False Prophets Part III

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Among the Dervishes by O. M. Burke, London 1973

 

An account of travels in Asia and Africa, and four years studying the Dervishes, Sufis and Fakirs, by living among them.

 

 

From CHAPTER TWO – Solo to Mecca – pp. 35-37

 

Although most historians deal only with individual orders of Sufis, these splinters are not in fact the main centres of Sufi activity. United congregations, their members drawn from several of the fraternities, are today’s rule among the Sufis, whether of Arabia, Africa or Central Asia.

Sheikh al-Jabri was born in Tunisia. After attaining initiation into five or six Orders, he was finally accepted as a teacher of a ‘united lodge’. This Zawiia regarded itself as purged of the drawbacks of the personality-cult Orders and concentrated upon human self-improvement as a part of a combined effort.

It was in this company that I learned about the inner circle in Sufism. In the presence of strangers or members wedded to maintaining the name or identity of any particular Order, the members will behave as if they belong to that Order. They will use its hoary rituals, speak only of its venerated founder, wear its distinctive headgear. But when operating as an inner circle, the entire ‘lodge’ will revert to what they call the ‘activity’ of the original Way, sometimes called the Working of the Foundation, or Fundamental Work. This phrase is extremely difficult to translate because it can also mean such things as ‘the work of the archetypes’, which means in turn the group regards its activities as being identical with the parallel actions of an extraterrestrial force which guides them.

    Sheikh al-Jabri was learned both in the traditional lore of the Four Ways and also in modern methods of thought. Unlike the saintly type of North African mystic which is so common in the Great Maghreb, his earliest studies had been carried out in Europe, and had not been theological at all. It was only after he was thirty years old that he started to attend the great teaching centres of Kairawan and Mulai Idriss.
    His father had been in Turkish service, and sent the boy to Paris, where he attended school and later the University of Paris. He had absorbed Western ways of thought and graduated in French literature. He knew a great deal of English, besides, because he was an import-export merchant carrying on a flourishing trade with Britain and the Commonwealth.
    The Sheikh was married to a Lebanese woman, and his sons had attended the American University in Beirut.
    He advised me to study not Sufism alone, but the attitudes, opinions and way of life of the people of the East and of the West. This, he said, was because otherwise I would simply equate Sufism with the East. I would not be able to descry the thread of Sufi thought and ‘being’ in both cultures unless I knew what was not Sufism.
    ‘My son and brother,’ he smiled, stroking his white beard and looking at me through brilliant Berber-blue eyes, ‘too many Westerners become orientalised. This is sometimes because they seek spirituality in the East and think that therefore everything in the East is for them or can teach them something. Do not be like them.’
    I asked him what, in the West, we could cultivate and emulate, in order to make our own tradition stronger. He gave me some strange examples. The first was team-spirit. This enabled man to understand what it was to work with others in harmony. The second was not democracy but a preparation for it. This enabled one to value democracy which itself was the prelude to understanding the real equality of man. The third was respecting other people. This, he said, enabled one to respect oneself. ‘But you cannot respect yourself unless you respect others. This is a great secret.’
    I was to be very sure, he stressed, that I realised that all these three valuable secrets were points of development which were already deeply rooted in my own culture. It was for me to help them grow, to defend them, to work on them.
    ‘Unless you have the three things in your heart, you are a hypocrite if you say that you are looking for a teacher.’
    We had many talks, and I many times attended the sessions of the Sufis who were with Sheikh Jabri. One day he said to me:
    ‘I cannot teach you, though you sometimes ask me, things which you demand to know . . . But I can help you towards learning some of these things, perhaps by an unfamiliar route. Are you ready to travel?’
    Although I did not really want to leave this companionship I said that I was.
    ‘Very well. See how life is for some of your fellow men. Go to Tunisia, see some friends of mine. Perchance you will see something about man through their eyes.’

 

 

From CHAPTER EIGHT – The Followers of Jesus – pp. 109-110

 

    Sufi Abdul-Hamid Khan, Master of the Royal Afghan Mint and something of a polymath – military engineer, calligraphist, sage and expert on rhythmic exercises – must have been over ninety years of age.  A follower of the Mir of Gazarga, he could remember in considerable detail the events which had taken place eighty or more years ago.
    A frequent visitor to Kunji Zagh, he had spent many years in Bokhara, and it was there that he had come across the redoubtable Gurdjieff, whose studies of Eastern metaphysical systems were introduced into Europe about the time of the First World War.
    Although the people of Kunji Zagh called Gurdjieff ‘The Russian Tatar’, Sufi Abdul-Hamid said that he was in reality partly Mongolian, part-Russian, part-Greek.  According to the Sufi, this Jurjizada (Son of George) had once been a Theosophist, had also studied in an Orthodox seminary, and ‘was responsive’ to the Sufic ‘waves’ – could, in other words, contact the mental activity which emanated from the ‘work’ of the dervishes. This, together with a curiosity about the occult, led him to the shrine of Bahauddin, the Naqshbandi teacher in Bokhara.
    Here another Bahauddin, known as Dervish Baha, had taught him certain ‘secrets’. Among them were the ‘sacred dances’ or movements made by the dervishes, the rules of the Order and the ‘inner interpretation’ of the Sufi texts. Then he sent him on a tour of the centres of the Sufis, some in Egypt, some in Syria, some in India.
    Seeing the strange effects of the Sufi practices, Gurdjieff decided that he would find out how they worked. In order to do this, he and a number of friends collected as much of the material used by the Order as they could, and fled with it ‘to the West’.
    ‘Unfortunately,’ continued Abdul-Hamid, ‘Jurjizada was at too early a stage to do anything final with the material. He had not yet learned, for instance, that the exercises and the music had to be carried out with special people at certain times in a special order of events. As a result he propounded the theory of the Complete Man without being able to take it into practice.’
    Further, Gurdjieff tried to make the method work by trying out the exercises on a large number of people. The result?
    ‘Here in Afghanistan we still receive, like faint radio messages, the influence of the minds of the pupils of Gurdjieff, coming from far away. They must still be carrying on the exercises, but they don’t know how, when or with whom to do them.’
    As soon as I got back to Europe, I found that some at least of this information might be true. After the first War, the Russian and a disciple of his, the philosopher Ouspensky, settled in France and England respectively. They set up teaching groups, and – I was told – several of these still existed. But they remained fully secret. Probably, like the custodians of any secret knowledge which had become reduced in quality, they would continue to operate, perhaps for generations. . .

 


 

From Gurdjieff International Review

 

Rodney Collin – A Man Who Wished To Do Something With His Life
By Terje Tonne

 

Since I first came into contact with Rodney Collin’s writing, his simple and honest approach to life and the Gurdjieff Work has always struck me deeply. Whether it is in his books, collected notes, unpublished manuscripts or his personal letters—it’s always there.

 

Rodney Collin-Smith was born on the 26th of April 1909 in the coastal town of Brighton, England. His father, Frederick Collin-Smith, had retired early from his business as a general merchant in London and after traveling in Europe and Egypt had settled down in Brighton. There Rodney’s father married Kathleen Logan, much younger than he and the daughter of a local hotel owner. Kathleen was a member of the local Theosophical Society and had a strong interest in astrology, possibly the source of some of Rodney Collin’s later interests. She also worked extensively with transcribing books for the blind.

 

After boarding school at Ashford Grammar School in Kent, Rodney Collin studied at the London School of Economics, where he received his Bachelor of Commerce degree. He worked as a freelance journalist supplying articles on art and travel to the [London] Evening Standard and the Sunday Referee. In 1930, on a pilgrimage organized by the Christian organization Toc-H, he met Janet Buckley. That same year he read Ouspensky’s A New Model of the Universe. Four years later, Collin and Buckley married in London.

 

In 1935 Collin and Buckley attended some lectures given in London by Maurice Nicoll.  After meeting Ouspensky in September 1936, Rodney Collin knew instantly that he had found that which he had been looking for in his extensive reading and traveling. Robert de Ropp, at that time also a member of Toc-H, was most likely a source for their developing interest in the Work ideas. Regardless of what perspective one assumes for a description or interpretation of Collin’s work, it is not possible to overstate both the direct and the indirect influence of Ouspensky.

 


 

In Search of P. D. Ouspensky

 

The Genius in the Shadow of Gurdjieff  

 

By Gary Lachman

 


 

The Theory of

 

CELESTIAL INFLUENCE

 

Man, The Universe, and Cosmic Mystery

 

By Rodney Collin

 

 

INTRODUCTION (excerpt)

 

. . . to the ordinary man, interested in his own fate but not particularly in science, it can only be said that perhaps, on closer examination, he may find this book in fact not so ‘scientific’ as it at first appears. Scientific language is the fashionable language of the day, just as the language of psychology was the fashionable language thirty years ago, the language of passion the fashionable language in Elizabethan times, and the language of religion the fashionable language of the Middle Ages. When people are induced to buy toothpaste or cigarettes by pseudo-scientific arguments and explanations, evidently this in some way corresponds to the mentality of the age, and truths must also be scientfically expressed.

At the same time, this is not to suggest that the scientific language used is a disguise, a pretence or a falsification. The explanations given are, as far as it has been possible to verify, quite correct and they correspond to actual facts.3  What is claimed is that the principles used could with equal correctness by applied to any other form of human experience, with equally or more interesting results. And that it is these principles which are of importance, rather than the sciences to which they are applied.

Where do these principles come from? To answer this question, it becomes necessary to acknowledge my complete indebtedness to one man, and to explain to a certain extent how this indebtedness came about. 

  

I first met Ouspensky in London, where he was giving private lectures, in September 1936. These ‘lectures’ referred to an extraordinary system of knowledge, quite incomparable with anything I had encountered before, which he had received from a man whom he called ‘G’. This system, however was not new: on the contrary it was said to be a very ancient one, which had always existed in hidden form and traces of which could from time to time be seen coming to the surface of history in one guise or another. Although it explained in an extraordinary way countless things about man and the universe, which had seemed hitherto quite inexplicable, its sole purpose – as O. constantly stressed – was to help individual men to awake to a different level of consciousness.
    Any attempts to use this knowledge for other and more ordinary purposes he discouraged or forbade altogether.
    Yet despite the staggering completeness of this ‘system’ in itself, one could never entirely separate it from the ‘being’ of the man who expounded it, from O. himself. When anyone else tried to explain it, the ‘system’ degenerated, lost quality in some way. And although no one could entirely neutralise the great strength of the ideas in themselves, it was clear that the ‘system’ could not be taken apart from a man of a certain quite unusual level of consciousness and being. For only such a man could induce in others the fundamental changes of understanding and attitude which were necessary to grasp it.

 

3.  Even ‘facts’, however, are not sacred. Of two recognised and reputed scientists, writng in two books published in England in the same year (1950), one states as a ‘fact’ that the moon is moving away from the earth, the other equally categorically that it is moving towards it.

 

    This ‘system’, in the pure and abstract form in which it was originally given, has been recorded once and for all by Ouspensky himself in his In Search of the Miraculous. Anyone who wishes to compare the original principles with the deductions which have here been made, would do well to read that book first. They will then find themselves in a position to judge whether the applications and developments of the ideas are legitimate. And in fact, from their own point of view, it will be their duty so to judge.
    Personally, I felt myself at a crossroads at the time, and on the first occasion I saw O. in private – at his crowded little rooms in Gwyndyr Road – I told him that I was a writer by nature, and I asked his advice upon the courses which then lay open to me. He said, very simply, “Better not to get too involved. Later we may find something for you to write.”
    It was typical of the strange confidence that O. inspired that this seemed a complete answer to my problem – or rather, I felt that I no longer had to worry about it, it had been taken from me. In fact, as a result of this conversation, for just over ten years I wrote practically nothing at all. There was too much else to do. But in the end O. kept his promise. And the outline of the present book was written in the two months immediately before his death, in October 1947, as a direct result of what he was trying to achieve and show at that time. Later, a second book, continuing where this leaves off, was written after his death.

During the ten years’ interval, O. expounded to us in countless ways – theoretical, philosophical and practical – all the different sides of the ‘system’. When I arrived, many of those with him had already been studying in this way, and endeavoring to penetrate to the result he indicated, for ten or fifteen years, and they were able to help a newcomer like myself to understand very much of what was and what was not possible. O. tirelessly explained, tirelessly showed us our illusions, tirelessly pointed the way – yet so subtly that if one was not ready to understand, his lessons could pass one by, and it was only years later that one might remember the incident, and realise what he had been demonstrating. More violent methods may be possible, but these can also leave scars that are difficult to heal.
    O. never worked for the moment. It might even be said that he did not work for time – he worked only for recurrence. But this needs much explanation. In any case, he quite evidently worked and planned with a completely different sense of time from the rest of us, though to those who impatiently urged him to help them achieve quick results, he would say: “No, time is a factor. You can’t leave it out.”
    So the years passed. Yet although very much indeed was achieved, it often seemed to us that O. was too far ahead of us, that he had something which we had not, something which made certain possibilities practical for him that remained theoretical for us, and which for all his explaining, we did not see how to get. Some essential key seemed missing. Later, this key was shown. But that is a different story.
    O. went to America during the war. In connection with this strange unfolding of possibilities which went by the name of O’s ‘lectures’, I remember how in New York about 1944 he gave us a task which he said would be interesting for us. This was to ‘classify the sciences’, according to the principles which had been explained in the system; to classify them according to the worlds which they studied. He referred to the last classification of the sciences – by Herbert Spencer – and said that though it was interesting, it was not very satisfactory from our point of view nor from the point of view of our time. He also wrote to his friends in England about this task. It was only when the present book was nearing completion, some five years later, that I realised that it was in fact one answer to O’s task.
    O. returned to England in January 1947. He was old, ill and very weak. But he was also something else. He was a different man. So much of the vigorous, whimsical, brilliant personality, which his friends had known and enjoyed for so many years, had been left behind, that many meeting him again were shocked, baffled, or else were given a quite new understanding of what was possible in the way of development.
    In the bitter early spring of 1947 he called several large meetings in London of all the people who had previously listened to him, and of others who never had. He spoke to them in a new way. He said that he abandoned the system. He asked them what they wanted, and said that only from that could they begin on the way of self-remembering and consciousness.

It is difficult to convey the impression created. For twenty years in England before the war, O. had almost daily explained the system. He had said that everything must be referred to it, that things could only be understood in relation to it. To those who had listened to him the system represented the explanation of all difficult things, pointed the way to all good things. Its words and its language had become more familiar to them than their mother tongue. How could they ‘abandon the system’?
    And yet, to those who listened with positive attitude to what he now had to say, it was suddenly as though a great burden had been taken from them. They realised that in the way of development true knowledge must first be acquired and then abandoned. That exactly what makes possible the opening of one door may make impossible the opening of the next. And some for the first time began to gain an idea where lay that missing key which might admit them to the place where O. was and where they were not.
    After this O. retired to his house in the country, saw very few people, hardly spoke. Only he now demonstrated, now performed in actuality and in silence, that change of consciousness the theory of which he had explained so many years.
    The story of those months can not be told here. But at dawn one September day a fortnight before his death, after a strange and long preparation, he said to a few friends who were with him: “You must start again. You must make a new beginning. You must reconstruct everything for yourselves – from the very beginning.”
    This then was the true meaning of ‘abandoning the system’. Every system of truth must be abandoned, in order that it may grow again. He had freed them from one expression of truth which might have become dogma, but which instead may blossom into a hundred living forms, affecting every side of life.
    Most important of all, ‘reconstructing everything for oneself’ evidently meant ‘reconstructing everything in oneself’, that is, actually creating in oneself the understanding which the system had made possible and achieving the aim of which it spoke – actually and permanently overcoming the old personality and acquiring a quite new level of consciousness.
    Thus if the present book may be taken as a ‘reconstruction’, it is only an external reconstruction, so to speak, a representation of the body of ideas we were given, in one particular form and in one particular language. Despite its scientific appearance, it has no importance whatsoever as a compendium of scientific facts or even as a new way of presenting these facts. Any significance it may have can only lie in its being derived, though at second hand, from the actual perceptions of higher consciousness, and in its indicating a path by which such consciousness may be again approached.

 

R.C.

 

Lyne, August 1947
Tlalpam, April 1953

 


 

Kid ShelleenOctober 4, 2007

 

Laura,

 

Taking with the Left Hand is by William Patrick Patterson, who was a student of John Pentland’s and supposedly was annointed to lead the Gurdjieff Foundation when Pentland died. The observations he makes about the fof in his book are mild compared to the real deal. His point of view is coming from the “Burton has no legitimate connection to this work and is misleading his students” angle.

 

Here’s a story:

 

A couple of years ago, I was in a local book store and saw a poster for one of Patterson’s talks near my home. Just out of curiosity, I went. He talked the fourth way mumbo-jumbo for awhile, had us do some “sensing” exercises, and opened the floor for questions. For fun, I asked a question about self remembering and creating memory. He asked me about my understanding of self remembering and in my answer I used the phrase divided attention. He told me this was a wrong understanding of the idea and then, seemingly out of nowhere, launched into a diatribe about false teachings and corruption of the ideas. On and on it went. At the end, he turns his best Gurdjy steely gaze on me and says, “And this is the story of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, is it not,” in an incredibly self-satisfied tone. I almost laughed out loud. Judging from his manner, I believe that he thought that I thought, “Wow, how did this guy read my mind?” I came away from the experience thinking, “Same s#@t, different bag.”

 

Oh, and his students were a hoot, too. They seemed about as uptight as any group of folks I’ve run into. The woman who introduced him (one of the inner circle, probably), spoke of him as if he were the second coming. After the event, I asked the two people manning the concession stand how many times a week the group met and how many students were in the local area. They stopped, stared at the ground for a moment, looked at each other with a look I’m sure we are all familiar with, and told me they couldn’t answer my question. So it goes.

 


 

136. innernaut May 28, 2008

 

132. Another Name

 

Thanks for the Alan Clements video. It reminds me of something that happened very early in my FOF time, about 1981.

 

I was in the Boston center, and at one point I was dispatched, along with two other students, to visit the Yale library in New Haven, Connecticut. Our assignment was to rifle through the “Ouspensky papers,” which had been donated to the university after O’s death.

 

We drove down there, and signed in. We were ushered to a room, where we could select the boxes we were interested in viewing. There were about 50 of them, mostly meeting transcripts covering 25 years or so, right up to his death. We chose a cross-section, with various dates, and got a few boxes brought to us. We were not allowed to make copies. We had to write down whatever we were interested in, using only a pencil and paper the library issued to us.

 

The boxes were crammed full of typewritten pages. Mostly just stuff that could have come from “The Fourth Way” — not terribly interesting. But there was one box — the last box, chronologically — that I was really interested in. I had read about O’s last, bizarre meetings, and I was wondering if they were transcribed. They were, so I spent almost my whole allotted time copying down the questions and O’s strange answers.

 

The gist of what he said is known: he told his students to “abandon the system,” saying that it was basically BS. Even back then, I felt strangely liberated; not that I had the courage to chuck it all aside then, but that one day I would be free of it. I noticed this feeling then, but pushed it aside, because what did that say about the System I had devoted my life to, that I couldn’t wait to be free of it?

 

After copying down many pages of this very interesting stuff, one of the students did a guilt trip on me, saying we shouldn’t be spending so much time on “unhelpful” material. Hmmm… so party-line — Ouspensky is “good,” and Ouspensky when he finally sounds like he’s a human being and is telling the truth is “bad.”

 

This experience was probably the beginning of the end for me, in terms of the System, though it would take many years before I had the courage to throw it all out — baby, bath water, everything.

 

One more thing, which Alan Clements mentioned – getting rid of the notion of enlightenment means being able to live without the certainty that a dogmatic spiritual framework provides. If it helps you live sanely, then more power to you.

 

 

One more thing. When I asked the idolized “older students” what they thought Ouspensky meant when he said, “abandon the system,” they had many creative things to say. But in the end, what they essentially said was, “Don’t abandon the system.” That’s right, when O says abandon the system, what he really means is don’t abandon the system.

 

People sure act funny when their belief system is being threatened.

 


 

131. Just the Facts Ma’amSeptember 17, 2016 

 

I, too, had been to Yale Library to see O’s legacy: http://ow.ly/6PBu304j2Vt

 

I went several times while living in the neighborhood of the east coast in the 1980’s. The description copied above in Tim’s post is accurate.

 

I, with limited time allotted, concentrated on the unpublished manuscripts as first priority and, secondarily, published manuscripts. It was interesting to see and experience the documents that O. actually wrote, corrected and handled. You could see the development of ideas, corrections and refinements made, and his handwriting. Also, they would be full of his emanations. Very interesting impressions as I remember – to this day.

 

Also, I wanted to see what more there was that I did not already know about. Since then, the more obscure matters have become published.

 

 

One other thing worthy of note about seeing O’s papers at Yale: They wanted to know why you wanted to access them. I said I was doing research for a forthcoming book: The Life and Times of a Conscious Being.

 


 

Gurdjieff & Taking With the Left Hand by William Patrick Patterson © 1998

 

Prologue (excerpt)

 

Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, the extraordinary messenger who introduced and established in the West the ancient esoteric teaching of self-development of The Fourth Way, understood that – as with all things in time – gaps, intervals, counter currents would appear that could deflect or distort his teaching from its original direction. There would appear self-appointed teachers who would distort or deflect his message and Mr. Gurdjieff would call them “Candidates for Hasnamuss.” They would “take with the left hand,” as it is said in the East, where the left hand is used when toilet paper is lacking.

 

He had brought this sacred teaching to the West because he realized, as he said, “Unless the ‘wisdom’ of the East and the ‘energy’ of the West was harnessed and used harmoniously, the world would be destroyed.” Being esoteric in the true sense, the teaching, he said, had been “completely unknown up to the present time.”

 

The deflections and distortions that have occurred have manifested at the margins of the teaching. However noxious, they have had their use in that they served to test a seeker’s desire for spiritual evolution and knowledge rather than power, beauty and sex. Previously, these “takers of the left hand” have been ignored, for whatever is said only brings them attention. And yet a time comes when so much has been taken that the public—the seedbed of the teaching—must be warned against the false posing as the true.

 

Robert Earl Burton I have never met. I know of him through newspaper accounts, personal contacts with his former students, and his book Self-Remembering. Burton claims his Fellowship of Friends is a school of the Fourth Way. However, Burton’s only teacher was Alexander Horn, a faux-Gurdjieffian, who tried to enter but was not accepted into the teaching.

 

Of all Burton’s students I’ve met over the years, the only one of his inner circle was Ed Grieve. He was at the dinner Burton held for Lord Pentland. Pentland had contacted Burton because he was having his students put bookmarks advertising the Fellowship of Friends into Fourth Way books and with the film version of Meetings with Remarkable Men he had students standing outside theaters passing out Fellowship flyers. Grieve told me that Burton believed Pentland was coming to hand over his students to him because he had recognized Burton’s “higher development,” and even bet on this with several students. In fact, Pentland was coming to ask Burton to make a sizable contribution to the film inasmuch as he was falsely profiting by it.

 

On Pentland’s arrival, Burton presented him with an expensive sleeping pillow, his idea of an esoteric joke. Several of Burton’s close students joined the two for dinner, Grieve was one of the servers. “Watching the two of them together,” Grieve said, “there was just no question of who was awake and who asleep, and I left the next day to become a student of Lord Pentland’s.”

 

The number of Burton’s students has greatly declined with the continuing sex scandals and lawsuits, but those who believe he is, as he declares, “a goddess in a man’s body,” stay blindly loyal. Always a great merchandizer, Burton has attempted to solve the student problem by creating an online school, headed by a married Israeli student, Burton’s “close friend” Asaf Braverman. So the “esoteric” Fellowship parade continues.

 


 

12. Tempus FugitJune 5, 2012

 

From the “Backstage” section of Braverman’s website on Gurdjieff:
http://ggurdjieff.com/backstage/

 

“I encountered the Fourth Way in 1995, joining Burton’s Fellowship of Friends, and am still a member of that organization. I moved to the California headquarters in 2000 and began working closely with Burton on his teaching. In 2007, I was forced to set out on a two year journey, which brought me in contact with the origin of the ancient wisdom that I had been previously studying in theory.”

 

Note: I WAS FORCED TO SET OUT ON A TWO YEAR JOURNEY

 

Could this have something to do with allegations of bigamy noted by Wondering Who’s Watching in Post 6, Page 121 (current page)?

 


 

Deadly Cults: The Crimes of the True Believers

 


 

True-believer syndrome is an informal or rhetorical term used by M. Lamar Keene in his 1976 book The Psychic Mafia. Keene used the term to refer to people who continued to believe in a paranormal event or phenomenon even after it had been proven to have been staged. Keene considered it to be a cognitive disorder, and regarded it as being a key factor in the success of many psychic mediums.

 

The term “true believer” was used earlier by Eric Hoffer in his 1951 book The True Believer to describe the psychological roots of fanatical groups.

 

 

The true-believer syndrone merits study by science. What is it that compels a person, past all reason, to believe the unbelievable. How can an otherwise sane individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an imposture, that even after it’s exposed in the bright light of day he still clings to it — indeed, clings to it all the harder?… No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie. — M. Lamar Keene and Allen Spraggett

 

 

~ Wikipedia

 


 

16. Ames Gilbert October 14, 2018

 

With all this attention on Burton and his shenanigans, let us not forget the ‘school’ organized by his long-time disciple, confidante, and co-inventor of ‘The Sequence’, Asaf Braverman. It looks like Asaf is still running his ‘BePeriod’© ‘school’, both in cyber space and physically. I’m not privy to what goes on in the pages only open to members who join and pay dues, but there is no mention yet of “The Sequence” on publicly viewable pages. Rather, these seem a mixture of the usual Fourth Way basics as promulgated by Ouspensky and Asaf’s own interpretations of religious motifs, written and visual, from around the world. He introduced many of these novel interpretations while still a member of the Fellowship of Friends, before his fall from grace a couple of years ago. I have no idea if he still subscribes to or ‘teaches’ the full panoply of numerology and symbology so beloved by the arch-superstitious Burton. Really, it doesn’t matter.

 

It is apparent that the guy has a superb memory for Ouspensky’s words. And he likely has a strong belief that Burton’s previous claims that he, Asaf, was destined to become ‘conscious’ actually came true, and thus he is qualified to ‘teach’ the Fourth Way, including the essential transmission of energies that supposedly only someone who has ‘already escaped’ can pass on to the next generation of prospective escapees. But there is no getting away from the milieu that he was submerged in for twenty years, the setting where the Fourth Way was distorted beyond recognition and twisted and shoe-horned into a religion with Burton featuring as the Founding God.

 

And there is no getting away from the fact that Asaf Braverman was anointed by Robert Earl Burton, the God-Emperor of Oregon House as a “Future Conscious Being”™, and that he enthusiastically assumed the role of ‘leadership’ and ‘teaching’ and fundraising that reflected this important prediction, over many years.

 

So, he is no innocent bystander temporarily bedazzled by the Grand Charlatan; he shared Burton’s interests, beliefs, income (and possibly, bed), for decades. Not only that, he was centrally placed at the abandonment of the admittedly superficial study of the philosophy known as the Fourth Way and the turning instead to “The Sequence”, a philosophy of numerology, superstition, symbology and practice he co-invented with Burton. This means Asaf Braverman is totally unqualified to teach anything about the Fourth Way, rather, he actively helped Burton poison the well and continues to do so, no matter what he claims or infers—IMHO.

 


 

Those Who Poison the Fourth Way Well John Shirley Blog

 


 

76. Associated PressNovember 1, 2018 (excerpt)

 

It would be good to reflect upon the below in regard to the recent discussion:

 

From Wikipedia:

 

“Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. The FBI’s Hostage Barricade Database System and Law Enforcement Bulletin shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.

 

[Interesting that 8% is close to the retention rate that the Fellowship of Friends has; 8% of those who join are still members.]

 

This term was first used by foreign media in 1973 as eponym when four hostages were taken during a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. The hostages defended their captors after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them. Stockholm syndrome is ostensibly paradoxical because the sympathetic sentiments captives feel towards their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain an onlooker may feel towards the captors.

 

There are four key components that generally lead to the development of Stockholm syndrome:
– A hostage’s development of positive feelings towards their captor
– No previous hostage-captor relationship
– A refusal by hostages to co-operate with police forces and other government authorities
– A hostage’s belief in the humanity of their captor, for the reason that when a victim holds the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.

 

Stockholm syndrome is considered a “contested illness,” due to many law enforcement officers’ doubt about the legitimacy of the condition. Stockholm syndrome has also come to describe the reactions of some abuse victims beyond the context of kidnappings or hostage-taking. Actions and attitudes similar to those suffering from Stockholm syndrome have also been found in victims of sexual abuse, human trafficking, discrimination, terror, and political and religious oppression.”

 

One might also add to that last sentence: victims of cults.

 


 

91. Cult Survivor November 12, 2018

 

GEMS OF FOF HISTORY

 

Here are the first 4 minutes of a meeting led by Robert on October 30th, 2016, 9 days after the expulsion of Asaf from the Fellowship of Friends. Robert mentions that Asaf is “going from bad to worse”, that “he is controlled by the lower self” and that “he is going to the end of the Ray of Creation”. Robert also comments on a picture he received of a tombstone with the name “Pierce”, which is the last name of Asaf’s wife indicating that it is a “sign from C Influence”, implying that her departure from the FoF with Asaf is a sinister fact (he also stated a few months later that the death from cancer of Denise, the wife of a person in Italy named Fabrizio that left the FoF to join “Asaf’s school”, occurred because “she was involved in a nasty play” and sent her a personal message inviting her to rejoin the FoF “in order to be saved”). At the end of the video Robert notes the coincidence that the angel that was supposed to wake Asaf up was Abraham Lincoln, the same “secret messenger” that was supposed to wake Miles up, and ends saying that “when you talk about as many things as I do you don’t even have thoughts about gettig them all right”.

 

NOTE: Asaf was very close to Robert during the 18 years he was in the Fellowship of Friends — he was part of the “triumvirate” with Dorian and Alexandr (Sasha) and was the dean of the Fellowship of Friends until June 2016, 4 months before his expulsion.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g96sntuqubhb18e/Mtg_Robert_103016.mp4?dl=0

 


 

2. ton2uNovember 16, 2018

 

I finally found time to look at the video clips from the previous page… thanks to cult survivor(s) for a reminder of what I’ve been missing all these years since leaving the Followship of Fools… and I have to thank any “lucky star” or providence, or fate, kismet, common sense, or guardian angels that may have helped me to escape what would have been years wasted in this ridiculous cult-trap.

 

I say I only got ’round to looking at the video clips – really I did only look… the old saying is true about a picture being worth much more than words… I trust my eyes to tell me more than all the words of the hypnotized and the hypnotizers, the dissemblers, prevaricators, prisoners, poisoners, rationalizers, liars and bullshitters – in other words I didn’t bother wasting time trying to “absorb” or “unpack” any of the verbalized bullshit, I try to avoid it, you know, walk around it – even if it tempts a sort of morbid curiosity on my part.

 

I went through enough – too many – of these little gatherings called ‘meetings’ with the same tired forms – the pro forma ‘formal attire,’ the group of “leaders” elevated in a ‘superior position’ on the dais above and staring down at the small flock gathered together in the name of…… the topics, the words, even the talking heads may change but the subjects remain the same…. the subjects being the ‘laity’ itself – whether they know it or not, they are the subjects of this project.

 

The social matrix of the FOF, from the earliest days, has always been based on subjugation and exploitation… adherence of laity to a belief system, thereby aiding, abetting, supporting their own exploitation, complying with their own subjugation…. all hidden behind notions of ‘refinery’ – ‘fine dining,’ ‘good manners,’ ‘nice’ clothing, – while utilizing mental /emotional chains in place of metal chains.

 

I only needed a brief look at the video clips – and even without listening to the bullshit issuing from mouths, the body language speaks volumes about a very grim state of affairs indeed.

 


 

3. brucelevy November 16, 2018

 

2. ton2u

 

Yup. I got through about one minute until I was too nauseated to continue. All the same fake humility acts and bullshit as was there in the 1970’s.

 


 

The Skeptic’s Dictionary  est. 1994 by Robert Todd Carrol

 

To those on a quest for spiritual evolution or transformation, guides like Gurdjieff and Ouspensky promise entry into an esoteric world of ancient mystical wisdom. Such a world may seem attractive to those who are drifting at sea and rudderless.

 

The Gurdjieff Foundation has about two dozen centers, mostly in north America.

 

There are Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centers in over 30 countries around the world; they are operated by the Fellowship of Friends and are not associated with the Gurdjieff Foundation but with Robert Earl Burton.

 

See also enneagram and Ouspensky.

 


 

 

The Harmonious Circle

 

The Lives and Work of G. I. Gurdjieff,

P. D. Ouspensky, and Their Followers

 

By James Webb

 


 

 

THE OCCULT WEBB

 

An Appreciation of the Life and Work of James Webb

 

Compiled by John Robert Colombo

  



 

   PART  I    II    III