What remains is a 10 year statute of limitations for child molestation. HOWEVER, the crime can also be prosecuted within one year of WHENEVER a victim tells the police (even past the 10 year mark). This sounds rather contradictory, because this means that the 10 year limitation is essentially pointless, but it is the current law of the land. The California legislature is constantly debating about this, so the law may change in the near future.

    As you can see this remains very convoluted and confusing.


  514. on September 26, 2007 at 3:16 am wake up little suzy wake up

    Sharon #113: I personally know nothing about Troy’s case or how it was presented.


  515. Living La Vida Loca

    You were a pretty spectacular crash and burn. Even you would have to admit that. A bit too bizarre, though. Dripping in mud, red hot, openly threatening one of the most exalted.

    So smart, too smart, they could never hold you past those mandatory 72 hours. Could con them all.

    Showing up at the house at five a.m. wanting to talk about the divine and the mystical. The only thing you really ever cared about. Know it to be true, know it to be true.

    When you spoke, felt it, you were experiencing some other dimension. Your energy knocked me back against the kitchen counter. You were no longer attached to reality, no longer able to function in the world as we know it.

    And me, fully able to function in the world I found myself looking for what you had found. Wanting what you had. Such a big gap. Unable to reconcile the gap. And you tried but could never take me there.

    Then with fatigue and alcohol, so much alcohol, you would come down. And rest, but never find peace, no peace. Why was there never peace for you?

    And as you were, you never realized how many tried to help, risking much, very much.

    But in the end, you were deemed a threat by the powers that be. And really, how could you have be seen otherwise. Well, except to us, those you knew you and cared for you.

    And you so smart, you felt that noose tightening and fled. And you the devotee, the supreme devotee, leaving all that had given your life form for decades for what? Days of darkness, such darkness; nights of glowing light, such light. Don’t know. Don’t understand why this happened to you. Why you suffered so.

    But wherever you may be tonight, my friend, thinking of you, and that door you opened that I have never been able to close.

    Sometimes too many questions and not enough answers
    Cake


  516. 516

    One must first ‘under-stand’ (standing beneath the King of Clubs ‘idea’ of a ‘willing bottom’, that the understanding of what the definition of ‘child’ is very misleading based upon the observer;

    Robert Burton’s ‘idea’ of “child” has been given to his King of Clubs rapist ‘plane of vision’ as 17 years of age or less (thanks to the democratic system of initiating lawyers of unrest); yet, as anyone who has entered the spiritual domain can attest to, a teenager can be a sixty four year old yogi instructor being solicited for infra sex support in a paternal affirmative realm of sleaziness and absolute ‘waste’ of love investment in a school who sees by the touch of a man who has voluntarily gouged out his own eyes to spite a confession from his mother he never received that man has completely failed ‘HER’; no, Robert Burton has failed ‘Man’, not ‘The Mother’… payment will be collected.

    l.t.y.a.


  517. on September 26, 2007 at 9:12 am Vinnie the Fish

    ‘ton: “then what are you doing here?”
    I’m here because it’s fun and interesting, and because I seek understanding. Also, since many of you are or were friends, I vainly hoped I could help a little to reduce the identification, with my Extreme Objectivity. I mean it’s not SUCH a big deal, nobody was butchered or skinned alive.. the FOF will end one day of course, whether it’s sooner or later, whatever! As Robert de Niro said ‘I don’t give 2 fucks’! What will be will be, life goes on, and I take every moment as it comes.. the next ‘school’ we find will probably prove corrupt too, that’s the way humans are. But the path of the seeker continues.. until the final bell tolls.

    Charles: Or maybe Vinnie himself is a “conscious being”? Maybe he’s seen through the illusion of selfhood and separation?
    I’m starting to like you more and more Charles, I dont know why. I’ve got a good idea. Let’s start a new school and I’ll be the leader. All in favour raise your hands. Oy.. I said hands, not middle fingers. The SOF (School Of Fish).

    I have an aim now to not open this blog, it’s too addictive. It will be hard, so no promises! but I’ll kiss you all goodbye now, wetly and disgustingly on the lips.. man to man. ugghh ;-)

    God bless all of us. Love with presence is still home.


  518. Ka 459
    Dear Ka, happy to oblige, and thanks for a great post.

    Fellow Bloggers Be Warned:
    “Dance Your Blues Away” week has officially started.
    If you are not a dancing fool, you don’t need to bother checking out my links. But then again, you never know…

    This one goes out to all of you lovely and grumpy, wise and old men. Don’t be shocked by the tone of my voice-ah
    check out my new weapon, weapon of choice.

    half way between the gutter and the stars, yeah
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=0WW8flwpH-Q


  519. “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.”
    Thomas Pynchon

    tiger around 511, and others interested in “healing”
    this may, or may not be of interest…

    http://www.realitysandwich.com/node/554


  520. #476 I ‘see’ said the blind man

    “If things weren’t the way they are they would have to be made to be like this.”

    I read this three times and my brain exploded.

    It is nice to hear from you. I still laugh when I think of egyptian stuff as being the mother lode when it comes to mumbo-jumbo mines. Come to think of it this blog has taken over top spot from the “Daily Show” for making me laugh. The real funny part is it usually not something intended to be humorous.

    Keep ’em coming and keep laughing. As more space opens between you and your time in the fof your memories will keep you in stitches.


  521. #483 Fishy

    Objective reasoning in an

    Oxy— moron.


  522. Vinnie the Fruit

    I mean it’s not SUCH a big deal, nobody was butchered or skinned alive..

    ******

    Not yet, but just keep talking and that could change.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=7BxTsPYUIvw


  523. for all you dancing fools… thanks laura, i love fatboy slim, here’s a favorite of mine…

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=FsACIBI5NPk&mode=related&search=


  524. i’ll try that again, pasted the wrong site on 526
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=XniTypXFje4


  525. vinnie,
    this one was for you, just in case you’re still lurking…

    “… now you’re underneath the stairs and yer givin’ back some glares…
    ain’t funny how you feel when yer findin’ out it’s real…”

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=FsACIBI5NPk&mode=related&search=


  526. Laura, you’re a gem.


  527. on September 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    Thanks for that video Laura. Alot of people may not be aware that Christopher Walken was an accomplished tap dancer, and did tap in some of his earlier movies. I guess he has continued to reevent his dancing capabilities, being the elder gentleman that he is at this point. Always like his movies.


  528. It’s blocked


  529. Thank you Abigail for your last post a while back and Cake.

    My dog caught something. I’m concerned. As I approach where he is, he moves out with a big bone in his jaws. As I come closer, it is a huge, colourful snake that could bite anything. It is wounded. As it stands up it turns into a beautiful, big and strong African antelope with stripes like a zebra.

    You’re a dangerous man.
    But I love you all.

    Yes, you do love us, but no matter how much you love us, you will continue to hurt us if we don’t submit. You’ve lost the connection between your actions and your heart. It is what happens when you practice sex without love.

    Sex is the main sculptor of the soul.

    Personality is the soul inside out.


  530. 523 an 476:

    Maybe the same genius also wrote:

    “Things are more like they are now, than they have ever been before.”

    With the right intonation and reverent pauses…

    Amazing how easily slumbering minds can be impressed.


  531. Comic Relief wrote:

    Maybe the same genius also wrote:

    “Things are more like they are now, than they have ever been before.”

    This genius would be Dwight D. Eisenhower. I’m not sure I get your point, though.

    Laura:

    Are we twins separated at birth? Can we make it a “Dance Your Blues Away” month instead? For some of us this process is going to take a lot longer than a week.


  532. moments in contemporary ballet- some great photos

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=An79ipsCHMY


  533. 392, 444, 468, 495, 515 and 537 are newly moderated.


  534. on September 26, 2007 at 8:31 pm wake up little suzy wake up

    any of you Chris Walken fans will like this.


  535. 542

    Hi Suzy,

    I don’t know if you ever saw the full remake of Pennies from Heaven that the above clip was taken from , but it is one….dark…. movie, in the psychological sense (murder, sexual predation etc.). It distressed quite a few people with it’s black humor. They took the original sound track and made it into a completely different film, with Steve Martin and others lip syncing. But it is worth seeing. Thanks.


  536. “I see” said the blind man (#476):

    Well, I was going to give it some rest for a while but your apparently sincere reply has lured me back to this blog.

    The topic of “life people” is certainly one which is sure to generate some interest and strong opinions among us.

    At the heart of the matter is the 4th Way idea (it was not an RB invention although I am not disputing that he may have used the idea to further his own interests) that only a minuscule percentage of the world population, at any given time, has the possibility of escaping Nature’s “clutches” and creating an immortal soul.

    Gurdjieff gave the example of a small group of inmates trying to escape from jail. He made it clear that only a few could escape, not all. He explained this by speaking of the Ray of Creation and the Laws of Nature that mankind is under. Briefly, mankind serves a vital purpose for Nature (“feeding the moon”) and it is essential for that purpose, at least in the present era, that the vast majority of mankind be “asleep”.

    It’s this notion of inequality among men, exclusiveness, the “chosen ones” that attracts such strong objections in our modern day, democratic society. We are heavily conditioned by our upbringing to believe fervently in the ideal that all men are created equal, not only under the laws of the State but also in the eyes of God. Anything contrary to the cherished ideal is deemed to be patently unjust, morally repugnant and taboo even to discuss. For to even open the question for discussion would risk “opening the floodgates” that might lead us to the hellish nightmare of Nazism or the 18th century slave trade in North America (for example).

    Of course, we dismiss the fact that there have been countless societies and cultures in the past that did not subscribe to this belief (eg. Victorian era England, Feudal era Europe, India under the caste system). We believe that we have progressed beyond the primitive cultural values of our ancestors (I, for one, am not at all sure that our present day culture with its crass, materialist values are any improvement at all).

    So there is the nub of the problem – dare we, in our search for the “Miraculous”, throw off the shackles of our deeply imbedded social conditioning, if only for a short while, in order to examine this prickly subject?


  537. Kid Shelleen 539:

    Thank you for the attribution. I have great respect for the man and I was not aware that Eisenhower first said that. It was also borrowed by Gerald Ford and maybe others.

    Genius or not, and sorry to belabor the point, but:

    How can things be MORE than they ARE, now or ever?

    PS: I would be interested to know in what context he said that.


  538. little suzie 542
    wow! that was heavenly.
    Kid, yes, I think the show must go on, let’s see how long we can keep this production rolling.
    We need lots of healing, emotional, sexual, intellectual.
    Like Whalerider, we have to sweat it out. Hence, the heat.
    Burning down the house.
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vh3SmpAcVg


  539. Comic Relief,

    I believe the Ike quote is from one of his Presidential speeches. He had a reputation for mangleing the language. I gained quite a bit of respect for his political accumen, however, while watching the movie “Why We Fight.” Very provocative documentary.

    I understand the paradox of the quote, I just didn’t understand your use of it in the context of the other referenced posts. Upon re-reading it, I now understand what you were getting at.


  540. 544 Still Trying: “At the heart of the matter is the 4th Way idea that only a minuscule percentage of the world population, at any given time, has the possibility of escaping Nature’s “clutches” and creating an immortal soul.”

    Let’s be clear that this is indeed just an idea and totally unverifiable by you, me or anyone else. Why believe it, or any of the many other similar theories? We can simply look around us and see reality as it is. There’s no need for “spiritual” concepts.


  541. Charles T (around) 548

    We can simply look around us and see reality as it is.

    *****

    Sure you can. What you think is what you see and what you see is reality — everyone is conscious. Everything is fine.


  542. on September 26, 2007 at 10:18 pm 'I see' said the blind man

    Hi Still Trying,
    Actually, I am more radically inclined than that. I think that there is great inequality amongst folks, however I don’t think it splits between people who believe in the fourth way or Robert Burton’s version as being at the top of the spiritual food chain, and those not included or ‘chosen’ being elsewhere as a kind of ballast.

    You are not special and your belief in your belonging to a select group of the chosen few is as mediocre and banal as things get on this planet. Isn’t it incredible that although ostensibly studying mechanics in the FOF one does not speak of the mechanicality of believing in influence C and in one’s extraordinary fate of being part of an organization blessed with such patrons as Goethe, Jesus and Lau Tsu. What a huge blind spot! Truly shocking that one can not have seen the need for examining this for so many years. What humiliation and what freedom!

    Still Trying, the alternative to you being one of the elect is not equality, it can mean that you are one of the hopeless masses. Wouldn’t you agree that a defining characteristic of the hopeless mass of humanity is their ignorance of their purpose and fate. And yet the majority of them, just like you, Still Trying, believe they have a purpose and a fate and are guided by supernatural forces. In my opinion, your conviction is not the result of anything noble, insightful, informed or spiritually profound. It is a comfort and a crutch for a weak minded, pretentious woman who will be burnt or eaten by worms like the rest no matter how much she drugs herself up with nonsense. I suggest you write down a list of the things you believe and then look it over. See what underpins it, what the central supposition is upon which the hierarchy of belief is based. You might be surprised at how shaky your whole belief system is and to what extent it requires faith to hold together.


  543. Charles T. (around #548):

    You said: “We can simply look around us and see reality as it is. There’s no need for “spiritual” concepts.”

    I strongly disagree.

    Your statement appears to support the viewpoint (unquestionably predominate in our modern culture) that our only means of perceiving reality is through the “facts” filtered through our 5 senses. This viewpoint, natural as it may be to we humans, is a end when it comes to the matter of spiritual evolution.


  544. Still Trying, 544, is this idea important to you? How does it impact your work? Do you make use of it, and if so, how?


  545. on September 26, 2007 at 10:52 pm Bistro Fundraiser

    an excerpt from “To Think of Time” by Walt Whitman

    Pleasantly and well-suited I walk,
    Whither I walk I cannot define, but I know it is good,
    The whole universe indicates that it is good,
    The past and the present indicate that it is good.

    How beautiful and perfect are the animals!
    How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it!

    What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just as perfect,
    The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable fluids are perfect;
    Slowly and surely they have pass’d on to this, and slowly and surely they yet pass on.
    I swear I think now that everything without exception has an eternal Soul!
    The trees have, rooted in the ground! the weeds of the sea have! the animals!

    I swear I think there is nothing but immortality!
    That the exquisite scheme is for it, and the nebulous float is for it, and the cohering is for it;
    And all preparation is for it! and identity is for it! and life and materials are altogether for it!


  546. 551 Still Trying.

    I used to believe that most humans were “sleeping machines”, so that’s the way I actually saw them. When I looked at people they really did appear to be “asleep”.

    When that belief fell away I started to see people just as people. They might look vibrantly alive or drowsy. They might appear to be in a daydream. But they’re not sleeping machines. It’s also very presumptuous to assume they don’t have souls.

    If there is such a thing as spiritual evolution it would include seeing things the way they are, as in the Whitman poem kindly quoted by Bistro Fundraiser above: “beautiful and perfect”.


  547. “I See” (around #350):

    You said: “Wouldn’t you agree that a defining characteristic of the hopeless mass of humanity is their ignorance of their purpose and fate. And yet the majority of them, just like you, Still Trying, believe they have a purpose and a fate and are guided by supernatural forces.”

    I agree. The notion of a select or chosen people is certainly not original with the 4th Way. In fact, it’s an almost universal idea.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the Jewish religion has this idea and Christianity holds the view that a person must be baptized by the Church and/or believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour in order to get to “heaven”. Religious types of all faiths pray to “God” for guidance and help and most believe they have a direct line of communication with the “Man”. Non-religious intellectual types espouse the view that one can arrive at the “Truth” through the proper application of the intellect – a belief that excludes the great portion of the population who may not have the necessary intellectual powers. The same could be said for the artistic types who see their higher emotional or creative development as bringing them a step closer to “Nirvana” than the rest of us non-creative beings could hope to attain.

    So whence does this nearly universal belief derive from? Certainly it cannot be produced by the “facts” garnered from the stream of perceptions taken in by our 5 senses.

    You said: “In my opinion, your conviction is not the result of anything noble, insightful, informed or spiritually profound. It is a comfort and a crutch for a weak minded, pretentious woman who will be burnt or eaten by worms like the rest no matter how much she herself up with nonsense.”

    To answer the question posed by me above, the spiritual conviction I have and the convictions of others (whatever they may be) come from our innate human birthright – the ability to perceive at least a tiny (but tremendously important) sliver of true reality through an intuitive power which is wholly independent from our sense-based, rational powers of perception. Of course, intuitive perception of reality is only vaguely grasped by the rational mind (the intellect) and that presents a huge roadblock for the rationalists and the atheists as far as the pursuit of the “Truth” (objective reality) goes. I am reminded here of Plato’s analogy of the people in the cave and also, the veil of Isis (the Egyptian God of Nature).

    It may, as you say, prove in the end to be “nonsense” but were I to accept the idea that we are all, in the end, just “food for worms”, I would then make it my very fervent wish that I be put profoundly and permanently “asleep” so that ideas such as we are discussing would never bother my mind again, and if that were not possible, I would probably not be prepared to wait for Nature to “shuffle me off this mortal coil”.


  548. How very ‘Matrix’

    Just trying, please say how you use this concept and if you do use it in a practical way, then what does it benefit you?


  549. Still Trying ~ 551 ~

    Well, of course you’d “strongly disagree”… perhaps the portion Charles T. left out (but most likely it’s the one you’re not considering) after all, as we would say in art school, ‘If the critique of the ‘piece’ is better than the piece alone, without words, then somethings up’ (or down), depending on your half-full/half-empty syndrome tendencies.

    That ‘missing portion’ would be ‘In relation to what?’ or ‘relative to what?’…

    The “no need for spiritual concepts” can only be had by a person who is being the concepts goal, who has worked through the concept to the perception, i.e., the concept having been pregnant with direction, gives birth to the destination sought, right here and all that (that) state of affairs implies;

    I have yet to experience the living-ness of the now without it’s accompanying shadows dancing about on the edges, a sort of reminder that we are participating in Time and that our inner states are somewhat disconnected from a certain ‘practical body reality’… and all those ‘earth thingys’ pushing our earthy-buttons and pulling our earthy-strings.

    For me, what Charles T., said could be false and true, depending on from where he is in the moment it was stated, it could be a New Age ‘buffer’ and it could be a statement from his being, it’s placement right here, right now, a snapshot of what IT IS NOW, which, at least IMO, I would never doubt or challenge it’s validity on a personal, conscious individuality level.

    There’s little room in a School of Relative Awakening to be yourself, AS YOU ARE NOW, because of the incredible level of identification on keeping it ‘relative’ to a belief, a unattainable goal, it’s a lifestyle creator for the Painbody, not the Soul altogether, that’s not to say that revelations and being changes will not occur from such an environment, only, that it does not clearly state what it really is, rather, it promotes more of what it is busy getting rid of, this is not the nature of a conscious school IMO.

    It’s tough to gauge some kinds of statements on the blog because we are not able to ‘feel’ or ‘sense’ the intonations, the eye contact, the physical twitches that may accompany such a profound statement, showing it to be ‘wishful thinking’ or ‘esoteric romanticism’,

    yet, perhaps you can leave some room in your Neophyte Cap of Important Affirmations, for those who have made it to a certain place of ‘beyond affirmations’ and ‘sequence repeating’, after all, what’s the point to be so vigorously indebted to all these hopeful and sorta life altering theories and ‘conscious’ exercises if you reject the possible vision of their results having come to fruition in another other than yourself?

    What does having a problem with a ‘school’ (or set of insane circumstances brought upon one’s mysterious proximity to such) actually ‘working’, i.e., bringing about an organic process of graduation to it’s attendees, imply?

    Perhaps there is a level (one Robert Burton cannot show any proof of or teach to his students) where one can be oneself without context;

    anywho, where’s the meaning in an unfulfilled hope?

    I mean, real being-meaning, not the clingy, “I hope this gets better soon” sort of stuff…

    Certainly, we wish before we get and we get things that we then wish away; yet, a person is more of an abstract kind of ‘gift’ than certain ‘obvious events’ or ‘obvious statements’;

    a person, if you’re open enough to see what is not, nor ever will be you because they are they and not you, can show you just how ‘big’ and ‘small’ the actual ‘self’ really is and all that this possible event implies.

    Like so many adolescently fixated ‘teachers’ like Robert Burton, they ‘think’ that love requires ‘action’ and ‘worse’ (relatively speaking) of all it creates reaction and the setting up of contradictory lifestyles that in turn elicit more of this sort of ‘love’ and ‘forgiveness’ for such hypocrisies from the followers;

    yet, to me, this is not the nature of the Beloved, nor the kind of love I felt called to hunt down when smashed to pieces by Rumi’s words and Hafiz’s soft strictness, nor was it the sort of love I sensed was issuing out from Gurdjieff’s being or Ouspensky’s ultra-personal exposure of all his failures and endurances, leading him, on and on and on, till he was finally able to stand still and simply be himself and work too.

    Your School of Relative Awakening cannot stand still; this is a condition of three things, one, it has no conscious conscience to set such profound stillness as a prerequisite to the before and after effects of subjective events (both innocent and criminal) and how life mysteriously unfolds; it reacts, responds, reduces, reissues the same snap shot with the ‘act’ photo-shopped out, hence, no chance in change of level of being, since the center of attention is not attention, but rather, getting attention and wanting it yesterday.

    two, the teacher is more a student than his students; which may sound humble and meek and all at first, yet, I mean this in a very practical way, in that he does not learn from his mistakes and only learns how to make them with less publicity, less impact upon the ‘meaning masks’ of ‘his school’, rather than the school’s ‘being’, it’s truer level of ‘deed’ or ‘symbol’ in the spiritual world;

    spiritually speaking the Fellowship of Friends is a synthetic boot camp which promises spiritual war, yet never volunteers for it.

    thirdly, whenever any spiritual practice among an individual or group includes another group as their ‘third force’ to BE; when it ‘hinges’ itself by comparison to a ‘those’, a ‘they’, an ‘ex’ and a ‘new’, all is doomed; you can intuit the rest.

    There’s an old saying “Wake up and smell the roses.”

    I’d like to add to it ~ ‘grip tightly the thorned vine and sense what it is that protects such beauty from being ravaged by ‘the bush climber’.

    _________________________________________

    l.t.y.a.


  550. on September 27, 2007 at 12:19 am 'I see' said the blind man

    Hi Still Trying,
    “…were I to accept the idea that we are all, in the end, just “food for worms”, I would then make it my very fervent wish that I be put profoundly and permanently “asleep” so that ideas such as we are discussing would never bother my mind again..”

    How do you know you have not already made this wish come true? Surely you would have supressed this memory in order to allow the wish to come true. You need to think back to your magnetic center to answer. What drove you and by what hook in the ideas of the 4th Way or idea of a real school were you caught by the Fellowship of Friends?
    Why did you need a school?

    This innate human birthright you speak of now seems to connect you with other mortals, rather than separate you from them.

    Intuitive perception that is not answerable to anything higher than its own creations does not seem to be the answer either.

    The anchor of being in the present moment is always there, and maybe that is where your intuitive perception comes into itself. However, do you need C influence, a concsious teacher, a school, a trail of ex cons who have made it over over the wall including Moses and Elizabeth I.
    What do you need and what don’t you need?
    Does what you need change as you change?
    Is part of change giving up what you needed before?
    What do you want, now that is, and what can you do about it?


  551. “392 nudaveritas

    Readers of this excellent blog, who may not be generally “privileged’ to witness the ‘teachings’ of Burton the degenerate, may like to know that that he is on his way to sunny England again soon!
    Burton will be appearing for a ‘teaching’ dinner on 3rd October, [by popular demand £!], at Bistro Aix, French Bistro. situated in Tottenham Lane in Crouch End.
    If you can stomach his performance, you will probably find the Beef Stew sublime, the Guinea Fowl, just perfect, the Duck to die for and the deserts works of art in both appearance and taste. . . . . However I’m pretty sure that the entertainment will be more unbelievable than the cuisine!”

    _______________________________

    Who in England could give the web site address of this blog and direct them (certain restaurants, hotels and the England Police Department) to the Res Ipsa Loquitur collection of ‘Robert Burton Restaurant Moments’? Maybe a few local above and underground newspapers as well (?)

    Hummmm… I wonder?

    :.}


  552. on September 27, 2007 at 12:41 am wake up little suzy wake up

    Laura: Loved Tom Jones but what about the Talking Heads? Love those 70’s non-techno videos.

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=6oVuLJS_Eok


  553. Sorry, but owing to limitations of time and energy, I can’t possibly respond to all or even most of the reply posts in any meaningful way.

    To unoanimo: I read your posts (or try to) but find many of them (owing, perhaps, largely to your “stream of consciousness” style of writing) as difficult to penetrate as a first reading of Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub’s Tales”.

    To KA: I will try (perhaps tomorrow) to respond to your questions.

    A final comment:

    How is this for irony:

    4th Way adherents and current FOF’ers believe that “life people” (including many ex-FOF’ers) are “asleep” to reality, hypnotized by their own features and false personality.

    Many posters on this blog are equally convinced that 4th Way adherents and current FOF’ers are “asleep” to reality, hypnotized by the 4th Way doctrine or still under the spell of the charismatic powers and trickery of RB.


  554. Still Trying,
    Your last few posts sound very ‘fofish’ to me.
    Do you know of anyone who has ‘escaped’???For years I tried to understand what the purpose of this ‘us/them’ didiatic meant. Eventually it seemed to me to be another deceptive tactic of RB,cultish in the true sense of the meaning ‘of or pertaining to a cult’, to justifiy his abusive behaviour.
    People are people simply put-can’t we leave it at that.Truth is there for anyone to discover.If I call myself a ‘seeker of truth’,then it’s my responsibility to act in accordance with the truth as my experience dictates.If I’m lucky I may find other people who have a similar experience.Does that make me different from those who don’t have a similar experience?I don’t think so-only lucky!

    Dance the Dance,and let everything fall into place.


  555. Just Trying. I look forward to hearing what this concept means in a practical way to you and how you use it and what it does for your awakening. As to you ‘observation’ in 561, yes sometimes, and no alot of the time. Maybe you should read back in the blog some. Do you think you are comparing apples to apples?


  556. 561 Still Trying: “How is this for irony: 4th Way adherents and current FOF’ers believe that “life people” (including many ex-FOF’ers) are “asleep” to reality, hypnotized by their own features and false personality. Many posters on this blog are equally convinced that 4th Way adherents and current FOF’ers are “asleep” to reality, hypnotized by the 4th Way doctrine or still under the spell of the charismatic powers and trickery of RB.”

    You’re mixing things up here. I for one don’t see people either inside or outside of the FoF as “sleeping machines”. I do observe, however, that current FoF members are hypnotised by RB’s teaching, as I was, and that that teaching is fundamentally false. Other people are hypnotised by other false beliefs. Doesn’t mean they are sleeping machines though.


  557. Ambient Reality

    The more or less agreed upon reality of the local culture is not reality either. It may be more lucid than the cult reality that you’ve just escaped from, but if you find yourself in the same “state” as the average man on the street it means that you are psychologically unconscious – asleep in a social personality that is more false in some cases and less false in others. That’s reality.


  558. 565 Graduates

    1. how do you know?
    2. what difference does it make to your work?
    3. do we need to constantly be accessing our ‘level’? IF you say yes, then is comparison to others the only way to do that?


  559. KA 566

    565 Graduates

    1. how do you know?

    ********

    How does a man know that most of the people around him exist in varying degrees of functional insanity and through the use of a certain psychological technique he is able to achieve varying degrees of sanity?

    Of course there is an answer to the question, but it isn’t found just anywhere and it isn’t given to every incredulous, demanding inquisitor.


  560. Tiger (around #562):

    Welcome to the debate.

    You said:”People are people simply put-can’t we leave it at that.”

    No, I thinks its useful to make a distinction between people doing the Work (or, perhaps, others who are actively engaged in some other legitimate avenue of spiritual pursuit and making it the number one priority in their lives) and people who have Influence A (money, career, family, fame) as their priority.

    Why?

    1. It is useful (to oneself and others in the Work) to discuss and communicate the 4th Way ideas. It is not useful (and, perhaps sometimes harmful) to share these ideas with people who care only, or primarily, for A Influence things.

    2. Knowing what drives life people, what motivates them to do what they do, both good or evil, makes it easier to understand them, not judge their behaviour so easily and not identify with their actions or omissions. Some of our posters have referred critically to the actions of G. Bush in world affairs. Whether you agree with his politics or not, it’s much easier to refrain from judgment if you see him as a “sleeping machine” blowing about like a leaf in the political winds and therefore no more responsible for his actions than is a tornado that destroys a home. Or to take a more homely example, how about that impatient motorist who laid the horn on you this morning because you waited one second before proceeding through the just turned green light.

    Tiger, in the last sentence of your post you appear to be drawing a distinction between “lucky people” (being those blessed with some degree of spiritual enlightenment) and, presumably, the rest of the people (the “unlucky people?”). I don’t see a significant difference there from the “Work people” – “life people” dichotomy that you are objecting to.

    KA (around #563):

    Not sure I answered your question very well but it’s the best I can do tonight.


  561. So I am happy Vinnie is gone. He was just a kind of a nut with many lies. What a person. Good riddance.

    About revenge and emotions.

    For myself, emotions have been suppressed for years in the fellowship of friends. Many times I remember I wanted to react because of the situation. because I labeled it negative I said nothing…Looking back ( which is easy ) I see now that this created a lot of “wrong work of center” or better said a kind of stagnation in me. Now when I feel (as I am an intuitive type and not an intellectual type) and something does not feel right…I express myself….this gives space for a whole new understanding and possibilities.

    One of my latest insides is that emotions are for the spirit or soul as pain is for the body. An alarm clock. Something’ is not “right” in the here and now. When listened to either pain or emotions both are ways to grow, evolve, getting out of a stagnated situation.

    Our society has a tendency to “numb” us . Numbing or with medication; you do not have to feel your pains…Soda’s, smoking food, if you feel uncomfortable just eat or drink and get a better feeling place by eating or smoking and just pretend that you are o.k..even if you work 40-6 hours a week and have 2 weeks of holiday in a year.
    Depressed, bipolar people we like to hush them with medication. They are getting angry o,o,o, give them past some sedation, so they keep quiet. ( Often there is an underlying issue, abortion, abuse physical, mental, emotional, physical etc)Our children…o.o.o. to hyper give them medication. Angriness feels so much better then depression. It is empowerment, it is going to a new solution when you get out of that phase. It is a door. This is also how I see revenge. The way Joseph discussed revenge was for me a clear sign of stop the hurt for so many young men. Still going on now in the fellowship of friends.

    Some will say o, I was in Robert’s room when was 19 and what is the big deal. When my son is 19, he can go and see Robert,I did it. Robert was always good to me, I like him, like a friend.

    For others “revenge” and other kinds of emotions are a way of saying, enough , my soul, conscience, or inner voice is protesting.
    It is like pain and let us look and sit with it for a while and see what is behind it. What is the message for us. For me, let it all come out and heal and love and joy to all.


  562. Another name ~ (568)

    You wrote ~

    “So I am happy Vinnie is gone. He was just a kind of a nut with many lies. What a person. Good riddance.

    About revenge and emotions.”

    _______________________________________

    ‘Another Name’ ~

    You say what you say concerning ‘Vinnie’ departing, not unlike some of the King of Clubs ‘bottom of the barrel sentiment’ I heard concerning Brian Sisler’s departure; then go to write some sort of vomit concerning “revenge and emotions”…

    Geez!

    I’d vote to have Vinnie return in your current impression-place; yet, accepting you both is closer to my heart of hearts, so, there you have it; stay and reject no one entirely, particularly those who wish to keep pushing themselves amongst our company, no matter the response; the reason Siddiq and Howard Carter were so easily removed from the blog by a quick (as Bruce said “newspaper swipe to the nose”) was because they were not here for ‘perception’, rather, shadow-casters of ‘concepts’… to conceive is easy, to carry it for nine months, give birth, raise for eighteen years, another.

    l.t.y.a.


  563. “Of course there is an answer to the question, but it isn’t found just anywhere and it isn’t given to every incredulous, demanding inquisitor.”

    Apology to KA for the over the top comment.

    I will think about the sincere questions.


  564. Dear Laura:

    ~546 “We need lots of healing, emotional, sexual, intellectual. Like Whalerider, we have to sweat it out. Hence, the heat.”

    I have been doing a lot of sweating lately, how’d you know? And feeling the heat…and I’ve been awake many sleepless nights, although not in way I’d recommend. Been doing a bit of deep breathing, too.

    I’ll warn you (and others), my healing has come at a great price. In order to take down the walls in me that kept my FOF experience comfortably contained, I had to put up a few in my current life. Now my marriage is now in danger of failing, and the ‘tipping point’, as my wife claims, was me blogging. That’s why I have been lately absent.

    Funny thing is, in therapy today she reveals that I come across as having a superior attitude, I am too controlling, and when she is around me she is so focused on me that she loses all sense of herself…only to regain it when we are apart. Sound familiar? That fucking bastard Burton and his organized smelting pot haunts my life even to this day…my only consolation is that my story probably knocked a few apples off the tree to take root on their own.

    So here I am, sleeping in the den (and not sleeping very well mind you) and for the first time in months, blogging again, for no other reason than you mentioned my name. I don’t profess to be a conscious being or starting up a school or any of that crap. And I wish the fuck I never went to that first prospective student meeting.

    Now that I remember it, on my third meeting, the universe tried to warn me. As I was driving down the highway, crossing an overpass, some punk through a rock from underneath that hit my windshield right in the middle and shattered it all over me. But I just kept right on driving. And at the time, I took that to be a good sign. Right now, I feel like the FOF has shattered my life. My family lives on the other side of the country; I am compelled to buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot is 44 million, and I freakin’ cry out of pain every time I hear Pacabel’s canon. So much for that.


  565. 571-Whalerider
    That reminds me of my third meeting. My watch stopped working which made me about 20 minutes late. I got a big photograph for being late. I also took it to be a positive sign.
    Welcome back. Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time.


  566. 571
    Whalerider

    I have not posted on this blog since Part 15 of the discussion, so you may not remember me. I was one of the “life people” (a former high school teacher from the Marysville/Yuba City area, who had met one of FoF’s former members, so I began to follow the blog.) The friend I met had been one of Robert’s boys, and I found his actions/reactions quite puzzling until I read this discussion and got a much deeper, clearer picture of the horrid, degrading, life-destroying, somewhat hidden side of FoF. Your honest, vivid, heart-wrenching account of what happened to you inside of FoF helped give me peace and insight when I was not able to sustain my friendship. I feel deeply sorry that all you endured still haunts your life to this day. I wish very much that there was a way to give you peace tonight as you face, still, the torment that has followed you and colored your current life.

    That is why I am so shocked at the current and past FoF members that are not literally pulling the walls of Isis (or whatever it is currently called) down to the ground. How many other young men must suffer and find their lives irrevocably changed by the degradation and spiritual torment suffered within Robert Burton’s sphere of influence; how many more wives must suffer as they wonder and worry about the men they love; how many children are forgotten as the adults wrestle with the spiritual shenanigans, the ever-escalating payments for silly items and tributes; how many friendships will be destroyed by the constant “us” vs. “them” mentality of FoF?

    May your sleep tonight alone in the den bring you some peace that your “blogging” which has endangered your marriage, has cast light on the evil being done in FoF, and may possibly be saving other young men from suffering the same fate you so needlessly endured when other good people stood quiet and did not stand in the light of day and have the conscience and the will to end the Fellowship and Robert Burton’s twisted reign.

    I will always honor you for your honesty and your sacrifice. May your future have greater peace!


  567. #571 WhaleRider

    Too late now to curse the past it is part of you (kinda).

    I have that same stuff. The superior/inferior attitude, I am controlling as hell and it irritates my girlfriend who irritates me by being scatterbrained. Hey, somebody’s got to control everything or it is all going to fall apart right?

    Relationships are hard. It is you and me against the world, god I am glad you are there when I come home and there is someone I trust and can be myself with who understands me and I can relax with. But we pen each other in.

    Cut yourself some slack man. Cut your wife some slack. Let her know she can be herself around you, show her.


  568. Whalerider ~ 571 ~

    If it’s any help my friend, your story is the nearest I have heard to being a carbon copy of my own current play, welcome to hell lover, let’s try and find the water fountain, it’s gotta be around here somewhere… the one that’s got two whales swimming around in it.

    Love to you Whalerider, that’s the only
    gauge I have left and it’s even a bit shaky.


  569. on September 27, 2007 at 8:39 am Across the River

    Dearest and much-missed WhaleRider,

    My response to your post is swift and heartfelt in every way.

    Can you find a deeper love for the young man who made a mistake years ago? HE MADE A MISTAKE. Is that unforgiveable to the man you are now?

    We must be allowed to make our mistakes or it is indeed a cruel world. Only you can free that young man to lay down his shame, anger, confusion. Be tender, be kind. He suffered enough. Robert Burton (‘shame be upon him’) is far from you now.

    If you don’t feel a personal quest to pursue legal action against him, you can know that others do, it is in the works, he will be exposed. If that’s not your way, maybe best to be stern in keeping the past behind you so not one more minute is given away.

    You made a mistake. Can you embrace the simplicity of that? While you recall and dwell on the rock and the windshield of years ago, what are you missing now? Maybe Pacabel’s canon can be played in your own home with those you love holding you as you cry.

    Perhaps it’s time to leave this blog behind you. You’ve given much to those in need here and definitely knocked a few apples off the tree. Thank you for that. It sounds like there are others waiting for you and you have some walls that need your attention.

    Blessings to you, friend.


  570. ‘ton,
    thanks for your generally excellent links, and especially the most excellent for me, “wounded healer” back at #527

    Bistro 553
    many thanks for the Whitman poem

    Suzie 560
    You must be another of my twins (and I one of yours), the Talking Heads are my all-time favorite band (until the Arcade Fire showed up, that is). I had saved this one for later and here it goes.
    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=LLiX8sgfgQU

    observer 573
    Welcome back! Concidentally, I was thinking about you a couple of days ago, it’s lovely to see that you haven’t forgotten us either.

    Whalerider, Uno, Yesri
    guess what? My beloved man recently half-jokingly gave me a message to convey to my fellow bloggers: “Fuck you!”
    Looks like we are in the same boat, or at least like our vessels are being shaken by the same powerful winds. Good luck to us all!

    Whalerider, I have found no beautiful words yet to convey what I’d like to say to you, but the basic message is that I (we) love you and strongly desire your complete healing and happiness. I hope that helps at least a bit for the moment.

    love to all


  571. So, my previous post went to moderation, I just wanted to add this PS: interested people, if you follow this link you may sign a petition supporting the Burmese protesters
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/i.php/?cl=20675632&signup=1

    namaste


  572. WhaleRider, you seem to bring out the humanity in many of us bloggers. I want to add my response of affection and gratitude. And simple well wishes.


  573. on September 27, 2007 at 5:20 pm Old Fish In The Sea

    Dear Whalerider,

    The past, with all its hurt, adventure, love and loss is done and cannot change. It remains a beautifully tragic painting in time – the foundation for new days with unknown potential, unknowable love, and experiences that we cannot guess.

    Our love lives on, existed before, connects us, and will outlive the Fellowship as we know it.

    Let your love fill you and guide you through your difficulties.

    Good luck and best wishes,
    Old Fish


  574. Dear whaleridder writes:

    I’ll warn you (and others), my healing has come at a great price. In order to take down the walls in me that kept my FOF experience comfortably contained, I had to put up a few in my current life. Now my marriage is now in danger of failing, and the ‘tipping point’, as my wife claims, was me blogging. That’s why I have been lately absent.

    Funny thing is, in therapy today she reveals that I come across as having a superior attitude, I am too controlling, and when she is around me she is so focused on me that she loses all sense of herself…only to regain it when we are apart. Sound familiar? That fucking bastard Burton and his organized smelting pot haunts my life even to this day…my only consolation is that my story probably knocked a few apples off the tree to take root on their own.

    So here I am, sleeping in the den (and not sleeping very well mind you) and for the first time in months, blogging again, for no other reason than you mentioned my name.

    ………………………………………………………………….

    Dear Whaleridder,

    I am so sorry and also I recognize a lot…
    Me and my partner are going through a emotional clean up and many days we have re-assed if we are going to stay together. Of course we will as we have children and debt…

    Yes, we make the best of the situation and yes it hurts too…
    Today I think it is worth it. Tomorrow I might have sleepless nights again and cry….Who knows.
    Hang in there it is a big cleansing.
    Wish your wife the best and hug here in your imagination. That is probably what she wants anyway and listen to here and wish here well. Give as much love as you can….you have nothing to loose and hug yourself. I embrace you from the bottom of my heart.

    You are not the only one whose relationship is going through some turmoil. At this moment I know of 4 couples in the fellowhip or close ex fellowship….and think of the ones who I do not know about.

    I wish I had never joined….never….but this is not what is…..right in this moment.

    20 minutes ago two friends were here and they were talking about the fact that we take over habits of our guru? One of them had verified this for himself and said it is not that innocent. Do other people have the same experience?

    Boy does this process hurt and what do we have to give up to emotional, spiritual to get cleaned up and heal.

    Stephen Levine helped me a lot with his books….he talks about breathing, yes, keep doing your breathing and take something to boast up your immune system.

    What else, can I say: I am glad you are back……I wish I could give you more, but am not sure what and how?
    When me and my partner are in disarray I try to not talk, listen and think positive thoughts….hard to do ….it helps my personal state anyway.

    Just putting this out will give you help…..
    You ask and it shall be given.

    All the help and love for you dear Whale ridder. Stay in the saddle…and if you fall just get up again.


  575. Unanimo said: You say what you say concerning ‘Vinnie’ departing, not unlike some of the King of Clubs ‘bottom of the barrel sentiment’ I heard concerning Brian Sisler’s departure; then go to write some sort of vomit concerning “revenge and emotions”…

    Dear Unanimo…that so called “vomit” which I see as your own projection on this blog, came and it felt good to get it out here.

    It has been my own verification…..

    Your reaction to Whale ridder is very heart touching….

    Yes, we need a lot of healing …we do not seem to be able to run from it….where is the sweat lodge?


  576. Tim, That youtube was superb ! Just perfect…


  577. on September 27, 2007 at 6:50 pm More history needed?

    My sexual experiences with Robert Burton started after one of the dinners at the Academy. I was 19 years old at that time and I had been at Renaissance for about a month. I had been to a dinner before but this time things went different then what I expected. After the dinner Robert asked me to stay a minute. When everybody had left he invited me into his “office”. He seated himself on the couch and invited me to come sit next to him. After a little bit of small talk he suddenly unzipped my pants and started to give me a blowjob. I was stunned, paralyzed and perplexed of what was happening. I had not even the slightest clue this was going to happen, and there was no time to say no.

    When I came to my senses I said that I had to go to the bathroom (which was true). In the bathroom next to his office I was alone for a moment and this gave me a little time to recover from the shock and think things over. I really did not know what to think of it. This wasn’t something that I would have pursued on my own. But I felt that I couldn’t possibly reject the person that was my teacher, and the fact that Robert said that it was for my own good added even more weight to this. After a few minutes I went back, feeling ashamed that I was having sex with a man.

    After I returned he took me to his bedroom where he continued to give me a blowjob. Physically it was somewhat stimulating but emotionally it was repulsing. Robert had noticed this because I had trouble keeping an erection. He said that I could “come between his legs if I wanted to” but that idea sounded totally disgusting to me and I didn’t respond to that.

    I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible but I still felt I could not say no to Robert. In the end I managed to climax by fantasizing about having sex with women instead. Afterwards we were lying on his bed when the lights went on and off erratically. Robert said that C-Influence did that, and that C-Influence wanted us to be intimate.

    Robert led me out of the front door. I was so happy that I did not have to pass through the kitchen, and that I saw no other people. Ashamed I disappeared in the night. Strange as it may sound, all of this hadn’t undermined my trust in Robert. I just didn’t know how to handle the situation and my own feelings.

    About a week later we were working in the vineyard when Robert’s metallic 4wheel dive drove up to our spot and stopped. We were in the harvesting time and we were just having a break from the hard work and hot weather. Rosemary Rexford came walking up to me joking “Somebody must like you very much because you’re going out swimming”. We went swimming in a river not far from Renaissance. There were about 10 young men my age and a few older men that usually accompanied Robert wherever he went (like his secretary and the 2 men living at the Academy). Everybody was swimming naked, what somehow felt strange considering the strict swimsuit dress code in the Fellowship of friends. It was only much later that I understood that Robert took his Harem out for a swim.

    A few days later I was at the lodge. It was quite late and most people had gone home. I was called to the phone because Robert wanted to speak with me. Robert asked me to come to him. I said that I’d like to be around him, but that I did not want to have sex with him again. Apparently that was the deal and I told him I was not coming.

    Shortly after I was invited for a dinner. It happened to be a small dinner in Robert’s wine cellar at the Academy. There where 2 small tables. I sat with Robert on the one table. Robert’s secretary sat with another man on the other table. I could not see them because I was sitting with my back to them. Robert was Cleary “not amused” about our phone conversation. Seeing him trying to hide his irritation I asked him “Is that a ‘conscious’ negative emotion?” He said “Yes …”. In all my naivety I believed him. After dinner I thanked Robert for the nice dinner. I persisted that I did not want to have sex with him and I went home.

    From that moment on al lot of things changed for me. When it became clear to Robert that I wasn’t going to have sex with him again, a lot of doors slammed shut. No more attention or kind words from Robert. No more dinners. No more presents. No more teaching. No more unconditional love. Even when I stopped his car he totally ignored me. (as a side note: his male companions in the car gave me their feminine-dominance-riased-eybrows-look that made my confusion even bigger). I felt very alone during that time and didn’t (dare to) speak with anybody about it. He did call me once a few weeks later if I would reconsider having sex with him but I had already made up my mind that I would not do anything like that ever again.

    I went on to stay at Renaissance for the remainder of my 1 year visa. After I returned to my home country I remained in the Fellowship of friends for another 3 years. At the end of my membership I stayed in the Fellowship of friends because of all the sincere people at the Centre, who have been really helpful to me in many ways. However there came a point that I saw that students were becoming more and more identified with the form, and I could no longer bear the feeling that I was still supporting Robert by staying there. At one point I tried to talk to our Centre Director about my experiences with Robert. She replied: “Sometimes one has to transform the teacher’s weaknesses”.

    It took me a long time to sort this thing out by myself. This hadn’t been a relationship of equals. Instead Robert abused his authority and my naivety to force me into having sex with him. If he had asked me first, telling me that it was for his own personal pleasure and that there was no obligation to have sex with him, then I would certainly have said no. Instead he jumped on me when I had all my personality defenses down. He used my naivety by telling me that having sex with him was for my own good and that it was with the consent of C Influence. He used everything he could find to get me into his bed: dinners, gifts, attention. And when that did not work he took all that away and used that to force me into having sex with him again. And most of all, he made me do something I felt disgusted about.

    I am very sure Robert has no conscience, and therefore cannot be conscious either. I made the mistake in believing that “the lower cannot see the higher”. But in reality it is more like “The lower cannot see anything – not above and not below”. I do believe he is another kind of very special person. Ouspensky writes about this kind: “A hasnammuss is someone who is a tramp and a lunatic at the same time. […] he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering, just for his own personal ambitions”.


  578. 584 More history needed?

    Thank you for that. Many of us shared almost identical experiences, so I know how hard it is to share iot with people who cannot and will not ever really understand what it’s like. It was a noble and brave gesture on your part, and will help with the healing.

    Those who do not believe that this happens all the time, or those who think one can “just say no” readily, and go fuck fuck themselves.

    Again, thank you.


  579. nudaveritas
    Readers of this excellent blog, who may not be generally “privileged’ to witness the ‘teachings’ of Burton the degenerate, may like to know that that he is on his way to sunny England again soon!
    Burton will be appearing for a ‘teaching’ dinner on 3rd October, [by popular demand £!], at Bistro Aix, French Bistro. situated in Tottenham Lane in Crouch End.
    If you can stomach his performance, you will probably find the Beef Stew sublime, the Guinea Fowl, just perfect, the Duck to die for and the deserts works of art in both appearance and taste. . . . . However I’m pretty sure that the entertainment will be more unbelievable than the cuisine!

    *************

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=xjyjJRjAmDA


  580. Another Name,
    About revenge and emotions.

    I support every word you said in this post. Indeed, the Fellowship of Friends indoctrinated students to not feel their repulsion to Robert’s form and respond to it with the muffled act of a King of Hearts acceptance without discrimination and inner suppression of one’s true response to it. That is the most harmful aspect of the indoctrination to students at large because it develops into mass behavior and anything can happen after that. Everything HAS happened after that. And yet, the effectiveness with which it worked has shown us the great power of form. The great power of life.

    Independently of the Fellowship and for the sake of one’s own work, it would be a pity if we had actually wasted our time and not explored the work in our own terms and not the Fellowship’s. Who ever remembered his soul, saw the divine within.

    The expression of negative emotions is a buffer to not experience the reality that is causing the negative emotion. There are different steps to the process. Almost before any negative emotion between people is the fact that one has not been considered by the other person or one is not considering the other person. Identification is mainly the act of dashing off to accomplish one’s own agenda without it mattering who gets run over by it. When the wounded start showing up what most horrifies one is that they didn’t even matter. It wasn’t for them that one was acting. A play like this happened to me in a recent post and although I much apologized the person was too touched to reestablish a connection. One does have to learn to forgive which is a positive emotion without that meaning that one does not take the corresponding actions against crime.

    Our play in the Fellowship is to a great extent about Robert’s identification with his homosexuality and about the sum of our identifications with Robert or a community in which we tried to develop an aspect of our being. It was a great opportunity to learn about our selves and if we are much damaged by it, it does not mean we cannot heal, the concern is really about those who still don’t even consider the possibility to being sick. It is not a great play for the heroes, Robert and Girard, have lost the connection with human suffering and are willing to engage and justify it all by the divine aim. And we, the students, are also a fraud who instead of remembering and standing up for ourselves, developed idolatry or put up with it and supported it long enough to be equally responsible, serving ourselves in flesh and blood to the queen bee.

    Anger or revenge, go as far as blaming Robert, Girard and the Fellowship at large for what happened to one without allowing one to assume responsibility for one’s own identification and buffering the suffering that comes from looking with objectivity at the very low level of our common being that allowed it to happen. It is a sobering experience.

    Anger or revenge are a buffer in as much as they allow one to blame others for the suffering. They are a buffer to the being inside of one’s self that can embrace the experience and acknowledge not only one’s own participation in it but other people’s.

    It is not Robert’s death or incarceration that can transform the experience, or Girard’s or Linda’s or even the closing down of the Fellowship. That is not transformation. That is a dead end.

    Western mind tends to lead to dead ends and the kings were killed or decapitated in the different nation’s struggles while in the East, the Chinese made a gardener of their Emperor and the Japanese established that not a hair of their king could be touched even when they capitulated to the West after the atomic bombs exploded in their cities. Western dead ends leave the soul crippled. The Eastern people know that the only real issue for a human being, is his dignity: The divine within him self. It is the only thing worth keeping after everything else is given up. It is what we would never touch in each other if we really remembered the self within each one of us.

    We (those of you who do not share this “we”, do not need to let my statements make an echo in your souls but I believe, we are all one and many within me) are so outraged by Robert, Girard and the Fellowship because what they have become masters of is in demeanoring each students dignity to glorify Robert’s indignity. It is my husband’s job. I should stop calling him my husband, but we are still married and when I am objective enough, there is deep love). Girard can keep his role only for as long as he makes the Fellowship look legitimate and the only way he can do that is by lowering student’s dignity to the point that Robert’s indignity looks legitimate, even more, looks, “divine”. They are real experts at what they do. One can only experience compassion knowing that they do it in sleep, that they are sick, that they don’t know what they are doing.

    Anger and revenge can blame others, sue them, put them in jail. Humiliate them. We are so outraged because we have been so humiliated having been disacknowledged everyday of our life in the Fellowship, but humiliating the Fellowship back is not transformation. If we really had the being to understand, we would all go back to the Fellowship, invite Robert and Girard and the rest to a great dinner in the purest gold alchemy and serve them like Monarchs. We would then ask them to choose whether they wanted to continue in the Fellowship or leave and tell them the conditions in which they could stay. We would treat those who stayed with the same dignity that we would try to treat any body else, knowing that they stayed with everything they had. We would never forget but we would always forgive. The transformation of suffering is the ability to swallow the suffering that others have imposed on one because one is not willing to hurt their dignity by hurting them back. One is willing to embrace the suffering and the other person’s being in one’s being with it’s misery as much as its greatness. Transformation is the permanent affirmation of the divine and the human at the same time. It is finding the solutions, not running into dead ends.

    In both social and individual struggles, compassion has the ability to discern between the divine and the human and affirm the divine through the human. If the divine is lost from the perspective, the human struggle leads to a dead end. (Fortunately, even death is a passing experience and I am using it only as an analogy). Self remembering is the affirmation of the divine within one and external consideration is the affirmation of the divine in others and the world around one. Consciousness embraces both.

    The Fellowship of Friends is a sick organism because it affirmed itself in the divine without ever acknowledging the need to work on the human. Robert usurped the role without having the being to practice it. He met the divine within without extending to the divine without and degenerated instead of developed. He has never spoken about anything except self remembering because he was unable to remember any body else. His decline is carrying with him the students that willingly follow him. These are the ones that matter as much as Robert and very particularly for me, also Girard.

    Work must go parallel between the human and the divine. The beauty of a solar is not so beautiful if he’s always in the clouds. Being an angel is only half of the coin. It is the human what actualizes the divine in its manifestation.

    Closing down the Fellowship of Friends will make us transform the experience individually, more slowly and with less actual practice. Since I am all for the present conditions to stop and do not think they will regenerate on their own, I will continue to try to close it down even with the poor solutions of suing it. But this is only a partial solution to which I still invite those of you who have been seriously abused.

    I do not expect us all to agree with what I am saying, rather, it would not surprise me if many call me crazy, but I’ve been called that for so long for taking care of sick people that I am happy to embrace this madness. While the things expressed here are things I know and have lived in many occasions, I have been much damaged by the Fellowship especially in the last few years and while there’s hardly any anger left, there’s much more suffering than transformed suffering. Stating the aim, will hopefully help some of us get there.

    Thank you for sharing.


  581. Whalerider,

    Work on the blog is work but don’t forget to eat. If I may suggest, as a wife all I really wanted is that my husband take fifteen or twenty percent of his time to be with me, which he found unconceivable. Take me out for coffee or dinner, appreciate the afternoon and feel the whole of his being in my presence during those times. Dedicating my time and service was not the problem at all. That was done with great love. It is the lack of correspondance what kills the marriage. The lack of dialogue.

    Hopefully it is not too late for that and differnt actions will bring regenaration if the features have not totally overtaken the marriage.

    I wish you good luck.


  582. Hello ~ More History Needed ~ 584 ~

    Thank you for sharing; I will use this to further whatever it is that I am doing to bring this entity Robert Burton to the Court of Shadows, away from where his gold plated erections try to disclose only favoritism and bedazzlement… Your story will not go unnoticed by others outside the 1300 visitors a day to this site, I can promise you that.

    Thank you again, love to you.


  583. 584 More History Needed

    Thank you


  584. on September 27, 2007 at 8:08 pm Across the River

    Dear More history needed,

    Thank you for so clearly describing what happened and how it was for you as you sorted it all out emotionally. I deeply apologize to you for my part in “transforming the teacher’s weaknesses” and being just another dingle-head who imagined it was a higher understanding.

    Love to you.


  585. More History Needed. Thanks.
    ——-

    Elena “respond to it with the muffled act of a King of Hearts acceptance without discrimination and inner suppression of one’s true response to it. ”

    Just want to say that altho I don’t rely on the ‘cards’ and center of gravity much anymore, I do know that the KofH carries a sword, is the essence of emotional discrimination and is not that act of passivity.

    But it was a joke in the fof. RB does not act from KofH. Dominance. And I don’t think his issues are particularly from being ‘identified’ with being gay – it seems to me more that he is both buffering it (goddess stuff) and being predatory which is another issue.

    Just a quick story, and I may be giving myself away too much here, but oh well. In early 80’s living at Renaissance I wanted to have more opportunity to draw and thought maybe I’d go to Reno to do charcoal and pastel portraits (had done this previously in NOLA). So I wandered into Reno (never cared for the town or gambling, but the fof members were wacky and I liked them and they let me crash in the living room on the weekends). I finally ended up at the MGM Grand Casino where there is a mall on the lowest floor of shops where you could spend your money. All the most incredibly tacky shops. Well, I still wanted to draw, and found a ‘gallery’ called (get this) The Fine Arts Gallery. They said I could set up in the gallery, give them a percentage and store my supplies there and pointed out a spot for me to set up. It was by a very large painting of the card the King of Hearts, except he was dressed up like a CLOWN (seems I was already living in a sort of Jack Handey universe). The local TV news station wanted to do a live interview and I said OK (even tho I’m extremely camera shy) and asked that they ask me no personal questions – like my name, and so on. So, the opening question was “well, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” And here I was with the clown and the TV lights and all.

    What a strange world that was, commuting back and forth to renaissance, being sort of an outsider everywhere I went. I didn’t know what the men were going thru – not till later.


  586. on September 27, 2007 at 8:33 pm Bares Reposting

    Schools are for those who need them and especially for those
    that know that they need them.
    Schools are for broken machines. Once you’re fixed, you no longer need them.
    That’s when it’s time to leave them. Staying any longer will return one to a broken machine state endlessly; like eternal recurrence. Get it?
    At what point does intentional suffering become unnecessary suffering, hmmm?
    Staying admits that you are incomplete, broken and/or needing to learn something that you already are. The form is not that substance in you that wishes to awaken. REB will
    do everything in his power to take that away from you until you recognize its worth and stop the crime. Get it?


  587. Just in case the aim of my last post is misunderstood, I would not go back to a Fellowship of Friends School but I will always belong to the Fellowship of Friends community no matter how damaged or dissolved.

    KA. I think we’re saying the same thing. The king of Hearts act of the Fellowship is muffled and has no discrimination. A clown as your card suggests.


  588. #584 More History Needed?

    Thank you for sharing your story. The more men who feel safe enough to come forward with these painful experiences the better. If current members read enough of these perhaps the buffers will begin to come down.


  589. whale rider, tonight I just want to cry and cry and cry

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=ftEjH-dit4Y


  590. Brits among us, I need some assistance, please. In the YouTube “Village Sniper,” there is a short sequence of some men practicing something–a dance or ritual of some sort–on a grassy field. They are wearing white, with some sort of black harness, and waving white handkerchiefs. What are they doing? Sorry to inject such trivia, but I can’t figure out how to research this any other way.


  591. 597 Abigail

    I’m not a Brit, but I had the impression that they were doing a Morris Dance.


  592. on September 27, 2007 at 10:36 pm Skeptical Optimist

    Remember,
    beyond the appearance of who it is you are looking at,
    it is always God, disguised,
    standing in front of you
    so that you can know yourself.

    JoelF


  593. Yep, watched it again. Definitely a Morris dance.


  594. Xena: Wow. Many thanks


  595. 584 More History Needed?
    Thank you, thank you.
    An other truly shocking account of RB!
    What an unbelievable predator, pervert,
    selfish, vain, domineering and greedy
    miserably low life.
    Here is Rumi for you and Whalerider
    From cane reeds… sugar.
    From a worm’s cocoon…silk.
    Be patient if you can….
    and from sour grapes will come somthing sweet.
    Rumi


  596. Dear ‘More History Needed?’,
    Thank you very much for telling your story so clearly and simply. If anyone reads this and is not moved by the predicament of a young man suddenly thrust into an untenable situation, they have not even the glimmerings of conscience.

    This is exactly how Burton operates, and has always operated, from the beginning. The internal culture of the Fellowship of Friends supports Burton completely and unconditionally; there is no help for the young men at all. In these situations, it is a case of “every man’s hand turned against one”, where there is not only no aid from the supposed “friends” around one, but actually the opposite, an active energy to get the unfortunate victim to submit and join the gang of delinquents. Sheila G. knew she was setting up victims with her ‘little breakfasts’ all those years ago. The center directors (with a few exceptions) know exactly what they are doing when they set up meetings between likely ‘prospects’ and Burton, or send photographs to Isis. The young men already in his entourage know exactly what they are doing when they wine and dine and prepare candidates (‘fresh meat’) for seduction. The kitchen staff in the Academy know what they are supporting, the sommeliers and servers likewise. The doctors who prescribe the drugs for ‘erectile dysfunction’, ‘pain’, ‘depression’, and so on, know exactly how these drugs are misused.

    This has nothing to do with consciousness, except accidentally—anyone caught in a horror or trauma remembers the situation quite clearly. This has everything to do with Burton’s complete lack of pity, conscience, or consciousness. It has everything to do with Burton’s unbridled self–indulgence, hubris, and extravagance. His world is set up for one purpose, to do his every bidding and consummate his every desire, every hour of every day.

    And this is what the “Vinnie the Fishes” support. If some of their ‘friends’ must visit hell, they can just pass by on the other side; it is none of their business, they imagine they are getting what they came for, and as long as they ‘have their states’ and are not directly affected, why should they be bothered?

    Whalerider, you have given enough, and maybe too much. Leave the blog aside, make friends with your wife again; give her your energy, attention and love.

    I send both of you my best wishes, affection and love. May healing energy closely attend you and all others who have suffered or are suffering today.

    Ames


  597. Dear More History Needed.

    Thank you for your shocking story. Even after hearing these stories again and again there is a strong tendency to forget it, leave it in the past. But unfortunately this story is happening every day!

    You were so lucky and smart to go away after one time! But what about all this guys who are now “serving” Robert every night, morning, before and after every meeting. Do they know that they are the victims? That they are brian-washed? Why don’t they run away like you?

    You said: “Strange as it may sound, all of this hadn’t undermined my trust in Robert.”
    How did you eventually lost your trust? What can you recommend to those who still believe that “having sex with him was for their own good”?


  598. Beautifully said Ames (603).

    The medical angle is interesting. Does anyone know whether any laws concerning medical practice are being violated here?

    As an aside, many years ago I was close friends with one of the ‘FoF doctors’. I knew him as a happy person, but at a certain point it was as though a cloud had come over him. Although he would never say anything specific about why his feelings had changed (and I asked), I inferred from certain ‘hints’ that it was related to his role as Robert’s doctor. Soon after this he left the Fellowship abruptly without explanation. I happened to encounter him many years later and he would not even speak of the Fellowship. I think his conscience led him out. Yet another sincere and honest seeker forced out by his own decency.


  599. I’m thinking about crashing robert’s party at the restaurant in Crouch end,everybody is invited.


  600. Bares Reposting,
    You seem to be saying that RB’s intention to ‘butt fuck’ us was justified by his aim to show us our ‘real selves’. Was this a ‘conscious’ act?
    Also,does intentional suffering produce anything lasting?Certainly,it can be used to change your state-so can drugs.
    In retrospect,I now feel that the intentional/unecessary suffering dogma was just another form of the ‘cultish rap’ to make us seem superior to the rest of humankind.
    So what is your point anyway?That there was really some ‘higher’ purpose to the fof ,and not merely just a cesspool from which the divine leader chose his subjects?

    Whalerider and More History Needed,
    Thank you for your courage!


  601. on September 28, 2007 at 3:45 am practical former member 1978- 1985

    I’ve read less than 5%of this blog. Nevertheless, I will contribute my two cents. I am ready to help bring justice to the FOF. I believe RB is a criminal element. If someone has a strategy to bring him to justice, then let’s do it. Who is in? If all that can be done is continue this cycle of rants, then so be it; there is value in that.


  602. Elena #587

    I wonder if Archbishop Mahoney basked in noble sentiments similar to yours to justify inaction for so many years.

    The victims are slightly younger but the story is eerily the same sordid betrayal of trust and abuse of spiritual authority and power. A sickening movie (no exaggeration), yet perhaps necessary to develop healthier attitudes about cults…including both my first religion and my last.

    Joseph G


  603. WhaleRider,

    You know how to reach me, but I assume this is not what you need right now since my email was returned undeliverable.

    Our number is listed here in SH. I would drop everything to help you if I could. Know that.

    Joseph G


  604. From FoFblog 5#47
    March 30th, 2007 at 3:44 pm
    Wouldn’t You Like To Know Says:

    Re: Traveler 5#36:

    Re: ‘dream that someone made a documentary about the Fellowship’:

    This is in progress with a tentative title:
    ‘Hand of God 2′
    See ‘Hand of God’ Frontline PBS Independent Film info:
    ‘A moving, and frankly told story of a family’s confrontation with the church that betrayed them, and how they survived it all with their humanity and humor intact.’:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/handofgod/

    This ‘Hand of God’ film is about sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church that is so revealing and similar to FOF story. Main difference is the scale, time frame and type of religious organization. After such an exposé, FOF will be very different place,
    if exists at all.

    This could be called ‘independent study’ or ‘graduate school;’
    leads to PhD. ;-)

    Once, FOF/RB was more Zen-like in flavour and direct, but. obfuscation of the Truth was more prophetable. The further you go with FOF/RB, after a certain period of introduction and to a certain point in time (different for different people), the less ‘attainment’ you get; the law of diminishing returns applies. The aim becomes getting you stuck for life; a bit like Catholic Church’s ‘reward is in the afterlife’ in that regard. That is why FOF/RB has had to morph the ideology – to keep it going – even more effective than Catholic Church that has less possibility of change to form. Good example is continuous name change of property headquarters. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Other metaphor could have been used but this was more poetic.)

    Wouldn’t You Like To Know

    [Other metaphor could be: FoF/RB sex acts give whole new meaning to the concept: ‘brown nosing’]


  605. on September 28, 2007 at 6:38 am Bares Reposting

    More on:
    ‘Hand of God’ Frontline PBS Independent Film
    http://www.handofgodfilm.com/


  606. on September 28, 2007 at 6:39 am Bares Reposting

    More on:
    ‘Hand of God’ Frontline PBS Independent Film
    watch it here:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/handofgod/view/


  607. “life person” s not a 4th way term. It is strictly a Fellowship of Friends term and as used in the FOF it has negative conotations it is condescending . The 4th way term is “sleeping humanity” ,”mechanical humanity” or “Man#1, #2 and #3”.


  608. 610 Bares Reposting

    “The further you go with FOF/RB, after a certain period of introduction and to a certain point in time (different for different people), the less ‘attainment’ you get; the law of diminishing returns applies.”

    I think that’s true. And when one gets to that gray area, it’s a crossroads where one may make profound choices. Hopefully one would choose the self over “the form”. Some people’s position or job in the FOF can be an overwhelming obstacle to one’s desire to continue “one’s own” journey, and one can be swept along in someone else’s fever dream.

    “That is why FOF/RB has had to morph the ideology – to keep it going – even more effective than Catholic Church that has less possibility of change to form.”

    Like EST became The Forum when they saturated the market. Different shit, same smell. Or Bubba Free John changing his name every other year.


  609. 461 KA wrote

    “There is huge energy within emotions like grief and rage (for example) and they are extremely alive – ………..When one does not push away an emotion like grief, but lets it work within one’s being, …….. then it deepens one, makes new connections, gathers intelligence and wisdom. One can see people who have suffered and have gained enormously from that. ….. The rub is to stay somehow on the ground. To be present. And to bring all parts of one’s being into the present and to the experience – to re-member oneself.

    The process of pushing away and separating negative emotions (which also then seems to automatically happen for positive emotions, …all emotions get tied together and are treated the same way) is a way that compartmentalizes a person even more. It is a dis-membering,

    Very clearly articulated and I think an accurate explanation for how the Fellowship distorted the idea of non expression of negativity. It is not a non-feeling.


  610. Don’t get me wrong Joseph. I am not calling for inaction, on the contrary. Action is what I’ve been shouting out for for six months. But if men like you and Whalerider who suffered so closely cannot take action and at the same time forgive yourselves, you’ll poison your selves for years without finding peace. Have I not told you I’ll stand next to you in any court?

    I am no less damaged than you were. I was four years with a man who could not talk to me or look at me. Look at my eyes. Animals are like that, they never look into your eyes for more than seconds. These were not sporadic moments of discomfort or wild sex. And he loved me. It is very clear to me that love does not stop Robert, Girard or the rest of the inner circle from hurting people. What makes them so dangerous is that they can no longer help themselves. If they requires it, they’ll get rid of anyone in any way. They are not even willing to help each other. They make efforts to keep each other tied to the circle, because they are terrified of being on their own.

    I am convinced that if the F